Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/200

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of "clicks"), and he is said to have met all the animals on a flat rock, and played a game with them for copper beads. The rainbow was made by Gaunab, who is generally a malevolent being, of whom more hereafter.

Leaving these African races, which, whatever their relative degrees of culture, are physically somewhat contemptible, we reach their northern neighbours, the Zulus. They are among the finest, and certainly among the least religious, of the undeveloped peoples. Their faith is mainly in magic and ghosts; gods they scarcely possess, or if gods there be, they resemble the Dei Otiosi of the Epicureans. But the Zulus have myths of the beginning of things.

The social and political condition of the Zulu is well understood. They are a pastoral, but not a nomadic people, possessing large kraals or towns. They practise agriculture, and they had, till quite recently, a centralised government and a large army, somewhat on the German system. They appear to have no regular class of priests, and supernatural power is owned by the chiefs and the king, and by diviners and sorcerers, who conduct the sacrifices. Their myths are the more interesting because, whether from their natural scepticism, which confuted Bishop Colenso in his orthodox days, or from acquaintance with European ideas, they have begun to doubt the truth of their own traditions.[1] The Zulu theory of the origin of man and of the world commences with the feats of Un-

  1. These legends have been carefully collected and published by Bishop Callaway (Trübner and Co., 1868).