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The  Transactions  of  the  Folk-Lore  Society 

And  incorporating  The  ARCHiEOLOGiCAL  Review  and 
The  Folk-Lore  Journal 

VOL.  XL— 1900. 



DAVID    NUTT,    55— 57i    LONG    ACRE. 



PBIHTID  BT  J.  H.  mOHOLS  ASD  80H8, 




I. — (March  1900.) 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.    W.  Crooke    . 
Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  November  isth,  1899 
Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  December  20th,  1899 
Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  January  17th,  1900 
Annual  Report  of  the  Council       .... 
Presidential  Address :  Totemism  and  some  Recent  Discoveries, 
E.  Sidney  Hartland  .... 



IL — (June  1900.) 

Two  Thousand  Years  of  a  Charm  against  the  Child-Stealing 

Witch.     M.  Caster  .            .            .            .            .  .129 

Pre-animistic  Religion.     R.  R.  Marett  .            .             .  .162 

Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  February  21st,  1900  182 

Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  March  21st,  1900  184 

III. — (September  1900.) 

Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  April  2Sth,  1900.  225 

Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  May  i6th,  1900  •  .226 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.     N.  W.  Thomas     .  .228 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.     H.  Munro  Chadwick  268 

IV. — (December.  1900.) 

Proceedings  at  Meeting  of  Wednesday,  June  20th,  1900  .  .     353 

Cairene  Folklore.     A.  H.  Sayce  .....     354 

Reviews  : — 

H.  M.  Chadwick's  The  Cult  of  Othin,     F.  York  Powell  81 

Sir  Alfred  LyalFs  Asiatic  Studies  .  .  .  .88 

Mons.  Emile  Durkheim's  L^ Annie  Sodologique.       E.  Sidney 
Hartland     .  .  .  -92 

IV  Contents. 

Henry  Balfour's   The  Natural  History  of  the  Musical  Bow, 

W.  Crooke  .  .  .  .  .  .97 

Rev.  A.  Manwaring's  Marathi  Proverbs,    W.  Crooke  .      98 

Rev.   T.  K.  Cheyne  and  J.  Sutherland  Black's  Encyclopedia 

Biblica,     W.  Crooke  .  .  .  .  -99 

John  Mathew's  Eaglehawk  and  Crow,  E.  Sidney  Hartland.  ioi 
R.  Kohler.  Kkinert  Schriften,  Vol.  I.  Alfred  Nutt  .  104 
H.  Ling  Roth's  The  Aborigines  of  Tasmania,  A.  C.  Haddon.  188 
Archceological  Report    of    Ontario,        1898.        E.    Sidney 

Hartland  .  .  .  .  .  .190 

Archceological  Report   of    Ontario,        1899.        E.    Sidney 

Hartland  .  .  .  .  .  .192 

J.  Sephton's  The  Saga  of  King  Sverri  of  Norway,     W.  A. 

Craigie        .  .  .  .  .  .  .193 

Dr.  A.  Smythe  Palmer's  Studies  on  Biblical  Subjects,      No.  II. 

A.  H.  Sayce  .  .  •  .  .  196 

Andrew  Lsing*s  The Ifomericlfymns  •  .  .198 

Dr.    M.    Rosenfeld.     Der  Midrash  Deuteronomium  Rabba  . 

Par.  IX.  u,  XI.     M.  Gaster  ....     200 

Dr.  Hans  Zahler.    Die  Krankheit  im  Volksglauben  des  Simmen- 

thals  .......     201 

Dr.  A.  Haas.  RUgensche  Skizzen,  E.  Sidney  Hartland  .  202 
Oskar  Daenhardt.     Naturgeschichtliche   Volksmdrchen  aus  Nah 

und  Fern,     Mabel  Peacock  ....     203 

CenkS  Zlbrt.  Literatura  Kulturne-historickd  a  ethnografickd,  I.  204 
Lois  A.  Fison's  Merry  Suffolk^  Master  Archie^  and  other  Tales, 

E.  Sidney  Hartland  .....     204 

Frederick  Starr's  American  Indians,  E.  Sidney  Hartland  .  206 
J.  Deniker's  The  Races  of  Man,  E.  Sidney  Hartland  .  207 
Dr.  Franz  Boas's  The  Mythology  of  the  Bella  Coola   Indians, 

E.  Sidney  Hartland  .  .  .  •  .301 

Walter  William  Skeat's  Malay  Magic,  John  Abercromby  .  305 
Charles  G.  Leland's  Aradia^  or  the  Gospel  of  the  Witches  .  309 
Rev.  A.  H.  Sayce's  Babylonians  and  Assyrians,  ,  .310 

W.  L.  Ripley's  Bibliography  of  the  Anthropology  and  Ethnology 

of  Europe,     Alfred  Nutt  .  .  .  .  .310 

L    Schermann  und  F.  S.  Krauss.     Allgemeine  Methodik  der 

Volkskunde,     Alfred  Nutt  .  .  .  .311 

R.    Petsch.     Neue   Beitrage  zur  Kentniss    des    Volkrdthsels, 

Alfred  Nutt  .  .  .  .  .  .312 

W.  W.  Strickland's  Segnius  Irritant ;  North-  West  Slav  Legends 

and  Fairy  Stories ;    and  South-Slavonic  Folklore  Stories; 

Jules  Brun's  La  VeillSe,     M.  Gaster  .  .  .313 

Horace  Chauvet.  Folklore  Catalan,  E.  Sidney  Hartland  .  314 
W.  H.  D.  Rouse's  The  Talking  Thrush  and  other  Tales  from 

India,    E.  Sidney  Hartland  .  .  .  .     3^5 

John  SpencQ's  Shetland  Folklore.    Florence  Peacock  .    316 


Daniel  Deeney*s  Feasant  Lore  from  Gaelic  Ireland  .  •  3^7 
Thomas  Wilson's  Bluebeard^  the  History  of  the  Gilles  de  Retz 

of  Brittany.  .......  317 

James  Teit's   The   Thompson  Indians  of  British   Columbia. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland.         .....  396 

Madras    Government    Museum    Bulletin.    Vol  III.,  No.   i. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland  .....  398 
John    Rhys  and    D.    Brynmor-Jones.     The     Welsh    People. 

Alfred  Nutt         ......  399 

F.  T.  Elworthy's  Horns  of  Honour       ....  402 

Hermann  L.  Strack.     Das  Blut  im  Glauben  und  Aberglauben, 

E.  Sidney  Hartland          .....  403 

T.  W.  Rhys  Davids'  Dialogues  of  the  Buddha.    W.  Crooke   .  403 

R.  C.  Boer.  Grettis  Saga  Asmundar sonar.  F.  York  Powell  406 
E.     Freymond.      Artu?    Kampf    mit    dem    Katzenungetiim. 

Jessie  L.  Weston   .  .  .  .  .  .414 

Albert  H.  Smyth's  Shakspear^s  Pericles  and  Apollonius  of  Tyre  416 

Journal  of  the  Folk-Song  Society,     Vol.  I.,  Nos.  i  and  2  .         .  417 

Alexander  Carmichael's  Carmina  Gadelica.  Alfred  Nutt  .  419 
Rev.  J.  G.   Campbell's  Superstitions  of  the  Highlands  and 

Islands  of  Scotland.    Alfred  Nutt  .  .  .422 

D.  E.  Jenkins's  Bedd  Gelert^  its  Facts^  Fairies^  and  Folklore  .  423 
George  Morley's  Shakspeare^s  Greenwood         .             .             -424 

Alfred  Stapleton's  All  about  the  Merry  Tales  of  Gotham           .  425 

Victor  Brunet.     Contes  Populaires  de  la  Basse  Normandie        .  426 

Correspondence  : — 

Alphabet  used  in  Consecrating  a  Church.     A.  E.  O.  E.  .     105 

Giants  in  Pageants.     L.  W.       .  .  .  .  .105 

Customs  Relating  to  Iron.     H.  Colley  March  .  .105 

The  Little  Red  Hen.     E.  S.  H.  .  .  .  .     106 

Month-Names.     W.  R.  Paton  ....     209 

May  Day.     J.  P.  Emslie  .  .  .  .  .210 

Burial  Customs.     Katherine  Carson  .  .  .210 

Pre-animistic  Religion.     A.  Lang  and  R.  R.  Marett.  .     318 

Medical  Superstition  :  Snakes.     W.  R.  Paton  .  .321 

More  Snake-Lore.    M.  Peacock  .  .  .  .321 

Horses'  Heads,  Weathercocks,  &c.     N.  W.  Thomas    .  .     322 

Inscription  on  Roman  Lamp.      C.  G.  Leland  and  W.  H.  D. 

Rouse  .......    323 

The   International   Congress  of    Folklore    in   Paris.       John 

Abercromby  .  .  .  .  .  .427 

The  Water  of  Life.     George  A.  Grierson      .  .  .     433 

Burial  of  the  Dead  Horse.    W.  H.  D.  Rouse  .  .  .     434 

The  Divining  Rod  in  U.  S.  A.     W.  H.  D.  Rouse        .  .    434 

vi  Contents. 

The  Life  Index.    F.  York  Powell      ....    436 
Notebooks  and  MSS.     N.  W.  Thomas  .  .  .437 

Feathers  and  Rain.     Madi  Braitmaier  .  .437 

The  Bumble-bee  in  Magic.     M.  Peacock        .  .  .     438 

Miscellanea  : — 

Dorset  Folklore.     H.  Colley  March 






Folktales  from  the  ^gean,  V.-VII.     VV.  R.  Paton      . 

Medical  Superstition  in  Crete    .... 

Exposition  Universelle  (Paris)  de  1900 

Welton  Farmhouse,  Blairgowrie.     E.  K.  Pearce 

Devonshire  Folklore.     Lady  Rosalind  Northcote    . 

Hindu  Notes.     M.  N.  Venkataswami 

Sunwise  Processions.     Edward  Peacock 

First  Foot  in  Lancashire.     E.  Skeffington  Thompson 

Folklore  from  Calymnos.     W.  R.  Paton 

Korean  Beliefs.     James  S.  Gale 

Folktales  from  the  JEg&m,  VIIL-XIL     W.  R.  Paton 

Death  and  Burial  Customs  in  Wiltshire.     L.  A.  Law  . 

Folklore  from  the  Hebrides,  IV.     Malcolm  MacPhail 

A  Fairy  Dog's  Tooth     ..... 

Folktales  from  the  ^gean,  XIIL,  XIV.     W.  R.  Paton 

The  Bull-Roarer  in  Ceylon.     C.  G.  Seligmann 

Cropping  Animals*  Ears.     W.  R.  Paton,  C.  S.  Burne,  and 

N.  W.  Thomas  .  .  .  .  .  456 

Customs  in  the  London  Building  Trade.     Alice  E  Milne      .     457 
Another  Sabbath-breaking  Story  from  Wilts.     Charlotte 

S.  Burne      .......    458 

Battle  of  Waterloo  fought  in  England.     L.  A.  Law      .  .     458 

Obituaries  : — 

Lieut-Gen.  Augustus  Pitt-Rivers.      G.  Laurence  Gomme       .  185 
Miss    Mary  Henrietta    Kingsley.     L.  Toulmin  Smith  and 

Mrs.  Humphry  Ward  .....  348 

The  Right  Hon.  F.  Max  Miiller.     W.  Crooke  .  .  459 

Bibliography       .....      127,  222,  351,  461 

Notice  to  Members       .  .  .  .  .187 

List  of  German  Bibliographies  .....     464 

Index        ......./    465 

Index  of  Archaeological  Papers  published  1898. 


Contents.  vii 

List  of  Plates  : — 

I.  Carving  on  House  at  Blairgowrie            .  To  face  page      21 1 

II.  Gable  Ornaments,  from   Petersen's  Die  Pferdekopfe  auf 

den  Bauernhdusern     .             .             .  To  face  page        322 

III.  Ibid.                    ....  „             « 

IV.  Ibid. ,,             » 

V.  Ibid. »            » 

VI.  Gable  Ornaments,  from  Original   Drawings  by  Miss  Madi 

Braitmaier     ....     To  face  page       437 


Page  99,  line  15,  for  pairings^  tqzA  parttigs. 

Page  113,  line  4,  for  Meisini^  read  Mersini, 

Page  128,  line  10,  for  Venketeswami^  read  Venkataswami. 

Page  224,  line  26,  for  du^  read  des. 

Page  227,  line  8,  for  Leusahn^  read  Lensahn. 

Page  229,  note  i,  {ox  partly^  read  hardly. 

Page  229,  insert  figures  i  and  2  before  respective  notes. 

Page  230,  line  10,  for  totems^  read  totem-tribes. 

Page  258,  line  7,  for  three^  read  six. 

Page  251,  note  4,  for  Wotjaken^  read  Wotjiiken. 

Page  251,  note  5,  for  Roman ^  read  Romische. 

Page  252,  note  8,  for  Volksferte^  read  Voiksfeste. 

Page  258,  line    12,  for  in   animal  corn-spirit^  read    in    the 

animal  corn  spirit. 
Page  259,  note  8,  for  Oelnographia  read  Olsnographia. 
Page  266,  line  i,  for  1843,  read  1870. 
Page  266,  lines  12,  13,  read  Nyare  Bidrag  till  Kdnnedom  om 

de  Svenska  Landsmdlen^  Bih.  I  3. 
Page  315,  line  12,  for  of  Labros^  read  j'  Labros. 

The  Folk-Lore  Society. 


E.  S.  HASTLAND,  F.S.A. 


THE  RIGHT  HON.  LORD  AVEBURY,  D.C.L.,  LL.D.,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A., 

F.G.S.,  FJLS. 

Lt.-Gen.  PITT-RIVERS,  D.C.L.,  r.R.S.,  F.S.A.,  F.G.S.,  F.R.G.S. 
PROFESSOR  J.  RHYS,  M.A.,  LL.D.,  F.S.A. 
THE  REV.  PROFESSOR  A.  H.  SAYCE,  M.A.,  LL.D.,  D.D. 


T.  W.  E.  HIGGENS. 


F.  B.  JEVONS,  M.A.,  LittD. 

PROF.  W.  P.  KER,  M.A. 

A.  F.  MAJOR. 


W.  H.  D.  ROUSE,  M.A. 

PROF.  B.   C.    A.    WINDLE,   M.A., 

M.D.,  D.Sc. 
A.  R.  WRIGHT. 

H.  C.  BOWEN,  M.A. 



W.  CROOKE,  B.A. 

PROF.  A.  C.  HADDON,  M.A.,  D.Sc 

Son.  Creasurer. 
E.  W.  BRABROOK,  C.B.,  F.S.A.,  178,  Bedford  Hill,  Balham,  S.W. 

i^on.  flttl^ttor. 
F.  G.  GREEN. 

F.  A.  MILNE,  M.A.,  11,  Old  Square,  Lincoln's  Inn,  London,  W.C. 

Jbtanlttng  ComtnttUft: 


G.  L.  GOMME ;    MISS  BURNE ;    E.  K.  CHAMBERS  ;   MISS  M.  ROALFB 



G.   L.    GOMME;    J,    JACOBS;    W.   F.    KIRBY ;    H.    B.    WHEATLEY; 
A.  R.  WRIGHT. 


G.  L.  GOMME  ;   J.  p.  EMSLIE ;  MRS.  GOMME ;  T.  GOWLAND ;  PROP. 
A.  C.  HADDON ;  MISS  M.  C.  FFENNELL ;  A.  R.  WRIGHT. 


MISS  M.   ROALFE    COX;    J.    P.   EMSLIE;    MISS    M.    C.    FFENNELL; 

The  President  and  Treasurer  are  ex-officio  members  of  all  Committees. 


-4s  amended  by  Special  Oeneral  Meeting  held  cm  ilie 
17  th  January,  1900. 

I.  "  The  Folk-Lore  Society  "  has  for  its  object  the  collection 
and  publication  of  Popular  Traditions,  Legendary  Ballads,  Local 
Proverbial  Sayings,  Superstitions  and  Old  Customs  (British  and 
Foreign),  and  all  subjects  relating  thereto. 

II.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  Members  being  subscribers 
to  its  funds  of  One  Guinea  annually,  payable  in  advance  on 
the  1st  of  January  in  each  year. 

m.  A  Member  of  the  Society  may  at  any  time  compound 
for  future  annual  subscriptions  by  payment  of  Ten  Guineas 
over  and  above  the  subscription  for  the  current  year. 

IV.  Every  Member  whose  subscription  shall  not  be  in  arrear 
shall  be  entitled  to  a  copy  of  each  of  the  ordinary  works 
published  by  the  Society. 

V.  Any  Member  who  shall  be  one  year  in  arrear  of  his 
subscription  shall  cease  to  be  a  Member  of  the  Society,  unless 
the  Council  shall  otherwise  deteimine. 

VI.  The  affairs  of  the  Society,  including  the  election  of 
Members,  shall  be  conducted  by  a  Council,  consisting  of  a 
President,  Vice-Presidents,  Treasurer,  Secretary,  and  eighteen 
other  Members.  The  Council  shall  have  power  to  fill  up  any 
vacancies  in  their  number  that  may  arise  during  their  year 
of  office. 

VII.  An  Annual  General  Meeting  of  the  Society  shall  be 
held  in  London  at  such  time  and  place  as  the  Council,  from  time 
to  time  may  appoint.  No  Member  whose  subscription  is  in 
arrear  shall  be  entitled  to  vote  or  take  part  in  the  proceedings 
or  the  Meeting. 

Rules.  iii 

VIII.  At  such  Annual  General  Meeting  all  the  Members  of 
the  Council  shall  retire  from  office,  but  shall  be  eligible  for 

IX.  The  accounts  of  the  receipts  and  expenditure  of  the 
Society  shall  be  audited  annually  by  two  Auditors,  to  be  elected 
at  the  General  Meeting. 

X.  The  Council  may  elect  as  honorary  Members  persons 
distinguished  in  the  study  of  Folklore,  provided  that  the  total 
number  of  such  honorary  Members  shall  not  exceed  twenty. 

XI.  The  property  of  the  Society  shall  be  vested  in  three 

XII.  The  first  Trustees  shall  be  appointed  at  a  Meeting 
convened  for  the  purpose. 

XIII.  The  office  of  Trustee  shall  be  vacated  (i.)  by  resigna- 
tion in  writing  addressed  to  the  Secretary,  and  (ii.)  by  removal 
at  a  Meeting  of  Members  convened  for  the  purpose. 

XrV.  The  Meeting  removing  a  Trustee  shall  appoint 
another  in  his  place.  Vacancies  in  the  office  arising  by  death 
or  resignation  shall  be  filled  up  by  the  Council. 

XV.  The  Trustees  shall  act  under  the  direction  of  the 

XVI.  No  Trustee  shall  be  responsible  for  any  loss  arising  to 
the  Society  from  any  cause  other  than  his  own  wilful  act 
or  default. 

XVn.  No  alteration  shall  be  made  in  these  Rules  except  at 
a  Special  General  Meeting  of  the  Society,  to  be  convened  by 
the  Council  or  upon  the  requisition  of  at  least  five  Members, 
who  shall  give  fourteen  days'  notice  of  the  change  to  be 
proposed  which  shall  be  in  writing  to  the  Secretary.  The 
alteration  proposed  shall  be  approved  by  at  least  three-fourths 
of  the  Members  present  and  voting  at  such  Meeting. 

iv  List  of  Members. 

MEMBERS  {corrected  to  February,  1900). 

The  letter  Q,  placed  before, a  Member* »  name  indicates  that  he  or  she  has 

AbercTombj,  Hon.  J.,  62,  Palmerston  Place,  Edinburgh  (  Vice-President). 
Aberdeen  Public  Library,  per  A.  W.  Robertaon,  Esq.,  M.A.,  Librarian. 
Aberdeen  Uniyersity  Library,  per  P.  J.  Anderson,  Esq.,  Librarian. 
Addy,  S.  O..  Esq.,  M.A.,  Foster's  Buildings,  Higli  Street,  Sheffield. 
Aldenham,  Right  Hon.  Lord,  St.  Dunstan*s,  Regent's  Park,  N.W. 
Allsopp,  Hon.  A.  Percy,  Battenhall  Mount,  near  Worcester. 
Amersbach,  Prof.  K.,  14,  Schreiber  Strasse,  Baden  Baden,  Grermany. 
American  Geogi*aphical  Society  (New  York),  per  B.  F.  Stevens  and  Brown , 

4,  Trafalgar  Square,  S.W. 
Amery,  P.  F.  S.,  Esq..  Druid,  Asbbnrton,  Devon. 
Amsterdam,  the  Univ.  Library  of,  per  Kirberger  &  Kesper,  Booksellers, 

Andr€,  J.  Lewis,  Esq.,  Sarcelles,  Horsham. 
3.  Andrews,  J.  B.,  Esq.,  Reform  Club,  Pall  Mall,  S.W. 
Anichkov,  Professor  E.,  Imperial  University  of  Vladimir,  Kief. 
Antiquaries,  the  Society  of,  Buriington  House,  W. 
Arnold,  Professor  E.  V.,  10,  Bryn  Seiriol,  Bangor. 
Asher,  S.  G.,  Esq.,  89,  Wigmore  Street,  W. 
Aston,  G.  F.,  Esq.,  62,  Tregunter  Road,  South  Kensington,  S.W. 
Avebury,  Rt  Hon.  Lord,  D.C.L.,  L.L.D.,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A.,  F.G.S.,  F.L.S., 

High  Elms,  Famborongh,  R.S.O.  (  Vice-President). 

Backhouse,  Jonathan  E.,  Esq.,  Bank,  Darlington. 

Balfour,  C.  B.,  Esq.,  Newton  Don,  Kelso,  N.B. 

Balfour,  Mrs.  M.  C.,  Villa  du  Calvaire,  St.  Servan,  France. 

Barwell,  J.  W.,  Esq.,  Waukegan,  lUs.,  U.S.A. 

Basset,  Mons.  Ren6,  L*Agha,  77,  Rue  Michelet,  Algiers. 

Beanchamp,  Right  Hon.  the  Earl,  Madresfield  Court,  Great  Malvern. 

Beer,  W.,  Esq.,  Howard  Memorial  Library,  New  Orleans,  U.S.A. 

Beer,  Mrs.,  7,  Chesterfield  Gardens,  Hyde  Park,  W. 

Bell,  Sir  J.,  101,  Vincent  Street,  Glasgow. 

Berlin  Royal  Library,  per  Asher  and  Co.,  13,  Bedford  Street,  Covent 

Garden,  W.C. 
Besant,  Sir  Walter,  Frognal  End,  Hampstead,  N.  W. 
Billson,  C.  J.,  Esq.,   M.A.,  St.    John's  Lodge,   Clarendon   Park  Road, 

Birmingham  Free  Library,  care  of  T.  D.  Mullins,  Esq..  Ratcliffe  Place, 

List  of  Members.  v 

BirmiDgham  Library,  care  of  C.  £.  Scarse,  Esq.,  Librarian,  Union  Street, 

Black,  G.  F.,  Esq.,  New  York  Public  Library,  Lafayette  Place,  N.Y.,  U.S.A. 
Blakeborongh,  R.  Esq.,  24,  Trent  Street,  Stockton-on-Tees. 
Blind,  Dr.  Karl,  3,  Winchester  Road,  South  Hampstead,  N.W. 
Bolitho,  T.  R,  Esq.,  Trengwainton,  Hea  Moor,  R.S.O.  Cornwall. 
Bonaparte,  Prince  Roland,  10,  Arenue  d*Iena,  Paris. 
Bond,  Mrs.  C.  A.,  3,  Beaufort  Buildings,  Gloucester. 
Bordeaux  Uniyersity  Libraiy,  perM.  Jules  Peelman,  2,  Rue  Autoine-Dubois 

Boston  Athensum,  The,  Boston,  U.S.A.,  per  Kegan  Paul,  Trench,  Triibner, 

&  Co.,  Ld.,  Charing  Cross  Road,  W.C. 
Boston  Public  Library  (Mass.),  U.S.A.,  per  G.  E.  Stechert,  2,  Star  Yard, 

Carey  Street.  W.C. 
Bourdillon,  F.  W.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  Bnddington,  Midhurst,  Sussex. 
Bowditch.  C.  P.,  Esq.,  28,  State  Street,  Boston,  Mass.,  U.S.A. 
Bowen,  H.  Courthope,  Esq.,  M.A.,  3,  York  Street,  Portman  Square,  W. 
Bower,  H.  M.,  Esq.,  Elmcrofts,  Ripon. 
Brabrook,  E.  W.,  Esq.,  C.B.,  F.S.A.,  178,  Bedford  Hill,  Balham,  S.W. 

Brighton  Town  Council,  per  the  Town  Clerk,  Town  Hall,  Brighton. 
Britten,  James,  Esq.,  126,  Eennington  Park  Road,  S.E. 
Brix,  M.  Camillo  de,  13,  Rue  Victor  Hugo,  Douai,  France. 
Broad  wood.  Miss  Lucy  E.,  84,  Carlisle  Mansions,  S.W. 
Brockhaus,  F.  A.,  Esq.,  Leipzig,  per  H.  Williams,  48,  Old  Bailey,  E.C. 
Brooke,  Rey.  Stopford  A.,  1,  Manchester  Square,  W. 
Brongh,  Mrs.  C.  S.,  Rosendale  Hall,  West  Dulwich,  S.E. 
Brown,  Henry  Thomas,  Esq.,  Roodeye  House,  Chester. 
Browne,  John,  Esq.,  Chertsey  House,  Park  Hill  Rise,  Croydon. 
Brushfield,  Dr.  T.  N.,  The  Cliff,  Budleigh-Salterton,  Deyonshlre. 
Burdon,  Miss  Cicely,  22,  Gloucester  Terrace,  W. 
Bume,  Miss,  6,  lyema  Gardens,  Kensington,  W.  (  Vice-Prendcnt), 

Caddick,  E.,  Esq.,  Wellington  Road,  Edgbaston,  Birmingham. 
Campbell,  Lord  Archibald,  Coombe  Hill  Farm,  Kingston-on-Thames. 
Campbell,  W.  J.  Douglas,  Esq.,  F.S.A.  Scot.,  Linis  Chonain,  Loch  Awe, 

Cardiff  Free  Libraries,  per  J.  Ballinger,  Esq.,  Cardiff. 
Carnegie  Free  Library,  Alleghany,  Pa.,  U.S.A..  per  G.  £.  Stechert,  2,  Star 

Yard,  Carey  Street,  W.C. 
Carpenter,  Professor  J.  Estlin,  109,  Banbury  Road,  Oxford. 
Carson,  Miss  K.,  High  Street,  Kirkcudbright. 
Charencey,  Comte  de,  24,  Rue  de  la  Chaise,  Paris. 
Chambers,  E.  K.,  Esq.,  Education  Department,  Whitehall,  S.W. 
Chelsea  Public  Library,  Manresa  Road,  S.W.,  per  J.  H.  Quinn,  Esq. 

vi  List  of  Member^. 

Chicago  Pnblic  Library,  lUinois,  U.S.A.,  per  B.  F.  Stevens,  4,  Trafalgar 

Squai-e,  W.C. 
Chicago  University  Library,  Illinois,  U.S.A.,  per  G.  E.  Stechert,  2,  Star 

Yard,  Carey  Street,  W.C. 
Chorlton,  Thomas,  Esq.,  32,  Brazennose  Street,  Manchester. 
Cincinnati  Pnblic  Library,  per  B.  F.  Stevens,  4,  Trafalgar  Square,  W.C. 
Clark,  Oscar  W.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  M.  B. ,  St.  Lnke*8  House,  Spa  Road,  Gloacester. 
Clarke,  Rev.  E.  Wrangles,  Ch.  Ch.  Vicarage,    Faraday   Road,  North 

Kensington,  W. 
Clodd,  Edward, Esq.,  19,  Carleton  Road,  Tnfnell  Park,  N.  (  Vice-President), 
Cobb,  Rev.  Dr.,  1,  Linden  Gardens,  Homsey  Lane,  N. 
Colfox,  W.,  Esq.,  Westmead,  Bridport 
Columbia  College,  New  York,  per  G.  E.  Stechert,  2,  Star  Yard,  Carey 

Street,  W.C. 
Congress,  The  Library  of,  Washington,  IJ.S.A.,  per  E.  G.  Allen,  Esq.,  28, 

Henrietta  Street,  Covent  Garden,  W.C. 
Conybeare,  F.  C,  Esq.,  M.A.,  13,  Norham  Gardens,  Oxford. 
Cornell  University  Library,  per  E.  G.  Allen,  Esq.,  28,  Henrietta  Street,  W.C. 
Corry,  Miss  L.  M.,  39,  Park  Hill  Road,  East  Croydon. 
Cosquin,  M.  Emanuel,  Yitry-le-Franyois,  Mame,  France. 
Cox,  Miss  Marian  Roalfe,  107,  EarPs  Court  Road,  W. 
Craigie,  W.  A.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  Danemead,  226,  Iffley  Road,  Oxford. 
Crombie,  James  E.,  Esq.,  Park  Hill  House,  Dyce,  Aberdeen. 
Crombie,  John  W.,  Esq.,  M.P.,  91,  Onslow  Square,  S.W. 
Crooke,  W.,  Esq.,  B.A.,  West  Leigh,  Arterberry  Road,  Wimbledon,  S.W. 

Dabifl,  Miss  A.,  13,  Glebe  Place,  Chelsea,  S.W. 

Dames,  M.  Longwortb,  Esq.,  Alegria,  Enfield. 

Dampier,  G.  R.,  Esq.,  care  of  Messrs.  Grindley,  Groom  and  Co.,  Bombay. 

Davis,  Lieut.-Col.  John,  Whitmead,  Famham,  Surrey. 

Debenham,  Miss  Amy,  Cheshunt  Park,  Herts. 

Debenham,  Miss  Mary  H.,  Cheshunt  Park,  Herts. 

Defries,  Wolf,  Esq.,  B.A.,  147,  Houndsditch,  E.C. 

Dempster,  Miss  C.  Hawkins,  24,  Portman  Square,  S.W. 

Dennett,  R.   E.,  Esq.,    Loango,  Congo   Fran9ais,  S.W.  Coast    Africa. 

(Parcels  vid  Lisbon,  St.  Thom6,  and  Gaboon.) 
Detroit  Public  Library,  Michigan,  U.S.A.,  per  B.  F.  Stevens,  Esq. 
Dignam,  M.  Hoey,  Esq.,  25,  Victoria  Street,  S.W. 

Eagleston,  A.  J.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  63,  West  Hill  Road,  Sonthfields,  S.W. 
Ebbs,  Alfred  B..  Esq.,  Tuborg,  Bromley,  Elent. 
ticole  des  Hautes  l^tudes,  Sofia,  Bulgaria. 
Eden,  Mrs.  T.  B.,  Hillbrow,  Rugby. 

Edinburgh  Public  Library,  per  Hew  Morrison,  Esq.,    City    Chambers, 

List  of  Membefs.  Vii 

Edwards,  F.,  Esq.,  88,  High  Street,  Marylebone,  W. 

Eggers  and  Co.,  Messrs.,  St.  Petersburg,  per  Sampson  Low  and  Co.,  Fetter 

Lane,  E.C. 
Elliot,  W.  Scott,  jonr.,  Esq.,  4,  Stanley  Crescent,  Kensington  Park,  W. 
Elworthy,  F.  T.  Esq.,  Foxdown,  Wellington,  Somerset. 
Elton,  O.,  Esq.,  B.A.,  6,  Heaton  Road,  Withington,  Manchester. 
Emerson,  P.  H.,  Esq.,  The  Nook,  Onlton  Broad,  Lowestoft. 
Kmpson,  C.  W.,  Esq.,  11,  Palace  Court,  W. 
Emslie,  J.  P.,  Esq.,  50,  Kestrel  Avenoe,  Heme  HiU,  SJS. 
Enoch  Pratt  Library,  Baltimore  City,  U.S.A.,  per  E.  G.  Allen,  Esq.,  28, 

Henrietta  Street,  W.C. 
Eraut,  A.,  Esq.,  Grammar  School,  Galway. 
Erlangen  UniTersity  Library,  per  Sampson  Low    &   Co.,  Fetter  Lane, 

Evans,  Arthor  J.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  F.S.A.,  Ashmolean  Library,  Oxford. 
Evans,  E.  Vincent,  Esq.,  64,  Chancery  Lane,  W.C. 
Evans,  Sir  John,  K.C.B.,  D.C.L.,  LL.D.,  D.Sc,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A.,  Nash 

Mills,  Hemel  Hempstead. 
Eyre,  Miss,  The  Hudnalls,  St.  Briavels,  Gloucestershire. 

0.  Fahie,  J.  J.,  Esq.,  60,  Boulevard  de  Waterloo,  Brussels. 
Fawcett,  F.,  Esq.,  care  of  Messrs.  Arbuthnot  &  Co.,  Madras. 
Fell  berg,  Rev.  H.  F.,  Askov,  Vejen,  Denmark. 
Ferryman,  Major  A.  F.  Mockler,  F.R.G.S.,  F.Z.S.,  Oak  Grove  House,  Royal 

Military  College,  Camberley,  Surrey. 
Ffeunell,  Miss  Margaret  C,  172,  The  Grove,  Hammersmith,  W. 
Fitzgerald,  D.,  Esq.,  care  of  J.  Fitzgerald,  Esq.,  Mayford  House,  Barnes, 

Forlong,  Major-Gen.  J.  G.  R.,  F.R.G.S.,  F.R.S.E ,  11,  Douglas  Crescent, 

Eraser,  D.  C,  Esq.,  M.A.,  3,  Buckingham  Road,  Wallasey. 
Frazer,  J.  G.,  Esq,,  M.A.,  LL.D.,  Litt.D.,  Inch-ma-home,  Cambridge. 
Freer,  Miss  A.  Goodrich,  The  Laurels,  Bushey  Heath,  Herts. 
Freer,  Wm.  J.,  Esq.,  Stoneygate,  near  Leicester. 
Freshfield,  W.  D.,  Esq.,  The  Wilderness,  Reigate. 

Gardner,  F.  L.,  Esq.,  14,  Marlboro'  Road,  Gunnersbury,  W. 

Gaster,  Dr.  M.,  37,  Maida  Vale,  W. 

George,  Charles  W.,  Esq.,  51,  Hampton  Road,  Clifton,  Bristol 

Gerish,  W.  B.,  Esq.,  Ivy  Lodge,  Bishops  Stortford,  Herts. 

Gladstone,  Dr.  J.  H.,  F.R.S.,  F.C.S.,  17,  Pembridge  Square,  W. 

Glasgow  University  Library,  per  Messrs.  Maclehose,  61,  St  Vincent  Street, 

Godden,  Miss  Gertrude  M.  Ridgfield,  Wimbledon. 
Goldmerstein,  L.,  Esq. 

viii  List  of  Members. 

GoUancz,  I.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  Christ's  College,  Cambridge. 
Gomme,  G.  L.,  Esq.,  F.S.A.,  24.  Dorset  Square,  N.W.  (  Vice-Pretident). 
Gomme,  Mrs.  G.  L.,  24,  Dorset  Square,  N.W.  {Honorary  Meviher), 
Gottingen  Uniyersity  Library,  per  Asher  and  Co.,  13,  Bedford  Street, 

Covent  Garden,  W.C. 
Gowland,  T.,  Esq.,  12,  TaTistock  Road,  Harlesden,  N.W. 
Green,  Frank  G.,  Esq.,  St.  Valentine's,  Prince  of  Wales's  Boad,  Carshalton 

Greeven,  R.,  Esq.,  B.C.S.,  164,  Camberwell  Grove,  Denmark  Hill,  S.E. 
Gregory,  H.  E.,  Esq.,  Boarzell,  Hawkhnrst,  Sussex. 
Greig,  Andrew,  Esq.,  36,  Belmont  Gardens,  Uillhead,  Glasgow. 
Grierson,  Geo.  A.,  Esq.,  Fairholme,  Simla. 
Grove,  Miss  Florence,  10,  Milton  Chambers,  Cheyne  Walk,  S.W. 
Guildhall  Library,  E.C. 
Gntch,  Mrs.,  Holgate  Lodge,  York. 
Gwynne,  James  E.  A.,  Esq.,  F.S.A.,  Folkington  Manor,  Polegate,  R.S.O., 


C.Haddon,  Prof.,  A.  C,  M.A.,  D.Sc,  M.RJ.A.,  F.Z.S.,  Inisfail,  Hills  Road, 

Hamilton,  Bernard,  Esq.,  M.A.,  Hindhead  Brae,  Haslemere. 

Hannah,  R.,  Esq.,  82,  Addison  Road,  Kensington,  W. 

Hardy,  G.  F.,  Esq.,  12,  Waterloo  Place,  S.W. 

Harris,  Miss  Emily,  23,  Clifton  Gardens,  W. 

Harris,  Rev.  H.  A.,  Diss,  Norfolk. 

Harrison  and  Sons,  Messrs.,  59,  Pall  Mall,  S.W. 

Hartland,  £.  Sidney,  Esq.,  F.S.  A.,  Highgarth,  Gloucester  {Pretid^nt), 

Hartland,  J.  Cole,  Esq.,  care  of  Messrs.  Hunt  and  Co.,  Yokohama,  Japan. 

Harvard  College  Library,  per  Kegan  Paul  and  Co.,  Ld.,  Charing  Cross 
Road,  W.C. 

Heather,  P.  J.,  Esq.,  Elthome,  New  Maldon,  Surrey. 

Henderson,  Miss  A.  B.,  Ormlle  Lodge,  Thurso. 

Hensman,  W.  M.,  Esq.,  32,  Demgate,  Northampton. 

Hervey,    Hon.  D.  F.  A.,  C.M.G.,  The  Residency,    Malacca,  per  H.  S. 
King  &  Co. 

Hewitt,  J.  F.,  Esq.,  The  Elms,  Chichester. 

Higford,  Miss  K.,  23,  Eaton  Place,  S.W. 

Higgens,  T.  W.  E.,  Esq.,  1,  Edith  Terrace,  Chelsea,  S.W. 

Hinuber,  Miss,  34,  Linden  Road,  Bedford. 
C.  Hodgkin,  John,  Esq.,  12,  Dynevor  Road,  Richmond,  S.W. 

Holland,  Clive,  Esq.,  Bergen,  Branksome  Wood  Road,  Bournemouth. 

Howard,  David,  Esq.,  Devon  House,  Buckhurst  Hill,  Essex. 

Hull,  Miss  Eleanor,  20,  Arundel  Gardens,  W. 

Hnisey,  A.,  Esq.,  Wingeham,  near  Dover. 

Hutchinson,  Rev.  H.  N.,  F.G.S.,  37,  Vincent  Square,  Westminster,;,S.W. 

Hutchinson.  Dr.  Jonathan,  F.R.S'.,  15,  Cavendish  Square,  W. 

List  of  Members.  ix 

India  Office  Library,  Whitehall,  S.W.,  per  C.  H.  Tawney,  Esq. 
im  Thorn,  E.,  Esq.,  23,  Edwardes  Square,  Kensington,  W. 
Iowa  State  Library,  Des  Moines,  Iowa,  n.S.A. 
Isaac,  D.,  Esq.,  Bryntawe,  Heathfield,  Swansea. 

Jackson,  A.  M.  T.,  Esq.,  Bycnllah  Clnb,  Bombay  (Assistant  Collector, 
Nasik,  Bombay). 

Jacobs,  Joseph,  Esq.,  B.A. 

James,  C.  H.,  Esq.,  J.P.,  64,  Park  Place,  Cardiff. 

Janvier,  Thos.  A.,  Esq.,  14,  Winchester  Road,  Sonth  Hampstead,  N.W. 

Jeffrey,  P.  Shaw,  Esq.,  32,  College  Road,  Clifton,  Bristol. 

Jerons,  F.  B.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  LittJ).,  Hatfield  Hall,  Durham. 

Jewitt,  W.  H.,  Esq.,  4,  Torriano  Cottages,  N.W. 

John  Rylands  Library,  Deansgate,  Manchester. 

Johns  Hopkins  Uniyersity  Library,  Baltimore,  per  £.  G.  Allen,  28,  Hen- 
rietta Street,  Corent  Garden,  W.C. 

Jones,  Bryan  J.,  Esq.,  Wellington  Barracks,  Halifax,  Nora  Scotia. 

Jones,  I).  Brynm6r,  Esq.,  Q.C.,  M.P.,  LL.B.,  27,  Bryanston  Sqnare,  W. 

Jones,  William,  Esq.,  Abberly  Hall,  Stonrport 

Karlowicz,  Dr.  John,  Jasna,  10,  Warsaw,  Poland. 

Kegan  Panl,  Trench,  Triibner,  &  Co,  Ld.,  Paternoster  House,  Charing 

Cross  Road,  W.C. 
Kennedy,  Miss  L.,  Fairacre,  Concord,  Mass.,  n.S.A. 
Ker,  C,  Esq.,  1,  Windsor  Terrace,  West  Glasgow. 
Ker,  Professor  W.  P.,  M.A.,  96,  Gower  Street,  W.C. 
Kinahan,  G.  H^  Esq.,  M.R.LA.,  Woodlands,  Fairriew,  co.  Dublin. 
Kirby,  W.  F.,  Esq.,  F.L.S.,  F.E.S.,  Hilden,  Sutton  Court  Road,  Chiswick. 
Kitts,  E.  J.,  Esq.,  Gorakhpur,  N.W.P.,  India. 
KUncksieck,  C,  Paris,  per  Th.  Wohlleben,  46,  Gt.  Russell  Street,  W.C. 

Ladbury,  Miss  E.  J.,  Goldness,  Hartlebury,  Kidderminster. 

Lang,  A.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  1,  Marloes  Road,  Kensington,  W.  (  Vice-PretideiU). 

Lee,  Mrs.  Kate,  8,  Victoria  Road,  Kensington,  W. 

Leicester  Literary  and  Philosophical  Society,  per  G.  Hull,  Esq.,  Church 

Hill  House,  Clarendon  Park  Road,  Leicester. 
Leland,  C.  G.,  Esq.,  Hotel  Victoria,  44,  Lung'  Amo  Vespucci,  Florenca. 
Lemcke  &  Buechner,  Messrs.,  812,  Broadway,  New  York.  U.S.A. 
Letts,  C,  Esq.,  24,  Bartlett's  Buildings,  E.C. 
Leyy,  C.  E.,  Esq.,  Boundstone  Lodge,  Famham,  Surrey. 
Library  of  the  Supreme  Council  of  the  33rd  Degree,  etc.,  for  England 

&  Wales,  and  the  Colonies,  33,  Golden  Square,  W. 

List  of  Members. 

Lindsay,  Lady,  41,  Hans  Place,  W. 

Liyerpool  Free  Public  Library,  per  Gilbert  G.  Walmsley,  60,  Lord  Street, 

Lockhart,  The  Hon.  J.  H.  Stewart,  Registrar-General  of  the  Legielatiye 

Ck)ancil,  Hong  Kong. 
London  Institution,  Finsbury  Circus,  E.G. 
London  Library,  St.  James's  Square,  S.W. 
Lyall,  Sir  Alfred,  KC.S.L,  18,  Queen's  Gate,  S.W. 

Macbean,  E.,  Esq.,  Fullarton  House,  by  ToUcross,  Lanarkshire. 
Macgregor,  A.,  Esq.,  Stamford  Brook  House,  Hanmiersmith,  W. 
Mackenzie,  W.,  Esq.,  Crofters'  Commission,  6,  Parliament  Square,  Ediu- 

c.  Mackinlay,  Dr.,  6,  Great  Western  Terrace,  Kelvinside,  Glasgow. 
Maclagan,  R.  Craig,  Esq.,  lii.D.  5,  Coates  Crescent,  Edinburgh. 
McNair,  Major  R.  C,  C.M.G.,  F.L.S.,  F.R.G.S.,  Scotia,  Preston   Park, 

Maitland,  Mrs.  J.  A.  Fuller,  39,  Phillimore  Gardens,  Kensington,  W. 
Major,  A.  F.,  Esq.,  17,  Grosvenor  Road,  Westminster. 
Manning,  P.,  Esq.,  M.A.,  F.S.A.,  6,  St  Aldate's,   Oxford  (Beechfield, 

Manchester  Free  Library,  King  Street,  Manchester. 
March,  H.  Colley,  Esq.,  M.D.,  Portisham,  Dorchester. 
Marriage,  Miss  M.  E.  (Ph.D.  Heidelberg),  Ellerby,  George  Lane,  South 

Woodford,  E. 
Marsh,  R.  H.,  Esq.,  Ingleside,  Epping,  Essex. 
Marston,  E.,  Esq.,  St.  Dunstan's  House,  E.C. 
Masson,  D.  P.,  Esq.,  Managing  Director,  The  Punjab  Bank,  Lahore,  per 

H.  S.  King  and  Co.,  of  Comhill,  E.C. 
Matthews,  Miss  Elizabeth,  The  Hollies,  Swaffham,  Norfolk. 
Max,  J.,  and  Co.,  21,  Schweideritzerstrasse,  Breslau. 
Mendham,  Miss  Edith,  Shepscombe  House,  Stroud,  Gloucestershire. 
Mercantile  Library,  Philadelphia,  U.S.A.,  per  G.  E.  Stechert,  2,  Star  Yard, 

Carey  Street,  W.C. 
Merrick,  W.  P.,  Esq.,  Manor  Farm,  Shepperton. 

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xii  List  of  Members. 

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List  of  Members.  xv 

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Vol.  XI.]  MARCH,  190a  [No.  I. 


BY  W.  CROOKE,   B.A. 

(Read  at  Meeting  of  21st  June^  1899.) 

The  cycle  of  folklore  and  popular  belief  which  centres 
round  Krishna,  one  of  the  most  important  elements  in  the 
neo-Brihmanical  creed  of  modern  India,  forms  an  in- 
teresting chapter  in  the  development  of  Hindu  religious 
myth  and  cultus.  This  neo-Brihmanism  is  now  the  work- 
ing faith  which  controls  the  spiritual  destinies  of  two 
hundred  and  seven  millions  of  people.  It  is  a  faith  without 
a  definite  creed,  with  no  church,  no  pope,  no  convocation. 
It  is  the  most  catholic  of  the  old  world  religions,  providing 
as  it  does  for  the  needs  of  jungle-folk  on  the  borderland 
of  savagery  and  for  those  most  keen-witted  of  religious 
disputants,  the  Vedantists  of  Mathura  or  Benares.  It  is  a 
great  missionary  religion,  working  not  in  the  way  with 
which  we  are  familiar,  through  societies  and  an  organised 
body  of  teachers,  but  by  the  agency  of  shock-headed  Jogis 
and  ash-covered  SannyAsis.  It  is  one  of  the  most  catholic 
of  faiths,  because  though  it  has  many  gods  it  enforces  the 
worship  of  no  one  deity  on  any  of  its  members. 

Hence  for  the  purpose  of  estimating  the  prevalence  of 
different  forms  of  Hindu  belief  statistics  are  of  little  value. 

VOT-  XI.  B 

2  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

At  the  last  census  each  person  was  asked  to  name  the  god 
which  he  usually  worshipped ;  but  this  does  not  exclude  the 
possibility  that  he  may  worship  more  than  one.  On  the 
contrary,  it  is  certain  that  to  meet  the  varying  needs  of  his 
life  he  combines  the  belief  in  his  personal  god  with  that  of 
others,  few  or  many.  The  basis  of  his  belief  is  animistic, 
but  he  supplements  this  form  of  worship  by  the  casual  or 
periodical  veneration  of  one  or  several  of  the  members  of 
the  official  pantheon.  When  we  find,  then,  that  five  and  a 
half  millions  of  people  in  the  Panjab  and  North-Westem 
Provinces  professed  devotion  to  Krishna,  we  may  assume 
that  a  very  much  larger  number  revere  him  as  a  member  of 
the  class  of  deities  which  are  known  generally  as  Vaish- 
nava,  or  grouped  round  the  personality  of  Vishnu. 

This  is  not  the  place  or  time  to  discuss  in  detail  the 
historical  development  of  the  cult;  but  a  few  words  must 
be  said  on  this  point  as  an  introduction  to  the  consideration 
of  his  legends,  which  is  the  special  subject  of  this  paper. 

He  is,  to  begin  with,  a  comparatively  new  god,  that  is  to 
say,  he  does  not  appear  in  the  Vedas.  We  first  hear  of 
Krishna,  son  of  Devaki,  in  the  Chhindogya  Upanishad,  one 
of  the  supplements  to  the  S4ma  Veda,  which  are  clearly 
later  than  the  Sanhitas  or  Brihmanas,  and  in  their  present 
recension  embody  the  views  of  that  school  of  philosophical 
Brihmanism  which  is  of  course  separated  by  a  long  in- 
terval from  that  of  the  nature  worship  embodied  in  the 
earlier  hymns.  Krishna  is  here  only  a  scholar,  eager  in  the 
pursuit  of  knowledge,  and  perhaps  a  member  of  the  military 
caste.^  Passing  on  to  the  Epic  period,  in  the  Mahibhirata, 
which  was  probably  composed  between  the  time  of  the 
Greek  traveller  Megasthenes  (306 — 295  B.C.)  and  the 
second  half  of  the  first  century  of  our  era,*  we  find  that 
Krishna  occupies  a  higher  place,  but  still  his  divinity  is  not 
fully  assured.     R4ma  and  Krishna  are  here  at  once  gods 

'  Weber,  History  of  Indian  Literature^  71. 
«  Ibid,,  186. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  3 

and  men.  They  are  accepted  as  incarnations  of  Vishnu, 
but  at  the  same  time  they  are  regarded  as  human  heroes, 
acting  under  the  influence  of  human  motives,  and  taking  no 
advantage  of  their  divine  supremacy.  Krishna  even  wor- 
ships Siva  and  wins  boons  from  him.^  Later  additions  to 
and  interpolations  in  the  text  of  the  Epics  assert  his  divinity; 
and  in  particular  this  view  of  his  nature  finds  expression  in 
the  celebrated  philosophical  poem  known  as  the  Bhigavad- 
gtta,  which  is  obviously  a  late  supplement  to  the  MahA- 
bhirata.  The  same  view  was  again  enforced  and  extended 
in  the  Hari-vansa,  and  especially  in  the  Bhigavata  Purina, 
which  may  be  as  late  as  the  tenth  or  eleventh  century  of 
our  era. 

It  is  impossible,  then,  to  assign  a  definite  date  to  a  cultus 
thus  gradually  developed,  as  we  are  able  to  do  in  the  case 
of  other  great  historical  religions,  Buddhism,  Islim,  or 
Christianity.  There  seems,  however,  good  reason  to  suspect 
that  the  elevation  of  Krishna  to  divine  honours  was  coin- 
cident with  the  rise  of  the  neo-Brihmanism  on  the  decay 
of  Buddhism.  The  older  Brihmanism  was  too  esoteric,  too 
much  the  faith  of  priests  and  nobles,  to  influence  the  masses. 
In  this  respect  Brihmanism  learned  a  lesson  from  Buddhism, 
and  with  a  view  to  popularise  its  tenets  adopted  not  only 
the  cult  of  the  Saktt,  or  female  element,  which  may  have 
been  one  of  the  indigenous  idolatries,  but  also  drew  within 
its  fold  some  of  the  local  or  tribal  gods,  of  whom,  as  we 
shall  see,  Krishna  was  probably  one.  Nay  more,  it  has 
been  conjectured  that  in  this  new  alliance  it  was  not  Vishnu, 
but  Krishna,  who  was  the  predominant  partner,  and  that  it 
was  by  its  combination  with  the  Krishna  or  other  allied  cult 
that  Vaishnavism  finally  won  its  way  to  the  affections  of  the 
masses  in  Northern  India. 

It  is  outside  my  present  purpose  to  discuss  how  far  the 

*  Muir,  Original  Sanskrit  Texts ^  iv.,  169,  182  seqq.  ;  Wilson-Hall,  Vishnu 
Purdnaj  i.,  intro.,  xv.  For  a  summary  of  the  story  of  Krishna,  see  Mahi- 
bhirata,  Drona  Parva^  sec.  ii.,  trans.  Ray,  v.,  31  seqq, 

B  2 

4  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

new  revelation  may  have  owed  its  inspiration  to  Christian 
or  other  Western  influence.  It  has  been  supposed  that  on 
the  one  hand  Buddhism  profoundly  influenced  the  Western 
Church,  and  the  analogies  between  Lamaism  in  Tibet  and 
the  ritual  and  organisation  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church 
have  attracted  the  attention  of  many  observers.  It  has  been 
supposed  again  that  the  episode  in  the  Mah&bhirata  where 
N&rada  the  Saint  visits  Sweta-dwfpa,  "  the  White  Island," 
implies  early  relations  between  Brihmanism  and  Alexandrian 
Christianity.^  I  need  hardly  dwell  upon  the  indications  in 
the  Krishna  mythus,  presently  to  be  related,  which  suggest 
the  same  inference.  The  question  has,  however,  hardly  yet 
been  settled  to  the  satisfaction  of  scholars,*  and  in  any  case 
it  would  lead  me  too  far  from  the  special  subject  of  this 

I  pass  on  to  the  popular  traditions  concerning  Krishna.* 
To  put  the  story  as  briefly  as  possible,  we  find  a  branch 
of  the  great  Y4dava  clan  of  Kshatriyas,  who  probably  owed 
their  origin  to  a  Yu-echi  invasion  from  Central  Asia,  settled 
on  the  banks  of  the  River  Jumna,  with  Mathura  as  their 
capital.  That  they  were  outsiders  or  new-comers  is  impor- 
tant when  we  come  to  consider  certain  elements  in  the 
cultus  which  indicate  foreign  influence.  Krishna,  we  are 
told,  was  the  son  of  Vasu-deva  and  Devaki.  The  former, 
by  one  interpretation  of  his  name,  is  one  of  the  old  celestial 
genii,  "  the  bright  ones  " ;  the  latter,  Devakt,  "  the  divine 
one,"  has  been  identified  with  the  seductive  water-nymph 
of  folklore.  But  more  probably  in  Devakt  and  Krishna  we 
may  see  representatives  of  the  world-wide  group  of  the 
divine  mother  and  the  fateful  child — Nana  of  Babylon, 
Isis  and  Horus  in  Egypt,  Lucina  and  her  child  in  Latin 

*  Weber,  Indische  StudUn^  L,  400,  ii.,  168;   Frazer,  Literary  History  of 
Indiay  231  ;  Ray,  Mah&bkdrata^  viii.,  752. 

*  See  Dutt,  Ancient  India^  ii.,  276. 

*  The  most  accessible  authorities  are  Growse,  McUhuray  a  District  Memoir 
Allahabad,  J883  ;  Lallu  Ull,  Prem  SAgar,  translated  by  E.  B.  Eastwick. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  5 

At  the  time  of  the  birth  of  Krishna  we  find  the  rightful 
king,  Ugrasena,  like  so  many  savage  half-priests,  half- 
monarchs,  when  their  power  of  controlling  the  deities 
becomes  abated,  deposed  by  his  son,  the  usurper  Kamsa. 
He,  we  are  told,  cruelly  persecuted  his  rivals,  an  incident 
in  which  some  have  recognised  a  conflict  of  cults,  and  some 
have  gone  so  far  as  to  call  Kamsa  a  Jaina^  an  opponent  of 
the  neo-Vaishnava  faith.  However  this  may  be,  Krishna, 
who  was  a  cousin  of  the  usurper,  defeated  and  slew  him 
and  restored  Ugrasena  to  the  throne.  But  his  triumph  did 
not  last  long.  He  was  himself  attacked  by  the  father-in-law 
of  Kamsa,  Jarasandha,  king  of  Magadha  or  Bihir,  who  was 
allied  with  a  monarch  known  as  Kala-yavana,  the  Ionian  or 
Greek,  who  may  have  been  a  king  of  Kishmtr  or  one  of  the 
Bactrian  descendants  of  the  Great  Alexander.  Krishna,  we 
learn,  was  forced  to  abandon  Mathura  and  retire  to  Dwiraka 
on  the  Gulf  of  Kachh,  where,  after  various  adventures, 
including  his  interposition  on  the  side  of  the  P&ndavas  in 
the  great  war  recorded  in  the  Mah&bhirata,  by  which  their 
success  was  assured,  he  is  said  to  have  been  slain,  and  his 
bones,  according  to  later  Brihmanical  tradition,  rest  inside 
the  famous  idol  at  Jaggan-n&th. 

From  a  saga  like  this,  obviously  the  work  of  many  hands 
and  embodying  many  variant  traditions,  it  is  hopeless  to 
sift  any  historical  facts.  Krishna  may  have  been  a  local 
hero  of  the  YAdava  clan  of  Kshatriyas;  they  may  have 
brought  with  them  some  part  of  his  cultus  from  their  home 
in  Central  Asia ;  they  may  have  absorbed  parts  of  it  from 
the  indigenous  idolatries ;  his  tale  may  suggest  a  conflict 
between  more  than  one  rival  faith.  For  the  sober  historian 
it  possesses  little  more  value  than  the  myths  of  the 
Arthurian  cycle.  To  one  school  of  mythologists,  of  course, 
the  whole  story  is  only  a  solar  myth. 

We  are  perhaps  on  safer  ground  when  we  suggest  that 
round  a  single  figure,  which  may  possibly  be  historical,  the 
cultus,  as  we  find  it,  may  be  the  result  of  that  syncretism 

6  The  Legends  of  Krtshnd. 

which  is  so  familiar  an  agency  in  the  growth  of  religious 
belief.  He  may,  in  other  words,  be  only  a  figure-head 
round  which  local  myths  have  centred,  like  Alexander  or 
Karl  the  Great.  In  the  case  of  the  Greek  Apollo,  for 
instance,  the  wolf,  the  ram,  the  dolphin,  the  mouse,  the 
laurel  probably  represent  so  many  variant  cults,  some  of 
them  possibly  totemistic,  which  came  to  be  grouped  round 
and  identified  with  one  dominant  divine  personage.  When 
from  this  point  of  view  we  come  to  examine  the  Krishna 
my  thus  we  find  his  connection  with  cattle  specially 
prominent.  His  most  popular  titles  are  Govinda  and 
Gop&la,  "the  cowherd;"  and  as  a  protector  of  kine  he 
may  be  readily  compared  with  similar  deities  in  other 
parts  of  the  world.  Thus,  in  Greece  we  have  Apollo 
Nomios,  and  in  another  shape  Krishna  as  Murli-dhara, 
"  the  flute-player,"  reminds  us  of  Apollo  Mousegetes,  the 
leader  of  the  Muses,  the  patron  of  music  and  song.  So  in 
Greece  and  Rome,  Hermes  and  Pan,  Pales  and  Priapus, 
Faunus  and  Lupercus,  Bubona  and  Epona,  and  possibly  the 
Babylonian  Eabani,^  are  in  various  forms  the  deities  who 
give  increase  to  the  flocks  and  protect  domestic  animals 
from  wild  beasts  and  other  dangers — a  cult  in  no  sense 
primitive,  but  based  on  the  needs  of  a  society  in  which 
cattle-breeding  and  husbandry  are  already  well  advanced. 
From  this  point  of  view  he  has  his  kinsfolk  in  the  local 
divinities  of  modern  India — Siddhua  and  Buddhua,  N&gar- 
deo,  Chaumu,  Kaluva  and  Bir-n4th,  who  shield  the  herds 
from  harm.*  So  his  brother  Bala-r&ma  seems  to  have 
been  an  old  agricultural  god  known  as  Halabrit,  "the 
plough-bearer,"  with  the  lustful  temper  of  Pan  or  Silenus, 
just  as  Stt4,  "  the  furrow,"  was  embodied  in  the  R4ma 
myth.  He  may  thus  in  his  most  primitive  form  have  been 
an  old  cattle  god  adopted  into  the  Brdhmanical  pantheon, 

*  Maspero,  Dawn  of  Civilisation,  576. 

*  Crooke,  Popular  Religion  and  Folklore  of  Northern  India^  ii.,  81  seqq,  ; 
Tribes  and  Castes  of  the  North-  Western  Provinces  and  Oudh,  i.,  63  seqq. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  7 

like  Siva  in  his  form  as  Pasupa  or  Pasupati,  "  the  lord  of 
kine,"  especially  of  those  set  apart  for  sacrifice. 

We  may  even  go  further  and  suggest  a  conflict  of  rival 
agricultural  cults.  Krishna  elopes  with  Rukmint,  "the 
golden,"  the  betrothed  of  Sisup41a,  whom  he  encounters  and 
decapitates  with  his  discus.  Now  SisupAla  means  "cherisher 
of  the  young/'  in  particular  of  young  animals,  the  equivalent 
of  the  Greek  Kourotrophos,  the  guardian  deity  of  the  springs 
near  which  the  hair  of  youths  and  maidens  was  dedicated. 
In  this  view  he  too  would  be  another  rural  deity  of  the  same 

Like  that  of  so  many  gods,  the  birth  of  Krishna  was  in 
wondrous  wise.  A  supernatural  voice,  what  the  Greeks 
would  have  called  a  Phemfe,  announced  to  the  usurper  Kamsa 
that  his  slayer  would  be  born  in  the  eighth  son  of  his  kins- 
man Vasudeva  and  Devakt,  niece  of  the  deposed  monarch 
Ugrasena.  To  defeat  the  prophecy,  Kamsa  summoned  the 
pair  to  Mathura  and  kept  them  in  ward.  Each  of  their 
children  as  it  was  born  was  destroyed.  But  when  Devaki 
became  pregnant  for  the  seventh  time  the  embryo  was 
miraculously  transferred  to  the  womb  of  Rohiht,  "  the  red 
cow,"  the  second  wife  of  Vasudeva,  and  it  was  reported  that 
Devakt  had  miscarried.  In  due  time  the  fated  child  was 
born  and  was  named  Sankarshana,  "he  that  was  taken  from 
the  womb  of  his  mother,"  and  later  on  Balar&ma,  or  Bala- 
deva,  who  aided  his  brother  Krishna  in  overthrowing  the 
tyrant.  With  this  we  may  compare  the  many  folktales 
which  tell  of  the  birth  of  the  fateful  child,  and  it  is  needless 
to  suggest  the  obvious  analogy  to  the  tale  of  Herod.^ 

We  have,  again,  here  an  instance  of  the  common  case  of 
a  duality  of  gods — ^the  Asvins,  the  Dioscuri,  Yama  and 
Yamt,  Romulus  and  Remus,  Epimetheus  and  Prometheus, 
indicating  either  syncretism,  the  combination  of  rival  cults, 

*  Compare  the  Slavonic  versions,  Journal  of  ike  Anthropolo^cal  Institute^ 
xxi.,  456  seqq,^  and  the  legend  of  the  birth  of  the  successors  of  the  Egyptian 
Kheops,  Maspero,  loc,  cit,^  386  seqq. 

8  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

or  perhaps  in  the  cases  where  male  and  female  deities  are 
grouped  in  pairs  the  idea  of  the  world  of  sense  developed 
by  the  normal  connection  of  the  sexes. 

Here,  too,  we  have  the  familiar  case  of  the  god  or  hero 
born  in  some  abnormal  way.  Often  he  is  motherless  or 
unborn  or  springs  from  his  father  alone,  as  Athena  from  the 
thigh  of  Zeus,  which  suggests  the  couvade,  or  the  mother  is 
delivered  by  the  Caesarean  operation.  One  or  other  of  such 
incidents  presents  itself  in  the  tales  of  Dionysus,  Asklepios, 
Lychas,  Sakya-muni,  Tristram,  Macduff,  Dubrune  Nikititsch, 
and  Sigfried.^ 

But  the  tale  of  the  transfer  of  the  embryo  from  one  mother 
to  the  other  is  more  unusual,  and  several  threads  of  folk 
belief  seem  to  be  combined  which  is  not  easy  to  disentangle. 
To  begin  with,  abnormal  birth  is  regarded  as  auspicious, 
for  instance,  in  the  Hindu  belief  that  children  born  by  the 
foot  presentation  are  lucky .^  Next,  we  have  the  common 
belief  in  the  possibility  of  birth  transference,  where  by 
cutting  off  part  of  a  child's  clothes,  soaking  it  in  water  and 
drinking  it,  causes  a  barren  woman  to  conceive,  or  the 
Chinese  theory  that  the  soul  of  a  great  man  is  incarnated  in 
one  of  the  women  who  watch  his  funeral.*  The  Aruntas  of 
Australia,  as  described  by  Messrs.  Spencer  and  Gillen,  have 
adopted  this  as  the  normal  explanation  of  the  fact  of  con- 
ception. We  meet  similar  cases  of  interference  with  and 
transfer  of  the  embryo  in  the  legend  of  Indra,  who  fearing 
that  Aditt  would  bear  a  child  superior  to  himself,  entered 
her  womb  and  cut  the  foetus  into  forty-nine  pieces ;  of  the 
child  born  at  Kausambi,  swallowed  by  a  fish  and  carried  to 
Benares,  where  he  is  adopted  by  the  wife  of  a  nobleman  and 
recognised  by  his  true  mother ;   when  the  case  comes  to  be 

>  Floss,  Das  PVeid,  ii.,  405,  407  ;  Grimm,  Teutonic  Mythology  (trans. 
Stallybrass),  i.,  385 ;  Elton-Powell,  Sclxo  Grammaticus,  Intro.,  bdv. 

*  Panjab  Notts  and  Queries^  iii.,  78. 

»  Ibid.^  iii.,  116.  Hartland,  Legend  of  Perseus ^  L,  160;  Frazer,  Golden 
Bough,  i.,  239. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  9 

tried  by  the  king  he  decides  that  the  child  belongs  to  both 
mothers,  to  one  by  maternity,  to  the  other  by  adoption, 
and  hence  it  was  called  Bakula,  "  he  of  the  two  septs  "  ;  of 
Buddhasatva,  who  entered  into  Chandra-devi  and  was 
conceived  of  her.^ 

So  we  have  triple  maternity  in  the  tale  of  Siva  in  his  form 
as  Tryambaka,  "  he  who  has  three  mothers,"  ^  as  Dionysus 
was  Dimetor,  the  Bimatris  of  Ovid.*  In  the  same  way 
Heimdall  was  the  son  of  nine  mothers,  giantesses.  Reinhart, 
after  the  Caesarean  operation,  was  brought  to  birth  in  the 
stomachs  of  newly-slaughtered  swine,  and  Ag^i  was  the  son 
of  many  mothers.*  A  further  development  occurs  in  the 
tales  of  adoption,  as  that  of  Herakles  and  Hera,  where  the 
adopting  mother  goes  through  the  farce  of  a  simulated 
birth,  which  Diodorus  tells  us  was  a  practice  of  the  bar- 
barians of  his  time.*  In  the  Legenda  Aurea  we  read  of  the 
birth  of  Judas,  announced  to  be  a  fateful  child,  exposed  and 
taken  up  by  the  queen  of  the  Isle  Scarioth,  who  simulates 
pregnancy,  and  represents  the  recovered  child  to  be  her 
own.*  Lastly,  it  has  passed  into  modern  folklore  in  the  tale 
of  Seven  Mothers  and  their  Son,^  naturally  suggested  by  the 
conditions  of  a  polygamous  household. 

All  the  fateful  children  of  the  folktales  have  miraculous 
powers  at  birth.  Otus  and  Ephialtes,  another  case  of 
dualism,  who  were  born  of  monstrous  size ;  ®  the  new-born 
Apollo,  who  in  the  Homeric  hymn,  when  he  tastes  the 
nectar  and   ambrosia,  leaps   from   his   swaddling  clothes, 

*  Journal  of  the  Asiatic  Society ^  Bengal,  xxxIt.,  226 ;  Ward,  Hindoos^  ii., 

55.  395. 
'  Barth,  Religions  oflndia^  161. 

*  Metam,^  iv.,  12. 

*  Grimm,  he.  cit.^  i.,  234,  389  ;  Rig  Veda,  iii.,  23,  3  ;  x.,  45,  2 ;  L,  141,  2 ; 
also  compare  the  story  of  the  birth  of  HuitzilopochtU,  Bancroft,  Native  Races^ 
iii.,  310  seqq, 

*  Hartland,  loc.  cit.,  iL,  419. 

*  Cap.  xlv.,  a  reference  for  which  I  am  indebted  to  Mr.  Hartland. 
'  Temple-Steel,  Wideawake  Stories^  98  seqq, 

*  Odyssey t  xi.,  305  seqq. 

td  The  Legends  of  Krishnd, 

begins  to  speak,  and  wanders  through  the  land ;  Vali,  in 
the  Norse  tale,  when  one  night  old  sallies  out  to  avenge 
the  death  of  Balder;  and  Magni,  son  of  Thor  by  the 
giantess  Jarnsaxa,  when  three  nights  old  flings  off  the 
giant's  foot  with  which  the  monster  would  have  crushed 
his  father.^  So  the  Dayaks  have  a  like  marvellous  child  in 
Seragunting ;  and  Robert  the  Devil,  we  are  told,  bit  off  his 
nurse's  paps  and  overpowered  all  the  children  of  his  age ; 
while  Tom  Hickathrift  "  at  ten  years  old  was  six  feet  high 
and  three  feet  across,  with  a  hand  like  a  shoulder  of  mutton^ 
and  everything  else  proportionable."  ^  As  St.  Benedict 
sang  Eucharistic  hymns  before  he  was  born,  so  in  the  Zulu 
folktale  there  is  a  child  who  speaks  in  the  womb  of  his 
mother ;  the  Kafir  Simbukumbukwana  speaks  on  the  day  of 
his  birth ;  and  the  Hindu  heroine,  SomaprabhA,  talks  the 
moment  she  is  born.^  Thus  this  long  series  of  precocious 
imps  passes  on  to  the  boy  Cadi  of  the  Arabian  Nights  and 
the  Enfant  Terrible  of  our  Punch^ 

The  feats  of  the  infant  Krishna  are  of  the  usual  class. 
He  upsets  a  waggon  loaded  with  pails  of  milk ;  when  he  is 
tethered  to  a  big  wooden  mortar  he  drags  it  away  with  him  ; 
he  pulls  down  monstrous  trees ;  and  so  on.^  As  a  good 
example  of  the  evolution  of  myth  the  last  miracle  has  been 
localised  at  Girn&r  in  K4thi4w4r,  with  the  Brdhmanic  gloss 
that  the  trees  were  really  divine  personages  compelled  by  a 
curse  of  some  saint  to  enter  the  form  of  trees  till  they  were 
uprooted  by  Krishna,  the  merciful  saviour.* 

*  Grimm,  loc,  cit.y  i.,  320  seqq, 

*  Ling  Roth,  Natives  of  Sarawak^  i.,  198  seqq, ;  Hazlitt,  National  Tales^ 
59,  431- 

*  Callaway,  Nursery  TaleSy  i.,  6 ;  Theal,  Kaffir  Folklore^  73  ;  Tawney, 
Katha  Sarit  Sdgara^  i.,  1 19,  156.  The  child  of  Mamatd  speaks  in  the  womb, 
Mahdbhdrata,  Adi  Parva,  sec.  104,  Ray  trans.,  i.,  314. 

*  Burton,  Arabian  Nights  (Library  Edition),  x.,  243;  Clouston,  Popular 
Tales  and  Fictions,  ii.,  12  seqq, ;  Miss  Stokes,  Indian  Fairy  Tales ,  279  seqq, 

*  Growse,  loc,  cit.,  55  seqq, ;  Wilson-Hall,  loccit,^  iv.,  279  seqq, 

*  Bombay  Gazetteer,  viii.,  441  seqq. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  1 1 

Krishna  again  appears  as  a  slayer  of  dragons  and  mon- 
sters. Like  all  great  cycles  of  myth,  that  of  the  worm- 
slayer  seems  to  be  founded  on  more  than  one  train  of 
thought.  In  one  phase,  as  in  the  defeat  of  Ahi  or  Vritra  by 
Indra,  or  in  the  legend  of  Imra  as  told  by  the  Kafirs  of  the 
Hindu  Kush,  it  is  a  pure  nature-myth.  The  snake,  like  the 
frog  or  lizard  of  many  savage  mythologies,  swallows  the 
waters,  which  are  released  when  the  monster  is  destroyed. 
Again,  while  the  theory  advanced  by  some  writers^  that  the 
myth  is  a  reminiscence  of  the  struggles  of  early  man  with 

"  Dragons  of  the  prime 
That  tare  each  other  in  their  slime," 

is  opposed  to  all  the  conclusions  of  palaeontology,  on  the 
other  hand  the  tale  may  in  some  cases  be  based  on  the 
discovery  of  the  gigantic  bones  of  some  extinct  saurian. 
One  famous  group  of  tales  of  this  class,  that  in  which  the 
hero  slays  the  dragon  which  demands  a  human  victim,  an 
impostor  appears  and  claims  the  reward,  the  trick  being 
discovered  by  the  production  of  the  tongue  or  some  other 
part  of  the  slaughtered  dragon,  probably,  as  Mr.  Hartland 
shows,^  points  to  a  reaction  against  an  early  custom  of 
offering  a  victim  to  some  water  spirit  conceived  in  dragon 

But  in  many  cases  the  myth  seems  to  represent  a  conflict 
of  rival  cults.  Such,  for  instance,  seems  to  be  the  most 
reasonable  explanation  of  the  slaughter  of  the  python  by 
Apollo.  Here  the  dragon  may  be  associated  with  the 
worship  of  Ge  or  some  of  the  other  chthonic  powers,  which 
was  overthrown  by  the  new-comer  god.  In  other  cases, 
as  in  that  of  Athena  associated  with  the  earth-snake, 
Erechtheus-Erichthonios,   we    may   suspect   the   fusion   of 

*  Gould,  Mythiccd  Monsters^  chap.  vi. 

*  Hartland,  loc,  ciL^  iii.,  66  seqq.  ;  Frazer,  Pausanias^  i.,  476  ;  ii.,  528  ; 
v.,  60,  143. 

1 2  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

divergent  cults.  The  fact,  again,  that  some  of  our  English 
dragons,  like  those  of  Sockburn  or  Wantley,  where  the 
dragon  has  been  euphemised  into  a  roguish  attorney,  have 
their  home  on  a  hill  or  prehistoric  tumulus,  suggests  that 
some  cult  of  the  dead  may  be  at  the  root  of  the  matter. 
When  the  myth  became  Christianised,  the  overthrow  of 
rival  beliefs  becomes  more  obvious,  as  in  the  case  of 
St.  George,  St.  Patrick,  and  St.  Mac  Creiche  in  Ireland, 
St.  Philip,  who  slew  the  dragon  of  Hierapolis,  St  Martha 
and  the  Tarasque  dragon  in  Provence,  St.  Florent  and  the 
dragon  of  the  Loire,  St.  Cado,  St.  Maudet  and  St.  Pol  in 
Brittany,  St.  Keyne  in  Cornwall,  St.  0*Heany  and  the 
Banagher  worm,  and  many  others.^ 

The  monster-slaying  feats  of  Krishna  are  of  various 
kinds.  One  day  the  children  of  the  herdsmen  were  playing 
and  entered  what  they  supposed  to  be  a  cave  in  the  rocks, 
but  which  was  really  the  expanded  jaws  of  the  serpent 
king,  AghAsura.  He  drew  a  deep  breath  and  sucked  them 
in,  but  Krishna  bade  them  be  of  good  cheer,  and  swelled 
his  body  to  such  a  size  that  the  serpent  burst,  and  all  the 
children  stepped  out  unharmed.^  Here  we  have  the  com- 
mon myth  of  the  swallowing  and  the  disgorging,  which 
appears  in  the  tale  of  Jonah  and  the  whale,  that  of  Kronos 
and  Herakles,  and  all  through  savage  folklore.* 

On  another  occasion  an  immense  boa-constrictor  seized 
Nanda,  Krishna's  foster-father,  on  which  the  youthful  god 
set  his  foot  on  the  head  of  the  monster,  which  was  forth- 
with transformed  into  a  lovely  youth.  For,  ages  before,  a 
Ganymede  of  the  Court  of  Heaven,  Sudarshan  by  name,  in 
his  insolence  danced  before  Angiras,  the  sage.     The  holy 

*  Maury,  Essai  sur  les  ligcndes  picuses  du  Moyen  Age,  144 ;  ist  Series 
Notes  and  Queries,  vi.,  147,  519;  3rd  Series,  ix.,  29,  158;  8th  Series,  vi., 
113 ;   2nd  Series,  viii.,  509 ;  Tezcatlipoca  in  Mexico,  Bancroft,  loc.  cit,  iii., 


*  Growse,  Ice.  cit,,  57. 

Lang,  Myth,  Rituai,  and  Religion  (2nd  ed.),  i.,  295. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  13 

man,  who  by  the  force  of  his  austerities  was  able  to  over- 
come the  gods  themselves,  in  his  wrath  cursed  him  that  he 
should  become  a  snake,  and  remain  in  that  loathly  shape 
till  the  advent  of  the  gracious  Krishna.^ 

Again,  while  Krishna  is  bathing,  he  is  attacked  by  K&liya, 
"  the  black  one,"  the  dragon  of  the  River  Jumna,  the  per- 
sonified spirit  of  the  waters,  which  in  so  many  tales,  that  of 
Narcissus  for  instance,  drags  down  the  beautiful  hero  into 
the  gloomy  depths.  Krishna  crushed  the  head  of  the 
monster,  and  would  have  slain  him  had  not  the  dragon's 
wives  come  out  of  the  water  and  implored  him  to  take  pity 
on  their  spouse.  Krishna  forgave  him,  adding  that  he 
should  ever  bear  upon  his  brow  the  impress  of  the  divine 
feet  and  be  thus  safe  from  his  enemies,^  one  of  the  many 
myths  invented  to  explain  the  marks  on  the  bodies  of 
beasts  and  birds — the  blood  on  Robin  Redbreast,  the 
mottled  plumage  of  the  Indian  black  partridge,  the  stripes 
upon  the  back  of  the  little  house  squirrel.* 

Like  Herakles  and  so  many  heroes  of  the  folktales, 
Krishna  overcomes  other  monsters  and  demons.  Thus, 
when  the  demon  Bacbh&sura,  in  the  form  of  a  mighty 
crane,  gobbled  up  the  herd-boys,  Krishna  allowed  him- 
self to  be  devoured  with  them ;  but  he  proved  so  hot  a 
mouthful  that  the  demon  was  only  too  glad  to  drop  him. 
Then  the  divine  youth  seized  the  brute  by  his  long  bill,  and 
rent  him  in  twain.*  So  with  the  demon  Dhenuka,  who 
found  the  boys  plucking  fruit  from  his  palm-trees,  and, 
taking  the  form  of  an  ass,  kicked  Balar&ma  on  the  breast. 
But  Balarima  hurled  him  so  high  that  he  fell  on  the  top  of 
one  of  the  tallest  trees  and  caused  the  fruit  to  fall  in  abun- 
dance.*    The   monster,  as  in  the  case  of  Jack  and  the 

*  Growse,  loc,  cU,^  6i. 

'  Ibid.^  57  seqq,  ;  Wilson- Hall,  /(V.  «/.,  iv.,  286  seqq, 

*  Crooke,  Popular  Religion  and  Folklore  of  Northern  India^  ii.,  242,  251. 

*  Growse,  loc.  cit,^  S7- 

»  /Wa:,  55  ;  Wilson-Hall,  loc,  cii.,  iv.,  297  seqq. 

14  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

Beanstalk,  is  always  fair  game,  and  it  is  rather  a  respectable 
act  to  plunder  him. 

Again,  the  demon  Pralamba,  disguising  himself  as  a 
youth,  challenges  Krishna  and  his  companions  to  race. 
Balarima  mounted  on  the  shoulders  of  the  demon,  who 
forthwith  ran  away  with  him.  But  Balarima  squeezed  and 
beat  him  to  death,  and  from  this  feat  gained  his  name — 
R4ma,  "  the  strong  one.*'  ^  Many  other  demons  assumed 
the  forms  of  savage  beasts  and  met  the  same  fate — Kesin 
as  a  wild  horse,  Byomdsur  a  wolf,  Arishta  a  bull* — all  types 
of  the  rude  animal  forms  which  have  attacked  mystics  and 
religious  men  and  women  since  the  dawn  of  religious  history. 
Of  another  type  is  the  witch  Pfitani,  who  tries  to  suckle 
the  divine  child  with  her  devil's  milk;  but  Krishna  sucked 
so  hard  at  her  breasts  that  he  drained  her  life-blood  and 
caused  her  to  perish  miserably.' 

But,  beside  dragon-slaying,  Krishna  does  many  deeds  of 
mercy.  He  cures  the  hump-backed  woman  Kubj4  with  a 
touch ;  he  rescues  the  son  of  the  Brahman  Sandipani,  who 
had  been  slain  by  the  ocean- demon  Panchajana.  Him 
Krishna  drags  from  the  deep  of  the  sea,  and  then,  like  so 
many  divine  personages,  in  the  spirit  of  the  Homeric 
Nekuia,  he  invades  the  underworld  and  rescues  the  Br&h- 
man  boy  from  the  clutches  of  Yama,  god  of  death,  as 
Herakles  saves  Alkestis.*  Another  echo  of  Homeric  folk- 
lore meets  us  in  his  contest  with  the  whirlwind-demon, 
Trinivarta,  who  would  have  whirled  him  away;  which 
reminds  us  of  the  Thuellai,  or  wind-gusts,  which  carry 
off  the  daughters  of  Pandareus,  a  myth  which  later  on 
developed  into  that  of  the  hideous  Harpies  of  Vergil.* 
The  event  is  commemorated  at  a  cell  in  Mah&ban,  where 

*  Growse,  loc,  cit,,  59  ;  Wilson-Hall,  loc.  cit.j  iv.,  300  seqq, 

*  Growse,  he.  cit,,  61,  seqq,  ;  Wilson- Hall,  loc,  ciL,  iv.,  333,  340. 

*  Growse,  loc,  ciL^  55 ;  Wilson-IIall,  loc,  cii.,  iv.,  276. 

*  Growse,  he,  etf.,  63  seqq. 

*  Iliad,  xvi.,  150 ;  Odyssey,  xx.,  66  seqq. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  1 5 

the  demon-whirlwind  is  represented  by  a  pair  of  enormous 
wings  overshadowing  the  divine  child,  the  same  motif  which 
is  illustrated  on  the  temple  of  Apollo  at  Delos,  where  Boreas 
bears  away  Oreithyia.* 

Another  interesting  myth  is  connected  with  the  rescue  of 
the  child  by  his  father  Vasu-deva.  When  he  was  forced  to 
fly  from  the  tyrant  Kamsa,  he  took  Krishna  in  his  arms  and 
plunged  with  him  into  the  waters  of  the  Jumna,  then  swollen 
by  the  autumn  rains.  At  his  first  step  the  water  reached 
the  child  sleeping  in  his  arms,  but  as  he  advanced  the  wave 
could  rise  no  higher,  and  they  both  crossed  in  safety.  The 
miracle  is  commemorated  by  a  brass  toy,  known  as  "  the 
Vasu-deva  Katora,*'  or  the  bowl  of  Vasu-deva,  a  brass  cup 
enclosing  the  figure  of  a  man  so  contrived  that  when  water 
is  poured  into  it,  it  cannot  rise  above  the  child's  foot, 
being  drained  away  by  a  hidden  duct  at  the  bottom.^  This 
same  oriental  myth  is  told  of  the  youth  Zardusht,  who 
passes  over  the  waste  of  waters  so  that  the  soles  of  the 
feet  of  him  and  his  companions  were  only  moistened.* 
It  is  thus  the  eastern  version  of  the  tale  of  St.  Christopher, 
of  which  there  are  many  representations  in  the  windows  of 
our  English  churches.  Later  on  the  tale  was  allegorised  to 
represent  the  Saviour  bearing  the  sins  of  the  world,  while 
in  Finnish  tradition  the  saint  has  been  identified  with  the 
golden  river  king,  who  is  invoked  to  send  a  host  of  otters 
into  the  net  of  the  hunter.*  Folklore,  in  fact,  has  been  busy 
with  this  saint,  much  of  whose  cult  is  obviously  connected 
with  some  primitive  worship  of  a  water  spirit.  Thus,  as  he 
waded  in  the  sea,  he  left  his  mark  on  the  Dory  fish ;  when 
he  struck  his  staff  into  the  earth  it  bloomed  and  budded,  as 

*  Growse,  loc.  dt,y  55  ;  Miss  Harrison,  Myths  and  Monuments  of  Athens j 
Intro.,  Ixvii. 

'  Growse,  loc.  cit,,  $4* 

*  Shea-Troyer,  Dabistan,  i.,  23a 

*  1st  Series  Notes  and  Queries,  v.,  372  seqq.y  495  ;  Abercromby,  Prehistoric 
Finns,  L,  339  ;  Gloucestershire  Folklore,  46  seqq. 

1 6  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

did  the  Glastonbury  thorn  and  the  tooth-pick  of  the  Indian 

Another  remarkable  legend  is  that  in  which  Krishna  pro- 
tects the  flocks  from  rain.  The  boy,  we  are  told,  denied  the 
right  of  Indra  to  receive  sacrifices,  another  instance  of  the 
conflict  of  rival  cults.  The  rain-god  in  his  wrath  poured 
down  an  irresistible  deluge,  which  would  have  destroyed 
the  flocks  had  not  Krishna  raised  the  hill  of  Govardhana 
and  shielded  them  by  holding  it  up  on  his  finger  for  seven 
days  and  nights.^  The  suggestion  of  Professor  Wilson* 
that  the  story  is  based  on  the  domed  cave  or  cavern  temples 
in  various  parts  of  India  hardly  explains  the  matter.  We 
have  closer  analogues  in  the  Nepalese  legends  of  the  peak 
Tendong,  which  miraculously  elongated  itself  to  save  the 
refugees  from  the  great  flood,  or  the  case  of  the  Jaina  Saint, 
Parsva-nitha,  over  whom  while  engaged  in  his  austerities 
his  enemy,  Kamatha,  caused  a  mighty  rain  to  fall,  on  which 
the  N4ga  or  serpent  king,  Dharmadhara,  shaded  him  with 
his  hood,  a  story  localised  at  Ahichhatra  in  Rohilkhand.* 
We  may  also  compare  the  many  tales  of  the  raising  of  the 
sky  from  the  earth,  the  heaven-pillars,  as  in  the  Atlas  myth, 
and  stories  of  the  miraculous  acts  of  gods  or  demons  who 
drop  mountains  from  their  aprons  as  they  fly  over  the  earth. 
St.  Anthony  of  Padua,  we  are  told,  was  able  to  keep  the 
rain  off  his  congregation  as  they  prayed  in  the  open  air ; 
and  the  same  tale  is  told  of  many  other  saints.* 

To  quote  Mr.  Growse's  summary  of  another  curious 
legend :  '*  But  who  so  frolicsome  as  the  boy  Krishna. 
Seeing  the  fair  maids  of  Braj  performing  their  ablutions 
in  the  Jumna  he  stole  along  the  bank,  and  picking  up  the 

*  Brand,  Observations ^  iii.,  194. 

*  (irowsc,  he,  ci/,,  60;  Wilson-Hall,  loc,  cit,  iv.,  314  seqq, 
»   Visknu  Purdna,  iv.,  316. 

*  WaddcU,  Himalayas,  no  ;  Cunningham,  Ancient  Geography  of  India^  L, 


*  Compare  the  AustralLin  legend,  yi>i/rwa/  of  the  Anthropological  Institute, 
vii.,  257. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  1 7 

clothes  of  which  they  had  divested  themselves,  climbed 
up  with  them  into  a  kadamb  tree.  There  he  mocked  the 
frightened  girls  as  they  came  shivering  out  of  the  water, 
nor  would  he  yield  a  particle  of  vestment  till  all  had  ranged 
before  him  in  a  row,  and  with  clasped  and  uplifted  hands 
piteously  entreated  him.  Thus  the  boy  taught  his  votaries 
that  submission  to  the  divine  will  was  a  more  excellent 
virtue  than  even  modesty.'*  ^  A  most  excellent  moral  drawn 
from  a  risqui  story.  Here  we  have  a  version  of  the  Swan- 
maiden  cycle  of  tales  which  has  been  so  fully  discussed  by 
other  writers  that  it  is  necessary  only  to  refer  to  it.  The 
tale,  I  need  hardly  say,  is  found  in  many  shapes  in  Indian 

But  the  form  of  the  story  as  it  appears  in  the  Krishna 
cycle  is  remarkable  because  it  is  associated  with  the  Vastra- 
harana,  the  sacred  tree,  which  is  said  to  be  so  named,  "  the 
seizing  of  the  clothes,"  from  this  incident.  Now  this 
appears  to  be  one  of  the  rag-trees  so  common  in  all  parts 
of  the  world,  where  sick  people  hang  their  clothes  or  frag- 
ments of  them  so  as  to  pass  the  disease  on  to  the  tree-spirit, 
or  to  gain  strength  through  communion  with  the  spirit  which 
proves  its  vitality  by  reviving  with  each  returning  spring. 
It  looks  very  much  as  if  this  may  have  been  the  basis  of 
the  tale,  the  clothes  hanging  on  the  branches  suggesting  a 
further  development  of  the  myth  in  the  direction  of  the 
Swan-maiden  cycle.  I  am  not  aware  if  there  are  other 
cases  in  which  the  two  cycles  thus  converge.  If  such  be 
the  case  it  would  be  interesting  as  another  instance  of  a  not 
unusual  method  of  the  growth  of  myth. 

Passing  on  from  folktales  to  ritual,  we  notice,  in  the  first 
place,  that  the  Krishna  cult  is  very  closely  associated  with 

*  Growse,  loc,  cit,^  59. 

*  North  Indian  Notes  and  Queries^  iii.,  120,  153  seqq. ;  Tawney,  loc.  cit., 
"•>  453 ;  Miss  Stokes,  loc,  cit.,  89 ;  Miss  Frere,  Old  Deccan  Days^  167  seqq. 
In  the  Makdbhdrata,  Adi  Parva,  sec.  78  (Ray,  i.,  240),  the  Gandharva, 
Chitraratha,  mixes  up  the  clothes  of  the  girls  while  they  are  bathing. 

VOL.  XI.  C 

1 8  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

the  observances  of  the  Holt  feast,  which  is  nowhere  cele- 
brated with  more  enthusiasm  than  in  places  where  the 
worship  of  Krishna  is  most  popular.  Most  people  are  now 
agreed  that  these  rites  of  the  sacred  fire  of  spring  are  in 
the  way  of  a  charm  to  secure  the  kindly  influence  of  sun- 
shine and  the  fertility  of  crops  and  cattle.  If  this  be  so, 
it  supplies  another  indication  that  Krishna  was  originally  a 
local  god  of  agriculture  and  cattle,  with  whose  cultus  such 
rites  would  naturally  be  connected.  To  this  may  be  added 
some  facts  pointing  in  the  same  direction.  The  first  is 
that  in  India,  as  in  other  places,  omens  are  drawn  of  the 
prospects  of  the  coming  season  from  the  way  in  which  the 
smoke  and  blaze  of  the  fire  ascend.^  It  was  probably  from 
some  rural  oracle  like  this  that  at  the  temple  of  the 
Ismenian  Apollo  divination  was  practised  by  observing  the 
appearance  of  the  sacrificial  flame  and  the  ashes  of  the 
burnt  offerings.  In  fact,  this  habit  of  observing  the  smoke 
and  fire  was  reduced  to  a  regular  science,  known  as 
Pyromanteia  or  Kapnomanteia.^ 

Another  fact  from  which  the  same  inference  may  be 
drawn  is  the  prominence  of  mock  combat  and  abuse,  par- 
ticularly of  women,  during  the  Holf.*"^  Customs  of  this  kind 
are  found  in  many  parts  of  the  world.  In  Greece  we  have 
the  women's  race  in  honour  of  Dionysus ;  the  contest  of 
the  Spartan  boys  at  the  Plane-tree-grove ;  the  raillery 
directed  at  women ;  the  yearly  contest  of  maidens  with 
stones  and  clubs  in  honour  of  Athena;  the  rites  of  the 
Daedala ;  the  sham  fight  at  the  Eleusinia ;  the  Lithobolia 
or  stone-throwing  custom  at  Troezen ;  the  Taurokalapsia 
or  Thessalian  bull-fight,  and  so  on.*     In  Rome  the  same 

*  Crooke,  Agricultural  and  Rural  Glossary ^  125. 

