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A Navaho Medicine Man. 
(After Harper's Weekly). 


A Sociological Study of the Character 
and Evolution of Shamanism 



Captain (retired) in the United States Army 





, All rights reserved 


1 sti^a 

^' 70' ? 









A Navaho Medicine Man frontispiece. 

A Blackfoot Medicine Man in Full 

Regalia facing page 102. 

Another Device of the Medicine Man 

For Frightening Daimons .... facing page 124. 

A Kaffir Medicine Man Prescribing . facing page 208. 



List of IllI'Strations vi 

Foreword ix-xii 


JjsT OF Abbreviations viii 

Introductory 1—21 

The Making of the Medicine Man 22-71 

Medicine Women 72—90 


Adventitious Aids; Charlatans; The Social 

Position of the Medicine Man .... 91—131 


The Functions of the Medicine Man; Perils 
of failure; rewards of success, in- 
CLUDING Fees of The Medicine Man . . 1.32— 166 


The Methods of the Medicine Man .... 167-226 


The History of Some Medical Remedies . . 227—282 . 


Conclusion 283—293 

Index 312—326 

Errata 327 



Am. Jour. Pharmacy .... American Journal of Pharmacy. 

Am. Jour, of Psychology . . American Journal of Psychology. 

Am. Med. Ass American Medical Association. 

Am. Pharm. Ass American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ciation, Proceedings of. 

Am. Phil. Soc American Philosophical Society, 

Proceedings of. 

Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science . Australasian Association for the 

Advancement of Science. 

Bur. Eth • . Bureau of American Ethnology. 

Cat. N. A. Indians Catlin, Letters and Notes on the 

Manners and Customs and Conditions 
of the North American Indians- 

Contrib. North Am. Eth. . . Contributions to North American 


Die. de Mat. Med Merat et de Lens, Dictionnaire 

Universel de Mati^re M6dicale. 

Encyc. Brit Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Heahng Art Berdoe, Origin and Growth of the 

Healing Art. 

Hist. Veg. Drugs Lloyd, History of Vegetable Drugs. 

Informal. Respect. Indian Tribes Schoolcraft, Historical and Statisti- 

Tribes of the United States. 

Internat. Cong, of Anthrop. . International Congress of Anthro- 

Jour. Am. Folklore .... Journal of American Folklore. 

J. A. I Journal of Anthropological Institute 

of Great Britain and Ireland. 

J. A. Soc. Bengal Journal of the Asiatic Society of 


J. A. Soc. of Bombay . . . Journal of the Anthropological 

Society of Bombay. 

Med. Naturvolker Bartels, DieMedizinderNaturvOlker. 

Peters' Ancient Pharmacy . . Peters, Hermann, Pictorial History 

of Ancient Pharmacy. 

Prim. Cult Tylor, Primitive Culture. 

Prin. Soc Spencer, Principles of Sociology. 

Pop. Sci. Monthly Popular Science Monthly. 

Saxon Leechdoms .... Cockayne, Saxon Leechdoms, Wort- 
Cunning and Star Craft. 

Trans. Linn. Society .... Transactions of the Linnean Society, 

Useful Drugs American Medical Association's 

Handbook of Useful Drugs. 

W. African Studies .... Kingsley, West African Studies. 

Yale Med. Journal .... Yale Medical Journal. 




The most satisfying outcome of any scientific study 
is the conviction that truth has prevailed, and so, pre- 
sumably, will prevail. And in no other range of obser- 
vation is this conviction more gratifying than in the 
field of social phenomena. The beginnings of w^hat we 
now most prize have been childish, laughable, grotesque, 
revolting, or downright horrible. But this was not because 
men were wrong-headed and perverse; it was simply 
because they did not know, as the child does not. They 
were doing the best they could, under the circumstances. 
They had wrong premises from which they deduced, 
logically enough, conclusions that were wrong. With no 
external or adventitious aids, they sized up the problem 
of living as it appeared to them and evolved a life-policy 
which they put into practice. 

In this practice the adequacy of the theory was always 
challenged by and tested on the actual conditions of 
living. However strongly supported by tradition and by 
what we call superstition, the theory could not indefinitely 
stand if it involved maladjustment to these conditions; 
and even if adjustment had been, for the moment, secured, 
it presently turned, with the inevitable change of the life- 
conditions, into maladjustment. Of a consequence it was 
provided that life-theories should be subject to correction 
just as it is provided that bodies fall toward the earth's 

But if the correction of error is provided for, then it 
matters little what you start with, if there is time enough 



— and there is no lack of that when it comes to cosmic 
processes. You are sure to work out toward the truth. 
Wherever you take hold of the social fabric, you find its 
strands, dependable enough now, running back into a 
snarl of the fantastic and irrational. Out of this un- 
promising and often ridiculous beginning has come all 
that we now value; and without those behefs which we 
wonder at as we reject them, but which spurred our fore- 
_ bears to an activity without which there would have 
been no observation and verification, we could not have 
been where we now are. It is no small service to the 
race to demonstrate that truth comes out of the auto- 
matic correction of natural error, and not otherwise ; for it 
gives a true perspective of human life and a clearer under- 
standing of what we are doing and can do to live better in 
the future. It is also possible, in the light of such know- 
ledge, to believe that the process will never end while men 
live on earth. -Social evolution teaches us that the race be- 
gan in destitution and error and has, by the exercise of 
its own powers, and not by outside aid, for the most part 
unconciously, worked itself up to what we now prize and 
call culture or civilization. There is no more reason to 
believe that this process will ever stop than there is to 
believe that arbitrary intervention ever interrupted its 
course in the past. 

This is the broadest generalization to be derived from 
studies like the 'one before us ; and it represents their 


widest human interest. Here we have a thorough study 
of an outstanding- functionary in evolving society — a 
complex type out of which have developed numerous 
special types that are well-recognized and highly valued 
social assets in the present. Any such study, when well ^ 
done, contributes strongly to our understanding of the 
evolution and life of human society. 

So far as I know, there exists no other study of 
of the shaman which compares, at the same time in fullness 
and breadth of perspective, with that of Dr. Maddox. 
He has carefully given due credit to other fine monographs 
which have treated the subject less completely or from a 
point of view less comprehensive. Doubtless a number 
of ethnographers, from their field-experience, know the 
shamans of this and that tribe or region much more 
intimately than is possible for the student of their accounts ; 
but there are few field-observers who attain the perspective 
possible to the worker in the study who reviews a wide 
literature and applies to it the comparative method. What 
the latter loses in exactness of detail he more than' 
balai'ices by the sweep of his survey. 

It is this sort of study that is most needed at present 
for the upbuilding of a science of society. Here is a book 
that adequately treats a very important chapter in social 
evolution. It is in line with the best modern work, and I 
believe that the industry and scientific candor of the 
author will inspire confidence. Scientific students of society 


will now have at their service a treatise which will not 
have to be substantially altered for a long time to come. 
And many a general reader will experience much enlight- 
enment while he turns the following pages. 

A. G. Keller, Professor 

of the Science of Society 

In Yale University. 



When the author began his studies in the social sciences 
there was in existence no adequate treatment of the 
subject with which this book is concerned. Surveys of 
the topic, excellent and suggestive, but unsystematic, had 
been made by Herbert Spencer in his "Principles of 
Sociology," by Dr. Max Bartels in "Die Medizin der 
Naturvolker," by the late Captain John G. Bourke, of 
the United States Army, in "The Medicine Men of the 
Apache," and by others; these monographs, moreover, 
were written some years ago. It was, therefore, with the 
double purpose of bringing the subject abreast of the 
times, and of treating it in a systematic manner, that 
the substance of the present volume was written, originally 
in the form of a thesis for presentation to the faculty 
of Yale University in partial fulfilment of the requirement 
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

The study of shamanism, however, pursued in the pre- 
paration of the dissertation, proved so interesting, that the 
author has felt constrained to devote time, not occupied 
in other duties, to the effort to develop the original 
survey of this important topic in a manner worthy ot 
its significance. Many helpful criticisms of the original 
thesis in the meantime have been received, both from field 
experience and from other sources ; much new material 



has been gathered; the matter, both new and old, has 
been rearranged; and the following book is the result. 

It is a pleasure, in presenting this study, to make 
acknowledgements to men who have had much to do with 
its production. Thanks are especially rendered to Pro- 
fessor Albert Galloway Keller, Professor of the Science 
of Society in Yale University, for a new point of view 
regarding the science of society, and for direction of effort 
along lines of proper research in the fields of Anthropology 
and Sociology whereby the evolutionary character of the 
activities of the medicine man has been ascertained. It 
was fortunate, furthermore, for the writer to have been 
able to work for a short time with the late Professor 
William Graham Sumner of Yale University, and to have 
caught some measure of his inspiration. After his death, 
through the kindness of Professor Keller, there were placed 
at the disposal of the author the notes and references, 
which had been collected during many years of 
labor on the part of Professor Sumner. It is with a deep 
sense of gratitude that this acknowledgement is made, 
since, had it not been for the privilege of utilizing the 
Sumnerian collections, much of what follows could not 
have been written. 

Thanks are likewise expressed to Dr. Oliver T. Os- 
borne, Professor of Therapeutics and the History of 
Medicine in Yale University, and to Professor John Uri 
Lloyd, of Cincinnati, Ohio, for helpful suggestions, and 
for material bearing on the history of drugs. 



The author would finally record his obligations to 
Miss Marjorie Ward of Chicago, Illinois, for helpful 
criticism of this book when it was in manuscript form, and 
to Dr. J. B. Clayton, of the Bibliographical Department 
of the Library of Congress, for his generous services in 
superintending the checking of the accuracy of the re- 
ferences. Owing to enforced exile from the vicinity of the 
great libraries, it was impossible for the absentee to do the 
work which Dr. Clayton so cheerfully undertook and so 
ably performed. 

It remains to be said that it was the original purpose 
to elaborate a treatise on ''The History of Medical 
Remedies," but after much research the writer has found 
this to be impossible, owing to the fact it has never been 
feasible to spend two or three years in residence at a 
library especially adapted to the purpose. It is his hope, 
however, at some future time, to take up that subject in 
addition to a study of the medicine man in his capacity 
as priest, and treat both topics exhaustively in the 
manner outlined in this book, making use of the present 
volume as a background and initiation. 

J. L. M. 

At Sea, 

November 15, 1921. 




Carl Schurz, while Secretary of the Interior, said of Ouray, 
a Ute head chief, "*He is the most intellectual man I ever 

Savage peoples, although they lack the culture of 
the schools, are not altogether without mental equipment. 
Great chiefs appear from time to time, who, through force 
of intellect and character, exercise wonderful influence 
and control over the members of their tribes. The_greatest 
man of primitive times, however, is not the^chiefi_but tbf 
religiousJeader._He frequently takes the initiative both in 
civil and religious affairs. This individual is the leading 
and successful factor among all savage tribes and nations. 
And yet he has had no biographer. Excellent sketches 
have been written dealing with one or more phases of his 
activity, in one or more particular tribal groups. But 
hitherto there has been no attempt to gather accounts 
of his character, methods, and functions from the ethno- 
graphy of different peoples, living in different parts of 
the world, at different ages, to generalize therefrom, 
and thus present the portraiture of a strong personage, 
who, call him by whatever name you choose, is not limited 

* Munsey's Magazine, April 1914, p. 534. 


to any race or time, but is the dominant element of 
society in its undeveloped state among all peoples and 
at all times. It is the present puqDOse, therefore, to set 
forth an accurate account of the greatest and most roman- 
tic figure of savage life, with the intent of showing that 
man, wherever found, as regards religious sentiments and 
customs, reacts in a similar manner against his environ- 
ment; and that, consequently, the conditions which pro- 
duced the medicine man among the North American 
Indians, produced the shaman of the Yakuts, the mulogo 
of the Uganda tribes, the ganga of the Zulus, and the 
angakok of the Eskimos — these being different names 
describing the same individual, whose characteristics, 
methods, and functions, though they may differ in detail, 
yet on the whole are the same wherever you find him. 

To this end it will be necessary to bring the back- 
ground into perspective. Man lives under a three-fold 
environment. The physical and animal world affects him 
in his search for food, and so comprises what may be called 
the natural environment. His relations with his fellow 
men complicate his relation to his natural environment, 
and constitute the social environment. The world of ideas 
concerning the facts and experiences of Ufe complicates 
yet more his relationship to the other two environments. 
Among primitive peoples, this third environment is com- 
posed almost entirely of the notions of man concerning 
ghosts and spirits, and may be called the imaginary en- 

* Keller, "Societal Evolution," p. 260; pp. 133 ff. 


Whence came the idea of an imaginary environment? 
It is superfluous to say that primitive man was overtaken 
by the ills and pains of life. Before man became man, the 
earth was swept by hurricane, tornado, and pestilence. 
Animals sickened and died. Ills and bad luck are necessary 
concomitants to earthly existence. 

Ability to reason is not pronounced in the animal 
world. As a matter of fact, therefore, when pain and death 
attacked the forms of life below the human, there was 
nothing for the unfit to do but succumb. When a lion 
pounced upon a deer, the deer would not have sufficient 
inventive genius to defend himself by means of twentieth 
century methods. When a wolf was smitten with disease, 
he had no idea that the way to preserve life is to 
destroy the germs of disease. And so the only 
possible event under the circumstances was the death 
of the unfit. For milleniums, therefore, plants and 
animals suffered and died without thought or question, 
thereby making room for superior forms of life. These 
superior forms, because of their inability to adapt them- 
selves to their environment, had, in turn, to submit to the 
inevitable, and thus the process of the struggle for ex- 
istence and the survival of the fitter continued. 

After aeons of struggling, suffering, dying and sur- 
viving, there came forth, by reason of some alteration in the 
germ plasm, a being who did not meekly, uncomplainingly, 
and without question, yield to the claims of natural selec- 
tion. Who was this highest product of nature? For ages he 
has been called "Man." In his first stages of existence. 


man had no idea of the law of causation. i And yet he was 
beginning to think, else he would not have been man. 
What awakened his reflective powers? The ills of life, to 
which animals had submitted without interrogation. "The 
minds of men always dwell more on bad luck. They accept 
ordinary prosperity as a matter of course. Misfortunes 
arrest their attention and remain in their memory." - 
When failure, loss, and calamity overtake an individual who 
is capable of thinking, there are three possible attitudes 
in the premises: indifference, agnosticism, and faith. It 
is impossible for man, in a primitive stage of culture, to 
adopt an attitude of indifference regarding his woes. 
Neither can the savage make agnosticism his life philo- 
sophy. The nature man, therefore, has recourse to the 
third possible expedient, that of faith. He believes his mis- 
fortunes to be due to agency ;3 he ascribes his bad luck to 
the imaginary environment. It is characteristic of childish 
and untutored individuals to refer phenomena for which 
they are unable or too inert to give a satisfactory reason to 
the aleatory or luck element.* And the imaginary world 
of ghosts and spirits is nothing more and nothing less 
than the personification of the aleatory or luck element. 
Primitive man arrives at the conclusion that the ills 
of life are due to agency by the simple process of 

» Encyc. Brit., Eleventh Edition, Vol. 11, p. 6. 

^ Sumner, "Folkways," p. 6. 

2 Sumner, "Folkways," p. 7; Bartels, "Med. NaturvGlker," p. 10. 

* A full treatment of this subject by Professor A. G. Keller, 
of Yale, appeared in the "Scientific Monthly," for February, 
1917, pp. 145—150, in an article which has for its subject, 
"The Luck Element." 


reasoning from the known to the unknown. He sees his 
companion done to death by falUng trees, by animals, or 
by human agencies. What, then, more natural than that 
he should ascribe all deaths to agency? i If the agents are 
not always visible, there must be invisible enemies, 
malicious and vindictive, to whom suffering and death are 

This solution of the problem of suffering is substan- 
tiated by dreams. As they repose in sleep, nature people 
see their imperious and implacable ancestors, who convey 
the information that they are yet alive, and even more 
powerful and malevolent.^ They punished their descend- 
ants when living. They do the same, in an intensified 
degree, after death. Hence the living experience loss and 

If they do not dream of inimical ancestors, primitive 
peoples see in dreams other enemies, now gone to the 
spirit world, and perceive that these continue their hostile 
action. When the dreamers awake, no foe is near. 
They then recall that the bodies of the enemies dreamed 
about no longer exist. 

According to the primitive method of reasoning, there- 
fore, although the material bodies have disintegrated, the 
souls of these enemies must still be alive and near at hand, 
and hence the inevitable causes of the woes of the per- 
sons against whom they vented their spite before death. 
And so in the imagination of savage tribes the air becomes 

1 Vide pp. 14, 120, 167. 

2 Keller, "Societal Evolution," p. 60. 


peopled with spirits, who inhabit a world similar to this 
earth. Thus, among the Ewe-speaking peoples, every- 
thing in the next world is the same as in this, including 
mountains, rivers, trees, animals, men, family life, and 
form of government. People in the other world carry all 
their physical imperfections. i Among the Zulus the ghosts 
of the dead are thought to be friendly or hostile, just as 
they were before death. ^ The Tshi-speaking peoples be- 
Ueve that life in the other world is the same as in this, 
because a man frequently sees in dreams the images of the 
dead who appear, in dress and in behavior, precisely as in 
their previous life.^ 

Granting the major premise of nature man that he 
is at all times surrounded by invisible foes, which vent 
their spite at every opportunity, a person has a philosophy 
of life to which he can turn as a solution for every 
perplexity and difficulty, Every man must experience mis- 
fortune. The savage is no exception. What more natural 
than that he should apply his life philosophy, and ascribe 
the occurrence of bad luck to the activity of the malicious 
daimons of which the air is full! 

While it may be said in general that the savage 
attributes all misfortune to ill-disposed daimons, it is 
with reference to the occurrence of sickness and death 
that the application of the daimonistic theory is most 
apparent. Everybody conversant with the ethnography 
of primitive peoples knows that, even in the most remote 

' Ellis, "Ewe-Speaking Peoples," p. 107. 

2 Encyc. Brit. Eleventh Edition, Vol. II, p. 6. 

» Ellis, "Tshi- Speaking Peoples," p. 158. 


times, when the experience of disease and death provoked 
the question, Who did this to us? the life theory of the 
savage furnished the ready answer that these ills were due 
to the baneful or ill-disposed influence of the inhabitants 
of the imaginary environment.^ The language in which 
this answer would be clothed might, to the untrained 
thinker, convey a quite different impression, but on care- 
ful interpretation it would be found at bottom to express 
no other meaning. 2 

In order to estabUsh beyond question the explanation 
of primitive man regarding the occurrence of bad luck, 
especially with reference to sickness and death, attention 
is here directed to the various ways in which this funda- 
mental idea is expressed by different peoples who live 
or have lived in various parts of the earth. 

Among some tribal groups sickness is attributed ', 
to the influence of an offended ghost. This being, \^- 
although not yet a god, is endowed with superhuman 
faculties, by which it may benefit or harm the living. 
According to the Finns, the souls of the dead waylay men, 
in order to kill them and eat their hearts and livers. The 
spirits will spare not even their nearest relatives. Smirnov 
tells of an old man who, in dying, cautioned his young 
wife not to follow his body to the grave lest his ghost de- 
vour her. When she disobeyed, she was saved only by pro- 
nouncing the name of God.^ Similar is the belief of the 

^ Sumner, "Folkways," p. 30. 

2 Bartels, "Med- Naturvolker," p. 10. 

3 Smirnov, "Congr^s International d'Areheologie Pr^historique 
et d'Anthropologie de Moscou", XI, 1893, p. 316. 


Australians that sickness is caused by a ghost that is eating 
the liver of the victim,i and the belief of the Tasmanians, in 
the case of gnawing diseases, that the one who is ill has, by 
unknowingly pronouncing the name of a dead man, caused 
the spirits of that deceased person to enter his body and 
devour his vitals. ^ So, too, the Zulus will try to propitiate 
with the sacrifice of an ox the dead ancestor of whom a 
sick man dreams, and who must, therefore, be the cause of 
his trouble. 3 Some tribal groups of Samoa think that illness 
and death are brought about by souls of the dead that 
creep into the heads and stomachs of the living.* And 
in the same fashion, the Amazulu, as Callaway writes, 
beheve, when a man has been sick for a long time, that 
he is "affected by the ^Itongo,' or affected by his people 
who are dead."^ 

Another phase of the daimonistic theory of sickness 
and death is the idea that these misfortunes are due to 
spirit possession. As Spencer has shown, nature man be- 
lieves, that during dreams, fainting-fits, swoons, trance, 
and like phenomena, the soul, or other self, is temporarily 
absent from the body, hence these unusual experiences.^ 
The Omahas, for example, according to one authority, say, 
when a man faints and recovers, that "he died [fainted] 
and went to his departed kindred, but no one would speak 
to him, so he was obliged to return to life" [to recover 

* Tylor, "Anthropology," p. 354. 

2 Encyc. Brit. Ninth Edition, Vol. VII, p. 61. 

3 Ibid. 
« Ibid. 

^ Callaway, "Religious System of the Amazulu," p. 269. 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," 1, pp. 145—152. 


consciousness]. 1 During the supposed absence of the soul, 
when the body twitched in a violent manner, and the 
question was provoked, Why this strange behavior? 
primitive man gave the best answer he could. He had no 
idea that a mere subjective state, or a deranged digestion, 
or a disordered condition of the nerves could produce 
such an effect. He brought his world philosophy to bear 
upon the situation, and accounted for the phenomena by 
affirming that, while the soul of the unfortunate person 
was away, one of the many inhabitants of the imaginary 
environment had usurped possession of the body. 

If it is within the range of possibility for the soul not 
only to absent itself from the body, but also to re-enter it, 
as, for example, in dreams, likewise it must be possible 
for another spirit to enter the body, torture it, make it 
sick, and do it even to death. In cases of falling sickness, 
when the patient fell to the earth, foamed at the mouth, bit 
his tongue until the blood flowed, and his legs and arms <--' 
were torn with convulsions, the best reason that the savage 
could give for such behavior was that the unfortunate in-v^ 
dividual was possessed by another spirit. His own spirit 
would not treat his body in such an outrageous manner. One 
or more of those malevolent beings, therefore, whose name 
is legion, and who are ubiquitous, must have taken 
possession of the luckless individual, either to punish for' 
misdemeanors, or mahciously to cause all the suffering 
possible. Tylor notes that "the history of medicine goes 
back to the times when epilepsy, or 'seizure' [Greek, 

1 Fletcher-Laflesche, "The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p. 589. 


/iniXf]^iQ] was thought to be really the act of a daimon 
seizing and convulsing the patient." i The prevalence of 
this disease in East Africa is believed by some writers to be 
responsible for the origin of the daimonistic possession 
theory. 2 

Primitive peoples explain insanity in a similar manner. 
Any person who observes the symptoms and conduct of 
an insane man, acting no longer like himself, seeing with 
other eyes, and hearing with ears other than has been his 
wont, will readily comprehend that to the childish mind 
of the savage, the most natural way of accounting for 
such phenomena is that of possession by a vicious spirit. 
And so it is said that the Samoans and Togans 
believe madness to be caused by the presence of an evil 
spirit.3 In Sumatra lunatics are considered possessed.* 

When one adds to these considerations the fact that an 
insane person sometimes manifests almost superhuman 
strength — being able, of and by himself, to defy the efforts 
of three or four strong men to manage him— the in- 
ference is plain that the unlettered and untutored savage 
must draw upon his philosophy of life for explanation, 
and beUeve that a daimon of power and might possesses 
the body of the ill-fated victim of insanity.'^ 

Reasoning from the greater to the lesser, it is not 
difficult to understand that, since the savage conceives 
extraordinary mental and physical disorders to be due to 

' Tylor, "Anthropology," p. 15. 
2 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 227. 
' Turner, "Nineteen Years in Polynesia," p. 221. 
* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 230. 
^ Ibid., p. 231. 


daimon possession, he must consider disorders of a less 
violent, though not less fatal kind, to be likewise occasioned. 
In fever, both physical and mental disturbances are 
present. According to primitive belief, both are due to 
the same cause. Since malicious spirits are responsible for 
one kind of sickness, it follows that in all diseases an 
ill-disposed daimon has taken possession of the body,' 
venting rage, wreaking revenge, or inflicting punishment 
upon its temporary habitat.^ Thus, as already alluded to 
(p. 8 supra), in the Australian-Tasmanian district, 
disease is accounted for by the fact that daimons 
creep into bodies of men and eat up their livers. ^ 
Among the Dyaks, every kind of sickness is thought 
to be due to spirit possession. When they inquire 
of a small-pox victim concerning the state of his 
health, they ask, ''Hias he" [that is, the spirit] "left you 
yet?" 3 After an attack of illness, the Dyaks change their 
names, so that the daimon who caused the sickness may 
not recognize them and continue his malignant invasions.* 
Among the Patagonians, every disease is believed 
to be due to spirit possession.^ To the Negritos 
of Zambales, Philippine Islands, all places are filled 
with spirits, which bring about every sort of adversity 
— failure of crops, bad luck in hunting, and ill- 
ness. Before disease can be, cured, the spirit that has 
caused it must be forced out of the body of the sick 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 231. 

2 Grey, "Journal of Two Expeditions of Discovery in Australia," 
II, p. 337. 

3 St. John, "Life in the Forests of the Far East," I, p. 62. 

4 Ibid., p. 73. 5 D'Orbigny, "L'Homme Americain," p. 93. 


man.i The Dakotas, according to Schoolcraft, think that 
• spirits infUct punishment for misconduct. These beings 
\ are able to send the spirit of a bear, deer, turtle, fish, 
tree, stone, or dead person into the bodies of the Hving, 
thereby causing disease. The method of the medicine man 
as to treatment consists in the recital of charms, and suc- 
tion appHed to the seat of the pain to draw out the spirit. - 
In the West Indies, at the time of the discovery of America, 
a native medicine man affected to extract the disease 
daimon from the legs of his patients, and to consign it 
to the mountains or to the sea.^ In Egypt, at the present 
time, one must always get permission of the "jinn" or 
spirit to pour water on the ground, lest he accidentally 
douse a daimon and be smitten with sickness for the 
offence.* The Land Dyaks believe that spirits cause sick- 
ness by wounding their victims with invisible spears.^ 
Among the Matira, all sorts of maladies are thought to 
be caused by spirits. ^ Among the Arawaks, pain is called 
"the arrow of the evil spirit."^ In New Zealand, it is 
believed that different daimons share amongst themselves 
the body of man, and that each daimon undertakes to inflict 
pain upon the part committed to him.^ In Cockayne's 
"Saxon L'eechdoms" is the following instruction: "Against 
a strange (or unnatural) swelling, sing upon thy leech finger 

^ Reed, "Negritos of Zambales," p. 65. 

2 Schoolcraft, "Information Respecting the Indian Tribes of the 

United States," Part I, p. 250; Part II, p. 179. 
' Pinkerton, "Voyages," XII, p. 85. 

4 Encyc. Brit., Eleventh Edition, Vol. VIII, p. 5. 

5 St. John, "Life in the Forests of the Far East," I, p. 178. 
« Tylor, "Prim. Cult.," II, p. 126. 

' Brett, "Indian Tribes of Guiana," p. 362. 
8 Black, "Folk Medicine," p. 11. 


(third finger) a paternoster, and draw a line about the 
sore, and say, Tuge, diabolus, Christus te sequitur; quando 
natus est Christus, fugit dolor;' and afterwards say 
another paternoster, and — Tuge, diabolus.'" i 

A common aspect of the spirit notion about disease is 
that a daimon may steal away the breath, causing the 
body when separated from the soul to sicken and die. It 
has already been explained that fainting fits and trance 
are accounted for by the supposed absence jof the soul 
from the body.^ In some cases, weakness, failure in health, 
and death are likewise explained. Thus, among the Fijians, 
"when anyone faints or dies, his spirit, it is said, may 
sometimes be brought back by calling after it; and oc- 
casionally the ludicrous scene is witnessed of a stout 
man lying at full length, and bawling out lustily for the 
return of his own soul." ^ In the Moluccas, when a man 
is sick, the belief is that some daimon has carried away 
his soul to hell where the daimon resides.* When a Karen 
becomes sick, languid, and pining because his soul [la] 
has left him, his friends with formal prayers invoke the 
spirit to return.^ In civilized America, sermons have been 
preached, within the last twenty-five years, from the 
alleged Scriptural text: "The first death is the separation 
of the soul from the body; the second death is the separa- 
tion of the soul from God." 

Another feature of the ghost theory is that disease 

and death can be invoked by magic, sorcery, or witchcraft. 

^ Cockayne, "Saxon Leechdoms," I, p. 394. ^ vide pp. 8—9. 
3 Williams, "Fiji and the Fijians," I, p. 242. ^ Frazer, "The 
Golden Bough," I, p. 271. & Tylor, "Prim. Cult.," I, p. 395. 


According to this notion, the medicine man secures the 
assistance of divinities to accomplish his evil purpose, or 
controls the spirits in such a way as either to revenge 
himself on enemies, or to punish those guilty of insub- 
ordination. ^ In order to make more clear the primitive 
idea of the power of the medicine man as magician to work 
harm, the following cases are cited. The Australians ascribe 
sickness to the invisible projection into the body of 
substances such as quartz crystals ;2 the Omahas, to 
the projection of worms, removable onl}'^ by magic 
formulas. 3 In Samoa, every dangerous sickness, every 
accident, and every death was ascribed to sorcery; 
and not infrequently suspected persons were murdered, 
because it was thought that they had inflicted injuries 
on other individuals.* To the Cherokees disease 
and death are caused by malign influence, whether 
of witches, the spirits of animals, or the ghosts 
of the departed. Haywood, writing in 1823, states: 
"4n ancient times the Cherokees had no conception 
of anyone dying a natural death.^ They universally 
ascribed the death of those who perished by disease to 
the intervention or agency of evil spirits and witches and 
conjurors, who had connexion with the Shina (Anisgi'na) 
or evil spirit A person dying by disease and charg- 
ing his death to have been .procured by means of witch- 
craft or spirits, at the instigation of any other person, con- 

^ Lehmann, "Aberglaube und Zauberei," pp. 21 — 22. 

2 Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 26. 

3 Fletcher-Lafiesche, "The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p. 583. 
* Ella, "Samoa," Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science, 1892, p. 638. 

5 Vide pp. 4—5, 120, 167. 


signed that person to inevitable death/" ^ In some tribal 
groups, it is believed that if the magician gets possession 
of anything belonging to a man— nail-parings, hair, spittle, 
a drop of blood — he can inflict on the owner any evil 
he chooses. Thus, regarding the Amazulu, Callaway 
writes, ''Sorcerers are supposed to destroy their vic- 
tims by taking some portion of , their bodies, as hair 
or nails, or something that has been worn next 
to their person, as a piece of old garment, and adding 
to it certain medicines, and then burning the whole in 
a secret place." ^ prazer says that "an Australian girl, 
sick of fever, laid the blame of her illness on a young 
man who had come behind her, and cut off a lock of her 
hair ; she was sure he had buried it and it was rotting." ^ 
The Tannese think that the burning of the ''nahak" — or 
rubbish, such as refuse of food — will cause sickness or 
death, and they are, therefore, careful always to bury 
their "nahak" or throw it into the sea, so that it may not 
fall into the hands of their enemies.'^ The sorcerers in the 
Marquesan Islands were thought to be able to destroy 
a victim by burying his hair, spittle, or bodily refuse,^ 
and the magicians of ancient Peru, it was imagined, could 
injure people by working hocus pocus on blood taken 
from them. 6 

There is a behef among some primitive peoples that 
if a sorcerer learns the name of a person, he can bring 

' Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees." Bur. Eth., 1891,p. 322. 

2 Callaway, "Religious System of the Amazulu," p. 270. 

» Frazer, "The Golden Bough," I, p. 377 

* Turner, "Nineteen Years in Polynesia," pp. 89—91. 

5 Frazer, "The Golden Bough," 1, p. 376. 

® Spencer, 'Trinciples of Sociology," I, p. 246. 



upon that individual all sorts of evil. The Celts and other 
Aryans thought that the name is not only a part of a 
man, but the most vital part — his soul or life.^ The 
Australians, too, because of this alleged identification of 
the name with the soul, think that an enemy who knows 
the name of a person has power to harm him. 2 

The dread of the power of the magician is responsible 
for some curious notions in Australia. Several tribes 
believe that wizards can, while a man is asleep, remove 
the caul-fat from under his short rib, causing him 
no pain, but effecting his speedy death, ^ Men in the 
Kernai tribe have died in the belief that an evil power 
had stolen this fat despite the fact that no marks were to 
be found on their bodies.* Here the fat, Uke the name, 
is apparently identified with the soul; hence the notion 
that by removing the fat the medicine man also removes 
the soul from the body, which circumstance, as has already 
been seen, is held to account for sickness and death.^ 

There are primitive notions regarding the causes of 
misfortunes and calamities, sickness and death, which it is 
well nigh impossible to classify. Yet it is not difficult to 
perceive that the ghost theory underlies each of them. 
When the author resided in the Philippine Islands he 
learned that the Visayans, fearful, lest the "asuangs" 
[spirits] should creep into houses and destroy newly born 
babes, are accustomed to smear the doors and windows 
of their dwellings with garlic for those invisible enemies 

1 Rhys, "Welsh Fairies," Nineteenth Century, XXX, pp. 568 ff. 

2 Howilt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 27 (Note). 
^ Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 17, * Howitt, "Australian Medicine 

Men," J, A. I., XVI, pp. 53-55. ^ vide p. 13. 


cannot abide its smell. It is held by some nature 
people that an animal, or the spirit of an animal, 
can enter the body of a man and affect it for evil;i 
others say that bad winds are causes of sickness ; ^ others, 
water sprites; others, the influence of charms; others, the 
infringement of the taboo; still others, the withering 
glance of the "evil eye," ^ and so on through a well 
nigh inexhaustible list. 

If "supernatural agent" or "agents" be substituted for 
"daimon"or"daimons,"it is evident that the spirit theory 
of "bad luck," in general, survives in semi-civilized and even 
in civilized times.^ In ancient Chaldea, all diseases were 
accredited to the influence of daimons. That is the 
reason for Herodotus finding nO' physicians in Babylon 
and Assyria. There was nothing scientific about the medi- 
cine of those ancient peoples ; "it was," as Lenormant has 
said, "simply a branch of magic, and Was practiced by 
incantations, exorcisms, the use of philters, and enchanted 
drinks."^ In Exodus, 15:28, Javeh is declared to visit 
men with adversity for breach of his commandments. In 
the first book of the Ihad, all are represented as sick be- 
cause the daughter of the priest of Apollo had been stolen. 
The god has sent sickness from the motive of revenge.^ 
In India, the goddess of small-pox, "Ma-ry-Umma," is 
supposed to incarnate herself in the disease. When vac- 
cination was first introduced among the natives of India 

1 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," pp. 21—22. 2 ibid., pp. 41—42. 
3 Ibid., pp. 43—44. * Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, 
p 232. 5 Lenormant, "Chaldean Magic," p. 35. ® Keller, 
"Homeric Society," p. 180. 


they objected on the ground that the deity might be offended, 
since for people to render themselves immune to small- 
pox would imply an objection to her becoming incarnate 
among them.i Among the Tartars, all sickness is caused 
by a visitation of a "Tchutgour" or daimon, and the 
first duty of the physician is to exorcise the daimon. ^ 
Pythagoras taught that the air was full of spirits, which 
were responsible for disease and death. ^ Among the 
Romans, the Laws of the Twelve Tables contained the 
provision that no man should by incantation conjure 
away the crop of grain of another person.* The ancieht 
Britons, thinking that all diseases proceeded from the 
wrath of the gods, found their only help in beseeching the 
priests to intercede for them.^ 

Throughout the Middle Ages belief in daimons, witch- 
craft, and supernatural agents as disease provokers 
abounded. John of Gaddeson (cir. 1290), an Oxford man, 
and a court physician, for example, prescribed for epilepsy 
that the patient, after fasting) confession, attendance at 
mass, and after special prayers by the priest, wear around 
his neck the text of Scripture, ''This kind goeth not out 
but by prayer and fasting." ^ 

The ravages of s)'^hilis, which swept over Europe 
towards the latter part of the fourteenth century, were 
considered a scourge used by God to punish men and turn 
them away from unrighteous Hving.'^ 

1 Paris, "Pharmacologia," I. p. 32. ^ Hue, "Travels in Tartary," 
I, pp. 75-76. 3 Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 162. * Encyc Brit,, 
Article, "Witchcraft," Ninth Edition, Vol. XXIV, p. 619. ^ strutt. 
"Chronicles of England," I, p. 279. 6 Berdoe," Healing Art," p. 237. 
^ Roswell Park, "An Epitome of the History of Medicine," p. 136. 


Aubrey records a favorite remedy which was used 
in the sixteenth century for sweating sickness. "Say 
every day, at seven parts of your body, seven pater- 
nosters, and seven Ave Marias, with one Credo at 
the last/'i Here the ghost theory is clearly implied, for 
supernatural aid is sought as a means of recovery. In 1604, 
a law of the English Church forbade the clergy to cast out 
devils without a special license from the bishop ; - and 
the belief that people were possessed by evil spirits 
continued far into the eighteenth century. That the dai- 
monistic theory prevailed in America throughout the 
entire colonial period, the hanging of alleged witches in 
Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, is but one of many proofs. 
Even today, misfortune, sickness, and death are often 
ascribed to spirit agency. Peters writes: "An eminent 
professor of medical jurisprudence in an American college, 
in October 1888, publicly stated that insanity of the sexual 
perversion type was an evidence of possession of the 
devil." 3 Not infrequently the belief is expressed that people 
who are killed while on Sunday excursions or boating 
trips meet their deaths as a result of divine vengeance for 
breaking the Sabbath, and this belief has only an altered 
idea of the supernatural being to distinguish it from the 
superstitions of savage tribes.^ 

The present day theory of disease is that of the in- 
vasion of the body by devils — that is adversaries — or 

' Aubrey, "History of England," II, p. 296. 

^ Lee, "Glimpses of the Supernatural," I, p. 65. 

^ Peters, "Pictorial Pharmacy," p. 128 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 234. 



germs of animal and vegetable rather than of supernatural 
origin, not necessarily with any malicious intent, but 
driven by nature to seek for substance whereby to repair 
waste energy. Various ways of access to the usurped 
abode are utilized by these parasites — the water drunk, 
the food eaten, the air breathed, and the proboscides of 
insects. It remains for future generations to discover | 
exactly how far on the road to truth the theory of the 
twentieth century has advanced beyond that of the savage. 

SUMMARY. Man, the reasoning and speaking animal, 
reacted differently from all other forms of life 
against a similar environment, and was led by the 
ills of existence to reflection. In some cases the 
agent of his woes was visible — the falling tree, 
or the club of an enemy. Reasoning from analogy, 
nature man believed himself to be justified in 
assuming that all calamities were due to agency. The agents 
being in many cases invisible did not alter the fact. 
This opinion was re-affirmed by dreams, in which an 
implacable ancestor or an inveterate enemy assured the 
sleeper that the relationship between them had not been 
changed by death. Man thus arrived at the idea of another 
world, which in every respect duplicates the present world. 
The savage, in other words, constructed in his own 
mind the idea of an imaginary environment, the inhabitants 
of which are the ghosts and spirits of the dead. These 
spiritual beings possess the same dispositions, passions, and 
animosities as when living. To the ghostly inhabitants 



of the other world nature man refers the agency of "bad 
luck." In order to present in a concrete manner the 
primitive explanation of "bad luck" in general, a typical 
example was taken, that particular form of misfortune 
about which, more than any other, men have thought, 
theorized, and speculated, namely, the existence of disease 
and death. It was found, on the whole, that the primitive 
theory of sickness and death is that of spirit possession. 
This belief takes a variety of forms. In some cases the 
evil is ascribed to the ghosts of the dead. In other in- 
stances a fully developed spiritual being is thought to have 
taken up its abode in the body of the victim for the 
purpose of tormenting him ; in others still it is imagined 
that a sorcerer has subsidized a malignant spirit to work 
his evil purposes ; and, once more, the "evil eye," the spirit 
of an animal, the entrance of bones, pebbles, splinters, or 
quartz crystals into the body are believed to be respons- 
ible for the destruction of life. The ghost theory sur- 
vived throughout barbaric and far into civilized times. 
It is not entirely extinct at the present day. 

Primitive notions regarding other-worldliness, the 
imaginary environment, and the aleatory element have been 
discussed somewhat at length for the reason that it would 
not be possible to understand the character and evolution 
of shamanism without first bringing the background into 
perspective. Given this proper foundation, however, 
the religion of primitive peoples, as well as the nature, 
evolution, and socia Hn fluence of the medicine man c an_be 
readily comprehended. 



It was pointed out in the preceding chapter that when 
pain and misfortune were experienced by primitive man, 
and the question provoked, Who did this? his philo- 
sophy of hfe furnished the ready answer that he might 
thank the malevolent inhabitants of the unseen world for 
his ills, woes, and losses. Childish as such an explanation 
may appear, it furnished the starting-point for systematic 

The second question provoked by painful experience 
was. Why are the gods angry, and what must be done 
to induce them to cease their inimical actions? The life 
philosophy of the savage here again supplied the "proper^' 

If it be borne in mind that in primitive thought the 
unseen world duplicates this world; that its inhabitants 
live as men live here; that they have the same wants, 
hkes, and dislikes; that, in short, they are anthropomor- 
phic beings possessing in an intensified degree the same 
attributes as before their deification, ^ it will not be difficult 
to understand that the various ways of deaUng with the 
inhabitants of the imaginary environment, though they vary 

1 Sumner, "Folkways," pp. 30-31. 

2 Keller, "Societal Evolution," p. 60, and p. 260; also, cf. pp. 5 — 6 
of this work. 


according to the conception entertained by the weaker 
contestant respecting the nature and character of his ad- 
versary, are analogous to methods of dealing between man 
and man.i 

Since ghosts and spirits are first conceived of as 
assuming an hostile attitude toward man,^ it naturally 
follows that ways first adopted of dealing with them are 
identical with methods of dealing with mundane foes. 
When an enemy in the form of flesh and blood occasions 
trouble and disaster by reason of his rancorous conduct, 
the natural thing is to combat him. In like manner, 
when a malevolent spirit is responsible for misfortune, 
the normal course of procedure is to attempt to compel the 
spiritual enemy to cease its hostile attacks. And so it 
happens that various methods of exorcism are devised. 
In sickness, for example, nature man tries to frighten the 
daimon of disease by horrible noises, by threats and 
grimaces; or to disgust it by making the body a 
disagreeable habitat by means of fumigation or violent ill- 
treatment; or to expel it by the use of amulets and 
charms or by the recital of incantations. But the ordinary 
individual distrusts his ability, single-handed and alone, 
to deal with the superior powers of the unseen world. 
The consequence is that generally he will delegate this 
task to some person possessed of greater wisdom, 
knowledge, and power. And among savage peoples, the 
man who gains repute for dealing successfully with 

1 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 38. 

2 Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," I. pp. 108 ff. 


ghosts and spirits is an important personage. Sumner 
in support of what has just been said quotes the following 
striking passage from Michailowski: ''Uncivilized people, 
who live under the immediate influence of nature and of 
blind chance, are interested above all in the means of 
escaping evil fortune and propitiating the forces of evil. 
They want protection from drought, lightning, storm, dis- 
ease, death, and enemies. Not all can attain the means of 
winning good, and averting ill. Some persons are endowed 
with the requisite knowledge, and are thus fitted to be inter- 
cessors between their fellow men and the unknown powers. 
These are the shamans and their art is shamanism. The 
more developed the people the better defined is the posi- 
tion of the shamans, and the more systematic is the organ- 
ization of shamanism. Although the system thus covers 
a wide range of civilization, yet the philosophy of life in- 
cluded in it has broad, common features." ^ 

The name of the mediator between gods and men 
differs among different peoples. He is variously called the 
shaman, the angakok, the voudoo-man, the obi-man, the con- 
jurer, the magician, the wizard, and the sorcerer, ^ — to men- 
tion only a few of his many titles. For the sake of simplicity 
and clearness, however, he is here called "The Medicine 
Man." That was the appellation employed by the North 
American Indians to designate the representative of the 
unseen world, and it signifies ''Mystery Man." In the life 
and thought of the aborigines of this country, anything 

^ Michailowski, "Shamanstvo," (Russian) Quoted from the 
Sumnerian Collections. 


sacred, mysterious, or of wonderful power or efficacy is 
called ''medicine". "Medicine," therefore, in the savage 
sense includes clairvoyance, ecstasism, spiritism, divination, 
demonology, prophecy, necromancy, and all things in- 
comprehensible. Hence the medicine man is not only the 
primitive doctor, but he is the diviner, the rain-maker, the 
soothsayer, the prophet, the priest, and, in some in- 
stances, the chief or king.i He is in short the great man 
of primitive times. 

Who is this important individual? What are his quali- 
fications, and what is his training for office? What are the 
secrets of his power? What forces unite in his making? 
What is the method of his induction into office? These 
and similar questions suggest themselves in connexion 
with the present study, and apposite answers are necessary 
to an intelligent comprehension of shamanism. 

In discussing the making of the medicine man, it may 
be set down, in the first place, that in a goodly number 
of instances his office comes to him by heredity. This is true 
of the Zulus and Bechuanas of South Africa ; ^ of the Nez 
Perces, the Cayuse, the WallaWallas, and the Wascows, 
in America; and of some of the peoples of Siberia.^ 
Among the Omahas, those who imparted religious 
instructions to the tribe formed a sort of hereditary 
priesthood, since this office devolved upon the elders, who 
usually were of the number eUgible for the position of 
keeper.* The Navahoes on the other hand, following not 

1 Vide pp. 132-150. 2 Bartels, "Med. NaturvcJlker," p. 75. 3 ibid. 
* Fletcher-Laflesche, "The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p. 595. 


a law but general custom, made the youngest son the 
hatali, or medicine man, on the ground that he possessed 
more intellect and a better memory than any other member 
of the family.i Of the Peruvians, Dorman writes that the 
priestly office appears to have been hereditary,^ and here- 
ditary in families was the doctorship among the Dyaks^ 
and, to a certain extent, the priesthood of Nagualism.* 
The power of the sorcerer in the New Hebrides,^ like 
the office of medicine man among the Guanas of Paraguay,^ 
was supposed toi descend from father to son. Chiefly 
hereditary, too, are the positions among the Pima Indians 
of the "examining physicians" who are summoned in cases 
of sickness, and of whom there are as many women as 
men." The post of shaman among , the Chimariko 
Indians, on the contrary, while it might be held by both 
men and women, might or might not be hereditary,^ and Uke- 
wise, among the Negritos of Zambales, Philippine Islands, 
admittance to the profession of medicine man might be 
gained by one who had cured the sick, as well as by a mem- 
ber of the regular family of the "mediquillos" [doctors]. ^ 
But by the Saoras the power of the kudang, the man 

^ Matthews ,"The Night Chant, A Navaho Ceremony," Memoirs 
American Museum of Nat. Hist. (Notes), p. 312. 

2 Dorman, "Primitive Superstitions," p. 384. 

3 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 260. 
^ Brinton, "Nagualism," p. 29. 

5 Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science, 1892, p. 711. 

^ Hassler, "Die Bewohner des Gran Chaco," Intemat. Cong, of 
Anthrop., 1894, p. 356. 

' Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVI, p. 256. 

8 Dixon, "The Chimariko Indians and Language," University of 
California Publications in American Archeology and Eth- 
nology, V, p. 303. 

' Reed, "Negritos of Zambales," p- 66. 


who held intercourse with spirits, was considered here- 
ditary, not to be acquired by any one outside of the chosen 

The notion of a divine call to thewiork of representing 
heaven on earth is not peculiar to any one age, race, 
religion, or state of civilization. Some savage peoples 
believe in the necessity and reality of such a "call" as firmly 
and as uncompromisingly as do the exponents of cer- 
tain sects adhering to the Christian religion. The natives 
of Victoria, for example, think that the spirits of deceased 
ancestors search out those whom they desire to act as 
medicine men. They meet them in the bush and instruct 
them in all the arts needful for making them influential 
in their tribe. ^ Among the Bilquila of northwest Canada, 
the "chosen" fall into a sickness during which the gods 
communicate to them an exorcising formula which they 
must never divulge. ^ Kropf relates that the Kaffir medicine 
man is called to his office by the supernatural powers, and 
receives medical knowledge by revelation of the spirits.* 
In some cases the peculiar behavior of a young man 
is indicative of the fact that he has received the "call." 
When a vague and indescribable longing seizes him, or a 
morbid appetite possesses him, or he falls prey to an 
unappeasable and aimless restlessness or a causeless 
melancholy, the old men recognize these signs as the 
expressions of a personal spirit of the highest order. 

* J. A. Soc. of Bombay, I, p. 247. 

2 Battels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 76. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid. 


It not infrequently happens that fond and ambitious 
parents consecrate one or more of their children to the 
sen'ice of the gods. In some countries even' family 
devotes a son to religious celibacy. On the Gold 
Coast, if several children die, sometimes the mother 
vows to devote the next bom to the holv office, 
thinking that then it may live.^ Among the Tibetans, 
Bishop writes, **a younger son in every household becomes 
a monk, and occasionally enters upon his vocation as an 
acolne pupil as soon as weaned. At the age of thirteen 
these acohtes are sent to study at Lhassa for five or 
seven years.''- Among the Western Iniots. the priests in 
office choose young children whom they train to be 
medicine men. Sometimes, even before a child is bom, 
they will ask its parents to devote it to the sacred office. 
These parents must then fast, and pray to their ancestors to 
care for the future shaman. As soon as the child is bom 
he is sprinkled with urine, and then his training begins. 
He is brought up to be unlike other children in sp^eech, 
manner, and conduct, and with the title. "He who has been 
set apart,'* is led to believe and prodaim Aat he is made 
of different day from the most of mankind. The neophyte 
is compelled to fast, to indulge in long and drean.- 
\igils, thereby keeping his body under and bringing 
it into subjection, in order that it may without 
complaint obey the diaates of the mind and will.^ 

1 Ellis. "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 120—121. 
3 Bishop. "Among the TSb^uiSw" p. SS. 
» Redns, "Primitive Folk," p. 71. 


When the author was living in the Philippine Islands, 
he heard that a few years earher, in a barrio [village] some 
miles south of Manila, a famous '*spit doctor" 
gained considerable notoriety by reason of his so-called 
wonderful cures. His account of the way he became a 
doctor is that one day while walking in the San Mateo 
mountains he became tired, and lay down at the foot 
of a tree to rest and refresh himself. Sleep overtook 
him, and a being with long, white whiskers appeared in a 
dream. After having made a few mysterious "passes," the 
ghostly visitor addressed him after this fashion: ''Enchong, 
you are appointed chief doctor in these islands, and by 
virtue of this appointment you are empowered to heal all 
the sick that seek your aid. Spit on them, and you will 
secure their eternal gratitude." Returning to his native 
barrio, Enchong told everybody in the neighborhood of 
his dream, and the report soon spread abroad that his 
novel method of the treatment of disease by rubbing the 
sick with his saliva was infallible. In a short time the road 
leading to the house of Enchong was congested with 
carretelas [one-horse vehicles used by poorer classes], and 
not infrequently with conveyances of richer folk, crowded 
with sick persons, seeking the house of the doctor. When the 
civil authorities, however, became aware of the existence 
in their midst of that primitive method of the treatment 
of disease, they declared Enchong to be an insane person, 
and committed him to an asylum. And while the older 
inhabitants of Manila and vicinity continue to believe in 
the magical power of Enchong and his kind, it would 


seem that the younger generation, in part at least, have 
outgrown that kind and degree of superstition, for the 
Tagalog youth laughingly referto him as "Doctor Laway," 
— Tagalog for "Doctor Spit." 

On the Gold Coast, says Ellis, "the knowledge of the 
mysteries of the gods and their service is transmitted from 
generation to generation of priests; and their number is 
constantly being recruited by persons who voluntarily 
devote themselves, or are devoted by their relatives or 
masters, to the profession. "^ 

From the accounts of travellers and other observers 
are to be obtained at first hand notions of nature people 
themselves as to the ways in which their medicine men are 
made. In Australia, for example, in the Makjarawaint branch 
of the Watgo nation, the necessary qualification for enter- 
ing the calling of shaman was for an individual to be able 
to see the ghost of his mother sitting beside her grave. A 
boy thus talented would be taken in hand by a medicine 
man, smoked with cherry leaves, smeared with red ochre 
and grease, and otherwise prepared for his future 
work.2 A medicine man of the Yakuts tells that 
he entered his profession through chance. He built a fire 
on the grave of a distinguished Tungus shaman, and the 
spirit of the dead took possession of him.^ Miss Kingsley 
describes at length the process of shaman-making found 
in the Calabar region. "Every freeman," she writes, "has 

1 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," p. 120. 

2 Howitt, "South East Australia," p. 404. 

3 Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 
J. A. 1., XXXI, p. 103. 


to pass through the secret society of his tribe. If, during 
this education, the elders of the society discover that a boy 
is what is called 'ebumtup' — that is, a person who can 
see spirits — he is usually apprenticed, as it were, to a 
witch doctor. He takes up his studies and learns the 
difference between the dream soul and the one in which 
*sisa' are kept— a mistake between the two would be on 
par with mistaking oxalic acid for Epsom salts. He then 
is taught to howl in a professional way, and, by watch- 
ing his professor, picks up his bedside manner. If he 
can acquire a showy way of having imitation epileptic fits, 
so much the better^ In fact, as a medical student he has 
to learn — well, as much there as here. He must know the 
dispositions, the financial position, the little scandals, in 
short, the definite status of the inhabitants of the whole 
district, for these things are of undoubted use in divination 
j and in the finding of witches, and, in addition, he must be 
i able skilfully to dispense charms, and know what babies 

say before their own mothers can. Then some day his 
professor and instructor dies, and upon the pupil descend 
his paraphernaUa and his practice. '' i 
jj The sight of the unusual and unfamiliar fills the 
savage with feelings of awe. Whatever thing he cannot 
comprehend, whatever man he finds remarkable, he re- 
gards as supernatural. 2 & 3 jhe people of the twentieth cen- 
tury attribute physical or intellectual greatness to quality 

^ Kingsley, ''West African Studies," p. 214. 

^ Schoolcraft, "Information Respecting Indian Tribes of the 

United States," III, p. 248; IV, p. 642. 
^ Winterbottora, "Account of the Native Africans in Sierra 

Leone," I, p. 222. 


of brain fibre, or to genius ; the savage, to spirit possession. 
The Chippeways thus call anything that they cannot 
understand, or anyone of their fellows who is unusual, 
a "spirit." i Any capacity of an individual— physical or 
mental— with which primitive man is not familiar, 
causes him to regard the person with such peculiarities as 
one possessed either by the spirit of a dead shaman, or 
by a spirit of a departed ancestor, or by some other of the 
myriad inhabitants of the unseen world. 

The divergencies from normal, physical, and mental, 
which various peoples have regarded as indications 
of divinity, are many. Albinos, for instance, to some 
savage races seem chosen by nature for the office of 
priest.2 There have been zealous advocates of Christianity, 
of whom Origen, the celebrated Father of the Greek 
Church, is the classical example,^ who have made them- 
selves eunuchs, taking literally the words of Christ: "If 
thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from 
thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members 
should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast 
into hell." * But that there are persons of diseased 
imaginations in all varieties of religious beliefs, stages of 
culture, and physical and mental environments, is evidenced 
by the fact that desexualization is sometimes regarded as 
a necessary concomitant of religious authority. Castration 

1 Buchanan, "Histoiy, Manners and Customs of North American 
Indians," p 228 

2 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth. IX, 
p. 460 

2 Newman, "Church History," Vol. I. pp. 280-282. 
•* St. Matt. 19 : 12. 


was required, for example, of the priests of Cybele;i and 
the manang ball of the Sea Dyaks, though a man, was 
garbed in the dress of a woman. ^ 

Some peculiarity of circumstances of birth, or some 
especial mark of distinction — anything that differentiates 
a man from his fellows — may point to the fact that he 
has been chosen of heaven to represent it on earth. In 
Liberia, twins are regarded as especially designed for the 
office of medicine man. In Nias, those born feet first are 
considered specialists in cases of sprain. 3 In Korea, a blind 
son is a satisfaction to his parents, since he may become 
one of ihtpan-su, or sorcerers, and be assured of a 
comfortable living.* Among the Sea Dyaks, those who are 
blind and incurably maimed often support themselves by 
entering the priesthood. ^ Roth writes concerning those 
people: "I have now a blind man living with me. I had 
heard that the manangs, or spirit doctors, wanted to 
get hold of him, so one day I asked him if he really was 
going to become a manang. He replied, ^Yes, I suppose 
so; but if I had only my eyesight, catch me becoming a 

Sometimes a person gains admittance to the goodly 
company of the elect by what may be called a process 
of natural selection. Thus a Pima Indian, in order to be- 

1 Depuis, "Origine de Tous les Cultes," II, part 2, pp. 87—88. 

2 Roth, "Natives of Sarlawak and British North Borneo," 
p. 270. 

^ Bartels, "Med. Naturvoker," p. 75. 

4 Bishop, "Korea," p. 402. 

^ Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," 

I, p. 265. 
« Ibid. 


come a medicine man, had only to recover from a rattle- 
snake bite on the hand or near the heart.i Similar was the 
manner of selection in the case of a medicine man of the 
aborigines of Victoria. This man fell to the ground from a 
great height as a result of sitting on the portion of a 
branch that he was cutting from a tree ; but he escaped in- 
jury, and was rewarded for his stupidity by being made 
a shaman.2 In these cases it may be clearly seen that the 
reason assigned by primitive peoples for the apparently 
miraculous escapes is that of spirit protection or spirit 

In the "Yakuts" of Sieroshevski is to be found a 
description of the medicine men of that people which no 
one can read without being impressed with their physical 
peculiarities, and after reading he will cease, in a measure 
at least, to wonder that the uncritical nature man should 
regard these religious leaders as being possessed by the 
gods. One of those persons "was sixty years old, of middle 
stature, a dried-up muscular man, although it was evident 
that he had once been vigorous and active. Even when 
seen, he could still perform shamanistic rites, jump and 
dance the whole night through without being weary; 
His countenance was dark and full of active expression. 
The pupil of his eye was surrounded by a double ring of 
dull, green color. When he was practicing his magic, his 
eyes took on a peculiar, unpleasant, dull glare, and an 
expression of idiocy, and the persistent stare excited and 

1 Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVI, p. 257. 

2 Brough Smith, "Aborigines of Victoria," p. 465. 


disturbed those upon whom he fixed it." i "Another 
shaman," says the same writer, "who was observed, 
had the same peculiarities of the eyes. In general, there 
is in the appearance of a shaman something peculiar, 
which enabled the author after some practice to distin- 
guish him with great certainty in the midst of a number 
of persons. He is distinguished by a certain energy and 
mobility of the muscles of the face, which generally among 
the Yakuts are immobile. There is also in his movements 
a noticeable spryness." 2 

If the savage regards the physically abnormal as due 
to spirit possession, with what feelings of awe must he 
regard the mentally abnormal? He knows nothing of the 
laws of natural causation; it never occurs to him that the 
bod}'^ has power over the mind, and that the mind in turn 
affects the body. With him skepticism and criticism are 
but slightly if at all developed; and he has not enough 
curiosity to prompt inquiry. The theory of natural" 
causation necessitates growth, multiplication of arts, accu- 
mulation of experience, and familiarization, registration, 
and recognition of constant relations of phenomena. All 
this is not possible among primitive societies. For mental 
abnormality, therefore, nature man can do nothing but 
rely upon his world philosophy to furnish the "proper" 
explanation. This is the same as that assigned for the physi- 
cally abnormal — the individual in whom are manifested 
unusual powers is regarded as a fetich, and hence is looked 

1 Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 
J. A. I., XXXI, p. 102. 

2 Ibid. 


upon with feelings of respect, wonder, and veneration. 
Thus it happens that a man who is subjected to disorders 
of a strange and impressive character is some- 
times chosen for a medicine man. Among the Patagonians, 
for example, patients seized with falling sickness 
were immediately selected for magicians, since they 
were believed to be chosen by the spirits them- 
selves, who possessed, distorted, or convulsed them.i 
In Samoa, the office of medicine man was often held by 
hunchbacks or epileptics. 2 Ehrenreich says of the Karaya 
Indians of Brazil, "'Any one can become a medicine man 
who will present the necessary qualifications. Nervous 
persons, epileptics, and the like are regarded as especially 
adapted to the work."' ^ The shamanesses of the Tungus 
were those who in girlhood had been addicted to a kind 
of foolish melancholy."* The priests of the Tshi-speaking 
peoples, according to EUis, simulate convulsions and foam- 
ing at the mouth to give the idea of possession by a 
god. "Indeed," he continues, "all sickness is believed to 
be caused by superhuman agents who enter the body; 
but in the case, say, of an epileptic seizure, the natives have 
what they consider the strongest evidence of this. Con- 
sequently, the priests, in order to convey to the public the 
idea that a god has entered the body, simulate, as well as 
they can, the symptoms of a person in a fit." ^ 

* Falkner, "Description of Patagonia," p. 117. 

2 Ella, "Samoa," Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science, 1892, p. 638. 

3 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 179. 

