The Origins of Art

Date: 1900

[Relation of Art to the Control of Life]


. . . . It is only natural that the requirements of practical life should call into existence various kinds of mimic, pictorial, or literary information which have little whatever to do with art, even if this notion is conceived in its widest sense. There is no reason for us to delay our argument by enumerating pantomimics, gestures, or paintings which aim at communicating notices of trivial importance, such as directions about the way to be taken by travellers, warnings with regard to dangerous passages, etc. Even as a purely technical product a work is of little interest as long as its subject is so poor and insignificant. We feel justified, therefore, in restricting our attention to such manifestations as present in their contents some degree of coherence and continuity.

The simplest examples of purely narrative art which fulfil the technical claims of a complete work will of course appear when the text of the narration consists of some real occurrence which is represented with all its episodes and incidents. Primitive life affords many inducements to such relation. The men who have returned from war, or from a hunting or a fishing expedition, will thus often repeat their experiences in a dramatic dance performed before the women and children at home. Although in many cases there is reason to suppose that even these performances may be executed to satisfy some superstitious or religious motive, they have undoubtedly, to a certain extent, been prompted by the desire to revive and communicate the memories of eventful days. Other incidents that have made a strong impression upon the minds of the people are in the same way displayed in pantomimic action. It is sufficient here to refer to the elaborate dramas "Coming from Town" performed by Macusi children, in which all the episodes of a journey are reproduced with the utmost possible exactness, to the Corrobberrees in Queensland, in which incidents of individual or tribal interests, such as hunting or war adventures, but only those of recent occurrence, are enacted, and to the performance in a Wanyoro village, where M. de Bellefond’s behaviour during a recent battle was closely imitated. At the dramatic entertainment held before some members of Captain Cook’s expedition an elopement scene which had in reality taken place some time previously was performed in the presence of the runaway girl herself. The play is said to have made a very strong impression upon the poor girl, who could hardly refrain from tears when she saw her own escapade thus reproduced. The imitation of the real action was in this case evidently designed as punishment for the guilty spectator; and as the piece concluded with a scene representing the girl’s return to her friends and the unfavorable reception she met with from them, it tended no doubt to exercise a salutary influence.

This naive little interlude, with its satirical and moralising vein, naturally reminds us of those old farces which candidly defined themselves as adaptations of some "scandale du quartier."

Là. elle fut exécutée Icy vous est representée.

The wordless pantomimes and dramatic dances of the modern savages give us no information of this kind. But there is no doubt that a closer investigation would reveal that a great number of the comical and heroical episodes which are described in ethnological literature have had their prototypes in some incidents of recent occurrence.

This opinion can only be corroborated by extending our investigation to the other departments of narrative art. Whatever other merits one might discover in primitive poetry, its strength does certainly not lie in invention. When the songs contain any narrative element at all, it refers to some simple experience of the day. Travel, hunting, and war afford the themes for the simplest epical poems as well as for the most primitive dramatic recitals. And any event of unusual occurrence will of course be made use of by the poets. Travellers who have learned to understand the languages of the natives they sojourn with have often observed that their own persons have been described in impromptu songs. Sometimes these songs have a satirical tendency; sometimes they are composed as glorifications of the white man. But there is no need to assume either of these tendencies in every case. The mere fact of his being a strange and new thing qualifies the European as a fitting subject for the primitive drama and poetry. And on the same grounds all the marvels of civilisation—the rifles, steamers and so on—will often be described in poetry. In the savage mind these unknown facts will easily give rise to the most marvellous interpretations. For an instance of such apparently fantastic products of poetic imagination, which in reality have their origin in an unavoidable misconstruction of an unknown reality, we need only refer to the description of Captain Cook’s ships in the Hawaii song, which has been taken down by M. de Varigny. The ships themselves are spoken of as great islands, their masts are trees, the sailors are gods, who drink blood (i. e. claret), and eat fire and smoke through long tubes (i. e. pipes), and carry about things which they keep in holes in their flanks. It is but natural to assume that—if researches on the origins of the subjects were possible—the seeming richness of invention in many similar poems could be acco unted for by the deficie nt observation and the faults of memory in uneducated man. And by such researches the importance of actual experience would be substantiated even with regard to the art of barbaric nations. As to the songs of the lower savages, to which we have to restrict our attention at present, it is, as shown by the above adduced examples, unnecessary to appeal to this explanation.

Not less ephemeral than the literary subjects are the motives of primitive pictorial art. In Herr yon den Steinen’s account of the Xingu tribes we can find some most typical examples of such explanatory designs by which the poetic and dramatic recitals of battles, travels, etc., are supplemented. Owing to their fugitive character these simple manifestations can never be reduced to a scientific account. But there is reason to believe that in all parts of the world pictures have been drawn in the air or in the sand, of which there remain no more trace than of the gesture that is over or of the unwritten poem that is forgotten.

It is evident, however, that in some instances at least there have remained traces of these ephemeral narrations. The picture might have been drawn on some piece of bark or cloth instead of on the sand, the pantomime might have been repeated even after its subject had lost its actuality, or the text remembered after it had served its immediate purpose in the narration. The fugitive recital, whether pictorial, mimic, or oral, which lives only for the moment might in this way have become a permanent work, conveying the contents of the narrative to future times. One would think that as soon as such a means of preserving a record of past events had been, intentionally or accidentally, discovered, it would have immediately been turned to account. There is, after all, but one step between the impromptu dance or poem, which tells of a recent occurrence, and the work of art, which forwards the memory of the same occurrence to consecutive generations.

Ethnological science shows, however, that this distinction is by no means a theoretical one only. There are tribes amongst the lower savages in which the pantomimes and dances refer only to the most recent events. And if amongst these tribes some pictures or some dances have been preserved from older times, they appear to be quite isolated exceptions, the presence of which one is tempted to attribute to accident rather than design. It is only when we look to a higher degree of culture that we find a commemorative art, in the true sense of the word, appearing.

From the point of view of comparative psychology this fact is easily explained. The distance between an impromptu recital of a recent occurrence and historical art and literature, as we understand them to-day, however short it may appear, covers perhaps the most momentous progress that man has made in his advancement towards culture. Whether commemorative art is to be considered as retrospective with regard to something that is past, the memory of which it endeavours to revive, or as directed towards future generations whom the artist would wish to make participators of the present, it presupposes a power of conferring attention upon matters the interest in which is not confined to the immediate present. No psychologist would include this faculty among the attributes of those in the lowest stage of mental development. Ethnological science, on the other hand, shows that it is as yet lacking in some of the existing tribes of the lower savages. In an æsthetic research it is of the highest importance to know exactly when and where this attribute appears. In the general history of art no date can be more significant than that which marks the commencement of a larger conception in the mind of the artist of the public for whom he works, bringing in its train, as it does, wider aims concerning his work.