*  Sophocles,  (Ed,  Rex^  21  ;  Antig,^  i(X)5  seqq.;  Herodotus,  viii.,  134;  Eu- 
ripides, rhccn.^  1285  seqq,;  Frazer,  Golden  Bongh,  ii.,  270  ;  Smith,  Dictionary 
of  Antiquities  (2nd  ed.),  i.,  646. 

*  Growse,  loc.  cit,y  92  ;  Crooke,  Popular  Religion^  ii.,  316. 

*  Pausanias,  iii.,  13,  7  ;  ix.,  32,  2;  Frazer,  Golden  Bought  i.,  91  seqq,; 
Frazer,  Pausanias^  ii.,  492;  iii.,  267  seqq,;  Herodotus,  iv.,  180. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  19 

custom  is  represented  by  the  Equirria  or  Mamuralia,  the 
Matronalia  Festa,  the  Liberalia  and  the  Lupercalia,  in 
which  there  was  a  mock  human  sacrifice,  the  foreheads  of 
the  youths  being  smeared  with  the  knives  still  dripping 
from  the  slaughter  of  the  victims.^  This,  we  know,  was  a 
common  charm  to  promote  the  fertility  of  the  crops,  and  a 
survival  of  rites  like  these  may  possibly  be  traced  in  the 
modern  carnival. 

In  India  we  have  many  instances  of  the  same  type — the 
Bagwah  or  stone-throwing  in  Kumaun;  the  Barra,  or  tug  of 
war  between  adjoining  villages,  which  is  part  of  the  funeral 
rites  of  the  Maghs  ;  the  combat  between  the  people  of  the 
two  quarters  of  the  town  of  Pushkar;  the  sham  fights  in  the 
Hindu  Kush,  where  women  are  privileged  to  abuse  the  Ra 
or  chief ;  the  stone-throwing  rite  at  Ahmadnagar,  which  if 
discontinued  causes  a  plague  of  rats,  if  well  done  brings 
abundant  rain  ;  and  among  the  Bhtls  a  branch  of  a  tree  is 
planted  in  the  ground  which  the  men  try  to  uproot  and  are 
belaboured  by  women.^ 

Going  further  afield,  we  have  the  scramble  to  ascend  a 
tree  among  the  Nahuas  of  Western  America  ;  the  flinging 
of  cocoanuts  as  a  rain  charm  in  Ceylon ;  the  Dayak  combat 
to  scare  evil  spirits;  the  stoning  custom  at  Seoul  in  Corea; 
the  KAfirs  of  the  Hindu  Kush  flinging  an  iron  ball  on  a 
holiday  or  fighting  with  snowballs  at  the  Taska  feast ;  the 
Burmese  women  at  the  new  year  flinging  water  over  each 
other  ;  the  abuse  of  women  and  unrestrained  sexual  licence 
at  the  Nanga  rites  in  Fiji,  which  may  be  a  survival  of  group- 
marriage,  now  invested  with  a  ritual  significance  ;  the  fling- 
ing ot  stones  at  the  doors  of  the  cells  occupied  by  holy  men 

»  Smith,  loc,cit,yi.,  753. 

*  Crooke,  loc,  cit,,  ii.,  321;  North  Indian  Notes  and  Queries ^  iii.,  99; 
Risley,  Tribes  and  Castes,  ii. ,  34 ;  Broughton,  Letters  ft  om  a  Mahraftd  Camp^ 
356  seqq.  And  compare  Frazer,  Pausanias,  ii.,  492;  iii.,  267;  Indian 
Antupiary,\.,  5  ;  vi.,  29. 

C  2 

20  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

at  the  Phapa  rites  in  Siam ;  and  the  mock  combats  of  various 
American  Indian  tribes.^ 

I  need  hardly  refer  to  the  cases  of  the  late  survivals  of 
tribal  contests  in  Great  Britain  which  have  been  illustrated 
by  Mr.  G.  L.  Gomme.®  We  know  that  many  of  the  most 
ancient  fairs  in  this  country  are  connected  with  the  ancient 
cemeteries  and  some  cult  of  the  dead  in  which  mock  combats 
and  even  blood-letting  were  part  of  the  observances.  It 
would  be  tempting  to  suggest  that  we  have  a  similar  ritual 
survival  in  some  of  our  English  games,  like  "The  Raid," 
"  Scotch  and  English,"  and  "  Prisoners'  Base."  »  Bull-bait- 
ing, again,  which  in  some  cases  seems  to  be  a  survival  of  a 
water-sacrifice,*  often  takes  the  form  of  a  contest  between 
rival  villages  or  townships.  Akin  to  these  are  other  popular 
ceremonials  in  which  animals  take  part,  such  as  the  habit  of 
horse-riding  at  certain  feasts.^  Wren-hunting,  which  is 
done  by  fishermen  in  the  Isle  of  Man  to  keep  off  storms,  was 
originally  possibly  a  procession  in  honour  of  the  sacred 
beast  which  later  on  turned  into  a  hunt,  like  the  custom  of 
the  Munda  girls  in  India,  who  on  a  feast-day  hunt  and  kill 
any  pigs,  sheep,  or  goats  of  neighbouring  villages  which 
they  can  come  across,  and  that  of  the  youths  in  Bih4r,  who 
have  a  festival  on  which  they  hunt  hares  and  jackals.* 

*  Bancroft,  loc,  cit,,  ii.,  330;  i.,  84;  Punjab  Notes  and  Queries,  iii.,  85  ; 
Ling  Roth,  lac,  cit.,  i.,  260,  414 ;  The  Times,  8th  September,  1891  ;  Robert- 
son, KAfirs  of  the  Hindu  Kush,  584  seqq, ,  592  ;  Symcs,  Mission  to  the  Court 
of  Away  ii.,  210;  Burmah  Gazetteer ^  i.,  417;  Reports y  American  Bureau 
of  Ethnology,  1881-82,  295,  337  ;  Jarves,  History  of  the  Hawaiian  or  Sandwich 
Islands,  153;  Bowring,  5ww,  i.,  159  seqq ;  Jourttal  of  the  Anthropological 
Institute,  xxi.,  126. 

•  Village  Communities,  24a 

■  Mrs.  Gomme,  Traditional  Games,  iL,  79  seqq,,  183 ;  Denham  Tracts^ 
i.,  151  seqq, 

*  Folk-Lore,  vii.,  346. 

•  Martin  in  Pinkerton,  Travels,  iii.,  600,  606,  668,  716. 

'  Frazcr,  Golden  Bough,  ii.,  140;  Bancroft,  loc,  cit.,  ii.,  336;  Denham 
Tracts,  i.,  203;  North  Indian  Notes  and  Queries,  iii.,  98;  Grierson,  BihAr 
Peasant  Life,  401  ;  Gomme,  loc.  cit,,  112  seqq,  ;  Folk- Lore,  iii.,  463  seqq. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  21 

The  same  idea  may  underlie  some  of  our  most  popular 
village  rites  in  this  country — the  Hood  Game  at  Haxey ;  ^ 
the  ball  contests  at  Bury  St.  Edmunds  and  Newcastle;  ^the 
ram-hunting  at  Eton ;  ^  the  bull-baiting  at  Stamford  and 
Great  Grimsby ;  *  the  ball  playing  on  Shrove  Tuesday  at 
Whitby,  where  if  the  game  be  not  well  played  the  youngsters 
will  be  sure  to  fall  ill  at  harvest  time;  similar  rites  at 
St.  Ives,  Dorking  and  Nuneaton  ;  the  Whipping  Toms  at 
Leicester ;  the  whipping  of  the  cat  in  Shropshire ;  the 
catching  of  a  hare  at  Cleshill  in  Warwickshire;  and  the 
hurling  of  pitchers  into  houses  in  Cornwall.^  A  closer 
parallel  to  the  Hindu  rite  may  be  found  in  the  custom  of 
mock-combat  round  a  bonfire  at  Marlborough  on  the  5th  of 

The  published  accounts  of  many  of  these  rites  are  very 
meagre ;  but  we  may  perhaps  see  in  some  or  all  of  them 
one  of  two  principles — either  a  racial  or  tribal  contest 
between  the  residents  of  adjoining  villages  or  parts  of  the 
same  township — or  survivals  of  some  form  of  animal  or  per- 
haps human  sacrifice,  the  object  being  to  propitiate  the 
powers  of  evil  which  affect  the  fertility  of  the  crops  or  injure 
children  or  cattle. 

Another  important  rite  connected  with  Krishna  worship 
is  that  of  swinging  the  idol  or  one  of  the  devotees  before 
the  image  of  the  god.  In  Bengal  this  rite  is  known  as  the 
Dola  Yitra  or  swinging  rite,  and  is  performed  in  spring  or 

*  Folk-Lore^  viL,  330  seqq, ;  2nd  Series  Notes  and  Queries^  iv.,  486 ;  4th 
series,  ix.,  158  seqq, 

«  Hone,  Everyday  Book  (ed.  1878),  i.,  215. 

■  7th  Series  Notes  and  Queries,  iv.,  416,  467  ;  2nd  Series,  vii.,  201. 

*  5th  Series  Notes  and  Queries,  ii.,  224;  Hone,  loc,  cit.,  i.,  741 ;  Gentle- 
man* s  Magazine  Library,  Manners  and  Customs,  211  seqq, 

•  5lh  S&Ats  Notes  and  Queries,  vii.,  120;  8th  Series,  viii.,  28;  1st  Series, 
ix.,  223  seqq.  ;  3rd  Series,  i.,  224;  6th  Series,  i.,  154;  1st  Series,  vii.,  235  ; 
2nd  Series,  vii.,  312  ;  Hone,  Year  Book  (ed.  1878),  269  ;  Gentleman* s  Maga- 
zine, loc,  cit,,  258. 

•  1st  Series  Notes  and  Queries,  v.,  365. 

22  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

about  the  middle  of  March.  The  image  of  the  god  is 
carried  on  a  swing  or  placed  in  a  seat  or  cradle,  which  as 
soon  as  the  dawn  appears  is  set  quietly  in  motion  for  a  few 
turns.  This  is  repeated  at  noon  and  again  at  sunset. 
During  the  day,  as  at  the  Holi  in  Northern  India,  a  good 
deal  of  horseplay  goes  on,  sprinkling  of  coloured  powder 
and  water,  abuse  of  women,  and  so  on.^  In  Northern  India, 
at  the  Tij  or  third  day  of  the  month  Sivan,  in  the  autumn 
is  a  woman's  feast,  when  they  bathe,  dress  in  their  best,  and 
swing  in  merry-go-rounds.^  In  the  month  of  S4van  in 
Bengal,  Dharmar^ja,  who  is  here  probably  identified  with 
Yama,  god  of  death,  has  a  feast  where  swinging  goes  on.* 
The  rite  of  swinging  Krishna  is  also  performed  at  Jaggan- 
nAth,  and  Mr.  Pegge  gives  an  illustration  and  account  of  the 
rite,  while  in  Bombay  a  special  fair  of  the  same  kind  is  held 
at  Yellama's  Hill.*  The  Bengal  hook-swinging  rite,  at  which 
devotees  torture  themselves  and  some  swing  with  hooks 
passed  through  the  loins,  has  been  often  described.  It 
prevailed  in  many  parts  of  the  country,  and  instances 
have  been  reported  in  quite  recent  times.  The  swinging 
of  the  god  Lingo  is  prominent  in  the  Gond  Epic,  and  the 
swinging  of  witches  is  still  common  among  some  of  the 
jungle  tribes.^ 

These  swinging  rites  prevail  in  many  parts  of  the  world. 
In  Greece  we  have  the  Aiora,  which  is  based  on  a  legend 
that  Dionysus  was  received  by  Icarius  and  taught  the  culture 
of  the  vine.  Icarius  gave  some  of  the  wine  to  the  neigh- 
bouring peasants,  who  believed  that  they  had  been  poisoned 
by  it,  and  slew  him.  When  they  came  to  their  senses  they 
buried  him,  and  his  daughter,  Erigonc,  guided  to  the  grave 

'  Wilson,  Essays f  ii.,224  scqq.  ;  Wanl,  Hindoos^  ii.,  171 ;  Monier  Williams, 
Hinduism  and  Bnihmanism,  430. 

"  North  Indian  Notes  and  Queries y  iv.,  149. 
>  Ihid.,  i.,  76. 

*  Peggc,  Orissa  Mission y  1 18  scqq.  ;  Bombay  Gazetteer ,  xxi.,  613. 

*  Ilislop,  Abori^nal  Tribes ^  App.  28  ;  compare  Ling  Ruth,  ive.cit,,  i.,  368. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  23 

by  her  favourite  dog,  Maera,  hanged  herself  on  a  tree  close 
by.  Dionysus  thereupon  sent  a  grievous  plague  which  could 
be  stayed  only  by  the  offering  to  him  of  the  Phallus.  Then, 
in  order  to  appease  the  ghost  of  Erigone,  the  Athenian 
maidens  all  began  to  hang  themselves.  This  madness 
could  be  appeased  only  by  the  institution  of  the  feast  of  the 
Aiora,  in  which  maidens  swing  themselves  on  trees,  a  clear 
instance  of  a  folktale  invented  to  explain  a  piece  of  primitive 
ritual.^  By  another  story  the  rite  seems  to  have  been  con- 
nected with  the  suicide  of  Phaedra.'^  The  Aiora  has  come 
down  to  modern  times  in  the  Greek  islands.  "On  the 
Tuesday  after  Easter  the  maidens  of  Seriphos  play  their 
favourite  game  of  the  swing.  They  hang  a  rope  from  one 
wall  to  the  other,  put  some  clothes  on  it,  and  swing,  singing 
and  swinging  one  after  another.  Aware  of  this,  the  young 
men  try  to  pass  by,  and  are  called  upon  for  a  toll  of  one 
penny  each,  a  song,  and  a  swing.  The  words  they  use  are 
as  follows :  *  The  gold  is  swung,  the  silver  is  swung,  and 
swung,  too,  is  my  love  with  the  golden  hair.'  To  which  the 
maiden  replies :  '  Who  is  it  that  swings  me  that  I  may  gild 
him  with  my  favour,  that  I  may  work  him  a  fez  all  covered 
with  pearls  ? '  Then,  having  paid  his  penny,  he  is  per- 
mitted to  pass,  and  another  comes  and  does  likewise.'*  * 

The  origin  of  these  rites  is  obscure.  In  some  cases  they 
seem  to  represent  merely  a  fertility  charm,  as  when  in 
Madras  the  Reddi  brings  home  his  bride,  a  swing  is  hung 
from  the  house-beam,  a  wooden  doll  is  hung  in  it,  and 
swung  by  husband  and  wife,  while  the  women  sing  songs, 
obviously  a  charm  to  make  their  union  fertile.*  In  other 
cases  it  may  be  connected  with  the  rule  which  prevents 
divine  personages  and  those  under  taboo,  as  girls  when 

'  Miss   Harrison,  loc,   ciU^    Intro.,  xxxix.  ;    Frazer,    Pausanias,  ii.,   461  ; 
Classical  Review y  ill.,  378  seqq, 

*  Pausanias,  x.,  29,  3. 

•  Bent,  Cyclades,  5. 

^  Bombay  Gautiur^  xviii.  (i),  405. 

24  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

they  come  of  age,  from  touching  either  heaven  or  earth.^ 
We  have,  again,  the  common  custom  of  hanging  masks  on 
trees,  which  swing  about  and  are  supposed  to  promote  their 
fertility — the  Oscilla  of  Rome  and  the  Dozzils  of  parts  of 
England.^  A  bull-roarer  is  swung  in  the  same  way 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Torres  Straits  as  a  fishing 
charm,  and  in  Celebes  dolls  are  hung  on  trees  to  protect 
the  fruit.*  In  the  same  class  is  probably  the  cult  of 
Aparchomeme,  the  "  hanging  "  Artemis.  The  children,  we 
are  told,  hung  up  images  of  Artemis,  and  the  men  of  Kaphyae 
stoned  them.  The  angry  goddess  smote  their  wives  with 
sore  disease,  and  thus  the  cult  of  the  Hanging  Artemis  came 
to  be  instituted.  We  find  also  the  same  idea  in  the  worship 
of  Helene  Dendritis.* 

It  shows  itself  in  India  in  the  custom  of  hanging  up  little 
cots  on  trees  as  a  remedy  for  disease.  In  Madras  when 
cholera  appears,  a  swing  is  put  up  in  the  shrine  of  Bhan- 
garmft  and  worshipped.^  In  fact,  the  idea  seems  to  have 
generally  prevailed  that  the  swinging  of  anything  before  a 
god,  from  the  hook-swinging  of  a  devotee  to  the  whirling 
Dervishes,  was  a  mode  of  propitiating  the  divinity,  every 
part  of  the  person  or  thing  offered  being  brought  in  succes- 
sion into  the  immediate  view  of  the  god.  Thus,  we  have  in 
India  the  Evil  Eye  protectives  of  swinging  lamps,  rice 
pounders,  and  what  not,  round  the  head  of  the  married  pair. 
The  Nahuas  of  Western  America  swung  censers  before 
their  images  and  before  the  sun,*  and  the  swinging  censer 
has  come  down  to  the  Christianity  of  our  own  days.  It  is 
no  doubt  in  consonance  with  some  ancient  rite  of  propitia- 

'  Frazer,  Golden  Bought  i.,  223  seqq, 

*  Vergil,  Georgicsy  i.,  382  seqq,;  Smith,  Dictioftary  of  Antiquities ^  ii.,  305  ; 
Folklore^  vii.,  399. 

^  Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute ^  xix.,  406. 

^  Farnell,  Cults  of  the  Greek  States,  ii.,  428,  634;  Pausanios,  vi.,  22,  5. 

*  Crooke,  loc.  cit, ,  i.,  97  ;  Oppert,  Original  Inhabitants  of  Bhamtavarsha, 

*  Bancroft,  loc,  cit»y  ii.,  318. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  25 

tion  that  in  Bolivia  people  swing  all  day  long  on  All  Souls' 
Day  in  the  hope  that  while  they  swing  they  may  approach 
the  spirits  of  their  departed  friends  as  they  fly  from 
Purgatory  to  Paradise.  They  swing  as  high  as  they  can,  so 
as  to  reach  the  topmost  branches  of  the  trees,  and  when- 
ever they  are  able  to  pull  off  one  of  the  higher  boughs  they 
think  that  they  release  a  soul  from  Purgatory.^ 

A  large  part  of  the  Krishna  legend  relates  to  his  amours 
with  the  Gopis,  the  wives  and  daughters  of  the  herdsmen 
of  the  land  of  Braj.  On  this  is  based  many  of  the  erotic 
myths  which  form  such  a  repulsive  element  in  modern 
Vaishnavism.  "  Drawn  from  their  lonely  homes,'*  as 
Mr.  Growse  tells  the  story,^  '*  by  the  low  sweet  notes  of  his 
seductive  pipe,  they  floated  round  him  in  rapturous  love, 
and  through  the  moonlight  autumn  nights  joined  him  in  the 
circling  dance,  passing  from  glade  to  glade  in  ever-increas- 
ing ecstacy  of  passion.  To  whatever  theme  his  voice  was 
attuned,  their  song  had  but  one  burden — his  perfect  beauty  ; 
and  as  they  mingled  in  the  mystic  maze,  with  eyes  closed 
in  the  intensity  of  voluptuous  passion,  each  nymph  as  she 
grasped  the  hand  of  her  partner  thrilled  at  the  touch,  as 
though  the  hand  were  Krishna's,  and  dreamed  herself  alone 
supremely  blessed  in  his  undivided  affection.  R4dh4, 
fairest  of  the  fair,  reigned  queen  of  the  revels,  and  so 
languished  in  the  heavenly  delights  of  his  embraces  that  all 
consciousness  of  earth  and  self  was  obliterated." 

This  is  the  dance  known  as  the  R&sa-mandala,  or 
circular  dance,  and  in  the  popular  representations  of  it 
"  whatever  the  number  of  Gopis  introduced  so  often  is  the 
figure  of  Krishna  repeated.  Thus  each  Gopi  can  claim 
him  as  a  partner,  while  again  in  the  centre  of  the  circle  he 
stands  in  larger  form  with  his  favourite,  RAdh4."  By  a 
similar  legend  a  friend  challenged  Krishna  to  bestow  on 

'  8th  Series  Notes  and  Qturies,  vi.,  345. 
*  Growse,  loc»  cit,,  61, 

26  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

him  one  of  his  wives.  '*  In  whatever  room  thou  findest  me 
not,"  he  answered,  *'  she  is  thine ;  "  and  Saubhari  the  sage, 
we  are  told,  visited  all  the  daughters  of  King  Mandhatri  at 
the  same  time.^ 

This  is  not  the  place  to  discuss  the  question  of  religious 
dances  at  any  length.  This  much  seems  fairly  clear,  that 
they  are  often  intended  to  act  as  a  charm  to  promote  the 
fertility  of  the  animal  and  vegetable  world.  Pausanias 
tells  us  that  one  part  of  the  cult  of  the  chthonic  powers, 
among  whom  the  vegetation  deities  hold  a  prominent  place, 
was  the  smiting  of  the  underground  folk  with  rods ;  and  to 
this  day  at  their  seasonal  dances  the  Kol  girls  in  India 
kneel  and  pat  the  ground  in  time  to  the  music,  as  if 
coaxing  it  to  be  productive.^  The  dance,  then,  was 
apparently  a  variant  of  this,  and  the  beating  of  the  ground 
by  the  feet  of  the  dancers  was  an  attempt  to  wake  the 
slumbering  gods  of  growth  at  each  recurring  spring. 
When,  as  in  the  R&sa-mandala,  the  dance  took  a  circular 
form,  another  kind  of  charm  was  added,  of  which  the  tale 
of  instances  is  legion. 

We  may,  then,  in  the  first  place,  compare  with  this  dance 
of  Krishna  and  the  women  that  of  the  Grecian  nymphs,  the 
spirits  of  wood  and  spring,  through  whom  the  earth  gives 
its  increase.  Homer  tells  us  that  they  have  fair  dancing 
grounds  and  dance  round  Achelous,  while  the  Agronomoi 
or  wild-wood  nymphs  disport  themselves  with  Artemis.^ 
Their  successors,  the  modern  fairies,  dance  in  the  "  Mid- 
summer Night's  Dream,'*  and  rustics  sometimes  are  privi- 
leged to  see  their  dances  in  the  England  and  Germany  of 
our  days.^     Like  these  are  the  dances  of  the  Maenads,  that 

•  Shea-Troyer,  Dabistan,  iii.,  32;  Wilson-Hall,  he.  cii.^  iii.,  274. 

«  Pausanias,  viii.,  15,  3,  with  Frazer's  note  ;  Journal  of  the  Asiatic  Society 
of  Bengal,  xxxv.  (2),  184. 

>  Odyssey^  vi.,  105  :  xii.,  318  ;  Iliad,  xxiv.,  615  scqq, 

*  Aubrey,  Remaines,  28;  Grimm,  loc.  cit,,  ii.,  555;  Folk- Lore  Record,  i, 

27  ;  Jones-Kropf,  Magyar  Folk-Tales,  Intro.,  xxxiv. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  27 

of  the  naked  youths  in  honour  of  Apollo,  that  of  the 
Lacedaemonian  maidens,  and  that  of  the  Thyiads  in  Athens, 
the  rite  of  Mother  Dindymene  and  the  Kordax  on  Mount 
Sipylus.^  It  is  repeated  in  that  of  the  Salii  at  Rome,  and 
in  the  ritual  of  the  Floralia.  Of  modern  instances  it  is 
only  necessary  to  name  the  puberty-  and  wedding-dance 
among  savages,  the  Zulus  for  instance,  and  to  this  day 
there  is  a  special  wedding-dance  in  Brittany.^  It  is  doubt- 
less with  the  same  motive  that  the  Madonna  del  Mateno  of 
Sardinia  pirouettes  in  public,  that  there  is  a  Whitsuntide 
dance  at  Echternach  in  Luxemburgh,  and  that  the  Mexicans 
dance  in  honour  of  Our  Lady  of  Guadalupe.^  We  have 
another  survival  of  the  same  rite  in  the  Furry  or  Faddy 
dance  at  Helston  in  Cornwall,  which  is  said  to  commemo- 
rate a  dragon  which  once  passed  over  the  town  without 
doing  any  harm,  possibly  a  reminiscence  of  the  great  rain- 

Secondly,  in  the  Gopis  we  may  recognise  the  temple- 
slaves  of  the  East,  concubines  of  the  god,  known  in  India 
as  Devi-d&sis,  an  institution  connected  with  the  custom  of 
marriage  to  the  god,  of  which  I  have  given  many  instances 
in  another  place.*  The  same  custom  prevailed  in  Egypt; 
and  these  divine  dancers  passed  into  the  Greek  world  as 
the  Hierodouloi,  of  whom  Strabo  tells  us  there  were  six 

*  Pausanias,  iii.,  ii,  9 ;  lo,  7 ;  iv.,  16,  9 ;  x.,  4,  3  ;  vi.,  22,  i  ;  Frazer,  ii., 
411  ;  iii.,  320;  iv.,  95,  147. 

*  Theal,  loc,  cit.^  217  ;  8th  Series  Notes  and  Queries^  vi.,  481  ;  Frazer, 
PausaniaSy  iii.,  469. 

'  8th  Series  NoUs  and  Queries,  x.,  397  ;  7th  Series,  ix.,  381  ;  8th  Series, 
X.,  115,  202, 

•  6th  Series  Notes  Mid  Queries,  xi.,  468,  496  ;  5th  Series,  v.,  507  ;  vi.,  32  ; 
7th  Series,  ix.,  424 ;  Hone,  Everyday  Book,  ii..  324  seqq. ;  Gentleman* s 
Magazine,  loc,  cit,,  216  seqq, 

•  North  Indian  Notes  and  Queries,  iv.,  9  seqq. ;  C.  Ramachendrier,  Collec- 
tion of  Decisions  of  the  High  Court  and  Prity  Council  on  Dancing  Girls, 
Intro.,  I  seqq.  ;  Crooke,  loc.  cit.,  ii.,  118 ;  Bombay  Gazetteer,  xviii.  (i),  546  ; 
Dubois,  Hindu  Manturs,  Customs,  and  Ceremonies,  (ed.  Beauchamp)  133, 
592 ;  Yule,  Marco  Polo,  ii.,  288  seqq. 

28  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

thousand  at  the  temple  of  the  Cappadocian  Comana  and 
three  thousand  at  Morimene,  while  the  early  Musalmin  in- 
vaders found  five  hundred  at  the  great  temple  of  Somnith.^ 
A  variant  of  this  institution  leads  us  to  the  fable  of  the 
Amazons  and  the  Land  of  Women  of  Celtic  legend.* 

I  have  left  to  the  end  of  this  Paper  what  is  perhaps  the 
most  interesting  part  of  the  Krishna  myths,  the  explanation 
of  his  name.  The  word  means,  "  the  black,  the  dark,  or 
the  dark  blue  one,"  and  in  the  popular  representations  of 
him  he  is  usually  depicted  as  of  a  dark  blue  hue.  The 
popular  Hindu  explanation,  that  he  was  originally  born 
black,  does  not  help  us  to  an  explanation.  The  difficulty 
of  explaining  his  name  was  felt  at  a  very  early  time,  as  is 
shown  by  the  attempt  to  derive  it  from  krishi,  "ploughing," 
or  from  krishi^  "  what  existeth,*'  and  na^  "  eternal  peace."  ' 
He  may  be,  as  we  have  seen,  an  agricultural  god,  but  his 
name  cannot  be  derived  from  his  functions.  Equally  in- 
conclusive is  the  view  of  one  school  of  comparative  mytho- 
logists,  which  identifies  him  with  the  setting  sun. 

His  title  opens  up  a  very  curious  chapter  in  religious 
symbolism,  that  of  the  black  or  otherwise  coloured  gods. 

To  begin  with  Egypt,  we  have  black  gods  in  Isis  and 
Osiris,  the  latter  in  his  form  as  god  of  the  dead,  while  he  is 
green  when  a  corn-god.*  Ammon  is  a  blue  god,  which  is 
the  colour  of  the  modern  Buddhist  ghosts,  while  Krishna  is 
one  of  the  nine  black  Vasu-devas  of  the  Jainas,  and  by  the 
early  Buddhists  he  was  regarded  as  the  chief  of  the  black 

'  Herodotus,  i.,  199 ;  Maspero,  Davnt  of  Civilisation^  126,  676 ;  Stntggie 
of  the  Nations^  161,  182  ;  Miiller,  Dorians^  i.,  282  seqq,  ;  Frazer,  Pausanias^ 
iii.,  30,  450;  Smith,  Dictionary  of  Antiquities  (2nd  ed.),  i.,  959;  Encyclo- 
padia  Biblica^  i.,  338. 

*  Nult,  Voyage  of  Bran ^  i.,  30,  146. 

■  Muir,  loc,  cit,^  iv.,  219;  Afahdbh&rata,  Udyoga  Parva^  sec.  69,  Ray 
trans.,  iii.,  227. 

*  Plutarch,  De  /side,  33 ;  Wilkinson,  Ancient  Egyptians  (ed.  1878),  ilL, 
81  ;  Maspero,  Dawn  of  Civilisation^  73 ;  Erman,  Life  in  Ancient  Egypt^ 
305  ;  Frazer,  Goldett  Bought  i.,  403. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  29 

demons.^  In  Egypt  H&pi,  the  Nile  god,  is  sometimes  red 
and  sometimes  blue.* 

In  Mexico,  Acosta  describes  the  idol  of  Vitziliputzli :  '*  It 
was  an  image  of  wood  like  to  a  man,  set  upon  a  stoole  of 
the  colour  of  Azure,  in  a  brancard  or  litter,  at  every  comer 
was  a  piece  of  wood  in  form  of  a  serpent's  head.  The 
stoole  signified  that  he  was  set  in  heaven  ;  the  idoll  had  all 
the  forehead  azure,  and  had  a  band  of  azure  under  the  nose 
from  one  ear  to  another."  *  The  aspect  of  other  Mexican 
gods  was  similar,  as  that  of  Chalchihuitlicue  and  Cipattonal.* 
Blue  seems  to  have  been  a  sacred  colour,  as  in  Yucatan  the 
assistants  of  sorcerers  painted  themselves  blue,  which  was 
the  colour  of  the  books  used  by  the  priests  and  at  special 
feasts  of  the  gods,  the  instruments  used  in  every  profession, 
the  doors  of  houses,  and  even  children  were  daubed  with 

In  India  black  gods  abound.  Besides  those  to  whom 
statues  of  black  stone  are  dedicated,  of  which  more  later 
on,  we  have  Siva  and  R4hu,  Vishnu,  T4r4,  and  K41t-devt. 
Siva,  again,  is  known  as  Ntla-kantha,  or  '*  blue-necked,"  to 
explain  which  a  myth  was  invented  that  his  colour  was 
derived  from  the  drinking  of  the  deadly  poison,  which 
otherwise  would  have  destroyed  the  world.  S4raswati,  a 
river  goddess,  is  blue ;  and  in  his  form  as  N4r4yana  Vishnu 
has  a  blue  stone  image  in  Nep&l.*  The  colour  of  N4r4yana 
obviously  attracted  attention  in  early  times,  for  we  have  in 
the  Mah4bh&rata  a  story  that  it  was  only  in  the  Iron  Age 
that  he  became  black.'^ 

Among  other  black  gods  may  be  named  the  Japanese  Dai 

'  Bunsen,  Egypfs  PlacCy  i.,  370. 

'  Maspero,  loc,  cit,,  37. 

'  Bancroft,  Ice,  cit,,  iii.,  291. 

*  3id.,  iii.,  297,  368,  491. 
»  /M,,  ii.,  697,  7CX). 

•  Growse,  Rdmdyana  of  Tulsi  Dds,  49 ;  Ward,  Hindoos,  ii.,  26,  147  ; 
Asiatic  Researches,  ii.,  313. 

'  McMbhdfotay  Vana  Parva,  sec.  149 ;  Ray,  trans.,  iL,  448. 

30  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

Gakf,  "the  great  black  one,"  who  is  a  god  of  riches,  like  the 
Hindu  Kuvera,  "  the  ugly  one,"  both  probably  black  spirits 
of  the  hearth,  like  Brownie  and  the  Cauld  Lad  of  Hilton.^ 
Malignant  spirits  and  ghosts  are  naturally  depicted  as  black, 
such  as  the  cruel  wood-sprite  in  Terra  del  Fuego,  and  the 
Ukraine  god  of  evil.  Our  own  Devil  and  others  of  his 
kinsfolk  are  described  as  black,  and  Pausanias  speaks  of 
the  black  ghost  of  Temesa.^ 

Passing  on  to  Greece,  we  have  the  Nocturnal  Dionysus 
and  Dionysus  of  the  Black  Goatskin,  the  Black  Erinys,  the 
Black  Aphrodite,  said  to  be  so  called  because  men  indulge 
in  vice  at  night,  but  who  was  really  a  chthonic  deity  of  the 
grave,  and  the  Black  Demeter.* 

English  tradition  supplies  us  with  a  black  Godiva,  who  is 
doubtless  a  decayed  deity  of  the  older  paganism.* 

In  more  modern  times  we  have  the  host  of  Black  Madonnas., 
a  very  curious  chapter  in  the  history  of  hagiology.^  The 
legends  given  in  explanation  of  their  colour  are  of  many 
kinds.  Thus  the  image  of  Maria  Egyptiaca  was  entirely 
covered  with  hair  to  represent  her  dwelling  in  the  desert, 
"  al  black  over  all  her  body  of  the  grate  heat  and  bren- 
nynge  of  the  sun,"  as  the  Golden  Legend  describes  her.* 
Others  are  said  to  have  been  buried  in  the  earth  or  bogs, 

'  Gomme,  Folklore  Relics  of  Village  Life^  88  ;  the  Mexican  Yxtliton  or 
Ixthillon,  "  the  little  negro,"  or  **  the  black-faced,"  cured  children  of  various 
diseases.     Bancroft,  loc.  ci/.y  iii.,  409. 

'Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute^  x.  40  ;  xii.,  158,  162  :  xv,,  145; 
Ralston,   Russian   Fairy    Tales,  358  ;    Pausanias,  vi.,  6,    ii  ;    Frazer,   iv., 


'  Pausanias,  i.,  40,  6 ;  ii.,  35,  I  ;  Frazer,  ii.,  525  seqq,  ;  Aeschylus,  Choeph^ 
1038 ;  Sept.  Contra  Thebes,  696,  975 ;  Euripides,  Orestes,  321  ;  EUctra^ 
1345  ;  Pausanias,  viii.,  34,  3  ;  ii.,  2,  4 ;  viii.,  6,  5  ;  ix.,  27,  5  ;  Famell,  loc, 
cit,,  ii.,  649  seqq,  ;  Pausanias,  viii.,  5,  8,  42,  i  ;  Frazer,  iv.,  406. 

*  ITartland,  Science  of  Fairy  Tales,  85. 

*  Grimm,  loc.  cit.,  i.,  313;  Inman,  Ancient  Faiths,  iL,  263;  Brewer, 
Dictionary  of  Miracles,  526  ;  9th  Series  Notes  and  Queries,  ii.,  367,  397,  449, 
475.  537  ;  iii-»  I90»  37^  seqq.,  452  ;  iv.,  77,  135,  177,  315. 

"  Fosbroke,  Cyclcpccdia  of  Antiquities,  i.,  102,  quoting  Golden  Legend^ 
fol.  Ixxii. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  3 1 

and  to  have  been  recovered  from  thence  by  some  favoured 
votary.  Such  is  the  famous  Madonna  la  Trouche,  that 
found  in  the  Cullen  bog  near  Tipperary,  the  Madonna  of 
Ballyvourney  in  the  county  of  Cork,  and  that  of  St.  Molaise 
at  Innismurray.^ 

Blackness  is  the  characteristic  of  images  other  than 
Madonnas,  such  as  the  rag  images  of  the  Italian  Befanas, 
which  take  the  place  of  our  Santa  Claus  and  have  blackened 

The  question  of  the  explanation  of  the  origin  of  these 
black  gods  is  extremely  complex. 

In  some  cases  we  may  suspect  that  they  represent  a 
racial  type  familiar  to  the  people  who  first  introduced  this 
form  of  worship.  We  must  remember  that  among  some 
races  blackness  of  complexion  is  not  alone  considered  not 
unbecoming,  but  is  even  admired.  One  of  the  titles  of  the 
Zulu  kings,  for  instance,  was  "  You  who  are  black ;  "  and 
the  lady  in  the  Canticles  says,  "  I  am  black  but  comely,  O 
daughters  of  Jerusalem."  *  We  find  the  Egyptian  queen, 
Nofritari,  consort  of  Ahmosis,  identified  with  Isis  and 
depicted  as  a  black-skinned  goddess.*  Hence  we  can 
explain  why  St.  Benedito,  a  black  negro  saint  is  wor- 
shipped on  the  Amazon,  and  on  the  Gold  Coast  the  white 
man's  God  is  said  to  be  black,  and  he  appears  at  the  foot 
of  the  fetish-tree  in  the  form  of  a  black  dog.^ 

Now  it  has  been  often  noticed  that  some  of  the  forms  of 
the  Indian  Buddha  and  other  black  Hindu  gods  are  of  a 
distinctively  negroid  type,  representing  the  deity  with 
thick  lips,  long  hanging  ear  lobes,  and  black  curly  hair 

•  Rhys,  Hibbert  Lectures^  102 ;  O'Curry,  Manners  and  Customs^  iii., 
Td^note;  Borlase,  Dolmens  of  Ireland^  iii.,  788,  1 115;  Southey,  Common- 
place Booky  iii.,  174. 

»  6th  Series  Notes  and  Queries^  ii.,  409. 

■  Darwin,  Descent  of  Man,  579 ;  Canticles,  i.,  5  ;  Journal  of  the  Anthropo- 
logical Institute,  XV.,  56  ;  Featherman,  Negritoes,  584  note, 

•  Maspero,  Struggle  of  the  Nations,  96,  98. 

•  Bales,  AmoMon,  i.,  310  segq,  ;  Featherman,  loc,  cit.,  160  note. 

32  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

which  cannot  be  referred  to  any  existing  Indian  people.^ 
Dr.  Waddell  describes  the  Lama  of  Tibet  as  a  man  with 
short  curly  hair,  like  the  conventional  images  of  Buddha  ; 
the  courtiers  depicted  in  the  rock  paintings  of  the  Ajanta 
caves  have  fair  or  dark  brown  curly  hair,  while  the 
attendants  are  black  with  curly  negroid  hair,  and  some  are 
dwarfs ;  the  images  of  the  Jaina  saint  Gautama  have  crisp 
curly  hair,  thick  lips,  and  black  skin.^  The  enlargement  of 
the  ear  lobe  has  also  been  often  noticed.'  Mr.  Walhouse 
thus  describes  the  image  of  Buddha  at  Karakal  in  South 
Kanara :  *  "  Remarkable  it  is,  too,  that  the  features  show 
nothing  distinctively  Hindu.  The  hair  grows  in  close  crisp 
curls ;  the  broad  fleshy  cheeks  might  make  the  face  seem 
heavy,  were  it  not  for  the  marked  and  dignified  expression 
conferred  by  the  calm  forward  gazing  eyes  and  aquiline 
nose,  somewhat  pointed  at  tip.  The  forehead  is  of  average 
size,  the  lips  very  full  and  thick,  the  upper  one  long  almost 
to  ugliness,  throwing  the  chin,  though  full  and  prominent, 
into  the  shade.  The  arms,  which  touch  the  body  only  at 
the  hips,  are  remarkably  long,  the  large,  well-formed  hands 
and  fingers  reaching  to  the  knees."  It  may  be  suspected 
that  in  these  representations  we  have  a  proof  of  negroid 
or  negrito  influence  on  Indian  religious  beliefs. 

Again,  in  some  cases,  the  blackness  of  certain  images 
serves  only  to  connote  extreme  antiquity.  As  we  have  seen, 
some  of  them  are  said  to  have  been  found  in  bogs  or  buried 
in  the  ground,  and  their  dark  appearance  would  corroborate 
this  view  of  their  origin,  and  sometimes,  perhaps,  tend  to 
the  growth  of  a  conventional  type.  We  know  that  in  the 
Roman  Catholic   and   Eastern  churches   it   is   a  common 

*  Bombay  Gazetteer^  xiv.,  83;    Gujarat  Gazetteer^  i.,  458   note;  Atiatic 
J^esearcheSf  iu, ,  122. 

*  Waddell,  Among  the  Himalayas^  161 ;  Bombay  Gazetteer ^  xii.,488  ;  xiv., 
67  ;  XV.  (I),  232. 

*  Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute^  ii.,  192  seqq. 

*  Frazer^s  Magazitu^  May,  1875. 

TTie  Legends  of  Krishna.  33 

incident  in  the  ritual  to  burn  candles  or  incense  before  such 
images ;  and  an  ancient  Madonna  would  naturally  become 
darkened  in  this  way,  as  the  fetish  stone  in  an  Indian  village 
becomes  dark  from  repeated  oblations  of  oil  and  butter. 
The  famous  Black  Rood  of  Scotland,  for  instance,  seems  to 
have  presented  the  appearance  of  being  blackened  all  over.^ 
It  was  possibly  the  natural  reverence  felt  towards  old 
blackened  images  which  suggested  to  the  Greeks  the  con- 
struction of  so  many  of  their  Xoana  from  ebony.* 

In  the  same  way,  too,  many  of  these  images  are  said  to 
have  been  blackened  by  fire.  Thus  we  have  the  image  of 
the  Ithomatian  Zeus,  which  was  said  to  have  been  found  in 
a  burned  forest,  and  there  was  another  charred  image  of 
Athena.*  So  Fryer  describes  a  pagoda  at  Gokama  in 
Kanara  made  of  black  marble,  and  particularly  venerated 
because  it  had  escaped  the  fire.*  The  same  tale  is  told  of 
a  Lingara  at  M4ndh4ta  in  the  Central  Provinces.^  Al  Azraki 
tells  us  that  the  black  stone  of  Mecca  was  once  of  a  reful- 
gent bright  colour,  but  became  repeatedly  blackened  by  fire 
both  before  and  after  the  rise  of  IslAm.*  We  have  a  similar 
instance  in  the  image  of  the  rough  black  stone  which  repre- 
sents the  jungle  goddess  PorA  MAt,  which  is  said  to  have 
been  rescued  from  a  burning  forest.^ 

At  any  rate  the  worship  of  black  stones  is  a  well-marked 
phase  in  the  history  of  early  religion.  Among  these  we 
have  the  Baetuli  of  Syria,  a  word  which  is  another  form  of 
the  better  known  Hebrew  Bethel.®     One  of  the  Fiji  gods  is 

'  1st  Series  Notes  and  Queries^  ii.,  409. 

•  Pausanias,  i.,  35»  3  5  42»  5  ;  "  >  22,  5 ;  viii.,  17,  2  ;  53,  11. 
'  Ibid.y  iii.,  26,  6  ;  i.,  27,  6. 

•  East  India  and  Persia^  159  seqq, 

•  Central  Provinces  Gautteer^  261. 

•  Burclchardt,  Travels,  i.,  297. 

'  Crooke,  loc,  cit,,  i.,  1 14  seqq.  The  same  story  is  told  of  the  Santo  Nino  de 
CeM  and  of  a  famous  Cross  in  the  Philippine  Islands.  Foreman,  Philippine 
Islands  (2nd  ed.),  196  seqq. 

•  Pliny,  Nat,  HisLy  xxxvii.,  135  ;  Encyclopadia  Biblica,  569  note, 

34  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

a  black  milestone,  and  in  Bengal,  Ward  informs  us,  all 
stone  images  are  of  black  marble,  and  the  same  type  is 
particularly  common  in  Bombay.^  We  may  add  the  SAla- 
grAma,  or  black  ammonite,  which  represents  Vishnu,  and 
in  Guatemala  the  famous  oracular  stone  of  Patinamit  is 

We  may  suspect  that  many  of  these  sacred  black  stones 
may  have  been  originally  meteorites.'*  It  is  not  difficult  to 
understand  why  the  sudden  fall  of  a  stone  from  the  sky, 
the  fall  being  often  accompanied  by  terrifying  sounds,  or 
the  train  of  fire  flung  behind  it  by  a  "  falling  star,"  should 
cause  extreme  terror  to  the  beholders,  and  excite  awe  and 
reverence.  We  find  in  many  places  traditions  of  what  the 
Greek  called  a  Diopetes  Agalma,  which  our  authorised  ver- 
sion of  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  calls  "  the  image  which  fell 
down  from  Jupiter."*  This  was  the  famous  image  of  Diana 
of  Ephesus,  of  which  we  know  little,  save  that  it  was  black. 
Some  say  that  it  was  a  stone,  others  that  it  was  made  of 
ebony  or  vine  wood,  and  had  never  been  changed  though 
the  temple  had  been  seven  times  rebuilt.^  Other  Greek 
images  were  said  to  have  fallen  from  heaven,  like  the 
Athena  of  the  Akropolis,  the  Artemis  of  Taurus,  the 
Sicilian  Demeter,  the  Aphrodite  of  Paphos,  and  the  Cybele 
of  Pessinus.  In  the  same  way  Elegabalus  in  Sun-form  was 
worshipped  at  Emesa  in  the  shape  of  a  black  conical  stone, 

*  Williams,  Fiji^  i.,  221  ;  Ward,  Hindoos y  ii.,  233  ;  Asiatic  Researches^  v., 
240  note ;  iv.,  46,  48 ;  xi.,  535 ;  Atkinson,  Himalayan  Gazetteer^  iii.,  24 ; 
Bombay  Gazetteer^  xvi.,  517  ;  xix.,  450,  486,  530,  546,  582,  61 1  ;  xx.,  438, 
442,  448,  450,  452,  455,  459,  465*467  ;  xxi.,  521  ;  xxii.,  714,  807  ;  xxiii.,  550, 
552,  679;  xxiv.,  300,  377:  Journal  of  tha  Asiatic  Society ,  Bengal,  xxxiii., 

*  Bancroft,  he,  cit,,  iv.  123. 

*  On  this  see  the  paper  by  Professor  H.  A.  Miers,  F.R.S.,  read  at  the  1898 
meeting  of  the  British  Association,  from  which  I  have  taken  several  of  the 
following  instances. 

*  Acts,  xix.,  35. 

*  Pliny,  Nat.  Hist,^  xvi.,  79 ;  Farrar,  St,  Paul,  358  ;  Emychpudia  Biblica, 
U  1099- 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  35 

which  was  reported  to  have  fallen  from  the  sky.'  In  Mexico, 
Quetzalcoatl  was  represented  by  a  black  stone  or  by  several 
small  green  stones,  most  likely  aerolites  which  were  said  to 
have  fallen  from  heaven.^  In  India  the  image  of  Vasu-deva, 
father  of  Krishna,  came  down  from  the  heaven  of  Indra, 
thus  connecting  Krishna  with  an  aerolite  cult;  that  of 
SitalA  at  Jasoli  fell  from  the  sky,  and  the  ancestors  of  the 
Madaga  sept  of  K&firs  in  the  Hindu  Kush,  and  that  of  the 
Mech  in  Assam  came  down  from  the  sky  in  a  thunderbolt, 
as  the  stone  which  Kronos  spewed  up  was  worshipped,  and 
the  Syrian  Aphrodite  sprang  from  an  egg  which  fell  from 
heaven  into  the  Euphrates.^ 

As  might  naturally  be  expected  the  worship  of  aerolites 
is  widespread.  Many  races  call  flint  weapon^  "  thunder- 
bolts "  ;  healing  powers  are  attributed  to  theni ;  they  are 
hung  over  cattle  sheds  and  round  the  necks  of  children  ; 
they  are  worshipped  by  the  Khyens  of  Assam  ;  one  was 
found  in  South  Russia,  set  in  a  gold  ring,  and  was  no  doubt 
used  as  an  amulet.*  So,  stone  knives,  following  the  potent 
influence  of  conservatism  in  religious  matters,  were  largely 
used  in  ritual,  in  slaying  swine  in  Rome,  in  Egyptian  em- 
balmment, in  the  Hebrew  rite  of  circumcision.^ 

The  number  of  sacred  meteorites  is  legion.  Professor 
Miers  mentions  one  that  fell  in  Ensisheim  in  Elsass  in  1492, 
which  was  taken  to  the  village  church,  where  it  is  still  pre- 
served.   An  aerolite  fell  in  Sugolia  on  the  borders  of  Hungary 

>  Gibbon,  Decline  and  Fall  {tA.  W.  Smith),  i.,  281. 

*  Bancroft,  loc,  cit,^  iii**  281. 

*  Atkinson,  Himalayan  Gazetteer ^  ii.,  785,  800  ;  Robertson,  fCdfirs  of  the 
Hindu  Kusht  160  seqq,  ;  Pausanias,  x.,  24,  6;  Frazer,  iii.,  339  j  Risley,  Tribes 
and  Castes  of  Bengal y  ii.,  87. 

*  Frazer,  PausantaSf  v.,  355  ;  8th  Series  Motes  and  Queries ^  ii<»  321  ;  Tylor, 
Early  History,  208;  Grimm,  loc,  cit,,  iv.,  1221,  1686;  Dalyell,  Darker 
Superstitions  of  Scotland^  356  seqq,  ;  Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute, 
i.,  App.,  Ixii.  ;  vi.,  149. 

*  Livy,  i.,  24  ;  Herodotus,  ii.,  86  ;  Exodus,  iv.  25. 

D   2 

36  The  Legends  of  Krishna. 

in  15 14,  which  was  hung  in  a  church  on  an  iron  chain.^  Raffles 
speaks  of  one  which  fell  in  Java  in  142 1,  which  is  preserved 
as  a  sacred  object  in  a  mosque.  One  at  Charcas  in  Mexico 
is  built  into  the  wall  of  a  church  and  worshipped  by  women. 
Another,  which  fell  at  Benares  in  1 798,  was  supposed  to  imply 
the  anger  of  the  gods ;  and  another,  seen  in  R&jputAna  in 
1867,  was  promptly  ground  to  powder  by  the  people  to  render 
it  harmless.  At  the  tomb  of  Mahmfid  in  Bijapur  is  what  is 
called  a  meteoric  stone  hanging  from  a  chain  which  is  said 
to  guard  the  tomb  from  lightning :  it  is  really  a  piece  of 
nephrite  or  jade.^  Mr.  Walhouse  describes  a  similar  stone 
in  Southern  India.'*  In  1802  one  fell  at  I'Aigle  in  France, 
which  from  the  fright  it  caused  is  said  to  have  effected  the 
conversion  of  a  sceptic.  After  the  fall  of  one  in  Ard^che 
the  peasants  would  not  work  near  the  spot  till  they  had 
sprinkled  it  with  holy  water.  In  East  Africa,  in  1853,  such 
a  stone  was  anointed  with  oil,  dressed  with  beads  and  set 
up  as  a  god.  An  Indian  stone  was  '*  decked  with  flowers, 
daily  anointed  with  ghiy  or  clarified  butter,  and  subjected  to 
frequent  ceremonial  worship  and  coatings  of  sandal-wood 
powder."  Two  which  fell  in  Japan  more  than  one  hundred 
and  fifty  years  ago  were  formerly  worshipped  yearly  at  the 
temple  in  Ogi.  One  of  them  is  now  in  the  British  Museum, 
where  any  member  of  the  Society  so  disposed  may  start  a 
local  cult  of  his  own.  As  I  write,  I  find  in  The  Times  ^  an 
account  of  a  stone  which  fell  at  Mount  Zomba  in  British 
East  Africa  in  January  last.  The  people  sat  round  it  thinking 
it  miraculous  and  enchanted. 

Finally  may  be  mentioned  the  well-known  meteorite  of 
Aigospotami,  the  Hajar-ul-Aswad,  or  great  black  stone,  at 
the  Kaaba  in  Mecca,  which  is  clearly  an  aerolite,  and  that 

'  7th  Series  Notes  and  Queries,  vi.,  325. 

*  Bombay  Gazetteer^  xxiii.,  606. 

^  Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute^  vii.,  35  seqq. 

*  18  May»  1899 ;   other  Indian  examples  in  Bombay  Gazetteer^  xv.  (2),  275  ; 
Journal  of  the  Asiatic  Society,  Bengal,  xxx,,  415. 

The  Legends  of  Krishna.  37 

worshipped  at  Sttamarhi  in  Bengal  under  the  title  of 
Adbhfitn&tha,  or  "  the  miraculous  god."  ^ 

We  are  then,  perhaps,  justified  in  suspecting  that  more 
than  one  line  of  influence  may  have  contributed  to  the 
representation  of  Krishna  as  a  black  god. 

There  is,  first,  the  Negrito  element,  which  shows  itself  in 
the  popular  representations  of  Buddha. 

Secondly,  if  Krishna  in  his  earliest  form  be  a  god  of 
agriculture  and  cattle,  the  blackness  may  connote  his 
chthonic  attributes. 

Thirdly,  if  the  Rijputs  may  be  identified  with  the  Yu-echi 
of  Central  Asia,  they  may  have  brought  their  black  god  with 
them.  In  this  part  of  the  world  to  this  day  black  gods  are 
found.  At  Tashkent  is  the  shrine  of  the  saint  Zangata, 
"the  dark  father,"  who  is  said  to  have  been  dark  like  a 
negro;  and  a  black  stone  near  Bukh&ra,  called  Sianghi 
Mur&d,  is  rubbed  by  pilgrims,  who  touch  their  faces  and 
beards  with  it.*  There  is  also  much  in  the  earlier  legends 
of  the  RAjputs  which  suggests  an  influence  which,  whatever 
it  may  have  been,  was  probably  not  Hindu.  The  P&ndavas 
were  probably  a  rude  non-Aryan  confederation  and  brought 
with  them  foreign  practices,  such  as  polyandry,  which 
shows  itself  in  the  Draupadi  Legend,  brutality  to  conquered 
enemies,  as  when  Bhima  drains  the  life-blood  of  DuscAsana.' 
The  brutal  practices  of  Krishna^s  own  tribe,  the  Y&davas, 
chiefly  as  regards  marriage,  are  notorious.* 

It  is  thus  possible  that  they  may  have  largely  absorbed 
some  of  the  Dravidian  or  indigenous  races  among  whom,  as 
we  have  seen,  black  stone  worship  was  prevalent.  In  fact 
there  seems  reason  to   believe   that  this   element  in   the 

'  Pliny,  Nat,  HisLy  ii.,  59  ;  Asiatic  Researches,  iv.,388  ;  Byuion^ Pilgrimage^ 
ii.,  300  seqq,  ;  Shea-Troyer,  Dabistati,  i.,  49;  Biirckhardt,  Travels,  i.,  172, 
249  seqq.  ;  Crooke,  loc,  ciL,  i.,  82  ;  Panjab  Notes  and  Queries,  ii.,  145. 

*  Schuyler,  Turkistan,  ii.,  113  ;  i.,  138. 

'  Frazer,  Literary  History  of  India,  216  note  ;  Mahdbkdrata,  Kcnma  Parva, 
Ixxxiii.,  17  ;  Ray,  trans.,  vL,  316. 

*  Ragendraliila  Mitra,  Indo  Aryans,  i. ,  425. 

38  Minutes  of  Meeting. 

Krishna  cult  is  more  prominent  than  is  generally  suspected. 
The  Madura  of  Southern  India  is  supposed  to  take  its  name 
from  the  Dravidian  Madur,  "  Old  town,"  and  the  Krishna 
cult  to  have  been  derived  from  that  of  the  Southern  Indian 
Kurappan,  "the  black  one."^  If  this  be  so,  the  more  famous 
Mathura  of  the  North  would  be  an  offshoot  from  the  southern 
shrine,  a  development  the  reverse  of  popular  belief.  And 
the  Sanskrit  derivation  of  the  former,  "the  place  of  milking," 
may  have  been  a  later  invention  when  a  cult  of  kine  was 
added  to  the  ruder  form  of  worship.  It  is  noticeable  that 
the  connection  between  the  teachers  of  Mathura  and  the 
Madras  BrAhmans  is  even  now  well  marked. 

At  any  rate,  whatever  may  be  the  genesis  of  the  dark- 
hued  Krishna,  it  is  clear  that  his  legends  absorbed  much  of 
the  popular  folk-beliefs  which  in  this  paper  I  have  tried  to 

¥nSBNESDAT,  NOTEMBEB  16th,  1899. 

Mr.  G.  L.  GOMME,  Vice-President,  in  the  Chair. 

The  minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  of  the  Society,  and  of 
the  Joint  Meeting  of  the  Anthropological  Institute  and  the 
Society  held  on  the  27th  June,  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  election  of  Mr.  E.  Vincent  Evans,  Miss  C.  Burdon, 
and  Mr.  A.  Shewan  as  members  of  the  Society  was 

The  resignation  of  Professor  C.  de  la  Saussaye  was  also 

The  Secretary  exhibited  on  behalf  of  the  President  a 
photograph  of  Professor  Starr  and  his  two  boys,  Manuel 
and  Louis. 

*  Senathi  "R^^z.^  Journal  of  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society ^  xix,S7Syfwte  3  ;  Frazer, 
Literary  History ^  304  ftote» 

Minutes  of  Meeting.  39 

Dr.  Gaster  exhibited  150  chap-books  and  some  broad- 
sides and  folk-songs  he  had  collected  during  a  recent  visit 
to  Italy,  and  related  some  of  his  experiences  while  collect- 
ing them. 

The  Secretary  read  a  note  by  Mr.  C.  G.  Seligmann  on  a 
Bull-Roarer  in  Ceylon. 

Mr.  R.  R.  Marett  then  read  a  paper  entitled,  "  Preani- 
mistic  Religion ; "  and  a  discussion  followed,  in  which 
Mr.  Clodd,  Mr.  Nutt,  Dr.  Gaster,  and  the  Chairman  took 

A  vote  of  thanks  was  accorded  to  Mr.  Marett  for  his 

WEDNESDAY,  DECEMBER  20th,  1899. 
Mr.  G.  L.  GOMME,  Vice-President,  in  the  Chair. 

The  minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  election  of  Mr.  T.  Thorp,  Mr.  A.  W.  Ebbs, 
Mrs.  C.  Bond,  and  Miss  K.  Higford,  as  members  of  the 
Society  was  announced. 

The  deaths  of  Dr.  Brinton  and  the  Rev.  E.  Owen,  and 
the  resignations  of  Mr.  W.  J.  Knowles,  Mr.  E.  H.  Man,  and 
Mr.  J.  A.  Strong,  were  also  announced. 

Mr.  C.  A.  Myers  exhibited  a  number  of  lantern-slides 
illustrating  the  scenery  and  some  types  and  customs  of  the 
residents  of  Murray  Island,  Torres  Straits ;  and  subse- 
quently read  a  paper  entitled  "An  Account  of  Two  Obsolete 
Ceremonies  in  the  Medicine  and  Sorcery  of  Murray  Island.'* 
In  the  discussion  which  followed,  Mr.  Nutt,  Mr.  Higgens, 
Miss  Burne,  and  the  Chairman  took  part.  The  Meeting 
concluded  with  a  vote  of  thanks  to  Mr.  Myers  for  his  paper. 

The  following  books  were  reported  as  having  been  pre- 
sented to  the  Society  since  the  June  Meeting,  viz. : 

Vile  (TAmorgoSy  by  H.  Hauttecoeur;  A  Study  of  the 
Census  of  the  Pueblo  of  Cochiti,  The  Little  Pottery  Objects 
of  Lake  ChapalUi  Notched  Bones  from  Mexico ^  The  Mapa 

40  Minutes  of  Meeting. 

de  Cuanhtlantzinco  or  C6dice  Campos^  Aztec  Place  Names^ 
The  Aztecs  of  Ancient  Mexico y  and  Some  North  American 
Spear 'Throwers  J  all  by  Professor  Starr,  presented  by  the 
Author;  South  Slavonic  Folklore  Stories^  and  North-West 
Slav  Legends  and  Fairy  Tales^  both  by  W.  W.  Strickland, 
presented  by  the  Author ;  the  Bulletin  de  la  Societe  Neu- 
chateloise  de  Geographies  torn,  ix.,  presented  by  the  Society  ; 
vol.  v.,  parts  3  and  4,  of  Lud :  Organ  Towarzystwa  Ludozna- 
wezego  we  Lwowie\  A  Country  Schoolmaster ^  J,  Shaw, 
by  Professor  Wallace,  presented  by  the  Author ;  Byegones 
relating  to  Wales  and  the  Border  Counties^  1897,  1898, 
presented  by  the  Editor;  Deutsches  Krankheitsnamen-Buch^ 
by  Dr.  M.  Hofler,  presented  by  the  Author;  Actes  de  la 
Sociiti  Philologiquey  vol.  xxiii.,  Le  Folklore  dans  les  deux 
MondeSy  by  the  Comte  de  Charencey,  presented  by  the  So- 
ciety; Annual  Report  of  British  New  Guinea,  1894-1897  (4 
volumes),  presented  by  the  Agent-General  for  Queensland ; 
the  Administration  Report  for  the  Madras  Government 
Museum,  1898,  1899,  presented  by  the  Madras  Government: 
Bojagic  Aldles  Gluck  und  Grab,  and  Haarschurgodschaft 
bei  den  Slid-  slaven,  both  by  Dr.  F.  S.  Krauss,  presented  by 
the  President;  The  Secular  and  Ceremonial  Dances  of 
Torres  Straits,  by  Professor  Haddon,  also  presented  by  the 
President;  I Zprava  0  cinnostiN&rodopisn6hoMusea  Ceskos- 
lovanskiho,  by  Dr.  Lubor  Niederle  ;  Prispevky  K.  Dejinam 
Narodopisu  Ceskoslovanskiho,  by  Fr.  ad  Subert ;  Transac- 
tions of  the  Japan  Society,  vol.  iii.,  presented  by  the 
Society  ;  Archivio  delta  R.  Society  Romana  di  Storia 
Patria,  vol.  xx.,  parts  i  and  2,  presented  by  the  Society ; 
Guide  to  Queensland,  presented  by  the  Agent-General  for 
Queensland;  Report  of  the  Seventh  Meeting  of  the  Austral- 
asian Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science,  pre- 
sented by  the  Association ;  I Jiter national  Catalogue  of 
Scientific  Literature  {Queensland),  by  J.  Shirley,  presented 
by  the  Agent-General  for  Queensland;  and  Dansk  Bondeliv, 
by  the  Rev.  H.  F.  Feilberg,  presented  by  the  Author. 

Minutes  of  Meeting.  4 1 

WEDNESDAY,  JANXTAEY  17th,  1900, 

The  22nd  Annual  Meeting,  which  was  also  a 
Special  General  Meeting  of  the  Society. 

The  President  (Mr.  E.  S.  Hartland)  in  the  Chair. 

The  minutes  of  the  last  Annual  Meeting  were  read  and 

The  Annual  Report,  Statement  of  Accounts,  and  Balance 
Sheet  for  the  year  1899  were  duly  presented,  and  upon  the 
motion  of  Mr.  Nutt,  seconded  by  Mr.  Emslie,  it  was  resolved 
that  the  same  be  received  and  adopted. 

Balloting  papers  for  the  election  of  President,  Vice- 
Presidents,  Council,  and  Officers  for  the  year  1900  having 
been  distributed,  Mr.  Kirby  and  the  Secretary  were,  on  the 
motion  of  Mr.  Nutt,  seconded  by  Mr.  Emslie,  appointed 
scrutineers  for  the  ballot. 

Upon  the  motion  of  the  President,  seconded  by  Mr. 
Gomme,  it  was  unanimously  resolved  that  the  following 
new  rules  be  adopted  and  added  to  the  rules  of  the  Society, 
viz. : — 

(a)  The  property  of  the  Society  shall  be  vested  in  three 

(b)  The  first  trustees  shall  be  appointed  at  a  Meeting 
convened  for  the  purpose. 

(c)  The  office  of  trustee  shall  be  vacated  (i)  by  resigna- 
tion in  writing  addressed  to  the  Secretary,  and  (ii)  by 
removal  at  a  Meeting  of  Members  convened  for  the 

(d)  The  Meeting  removing  a  trustee  shall  appoint  another 
in  his  place.  Vacancies  in  the  office  arising  by  death  or 
resignation  shall  be  filled  up  by  the  Council. 

(e)  No  trustee  shall  be  responsible  for  any  loss  arising 
to  the  Society  from  any  cause  other  than  his  own  wilful  act 
or  default. 

Upon  the  motion  of  Mr.  Gomme,  seconded  by  Mr.  Kirby, 
it  was  resolved  that  Mr.  Edward  Clodd,  Mr.  Edward  William 

42  Minutes  of  Meeting. 

Brabrook,  C.B.,  and  Mr.  James  E.  Crombie  be  appointed 
the  first  trustees  of  the  Society,  pursuant  to  Rule  (b). 

The  President  delivered  his  Presidential  Address,  the 
subject  being  "  Totemism  and  some  Recent  Discoveries." 

A  hearty  vote  pf  thanks  having  been  accorded  to  the 
President  for  his  address,  upon  the  motion  of  Mr.  Clodd, 
seconded  by  Mr.  Gomme,  the  result  of  the  ballot  was 
announced  by  the  Secretary,  and  the  following  ladies  and 
gentlemen  who  had  been  nominated  by  the  Council  were 
declared  to  have  been  elected,  viz. : 

As  President :    Mr.  E.  S.  Hartland. 

As  Vice-Presidents :  The  Hon.  J.  Abercromby,  the 
Rt.  Hon.  Lord  Avebury,  Miss  C.  S.  Burne,  Mr.  Clodd, 
Mr.  G.  Laurence  Gomme,  Mr.  A.  Nutt,  Lieut.-Gen.  Pitt- 
Rivers,  Professor  F.  York  Powell,  Professor  J.  Rhys,  the 
Rev.  Professor  A.  H.  Sayce,  and  Professor  E.  B.  Tylor. 

As  Members  of  Council:  Mr.  H.  Courthope  Bowen, 
Miss  Lucy  Broadwood,  Mr.  E.  K.  Chambers,  Mr.  F.  C. 
Conybeare,  Mr.  J.  E.  Crombie,  Mr.  W.  Crooke,  Mr.  F.  T. 
Elworthy,  Dr.  Gaster,  Mr.  T.  Gowland,  Miss  F.  Grove,  Pro- 
fessor Haddon,  Mr.  T.  W.  E.  Higgens,  Miss  E.  Hull,  Pro- 
fessor F.  B.  Jevons,  Professor  W.  P.  Ker,  Mr.  A.  F.  Major, 
Mr.  S.  E.  Bouverie-Pusey,  Mr.  W.  H.  D.  Rouse,  Professor 
B.  C.  A.  Windle,  and  Mr.  A.  R.  Wright. 

As  Hon,  Treasurer :  Mr.  E.  W.  Brabrook. 

As  Hon,  Auditor  :  Mr.  F.  G.  Green. 

As  Secretary :  Mr.  F.  A.  Milne. 

Upon  the  motion  of  Professor  York  Powell,  seconded  by 
Mr.  Wright,  it  was  resolved  that  a  hearty  vote  of  thanks  be 
accorded  to  the  retiring  Members  of  the  Council,  viz. 
Mr.  C.  J.  Billson,  Dr.  Karl  Blind,  Mr.  Leland  L.  Duncan, 
Mr.  Emslie,  Mr.  Jacobs,  Mr.  Ordish,  and  Mr.  Wheatley. 

The  President  laid  on  the  table  the  Ethnographical 
Album  of  the  Native  Races  of  Southern  Mexico^  presented 
to  the  Society  by  Professor  Starr,  and  referred  to  in  the 
Presidential  Address. 


17th  January,  1900. 

The  Council  have  to  report  a  year  of  quiet  work.  The 
number  of  members  on  the  Society's  roll,  however,  is  un- 
fortunately less  by  3  than  it  was  a  year  ago,  the  total  being 
now  386,  as  against  389  at  the  beginning  of  the  year  1899. 

Among  the  losses  by  death,  the  Council  regret  to  record 
those  of  Professor  Brinton  and  the  Rev.  Elias  Owen.  The 
latter  was  an  enthusiastic  collector  of  Welsh  folklore,  and 
to  his  inquiries  we  owe  the  preservation  of  many  a  valu- 
able relic  otherwise  too  certain  to  have  been  lost.  Dr. 
Brinton' s  name  is  familiar  to  all  anthropologists  as  one  of  the 
most  eminent  of  American  men  of  science.  For  many  years 
he  had  devoted  himself  especially  to  the  study  of  the 
American  race.  His  knowledge  of  the  aboriginal  langfuages 
was  extraordinary ;  and  among  his  many  important  works 
not  the  least  was  the  publication  of  series  of  texts  from  rare, 
if  not  unique,  MSS.  His  various  writings  on  the  mythology 
and  beliefs  of  America  and  kindred  subjects  form  a  monu- 
ment of  learning  and  of  lucid  exposition.  He  was  one  of 
the  founders  of  the  American  Folklore  Society,  and  very 
early  in  its  history  he  filled  the  office  of  President.  As  in- 
vestigator and  thinker  his  fame  is  assured,  and  his  influence 
will  long  be  felt  in  the  study  of  savage  races. 

The  financial  position  of  the  Society  continues  to  be 
satisfactory,  and  due  provision  has  been  made  for  the  extra 
volume  for  1899. 

44  Annual  Report  of  the  Council. 

There  has  been  a  slight  falling  off  in  the  attendances 
at  the  evening  meetings;  but,  save  on  one  or  two  occa- 
sions, the  meetings  have  been  fairly  well  attended.  The 
discussions  following  the  reading  of  the  papers  have  been 
generally  well  maintained  and  have  often  proved  very  in- 
teresting. The  Council  take  this  opportunity  of  reminding 
members  of  the  privilege  accorded  to  them  of  bringing 
friends  to  the  meetings,  and  of  assuring  them  that  any 
friends  they  may  bring  will  always  be  made  welcome.  The 
following  papers  were  read  in  the  course  of  the  year  1899, 
viz : — 

Jan,  18.     The  President's  Address.    "  Britain  and  Folklore." 
Feb,  15.     "The  Powers  of  Evil  in  the  Hebrides."    By  Miss  Goodrich- 
**  The  Tar-Baby  Story."    By  Miss  A.  Werner. 
March  15.     "Japanese  Myth."    By  Mr.  W.  G.  Aston. 

"  Two  Thousand  Years  of  a  Charm  against  the  Child-Stealing 
Witch."    By  Dr.  Gaster. 
April  19.     "  The  place  of  Totemism  in  the  Evolution  of  Religion."    By 
Professor  Jevons. 
"  Some  Wexford  Folklore."    By  Mr.  P.  Redmond. 
May  17.    "  The  Machinery  of  Folktales  as  exhibited  in  Legends  of  the 

Panjab."    By  Lieut.-Col.  Temple. 
June  21.     "  The  Legends  of  Krishna."    By  Mr.  W.  Crooke. 

"  Devonshire  Folklore."    By  Lady  Rosalind  Northcote. 
"  More  Folklore  from  the  Hebrides."    By  Mr.  M.  McPhail. 
N(nf.  15.     "  Preanimistic  Religion."    By  Mr.  R.  R.  Marett. 
Dec.  20.     "An  Account  of  two  Obsolete  Ceremonies  in  the  Medicine 
and  Sorcery  of  Murray  Island,    Torres  Straits."      By 
Mr.  C.  S.  Myers. 

The  following  objects  have  also  been  exhibited  at  the 
meetings,  viz. ; 

(i)  A  lucky  wisp  from  Kilmore,  co.  Down.  By  Miss  C.  Patterson. 
(2)  A  stamp  for  Holy  Church  bread  from  Calymnos.  By  Mr.  W. 
H.  D.  Rouse.  (3)  A  bone  Irom  the  head  of  the  "  Scar"  fish  used 
for  divining  the  sex  of  an  unborn  child.  By  Mrs.  W.  R.  Paton. 
(4)  A  photograph  of  a  team  of  oxen  ploughing  at  Elkstone,  in  the 
Cotswold  Hills.  By  the  President.  (5)  A  Hornbook  dating  back 
to  1745,  and  referred  to  in  Tuer*s  Hornbook.  By  Mr.  W. 
Whitelegge.     (6)  Photographs  of  "  May  Ladies  "  at  King's  Lynn. 

Annual  Report  of  the  Council.  45 

By  the  President.  (7)  Photographs  of  Professor  Starr  and  his  two 
boys  Manuel  and  Louis.  By  the  President.  (8)  Chapbooks, 
broadsheets,  and  Folksongs,  from  Italy.     By  Dr.  Gaster. 

Several  of  these  objects  have  been  presented  to  the 
Society  by  the  exhibitors  and  placed  in  the  Society's  case 
at  the  Fitzwilliam  Museum  at  Cambridge.  The  Council 
desire  to  thank  the  several  exhibitors  and  donors  of  these 
objects,  and  to  urge  members  to  bring  with  them,  or  send 
for  exhibition  at  the  meetings,  any  object  of  folklore  interest 
they  may  possess  or  be  able  to  borrow  for  the  purpose,  as 
the  exhibition  of  such  objects  tends  in  no  small  measure  to 
enhance  the  interest  of  the  meetings. 

The  chief  event  during  the  year  has  been  the  visit  of 
Professor  Starr  to  England,  and  the  presentation  by  him  to 
the  Society  of  his  valuable  collection  of  folklore  objects  from 
Mexico.  A  dinner  in  honour  of  the  Professor's  visit  was 
given  at  the  Holborn  Restaurant  on  Monday,  the  26th  June, 
at  which  about  60  Members  and  friends  of  the  Society  were 
present.  The  President  occupied  the  Chair,  and  was  sup- 
ported by  (amongst  others)  Miss  Mary  Kingsley,  Sir  Richard 
Temple,  the  Right  Hon.  J.  Bryce,  the  Hon.  H.  H.  Risley, 
Professor  Rhys  Davids,  Professor  Ridgeway,  Mr.  G. 
Griffith,  Mr.  N.  McColl,  Mr.  C.  H.  Read,  and  Mr.  E.  J. 
Payne.  The  Council,  in  view  of  the  Professor's  munificent 
gift  to  the  Society,  had  elected  him  an  honorary  member, 
and  resolved  to  present  him  with  a  complete  set  of  the 
Society's  publications.  After  dinner  the  President  announced 
the  election  and  made  the  presentation  on  behalf  of  the 

By  the  courtesy  of  the  Council  of  the  Anthropological 
Institute,  a  joint  meeting  of  the  Institute  and  Society  was 
held  at  the  rooms  of  the  latter  on  the  day  following  the 
dinner ;  and  at  this  meeting  Professor  Starr  exhibited  and 
explained  the  collection  of  folklore  objects  from  Mexico  he 
had  presented  to  the  Society.  The  Council  desire  to  express 
their  warmest  thanks  to  the  Council  of  the  Anthropological 
Institute   for  putting  their  rooms  at  the  disposal  of  the 

46  Annual  Report  of  the  Council. 

Society  for  the  purpose  of  the  exhibition,  and  for  so  kindly 
welcoming  and  entertaining  the  members  and  friends  of 
the  Society  who  attended  the  meeting,  and  to  Professor 
Starr,  not  only  for  his  generous  gift  to  the  Society,  but  also 
for  travelling  across  the  Atlantic  for  the  express  purpose  of 
giving  an  address  explanatory  of  the  objects  comprising  it. 
The  objects  have  been  deposited  at  the  Cambridge  Uni- 
versity Museum  of  General  and  Local  Archaeology  and 
Ethnology,  the  authorities  of  which  have  agreed  to  accept 
them  on  loan.  The  Council  wish  to  take  this  opportunity 
of  tendering  their  sincere  thanks  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gomme 
for  their  care  of  the  collection  pending  arrangements 
for  its  final  transfer  to  Cambridge;  to  Mrs.  Gomme  for 
personally  superintending  its  conveyance  to  Cambridge; 
and  to  Professor  Haddon  and  other  members  of  the  Council 
who  assisted  in  the  delicate  task  of  unpacking  and  repacking 
at  the  time  of  Professor  Starr's  visit. 

The  Council  have  also  to  thank  Miss  M.  A.  Owen  for  her 
generous  offer  to  present  to  the  Society  her  valuable  collec- 
tion of  Musquakie  beadwork  and  ceremonial  objects.  It  is 
believed  that  no  such  collection  exists  on  this  side  of  the 
Atlantic.  Miss  Owen  has  kindly  consented  to  write  an 
account  of  the  tribe  and  its  ceremonies  with  the  special 
object  of  illustrating  the  collection.  It  is  hoped  that  the 
collection  will  reach  this  country  in  the  course  of  the  present 
year  and  be  deposited  with  the  other  objects  belonging  to 
the  Society  in  the  Museum  at  Cambridge,  where  it  will  be 
readily  accessible  for  inspection  and  study  by  members  of 
the  Society  and  other  students  of  folklore  and  ethnography. 

The  Council  have  decided  to  recommend  to  the  Society 
the  adoption  of  some  rules  for  the  better  security  of  its 
property  by  vesting  the  same  in  trustees  and  for  the  appoint- 
ment of  new  trustees  from  time  to  time  as  occasion  may 
require.  They  are  convinced  of  the  propriety  of  this  step 
in  view  of  the  important  additions  recently  made  and  pro- 
mised to  the  Society's  collection  of  folklore  objects  and  of 

Annual  Report  of  the  Council.  47 

the  legal  difficulties  there  would  be  in  dealing  with  the  col- 
lection in  the  absence  of  such  rules. 

The  Society  has  issued,  during  the  year,  the  tenth  volume 
of  the  new  series  of  its  Transactions,  Folk-Lore^  which 
comprises,  in  addition  to  the  more  important  papers  read 
at  the  meetings,  some  smaller  contributions,  together  with 
correspondence  and  reviews  of  folklore  literature,  both 
English  and  foreign,  and  a  bibliography.  It  is  a  gratifica- 
tion to  the  Council  to  be  able  to  draw  attention  to  the  en- 
larged size  of  the  volume  just  completed,  and  (what  is  more 
important)  to  the  valuable  character  of  its  contents.  The 
Council  cannot  but  feel  that,  in  the  present  state  of  scientific 
inquiry,  among  the  chief  aims  of  such  a  publication  should 
be  the  maintenance,  not  merely  of  a  high  standard  of  con- 
tents, but  also  of  a  wide  and  liberal  interpretation  of  the 
term  Folklore,  In  these  respects,  the  Council  would  con- 
fidently appeal  to  the  judgment  of  the  Society,  and  urge 
the  members  to  concur  by  their  contribution  of  notes  on 
matters  coming  under  their  observation,  whether  at  home 
or  abroad,  in  enhancing  the  value  of  the  Transactions  as  a 
scientific  record. 

An  illustrated  catalogue  of  Professor  Starr's  collection  of 
folklore  objects  from  Mexico  has  been  issued  as  the  extra 
volume  for  1898.  It  has  been  compiled  by  Professor  Starr 
himself,  to  whom  the  Society  owes  a  further  debt  of  grati- 
tude on  this  account.  The  extra  volume  for  1899,  will  be 
a  further  instalment  of  County  Folk-Lore^  which  consists 
of  folklore  collected  from  printed  sources.  The  following 
collections  have  been  received,  but  the  order  of  publication 
has  not  yet  been  determined : 

(a)  Northumberland,  collected  by  Mrs.  M.  C.  Balfour. 

(b)  The  Orkneys  and  Shetlands,  by  Mr.  G.  F.  Black. 

(C)  The  North  Riding  of  Yorkshire,  by  Mrs.  Gutch. 
Two  or  more  of  these  will  shortly  be  ready  for  press,  and 
good  progress  is  being  made  by  other  collectors.  In 
response  to  the  appeal   made  by  the  Council  in  the  last 

48  Annual  Report  of  the  Council. 

Annual  Report,  Mr.  G.  F.  Black  has  undertaken  to  collect 
the  folklore  from  printed  sources  of  Inverness,  Ross,  and 
Argyle ;  and  Mr.  R.  P.  Chope  has  undertaken  Devonshire. 

Gloucestershire,  Suffolk,  Leicestershire,  and  Rutland  were 
included  in  County  Folk-Lore  vol.  i.,  already  issued,  and 
the  only  counties  other  than  those  mentioned  above  now 
being  dealt  with  are  Staffordshire,  Norfolk,  Hertford- 
shire, London  and  Middlesex,  Kent,  and  Surrey.  There  is 
still,  therefore,  an  immense  area  to  be  covered,  and  the 
Council  are  anxious  to  emphasise  once  more  the  importance 
of  collecting  these  records  of  the  past,  and  appeal  for 
further  assistance. 

The  Council  have  again  observed  with  satisfaction  that 
several  members  of  the  Society  have  participated  in  the  pro- 
ceedings of  the  Anthropological  section  of  the  British  Asso- 
ciation. The  attention  of  members  is  drawn  to  the  interest- 
ing character  of  the  papers  read  in  this  section  from  year  to 
year,  and  the  opportunity  which  these  meetings  of  the 
Association  offer  for  the  discussion  of  folklore  problems  and 
the  exposition  of  folklore  material. 

The  LectureC  ommittee,  of  which  Miss  Grove  is  Hon.  Sec, 
is  doing  excellent  work,  and  has  arranged  for  meetings  to 
take  place  during  the  present  year  in  Battersea  and  Chelsea, 
at  each  of  which  Mr.  Crooke  has  kindly  consented  to  give  a 
lecture  on  folklore,  illustrated  by  lantern  slides.  During  the 
past  year  Mr.  Crooke  has  given  a  similar  lecture  at  Wimble- 
don, an  invitation  having  been  addressed  to  the  Council  by  the 
Technical  Instruction  Committee  for  that  district  for  assist- 
ance in  arranging  a  series  of  popular  lectures  on  different 
subjects.  The  slides  for  Mr.  Crooke's  lectures  have  been 
prepared  under  the  direction  of  Professor  Haddon  from 
negatives  of  photographs  taken  by  him,  and  the  Council 
desire  to  thank  him  very  cordially  for  the  facilities  he 
has  thus  afforded  them  of  carrying  out  the  work  of  the 
committee.  To  Mr.  Crooke  also  the  thanks  of  the  Society 
are  especially  due  for  so  kindly  volunteering  to  deliver  the 

Annual  Report  of  the  Council.  49 

lectures,  and  thus  make  the  work  of  the  Society  better  known 
in  the  outlying  parts  of  London  and  the  suburbs. 

A  year  ago  the  Council  named  five  projects  which  it  was 
their  desire  to  carry  through.  Of  these  the  first  was  the 
completion  of  a  bibliography  of  British  folklore.  Towards 
carrying  out  this  project  a  sum  of  £^0  has  been  appropriated, 
and  it  is  hoped  that  during  the  present  year  substantial  pro- 
gress may  be  made  with  the  work.  The  second  project  was 
a  general  index  to  the  Society's  Transactions,  which  the 
Council  are  glad  to  be  able  to  state  has  been  undertaken  by 
Mr.  G.  F.  Black,  and  the  Bibliographical  Committee  has 
drawn  up  rules  upon  which  the  work  should  proceed  Next 
came  the  completion  of  the  series  of  County  Folk-Lore 
already  mentioned.  The  two  remaining  projects  were  the 
classification  and  analysis  of  British  popular  customs,  and  a 
catalogue  raisonn6  of  folklore  objects  preserved  in  the 
Museums  of  the  United  Kingdom.  No  progress  has  yet 
been  made  with  the  former  of  these  two,  but  the  latter  has 
been  taken  in  hand  by  Mrs.  Gomme. 

The  Council  venture  to  remind  members  that  they  can 
powerfully  aid  in  the  execution  of  these  very  desirable 
projects,  and  can  add  to  the  permanent  interest  and  value 
of  the  work  in  many  other  ways,  by  making  known  the 
existence  and  aims  of  the  Society  among  their  friends,  and 
endeavouring  to  interest  them  in  the  science  of  folklore,  as  a 
means  of  illuminating  local  and  national  history,  and  of 
solving  some  of  the  great  problems  presented  by  the  past 
evolution  of  human  civilization. 

The  Council  submit  herewith  the  annual  accounts  and 
balance  sheet  duly  audited,  and  the  balloting  list  for  the 
Council  and  Officers  for  the  ensuing  year. 

VOL.   XI. 


Annual  Report  of  the  Council. 













Oso     NO  o  o  o  o      o 
t^«n    ooNOoo  OsOs     o 

OkOO       sp  OkOO  ^M        CI 






o  o  o  o 
O  •-'  o  o 

o  *i»H  o 

«     o 


"8.    8 





-3   3 



:a  --co 

so       O 

«     o 


CO  -^    • 




Annual  Report  of  the  Council. 







•^       O  OvO  o  o 
.        O  w^O  O  fO 

•5  ^  'o  a  8  « 









E  a 


The  delivery  of  a  Presidential  Address  has  now  become 
a  custom  so  firmly  established  in  this  as  in  other  scientific 
societies  that  it  is  not  lightly  to  be  broken  through,  other- 
wise I  confess  I  should  have  shrunk  from  a  task  which  I  feel 
to  be  one  of  the  most  onerous  and  difficult  falling  to  a 
President's  lot.  In  some  societies  the  President  is  expected 
to  give  a  sort  of  funeral  oration  on  all  the  members  who 
have  passed  away  during  the  year.  That  is  not  a  cheerful 
undertaking,  even  though  sweetened  with  all  the  spices  of 
the  embalmers.  In  some  societies  the  President  is  expected 
to  dilate  on  the  position  and  prospects  of  the  organisation  : 
a  function  performed  for  us.  by  the  Annual  Report  of  the 
Council.  We  have  been  wont  to  leave  the  President  a  wider 
discretion  :  he  may  talk  at  large  with  impunity  ;  and  if  this 
result  in  his  airing  his  own  hobbies  the  members  are  generous 
enough  to  forgive  him,  and  to  make  allowance  for  the 
occasion  when  they  are  most  indifferent  to  the  subject. 
The  hope  of  this  indulgence  is  my  excuse,  albeit  a  lame 
one,  for  the  observations  I  am  about  to  address  to  you. 
Fragmentary  they  needs  must  be,  from  the  nature  of  the 
subject  I  have  chosen.  Yet  I  hope  at  least  they  may  be 
helpful,  though  in  ever  so  feeble  a  measure,  to  some  who 
are  interested  in  the  problems  confronting  the  student  of 

But,  first  of  all,  though  I  do  not  propose  to  detail  the 
losses  inflicted  upon  the  Society  by  death  during  the  year, 
one  of  them  is  of  no  ordinary  kind  and  not  to  be  passed  by 
in  silence.  I  refer  to  the  death  of  Dr.  Brinton.  He  was 
not  an  old  man.  Indeed  many  more  years  of  activity  might 
have  been  anticipated  for  him.  But  measured  by  the  extent 
and  variety  of  his  works,  and  by  the  influence  he  wielded 
in  anthropological  science,  especially  in  his  native  country, 

Presidential  A ddress.  53 

his  life  was  great  and  fruitful.  To  enumerate  all  his 
writings  would  be  to  recite  a  lengthy  catalogue.  Many  of 
them  were  on  subjects  more  or  less  controversial ;  yet  I 
will  venture  to  say  that,  however  widely  one  might  differ 
from  his  conclusions,  it  was  impossible  to  read  anything  he 
wrote  without  receiving  an  intellectual  stimulus  such  as 
results  only  from  contact  with  an  original  mind.  Some 
men  display  their  best  qualities  only  in  their  books.  I 
remember  a  favoured  undergraduate  who  had  been  asked 
to  meet  a  writer  of  genius  at  the  table  of  the  head  of  his 
college,  telling  me  afterwards  of  his  disappointment.  The 
author,  to  whose  conversation  he  had  looked  forward  with 
such  lively  anticipations,  would  only  talk  about  the  excel- 
lencies of  buttered  toast !  Dr.  Brinton  would  not  have  dis- 
appointed him.  A  man  of  wide  learning  and  exquisite 
literary  taste,  there  were  few  intellectual  subjects  on  which 
he  could  not  and  would  not  talk  in  a  way  that  conveyed 
instruction  without  patronage  and  made  discussion  one  of 
the  keenest  of  pleasures.  He  received  every  honour  which 
academic  and  scientific  bodies  in  America,  as  well  as  many 
in  Europe,  could  bestow ;  and  he  added  lustre  to  them  all. 
His  name  was  a  household  word  to  British,  hardly  less  than 
to  American,  anthropologists ;  and  we  join  with  sad  hearts 
in  the  last  homage  of  regret  universally  paid  by  his  country- 
men to  the  author  of  The  Myths  of  the  New  Worlds  The 
American  Race^  and  Religions  of  Primitive  Peoples, 

Nor  can  I  forget,  among  those  who  on  our  own  side  of  the 
water  have  passed  into  the  unknown,  one  whose  premature 
departure  has  for  some  of  us  cast  a  darker  gloom  over  the 
closing  months  of  a  gloomy  year,  and  has  called  forth  more 
than  one  eloquent  memorial  of  sorrow  from  intimate  and 
sympathetic  friends,  and  at  least  one  graceful  and  touching 
tribute  from  an  opponent  in  many  a  controversial  tourna- 
ment. Mr.  Grant  Allen  was  not,  like  professor  Brinton,  a 
member  of  this  Society.  But  he  was  an  earnest  and  widely- 
read  student  of  tradition.     Of  great  and  multiform  accom- 

54  Presidential  Addre&i. 

plishments,  of  a  singular  versatility  and  alertness  of  minci, 
he  could  not  but  be  fully  alive  to  all  the  possibilities  of 
anthropological  discovery  and  speculation  ;  and  his  edition 
of  the  Attis  of  Catullus  and  his  Evolution  of  the  Idea  of 
God  contained  notable  contributions  to  the  discussion  of 
some  of  the  important  problems  debated  of  recent  years. 
These  make  it  the  more  to  be  regretted  that  circumstances 
did  not  admit  of  his  giving  himself  wholly  to  scientific  in- 
quiry. His  various  erudition,  accessible  on  every  occasion, 
his  high  ideals  and  strenuous  purposes,  often  expressed 
with  gentle  humour,  the  boldness  of  his  opinions,  main- 
tained with  vigour  tempered  with  unfailing  geniality,  and 
the  courage  with  which  he  faced  consequences  not  to  be 
disregarded  even  in  these  days,  rendered  personal  inter- 
course with  him  always  fascinating,  and  gave  life  and  charm 
to  his  writings.  He  has,  alas  !  gone  from  us,  leaving  behind 
for  all  who  knew  him  the  memory  of  one  of  the  truest, 
bravest,  and  most  lovable  of  men. 

After  these  mournful  themes,  let  me  pause  for  a  moment 
on  one  of  a  different  kind.  Allusion  has  been  made  in  the 
Report  to  Professor  Starr's  visit  last  June,  when  he  crossed 
twice  three  thousand  miles  of  land  and  ocean  to  present 
and  explain  his  collection  illustrative  of  Mexican  folklore 
We  passed  formal  votes  of  thanks  to  him ;  and  in  the 
Report  we  have  renewed  the  expression  of  our  indebted- 
ness. We  could  not,  however,  have  realised  the  magnitude 
of  his  gift  without  the  Catalogue  he  has  compiled  with  such 
care.  It  is  by  this  time  in  your  hands ;  and  in  reading  it 
you  will  note  how,  besides  gathering  and  rendering  acces- 
sible information  from  various  quarters,  he  has  poured 
forth  abundantly  from  his  own  stores  of  observation.  I 
rejoice  to  know  that  the  collection  has  found  a  permanent 
place  of  deposit  in  one  of  the  ancient  homes  of  English 
learning.  There,  with  the  Catalogue  in  hand,  we  can  study 
large  divisions  of  the  folklore  of  a  people  whose  more  bar- 
barous traditions  have  been  overlaid  and  transformed  by 

Presidential  AddfesS.  55 

hiodes  of  thought,  European  indeed,  but  of  a  relatively 
backward  type.  It  is  due  to  our  neighbours  across  the 
channel  to  say  that  they  first  appreciated  the  scientific  in- 
struction capable  of  being  conveyed  by  such  objects.  M. 
S6billot's  collection  of  Breton  children's  toys  filled  one  of 
the  most  interesting  cases  at  the  Exhibition  of  Paris  in 
1889,  and  now  forms  part  of  the  National  Museum  at  the 
Trocadero.  I  hope  that  Professor  Starr's  generosity  will 
keep  us  in  mind  how  much  we  owe  in  anthropological 
matters  to  America,  and  bind  us  more  closely  in  friendship 
to  a  nation  of  the  same  language,  and  mainly  of  the  same 
stock  and  the  same  ideals  as  ourselves.  Nor  has  his  per- 
sonal claim  on  our  gratitude  ended  here.  I  have  the 
pleasure  of  laying  on  the  table  a  further  gift  in  the  shape 
of  a  copy  of  his  beautiful  Ethnological  Album  of  the  native 
races  of  Southern  Mexico.  It  is  intended  for  our  library, 
where  students  making  use  of  it  will  prize  it  as  a  witness 
to  his  energy  and  unselfish  enthusiasm,  as  well  as  for  its 
own  intrinsic  value. 

