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But on another point the new facts at our disposal invalidate the theories of Smith.

According to him, the communion was not only an essential element of the sacrifice, but at the beginning, at least, it was the unique element. Not only is one mistaken when he reduces sacrifice to nothing more than a tribute or offering, but the very idea of an offering was originally absent from it; this intervened only at a late period and under the influence of external circum­stances ; so instead of being able to aid us in understanding it, it has rather masked the real nature of the ritual mechanism. In fact, Smith claimed to find in the very notion of oblation an absurdity so revolting that it could never have been the funda­mental reason for so great an institution. One of the most important functions incumbent upon the divinity is to assure to men that food which is necessary for life ; so it seems impossible that the sacrifice, in its turn, should consist in a presentation of food to the divinity. It even seems self-contradictory that the gods should expect their food from a man, when it is from them that he gets his. Why should they have need of his aid in order to deduct beforehand their just share of the things which he

receives from their hands ?   From these considerations Smith concluded that the idea of a sacrifice-offering could have been born only in the great religions, where the gods, removed from the things with which they were primitively confused, were thought of as sorts of kings and the eminent proprietors of the earth and its products. From this moment onwards, the sacrifice was associated with the tribute which subjects paid to their prince, as a price of the rights which were conceded to them. But this new interpretation was really an alteration and even a corruption of the primitive conception. For " the idea of property materializes all that it touches" ; by introducing itself into the sacrifice, it denatured it and made it into a sort of bargain between the man and the divinity.1

But the facts which we have described overthrow this argu­mentation. These rites are certainly among the most primitive that have ever been observed. No determined mythical per­sonality appears in them ; there is no question of gods or spirits that are properly so called ; it is only vaguely anonymous and impersonal forces which they put into action. Yet the reasoning which they suppose is exactly the one that Smith declared impossible because of its absurdity.

Let us return to the first act of the Intichiuma, to the rites destined to assure the fecundity of the animal or vegetable species which serves the clan as totem. This species is the pre­eminently sacred thing ; in it is incarnated that which we have been able to call, by metaphor, the totemic divinity. Yet we have seen that to perpetuate itself it has need of the aid of men. It is they who dispense the life of the new generation each year; without them, it would never be bom. If they stopped cele­brating the Intichiuma, the sacred beings would disappear from the face of the earth. So in one sense, it is from men that they get their existence ; yet in another way, it is from them that men get theirs ; for after they have once arrived at maturity, it is from them that men acquire the force needed to support and repair their spiritual beings. Thus we are able to say that men make their gods, or, at least, make them live ; but at the same time, it is from them that they live themselves. So they are regularly guilty of the circle which, according to Smith, is implied in the very idea of a sacrificial tribute: they give to the sacred beings a little of what they receive from them, and they receive from them all that they give.

But there is still more to be said: the oblations which he is thus forced to make every year do not differ in nature from those which are made later in the rites properly called sacrifices.

If the sacrificer immolates an animal, it is in order that the living principles within it may be disengaged from the organism and go to nourish the divinity. Likewise, the grains of dust which the Australian detaches from the sacred rock are so many sacred principles which he scatters into space, so that they may go to animate the totemic species and assure its renewal. The gesture with which this scattering is made is also that which normally accompanies offerings. In certain cases, the resemblance between the two rites may be followed even-to the details of the move­ments effected. We have seen that in order to have rain the Kaitish pour water over the sacred stone; among certain peoples, the priest pours water over the altar, with the same end in view.1 The effusions of blood which are usual in a certain number of Intic'hiuma are veritable oblations. Just as the Arunta or Dieri sprinkle the sacred rock or the totemic design with blood, so it frequently happens that in the more advanced cults, the blood of the sacrificed victim or of the worshipper himself is spilt before or upon the altar.2 In these cases., it is given to the gods, of whom it is the preferred food ; in Australia, it is given to the sacred species. So we have no ground for saying that the idea of oblation is a late product of civilization.

A document which we owe to Strehlow puts this kinship of the Intichiuma and the sacrifice clearly into evidence. This is a hymn which accompanies the Intichiuma of the Kangaroo; the ceremony is described at the same time that its expected effects are announced. A morsel of kangaroo fat has been placed by the chief upon a support made of branches. The text says that this fat makes the fat of the kangaroos increase.3 This time, they do not confine themselves to sprinkling sacred dust or human blood about; the animal itself is immolated, or sacrificed as one might say, placed upon a sort of altar, and offered to the species, whose life it should maintain.

Now we see the sense in which we may say that the Intichiuma contains the germs of the sacrificial system. In the form which it takes when fully constituted, a sacrifice is composed of two essential elements : an act of communion and an act of oblation. The worshipper communes with his god by taking in a sacred food, and at the same time he makes an offering to this god. We find these two acts in the Intichiuma, as we have described it. The only difference is that in the ordinary sacrifice4 they are

made simultaneously or else follow one another immediately, while in the Australian ceremony they are separated. In the former case, they are parts of one undivided rite ; here, they take place at different times, and may even be separated by a rather long interval. But, at bottom, the mechanism is the same. Taken as a whole, the Intichiuma is a sacrifice, but one whose parts are not yet articulated and organized.

The relating of these two ceremonies has the double advantage of enabling us to understand better the nature of the Intichiuma and that of sacrifice.

We understand the Intichiuma better. In fact, the conception of Frazer, which made it a simple magic operation1 with no religious character at all, is now seen to be unsupportable. One cannot dream of excluding from religion a rite which is the forerunner of so great a religious institution.

But we also understand what the sacrifice itself is better. In the first place, the equal importance of the two elements entering into it is now established. If the Australian makes offerings to his sacred beings, there is no reason for supposing that the idea of oblation was foreign to the primitive organization of the sacrificial institution and later upset its natural arrange­ment. The theory of Smith must be revised on this point.2 Of course the sacrifice is partially a communion ; but it is also, and no less essentially, a gift and an act of renouncement. It always presupposes that the worshipper gives some of his sub­stance or his goods to his gods. Every attempt to deduce one of these elements from the other is hopeless. Perhaps the oblation is even more permanent than the communion.3

In the second place, it ordinarily seems as though the sacrifice, and especially the sacrificial oblation, could only be addressed to personal beings. But the oblations which we .have met with in Australia imply no notion of this-sort. In other words, the sacrifice is independent of the varying forms in which the religious forces are conceived; it is founded upon more profound reasons, which we shall seek presently.

In any case, it is clear that the act of offering naturally arouses in the mind the idea of a moral subject, whom this offering is destined to please. The ritual acts which we have described

become more intelligible when it is believed that they are addressed to persons. So the practices of the Intichiuma, while actually putting only impersonal forces into play, prepare the way for a different conception.1 Of course they were not sufficient to form the idea of mythical personalities by themselves, but when this idea had once been formed, the very nature of these rites made it enter into the cult; thus, taking a more direct interest in action and life, it also acquired a greater reality. So we are even able to believe that the cult favoured, in a secondary manner, no doubt, but nevertheless one which is worthy of attention, the personification of the religious forces.