The drink of the pre-cibiculturists consists of water obtained from pool, lake, spring, or stream. Though the Australians are known to dig wells down to a depth of eight feet, primitive tribes rarely resort to this method, partly because with their rudimentary implements it entails great labour, but chiefly because they seldom remain for any length of time in one place, and wandering about, select spots for encampment where water can readily be procured. In regions where water is scarce the Australian is sometimes able to slake his thirst by piercing the bark of certain succulent trees and tapping them for their watery sap.
Inasmuch as the pre-cibiculturists are continually on the move and do not congregate in large numbers, the water they drink is probably but seldom tainted with sewage, and they consequently rarely, if ever, suffer from such water-borne diseases as enteric and cholera.
Pre-cibicultural man generally drinks by bending down to the water's edge and applying his mouth directly to the liquid, in this resembling the anthropoid ape; or he may use his hands as a cup, a method never employed by the apes, though they sometimes adopt the expedient of immersing one hand in the water and then licking off the liquid. Mr. Hillier informs us that certain Australian tribes employ a mode of drinking which may be described as "hand lapping," the water being shot by one hand with remarkable accuracy into the mouth, which is held from twelve to eighteen inches above the pool, the hand travelling to within about six inches of the mouth. Drinking vessels, such as shells, are only occasionally used. It would therefore seem that primitive man seldom, if ever, drinks with his meals, in this respect resembling the lower animals.
The pre-cibiculturists are not wholly ignorant of the therapeutic uses of water. The Australians imbibe large quantities for the cure of dyspepsia and sometimes prescribe the cold bath; the Fuegians, when ill, drink freely of it in order to promote perspiration, while the Northern Cali-fornians employ it for the cure of a variety of maladies in that primitive form of Turkish bath to which the Franciscan Fathers gave the name of "temescal".
Although the drink of the pre-cibiculturists is mainly confined to water, they do occasionally make artificial drinks. The Australians prepare a beverage by dissolving "manna" and gum acacia in water, manna being a sweet substance which exudes from the leaves of certain gum trees. The Californians soak crushed manzanita berries in water and imbibe the liquor by means of "the shaggy knob of a deer's tail," which thus does duty as a spoon. Doubtless they make other similar drinks.
The pre-cibiculturists are wholly ignorant of the art of making alcohol. That discovery belongs to the agricultural period.