. . . . Foremost in rank amongst all the works of design and sculpture that have influenced artistic evolution stand the likenesses of a deceased person which are placed by the relatives on his grave or in his home. To civilised man it is most natural to look upon these effigies as tokens of loving remembrance by which the survivors endeavour to keep fresh the memory of the departed. It is also easy for us to understand that the pious feelings extended towards such effigies may acquire an almost religious character. There is something to be said therefore on behalf of the view that commemorative monuments have been the predecessors of idols proper. Lubbock, who interprets Erman’s description of the Ostyak religion in this way, quotes in further corroboration The Wisdom of Solomon, in which work there is to be found a detailed account of the evolution of idolatry from memorial images. The probability, however, is that in pictorial as well as in dramatic art the purely commemorative intention belongs to the latter stages of culture. It seems in most cases to be beyond doubt that among the lowest tribes the images serve as paraphernalia in the animistic rites. They are either taken to be embodiments of the ancestors’ soul, or receptacles in which this soul, if properly invoked, might take up its abode for the occasion. And similar superstitious notions are entertained, not only with regard to the monuments proper erected on the graves of powerful ancestors, but also with regard to such minor works as, e. g., the dolls which are often prepared by West African mothers when they have lost a favourite child. The vague and indistinct character of these images shows us also that no intellectual record of the individual has been aimed at. No more than the poetic effusions of regret with which the pious survivors endeavour to propitiate the names of the deceased, do these formative works of "pietas" give us any information as to the personality of him whom they pretend to represent.

This general notion, however, must not be allowed to prevent us from admitting that among sundry tribes of mankind the images may be historical. This is asserted with regard to the Bongos by Schweinfurth, and with regard to the Gold Coast negroes by Cruickshank. The wooden effigies on the Marquesas Islands are described by Herr Schmeltz as "constructed in memory of celebrated members of the tribe." The Melanesian sculptures also, according to Codrington, are chiefly commemorative. It must be observed, however, that according to his own description a sort of religious respect is paid at least to some of them. More undeniably commemorative examples are to be found in New Zealand. Although no attempt to reproduce likenesses is made in these colossal wooden statues, they nevertheless more nearly approach the idea of monumental commemorative portraiture than any similar works of primitive art. The patterns of tattooing, that infallible means of identification amongst the Maoris, render it possible to preserve the memories of the individual ancestors through pictorial representation.

Not less problematic than ancestral sculptures are the much-debated rock-paintings and engravings that can be found in every part of the world. Herr Andree finds a sort of learned bias in the general tendency to look for some serious, sacred, or historical meaning in every petroglyph. He points, very sensibly as it seems, to the prevailing impulse of the idle hand to scratch some figures, however meaningless, on every inviting and empty surface. Especially at much frequented localities—such as meeting-places, common thoroughfares, and places of rest for travellers—where the drawings of previous visitors call for imitation, this temptation must be looked upon as a very strong one. There is no reason for regarding the savage and the prehistoric man as devoid of an impulse, which, as we all know, shows its strength among the very lowest and most primitive layers of civilised society. It is unnecessary, therefore, to find anything more remarkable in the petroglyphs than is to be found in the familiar pictures on walls, trees, and rocks which have been wantonly decorated by the modern vandal. This common-sense explanation is undoubtedly sufficient to account for the origin of many much-debated works of glyphic art. But however sound within its proper limits it cannot be extended so as to give a general solution of the petroglyph problem. It is not likely, as Mr. Im Thurn observes, that pictures such as the rock-engravings in Guiana, to produce which must have cost so much time and trouble, should have their origin in mere caprice and idleness.

But even if the serious aspect of the petroglyphs is granted there still remains the difficulty of determining their special purpose. The historical explanation, although it would appear the most natural for us to adopt, is not to be taken unreservedly with regard to tribes on a low degree of development. What to us seems a sort of picture-writing might possibly serve a purpose anything but communicative. The so-called ideograms of the Nicobarese have, for example, according to Herr Svoboda, for their object the distraction of the attention of the malevolent demons from their houses and implements. When investigating the ritual, especially the funeral ceremonies, one meets with various specimens of similar ideography, the thought-conveying purpose of which is deceptive.

By the above examples the ambiguous character of primitive art-works has been proved almost ad nauseam. It appears that every single conclusion based upon isolated ethnological examples only is liable to be upset after a closer study of the facts. In order, therefore, to make any positive assertions as to the commemorative element in art we need some safer and more reliable grounds of argument than the inconsistent stories of travellers. We have, in other words, to investigate the social and psychological conditions which, in the respective cases, speak for or against the assumption of a commemorative impulse as a motive for art-production. Owing to our deficient knowledge of primitive life we are not able to rely upon these social and psychological data in every individual case. But we may nevertheless arrive at some broad results which in the main tally with, and corroborate the evidence afforded by, the majority of ethnological facts.

It is easy to understand why historical art holds no high place among the lower—that is, the hunting and fishing—tribes. Even if, as is the case in Australia, every unusual occurrence is represented in art with a view of keeping up its memory, these accidental interruptions in a monotonous life cannot possibly contribute to the development of an historical interest—that is to say, a commemorative attention in the people. When, on the other hand, we meet, in barbaric and semi-barbaric tribes, with a flourishing traditional art, we can also, in most cases, point to some peculiar features in their life which have called for commemoration. In a general survey of traditional poetry one cannot but be struck by the great prevalence of legends about migrations. As travels and incidents of travel were found to provide a favourite subject for the pantomimes and poems described in the preceding chapter, so these experiences have also exercised an important influence on the songs that have been preserved by oral tradition. And as we meet with numerous instances of improvised drama and poetry called forth by so eminently interesting an occurrence as the visit of some white people, so we can also trace the same theme in manifestations of historical art from dim and distorted narrations up to richly detailed descriptions like those of the Hawajian songs or of the Mangaian "Drama of Cook." The influence which these motives have exercised on the history of art is only in accordance with the universal laws of psychology. Tribal memory, no less than individual memory, is dependent for its development on some favourable external influences that stimulate the attention.