4 Ibid. 

■^ Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," p. 148. 


While it is true that men of inferior mental powers 
are sometimes chosen to represent the spirits, yet the 
medicine men wielding the greatest influence— an influence 
making for progress and advancement — have been in- 
dividuals of intellectual parts. At Delphi, for example, 
Apollo was thought to speak through the mouths of feeble 
girls and women as a sign that it is no human wisdom and 
art that reveals the divine will. The mutterings of the priest- 
ess, however, were taken down and interpreted by attend- 
ant priests. Those priests were men of intelligence, and 
it was because of their activity in directing the placing of 
Greek colonies that civilization owes its lasting debt to 
the Delphian oracle. i 

When a man of great intelligence adds to his mental 
resources an unusual fund of acquired knowledge and cul- 
ture, the effect upon the savage mind is greatly intensified. 
In order to retain and augment his hold upon the people, 
the medicine man is under constant stimulus to acquire 
the ability to perform feats and effect results which exceed 
the ability of his constituents to achieve or even to under- 
stand. The consequence is that the attitude of the people 
toward him is that of reverence— which attitude is 
generally that of ignorance toward knowledge. 

The unusual intellectual and physical phenomena ex- 
hibited by the medicine men excite not only awe, but 
Jjear, Among some peoples, it is said that it was the 
custom of ordinary individuals to fall flat upon their faces 
before the shaman. Other writers state that the fear of the 
medicine man is so great that in undoubted and repeated 

* Meyers, "Ancient History," p. 179. 


instances his curse kills as certainly as a knife. Among the 
Western Indians of this country, when a medicine man 
utters a withering curse on his antagonist, the latter kncLWs 
that all hope is lost. Sometimes he drops dead on the spot.i 
Some Australian tribes believe that the curse of a power- 
ful medicine man will kill at a distance of one hundred 
miles. 2 

As has been said already (p. 10 supra), primitive 
men attribute insanity to spirit possession. This 
disease of the brain, while perhaps most prevalent 
among civilized races, occurs as well among barbaric and 
savage tribes. But nature man knows nothing about brain 
diseases. No words in his vocabulary express such ideas. 
He explains the phenomena of insanity, therefore, in the 
easiest possible way, that is to say by the time-honored 
theory of ghost possession. When he sees an individual 
lying prostrate, refusing to eat, speaking to some one 
whom the bystanders cannot see, shrinking with terror 
from an invisible foe, talking nonsense incoherently, laugh- 
ing without cause, the obvious inference is that one of 
those invisible spirits, of which the air is full, has taken up 
its residence in the body of the man.^ That in 
Sumatra lunatics are considered possessed (p. 10 supra) 
is not surprising,* nor that in some parts of the eastern 
hemisphere madness is tantamount to inspiration. ^ The 
ancient Hebrews believed their prophets to be inspired. In 

^ Brintbn, "Myths of the New World," p. 318. 
2 Curr, "The Australian Race," II, p. 610. 
^ ^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 229. 
« Marsden, "History of Sumatra," p. 191. 
^ "Rambles in the Deserts of Syria," p. 190. 


the ninth chapter of the second book of Kings there is to 
be found the story of the anointing of Jehu as king of 
Israel. Elisha commissions a young prophet to perform 
that office, after which he is to pronounce a curse upon 
the house of Ahab. After obeying the behest of his 
master, the prophet is said to have fled from the house in 
which the anointing took place. ''Then Jehu came forth 
to the servants of his lord; and one said unto him, Ms all 
well? wherefrom came this mad fellow to thee?' And he 
said* unto them, 'Ye know the man and his commission."' i 
Comment is unnecessary as to the connexion in ancient 
Jewish thought between insanity and inspiration. The 
word "huaka" in the Quichua language is the general term 
for the divine. "Huaka runa" signifies the divine man, and 
means one who is crazy.^ Cook writes of meeting two 
insane persons — a man at Owhyhee, and a woman at 
Oneeheow — who, as was obvious by the attention paid 
them, were regarded in that part of the country as inspired 
by a god.3.r 

Since an insane man differs from others because of the 
indwelling of spirits, who in all the land is better fitted 
to plead the cause of mortals with the gods? True, his 
ways are different from the ways of other persons, but so 
are the ways of the gods. The very fact, therefore, that an 
insane person is unlike other men is proof positive that he 
is by nature paramount. Being by virtue of his own divinity 

1 II Kings, 9:1-11. 

2 Middendorf, "Worterbuch des Runa simi oder der Keshua 

3 Cook, "Third Voyage," III, p. 131. 



on intimate terms with the gods, and possessing a 
knowledge of their nature and disposition, he is excellently 
equipped for devising ways and means of procuring 
celestial benefactions. That this kind of reasoning often 
results in the elevation of a person who in popular esteem 
is mad to the highest position in the tribe may be inferred 
from an observation of Bartels to the following effect: 
"Through his shrewdness and turning to account of acci- 
dents, the medicine man manages to maintain his ascend- 
ency. Among the Baksa he is said to feign madness in order 
to give the impression that he is possessed by spirits." ' 
The medicine man not infrequently is a victim of 
hysteria. In this malady of the major description the 
patient gives vent to meaningless laughs, sobs, and cries. 
He often lies stretched out at full length, his hands 
clasped, his eyes closed, his body curved by a spasm. 
He may extend his hands supinely in an attitude of appeal- 
ing terror, clutch spasmodically at the ground, shrink 
from some unseen enemy, fall back exhausted, nerveless, 
and to all appearances insensible. On recovery from the 
attack he is himself again with no recollection of what has 
occurred. 2 Modern science attributes these phenomena 
to "the loss of complete control exercised by the higher 
nervous centers, due partly to insufficient or inappropriate 
nutrition and partly to faulty development." ^ But the 
savage knows nothing of the science of neurology. To 
him the reason for what is now known as hysteria is spirit 

^ Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 52. 

2 Ellis, "Man and Woman," p. 322. 

3 Ibid. 


possession. When an individual is subject to these attacks — 
performing actions without willing it, or even in spite of 
his will — it is because a spirit has entered his body, 
either temporarily or permanently, setting aside his own 
mind and will, and assuming complete control over the 
entire man. The desire of the spirits for the one so 
possessed to devote his life to their service would thereby 
be indicated. If the devotee is obedient to the divine decision, 
he will have no trouble in making full proof of his ministry. 
The native sorcerer of Tasmania is reported by Back- 
house to be affected with fits of spasmodic contraction of 
the muscles of one breast, a malady which sufficed to 
prove to his people that he was inspired. i Among the 
Amazulu, hysterical symptoms are counted as indications 
that the imyanga, or diviner, is inspired,^ and possessed 
"by the 'Amatongo,' or ancestral spirits." ^ 

The gods or ancestral spirits make known their will to 
favorites in dreams. One of the most convincing proofs 
of spirit intercourse is the ability to dream dreams, and 
to put upon those dreams the proper interpretation. If 
a man can do this, he will have no trouble in establishing 
his right to be called a medicine man. And so we read that 
among the Dieyerie of South Australia, boys who dream 
of seeing the devil are regarded as especially fitted to 
become medicine men.* A medicine man among the Pima 
Indians adopted his profession because of frequent dreams 

1 Backhouse, "Australia," p. 103. 

2 Callaway, "Religious Systems of the Amazulu," p. 185. 
' Ibid., pp. 183-259. 

* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 76. 


that he had been visited by some one who endowed him 
with magicpower.i The Mincopies believe that the medicine 
man has communion with the unseen powers through 
dreams, and in that way is able to look upon the spirits 
of the ancestors of a sick man.^ In East Africa, the 
medicine man dreams his dream, and then gives forth 
oracles at intervals according to the exigencies o,f the 
case; sometimes they are delivered in a frenzied state. ^ 
Among the Land Dyaks, according to Henry Ling Roth, 
"there are two descriptions of manangs, — the regular 
and the irregular. The regular are those who have been 
called to that vocation by dreams, and to whom the spirits 
have revealed themselves. The irregular are self-created 
and without a familiar spirit." * And Dixon writes of 
the Chimariko Indians, "The sign that a person was 
destined to beoome a shaman was a series of dreams. 
These were in the case of a man often the result of 
solitary visits to remote mountain lakes, in which the per- 
son would bathe at dusk. In these dreams instructions 
were given the neophyte by various supernatural beings, 
and these directions must be followed exactly."^ 

It is not possible for the shaman to inspire confidence 
unless he produces palpable evidence that the gods are 
on his side. But it not uncommonly happens that a man 

1 Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVI, p. 257. 

2 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 51. 

' MacDonald, "East Central African Customs," J. A. I., XXII, p. 105. 
* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, 

p. 266. 
^ Dixon, "The Chimariko Indians and Language." University 

of Calif. Publications in American Archeology and Ethnology. 

V, p. 303. 


aspires to office who has no physical or mental pecu- 
liarity to indicate that a spirit dwells within him. The 
only recourse in such a contingency is simulation. The 
savage is not acquainted with such ideas as "suggestion," 
* 'auto-suggestion," "hypnotism," and "self-hypnotism." 
The medicine man nevertheless often unconsciously makes ^ 
use of these phenomena in the practice of his profession. WtJ^n 
does not deliberately say, "Go to, I will now proceed to 
hypnotize myself, and thereby cause the people to think 
that I am possessed," but, in effect, that is frequently 
the very thing he unwittingly does, for possessed he must 
be or seem to be. 

Sometimes the shaman induces auto-suggestion by star- 
ing or gazing at an object. In the Fiji Islands, the priest sits 
amid complete silence looking at an ornament made of 
the tooth of a whale. Tylor describes his actions: "In a 
short time he begins to tremble, slight twitchings of the 
face and limbs follow ; these increase to strong convulsions, 
with sweUing of the veins, murmurs, and sobs. Now the 
god has entered him, and with eyes rolling and protruding, 
voice unnatural, face pale, lips livid, perspiration streaming 
from every pore, and the whole aspect of a furiously insane 
person, he speaks the will of the gods, and then, the 
symptoms subsiding, he looks around with a vacant stare 
and becomes himself again." ^ 

Among other means which the medicine man uses to 
induce the hypnotic state may be named the prolonged 
hearing of the same note or rhythmic chord, the concen- 

1 Tylor, "Prim. Cult.," II, p. 134. 


tration of the mind on one thought, the monotonous repe- 
tition of words; silences, darkness, solitude; continuance of 
the same motion; association with persons already under 
hypnotic influence. Among the Singpho of Southeast Asia, 
the medicine man invokes his *'naf' or spirit for assist- 
ance. i In Patagonia, he induces a real or pretended fit 
by drumming or rattling.^ In Guiana, the method of 
producing inspiration was somewhat heroic. The 
servant of the gods was forced to endure fasting and 
flagellations of extreme severity. Then he was compelled 
to dance until he fell to the ground, exhausted and 
senseless. In order to revive him, a draught of tobacco 
juice, which caused violent nausea and vomiting of blood, 
was administered. This treatment was kept up day after 
day, until the subject dreamed dreams, saw visions, was 
seized with convulsions, or gave incontrovertible evi- 
dence that the spirits of the heavenly regions had taken 
possession of him.^ It is very perceptible that practices of 
this kind act upon the mind in such a manner as entirely 
to alter its ordinary habits. 

Trance and ecstasy are two aids of the medicine man 
to claims of divinity. In ecstasy there is a certain want of 
muscular control, and the mind is actively employed in 
seeing visions; during trance the countenance expresses 
an inspired illumination of a more than earthly character, 
and, on waking, the subject is able to recall his visions. 

1 Bastian, "Ostl. Asien," II, p. 328. 

2 Falkner, "Patagonians," p. 116. 

' Meiners, "Geschichten der Religionen," II, p. 162. 


An habitual means of inducing the ecstatic state is by 
drugs. Among ail peoples some knowledge of nar- 
cotics used to bring about strange and vivid hallu- 
cinations is found. 1 The priests of ancient Mexico 
employed an ointment or a drink made with the seeds 
of olloliuhqui which induced visions and delirium. ^ 
Among the Commis of Central Africa, the medicine man 
drinks mboundou.^ The negroes of the Niger had 
their ''fetich-water;" the Creek Indians of Florida had 
their "black drink ;"^ the Kalingas of northern Luzon, 
Philippine Islands, have their base. In some parts of 
Mexico the natives took the peyotl^ and the snake 
plant.s The Japanese have their sake; the Africans, from 
Egypt down to Zanzibar, have their bussa, which is 
the well-known hydromel, made from honey and water. 
The Samoyeds of Siberia, and some tribes of California 
used the poisonous toadstool. In other parts of California 
the chacuaco was employed for this purpose. ^ Among 
the Walapai of Arizona, the medicine men drank 
a "decoction of the leaves, roots, and flowers of 
the 'datura stramonium' to induce exhilaration." '^ In 
Brazil, the priests brought on ecstatic states by smoking 

^ Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth, IX, 
p. 455 ff. 

2 Brasseur de Bourbourg, "Mexique," III, p. 558. 

3 Wood, "Natural History of Man," I, p. 576. 

* Brinton, "Religions of Primitive Peoples," p. 67. 
^ Ibid; and Brinton, "Nagualism," pp. 8—9. 
« Ibid. 

' Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth. IX, 
p. 455. 


tobacco ; i the priestess of Delphi inhaled stupefying vapors 
from a deep fissure in the ground. ^ 

The medicine man often resorts to sleeplessness, se- 
clusion, and obstinate gloating on some morbid fancy in 
order to bring about hallucinations. He is usually success- 
ful, for it is a fact well known to medical science that 
the more frequently these diseased conditions of the mind 
are sought, the more readily are they found. The shaman, 
therefore, tries repeatedly until finally, as in the; case of 
Doctor Jekyll, the nature which he has so assiduously 
striven to induce by artificial means comes without seeking. 
Then without effort he possesses hallucinations with all the 
garb of reality. 

Other means for entering into communion with the 
gods are by gyrations and by flagellations. Among the 
Dyaks of Borneo, the medicine man, after running many 
times in a circle, simulates unconciousness, and it is then 
that he is supposed to possess greatest power.^ The 
shaman of the Tshi^speaking peoples, when about to 
communicate with the deities, pretends to be convulsed, and 
by hurling his body about and twisting it in contortions, 
brings himself to such a state of frenzy that his eyes 
roll madly, and foam falls from his lips.* The Malanau 
medicine man (or medicine woman), with hair disheveled, 
twirls around until his staring eyes show that he is nearly 
insane. Then it is thought he is able to commune with the 

' Miiller, "Amerikanische Urreligionen," p. 277. 

2 Myers, "Ancient History," pp. 178—179. 

3 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 282. 
* Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 125—126. 


spirits, and gain from them power to withdraw the daimon 
from the body of the sick person. i In Southern India, 
the shaman "uses medicated draughts, cuts and lacerates 
his flesh until the blood flows, lashes himself with a huge 
whip, presses a burning torch to his breast, drinks the 
blood which flows from his own wounds, or drinks the 
blood of the sacrifice, putting the throat of the decapitated 
animal to his mouth. Then, as if he had acquired new 
life, he begins to brandish his staff of bells, and to dance 
with a quick but wild, unsteady step. Suddenly the afflatus 
descends. There is no mistaking that glare, or those frantic 
leaps. He snorts, he stares, he gyrates. The daimon has 
now taken bodily possession of him; and, though he re- 
tains the power of utterance and of motion, both sides are 
under the control of the daimon, and his separate con- 
sciousness is in abeyance." 2 

Sexual continence and ecstatic visions stand in close 
relationship. This connexion, to be sure, is not conceived 
by the savage in modern scientific terms. But by repeated 
trials, failures, and successes, the medicine man perceived 
that when he praticed sexual abstinence he was the better 
fitted to enter into the ecstatic state. He learned, therefore, 
unwittingly and no doubt accidentally, that the phenomena 
of the religious life are to a large extent based on sexual 
life. Consequently the intelligence that continence was 
often required throughout the whole novitiate of individ- 
uals in training for the holy office is not at all amazing. 

^ Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," p. 283. 
2 J. A. Society of Bombay, 1886, pp. 101—102. 


And visions came, not as heavenly visitants, but because 
repression of sex impulses is sometimes concomitant with 
the stimulation of religious auto-intoxication. The medicine 
man is not alw^ays a paragon of virtue and sex morality; 
he is sometimes the reverse. It is when he wishes to induce 
theoleptic fits that he practices continence. On his recovery 
from the theopneustic trance, his repressed emotions some- 
times explode with abnormal violence. These emotions 
having been, as it were, diverted into a foreign channel, 
and meanwhile increased in force, when the reason for their 
repression no longer exists, break back into their normal 
course with intensified vehemence. i Says an acute observer: 
''I know no fact of pathology more striking and even terri- 
fying than the way in which the phenomena of the ecstatic 
state may be plainly seen to bridge the gulf between the 
innocent fooleries of ordinary hypnotic patients, and the 
depraved and repulsive phenomena of nymphomania and 
satyriasis." ^ By reason of the facility with which the 
ecstatic state passes into abnormal sexual emotion, it not 
infrequently happens that after their return to normal 
consciousness the representatives of the gods are guilty of 
unspeakable dissoluteness. ^ 

The exponent of the gods, after much experimentation, 
came to know that the ecstatic state can be induced by 
abstinence from food. Fasting, indeed, is one of the strong- 
est means of interfering with the healthy action of bodily 

1 Ellis, "Man and Woman," p. 295. 

2 Anstie, "Lectures on Disorders of the Nervous System," 
Lancet, Jan. 11th, 1873, p. 40. 

* Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," I, p. 122. 


and mental functions, and so of producing visions of de- 
light. The primitive interpretation of phenomena of this 
kind is that of divine visitation. While fasting and praying, 
the medicine man receives much preparation for his work. 
Even the name by which he is sometimes known is 
significant, the word "shaman" being a corruption of the 
Sanscrit term for "ascetic." ^ Schoolcraft says, "Among the 
American Indians, the *jossakeed' or soothsayer prepares 
himself by fasting and the use of the sweat bath for the 
state of convulsive ecstacy in which he utters the dic- 
tates of the familiar spirits." ^ in Zululand, the doctor, 
in order to enter into communion with the amadhlozi 
or ghosts from which he is to obtain direction, limits him- 
self to spare, abstemious diet, and subjects himself to suf- 
fering, castigation, and solitary wandering in the forest.^ 
Among the Ojibways, a wabeno will sometime in his youth 
withdraw from the village and fast for several days, so that 
he may be visited by dreams and visions that will be his 
guides.* Dobrizhoffer says of the Abipones, "Those who 
aspire to the office of 'keebef or juggler are 
said to sit on an aged willow overhanging some 
lake, to abstain from food for several days, till they 
begin to see into futurity."^ The Boulian of North 
Queensland, after starving for three days, is rewarded 
by the fancied apparition of a malkari or nature- 

* Mallery, "Picture Writing of American Indians," Bur. Eth., 

X, p. 490. 
2 Schoolcraft, "Information Respecting the Indian Tribes of 

the United States," III, p. 287. 
^ Callaway, "Religious Systems of the Amazulu," p. 387. 

4 Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur. Eth., VII, p. 156. 

5 Dobrizhoffer, "Abipones," II, p. 67. 



spirit, which proceeds to stick pebbles or bones or quartz- 
crystals into his body, and thus makes him a medicine 
man.i Of the Greenlanders, Crantz reports that whoever 
aspires to the office of shaman must retire to a solitary 
place, and call upon tormgarsuk to send him a tormgak. 
After a time, because of abstinence from food and 
flagellation of the body, his imagination becomes distorted ; 
he sees blended images of men, beasts, and monsters. 
Irregularities of the body follow, and convulsions, which he 
endeavors to augment, give the final proof of possession. ^ 

But why multiply instances of fasting which have 
produced their natural effects in ecstatic visions? They 
have been resorted to by shaman and priest, by heathen 
and Christian, by Protestant and Catholic, for the same 
purpose of bringing about communion with the unseen 
powers. Old men have dreamed dreams because of gorged 
stomachs. As a result of rigorous fasting young men 
have seen visions. But, in the words of Dr. Tylor, ''Bread 
and meat would have robbed the ecstatic of many an angel 
visit; the opening of the refectory door must many a time 
have closed the gates of heaven to his gaze."^ 

Another expedient, which in the minds of his con- 
stituents serves to estabUsh the claims of the medicine 
man, is the art of jugglery. The majority of the human 
race are open to this kind of evidence. A successful business 
man in recent years, upon witnessing an alleged miracle 

^ Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland 

Ethnography, Bulletin. Number 5, p. 29. 
2 Crantz, "Historic von Gronland," I, p. 194. 
8 Tylor, "Prim. Cult.," Edition of 1905, II, p. 415. 


performed by a charlatan spiritual healer, acknowledged the 
religious leadership of that sensationalist. If such gullibility 
is possible to a cultured man in an advanced stage 
of civilization, what would be the attitude of the savage 
toward the doer of strange deeds? He would without 
question bow at the feet of the master. When no physical 
or mental peculiarity, therefore, differentiates him from the 
rest of his kind, the medicine man is under constant 
stimulus to execute feats and achievements which exceed 
the power of the laity to perform or understand.^ 
Hence he is often cunning, clever, and given to 
the practice of trickery. By a process of selection 
he attains skill, ingenuity, and ability to do the seemingly 
impossible. The aspirant for office who is unable, 
either by force of intellect, or by artifice, or by adroitness, 
or by craft, or by chicanery, to justify his pretentions 
goes down in the struggle, and his inferior qualities perish 
with him. His more capable companions, on the other 
hand, succeed in overawing and hypnotizing the com- 
monalty, and as a result survive. Their superior qualities 
and capacities are transmitted to succeeding generations, 
until ultimately the ablest and most clever men in the tribe 
or nation form what comes toi be known as the priest 

Many accounts have been given by travellers of clever 
feats performed by medicine men, but a few instances will 
serve to illustrate the fact that often by executing an extra- 
ordinary performance the shaman succeeds in creating and 
maintaining a place for himself. 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 184. 


According to Howitt, among Australian tribes, the 

doctors profess to extract from the human body foreign 

substances which in the native beUef have been placed 

there by the magic of wizards or other doctors, or by 

supernatural beings^ '^The black fellow doctors,'' Howitt 

further states, "as a class naturally surround themselves 

with mystery. Their magical practices are not favored 

by too open examination, and the more that is left 

to the active imagination of their tribe, the better their 

assistances are received." ^ Ratzel writes that "a. 

shaman occasionally pulls out his eye and eats it, sticks 

a knife into his breast, or lets a bullet be shot through 

his head without being any the worse for it." ^ A Dakota 

medicine man, who understood sleight-of-hand, appeared 

to draw from his side below his ribs a quid of tobacco;* 

while the Eskimo angakoks during the Sedna feast thrust 

harpoons into their bodies, taking precautions, however, 

beforehand to place under their clothes bladders filled 

with blood.5 The wabeno of the Ojibways was alleged to 

grasp and handle red-hot stones, and to bathe his hands in 

boiling maple syrup without suffering any apparent harm.*^ 

Howitt reports, that in Australia at initiations *'a gommera 

[medicine man] will as chief evidence of his powers 

'bring up out of himself quartz crystals, or pieces 

of vein quartz, pieces of black stone, white substances, 

pieces of flesh, bone, and the like." ^ Among some of the 

' Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 25. 2 ibid., p. 57. 

3 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," II, p. 229. 

* Bourke, "M-edicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 456 

5 Boas, "Central Eskimo," Bur. Eth., VI, pp. 593—594. 

6 Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur.Eth.,VII,p.l57. 
' Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 43. 


Indian tribes of North America, the medicine man before 
treating a patient produced a magical stick, and demon- 
strated his supernatural power to the amazed spectators. i 
Boas writes that many performances of the angakoks of 
the Eskimos require much skill in ventriloquism. "Thus in 
invoking a tornaq Hying to. a distant place they can imitate 
a distinct voice by a sort of ventriloquism. In these perfor- 
mances they always have the lamps extinguished, and hide 
themselves behind a screen hung up in the back part of 
the hut. The tornaq, being invoked, is heard approach- 
ing and shaking the hut. A favorite trick is to have their 
hands tied up, and a thong fastened around their knees and 
neck. Then they begin invoking their tornaq, and all of a 
sudden the body lies motionless while the soul flies to 
any place they wish to visit. After returning, the thongs 
are found untied, though they had been fastened 
by firm knots. The resemblance of this performance to 
the experiments of modern spiritualists is striking." ^ 
Hoffman, quoting from a paper read by Colonel 
Garrick Mallery before the Anthropological Society of 
Washington, records an interesting feat performed by an 
Ojibway jessakkid at Leech Lake, Minnesota, about 
1858. The jessakkid, securely bound by a rope, with his 
knees and wrists together and with his face upon his 
knees, was placed alone in a lodge erected for the purpose. 
After a few minutes of loud noises and after much sway- 
ing of the lodge, the spectators heard him direct another 
Ojibway, who had wagered that the jessakkid could not 

1 Bartels, "Med. NaturvSlker," p. 50. 

2 Boas, "Central Eskimo," Bur. Eth., VI, pp. 593—594. 


accomplish this feat, to get the rope from a near-by house. 
The Ojibway found the rope, still knotted, in the place 
indicated, and on his return beheld the jessakkid 
sitting unbound within the lodge.i The medicine men of 
both the Zuiiis and the Pawnees swallowed knives and 
arrows, and could apparently kill a man and restore him to 
life.- In 1761, a bloody revolt of the Mayas broke out in a 
number of villages near Valladolid, Yucatan. "It was 
headed/' Brinton records, "by a full-blooded native, 
Jacinto Can-Ek. Jacinto boldly announced himself as the 
high priest of the fraternity of sorcerers, a master teacher 
of magic, and the lineal descendant of the prophet, Chilain 
Balam, Vhose words cannot fail.' In a stirring appeal 
he urged his fellow countrymen to attack the Spaniards 
without fear of the consequences. To support his pre- 
tentions he took a piece of paper, held it up to show that 
it was blank, folded it perhaps the fraction of a minute, 
and then spread it out covered with writing. This deft 
trick convinced his simple-minded hearers of the truth 
of his claims, and they rushed to arms." ' 

Since nature men are so very susceptible to proofs of this 
description, it is no wonder that in the course of evolution 
there should appear among them from time to time mem- 
bers of their race who have sufficient mental acumen to 
take advantage of the disposition to ascribe power to 
the apparently miraculous, and who by the exhibition of 

1 Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur. Eth., VII, 
1891, pp. 276—277. 

2 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 471. 
' Brinton, "Nagualism," p. 31. 


juggling performances foist in upon uncritical minds the 
convictions that the religious leaders are possessed of 
spiritual might, and consequently deserving of a place 
among the noble company of those chosen for divine 

In addition to his physical and mental peculiarities, real 
or feigned, the medicine man understands how to create 
between himself and his fellow-men other dissimilarities 
which are calculated to fortify his position, and to confirm 
and strengthen the esteem in which he is held by the people. 
Since, however, he usually directs his attention to such 
activities after his formal induction into office, the discussion 
of these dissimilarities is reserved for a later chapter. ^ 

Two other elements enter into the making of the 
medicine man: the preparation and training or the novi- 
tiate, and the initiation or the public installation into office. 

In all professions a prescribed course of study and 
instruction is required antecedent to graduation. Among 
primitive peoples, no person is admitted into the goodly 
fellowship of the elect until the older shamans are satis- 
fied that he is qualified for the place. If as a result of 
selfnpreparation a man is able to stand the test, he is 
sometimes accorded the privilege. In that case he 
must fast, and spend much time in solitude and 
prayer, after which by hallucinations or in dreams, 
it is thought, the spirits by whose power he does his 
mighty works are revealed. No further training is 
in many instances required. But in most cases the novice 

' Vide Chap. IV, pp. 91-103. 



must pass a greater or lesser number of hours under 
the instruction and supervision of older medicine men, 
learning their secrets, and benefiting by their experiences, 
in order to be able ito convince the other members of the 
craft that he can carry on the work of the profession. 
"One Navaho shaman," writes Matthews, "told me that 
he had studied six years before he was considered com- 
petent to conduct his first ceremony, but that he was not 
perfect then, and had learned much afterwards." ^ 

Sometimes the older medicine men, in their anxiety to 
secure recruits for "orders," make it their business to 
enumerate to the youth of the tribe the benefits incident to 
the sacred calling, and point out the ease with which it is to 
be entered in order to prevail upon them if possible to 
devote their lives to the making of medicine. When a young 
man acquiesces, the promise of an easy entrance must be 
redeemed lest he turn back. Among the Pima Indians, any 
man could enter the profession if he was instructed by a 
medicine man, and "got power," as the Pimas said — or 
acquired proficiency in a few tricks. The initiatory cere- 
mony was not elaborate. The aspirant rested on all fours 
before an old medicine man, who threw at him four sticks 
about eight inches long. If the youth fell to the ground, the 
instructor as the next step coughed up four or five white 
balls and rubbed them into the breast of the young man. 
During the entire time that he was engagied in learning his 
work the prospective shaman had to stay away from the 

* Matthews, "The Night Chant, A Navaho Ceremony," Memoirs 
American Museum of Natural History, Preface, p. V. 


lodges of women, and keep secret the fact that he was pre- 
paring for the priesthood. In all, the period of his novitiate 
lasted from two to four years. The usual fee for the 
instruction was a piece of calico or a horse. i 

There are primitive tribes in which the thoroughfare 
to shamanistic honors is difficult. A novice among the 
Shingu Indians, for example, must for months "drink 
only starch extract, eat no salt, no flesh, fruit or fish, and 
not sleep. He must bathe much, scratch the arm and 
breast until the blood runs, and undergo much physical 
suffering. His chief art is to use poisons. With these 
he not only kills others, but also kills himself in order to 
transform himself into other forms." ^ A Cherokee who 
aspired to the priesthood was expected in former times 
to remember a formula after it had been repeated to him 
but once. If he failed to remember, he was considered 
unworthy of the profession. ^ The Navaho "chanter*' or 
medicine man was obliged to devote so much study to 
the mastery of every great ceremony that he seldom knew 
more than one well. * 

The novitate of these candidates is not only 
arduous, but also expensive, for as a rule the 
neophyte must make heavy payments for instruction. 
Hoffman, for example, writes of the Menomini 
Indians, "Each remedy must be paid for separately, 

1 Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVII, pp. 257-258. 

2 Steinen, "Shingu Tribes." After the Sumnerian Collections. 

3 Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Bur. Eth., 
1891, p. 309. 

* Matthews, "The Night Chant, a Navaho Ceremony," Memoirs 
American Museum of Natural History, p. 3. 


as no two preparations or roots or other substances 
are classed together as one; furthermore, the know- 
ledge relating to different remedies is possessed by 
different medicine men, each of whom will dispose of the 
properties and uses thereof for a consideration only." ^ Of 
the Ojibway Indians Hoffman states: *'The male candidates 
for the mide [one of the classes of medicine men] are 
selected usually from among those who in their youth were 
chosen for that distinction. This selection was made at the 
period of 'giving a name' by a designated /nzrfe priest, who 
thus assumed the office of godfather. From that date 
until the age of puberty of the boy, his parents gathered 
presents with which to defray the expenses of preliminary 
instruction by hired mide priests, and of the feasts to be 
given to all those who might attend the ceremonies of 
initiation, as well as to defray the cost of the personal ser- 
vices of the various medicine men directly assisting in the 
initiation. Frequently the collection of skins, peltries, 
and other goods that have to be purchased involved a 
candidate hopelessly in debt; but so great was the desire 
on the part of some Indians to become acknowledged 
medicine men that they would assume obligations that 
might require years of labor in hunting to liquidate ; or, if 
they failed, then their relatives were expected to assume 
the responsibility thus incurred." - 

It might be said in passing that like physicians 
of the present time in view of the long, difficult, and 

* Hoffman, "The Menomini Indians," Bur. Eth., 1896, p. 69. 
2 Ibid., p. 67. 


expensive period of preparation the medidne man, as will 
later be shown, does not hesitate to charge high fees for 
his professional services. ^ 

Afjer the course of study and training is over, the 
postulant is not, however, accepted either by the public 
or by the brotherhood as duly qualified until he is publicly 
initiated, and subjected to various tests to prove his effi- 
ciency. The initiatory rites among various tribes differ in 
detail, but underneath all of them is the underlying purpose 
of publicly inducting the aspirant into the number of the 
''allied." The particular initiatory ceremony of a given race 
reflects the mental and moral qualities of that race. The 
established rites of African tribes, for instance, are not on 
nearly so high a plane as those of the North American 
Indians, as the following examples will illustrate. Among the 
Akikuyu of British East Africa, the form for the initiation 
of the medicine man is childlike in character. Routledge 
describes the ceremonies. A he-goat is killed, and its 
meat, half-cooked, '*is partaken of by all the medicine 
men present. Collars made of the skin of the right leg of 
the goat are placed around the necks of five gourds, 

each containing a different drug The medicine men 

present have brought their lot-gourds [a special medicine 
gourd]. Each empties his lot-gourd on the skin apart 
from his fellows. The neophyte then comes, and grasps a 
handful from one pile. His wife follows him, and does 
likewise. With the two handfuls of counters thus obtained, 
lots are cast to foretell the professional career of the 

1 Vide pp. 158—164. 


novice. Finally, the contents so grasped are added to 
those already in the lot-gourd of the neophyte. Custom 
requires that the medicine gourds and lot-gourds of the 
newly received medicine man shall first be stopped with 
banana leaves, but the next day or later, he replaces them 
with the tips of tails of cows. The long hair of these 
forms brushes for the application of medicines, when it is 
impossible to obtain the correct plants with which to make 
brushes. A curse has to be brushed off. Each medicine man 
present receives one skin of a sheep or goat for being 
there.'' ^ Among the Dyaks of Borneo, the proceedings at 
the time of the initiation are more worthy of respect. There 
are three ceremonies. The first is "Besudi," which seems 
to mean feeling, touching. The manangs, surrounding the 
candidate as he sits on a veranda as though he were ill, ^'make 
medicine" over him the whole night. By this time he is 
supposed to become endowed with the power of touch 
to enable him to feel where and what are the maladies 
of the body, and so to apply the requisite charms. It 
is the lowest grade, and obtainable by the cheapest fees.- 
Henry Ling Roth further describes the other two cere- 
monies as follows: *'The second is 'Beklite' or opening. After 
a night of incantation, the manangs lead the neophyte into a 
curtained apartment, where, as they assert, they cut his head 
open, take out his brains, wash and restore them in order to 
give him a clean mind for penetrating into the mysteries 

' Routledge, "The Akikuyu of British East Africa," pp. 

2 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, 

pp. 280—281. 


of evil spirits and the intricacies of disease; they insert gold 
dust into his eyes to give him keenness and strength of 
sight powerful enough to see the soul wherever it may 
have wandered; they plant barbed hooks on the tips of 
his fingers to enable him to seize the soul and hold it 
fast; and lastly they pierce his heart with an arrow to 

make him tenderhearted In reality, a few symbolic 

actions representing these operations are all that is done . , , 
The man is now a fully qualified practitioner, competent to 
practice all parts of his deceitful craft. He is now no 
longer an 4ban,' a name by which all Dyaks speak of 
themselves, he is a manang. He is lifted into a different 
rank of being. And when engaged in their functions, the 
manangs make a point of emphasizing this distinction by 
constant use of the tv^ words in contrast to each other. 
A third grade of manang is obtainable by the ambitious 
who have the will and means to make the outlay; 
they become manang bangun, manang enjun, manangs 
waved upon, manangs trampled on." As in other 
cases, this involves a nocturnal programme, ''but the'vspe- 
cialties conferring this M. D. of Dyak quackery and im- 
posture are three. At the beginning of the performance, 
the manangs march round and round the aspirant for 
the higher honor, and wave bunches of pinang flower 
about and over him, an action which all over Borneo, I 
believe, is considered of great medicinal and benedictional 
value in this and many other similar connexions. This 
is the Bangun. Then in the middle of the veranda a 
tall jar is placed, having a short ladder fastened on either 


side of it, and connected at the top. At various intervals 
during the night the manangs, leading the new candidate, 
march him up one ladder and down the other; but what 
that action is supposed to symbolize, or what special value 
it is believed to confer, I have not been able to discover. 
To wind up this play of mysteries, the man lays himself 
flat on the floor, and the manangs walk over him, and 
trample upon him to knock into him, perhaps, all the 
manang power which is to be obtained. This is the 
Enjun. It is regarded as a certificate of medical superior- 
ity, and the manang who has passed the ordeal will on 
occasions boast that he is no ordinary spirit-controller 
and soul-catcher, but a manang bangun, manang enjun."^ 
Among the Tshi-speaking peoples, the initiatory rites 
are still more elaborate. The candidate is tested by fire ; 
he must show pubHcly that he is possessed by a 
spirit, and make predictions which eventually come to pass. 
Ellis thus describes an initiation among those people 
in 1886, held after a novitiate of two years. Amid singing, 
beating of drums, and a continuous roar of musketry, "the 
new priests and priestesses were taken down to a spot near 
the beach . . . and here a sheep was sacrificed and the 
blood sprinkled around. Next day . . . hundreds of people 
were formed up in a kind of hollow square, all facing in- 
wards. In the inner rank of this square were the new 
priests and priestesses seated upon stools. The whole sur- 
face of their bodies, with the exception of the lips, eyes, 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, 
pp. 280—281. 


eyebrows, and crown of the head, was smeared with some 
white substance, which, from its being much whiter in 
color than the ordinary white clay, appeared to be chalk. 
The effect was ghastly in the extreme . . . With the ex- 
ception of the children, all wore long necklaces pecuHar 
to the priesthood, which were composed of black and white 
beads, with an occasional long bead of red cornelian or 
a small disk of gold. The men had the skull clean shaven 
with the exception of two or three small circular patches 
of hair, and to each patch was attached a gold medallion 
of the size of a florin The women wore gold orna- 
ments in their hair, and all of both sexes wore white 
cloths. The drums struck up, and a crowd of men and 
youths behind the drummers raised a song in honor of 

one of the tutelary deities After a time one of the new 

priests, who was sitting down, began to tremble and roll 
his eyes. A god was beginning to take possession of him. 
Two or three men at once went to him and removed 
the gold ornaments from his head and some bracelets of 
beads as a precautionary measure to prevent loss, and 
then bound each wrist with a d d o r. In the meantime 
the trembling increased, and soon the priest was shudder- 
ing as in an ague fit . . . Next, with open mouth, protrud- 
ing tongue, and with eyes widely rolling, he worked him- 
self, still seated and quivering violently, into the middle 
of the arena. There he suddenly leaped in the air, extend- 
ing his arms over his head and the quivering ceased. His 
eyes were closed, his tongue hung from his mouth, and 
with the slow and uncertain gait of a drunken man he 


walked backwards and forwards. After a short time he 
directed his steps towards one side of the square and 
passed out, the spectators making way for him, and re- 
turned in a few minutes without his white cloth, but with 
a short cotton skirt depending from the waist to the knee, 
and ornamented with two narrow flounces at the waist. 
Still with closed eyes and appearing half dazed, he walked 
to and fro; then with a sudden spring he faced the 
drums, and, throwing his arms in the air, he waved his 
reed brush. Next, he stooped forward, and placing both 
hands upon a large drum, hung his head down between 
his arms, shook it sideways, and uttered a gurgling, 
choking noise. This was the god preparing to give utter- 
ance. Then he sprang upright, and in a hoarse, unnatural 
voice, said: 'I am come. lam So-and-so ;' naming a tutelary 
deity. The drums at once struck up the rhythm in honor 
of this deity, the singers commenced singing, and the priest 
began to dance. After a few movements he stopped, and, 
putting his head on one side, raised his hand to his ear. 
This signified that the god who now possessed him could 
not hear the song in his honor: the singers were not 
singing loudly enough, or distinctly Enough, or the 
particular rhythm of the drums peculiar to the god was not 
sufficiently marked. The songs and the drumming stopped. 
Then after a few seconds a fresh start was made; the priest 
danced a few steps and again stopped. The expression of 
acute and rapt attention, as though he were straining every 
nerve to listen, was exceedingly well assumed. These false 
starts were repeated several times, until at last the god 


appeared to hear satisfactorily, for the priest danced 
furiously, bounding in the air, twisting round and round, 
turning his body now here, now there, and tossing his 
arms wildly about, throughout the whole performance 
keeping perfect time to the rhythm of the drums. The 
exercise was most violent, and in a few minutes the 
performer was streaming with perspiration. After some 
little time he threw his arms over his head, and 
then waved his brush over the drummers. This signified 
that the first god had left him and another had 
entered him. The entire performance was then repeated. 
It should be said that every now and then he let fall 
words or sentences, spoken in a croaking or guttural voice. 
These utterances were the words of the possessing god, 
and . . . referred, some to past events, and some to future. 
In the latter case they were sufficiently vague and am- 
biguous, for it is by these that the priest is chiefly tested ; 
and should he make any definite and clear prediction 
which afterwards should be falsified by events, he would 
be driven out of the society as an impostor, unless he 
could give some satisfactory explanation. One such utter- 
ance I heard was: 4f the gods do not help, there will be 
much sickness soon.' Now if sickness ensued, it would 
be because the gods would not help ; if it did not ensue, it 
would be because they had helped. After the first priest 
had retired, all of the novices went in turn through the 
same performances. Their features during possessions 
were distorted beyond recognition, but when seen in re- 
pose they were not of a bad type, and seemed . to pro- 


mise intelligence above the average. For the novices had 
not commenced that career of imposture, vice, and de- 
bauchery, which almost invariably, and especially in case 
of the priestesses, leaves its impression upon the features 
of the priesthood." i 

The ordeal of fire among the Tshi-speaking peoples, 
according to ElUs, was a test of purity; if the priests and 
priestesses had refrained from sexual intercourse during the 
period of retirement required of candidates for the priest- 
hood, they would, it was believed, receive no injury from 
the flames. The priest when thus tested was made to 
step into a clear space surrounded by glowing embers 
that formed a circle three yards in diameter. Ellis 
continues, "Immediately rum, kerosene oil, and other 
inflammable liquids are thrown upon the embers, so 
that the flames leap high in the air, sometimes as high as 
the head of a man. After an interval the process is 
repeated a second and a third time, and the ordeal is over. 
If the candidate has been able to stay in the circle each 
time till the flames have subsided, and has sustained no 
injury, it is believed that he is pure, and that the gods 
have protected him from the fire. If he has been compelled 
by the intense heat to leap out, or if he has sustained a 
burn of any kind, he is not pure. This test is not 
submitted to while the candidate is naked, and persons 
subjected to it always wrap themselves up closely in their 
clothes." 2 If an aspirant cannot stand the test of fire, 
he must offer sacrifices to the gods, and receive pardon for 

1 Ellis, "Tshi -Speaking Peoples," p. 131—136. 2 ibid., p. 138. 


his transgression Very few priests are able to oome 

from the fire unscathed. Most of the priestesses confess 
that they have been unchaste, and do not undertake the 
ordeal, thus through making sacrifices that cost but five 
or six dollars avoiding much pain.i * 

Among the Ojibways, there were three classes of 
medicine men — the wabeno, the fessakkid and the mide. 
Candidates were initiated into each class with impressive 
forms and ceremonies. In the Midewiwin, or society 
of the mide, there were four degrees, into each of 
which the candidate was inducted as he attained suitable 
proficiency. The initiation into the fourth degree was most 
elaborate. For several days beforehand, the aspirant, after 
a sweat bath, went each morning with his preceptor to 
the four entrances of the Midewigan, and deposited 
offerings. On the evening of the fourth day, the other 
priests visited the candidate and the preceptor in the sweat 
lodge, where they engaged in ceremonial smoking. Such 
a smoke-offering, in honor of "Ki tshi Man ido" was the 
first ceremony of the day of initiation, and was followed 
by an original song sung by the candidate. Then the 
initiation began. The priests, arranged in line in order of 

1 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," p. 139. 

* Note: — It might not be out of place to remark here that the author, 
in a wide range of ethnographical reading, lighted upon some very 
interesting magazine articles on "Indian Medicine," and "Curiosities 
of Therapeutics," in the Popular Science Monthly for September 
1886, and The Therapeutic Gazette for April 1887, from the pen of 
Dr. G. Archie Stockwell- Some of the statements of Dr. Stockwell 
were striking and even sensational; but the writer could not check 
them up, and so, after much deliberation and with considerable 
reluctance, he has excluded this material, which had he been sure 
of its scientific character would have been most pertinent. 


rank, marched toward the eastern entrance of the Mide- 
wigan, where the first four in turn peeping through the 
door, viewed six malevolent manidos that were supposed 
to be within, — the panther, turtle, wolverine, fox, wolf, 
and bear. The candidate, impersonating the good Bear 
Manido, now crawled on hands and knees toward the 
main entrance; then impersonating an archer manido, 
took a bow and four arrows, and feigned four times to shoot 
toward the interior of the lodge. The last time he sent 
an arrow within, and rushed after it as if pursuing the 
spirits. He repeated these actions at the other three doors 
of the wigwam. Then the chief priest said to him, "Now: 
is the timie to take the path that hath no end. Now is 
the time. I shall inform you of that which I was told — the 
reason I live." The second priest added, "The reason I 
now advise you is that you may heed him when he speaks 
to you.'' After a chant and after the wigwam had been 
cleared of evil spirits by exorcism, the four chief priests 
performed the next ceremonies ; each of the three inferiors 
shot his migis into the breast of the candidate, and the 
chief priest shot his into the forehead of the novice. The 
candidate then spit out a migis shell previously concealed 
in his mouth, and this ended the initiation. After 
distributing presents, he went in turn to each of 
his fellows, saying, "Thank you for giving to me 
life." A curious ceremony ensued in which the priests 
feigned to shoot their migis shells at one another, 
or to swallow and recover them. A feast, furnished by the 
newly elected member and prepared by his female relatives, 
followed the ceremony. Smoking and conversation 


occupied the remainder of the day until sunset, when every 
one quietly departed. ^ 

The fourth degree of the Midewiwin initiatory rites 
constituted the most important, as certainly the most 
spectacular, of all the ceremonies of the Ojibways; and 
it serves to show the degree of intellectual development 
which those Indians had attained, possessing as they did 
the ability of elaborating detailed and striking ceremonials. 
A comparison between this ritual and that of the Akikuyu, 
for example, would form an excellent subject for anthro- 
pogeographical inquiry. 

SUMMARY. In this chapter, the making of the medicine man 
has been discussed. It has been found that since i n the 
thought of primitive man malicious spirits are responsible 
for all the illsofUfe, the chief object of the savage is to bring 
about a change of relationship between heaven and earth. 
But because the struggle between mortals and immortals is 
unequal, the necessity arises of a specialist, who by reason 
of a spiritual nature is competent to act as intermediary. 
Qualifications for the office of shaman are recog- 
nized in a variety of ways. The easiest explanation 
qLJiifLJinusual in nature is that of spirit ppssessipn. 
This assumption saves the labor of reflecting and the 
anguish of inquiring. The savage, therefore, to whom the 
thought and act of exertion are never agreeable, refers 
physical and mental deformity to the imaginary environ- 

» Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur. Etb., 
Vn, pp. 258-274. 


ment, and looks upon the unfortunate person in whom 
such peculiarities are manifested as being possessed by 
divinities. So it sometimes happens that the victim of major 
hysteria, epilepsy, or the like, for example, is regarded 
as marked out by heaven to represent the gods on earth. In 
other cases the qualification and office, of medicine man 
are handed down from father to son. When the supply of 
candidates is too small to meet the demand, the older mem- 
bers of the profession, jealous of the reputation of their 
order, either by the exertion of their influence on parents or 
by the appeal to the element of self-interest in the youth of 
the tribe, often succeed in inducing a goodly number of 
young men, and not infrequently young AJv^omen, to alloW 
themselves to be trained in the mysteries of the sacred rites. 
Among the North American Indians, the most frequent 
reason for selecting an individual to the office is the 
obvious wish on his part to acquire knowledge, 
and his willingness to pay the price. But an 
aspirant must make full proof of his capabilities. The per- 
formance of a feat of dexterity will often have this 
effect. In some instances these achievements are mere 
tricks of legerdemain, as among the Pima Indians, whose 
medicine m.en cause their people to wonder and admire by 
holding hot coals of fire in their hands and mouths, always 
being careful, however, to have a layer of ash or mud next 
to the skin.i The performances of the shaman have been 
known to impress members of the white race. But in order 
to leave no possible doubt as to his qualifications the 

Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVI, pp. 259 ff. 


candidate may develop clairvoyant and psychic conditions 
by means of drugs, gyrations, fasting, and self-inflicted 
physical tortures. He often blundered upon scientific 
truth, as is evidenced by the fact of recent observations 
and investigations showing that some of the methods 
to which he resorted have the effect of producing 
anemic disarrangement or disorganization of the great 
nerve centers, enabling the subject to manifest wonderful 
powers. According to Spencer, the medicine man was 
the originator of the professions and sciences > Among our 
Indians, he is usually the ablest man intellectually speaking 
in his group,2 and is frequently the best specimen of 
physical manhood in his tribe. 

^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," German Edition of 1897, 

IV, pp. 223-368. 
2 Harper's Weekly, September 12, 1914. 



Hitherto men have been spoken of as shamans. But 
shamans are not always men; women sometimes 
are considered superior enough to attain the coveted 
position. In "Die Medizin der Naturvolker," Doctor 
Bartels asserts that this is the case among the 
Ashanti, among the negroes of Loango, in Lubuku, 
in Zululand, in Borneo, in Australia, in Siberia, and 
among some of our Indian tribes.^ In the Ojibway 
nation, the "Midewiwin," so-called, was the society of the 
mide or shamans, who might be either men or women, and 
whose number was not fixed. 2 In Central Australia, "in 
connexion with medicine men and women alike, restric- 
tions such as those applying to Mura are laid on one 
side during the actual exercise of their profession." ^ 
Among the Creeks, women doctors were as numerous as 
male doctors; among the Dakotas, they were nearly as 
powerful as the male doctors in each village.'^ Schultze 
says that in the Dakota nation, "medicine men and 
medicine women can cause ghosts to appear on occasion." ^ 
Nansen reports of the Eskimos that angakoks might be of 

1 Op. cit., p. 53. 

2 Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur. Eth.,VII, p. 164. 
' Spencer and Gillen, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," 

p. 530. (Note). 
* Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 53. 
5 Schultze, "Fetischismus," pp. 148—149. 


either sex, though it would seem the weaker sex has 
never had so many representatives in the profession as the 
stronger.! Bourke, quoting "The Arctic Searching Expe- 
dition," by Richardson, says, '"Both medicine men and 
medicine women are to be found among the Eskimos.'" 2 
According to De Groot, in China, the exorcists "were 
of a certain class of priests or priestesses entirely possessed 
by spirits of Yang," and engaged in invoking the ancestral 
spirits, doctoring the sick, and bringing rain.^ Among 
the Saoras of Madras, the kudang is the medium of 
communication between the ancestral spirits and the 
Hving. Some kudangs are women.* In Korea, says 
a writer, "women are not shamanesses by birth, but of 
late years it has been customary for the girl children of the 
sorceress to go out with her and learn her arts, which is 
tending to give the profession an hereditary aspect. It is 
now recruited partly from hysterical girls, and partly 
from among women who seek the office for a liveli- 
hood, but outside of these sources a daimon may take 
possession of any woman, wife or widow, rich or poor, 
plebeian or patrician, and compel her to serve him." ^ 
Concerning the former customs of the New Hebrides, 
it is said that wizards were analogous to modern 
spiritualistic mediums. The "tenues" or spirits controlled 
them. Women as well as men had communications with 

1 Hansen, "Eskimo Life," p. 284. (Note). 

2 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 469. 

3 De Groot, "Religious System of China," I, pp. 40—41. 
* J. A. Soc. of Bombay, I, p. 247. 

5 Bishop, "Korea," p. 423. 


the spirits.! Among the Negritos of Zambaies, Philippine 
Islands, both sexes may belong to the mediquillos 
[native doctors], who are known as "magna-anito," 
and are called in cases of mild illness to expel 
the spirit and thus cure the patient.^ Among the 
Araucanians, writes Smith, ''the office of medicine man, 
though generally usurped by males, does not appertain to 
them exclusively, and at the time of our visit the one most 
extensively known was a black woman, who had acquired 
the most unbounded influence by shrewdness, joined to a 
hideous personal appearance, and a certain mystery with 
which she was invested." ^ 

Ancient historians attribute the invention of medicine 
to the gods. This is due to the anthropomorphic concep- 
tion of the divinities. The gods were once human beings. 
The medicine man is often regarded as a god* even 
before death, and after his deification he is believed to 
be more powerful than ever. When he goes to the spirit 
world he retains all the powers and attributes which he 
had on earth. He was a healer while Uving; since death 
he is more intensely skilled in the art of healing. He in- 
spires his servants, thereby giving them the knowledge 
and power to prosecute the work which he began. The 
worship by the ancients of female deities points back 
to the existence of the Matriarchy.^ The fact that to those 

1 Leggatt, "Malekula," Aust. Ass. for Adv. of Science, 1892, 
p. 707. 

2 Reed, "Negritos of Zambaies," pp. 65—66. 

3 Smith, "Araucanians," pp. 238—239. 
♦ Vide pp. 135—186. 

5 Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, pp. 76 and 260. 


goddesses were attributed important relationships to the 
healing art indicates that they were medicine women 
when living. In Egypt, peculiar medical skill was assigned 
to Isis, the wife and sister of Osiris. Tradition had it 
that she gave unequivocal proof of her power by restoring* 
Horus, her son, to life. She was believed to have dis- 
covered several remedies, and the materia medica of the 
time of Galen contained drugs that were named in her 
honor. In the esoteric language of the priestly physicians 
of Egypt, for example, the vervain was called "the tearsi 
of Isis." 1 

Among the Greeks, Hygeia, daughter of Aesculapius, 
god of medicine, was worshipped in the temples of Argos 
as the goddess of both physical and mental health. Hera, 
under the name of Lucina, was held to preside over the 
birth of children, and was thought to possess healing 
power. Medea and Circe, according to tradition, for the 
purpose of counteracting the effects of poisons, made use 
of herbs in their enchantments ; while Ocyroe, the daughter 
of Cheiron, the Centaur, was famed for her skill in 
leechcraft. This information, although derived from fabled 
story, serves the important purpose of preserving in alle- 
goric form facts from which the inference is to be drawn 
that in remote antiquity women were engaged in the 
practice of medicine. ^ 

While the laws and customs of the Romans forbade 
women to practice medicine, yet Pliny and others have 
handed down the names of a few of the gentler sex 

^ Reference lost. ^ Reference lost. 


who engaged with distinction in the curing of diseases. 
Among the names thus preserved are Salpe, Sotira, and 
Favilla. Nothing definite is known, however, regarding 
the work of these female practitioners. ^ 

In the Middle Ages, when every kind of knowledge 
was steeped more or less in superstition, women as well 
as men yielded to the pressure of their times, and exercised 
the double vocation of sorceresses and healers of the 
sick. 2 

The Universities of Cordova, Salamanca, and Alcala 
conferred the doctorate upon many women in the sixteenth 
century. In England, during the seventeenth century, 
Anna Wolly and Elizabeth of Kent engaged in the pre- 
paration of drugs, and published books on medical sub- 
jects. In Germany, such women as the Duchess of Trop- 
pau, Catherine Tissheim, Helena Aldegunde, and Frau 
Erxleben took up the study of medicine. The latter was 
one of the most successful women doctors of her time, 
and was eminent for her skill and erudition. ^ 

These instances are mentioned to direct attention to 
the fact that while the office of medicine man always has 
been and still is more or less restricted to the sterner sex, 
yet cases are on record in all stages of the history of the 
world in which, through force of circumstances, or, more 
often, through force of character, women have frequently 

1 Bolton, "Early Practice of Medicine by Women," Popular 
Science Monthly, XVIII, p. 192. 

2 Ibid., p. 191. 

3 Ibid., p. 199. MEDICINE WOMEN 77 

acquired surgical skill, and often have pursued successfully 
the divine art of healing. 

What are the functions of medicine women, and what 
is their social standing in the group? In comparison with 
the shamans, the shamanesses sometimes are not so im- 
portant either in point of numbers, or in point of functions 
to be performed, or in point of respect accorded. In other 
cases they are apparently on an equality with men; while 
in other societies, the ministrations of the "weaker vessel" 
are so highly regarded that the most powerful and in- 
fluential healers are women. 

The following instances show that numerically women 
often rank second to men. In Central Australia females 
occasionally, although rarely, become doctors. ^ Among 
the Eskimos, as already noted (pp. 72 — 73 supra), though 
the angakoks might be of either sex, the women 
apparently have always been in the minority. ^ With 
the aborigines of both American Continents, fewer 
women than men attain the sacred office, and in 
some cases noi mention whatever is made of female 
doctors. 3 Among the Australians and Polynesians, there is 
a very strong tendency toward the exclusion of females 
from the class of shamans.* In most Land Dyak tribes on 
the contrary, while there are five or six priests in each 
district, in some parts of the country half of the female 
population are included under the name of priestesses, 

^ Spencer and Gillen, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," p. 526. 
2 Nansen, "Eskimo Life," p. 469. 

' Dixon, "Some Aspects of American Shamanism," Jour. Am. 
Folk Lore, Jan. 1908, p. 2. * Ibid. 


but most of them never become skilful enough to practice 
their profession.^ 

That man has in some instances exercised his dominat- 
ing disposition and reduced woman to a secondary place in 
the practice of the priestly art, and that she, true to her nature, 
has passively accepted what was left her is quite evident. 
Among the Dakotas, it is stated that the shamanesses 
were next to the male doctors. ^ Spencer says concerning 
the Chippeways, "'Women may practice soothsaying, but 
the higher religious functions are performed only by 
men."' ^ Among the Wascow Indians, the medicine women 
are not feared so much as men, and they are not thought to 
have such absolute power over life and death.* In Van- 
couver, women doctors were sent for only in cases of less 
serious sickness. But their standing is above the common 
women in the tribe. ^ Among the Tapantunnuasu in 
Central Celebes, shamanesses cannot marry, but they enjoy 
high standing and are supported by their village associates.'^ 
In Central America, medicine women of all women are 
allowed in the bath houses,'^ and in Southern California, 
though they were not absolutely entitled to material recom- 
pense for their services, they expected and generally received 
presents. Powers thus tells of a medicine woman called to 
extract an arrow-head from the body of a white man. Fan- 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, pp. 

2 Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 53. 
^ Bourke, Bur. Eth., IX, p. 469, Quoting Spencer's "Descriptive 

^ Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 53. 
5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. ' Ibid. 


tastically attired, she walked round the patient, chanting 
and touching the wound with her wand. "Finally she 
stooped down and applied her lips to the wound ; and after 
a little while she ejected a flint from her mouth (pre- 
viously placed there of course), and assured the man he 
would now speedily recover. For this humbug, so trans- 
parent, and yet so insinuatingly and elegantly administered, 
she expected no less a present than a gaily-figured ban- 
dana handkerchief and five pounds of sugar." ^ 

In some tribal groups, there is in existence among the 
doctors a division of labor, so to speak, the specialty of the 
women lying in a different province from that of the men. 
In Korea, the male doctors attend to the duties of ex- 
orcism, while it is the work of their female colleagues to 
propitiate the spirits. The exercise of these functions 
by the woman doctor is occasional as well as periodic. The 
periodic exercise is in some instances public and in 
other cases private. Both forms are celebrated with 
appropriate ceremonies, but the central figure always 
is the shamaness, who first discovers which god 
must be propitiated, and then offers the proper 
oblation to secure the continuance of the goodwill of the 
spirit.2 Among the Karok, according to Powers, there 
are two classes of medicine men — the root doctors and the 
barking doctors. The barking doctor is generally a woman, 
"and it is her office to diagnose the case, which she does 
by squatting down on her haunches like a dog and bark- 

1 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contribut. to North Am. Ethn., 
Ill, p. 131. 

2 Bishop, "Korea," p. 410. 


ing for hours together. She is more important than the 
root doctor. In addition to her diagnostic offices, she doc- 
tors 'poisoned' cases, which are very many among these 
people. They think they often fall victims to witches who 
cause some noxious reptile or animal to grow through the 
skin into the viscera. The barking doctor first discovers 
where the animal or reptile is located, and then sucks the 
place until the skin is broken and the blood flows. Then 
she administers an emetic to herself, and vomits up a 
frog or some other animal, which she pretends was 
sucked out of the patient." ^ Speakingof a medicine woman 
of another tribe. Powers says, "This priestess is really only 
a shamaness, corresponding nearly to the female barking 
doctor of the Karok. She is supposed to have communi- 
cation with the devil, and she alone is potent over cases 
of witch-craft and witch-poisoning." ^ in Sarawak and 
British North Borneo, the medicine man is summoned in 
cases of sickness, while the office of the medicine women, 
as Roth says, "consists chiefly in doctoring the rice paddy 
by means of their dull, monotonous chants." ^ 

From the earliest times women have specialized suc- 
cessfully in the science of gynecology. While it is true 
that in ancient Egypt the priest physicians sedulously 
concealed their superior knowledge from an ignorant 
people, and especially from women, yet the account 
of the birth of Moses goes to show that female 

^ Powers, "Tribes of California," Contribut. to North Am. 

