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148 PEMOAW OF SERPEMTS.
snake, even in a country where they are few and comparatively harmless, perhaps this figure (II) may suggest the final cause of the shudder. In conclusion, it may be said that not only every animal ferocity, but every force which can be exerted injuriously, has had its demonic representations. Every claw, fang,
sting, hoof, horn, has been as certain to be catalogued and labelled in demonology as in physical science. It is remarkable also how superstition rationalises. Thus the horn in the animal world, though sometimes dangerous to man, was more dangerous to animals, which, as foes of the horned animals, were foes to man's interests. The early herdsman knew the value of the horn as a defence against dog and wolf, besides its other utilities. Consequently, although it was necessary that the horn-principle, so to say, in nature must be regarded as one of its retractile and cruel features, man never demonised the animals whose butt was most dangerous, but for such purpose transferred
the horns to the head of some nondescript creature. The horn has thus become a natural weapon of man-demons. The same evolution has taken place in America; for, although among its aboriginal legends we may meet with an occasional demon-buffalo, such are rare and of apocryphal antiquity. The accompanying American figure (I2) is from a photograph sent me by the President of Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, who found it in an old
mound (Red Indian) in the State of Georgia. It is probably as ancient as any example of a human head with horns in the world; and as it could not have been influenced by European notions, it supplies striking evidence that the demonisation of the forces and dangers of nature belongs to the structural action of the human mind.
WE paint the Devil black, says George Herbert. On the other hand the negro paints him white, with reason enough. The name of the Devil at Mozambique is Muzungu Maya, or Wicked White Man. Of this demon they make little images of extreme hideousness, which are kept by people on the coast, and occasionally displayed, in the belief that if the White Devil is lurking near them he will vanish out of sheer disgust with a glimpse of his own ugliness. The hereditary horror of the kidnapper displayed in this droll superstition may possibly have been assisted by the familiarity with all things infernal represented in the language of the white sailors visiting the coast. Captain Basil Hall, on visiting Mozambique about fifty years ago, found that the native dignitaries had appropriated the titles of English noblemen, and a dumpy little Duke of Devonshire met him with his whole vocabulary of English,_'. How do you do, sir. Very glad see you. Damn your eyes. Johanna man like English very much. God damn. That very good 2 Eh 2 Devilish hot, sir. . What news 2 Hope your ship stay too long while very. Damn my eye. Very fine day.'
In most parts of India Siva also is painted white, which
would indicate that there too was found reason to associate diabolism with the white face. It is said the Thugs spared Englishmen because their white faces suggested relationship to Siva. In some of the ancient Indian books the monster whom Indra slew, Vritra, is called Dasyu (enemy), a name which in the Vedas designates the Aborigines as contrasted with the Aryans of the North. “In the old Sanskrit, in the hymns of the Veda, ārya occurs frequently as a national name and as a name of honour, comprising the worshippers of the gods of the Brahmans, as opposed to their enemies, who are called in the Veda Dasyus. Thus one of the gods, Indra, who in some respects answers to the Greek Zeus, is invoked in the following words (Rigveda, i. 57, 8):—‘Know thou the Aryas, O Indra, and those who are Dasyus; punish the lawless, and deliver them unto thy servant l Be thou the mighty helper of the worshippers, and I will praise all these thy deeds at the festivals.’" Naglok (snakeland) was at an early period a Hindu name for hell. But the Nagas were not real snakes, in that case they might have fared better, but an aboriginal tribe in Ceylon, believed by the Hindus to be of serpent origin, ‘naga’ being an epithet for “native.” The Singhalese, on the other hand, have adapted the popular name for demons in India, ‘Rakshasa,' in their Rakseyo, a tribe of invisible cannibals without supernatural powers (except invisibility), who no doubt merely embody the traditions of some early race. The dreaded powers were from another tribe designated Yakkhos (demons), and be
1 Max Müller, “Science of Language,’ i. 275.
* The term is now used very vaguely. Mr. Talboys Wheeler, speaking of the “Scythic Nagas' (Hist. of India, i. 147), says: “In process of time these Nagas became identified with serpents, and the result has been a strange con fusion between serpents and human beings.” In the “Padma Purana' we read of ‘serpent-like men.' (See my ‘Sacred Anthology," p. 263.)
lieved to have the power of rendering themselves invisible. Buddha's victories over these demonic beings are related in the ‘Mahawanso.” “It was known (by inspiration) by the vanquishers that in Lanka, filled by yakkhos, . . . would be the place where his religion would be glorified. In like manner, knowing that in the centre of Lanka, on the delightful bank of a river, . . . in the agreeable Mahanaga
garden, . . . there was a great assembly of the principal yakkhos, . . . the deity of happy advent, approaching that great congregation, . . . immediately over their heads hovering in the air, . . . struck terror into them
by rains, tempests, and darkness. The yakkhos, overwhelmed with awe, supplicated of the vanquisher to be released from their terror. . . . The consoling vanquisher thus replied: ‘I will release ye yakkhos from this your terror and affliction: give ye unto me here by unanimous consent a place for me to alight on.' All these yakkhos replied: ‘Lord, we confer on thee the whole of Lanka, grant thou comfort to us.' The vanquisher thereupon dispelling their terror and cold shivering, and spreading his carpet of skin on the spot bestowed on him, he there seated himself. He then caused the aforesaid carpet, refulgent with a fringe of flames, to extend itself on all sides: they, scorched by the flames, (receding) stood around on the shores (of the island) terrified. The Saviour then caused the delightful isle of Giri to approach for them. As soon as they transferred themselves thereto (to escape the conflagration), he restored it to its former position.” This legend, which reminds one irresistibly of the expulsion of reptiles by saints from Ireland, and other Western regions, is the more interesting if it be considered that these Yakkhos are the Sanskrit Yakshas, attendants
* “Mahawanso’ (Turnour), pp. 3, 6.