It must not surprise us, therefore, that the varying experiences of war have everywhere acted as a strong incentive on the commemorative impulse. In this case, however, we have to count with a factor of still greater importance in the directly utilitarian advantage which military nations derive from historical art. Through recounting or representing the exploits of earlier generations, the descendants acquire that healthy feeling of pride which is the most important factor of success in all brutal forms of the struggle for life. So it has come about that historic art has everywhere reached its highest state of development amongst nations who have had to hold their own vi et armis against neighbouring tribes, or in the midst of which antagonistic families have fought for supremacy. The more the social institutions have been influenced by the customs of war, the more important is usually the part which commemoration plays in public life. It is highly prominent in semi-feudal Polynesia, where domestic warfare was at all times of regular occurrence; it has developed to some extent in warlike Fiji, notwithstanding the Melanesian indifference for the past; and it has obtained the position of a state function in military despotisms, such as the barbaric kingdoms of Central and South America and Western Africa. In isolated tribes, on the other hand, whose whole struggle has been one against nature, historical art is generally to be found at a very low ebb.

That bygone events have been preserved in history and art chiefly for the sake of their effect in enhancing the national pride can also be concluded from the way in which humiliating incidents are treated. There are, it is true, a few isolated and unhappy tribes which keep up some dim traditions of their inglorious past. Generally, however, defeats are totally ignored in the earliest chronicles. If, however, an unsuccessful battle should have provoked artistic manifestations, these aim at masking the humiliation. The ancient history of Greece affords the most curious examples of myths and inventions by means of which the popular imagination contrived to conceal disagreeable truths. The fate of Phrynichos, who was fined for having rerived the memory of the defeat at Miletus, shows that Greece, even at a much later period, preserved the same primitive ideas as to the raison d’être of historic art. It is needless to point out to how great an extent similar conceptions still prevail amongst all warlike nations, civilised and barbarous alike.

We must not overlook the fact, however, that defeats are often represented in unmasked form for the purpose of stirring up a revengeful spirit. But this apparent exception only proves the rule. By appealing to the wounded dignity of the people, poems and dramas of this kind serve the cravings of collective pride as effectively—although, no doubt, indirectly—as manifestations of the opposite order. An increased attention to the past, with a corresponding richness of traditional art, can also generally be found in nations where revenge is considered as a sacred duty bequeathed to descendants by their ancestors. . . . .


. . . . In the various tribes, with their differing types of life, there is afforded a singular opportunity of observing the connection between play, or art, and the serious occupations of life. The games of the children, as well as the dances and pantomimes of the full-grown, almost everywhere correspond to the prevailing activities in the various communities. The North American Indians, the Malays, the Maoris, the tribes of Central Asia, and others, all furnish instances of the familiar law that the amusements of warlike nations mainly consist in exercises which are preliminary to, or reminiscent of, the experiences of battle. A war dance or a mimic fight is the traditional type not only of their public entertainments, but also of their state ceremonial. No example could be more telling than that of the Dahomey state dances, which, however they may begin, always seem to end with an imitation of the greatest social action in the country—decapitation. Where the struggle for existence is a contest with nature and not with fellow-men, a hunting or fishing pantomime usually takes the place of these military performances. It is true that such representations of work often lose their importance in national art when the conditions of life grow easier. Mr. Taplin thus contrasts the rich and varied entertainments of the Polynesians, who without any exertion obtain their subsistence from their bountiful soil, with the amusements of the poor Narrinyeri, who even in their dances and pantomimes have always practised "those arts which were necessary to get a living." But it is significant that even the inhabitants of these "happy islands" in their dramatic performances introduce imitations of rowing, fighting, and other kinds of common work. And at still higher degrees of development, where the division of labour has given rise to special trades, all these various crafts will often, as was the case in Dahomey, in ancient Peru, and in mediaeval Europe, be a favourite subject for pantomimic representation. If such representations have been of no especial value as exercise, they may nevertheless, by bringing about an association between work and pleasure, have made toil and labour less repugnant. The exertions called forth by the struggle for existence have thus at all stages of culture, except that of modern industrialism, been to some extent facilitated by art.

Perhaps even more important in their influences than the imitation of work in play or drama are the artistic activities which accompany the actual performance of work. As these kinds of dance and song have been somewhat overlooked by Professor Groos, there is reason to make them the subject of a closer investigation.

When explaining the manifestations of art which can thus, in the literal meaning of the word, be called songs and dances of action, we have to divide our attention between two different points of view. First, the need of stimulation and regulation of the work of the individual, and, second, the need of co-operation in the work of different individuals. In both these respects art has had an importance among primitive tribes which can scarcely be overrated.

It is well known that at a lower degree of mental development the power of instantaneous muscular exertion is far less than among educated men. Broca’s experiments showed that artisans with somewhat trained intelligence generally reached higher figures on a dynamometer than working men who were only used to bodily exertions. And the Negroes, whose forces were tested by Féré, were far below the average of Europeans. As in these experiments the natives were introduced to new and unaccustomed movements, the evidence of the psychometric apparatus must be considered as somewhat extenuated by the circumstances. Broadly speaking, these experiments can, however, be taken as indications of a general psychological law. The experimental evidence is, moreover, corroborated by the common complaints of Europeans who have had to rely on natives. The slowness with which the primitive man gets into swing with his work has no doubt been referred to times without number by slavekeepers when advocating their methods of treating natives. Strange to say, there are some tribes which themselves candidly admit their own inertness, and voluntarily submit to whipping in order to get "their blood a little agitated."

The slowness and the insensibility of the Guarani are, however, as appears from Mr. Rengger’s description, exceptional and pathological. But it seems as if almost all tribes had invented some means of inciting themselves to work. Only, these means are seldom such as Europeans would feel inclined to avail themselves of when urging on their workers. That they can nevertheless be as effectual as even the slavekeeper’s whip is shown by Signor Salvado. His description of his experiences with Australian natives as farm-labourers is delightful: "How often," says he, "have I not used their dancing songs in order to encour. age and urge them on in their work. I have seen them, not once, but a thousand times lying on the ground with minds and bodies wearied by their labour; yet as soon as they heard me singing the Machielò-Machielé, which is one of their commonest and favourite dancing songs, they would yield to an irresistible impulse, and rise and join me with their voices. They would even begin to dance joyfully and contentedly, especially when they saw me singing and dancing among them, like any other savage. After a few minutes of dancing I would seize the opportunity to cry out to them in a merry voice, Mingo! Mingo! a word meaning breast, which is also used in the same way as our word courage. After such an exhortation they would gradually set to work again. And they would begin afresh with such goodwill and eagerness, that it seemed as if the dance of Maehielò had communicated to them new courage and new vlgour."