Ethn., Ill, p. 26. 
2 Ibid., pp. 67-68. 
^ Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, 

pp. 259-260. 


gynecologists were not unknown among the Egyptians. 
Concerning the Apache, Bourke writes, "These medicine 
women devote their attention principally to obstetrics." i 
The same author, giving Mendieta as authority, says that 
among the Mexicans the medicine men attended to the 
sick men and the medicine women to the sick women. ^ 

For centuries after the dawn of civilization, the super- 
ior strength of the male sex continued to assert itself, and, 
save in exceptional cases, women were forbidden both 
the acquirement of an accurate and systematic knowledge 
of the diseases peculiar to their sex, and the exercise of 
any branch of the science of medicine. The Athenian 
Agodice (300 B.C.), one of the first women to receive 
a medical education, was compelled to pursue her studies 
in male attire. After studying under Herophilus, she pre- 
served her disguise and practiced medicine with great 
success in Athens, devoting her attention in particular to 
gynecology. When her sex was eventually disclosed, and 
she was brought to trial, the wives of the most influential 
men in Athens succeeded in having the law that 
prohibited women from studying medicine revoked. ^ 

During the Middle Ages, especially in Mohammedan 
countries, there arose a class of women who became 
especially skilled in attending to the requirements of their 
own sex. Thus Albucasis of Cordova, one of the most 
able surgeons of the twelfth century, when operating on 

^ Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 468. 
2 Ibid., p. 469. 

' Bolton, "Early Practice of Medicine by Women," Popular 
Science Monthly, XVIII, pp. 192—193. 



women, always had women assistants. Avicenna the Great 
mentions a collyrium for eye troubles, which he says was 
compounded by a woman who had great knowledge of the 
science of medicine. Among the adherents of Islam, how- 
ever, the sentiment against the independence and equality 
of women is so strong that female gynecologists among 
the Arabs always were and still are few in number.^ 
In some stages of culture the social position of a medi- 
cine woman exhibits characteristic features. In Korea, for 
example, when a woman enters upon this work, she forsakes 
husband, children, parents and friends, and gives herself 
wholly to her calling. Although she is looked upon as an in- 
dispensable adjunct to society, she is thenceforth regarded 
as a pariah. 2 If a man marries such la person, it is only to 
gain an easy livelihood from the earnings of his wife, 
and his social standing is low. A shamaness of noble origin 
is permitted to deal exclusively with the spirits of her 
own house. At death, however, she is not buried in the 
family hut, but in a hole in the mountain side.^ Among 
the Tshi-speaking peoples, Ellis writes, "the social position 
of priestesses is peculiar in that they are not allowed to 
marry; they belong it is thought to the god they serve, 
and, therefore, cannot belong to any man. Yet custom 
allows them to gratify their passion with any man who 

may chance to take their fancy A priestess who is 

favorably impressed by a man sends for him to come to 
her house, and this command he is sure to obey, through 

' Bolton, "Early Practice of Medicine by Women," Popular 

Science Monthly, XVIII, pp. 192-193. 
2 Bishop, "Korea," p 410. ' Ibid., p. 425. 


fear of the consequences of exciting her anger. She then 
tells him that the god she serves has directed her to 
love him, and the man thereupon lives with her until she 
grows tired of him or a new object takes her fancy. Some 
priestesses have as many as half-a-dozen men in their train 
at one time, and may on great occasions be seen walking 
in state followed by them. Their life is one continual round 
of debauchery and sensuality, and when excited by the 
dance they frequently abandon themselves to the wildest 
excesses. Such a career of profligacy soon leaves its 
impress upon them, and their countenances are generally 
remarkable for an expression of the grossest sensuality." i 

So far as can be seen, it sometimes happens that the 
medicine woman is the equal of the medicine man in the 
manner of her making, in her social standing, in her func- 
tions, and in all other respects. In China, for example, De 
Groot says, priestesses "act as mediums for the spirits 
which have descended into them in consequence of con- 
juration, eye-opening papers, incense, drumming, cymbals, 
and music, and which give oracles by their mouths, unin- 
telligible but for interpretation by female experts. In such 
a state of possession the medium will hop and limp, sup- 
ported by a woman on either side, since her tightly com- 
pressed feet make her liable to tumble. Rattles suspended 
from her body indicate by increase or decrease of their noise 
the extent of her possession. So far there is not any 
essential difference between the work of such a woman 
and that of a possessed 'K i T 6 n g' or priest. The spirit 

1 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 121—122. 


which is called into her is mostly that of S a m K o / 'Third 
Aunt or Lady/ a mysterious being who is professedly one 
*Tsze-Ku,' or *Lady Tsze/ who, according to a valuable 
communication from the pen of Ch'en Kwah, was 
called and consulted in China many centuries ago." i 
Among the natives of Central Australia, the medicine 
women, while fewer in number than the shamans, seem 
on an equality in other regards. In the matter of initia- 
tion, for instance, the method of procedure is precisely 
the same in the case of women as in that of men.^ 

According to Powers, a priestess among the Indians of 
Southern California, like her male rival, before being conse- 
crated, has great hardships and trials to endure. For she 
must lie prostrate on the ground during nine successive 
nights, and throughout the entire period Can partake of 
nothing but water.^ 

In East Central Africa, the medicine woman combines 
with her functions of healing and prophecy the 
office of witch detective. MacDonald writes at 
length of her attributes: "She is the most terrible 
character met with in village life. It is to her the 
gods of ancestral spirits make known their will. This they 
do by direct appearance and in dreams and visions . . . 
When she sees the gods face to face, which always happens 
at the dead hour of. the night, she begins by raving and 
screaming. This she continues till the whole village is astir, 

1 De Groot, "Religious System of China," VI, pp. 1323-1324. 

2 Spencer and Gillen, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," p. 526. 

3 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contribut. North Am. Eth., Ill, 
pp. 67-68. 


and she herself utterly prostrated by her exertions. She 
then throws herself on the ground and remains in a state of 
catalepsy for some time, while the villagers gather round 
her awe-stricken, waiting for her revelations. At last she 
speaks, and her words are accepted without question as 
the oracles of God . . . She may order human sacrifices and 

no one will deny her victims As a detective of wizards 

and witches the prophetess is in constant demand. When 
travelling on official duty in this capacity, she goes accom- 
panied by a strong guard, and when she orders a meeting 
of the clan or tribe, attendance is compulsory on pain 
of confessed guilt. When all are assembled, our friend, 
who is clad with a scanty loin-cloth of leopard skin, 
and literally covered from head to foot with rattles and 
fantasies, rushes about among the crowd. She shouts, rants, 
and raves in the most frantic manner, after which, assum- 
ing a calm, judicial aspect, she goes from one to another, 
touching the hand of each person. As she touches the hand 
of the bewitcher, she starts back with a loud shriek and 
yells, 'This is he, the murderer; blood is in his hand.' I am 
not certain if the accused has a right to demand the M w a i 
[investigation by the elders of the tribe], but it appears 
this may be allowed. My impression is that the law does 
not require it, and that the verdict of the prophetess is 
absolute and final. The condemned man is put to death, 
witchcraft being a capital crime in all parts of Africa. 
But the accuser is not content with simply discovering the 
culprit. She proves his guilt. This she does by 'smelling 
out,' — finding — 'the horns' he used in the prosecution of 


the unlawrful art. Since she herself has secretly buried these, 
it is easy for her to find them. She follows the bank of a 
stream, carrying a water vessel and an ordinary hoe. 
At intervals she lifts water from the stream which she 
pours upon the ground and then stops to listen. She hears 
subterranean voices directing her to the hiding place of 
the wizard at which, when she arrives, she begins to 
dig with her hoe, muttering incantations the while, and 
there she finds the horns deposited near the stream to 
poison the water drunk by the person to be bewitched. 
As they are dug from the ground, should anyone not a 
magician touch them even accidentally, the result would be 
instant death. Now how does the witch detective find the 
horns? By the art of what devil does she hit upon the spot 
where they are concealed? The explanation is very simple. 
Wherever she is employed she must spend a night in the 
village before commencing operations. She does not retire 
like the other villagers, but wanders about the live-long 
night listening to spirit voices. If she sees a poor wight 
outside his house after the usual hour for retiring, she 
brings that up against him the next day as evidence of 
guilty intention, and that, either on his own account, or 
on account of his friend, the wizard, he meant to steal away 
and dig up the horns, which the prophetess has taken care 
to bury in her night wanderings. The dread of such dire 
consequences keeps the villagers within doors, leaving the 
sorceress the whole night to arrange for the tableau of the 
following day.'^i It would seem from the foregoing that in 
1 MacDonald, "East Central African Customs," J. A. I., XXII, pp.105-107. 


East Central Africa, the medicine woman has as much power 
over life and death, inspires as much fear, and, therefore, has 
as great a social position as the medicine man of other tribes. 

Among civilized nations, there are cases of women 
attaining notable surgical skill, and pursuing with success the 
art of healing on an equal footing with men. At Salernum, 
in the year 1059, for example, women were occupied in the 
preparation of cosmetics and drugs, and engaged in the 
practice of medicine among persons of both sexes. Some 
notable names are Costanza Calenda, the talented and 
beautiful daughter of a brilliant physician with whom she 
took studies leading to the doctorate ; Abella, author of two 
medical poems ; and Adelmota Maltraversa, Rebecca 
Guarna, and Marguerite of Naples, all of whom obtained 
royal authority to practice medicine.^ Among most 
peoples, however, man has insisted as a general thing 
on keeping woman out of the most important and lucrative 
positions, and it is only in recent years, and in the most 
advanced stages of civilization, that the "weaker vessel" 
is given an opportunity to demonstrate her fitness to 
engage in the practice of the profession on equal terms 
with her male counterpart. 

It is not uninteresting, however, to set forth that in 
primitive societies medicine women frequently exceed medi- 
cine men in importance. This is true of the Carib Tribes 
and of the Indians of Northern California. ^ The con- 
dition no doubt harks back to the Mother Family, when 

* Bolton, "Early Practice of Medicine by Women," Popular 

Science Monthly, XVIII, p. 195. 
^ Jour. Am. Folk Lore, Jan. 1908, p. 2. 


woman was the dominating factor of both the home and 
the society, and the chief reason for the existence of man 
was to do her bidding. In Korea, the female idea of the 
shamanate prevails to such an extent that the men who take 
up the profession wear female clothing while performing 
their duties, and the whole shaman class in spoken of as 
feminine. 1 This is also the case in Patagonia. ^ In Siberia, 
writes Sieroshevski, "Thes/rama/zesses have greater power 
than the shamans; in general, the feminine element plays a 
very prominent role in sorcery among the Yakuts. In the 
Kolmyck district the shamans for want of any special 
dress put on the dress of women. They wear their hair 
long and comb and braid it as women do. According to 
the popular belief, any shaman of more than ordinary 
power can give birth to children and even to animals and 
birds." 3 Among the Dyaks, says Henry Ling Roth, the 
"manang ball is a most ordinary character; he is a male 
in female costume ... He is treated in every respect like a 

woman and occupies himself with feminine pursuits If 

he can induce any foolish young man to visit him at night 
and sleep with him, his joy is extreme ; he sends him away 
at daylight with a handsome present, and then openly 
before the women boasts of his conquest, as he is pleased 
to call it. He takes good care that his husband finds it out. 
The husband makes quite a fuss about it, and pays the 
fine of the young fellow with pleasure. As episodes of 

» Bishop, "Korea," p. 409. 

2 Dixon, "Some Aspects of American Shamanism," Jour. 

Am. Folk Lore, Jan. 1908, p. 2. 
8 Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 

J. A. I , XXXI, p. 104. 


this kind tend to show how successfully the manang 
ball has imitated the character of a woman he is highly- 
gratified, and rises accordingly in the estimation of the 
tribe as a perfect specimen." ^ » 

SUMMARY. The position of shaman is not confined to 
members of the male sex. Women often succeed in 
attaining that desideratum. In all ages, among all peoples, 
and in all stages of culture, there have been female 
specialists in the science of gynecology, many having 
reached eminence in that branch of the medical 
profession. The making, the functions, and the con- 
secration of medicine women in general do not 
differ materially from the making, the functions, and 
the consecration of medicine men. In particular instances, 
however, men shamans, on the one hand, exorcise spirits 
and attend the bedside of male patients ; women shamans, 
on the other hand, propitiate spirits and minister to patients 
of their own sex. When medicine women combine the 
function of prophet with that of witch detective, they be- 
come objects of tremendous dread and fear to all persons 
in the tribe. As regards social position, that of the female 
shaman is sometimes so very low that for a woman to 
embrace the profession of medicine is tantamount to re- 
nouncing honorable marriage, or, if she be already married, 
to forsaking husband and children, and becoming an out- 
cast from society. In other instances, although they do not 
enjoy the same social privileges as male doctors, yet 

Roth,"Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 270. 


female practitioners move in a wider circle than do others 
of their sex, and occupy a place in the social group superior 
to that of ordinary women. In still other cases, medicine 
men and medicine women meet on terms of social equality; 
while it not infrequently happens that the female idea of 
the shamanate prevails to such an extent that the most 
powerful shamans are women, and in order to render them- 
selves more worthy in the eyes of their constituents 
medicine men attire themselves in female habiliments. 



In addition to his physical and mental peculiarities, real 
or feigned, to which attention has been directed, i the 
medicine man understands how to create between himself 
and his patrons other dissimilarities which enhance his 
influence and power. These differences are many and 
varied. He holds himself aloof from the other members \ 
of the tribe; he lives in a house different in structure 
from those of the common people; as a rule he does no 
laborious v/ork, but is supported by his fellows; he 
eats a special food; he paints his body, masks 
his face, and does many things which would be 
considered "sinful" for an ordinary individual to attempt. 
He is readily distinguishable from the laity by his taciturn- 
ity, his grave and solemn countenance, his dignified step, 
and his circumspection. All of these peculiarities tend to 
heighten his influence, and, by rendering his appearance 
impressive and suggestive of superiority, serve to increase 
his control over the people. 

Specific accounts, taken from reliable sources, of the 
dress, language, and manner of living of the medicine man 
will enable the reader to perceive what effect these arti- 

1 Vide pp. 32—55. 


ficial divergencies from the normal have upon the savage 
mind. Among the Andamanese Islanders, the native doctor 
has an especial diet — he eats no flesh, but partakes of a 
small plant that has the flavor of fish.i The shamans of 
the Loango Indians are permitted to drink water only at 
certain places and at certain hours of the day or night. 
They are not allowed to look at fish and beasts. Their food 
anddrinkconsistsof roots and herbs, and blood of animals. ^ 
In Victoria, the medicine man eats at unseasonable hours, 
sleeps while others are awake, and is awake when the 
other members of the tribe are asleep. He seldom hunts, 
or fishes, or does any kind of work. He makes strange 
noises in the night, wanders off in the darkness, seeks to 
frighten the people, and turns to advantage his peculiar 
manner of living.^ In some countries, priestly celibacy is a 
matter of law ; in all it is for many persons a godly practice.* 
Among the Dyaks of Borneo, the medicine man is given at 
his initiation anew generic name, and is thought to enter 
into a new rank of being.^ In ancient Mexico, the shaman 
was specially trained in such subjects as ''hymns and 
prayers, national traditions, religious doctrine, medicine, ex- 
orcism, music and dancing, mixing of colors, painting, draw- 
ing and ideographic signs, and phonetic hieroglyphs." ^ 
The priest class, furthermore, has developed a separate 
language. It goes without saying that chants containing 

' Bartels. "Med. NaturvQlker," p. 52. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

* Ratzel, "History of Mankind," lU, p. 528. 

5 Roth, "Natives of Sarawalc and British North Borneo," I, p. 283. 

6 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," I, p. 67. 


prayers and legends are in this esoteric dialect; frequently, 
too, the religious rites are conducted in a tongue not 
known to the worshippers. Thus the songs and incanta- 
tions of the Eskimo angakoks are couched in a special 
language, which is in part symbolic, and in part merely 
obsolete. 1 The Cherokee shamans, in order to preserve in- 
violate the secrecy of their sacred speech, keep their writ- 
ings from the eyes of laymen and of rival priests, and speak 
so softly in conducting ceremonies, that even those nearest 
them cannot distinguish the words. ^ Among the Dakotas, 
too, there is a sacred as well as a common tongue, and 
among the Ojibways, a special sacerdotal language is attain- 
ed through abbreviation of the ordinary speech.^ Among the 
Algonquins, the incantations of the priests of Powhatan 
were not in the vernacular, but in a jargon not understood 
by the laity.* In Sarawak and British North Borneo, 
according to Henry Ling Roth "the language used by the 
manangs in their incantations is unintelligible even to the 
Dyaks themselves, and is described by the uninitiated as 
^manang' gibberish. . . It may be simply some archaic form 
of the ordinary spoken language interspersed with cabalistic 
formulas, spells, and charms for different purposes.'* ^ 
"Special priests' languages," says Ratzel, "recur among the 
most different races of the earth." ^ This esoteric use of 


1 Boas, "Central Eskimo," Bur. Eth., VI, p. 594, 

2 Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees,' ' Bur. Eth.,1891 , p. 310, 
^ Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 464. 

Quoting Henry Youle Hind. 
* Beverly, "Histoire de la Virginie," p. 266. 
5 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 270. 
•^ Ratzel, "History of Mankind," I, p. 55. 


language survives with the priesthood of barbaric and 
even civilized peoples, as is illustrated in the Egyptian 
hieroglyphics and the Sanscrit. In both the Roman and 
Greek Catholic Churches, divine service is always 
conducted, not in the language of the people, but in an 
ancient, dignified, and sacred tongue. 

Anything that differentiates the medicine man from the 
commonalty serves to call attention to that individual above 
other persons in his group, and increases his influence. 
Among the Klamath Indians of Oregon, the skin of a fox 
dangles from an obliquely-placed stick on top of the house 
of the shaman. 1 In Western Borneo, before the house of the 
medicine man there are commonly heads of serpents 
fastened on the ends of two small branches of trees. ^ 
The houses of the medicine men of the Bechuanas in 
distinction from all others have carpets made from the 
skin of speckled hyenas. On these they hold their con- 
sultations. ^ The priest-doctors of the Annamites have in 
their houses at least two poorly constructed altars, one 
consecrated to the ancestors, the other to the superior 
deities of the tribe. The first altar is made of a dish, 
over which hangs a tablet with the name of the master of 
the state, and an inscription which changes with the year 
of the birth of the chief shaman. Before it are dishes with 
offerings of flowers and fruit; further off are rattles, a 
coal-basin, pipes, drums, torches, arrows, and flags. Behind 
the house is a pit representing hell, where the spirits 
of which the medicine man is possessed, throw their 
Bart els, "Med. NaturvSlker," p. 55. ^ HjH, 3 jbijj. 


adversaries.! Either in the house of the Persian doctor 
or in the bazaar next to it was a booth for the receiving 
of reports. The floor was decked with a felt or a reed mat. 
Near the wall stood a number of boxes, pitchers, and 
flasks, filled with electuaries, pills, and elixirs. 2 In the 
newly-built towns of our great Northwest, the house 
of the Roman Catholic priest is generally the most 
attractive dwelling to be seen. 

Among some tribes, as for example the natives of 
Australia and the North American Indians, the medicine 
bag is indispensable. The medicine man makes this of the 
skin of his totemic animal with the hair on the outside. 
He decorates the bag with feathers, beads, and porcupine 
quills. Inside he places bones, pebbles of quartz, and 
splinters, together with roots and herbs to which he 
attaches magical significance. ^ This bag is as inseparable 
from the medicine man as were the "saddle-bags" from 
the eighteenth century physician, and it acts as a sug- 
gestive influence. 

It is in his peculiar dress or professional costume that 
the medicine man finds his greatest adventitious aid. 
This is often strange and unaccountable. Among some 
tribes, every article has been devised and constructed 
in the wildest fancy imaginable, and is absurd in the 
highest degree. Vanity is one of the reasons for this un- 
usual apparel. Vanity, in fact, was the primary motive for 
the adoption of clothing or dress of any kind. A shell or 
an ornament attached to the most convenient parts of the 

1 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 56. ^ Ibid. 
3 Waddle, Am. Jour. Psychology, XX, p. 229. 


body, the waist or the neck, for others to see and admire, 
constituted the first article of clothing adopted by man. 
Wearing apparel afterwards came to be put on from a 
sense of shame (which is akin to vanity), and for 
protection against the cold.i The medicine man, as the 
idea and practice of dress advances in the "folkways," 
desires an attire different from the rabble, that he 
may be envied by those who have it not. Hence his 
robes of office. In addition to vanity is the striving 
after effect. What savage would fail to be impressed by the 
appearance of a man, different from all others in so many 
respects, in garments the like of which even the wildest 
imagination of the ordinary individual could not conceive? 
He would feel that he was in the presence of a superior 
being whose every movement throbbed with divinity, 
whose every look could wither, and whose every behest 
must be obeyed. Such is the hold which his peculiar 
dress assists the medicine man to acquire and retain upon 
his people. 

Ethnography abounds in descriptions of the regalia 
of the primitive doctor and his incentive to its adoption. 
According to Ellis, among the Ewe-speaking peoples, the 
shamans are distinguished from the commonalty by special 
dress and privileges. They generally wear articles of 
clothing forbidden to others, and commit crime with 
impunity. No shaman in former times was subject to capital 
punishment.2 In Dahomey, the priests wear a pecuUar dress, 

' Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," I, pp. 375 ff. 
2 Ellis, "Ewe-Speaking Peoples," p. 147. 


and make their persons appear odd and conspicuous. They 
shave one half of the hair from their heads, and allow the 
other half to grow in long tufts. ^ The head of the Buddhist 
priest is entirely shaven. The priest of Tibet is distinguish- 
ed by a striking red or yellow robe (varying according to his 
sect) and by his yellow helmet.^ Dress, too, was a 
conspicuous feature of the medicine men of our Indians, 
the shamans of the Creeks, for example, for all their 
sombre looks being garbed in gowns of brilliant shades.^ 
Bartram reported of the same people that their medicine 
men dressed in white robes, * and carried on their heads, as 
insignias of wisdom and divination, great white owl skins.* 
In the northern part of the land occupied by the Yakuts, all 
of the medicine men wear their hair long enough to fall 
down to their shoulders. They usually tie it into a tuft, 
or braid it into a queue. ^ Among the Atnatanas of Alaska, 
one can always detect a medicine man by his un- 
covered and uncut hair.^ In Africa, the fetich-man in order 
to impress the people with his superior powers, dresses 
himself in the most astonishing paraphernalia, and when 
called upon to officiate on public occasions makes as much 
display as possible in order to magnify his office.^ The 
dress of the priestesses of the Land Dyaks, says Henry 
Ling Roth, "is very gay, over their heads they throw 

1 Dowd, "The Negro Races," p. 247. 

2 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," III, p. 528. ^ ibid., II, p. 155. 
■* Bartram, "Travels in the Carolinas," p. 502. 

^ Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 

J. A. I., XXXI, p. 102. 

« Smithsonian Reports, 1886, Part One, p. 266. 

' Dowd, "The Negro Races," p. 248. 

* This contradiction may be explained by the difference of 

ceremonies in which these shamans officiated. 



a red cloth, on the top of which they place a cylindrical 
cap, worked in red, white, and black beads, and their short 
petticoats are fringed with hundreds of small, tinkling 
hawk-bells. Around their neck is hung a heavy bead neck- 
lace, consisting of five or six rows of black, red, and 
white opaque beads strongly bound together. In addition, 
they hang over their shoulders, belt-fashion, a string of 
teeth, large hawk-bells, and opaque beads." i Bourke de- 
scribes a medicine hat of an old bhnd shaman named 
Nan-ta-do-tash. It was made of buckskin, and was 
dirty from age and use. Upon the body of the hat 
were figures in pigment, some brownish yellow, 
and some a dingy blue, representing the spirits which 
aided the wearer. It was adorned with soft feathers, 
eagle plumes, bits of abalone shell and chalchihuitl, and 
it was surmounted by the rattle of a snake. The old man be- 
lieved the hat gave life and strength to him that wore it, 
enabling him to peer into the future, to tell who had stolen 
ponies from other people, to foresee the approach of an 
enemy, and to aid in the cure of the sick.^ in China, says 
De Gioot, the priest is wont to ''don a special vestment, 
while performing religious work. The principal article of 
his attire is a square sheet of silk representing the earth; 
for, according to the ancient philosophy, expressed in the 
writings of Liu Ngan, 'Heaven is round and earth is 
square.' The silk is worn as a gown with a round hole for 
the neck, an opening down the front, and no sleeves. The 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 250. 
2 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 589. 


back of it is heavily embroidered with gold thread in 
various designs. On it are shown a continent, towering 
with mountains and beaten by waves; the sun and moon, 
personated by a crow and a rabbit, their legendary in- 
habitants; animals symbolizing felicity, such as elephants, 
lions, unicorns, tigers, phoenixes, and dragons; and the 
flaming palaces of the God of Heaven and of the lesser 
divinities. At the front of the gown are ribbons em- 
broidered with gold to represent the parts of the universe. 
The garment is called by the priests the 'gown of Tao' 
or gown of the order of the Universe." The wearer of 
the gown "is invested by it with the power of the order 
of the world itself, and this enables him to restore 
that order whenever by means of sacrifices and magical 
ceremonies he is averting unseasonable and calamitous 
events, such as drought, untimely and superabundant rain- 
fall, or eclipses. Besides, since the Tao is the mightiest 
power against the daimon world, the vestment endows the 
wearer with irresistible: exorcising power." i Among the 
Tshi-speaking peoples, the dress of the representatives 
of heaven reflects a more primitive stage of culture. Thus 
ElHs says, "On the Gold Coast . . . priests and priest- 
esses are readily distinguishable from the rest of the com- 
munity. They wear their hair long and uncared for, while 
other people, exceptthe women in the towns on the sea- 
board, have it cut close to the head. They also wear 
around the neck a long string of alternate black and white 
beads, which descends nearly to the waist. They generally 
» De Groot, "Religious System of China," VI, pp. 1264-1266. 


carry with them a stick from three to four feet in length, 
to which about the middle are bound parallel to it 

three short sticks from three to four inches long. 

These latter and adjacent parts of the long stick are 
daubed with the yolk and albumen of eggs, with pieces 
of the shell adhering. Very commonly priests wear a 
white Unen cap which completely covers the hair, and a 
similar cap is worn by the priestesses, but only when they 
are about to communicate with a god. Frequently both 
appear with white circles painted round the eyes, or with 
various white devices, marks, or lines painted on the 
face, neck, shoulders, or arms. While ordinary people 
wear, when their means permit, clothes of the brightest 
colors and most tasteful patterns, the priesthood may prop- 
erly only wear plain clothes of a dull red-brown color, 
and which are so dyed with a preparation called abbin, 
made from the bark of the mangrove tree (abbin dwia), 
with which fishermen tan their nets. On holy days and 
festivals, however, they appear arrayed in white clothes, 
and on special days with their bodies covered from head to 
foot with white clay. The costume of a priest or priest- 
ess, when professionally engaged in the dance, consists of a 
short skirt reaching to the knee, and made in the interior 
districts of woven grass of addor, on the sea-coast of 
cotton print. At such times, too, they always carry in the 
hand a short brush made of reeds." i 

When exercising his function as healer, the medicine 
man invests himself with an attire which is calculated to act 

1 ElUs, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 123—124. 


as a suggestive influence upon the minds of his patients. As 
will be shown later,i suggestion is his most important 
method in the treatment of disease. The sick man is given 
the impression that the doctor dresses jn such a manner as 
to frighten away the disease daimon. The patient, be- 
lieving the words and in the treatment of his physician, 
often recovers, for "according to your faith so be it unto 
you." 2 <<The head dress of the Zulu witch doctor," as 
described by Ratzel, ''is covered with a tall official cap of 
plaited straw." In conformity ''to his dignity he is adorned 
with a carefully-tended beard, which reaches from his chin 
to his breast . . . Round his neck, as priestly adornment, 
hang strings of white coral, upon which the fetich" is 
thought to "descend during incantations. A silken sheet 
of gay colours, fantastically knotted and covered all over 
with charms, rolls down over the dress of the priest. 
In his hand he carries a wisp of rushes, ai fetich-whisk. 
This is here and there exchanged for the tail of a cow or 
buffalo, and is always regarded among fetich-men as the 
symbol of the priestly office. His naked feet are adorned 
with sandals of red leather, and his ankles with chains of 
coral ... A more peculiar impression cannot be conceived 
than is produced by the unexpected appearance of a 
ganga [shaman], rigged out in this way, dancing, singing, 
and ventriloquising." ^ The medicine man of the Black 
Feet Indian tribes, when exercising his art upon a sick 
person, arrayed himself in the most absurd oostume which 

1 Vide, pp. 217—222. 

2 St. Matthew, 9 : 29. 

' Ratzel, "History of Mankind," pp. 365-366. 


the mind of man ever conceived. For a coat he wore the 
skin of a yellow bear. The skin of the head was formed 
into a mask, which entirely hid the features of the en- 
chanter. On his person in addition to the skin of the 
yellow bear — an article exceedingly rare and, therefore, 
in itself a powerful medicine — were the skins of various 
wild animals which were also anomalies or deformities 
and hence, in the savage estimation, medicine. There 
were also skins of snakes, frogs, field mice, snails, the 
beaks and tails of birds, hoofs of deer, goats, and ante- 
lopes, in a word, the odds and ends, the fag ends 
and tips, of everything that swims, flies, or runs. In 
one hand he held a magic wand, in the other a fearful 
rattle which contained the arcana of his order. On com- 
ing into the lodge where a sick man lay, he shook the 
rattle and brandished the magic wand, to the clatter, din, 
and discord of which he added wild startHng jumps and 
Indian yells, and the horrid and appalling grunts, growls 
and snarls of the grizzly bear, calling on the bad daimon 
to leave the patient. It was necessary to see the dress of 
that medicine man before a person could form a just 
conception of his frightful appearance. There are some 
instances in which the exhausted patient unaccountably 
recovered under the application of those absurd forms.^ 
In civilized nations the priests and ministers of religion 
adopt, for the most part, various modes of apparel to typify 
their office and the function which they perform. Among 

^ Catlin, "North American Indians," I, pp. 39—40; Wood, "Natural 
History of Man," II, p. 680. 


A Blackfoot Medicine Man in Full Regalia. 

(After Catlin). See pp. 101-102. 


the Hebrews, the high priest had a peculiar dress which was 
passed on to his successor at his death. In some Christian 
churches, the stole, the surplice, the cope, the chasuble, 
and other vestments serve to differentiate priest from 
people, assist in rendering the service awe-inspiring and 
impressive, and suggest to the minds of devout worshippers 
holy, solemn, and sacred things. 

In every tribe and nation there is a tendency on 
the part of medicine men to form among themselves an 
intimate alliance. Human nature is the same the world 
over. Shamans desire to learn secrets and methods be- 
longing to others of their class, but at the same time 
they wish to prevent their secrets from being shared by 
outsiders. Hence an association is formed for the mutual 
benefit of the initiated, and for the exclusion of the 
uninitiated from all rights and privileges. It comes to 
pass, therefore, that society is made up of two classes — 
the *'Ins" and the "Outs;"i the "Wes" and the 
"Yous;" the profession and the laity. This class distinc- 
tion makes for the building up of the learned sect. If the 
priest class is the most favored in the nation, the young 
men will wish to avail themselves of the benefits and emolu- 
ments which issue from membership in the fraternity. The 
older medicine men, jealous of the credit of their proi- 
fession, are always busy pointing out those advantages to 
the youth, and endeavoring to induce them to become mem- 
bers. Individuals, therefore, in whose veins flows the best 
blood in the nation, being led by the desire to be enrolled 

1 Keller, "Societal Evolution," p. 123. 


within the ranks of the "Ins," often enter the sacred 
profession. Thus it oomes about that the shamanic 
brotherhood includes many members of the superior class. ^ 
Of the existence of secret societies made up entirely 
of medicine men, we have direct evidence. Such are the 
societies of the Korean pan-su [or shamans] who not 
only form guilds but even provide money for the erection 
of lodges in which they may meet.^ Among some Ameri- 
can Indian tribes, the mide had secret societies, which 
extended from the southern states to the northern pro- 
vinces. There were four degrees, each having an especial 
secret which was kept with great care. Only a few select 
shamans received the highest degree.^ Among the Tshi- 
speaking peoples, says Ellis, "the medicine men study 
sleight-of-hand, and, it is said, ventriloquism; while they 
have acquired a knowledge of the medicinal properties of 
various herbs which materially assist them in the mainten- 
ance of their imposture. All being united to deceive the 
people, they are careful to assist each other and to make 
known anything that may be generally useful. They send to 
one another information of what is taking place, what people 
are likely to come to seek their service, and for what purpose 
they contemplate coming. Sometimes a priest will inform an 
applicant that the god he serves refuses to accord the infor- 
mation or assistance required, and will recommend him to go 
to another priest, to whom in the meantime he has communi- 
cated every particular ; and on consulting this second priest 

1 Vide, p. 51. 

2 Bishop, "Korea," p. 402. 

3 Bartels, "Med. NaturvSlker," pp. 63—64. 


the applicant is astonished to find that he knows, without 
being told, the purpose for which he has come." ^ 

It might not be out of place at this point to discuss a 
phase of the subject concerning which frequent inquiry is 
made, namely, the proportion among primitive medicine men 
of quacks and frauds to those who are honest and sincere. 
Investigations indicate the fact that the ratio of the false to 
the true among the uncivilized is practically the same 
as among the civilized. There are black sheep in every 
fold. The condition is inevitable. "It must needs be that 
offences come." 2 Of the twelve original apostles one 
was a traitor. There are many insincere clergymen; there 
are many quack doctors; but in either case the greater 
number of clergymen and doctors are reliable and trust- 
worthy men. So, too, while medicine men are mistaken 
in that their major premise is wrong, most of them enter 
upon their profession in good faith, and, indeed, succeed in 
achieving ends which on the whole make for thte good of 
their society. The results of a wide range of reading are 
here given in substantiation of what has been said. 

The evidence as to the number of quacks may first 
be adduced. Among the Tshi-s peaking peoples, "the poss- 
essors of ehsuhman ... a sub-order of priests . . . are con- 
scious of their own imposture." ^ The same writer states, 
"There are some medicine men, who though conscious of 
their own fraud and of the mythical nature of the gods 
they themselves serve, still implicitly believe in the existence 

1 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaklng Peoples," p. 128. 

2 St. Matthew, 18 : 7. 

3 Ellis, "Tshi-Spealdng Peoples," p. 192. 


and power of other gods who are regarded as greater." i 
An investigator writes concerning her observation of the 
Head-hunters, "For fever, some of these native doctors 
have splendid medicine; but on the other hand many of 
them are awrful humbugs, and ascribe every kind of magical 
power to some absolutely rubbishy concoction, and charge 
accordingly/'^ in Tibet, "there are undoubtedly devout 
lamas, though the majority are idle and unholy." ^ In 
Queensland, there are sharp-witted individuals who arro- 
gate to themselves powers similar to thoge of the publicly- 
recognized medicine men. An authority states that "to 
differentiate between the truly qualified practitioners and 
the quacks is often no easy matter — and the difficulty 
is only increased when one bears in mind that the effects 
produced by either class of individuals are for all practical 
purposes identical." '^ 

According to Laflesche, among the Indians of North 
America, in contradistinction to good shamans "there 
was another kind of medicine man, who held no 
office of public trust, for he lacked one of the 
essential qualifications for such a responsibility, and that 
was truthfulness; he continually wandered in thought, 
word, and deed from the straight path of truth. He was 
shrewd, crafty, and devoid of scruples. The intelligent 
classes within the tribe held him in contempt, while the 
ignorant of the community feared him. His pretentions 

1 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," p. 147. 

2 Cator, "Everyday Life Among the Head-Hunters," p. 189. 

3 Bishop, "Among the Tibetans," p. 88. 

* Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland 
Ethnography Bulletin, Number 5, p. 31. 


enabled him to carry on successfully his profession 
of deception upon the simple. He was a 'Healer/ 
something similar to the healer known to the civilized 

folk now-a-days as 'divine.' He was a keen 

observer of nature and human nature, and he used his 
acumen solely to his own advantage. If he had possessed 
book learning in addition to what he gleaned from ex- 
perience, and lived in New York City or Chicago, he would 
not have failed of many followers. Or, he might have been 
useful in the Weather Bureau at Washington, for when 
he said it would rain, it did rain." ^ 

In proclaiming oracles the medicine man does not 
in every instance deliberately set himself to the task 
of imposing upon the people. He may often be an earnest 
man, so intensely possessed by the thought of a spirit 
speaking within him that in good faith he changes the 
tones of his voice to suit the spirit utterance. But spirit 
utterance there must be, and if the oracle refuses to 
speak voluntarily and spontaneously, the medicine man 
sometimes resorts to trickery and fraud to facilitate such 
utterance. In illustration of this point attention is directed 
to Bastian's "Der Mensch in der Geschichte," in which it is 
said that among the Congo people the medicine man is 
accustomed to use ventriloquism in proclaiming oracles.^ 
Ratzel writes, "Complete masters of this priestcraft 
are versed in animal magnetism, ventriloquism, and 
sleight-of-hand." 3 in these instances ventriloquism is not 

1 Laflesche, "Who was the Medicine Man?" Thirty-second 
Annual Report of the Fairmount Park Art Association, p. 12. 

2 Op. cit., II, p. 200. 3 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," II, p. 156. 


practiced unconsciously and in the belief that the gods 
are speaking through their anointed, but by artificial 
stimulation and with the premeditated purpose of deceiv- 
ing the people, and beguihng them into the belief that 
the will of the gods is thus being revealed. Abominable 
co'nduct such as this was no doubt responsible for some 
of the strong utterances of Bourke, as for example, "It will 
only be after we have thoroughly routed the medicine men 
from their intrenchments, and made them the objects 
of ridicule, that we can hope to bend and train the minds 
of our Indian wards in the direction of civilization. In my 
own opinion, the reduction of the medicine men will effect 
more for the savages than the giving of land in severalty, 
or the instruction in the schools at Carlisle or 
Hampton." i 

There would seem to be conclusive proof, on the 
other hand, that the greater number of medicine men are 
honest and sincere. Primitive doctors in the majority of cases 
are not consciously and utterly impostors. The shamans 
believe that they have spoken to the gods face to face, 
have heard their voice, and felt their presence. The faith 
of the priest is generally real, and cannot be shaken. 
And, "as one thinketh in his heart, soi is he."^ Among 
the Yakuts, says Sieroshevski, "some shamans are as 
passionately devoted to their calling as drunkards to drink. 
One had several times been condemned to punishment; his 
professional dress and drum had been burned, his hair had 

1 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 594. 

2 Proverbs, 23 : 7. 


been cut off, and he had been compelled to make a 
number of obeisances and to fast. He remarked, *We do 
not carry on this calling without paying for it. Our masters 
(the spirits] keep a zealous watch over us, and woe betide 
us afterwards if we do not satisfy them: but we cannot 
quit it; we cannot cease to practice shaman rites. Yet we 
do no evil!'"i Of the Eskimos, Boas writes, "Most of 
the angakoks believe in their performance, as by continued 
shouting and invoking they fall into ecstasy, and really 
imagine they accomplish flights and see spirits." 2 
Concerning the natives of West Africa, it is said, '4f 
you ask me frankly whether I think these African witch 
doctors believe in themselves, I think I must say, 'Yes;' 
or perhaps it would be better to say they believe in the 
theory by which they work, for of that there can be little 
doubt. I do not fancy they ever claim invincible power 
over disease; they do their best according to their lights. 
It would be difficult to see why they should doubt their 
own methods, because, remember, all their patients do not 
die ; the majority recover . . . Africans of the West Coast . . . 
are liable to many nervous disorders. In these nervous 
cases the bedside manners of the medicine man may be 
really useful." ^ Hoffman quotes an authority to the effect 
that the "dreamers" [a class of shamans among the 
Menomini Indians] "were evidently thoroughly, even 
fanatically, in earnest."* Among the Omahas, four 

^ Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 
J. A. I., XXXI, p. 102. 

2 Boas, '^ Central Eskimo," Bur. Eth., VI, p. 594. 

3 Kingsley, "West African Studies," pp. 217—218. 

* Hoffman, "The Menomini Indians," Bur. Eth, 1896, p. 160. 


demands were made of the one who *'was to deal with 
the mysteries enshrined in the rites and ceremonies of 
the tribe: First and foremost, was the recognition of the 
sanctity of human life. The man who was to mediate 
between the people and Wa-kon-da must stand before his 
tribesmen and the Great Spirit with hands unstained with 
the blood of his fellow man. Secondly, he must be a man 
whose words never deviate from the path of truth, for 
the Great Spirit manifests the value placed upon truth 
in the regular and orderly movements of the heavenly 
bodies, and in the ever-recurring day and night, summer 
and winter. Thirdly, he must be slow to anger, for the 
patience of the Great Spirit is shown in his forbearance 
with the waywardness of man. Fourthly, he must be 
deliberate and prudent of speech, lest by haste he should 
profane his trust through thoughtless utterance. The man 
thus chosen was true to the sacredness of his office." ^ 
Among the Land Dyaks, the shamanesses "are not neces- 
saril)^ impostors; they but practice the ways and recite 
the songs which they received from their predecessors, 
and the dignity and importance of the office enable them 
to enjoy some intervals of pleasurable excitement during 
their laborious lives," ^ Nanseri, in his "Eskimo Life," 
says, "The influence of these angakohs of course depended 
upon their adroitness ; but they do not seem to have been 
mere charlatans. It is probable that they themselves partly 
beheved in their own arts, and were convinced that they 

^ LaOesche, "Who was the Medicine Man?" Thirty-second 

Annual Report of the Fairmount Park Art Association, p. 9. 
2 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," p. 259. 


f^' r — 

sometimes received actual revelations." ^ That medicine 
men in the capacity of physician generally learn their pro- 
fession in good faith, and retain their belief until the 
last, is evidenced by the fact that when they fall ill or are 
in straits, they solicit assistance of others in the same pro- 
fession. 2 A case in point is the Dieyerie tribes of South 
America, whose shamans, when they are themselves sick, 
call in other medicine men to wait upon them."^ That would 
seem to show their sincerity. 

The medicine man, adverse criticism to the contrary 
notwithstanding, is not always and everywhere an un- 
principled, unmitigated knave. For though it cannot be 
denied that many a shaman preys upon the superstitions, 
gullibilities, and weaknesses of the ignorant, the savage 
doctor is nevertheless often useful in achieving results 
which at a primitive stage of culture might not be 
wrought in any other way. In sickness the people rely 
absolutely on his healing powers. According to^ Mooney, 
the Cherokee Indian trusts his medicine man as a child 
trusts a more intelligent doctor,^ In Australia, during 
sickness "the natives have implicit confidence in their 
medicine men, and in serious cases, two or three, if they be 
available, are called in consultation."^ Throughout the 
Malay Archipelago, and throughout America and Australia, 
the people place absolute reliance upon the shamans. ^ 

1 Op. cit., p. 282. 

2 Brinton, "Religion of Primitive Peoples," p. 58. 

3 Bartels, "Med- Naturvolker," p. 92. 

* Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of theCherokees,"Bur.Eth.,VII,p.323. 
^ Spencer and Gillen, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," p. 530. 
6 Bartels, "Med. NaturvGlker," p. 50. 


The methods used in the hour of sickness are 
well calculated to give a feeling of confidence; and the 
effect produced on the mind of the patient without doubt 
reacts favorably upon his physical organization. Sug- 
gestion is the great stock-in-trade of the savage doctor,^ 
and faith is the sine qua non on the part of the patient. 
The divination, magic, prayers, and hocus pocus of the 
medicine man all tend to inspire in the mind of the sick 
the greatest hope and expectancy for recovery. 

With the thought of shamanic sincerity in mind, 
instances of remarkable cures effected by aboriginal 
healers through suggestion or some other means 
may not be uninteresting. Mrs. Allison says of the 
Similkameen Indian medicine men, that aside from their 
mysteries they have "really valuable medicines. People 
apparently in the last stages of consumption have been 
cured by them." ^ Bartels, quoting Biittikofer, relates that 
in Liberia in certain sicknesses even white people have been 
cured by the medicine man, after the European doctors 
had confessed their inability to do anything for the 
patient. 3 Concerning the success of a medicine man 
among the Head-hunters it is related, *'We met a woman 
lately who had come from Freetown with a dreadful disease 
in her face, and our doctors could do nothing for her; and 
so her husband brought her right up here in the interior 

1 Vide pp. 217—222. 

2 S. S. Allison, "Similkameen Indians of Brit. Columbia," J. A. 
I., 1891, p. 311. 

3 Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 50. 


to one of these ^medicine men' to be cured 'country 
fashion* and she is getting better every day. Her suffering 
was intense, but now she has absolutely no pain, and is 
evidently on the high road to recovery." i The following 
account of a striking cure is taken from Hearne's 
Journal: "During our stay at Anaw'd Lake, as 
several of the Indians were sickly, the white doctors 
undertook to adminster reUef particularly to one 
man who had been hauled on a sledge by his brother 
for two months. His disorder was that of the dead palsy, 
which affected one side from the crown of his head to the 
sole of his foot. Besides this dreadful disorder, he had 
some inward complaints with a total loss of appetite, 
so that he was reduced to a mere skeleton, and so weak 
as scarcely to be capable of speaking. In this deplorable 
condition, he was laid in the center of a large conjuring- 
house, and that nothing might be wanting towards his 
recovery, the medicine man swallowed, or feigned to 
swallow a large piece of board about the size of a barrel 
stave. Then six of his co-workers, stripped naked, followed 
him into the conjuring house, where they soon began to 
blow, suck, sing and dance around the paralytic, and 
continued to do so for four nights and three days . . . and it 
was truly wonderful, though the strictest truth, that when 
the sick man was taken from the conjuring-house he 
had not only recovered his appetite to an amazing degree, 
but was able to move all the fingers and toes of the side 
that had been so long dead. In three weeks he had 
1 Cator, "Every day Life among the Head-Hunters," p. 189. 


recovered so far as to be capable of walking, and at the 
end of six weeks he went hunting with his family," ^ 
In view of such achievements how could savage doctors do 
otherwise than believe in the theory by which they work? 
One other aspect of the subject remains to be 
discussed in this chapter, and that is the social position 
of the medicine man. This depends upon the respect and 
fear which he is able to inspire by this attitude of 
aloofness and by the strength of personali!;y, as well as upon 
the popular belief in his influence and power with the 
gods. The conviction of his supernatural origin, the effect 
of his adventitious aids, his superior mental and moral 
qualities, in addition to the exhibition of truly wonderful 
powers, cause in the savage mind a feeling of 
veneration and awe which does not fail to assist in extend- 
ing the temporal and spiritual sway of the shaman over 
all classes throughout the land. By many individuals and 
peoples, therefore, his power is thought to be without 
limit, extending to the raising of the dead and the control 
of the laws of nature. ^ The Eskimo medicine men 
are clever, but they are also crafty. They proclaim 
their ability in no moderate terms. To speak with 
spirits, to travel to the underworld or the heavens, 
to invoke such mighty beings as the tornarssuk and 
obtain information from them — ^^all these tasks are 
thought to lie within their power to perform. ^ In 
Victoria, the native doctors maintain that they know all 

1 Hearne, "Voyage a l'0c6an Nord," I, pp. 333—336. 
^ Schoolcraft, "Information Respecting the Indian Tribes of the 
United States," V, p. 423. » Nansen, "Eskimo Life," p. 281. 


things over and under the earth. i Among the Indians 
of Southern California, it is believed that the shaman can 
command the elements, read the future, and change him- 
self into whatever form he wishes. ^ In the New Hebrides, 
the savage doctor was regarded with fear and veneration 
by the people; he could bring rain or drive it away, he 
could cause sickness or banish disease. The people be- 
lieved that he was able to make thunder and lightning and 
to cause hurricanes. It was also thought that he could 
make different kinds of food grow, and give or withhold 
fish from the sea.^ Among the Mexicans, the medicine man 
was credited with having the power to transform him- 
self into an animal.^ The natives of Victoria relate that a 
medicine man restored the "kidney-fat" of a patient, and so 
effected a cure after the white doctor had given the 
man over to die.^ The priest physicians of the Sea Dyaks 
try to heighten their prestige among gullible laymen by 
asserting after every event which takes place, that they 
knew of it beforehand. Even when a sick person seeks their 
help, they will say that they foresaw his attack.^ In Central 
Queensland, an authority writes, it was believed that "a 
medicine man could make an individual sick, even when he 
was miles away, and 'doom him,' so to speak. This 'doom- 
ing' meant being cut up into small pieces and put together 
again; the spear, or other visible cause, was not to blame — 

1 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 50. 2 ibid., p. 51. 

^ J. Laurie, "Aneityum," Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science, 1892, p. 711. 

* Mendieta, "Historia Eclesiastica Indiana," p. 109. 
s Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 50. 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, 
p. 267. (Note). 


it only completed the deed. . . When [a white man named] 
Petrie once chaffed the natives about one of their medicine 
man being locked up in a prison cell, and taunted them 
about his not being able to get out, he was informed that 
the prisoner only refrained from escaping through the 
key-hole, because he did not like to disappoint and insult 
his European captors; the blacks were quite satisfied that 
the individual in question could easily have secured his 
own liberty if he had wanted to." i In Central Australia, 
it is believed that medicine men can assume the form 
of eagle-hawks, and when thus disguised, travel long 
distances during the night, visiting the camps of other 
tribes, where they are responsible for much suffering and 
even death by their habit of digging their sharp claws 
into the sleepers. ^ Among the Tshi-speaking peoples, 
the shaman is considered able to work miracles. People 
go to him for information and assistance in almost 
every concern of life — to expose the thief, the slanderer, 
and the adulteress, to procure good luck or to avert mis- 
fortune, and to detect murderers. In their anxiety to secure 
his aid, men have been known to enslave themselves in order 
to obtain the requisite sum for the services of the doctor.^ 
The Mi-Wok of Southern CaHfornia declared that their 
medicine men could sit on the top of a mountain fifty miles 
away from the person whom they wished to destroy, and 
bring about his death by flipping poison towards him with 

* Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland, 

Ethnography, Bulletin, No. 5, p. 30. 
2 Spencer and Gillen, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," p. 533. 
8 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," p. 124. 


their finger-ends. ^ Miss Kingsley writes that the adherents 
of the West African Ju-ju priests believe those worthies 
capable of disguising "a person so that his own mother 
would not recognize him, this without the assistance of 
any make-up, but simply by their devilish science; they 
think that they could cause a tree on the banks of a river 
to bend its stem and imbibe water through its topmost 
branches; that they could change themselves into birds 
and fly away; and that they could make themselves in- 
visible before your eyes and so suddenly that you could 
not tell when they had done so." 2 i^ Northwest Queens- 
land, the power of the medicine man is held to be so great 
that the natives say, without him "the effects of the charm 
would be harmless, sickness and death would gradually 
disappear, and there would be a likelihood of the abo- 
riginals living forever." ^ The Algonquin tribes, and 
the Sacs and Foxes, thought the soul could not leave 
the body until released at the great annual feast by the 
efforts of the shaman.* According to the belief of some 
tribal groups, neither death, nor hell, nor the grave offers 
any escape from the omnipotent power of the medicine man. 
It is not difficult to understand that in any community 
a person wielding a power so enormous in its possibilities 
as does the shaman, must of necessity occupy a place of 
great prominence. The position of the medicine man in the 
societ}^ is, therefore, one of tremendous importance. He 

1 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contrib. North Am. Eth., Ill, p.354. 

2 Kingsley, "West African Studies," p. 499. 

^ Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland, 

Ethnography, Bulletin No. 5, p. 30. 
* J. M. Stanley, Smithsonian Contributions, II, p. 38. 


must be treated with reverence, and his wishes consulted, 
lest in anger he consume the recalcitrants. No in- 
dividual is honored in any social aggregation unless 
he commands respect. When a herd of steers re- 
ceives an additional member, the new comer must 
at once lock horns with the leader. If he is successful in 
the conflict, he is treated with such deference that he 
becomes the corypheus of the herd. If, on the other 
hand, he is worsted in the combat, he must contest with 
a less and less able antagonist, until at length the "water 
finds its level." When a "tenderfoot" arrives at the scene 
of his future "cow punching," his first task is to meet 
the bully of the crowd in physical encounter. In case he 
proves superior to his antagonist, he is respected by the 
"gang" and his status is assured. But if he goes down 
in the struggle, he must deal with a successively weaker 
foe until he finds his stratum. In primitive society the 
medicine man, even though sometimes a dwarf, is 
respected because the weapons of his warfare for the 
most part are not carnal but spiritual. He has a great 
advantage, therefore, in combat because to the mind of 
the savage a spirit is the most terrible foe imaginable. 
It is asserted, for example, that among the tribes of Siberia 
and the Dyaks of Borneo, the non-sacerdotal physician is 
far less esteemed than the shaman, who depends upon 
the possession of mysterious powers which give him 
control over daimons.^ Concerning the standing of the 
shaman in West Africa Miss Kingsley says, "The medicine 
1 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 271. 


man is known to possess witch power, and knowledge of 
how to employ it; but instead of this making him an object 
of aversion to his fellow men, it secures for him esteem 
and honor, and the more terrifically powerful his person is 
known to be, the more respect he gains." ^ According to 
Bartels, the position of the shaman among all savage tribes 
is especially honorable and dignified. By the Dakotas he 
was treated with veneration and provided with the best 
things in the land.^ ''On the TuUy River," says an 
authority, "the medicine men are respected, and the other 
blacks will not play any tricks or larks on them, as they 
often do with others in the camp." ^ 

Not only does the mystical influence of the shaman 
secure for him the respect of his people, but it also 
inspires them with fear of his dreaded person, of his ill will, 
and of his anger. Nansen says of the Eskimos, "By reason 
of their connexion with the supernatural world, the most 
esteemed angakoks have considerable authority over their 
countrymen, who are afraid of the evil results which may 
follow any act of disobedience."* The dread which the 
medicine man excites among the Thlinkeets can easily be 
imagined when it is known that in their land the supreme 
feat of the power of a conjuror is to throw one of his 
liege spirits into the body of a person who refuses to be- 
Ueve in his might, "upon which the possessed is taken with 

1 Kingsley, "West African Studies," p. 212. 

2 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 49. 

^ Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland, 

Ethnography, Bulletin No. 5, p. 30. 
* Nansen, "Eskimo Life," p. 283. 


swooning and fits." ^ Among the Andamanese the 
oko'paiad must be propitiated with frequent, handsome 
gifts, lest they visit those at whom they are angry 
with disease and even death. ^ 

In addition to his alleged intimacy with the gods, 
the medicine man of some tribes does not hesitate in 
cases of incorrigibility to employ another expedient, 
which never fails to smite terror into the heart 
of both friend and foe. This may be called his 
detective function. ^ Savage peoples cannot conceive of bad 
luck, sickness, and death apart from agency.^ The agents 
may be visible or invisible. In either case the question 
arises: Who prevailed upon the spirits to despoil the 
crops or slay the cattle? Who caused the daimon to enter 
into the patient and bring about his sickness and death? 
For "proper" answers those questions are always submitted 
to the specialist of the imaginary environment. Then woe 
unto those unfortunate individuals against whom the 
medicine man entertains a grudge; for upon them will 
fall the accusation of witchcraft, which is usually followed 
by death. 5 This detective function gives the medicine 
man an opportunity to gratify his private malice, to punish 
the recreant, to whip with perfect safety the disobedient into 
line, and at the same time to intensify to a superlative 
degree the dread with which popular superstition 
enshrouds his own person. In order to show the truth 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, p. 339. 

2 J. A. L, XI, p. 289. 

3 Vide pp. 84-87. 

* Vide, pp. 4—5; 14; 167. 

5 Kingsley, " Travels in West Africa," p. 463. 


of what has just been said the following examples arc pre- 
sented. Spencer and Gillen write concerning the Central 
Australians, "No such a thing as natural death is realized 
by the natives. A man who dies has of necessity 
been killed by some other man or woman, and sooner 
or later some one will be accused by the medicine 
man, his life thereby being forfeited." ''Sometimes 
when a man is dying, he will whisper in the ear 
of the medicine man the name of the qulprit, but even if 
he does not do so, the medicine man will often state as 
soon as death has taken place, the direction in which the 
culprit lives and very probably the group to which he be- 
longs. It may be perhaps two or three years before he dis- 
covers the actual man, but sooner or later he does so." ^ It 
is needless to point out what a potent element this custom 
has been in cowing the masses. In some of parts Africa, 
the medicine man may "mark" the person who is causing 
the sickness, and commonly the "marked" individual is put 
to death as a sacrifice.^ In Central Africa, a stranger as 
well as a member of the tribe may be accused of causing 
a sudden death, and in such cases the medicine man has 
the right both to judge and to order his victim to speedy 
execution. 3 Among the Tshi-speaking peoples, the priests 
"are frequently employed to procure the death of 
persons who have injured or offended the applicants. 
It is not supposed, however, that the priests have 
this power of themselves, but rather that, being 

^ Spencer and Gillen, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," pp. 48 

and 533. - J. A. I., XXII, p. 104. 
3 Ibid. 


in high favor with the gods, they are able to 
induce them to adopt their quarrels." i The persons 
against whom the priests exert their powers sometimes 
really die, and in such coincidences the power of the 
servants of the gods is greatly enhanced. When the 
doomed individual does not die from disease or accident, 

"if the priest be sufficiently interested in the case he 

causes poison to be administered to the man 'pointed out' . . 
He is careful not to let the applicant know what means 
he has used to procure the desired end, and the latter attri- 
butes the death of his enemy solely to the hocus pocus of 
the priest . . . Although a priest who may thus use his 
influence with a god to destroy life does not appear to be 
held blameworthy, the applicant who carries out the in- 
structions of the priest, and who is thus believed to have 
caused the death is, if discovered, himself put to death ; and, 
as it is supposed that the members of his family have been 
privy to his proceedings, even if they did not instigate the 
crime, or aid and abet the murderer, they are sold as slaves 
except in extreme cases, when they are put to 

death How do savage peoples discover the procurer 

of the death of another? Through the priest. He does 
not betray a man who has made application to him ; such a 
course would be fatal to his own interests. But if some 
one has not shown him the proper reverence, that is the 
individual whom he indicates as the guilty person. Thus 
many innocent men and women are made to suffer, and 
the priest can gratify his private malice with impunity." ^ 
1 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 142—146. ^ ibid. 


It is to the advantage, therefore, of every tribal 
member to ingratiate himself with the medicine man. If 
there be a person who can so influence the spirits that they 
will do his behest, it is obvious that everybody will want 
to make friends with him. Even if he has no mystical 
power, if by using his detective function he can throw the 
blame of evil fortune on the insubordinate, every person 
in the group will dread him to the extent of showing him 
respect, reverence, and even worship. All will fear to 
offend him lest he use the weight of his tremendous power 
against them. Thus we are told that among the Papuans, 
the common people live in great terror of the wizard. 
Remnants of food are carefully collected after a meal 
and buried or burned lest he get possession of them and 
so exercise his supposed power of sorcery.^ The men of 
Victoria fear to touch the medicine man and, therefore, 
yield to all his demands ; the women quake before him 
because they believe him able to rob them of their "kidney- 
fat." A greater reason for these women to fear a shaman 
is the belief that he is able to make them unfruitful and to 
kill their children. ^ In some districts "everyone fails down 
before the medicine man with face to the ground; he 
commands and all obey in terror lest he should smite 

them to the earth Children have fallen into convulsions, 

women have dropped dead in the forest from coming upon 
him unawares." 3 The Sahaptain Indians frequently die 

1 S. Ella, "Samoa" Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science, 1892, p. 638. 

2 Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 51. 

8 Lehmann, " Aberglaube und Zauberei," p. 19; Reclus, "Primitive 
Folk," p. 235. 


from fright on beholding the evil eye of the shaman, and 
the Wascow Indians believe that death is certain when he 
casts his terrible glance at any person. i Among the Yakuts, 
says Sieroshevski, shamans and shamanesses are buried 
without "ecclesiastical ceremonies in grave or forest. On a 
tree near the grave they hang up the paraphernalia of the 
deceased. Such persons are buried with great haste by 
night, or in the evening, and the places where they are 
buried are always carefully avoided." ^ Among some 
peoples, when a man becomes obsessed with the idea that 
the awful eye of the medicine man has been fixed upon 
him, he often sickens, wastes away, refuses food, and dies 
of hunger and melancholia.^ 

The special regard and fear aroused by the medicine 
man unite in making for him a unique place in the tribal 
group. In some instances he enjoys special immunity from 
punishment, no matter how great the offence. Connolly 
relates an illustrative incident which occured in Fanti- 
Land. The account reads as follows: "A certain Kvva- 
mina Dorko was at enmity with two friends named 
Kujo Atta and Kweku Dyen, and to take revenge 
on them applied to a fetich-priest named Kofi Paka 
to inflict some injury on the two friends. At the 
inquiry, the fetich-priest . . . made a very free confession 
of his part in the matter and seemed desirous to impress 
the natives with a consciousness of his skill. He on 
payment of twenty-eight shillings, a present of rum and 

* Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," pp. 51 and 57. 

2 Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski 
J. A. I., XXXI, p. 99. 

3 Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 51. 