I  am  not  going  to  trouble  you  to-night  with  a  review  of 
folklore  during  the  century  now  rapidly  drawing  to  an  end. 
Such  reviews  may  be  useful  and  appropriate;  but  it  is 
equally  appropriate  and  more  immediately  important  to  touch 
upon  some  current  questions.  If,  however,  we  glance  back 
for  a  moment  at  the  past,  we  shall,  I  think,  find  nothing  more 
remarkable  in  the  history  of  the  science  of  folklore  than  the 
change  in  the  methods  of  record  and  study  since  the  establish- 
ment of  the  Society  twenty-two  years  ago.  Then,  folklore  had 
hardly  got  out  of  the  stage  of  dilettantism.  People  in  general 
had  only  begun  to  perceive  that  the  phenomena  with  which 
we  are  concerned  were  something  more  than  curious,  in 
spite  of  the  writings  of  Sir  Henry  Maine,  Maclennan  and, 
most,  important  of  all.  Dr.  Tylor.  The  itxm  folklore ^  in  fact, 
was  confined  to  scraps  of  tradition  ;  and  anything  like  the 
conception  of  it  we  now  hold  was  unknown.  The  Hand- 
book of  Folklore  J  issued  by  the  Society  in  1890,  marks  a 

56  Presidential  Address. 

long  step  in  advance ;  and  nine  or  ten  years'  subsequent 
experience  has  taken  us  beyond  even  that.  Some  people 
are  said  to  prefer  being  in  a  minority.  If  there  are  such 
people,  I  am  not  one  of  them.  Yet  I  look  back  with  satis- 
faction on  a  vote  which  I  gave  in  the  Council  when  the 
initial  chapter  of  the  Handbook  was  under  discussion,  and 
I  found  myself  alone,  or  almost  alone,  in  objecting  to  the 
definition  of  folklore  as  there  proposed,  namely :  "  The 
comparison  and  identification  of  the  survivals  of  archaic 
beliefs,  customs,  and  traditions  in  modern  ages.'*  The 
Handbook  itself,  when  published,  justified,  as  I  venture  to 
think,  my  criticism  and  my  vote,  for  the  logical  implications 
of  the  definition  were  silently  set  aside  in  the  manner  of 
treatment.  I  do  not  recall  this  from  any  personal  reason, 
but  as  an  illustration  of  the  growth,  the  inevitable  growth, 
of  our  conception  of  folklore.  I  say  "  the  inevitable 
growth,"  because  it  was  inevitable  that,  when  folklore  came 
to  be  studied  scientifically  by  a  number  of  students,  it 
would  be  found  impossible  to  confine  the  view  primarily  to 
the  fragmentary  relics  of  earlier  stages  of  culture  cropping 
out  here  and  there  in  the  midst  of  modern  European 
civilisation,  and  to  use  the  larger,  more  varied,  and  still 
living  products  of  savagery  and  barbarism  all  over  the  rest 
of  the  world  as  mere  illustrations  to  explain  them.  We 
were  bound  to  take  a  wider  view,  for  the  illustrations  them- 
selves required  to  be  explained.  We  were  bound  to  begin 
at  the  other  end  by  a  careful  study  of  savage  life  and 
custom  as  a  whole.  Thus  only  was  it  possible  to  under- 
stand the  folklore  of  Europe ;  thus  only  could  we  see  it  in 
its  true  perspective,  in  its  real  relations  with  the  immense 
and  complex  history  of  humanity. 

But  this  was  not  simply  to  take  a  more  scientific  view  of 
folklore ;  it  was  not  simply  to  cast  away  the  swaddling 
clothes  that  enwound  the  infancy  of  the  study.  In  aban- 
doning the  last  traces  of  dilettantism  wherein  all  science 
begins,  in  attaining  that  insight  which  perceives  that  between 

Presidential  A  ddress.  5  7 

the  tradition  of  the  Irish  peasant  and  the  tradition  of  the 
Maori  no  generic  difference  exists,  but  both  are  equally 
folklore,  and  in  grasping  the  importance  of  folklore  as  thus 
conceived  for  any  investigation  into  the  past  of  the  human 
race,  the  study  of  folklore  has  become  frankly  anthropo- 
logical. It  is  no  longer  possible,  even  if  it  were  desired,  to 
draw  a  line  between  the  science  of  folklore  and  that  side  of 
anthropology  which  deals  with  the  earlier  intellectual, 
spiritual,  and  institutional  development  of  mankind.  They 
are  one  and  the  same. 

Along  with  this  advance  in  the. conception  of  folklore  has 
gone  an  advance  in  the  method  of  recording  it.  During  the 
last  twenty  years  the  work  of  observation  and  collection 
all  over  the  world  has  swollen  our  libraries  to  an  alarming 
extent.  Happily  the  quality  of  the  materials  thus  brought 
together  has  also  improved,  though  we  still  have  only  too 
much  cause  to  harden  our  hearts,  if  not  to  roughen  our 
tongues, against  that  impertinent  person  the  writer  of  scraps, 
the  man  of  scissors  and  paste,  for  whom  any  piece  of  gossip, 
or  any  apocryphal  story  tricked  out  with  what  he  may  be 
pleased  to  call  graces  of  style  or  local  colour,  is  folklore. 
Such  a  person  brings  discredit  on  folklore ;  and  charity,  or 
even  patience,  is  a  doubtful  virtue  in  dealing  with  him. 
The  advance  in  accuracy  of  record  I  am  referring  to  has 
been  specially  productive  in  the  case  of  savage  peoples. 
The  way  has  been  led  by  the  American  Bureau  of  Ethnology, 
to  whose  detailed  researches  on  the  tribes  of  the  western 
continent  anthropology  is  so  greatly  indebted.  In  other 
quarters  of  the  globe  individual  effort  has  followed  this 
example.  To  confine  our  view  to  Australia,  Mr.  Howitt, 
Mr.  Roth,  and  Messrs.  Spencer  and  Gillen  have  revealed  to 
us  a  new  world  of  savage  thought.  The  discoveries  thus 
made  have  been  promptly  seized  by  inquirers  into  the  history 
of  human  institutions  and  belief  with  the  daring,  but  not 
always  with  the  success,  of  a  Cortes  or  a  Pizarro.  Their 
jarring  theories  and  conflicting  claims  have  raised  the  din  of 

5  S  Presidential  A  ddres:^. 

controversy.  The  quiet  non-combatant  student  is  astonishea 
to  find  himself  in  the  theatre  of  war,  and  hardly  knows 
where  to  seek  a  bomb-proof  burrow  that  he  may  hide  his 
head  from  the  shells  of  their  polemics. 

One  of  the  subjects  on  which  recent  inquiries  have 
thrown  most  doubt  is  that  of  Totemism.  We  had  looked 
upon  Totemism  as  one  of  the  most  important  and  far- 
reaching  of  anthropological  discoveries.  We  thought  the 
theory  solidly  established,  its  foundations  laid  by  Maclennan, 
its  superstructure  carefully  erected  by  Dr.  Frazer,  and 
adapted  by  Robertson  Smith  and  Dr.  Jevons  to  the  most 
modern  requirements  of  theology.  On  a  sudden  two 
smashing  blows  are  delivered,  one  by  Dr.  Franz  Boas 
and  the  other  by  Messrs.  Spencer  and  Gillen;  and  it 
seems  there  is  hardly  one  stone  of  the  fabric  left  upon 

Dr.  Boas  has  conducted  for  many  years  a  remarkable 
series  of  investigations  among  the  north-western  tribes  of 
Canada.  The  results  have  been  given  to  the  world  partly 
in  reports  to  the  British  Association,  partly  in  publications 
of  the  Smithsonian  Institution ;  and  an  important  volume 
of  stories  has  been  issued  by  the  Berliner  Gesellschaft  fur 
Anthropologic y  Ethnologic  und  Urgeschichte,  The  mono- 
graph on  the  Kwakiutl  Indians  to  which  I  want  now  to 
direct  your  attention  was  contained  in  the  Annual  Report 
of  the  National  Museum  at  Washington  for  1895,  actually 
published  in  1898. 

I  need  not  do  more  at  the  outset  than  remind  you  that 
totemism  is  a  system  having  a  religious  and  also  a  social 
side.  The  totem  of  a  clan — it  is  with  such  only  that  we 
are  concerned —  is  a  class  of  material  objects^  reverenced 
by  a  body  of  persons  who  believe  themselves  to  be  united 
to  the  totem  and  to  one  another  by  a  special  bond,  con- 

*  This  is  only  a  general  statement ;  and  it  must  not  be  taken  to  exclude  a 
few  objects,  such  as  t^ie  Sun,  the  Evening  Star,  and  so  forth,  which  do  not 
form,  in  the  same  sense  as  the  rest,  a  class,  and  yet,  I  think  are  true  totems. 

Presidential  A  ddHiSi  5  ^ 

ferring  certain  mutual  rights  and  obligations.  The  totem 
is  the  crest  or  symbol  of  the  clan.  The  bond  uniting  the 
clansmen  to  one  another  is  that  of  blood :  the  tie  of  kinship. 
The  questions  raised  by  Dr.  Boas  concern  the  nature  of 
the  bond  uniting  the  clansmen  to  the  totem.  "  The  mem- 
bers of  a  totem  clan/'  says  Dr.  Frazer,  generalising  the  in- 
formation available  up  to  1887,  "  call  themselves  by  the 
name  of  their  totem,  and  commonly  believe  themselves  to 
be  actually  descended  from  it."  ^  But  among  the  tribes  of 
British  Columbia,  Dr.  Boas  tells  us,  "  it  must  be  clearly 
understood  that  the  natives  do  not  consider  themselves 
descendants  of  the  totem."  ^  The  characteristics  of  the 
totem,  in  fact,  suggest  relationship  rather  with  the  manitous 
of  other  North  American  tribes.  When  a  youth  belonging, 
for  instance,  to  the  Ojibways  arrives  at  puberty,  he  under- 
goes certain  religious  rites,  and  fasts,  until  some  super- 
natural being  appears  to  him,  generally  in  the  form  of  an 
animal,  and  becomes  his  personal  manitou,  that  is,  his  guide 
and  protector  for  the  rest  of  his  life.  Now  the  totem  in 
British  Columbia,  according  to  Dr.  Boas,  would  seem  to 
be  a  personal  manitou,  become  the  hereditary  manitou 
of  a  family.'  Miss  Alice  Fletcher,  who  has  long  lived 
in  intimate  converse  with  the  Omaha  of  the  United 
States,  has  been  led  independently  to  form  the  same 
opinion  as  to  the  origin  of  the  totems  among  the  Indians 
of  the  prairies.  These  opinions,  if  correct,  will  pro- 
foundly affect  scientific  speculation  on  savage  religion 
and  social  polity.  Though  they  cannot  yet  be  considered 
as  definitely  established,  we  must  accord  them  the  respect 
due  to  opinions  formed  after  long  inquiry  by  competent  and 
painstaking  observers.  At  the  same  time,  the  legends 
related  by  Dr.  Boas  are  hardly  decisive  of  the  exact  relation- 
ship of  the  totem  to  the  clan,  as  conceived  by  the  peoples 

*  Frazer,  Totemism,  p.  3. 

«  U,  S,  Nat.  Mus,  Rep.,  1895,  P-  323- 

•  Ibid.,  loc.  dt. 

6o  Presidential  Address. 

of  the  Pacific  Coast  of  Canada  and  Alaska.     Let  us  examine 
one  or  two. 

The  Tsimshians  are  a  tribe  reckoning  kinship  through 
the  mother.  One  of  their  clans  is  that  of  the  Bear ;  and 
this  is  the  legend  of  the  clan  :  **  An  Indian  went  mountain- 
goat  hunting.  When  he  had  reached  a  remote  mountain- 
range,  he  met  a  black  bear,  who  took  him  to  his  home, 
taught  him  how  to  catch  salmon,  and  how  to  build  canoes. 
For  two  years  the  man  stayed  with  the  bear ;  then  he 
returned  to  his  own  village.  The  people  were  afraid  of  him 
because  he  looked  just  like  a  bear.  One  man,  however, 
caught  him  and  took  him  home.  He  could  not  speaky  and 
could  not  eat  anything  but  raw  food.  Then  they  rubbed 
him  with  magic  herbs,  and  gradually  he  was  retransformed 
into  the  shape  of  a  man.  After  this,  whenever  he  was  in 
want,  he  called  his  friend  the  bear,  who  came  to  assist  him. 
In  winter,  when  the  rivers  were  frozen,  he  alone  was  able 
to  catch  salmon.  He  built  a  house,  and  painted  the  bear 
on  the  house-front.  His  sister  made  a  dancing-blanket,  the 
design  of  which  represented  a  bear.  Therefore  the  descend- 
ants of  his  sisters  use  the  bear  for  their  crest."  ^  Read 
literally,  this  is  an  example  of  what  I  may  call  the  manitou- 
totems ;  and  indeed  Dr.  Boas  expressly  brings  it  forward 
as  such.  But  you  will  probably  be  of  opinion  that  the  ex- 
pressions lead  to  the  inference  that  at  one  time  the  totem 
stood  in  a  closer  relation  to  the  clan  ;  in  a  word,  that  the  bear 
was  once  believed  to  be  the  ancestor  of  the  clan.  The  sus- 
picion is  strengthened  when  we  find  Dr.  Boas  writing  of 
the  North-western  tribes  in  general :  "  There  exists,  how- 
ever, another  class  of  traditions,  according  to  which  the 
crests  or  emblems  of  the  clan  are  .  .  .  brought  down  by 
the  ancestor  of  the  clan  from  heaven,  or  from  the  under- 
world or  out  of  the  ocean,  wherever  he  may  have  derived 
his   origin.      This   is  the   case  with  the  Sistntlae,  whose 

*  Ibid,y  loc  cit.     This  is  not  an  uncommon  ^etiological  myth.     Another  ex- 
ample is  given  by  Mr.  Boyle,  ArcJueological  Report^  Ontario^  1898,  p.  165. 

Presidential  Address.  61 

emblem  is  the  sun.  Here  also  belong  the  numerous  tales 
of  ancestors  who  came  down  from  heaven,  took  off  their 
masks,  and  became  men,  for  in  all  these  cases  the  mask 
has  remained  the  crest  of  the  clan/'  ^ 

If  I  rightly  understand  Dr.  Boas'  account  of  these  tribes, 
however,  this  statement  is  hardly  strong  enough.  In  the 
first  place,  the  word  Slstntlae  means  ''children  of  the  sun,'* 
and  the  sun  himself  is  explicitly  said  to  have  come  down  to 
earth  and  become  the  father  of  the  clan.  *  Next,  some  clans 
appear  to  dispense  with  the  apparatus  of  the  mask,  that  of 
the  G.ig.tlqam  of  the  Nimkish,  for  instance,  who  believe  them- 
selves to  be  descendants  of  the  thunder-bird  (a  mythical 
being,  common  to  the  tradition  of  many  American  tribes) 
and  paint  its  figure  upon  their  house-front.  *  Lastly,  even 
when  the  apparatus  of  the  mask  is  retained,  it  is  doubtless 
no  more  than  a  modern  and  rationalistic  expression  of  the 
old,  deep-seated  belief  in  transformation.  So  that  we  have 
clear  evidence  of  the  descent  at  all  events  of  some  of  the 
clans  from  non-human  ancestors,  as  set  forth  in  the  words 
I  have  already  quoted  from  Dr.  Frazer. 

On  the  other  hand,  there  are  cases  where  the  story  of 
the  acquisition  of  the  crest,  though  betraying  a  certain 
"  analogy,"  as  Dr.  Boas  says,  "  to  the  acquisition  of  the 
manitou,"  is  clearly  to  be  distinguished  from  it.  Of  such 
is  the  story  of  the  chief  of  a  clan,  who  went  hunting  and 
saw  a  fabulous  bird,  supposed  to  be  similar  to  a  crane,  and 
heard  its  cry.  It  was  larger  than  a  man.  He  hid,  and  the 
bird  tried  to  find  him.     On  discovering  him  at  one  side  of  a 

»  U.  S,  Nat,  Mm,  Rep,y  1895,  p.  337. 

*  Ihid,y  p.  333.     Boas,  Indianischt  Sagen,  p.  166. 

'  Nat.  Mus,  Rep,^  p.  375.  The  omission  to  mention  the  mask  may,  how- 
ever, be  accidental.  Another  clan  of  another  tribe  claim  descent  from  a 
thunder-bird  of  which  it  is  expressly  recorded  that  he  **  took  off  his  bird- 
mask  and  became  a  man "  (p.  418),  But  in  any  case  the  mask  is  modem. 
Originally  there  was  none;  for  in  savage  belief  personal  identity  does 
not  depend  upon  form,  and  the  power  of  transformation  is  a  very  extended 

62  Presidential  Address. 

cedar-tree,  the  bird  tried  to  peck  him,  but  missed  him,  be- 
cause he  jumped  to  the  other  side  of  the  tree.  The  bird  failed 
to  kill  him,  and  when  he  got  home  "  he  carved  the  crane  out 
of  yellow  cedar,  and  now  it  is  the  carving  of  his  clan."  The 
clan  is  called  by  a  name  signifying  "  going  through,"  ^  which 
is  quite  different  from  that  of  the  bird.  All  that  is  here  re- 
corded is  a  successful  evasion  of  an  attack  by  a  supernatural 
being.  But  there  is  probably  something  more  in  the  story. 
What  is  hinted  at,  and  what,  if  we  had  the  tale  in  a  perfect 
form,  we  should  perhaps  find,  is  that  the  man  conquered  and 
killed  the  bird.  Among  these  curious  peoples  "  names 
and  all  the  privileges  connected  with  them,"  like  the 
ancient  priesthood  of  Aricia,  "  may  be  obtained  by  killing 
the  owner  of  the  name,  either  in  war  or  by  murder.  The 
slayer  has  then  the  right  to  put  his  own  successor  in  the 
place  of  his  killed  enemy."  Now  the  crest  is  a  very  special 
privilege ;  and  although  the  name  of  this  clan  does  not 
now  correspond  with  the  crest,  it  belongs  to  a  class 
called  by  Dr.  Boas  "names  of  honour,"  which,  "there 
is  a  decided  tendency  to  substitute  for"  older  names.' 
It  may  be,  therefore,  that  the  present  name  of  the  clan 
has  quite  recently  succeeded  to  that  of  the  mythical 

Again,  there  are  instances  of  a  clan  bearing  the  name  of 
one  animal  and  the  emblem  of  another.  "  The  crest,"  says 
Dr.  Boas,  "  is  used  for  ornamenting  objects  belonging  to  a 
member  of  the  clan  ;  they  [that  is  to  say,  the  crests]  are 
carved  on  columns  intended  to  perpetuate  the  memory  of  a 
deceased  relative,  painted  on  the  house-front,  or  carved  on 
a  column  which  is  placed  in  front  of  the  house,  and  are 
also  shown  as  masks  in  festivals  of  the  clan.  It  is  im- 
possible to  draw  a  sharp  line  between  the  pure  crest  and 
figures,  or  masks  illustrating  certain  incidents  in  the 
legendary  history  of  the  clan."     As  an  example,  he  gives 

»  Ibid,,  pp.  336, 330. 
*  Ibid,  pp.  335, 333. 

Presidential  Address.  63 

a  headdress  ot  the  bear  clan  of  the  Ntsqd.  Whether  it  is 
the  only  headdress  he  does  not  state  distinctly,  but  I  infer 
that  it  is.  It  represents  the  owl  surrounded  by  small  human 
heads,  called  "  claw-men/'  probably  because  each  head 
rests  on  a  sort  of  claw.  The  legend  is  that  a  chief  had  a 
son  who  by  constant  crying  irritated  his  father,  until  he 
drove  the  boy  out  of  the  house,  saying :  "  The  white  owl 
shall  fetch  you."  With  the  boy  hb  sister  went  out ;  and 
the  owl  did  fetch  not  him,  but  her,  and  had  a  son  by  her. 
When  her  son  grew  up  she  sent  him  home  to  her  mother, 
telling  him  "  to  carve  a  headdress  in  the  shape  of  an  owl  for 
use  in  his  dance,  and  to  sing  "  a  song  which  his  father,  the 
owl,  made  for  him.  The  owl  and  the  woman  then  disap- 
peared.^ What  may  be  the  explanation  of  the  discrepancy 
between  name  and  emblem  here  I  do  not  know.  A  con- 
jecture is  of  very  little  value;  but  it  may  conceivably 
have  originated  from  the  coalescence  of  two  clans,  the  bear 
and  the  owl,  of  which  the  latter  traced  its  descent  from 
an  owl. 

But  even  if  we  were  to  establish  the  original  position  of 
the  totem  as  ancestor,  the  problems  offered  by  these 
interesting  tribes  would  be  very  far  from  solved.  The 
manitou-idea  dominates  not  merely  the  conception  of  the 
totem,  or  crest,  but '  the  entire  social  life  of  the  tribes. 
Some  peoples  eat  their  totem-animal  as  a  solemn  religious 
act :  nobody  thus  eats  his  manitou.  Consequently  the 
sacrificial  meal  is  wanting ;  and  this,  I  need  not  remind  you, 
is  a  pari  of  the  totem-superstition  in  its  most  complete 
form,  on  which  great  stress  has  been  laid  in  anthropo- 
logical speculation.  More  important  still  in  this  connection 
is  the  position  of  the  secret  societies,  which  have  attained 
a  growth  exceeding  anything  known  elsewhere.  Indeed, 
the  societies  can  hardly  be  called  secret.  They  include 
women,  and  even  children,  as  well  as  men.  Their  sessions 
are  held  throughout  the  winter,  and  in  public ;  and  from 
»  Ibid.,^,  324. 

64  Presidential  Address. 

the  moment  they  begin  the  entire  social  organisation  is 
changed.  "  Instead  of  being  grouped  in  clans,  the  Indians 
are  now  grouped  according  to  the  spirits  which  have 
initiated  them.  All  those  who  are  protected  by"  one 
spirit  "form  one  group;  those  who  stand  under"  another 
spirit  "  form  another  group,"  and  so  on ;  "  and  in  these 
groups  divisions  are  made  according  to  the  ceremonies  or 
dances  bestowed  upon  the  person.  .  .  .  During  this  period 
the  place  of  the  clans  is  taken  by  a  number  of  societies, 
namely :  the  groups  of  all  those  individuals  upon  whom  the 
same,  or  almost  the  same,  power  or  secret  has  been- 
bestowed  by  one  of  the  spirits."  ^  This  astonishing  develop- 
ment must  have  results  on  the  social  life  of  the  people  which 
would  be  still  more  remarkable,  were  it  not  that  the  dances 
and  the  offices  connected  with  them  are  still  to  a  large 
extent  hereditary  or  acquired  by  marriage.  Hence  the 
clan  system,  though  greatly  disturbed  and  dislocated,  is  not 
in  effect  altogether  set  aside.  Only  certain  persons  have  a 
right  to  be  initiated  in  each  society.  The  initiations  are  ' 
not  performed  by  the  other  members  assembled  in  meeting, 
as  is  the  case  with  really  secret  societies.  The  candidate 
goes  alone  into  the  woods,  remaining  there  for  a  certain 
period,  during  which  any  one  who  finds  him  may  kill  him 
if  he  can,  and  thereupon  may  take  his  place.  While  the 
candidate  is  absent,  he  is  initiated  by  the  spirit.  And 
"  the  object  of  the  whole  winter  ceremonial  is,  first,  to  bring 
back  the  youth  who  is  supposed  to  stay  with  the  super- 
natural being  who  is  the  protector  of  his  society,  and  then, 
when  he  has  returned  in  a  state  of  ecstacy,  to  exorcise  the 
spirit  which  possesses  him  and  to  restore  him  from  his 
holy  madness.  These  objects  are  attained  by  songs 
and  by  dances."  *  The  proceeding  is,  in  fact,  an  adapta- 
tion of  the  acquisition  of  the  manitou  by  the  Indians  of 
the  prairies. 

»  IhicLy  p.  418. 

«  /*«/.,  p.  431. 

Presidential  Address.  65 

Postponing  for  awhile  our  consideration  of  these  practices, 
let  us  turn  to  the  Arunta  of  Central  Australia  as  depicted  by 
Professor  Baldwin  Spencer  and  Mr.  Gillen.  Striking  dif- 
ferences at  once  reveal  themselves  in  the  mode  of  regarding 
the  totem.  The  totem  of  British  Columbia  is  derived  from 
a  single  ancestor.  Its  origin,  whether  we  accept  the 
manitou-theory  or  not,  is  attributed  to  an  individual.  The 
Arunta  totems,  on  the  contrary,  are  none  of  them  believed 
to  be  individual  in  origin.  The  notions  held  by  the  tribe 
as  to  birth  preclude  this.  The  theory  of  paternity — what 
we  call  birth  in  the  ordinary  course  of  nature — is  unknown. 
Some  years  ago  I  ventured  to  suggest  that  certain  archaic 
beliefs  and  practices  found  almost  all  over  the  world  were 
consistent  only  with,  and  must  have  arisen  from,  imperfect 
recognition  of  fatherhood.  I  hardly  expected,  however, 
that  a  people  would  be  found  still  existing  in  that  hypo- 
thetical condition  of  ignorance.  Yet,  if  we  may  trust  the 
evidence  before  us,  it  is  precisely  the  condition  of  the 
Arunta.  They  hold  the  cause  of  birth  to  be  simply  the 
desire  of  some  Arunta  of  earlier  days  to  be  reincarnated. 
The  doctrine  has  thus  been  summarised  by  Dr.  Frazer: 
"  They  suppose  that  in  certain  far-off  times,  to  which  they 
give  the  name  of 'Alcheringa,' their  ancestors  roamed  about  in 
bands,  each  band  consisting  of  members  of  the  same  totem- 
group.  Where  they  died  their  spirits  went  into  the  ground 
and  formed,  as  it  were,  spiritual  storehouses,  the  external 
mark  of  which  is  some  natural  feature,  generally  a  stone  or 
a  tree.  Such  spots  are  all  over  the  country,  and  the  ances- 
tral spirits  who  haunt  them  are  ever  waiting  for  a  favourable 
opportunity  to  be  born  again  into  the  world.  When  one  of 
them  sees  his  chance  he  pounces  out  on  a  passing  girl  or 
woman  and  enters  intp  her.  Then  she  conceives,  and  in  due 
time  gives  birth  to  a  child,  who  is  firmly  believed  to  be  a 
reincarnation  of  the  spirit  that  darted  into  the  mother  from 
the  rock  or  tree."  And  he  adds,  "  This  is  the  first  case  on 
record  of  a  tribe  who  believe  in  immaculate  conception  as 

VOL.    XI.  F 

66  Presidential  Address. 

the  sole  cause  of  the  birth  of  every  human  being  who  comes 
into  the  world."  ^ 

Let  me  digress  here  for  a  moment  to  call  your  attention 
to  a  passage  taken  from  a  very  different  work.  "The 
Erewhonians  "  it  runs,  "  believe  in  pre-existence  ;  and  not 
only  this  .  .  .  .,  but  they  believe  that  it  is  of  their  own  free 
act  and  deed  in  a  previous  state  that  they  come  to  be  bom 
into  this  world  at  all.  They  hold  that  the  unborn  are  per- 
petually plaguing  and  tormenting  the  married  of  both  sexes, 
fluttering  about  them  incessantly,  and  giving  them  no  peace 
of  mind  or  body  until  they  have  consented  to  take  them  under 
their  protection."^  I  am  not  quoting  now  from  an  anthropo- 
logical work,  but  from  a  very  clever  and  amusing  satire  on 
English  religion  and  social  arrangements,  published  eight- 
and-twenty  years  ago  by  Mr.  Samuel  Butler.  The  author 
located  the  imaginary  people  whose  customs  he  describes  in 
the  undiscovered  interior  lands  of  a  British  colony ;  and  it 
would  require  very  little  straining  of  his  words  to  suppose 
that  the  lands  now  found  to  be  occupied  by  the  Arunta  were 
comprised  in  the  district  he  had  in  mind. 

We  will  leave  our  friends  who  are  so  positive  that  all  (or 
nearly  2}X)  mdrchen  came  from  India,  or  that  the  perplexing 
civilisations  of  America  were  derived  from  Asia,  to  reckon  up 
the  resemblances  here,  and  to  settle  at  their  leisure  whether 
the  Arunta  philosophy  of  birth  is  to  be  traced  to  Erewhon,  or 
the  Erewhonian  philosophy  to  the  Arunta.  Meanwhile,  we 
may  return  to  the  wandering  bands  from  whom  the  Arunta  of 
the  present  day  derive  their  totems.  I  want  you  first  to  note 
that  they  are  bands,  and  not  single  individuals,'  and  next 

*  J.  G.  Frazer,  "The  Origin  QiTo\j^Tc\^mi^  Fortnightly  Review^  K^vX^  1899^ 

p.  649.    But  it  looks  as  though  they  "had  their  suspicions."    Spencer  and 

Gillen,  p.  265. 
'  Erewhon^  or  Over  the  Ranges  by  Samuel  Butler,  5th  Edition,  1873,  P-  '49- 
'  The  Evening  Star  totem  is  an  exception  to  this  ;  but  there  seems  to  be  only 

one  representative  of  it  at  a  time.     Spencer  and  Gillen,  The  Native  Tribes  of 

Central  Australia^  P-S^S- 

Presidential  Address.  67 

that  they  are  believed  to  be  the  same  persons  as  those  now 
living,  but  in  a  previous  incarnation.  There  is  thus  no 
tracing  back  to  a  single  ancestor,  and  no  possibility  of  what 
I  have  called  a  manitou-totem.  Moreover,  these  bands 
are  expressly  believed  to  have  originated  from  the  animals 
and  plants  after  which  they  are  called.  "  In  the  Alcheringa," 
we  are  told,  "  lived  ancestors  who,  in  the  native  mind,  are  so 
intimately  associated  with  the  animals  or  plants  the  name  of 
which  they  bear  that  an  Alcheringa  man  of,  say,  the  kangaroo- 
totem  may  sometimes  be  spoken  of  either  as  a  man-kangaroo 
or  as  a  kangaroo-man.  The  identity  of  the  human  individual 
is  often  sunk  in  that  of  the  animal  or  plant  from  which  he  is 
supposed  to  have  originated."  ^  Here  we  are  taken  back  to 
Dr.  Frazer's  generalisation  whence  we  started.  The  mental 
confusion  referred  to  is  common  to  savages ;  it  perpetually 
recurs  in  savage  tales,  not  less  among  the  Kwakiutl  than 
among  the  Arunta.  We  may  reasonably  suspect  that 
Messrs.  Spencer  and  Gillen's  volume  does  not  contain  all 
the  folklore  of  the  Arunta.  If  not,  we  may  be  sure  there  are 
other  tales  betraying  the  same  confusion.  * 

So  far,  therefore,  as  the  Arunta  are  concerned,  and 
putting  out  of  sight  the  qualification  implied  in  the  belief 
that  the  descendants  to-day  are  themselves  the  ancestors  in 
a  new  incarnation.  Dr.  Frazer's  generalisation  is  not  con- 
travened, while  it  would  seem  as  though  there  is  less 
deviation  from  it  among  the  tribes  of  British  Columbia  than 
might  be  inferred  from  Dr.  Boas' account.  Returning  to  them 
at  this  point,  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that  the  organisation, 
the  ceremonies,  and  the  tales  of  the  peoples  of  the  north- 

»  Ibid.y  p.  119.     See  also  pp.  121,  127,  424,  428,  437,  438,  440,  441. 

'  It  extends,  as  elsewhere,  to  other  existences  than  animals  and  plants,  for 
example,  to  the  heavenly  bodies.  The  smi,  among  both  the  Arunta  and  the 
Kwakiutl,  is  depicted  as  human,  and  is  the  totem  of  a  clan.  Among  the 
Arunta,  however,  the  sun  is  female.  Indeed,  there  seems  to  have  been  three 
women  all  called  Ochirka^  sun.  Two  of  them  dwelt  in  the  country  of  the 
bandicoot  people,  the  third  ascends  the  sky  during  the  day,  but  goes  back  at 
night  to  the  bandicoot  country.    Ibid.^  p.  561. 

F   2 

68  Presidential  Address. 

west  coast  of  America  are  the  result  of  many  diflFerent  in- 
fluences which  have  met  and  crossed  in  that  interesting  region. 
The  custom  of  acquiring  a  transfer  of  name  and  privileges 
by  slaughtering  their  previous  owner  points  to  the  more 
or  less  violent  breaking-up  of  an  older  organisation  in 
which  great  value  was  attached  to  clan-membership.  It  is 
obvious  that  where  the  clan-system  is  powerful  such  a  cus- 
tom would  not  be  tolerated,  and  that  in  any  society  where 
it  once  got  a  footing  it  would  prove  a  strong  disintegrating 
force.  That  it  has  done  so  among  these  north-western 
tribes  is  evidently  Dr.  Boas'  opinion.  "  In  this  manner," 
he  says,  *'  names  and  customs  have  often  spread  from  tribe 
to  tribe."  ^  Furthermore,  he  brings  evidence  to  prove 
"  that  the  present  system  of  tribes  and  clans  is  of  recent 
growth,  and  has  undergone  considerable  changes,"  some  of 
which  I  may  add  are  still  in  progress.^  Not  less  important 
is  it  that  the  so-called  secret  societies  are  of  novel  intro- 
duction. If  amid  all  these  movements  confusion  had  not 
been  generated  there  would  have  been  cause  for  wonder. 
Nor  can  we  be  by  any  means  sure  that  the  manitou-idea 
was  always  at  the  basis  of  the  belief  and  practice  of  the 
tribes,  closely  as  it  now  seems  to  underlie  their  legends 
and  institutions,  or  even  that  any  form  of  totemism  was 
known  to  some  of  the  tribes  until  a  comparatively  recent 
period.  My  own  impression  decidedly  is  that,  whether  or 
no  totemism  was  anciently  a  part  of  the  tribal  organisation, 
the  manitou-conception  is  of  modern  date.  It  is  part  of 
the  individualism  which  is  tending,  not  among  these  tribes 
only,  to  obscure  the  older  communistic  traditions.  I  will 
not  say  that  it  is  useless  to  examine  the  beliefs  and  institu- 
tions of  the  British  Columbian  peoples,  with  the  hope  of 
arriving  at  any  conclusions  on  the  origin  or  early  form  of 
totemism.     But  I  greatly  doubt  that  any  trustworthy  con- 

>  Nat,  Mus,  Rtp,y  p.  335. 
«  Ibid,,  p.  333 

Presidential  Address.  69 

elusions  can  be  derived  from  the  ideas  and  practices  now 

The  side  of  totemism  on  which  the  discoveries  of  Messrs. 
Spencer  and  Gillen  have  broken  most  seriously  into  our 
previous  conceptions  is  that  of  social  organisation.  Hitherto 
all  the  totem-clans  known  to  science  had  an  invariable  rule 
against  marriage  between  men  and  women  who  belonged 
to  the  same  clan  and  bore  the  same  totem.  This  rule  the 
Arunta  totally  disregard.  Their  marriage-regulations  are 
founded  upon  a  different  principle.  Formerly,  indeed,  if 
we  may  trust  their  traditions  of  the  Alcheringa,  the  Arunta 
did  observe  the  clan-system.  But  then  they  observed  it  in 
topsy-turvy  fashion,  for  the  practice  was,  they  say,  for  the 
men  and  women  of  the  same  clan  to  intermarry.^  Now, 
however  "primitive'*  some  of  the  institutions  of  the  Arunta 
may  seem,  and  may  indeed  be,  others  have  travelled  a  long 
way  from  any  state  capable  of  being  so  described.  Progress 
is  hardly  ever,  if  ever,  made  equally  on  all  lines.  It  is  one 
of  the  most  ordinary  phenomena  to  find  a  people  relatively 
advanced  in  one  direction  and  relatively  backward  in  another. 
The  Arunta,  I  venture  to  think,  are  an  instance  of  un- 
equal progress.  Students  who  hold  that  the  traditions  of 
the  Alcheringa — that  mythical  time  of  the  early  ancestors 
of  the  tribes — enclose  tangible  facts,  must  also  hold  that 
the  same  traditions  are  evidence  of  progress.  For  my  own 
part,  I  am  slow  to  affirm  that  many  grains  of  fact  (in  the 
sense  of  actual  occurrences)  can  be  extracted  from  such 
ore.  Some  can,  of  course ;  but  the  ore  requires  a  deal  of 
milling  and  washing  to  separate  them.  Still,  the  traditions 
are  undeniable  witness  to  the  belief  of  the  Arunta  in  their 
own  progress.  How  else  are  we  to  interpret  the  stories  of 
what  I  may  term  the  evolution  of  men  and  women  out  of 
the  rudimentary  beings  whom  they  call  Inapertwa^  the 
introduction  of  various  rites,  and  the  establishment  of  the 

'  Spencer  and  Gillen,  pp.  393, 418,  419. 

^6  Presidentiat  Addresi. 

present  organisation  ?  And  the  Arunta  belief  may  '± 
least  count  for  something  as  evidence  of  progress.  What 
that  evidence  amounts  to,  having  pointed  it  out,  I  am 
content  for  others  to  value.  We  shall  be  on  surer  ground 
if  we  turn  to  the  organisation  and  institutions  of  the 

Most  of  the  Australian  communities  whose  organisation 
is  known  have  been  found  divided  into  two  exogamous 
groups.  Men,  that  is,  are  not  allowed  to  take  their  wives 
from  the  group  into  which  they  themselves  were  born,  but 
from  the  complementary  group.  Mr.  Howitt,  than  whom 
there  is  no  more  competent  living  authority,  considers  that 
these  two  groups  were  originally  totem-clans,  or,  as  he 
would  say,  totem-hordes.  The  right  of  marriage  is  still 
further  restricted  by  an  ingenious  system  of  classification, 
which  has  the  effect,  where  it  is  most  fully  developed,  of 
completely  preventing  the  intermarriage  of  near  kin.  I 
will  not  try  now  to  explain  this  system  (known  as  the  class- 
system),  but  I  may  say  that  it  offers  the  most  complicated 
puzzle  that  savage  institutions  have  ever  offered  to  civilised 
inquirers;  and  that  is  saying  a  great  deal.  In  what  appears 
to  be  the  oldest  form  of  the  organisation,  it  is  accompanied 
by  the  reckoning  of  kinship  and  descent  through  the  mother 
only — what  we  call  Mother-right.  Moreover,  there  is  reason 
to  believe  that  individual  marriage  was  formerly  unknown  : 
groups  of  men  and  women  possessed  and  exercised  conjugal 
rights  in  common.  Unmistakable  relics  of  this  condition 
still  exist ;  but  gradually  a  double  transformation  has  taken 
place  in  many  of  the  tribes.  Group-marriage  has  been 
giving  way  to  individual  marriage ;  and  Mother-right  has 
yielded  to  Father-right,  or  Agnation,  the  tracing  of  descent 
through  the  father  only.  What  may  be  the  object  of  the 
change  from  mother-right  to  father-right,  and  whether  that 
object  was  one  consciously  pursued,  are  questions  I  cannot 
now  discuss.  One  effect,  however,  of  the  change  is  to 
localise  the  group  or  clan  which  adopts  father-right,  for  it 

Prestdenttai  A  ddfes^.  7 1 

binds  together  in  a  common  tie  the  fighting  and  hunting 
force  of  any  community  in  a  manner  and  to  an  extent 
generally  unknown  where  mother-right  prevails.  A  man 
as  a  rule  takes  his  wife  with  him ;  he  does  not  go  to  live 
with  her.  In  mother-right  this  tends  to  scatter  the  kin ;  in 
father-right  it  tends  to  consolidate  the  kin  with  the  local 
group.  This  tendency,  it  will  be  easily  understood,  con- 
tributes in  no  small  measure  to  strengthen  the  organisation 
of  the  local  group  in  its  struggle  for  life.  Consequently,  it 
is  not  surprising  to  find  that  most  aggressive  and  progres- 
sive communities  have,  at  one  stage  in  their  career,  been 
organised  on  the  basis  of  agnation. 

A  few  years  ago  Mr.  Howitt  mapped  out  these  changes 
among  the  Australian  tribes  according  to  geographical  areas 
as  far  as  he  was  then  able  to  trace  them ;  and  his  investiga- 
tions led  to  significant  results.  He  found  that :  "  The 
most  backward-standing  types  of  social  organisation,  having 
descent  through  the  mother  and  an  archaic  communal 
marriage,  exist  in  the  dry  and  desert  country ;  the  more 
developed  Kamilaroi  type,  having  descent  through  the 
mother,  but  a  general  absence  of  the  Pirauru  marriage 
practice  [a  relic  of  communal  or  group-marriage]  is  found 
in  the  better  watered  tracts  which  are  the  sources  of  all  the 
great  rivers  of  East  Australia;  while  the  most  developed 
types,  having  individual  marriage,  and  in  which  in  almost 
all  cases  descent  is  counted  through  the  father,  are  found 
along  the  coasts  where  there  is  the  most  plentiful  supply  of 
water  and  most  food.  In  fact,  it  is  thus  suggested  that  the 
social  advance  of  the  Australian  aborigines  has  been  con- 
nected with,  if  not  mainly  due  to  a  more  plentiful  supply  of 
food  in  better  watered  districts."  ^ 

To  the  list  of  tribes  given  by  Mr.  Howitt  must  now 
be  added  the  Arunta.  The  districts  inhabited  by  the 
Arunta  and  their  allied  tribes,  though  dry,  are  rather  to  be 

>  Journal  of  tht  Anthropological  Institute^  voL  xviiL,  p.  33. 

72  Presidential  Address. 

described  as  steppe-country  than  desert.*  We  should, 
therefore,  be  prepared  to  find,  if  Mr.  Howitt's  conclusions 
be  correct,  that  their  social  arrangements  would  not  belong 
to  quite  the  most  archaic  type.  As  we  shall  see  in  a 
moment,  they  turn  out  to  be  even  more  advanced  than  we 
might  expect.  But  Mr.  Howitt  goes  on  to  observe  :  "  Also 
it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  origin  of  individual 
marriage,  the  change  of  the  line  of  descent,  and  the  final 
decay  of  the  old  class  organisation,  are  all  parts  of  the  same 
process  of  social  development,  and  that  not  one  cause  only 
has  been  at  work  but  a  number  of  causes  which  have  worked 
together  towards  that  ultimate  result  which  can  be  seen  in 
the  most  advanced  communities." 

In  what  particulars  then  has  the  Arunta  organisation 
advanced?  First  of  all,  it  has  advanced  to  individual 
marriage;  and  that  it  has  advanced  to  individual  mar- 
riage from  group-marriage  the  tables  of  kinship  and  cer- 
tain of  the  tribal  ceremonies  contain  abundant  evidence, 
with  which  I  need  not  trouble  you.  Secondly,  descent  is 
traced  in  the  male  line.  This  is  a  startling  feature  of  the 
organisation  of  a  people  which  has  no  proper  knowledge  of 
paternity.  It  should  be  explained,  however,  that  it  only 
means  that  a  child  belongs  to  the  same  exogamous  moiety 
of  his  tribe  as  the  husband  of  his  mother.  Assuming  the 
account  we  have  of  the  beliefs  of  the  Arunta  to  be  correct 
as  far  as  it  goes,  the  tracing  of  descent  in  the  male  line  for 
the  purpose  of  determining  the  exogamous  group  to  which 
a  child  shall  belong  involves,  and  can  involve,  no  real  recog- 
nition of  blood.  Yet  the  tables  of  kinship  show  that  some 
relation  is  held  to  subsist  between  father  and  child.  Exactly 
what  that  relation  is  conceived  to  be  we  are  not  in  a  position 

*  Spencer  and  Gillen,  op,  cit,^  p.  2.  Cf,  Horn  Expedition  Report^  part  iv., 
p.  6.  The  Warramunga  are  mentioned  by  Howitt,  but  his  information  about 
them  was  meagre.  Are  they  not  an  offshoot  of  the  Urabunna  ?  The  name 
seems  related,  and  so  also  do  several  words  in  the  table  of  kinship.  Some  of 
the  class-names  are  unquestionably  identical. 

Presidential  Address.  73 

at  the  present  moment  to  say.  It  is  noteworthy  that  an  Arunta 
man  in  speaking  of  his  child  employs  a  different  term  from 
that  employed  by  a  woman  in  speaking  of  her  child.  This 
is  by  no  means  an  isolated  phenomenon  in  communities  in 
a  similar  stage  of  organisation,  and  points  to  an  earlier 
condition  of  mother-right.  A  careful  philological  and  socio- 
logical comparison  of  the  terms  of  relationship  throughout 
the  Australian  continent  is  one  of  our  most  urgent  needs. 

In  a  community  so  small  as  an  Australian  tribe  usually  is, 
severe  limitations  are  obviously  imposed  on  the  choice  of  a 
bride  by  the  division  into  two  exogamous  groups  and  the 
further  division  into  mutual  connubial  classes.  But  I  am 
sure  I  shall  not  call  in  vain  upon  you  to  pity  the  sorrows  of 
the  Australian  youth,  when  I  remind  you  that  his  choice  was 
usually  more  limited  still.  For  to  each  of  the  two  exoga- 
mous groups  was  assigned  a  number  of  totems,  and  it  by 
no  means  followed  that  marriage  was  permitted  into  any  of 
the  totem-clans  composing  the  opposite  exogamous  group. 
On  the  contrary,  it  was  often  limited  to  one  or  two.  The 
consequence  would  be  that  an  eligible  bride  was  uncom- 
monly scarce,  even  when  the  aspirant  had  a  sister  or  a 
cousin  or  an  aunt  ready  to  be  bartered  in  exchange.  To  a 
disconsolate  bachelor  the  relaxation  or  the  abolition  of  the 
limitation  imposed  by  the  totem  might  be  a  measure  of 
relief,  none  the  less  welcome  though  it  enfranchised  a  troop 
of  competitors  also. 

If  the  evidences  of  progress  I  have  enumerated — the 
legends  of  the  Alcheringa,  and  the  traces  of  group-marriage 
and  mother-right — be  of  any  value,  they  enable  us  to  see 
that  the  present  disregard  of  the  totem  in  marriage  may  be  a 
stage  in  the  sloughing  of  totemism  altogether.  The  only 
object  now  fulfilled  by  the  totem-organisation  among  the 
Arunta  is  the  performance  at  intervals  of  the  Intichiuma 
and  Engwura  ceremonies.  The  former  are  of  a  magical 
character,  and  certainly  wear  an  archaic  appearance.  Thus 
much  may  safely  be  said,  without  pronouncing  an  opinion 

5^4  Presidential  A  ddres^. 

on  Dr.  Frazer's  contention  that  we  have  in  these  cefe* 
monies^  a  clue  to  the  original  purpose  of  totemism,  namely, 
to  secure  for  the  community,  by  means  of  magic,  a  plentiful 
supply  of  necessaries  and  immunity  from  the  perils  to  which 
man  is  exposed  in  his  struggle  with  nature.  At  all  events, 
they  are  periodical  ceremonies  having  for  their  object  the 
increase  of  the  totem-animal  or  plant.  "  Every  local  totemic 
group  has  its  own  Intichiuma  ceremony,"  when,  save  by 
special  invitation,  no  one  else  is  allowed  to  be  present. 
Nor  in  any  case  can  the  invitation  be  extended  beyond  the 
tribal  totem-group  or  beyond  that  moiety  of  the  tribe  to 
which  the  great  majority  of  the  members  of  the  local  group 
belong.^  Not  less  important  are  the  Engwura  ceremonies. 
They  are  part  of  the  rites  of  initiation  into  manhood.  But 
here  an  interesting  difference  reveals  itself.  The  Engwura 
are  not  owned  by  the  local  totemic  group.  '*'  Each  totem," 
we  are  told,  "has  its  own  ceremonies,  and  each  of  the 
'  ceremonies '  may  be  regarded  as  the  property  of  some 
special  individual  who  has  received  it  by  right  of  inherit- 
ance from  its  previous  owner,  such  as  a  father  or  an  elder 
brother,"  or  who  in  some  cases  may  have  received  it  direct 
from  the  Iruntarinia,  or  spirits.  So  among  the  Kwakiutl 
the  claim  to  initiation,  the  dances,  the  songs,  the  clan-  and 
family-traditions,  and  other  privileges,  are  ordinarily  ob- 
tained through  inheritance.  Tartarin  and  his  friends  were 
not  so  jealous  of  their  own  songs  as  a  Kwakiutl  of  these 
properties.  The  jealousy  of  the  Arunta  is  hardly  less 
obvious ;  for  the  right  of  anyone  outside  the  totem  to  be 
present  at  an  Engwura  ceremony  is  dependent  on  the  will 
of  the  owner,  though  the  invitations  are  more  freely  given 
than  to  the  Intichiuma.* 

*  Fortnightly  Review ^  May,  1899,  p.  835  seqq, 

*  Spencer  and  Gillen,  pp.  167,  169. 

'  Boas,  op,  cit.  passim  ;  Mythology  of  the  Bella  Coola,  p.  123  ;  Spencer  and 
Gillen,  pp.  278,  280.  Speaking  generally,  "  the  old  men  will  not  reveal  tribal 
secrets  to  the  young  men  unless  they  show  themselves  worthy  of  receiving  such 
knowledge."    Ibid,,  p.  281. 

Presidential  AddfeiS.  75 

tt  will  be  seen  that  these  two  groups  of  ceremonies,  the 
Intichiuma  and  the  Engwura  are  of  great  importance  in 
the  life  of  the  tribe.     Upon  the  former  depends  the  supply 
of  food  and  other  necessaries.     The  latter  are  the  final  rites 
in  the  admission  of  youths  to  manhood.     Thus,  on  the  one 
hand,  their  continuance  is  safeguarded  ;  on  the  other  hand, 
they  have  a  conservative  influence :  totemism  cannot  die 
out  while  they  continue  to  be  performed.      On  the  side  of 
organisation,    however,   as   distinguished   from    the   cere- 
monial  side,   the   totem-clan   is   in   decay.      Nay,   it   has 
already  ceased   to   be   a   clan.      The   tie   of  blood  is  no 
longer  recognised  ;  and  where  the  tie  of  blood  is  destroyed, 
there  is  no  clan  in  the  proper  sense  of  the  word.     Mr. 
Howitt's  inquiries  tend  to  show  that   the  change  in  the 
line  of   descent,  from  reckoning  exclusively  through   the 
mother  to  reckoning  exclusively  through  the  father  (which 
is  exactly  what  has  happened  among  the  Arunta)  is  accom- 
panied by  "a  profound  alteration  in  the  social   arrange- 
ments," and  that  the  decay  and  even  the  disappearance  (as 
among  the  Chipara  of  southern  Queensland)  of  the  totem- 
clans  are  part  and  parcel  of  the  changes  that  take  place.^ 
The  course  of  development  in  other  tribes  thus  leads  us  to 
anticipate  what  is  taking  place  among  the  Arunta.     But 
at  present   the    organisation    survives    as   a  totem-group, 
having  as  its  sole  bond  of  union  the  performance  of  the 
ceremonies.^     On  the  whole,  though  the  conjecture  may  be 
a  bold  one,  it  would  not  surprise  me  if  it  should  turn  out 
that  the  organisation  is  undergoing  a  slow  transformation 
into  something  more  like  the  so-called  secret  societies  of  the 
British  Columbian  tribes. 

If  this  view  be  correct,  then  vanishes  the  diflSculty  that 
here  is  a  totemistic  people  to  whom  the  rule  of  exogamy 
does  not  apply ;  for  it  is  only  a  diflSculty  if  we  insist  on 

*  Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute,  vol.  xviii.,  pp.  40,  47  seqq, 
'  Spencer  and  Gillen,  pp.  34,  557. 

76  Presidential  Address. 

regarding  the  Arunta  as  a  people  wholly  ** primitive."  The 
rule  remains  true  that  where  totemism  is  in  full  force, 
"  persons  of  the  same  totem  may  not  marry  or  have  sexual 
intercourse  with  one  another."^  The  disregard  of  the  rule 
would  be  an  inevitable  stage  in  the  decline  of  the  insti- 

It  may,  however,  be  objected  that  there  is  no  trace  of 
totemic  exogamy  among  the  Arunta;  whatever  traces  there 
may  be  of  any  totemic  regulation  of  marriage  point  in  an 
opposite  direction.  These  traces  consist  of  little  more  than 
frequent  references  in  the  legends  to  men  and  women  of 
the  same  totem  living  in  local  groups  together,  whence  it 
is  inferred  to  have  been  quite  normal  for  a  man  to  have  a 
wife  of  the  same  totem  as  himself.  I  am  not  sure  that  a 
complete  and  satisfactory  answer  can  be  given  to  the  ob- 
jection. But  the  character  of  the  legends  must  be  taken 
into  consideration.  I  have  already  referred  to  them,  not  as 
narratives  of  actual  events,  but  as  possible  witnesses  to  the 
bare  fact  of  progress.  They  seem  in  almost  all  cases 
expressly  framed  to  account  for  the  present  condition  of 
something  which  to  the  native  mind  requires  explanation. 
In  other  words,  they  are  mainly  aetiological.  Now,  a  re- 
striction or  taboo  of  any  kind  is  always  a  subject  requiring 
explanation.  Consequently,  the  present  marriage-restrictions 
would  be  felt  to  require  a  legend  to  account  for  them,  and 
they  are  accounted  for  by  a  legend.  The  absence  of  re- 
strictions, on  the  other  hand,  requires  no  explanation. 
Restrictions,  again,  which  have  been  abolished  or  have 
passed  silently  away  no  longer  need  to  be  accounted  for. 
Accordingly  they  are  forgotten,  and  any  explanation  of 
them  once  extant  is  forgotten  also.  Hence  we  are  not 
likely  to  find  references  to  prohibitions  of  marriage  within 
the  totem-group,  or  to  practices  indicating  the  existence  of 
such  prohibitions.     If,  then,  we  are  asked  why  the  converse 

*  Frazer,  Totemism^  p.  58. 

Presidential  Address.  77 

case  of  conjugal  relations  within  the  group  continues  to  be 
prominent  in  the  legends,  the  answer  must  be  that  it  is  not 
a  veritable  memory  of  what  actually  took  place,  but  a  re- 
flection of  the  condition  of  things  to  which  there  is  a  general 
tendency  in  the  present  day,  namely,  the  tendency  for  the 
totem-group  to  coincide  with  the  local  group.  In  the  legends 
this  tendency  would  be  emphasised.  Where  it  exists,  that 
is,  where  the  local  group  consists  largely  or  chiefly  of  the 
members  of  one  totem-group,  and  there  is  no  prohibition 
against  conjugal  relations  within  the  totem-group,  there 
conjugal  relations  within  the  totem-group  will  become 
frequent  in  proportion  to  the  comparative  local  strength 
of  the  totem-group,  unless  they  be  checked  by  any  other 
restriction.  They  are  now  held  in  check  to  some  extent  by 
the  class-regulations.  But  in  the  times  of  which  the  legends 
speak  there  were  no  class-regulations,  for  the  institution  of 
of  these  regulations  is  among  the  subjects  to  be  explained 
by  the  legends  themselves. 

I  am  afraid  I  have  committed  the  unpardonable  sin  of 
dulness.  It  is  an  easily-besetting  sin  to  one  who  pries 
into  savage  thought.  Yet  savage  thought  is  the  seed- 
plot  of  civilised  literature  and  of  much  of  civilised  philo- 
sophy and  civilised  religion.  To  the  ordinary  man  or 
woman  of  our  time  and  country,  its  details  are  often 
strange  and  repulsive;  more  usually  they  are,  from  their 
remoteness,  utterly  devoid  of  interest.  Such  a  person  feels 
like  one  I  knew  who  was  taken  to  hear  a  lecture  on  spiders. 
"What  are  spiders  to  me?"  he  asked;  "I  am  willing  to 
let  them  alone,  if  they  will  only  let  me  alone."  Totemism 
has  not  been  allowed  to  let  us  alone.  Until  lately  it  has 
occupied  a  large  place  in  the  speculations  of  anthropo- 
logists. Now,  at  a  time  when  it  has  been  a  little  dis- 
credited, I  have  thought  it  might  be  useful  to  pause  and 
ask  whether  all  the  recent  discoveries  have  left  it  in  evil 
case,  whether  some  of  the  interpretations  placed  on  facts 
are  quite  justified,  whether,  in  fine,  the  fabric  is  really  as 

78  Presidential  Address. 

much  battered  as  we  have  been  led  to  fear.  If  to  some 
of  you  much  of  what  I  have  said  be  trite  as  well  as  dull,  I 
would  plead  that  it  is  labour  not  always  lost  to  restate  the 
obvious;  for  the  obvious  is  in  danger  of  being  overlooked, 
because  it  is  obvious.  The  points  I  have  chosen  to  touch 
were  not  chosen  because  they  were  the  easiest  to  deal  with, 
but  because  they  were  vital  to  the  definition  of  the  totem 
as  we  have  understood  it.  I  have  not  tried  to  discuss  the 
question  whether  totemism  is  as  large  a  factor  in  social  and 
religious  evolution  as  many  have  been  inclined  to  think.^ 
All  I  have  tried  to  show  is  that  we  need  not  at  present 
revise  our  conception  of  it  in  the  two  material  points  of 
exogamy  and  the  relation  of  the  totem  to  the  clan,  in  con- 
sequence of  anything  lately  published  concerning  the  tribes 
of  which  I  have  been  speaking.  But  of  course  we  must 
never  forget  that  no  theory  of  totemism  is  other  than  pro- 
visional. Totemism  itself  is  but  a  name  for  a  working 
hypothesis  which  may  at  any  time  have  to  be  revised  or 

When  I  began  I  pointed  out  that  in  the  natural  growth 
of  science  it  was  inevitable  that  we  should  shift  our  base  of 
operations  from  European  tradition  to  savage  tradition. 
Let  me  urge  further  that  among  savage  peoples  the 
Australian  aborigines  and  the  Indian  tribes  of  the  North- 
West  Coast  of  America  are  entitled  on  national  grounds  to 
more  than  superficial  attention.  They  dwell,  the  latter 
chiefly,  the  former  wholly,  within  the  limits  of  our  own 
Empire.  They  are  our  own  fellow  subjects.  We  are 
deeply  interested  in  their  moral  and  material  condition ; 
we  are  largely  responsible  for  their  welfare.  To  under- 
stand their  arts  and  institutions,  their  traditions  and  ideas, 
is  the  first  requisite  for  their  proper  government.     Over 

^  On  this  point  the  masterly  articles  of  M.  Marillier  in  the  Revue  de 
VHistoire  dcs  Religions,  vols,  xxxvi.  and  xxxvii.,  and  Dr.  Jevons*  reply  in 
Folk- Lore  J  vol.  x.,  p.  369,  should  be  consulted.  The  controversy  cannot  yet 
be  considered  closed. 

Presidential  A ddress.  79 

and  above  that  is  our  duty  to  provide  for  the  preservation 
of  the  memory,  and  not  merely  of  the  memory  of  perishing 
races  under  our  sway,  and  of  stages  of  culture  in  process 
of  transformation  or  total  disappearance  within  our  borders, 
but  also  of  as  full  a  record  as  may  be  of  what  they  were 
and  what  they  signified  in  the  history  of  the  world.  To  do 
so  will  add  to  our  imperial  glory;  and  we  are  just  now 
very  jealous  of  that.  Moreover,  it  will  assist  us  to  interpret 
our  own  past,  and  the  prehistoric  monuments  in  our  own 
islands.  I  need  not  remind  this  Society  of  the  traces  of 
animal-worship  lingering  here  and  there  in  our  midst. 
They  were  discussed  some  years  ago  by  Mr.  Gomme  and 
Mr.  Lang,  when  the  question  was  debated  whether  totemism 
was  a  stage  of  our  own  development.  They  have  been 
lately  considered  in  the  same  connection  by  Mr.  N.  W. 
Thomas,  likewise  a  member  of  the  Society,  in  the  Revue 
de  V Histoire  des  Religions,  To  take  another  instance, 
the  famous  barrow  of  Willy  Howe  in  Yorkshire,  and  other 
barrows  where  it  was  clear  that  no  human  remains  had 
ever  been  interred,  were  long  an  insoluble  riddle  to 
archaeologists.  And  so  they  would  have  been  still,  but  for 
Dr.  Frazer's  investigations  into  savage  rites  of  burial 
and  theories  of  the  soul,  and  Mr.  Geo.  Coffey's  ingenious 
and  satisfactory  application  of  the  results  of  these  investi- 
gations to  the  barrows  of  the  Bronze  Age.  For  the  human 
mind  everywhere  travels  in  the  same  direction  and  causes 
men  to  act  in  analogous  ways.  Hence,  when  we  are 
inquiring  into  matters  as  remote  from  our  immediate 
surroundings  as  the  totemism  of  the  Arunta,  or  the  mock- 
funerals  of  Vancouver  Island,  it  may  well  be  that  we  are 
unconsciously  throwing  a  searchlight  on  the  dark  places 
of  our  own  antiquity. 

I  could  say  more.  I  could  claim  for  the  study  of  the 
traditions  of  savage  races  a  still  higher  function  in  the 
economy  of  thought.  It  is  needless.  "  The  original  of 
ancient   customs,"   Dr.  Johnson   declared,   ''  is   commonly 

8o  Presidential  A  ddress. 

unknown ;  for  the  practice  often  continues  when  the  cause 
has  ceased ;  and  concerning  superstitious  ceremonies  it  is 
vain  to  conjecture  ;  for  what  reason  did  not  dictate,  reason 
cannot  explain."  ^  These  words  were  written  a  hundred 
and  forty  years  ago.  No  writer  of  repute — nay,  not  the 
most  infallible  of  journalists — would  venture  to  write  them 
to-day,  when  science  is  constantly  revealing  the  source  of 
ancient  customs,  and  when  by  reason  we  are  slowly,  and  it 
may  be  not  without  vain  conjectures  by  the  way,  yet  surely, 
being  led  to  the  true  significance  of  many  a  superstitious 
ceremony,  wild  song  and  uncouth  tale.  Painfully,  indeed, 
and  step  by  step  we  are  exploring  the  caverns  whence,  in 
the  myths  of  that  strange  people  in  the  west,  mankind 
emerged  through  much  tribulation  into  this  loftier,  happier, 
and  more  spacious  world ;  and  we  are  bringing  back  to 
light  the  lowly  and  long-forgotten  beginnings  of  the  race. 
The  coming  century  has  doubtless  many  surprises  in  store 
for  us  and  our  children.  It  will  be  no  surprise  for  students 
of  anthropology  if  the  progress  of  discovery  enable  us  by- 
and-bye  to  reconstitute  the  history  of  humanity  to  an  extent 
of  which  Dr.  Johnson  and  all  the  generations  of  learned  men 
in  the  past  never  so  much  as  dreamed. 

'  Rasselas,  chap.  48. 


The  Cult  of  Othin  :  an  Essay  in  the  Ancient  Religion 
OF  THE  North.  By  H.  M.  Chadwick,  Fellow  of  Clare 
College,  Cambridge.     London  :  Clay.     1899. 

It  is  perhaps  in  the  direction  of  monographs  such  as  the  present 
that  the  first  series  of  attacks  upon  the  complicated  questions  of 
Northern  mythology  can  best  be  delivered.  Mr.  Chadwick  has 
given  full  and  thoughtful  consideration  to  his  subject  in  this 
handy,  neatly  printed,  but  unindexed  little  book. 

Starting  with  a  good  general  acquaintance  with  the  texts  and 
with  what  has  been  written  upon  them  of  real  value,  from  Grimm 
to  Petersen  and  Bugge,  he  has  arrived  at  the  following  conclu- 
sions :  "  (i)  The  cult  of  Othin  was  in  all  probability  known  in 
the  North  at  the  beginning  of  the  sixth  century ;  there  is  no 
reason  for  supposing  that  it  was  then  new.  (2)  The  cult  does 
not  seem  to  have  been  practised  by  the  Swedes  in  the  first  half- 
century  of  the  present  era.  (3)  If  the  adoption  of  cremation  was 
due  to  the  cult  of  Othin,  the  cult  can  hardly  have  been  introduced 
into  Sweden  later  than  the  end  of  the  first  century."  Further,  he 
(like  Vigfusson)  takes  the  name  Woden  to  be  akin  to  Lat.  udtes^ 
O.  li,  fdith^  and  would  explain  the  words  •wdtJanaz,  •woCenaz, 
as  participial  and  probably  meaning  "  inspired."  As  to  the  inter- 
pretation of  Hdvamdl  in  the  famous  passage — 

I  know  that  I  hung  on  the  gallowstree  or  Wodenstree, 

Nine  whole  nights ; 
Wounded  with  the  spear  and  offered  to  Woden, 

Self  to  myself, 
With  loaf  they  stayed  me  not,  nor  with  the  horn, 

♦  •  * 

I  peered  down,  I  caught  up  runes, 

♦  ♦  • 

Whooping  I  caught  them.     I  fell  back  thence— 

♦  ♦  ♦ 

Mr.  Chadwick  considers  that  the  explanations  given  by  Dr.  Bugge 
and  his  follower,  Dr.  Golther,  are  not  decisive  of  their  theory  that 

VOL.  XI.  G 

82  Reviews. 

the  myth  here  alluded  to  has  a  Christian  origin.  He  points  out 
that  there  is  no  certain  reference  ^  in  the  passages  that  deal  with 
the  World  Tree  to  its  having  served  as  Woden's  gallows.  But 
such  a  connection  is  necessary  to  Dr.  Bugge's  hypothesis.  He 
shows  further  that  in  the  Upsala  Evergreen  Tree  as  described  by 
Adam  of  Bremen  (or  his  scholiast)  standing  by  the  Sacrificial 
Spring,  and  the  Stettin  oak  and  spring,  and  others  known  to  us 
among  Lithuanians  and  Prussians,  we  have  exact  parallels  to 
Mim's  tree  and  the  Weirds'  Bum.  He  suggests  very  ingeniously 
that  from  the  "  community-tree,"  an  index  of  the  prosperity  of  the 
set  of  people  it  belonged  to  (a  cult  and  belief  of  which  there  are 
plenty  of  traces  even  in  the  modem  folktales  that  Grimm  col- 
lected), the  development  of  the  "  world-tree  "  idea  was  easy ;  for 
just  as  the  Upsala  tree,  at  first  a  local  tree,  became  the  national 
tree  when  the  Swedish  confederacy  arose,  so  when  Walhall  began 
to  be  conceived  of  (in  the  ninth  century)  as  a  great  all-embracing 
heaven,  the  tree  then  became  a  world-tree,  and  its  fate  bound  up 
with  the  fate  of  the  whole  universe  visible  and  invisible.  I  think 
it  possible  we  have  in  the  sacer  lucus^  quiproximus  est  templo  of 
Adam  of  Bremen  a  transitional  state,  when  each  of  the  trees  in 
the  grove  near  the  temple  stood  for  its  own  clan  or  small  tribe, 
and  was  honoured  and  venerated  precisely  as  the  local  tribe-tree 
(of  which  it  was  no  doubt  a  seedling)  had  been,  though  the 
Upsala  big  tree  had  now  been  chosen  to  be  the  "  national "  or 
"  confederal  tree  "  for  the  whole  folk  of  the  Swedes.  Mr.  Chad- 
wick  is  inclined  to  accept  Dr.  Bugge's  identification  of  the  story 
of  Woden's  death  in  Ynglinga  (lo)  with  the  above  passage  in 
Hdva-mdl,  but  not  his  inferences  from  this  identification.  He 
regards  it  as  a  myth  arising  out  of  "  the  desire  to  explain  the 
ritual  of  sacrifice,"  and  he  rejects  any  connection  between  the 
hanging  story  in  Gautrec's  Saga  and  this  myth. 

In  discussing  the  Starcad  story  he  brings  out  its  importance 
better  than  any  one  else  has  yet  done.  He  shows  how  Woden's 
gifts  explain  the  god's  character  and  attributes— they  are  length 
of  days  {cf.  An.  Ynglinga  saga,  29),  choice  weapons,  clothes,  and 
riches  (cf,  Hyndla's  lay) — 

He  granteth  and  giveth  gold  to  his  servants, 
He  gave  Herem6d  helm  and  mailcoat, 
And  to  Sigmund  a  sword  to  take — 

'  That  in  Sonatorrec  rests  on  an  emendation. 

Reviews.  83 

victory  in  battle,  skill  in  song  and  in  public  speaking,  and  fair 
winds  to  war  ships. 

He  giveth  his  sons  victory,  and  his  followers  money, 
Skill  of  speech  to  bis  children,  and  good  wit  to  men, 
Fair  breeze  to  captains,  and  song  to  poets. 
Prowess  or  luck  in  love  he  gives  to  many  a  champion. 

Whereas  Thor  or  Thunder  is  the  god  who  gives  progeny,  land, 
memory,  bodily  luck  and  safety,  and  Frey  is  especially  the  god  of 
fertility.  Now  Woden's  foster-son  Starcad  was  hated  by  Thunder, 
who  largely  limited  his  powers  of  mischief,  and  Starcad  loathed 
Frey  and  his  genial  worship.  Starcad  (who  has  parallels  in 
Russian  legend)  has  usually,  says  our  author,  "  been  regarded  as 
the  typical  Northern  warrior  of  old  time.  This  is  true ;  but  in 
reality  he  is  far  more.  He  is  also  the  chief  of  the  legendary 
Northern  poets.  If  I  am  not  mistaken,  he  was  regarded  in  early 
times  as  the  typical  worshipper  of  Othin." 

In  considering  the  cult  of  Niord  Mr.  Chadwick  agrees  with 
Drs.  Much  and  Sarrazin  that  the  "  isle  in  the  ocean,"  where 
Tacitus  says  some  tribes  worshipped  Nerthus,  was  Seeland.  As 
this  god's  son  was  worshipped  at  Upsala,  there  is  apparently  a 
filial  connection  implied  between  some  southern  sanctuary, 
whether  it  be  Hledra  [Leire]  in  Seeland  or  not,  and  the  great 
sactuary  at  Upsala ;  but  it  is  certain  that  Woden's  cult  later 
became  the  favourite  worship  of  Southern  Scandinavia.  Golther's 
ingenious  suggestion  that  the  war  between  Wanes  and  Anses  is  a 
reminiscence  of  the  struggle  between  the  two  cults  and  their  re- 
spective votaries  is  rightly,  I  think,  accepted  by  our  author.  The 
preface  to  "  Heimskringla "  contains  merely  Are's  conclusions 
drawn  from  poems  with  which  he  was  acquainted,  especially  those 
curious  genealogic  compositions  that  (like  their  Celtic  counter- 
parts) formed  valued  documents  attesting  descent  and  rights 
drawn  from  descent,  though  in  the  case  of  the  Earl  of  Orkney 
and  of  Harold  Fairhair  the  artificial  nature  of  the  pedigree  is  ex- 
ceedingly obvious  to  the  modem  student,  as  VigfiSsson  long  ago 
pointed  out.  However,  Are  has  given  us  himself  the  key  to  the 
original  difference  between  the  cults  that  supposed  the  dead  to 
live  a  spirit-life  in  the  "  howe  "  or  "  barrow,"  and  those  that  sup- 
posed them  to  live  in  another  place — />.,  between  the  barrow 

G  2 

84  Reviews. 

burial  of  the  worshippers  of  Frey  and  the  cremation  that  came  in 
comparatively  late  in  the  age  of  bronze.  Are's  Age  of  Barrows 
associated  with  Frey  is  put  by  him  after  the  cremation  times,  but 
that  is  because  a  second  Barrow  Age  really  did  in  Scandinavia 
follow  the  Cremation  Age.  The  earlier  Barrow  Age  goes  back 
in  one  form  or  another  to  the  "  very  earliest  times ; "  but  it 
was  probably  associated  in  its  earlier  form  with  Thunder,  for, 
at  least  in  Landnimab6c,  we  find  Thor-worshippers  believing 
that  they  "died  into  hills"  and  places  of  burial.  Sir  Henry 
Howorth  has  endeavoured  to  trace  the  two  waves  of  religious 
thought  that  brought  into  Europe  the  different  notions  of  which 
burial  by  burning  and  burial  in  howes,  i,e,  ghost-houses,  are 
the  indices,  one  belief  coming  from  the  south  and  being  Afri- 
can, the  other  from  the  East  and  probably  Indo-Iranian.  The 
notion  of  the  spirit-journey  (apparently  broadly  the  same  as  the 
Polynesian  belief)  and  the  curious  metempsychosis  theories  (lately 
so  ably  studied  by  Mr.  Nutt)  have  again  to  be  distinguished  from, 
or  properly  associated  with,  the  Ghost  House  and  Cremation 
customs.  That  cremation  is  associated  with  the  Woden-cult  in 
Scandinavia  rests  upon  evidence  that  is  as  yet  incomplete,  but 
not  wholly  lacking.  Woden's  weapon  being  the  spear  or  "  casting 
assegai,"  and  not  the  stone-ax,  the  earlier  weapon  of  Thunder,  or 
the  sword,  the  stabbing  or  slashing  bronze  or  iron  weapon  asso- 
ciated with  Tew,  is  noteworthy,  and  helps  to  give  the  chronology 
of  his  cult.  Thiod61fr  apparently  took  the  fact  of  a  standing 
stone  or  memorial  as  an  evidence  of  cremation  in  the  case  of 
Agne,  Domar,  and  Wanland. 

Mr.  Chadwick  is  perfectly  justified  in  the  use  he  makes  of 
Fornaldar  Sogur,  though  of  late  recension  and  compilation  they 
contain  much  that  is  very  antique ;  and  the  evidence  of  Beowulfs 
Lay  and  the  parallel  traditions  registered  in  Saxo  show  them  to 
have  preserved  old  material ;  while  the  scraps  of  verse  they  include, 
though  not  all  early,  yet  seem  to  preserve  citations  from  lost 
poems  of  the  same  type  as  the  Eddie  Lays.  Thus  the  Saga  of 
Hr6mundr  Greip's  son  has  embalmed  for  us  an  episode  out  of  the 
life  of  Helge  the  bold,  that  is  only  faintly  alluded  to  in  the 
extant  Eddie  collection. 

Mr.  Chadwick  is  right  in  noting  that  sacrifices  to  Frey  are  of 
edible  animals,  boar,  &c.,  while  those  to  Woden  are  of  human 
beings,  hounds,  and  hawks,  and  later  those  warlike  birds,  such  as 

Reviews.  85 

cocks  and  peacocks,  that  were  introduced  from  the  South  of 
Europe.    The  parallel  between  Biarca-Mal — 

No  dim  and  lowly  race,  no  low-born  dead, 

no  base  souls  are  Pluto's  prey,  he  weaves 

the  dooms  of  the  mighty  and  fills  Phlegethon  with  noble  shapes — 

and  Harbard's  Lay — 

Woden  owns  the  gentleborn  that  fall  in  battle, 
But  Thor  owns  the  thrall-born — 

(with  which  one  may  also  compare  the  Celto-Scandic  eleventh  cen- 
tury Darrada-li6d),  is  to  the  point,  and  shows  Woden  as  the  god  of 
the  new  Wiking  aristocracy.  The  contrast  between  him  and  Thor 
amused  the  poet  whom  we  have  taken  leave  to  call  the  Western 
Aristophanes,  who  burlesqued  the  swaggering  god  of  the  new 
generation  in  contrast  to  the  sturdy  yeoman  deity  of  the  older 

The  "  bloodeagle  "  custom  may  very  possibly  have  nothing  to 
do  with  Woden  at  all,  but  be  an  old  sacrificial  rite  proper  to  an 
older  cult  than  his.  Mr.  Chadwick's  whole  account  of  the  con- 
nection of  Woden  with  the  "stabbing  and  hanging"  death  is 
excellent  and  suggestive,  and  very  little  material  has  escaped  his 
research.  There  are  but  few  slips.  It  would  have  been  better  to 
have  cited  Saxo  from  Holder's  edition.  Rostarus,  p.  8  (Saxo,  iii. 
79,  ix.  304),  is  obviously  Roftarus  =  Hr6ptr,  and  this  might  have 
been  noted.  It  is  well  to  mark  the  date  970,  when  Egil  in 
Sonatorrec  talks  of  Ygg's  gallows  as  the  world-tree  (if  Vigfusson's 
emendation  be  right,  cf.  Grimnismdl) — 

Mioc  es  torfyndr  sa-es  trua  cnegim, 
Af  al-W6'K  Yggjar  galga — 

and  shows  us  Woden  as  God  of  Poetry  as  well  as  Lord  of  Hosts 
and  King  of  Death. 

I  was  friendly  with  the  Lord  of  Spears, 

And  I  put  my  trust  in  him  believing  in  his  plighted  peace, 

till  he  broke,  the  Master  of  the  Wain, 

the  Judge  of  Victory,  his  friendship  with  me. 

Wherefor  I  worship  not  Wile's  brother 
the  Prince  of  the  Gods,  nor  look  yearningly  on  him 
yet  hath  Mim's  friend  bestowed  on  me 
recompense  tor  wrongs,  if  I  reckon  the  good  [as  well  as  the  evil]. 

86  Reviews. 

The  warworn  Foe  of  the  Wolf 
hath  given  me  the  blameless  art, 
Yea  the  poets'  song  by  which  I  may  turn 
Open  foes  into  wellwishers. 

Egil  also  marks  Woden  as  the  Patron  of  the  Gauts,  and  this 
association  is  confirmed  by  other  poets ;  and  it  is  along  the  border 
between  the  great  lakes  that  the  worshippers  of  Frey  and  Woden, 
Swedes  and  Gauts,  two  neighbouring  and  often  hostile  confedera- 
cies, frequently  came  into  collision  in  wars  of  which  faint  echoes 
have  reached  us  in  Beowulfs  Lay,  in  Ynglinga-tal,  and  in  the 
Fornaldar  Sogur.  P.  19,  the  lines  from  Hdva-mdl  of  the  corpse- 
conjuring  of  Woden  ought  to  read,  "  so  that  the  man  walks  and 
talks  with  me."  There  are  medieval  and  classic  punishments  for 
kin-killers  that  probably  led  to  Saxo's  remark  (viii.)  on  larmenric's 
hanging  of  men  and  wolves  together ;  and  we  need  not  suppose 
that  Woden  was  the  god  charged  specially  with  the  protection  of 
family  ties.  The  suggestion  that  the  original  Walcyries  (meta- 
morphosed by  the  Wicking  poets  into  "  fair,  weaponed  angels  of 
death")  were  the  sacrificial  priestesses  is  ingenious,  though  the 
Walcyrior  are  not  represented  as  gray-haired  and  linen-clad  and 
bare-footed  as  the  Cimbric  sacrificers  and  sibyls  are,  and  as  the 
"repulsive  death-angels"  of  the  oft-cited  Ibn  Fozlan  and  of 
Beowulfs  Lay.  That  Woden  was  the  favourite  god  and  epony- 
mous ancestor  of  the  ruling  clan  of  the  Cheruscans  is  clear,  and 
both  his  titles  of  Sig-tivi,  Sig-gautr,  Sig-pror,  Sig-faodr,  and  the 
name  of  his  son  Siggi  (Thulor)  witness  to  this  fact ;  and  it  is  worth 
remark,  because  the  sudden  and  splendid  rise  of  the  Cheruscans 
and  their  gigantic  success  against,  and  more  than  hecatombal 
sacrifice  of,  the  invading  Romans  must  have  made  their  special  god 
a  god  of  victory  in  a  special  sense,  a  god  whose  fame  and  glory 
would  spread  wherever  the  news  of  the  mighty  deliverance  came. 
This  would  give  a  date,  a.d.  9,  to  the  beginning  of  the  expansion 
in  Germany  of  the  cult  of  Woden,  replacing  very  probably  to  some 
extent  the  cult  of  Tew,  the  sword-god,  which  appears  to  have  been 
widely  spread  before.  We  must  not  forget  the  enigmatic  story  of 
the  enigmatic  Herem6d  the  keen,  also  a  hero-son  of  Woden's, 
most  famous  of  exiles  and  wanderers,  who  left  the  Scioldung 
court  after  slaying  his  messmates,  raised  a  mighty  and  lengthy 
war,  and  finally  disappeared  from  men's  eyes  (possibly  in  dragon 
shape),  being  slain  by  a  Wolsung.     Rydberg  has  pointed  out  his 

Reviews.  87 

parallelism  with  Swipdaeg  (who  indeed  may  be  Herem6d  under 
another  name)  as  the  eponym  of  the  Dagling,  or  Dayling,  clan. 
The  English  genealogies  (cited  also  in  Flatejar-b6c)  gives  to  Here- 
m6d  for  father  Itermon  (?)  and  for  grandfather  Hraethra,  and  there 
need  really  be  no  hesitation  in  acknowledging  the  identity  of 
the  Herem6d  to  whom  Woden  gave  a  helm  and  mailcoat  with 
the  Herem6d  of  Beowulf  s  Lay,  of  whom  it  is  written — 

.  .  hine  mihtig  god        maegenes  wynnum 
eafe'Sum  staple  ofer  ealle  men 
fortJ  gefremede — 

an  obvious  allusion  to  Woden's  signal  favours  to  his  son,  purged 
of  all  heathenism  in  the  true  Alfredian  manner.  Herem6d  is 
made  to  have  lived  earlier  than  the  other  great  exile,  Sigemund, 
and  this  agrees  with  the  priority  in  the  Hyndluli6d  verse,  and 
seems  to  point  to  Herem6d's  peculiar  connection  with  Woden- 
worship  and  the  struggling  beginnings  of  this  cult  which  the 
Cheruscans  were  to  make  so  notorious  and  powerful.  We  do 
not  know  Herera6d's  clan  ;  he  first  appears  to  us  at  the  Dane- 
king's  court  among  the  Scioldungs,  his  own  pedigree  running  up 
to  Sceaf  in  the  O.  E.  genealogies.  The  Heath-bard  hero  Starcad, 
Storwerc's  son,  was  also  Woden's  foster-son,  and  though  his  hard, 
tough,  old-fashioned  ways,  contempt  for  southern  civilization, 
honourable  observance  of  chastity,  and  giant-like  behaviour  in 
general,  smack  of  the  old  days,  he  is  yet  clearly,  as  Mr.  Chadwick 
shows,  a  person  whose  fame  can  only  have  added  to  the  glory  of 
the  god  he  served  so  earnestly,  who  was  ever  his  patron  and 
protector.  Saxo  (vi.  187)  cites  Teutonic  knowledge  of  Starcad's 
experiences  and  feats.  The  explanation  on  p.  31  of  Coifi's  spear- 
throwing  is  not  that  of  Baeda,  who  refers  it  explicitly  to  the  priest 
wishing  to  break  the  tabu  that  forbad  (as  in  the  Icelandic  Hof 
kept  by  Ingimund  the  old,  a  man  of  Gaut  blood)  the  bearing  of 
weapons  or  war-gear  within  the  sacred  temenos. 

It  is  to  be  hoped  that  Mr.  Chadwick  will  follow  this  beginning  up 
with  monographs  on  Tew  and  on  Thunder,  with  a  view  to  getting 
at  fixed  points  in  the  developments  of  religious  beliefs  and  cults 
in  the  north  of  Europe.  The  connection  of  Woden  and  Brage 
(probably  a  mere  by-name  of  the  Friend  of  Mim)  with  song  and 
the  amours  and  other  earthly  adventures  of  Woden  are  worth 
considering,  if  only  for  the  curious  parallels  to  other  myths  they 

88  Reviews. 

hold  out.  Since  Grimm  died  the  special  subject  of  Teutonic 
mythology  has  not  been  dealt  with  by  a  true  master-hand  and  but 
rarely  by  a  really  ingenious  mind  (such  as  Rydberg).  Bugge  has 
indeed  tried  one  key  most  skilfully  for  all  it  is  worth ;  but  the 
doctrine  of  infection  is  like  the  doctrine  of  analogy,  that  is  called 
in  when  regular  phonetic  change  fails  to  account  for  an  extra- 
ordinary case.  There  is  plenty  of  room  for  earnest  and  observant 
students  of  Mr.  Chadwick's  type. 

F.  York  Powell. 

Asiatic  Studies,  Religious  and  Social.  By  Sir  Alfred  C. 
Lyall,  K.C.B.,  D.C.L.  First  and  Second  Series.  London  : 
John  Murray.    1899. 

Since  the  first  publication  of  the  Asiatic  Studies,  eighteen  years 
ago,  the  book  has  become  a  classic  in  its  way.  Sir  Alfred  Lyall 
writes  largely  of  things  which  he  knows,  quorum  pars  magna  fuii ; 
and  to  the  problems  he  deals  with,  brings  a  lucid  and  sane 
intellect,  with  a  power  of  cautious  generalisation  which  reminds 
us  of  Sir  Henry  Maine.  The  scholar-soldier  and  the  scholar- 
administrator  seem  to  be  products  almost  unknown  outside  the 
English  race ;  and  a  man  who  lives  and  acts  has  a  great  advan- 
tage over  the  student  who  writes  within  the  four  walls  of  his 
library.  Sir  Alfred  owes  it  to  his  practical  training  that  he  has 
been  able  to  call  attention  to  certain  aspects  of  popular  religion 
which  have  been  unduly  neglected,  or  flatly  denied ;  to  the  same 
cause,  that  he  carries  his  attempt  too  far.  But  although  he 
needs  the  scholar's  research  as  a  corrective,  he  can  give  him 
points  as  to  style.  These  pages  are  not  only  free  from  pedantry 
and  phrase-hunting,  but  are  expressed  in  language  singularly  vigor- 
ous and  strong,  and  pervaded  by  an  urbane  humour  which  makes 
them  very  pleasant  to  read. 

In  this  feast  of  fatness  many  dishes  call  for  no  comment  here. 
We  shall  leave  aside  the  essays  which  deal  with  politics  and  the 
art  of  government,  with  the  coming  war  of  religions  in  Asia,  and 
with  other  topics  of  the  day.     We  are  now  concerned  with  those 

Reviews.  89 

treating  of  folklore  and  kindred  matters ;  and  indeed  some  of  Sir 
Alfred's  strictures  call  for  a  reply.  He  has  in  some  places  brought 
a  sweeping  indictment  against  the  study  of  folklore,  which  we 
believe  cannot  be  substantiated. 

We  must  thank  Sir  Alfred  Lyall  for  urging  the  claims  of  a 
modified  Euhemerism.  It  is  strange  but  true  that  some  authori- 
ties have  been  inclined  to  deny  the  existence  of  deified  men  as  a 
part  of  ancient  religions.  Exaggeration  seems  to  be  the  curse  of 
such  studies  as  mythology.  Like  Mr.  Casaubon,  most  men  seem 
to  seek  one  key  to  fit  all  the  mythologies.  First,  everything  in 
heaven  and  earth  is  a  sun-myth ;  again,  it  is  averred  to  be  the 
dawn ;  another  seems  to  think  intoxication  is  the  source  of  all 
religions.  Ten  years  ago,  totems  and  corn-spirits  swept  every- 
thing before  them ;  but  they  have  only  scotched  the  enemy,  for 
now  Herr  Gilbert  will  have  it  that  all  Greek  myths  at  least  come 
from  the  clouds.  Sir  Alfred  Lyall  rises  and  reminds  us  that  we 
have  forgotten  all  about  deified  men ;  and  though  his  common 
sense  keeps  him  from  going  so  far  as  the  Sun  and  Cloud  schools, 
yet  he  is  undoubtedly  too  ready  to  be  rationalistic,  as  we  shall 
show.  But  his  observations  on  the  process  of  deification  in  India 
are  of  high  value.  They  are  not  the  scholar's  deductions ;  they 
describe  facts  provable  and  proven.  No  one  can  call  Nicholson 
a  corn-spirit ;  and  in  India,  any  person  who  strikes  the  imagina- 
tion as  strong  or  remarkable  has  a  chance  of  being  deified.  Such 
facts  as  he  adduces  give  strong  presumption  that  many  ancient 
cults  rest  on  a  similar  deification.  Among  the  Greeks,  it  is  diffi- 
cult to  draw  the  line  between  the  worship  of  dead  ancestors  and 
the  worship  of  the  rulers  of  Hades.  In  the  ancient  votive  and 
sepulchral  reliefs  the  same  scheme,  the  same  symbols  are  used  for 
both.  The  "  heroes  "  were  universally  believed  by  the  Greeks  to 
have  been  men,  and  they  were  worshipped  by  them  for  their 
beneficent  powers  or  from  fear.  We  can  sometimes  trace  how 
step  by  step  the  "  hero  "  grows  into  a  god.  iEsculapius  is  a  man 
in  Homer ;  his  cult  was  long  local,  and  confined  to  his  reputed 
descendants  or  those  of  his  tribe ;  then,  perhaps  by  the  accident 
of  association  with  the  healing  spring  in  Trikka,  his  fame  as  a 
healer  became  great.  The  tribe  which  worshipped  him  spread 
over  all  Greece,  and  carried  the  worship  with  them ;  and  in  the 
fifth  century  he  is  already  one  of  the  most  famous  gods  of  the 
Greek  world.     Down  to  the  latest  times  one  of  the  commonest 

90  Reviews. 

types  of  votive  tablet  offered  to  him  is  what  is  technically  known 
as  the  Death  Feast ;  and  this  type  is  used  at  the  same  time  for 
sepulchral  purposes.  A  similar  history  is  that  of  Amphiaraus, 
and  may  therefore  be  presumed  as  possible  with  the  gods.  We 
are  far  from  urging  it  where  it  cannot  be  proved ;  but  we  maintain 
that  the  deification  of  men  must  take  its  place  as  one  of  the 
sources  of  religious  cults. 

We  are  unable  to  follow  Sir  Alfred  so  confidently  in  his  analysis 
of  Witchcraft,  which,  as  he  cynically  remarks,  is  probably  practised 
with  less  molestation  under  the  British  Empire  in  •  India  than 
ever  before  in  the  history  of  the  world.  To  distinguish  religion 
and  witchcraft  by  saying  that  in  the  one  it  is  hoped  to  influence 
nature  by  worship,  in  the  other  by  work,  is  to  make  an  arbitrary 
distinction.  He  would  appear  to  see  in  the  witch  a  first  forbear 
far  away  of  the  modem  man  of  science.  The  witch  "  stumbles 
upon  a  few  natural  effects  out  of  the  common  run  of  things,  which 
he  finds  himself  able  to  work  out  by  invariable  rule  of  thumb. 
He  thence  infers  that  he  has  in  some  wonderful  way  imbibed 
extra-natural  power.  .  .  .  He  has  hit  upon  a  rudimentary 
materialism."  We  do  not  think  the  distinction  can  be  established, 
where  fetishism  and  witchcraft  are  so  often  commingled  even  in 
comparatively  advanced  cults.  That  advanced  religion  always 
ends  by  making  war  upon  witchcraft  is  true ;  but  it  proves  nothing 
for  the  beginning.  Religion  refined  makes  war  on  idols,  yet 
nothing  is  more  certain  than  that  most  religions  used  idols  once. 

