chapter  IV
29 Pages

EAR-, LIP-, AND NOSE-ORNAMENTS; NECKLACES, BRACELETS, ANKLETS, RATTLES, ETC.

The assertion, as far as it is generalized to hold true of all South America, of course can only be established in the same degree of probability as most theories concerning primitive religious and magical customs. Few ethnologists have made detailed inquiries into these matters in South America, and the Indians, as we know, are very reluctant to reveal ideas which refer to their innermost psychic life. There are three circumstances to take into especial consideration when we are trying to make out the true significance of the ornaments with which we are dealing: first, the material of which they are made; second, the ceremonies which accompany their first using; and third, the occasions on which they are worn.