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SALUTATIONS, or GREETINGS

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 96 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SALUTATIONS, or GREETINGS, the customary forms of kindly or respectful address, especially on meeting or parting or on occasions of ceremonious approach. Etymologically the word salutation (Lat. salutatio, " wishing health ") refers only to words spoken. Forms of salutation frequent among savages and barbarians may last on almost unchanged in civilized custom. The habit of affectionate clasping or embracing is seen at the meetings of the Andaman islanders and Australian blacks, or where the Fuegians in friendly salute hug " like the grip of a bear."' This natural gesture appears in old Semitic and Aryan custom: " Esau ran to meet him (Jacob) and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him, and they wept " (Gen. xxxiii. 4) ; SO, when Odysseus makes himself known, Philoetius and Eumaeus cast their arms round him with kisses on the head, hands and shoulders (Odyss. xxi. 223). The idea of the kiss being an instinctive gesture is negatived by its being unknown over half the world, where the prevailing salute is that by smelling or sniffing (often called by travellers "rubbing noses "), which belongs to Polynesians, Malays, Burmese and other Indo-Chinese, Mongols, &c., extending thence eastward to the Eskimo and westward to Lapland, where Linnaeus saw relatives saluting by putting their noses together? This seems the only appearance of the habit in Europe. On the other hand the kiss, the salute by tasting, appears constantly in Semitic and Aryan antiquity, as in the above cases from the book of Genesis and the Odyssey, or in Herodotus's description of the Persians of his time kissing one another—if equals on the mouth, if one was somewhat inferior on the cheek (Herod. i. 134). In Greece in the classic period it became customary to kiss the hand, breast or knee of a superior. In Rome the kisses of inferiors became a burdensome civility (Martial xii. 59). The early Christians made it the sign of fellowship: "greet all the brethren with an holy kiss" (1 Thess. v. 26; cf. Rom. xvi. 16, &c.). It early passed into more ceremonial form in the kiss of peace given to the newly baptized and in the celebration of the Eucharist;3 this is retained by the Oriental Church. After a time, however, its indiscriminate use between the sexes gave rise to scandals, and it was restricted by ecclesiastical regulations —men being only allowed to kiss men, and women women, and eventually in the Roman Church the ceremonial kiss at the communion being only exchanged by the ministers, but a relic or cross called an osculatorium or pax being carried to the people to be kissed' While the kiss has thus been adopted as a religious rite, its original social use has continued. Among men, however, it has become less effusive, the alteration being marked in England at the end of the 17th century by such passages as the advice to Sir Wilfull by his London-bred brother: " in the country, where great lubberly brothers slabber and kiss one another when they meet; . . . 'T is not the fashion here."' Court ceremonial keeps up the kiss on the cheek between sovereigns and the kissing of the hand by subjects, and the pope, like a Roman emperor, receives the kiss on his foot. A curious trace which these osculations have left behind is that when ceasing to be performed they are still talked of by way of politeness: Austrians say, "Kass d'Hand!" and Spaniards, "Beso a Vd. las manos!" "I kiss your hands!" Strokings, pattings and other caresses have been turned to use as salutations, but have not a wide enough range to make them important. Weeping for joy, often occurring naturally at meetings, is sometimes affected as a salutation; but this seems to be different from the highly ceremonious weeping performed by several rude races when, meeting after absence, they renew the lamentations over those friends who have died in the meantime. The typical case is that of the Australian natives, where the male nearest of kin presses his breast to the new corner's, and the nearest female relative, with piteous lamentations, embraces his knees with one hand, while with the other she scratches her face till the blood drops 9 Obviously this is no joy-weeping, but mourning, and the same is true of the New Zealand tangi, which is performed at the reception of a distinguished visitor, whether he has really dead friends to mourn or not.' Cowering or crouching is a natural gesture of fear or inability to resist that belongs to the brutes as well as man; its extreme form is lying prostrate face to ground. In barbaric society, as soon as 1W. P. Snow in Trans. Ethnol. Soc., n.s., i. 263. 2 J. E. Smith, Linnaeus's Tour in Lapland, i. 315. ' Bingham, Antiquities of the Chr. Church, bk. xii. c. 4, xv. C. 3. The latter term has supplied the Irish language with its term for a kiss, pog, Welsh poc ; see Rhys, Revue Celtique, vi. 43. Congreve's Way of the World, act iii. ° Grey, Journals, ii. 255. 