Another Device of the Medicine Man 
for Frightening Daimons. 


fowls, went with Kwamina Dorko to a path near the town 
where Kiijo Atta and Kweku Dyen lived, dug a hole in the 
pathway, and laid therein a large red crab, with cowries 
tied to it, and sprinkled rum over it. The invocation he 
made, which he. repeated at the inquiry, was, 'O crab- 
fetich, when Kiijo Atta and Kweku Dyen walk over you, 
may you take life from them,' that is to say, power, 
strength, health, or vitality. As soon as this became known, 
Kiijo Atta and Kweku Dyen dug up the crab-fetich, and 
in their anger, nearly took the life out of Kwamina Dorko 
and some of his friends. In their defence, the crab-fetich 
was produced in court as quite a sufficient provocation 
for any assault. It is remarkable that no violence was 
offered to the fetich-priest, and that he came as willingly to 
give evidence to prove the malice of Kwamina Dorko as he 
went to gratify that malice by 'making fetich' against the 
others." ^ 

The medicine man is naturally keen in turning to 
advantage the unusual esteem and privileges which come 
to him by virtue of his office. Among the Sioux he was 
the most powerful and influential man in the tribe. ^ The 
shaman of the Fuegians excels the laymen in cunning 
and deceit, and, therefore, in influence. ^ In Australia, too, 
the most influential person in any social group is the 
medicine man.^ According to Catlin, among the tribes of 
his acquaintance, the medicine man had a seat in all the 
councils of war, he was regularly consulted before any public 

1 Connolly, "Social Life in Fanti-Land," J. A. L, XXVI, p. 151. 

2 Minnesota Historical Collections, Vol. 1, p. 269. 
^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," p. 339. 

* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 49. 


step was taken, and the greatest respect was paid to his 
opinion.! Spencer says that ^'though the Tasmanians 
were free from the despotism of rulers, they were swayed 
by the counsels, governed by the arts, or terrified by the 
fears of certain wise men or doctors. These could not 
only mitigate suffering, but inflict it."^ The medicine 
man of the Abipones taught his people "'the place, time 
and manner proper for attacking wild beasts or the enemy. 
On an approaching combat, he rode round the ranks, 
striking the air with a palm bough, and with a fierce 
countenance, threatening eyes, and affected gesticulations, 
imprecated evil on all enemies.'" ^ Among the primitive 
Germans, '"the maintenance of discipHne in the field as in 
the council was left in great measure to the priests: they 
took the auguries and gave the signal for the onset, they 
alone had power to visit with legal punishment, to bind 
or to beat.'" * 

An interesting monograph could be written on "The 
Parasites of Human Society." Parasites are those who live 
at the expense of others. They exist among insects. The 
bee family consists of the queen, the workers, and the 
drones. The workers are always busy extracting nectar 
from plant and flower, making it into honey for 
present use, and storing the manufactured product 
against the day of need. The drones make no contri- 
bution to the common store. They do not even earn their 
own living, but are sustained by the workers. They are para- 

^ Catlin, "North American Indians," I, p. 41. 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, p. 339. 

3 Ibid., Ill, p. Ill, Quotincr Dobrizhoffer's "Account of the 
Abipones," II, p. 76. * Ibid., III. p. 112, Quoting Stubbs' 
"Constitutional History of England," I, p. 34, 


sites. 1 Human society has always had its parasites. As far 
back as the reach of knowledge extends, it is found that 
there have been individuals who lived at the expense of 
others. The productive class, by labor, intellectual or manual, 
procure the means of subsistence. The parasitic class have 
no share in the supplying of , material needs, but are 
furnished by the working class with the means of livelihood. 
In some regards the medicine man is a human parasite. 
He and his fellows make up a class which is non-productive 
of material goods. Their necessities and even luxuries are 
provided by those who toil. Their non-participation in the 
competition for life, their superabundance of leisure time, 
and the wide range of pleasure available to them are made 
possible at the expense of "the forgotten man." 
To take a few cases in point, it is said that 
among the aborigines of Victoria the medicine men 
do not hunt, fish, or do any kind of labor. They expect 
gifts from their people, and, in fact, prey on the super- 
stitions of their tribal companions. By their wits and 
cunning, they preserve an ascendency over their supporters, 
and live on the profits of their crafty practices.^ 
In Dahomey "when a man is once admitted into the 
ranks of the fetiches, his subsistence is provided for, 
whether he be one of the 'regulars,' who have no other 
calling, and who live entirely upon the presents which they 
obtain from those who consult them, or whether he retains 
some secular trade and only acts the fetich-man when the fit 
happens to come on him." ^ Among the Atnatanas of 

1 Maeterlink, "The Life of the Bee," pp. 246 ff. ^ Brough 
Smith, "Aborigines of Victoria," p. 467. ^ Wood," Natural Hist, 
of Man," I, p. 656. 


Alaska, the shamans are merely primitive priests and 
prophets, they produce nothing. i 

But despite the strong convictions of many persons 
as to the balefulness of the medicine man, and despite 
his imposition upon society in the capacity of parasite, 
his influence has not been wholly for bad. He has, 
indeed, given to society more than he has received, and 
has rendered a social service unique in its significance. 
Even the parasite has its place. Among bees, were it not 
for the drones, the society would perish. The medicine man 
and his associates, supplied by other classes with bodily 
sustenance, constitute a leisure class. ^ Without a leisure 
class it would seem impossible among savage as well as 
among civilized peoples for any intellectual progress or 
culture to be attained. For the leisure class the struggle for 
existence is eliminated. Their physical wants being supplied 
by the "toiling millions," they have necessarily a large 
surplus of mental energy which must be expended, and 
a large amount of time which must be consumed. That this 
time and energy has not been wasted we have direct 
evidence. The priests of New Zealand, for exajnple, turned 
to account their leisure time by acquiring skill in wood- 
carving and other arts.^ Among the Mexicans and 
Peruvians, the shamans "learned how to mix colors, to 
paint, to draw hieroglyphics, to practice medicine, music, 
and also astrology, and the reckoning of time."* Under 

1 Smithsonian Report, 1886, Part, I, p. 266. 

2 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 184. 

3 Wood, "Natural History of Man," II. p. 178. 

4 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," II, p. 155. 


primitive conditions the intellectual force of the group 
centers chiefly in the priest class. The medicine men 
hence become the depositaries of the tribal legends. In 
many cases they not only are the sole members of the tribe 
who are acquainted with its history, but are careful to 
keep this history secret so that they amaze with their 
knowledge those who come to consult them.i Since the 
medicine men are the preservers of the legends and 
traditions of the tribe, and of the art of writing, they 
either actively or passively become teachers of tribal lore 
and wisdom to the younger generation. In Mexico, in 
Oceania, and in Central California, the shamans gave 
long and careful instruction, physical, mental, and moral, 
to the boys and young men of their respective peoples. ^ 
The observation of the heavenly bodies, the adjustment of 
the calendar, and the pseudo-science of astrology are 
indebted for their beginnings to the regulation by the 
priest class of reUgious festivals. From the study and 
practice of astrology came the real science of astronomy. 
That the astronomers of ancient Egypt and Chaldea were 
priests, and that the study of the science of astronomy, 
in which considerable advance was made by those peoples, 
was due to the existence of a hierarchy wholly exempt 
from the struggle for existence, is estabUshed by the fact 
that the results of that study were employed in religious 
ceremonies. In ancient China a tribunal of mathematicians, 
which prepared a calendar of eclipses and made calcula- 

^ Ratzel, "History of Mankind," I, p. 55. 
2 Jour. Am. Folk Lore, Jan. 1908, p. 10. 



tions cf the movements of heavenly bodies, v^as supervised 
by the priesthood. i Hence, in the last analysis, science had 
its origin v^ith this parasitic body of men. 

SUMMARY. This chapter has served a threefold purpose. 
It was shown in the first place, that distinctiveness in diet, 
dwelHng, dress, language, and organization has the effect 
of intensifying the dissimilarities between the medicine man 
and his people, and so of increasing popular esteem 
for the representative of the gods. The interesting 
question of the sincerity of the shaman was next 
discussed. And while many cases of flagrant imposture 
were found, yet the conclusion was reached that quackery 
and charlatanism are no more prevalent in primitive than 
in civihzed societies. The many remarkable cases of heal- 
ing, indeed, which must be set down to the credit of the 
medicine man, together with his extraordinary societal ^ 
control, indicate that it would be difficult for primitive 
society to survive apart from his activity. This led, in the 
third place, to a consideration of the social status of the 
medicine man. Owing to the respect, reverence, awe, and 
fear inspired by his attitude of superiority, by his so-called 
detective function, and by his supposed influence and 
relationship with the divinities, the social standing of the 
representative of the gods was found to be very high. He is 
the most influential man of primitive times. As to the use 
which he makes of his possibilities for good or evil, it was 

1 Dealey and Ward, "Sociology," pp. 280-281. 

^ Societal = of society. Synonymous with "social." 


learned to be beyond controversy that the medicine man to 
some extent has been a reactionary influence in society. 
But that is not surprising. Since any man or institution 
possessing capacity for great good possesses also 
capacity for great evil, it is inevitable that this 
important personage should at times cast the weight of 
his influence in the wrong direction. On the whole, 
the priest class, however, has been of inestimable benefit 
to mankind, for otherwise societies which harbored the 
institution must of necessity have given place to other 
groups not thus trammelled and hindered. 




Having considered the means by which the medicine 
man attains and retains his position, his belief in his own 
methods, and his social status, inquiry may next be 
made into the functions of this most important element 
of primitive life. From his capacity of mediator between 
gods and men, those activities are necessarily complex, 
developing along the various lines in which he may be of 
service to his social group. Though in barbaric just as in 
civilized culture there is frequent specialization, as a result 
of which each function of the medicine man is exercised by 
a different person, in primitive society the shaman combines 
in himself the offices of sorcerer, diviner, rain-maker, 
educator, prophet, priest, and king. In the discussion of the 
social standing of the exponent of the gods some allusion 
was made to his professional functions, but for the sake 
^f completeness, this subject must now be taken up in 

Among the Indians of this country, says Laflesche, 
"the entire life of the medicine man, both pubHc and 
private, was devoted to his calling. His solitary fasts vv ere 
frequent, and his mind was apt to be occupied in contem- 
plating the supernatural. His public duties were many 
and often onerous. His services were needed when children 
were dedicated to the Great Spirit; he must conduct the 


installation of chiefs; when dangers threatened, he must 
call these leaders to the council of war; and he was the one 
to confer upon the warrior military honors; the appoint- 
ment of officers to enforce order during- the buffalo hunt ^ 
was his duty; and he it was who must designate the time 
for the planting of the maize. Apart from the tribal rites, 
he officiated at ceremonials which more directly concerned 
the individual; as on the introduction to the cosmos of 
a newly born babe." i 

In view of his social prominence, it is not surprising 
that this personage makes use of his power to elevate 
himself to the highest position in the land — that of chief. 
Why should he not do so? It is characteristic of human 
nature to acquire all that can be obtained ; and the medicine 
man is no exception to this rule. In Liberia, therefore, he 
is the leading counsellor and reigning chief in war and 
peace. 2 Among the Australians, the gomera [medicine 
man] commands and is obeyed. He is master of all the 
people of the group to which he belongs. He is wizard and 
headman combined. 3 In Madagascar, the king is the high 
priest of the realm.* The kings of Mangia were the priests 
of Rongo.5 The chief in Tauna, according to Turner, was 
also the high priest of the tribe. ^ Among the Sea Dyaks, 
the medicine men yielded precedence only to the chiefs, 
and frequently one man would combine the two offices. 

' Laflesche, "Who was the Medicine Man?" Thirty-second Annual 

Report of the Fairmount Park Art Association, p. 10- 
- Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 49. 

^ Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 43. 
4 Ellis, "History of Madagascar," I, p. 359. 
■• Gill, " Myths and Songs from the South Pacific," pp. 298—294. 
'' Turner, "Nineteen Years in Polynesia," p. 88. 


The only requisite for obtaining that dual power was 
popularity, and the foundation of popularity was skill 
in interpreting dreams and in expelling spirits. ^^ In New 
Zealand, the priest was generally at the same time chief 
of his tribe, 2 Among the Amazulu, says Spencer, "a 
chief practices magic on another chief before fighting with 
him, and his followers have great confidence in him if he 
has much repute as a magician." ^' Among the Dakotas, 
the chief who led the party to war was always a medicine 
man. It was believed that he had the power to guide the 
party to success and to save it from defeat.* In Humphrey's 
Island, the king and high priest were one and the same 
person.'' Spencer quotes Bishop Colensa to the effect 
that the sway of Langalibalele, an African ruler, was 
due to his knowing the composition of the intelezi 
(used for controlling the weather), together with the fact 
that he was doctor.^ Among the Incas, the functions of war 
chief and high priest were blended.^ The priests of the 
Chinooks and of the Bolivian Indians were also chiefs.^ 
Hitzilopochtil, the founder of the Mexican power, is re- 
puted to have been a great wizard and a sorcerer. 9 Odin, 
the Scandinavian chief, and Niort and Frey, who suc- 
ceeded him in power, appear in the Heims-Kringla saga 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 265. 

2 Thompson, "The Story of New Zealand," I, p. 114. 

^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, p. 339. 

'' Schoolcraft, "Information Respecting the Indian Tribes of the 

United States," IV, p. 495. 
^ Turner, "Samoa, A Hundred Years and Long Before," p. 278. 
" Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, p. 339. 
' Ratzel, "History of Mankind," II, p. 203. 
s Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 56. 
^ Ibid., II, p. 340. 


to have been medicine men.i "In Peru, the Inca power 
was in some degree a theocracy, in which the priest-king, 
once presumably elective, had become virtually a hered- 
itary ruler at once head of church and state, claiming 
divine origin and receiving divine honors." ^ 

The last statement leads to the assertion that 
the medicine man in some cases exercises not only 
kingly power, but pretends divinity. On the prin- 
ciple of "get all you can," that is to be expected. 
The shaman "goes from strength to strength." He 
uses his power to make himself greater and greater 
in the eyes of the people. According to Bourke, when an 
Apache medicine man is in full regalia, he is no longer 
a man, but becomes, or tries to become in the eyes of his 
followers the power for which he stands.'^ In Loango, the 
shaman is also king. The people ascribe to him divinity, 
and think that he can control the elements.^ In Southern 
India, the advice of the medicine man is sought on every 
occasion, trivial or important, and he is worshipped as 
though he were a god.^ Among the Polynesians, the 
priests were called "god-boxes" — usually abbreviated 
to "gods," — that is to say, living embodiments of the 
gods.*^ So it is that superstitious dread of his magic power, 
of his alliance with the spirits, and of his innate or acquired 
capacity for states of ecstasy, augmented by that credulity 

' Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, p. 340. 

2 Jour. Am Folk Lore, Jan. 1908, p. 11. 

3 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 581. 

* Astley, "New General Collections of Voyages and Travels," 

III, p. 223. 
^ J. A. Society of Bombay, I, p. 102. 
'' Gill, "Myths and Songs from the South Pacific," p. 35. 


which leads to respect and reverence for the capable 
individual, raises the medicine man in the eyes of his 
adherents to heights of might and power which terminate 
finally in his claims to to be a god. 

In all nations and in all ages there have been indi- 
viduals sensitive to atmospheric changes and, therefore, 
able to make accurate forecasts of the weather. It is 
asserted that animals of every kind — pigs, fish, dogs, 
grouse, sheep and the like, — can perceive these changes. 
Mr. C. W. G. St. John, who is said to be an accurate 
observer of animal life, contends that there are few animals 
which do not afford timely and accurate prognostications 
of atmospheric disturbances. i In man, however, this 
meteorological sense is not universal. Civilized peoples, 
indeed, for the most part have become insensible to the elec- 
tric, barometric, thermometric, hygrometric, and magnetic 
conditions which announce in advance these atmospheric 
changes. But at the present stage of culture there are 
occasionally individuals sensitive especially to the approach 
of storms. This sensibility may be felt in various ways — 
through vague pains, a sense of oppression, general dis- 
comfort, or heaviness in the head. Thus persons afflicted 
with rheumatism often before a storm experience pains in 
the joints with almost barometric certainty. Or a snow storm 
may be preceded by nervous irritability, derangement of 
the stomach, and general depression. ^ Among savage 
peoples this prognosticating ability is regarded as a gift of 

' St. John, "Short Sketches of the Wild Sports and History of 

the Highlands," Chapter 33. 
- Reference lost. 


the gods. The medicine man uses the faculty to increase his 
power. It is not difficult to understand that in primitive 
societies, the man who has the gift of foretelling the 
approach of storm and calm, fair weather and foul, comes 
to be regarded as possessing supernatural power. 

Not only can many medicine men make forecasts 
of the weather, but they have the power of pre- 
dicting other events with a skill, and accuracy which 
Tifipfess civilized folk. Among the Kelta of Southern 
California, Powers writes, "the shamans profess to be 
spiritualists, not merely having visions in dreams, 
which is common to these Indians, but pretending to hold 
in their waking hours converse with spirits by clairvoyance. 
An instance is related of a certain Indian who had 
murdered Mr. Stockton, an Indian agent, besides three 
other persons at various times, and was a hunted 
fugitive. The matter created much excitement and specu- 
lation among the tattle-loving Indians, and one day a Kelta 
shaman cried out suddenly that he saw the murderer at 
that moment with his spiritual eyes. He described minutely 
the place where he was concealed, told how long he 
had been there, and many other details. Subsequent events 
revealed the fact that the shaman was substantially 
correct." i 

The medicine man is not slow in making the most of 
whatever prophetic powers he may possess. How is the 
shaman able accurately to predict the place in which game is 
to be found, to forecast the weather, future events, and other 

1 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contrib. NorthAm.Eth., III,p.91. 


occurrences? According to primitive belief, by reason of his 
intimacy with the gods. It is from them that he gains the 
desired information, be it the location of lost articles, or 
game, or the advent of bad luck. The prophet, therefore, 
is a very convenient person for a tribe or community to 
possess. For, by consulting the aleatory element, he can 
tell precisely when the ills of life are coming, so that bad 
luck may be avoided. There is direct evidence that in the 
lower stages of culture the medicine man and the prophet 
are one and the same person. Among the Gan- 
guella negroes of Caquingue, the same individual is 
medicine man, prophet, and magician. i Among the Ojib- 
ways, says Hoffman, "The jessakkid is a seer and 
prophet .... The Indians define him as a 'revealer 

of hidden truths.' He is said to possess the 

power to look into futurity; to become acquainted with 
the affairs and intentions of men; to prognosticate the 
success or misfortune of hunters and warriors, as well as 
other affairs of various individuals, and to call from any 
living human being the soul, or more strictly speaking, the 
shadow, thus depriving the victim of reason, and even of 
life." 2 

If Nature has not endowed the medicine man with 
the gift of prophecy, he often counterfeits it by cultivating 
the art of divination. As a diviner he learns the 
signs and the omens which will be auspicious or 
inauspicious to any undertaking, and specializes in 

' Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 49. 

- Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur, Eth., VII, p. 157 


the art of augury. Among the Central Eskimos, 
a curious method of divination applied by the anga- 
kok is that of head-lifting, described by Boas. "An 
individual with a thong placed around his head lies 
down beside a sick person. The thong is fastened to the end 
of a stick which is held in hand by the angahok. The 
angakok then makes interrogations as to the nature and 
issue of the disease. These questions are supposed to be 
answered by the soul of a dead person, in such a manner 
as to make it impossible for the head to be lifted if the 
answer is affirmative, while the head is raised easily if 
the answer is negative. It is thought that as soon 
as the soul of the departed leaves, the head can 
be moved without difficulty." i In East Central Africa, 
when exercising his art, the diviner rattles his gourd 
(medicine bag), and examines the pebbles, teeth, and claws 
inside it. From these he receives his oracles, and gives his 
answers according to their position. Generally the advice 
given is shrewd in spite of the fact that it is somewhat 
ambiguous. 2 

The preparation of love charms and hunting charms, 
the control of the supply of game, the regulation of the 
weather, especially the bringing of rain necessary to the 
growth of crops, constitute other features of the employ- 
ment of the medicine man. The chief raison d'etre of 
the specialist of the imaginary environment is the 
warding off of bad luck and the bringing of good luck.^ 

' Boas, "Central Eskimo," Popular Science Monthly, LVII, p. 631. 

2 J. A. I., XXII, p. 105. 

^ Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 48. 


The worst luck possible to an agricultural people is a 
season of drought; the best luck imaginable an abundance 
of rain. In the one case there is famine; in the other, 
food in plenty. When vegetation is dying, when animals 
have no nourishment, and when there is no water to 
drink,! the man who can make the heavens open and give 
forth rain is an important member of society. Rain-making 
is one of the great methods by which the medicine man 
seeks to establish his reputation as a superior being. If his 
"power stands the test here, he can rest, assured of going 
through life with fame untarnished and place secure. But if 
he fails in this important particular, he might better hang 
his harp upon the willows. In many cases, indeed, 
after failure, both harp and player are destroyed. 

The identity of shaman and rainmaker is estabUshed 
by authoritative evidence. Among the Amazulus, for 
example, at a time of great drought, a celebrated 
medicine man said, "Let the people look at the heavens 
at such a time; [then] it will rain." When rain came 
the people said, "Truly, he is a doctor." ^ Of Hap-od-no, 
a famous shaman of the Indians of California, Powers 
writes: Hap-od-no, "by his personal presence, his elo- 
quence and his cunning jugglery, has made his fame and 
authority recognized for two hundred miles north of his 
home... In 1870, the first of two successive years of 
drought, he made a pilgrimage, . . . and at every centrally- 
located village he made a pause, and . . . would . . . promise 

' Lehmann, "Aberglaube und Zauberei," p. 18. 

- Callaway, "The Religous System of the Amazulu," p. 391. 


the people to bring rain on the dried-up earth, if they 
contributed liberally of their substance. But he was yet 
an unknown prophet. They were incredulous, and mostly 
laughed him to scorn, whereupon he would leave the 
village in high dudgeon, . . . threatening them with a 
continuance of drought another year far worse than before. 
Sure enough, the enraged Hap-od-no brought drought a 
second year, and . . . when next year he made a second 
pilgrimage, offerings were showered upon him in 
abundance, and men heard him with trembling. He com- 
pelled them to pay fifty cents apiece, American money, and 
many gladly gave more. And he made rain." ^ The assertion 
that the power of opening the heavens is committed into 
the hands of the medicine man finds further confirmation. 
Ratzel says, ''The shaman of northern Asia, the African 
rain-maker, the American medicine man, and the Australian 
sorcerer are alike in their nature, their aims, and to some 
extent in their expedients." ^ The priests and exorcists 
of China possess in themselves, it is thought, the so-called 
"Yang power" of good, through which they are expected 
to avert droughts and other troubles by rendering harmless 
the evil force of darkness or "Yin." ^ In the New Hebrides, 
the medicine men were wont to use their power for good 
or evil, but in most cases for such good ends as the 
causing of rain.* The prophet Samuel is alluded to as a 

1 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contrib. to North Am. Eth., Ill, 
pp. 372 - 373. 

2 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," I, p. 58. 

^ De Groot, "Religious System of China," I, p. 41. 

* Leggatt, "Malekula," Aust. Ass. for Adv. of Science," 1892, p. 700. 


rain-maker.i Among the Menomini Indians, the shaman 
juggler might become a rain-maker if he showed the 
requisite power, and it would be his double function to 
bring rains, when crops or streams required it, or to 
cause it to cease, when the storm grew too heavy. ^ It is 
averred that the Huns believed their shamans possessed 
power to bring down wind, snow, hail, and rain.^ 

The rain-maker often pretends to make rain by the use 
of sympathetic magic. One of the principles of this so- 
called sympathetic magic is that any effect may be 
produced by imitation. Thus, along the Bloomfield 
River, Queensland, the rain-maker dives into the 
water, and stirs up and squeezes the leaves deposit- 
ed at the bottom, so as to cause bubbles to rise to 
the surface. Rain can also be produced, according to 
popular belief in that country, when one of the "initiated" 
dips into the stream his *'wommers."* Among the North 
American Indians, it was the custom of the medicine man 
to mount to the roof of his hut, to rattle vigorously a dried 
gourd containing pebbles in representation of thunder, and 
to scatter water through a reed on the ground in order to 
prevail upon the gods to send rain.^ Among the Pima 

Indians, "during the rain making ceremonies, one 

of the most impressive acts was to pour dry earth 
out of a reed until it was half empty, and it would be 

1 I. Sam. 12:17, 18. 

2 JHoffman, "The Menomini Indians," Bur. Eth., 1896 p. 150. 
' Max Miiller, "Science of Religion," p. 88. 

* Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland 

Ethnography, Bulletin No. 5, p. 9. 
2 Brinton, "Myths of the New World," p. 17. 


seen that the remainder was filled with water. *Then it 
rained right away.' If the /na/ca/ [rain-maker] put one of the 
magic slates in a cup of water at the time the rain songs 
were being sung, and also dug a shallow trench to show 
the rivulets how they should cut their way, it would rain 
in four days. Another device of the makai was to conceal 
reeds filled with water and then, while standing on a 
house-top to direct the singers to form a close circle 
below him. Exhibiting a handful of eagle down or 
eagle tail feathers, and throwing dust on them to show 
how dry they were, he would sweep his hand about 
and scatter water over the spectators and singers, 
apparently from feathers but in reality from the reeds." ^ 
Howitt writes that the rain-makers of Australia were said to 
obtain their powers during dreams. One of the well-re- 
membered rain-doctors of the Bratava clan "used to call up 
storms of wind and rain by filling his mouth with water, 
and squirting it towards the west. This he did to aid the 
charms which he sang." ^ Jhe Shuli medicine man takes 
the horn of an antelope and by a method of hocus pocus 
makes it into a charm which he asserts never fails to bring 
rain. 3 When the medicine man of the Lemnig-Lennape 
wished to break up a season of drought, he was accustomed 
to retire to a secluded place, and draw upon the earth the 
figure of a cross. He would place upon the cross a piece 
of tobacco, a gourd, and a bit of some red material, and 

1 Russel, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVI, p. 259. 

2 Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 35. 
^ Ratzel, "History of Mankind," III, p. 42. 


then cry aloud to the spirits of the rains.i In the 
Caucasian province of Georgia, when the drought has 
lasted long, the priests yoke marriageable girls in couples 
with an ox-yoke on their shoulders, and drive them through 
puddles, marshes, and rivers, both drivers and driven in the 
meanwhile screaming, weeping, laughing and praying. ^ In 
the Tully River regions, North Queensland, rain 
is personified, and it is thought that men and 
women named in his honor can always prevail on 
him to come. This is usually attempted by hanging 
a ''whirler" into pools of water. Even if rain does not 
follow for several weeks, when it does come it is always 
considered to be due to the efforts of the rainmaker.^ At 
Boulia, according to the same authority, the rain-makers 
dance around a secluded water-hole, singing and stamping 
their feet. This over, the central man dives into the 
water and fixes into a hollow log, previously placed there, 
the kumurando or ^^rain-stick," an instrument strangely 
compounded of wood, gum, quartz-crystals or rain stones, 
hair, and string. The men then go back to camp, singing 
and scratching their heads and shins with twigs. On their 
arrival, they paint themselves with gypsum, and continue 
singing and scratching. When the rain finally comes, 
the kumurando is removed.* Continuing, Roth says, "At 
BouHa, during the heavy floods and rains in January and 
February 1895, I was assured on native authority that 

1 Brinton, "Myths of the New World," Edition 1896, p. 115. 

2 Reinegg, "Beschreibung des Kaukasus," II, p. 114. After 
Frazer, "Golden Bough," I, p. 524. 

^ Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queensland 
Ethnography, Bulletin No. 5, pp. 9 ff. * Ibid. 


all the rain and water had as usual been produced by the 
mai-orli men; when I begged them to stay proceedings 
immediately, the reply came that as the flood had risen 
too quickly to allow of the removal of the rain-stick from 
out of its submerged position, the rain would have to run 
its course," i 

Another function of the medicine man is that of healer. 
It was established in another chapter that the primitive 
theory of disease is one of ghost possession.- Since 
sickness is due to spirit agency, the proper means of 
cure is manifestly the eviction of the spirits. But the 
ordinary individual is unacquainted with the spirit world, 
and, therefore, has no knowledge of how to deal with the 
daimons. The shaman, however, gives unquestionable 
proof of theurgic power. He himself is possessed by 
spirits. Consequently nothing is more fitting than that he 
should be summoned in times of sickness to deal with the 
daimon in such a manner as to bring about the recovery 
of the patient. There is abundant evidence that among 
savage tribes shamans act as physicians. In Guiana, the 
priests are called 'Te-i-men." In addition to their services 
at the altar, they act in the capacity of conjurors, judges, 
and doctors. 3 In the Hawaiian Islands, according to 
Ellis, priests, sorcerers, and doctors were for the most 
part identical persons.* Among the Saoras of Madras, the 
kudang first learns what particular daimon or ancestral 

^ Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Queens- 
land Ethnography, Bulletin No. 5, pp. 9—10. - Vide Chapter I, 
pp. 7—17. 3 Dalton, "History of British Guiana," I, p. 87. 
4 Ellis, "Polynesian Researches," IV, p. 334. 



spirit is responsible for sickness, and then directs what 
sacrifice is necessary to compel the spirit to take its 
departure.! In Patagonia, the priests and magicians are 
also doctors. 2 "The piais [medicine men] of South 
America are in the first place magic-doctors who charm 
away illnesses with incantations and convulsive movements, 
or cure them with infusions of herbs. The Pima priests shoot 
painted arrows into the air from painted bows to kill 
sickness." ^ Allen and Thomson say that in the interior 
of Africa the same man is at once priest, witch-finder, and 
doctor.* MoUien makes the same assertion.^ According to 
MacCurdy, "the angakoks are or rather were the national 
priests and doctors of the Eskimos. These two callings 
are indissoluble, inasmuch as the people of Ammassalik 
look upon sickness as a defect of the soul ; their notion is 
that in every part, in every member of the human body, there 
is a soul which under certain circumstances may be lost; 
that part of the body from which it has been lost falls ill, 
and only the angakok is able by the aid of his spirits 
to restore the soul and thereby health to the sick body." ^ 
Boas writes of the same people, "The principal office of the 
angakok is to find out the reason of sickness and death, or 
of any other misfortune visiting the natives. The Eskimo 
believes that he is obliged to answer the questions of the 

1 J. A. Soc. Bombay, I, p. 247. 

2 Fitzroy, "Narrative of the Expedition and Surveying Voyage 
of the Beagle," II, p. 152. 

3 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," II, p. 155. 

* Allen and Thomson, "Narrative of the Expedition to the River 
Niger," I, p. 327. 

* Mollien, "Travels in the Interior of Africa," p. 52. 

' MacCurdy, Sixteenth International Congress of Americanists, 
p. 652. After Sumner'^ Notes. 


angakok truthfully. The lamps being lowered, the angakok 
sits down in the back part of the hut facing the wall. He 
claps his hands, and shaking his whole body, utters sounds 
which one would hardly recognize as human . . . Thus he 
invokes his tornaq, singing and shouting alternately, the 
listeners, who sit on the edge of the bed, joining the chorus 
and answering the questions. Then he asks the sick 
person: 'Did you work when it was forbidden? Did you 
eat when you were not allowed to eat?' And if the poor 
fellow happens to remember any transgression of such 
laws, he cries, 'Yes, I have worked! Yes, I have eaten!' 
And the angakok rejoins, 'I thought so,' and issues his 
commands as to the manner of atonement." i Among the 
Samoans, an old man is regarded as the incarnation of the 
god TaisumaUe, and acts as medicine man. He anoints 
his patients with oil, pronounces the word "TaisumaUe" 
five times at the top of his voice, and expects the 
sick to recover.2 In Southern India, among the Badagas, 
the same functionaries — the kurumbas — heal the sick 
and officiate at marriages and funerals. ^ The Tahitian 
doctors, according to Ellis, almost invariably belonged 
to the sacerdotal class.* The doctors among the 
Tupis of Brazil were called "pages." In addition 
to their healing function, they served as jugglers, 
quacks, and priests.^ The Yakut shamans, accord- 

1 Boas, "Central Eskimo," Bur. Eth., VI, p. 692. 

2 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," pp. 49—50. 

3 Shortt, "Hill Ranges of Southern India," Part I, p. 51. Cited 
from Spencer's "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 185. 

* Ellis, "Polynesian Researches," IV, p. 295. 
•' Southey, "History of Brazil," I, p. 237. 



ing to Sieroshevski, pretend to cure many ailments, in- 
cluding mental derangement, sterility, diseases of the 
internal organs, wounds, and broken bones. They look 
upon consumption, however, as incurable, and, "refuse to 
treat diarrhoea, scarlet fever, measles, small-pox, syphilis, 
scrofula, and leprosy, which they call the 'great disease.' 
They are especially afraid of small-pox, and take care 
not to perform their rites in a house where a case of it has 
recently occurred." ^ Catlin says of our Indians, that the 
same persons practiced conjury, magic, soothsaying, and 
performed the function of priest.^ It is remarked of the 
Carriers that their knowledge of medicinal roots and herbs 
was very limited, and that their doctors were also priests. ^ 
Similarly the Dakota priest, prophet, and doctor were 
one.* Mooney writes of the American Indians, "The doctor 
is always a priest, and the priest is always a doctor," and 
"the professions of medicine and religion are insepa- 
rable." 5 

While it is true that the function of the medicine man 
as healer is seen most clearly in those societies whose 
culture is lowest and least differentiated, yet it is found 
that in civilization down to comparatively recent times 
the connexion between the priest class and the treatment of 
the sick has always been very intimate. In ancient Egypt, 

^ Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 

J. A. I., XXXI, pp. 104—105. 
^ Catlin, "North American Indians," I, p. 41. 
3 Bancroft, "Native Races of the Pacific States of North America," 

I, p. 124 

* Schoolcraft, "History of the Indian Tribes of the United States," 

II, p. 198. 

5 Mooney, "Ghost-Dance Religion," Bur. Eth., 1896, p. 980. 


says Maspero, "the cure workers were divided into 
several categories. Some inclined towards sorcery, and 
had faith only in formulas and talismans; others ex- 
tolled the use of drugs; they studied the qualities 
of plants and minerals, and settled the ex.-^.ct time 
when [spells] must be pronounced and remedies 
applied. The best doctors carefully avoided binding 
themselves exclusively to either method, their treatment 
was a mixture of remedies and exorcism which varied from 
patient to patient. They were usually priests and derived 
their knowledge from the source of all sciences — the works 
of Thoth and Imhoptou, composed on this subject soon 
after the Creation." i In ancient Chaldea, according to 
the same author, "consultations and medical treatment 
were religious offices in which were involved purifications, 
offerings, and the whole ritual of mysterious words and 
gestures. 2 From the national worship of ancient India, there 
sprang the sciences of medicine and astronomy. ^ Spencer, 
quoting Gauthier, says '"Among the Hebrews medicine 
was for a long time sacerdotal, as among other ancient 
peoples: the Levites were the only doctors."'* In the early 
history of Greece, medicine was believed to have been 
initiated by the gods, and those who practiced it desired 
to be accounted the offspring of Aesculapius.^ Among the 
Chinese, according to De Groot, "exorcists were of a 
certain class of priests or priestesses, entirely possessed 

1 Maspero, "Life in Egypt and Assyria," pp. 119 — 120. 

2 Maspero, "The Dawn of Civilization in Egypt and Assyria/' p. 780. 

3 Hunter, "Indian Empire," p. 148. 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 189. 
5 Grote, "History of Greece," I, pp. 249—250. 


by the spirits of Yang, and as such, were deemed especially 
fitted to perform chiefly three functions," one of which 
was to "expel diseases and evil in general. "^ The Druids 
were both priests and doctors, and were accustomed to 
cut the mistletoe, which was considered an antidote for 
poisons, with a golden knife. 2 A like connexion between 
religion and medicine continued throughout the Middle 
Ages, and in England, as late as 1858, the Archbishop of 
Canterbur}^ granted medical diplomas. ^ 

It is thus seen that medicine men, despite their 
selfish aims and ambitions, despite their oppression of the 
the masses, and despite the multitudinous faults and even 
crimes that have been laid to their charge, must be credited 
with initiating, fathering, fostering, andjtor^centuries, with 
preserving the art of healing. 

The advantages accruing to the occupant of the 
/ sacerdotal office have so far received attention. Those 
benefits have been found to be many. Under normal 
circumstances the shaman is feared, reverenced, and 
even worshipped. As representative of the gods, he 
is not amenable to the laws which bind other members 
of the society, but is a law unto himself. He feeds upon 
the fat of the land, and occupies more commodious and 
more comfortable quarters than any other member of the 
tribe. He is the most important person of primitive times, 
and often attains the office of secular as well as spiritual 
ruler. He, moreover, is sometimes regarded as the embodi- 

1 De Groot, "Religious System of Ciiina," I, pp. 40—41. 

2 Pliny, "Natural History," B. XVI, C. 95. 

3 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 193. 


ment of the power which he represents, and divine honors 
are accorded to him. 

All of this is most desirable, but there is another side 
to the question. No path is continually strewn with roses; 
it is impossible under conditions of the survival of the 
fitter for any man to be "carried to the skies on flowery beds 
of ease." The life of the medicine man is not altogether 
one of sunshine. In some cases the practice of his pro- 
fession is attended with great dangers. Russell, for example, 
in his account of the Pima Indians writes, '^A_plagjyte, 
which killed many victims in a single day^ once prevailed 
throughout the villages. Three medicine men who were 
^uspected of causing the disease by their magic were killed, 
and nobody was sick ariy more/'i And again from the 
samie author are the words, "An epidemic during this year, 
(1884), among the Kwahadks, caused the execution of two 
medicine men who were suspected of bringing the 
visitation upon the tribe." ^ 

It is needless to say that as long as the medicine man 
succeeds as rain-maker all is well, and he receives great 
honors. As a matter of fact, he must succeed part of the 
time by mere chance, but it is impossible to be successful 
in every instance. What happens in case of failure? 
Sometimes it means not only the ruin of reputation, but 
execution to the shaman. Callaway states that in Zululand, 
when it rained according to the word of a medicine man, 
the people said, "Truly he is a doctor." But the next 

» Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur., Eth., XXVI, p. 48. 
2 Ibid., p. 59. 


year, when he predicted rain, the heavens refused to open. 
The people then persecuted him beyond measure, and it 
is even said that they put him to death. ^ Among the Bari 
people, the doctor who does not succeed in bringing rain 
when it is needed, loses not only his reputation and 
practice, but also his head. In 1859, the people ex- 
perienced a terrible famine, and they demanded of the 
rain doctor that he bring rain at once. He exerted all his 
powers but in vain. The drought continued. Thereupon 
the indignant people killed him. 2 

Not only failures in rain-making, but frequently other 
failures are punishable by death. Ellis says of the 
Tshi-speaking peoples, "If the priests fail to per- 
form the wonders for which they have been paid, 
they are put to death. For example, during the 
British-Ashanti war of 1873 — 1874, a priest was 
required to inform the public on which day the British 
gunboat lying at anchor would put out to sea. After the 
proper conjuration, he announced that it would depart 
on the next day. At sunrise the next morning, however, 
instead of the departure of the gunboat, two others hove 
ominously upon the horizon. The result was that the priest 
was beheaded." ^ 

Failure to effect cures in cases of sickness may result 
in loss of life to the primitive healer. In Patagonia, 
the wizards were sometimes killed when unsuccessful in 

' Callaway, "Religious Systems of the Amazulu," p. 391. 

2 Ratzel, "History of Mankind," III, p. 26. 

3 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," p. 124. 


the treatment of disease. ^ Among the Mohave, the relatives 
of a dead man consult a spirit doctor, and ascertain whether 
their kinsman died from ignorance or neglect on the part 
of his physician. If the physician was to blame, he must 
either flee for his liberty and life, or throw the blame upon 
some witch, 2 A native healer among the Apache, according 
to Bourke, was in danger, if he let even one patient die, 
provided the spirit doctor gave out that he was culpably 
negligent or ignorant. In such a case the unsuccessful 
healer could escape destruction at the hands of the relatives 
of the dead man only by flight, or by proving to their satis- 
faction that the death was due to witchcraft.^ Among the 
Mi-Wok of Southern California, the patient must pay 
well for the service of a medicine man. But if he dies, 
his friends may kill the doctor.^ Although the Negritos 
of Zambales, Philippine Islands, treat their mediquillos with 
respect and awe, the profession is not popular, since, if the 
efforts of a medicine man toward curing a patient prove 
unsuccessful, he is held blameworthy, and even runs the risk 
of being killed for his failure.^ It is not merely among the 
Tshi-speaking peoples that in the event of failure the 
populace sometimes proclaims the priest an impostor, 
and frequently puts him to death. Roth says of the 
Dyaks, "On the Lingga once, a Dyak doctor was engaged 
to attend a sick man, and in the event of his remaining 

1 Falkner, "Description of Patagonia," p. 117. 

2 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 454. 

3 Ibid., p. 466. 

4 Powers,"Tribes of California," Contrib. to North Am. Eth ., Ill, p. 354. 

5 Reed, "Negritos of Zambales," p. 66. 


alive three days, a payment in jars was to be made as a 
fee. The three days expired, and the payment was made, 
when the patient died; upon which the son of the dead 
man, an impetuous young lad, demanded the restoration of 
the' jars — a request the doctor refused to accede to. The 
son drew his parang, and exclaiming, 'My name may 
return to the skies!' cut down the doctor, and severely 

wounded his son." "Spencer St. John," continues 

Roth, "mentions the case of a Bukar father who on the 
death of his child accused the medicine man of wilfully 
causing its death, and killed him on the spot." i Among 
the Persians, when a patient dies under treatment, 
the doctor not only loses his fee, but incurs blame, for the 
opinion prevails that sick persons would not die but for 
the influence of the physician. As soon as it is 
evident that the end is at hand, the doctor is accustomed 
to withdraw, and by this means the patient and his family 
are officially notified, so to speak, that there is no hope. 
If a doctor unwittingly visits a sick chamber where the 
patient has passed away, he is subjected to shameful 
treatment by the women and servants. For this reason the 
doctor usually sends out scouts, who inform him of the 
houses where disease has been fatal, and by this means 
he knows which places to avoid. 2 By the Indians of 
Oregon, all homicides were attributed to medicine men, 
who were put to death when any one was murdered. 
Among that people, therefore, while the position of 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 285. 
2 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," pp. 59—60. 


doctor was honorable and fraught with great power, 
novices, realizing the dangers attendant upon it, sometimes 
forsook that vocation for the military profession.^ 
With all his special prerogatives, therefore, it is evident 
that in case of non-success the status of the medicine man 
is at times far from enviable. 

As a means of self-protection, however, it is the 
business of the shaman to keep his failures from counting, 
and no one is better able than he to explain away his ill- 
success. Among the Tshi-speaking peoples, when predicting 
the future, the priests speak in ambiguous phrases, so that 
whatever may happen they may claim to have prophesied 
correctly. When their predictions are falsified by future 
events, they usually succeed in exculpating themselves 
by asserting that the spirits were angry because of some 
offence on the part of the people;, and consequently 
in order to punish the recalcitrants led their servants 
to predict falsely. Another kind of excuse given is that 
gods more powerful than the one consulted have been 
propitiated by the adversary, and that these have nullified 
all the efforts of the priest first engaged. When on account 
of a false prophecy the people become suspicious of the 
genuineness of one priest, and seek out another, they are at 
a disadvantage, for the priests are in league against them, 
and in order that no two priests may make contradictory 
statements, they generally inform one another of every 
prediction. 2 Among the Apache, in nearly every boast of 

1 Battels, "Med. Naturvolker," pp. 59—60. 

2 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 126—127. 


power which the medicine man makes, there is "usually 
a saving clause to the effect that no witchcraft must be 
made or the spell will not work, no women shall be near 
in a delicate state," there must be no neglect or dis- 
obedience on the part of the patient, and there must be no 
other medicine man at work with counter-charms. ^ Among 
sundry Australian tribes, if the medicine man fails, the 
failure is due to the power of some hostile wizard. ^ The 
following description by Howitt of the failure of a rain- 
making performance in Australia is given in order to 
illustrate the facility with which the rain-maker sometimes I 
gets himself out of an uncomfortable situation. *Tar 
removed from the camp and without any assistance the 
rain-maker collected a number of nests of the white ant 

which he shaped into an oblong mound He 

next made a trench, . . . continually repeating the word 
Mo-re' throughout the whole procedure which he finally 
brought to a close by sprinkling some water in all 
directions of the compass. Before going away he took 
two sticks about eighteen inches long, rolled them up in 
reeds, and fixed them into either end of the mound, upon 
which, as he walked away, he threw some water behind 
him. No one was allowed to go near the spot where 
rain-making was practiced. So much so that when rain 
did not subsequently fall, on this present occasion (a white 
man having promised him in the presence of the whole 
camp a bag of flour if rain came within twenty four hours), 

1 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 459. 

2 Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI., p. 25. 


the rain-maker explained his non-success to the other 
natives as due to the presence of a white missionary. On 
other occasions when rain does not fall, failure is explained 
by some one having visited the forbidden spot." i 

If his patient dies, or if the heavens remain cloudless 
in spite of his efforts to bring rain, the medicine man is 
usually clever enough to assure the people that had 
it not been for his efforts, conditions would have been 
much worse, and that for a larger fee he will put forth 
greater exertions on behalf of his clients. Thus Spencer 
says that in Obbo, when the country needs rain, the rain- 
maker explains to his clients "how much he regrets that 
their conduct has compelled him to afflict them with un- 
favorable weather, but that it is their own fault He 

must have goats and corn. 'No goats, no rain; that's our 
contract, my friends,' says Katchiba , , . Should his people 
complain of too much rain, he threatens to pour storms 
of lightning upon them forever, unless they bring him so 

many hundred baskets of corn," and other presents 

"His subjects have the most thorough confidence in his 
power." 2 

The primitive medicine man, furthermore, is fortunate 
that his constituents are at the stage of intellectual develop- 
ment in which they cannot appreciate negative evidence, and, 
therefore, allow one success to outweigh many failures. Of 
the inabilitytoestimatetheworthof negative evidence. Lord 
Bacon writes, "The human understanding, when it has once 

* Roth, "Superstition, Magic, and Medicine," North Qeensland 

Ethnography, Bulletin No. 5, p. 9. 
2 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, pp. 339—340- 


adopted an opinion, (either as being the received opinion 
or as being agreeable to itself), draws all things to support 
and agree with it. And though there be a greater number 
and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet 
these it either neglects and despises, or else by some 
distinction sets aside and rejects ; in order that by this great 
and pernicious pre-determination the authority of its former 
conclusions may remain inviolate. And, therefore, it was 
a good answer that was made by one, who, when they 
showed him hanging in the temple a picture of those who 
had paid their vows as having escaped shipwreck, and 
would have him say whether he did not now acknowledge 
the power of the gods, 'Aye,' asked he again, 'but where 
are they painted that were drowned after their vows?'"^ 
As to the actual fees which the medicine man expects 
and receives for his services, while in some instance they 
are small,^ in the greater number of cases they are 
handsome. Thus in the New Hebrides, the native doctor 
used to prepare and eat the greater portion of food given 
by the natives to propitiate the spirits. ^ Among the Mi- 
Wok of Southern California, the shaman had to be paid in 
advance. Hence, a person desirous of his services always 
brought an offering, and flung it down on the ground, 
without saying a word, thereby indicating that he wished 
its equivalent in medical treatment.* Thurston writes that 

* Bacon, "Novum Organum," Modern Classical Philosophers by 
Rand, p. 33. 

2 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," pp. 56 ff. 

' J. Laurie, "Aneityum," Aust. Ass. for Adv. Science, 1892, p. 711. 

* Powers, "Tribes of California," Contrib. North Am. Eth., III. 
p. 354. 


the people of South India, on recjovering from illness, 
bring to the priest thanksgiving offerings of silver and 
gold. These are deposited in a vessel kept for that purpose 
in the temple. Children in addition to the silver articles 
have to place in the vessels one or two handfuls of 
coins for the benefit of the priests. i Henry Ling Roth 
says of the inhabitants of Sarawak, "For getting back 
the soul of a man, the medicine man receives six gallons 
of uncleaned rice; for extracting a spirit from a humaii 
body, the same fee, and for getting the soul of the rice at 
harvest feasts, he receives three cups from every family 
in whose apartment he obtains it. The value of six gallons 
of uncleaned rice is the sixtieth part of the amount obtained 
by an able bodied man for his annual farm labor." ^ of 
the Indians of Southern California, Powers relates that 
when a man is sick he is "wrapped tight in skins and 
blankets, deposited with his feet to the fire, a stake driven 
down near his head, and strings of shell-beads stretched 
from it to his ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. These 
strings of money exercise the same magical effect on the 
valetudinary savage that a gold 'twenty,' placed in the 
hand of the doctor, does upon the dyspeptic pale-face. 
The cunning Aesculapian adjusts the distance to the stake, 
and the consequent length of the strings according to the 
wealth of the invalid. If he is rich, then by the best divining 
and scrutiny of his art, the stake ought to be planted 
about five feet distant; if poor, only one or two. After 

1 Thurston, "Ethnographic Notes on South India," p. 353. 

2 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," p. 267. 


he has 'powwowed' sufficiently around the unfortunate 
person to make a sound man sick or deaf at least, he 
appropriates the money." ^ According to Hoffman, a suc- 
cessful Ojibway hunter will, if he ascribes his good luck to 
the wabeno, give him out of gratitude a portion of the 
game. 2 Concerning the Peruvians, Balboa says that the 
medicine men refused to help persons who were not 
able to pay the fee which they demanded. ^ A Yakut 
shaman, if successful, is paid a sum varying from one 
ruble to twenty-five rubles or more, besides being entitled 
to his entertainment and to a portion of the sacrificial 
animal. If the shaman be unsuccessful, however, he 
receives nothing.* It would seem that those unable to 
pay the medicine man are in a bad way in Guiana, for 
it is said that those unfortunates have no names.^ In 
East Central Africa, the headman gets his income chiefly 
from voluntary offerings, but the medicine man levies his 
fees rigidly.6 In West Africa, says Miss Kingsley, "If 
you want a favor from the medicine man you must give 
him a present — a fowl, a goat, a blanket, or a basket 
of vegetables. If you want a big thing, and want it badly, 
you had better give him a slave, because the slave is 
alike more intrinsically valuable and more useful." '^ When 

1 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contribut. to North Am. Eth., 
Ill, p. 217. 

2 Hoffman, "The Midewiwin of the Ojibway," Bur. Eth., VII, p. 157. 

3 Balboa, "History of Peru." After Bourke, Bur. Eth., IX, p 467. 
^ Sumner, " Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 

J. A. I., XXXI. p 102. 
^ Bourke, "Medicine Meii of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 468. 
« J. A. I., XXII, p. 105. 
' Kingsley, "West African Studies," p. 176. 


the Dyaks are questioned as to their belief in the easily- 
exposed deceits of their priests, they say they have no 
faith either in the men or in their pretensions; but the 
custom has descended to them from father to son, and they 
still pay those priests heavy sums to perform the ancient 
rites. 1 "As the services of the manang bali," [medicine 
man dressed in female attire] Henry Ling Roth goes on to 
say, "are in great demand, and he is well paid for his 
trouble, he soon grows rich, and when he is able to afford 

it, he takes to himself a husband But as long as he 

is poor he cannot even dream of marriage, as nothing but 
the prospect of inheriting his wealth would ever induce 
a man to become his husband, and thus incur the ridicule 
of the whole tribe . . . The only pleasure of the husband 
must be in seeing his quasi wife accumulate wealth, and 
wishing her a speedy demise, so that he may inherit the 
property." - In Nubra, Tibet, the rewards of the lamas 
consist of fees, tips (chang), and in general the best that 
the land affords. ^ Among the Saoras of Madras, the 
fees of the medicine man are fixed, and include parts 
of the animal sacrificed, such as the head and a leg, and 
portions of the food and drink, tobacco and goods, pre- 
sented to the gods as offerings.* The efficacy of the arts 
of the Eskimo angakok is supposed to depend on the 
amount of his recompense.^ Bourke quotes Spencer to 
the effect that the Eskimo priest receives his fee 

1 Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 266. 

2 Ibid., I, p. 270. 

3 Bishop, "Among the Tibetans," p. 91. 
* J. A. Soc. Bombay, I, p. 247. 

5 Nansen, "Eskimo Life," p. 283. 



beforehand,^ and Boas says, that the angakok who 
cures his patient is paid immediately and liberally.^ 
Among the Pima Indians, the fee may consist of a 
basjcet, some wheat, a cow, a horse, or some similar 
gift. Il-t4i€ medicine man sings three nights he will get a 
horse. If the sick man dies, however, after the native doctor 
has sung two nights he will receive some compensation, 
though not a horse. ^ Among the Land Dyaks, Henry Ling 
Roth writes, "whether the patient Uves or dies the manang 
is rewarded for his pains; he makes sure of that before 
he undertakes the case, for he is put to considerable 
inconvenience, being fetched away from his own home, and 
obliged to take up his abode with the patient; he can 
therefore undertake only one case at a time, but to it he 
devotes his whole attention. He takes his meals with the 
family, and in other ways makes himself quite at home. 
If a cure be effected, he receives a valuable present in 
addition to his ordinary expenses." * Among the Karok, if a 
patient dies, the medicine man loses his fee. If he refuses 
to visit a sick person and that individual dies, the medicine 
man must pay the relatives a sum equivalent to the fee 
offered him. A famous medicine man, when summoned to 
go twenty or thirty miles, is well paid — sometimes receiving 
a horse and often, if the patient is rich, two horses.'^ The 
Ventura Indian tribes had the following custom, as reported 
by Yates: "When people were desirous of obtaining favor 

^ Bouike, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 467. 

2 Boas, "Central Eskimo," Bur. Eth., VI, p. 594. 

3 Russell, "Pima Indians," Bur. Eth., XXVI, p. 261. 

* Roth, "Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo," I, p. 266. 
5 Powers, "Tribes of California," Contrib. North Am. Eth., Ill, p. 27. 


from the spirits, they went to the house of the medicine 
man, where an idol was kept in a basket or other re- 
ceptacle, and threw offerings into the receptacle until the 
idol was covered up. The gifts were appropiated by 
the medicine man." i In British Victoria, the medicine man 
does not share in the work, but is supported by the gifts 
of the other members of the tribe. ^ Hoffman quotes 
Marquette to the effect that the Miami, Mascotin, and 
Kickapoo Indians were very liberal towards their physicians, 
on the assumption that the more they paid, the more potent 
would the remedies prove. ^ Among the Kirghiz, the shaman 
receives as a reward the best part of the sacrificial offering, 
and the carcasses of the slain animals. Rich people make 
extra gifts, a live sheep or a new gown.'^ The Navaho 
medicine man may own property, but his living comes 
largely from practicing his ceremonies, since for these 
his fees are excellent.^ Of the Omahas, it is related that 
after a company of medicine men had succeeded in effect- 
ing a cure, "the fees were distributed. These were horses, 
robes, bear-claw necklaces, eagle feathers, embroidered 
leggings, and other articles of value." ^ In Nias, sickness is 
so costly a thing that one often meets people who have 
sold themselves into slavery in order to get the necessary 
funds with which to purchase the services of the medicine 

^ Yates, "Notes on the Plummets or Sinkers," Smithsonian 
Report, 1886, p. 305. 

2 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 56. 

3 Hoffman, "TheMidewiwin of theOjibway," Bur.Eth., 1891, p. 152. 
* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 57. 

'° Matthews, "The Night Chant, A Navaho Ceremony," Memoirs 

Am. Museum of Nat. Hist., p. 3. 
« Fletcher-Laflesche, "The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p 489. 



man.i The same is true of the Tshi-speaking peoples, 
whose priests require recompense before the first consul- 
tation, and make such ejctortionate demands afterwards 
that people, in order to secure their valuable aid, have been 
reduced to poverty and in some cases to slavery.^ The 
missionaries Ramseyer and Kiihne, ElHs goes on to say, 
have left on record "that a fee was paid byKwoffi 
Kari-Kari to the priests, for consulting the gods concerning 
the probable result of a contemplated expedition to the 
Gold Coast. This fee consisted of four hundred dollars 
in gold dust, twenty loads of salt, twenty goats, twenty 
sheep, seventy bottles of rum, and fifty slaves. If the 
gods granted victory, one thousand additional slaves were 
promised.'' ^ A medicine man of the negroes of the Loango 
coast first has to determine what nail has caused the 
sickness, and for this he receives pay Then the nail 
must be drawn out. For this he receives more pay. 
When he turns his attention to the patient, he 
receives additional pay,* The Dakota Indians often gave 
a horse for the service of the medicine man, and were ready 
to give all they possessed and even to go into debt, in 
order to procure the aid of the servant of the gods.^ 
In Korea, the sums demanded by the shamans are 
so great that they are estimated to aggregate annually two 
million five hundred thousand dollars.^ 

^ Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 59. 

2 Ellis, "Tshi-Speaking Peoples," pp. 124—125. 

3 Ibid. 

* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 58. 

5 Ibid. 

« Bishop, "Korea," p. 403. 


SUMMARY. It has been shown that while in well- 
developed societies there is specialization, as a result of 
which different activities are exercised by different persons, 
in the lowest stages of culture the medicine man sums 
up in himself the various functions of prophet, priest, 
king, rain-maker, and healerV A person, therefore, of 
such importance is certain to occupy a position of great 
dignity. And yet the man who is successful in attaining the 
much coveted place often does so at his own peril. 
Sometimes the people will brook no such thing as failure. The 
attitude of man in religious matters is strangely inconsist- 
ent He sometimes regards the gods as powerful enough to 
give him any material blessing he asks ; but when they fail 
to grant his requests, he considers them so weak that he 
destroys them and takes unto himself other gods. The 
medicine man goes up and down in popular estimation 
with his gods. He sometimes is feared to such 
an extent that people upon seeing him occasionally 
die from fright. But when he fails to make a true 
prophecy, or when he fails in rain-making, or in healing 
the sick, he is often subjected to violent abuse, and is 
sometimes put to death. The shaman, however, is generally 
shrewd enough to have no failures, or if he has them, not 
to allow them to count. In rain-making, for example, he 
prolongs his operations until rain conies^, which sooner or 
later is inevitable. He then takes the credit to himself. 
The people are so grateful for the rain that they readily 
attribute it to the powers of the rain-maker, and accord 
him magnificent material rewards. For foretelling the 


future, for acting as mediator with the spirits, and for 
exercising his powers as healer, the recompense likewise 
is often great — so great that the recipient, by means of 
wealth thus attained, sometimes becomes chief of the 
\ tribe or head of the nation. 



Since the methods of the medicine man in dealing with 
spirits are substantially the same in every case, regardless 
of the function he is exercising, an example of his 
efforts in the celestial sphere on behalf of men is to be 
found in the behavior of the primitive doctor in the 
chamber of sickness. To this end the daimonistic theory 
of disease, and the savage conception of other-worldliness 
must be recalled. The reader will remember that among 
primitive peoples ignorant of the actual cause of sickness, 
there is no notion of such a thing as death apart from 
agency.i They attribute the results of , what a civilized man 
would call accident to the baleful influence of evil spirits. 
Many cases of death by violence come under the obser- 
vation of nature folk, but even in these they be- 
lieve, as among the tribal groups about Maryborough, 
Queensland, that when a warrior is speared in a ceremonial 
fight his skill in warding off or evading thrusts has been 
lost because of the maUgnance of an ill-disposed daimon.^ 
It is not difficult, therefore, to see, as has been abundantly 
shown,3 that the innumerable cases of sickness and death 
from invisible causes are ascribed by man at this un- 
developed stage of culture to the evil doing of unseen 


1 Vide pp. 4—5, 14, 120. 

2 Howitt, "Native Tribes of Southeastern Australia," p. 357. 

3 Vide pp. 7—19. 


If it be borne in mind that in primitive belief the 
other world repeats this world,i and that its inhabitants 
repeat the thoughts, sensations, emotions, and ideals of 
their originals, it will readily be perceived that, according 
to savage notions, the ghosts and spirits may be dealt with 
in the same way as men, and may, therefore, either by 
threats and coercion or by bribes and praise, be induced 
to grant blessings or to desist from inflicting evils. Hence 
the methods of the individual set apart for the special 
purpose of dealing with the invisible powers are broadly 
contrasted as antagonistic and sympathetic. In other words, 
in his treatment of disease, the medicine man employs a 
positive and a negative method— depending on the notion 
entertained as to the character of the god, whether he is 
benevolent and only temporarily angry, or malevolent and 
venting his spite. In the former case, the method is that 
of propitiation ; in the latter that of avoidance, coercion, or 
exorc'sm. According to Lippert, man first conceives the 
attitude of the deities to be unfriendly,^ and not until much 
later does he think of them as entertaining beneficent 
thoughts towards the children of earth. ^ For the sake of 
convenience, the two methods will be considered in the 
inverse order to that stated above, first, the positive 
and secondly, the negative method. 

