Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico

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A rich man (gou-aob) was a fat man; he could afford to be fat (gousa), he could anoint himself with fat (goub). Therefore the word gou-aob, "fat man," is identical with !khu-aob, "rich man," and both have now become the words by which rulers, kings, chiefs, masters, and lords are addressed; gou-aob, or gao-aub, being generally used for chief or king, and !khu-aob for master or lord, sometimes simply !khub, in which form it is also used for the "Lord in heaven," . . . The richest man became the most influential man, and gradually rose to the station of a chief. He could buy as many wives as he liked, and thus ruled through the number of relations and such admirers who had to live on him. It is now still expected that a Khoikhoi chief must have an open hand and an open house; and the worst that can be said of a chief is, that he is gei-||are—i.e., greatly left-handed or stingy. It happens sometimes, that another man is made chief, who is expected to be more liberal.3

Sometimes a man may be recognized as chief in consequence of some profitable enterprise or manipulation. Among the Baguta of South Africa a man made himself chief (in 1815) by exchanging cattle for girls and using them and their children as business assets,4 and in East Africa, "about 150 years ago a man of the Kilindi tribe gained renown chiefly in exterminating the wild pigs which devastated the fields of the Washambaa, and was eventually invited to rule the tribe."5

From the standpoint of origins it appears, therefore, that warfare, pillage, and the conquest of territory are not so important in the development of leadership and government as might be expected. The Australians, for example, have a great deal of warfare, or at least fighting, but it leads to no political organization or annexation of territory. Radcliffe-Brown reports, in fact, that the Kariera tribe is so habituated to a traditional territory that it cannot conceive of occupying any other, and that the colonists had difficulty in inducing natives to herd sheep on any but their own ground.6

1 (ed. Hodges), 1: 264.

2 Steinen, K. von den, Unter den Naturvölkern Zentral-Brasiliens, 331.

3 Hahn, T., Tsuni-||goam, 16–17 (K, Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. By permission).

4 Fritsch, G., Die Eingeborenen Süd-Afrikas, 1: 483.

5 Dundas, C., "Native Laws of Some Bantu Tribes of East Africa," Jour. Anth. Inst., 51: 218.

6 Radcliffe-Brown, A. R., "Three Tribes of Western Australia," Jour. Anth. Inst., 43: 146.

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Chicago: Hodges, ed., "Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico," Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed September 21, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q1EEEWGCD2U23GW.

MLA: . "Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico." Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, edited by Hodges, Vol. 1, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 21 Sep. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q1EEEWGCD2U23GW.

Harvard: (ed.), 'Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico' in Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 21 September 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q1EEEWGCD2U23GW.