Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/807

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
778
DRESS AND ADORNMENT.

At last, the family had to return to England; and, although there were not many human friends to take leave of, "there were plenty of good-byes to be said; for those who live on these out-of-the-way farms come to be on very intimate and familiar terms with their live stock; and all our creatures—even the fowls, and those tamer members of our large family of ostriches which for years had been daily looking inquiringly in at our windows, and picking and stealing round the kitchen door—were very old friends, from whom we were sorry to part." Strange to say, the animals the parting with which excited the least painful feeling were the horses. The independence and freedom of their lives make them indifferent to human society, and there grows up none of that fellowship with them that is universal between Europeans, Asiatics, and American Indians and their horses.

 

DRESS AND ADORNMENT.

II. DRESS.

By Prof. FREDERICK STARR.

WHY has dress been developed? We answer at once, to serve as a covering to the body. But, if we think over the matter a moment, we shall see that three different motives may have operated:

1. The desire for ornament.
2. The wish to protect one's self against weather and harm.
3. The feeling of shame.

Dress may, then, be a decoration, a protection, a covering. All three of these motives have no doubt acted, but we believe the first has been the earliest and most powerful.

Were modesty and the feeling of shame the only factors in urging on dress development we should expect to find no naked races; there should be an inflexible rule as to what constitutes modesty, and covering should always be more important than display. In reality we find the opposite of all these. "What is necessary is always less important than luxury." Ornament is never lacking clothing often is. Peschel has somewhat fully discussed this matter of nakedness and shame. He tells us that there are tribes who, when first discovered, lived naked. Among those he names are Australians, Andamanese, some White Nile tribes, the red Soudanese, Bushmen, Guanches, some Guianians, Coronados, and the Botocudos. All these people, dwelling in a state of nudity, seemed to have no idea of shame on that account. The feeling of shame for nudity is not then universal, nor have we any reason to believe that it ever was.