But  our  chief  quarrel  with  Sir  Alfred  Lyall  is  in  his  attitude 
towards  the  study  of  folklore.  We  do  not  refer  to  the  substance 
of  his  criticisms  upon  The  Golden  Bought  many  of  which  are  just. 
We  think  with  him  that  Mr.  Frazer  carried  his  theory  too  far ;  and 
we  should  not  be  surprised  if  Mr.  Frazer  should  modify  it  not  a 
little  in  the  new  edition  of  his  work.  But  Sir  Alfred  regards  this 
book,  and  those  of  Miss  Kingsley  and  Mr.  Jevons,  which  he  also 
criticises,  from  a  standpoint  which  shows  he  has  not  realised  the 
methods  of  folklore  study.  It  is  the  value  of  the  study  as  a  whole 
he  calls  in  question,  not  any  particular  books.  Thus,  in  quoting 
Miss  Kingsley's  words,  "  The  study  of  natural  phenomena  knocks 
the  bottom  out  of  any  man's  conceit,  if  it  is  done  honestly,  and 
not  by  selecting  only  those  facts  which  fit  in  with  his  preconceived 
or  ingrafted  notions,"  he  adds :  "  true  words  that  should  be  gravely 
pondered  by  all  ingenious  folklorists."     So  they  have  been,  we 

Reviews.  91 

imagine,  by  all  serious  students.  Mr.  Frazer,  in  compiling  his  book 
on  Totemism^  did  not  start  with  theories  which  he  meant  to  verify ; 
he  collected  all  the  facts  he  could  get,  and  classified  them,  and  now 
that  strange  new  facts  have  cropped  up  in  Australia  he  hastens  to 
see  how  they  must  modify  previous  theories.  Sir  Alfred  would 
have  done  well  to  take  his  own  warning  to  heart.  He  has  a  pre- 
conceived or  ingrafted  belief  in  rationalistic  explanations ;  con- 
sequently, when  he  finds  wives  killed  at  their  husbands'  funerals, 
he  says  :  "  The  colourable  object  is  that  they  may  accompany  him 
into  his  next  existence;  but  a  Calabar  chief  explained  to  Miss 
Kingsley  that  the  custom  was  also  a  salutary  check  upon  husband- 
poisoning;  and  one  cannot  doubt  that  he  is  right."  He  is 
certainly  not  right  if  he  thinks  thus  to  explain  the  origin  of  the 
custom.  If  this  stood  alone,  Sir  Alfred's  rationalism  might  have 
some  excuse ;  but  it  must  be  explained  in  conjunction  with  other 
sacrifices  at  the  grave.  Is  a  chiefs  horse  sacrificed  as  a  salutary 
check  upon  poisoning  ?  Are  his  pots  and  pans  broken  over  the 
grave  for  any  such  reason  ?  When  a  spectator  at  a  Ceylon  funeral, 
within  these  last  few  years,  saw  all  the  friends  of  a  deceased 
bhikkhu  bring  their  last  tribute,  was  that  seedy  old  umbrella  which 
sailed  through  the  air  to  be  suspected  of  husband-poisoning  ?  Sir 
Alfred  Lyall's  remark  shows  that  he  does  not  understand  the 
method  of  folklore  study.  Our  results  are  arrived  at  only  after  a 
wide  induction,  in  which  allied  customs  are  used  to  explain  each 
other.  Rare  is  it  to  find  a  custom  undocked  or  unchanged ;  what 
we  see  is  a  bit  here  and  a  bit  there,  from  which  we  try  to  piece 
together  the  original  or  complete  form.  Undoubtedly  there  is  a 
danger  in  comparing  things  from  the  four  ends  of  the  earth. 
There  is  such  a  thing  as  coincidence,  which  must  be  allowed  for ; 
but  there  is  also  such  a  thing  as  principle,  and  we  hold  that  by 
careful  examination  and  classification  of  facts  certain  principles  do 
appear.  Nor  does  Sir  Alfred  realise  that  local  differences  often 
count  for  little  in  comparison  with  the  question  of  the  culture- 
stage.  Just  as  we  may  assume  that  all  tribes  of  men  have  gone 
through  the  various  stages  of  savagery  and  barbarism,  so  we  assume 
that  their  minds  have  gone  through  certain  definite  stages ;  and 
these  we  endeavour  to  trace  by  examining  not  only  traditions  but 
existing  tribes.  Fruit-eating  savages  may  eat  apples,  or  they  may 
eat  bananas ;  but  their  thoughts  in  that  stage  will  probably  not 
differ  in  the  main.     If  this  be  true  (and  the  more  we  learn,  the 

92  Reviews. 

more  it  appears  to  be  true),  it  will  not  much  matter  whether  the 
savage  lives  on  the  banks  of  the  Ganges  or  in  the  Torres  Straits. 
In  searching  for  the  origin  of  religion,  then,  we  do  not  exclude 
special  studies  of  limited  districts  and  limited  times;  but  we 
often  find  more  help  from  "  idiotic  stories  told  by  Digger  Indians 
and  Esquimaux."  Without  such  comprehensive  generalisations 
as  we  have  spoken  of.  Sir  Alfred  himself  could  not  have  felt  that 
the  intellectual  attitude  of  the  savage  was  like  "the  animistic 
tendency  of  civilised  men  to  treat  a  ship  or  a  steam  engine  as 
a  living  creature."  Even  this  analogy,  unsound  as  it  is — for  the 
civilised  man  is  only  playing  at  such  a  belief — occurs  to  Sir  Alfred 
only  because  folklorists  have  cleared  the  way.  He  bases  his  own 
generalisation  on  the  science  whose  methods  he  has  condemned. 
We  will  allow,  then,  that  Sir  Alfred  Lyall  has  made  some  good 
points  against  certain  applications  of  the  science  of  folklore.  We 
enjoy  his  pleasant  bit  of  fooling  which  identifies  St.  Denis  with 
Dionysius  the  Areopagite  and  Dionysus  the  wine-god,  and  his 
good-humoured  chaff  of  Miss  Kingsley's  fishes  and  happy-go- 
luckihood.  But  we  do  not  find  that  he  has  touched  the  fortress. 
He  really  attacks  the  abuse,  not  the  use,  of  a  scientific  method  in 
folklore ;  and  he  shows  that  he  has  no  real  understanding  of  what 
that  method  is. 

L'Ann^e  Sociologique,  publi^e  sous  la  direction  de  £mile 
DuRKHEiM,  Professeur  de  Sociologie  ^  la  Faculty  des  Lettres 
de  rUniversit^  de  Bordeaux.  Deuxifeme  Annde  (189 7-1 898). 
Paris :  F^lix  Alcan.     1899. 

The  first  volume  of  this  annual  was  noticed  last  year  {Folk-Lore^ 
vol.  ix.,  p.  251),  and  to  that  notice  I  must  refer  for  a  general  state- 
ment of  its  objects  and  character.  The  present  volume  fully 
maintains  the  high  standard  set  up  by  M.  Durkheim  and  his  col- 
laborators. The  two  essays  which  precede  the  analyses  of  the 
year's  publications  are,  the  first  by  M.  Durkheim  himself  on  the 
definition  of  religious  phenomena,  and  the  second  by  Messrs. 
Hubert  and  Mauss  on  the  nature  and  functions  of  sacrifice. 

Reviews.  93 

In  the  former  M.  Durkheim  discusses  the  definitions  of  religion 
associated  with  the  names  of  Max  Miiller,  Spencer,  and  R^ville, 
and  shows  their  inexactitude  by  comparison  of  the  objective  facts 
of  various  religions.  He  argues  that  these  distinguished  writers 
have  begun  at  the  wrong  end.  Their  common  blunder  is  to 
endeavour  to  express  at  the  outset  the  whole  contents  of  religious 
life.  But  these  contents  vary  infinitely  with  the  time  and  the 
society,  and  they  can  only  be  determined  slowly  and  progressively 
with  the  advance  of  science.  It  is,  in  fact,  the  object  of  religious 
sociology  to  ascertain  them;  they  cannot,  therefore,  furnish  the 
matter  of  an  initial  definition.  The  exterior  and  apparent  form 
of  religious  phenomena  is  alone  immediately  accessible  to  observa- 
tion ;  and  it  is  to  that  we  must  address  ourselves.  He  then  pro- 
ceeds to  propound  and  defend  his  own  definition  of  religious 
phenomena.  They  consist,  he  tells  us,  in  obligatory  beliefs  con- 
nected with  definite  practices  relating  to  objects  presented  in 
these  beliefs.  Religion  is  a  totality  more  or  less  organised  and 
systematised  of  phenomena  of  this  kind.  We  must  seek  its  origin, 
not  in  individual  sentiments,  but,  since  the  obligation  of  the  beliefs 
is  social  in  its  origin,  in  the  states  of  the  collective  soul ;  and  it 
varies  as  they  vary.  Personal  religion  is  only  the  subjective  aspect 
of  the  external,  impersonal,  and  public  religion.  The  beliefs  and 
practices  which  are  the  fruit  of  individual  spontaneity  concern 
similar  objects  to  those  of  the  obligatory  beliefs  and  practices. 
To  make  the  definition  complete  and  correct  we  must  include 
under  the  name  of  religious  phenomena  these  voluntary  beliefs 
and  practices.  The  notion  of  sacredness  remains  in  its  origin 
social,  and  can  only  be  explained  sociologically. 

From  this  thoughtful  methodological  dissertation  I  turn  to  Messrs. 
Hubert  and  Mauss'  essay.  It  is  the  exposition  of  a  provisional 
hypothesis  on  the  nature  and  function  of  sacrifice  different  from 
those  enunciated  by  Tylor,  Robertson  Smith,  and  Frazer. 
Theories  of  sacrifice  are  as  old  as  the  religions ;  but  it  is  to  the 
British  anthropologists  just  mentioned  and  their  followers  that 
are  due  the  first  really  scientific  theories.  Objecting  that  Professor 
Tylor  has  well  described  the  phases  of  the  moral  development 
of  sacrifice,  but  has  totally  overlooked  the  development  of  its 
mechanism,  and  that  the  fault  of  the  school  of  Robertson  Smith 
is  the  attempt  to  reduce  the  manifold  forms  of  sacrifice  to  the 
unity  of  a  principle  chosen  arbitrarily  and  resting  on  no  historical 

94  Reviews. 

proof,  the  authors  find  the  way  of  perfection  in  the  study  of 
typical  facts.  These  they  borrow  mainly  from  the  Sanskrit  texts 
and  from  the  Bible.  Nowhere  else  are  recorded  the  exact  steps 
of  the  ritual  with  sufficient  accuracy  and  sequence.  To  look  for 
their  typical  facts  in  ethnological  collections  would,  they  hold, 
be  to  carry  their  study  over  groups  of  facts  artificially  formed,  and 
not  in  their  ordinary  and  actual  growth.  In  the  definite  and 
complete  rituals  with  which  they  deal,  they  have  totalities  of  natural 
systems  of  rites  ;  and  by  keeping  within  the  restraints  imposed  by 
the  texts  they  are  the  less  exposed  to  omissions  and  to  arbitrary 
classifications.  But  they  do  not  refuse  to  appeal  either  to 
classical  sources  or  to  ethnological  collections  to  illustrate  their 
analyses  and  to  check  the  generality  of  their  conclusions.  Lastly, 
as  the  two  religions  with  which  they  chiefly  concern  themselves 
are  very  different,  the  one  tending  to  monotheism  and  the  other 
to  pantheism,  they  hope  in  comparing  them  to  arrive  at  suffi- 
ciently general  conclusions. 

Here  I  must  interpose  an  observation  or  two.  No  doubt  such 
an  examination  as  the  authors  have  carried  out  will  yield,  and  in 
fact  does  yield,  a  large  amount  of  valuable  information  about  the 
objects  and  method  of  sacrifice  in  its  most  developed  forms.  In- 
cidentally this  may  afford  us  grounds  for  various  conjectures  about 
the  origin  and  early  forms  of  sacrifice ;  and  after  all  it  is  the  origin 
and  early  forms  which  are  the  most  important  in  this  inquiry.  It 
may  be  that  nothing  more  certain  can  be  obtained  than  the  con- 
jectures we  may  make  from  observation  of  these  finished  forms. 
But  we  cannot  assume  that,  because  Robertson  Smith's  method 
may  have  been  arbitrary  and  Tylor  may  have  neglected  an  essential 
aspect  of  the  problem,  an  examination  of  the  forms  of  sacrifice 
current  in  other  countries  and  other  grades  of  civilisation  (though 
our  information  about  them  may  be  less  full,  may  even  be  often 
defective  in  serious  particulars),  will  not  result  in  the  discovery  of 
facts  pointing  to  a  theory  yet  nearer  the  truth.  I  for  one  cannot 
admit  that  an  occasional  appeal  to  ethnological  sources  to  control 
the  conclusions  arrived  at  by  the  examination  of  Hindu  and  Hebrew 
sacrifices  is  at  all  sufficient,  or  is  less  arbitrary  than  the  method  to 
which  the  authors  rightly  or  wrongly  object  The  most  accurate 
analysis  of  these  sacrifices  will  not  absolve  the  student  who  desires 
to  attain  a  reasonable  and  fairly  verifiable  theory  on  the  origin  and 
early  forms  of  sacrifice  from  examining  in  detail  the  procedure 

Reviews.  95 

elsewhere  with  the  best  classical  and  ethnological  learning  at  his 
command.  Theories  evolved  from  the  examination  of  one  or  two 
forms,  even  though  the  most  developed,  may  be  true ;  but  they 
cannot  be  trusted  until  they  have  been  confirmed  in  all  other 
available  directions. 

I  have  no  space  to  follow  step  by  step  the  careful  analysis  con- 
tained in  this  brilliant  and  suggestive  essay.  Starting  with  a  few 
necessary  definitions,  and  insisting  on  the  identity  of  the  elements 
of  the  more  complex  rites,  the  authors  justify  their  selection  of  the 
typical  sacrifice,  that  of  the  Vedic  animal  sacrifice.  The  scheme 
of  the  sacrifice  is  then  minutely  drawn  out  The  entry  or  intro- 
ductory rites  are  described,  with  their  effects  on  (i)  the  person, 
or  group  of  persons,  on  whose  behalf  the  sacrifice  is  offered, 
(ii)  the  sacrificing  priest  or  other  officiant,  (iii)  the  place  and  in- 
struments of  the  sacrifice.  The  course  of  the  actual  sacrifice  and 
the  closing  rites,  or  exit  from  the  sacrifice,  are  narrated.  Two 
chapters  are  devoted  to  showing  how  the  scheme  varies  according 
to  the  intention  of  the  sacrifice.  The  sacrifice  of  the  god  is  the  theme 
of  another  chapter,  which  includes  a  disquisition  of  some  length  on 
the  relations  between  ritual  and  myth,  a  large  place  being  given 
to  cosmological  myths.  In  conclusion,  the  authors  declare  that 
all  the  possible  kinds  of  sacrifices  have  not  issued,  as  Robertson 
Smith  believed,  from  one  simple,  primitive  form.  There  are  two 
principal  types  of  sacrifice,  that  of  sacralisation  and  that  of  de- 
sacralisation.  But  these  are  closely  interdependent,  since  in  every 
sacrifice  of  sacralisation  a  desacralisation  is  implied,  and  con- 
versely in  every  sacrifice  of  desacralisation  we  find  an  act  of  sacra- 
lisation. Moreover,  these  two  are  merely  abstract  types.  Every 
sacrifice  takes  place  in  definite  circumstances  and  for  definite  pur- 
poses; and  the  diversity  of  purposes  gives  birth  to  diversity  of 
modes.  Now,  on  the  one  hand,  there  is  no  religion  in  which 
these  modes  do  not  co-exist  in  greater  or  less  number ;  on  the 
other  hand,  there  is  no  particular  sacrifice  which  is  not  complex 
in  itself,  either  pursuing  several  aims  at  once,  or  putting  in  move- 
ment several  forces  to  attain  one  end.  Amid  all  this  complexity 
the  unity  of  the  sacrifice  arises  from  the  fact  that  under  the  diver- 
sity of  its  forms,  one  procedure  only  can  be  employed  for  the  most 
different  ends.  That  procedure  consists  in  establishing  a  com- 
munication between  the  two  worlds,  the  sacred  and  the  profane, 
through  the  intermediary  of  a  victim,  that  is  to  say,  of  something 

96  Reviews. 

destroyed  in  the  course  of  the  ceremony.  The  victim  does  not, 
as  Robertson  Smith  thought,  necessarily  arrive  at  the  sacrifice  with 
a  religious  nature  definite  and  complete.  It  is  the  sacrifice  which 
confers  this  nature.  It  can  accordingly  bestow  the  most  diverse 
virtues,  and  render  the  victim  apt  to  fulfil  the  most  varied  functions 
either  in  different  rites  or  in  one  and  the  same  rite. 

From  this  bare  outline  the  importance  of  the  essay  to  the 
student  of  the  history  of  religion  may  perhaps  be  gathered.  The 
authors'  conclusions  will  have  to  be  considered,  and  whether 
accepted  or  not,  their  analysis  of  the  process  of  sacrifice  as 
depicted  in  the  sacred  writings  of  Hindus  and  Hebrews,  and  the 
comparisons  they  institute,  will  materially  assist  future  inquirers. 
It  is  quite  certain  that  we  could  not  have  advanced  towards  the 
sc^ution  of  the  problems  involved  without  a  methodical  considera- 
tion of  the  mechanism  of  sacrifice.  Messrs.  Hubert  and  Mauss 
have  not  merely  pointed  this  out,  they  have  shown  the  way. 
Progress  will  follow  by  an  adaptation  of  their  method  to  inquiries 
concerning  other  religions  and  among  other  peoples. 

The  remainder  of  the  volume  is  devoted  to  an  enumeration  and 
critical  notices  of  books  and  articles  in  periodicals  published 
during  the  year.  The  word  sociology  as  used  by  M.  Durkheim 
and  his  collaborators  embraces  a  very  wide  area.  Their  principle 
is  that  religious,  juridical,  moral,  and  economical  facts  ought  all  to 
be  treated  conformably  to  their  nature,  that  is  to  say,  as  social 
facts ;  not  (as  they  are  too  often  treated)  as  if  they  were  disparate 
and  independent  of  time,  place,  and  social  conditions.  Whether 
to  describe  or  to  explain  them,  they  must  be  considered  in  con- 
,  nection  with  a  definite  social  milieu^  a  definite  type  of  society ; 
and  it  is  in  the  constituent  characteristics  of  this  type  that  the 
determining  cause  of  whatever  phenomenon  we  are  considering 
must  be  sought.  In  this  truly  scientific  spirit  the  books  and  other 
works  are  approached.  It  is  one  with  which  all  serious  students 
of  folklore  must  sjnupathise,  and  from  which  only  they  can  expect 
solid  results.  The  reviews  are  written  by  specialists  in  the  various 
departments,  and,  so  far  as  I  have  examined  them,  extending  to 
all  that  border  on  ethnographical  subjects,  are  generally  marked 
by  acuteness,  precision,  and  sanity. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

Reviews.  97 

The  Natural  History  of  the  Musical  Bow  :  a  Chapter  in 
THE  Developmental  History  of  Stringed  Instruments 
OF  Music.  By  Henry  Balfour,  M.A.,  Curator  of  the 
Pitt-Rivers  Museum.    Oxford  :  The  Clarendon  Press.    1899. 

In  this,  the  first  part  of  a  monograph  on  the  development  of 
those  musical  instruments  which  claim  origin  from  the  musical 
bow,  we  are  indebted  to  Mr.  Balfour  for  a  most  interesting  anthro- 
pological study.  Commencing  with  the  folk-tradition  in  India 
and  Japan,  which  accounts  for  the  invention  of  the  Pinaka  and 
the  Koto,  he  goes  on  to  show  how  the  development  of  the  instru- 
ment proceeds  in  at  least  three  well-defined  stages — first,  when 
the  simple  bow  of  the  archer  is  temporarily  converted  into  a 
musical  instrument ;  the  second,  when  the  bow  is  constructed  for 
musical  purposes  alone ;  the  third,  when  a  resonator  is  more  or 
less  permanently  attached  to  it. 

Next,  with  a  great  wealth  of  anthropological  learning  and  re- 
search, illustrated  throughout  by  a  series  of  graphic  sketches 
representing  specimens  in  the  Pitt-Rivers  and  other  museums, 
and  derived  from  accounts  by  travellers,  he  proceeds  to  define 
the  range  of  this  curious  instrument  It  is  found  in  India,  Japan, 
the  great  group  of  islands  north  of  Australia,  largely  in  South 
Africa  and  Madagascar,  and  in  the  American  continent  from 
Mexico  through  Brazil  and  as  far  south  as  Patagonia.  The  tale 
of  Hermes  and  other. legends  suggest  its  use  on  Greek  and  Latin 

Mr.  Balfour  tentatively  accepts  the  theory  that  India  was  the 
original  centre  of  dispersion.  It  is  true  that  in  quite  modern 
times  it  has  been  conveyed  by  negro  slaves  to  the  southern 
American  States.  But  at  present  the  evidence  seems  inadequate 
to  establish  with  certainty  that  it  was  nowhere  the  result  of  inde- 
pendent invention.  We  know  that  the  bow  as  a  weapon  is  in  use 
nearly  all  the  world  over,  and  it  does  not  seem  impossible  that  its 
adaptation  to  serve  the  purpose  of  a  musical  instrument  may  have 
been  independently  evolved.  It  would  thus  be  unnecessary  to 
point  to  India  as  the  centre  from  which  the  invention  was  primarily 

Now  that  attention  has  been  called  to  the  matter,  it  may  be 
hoped  that  our  travellers  and  explorers  will  supply  Mr.  Balfour 
with  a  much  larger  series  of  examples,  the  comparison  of  which 

vol.  XI.  H 

98  Reviews, 

may  throw  some  further  light  on  an  interesting  chapter  in  the 
development  of  primitive  music.  He  promises  us  a  second  part 
of  his  monograph,  which  will  be  devoted  to  the  higher  develop- 
ment of  the  musical  bow,  and  to  this  we  shall  look  forward  with 

W.  Crooke. 

Marathi  Proverbs.  Collected  and  arranged  by  Rev.  A. 
Manwaring,  Missionary  of  the  Church  Missionary  Society. 
Oxford:  the  Clarendon  Press.     1899. 

The  literature  of  India  owes,  as  might  have  been  expected,  little 
to  the  Marathi  genius.  A  race  of  small  farmers  and  breeders  of 
cattle,  they  display  in  their  proverbs  that  limited  view  of  life  and 
a  shrewd,  often  ill-natured,  contempt  for  the  weakling  which  finds 
its  best  utterance  in  the  aphoristic  philosophy  of  Mrs.  Poyser. 
This  rural  wisdom  finds  its  most  fitting  illustration  in  the  incidents 
of  a  monotonous,  squalid  life,  in  the  field  and  the  dairy,  the  mean 
hut  which  shelters  two  or  three  generations,  the  wrangling  of  the 
mother-in-law  with  the  child-wife,  the  contempt  for  the  widow,  the 
petty  chaffering  of  the  village  market-place. 

The  compiler,  I  venture  to  think,  has  not  quite  realised  the 
opportunities  suggested  by  his  wide  knowledge  of  rural  life.  We 
have  many  collections  of  Hindu  proverbs  from  many  parts  of 
India,  and  a  fresh  compilation  including  so  many  familiar  friends 
is  hardly  needed.  On  the  other  hand,  it  would  have  been  an  in- 
teresting sociological  study  to  discuss  the  wisdom  of  the  Marathas 
from  a  comparative  point  of  view,  to  select  those  maxims  which 
really  are  characteristic  of  the  race,  and  to  show  how  they  stand  in 
relation  to  the  the  rural  philosophy  of  the  Panjabi  or  Bengali. 

The  folktales  which  he  gives  are,  as  a  rule,  jejune  and  com- 
monplace ;  most  of  them  are  dull  apologues  obviously  invented 
to  point  the  moral  of  the  proverb.  Among  the  best  I  may  note 
No.  no,  the  story  of  the  buffalo  which  gets  its  head  stuck  in  a 
jar  and  the  wise  man  can  suggest  no  means  of  relief  save  by  de- 
molishing the  house  of  the  unfortunate  owner  of  the  beast.  In 
No.  232  we  have  the  crocodile  which  tries  to  lure  the  jackal 

Reviews.  99 

into  its  den,  but  the  shrewd  beast  cries  out,  "  I  have  seen  many 
forehead-marks,  but  never  have  I  seen  eyes  in  mud."  In  No.  297 
the  little  bird  whose  eggs  have  been  washed  away  by  the  tide  wages 
successful  war  with  the  ocean.  In  1259  we  have  the  man  who 
claimed  kindred  with  the  rich  owner  of  a  tree  because  his  cart  was 
made  of  that  wood — "  My  second  cousin  plays  the  German  flute." 
In  No.  1629  we  have  a  version  of  the  familiar  Three  Fatal  Wishes. 

Among  folk-beliefs,  of  which  the  author  gives  only  very  scanty 
information,  I  may  note  No.  216.  After  the  bear  growls  at  people 
he  becomes  deaf,  so  the  only  way  to  escape  from  his  clutches  is 
to  shout  at  him  before  he  sees  you.  In  No.  264  we  have  the  idea 
that  to  see  two  crows  coupling  is  fatal,  which  is  more  usually  re- 
ported of  snakes  (Frazer,  Pausanias^  vol.  v.  p.  61).  In  No.  880  we 
are  told  that  the  finger  nails  are  poisonous,  and  hence  Parsis  fling 
their  nail  pairings  out  of  doors.  I  am  inclined  to  doubt  whether 
natives  believe  their  own  nails  to  be  poisonous.  They  certainly 
believe  this  of  Europeans,  and  this  explains  why  we  use  knives  and 
forks  and  do  not  eat  with  our  fingers  as  our  betters  do.  I  suspect 
that  the  Parsi  takes  care  to  dispose  of  the  parings  of  his  nails  lest 
a  witch  may  work  evil  to  him  by  means  of  them.  In  No.  1453 
we  have  the  woman  who  when  she  falls  down  says  she  is  wor- 
shipping the  sun,  an  avoidance  of  evil  omen  like  Caesar's  Teneo  te 

It  is  almost  needless  to  say  that  the  book  is  produced  in  the 
admirable  way  which  we  are  accustomed  to  in  the  Clarendon 
Press,  and  as  the  originals  of  the  proverbs  are  given  in  the 
Devanagari  character  it  may  be  useful  to  students  of  the  Marathi 

W.  Crooke. 

encyclopiedia  biblica  :  a  critical  dictionary  of  the 
Literary,  Political,  and  Religious  History,  the 
Archaeology,  Geography,  and  Natural  History  of  the 
Bible.  Edited  by  Rev.  T.  K.  Cheyne,  M.A.,  D.D.,  and  J. 
Sutherland  Black,  M.A.,  LL.D.  Vol.  i.  London:  A, 
AND  C.  Black,  1899. 

This  great  work,  of  which  the  first  volume  has  just  appeared, 
owes  its  inspiration  to  the  late  Professor  Robertson  Smith,  whose 
famous  Biblical  articles  contributed  to  the  ninth  edition  of  the 

H  2 

lOO  Reviews. 

Encylopxdia  Britannica  have  been  freely  utilised  after  being 
thoroughly  revised  and  brought  up  to  date  by  the  labours  of  the 
present  editors.  It  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  they  have  pro- 
vided us  with  the  most  valuable  contribution  to  the  knowledge  of 
the  Bible  which  has  hitherto  appeared  in  English.  With  theo- 
logical controversy  the  Folk-Lore  Society  has  no  concern  \  but  it 
may  be  said  that  this  Encyclopaedia  frankly  accepts  the  critical 
methods  of  the  most  advanced  school  of  Biblical  scholars,  while 
the  list  of  contributors  includes  the  most  eminent  authorities  in 
England,  the  Continent,  and  America. 

To  us  the  book  is  chiefly  interesting  for  its  acceptance  of 
anthropology  and  folklore  as  aids  to  study  of  the  Bible,  and  all 
students  of  primitive  religion  will  find  it  indispensable.  In  the 
articles  on  Creation  and  the  Deluge,  for  instance,  by  Professors 
Zimmern  and  Cheyne,  there  will  be  found  admirable  summaries 
of  the  Babylonian  legends  and  a  discussion  of  their  influence  on 
Hebrew  belief.  Among  other  notable  contributions  may  be  men- 
tioned the  exhaustive  accounts  of  the  history  and  religions  of 
Assyria  and  Babylon,  by  Mr.  L.  W.  King,  and  the  treatise  on 
Apocalyptic  Literature,  by  Dr.  R.  H.  Charles. 

The  attention  of  folklore  students  may  be  specially  directed  to 
the  articles  on  Adonis  ;  Angel ;  Asherah  (which  was  not  originally 
a  sacred  tree) ;  Asmodeus  and  his  connection  with  Lilith ;  Azazel 
and  the  literature  of  the  Scapegoat ;  Baal ;  Babel  ("  Not  to  be  able 
to  understand  one's  neighbours  seemed  to  primitive  men  a  curse. 
It  is  said  that  there  are  many  such  myths  elsewhere,  and  some  of 
them,  e,g,  that  reported  by  Livingstone  from  Lake  Ngami,  and 
that  mentioned  in  the  Bengal  Census  Report  for  1872,  have  a 
certain  similarity  to  the  Hebrew  story  ")  \  Beelzebul,  not  a  god 
of  flies,  but  "  lord  of  the  nether  world  " ;  Behemoth  and  Leviathan, 
forms  of  the  Babylonian  Tiamat ;  the  Burning  Bush  ("a  fusion 
of  two  beliefs — that  fire  indicated  the  divine  presence,  and  that 
certain  trees  were  the  permanent  abode  of  deities  ")  ;  Tubal  Cain 
("  a  humanised  god,  like  Chousor,  the  Phoenician  Hephaistos  "  ; 
the  Golden  Calf  and  bull-worship ;  the  Canticles  based  on  Syrian 
marriage  ritual ;  the  Cherub  and  the  Griflftn  ;  the  traditions  of  the 
Cross  ;  Dagon  and  his  kinsfolk  ;  Demons  and  Dragons. 

Those  interested  in  primitive  ritual  will  learn  much  from  the 
articles  on  Altar,  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  Circumcision,  Cuttings  of 
the  Flesh  and  Tattooing,  and  Divination. 

Reviews.  loi 

The  book  is  admirably  printed,  and  everywhere  a  wide  range  of 
authorities  is  cited.  As  a  whole  it  reflects  the  greatest  credit  on 
modern  Biblical  scholarship. 

W.  Crooke. 

Eaglehawk  and  Crow  :  a  Study  of  the  Australian  Abori- 

Survey  of  Australian  Languages.  By  John  Mathew, 
M.A.,  B.D.  London :  D.  Nutt.  Melbourne :  Melville, 
Mullen,  and  Slade.     1899. 

Mr.  Mathew's  object  in  this  work  is  to  demonstrate  that  the 
original  settlers  of  Australia  and  Tasmania  were  Papuans,  and 
that  while  in  Tasmania  the  race  remained  pure,  in  Australia  it 
became  mixed  by  an  influx  of  Dravidians,  who  made  their  way 
from  India  across  the  intervening  seas  and  islands,  and  by  a 
smaller  and  later  influx  of  Malays.  The  word  Papuan  is  defined 
as  Melanesian,  with  which  the  author  is  of  opinion  that  infusion 
of  Negrito  blood  may  be  traced,  but  the  question  is  left  undeter- 
mined. To  prove  the  hypothesis  he  adduces  five  arguments,  from 
physiology,  from  mythology  and  tradition,  from  implements,  from 
customs,  and  from  language.  He  supposes  that  the  Papuan 
settlement  took  place  at  a  remote  period  before  Tasmania  was 
separated  by  Bass  Strait  from  the  continent,  and  that  the  Dravi- 
dian  invasion  took  place  after  that  event,  the  invaders  landing 
first  on  the  north-east  coast  of  Queensland,  and  fighting  their  way 
southward  and  south-westward  along  the  river-courses  to  the  centre 
about  Lake  Eyre,  and  finally  merging  in  the  general  body  of 
inhabitants.  The  Malay  incursions,  on  the  other  hand,  though 
repeated,  are  of  less  account ;  they  have  left,  however,  "  unques- 
tionable traces  on  the  Australian  language." 

The  theory  in  its  broad  outlines  is  recommended  by  an  h  priori 
probability.  The  physical  argument  and  the  argument  from 
weapons  have  considerable  force  j  but  I  pass  them  by  as  less 
interesting  to  students  of  folklore  pure  and  simple  than  some  of 
the  others.  It  is  in  the  argument  from  language  that  the  most 
valuable  contribution  has  been  made  by  Mr.  Mathew  towards  the 
solution  of  the  problem.     His  comparative  tables  of  words,  his 

io2  Reviews. 

remarks  on  the  phonology  of  the  dialects,  his  analysis  of  the 
grammar,  must  all  prove  of  value  to  inquirers.  Some  of  his  mate- 
rials are  perhaps  not  very  trustworthy,  though  it  may  be  doubted 
whether  he  had  much  choice  in  the  matter.  He  has  also  been 
hampered  by  want  of  a  standard  system  of  transcription  of  the 
native  sounds.  The  indeterminate  character  of  many  of  these 
sounds  is  a  familiar  phenomenon  to  every  student  of  philology, 
and  has  been  properly  emphasised  by  Mr.  Mathew.  Our  hap- 
hazard transcription  has  obscured  the  relations  existing  between 
many  words,  especially  in  cases  of  indeterminate  pronunciation, 
and  it  often  renders  identification  difficult.  He  makes  use  to 
some  extent  of  Guar's  lists  of  words,  but  he  does  not  cite  Eyre's. 
Reasons  for  not  using  Eyre's  hsts  may  be  conjectured.  It  would, 
however,  have  been  satisfactory  to  have  them  given,  or  at  least 
some  critical  remarks  upon  the  lists.  Considering  the  scarcity  of 
his  materials,  Mr.  Mathew  has  made  a  strong  case  for  the  simi- 
larity between  the  dialects  of  Victoria  and  the  Tasmanian,  amount- 
ing to  a  fair  presumption  of  essential  unity  of  language.  Trained 
philological  study  is  urgently  wanted  on  the  whole  subject  of  the 
Australian  tongues. 

The  book  derives  its  title  from  the  names  of  the  two  exogamous 
classes  into  which  the  tribes  in  Central  and  Northern  Victoria  are 
divided.  An  analogous  division  subsists  practically  all  over  the 
continent,  frequently  distinguished  by  names  having  an  equivalent 
meaning,  or  drawn  from  those  of  some  classes  of  objects  in  the 
external  world.  Mr.  Howitt  suggests  that  they  were  originally 
totem-names.  Mr.  Mathew  goes  further.  He  ventures  upon  the 
theory  that  these  two  primary  classes  were  two  races  which  met 
and  fought,  and  at  last  amalgamated  in  Australia.  The  native 
traditions  of  the  contest  between  the  Eaglehawk  and  the  Crow 
he  regards  as  a  narrative  of  the  relations  between  the  two  races, 
transmuted  into  the  terms  of  mythology.  There  is  a  good  deal 
to  be  urged  in  favour  of  this  theory.  But  Mr.  Mathew  has  hardly 
wrought  it  out  with  systematic  and  exhaustive  accuracy.  We 
want  a  map,  showing,  so  far  as  present  knowledge  extends,  the 
range  of  the  Eaglehawk  and  Crow  as  divisional  names,  and  of 
the  traditions  relative  to  the  ancient  contest  between  them ;  show- 
ing, moreover,  the  range  not  merely  of  parallel  divisions,  but  of 
equivalent  names,  what  they  are,  and  what  meaning  and  traditions 
are  annexed  to  them.     Without  such  details  the  theory  remain? 

li^o  more  than  a  suggestive  and  ingenious  guess.  As  such,  how- 
ever, it  is  certainly  one  to  be  borne  in  mind  in  future  investi- 

The  argument  from  customs  is  the  weakest.  Twenty-one 
customs  are  enumerated  on  p.  27  as  common  to  the  Tasmanians 
and  Australians  j  and  the  author  says :  "  This  list  of  remarkable 
practices,  identical  in  both  countries,  is  surely  sufficiently  im- 
posing to  establish  of  itself  a  very  intimate  connection,  if  remote 
in  time."  If  these  twenty-one  customs  were  peculiar  to  Australia 
and  Tasmania  his  argument  would  be  valid  This  he  does  not 
seek  to  prove ;  and  if  he  did  he  would  fail,  for  thirteen  at  least  are 
common  to  savages  over  the  greater  part  of  the  world,  and  four 
or  five  others  are  known  in  other  lands  than  Australia  and  Tas- 
mania, leaving  only  three  or  four  at  the  most — ^more  probably  two 
or  even  one — ^possessing  any  real  significance.  Chapter  VIII. 
contains  an  interesting  discussion  on  the  question  whether  group- 
marriage  has  ever  prevailed  in  Australia.  The  author  sets  himself 
in  opposition  on  this  point  to  the  opinion  of  Messrs.  Fison  and 
Howitt,  whose  arguments,  reinforced  by  Messrs.  Spencer  and 
GiUen,  seem  to  me  to  be  conclusive.  TUs  chapter  also  contains 
some  useful  tables  of  the  marriage  systems  of  various  tribes,  and 
some  acute  observations  which  deserve  to  be  considered ;  but  I 
hardly  think  he  has  fathomed  the  difficult  subject  of  the  marriage 
r^ulations.  The  remaining  chapters,  IX.  and  XI.,  in  which  the 
argument  from  customs  is  elaborated,  are  thin.  They  are  vague 
and  add  nothing  to  our  knowledge.  It  is  obvious  that  Mr.  Mathew 
has  not  made  a  study  of  savage  belief  and  practice.  Chapter  X. 
reproduces  a  number  of  drawings  found  upon  rocks  and  in  caves 
in  various  parts  of  Australia.  Most  of  them,  if  not  all,  have  been 
published  before.  Some  of  them  have  been  a  puzzle  to  anthro- 
pologists ever  since  they  were  discovered,  as  being  above  the  level 
of  art  of  which  the  aborigines  at  present  seem  capable.  It  cannot 
be  said,  however,  that  Mr.  Mathew  has  thrown  much  light  upon 
them.  His  reading  of  what  look  like  alphabetical  characters  is 
very  doubtful;  and  his  citations  from  Moor's  Hindu  Pantheon 
cannot  be  taken  seriously. 

£.  Sidney  Hartland. 

I04  Reviews. 

KoHLER  (R.),  Kleinere  Schriften.    Vol.  I.    ZuR  Marchen- 
FORSCHUNG,  hcrausg.  von  Joh.  Bolte.     Weimar  :  1898. 

It  cannot  but  be  welcome  to  all  students  of  storiology  to  have 
collected  in  one  volume  the  majority  of  Kohlers  notes  on  the 
study  of  popular  tales,  scattered  as  these  are  throughout  a  number 
of  publications,  many  of  a  periodical  nature  practically  inacces- 
sible to  whoever  has  not  at  command  the  resources  of  a  large 
library.  Whatever  story-theme  was  handled  by  Kohler — ^save  in 
the  case  of  Celtic  storiology,  with  the  special  features  and  condi- 
tions of  which  he  was  imperfectly  acquainted— his  treatment,  up 
to  the  date  of  its  publication,  is  practically  exhaustive.  Every 
serious  student  of  tales  must  in  the  first  place  ascertain  what 
Kohler  has  said ;  not  only  will  he  find  the  task  of  investigation 
immensely  lightened,  he  is  almost  sure  to  be  referred  to  sources 
which  he  would  have  overlooked.  Even  were  this  volume  a  bare 
reprint,  its  utility  as  a  working  tool  would  make  it  indispensable. 
But  it  also  contains  a  certain  amount  of  inedited  matter,  addenda 
from  Kohler's  posthumous  remains,  and  a  fair  number  of  addi- 
tional references  due  to  Dr.  BoUe. 

I  cannot,  however,  think  that  Kohler  himself  would  have  been 
satisfied  with  this  publication.  The  Index  is  altogether  insuffi- 
cient, and  the  editor  has  not  done  a  tithe  of  what  he  should  to 
bring  Kohler's  information  up  to  date  by  supplementing  and, 
where  necessary,  revising  it.  The  authority  which  Kohler  so 
justly  earned  by  his  unwearied  labour,  his  encyclopaedic  range  of 
reading  and  his  scientific  caution,  makes  it  dangerous  to  stereo- 
type matter  the  provisional  nature  of  which  was  felt  by  none 
more  keenly  than  by  the  author.  The  student  who  turns  up 
a  statement  in  Orient  und  Occident  or  in  Germania  of  the  sixties 
is  under  no  temptation  to  regard  it  as  the  final  word  of  research  : 
the  case  is  different  when  he  meets  it  in  a  volume  dated  1898.  I 
am  fully  aware  that  a  second  Kohler  would  be  required  to  fully 
supplement  the  work  of  the  first,  and  I  do  not  wish  to  appear 
ungracious  in  commenting  upon  what  Dr.  Bolte  has  done.  His 
additions  are  frequently  of  use.  But  that  more  might  and  should 
have  been  done  in  this  particular  case,  and  that  the  policy  of 
reprinting  verbatim  matter  which  has  necessarily  become  anti- 
quated is  a  doubtful  one,  are  propositions  I  venture  to  urge 
without  fear  of  contradiction. 

Alfred  Nutt. 


Alphabet  used  in  Consecrating  a  Church. 

I  have  lately  been  informed  that  in  consecrating  a  Roman 
Catholic  church  the  letters  of  the  Greek  and  the  Latin  alphabet 
should,  according  to  ancient  tradition,  be  written  by  the  bishop 
with  his  crozier  on  two  lines  of  ashes  sprinkled  on  the  floor. 
These  lines  ought  to  intersect  each  other  in  the  form  of  a  cross. 
The  rite  is  said  to  show  the  union  of  all  peoples  and  all  languages 
in  the  Christian  Church.  Has  it  nothing  to  do  with  the  hoary 
belief  in  the  efficacy  of  spells  and  runes  ?  Can  parallels  to  it  be 
adduced  from  the  customs  of  Chaldea,  Egypt,  and  other  bygone 
civilisations  ? 

A.  E.  O.  E. 

Giants  in  Pageants. 

Notes  on  the  osier-work  giants  used  in  public  festivities  in  the 
Low  Countries  and  Flanders  are  given  in  the  Intermediaire^  the 
question  being  asked  whether  the  giants  of  Spain  suggested  those 
of  the  Netherlands  or  vice  versd.  In  what  countries  of  Europe 
has  it  been  the  custom  to  make  use  of  giants  and  dragons  to 
enliven  public  processions  ?  Were  they  generally  used  in  those 
high  festivals  of  the  middle  ages  which  represented  the  feasts 
anciently  held  in  honour  of  the  powers  of  nature  ? 

L.  W. 

Customs  Relating  to  Iron. 

(Vol.  X.  p.  457). 

In  the  last  issue  of  this  Journal  Miss  Florence  Peacock  states  of 
a  district  in  England  that  the  nurse  sometimes  heats  the  water  in 
which  a  newly-born  child  is  washed  by  plunging  into  it  a  red- 

'  lo  juillet,  1898,  col.  6  ;  30  septembre,  1898,  coL  462. 

to6  Correspondence. 

hot  poker ;  and  she  implies  that  the  virtue  of  this  act  resides  in 
the  iron. 

I  have  known  midwives  in  Lancashire  for  a  like  purpose  heat 
water  by  casting  into  it  red-hot  cinders.  It  is  an  accepted  fact  that 
amongst  those  people  whose  culinary  vessels  could  not  withstand 
the  action  of  fire,  the  water  in  them  was  heated  by  "  pot-boilers," 
/.  e.  by  putting  into  them  hot  stones.  Perhaps  it  is  a  survival  of  this 
custom  rather  than  the  magical  properties  of  iron  that  supplies  an 
explanation  of  these  practices. 

Miss  Peacock  also  seems  to  suggest  that  a  fully  conscious 
person  could  only  with  extreme  difficulty  be  killed  by  knocking 
nails  into  his  skull,  though  such  a  process  might  certainly  be 
fatal  were  the  victim  asleep  when  the  deed  was  done.  It  may 
be  true  that  Sisera  was  "fast  asleep  and  weary,"  and  that  one 
nail  was  enough ;  but  that  was  in  the  age  of  miracle.  Cannot 
the  Lincolnshire  case  and  others  be  re-examined ;  and  may  they 
not  be  allied,  in  motive,  to  the  transfixion  of  a  suicide's  body  with 
a  stake  ? 

I  remember  attending  in  her  last  illness  a  woman  whose  son,  of 
low  mental  type,  was  the  only  person  to  wait  upon  her,  and  he 
was  altogether  neglecting  his  duty.  One  day  I  found  matters 
much  improved,  and  inquired  the  reason. 

"  Oh,"  she  said,  "  he  is  all  right  now.  I  told  him  if  he  did  not 
do  better  I  would  come  backJ^ 

Now,  we  can  imagine  such  a  man's  going  to  his  dead  mother 
with  a  hammer  and  some  nails,  and  saying,  "  I'll  take  very  good 
care  she  docsnU  come  back." 

H.  CoLLEY  March. 

The  Little  Red  Hen. 

(Vol.  x.,  pp.  ii6,  361.) 

A  version  attributed  to   "an  English  lady"  appears  in  the 
Journal  of  American  Folk-Lore^  vol.  xii.,  p.  291. 

E.  S.  H. 


Dorset  Folklore. 

(Continued  from  voL  x.,  p.  4S9.) 

23.  The  Rev.  J,  Woodman,  incumbent  of  Wootton  Granville, 
near  Buckland  Newton,  visited  a  dying  parishioner  of  evil  reputa- 
tion. "  Didn't  want  no  reading,"  said  Mullet,  the  sick  man.  But 
the  parson  persevered.  After  Mullet's  death,  Mr.  Woodman 
twice  reproved  the  sexton  for  not  having  turfed  the  grave. 
"  What's  the  use  ?  "  answered  the  sexton.  " '  Have  doned  it  twice, 
and  he  do  kick  it  oflf  every  night"  "Do  it  again,"  said  the  parson 
angrily,  "  and  I'll  stand  by  and  see  you  do  it."  And  so  it  was. 
And  early  on  the  morrow,  parson  went  down  to  inspect,  but  lo ! 
all  the  sods  were  thrown  oflf.  " '  Told  ee  zo,"  said  the  sexton, 
coming  in  at  the  gate,  " '  knowed  how  it  it  ud  be ! " 

Mrs.  Astell  adds  that  the  Mullets  are  still  living,  and  all  have 
the  name  of  wizards  and  of  the  Evil  Eye. 

The  following  stories  are  from  Portesham,  where  the  writer 
resides : — 

24.  Mrs.  Thomas  Pitman,  aged  64,  says :  "  In  the  middle  of 
February,  1870,  my  daughter  Elizabeth,  then  seven  years  old,  but 
now  married  to  Robert  Stoney,  and  living  in  Dorchester,  began  to 
be  disturbed  at  nights.  This  was  at  Hilton,  near  Abbey  Milton. 
She  screamed,  and  cried  out  that  she  saw  someone  who  came  to 
her.  I  had  to  fetch  her  down-stairs,  and  had  a  terrible  job  to 
satisfy  her.  Often  we  had  to  get  up  out  of  bed,  she  would  screech 
so.  My  children  had  always  been  good  about  going  to  bed,  and 
had  never  complained  at  being  left  alone.  Our  bedrooms  were  in 
the  garret,  and  she  used  to  see  a  woman  come  down  the  chimney 
and  make  faces  at  her  and  hold  up  her  hands.  One  night,  when 
I  had  gone  to  her,  she  declared  that  this  woman  was  close  beside 
me.    This  went  on  for  about  a  month,  and  she  had  gone  quite 

io8  Miscellanea. 

thin,  when  I  went  to  Martin's  Town  to  tell  my  parents  about  it, 
and  they  wished  me  to  go  to  *  the  old  woman '  at  Dorchester. 
I  had  often  heard  of  her,  but  had  never  seen  her. 

"  So  in  the  middle  of  March  I  went  to  her  with  my  brother's 
wife,  Mrs.  Spracklen,  laundress,  Weymouth,  taking  my  little  boy 
Willy,  who  was  four  years  old.  *  The  old  woman '  lived  in  Pease 
Lane,  now  Colyton  Street.  She  is  now  dead.  She  wore  a  black 
gown,  a  little  shawl,  and  a  very  high  cap  with  a  frill  all  round  her 
face  and  under  her  chin ;  and  Willy  was  so  frightened  at  the  sight 
of  her  that  he  would  not  go  into  her  room,  which  was  up-stairs, 
but  stayed  out  on  the  landing.     I  forget  her  name. 

"  I  told  her  how  Elizabeth  was  affected,  and  that  I  had  been 
advised  to  come  to  her  to  see  if  she  could  help  me,  and  if  there 
was  anything  wrong. 

"  First  she  took  out  a  pack  of  cards,  and  told  me  to  cut  them. 
I  turned  up  a  queen.  *  It  is  a  dark  woman  who  has  to  leave  her 
house,'  she  said,  *and  who  has  an  ill  will,  not  to  the  child,  but  to  the 
parents.'  The  neighbour  I  suspected  was  Mrs.  Rigg,  who  was  dark. 
It  had  been  thought  that  we  were  leaving  at  Lady  Day,  but  at  last 
we  had  settled  not  to  leave,  as  was  expected.  Rigg  had  not  a  settled 
place  like  my  husband.  He  just  rented  a  cottage  and  worked  for 
one  and  another  as  a  labourer,  but  he  wished  to  get  a  regular  place. 
Mrs.  Rigg  wanted  to  have  our  house.  It  was  better  than  hers, 
which  was  ruinous.  So  they  were  hoping  to  get  our  house  and 
our  place.  Elizabeth  used  to  play  with  Rigg's  children,  but  now 
she  was  so  timid  she  would  cling  to  me  and  not  play  with  anyone. 
*  The  old  woman '  told  me  to  throw  salt  on  the  fire  every  morning 
as  soon  as  I  had  kindled  it,  and  before  I  broke  my  fast.  Also, 
to  nail  up  a  horse-shoe,  loop  downwards  and  legs  up,  behind  the 
door,  and  the  rustier  the  nails  I  used  the  better.  I  was  to  throw 
a  cloth  over  it,  so  that  anybody  should  not  notice  it.  Then  I  was 
to  put  an  open  penknife  inside  a  book  of  common  prayer  and 
place  this  under  the  child's  pillow  at  night.  She  promised  me 
that  in  a  week  the  child  should  be  well  and  playing  with  the 
others.  Before  I  left  she  told  me  to  wish^  but  I  had  not  any  wish 
ready,  and  I  didn't  want  to  do  Mrs.  Rigg  any  harm,  so  I  only 
wished  that  if  it  were  she,  she  should  have  to  come  to  me  before 
the  week  was  out.  I  did  not  tell  *  the  old  woman '  what  my  wish 
was,  nor  did  I  name  it  to  anyone  until  after  it  had  come  to  pass. 

'*  On  going  away  I  asked  her  what  she  would  expect.     She  said 

Miscellanea,  109 

I  was  a  poor  woman  and  if  I  would  give  her  sixpence  she  would 
be  quite  satisfied,  but  it  must  be  a  silver  sixpence.  So  I  gave 
it  her. 

"  I  missed  the  carrier,  and  had  to  stop  that  night  at  Dorchester 
with  my  brother,  and  the  next  day  being  Sunday  I  had  to  travel 
on  foot  all  the  way  home,  from  ten  in  the  morning  until  seven 
at  night,  for  we  lost  our  way.  We  had  no  horse-shoe  in  the 
house  when  I  got  home,  and  my  husband  did  not  hurry  to  get 
one,  he  not  thinking  much  of  it.  On  Monday  morning  I  did 
what  *  the  old  woman '  had  told  me,  and  at  night  and  when  he 
was  gone  to  stable  I  put  the  children  to  bed.  When  he  was 
coming  in  Elizabeth  began  to  scream  and  almost  jumped  over  the 
banisters.  My  husband  fetched  her  down-stairs.  He  had  never 
seen  her  so  bad  as  this  before ;  so,  as  soon  as  she  was  quiet,  and 
before  he  went  to  bed,  he  put  up  the  horse-shoe  on  the  back  of 
the  door  at  the  bottom  of  the  garret  stairs. 

"  This  was  the  last  fright  the  child  had,  and  then  she  began  to 
improve,  and  before  the  week  was  out  she  was  playing  with  the 
other  children  just  as  before.  The  neighbours  noticed  the  differ- 
ence in  the  child,  and  Mr.  Garland,  our  master,  quite  believed 
about  it  all 

"  On  Wednesday  Mrs.  Rigg,  the  dark  woman,  came  up  to  my 
house  and  said :  *  Oh,  Mrs.  Pitman,  we  had  a  few  coals  from  you, 
and  would  you  like  a  few  taties  for  them  ? '  I  was  afraid,  and 
did  not  like  to  have  them,  and  said  it  was  a  long  time  ago  and 
she  was  welcome  to  the  coals ;  but  she  pressed  me.  When  Eliza- 
beth went  to  fetch  the  taties  Mrs.  Rigg  gave  her  a  needle  which 
she  had  borrowed  from  me,  and  darned  it  into  her  sun-bonnet. 
She  would  not  let  her  take  it  in  her  hand,  because  if  you  can 
prick  the  person  who  has  hurt  you  so  as  to  fetch  blood  she  can 
never  do  you  any  harm. 

"  After  this  Mrs.  Rigg's  child  was  ill,  and  they  said  I  had  done 
her  some  harm,  but  I  had  not.  Indeed,  *  the  old  woman '  had 
said  it  should  be  turned  to  the  opposite  on  herself  and  her 
family.  Mary  Rigg  was  about  forty,  and  she  had  two  children. 
It  was  said  that  her  husband  could  not  stop  at  his  work  if  he  had 
offended  her,  she  could  make  him  so  miserable." 

25.  Mrs.  Pitman  also  relates  the  following  :  "It  is  the  custom 
in  Dorset  that  when  labourers  are  changing  places  they  are 
fetched,  bag  and  baggage,  by  their  new  master  on  Lady  Day, 

no  Miscellanea. 

April  6th  ;  but  carters  go  to  their  new  place  on  the  5th  and  take 
charge  of  their  horses  that  night,  and  the  next  day  take  a  horse 
and  cart  to  fetch  their  families.  Ten  years  ago  we  moved  from 
near  Wareham  to  Huish  Farm  on  Baron  Hambro's  estate,  near 
Abbey  Milton.  The  farmer  was  Mr.  Tett,  and  between  the  day 
when  my  husband  went  and  the  following  when  he  fetched  us 
there  Mr.  Tett  died.  We  stopped  on,  however,  and  after  six 
months  took  service  there  with  Mr.  Wallis,  a  bailiff  under  the 
Baron.  We  had  a  cottage  close  to  the  stables  where  the  horses 
for  both  ploughs  were  kept,  and  where  were  kept,  too,  the  horses 
of  old  William  Vachor,  another  ploughman.  But  after  a  while 
the  bailiff  moved  these  horses  to  Long  Close,  and  Vachor  did  not 
like  it.  The  last  Sunday  his  horses  were  in  our  stable,  instead  of 
going  home  he  stayed  in  an  empty  cottage  close  to  our  house  till 
he  could  *  reck  up,'  or  fill  the  racks,  which  is  done  between  seven 
and  eight  o'clock  at  night.  In  the  evening,  about  six  o'clock, 
a  great  noise  was  heard  in  the  stable,  just  as  if  the  horses  had 
broken  loose — there  were  sixteen  of  them — but  nothing  was  to  be 
seen  when  my  husband  and  sons  went  in.  On  their  way  they 
passed  William  Vachor  coming  out  of  the  empty  cottage,  and  he 
said  he  had  been  asleep.  This  went  on  at  different  times.  I 
have  heard  it  at  ten  o'clock  at  night.  Early  one  morning  a 
labourer  coming  over  the  fields  heard  it  and  asked  what  could  be 
the  matter.  My  husband  and  sons  have  heard  it  in  the  tallet,  or 
hayloft,  when  they  were  in  the  stable.  The  noise  was  out  of  all 
reason,  and  people  began  to  say  that  old  Tett  had  come  back 

"  One  morning  my  son  George,  then  fifteen  years  old,  taking  up 
some  horses  at  ten  o'clock,  heard  something  going  over  the  straw 
and  pounding  on  the  floor.  He  took  up  a  besom  and  tried  to 
strike  it,  but  it  was  too  quick  for  him  and  got  away.  He  could 
only  see  that  something  was  there,  but  could  not  tell  what.  Two 
or  three  months  after  these  noises  had  begun,  my  husband  and 
sons  came  home  one  day  for  dinner  at  two  o'clock,  as  carters  do ; 
and  Albert,  aged  seventeen,  and  George  ran  into  the  stable,  and 
looking  about  George  saw  old  William  Vachor,  who  used  to  stable 
his  horses  there,  in  the  dust-hole,  or  bin  where  chop  and  chaff  is 
kept.  As  soon  as  he  saw  the  boys,  he  passed  them  quickly  and 
vanished  through  a  small  hole  in  the  window  over  the  door,  no 
bigger  than  the  glasses  of  a  pair  of  spectacles.    Albert  did  not  see 

Miscellanea.  1 1 1 

what  his  brother  did,  for  it  is  not  everyone  who  con  see  these 
things,  and  George  was  too  much  afraid  to  speak  of  it  at  first 
Of  course  it  was  Vachor's  spirit,  for  his  real  body  could  not  have 
done  it.  It  was  only  an  appearance,  and  his  real  body  must  have 
been  sleeping  somewhere.  They  do  go  to  sleep  when  the  soul 
leaves  to  do  these  things. 

''  Well,  some  days  after,  my  sons  were  talking  with  the  boys 
who  worked  with  William  Vachor,  and  who  were  with  him  at  that 
very  time,  and  they  said  they  all  at  once  missed  him.  Where  he 
went  they  didn't  know,  but  he  was  gone  full  half  an  hour,  and 
they  thought  he  had  gone  to  sleep  under  a  hedge.  After  this, 
one  evening  my  son  met  Vachor  in  Milton  as  we  were  going  up 
to  chapel.  He  came  out  of  his  house  and  asked  roughly  what 
was  going  on  down  stable,  and  if  old  Tett  had  been  again. 
*  No ! '  said  George,  *It  is  not  old  Tett  We  know  who  it  is,  and 
it  had  best  be  dropped  or  they  will  know  more  of  it'  He  made 
no  answer,  and  no  more  noises  were  ever  heard." 

26.  Dr.  Hawkins,  of  Abbotsbury,  relates  that  in  1890  a  dairyman 
of  Longbredy  had  lost  a  horse,  and  thereupon  consulted  a  wise 
woman,  Mrs.  Bartlett,  aged  between  sixty  and  seventy,  who  told 
him  that  he  had  been  overlooked,  and  that  the  person  who  had 
done  this  would  shortly  try  to  borrow  something  of  him.  Shortly 
afterwards  a  neighbouring  dairyman  named  Hansfor^  it  being 
market  day,  sent  up  to  borrow  some  piece  of  harness.  He  was 
then  charged  with  overlooking  and  causing  the  death  of  the 
horse;  and  permanent  ill-will  was  established  between  the  two 
men.  This  wise  woman  was  also  a  witch.  Those  persons  who 
had  been  bewitched  by  her  could  escape  the  spell  by  drawing  her 
blood,  which  they  did  by  assaulting  her.  She  was  an  uneducated 
village  midwife,  and  died  in  1896. 

27.  Extract  from  the  Dorset  County  Chronicle  for  October  28, 
1897. — "A  peculiar  case  came  before  the  Bench  at  Wincanton 
Police  Court  on  Monday,  when  one  woman  summoned  another 
for  unlawful  wounding.  It  appeared  the  defendant  considered 
she  was  bewitched  by  the  complainant,  and  determined  to  break 
the  spell  by  the  supposed  sure  means  of  drawing  blood.  In  order 
to  do  this  she  deliberately,  on  meeting  complainant  in  a  factory, 
drew  a  pin  across  the  back  of  her  wrists  and  had  the  satisfaction 
of  seeing  the  blood  flow.  The  parties  are  neighbours,  but  are  not 
on  friendly  terms.    The  Bench  bound  over  the  defendant  to  be 

112  Miscellanea. 

of  good  behaviour."    Wincanton  is  in  Somerset,  within  a  few 
miles  of  Dorset 

28.  The  Reverend  F.  W.  Crick,  of  Litton  Cheney,  relates  that 
in  1896  his  cook,  aged  thirty,  and  his  housemaid,  aged  nineteen, 
quarrelled,  when  the  latter  threatened  to  go  to  Bridport  to  a  wise 
woman  and  get  the  cook  overlooked.  The  cook  came  to  Mrs. 
Crick  and  implored  her  if  her  fellow-servant  asked  leave  to  go 
to  Bridport,  to  refuse  permission.  The  housemaid  did  ask  and 
was  refused.  The  cook  soon  after  became  ill,  and  has  since  died 
of  consumption. 

29.  In  Portesham,  and  elsewhere,  as  a  cure  for  epilepsy,  a  knife 
is  placed  on  its  back,  edge  up,  under  the  patient's  bed,  to  cut  the 

30.  There  is  another  cure  for  epilepsy,  of  which  the  following 
is  an  example.  The  boy  Hallett,  who  lives  in  Portesham,  was 
fourteen  years  old  when  he  fell  from  a  swing  and  fits  followed 
every  six  weeks.  When  he  was  seventeen  years  old  he  obtained 
in  the  usual  manner  a  magic  ring.  He  collected  from  thirty  girls 
or  women  thirty  pence.  But  the  last  donor  had  to  give  a  silver 
half-crown  piece,  receiving  twenty-nine  pence,  and  had  herself  to 
get  the  coin  made  into  a  ring  and  place  it  on  the  patient's  little 
finger  of  the  left  hand.  It  was  needful  that  no  payment  should 
be  given  to  the  constructor  of  the  ring  nor  to  the  last  donor  for 
any  cost  she  incurred  in  going  to  Weymouth,  where  the  ring  was 
made.  Hallett  is  now  over  twenty  years  of  age.  I  have  removed 
and  examined  the  ring,  and  ofiered  to  buy  it.  But  as  the  fits, 
though  much  less  frequent,  have  not  altogether  ceased,  he  naturally 
refused  to  sell  it. 

31.  It  is  customary  to  plant  and  graft  in  Holy-week,  especially 
on  Good  Friday,  when  any  gardening  is  sure  to  prosper.  Bread 
baked  on  that  day  is  never  reamy,  and,  besides,  it  possesses  a 
certain  virtue.  A  loaf  is  baked  so  hard  that  it  will  keep  till  the 
next  year ;  it  is  hung  up  in  the  house,  and  some  of  it  powdered 
and  mixed  with  water  is  a  sure  remedy  for  any  ailment.  "Reamy  " 
designates  slack  bread,  that  "strings  out "  when  drawn  asunder. 

Hv.  CoLLEv  March. 
Portesham,  June  9,  1899. 

Miscellanea .  113 

Folktales  from  the  ^Egean. 

(Continued  from  yoL  x.,  p.  502.) 

[Stories  Nos.  V.,  VI.,  and  VII.  are  from  Lesbos ;  they  were  told 
by  a  woman  named  Melsini  Chistelli,  aged  about  50,  illiterate, 
who  also  told  Nos.  I.,  II.,  and  IV.] 

V.  The  Fisherman's  Son. 

Once  upon  a  time  there  was  a  fisherman.  One  day  he  went 
and  cast  his  nets  in  a  place  he  had  never  been  to  before.  When 
he  was  about  to  pull  them  in,  a  terrible  beast  came  up  out  of  the 
sea  and  told  him  that  his  life  was  forfeited  to  it  for  daring  to  come 
and  fish  in  that  place.  But  the  fisherman  begged  it  to  spare  him, 
and  promised  that  the  next  day  he  would  give  it  his  only  son. 
Then  he  returned  home,  having  caught  more  fish  than  he  had 
ever  caught  before.  Next  day  he  went  back  to  fish  at  the  same 
place,  but  did  not  take  his  son.  However,  the  beast  consented 
to  give  him  one  more  day's  grace,  and  he  again  made  a  most 
plentiful  catch  of  fish.  On  the  morrow  he  told  his  son  he  must 
come  fishing  with  him,  and  when  they  came  to  the  place  where 
the  boat  was  drawn  up  he  bid  him  get  in  first,  but  the  boy  knew 
that  he  had  been  promised  to  the  beast,  and  said :  "  No,  father, 
you  get  in  and  I  will  follow."  When  his  father  had  stepped  into 
the  boat,  he  shoved  it  off,  and  his  father  was  swallowed  up  by  the 

The  young  man  now  started  off  to  see  the  world.  He  came 
to  the  top  of  a  hill,  where  there  were  three  beasts,  a  lion,  an  eagle, 
and  an  ant,  trying  to  agree,  but  in  vain,  about  the  division  of  a 
carcase.  He  said  he  would  divide  it  for  them,  and  gave  the  bones 
to  the  lion,  the  lean  to  the  eagle,  and  the  fat  to  the  ant.  In  return 
for  this  service  they  asked  him  what  gifts  he  desired.  He  said  he 
wanted  nothing,  but  they  insisted,  and  the  lion  gave  him  his 
strength,  the  eagle  his  swiftness,  and  the  ant  the  power  of  burrow- 
ing. He  went  on  his  way,  and  came  to  a  sheepfold  where  all  the 
shepherds  save  one  were  mutilated  in  some  way.  One  had  his 
nose  cut  off,  another  an  ear,  and  so  on.  He  asked  them  why 
they  had  been  thus  cruelly  used,  and  they  told  him  :  "  The  king's 
daughter  in  the  town  near  wishes  to  have  her  milk  brought  her 
every  morning  with  the  froth  on  it,  and  because  we  cannot  do 
this  she  has  so  mutilated  us.     We  have  all  tried  save  this  our 

VOL.   XI.  I 

114  Miscellanea. 

companion,  and  it  is  his  turn  to-morrow."  "Let  me  take  his 
place,"  said  the  young  man,  and  they  consented.  Next  morning 
he  took  the  milk,  and  called  to  the  eagle,  and  found  himself  in  a 
moment  at  the  palace.  The  princess  was,  you  may  be  sure,  very 
pleased,  and  gave  him  a  handsome  present.  This  went  on  for  some 
days,  and  he  began  to  grow  fond  of  the  princess,  and  one  night  he 
called  on  the  eagle,  and  found  himself  in  her  bedchamber,  where 
she  lay  asleep,  with  a  candle  at  her  head  and  a  candle  at  her  feet, 
and  a  glass  of  sherbet  and  an  apple  on  the  table  at  her  bedside. 
He  ate  the  apple  and  drank  the  sherbet,  and  lay  down  by  the 
princess's  side  and  kissed  her.  "  A  man  !  a  man  ! "  shouted  the 
princess,  and  everybody  in  the  palace  came  running  to  see  what 
was  the  matter.  But  he  had  called  on  the  ant,  and  disappeared 
by  burrowing  through  the  floor.  So  they  quieted  her,  and  per- 
suaded her  it  was  fancy.  Next  night  the  same  thing  happened, 
and  this  time  the  king  was  very  angry,  and  told  his  daughter  if 
there  was  any  more  of  this  nonsense  he  would  cut  her  head  off. 
On  the  following  night  the  princess  put  hooks  in  her  hands,  and 
when  she  felt  herself  kissed,  instead  of  calling  out,  said :  "  Let  me 
stroke  your  face,"  but  instead  of  stroking  it  she  scratched  it  all 
over.  Calling  on  the  ant,  the  young  man  disappeared,  and  next 
morning  he  told  the  shepherds  that  he  could  no  longer  take  the 
milk.  But  they  promised  him  half  their  flocks,  and  begged  and 
entreated  him  so  hard  that  he  had  to  give  in,  and  off  he  went  with 
the  milk.  Of  course  the  princess  knew  at  once,  when  she  saw  his 
face,  that  it  was  he  who  had  visited  her  at  night :  but  he  was  a 
handsome  fellow,  and  she  was  not  so  very  angry. 

Now  it  happened  that  the  king,  her  father,  had  just  of  late  been 
telling  her  that  it  was  time  for  her  to  choose  a  husband,  and  the 
fisherman's  son  bade  her  say  that  she  would  have  no  one  but  him 
who  could  move  a  huge  marble  block  which  lay  in  the  courtyard 
of  the  palace.  The  king  sent  out  his  heralds  to  cry  that  whoever 
could  move  this  block  would  have  his  daughter  to  wife.  Many 
suitors  tried  in  vain ;  then  came  the  shepherd  lad,  and  calling  on 
the  lion,  took  up  the  great  stone,  and  threw  it  as  far  as  from  here 
to  the  Makrb  Yialb,  The  princess  threw  an  apple  at  him,  and 
they  were  married. 

After  a  while  the  king  had  to  go  to  war.  He  was  getting 
old,  and  one  day  he  said  to  his  daughter :  "  Ah,  that  I  had  a 
soldier  for  a  son-in-law,  who  could  lead  my  armies,  and  not  this 

Miscellanea.  115 

shepherd"  The  princess  begged  him  to  let  her  husband  try 
his  fortune,  and  the  king  at  length  consented.  The  fisherman's 
son  knew  that  he  had  been  promised  to  the  beast,  and  that  it 
would  still  claim  him  if  he  passed  its  haunt  So  before  starting 
he  gave  his  wife  three  pinks,  and  told  her  that  as  long  as  they 
lived  he  was  safe,  but  if  they  faded  she  was  to  know  he  had  been 
eaten.  He  then  bade  her  good-bye,  and  went  off  to  the  war,  where 
he  conquered  all  his  enemies  by  the  help  of  the  lion.  The  time 
of  his  return  was  drawing  nigh,  when  one  day  the  princess  saw 
the  pinks  withered,  and  she  knew  what  had  befallen  her  husband. 
She  built  herself  a  house  on  the  seashore,  just  where  the  monster 
lived.  One  day  she  went  down  to  the  beach  and  began  pla)ring 
with  an  apple.  In  a  little  while  the  beast  appeared  and  said : 
"  Give  me  that  apple  for  a  pretty  youth  who  is  inside  me."  "  Let 
him  put  his  head  out  and  I  will,"  said  the  princess,  and  when  her 
husband  put  his  head  out  of  the  beast's  jaws  she  threw  the  apple 
to  him.  Next  day  she  went  again  playing  with  an  apple,  and  the 
beast  again  asked  her  for  it  for  the  youth  inside  him.  "  Let  him 
come  half  out,"  said  the  princess,  and  the  beast  allowed  it,  and 
she  again  threw  the  apple.  Next  day  it  was :  "  Let  him  come  and 
stand  on  your  back,"  and  when  the  beast  allowed  this  too,  and 
her  husband  stood  on  its  back,  the  princess  said  :  "  Now  fly  ! " 
and  calling  on  the  eagle  he  flew  into  her  arms,  and  they  went 
back  and  lived  happily  ever  afterwards.^ 

VL  The  Eagle. 

Once  upon  a  time  there  was  a  king  who  had  one  daughter. 
He  kept  her  shut  up  in  a  glass  chamber,  and  one  day  as  she  was 
playing  at  ball  with  her  waiting-women  one  of  the  balls  broke  the 
glass,  and  an  eagle  flew  in  and  kissed  her  and  flew  out  again. 
The  princess  ran  away  and  went  to  seek  her  lover.  After  walking 
a  long  way  she  came  to  a  little  house  in  a  wood.  She  said :  "  In 
God's  name  I  will  go  in,  and  if  they  are  Christians  they  will  take 
pity  on  me."  Inside  was  an  ogress.  "Here  is  a  nice  morsel  come 
just  when  I  wanted  it,"  said  the  ogress.     "  I  have  finished  my 

»  According  to  a  tradition,  known  only,  I  think,  from  a  vase-painting,  the 
dragon  that  guarded  the  golden  fleece  swallowed  Jason,  and  only  gave  him  up 
by  the  force  of  Medea's  enchantments. 

I  2 

ii6  Miscellanea. 

servant  and  feel  hungry.  I  will  first  set  you  three  tasks,  and 
if  you  can't  perform  them,  then  I  will  eat  you.  To-morrow  I  am 
going  out  hunting,  and  when  I  come  back  I  want  to  find  the  house 
swept  and  unswept."  Next  day  when  the  princess  was  left  alone 
she  sat  down  and  began  to  cry,  and,  as  she  cried,  the  eagle  stood 
before  her  and  asked  her :  "What  are  you  crying  for,  my  child ?  " 
She  told  him,  and  he  said :  "  Give  me  a  kiss  and  I  will  tell  you 
what  to  do."  "  He  who  kissed  me  first  is  far  away,"  said  the  prin- 
cess, and  refused  \  but  the  eagle  had  compassion  on  her,  she  was 
crjring  so  bitterly,  and  told  her :  "  Sweep  all  the  rooms  and  make 
little  heaps  of  the  sweepings,  and  if  she  say  to  you,  *  Your  mother 
is  a  witch  and  your  sire  a  wizard,  or  my  son  Kakothanatos  told 
you,'  then  you  must  reply,  *My  mother  is  no  witch  and  my  father 
no  wizard,  nor  did  your  son  Kalothanatos  tell  me,'  but  mind  not 
to  say  Kakothanatos,  for  then  she  will  eat  you."  The  princess  did 
as  the  eagle  told  her.  Next  day  the  ogress  said :  "  I  am  going 
out  hunting,  and  when  I  come  back  I  must  find  the  meat  cooked 
and  uncooked."  Again  the  girl  sat  down  and  cried,  and  the  eagle 
stood  before  her  and  asked  for  a  kiss  if  she  would  have  him  tell 
her  what  to  do.  But  she  was  constant  in  her  refusal,  and  the  eagle, 
taking  pity  on  her,  told  her :  "  Put  on  half  the  meat  to  boil  at  once, 
and  when  you  see  her  coming  throw  the  other  half  in.  She  will 
say  the  same  thing  to  you  again,  and  you  must  reply  in  the  same 
way."  So  all  went  well,  and  on  the  third  day  the  ogress  gave  the 
girl  a  mattress  and  bade  her  fill  it  with  feathers  from  the  sea.  When 
the  eagle  appeared  and  again  asked  for  a  kiss,  she  still  replied : 
"  No,  no,  he  who  kissed  me  is  far  away."  Then  the  eagle  told 
her :  "  Take  the  mattress  down  to  the  sea  and  call  to  the  birds, 
*  Our  fiapyipovrdKis  is  dead,'  and  in  their  mourning  they  mU  shed 
their  feathers.  Then  quick,  quick,  fill  the  mattress,  and  when  the 
ogress  comes  home  she  will  say  the  same  thing  to  you  again,  and 
you  must  answer  as  I  told  you." 

[Here  on  telling  the  story  a  second  time  the  narratrix  inserted 
a  fourth  task,  to  separate  all  the  ears  of  wheat  and  barley,  &c., 
which  were  lying  mixed  in  the  ogress's  house.  The  eagle  told  the 
princess  to  go  and  call  the  birds  and  tell  them  that  fiapytpovraKis 
had  come  to  life,  and  out  of  joy  and  gratitude  they  would  perform 
the  task.] 

So  it  befell,  and  the  ogress  could  not  eat  the  princess.  But  she 
sent  her  on  a  message  to  another  ogress,  her  sister,  to  ask  for 

Miscellanea.  1 1 7 

toumpdna  troumdna  and  the  khartoproumvdna,  and  made  sure  that 
her  sister  would  eat  her.  The  princess  went  on  her  errand  be- 
moaning her  fate.  "  So  my  life  is  lost,  and  lost  in  vain.  Far 
better  had  I  got  rest  from  trouble  sooner."  But  as  she  wept,  there 
was  the  eagle,  and  he  spoke  to  her  and  said  :  "  Know  that  I  am 
the  son  of  the  ogress,  and  that  it  was  I  who  first  kissed  you.  You 
have  been  constant  throughout,  and  I  will  tell  you  how  to  get 
those  things  my  mother  sent  you  to  fetch.  Under  the  staircase 
in  her  sister's  house  is  a  box.  Pick  it  up  and  run  away  with  it, 
but  mind  you  don't  open  it."  When  she  came  to  the  house  the 
princess  saw  it  was  unswept  and  went  to  work  and  swept  it,  and 
then  taking  up  the  box  she  ran  back.  But  on  the  way  curiosity 
overcame  her,  and  she  opened  it,  and  all  the  little  devils  in  it 
escaped.  Then  she  began  to  cry,  again  and  again  saying :  "  How 
can  I  take  the  box  empty  to  the  ogress?  "  But  the  eagle  appeared 
and  whistled  and  brought  the  devils  back,  and  shut  them  up  safely 
in  the  box.  "  Now,"  he  said,  "  go  back  to  my  mother,  she  is 
tired  of  tormenting  you.  She  will  say,  *  Come,  my  child,  to 
your  mother,  what  do  you  want  me  to  give  you  ? '  and  she  will 
force  you  to  accept  something  from  her  house.  I  will  be  turned 
into  a  jackdaw,  and  I  will  be  sitting  on  a  stool  making  a  mess. 
Don't  ask  for  anything  else,  but  say,  *Give  me  that  dirty  jackdaw,' 
and  she  will  say,  *  The  nasty  bird,  take  it,'  and  when  you  have  me, 
take  leave  of  her."  So  the  princess  did ;  and  when  she  took  the 
jackdaw  away  with  her,  it  turned  into  a  beautiful  young  prince,  and 
they  went  home  to  her  father's  city  and  were  married,  and  I  wish 
I  had  been  there. 

VII.  The  Spanbs  and  the  Ogres, 

There  was  a  beardless  man  (enravos)  who  had  two  tame  hares. 
One  day  he  went  out  for  a  walk  and  took  one  of  the  hares  with 
him,  and  all  of  a  sudden  he  met  forty  ogres.  "  Here's  a  nice 
morsel,"  ^  said  the  ogres.  But  he  said :  "  You  had  better  take 
care ;  I  will  send  my  hare  for  my  servants."  "  What,"  said  the 
ogres,  "  can  your  hare  go  and  bring  your  servants  ?  "  "  Of  course 
he  can,"  said  the  beardless  man ;  "  he  is  a  most  intelligent  animal, 

'  Meriy  which  more  or  less  precisely  corresponds  to  the  hors  d^ctuvre  of 

1 1 8  Miscettaned. 

and  does  all  my  shopping  and  all  my  messages  for  me."  "  Really !  '* 
said  the  ogres ;  "  won't  you  sell  him  to  us  ?  "  "  Certainly  not," 
said  the  man.  But  after  much  entreaty  he  consented  to  part  with 
the  hare  for  three  hundred  piastres. 

The  ogres  took  the  hare  home  and  left  him  with  their  cook,  who 
was  one  of  themselves,  and  when  they  went  to  work  told  him  to 
send  the  hare  to  them  to  say  when  dinner  was  ready.  Their 
brother,  the  cook,  when  he  was  nearly  ready  to  serve,  strictly  charged 
and  dismissed  the  hare  j  but  the  hare  took  to  her  heels,  and  is 
running  still.  The  ogres  waited  and  waited,  but  they  got  no 
news  of  their  dinner,  and  came  home  at  nightfall,  and  swore  to  be 
revenged  on  the  beardless  man.  They  went  to  his  house  next 
day,  and  told  him  they  must  eat  him ;  but  he  asked :  "  Why  ? 
You  didn't  tell  the  hare  distinctly  enough  where  to  go,  and  here 
he  is ;  he  has  come  home  to  his  master,"  and  he  introduced  to 
them  the  other  hare,  which  was  just  like  its  fellow,  and  said : 
"  Take  him  back  and  speak  to  him  more  clearly."  This  time  the 
ogres'  cook  spoke  most  distinctly  to  the  hare,  and  told  him  on  no 
account  to  forget  the  message  and  go  to  his  old  home  again. 
But  the  hare  ran  merrily  away  over  the  hills;  and  the  ogres 
never  heard  that  dinner  was  ready,  and  went  on  working  till  it 
grew  dark. 

Now  they  swore  more  solemnly  than  before  to  be  revenged  on 
the  Span6s,  and  started  off  for  his  house.  He  had  wrapped  his 
wife  up  in  the  guts  of  a  dead  beast  and  made  her  lie  on  the  floor ; 
and  when  the  ogres  came  to  his  house  he  took  up  his  flute  and 
began  to  play.  Up  got  his  wife  the  moment  she  heard  the  flute ; 
and  the  ogres  stood  by  in  astonishment,  and  asked  him  :  "  What 
is  the  meaning  of  this  ?  "  "  Oh,"  he  said,  "  I  often  quarrel  with 
my  wife  and  kill  her ;  but  I  have  only  to  play  a  tune  on  this  flute 
and  she  comes  to  life  again."  "  Really!"  said  the  ogres j  and  after 
much  haggling  they  got  him  to  sell  the  flute  for  three  thousand 
piastres ;  and  they  all  went  back  and  killed  their  wives,  and  began 
playing  on  the  flute.  But  never  one  of  their  wives  came  to  life 

Then  they  swore  a  still  more  terrible  oath  to  be  revenged,  and 
agreed  that,  as  one  would  not  go  far  among  forty,  they  would  not 
eat  the  Span6s,  but  hang  him.  When  they  came  to  his  house 
and  told  him  their  decision,  he  said:  "Well,  if  I  am  to  be 
hanged,  I  am  to  be  hanged  j  only  let  me  ride  on  my  donkey  to 

Miscellanea.  119 

the  hanging-place,"  and  this  they  allowed.  When  they  came  to 
the  tree  on  which  he  was  to  be  hanged,  he  tied  the  donkey  to  it, 
and  the  donkey  did  as  donkeys  will  do.  The  beardless  man 
had  brought  four  gold  coins  with  him,  and  he  rushed  behind  the 
donkey  and  sat  down  and  scraped  and  produced  the  coins. 
** Hullo!"  said  the  ogres;  "where  did  you  get  those  from?" 
"Oh,"  said  the  beardless  man,  "it  is  only  the  habit  of  my 
donkey.  We  know  no  want ;  he  stales  gold  pieces  all  day  long." 
"  Give  him  to  us,"  said  the  ogres,  "  and  we  won't  hang  yoti."  And 
so  he  gave  them  the  donkey,  and  told  them  to  shut  it  up  in  the 
byre  and  give  it  as  much  corn  and  water  as  it  could  eat,  and 
there  would  be  all  the  more  gold.  So  the  ogres  took  the  donkey, 
and  gave  it  so  much  corn  and  water  that  it  burst  and  fell  down 
dead  against  the  door  of  the  byre.  When  they  came  in  the 
morning,  they  could  not  open  the  door,  and  they  said  :  "  This  is 
fine ;  the  whole  byre  is  full  of  gold."  And  when  they  pushed  the 
door  open  a  httle  and  saw  the  glint  of  the  donkey's  shoes,  they 
cheered  in  chorus.  But  when  they  entered,  they  swore  with  a 
much  mightier  oath  to  be  revenged  on  the  beardless  man ;  and 
they  went  and  caught  him,  and  this  time  they  told  him  they  had 
resolved  to  put  him  in  a  sack  and  drown  him,  as  hanging  was  too 
good  for  him.  He  said :  "  I  deserve  it ;  but  hang  me  up  first 
on  a  tree,  and  go  right  away  while  I  confess  my  sins."  They  did 
so,  and  he  began  to  call  out:  "  No,  I  won't  marry  the  princess ;  I 
won't ! "  There  was  a  shepherd  near,  feeding  his  flocks,  and  he 
heard  the  cries,  and  came  and  asked  :  "  What  is  all  this  about  ?  " 
"  They  will  make  me  marry  the  princess,"  said  the  beardless  man, 
and  I  don't  want  to,  and  they  have  hung  me  up  here  because  of 
that."  "Why,"  said  the  shepherd,  "you  don't  want  to  marry 
the  princess  ?  I  would,  if  I  could."  And  he  readily  changed  places 
with  the  beardless  man,  and  the  ogres  came  back  and  took  him, 
and  drowned  him. 

On  their  way  home  they  found  the  beardless  man  peacefully 
feeding  his  flock,  and  they  were  somewhat  astonished.  "  There 
are  only  sheep  in  that  shallow  place  where  you  threw  me,"  he 
said.  "  If  you  go  deeper  you  will  find  oxen."  So  the  whole  band 
of  ogres  ran  off"  and  threw  themselves  into  the  deep  water  and 
were  drowned ;  and  the  beardless  man  went  and  fotmd  their 
treasure-house,  and  took  all  their  treasure. 

W.  R.  Paton. 

I20  Miscellanea. 

Medical  Superstition  in  Cyprus. 
[The  following  official  notes  of  a  trial  in  the  District  Court  of 
Larnaca,  on  the  27  th  October  last,  have  been  kindly  forwarded 
by  Mr.  Andrew  Lang,  who  received  them  from  Professor  Ritchie, 
of  St.  Andrew's,  by  whose  permission  they  are  printed.  They  are 
of  interest  as  illustrating  an  ancient  superstition  referred  to  in  Mr. 
Rouse's  paper  on  "  Folklore  from  the  Southern  Sporades,"  Folk- 
Lore^  vol.  x.  pp.  156  sqq^ 

In  the  District  Court  of  Larnaca.     1899.    No.  141. 
Before  Th.  W.  Haycraft,  Esq.,  P.D.C. 
Vassili  Papakyriaco,  of  Tochni         .        .        .    Plaintiff. 


Haralampi  H.  Rafail,  of  Tochni     .        .        .     Defendant. 

Date  of  Writ  of  Summons,  25  July,  1899. 
Claim  that  the  Defendant  either  deliver  a  Snake's  Horn,  lent 
by  the  Plaintiff  on  27  th  April,  1899,  or  the  payment  of 
;^8o,  the  value  thereof,  and  costs. 

Sitting  of  the  19th  September,  1899. 
Settlement  of  Issues. 
Plaintiff  in  person. 
Mr.  Efthymiades  for  Defendant. 

Plaintiff  says:  On  27th  April  (O.S.)  I  lent  to  Defendant  a 
horn,  under  a  condition  that  he  would  return  it  next  day,  if  not, 
or  if  it  was  lost,  he  would  compensate  me.  We  did  not  mention 
the  amount.  The  value  is  ;^8o.  He  has  not  returned  it,  and 
when  I  ask  for  it  he  says,  "  They  have  lost  it." 

Defendant  says :  I  admit  having  received  the  horn,  and  that 
it  was  lost  in  our  hands.  I  say  its  value  is  not  more  than  los., 
which  sum  we  have  offered  him  and  he  has  refused.  We  are 
willing  at  any  moment  to  give  him  the  los.,  if  he  will  take  it. 

Is  the  sum  of  los.  sufficient  compensation  as  the  value  of  the 
horn  lent  to  the  Defendant  by  the  Plaintiff  and  lost  by  the 
Defendant  ? 

(Signed)        Th.  W.  Haycraft,  P.D.C. 

Hearing  fixed  in  presence  of  Plaintiff  for  the  26th  October, 
1899,  9  a.m. 

(Signed)         W.  A.  Dandolo,  A.R.D.C. 


Miscellanea.  121 

In  the  District  Court  of  Larnaca. 
Full  Court. 
27th  October,  1899. 
Vassili  Papakyriaco 


Haralampo  H.  Rafail, 

Plaintiff  in  person. 

Mr.  Efthymiades  for  Defendant. 

Vassali  Papakyriaco  (sworn) :  The  value  of  horn  was  this : 
If  a  man  or  a  beast  was  bitten  by  a  snake,  people  came  to  me, 
and  I  put  my  horn  in  a  glass  of  water.  After  it  was  taken  out 
I  washed  the  wound  with  that  water.  After  that,  the  wound 
would  heal  and  the  man  get  all  right  I  only  did  this  for  charity, 
and  do  not  say  that  I  made  any  profit  out  of  it.  Si  quis  coire 
cum  uxore  non  posset,  potandam  ei  dedi  aquam  in  qua  cornu 
illud  positum  erat,  et  continuo  potuit  It  was  given  the  Defen- 
dant for  a  purpose  of  this  kind.  This  Defendant  was  Artemis' 
best  man  at  the  marriage.  The  marriage  took  place  on  a  Sun- 
day or  Tuesday  night.  Defendant  came  to  me  and  told  me  that 
his  cumbaros^  Artemis  was  tied  up  (meaning  that  he  was  pre- 
vented by  the  Devil  from  performing  his  conjugal  duties).  He 
came  and  asked  me  to  give  him  my  horn,  and  I  gave  it  to  him. 

Now  this  horn  is  small,  something  about  three-quarters  of  an 
inch  long.     As  thin  as  that  (  I     I.     It  is  hollow.    One 

day,  about  eleven  years  ago,  I  was  clearing  bushes  in  my  land, 
when  a  boy  named  Nicola  came  and  told  me  he  was  going  to 
untie  his  mule  when  he  saw  a  great  snake  and  dare  not  take  it 
away.  He  took  me  to  the  place  and  showed  me  in  a  hollow  in 
the  ground  a  snake.  It  was  rolled  round.  I  had  a  pickaxe  with 
me,  and  I  killed  it.  I  cut  off  its  head.  The  head  was  severed 
with  a  small  piece  of  the  body  and  it  walked.  As  she  walked  she 
moved  upwards  a  thin  horn  just  above  the  right  eye.  I  went  up 
to  the  snake,  pressed  the  head  to  the  groimd  with  the  axe,  and 
seized  the  little  horn  and  pulled  it  out.  It  was  stuck  in  just 
above  the  right  eyelid.    When  she  lay  down,  the  horn  lay  down ; 

*  Cumharos  or  Cumparos  (from  the  Italian  compare)  =  Brother  by  the  cere- 
mony of  adoption,  or  one  related  by  the  ecclesiastical  tie  of  sponsorship.  One 
standing  in  this  relation  is  usually  the  '*  best  man"  at  his  adopted  brother's 
wedding.  Hence  the  term  is  used  of  "best  man  "simply.  Reference  may 
perhaps  be  permitted  to  The  Legend  of  Perseus ^  voL  iL  p.  363. — Ed. 

I2i  Miscellanea. 

when  she  moved  about,  the  horn  moved  upwards  and  stood  out. 
It  was  a  little  white  horn  with  a  black  spot  on  the  top.  It  was 
thinner  towards  the  top.  As  I  pulled  it  out,  the  whole  came  out ; 
and  a  little  part  that  stuck  into  the  head  was  like  a  little  spoon. 
From  the  middle  downwards  it  was  straight,  but  from  the  middle 
upwards  it  was  crooked.  I  took  home  the  horn  and  kept  it  as  a 
curiosity.  Some  years  afterwards,  about  a  year  afterwards,  it 
happened  that  one  of  my  cows  was  bitten  by  a  snake  in  the  face 
as  it  was  grazing  in  the  field.  The  face  swelled,  and  the  animal 
was  going  to  die.  Then  I  thought  of  the  snake,  and  an  inspira- 
tion, which  I  supposed  was  inspiration  from  God,  came  to  me ; 
and  I  took  the  horn  and  put  it  in  some  water  and  sprinkled  some 
of  the  water  on  the  wound  in  the  presence  of  fifteen  women  who 
were  there  watching  me.  I  left  the  animal  there,  thinking  it  would 
be  dead  before  next  morning.  When  I  got  up  next  morning,  I 
found  the  animal  all  right. 

Some  time  after  that,  Konstandinos  Hajji  Micha'il's  animal  was 
bitten  by  a  snake,  and  I  tried  my  horn  in  the  same  way,  and  the 
animal  was  saved.  Some  time  after,  another,  Konstandi  Michaili 
Bishkli,  was  married.  My  brother  Konstandi  happened  to  be 
best  man.  Certiorem  me  fecit  amicum  [cumparos]  suum  de- 
vinctum  esse  quominus  coiret  cum  nupta.  "At,"  inquam, 
"  comu  illud  utile  est  viperino  morsui,  baud  scio  an  idem  utile 
futurum  sit  isti."  Qui  mox  cum  ad  me  venisset,  petiit  ut  cornu 
illud  sibi  commodarem  :  concessi.  Mane  ecce  currit  ad  me  alter, 
affirmat  lepide  fecisse  cum  uxore  amicum  [cumbaros]  suum. 
The  same  thing  occurred  to  the  son  of  Michaili  Hajji  Dimitri  at 
Psevmatismdno,  and  the  father  asked  me  for  it,  and  it  worked 
even  in  a  strange  village,  -and  the  father  came  and  told  me  that 
his  son  was  loosed.  Later  on  I  loosened  a  pair  at  Maroni.  That 
time  I  put  the  horn  in  the  water,  and  only  sent  the  water. 

