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IN the preface to the second volume of this series it was said that, in collecting information concerning the religions of the cognate tribes dealt with, my chief purpose was to endeavour to ascertain to what extent different conditions of culture led to the modifications of religious conceptions. Three groups of tribes have now been considered, the Tshi, the Ewe, and the Yoruba, who represent three stages of progress, the Tshi being in the lowest stage and the Yoruba in the highest. As these tribal groups undoubtedly had a common origin, it is reasonable to suppose that the Yoruba tribes were once in the social and mental condition in which the Tshi tribes are now, and that, in fact, in these groups we find the same race in different states of culture. Assuming then, as we legitimately may, that the religious beliefs of the Ewes are modifications of earlier belief resembling those now held by the Tshis, and that those of the Yorubas are similarly modifications of beliefs like those now held by the Ewes, we here have an opportunity of observing how the evolution of religion may proceed.

Among the Tshi-speaking tribes we found that everything in nature is believed to be animated-that is to say, everything not inade by human hands has an animating principle, spiritual second-self, or indwelling spirit, possessing powers which may be beneficial or prejudicial to man, according to whether it is propitiated or neglected. It seems probable that the belief in all nature being thus animated was an extension of the belief that man possesses a spiritual second-self, or indwelling spirit, which belief is beyond dispute the result of savage speculation concerning dreams. Man, having decided that he possessed an indwelling spirit, would extend the same possession to animals, then to vegetable life, and finally to inanimate nature, partly because he does not perceive any strict line of demarcation between these, and partly because he as frequently sees the phantoms of such things in his dreams as he does the phantoms of living men. He would be led to extend the indwelling-spirit theory to all nature, because it would account for many things that would otherwise be incomprehensible, since uncivilised man believes that every occurrence is the result of design, and that nothing ever happens by accident. The theory that a man who is drowned has been drawn down and strangled by the water-spirit, seems to him much more satisfactory than to suppose that the death was the result of chance circumstances.

All indwelling spirits are, however, not equally revered. Those of bushes, grasses, stones, &c., are not much regarded, and the most important are those of rivers, lagoons, the sea, mountains, rocks, and shoals. The reason of this, no doubt, is that no loss of life or injury to person or property can be directly connected with a bush, or grass, or a stone, without, at least, the intervention of human agency; while, in the nature of things, men must occasionally be drowned in rivers, canoes capsized in the sea, and property and life destroyed or injured by flood or landslip, or other natural causes. Timor fecit deos, and those natural features and objects which experience has shown to be more frequently the apparent cause of mishaps, have more regard paid to them, or rather to their animating principles, than those which have proved to be innocuous. Every man worships that from which he has most to fear or most to expect, and it is commonly something with which he is daily brought into contact. Thus, fishermen pay most attention to the indwelling spirits of the sea and of the shoals and reefs on which their canoes might be wrecked; while the agriculturist worships the spirit of the stream that flows near his dwelling, or that of the cliff or mass of rock which overhangs his plantation, and those of the gigantic silk-cotton trees, whose downfall so frequently crushes to death the inhabitant of the forest. Objects of worship are thus local, and are worshipped only by those in the neighbourhood. In most cases worship and sacrifice are made in the habitat of the spirit, or god, under the boulder of rock, or on the bank of the, stream or lagoon; and, as the nature of the god is well understood, as he is believed to be the indwelling spirit of the rock or the stream, there is no need for any myth explanatory of his origin, or for an image or tangible representation of him. This is the condition in which the great majority of the Tshi tribes are at the present day.

The first change appears to be caused by the making of an image, or simulacrum, of a god, which has the effect of weakening the tie between the indwelling spirit and the object it animates. If the image were kept in the habitat of the local god, the connection of the god with the particular rock, cliff, or stream would not be lost sight of; but it would serve no useful purpose to keep an image there, since the god himself is present, and the only object in making one is to bring the god to some place nearer at hand, which will be more convenient for the worshippers, and at the same time bring the protecting power more directly into contact with them. To effect this removal of a god it is a sine qua non that the simulacrum must be made from material obtained from the habitat of the god, or be a portion of that which he animates. A fragment of rock from a boulder inhabited by an indwelling spirit, or a figure carved from wood taken from a tree in a grove inhabited by a spirit, preserves in the minds of the worshippers the subjective connection between the fragment and the boulder, or the figure and the grove; and, by a confusion of ideas which is well known, he thinks that the objective connection is likewise unbroken, and that the god, or spirit, is by means of the simulacrum brought before him.

