chapter  V
16 Pages

Clothing and Weapons of Defence

It is a mistake to think that the feeling of modesty is the origin of clothing. On the contrary, it is probable that clothing is the cause of the sense of shame.1 Primitive man has not any idea of decency or indecency : he sees nothing about the human body which there is any reason to hide. A negro king considers himself adequately dressed in a pair of boots, a top hat, and a red jacket. Montaigne 2 quotes the answer of a tatterdemalion to those who sought to make him feel ashamed of his nudity: “ You have your face bare: Well, I am all face.” According to a phrase which comes from the Indies, a savage sees nothing wrong in “ being clothed in air ” .