In  this  particular  case,  Defendant  was  the  cumbaros  of  Mr. 
Artemis,  and  he  came  and  asked  for  it  I  offered  him  the  water, 
but  he  said  he  would  rather  have  the  horn,  and  said  he  would  pay 
me  for  it  if  he  lost  it.  Being  Mouktar  and  a  notable  man,  I  gave 
it  to  him.  The  effect  was  successful  on  Mr.  Artemis  as  on  others. 
When  I  asked  Defendant  for  it,  he  said  he  could  not  give  it  back 
because  the  bridegroom  had  lost  it.  I  then  asked  the  bridegroom, 
and  he  said  he  had  lost  it.  I  could  not  get  it  back.  I  am  a 
farmer  of  Tochni,  and  have  a  family.    I  am  not  in  want  and  have 

Miscellanea.  123 

enough  money  to  keep  myself  and  family,  and  do  not  want  to  earn 
money  by  my  horn.     I  think  it  is  worth  ;^200. 

By  Court :  An  unprincipled  man  who  wished  to  make  a  profit 
out  of  it  would  get  5s.  or  los.  a  time  for  the  loan  of  it,  according 
to  the  condition  of  the  parties. 

Cross-examined  by  Mr.  Efthymiades  :  I  said  I  had  it  in  my 
possession  for  ten  or  twelve  years.  I  have  cured  four  men  and 
two  animals  during  this  time.  As  to  the  animals,  I  saw  they  were 
cured.  They  were  swollen.  I  did  not  fix  a  sum  to  be  paid  in 
case  the  horn  was  lost. 

I  never  heard  that  my  father  dealt  in  witchcraft,  tying  up,  and 
loosening  people.  I  have  been  offered  los.  by  the  village  school- 
master. This  was  a  precious  thing  to  me,  which  I  might  have  left 
to  my  children. 

By  Court :  When  I  first  took  it  out,  there  was  a  little  thing  like 
the  horn  of  a  snail  in  the  end  of  it,  but  that  afterwards  disappeared 
and  left  only  a  little  mark.  I  have  heard  there  is  such  a  thing  in 
Cyprus  as  a  snake  with  a  horn,  but  I  have  never  found  one.  I 
took  care  to  draw  out  the  horn  before  smashing  the  head. 

KosTANDi  Hajji  Michail  (swom) :  I  am  a  farmer  of  Tochni. 
Three  years  ago,  my  she-donkey  was  bitten  by  a  snake  on  the  jaw, 
which  swelled.  The  neck  was  also  swollen.  I  took  it  to  the 
Plaintiff,  who  brought  out  his  snake's  horn.  We  put  it  in  a 
glass  of  water,  and  gave  the  water  to  the  donkey  to  drink.  This 
was  in  the  evening,  and  next  morning  the  swelling  ceased  and  the 
animal  was  all  right.  I  saw  the  horn  myself.  The  donkey  is  here 
in  the  town.  I  rode  down  on  it  to-day.  Plaintiff  and  I  are 
first  cousins.  The  Defendant  is  my  brother-in-law.  We  are 
all  relations  in  Tochni. 

Cross-examined:  I  was  never  present  when  any  other  animal 
was  cured.  I  know  my  animal  was  bitten  by  a  snake,  because  I 
saw  the  snake.  It  was  a  real  Kov^pri  of  a  good  stock.  No  one 
else  saw  it.  I  killed  the  snake.  I  saw  my  donkey  going  round 
and  round,  and  I  went  up  and  found  a  snake.  The  kovi^ti  had 
no  horn. 

KosTANDi  Papa  Kvriaco  (sworn) :  I  was  Kostandi  Dishkli's 
best  man  (cumbaros)  when  he  was  married.  The  wedding  took 
place  on  a  Sunday.  On  a  Monday  I  went  as  best  man  to  visit 
the  groom.  Affirmavit  mihi  se  esse  devinctum  quominus  cum 
nupta  coiret.      I  thought  of  Vassili  and  of  his  snake's  horn, 

1 24  Miscellanea. 

which  had  the  effect  of  loosening  tied  men.  I  went  to  Vassili, 
and  got  some  water  from  him.  He  washed  the  snake's  horn 
in  the  tumbler,  and  gave  me  the  water.  I  took  the  water  to  the 
bridegroom,  and  gave  it  to  him.  On  Tuesday  morning  I  went  to 
ask  for  news,  and  the  groom  told  me  he  was  loosed.  I  don't 
know  in  what  way  he  used  the  water.     He  is  now  dead. 

Cross-examined:  I  took  my  kumbaros'  word  for  the  facts.  I 
did  not  examine  the  bride.  I  never  used  the  horn  myself.  The 
Plaintiff  is  my  brother.  He  did  not  charge  me  anything  for 
the  water. 

Case  for  Plaintiff, 

Haralampo  Hajji  Rafail  (sworn):  I  had  from  Defendant 
\siCy  sc.  Plaintiff]  the  snake's  horn.  He  first  said :  "  I  will  give 
you  some  water,  because  if  you  take  the  horn  you  will  lose  it." 
I  said :  "  No.  Give  me  the  horn,  and  if  I  lose  it  I  will  pay  for 
it."  He  did  not  tell  me  how  much  it  was  worth.  I  took  it,  pro- 
mising to  bring  it  back.  If  he  had  told  me  it  was  worth  ;^8o, 
I  should  not  have  taken  it.  I  asked  the  schoolmaster  to  offer 
Plaintiff  los.  for  it.  The  horn  was  lost.  I  hear  that  Plaintiff 
has  some  ill-feeling  against  me.  I  have  none  against  him.  I 
would  not  give  los.  for  it. 

Cross-examined:  I  took  the  horn  to  the  schoolmaster  Artemis. 
The  schoolmaster  had  been  married,  and  was  tied  up ;  and  it  was 
said  Vassili's  horn  was  most  effectual  in  these  cases.  That  was 
why  I  borrowed  it  from  Vassilis.  It  was  on  a  Tuesday  I  gave  it 
to  him,  and  I  did  not  go  and  ask  for  it  till  the  following  Sunday. 
I  had  to  go  reaping  next  day.  On  Sunday  I  went  to  schoolmaster 
and  asked  him  for  the  horn.  He  said  he  had  left  it  on  the  table 
an,*  it  was  lost     I  feel  sure  it  has  been  lost. 

Artemis  Alamides  (sworn) :  I  am  the  schoolmaster  of  Tochni. 
I  received  from  Defendant  a  little  horn.  The  Defendant 
gave  it  to  me  and  he  said :  "  It  does  good  in  cases  when  people 
are  tied  up."  It  was  a  little  thing  as  big  as  a  match.  I  took  it, 
laughed  at  it,  and  put  it  on  the  table  during  the  night  I  do  not 
believe  in  its  magical  force.  I  should  not  be  a  schoolmaster  if 
I  did.  I  try  to  eradicate  such  feelings  amongst  the  peasants. 
Five  c*  six. days  after,  Plaintiff  came  and  asked  for  it,  but  we 
didlwJt  findAit  at  its  place.     I  offered  him  los.  to  settle  the 

Miscellanea.  125 

matter.  He  wanted  ;^8o.  He  said :  "  I  make  my  claim  against 
Haralampo,  who  is  an  enemy  of  mine,  and  I  want  to  take  my 

By  Court:  I  took  it,  and  gave  it  [to]  my  wife  to  keep.  She 
wrapped  it  up  in  a  piece  of  paper  and  put  it  on  the  table.  The 
paper  was  afterwards  found  on  the  ground,  but  the  horn  was  not 
in  it  My  kumbaros  brought  it  to  me  in  the  night,  and  I  did 
not  like  to  hurt  his  feelings  by  refusing  it. 

I  was  married  in  April  last.  I  was  married  on  Sunday,  and 
received  the  horn  on  Tuesday.  I  did  not  ask  for  it  My 
kumbaros  told  me  it  was  a  snake's  horn,  and  told  me  its  effects. 
I  did  not  know  whose  it  was.  Haralampo  asked  me  to  take  care 
of  it  My  wife  saw  it,  and  I  told  her  what  it  was.  I  left  it  on  the 
bedroom-table.  I  swear  I  made  no  use  of  it  Plaintiflf  and 
Defendant  are  not  on  bad  terms.  Plaintiflf  only  complained 
of  Defendant  that  he  had  spoken  ill  of  him  to  the  police.  I 
never  heard  of  the  horn  when  I  was  married. 

Mr.  Efthvmiades  says  the  thing  is  valueless. 

Judgment  for  Plaintiff. 

Return  of  the  horn  within  21  days,  or  jQ6  damages.     Costs 
£1  13s.  od. 

(Signed)        Th.  W.  Havcraft,  P.D.C. 

Certified  to  be  a  true  copy. 

W.  A.  Dandolo,  A.R.D.C. 
Lamaca^  November  11 M,  1899. 

Exposition  Universelle  (Paris)  de  1900. 

The  Congres  International  d'Histoire  des  Religions,  intended 
to  be  held  in  connection  with  the  Exhibition  at  Paris  from  the 
3rd  to  the  9th  September  next,  was  announced  in  Folk-Lore  for 

126  Miscellanea, 

September  last.  On  the  loth,  nth,  and  12th  September  will  be 
held  a  Folklore  Congress  (Congr^s  des  Traditions  Populaires). 
It  will  be  divided  into  two  sections  : 

I.  Oral  literature  and  popular  art* 
II.  Traditional  ethnography. 

Under  the  former  section  will  be  treated  the  origin,  evolution,  and 
transmission  of  tales  and  songs ;  the  folk-theatre  and  its  relations 
ancient  and  modern  with  the  literary  theatre;  the  origin  and 
evolution  of  traditional  iconography,  and  its  relations  with  classic 
art ;  the  origin  and  evolution  of  popular  costume  and  ornaments. 

The  latter  section  will  deal  with  survivals  in  modern  times  of 
birth,  marriage,  and  death  customs,  and  of  the  worship  of  animals, 
stones,  trees,  and  fountains ;  vestiges  of  ancient  local  cults  in  the 
worship  of  the  saints ;  popular  hagiography ;  folk- medicine  and 

The  programme,  which  also  includes  a  review  of  the  progress 
of  folklore  studies  since  the  last  Congress  at  Paris  in  1889,  has 
been  carefully  thought  out,  and  will  no  doubt  prove  of  very  great 
interest.  M.  Charles  Beauquier  will  preside,  while  the  eminent 
scholar,  M.  Gaston  Paris,  has  been  appointed  honorary  president. 
Full  details  of  the  arrangements  can  be  obtained  from  the  general 
secretary,  M.  Paul  S^billot,  80,  Boulevard  Saint-Marcel,  Paris. 
The  subscription  is  fixed  at  1 2  francs. 



All  English  books  are  published  in  London^  all  French  books  in 
FariSy  unless  otherwise  stated. 

Boas  (F.).  The  Mythology  of  the  Bella  Coola  Indians.  Memoirs 
of  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  vol.  ii.  Anthro- 
pology: The  Jesup  North  Pacific  Expedition.  1898.  4to. 
103  pp. 

Deniker  (J.).  The  Races  of  Man :  an  Outline  of  Anthropology 
and  Ethnography.  Walter  Scott,  Limited.  1900.  f.  8vo. 
xxiii.,  611  pp. 

Jenkins  (D.  E.).  Bedd  Gelert :  its  Facts,  Fairies,  and  Folklore. 
Port  Madoc :  Llewelyn  Jenkins.    1899.    f.  8vo.     xx.,  378  pp. 

Lang  (A.).  The  Homeric  Hymns.  A  New  Prose  Translation 
and  Essays,  Literary  and  Mythological.     George  Allen. 

NuTT  (A.).  Ossian  and  the  Ossianic  Literature.  D.  Nutt.  1899. 
61  pp. 

Petsch  (R.).  Neue  Beitrage  zur  Kenntniss  des  Volksratsels. 
Berlin  :  Mayer  &  Miiller.     1899.     8vo.     152  pp. 

S^BiLLOT  (P.).  La  Bretagne  Enchant^e :  Po&ies  sur  des  Thames 
Populaires.    J.  Maisonneuve.     284  pp. 

Spence  (J.).  Shetland  Folklore.  Lerwick:  Johnson  &  Greig. 
1899.     f.  8vo.     256  pp. 

Starr  (F.).  Catalogue  of  a  Collection  of  Objects  illustrating  the 
Folklore  of  Mexico.     Folk-Lore  Society.     1899.     8vo.     xv., 

132  pp. 

Weston  (J.  L.).     King  Arthur  and  his  Knights :  a  Survey  of  . 
Arthurian  Romance.     D.  Nutt     1899.     40  pp. 

Wilson  (T.)    Blue-beard :  a  Contribution  to  History  and  Folk- 
lore.    Being  the   History  of  Gilles  de  Retz  of  Brittanjj 
G.  P.  Putnam's  Sons.     1899.     8vo.     vii.,  212  pp. 

128  Bibliography. 


The  Contents  of  Periodicals  exclusively  devoted  to  Folklore 
are  not  noted. 

Fortnightly  Review,  January,  1900.    /.  G.  Frazer^  Suggestions 

as  to  the  Origin  of  Gender  in  Language. 
Journal   of    the   Anthropological    Institute,  N.S.,   ii,  1,  2. 

H.  F,  F  Marriott,  The  Secret  Societies  of  West  Africa. 

Le  Comte  C,  N.  de  Cardiy  Ju-ju  Laws  and  Customs  in  the 

Niger  Delta.     A,  L,  Bennett,  Ethnographical  Notes  on  the 

Fang.    R,  C  Temple,  The  Beginnings  of  Currency. 
Indian  Antiquary,  July,  1899.    M,  N.  Venketswami,  Folklore 

in   the  Central  Provinces  of  India.    November.    M.  R. 

Pedlow,  A  Folktale  from  Central  India. 
Transactions  of  the  Devonshire  Association,  1899.    F.  F  S, 

Amery,  Sixteenth  Report  of  the  Committee  on  Devonshire 

Folklore.     [Charms,  witchcraft,  blason  populaire,  &c.] 
Report  of  the  U.  S.  National  Museum  for  1897.  /.  D,  McGuire, 

Pipes  and  Smoking  Customs  of  the  American  Aborigines. 
Bevue  de  I'Histoire  des  Religions,  xl,  2.    E,  Blochet,  Etudes 

sur  THistoire  religieuse  de  PIran ;  ii.,  L' Ascension  au  ciel  du 

Proph^te  Mohammed. 
Globus,    Ixxiv,    8.    R.    Lasch,     Rache    als    Selbstmordmotiv. 

Izzv,  6.     R.   Lasch,     Religioser    Selbstmord    und    seine 

Beziehung  zum  Menschenopfer.    Ixxvi,  4.     R,  Lasch,  Die 

Behandlung  der  Leiche  des  Selbstmorders.    Ixxvii,  7.    R. 

Laschy  Der  Verbleibsorte  der  abgeschiedenen  Seelen   der 

Mittheilungen  der  Anthropologischen  Gesellsohaft  in  Wien, 

N.  P.,  18.    R.  Lasch,  Ueber  Geophagie. 

Zeitschrift  fiir  Sooialwissenschaft,  ii,  8,  9.     R,  Lasch,  Der 

Selbstmord    aus    erotischen    Motiven  bei  den   primitiven 

Volkern.     [All  these  articles  by   Dr.  Lasch  are  of  great 




Vol.  XL]  JUNE,  1900.  [No.  II. 


BY  M.   GASTBR,   PH.D. 

[Read  at  Meeting  of  March  15M,  1899.) 

The  collection  of   Rumanian   popular  charms,   made   by 
Marian,  begins  with  the  following : — 

Against  the  Cataract  :  George  got  up  early  and  got 
ready ;  left  the  house,  left  the  table,  went  on  the  road,  on 
the  pathway,  strong  and  beautiful,  pink  and  cheerful ;  but 
when  he  was  in  the  middle  of  the  road,  of  the  road  of  the 
pathway,  he  was  met  by  the  Windmaids  and  by  the 
*•  Beautiful,"  who  smote  him  in  the  face  and  hurled  him  to 
the  ground,  made  his  countenance  black,  covered  him  with 
dust,  put  the  Cataract  into  his  eyes,  and  left  him  without 
sight.  George  began  to  cry,  and  with  a  loud  voice  to 
lament.  The  loud  voice  went  up  to  Heaven  and  the  tears 
dropped  down  to  the  earth,  yet  no  one  saw  him,  no  one 
heard  him,  save  the  Holy  Virgin  (the  Mother  of  God)  from 
the  gate  of  Heaven ;  only  she  saw  him,  only  she  heard  him, 
and  she  called  him  by  his  name,  and  she  asked  him  thus : 
**  George,  why  do  you  cry?  Why  do  you  lament?  Why 
do  you  raise  your  voice,  a  voice  that  reaches  Heaven, 
whilst  the  tears  are  dropping  down  upon  the  earth  ? " 
"  How  should  I  not  cry  ?     And  how  should  I  not  lament 

*  V.  M.  Caster f  Li  Leratura  populara  rominS  Bucure^ti  1883,  pp.  394-416.; 
B.  P.  Hasdeuy  cuvente  den  B&tr&ni  II.  Bucore^ti  1879,  pp.  263-291.;  A,  N. 
Wesselofsky^  Razyskaniya  vu  oblasti  nisskihu  luhovnyhu  stihovu  VI.  Ls.  Phrobg 
1883,  pp.  40-53  ;  and  S,  FL  Mariani,  Descinhece  poporane  romftne,  ceniSuti 
1886,  pp.  1-5,  77-8o. 

VOL.  XI.  K 

130  Charm  against  the  Chtld-stealing  Witch. 

with  a  loud  voice  unto  Heaven,  and  with  tears  dropping 
down  upon  the  earth  ?  For  I  got  up  early  and  got  ready, 
left  the  house,  left  the  table,  went  on  the  road,  on  the  path- 
way, strong  and  beautiful,  pink  and  cheerful ;  but  when  I 
was  in  the  middle  of  the  road,  of  the  road  of  the  pathway, 
I  was  met  by  the  Windmaids  and  by  the  Beautiful,  who 
smote  me  in  the  face,  hurled  me  to  the  ground,  made  my 
countenance  black,  covered  me  with  dust,  put  the  Cataract 
into  my  eyes,  and  left  me  without  sight."  "Be  silent 
George,  and  do  not  cry,  with  tears  of  blood.  Do  not 
lament,  and  do  not  raise  your  voice,  for  I  will  heal  you." 
The  Holy  Virgin  from  the  gates  of  Heaven  let  down  a 
golden  ladder  and  came  down  upon  it.  She  stood  before 
George,  took  him  by  the  right  hand,  turned  his  face  away 
from  the  sun,  and  started  to  walk  on  Adam's  road,  to  the 
spring  of  the  Jordan.  She  met  three  sisters  of  the  Sun, 
with  three  brooms,  with  three  rakes  and  three  hoes,  with 
three  sleeves  of  white  silk.  And  the  Holy  Virgin  as  she 
met  them,  as  she  beheld  them,  stretched  out  her  skirts  and 
stopped  them  in  the  road ;  thus  she  ^.sked  and  thus  she 
spake.  "  Where  are  ye  going,  ye  three  sisters  of  the  Sun  ?  " 
"  We  are  going,  we  are  travelling  to  the  fountain  of  the 
Lord,  to  clean  it  from  the  reeds  and  from  the  mud."  *'  Do 
not  go  and  do  not  travel,  ye  [three  sisters  of  the  Sun ;  for 
the  fountain  of  the  Lord  is  clean,  is  limpid,  as  when  made 
by  God,  but  go  and  travel  to  clean  away  the  blindness  and 
the  mist  from  the  eyes  of  George.  Clean  the  white  cataract, 
the  black  cataract,  the  red  cataract,  the  cataract  of  ninety- 
nine  forms,  the  cataract  of  ninety-nine  ways.  Look  for  it 
in  the  seams  of  the  head,  in  the  face  of  the  visage,  look  for 
it  in  the  lids,  round  the  eyes,  and  in  the  lights  (the  apple) 
of  the  eyes.  Quickly,  very  quickly  rake  it  with  your 
rakes,  cut  it  with  your  scissors,  sweep  it  away  with  your 
brooms,  peel  it  off  with  your  nails,  drive  it  away  from  the 
eyes,  wipe  it  away  with  the  sleeves,  gather  it  in  your  laps, 
carry  it  to  the  threshing-floor.  The  threshers  shall  quickly 
break  it  in  a  thousand  pieces,  shall  throw  it  over  the  wall 

Charm  against  the  Child'Stealing  Witch.  131 

into  the  dust,  the  oxen  shall  take  it  on  their  horns,  when 
the  oxen  have  taken  it  on  their  horns,  they  shall  carry  it  to 
the  sea.  There  it  shall  vanish  and  there  it  shall  disappear. 
George  shall  remain  clear  as  the  shining  silver  and  as  the 
bright  sun  for  ever  and  ever.     Amen." 

This  charm  is  one  of  the  longest  and  most  complete  in  the 
whole  range  of  Roumanian  charms.  It  contains  all  the 
elements  which  do  not  occur  in  so  complete  a  form  in  other 
charms ;  for  either  one  incident  or  the  other  is  omitted. 
Here  the  whole  scenery  is  given.  It  is  like  a  small  epic 
poem,  reciting  the  adventures  of  the  man  whom  God  afflicted 
with  a  cataract  on  the  eyes,  and  the  way  the  cure  is  going 
to  be  effected.  The  chief  personage  is  the  Holy  Virgin ;  at 
her  bidding  some  mysterious  personages,  here  described  asof 
a  friendly  character,  are  ordered  to  proceed  to  the  patient 
and  to  drive  away  the  illness  from  him.  Before  entering  on 
a  further  examination  of  this  charm  and  the  conclusions  to 
be  drawn  from  it,  I  will  mention  two  more.  The  first  is 
against  the  "  Evil  Hour " ;  that  means,  according  to  the 
Roumanian  belief,  an  evil  occurrence  which  happens  to  a 
man  unawares.  The  "  Evil  Hour  '^  is  an  evil  spirit  which 
has  taken  possession  of  the  man,  causing  contortions, 
spasms,  and  often  unconsciousness.  The  woman  who  pro- 
nounces the  charm  does  it  on  the  fast  days  of  the  week,  viz. 
on  Monday,  Wednesday,  and  Friday,  when  the  moon  grows 
smaller.  She  then  takes  Solanum  dulcamara  (wood  night- 
shade) and  boils  it  in  virgin  water,  and  she  puts  into  it  a 
few  drops  of  honey.  After  she  has  uttered  the  charm  she 
gives  the  patient  this  water  to  drink  three  times  a  day,  after 
which  he  is  expected  to  recover.     The  charm  is  as  follows  : 

"  N.  got  up  early,  N.  got  ready,  she  left  her  house,  left 
her  table,  strong  and  beautiful,  well  and  cheerful.  When 
she  was  in  the  middle  of  the  road,  in  the  middle  of  the  path- 
way, there  came  to  meet  her,  stopped  the  road  for  her,  the 
Archangel  Michael  on  a  black  charger,  with  nine  bears,  with 
nine  dogs,  all  these  born,  grown  up,  and  formed  on  the  day 
of  St.  George;  he  held  a  weapon  of  thunder  and  a  sword  of 

K  2 

132   Charm  against  the  Child'Stealtng  Witch. 

lightning,  with  which  he  was  cutting,  digging,  the  Evil  Hour 
seeking,  but  however  much  he  sought  it  was  nowhere  to  be 
found  but  in  the  body  of  N.  He  found  him  there,  he  cut 
him  up,  he  dug  him  out,  and  N.  screamed  violently,  cried 
plaintively,  but  no  one  saw  her,  no  one  heard  her,  save  the 
pure  Mother,  the  very  pure  Mother.  She  saw  her,  she  heard 
her,  she  came  to  meet  her,  and  thus  she  spake  to  her :  "  Why 
do  you  scream  and  why  do  you  lament?"  "Oh,  pure 
Mother,  Mother  very  pure.  Why  should  she  not  cry,  why 
should  she  not  lament,  for  when  she  got  early  ready,  left  her 
house,  left  her  table,  strong  and  beautiful,  well  and  cheerful, 
when  she  was  in  the  middle  of  the  road,  in  the  middle  of  the 
pathway,  there  came  to  meet  her,  there  stopped  the  road 
for  her,  the  Archangel  Michael  on  a  black  charger  with  nine 
bears,  with  nine  dogs,  all  of  them  born,  grown  up,  formed  on 
the  day  of  St.  George ;  he  held  a  weapon  of  thunder  and  a 
sword  of  lightning,  with  which  he  was  cutting,  digging,  the 
Evil  Hour  seeking,  but  however  much  he  sought,  it  was 
nowhere  to  be  found  but  in  the  body  of  N.  He  found  him, 
he  cut  him,  he  dug  him,  and  then  ...  he  cast  him  into  the 
fiery  furnace.  He  raked  him  out  with  an  iron  rake,  he 
pounded  him  with  an  iron  pestle,  he  took  him  out  from  the 
iron  mortar,  he  threw  him  into  an  iron  sieve,  he  sifted  him 
in  that  sieve,  he  winnowed  him  in  that  iron  sieve,  so  that 
nothing  should  remain  of  that  Evil  Hour,  just  as  nothing 
remains  of  the  dust  in  the  road  .  .  .  N.  shall  remain  clear, 
clear  and  shining  as  when  her  mother  gave  birth  to  her,  as 
when  God  had  made  her ;  Amen,  Amen,  and  as  the  bright 
sun.      From  me  the  charm,  from  God  the  cure." 

In  this  charm  the  Holy  Virgin  is  playing  a  subordinate 
rSle  altogether,  prominence  is  given  to  to  the  Archangel 
Michael,  who,  according  to  this  rather  incomplete  description, 
had  been  pursuing  the  Evil  Spirit  with  a  weapon  of  thunder 
and  with  a  sword  of  lightning.  Lastly,  we  have  a  third 
charm,  which  has  also  been  recently  collected  fron  the  mouth 
of  the  peasants  in  Roumania.     The  charm  runs  thus : 

"  The  Archangel  Michael  descending  on  the  Mount  of 

Charm  against  the  Child'Stealing  Witch.  133 

Olives  met  Avezuha,  the  wing  of  Satan,  and  she  was  dread- 
ful to  behold ;  the  hair  of  her  head  was  hanging  down  to  the 
ground,  her  eyes  were  like  stars,  her  hands  of  iron,  the  nails 
of  her  hands  and  feet  were  like  sickles,  and  from  her  mouth 
came  forth  a  flame  of  fire.  The  Archangel  Michael,  Lord 
over  the  Heavenly  hosts,  said  unto  her,  *  Whence  dost  thou 
come,  thou  unclean  Spirit,  and  whither  art  thou  going?'  '  I 
am  going  to  Bethlehem  in  Judea,  for  I  have  heard  that  Jesus 
Christ  is  going  to  be  born  of  His  Virgin  Mother  Maria,  and 
I  am  going  to  hurt  her.'  Whereupon  the  Archangel 
Michael  took  hold  of  the  hair  of  her  head,  fastened  an  iron 
chain  round  her,  stuck  his  sword  into  her  side,  and  began 
to  beat  her  terribly,  in  order  to  make  her  tell  him  all  her 
secret  arts.  She  began  and  said  :  '  I  change  myself  into  a 
dog,  a  cat,  a  fly,  a  spider,  a  raven,  an  evil-looking  girl,  and 
thus  enter  into  the  houses  of  the  people  and  hurt  the  women 
and  bring  trouble  upon  the  children,  and  I  bring  changelings, 
and  I  have  nineteen  names.  One,  Vestitza ;  second,  Nova- 
daria ;  third,  Valnomia ;  fourth,  Sina ;  fifth,  Nicozda ;  sixth, 
Avezuha ;  seventh,  Scorcoila ;  eighth,  Tiha ;  ninth,  Miha ; 
tenth,  Grompa;  eleventh,  Slalo;  twelfth,  Necausa;  thirteenth, 
Hatav;  fourteenth,  Hulila;  fifteenth,  Huva;  sixteenth,  Ghiana; 
seventeenth,  Gluviana ;  eighteenth,  Prava ;  nineteenth, 
Samca ;  and  wherever  these  names  will  be  found  written  I 
shall  not  be  able  to  approach  that  house  a  distance  of  three 
thousand  steps.'  And  the  Archangel  Michael,  the  Lord  over 
the  Heavenly  hosts  said  unto  her :  '  I  tell  thee,  and  I  conjure 
thee,  that  thou  shalt  have  neither  the  power  to  approach  the 
house  of  X.  the  servant  of  the  Lord,  nor  to  hurt  his  property, 
his  flocks,  or  anything  that  belongs  to  him.  Thou  shalt  go 
to  the  desolate  mountains  where  no  one  lives,  there  shalt 
thou  abide.     Amen.'  " 

In  this  charm  we  have  the  key  to  the  preceding  one. 
The  Evil  Spirit  or  the  Evil  Hour  mentioned  there  is  a  sub- 
stitution for  the  Evil  Spirit,  much  more  accurately  described 
in  the  last  charm,  where  we  see  that  we  are  dealing  with  a 
child-stealing  witch.     All   these  charms   have,  as   already 

134   Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

remarked,  been  collected  from  the  mouth  of  the  people. 
In  every  case  they  were  illiterate  persons,  to  whom  these 
charms  could  only  have  come  by  word  of  mouth  in  the  form 
of  a  sacred  ancient  tradition;  for  unless  the  charms  are 
endowed  with  a  certain  amount  of  sanctity  no  one  would 
believe  in  their  efficacy,  and  they  would  soon  disappear. 
This  has  been  indeed  the  fate  which  has  overtaken  them 
wherever  the  faith  in  them  had  been  weakened. 

What  is  now  the  origin  of  these  charms  ?  If  I  should 
follow  one  school  of  folklorists  I  should  lose  myself  at  once 
in  airy  speculations  and  see  in  them  traces  of  indigenous 
ancient  mythology.  Every  figure  that  appears  in  these 
charms  would  be  studied  as  a  remnant  of  ancient  local  faith, 
and  conclusions  would  be  drawn  as  to  that  ancient  form  of 
belief  thus  preserved  by  these  mythological  fragments. 
It  is  time,  however,  that  even  in  the  study  of  folklore  a 
certain  system  of  classification  should  be  introduced,  and  that 
we  should  learn  to  investigate  the  complex  which  makes  up 
the  intellectual  property  of  the  people,  not  upon  one  uniform 
plan.  We  must  avoid  not  merely  the  danger  of  generalisa- 
tion, but  also  that  of  applying  principles  which  may  hold 
good  in  the  elucidation  of  one  branch  of  our  subject  to 
all  the  other  branches.  I  will  limit  myself  to  pointing  out 
the  profound  difference  which  must  be  drawn  between 
religious  theory  and  religious  practice.  It  is  self-understood 
that  I  apply  this  word  "  religion  "  in  connection  with  folk- 
lore in  the  widest  acceptance  of  the  meaning  of  the  word, 
namely,  as  "  faith  and  belief  in  the  reality  of  the  things 
worshipped."  To  the  former,  that  is  to  the  theory,  belongs, 
according  to  my  classification,  the  whole  range  of  legend 
and  tale,  mythology  proper;  whilst  to  the  latter,  that  is  to 
the  practice,  belongs  the  outward  form  of  worship,  some- 
times influenced  by  the  legend,  but  just  as  often  if  not  more, 
leading  an  independent  life.  The  former,  that  is  the 
legendary  element,  is  constantly  changing,  the  latter,  being 
the    religious    custom  or    ceremony,  is   abiding.        Magic 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch.   135 

survives  the  myth,  because  however  much  the  gods  may 
change,  the  way  to  approach  them,  the  means  employed,  the 
formulas  used  remain  the  same.  The  slightest  change  in  an 
invocation  or  an  incantation,  that  is,  in  a  prayer  recited  either 
as  prose  or  as  poem  with  the  accompaniment  of  chants,  would 
destroy  its  efficacy.  No  portion  of  it,  however  much  misun- 
derstood, no  name  in  it,  however  barbarous  it  may  sound, 
but  they  will  be  preserved  with  the  utmost  fidelity.  It  is 
true  they  will  be  corrupted  by  oral  transmission,  but  that 
will  be  an  involuntary  and  unconscious  act  in  the  mouth  of 
the  charmer  or  conjurer,  no  such  change  being  contemplated. 

The  religious  background  will  shift  from  time  to  time 
whenever  the  nation  changes  its  religious  principles,  or 
when  the  magical  formula  has  been  carried  from  a  nation 
professing  one  form  of  religion  to  another  professing  a 
different  one.  The  gods  will  thus  either  be  eliminated 
entirely  or  others  will  be  substituted  for  them,  but  the  charm 
itself  will  survive  that  change.  But  it  ceases  then  to  be  any 
longer  considered  part  of  religious  worship,  it  is  called 
''superstition";  which  means  that  which  has  withstood, 
which  is  held  over,  a  fragment,  or  the  wreckage  of  the 
ancient  religion,  which  has  managed  to  float  on  the  top  of 
the  wave  of  human  sentiment,  and  has  thus  been  rescued 
from  complete  annihilation. 

The  efficacy  of  the  magical  formula  rests,  as  is  well  known, 
partly  on  the  ceremony  which  accompanies  it,  and  is  often 
of  a  symbolical  character,  but  mostly  on  the  divine  names 
which  the  charm  contains.  I  am  treading  here  on  a  some- 
what dangerous  ground,  as  it  might  lure  me  on  to  widen 
the  scope  of  this  investigation.  For  wherever  we  may  look, 
the  whole  range  of  ancient  religious  mysteries  stands  under 
the  ban  of  the  mysterious  ineffable  Name  of  the  Divinities 
worshipped  in  those  countries.  We  can  scarcely  conceive 
Egyptain  or  Assyrian,  or  even  later  Buddhist  and  Jaina 
mysteries,  without  being  confronted  with  hosts  of  such 
magical    names.       Even    the    ancient    Greek    Eleusinian 

136   Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

mysteries  find  their  explanation,  according  to  the  recent 
investigations  of  Foucart,  in  the  assumption  that  the  very 
last  and  most  potent  secret  revealed  to  the  initiated  in  these 
and  in  the  Orphic  mysteries  consisted  in  the  communica- 
tion of  such  Names,  guaranteeing  them  unimpeded  access 
to  the  bliss  of  the  other  world.  The  power  assigned  to 
such  names,  and  that  is  all  that  I  wish  to  say  in  connection 
with  these  names,  is,  that  the  name  of  the  thing  represents 
the  invisible  permanent  sum-total  of  the  whole  being.  It 
is  the  vital  force  not  limited  to  any  special  part  of  the  body, 
it  is  on  the  contrary  the  very  essence  of  that  being.  To  know 
it,  means,  to  be  in  direct  communication  with  the  whole  un- 
broken vital  force,  enabling  the  man  who  possesses  that 
knowledge  to  assume  that  name  for  himself,  to  identify 
himself  with  that  being,  and  to  utilise  it  for  his  own  pur- 
poses. The  simple  name  is  sometimes  replaced  by  the 
recital  of  an  act,  a  story,  or  a  narrative  of  an  evil  occurrence 
similar  to  that  which  is  happening  again ;  for  the  repetition 
of  that  ancient  incident,  and  of  the  efficacy  of  the  ancient 
experiment,  is  considered  sufficient  to  produce  now  the 
same  effects. 

It  mjist  also  be  stated  that  the  formulas  used  in  such  con- 
jurations are  of  a  stationary  character;  they  change  very  little, 
the  only  change  which  takes  place  is  merely  in  the  applica- 
tion which  is  made  of  the  conjuration.  One  divinity  or  the 
evil  cause  of  one  illness  is  substituted  for  another ;  a  charm 
against  blindness  will  be  applied  against  sores,  simply  by 
substituting  the  names  of  these  sores  for  those  of  the  spirits 
that  are  believed  to  be  the  cause  of  blindness.  One  other 
transformation  takes  place,  namely,  an  invocation  is  changed 
into  a  conjuration.  An  invocation  is  a  prayer  addressed 
for  protection  and  assistance  to  a  friendly  supernatural 
being;  a  conjuration  is  no  longer  a  prayer,  but  a  threat  to 
the  evil  spirits  which  haunt  man,  either  to  prevent  them 
from  doing  harm  or  to  remove  them  from  the  place  where 
they  are  actually  harmful.  In  the  latter  case  the  symbolical 
and  sympathetic  element  prevails. 

Charm  against  the  Child'Stealing  Witch.  137 

If  a  charm  is  to  be  complete  we  have  thus  to  expect,  first 
the  epical  narrative,  secondly  the  symbolical  or  sympathetic 
incident,  and  thirdly  the  mystical  names.  Wherever  one 
of  these  elements  is  missing  we  have  at  once  the  proof  that 
the  charm  is  not  complete,  and  that  it  is  merely  a  late  re- 
duced form  of  the  primitive  more  ample  conjuration.  That 
these  three  elements  are  interchangeable  has  already  been 
remarked ;  we  may  find  two  belonging  to  one  cycle,  such  as 
the  narrative  and  the  symbolism,  whilst  the  Names  belong 
to  a  totally  different  charm.  The  various  conjurations  are 
intimately  connected  one  with  the  other  in  that  way,  for 
one  which  is  efficacious  against  one  set  of  illness  will,  as 
already  stated,  be  applied  to  another,  merely  by  modifying 
the  name  of  the  illness.  These  are  the  quicksands  which 
we  must  avoid  in  our  investigation.  On  the  other  hand, 
we  must  beware  of  being  led  astray  by  the  tributaries  which 
mingle  their  waters  with  the  main  stream,  viz.  the  various 
elements  borrowed  from  different  sources  and  amalgamated 
in  one  conjuration  or  in  one  charm.  We  must  follow  the 
main  stream  if  we  are  to  retrace  the  history  of  the  modern 
charm  and  to  follow  up  the  process  of  a  slow  change  through 
a  long  period  of  transmission,  the  stream  flowing  through 
the  centuries.  Just  as  the  proverb  is  often  only  the  ethical 
conclusion,  the  moral  of  a  fable  or  tale,  so  do  I  consider  the 
charm  to  be  the  religious  resum6,  the  practical  moral  of  a 
mythical,  legendary  tale. 

I  revert  now  to  the  Roumanian  charms.  The  last  one 
mentioned  by  me  contains  all  the  three  elements,  though 
the  first,  the  historical,  is  very  much  curtailed.  The  sym- 
bolical is  clear,  as  the  Evil  Spirit  says  she  is  going  to  steal 
or  to  hurt  the  new-born  babe  of  the  Virgin  Mary,  and  as  she 
was  protected,  so  is  this  young  mother  to  be  protected  and 
saved.  Her  mystical  names  are  also  given.  In  the  charm 
Number  II.  the  names  have  dropped  out,  but  the  fight  and 
the  symbolical  element  has  remained,  but  instead  of  steal- 
ing or  hurting  children,  a  special  form  of  illness  is  repre- 
sented by  the  Evil  Spirit;  whilst  the  description  of  the 

138   Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

illness  has  been  retained  in  the  first  charm  together  with 
the  epical  narrative,  and  instead  of  mystical  names,  the 
names  of  the  illnesses  are  given  in  full.  We  shall  soon 
be  able  to  understand  how  these  illnesses  have  crept  into 
the  charm.  The  meaningless  names,  such  as  in  the  third 
charm,  have  in  some  versions  a  definite  meaning,  in  others 
popular  etymology  has  supplied  a  translation  to  these  curious 
names,  so  that  in  a  Russian  version,  where  almost  every 
incident  is  retained,  the  Evil  Spirit,  which  has  there  nothing 
to  do  with  children  or  women  in  child-bed,  is  the  embodi- 
ment of  fever,  and  each  name  represents  a  different  stage 
of  that  illness.  We  would  have  thus  at  least  two  distinct 
types  to  be  kept  asunder  carefully,  the  child-stealing  type 
and  the  fever  or  other  illness  type.  However  attractive 
this  last  type  may  be,  I  cannot  deal  with  it  here  adequately. 
I  will  only  mention,  just  because  there  appear  in  it  so  many 
mysterious  names,  the  old  Latin  conjuration  published  by 
Vassiliev  in  his  Anecdota  Graeco-Byzantinay  pp.  Ixvii.-viii., 
together  with  a  Greek  parallel  of  the  fifteenth  century. 
There  are  also  other  availing  charms  which  read  almost 
like  a  literal  translation,  and  from  which  that  element  had 
been  borrowed  and  amalgamated  with  the  child-stealing 

Passing  on  from  the  oral  literature  with  Avhich  I  have 
dealt  hitherto  to  the  written,  we  find  the  absolute  counter- 
part of  the  last  charm  in  manuscripts  from  the  sixteenth 
century  on  almost  to  the  time  when  it  was  printed  for  the 
first  time  in  1874.  I  possess  no  less  than  fourteen  Rumanian 
manuscripts  of  this  charm  where  the  witch  is  regularly  called 
Avestitza,  The  contents  are  almost  identical  with  the  last- 
mentioned  oral  charm  ;  the  names,  however,  differ  very  con- 
siderably, and  in  some  they  have  a  decidedly  Slavonic  form. 
In  a  few  of  these  manuscripts  we  find  now  another  name 
added  to  that  of  the  Archangel  Michael,  namely,  the  holy 
Sisoe.  The  text  begins  with  the  words,  "  I,  the  servant 
of  the  Lord,  the  holy  Sisoe,  coming  down  from  the  Mount  of 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch.  139 

Olives,  saw  the  Archangel  Michael  coming  down  from  the 
Mount  of  Sion,  which  is  the  Mount  of  Olives.  The  Arch- 
angel Michael,  lord  of  the  heavenly  hosts,  stopped  Avestitza 
the  wing  of  Satan, "  &c.  The  rest  is  absolutely  identical 
with  the  oral  charm,  and  there  cannot  be  the  slightest 
doubt  that  the  oral  charm  is  derived  directly  from  the 
written  text.  In  these  introductory  few  words  a  connection 
is  hinted  at  between  this  charm  and  another  more  elaborate 
charm,  in  which  the  saint  Sisoe  plays  a  prominent  r61e,  also 
in  connection  with  the  child-stealing  spirit.  The  relation 
between  these  two  versions,  of  which  one  I  call  the 
Avestitza  type^  which  is  the  shorter,  and  the  other  I  call  the 
Sisoe  type^  which  is  the  longer,  has  not  yet  been  definitely 
settled.  I  hold  that  the  shorter  is  independent  of  the 
longer,  whilst  others  who  have  studied  the  question  believe 
it  to  have  formed  originally  part  of  the  longer  tale,  which 
has  then  been  detached  from  it  and  lives  as  an  independent 
legend.  We  shall  see,  however,  that  the  short  one  is  the 
only  one  for  which  parallels  exist  throughout  the  world, 
whilst  it  is  very  difficult  to  find  many  parallels  for  the 
longer  recension.  The  text  has  been  preserved  in  Rou- 
manian and  in  Slavonic,  the  former  being  merely  a  transla- 
tion of  the  latter.  In  a  manuscript  of  the  middle  of  the  last 
century  I  have  found  the  most  complete  form  of  this  longer 
legend,  and  what  is  more  important  still  the  direct  informa- 
tion that  it  had  been  used  as  an  amulet  against  the  child- 
stealing  witch.  The  written  charm  had  thus  become  a 
talisman,  an  amulet  to  which  the  same  efficacy  had  been 
ascribed  as  to  the  spoken  conjuration.  The  legend  reads 
as  follows  : 

"  The  prayer  of  the  Holy  Sisoe  for  the  little  children  who 
are  killed  by  the  Devil.*' 

"  This  is  to  be  placed  in  the  cradle  of  the  child  and  then 
the  Devil  will  not  come  near  it.*' 

**  This  Saint  Sisoe,  with  Sidor  and  Fidor,  had  waged  suc- 
cessful wars  in  the  country  of  the  Arabians.     He  had  a 

140    Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

sister  called  Meletia ;  she  had  had  five  children,  and  the 
Devil  had  stolen  all  the  five  and  had  swallowed  them ;  and 
when  Meletia  was  to  give  birth  to  another  child,  Meletia, 
frightened  of  the  Devil,  run  away  until  she  came  to  the  sea 
shore.  There  she  found  a  leaden  cave  covered  with  lead 
and  the  doors  of  lead,  wherein  she  placed  food  for  a  year 
sufficient  to  keep  three  women,  as  she  had  taken  two 
servants  with  her  to  attend  on  her.  When  the  sixth  child 
was  going  to  be  born  she  was  frightened  of  the  Devil,  but 
God,  who  hearkens  unto  all  who  pray  unto  Him  with  faith, 
when  He  saw  how  sorely  grieved  and  frightened  Meletia 
was  on  account  of  the  Devil,  listened  unto  her,  and  He  sent 
His  angel  to  her  brother  Sisoe,  and  he  said  unto  him,  'Holy 
Sisoe,  go  with  the  fear  of  God  against  the  Devil,  for  he  has 
swallowed  thy  sister's  children.'  The  holy  Saint  Sisoe 
went  out  hunting  with  a  large  number  of  people.  When 
they  were  in  the  middle  of  the  forest  a  terrible  storm  broke 
out  and  all  his  companions  were  scattered  in  the  forest. 
Sisoe  wandered  about  at  the  will  of  God  until  he  came  to 
the  seashore  to  his  sister  Meletia.  There  he  cried  with  a 
loud  voice,  '  Sister  Meletia,  open  the  door,  open  the  door,  or 
else  I  shall  not  be  able  to  escape  this  terrible  tempest.' 
Meletia  replied,  '  I  will  not  open  the  door,  for  I  am 
frightened  of  the  Devil,  lest  he  come  in  and  steal  my  child, 
as  forty  days  have  not  yet  passed  since  its  birth.'  Saint 
Sisoe  said,  *  Sister  Meletia,  open  the  door,  for  God  has  sent 
me  to  hunt  the  Devil.'  When  Meletia  heard  these  words 
she  opened  the  door,  and  the  saint  entered  into  the  cell, 
bringing  his  horse  with  him.  The  Devil,  who  stood  by, 
changed  himself  into  a  millet-grain,  and  putting  himself 
inside  the  shoe  of  the  horse,  thus  entered.  Thus  the  Devil 
entered  the  cell.  Meletia  kept  the  child  in  one  arm  and 
prepared  food  with  the  other.  After  they  had  eaten  and 
gone  to  sleep,  the  Devil  got  up,  ran  to  the  cradle,  snatched 
the  child  up,  and  ran  away  with  it  along  the  seashore 
through  the  forests.      The  child  was  screaming  very  loudly. 

Charm  against  the  Chtld-stealing  Witch.    141 

When  the  mother  heard  the  child  screaming  she  got  up 
quickly  and  felt  with  her  hand  in  the  cradle.  When  she  found 
the  cradle  empty  she  cried  aloud,  *  Wake  up,  my  brother, 
for  the  Devil  has  stolen  my  child.'  Hearing  his  sister  cry 
bitterly,  the  saint  rose  quickly,  mounted  his  horse,  took  the 
lance  in  his  hand,  and  began  to  pursue  the  Devil.  On  the 
way  he  came  to  a  willow-tree,  and  he  asked,  '  Hast  thou, 
O  willow  of  God,  seen  the  Devil  passing  hereby  with  a 
child  in  his  arms  ? '  The  willow  had  seen  them,  but  it  said, 
'  I  have  not  seen.'  Saint  Sisoe  then  cursed  the  willow 
and  said,  '  O  wicked  willow !  cursed  thou  shalt  be,  thou 
shalt  only  bloom  and  never  bear  fruit.'  And  he  went  on 
his  way  until  he  came  to  a  briar,  and  Saint  Sisoe  said, '  O 
briar  of  God,  hast  thou  seen  the  Devil  running  past  with  a 
little  child  in  his  arms  ? '  The  briar  had  seen  them,  but 
said,  '  I  have  not.'  Saint  Sisoe  cursed  it,  saying,  '  Cursed 
shalt  thou  be,  O  briar!  thy  roots  shall  be  where  thy 
branches  ought  to  be ;  thou  shalt  catch  at  all,  and  tear  and 
be  cursed  by  all.'  And  Saint  Sisoe  went  further,  following 
the  traces  of  the  Devil,  until  he  came  to  a  plane-tree. 
'  Hast  thou,  O  plane-tree  of  God,  seen  the  Devil  running 
past  with  a  child  ? '  The  plane-tree  said, '  I  have  not  seen 
them,  but  I  have  heard  singing  on  the  road.'  The  saint 
replied,  '  Blessed  shalt  thou  be,  and  thou  shalt  stand  in 
front  of  the  church  [probably  to  be  used  as  the  knocking- 
board  or  plank  still  in  use  in  the  East  instead  of  church 
bells]  to  call  the  people  to  service  and  the  sinners  to 
repentance.'  Then  he  went  on  further  after  the  Devil, 
until  he  came  to  an  olive-tree  standing  by  the  seashore, 
and  he  said  to  it,  '  Olive-tree  of  God,  hast  thou  seen  the 
Devil  running  past  with  the  child  in  his  arms  ? '  And  the 
olive-tree  replied,  '  Yes,  I  have  seen  him  plunging  into  the 
sea,  and  he  is  playing  with  the  fishes  of  the  deep.'  The 
saint  replied,  '  Blessed  shalt  thou  be,  from  thee  shall  come 
the  holy  ointment,  and  no  church  shall  be  without  thee.' 
The  saint  dismounted  from  his  horse  by  the  shore  of  the 

142   Charm  against  the  Child'Stealing  Witch. 

sea  and  knelt  down  and  prayed  X.o  God  ;  then  he  threw 
his  hook  into  the  sea  and  caught  the  Devil  by  the  neck. 
Dragging  him  on  to  the  land  and  beating  him  with  a  fiery 
sword,  he  said  unto  him,  '  Give  me  back  the  children  which 
thou  hast  stolen  from  my  sister/  But  the  Devil  replied, 
'  How  can  I  return  them  after  I  have  swallowed  them  ? ' 
And  the  saint  replied,  'Thou  must  bring  them  up  again/ 
The  Devil  said,  '  Vomit  thou  first  the  milk  which  thou  hast 
sucked  from  thy  mother's  breast.'  And  the  saint  prayed 
to  God  and  he  vomited  the  milk.  The  Devil,  seeing  this, 
got  terribly  frightened,  and  brought  at  once  up  all  the  six 
children  hale  and  hearty,  and  not  hurt  in  the  least.  But 
the  saint  said,  '  I  will  not  let  thee  free  until  thou  swear 
no  longer  to  harm  man  in  future.'  And  the  Devil  swore 
by  the  Lord,  who  created  heaven  and  earth,  that  wherever 
he  would  see  the  name  or  the  book  of  the  Holy  Sisoe  he 
would  have  no  power  to  harm  or  to  hurt  the  people.  Saint 
Sisoe  beat  him  fearfully  and  threw  him  into  the  sea  ;  then 
taking  the  six  children  he  brought  them  to  his  sister,  and 
said  unto  her,  'Sister!  here  are  the  children  which  the 
Devil  had  swallowed.'  She  received  them  with  great  joy, 
rejoicing  over  and  over  again.  And  this  is  now  the  prayer: 
'  O  Evil  Spirit !  mayest  thou  be  killed  and  cursed  by  the 
terrible  and  glorious  name  of  the  Trinity,  and  by  the  360 
holy  fathers  of  the  Council  of  Nicaea.  May  X.  remain 
clear  and  shining  through  the  dew  of  the  Holy  Spirit  as  on 
the  day  in  which  his  mother  bore  him ;  for  ever  and  ever, 
Ameri.'  " 

This  is  the  Slavonic  and  Roumanian  version  of  the  com- 
plete legend  of  Sisin  and  the  Evil  Spirit,  identified  rather 
vaguely  with  the  Devil.  He  merely  steals  the  children  with- 
out really  hurting  them.  Slavonic  and  Roumanian  texts, 
especially  of  a  religious  and  legendary  character,  are  as  a 
rule  based  upon  Greek  texts,  and  similar  Greek  texts  have 
really  been  found  to  exist.  Leo  Allatius  has  published  in 
his  De  templis  Grsecorum,  1645,  (PP-  126-129,  I33-I35;  cf. 

Charm  against  the  Child  stealing  Witch.   143 

also  E.  L^grand,  Biblioth^que  grecque  vulgaire  IL,  Paris, 
1 88 1,  p.  xviii.)  two  versions  of  an  absolutely  similar 
legend,  of  which  one  is  fragmentary,  inasmuch  as  the 
beginning  is  missing.  In  this  occurs  a  peculiar  child- 
stealing  spirit,  which  goes  by  the  name  of  Gelu  or  Geloo, 
The  book  being  extremely  scarce  and  the  Greek  texts  of 
great  importance  for  the  history  of  this  charm.  I  publish 
here  the  translation  in  full. 

"...  that  he  (viz.  the  Evil  Spirit)  should  not  get  into  the 
tower  and  swallow  my  child  as  he  has  done  not  very  long  ago. 
But  the  saints  of  the  Lxjrd,  Sisynios  and  Synidores,  when  they 
saw  their  sister  crying,  they  wept  bitterly,  and  they  at  once 
bent  their  knees  and  asked  God  to  give  them  the  power  and 
the  strength  to  catch  the  accursed  Gylo.  When  they  got  this 
power  from  God  they  saddled  their  horses  and  began  to 
follow  Gylo  and  searched  the  road,  asking  whomever  they 
met.  Coming  to  the  willow,  they  asked  it  whether  it  had 
seen  the  accursed  Gylo  passing  that  way  ?  The  tree  denied 
having  seen  her,  and  the  saints  cursed  it,  saying,  '  Thou 
shalt  never  yield  any  fruit,  and  man  shall  never  eat  any 
coming  from  thee.'  The  saints  then  again  took  up  quickly 
their  walk  and  found  the  bramble,  and  they  asked  it  whether 
it  had  seen  the  accursed  Gylo  flying  by  it.  The  bramble 
(briar)  denied  also  having  seen  her,  and  the  saints  cursed 
it  similarly,  saying,  'Thy  top  shall  be  where  the  roots 
usually  are,  and  the  roots  where  the  top  is,  and  thy  fruit  shall 
be  useless,  and  no  man  shall  live  by  it.'  The  saints  again 
took  up  their  way  and  came  to  the  blessed  olive-tree.  They 
asked  it  whether  it  had  seen  the  accursed  Gylo  flying  by, 
and  the  tree  replied,  '  Ye  saints  of  the  Lxjrd,  continue  your 
journey,  for  it  has  gone  to  the  shore  of  the  sea.'  Then  the 
Saints  Sisynios  and  Synidores  blessed  it,  and  said,  '  May 
thy  fruit  be  rich,  saints  be  lit  up  by  it,  and  kings  and  poor 

144   Charm  against  the  Child'Stealing  Witch. 

rejoice  through  it.'  When  the  saints  came  to  the  shore  of 
the  sea  they  saw  the  accursed  Gylo  flying  before  them. 
When  she  beheld  them,  she  changed  into  a  fish;  the  saints 
changed  into  fishermen,  and  fished  her  up  and  caught  her. 
Then  she  at  once  changed  into  a  swallow,  and  the  saints  into 
hawks,  pursuing  her.  When  she  saw  that  she  could  not 
deceive  the  saints,  she  changed  into  a  goat's  hair,  and  hid 
herself  in  the  king's  beard  so  that  they  should  not  recognise 
her.  The  saints  came  to  the  king,  and  after  having  greeted 
him  they  said,  *  O  king,  we  only  ask  one  favour  from  thy 
majesty,  and  one  wish  to  be  satisfied;  if  thy  majesty  is 
willing  to  grant  it,  inform  us  quickly,  so  that  our  hearts  may 
rejoice.' "  '  The  king  replied  and  said  to  the  saints, '  What- 
ever you  wish  I  will  grant  you,  for  I  see  that  you  are  gentle 
and  wise  persons.'  The  saints  said  to  the  king,  *  We  do  not 
ask  anything  in  thy  kingdom  but  that  goat's  hair  which  is  in 
thy  beard ;  give  it  to  us,  and  thou  shalt  see  and  wonder.'  He 
replied,  '  Take  it.'  The  saints  stretched  out  their  hand  and 
with  extreme  care  they  drew  it  out  from  his  beard.  Gylo 
saw  that  she  could  no  longer  deceive  the  saints,  and  she  at 
once  changed  into  a  woman.  When  the  king  beheld  it  he 
was  greatly  astounded,  and  he  asked  the  saints  about  it. 
They  explained  to  him  all  that  had  happened,  and  the  king 
wondered  still  more  at  it.  The  saints  caught  Gylo  by  the 
hair  of  her  head,  threw  her  on  the  ground,  and  smote  her 
terribly,  saying,  '  O  accursed  Gylo,  an  end  be  made  with 
thy  killing  of  the  children  of  Christians  and  of  the  children 
of  the  servant  of  the  Lord.*  The  accursed  Gylo  prayed  and 
said,  '  O  ye  saints  of  the  Lord,  do  not  beat  me  so  cruelly 
and  I  will  tell  you  all  about  it.'  The  saints  of  the  Lord, 
Sisynios  and  Synidores,  said,  '  Unless  thou  promise  us  by 
an  oath  no  more  to  touch  the  children  of  N.,  the  servant  of  the 
Lord,  and  thou  return  us  the  children  of  our  sister  Melitena^ 
whom  thou  hast  killed,  we  will  not  grant  thee  life.' 
And  the  accursed  Gylo  answered  and  said, '  If  you  can  return 
in  the  hollow  of  your  hand  the  milk  which  you  have  sucked 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch.    145 

from  your  mother's  breast  I  will  return  the  children  of 
Melitena.  The  saints  lifting  their  eyes  to  heaven  prayed 
to  the  Lord,  and  they  vomited  at  once  into  the  hollow  of 
their  hand  something  like  their  mother  s  milk,  and  said  to 
the  accursed  Gylo,  *  Here  we  have  brought  up  the  milk  for 
which  thou  hast  asked,  now  return  the  children  of  Melitena 
whom  thou  hast  stolen  as  thou  hast  promised ;  if  not,  \^*e 
shall  torture  thee  with  terrible  pains.'  The  accursed  Gylo, 
seeing  no  way  of  escape,  brought  up  those  very  children 
which  she  had  killed  in  the  tower.  The  saints  of  the  Lord 
smiting  her  terribly,  said,  *  An  end  must  be  made  with  thy 
killing  of  the  children  of  Christians,  and  of  N.  the  servant 
of  the  Lord.'  " 

"  Then  Gylo  prayed  to  the  saints  and  said,  *  Leave  me,  O 
saints  of  the  Lord,  and  do  not  beat  me  any  longer,  and  I 
will  tell  you  what  to  do,  so  that  I  shall  no  longer  be  able 
to  enter  their  houses,  and  be  kept  away  from  them  seventy- 
five  miles. '  *  What  shall  we  do  then,  O  accursed  Gylo  ?* 
She  replied,  *  If  any  one  write  down  my  twelve  and  a  half 
names  I  will  not  enter  his  house  nor  the  house  of  N.  the 
servant  of  the  Lord  who  keeps  this  prayer,  nor  the  wife 
of  N.  nor  his  children,  but  I  will  keep  seventy-five  miles 
away  from  her.'  And  the  saints  said,  *  Tell  us  then  those 
most  abominable  names,  before  we  kill  thee  in  a  terrible 
manner.'  She  said,  *  My  first  name  is  Gylo,  the  second 
Morrha,  the  third  Byza,  the  fourth  Marmaro,  the  fifth 
Betasia,  the  sixth  Belagia,  the  seventh  Bordona,  the 
eighth  Apleto,  the  ninth  Chomodracaena,  the  tenth  Ana- 
bardalea,  the  eleventh  Psychoanaspastria,  the  twelfth  Pae- 
dopnictria,  the  half  Strigla.*  Holy  Sisynios  and  Synidores, 
help  N.  the  servant  of  the  Lord,  his  wife  and  their  children, 
who  hold  this  amulet,  bind  and  tighten  with  leaden  chains 
all  earthly  and  airy  spirits,  and  the  accursed  Gylo,  so  that 
she  shall  not  have  the  power  of  coming  near  the  house  of 
N.  the  servant  of  the  Lord,  or  his  wife,  or  his  children, 
either  at  night  or  at  morning,  either  in  the  middle  of  the 

VOL.  XI.  L 

146   Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

night,  or  in  the  middle  of  the  day,  that  every  unclean  spirit, 
every  earthly  and  airy  demon,  and  the  abominable  Gylo  be 
'^^P^  75  niiles  away  from  the  house  of  N.  the  servant  of  the 
Lord,  from  his  wife  and  his  children,"  (Here  follows  a 
long  list  of  saints  that  are  invoked,  whose  protection  is 
sought,  and  who  are  asked  to  drive  away  evil  spirits  and 
demons,  and  the  charm  finishes  with  a  prayer  to  the  Lord). 

The  second  version  is  the  more  complete,  though  to  a 
certain  extent  somewhat  shorter ;  and  the  saints  that  are 
invoked  at  the  end  of  it  are  totally  different  from  those  of 
the  first  version.     The  translation  of  it  is  as  follows : — 

"  In  the  time  of  the  Consulate  of  King  Laurentius  there 
lived  in  Ausitis  or  Arabia  a  woman  called  Melitena,  who 
had  seven  children.  They  had  all  been  snatched  away  by 
the  accursed  Geloo.  When  she  found  herself  again  with 
child,  and  the  time  of  the  birth  had  approached,  she  built  a 
tower  and  fortified  it  from  within  and  from  without,  she 
stored  up  in  it  food  for  five  and  twenty  years  (?),  and  she 
took  two  handmaids  with  her  and  shut  herself  up  in  that 
tower.  The  brothers  of  Melitena,  the  saints  of  the  Lxjrd 
Sisynnios  and  Sisynodoros,  were  then  warring  in  Numeria, 
that  is,  Arabia.  It  so  happened  once,  that  becoming 
separated  from  their  army  they  came  to  the  tower  in  order 
to  see  their  sister.  When  they  came  to  the  entrance,  they 
asked  with  a  loud  voice  for  the  gates  to  be  opened,  but 
Melitena  refused  to  open  the  gates,  saying,  'I  cannot 
open  the  gates  to  you,  as  I  have  given  birth  to  a  child  and 
I  am  frightened,  I  will  therefore  not  open.'  They  replied 
and  said,  '  Open  unto  us,  for  we  are  the  angels  of  the  Lord 
and  we  carry  the  mysteries  of  the  Lord.'  She  opened  the 
door  and  the  saints  of  the  Lord  entered.  At  the  same  time 
the  Evil  Spirit  changed  itself  into  a  clod  of  earth,  and  fast- 
ened itself  inside  the  hoof  of  one  of  the  horses,  and  thus 
entered  with  them.  In  the  middle  of  the  night  it  stole  the 
child.  Melitena  wept  bitterly  and  said,  '  O  thou  Sisynne  and 
thou  Sisynodore,  what  have  you  done  unto  me  ?  For  this 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch-  147 

very  reason  did  I  not  like  to  open  the  door/  The  saints, 
lifting  their  hands  to  heaven,  cried  and  prayed  that  power 
be  granted  to  them  over  that  evil  demon.  When  they  had 
prayed  for  a  while,  the  Lord  sent  his  angel,  who  said  unto 
them,  •  The  Lord  has  heard  your  prayer,  and  has  granted 
you  power  over  that  accursed  demon.*  They  went  out 
of  the  tower,  saddled  their  horses,  and  flying  as  on  wings, 
they  searched  and  looked  into  every  corner  and  nook  of 
the  Liban.  Meeting  a  pine-tree,  they  asked  whether 
it  had  seen  the  accursed  one  passing  by  ?  The  pine-tree 
answered  that  it  had  not  seen  her.  The  saints  replied, 
*  Why  hast  thou  hidden  the  truth  from  us,  and  pro- 
tected the  accursed  one?  May  thy  stem  be  without 
roots  and  thy  fruit  dried  up ! '  They  met  then  the 
olive-tree,  and  said  unto  it,  *  Hast  thou  seen  the  accursed 
one  passing  this  way?'  The  tree  replied,  'My  lords,  I 
have  seen  her  going  by  this  way  to  the  sea  (and  she  is  lying?) 
under  twenty  bushes,  under  the  heads  of  Fasces  (?)  under 
the  marrow  of  children,  there  she  is  now  resting.'  The  saints 
said,  '  May  thy  fruit  be  blessed  and  used  in  the  temples  of 
the  Lord.*  They  then  found  the  accursed  one  at  the  sea- 
shore, and  said  unto  her,  '  The  Lord  commands  thee  through 
us  to  stay.*  As  soon  as  she  beheld  the  saints,  she  ran 
swiftly  to  the  sea,  but  they  overtook  her  and  laid  hands  on 
her.  The  accursed  one  said,  '  O  Sisynne  and  thou  Sisyno- 
dore,  why  do  you  pursue  me?*  And  the  holy  Sigynnios 
replied,  *  Give  us  back  the  seven  children  of  Melitena  and 
we  will  no  further  molest  thee.'  She  replied,  'If  you 
will  be  able  to  bring  up  the  milk  which  you  sucked  from 
your  mother's  breast,  I  will  return  you  the  children  of  Meli- 
tena.' Whereupon  the  saint  prayed  to  God  and  said, 
'  O  Lord,  thou  hast  said  there  is  nothing  impossible  before 
God,  show  now  thy  goodness  also  to  me,  so  that  all  shall 
see  it,  and  recognise  that  there  is  no  God  beside  thee.' 
The  holy  Sisynnios  at  once  brought  up  his  mother's  milk  in 
his  mouth,  and  he  said  to  the  accursed  one,  '  Here  is  my 

L  2 

148    Charm  against  the  Child'Stealtng  Witch. 

mother^s  milk,  return  thou  unto  me  now  the  seven  children 
of  Melitena.'  She  at  once  brought  up  the  seven  children 
of  Melitena,  and  said,  '  Ye  saints  of  the  Lord,  I  pray  of  you 
that  ye  no  further  molest  me,  and  I  promise  that  wherever 
this  amulet  (Phylacterium)  be  found  I  will  not  go,  and 
wherever  this  will  be  read  I  will  not  enter,  but  run  away  a 
distance  of  sixty  miles.  Whoever  will  write  down  my 
twelve  names,  his  house  will  I  not  hurt,  nor  will  I  enter  his 
abode,  nor  harm  his  cattle,  nor  have  power  over  his  house- 
hold.' The  holy  Sisynnios  then  adjured  her,  saying,  *  I 
adjure  thee  by  the  name  of  the  Lord,  which  the  stone  heard 
and  split,  by  the  holy  Mamantios,  the  holy  Polycarp,  &c. 
(Here  follows  a  long  list  of  saints  whose  name  is  in- 
voked, finishing  with  the  Holy  Virgin,  all  the  saints, 

In  this  shorter  recension  the  names  of  the  Gelu  are 
missing  and  the  legend  is  much  curtailed,  but  in  the  general 
outlines  the  two  represent  one  and  the  same  legend. 

Whatever  the  original  meaning  of  "  Gelu  "  may  be,  men- 
tioned already  by  Hesychius,  and  translated  as  '*  bugbear," 
it  is  undoubtedly  a  female  spirit  killing  children  immediately 
after  their  birth.  I  connect  it  with  the  Arabic-Persian 
*'  ghoul."  In  the  first  Greek  text  we  have  thus  now  the 
real  counterpart  of  Avestitza,  the  female  child-stealing 
demon,  with  the  mysterious  names.  These  names  are  very 
transparent  in  their  Greek  form  and  easily  understood. 
(B.  Schmidt,  Volksleben  der  Neugriechen,  139-40,  and 
especially  note  4.)  The  composite  character  of  the  first 
version  makes  me  believe  that  the  portion  with  the 
names  has  been  introduced  from  the  Avestitza  type. 
Of  this  latter,  which  is  of  special  interest  to  us  in  connection 
with  the  charm,  there  are  a  number  of  parallels  in  other 
literatures  much  older  than  the  Slavonic  and  even  the  Greek 
versions.  In  the  Hebrew  literature  we  have  at  least  two 
distinct  forms.  In  both  the  demon  that  kills  the  children 
is  the  same,  viz.  "  Lilith "  the  first  wife  of  Adam  and  the 

Charm  against  the  Child'Stealtng  Witch.  149 

mother  of  all  the  evil  spirits,  "  Shiddim,"  in  the  world.  In 
the  book  called  The  Mystery  of  the  Lord  and  borrowed 
thence  on  "broadsides/*  which  are  till  now  used  as  an 
amulet  in  the  room  where  the  child  is  born,  hanging  round 
the  walls,  we  find  the  following  conjuration  : — 

"  The  prophet  Elijah  travelled  once  on  his  way  and  he 
met  Lilith  and  her  host,  so  he  said  to  her,  '  O  thou 
wicked  Lilith,  where  art  thou  going  with  thine  uticlean 
host  ?  ^  And  she  replied,  '  My  Lord  Elijah,  I  am  going  to 
that  woman  who  has  given  birth  to  a  child,  to  give  her  the 
sleep  of  death,  to  take  her  new-born  child,  to  drink  its 
blood,  to  suck  the  marrow  of  its  bones,  but  to  leave  its  flesh 
untouched/  Elijah  replied  and  said,  '  I  conjure  thee  with 
a  great  excommunication  that  thou  be  changed  into  a  dumb 
stone  by  the  will  of  God.*  And  Lilith  said,  '  My  Lord,  for 
God's  sake  remove  the  excommunication,  that  I  may  be 
able  to  flee,  and  I  swear  by  the  name  of  God  that  I  will 
avoid  the  roads  leading  to  a  woman  with  a  new-born  child, 
and  whenever  I  hear  or  see  my  names  I  will  at  once  depart. 
And  I  will  tell  thee  my  names,  for  whenever  thou  utterest 
them,  neither  I  nor  my  host  have  any  power  to  enter  the 
house  of  a  lying-in  woman  to  harm  her.  I  swear  to  reveal  to 
thee  my  names,  so  that  thou  shalt  be  able  to  write  them  down 
and  to  hang  them  up  in  the  room  where  a  new-born  child  is. 
And  these  are  my  names,  Satrina,  Lilith,  Abito,  Amizo, 
Izorpo,  Kokos,  Odam,  Ita,  Podo,  Eilo,  Patrota,  Abeko,  Kea, 
Kali,  Batna,  Talto,  and  Partasah.  Whoever  knows  these 
my  names  and  writes  them  down  causes  me  to  run  away 
from  the  new-born  child.  Hang,  therefore,  this  amulet  up 
in  the  room  of  a  lying-in  woman.'  " 

This  amulet  is  absolutely  identical  with  the  Roumanian 
and  Russian  versions  of  the  Avestitza  type ;  only  Elijah  the 
prophet  has  taken  the  place  Of  the  saint  or  saints,  and  of 
the  angel  Michael.  The  deterrent  element  which  frightens 
the  Evil  Spirit  away  are  the  mysterious  names  of  the  Evil 
Spirit,  which  stand  revealed.    On  the  other  hand,  we  miss  here 

1 50    Charm  against  the  Chitd-stealing  Witch. 

the  allusion  to  the  changes  and  transformations  by  means 
of  which  the  demon  gains  access  to  the  new-born  child. 
This  proves  that  the  Hebrew  legend  in  this  form  belongs 
also  to  a  comparatively  modern  recension. 

A  much  older,  and  in  some  essentials  different,  version, 
appears  in  a  book  composed  not  later  than  about  the  tenth 
century.  The  difference  is  profound ;  the  names  by  which 
the  Evil  Spirit  is  prevented  from  doing  any  harm  to  the 
new-born  child  are  no  longer  her  own  names,  but  the  more 
powerful  names  of  the  angels  who  subdue  the  Evil  Spirit. 
The  sight  of  their  names  terrifies  her  away,  and  protects 
those  who  invoke  their  aid  against  the  attacks  of  the  child- 
stealing  witch.  We  are  approaching  to  the  more  ancient 
form  of  conjurations,  where  the  conjurer  identifies  himself 
with  the  superior  powers,  becomes  for  the  time  being  the 
living  representative  of  Osiris  or  of  Serapis,  or  of  Baal  or 
of  Buddha,  in  order  to  strike  terror  into  the  heart  of  the 
demons  and  to  drive  them  away  from  human  habitation. 

Before  reaching  that  stage  of  our  investigation,  I  mention 
here  the  Syriac  version,  which  also  belongs  to  the  Avestitza 
type.  But  curiously  enough  the  saint  who  is  persecuting  and 
banishing  the  Evil  Spirit  got  the  name  of  the  spirit  shifted 
on  to  him,  for  I  see  in  "  Ebedishu "  the  parallel  to 
**  Avediasa,"  the  form  which  comes  nearest  to  the  Rouma- 
nian Avestitza.  The  framework  is  up  to  a  certain  point  the 
the  same,  only  the  sympathetic  or  symbolical  part  has  dropped 
out,  namely,  that  the  Evil  Spirit  has  been  intercepted  on  her 
way  to  the  new-born  child,  and  also  no  mention  is  made  of 
the  means  she  employs  to  gain  access  by  changing  her  out- 
ward form.  On  the  other  hand,  we  have  here  a  list  of 
mystical  names  twice  repeated,  each  time  numbering  twelve, 
as  in  the  shorter  Greek  version.  The  manuscript  from 
which  this  charm  is  taken,  published  by  the  Rev.  Dr.  H. 
Gollancz  belongs  to  the  fifteenth  century,  but  the  charm  is 
certainly  copied  from  much  older  texts.  I  reproduce  it 
here  in  full  : 

Charm  against  the  Child-steating  Witch.   15 1 

The  Anathema  of  Mar  Ebedishu,  the  Monk  and  Hermit. 

The  prayer,  request,  petition,  and  supplication  of  Mar  Ebedishu, 
the  Monk  and  Hermit  of  God,  who  was  among  the  dumb  beasts 
on  the  Friday,  which  is  the  Passion  (jrr.  day)  of  our  Lord  and 
Redeemer,  at  the  time  when  the  Evil  Spirit  in  the  likeness  of  a 
hateful  woman  of  dark  appearance  was  coming  down  from  the 
Mount  of  Eden,  and  she  appeared  unto  him  and  called  him  by 
name,  Ebedishu ;  and  he  said  unto  her,  "  Who  art  thou  ?  "  She 
replied  and  said,  "I  am  a  woman  and  will  be  your  partner." 
Thereupon  the  saintly  Mar  Ebedishu,  as  soon  as  he  perceived  that 
she  was  a  wicked  and  unclean  spirit,  bound  her  and  cursed  her 
and  tied  her  up,  saying,  **  You  are  not  empowered  to  show  your 
might  and  strength  and  craft  over  the  men-servants  and  women- 
servants  of  God  who  carry  these  formulae.  And,  furthermore,  I 
conjure  thee  by  Him  at  whom  angels  and  men  tremble,  that  if  thou 
hast  any  other  names  reveal  them  to  me,  and  show  me,  and  hide 
it  not."  She  said  unto  him,  "  I  will  reveal  it  unto  thee,  though 
I  desire  it  not.  I  have  twelve  other  names.  Whosoever  will 
write  them  and  hang  them  upon  himself,  or  place  them  in  his 
house,  his  house  will  I  not  enter,  nor  (approach)  his  children. 
First  Miduch,  second  Edilta,  third  Mouelta,  the  fourth  they  call 
Lilitha  and  Malvitha  and  the  strangling-mother  of  children 
(lit.  boys),''  Thereupon  the  saintly  Mar  Ebedishu,  as  soon  as  he 
perceived  that  she  was  an  evil  and  unclean  spirit,  bound  her 
and  cursed  her  and  tied  her  up,  and  said  unto  her,  "  You  are 
not  empowered  to  show  your  might  and  strength  and  craft  over 
the  servant  of  the  Living  God  who  carries  these  writs;  and, 
furthermore,  I  conjure  thee  by  the  One  at  whom  angels  and  men 
tremble,  that  if  you  have  any  other  names,  reveal  them  to  me,  and 
show  me,  and  hide  nothing  from  me."  She  replied  unto  him, 
"  I  will  reveal  it  unto  thee,  though  I  desire  it  not.  I  have  twelve 
other  names.  Whosoever  will  write  them  and  hang  them  upon 
himself,  his  house  will  I  not  enter,  nor  do  harm  unto  his  wife,  nor 
unto  his  children,  nor  unto  anything  which  he  hath  or  will  have ; 
my  first  name  (is)  Geos,  second  Edilta,  third  Lambros,  fourth 
Martlos,  fifth  Yamnos,  sixth  Samyos,  seventh  Domos,  eighth 
Dirba,  ninth  Apiton,  tenth  Pegogha,  eleventh  Zardvech,  Lilitha, 
Malvitha,  and  the  strangling-mother  of  children."  Then  the 
saintly  Mar  Ebedishu  said  unto  her,  "  I  will  bind  you  off  him 

152   Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

who  carries  these  writs  in  the  name  of  the  God  of  Gods  and  the 
the  Lord  of  Lords,  and  in  the  name  of  the  Being  who  is  from 
everlasting;  may  there  be  bound,  doomed,  and  expelled  all 
accursed  and  rebellious  demons,  and  all  evil  and  envious  persons, 
and  all  calamities  from  oflf  him  who  carries  these  writs ! " 

Though  somewhat  changed,  this  Syriac  form  has  preserved 
the  old  character  of  the  charm  without  limiting  it  absolutely 
to  the  protection  against  the  child-stealing  demon.  Among 
the  names  we  find  also  the  "Lilith"  of  the  Hebrew  or  better 
oriental  tradition.  To  this  we  must  revert  now.  As  I 
have  pointed  out,  the  scenery  has  been  shifted  in  this 
tradition.  In  lieu  of  the  names  of  the  demon,  which,  when 
known,  afford  protection  to  the  person  which  possesses  that 
knowledge,  we  find  the  names  of  the  divine  powers  invoked 
which  afford  a  much  stronger  protection.  This  is  the  true 
form  of  the  old  worship.  Moreover  the  conjuration  becomes 
a  sort  of  invocation,  a  supplicatory  prayer  to  the  pro- 
tecting powers,  to  which  man,  in  his  weakness  and  in  his 
faith,  turns  for  help  against  the  insidious  attacks  of  those 
demons  against  which  he  alone  would  be  absolutely  power- 
less. Even  in  the  Greek  versions  of  the  Sisin  legend  we  find 
a  string  of  names  of  saints  added  at  the  end  of  the  amulet, 
who  are  invoked  to  assist  in  the  protection  which  the  bearing 
of  it  alone  should  apparently  suffice  to  secure.  But  double 
is  better,  and  although  the  people  have  sufficient  confidence 
in  that  amulet,  they  still  strengthen  its  efficacy  by  the  list  of 
saints  appended  to  it.  In  the  Canonical  Exorcisms  used 
by  the  Catholic  Church,  we  find  also  as  a  rule  a  list  of  holy 
names  by  virtue  of  which  the  demon  is  forced  to  obey  the 
injunctions  of  the  Exorcist. 

In  a  book  which  goes  by  the  name  of  the  angel  **  Raziel," 
who  is  said  to  have  revealed  to  Adam  immediately  after  he 
left  Paradise,  but  which  in  reality  is  a  compilation  made  in 
the  tenth  century  from  much  older  materials,  we  find  then 
the  following  conjuration,  preceded  by  (ed.  Amsterdam, 
fol.  43*)  a  list  of  seventy  names  of  angels.     "I  conjure 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch.    153 

thee,  primitive  Eve,  by  the  name  of  the  one  who  created 
thee,  and  by  the  names  of  the  three  angels  which  the  Lord 
sent  after  thee,  and  who  found  thee  in  the  islands  of  the 
sea,  to  whom  thou  didst  swear,  that  wherever  thou  shalt 
find  their  names  neither  thou  nor  thine  host  shall  do  any 
harm,  also  not  to  those  who  carry  those  names  with  them. 
I  therefore  conjure  thee  by  their  names  and  by  their  seals, 
which  are  written  down  here,  that  thou  do  no  harm, 
neither  thou,  nor  thy  host,  nor  thy  servants,  to  this  woman 
or  to  the  young  babe  to  which  she  has  given  birth  ;  neither 
during  day-time  nor  during  the  night ;  neither  in  their  food 
nor  in  their  drink  ;  neither  in  their  head  nor  in  their  heart ; 
nor  in  their  208  members,  nor  in  their  305  veins.  I  conjure 
thee,  thy  host  and  thy  servants,  with  the  power  of  these 
names  and  these  seals."  Under  the  "  Primitive  or  Primary 
Eve,"  Lilith  is  understood. 

We  have  thus  the  child-stealing  demon  living  in  the 
islands  of  the  sea,  conjured  by  mystical  names.  This  con- 
juration is  accompanied  by  the  rudimentary  reproduction  of 
the  image  of  three  angels,  whose  sight  is  considered  to  be 
efficacious  enough  to  drive  the  child-stealing  demon  away. 
Their  names  are  given  as  Snoi,  Snsnoi,  and  Smnglf.  I  re- 
produce the  Hebrew  spelling  exactly  as  it  stands,  without 
the  addition  of  any  vowels.  These  names  occur  also  in  an 
ancient  MS.  of  the  twelfth  century  in  the  British  Museum, 
filled  with  cabalistic  texts  and  amulets,  and  in  two 
instances  invocations  to  these  three  angels  are  mentioned 
for  healing  in  certain  diseases.  I  see  in  Snoi  and  Snsnoi 
the  very  names  of  the  brothers  of  Melitie  in  the  European 
versions,  viz.  Sisinie  and  Sisyno-dores,  taken  over  at  a  very 
early  period  from  the  East,  and  applied  in  these  charms  to 
saints  instead  of  angels,  just  as  the  prophet  Elijah  becomes 
the  Archangel  Michael.  We  can  almost  fit  the  time  of  this 
change.  Sisynie,  the  patriarch  of  the  Orthodox  Church  in 
Constantinople,  found  it  necessary  in  the  eleventh  century  to 
explain  to  his  people  that  he  was  not  the  false  Sisynios  of 

154  Charm  against  the  Child-stealtng  Witch. 

whom  the  mad  priest  Jeremiah  had  written*  This  Jeremiah 
wasthefamousfounderof  the  newManichaean  sect  inBulgaria, 
known  as  that  of  the  Bogomils,  from  whom  all  the  European 
heretical  sects  took  their  origin,  such  as  the  Albigenses, 
the  Kathars,  and  others.  He  is  specially  credited  with  the 
authorship  of  such  a  conjuration  in  which  Sisynios,  the 
archangel  Michael,  and  some  demons  are  concerned.  I 
have  no  doubt  that  it  refers  to  this  conjuration  against  the 
female  child-stealing  demon  and  to  those  charms  which 
have  grown  out  of  it,  such  as  the  old  charm  against  fever 
in  Russia.  As  some  of  the  primitive  elements  have  been 
retained  in  that  charm,  I  translate  it  here  as  given  by 
Maikov,  who  enumerates  sundry  variants  from  various  parts 
of  Russia.  "  Close  to  the  Red  Sea  stands  a  marble  column, 
on  it  sits  the  holy  Sisynie,  and  he  sees  the  waters  of  the 
sea  mount,  lifted  up  to  the  Heavens  ;  from  the  midst  of  the 
waters  came  out  twelve  women  with  long  plaits,  who  say, 
*  We  are  the  fevers,  the  daughters  of  Herod.*  And  the  saint 
asked,  *  Accursed  devils,  why  do  you  come  out  ? '  They 
replied,  *  We  have  come  to  torture  mankind ;  those  who 
do  not  rise  up  early  and  say  their  prayers,  who  do  not  keep 
the  festivals,  and  who  indulge  in  eating  and  drinking  very 
early  in  the  mornings.'  Saint  Sisynie  prayed  to  God  and 
said,  '  Send,  O  Lord  (thy  messengers?),  and  save  the  world 
from  these  accursed  devils.'  And  God  sent  two  angels, 
Sihail  and  Anas,  and  the  four  Evangelists.  They  took  hold 
of  the  fever-demons  and  beat  them  with  fiery  rods,  and  in- 
flicted on  them  daily  four  thousand  wounds.  So  they  began 
to  cry  and  to  say,  *  Do  not  torture  us  any  longer,  for  wher- 
ever we  shall  see  your  holy  names,  or  wherever  they  will  hold 
your  holy  names  in  veneration,  we  will  not  approach  them 
a  distance  of  three  miles.'  And  the  holy  Sisynie  asked, 
'  What  are  your  names  ?  '  The  first  replied,  'My  name  is 
the  "Trembler."  The  second  said,  'My  name  is  "Heating," 
as  I  cause  the  human  body  to  burn  as  with  fire.'  The 
third  said,  'My  name  is  "Icy,"  for  I  cause  the  human  body 
to  be  freezing,  &c.'  " 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch.    1 55 

In  this  conjuration  the  demons  are  banished  by  virtue 
of  the  names  of  those  two  angels,  who  together  with  the 
saint  make  up  the  Trias  of  sacred  names  in  the  Hebrew 
version.  Whilst  the  names  of  the  demons  have  been  fully 
translated,  the  other  names  did  not  fare  so  well.  Sihail 
and  Anas  are  undoubtedly  Mihail  and  Satanas,  written 
St.  Anas,  and  are  later  popular  corruptions  of  the  older 
forms  better  preserved  in  the  much  older  Hebrew  counter- 
part. I  see  in  the  Hebrew  Snsnoi  Saint  Sisynie  and  in  Snoi, 
Syno-doros  or  Sisyno-odoros,  whilst  Smng  has  in  every 
probability  become  Satanael.  The  Hebrew  script  favours 
the  theory  of  such  a  change,  as  these  letters  and  those  of 
the  word  Stne  are  very  much  alike  one  another,  and  can 
easily  be  substituted  one  for  the  other.  This  name  of 
Satan,  as  the  lord  of  the  lower  world,  is  the  very  name  so 
much  in  vogue  among  the  New  Manichaeans  or  Bogomils. 
The  founder  of  this  sect  had  only  to  take  the  Oriental 
form  over,  and  change  the  names  slightly,  to  make  them 
identical  with  such  as  were  known  to  the  people,  and  to 
make  them  popular  and  efficacious.  The  sectarians  recog- 
nised in  this  charm  the  names  of  a  prominent  saint, 
Sisymos,  and  of  Satanael  the  primitive  creator  of  the  lower 

Of  the  Oriental  origin  of  this  charm  there  can  be  no 
doubt.  The  assumption,  if  ever  put  forward,  that  we  are 
dealing  with  a  charm  of  old  European  heathen  origin 
adopted  by  Jews  and  Christians  alike,  and  adapted  to  the 
teachings  and  tenets  of  the  followers  of  these  religions,  is 
contrary  to  facts.  For  we  find  the  same  charm  with  slight 
modifications  in  a  book  called  the  Alphabet  of  Sir  achy  which 
dates  in  every  probability  from  the  seventh  century.  Here  we 
find  the  same  old  legend  in  the  very  form  in  which  we  expect 
it  to  appear  if  it  is  to  be  the  older  version,  viz.  three  angels 
coming  to  the  rescue  of  the  woman  with  the  child,  and  granting 
her  immunity  against  the  child-stealing  demon,  only  by  the 
mention  of  their  names.  This  is  the  text  as  found  in  Alpha- 
betum  Siracidis  (ed.  Steinschneider,  Berlin,  1858,  fol.  23^^: 

156    Charm  against  the  Child-stealmg  Witch. 

"  The  son  of  King  Nebuchadnezzar  was  taken  suddenly  ill. 
The  king  thereupon  said  to  Sirach,  *  Heal  my  son,  for  if  thou 
dost  not  cure  him,  I  will  kill  thee.'  Sirach  wrote  out  an 
amulet  in  perfect  purity,  and  wrote  therein  the  names  and 
forms  of  the  angels  appointed  over  the  cure,  with  their 
wings,  their  hands,  and  their  feet.  When  the  king  saw  that 
amulet,  he  asked,  *  Who  are  these?'  Sirach  replied,  'These 
are  the  angels  who  are  appointed  over  the  cure  of  man,  and 
their  names  are  Snoi,  Snsnoi,  Smnglf.'  (This  is  their  his- 
tory.) When  God  created  Adam,  He  said  it  is  not  good  for 
man  to  be  alone,  and  He  created  an  helpmate  for  him  also 
from  the  earth,  and  called  her  Lilith.  No  sooner  was  she 
created  than  she  commenced  quarrelling  with  Adam  and 
saying,  '  I  am  just  as  good  as  you  as  we  have  both  been 
created  from  the  earth.'  When  Lilith  saw  that  she  could  not 
overcome  Adam,  she  uttered  the  ineffable  name  of  God  and 
flew  up  in  the  air.  Adam  stood  up  in  prayer  and  said, 
'  O  Lord  of  the  Universe,  the  wife  which  thou  hast  given  me 
has  run  away  from  me.'  Whereupon  the  Lord  sent  these 
three  angels  after  her  to  bring  her  back,  and  they  said  unto 
her, '  The  Lord  has  decreed  that  if  thou  art  willing  to  return, 
it  be  well  with  thee,  but  if  not,  thou  must  take  upon  thyself 
as  punishment  that  each  day  100  of  thy  children  should 
die.'  The  angels  went  after  her  and  found  her  in  the 
midst  of  roaring  waters,  and  the  very  same  waters  where 
the  Egyptians  later  on  were  destined  to  be  drowned  [evi- 
dently the  waters  of  the  Red  Sea] .  They  told  her  God's 
command,  but  she  refused  to  return.  So  they  said  unto  her, 
*  We  must  drown  thee  in  these  waters.'  But  she  begged 
of  them,  and  said, '  Leave  me,  for  I  have  been  created  for 
the  purpose  of  weakening  [destroying]  little  babes,  if  it  be 
a  boy,  eight  days  from  the  day  of  his  birth,  and  if  it  be  a 
girl,  that  I  should  have  power  over  her  up  to  twenty  days.' 
When  they  heard  her  words,  they  urged  more  strongly  upon 
her  to  obey,  and  she  then  said,  *  I  swear  unto  you  by  the 
name  of  the  living  and  great  God,  that  whenever  I  shall  see 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch    157 

either  you  or  your  names  or  your  images  on  an  amulet 
I  will  not  hurt  that  child.'  And  she  took  upon  herself  to 
lose  every  day  a  hundred  of  her  children  by  death,  there- 
fore every  day  100  Shiddim  die.  If  we  now  write  those 
names  on  an  amulet  for  little  children,  and  she  sees  those 
names,  she  remembers  her  oath  and  the  child  gets  cured.*' 

In  this  version  we  have  the  oldest  form,  ^containing  first 
the  historical  part,  then  the  epical  element  giving  a  minute 
description  of  the  way  how  Lilith  acquired  the  power  to  hurt 
children,  that  is,  how  she  became  a  child-stealing  and 
strangling  demon,  and  the  reason  why  the  invocation  of 
those  mysterious  three  names  has  the  effect  of  driving  her 
away  and  of  saving  the  patient.  But  even  in  this  older  form 
the  charm  is  already  curtailed,  and  proves  therefore  to  be  of 
far  greater  antiquity  than  even  the  composition  of  the  book 
in  which  it  is  merely  incidentally  quoted.  One  thing  at  any 
rate  is  certain,  viz.,  that  it  is  of  an  Oriental  origin. 