This removal, as it were, of a god from his proper dwelling-place, necessarily leads, first, to a weakening of the tie between the god and that which he animates, and, finally, to the nature of the god, as an indwelling spirit of a natural object, being completely lost sight of. Let us imagine, for example, that the inhabitants of a village who have been in the habit of worshipping the indwelling spirit of a precipitous cliff in the neighbourhood, come to the conclusion that it would be more convenient, and at the same time place them more effectually under the protection of the spirit, if they were to bring him into the village. They accordingly make a figure of clay taken from the cliff, and set it up in the village in a miniature hut erected for its protection. This hut then becomes the sacred place, and the sacrifices and sacred dances are performed before it, instead of, as heretofore, at the cliff. The god, however, is not supposed to have absolutely abandoned the cliff, and persons whose avocations took them to it would still think it necessary to propitiate him with small offering of food. Practically he is believed to be in the cliff and yet also in the image in the village, for although a man, if asked to explain the seeming impossibility of one and the same person being in two places at once, might say that the god only entered the image in order to receive the offerings and listen to the prayers of the faithful, or that the image merely served as an instrument through which the god could take cognizance of the wants of his followers, yet, as a matter of fact, they never seem to think about the matter at all, and it is taken for granted by the villagers that the god is in their midst. Generations are born and die, and are succeeded by others, all of which have been accustomed to perform religious ceremonies before the miniature hut, and the inevitable result is that, sooner or later, the connection of the god with the cliff, of which he was the aniniating principle, is completely lost sight of, and he is regarded as the tutelary deity of the village, pure and simple. In this way undoubtedly originated many of the tutelary deities of towns and villages on the Gold Coast, for the process can be seen going on at the present day. By carrying it a little further, tribal or national gods might be similarly produced, but, with two or three exceptions, the Tshi tribes have not progressed so far as that, and most of the gods worshipped by complete tribes are simply the indwelling spirits of very remarkable natural objects situated in the territories occupied by the tribes.

Besides the gods which are the animating principles or indwelling spirits of natural features and objects, and which we may call nature-gods, we have objects of worship of another class, which are the product of manes-worship, and which we may therefore term ghost-gods. The ghosts, or souls of deceased men of rank and power, are supplicated and propitiated in the same way and to the same extent as are the nature-gods, and it is often difficult to decide where the one worship begins and the other ends.

Manes-worship reaches its fullest development in the royal houses of Ashanti and Dahomi, that is to say, in those situations where the conditions are most favourable for preserving the memory of the wisdom and power of deceased men. In both these houses periodical human sacrifices are made on the tombs of the former kings, in addition to the daily minor offerings of food and drink. We find the same confusion between objective and subjective connection in the case of these ghost-gods as we do in that of the nature-gods; and the skulls of chiefs and others are often exhumed and placed in small temples adjoining the dwelling-houses, in the idea that the guardian-ghost is thereby brought to the spot. At the battle of Dodowah, near Accra, where the Ashantis were defeated in 1826, a head, wrapped in a silk handkerchief, and covered with a leopard-skin, the emblem of royalty, was captured. This was the head of the late king, Tutu Kwamina, and his successor had brought it with him, in the idea that he would thereby be able to obtain the support of the gliostly king against his enemies. Before the battle offerings were made to it, and the ghost was invoked to cause the heads of all the white men in the field to he beside his before night.

Many tutelary deities of towns, clans, and families doubtless owe their origin to manes-worship. The dead are ordinarily, one might almost say invariably, buried in or near to the habitations of the living, and it is certain that in many cases the habit of offering sacrifices at the place of sepulture has been continued, simply through habit, long after the fact that a man was buried there has been forgotten. In such a case, the guardian-ghost being lost sight of, the god is simply a tutelary god, whose origin is either unexplained, or which the priests explain in any way that may suit them best. We thus have two explanations of the origin of tutelary deities. They are either nature-gods who have been severed from their proper surroundings, or ghost-gods whose origin has been forgotten. Of couse the manes themselves are tuletar.