The medicine man, like the practitioner of today, 
when called to the bedside of a sufferer, first makes his 
diagnosis. The twentieth centur}^ physician, however, 

1 Vide, pp. 6 ff; pp. 22 ff. 2 vide p. 23. « Lippert, "Kultur- 
gescliichte," I, pp. 108 ff. 


would say that his predecessor in practice does not conduct 

his diagnosis along scientific lines. For the primitive 

doctor first makes an effort to discover whether the sickness 

is due to the anger of an enraged daimon, the loss of 

the ''kidney fat/' the absence of the soul, orto the presence 

of bones, quartz, crystals, or other foreign substances, 

introduced into the body of the patient by the magical 

power of some adverse wizard or medicine man. In the 

second place, the shaman must discover how to restore 

the lost part, or how to break the evil spell under which the 

sick man is suffering; or how to extract the extraneous 

substance, or by what means he can expel the evil spirit 

from the body of the person whom it is afflicting. i As 

long as ghosts and spirits are thought of as inimical, the 

medicine man resorts to avoidance or exorcism. 

As time goes on, however, the manner of thinking on 

the part of man advances. He ceases to regard the gods as 

antagonistic to his welfare, aims, and ambitions, and comes 

to think of them as friendly powers, concerned in his 

happiness and well-being, and sympathetic when he comes 

into collision with the aleatory element.^ ^ With this change 

in thought as to the attitude of the superior powers, the 

method of the medicine man in dealing with them experiences 

a change. He no longer opposes, antagonizes, or strives 

to compel the disease daimon to take its flight, but begins 

to flatter, to coddle, to wheedle, and to bribe the inhabitants 

of the imaginary environment in order to enlist their 

support in his efforts on behalf of his patient.^ For since 

^ Lippert, " Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 412. 
2 Ibid., I, p. 220. 3 Ibid., II, p. 413. 


the gods are anthropomorphic i beings, possessing the 
same characteristics which they had while living, only in an 
intensified degree, they can be flattered, coaxed,- and 
cajoled into doing what no amount of violent and abusive 
treatment could compel them to do. Attention is, therefore, 
directed to the way in which the positive method works 
itself out and to the results. 

It would seem that desire on the part of the weak 
to propitiate the strong is to be traced among the higher 
animals. As Spencer says, "On the approach of a formi- 
dable Newfoundland or mastiff, a small spaniel in the 
extremity of its terror will throw itself on its back with 
legs in air. Instead of threatening resistance by growls 
and showing of teeth, as it might have done had not 
resistance been hopeless, it spontaneously assumes the 
attitude that would result from its defeat in battle; tacitly 
saying, 'I am conquered and at your mercy.'" " The efforts 
of the dog at propitiation are especially^ shown after he has 
come to regard his master as entertaining towards him 
feelings not unmixed with kindness. When beaten, instead 
of showing retaliation by sinking his teeth into the calf 
of the leg, the dog will lick the hand of his masler, or 
put up a paw, clearly manifesting a wish to conciliate the 
one possessed of the power to work him further ill. 

It is to be observed from the foregoing that the act of 
propitiation is made up of two parts. First, there is a 
manifestation of submission to a superior, and secondly, 

1 Keller, "Societal Evolution," pp. 60 and 260. 

2 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," II, pp. 3—4. 


there is the performance of some act implying a liking 
on the part of the weak for the strong, and indicating a 
desire to please. It is interesting to remark that in dealings 
as between man and man, these two elements of pro- 
pitiation are in evidence. The slave expresses submission 
to his master, and the subject to his lord, by falling on 
his face, putting the foot of the chief on his neck, crawling 
on all fours, and by raising his body to a simple kneeling 

The means of propitiating the gods are the same as 
those used for getting into the good graces of the mighty 
of the earth — the manifestation of submission on the part 
of man, the exaltation of the gods, and the expression 
of a desire of man to render himself pleasing in 
the sight of the deities by attitudes, actions, and words 
signifying attachment. For when alive the gods were 
pleased by such a display, and now (though they are in- 
visible to man, man is not invisible to them) they will 
be pleased as gods with the same things that pleased them 
on earth as men. 

If, for example, before their apotheosis the spirits were 
gratified by applause and expressions of subordination 
rendered them by their servants, the divinities are still sus- 
ceptible to the same flattery. This is evidently the inter- 
pretation to be placed upon the actions of the Amazulu, 
who, according to Callaway, praise the dead in order to 
gain favors and escape punishment.^ In all religions the 

1 Spencer "Principles of Sociology," II, pp. 117 ff. 

2 Callaway, "Religious Systems of the Amazulu," pp. 145—147. 


prevailing custom is to preface petitions to the higher 
powers with propitiatory utterances. 

This form of propitiation suggests a remedy for 
sickness to which resort has been made from the earliest 
to the latest times, and often with startling effects. 
That is prayer. The idea in this connexion is to 
flatter the deity by expressions of submission and terms of 
endearment, in order if possible to secure his assistance. 
Thus among the Amazulu, if sickness breaks out in a 
village, the eldest son of the patient will offer eulogies to 
all the Amatongo, especially to the ancestral spirit, whom 
he will praise with the epithets of honor gained by that 
ancestor in battle. ^ In the Book of Ecclesiasticus this 
direction is given, "My son, in thy sickness be not negli- 
gent; but pray unto the Lord, and he will make thee 
whole." 2 After the sixth century of the Christian era, the 
practice of medicine was almost exclusively in the hands 
of the monks. Their cures were performed by holy water, 
by relics of the martyrs, and by prayers. ^ 

There is much evidence that prayer is still regarded, and 

with good results, as mightily potent in cases of sickness. 

As one of many examples in support of this statement, 

attention is directed to the devotion of worshippers 

at the shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupre, near the city 

of Quebec, Canada. It is said that many years ago, a small 

company of Breton sailors, during a violent storm at sea, 

made a vow to Sainte Anne de Beaupre that if she would 

* Callaway, "Religious Systems of the Amazulu," p. 145. 

- Ecclesiasticus, chapter 38, v. 9. 

^ Sprengle, "Histoire de la Medicine," II, p. 345. 


save them from the waves, they would build, and dedicate 
to her service, a chapel on the spot where their vessel 
touched land. They were deUvered and kept their promise. 
About 1670, a relic of Sainte Anne was brought from 
Carcassonne. 1 Monsignore de Laval, of the cathedral of 
Carcassonne, asserts that this reHc came indeed from 
a finger of Sainte Anne.^ Pilgrimages are made throughout 
the year to the shrine, the sick and those who have received 
benefits going by trainloads either to be cured or to give 
thanks, and the words, '^Sainte Anne, Mere de la Vierge- 
Marie, priez pour nous," are breathed by every soul.^ 
Often the sick are cured in absentia in answer to their own 
prayers, or to those of their friends. The shrine is now 
in charge of the Redemptorist Fathers, who issue a monthly 
publication, "Annales de la Bonne Sainte Anne de 
Beaupre," in which the various cures of the last few 
months are recorded. In order to show that it is not 
necessary to go to the old world, and to the Middle Ages, 
for instances of cures by prayer, quotations are here made 
from several copies of the '^Annales" of a comparatively 
recent date. 

"Ironwood, Mich., July 28 th., 1911. — For nearly two 
years I had suffered from ataxia and the doctors had pro- 
nounced my case incurable. But on my first visit to the shrine, 
July 24th., I was partly cured and left one crutch; and on 
July 25th., I ceased to use the other. Heartfelt thanks to Ste. 
Anne. Mrs. A. McMillen." 

^ Waddle, "Miracles of Healing," Am. Jour, of Psych., XX, pp. 
232 253. 

2 Catholic World, XXXVL, p. 87. 

3 Waddle, "Miracles of Healing," Am. Jour. Psych., XX, pp. 


"Fort Wayne, Ind., May 18th, 1912. — In compliance with 
a promise, I hereby state that, through the intercession of Ste. 
Anne, I was greatly benefited and have practically regained 
my health after an unfavorable prognosis by all my professional 
colleagues. I hereby give you permission to pubhsh the above 
in the Annals. Doctor Geo. J. Studer." 

"HaUfax, N. S., June 4th., 1912. — Eight years ago, I de- 
veloped a 'varicose' ulcer Just above my left ankle through a 
broken vein. I was treated at intervals for four years by two 
doctors; but could not get any relief. About two years ago, 
they told me they could do no more for me. 1 then made a 
pilgrimage to the shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupre and promised, 
if my ankle were cured, to go to monthly communion for the 
rest of my hfe ; to make another pilgrimage, even if I were 
not cured, but if I were cured to make a pilgrimage in 
thanksgiving. After coming home, I put aside the ointments 
of the doctor and used nothing but Ste. Anne oil. For two 
months, the pain in my ankle was intense whenever I set my 
feet upon the floor. Just when the pain was almost unbear- 
able there appeared to be an improvement in the sore and it 
began to heal steadily. Just a month before I made my second 
pilgrimage the cure was perfect. Now, out of gratitude to 
Good Ste. Anne, I am pleased to publish my cure, and inclose 
the certificate of my doctor. Mrs. E. P. Condon." "Halifax, 
N. S., June 4th., 1912, — This is to certify that, in July and 
August 1909, and subsequently at intervals, Mrs. E. P. Condon 
was under my care, suffering from a varicose ulcer situated 
just above the left ankle; and that from June 1911, up to the 
present date a healthy scar has occupied the site of the ulcer. 
J. P. Corston, M. D." 

"Houston, Texas, March 22, 1913. — My son was afflicted 
with a malady that affected his mind. He was in this 
condition for eighteen months, and did not seem to 
improve under medical treatment. I made a promise to 
Ste. Anne that, if he was cured, I would publish his recovery 
in the Annals. He has entirely recovered and I now pubUsh 


this with many thanks to dear Ste. Anne. Mrs. Lama 
DeFrance Fraser." 

"Detroit, Mich., Feb. 18th, 1913. — Last October, a child of 
nine years was taken down with typhoid, was sick for about a 
month, when he got spinal meningitis. For eighteen days he was 
unconscious, received the rites of the Church, and the priest 
prayed over him. The doctors had given him up, and had 
said that nothing could save him but a miracle. For a week 
he lay like a hoop, head and heels meeting; he moaned and 
groaned so that passers-by were attracted. We all prayed 
to Ste. Anne for him ; he held the little statue in his hand, 
and the httle rosary of Ste. Anne around his wrist hke a 
bracelet, when we did not pray on it for him. He also had the 
Uttle paper pictures of Ste. Anne put on him, and the spring 
water of Ste. Anne was used. The doctors said he would 
lose his hearing and sight and perhaps his mind, if he ever 
should get over it. But now we are happy to say that Ste. 
Anne has made him well. He is just as he used to be. His 
hearing, mind, and sight are just as good as ever. We are 
very thankful to Good Ste. Anne. Miss Theresa Gebhard." 

In former times, many cures as results of prayer w^ere 
thought to be miraculous because the laws under which 
they were effected were not well understood. Science 
now explains such recoveries from sickness not by inter- 
vention of spirits, but by reflex action according to the 
law of suggestion. 1 

Since the divinities are conceived to be as sensitive as 
the living to cold, hunger, thirst, and pain, it is supposed that 
they can be propitiated by gifts of food, drink, clothing, 
and similar gifts. Turner writes that among the New 
Caledonians a chief says to the ghosts of his fathers, 
''Compassionate fathers! here is some food for you; eat it; 

^ Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 413. 


be kind to us on account of it." ^ The Veddah says to a 
deceased relative, as the food offering is presented, '*Come 
and partake of this. Give us maintenance as you did 
when Hving." ^ Shooter says that the Kaffirs attribute 
every unlucky event to the ghost of a dead person, and 
slay an animal to gain his favor.^ Among the Karens, when 
a person is ill, the medicine man, if he is well paid, 
will tell what spirit has produced the sickness, and by what 
offering it is to be propitiated.* The Yakuts believe that all 
diseases are due to spirit possession. Methods of cure 
consist in propitiating or exorcising the uninvited guest. ^ 

\X/;hen the supernatural being becomes more developed 
in human thought, both the gifts and the motives for 
offering them become more worthy of respect. The gifts 
and the motives are the same, but the name of the gifts is 
changed to oblation. The reason for presenting oblations 
to the divinities is shown in an old Greek Proverb which 
says, "Gifts determine the acts of gods and kings."*' 
When the ideas of men concerning the deity become 
more exalted, offerings, which before were propitiatory 
from their intrinsic value, are regarded as making the 
giver acceptable in the sight of heaven because they imply 
loyalty and obedience. 

In order to understand the employment of the positive 

method of the shaman in his capacity of healer, it is 

1 Turner, "Nineteen Years in Polynesia," p. 88. 

2 Transactions of the Ethnological Society, New Series, II, p. 302. 

3 Shooter," The Kaffirs of Natal and the Zulu Country," pp.1 63— 164. 

4 Mason, J. A. Soc. Bengal, XXXIV, p. 230. 

5 Sumner, " Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 
J. A. L, XXXI, p. 105. 

^ Guhl and Koner, "Life of the Greeks and Romans," p. 283. 


necessary to keep constantly in mind the anthropomorphic 
conception of the savage regarding the divinities — that 
they have the same Hkes and dislikes, wants, needs, 
pleasures, disappointments as when in the body, and are 
therefore to be flattered, bribed, coaxed, in the same way 
as before their deification. In Tartary, for example, illness 
is believed to be due to the visitation of a tchutgour, or 
daimon. If the sick man is poor, it is evident that the 
tchutgour visiting him is an inferior tchutgour, and re- 
quires nothing but a short, extemporaneous prayer, or at 
most an interjectional exorcism. If the sick person is 
very poor, the lama will have nothing to do with the case, 
but advises the friends to possess themselves in patience 
until the patient improves or dies, according to the decrees 
of the gods. But if the sick man is rich, the lama takes 
more notice of his misfortune. Since it is reasonable 
to suppose that a daimon who would deign to visit 
a person of such consequence must be a powerful daimon, 
it would not be becoming for a great tchutgour to travel 
Hke an inferior daimon. The friends of the patient, accord- 
ingly, must prepare for the tchutgour many fine clothes, 
and, in case of extreme riches, many fine horses, for the 
daimon may be a very great prince, attended by a retinue 
of courtiers, all of whom must be provided with means of 
conveyance.! The daimon here is evidently thought to be 
bribed by offerings, which, consisting of clothing and 
horses, of course materially benefit the lama, but the spirits 
of which, he persuades the patient and his friends, are 
^ Hue, "Travels in Tartary," I. chapter 3. 



required by the daimon as the price of the recovery of 
the sick man. 

The gods are propitiated, likewise, by offerings of 
food, the spirit of which, the savage thinks, contributes to 
the sustenance of the inhabitants of the unseen world. 
Thus among the Tahitians, if a man is taken violently ill, 
the fruits of entire plantain fields or over one hundred 
pigs, are taken to the medicine man; it frequently happens 
that human victims are presented to the idol in the hope that 
the sight of them might appease his anger.i Among the 
Northern Chins, a sick man, believing his bad luck due 
to the agency of an angry deity, offers a young fowl or 
small dog in sacrifice. If he recovers, it is a sign that the 
divinities are propitiated. ^ In L'ien-chow, in the province 
of Kwang-si, China, if a man stumbles over a stone, and 
afterwards is taken ill, his sickness is believed to be 
due to the fact that there was a daimon in the stone. His 
friends, therefore, go to the spot where the misfortune 
took place, and make an effort to propitiate the daimon by 
offerings of rice, wine, incense, and worship. Then it is 
thought that the sick man will get well.^ The offerings 
made for propitiating the gods, it is here repeated, con- 
tribute to the maintenance of the sacerdotal class; as, for 
example, among the Koskis, the priest, to appease the 
angry divinity who has made some person sick, takes per- 
haps a fowl, which he tells the people the deity requires, 
and pours out its blood on the ground as an offering. 

^ Farrer, "Primitive Manners and Customs," p. 61. 
2 Hutchinson, "Living Races of Mankind," I, p. 114. 
* Dennys, "Folklore of China," p. 96. 


Therr he proceeds to roast and eat the fowl, and, after 
throwing away the bones, goes back to his home.i 

The following instances, among many others, illustrate 
the fact that when man comes to regard the gods as bene- 
ficent beings, the method of the medicine man of dealing 
with them changes from compulsion to propitiation. Ac- 
cording to Bancroft, the Nootka Sound People think that 
pains and maladies are due to the absence or irregular 
conduct of the soul (which must be recalled by the arts of the 
medicine man), or to the malignance of spirits, which must 
be placated. 2 The Dyaks of Borneo believe that every 
sort of trouble is caused by spirits; their entire medical 
science consequently consists of a knowledge of charms, 
which may avert evil, and of a knowledge of the offering 
of sacrifices, which may appease the wrath of the spirit 
that has caused the harm. 3 McCullock writes of the Kon- 
pooee, "'Whilst the Konpooee enjoys good health, he has 
little anxiety, but if struck by sickness for any length 
of time, the chances are he is ruined. To medicine he 
does not look for a cure of disease, but to sacrifices 
offered as directed by the priests to certain deities. All 
his goods and chattels may be expended unavailingly, 
and when nothing more is left for the inexorable gods, 
I have seen wives and children sold as slaves to provide 
means of propitiating the deities."'^ 

1 J. As. Soc. Bengal, XXIV, p. 631. 

" Bancroft, "The Native Races of the Pacific States of North 
America," I, p. 204. 

2 Tylor, Art. " Denaonology," Encyc. Brit , Ninth Edition, IV, p. 58. 
■* McCullock, "Selections from the Records of the Government of 

India," p. 87. Quoted by Spencer in "Principles of Sociology," III, 
p. 470. 



Among all primitive peoples, the most unfailing means 
of securing the favor of the gods, or of appeasing them 
when angry, is thought to be the offering of blood. 
Here, too, it is impossible to understand the original 
motive for this practice unless the anthropomorphic con- 
ception of the savage concerning the divinities be borne in 
mind. If the deities relished the taste of blood when living, 
they have not changed since their apotheosis. Burton says 
that the blood offerings which the inhabitants of Dahomey 
present to the dead are drink for the deceased. ^ Odysseus 
describes the ghosts in the Greek Hades as drinking the 
sacrificial blood which he offers them, and as being rein- 
vigorated by it.^ Among the ancient Mexicans, the ruling 
houses descended from conquering cannibals. Their gods 
were cannibals. Their idols were fed with human hearts. 
When the priests represented to the kings that the idols 
were starving, war was waged, prisoners taken, "because 
the gods demanded something to eat," and for that reason 
many human lives were sacrificed every year.^ Herrera 
says further that the coast-people of Peru offered blood to 
idols, and that the Indians gave the idols blood to drink, 
while the priests and dignified persons abstracted blood 
from their legs and smeared it on their temples.^ 

If the gods are pleased at the sight of blood, why not, 
when divine wrath is indicated by sickness, make an offer- 
ing of that precious fluid to appease the dreaded ghosts, 

^ Burton, "Mission to Gelele King of Dahomey," II, p. 164. 

2 "Odyssey," Book XI, line 35 if. 

^ Herrera, "General History of the Continent and Isles of 

America," III, p. 207. 
4 Ibid., pp. 210-213. 


or to enlist their aid in thwarting the malicious attacks of 

the spirits of darkness? This is precisely what man in the 

state of savagery often does. For it is said that in British 

Nigeria, if misfortune or disease fall upon the people, their 

chief divinity must be conciliated by a sacrifice of slaves. i 

A woman living in the Madras Presidency was barren. This 

was said to be due to daimon possession. Her father 

consulted an exorciser, who declared a human sacrifice 

necessary. One night her father, the exorcist, and six 

companions met at an appointed place, and after religious 

exercises sent for the victim. Without suspecting any 

danger he came, and was given so much alcoholic drink 

that he became intoxicated. His head was then cut off, 

and his blood mingled with rice was offered to the gods 

as a sacrifice. 2 

It is not necessary that an individual be killed in order 

to obtain blood to offer to the spirits. Sometimes the skin 

of the head is cut with the shell of a snail, and the blood 

caught in rags and laid beside a corpse as a substitute for 

a victim. The ears and shoulders are sometimes pierced, 

and the blood gathered with a sponge, and squeezed out 

above a sacrificial vessel. The Aztecs used to sprinkle 

their altars with blood drawn from their own bodies. 

The Inca-Peruvians bled young boys, and mixed the 

blood with bread. Where such blood-bread left a 

mark behind, there was thought to be protection from the 

spirits. 3 

^ Mockler-Ferryman, "British Nigeria," p. 259. 
- Strack, "The Jew and Human Sacrifice," p. 422. 
3 Lippert, " Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 328. 


The special method of blood-letting in various local- 
ities, especially in Polynesia, Africa, and Central America, 
has led in one place to circumcision, in another to 
lopping, or piercing the ears, and in a third, to maiming the 
fingers by removing one or two joints. ^ In the Tonga 
Islands, the natives, in case of illness, cut off a portion 
of the little finger with a view to recovery.- 

The case of ear-boring, referred to above, is interest- 
ing. In the house of the Incas all children had to pass 
through a ceremony before they were really sons of the 
Incas. Along with the usual fasting a sort of test of 
abihty to carry arms was made; then the king pierced the 
ears of those who were found worthy.^ As an initiation 
into life and arm-bearing, the Mohammedans observ^e 
the practice of baptism, cutting of the hair, and 
ear-boring, or circumcision in the narrow sense.* 
Nearly all the forms that distinguish the real Arab are 
to be found among the Jews. Among the latter, how- 
ever, circumcision is used to mark officially the compact 
with the state god, while ear-boring has fallen to the use 
of binding the slave to his master. The Jewish servant, 
if he was to belong to the house forever, was bound over 
to the household gods by means of ear-boring, and, there- 
fore, by blood-sacrifice. 5 That was the older law. The 
newer law, in repeating the same reference, has weeded out 
all connexion with religious ceremonial, has even left out 

^ Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 329. 

2 Mariner, "Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands," II, p.222. 

^ Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 343. 

^ Ibid., II, p. 345. 

■^ Exodus, 21 : 6. METHODS OF MEDICINE MAN 183 

mention of the household gods, and has given the ear-pierc- 
ing the significance of symbolically fastening the servant 
to the house: "Take an awl, and stick it into his ear, and 
into the door: then he is thy servant forever." i Here it is 
evident that ear-piercing was still used as a sign of com- 
pact.- The old religious compact, with the sign of the ear- 
boring, survived in Christianity, despite the efforts of some 
of the Church Fathers against the introduction of heathen 
customs into its system. Even in the nineteenth century, 
people were accustomed, for certain illnesses, to make vows 
to a saint, and, as a sign of their vows, to wear an ear^- 
ring.3 Before the custom entirely disappeared, it was 
rationalized. Then it came to be believed that piercing the 
ear was a remedy for trouble with the eyes.'^ This remedy 
for eye-trouble has been resorted to within the memory of 
persons living at the present time. These good people are 
not aware, however, that it had its beginning in the efforts 
of the medicine man to propitiate disease daimons by 
means of blood-letting. 

Pliny says that the hippopotamus, having become fat 
and unwieldy through over-eating, bled himself with a 
sharp-pointed reed, and when he had abstracted sufficient 
blood, closed the wound with clay. Men, he asserts, have 
imitated the operation,^ and hence the origin of the practice 
of venesection. How much more simple, satisfactory, and 
credible an explanation of the beginning of this 
expedient is made by referring it to the blind efforts of the 

^ Deuteronomy, 15 : 17. 

2 Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 345. 3 ibid. II, p. 346. * Ibid. 

5 Pliny, "Natural History," B. VIII, C. 26. 


medicine man in casting about for sacrifices with which 
to appease the angry spirits! Not to any medical beast 
story, but to childish notions of the shaman as to the 
cause of disease and the proper means of cure is to be 
traced the initiation of venesection — the panacea of the 
seventeenth century physician, and the well-recognized 
therapeutic agent in the practice of the medical profession 
of the present time. All animal stories purporting to account 
for the origin of treatment of sickness are to be relegated 
to the realm of fable and myth, rather than regarded as 
affording a basis for scientific explanation. 

A more rational ground for blood-letting followed 
the first rude experience. In the course of evolution, some 
individual with more intelligence than his companions 
observed that the abstraction of blood was often followed 
by beneficial results. He applied it in certain cases. His 
action was imitated. The practice was transmitted to 
later generations, and, therefore, instances are on record in 
which savages and barbaric peoples resorted to blood- 
letting for well-defined reasons. i The Omahas, for 
example, who advocated bleeding in treating disease, used 
flint knives with which to gash the flesh between the 
eyebrows. 2 "The Apache scouts when tired were in the 
habit," Bourke writes, "of sitting down and lashing their 
legs with branches of nettles until the blood flowed. 
This, according to their belief, relieved exhaustion." ^ (it 
is interesting to note in passing that a form of transfusion 

^ Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 327. 

2 Fletcher-Laflesche, "The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p. 582. 

3 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 471. 


of blood was known more than three centuries ago. ''In 

the age of Queen Elizabeth/' says Southey, "there was a 

new invention whereof some princes had very great 

esteem, and used it for to remain thereby in this force, and, 

as they thought, to live long. They chose a strong young 

man of twenty-five, dieted him for a month on the best 

of meats, wines, and spices, and at the end of the month 

they bled him in both arms as much as he could tolerate 

and abide. They added a handful of salt to six pounds 

of this blood, and distilled it seven times, pouring water 

upon the residuum after every distillation. An ounce of 

this was to be taken three or four times a year. As 

the life was thought to be in the blood, it was believed 

that it could be thus transferred"). ^ In cases of dropsy, 

it is said that Asclepiades practiced scarification of the 

ankles. 2 Hippocrates is reputed to have been the first 

medical writer to speak of bleeding. He advised that blood 

be abstracted from the arm, from the temporal vessels, 

from the leg, and from other parts of the body in some 

instances to the point of fainting. ^ Among the nature 

people of the River DarHng, New South Wales, the very 

sick and weak patients are fed upon blood abstracted from 

the bodies of their male friends. As a general thing it is 

taken as soon as it is drawn. But sometimes hot ashes 

are put into the blood, thus cooking it to a slight extent.* 

Granted that this practice is disgusting, it is scarcely more 

so than that of nineteenth century physicians who pre- 

1 Southey, "The Doctor," p. 59. ^ Baas, "History of Medicine," p. 137. 
' Le Clerc, "Histoire de la Medicine," Part I, Book I, Chap. 18. 
♦ J. A. I., 1884, p. 132. 


scribed fresh animal blood for tubercular and anemic 

The striking thing about sacrificial blood-letting is 
that the medicine man, in his efforts to propitiate the angry 
spirits by offering up the blood of the patient, uncon- 
sciously initiated a therapeutic agency which has never 
been abandoned — that of venesection. In the seventeenth 
and early part of the eighteenth centuries, it w^as applied 
in every form of sickness. In cases of over-indulgence, the 
strong and healthy resorted to it for relief vv^ith much the 
same freedom and confidence as in these days they resort 
to epsom salts. During the last half of the eighteenth century, 
how^ever, there vv^as a reaction against the excessive use 
of blood-letting, and the practice to a great extent was 
discontinued. Within the last few years there has been 
a revival in its favor.i Among its generally recognized 
advantages, it may be noted that venesection "acts by 
diminishing the force of the action of the heart, and by 
diminishing the quantity of blood in the body. It is useful 
in cases of pneumonia, where from the amount of lung 
inflamed there is great impediment to the flow of blood, 
and the veins of the head and neck become turgid from 
over-distress of the right cavities of the heart. It is useful 
in apoplexy where the veins are distended, or where there 
is a full, hard pulse. Local blood-letting is seldom wrong 
in inflammation of external parts, or of the pleura, or 
peritoneum." - Another authority states that, ^'during the 
first years of this century, Roux demonstrated that the 

^ New Sydenham Society Lexicon of Medicine, Art, "Blood- 
letting." 2 Ibid. 


abstraction of blood from animals produced a rapid 
formation and increase of antitoxins, and where a condition 
existed that caused a decline of these bodies, bleeding 
at once checked" [this decline], ^'and there followed 
a re-formation" [of antitoxins]. **A few years later, 
Schroder of Copenhagen published observations on 
typhoid and allied fevers in man, showing that 
bleeding up to twenty ounces also here increased 
the specific agglutinating properties of serum, and, 
as in animals, under certain conditions where the agglutin- 
ating properties had begun to decline, blood-letting checked 
such a decline and produced a marked increase in this 
power." 1 It is remarkable, indeed, that a therapeutic 
measure, employed with beneficial results by twentieth 
century physicians, should have had its origin in cultural 
blood-letting. Good out of evil ! Saul among the prophets, 
and Herbert Spencer among the mystics ! And this despite 
the teachings of Zeno. 

So much for the method of propitiation. As to the 
negative method of the medicine man, perhaps the best 
way of approach is by the imagination. Putting oneself in 
the place of the savage, and thinking his thoughts, how 
evident it is to one that, since the entrance of malicious 
spirits into the body of the patient is the cause of sickness, 
expulsion of those spirits is the only remedy! Exorcism 
is, therefore, a part of the stock in trade of the medicine 
man, and, among the Goras of Northwestern India, any 
person can become a medicine man who will learn the 

1 Reference Handbook of Medical Sciences, II, p. 199. 


formulas which compel the daimons to obey.i Of the 
Mishmis it is said that when a man is sick a priest 
is summoned to banish the evil spirit.2 Miss Kingsley 
says that sickness and death in West Africa are believed to 
be caused by the body-soul of a deceased person before 
it has taken its final departure for dead-land, or by various 
agencies, differing according to the locality. But of all 
the spirits the "sisa" is perhaps the most annoying. 
Sometimes it wanders about, and, taking advantage of an 
open mouth and the absence of a "kra" or dream-soul, enters 
into a person and causes rheumatism, colic, or other painful 
ailments. The medicine man has to be summoned at once 
to get it out. The methods employed to meet this are 
characteristic of men incapable of the most advanced think- 
ing. All the people in the village, particularly babies and 
old people — persons whose souls are delicate — must be 
kept away during the operation, having a piece of cloth 
over the nose and mouth, and everyone must be howling so , 
as to scare the ''sisa" off them if by any chance it should^' 
escape from the witch doctor. An efficient practitioner 
thinks it a disgrace to allow a ''sisa" to get away from him ; 
such an accident would be a blow to his practice, for the 
people would not care to call a man who could allow this to 
happen. 3 The Chippeways, in treating disease, concerned 
themselves more about the spells they used to banish the 
spirits than about the remedies they applied.* Among the 

» Dalton, "Ethnology of Bengal," p. 60. 

2 Rowlatt, "Mishmis," Journal of As. Soc. Bengal, XIV, Part. 2,p.487. 

^ Kingsley, "West African Studies," p. 172. 

* Keating, "Expedition to the Source of St. Peter's River," 11, p. 158. 


New Zealanders, when any person falls ill, the medicine 
man resorts to incantations, either to propitiate the angry"', 
spirit or, through threats and abuse, to drive it away.^ I 
The native doctors of the Visayans, with whom the author , 
became acquainted while living in the Philippine Islands, 
used to place a light under the nipa house in which a . 
child was being born for the purpose, as they averred, of | 
frightning away the ''asuangs" [spirits] which otherwise 
would devour the infant as soon as it was delivered. 

One method of exorcism is that of causing the \ 
body of the patient to become such a disagreeable | 
habitat that the disease spirit will not remain in 
it. In some instances this is accomplished in a 
very heroic manner. The natives of Sumatra, for example, 
try to banish the daimon from an insane person 
by putting the patient into a hut and setting fire to the 
building, leaving the wretch to escape if he can.^ The sick 
person, among various savage tribes, is fumigated, made to 
swallow horrible things, drenched with foul concoctions 
which only the savage imagination could conceive — all for 
the distinct purpose of disgusting the unseen intruder. ^ 

The savage doctor often tries to expel the evil spirit 
by physical force. Among the Columbian Indians, he 
attempts to compel the disease daimon to leave a patient 
by pressing his clenched fists with all his might in the 
pit of the stomach of the unfortunate man.^ Many 

' Lubbock, "Origin of Civilization," p. 132. 
2 Marsden, "History of Sumatra," p. 191. 

^ Bancroft, "Native Races of the Pacific States of North 
America," I, p. 286. 


innocent old men and old women of the Tagalog people, 
Philippine Islands, when thought to be possessed by 
vicious spirits, are known to have been cruelly beaten and 
otherwise maltreated because the pagan shamans believed 
that in this maner the daimons could be exorcised. Herrera 
writes of the Indians ofCumana, "If the disease increased," 
[the medicine men] "said the patient was possessed with 
spirits, stroked the body all over, used words of enchant- 
ment, licked some joints, and sucked, saying they drew out 
the spirit; took a twig of a certain root, the virtue 
whereof none but the physicians knew, .tickled their own 
throats with it till they vomited, and bled, sighed, roared, 
quaked, stamped, made a thousand faces, sweated for two 
hours, and at last brought up a sort of thick phlegm, with 
a little hard black ball in the middle of it, which the re- 
lations of the sick person carried to the field, saying — 
'Go thy way. Devil/" i 

The medicine men of the Algonkin, the Ojib- 
ways, the Sioux, and other Indian tribes had a 
method of exorcism known as the sucking method. 
They sucked that part of the body where the pain was 
most intense, thinking by so doing to extract the daimon. 
Among the Florida Indians, the shamans sucked and 
blew on the sick man, and put hot stones on his abdomen 
to remove the pain. The medicine men of the Navaho and 
Chippeway Indians had a bony tube similar to a stetho- 
scope, which they placed over the diseased spot and sucked 
in order to give relief.^ In Australia, says Howitt, 

' Herrera, "General History of the Continent and Islands of 
America," HI, p. 310. ^ Bartels, "Med- Naturvolker," p. 270. METHODS OF MEDICINE MAN 191 

''cures are effected by sucking the afflicted part and 
exhibiting, as having been extracted therefrom, some 
foreign body which has caused the ill, or by sucking 
the place, and expelling the evil influence, or by 
various manipulations, pinchings, squeezings, to allay 
the pain. In some cases the 'poison,' as they call 
it now, is supposed to be extracted through a string, or 
a stick, from the patient to the doctor, who spits it out 
in the form of blood." i Howitt Hkewise speaks of the 
Kernai and relates that one of these, being ill, con- 
sulted a Murring doctor, who, after manipulating the 
patient, sucked the afflicted place, and exhibited a 
quartz crystal as being the cause of the illness. He 
also told the patient that it had been thrown at him by 
another Murring doctor. The man got well, and the 
reputation of the medicine man was greater than ever. ^ 
Bourke says that the Apache shaman, in the case of deep- 
seated pains, sucked the place affected, putting so much 
energy into his work that he raised blisters. ^ Among 
the California Indians, the medicine men had a tube called 
the "chacuaco," made from a very hard, black stone, which 
they used in sucking such parts of the body of the patient 
as were subject to great pain.* The medicine man of the 
Shingu Indians wafts clouds of tobacco smoke over his 
patient, and kneads him vigorously, groaning meanwhile as 
if he were his own victim, although the sick man 

1 Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 39. 

2 Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 57. 

^ Bourlie, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 471 
* Venigas, "History of California," I, p. 126. 


remains quiet. After resorting to suction, he appears 
to spit out the source of the trouble. i 

To modern man both the ghost theory of disease and 
suction as a means of exorcism are alike absurd. But the 
therapeutical expedient so much in vogue today, especially 
in country districts, known as ''cupping," had its beginning 
in the sucking method of the medicine man. In Alaska, 
the native doctor used for a sucking instrument the bone 
of the wing of an eagle. The transition from sucking with 
the mouth to a real cupping instrument is here seen.^ By 
use of a cupping glass in the case of a boil, for example, 
the blood is drawn to the surface of the body where the 
boil is located. The phagocytes combat and destroy the 
cocci bacilli that have gained access to the tissue spaces, 
and the patient is relieved. What is of interest here is the 
fact that the procedure of cupping, which is today recog- 
nized as a scientific measure, was discovered unwittingly 
and unawares by the medicine man, whose intention was 
not to bring blood to the periphery, but to abstract an evil 
spirit.3 In many cases he, of necessity, succeeded in 
effecting a cure. As Bartels says, "At bottom the idea 
of this procedure [suction] was to draw out the evil spirit 
that was responsible for the disease or pain, but this 
process really worked as dry clipping and in some cases 
was beneficial." * The method was passed on to succeeding 
generations until at length the principles of scientific 
cupping were grasped. 

1 Steinen, "Shingu Tribes," p. 345. After Sumner's Notes. 

2 Bartels, "Med Naturvolker," p. 270. 3 Mason, "Origins of 
Invention," p. 203. * Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 266. 


Another method of exorcism is by kneading and massag- 
ing the body. Spencer and Oillan describe as follows the 
process as practiced in Central Australia: "A middle aged 
man fell ill. His illness was at once attributed to the fact 
that he had deliberately done what he perfectly well knew 
was contrary to the custom, and no one was in the least 
surprised. Among the men in the camp were five doctors, 
and, as the case was evidently a serious one, they were 
called into consultation. One of them — a celebrated medi- 
cine man from a neighbouring tribe — gave it as his 
opinion that the bone of a dead man, attracted by the camp 
fire, or through the influence of a wizard, had entered the 
body of the patient and was causing the trouble. The 
others agreed with this opinion, but, not to be outdone 
by a stranger, the oldest doctor of the tribe in question 
decided that, in addition to the bone, an arabillia, or wart 
of a gum tree, had somehow got inside the body of the 
man. The three less experienced men looked very grave, 
but said nothing beyond the fact that they fully concurred 
in the diagnosis of their older colleagues. At all events 
it was decided that both the bone and the wart must 
be removed, and under cover of darkness, they were in 
part supposed to be removed after much sucking and 
rubbing of the body of the patient.'' ^ Howitt thus 
writes of the treatment of an Austrahan doctor: "His 
method of cure was to stroke the affected part with his 
hands until, as he said, he could 'feel the thing under the 
skin.' Then, covering the place with a piece of cloth, he 

* Spencer and Gillan, "Native Tribes of Central Australia," p. 516. 



drew it together with one hand, and unfolding it he 
exhibited within its folds a piece of quartz, bone, bark, 
charcoal, even in one case a glass marble, placed there, 
as he said, by a wizard, as the cause of the disease." ^ 
Matthews describes the method of a medicine man of 
the Navahoes in his treatment of a sick woman. She 'Svas 
lifted by two other women and laid on her side, . . . with 
her face to the east. While she lay there, the medicine 
man, amid much singing, walked around her, inscribed 
on the earth at her feet a straight line with his finger, 
and erased it with his foot, inscribed at her head a cross, 
and rubbed it out in the same manner, traced radiating 
lines in all directions from her body, and obliterated them, 
gave her a light massage, whistled over her from head to 
foot and all around her, and whistled towards the smoke 
hole, as if whistling something away. These acts were per- 
formed in the order in which they are recorded. His 
last operation was a severe massage, in which he kneaded 
every part of her body forcibly, and pulled her joints hard, 
whereat she groaned and made demonstrations of suffer- 
ing." 2 Among the Omahas, the treatment of sickness was 
especially painful, since it consisted not only of bleeding, 
sucking, and of kneading the body, but of pulling the flesh 
below the ribs.^ 

A survival of the rubbing or massaging process is to be 
observed in the practice of osteopathy. The osteopath, be it 

1 Howitt, "Australian Medicine Men," J. A. I., XVI, p. 39. 

2 Matthews, "The Mountain Chant," Bur. Eth., 1888, p. 423. 

3 Fletcher-Laflesche, " The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p. 567. 


understood, does not pretend to remove a spirit or any 
other disturbing object by his operations. His idea is 
to restore healthy action in a dormant organ. Massaging 
is recognized by the best physicians as a therapeutic 
agency in case of sprains, bruises, indigestion, and many 
other ailments. There is no doubt that both the medicine 
man and the osteopath produce results; although no evil 
spirit or foreign object is cast out, as the savage thinks, 
neither does disease have its origin in the spine, according 
to the theory of the osteopath and the chiropractor. In 
both instances cures are effected in spite of an illusory 
major premise. The reason for the success of the 
application of massage is that bodily organs are often 
stimulated to renewed activity by friction through which 
the blood is brought to those organs, in addition to the fact 
that certain patients are particularly amenable to suggestion. 
In what is conceived to be the more difficult form of 
exorcism, one daimon is employed to expel another. The 
medicine man pretends to subdue the daimon in the patient 
by virtue of the spirit with which he himself is possessed; 
or he creates the impression that he is able to enlist the aid 
of friendly supernatural powers. This method of exorcism 
known as ''dualism" continues among civilized peoples. An 
ancient Egyptian inscription relates that Princess Bint-resh, 
sister of Queen Noferu-ra, recovered from a serious sickness 
when the image of the god Khon-su was brought to her 
bedside. Although the "learned expert" Thutenhit was 
unable to do her any good, her recovery was immediate 
when the god appeared in the sick chamber of the princess, 



the evil spirit of the disease acknowledging the superior 
power of Khon-su, and leaving at once his usurped abode. ^ 
Fire is regarded as a powerful means of spirit ex- 
pulsion. Whence came fire? How in the beginning did 
man obtain possession of it? In volcanic regions its dis- 
covery is easily explained. It was belched up from the 
bowels of the earth. To the savage there is but one ex- 
planation of volcanic eruption — it is mysterious, and, 
therefore, due to spirit activity. Hence the resulting fire 
either contains a spirit or is itself a spirit. But while 
fire is ubiquitous, crater disturbances are not found in 
many parts of the earth. In the light of this knowledge, 
how is the presence of fire to be explained? Electrical 
storms have always occurred all over the world. Fire, 
then, must have come from bolts of lightning ^ which 
ignited trees of the forests and grass of the stepps. But 
since the lightning comes out of the skies it must in savage 
thought have been sent by the spirits who abide in the 
heavenly regions. The fire, therefore, enkindled by 
the lightning must be possessed by, or be one or more 
of those celestial inhabitants. Fire crackles, sputters, and 
inflicts pain when one comes too near it. The 
savage ascribes these properties to spirit possession. 
Since fire itself is a spirit, or contains a spirit, may 
it not be instrumental in frightening away spirits? 
This the savage believes. He finds fire serviceable 
in ridding: himself of his mundane foes. Insects fear it; if 


1 Brugsch-Bey, "Egypt under the Pharaohs," II, pp. 192—193. 

2 Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," I, p. 253 ff. 


they chance to come within its reach they are destroyed. 
The most savage and ferocious animals will not approach 
it; the blaze dazzles their eyes, the heat burns them. They 
are easily subdued or put to flight by the brandishing of 
a burning stick or lighted torch. Since fire is an effective 
means of vanquishing earthly enemies, it follows that it 
will be equally advantageous in driving off invisible and 
spiritual foes. Concerning the Yakuts Sieroshevski says, 
"The most trustworthy agency to drive out daimons which 
torment people in sleep is fire, placed between the victim 
and his tormentor. An expiring fire-brand cast down 
by the threshold of the house-door is often used by the 
Yakuts to prevent evil spirits from getting into the house. 
Often when they first bring into the stable beasts which 
they have newly obtained, they lead them through fire." i 
A Yakut '^boy," he continues, "whose finger became in- 
flamed came to the conclusion, which the bystanders shar- 
ed, that a 'yor' [spirit] had established itself in the finger. 
Desiring to drive it out the boy took a burning coal and 
began to apply it around the place while blowing upon it. 
When the burned flesh began to blister, and then burst 
with a little crackle, the curious group which had crowded 
around him flew back with a cry of terror, and the 
wounded boy, with a smile of self-satisfaction, said: ^You 
saw how he jumped out!"'^ <<a man who had the rheuma- 
tism,'' he again says, "had his body marked all over with 
deep burnings. As soon as he had any pain, he 
applied fire to the seat of it." ^ in ancient Chaldea, the 

' Sumner, "Yakuts," Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 
J. A. I., XXXI, p. 105. 2 Ibid. 3 i5i(j. 


exorcists were expert in expelling daimons which caused 
disease. The priests sometimes made a fire of herbs, 
the flame of which was thought to frighten away the 
daimons, and the evils for which they were responsible.! 
Leland gives a Russian gypsy incantation by which fire 
was invoked to cure illness. It is as follows: '"Great Fire, 
my defender and protector, son of the celestial fire, equal of 
the sun who cleanses the earth of foulness, deliver this man 
from the evil sickness that torments him day and night !'" ^ 
It is striking to note in this connexion that uncon- 
sciously, accidentally, unintentionally, and in spite of him- 
self, the medicine man by his use of fire initiated a scientific 
method of procedure. Fire is the only infallible germicide 
known to the scientific world. By it water is purified, 
surgical instruments are sterilized, and by the cooking of 
food, germs of disease have been destroyed, thus preventing 
many a period of sickness. And the therapeutic use of 
fire had its beginning in the efforts of the medicine man, 
searching for ghost-banning influences. One may read that 
among the Araucanians a cautery of burning pitch was 
used 3 ; while Grinnell declares that among the Indians of 
his acquaintance "cauterizing with red hot irons was not 
infrequently employed.'' * In Gilbert Island cauterization is 
accomplished by means of small pieces of hot cocoanut 
shell.s The California Indians for the initial stage of 
syphilis applied a hot coal to the indurated chancre.^ 

^ Maspero, "Dawn of Civilization in Egypt and Chaldea," p. 780. 
- Leland, " Gypsy Sorcery," p. 40. ^ Smith, "Araucanians," p. 233. 
* Grinnell, "The Healing Art as practised by the Indians of the 
Plains," Cincinnati Lancet and Observer, VII, 1874, pp. 145 — 147. 
•' Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 287. 6 ibid. 


Among primitive peoples water is considered a power- 
ful means of influencing the spirits. The sea rolls, the 
breakers roar, the waves lash the shore. Rivers flow 
ceaselessly, the currents now slow, now swift, now falling 
over cataracts, eroding earth and stones, causing rapids 
to wear gulches — all this calls for explanation. After heavy 
rains freshets are formed, fields are overflowed, trees and 
rocks are washed away, and often men and beasts are vic- 
tims of the flood. An ill-fated canoe, laden with human 
freight, is sometimes lost in a whirlpool; springs bubble 
up out of the ground; water veins are struck underneath 
the surface of the earth. It is impossible to project 
developed ideas of civilized man back into the un- 
developed mind of the savage, and say that the latter 
attributes those phenomena to natural causes. The best 
he can do with his untrained intellect and limited 
fund of knowledge, is to ascribe those extraordinary 
occurences to spirit influences. One hears, therefore, of 
the ''God of storm and calm, the vexed sea and the quiet 
harbor," of water sprites, fairies, and elves. Since water 
manifests such convincing proof of spirit possession, 
why should it not be useful as a means of banishing 
spirits? Primitive man believes in its ghost compelling 
power. The savage is not slow to observe that water can 
be made to cleanse material substances. With it he removes 
the dirt from his bow and arrow, cleanses his garments, 
and renders his person more attractive. Since water is a 
means of purifying visible and tangible things, the primitive 
man reasons that it can banish those invisible and intangible 


influences that inflict both corporeal and spiritual evil. 
It is stated, for example, that the "Malagasy, con- 
sidering all diseases as inflicted by an evil spirit, 
consult a medicine man whose method is to re- 
move the daimon by means of a little grass, or 
the water with which the patient has rinsed his mouth." ^ 
Animals fear water. By it dogs can be made to stop 
fighting, a mad dog can be swerved from his course, a 
mad bull can be put to flight. If to the savage mind this 
element has the power, by virtue of indwelling spirits, to 
drive away animals, it can surely keep at a distance the in- 
visible enemies of the spirit world, some of which are 
metamorphosed animals. In the Jewish Hades, therefore, it 
will be remembered, a great gulf separated the spirits of 
the unjust from the spirits of the just^ ; and in the Greek 
belief the soul had to cross the river Styx before it could 
reach the spirit world. In this connexion, it is told that the 
Omahas believed ghosts would never cross a stream, and, 
therefore, if pursued by these unwelcome apparitions, a 
man would go post-haste to the nearest rivulet and cross it. 
The extent of the barrier made no difference to the ghost; 
it was unable to cross any running water.^ 

Tylor writes: ''With all the obscurity and intricacy 
due to age-long modification, the primitive thought that 
overrules water ceremonies in vogue among many civilized 
peoples is still open to view. There has been a transition 
from practical to symbolic cleansing, from the removal of 

» Ellis, "Madagascar," I, pp. 221—232. 

2 St. Luke, 16 : 26. 

3 Fletcher-Laflesche, "The Omaha Tribe," Bur. Eth., 1911, p. 591. 




bodily impurity to deliverance from moral and spiritual 
impurity. But there is a survival in all water rites of the 
savage idea of spirit-banning. Holy water is in full use in 
the Greek and Roman Churches. It bathes the worshipper 
as he enters the temple, it cures diseases, it averts sorcery 
from men and animals, it drives daimons from the possessed, 
it stops the pen of the spirit-writer, it drives the spirit- 
moved table as it is sprinkled upon it to dash itself 
against the wall; at least these are among the powers 
attributed to it and vouched for by ecclesiastical author- 
ity." ^ Why does all this power reside in water? The 
reason may not have been expressed, but the explana- 
tion goes back to the savage idea of spirit possession. 
In the use of water to expel the disease daimon, the 
medicine man unconsciously, accidentally, and without 
purpose, hit upon a remedy, the therapeutic value of which, 
although not comprehended either by himself or by any- 
body in his class, is now generally recognized. In 1702, 
Sir John Floyer referred the water cure system to 
baptism, and assigned as a reason for rachitis the fact that 
"children in baptism were no longer plunged in water in 
pious England, but simply had their heads wet." ^ in 1829, 
Vincenz Priessnitz, of Grafenherd, Austria, inaugurated 
' hydrotherapy as a system. ^ Hydrotherapy was introduced 
into England by Captain Claridge, and to John Smedley is 
given the credit for popularizing the system among English- 
speaking peoples. In this century hydrotherapy is advocated 

1 Tylor, "Prim. Cult.," II, pp. 440-441. 

2 Baas, "History of Medicine," p. 722. 

3 R. Metcalf, "Life of Vincenz Priessnitz," pp. 77 ff. 


by reputable physicians as a rational method of procedure 
in certain cases of sickness. In the treatment of hyper- 
pyrexia the cooling bath holds a recognized position; in 
certain diseases all physicians recommend the wet sheet 
pack; the Turkish bath, it would seem, has come to stay; 
the morning "dip," "shower," "tub," or "sponge," — these 
are only a few ways in which hydrotherapy has contributed 
to public health. And hydrotherapy harks back to the 
efforts of the shaman to banish spirits by means of water. 
In pointing out the methods of the medicine man in 
ministering to the sick, mention should be made of amulets 
and charms. An amulet is something hung around the neck, 
or otherwise attached to the body, and worn in order to 
ward off the attacks of spirits. A charm is used for the 
same purpose, but it is not always suspended from the 
body. Amulets and charms are supposed to have spirits 
residing in the materials out of which they are made. 
Hence they are fetiches. Since to the savage mind, charms 
and amulets are the abodes of spirits, it is thought that 
they are efficacious in vanquishing evil spirits. But the 
material object is not responsible for the cures referred to 
the healing agency of amulets and charms. The spirit 
residing in the outward form has driven out the daimon of 
disease — that is the reason assigned for the recovery of 
the patient. Sometimes a charm is made of an herb or root 
and taken internally. The primitive man, however, never 
looks for the physiological effect of what would now be 
called the medicine. The shaman thinks that the spirit, which 
xiwells in the root or herb, enters into the body of the 


patient, and, searching through the vitals, discovers and 
drives out the disease daimon, which is the cause of the 
sickness. 1 Among modern Egyptians, when a man is sick, 
he is made to swallow pieces of paper on which are written 
texts from the Koran. 2 It is not difficult to perceive 
that the notion here is that the spirit dwelling in the 
inspired words is supposed to expel the spirit of disease. 
Another reason for this method of exorcism is the fact 
that the materials out of which charms and amulets are 
fashioned are often portions of the bodies of dead animals 
and dead men. The ghosts and spirits have the same fears 
and sensibilities as when in the flesh. The savage thihks 
that the possession of a part of a living man gives power 
over him because by some mysterious means the soul of 
the man is identified with that part. Reasoning from 
analogy, it is clearly seen that the possession of a portion 
of a dead man will likewise give power over him. Some 
peoples believe that a dead man, even as a live man, has 
need of every part of his body. Of the Israelites we read 
that '^Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones," ^ 
that is, that they might be preserved against the day of 
resurrection. The Peruvians and the inland negroes of 
Ardra preserve the hair and nails of their dead, apparently 
for the same reason.* The inference, then, would seem 
justified that in the belief of these peoples, if one 
possesses the relics of a dead man or dead animal, he has 

^ Nassau, "Fetichism in West Africa," pp. 97 ff. 
2 Ebers, "Egypt," II, p. 61. 

^ Hebrews, 11 : 22. * Garcilasso de la Vega, "The Royal Commen- 
taries of thelncas," I, p. 127; Bastian, "Der Mensch," II, p. 357. 


a means of hurting the dead owner. In order, therefore, to 
drive away the spirits which cause sickness, the medicine 
man has only to obtain some part, real or supposed, of 
the body of a dead man or animal. In other words, since 
the ghosts of the dead are responsible for sickness, and 
since they have need of all their parts, the shaman, by 
means of amulets and charms made of those parts, 
can coerce the spirits into doing his bidding. 
Disease being sometimes believed to be due to an 
animal, or to the spirit of an animal, amulets and charms 
are often made from relics of animals. Among the Dvaks 
of Borneo, the charms belonging to a medicine man con- 
sist of some teeth of alligators and honey-bears, several 
tusks of boars, chips of deer horn, and claws of animals. i 
In Afghanistan, it was believed that the graves of the dead 
had power to cure disease. ^ The inhabitants of North Hants, 
England, used to wear a tooth taken from a dead body 
suspended from the neck, as a cure for toothache.^ Accord- 
ing to the same authority, bones taken from graveyards, 
from time immemorial, have been used as charms against 
disease.* Often a root or herb, which really has medicinal 
value, is used for a charm. Some one of the predecessors 
of the medicine man, in casting about for a means to ex- 
orcise disease daimons, happened to blunder upon a 
leaf, bark, or root, which, when given internally, proved 
efficient. Not knowing the "modus operandi'^ of the drug, 

^ Boyle, "Adventures Among the Dyaks of Borneo," p. 207. 
2 Simpson, "Ancient or Buddhist Remains in Afghanistan," 

Frazer's Magazine, Feb., 1880, pp. 197—198. 
= Black, "Folk Medicioe," pp. 98—99. * Ibid. 


the savage doctor jumped to the conclusion that he had 
discovered either a fetich more powerful than the spirit of 
the sickness, or a herb by means of which the malicious 
spirit finally was propitiated. This root or herb was passed on 
to later generations, until some individual arose who 
possessed sufficient intelligence to observe that it had a 
physiological rather than a magical effect,^ and in that 
manner a valuable medicinal agent was discovered. 

In the use of amulets and charms for the purpose of ex- 
orcism, the medicine man practices what is known among 
primitive peoples as the "white art." The ''white art'' 
is distinguished from the "black art" in the fact that 
while the former is passively defensive, the latter is 
, actively offensive. The "black art" exists for the purpose 
of injuring or killing somebody; the "white art" exists for 
the reason that one by its use can defend himself from 
adversaries. To the savage manner of thinking, the de- 
fensive use of "white magic" is analogous to the defensive 
use of a gun. If a thief breaks into a house, the natural 
thing is to drive him out by the firing of a pistol, and even, 
in case of necessity, to kill him. If, in Hke manner, a 
malignant spirit gets into the body of a primitive man and 
makes him sick, the medicine man by the use of a charm, 
which contains an exceedingly potent spirit, pretends to 
compel the ill-disposed daimon to take its departure. "White 
magic" to the savage mind is very powerful. It is able to 
suspend the law of destiny, it can defend against the wither- 
ing glance of the "evil eye," it can render the spell of 

1 Nassau, "Fetichism in West Africa," pp. 106 ff . 



the magician of no effect.^ Thus in Borneo, the Dyak 
medicine man waves and jingles charms over the affected 
part of the sici< man, and pretends to remove the 
spirits. 2 The shaman of Sumatra practices medicine chiefly 
by charms ; when called to treat a patient, he usually asks 
for "something on account" with which to purchase the 
appropriate charms. ^ The medicine of the Abyssinians 
to a large extent consists of the use of amulets and charms. 
That is the method of treating even leprosy and syphilis.* 
The Magi recommended that a species of beetle, taken up 
with the left hand, be worn as a charm against quartan 
fevers.^ For tertian fever the Magi and the Pythagoreans 
prescribed the gathering of the '^pseudo-anchusa," during 
which the one who plucked it was to utter the name 
of the individual to be cured, after which the plant was to 
be fastened to the patient.*^ In ancient Egypt, both men 
and, as averred, gods wore amulets and charms for 
protection, and used magical formulas to coerce each 
other.^ The Bezoar stone in former times was used against 
melancholia. It was reputed to remove sadness, and to 
make him merry vv^ho resorted to it.s The Fumaria' 
Capreolata, it is said, derives its name from the Latin 
fumus, smoke, because the smoke of this plant was claimed 
by exorcists to possess the power of banishing spirits.^ 

1 Nassau, "Fetichism in West Africa," pp. 100—112. 

2 St. John, "Life in the Forests of the Far East," I, p. 201. 
^ Marsden, "History of Sumatra," p. 189. 

* Baas, "History of Medicine," p. 68. 

* Pliny, "Natural History," B. XXH, C 24; B. XXX, C. 30. 
« Ibid. 

' Erman, "Life in Ancient Egypt," p. 353. 

8 Burton, "Anatomy of Melancholy," II, p. 131. 

9 C. A. John, "Flowers of the Field," p. 32. METHODS OF MEDICINE MAN 207 

Sometimes knots are used as charms. The following 
example is taken from Cockayne's ''Saxon Leechdoms": 
''As soon as a man gets pain in his eyes, tie in unwrought 
flax as many knots as there are letters in his name, 
pronouncing them as you go, and tie it around his neck." ' 
A common cure for warts is to tie as many knots of hair 
as there are warts and throw the hair-knots away.^ In 
the Popular Antiquities of Brand is this remedy: "If 
in the month of October, a little before the full of the 
moon, you pluck a sprig of elder, and cut the case that 
is betwixt two of its knots into nine pieces, and these pieces 
be bound in a piece of linen, and by a thread so hung 
about the neck that they touch the spoon of the heart or 
the sword-form cartilage, you have a sovereign cure for 
epilepsy." ^ Brand records also a Devonshire cure for 
warts: "Take a piece of twine, tie it in as many knots as 
you have warts, touch each wart with a knot, and throw 
the twine behind your back in some place where it will 
soon decay — but tell no one what you have done. When 
the twine is decayed, your warts will disappear without any 
pain or trouble, being in fact charmed away."* In 
Lancashire, England, people commonly wear charmed belts 
for the cure of rheumatism. ^ In some parts of England a 
cord is worn about the waist to ward off toothache.^ Black 
gives a New England charm for an obstinate ague: "The 

* Cockayne, "Saxon Leechdoms," I, Preface, p. XXIX. 
2 Black, "Folk Medicine," p. 185. 

^ Brand, "Popular Antiquities," III, p. 285. 

* Ibid., p. 276. 

5 Black, "Folk Medicine," p. 176. 
« Ibid., p. 177. 


patient must take a string made of woolen yarn, and go 
by himself to an apple tree; there he must tie his left 
hand loosely with the right to the tree by a tri-colored 
string. Then he must slip his hand out of the knot, and 
run into the house without looking behind him." i A 
popular folk remedy for fever in the time of Pliny was to 
take the dust in which a hawk had bathed herself, tie it 
up in a linen cloth, and attach it to the body with a red 
string. 2 Pliny gives another remedy for the same disease: 
"Some put a caterpillar in a piece of linen, and pass a thread 
three times around it, and then tie three knots, repeating 
at each knot why it is that the operation is performed." ^ 
It not infrequently happens that individuals sufficiently 
protected by amulets and charms believe themselves to be 
invulnerable to diseases, mishaps, plagues, and pestilences. 
Thus "the Badaga folk," says Reclus, "mountaineers of 
the Neilgherries, insure their children against accident and 
sickness by talismans made of the earth and ashes of 
funeral pyres."* "At Christmas tide, in Christian coun- 
tries," as Nassau remarks, "decorations with the holly bush 
are made without the thought that the December festival 
was originally a heathen feast, and that superstitious fore- 
fathers spread the holly as a guard against evil fairies. 
The superstitious African negro does the same thing today. 
As the holly bush does not grow in his tropical air, he has 
substituted the cayenne pepper bush. The spirits which he 

1 Black, "Folk Medicine," p. 38. 

2 Pliny, "Natural History," B. XXX, C. 30. 

3 Ibid. 

* Reclus, "Primitive Folk," p. 232. 



fears can no more pass over that pepper leaf with its red 
pods than the Irish fairy can dare to pass the holly leaf with 
its red berries." i The ancient Egyptians were buried with 
their amulets in order that the spirits of those amulets might 
protect their owners against the evil spirits of the other 
world. A great number of charms were found on the 
body of Horuta, at the time of excavations at the pyramid 
of Hawara. They were the most magnificent series of 
amulets that have ever been seen.^ For a protection 
against epilepsy, Alexander Trallianus prescribed bits of 
sail cloth taken from a ship-wrecked vessel. These were to 
be tied to the right arm and worn for seven weeks. ^ 
According to Brand, if a boy were beaten with an elder 
stick his growth would be hindered; but an elder-bush on 
which the sun never shone was esteemed a protection against 
erysipelas.* Cornelius Agrippa used to say that the 
"cinquefoil," or five-leafed grass, resists poison, and expels 
evil spirits by virtue of the number five.^ The Negritos 
of Zambales, Philippine Islands, believe in the efficacy of 
certain kinds of wood. Worn on the limbs, those pieces of 
wood are supposed to cure rheumatism ; worn around the 
neck, they are thought to be remedies for colds and sore 
throat.^ It is a common occurrence to meet men who 
carry in their pockets horse-chestnuts as a protection 
against rheumatism. 