From many parts of the world there may be quoted examples of savages who always raise a chant when compelled to overcome their natural laziness. In many cases they seem, as in Salvado’s anecdote, to avail themselves of words and melodies which perhaps were originally intended only for amusement. But it is also well known that working men everywhere stimulate themselves by special songs of exhortation. And when employed in prolonged and monotonous work they everywhere seem to know that toil may be relieved by song. The majority of these work poems may perhaps be of no great poetical or musical merit, but that does not affect their great evolutionistic importance. Whether Noiré is right or not in his theory that language has developed from the work cries of primitive men, there is no doubt that some of the simplest and perhaps earliest specimens of poetry are to be found among the short ditties sung by labourers during their work. The stimulus which is provided by such songs is easily understood without any explanation. But their invigorating power will be perceived more clearly when we take into account that emotional susceptibility to musical impressions which has been remarked in so many primitive tribes. Besides these invigorating effects, every musical accompaniment will also, by virtue of its rhythmic elements, regulate the movements of work, and thereby produce a saving of force deployed.

When the words of the work-songs refer to the action itself, the effect will be strengthened by verbal suggestion. It is true that many of the songs which are sung during the manufacture of weapons and utensils, during boat-building and such-like, are magical in their intention. But there is no doubt that the ideas of poetical magic are to a great extent derived from a psychological experience of the suggestive power of words. Without committing ourselves to any superstition, we can easily believe that—in Polynesia as well as in ancient Finland—canoes were better built when the "boat-building" song was properly recited by the builder. Only we prefer to think that the magic operated on the workman and not on his material.

The psychological influence of the work dances is still easier to understand. Preliminary movements, even when undirected, always make the subsequent action more effective; witness a golfer’s flourish before driving. As Lagrange has pointed out, their effect will be to develop that amount of animal heat which is necessary for every muscular contraction. When, moreover, they are fixed and differentiated in their form, the influence will of course be all the greater. By every attempt to execute a special movement, the idea of such movement is made more and more distinct. And as hereby the ideomotor force of this representation is increased, the final action must be executed with greater ease and greater efficacy. The validity of this law may be easily proved by experimental psychology. Féré has in his dynamometrical tests observed that the second pressure always attains a higher figure than the first one. "La première pression a pour effet de renforcer la représentation mentale du mouve-ment." Without any theoretical knowledge of these psychological facts, the common man has always been able to avail himself of the beneficial effects which are to be derived from preliminary imitations of any difficult movement. Hence the curious pantomimes of experimentation which we may always observe in the artisan who has to give a finishing touch to his work, or in the athlete who tries to perform a new and unaccustomed exercise.

The psychology of movement-perception, as we have described it in the foregoing, makes it evident that a similar prompting influence may be exercised by the actions of others. This is an experience which must have occurred, we should imagine, to every one who has been coached in golf by a professional. When concentrating his attention upon each successive movement in the instructor’s model performance, the beginner in sports and gymnastics receives with his whole body, so to speak, an impression of the exercise he has to go through. The representation thus gains in distinctness as well as in motor force, and the subsequent movement is executed in an almost automatic way.

These familiar facts from the psychology of every-day life will explain why among the savage tribes we so often meet with the institution of the præsul. When any labour is to be performed which requires the co-operation of many hands, such as the harvest or rowing, the præsul demonstrates in dance or pantomime the sequence of movements which the others have to go through. By the suggestive influence of his performance all the individual workers are stimulated in their exertions. More important, however, than this stimulation is the co-ordination of labour which is effected by the element of rhythm in song and dance.

We have in a previous chapter spoken at sufficient length of the incalculable æsthetic importance of rhythm as a means of producing emotional community between different individuals. In this connection we have still to point out that a fixed time-division must in the same way facilitate common activity. From the historical point of view this practical aspect is undoubtedly the more important. However fundamental and primordial the æsthetic function of the perception of rhythm may seem for the theorist, it is most probable that the development of this faculty has been chiefly furthered by its utilitarian advantages. There is no doubt that even the most primitive man may feel the want of associating his fellow-men in his emotions, and that for this purpose he may be able to give the impression of them a fixed rhythmical form. But the power of perceiving this time-division as a rhythm, and of obeying it closely in song and dance, would, as Dr. Wallaschek has shown, certainly not have attained so high a degree of development if this power had not, by facilitating common activity, been of such immense advantage for the maintenance of species. It goes without saying that any work which necessitates the co-operation of several workers must be executed with greater efficiency the more closely the individuals follow to a common rhythm.

There is no doubt, therefore, that, as Spencer remarks, the incompetence of the Arab and Nubian boatmen on the Nile is chiefly a result of their inability to act together. As an Arab dragoman is reported to have said, a few Europeans would, by virtue only of their superior powers of co-operation, do in a few minutes what now occupies hundreds of men. Such an incapacity for concerted action is, however, quite exceptional among the lower tribes of men. Some tribes, as e. g. the farmer Negroes in West Africa and the Malay and Polynesian boatmen, are even famous for the wonderful regularity of their work. This regularity, on the other hand, has been explained by all travellers as a result of the rhythmical songs by which their work is accompanied.

It is significant that the most typical specimens of working songs and dances should be met with in the tribes of Oceania. The insular life, which even in other respects has been so favourable to the development of art, has necessitated a most intimate co-operation between individuals. Hence the development of canoe dances and boating songs, by help of which the movements of the rowers are adjusted according to common and fixed rhythms. The same necessity has of course produced similar results, in a greater or less degree, in every community where the type of life makes collective action needful. It has not given rise to any important manifestations of art among the pastoral tribes, in which individuals can do well enough without help from each other. In agricultural societies, on the other hand, it has called forth those sowing and harvest dances or songs which are so familiar in the folklore of the civilised nations. And, more than any other of life’s occupations, war has required an active coherence between the individual members of the tribe. The influence of military institutions on art is, however, in more than one respect so important that its treatment must be reserved for a special chapter.