Nature-gods themselves are no doubt in several cases blended with ghost-gods. The reverence paid to certain rivers, cliffs, &c., must have often dated from some fatal accident that occurred in connection with them. It was this which first attracted attention, and primitive man would not be likely to discriminate between the ghost of the victim, which would haunt the spot where the latter lost its life, and the indwelling spirit of the natural feature. Nevertheless, that the nature-gods are, as a whole, the product of manes-worship, is, we think, a theory not warranted by the evidence, though apparently supported by the high authority of Mr. Herbert Spencer. It often occurs that a family settles near to some river, lake, or hill, and forthwith commences a cult of this indwelling spirit, without any catastrophe having taken place near it. In fact, it may be said to be the rule that whenever a Tshi group takes up its abode near any remarkable natural feature of object, it worships and seeks to propitiate its indwelling spirit, fearing that otherwise it may do some harm. Many of the nature-gods are non-terrestrial, and it is difficult to see by what process they could ever become confused with dead men. Nobody could be buried in the sky, sun, moon, rainbow, or wind; and if these could be conceived to be animate without the intervention of the souls of the dead, why could not terrestrial objects also? Manes-worship is the result of the belief that man has an indwelling spirit which survives after the death of the body, and nature worship is the result of the belief that all nature is animate. Which was first in order it would be difficult to determine with absolute certainty, but, from the analogy of the lower animals, it seems probable that the second was. Animals regard objects which move as alive, whout having come to the conclusion that they themselves have spiritual second selves, and primitive man, who would know litle more of naturea cuasation than an animal does, probably did also. When a rock slipped, or a tree fell, the unusual behavior suggested animation. Afterwards, when he had come to believe that he himself possessed an indwelling spirit, he probably conceived the animating entites of natural objects to be somewhat analogous, and made the gods the reflex of his own kra.

Objects made by human hands are not animate, and do not possess indwelling spirits, though they have ghosts, which the souls of the dead are able to make use of in deadland. There are, however, many such objects upon which the native sets great value, and as they do not possess guardian-spirits of themselves, he provides them with artificial ones. Thus, just as he kills the wives of his chief, and buries them with him, releasing their ghosts, or souls, from their bodies to enable them to continue their ministrations to their lord, so, perfectly logically, he slays a slave on the family stool, the emblem of office, or upon the great drum of the tribe, releasing the ghost from the body in order to enable it to become the guardian-spirit of the stool or drum. This is a luxury that can only be afforded by men of rank, or to ensure the safekeeping of national trophies or emblems, and hence it is only the royal stools of kings and chiefs, or paraphernalia belonging to the tribe as a whole, that are, as a rule, thus protected. The victim is decapitated upon the object so that the blood gushes over it, and on the, Gold Coast many tribal stools and drums are clotted thick with the blood of those who have been slain upon them, for it seems to be thought necessary to renew the guardian from time to time. As, when a human sacrifice is offered to a god, the victim is similarly slain upon the sacred stool or chair, it seems probable that the ghost is in this case also believed to become a guardian-spirit. No doubt the belief that all objects not made by human hands possessed indwelling, or guardian-spirits, suggested the idea of supplying artificial guardian-spirits to objects which did not come under this category. The practice is very widespread, and the custom of immolating human victims at the launching of war-canoes in the islands of the Pacific, so that the bows were sprinkled with their blood, and the Dyak practice of crushing a slave-girl to death under the first post erected at the building of a communal house, are cases in point, the sacrifice being in each case designed to provide a guardian-spirit.

With some two or three exceptions, all the gods worshipped by the Tshi tribes are purely local and have a limited area of worship. If they are nature-gods they are bound up with the natural objects they animate, if they are ghost-gods they are localised by the place of sepulture, and if they are tuletary deities, whose origin has been forgotten, their position is necessarily fixed by that of the town, village, or family they protect. In any case they are worshipped only by those who live in the neighbourbood. The exceptions are the sky-god, the earthquake-god, and the goddess of the silk-cotton trees. The vault of the heaven overhangs every town and hamlet, so that Nyankupon,[1] the god of the sky, which is believed to be solid, and the roof of the world, is universally known. Similarly, earthquakes are felt over the whole country, so that Sasabonsum, the earth-god, who is held to produce these phenomena, is also widely known. Silk-cotton trees are found everywhere, so that Srahmantin, the goddess of these trees, is feared and worshipped everywhere. With these three exceptions there are no general gods, that is, no gods known to the Tshi tribes as a whole; and two of them, it may be observed, in accordance with the principle that every man worships that which is most likely to affect his lot, and which is ordinarily near at hand, though known to all, are not paid much regard to, except when they force themselves upon the attention. Nyankupon is generally considered too distant to have much weight in the affairs of mankind, or to take much interest therein, but when he thunders and lightens-for to thunder, lighten, and pour out rain are his functions and thereby reminds men that he has power to injure, they become polite to him, and seek to propitiate him

[1. Nyankupon. Nyan means "to awake," but seems primarily to have meant "to stretch," or "to extend." Pon is anything flat, as "door, table-top "; po, "ocean," is from the same root. Ku seems to be a euphonic change from kru, "rounded, curved." The word Nyankupon would thus mean "the stretched-out, curved, flat surface," or shortly "the outspread vault."]

by flattery and praise. Sasabonsum likewise is not paid much attention to, except when an earthquake happens, and then everybody hastens to offer sacrifices. As silk-cotton trees are everywhere close at hand, and a great many pesrions are cushed to death by them-for they seem particularly liable to the ravages of white ants, and then blown down by a very moderate gale of wind-it is considered of some importance to propitiate Srahmantin, who is the only spirit-or class of spirits, for it is not quite clear which it is-that can be said to be generally worshipped by the tribes as a whole.