1 Nassau, "Fetichism in West Africa," p. 101. 

2 Petrie, "Ten Years' Digging in Egypt," p. 94. 

* Smith, " Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities," Articles, 
"Therapeutics," and "Amulets," p. 91. 

* Brand, "Observations," III, p. 284. 

^ Moriey, "Life of Cornelius Agrippa," I, p. 165. 
^ Reed, "Negritos of Zambales," p. 66. 



It must not be omitted, in passing, to remark upon 
the use of some dangling or fluttering object, which by 
attracting the "evil eye" is believed to protect the wearer 
from its malignant influence. Everybody is cognizant of the 
strange power which one mind has of working on another 
through the eye. If the eye of man can have this strange, 
mysterious power over an individual with weaker 
will, how much greater will be the effect of the eyes of 
spirits! So came about the notion that the "evil eye" lies 
in wait for the fortunate and prosperous to work them 
harm. One reason, therefore, for bad luck is the fact that 
spirits, jealous of the good fortune and happiness of man, 
trip him up, and send loss, pain, and calamity.^ Whatever 
dangles or flutters, however, will attract the attention of 
the "evil eye" to itself and away from the individual who 
is to be protected. 2 Among the Semites, therefore, rags or 
dirty clothing used to be hung on children to protect them 
from the "evil eye."^ For the same reason, the Moslems 
decorated themselves and their horses with shining, waving 
articles, and adorned their houses with streamers on which 
were printed texts of the Koran." * The Anodyne necklace, 
which consisted of beads turned out of the root 
of the white Bryony, and which was hung around the necks 
of infants in order to assist their teething, and to ward off 
convulsions, was placed there to distract the attention of 
the "evil eye." ^ Quartz, coral, and precious stones are 

» Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," pp. 43 ff. 

2 Monier- Williams, "Brahmanism and Hindooism," p. 254. 

3 W. R. Smith, "Religion of the Semites," p. 448. 
♦ Sumner, "Folkways," p. 517. 

5 Salverte, "Philosophy of Magic," I, p. 195. 


much in use as charms and amulets, because it is thought 

that those minerals are effective in warding off the glance 

of "evil eye.'' 

Among the many notions entertained by the savage 

concerning the soul is the identification of the name with 

its possessor.! From this identification arises the idea that 

possession of the name of a person is equivalent to getting 

hold of his throat. The possessor thus has the possessed 

at such a disadvantage that he can coerce him into doing 

his will. Bancroft says of the native races of the Pacific 

States of North America, ''With them the name assumes 

a personality; it is the shadow or spirit, or other self of 

the flesh and blood person." 2 Mooney writes: ''The 

Indian regards his name not as a mere label, but as a 

distinct part of his personality, just as much as his eyes 

or his teeth, and believes that injury will result as surely 

from the malicious handling of his name as from a wound 

inflicted on any part of his physical organism." ^ This 

may account for the manifestation, on the part of primitive 

man, of a desire to keep his name a secret. For it is 

said of the Land Dyaks, that they "often change the 

names of their children, especially if they are sickly, there 

being an idea that they will deceive the inimical spirits by 

following this practice." ^ It may be for the same reason 

"that both Powhatan and Pocahontas are known in history 

under assumed appellations, their true names having been 

concealed from the whites until the pseudonyms were too 

1 Vide p. 16. 2 Bancroft, "The Native Races of the Pacific States 
of North America," I, p. 245. ^ Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the 
Cherokees," Bur. Eth., 1891, p. 343. * St. John, "Life in the 
Forests of the Far East," I, p. 197. 



firmly established to be supplanted." ^ Since to the mind 
of primitive man there is little difference between the dead 
and the living, pronouncing the names of ghosts and 
spirits gives power over those most dreaded enemies. 
This explains why nature people dislike to utter 
the names of the gods, for by so doing it is 
believed their anger is kindled. Thus the Chinese, 
thinking it wrong to use the name of their supreme Ruler 
on ordinary occasions, use instead the name of his 
home, 'Tien,' Heaven. 2 According to Exodus, the third 
chapter, Javeh is not to be spoken of by his true name.^ 
Again it is written, "Thou shalt not take the name of 
Javeh thy God in vain,"* that is, thou shalt not use the 
name, thou art permitted to mention, in a light or frivolous 
manner. The savage identification of the name with the soul, 
together with the derivative idea that calling the names 
of the ghosts and spirits gives power over them, and 
may kindle their anger, is responsible for the practice 
of the necromancer when he makes his invocations. 
In I Samuel, 28: 15, the shadow of the prophet asks 
why he has been disturbed by the calling of his 
name. Spencer notes that "an Icelandic saga describes 
ghosts severally summoned . by name as answering 

to the summons ; and the alleged effect of calling the 

name is implied in the still-ex:tant, though now jocose say- 
ing, — 'Talk of the devil, and he is sure to appear."' ^ 
Thus the savage idea of other-worldliness, implying 

^ Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Bur. Eth.,1891, p. 343. 
2 Edkins, "Religon in China." p. 71. 3 Exodus, 3:13-15. 
* Ibid., 20:7. & Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 249. METHODS OF MEDICINE MAN 213 

that the spirit world repeats this world, fosters the notion 
that the spirits can be acted on by arts similar to those 
which act on the living — that possession of the name gives 
over the gods an influence and power like that which it is 
supposed to give over ancestors and rulers before their 

It is not surprising, therefore, to find the medicine 
man directing his activities along lines suggested by 
these notions. Since to possess the name of a god is to have 
power over him, why not make use of this advantage to 
exorcise the daimon of sickness? Why not enlist the aid 
of other spirits, more powerful than those responsible for 
the mischief, to assist in driving away the daimon of 
darkness? This method, already refered to as dualism,^ 
is resorted to b)?^ the medicine man, as well as by his 
successors in practice, the priest-doctors. Thus among 
the Indians of Acadia, it was the custom of the 
medicine man to work himself up into an ecstatic 
condition, at the same time invoking the names 
of his gods. When fully inspired by what modem 
spiritualists would call his "control" he, appearing more 
like a devil than like a heavenly being, would assert in 
firm tones what the condition of the patient was, and 
sometimes make a fairly accurate guess. 2 The Homeric 
Greeks held to the savage notion of the inherent 
connexion between the name or word, and the soul. 
Odysseus, for example, after depriving the Cyclops 

1 Vide pp. 195 ff. 

2 Hoffmann, Quoting Charlevoix "Journal of a Voyage to North 
America," 11, p. 177, Bur. Eth., 1896, p. 139. 


of his sight, refused to tell his name, lest the giant 
should curse him. Shortly afterwards the Cyclops learned 
the name of the wily Ithacan, and, therefore, was able 
to call down upon him a powerful imprecation. ^ The in- 
ference is plain that getting possession of the name in this 
case was regarded as equivalent to getting possession of 
the soul, and, consequently, of being able to invoke male- 
dictions. Even the cultured among the Greeks never wholly 
rid themselves of this idea.^ 

Since the name of a man is identical with his soul or 
spirit, it readily follows that the written name or word is a 
spirit, or contains a spirit, and, therefore, is a fetich. In his 
treatment of disease, consequently, the medicine man often 
pretends to subsidize the spirit dwelling in the written 
or spoken word, and by the means of this more powerful 
being to ward off, or expel, the malignant spirits of disease. 
Survivals of this practice have continued throughout the 
ages. Sir John Lubbock says that ''the use of writing as 
medicine prevails largely in Africa, where the priests or 
wizards write a prayer on a piece of board, wash it off, 
and make the patient drink it."^ Of the Kirghiz, Atkinson 
says that the miilLas [shamans] sell amulets at the rate of a 
sheep for each piece of written paper.* According to 
Erman, the belief that there are words and actions by 
which men could produce an effect upon the powers of 
nature, upon every living being, upon animals, and even 

' Odyssey, Book IX, 11. 425 ff. 
■^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 245. 
^ Lubbock, "Origin of Civilization," p. 16. 
^ Atkinson, "Siberia," p. 310. 


upon gods, was indissolubly connected with all the actions 

of the Egyptians. The formulas used by the magicians 

were believed to be revelations from the gods themselves. 

They were made up wholly or in part from some foreign 

tongue or a meaningless jargon, and the more mysterious 

and difficult of understanding they were, the greater 

their power was thought to be.i Cockayne, in his preface 

to "Saxon Leechdoms," gives one of the charms 

of Marcellus against inflamed eyes. It is as follows: "Write 

on a clean sheet of paper ou^aix, and hang this round the 

neck of the patient with a thread from the loom. In a 

state of purity and chastity write on a clean sheet of paper 

cpupcpapav, and hang it round the neck of the man. The 

following will stop inflammation coming on, written on a 

clean sheet of paper: pouj^oi;, pvovetpa?, pYjeXto?, w?, xavxei^opa, 

■A.CLI uavxe? 7]axoT£t; it must be hung to the neck by a 

thread ; and if both the patient and operator are in a state 

of chastity, it will stop inveterate inflammation Blood 

may be staunched by the words sicgcuma, cucuma, ucuma, 

cuma, uma, ma, a." ^ Alexander Trallianus gave the 

following prescription for quotidian ague: "Gather an 

olive leaf before sunrise, write on it in common ink xa, poc, 

a, and hang it round the neck." "For gout, write on a 

thin plate of gold, during the waning of the moon, [xet, 

%psi), \i6p, (ydp, T£uF, ^a, ^dbv, %-i, Xo6, xpf> T^> Ci wv, and 

wear it round the ankles ; pronouncing also I'a^, a^uip, C^wv, 

\)-p£u^, (3aiv, xww''<'-"^ Morley, in his "Life of Cornelius 

^ Erman, "Lifein AncientEgypt,"pp.352— 353. ^ Cockayne," Saxon 
Leechdoms," I, Preface, pp. XXIX— XXX. 3 Smith, "Dictio- 
nary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology,'' I, p. 127. 


Agrippa," records that rabbi Hama used to give his people 
a sacred seal with divine names written in Hebrew, which 
he declared would cure not only all kinds of sickness, but 
heal all kinds of grief. ^ The same writer says that the first 
Psalm, when written on doeskin, was regarded by certain 
persons of that time as a help to women in childbirth. 2 
After the death of Pascal, a billet of writing was found 
sewed to his clothing. This was a ''profession of faith," 
which he always wore as a charm or amulet. It was 
thought that Pascal attached the "profession of faith" 
to every new garment he bought.^ 

It is said that some of the Jews believed Jesus had 
learned the Mirific Word (true pronounciation of the 
name of God), and by the use of that fetich 
wrought his wonderful cures. In Jewish belief, this 
word stirred all the angels and ruled all creatures.* 
In the Book of Acts, St. Paul is represented as 
casting out daimons and healing disease in the name 
of Jesus. Some Jewish exorcists, stimulated by the 
success of St. Paul, took upon themselves to name 
the name of Jesus, saying, ''dpxi^oi b\iac; t6v Tirjaouv 
6wIl(x\)loq xYjpuaaet." And the evil spirit answered, "xov 'Irjaouv 
Ytyvwaxo) xa.i IlauXov iniax(x.\i(xi, b\ielc, Ss xive^ laxe;" and the 
man having the unclean spirit drove them from the house.^ 

1 Op. cit., I, p. 191. 

2 Ibid., I, p. 81. 

3 "Thoughts of Blaise Pascal," Wright's Translation p. 2. 
* Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 265. 

^ Acts, 19 : 13-16. Translation: "I adjure thee by Jesus whom 
Paul preaches. And the spirit answered, Jesus I know and 
Paul I have believed, but who art thou?" 


Here the belief in dualism is plainly indicated. St. Paul 
succeeded by the help of the mightier spirit; the exorcists, 
lacking that spirit, failed. Alexander Trallianus is said to 
have used this formula for exorcising gout: "I adjure 
thee by the great name 'law Sa{3aw^': that is nlKDiC 
nliT; and again, *I adjure thee by the holy names 'law 

SapawB- 'Aowvac 'EXwc': that is 'r\hi<. ^^^? Dli^n^i nlny ^ 

Here the survival of the primitive idea of exorcism by 
means of the spirit-filled word is too obvious to require 

This chapter cannot fittingly be brought to a close 
without fuller discussion of one therapeutic agency which 
was initiated by the medicine man, and is applied at the 
present day by successful practitioners in all parts of the 
world. The power of suggestion is as old as humanity. 
Al! nervous tissue is characterized by amenability to its 
laws. But Mr. Samuel L.Clemens shot^wide of the mark 
when he said, "The Christian Scientist has taken a force 
which has been lying idle in every member of the race since 
the world began." 2 That force was discovered long before 
the time of Mary Baker Eddy. The medicine man, in his 
capacity of intermediar}'^ between gods and men, lighted 
upon it, and far from lying idle, it has been active 
in tepee, at shrine and tomb, in temples and churches, for 
thousands of years. 

* Smith, "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mytho- 
logy," I, p. 127. Translation: 'lacb 2aPad)9- = Jehovah of Sabhath; 
nlKn^ nin': = Jehova of Sabbath, lad) Sagad)*, 'ASeoval *EXa)t = 
Jehovah of Sabbath, Lord, God. '^hn \J"rS niSniC ni,T^ = Jeho- 
vah of Sabbath, Lord, God. 
2 Mark Twain, "Christian Science," p. 86. 


To take the method of propitiation, by way of 
illustration, there is no doubt that the primitive patient 
acquires ease of mind and conscience by the assurance that 
the angry gods have been appeased, that he need no 
longer worry, his recovery being most certain ; that even if 
he dies, that will be still greater proof that the gods are no 
longer angry, for not only will the daimon of disease 
have been expelled, butthe sick man will have been taken 
to a far better place than the one in which he is at 
present.i His mind thus being soothed and calmed by the 
infusion of hope and comfort, it is useless to deny that the 
mental state of the patient is far more conducive to recovery 
than if he were beset with doubts and fears about the present 
and future. There is an old aphorism that happiness is 
the best of tonics. This is just as true for primitive as 
for civilized man; and physicians are aware that the 
presence of hope in cases of sickness is as influential for 
the good of the patient as despair is influential for harm. 
It is not intended to assert that the medicine man 
consciously acts on the principle of suggestion, and so 
induces a mental attitude that leads to recovery. It has 
already been said, on the contrary, that he is unacquainted 
with such ideas as this word expresses.- But it 
is maintained that the savage doctor, whether consciously 
or unconsciously, initiated a method of healing which 
charlatans have applied from time immemorial, and which 
every progressive present day practitioner legitimately uses 
as an adjunct to his profession. When a physician of 

^ Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 413. 
2 Vide p. 43. 


former times was summoned to the bedside of a patient, he 
entered the room with a serious expression on his 
countenance, told the sick man that he was indeed very 
ill, and often spoke of death and of the judgment to come, 
thus having the effect of lowering the spirits of the 
individual, and of rendering less efficacious the measures 
and remedies applied. A modern physician comes with a 
cheerful mien, and with a note of confidence, positively 
assures the sick man that he will get well. There is no 
reason to doubt that under such conditions the power of 
the mind over the body asserts itself with the result of 
raising the morale of the patient. And when the morale of 
a sick person is raised, that in itself is no small contri- 
bution towards his recovery. It cannot be denied that 
Christian Science, working on the same principle, 
brightens the passing moments of some persons 
who have no object in life, and who have no other 
occupation than that of evoking pains and ailments by 
thinking about themselves. Neither can it be gainsaid 
that the cult of Mrs. Eddy, by forbidding its adherents to 
speak, or even think, of symptoms, ^'nerves," sickness, or 
pain, conduces to a healthy mental attitude, the possession 
of which is a priceless boon to any man or women. 

With regard to exorcism, it is related that among the 
Araucanians, the medicine man, having brought on a state 
of trance, real or pretended, during which he is supposed 
to have been in communication with the spirits, declares, 
on his recovery, the nature and seat of the malady, and 
proceeds to dose the patient; and he also manipulates 
the part affected until he succeeds in extracting the cause 


of the sickness, which he exhibits in triumph. This is 
generally a spider, a toad, or some reptile, which he had 
carefully concealed about his person. ^ It is not surprising 
that the superior mind of the healer often constrains 
the more obtuse mind of the patient to believe that the 
daimon has been expelled from him, and, according to 
his faith so be it unto him. Nearly every doctor of medicine 
has witnessed the effect of a hypodermic injection of water 
in soothing a restless patient to sleep. ^ The story has it 
that Mary Baker Eddy, in early life, attended a typhoid 
patient. Near the crisis, the medicine, a saline solution of 
high potency, ran short, and in order to make it last until 
the doctor came, the solution was diluted from time to time 
with water, until no perceptible taste remained. This 
continuously weakened solution was given in teaspoonful 
doses, frequently repeated, and the patient continued to im- 
prove. The patient, in other words, was benefited by taking 
medicine which had lost its virtue.^ Harriet Martineau, an 
exceedingly strong-minded woman, was restored to health 
by means of mesmerism, after long disablement by a 
pelvic tumor. The tumor was found in her body after 
death, but what of that? It had ceased to give her any 
trouble, and, therefore, for all practical purposes she may 
be reckoned as having been cured. Brodie restored many 
patients who were sick in bed by the simple process 
of bidding them get up and walk.* 

^ Smith, "Araucanians," p. 236. 

2 Brit. Med. Jour., June 1910, p. 1483. 

' Dietetic and Hygienic Gazette, May 1911, p. 301. 

* Brit. Med. Jour., June 1910, p. 1483. 


There can be no question that the medicine man often 
succeeds in bringing about the recovery of the sick by 
influencing the mind, which in turn influences the body. 
Bourke writes, "The monotonous intonation of the savage 
doctor is not without good results, especially in such 
ailments as can be benefited by sleep, which such singing 
induces. On the same principle that babies are lulled to 
sleep by the crooning of their nurses, the sick will 
frequently be composed to a sound and beneficial slumber, 
from which they awake refreshed and invigorated. I can 
recall, among other cases, those of Chaundizi and 
Chemihuevi, both chiefs of the Apache, who recovered 
under the treatment of their own medicine men after our 
surgeons had abandoned the case. This recovery could 
be attributed only to the sedative effects of the chanting." i 
Mooney writes as follows to the same effect: ''The faith of 
the patient has much to do with his recovery, for the Indian 
has the same implicit confidence in the shaman that the 
child has in a more intelligent physician. The ceremonies 
are well calculated to inspire this feeling, and the effect 
thus produced upon the mind of the sick man undoubtedly 
reacts favorably upon his physical organization." ^ 
Cockayne, in the preface to "Saxon Leechdoms," after 
speaking of the effect on the mind of the patient of 
exorcisms, prayers, sacrifices, conjurations, incantations, 
the use of charms and amulets, and other methods of treat- 

1 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, pp. 

2 Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Bur. Eth., VII, 
p. 323. 


ment of the primitive doctor, adds: ''The reader may enjoy 
his laugh at such devices, but let him remember that dread 
of death and wakeful anxiety must be hushed by some 
means, for they are very unfriendly to recovery from 
disease.'' i 

In the cures of the medicine man, the hidden forces 
which produced the effect were in the patients themselves. 
The healing agency, be it medicine man, priest, or what 
not, was only the motive power that brought those forces 
into play. Of the nature and method of working of those 
forces, the medicine man had no idea. But modern 
scientists know very little more than the primitive 
doctor. The shaman unwittingly and unintentionally dis- 
covered and made use of those forces in spite of his illusory 
major premise. In effecting cures, his theory was to coerce 
the spirits. In recoveries of the same kind, the present theory 
is that faith is the active agent. When the desired result is 
brought about, it is, regardless of theory, his faith 
that makes the patient whole. It is said by 
neurologists that in cases where nerve power is 
deficient there is no more potent agent to operate in the 
interest of a sick person than his own faith. Future 
generations, perhaps, may discover the theory of the 
twentieth century to have been as fallacious as that of the 
medicine man. But there never can be any doubt that 
in both cases remarkable achievements have been attained. 

SUMMARY. It has been found that the first conception of 
man concerning disease was that evil spirits had taken 
* Cockayne, "Saxon Leechdoms," I, Preface, p. XI, 


possession of the body.i This general notion expressed 
itself in different ways. After centuries of growth, 
/ experience, and intellectual development, man invoked 
! special daimons as the explanation of diseases of the more 
pronounced and individualized type. The Hindus had 
temples dedicated to the goddess of small-pox, and the 
Romans had at least three shrines set apart to the goddess 
of fever, which, no doubt, was malaria. Lineal descendants 
of these shrines are found in Christendom. In the Middle 
Ages, for example, it was believed that St. Benedict 
interested himself in disease of the bladder, while hemor- 
rhoids and other affections of the lower intestines were the 
specialty of St. Fiacre, whose relics were brought to the 
bedside of Richelieu, mortally ill with cancer of the rectum. 
At the present day, in the city of Rome, there is a 
Church dedicated to Our Lady of Fever.^ The spirit notion 
of the causation of disease led naturally to a system of 
treatment, directed, when the conception of the spirits was 
that of hostility, to the avoidance or expulsion of the 
daimon intruder; and, when they came to be regarded as 
well disposed towards men, to a propitiation of the unseen 
powers. In the latter case, when sickness increased and 
abounded, it was thought that the gods had grown angry 
with their votaries. The only thing to do under such 
circumstances was to pacify and propitiate the angry spirits. 
Primitive man in this acted towards his divinities just 
as he would act towards earthly superiors whose 

1 Vide pp. 7—17. 

2 Brit. Med. Jour., Nov. 1909, p. 1549. 


displeasure he had incurred. No new sentiment or line 
of action was introduced. Food, clothing, drink, incense, 
servants, wives, and other material possessions were offered 
as sacrifices to the powers of heaven to appease their anger, 
and render them well disposed towards the patient. Acts 
of propitiation consisted also of attitudes and language 
expressive of subordination on the part of the suppliant, in 
addition to the exaltation of the deities. From the positive 
method of the medicine man in dealing with spirits originated 
therapeutic agencies which have been applied in all 
subsequent ages of the history of the world, for example, 
prayer, incantation, conjuration, and blood-letting. The last 
named device was later rationalized, and used with a 
definite purpose in view. At the present day it is applied 
by the most progressive of physicians in cases of apoplexy, 
pneumonia, typhoid fever, and other complaints.^ The 
method of avoidance or exorcism, or the negative method 
of the medicine man in dealing with spirits, was found to 
consist in making the usurped abode of the disease daimon 
as unpleasant as possible. To that end the patient 
was beaten, starved, drenched with every foul con- 
coction that the savage could imagine, and was 
smoked with evil smelling substances; his body was 
pounded and kneaded; and frequently suction was used 
in order to extract the evil spirit. The fumigation treatment 
is illustrated by the story in the Apocrypha in which Tobias 
is said to have freed his bride from a daimon by putting 
the heart and liver of fish upon ashes and making a smoke 

^ Reference Hand Book to the Medical Sciences, 11, p. 199. 


therewith, ''the smell when the evil spirit had smelled, 
he fled into the utmost part of Egypt." ^ In this same 
connexion it was pointed out that some of the methods 
of exorcism practiced by the medicine man survive even 
to this day, though with a different interpretation. The 
cupping glass, for example, belongs to uncivilized peoples. 
Our Indians frequently resorted to it. Cupping, as applied 
in the twentieth century, accomplishes exactly what 
the medicine man achieved when pretending to draw 
out the spirit of sickness by suction. Kneading the 
body, which has rationalized itself into massage, 
also harks back to shamanism. In the matter of 
medication, too, the practice of making the body 
such an uncomfortable habitat that the diabolical tenant 
would not remain, persisted long after the belief on which 
it was founded had ceased, and is not quite extinct at the 
present time. The horrible concoctions administered by the 
doctors of the Middle Ages might seem to have had for 
their purpose the expulsion of evil spirits, and the faith of 
the modern hospital patient in the efficacy of the 
medicine given is often in direct proportion to its nastiness. 
The disease daimon very frequently is pretended to 
be driven out by a superior spirit, whose assistance 
the medicine man alone knows how to secure. Amulets 
and charms, water and fire, came to be regarded as 
fetiches, because they were believed to be the tem- 
porary or permanent abodes of spirits. Since those 
fetiches contained powerful spirits, they were used 

1 Tobit, 6:9; 8:3. 



in warding off, and in banishing inimical beings. 
Hydrotherapy and cauterization were thus initiated. i The 
charm or amulet is often a root or herb having medicinal 
value when taken internally. In some cases the root or 
herb is still in use as a medicine, although entirely apart 
from any magical signification. In dualism one can also 
discern the first dawn of the doctrine of signatures, 
cures by spells and like expedients, which in one shape 
or another, still to a large extent persist. The present 
day explanation of cures of the latter description is that 
of hypnotic suggestion. Suggestion also is responsible 
for the success of Christian Science, mesmerism, prayer 
cures, and faith heaUng. 

So it was that primitive man, tryingto secure immunity 
from the ills and pains of life, turned for^ relief to the 
special representative of the spirits responsible, according 
to his philosophy, for those evils. The medicine man, 
stimulated by a desire to maintain, retain, and fortify his 
position, did his utmost to bring about the recovery of 
the sufferer. He groped in the dark, but unwittingly, 
unintentionally, and, in spite of wrong theories, he often 
blundered upon scientific truth. In not a few cases he 
possessed some knowledge of the pathology of disease, 
and used a variety of efficacious remedies, many of which 
have come into general use throughout the civilized world. 

* Lippert, "Kulturgeschichte," II, p. 413. 



Cardinal Newman in his sermon on "The World's 

Benefactors," asks, **Who first discovered the medicinal 

herbs, which from the earliest times have been our 

resource against disease? If it was mortal man who 

thus looked through the vegetable and animal worlds, 

and discriminated between the useful and the worthless, 

his name is unknown to the millions whom he has thus 

benefited,"! Doctor Benjamin Barton, in his "Collections 

for an Essay toward a Materia Medica in the United 

States," says, "The man who discovers one valuable 

new medicine is a more important benefactor to his species 

than Alexander, Caesar, or an hundred other conquerors. 

Even his glory, in the estimation of a truly civilized 

age, will be greater, and more lasting, than that of those 

admired ravagers of the world. I will venture to go 

further. All the splendid discoveries of Newton are not 

of so much real utility to the world as the discovery of 

the Peruvian bark, or of the powers of opium and mercury 

in the cure of certain diseases. If the distance of time or 

the darkness of history did not prevent us from 

ascertaining who first discovered the properties of the 

poppy, that 'sweet oblivious antidote' for alleviating pain, 

' Newman, "Parochial and Plain Sermons," U, p. 5. 



and for soothing, while the memory remains, those rooted 
sorrows which disturb our happiness; if we could tell who 
first discovered the mighty strength of mercury in 
stranghng the hydra of pleasures of generation; if 
we could even ascertain who was the native of Peru, 
that first experienced and revealed to his countrymen 
the powers of the 'bark' in curing intermittent fevers, 
would not the civilized nations of mankind, with one 
accord, concur in erecting durable monuments of granite 
and of bronze to such benefactors of the species?" ^ 

Since the time of Newman and Barton, science has 
progressed and knowledge has increased. A new science, 
indeed, has arisen — the science of Anthropology — which by 
disclosing, through a process of induction, the truth that 
man universally reacts in a similar manner against a similar 
environment, makes it unnecessary to remain longer in 
ignorance as to the discoverers of the medicines that have 
been of incalculable benefit to the race. This is not saying 
that it is possible in every instance to learn the personal 
name of the discoverer of each particular drug, or that in 
the case of every article that has gained entrance to our 
present official materia medica, any particular person 
''looked through the vegetable and animal world and 
discriminated between the useful and the worthless." 
But if in general one can ascertain the manner of the 
origination of the articles which Africa and America supply 
to our pharmacopoeia,^since, "the same natural principle 
by which the life of any individual epitomizes the life 

1 Op. cit., Lloyd Library, Bulletin, No, I, p. 43. 


history of the race, from its lowest stages of development 
to the highest, applies to the materia medica of the earth 
at the present time," ^ — the inference is justified that the 
articles which Europe and Asia furnish, in spite of the 
fact that the personal name of the discoverer in many 
instances is veiled in obscurity, must have originated in the 
same general way. 

At the close of the last chapter the statement was 
made that the medicine man, in his efforts to propitiate 
or exorcise the daimons of disease, often blundered upon 
valuable therapeutical expedients, the value of which is 
recognized by physicians of the present day.^ Some of 
these were mentioned, as the use of blood-letting, fire, 
and water, expedients which later generations applied with 
a different interpretation, rationalizing the use of water to 
banish the daimons into hydrotherapy, the use of fire 
into cauterization, and blood-letting into venesection. ^ 
Speaking of the efforts of the medicine man to 
bring about the recovery of his patient, and of his theories 
and practices to secure that end, Mason says: "With this 
knowledge fully before us, we are bound to own that 
a great deal of experimental medicine and surgery were 
early developed in spite of wrong theories. When a 
Floridian Indian doctor scarified the forehead of a patient 
with a shell and sucked therefrom the daimon of disease, 
he was really cupping and leeching his sick man. When, 

1 True, "Folk Materia Medica," Jour. Am. Folklore, April 1901, 
p. 107. 

2 Vide pp. 222 ff. 

3 Vide pp. 180 ff. 


again, he compelled the patient to inhale the smoke of 
tobacco or medicinal herbs, he was fumigating him, and 
unwittingly discovering a little in bacteriology. These same 
doctors had found out purgatives, aind emetics, and 
astringents to drive away with disgust the evil spirits ; , . . / 
but the disease departed quite as soon for them as for us,' 
when the proper medicine was given." i ' 

This statement leads to a consideration of the origin 
of what were in all probability the first kinds of medicine, 
and which, according to Professor Sumner, constituted, for 
a time, the two great branches of the healing art, namely, 
emetics and cathartics, Mooney says, "Many of the 
Cherokees tried to ward off disease by eating the flesh of 
the buzzard, which they believed to enjoy entire immunity 
from sickness, owing to its foul smell, which keeps the 
disease spirits at a distance." ^ Spencer writes, "The 
primitive medicine man, thinking to make the body an 
intolerable habitat for the daimon, exposed his patient 
to this or that kind of alarming, painful, or disgusting 
treatment... He produced under his nose atrocious 
stenches, or made him swallow the most abominable 

substances he could think of Now there is abundant 

proof that, not only during medieval days, but in far 
more recent days, the efficiency of medicines was associated 
in thought with their disgustingness: the more repulsive 
they were, the more effectual." s 

^ Mason, " Origins of Invention," p. 203. 

2 Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Bur. Eth., 1891, 

p. 334. 
' Spencer, " Principles of Sociology," III, pp. 194 — 195. 


It is the purpose here, with the thought of disgust- 
ingness in mind, to direct attention to the fact that the 
erroneous idea of the medicine man of banishing the 
intruder by this means led to the discovery of 
really efficacious remedies. For in his administra- 
tion of vile-smelling and vile-tasting substances, he 
must, sooner or later, have lighted upon a root 
or herb, which, when taken internally, would produce 
nausea and vomiting. In some kinds of ailment, the 
stomach being thus rid of the toxins responsible for the 
disorder, relief would follow. Ethnography furnishes no 
specific instance indicating that emetics originated in this 
way. A quotation, however, from the "Pharmacologia" of 
Paris might go to show that scatalogic remedies yielded 
useful results in spite of wrong theories. It is as follows: 
''Among the poor of England, labor-pains used to be 
thought to be accelerated by a draught of the urine of the 
husband, and horse dung infused with wine was thought 
efficacious in expelling the placenta. But these produced 
the desired effect— or vomiting. "^ Since the ghost theory 
was responsible for scatalogic methods of treatment, and 
these, in cases of tocology, were productive of good 
results, though not in the way they were sought, the 
inference is plain that the medicine man, working on the 
same theory, and, therefore, thinking to disgust the spirit 
by subjecting the patient to nauseous treatment, would, 
from the very nature of things, administer a plant or 
root, which, although not driving out any daimon usurper, 

1 Op. cit., I, p. 33. 


would cause improperly digested food to be expelled to the 
relief of the patient. The primitive doctor would no doubt 
continue to use the treatment with the magical purpose in 
view. But as long as he gave the proper medicine, good 
results would follow regardless of his theory. As societies 
grew, arts multiplied, and knowledge increased, wiser men 
would perceive that the root or herb produced physio- 
logical rather than animistic effects, and henceforth that 
remedy would be applied for a different purpose. 

Bartels, writing along the same line, states that while 
the use of emetics is well known to primitive tribes, the 
reason for taking a substance which produces vomitory 
effects is not always medical, but sometimes prophylactic 
and even ritualistic.^ At the medicine dance of the Navaho 
Indians in Arizona, every member of the tribe who wished 
to enter the medicine-hut had to take an emetic composed 
of fifteen kinds of plants, and had to vomit on a little 
pile of earth which, after certain ceremonies, was 
carried out of the hut.^ It would seem, in this 
case, that vomiting was considered a necessary preparation 
for the person who desired to approach the god.^ 
The coast Indians of southern Alaska are said to prepare 
themselves in a similar manner for ordeals and other 
religious ceremonies.* According to Myron Ells, the 
medicine man of the Twana Indians, before he began to 
treat a sick man, was accustomed to take an emetic,^ 

1 Bartels, '" Med. NaturvSlker," p. 121. 

2 Ibid., p. 122. 

3 Ibid., p. 122. 

4 Ibid., p. 122. 

5 Ibid., p. 122. 


apparently with the idea of rendering himself fit to 
come near the gods. These instances are mentioned not 
because they throw any light on the probable origin of 
the use of emetics, but in order to show that savage tribes 
understand that certain plants and roots have vomitory 
properties, and, in the second place, because their 
administration is sometimes connected with religion. 

As to the prophylactic use of emetics, it is said that 
among the Karayas, vomiting with this end in view is 
provoked daily, and that the same custom is found in 
Ecuador.i Berdoe remarks, in this connexion, that "even 
the healthy among the Hindus were advised to be bled 
twice a year, to take a purgative once a month, and to 
take an emetic once a fortnight." ^ 

Among primitive men, however, emetics are also 
taken for a physiological reason. Bourke writes, 
"All Indians know the benefit derived from relieving an 
overloaded stomach, and resort to titillation of the fauces 
with a feather to induce nausea. I have seen a Zuni take 
great draughts of luke warm water, and then practice 
the above as a remedy in dyspepsia." ^ The Heidah 
Indians, and some tribes of the islands of the Pacific, 
use sea water for this purpose.* Among certain tribal 
groups, emetics are given in case of stomach troubles, and 
also in some infectious diseases.^ By some of our Indians 

this expedient was used in order to remove poisons from 

1 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 121. 

2 Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 106. 

3 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., IX, p. 471. 
■* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 121. 

5 Ibid., p. 123. 


the stomach. 1 The Dakotas use the feather of a bird 
with which to tickle the fauces and thus induce vomiting.^ 
Other savage tribes have discovered that decoctions made 
from certain vegetables have a vomitory effect.^ 

It would be inexpedient to attempt the history of every 
article classified in the materia medica of the present day 
as an emetic. A better plan would seem to take the 
case of a single drug, sketch in so far as possible an 
account of its origin and history, and allow it to stand 
as a typical example of other remedies of its class. This 
section, therefore, will be limited to a discussion of a 
drug than which a better could not be chosen as a 
representative of its kind, namely, Cephaelis Ipecacuanha. 
The habitat of the drug is Brazil. According to Tylor, 
"ipecacuanha'' "is a Brazilian word and is descriptive 
of the nature of the drug: ipe-caa-goene means little 
wayside-plant-emetic."* The word "cephaelis" is derived 
from the Greek xe^dXri, and signifies a head.^ The plant 
grows most abundantly in the province of Matto Grosso, 
Brazil,^ and the root is dug throughout the year, but 
"especially in the months of January and February, when it 
is in bloom." ^ Before being administered as an emetic, in this 
country at least, the root is ground to powder, and Lloyd, 
quoting Lewis, says that "*in pulverizing considerable 
quantities, the finer powder that flies off, unless great care 

1 Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 123. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

* Tylor, "Anthropology," p. 330. 

^ Lloyd, "C. Ipecacuanha," Western Druggist, August 1897, p. 2, 

« Ibid., p. 6. ■ Ibid., p. 5. 


be taken to avoid it, is apt to afflict the operator with 
difficulty of breathing, spitting of blood, and bleeding at 
the nose, or swelling and inflammation of the eyes and 
face, and sometimes of the throat, adding that these 
symptoms disappear in a few days, either spontaneously 
or by the assistance of venesection.'" ^ As in the 
case of blood-letting,^ the discovery of the medicinal 
properties of ipecacuanha has been traced to a medical 
beast story, which has it that the South American 
Indians gained their experience of its virtues from 
observing the habits of animals. "^ This story must likewise 
be relegated to the realm of myth and fable, thereby 
giving place to the more natural and credible explanation 
that a medicine man of a former generation, in his ambition 
to disgust an evil spirit, at some time happened to ad- 
minister the ipecacuanha root. That was the right medicine 
in certain cases and so afforded relief. The fact that the 
patient was benefited would be sufficient to impress 
upon the mind of the primitive doctor the expediency 
of resorting to the use of the root on future occasions. 
He would transmit the knowledge of its habitat and 
ghost compelling power to future generations until at 
length its physiological effects were perceived and grasped. 
In a work called "His Pilgrimes," published in London 
by Samuel Purchas, in 1625, there is probably the first 
historical mention of ipecacuanha root.^ This is a work 

^ Lloyd, "C. Ipecacuanha," Western Druggist, August 1897, p. 9. 
2 Vide pp. 183—184. 

=* Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 49. 
* Ibid. 


of five volumes, and contains accounts of travels, together 
with the natural history of foreign countries, purported to 
have been written by a number of different authors. From 
a treatise on Brazil, said to have been penned by a 
Jesuit Father, named Manoel Tristaon, who declared he 
had lived for a long time in that country, the following 
is quoted: ''Igpecaya or pigaya is profitable for the bloudie 
fluxe. The stalk is a quarter long and the roots of 
another or more, it hath only foure or five leaves, it 
smelleth much wheresoever it is, but the smell is strong 
and terrible." ^ According to Fliickiger and Handbury, 
the "igpecaya" thus described by Tristaon in 1625, was no 
doubt the drug now known as ipecacuanha.^ A work 
entitled "Historia Nauralia Brasiliae" was published in 
Amsterdam, in 1648, by the traveller Piso, one chapter of 
which is devoted to a discussion of ipecacuanha. The author 
speaks of two kinds of plants, which have a similar use, 
but which differ in appearance. The root of one species, 
he says, is white in color, but the root of ''CaUicocca 
Ipecacuanha" is thin, tortuous, and of a brownish color. 
"In powder the dose is one drachm; in liquid the natives 
take two or more drachms. They use it as a purgative 
as well as an emetic, and nothing in that land could be 
found better for bbody flux." He further adds that the 
"natives prefer to use the Hquid which they prepare as 
follows: They macerate the root and put it in water. After 
some time has elapsed they pour off and use the hquid. 

1 Purchas, "His Pilgrimes," IV, p. 1311. 

2 Fliickiger and Handbury, "Pharmacographia," p. 370. 


The residue they put through the same process again, but 
the resulting preparation is better suited to act as an 
astringent than as a purgative or emetic." Piso then 
dwells on the therapeutic virtues of the root — it detaches 
morbific matter from diseased places, and restores, by 
virtue of its astringent qualities, tonicity to the organs. 
Because of its emetic properties the drug removes poison 
from the system. The author closes by saying that the 
Brazilians preserve the root with religious earnestness, 
and that they were the first people to reveal its medicinal 
qualities.! According to Lloyd, the yellow species thus 
referred to is the ipecacuanha which today is recognized as 
official.2 The drug, however, was not employed in Europe 
until 1672. At that date a travelling physician named Le 
Gras sold a quantity to a druggist in Paris. ^ Pomet, 
writing about that time, says, "I remember there was a 
quantity [of ipecacuanha] in the shop of M. Claquenelle," a 
Parisian apothecary, ''which fell into the hands of his son-in- 
law, M. Poulain, who was likewise an apothecary."* But in 
those days such large doses were given that medicinally 
the drug was a failure. In 1680, a merchant named Gamier 
brought one hundred fifty pounds of the root, obtained 
in Spain, to Paris, and to insure its sale, enlisted the aid 
of a Dutch physician, J. A. Helvetius, (a graduate of the 
university of Rheims, and grandfather of the author of the 
book "De I'Esprit"),^ who extensively advertised the drug 

1 Op. cit., chap. LXV, pp. 101-102. 

2 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 50. 
^ Merat et De Lens, "Diet, de Mat. Med.," II, p. 465. 

* Pomet, "Hist. Drugs," p. 47. 

5 Merat et De Lens, "Diet, de Mat. Med.," II, pp. 464-465. 


under the name of ''radix antidysenterica," keeping its 
origin, however, a secret. The remedy soon gained such 
reputation that Minister Colbert ordered that it have 
official trial in the municipal hospital of Paris.i The 
complete success of its use having been demon- 
strated, no less a person than the dauphin being 
benefited by the drug, Louis XIV purchased the 
secret from Helvetius for a thousand louis d'or, and 
reserved to himself the exclusive right of selling it. 2 
His physician, Antonia d'Aquin, and his confessor, 
Frangois de Lachaise, meanwhile, had used their influence 
to induce the king to acquire possession of the remedy 
because they desired that the public might obtain 
it as cheaply as possible, ^ Qarnier maintained that 
Helvetius had no right to all the profits of the transaction, 
and brought suit to obtain his share. The case went to 
court, the Chatelet of Paris deciding in favor of Hel- 
vetius.^ The reputation of the medicament being established 
in France it was introduced by Leibniz (1695) and by 
Valentini (1698) into Germany, and by Friedrich Dekker, 
in 1694, into Holland.^ During the first part of the 
eighteenth century the drug obtained good repute in 
various parts of Germany, it being, for instance, an article 
of "the authoritative drug list of the Silesian town of 
Strehlen in 1724." ^ During the latter half of the eighteenth 
century it became customary "to designate as ipecacuanha 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 50. 

2 Herat et De Lens, "Diet. Mat. Med.," II, pp. 464-465. 

3 Lloyd, 'Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 50. 
« Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid., p. 51. THE HISTORY OF MEDICAL REMEDIES 239 

any emetic plant, regardless of its botanical origin," 
and for that reason ''the characteristics of the plant 
furnishing the true ipecacuanha root were almost 
forgotten." ^ For some cause there was much controversy, 
during that period, regarding the advantages of the 
drug. 2 About 1760, ''Dover's Powder," a combination of 
ipecacuanha and opium, was introduced by Richard 
Brocklesby.3 In 1764, a celebrated botanist in Santa Fe 
de Bogota, Mutis by name, sent a Peruvian emetic plant, 
which he thought was the true ipecacuanha root, to 
Linnaeus, The latter, believing the description of Piso 
regarding the true plant to fit the specimen sent him by 
Mutis, "accepted the statement of Mutis as correct," 
and "in 1781 gave it the name Psychotria Emetica, 
Mutis."* This error was corrected by Doctor Antonio 
Bernardino Gomez, who in 1800 returned to Lisbon from 
Brazil. In his memoir published at Lisbon in 1801, Gomez 
described accurately the true ipecacuanha plant, taking 
especial pains to distinguish it from Psychotria Emetica, 
Mutis, thus re-establishing "the nearly forgotten botanical 
character of the true ipecacuanha."^ Gomez gave some 
specimens of the plant to a professor of botany at the 
university of Coimbra named Felix Avellar Brotero, 
who published an account of it in the Transactions of the 
Linnean Society for 1802, giving it the name Callicocca 

* Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 51. 

2 Baas, "Hist. Medicine," p. 719. 

3 Ibid. 

* Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 51. 


Ipecacuanha.! In 1814, a botanist, named Hectot, of Nantes, 
secured a copy of the essay of Gomez which he passed onto 
M. Tussac, "and the latter in publishing it, gave the drug the 
name Cephaelis Ipecacuanha, also laying stress on its distinc- 
tion from Psychotria Emetica." 2 ju 1820, a Frenchman by the 
name of A. Richard wrote a paper in which he called attention 
to the same distinction, but without giving due credit to 
Gomez. The result is that the drug is sometimes referred 
to as Cephaelis Ipecacuanha, A. Richard. 3 "The Phar- 
macopoeia Portugueze of 1875 gives credit to Dr. Gomez 
for his part in re-establishing the botanical source of 
the drug." ^ The remedy has had a place in nearly all 
pharmacopoeias since about 1750.^ 

It goes without saying that the medicine man or priest- 
physician in attending a patient whose illness was due to 
insufficient excretion, or similar cause, would sooner or 
later administer a noxious substance, which, although given 
with the intent of disgusting the spirit, would have the 
effect of a cathartic. Under some circumstances, that would 
be the right medicine, and the patient would improve. In 
this way the origin of cathartics is explained. The ancient 
Egyptians employed aloes to exorcise spirits ^' by means of 
the bitter taste and smell. The beginning of the use of this 
drug, no doubt, goes back to the time when the forefathers 
of the Egyptians were in the savage state and had medicine 

1 Trans. Linn. Soc, VI, p. 140. 

2 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 51. 

3 Ibid. 

* Lloyd, "C. Ipecacuanha," Western Druggist, Aug. 1897, p. 10. 

5 Ibid. 

•■' Dyer, "Folk Lore of Plants," p. 77. 


men. From its chemical composition aloes, when taken 
internally, had the same effect then as now, regardless of 
any theory. Primitive and semi-civilized peoples have like- 
wise discovered other ways and means of purging. The 
Mincopies on the Andaman Islands, in case of con- 
stipation, eat the larvae of the bees found in the 
honey-combs, 1 The Winnebago Indians use as a purgative 
the bark of the white elder, if scraped off by the medicine 
man from the direction of the branches to the roots. ^ 
Sumner quotes Brunache that ^''the Togbos' medical treat- 
ment for babies and children consisted of an excessive use 
of purging, by means of a clyster with infusion of herbs 
and peanut oil.'" ^ The Bilqulas use shark-oil as 
a cathartic, applying it by means of a sandal-wood 
pipe to which the wingbone of an eagle is fixed.-^ 
The Liberia negroes use a calabash as a clyster.^ The 
Persians for a clyster use a very high funnel to 
which a bent pipe is fixed. This funnel is found in 
every Persian home. It is usually made of glass, 
in very wealthy families of silver, and may be dis- 
mounted for cleaning. Those people have very com- 
plicated prescriptions for carthartics. No Persian, even 
among ministers of state and high court officials, 
would dare transact any business on the important 
day when he takes his purgative.*^ MacCauley writes 

» Bartels, "Med. NaturvOlker," p. 121. 

2 Ibid. 

^ Brunache, "Cent. Africa," p. 135. Quoted by Sumner. 

* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 120. 

5 Ibid., pp. 120—121. 

6 Ibid. 



of a Seminole festival in this manner: "The evening 
of the first day, the ceremonies of the 'black drink' 
are endured. This drink is said to have a nauseating 
smell and taste. It is probably a mixture similar to that 
used by the Creeks in the last century at a like ceremony. 
It acts as an emetic and cathartic, and the Indians believe 
that unless one drinks it, one will be sick at some time 
during the year." i "Some of the southern tribes" 
[of the North American continent], according to 
CatHn, "make a bitter and sickening drink, called 
'Asiyahola' (the black drink), which they drink to 
excess for several days previous to the green corn 
feast. Everything is ejected from their stomachs and 
intestines, enabling them to commence with green corn 
upon an empty stomach," 2 

The use made of castor oil as a cathartic is extensive. 
A somewhat detailed account of its history may here be 
given. This drug is admittedly a very desirable laxative, 
despite the fact of its odor and taste having made it a by- 
word for off ensiveness. Although there is no direct evidence 
that the use of castor oil as a cathartic originated in the 
efforts of the medicine man or priest to disgust the evil 
spirit, yet the first mention of the bean, from which the oil 
is extracted, is connected with religion. For in ancient 
Egypt the castor bean was held sacred, and was placed 
in sarcophagi in 4000, B. C. This evidently means that 
the ghosts of the dead were believed to have use for 

1 MacCauley, "Seminole Indians of Florida," Bur. Eth. V. p. 522. 
^ Catlin. After Sumner's Notes. 


the spirit of the bean in the other world. The Egyptians 
called the bean ^'neter kaka/' and the oil extracted was 
called "kiki." The Greeks changed the name to x{y,cvu|x, 
the Romans transliterating the word into "Kikinum," or 
''Cicinum," which in turn became "Ricinum," the present 
medical name.^ The oil, from its supposed efficiency in 
assuaging the natural heat of the body, and from its 
reputed power to soothe the passions, was called by the 
French "Agnus Castus." For this reason the people of 
St. Kitt's, in the West Indies, "who were formerly blended 
with the French in that Island, called it Castor Oil.'' - The 
Papyrus Ebers (1552, B.C.) recommends the use of the 
seeds of the castor bean for a purgative and hair tonic, 
and the oil for boils and in the preparation of ointments. ^ 
Herodotus, according to Raubenheimer, says that the oil 
was prepared by '"crushing the seeds or boiling in water 
and skimming."' * Hippocrates made an effort to remove 
the offensive odor and taste from the seeds and oil, so as 
to render them more palatable. ^ Pliny, in Book XXIII, 
chapter 4, writes, "'Castor oil taken with an equal quantity 
of hot water acts as a purgative on the bowels.'" ^ The 
Pen-Tsao of China, and the Susrata of ancient India both 
mention castor oil as a valuable medicine.'^ The Bower 
manuscript indicates that the drug was in use in ancient 

^ Raubenheimer, "Tasteless Castor Oil," p. 5. 

2 Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, pp. 59 — 60. 

^ Raubenheimer, "Tasteless Castor Oil," pp, 5—6. 

* Ibid., p. 6. 

5 Ibid. 

« Ibid. 

' Ibid. 



Turkestan. 1 For some reason the remedy was neglected 
during the Middle Ages, but Dr. Peter Canvane revived 
its use by publishing a book, about 1764, entitled, *' Disser- 
tation on Oleum Palmae Christi, sive Oleum Ricini." - 
Castor oil gained access to the London Pharmacopoeia of 
1788, "and has since remained in universal use as the 
safest and surest purgative known to medicine." ^ 

Another drug widely in use as a cathartic, but much 
less offensive to the taste, is what is popularly known as 
Cascara Sagrada. This is a Spanish name and signifies 
"sacred bark." * Concerning the laxative, Professor Lloyd 
writes, "Its journey from the aborigines to scientific use 
and therapeutic study appears to parallel the course of such 
drugs as coca, jalap, benzoin, and sassafras." ^ The 
botanical name of the tree from which the bark is obtained 
is "rhamnus purshiana," and it grows in the Pacific States 
of North America, chiefly in Oregon and California. <^ In 
some parts of Cahfornia, in the early days, the Scriptural 
term "Shittim bark" was applied to the peel,^ the local 
tradition connecting it with the Shittim wood of which the 
Hebrew ark was made. In 1877, Dr. J. H. Bundy, of 
Colusa, California, becoming impressed with the medicinal 
value of the bark, in a paper published in "New Prepa- 
rations," later "The Therapeutic Gazette," recommended 

1 Raubenheimer, "Tasteless Castor Oil," pp. 6—7. 

2 Ibid., p. 7. 

3 Ibid. 

* Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 70. 
5 Ibid., p. 69. 
« Ibid., p. 68. 
' Ibid., p. 70. 


the drug under the name "cascara sagrada" "as a valuable 
remedy in the treatment of constipation." i In January 
1878, Dr. Bundy wrote an article for the same publication, 
giving the "uses of fluid extract of 'cascara sagrada.'" ^ 
During that year no less than twenty contributions 
were printed in "New Preparations" by Dr. Bundy and 
other physicians on the subject of the bark and its use. 
This, together with the extensive advertising of the drug by 
Parke, Davis and Company, Detroit, Michigan, a wholesale 
drug company, served to arrest the attention of the pro- 
fession, "and the remedy became a general favorite." 3 With- 
in a reasonable length of time the remedy was in demand in 
all civilized countries, and was put into the United States 
Pharmacopoeia in 1890.* It is but fair to add that in his 
paper of 1878 Dr. Bundy stated, '*A description of the 
Cascara I am unable to give at this time, but suffice it to 
say that it is a shrub, and in due time its botanical name 
will be known." ^ But Dr. Bundy, it appears, rested his case 
with that statement. In the fall of 1878, a partner of 
Dr. Bundy's, Dr. C. H. Adair, sent specimens of the bark, 
in addition to botanical specimens of the tree yielding it, 
to Professor John Uri Lloyd of Cincinnati, Ohio. These 
were examined by Mr. Curtis Q. Lloyd, and identified as 
"rhamnus purshiana." Professor Lloyd, in a paper on 
"Some aspects of Western Plants," which he read before a 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, 

pp. 68—69. 
- Ibid., p. 69. 
3 Ibid., p. 68. 
* Ibid. 
^ Ibid., p. 69. 


meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, at 
Atlanta, Georgia, in November 1878, announced this fact, 
and thus the history of the drug was completed. ^ 

Camphor is a remedy whose discovery goes back 
to its supposed efficacy in exorcising spirits. Among 
the Mohammedans this drug was held to be an 
infallible means of keeping off daimons by reason 
of its smell. 2 The inhabitants of Logone likewise believed 
in the spirit-banning influence of the smell of camphor, 
and, therefore, used it as an amulet."^ The camphor tree 
was known to the Chinese writers as early as the sixth 
century of our era;* and Marco Polo, who visited China 
in the thirteenth century, saw many trees of this kind.^ 
The English word camphor, is derived from the Arabian 
"cafur" or "canfur," which imports that our knowledge 
of the drug is derived from that people.^ The earliest 
mention of camphor occurs in a poem by Imru-1-Kais, one 
of the oldest poems of the Arabic language, which was 
written at the opening of the sixth century.^ At one time 
the drug was regarded as a rare and precious perfume, 
being mentioned on equal terms with ambergris, sandal- 
wood, and musk, as a treasure "of the Sassanian dynasty 
of the kings of Persia." ^ 'Tossibly the first mention of 
camphor as a European medicine was by the Abbatissa 
Hildegard," in "De simplicibus medicamentis," Argen- 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 70. 

2 Nachtigal, "Sahara and Sudan," II, p. 527. 

3 Ibid. 

* Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 229. 

5 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 13. 

•^ Paris, " Pharmacologia," I, p. 67. . 

' Lloyd, " Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 13. 

8 Ibid. 


torati, 1533.1 Since its introduction into the materia medica 
of civilized peoples, the drug has been used as a perfume 
constituent,-' as an antiseptic, and as a nerve stimulant.^ 
It would appear that the use of iron as a medicine is 
to be traced back to belief in its power of spirit expulsion. 
Tylor writes, ''The oriental jinn are in such deadly terror 
of iron, that its very name is a charm against them." * 
According to Mooney, "Among the Gaelic peasantry, fire, 
iron, and dung were the three great safeguards against 
the influence of fairies and the infernal spirits." ^ Tylor 
again says, "As to iron, demons are brought under the same 
category as elves and nightmares. Iron instruments keep 
them at bay, and especially iron horse-shoes have been 
chosen for this purpose, as the doors of many houses in 
Europe and America still show."^ The Yakuts placed 
sharp tools made of iron under their beds, or put near by 
anything made of iron, in order to ward off the evil spirits 
that trouble people when asleep.^ But it may be inquired. 
What has this to do with the internal use of iron as a 
medicine? As far as could be ascertained, the transition 
from the external to the internal use of this substance, with 
the spirit theory in mind, was made by the ancient 
Greeks. Dr. T. Lauder Brunton writes, "The Greeks, 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 13. 

2 Ibid., p. 13. 

' "Useful Drugs," Prepared and issued by the Am. Med. Ass., p. 45. 

* Tylor, "Prim. Cult," I, p. 127. 

5 Mooney, "Medical Mythology of Ireland," Proceedings of Am. 

PhiL Soc, 1887, p. 141. 
^ Tylor, "Prim. Cult," I, p. 127. 
' Sumner, "Yakuts" Abridged from the Russian of Sieroshevski, 

J. A. L,XXXL p. 105. 


when a man was suffering from weakness and paleness, 
put a sword into a vessel of water and made the man 
drink the water. They thought the sword contained a spirit 
of some virtue that entered into the person and gave him 
strength, and so it had, especially if it were rusted to a 
great degree. If steel or iron is put into water, it gradually 
rusts, the steel slowly dissolves, so that the water becomes 
ferruginous. The Greeks therefore were correct in their 
treatment,"! in spite of their theory. According to Berdoe, 
"the first instance in which a preparation of iron is 
known to have been prescribed in medicine" is when 
''Iphiclus having no children, asked Melampus to tell him 
how he could become a father." The Greek physician 
advised him "to take the rust from a knife, and drink 
it in water during ten days. The remedy was eminently 
successful." 2 Sulphate of iron, the same author says, 
"is mentioned in the Amera Cosha of the Hindus, and 
it was used by them as by the Romans, in the time of PUny, 
in making ink." ^ Though the medical virtues of iron have 
been generally acknowledged from time immemorial, it has 
had a struggle for existence in this usag'e. It was thought 
by the ancients that wounds made by iron instruments 
would have difficulty in healing.* After the expulsion of 
the Tarquins, Porsena made the Romans agree not to use 
iron except in agriculture.^ Avicenna (980 — 1037) 

* Brunton, "Action of Medicines," p. 493. 

2 Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 151. 

3 Ibid., p. 486. 

* Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 42. 
5 Ibid. 


mentioned the drug in liis text book on materia medica,' 
but advised the exhibition of a magnet, after it had been 
taken inwardly, to prevent any harmful results. ^ Iron as 
a remedy was first introduced into therapeutics by 
Paracelsus (1493 — 1541). '^ Basil Valentine, who probably 
lived about the close of the fifteenth century of the 
Christian era, says concerning sulphate of iron, '"when 
internally administered, it is a tonic and comforting to a 
weak stomach,' and 'externally applied it is an astringent 
and styptic.'"* A modern authority states that "the only 
therapeutic action attributable to the iron is the improve- 
ment in the number of red blood-cells, and in the amount 
of hemoglobin in them. For this purpose it is indicated 
in anemia, and in diseases of the blood in which anemia 
is a factor, such as leukemia."^ 

Spencer, quoting Petherick, says, "The Arabs suppose 
that 'in high fever. . the patient is possessed by the 
devil.'" 6 Berdoe writes, "The people of Tartary make a 
great puppet when fever is prevalent, which they call the 
Demon of Intermittent Fevers, and which when completed 
they set up in the tent of the patients." ^ 

The one remedy in the pharmacopoeia of the civilized 
which is regarded as a specific against malarial fever is 
quinine. This is prepared from Peruvian bark, which, as the 

^ Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 229. 

2 Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 42. i 

3 Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 390. 

* Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 71. 

^ "Useful Drugs," Prepared and issued by the Am. Med. Ass.. 

pp. 67—68 
" Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 246. 
' Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 31. 


name implies, is imported from Peru. The native name for 
the bark is "quinia-quinia," or "medicine bark. "i The In- 
dians of the Matto-Grosso country consider red cinchona 
bark "a remedy for fevers."2 Jn Ecuador, the bark is regard- 
ed as "a. specific for fevers." ^ As to the discovery of the 
medicinal qualities of the drug, there is no reliable history. 
This is said to be due partly to the fact that it was the 
policy of the Spanish conquistadors to give as little credit 
as possible to the Indians for the many valuable products 
which they obtained from them, and partly to the fact 
that the natives were extremely secretive about the 
source of their medicines.* A legend regarding the 
discovery of the remedy is that a native of Peru who was 
attacked by fever, drank from a pool into which some 
of this bark had chanced to fall. Since the bark bad 
imparted its medicinal properties to the water, he was 
cured.^ Another legend has it that when the Spanish army 
was passing through the forests of Peru, about the time 
of the conquest, a soldier was seized by fever and 
abandoned to his fate. He drank from a pool of water 
where there grew a tree from which the bark is taken. He 
soon recovered, rejoined his regiment, and proclaimed 
the means of cure.^ The daimon explanation of the 
discovery of the virtues of the bark would seem more 

* Wellcome, " A visit to the Native Cinchona Forests," Proceed- 
ings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1879, p. 829. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 
^ Ibid. 

•^ Paris, " Pharmacologia," I, p. 23. 

