Image from page 75 of “The history of mankind” (1896)
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Title: The history of mankind
Year: 1896 (1890s)
Authors: Ratzel, Friedrich, 1844-1904 Butler, Arthur John, 1844-1910
Subjects: Ethnology Anthropology
Publisher: London, Macmillan and co., ltd. New York, The Macmillan co.
Contributing Library: Wellesley College Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Wellesley College Library
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. The thought underlying them all isthat the soul docs not leave the body immediately, or atleast maintains a certain alliance with it. The Poly-nesians state clearly that the soul after death haunts theneighbourhood of the grave for a while, until it finallydescends to the realms of Milu or Wakea. AmongMalays and Indians of north-east America this action isequally clear, and among the races of east Asia we finda glimmering of it. For this reason the corpse is oftenleft for some time unburied—a whole year among theChiriquis. The widely-spread custom of burying giftswith the dead, and the mummy-like arrangement of thecorpse; the marking of the grave, which among theBongos assumes the character of a monumental edifice ;the founding and maintaining of regular mausoleums inthe case of chiefs show how little the inanimate body isregarded as a mere thing. Among many races provisionis made for the temporary return of the soul to its 1 Idols from Hermit Island.(Ethnological Museum, Berlin.)
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Supposed idols representing souls, from Ubudjwa. (After Cameron.) RELIGION 47 decayed tabernacle, and to this end an opening is left in the vault, and from timeto time meat and drink are put by the corpse or poured into the grave. Thesoul in its wanderings may travel to any other persons, bewitch them, ruin them,or raise them to unexpected honour. In Uganda every sorcerer is tenanted bythe soul of a king ; but the ordinary soul, Musimu, can enter into any one. Thatthe soul does not rest when it has reached the grave is indicated by the boatwhich is set up on the mound. In the North the sledge on which the corpsewas drawn to its last home is used in the same way. From this boat is derivedthe shape of the stone slab used by North Germans. The forcible recall of thesoul into the corpse by means of witchcraft was regarded as no less possible thanits extraction by the same means from the living body, and transference to thatof some beast; this last is a speciality much in favour with Afric
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A funny and touching account of the imaginative Mr. Polly who, bored and trapped in his conventional life, makes a U-turn –- and changes everything.
H.G. Wells’ early life as the son of a semi-insolvent shopkeeper and as a draper’s apprentice fueled his novels of the lower middle class: The Wheels of Chance (1896), Kipps (1905), and The History of Mr. Polly (1910). These works evoke the desperation of apprentices, clerks, and small traders in their monotonous toil behind shop counters. And, like Mr. Polly, his protagonists make a break from their mundane lives with more or less success.
H. G. Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific writer in history, general and science fiction, and politics. He was a lifelong socialist. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)
The History of Mr. Polly
H. G. WELLS
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