The indwelling spirits of natural objects are held to be of human shape, but to possess the more striking characteristics of the objects they animate. Thus, because the silk-cotton tree has a gaunt, greyish-white trunk, which towers high above the other trees of the forest, and often reaches to a height of 100 feet before it throws out a branch, Srahmantin is said to be of gigantic stature and greyish-white in color. To these characteristics native imagination has added long flowing hair, and long pendent breasts. Similarly, Tahbi, the indwelling spirt of the huge mass of black rock on which Cape Coast Castle is built, is of immense size, and black; and Abroh-ku, the surf-god of the landing place, is of the colour of wood ashes, and small and round, like a breaking wave.

Among the Ewe tribes we find the smae fundamental belief that all nature is animate, and the local nature-gods are as among the Tshi tribes, the indwelling spirits of natural objects and features; but simulacra are much more common on the Slave coast than on the Gold Coast, and, as a consequence, the tie between nature-gods and their habitiats, and between ghost-gods and their human origin, has been more frequently weakened and lost sight of. Hence we find a large increase in the number of tribal and general gods, many of which have now no connection with any natural object or with manes-worship. Concurrently with the increase in the number of tribal and general gods runs the relegation of the purely local gods to an inferior position. A god who is worshipped over a large area is naturally believed to be more powerful than one whose area of worship is circumscribed, and the trial and general gods, having each their special functions and attributes, monpolise between them nearly all the phenomena and qualities which excite fear and respect in man. The local gods are thus pushed back from the prominent position they are held among the Tshi tribes, with whom to propitiate the local gods was considered all important, and though they are worshipped by small communities and solitary families, the inhabitants of towns do not pay much attention to them. Almost every person is enrolled as a follower of one, at least, of the general and tribal gods, and when a man is secure of the favour and protection of the king, the goodwill of the court-underling is no longer of much moment to him.

Among the general deities of the Ewe tribes, Mawu, the sky-god, whose name also means to stretch over or overshadow, answers to the Nyankuopon of the Tshi tribes, and the silk-cotton tree spirits appear under the names of Huntin and Loko. The Ewes have no earthquake-god, probably because the shocks of earthquakes are rarely felt on the Slave Coast, two only being known to have occurred since 1778, whereas slight shocks are experienced on the Gold Coast every two or three years. Mawu, like Nyankupon, is considered too distant to interfere in human affairs, and as he no longer thunders and lightens, which phenomena are attributed to a new conception, Khebioso, a bird-like god, who appears to be the personified thunder-cloud, he does nothing but control the rain, and his importance has been thereby lessened. Other general deities are Aizan, protector of markets and public places, who seems to be a type generalised from the multitudinous tutelary gods of the Gold Coast; Dso, the god of fire, Legba, a phallic divinity, and Sapatan, the small-pox god. In this deification, or personification, of fire, love, and pestilence, we see a new departure. Fire is not worshipped on the Gold Coast, and there it is the local gods who inflict pestilence on their worshippers as a punishment for neglect; while love, or desire, is usually stimulated by the ghost-gods, who, as the forefathers of the ghost-gods are believed to take an interest in the propagation of their descendants, though occasionally the exciting of this passion may be found to be one out of the many attributes of a nature-god.

When we come to the Yoruba-speaking tribes we find simulacra in universal use, and the belief that nature-gods are the animating principles of natural objects only lingering in places remote from populous centres, and among the Jebus, who live isolated in their forests and shun intercourse with the other tribes. There are, in consequence, few local gods proper, but many tutelary deities of tribes, towns, villages, and families, and there is a very large increase in the number of general deities. Olorun, the sky god, answers to the Ewe Mawu and the Tshi Nyankupon, but he is rapidly being displaced by Obatala, a more anthropomorphic conception, and who very probably was a ghost-god whose origin has been lost sight of. The god of thunder and lightning appears under the name of Shango, and that of small-pox under the name of Shan-kpanna. Legba has become a combination of desire and evil, and Odudua, a goddess, said by the priests to be the earth, presides over the passion of love. Orisha Oko, who represents natural. fertility, Aje Shaluga, god of wealth, Shigidi, personified nightmare, and Dada, patron of vegetables, are new conceptions. A native of the Gold Coast who found his yam-crop thrive would attribute it to the fostering care of the local nature-god, and if he acquired wealth it would probably be considered due to the efforts of his tutelary deity, but here gods appear to have been made out of abstractions.