. . . . We . . . . meet with highly developed choral dances in those nations in whose life war is a customary occurrence. The North American Indians, as well as the Dahomeyans, are noted for the soldier-like regularity of their dances. But nowhere among the lower tribes of mankind is the time-sense so refined as among the pre-eminently warlike Maori. Notwithstanding the furious movements in their war dances, the gesticulation of all the participants is always uniform and regular. According to Cruise the very slightest motions of their fingers are simultaneous; and, if we are to believe Mr. Bidwell, even their eyes all move together. Highly accomplished dancers as are certain other Polynesian tribes less warlike than the Maori, it will be admitted that such a pitch of more than Prussian precision would never have been attained if it were not for its military advantages. To the same cause one is also tempted to ascribe the regularity of the Kaffir dances, which by their choral character stand in so marked a contrast to the amusements of the neighbour tribe, the peaceful Hottentots, among whom every dancer acts "separately for himself."

It is evident that a regular co-operation in fighting is effectually promoted by rhythmical music. And we do in fact find that music, especially instrumental music at the lower stages of development, is closely connected with war. It is, however, more natural to assume that military music, and similarly military poetry and dance, have had their chief importance not as regulating but as stimulating influences. There are many tribes which seem quite unable to observe any kind of military discipline. But even in the undeveloped and unmethodical warfare of the lowest savages, music, songs, and dances have been used as means of infusing courage and strength. The psychology of these military stimuli is of course the same as that of industrial art. But the general principles appear with far greater clearness when applied to this peculiar kind of activity.

First of all, the need of stimulation is never so great as when a man has to risk his life in an open battle. If in work he has to overcome his natural inertia, laziness, he has here to overcome the still stronger obstacle of fear. Contrary to the romantic notions of popular literature, primitive man seems to be timorous rather than brave when not encouraged by adventitious excitement. This cowardice can, however, to a great extent be explained by defective military organisation. Where the mutual support which the well-drilled soldiers of a regular army render each other is lacking, the need of personal courage is of course so much the greater. Civilised warfare tries to avoid the conflict between the instinct of self-preservation and of a soldier’s duty by the pressure of strict discipline; savage warfare, which cannot count on the same forces of submission and mental control, is compelled to minimise this conflict by deadening the consciousness of peril. Hence the indispensability of some means of producing violent excitement by which the necessary forgetfulness of danger and death may be attained.

Apart from the influence of fear, the task of slaughter is one which, from its very nature, cannot be performed in cold blood. Even where the element of danger is absent, as when unarmed foes are killed or tortured, the savage executioners do not generally get to work straight away. As soon as a beginning has been made, a sort of intoxication will indeed be produced by mental as well as physical agencies, such as the sight of blood or the pride of conquest. But this intoxication, so eagerly desired by savages in civilised as well as in primitive communities, cannot be produced even in the lowest tribes of man without a preliminary working up. The passion of cruelty, like that of love, is, in its higher and more ecstatic forms, too overwhelming in its mental effects to be attained without an artificial enhancement of psychical capacity. But whereas the erotic feelings tend with growing development to become more and more a private matter, cruelty is among warlike tribes an emotion of national importance. The incitement to slaughter is therefore apt to become social—that is, common to several individuals at once. This is one of the reasons why war is of so much greater importance than love as a motive for tribal art.

There are some tribes in which the soldiers try to acquire courage and thirst for blood by magical expedients, such as smearing themselves with some powerful unguent, or eating the raw meat of a newly slaughtered ox. Sometimes a joint tattooing of the whole corps with a common pattern is undertaken, most probably for the same magical purpose. But however effectually such ceremonies may be supposed to operate, savages do not generally put so much trust in them as to give up their favourite means of stimulation—music and dancing. In people who sincerely believe in their own magic any rite will of course arouse increased confidence and courage. But this suggestive influence is only indirect in comparison with the immediate psychological effects of inciting dances.

Popular novels have familiarised us all with the wierd war dances which play such an important part in the warfare of the North American Indians. In its main features this type of pantomimic incitement is the same everywhere—among the African and Oceanic tribes as well as among the savage nations described in classic literature. By imitating the movements of a real fight, by exulting cries, deafening noise, and brandishing of weapons, the dancers work themselves up to a pitch of frenzy which cannot be compared to anything but a transient madness. Especially among the nations of Africa war dances often arouse so much excitement, even when performed during times of perfect peace, that they become dangerous to friendly and peaceful onlookers. Here also—just as in the Hungarian "Enlistment"—dancing is used as a means of enticing men to join the ranks of the war chief who wants recruits for some war-expedition.

It is evident that the influence of such pantomimes is not restricted to a generalised stimulation and encouragement. These sham fights, just as the sportive imitations of work, must facilitate the execution of those movements which they imitate. And even those who do not join the dance will profit by watching the evolutions which they themselves will afterwards be called on to perform in reality. Thus there may originally have been a very utilitarian reason for the curious warfare of the Headhunters of Ceram, who always have the Jakalele dance performed in front of their fighting line. It is pathetic to read that even in their wars with the Dutchmen a few fantastically dressed dancers head the advance against the repeating guns of the European force.

This fact, which is certainly not without its parallels in other savage tribes, gives the most convincing proof of the indispensability of pantomimic stimulation to savage warfare. Although less intimately connected with fighting itself, poetry has had for war an importance which can scarcely be estimated at a much lower rate. Words, of course, can never provoke such a direct and almost physiological stimulation as the imitation of actions. But words, on the other hand, have a greater effect on the mind. The suggestive power of the war songs is also attested by the descriptions of travellers among various tribes. In Australia, for instance, four or five mischievously inclined old women can soon stir up forty or fifty men to any deed of blood by means of their chants, which are accompanied by tears and groans, until the men are worked into a perfect state of frenzy. "The savage blood of the Ahts always boiled when the war songs were recited, their fingers worked convulsively on the paddles, and their eyes gleamed ferociously; altogether they were two hundred murderous-looking villains." In Ashanti and in New Zealand—in short, amongst all the most warlike tribes—the military singers are able to bring themselves and their audience up to a pitch of frenzy which is almost equal to that produced by the dances.

In one of the preceding chapters we have already pointed out how invaluable a support historic art has given to national pride. This feeling, on the other hand, is never so indispensable as in time of war. Wherever a tribe has any traditions of its past history, such traditions are always revived and recited to the soldiers before and during the battles. And if a people has no glorious ancestors to boast of, it can none the less gain the necessary confidence by glorifying its own valour and reviling its enemies. Even tribes like the Bakairis, for example, are thus able to "sing themselves full of courage" in boasting and defiant exultation.