7 A. Taylor, New Zealand, p. 221.distinctions are marked between master and slave, chief and commoner, these tokens of submission become salutations. The sculptures of Egypt and Assyria show the lowly prostrationsof the ancient East, while in Dahomey or Siam subjects crawl before the king, and even Siberian peasants grovel and kiss the dust before a noble. A later stage is to suggest, but not actually perform, the prostration, as the Arab bends his hand to the ground and puts it to his lips or forehead, or the Tongan would touch the sole of a chief's foot, thus symbolically placing himself under his feet. Kneeling prevails in the middle stages of culture, as in the ceremonial of China; Hebrew custom sets it rather apart as an act of homage to a deity (1 Kings xix. 18; Isa. xlv. 23); medieval Europe distinguishes . between kneeling in worship on both knees and on one knee only in homage, as in the Boke of Curtasye (15th century): " Be curtayse to god, and knele doun On bothe knees with grete deuocioun; To mon Doti shalle knele opon be ton, j1e tojier to jay self Doti halde aloe." Bowing, as a salute of reverence, appears in its extreme in Oriental custom, as among the ancient Israelites: " bowed himself to the ground seven times " (Gen. xxxiii. 3).7 The Chinese according to the degree of respect implied bow kneeling or standing .9 The bowing salutation, varying in Europe from something less than the Eastern salaam down to the slightest inclination of the head, is interesting from being given mutually, the two saluters each making the sign of submission to the other, which would have been absurd till the sign passed into mere civility. Uncovering is a common mode of salutation, originally a sign of disarming or defencelessness or destitution in the presence of a superior. Polynesian or African chiefs require more or less stripping, such as the uncovering to the waist which Captain Cook describes in Tahiti.10 Taking off the hat by men has for ages been the accepted mode in the Western world. Modern usage has moderated this bowing and scraping (the scrape is throwing back the right leg as the body is bent forward), as well as the curtseys (courtoisie) of women. Some Eastern nations are apt to see disrespect in baring the head, but insist on the feet being uncovered. Burma was agitated for years by the great shoe question," whether Europeans should be called on to conform to native custom rather than their own, by taking off their shoes to enter the royal presence." Grasping hands is a gesture which makes its appearance in antiquity as a legal act symbolic of the parties joining in compact, peace or friendship; this is well seen in marriage, where the hand grasp was part of the ancient Hindu ceremony, as was the " dextrarum junctio " in Rome, which passed on into the Christian rite. In the classic world we see it passing into a mere salutation, as where the tiresome acquaintance met by Horace on his stroll along the Via Sacra seizes his hand (Hor., Sat. i. 9). Giving the right hand of fellowship (Gal. ii. 9) passed naturally into a salutation throughout Christendom, and spread, probably from Byzantium, over the Moslem world. The emphatic form of the original gesture in " striking hands " is still used to make the greeting more hearty. The variety called in English " shaking hands " (Ger. Hande-schutteln) only appears to have become usual in the middle ages.'-2 In the Moslem legal form of joining hands the parties press their thumbs together.'' This has been adopted as a salute by African tribes. As to words of salutation, it is found even among the lower races, that certain ordinary phrases have passed into formal greetings. Thus among the Tupis of Brazil, after the stranger's silent arrival in the hut, the master, who for a time had taken no notice of him, would say " Ereioube ? " that is, "Art thou come ? " to which the proper reply was, "Yes, I am come"114 Many formulas express difference of rank and consequent respect, as where the Basuto salute their chiefs with Tama sevata I i.e. " Greeting, wild beast ! Congo negroes returning from a journey salute their wives with an affectionate Okowe / but they meekly kneeling round him may not repeat the word, but must say Ka l ka / 16 Among cultured nations, salutations are apt to be expressions of peace and goodwill, as in the Biblical instances, " Is it well with thee ? " (2 Kings iv. 26) ; " Peace to thee, and peace to thine house," &c. (1 Sam. xxv. 6; see Ezra iv. 17). Such formulas run on from age to age, and the latter may be traced on to the Moslem greeting, Sahara 'alaikum/ "The peace be on you," to which the reply is Wa-'alaikum as-salam / " And on you be the peace (sc. of God) ! " This is an example how a greeting may become a pass-word among fellow-believers, for it is usually held that it may not be used by or to an infidel. From an epigram of Meleager (Anth., ed. Jacobs vii. 119; cf. Plautus, Poen.' v. passim) we learn that, while the Syrian salutation was Shelom (" Peace ! "), the Phoenicians greeted by wishing life (anti en, the E See the Egyptian bow with one hand to the knee; Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 9 S. Wells Williams, Middle Kingdom, i. 8o1. 10 See references to these customs in Tylor, Early History of Mankind, ch. iii. il Shway Yoe, The Burman, ii. 158, 205. 12 See Tylor in Macmillan's 1LSag. (May 1882), p. 76. 13 Lane, Mod. Eg. i. 219. 14 Jean de Lery, part ii. p. 204. 