Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/189

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Collectanea, 179

Pollux). It is from these " two men " that we calculate (the time of) the Palolo. See here. If when they rise up from the sea the man who is the highest is on top whilst the other man is just floating on the sea, then is the time (augalemu) for Palolo.

If we accept Sir E. Tylor's definition of Animism as " the belief in spiritual beings," these nature myths must, I think, be referred to a still earlier conception which he describes as " the belief in the animation of all nature, rising at its highest pitch to personification," when all natural objects "become personal animate creatures, leading lives conformed to human or natural analogies." Mr. Marett proposes for this " wider sense of animism " the title of "animatism," since that will serve at once to disconnect and to connect the two conceptions {Antk?-opology, p. 230).

In the endeavour to get at the back of the mind of the primitive man, and to estimate the value of these myths, we have always to guard against the danger of giving reasons for his beliefs and practices which never influenced him at all, and which indeed he never felt to be necessary. He, I think, simply accepted the facts, or what he regarded as facts, without troubling himself about any explanation of them ; the myths which supply details and give reasons are the work of later generations of men who were trying to give an explanation of observed phenomena and facts. A Samoan in primitive times, whilst he believed in the animation of all natural objects, did not, I think, regard those objects as being on a par with himself, though he regarded them as being influenced by the same reason and prompted in their actions by the same motives as he himself was. He believed, for instance, in the duality of his own nature, but I never heard of any story which told of the ghost or phantasm of a banana, a hurricane, a mountain or a tree. The Samoans, like other Polynesian peoples, believed that in the beginning the sky and the earth were so near to each other that men could not walk upright. There are several stories relating how this was remedied, but the one generally received in Samoa is that the sky was pushed up by the teve (Amorphophallus). It was, however, always easy in the olden days .for the inhabitants of the earth to exchange visits with those in heaven. Then the Samoans believed that all animals, trees and natural objects conversed with each other, and that they were influenced by the