Besides the concrete data about native beliefs which have been given above, there is another set of facts of no less importance which must be discussed before the present subject can be considered exhausted. I mean the general sociological laws that have to be grasped and framed in the field, in order that the material, which observation brings in a chaotic and unintelligible form, may be understood by the observer and recorded in a scientifically useful form. I have found the lack of philosophical clearness on matters connected with ethnographical and sociological field work a great setback in my first attempts to observe and describe native institutions, and I consider it quite essential to state the difficulties I encountered in my work and the manner in which I tried to cope with them.
Thus one of the main rules with which I set out on my field work was "to gather pure facts, to keep the facts and interpretations apart." This rule is quite correct if under "interpretations" be understood all hypothetical speculations about origins, etc., and all hasty generalizations. But there is a form of interpretation of facts without which no scientific observation can possibly be carried on--I mean the interpretation which sees in the endless diversity of facts general laws; which severs the essential from the irrelevant; which classifies and orders phenomena, and puts them into mutual relationship. Without such interpretation all scientific work in the field must degenerate into pure "collectioneering" of data; at its best it may give odds and ends without inner connection. But it never will be able to lay bare the sociological structure of a people, or to
give an organic account of their beliefs, or to render the picture of the world from the native perspective. The often fragmentary, incoherent, non-organic nature of much of the present ethnological material is due to the cult of "pure fact." As if it were possible to wrap up in a blanket a certain number of "facts as you find them" and bring them all back for the home student to generalize upon and to build up his theoretical constructions upon.
But the fact is that such a proceeding is quite impossible. Even if you spoil a district of all its material objects, and bring them home without much bothering about a careful description of their use--a method which has been carried out systematically in certain non-British possessions in the Pacific--such a museum collection will have little scientific value, simply because the ordering, the classifying, and interpreting should be done in the field with reference to the organic whole of native social life. What is impossible with the most "crystallized" phenomena--the material objects--is still less possible with those which float on the surface of native behavior, or lie in the depths of the native mind, or are only partially consolidated into native institutions and ceremonies. In the field one has to face a chaos of facts, some of which are so small that they seem insignificant; others loom so large that they are hard to encompass with one synthetic glance. But in this crude form they are not scientific facts at all; they are absolutely elusive, and can be fixed only by interpretation, by seeing them sub specie aeternitatis, by grasping what is essential in them and fixing this. Only laws and generalizations are scientific facts, and field work consists only and exclusively in the interpretation of the chaotic social reality, in subordinating it to general rules.
All statistics, every plan of a village or of grounds, every genealogy, every description of a ceremony--in fact, every ethnological document--is in itself a generalization, at times quite a difficult one, because in every case one has first to discover and formulate the rules: what to count and bow to count; every plan must be drawn to express certain
economic or sociological arrangements; every genealogy has to express kinship connections between people, and it is only valuable if all the relevant data about the people arc collected as well. In every ceremony the accidental has to be sifted from the essential, the minor elements from the essential features, those that vary with every performance from those that are customary. All this may appear almost a truism, yet the unfortunate stress on keeping to "pure fact only" is constantly being used as the guiding principle in all instructions for field work.
Returning from this digression to the main subject, I want to adduce some general sociological rules which I had to formulate in order to deal with certain difficulties and discrepancies in the information, and in order to do justice to the complexity of facts, at the same time simplifying them in order to present a clear outline. What will be said in this place applies to Kiriwina, but not necessarily to any other or wider area. And, again, only those sociological generalizations will be discussed here which bear directly on belief, or even, more specially, on the beliefs described in this article.
