Early Anthropological Researches 71
domesticated for food or transport. He cites many-but relatively few out of the statements he had collected-of natives keeping animals as pets and even of native women feeding the young of wild animals from - their own breasts, Australian women puppies, presumably young dingoes, New Guinea women young pigs, and Indian women of North America bear cubs. Galton considers that the value of domestication as a source of food was only found
"Have," he writes, "extraordinary geniuses arisen who severally taught their contemporaries to tame and domesticate the dog, the ox, the sheep, the hog, the fowl, the llama, the reindeer and the rest? Or again: Is it possible that the ordinary habits of rude races, combined with the qualities of the animals in question, have sufficed to originate every instance of established domestication? The conclusion to which I have arrived is entirely in favour of the last hypothesis."
Because all savages maintain pet animals, because many tribes- have sacred ones, and because kings of ancient states had imported animals' on a vast scale from their barbarian neighbours, Galton holds that every animal of any pretension has been held in captivity over and over again- and had numerous chances of becoming domesticated. We have no more domesticated animals than exist, because there are no others suited for domestication. Suitability for domestication depends upon an animal. (i) being hardy, (ii) having an inborn liking for man, (iii) being comfort-loving,. (iv) being useful to man, (v) breeding freely in captivity, (vi) being gregarious in its nature. These conditions Galton illustrates and states the exceptions. He gives due place to continual selection after domestication.
"To conclude. I see no reason to suppose that the first domestication of-any animal, except the elephant, implies a high civilisation among the people who established it. I cannot believe it to have been the result of a preconceived intention, followed by elaborate trials, to administer to the comfort of man. Neither can I think it arose from one successful effort made by an individual, who might therefore justly claim the title of benefactor to his race; but on the contrary, that a vast number of half-unconscious attempts have been made throughout the course of ages, and that ultimately, by slow degrees, after many relapses, and continued selection, our several domestic breeds became firmly established." (p. 138.)
We know much more of the history of man now than was 'known in 'l 863. We realise the long history of man, and how he knew the elephant, the reindeer and the horse as sources of food long before he tamed them. It is, indeed, doubtful whether palaeolithic man ever domesticated any form of animal. His art shows no trace of the pet, and there is only one and that a very doubtful case of a possible bridle-the horse is merely `game,' as the reindeer or earlier the mammoth.
1 There was probably some correspondence between Galton and Darwin as to savages" pets: I am unable to date the following letter, but it probably belonged to this period.
DOWN, BROMLEY, KENT, July 7th.
MY DEAR GALTON, I return the enclosed signed with great pleasure. Many thankg for information about Dr Barth's work, which I will read. I continue much interested about all domestic animals of all savage nations, though I shall not take up cattle in detail. - If on reading I shall have anything to ask I will accept your kind offer and ask. Anything about savages taking any the least pains in breeding or crossing their domestic animals is• of particular interest to me. With kind remembrances to Mrs Galton, Pray believe me,-Yours very sincerely, On. DARWIN.
out incidentally as a result of taming animals for pets'.