Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/724

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704
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

But further, they wore ornaments, which perhaps served as marks of distinction. Thus, they had collars and bracelets made of pierced shells, hung on a string. Such shells have been found in most of the caves, and they occur in great numbers in the ancient place of sepulture at Cromagnon. Pieces of ivory, nicely fashioned, and bored with two holes, would appear to have been used to fasten the collar; and no doubt this is not the only outcropping of petty vanity of attire among our Troglodytes. Most savages have the habit of painting and tattooing their bodies; nor is the latter practice yet quite extinct among civilized races. In the caves are found several pieces of the bloodstone, showing signs of having been scraped. Hence we conclude that they prepared a red paint, and made constant use of it, probably in ornamenting their persons. Probably they also practised tattooing, for, when their artists picture, as they often do, the hand and forearm on a man on reindeer-horn, the lower part of the forearm bears a figure which may well be taken to represent a tattoo.

It has been already shown that our Troglodytes were not nomads; and, though individuals may have wandered abroad, the tribe never travelled to any distance away from their cave. Hence they must have acquired by barter objects coming from remote parts. The shells of their necklaces came from the Atlantic coast. They also used rock-crystal, which must have come from the Pyrenees, the Alps, or the mountains of Auvergne. Thus it is seen that the Troglodytes had relations with distant localities.

Fig. 5.
PSM V02 D724 Horn carvings.jpg
Group of Figures—Snake or Eel, Man, and Two Horse-Heads.—(La Madelaine.)

If they had any religious belief, it has left no trace. They wore talismans or amulets, however, the incisor-teeth of wolves or reindeer, the ox, or the horse, with a hole in them, through which a string was passed. Similar talismans are still worn by savage huntsmen, to insure good luck in the pursuit of game. In Italy, down to the present day, a swine's tooth, set in silver, is attached to the swaddling-clothes of new-born infants, as a charm against the Evil Eye, and afterward serves as a hochet, when the child is cutting its teeth. If the wolves' and other animals' teeth we find in the caves were talismans, our Troglodytes had at least a superstition, and, though I am no theologian, I will say that it is difficult to decide just where superstition ends and religion begins.