The most important general principle concerning belief that I have been forced to respect and consider in the course of my field studies is this: Any belief or any item of folklore is not a simple piece of information to be picked up from any haphazard source, from any chance informant, and to be laid down as an axiom to be drawn with one single contour. On the contrary, every belief is reflected in all the minds of a given society, and it is expressed in many social phenomena. It is therefore complex, and, in fact, it is present in the social reality in overwhelming variety, very often puzzling, chaotic and elusive. In other words, there is a "social dimension" to a belief, and this must be carefully studied; the belief must be studied as it moves along this social dimension; it must be examined in the light of diverse types of minds and of the diverse institutions in which it cart be traced. To ignore this social dimension, to pass over the variety in which any given item of folklore is
found in a social group, is unscientific. It is equally unscientific to acknowledge this difficulty and to solve it by simply assuming the variations as non-essential, because that only is non-essential in science which cannot be formulated into general laws.
The manner in which ethnological information about beliefs is usually formulated is somewhat like this: "The natives believe in the existence of seven souls"; or else, "In this tribe we find that the evil spirit kills people in the bush," etc. Yet such statements are undoubtedly false, or at the best incomplete, because no "natives" (in the plural) have ever any belief or any idea; each one has his own ideas and his own beliefs. Moreover, the beliefs and ideas exist not only in the conscious and formulated opinions of the members of a community. They are embodied in social institutions and expressed by native behavior, from both of which they must be, so to speak, extricated. At any rate, it appears clearly that the matter is not as simple as the ethnological usage of "one-dimensional" accounts would imply. The ethnographer gets hold of an informant, and from conversation with him is able to formulate the native's opinion, say, about afterlife. This opinion is written down, the grammatical subject of the sentence put into the plural, and we learn about the "natives believing so-and-so." This is what I call a "one-dimensional" account, as it ignores the social dimensions, along which belief must be studied, just as it ignores its essential complexity and multiplicity. 76
Of course, very often, though by no means always, this multiplicity may be ignored, and the variations in detail overlooked as unessential, in view of the uniformity which obtains in all essential and main features of a belief. But the matter must be studied, and methodical rules applied to the simplification of the variety, and unification of the multiplicity of facts. Any haphazard proceeding must, obviously, be discarded as unscientific. Yet, as far as I am aware, no attempt has been made by any inquirer in the field, even the most illustrious, to discover and lay down
such methodical rules. The following remarks ought, therefore, to be treated indulgently, being only an unaided attempt to suggest certain important connections. They deserve indulgence also on account of being the result of actual experiences and difficulties encountered in the field. If, in the account of beliefs given above, there is a certain lack of uniformity and smoothness; if, further, the observer's own difficulties are somewhat brought into relief, this must be excused on the same account. I attempted to show as plainly as possible the "social dimension" in the domain of belief, not to conceal the difficulties which result from the variety of native opinions, and also from the necessity of constantly holding in view both social institutions and native interpretation, as well as the behavior of the natives; of checking social fact by psychological data, and vice versa.
Now let us proceed to lay down the rules which allow us to reduce the multiplicity of the manifestations of a belief to simpler data. Let us start with the statement made several times, namely, that the crude data present almost a chaos of diversity and multiplicity. Examples may be easily found among the material presented in this article, and they will allow the argument to be clear and concrete. Thus, let us take the beliefs corresponding to the question, "How do the natives imagine the return of the baloma?" I have actually put this question, adequately formulated, to a series of informants. The answers were, in the first place, always fragmentary--a native will just tell you one aspect, very often an irrelevant one, according to what your question has suggested in his mind at the moment. Nor would an untrained "civilized man" do anything else. Besides being fragmentary, which could be partially remedied by repeating the question and using each informant to fill up the gaps, the answers were at times hopelessly inadequate and contradictory. Inadequate because some informants were unable even to grasp the question, at any rate unable to describe such a complex fact as their own mental attitude, though others were astonishingly clever, and almost
able to understand what the ethnological inquirer was driving at.
What was I to do? To concoct a kind of "average" opinion? The degree of arbitrariness seemed much too great. Moreover, it was obvious that the opinions were only a small part of the information available. All the people, even those who were unable to state what they thought about the returning baloma and how they felt towards them, none the less behaved in a certain manner towards those baloma, conforming to certain customary rules and obeying certain canons of emotional reaction.