It  remains,  however,  to  be  seen  from  what  source  it  is 
originally  derived.  The  name  '* Lilith"  points  unmistakably 
to  Babylon,  and  we  have  in  these  charms  and  conjurations 
the  reflex  of  such  old  Babylonian  charms,  but  hitherto  no 
identical  legend  or  conjuration  is  found  among  the  Assyrian 
tablets  as  yet  published.  The  figure  of  the  child-stealing 
witch  occurs,  however,  in  another  extremely  ancient  apocry- 
phal book  which  goes  under  the  name  of  The  Testament  of 
Solomon^  and  dates  probably  from  the  first  or  second 
century  of  the  Christian  Era.  In  it  there  are  blended 
different  currents  of  thought;  astrological  and  mystical  beliefs 
have  been  combined  together  in  such  a  manner  that  it  would 
be  very  difficult  to  fix  with  any  precision  the  immediate 
direct  source  for  this  compilation.  It  represents  that 
peculiar  fusion  known  as  Gnosticism,  resting  upon  a  Jewish 
basis  influenced  by  Egyptian,  Assyrian,  and  Greek,  more 
especially  Orphic,  teachings.  In  chapter  57,  we  find  now 
the  following  legend. 

"  And  I  adored  the  Lord  God  of  Israel  and  bade  another 

158    Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

demon  present  himself.  And  there  came  before  me  a  spirit 
in  woman's  form  that  had  a  head  without  any  limbs,  and  her 
hair  was  dishevelled.  And  I  said  to  her,  *  Who  art  thou  ? ' 
But  she  answered,  ^  Nay,  who  art  thou  ?  And  why  dost  thou 
want  to  hear  concerning  me  ?  But  as  thou  wouldst  learn, 
here  I  stand  bound  before  thy  face.  Go  then  into  thy  royal 
storehouses  and  wash  thy  hands.  Then  sit  down  afresh 
before  thy  tribunal  and  ask  me  questions,  and  thou  shalt 
learn,  O  king,  who  I  am.* 

"  And  I,  Solomon,  did  as  she  enjoined  me,  and  restrained 
myself  because  of  the  wisdom  dwelling  in  me,  in  order  that 
I  might  hear  of  her  deeds  and  apprehend  them  and 
manifest  them  to  men.  And  I  sat  down  and  said  to  the 
demon,  *  Who  art  thou?*  And  she  said,  *I  am  called 
among  men  Obizuth,  and  by  night  I  sleep  not,  but  go  my 
rounds  over  all  the  world  and  visit  women  in  childbirth. 
And  divining  the  hour  I  take  my  stand,  and  if  I  am  lucky  I 
strangle  the  child.  But  if  not,  I  retire  to  another  place,  for 
I  cannot  a  single  night  retire  unsuccessful.  For  I  am  a 
fierce  spirit  of  myriad  names  and  many  shapes.  And  now 
hither,  now  thither,  I  roam.  And  to  westering  parts  I  go  my 
rounds.  But  as  it  now  is,  though  thou  hast  sealed  me 
round  with  the  ring  of  God,  thou  hast  done  nothing.  I  am 
not  standing  before  thee,  and  thou  wilt  not  be  able  to  com- 
mand me.  For  I  have  no  work  other  than  the  destruction 
of  children  and  the  making  their  ears  to  be  deaf,  and  the 
working  of  evil  to  their  eyes,  and  the  binding  their  mouths 
with  a  bond,  and  the  ruin  of  their  minds,  and  paining  of 
their  bodies.* 

"  When  I,  Solomon,  heard  .this,  I  marvelled  at  her 
appearance,  for  I  beheld  all  her  body  to  be  in  darkness. 
But  her  glance  was  altogether  bright  and  cheery,  and  her 
hair  was  tossed  wildly  like  a  dragon*s,  and  the  whole  of  her 
limbs  were  invisible.  And  her  voice  was  very  clear  as  it 
came  to  me.  And  I  cunningly  said,  'Tell  me  by  what 
angel    thou    art    frustrated,    O    Evil    Spirit?*       But    she 

Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch.    159 

answered  me,  *By  the  angel  of  God  called  Afarof,  which 
is  interpreted  Raphael,  by  whom  I  am  frustrated  now  and 
for  all  time.  His  name,  if  any  man  know  it,  and  write  the 
same  on  a  woman  in  childbirth^  then  I  shall  not  be  able  to 
enter  her.  Of  this  name  the  number  is  640.'  And  I, 
Solomon,  having  heard  this,  and  having  glorified  the  Lord, 
ordered  her  hair  to  be  bound  and  that  she  should  be  hung 
up  in  front  of  the  Temple  of  God,  that  all  the  children  of 
Israel  as  they  passed  might  see  it  and  glorify  the  Lord  God 
of  Israel,  who  had  given  me  this  authority  with  wisdom  and 
power  from  God  by  means  of  this  signet." 

We  see  at  once  the  absolute  identity  between  this  demon 
that  visits  women  in  childbirth  and  strangles  the  child 
and  whose  power  is  frustrated  by  the  name  of  the  angels 
even  if  only  written  on  a  woman  at  childbirth,  with  the 
legend  of  the  child-stealing  witch.  Although  in  The  Testa- 
ment of  Solomon  we  have  a  reflex  of  the  Medusa  legend 
connected  with  it,  yet  all  the  rest,  all  the  principal  elements 
that  recur,  either  in  the  written  or  in  the  oral  charm  and  con- 
juration, are  all  found  here,  even  the  allusion  to  the  many 
shapes  assumed  by  that  demon.  If  we  had  a  more  perfect 
text  of  this  old  apocryphal  book,  the  identity  would  be 
closer  still  if  possible  ;  for  the  text  is  undoubtedly  somewhat 
corrupt,  and  can  only  be  clearly  understood  if  brought  in 
connection  with  our  cycle  of  legends. 

Having  been  embodied  at  that  time  into  The  Testament 
of  Solomon^  this  legend  must  have  existed  previously  in  an 
independent  and  fuller  form.  In  how  far  the  Proserpina- 
myth  had  anything  to  do  with  it  I  do  not  care  to  investigate, 
for  this  would  merely  be  one  of  the  elements.  My  intention 
in  this  study  has  been  not  so  much  to  trace  this  idea  of  the 
child-stealing  witch  who  strangles  the  children  and  hurts 
the  mothers  at  the  birth,  as  to  follow  up  by  means  of  literary 
tradition  one  of  the  charms  that  exist  in  modem  times  in 
the  mouth  of  illiterate  people  ;  to  show  how  entirely  this 
oral  charm,  of  absolutely  popular  origin  in  our  modern  col- 

i6o  Charm  against  the  Child-stealing  Witch. 

lections,  agrees  with  written  texts  of  great  antiquity,  and 
to  follow  this  written  conjuration  through  various  literatures 
up  to  the  remotest  parallel  to  which  it  can  be  traced.  My 
investigation  has  fully  borne  out  the  fact  that  such  charms 
and  conjurations,  though  forming  part  of  modern  oral  folk- 
lore, had  a  direct  literary  origin,  which  has  been  in  the 
main  little  impaired  by  the  distances  it  has  had  to  traverse,and 
which  has  retained  the  essential  features  of  the  very  form 
in  which  it  appeared  centuries  ago  in  books.  Changes  have 
occurred,  and  they  assist  us  in  the  historical  investigations  ; 
substitutions  of  one  incident  for  another  have  taken  place ; 
but  the  whole  central  figure,  the  epical  narrative,  the  his- 
torical background,  the  mysterious  powerful  names  by 
which  the  demon  is  bound,  nay,  even  the  identical  name 
occurring  in  The  Testament  of  Solomon  as  "Obizuth**  re- 
minding one  strongly  of  the  Slavonic-Roumanian  "  Aves- 
titza,"  Syriac  "  Ebedisha,*'  show  how  little  the  time  has 
changed  this  charm. 

If  this  can  be  proved  for  that  element  in  folklore  which 
partakes  of  the  heathen  portion,  and  which  scholars  have 
hitherto  been  inclined  to  consider  autochthonous  and  pre- 
christian,  and  whose  literary  origin  no  one  believed  possible, 
but  which  upon  a  careful  examination  turns  out  to  be  in 
every  detail  dependent  upon  that  literary  ancient  form,  a 
similar  investigation  imposes  itself  necessarily  upon  the 
other  elements,  and  forces  us  to  pause  before  committing 
ourselves  to  any  rash  conclusions  concerning  the  origin  of 
modern  folklore. 

Magic  and  medicine  have  gone  in  ancient  times,  and  even 
in  modern  times,  hand  in  hand ;  the  next  step  of  our 
investigations  would  be  to  apply  a  similar  test  to  some 
of  the  popular  medicines,  and  I  have  not  the  slightest 
doubt  that  the  result  will  be  the  same.  Old  herbals  will 
form  the  intermediary  link  in  the  chain  of  literary  tradition, 
the  first  ring  of  which  may  have  been  forged  in  Egypt  or  in 
Greece,   and   the    last   of    which    is    represented   by   the 

Charm  against  the  Chtld-stealing  Witch.  i6i 

medicine  that  still  lives  as  an  active  factor  in  the  life  of 
the  "  folk/'  They  will  be  found  to  have  continued  with 
surprising  vitality  the  old  results  obtained  by  the  medicine 
man  of  ancient  times,  and  to  have  been  handed  on, 
not  so  much  by  word  of  mouth,  but  by  the  more  effective 
and  more  lasting  written  word.  Our  charm  is  in  fact 
merely  one  part  of  the  medical  operation  performed  for  the 
purpose  of  curing  the  patient  or  preserving  him  from  the 
attack  of  the  im^en_but.dreaded  demon.  It  is  not  for  us 
to  inqui^]]^^i,fcit^  cfie  demon   has  been  scared  away. 

Modern  ,^  xs  scaring  our  folklore  much  more  effica- 

ciously away. 

Some  might  suggest  that  this  legend  and  charm  existed 
independently  in  the  mouth  of  the  people  for  many  centuries, 
and  that  the  texts  which  appear  in  the  written  literature  are 
simply  borrowed  from  the  mouth  of  the  people  and  are  not 
interdependent  upon  one  another.  This  would  mean  that 
every  author  has  simply  collected  and  borrowed  material 
existing  in  the  mouth  of  the  people  in  whose  midst  it  had 
originated  independently ;  but  those  very  minute  changes 
which  I  have  been  able  to  show,  and  which  follow  one  upon 
another  in  historical  succession,  the  change  of  the  names  of 
angels  to  mysterious  names  of  the  demon,  the  slow  change 
from  the  old  to  the  new,  and  the  identity  of  late  written 
versions  ^vith  recent  oral  forms,  prove  conclusively  that  they 
are  all  due  to  that  literary  tradition  which  some  like  to 
deny.  Facts  are  stronger  than  fiction  ;  they  show  that  one 
writer  is  dependent  upon  the  other  writer,  and  that  the 
charm  has  been  disseminated  from  the  East  to  the  West 
by  means  of  the  written  word.  Whatever  the  primitive 
origin  of  the  charm  may  have  been,  whether  it  rests  on  an 
ancient  popular  conjuration — by  the  way,  a  word  much 
abused,  as  everything  must  commence  with  individuals,  and 
not  with  a  people — or  whether  it  was  an  artificial  composi- 
tion by  one  of  the  learned  scribes  in  Assyria  or  Egypt,  I 
am  satisfied  for  my  part,  to  have  followed  this  charm  against 

VOL.  XI.  M 

1 62  Pre-animisttc  Religion. 

the  child-stealing  witch  from  the  heights  of  the  Carpathian 
Mountains,  through  Roumania,  the  south  of  Russia,  the 
Plains  of  the  Balkans,  as  far  as  Old  Byzantium,  thence  to 
the  cloisters  of  Syria,  through  Palestine,  and  on  to  the 
Valley  of  the  Nile.  A  far-travelled  charm  indeed,  and  who 
knows  how  far  it  will  travel  still  ? 

M.  Gaster. 


BY  R.   R.   MARETT,   M.A. 

{Read  at  Meeting  of  November  i^th,  1899.) 

The  object  of  the  present  paper  is  simply  to  try  to  give 
relatively  definite  shape  to  the  conception  of  a  certain  very 
primitive  phase  of  Religion,  as  Religion  may  for  anthropo- 
logical purposes  be  understood.  The  conception  in  ques- 
tion will  strike  many,  I  daresay,  as  familiar,  nay  possibly 
as  commonplace  to  a  degree.  Even  so,  however,  I  venture 
to  think  that  it  is  one  amongst  several  of  those  almost 
tacitly  accepted  commonplaces  of  Comparative  Religion 
which  serve  at  present  but  to  "  crib,  cabin,  and  confine  *' 
the  field  of  active  and  critical  research.  Comparative 
Religion  is  still  at  the  classificatory  stage.  Its  genuine 
votaries  are  almost  exclusively  occupied  in  endeavouring 
to  find  "pigeon-holes"  wherein  to  store  with  some  approach 
to  orderly  and  distinct  arrangement  the  vast  and  chaotic 
piles  of  "slips"  which  their  observation  or  reading  has 
accumulated.  Now  in  such  a  case  the  tendency  is  always 
to  start  with  quite  a  few  pigeon-holes,  and  but  gradually 
and,  as  it  were,  grudgingly,  to  add  to  their  number.  On 
the  other  hand  considerable  division  and  sub-division  of 
topics  is  desirable,  both  in  the  interest  of  specialised  study 
and  in  order  to  baffle  and  neutralise  the  efforts  of  popu- 
larisers  to  enlist  prejudice  on  the  side  of  one  or  another 

Pre-animtstic  Religion.  163 

would-be  synoptic  version  of  the  subject,  based  on  some 
narrow  and  fragmentary  view  of  the  data  as  provided  by 
current  science.  Nay,  so  essential  is  it  to  detach  "  work- 
able '^  portions  of  the  evidence  for  separate  and  detailed 
consideration,  that  it  is  comparatively  unimportant  whether 
the  divisions  at  any  moment  recognised  and  adopted  be 
capable  of  exact  co-ordination  in  respect  to  one  another,  so 
long  as  each  taken  by  itself  is  clearly  marked  and  leads 
immediately  to  business.  Thus  in  the  present  case  I  have 
ventured  to  call  attention  to  a  phase  of  early  Religion  which, 
I  believe,  only  needs  clearly  marking  off  by  the  aid  of  a 
few  technical  designations,  to  serve  as  a  rallying  point  for 
a  quantity  of  facts  that  have  hitherto  largely  "  gone  about 
loose."  I  have  therefore  improvised  some  technical  terms. 
I  have  likewise  roughly  surveyed  the  ground  covered  by 
the  special  topic  in  question,  with  a  view  to  showing  how 
the  facts  may  there  be  disposed  and  regimented.  Choicer 
technical  terms  no  doubt  may  easily  be  found.  Moreover 
my  illustrations  are  certainly  anything  but  choice,  having 
been  culled  hastily  from  the  few  books  nearest  to  hand. 
May  I  hope,  however,  at  least  to  be  credited  with  the  good 
intention  of  calling  the  attention  of  anthropologists  to  the 
possibilities  of  a  more  or  less  disregarded  theme  in  Com- 
parative Religion ;  and  may  I,  conversely,  be  acquitted  of 
any  design  to  dogmatise  prematurely  about  Religious  Origins 
because  I  have  put  forward  a  few  experimental  formulae,  on 
the  chance  of  their  proving  useful  to  this  or  that  researcher 
who  may  be  in  need  of  an  odd  piece  of  twine  wherewith  to 
tie  his  scopas  dissolute  into  a  handy,  if  temporary,  besom  ? 
Definitions  of  words  are  always  troublesome ;  and  Religion 
is  the  most  troublesome  of  all  words  to  define.  Now  for 
the  purposes  of  Anthropology  at  its  present  stage  it  matters 
less  to  assign  exact  limits  to  the  concept  to  which  the  word 
in  question  corresponds,  than  to  make  sure  that  these  limits 
are  cast  on  such  wide  and  generous  lines,  as  to  exclude  no 
feature  that  has  characterised  Religion  at  any  moment  in  tha 

M  2 

164  Pre-animtstic  Religion. 

long  course  of  its  evolution.  Suffice  it,  then,  to  presuppose 
that  the  word  stands  for  a  certain  composite  or  concrete 
state  of  mind  wherein  various  emotions  and  ideas  are 
together  directly  provocative  of  action.  Let  it  be  likewise 
noted  at  the  start,  that  these  emotions  and  ideas  are  by 
no  means  always  harmoniously  related  in  the  religious  con- 
sciousness, and  indeed  perhaps  can  never  be  strictly  com- 
mensurate with  each  other.  Now  for  most  persons,  probably, 
the  emotional  side  of  Religion  constitutes  its  more  real,  more 
characteristic  feature.  Men  are,  however,  obliged  to  com- 
municate expressly  with  each  other  on  the  subject  of  their 
religious  experience  by  the  way  of  ideas  solely.  Hence,  if 
for  no  other  reason,  the  ideas  composing  the  religious  state 
tend  to  overlay  and  outweigh  the  emotional  element,  when 
it  comes  to  estimating  man's  religious  experience  taken  at 
its  widest.  Thus  we  catch  at  an  idea  that  reminds  us  of  one 
belonging  to  an  advanced  creed  and  say.  Here  is  Religion  ; 
or,  if  there  be  found  no  clear-cut  palpable  idea  we  are  apt 
to  say.  There  is  no  Religion  here ;  but  whether  the  subtle 
thrill  of  what  we  know  in  ourselves  as  religious  emotion  be 
present  there  or  no,  we  rarely  have  the  mindfulness  or 
patience  to  inquire,  simply  because  this  far  more  delicate 
criterion  is  hard  to  formulate  in  thought  and  even  harder  to 
apply  to  fact. 

Now  the  object  of  this  paper  is  to  grope  about  amongst 
the  roots  of  those  beliefs  and  practices  that  at  a  certain 
stage  of  their  development  have  usually  been  treated  as 
forming  a  single  growth  which  is  labelled  Animism,  or  more 
properly  Animistic  Religion.  It  is  a  region  hard  to  explore, 
because  the  notions  that  haunt  it  are  vague  and  impalpable  ; 
the  religious  sense  (if  such  it  may  be  called)  manifesting 
itself  in  almost  unideated  feelings  that  doubtless  fall  to  a 
large  extent  outside  the  savage  "  field  of  attention,"  and  at 
any  rate  fall  wholly  outside  our  field  of  direct  observation. 
Now,  even  where  there  undeniably  do  exist  precise  ideas  of 
the  savage  mind  for  Anthropology  to  grasp  and  garner^ 

Pre^animisttc  Religion.  165 

everyone  is  aware  how  exceedingly  diflRcult  it  is  to  do  them 
justice.  How  much  more  difficult,  therefore,  must  it  be  in 
the  case  of  the  earliest  dim  heart-stirrings  and  fancies  of  the 
race,  to  truthfully  preserve  the  indistinctness  of  the  original, 
and  yet  make  clear  the  nature  of  that  germinal  source 
whence  our  own  complex  beliefs  and  aspirations  must  be 
supposed  to  have  arisen. 

Animism  as  a  technical  term  applied  to  Religion,  calls 
attention  to  the  presence  of  a  more  or  less  definite  creed 
or  body  of  ideas.  According  to  Dr.  Tylor,  who  presented 
it  to  Anthropology,  it  signifies  "  the  belief  in  the  existence 
of  Spiritual  Beings,^'^  that  is  to  say,  of  "  spirits  "  in  the  wide 
sense  that  includes  "souls."  A  looser  use  of  the  word  by 
some  writers,  whereby  it  is  made  to  cover  the  various 
manifestations  of  what  is  commonly  but  cumbrously  styled 
the  **  anthropomorphic  "  tendency  of  savage  thought,  will 
here  be  ignored,  and  a  fresh  expression  substituted,  seeing 
that  such  an  extension  of  its  meaning  robs  the  term  of  its 
exacter  and  more  convenient  connotation,  and,  further, 
seeing  that  it  has  failed  to  win  general  recognition  from 
men  of  science. 

No  anthropologist,  of  course,  has  ever  supposed  himself 
able  fully  and  finally  to  explain  the  origin  of  the  belief  in 
souls  and  spirits.  Indeed,  with  regard  to  absolute  origins 
of  all  kinds  we  had  best  say  at  once  with  the  philosopher 
that  *'  Nothing  is  strictly  original  save  in  the  sense  that 
everything  is."  Dr.  Tylor  and  others,  however,  have  with 
great  plausibility  put  forward  a  view  as  to  the  specifically 
formative  source  of  the  idea,  in  what  has  been  nicknamed 
'*  the  dream-theory."  This  theory  asserts  that  the  proto- 
type of  soul  and  spirit  is  to  be  sought  especially  in  the 
dream-image  and  trance-image — that  vision  of  the  night  or 
day  that  comes  to  a  man  clothed  distinctively  in  what 
Dr.  Tylor  describes  as  **  vaporous  materiality,"  or,  as  the 

^^  Prim.  Cult,  (3rd  edition),  i.,  ^24. 

l66  Pre-antmistic  Religion. 

Greenland  angekok  puts  it,  "pale  and  soft  so  that  if  a 
man  try  to  grasp  it  he  feels  nothing  " — par  levibus  ventis 
volucrique  simillima  siomno.  Perhaps  it  is  only  due  to 
Mr.  Lang's  latest  researches^  to  say  with  regard  to  this 
theory  that  its  centre  of  gravity,  so  to  speak,  has  of  late 
shown  signs  of  shifting  from  dream  to  trance,  so  that 
"the  hallucination-theory''  might  possibly  now  prove  the 
more  appropriate  descriptive  title.  I  shall  not,  however, 
pause  to  inquire  whether  the  "  thrill  "  of  ghost-seeing 
is  likely  to  have  given  form  and  character  to  the  religious 
emotions  of  the  savage,  more  directly  or  forcibly  than  the 
less  unfamiliar,  yet  more  kindly  and  sympathetic,  appearance 
of  "  dream-faces  " ;  nor,  again,  whether  the  practical  proofs, 
as  they  may  be  called,  of  Spiritualism  (which  after  all  is  but 
another  name  for  Animism),*  I  mean  clairvoyance  and  the 
like,  were  brought  into  earlier  or  greater  prominence  by 
normal  dreamers  or  by  abnormal  "  seers.'*  It  is  enough 
for  my  present  purpose  to  assume  that  Animism,  the  belief 
in  the  existence  of  visionary  shapes,  whether  of  the  dead 
or  sut  juris,  became  with  the  savage  at  a  certain  stage  of 
his  development,  the  typical,  nay  almost  the  universal, 
I  means  of  clothing  the  facts  of  his  religious  experience  in 
Udeas  and  words,  and  the  typical  and  all  but  universal 
I  theory  on  which  he  based  his  religious  practice.  And  this 
being  assumed,  we  reach  our  special  problem :  Before,  or 
at  any  rate  apart  from,  Animism,  was  early  man  subject  to 
any  experience,  whether  in  the  form  of  feeling  or  of 
thought,  or  of  both  combined,  that  might  be  termed 
specifically  "  religious  "  ? 

Let  us  begin  by  asking  ourselves  what  was  the  precise 
ground  originally  covered  by  animistic  belief.  The  answer, 
if  purely  tentative,  is  soon  made.  The  savage  as  we  know 
him  to-day  believes  in  an  infinitely  miscellaneous  collection 
of  spiritual  entities.     "  To  whom  are  you  praying  ?  "  asked 

»  Tk€  Making  of  Religion^  Longmans,  Creeu,  and  Co.,  1898. 
*  Prim,  CulLy  i.,  426. 

Pre-animtstic  Religion.  167 

Hale  of  a  Sakai  chief  at  one  of  those  fruit  festivals  so  charac- 
teristic of  the  Malay  peninsula.  "To  the  Hantus  (spirits)/' 
he  replied — "the  Hantus  of  the  forest,  of  the  mountains,  of 
the  rivers,  the  Hantus  of  the  Sakai  chiefs  who  are  dead, 
the  Hantus  of  head-ache  and  stomach-ache,  the  Hantus 
that  make  people  gamble  and  smoke  opium,  the  Hantus 
that  send  disputes,  and  ihe^ Hantus  that  send  mosquitoes."^ 
Now  are  all  these  HantuSy  animistically  speaking,  on  a  par, 
or  are  some  original,  others  derived  ?  I  take  it  that  I  am  at 
one  with  most  orthodox  upholders  of  Animism  in  supposing 
the  Hantus  of  the  dead  to  be  the  original  animas  whence 
the  rest  have  derived  their  distinctively  animistic,  that  is  to 
say  ghostly,  characteristics.  For  this  view  it  will  perhaps 
be  enough  to  allege  a  single  reason.  The  revenant  of 
dream  and  hallucination  in  its  actual  appearance  to  the 
senses,  presents  so  exactly  and  completely  the  type  to 
which  every  spirit,  however  indirect  its  methods  of  self^ 
manifestation,  is  believed  and  asserted  to  conform,  that  I 
am  personally  content  to  regard  this  conclusion  as  one 
amongst  the  few  relative  certainties  which  Anthropology 
can  claim  to  have  established  in  the  way  of  theory. 
Suppose  this  granted,  then  we  find  ourselves  confronted 
with  the  following  important  train  of  questions,  yielding  us 
a  definite  nucleus  and  rallying-point  for  our  present  inquiry : 
"  How  came  an  animistic  colour  to  be  attached  to  a  number 
of  things  not  primarily  or  obviously  connected  with  death 
and  the  dead  ?  What  inherent  general  character  of  their 
own  suggested  to  man^s  mind  the  grouping  together  of  the 
multifarious  classes  of  so-called  *  spiritual  *  phenomena  as 
capable  of  common  explanation?  Was  not  this  common 
explanation  the  outcome  of  a  common  regard,  a  common 
and  yet  highly  specific  feeling  or  emotion?  And  is  not  this 
feeling  related  to  the  ideas  wherein  it  finds  as  it  were 
symbolical   expression — as   for   example   to   the   animistic 

'  /.  A,  /.,  XV.,  300-1. 

1 68  Pre-animistic  Religion. 

idea — as  something  universal  and  fixed  to  something  par- 
ticular and  transitory  ?  " 

Now  by  way  of  answer  to  these  questions,  let  me  repeat, 
I  have  no  brand-new  theory  to  propound.  The  doctrine 
that  I  now  wish  to  formulate  unambiguously,  and  at  the 
same  time,  so  far  as  may  be  possible  within  the  limits  of  a 
short  article,  to  supply  with  a  basis  of  illustrative  fact,  is 
one  that  in  a  vague  and  general  form  constitutes  a  sort  of 
commonplace  with  writers  on  Religious  Origins.  These 
writers  for  the  most  part  profess,  though  not  always  in  very 
plain  or  positive  terms,  to  discern  beneath  the  fluctuating 
details  of  its  efforts  at  self-interpretation,  a  certain  Religious 
Sense,  or,  as  many  would  call  it.  Instinct,  whereof  the  com- 
ponent "moments"  are  Fear,  Admiration,  Wonder,  and  the 
like,  whilst  its  object  is,  broadly  speaking,  the  Supernatural. 
Now  that  this  is  roughly  and  generally  true  no  one,  I  think, 
is  likely  to  deny.  Thus  to  put  the  matter  as  broadly  as 
possible,  whether  we  hold  with  one  extreme  school  that 
there  exists  a  specific  religious  instinct,  or  whether  we 
prefer  to  say  with  the  other  that  man's  religious  creeds 
are  a  by-product  of  his  intellectual  development,  we  must, 
I  think,  at  any  rate  admit  the  fact  that  in  response  to,  or  at 
any  rate  in  connection  with,  the  emotions  of  Awe,  Wonder, 
and  the  like,  wherein  feeling  would  seem  for  the  time  being 
to  have  outstripped  the  power  of  "  natural,"  that  is  reason- 
able, explanation,  there  arises  in  the  region  of  human  thought 
a  powerful  impulse  to  objectify  and  even  personify  the  mys- 
terious or  "  supernatural "  something  felt,  and  in  the  region 
of  will  a  corresponding  impulse  to  render  it  innocuous,  or 
better  still  propitious,  by  force  of  constraint,  communion,  or 
conciliation.  Supernaturalism  then,  as  this  universal  feel' 
ing  taken  at  its  widest  and  barest  may  be  called,  might,  as 
such,  be  expected  to  prove  not  only  logically  but  also  in 
some  sense  chronologically  prior  to  Animism,  constituting 
as  the  latter  does  but  a  particular  ideal  embodiment  of  the 


Pre^animistic  Religion.  169 

The  appeal  to  fact  that  will  occupy  the  rest  of  this  paper, 
cursory  though  it  must  be  in  view  of  our  space  conditions, 
will  suffice,  I  hope,  to  settle  the  matter.  First,  let  us  remind 
ourselves  by  the  help  of  one  or  two  typical  quotations  how 
widely  and  indiscriminately  Supernaturalism  casts  its  net. 
Thus  Ellis  writes  of  the  Malagasy :  "  Whatever  is  great, 
whatever  exceeds  the  capacity  of  their  understandings, 
they  designate  by  the  one  convenient  and  comprehensive 
appellation,  Andriamanitra,  Whatever  is  new  and  useful 
and  extraordinary  is  called  god.  Silk  is  considered  as  god 
in  the  highest  degree,  the  superlative  adjective  being  added 
to  the  noun — Andriamanitra4ndrinda.  Rice,  money, 
thunder  and  lightning,  and  earthquake  are  all  called  god. 
Their  ancestors  and  a  deceased  sovereign  they  designate 
in  the  same  manner.  Tarantasy  or  book  they  call  god, 
from  its  wonderful  capacity  of  speaking  by  merely  looking 
at  it.  Velvet  is  called  by  the  singular  epithet,  *  son  of 
god.' ''  *  So  too  of  the  Masai,  though  far  lower  than  the 
Malagasy  in  the  scale  of  culture,  the  account  given  by 
Joseph  Thomson  is  precisely  similar.  '*  Their  conception 
of  the  deity,'*  he  says,  '*  seems  marvellously  vague.  I  was 
Ngai.  My  lamp  was  Nfrai,  Ngai  was  in  the  steaming 
holes.  His  house  was  in  the  eternal  snows  of  Kilimanjaro. 
In  fact,  whatever  struck  them  as  strange  or  incompre- 
hensible,, that  they  at  once  assumed  had  some  connection 
with  Ngai.**^  As  I  have  said,  such  quotations  are  typical 
and  might  be  multiplied  indefinitely.  Andriamanitra  and 
Ngai  reappear  in  the  Wakan  of  the  North  American  Indian, 
the  Afana  of  the  Melancsian,  the  Kalou  of  the  Fijian,  and 
so  on.  It  is  the  common  element  in  ghosts  and  gods,  in 
the  magical  and  the  mystical,  the  supernal  and  the  infernal 
the  unknown  within  and  the  unknown  without.  It  is  the 
Supernatural  or  Supernormal,  as   distinguished  from  the 

'  Ellis,  Hist  ofMadagoicw^  i.,  391.3. 
>  Thomson,  Masaiiand^  445. 

170  Pre-animistic  Religion. 

Natural  or  Normal ;  that  in  short  which,  as  Mr.  Jevons 
phrases  it,  "  defeats  reasonable  expectation/'  Or  perhaps 
another  and  a  better  way  of  putting  it,  seeing  that  it  calls 
attention  to  the  feeling  behind  the  logic,  is  to  say  that  it  is 
the  Awful,  and  that  everything  wherein  or  whereby  it  mani- 
'fests  itself  is,  so  to  speak,  a  Power  of  Awfulness,  or,  more 
shortly,  a  Power  (though  this,  like  any  other  of  our  verbal 
equivalents,  cannot  but  fail  to  preserve  the  vagueness  of  the 
original  notion).^  Of  all  English  words  Awe  is,  I  think,  the 
one  that  expresses  the  fundamental  Religious  Feeling  most 
nearly.  Awe  is  not  the  same  thing  as  "pure  funk."  ^^ Primus 
in  or  be  deos  fecit  titnor^^  is  only  true  if  we  admit  Wonder, 
Admiration,  Interest,  Respect,  even  Love  perhaps,  to  be, 
no  less  than  Fear,  essential  constituents  of  this  elemental 

Now  ghosts  and  spirits  are  undoubtedly  Powers,  but  it 
does  not  follow  that  all  Powers  are  ghosts  and  spirits,  even 
if  they  tend  to  become  so.  In  what  follows  I  propose  that 
we  examine  a  few  typical  cases  of  Powers,  which,  beneath 
the  animistic  colour  that  in  the  course  of  time  has  more  or 
less  completely  overlaid  them,  show  traces  of  having  once 
of  their  own  right  possessed  pre-animistic  validity  as  objects 
and  occasions  of  man's  religious  feeling. 

Let  us  start  with  some  cases  that,  pertaining  as  they  do 
to  the  "Unknown  Without"  as  it  appears  in  most  direct  con- 
tradistinction to  the  "  Unknown  Within,"  are  thus  farthest 
removed  from  the  proper  domain  and  parent-soil  of  Animism, 
and  may  therefore  be  supposed  to  have  suffered  its  influences 
least.  What  we  call  "  Physical  Nature  "  may  very  well  be 
"  nature  "  also  to  the  savage  in  most  of  its  normal  aspects ; 
\  yet  its  more  startling  manifestations,  thunderstorms,  eclipses, 
'  eruptions,  and  the  like,  are  eminently  calculated  to  awake 

'  The  Greek  word  that  comes  nearest  to  "  Power  "  as  used  above  is  Tkpctf, 
Perhaps"  Teratism  "  maybe  preferred  as  a  designation  for  that  attitude  of  mind 
which  1  have  termed  "  Supematuralism." 

Pre-animistic  Religion.  171 

in  him  an  Awe  that  I  believe  to  be  specifically  religious  both 
in  its  essence  and  in  its  fruits,  whether  Animism  have,  or 
have  not,  succeeded  in  imposing  its  distinctive  colours  upon 
it.  Thus,  when  a  thunderstorm  is  seen  approaching  in 
South  Africa,  a  Kaffir  village,  led  by  its  medicine-man,  will 
rush  to  the  nearest  hill  and  yell  at  the  hurricane  to  divert  it 
from  its  course.^  Here  we  have  Awe  finding  vent  in  what 
on  the  face  of  it  may  be  no  more  than  a  simple  straight- 
forward act  of  personification.  It  is  Animism  in  the  loose 
sense  of  some  writers,  or,  as  I  propose  to  call  it,  Animatism; 
but  it  is  not  Animism  in  the  strict  scientific  sense  that 
implies  the  attribution,  not  merely  of  personality  and  will, 
but  of  ''  souP'  or  "  spirit,"  to  the  storm.  The  next  case  is 
but  slightly  different.  The  Point  Barrow  natives,  believing 
the  Aurora  Borealis  to  do  them  harm  by  striking  them  at 
the  back  of  the  neck,  brandish  knives  and  throw  filth  at  it 
to  drive  it  away.*'^  Now  I  doubt  if  we  need  suppose  Animism 
to  be  latent  here  any  more  than  in  the  African  example. 
Nevertheless  the  association  of  the  Aurora's  banefulness 
with  a  particular  malady  would  naturally  pave  the  way 
towards  it,  whilst  the  precautionary  measures  are  exactly 
such  as  would  be  used  against  spirits.  The  following  case 
is  more  dubious.  When  a  glacier  in  Alaska  threatened  to 
swallow  up  a  valuable  fishing  stream  two  slaves  were  killed 
in  order  to  bring  it  to  a  standstill.^  Here  the  advanced 
character  of  the  propitiatory  rite  probably  presumes  ac- 
quaintance with  some  form  of  the  animistic  theory.  It 
may  very  well  be,  however,  that  sacrifice  is  here  resorted 
to  as  a  general  religious  panacea  without  involving  any 
distinct  recognition  of  a  particular  glacier  spirit  And  now 
let  us  take  a  couple  of  instances  where  the  theory  behind 
the  religious  observance  is  more  explicit.     The  Fuegians 

'  Macdonald,/.  A,  /.,  xix.,  283. 

'  Murdoch,  Point  Barrow  Expedition.  432. 

*  Peet,  Am.  Antiq.^  ix.,  327  ;  an  instance,  however,  that  might  be  better 


Pre-animtstic  Religion. 

abstain  from  killing  young  ducks  on  the  ground  that  if  they 
do,  '*  Rain  come  down,  snow  come  down,  hail  come  down, 
wind  blow,  blow,  very  much  blow."  The  storm  is  sent  by 
a  "big  man"  who  lives  in  the  woods.^  Now  is  this 
Animism  ?  I  think  not.  What  may  be  called  a  "  coinci- 
dental marvel "  is  explained  by  a  myth,  and  Mythology 
need  be  no  more  than  a  sort  of  Animatism  grown  picturesque. 
When,  however,  a  Point  Barrow  Esquimaux,  in  order  to 
persuade  the  river  to  yield  him  fish,  throws  tobacco,  not 
into  the  river  but  into  the  air,  and  cries  out  "  Tuana^ 
Tuana**  (spirit),' then  here  is  full-fledged  Animism.  Mean- 
while, whatever  view  be  taken  of  the  parts  respectively 
played  by  Animatism,  Mythology,  Animism,  or  what  not,  in 
investing  these  observances  with  meaning  and  colour,  my 
main  point  is  that  the  quality  of  religiousness  attaches  to 
them  far  less  in  virtue  of  any  one  of  these  ideal  construc- 
tions than  in  virtue  of  that  basic  feeling  of  Awe,  which 
drives  a  man,  ere  he  can  think  or  theorise  upon  it,  into 
I  personal  relations  with  the  Supernatural. 

In  order  to  establish  the  thesis  that  the  attitude  of  Super- 
naturalism  towards  what  we  should  call  Inanimate  Nature 
may  be  independent  of  animistic  interpretations,  much 
more  is  required  in  the  way  of  evidence  than  what  I  have 
the  space  to  bring  forward  here.  In  the  case  of  matters  so 
indirectly  ascertainable  as  the  first  beginnings  of  human 
thought,  the  cumulative  testimony  of  very  numerous  and 
varied  data  affords  the  only  available  substitute  for  crucial 
proof.  As  it  is,  however,  I  must  content  myself  with  citing 
but  two  more  sets  of  instances  bearing  on  this  part  of  my 

The  first  of  these  may  be  of  interest  to  those  who  have 
lent  their  attention  to  Mr.  Lang's  recent  discovery  of 
"  Pure  " — that  is  to  say.  Ethical — Religion  in  the  wilds  of 

»  Fitnroy,  ii.,  i8a 
*  Murdoch*  ib.,  433. 

Pre-animistic  Religion.  173 

Australia.  I  have  to  confess  to  the  opinion  with  regard  to 
Daramulun^  Mungan-ngaur,  Turndun^  and  Baiamai^  those 
divinities  whom  the  Kurnai,  Murrings,  Kamilaroi,  and  other 
Australian  groups  address  severally  as  ''Our  Father,"  recog- 
nising in  them  the  supernatural  headmen  and  lawgivers  of 
their  respective  tribes^  that  their  prototype  is  nothing  more 
or  less  than  that  well-known  material  and  inanimate  object, 
the  bull-roarer.  Its  thunderous  booming  must  have  been 
eminently  awe-inspiring  to  the  first  inventors,  or  rather  dis- 
coverers, of  the  instrument,  and  would  not  unnaturally  pro- 
voke the  "  animatistic  '*  attribution  of  life  and  power  to  it. 
Then  Mythology  seems  to  have  stepped  in  to  explain  why 
and  how  the  bull-roarer  enforces  those  tribal  ceremonies 
with  which  its  use  is  associated,  and,  after  the  manner  of 
Myth,  to  have  invented  schemes  and  genealogies  of  bull- 
roarers  whose  wonderful  history  and  dreadful  powers  it 
proceeded  to  chronicle.  Thus,  for  example,  Baiamai  kills 
Daramulun  for  devouring  some  of  the  youths  undergoing 
initiation,  but  puts  his  voice  into  the  wood  of  the  bull- 
roarer.^  Or  Mungan-ngaur  begets  Turndun^  who  first 
makes  the  bull-roarers  in  actual  use  amongst  the  Kurnai, 
and  then  becomes  a  porpoise.^  Further,  Mythology  is  rein- 
forced by  symbolistic  ritual.  Figures  made  of  logs  are  set 
up  on  the  initiation  ground  to  represent  Baiamai  and  his 
wife ;  or  the  men  throw  blazing  sticks  at  the  women  and 
children  as  if  it  were  Daramulun  coming  to  burn  them.* 
As  for  Animism,  however,  we  never  get  anywhere  near  to 
it  save  perhaps  when  Daramulun! s  voice  is  said  to  inhabit  / 
the  bull-roarer,  or  when  he  is  spoken  of  as  living  in  the  ^ 
sky  and  ruling  the  ghosts  of  the  dead  Kurnai.*  Neverthe- 
less, despite  its  want  of  animistic  colouring,  a  genuine 
Religion  (if  reverence  shown  towards  supernatural  powers 

*  Matthews,/.  A,  /..  xxv.,  298. 

*  Howitt,/.  A,  /.,  xiv.,  312. 

'  Matthews,/.  A.  /.,  xxiv.,  416  ;  xzv.»  298. 

*  Howitt,/  A,  /.,  xiv.,  321. 

174  Pre-animistic  Religion. 

and  obedience  to  their  mandates  be  a  sufficient  test  of 
genuineness)  has  sprung  up  out  of  the  Awe  inspired  by  the 
bull-roarer;  and  Mr.  Lang*s  assertion  may  safely  be  en- 
dorsed that  Animism,  with  the  opportunities  it  affords  for 
spiritualistic  hocus-pocus,  could  serve  to  introduce  therein  a 
principle  of  degeneration  only. 

My  other  set  of  instances  pertains  to  the  fascinating 
subject  of  stone-worship — a  subject,  alas!  from  which  I 
would  fain  illustrate  my  point  at  far  greater  length.  Stones 
that  are  at  all  curious  in  shape,  position,  size,  or  colour — not 
to  speak  of  properties  derived  from  remarkable  coincidences 
of  all  sorts — would  seem  specially  designed  by  nature  to 
appeal  to  primitive  man's  "  supernaturalistic "  tendency. 
A  solitary  pillar  of  rock,  a  crumpled  volcanic  boulder,  a 
meteorite,  a  pebble  resembling  a  pig,  a  yam,  or  an  arrow- 
head, a  piece  of  shining  quartz,  these  and  such  as  these  are 
almost  certain  to  be  invested  by  his  imagination  with  the 
vague  but  dreadful  attributes  of  Powers.  Nor,  although  to 
us  nothing  appears  so  utterly  inanimate  as  a  stone,  is  savage 
animatism  in  the  least  afraid  to  regard  it  as  alive.  Thus  the 
Kanakas  differentiate  their  sacred  stones  into  males  and 
females,  and  firmly  believe  that  from  time  to  time  little 
stones  appear  at  the  side  of  the  parent  blocks.^  On  the 
other  hand,  when  a  Banks'  Islander  sees  a  big  stone  with 
little  stones  around  it,  he  says  that  there  is  a  Vui  (spirit) 
inside  it,  ready  if  properly  conciliated  to  make  the  women 
bear  many  children  and  the  sows  large  litters.^  Now,  this 
is  no  longer  Animatism,  but  Animism  proper.  A  piece  of 
sympathetic  .magic  is  explained  in  terms  of  spirit  causation. 
The  following  case  from  the  Baram  district  of  Borneo  is 
transitional.  A  man  protects  his  fruit  trees  by  placing  near 
them  certain  round  stones  in  cleft  sticks.  He  then  utters  a 
curse,  calling  upon  the  stones  to  witness  it :  "  May  he  who 
steals  this  fruit  suffer  from  stones  in  the  stomach  as  large  as 

'  Ellis,  Tour  round  Hawaii^  113. 
'  Codrington,y.  A,  /.,  x.,  276. 

Pre-animistic  Religion.  175 

these."  Further,  suppose  a  friend  of  the  proprietor  wish 
to  eat  of  the  fruit,  he  will  light  a  fire,  and  ask  the  fire  to 
explain  to  the  stone  that  nothing  wrong  is  being  done.^ 
Here  we  seem  to  have  simple  Animatism,  but  it  may  be  said 
to  tremble  on  the  verge  of  Animism,  inasmuch  as  by  itself — 
that  is,  by  the  mere  attribution  of  life  and  will — it  is  unable 
to  account  for  the  magical  powers  of  the  stone.  How  this 
may  be  done  with  the  help  of  Animism  is  shown  us  by  the 
Banks*  Islanders,  already  referred  to,  who,  employing  stones 
of  a  peculiar  long  shape  in  much  the  same  way  to  protect 
their  houses,  do  so  on  the  explicit  ground  that  the  stones 
have  "  eaten  ghostj" — the  ghost  of  a  dead  man  being  not  un- 
naturally taken  as  the  type  and  neplus  ultra  of  awful  power.' 
Not  to  multiply  instances,  let  me  roundly  state  that  amid  the 
vast  array  of  facts  relating  to  the  Worship  of  stones,  there 
will  be  found  the  most  divergent  ideal  representations  of  their 
supernatural  nature  and  powers,  ranging  from  the  vaguest 
semi-conscious  belief  in  their  luckiness,^  onwards  through 
Animatism,  to  the  distinct  animistic  conception  of  them  as 
the  home  of  spirits  of  the  dead  or  the  unborn,  or  as  the 
image  and  visible  presence  of  a  god ;  but  that  underlying 
all  these  fluctuating  interpretations  of  thought  there  may  be 
discerned  a  single  universal  feeling,  namely  the  sense  of  an  ' 
Awfulness  in  them  intimately  affecting  man  and  demanding 
of  him  the  fruits  of  Awe,  namely  respect,  veneration,  pro-  \ 
pitiation,  service. 

Passing  now  from  the  region  of  what  we  regard  as  the 
Inanimate  to  that  of  the  Sub-animate  and  the  Animate,  we 
come  first  in  order  of  upward  progress  to  that  tantalising 

.    '  Hose,y.  A.  /.,  xxiii.,  i6l. 

'  Codrington,  l.c, 

*  I  am  afraid  it  may  be  said  that  I  have  not  given  sufficient  prominence  to 
that  "  moment  "  in  religious  feeling  which  corresponds  to  the  belief  in  Luck.  I 
do  not,  however,  regard  it  as  a  specific  emotion  in  itself,  but  rather  as  a  com- 
pound of  the  Wonder  produced  by  a  coincidence  and  of  sufficient  Awe  of  the 
power  therewith  seemingly  connected,  to  make  it  appear  worth  while  to  try  to 
conciliate  it. 

176  Pre-animistic  Religion. 

theme,  the  worship  of  plants  and  animals.  Now  to  a  large 
extent  this  coincides  with  the  subject  of  Totemism,  about 
which  I  shall  say  little,  if  only  because  it  teems  with  con- 
troversial matter.  This  much,  however,  I  take  to  be  now 
1  relatively  certain  with  regard  to  it,  that  in  their  origin  tote- 
j  mistic  observances  had  a  magical  rather  than  a  strictly  re- 
'ligious  import.  That  is  to  say,  their  object  was  not  so  much 
to  conciliate  powers  in  plant  or  animal  form,  as  to  establish 
sympathetic  control  over  classes  of  serviceable  plants  and 
animals  regarded  simply  as  such,  namely  as  clans  or  tribes 
very  much  on  a  par  with  the  human  ones.  Now  I  am  ready 
to  suppose  that  sympathetic  magic  in  the  eyes  of  the  savage 
is,  primarily,  no  exclusive  instrument  of  religion,  but  a  means 
of  causation  on  a  level  with  his  other  methods  of  exerting 
force — ^just  as  with  him  talking  is  not  confined  exclusively 
to  praying.  On  the  other  hand,  I  believe  that  the  abnormal, 
and  mysterious  element  in  magical  causation  is  bound  to 
strike  him  sooner  or  later,  and  to  call  for  explanation  in 
the  terms  most  familiar  and  most  satisfying  to  primitive 
mysticism.  Thus,  in  the  case  of  Totemism,  the  conception  of 
an  affinity  between  the  spirits  of  the  plants  and  animals 
and  their  human  clients,  as  effected  by  Transmigration  or 
some  other  animistic  contrivance,  is  sure  to  arise,  with 
the  result  that  the  plants  and  animals  by  reason  of  their 
"  spiritualisation  "  forthwith  assume  the  plenary  rank  and 
attributes  of  Powers.  Meanwhile,  in  order  to  show  how  this 
may  come  about,  I  shall  bring  forward  one  or  two  illustra- 
tions that  have  no  direct  connection  with  Totemism,  as  th^y 
will  then  at  the  same  time  serve  to  call  attention  to  the 
(  qualities  that  constitute  an  intrinsic  as  opposed  to  a  merely 
derivatory  right  to  be  revered  as  Supernatural  and  Awful. 
There  are  many  animals  that  are  propitiated  by  primitive 
man  neither  because  they  are  merely  useful  nor  merely 
dangerous,  but  because  they  are,  in  a  word,  uncanny.  White 
animals  (for  example,  white  elephants  or  white  buffaloes), 
birds  of  night  (notably  the  owl),  monkeys,  mice,  frogs,  crabs, 

Pre-animistic  Religion.  177 

snakes,  and  lizards,  in  fact  a  host  of  strange  and  gruesome 
beasts,  are  to  the  savage,  of  their  own  right  and  on  the  face 
of  them,  instinct  with  dreadful  divinity.  To  take  a  single 
instance,  a  fishing  party  of  Crees  catch  a  new  and  terrible- 
looking  kind  of  fish.  It  is  promptly  returned  to  the  water 
as  a  Manitouy  and  five  days  are  wasted  whilst  it  is  being 
appeased.^  Now  in  the  case  of  Powers  like  these,  sympa- 
thetic magic  will  naturally  suggest  the  wearing  of  tooth 
or  claw,  bone  or  skin  as  a  means  of  sharing  in  the  divine 
potency.  Here  is  the  chance  for  Animism  to  step  in.  Thus 
a  Kennaiah  chief  who  wishes  to  wear  the  skin  of  the  Borneo 
tiger  cat  for  luck  in  war,  will  wrap  himself  in  it,  and  before 
lying  down  to  sleep  will  explain  to  the  skin  exactly  what  he 
wants,  and  beg  the  spirit  to  send  him  a  propitious  dream.' 
Or  in  other  cases  mere  association  and  coincidence  will  pave 
the  way  towards  an  animistic  version  of  the  facts.  Thus  I 
have  no  doubt  that  it  is  the  uncanny  appearance  of  the  snake, 
combined  with  its  habit  of  frequenting  graves  and  of  enter- 
ing dwellings,  which  has  led  more  than  one  savage  people 
to  treat  it  as  the  chosen  incarnation  of  their  ancestral  ghosts.' 
And  here  let  me  leave  this  part  of  the  subject,  having  thus 
barely  touched  upon  it  in  order  to  confirm  the  single  point 
that  Religious  Awe  is  towards  Powers,  and  that  these  are  1 
not  necessarily  spirits  or  ghosts,  though  they  tend  to  be-  / 
come  so. 

At  length  we  reach  what  I  have  roughly  described  as  the 
proper  domain  and  parent-soil  of  Animism,  namely  the 
phenomena  that  have  to  do  with  dream  and  trance,  disease 
and  death.  Here  the  question  for  us  must  be,  "  Do  Super- 
naturalism  and  Animism  originally  coincide  in  respect  to 
these  phenomena  ?  "  Or,  in  other  words,  "  Is  the  Awful  in 
each  and  all  of  them  alike,  primarily  soul  or  spirit  ?  "     My 

*  llin^j  Red  River  Exped.^  ii.,  135. 

*  Hose,/.  A,  /.,  xxiii,  159. 

«  "  Zulus,"  Macdonald,/.  A.  /.,  xx.,  122.  "  Malagasy,"  Sibrec,/.  A.  /.,  xxi., 

VOL.  XI.  N 


178  Pre-antmistic  Religion. 

own  belief  is  that  the  two  spheres  do  not  originally  coin- 
cide, that  the  Awful  in  dream  and  trance  is  at  first  distinct 
from  the  Awful  in  death  and  disease,  though  the  former 
readily  comes  to  overlay  and  colour  the  latter.  Thus  I 
conceive  that  the  trance-image,  alike  on  account  of  its 
singularity,  its  accompaniments  in  the  way  of  physical  no 
less  than  mental  derangement,  and  its  coincidental  possi- 
'  bilities,  must  have  been  originally  and  of  its  own  right 
Awful;  and  that  so,  though  perhaps  to  a  lesser  extent,  must 
have  been  the  dream-image,  if  only  on  the  ground  last 
mentioned.  Nor  would  I  deny  that,  in  regard  to  death, 
these  two  kinds  of  vision  taken  together  would  be  bound 
to  suggest  to  the  savage  mind  that  there  is  a  something 
which  survives  the  body.  But  have  we  here  a  complete 
account  of  the  influences  whereby  there  is  produced  that 
mingled  fear  and  love  of  the  dead  which  culminate  in 
Manes-worship  ?  I  think  not.  For  one  thing,  it  is  almost 
an  axiom  with  writers  on  this  subject,  that  a  sort  of  Sol- 
ipsism, or  Berkleianism  (as  Professor  Sully  terms  it  as  he 
finds  it  in  the  Child),  operates  in  the  savage  to  make  him 
refuse  to  recognise  death  as  a  fact,  there  being  at  any  rate 
plenty  of  proof  that  he  is  extremely  unwilling  to  recognise 
the  fact  of  natural  death.  The  influence,  however,  which 
I  consider  most  fundamental  of  all  is  something  else — 
namely  the  awfulness  felt  to  attach  to  the  dead  human 
body  in  itself.  Here,  I  think,  we  probably  have  the  cause 
of  the  definite  assignment  to  a  passing  appearance  like  the 
trance-image  of  real  and  permanent  existence  in  relation  to 
a  dead  owner ;  and  certainly  the  main  source  of  the  ascrip- 
tion of  potency  to  the  soul  thus  rendered  substantive.  The 
thrill  of 'ghost-seeing  may  be  real  enough,  but  I  fancy  it  is 
nothing  to  the  horror  of  a  human  corpse  instilled  into  man's 
heart  by  his  instinct  of  self-preservation.  In  confirmation 
of  this  view  I  would  refer  to  the  mass  of  evidence  dealing 
with  the  use  of  human  remains  for  purposes  of  protective 
or  offensive  magic.     A  skull,  a  human  hand,  a  scalp-lock,  a 

Pre-animistic  Religion.  179 

portion  of  dried  and  pounded  flesh  are  potent  medicine  in 
themselves^  so  long  as  sympathetic  magic  is  at  the  stage  at 
which  it  takes  itself  for  granted.  Magical  processes,  how- 
ever, as  we  have  seen,  specially  invite  explanation.  What 
more  natural  then,  given  an  acquaintance  with  the  images 
of  trance  and  dream,  than  to  s^ttribute  the  mysterious 
potency  of  a  dead  man's  body  to  that  uncanny  thing  his 
wraith?  Let  me  quote  just  one  instance  to  show  how  easy 
is  the  transition  from  the  one  idea  to  the  other.  A  young 
native  of  Leper's  Island,  out  of  affection  for  his  dead  brother, 
made  his  bones  into  arrow-tips.  Thereafter  he  no  longer 
spoke  of  himself  as  "  I,"  but  as  "  we  two,"  and  was  much 
feared.^  The  Melanesian  explanation  was  that  he  had  thus 
acquired  the  manUy  or  supernatural  power,  of  the  dead  man. 
Clearly  it  is  but  a  hair's  breadth  that  divides  the  mana  thus 
personified  from  the  notion  of  the  attendant  ghost,  which 
elsewhere  so  often  meets  us. 

There  remains  the  difficult  question  whether  Animism  is 
primarily,  or  only  derivatively,  connected  with  the  religious  v 
Awe  felt  in  the  presence  of  most  kinds  of  disease.  I  am 
disposed  to  say  ^^distinguoy  As  regards  delirium,  epilepsy, 
and  kindred  forms  of  seizure,  the  patient's  experience  of 
hallucinatory  images,  combined  with  the  bystanders'  impres- 
sion that  the  former  is,  as  we  say,  "no  longer  himself," 
would,  I  think,  wellnigh  immediately  and  directly  stamp  it 
as  a  case  of  possession  by  a  spirit.  Then  all  convulsive 
movements,  sneezing,  yawning,  a  ringing  in  the  ear,  a 
twitching  of  the  eyelid,  and  so  on,  would  be  explained 
analogously.  On  the  other  hand  there  is  a  large  and  mis- 
cellaneous number  of  diseases  that  primitive  man  attributes 
to  witchcraft,  without  at  the  same  time  necessarily  ascrib-  / 
ing  them  to  the  visitation  of  bad  spirits.  Thus  a  savage 
will  imagine  that  he  has  a  crab  or  a  frog,  some  red  ants  or  a 
piece  of  crystal,  in  his  stomach,  introduced  by  magical 
means,  as  for  instance  by  burying  the  crab  (perhaps  with 
*  Codrington,/.  A.  /.,  xix.,  216-7. 
N  2 


i8o  Pre-^animistic  Religion. 

an  invocation  to  the  crab-fetish)  ^  in  his  path.  To  remedy 
such  supposed  evils  the  native  doctor  betakes  himself  to  the 
sucking  cure  and  the  like,  whilst  he  meets  spirits  with  a 
more  or  less  distinct  set  of  contrivances,  for  instance  the 
drum  or  rattle  to  frighten  them,  and  the  hollow  bone  to 
imprison  them.  Meanwhile  Animism  undoubtedly  tends  to 
provide  a  general  explanation  for  all  disease,  since  disease 
to  the  savage  mind  especially  connotes  what  may  be  de- 
scribed as  "  infection  *'  in  the  widest  sense,  and  infection  is 
eminently  suggestive  of  the  workings  of  a  mobile  aggressive 
agency  such  as  spirit  appears  intrinsically  to  be.  Let  me 
briefly  refer,  however,  to  one  form  of  malady  which  all  the 
world  over  excites  the  liveliest  religious  Awe,  and  is  yet,  so 
far  as  I  know,  but  rarely  and  loosely  connected  with  Ani- 
mism by  savage  theorists.  The  horror  of  blood  I  take  to  be 
strictly  parallel  to  the  horror  of  a  corpse  already  alluded  to  ; 
and  I  believe  that  in  what  Westermarck  has  termed  the 
"  mystic  detestation  '^  of  woman,  or  in  the  unreasoning 
dread  which  causes  a  North  American  brave  with  a  running 
sore  to  be  banned  from  the  camp,^  we  have  a  crucial  case  of 
a  pure  and  virtually  uncoloured  religious  feeling.  The  issue 
of  blood  "pertains  to  Wakanda,''  as  the  Omahas  said.*  That 
is  the  primary  vague  utterance  of  Supernaturalism ;  and 
strictly  secondary,  I  conceive,  and  by  way  of  ex  post  facto 
justification,  is  the  belief  in  the  magical  properties  of  the 
blood,  the  theory  that  the  blood  is  the  life,  or  the  Maori 
notion  that  it  is  full  of  germs  ready  to  turn  into  malicious 

At  this  point  my  list  of  illustrations  must  come  to  a  close  ; 
and  it  therefore  only  remains  for  me  to  utter  a  last  word  in 
my  own  defence  for  having  called  attention  to  a  subject  that 
many  will  be  ready  to  pronounce  both  trite,  and  at  the  same 
time  incapable  of  exact  or  final  treatment. 

*  Conolly,/.  A,  /.,  xxvi.,  151. 

*  Adair,  Hist,  of  Am.  Ind,^  124. 

*  Dorsey,  Omaha  Sociology,  267. 

*  Cf.  Tregear,/.  A,  /.,  xix.,  loi. 

Pre-animtstic  Religion.  i8i 

As  regards  the  charge  of  triteness,  I  would  only  say  that 
a  disregarded  commonplace  is  no  commonplace  at  all,  and 
that  disregard  is,  anthropologically  speaking,  to  be  measured 
by  the  actual  use  to  which  a  conception  is  put  when  there  is 
available  evidence  in  the  shape  of  raw  facts  waiting  to  be 
marshalled  and  pigeon-holed  by  its  aid.  I  do  not  find  that 
the  leading  theorists  have  by  the  organisation  of  their 
material  shown  themselves  to  be  sufficiently  aware  that  the 
animistic  idea  represents  but  one  amongst  a  number  of  1 
ideas,  for  the  most  part  far  more  vague  than  it  is,  and  hence 
more  liable  to  escape  notice ;  all  of  which  ideas,  however, 
are  active  in  savage  religion  as  we  have  it,  struggling  one 
with  the  other  for  supremacy  in  accordance  with  the  normal 
tendency  of  religious  thought  towards  uniformity  of  doctrinal 
expression.  On  the  contrary,  the  impression  left  on  my 
mind  by  a  study  of  the  leading  theorists  is  that  animistic 
interpretations  have  by  them  been  decidedly  overdone;  that, 
whereas  they  are  prone  in  the  case  of  the  religions  of  civilisa- 
tion to  detect  survivals  and  fading  rudimentary  forms,  they 
are  less  inclined  to  repeat  the  process  when  their  clues  have 
at  length  led  them  back  to  that  stage  of  primitive  thought 
which  perforce  must  be  "  original  '*  for  them  by  reason  of 
the  lack  of  earlier  evidence,  but  is  not  in  the  least  "original" 
in  an  absolute  sense  and  from  the  standpoint  of  the  racial 

As  for  the  charge  of  inconclusiveness,  this  might  be  in 
point  were  it  a  question  of  assigning  exact  limits  to  the 
concept  to  which  the  word  Religion,  as  employed  by  Anthro- 
pology, ought  to  correspond.  As  I  have  said,  however,  the 
only  real  danger  at  present  can  come  from  framing  what  is 
bound  to  be  a  purely  experimental  and  preliminary  defini- 
tion in  too  hard-and-fast  a  manner.  Thus  Mr.  Frazer, 
though  he  is  doubtless  well  aware  of  all  the  facts  I  have 
cited,  prefers  to  treat  of  Magic  and  Religion  as  occupying 
mutually  exclusive  spheres,  whilst  I  regard  these  spheres, 
not  indeed  as  coincident  by  any  means,  but  still  as  over- 


Pre-antmistic  Religion. 

lapping.  I,  on  the  other  hand,  would  hold  out  for  the 
widest  possible  rendering  of  the  idea  of  Religion  on 
practical  and  theoretical  grounds  alike.  As  regards  the 
former,  I  should  fear  to  cut  myself  off  prematurely  from 
any  group  of  facts  that  might  pos;5ibIy  bear  upon  the 
history  of  man's  religious  evolution.  As  regards  theory, 
I  would  rest  my  case  on  the  psychological  argument  that, 
if  there  be  reason,  as  I  think  there  is,  to  hold  that  man's 
religious  sense  is  a  constant  and  universal  feature  of  his 
mental  life,  its  essence  and  true  nature  must  then  be 
sought,  not  so  much  in  the  shifting  variety  of  its  ideal 
constructions  as  in  that  steadfast  groundwork  of  specific 
emotion  whereby  man  is  able  to  feel  the  supernatural 
precisely  at  the  point  at  which  his  thought  breaks  down. 
Thus,  from  the  vague  utterance  of  the  Omaha,  "  the  blood 
pertains  to  Wakanda,"  onwards  through  Animism,  to  the 
dictum  of  the  greatest  living  idealist  philosopher  **the 
Universe  is  a  Spiritual  Whole,"  a  single  impulse  may  be 
discerned  as  active — the  impulse,  never  satisfied  in  finite 
consciousness  yet  never  abandoned,  to  bring  together  and 
grasp  as  one  the  That  and  the  What  of  God. 

WEDNESDAY,  FEBBUABT  2l8t,  1900. 
The  President  (Mr.  E.  Sidney  Hartland)  in  the  Chair. 

The  minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  election  of  the  following  new  Members  was  an- 
nounced, viz. :  Mr.  R.  Blakeborough,  Mr.  E.  im  Thurn, 
Mr.  Bernard  Hamilton,  Mr.  P.  J.  Heather,  Dr.  W.  H.  R. 
Rivers,  and  Mr.  Ralph  Shirley. 

The  deaths  of  Mr.  J.  Kermack  and  Mrs.  C.  M.  Layton 
and  the  resignations  of  Mr.  A.  H.  Diack  and  Mr.  J.  F. 
Gomme  were  also  announced. 

Min  utes  of  Meeting.  183 

The  President  exhibited  the  following :  Dentalium  shells 
from  the  North  West  Coast  of  America,  used  by  the  tribes 
of  British  Columbia  for  currency  and  ornament,  which  had 
been  sent  by  Mr.  W.  Corner,  of  Wellington,  Somerset,  and 
presented  by  him  to  the  Society ;  a  photograph  of  a  bas- 
relief  at  Welton  Farm  House,  Blairgowrie,  with  a  note 
thereon  by  Mr.  E.  K.  Pearce,  by  whom  the  photograph  had 
been  taken  (infra j  p.  211);  an  engraving  by  W.  Woollett 
representing  a  tropical  scene,  and  a  water-colour  drawing 
representing  a  dance  of  native  Australians,  said  to  have 
been  painted  by  a  native  Australian,  sent  by  Mr.  Emslie. 
A  vote  of  thanks  was  accorded  to  the  contributors. 

The  following  books  and  pamphlets,  presented  to  the 
Society  since  the  last  Meeting,  were  laid  upon  the  table, 
viz. : — 

Superstizionty  Pregiudiziy  e  Tradizioni  in  Terra  d' 
OtrantOy  by  Giuseppe  Gigli;  Pipes  and  Smoking  Cus- 
toms of  the  American  Aborigines ^  based  on  material  in 
the  U.  S.  National  Museum,  by  Joseph  D.  McGuire;  Te 
pito  te  Herinay  known  as  Rap  a  nuiy  commonly  called 
Easter  I  stand ^  South  Pacific  Ocean  ^  by  George  H.  Cooke ; 
The  Man's  Knife  among  the  North  American  Indians ^  by 
Otis  Tufton  Mason;  and  Arrowheads^  Spearheads ^  and 
Knives  of  Prehistoric  TimeSy  by  Thomas  Wilson,  all 
presented  by  the  President;  Ludy  Organ  Towarzystwa 
Ludoznawczego  we  Lwowie,  Tome  vi..  Part  i ;  the  following 
pamphlets  by  Dr.  R.  Lasch,  all  presented  by  the  author, 
viz. :  Uber  Geophagie ;  Religioser  Selbstmord  und  Seine 
Beziehung  zum  M enschenopfer  \  Rache  als  Selbsmord- 
motiv'y  Die  Behandlung  der  Leiche  des  Selbstmorders  \  and 
Der  Selbstmord  aus  Erotischen  Motiven  bei  den  primi- 
tiven  Volkern  ;  and  Contes  populaires  de  Languedoc^  by 
Louis  Lambert,  presented  by  Mrs.  Janvier. 

Professor  Haddon  delivered  a  lecture  on  the  "  Toys  and 
Games  of  Papuan  Children,"  which  was  illustrated  by  lan- 
tern slides ;  after  which  Dr.  W.  H.  R.  Rivers  and  Mr.  Ray 


Minutes  of  Meeting. 

gave  some  illustrations  of  the  game  of  Cat's  Cradle  as  prac- 
tised by  the  Papuans.  Votes  of  thanks  were  accorded  to 
Professor  Haddon  for  his  lecture  and  to  Dr.  Rivers  and 
Mr.  Ray  for  their  exhibition. 

WEDNESDAY,  HABOH  2l8t,  1900. 
Mr.  G.  L.  GOMME,  Vice-President,  in  the  Chair. 

The  Minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  resignations  of  Comte  de  Charencey  and  Mr.  J.  Bar- 
well  were  announced.  The  election  of  Judge  F.  Baker  was 
also  announced. 

Miss  Grove  exhibited  some  photographs  of  Bacchanalian 
dances  on  sarcophagi  at  Rome  and  Pompeii. 

The  Secretary  read  a  note  by  Miss  E.  Skeffington 
Thompson,  on  the  First-Foot  Superstition  in  Lancashire 
{in/rat  p.  220),  upon  which  the  Rev.  E.  W.  Clarke  and 
Mr.  Emslie  offered  some  observations. 

Mr.  E.  K.  Chambers  read  a  paper  entitled  "  The  Feast 
of  Fools,"  and  in  the  discussion  which  followed  Mr.  Emslie, 
Mr.  Bouverie  Pusey,  the  Rev.  E.  W.  Clarke,  and  the 
Chairman  took  part. 

A  vote  of  thanks  was  accorded  to  Mr.  Chambers  for  his 

The  following  short  papers  were  also  read  : — 

"  Notes  on  Korean  Folklore,"  by  the  Rev.  J.  S.  Gale ; 
<*  Horses'  Heads,  Weathercocks,  &c.,"  by  Mr.  N.  W.  Thomas ; 
*'The  Bumble  Bee  in  Folklore,"  by  Miss  M.  Peacock  ;  and  a 
note  on  the  Japanese  legend  of  Ama  Terasu,  by  Miss  Louise 


F.R.S.,  F.S.A.,  ETC. 

General  Pitt-Rivers  died  on  May  4th  last.  This  Society  did 
not  directly  receive  from  him  assistance  in  its  labours,  but  it  owes 
a  deep  debt  of  gratitude  nevertheless  to  his  encouragement  and 
work  in  subjects  kindred  to  folklore.  It  was  only  last  Easter  that 
Mrs.  Gomme  and  I,  in  company  with  Dr.  Haddon,  visited  the 
scene  of  General  Pitt-Rivers'  life-work  in  Dorsetshire,  and  we 
were  deeply  impressed  with  the  evidences  of  one  man's  achieve- 
ments. Everywhere  is  care  for  the  past  memorials  of  the  district, 
in  their  relationship  to  educational  work,  self-evident.  Not  the 
smallest  detail  is  forgotten,  and  students  and  casual  visitors  alike 
are  reminded  constantly  of  what  has  been  done  for  their  benefit. 
Dr.  Haddon  and  I  had  a  moment's  brief  interview  with  the  dying 
general.  I  could  not  but  notice  that  the  publications  of  our 
Society  were  conspicuously  placed  on  the  book-shelves  adjoining 
his  room. 

General  Pitt-Rivers  was  formerly  known  as  Colonel  Lane-Fox. 
He  served  in  the  Crimea,  and  was  afterwards  attached  to  the  School 
of  Musketry  at  Hythe,  where  his  energy  and  remarkable  ability  were 
used  to  perfect  this  branch  of  the  military  schools.  Men  who 
knew  this  young  officer  of  the  Guards  there  were  struck  with  the 
fact  that,  unlike  his  fashionable  brother  officers,  he  took  his  pro- 
fession seriously  and  worked  hard.  Besides  his  military  work  he 
found  time  to  collect  a  museum  of  anthropological  objects,  which, 
when  it  grew  too  large  for  private  ownership,  he  generously  pre- 
sented to  the  University  of  Oxford. 

In  1880  Colonel  Lane-Fox  inherited  the  Rivers  estates  in 
Dorsetshire,  and  he  at  once  took  up  the  work  of  exploration.  In 
1 88 1  he  began  systematic  work,  employing  a  staff  of  assistants, 
and  excavating  in  a  manner  which  no  archaeologist  had  ever  done 
before.      The  records  of  his  great  work  are  contained  in  four 

1 86  Obituary. 

magnificent  quarto  volumes,  which  he  printed  privately  and 
presented  to  students  and  friends.  These  volumes  are  a  perfect 
model  of  research,  and  I  do  not  think  the  "  relic  tables,"  which 
are  compiled  with  extrordinary  minuteness,  can  be  too  highly 
treasured  But  valuable  as  these  volumes  self-evidently  are,  their 
true  value  is  hardly  appreciated  until  one  visits  the  museum  at 
Farnham,  where  the  objects  are  stored,  classified,  and  arranged  in 
such  a  manner  that  they  at  once  speak  out  their  story.  In  the 
same  rooms  where  the  objects  are  exhibited  are  plans  of  the 
places  where  the  finds  have  been  made,  together  with  the  most 
perfect  models,  showing  first  the  site  as  it  was  before  being 
excavated,  and  secondly  the  result  of  excavations.  The  whole 
work  is  a  marvel  of  magnificent  research.  Not  only,  however, 
does  the  museum  contain  the  objects  discovered  on  the  estate, 
but  also  great  collections  of  domestic,  agricultural,  and  other 
objects,  implements,  tools,  and  what  not,  arranged  so  as  to  show 
the  line  of  developement  from  the  crudest  types  to  the  modern 
forms.  Perhaps  one  of  the  most  interesting  examples  is  afforded 
from  the  local  manufacture  of  roofing  tiles.  It  is  of  a  singular 
pattern,  but  by  placing  the  modern  production  side  by  side  with 
older  examples  we  gradually  reach  the  prototype,  which  is  seen  to 
be  the  Roman  tiles  discovered  on  the  sites  of  Roman  villas  in  the 
neighbourhood.  Another  most  interesting  group  for  study  is  the 
wedding  apparel  of  the  East  European  peasantry.  But  indeed 
there  is  hardly  any  part  of  the  museum  which  is  not  of  the  highest 
value.  Folklore  objects  are  not  absent,  and  Mrs.  Gomme  made 
a  note  of  them  for  the  Society,  and  photographs  have  been  kindly 
promised  by  the  curator. 

General  Pitt-Rivers  held  the  almost  thankless  office  of  Inspector 
of  Ancient  Monuments,  under  the  Ancient  Monuments  Act, 
which  we  owe  to  Lord  Avebury  (Sir  John  Lubbock).  He  tried 
to  make  landowners  see  their  duty  in  this  respect  as  he  saw  his  ; 
but,  alas  !  here  he  failed  for  the  most  part. 

Apart  from  archaeological  work,  General  Pitt-Rivers  did  great 
things  for  the  inhabitants  of  his  part  of  the  country,  and  nothing 
delighted  him  more  than  to  see  the  people  at  the  sports  insti- 
tuted by  him  at  the  Larmer  Grounds  on  Whit  Monday.  He 
met  opposition,  as  he  met  every  difficulty,  by  overcoming  it.  One 
class  of  opposition  was  on  account  of  his  museum  being  opened 
on  Sunday,  but  he  laughed  it  down  in  characteristic  fashion,  and 

Obituary.  187 

one  felt  how  grand  was  this  energetic,  masterful  mind,  this  kindly, 
generous  heart,  who,  in  collecting  objects  of  art  and  antiquity, 
and  in  working  at  archaeological  discoveries  for  his  own  delight 
and  pleasure,  placed  the  results  unreservedly  at  the  disposal  of 
all  who  cared  to  step  aside  from  the  beaten  track  and  visit  this 
great  museum  in  the  midst  of  green  fields  and  charming  country. 

Laurence  Gomme. 


The  Ba-Ronga. 
(Vol.  X.,  pp.  225-227.) 

In  view,  especially,  of  the  public  interest  in  South  Africa,  and 
of  the  questions  relating  to  the  native  races  which  will  be  involved 
in  the  settlement  after  the  war,  Members  of  the  Society  are  re- 
minded of  M.  Junod's  two  important  works  on  the  Ba-Ronga 
reviewed  last  year  in  these  pages,  namely,  Les  Ba-Ronga^  iiude 
Ethnographique  sur  les  Indigenes  de  la  Bate  de  Delagoa^  and 
Les  Chants  et  les  Conies  des  Ba-Ronga. 

As  previously  announced,  a  few  copies  have  been  placed  by  the 
author  in  the  Secretary's  hands  for  issue  to  Members  at  a  reduced 
price— Z^j  Ba-Ronga  at  6s.,  and  Les  Chants  et  les  Contes  at  3s. 


The  Aborigines  of  Tasmania.  By  H.  Ling  Roth.  Second 
Edition,  Revised  and  Enlarged.  Halifax :  F.  King  &  Sons. 
1899.     2  IS.  nett. 

By  an  unfortunate  oversight  the  second  edition  of  Ling  Roth's 
Aborigines  of  Tasmania  has  remained  unnoticed  till  now,  but  this 
by  no  means  implies  that  the  book  has  been  unread  by  us.  Nine 
years  ago  Mr.  Ling  Roth  published  a  very  valuable  summary  of 
all  the  accounts  he  could  collect,  after  a  diligent  search,  of  the 
ethnography  and  physical  characters  of  the  extinct  aborigines  of 
Tasmania.  The  chief  fault  that  could  be  found  with  it  was  that 
the  edition  was  limited  to  200  copies,  which,  deservedly,  was  very 
soon  exhausted.  Of  the  present  edition  only  225  copies  have  been 
printed.  Apparently  Mr.  Roth  distrusts  the  interest  of  the  general 
public  in  his  book,  for  no  scientific  man  could  wish  a  useful  work 
to  have  an  enhanced  value  on  account  of  the  paucity  of  numbers 

It  is  of  immense  convenience  to  students  to  have  all  the  avail- 
able information  about  a  given  people  collected  and  condensed 
in  this  manner,  especially  as  full  references  are  given  for  every 

The  Tasmanians  were  perhaps  the  most  primitive  of  recent 
men,  hence  the  importance  of  gaining  an  accurate  conception  of 
their  appearance,  handicrafts,  customs,  and  thoughts.  Unfor- 
tunately these  poor,  persecuted  people  were  never  adequately 
studied,  and  there  are  but  scanty  and  insufficient  accounts  of 
their  customs  and  thoughts.  Not  only  were  these  people  still  in 
their  stone  age,  but  they  were  in  a  "  palaeolithic  "  stage ;  indeed. 
Professor  E.  B.  Tylor  goes  so  far  as  to  state  that  "judged  by 
general  character,  their  nearest  old  world  relatives  seem  to  be 
those  oldest  and  rudest  palaeolithic  implements,  the  plateau-flints 
of  Kent.  To  enforce  this  comparison,  I  may  add  that  it  agrees 
with  the  opinions  of  the  late  Sir  J.  Prestwich  and  of  General  Pitt- 

Reviews.  189 

Rivers."    On  the  other  hand,  some  of  the  implements  show  con- 
siderable skill  in  stone  chipping. 

As  an  example  of  the  improvement  of  the  second  edition  over 
the  first,  we  may  take  the  section  on  **Fire."  In  an  appendix  the 
author  comes  to  the  conclusion  that  only  the  stick-and-groove 
method  of  making  fire  was  undoubtedly  used ;  the  fire-drill  pro- 
cess is  doubtful,  although  two  reputed  Tasmanian  specimens  of 
fire-drill  and  socket-stick  are  known  and  figured  by  him. 

Mr.  Roth  writes :  "  It  is  said  that  in  straightening  their  spears 
the  natives  used  their  teeth  as  a  vice  to  hold  them."  It  is  a  pity 
Mr.  Roth  did  not  give  a  copy  of,  or  even  allude  to,  the  spirited 
etching  of  an  unmistakable  Tasmanian  doing  this  very  thing, 
which  was  "  etched  and  published  by  B.  Duterrau,  August  24, 
1835,  Hobart  Town,  Van  Diemen's  Land."  This  must  surely 
have  been  amongst  the  earliest  of  Australasian  engravings. 

Additions  have  been  made  in  the  linguistic  section  of  the  book 
and  also  in  that  dealing  with  physical  anthropology  or  anthropo- 
graphy.  The  following  is  Mr.  Roth*s  opinion  concerning  the 
origin  and  affinities  of  the  Tasmanians:  "It  would  therefore 
appear  that,  from  comparisons  made  between  Tasmanians  and 
Negritos,  we  find  close  relationship  as  regards  the  osteology,  the 
hair,  and  the  language,  and  we  are,  perhaps,  not  far  wrong  in 
concluding  that  this  Nigritic  stock  once  peopled  the  whole  of  the 
Australian  continent  and  Tasmania,  until  annihilated  and  partly 
assimilated  by  the  invaders  now  known  as  Australians  ...  we 
find  Tasmanoid  features  (hair,  shape  of  skull,  unground  stone 
implements)  amongst  the  Australians,  but  no  Australoid  features 
(lank  or  curly  hair,  throwing  stick,  hafted  ground  stone  imple- 
ments, boomerangs,  and  shields)  among  the  Tasmanians." 

The  artistic  autotype  plates  of  the  first  edition  have  been  re- 
placed by  excellent,  but  less  pleasing,  half-tone  blocks,  otherwise 
the  second  edition  is  a  decided  improvement  on  the  first,  and 
Mr.  Roth  is  to  be  complimented  on  having  further  earned  the 
gratitude  of  anthropologists  and  also  on  having  produced  a  volume 
which  is  well  printed  and  illustrated. 

A.  C.  Haddon. 

190  Reviews. 


THE  Report  of  the  Minister  of  Education,  Ontario. 
Printed  by  order  of  the  Legislative  Assembly.  Toronto : 
Warwick  Brothers  &  Rutter,  1898. 

The  greater  part  of  this  Report  by  Mr.  David  Boyle,  Curator  of 
the  Museum  at  Toronto,  is  occupied  by  an  account  of  the  pagan 
Iroquois  on  the  Grand  River  Reserve  in  Canada.  After  an  outline 
of  the  myth  of  Joskeha  and  Tawiskara,  and  some  observations 
upon  it,  the  author  abstracts  from  Mr.  James  Mooney's  monograph, 
published  by  the  Bureau  of  Ethnology,  on  the  Ghost  Dance  Reli- 
gion, an  account  of  the  prophets  and  religious  movements  among 
various  Indian  tribes,  beginning  with  the  Delaware  prophet  who 
appeared  in  1762.  He  points  out  that  before  the  Discovery  from 
time  to  time  men  arose  "  claiming  superior  knowledge  respecting 
the  performance  of  rites,  the  movements  in  dances,  the  singing  of 
songs,  the  interpretation  of  dreams,  the  existence  and  power  of 
spirits,  and  the  influences  of  natural  phenomena."  Holding  the 
opinion  that  the  Indian  had  no  belief  in  a  Supreme  Being  before 
contact  with  white  men,  the  author  attributes  to  this  contact  very 
much  of  the  tone  and  tenour  of  the  teaching  of  prophets  during 
the  historical  period.  He  then,  following  Morgan  and  an  article 
by  the  Rev.  Dr.  Beauchamp  in  the  Journal  of  American  Folklore 
for  1897,  supplemented  by  his  own  inquiries  on  the  Grand  River 
Reserve,  and  interspersed  with  critical  remarks,  narrates  the  story 
of  the  revelation  in  1790  to  Ska-ne-o-dyo,  of  whom  the  pagan 
Iroquois  whose  ceremonies  he  is  about  to  describe  are  followers. 
The  object  of  this  revelation  was  evidently  the  preservation  of  the 
Iroquois  from  contamination  by  the  vices  and  the  blood  of  the 
white  men,  and  their  propagation  and  perpetuation  as  a  people. 
Mr.  Boyle  then  proceeds  to  describe  a  number  of  festivals  at 
which  he  has  been  present,  beginning  with  the  Midwinter  Festival 
and  including  the  interesting  ceremony  of  the  Burning  of  the 
White  Dog.  The  result  of  his  inquiries  is  to  leave  the  original 
motive  and  meaning  of  this  rite  in  doubt.  The  dog  seems  either 
to  have  been  a  messenger  or  a  vicarious  offering,  perhaps  to  the 
sun.  At  the  present  day,  however,  there  can  be  little  question, 
after  reading  Mr.  Boyle's  translations  of  the  songs  and  speeches, 
that  it  is  a  sacrifice  to  the  Great  Spirit. 

Among  the  secret  societies  of  the  pagan  Iroquois  the  most 

Reviews.  191 

interesting  are  those  of  the  False  Faces.  They  are  intended  to 
appease  certain  evil  spirits  lurking  in  the  rocks  and  hollow  trees 
and  to  counteract  their  malign  influences.  These  spirits  appear 
to  consist  of  horrible  faces  and  to  have  power  to  inflict  bodily 
ailments  and  to  send  diseases  among  the  people.  They  are,  in 
fact,  the  Flying  Heads,  well  known  to  readers  of  Dorman  and 
other  writers  on  American  superstitions.  Mr.  Boyle  had  great 
difficulty  in  ascertaining  the  existence  of  any  such  society  among 
the  Indians  on  the  Reserve,  though  it  was  admitted  that  False 
Face  (masked)  dances  took  place.  His  perseverance,  however, 
was  at  last  rewarded,  and  he  has  been  enabled  to  give  a  number 
of  particulars  about  these  societies  and  also  two  versions  of  the 
legend  of  their  foundation.  If  the  legend  has  been  correctly 
transmitted  from  ancient  times  it  is  clear  that  not  only  is  Rawen 
Niyoh,  the  Creator,  not  supreme,  but  that  Ak'onwarah,  the  False 
Face,  is  his  equal  in  power,  and  that  neither  the  latter  nor  the 
other  two  False  Faces  (who  are  called  his  brother  and  his  cousin) 
were  made  by  the  Creator. 

The  author  has  something  also  to  say  concerning  other  customs 
of  the  pagan  Iroquois  on  the  Reserve,  their  dress,  dwellings,  and 
sanitary  condition ;  he  relates  several  of  their  legends ;  he  has 
procured  the  music  of  their  ritual  songs ;  he  discusses  the  effect 
of  a  mixture  of  blood  upon  the  character  and  physical  features  of 
he  half-breeds ;  and  he  gives  a  number  of  portraits,  beautifully 
reproduced  from  photographs,  of  Indians  of  pure  and  mixed 
blood,  some  of  them  in  ceremonial  costume,  with  views  of  their 
dwellings  and  other  illustrations  of  their  life  on  the  Reserve,  also 
sketches  of  their  masks,  diagrams,  and  the  like.  His  Report  thus 
forms  an  important  record  for  purposes  both  of  government  and 
science.  The  museum  of  which  he  is  the  curator  is  a  government 
institution  of  the  Province  of  Ontario,  and  belongs  to  the  Educa- 
tion Department.  Under  the  administration  of  the  Hon.  Dr. 
Ross,  as  Minister  of  Education,^  it  has  been  greatly  developed. 
Such  reports  as  this  are  a  justification  of  Dr.  Ross's  enlightened 
policy,  and  are  an  example  which,  it  is  to  be  hoped,  the  mother- 
country  will  speedily  follow  in  the  ethnological  department  recently 
created  in  connection  with  the  British  Museum. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

'  Now  (1900)  Premier  of  Ontario. 


192  Reviews. 


THE  Report  of  the  Minister  of  Education,  Ontario. 
Printed  by  order  of  the  Legislative  Assembly.  Toronto : 
Warwick  Brothers  &  Rutter,  1900. 

In  the  foregoing  pages  I  have  drawn  the  attention  of  readers  of  Folk- 
Lore  to  Mr.  Boyle's  interesting  Report  for  1898.  He  has  followed 
it  with  a  Report  for  1899,  as  interesting  and  in  many  respects 
as  valuable.  An  excellent  figure  of  an  Iroquois  medicine-man's 
mask,  recently  obtained  for  the  museum,  is  given,  together  with 
a  variant  of  the  myth  of  the  origin  of  the  False  Faces.  Mr. 
Boyle  made  another  journey  in  the  previous  September  to  the 
Iroquois  Reserve,  to  learn  further  details  connected  with  the  cere- 
monies, especially  those  relating  to  the  gambling  games.  These 
are  all  recorded. 

Included  in  the  Report  is  a  monograph  on  the  Wyandots,  by 
Mr.  W.  E.  Connelley.  To  this  monograph  special  importance 
is,  I  think  justly,  attached  by  Mr.  Boyle,  for  it  is  the  outcome  of 
twenty  years*  study  of  the  Wyandots  and  their  language.  Accord- 
ing to  the  author's  information,  the  Wyandots  originally  called 
themselves  the  Turtle  People.  The  ancient,  not  necessarily  the 
original,  divisions  of  the  tribe  were — 

"First  division  :  i.  Bear;  2,  Deer;  3,  Snake;  4,  Hawk. 
"Second  division  :  i.  Big  Turtle;  2,  Little  Turtle;  3,  Mud 
Turtle;  4,  Beaver;  5,  Porcupine;  6,  Striped  Turtle;  7, 
Highland  Turtle,  or  Prairie  Turtle. 
"  Mediator,  executive  power,  umpire,  the  wolf." 

The  wolf,  it  seems,  never  belonged  to  either  division,  or  phratry, 
"  bearing  the  relation  of  cousin  to  each  of  them."  The  wolf  clan 
had  the  right  to  elect  and  depose  the  chief  of  the  tribe.  The 
clans  of  each  division,  or  phratry,  bore  the  relation  of  brother  to 
each  other.  Consequently  marriage  was  prohibited  between  them, 
though  this  law  had  been  modified  so  as  to  prohibit  marriage 
only  between  members  of  the  same  clan,  at  a  time  before  the 
Methodist  missionaries  went  among  them. 

The  unit  of  the  social  and  political  system  "  was  not  the  family, 
nor  the  individual,  but  the  clan.  The  child  belonged  to  its  clan 
first,  to  its  parents  afterwards.  Each  clan  had  its  list  of  proper 
names,  and  this  list  was  its  exclusive  property,  which  no  other  clan 
could  appropriate  or  use.  .  .  .  When  death  left  unused  any  of 

Reviews.  1 93 

the  original  clan  proper  names,  the  next  child  bom  into  the  clan, 
if  of  the  sex  to  which  the  temporarily  obsolete  name  belonged, 
had  this  name  bestowed  upon  it"  Here  we  are  led  to  wonder 
whether  the  child  was  regarded  as  a  new  incarnation  of  the  de- 
ceased owner  of  the  name.  The  Hurons,  we  know,  believed 
in  re-birth ;  and  the  Wyandots,  though  perhaps  in  the  main 
Iroquoian,  had  relations  with  the  Hurons,  and  probably  had 
Huron  blood  in  their  veins. 

I  must  refer  members  of  the  Society  who  are  engaged  in  the 
study  of  early  beliefs  and  institutions  to  the  Report  itself  for  the 
details  of  Wyandot  organisation,  names,  and  myths  which  it 
contains.  Nor  does  the  interest  of  the  Report  stop  with  Mr. 
Connelley's  monograph.  Mr.  Boyle  has  taken  great  pains  in 
collecting  pagan  Iroquois  songs,  and  the  graphophone  has  been 
utilised  for  this  puipose.  The  music  of  no  fewer  than  forty- 
seven  songs  is  recorded  in  these  pages.  Mr.  Alexander  T. 
Cringan,  a  musical  expert,  has  superintended  their  transcription 
from  the  graphophone  cylinders,  and  has  written  a  commentary 
upon  them. 

A  passing  mention  must  suffice  for  Mr.  A.  F.  Hunter's  account 
of  Huron  village  sites  in  the  township  of  Tay  (Simcoe  County), 
Mr.  Boyle's  own  explanation  of  the  mounds  in  Pelee  Island,  and 
other  archaeological  work  in  the  narrower  sense  of  the  term,  since 
they  do  not  specially  concern  the  Folk-Lore  Society.  But  it  must 
not  be  supposed  that  they  will  not  well  repay  an  anthropological 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

The  Saga  of  King  Sverri  of  Norway.  Translated  by 
J.  Sephton,  M.A.  London :  D.  Nutt  1899.  (Northern 
Ubrary,  Vol.  IV.). 

For  the  folklorist  the  new  volume  of  the  Northern  Library  does 
not  possess  the  interest  of  the  earlier  one  by  the  same  translator. 
The  saga  of  Olaf  Tryggvason  and  that  of  Sverri  are  works  of  a 
very  different  type ;  the  one  resting  upon  traditions  from  which 
the  lapse  of  time  had  cleared  away  unessential  details  and  given 

VOL.   XI.  o 

194  Reviews. 

free  scope  to  the  imagination  of  the  story-teller;  the  other  a  work 
of  historic  accuracy,  in  which  names  and  incidents  are  so  numerous 
that  they  often  tend  (as  in  Sturlunga)  to  confuse  the  reader  and 
obscure  the  main  issue.  Hence  Olaf  is  a  heroic,  almost  mythic, 
figure ;  Sverri  is  only  a  remarkable  personage  in  the  medieval 
history  of  Norway.  In  consequence  of  this,  there  is  perhaps  a 
little  danger  that  some  readers  of  the  book  may  agree  with  the 
preface  by  the  priest  Magnus,  when  he  says,  "  Now,  this  narrative 
will  seem  to  many  tedious  enough;"  but  Mr.  Sephton  has  cer- 
tainly, by  his  smooth  and  readable  translation,  made  the  path  as 
inviting  as  possible  for  those  who  might  have  such  an  opinion, 
while  those  who  find  an  interest  in  the  struggles  and  final  triumph 
of  a  brave  warrior  and  intelligent  statesman,  will  not  be  disap- 
pointed with  the  story  of  King  Sverri. 