The evolution of types has been carried further than among the Ewes, and instead of each hill and mountain having its own indwelling god we have Oke, god of heights in general; while in place of the multitude of local sea-gods found on the Gold Coast and the western half of the Slave Coast, we have one general god of the sea, Olokun. Aroni, god of forests, is another example. Olosa, the lagoon, Oya, the river Niger, and the two rivers Oshun and Oba, are nature-gods, which, from being strictly local, have now become general. Ifa, god of divination, who is the benefactor of man and the unveiler of the future, was probably originally a ghost-god as no doubt was Osanhin, god of medicine. Ogun, god of iron, and hence of war, may be a personification of iron, but it is just as probable that he was the traditional discoverer of the use of iron, and hence a ghost-god, who has now been raised to the first rank. In the general tendency to regard Legba as the evil principle, we perhaps see a first step towards dualism, in which Ifa, for choice, would represent the good principle. All the gods are more anthropomorphic than was the case with the Ewe and Tshi tribes.

Looking, then, at these three groups of tribes, we find what seems to be a regular progression from the gods of hamlets and small communities, as among the Tshis, to the gods of a whole people, as among the Yorubas; and from the worship of the indwelling spirits of tangible objects, or objects believed to be tangible, as the sky, and of dead men, to the worship of personified principles. With the aggregation of peoples comes the concretion of gods. On the Gold Coast the natives dwell in small groups, isolated from
one another by large tracts of forest. There are no towns, properly speaking, except on the sea-coast, and only a few large villages. Ideas percolate but slowly, and people live in the narrow circle of their own lives, knowing little or nothing of anything that transpires outside their own hamlet. To them their own surroundings are of the first importance, and the local god is the first in their estimation. There is no room here for the growth of national and general gods, for everything is narrowed down to the village circle.

Among those Ewe tribes who inhabit the western and forested portion of the Slave Coast we find much the same condition of affairs; but in the eastern Ewe districts the country is comparitively open, communities are larger, and communication is in every way freer. Here ideas circulate readily, man is constantly meeting with man, and as his mental circle widens, so do his conceptions concerning the nature of gods. Thus, among the eastern Ewe tribes we find many national and tribal gods, and several general gods, while the local gods have sunk in general estimation.

Among the Yoruba tribes this evolution has been carried still further, the county, except that inhabitated by the Jebus, being fairly open, large towns numerous, and circulation constant. Here the local god has almost disappeared, and the great majority of the gods are known to, and worshipped by, the whole of the tribes. The origin and inception of the nature-gods, as the indwelling spirits of natural objects or phenomena, being generally lost sight of, some explanation of their existence becomes necessary, and, ill consequence, we find a variety of myths dealing with the parentage and adventures of the gods.

As far as manes-worship alone is concerned-that is, the worship of spirits or gods which are known to have once been men-there is no great difference between the three lingual groups. Among the Yorubas it is, if anything, rather less developed than among the Tshis and Ewes, or rather relegated to an inferior position, in consequence of the greater power and sway of the gods generally worshipped. Whenever, however, the human origin of the ghost-god has been lost sight of, he seems to have conformed to the general rule; that is, where the circumstances have been unfavourable, he has, like the minor local nature-gods, disappeared, or been absorbed in the personality of another god, and where they have been favourable, he has acquired increased renown and area of worship, and become a national or general god.

That with the nationalisation of gods the priesthood should also become organised and developed is a natural result. Both on the Gold and Slave Coasts, and, indeed, everywhere else, the priesthood is a guild, or fraternity, the members of which require a special knowledge; and no man or woman can become a member of it without a preliminary training, or apprenticeship. On the Gold Coast, however, there are no distinct orders, or bodies, of priests. The gods being infinite in number, and local, the groups of priests are infinite in number, and local, and have no cohesion. In every village there will be found three or four priests who know the sacred dances and special ceremonies required for the worship of the gods peculiar to that village, but they know nothing of the rites and ceremonies of the gods of other towns. On the Slave Coast, on the other hand, each general god of the Ewe tribes, except Mawu, has in every town and village a considerable number of priests, whose duty it is to minister to him and to him alone. Colleges and seminaries for the instruction of novices are numerous, and to each god are attached a number of temple-women, or wives. Among the Yoruba tribes priestly organisation is carried still further, and there are three recognised orders of priests, each of which is subdivided into grades. On the Gold Coast a priest might officiate indifferently before any god of the locality for which he was, so to speak, ordained; but if a Yoruba priest of Shango were to attempt to consult Ifa there would be as great a commotion as there would be if a Roman Catholic priest were to attempt to preach in a Baptist Chapel. There is, in fact, a healthy competition between the priests of the principal gods, and each guard their own privileges very jealously.