Thus, in searching for an answer to the above question -or to any other question of belief and behavior--I was moved to look for the answer in the corresponding customs. The distinction between private opinion, information gathered by asking the informants, and public ceremonial practices, had to be laid down as a first principle. As the reader will remember, a number of dogmatic tenets have been enumerated above, which I have found expressed in customary traditional acts. Thus the general belief that the baloma return is embodied in the broad fact of the milamala itself. Again, the display of valuables (ioiova), the erection of special platforms (tokaikaya), the display of food on the lalogua--all this expresses the presence of the baloma in the village, the efforts to please them, to do something for them. The food presents (silakutuva and bubualu'a) show an even more intimate participation in village life by the baloma.
The dreams, which often preceded such offerings, are also customary features, just because they are associated with, and sanctioned by, such customary offerings. They make the communion between the baloma and the living, in a way, personal, and certainly more distinct. The reader will be able easily to multiply these examples (connection between belief in Topileta and his fee, and the valuables laid round the body before burial; beliefs embodied in the ioba, etc.)
Besides the beliefs expressed in the traditional ceremonies,
there are those embodied in magical formulae.
These formulae are as definitely fixed by tradition as the customs. If anything, they are more precise as documents than the customs can be, since they do not allow of any variations. Only small fragments of magical formulae have been given above, yet even these serve to exemplify the fact that beliefs can be unmistakably expressed by spells, in which they are embedded. Any formula accompanied by a rite expresses certain concrete, detailed, particular beliefs. Thus, when, in one of the above-named garden rites, the magician puts a tuber on the stone in order to promote the growth of the crops, and the formula which he recites comments on this action and describes it, there are certain beliefs unmistakably documented by it: the belief in the sacredness of the particular grove (here our information is corroborated by the taboos surrounding that grove); the belief in the connection between the tuber put on the sacred stone and the tubers in the garden, etc. There are other, more general, beliefs embodied and expressed in some of the above-mentioned formulae. Thus the general belief in the assistance of ancestral baloma is standardized, so to speak, by the spells by which those baloma are invoked, and the accompanying rites in which they receive their ula'ula.
As mentioned above, some magical spells are based upon certain myths, details of which appear in the formulae. Such myths, and myth in general, must be put side by side with the magical spells as traditional, fixed expressions of belief. As an empirical definition of a myth (again only claiming a validity for the Kiriwinian material) the following criteria can be accepted: it is a tradition explaining essential sociological features (e.g., myths about the division in clans and subclans), referring to persons who performed notable feats, and whose past existence is implicitly believed in. Traces of such existence in various memorial spots are still shown: a dog petrified, some food transformed into stone, a grotto with bones, where the ogre Dokonikan lived, etc. The reality of mythical persons and
mythical occurrences stands in vivid contrast to the unreality of ordinary fables, many of which are told.
All beliefs embodied in mythological tradition can be assumed to be almost as invariable as those embodied in magical formulae. In fact, the mythical tradition is extremely well fixed, and accounts given by natives of different places in Kiriwina--natives of Luba and natives of Sinaketa--agreed in all details. Moreover, I obtained an account of certain myths of the Tudava cycle during a short visit to Woodlark Island, which lies some sixty miles to the east of the Trobriands but belongs to the same ethnological group, called by Prof. Seligman the Northern Massim, which agrees in all essential features with the facts obtained in Kiriwina.