In  the  introduction  Mr.  Sephton  explains  briefly  and  clearly 
the  state  in  which  the  text  of  the  saga  now  exists.  As  a  rule, 
every  MS.  of  a  saga  represents  a  fresh  recension,  and  this  is  the 
case  here.  Unfortunately,  we  think,  Mr.  Sephton  has  followed 
the  example  of  the  editors  of  Fornmanna  Sogur  in  endeavouring 
to  construct  a  complete  text  out  of  the  different  versions.  It  is 
quite  true  that  a  genuine  passage  may  exist  in  only  one  MS.,  and 
that  it  would  be  a  loss  to  omit  it,  but  it  does  not  necessarily 
follow  that  it  ought  to  be  inserted  in  the  text.  The  only  satis- 
factory way  is  to  translate  one  definite  version,  and  give  the 
variations  of  the  others  either  within  brackets  or  as  footnotes. 
This  would  not  only  have  made  clear  the  relation  of  the  different 
versions  to  each  other,  but  would  have  saved  the  reader  from 
referring  to  the  Introduction  or  the  Notes  on  Some  Readings 
(pp.  261-268)  to  find  out  the  exact  authority  for  any  statement. 

As  indicated  above,  the  saga  is  a  piece  of  pure  history,  unmixed 
with  legendary  elements  (the  numerous  dreams  are  hardly  excep- 
tions to  this),  and  therefore  wanting  in  some  of  the  interest  which 
attaches  to  the  more  characteristic  Icelandic  writings.  The 
author.  Abbot  Karl,  was  contemporary  with  the  events  he  nar- 
rates, and  his  authority  for  the  earlier  part  of  the  saga  was  Sverri 
himself.  With  regard  to  KarFs  work,  and  the  general  character 
of  the  saga,  we  miss  any  reference  to  Professor  Finnur  J6nsson's 
Den  oldnorske  .  .  .  Literaiurs  Historie  (vol.  ii.  pp.  386-394),  where 
there  are  some  interesting  remarks  on  the  subject 

One  of  the  chief  attractions  of  Sverris  Saga  in  the  original  lies 

Reviews.  195 

in  the  spirit  and  liveliness  of  the  diction,  part  of  which  is  probably 
due  to  Sverri's  own  manner  of  speech.  To  render  racy  and 
idiomatic  Icelandic  of  this  type  into  good  English  is  no  easy 
task,  but  Mr.  Sephton  has  come  well  out  of  it,  and  it  is  probably 
as  much  the  fault  of  modern  English  as  of  the  translator  if  the 
simplicity  and  directness  of  the  original  sometimes  disappear  in 
the  translation.  Even  at  this  cost,  we  think  Mr.  Sephton's  style 
preferable  to  the  more  literal  and  archaic  manner  aflfected  by  some 
translators,  an  easy  method  whereby  natural  Icelandic  is  con- 
verted into  altogether  unnatural  English.  In  very  few  cases  can 
serious  objection  be  taken  to  Mr.  Sephton's  renderings  of  Ice- 
landic words :  examples  are,  however,  the  use  of  "  cabin  "  for 
rtim  (p.  71),  or  "a  twenty-five  cabined  vessel"  for  hdifyritugt 
skipy  a  ship  of  fifty  oars,  or  "village"  for  byg^^  an  inhabited 
district  (p.  104 ;  it  consisted  of  100  farms  in  a  dale  of  consider- 
able length).  The  one  point  in  which  Mr.  Sephton  has  fallen 
below  his  usual  level  is  that  in  which  translators  of  sagas  seem  to 
have  agreed  to  fail,  viz.  in  rendering  the  verses.  There  are  few 
of  them  in  Sverris  Saga^  and  these  not  very  remarkable,  but  they 
lose  even  what  merit  they  have  when  their  metrical  elaboration 
disappears;  a  primitive  type  of  blank  verse  is  not  the  natural 
equivalent  of  drbttkvxit  or  hrynhend.  In  proper  names  Mr.  Seph- 
ton has  adhered  in  most  cases  to  the  original  form ;  it  might  have 
been  still  better  had  he  retained  the  modern  Icelandic  fashion  of 
marking  the  long  vowels  with  an  acute  accent,  and  thus  enabled 
the  reader  to  distinguish  between  such  forms  as  Stady  Karl^  Hall^ 
and  Hdkoriy  Grdgds^  Kdri. 

To  the  saga  is  appended  a  translation  of  the  Anecdoton  Sverreri 
in  which  King  Sverri's  position  is  defended  against  the  clergy. 
Then  come  the  Notes  referred  to  above,  and  a  very  full  General 
Index,  which  seems  to  contain  everything  the  reader  is  likely  to 
look  for.  In  the  list  of  "  Proverbs,"  on  p.  282,  it  is  hardly  correct 
to  insert  "  The  stronger  rules  the  roast,"  which  will  not  be  found 
on  the  page  referred  to.  Very  useful  are  the  eight  maps  given  at 
the  end  of  the  volume,  especially  the  smaller  ones;  in  the  general 
map  of  Norway  (No.  8)  the  antique  style  has  rendered  many  of 
the  names  almost  indecipherable. 

Of  matters  which  have  some  bearing  on  folklore,  the  following 
may  be  pointed  out.  Fairy  tales  are  implied  in  the  words  on 
p.  7  :  "  His  condition  most  resembled  that  of  royal  children  in 

o  2 

1 96  Reviews. 

the  old  stories,  under  the  curses  of  step-mothers."  The  miracle 
on  p.  15  probably  has  some  natural  explanation ;  the  story  is  of  a 
raft  which  floated  while  men  were  on  it,  and  sank  the  moment 
after  they  had  left  it.  On  p.  32  it  is  told  how  Sverri  shamed  the 
men  of  Helsingjaland  into  giving  him  food  by  threatening  to  eat 
horse-flesh.  Sverri's  men  once  thought  their  ship  was  spell-bound ; 
it  turned  out  that  they  had  forgotten  to  pull  up  the  anchor  (p.  86). 
When  a  plot  was  preparing  against  Sverri,  he  showed  prescience 
of  it  by  making  a  thrust  in  the  air  with  a  knife,  saying,  "  The 
fetches  of  our  foes  are  now  flitting  about  us  "  (p.  146).  Sverri 
had  a  fondness  for  using  proverbs  and  quoting  verses.  The  most 
interesting  of  his  quotations  is  one  from  Fdfnismdl,  while  his  best 
proverb  is  the  excellent  Wellerism,  "  Such  things  often  happen  at 
sea,  as  the  seal  said  when  it  was  shot  in  the  eye  "  (p.  209). 

Various  writers  have  pointed  out  that  Sverris  saga  has  one 
defect ;  it  gives  only  one  side  of  the  great  king's  character ;  we 
learn  much  about  his  battles,  and  little  or  nothing  about  his 
statesmanship.  This,  however,  is  the  real  Icelandic  spirit  (com- 
pare the  modern  tale,  in  which  the  old  woman  says,  "  There's  no 
fun  in  the  Gospels;  there's  no  fighting  in  them") ;  it  is  action  of 
a  stirring  kind  that  forms  the  mainspring  of  a  saga,  and  there  are 
few  historical  works  of  the  12  th  and  13th  centuries  that  could 
bear  comparison  with  Abbot  Karl's  history  of  King  Sverri. 

W.  A.  Craigie. 

Studies  on  Biblical  Subjects.  No.  II.  Jacob  at  Bethel: 
The  Vision — The  Stone— The  Anointing.  By  A. 
Smythe  Palmer,  D.D.     London  :  David  Nutt.     1899. 

This  is  the  second  instalment  of  Dr.  Smythe  Palmer's  Studies  on 
Biblical  SubjectSy  the  first  of  which,  on  "  Babylonian  Influence  on 
the  Bible,"  has  already  been  noticed  in  Folk-Lore  (vol.  ix.,  p.  71). 
It  displays  the  same  amount  of  wide  reading,  the  same  power  of 
happy  combination,  and  the  same  charm  of  style.  The  story  of 
Jacob's  vision  at  Beth-el  is  treated  with  a  wealth  of  illustration 
from  folklore  and  mythology  which  is  really  wonderful.  Every 
detail  in  it  is  shown  to  have  its  counterpart  in  the  beliefs  and 

Reviews.  197 

legends  of  the  Semitic  East  and  to  be  rooted  as  it  were  in  the 
religious  conceptions  of  primitive  man. 

Dr.  Palmer  deals  first  of  all  with  the  vision  of  the  ladder,  or 
rather  stairway,  which  the  patriarch  saw  rising  up  into  heaven, 
and  traces  it  back  to  the  stairway  of  the  Babylonian  zigguraf,  or 
temple-tower,  which  led  from  the  lowest  stage  of  the  building  up 
to  the  topmost  chamber,  where  the  deity  was  supposed  to  reside. 
In  the  ziggurat  he  sees  a  representation  of  that  "  Mountain  of  the 
World  "  on  whose  summit  the  Babylonians  believed  that  the  gods 
dwelt;  and  he  ingeniously  connects  the  latter  with  the  title  of 
sadu  rabu^  or  "great  mountain,"  applied  to  Bel,  which  seems  to 
have  been  the  origin  of  the  El  Shaddai  of  the  book  of  Genesis. 

The  angels  who  passed  from  heaven  to  earth  are.  Dr.  Palmer 
points  out,  originally  identical  with  the  stars  which  Jacob  had 
seen  twinkling  above  the  stair-like  rocks  of  the  hills  of  Beth-el 
before  he  had  lain  down  to  sleep.  The  belief  that  the  stars  are 
animate  beings  is  found  all  over  the  world ;  and  their  identity 
with  the  angels  is  indicated  not  only  in  apocalyptic  works  like 
the  Book  of  Enoch  but  even  in  passages  of  the  Bible  like  Is.  xxiv. 
21,  32,  and  Jude  13.  In  fact,  "the  hosts  of  heaven,"  of  whom 
Jahveh  was  lord  in  Israel,  as  Assur  was  in  Assyria,  were  primarily 
the  stars,  and  in  Assyrian  the  same  word  tsabu  means  both 
"host"  and  "star."  The  astrological  idea  of  the  influence  of 
the  heavenly  bodies  upon  the  lives  and  actions  of  men  is  but  an 
application  on  the  scientific  side  of  the  beliefs  which  on  the 
theological  side  resolved  the  stars  into  angelic  legions. 

From  the  vision  of  the  patriarch  Dr.  Palmer  passes  on  to  the 
Beth-el  or  consecrated  stone  which  marked  the  spot  where  it  had 
been  seen.  The  Beth-el  or  Baetylos  was  characteristic  of  Semitic 
religion  wherever  it  was  found.  The  deity  was  regarded  as 
immanent  in  certain  stones  in  a  special  way ;  they  were  veritable 
"abodes  of  God,"  in  which  the  godhead  was  localised  and  present 
among  men.  So  deeply  implanted  was  this  belief  in  the  Semitic 
mind  that  even  Mohammed  found  it  impossible  to  eradicate  it; 
and  the  reverence  still  paid  to  the  black  stone  of  the  Ka'abah  at 
Mecca  is  a  permanent  witness  to  the  fact.  Why  particular  stones 
should  excite  feelings  of  awe  and  worship  is  a  psychological 
phenomenon  which  still  awaits  explanation ;  but  the  fact  is  an 
undoubted  one  and  is  common  to  all  races  of  mankind.  Indeed, 
I  myself  remember  how,  when  as  a  boy  I  saw  Stonehenge  for  the 

IgS  Reviews^ 

first  time,  I  felt  inclined  to  bow  down  before  the  huge  and 
mysterious  stones  of  the  circle  and  to  recognise  a  divinity  in 
them.  Among  the  Semites,  however,  the  stone  seems  to  have 
needed  a  special  act  of  consecration  before  it  could  actually 
become  a  Beth-el  or  "  House  of  God."  This  act  of  consecration 
consisted  in  pouring  oil  upon  it  and  thereby  fitting  it  to  be  a  true 
abode  of  deity.  Dr.  Palmer  is  doubtless  right  in  connecting  with 
the  belief  in  the  sacredness  of  certain  stones  the  comparison  of 
Jahveh  with  a  tsur  or  "  rock."  It  may  be  added  that  one  of  the 
Babylonian  gods  bore  the  name  of  Tsur. 

The  consecration  of  the  Beth-el  leads  to  a  consideration  of  the 
use  of  oil  for  this  purpose.  The  religious  use  of  unction  was  not 
confined  to  the  Semitic  peoples ;  we  find  it  in  Egypt  and  Greece 
as  well  as  among  the  savage  races  of  the  modem  world.  Dr. 
Palmer  follows  Robertson  Smith  in  supposing  that  its  employment 
in  ritual  originated  in  the  fat  of  the  sacrifice,  which  in  the  Mosaic 
law  is  expressly  called  "  the  food  of  the  Lord,"  and  for  which 
vegetable  oil  was  afterwards  substituted.  A  simpler  explanation 
would  be  that  just  as  oil  or  grease  is  rubbed  over  the  body  to 
preserve  it  from  sickness  and  the  stings  of  insects,  so  too  it  was 
poured  over  the  sacred  stone  to  protect  it  from  the  attacks  of 
demons.  Primitive  man  saw  in  sickness  not  a  disease  of  the 
body  but  an  attack  from  without  by  a  hostile  spirit.  In  this  case 
the  fat  of  the  victim  would  have  been  dedicated  to  the  gods, 
because  it  represented  the  means  whereby  they  were  protected 
from  the  powers  of  evil. 

A.  H.  Sayce. 

The  Homeric  Hymns.  A  New  Prose  Translation  and 
Essays,  Literary  and  Mythological.  By  Andrew 
Lang.     With  illustrations.     George  Allen. 

We  know  what  to  expect  from  Mr.  Lang  as  a  translator:  an 
accurate  version  in  a  style  which,  if  a  trifle  aflected,  is  really  not 
unlike  the  Authorised  Version  of  the  Scriptures.  In  this  book 
we  have  something  more.  The  text  of  the  hymns  is  in  a  corrupt 
state,  and  Mr.  Lang  has  had  to  play  the  critic  now  and  again. 

Reviews.  I99 

The  result  is  we  have  a  translation  which  makes  sense ;  but  we 
cannot  be  sure  that  it  is  what  the  poet  meant,  because  Mr.  Lang's 
canons  were  not  manuscript  authority,  but  literary  excellence — he 
tried  to  find  "  the  phrases  least  unworthy  of  the  poets."  For  the 
general  reader,  the  translation  is  all  that  could  be  desired ;  and 
the  dainty  appearance  of  the  book,  with  its  photogravure  plates, 
some  of  which  are  beautiful,  makes  it  suitable  for  a  Christmas 
present  to  a  folklorist  parent.  The  student  of  Greek  religion  too 
will  find  all  he  wants ;  but  in  view  of  the  principles  of  criticism 
just  alluded  to,  he  would  do  well  to  check  by  comparison  with 
another  version,  or  the  best  text,  any  passage  he  intends  to  build 
theories  upon. 

Members  of  this  Society,  however,  will  be  chiefly  interested  in 
the  mythological  essays.  Mr.  Lang  appears  to  have  in  his  eye 
those  who  decry  the  use  of  savage  rites  and  myths  in  explaining 
Greek  religion,  and  those  who  do  not :  a  large  audience,  and  we 
hope  Mr.  Lang's  optimism  will  be  borne  out  by  the  publisher's 
royalties.  To  the  former  class,  in  the  person  of  M.  Foucart, 
he  addresses  an  essay  on  the  Alleged  Egyptian  Origins  of  the 
Eleusinian  Mysteries ;  and  finds  no  difficulty  in  demolishing  the 
arguments  and  assumptions  of  M.  Foucart.  This  chapter  may 
serve  as  a  warning  to  all  who  argue  from  too  narrow  a  basis.  To 
the  latter  class  Mr.  Lang  seems  to  address  the  rest  of  the  book ; 
but  perhaps  in  consequence  of  having  the  former  class  in  his 
mind,  he  contents  himself  with  stating  his  opinions  without  suffi- 
cient evidence  to  support  them.  He  may  be  right  in  diflering 
from  Mr.  Tylor  on  the  subject  of  Animism  (p.  21)  \  but  it  is  not 
sufficient  to  say  so.  Perhaps  the  lowest  known  races  have  a 
"fluid  mass  of  beliefs  both  high  and  low,  from  the  belief  in  a 
moral  creative  being,  a  judge  of  men,  to  the  pettiest  fable  which 
envisages  him  as  a  medicine  man,  or  even  as  a  beast  or  bird,"  and 
it  may  be  the  higher  belief  is  the  older ;  but  though  Mr.  Lang  can- 
not see  how  if  the  lower  came  first,  the  higher  was  evolved  by  very 
backward  savages,  it  may  yet  be  true,  or  more  probably  Mr.  Lang 
has  exaggerated  the  "  height "  of  the  beliefs  in  question  by  reading 
his  own  very  civilised  thoughts  into  something  quite  vague  and 
shadowy.  We  do  not  wish  to  commit  ourselves  at  this  present ; 
we  are  open  to  conviction :  but  it  seems  to  us  that  in  this  very 
intricate  question  we  must  wait  for  more  light  before  deciding. 
From  the  evidence  now  to  hand  it  seems  clear  both  that  the 

200  Reviews. 

Australian  savages  have  more  religious  faith  than  they  used  to  be 
credited  with,  and  that  the  moral  influence  of  their  "  high  gods  " 
has  been  greatly  exaggerated.  It  is  the  discoverer's  fervour,  of 
course :  we  have  seen  it  before ;  and  time  will  bring  the  reaction. 
The  value  of  this  book  lies  then  in  its  literary  quality  chiefly, 
and  secondly  in  its  advocacy  of  the  comparative  method  addressed 
to  scholars  of  the  narrower  type.  Students  of  folklore  will  be  glad 
to  have  Mr.  Lang's  opinions  clearly  set  forth  (has  it  not  been 
whispered  that  he  sometimes  shifts  his  ground  a  trifle  ?)  but  for 
proofs  they  will  go  elsewhere. 

Dr.  M.  RosENFELD :  Der  Midrasch  Deuteronomium  Rabba 
.  Par.    IX.    UND   XI.,    2-10,    ueber    den    Tod    Moses. 
Berlin,  1899. 

The  justification  for  taking  notice  of  this  publication  in  the  pages 
of  Folk-Lore  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  old  apocryphal  literature  has 
contributed  more  than  any  other  branch  of  literary  activity  to 
what  we  call  now  "  popular  "  literature.  There  is  another  reason 
still,  inasmuch  as  I  am  firmly  convinced  that  the  interest  shown 
in  recent  times  to  this  apocryphal  literature  owes  its  origin  not  to 
any  kind  of  religious  revival,  or  to  the  so-called  higher  biblical 
criticism,  as  to  the  modern  study  of  folklore.  The  present  book 
does  not  deal  with  any  of  the  more  important  Apocryphas. 
Known  through  a  quotation  in  the  Epistle  of  Jude  (v.  9),  the 
"  Assumption  of  Moses  "  had  some  influence  on  the  evolution  of 
the  doctrine  of  the  dual  powers  in  the  world,  as  Satan  is  represented 
to  dispute  the  right  of  the  angel  to  the  body  of  Moses.  Curiously 
enough  this  very  incident  is  missing  in  the  Latin  fragment  of  the 
•*  Assumptio,"  and  even  the  latest  editor  of  that  text,  R.  H.  Charles, 
has  only  been  able  to  adduce  divers  quotations  from  the  writings 
of  the  Fathers  of  the  Church  in  order  to  supplement  this  lacuna. 
We  find  it,  however,  very  much  elaborated  in  the  Hebrew  versions, 
where  on  the  contrary  the  initial  part  has  disappeared.  One  of 
these  versions  is  now  published  in  German  translation  with  the 
collation  of  other  printed  versions  of  this  legend,  and  the  author 
of  this  publication  tries  to  bring  out  the  intimate  connection  which 

Reviews.  201 

has  existed  between  the  "  Assumptio  Mosis  "  preserved  in  a  frag 
mentary  form  and  a  similar  set  of  legends  about  the  death  of 
Moses  in  the  Hebrew  literature,  notably  in  the  final  chapters  of 
Deuteronomy  Rabba.  I  have  published  in  an  English  translation 
probably  the  oldest  of  these  versions  in  my  Chronicles  ofjerahmeel^ 
chaps,  l.-li.  (pp.  133-146),  indicating  (pp.  xci.-xcii.),  the  references 
to  the  whole  literature,  both  Christian  and  Muhammedan.  This 
book  is  unknown  to  Dr.  Rosenfeld.  I  have,  moreover,  pointed  out 
there  that  the  passages  which  occur  in  the  text  of  Deuteronomy 
Rabba,  by  which  Zunz  and  also  our  author  intended  to  prove  the 
more  recent  origin  of  this  version,  are  missing  in  the  old  MSS.  of 
Jerahmeel.  It  has  influenced  the  liturgical  poetry,  and  is  an  inter- 
esting chapter  in  the  history  of  the  old  religious  popular  literature. 
It  would  have  been  better  had  the  author  consulted  also  MSS. 
and  not  limited  himself  exclusively  to  printed  texts,  and  also 
if  he  had  rendered  the  version  of  the  Yalqut  more  correctly ;  for 
he  omits  one  very  curious  passage  about  the  wish  of  Moses  to 
live  at  least  with  one  eye  open  and  one  eye  closed  ! 

For  completeness'  sake  I  add  here  an  unknown  Roumanian 
fragment,  taken  from  one  of  my  MS.  Roumanian  Hronographs, 
the  source  of  which  is  undoubtedly  Greek,  but  which  I  have  not 
been  able  to  trace.  It  is  not  found  among  the  quotations  col- 
lected by  Charles.  It  runs  as  follows :  "  When  Moses  died, 
Satan  attempted  to  enter  the  body  of  Moses  in  order  to  deceive 
the  Jews  and  to  make  them  believe  that  Moses  had  come  to  life 
again ;  but  God  sent  the  Archangel  Michael,  and  he  drove  him 
away  by  the  power  of  his  holy  might,  and  he  could  thus  not 
achieve  anything."  To  this  then  refers  the  rebuke  of  Satan  men- 
tioned in  the  Epistle. 

M.  Gaster. 

Die  Krankheit  im  Volksglauben  des  Simmenthals.  Ein 
Beitrag  zur  Ethnographie  des  Berner  Oberlandes. 
Von  Dr.  Hans  Zahler.  Bern  :  Hallersche  Buchdruckerei. 
1898.  (Arbeiten  aus  dem  Geographischem  Institut  der  Uni- 
versitat  Bern.     Heft  IV.) 

This  monograph  is  one  of  a  class  which  we  would  fain  see  more 
numerous.     Dr.  Zahler  writes  of  his  own  native  district,  and  there- 

202  /Reviews. 

fore  has  a  right  to  claim  that  he  has  been  able  to  record  much 
which  a  stranger  would  never  have  heard  of.  Country  folk  are 
shy  of  talking  to  strangers  about  their  beliefs,  especially  of  such 
as  are  now  generally  made  a  joke  of.  The  author  has  been  so 
fortunate  as  to  get  hold  of  several  manuscript  books  of  folk- 
medicine  ;  and  these  he  has  supplemented  by  inquiry  and  from  his 
own  knowledge.  He  has  not  given  us  the  books  complete,  but 
classified  the  contents ;  thus  each  bit  appears  in  its  place  amongst 
traditional  lore  of  the  same  kind.  As  regards  his  faithfulness  in 
dealing  with  the  authorities  we  have  no  means  of  judging,  but  the 
extracts  show  every  appearance  of  care  in  copying.  The  classi- 
fication and  subdivision  is  perhaps  a  trifle  overdone,  a  fault  often 
noticeable  in  German  books ;  and  the  description  of  the  books  is 
needlessly  minute.  But  after  all  these  are  faults  on  the  right  side. 
It  is  easy  to  skip  what  we  do  not  want  to  read,  and  there  is  a  full 
index.  A  useful  list  of  authorities  is  appended.  The  contents 
of  the  book  are  of  all  sorts,  and  we  have  no  space  to  give  a  full 
account  of  them.  We  would,  however,  call  attention  to  the  creature 
called  Doggeli,  an  odd  mixture  of  witch  and  goblin.  The  book 
may  be  recommended  to  students. 

RuGENSCHE  Skizzen.    Herausgegcben  von  Dr.  A.  Haas.    Greifs- 
wald,  Julius  Abel,  1898. 

This  little  book,  beautifully  printed,  and  illustrated  chiefly  from 
photographs,  is  a  collection  of  nine  papers  contributed  at  difierent 
times  to  local  periodicals.  They  deal  in  an  archaeological  spirit 
with  various  points  in  the  history  and  ethnography  of  the  isle  of 
Riigen.  A  large  part  of  the  volume,  although  interesting,  does 
not  specially  concern  students  of  folklore.  It  contains,  however, 
two  chapters  on  marriage-customs  and  harvest-customs.  Both 
have  been  studied  at  first-hand,  and  for  the  former  the  author  has 
also  availed  himself  of  the  accounts  left  by  earlier  writers.  Both 
sets  of  customs  are  worth  study.  In  both,  the  songs  sung  and 
rhymed  speeches  are  given  at  length.  Among  the  bridal  customs 
are  some  very  curious.  There  were  five  bridesmaids,  named  Nibb, 
Tiill,  Niill,  Foy,  and  Sack,  of  whom  Nibb  ranked  as  chief  brides- 

Reviews.  203 

maid,  and  the  others  are  named  in  order.  They  prepared  the 
bride-vat  This  was  an  ell  high,  in  form  a  crown  or  a  house,  of 
twisted  box-  or  fir-twigs,  decked  with  gilded  apples  and  tinsel, 
yellow,  red,  and  golden  streamers,  and  bunches  of  gilded  nuts. 
It  was  furnished  with  arms,  on  which  an  egg,  a  cock,  and  a  little 
bridal  bed  were  placed.  At  the  top  was  a  cradle.  Inside,  it  was 
filled  with  rolls  of  bread,  with  fruit  and  nuts,  occasionally  pewter 
plates.  Fifty  candles  completed  its  splendour.  Sometimes  it 
took  the  shape  of  a  ship  with  sails,  which  was  represented  as 
coming  from  Mount  Lebanon  and  desirous  of  finding  a  haven  in 
the  house  where  the  wedding  was  celebrated.  The  presentation 
of  this  bride-vat  was  part  of  the  ceremonies ;  and  the  Braut- 
fiihrer  made  at  the  presentation  a  long  speech  in  verse,  accom- 
panied in  a  low  voice  by  the  whole  party.  It  was  very  unlucky 
for  him  to  stumble  or  forget  the  words.  After  the  feast  there 
was  of  course  the  dance.  When  midnight  was  past,  the  bride's 
crown  was  sometimes  danced  off,  and  there  ensued  a  wild  struggle 
between  married  and  unmarried  for  the  possession  of  the  bride. 
The  married  party  being  successful,  the  crown  was  replaced  by  a 
hood  worn  by  young  married  women,  and  the  dance  continued 
until  morning. 

The  old-fashioned  houses  without  chimneys  are  carefully  de- 
scribed, and  a  view  of  one  of  them  given.  The  Hertha-see  is  also 
described,  and  the  purely  literary  and  modern  origin  of  the  name 
and  tradition  traced.  Dr.  Haas  has  made  a  very  useful  contri- 
bution to  our  knowledge  of  the  island  and  its  antiquities.  An 
earlier  collection  by  him  of  the  folktales  of  Riigen  was  noticed, 
when  it  came  out,  in  Folk-Lore^  vol.  iii.,  p.  119. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

Naturgeschichtliche  Volksmaerchen  aus  nah  und  fern. 
Gesammelt  von  Oskar  Daenhardt.     Leipzig,  1898. 

Herr  Daenhardt's  volume  is  devoted  to  those  folk-stories 
which  offer  a  serious  or  an  absurd  legend  in  explanation  of  the 
remarkable  characteristics  of  some  natural  object  If  anyone 
wishes  to  know  why  the  moon  waxes  and  wanes,  how  there  come 

204  Reviews. 

to  be  knots  in  timber,  through  what  means  the  fox  got  the  white 
tag  to  his  brush,  or  who  caused  the  wine-coloured  stains  on 
the  flower  of  the  lesser  bindweed  by  using  it  as  a  drinking-cup, 
he  has  only  to  consult  this  collection  of  Mdrchen  for  infor- 
mation. Many  of  the  tales  have  been  drawn  from  non-European 
sources,  but  the  greater  number  appear  to  be  German  in  origin. 
Among  some  of  the  most  quaint  are  those  which  relate  to  God 
the  Father,  or  to  Christ  and  St.  Peter ;  and  it  is  noteworthy  that 
in  several  of  the  tales  which  appear  to  be  really  Christian,  and  not 
mere  adaptations  from  heathen  beliefs,  the  horse  is  represented  as 
playing  a  most  churlish  part  in  contrast  to  the  ox,  who  is  both 
kindly  and  helpful.  The  two  animals  would  appear  to  be 
antagonistic  in  Christian  folklore. 

Mabel  Peacock. 


I.  By  Cenke  ZfBRT.     (Reprinted  from  the  "  Cesky  Lid.") 

This  is  a  catalogue  of  publications  on  folklore  and  ethnography 
containing  some  nine  hundred  items.  It  is  intended  to  be  com- 
plete, and  includes  English  and  American  books  as  well  as 
German,  French,  Norse,  and  Slavonic.  The  Slavonic  books  and 
some  of  the  German  are  accompanied  with  a  brief  review  (some- 
times in  German).  The  book  will  be  found  valuable,  particularly 
for  its  Slavonic  items ;  but  those  who  do  not  know  Czech  will  be 
able  to  understand  little  besides  the  names. 

Merry  Suffolk,  Master  Archie,  and  other  Tales  :  a 
Book  of  Folklore.  By  Lois  A.  Fison.  With  which  is 
included  "Tom  Tit  Tot"  and  Sequel,  by  Mrs.  Walter 
Thomas.     London :  Jarrold  &  Sons.     1899. 

This  is  a  little  book  of  genuine  folklore,  in  parts  just  the  least  bit 
spoiled  by  being  written  up  to  a  literary  standard.  For  this  pur- 
pose it  has  been  thought  necessary  to  cast  the  information  in  three 

Reviews.  205 

of  the  chapters  into  the  shape  of  imaginary  narrative  or  quasi- 
dramatic  sketches:  a  sort  of  sugar-coating  for  "the  general 
reader  "  of  the  pill  of  folklore.  Such  too  is  the  softening  down  of 
the  catastrophe  of  the  sequel  to  Tom  Tit  Tot  This  sequel  is 
really  an  independent  story,  not  belonging  to  the  cycle  of  Rum- 
pelstilzchen,  but  equally  well  known  on  the  Continent  of  Europe. 
The  true  catastrophe  as  told  in  Suffolk  is  less  fit  perhaps  for  the 
parlour  than  Mrs.  Thomas's  version ;  but  then  it  did  not  originate 
in  the  parlour.  It  ought  nevertheless  to  be  preserved,  and  there- 
fore I  venture  to  give  it  to  the  readers  of  Folk-Lore,  The  story  is 
the  same  up  to  the  introduction  of  the  gipsy-confederate  into  the 
party.  She  has  put  a  dozen  rotten  eggs  in  her  pocket.  She  sits 
down  and  "jiffeys  and  jiffeys"  until  they  are  broken.  The  lords 
and  ladies  all  freely  accuse  each  other  "  o'  stinkin'  like  a  fummard ; 
till  there  was  sech  a  te-dew  that  the  King  he  said :  •  I'll  ha'  te 
know  hew  'tis  is  a-stinkin'  like  that.'  So  he  made  'em  set  down 
all  round.  Then  the  gipsy-woman  she  got  up  an'  said :  * 'Tis  me 
as  stinks.'  *  A-well,  yew  naster  pug,  git  hoom  and  woish  yerself, 
and  doon't  yew  come  hare  ne  moore,'  says  he.  *  Woishin'  oon't 
dew  it,'  says  she.  *  When  I  were  a  gal,  I  were  a  great  spinner,  an' 
I  span  an'  span,  till  my  twatlin'  thrids  was  broke;  an'  what's 
moore,  if  yar  wife  spins  like  I,  she'll  stink  like  I.'  An'  soo  the 
King  he  says  :  *  Look  yew  hare,  me  dare,  an'  listen  what  I  sa'  te 
yew.  If  iwer  I  see  yew  with  a  spindle  agin  in  yar  hands,  yar 
hid'U  goo  off.'     An'  tha's  all." 

Mrs.  Thomas  may  indeed  be  congratulated  on  having  preserved 
with  great  ingenuity  in  the  version  she  has  given  the  spirit  and 
outline  of  the  story.  If  it  is  not  as  it  stands  the  lore  of  the  folk, 
we  must  not  forget  that  we  are  indebted  to  her  for  two  of  the  best 
English  folktales  that  have  been  preserved,  "  Tom  Tit  Tot "  and 
"  Cap  o'  Rushes,"  both  very  properly  included  here.  Excellent 
they  are,  and  excellently  told.  Her  sister.  Miss  Fison,  has  done 
good  service  also  in  recording  in  the  pages  that  follow  them  some 
of  the  superstitions,  charms,  customs,  riddles,  and  sayings  of  the 
county.  More  than  "  a  pretty  custom  "  is  that  of  giving  a  bunch 
of  immortelles  to  a  girl  when  betrothed.  It  must  be  given  by  a 
married  friend,  and  its  destination  is  to  be  given  by  the  maiden  to 
her  lover,  who  will  preserve  her  love  as  long  as  he  keeps  the 
flowers.  Here,  in  a  particularly  beautiful  form,  is  the  old  pledge 
of  fidelity  which  appears  almost  all  over  the  world. 

2o6  Reviews, 

For  other  examples  of  belief  and  practice,  I  must  refer  readers 
to  the  book  itself,  which  will  be  valued  both  within  and  without 
the  county  of  Suffolk  for  its  record  of  many  things  now  fast 
passing  or  altogether  passed  away. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

American  Indians.     By  Frederick  Starr.     Boston  : 
D.  C.  Heath  &  Co.     1899. 

This  is  the  first  to  be  published  of  a  series  of  Ethno- Geographic 
Readers  by  Professor  Starr,  intended  for  use  in  schools.  It  gives 
a  clear  account  in  simple  language  of  the  aborigines  of  North 
America.  It  is  illustrated  by  good  cuts  of  the  people  and  of 
objects  connected  with  them,  and  by  two  excellent  maps,  one 
showing  the  former  location  of  the  most  important  groups  and  the 
other  the  present  Indian  reservations  in  the  United  States.  The 
author  wisely  gives  no  footnotes  ;  they  would  be  out  of  place  in  a 
book  of  the  kind.  But  at  the  end  of  most  of  the  sections  he 
mentions  in  smaller  type  the  names  of  the  writers  to  whom  he  is 
indebted  and  makes  a  short  statement  of  what  they  have  done. 

No  book  could  be  better  calculated  to  efiect  its  purpose — that 
of  interesting  youth,  especially  the  youth  of  the  United  States,  in 
the  Indian  population.  The  final  section  is  an  appeal  on  behalf  of 
a  dying  race,  all  the  more  likely  to  be  successful  because  of  its  very 
moderate  and  gentle  tone.  In  dealing  with  the  legends  the  author 
glides  deftly  over  points  unsuitable  for  the  reading  of  boys  and 
girls — for  example,  in  the  North-Western  Story  of  the  Raven, 
p.  190.  He  writes  in  a  bright  and  lively  style  likely  to  seize  the 
attention  of  the  public  he  addresses. 

One  interesting  fact  recorded  may  be  here  referred  to,  for  it 
illustrates  the  question  how  long  the  memory  of  an  event  may  be 
retained  by  tradition  alone.  In  the  year  1832  Catlin  sojourned 
among  the  Mandans  on  the  Missouri  River,  and  there  painted 
some  of  his  most  famous  pictures.  Thirty-three  years  later  Dr. 
Washington  Matthews  visited  the  same  tribe,  carrying  with  him  a 
copy  of  Catlin's  book  containing  engravings  of  his  pictures.  The 
people  "had  completely  forgotten  Catlin's  visit,  but  were  much 

Reviews.  207 

interested  in  his  pictures They  recognised  many  of  the 

portraits  and  expressed  great  emotion." 

The  account  given  of  the  burial  rites  of  the  Indians  suggests 
the  desirability  that  some  ethnologist  should  prepare  a  map  show- 
ing the  distribution  of  the  different  modes  of  burial  practised  by 
the  aborigines  of  North  America.  The  data  for  such  a  map  are 
probably  accessible  only  in  the  United  States.  If  carefully  pre- 
pared, it  would  throw  much  light  on  the  relation  of  custom  to 
environment  and  to  race,  and  on  the  transmission  of  custom. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

The  Races  of  Man:  an  Outline  of  Anthropology  and 
Ethnography.  By  J.  Deniker,  Sc.D.  (Paris).  London  : 
Walter  Scott,  Limited.     1900. 

The  title  of  this  book  speaks  for  itself.  It  is  a  compendium  of  facts ; 
like  all  such  works,  covering  too  wide  a  ground  to  be  otherwise  than 
dry  to  read,  but  very  useful  for  reference.  As  a  science  yet  in 
its  youth,  anthropology  includes  many  facts,  and  series  of  facts, 
the  relations  of  which  have  hitherto  hardly  been  determined. 
The  racial  characteristics  of  men  are  among  these ;  and  here  the 
author  is  compelled  not  merely  to  state  facts,  but  also  to  criticise 
and  to  set  forth  his  own  conclusions.  The  compilation  is  thus 
varied  and  strengthened  by  original  contributions  of  importance. 

Amid  so  large  a  collection  of  facts  it  is  easy  to  find  slips. 
Comparing  p.  148,  for  instance,  with  p.  123,  I  am  not  sure 
whether  the  author  intends  us  to  understand  that  primitive  man 
was  solitary  in  his  habits.  I  do  not  believe  man  ever  "  wandered 
solitary  through  the  virgin  forests,"  that  is  to  say,  not  habitually. 
Theories  of  various  kinds  have  been  built  on  the  supposition  that 
he  did,  but  there  is  not  the  slightest  evidence  to  that  effect.  On 
the  contrary,  man  must  have  been  from  the  beginning  a  social 
creature,  probably  wandering  in  herds  before  he  learnt  to  recog- 
nise kinship,  and  to  fit  together  the  elements  of  what  is  really 
human  society. 

Nor  can  the  student  safely  accept  many  of  the  statements,  of 
necessity  vague  and  general  in  form,  without  qualification.     The 

2o8  Reviews. 

investigations  of  the  late  Professor  Fillmore  and  Miss  Fletcher 
into  the  harmonic  structure  of  the  music  of  the  North  American 
tribes  were  probably  published  too  recently  to  enable  the  author 
to  take  advantage  of  them,  or  he  would,  I  think,  have  modified 
his  observations  on  savage  music.  Speaking  generally,  indeed, 
the  progress  of  research  on  customs,  institutions,  beliefs,  and  other 
subjects  of  folklore  has  been  so  rapid  of  late  years,  that  it  is  no 
marvel  the  author  is  not  posted  up  in  the  latest  presentations  of 
fact  and  argument.  All  this  part  of  the  book  would  be  improved 
by  careful  revision.  And  I  protest  against  the  assertion:  "Legends, 
traditional  tales,  proverbs,  &c.,  are  simplified  myths,  with  the 
poetic  element  predominating.  The  study  of  them  forms  a  special 
branch  of  ethnology  called  folklore."  Such  language  might  have 
been  used  in  1877  :  it  is  out  of  date  in  1900. 

The  value  of  the  book,  however,  lies  on  the  physical  side.  The 
careful  account  of  somatic  and  physiological  characters,  the  dis- 
cussion of  the  classification  of  races  and  peoples,  the  description, 
general  though  it  be,  of  the  various  races,  the  tables  containing 
the  materials  on  which  the  author's  conclusions  on  different  points 
are  based,  will  all  be  thoroughly  appreciated  by  inquirers.  The 
illustrations  have  been  selected  with  great  judgement,  and  most  of 
them  have  come  out  well.  The  maps  and  some  of  the  groups  are 
on  too  small  a  scale. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 



A  LARGE  number  of  Dutch  popular  month-names  (now  or 
formerly  in  use),  partly  derived  from  religious  festivals  held  in 
those  months  and  partly  from  nature  and  agriculture,  are  collected 
in  Noord  en  Zuid,  1899,  pp.  328  and  following,  by  Mr.  Leenclertz. 
Since  he  has  been  able  to  collect  so  large  a  number  of  such  names 
in  Holland  I  presume  that  Great  Britain,  which  is  a  larger  country, 
could  furnish  at  least  an  equal  quantity  of  them.  Yet  I  cannot 
say  that  I  know  of  any  such  names  definitely  attached  to  months 
of  the  Julian  Calendar.  We  have,  of  course,  representatives  of  the 
two  classes  of  popular  names  in,  e.g.,  Michaelmas  on  the  one  hand 
and  Harvest- Moon  on  the  other,  but  they  are  scarcely  definite 
popular  designations  of  the  Julian  months.  I  should  be  glad  to 
hear  of  any  such  British  popular  month-names  known  to  readers 
of  this  Journal. 

The  matter  is  of  interest  to  me  as  throwing  light  on  the  mean- 
ing of  ancient  month-names.  These,  I  believe  to  be  all,  except 
when  the  months  were  numbered,  either  of  the  Michaelmas  or  of 
the  Harvest-Moon  type ;  and  the  preponderance  of  one  type  over 
the  other  is  an  important  sociological  fact  I  believe  that  very 
nearly  all  the  numerous  ancient  Greek  month-names  are  of  the 
Michaelmas  type,  derived  from  festivals,  and  so  probably  (but  I 
have  not  yet  been  able  to  inquire  fully)  are  the  Semitic  month- 
names  and  all  the  original  Roman  names,  except  those  giving  the 
number  of  the  month  in  the  calendar.  In  modem  Greece  (as  in 
Holland)  a  good  many  month-names  of  the  other  Harvest-Moon 
type  are  in  common  use.  We  all  know  how  the  French  Revolu- 
tion, which  wished  to  be  antique  and  conspicuously  failed  all 
round,  banished  the  Michaelmas  type  and  adopted  exclusively  the 
Harvest-Moon  type  of  month-name.  The  names  given  to  the 
Revolutionary  months  were  Latin,  or  Greek,  or  hybrid,  but  the 
principle  was,  it  seems,  not  antique  at  all. 

W.  R.  Paton. 


2 1  o  Correspondence. 

May  Day. 
(Vol.  X.,   pp.  443-4.) 

I  was  at  Wilton  on  the  first  of  May,  1896.  There  I  saw  many 
parties  of  little  girls,  one  of  whom  would  carry  a  short  stick,  at 
the  top  of  which  was  a  garland  or  bunch  of  flowers.  The  girls 
would  stand  at  the  doors  of  houses  and  sing  a  song,  the  last  line 
of  which  was  :  "  Please  give  a  penny  for  the  garland."  Wilton  is 
a  small  town,  and  the  garlands  were  numerous,  so  I  suppose  the 
house-to-house  visitation  was  soon  done,  as  when  I  left,  soon 
after  nine  a.m.,  the  girls  were  either  wandering  aimlessly  about  with 
their  garlands  or  sitting  on  doorsteps  counting  their  gains.  I  was 
told  that  the  pence  are  collected  in  order  to  be  afterwards  spent 
at  Wilton  Fair,  which  is  held  on  the  first  Monday  in  May. 

The  same  day  I  reached  Salisbury  about  eleven  o'clock. 
Although  it  is  only  three  miles  from  Wilton,  the  fashion  of  the 
May  observance  was  diflerent.  The  girls,  instead  of  being  in 
parties  of  four  or  five,  went  about  in  couples,  each  member  of 
which  held  the  end  of  a  short  stick,  to  the  middle  of  which  the 
garland  was  tied,  and  hung  between  the  two  girls  as  they  walked 
along.  The  garland  (as  I  suppose  I  must  call  it)  was  in  the  form 
of  a  crown,  whose  circlet  and  bows  were  covered  with  flowers.  I 
did  not  hear  any  singing,  and  the  girls  went  from  shop  to  shop, 
within  which  they  would  wait  until  they  received  either  money  or 
a  dismissal. 

J.  P.  Emslie. 

Burial  Customs. 

(Vol.  X.,  pp.  253-4,  477.) 

In  the  West  of  Scotland  the  belief  in  touching  the  dead  to 
prevent  dreaming  of  them  or  having  any  uncomfortable  sensations 
afterwards,  is  common  among  the  older  people.  The  references  to 
this  in  Folk-Lore  recalled  the  memory  of  my  grandmother  (a  well- 
educated  woman,  a  native  of  Helensburgh,  Dumbartonshire) 
placing  my  unwilling  hand  on  the  body  of  a  dead  child  whose 
relations  we  were  visiting.  A  mere  infant  at  the  time,  seeing  the 
dead  child,  and  especially  being  forced  to  touch  it,  left  a  feeling 
of  horror  and  dread  that  it  took  years  to  get  free  from. 

Katherine  Carson. 

Plate  I. 


To  face  page  2\\ , 


Welton  Farmhouse,  Blairgowrie. 

The  curious  carving,  shown  on  the  accompanying  plate,  of  a  smith 
at  work,  surmounted  by  a  crown,  appears  on  an  old  stone-built 
two-storied  house,  near  the  River  Ericht,  at  Blairgowrie,  now  in 
the  possession  of  Mrs.  Macpherson,  of  Blairgowrie.  It  was  probably 
owned  for  three  hundred  years  by  the  family  of  Low.  The  founder 
of  the  family  was  a  blacksmith  who  excelled  all  other  smiths  in  the 
quantity  and  quality  of  the  work  he  did,  being,  it  was  commonly 
reported,  helped  in  his  trade  nightly  by  the  gude-folk.  One  night 
watching  them,  he  forgot  that  he  must  not  speak  to  them,  and  in 
his  excitement  exclaimed  aloud : — 

*»  Well  struck,  Red  Cap  ;  better  still,  Blue." 

And  they  replied : — 

"  Well  struck  or  ill  struck,  we  strike  no  more  for  you." 

And  thereupon  vanished  and  returned  no  more. 

The  old  stone  carving  beneath  the  window  of  the  second  floor, 
and  above  the  door,  as  seen  in  the  illustration,  is  fast  peeling  off 
from  age,  and  the  inscription  and  date,  save  for  a  letter  or  two, 
have  disappeared  entirely.  I  do  not  think  it  has  previously  been 
recorded  in  the  history  of  the  locality.  Nobody  I  was  acquainted 
with  knew  anything  of  the  matter,  nor  could  any  one  explain 
the  existence  of  a  crown  surmounting  the  figure  of  the  smith. 
Mr.  D.  Milne,  to  whom  I  owe  my  illustration,  had  not  previously 
been  employed  to  record  this  curious  old  carved  tablet.  Folk-Lore 
readers  may  be  interested  in  the  matter.  The  date  of  the  house 
may  be  about  1570. 

E.  K.  Pearce. 

p  2 

212  Miscellanea. 

Devonshire  Folklore,  collected  among  the  People  near 
Exeter  within  the  Last  Five  or  Six  Years.  By  Lady 
Rosalind  Northcote. 

There  are  many  beliefs  still  held  by  the  old  people  in  Devon- 
shire that  are  thought  but  little  of  by  the  younger  generation,  and 
of  these  beliefs  "  overlooking "  and  "  ill-wishing "  and  "  pixy- 
leading"  play  the  most  prominent  parts.  One  hears  also  of 
white  witches,  but  generally,  alas,  in  the  past  tense. 

GoBLiNDOM.— ^a^/^  (f  tJC  Lantern, — One  can  occasionally  hear 
tales  about  Jack  o'  th'  Lantern.  He  seems  to  be  dreaded  as  a  rule, 
but  is  sometimes  affable,  and  even  gracious.  A  young  woman,  of 
much  daring,  insisted,  contrary  to  the  wishes  of  her  friends,  in 
going  alone  past  a  marshy  place  said  to  be  haunted  by  Jack  o'  th* 
Lantern,  for  he  usually  haunts  marshes  and  boggy  "  bottoms  "  on 
the  moors.     Still  more  rashly,  she  used  this  invocation  : 

Jack  o*  the  Lantern,  Jan  of  the  Lub, 
Light  me  home  and  Til  give  you  a  cnib. 

(Crub  is  a  local  name  for  crumb.)  He  did  appear,  and  what  is 
more,  alarmed  her  so  terribly  that  she  was  ill  for  long  afterwards. 
More  fortunate  was  another  witness,  a  certain  man  who  had  always 
to  go  home  through  a  copse,  for  he  said  that  when  he  was  obliged 
to  come  home  in  the  dark  Jack  would  light  him  all  the  way,  adding 
that  Jack  had  been  especially  attentive  to  him  in  his  courting  days. 
Jack  would  dance  from  side  to  side,  but  always  took  the  right  way, 
and  he  himself  would  call  out  "Thank'ee,  Jack!  Thank'ee  Jack!" 
till  he  was  brought  to  his  own  door.  This  man  one  night  refused 
a  lantern  (pressed  on  him  by  the  wife  of  the  man  who  told  me 
this),  saying  that  Jack  always  lighted  him,  and  that  he  never 
carried  a  lantern.  It  is  supposed  that  he  feared  that  he  would 
have  hurt  Jack's  feelings  if  he  had  done  so. 

Another  man  was  walking  along  a  road  one  night  when  he  was 
overtaken  by  Jack,  who  skipped  up  to  him,  showing,  he  described, 
"a  face  like  a  brandy  bottle."  He  told  the  wayfarer  that  he  was 
now  due  in  a  town  some  miles  distant,  and  was  over  the  hill  in  a 

Pixies, — Tales  of  people  being  pixy-led,  even  almost  up  to  the 
present  day,  abound.  If  there  is  a  fog  one  may  hear  the  pixies 
laughing,  and,  as  is  well  known,  if  one  is  hopelessly  lost  the  great 
remedy  is  to  turn  out  a  pocket  or  put  on  one's  coat  inside  out. 

Miscellanea.  213 

Pixies  are  fond  of  water,  and  some  children  whom  I  knew  used  to 
go  down  to  the  side  of  a  stream  to  watch  for  them  there.  Pre- 
cautions have  to  be  taken  against  changelings,  and  at  Chudleigh 
mothers  used  to  tie  their  babies  to  them  in  bed  at  night  for  fear 
of  the  pixies.  At  Bishopsteignton  the  women  on  an  average 
used  to  be  very  small,  and  folks  said  it  was  because  the  pixies  had 
changed  them  when  they  were  babies. 

A  keeper  and  his  wife  used  to  live  at  Chudleigh,  near  the  rocks, 
whose  holes  the  pixies  "  bide  "  in.  This  couple  had  two  children, 
and  one  morning  when  the  wife  had  dressed  the  eldest  she  let  her 
run  away  while  she  dressed  the  baby.  Presently  her  husband 
came  and  asked  her  "  where  the  little  maid  was  to  ? "  For  she 
was  gone  and  was  not  to  be  found.  They  searched  high  and  low 
for  days ;  the  neighbours  came  to  help,  and  at  last  bloodhounds 
were  to  be  sent  for.  But  one  morning  some  young  men  thought 
they  would  go  and  help  themselves  to  some  nuts  from  a  clump  of 
nut-trees  not  far  from  the  keeper's  house,  and  at  the  farther  side 
they  came  suddenly  on  the  child,  undressed,  but  well  and  happy, 
and  not  at  all  starved,  playing  with  her  toes,  or  toads ;  I  do  not 
know  which.  The  pixies  were  supposed  to  have  stolen  the  child, 
and  are  still  firmly  believed  to  have  been  responsible  for  her  dis- 

The  pixies  are  quick  to  revenge  a  slight,  as  the  following  "  bit " 
shows.  In  the  course  of  ploughing  a  field  a  pixies'  oven^  was 
once  discovered  and  the  man  told  the  plough-boy  to  pick  it  up. 
But  the  boy  broke  it  (it  was  wooden),  saying  that  "They  old 
pixies  shouldn't  bake  no  more  bread."  Immediately  he  was  set 
upon  by  invisible  enemies  and  so  severely  pinched  that  he  was 
forced  to  go  home  to  bed,  his  bruises  being  so  bad  that  he  could 
not  even  open  his  eyes  for  days. 

Another  version  tells  that  the  oven,  already  broken,  for  want  of 
a  nail,  was  put  in  sight  of  the  ploughman  and  that  he  mended  it. 
Afterwards  he  found  a  mug  of  cider  put  out  for  him  in  the  field 
by  the  pixies.  He  offered  a  drink  to  the  boy,  who  spoke  dis- 
respectfully of  the  pixies  and  was  thereupon  attacked  by  them. 

Pixies  sometimes  act  the  part  usually  assigned  to  brownies  and 
assist  in  household  work.  Here  are  two  stories,  resembling  a 
very   well-known   one  of  Grimm's,  but  with  different  endings. 

'  Query,  oven-peel.— Ed. 

2i4  Miscellanea^ 

There  was  once  a  farmer,  who  had  a  bam  containing  corn,  and 
however  much  he  threshed  in  the  day  it  always  seemed  as  full  as 
ever  in  the  morning.  One  night  he  determined  to  watch,  and 
presently  in  came  some  (I  think  only  two  or  three)  pixies.  Each 
seized  a  flail  and  began  to  thresh.  Then  said  one  :  "Tweat  you  ? 
I  tweat."  The  farmer  felt  grateful  and  determined  to  reward  them 
for  their  trouble,  so  he  had  little  suits  of  clothes  made  for  them. 
Then  he  put  these  in  the  barn,  and  hid  himself  and  watched  again, 
and  by-and-by  the  pixies  came  in.  They  were  delighted  with  the 
clothes  and  dressed  themselves  in  them,  but  after  that  they  went 
away  and  did  no  more  work  for  the  farmer. 

The  other  tale  was  written  down  for  me  by  a  woman  whose 
father  told  it  to  her,  and  I  give  her  exact  words. 

"  Once  there  was  a  farmer  who  used  to  employ  a  workman  by 
the  name  of  Robin  Hood,  so  the  farmer  agreed  with  him  to 
thresh  some  com.  He  worked  at  it  for  several  days  and  could 
not  shrink  it  one  bit,  so  he  thought  to  himself  one  day  he  would 
watch  through  the  night.  So  when  it  came  on  dark  he  hid  him- 
self in  a  corner  of  the  barn  and  about  twelve  o'clock,  having 
locked  the  door  on  the  inside,  he  saw  a  big  picksy  come  through 
the  keyhole  with  a  big  load  on  his  back,  and  then  a  smaller  one, 
and  then  a  very  little  one.  They  put  down  their  loads  and  rubbed 
themselves,  and  said  :  *  I  tweat.  You  tweat.  Tweat  I  too.'  The 
man  jumped  out  of  his  hiding-place  with  a  pick,  so  they  disappeared 
through  the  keyhole,  and  the  man  finished  his  threshing  in  peace 
the  next  day.  But  the  picksys  did  not  forget  or  forgive  him. 
When  he  was  returning  home  from  his  work  one  came  and 
jumped  on  his  back  and  kept  saying :  *  Turn  again,  Robin,'  till  it 
brought  him  down  to  a  river.     Then  it  jumped  in  the  river. 

"  Then  Robin  met  his  two  brothers,  so  they  thought  they  would 
go  for  a  night's  poaching.  Oflf  they  started,  through  wild  and 
lonely  places.  When  they  got  on  the  top  of  a  hill  they  looked 
down  over  and  saw  something  like  fire.  One  said  it  was  fire,  and 
another  said  it  was  the  sun  rising  in  the  earth.  The  other  said  it 
must  be  the  moon.  Then  it  divided  into  a  lot  of  little  picksys 
with  shining  heads.  They  thought  they  would  be  brave  and  see 
what  they  were  up  to,  but  when  they  came  up  nearer  to  them  the 
men  got  so  frightened  they  began  to  run  away,  each  in  a  different 
direction.  They  scrambled  through  brambles,  ditches,  and  mud. 
When  they  arrived  home  they  were  shoeless  and  hatless.     They 

Miscellanea^  5 1 5 

tan  up  and  got  into  bed  and  lay  shaking  all  night — thought  every 
sound  was  the  picksys  coming  after  them.  That  was  the  last 
time  Robin  went  poaching." 

Witchcraft. — The  power  of  many  evilly-disposed  persons,  wh 
work  harm  to  others,  is  supposed  to  lie,  partly,  in  their  "  books  " — 
mysterious  books,  often  to  be  heard  of,  in  the  possession  of  some 
one  else — and  never  to  be  seen  ! 

Harm  may  be  wrought  to  others  by  the  agency  of  toads.  One 
woman,  in  a  neighbouring  village,  kept  toads  in  her  back  kitchen 
for  the  purpose  of  injuring  persons  against  whom  she  had  a 
grudge.  They  are  also  supposed  to  forecast  certain  events,  and 
an  old  woman  (personally  known  to  my  informant's  mother)  who 
was  bedridden,  kept  toads  in  her  bed,  and  people  used  to  come 
to  her  to  have  their  fortunes  told  by  them.  By  what  means  the 
toads  accomplished  either  the  ill-wishing  or  fortune-telling  one  is 
not  told. 

There  is  a  belief  in  the  evil  eye,  only  it  is  called  "  overlooking  " 
in  these  parts.  Two  neighbours  near  here  have  a  long-standing 
quarrel.  Sometimes  when  they  are  out  in  the  yard  together 
Mrs.  A.  looks  at  Mrs.  J.  in  "  such  a  way,"  that  her  knees  tremble 
under  her  and  she  has  to  go  indoors  and  have  a  cry.  And  for 
days  afterwards  she  is  bent  "  two  double."  [That  is,  head  and 
shoulders  stooping  very  badly.] 

White  witches,  of  course,  can  heal  as  well  as  hurt  both  man 
and  beast.  The  white  witch  of  the  following  account,  my  in- 
formant declared  to  being  acquainted  with.  One  of  the  horses 
belonging  to  a  certain  farmer  being  ill,  he  sent  for  the  witch  to 
cure  it.  She  stayed  a  few  days  in  the  house  and  the  animal 
recovered.  She  then  left  the  place.  Soon  afterwards  a  bullock 
fell  ill,  and  the  woman  was  again  sent  for,  and  she  returned  and 
effected  a  second  cure.  Again,  another  beast  became  sick,  and 
so  it  happened  after  every  time  that  she  had  left  the  house. 
Then  they  resolved  to  have  her  no  more,  thinking  that  she  had 
been  the  cause  of  each  fresh  illness,  and  when  she  knew  this,  to 
revenge  herself,  the  house  was  "  troubled."  Doors  kept  slamming 
when  there  was  no  wind,  and  they  constantly  heard  the  sound  of 
a  horse  trotting  overhead  and  on  the  stairs.  In  one  bedroom  a 
large  heap  of  French  beans  was  put  to  dry,  and  every  night  these 
used  to  rattle  round  and  round  the  room.  The  man  who  slept 
there  used  to  feel  something  running  over  his  feet  in  bed,  and 

2i6  Miscellanea. 

one   night  when  the  beans  were  very  lively  he  struck  a  light 
quickly.     Instantly  they  were  all  in  their  proper  places.  T  he 
house  is  now  pulled  down. 

Another  story  tells  one  how  to  keep  these  malevolent  women 
at  a  distance,  though  not  asserting  that  their  power  is  equally 
staved  off.  But  the  witch  in  this  particular  case  was  an  old 
woman,  suspected  of  witchcraft,  chiefly  because  she  bought  old 
bones  and  bits  of  iron.  The  old  iron  she  used  to  sell  to  a  former 
blacksmith  in  our  neighbouring  village  (whose  grandson  told  the 
tale).  Friendly  advisers  warned  the  blacksmith  that  he  ought 
not  to  have  such  an  uncanny  visitor  so  often  about,  nor  so  many 
dealings  with  her.  "  How  was  he  to  stop  her  ?  "  he  asked.  He 
was  told  to  notice  where  she  set  her  foot  within  the  forge,  and 
after  her  departure  to  drive  a  nail  in  her  track.  This  he  did,  and 
afterwards  when  she  was  passing  she  would  call  to  him,  but  never 
crossed  his  threshold.  One  day  he  drew  out  the  nail,  and  ever 
after  that  she  came  inside  the  forge  as  much  as  she  had  done 

It  is  difficult  to  know  if,  and  how  far,  people  still  believe  in 
witchcraft  proper.  Most  people  agree  that  witches  and  pixies 
used  formerly  to  flourish,  and  if  then,  why  not  now  ?  But  belief 
in  their  existence  at  the  present  day  is  very  shadowy.  One  view 
was  put  before  me  that  Heaven  would  not  permit  one  human 
creature  to  harm  another  "of  like  flesh  and  blood"  by  evil 
spells.  But  this  was  contradicted  by  another  opinion,  that 
Heaven  had  nothing  to  do  with  it :  spells  were  the  work  of  the 
Evil  One.  One  woman  thinks  that  increased  education  ought  to, 
or  does,  produce  more  witchcraft  than  there  was  in  former  days, 
because  if  so  much  harm  could  be  done  by  ignorant  folk  and 
their  "  books,"  now  that  the  knowledge  of  most  folk  is  increased 
their  power  to  harm  will  be  increased  also. 

FoLK-MEDiciNE. — Village  herbalists  still  exist  and  their  advice 
is  sought ;  but  perhaps  their  knowledge  is  not  so  deep  as  was  that 
of  their  fathers,  for  though  their  counsel  is  still  respected,  they 
themselves  do  not  seem  to  be  revered  to  the  extent  that  their 
predecessors  were.  Many  women  have  family  recipes  and  make 
ointments  of  their  own. 

Bear's  foot,  a  plant  with  five  (?)  finger-like  leaves,  is  good,  but 
one  finger  is  bad  and  must  be  torn  off  and  thrown  away.  Angelica 
has  wonderful  virtues.    Fox-glove,  or,  as  it  is  here  called,  cow-flop, 

Miscellanea.  2 1 7 

heals  sores,  but  must  be  gathered  on  the  north  side  of  a  hedge. 
Butter  is  better  for  making  ointment  with  than  lard,  because  cows 
feed  on  herbs,  and  all  herbs  are  good  for  something. 

Mrs.  T.'s  mother  used  herbs  very  extensively,  and  many  people 
used  to  come  to  her  for  bitters,  ointments,  dried  herbs,  and  also 
to  ask  her  to  say  a  certain  prayer  for  the  sick.  This  prayer  can 
only  be  taught  by  a  man  to  a  woman,  or  a  woman  to  a  man, 
otherwise  it  loses  its  efficacy.  On  one  occasion  the  friends  of 
a  man  came  to  her,  he  being  so  violently  ill  with  some  inflam- 
matory complaint,  that  he  was  with  difficulty  held  down  in  his  bed. 
She  said  the  prayer,  and  on  their  return  they  found  him  lying 
perfectly  quiet.     Here  is  a  prayer  for  a  burn — 

**  There  was  two  angels  came  from  the  West, 
One  Mowed  fire,  the  other  frost. 
Out  fire,  In  frost, 
In  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and 
of  the  Holy  Ghost.     Amen. 

There  are  many  people  still  who  can  stop  bleeding  by  just 
saying  "something."  A  man  here  stopped  a  wound  bleeding 
only  a  week  or  so  before  the  account  was  given  to  me.  His  wife 
said  that  he  was  sent  for  in  the  middle  of  the  night  to  a  friend  of 
his  because  a  blood  vessel  had  burst  inside  his  head,  and  he  stayed 
the  blood  before  the  doctor  came.  He  also  stopped  the  bleeding 
from  a  bad  cut  in  a  boy's  foot  quite  lately.  The  foot  was  stretched 
out  on  a  stool  before  him  and  he  just  put  his  hands  out  over  it 
and  said  something — of  course,  not  allowing  any  of  the  standers- 
by  to  hear  what  he  said.  The  wound  was  then  streaming,  so  that 
the  blood  ran  over  the  floor,  but  the  flow  ceased  and  the  wound 
only  wept  a  little  after  the  words  were  spoken. 

The  same  man  can  also  prevent  a  thorn  festering.  He  cured  a 
woman  a  little  while  back  without  even  seeing  her.  She  fell  on  one 
hand  into  a  bundle  of  furze  and  went  to  his  house  for  help.  He 
was  out  at  the  time,  but  was  told  of  the  occurrence  on  his  return 
and  said  something  which  cured  her.  His  mother  could  touch 
for  king's  evil.  The  old  belief  in  the  efficacy  of  a  rope  with  which 
a  man  has  been  hanged  is  still  alive.  It  was  brought  under  the 
notice  of  a  doctor  as  having  cured  some  one  suffering  from  king's 
evil  but  a  few  months  ago.  A  man  who  has  stopped  bleeding  or 
thorns  festering  in  this  manner  must  never  be  paid,  nor  ask  a  fee, 
but  a  present  of  some  sort  should  be  made  him. 

5 1 8  Miscellanea. 

Hindu  Notes. 

Hanum^n,  the  son  of  Anjanddevi,  and  faithful  servant  of  Rima, 
did  not  many,  and  it  is  said  he  will  not  marry  till  all  the  Malas 
or  Pariahs  are  swept  off  the  face  of  the  earth,  and  till  all  the 
Moduga  trees  (Butea  frondosd)  are  destroyed,  root  and  branch. 
Hanuman  is  said  to  fast  for  a  week  when  he  sees  a  Pariah.  Pariahs 
go  to  him  to  worship  or  circumambulate  his  temple  early  in  the 
morning  with  wet  clothes,  with  a  vow  to  free  themselves  from  Sani 
or  Evil  Luck.  Hanum&n  is  said  to  possess  power  to  remove  the 
adversities  of  men. 

Monkeys  (Macacus  Radiatus)  were  originally  men — Kappu- 
vandlu  or  farmers.  They  contracted  debts,  and  their  creditors 
came  upon  them  one  day  unawares,  and  demanded  the  money 
due  to  them.  Nonplussed  and  unable  to  pay,  the  monkeys  took 
their  present  shape,  and  putting  their  tails  underneath  their 
posteriors,  fled  to  the  jungle. 

The  bug  is  said  to  give  birth  to  little  ones  seven  times  during  a 
night,  and  not  being  satisfied  with  this,  went  to  God  to  ask  for  a 
boon  of  offspring. 

A  child  is  never  shown  a  looking-glass,  for  fear  that  if  he  sees 
his  reflection  there  he  will  become  unwell.  If,  however,  he  insists 
upon  having  it,  the  looking-glass  (usually  a  hand  looking-glass) 
will  be  turned  the  other  side — the  reverse  side — and  shown  to  the 

When  suffering  from  hemicrania  a  Secunderabad  barber  will 
put  a  dried  seed,  called  a  pddasha  ginga,  in  one  of  his  earholes, 
believing  that  by  so  doing  he  will  be  relieved  of  the  pain,  which 
hQ  cdXis  pddasha  noppiy  or  one-sided  headache. 

"  Kamoodu  kari  bogga  agai 
Kdmudu  pendlam  ndku  agai." 
**  The  God  of  Love  has  turned  to  blackest  charcoal. 
The  God  of  Love's  wife  has  become  mine."  * 

Thus  sing  the  street  urchins  at  the  time  of  the  Holi,  or  the 

Hindu  Saturnalia. 

Diisumma  Biddalu  Daiyalo." 
"  Swing  ho  !  swing  ho  ! 
Daisumma's  daughters  are  Devils." 

Thus  sings  the  Hindu  child  from  its  swing. 

'  After  having  been  burnt.  At  the  Holi,  effigies  of  Madana  the  God  of 
Love  are  burnt,     Madana's  wife  was  Rati. 

'  Sometimes  Jumpilo.  The  precise  meaning  of  the  word  cannot  be  given. 
It  may  mean  the  backward  and  forward  motion  of  a  swing.  Voozdlo  in 
Telugu  means  a  swing. 

Miscellanea.  2 19 

A  Hindu  Nursery-Song. 

Dilli-ummah  Dilli,'  Pillaki  yaimiimi? 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  Genteeloo. 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  yaimdimi  ? 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  Bogadeeloo. 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  yaim^mi  ? 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  Pillaudloo. 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  yaimaimi  ? 
Dilli-ummah  Dilli,  Pillaki  Katherbdneeloo. 


**  O  mother,  Dill,  Dill,  what  have  you  brought  for  the  girl  ? 
O  mother.  Dill,  Dill,  I  have  brought  Genteeloo  for  the  girl. 
O  mother.  Dill,  Dill,  what  have  you  brought  for  the' girl  ? 
O  mother.  Dill,  Dill,  I  have  brought  Bogadeeloo  for  the  girl,"  &c. 

Note. — In  India  wives  are  selected  for  young  men  by  their 
n\others  without  the  young  people  being  consulted  in  the  matter. 
In  this  song,  a  mother  is  supposed  to  go  to  a  housewife  and  ask 
her  daughter  in  marriage  for  her  son.  The  housewife  in  reply 
asks  what  ornaments  the  bridegroom's  mother  will  give  to  the 
girl ;  for  the  bestowal  of  a  girl  depends  on  the  ornaments  a  bride- 
groom gives  by  way  of  dower  to  his  bride.  Many  Komti  girls  are 
given  away  in  marriage  by  their  parents  without  consulting  the 
young  people's  interest,  to  Komtees  well-stricken  in  years,  because 
of  handsome  dowers.  Genteeloo,  Bogadeeloo  (Secunderabad  col- 
loquial for  Bogudloo),  and  Katherbdneeloo,  are  gold  ornaments  for 
the  ears  of  Hindu  (Telugu)  women.  Pillaudloo  are  silver  orna- 
ments for  their  toes.  All  these  ornaments  are  in  use  at  this  day 
in  Southern  India,  with  the  exception  of  Genteeloo, 

M.  N.  Venkataswami,  M.R.C.S., 

Secunderabad,  Deccan. 

29M  September y  1899,  5M  and  2yd  March,  1900. 

'  A  term  of  endearment  addressed  by  the  mothers  of  the  bride  and  bride- 
groom to  each  other. 

220  Miscellanea. 

Sunwise  Processions. 

In  the  Rev.  S.  Baring-Gould's  Book  of  the  West  the  following  is 
recorded : 

"  There  was  a  churchyard  cross  at  Manaton  [Devonshire].  The 
Rev.  C.  Carwithen,  who  was  rector,  found  that  the  people  carried 
a  coffin  thrice  round  it,  the  way  of  the  sun,  at  a  funeral ;  although 
he.  preached  against  the  usage  as  superstitious,  they  persisted  in 
doing  so.  One  night  he  broke  up  the  cross  and  removed  and  con- 
cealed the  fragments.  It  is  a  pity  that  the  cross  did  not  fall  on 
and  break  his  stupid  head." — Vol.  i.,  p.  39. 

My  daughter  Mabel  tells  me  that  somewhat  less  than  twenty 
years  ago  she  was  present  at  a  wedding  in  the  parish  church  of 
Lustnau,  near  Tubingen,  which  belongs  to  the  Lutheran  body. 
At  the  conclusion  of  the  service  the  wedding  party,  including  the 
guests  invited  to  the  marriage  feast,  walked  round  the  stone  altar 
and  the  crucifix  behind  it.  They  passed  from  the  west  to  the 
north  and  thence  to  the  east  and  then  on  to  the  south.  The 
pastor's  wife  said  it  was  the  custom,  but  gave  no  explanation  of 
Its  meaning. 

These  practices  seem  to  be  survivals  of  sun-worship,  adapted  to 

Edward  Peacock. 

First  Foot  in  Lancashire. 

My  sister  and  I  were  staying  with  relations  in  Lancashire  on 
New  Year's  Day,  1900,  and  about  five  o'clock  a  heavy  step  came  up 
into  the  upper  hall,  off  which  the  bedrooms  opened,  and  a  man's 
voice  called  out  "  Good  new  year  to  you  !  "  We  found  that  this 
is  a  very  old  Lancashire  custom  called  "  First  foot  in  the  house." 
The  man  who  entered  the  house  we  were  in,  has  been  the  first  to 
enter  it  for  eleven  years,  and  he  always  gets  ten  shillings  in  gold. 

He  must  be  a  man  with  dark  hair,  and  not  flat  feet ;  and  he 
must  come  in  at  the  hall  door,  go  up  all  through  the  halls  and 
cry  out,  "  Good  new  year  to  you,"  three  times,  and  go  out  at  the 
back  door. 

E.  Skeffington  Thompson. 

[The  Rev.  E.  W.  Clarke  notes  both  dark  hair  and  high  instep 
occur  at  Hull,  Yorkshire. — G.  L.  G.] 

Miscellanea.  221 

Folklore  from  Calymnos. 

Laying  the  foundation  of  a  House  — The  masons  wait  until 
noon  or  thereabouts,  when  no  shadow  falls  in  the  trenches.  The 
owner  of  the  house  must  not  be  present,  as  if  his  shadow  by  any 
chance  is  built  in,  he  will  die  soon. 

Newly-born  Children. — A  woman  who  is  still  unchurched, 
i.e.  for  the  forty  days  after  her  confinement,  must  not  enter  the 
house  in  which  there  is  a  newly-born  child  without  stepping  over 
a  key.  If  she  omits  this  precaution,  the  house  will  be  infested 
by  mice. 

Whence  this  common  explanation  of  rites,  the  significance  of 
which  is  quite  other,  as  precautions  against  vermin?  Jumping 
over  the  midsummer  fires  is  here  and  very  widely  supposed  to 
protect  from  fleas.  I  do  not  fancy  that  such  explanations  are  at 
all  frivolous  and  modem.  No  doubt  vermin  were  a  serious  plague 
to  primitive  man,  and  it  was  by  plagues  of  vermin  (after  the  Nile 
had  been  turned  into  blood)  that  Moses  tried  first  to  soften  the 
very  hard  heart  of  Pharaoh.  This  explanation  of  the  purpose  of 
these  rites  must  be  very  old,  but  of  course  it  is  not  the  original 
one.  I  suppose  that  when  their  original  significance  went  out 
of  men's  minds,  the  more  conservative  sex,  which  is  also  more 
domestic  and  more  seriously  troubled  by  these  domestic  plagues, 
found  this  to  be  the  most  reasonable  reason  for  perpetuating  rites, 
the  meaning  of  which  their  mankind  could  not  explain  to  them. 

Ascension  Day. — It  is  the  custom  here  to  take  the  first  sea- 
bath  on  the  morning  of  the  Ascension.  The  bath  must  be  taken 
before  sunrise.  It  is  also  believed  chat  the  sea  becomes  sweet 
for  the  hour  after  midnight  on  this  morning. 

W.  R.  Paton 



All  English  hooks  are  published  in  London^  all  French  books  in 
PariSy  unless  otherwise  stated. 

BiLLSON  (Ch.).     The  Popular  Poetry  of  the  Finns.     D.  Nutt. 

1900.     i6mo.     38  pp.     6d.  nett. 
Brun  (Jules).   La  Veill^e.   Douze  Contes  Traduits  du  Roumain. 

Introd.    par    Mdlle.    Lucile   Kitzo.     Firmin-Didot  et  Cie. 

287.  pp. 
Chapiseau  (F.).     Au  pays  de  TEsclavage.     Moeurs  et  Coutumes 

de  FAfrique  Centrale  d'apres  des  notes  recueillis  par  F.  de 

B^hagle.     Maisonneuve,  1900.     i6mo.     282  pp. 
Deeney  (Daniel).    Peasant-Lore  from  Gaelic  Ireland.    D.  Nutt. 

1900.     Crown  8vo.     xii.,  80  pp.      is.  nett. 
Elworthy   (Frederick  T.).     Horns   of    Honour,   and  other 

Studies  in  the  Byways  of  Archaeology.     Murray.     Large  cr. 

8vo.     2  IS. 
Klopper    (Clemens).      Folklore    in    England    und    Amerika. 

Dresden  und  Leipzig  :  C.  A.  Koch.     1899.     62  pp. 
Nutt   (Alfred).     The  Fairy  Mythology  of  Shakespeare.     D. 

Nutt.     1900.     i6mo.     40  pp.     6d.  nett. 
PiTRfe  (G.).     Biblioteca  delle  Tradizioni  Popolari  Siciliane,  vol. 

xxi.     Feste  Patronali  in  Sicilia.    Torino  :  C.  Clausen.    1900. 

Ixvi.,  572  pp. 
Ramayana.    The  Epic  of  Rama,  Prince  of  India.     Condensed 

into  English  verse  by  Romesh  C.  Dutt.     Dent.     Cr.  8vo. 

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Rhys  (John)  and  Jones  (D.  Brynm6r).    The  Welsh  People  : 

their    Origin,    History,    Laws,   Language,   Literature,    and 

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Methodik  der  Volkskunde.    Berichte  iiber   Erscheinungen 

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Superstitions  and  Customs  of  the  Maya  Indians. 

Indian  Antiquary,  February,  1900.  Sir  J.  M.  Campbell,  Notes 
on  the  Spirit  Basis  of  Belief  and  Custom.  March,  April, 
R.  C.  Temple,  The  Folklore  in  the  Legends  of  the  Punjab. 

Internationales  Archiv  fur  Ethnographic,  xii,  6.  N.  Melnikow, 
Die  Burjaten  des  Irkutskischen  Gouvernements.  5.  P,  Smith, 
Note  on  some  Maori  Gods,  xiii,  1,  2.  V,  Titelbach,  Das 
beilige  Feuer  bei  den  Balkan-Slaven.  R,  Parkinson,  Die 
Berlinhafen-section  :  ein  Beitrag  zur  Ethnographie  der  Neu- 

Journal  of  the  British  ArchsBological  Association,  vol.  vi.,  New 
Series,  p.  54.  T  N,  Brushfield,  Derbyshire  Funeral  Gar- 
lands.    With  Illustrations. 

North  American  Review,  vol.  170,  p.  656.  Sir  Henry  M.  Stanley, 
The  Origin  of  the  Negro  Race. 

Revue  de  THistoire  du  Religions,  xli,  1.  M.  Courant,  Sur  le 
pr^tendu  monothdisme  des  anciens  Chinois.  E.  Douttk, 
Notes  sur  Tlslam  Moghribin.  Les  Marabout,  2®  article. 
2.  Z.  Leger,  Etudes  de  Mythologie  Slave  (suite),  C.  Fossey, 
La  d^esse  Arum.  A.  Barth,  Bulletin  des  Religions  de  Flnde; 
iii,  Le  Bouddhisme,  i™  partie.  A,  Rhville,  Un  essai  de 
philosophie  de  Thistoire  religieuse ;  ii,  Le  deuxieme  partie 
de  rintroduction  k  la  science  de  la  Religion  de  C.  P.  Tiele, 
2**  article. 

Transactions  of  the  Royal  Society  of  Canada,  Vol.  ii.  Section  ii 
(Reprint  from).  W,  Wood,  Footnotes  to  Canadian  Folk- 
song.   The  Copp-Clam  Co.,  Toronto.     1896.    8vo. 

^^  I  chronicle  this  interesting  off-print  here  in  spite  of 
its  date,  as  it  is  probably  unknown  to  most  Members  of 
the  Society. 



Vol.  XL]  SEPTEMBER,  190a  [No.  III. 

WEDNESDAT,  APRIL  25th,  1900. 
The  President  (Mr.  E.  Sidney  Hartland)  in  the  Chair. 

The  Minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  resignation  of  Mrs.  Brough  was  announced. 

The  election  of  Mrs.  F.  L.  Naylor  and  Miss  W.  Faraday 
as  new  Members  was  also  announced. 

Mr.  Lundgren  exhibited  and  explained  some  totems, 
fetishes,  and  toys  of  the  Hopi  Tribe  of  North  American 
Indians,  into  which  he  had  been  adopted,  and  answered  a 
number  of  questions  as  to  the  significance  of  certain  of  the 
objects  addressed  to  him  by  Messrs.  Clodd,  Gomme,  Nutt, 
Myers,  Professor  Haddon,  and  the  President.  Mr.  N.  W. 
Thomas  exhibited  a  photograph  representing  a  harvest 
scene  at  Saetersdal,  in  Southern  Norway,  which  he  pre- 
sented to  the  Society. 

Votes  of  thanks  were  accorded  to  Mr.  Lundgren  and  Mr. 
Thomas  for  their  exhibits. 

Mr.  Thomas  then  read  a  paper  entitled,  "  Animal  Super- 
stitions and  Totemism"  {infruy  p.  227),  and  in  the  discussion 
which  followed  Messrs.  Nutt,  Gomme,  and  Lundgren,  Pro- 
fessor Haddon,  and  the  President  took  part. 

Mr.  Thomas  having  replied,  a  vote  of  thanks  was 
accorded  to  him  for  his  paper. 

VOL.    XI.  Q 

226  Min  utes  of  Meeting. 

The  following  book  which  had  been  presented  to  the 
Society  since  the  last  Meeting  was  laid  on  the  table; 
Bibliography  of  Ethnographical  Literature,  1897-8,  from 
the  "Cesky  Lid,"  by  Dr.  Cenke  Zibrt  (Bohemian). 

WBDNESDAT,  MAT  16th,  1900. 
The  President  (Mr.  E.  Sidney  Hartland)  in  the  Chair. 

The  Minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  election  of  Mrs.  Scholter  as  a  Member  of  the  Society 
was  announced. 

The  death  of  General  Pitt-Rivers  was  also  announced. 

The  President  made  some  observations  on  the  work  of 
the  deceased  General,  and  the  loss  which  students  of 
anthropology  and  archaeology  had  sustained  by  his  death. 

Mr.  H.  M.  Chadwick  read  a  paper  entitled  "The  Ancient 
Teutonic  Priesthood"  [infra,  p.  268),  and  a  discussion  fol- 
lowed, in  which  Mr.  Nutt,  Mr.  Major,  Mr.  Gomme,  Miss 
Burne,  and  Mr.  Janvier  took  part. 

Papers  entitled  **  Guernsey  Folklore  and  Superstitions," 
by  the  late  Mrs.  Murray-Aynsley,  "  Guernsey  Folklore 
Stories,"  by  Miss  F.  E.  Le  Pelley,  and  "  Notes  on  Folklore 
from  Wilts,"  by  Miss  L.  A.  Law,  edited  by  Mr.  W.  Crooke 
{infra,  p.  344),  were  also  read. 

A  pamphlet  entitled  "  Derbyshire  Funeral  Garlands,"  by 
Dr.  T.  N.  Brushfield,  presented  to  the  Society  since  the 
last  Meeting,  was  laid  on  the  table. 

The  usual  votes  of  thanks  were  passed. 


BY  N.  W.  THOMAS,  M.A. 

{Read  at  Meeting  of  April  2$th^  1900.) 

[The  MS.  notes  (indicated  by  a  t)  are  from  the  following 
ladies  and  gentlemen,  to  whom  I  here  offer  my  most  sincere 
thanks  for  their  assistance : 

Frau  Eysn,  Salzburg ;  Oberleutnant  z.  S.  Fischer,  Kiel ; 
Herr  Gander  and  Prof.  Jentsch,  Guben;  Herr  Gutekunst, 
Reutlingen ;  Frau,  FrSulein,  and  Fraulein  Greta  Meyer- 
sahm,  Kiel ;  Herr  Lorenzen,  Neumunster;  Herr  C.  Stinde, 
Leusahn.  My  especial  thanks  are  due  to  Dr.  Feilberg  for 
many  citations  from  books  inaccessible  to  me,  and  to 
Herr  Jiihling  for  MS.  contributions  and  the  advance  sheets 
of  his  valuable  work,  Tiermedizin,  I  wish  also  to  acknow- 
ledge my  great  indebtedness  to  Mr.  Gomme ;  the  Irish 
evidence  in  the  first  section  is  drawn  entirely  from  his 
valuable  papers  in  the  Archaeological  Review,  on  which  I 
based  my  further  researches. 

A  bibliography  of  the  works  most  frequently  quoted  will 
be  found  at  the  end  of  the  article.] 

TOTEMiSM  has  been  found  as  a  living  cult  in  only  two 
considerable  areas  of  the  world's  surface — North  America 
and  Australia.  For  the  majority  of  the  human  race  it  is,  at 
most,  an  "  uberwundener  Standpunkt."  perhaps  not  even 
that,  for  authoritative  voices  have  been  raised  to  deny  both 
its  extensive  distribution  in  the  past  and  its  importance 
in  the  history  of  religion. 

The  evidence  for  the  former  existence  of  Totemism,  as 
of  all  other  forgotten  stages  of  man's  development,  must 
be  sought  in  survivals.  A  survival  is  a  belief,  custom,  or 
institution  whose  origin  and  meaning  are  lost ;  its  explana- 
tion is  to  be  found  sometimes  in  history,  sometimes  in  those 
prehistoric  days  whose  history  has  to  be  written  by  the  aid 
of  folklore. 

In  speaking  to  this  society  I  need  not  do  more  than  allude 

Q  2 

228      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

to  the  fact  that  the  customs  and  beliefs  of  European  peasants 
give  us  a  picture,  incomplete  perhaps,  but  still  unmistakable, 
of  a  highly  primitive  form  of  religion.  Mannhardt's 
researches  into  agricultural  customs  have  placed  this  beyond 
question.  These  customs  have  subsisted  virtually  unchanged 
during  a  relatively  long  period,  if  we  take  the  life  of  the 
individual  as  our  standard.  In  another  sense  agriculture 
is  modern.  Our  present  methods  of  cultivation  have  ousted, 
over  a  large  part  of  the  old  world,  a  more  archaic  mode  of 
culture ;  our  present  cereals  have  supplanted  millet,  which 
most  of  us  know  only  in  fairy  tales.  This  displacement  of 
millet  by  cereals  is,  measured  in  years,  infinitely  remote,  if 
we  may  judge  by  the  slow  decline  of  millet-cultivation  in 
historic  times.  Infinitely  more  remote,  however,  is  the 
introduction  and  spread  of  millet  itself,  which  is  found  in 
regions  that  corn  has  never  reached.  Before  this  again,  we 
must  assume  a  period  of  uncertain  duration  when  cultivated 
plants  were  yet  unknown,  and  during  which  man  spread 
over  the  world,  subsisting  on  roots  and  fruits  in  the  earlier 
stages,  in  the  later  on  the  chase  and  other  methods  of  pro- 
curing food  which  presuppose  a  certain  equipment;  and 
in  the  seasons  when  wild  animals  were  scarce,  returning, 
perhaps,  to  the  earlier  mode  of  life. 

The  corn  era  is  then  relatively  short.  Compared  with 
it  the  preceding  periods  are  infinitely  long.  But,  if  the 
peasant  has  conserved  his  archaic  agrricultural  religion,  it 
does  not  seem  hopeless  to  look  for  relics  of  still  earlier  cults 
in  the  customs  of  those  who  have  shown  themselves  so 
inaccessible  to  the  influences  of  civilisation.  If  Christianity 
and  the  corn-spirit  have  lived  side  by  side  for  a  thousand 
years  and  more,  the  stages  which  preceded  agriculture  will 
surely  have  left  their  traces,  less  distinctly  it  may  be,  but 
yet  clearly  enough  for  those  who  know  how  to  read  them, 
on  the  life  of  the  European  peasant  of  to-day. 

As  a  natural  result  of  the  external  influences  to  which, 
more  than  any  other  feature  of  the  cult,  it  has  been  exposed,  the 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      229 

social  side  of  Totemism  will  be  found,  we  may  expect,  to  be 
relatively  far  less  important  in  the  survivals,  than  the  religious 
side,  which  is  the  attitude  rather  of  the  individual  man  to 
the  sacred  animal.  In  other  words,  the  survivals  of  Totemism 
in  Europe  must  be  sought  in  the  animal '  superstitions  and 
not  in  the  marriage  customs  of  the  uncivilised  or  little 
civilised  European  peasant.  These  superstitions,  adopting 
in  part  the  classification  made  by  Mr.  Gomme  of  Dr. 
Frazer's  Totemism,*  I  arrange  under  the  following  heads  : 

I.— Totemlo,  op  Quasl-Totemlo. 

1.  Descent  from  the  totem. 

2.  Taboos  {a)  of  killing  the  animal;  (b)  of  eating,  touch- 
ing, or  using  it ;  (r)  of  seeing  it ;  {d)  of  using  the  ordinary 

3.  Petting  the  totem-animal. 

4.  Burying  the  dead  totem-animal. 

5.  Respect  paid  to  the  totem-animal. 

6.  (a)  Lucky  animals,  {b)  unlucky  animals. 

7.  Adoption  of  {a)  totem-marks,  {b)  totem-names,  (r) 

8.  {a)  Birth,  (b)  marriage,  (r)  death-customs. 

9.  Magical  powers  derived  from  the  totem. 

10.  Local  cults. 

11.  Customary  rents. 

Following  Mr.  Gomme,  I  call  the  first  nine  of  the  above 
superstitions  "  categoric  " ;  the  animals  to  which  they  apply 
I  call  "  totem  objects." 

IL— Animals  Used  In  Au^rupy  and  Mafirlo. 

As  a  matter  of  convenience  I  class  separately  the  beliefs 
about  ominous  animals.     This  section  might,  however,  as  I 

In  view  of  the  fact  that  many  tribes  have  none  but  animal  totems,  the 
absence  of  totemistic  plant  superstitions  would  partly  tell  against  my 

Archaological  Review^  iii.,  217,  350^ 

230      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

endeavoured  to  show  in  a  discussion  of  Welsh  superstitions/ 
be  justifiably  included  among  the  "  categories,"  in  spite  of 
the  apparent  multiplicity  of  possible  origins  of  this  ominous 
character  of  animals.  I  include  in  this  division  further  the 
use  of  the  animal  in  [a)  magic,  {b)  medicine,  (r)  divination. 

III.— Annual  Cepemonles. 

I.  Sacrifice;  2.  Communion  with  the  sacred  animal. 

This  analysis  is,  I  think,  fairly  exhaustive ;  it  is  in  the 
main  based  on  the  superstitions  actually  found  among 
totems.  There  are  probably  few,  if  any,  European  super- 
stitions relating  to  animals  that  cannot  be  classified  accord- 
ing to  the  above  scheme.  As  evidence  of  the  former 
existence  of  totemism  in  Europe,  the  sections  are,  however, 
of  unequal  value,  and  I  propose  to  deal  with  the  more 
important  ones  only. 

This  will  naturally  not  permit  me  to  show  the  cumulative 
character  of  the  evidence- with  regard  to  single  animals. 
More  important,  however,  than  this  cumulative  character  is 
the  local  distribution  of  the  superstitions  with  which  I  deal ; 
and  I  prefer  to  emphasize  this  feature  rather  than  to  analyse 
all  the  superstitions  relating  to  a  small  number  of  animals. 

I  lay  down  at  the  outset  the  principle  that  no  theory  of 
the  origin  of  animal  superstitions  can  disregard  this  local 
character  of  the  beliefs ;  one  parish  respects  an  animal  and 
will  not  kill  it;  their  neighbours  regard  the  same  animal 
with  indifference,  and  even  aversion.  Even  where  no  such 
striking  contrast  is  present,  the  local  character  of  the 
superstition  is  always  very  prominent.  Yet  in  spite  of  this 
we  find  such  an  agreement  between  distant  regions,  both  in 
custom  and  belief,  as  to  exclude  the  idea  of  a  purely  local 
origin  of  the  superstitions.  Special  explanations,  alluring 
enough  when  only  the  single  case  is  considered,  are  mani- 
festly impossible  when  we  have  to  deal  wdth  a  great  mass  of 

'  Revut  de  VHistoirt  des  Religiens^  xxzviii.,  No.  3. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.       23 1 

facts  presenting  the  same  features  and  gathered  over  a  wide 
area.  I  emphasize  at  the  outset  the  importance  of  this  local 
character  of  beliefs,  which  are,  in  another  sense,  very  far 
from  being  local,  since  they  are  distributed  over  all  Europe. 
The  portions  of  the  above  scheme  dealt  with  in  this 
paper  are  the  following : — 


1.  Descent  from  the  totem  animal. 

I  A.  Quasi'Totemic  superstitions  and  tales, 

(a)  Stories  of  Animal  Ancestors,  &c. 

i.  Animal  births. 

ii.  Swan  maiden  type. 

iii.  Midas  type;  (a)  Sagas;  (13)  Local  legends, 
iv.  Helpful  animals. 