" Wellcome, " A visit to the Native Cinchona Forests," Proceed- 
ings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1879, p. 829. 


simple. There is direct evidence that the savage attributes 

fever to spirit possession. i It is known that the natives of 

Ecuador and Peru resorted to the use of the bark in case 

of fever. 2 Putting these two facts together, what more 

reasonable than the supposition that the medicine man, in 

his efforts to expel the spirit, lighted upon the bark which 

effected a recovery? At any rate the Peruvians believe that 

the drug was known, and used as a remedy at a much 

earlier date than when the Spaniards, under Pizarro, 

invaded their land.^ And that the bark had some kind of 

religious significance among the Indians, is evidenced by 

this quotation from Wellcome: "I was informed that pieces 

of the bark had been discovered in some of the ancient 

tombs,'' [in Peru] "which is very probable." * This would 

seem to connect the use of the drug with the spirit 

theory. It was no doubt placed in the tombs in 

order that the departed might make use of its 

spirit against the spirits in the other world. 

In the seventeenth century, when the Count of Chin- 

chona was governor of Peru, at that time a Spanish 

colony, the Countess was taken by , an attack of fever 

and seemed likely to die. The natives, hearing of the 

sickness of the foreign woman, gave to a Jesuit missionary, 

who worked among them, bark from a tree growing upon 

the mountain slopes, advising him to grind it to powder 

and give it to the sick woman at certain intervals. The 

countess recovered, and being of a philanthropic 

1 Vide p. 249. - Vide p. 250. 

^ Wellcome, "A visit to the Native Cinchona Forests," Proceed- 
ings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1879, p. 830. * Ibid. 


disposition, she sent a quantity of the bark to Europe 
for use among- the poor. It effected the same recoveries in 
Europe as in Peru, and so attracted much attention.^ 
It was at first known as "Jesuits' bark." 2 i^ the process 
of time the bark and tree were botanically investigated by 
Linnaeus, and named in honor of the house to which 
the countess belonged, ''chinchona," which name was 
shortened to "cinchona.'' ^ it is now generally called 
"cinchona bark," although sometimes the name "Peruvian 
bark" is applied to it. According to Baas, the 
first medical work to advise the use of Peruvian 
bark was the "Vera Praxis ad Curationem Terti- 
anae," written by Pietro Barba, a professor in Valla- 
doHd in 1642.* Francesco Torti (1658—1741) is said to 
have introduced the drug into Italy.^ The Edinburgh 
Pharmacopoeia of 1730 says, "Cardinal de Lugo was the 
first to bring the bark into France." That was in 1650, at 
which time it was called "Jesuits' powder," "because the 
Jesuits had the distribution of it, the Cardinal, who was 
of their order, having left them a large quantity." ^ In 
Salmon's "Practical Physic," published in 1692, one may 
read, "'As a specific against all manner of ague, take 
quinqum or Jesuits' bark, two drachms, beat it into 
powder just about the time of using it, infuse it in a good 

1 True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, pp. 112 ff. 

2 Wellcome, "A visit to the Native Cinchona Forests," Proceed- 
ings of Am. Pharm. Ass., 1879, p. 829. 

3 True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 112. 

* Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 544. 
5 Ibid., p. 719. 

* Sanders, " Presidential Address," Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass.. 
1878, pp. 846—848. 


draught of claret or other wine for the space of two hours, 
then give the patient both liquor and powder at once.'" i 
Not long after the introduction of the drug into France 
by the Jesuits it fell into neglect. Robert Tabor, according 
to one authority, in 1679,2 and according to another writer, 
in 1706,3 again established its reputation in that country by 
introducing it as a nostrum. He prepared a secret 
concoction said to be made of lemon juice, or Rhine 
wine, a small amount of opium, and cinchona, and was 
so successful in effecting cures in Paris that the 
government purchased his secret."* From about 1680 
down to the eighteenth century, the medical world 
was divided as to the benefits to be derived from 
the administration of the remedy. It was condemned 
because ^'it did not evacuate the morbific matter," because 
"it bred obstructions in the viscera," because "it only 
bound up the spirits, and stopped the paroxysms for a 
time, and favored the translation of the peccant matter 
into the more noble parts." ^ "In a postscript to his 
work on Primitive Physic' published in 1747, John 
Wesley wrote, ^It is because they are not safe but extremely 
dangerous, that I have omitted the four Herculean medi- 
cines, opium, the bark, steel, and most of the preparations 
of quicksilver.'" ^ About the same time, a Dr. Tissot 

' Sanders, " Presidential Address," Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 

1878, pp. 846-848. 
- Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 544. 

^ Sanders, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1878, pp. 846—848. 
* Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 544. 
^ Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 42. 
" Sanders, "Presidential Address," Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 

1878, pp. 846-848. 


strongly recommended the use of cinchona, especially 
in ague.i He was severely taken to task for this. An 
English writer who did not give his name, said in criticism 
of Tissot, '"with reference to his vehement recommenda- 
tion of Peruvian bark as the only infallible remedy either 
for mortifications or intermittent fevers, he really seems 
transported with it, as do many physicians besides. It 
is not an infallible remedy either for the one or for the 
other. I have known pounds of it given to stop a 
mortification, yet the mortification spread till it killed the 
patient. I myself took pounds of it when I was young, for 
a common tertian ague, and I should have probably died 
of it, had I not been cured unawares by drinking largely 
of lemonade. I will be bold to say from my personal 
knowledge that there are other remedies which less 
often fail. I believe that the bark has cured six agues in 
ten. I know cobweb pills have cured nine in ten ... I object 
secondly, that it is far from being a safe remedy. This 
I affirm in the face of the sun, that it frequently turns an 
intermittent fever into a consumption. By this, a few years 
since, one of the most amiable young women I have known 
lost her life, and so did one of the healthiest young men 
in Yorkshire. I could multiply instances, but I need go 
no further than my own case. In the last ague which I 
had, the first ounce of the bark was, as I expected, thrown 
off by purging. The second, being mixed with salt of 
wormwood, stayed in my stomach, and just at the hour the 

' Sanders, "Presidential Address," Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass. 
1878, pp. 846-848. 


ague should have come, began a pain in my shoulder-blade. 
Quickly it shifted its place, began a little lower under my 
left breast and there fixed. In less than an hour I had a 
shoit cough, the pain and the fever continued without 
intermission, and every night soon after I lay down, came 
first a dry cough, for forty or forty-five minutes, then an 
impetuous one till something seemed to burst, and for half 
an hour more I threw up a thick fetid pus. . . In less than 
six hours it obstructed, inflamed, and ulcerated my lungs, 
and by the summary process brought me into the third 
stage of a true pulmonary consumption. Excuse me, 
therefore, if, escaped with the skin of my teeth, I say to 
all I have any influence over, wherever you have an 
intermittent fever, look at me, and beware of the bark."' ^ 
The price at which the bark was sold serves to indicate 
the character of the various phases of the struggle through 
which it had to pass before it was admitted without 
question into the materia medica of Europe. When first 
introduced into France the remedy literally brought its 
weight in gold,^ a price equal to about twenty dollars 
an ounce. 3 Sturmius, according to Paris, saw twenty doses 
of the powdered bark sold at Brussels for sixty florins, 
and adds that he would have paid that price for some 
doses, but the supply had given out.'^ In London, as late 
as 1680, the bark sold at eight pounds an ounce. ^ On the 

* Sanders, "Presidential Address," Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass. 
1878, pp. 846-848. 

2 Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 544. 

^ Proceedings Am. Pliarm. Ass., 1879, p. 830. 

* Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 43. 
5 Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 544. 


other hand, Paris quotes Condamine to the effect 
that in 1690, "'several thousand pounds of the 
bark lay at Piura and Payla for want of a purchaser.'" i 
Baas states that to Sydenham belongs the greatest 
credit for introducing the bark into England; and that 
Peyer and Bernhard Valentini (1657 — 1729), a professor in 
the university of Giessen, were said to have been the first 
to employ it in Germany. ^ About 1757, according to 
Sanders, there is to be found "in a work on the commerce 
of the Euiopean settlements in America the following: 'This 
medicine,' [cinchona], 'as usual, was held in defiance for a 
good while by medical authorities, but after an obstinate 
defence they have thought proper at last to surrender. Not- 
withstanding all the mischiefs at first foreseen in its use, 
everybody knows that it is at this day innocently and 
efficaciously prescribed in a great variety of cases; for 
which reason it makes a considerable and valuable part of 
the cargo of the galleons.'" ^ in the latter part of the 
eighteenth century and the first part of the nineteenth, 
Fothergill, Werlhof and Torti, Johann Heinrich Rahn of 
Ziirich, and Althof, a professor at Qottingen, had to carry 
on a continual fight to establish the advantages of the 
bark.* In 1854, Alfred Russell Wallace and Dr. Carl 
Hasskarl introduced the remedy into Dutch and English 
India. According to Baas that was a great service, for 
he says, "Without this humane and characteristically 

^ Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 43. 

2 Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 544. 

^ Sanders, "Presidential Address," Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass. 

1878, pp. 846—848. 
* Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 719. 


professional act, cinchona and its preparations, particularly 
under its recent abuse in medicine, would have finally 
disappeared from our store of drugs." ^ 

It remains to be mentioned that, in 1820, the French 
chemists Pelletier and Caventou subjected the bark to a 
chemical analysis, and announced to the Academy of 
Sciences, Paris, that as a result of their experiments they 
had discovered its active principle, which in due time was 
called '^quinine." ^ 

It was stated in another chapter ^ that blood-letting is 
practiced by some savage tribes, with a different inter- 
pretation from that of propitiation, in that the inhabitants 
of the River DarHng, New South Wales, give blood as 
nutrition to very weak patients. How near those 
primitive peoples came to reaching certain basic truths it is 
impossible to say. There is, however, authority for the state- 
ment that among civilized nations, arterial blood, dried 
and powdered, is recommended for use as a restorative ; 
that blood is prescribed for persons suffering from 
anemia and poor nutrition; and that no less than fifteen 
preparations of blood are on sale in twentieth century 

The discovery of narcotics is to be traced neither to 
the positive nor to the negative methods — neither to 
propitiation nor exorcism — of the medicine man in the 
treatment of disease. In chapter II of this book it was 

1 Baas, "Hist, Med.," p. 846. 

2 Am. Jour, Pharmacy, Nov, 1905, p. 544. 

3 Vide p. 185. 

* True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 109. 



shown that sometimes when the shaman is unable to 
present external proofs of being possessed by spirits, 
he resorts to the use of drugs, and in this manner 
feigns possession.! In this same connexion Spencer says, 
"Whether produced by fasting, fever, hysteria, or insanity, 
any extreme excitement is, by savage and semi-civilized 
peoples, ascribed to a possessing spirit. Similar is the 
interpretation of an unusual mental state caused by a 
nerve stimulant. It is thought that a supernatural 
being, contained in the solid or liquid swallowed, 
produces" [this mental state.] ^ Speaking of Moham- 
medan opium-eaters, Vambery says, "*What surprised 
me most was that these wretched people were 
regarded as eminently religious, of whom it was 
thought that from their love to God and the Prophet they 
had become mad, and stupefied themselves in order that in 
their excited state they might be nearer the Beings they 
loved so well.'" ^ Bourke writes, ''The pranks and 
gibberish of the maniac or the idiot are solemnly 
treasured as outbursts of inspiration. Where such 
an exaltation can be produced by an herb, bulb, liquid, 
or food, the knowledge of such an excitant is 
kept as long as possible from the laity; and even 
after the general diffusion -of a more enlightened 
intelligence has broadened the mental horizon of the 
devotee, these narcotics and irritants are 'sacred,' and the 
frenzies they induce are 'sacred' also. . . Mushroom, mistle- 
toe, rue, ivy, mandrake, hemp, opium, and the stramonium 

^ Vide pp. 45—46. ^ Spencer, " Principles of Sociology," I, p. 
355. ' Ibid. 


of the medicine man of the Hualpai Indians of Arizona,— 
all may well be examined in the light of this proposition." ' 

Since ''plants yielding intoxicating agents are supposed 
by primitive peoples to contain spirits," - since it is thought 
that when an individual is under the influence of intoxicants, 
he is possessed by divinities, and since ''the knowledge 
of such excitant is kept as long as possible from the 
laity,"-' "mushroom, mistletoe, rue, ivy, hemp, opium, and 
stramonium," may reasonably have been discovered by 
the medicine man in his efforts to induce a state of 
religious ecstasy, thereby demonstrating to his constituents 
the fact that a possessing spirit has descended upon him. 
These drugs in due time would be taken up, investigated, 
analyzed, named, and used with a new signification. 

The typical narcotic whose history is to be sketched 
in this chapter is opium. The name of the particular 
medicine man who, in his ambition to appear 
possessed, blundered upon this drug is not known. 
Bartels says that, as far as he is aware, the drug 
is never applied by savage tribes of the present time 
for healing purposes, but rather with the idea of 
inducing possession.^ There are remedies used by 
primitive races, however, with the intention of removing 
pain, or of producing a kind of narcotization. The Tartars 
and Cossacks on the Yenessei River prepare a decoction 
made from the leaves of rhododendron chrysanthemum, 

* Bourke, "Scatalogic Rites of all Nations," p. 97. 
^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 358. 

^ Bourke, "Scatalogic Rites of all Nations," p. 97. 

* Bartels, "Med. Naturvolker," p. 125. 



which they get from the Koibals. They put the plant into 
a pot covered air-tight, and stew it in an oven. Thus they 
get a strong, bitter, brownish liquid which produces upon 
the patient a feverish heat, a kind of intoxication, and even 
unconsciousness. 1 Narcosis for the purpose of a surgical 
operation is recorded by Felkin to have been applied 
in Uganda. In that place a native surgeon performed 
the Caesarean operation upon a pregnant woman, after 
first producing partial stupor by means of banana- 
wine. ^ Since peoples at this stage of culture, therefore, are 
acquainted with the medicinal use of narcotics, it is a 
reasonable inference that, in spite of the fact that opium 
is not used by the savage of today with the idea of 
assuaging pain, yet some savage or semi-civilized individual 
in the far distant past must have experienced and revealed 
to his fellows "the properties of the poppy, that sweet 
oblivious antidote for alleviating pain," for "the discovery 
of the medical qualities of opium is lost in times gone 
by." 3 The English word "opium," according to the Oxford 
Dictionary, is derived from the Greek otccov, or poppy 
juice.^ Peters quotes Typhon Miquel as saying that the drug 
corresponds to the description of v^ttsv^ss, which Helen 
gave to Telemachus, at the house of Menelaus, that he might 
forget his sorrows.^ This conjecture, according to Peters, 
is supported by the fact that the formula for that beverage 
had been obtained from Polydamnos, wife of Thous of 

* Bart els, "Med Naturvolker," p. 125. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 62. 
"^ Op. Cit. p. 153. 

^ Peters, "Pictorial Pharmacy," p. 139. 


Egypt. 1 Tincture of opium, or laudanum, therefore, "has 

been called Thebic Tincture." - The Hebrew books 

make no mention of the drug, though the poppy was 

cultivated in Western Asia in very ancient times, and 

probably even in historic times. ^ The properties of the 

plant were known in the time of Hippocrates,* and the 

Egyptians of Pliny's time used a liquor of the poppy 

for medical purposes.^ Dioscorides, who lived in the 

second century of our era, distinguished between the 

juice obtained from the poppy capsule, and the extract 

obtained from the entire plant. ^ "Inasmuch as he describes 

how the capsule should be incised, and the juice collected, 

it is evident that he plainly refers to opium." ^ Theo- 

phrastus, in the first century, B. C, mentions the drug, as 

does Celsus, in the first century of the present era, and during 

the Roman sway, it was known as coming from Asia 

Minor.8 It is conjectured that Mohammed's prohibition 

of wine led to extension of the use of opium in some parts 

of Asia.9 At any rate the drug passed from Asia Minor 

to the Arabs, who took it to Persia, and even to more 

Eastern countries. i^ The Mohammedans introduced opium 

into India, "the earliest mention being by Barbosa, who 

visited Calicut, the port of export then being Aden, or 

* Peters, "Pictorial Pharmacy," p. 139. 
2 Paris, "Pharmacologia," I, p. 24. 

^ De Candolle, "L' Origine des Plantes Cultivees," p. 320. 
2 Peters, "Pictorial Pharmacy," p. 139. 
^ De Candolle, "L' Origine des Plantes Cultivees," p. 320. 
6 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 62. 
' Ibid. 
8 Ibid. 
» Ibid. 
»o Ibid. 


Cambey." ^ Kampfer, a German traveller, visited Persia 
in 1685, and described "the various kinds of opium then 
produced, stating that it was customary to mix the drug 
with various aromatics, such as nutmeg, cardamom, 
cinnamon, and mace, and even with ambergris; also 
with the red-coloring matter made of cannabis indica and 
the seeds of stramonium." - The ching che chun ching 
of the Chinese is said to date to a very early period 
in the Christian era, and perhaps to a time prior to that. 
It is a work of forty volumes, eight of which are devoted 
to Luy-Fang, or Pharmacology. In .this "opium is 
recommended as an anodyne, and in dysentery.'' ^ Opium 
smoking began in China after the middle of the seventeenth 
century, and spread rapidly.- Lloyd can find no instance 
of the use of the drug in any form by the Turkish people 
of the present time,^ though now as in the past the 
principle place of export of the opium poppy is Smyrna.*^ 
Heraclides of Tarentum, who lived about the third century, 
B.C., is said to have made use of the drug to procure 
sleep. "^ "In Europe, opium was not in times gone by 
one of the more costly drugs, being cheaper than camphor, 
rhubarb, or senna.'' ^ In the last half of the eighteenth, 

' Lloyd, " Opium and its Compounds," Lloyd Bros. Drug Treatise, 

No. XXII, p. 4. 
- Ibid. 

2 Therapeutic Monthly, Oct. 1901, p. 192. 
* Lloyd, "Opium and its Compounds," Lloyd Bros. Drug Treatise, 

No. XXII, p. 5. 
^ Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 62. 
'' Lloyd, "Opium and its Compounds," Lloyd Bros. Drug Treatise, 

No. XXII, p. 4. 
' Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 201. 
^ Lloyd, " Opium and its Compounds," Lloyd Bros. Drug Treatise, 

No. XXII, 'p. 4. 


and the first half of the nineteenth century, the advocates 
of this remedy had to fight to establish its advantages. ^ 
At the present time, opium and its alkaloids are in use in 
all civilized countries. ^ 

The most important alkaloid of opium is morphine. 
The history of the discovery of morphine briefly stated is 
as follows: Paris quotes "Annales de Chimie," Vol. XLV, 
as saying that Doerosne first obtained a crystalline 
substance from opium in 1803, which dissolved in acids, 
but he did not determine its nature or properties.'^ The same 
author then says, giving as authority "Annales de Chimie," 
Vol. XCII, that in 1804, Seguin discovered another 
crystalline body in opium, and although describing most of 
its properties, he did not hint at its alkaline nature.* 
''Annales de Chimie," Vol. V., is then cited as 
authority for the statement that Sertiirner at Eim- 
beck, Hannover, had contemporaneously with Doerosne 
and Seguin obtained these crystalline bodies, but it was 
not until 1817, *'that he unequivocally proclaimed the 
existence of a vegetable alkali, and assigned to it the 
narcotic powers which distinguish the operation of 
opium." 5 Sertiirner named this body "morphia," ^ from 
Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep,"^ and it is said to be 

1 Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 719. 

2 Lloyd, "Opium and its Compounds," Lloyd Bros. Drug Treatise, 
No. XXII, p. 4. 

^ Paris, " Pharmacologia," II, p. 244. 
* Ibid. 
•■> Ibid. 
« Ibid. 

' Park, "A Study of Medical Words," Yale Med. Jour., July 
1902, p. 6. 


the same as the essential salt noticed by Seguin.i The 
salt discovered by Doerosne was for a time mistaken for 
one of the salts of morphia, but, according to ''Annales 
de Chimie," Vol V, M. Robiquet "pointed out its distinc- 
tive qualities," and it was thereafter denominated "Nar- 
cotine." ^ 

Another drug, which owes its discovery to the 
efforts of the representatives of the imaginary environment 
to appear possessed, is Erythroxylon Coca. The coca shrub 
is indigenous to the eastern slope of the Andes, where, 
especially in Bolivia and Peru, it still grows wild. In recent 
times, however, the demand for coca has been so great 
that many acres of the plant are now under culti- 
vation in those countries. ^ The leaves are the valuable 
portion. They resemble tea leaves in shape and size— oval- 
oblong, pointed, two or more inches long by about one 
in breadth, and having short, delicate footstalks.* Spencer, 
quoting Qarcilasso de la Vega's "Royal Commentaries of 
the Incas," Vol. I, p. 88, says, "'The Peruvians still look 
upon it [coca] with feelings of superstitious veneration. 
In the time of the Incas it was sacrificed to the sun, the 
Huillac Umu, or high priest, chewing the leaf during the 
ceremony. Among the Chibchas, too, hayo [coca] was 
used as an inspiring agent by the priests.'" ^ There would 
seem, therefore, to be little room for doubt that the 
beginning of the knowledge of the effects of coca upon 

* Paris, "Pharmacologia," II, p. 244. 

2 Ibid. 

' Steele, Proceedings of Am. Pharm. Ass., 1878, p. 775. 

4 Ibid. 

5 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, p. 358. THE HISTORY OF MEDICAL REMEDIES 265 

the physical organization is connected with religion. 
According to Mortimer, coca leaves were sometimes used 
in services of propitiation, as the following quotation from 
Lloyd will show: "'When the period for departure (on a 
perilous journey) actually arrives, the Indians throw coca 
in the air, just as did the Inca priests of old, to propitiate 
the gods of the mountains, who presumably do not 
wish their domains invaded.'" ^ The connexion of 
the plant with service to the gods is further attested 
by the fact that specimens of erythroxylon coca leaf have 
been obtained from the old Inca tombs of Peru,^ and it 
is said to be the custom of the natives of that country, 
when they see a mummy, to kneel down with devotion 
and place around it a handful of coca leaves. 3. The 
knowledge of the effects of the plant filtered down to the 
ranks of the laity, and was used with a different inter- 
pretation. This is evidenced by a quotation from the Jesuit 
Father Bias Valera, who, writing in 1609, said, ^'^It may 
be gathered how powerful the coca is in its effects on 
the laborer, from the fact that the Indians, who use it, 
become stronger and much more satisfied, and work all day 
without eating."'* It is said that the Indian runners of 
the Andes, who of necessity had to carry as little food as 
possible, were accustomed to take with them a few coca 
leaves, and these sufficed to satisfy their hunger, and upon 

^ Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 19, 
Quoting W. G. Mortimer's "Hist, of Peru and Coca." 

2 Wellcome, Proceedings Am. Pharm, Ass., 1879, p. 830. 

^ Steele, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1878, pp. 780ft'. 

* Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 19, 
Quoting Bias Valera " Commentarios Reales." 


such food they could undergo the most exhausting and 
exacting journeys. ^ A plant used so extensively in the 
native religious ceremonies necessarily fell under the hostile 
criticism of the early Spanish explorers, in whose opinion 
the sacerdotal employment of the leaves served to divert 
the heathen from the worship of the true God.^ In 1567, 
accordingly, a Church council condemned coca as a 
'"worthless substance fitted for the misuse and superstition 
of the Indians/" 3 and in 1569, '"the Spanish audience at 
Lima, composed of bishops from all parts of South America, 
denounced coca because, as they asserted, it was a 
pernicious leaf, the chewing of which the Indians supposed 
gav€ them strength, and was hence 'Un delusio del 
demonio.'" ^ All this, however, was of no avail. The 
Indians continued to use their national leaf, and the owners 
of plantations and mines, on account of its good effects on 
their laborers, came to its defence. But the Church, true 
to its conservative tendencies, did not give up until the 
last. It finally came, nevertheless, to regard the leaf 
highly, and recommended its introduction into Europe.^ 
The fact that the chewing of coca leaves lessened the 
sense of fatigue, and imparted a feeUng of well-being, 
attracted the attention of European travellers. Coca was 
first mentioned by Nicholas Monardes, of Seville,'' who 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 19. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Steele, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass. 1878, pp. 780 ff. 

* Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 19, 

Quoting Mortimer's "Hist. Peru and Coca." 
■' Steele, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1878, pp. 781 ff. 
" Baas, "Hist. Med.," p. 368. 


in 1569 published an article on the drug, which was 
reproduced in 1577 in London. ^ A botanical description, 
written by Clusius, followed in 1605.2 In 17Q3, Dr. Don 
Pedro Nolasco called attention to the advantages that 
might accrue from the introduction of the plant into 
European navies.-^ For many years, despite the experiences 
and recommendations of travellers, the reputed virtues of 
the drug were scouted as fabulous, or even ridiculed 
by the medical world of Europe.* Dr. H. A. Weddell and 
others, both prior and subsequent to the year 1850, 
attempted vainly to discover an energetic constituent 
of the drug. It was at first erroneously thought that the 
leaves of the plant ov/ed their inherent properties (provided 
they had any) to some volatile principle. The only volatile 
base discovered was named "hydrine," but it "did not at 
all represent coca, and is no longer mentioned." ^ The 
fame and the reputed powers of coca, however, as well 
as the fact that it was creeping into the use of practicing 
physicians, led such chemists as Stanislas, Martin, Maisch, 
Lossin, Wohler, and many others to subject the drug to 
repeated analyses, which resulted in such products as coca- 
wax, coca-tannic acid, and several alkaloidal bases. '^ In 
1860, L)r. Albert Niemann, ■ of Gottingen, Germany, 
assistant in the Laboratory of Professor Wohler, succeeded 
in isolating an alkaloid to which he gave the name cocaine.^ 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 18. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Steele, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass, 1878, pp. 781 ff. 

* Lloyd. "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 18. 
^ Ibid. « Ibid., pp. 19-20. 

' Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library Bulletin, No. 18, 
p. 20; Steele, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1878, p. 785. 


As in the case of quinine, ipecacuanlia, and opium, cocaine 
has had a struggle to survive. English chemists, such as 
Dowdeswell, Murrell, and Garrard, subjected the alkaloid to 
chemical experimentation, the results of which Dowdeswell 
summed up in the London Lancet May 6, 1876, p. 667, 
as follows: '"It has not effected the pupil nor the state 
of the skin; it has caused neither drowsiness nor sleep- 
lessness; assuredly it has occasioned none of those sub- 
jective effects so fervidly described and ascribed to it by 
others— not the slightest excitement, nor even the feeling 
of buoyancy and exhilaration, which is experienced from 
mountain air or a draught of spring water. This examina- 
tion was commenced in the expectation that the drug would 
prove important and interesting physiologically, and 
perhaps valuable as a therapeutic agent. This expectation 
has been disappointed. Without asserting that it is 
positively inert, it is concluded from these experiments that 
its action is so slight as to preclude the idea of its having 
any value either therapeutically or popularly; and it is the 
belief of the writer, from observation upon the effect on 
the pulse, and other bodily organs, of tea, milk-and-water, 
and even plain water, hot, tepid, and cold, that such things 
may, at slightly different temperatures, produce a more 
decided effect than even large doses of coca, if taken at 
about the temperature of the body.'"i Similar observations 
were published by Dr. Roberts Bartholow in 'The Thera- 
peutic Gazette," July 1880, p. 280, who declared that coca 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, 
pp. 21—22. 


at its best "'acts like theine and caffeine as an indirect 
nutrient.'" ^ The scientific world of that day accepted the 
verdict of those investigators that coca and its alkaloid 
cocaine, were nothing more than mild caffeine-bearing 
stimulants, such as tea and coffee, and that far from 
possessing any important inherent quality, they were 
positively inert.- Since the investigations of Dowdeswell 
seemed incontrovertible, commercial enterprises concerned 
in the exploitation of coca suffered a severe loss. Shortly 
after its discovery, cocaine sold in New York at one dollar 
a grain,3 but "the annual consumption in tl^e middle 
and latter half of the nineteenth century of forty million 
pounds of coca, at a cost of ten million dollars," caused 
that "substance to take rank among the large economic 
blunders of the age." '^ The prospect very much disturbed 
the leading American manufacturing pharmacist of that 
time, Dr. Edward S. Squibb, of Brooklyn, New York, 
but be it said to his credit, since he was a painstaking 
chemist, he determined to "sacrifice his economic 
opportunities to his professional ideals, by accepting the 
findings of Dowdeswell and others, and by excluding 
preparations of coca from his pharmaceutical list."^ it 
would not be consistent with the fundamental instincts of 
human nature, however, to sacrifice the source of such 
commercial advantages without a struggle. In 1882, Dr. 
Squibb contributed various articles to the "Ephemeris," 

> Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 22. 

2 Ibid., pp. 21-22. 

^ Steele, Proceedings Am. Pharm. Ass., 1878, p. 788. 

* Squibb, Ephemeris, July 1884, p. 600 ff. 

5 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 20. 


Brooklyn, in which he communicated his decision to give 
up the manufacture of preparations of coca, but at the 
same time called attention to the fact that competent 
authorities might be conflicting and contradictory, in thera- 
peutics as well as elsewhere, and expressed his belief 
that the seemingly economic blunder of exploiting coca 
might not have been a blunder after all.i Scarcely was 
this article given for publication before the scientific and 
professional world was confounded by the announcement 
"that a medical student named KoUer, of Vienna, had 
discovered that a solution of hydrochlorate of cocaine was 
possessed of marvelous qualities as a local anesthetic." ~ 
This intelligence was published or referred to in every 
pharmaceutical and medical journal in America. Dr. D. 
Agnew in the "Medical Record," October 18, 1884, p. 438, 
wrote as follows: "'We have today used the agent in our 
clinic at the College of Physicians and Surgeons [New York] 
with most astonishing and satisfactory results. If future use 
should prove to be equally satisfactory, we will be in 
possession of an agent for the prevention of suffering in 
ophthalmic operations of inestimable value.'" ^ Qj-. Squibb 
now began with zeal a new investigation of coca and its 
alkaloid, "his process of manufacture being yet a standard, 
and his writings on cocaine being yet an authority."* A 
great reaction followed in favor of the use of cocaine, and 
though, in the beginning, it was recommended only 

^ Squibb, Ephemeris, July 1884, p. 600 ff. 

2 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 23. 

3 Ibid. 

* Ibid., p. 24. 


in operations on the cornea of the eye,i later experiments 
proved it to be efficacious in dentistry and minor surgical 
operations for dulling the ends of the sensory nerves 
and so adding greatly to the comfort of humanity. 

Another of the greatest blessings to mankind was 
thus discovered as a result of religious ceremonials, later 
used by savages themselves for another purpose and after 
remaining a possession of nature people for man}^ years, at 
last brought to the attention of the civilized w^orld, tested, 
then used by scientists w^ith a still different object in 
view, and finally admitted into the pharmacopoeia of 
cultured races. 

In Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia, an 
extract is used for poisoning arrows, the source of 
which for the most part ''is kept among the secrets 
of the medicine men or chiefs." ^ How the medicine 
men discovered their poisons is not clear. But 
that they do not always succeed in keeping the 
secret is evident. For it is told that "aconite has been 
widely employed as an arrow poison." ^ Aconite is still used 
for that purpose among the tribes of certain islands of the 
Pacific, and also among the Malay tribes of southeastern 
Asia. It was brought to the attention of explorers and 
travellers in those regions,* and was designated in the 
thirteenth century in a work published by the Welsh 
Manuscript Society, called ''The Physicians of Myddvai," 

1 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, 

pp. 23-24. 
^ Reference Handbook to Medical Sciences, 1, p. 635. 
^ Fliickiger and Handbury, "Pharmacographia," p. 8. 
* True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 113. 


as a plant which every physician is to know.i Storck, of 
Vienna, introduced the drug into the regular practice of 
medicine, about 1762,2 and now it is a well known remedy 
as a cardiac depressant, anti-pyretic, and diaphoretic. ^ 

Strophanthus is another case in point. Though this 
plant was described by De Candolle in 1802, it was not 
until the early sixties that it came to the general notice of 
Europeans as being one of the arrow poisons used among 
the aborigines of western * and equatorial Africa, so deadly 
as to paralyze the heart at the slightest wound made by an 
arrow. ^ It is said that in SomaHland, Africa, the savage, 
in order to satisfy his mind as to the virulence of the 
poison, draws blood from his own body, pours it into a 
pool, and applies the poison to the lower end of the pool. 
Then he watches the coagulating effect from below ^ 
upward. 6 Livingstone, the missionary, and Stanley, the 
explorer, upon observing the powerful effects of the drug, 
determined to have it chemically examined and tested. 
The result was that Sharpey in 1862, Pelikan in 1865, and 
Eraser in 1871, discovered that the strophanthus is a , 
powerful cardiac agent, '^ and its alkaloid is now much 
lauded as a cardiac stimulant when given intravenously. 

The calabar bean was brought to the attention of 
European explorers because of its use in ordeals. And I 

1 Fliickiger and Handbury, "Pharmacographia," p. 8. 

' Ibid. „ ,. , 

3 "Useful Drugs," Prepared and issued by the American Medical 

Association, p. 13. , 

4 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 84., 

5 True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 113. 

6 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 85. 
' Ibid. 


concerning those ceremonies, it is said, "The administration 
of ordeals has been much in the hands of the priests, and 
they are more often than not worked on a theological 
basis, the intervention of a deity being invoked and 
assumed to take place even when the process is in its nature 

one of symbolic magic Among various drugs used in 

different parts of Africa are the mbundu root, and the 
calabar bean. The sorcerers who adminster this ordeal 
have in their hands a power of inflicting or remitting 
judicial murder, giving them boundless influence." i In the 
Niger Valley, when a person is accused of witchcraft or 
other grave crime, he is sentenced to eat the seeds of the 
calabar bean. If death follows, that is proof of the guilt 
of the accused. 2 The drug was first made known in 
England by Dr. W. F. Daniell, about 1840, and in 1846, 
he alluded to it in a paper read by him before an 
ethnological society.^ In 1859, a missionary on the West 
Coast of Africa by the name of W. C. Thomson, sent a 
specimen of the plant to Professor Balfour of Edinburgh, 
"who figured it and described it as a type of a new 
genus." ^ Both before and after that date, the drug was 
chemically examined in the light of its use in the Niger 
valley, with the result that a new and valuable remedy 
for eye troubles,^ and for certain exaggerated nervous 
conditions was discovered.^ 

1 Encyc. Brit., Eleventh Edition, Vol. XX, pp. 173—174. 

2 True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 113. 

3 Fliickiger and Handbury, "Pharmacographia," p. 191. ^ Ibid. 

5 "Useful Drugs," Prepared and issued by the American Medical 
Association, p. 106. 

6 True, Jour. Am. Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 113. 



In his efforts to impress his people with the fact that 
he was possessed, or in his attempts to propitiate or 
exorcise the spirits, the medicine man thus blundered upon 
many remedies that were efficacious in certain combination 
of symptoms. Those remedies were transmitted from 
generation to generation, were communicated to other 
members of the caste, came into more frequent use, and 
finally obtained general recognition in the savage materia 
medica. By a process of selection, an empirical system 
of medicine grew up, by which the medicine man was 
able to treat successfully some classes of sickness, although 
without any intelligent idea of the process involved,^ 
and in spite of illusory major premises. He also, as already 
has been said, discovered poisonous plants and herbs, which 
brought death to the accused at the ordeal, and on the tips , 
of arrows carried venom to the veins of enemies. Later and 
more scientific ages took up the processes and results upon 
which the medicine man had blindly stumbled, applied 
them sometimes for the same, and sometimes for different 
purposes, and the issue is a complicated and elaborate system 
of medicine, capable in its entirety, according to modern 
science, of scientific explanation and demonstration, but 
which may appear to the scientist of the future as child- 
like and illogical as does the system of the savage to the 
investigator of the present day.^ 

In this connexion, Mrs. S. S. Allison says of the 
Similkameen Indians of British Columbia (p. 112 supra), 

1 Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Bur. Eth., VII, 
p. 328 ff . 

2 Ibid., pp. 323 ff. 


"Setting aside the mysterious part, the doctors have 
some really valuable medicines. People apparently 
in the last stages of consumption have been cured 
by them. For blood-spitting they use a decoction 
of fibrous roots of the spruce, for rheumatism, the 
root of soap berry. The berry itself is used with 
success as a stomachic. A decoction of swamp poplar 
bark and spruce roots is used in syphilis. The wild-cherry 
bark and tansy root is much used by the women. The wild- 
cherry is used both as a tonic and expectorant, and is 
good for consumptives. There is a plant resembling the 
anemone, the root of which when bruised makes a power- 
ful blister; and another resembling the geranium, the root 
of which will cure ringworm and dry up an old sore. The 
inner bark of the pine is used early in the spring when the 
sap is rising; the tree nettle is used as a physic, also as 
a wash for the hair, rendering it thick, soft, and glossy. 
Wild strawberry acts as an astringent." ^ 

Mr. E. Palmer in "Notes on Some Australian Tribes," 
in the thirteenth volume of the Journal of the Anthro- 
pological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, says that 
"the blacks appear to have possessed a considerable 
knowledge of indigenous plants," for use as food, for 
poisoning fish, "and also for healing and medicinal 
purposes." - One of the plants mentioned is Melaleuca 
Leucadendron, the young leaves of which are bruised in 
water and drunk for headache and colds. ^ Berdoe quotes 

1 Allison, "An Account of the Similkameen Indians of British 
Columbia," J. A. L, 1891, p. 311. 

2 Op. Cit, p. 310. 

3 Palmer, "Notes on Some Australian Tribes," J. A. 1. XIII, p. 321. 



Stille to the effect that the oil from this tree 
*"is of marked utility in cases of nervous vomiting, 
nervous dysphagia, dyspnoea, and hiccup.'" ^ Among 
some nature peoples, a wash is made from the bark 
of the Exooecaria Parviflora or the gutta-percha tree, and 
applied externally to all parts of the body for pains and 
sickness. 2 The stems of Moschosma Polystachium are 
bruised up in water and used for headache and fevers. ^ 
The leaves and stems of Plectra nthus Congestus are 
employed as medicine.* The leaf of Pterocaulon Glan- 
dulosus is crushed in water and applied for medical 
purposes;^ and Gnaphalium Luteo-album is among the 
medicinal plants.*^ Concerning the last named plant Berdoe 
says, "Several of this species are used in European 
medicine in bronchitis and diarrhoea."^ Eucalyptus Glo- 
bulus is administered by the aborigines of AustraUa 
as a remedy for intermittent fever.^ Berdoe quotes 
Stille as saying "*the discovery of its virtues was acci- 
dental. It is alleged that . . . the crew of a French man- 
of-war, having lost a number of men with pernicious fever, 
put into Botany Bay, where the remaining sick were 
treated with eucalyptus and rapidly recovered.'" ^ In 1866, 
Dr. Ramel of Valencia introduced the remedy to the 

1 Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 34. 

2 J. A. I., XIII, p. 321. 

3 J. A. I., XIII, p. 323. 
* Ibid., p. 322. 

5 Ibid. 

8 Ibid. 

' Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 34. 

8 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 36. 

^ Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 36. 


Academy of Medicine, thus bringing the drug to the 
attention of the profession, i and the oil is now used as an 
antiseptic and expectorant. 2 

In 1535 — 1536, the Iroquois around Quebec treated mem- 
bers of thecrewof Jacques Cartier, who had been taken 
with scurvy, with an infusion of the bark and leaves of the 
hemlock spruce. The treatment was a complete success. ^ 
In 1657, the same tribe recommended the sassafras leaf 
to the French at Onondaga for the closing of all kinds 
of wounds. It was tried for that purpose and pronounced 
"marvelous" in its effects.'^ Sanguinaria Canadensis, ^ or 
blood root, was used by our Indians for coloring their 
garments, and also as an application to indolent ulcers. 
The early settlers employed it for like purposes,^ and 
after a time it attracted the attention of physicians. It 
was introduced finally into the United States Pharma- 
copoeia as a remedy for certain forms of dyspepsia, 
bronchitis, croup, and asthma.'^ Exogonium Purge, or 
jalap, is the gift of Mexico,^ named for the city of 
Xalapa.9 The early Spanish voyagers learned its cathartic 
properties from the natives,io and took large quantities 

^ Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 36. 
2 "Useful Drugs," Prepared and issued by the American Medical 

Association, p. 66. 
^ Garrison, "Hist. Med.," p. 21. 
* Ibid. 
^ Bently, "New American Remedies," Pharmaceutical Journal, 

IV, pp. 263 ff . 
« Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 73. 
' Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 37. 

8 Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Loyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 51. 

9 Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 38. 

'» Lloyd, "Hist. Veg. Drugs," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. 18, p. 52. 


of it in the sixteenth century to Europe. It stood 
the test successfully, was botanically examined and 
described by Coxe, of Philadelphia, about 182Q,i and is 
now recognized as a powerful purgative, in addition to 
being ^'used for the purpose of removing water from 
the tissues in the treatment of dropsy." ^ 

The foregoing are merely a few examples of valuable 
medical remedies that are used by primitive peoples, and 
upon many of which science has placed the seal of its 

Mooney, in his "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," 
employs a suggestive but naive method of showing how 
some remedies originated, and how others doubtless 
originated if we could project our knowledge far enough 
into the past to discover it.^ For that purpose he selects 
the United States Dispensatory as an authority. Then 
follows a list of twenty remedies upon which the medicine 
men of the Cherokees had blundered. A comparison 
between the Cherokee pharmacopoeia and the United 
States Dispensatory shows, according to Mooney, that 
about one third of those twenty remedies was correctly 

It must be said, however, that after a diligent 
comparison of '^he list of drugs named, by Mooney with a 
later edition of the United States Dispensatory the author 

^ Flxickiger and Handbury, "Pharmacographia," p. 444. 

- "Useful Drugs," Prepared and issued by the American Medical 

Association, p. 50. 
^ Mooney, "Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees," Bur. Eth. VII, 

pp. 323 ff. 
* Ibid., p. 323. 


found one of the five drugs which Mooney says were used 
by theCherokces for the very purpose "for which it is best 
adapted," that is number twelve, or Hepatica Actiloba, 
not mentioned. Mooney probably used an earlier edition of 
the Dispensatory. As regards the other members of his 
list, Mooney is correct according to the later edition of the 
Dispensatory. Those drugs may not be applied to any great 
extent by the twentieth century practitioner. But they 
are down in the Dispensatory as possessing medical 
properties. Assuming, therefore, that the list given is a 
fair epitome of what the medicine men of the Cherokee 
Indians knew of the application of drugs as reme- 
dies, it is marvelous that in spite of the false 
reasoning by which they reached the results, in spite of 
their illusory major premises, and, one might almost say, 
m spite of themselves, nearly one third of the medicaments 
applied by those primitive doctors had, and "Still have, 
real medical properties. 

It is not intended to assert that all the drugs in the 
pharmacopoeia of civilized people were discovered as the 
results of happy accident. Some remedies owe their origin 
to deliberate study and experiment. "It is difficult, however, 
to tell how far the use of drugs in modern practice is the 
result of scientific activity, and how far it is an inheritance 
from the folk remedies of former times. The former state 
grades into the latter." ^ But if one takes the experience 
of the Cherokee nation as a typical example, — and there is 
no reason why one should not, since it is the universal 

' True, Jour. Am, Folk Lore, April 1901, p. 107. 


tendency of man to react in a similar manner against 
his environment, — the "recognized" drugs, the story of 
whose origin is lost in the history of the tribes in which 
they originated, must have come into use among primitive 
peoples in the far distant past as a result of a series of 
blunders on the part of the medicine man in treating sick- 
ness in accordance with the ghost theory. The primi- 
tive doctor to be sure applied many other drugs which 
could not survive the test of time. Later and more 
enlightened peoples separated the wheat from the chaff, 
science attaching the signature of its authority to the 
former, and the result is a fairly correct pharmacopoeia, 
not the work of any one age or nation, but the product of 
the blundering, criticism, and elimination of the centuries. 
To Newman's inquiry,^ therefore, "Who first dis- 
covered the medicinal herbs, which from earliest times have 
been our resource against disease?" the answers may 
be found in several writers, two of whom may be taken 
as typical. Biart says, "Our materia medica owes tobacco, 
gum-copal^ liquid amber, sarsaparilla, resin of tecamaca, 
jalap, and huaca to" the medicine men of "the Aztecs." - 
Ratzel says : "Guiacum, ipecacuanha, and certain purgatives 

first became known through the Indian medicine 

men." 3 To Barton's reflection, "If the distance of time 
or the darkness of history did not prevent us from ascer- 
taining who first discovered the properties of the poppy 

if we could tell who was that native of Peru that first 

» Vide p. 227. 

2 Biart, "Aztecs," p. 285. 

3 Ratzel, "Hist, of Mankind," II, p. 155, 


experienced and revealed to his countrymen the powers 
of the bark in curing intermittent fevers, would not the 
civilized nations of mankind with one accord concur in 
erecting durable monuments of granite and bronze to such 
benefactors of the species?" ^ replies may likewise be 
found. Waddle writes, ''It was at first to the end 
of producing a state of religious ecstasy that the 
intoxicating mushroom, mistletoe, rue, ivy, mandrake, 
hemp, opium, and stramonium were used;"^ and Bourke 
says that "the world owes a large debt to the medicine 
men of America, who first discovered the virtues of coca, 
sarsaparilla, jalap, cinchona, and guiacum." ^ 

SUMMARY. It has been shown in this chapter that the 
medicine man, with the intent of dealing with the spirits, 
chanced to make use of roots or herbs with genuine 
remedial properties. He preserved and transmitted that 
knowledge. In course of the ag'es, those remedies were 
used with physiological rather than magical purposes in 
view. As time passed the useful drugs were differentiated 
from the worthless until ultimately a materia medica 
resulted. Business, scientific, and, not infrequently, 
religious interests have led members of civilized races to 
visit savage peoples. The remedies of the latter have 
arrested attention, have been tried and tested, and, in some 

1 Barton, " Collections for an Essay toward a Materia Medica in 
the United States," Lloyd Library, Bulletin No. I, p. 43. 

2 Waddle, "Miracles of Healing," Am. Jour, of Psychology, 
XX, p. 235. 

3 Bourke, "Medicine Men of the Apache," Bur. Eth., 
IX, p. 471. 


cases, have gained entrance into the pharmacopoeia of the 
most highly cultured societies. The therapeutical agents 
to which men have been led by experimentation have 
been added, and the present elaborate materia medica has 



It may be said by way of conclusion that a systematic 
study of the character and evolution of shamanism should 
not be without interest to the scientist. 

The scientific principle that man, in a corresponding 
environment, although living in different regions of the 
earth, and at different stages of the history of the world, 
reacts in a similar manner, has received exemplification in 
this study. It h^s been shown that, as a result of his 
reaction, there has been developed a special represent- 
ative of the imaginary environment, who, in spite of minor 
differences, is fundamentally one and the same the world 
over, call him by whatsoever name you choose. This 
intelligence should be illuminative to the sociologist. 

Of particular interest to the physician and surgeon 
should be the knowledge of the connexion between his 
science and superstition. The nobj ejorofession^ of medicine 
had its beginning in the blind groping s of the medicin e 
man in his efforts to expel_ or appease malicious or angry 
spirits. In Egypt those primitive notions and methods 
continued, and the empiricists, fettered by the conservatism 
of the cult, were content with the traditional prescriptions, 
handed down from generation to generation, not making any 
effort to develop the science other than the knowledge 
of embalming demanded. In Assyria no further advance 


was made; for the extraction of ominous livers of sheep 
was no more useful in teaching dissection to the Baby- 
lonians than was mummification adapted to impart that 
knowledge to the Hamites. On mounting a step or two 
higher, however, the Greeks are found laying a firmer foun- 
dation for practical medicine, and learning anatomy from 
dead, even from living bodies; and henceforth medicine 
leaves the apron strings of its mother, superstition, 
receiving, as time advanced, public hygiene from the 
Jews, and the beginnings of operative surgery from the 
Hindus.i Hippocrates taught that *'no disease whatever 
came from the gods, but was in every instance traceable 
to a natural and intelligible cause." ^ Greek medicine, 
therefore, "was science in the making, with Roman 
medicine as an offshoot, Byzantium as a cold-storage plant, 
and Islam as travelling agent. The best side of mediaeval 
medicine was the organization of hospitals, sick nursing, 
medical legislation, and education." 3 Jhe birth of anatomy 
as a science occured during the Renaissance period, and 
the same era marked the growth of surgery as a handicraft ; 
the beginnings of pathology, instrumental diagnosis, and 
experimental surgery are to be traced to the eighteenth 
century; while — to the glory of the nineteenth century be 
it said — during that period scientific surgery was created, 
medicine as a science was organized, and advancement 
along every line was made.* 

1 Garrison, "Hist. Med.." p. 54. 

2 Berdoe, "Healing Art," p. 173. 

3 Garrison, "Hist. Med.," p. 594. 
* Ibid. 

cH. vm CONC LUSION 285 

Science thus has come out of superstition. ^ Medicine 
had its origin in the ghost theory of disease. That theory 
obtained until it was contradicted by later observation 
and criticism. Then another theory was advanced, which 
in turn was supplanted by another, until finally after 
centuries of blundering, stumbling, progressing, retro- 
gressing, and again progressing, the germ theory, which is 
supposed to be the last word regarding the cause of 
disease, was advanced, our splendid system of the medical 
sciences following in its train. 

Analogous to the origination of medicine in magic 
is that of chemistry in alchemy. The mediaeval alchemists 
taught that by means of the ''philosopher's stone" baser 
metals could be transformed into gold. That theory caused 
many persons to spend their lives in search of the much- 
coveted object. The stone was not found, but as a result 
of the Herculean industry of those ancient savants, 
sulphuric acid, alcohol, and ammonia were discovered. The 
idea of the existence of the "philosopher's stone" must 
be called superstitious, but it led to the pursuit of truth 
by experiment. That method as the years passed was 
freed from its absurdities, and thus the science of chemistry 
has come from alchemy. ^ 

Astronomy is another science that had its beginning in 
superstition. 3 The ancient Chaldeans believed the stars 
and planets to exercise such an influence over human life 
and events that they systematically observed and recorded 

1 Vide pp. 129 and 149. 2 Tylor, "Anthropology," p. 328. » Vide 
pp. 129-130. 


the location of the heavenly bodies as indicating lucky and 
unlucky days, as well as portending the coming of pesti- 
lence and the issues of battle. Even in comparatively 
modern times, men of eminence along their special Hne of 
activity, as, for example, Tycho Brahe and Kepler, have 
disseminated the doctrine that the planets foretold the 
destinies of men. That belief is called by later generations 
superstition, but the fact remains that it led to observations 
and calculations by which the motions of the planets them- 
selves were foretold, and thus astrology prepared the 
way for astronomy.^ 

Equally striking has been the evolution of the medicine 
man in his character of religious leader. Since this subject 
is to form the basis of a future discussion, it can only be 
said here that in the capacity of priest the shaman was least 
admirable. Whatever good he accomplished as physician 
and counsellor, his efforts in interceding with the higher 
powers were of course futile. But the medicine._nian 
gradually became the teacher 2 of the young men of the 
nation, and the almoner of the race. Almost down to the 
present time, education and charity are largely in the 
hands of the religious class. In this generation the Church 
has shown a strong tendency,' which is still growing, to 
emphasize and strengthen its sociological work by means 
of club rooms, gymnasiums, summer camps, schools and 
colleges, medical missions, and welfare work in general. 
Organized religion is thus still a great civilizing agency. 

^ Tylor, "Anthropology," p. 341. 

^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," German Edition, pp. 317—329. 

cH. vra CONCLUSION 287 

Purely as religious teachers both clergymen and priests 
of this age have ideals so far above those of their 
sociological predecessor that the connexion between the 
old and the new would seem fanciful but for the investi- 
gations of science. 

The beneficent effects of the dominance of the 
the medicine man are far from being exhausted in the 
foregoing recital. In the cosmic process of the centuries, 
the shaman and his associates unconsciously, uninten- 
tionally and incidentally, constituted a mighty socializing 
force. The scientific justification of the religious element 
in evolving society may be urged for the following reasons. 

By maintaining a common propitiation of the deities, the 
exponents of religion have furnished a principle of societal 
cohesion. Worship of the same gods tends to unify a 
society,! The Ostyaks, for example, are said to be drawn 
together through using the same sacred places and yielding 
obedience to the same priest.^ 

Religious leaders have performed a social good by 
checking within tribes the tendencies to internal warfare. 
While they have frequently incited attacks on alien peoples 
and tribes of another religion, those leaders in the average 
case have checked hostilities between groups of the same 
blood and of the same religion. ^ The reproof of Moses to 
the Israelite who struck a brother slave in Egypt, "Where- 
fore smitest thou thy fellow?"* v/iil occur to the reader as 
an illustration of this point. 

1 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, pp. 96, 97, 141. 

^ Lathrop, "Descriptive Sociology," I, p. 456. 

=* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 141. * Exodus, 2 : 13. 


By strengthening the habit of self-restraint, the medi- 
cine man and his religious successors have done a praise- 
worthy work. When in return for their professional offices, 
the representatives of the gods demanded food, clothing, 
or other commodity, they compelled uncivilized peoples to 
give up something which was good to obtain some greater 
good. That discipline, enforced by shamanism, was of 
assistance in the development of foresight, or in other words, 
increased the willingness to sacrifice the present for the 
sake of the future. It is to be doubted whether any motive 
other than fear of the imaginary environment could so 
have strengthened the habit of self-restraint. And this habit 
is an essential factor for the regulation of conduct both for 
self benefit and for the interests of other people. ^ 

The priest class has been of social service in that its 
members have approved of enforced labor, which is the 
only means of training men to apply themselves to 
tasks. 2 Savage peoples in the unregulated state do not 
have the principle of co-operation. This unity of effort 
is indispensable to fitness for societal life. Authority is 
necessary to establish co-operation. Undisciplined nature 
man can be made to work with his fellows by the appli- 
cation of only the most powerful means. The represen- 
tative of the gods has exercised the strongest restraint 
possible in that he has impressed upon the minds of 
common men that if the commands of the deities are dis- 
obeyed, vengeance will most surely fall. Since the shaman 

C\ \ / * Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, pp. 141—143. 
" Ibid., Ill, p. 144. 



is either the king, or has been forced into submission to 
the ruler, or works in co-operation with him, it can readily 
be seen that the religious leader has used his spiritual 
power to re-enforce political power. The application of 
coercion for societal good is clearly manifested in the 
development of the industrial organization. The building 
up of this institution would not have been possible except 
through hard, continuous labor. What other than a long- 
lasting and vigorous coercion could have compelled the idle 
and improvident savage to do useful work? And in this 
compulsion, shamanism was a powerful instrumentality.^ 

The medicine man, and the principles for which he 
stands, have always formed the conservative element in 
group, tribe, or nation. There is a place in every society 
for the spirit of stability. Shamanism, by the preservation of 
beliefs, sentiments, and usages, which by survival have been 
proved approximately fit for the requirements of the time, 
has been useful in maintaining and strengthening societal 
bonds, and, therefore, in conserving societal aggregates.^ 

The institution of shamanism has served a social 
purpose by forming a system for the regulation of conduct 
which co-operates with the civil administrative system. 
The prime requisite for societal progress is societal union. 
Nature man possesses so many anti-societal traits — impul- 
siveness, improvidence, an intolerance of restraint, a lack 
of sociality, an extended sense of blood revenge, a paucity 
of altruistic feelings, and an extreme resistance to change^ 

* Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," pp. 142 — 143. 
2 Ibid., Ill, p. 102. 



which militate against societal co-operation, that nothing 
but an absolute submission to secular and sacred authority 
is strong enough to hold him in check. i Shamanism, 
therefore, has contributed to social progress in that it 
has co-operated with the civil power in enforcing sub- 
mission to constituted political authority.^ An illustration 
of this was observed by the writer at Bontoc, Mountain 
Province, Northern Luzon, Philippine Islands. A Bontoc 
Igorot was serving in the Constabulary when he sickened 
and died from pneumonia. At the funeral, his relatives, 
believing that he had been murdered by the Benguet 
Igorots, traditional enemies of their clan, nearly prevailed 
upon the Bontoc people to make a head-hunting raid upon 
the villages of Benguet for blood revenge. The authorities 
assembled the Bontoc priests and explained to them the 
real cause of the death. Those shamans then persuaded 
the angry relatives that their suspicions were unfounded, 
and the trouble was averted. 

The shamanic class, furthermore, has aided social 
progress by demanding obedience, first to the deities and 
then to earthly rulers. This can be seen incidentally from 
the practical effects of the working of the taboo. Among 
savage peoples, tabooed articles are primarily those conse- 
crated to a spirit. For an individual, therefore, to disregard 
a taboo is to rob the divinity.^ Thus it is believed in New 
Zealand that both gods and man punish those who violate 
a taboo. The angry spirits inflict sickness and death ; human 

1 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," I, pp. 56—74. - Ibid., Ill, 
pp. 105—106. 3 Ibid., Ill, p. 144. 


agencies visit upon the transgressor confiscation of 
property and expatriation or death. But terror of the 
gods is more effective in upholding the taboo than fear 
of men.i A mark, showing that a thing is the property 
of a god, may without difficulty be simulated. An 
offering with the sign of taboo upon it is by implication 
one that will eventually be sacrificed to a god. Since, 
however, the time when the sacrifice is to be made is 
not definite, there is a possibility that the consecration 
will not occur for a long period. Because of this post- 
ponement there would take place at times a simulated 
consecration of offerings, which men may not lawfully 
touch because they are tabooed, but which never will be 
sacrificed to the gods.- In Timor, for example, it is related 
that "a few palm leaves stuck outside a garden as a sign of 
the 'pomli' [taboo] will preserve its produce from thieves as 
effectually as the threatening notice of man-traps, spring- 
guns, or a savage dog would do for us." ^ Since it is always 
the medicine man or the ruler as medicine man, who 
makes sacrificial offerings, it will be seen that shamanism 
is responsible both for the taboo and for its beneficial 

No single factor, it may be truthfully said, has more 
potently influenced the culture and shaped the destiny 
of society than the medicine man. In attempting to gain 
a true conception of the historical importance and develop- 
ment of a race, the one element which above all others 

' Thompson, "The Story of New Zealand," I, p. 130. 
^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, p. 144. 
^ Wallace, "The Malay Archipelago," p. 196. 
^ Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," III, pp. 145-146. 



demands closest attention and investigation is the power 
of the priest class. That the medicine man has frequently 
abused his opportunities is to be deplored. But in con- 
sideration of the social control which he has exercised, and 
in consideration of the fact that art, education, history, and 
science had their incipiency in the class to which he and 
his fellows belong, the verdict of impartial judgment 
must be that on the whole, whether consciously or un- 
consciously, the shaman has rendered a social service, the 
beneficial results of which are incalculable. 

Another way of testing the relative merits of the 
priest class is by the standard of societal selection. ^ Every 
society which has survived has had medicine men. Social 
aggregations without priests could not compete with others 
of which those socializing agencies formed a part, and 
consequently gave way in the struggle before a superior 
foe. 2 Had shamanism been a social disadvantage rather 
than a social advantage, those societies in which it had 
place would have gone down in the contest with others 
where it did not exist, and the weaker aggregates 
together with their institutions would have perished. But 
the fact that it gave life to social groups proves the worth 
of the sacerdotal class. 

It is thus seen that strength has come out of weakness; 
good out of evil; truth out of error. These words epitomize 
the story of the progress of the human race. Many wrong 
theories have been advocated, and many methods have 

1 Keller, "Societal Evolution," pp. 53-168. 

2 Spencer, "Principles of Sociology," pp. 148 — 149. 


been of no avail to the puqDose for which they were 
originally contemplaied. In conjunction with his multitu- 
dinous mistakes, however, man of necessity has also 
blundered upon truth. The false has perished, while 
the true has survived. That process has been repeated 
time without end, until astronomy has eventuated from 
astrology, chemistry from alchemy, medicine from magic, 
nobler religious ideals and social betterment from 
fetichism — in other words, science, spiritual enlightenment, 
and societal advancement from superstition. 


In the foregoing pages a painstaking effort has been made, 
by the footnotes, to give full credit wherever it is due. 
In addition, however, special mention may be made of 
a list of general works from which has been gleaned 
much of the data that constitute, so to speak, the back- 
ground of this treatise. A list of these general works is 
first given. 

Bart els. Max, Die Medizin der Naturvolker. Leipzig, 

Fisher, Irving, Report on National Vitality. Bulletin 

Number 30 of the Committee of One Hundred on 

National Health. Washington, 1909. 
Frazer, J. G,, The Golden Bough. London, 1911, 

Twelve Volumes. Also New York, 1900, Three 

G o w e r s , W. R., Epilepsy and other Convulsive Diseases. 

Philadelphia, 1901. 
Gumplowicz, L., Grundriss der Sociologie. Vienna, 

Gumplowicz, L., Der Rassenkampf. Innsbruck, 1909. 
Gumplowicz, L., Sociologie und Politik. Leipzig, 1892. 
Keane, A. H., Ethnology. Cambridge, 1901. 
Keller, Albert G., Societal Evolution. New York, 1915. 
Lippert, J., Die Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit. 

Stuttgart, 1886. 
Mc Kay, W. J. S., Ancient Gynecology. New York, 1901. 
Manson, P., Tropical Diseases. London, 1900. 
Osborne, Oliver T., Introduction to Materia Medica and 

Pharmacology. New York, 1906. 
Osborne, Oliver T., Handbook of Therapy (Editor). 

Chicago, 1912. 