Religion, at the stage of growth in which we find it among, these three groups of tribes, has no connection with morals, or the relations of men to one another. It consists solely of ceremonial worship, and the gods are only offended when some rite or ceremony has been neglected or omitted. If the omission be quite unintentional the result is just the same, as the gods, like uncivilised man, judge by acts and not by motives. In all ages man makes God the moral counterpart of himself, and in savage life he only revenges that which affects himself. With the wrongs of others he has nothing to do. If a man murdered his neighbour and robbed the widow and orphans, that would be a matter that would not concern the gods in the least, and, provided he paid the usual homage expected by gods from their followers, he would be as secure of their favour and protection as if he were perfectly innocent of all crime. On the other hand, years of blameless life would not save a man from punishment if he omitted some customary rite, or inadvertently gave offence. Similarly, in the Hebrew books, we find that the detestable fraud perpetrated by Jacob upon his brother Esau did not in any way lessen the favour with which he was regarded by the national god; but when the unfortunate Uzzah, with the best intentions in the world, put forth his hand and held the ark to keep it from falling, he was struck dead, because the action implied that the god was not able to protect himself. So, too, among the ancient Greeks, the gods took no cognisance of social offences, and only revenged slights offered to themselves; as, when they caused Protesilaus, the husband of Laodamia, to be the first hero slain before Troy, because she, in her eagerness to consummate her marriage, forgot to propitiate them with the usual sacrifices.

The belief that religion has no connection with morals thus seems to be inherent in man when in a certain intellectual and social condition, and it is not by any means at once got rid of by the adoption of the religion of a higher race in which the two are associated. The uneducated negroes of our colonies, for instance, who have been nominally Christian for some three generations, practically believe that the commission of grave moral offences, and even crimes, will not in the least affect their prospects of future "salvation," provided that they go to church or chapel regularly, and, in fact, pay their god all that ceremonial homage and lip-service which is, in their view, the essence of religion.

On the Gold and Slave Coasts, there is perfect liberty of thought in inatters of religion, but a man must show outward respect for the gods, because to do otherwise is to provoke calamities. A man may worship many gods, or none, just as he pleases, but he must not insult any. In fact, at this stage, man tolerates any form of religion that tolerates others and as he thinks it perfectly natural that different people should worship different gods, he does not attempt to force his own personal opinions upon anyone, or to establish conformity of ideas.

The striking resemblance which the Yoruba religious system bears to that of the ancient Greeks can scarcely have escaped notice. Olorun, the sky-god proper, now being gradually displaced by the more anthropomorphic Obatala, resembles Uranus, who was displaced by Kronos. In Greek mythology Kronos married his sister Rhea, the earth, and the Yoruba myth makes Obatala marry Odudua, who also represents the earth, though the qualities of Aphrodite appear to predominate. Olokun answers to Poseidon, Ogun, worker in iron, to Hephœstus, Orisha Oko to Priapus, Osanhin to Æsklepius, Orun, the sun, to Helios, and Oshu, the moon, to Selene. Zeus' messenger, Hermes, the lightning, was the protector of plunderers, and Shango is the god of lightning and plunder. Ifa, as the, god of prophecy, and the being who wards off evil and affords help, resembles Apollo, who, in Homer, is perfectly distinct from the sun-god, though identified with him in later times.[1]

[1. In the Roman mythology Air married Earth,and the marriage was renewed every year in spring. (Virgil, Georg. ii., 325.) Here, Air (Orungan) marries Water (Yemaja).]

The spirits of the trees answer to the Hama-dryads, and we have river-gods and sea-spirits. Metamorphosis to a brook, spring, or lagoon is common, and we have one example of a girl, being transformed, like Daphne, into a shrub. The gods, when consulted, gave oracular responses that differ in no essential particular from the answers given by the Oracle of Delphi. The Yorubas, like the Greeks, offer human sacrifices in time of national need. Dancing was, with the Greeks, intimately connected with worship, as Lucian says: [1] "You cannot find a single ancient mystery in which there is not dancing;" and on the Gold and Slave Coasts every god of note has his own dance, which is sacred to him, and known only to the initiated. The religion of ancient Greece has been obscured by a great deal of later poetic imagery; but, when we look into it closely, it is found to be similar to that of the Yorubas, and was no doubt produced when the Greeks were in a like intellectual condition. It is a pantheon which seems peculiar to a certain stage of culture, and is composed of nature-gods and ghost-gods. The Khonds of India have almost exactly the same objects of worship as the Yorubas, their gods being the sun-god, moon-god, earth-god, god of iron and arms, small-pox-god, god of hills, god of streams, forest-god, god of limits, god of fountains, god of rain, god of hunting, god of births, village-god, and tank-god.[2] Similar resemblances are forthcoming from almost every part of

[1. On "Dancing," c. 15.