1' Magyar, Reise in Sad-Afrika. of its course navigable by small steamers. The Rio San Miguel drains the country between the bay of Fonseca and the basin of the Lempa. The volcanic mountains do not form a chain but a series of clusters: the Izalco group in the W. --including Izalco (formed in 1770), Marcelino, Santa Ana, Naranjos, Aguila, San Juan de Dios, Apaneca, Tamajaso and Lagunita; the San Salvador group, about 30 M. E.; Cojute-' peque to the N.E. and the San Vicente group to the E. of the great volcanic lake of Ilopango; the Siguatepeque summits to the N.E. of San Vicente; and the great S.E. or San Miguel group—San Miguel, Chinameca, Buenapa, Usulatan, Tecapa, Taburete. Cacaguateque and Sociedad volcanoes in the N.E. belong to the inland Cordillera. Santa Ana (8300 ft.) and San Miguel (7120 ft.) are the loftiest volcanoes in the country. The neighbourhood of the capital is subject to earthquakes. San Miguel is described as one of the most treacherous burning mountains in America, sometimes several years in complete repose and then all at once bursting out with terrific fury. In 1879–188o the Lake of Ilopango was the scene of a remarkable series of phenomena. With a length of 51 M. and a breadth of 42, it forms a rough parallelogram with deeply indented sides, and is surrounded in all directions by steep mountains except at the points where the villages of Asino and Apulo occupy little patches of level ground. Between the 31st of December 1879 and the rrth of January 188o the lake rose 4 ft. above its level. The Jibpa, which flows out at the S.E., became, instead of a very shallow stream 20 ft. broad, a raging torrent which soon scooped out for itself in the volcanic rocks a channel 30 to 35 ft. deep. A rapid subsidence of the lake was thus produced, and by the 6th of March the level was 341 ft. below its maximum. Towards the centre of the lake a volcanic centre about 500 ft. in diameter rose 150 ft. above the water, surrounded by a number of small islands. Climate.—The lowlands are generally hot and, on the coast, malarial; but on the tablelands and mountain slopes of the interior the climate is temperate and healthy. There are only two seasons: the wet, which Salvadorians call winter, from May to October; and the dry, or summer, season, from November to April. In July and August there are high winds, followed by torrents of rain and thunderstorms; in September and October the rain, not heavy, is continuous. For an account of the geology, fauna and flora of Salvador, see CENTRAL AMERICA. Inhabitants.—The population in 1887 was stated to be 664,513, (1901) 1,006,848, (1906) 1,116,253. The number of Ladinos (whites and persons of mixed blood) is about 775,000 and of Indians about 230,000. The various elements were, before 1901, estimated as follows, and the proportion still holds good in the main: whites (creoles and foreigners) so%, half-castes 50%, Indians 40%, and a very small proportion of negroes. The whites of pure blood are very few, a liberal estimate putting the proportion at 2.5%. There is no immigration into the country, and the rapid increase with which the population is credited can be due only to a large surplus of births over deaths. The chief towns, which are described in separate articles, comprise San Salvador the capital (pop. 1905, about 60,000), Santa Ana (48,000), San Miguel (25,000), San Vicente (18,000), Sonsonate (17,000), Nueva San Salvador or Santa Tecla (18,000) and the seaport of La Union (4000). For the ancient Indian civilization of Salvador, see CENTRAL AMERICA: Archaeology, and MEXICO: History. Agriculture.—The only industry extensively carried on is agriculture, but the methods employed are still primitive. The more important products are coffee, sugar, indigo and balsam. The country is rich in medicinal plants. Peruvian balsam (Myrospermum Salvatorense or Myroxylon Pereirae) is an indigenous balm, rare except on the Balsam Coast, as the region about Cape Remedios is named. It is not cultivated in Peru, but owes its name to the fact that, during the early period of Spanish rule, it was forwarded to the Peruvian port of Callao for transhipment to Europe. Rubber is collected; tobacco is grown in small quantities; cocoa, rice, cereals and fruits are cultivated. The government seeks to encourage cotton-growing, and has 96 kin, &c., of Neo-Punic gravestones). The cognate Babylonian form, " 0 king, live for ever!" (Dan. iii. 9), represents a series of phrases which continue still in the Vivat rex / " Long live the king!" The Greeks said xaipe, " Be joyful!" both at meeting and parting; the Pythagorean iyLaivecv and the Platonic Eb 7rpiTTELV, wish health ; at a later time aoaaioµai, " I greet!" came into fashion. The Romans applied Salve/ " Be in health!" especially to meeting, and Vale, " Be well?" to parting. In the modern civilized world, everywhere, the old inquiry after health appears, the " How do you do? ' becoming so formal as often to be said on both sides without either waiting for an answer. Hardly less wide in range is the set of phrases "• Good day ! " " Good night!" &c., varying according to the hour and translating into every language of Christendom. Among other European phrases, some correspond to our " welcome! " and " farewell ! " while the religious element enters into another class, exemplified by our " Good-bye!" (" God be with you ! "), and French Adieu, Attempts have been made to shape European greetings into expressions of orthodoxy, or even tests of belief, but they have had no great success. Examples are a Protestant German salutation " Lobe Jesum Christum! " answered by " In Ewigkeit, Amen!" and the formula which in Spain enforces the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, "Ave Maria purisima!" answered by " Sin pecado concebida!" On the whole, though the half-meaningless forms of salutation may often seem ridiculous, society would not carry them on so universally unless it found them useful. They serve the purpose of keeping up social intercourse, and establishing relations between the parties in an interview, of which their tone may strike the keynote. (E. B. T.)
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