Summing up all these considerations, we may say that all beliefs as implied in native customs and tradition must be treated as invariably fixed items. They are believed and acted upon by all, and, as customary actions do not allow of any individual varieties, this class of belief is standardized by its social embodiments. They may be called the dogmas of native belief, or the social ideas of a community, as opposed to individual ideas. 77 One important addition has to be made, however, to complete this statement: only such items of belief can be considered as "social ideas" as are not only embodied in native institutions, but are also explicitly formulated by the natives and acknowledged to exist therein. Thus all the natives will acknowledge the presence of the baloma during the milamala, their expulsion at the ioba, etc. And all the competent ones will give unanimous answers in the interpretation of magical rites, etc. On the other hand, the observer can never safely venture to read his own interpretations into the native customs. Thus, for instance, in the above-mentioned fact, that mourning is always finally discarded immediately after an ioba, there seems to be unmistakably expressed the belief that the person waits till the baloma of the deceased has gone before giving up the mourning. But the natives do not endorse this interpretation, and therefore it cannot possibly
be considered as a social idea, as a standardized belief. The question whether this belief was not originally the reason for the practice belongs to quite a different class of problem, but it is obvious that the two cases must not be confounded; one, where a belief is formulated in a society universally, besides being embodied in institutions; the other, where the belief is ignored, though apparently expressed in an institution.
This allows us to formulate a definition of a "social idea": It is a tenet of belief embodied in institutions or traditional texts, and formulated by the unanimous opinion of all competent informants. The word "competent" simply excludes small children and hopelessly unintelligent individuals. Such social ideas can be treated as the "invariants" of native belief.
Besides the social institutions and traditions, both of which embody and standardize belief, there is another important factor, which stands in a somewhat similar relation to belief--I mean the general behavior of the natives towards the object of a belief. Such behavior has been described above as illuminating important aspects of native belief about the baloma, the kosi, the mulukuausi, and as expressing the natives' emotional attitude towards them. This aspect of the question is beyond doubt of extreme importance. To describe the ideas of the natives concerning a ghost or spirit is absolutely insufficient. Such objects of belief arouse pronounced emotional reactions, and one ought to look, in the first place, for the objective facts corresponding to these emotional reactions. The above data concerning this aspect of native belief, insufficient as they are, show clearly that with more experience in method a systematic inquiry could be carried out into the emotional side of belief on lines as strict as ethnological observations admit.
The behavior can be described by putting the natives to certain tests concerning their fear of ghosts, or their respect for spirits, etc. I have to admit that, though realizing the importance of the subject, I did not quite see, whilst in the
field, the proper manner to deal with this difficult and new subject. But I now clearly see that, had I been better on the look out for relevant data in this line, I should have been able to present much more convincing and objectively valid data. Thus in the problem of fear my tests were not sufficiently elaborate, and even as they were made, not sufficiently minutely recorded in my notes. Again, though I will remember the tone in which I heard them speaking--rather irreverently--about the baloma, I also remember that a few characteristic expressions struck me at the time, which I ought to have noted at once, and did not. Again, watching the behavior of the performers and spectators in a magical ceremony, certain small facts characterizing the general "tone" of the natives' attitude are to be found. Such facts I have observed partly, though, I think, insufficiently (they were only just mentioned in this article when speaking about the kamkokola ceremony, as they really do not bear on the subject of spirits or afterlife). The fact is, however, that until this aspect is more generally taken under observation and some comparative material exists, the full development of the method of observation is very difficult.
The emotional attitude expressed in behavior, and characterizing a belief, is not an invariable element: it varies with individuals, and it has no objective "seat" (such as the beliefs embodied in institutions have). Nevertheless, it is expressed by objective facts, which can be almost quantitatively stated, as in measuring the amount of inducement needed and the length of an expedition on which a native will venture alone under fear-inspiring conditions. Now, in each society there are braver and more cowardly individuals, emotional people and callous ones, etc. But divers types of behavior are characteristic for different societies, and it seems enough to state the type, since the variations are well-nigh the same in all societies. Of course, if it be possible to state the variations, so much the better.