According to competent observers, such songs are more particularly employed when the natives are afraid. The expression of bravery, even if originally affected, must necessarily awaken some real feeling of pride or confidence. Contempt, on the other hand, however laboriously worked up, is the most effectual means of preserving equanimity under the stress of depressing feelings, admiration, envy, or fear. Songs and pantomimes, such as, for instance, those with which the Polynesians invariably begin their battles, must therefore have a great power of emboldening the warriors. And while such outward shows of valour enable the performers to reconquer their courage, the enemy is intimidated by these manifestations of a feeling which is as yet incipient within themselves. In warfare, where the hostile armies stand within sight and hearing of each other, this consideration must of course be of extreme importance.

It seems, indeed, as if natural selection had developed in man an almost instinctive tendency to overcome fear by simulating the expressions proper to valour and menace. Just as animals, when frightened, make themselves bigger and more formidable to their enemies, whether from fear or anger we know not, so man tries to awaken fear in the enemy confronting him at the same time, and by the same means, as he vanquishes his own fear. This appears with especial clearness in wars between savage races, where both sides often seem to be as timid as they try to appear formidable and courageous. Their threats and boastings are terrifying enough, but the real fights are very bloodless and free from danger. Among the Cammas "the words really seem to do more damage than the blows." The gallant game of bluff is in primitive politics not restricted to diplomatic negotiations; it plays an important part in the actual fighting. This remains true even with regard to tribes which are capable of real courage, not only in stealthy assault, but also in open battle. The Maorian military pantomimes afford the best example of such a manifestation, which not only stimulates the warriors to fight and regulates their movements in the battle, but also, as a European traveller has been compelled to admit, "strikes terror into the heart of any man." In this case the terrible effect is further strengthened by the hideous grimaces, rolling of the eyes, protruding of the tongue, and so on, with which the warriors accompany their dance. So important is this distortion of the countenance considered by the Maoris, that instruction in the art of grimacing forms a part in their military education. The most warlike of savage tribes thus does not despise the naive expedient which constitutes almost the sole means of self-defence among peaceful Eskimos. And so highly do the Maoris appreciate the terrifying effects of the protruded tongue, that they carve the grimace upon their spears, the "hanis," evidently in the belief that such representations will—perhaps by some magic power—demoralise the enemy.

It thus appears that ornaments, painting, and sculpture have been of no small influence in enhancing the fighting powers of warlike nations. Among the lower tribes of man these arts are, however, on the whole much more appreciated as means of frightening the enemy. As was mentioned in a preceding chapter, some bodily deformations are, if we may believe the natives, undertaken solely for this purpose. Other warlike tribes endeavour to make themselves dreaded by their enemies by staining their bodies with ghastly colours, blood-red, azure, or black. Tatooing may, of course, often aim at the same end. And among the detached ornaments there is an especial class—for which the German ethnologists have invented the characteristic designation "Schreckschmuck"—which are only worn in order to make the appearance more frightful. The war helmets of the Thlinkeets and the curious tooth masks of the Papuas are the most typical specimens of this pre-eminently warlike decoration. . . . .


. . . . To how great an extent worlds of art derive their material from old magical practices, the real meaning of which has gradually fallen into oblivion, may be shown in all the various departments of art. There is not a single form of imitation which has not been more or less influenced by this principle. Pantomimic representation, which for us is of value only in virtue of its intellectual or emotional expressiveness, was in lower stages of culture used as a magical expedient. Even a single gesture may, according to primitive notions, bring about effects corresponding to its import, and a complete drama is sincerely believed to cause the actual occurrence of the action which it represents. Students of folklore know that there is practically no limits to the effects which primitive man claims to produce by magical imitation. He draws the rain from heaven by representing in dance and drama the appropriate meteorological phenomena. He regulates the movements of the sun and encourages it in the labour of its wanderings by his dramatic sun-rituals; and he may even influence the change of the seasons by dramas in which he drives winter away and brings summer in. By those phallic rites to which we have already referred in the chapter on erotic art, he tries in the same way to act upon the great biological phenomena of human life. And again, when sickness is to be cured, he tries to subdue the demons of disease—to neutralise their action or to entice them out of the body of the patient—by imitating in pantomime the symptoms of the particular complaint. Finally, when the assistance of a divine power is required, the god himself may be conjured to take his abode in the body of the performer, who imitates what is believed to be his appearance, movements, and behaviour. Thus the belief in the effectual power of imitation has all over the world given rise to common dramatic motives as universal as the belief itself, and uniform as the chief requirements of mankind.

There are, no doubt, many instances of dramatic ritual the purpose of which is as yet a matter of discussion. With regard to some of the symbolic dances representing hunting or fishing or the movements of game-animals, much may be said in favour of Mr. Farter’s view that the object of the pantomime is to make clearer to the deity a prayer regarding the things imitated. Similarly it is open to doubt whether the dramatic performances at initiation ceremonies, such as, for instance, the kangaroo dance described by Collins, are meant to impart instruction concerning the customs of the animals to the novitiates, or to confer upon them a magic power over the game. In the therapeutic practices of primitive tribes we may find still more puzzling points of controversy. The sucking cure, for instance, by which the medicine-man pretends to extract from the patient the cause of his illness in the form of some small object—a pebble, a tuft of hair, or the like—may be, as Professor Tylor thinks, a mere "knavish trick." But it is also possible, we believe, that, at least, originally, it may have been performed as a bona fide magic, based upon the notion of the efficacy of vehicles and symbolic action. The method of restoring sick people and sick cattle to health by pulling them through a narrow opening, for instance, in a tree, which has been explained by most authors as a case of magical transference by contact—i. e. transference of the disease from the patient and of the vital power represented by the tree to him—ought, according to the brilliant hypothesis of Professor Nyrop, to be considered as a magically symbolic representation of regeneration.

While leaving undecided all these subtile questions, each of which would require a chapter of its own in order to be definitely treated, we have only to maintain the great probability which stands on the side of the dramatic interpretation. However fantastic the belief in a magical connection between similar things may appear at the outset, a continued ethnological study must needs convince every one of its incalculable importance in the life of primitive man. And such a conviction can only become confirmed by an examination of the influence which this superstition has exercised on the formative arts.