Schelenz, H., Geschichte der Pharmazie. Berlin, 1904. 
Schmidt, E., Ausfiihrliches Lehrbuch der pharmaceu- 

tischen Chemie, Marburg, 1901. 
Solly, E., Medical Climatology. Philadelphia and New 

York, 1897. 
Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Sociology. Volumes I 

and II, New York, 1908; Volume III, New York, 


German Edition, Leipzig, 1897. 
Sumner, William Graham, Folkways, Boston, 1907. 
Tschirch, A., Handbuch der Pharmakognosie. Leipzig, 

Tylor, E. B., Anthropology. New York, 1893. 
Tylor, E. B., Early History of Mankind, London, 1870. 
Tylor, E. B., Primitive Culture. London, first Edition, 

1865; second Edition, 1870. 
Wetterstrand, O. G.^ Hypnotism and its Application 

to the Practice of Medicine. New York, 1899. 


The following list contains books of a more specialized 

Allen, A., and Thomson, T. H. R., Narrative of the 
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Allen, Henr}^ T., Atnatanas; natives of Copper River, 
Alaska. (In U. S. Smithsonian Institution. Annual 
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Allison, Mrs. S. S., Account of the Similkameen Indians 
of British Columbia. (In Journal of Anthropological 
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Vol. 21, pp. 305—318). 

American Medical Association, Handbook of 
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American Medical and Surgical Journal. 
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American Journal of Pharmacy. 

American Pharmaceutical Association, Pro- 
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Annals of Good Sainte Anne de Beaupre. 
Quebec, Canada. 

A n s t i e , Francis E., Lectures on diseases of the nervous 
system. (Lecture VI, Lancet, Jan. 11, 1873, Vol. 1, 
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Aubrey, William H. S., The Natural and Domestic 
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Australasian Association for the Advance- 
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Astley, T., New General Collections of Voyages and 
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Atkinson, T. W., Siberia, Oriental and Western. Lon- 
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Atlantic Monthly. Boston. 

Baas, Johann H., Outline of the History of Medicine. 
Translation of Henry Handerson. New York, 1889. 


Backhouse, James, A Narrative of a Visit to Australia. 

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Bacon, Francis, Novum Organum. (In Rand's Modem 

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Bancroft, Hubert H., The Native Races of the Pacific 

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Several other editions. 
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United States. (In Lloyd Library, Bulletin Number 

1). ^ 

B a r t r a m , William, Travels through North and South' 
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B a s t i a n , Adolf, Der Mensch in der Oeschichte. Leip- 
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B e r d o e , Edward, The Origin and Growth of the 
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Beverly, R., Histoire de la Virginie. Paris, 1707. 

Biart, Luciefi, The Aztecs. Translation, Chicago, 1892. 

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Bourke, John G., The Medicine Men of the Apache. 

(In United States Bureau of Ethnology, Ninth 

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pp. 443—617). 
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.Washington, 1891. 
Boyle, Frederick, Adventures among the Dyaks of 

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Brand, John, Observations on Popular Antiquities of 
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Brasseur de Bourbourg, Charles E., Histoire des 
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Brett, W. H., Indian Tribes of Guiana. London, 1868. 

B r i n t o n , Daniel G., The Myths of the New World. 
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Brinton, Daniel G., Religions of Primitive Peoples. New 

York, 1897. 
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Science. London. 
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Brugsch-Bey, Henry, History of Egypt under the 

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B run ton, T. L., Action of Medicines. New York, 1899. 
Brunton, T. L., Pharmacologv and Therapeutics. Lon- 
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Burton, Richard F., Mission to Gelele, King of Dahomey. 

London, 1864, 
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Burton, Robert, Anatomy of Melancholy, London, 1806. 

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Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 5. 


Callaway, Canon, and Bishop, Religious Systems of 

the Amazulu. Folk Lore Society Publications, Vol. 

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Da It on, Henry G., History of British Guiana, London, 



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Dealy, James J. and L. F. Ward, A Text-book of 
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De Groot, J. J. M., The Religious System of China. 
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Dietetic and Hygienic Gazette. New York and 

Dixon, The Chimariko Indians and Language. (In 
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Dobrizhoffer, Martin, An Account ot the Abipones, 
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Dowd, Jerome, The Negro Races. A Sociological Study. 
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Dunglinson, Richard J., History of Medicine. Phila- 
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Dyer, Folk-Lore of Plants. New York, 1899. 

E b e r s , G., Egypt. Edition used was not dated. 

Ed kins, Joseph, Religion in China. London, 1893. 

Ella, S., Samoa. (In Australasian Association for the 
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Ellis, A. B., Tshi-Speaking Peoples. London, 1887. 

Ellis, A. B., Ewe-Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast 
of West Africa. London, 1890. 


Ellis, A. B., Yoruba-Speaking Peoples ot the Slave Coast 

of West Africa. London, 1894. 
Ellis, Havelock, Man and Woman. London, 1894. 
Ellis, William, Polynesian Researches. London, 1859. 
Ellis, William, History of Madagascar. London, 1858. 
Ellis, William, Journal of a Tour around Hawaii. Boston, 

Emerson, Ellen Russel, Indian Myths. Boston, 1884. 
Encyclopedia Britannica. 
English Bible. (Revised version). 
Ephemeris. Brooklyn. 
E r m a n , Adolph, Life in Ancient Egypt. Translated by 

H. M. Tirard, London, 1894. 

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Fairmount Park Art Association, Thirty-second 
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F a 1 k n e r, Thomas, A Description of Patagonia, Hereford, 

Fawcett, Fred, On the Saoras (or Savaras), an Ab- 
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F i t z r o y , Robert, Narrative of the Expedition and Sur- 
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Fletcher, The Hake, A Pawnee Ceremony. (In United 
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pp. 14 ff.). 

Fletcher-Laflesche, The Omaha Tribe. (In United 
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580 ff.). 

Fliickiger, F. A., and Handbury, Daniel, Pharma- 
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Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the 
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Garrison, F. H., History of Medicine. Philadelphia, 


Gill, W. W., Myths and Songs from the South Pacific, 

London, 1876. 
Gil m our, J., Among the Mongols. London, 1883. 
Grey, George, Journals of Two Expeditions of Dis- 
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Grimm, Teutonic Mythology. Translation of Stallybrass, 

London, 1880—1883. 
Grote, George, History of Greece. Fourth Edition, 

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Guhl, E., and Koner, W., Life of the Greeks and 

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Huchinson, George Thompson, (Editor), The Living 

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Note. — References are to numbers of pages. 

Abella, 87. 

Abipones, 49, 126. 

Abyssinians, 206. 

Acts, Book of, 216. 

Aesculapius, 75, 149. 

Afghanistan, (204). 

Africa, 85, 97, 121, (141), 146, 
182, 214, 228, 271, 273. — 
Central, 45, 84, 87, 121. — 
East, 10, 42, 59. — East 
Central, 139, 160. - Equatorial, 
272. — South, 25. West, 109, 
118, 160, 188, 272. — West 
Coast of, 273. 

Africans, 45, 59, 134, 208, — 
West-, 117. — of the West 
Coast, 109. 

Agodice, 81. 

Agrippa, Cornelius, 209. 

Ahab, 39. 

Akikuyu, 59, 69. 

Alaska, 97, 128, 192, 232. ^ 

Albucasis of Cordova, 81. 

Aldegunde, Helena, 76. 

Alexander, 227. 

Algonquins, 93, 117, 190. 

Amazulus, 8, 41, 134, 140, 171, 172. 

America, 13, 19, 25, 77, 111, (141), 
228, 247, 256, 281. — Central, 
78, 182. — North West, 95. — 
Pacific States of North, 211, 
244. — South, 111, 146, 266, 271. 

Ammassalik, 146. 

Anaw'd Lake, 113. 

Andamanese Islanders, 92, 120, 

Andes, 264, 265. 

Annamites, 94. 

Anne, Ste., de Beaupr6, 172 — 175. 

Apache, 81, 135, 153, 155, 184, 

191, 221. 
Apocrypha, 224. 
Apollo, 17, 37. 
Arabs, 182, (246), 249, 261. 
Araucanians, 198, 219. 
Arawalis, 12. 
Ardra, 203. 
Argos, 75. 

Arizona, 45, 232, 259. 
Aryans, 16. 
Asclepiades, 185. 
Ashanti, 72, 152. 
Asia, 141, 229, 271. — Minor, 

261. — South-east, 44, 271. — 

Western, 261. 
Assyria, 17, 283. 
Atnatanas, 97, 127. 
Aubrey, 19. 
Australia, 30, 52, 72, 95, 111, 

125, (141), 143, 156, 271, 276. 

— Central, 72, 77, 84, 116, 193. 

— South, 41. 
Australians. 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 38, 

52, 77, 133, 275. — Central, 121. 
Australian -Tasmanian district, 

Avicenna, 82, 248. 
Aztecs, 181, 280. 


Babylon, 17. 
Babylonians, 284. 
Badagas, 147, 208. 
Baksa, 40. 



Bari, 152. 

Bechuanas, 25, 94, 

Benedict, St., 223. 

Bilquila, 27, 241. 

Bishop Colenso, 134. 

Bolivia, 264. 

Bontoc, 290. 

Borneo, 60, 61, 72, 92, 118, 179, 

204, 206. — British North, 80, 

93. — Western, 94. 
Botany Bay, 276. 
Boulia, 144. 
Boulian, 49. 

Brazil, 36, 45, 147, 234, 236, 239. 
Brazilians, 237. 
Britons, 18. 
Brodie, 220. 
Buddhist, 97. 
Byzantium, 284. 

Caesar, 227. 

Calabar, 30. 

Calenda, Costanza, 87. 

California, 45, 78, 116, 140, 244. — 

Central, 129. — Southern, 137, 

153, 158. 
Callaway, 8, 15. 
Canada, 27, 172. 
Caquingue, 138. 
Carib Tribes, 87. 
Carriers, 148. 
Cayuse, 25. 
Celebes, Central, 78. 
Celsus, 261. 
Celts, 16. 

Chaldea, 17, 129, 149, 197. 
Chaldeans, 285. 
Cherokees, 14, 57, 93, 111, 230, 

278, 279. 
Chibchas, 264. 
China, 73, 83, 84, 98, 129, 141, 

178, 243, 262. 
Chinese, 149, 212, 246, 262. 
Chinooks, 134. 
Chins, Northern, 178. 
Chippeways, 32, 78, 188, 190. 
Circe, 75. 
Colbert, 238. 
Colenso, Vide Bishop. 

Columbia, British, 274. 
Commis, 45. 
Congo, 107. 
Cossacks, 259. 
Cybele, 33. 
Cyclops, 213, 214. 


Dahomey, 96, 127, 180. 

Dakotas, 12, 52, 72, 78, 93, 119, 
134, 148, 164, 234. 

Delphi, 37, 46. 

Devonshire, 207. 

Dieyerie, 41, 111. 

Dioscorides, 261. 

Dutch, 237. 

Dyaks, 11, 26, 61, 88, 92, 93, 118, 
153, 161, 179, 204, 206. — Land, 
12, 42, 60, 77, 97, 110, 162, 
211. — Sea, 33, 115, 133. 


Ecclesiasticus, 172. 
Ecuador, 233, 250, 251. 
Eddy, Mary Baker, 217, 219, 220. 
Egypt, 12, 45, 75, 80, 129, 148, 

206, 225, 242, 261, 283, 287. 
Egyptians, 81, 94, 195, 203, 209, 

215, 240, 243, 261. 
Elisha, 39. 

Elizabeth of Kent, 76. 
England, 76, 150, 201, 204, 207, 

231, 256, 273. — English, 19, 

Erxleben, Frau, 76. 
Eskimos, 2, 52, 53, 72, 73, 77, 

93, 109, 110, 114, 119, 139, 
■ 146, 161. 
Europe, 229, 247, 252, 255, 262, 

266, 267, 278. — Europeans, 

Ewe-Speaking Peoples, 6, 96. 
Exodus, 17, 212. 

Fanti-Land, 124. 
Favilla, 76. 
Fiacre, St., 223. 
Fijians, 13. 



Fiji Islands, 43. 

Finns, 7. 

Florida, 45. 

Foxes 117. 

France, 238, 252, 253, 255. 

French, 243, 257, 276. 

Fuegians, 125. 

Fumaria Capreolata, 206. 


Gaelic, 247. 
Galen, 75. 

Ganguella Negroes, 138. 
Germany, 76, 238, 256. 
Germans, 126. 
Gilbert Island, 198. 
Gold Coast, 28, 30, 99, 164. 
Goras, 187. 
GrGGCG 149. 

Greeks] 17, 37, 75, 180, 200, 213, 
214, 243, 247, 248, 260, 263, 284. 
Greenlanders, 50. 
Guanas, 26. 
Guarna, Rebecca, 87. 
Guiana, 44, 145, 160. 


Hamites, 284. 
Hawaiian Islands, 145. 
Head-hunters, 106, 112. 
Hebrews, 149, 216, 244, 261. Vide 

Israelites, Jews. 
Helen, 260. 
Helvetius, 237, 238. 
Hera, 75. 

Heraclides of Tarentum, 262. 
Herodotus, 17, 243. 
Herophilus, 81. 
Hildegard, Abbatissa, 246. 
Hindus, 223, 233, 248, 284. 
Hippocrates, 185, 243, 261, 284. 
Holland, 238. 
Humphrey's Island, 134. 
Huns, 142. 
Hygeia, 75. 

Igorot, 290. 

Iliad, 17. 

Incas, 134, 135, 182, 264, 265. 

Inca-Peruvians, 181. 

India, 17, 149, 243, 261. — Dutch, 
256. — English, 256. — North- 
western, 187. — Southern, 47, 
135, 147, 159. 

Indians, 71, 72, 180, 190, 198, 
211, 233, 250, 251, 265, 266. — 
American, 148; North, 2, 24, 
49, 53, 59, 70, 95, 97, 104, 106, 
(108), (125), (132), 142, 148, 
(213), 225, 233, 242; South, 
235. - Black Feet, 101. — 
Bolivian, 134. — of (California, 
140, 191, 198; North, 87; South, 
84, 115, 137, 159. — Chimariko, 
26, 42. — Columbian, 189. — 
Creek, 45, 72, 97, 242. — of 
Cumana, 190. - Florida, 190, 
229. - Heidah, 233. - Hualpai, 
259- — Karaya, 36, — Kickapoo, 
163. — Klamath, 94. - Loango, 
92. — of the Matto-Grosso, 
250. — Menomini, 57, 142. — 
of Oregon, 154. — Pima, 26, 
33, 41, 56, 70, 142, 146, 151, 
162. — Sahaptain, 123. - 
Seminole, 242. — Sbingu, 57, 
191. — Similkameen, 112, 274. 
- Twana, 232. — Ventura, 
162. — Wascow, 78, 124. — 
Western, 38. —Winnebago, 241. 

Iniots, Western, 28. 

Iroquois, 277. 

Islam, 284. 

Israel, 39. 

Israelites, 203. Vide Hebrews, 

Italy, 252. 

Japanese, 45. 
Javeh, 17, 212. 
Jehu, 39. 
Jesus, 216. 

Jews, 17, 38, 103, 182, 200, 284. 
Vide Hebrews, Israelites. 


Kaffirs, 27, 176. 
Kalingas, 45. 



Karay^s, 233. 

Karens, 13, 176. 

Karok, 79, 80, 162. 

Kelta, 137. 

Kepler, 286. 

Kernai, 16, 191. 

Kirghiz, 163, 214. 

Kolmyck, 88. 

Konpooee, 179. 

Koran, 203, 210. 

Korea, 33, 73, 79, 82, 88, 164, 

Korean, 104. 

Koskis, 178. 

Kwahadks, 151. 

Lancashire, 207. 
Leibniz, 238. 
Lemnig-Lennape, 143. 
Lhassa, 28. 

Liberia, 33, 112, 133, 241. 
Linnaeus, 239, 252. 
Livingstone, 272. 
Loango, 72, 135, 164. 
Logone, 246. 
Louis XIV, 238. 
Lubuku, 72. 
Lucina, 75. 
Luzon, 45. 


Madagascar, 133. 

Madras, 73, 145, 161, 181. 

Makjarawaint, 30. 

Malagasy, 200. 

Malanau, 46. 

Malay Archipelago, 111; M. 

Tribes, 271. 
Mangia, 133. 
Manila, 29. 

Maltraversa, Adelmota, 87. 
Marcellus, 215. 
Marguerite of Naples. 87- 
Marquesan Islands, 15. 
Martineau, Harriet, 220. 
Mascotin, 163. 
Matira, 12. 
Mayas, 54. 
Medea, 75. 

Menelaus, 260. 

Mexico, 45, 92, 129, 277. 

Mexicans, 81, 115, 128, 134, 180. 

Miami, 163. 

Midewiwin, 67, 69, 72. 

Mincopies, 42, 241. 

Minnesota, 53. 

Mishmis, 188. 

Mi-Wok, 116, 153, 158. 

Mohammedans (Moslems;, 81, 82, 

182, (210), 258, 261. 
Mohave, 153, 
Moluccas, 13. 
Morpheus, 263. 
Moses, 80, 287. 


Nagualism, 26. 

Navahoes, 25, 56, 57, 163, 194,232. 

Negritos of Zambales, Philippine 

Islands, 11, 26, 74, 153, 209. 
Neilgherries, 208. 
New Caledonians, 175. 
New England, 207. 
New Hebrides, 26, 73, 115, 141, 

New South Wales, 185, 257. 
Newton, 227. 

New Zealand, 12, 128, 134, 290. 
New Zealanders, 189. 
Nez Percys, 25. 
Nias, 33, 163. 
Nigeria, British, 181. 
Nootka Sound People, 179. 


Oceania, 129. 

Ocyroe, 75. 

Odysseus, 180, 213. 

Ojibways, 49, 52, 53, 54, 58. 67, 

69, 72, 93, 138, 160, 190. 
Omahas, 8, 14, 25, 109, 163, 184, 

194, 200. 
Oneeheow, 39. 
Oregon, 94, 244. 
Ostyacks, 287. 
Owhyhee, 39. 



Pacific Ocean, 233, 271. 

Papuans, 123. 

Papyrus Ebers, 243. 

Paracelsus, 249. 

Paraguay, 26. 

Pascal, 216. 

Patagonia, 44, 88, 146, 152. 

Patagonians, 11, 36. 

Pawnees, 54. 

Persia, 246, 261, 262. 

Persians, 95, 154, 241. 

Peru, 15, 135, 180, 228, 250, 251, 

252, 264, 265, 280. 
Peruvians, 26, 128, 160, 203, 251, 

Philippine Islands, 11, 16,26,29, 

45, 74, 153, 189, 190, 209, 290. 
Piso, 236, 237. 
Pocahontas, 211. 
Polo, Marco, 246. 
Polynesia, 182. 
Polynesians, 77, 135. 
Porsena, 248. 
Powhatan, 93, 211. 
Priessnitz, 201. 
Pythagoras, 18. 
Pythagoreans, 206. 


Queensland, 106, 142, 167. - 
Central, 115. - North, 144. — 
Northwest, 117 

Quichua, 39. 


Richelieu, 223. 

Rome, 223. 

Romans, 18, 75, 223, 243, 248, 

261, 284. 
Rongo, 133. 
Russian, 198. 

Sacs (and Foxes), 117. 
Saga, Heims-Kringia, 134. 

Icelandic, 212. 
Salpe, 76. 

Samoan, 8, 14, 36. 

Samoans, 10, 147. 

Samoyeds, 45. 

Samuel, Hebrew Prophet, 141, 

Sanscrit, 94. 
Saoras, 26, 73, 145, 161. 
Sarawak, 80, 93, 159. 
Scandinavia, 134. 
Schurz, Carl, 1. 
Semites, 210. 
Shuli, 143. 

Siberia, 25, 45, 72, 88, 118. 
Singpho, 44. 
Sioux, 125, 190. 
Somaliland, 272. 
Sotira, 76. 

Spain, 237. — Spaniards, 54, 251. 
Spanish, 244, 250, 266, 277. 
Stanley, 272. 
Styx, 200. 
Sumatra, 10, 38, 189, 206. 

Tagalog, 30, 190. 

Tahitians, 147, 178. 

Tannese, 15. 

Tapantunnuasu, 78. 

Tartars, 18, 259. 

Tartary, 177. 

Tasmania, 41. 

Tasmanians, 8, 11, 126. 

Tauna, 133. 

Telemachus, 260. 

Theophrastus, 261. 

Thlinkeets, 119. 

Tibet, 97, 106, 161. 

Tibetans, 28. 

Timor, 291. 

Tissheim, Catherine, 76. 

Togans, 10. 

Togbos, 241, 

Trallianus, Alexander, 209, 215, 

Troppau, Duchess of, 76. 

Tshi-Speaking Peoples, 6, 36, 46, 
62, 66, 82, 99, 104, 105, 116, 
121, 152, 153, 155, 164. 

Tungus, 30, 36. 

Tupis, 147. 



Turkestan, 244. 
Turkish, 262. 
Tycho Brahe, 286. 


Uganda, 260. 
Ute, 1. 

Tribes, 2. 

Veddah, 176. 

Victoria, 27, 34, 92, 114, 115, 

123, 127. — British, 163. 
Visayans, 16, 189. 


Walapai, 45. 
Walla Wallas, 25. 

Wascows, 25. 
Watgo, 30. 
West Indies, 12, 243. 
Wolly, Anna, 76. 

Yakuts, 2, 30, 34, 35, 88, 97, 108, 

124, 147, 160, 176, 197, 247. 
Yorkshire, 254. 
Yucatan, 54. 

Zanzibar, 45. 
Zeno, 187. 

Zululand, 49, 72, 151. 
Zulus, 2, 6, 8, 25. 
Zunis, 54. • 


Note. — References, unless otherwise indicated, are to numbers of pages. 

Abdomen, 190. 

Abnormity, (35, 36, 48), 69. 

Aconite, 271. 

Agency, 4, 5, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 

(36), 120, 145, 167, 178, 188, (199). 
Agnosticism, 4. 
Air, 5, 6, 18, 20, 38, 126, 265. 
Alchemy, 285, 293. 
Alcohol, 285. 
Ammonia, 285. 
Amulet, 23, 202—206, 208, 209, 

214, 216, 221, 226, 246. 
Anaesthetic, 270. 
Analogy, 20, (23), 203. 
Anatomy, 284. 
Ancestor, 5, 8, 20, 27, 28, 32, 41, 42, 

(73), (84), 94, 145, 172, (175), 213. 
Anemia, 71, 186, 248, 249, 257. 
Anthropogeography, 69. 
Anthropology, 228. 
Antiseptic, 247. 
Apoplexy, 186, 224. 
Asthma, 277. 

Astringent, 230, 237, 249, 275. 
Astrology, 128, 129, 285, 286, 293. 
Astronomy, 129, 149, 285, 286, 293. 
Ataxia 173. 
Awe, 31, 35, 84, 86, 89, 103, 114, 

(115), (119), 130, 153, 165. 

Bacteriology, 230. 
Bad Luck, Vide Luck. 
Baptism, 201. 
Bladder, 223. 
Blessing, 165. 

Blood, 15, 44, 47. 57, 62, 80, 85, 
92, 110, 178, 180, 181, 182, 185, 
186, 191, 192, 215, 249, 257, 272. 

Blood-letting, 183, 184, 185, 186, 
187, 194, 224, 229, 233, 235, 257. 

Brains, 60. 

Bronchitis, 276, 277. 

Bruises, 195. 

Calabar bean, 272, 273. 

Camphor, 246, 262. 

Cancer, 223. 

Cardiac agent, 272. 

Cascara sagrada, 244, 245. 

Castor oil (ricinum), 242, 243. 

Castration, 32. 

Cathartic, Vide Purgative. 

Causation, law of, 4; natural, 35. 

Cause, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 

(22), 167, 284; natural, 199. 284. 
Cauterization, 198, 226, 229. 
Ceremony, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60. (61), 

(62), (63), (64), (65), 67, 68, 69, 

79, 93, 99, 110, 124, 133, 142, 
163, 167, (181), 182, 200, 221, 
232, 242, 264, 271, 273. 

Chant, (62), (63), (64), (67), 68, 

80, (92), 93, 101, 110, 113, (143), 
(144), (147), (162), (194), 221. 

Charity, 286. 

Charlatan(ism), 51, 105-114, 130, 
-<^harms, 12, 17, 23, 31, 60, 93, 
101, 117, 139, 143, 146, 156, 
179, 202, 203, 204, 205, 207, 
208, 209, 215, 216, 221, 226, 248. 



Chemistry, 285, 293. 

Chief, 1, 25, 133, 134, 166, 271. 

Christ, 13, 32, (216). 

Christendom, (27), (32), 183, 208, 

Christian, 50; Protestant, 50; 
Catholic, 50. 

Christian science, 217, 219, 226. 

Church, 19, 32, 103, 183, 201, 266, 
286; Roman and Greek Catho- 
lic, 94, 201; American, 95. 

Circumcision, 182. 

Clairvoyance, 25, 71, 137, 138. 

Clyster, 241. 

Coca, 264—270, 281. 

Cocaine, 267—270. 

Colic, 188. 

Confession, 18. 

Conjuration, 18, 83, (114), 152, 
221 224. 

Conjuror, 14, 24, 119, 145. Vide 
Medicine Man. 

Consecration, 291. 

Constipation, 241. 

Consumption, 148, 275; pulmo- 
nary, 255; tubercular, 186. 

Cosmetics, 87. 

Counsellor, (125), 133, 135, 286. 

Criticism, 35, 111, 280, 285. 

Crops, 11, 18, 120, 139, 142, (159). 

Croup, 277. 

Culture, (59), (69), 99, 111, 132, 
136, 148, 167, 260, 291. 

Cupping, 192, 225, (229). 

Curse, 38, 39, 60, (214). 

Customs, 2, 60, 73, 75, 82, 161, 
171, 172, 193, 265. 


Daimon, passim. 

Daimon possession, 11,181. Vide 

Spirit possession. 
Daimonistic possession theory, 6, 

8, 10, 19, 167, (250). 
Dance, 44, (46), 47, 64, 65, 83, 92, 

100, 101, 113, 144, 232. 
Datura stramonium, 45. 
Death, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 

16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 38, 74, 78, 

85, 86, 116, 117, 120, 121, (123), 

124, 152, (153), 154, (162), 165, 

167, 188, 273, 274. 
Deification, 74, (171), 177, (180), 

Delirium, 45. 
Demonology, 25. 
Devil, (13), 19, 41, 80, 117, 190, 

212, 249. 
Diagnosis, 79, 80, 168, 169, 193, 

(213), 285. 
Diarrhoea, 148, 276. 
Diet, 49, 130. 
Disease, passim. Vide Illness, 

Disgustingness, 230, 231. 
Divination, 25, 31, 112, 138, 139. 
Diviner, 25, 132, 138, 139. 
Divinity, 14, 39, 44, 70, 96, 135, 

136, 151, 223. Vide Gods. 
Doctor (ship), 26, 29, 52, 77, 78, 

106, 134. 140, 145, 146, 147, 148, 

150, 153, 154, 159, 220, 279; 

barking-d., 79, 80; root-d., 79, 

80; spirit-d.,33; spit-d., 29, 

witch-d., 31, 101, 109, 152, 188. 
Dream, 5, 6, 8, 9, 20, 29, 41, 42, 

44, 49, 50, 55, 84, 137, 143, 

interpretation of, 41, 134. 
Dreamer, 109. 
Dress, 33, 90, (124), 130. 
Dropsy, 185, 278. Vide Gout 

Drought, 24, 99, 140, 141, 143, 

145, 152. 
Drugs, 45, 71, 75, 76, 87, 149, 204, 

227 ff chap VII, 281. 
Dualism, 195, 213, 217. 226. 
Dyspepsia, 233, 277. 


Ear boring, 182, (183). 

Eclipses, 99, 129. 

Ecstasism, 25. 

Ecstasy, 44, (45), (47), (48), 49, 

(50), 109, 135, 213, 281. 
Education, 31, 286, 292. 
Educator, 132. 
Emetic, 230—239, 242. Vide 




Environment, 32, 228, 280, 283; 
imaginary, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 20, 21, 
22, 69, 120, 139, 169, 283, 288; 
natural, 2, 20; social, 2. 

Epilepsy, 9, 10, 18, (31), (36), 70, 
207, 209. 

Erysipelas, 209. 

Ethnography, 6, 231. 

Eucalyptus, 276. 

Evil eye, 17, 21, 124, 205, 210, 211. 

Evolution, 184. 

Exorcism, 17, 18, 23, 68, 79, 89, 
92, 99, 102, 134, 141, (146), 149, 
(150), 159, 168, 169, 176, 177, 
181, 187, 189, 190, 192, 193, 195, 
198, 203, 204, 206, 213, 216, 217, 
219, 221, (222), (223), 224, 225, 
229, 246, (251), 257, 274, (283). 

Exorcist, 73. 

Experiment(ation), 48, 282, 285. 

Eye-trouble, 183, (215), 273. 


Fainting-fit, 8, 13. Vide Swoon. 
Faith, 4, 101, 108, 112, 161, 221, 

222, 225. 

Faith healing, 226. 
Falling sickness, 9, 36. 
Fasting, 18, (28), 44, 48, 49, (50), 

55, 71, (84), 109, 132, 182, 258. 
Fat, (caul-f .)16, 115, 169 ; kidney-f ., 

Fetich(ism), 35, 101, 125, 127, 202, 

205, 214, 216, 267; f.-man, 97; 

f.-water, 45; f. -priest, 124. 
Fever, 11, 15, 106, 187, 206, 208, 

223, 228, 249, 251, 254, 257, 276, 

Fire, 62, 66, 189, 196—198, 225, 

229 247. 
Flagellation, 44, 46, (47), (49), 50. 
Food, 2, 20, 115, 123, 275, 288. 
Forecast of the weather, 136, 137. 
Formula, 57, 93, 149, 188, 206, 

215, 217; exorcising f., 27. 
Fumigation, 23, 189, (191), (206), 

224, (225), 230. 


Germ theory, (198), 285. 
Germicide, 198, 

Ghost, passim. Vide Spirit. 

Ghost possession, 150. 

Ghost theory, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21, 
109, 192, (222), 231, 280, 285. 

♦ Vide Daimon theory. 

God, 7, 13, 18, 99, 212, 216, 258, 

Gods (deities), 7, 18, 27, 28, 30, 
34, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 
48, 58, 63, 64, 65, 66, 70, 74, 
79, 82, 83, 84, 94, (99), 100, 
105, 108, 114, 120, 122, 130, 
132, 135, 137, 138, 149, 150, 
155, 158, 164, 169, 170, 171, 
(175), 176, 177, (179), 180, 182, 
195, 199, 206, 212, 223, (224), 
232, 233, 259, 265, 284, 287, 
288, 291. 

Goddess, 17, 75, 223. 

Gout, 217. 

Gullibility, 51, 54, 111, 115, 135. 

Gynecology, 80, 81, 82, 89, (231), 

Gvration, 46, 47, 71. 

Hallucination, 45, 46, 55. 

Head, 8. 

Headache, 275, 276. 

Healer, 51, 74, 76, 77, 100, 107, 

112, 145, 148, 152, 153, 165, 166, 

176, 220. 
Healing, 74, 75, 77, 84, 87, 111, 

130, 147, 150, 165, 216, 218, 222, 

230, 248, 259, 275. 
Heart, 7, 34, 61, 180, 224. 
Heathen, 50, 183, 208, 266. 
Heaven, 27, 33, 50, 69, 70, 98, 99, 

114 212. 
Hell, 13, 94, 114, 117, (247). 
Hemorrhoids, 223. 
Herbs, 75, 92, 95, 104, 146, 148, 

198, 202, 204, 226, 227, 230, 231, 

232, 258, 274, 281. 
Heredity, 25, (26), (27), (70), (73). 
History, 129, 227—282, 292. 
Hospital, 284. 

Hydrotherapy, 201, 202, 226, 229. 
Hygiene, 284. 
Hyperpyrexia, 202. 




Hypnotism, 43, (44), (48), (51j. 
Hysteria, 40, (41), 70, (73), 258. 

Illness, passim. Vide Disease, 

Ills of life, 4, 7, 20, 138, 226. 
Imagination, 188. 
Imposture, 61, 66, 105, (107), (108), 

110, (125), 130. 
Impostor, 153. 
Impunity, 96, 122, (150). 
Incantation, 17, 18, 23, 60, 86, 

93, 101, 146, 189, 198, 221, 224. 
Indifference, 4. 
Indigestion, 195. 
Inflammation, 186, 197, 215. 
Insanity, 10, 38, 39, (43), 70, 174, 

Inspiration, 38, 39, 41, 44, 258. 
Intestines, 223. 

Ipecacuanha, 234—240, 268, 280. 
Iron, 247-249, 253. 

Judge, 145. 

Jugglery, (49), 50, (51), (52), (53), 

(54), (55), (68), (70), (104), 140, 

142, 147. 


King, 25, 132, 133, 134, 165, 166, 
176, 180, 182 ; priest-king, 135. 

Kneading, 191, 194, 225. Vide 

Knots, 207, 208. 

Leader (religious), 1, 34, 51, 55, 

Leprosy, 148, 206. 

Liver, 7, 8, 11, 224, 284. 

Luck, 140, 285; bad luck, 3, 4, 
6, 7, 11, 17, 21, 120, 138, 139, 
176, 178, 210 ; good luck, 116, 
139, 160; luck element, 4, (21), 

Lunatic, 10, 38. 


Madness, 10, 38, 40. 

Magic(al), 13, 17, (29), 34, 42, 52, 
54, 95, 99, 102, 106, 112, 134, 
135, 142, 148, 151, 159, 169, 
225, 273, 281, 285, 287; m, 
doctors, 146 ; black m. 205 ; 
white m. 205. 

Magician, 14, 15, 16, 24, 36, 86, 
134, 138, 146, 206, 215. 

Magnetism, 107. 

Malaria, 223, 249. 

Massage, 193, 194, 195, 225. Vide 

Materia medica, 75, 227—229, 
235, 247, 249, 255, 274, 280, 
281, 282. 

Matriarchy, 74, 87. 

Measles, 148. 

Medical, authorities, 256; diplo- 
mas, 150, education, 81, 284; 
legislation, 284; profession, 89, 
184; science, 179; treatment, 
158, 174. 

Medication, 225. 

Medicine, 15, 25, 74, 75, (76), 
87, 92, 102, 106, 112, 128, 148, 
149, 150, 172, 179, (183), 202, 
214, 220, 225, 227 ff. chap.VII, 
283, 285,287; practical m. 284. 

Medicinal, agent, 205; properties, 
104, 250, 279, 281; purpose. 
275; value 204. 

Medicine bag, 95, 139. 

Medicine man, passim, 24; re- 
gular m. m., 42; irregular, 42. 
Adventitious aids, 91—105. 
Appearance, 74 (w.*), 83 (w.* ), 

88, 91, 96, (99), 101, 102. 
Call, 27. 

Character, 1, 2,21, 34, 84 (w.*). 
Conduct, 28. 
Consecration, 89 (w,*). 
Detective function (31), 89, 
(98), (121), 123, 130. Vide 
Witch detective. 
Diet, (57), 91, 92. Vide Diet. 
Dress, 33, (63), (64), (85), 88. 
91, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 

* (w.) = Medicine woman. 



Medicine man, ("continued) 

Dress, (100), 101, 102,(103), 108. 

Dwelling, 91, 94,95,130,(150). 

Estimation, 130, 165. Vide 

Evolution, 21. 

Failure, 140, 151-158, (160), 
(162), 165. 

Fees. 57, 58, 59, 60, (61 ), (68), 
(70), (78), (79), (116), 124, 
125, 127, 154, 157, 158-164. 

Functions, 1. 2, 61, 77 (w.*), 
83 (w.*), 89 (w.*), 132-151, 

Influence, 37, 74 (w.*), 91, 94, 

Initiation, 55, 58, (59), 60, (61), 
62, (63), (64), (65), (66), 67, 
(68), (69), 84. 

Instruction, 56, 129. 

Intellect, 71. 

Intelligence, 66, 205. 

Language, 28, 75, 91, 92, 93, 
94, 130, 215. 

Making of, 22-71, 83 (w.*), 
89 (w.). 

Manner, 28. 

Methods, 1, 2, 12, 14, 23, 29, 
(49), (50), (52), (53), (54), 71, 
79 (w.*), 85 (w.*), 86 (w.*), 
101, 103, 109, 112, 132, 
(147), (162), 167-226. 

Name (24) 92. 

Novitiate, 55, (56), (57), (58), 62. 

Organization, (24), (103), (104), 
(130), 155. 

Peculiarities, 55, 70, 91, (130). 

Peril, (140), (151). 

Precaution, (155), (156), (157), 

Reputation (respect, reverence) 
(36), 37, 55, 70, (89), (96), 114, 
115,118,119, 122,123, (125), 
126, 130, 136, 140, 150, 153, 

Rewards, 158—164. 

Social influence, 21, 128, 131, 
287-292 ; position(standing, 
status),(33), 55, (61),77(w.*), 

Medicine man, (continued) 

78 (w.*), 82 (w.*j, 83 (w.*), 
87(w.*), 89, 89(w.*), 90, 103, 
114-133 (150), 154, 226. 

Solitude, 49, (50), 55, 132. 

Success, (140), (151), 157. 

Superiority, (114), 130. 
Medicine woman, (26), (36;, 46, 

(63), 70, 72-90. 
Melaleuca Leucadendron, 275. 
Melancholy, 27, 36, 124, 206. 
Meningitis, 175. 
Mercury, 227, 228. 
Mesmerism, 220, 226. 
Meteorology, 136. 
Miracle, 50, 116. 
Misfortune, 4, 6, 8, 16, 19, 21, 

22, 23, 116, 138, 146, 177, 178, 181. 
Mistletoe, 150. 
Morphine, 263 f. 
Mystery, 30, 52, 60, 70, 74, 110, 

112, 214. 

Nail (-paring), 15. 

Name, 11, 15, 16, 58, 92, 154, 

160, 211—214, 216, 217. 
Narcosis, 260. 

Narcotics, 45, (57), 257—260. 
Nausea, 44, 231, 233, 242. 
Necromancy, 25. 
Necromancer, 212. 
Nerve, 9, (40), 71, (217), 219 ; 

N.-stimulant, 247, 258. 

Nervous disorders, 109,136,273. 
Neurology, 40, (222). 
Nymphomania, 48. 


Offerings, 177, 178. 

Opium, 227, 239, 253, 258-263, 

268, 281. 
Oracle, 37, 42, (43), (65), 83, 85, 

107, (114), 139, (164). 
Ordeal, 66, 67, 232, 272—274. 
Osteopathy, 194. 

Palsy, 113. 

Parasites, 20. — of Human So- 
ciety, 126, 127, 128, 130. 
Paternoster, 13, 19. 

•(■w.) = Medicine woman. 



Pathology, 48, 226, 284. 

Peruvian bark, 227, 228, 249-257. 

Pharraocopoeia, 228, 240, 244, 
245, 249, 271, 277, 278, 279, 
280, 282. 

Philosopher's stone, 285. 

Physician, passim, non - sacer- 
dotal ph., 118. 

Physiological, effect, 202, 205, 
232, 235, 268, purpose, 233, 281. 

Pneumonia, 186, 224, 290. 

Poison, 75, 80, 86, 116, 122, 150, 
191, 209, 233, 237, 271, 272, 
274 275. 

Poppy, 227, 260, 280. 

Possession, 9, 10, 36. "Vide Spirit. 

Prayer, 13, 18, (28), (49), 55, 92, 
93, 112, 144, 172, 173, (175), 
177, 214, 221, 224, 226; p. cures, 
^73 J75 226. 

Priest, 18, 25, 28, 30, 32, 33, 36, 
37, 43, 45, 50, 51, 54, 57, 62, 
63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 73, 77, 83, 
92, 93, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 
103, 104, 115, 121, 125, 126, 
128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 
134, 141, 144, 145, 146, 147, 
148, 150, 152, 155, 161, 164, 
165, 180, 188, 198, 214, 222, 
242, 264, 2S6, 287, 288, 292. 

Priestess, 37, 62, 66, 67, 73, 77, 
80, 82, 83, 84, 97, 99, 100, 149. 

Priest doctor, 213; — Priest 
physician, 75, 80, 94, 240. 

Prophecy, 25, (49), 62, 84, 138, 
(155), 165, 166. 

Prophet, 25, 39, 54, 89, 128, 132, 
138, 148, 165. 

Prophetess, 85, 86. 

Propitiation. 8, 24, 79, 89, (120), 
168, (169), 170-172, (175), 176, 
(177), 178, 179, 183, 186, 187, 
189, 205, 218, 223, 224, 229, 
257, 265, 274, (283), 287. 

Purgative, 230, 233, 237, 238, 
240—244, 277, 278, 280. Vide 

Quackery, 61, 105, (106), 130, 147. 
Quinine, 249, 257, 268. 


Racliitis, 201. 

Rain, 73, 99, 107, 115, 132, 139, 
140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 152, 
157, 199. 

Rain-maker, 25, 140, 141, 142, 
143, 144, 151, 156, 157. 

Rain-making, 140, (141), 156, 165. 

Religion, 21, 27, (32), 92, 102, 
148, 150, 171, 233, 242, 265, 
286, 287. 

Religious, ceremony, 182, 232, 
266, 271; earnestness, 237; 
ecstasy, 259, 281; functions, 
78; ideals 258, 293; interests, 
281; leader, 34, 55, 287, 289; 
life, 47; matters, 165; office, 
149; sentiments, 2; signifi- 
cance, 251; work, 98. 

Remedy, 19, 58, 75, 149, 163, 
(183), 184, 188, 201, 208, 209, 
219, 226, 227-282 chap. VIII. 

Rewards, 165, 166. 

Rheumatism, 136, 188, 197f, 207, 
209, 275. 

Ricinum. Vide Castor oil. 

Rites, 34, 59, 70, 93, 109, 110, 
133, 148, 161, 201. 

Roots, 92, 95, 148, 190, 202, 204, 
226, 231-234, 237, 275, 281. 


Sacrifice, 8, 47, (59), (62), 66, 
67, 85, 99, 121, 146, 160, 161, 
163, 176, 178, 179, 181, 182, 
184, 186, 221, 224, 291. 

Satyriasis, 48. 

Scarlet fever, 148. 

Science, 40, (47), (71), 89, 129, 
130, 149, 169, 175, 184, 192, 
198, 222, 226, 228, 269-271, 
274, 278—281, 283, 284, 287, 
292. — Medical science, 46, 
81, 82. 

Scripture, 13, 18, (32), (39), (172), 
(212), (216). 

Scrofula, 148. 

Selection, 274; natural, 3, 33, 51; 
societal, 292. 



Sex morality, 48, 66, (82), (83), 

Sexual abstinence, 47, (48), (56 f), 

(66), (92), 215. 
Shaman(ism), 49. passim. Vide 

Medicine man. 

Character of, 21, 283. 

Evolution of, 21, 283. 
Sickness, passim. 
Sick-nursing, 284. 
Simulation, (36), (40), 43, (44), 

(46), (219), (291). 
Sincerity, (105), 108, (109), (110), 

111, 112, 130. 
Scepticism, 35. 
Sleight-of-Hand, 104, 107. 
Small-pox, 11, 17, 18, 148, 223. 
Societal control, 130, 292. 
Society, 2, 31, 65, 88, 89, 103, 

105, 117, 128, 130, 132, 140, 

148, 165, 232, (288), 289, 291, 

Sociology, 283. 
Sooth-sayer, 25, 49, (65), 98. 
Sooth-saying, 78, (115), 148. 
Sorcerer. 15, 21, 24, 26, 33, 41, 

54, 132, 134, 145, 273. — Vide 

Medicine man. 
Sorceress, 73, 76, 86. Vide Medi- 
cine woman. 
Sorcery, 13, 88, 123, 149, 201. 
Soul, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, 16, 31 (dream 

soul), 53, 61, 62, 117, 138, 146, 

159, 169, 17y, 188, 200, 203, 

211, 212, 213. 

Spasm, 40, (43), (46), (50), (63), 
(85), 147. 

Specialization, 132, 165. 

Spells, 149, 169, 188, 226. 

Spirit, passim. Vide Ghost. 
Familiar spirit, 42, (82). 

Spirit theory, 17, 223, 251. 

Spirit possession, 8, 11, 21, 32, 
34, 35, 38, 40, 41, (44), (47), 
(50), 63, 65, 69, (73), 83, 119, 
176, (177), (189), 196, 199, 201, 
222 f, 251, 257, 259. 

Spirit world, 5, (20), (21), (22), 
(23), (24), (32), 74, 99, 145, 
(167), (168), 178, (209), 213, 

Spiritism, 25, (218). 

Spiritualist, 53, 137. 

Spiritualistic medium, 73. 

Spittle, 15, 29 (saliva). 

Stomach, 8, 50, 136, 189, 233, 
234, 242, 249. 

Stomachic, 275. 

Strophanthus, 272. 

Struggle for existence, 3, 128, 129. 

Suction, 12, (79), (80), 190, 191, 
192, 193, 194, 224, 229. 

Suggestion, 43, 101, 112, 175, 
195, 217-222, 226. 

Sulphuric acid, 285. 

Surgeon, 221, 260, 283. 

Surgery, operative, (87), 229, 284. 

Surgical operation, 260, 271. 

Survival of the fitter, 3, 151. 

Superstition, 30, 76, 111, 120, 
127, (135), 208, 264, 266, 283, 
285, 286, 287. 

Swoon, 8, 120, 185. Vide Faint- 

Syphilis, 18, 198, 206, 275. 

Taboo, 17, 290, 291. 

Teacher, 54 (of magic), 129, 286, 

Therapeutics, 249. 

Therapeutic, agencies, 195, 218, 
224; agents, 268, 282; expe- 
dient, 192, 229; measure, 187; 
use, 198 ; value, 201 ; virtues, 

Tobacco, 44, 46, 143, 161, 191, 
230, 280. 

Toothache, 204, 207. 

Trance, 8, 13, (38), 44, 48, 219. 

Trickery, 51, 53, 56, 70, 107. 

Truth, 110, 228, 257, 285, 292, 
293 ; scientific, 71, 226. 

Tumor, 220. 

Typhoid fever, 175, 220, 224. 



Vaccination, 17. 

Ventriloquism, 53, 101, 104, 107. 

Vervain, 75. 

Vision, 44, 45, 48, 49, (50), 84, 

Vitals, 8, 203. 

Vomiting, 44, 80, 190, 231, 234. 
Vide Emetics. 


Warts 207. 

Water' 12, 17, 20, 28, 45, 86, 92, 

172, 199-202, 225, 229, 233. 
Weather, 139, 157. 
Witch, 14, 19, 31, 80, 119, 153. 
Witch detective, 84, 85, 86, 89, 

(116), 120, 146. 
Witchcraft, 13, 14, 18, 80, 85, 

120, 153, 156, 273. 
Wizard, 16, 24, 52, 73, 86, 123, 

133, 134,152,156,169,193,214. 



When this book was going through the press the author, 
assisted by many scholars and proof readers, in a pains- 
taking endeavor to avoid all errors, read fifteen different 
copies of proof sheets. Absolute accuracy, however, in a 
work of this character is so difficult that on reading a 
corrected copy of the text, after the plates had been 
made, despite all precautions taken, many inaccuracies 
were found to have crept into the book. The only recourse 
under the circumstances is to append the following errata. 

Page 8, line 14: Instead of "Itongo" read .... "Amatongo." 

Page 10, line 13: Instead of "Togans" read **Tongans." 

Page 11, footnote ^: Instead of "Page 93" read .... «*Page 73." 
Page 12, footnote ^: Instead of "Page 179" read . . . *Tage 199." 
Page 14, line 10: Instead of "only" read . . . "in the first line." 
Page 14, line 23: Instead of "Anisgi'na" read .... "Anisglna." 
Page 15, line 10: Instead of "and then burning the whole in a secret 

place" read "which is then buried in some secret place." 

Page 16, line 12: Instead of "Kernai" read "Kurnai." 

Page 27, line 14: Instead of "Bilquila" read "Bilqnla." 

Page 30, line 14: Instead of "Makjarawaint" read . "Mukjarawaint." 

Page 30, line 15: Instead of "Watgo" read "Wotjo." 

Page 30, line 15: Instead of "the necessary" read . "a desirable." 
Page 33, footnote *: Instead of "Depuis" read .... *'Dupuis." 
Page 33, footnote ^: Instead of "Naturvoker" read . "Naturvolker." 
Page 36, line 12: Instead of "will present the necessary 

qualifications" read "undergoes the bodily castigations 

indispensable for it." 

Page 36, footnote ^■. Instead of "p. 179" read "p. 79." 

Page 37, footnote ^: Instead of "Meyers" read "Myers." 

Page 39, line 19: Instead of "a god" read .... "the divinity." 

Page 41, line 15: Instead of "imyanga" read "inyanga." 

Page 41, line 23: Instead of "Dieyerie" read ^'Dieri." 

Page 42, line 6: Instead of "medicine man" read "medicine woman." 

Page 42, line 6: Instead of "his" read "her." 

Page 45, line 6: Instead of "oUoliuhqui" read . . . "ololiuhqui." 

Page 45, footnote ^: Read "pp. 7-9." 

Page 46, line 23: Instead of "Malanau" read "Milanau." 

Page 48, line 21: Instead of "the representatives" 

read "the female representatives." 

Page 49, line 12: Read "the amadhlozi or amatongo, the ghosts," etc. 
Page 50, line 5: Instead of "tormgarsuk" ... "tormgak" 

read "torngarsuk" . . . "torngak." 

Page 50, footnote ^i Instead of "Crantz" read "Cranz." 

Page 50, footnote ^: Instead of "p. 194" read .... "pp. 268-9." 

Page 53, line 6: Read .... "invoking a tornaq or flying," etc. 

Page 53, line 7: Instead of "distinct" read . . . . . . "distant." 

Page 54, lines 11 ff.: Remove quotation marks. 

Page 56, line 27: Instead of "from the lodges of women" 

read "from the menstrual lodges of women." 

Page 57, footnote i; Instead of "XXVII" read "XXVI." 

Page 58, lines 9 ff.: Remove quotation marks. 


Page 59, line 13: Read . . . "African and Indonesian tribes . . ."• 
Page 62, line 18, to p. 66, line 5: Only the parts within quotation 

marks are taken literally from the text of Ellis. 
Page 67, line 19: Instead of "Ki tshi Man ido" read "Kitshi Manido." 

Page 77, footnote '^•. Instead of "p. 469" read *'p. 284." 

Page 77, footnote ^i Instead of "American Shamanism" 

read "The American Shaman." 

Page 78, line 16: Instead of "Tapantunnuasu" read "Topantunuasu." 
Page 78, line 19: Read "of all women only medicine women are 

allowed," etc. 
Page 80, lines 1 ff.: Only the words within quotation marks are 

taken literally from the text. 
Page 82, line 20 ff.: (the same). 
Page 83, line 6: (the same). 
Page 84, line 22: Instead of "gods of ancestral spirits" 

read "gods or ancestral spirits." 

Page 86, line 23: Read . . . "to steal away to dig up the horns." 
Page 86, lines 24-25 : Inclose the words "which . . . (till) 

. . . wanderings" in [ ]. 
Page 88, line 11: Instead of "Kolmyck" read .... "Kolymsk." 
Page 88, footnote ^: Instead of "American Shamanism" 

read "The American Shaman." 

Page 92, line 5: Instead of "Indians" read "negroes." 

Page 97, footnote ^: See also Ellis, "Ewe-Speaking Peoples," p. 146. 
Page 97, line 19: Instead of "superior powers" 

read "superhuman powers." 

Page 98, footnote h Instead of "p. 589" read "p. 580." 

Page 99, line 24: Instead of "uncared for" read .... "unkept." 
Page 104, lines 9-10: It is an error of Bartels to say that the Mide- 

societies spread over a great part of the U. S. So far as 

is known, the "Midewiwin" existed only among the Algonquin 

tribes of the Great Lakes, especially among the Ojibway 

and Menomini. 

Page 104, line 17: Instead of "assist" read "assists." 

Page 104, line 28: Inclose "they contemplate coming" in [ ]. 
Page 105, line 25: Inclose medicine men in [ ]. 
Page 109, lines 7-10: Remove quotation marks. 

Page 111, line 6: Instead of "Dieyeri" read "Dieri." 

Page 111, line 7: Instead of "America" read .... "Australia." 
Page 117, line 16: Read "The Algonquin tribes, especially the Sacs 

and Foxes, (who belong to this linguistic stock)," etc. 
Page 117, footnote ^•. Instead of "Smithsonian Contributions, II, p. 38" 

read . "Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 11, No. 63." 
Page 118, line 5: Instead of "new comer" read . . . "newcomer." 
Page 119, line 21: Instead of "Thlinkeets" read .... "TUnkits." 
Page 121, line 16: Read "In some parts of Africa," etc. 
Page 122, lines 7-28: Remove quotation marks. 
Page 122, footnote i: Instead of "pp. 142-146" read . . • "p. 142." 

Page 122, footnote 2; Read <abid. p. IM." 

Page 123, line 26: Instead of "Sahaptain" read . . . "Sahaptin." 
Page 124, footnote i; Omit "and 57." 

Page 133, line 17: Instead of "gomera" read .... "gommera." 
Page 133, line 21: Instead of "Mangia" read .... "Mangaia." 

Page 133, line 22: Instead of "Tauna" read "Tanna." 

Page 134, lines 20-21: Instead of "Hitzilopochtil" read 

**Huitzilopochtli, the divine king or celestial leader of the 

Aztec pantheon, is reputed," etc. 


Page 137, lines 10-13: Remove quotation raarl<:s. 

Page 138, line 11: Instead of "Caquinj^ue" read .... "Angola." 

Page 140, line 9: Instead of "below" read "around." 

Page 140, lines 20 and 22: Instead of "Hap-od-no" read "Hop-od«no." 

Page 140, line 21: Instead of "Indians" read "Yokuts." 

Page 142, line 17: Instead of "wommers" read . . . "wommera." 
(Wommera = a throwing stick). 

Page 143, line 22: Instead of "Lemnig-Lennape" read "Lennl-Lennape." 
Page 145, line 21: Instead of "Pe-i-men" read . . . "Pee-ai-men," 
or "Piai-men." (cf. p. 146, line 4). 

Page 146, line 12 andfootnote ^: Instead of "MacCurdy "read "Thalbitzer." 
Page 146, footnote 6; Instead of "p. 652" read . . "pp. 448, 450." 

Page 147, footnote ^: Instead of "p. 692" read "p. 592." 

Page 155, line 2 ff.: Read "novices, realizing the dangers attendant 

upon it as upon the military profession, nevertheless seldom 

forsook the vocation." 

Page 162, line 26, to p. 163, line 5: Remove quotation marks. 

Page 163, line 8: Instead of "Mascotin" read .... "Mascoutin." 

Page 163, footnote ': Read "Smithsonian Report, 1886, Part 1", etc. 

Page 164, lines 10-14: Remove quotation marks. 

Page 164, footnote ^r Read <<p. 124." 

Page 164, footnote ^: Read <1bid. p. 126." 

Page 169, line 6: Iir^tead of "quartz, crystals" read "quartz crystals." 

Page 171, line 21: Read "the ancestral spirits." 

Page 172, footnote ^: Instead of "Sprengle" read . . "Sprengel." 
Page 182, line 20: Instead of "state god" read . . "national God." 
Page 182, line 23: Instead of "household gods" read "national God." 
Page 183, line 1: Instead of "household gods" read "national God." 
Page 184, line 25 : Instead of "branches" read .... "bunches." 
Page 187, line 10: Instead of "agglutin-ating" read "aggluti-nating." 

Page 191, line 10: Instead of "Kernai" read "Kurnai." 

Page 193, line 2: Instead of "Gillan" read "Gillen." 

Page 194, footnote ^: Instead of "1888" read "1887." 

Page 196, line 16: Instead of "stepps" read . . . . , "steppes," 
Page 200, footnote ^: Instead of "pp. 221— 232" read "pp. 221 and 232." 

Page 217, line 6: Instead of n1»T read T]p] 

Page 217, line 7: Instead of ^"1'?>^. fllKDiC nlH"; . . . 

read ^1^K . . . riixn:^ nin^ 

Page 217, footnote \ line 3: Instead of nl.T^ read '"'l'^'': 

Page 217, footnote \ line 4: Instead of n1S2^ Hl.T read ^1^32: .T^n^^ 
Page 217, footnote \ line 3: Instead of "Jehova" read. "Jehovah." 

Page 221, line 4—10: Remove quotation marks. 

Page 221, line 11: Instead of "Chaundizi" read . . "Chaundezi." 
Page 221, line 12: Instead of "Chemihuevi" read "Chemihuevi-Sal." 

Page 233, line 19 : Instead of "a Zuiii" read "Zufii." 

Page 233, line 21: Instead of "Heidah" read "Haldah." 

Page 234, footnote ^: Read "Ibid. p. 121." 

Page 236, line 5 and 12: Instead of "Tristaon" read , . "Tristao." 
Page 236, line 14: Instead of "Nauralia" read . . "Naturalium." 

Page 242, line 2—8: Remove quotation marks. 

Page 246, footnote ^: Read "Sahara und Sudan." 

Page 279, line 3: Read "Hepatica acutiloba." 



Page 297, line 18: Instead of "Beverly" read .... "Beverley." 
Page 297, line 27ff : Read . . "Sixth Annual Report, 1884—1886, 

Washington 1888, pp. 399-676." 

Page 298, line 2: Read "Britain." 

Page 298, line 21: Instead of "London" read . . . "New York." 
Page 298, line 30: Instead of "Cabello de Balboa" read "Cevallo de 


Page 299, line 3: Instead of "1884" read "1870." 

Page 299, line 32: Read "Cranz, D., Historie von Gronland. Barby 

Page 300, line 15: Read "Some Aspects of the American Shaman." 
Page 301, line 26: Read . . . "The Hako, A Pawnee Ceremony, etc." 
Page 301, line 26: Instead of "pp. 14 ff." read .... "pp. 5ff." 
Page 301, line 31: Instead of "pp. 580 ff." read . . . "pp. 17 ff." 
Page 302, line 27: Instead of "Ojibway" read .... "Ojibwa." 
Page 302, line 32: Instead of "pp. 98 ff." read .... "pp. 3ff." 
Page 303, line 4: Instead of "Huchinson" read . . "Hutchinson." 

Page 303, line 17: Instead of "Britian" read "Britain." 

Page 303, lines 27 and 29: Instead of "New York" read "London." 

Page 304, lines 10-11: Read "Livingstone, David, Missionary Travels 

and Researches in South Africa. London 1857." 

Page 304, line 36: Instead of "Tongo" read "Tonga." 

Page 305, line 15: Instead of "1888, pp. 444 ff." read "1887, pp. 379ff." 

Page 305, line 17-18: Put after "History" "Vol. VI." 

Page 306, line 10-11: Instead of "1890, pp. 307—409" read *a891, 

pp. 301—409." 
Page 306, line 20: Read "Nachtigal, Gustav, Sahara und Sudan." 
Page 307, line 15: Read . . . "The Jesuits in North America." 

Page 308, line 1-2: Omit "pp. 160 ff." 

Page 308, lines 21-22: Read "Great Benin. Its Customs, Arts and 


Page 310, lines 13 — 14: Read "Tanner, J., Narrative of Captivity and 

Adventures among the Indians in North America." 

Page 311, line 24: Instead of "1870" read "1874." 

Page 311, line 27: Instead of "Kleine" read .... "Klinische." 
Page 313, *Col.2: Put between "Andes" and "Annamites," "Angola, 188." 
Page 314, Col. 1, line 4: Instead of "Bilquila" read . . "Bilqula." 
Page 314, Col. 2, line 13: Instead of "Dieyerie" read . . "Dieri." 
Page 315, Col. 2, line 19: Instead of "Heidah" read . . "Haidah." 

Page 315, Col. 2, line 21-22: Omit "Loango 92." 

Page 315, Col. 2, line 26: Instead of "Sahaptain" read "Sahaptin." 
Page 316, Col. 1, line 6: Instead of "Kernai" read . . "Kurnai." 
Page 316, Col. 1, line 18: Instead of "Lemnig" read .... 'lienni." 
Page 316, Col. 1, line 23: Instead of "72, 135, 164" read "72, 92, 135, 164." 
Page 316, Col. 1, line 32: Instead of "Makjarawaint" read "Muk- 

Page 316, Col. 1, line 37: Instead of "Mangia" read "Mangaia." 
Page 316, Col. 1, line 44: Instead of "Mascotin" read "Mascoutin." 
Page 317, Col. 2, line 27: Instead of "Tapantunnuasu" read "Topan- 

Page 317, CoL 2, line 32: Instead of "Tauna" read . . "Tanna." 
Page 317, Col. 2, line 35: Instead of "Thlinkeets" read "Tlinkits." 
Page 317, Col. 2, line 40: Instead of "Togans" read . "Tongans." 
Page 318, Col. 2, line 2: Instead of "Watgo" read . . . "Wotjo." 

*Col. = column. 




Date Due 

Library Bureau Cat. No. 1137 


MAR. 1951 



5002 00360 0819 

Maddo«, J""^"!-" 3 ecological siudy 
The medicine man, 

GN 475. a . M26 1923 
Maddox, John Lee, 1678 
The medicine man