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with red frizzled hair, bestial teeth, and hawk claws who hold their markets at night with veiled faces.
The Korwars of India, according to a local legend, “derive from scarecrows animated by a prowling demon.'
Because they are recognizable peoples with representatives who may still be studied, the folk of tradition are useful exhibits in the museum of history.
Chapter XV. The Horizon Lands
Not until yesterday did men encompass the earth. But their minds were always more adventurous than their feet, and from the beginning, almost, the sense of remote horizons was in them. Fantastic though its form might be, there was a divine breadth in their speculation as to the earth and its peoples. The peasant of antiquity, who knew only his township in Europe or his moun. tain canton in high Asia, had yet a vision of continents and distant seas. His imagination explored the waste places, ascended the high places, descended into the earth. Its product was the geography of legend, which gave ground but slowly to the geography of reality. Beyond the North Wind
One of the earliest countries to find a place in the geography of legend was that of the Hyperboreans. It lay on the other side of the north wind. These people lived so far toward the pole that they were beyond the icy blasts, and beyond all contacts of war or commerce with the peoples of the south. Only the priests and the poets knew of them.
The priests knew of them because of the yearly offerings sent in to the temples of Tempe, Delphi, and Delos. These were gifts of amber, and virgins bore them from nation to nation across the whole of Europe. For many years the holy maidens had honor and hospitality from all the countries along their path. When violence was done them the journeys ceased. Not, however, the offerings. The Hyperboreans deposited these upon the boundary of the people who adjoined them. The latter carried them to their neighbors; and so by successive stages the tribute came to the shrines of Apollo, whom the distant nation held in especial honor. At last the custom fell into disuse.
No return visits were made from the south, for the way was hard. Yet the poets had, as always, their own means of information. Homer has nothing to say of the Hyperboreans, but Hesiod speaks of them, and Pindar, and Æschylus, and a host of later and lesser voices. From these authorities it appeared that the Riphæan Rocks, an imaginary prolongation of the Ural group westward across Europe, shut the Hyperboreans off from the south. Out of the rocks the north wind came sweeping down over the lower latitudes, but on the farther side of the range was summer. It was a favored land, and this a favored people. “The muse is no stranger to their manners,” says Pindar. “The dances of girls and the sweet melody of the lyre and pipe resound on every side, and twining their hair with the glittering bay, they dance joyously. There is no doom of sickness or disease for this sacred race; but they live apart from toil and battles, undisturbed by exacting Nemesis.” Isidore adds that when the cithara players smite their instruments the swans fly up and sing very harmoniously.
Rightly discerning that this was no region of the earth, Herod. otus assigns its inhabitants to the realms of fable. But Heca. tæus, Damastes, Diodorus, Pliny and others credit the legend, though sometimes with a note of doubt, as when Pliny begins, “Beyond the region of the northern winds, there dwells, if we choose to believe it, a happy race known as the Hyperboreans. From their country Hercules brought the olive. They were a pious folk, loving justice, dwelling in woods and fields, living on the fruits of the earth and abstaining from taking even animal life. No rude winds agitated this delicious land. Here were “the hinges upon which the world revolves, and the extreme limits of the revolutions of the stars." There was but one rising of the sun for the year, and that at the summer solstice, and but one setting, and that at the winter solstice; and the day and night each lasted six months. In the morning of the long day the people sowed, at midday they reaped, at sunset they gathered the fruits of their trees; and the long night they spent in caverns; and so their lives were passed.
They lived to be very old in the country beyond the north wind, sometimes as much as one thousand years. But a fate. ful note runs through all accounts of them. The happy Hyperboreans were wont to tire at last of their felicity. They ended a career of feasting and an old age sated with every luxury by leaping from a rock into the sea. At the close of each life lay the rock and the sea.
Just where was this worshipful nation? The answers are vague and conflicting. On the left bank of the Danube, it was first thought; on the very verge of Asia, others said. Later its home was fixed “midway between the two suns, at the spot where it sets to the antipodes and rises toward us." There were Greek writers who confused the Riphæan Rocks with the Alps and Py. renees, and confounded the Hyperboreans with the Etruscans and the Gauls. Hecatæus gives them an island home as large as Sicily, lying under the arctic pole, over against Gaul. Here Apollo has a stately grove and a renowned temple in a city where all the residents are harpers. This is the Britain of the bards and druids, of whose people it was said in later time that they take their pleasures sadly. At the Cardindl Points
While the ancients peopled the rim of the earth with deformed races and monstrous animals, their pictures of the nations that dwelt at the cardinal points show mainly the ideal treatment. In the far east, in the far west, in the far south, there were men like unto the Hyperboreans of the far north. Of the Indians, the Ethiopians, and the Iberians of early story the same report was had. They were “just” and “blameless”—these words recur again and again—and they were long-lived and fortunate. Thus real races took on some quality of myth. The classic sense of equilibrium demanded this equal reverence to the four quarters of heaven, just as it was fancied that, to bal. ance the Pillars of Hercules in the west, Bacchus had set up two columns "by the farthest shore of the Ocean stream, on the remotest mountains of India, where the Ganges pours down its white waters to the Nysæan shore.
This cast of thought did not die with the ancients. The epithets, “just” and “blameless,” reappear in the writings of eighteenth-century philosophers when they speak of the Chinese. A little later the beautiful and artless natives of the South Seas laid upon the thought of more sophisticated lands a spell that endures. Now, as always, the four, points of the compass are points of fable, and the primitive worship that was paid them in the magic with which the number four is invested. The
and setting of the sun fixed two of these points and the course of the Nile northward through Egypt may have fixed the other two.
"All evil comes from the northeast," say the Japanese. Thoreau usually walked southwest. “Eastward,” he said, “I go only by force; but westward I go free.” Tartar tent doors, as Marco Polo notes, face south. The mythical Irish voyages were toward the west. In the thought of many races witchcraft is of the north. In Norse mythology hell-way is always downward and northward. When cutting black hellebore the hedge doctors of Greece faced eastward and cursed. “Altars should regard the east,” said Vitruvius. Thither the Mohammedan turns in prayer. The manifestations of God are in the west, says the Talmud. The Babylonian temples lay due east and west so that the rising sun would illumine their altars at the equinoxes. Some of the Egyptian temples were so planned that this would happen only on Midsummer Day. The older Christian churches lie east and west, although some of them are oriented to permit the rising sun to gild their altars on the day of the saint whose name they bear. The west was the seat of darkness and hence the rose-window was placed high in the cathedral's western wall to illumine the benighted, with the bell-towers flanking it to sum. mon them to Christ. The eastern side with its altar and the southern with walls and windows consecrated to saints and martyrs were both sacred. But the northern, or Black Side, was Satan's, and effigies of unclean beasts and sculptured allegories of lascivious deeds proclaimed it.
The cities of ancient Yucatan had gates toward each of the cardinal points. With the Aztecs all the world directions were significant—the north standing for emptiness, the east for sterility, the west for fertility, the south for good fortune. In the symbolism of the Navahos, white, the dawn color, stands for the east; blue, the sky color, for the south; yellow, the sunset color, for the west; and black, the curtain of night, for the north. The Pueblo Indians assigned the north to the air, the west to water, the south to fire, and the east to earth and the seeds of life. In old Chinese writings the men of the north are called brave, the men of the south wise, the men of the east kind and