2. Latham, "Ethnology of the British Colonies," p. 140.]

the world. In fact, the gods are everywhere much the same, because much the same phenomena and natnral objects are found everywhere, and because mankind [1] on the same plane of civilisation has much the same wants and necessities.

From a comparison of the systems of consaugainity of these lingual groups we are able to trace the order of evolution of the family, and the results go to show that Dr. Starcke's [1] theories of the priority of a system of kinship through fathers are incorrect, and that Mr. McLennin was right, in his gencral conclusions that descent through mothers was first in order.

Among the Tshi tribes of the Gold Coast descent is solely and exchisively in the female line. A family is a number of persons connected by uterine ties, all of whom bear the same clan-name. The clan-name is the test of kinship, and a family is a small circle of persons whose exact degrees of consanguinity to each other are known, within the wider circle of more distant relations, that is, the clan at large. Marriage within the clan is forbidden, and hence a father cannot be related by blood to his children, or be of the same family. Succession to property, office, or dignity follows the line of blood-descent, and a man's heir is his brother, or, failing a brother, his sister's son.

Among the Gã tribes of the Gold Coast descent is also solely and exchisively in the female line, and marriage in the mother's family is forbidden; but here the influence of the father in the household

[1. "The Primitive Family."]


has begun to assert itself, and in some cases, chiefly where tho father is a man of some rank and power, office or dignity descends from father to son. Property is still considered to be vested in families, rather than in individuals, and succession to property remains in the female line, in the same order as among the Tshi tribes.

Among the western Ewe tribes the law of blood-descent, and of succession to office or property, is the same as with the Gã tribes; but among the eastern Ewe tribes, in Dahomi, blood-descent is on both sides of the house, and succession in the male line. This change has, however, only taken place in the royal family of Dahomi, and among what may be termed the aristocracy, who appear to have followed the lead of their sovereign. The lower orders still trace descent in the female line, and that the higher orders used also to do so is shown by the terms in use for expressing relationships. Brother and sister, for instance, can only be rendered by "mother's son" and "mother's daughter" respectively.

Among the Yoruba tribes descent is through both parents with succession in the male line, and marriage is forbidden both in the father's and mother's family so long as relationship can be traced. A man's heirs are his sons, among whom the property is equally divided. If a man have no sons, his brothers inherit. The old ideas concerning blood-descent still, however, exercise some influence, and children by the same father, but different mothers, are not generally considered proper blood-relations. Thus, going from the Tshi tribes to the Yoruba, from the least cultured to the most cultured, we find a gradual but regular change from kinship and descent through mothers only, to kinship and descent through both parents.

We are also able to trace the evolution of society from the stage in which the group, or community, as a whole, protected its own rights and exacted redress for injuries, to that in which the state protects the individual and punishes crime.

It would appear that, at first, the community or group was the social unit, and had collective rights and responsibilities, every member of the group having a, right to the protection of the group as a whole, and being in turn responsible individually for the acts or omissions of the group as a whole, or of any member of it. If we might speculate on this subject we might say that this condition dated from the time when the group was homogeneous, and had not yet been broken up into different clans by the system of blood-descent through mothers. Either no notion of blood-descent at all had been formed, or, if formed, the group-tie, the tie of association and comradeship, was considered of more moment than the blood-tie. The sole remaining trace of this condition to be found among the three lingual groups under consideration lies in the right which a creditor, whose debtor belongs to another community, has to seize the property of a third party, belonging to the same community as the person indebted, instead of recovering what is due from the latter. The group is individually and collectively responsible for debts contracted by any member.

Among the Tshi, Gã, and Ewe tribes the family, connected by uterine ties, is the social unit, and each member of a family is individually. responsible for all the others. The state, represented by the tribal or village-chief, takes no cognisance of offences unless they are such as directly concern, or are believed to concern, the interests of the community as a whole. Treason and witchcraft are almost the only offences that the state takes cognisance of. In cases of homicide, theft, rape, assault, and injury to the person or property, it is the family of the person who has suffered that alone can demand and exact satisfaction. No one else has a right to interfere, and, if the family should choose to forego all demands, no one has a right to say anything. Reparation is not sought directly from the offender, but from the family to which he belongs. It is, in fact, a case of one family arrayed against another.