To illustrate the matter concretely, by the simplest example, that of fear, I have experimented with this element
in another district in Papua--in Mailu, on the south coast--and found that no normal inducement, no offering of even an excessive payment in tobacco, would prevail upon any native to cover at night and alone any distance out of sight and earshot of the village. Even here, however, there were variations, some men and boys being unwilling to run the risk even at dusk, others being ready to go out at night to some inconsiderable distance for a payment of a stick of tobacco. In Kiriwina, as described above, the type of behavior is absolutely different. But here again some people are much more timorous than others. Perhaps these variations could be expressed more exactly, but I am not in the position to do it, and at any rate the type of behavior characterizes the corresponding beliefs, when compared with the Mailu type, for instance.
It seems feasible, therefore, as the first approach to exactness, to treat elements of belief expressed by behavior as types; that is, not to trouble about the individual variation. In fact, the types of behavior seem to vary considerably with the society, whereas the individual differences seem to cover the same range. This does not mean that they ought to be ignored, but that, in the first approach, they may be ignored without making the information incorrect through incompleteness.
Let us pass now to the last class of material which must be studied in order to grasp the beliefs of a certain community--the individual opinions or interpretations of facts. These cannot be considered as invariable, nor are they sufficiently described by indicating their "type." Behavior, referring to the emotional aspect of belief, can be described by showing its type, because the variations move within certain well-described limits, the emotional and instinctive nature of man being as far as one can judge, very uniform, and the individual variations remaining practically the same in any human society. In the domain of the purely intellectual aspect of belief, in the ideas and opinions explaining belief, there is room for the greatest range of variations. Belief, of course, does not obey the laws of logic, and
the contradictions, divergencies, and all the general chaos pertaining to belief must be acknowledged as a fundamental fact.
One important simplification in this chaos is obtained by referring the variety of individual opinions to the social structure. In almost every domain of belief there is a class of men whose social position entitles them to a special knowledge of the beliefs in question. In a given community they are generally and officially considered to be the possessors of the orthodox version, and their opinion is considered the correct one. Their opinion, moreover, is to a considerable extent based on a traditional view which they have received from their ancestors.
This state of things is, in Kiriwina, very well exemplified in the tradition of magic and of the connected myths. Although there is as little esoteric lore and tradition, and as little taboo and secrecy, as in any native society which I know from experience or literature, nevertheless there is complete respect for a man's right to his own domain. If you ask in any village any question referring to more detailed magical proceedings in the gardening department, your interlocutor will immediately refer you to the towosi (garden magician). And then on further inquiry you learn, as often as not, that your first informant knew all the facts absolutely well and was perhaps able to explain them better than the specialist himself. None the less, native etiquette, and the feeling of what is right, compelled him to refer you to the "proper person." If this proper person be present, you will not be able to induce anyone else to talk on the matter, even if you announce that you do not want to hear the specialist's opinion. And, again, I have several times obtained information from one of my usual instructors and subsequently the "specialist" has told me that it is not correct. When, later, I referred this correction to my original informant, he would, as a rule, withdraw his opinion saying, "Well, if he says so, it must be correct." Special caution ought of course to be exercised when the specialist is naturally inclined to lie, as is often the case with the
sorcerers (those who possess the power to kill people by magic).
Again, if the magic and corresponding tradition belong to another village, the same discretion and reserve is observed. You are advised to go to that village for information. When pressed, your native friends may perhaps tell you what they know about the matter, but they will always wind up the report by saying: "You must go there and gather the right knowledge at the right source." In the case of magic formulae, this is absolutely necessary. Thus I had to go to Laba'i in order to get the kalala-fishing magic, and to Kuaibola to record the shark-fishing charms. I obtained the canoe-building magic from men of Lu'ebila, and I went to Buaitalu to get the tradition and spell of the toginivaiu, the most powerful form of sorcery, though I was unable to procure the silami or evil spell and was only partially successful in getting the vivisa or healing spell. Even if the knowledge to be obtained is not spells, but mere traditional lore, one is often sorely disappointed. Thus, for instance, the proper seat of the Tudava myth is Laba'i. Before I went there I had gathered all that my informants in Omarakana could tell me and expected to reap an enormous harvest of additional information, but as a matter of fact, it was I who impressed the natives of Laba'i, by quoting details which were hailed by them as quite true, but which had escaped their memory. In fact, no one there was half as good on the Tudava cyclus as my friend Bagido'u of Omarakana. Again, the village of Ialaka is the historic spot where once a tree was erected up to heaven. And this was the origin of thunder. If you ask about the nature of thunder, everybody will tell you straight off: "Go to Ialaka and ask the tolivalu (the headman)," although practically everybody is able to tell you all about the origin and nature of thunder, and your pilgrimage to Ialaka, if you undertake it, will prove a great disappointment.