The belief in picture magic is evinced by its negative as well as by its positive results. All over the world we meet with the fear of being depicted. In so far as this superstition has given rise to a prohibition of painting and sculpture, it has thus seriously arrested the development of art. But, on the other hand, the same notion has commonly called forth pictorial representation, the aim of which is to gain a power over the things and beings represented. Most frequent, perhaps, of all these specimens of magical art are the volts, i. e. those dolls and drawings used for bewitching, which are spoken of as early as in the ancient Chaldean incantations, which are used by the majority of savage tribes, and which may incidentally be found even now among the European nations. But owing to their necessarily clandestine character these charms have never exercised any important influence on the pictorial art. More important, from the historical point of view, than these black and cryptic arts is the white magic by which social benefits are pursued. Just as the principal forms of magical drama correspond to the chief requirements of mankind, so the most important magical sculptures and paintings are found in connection with agricultural rites, the observances of hunting and fishing, medical practices, and ceremonies for removing sterility. And in the same way as dramatic representation, but with far greater efficacy, pictorial representation has been able to satisfy the highest material as well as spiritual requirement by bringing the deity in concrete relation with man through the sympathetic force of the image. The art of conjuring a spirit to take its abode in what is believed to be a counterfeit of its corresponding body has thus given rise to the fashioning of idols and the subsequent adoring of them. Although essentially the same as in the simple medical cures and the practices of sorcery, pictorial magic has in these cases of idol-making exercised a more far-reaching and thorough influence on mankind than in any of its other manifestations. . . . .

From the point of view of the civilised observer the above-quoted examples of dramatic, pictorial, and poetic magic may seem to have an obvious and ready explanation. A work of art always gives to the spectator, and no doubt also to the creator, an illusion of reality. As, moreover, primitive man is notoriously unable to distinguish between subjective and objective reality, it seems natural to assume that it is the mental illusion created by his work which makes the magician believe that he has acquired a power over the things represented by it. And this assumption is all the more tempting because even to civilised, enlightened man there is something magical in the momentary satisfaction which art affords to all our unfulfilled longings by its semblance of reality. Strong desire always creates for itself an imaginary gratification which easily leads the uncritical mind to a belief in the power of will over the external world. The whole of art-creation may thus be looked upon as an embodiment of the greatest wishes of mankind, which have sought the most convincing appearance of their fulfilment in the form and shape of objective works. What is in us a conscious and intentional self-deception, may be in the unsophisticated man a real illusion. The main psychological aspects of the activity could not be changed by these different subjective attitudes on the part of the producer. The essential point is that in both cases the greatest possible resemblance to the original would be sought for in order to increase in the one case the magical efficacy of the work, in the other the pleasure to be derived from the illusion. The belief in a magical connection between similar things would thus exercise an incalculable influence on the growth of realism in art. But, unfortunately, this easy explanation is not corroborated by an impartial examination of the lower stages of art-development. The statement of M. Guaita as to the volt, Plus la ressemblance est complète plus le maléfice a chance de réussir, does not appear to be borne out by the evidence. The only instance we know of in which greater or less resemblance to the model is thought of as bearing on the magical efficacy of a painting is that of the East Indian artists. We are told that it was in order to evade the Mohammedan prohibition of painting that they resorted to that style of treating nature, bordering on caricature, which is so characteristic of, say, Javanese art. Similarly it is by an appeal to their virtue of non-resemblance that artists among the Laos defend their pictures as being harmless and innocent. But such references to barbaric or semi-barbaric art do not tell us much about the conditions prevailing at the beginning of art-development. The primitive man who avails himself of dolls and drawings in order to bewitch is generally quite indifferent to the life-like character of his magical instruments. The typical volt gives only a crude outline of the human body, and, which is most remarkable, it does not display any likeness to the man who is to be bewitched. As a rule the same vagueness can also be noticed in the paintings and sculptures which serve the aims of medical cure and religious cultus. With due allowance for the deficient technical ability and the naive suggestibility of primitive man, it seems hard to believe that illusion could have been either intended or effected by the rude works of pictorial magic. Thus it becomes doubtful whether the belief in the magical power of painting and sculpture can have been based upon a confusion between subjective and objective reality.

This doubt can only be increased when we see how little confidence primitive men themselves put in the mere likeness as such. When M. Rochas produced his modern imitations of the volt, he was always anxious to have his wax dolls sufficiently saturated by contact with the person over whom they were intended to give him power. And in this he closely followed the methods of the native sorcerers, who generally tried to increase the efficiency of their magical instruments by attaching to them such objects as nail-cuttings, locks of hair, or pieces of cloth belonging to the man to be bewitched. In the making of idols we can often observe the same principle. The statue itself is not sacred by virtue of its form; it acquires divine power only by being put in material connection with the deity. The most obvious example is that of the West African Negroes, who, when they wish to transplant the wood deity from his original home to their towns and villages, build up a wooden doll of branches taken from the tree in which he lives. The god is certainly supposed to feel a special temptation to take up his abode in the idol made in his own likeness; but it is evident that the material link established by the choice of the wood is thought of as being of no less, perhaps even of greater, importance than the resemblance. The same close and inseparable combination of magic by connection and magic by similarity meets us in the ancestor statues of New Guinea, which contain the skull of the dead in hollows inside their head. And although the procedure is more indirect, the underlying thought is nevertheless the same in the curious practices found, e. g., on the island of Nias. The spirit of the deceased is here conducted to his statue by means of some small animal which has been found in the neighbourhood of his grave. In none of these examples—which might be supplemented by analogous instances from various tribes—do we see any hint of that manner of regarding statues and paintings which prevails among civilised men. While with us the mental impression on the spectator constitutes, so to speak, the object and the essential purport of the work of art, the magicians and the idolaters seem to look chiefly for material power and influence in their simulacra.

The way in which pictorial art is used for curative purposes affords us—if further proofs are wanted—a still more telling example of the difference between the magical and the æsthetic points of view. Nothing could be more crude and primitive than the notions held by the Navajo with regard to the salutary influences of their famous sand-paintings. The cure is effected, they believe, not by the patient’s looking at the represented figures, but by his rolling himself on them, or having the pigments of the mosaic applied to the corresponding parts of his own body. The more of the sacred sand he can thus attach to his body, the more complete is his recovery. Among other tribes at the same stage of development as the Navajos the prevailing views are almost equally materialistic. And even among the barbaric and semi-civilised peoples, although we do not meet with quite as gross superstitions, the fundamental idea of pictorial magic appears often to be the same. The power of a painting or a sculpture is thought of as something which is quite independent of its mental effects upon the spectator. That interpretation of sympathetic magic, therefore, which to us seemed most natural, cannot possibly be applied to its lower forms.

