Das Recht Der Dschagga


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once in crossing the [Blackfoot] reservation a threatened thunderstorm caused us to make camp quickly. While hurriedly pitching our tent, a bird was observed hopping about within a few feet of the writer, following his movements. During the constant peals of thunder no more than passing attention was given to it, but when the tent was finally pitched, the bird had disappeared and the threatened storm was passing just to our left, leaving us unharmed and dry. On mentioning this to a man of reputed medicine experience we were informed that this was an incident of unusual importance, for the bird had not only protected us from the thunder but had sought to convey some kind of power. He asked if singing had not been heard and a voice speaking, finally suggesting that an experienced man be called upon to "fix it up." All further discussion of the incident he declined as unsafe. Doubtless, if the writer had accepted the veiled offer, a typical ritual would have been produced.1

Among the Thompson River Indians

a woman about to be delivered of twins was generally made aware of the fact beforehand by the repeated appearance of the grizzly bear in her dreams; therefore twins were regarded as different from other children, and were treated accordingly. They were called "grizzly-bear children" or "hairy feet."2

The twins are not, of course, essential to the inference; it just happens to be twins in this case. But it is significant that the children are named "bears." Their children will be known as bears, and this is one of the ways in which totemic clans get their animal names. They are the descendants of bears.

1Wissler, C.n/an/an/an/an/a, "Ceremonial Bundles of the Blackfoot Indians," Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., Anth. Pap., 7: 102.

2 Teit, J., "The Thompson Indians of British Columbia," Jessup North Pac. Exped., Publ., 1: 310.


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Chicago: "Das Recht Der Dschagga," Das Recht Der Dschagga in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed February 23, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4ST7U46Z2RRYBBF.

MLA: . "Das Recht Der Dschagga." Das Recht Der Dschagga, Vol. 7, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 23 Feb. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4ST7U46Z2RRYBBF.

Harvard: , 'Das Recht Der Dschagga' in Das Recht Der Dschagga. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 23 February 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4ST7U46Z2RRYBBF.