Nevertheless, these facts show that the idea of specialization in traditional lore is strongly developed; that in many items of belief, and in many opinions about belief, the
natives recognize a class of specialist. Some of these are associated with a certain locality; in such cases it is always the headman of the village who represents the orthodox doctrine, or else the most intelligent of his veiola (maternal kinsmen). In other cases the specialization goes within the village community. In this place we are not concerned with this specialization, in so far as it determines the right to obtain magical formulae, or the correct reciting of certain myths, but only in so far as it refers to the interpretation of all beliefs connected with such formulae or myths. Because, besides the traditional text, the "specialists" are always in possession of the traditional interpretations or commentaries. It is characteristic that, when talking with such specialists, you always get clearer answers and opinions. You clearly see that the man does not speculate or give you his own views, but that he is fully aware of being asked about the orthodox view, about the traditional interpretation. Thus when I asked certain informants about the meaning of the "si buala baloma," the miniature hut made of dry twigs during one of the garden rites (see above, V), they tried to give me a kind of explanation, which I saw at once, was their own private view of the matter. When I asked Bagido'u, the towosi (garden magician) himself, he simply waved away all explanations and said, "This is merely an old traditional thing, no one knows its meaning."
Thus in the diversity of opinions there is one important line of demarcation to be drawn: that between the opinions of competent specialists and the views of the profane public. The opinions of the specialists have a traditional basis: they are clearly and categorically formulated and, in the eyes of the native, they represent the orthodox version of the belief. And, since on each subject there is a small group of people, in the last instance one man, to be considered, it is easy to see that the most important interpretation of belief does not present any great difficulties in handling.
But in the first place, this most important interpretation does not represent all the views, it cannot be taken even
as typical, at times. Thus for instance, in sorcery (evil, homicidal magic), it is of absolute importance to distinguish between the views of the specialist and those of the outsider, because both represent equally important and naturally different aspects of the same problem. Again, there are certain classes of belief where one would in vain look for departmental specialists. Thus about the nature of the baloma and their relation to the kosi, there were some statements more trustworthy and detailed than others, but there was no one who would be a naturally and generally acknowledged authority.
In all matters where there are no specialists, and again in matters in which the opinion of non-specialists is of intrinsic interest, it is necessary to have certain rules for fixing the fluctuating opinion of the community. Here I see only one clear and important distinction: namely, between what can be called public opinion, or more correctly--since public opinion has a specific meaning--the general opinion of a given community on the one hand, and the private speculations of individuals on the other. This distinction is, as far as I can see, sufficient.
If you examine the "broad masses" of the community, the women and children included (a proceeding which is easy enough when you speak the language well and have lived for months in the same village, but which otherwise is impossible), you will find that, whenever they grasp your question, their answers will not vary: they will never venture into private speculations. I have had most valuable information on several points from boys and even girls of seven to twelve years of age. Very often, on my long afternoon walks, I was accompanied by the children of the village and then, without the constraint of being obliged to sit and be attentive, they would talk and explain things with a surprising lucidity and knowledge of tribal matters. In fact, I was often able to unravel sociological difficulties with the help of children, which old men could not explain to me. The mental volubility, lack of the slightest suspicion and sophistication, and, possibly a certain amount of training
received in the Mission School, made of them incomparable informants in many matters. As to the danger of their views; being modified by missionary teaching, well, I can only say that I was amazed at the absolute impermeability of the native mind to those things. The very small amount of our creed and ideas they acquire remains in a watertight compartment of their mind. Thus the general tribal opinion in which practically no variety is to be found can be ascertained even from the humblest informants.