As the concepts by which primitive man justifies to himself his beliefs and practices are naturally vague and hazy, it may seem futile to attempt to reconstruct his reasoning. Nothing final or definite can be asserted on so obscure a topic. But we may legitimately discuss the most consistent and most probable way in which to account for the various forms of sympathetic magic. And with regard to this question of probabilities we may rely to some extent upon the illustrative and suggestive analogies to primitive thought which can be found in scientific philosophies. For it is evident that a philosophical doctrine, if it fits in with the facts of primitive superstition, may be explanatory of those vague and latent notions which, without logical justification or systematical arrangement, lie in the mind of the magician and the idolater. Such a doctrine is presented to us in the familiar emanation-theories, according to which every image of a thing constitutes a concrete part of that thing itself. According to the clear and systematic statement of this doctrine given by the old Epicurean philosophers, shadows, reflections in a mirror, visions, and even mental representations of distant objects, are all caused by thin membranes, which continually detach themselves from the surface of all bodies and move onward in all directions through space. If there are such things as necessary misconceptions, this is certainly one. Such general facts of sensuous experience as reflection, shadow, and mirage will naturally appear as the result of a purely material decortication—as in a transfer picture. How near at hand this theory may lie even to the modern mind appears from the curious fact that such a man as Balzac fell back upon it when attempting to explain the newlyinvented daguerreotype, that most marvellous of all imagephenomena.

To the primitive mind it is only natural to apply this reasoning even to artificial images. Whether the likeness of a thing is fashioned by nature in water or air, or whether it be made by man, it is in both cases thought of as depriving the thing itself of some part of its substance. Such a notion, which cannot surprise us when met with among the lower savages, seems to have been at the bottom of even the Mohammedan prohibition of the formative arts. It is evident that, wherever images are explained in this crude manner, magic by similarity in reality becomes merely a case of magic by contiguity.

The materialistic thought which lies behind the belief in a solidarity between similar things appears nowhere so clearly as within the dePartment of pictorial magic. But we believe that its influence can also be traced in all the other superstitions regarding sympathetic causation. In spite of that feeling of superiority so common in nations which have no leaning towards formative arts, poetical and musical magic in its lower forms is founded on quite as crude a conception as any idolatry or pictorial sorcery. It would indeed be unnatural if the theory of corporeal emanations had not been applied to acoustic as well as to optical phenomena. To the unscientific mind sounds and reverberations are something quite synonymous with sights and reflections. The sounds connected with the impression of a being, thing, or phenomenon will therefore be conceived as being a part of the being, thing, or phenomenon itself. To these easily-explained notions there are to be added the peculiar superstitions entertained with regard to a class of sounds which are only associated with things, viz. their names. To the primitive man a name literally constitutes a part of the object it denotes. The magician may therefore get the mastery over the spirits he invokes and the men he bewitches by merely mentioning their names. In many cases a most potent spell consists of unintelligible words, which to the conjurer himself has no meaning at all. In other cases, although the words really have a sense, we can easily observe that they are not used for the purpose of creating an illusion of reality. The typical incantation may indeed in a manner be called descriptive. The singer is anxious not to pass by any detail, the omitting of which may be injurious to the potency of his magic. But the result is only a sort of inventory, which seldom suggests a full and vivid mental picture. Many of the Shaman prayers and songs show us by their whole character that in their case at least poetical illusion has had nothing to do with the belief in the power of words over things.

Thus, according to the magical-world view, a system of material connections links together in close solidarity things and their images, sounds, or names. But this network of connections may even, we believe, extend further, so as to bring into its chain of causation qualities and actions, in short, abstract notions, which cannot be considered as material objects possessing material parts. Just as an image which presents the figure and shape of a given thing is conceived as a part of that thing itself, so all things which have distinctive qualities in common may be thought of as being parts of a common whole. As a fantastic but still natural product of the primitive mind, there may thus appear the idea of an invisible connection, which binds together all things similar and draws them to each other. Vaguely and dimly even savages may have been able to anticipate in some measure those imposing thoughts which received an organised and consistent statement in the doctrine of universal ideas. But to primitive man these "ideas" must appear as concrete objects and beings, exercising their influence on phenomena in a quite material manner.

To those who are familiar with that peculiar combination of spiritual conceptions of the world and material conceptions of the spirit which makes up the primitive cosmology, this explanation will not appear far-fetched or strained. But it is to be admitted that in many cases it may be difficult, or even impossible, to lay one’s finger on the elements of magic by contiguity which lie at the root of a given instance of imitative witchcraft. No doubt the mental effects produced by the imitation on its creator and spectators will in many cases contribute to the belief in its power. In the more artistic forms of poetic magic the suggestive power of the words replaces the brute force of their sound. And in dramatic magic an illusion, whether intended or unintended, must necessarily affect the performers as well as their audience. Therefore, however the psychological basis of magic may be explained, it cannot be denied that in some of its developments magic has become closely connected with art. The self-deceit by which we enjoy in art the confusion between real and unreal is indeed, by its intentional character, distinct from the illusion to which primitive man is led, more perhaps by his deficient powers of observation than by any strength of imaginative faculty. But still there exists a kinship, and that belief in an overlapping of the tangible and intangible life which is fostered by magic in the lower art affords, as it were, a premonition of the effects produced by imagination in the higher.—YRJÖ HIRN, , 157–63, 173–81, 250–60, 261–72, 283–97 (Macmillan, 1900).


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Chicago: "[Relation of Art to the Control of Life]," The Origins of Art in Source Book for Social Origins: Ethnological Materials, Psychological Standpoint, Classified and Annotated Bibliographies for the Interpretation of Savage Society, ed. Thomas, William I. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1909), 606–620. Original Sources, accessed September 29, 2023,

MLA: . "[Relation of Art to the Control of Life]." The Origins of Art, in Source Book for Social Origins: Ethnological Materials, Psychological Standpoint, Classified and Annotated Bibliographies for the Interpretation of Savage Society, edited by Thomas, William I., Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1909, pp. 606–620. Original Sources. 29 Sep. 2023.

Harvard: , '[Relation of Art to the Control of Life]' in The Origins of Art. cited in 1909, Source Book for Social Origins: Ethnological Materials, Psychological Standpoint, Classified and Annotated Bibliographies for the Interpretation of Savage Society, ed. , University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp.606–620. Original Sources, retrieved 29 September 2023, from