Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/138

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who have superstitious respect for certain individuals, but who have no property and no chiefs, to peoples who exhibit the phenomenon of superstitious reverence attached to wealthy rulers or to judges. To take the example of Ireland, as described in the Senchus Mor, we learn that the chiefs, just like the Angakuts of the Eskimo, had "power to make fair or foul weather" in the literal sense of the words.[1] In Africa, in the same way, as Bosman, the old traveller, says, "As to what difference there is between one negro and another, the richest man is the most honoured," yet the most honoured man has the same magical power as the poor Angatuks of the Eskimo.

"In the Solomon Island," says Mr. Codrington, "there is nothing to prevent a common man from becoming a chief, if he can show that he has the mana (supernatural power) for it."[2]

Though it is anticipating a later stage of this inquiry, we must here observe that the sacredness, and even the magical virtues of barbarous chiefs seem to have descended to the early leaders of European races. The children of Odin and of Zeus were "sacred kings." The Homeric chiefs, like those of the Zulus and the Red Men, and of the early Irish and Swedes, exercised an influence over the physical universe. Homer[3] speaks of "a blameless king, one that fears the gods, and reigns among many men and mighty, and the black earth bears wheat and barley, and the sheep

  1. Early History of Institutions, p. 195.
  2. Journ. Anth. Inst., x. iii. 287, 300, 309.
  3. Od. xix. 109.