When dealing with intelligent grown-up informants, things are quite different. And as they are the class with whom an ethnographer has to do most of his work, the variety of their opinion comes very much to the fore, unless the inquirer is satisfied in taking one version of each subject and sticking to it through thick and thin. Such opinions of intelligent, mentally enterprising informants, as far as I can see, cannot be reduced or simplified according to any principles: they are important documents, illustrating the mental faculties of a community. Further on, they very often represent certain typical ways of conceiving a belief, or of: solving a difficulty. But it must be clearly borne in mind that such opinions are sociologically quite different from what we called above dogmas or social ideas. They are also different from generally accepted or popular ideas. They form a class of interpretation of belief, which closely corresponds to our free speculation on belief. They are characterized by their variety, by not being expressed in customary or traditional formulae, by being neither the orthodox expert opinion, nor the popular view.
These theoretical considerations about the sociology of belief may be summarized in the following table, in which the various groups of belief are classified in a manner which seems to express their natural affinities and distinctions, as far, at least, as the Kiriwinian material requires:--
I. Social ideas or dogmas.--Beliefs embodied in institutions, in customs, in magico-religious formulae and rites and in myths. Essentially connected with and
characterized by emotional elements, expressed in behavior.
2. Theology or interpretation of the dogmas.--
(a) Orthodox explanations, consisting of opinions of specialists.
(b) Popular, general views, formulated by the majority of the members of a community.
(c) Individual speculations.
Examples for each group can be easily found in this article, where the degree and quality of social depth, the "social dimension" of every item of belief, has been given, at least approximately. It must be remembered that this theoretical scheme, though dimly recognized at the beginning, has been only imperfectly applied, because the technique of its applicability in field work had to be elaborated bit by bit, through actual experience. It is, therefore, with reference to my Kiriwinian material, rather a conclusion ex post facto than a basis of method adopted at the outset and systematically carried out throughout the work.
Examples of dogma or social ideas are to be found in all the beliefs, which have been described as embodied in the customs of the milamala and in the magical rites and formulae. Also in corresponding myths, as well as in the mythological tradition, referring to afterlife. The emotional aspect has been treated, as far as my knowledge allows, in describing the behavior of the natives towards magical performances during the milamala, their behavior towards the baloma, the kosi, and the mulukuausi.
Of the theological views, several orthodox interpretations have been given in the explanations by a magician of his magic. As popular views (barring such as are dogmas at the same time) I may note the belief concerning spiritism: everybody, even the children, knew well that certain people went to Tuma and brought back songs and messages to the living. This, however, was in no way a dogma, since it was even open to scepticism on the part of some exceptionally
sophisticated informants, and since it was connected with no customary institution.
The speculations about the nature of the baloma are the best example illustrating the purely individual class of theology, consisting of private opinions.
I wish to remind the reader that local differences, that is the variation of belief according to district, have not been considered at all in this theoretical section. Such differences belong to the domain of anthropogeography rather than sociology. Moreover, they affect only to a very small extent the data presented in this paper, as practically all of my material has been collected within a small district, where local variations hardly exist at all. Only as regards the reincarnation, local differences may account for some divergencies in belief (see above, VI).
From such district variations the above-mentioned localized specialization in certain departments (thunder in Ialaka, shark in Kuaibuola, etc.) must be carefully distinguished, because this is a factor connected with the structure of society and not merely an example of the broad anthropological fact, that everything changes as we move over the surface of the earth.
All these theoretical remarks, it is plain, are the outcome of experience in the field, and it was considered well to print them here in connection with the data already given, because they are also ethnological facts, only of a much more general nature. This, however, makes them, if anything, more important than the details of custom and belief. Only the two aspects, the general law and the detailed documentation, make information really complete, as far as it goes.