Where the contending parties cannot come to mutual agreement as to the reparation, the injured party brings the case before the state, that is, the chief, who, until thus called upon to arbitrate, has no power to act. There is no fixed scale of punishments or awards; the injured family assesses its damages, and, if the injuring family does not accept the terms or effect a compromise, the dispute is referred to the chief for settlement. Murder is not necessarily, punished with death, for the family of the deceased may, if they think fit, accept a money-compensation in lieu for the loss of the services of the deceased. If the family be poor, and that of the murderer rich, they usually deem it better to exact payment than to enjoy the luxury of revenge, which the injurers would only have the effect of depriving of one of their number, without improving the position of the injured. In the contrary case the feeling of revenge is allowed to have its way; and when this occurs, the homicide is handed over to the injured family and put to death by them. In cases of theft, or injury to property, the stolen goods are returned or the amount of the damage made good, by the family to which the offender belongs; which is also liable to a fine for not having controlled the actions of the guilty member. The family itself then deals with its erring member, and punishes or pardons him, just as it thinks fit, that being a matter with which the outside public has nothing to do.

No distinction is made between crimes and accidents. Motive is never taken into account, and the harm done is always deliberated upon from the point of view of loss to the family. If a man be deliberately murdered, or killed by accident, there is equally a loss of an individual to the family, and they, can in either case take a life in exchange, or accept compensation. We saw the reflex of this condition in their religious views, the gods being likewise believed not to take motive into consideration.

Among the Yorubas, in consequence of the change in the system of blood-descents, the family has lost cohesion. It is no longer the powerful organisation it was when it rested upon the basis of the clan; for, instead of being a large group of kindred, it has become a congeries of households, each with two lines of descent, and as the family has weakened, the state has gradually usurped its privileges. The state here takes cognisance of serious crimes, and only minor injuries to the person or property are left to the initiative of the family. The restoration of the stolen property, and the imposition of a fine on the family, is no longer considered a, sufficient reparation for theft. Theft has come to be regarded as all offence against social order, in which the whole community is interested, and lience a first offence is punished by flogging or fine, a second by mutilation, and a third by death. The family, being no longer collectively responsible for the actions of its several members, is not allowed to deal with the guilty member as it thinks fit. The state motes out justice; every man is responsible for his own conduct, and punishment falls upon the guilty individual instead of upon the group of kindred.

We are also able to trace to some extent the evolution of ideas concerning property. In those groups of tribes which trace descent through mothers only, property is vested in families rather than in individuals. There is, of course, individual property, but it usually is limited to minor articles, such as utensils, weapons, &c. Houses, the family gold ornaments, insignia, stools, and properties that have been handed down from bygone generations, are vested in the head of the family, and cannot be alienated without the consent of the family as a whole. At the demise of the head of the family the next of kin who succeeds has the usufruct of the family property in his turn, and is responsible for its safe custody. Among the Yorubas, in consequence of the change in the system of descents, property is vested in households, that is, in a smaller group of kindred, and divided among the heirs, who are the sons, or, in default of sons, brothers. As here, equally with the tribes who trace descent solely in the female line, the order of succession is unalterable; property in all cases remains in the family, the only difference being that among the Yorubas it is distributed with each succeeding generation, instead of being kept together; but the tendency of the Yoruba custom undoubtedly is to destroy the notion that property belongs to the group of kindred, and to make it individual.

In the case of all the tribes land is held in common, and there is no individual property in land, though the notion that land can be the property of the individual, instead of the community, has, as has been said, begun to appear among the Yorubas. Probably, in early times, moveable as well as immoveable property was once common. It still is, to a large extent, common to the family, and, at all earlier stages when the group was homogeneous, it was no doubt common to the group or community; for the custom which allows a creditor to seize the property of a third party belonging to the same community as the debtor, seems to point to a notion that the community as a whole must have benefited by what the debtor received. If all property were once common to the group, as land is now, then the following changes probably occurred. When the homogeneous group became heterogeneous, and broke up into clans in consequence of the system of female descents, property became common to the clan. Then, when the clan became divided into uterine families, property became common to the uterine family, as it still is on the Gold Coast; and, when the uterine families came to an end, owing to the recognition of the blood-tie between father and child, property became vested in households, as it is with the Yorubas. In other words, as the units of, which society was originally composed became subdivided into smaller and smaller groups, so did property become vested in a gradually decreasing number of persons, until it finally became individual.

{Appendix, "A comparison of the Tshi (or Oji), Gã, Ewe, and Yoruba Languages", omitted}