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Opportunities have occurred of extending a more inward research into the metaphysical and religious notions entertained by the Ostiaks, which are the more valuable as similar means of investigation are wanting with respect to all other Siberian nations. The metropolitan Philopheï, who in 1712 attempted the conversion of the Ostiaks on the Obi, was accompanied by Grigoryi Newizkyi, who is said to have been incited, not by the sacred desire of winning souls to the Christian fold, but merely by a wish to learn what really were the old traditional notions of the pagan Ostiaks. The important fact of which this curious inquirer became thoroughly convinced, and of which, according to Erman, there is no room whatever for doubt, is, that the Ostiaks, with all the degrading materialism of their superstition, have yet, and had before Christian missionaries came among them, a firm conviction in the existence of a Supreme Being, of whose nature they had pure and exalted ideas, and to whom they affirmed that they had never made offerings, neither had they ever attempted to represent his form. Toruim is the name of the supreme divinity among the Ostiaks, and it is remarkable that the same denomination is connected with a similar meaning by the Vogouls. The notions represented by it in the minds of these people were so pure that the Russian missionaries everywhere adopted it as a designation for the object of Christian worship, while they endeavoured to wean the people from a belief in the sensual objects of their superstition, or taught them to regard the latter as demons. The last-mentioned order of gods were according to the same authority the deceased members of each family, images of which were preserved, and for three years fed, as before described, in the houses of the deceased, after which period they were interred; while the defunct schamans were permanently deified, and had temples containing rude images erected to their honour, many of which are found in the country of the Ostiaks. The Ostiaks had besides four inferior divinities, which were denominated Oertik, Yelan, Long, Meik; from the former it can hardly be doubted that the name of Oerdoeg is derived, which among the converted Hungarians has always been used as the designation for the devil, though it must be observed that Oertik of the Ostiaks is a beneficent demon,
the favourite of Toruim, and in the contingencies of life a powerful intercessor. His form is merely a rude bust. without feet, the wooden face being covered with a metallic plate, and the body clothed with valuable furs, which are the donations of worshippers. Yelan has a somewhat different form. This idol is honoured with dances executed before him by men in complete armour, which, according to Erman, who has visited the country of the Kolushians on the Sitcha, are strikingly similar to the war-dances of these Americans. Long is the master of secret and refined artifice; medicine belongs to him: offerings made to him by the sick must be works of art: skins are never presented to him. Meik is a sort of devil, the god of unluck; his wooden block is covered with an unadorned robe of a beaver-skin: to his image the Ostiaks make vows of gifts and service when they are in danger of perishing in the wilderness, or of being destroyed by storms of snow. In the places consecrated to these images gifts are found, such as vessels of gold and silver, and coins: the value of these deposits is said to amount in some cases to ten thousand rubles, and the crime of plundering them is punished by the Russian government by exile in the mines. Beside such gifts the Ostiaks sacrifice to their idols great numbers of reindeers, apparently as expiatory sacrifices, since they put them to a slow and cruel death.*
SECTION X.-Concluding remarks on the Physical and Moral Characteristics, and on the History of the Tribes belonging to this Family of Nations.
A comparison of these nations with respect to their physical and moral characteristics will suggest some remarks interesting in their bearing on the natural history of the human species.
There are many instances of considerable diversity in form, stature, and complexion among these nations, making their appearance under circumstances which prevent our ascribing them, with any degree of probability, to intermixture with foreign races.
* Erman's Reise um die Erde, Band ii. Berlin, 1638.
Some tribes have generally black hair and eyes, and dark complexions; others are xanthous, have light and blue eyes; some have hair of a fiery red, and this so generally as to excite strongly the attention of travellers. Dobrowsky has divided the tribes of this race according to their complexion. He says, "Some other nations akin to the Finns by language have almost uniformly red hair and blue eyes; such are the Permæcki, the Sirani, the Wotiaks, the Ostiaks of the Obe, as Strahlenberg declares." The circumstance above observed is so much the more remarkable as other tribes akin to the Finns by the alliance of language have black hair and blackbrown eyes. Such are the Laplanders, the Tscheremisses, the Mordwinns, the Wogules. To the black-haired class belong also the Hungarians, as indeed their language approaches most nearly to that of the Wogules."
