Sir James George Frazer (18541941). The Golden Bough. 1922.
a great deal of distress. I observed that some of the people were possessed by demons, some were wounded by wild animals, some were hurt by landslides, others suffered shipwreck, and many were attacked by disease. The people are in great straits. My father, hear me, and hasten to look upon the Ainu and help them. If you do this, your father will help us.
Again, the Aino keep eagles in cages, worship them as divinities, and ask them to defend the people from evil. Yet they offer the bird in sacrifice, and when they are about to do so they pray to him, saying: O precious divinity, O thou divine bird, pray listen to my words. Thou dost not belong to this world, for thy home is with the Creator and his golden eagles. This being so, I present thee with these inao and cakes and other precious things. Do thou ride upon the inao and ascend to thy home in the glorious heavens. When thou arrivest, assemble the deities of thy own kind together and thank them for us for having governed the world. Do thou come again, I beseech thee, and rule over us. O my precious one, go thou quietly. Once more, the Aino revere hawks, keep them in cages, and offer them in sacrifice. At the time of killing one of them the following prayer should be addressed to the bird: O divine hawk, thou art an expert hunter, please cause thy cleverness to descend on me. If a hawk is well treated in captivity and prayed to after this fashion when he is about to be killed, he will surely send help to the hunter.
Thus the Aino hopes to profit in various ways by slaughtering the creatures, which, nevertheless, he treats as divine. He expects them to carry messages for him to their kindred or to the gods in the upper world; he hopes to partake of their virtues by swallowing parts of their bodies or in other ways; and apparently he looks forward to their bodily resurrection in this world, which will enable him again to catch and kill them, and again to reap all the benefits which he has already derived from their slaughter. For in the prayers addressed to the worshipful bear and the worshipful eagle before they are knocked on the head the creatures are invited to come again, which seems clearly to point to a faith in their future resurrection. If any doubt could exist on this head, it would be dispelled by the evidence of Mr. Batchelor, who tells us that the Aino are firmly convinced that the spirits of birds and animals killed in hunting or offered in sacrifice come and live again upon the earth clothed with a body; and they believe, further, that they appear here for the special benefit of men, particularly Ainu hunters. The Aino, Mr. Batchelor tells us, confessedly slays and eats the beast that another may come in its place and be treated in like manner; and at the time of sacrificing the creatures prayers are said to them which form a request that they will come again and furnish viands for another feast, as if it were an honour to them to be thus killed and eaten, and a pleasure as well. Indeed such is the peoples idea. These last observations, as the context shows, refer especially to the sacrifice of bears.
Thus among the benefits which the Aino anticipates from the