In order to the proper understanding of the sexual habits of a savage people, we must bear in mind, first—their restraints as to religion, time and season; and, secondly—the difficulty of procuring that sexual erethism which most savages seem to lack; which it was the purpose of their dances, shows and festivals to create; but which seems to be an ever ready and inexhaustible factor in modern civilization. Then, again, what we are disposed to regard as purely sexual orgies on the part of savages may, and doubtless do, have a ritual rather than a sexual significance; such as invoking the favor of a certain god, appeasing malign deities, or procuring fruitfulness for their fields, wives or herds.3

Robertson Smith, in his "Religion of the Semites,"' points out the frequency with which the religious taboo restrains the sexual impulse among savages; and Fraser has further enlightened us as to the conception entertained by them of sexual intercourse, and the relation it holds to society and the moral Bense.' Ellis argues, very forcefully, that the facility with which savages impose such restrictions upon themselves speaks for the innate weakness of their sexual impulses; and that the data which have been accumulated by Ploss and Bartels point very distinctly in the same direction.1

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