Dobrowsky refers to Strahlenberg, whose testimony is of greater weight as he spent many years in Siberia, and seems to have described the people from his own observation. Strahlenberg divides the tribes inhabiting the Russian empire by their complexions. He says, "Some of them have black hair and small dark-grey cr grey-brownish eyes, while others have reddish hair and large bluish eyes. The Bashkirs, Cosaci Horda, the Oby Ostiaks, Permæki, Sirani, and Wotiaks have almost all red hair and bluish eyes. And the Tscheremissi, Kalmucs, Wogulitzi, Morduini, Samoiedes, Laplanders, and a part of the Finnlanders have black hair and little dark grey or brownish eyes."+
It must be observed that these statements are too general to be perfectly accurate; we have seen from a more particular account that differences exist in individual tribes. The Lappes of some districts have fair complexions with yellow hair: this, as we have seen, is the case in Uma Lappmark, where the Lappes are of taller stature and finer form than in Lula Lappmark, and often have light hair and fair complexions. If the diversity of complexions followed the great divisions of the Iotune or Tschudish tribes it might be ascribed to intermixture with foreign nations, but this is not the fact. The generally
• Dobrowsky, Litt. Nachrichten, s. 93. † Strahlenberg, N. and O. Asien, 172.
black-haired Lappes belong to the same great branch as the xanthous Finns: again, the Vogouls, who are almost equally dark as the Lappes, are nearly allied to the red-haired Ostiaks, and both these tribes to the dark-haired and handsome Hungarians.
The cause which gives rise to this variety of complexion is difficult to discover. It can hardly be ascribed entirely to difference of climate or of race. It must be observed that, in general, the appearance of fair complexion is connected with greater stature and a larger and more vigorous frame than that which is prevalent in the darker tribes or families. Von Buch remarks that the cause of this variation is very obvious. It lies in the difference of external circumstances and agencies, which depends not on local but on moral conditions. The Finns are well fed and warmly clothed, and sheltered from the inclemency of the winter cold, of which they further lessen the effect on their constitution by the frequent use of hot baths. The Laplander, as Von Buch observes, never keeps himself in a degree of temperature sufficient for the full developement of physical life. The same conditions which give rise to the difference of stature, since the two phenomena occur together, may be supposed to occasion also the variety of complexion. It seems here as if the appearance of the xanthous variety, with a fair, florid complexion, was the result or accompaniment of a greater degree of vigour in physical life, and a more ample developement of the body, and particularly of the sanguiferous system. Perhaps this state of the constitution and bodily growth is connected with the abode of the parents and the birth of the infant, in a cold climate. The adaptation of such a habit of body is evident. But when the cold is extreme and nutrition is defective, this additional degree of vigour and developement is not given to the bodily frame. Nature has not power, with such defective means, to accomplish it.
It is not less important to notice the diversities which exist. between these tribes in the form of body and the shape of the skull, in which every intermediate degree may be traced between the character of the Turanian races and the IndoAtlantic or European type. On this subject enough has been said in the preceding sections.
OF THE GERMAN NATIONS.
SECTION 1.-General Survey.-Extent of Ancient Germany.
THE German nation, reckoned at the Christian era among barbarians and beyond the boundaries of the civilised world, had soon after the end of the fourth century achieved the conquest of the Roman empire. In moral energy the German race was so superior to the rest of mankind, and the Romanized nations were so prostrate before their arms, that the old stock of inhabitants might eventually have been exterminated from Europe, if German dynasties and German colonies established in conquered provinces had not changed the condition. and renewed the vigour of the subdued people, among whom the new race formed for some centuries a military and noble caste. Franks and Alemans, and Burgundians and Visigoths in Gaul; Heruli, Goths, and Langobards in Italy; Suevi, and Vandals, and Ostrogoths in Spain, were in too small a proportion in the mass of the people to impress their language eventually on the conquered nations. In these countries the Latin idiom and the physical and moral characters of the old races have prevailed; and the great body of the people may be considered as descended from them. It was chiefly in Britain and on the Upper Rhine and towards Switzerland that a German population, properly so considered, encroached far on the boundaries which had previously limited the extent of that race, and in these countries Saxon and High German dialects became the vernacular and eventually the national speech.
Ancient Germany was bounded by the Rhine and Danube towards the south, by the ocean on the west, on the east by