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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

extremely widely diffused. This is especially the case in hot countries, 

and the experiments of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition on the 

sense of smell of the Papuans were considerably impeded by the fact that 

at Torres Straits everything, even water, seemed to have a smell. Savages 

are often accused more or less justly of indifference to bad odors. They 

are very often, however, keenly alive to the significance of smells and 

their varieties, though it does not appear that the sense of smell is 

notably more developed in savage than in civilized peoples. Odors also 

continue to play a part in the emotional life of man, more especially in 

hot countries. Nevertheless both in practical life and in emotional life, 

in science and in art, smell is, at the best, under normal conditions, 

merely an auxiliary. If the sense of smell were abolished altogether the 

life of mankind would continue as before, with little or no sensible 

modification, though the pleasures of life, and especially of eating and 

drinking, would be to some extent diminished. 

 

In New Ireland, Duffield remarks (_Journal of the Anthropological 

Institute_, 1886, p. 118), the natives have a very keen sense of 

smell; unusual odors are repulsive to them, and "carbolic acid 

drove them wild." 

 

The New Caledonians, according to Foley (_Bulletin de la Societe 

d'Anthropologie_, November 6, 1879), only like the smells of meat 

and fish which are becoming "high," like _popoya_, which smells 

of fowl manure, and _kava_, of rotten eggs. Fruits and vegetables 

which are beginning to go bad seem the best to them, while the 

fresh and natural odors which we prefer seem merely to say to 

them: "We are not yet eatable." (A taste for putrefying food, 

common among savages, by no means necessarily involves a distaste 

for agreeable scents, and even among Europeans there is a 

widespread taste for offensively smelling and putrid foods, 

especially cheese and game.) 

 

The natives of Torres Straits were carefully examined by Dr. C.S. 

Myers with regard to their olfactory acuteness and olfactory 

preferences. It was found that acuteness was, if anything, 

slightly greater than among Europeans. This appeared to be 

largely due to the careful attention they pay to odors. The 

resemblances which they detected among different odorous 

substances were frequently found to rest on real chemical 

affinities. The odors they were observed to dislike most 

frequently were asafoetida, valerianic acid, and civet, the last 

being regarded as most repulsive of all on account of its 

resemblance to faecal odor, which these people regard with intense 

disgust. Their favorite odors were musk, thyme, and especially 

violet. (_Report of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to 

Torres Straits_, vol. ii, Part II, 1903.) 

 

In Australia Lumholtz (_Among Cannibals_, p. 115) found that the 


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