'Stalking' and 'manliness' in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
Masayuki ISHII (Tezukayama University)
This study attempts to clarify the historical meaning of 'stalking' which
one of the method of hunting, in consideration of the problem of 'manliness* in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Stalking was a kind of shooting for
getting deer or other big games adopted by the metropolitans, especially High-
landers in Scotland, and colonial hunters in India, Africa and so on.
J. M. MacKenzie said "Hunting required all the most virile attributes of the
imperial male." in the era. But he characterized the many variety of hunting as
all-inclusive 'hunting ethos'. Though "the most virile attributes of the imperial
male " from 'the hunting ethos' which he pointed out included the elements of the
'manliness' which athleticism didn't have, he didn't relate them with athleticism.
The main feature of the stalking was given below. 1) The hunter attempted
by stealth to approach to a range at which a shot had a good chance of producing
an instantaneous kill, 2) Horsemanship was not so important. 3) Basically the
hunter stalks the game by himself, (therefore sociability wasn't so important). 4)
A stalker needed much carefulness or caution for fear of being suspected by his
game. 5) Some kinds of special knowledge like natural history, meteorology and
ballistics, were essential to it.
These points were very different from fox hunting and the pig sticking
which was admired by Baden-Powell. Though he admired both stalking and pig
sticking, stalking seems to be very much concerned with the ability of 'scouting'
which Baden-Powell prompted.
'Stalky' deriverd from 'good at stalking', a slang of students in the era, meant
clever and cunning. It was a subject of R. Kipling's school story Stalky and Co.
(1899). The most important point of the ethos of 'stalky' was its usefulness for the
colonial campaigns, which was to criticize the ethos of athletisism. So 'stalky' had
the connection with 'stalking' in the meaning of utility for the colonial cam-
What has been related up to the above should be put in the historical context
of the era from Boar War to World War I.
The ethos of 'stalking' was pregnant with the 'manliness' in the twentieth
century which was different from the ideal of 'gentleman amateur* or general