Savages ‘R’ Us

Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

It has often been attempted to exhibit the mental life of savage peoples as profoundly different from our own; to assert that they act from motives, and reach conclusions by means of mental processes, so utterly different from our own motives and processes that we cannot hope to interpret or understand their behavior unless we can first, by some impossible or at least by some hitherto undiscovered method, learn the nature of these mysterious motives and processes.

These attempts have recently been renewed in influential quarters. If these views were applied to the savage peoples of the interior of Borneo, we should characterize them as fanciful delusions natural to the anthropologist who has spent all the days of his life in a stiff collar and a black coat upon the well-paved ways of civilized society. We have no hesitation in saying that, the more intimately one becomes acquainted with these…

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