V.  Baby-bringers. 
(d)  Animal  Form. 

i.  "Soul-animals." 

ii.  "Witch-animals." 

iii.  Animal  transformed  man. 

iv.  Animal  can  assume  human  form. 

(c)  Animal  as  Life-Index. 

(d)  Animal  Genius. 

i.  Aettar-fylgfia. 
ii.  Fylgia. 

(e)  Animd  Substitutes  in  Witchcraft. 
(/)  Werwolves. 

2.  The  Animal  tabooed  or  sacrosanct. 

{a)  Animals  which  may  not  be  killed. 

[b)  Animals  which  may  not  be  eaten,  touched,  or 


3.  The  animal  kept  in  captivity  for  magical  or  other 

superstitious    purposes    or  fed    or    otherwise 

4.  Burying  the  dead  animal. 

9.  Magical  powers  derived  from  the  animal. 

II.  Animals  used  in  Augury  and  Magic. 
in.  Annual  Ceremonies. 

I.  Sacrifice. 

(a)  The  Hunt. 

232      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

(b)  The  Hahnenschlag. 

(c)  The  Simple  Form. 

i.  First  seen,  killed. 

ii.  Killed  as   talisman    (a)    on   given   date, 
(/3)  at  given  season,  (7)  at  all  seasons, 
iii.  Killed  annually,  no  magic. 

(d)  Torture  Form. 
{e)    Precipice  Form. 
(/)  Fire  Form. 

I  A.  Procession. 

2.  Communion  with  the  sacred  animal, 
{a)  By  Distribution. 
{b)  By  Eating— 

i.  The  animal, 
ii.  The  "  animal-cake." 
In  the  form  of  an  appendix  to  III.  I.  I  deal  briefly  with 
"Games  of   Sacrifice,"  including  under  this   name   Blind 
Man's  Buff  and  Cock  Warning. 

I  now  proceed  to  consider  tfie  above  points  in  detail. 

I.  I.  The  section  of  DESCENT  FROM  THE  Totem- 
Animal  is,  as  might  have  been  expected,  the  one  in  which  I 
have  least  evidence  to  present.  Such  evidence  as  there  is, 
however,  is  incontestable. 

There  are  in  the  West  of  Ireland  (and,  I  believe,  in  some 
of  the  Scotch  islands)^  unmistakable  traces  of  a  seal-clan. 
The  clansman  is  named  after  the  seal,  conceives  himself  to 
be  of  the  blood  of  the  eponym  animal,  and  refrains  from 
killing  the  seal  or  using  it  for  food  if  he  can  possibly  avoid 
it.  According  to  another  account,  some  of  the  clan  (Con- 
neely)  were  once  changed  into  seals,  and  since  then  no 
Conneely  can  kill  a  seal  without  incurring  bad  luck.' 

We  find  in  Ossory  an  almost  parallel  case  of  a  local  wolf 
clan.  The  account  given  by  Giraldus  is  interesting  as 
presenting  a  close  resemblance  to  many  werwolf  legends. 

In  a  third  case — the  cat-tribes  of  Ireland  and  Scotland — 
we  have  the  descent  from  the  eponym  animal  and  its  use  as 
a  crest. 

*/■.,  vi.,  223.  ^  Joum.  Anth.  Imt^  ii.,  447. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      233 

Other  examples  are  personal— Conaire,  Cuchulainn,  &c} 

I  here  pause  a  moment  to  emphasize  the  importance  of 
these  facts. 

In  the  case  of  the  seal  the  distribution  of  the  beliefs  is 
especially  noticeable ;  they  are  not  confined  to  one  locality, 
nor  yet  are  they  universal  in  the  localities  in  which  they 
are  found.  Geographically  their  extension  is  considerable, 
but  they  are  held  only  by  certain  persons  in  each  district. 
We  have,  in  fact,  the  totem-clan  itself,  save  that  the  social 
organisation  has  disappeared. 

In  the  other  cases  we  must  recognise  rather  the  local 
clans  into  which  totem  clans  tend  under  certain  conditions  to 
pass.  Their  totemisticorigfin  cannot,  however,  be  questioned, 
except  by  those  who  also  dispute  this  interpretation  of  the 
facts  about  the  seal-people  and  their  beliefs. 

I  need  hardly  point  out  that,  having  once  established  the 
former  existence  of  totemism  in  Britain,  we  can  at  once 
claim  for  the  ''categoric  superstitions"  a  very  different  value. 
The  presence  of  totemism  in  the  past  once  admitted,  we 
have  only  to  turn  to  the  table  of  totem-objects  and  select 
those  cases  in  which  the  evidence  is  cumulative,  to  form  a 
provisional  list  of  totems.  Given  superstitions  totemic  in 
form  side  by  side  with  undoubted  survivals  of  totemism, 
the  onus  probandi  lies  on  those  who  deny  the  totemic  origin 
of  the  former. 

More  or  less  closely  connected  with  the  section  just 
dealt  with  are  a  number  of  superstitions. 

(a)  Stories  of  Animal  Ancestors,  etc. 
i.  Various  Marchen  found  in  Hesse  and  Swabia  relate 
how,  an  unusual  number  of  children  being  born  at  a  birth, 
the  mother  ordered  them  to  be  drowned,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  one ;  the  person  to  whom  this  was  entrusted  was 
ordered  to  say  that  they  were  dogs.     Similar  stories  are 

For  the  refs.  v.  Arch,  Rev,^  he,  cit. 

234      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totentism. 

found  in  Thuringia,  Holstein,  and  elsewhere.  Liebrecht 
conjectures  that  the  original  form  of  the  story  was  one  of 
descent  from  a  dog.  This  view  is  supported  by  the  fact 
that  a  dog  appears  in  the  arms  of  Hesse,  and  that  the 
Hessians  were  termed  "  Hundhessen  "  even  as  late  as  the 
1 6th  century.^ 

ii.  Another  type  of  story  is  that  of  the  maiden  whose 
skin-dress  is  carried  off  by  a  man,  whom  she  is  thus  com- 
pelled to  marry.  In  view  of  the  facts  already  mentioned 
about  the  seal-clan,  it  is  noteworthy  that  in  the  Faroe 
Islands  we  find  a  seal-maiden  story.* 

iiia.  To  stories  of  the  Midas  group  it  would  perhaps  be 
unwise  to  attach  much  importance.  There  can  be  little 
doubt  that  the  story  came  to  Brittany  and  -Ireland  from  the 
East,  where  most  of  the  variants  are  to  be  found,  and  where 
the  more  archaic  form  of  the  story  is  told.' 

iii/8.  We  must  not,  however,  lose  sight  of  the  fact  that 
local  legends  of  the  same  type  are  found.  In  Lleyn  (Carnar- 
vonshire) it  is  related  that  March  Amheirchion,  the  lord  of 
Castell  March,  had  horse's  ears,  as  in  Irish  story.*  In  the 
absence  of  proof  it  is  gratuitous  to  connect  this  with  the 
Midas  group ;  possibly  the  relation  is  just  the  reverse,  and 
stories  of  the  Midas  group  lived  where  they  found  the 
congenial  soil  of  a  local  legend. 

Among  legends  of  this  group  is  that  of  Siward,  who  was 
the  son  of  a  bear  and  had  bear's  ears.^  Brochmail  was  a 
tusked  king  of  Powis.  A  tusked  or  pig-headed  birth  is 
still  said  to  appear  periodically  in  the  family.* 

'  Zur  Volkskunde,  p.  21. 

'  Antiquarisk  Tidskrift^  1852,  p.  191 ;  cf,  Frazer,  Pausanias^  iv.,  106,  and 
Hartland,  Science  of  Fairy  Tales ^  for  other  examples. 

*  Ciszewski,  Bajka  0  MidasoTvych  usgaeh, 

*  Y  CymmrodoTf  vi.,  183  ;  I  have  been  unable  to  identify  the  source  from 
which  Miss  Cox,  Introduction  to  Folklore^  p.  73,  quotes.  Keating,  History 
of  Ireland,  i.,  359. 

'  Gloucestershire  Folklore^  p.  12. 

*  Warter,  An  Old  Shropshire  OaA,  i.,  203 ;  cf.  also  Rolland,  i.,  13.  For  a 
belief  in  animal  ancestors  in  Ireland  v.  Erin^vi,^  397. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      235 

(iv.)  We  find  certain  animals  associated  with  certain 
families,  such  as  the  spiders  with  the  Bruces;  in  some  cases 
they  are  also  borne  in  the  arms,  and  a  story  is  frequently 
told  to  explain  the  connection,  according  to  which  the 
animal  once  helped  a  member  of  the  family.^ 

(v.)  To  certain  animals  is  assigned  the  important  function 
of  bringing  the  babies.  I  do  not  venture  to  lay  much  stress 
on  this  sub-section,  for  someone  will  probably  inquire 
whether  the  gooseberry  bush  from  which  the  English 
babies  come  is  also  a  totem.  The  facts  are  nevertheless 
worthy  of  notice.  The  best  known  example  is  of  course 
the  stork ;  but  we  find  in  addition  the  ladybird,  fulfilling 
this  office  in  South  Germany;  in  Bohemia  the  crow  and 
sometimes  the  kite ;  elsewhere  the  cabbage-butterfly,  or  the 
frog,  undertakes  the  task.  According  to  a  slightly  different 
account  the  children  come  from  the  hare's  nest,*  or  the 
ass's  spring.* 

C6J  Animal  Forms,  etc, 

(i.)  Closely  connected  with  the  foregoing  sub-section  is 
the  belief  in  the  animal  form  of  the  soul.  In  the  British 
Isles  we  find  the  following  among  the  soul-animals — ant, 
butterfly,  gfull,  moth,  sparrow,  goatsucker,  cat,  swan, 
and  spider.  In  Germany  we  find — the  bat,  butterfly,  bee, 
cricket,  fowl,  mouse,  peewit,  pigeon,  raven,  snake,  swan, 
toad,  and  weasel.*  In  Riigen  it  is  believed  that  the  seal  is 
descended  from  drowned  human  beings.* 

(ii.)  Closely  connected  with  the  foregoing  is  the  belief 
in  the  animal  form  of  human  beings,  especially  witches. 
In  Germany  they  appear  as  bulls,  butterflies,  cats,  donkeys, 

»  Swainson,  Folklore  of  Birds,  p.  486;   ef,  Frazer,  Totemism^  p.  7  ;  ^  ii., 


'  Ploss,  Das  Kind,  i.,  12  ;  Schulenburg,  Wend,  Volksiuniy  L,  94. 

»  Mannhardt,  Germ,  Mythen,  p.  411. 

*  Meyer, passim ;  Arch,  Rev,^  iiL,  226 ;  MS.  notes,  &c. 

»  Mannhardt,  Getm,  Myth,,  p.  ^%\  cf.  Globus^  xiv.,  287;  Jour,  Anth,  /., 
ii..  447- 

236      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

goats,  deer,  horses,  hares,  eagles,  foxes,  magpies,  moths, 
pigs,  swans,  toads,  and  weasels.^  On  the  authority  of 
Giraldus  we  may  add  the  wolf  in  Ireland,  and  on  that  of 
Saxo,  the  walrus  in  Norway.  The  facts  admit,  however,  of 
another  explanation,  to  which  I  shall  refer  later. 

(iii.)  Widely  distributed  also  is  the  correlative  of  this 
belief.  In  some  cases  animals  are  regarded  as  human 
beings  under  a  curse. 

In  the  Isle  of  Man  the  wren  is  said  to  be  a  transformed 
fairy;*  so,  too,  the  toad  in  Sicily,*  the  gull,*  lizard,^ 
cuckoo,*  mole,  magpie,  and  squirreF  in  Germany,  the 
woodpecker®  in  Scandinavia,  and  the  peewit •  and  owP** 
in  England. 

(iv.)  In  the  Faroe  Isles  the  seals  appear,  like  the  wren  in 
the  Isle  of  Man,  once  a  year  in  human  form.^^ 

In  other  cases  the  belief  takes  the  form  that  animals  can 
assume  human  shape.  In  Perthshire  this  was  believed  of 
cats,  hares,  and  magpies.^* 

In  a  third  form  of  the  belief,  certain  animals — ^the  stork, 
for  example — are  men  in  other  countries.'* 

(r)   The  Animal  as  Life^index. 
(i.)  Some  animals,   usually  domestic  or  semi-domestic, 

'  Schulenburg,  p.  157;  Miillenhof, /a; ji/ti  ;  MS.  notes. 

*  Arch,  Rev,,  iiL,  225. 

'  De  Gubematis,  p.  629. 

*  Mttllenhof,  p.  137. 
'  Meier,  p.  217. 

•  Grimm,  Deutsche  Sagen,  pp.  515,  534,  571;  Kuhn,  Nardd.  S,,  289; 
Meier,  371,  372 ;  for  other  refs.  v.  Wackernagel,  iii.,  237. 

'  Meier,  he,  cit, 

•  /-.,  vi.,  65. 
F,L,J,y  vii.,  57. 

*•  Hamlet,  iv.,  5. 

"  Grundtvig,  Folkeviser,  ii.,  76  n.  ;  (/".  Antiquarsk  71,  loc.  cit. 

"  A.  -^.,  iii.,  225. 

^  Skattegraueren,  viii.,  117;  Kamp,  Folkeminder,  221 ;  Kristensen,  Sagn, 
ii.,  140;  Stober,  Elsass,  Volksbuchlein  (1859),  i.,  165;  EvangiUdesquenouilles, 
P*  94 1  ff'  Aelian,  De  not,  anim,,  iii.,  23. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      237 

are  regarded  as  being  so  intimately  associated  with  the 
master  or  mistress  that  the  lives  of  both  come  to  an  end 
simultaneously.  The  snake  and  the  toad  are  very  generally 
termed  "  Hausvater,"  &c.,  and  the  death  of  the  animal 
involves  the  death  of  the  human  being.^  He  who  kills  a 
swallow  kills  his  parents*  (Tirol),  mother*  (Ruthenia), 
child*  (Niederlausitz).  The  dog  is  believed  in  Lancashire 
to  die  at  the  same  moment  as  its  owner  ;^  so,  too,  the  cat 
and  cock  in  Switzerland,*  the  black  hen  in  Thuringfia,^ 
and  the  black  ox  or  cow  elsewhere.* 

In  Brittany  two  crows  are  said  to  come  and  perch  on  the 
roof  when  the  head  of  the  family  is  dying;  •  another  account 
says  that  two  crows  are  assigned  to  each  farm  and  foretell 
the  events  in  the  family .^°  They  seem  to  be  analogous  to 
the  house-snake  of  Germany. 

(d)  The  Animal  as  Genius. 

(i.)  Connected  with  this  belief  is  the  Icelandic  idea  of  the 
<ettar-fylgia ;  this  is  a  guardian  spirit  in  animal  form  belong- 
ing to  each  family,  and  as  such  attached  to  the  dwelling  of 
the  family .^^ 

(ii.)  This  leads  us  to  the  fylgia  or  personal  guardian  spirit, 
also  conceived  as  an  animal,  which  accompanies  or  precedes 
its  owner  on  a  journey  in  the  form  of  a  dog,  raven,  fly, 
&c.^*''     In  Norway  the  fylgfia  is  believed  to  take  the  form 

*  Haltrich,  zur  V.  der  Siebenb,  Stuhsen^  vii.,  4 ;  Rochholz,  i.,  146 ;  Groh- 
mann,  No.  557;  MS.  Notes. 

*  Wuttke,  p.  130. 
'  Kaindl,  p.  104. 

♦  MS.  note. 

»  A.  R.y  iii.,  228. 

•  Rochholz,  i.,  161. 

'  Witzschel,  ii.,  252. 

■  Grimm,  Aberg,^  No.  887. 

»  Wolf,  ii.,  253 ;  Ausland,  1846,  p.  886. 

**  Souvestre,  Les  demiers  Bretons^  i.,  181. 

"  Maurer,  Island,  Marchen,  p.  85. 

"  Maurer,  loc,  cit,  ;  cf.  Cleasby  &  Vigfusson's  Dictumary, 

238      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

of   the  animal   most   appropriate   to   the   temper  of    the 

{e)  Animal  Substitutes  in  Witchcraft. 

We  may  further  note  those  cases  in  which  some  part  of 
an  animal^  usually  the  hearty  is  used  to  bewitch  a  person. 
Among  the  animals  so  used  are  the  hare,  frog,  pigeon,  and 
sheep.'  These  practices  must  be  clearly  distinguished 
from  those  in  which  the  bewitched  animal  is  used  to  compel 
the  presence  of  the  witch.  The  analogy  is  with  the  use  of 
a  mannikin  of  paste  or  wax  to  represent  the  person  who  is 
to  be  bewitched. 

(/)   Werwolves. 

I  can  do  no  more  than  mention  in  passing  the  belief  in 
werwolves,  which  is  allied  to  more  than  one  of  the  supersti- 
tions detailed  above. 

The  beliefs  just  detailed  show  close  analogies  with  those 
of  totem-tribes,  and  in  certain  cases  can  hardly  be  derived 
from  anything  but  totemism  of  the  individual  form  found  in 

I  do  not,  of  course,  assert  that  these  superstitions  must  be 
derived  from  totemism.  I  claim,  however,  that  totemism 
explains  them  at  least  as  well  as  any  other  theory.  Looked 
at  in  the  light  of  the  facts  to  which  I  shall  now  call  your 
attention,  the  totemic  explanation  is,  I  venture  to  say,  by  no 
means  improbable. 

Students  of  mythology  and  folklore  have  never  been 
found  wanting  in  ingenuity ;  and  it  will  no  doubt  be  pos- 
sible in  the  present  case  also  to  suggest  other  explanations 
of  the  facts.  But  one  theory  always  holds  the  field,  pro- 
vided it  is  not  self-contradictory,  until  a  better  one  is  forth- 
coming. Wide-reaching  explanations  have,  perhaps,  their 
defects.  But  a  preference  in  the  opposite  direction  savours 
of  the  spirit  which  explained  the  fossil  shells  in  the  Alps  as 

*  Meyer,  p.  100. 

«  Hariland,  Leg,  Pers,,  ii.,  105  ;  MS.  notes. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      239 

relics  of  the  pilgfrims  who  crossed  the  mountains  on  their 
way  to  Rome.  Mrs.  Partington  with  her  broom  has  never 
seemed  to  me  quite  an  ideal  figure. 

I.  2.  The  Animal  Tabooed  or  Sacrosanct. 

I  now  turn  to  the  taboos.  This  section  is  highly  impor- 
tant on  its  own  account,  but  inasmuch  as  it  exemplifies  that 
local  character  of  superstitions  on  which  I  have  laid  so  much 
stress,  it  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  it  is  the  one  on  which 
more  than  any  other  the  theory  must  stand  or  fall. 

(a)  The  Animal  must  not  be  Killed, 

To  the  list  of  animals  which  enjoy  a  local  sanctity  may  be 
prefixed  those  which  seem  to  be  respected  everywhere — the 
stork,  robin,  swallow,  ladybird.  They  are,  however,  like  many 
other  animals  on  this  list,  either  killed  or  carried  in  proces- 
sion annually. 

The  following  are  respected  locally : — 
Bat:  Baschurch  (Salop).^ 

Bee :  Russia,  Normandy,  Prague,  and  many  other  places.* 
Beetle:  Reutlingen  (Swabia).* 
Blackbird :  Salop,  Montgomeryshire.* 
Butterfly,  white  :  Llanidloes.* 

■  coloured  :  W.  Scotland.* 
Cat :   Zielensig    (Mark),    Berlin,    Niederlausitz,t  Prague, 
Bavaria,  parts  of  France,  Thuringia,  N.E.  Scotland,  &c.^ 
Cockchafer :  parts  of  Germany.® 

*  Burne,  p.  214. 

*  De  Gubematis,  p.  507  n. ;  De  Nore,  p.  270  ;  Grohmann,  No.  602. 
»  MS.  note. 

*  Burne,  p.  214 ;  MS.  note. 

*  Mont.  ColL,  X.,  260. 

*  Napier,  p.  116. 

'  Z.  des  V.fur  V,,  i.,  182,  viii.,  399;  Z, fUr Eth,^  xv.,  90;  MS.  note; 
Grohmann,  No.  357  ;  Liebrecht,  No.  64 ;  Witzschel,  ii.,  277;  Gregor,  p.  123. 
"  Am  Urdhsbr,,  Oct.,  1882,  p.  15. 

240      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totetnism. 

Cockroach :  Ruthenia,  Lancashire.^ 

Cormorant:  Rerrick  (Scotland).* 

Cricket :  Wales, t  Ireland,  Ruthenia,  Carinthia,  France,  &c.* 

Crossbill :  Bohemia.* 

Crow:  Lechrain,  Borgue  (Scotland).* 

Cuckoo :  Hampshire,  Connemara,  Wales,  Borgue,  Finland, 

among  the  Slavs,  and  in  Sweden.* 
Dog :  parts  of  France.^ 
Duck  (Bergente) :  Sylt  (?)  » 
Frog:  Ruthenia.^<> 
Fly:  Mecklenburg.^^ 
Hare  :  Russia,  Pennant  Melangell." 
Lizard :  Sicily,    Pecek    (Bohemia),   Waldeck,   Poland,   S. 

Sporades,  &c.^* 

•  Kaindl,  p.  105 ;  Rolland,  iii.,  286.  The  presence  of  this  insect,  which 
only  appeared  in  Europe  a  few  centuries  ago,  in  the  list  need  not  be  regarded 
as  a  serious  objection  to  the  theory  suggested,  i.  It  is  very  difficult  to  find  out 
what  the  dialectical  names  do  really  mean ;  "  Schabe  "  in  S.  Germany  means  a 
sort  of  louse.  It  is  therefore  possible  that  another  insect  is  meant.  2.  It  is 
certain  that  in  many  cases  transference  of  superstitions  has  taken  place ;  the 
name  '*  black  beetle  "  shows  that  it  has  been  universally  classed  among  beetles; 
it  has  also  taken  over  the  superstitions  of  the  beetle  &mily.  Cf,  Raven,  rook, 
crow,  jackdaw. 

•  Ethnog,  R.,  No.  378. 

•  MS.  note;  /*.,  v.,  198;  Kaindl,  p.  105;  Z,  fiir  d.  Myth,^  iii.,  29; 
Liebrecht,  No.  165,  &c. 

•  Grohmann,  No.  524. 

»  Leoprechtmg,  p.  89 ;  Ethnog,  R,^  No.  399. 

•  F,  L,J,,  i.,  258,  394 ;  \F,,  ii.,  246 ;  Owen,  p.  317  ;  Ethnog.  R,,  No.  394  ; 
Wander,  iL,  1699  ;  Amdt,  Reise  in  Sckweden,  iii.,  19. 

'  Liebrecht,  No.  64. 

•  MtOlenhof,  p.  137. 

•  Gladus,  iv.,  333. 
»•  Gladus,  Ixix.,  73. 

"  Bartsch,  Sctgen,  ii.,  186. 

"  MS.  note  ;  Jifont,  CoU.^  xii.,  56. 

De  Gubematis,   p.   634 ;  Grohmann,   No.    596 ;    Curtze,   p.    182 ;    Am 
Urquell,  iii.,  272  ;  /^.,  x.,  1 82. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      241 

Magpie  :  Anglesey,t  W,  Ireland,  N.E.  Scotland,  Sweden, 
E.  Prussia,t  Tirol,  Crossen  (Mark),  &c.^ 

Mouse,  white  :  Schonhirde  (Bohemia).* 

Owl:  Mecklenburg.* 

Ox,  black  :  Germany.* 

Peewit :  the  Wotyaks.*^ 

Pigeon  :  Moscow,t  Bohemia,  Swabia.* 

Quail :  MiinsterlandJ 

Redstart :  Bohemia.® 

Raven :  Swabia,  Lechrain,  Sweden,  LlansaintfFraid  (?)•. 

Sea-swallow  :  Camargue,  W.  Ireland.^® 

Snake :  Tirol,t  Silesia,  Ruthenia,  Bohemia,  &c. ;  in  Lub- 
benau  the  counts  of  Lynar  respect  the  snakes  in  their 
park ;  they  also  have  a  snake  as  their  crest.^^ 

Spider :  Sweden,  Thuringia,  Tirol,  Silesia,  Ruthenia,  E. 
Prussia,t  Niederlausitz,t  Cornwall,  Suffolk,  &c.^^ 

Swift :  Hampshire.^* 

Toad :  Sicily,  Tirol,  &c.^* 

»  MS.  notes;  F,  Z.  -^.,  iv.,  107;  F.  L.  /.,  ii.,  258;  Gregor,  p.  138; 
Gaslander,  p.  42 ;  Z.  des  V.  fiir  V.,  viii.,  170;  Kuhn,  Nordd,  S,,  p.  453; 
r/. /-..v.  283. 

2  Grohmann,  No.  405. 

^  Jahrb,  des  V,  fiir  MechU  Ges.y  ii.,  123. 

<  Grimm,  Aberglaubeuy  No.  887. 

»  Globus y  xL,  325. 

®  MS.  note ;  Grohmann,  No.  551 ;  Meier,  p.  217. 

'  Strackerjan,  i.,  45. 

•  Grohmann,  No.  509. 

>  Birlinger,  i.,  426;  Leoprechting,  p.  89  ;  Gaslander,  p.  48  ;  Byegmes^ 
Sept,  1872. 

«>  RoUand,  ii.,  387  ;  /^  Z./.,  iv.,  253. 

"  MS.  notes ;  Peter,  ii.,  33 ;  Kaindl,  p.  103 ;  Grohmann,  No.  1659 ;  many 
other  authorities  might  be  cited. 

"  Wuttke,  p.  130 ;  Kaindl,  p.  105;  Gaslander,  p.  43;  MS.  notes;  F,  Z.  R,y 

v.,  89;  Suffolk  /^,  p.  7  ;  Miss  Marriage  has  given  me  the  following  Essex 

rhyme : — 

"  If  you  would  live  and  thrive 

Let  the  spider  go  alive." 

"  /.  Z./.,i.,  3«)4. 

"  De  Gubematis,  p.  629;  Z.  fur  d.  Myth.,  i.,  7;  Wuttke,  p.  95 ;  MS. 


VOL.    XI.  R 

242      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

Wagtail :  Wetterau,  Languedoc.     (I  am  not  sure  that  the 
statement  of  Sloet  in  De  dieren  refers  to  a  super- 
stition.) ^ 
Weasel :  Montagne  noire,  Ruthenia,  among  the  Wends.* 
Woodpecker:  Sweden.* 

Wren :  Ireland,  Scotland,  Wales,t  England,  France.* 
Weevil:  Esthonia.* 

To  the  animals  above  mentioned  may  be  added,  on  the 
testimony  of  Caesar,  the  cock  and  goose  in  S.  England.® 
The  seal  in  Ireland  has  already  been  mentioned.^ 

We  have  therefore  in  all  47  animals  which  are  or  have 
been  tabooed  in  various  parts  of  Europe. 

{b)   The  Animal  may  not  be  Eaten ^  Touched^  or  Used, 
In  this  sub-section,  complementary  to  the  preceding,  are 

found  18  of  the  animals  on  the  above  list.     We  have,  in 

addition,  the  followmg  for  the  first  time  : — 

Stagbeetle:  Ausbach.® 

Lark :  N.E.  Scotland.' 

Mole:  Chemnitz.^® 

Wild  duck :  N.E.  Scotland.^^ 

Yellowhammer :  Rhuddlan.  ^^t 

Rook :  N.E.  Scotland.^* 

»  Wuttke,  p.  130;  Rolland,  ii.,  228 ;  Sloet,  p.  221. 
'  Nore,  p.  98 ;  Kaindl,  p.  103 ;  Schulenburg,  p.  259. 
'  Gaslander,  p.  48. 

•  Mair,  Handbook  of  Proverbs ^  p.  52  ;  Frazer,  Golden  Bought  ii.,  142  ;  MS. 
note ;  Brand,  iii.,  194. 

•  Ilolzmayer,  Osiliana^  p.   105  n.  in   Verp,   der  Esihn,   Ges  zu  Dorpat^ 
vol.  vii. 

•  De  Belio  Gallico,  v.,  12. 

'  To  these  should  perhaps  be  added  the  tit  (Sloet,  De  dieren^  p.  222). 

•  Grimm,  No.  705. 
»  Gregor,  p.  139. 

"  Grimm,  No.  743. 
"  Gregor,  p.  146. 
"  MS.  note. 
"  Gregor,  p.  136. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      243 

Fish  :  parts  0/  Ireland  and  Scotland.^ 

Songbirds:  Germany/^ 

Goose ;  Great  Crosby.* 

Wildfowl  and  poultry :  S.  England  and  Wales.* 

In  these  two  sub-sections,  then,  I  have  shown  that  more 
than  50  birds  and  animals  enjoy  a  local  sanctity.*^  This 
reveals  the  existence  of  local  cults  of  extent  hitherto  unsus- 
pected^ which  embrace  a  large  proportion  of  the  commoner 
animals  of  Europe. 

The  animals  in  this  section  I  distinguish  as  "taboo- 

Passing  over  the  two  remaining  classes  of  taboos,  I  will 
now  call  your  attention  to — 

I.  3. — Animals  Kept  in  Captivity  for  Magical  or 
OTHER  Superstitious  Purposes,  or  Fed  or  other- 
wise Petted. 

Mr.  Lang  has  argued  that  these  cases  have  no  evidential 
value.  The  schoolboy,  he  says,  has  guinea-pigs  and  mice, 
but  they  are  not  totems.*  But  no  one  has  ever  suggested 
that  the  mice  are  kept  in  captivity  for  any  other  reason 
than  that  they  afford  their  owner  pleasure.  The  schoolboy 
does  not  keep  pets  because  his  father  kept  them  before 
him.  In  folklore,  on  the  other  hand,  the  case  is  just 
reversed.  Customs  are  kept  up  for  no  other  reason  than 
that  they  are  customs.  Mr.  Lang's  criticism  neglects  this 
important  difference,  and  does  not,  therefore,  bear  upon 
the  question  at  issue. 

The  most  important  example  in  this  section  is  a  custom 

*  Elton,  Origins  of  English  History ^  p.  170. 

*  Wuttke,  p.  130. 
■  A,  R.,'\\\.,  232. 

*  A.  R,,  iii.,  233. 

*  To  these  may  be  added  the  cases  in  which  there  is  a  superstitious  aversion 
to  using  the  feathers  of  certain  birds  in  feather-beds.  These  birds  are :  the 
hen,  goose,  pigeon,  partridge,  and  sometimes  wild  birds  generally. 

«  Folk- Lore,  i.,  12. 

R    2 

244      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemisnt. 

practised  at  Llanidloes.^  White  butterflies  are,  as  in  the 
West  of  Scotland,*  fed  on  sugar  and  water.  Any  doubt 
which  might  be  felt  as  to  the  character  of  this  practice  is 
removed  when  we  find  that  the  coloured  butterflies  are 
killed  as  a  part  of  the  same  custom.  I  cannot  now  discuss 
the  interpretation  of  the  latter  part  of  the  custom.  I  shall 
have  occasion,  however,  to  cite  some  facts  subsequently 
which,  perhaps,  throw  some  light  upon  it. 

In  this  case  there  is  nothing  to  show  the  object  of  the 
ceremony.  In  Sicily,  however,  the  toad  is  kept  in  cap- 
tivity,* like  the  mouse  and  the  kingfisher*  in  Bohemia, 
for  the  purpose  of  ensuring  good  luck.  It  is  the  custom  in 
many  parts  of  Germany  to  keep  a  crossbill  in  captivity ;  * 
it  is  believed  to  attract  diseases.  A  kind  of  hawk  is 
encouraged  to  nest  on  the  houses  in  South  Germany ;  • 
it  is  believed  to  protect  the  house.  The  peewit  seems  to 
have  been  kept  for  a  similar  purpose  in  the  Middle  Ages.^ 

Other  birds  are  kept  for  purposes  of  divination,  among 
them  the  pigeon,®  and  in  former  days  the  wren  and 
raven.*  The  use  of  the  hare  by  Boadicea  is  another 
example  of  the  custom. 

Domestic  animals  are  also  used  for  similar  objects.  I 
will  here  only  quote  one  instance.  The  Lapps  at  the  North 
Cape  are  said  to  consult  with  a  black  cat,^^  whom  they 
regard  as  an  ancestor,  as  to  what  it  is  advisable  to  do  in 
cases  of  difliculty. 

I.  4. — Burying  the  Dead  Animal. 
A  practice  which  seems  to  bear  clear  marks  of  a  totem- 
istic  origin  is  the  burying  of  dead  animals  for  other  than 

*  Mont.  ColLy  X.,  260.  »  Napier,  p.  115. 

'  De  Gubematis,  p.  629.  *  Grohmann,  405,  443. 

»  JUhling,  247,  249  ;  Z.  fur  d.  Myth,,  i.,  209  ;  Heyl,  163.  &c. 

*  Mone's  Anz,  vii.,  430. 

*  Mone,  viii.,  614;  cf.  Pkysiologus,  Graffs  LHatisca,  iii.,  38. 

"  Grohmann,  554.  ^  F.  L.  jf.,  ii.,  65. 

*•  Mone,  Symb,  u.  Myth,,  i.,  39. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      245 

sanitary  reasons.  We  have  seen  that  the  crossbill  is 
believed  to  attract  disease ;  in  some  parts  it  is  believed  to 
die  in  consequence  ;  it  must  then  be  buried.^ 

I  shall  deal  in  a  few  minutes  with  the  animals  annually 
sacrificed ;  in  certain  cases  they  are,  instead  of  being  eaten, 
buried  with  considerable  ceremony.  In  the  Isle  of  Man 
the  wren  was  formerly  interred  in  the  churchyard.*  The 
cat  is  buried  in  Bohemia,'  the  sardine  in  Spain,*  the 
stockfish  in  Portugal,^  and  the  rabbit  at  Biddenham.* 
Elsewhere  the  animal  must  be  buried  when  it  is  found 
dead ;  this  is  done  with  the  sacred  fishes  of  Nant  Peris.^ 

Although  from  lack  of  precise  information  I  have  not 
been  able  to  include  the  mole  among  the  animals  which 
may  not  be  killed,  there  are  grounds  for  believing  that  it 
was  formerly  respected  in  some  parts.  The  present  form 
of  the  belief  is  that  a  mole  may  be  killed  but  must  be 
immediately  buried,  sometimes  not  by  the  person  who  has 
killed  it.8 

I.  9. — Magical  Powers  derived  from  the  Animal. 

To  this  important  section  I  can  allude  only  in  passing. 
Powers  of  healing  are  ascribed  to  those  who  have  eaten 
eagle's  flesh,*  or  in  whose  hand  a  mole  or  worm  ^®  has 
died.  In  other  cases  the  powers  are  believed  to  be  ac- 
quired by  touching  the  living  animal,^^  or  by  smearing 
some  animal  product  on  the  hands.^* 

A  highly  important  point  in  connection  with  these 
ceremonies  is  that  they  must  be  undergone  at  a  certain  age 
in  some  cases,  and  in  others  must  be  repeated  annually. 

*  MS.  note.  ■  Frazer,  Golden  Bough,  ii.,  142. 

*  Grohmann,  367.  *  Loning,  Das  Spanische  VoiA,  p.  71. 

*  Motgenblait,  1838,  No.  35,  p.  138. 

*  F.  Z.  i?.,  i.,  243.  "*  Byegotus,  Nov.  25th,  1896. 

*  Grohmann,  388 ;  MS.  note.  •  ByegoiieSy  April  loth,  1895. 
"^  Jiihling,  pp.  121,  123,  139.  "  Gregor,  144;  /:,  x.,  252. 
•-  jUhling,  p.  38. 

246      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

It  is  tempting  to  see  in  the  former  a  survival  of  initiation 
ceremonies,  and  to  connect  the  latter  with  othqr  annual 
ceremonies  of  which  I  shall  have  more  to  say  in  a  few 

The  importance  of  these  customs  leads  me  to  treat  them 
separately  from  the  use  of  the  animal  in  magic,  from  which 
they  do  not  differ  essentially. 

Closely  connected  with  the  magical  powers  of  the  animal, 
dead  or  alive,  is  its  ability  to  foresee  and  foretell  the 

II.— Animals  used  in  Ausrupy  and  Mairio. 

Into  the  questions  raised  by  superstitions  as  to  (i)  omens 
and  (2)  magic  I  cannot  enter  at  length.  I  will  do  no  more 
than  call  attention  to  the  main  points  to  be  considered. 

1.  {a)  "Taboo"    animals    give   both    favourable    and   un- 

favourable omens ;  their  appearance  is  frequently 

believed  to  presage  a  death. 
{b)  '*  Lucky  **  animals^  give  both  good  and  bad  omens  ; 

their  appearance  is  frequently  believed  to  presage 

a  death. 
{c)  Popular  language  makes  the  animal  itself  the  cause 

of  the  event  foretold :  it  "  bringt  Gliick,"  "  porte 

bonheur,''   &c.     The  ill-luck  may  be  averted  by 

killing  the  animal. 

2.  {a)  As  I  shall  show  later,  "  taboo  "  animals,  sacrificed 

once  a  year,  are  powerful  in  magic. 
{V)  Unlucky,  no  less  than  lucky,  animals  are  employed 

in  magic. 
We  may  conjecture  that  all  "taboo"  animals  used  in 
magic    were    originally    sacrificed    annually.     But   if   the 
magical  powers  of  the  animal  were  a  result  of  its  sanctity, 

*  By  "lucky"  animals  I  mean  those  whose  presence  (not  apparition)  is 
considered  lucky. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      247 

the  remaining  animals  used  in  magic  were  probably  "taboo" 

"  Lucky"  animals  are  taboo.  But  "taboo"  animals  are 
not  always  lucky.  We  have  other  instances  in  which  sacred 
animals  have  in  course  of  time  become  separated  into  two 
classes — holy  and  unclean  animals.  We  may  conjecture 
that  the  "lucky"  and  "unlucky"  animals  are  the  result  of 
a  similar  process.  They  were  originally  all  taboo.  Mutatis 
mutandis  this  is  also  true  of  the  ominous  animals. 

The  facts  are  difficult  to  explain  on  the  assumption  that 
we  must  look  for  their  origin  to  more  than  one  source. 

Admitting  that  in  later  times  other  causes  have  played 
their  part,  it  seems  clear  that  we  must  derive  the  great  mass 
of  the  usages  under  consideration  from  a  period  when 
animals  were  sacred,  and,  as  the  facts  which  I  shall  now 
bring  to  your  notice  seem  to  suggest,  solemnly  sacrificed 
once  a  year. 

III.— Annual  Cepemonies. 

I.  Sacrifice. — In  the  two  great  totem-areas  of  Australia 
and  North  America  sacrifice  is  either  unknown  or  unim- 
portant. Australia  has  no  domestic  animals  ;  America  had 
only  the  dog,  and  the  dog  was  the  only  animal  commonly 

It  is  possible,  therefore,  that  a  connection  exists  between 
sacrifice  and  domestication  {i.e.  for  many  peoples  between 
sacrifice  and  civilization),  rather  than,  as  Professor  Jevons 
maintains,  between  taboo  and  domestication.^  We  find 
traces,  in  European  customs,  of  a  custom  of  retaining  the 
victim  in  captivity  for  a  period  before  the  sacrifice.  We  may 
conjecture  that  this  practice  would  be  suggested  by  con- 
siderations of  convenience  in  comparatively  early  times; 

>  RelcUions  desjes.^  1667,  p.  12  ;  Perrot,  passim;  Morgan,  League  of  the 
Iroquois y  p.  207,  &c. 

*  I  find  Dr.  Hahn  has  made  the  same  suggestion,  to  explain  the  domesti- 
cation of  a  single  animal,  in  Denuter  u.  Bauboy  p.  28. 

248       Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemistn. 

possibly  the  desire  to  have  the  totem  at  hand  for  guidance  by 
means  of  omens  and  for  protection  contributed  its  share  to  the 
development  of  the  custom,  which,  once  established,  would 
readily  grow  into  one  of  keeping  the  sacred  animals  in 
captivity  in  greater  or  smaller  numbers  without  any  definite 
intention  of  sacrificing  them,  i.e.  merely  as  sacred  animals, 
like  the  geese  in  the  Capitol  or  the  droves  of  sacred  horses 
in  Germany. 

In  this  position  the  animals  would  gradually  accustom 
themselves  to  the  company  of  man,  i.e.  they  would  become 
tame.  A  further  step  was  taken  when  man,  instead  of 
eating  the  sacred  animal  itself,  began  to  use  its  products 
as  a  means  of  effecting  communion  with  the  tribal  god. 
The  animals  were  in  this  way  gradually  accustomed  to 
yield,  for  the  use  of  man,  the  milk  (and  other  products) 
which  they  in  a  wild  state  produce  for  the  benefit  of  their 

Sacrifices  were  originally  annual;  later  they  were  per- 
formed more  frequently,  originally,  perhaps,  from  a  desire 
to  secure  the  presence  and  assistance  of  the  god,  after- 
wards from  a  growing  appreciation  of  the  merits  of  roast 
pig  and  other  delicacies. 

In  the  case  of  the  uneatable  or  less  tasty  animals,  this 
motive  was  naturally  weak  or  entirely  absent ;  these  they 
were  content  to  sacrifice  as  before,  once  a  year.  In  the 
case  of  the  other  animals  also  there  was,  however,  perhaps 
a  tendency  for  the  original  yearly  sacrifice  to  retain  a 
greater  importance  than  those  subsequently  engrafted 
on  it. 

The  sacrifice  was  performed  by  members  of  the  clan  ; 
the  institution  of  priesthood  was  unknown ;  none  but 
members  of  the  clan  might  take  part  in  the  sacramental 
meal.  The  clan  was  not,  however,  confined  to  a  given  area ; 
this  meal  would,  therefore,  be  celebrated  wherever  members 
of  the  clan  were  residing  This  type  we  may  term  *'  clan- 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.       249 

The  totem-clan,  however,  tended  to  develop ;  it  ex- 
panded into  a  larger  group.  This  explains  the  position  of 
certain  animals  like  the  great  hare  of  the  Algonquin  tribes. 
In  other  cases  the  totem-tribe  tended  to  pass  into  a  local 
group.  This  resulted  in  the  sacred  animal  of  the  clan 
becoming  the  sacred  animal  of  the  local  group  ;  its  worship 
was  confined  to  a  certain  area.  This  type  may  be  dis- 
tinguished as  "  tribal  sacrifice." 

We  find,  as  I  shall  endeavour  to  show,  examples  of  both 
types  in  Europe  at  the  present  day.  These  survivals  I 
arrange  in  three  groups,  which  may  be  termed  the  "  Hunt," 
the  "  Hahnenschlag,"  and  the  "  simple  "  classes. 

Most  of  these  sacrifices  present  one  or  more  of  the  fol- 
lowing features : — 

(i)  There  is  no  priest  or  other  person  specially  selected 
for  the  task  of  slaying  the  victim  ;  the  slayer  of  the  animal 
is,  however,  frequently  the  recipient  of  special  honours  and 
a  title  which  he  bears  for  a  year.^  (2)  The  ceremony  is 
performed  once  a  year,  usually  on  a  specified  day ;  the 
animal  is  occasionally  selected  some  time  before  the  actual 
sacrifice.  (3)  The  use  of  iron  is  frequently  tabooed,  and  the 
animal  may  not  be  shorn.  (4)  The  head  of  the  animal  is 
frequently  struck  off  and  is  specially  sacred.*  (5)  The 
sacrifice  is  preceded  or  followed  by  a  procession,  in  which 
the  sacred  animal  is  paraded  round  the   village  or  town. 

*  Handelmann,  p.  25 ;  Mannhardt,  Komddmonen^  16  ;  Peter,  ii.,  278  ; 
Nore,  p.  20 ;  Globus^  vii.,  304 ;  De  Gubernatis,  475  n. ;  RoUand,  vi.,  104,  175; 
S^billot,  CotUunus pop,  cU  la  H,  B,,  2$!'^  Meyrac,  Traditions  des  Ardennes y 
pp.  66,  67n.,  (/*.  p.  61;  Reinsberg-DUringsfeld,  Col,  beige ^  131,  341,  &c.  We 
find  a  king  in  the  egg-games  and  at  cock-fights ;  Sebillot,  Meyrac,  loc,  cit.  For 
an  interesting  and  important  parallel  to  the  customs  in  this  section  v.  Globus^ 
xvii.,  24. 

'  There  is  an  obvious  connection  between  this  custom  and  that  of  fixing 
carved  or  real  heads  round  the  fields,  on  the  houses,  &c.  Perhaps  the  explana- 
tion is  that  the  head  was  regarded  as  the  residence  of  the  soul.  In  West 
Prussia  a  method  of  preventing  a  dead  member  of  a  family  Irom  inflicting 
disease  on  the  living  is  to  open  the  coffin  and  cut  ofl"  the  head.  Globus,  xix., 
96.     It  is  further  a  well-known  prehistoric  burial  custom. 

250      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemi$m. 

(6)  The  animal  is  commonly  either  dismembered  and  dis- 
tributed, or  eaten  at  a  common  meal.  (7)  There  are  traces 
of  the  common  meal  being  confined  to  the  kin  in  some 
cases,  in  others  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  locality.  (8)  In 
some  cases  cakes  in  the  form  of,  or  bearing  the  name  of,  the 
animal,  are  substituted  for  the  animal  itself. 

I  will  now  deal  briefly  with  the  three  forms  of  sacrifice. 

{a)  The  Hunt. 

We  have  already  seen  that  the  wren  is  a  taboo-animal  in 
the  west  of  Europe.  There  is,  however,  a  widespread  custom, 
discussed  at  length  by  Dr.  Frazer  in  the  Golden  Bought  of 
hunting  it  annually;  this  hunt  was  commonly  at  Christmastide 
or  New  Year,  but  is  also  found  at  other  periods  of  the  year.^ 
The  wren  was  usually  killed  in  the  process;  it  was  then  carried 
round  to  all  the  houses,  a  feather  being  in  some  cases  left  at 
each  house  ;  to  this  feather  were  attributed  magical  proper- 
ties. In  other  cases  the  bird  was  carried  round  alive.  In 
Wales  there  are  traces  of  a  custom  of  roasting,  i.e.  eating 
the  wren.  In  the  Isle  of  Man  the  featherless  body  was 

Other  customs  of  this  type  are  the  following : — 
Bull:  Stamford.' 
Cock :  Guben,  Belgium.* 
Deer :  Oxfordshire  at  Whitsuntide,  Epping  Forest  at  Easter, 

Ireland  St.  Martin's  Day.* 
Hare :  Leicester,  Coleshill,  Caistor,  and  elsewhere  in  South 

England  at  Easter,  Llanfechain  in  October,  Ireland  on 

St.  Martin's  Day.^ 

*  Golden  Bough,  ii.,  141  ff;   Byegones,  Sept.,  1872,  April  22,  1885;   Notes 
and  Queriesy  4th  S.,  ix.,  25;  Suffolk  Folklore,  125    Ethnog.  S.,  No.  199. 

«  Hone,  1482;  cf.  /^,  vii.,  385. 

■  MS.  note ;  Reinsberg-DUringsfeld,  200. 

*  F.,  viii.,  310;  Hone,  ii.,  460;  /^  Z.  R.,  iv.,  108,  cf.  v.,  166. 

*  F.,  iii.,  442;  Sussex  Daily  News,  June  10,  1895;  ^ont.  Coll.,  xvii., 
11% i  F.  L.  R.,\v.,  108. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemistn.      251 

Pig :  Wiirzburg  at  Martinstide/  (probably  a  pig-baiting  is 

Owl :  in  SufFolk  at  Christmas.* 
Ram  :  Eton  and  East  Wrotham.' 
Squirrel :  Wales,  Suffolk  at  Christmas;  Cammin  (Pomerania) 

and  Harz  Mountains  at  Easter ;  Lelbach  (Waldeck)  at 

Ascensiontide ;   Easling  on  Nov.  30th ;   the  Wotyaks, 

Oct.  1st.* 
We  may  perhaps  add  the  fox,  which  was  one  of  the 
animals  hunted  in  Ireland  on  St.  Martin's  Day.* 

{b)  The  Hahnenschlag. 

This  type  I  name  after  the  custom  which  is  in  modern 
folklore  the  commonest  and  best  preserved  of  the  many 
variants — that  of  striking  blindfold  at  a  cock. 

There  are,  however,  some  transitional  forms  which  must  first 
be  dealt  with.  In  Whitsun-week  a  lamb  was  formerly  pro- 
vided at  Kidlington  (Oxfordshire),  after  which  the  girls  of  the 
township  ran  with  their  thumbs  tied  and  tried  to  catch  the 
animal  with  their  mouths ;  the  successful  one  was  proclaimed 
Lady  of  the  Lamb,  which  was  carried  before  her  to  the  green. 
The  next  day  the  lamb  was  eaten  at  a  feast  at  which  the 
lady  presided.* 

A  variant  of  this  custom  is  the  catching  the  greasy  pig, 

'  Z.  furd,  Myth,^  i.,  107. 

*  Brand,  i.,  268;  on  Valentine's  day  in  the  West  of  England  three  single 
young  men  had  to  go  out  and  catch  an  owl  and  two  sparrows,  which  they 
carried  round  the  village ;  Hone,  i. ,  227. 

*  Brand,  ii.,  314. 

*  Owen,  p.  351;  Brand,  i.,  268;  Wolf,  i.,  78;  Kuhn,  Nordd.  S.,  p.  374 ; 
cf.  Liebrecht,  zur  K,  261;  Curtze,  p.  441;  Hone,  i.,  1539;  Buck,  Die 
Woijaken^  p.  162.  Mr.  Hartland  informs  me  that  it  used  to  be  hunted  at 
Dursley  on  May-morning. 

*  F.  L,  R.y  iv.,  108.  Miss  Marriage  informs  me  that  one  of  the  palace 
courts  at  Dresden  was  used  for  fox-hunting.  cf,  Preller,  Roman  Myth,^ 
p.  436.  The  gulls  were  hunted  on  the  Schlei  on  July  23rd  (SchUtze,  Idiottkon^ 
iii.,  97.) 

*  F.y  viii.,  315. 

252       Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

found  in  Schleswig-Holstein  and  Hungerford;^  a  pig 
shorn  and  greased  had  to  be  caught  by  the  tail.  In 
Belgium  the  eel  had  to  be  similarly  caught.^  Climbing  the 
greasy  pole  is  another  form  of  the  same  custom.* 

In  Spain  and  Germany  it  was  the  practice  in  the  Middle 
Ages  to  let  loose  a  pig  in  an  enclosure ;  it  was  then  pursued 
by  blindfolded  men  with  sticks.* 

We  have  thus  a  series  of  transitions  leading  from  the 
hunt  to  the  Hahnenschlag.  In  the  many  variants  of  the 
latter  custom  we  may  distinguish  four  main  forms. 

(i.)  The  cock  is  (a)  buried  in  the  earth  up  to  the  neck, 
()8)  covered  with  a  pot,  (7)  carried  on  a  man's  shoulders, 
&c.,  and  struck  at  or  beaten  by  persons  with  their  eyes 

(ii.)  The  cock  is  hung  up  in  a  pot  or  from  a  line  and 
thrown  at  with  sticks ;  in  other  cases  the  competitors  ride 
underneath  and  endeavour  to  seize  the  bird ;  elsewhere  it 
is  shot  at.* 

(iii.)  The  cock  is  solemnly  condemned  to  death ;  its  for- 
giveness is  begged,  and  its  head  struck  off  with  a  wooden 
sword,  if  possible  at  one  stroke.  The  people  are  some- 
times sprinkled  with  the  blood.'' 

(iv.)  The  possession  of  the  cock  is  decided  by  athletic 
competitions  or  by  chance.® 

Variants  of    these  customs  are  found  in  all  the  south- 

*  Handelmann,  SpieUy  p.  23;  Hone,  ii.,  1401. 
'  Breton,  Belgique^  i.,  241. 

■  Brand,  ii.,  303.  For  other  popular  amusements  possibly  referable  to  a 
similar  source,  see  Hone,  i.,  573,  ii.,  1401  ;  Schiitze,  Idiotikon^  iii.,  7. 

*  Raumer,  Gesck,  der  Hohcnstaufen^  vi.,  590. 

•  Owen,  Old  Stone  Crosses^  p.  191;  Am  Urquell,  i,  129;  M,  C,  iv.,  135, 
X.,  264.  Greek  coins  often  represent  animals  on  men's  shoulders  (Frazer 
Pausanias,  v.,  87).     Does  this  point  to  a  similar  custom  ? 

•  Mont.  Coll.y  iii.,  86;  Schuster,  Deutsche  Myth,  aus  sieben-sdchs,  Quellen^ 
p.  268. 

*  Vemaleken,  Mythen  u.  BrducAe,  303,  305 ;  Reinsbeig-DUringsfeld, 
Fest-kaLy  p.  52;  Coremans,  83,  103;  Pfannenschmid,  299. 

•  Pfannenschmid,  p.  559;  Zeits.  fur  die  el  IVelt,  1801,  445;  Reimann, 
Deutsche  Volks/erte^  p.  13. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemistn.       253 

ern   and   western   portions    of    Europe    and    in    Spanish 


Other  animals  sacrificed  in  the  same  way  are — 

Bear:  Swabia  (iii.).^ 

Frog :  Bohemia  *  in  the  ceremonies  connected  with  the 
King  of  the  May  (iii.). 

Goat :  Jiiterbock  (ii.)* 

Goose:  Bavaria,  Brittany,  Saxony,  Switzerland,  Derby- 

Pigeon :  very  frequently  in  the  Middle  Ages ;  later  a 
wooden  bird  was  shot  at ;  this  custom  is  still  found  in 
Schleswig-Holstein  (i.)  (ii.).^ 

Cat :  Pomerania  (combined  with  a  hunt),  Kelso,  Shropshire, 
&c.  (ii.);''  the  cat  was  frequently  shut  up  in  a  wooden 
bottle  with  a  quantity  of  soot,  and  he  who  beat  out  the 
bottom  and  escaped  the  soot  was  the  hero  of  the  day.® 

Owl :  North  Walsham.« 

Deer :  to  this  class  belongs  the  running  deer  in  the  Schutz- 
enfest  of  Burg.^^ 

'  Cockfighting  seems  to  be  a  variant  of  this  custom ;  it  was  practised  on 
Shrove  Tuesday,  the  same  day  as  the  Hahnenschlag.  I  hope  to  deal  elsewhere 
with  the  "  Brauthahn,"  some  forms  of  which  include  the  '*  Hahnenschlag." 
The  egg-games  may  also  be  mentioned  here;  v.  Rolland,  vi.,  105;  Hender- 
son, p.  84;  Sebillot,  Coutunus^  p.  251;  /^.  Z.  /.,  iv.,  131,  vi.,  60;  Nicholson, 
p.  12. 

"  De  Gtibematis,  p.  426. 

'  Mannhardt,  Bk,y  p.  354. 

*  Kloster,  xii.,  76. 

»  Kloster^  xii.,  1005;  Rolland,  vi.,  175;  Meyrac,  p.  95;  Grabner,  Ver. 
NuderlancUy  p.  360;  for  other  refe.  v.  Jahn,  Opfergebrduchc^  p.  234. 

•  Am  Urquellt  i.,  129;  Jahn,  p.  149;  Handelmann,  p.  12. 

^  Jahn,  p.  107;  Brand,  ii.,  303;  Grabner,  p.  361;  Bume,  p.  450; 
Handelmann,  p.  22. 

■  Shakespeare,  Muck  Ado  About  Nothings  i.,  2;  Kloster,  xii.,  552.  The  inn- 
sign  of  the  "  Cock  and  Bottle"  is  obviously  an  allusion  to  this,  as  is  that  of 
the  "  Dog  and  Duck  "  to  a  similar  amusement.  "  Gare  au  pot  au  noir  "  is  a 
phrase  used  in  France  in  playing  Blind  Man's  Buff. 

»  De  Gubematis,  p.  560.  According  to  Hone  this  was  only  a  practical 
joke.  It  will,  however,  appear  later  that  the  custom  probably  existed  in 
Germany.     At  Lille  ducks  and  rabbits  were  used  (Desrousseaux,  i.,  289). 

"*  Handelmann,  p.  25.  Did  the  Elaphebolia  take  its  name  from  a  similar 

254       Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

Sheep  :  Elsass ;  S.  and  C.  Germany^  (ii.)  (iv.). 
Stagbeetle  :  In  Lautenthal   the   boys,  when  they  found  a 
stagbeetle  in    springtime,  buried  it  and  struck  at  it 
with  eyes  blindfolded.     The  winner  was  accompanied 
home  by  his  companions.* 
Glowworm  :  A  similar  custom  seems  to  exist  in  Italy  with 
regard  to  the  glowworm,  which  is  threatened  with  a 
beating  just  as  the  snail  is  in  England,  in  the  well- 
known  rhyme.* 
To  these  must  be  added  the  blackbird,  sparrow,  yellow- 
hammer,  toad,*  and  perhaps  the  herring*  and  dog.* 

(c)  The  Simple  Form. 
(i.)  The  first  butterfly  is  killed  in  Cornwall  ''in  order  that 
they  may  conquer  their  enemies."''  Similar  customs  are 
found  in  France,  Somerset,  Devon,  and  North  Hants ;  ® 
the  first  snake  in  W.  Sussex,  the  first  wasp  in  parts  of 
England,  the  first  toad  at  Berne.*  In  Schleswig-Holstein 
the  first  bee  should  be  killed  and  put  in  the  purse  in  order 
to  have  money  all  the  year.^^  With  this  may  be  compared 
the  well-known  cuckoo  custom;  further,  that  of  running, 
rolling  on  the  ground,  &c.,  on  seeing  the  first  swallow, 
wagtail,  &c.,  in  order  to  be  free  from  disease.^^ 

*  For  refe.  v.  Jahn,  p.  190. 

*  Kuhn,  Nordd,  Geb,,  p.  377  %  cf,  N,  &*  Q,,  2nd  Ser.,  ii.,  83, 

•  De  Gubematis,  p.  504;  F,  Z.  /.,  v.,  193. 

*  /^  Z./.,  ii.,  120;  Napier,  p.  112;  Rolland,  iii.,  49;  N,  &*  Q.,  3rd  Ser., 
iv.,  492. 

'  Rolland,  iii.,  126. 

'  Nicholson,  p.  22.     Bartsch,  AhergL  aus  Mecklenburg^  ii.,  139. 

'  F.  Z./.,  v.,  214. 

•  S^billot,  CotUumeSi  p.  365 ;  Rolland,  iii.,  315 ;  Hone,  Table-book,  p.  339. 
Miss  Marriage  informs  me  that  in  E^ex  the  head  of  the  first  white  butterfly  is 
bitten  off. 

•  /^,  Z.  -^.,  i.,  8 ;  Rolland,  iii.,  54,  272.  In  Pomerania  the  head  of  the 
first  cockchafer  should  be  bitten  off  as  a  protection  against  fever.   Jtihling,  p.  94. 

"  MS.  note. 

"  Grimm,  No.  217,  348,  986;  Z.furd,  Myth,,  ii.,  95;  Leicester  Folklore, 
p.  39;  F.  Z.  R,,  ii.,  88;  /^.  Z.  /.,  v.,  187  ;  Strackerjan,  i.,  66;  Gemumia, 
xix.,  349;  cf.  Panxer,  ii.,  125,  203;  Aristophanes,  Aves,  498;  Pliny,  Hist 
Nat,,  XXX.,  25. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      255 

(Htf.)  In  Linda  (Saxony)  a  crow  shot  on  March  ist  and 
hung  up  in  the  cowhouse  was  believed  to  protect  the 
animals  against  witchcraft.  The  glowworm  taken  on 
June  24th  brings  luck  in  Belgium.^ 

()8)  Elsewhere  a  period  is  fixed  for  the  killing  of  the  animal 
instead  of  a  single  day.  In  the  Tirol  the  young  raven  must 
be  taken  in  March  for  use  in  medicine.*  The  toad  is 
killed  in  the  Tirol  in  the  weeks  from  July  15th  to  August 
15th,  and  hung  in  the  stable.  In  Lechrain  it  is  first  trans- 
fixed and  then  hung  in  the  stable.'  In  Mecklenburg  the 
weasel  killed  between  August  15th  and  September  8th  is 
specially  powerful  in  magic*  In  Oldenburg  the  magpie 
shot  in  March  protects  against  flies.*^  The  March  hare  is 
specially  powerful  in  magic.®  In  other  cases  the  animal 
has  to  be  killed  before  a  certain  date.  At  Herda  a  crow  or 
magpie  shot  before  March  is  nailed  in  the  stable.^  In 
Hungary  snakes  and  marmots  should  be  caught  before  St. 
George's  Day  (April  23rd)  for  use  in  magic.® 

(7)  Elsewhere  the  custom  takes  the  form  of  killing  the 
animal  at  all  seasons.  It  is  important  to  notice  that  this 
custom  exists  in  the  Isle  of  Man  side  by  side  with  the 
annual  hunt.*  In  Brandenburg  and  France  the  toad  is 
transfixed  and  stuck  on  the  dunghill.^®  In  Wicklow  and 
Tipperary  the  weasel  is  hunted  down."      In  N.E.  Scotland 

'  Dahnhardt,  Volksiiimliches  aus  den  K,  SacAsen,  i.,  79 ;  Rolland,  iii.,  343. 
So  too  the  ladybird  (June  25th).  RoUand,  iii.,  368.  The  hare  (March  ist). 
jUhling,  pp.  55,  56,  58. 

*  Heyl,  p.  152. 

"  Wuttke,  p.  95 ;  Leoprechting,  p.  83. 

*  Schiller,  ii.,  10. 

•  Strackerjan,  p.  67. 
«  JUhling,  p.  57. 

'  Witzschel,  ii.,  196. 

■  Jones  and  Kropf,  Folktales  of  the  Magyars^  xlix.,  1.  Simihurly  the 
lizard,  butterfly,  bat,  frog,  hare,  deer,  hedgehog,  toad,  mole,  magpie,  weasel, 
wolf.    Jones  and  Kropf,  loc,  cit, ;  JUhling,  passim, 

•  Denham  Tracts,  i.,  203. 

'•  Z.  des  V.fur  K,  i.,  182;  Holland,  iii.,  49. 
"  F.,  iv..  361. 

256       Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

and  Bohemia  the  yellowhammer  is  killed,^  in  Shrop- 
shire the  bat/^  in  Pitsligo  the  small  tortoiseshell,^  in 
Normandy  the  salamander,*  in  Llanidloes  and  Northum- 
berland coloured  butterflies,*'  in  the  Pays  rouchi  tits.® 
There  is,  however,  a  possibility  that  this  custom  points  to  a 
belief  that  these  animals  are  permanently  hostile,  a  view 
which  also  seems  to  manifest  itself  in  the  belief  that  certain 
animals  by  their  mere  presence  (not  appearance)  bring 
misfortune.  Into  this  question,  however,  I  cannot  now 

(S)  In  some  cases  an  animal  is  killed  annually  without 
being  subsequently  used  in  magic.  At  Erfurt  the  magpie  is 
killed  on  Good  Friday,^  at  Bingen  the  badger  at  the 
festival  of  St.  Roschus.®  The  robin  at  Le  Charme  at 
Candlemas.®     Snakes  and  toads  at  Ortenau.^^ 

{d)   The  Torture  Form* 

It  is  possible  that  we  should  include  the  baiting  of  bulls, 
badgers,  bears,  cats,  ducks,  and  other  animals  under  the 
head  of  sacrifice.^^ 

At  Venice  in  the  Middle  Ages  the  head  of  the  bull  had,  as 
in  the  Hahnenschlag,  to  be  struck  off  at  one  blow.  Bull- 
baiting  was  practised  in  Ireland  on  St.  Stephen's  day,  an 
important  day  for  sacrifices,  as  we  have  already  seen.^* 

{e)  The  Precipice  Form, 
An  interesting  form  of  sacrifice,  recalling  the  eastern 

*  Gregor,  139 ;  Grohmann,  No.  518. 
'  Bume,  p.  214. 

"  F,  L.  R,,  vii.,  43. 

*  RoUand,  iii.,  79. 

*  Mont  ColLy  X.,  260;  Denham  Tracts^  ii.,  325. 

*  Rolland,  ii.,  305. 

'  Witzschel,  ii.,  196. 
■  Reimann,  p.  437. 

*  Rolland,  ii.,  264. 
"  Meyer,  p.  94. 

"  SchUtze,  ii.,  141,  &c.;  cf,  Jahn,  p.  230;  Korber,  VolksbelusHgungen^ 
p.  15. 

'^  Vulpius,  Curiositaten^  ii.,  25;  F,  L,  /.,  vi.,  54,  62. 

AmimaJ  Sm^trstthoms  ^mmJ  Tottmism.      ^57 

parallels*  and  others  died  by  Robertson  Smuhjs  tluit  of 
throwing  the  animal  down  from  a  c^uivh  tc^wer  or  other 
edifice.  The  animals  so  killed  were: — Cat:  Ypem  (Bel- 
gium), Auendcuf  (Mark),^  Goat:  among  the  Wends  on 
July  25  :  at  Liepa  Kirmess.*  The  gv^at  was  also  sacriiiced 
by  the  Esthonians  with  singular  ceremonies  on  St,  ThomasV 
day  at  Allentaschen,' 

(/)  Tke  Fire  Form. 
The  cat,  fox,  snake,  squirrel  and  others  were  burnt  in 
the  Easter  or  Midsummer  fires,*  Mannhardt  identifies  these 
with  the  spirit  of  vegetation.  The  connection  with  these 
fires  is,  however,  the  only  ground  for  this  identification,  and 
these  same  animals  are  killed  at  the  same  season  in  cere« 
monies  quite  unconnected  with  >-egetation,  as  ^^'e  ha\*e 
already  seen.  It  is  less  probable  that  an  integral  part  of  a 
custom  should  be  detached  than  that  a  ceremony  practised 
at  the  same  season  should  in  some  cases  be  incorporated,^ 

IZZ.  I  A.— Procession, 

Mannhardt  also  identifies  animals  carried  in  proces- 
sion at  Christmas  and  other  seasons  of  the  year  with  the 
corn  or  tree-spirit.  But  in  many  cases  the  grounds  for 
this  are  very  slight ;  and  there  is  no  ground  for  connecting 
the  majorities  of  the  animals  led  in  procession  with  cither 
form  of  the  vegetation  cult,  but  it  is  far  more  probable  that 
a  custom  should  acquire  an  agricultural  tinge  in  some  few 
cases  than  that  it  should  in  the  majority  of  instances  Iohc 
all  traces  of  its  original  meaning.  We  may  even  go  further 
and  argue  that  the  animal  corn-spirit  is  in  every  case  an 

'  Coremans,  p.  53;  Z,  fUr  d.  M,^  ii.»93. 

^  Sommer,  Sagen  am  Thuringen^  p.  179;  MitL  des  NordMhm  SxcHrsiom* 
Clubs^  xxiii.,  108. 

5  Possart,  Die  russischen  Ostseeprcvinuny  ii.,  172. 

*  Mannhardt, /ATJi/v. 

^  To  put  the  matter  in  a  concrete  form,  I  find  lix  coici  In   which  the 
squirrel  was  hunted ;  in  only  one  or  two  at  most  wan  It  burnt  In  the  KMter  fire. 
I  conclude  that  the  squirrel  hunt  was  originally  independent  of  the  fire,  Into 
which  animals  were  thrown  but  seldom. 
VOL   XI.  8 

258      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

example  of  this  "superposition."  The  casual  theory 
defended  by  Dr.  Frazer  seems  untenable.^  The  identifi- 
cation of  the  chance  animal  in  the  com  with  the  corn- 
spirit  could  hardly  have  led  to  the  permanent  recognition 
of  one  animal  as  such  in  a  given  district.  Further  we  do 
not  know  that  the  chance  animal  ever  was  so  recognised 
(as  the  chance  stranger  was) ;  we  cannot  therefore  argue, 
as  Dr.  Frazer  does,  that  the  two  cases  cannot  be  dissociated 
in  any  attempt  at  explanation;  it  is  Dr.  Frazer's  own 
hypothesis  that  the  cases  are  parallel,  and  he  quotes  no 
facts  in  support  of  it.  On  the  other  hand  it  is  simple  and 
satisfactory  to  see  in  animal  corn-spirit  the  sacred  animal 
of  a  district  identified  with  the  corn-spirit  because  it  was 
sacred  in  the  pre-agricultural  days.  This  view  is  favoured 
by  the  fact  that  a  large  number  of  animals  which  are  in 
some  cases  comparatively  rare  are  regarded  as  embodying 
the  corn-spirit;  I  shall  have  occasion  to  call  attention  in 
another  connection  to  facts  connected  with  the  harvest 
supper  which  support  this  hypothesis. 

Analogy  suggests  that  the  animals  carried  in  procession* 
were  originally  sacrificed,  and  there  are  facts  which  tend  to 
prove  that  the  Christmas  horses  and  other  animals  were 
actually  at  one  period  killed  and  eaten. 

Before  leaving  the  question  of  sacrifice  I  must  direct  your 
attention  to  the  great  importance  of  the  period  about  the 
winter  solstice  for  ceremonies  of  this  nature.  The  impor- 
tance of  this  point  will  be  seen  later. 

III.  2.— Communion  with  the  Sacred  Animal. 
This  was  effected  {a)  by  the  distribution  of  its  feat  hers y 
skin,  &*c,,  {b)  by  eating  it. 

{b)   i.     Among   the    animals    thus    eaten    are:     cock,' 

*  Golden  Boughy  ii.  33, 

^  Bear,  boar,  cockchafer,  cow,  crow,  cuckoo,  donkey,  eagle,  fly,  fox,  goat, 
horse,  magpie,  ox,  rabbit,  sardine,  stockfish,  sheep,  stork,  swallow,  and  wolf.  . 
To  these  may  be  added  the  cricket,  sold  in  Florence  on  Ascension  Day. 
Animals  that  appear  in  the  other  lists  are  not  mentioned  again  here. 

*  V.  the  refs.  on  p.  252. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism,      259 

deer/  goat,''  goose,*  hare,*  pig,**  ox,*  sheep,^  shellfish  and 
mussels.®  By  including  the  animals  eaten  at  particular 
seasons,  such  as  the  carp  at  Christmastide  in  Schleswig- 
Holstein,  the  list  might  be  considerably  extended ;  the  swan 
would  naturally  be  included  with  others  less  important.  At 
All  Souls',  Oxford,  the  mallard  was  eaten  on  January  I4.* 
It  may  also  be  noted  that  where  it  is  forbidden  to  eat  an 
animal  or  bird  not  commonly  used  for  food,  such  as  the 
woodpecker,^^  there  is  a  strong  probability  that  it  was 
formerly  eaten  ritually. 

In  this  connection  I  may  also  call  attention  to  the  Pains- 
wick  dog-pie.^^  It  can,  I  think,  hardly  be  doubted  that 
the  dog  was  originally  eaten  there.  It  is  a  priori  highly 
probable  that  the  feast-customs  of  our  villages  go  back  to 
an  extremely  early  date.  Moreover,  we  find  other  instances 
of  the  same  sort.  In  a  Cornish  village  blackbird-pie  is 
eaten  on  Twelfth-day.^^  Stories  are  told  in  Lincolnshire 
and  France^*  of  flies  or  cockchafers  being  eaten  at  the 
feast,  and  we  may  conjecture  that  there  is  a  substratum  of 

*  /*.,  viii.,  312;  cf.  Lyncker,  Deutsche  Sagen^  p.  229. 
«  Mitt,  des  n,b,  Ex-cL,  he,  cit. 

*  At  Martinmas,  v.  Pfannenschmid,  pp.  228,  504,  &c  ;  at  Michaelmas, 
Birlinger,  ii.,  163;  Jahn,  p.  233;  cf.  Owen,  p.  351;  Arch,  Camb,^  1853, 
p.  325:  Hone,  i.,  1645;  ^-  ^'J^y  iv-»  i^^* 

*  Elton,  Origins  of  E,  History^  p.  391  n. ;  /^,  iii.,  444. 

*  Am  Urqueli,  ii.,  48;  Pfennenschmid,  p.  204;  Meyer,  p.  103;  Jahn, 
pp.  103,  229,  265. 

*  Jahn,  p.  100;  Kuhn,  Mdrkische  Sagen^  p.  368 ;  Schiller,  iL,  5. 

'  Bavariay  I.,i.,  372;  Z,  des  V,  fiir  K.,  v.,  20$,/";  Pfannenschmid,  pp.  292, 
559;  F,\\„ziff, 

■  F,  L,  /.,  iv.,  361 ;  Courtney,  Cornish  Feasts,  pp.  8,  21,  25.  To  the  list 
of  animals  eaten  we  may  perhaps  add  the  wren,  robin,  and  cat,  which  are 
roasted  or  boiled.  Byegones,  April  22nd,  1885 ;  Holland,  ii.,  264 ;  Grohmann, 
n.  367.  The  name  **  Eselsfresser  "  applied  to  Silesians  in  Germany,  points  to 
a  similar  custom.  Sinapius  {Oelnographiay  i.,  342-3)  tells  us  that  Silesia  was 
said  to  have  so  few  vineyards  because  they  ate  the  ass  of  Silenus  ! 

*  Hone,  Tctble-book,  44. 
»«  Kaindl,  104. 

"  F,,  viii.,  391. 

"  Courtney,  p.  8 ;  cf  Hone,  Table-book,  p.  667. 

'=»  A.,  viii.,  365. 

S    2 

26o      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

fact.  At  Towednack  (Cornwall)  the  feast  is  termed 
"  the  cuckoo's  feast/'  and  this  points  to  a  similar 

This  evidence  of  the  ritual  eating  of  animals  not  commonly 
used  for  food  is  in  itself  highly  important;  still  more 
important,  however,  is  the  local  character  of  the  customs, 
of  which  we  also  find  traces  in  the  Oxfordshire  deer- 

More  important  even  than  these  local  customs  are  the 
ceremonies  in  which  the  kin  alone  may  take  part.  The 
Karelians,  like  the  Esthonians  of  Oesel,  kill  a  Iamb  on 
July  29th ;  it  has  never  been  shorn,  and  may  not  be  killed 
with  a  knife ;  its  blood  is  sprinkled  over  the  threshold. 
No  stranger  may  eat  of  its  flesh}  The  Easter  lamb  is 
killed  in  Greece  by  a  male  member  of  the  family,  roughly 
cooked  on  the  street,  and  often  torn  to  pieces  without  a 
knife.  It  is  eaten  by  the  family.^  The  Lithuanians  killed 
a  cock  and  hen  at  their  harvest  festival  without  shedding 
their  blood ;  they  were  prepared  and  eaten  in  the  absence 
of  the  servants.^  In  Lippe  the  harvest  cock  was  eaten  by 
the  farmer,  his  family,  and  next  of  kin ;  the  servants  and 
labourers  had  none  of  it^ 

I  need  hardly  point  out  that  these  customs  cannot  be 
derived  from  the  ordinary  practices ;  the  latter,  on  the 
other  hand,  may  easily  have  originated  in  the  ritual  feasts 
of  the  kin. 

(ii.)  In  certain  cases  we  find  cakes  in  animal  form  ;  these 
have  clearly  taken  the  place  of  the  animals  themselves.  I 
will  merely  remark  that  the  material  of  the  cakes  does  not 

'  F,  L,J.y  v.,  224.  For  other  cuckoo-customs ,(/.  Harou,  p.  33;  Reinsberg, 
DUrings  feld,  ii.,  115.  Does  the  game  of  Hide  and  Seek  point  to  a  custom  of 
hunting  the  cuckoo?     Cf,  Wander,  ii.,  1699. 

*  Mannhardt,  A.  W.  /^,  p.  160,  n, 

*  /*.,  i.,  275  ;  Das  Kloster^  vii.,  915. 

*  Mannhardt,  quot.  Praetoris,  Deliciae  Prttssicae^  v.,  7,  23. 

*  Pfannenschmid,  iii.,  422. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      261 

warrant  us  in  connecting  the    practice   with   agricultural 

The  customs  dealt  with  in  this  division  have  been,  so  far 
as  their  distribution  is  a  criterion,  of  the  type  I  term 
**  clan  "  ;  locality  has,  however,  frequently  replaced  kinship. 
I  now  turn  to  evidence  which  seems  to  point  to  "  tribal  '* 
sacrifice  of  the  same  archaic  type. 

Games  of  Sacrifice. 

The  primitive  sacrifice  dealt  with  in  the  last  division  has 
survived  in  more  than  one  other  form.  Time  will  not  per- 
mit me  to  deal  with  more  than  one  of  these,  and  that  very 
briefly,  merely  indicating  the  conclusions  to  which  I  have 

The  most  important  example  is  the  game  of  blind  man's 
buff,  which  corresponds  in  form  to  the  Hahnenschlag. 

The  game  is  known  nearly  all  over  Europe  by  names 
derived  from  animals,  as  the  following  list  will  show : 
Blind  cow  :  N.  and  C.  Germany. 

mouse:  Faroe  Isles,  part  of  Denmark,  S.  Germany 

Illyria,  Servia,  Croatia. 

he-goat:    part    of    Denmark,     Pomerania,    Finland, 

Esthonia,  England,  Scandinavia. 

she-goat:  Portugal. 

hen :  Spain,  Wales. 

cat :  part  of  Italy,  Bavaria. 

fly  :  part  of  Italy. 

owl :  Altmark. 

wolf :  Samland.^ 

*  Animal  cakes  are  found  in  the  following  forms  :  bear,  boar,  cock, 
cockchafer,  deer,  dog,  goat,  hare,  horse,  lark,  pig,  rat,  sheep,  snail,  wolf. 
Clay  donkeys  were  sold  at  Erfurt  fair.  The  "  Brauthahn  "  and  Easter  lamb 
are  similarly  made  in  butter  (Fromm,  pp.  To8,  123  ;  Bavaria  ii.,  2,  381). 

-  Handelmann,  pp.  33,69-73,  109-111;  Grimm,  Worterbuch,  s,  v.  Blifid; 
Archivio per  la  Trad.,  viii.,  431  ;  Biblioieca  delle  Tradhioni  pop,,  xiii.,  193; 
Gomme,  Trad.  Games ;  /Cor,  blatt.furn,  d.  Spr,  forschung,  vii.,90;  Zinde, 
Slownik  Jesyka  PolskUgo ;  MS.  notes.  In  the  French  name,  Colin  seems  to 
be  a  form  of  Nicolas  (Desrousseaux,  Moeurs,  i.,  289). 

262       Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

In  ancient  Greece  it  was  known  as  the  brazen  fly;^  in 
Iceland  as  the  fox-game  ;^  in  Lithuania  hare-catching  is  a 
similar  game.* 

The  explanation  of  these  names  is  that  the  players  origin- 
ally wore  masks ;  the  game  is  known  in  some  cases  as  the 
*'  blinde  Mumm/'*  or  blind  mask.  This  is,  perhaps,  why  in 
the  Hahnenschlag  the  person  who  tries  to  kill  the  cock  is 
frequently  blindfolded;  this  custom  points  to  a  practice 
of  wearing  masks  at  the  sacrifice.  The  player  who  is 
"it"  seems  to  be  the  sacrificer;  he  bears  the  same 
name  as  the  victim,  just  as  in  agricultural  customs  the 
reaper  of  the  last  corn  bears  the  same  name  as  the  last 

Blind  man's  buff  is  essentially  a  Christmas  game ;  we  have 
already  seen  that  the  sacrifices  of  the  winter  solstice  are 
highly  important;  the  distribution  and  wide  popularity  of 
blind  man's  buff  bear  further  testimony  to  this.  We  may  infer 
that  the  Christmas  mummers  originally  officiated  at  a  sacri- 
fice at  this  season.  We  know  from  Strutt  and  other  authori- 
ties that  the  mummers  frequently  wore  animal  masks.  We 
may  further  conjecture  that  the  animals  paraded  at  this 
season  of  the  year  were  not  tree  or  corn-spirits  appearing 
after  their  winter  sleep  was  over ;  they  were  simply  victims, 
like  the  wren  and  the  squirrel.  The  custom  of  going  dressed 
in  skins  of  animals  at  this  season,  alluded  to  in  the  Peniten- 
tials  of  Theodore,®  is  another  form  of  the  custom  of  wear- 
ing animal-masks.  Klaus  and  other  figures  appearing  at 
or  near  Christmas  were  possibly  also  connected  with  sacri- 
fices:  Klaus,  unlike  other    personages  who  lead   animals 

'  Pollux,  Onomastikon^  ix.,  123,  cf,  113. 

*  Cleosby  and  Vigfusson,  Dictionary^  s,  v,  Skolla. 
■  Globus f  Ixxiii.,  320. 

*  Handelmann,  p.  71;  cf,  SxxvXX.,  Sports  and  Pastitfies, 

*  Frazer,  Golden  Bough,  passim.  On  the  other  hand,  it  may  be  that  the 
whole  body  of  sacrificers  wore  masks  and  bore  the  name  of  the  animal ;  cf, 
Frazer,  Pausanias,  iv.,  223 ;  Davies,  Mythology  of  the  British  Druid,  p.  414. 

*  Si  quis  in  Kal.  Januar.  in  cervulo  vel  vitula  vadit,  &c. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.       263 

round  and  collect  money,  is  the  proverbial  bringer  of 
gifts ;  he  also  carries  a  rod,  identified  by  Mannhardt  as  the 
"  Lebensnite."  ^ 

The  two  characteristics  of  Klaus  noted  above  he  shares 
with  the  "  Hudler."  In  the  Austrian  custom  known  as 
*'  Hudlerlaufen  "  a  man  disguised  in  a  mouse-mask  pursued 
people  with  a  whip ;  when  he  had  caught  them  he  treated 
them  at  the  inn  and  then  set  out  in  search  of  others.^ 
This  custom  I  interpret  as  a  survival  of  human  sacrifice 
which  had  taken  the  place  of  a  mouse-sacrifice.  It  can 
hardly  be  a  mere  coincidence  that  the  "  Hudler  '*  wears  a 
mouse-mask  in  a  part  of  Europe  where  blind  man's  buff  is 
known  as  "  Blinde  Maus." 

We  have  seen  that  the  "  Hudler "  gives  food  to  those 
whom  he  catches  ;  we  find  a  corresponding  feature  in  blind 
man's  buff;  in  Germany,  Sweden,  and  probably  other  parts 
of  Europe  reference  is  made  in  the  game  to  eating  meal  and 
milk,^  obviously  the  sacred  food  which,  as  in  the  Hov^ovta 
at  Athens,*  the  victim  had  to  eat.  To  the  whip  or  rod 
carried  by  Klaus  and  the  Hudler  corresponds  the  wand 
used  in  some  forms  of  blind  man's  buff.^  It  has  another 
parallel  in  the  whip  carried  by  the  priest  in  the  Indian 
village  rites  described  by  Mr.  Gomme  in  his  Ethnology  in 
Folklore.  The  object  was,  perhaps,  to  make  the  victim 
move  or  shiver,  a  result  usually  attained  by  pouring  water 
on  it.® 

The  eating  of  meal  and  milk  is  also  alluded  to  in  the 

»  Baumkultusy  passim.  Klaus = Nicholas,  and  the  French  name  for  Blind 
Man's  Buff  seems  to  mean  "Blinded  Nicholas,"  which  seems  to  confirm  the 
explanation  I  give  of  the  Klaus  customs.  In  Lithuania,  mummers  beat  people 
on  Dec.  24  {Globus^  xxii.,  239).  Cf,  Whipping  Tom  at  Shrovetide  (Hone, 
Table-book^  2.(^0^). 

^  Kloster,  vii.,  799;  cf,  Mannhardt,  Bk,^  p.  268. 

■  Handelmann,  loc,  cit, 

*  Frazer,  Golden  Bough,  ii.,  38. 

*  Handelmann,  p.  73,  cf.  p.  75 ;  Pollux,  loc.  ciL 

*  Cf.  Globus^  xvii.,  24,  where  we  find  striking  as  a  means  of  transferring 
sins  to  a  scapegoat. 

264      Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

game  of  "  Bock/'  ^  known  in  England  as  stag  or  cock- 
warning.  This  game  is  also  a  survival  of  a  human  sacri- 
fice that  has  taken  the  place  of  animal  sacrifice.  The 
parallel  custom  is  that  known  as  the  "Loup  vert'*  in 

Blind  man's  buff  is  not  necessarily  a  survival  of  human 
sacrifice ;  there  are  facts  which  suggest  that  the  cock  has 
in  some  parts  taken  the  place  of  a  human  victim.^  This, 
if  correct,  explains  the  wide  distribution  of  the  Hahnen- 

The  Russian,  Polish,  and  Bohemian  names  of  blind 
man's  buff  refer  to  the  *'  old  woman ; "  in  the  Kidlington 
lamb  hunt,*  the  Westphalian  "  Vogelschiessen/'  ^  and 
other  customs,  participation  is  confined  to  women.  (Pos- 
sibly this  only  points  to  a  separation  of  the  sexes.)  We 
learn  from  Pomponius  Mela*  that  female  priestesses 

The  connection  of  witches  with  customs  involving  the 
wearing  of  masks  is  borne  out  by  other  evidence.  In  the 
Romance  languages  masca  and  words  apparently  connected 
with  it  have  the  following  meanings:  (a)  mask,  (b)  to 
blacken  the  face,  (c)  witch,  (d)  helmet.  We  know  that 
blackening  the  face  was  a  religious  custom ;  if  not  a  sub- 
stitute for  the  mask  it  was  at  any  rate  a  parallel  custom. 
The  helmet  again  was  frequently  surmounted  by  an  animal's 
head,  horns,^  &c.  We  have  therefore  ground  for  sup- 
posing that  the  root  of  this  series  of  words  is  the  meaning 
mask.  However  this  may  be,  it  is  clear  that  these  mean- 
ings stand  in  some  relation  to  each  other,  and  that  the 
resemblances  are  not  due  to  mere  chance.     For  in  the  old 

*  HandeliTiann,  loc.  cit. 
'^  Liebrecht,  p.  209. 

*  Ehrenloup,  Fries.  A  re  A.,  ii.,  6 

*  F.,  viii.,  315. 

*  De  Gubematis,  p.  475  n. 

*  Lib,y  iii.,  c,  6. 

'  For  refe.  v.  Arch,  Rev,t  iii.,  353. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      265 

Scandinavian  word  grttna  and  its  derivatives  we  find 
exactly  the  same  series.^  I  need  hardly  point  out  how 
improbable  it  is  that  this  should  be  a  mere  coincidence. 

These  facts  seem  to  throw  some  light  not  only  on  the 
female  element  in  witchcraft,  but  also  on  the  belief  that 
witches  can  assume  the  form  of  animals. 

I  have  mentioned  that  the  facts  with  regard  to  blind 
man's  buff  point  to  a  custom  of  tribal  sacrifice.  This  is 
borne  out  by  the  coincidence  of  the  dialectical  boundary  in 
Westphalia  with  the  use  of  the  name  "  Blinde  Maus "  for 
blind  man's  buff.  This  boundary  also  coincides  with  the 
southern  limit  of  the  horse's  heads  on  the  peasants'  houses. 
Into  the  ethnological  questions  thus  raised  I  cannot  now 

I  have  brought  to  your  notice  this  evening  facts  which,  I 
believe,  conclusively  prove  the  existence  of  an  animal  cult 
in  Europe.  From  the  distribution  of  the  customs  and 
beliefs  we  may  infer  that  they  were  originally  connected 
with  the  clan  or  the  local  group.  This  view  is  borne  out 
by  facts  which  go  to  show  that  the  sacrifice  and  ritual 
eating  were  the  privilege  of  the  kin  alone.  This  conclusion 
will  appear  irresistible  to  those  who  accept  the  totemic 
interpretation  of  the  Irish  facts.  I  venture  to  think  that 
the  great  mass  of  animal  superstitions  are  best  accounted 
for  by  the  theory  that  they  originated  in  a  system  of 
totemism  differing  in  no  essential  respect  from  that  which 
we  find  among  the  non-European  races. 


Am  Urdsbrunnen^  continued  as 

Am  Urquelly  Lunden,  &c.,  1881,  &c. 

Bir linger^  Volkstumliches  aus  Schwaben.     Freiburg.     186 1-2. 

•  Grimm,  pp.  197,  873. 

266       Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism. 

Brandy  Popular  Antiquities.     London,  1843. 

Burne,  Shropshire  Folk-lore.     London,  1884,  &c. 

Byegones  relating  to  Wales  and  the  Border  Counties.     Oswestry, 

1871,  &c. 
Coremans^  L'annde  de  Tancienne  Belgique.     Brussels,  1844. 
Curtzty  Volksiiberlieferungen  aus  Waldeck.     Arolsen,  i86o. 
EltoHy  Origins  of  English  History.     London,  1890. 
Ethnographical  Survey  Report^  Brit.  Ass.  Toronto  meeting. 
Folk-Lore  Record  {F.  L.  i?.),  1878-82. 

Journal  \f  Z./.),  1883-89. 

Folk-Lore  (F),  1890,  &c. 

Gaslander,   paper  in   Nyare  Bidray  till   Kannedom    om   de 

Svenslea  Landsmilen,  Bik.  I.  3.     Uppsala,  1895. 
Gregor,  Folk-lore  of  the  N.E.  of  Scotland.     London,  1881. 
Grimm^  Deutsche  Mythologie  4te  Auflage. 
Grohtnann^  Aberglaube  aus  Bohmen.     Prag,  1864. 
De  Gubernatis^  Die  Tiere  in  der  indo-germ.  Mythologie. 
Handelmann^  Volks-u.  Kinderspiele.     Kiel,  1874. 
Henderson^  Folklore  of  Northern  Counties.     London,  1879. 
Honey  Everyday  Book.     London,  1826. 
Juhlingy  Tiermedizin.     (Will  appear  shortly). 
Kaindly  Die  Huzulen.    Wien,  1894. 
Liebrechty  Gervase  of  Tilbury.     Hanover,  1856. 
Mannhardty  Baumkultus.     Berlin,  1876. 
Meier,  E.^  Deutsche  Bitten  aus  Schwaben.    Stuttgardt,  1852. 
Meyer,  E.  H,,  Germanische  Mythologie.    Berlin,  1890. 
Montgomeryshire  Collections  {Mont,  Coll,).  London,  1867,  etseq, 
Miillenhof,  Sagen,  &c.,  Schleswig-Holsteins.     Kiel,  1845. 
Napier,  Folklore.     Paisley,  1879. 

De  Nore,  Coutumes  des  provinces  de  France.     Paris,  1846. 
Notes  and  Queries  {N  and  Q.),     London,  1850,  &c. 
Owen,  Welsh  Folklore.     Oswestry,  1896. 
Panzer,  Beitrage  zur  d.  Mythologie.     Miinchen,  1848-55. 
Peter,  Volkstiimliches  aus  ost  Schlesien.     Troppau,  1865-73. 
Pfannenschmid,  Germanische  Emtefeste.     Hannover,  1878. 
Reinsberg-Duringsfeld,  Calendrier  beige.     Brussels,  1861-2. 
Rochhoh,  Deutsche  Glaube  u.  Brauch.    Berlin,  1867. 
Rolland,  Faune  populaire.    Paris,  1876-83. 
Das  Kloster.     Stuttgardt,  1845-9. 

Animal  Superstitions  and  Totemism.      267 

Schiller^  Zum  Tier-  u.  Krauterbuch  des  Meckl.  Volkes.  Schwerin, 

Schuknburg^  Wendische  Volkssagen.    Leipzig,  1880. 
Schiitzey  Holsteinisches  Idiotikon.     Hamburg,  1 800-6. 
Strackerjan^  Aberglaube  aus  Oldenburg.     Oldenburg,  1867. 
Wander y  SprichwSrter  lexikon.     Leipzig,  1867-80. 
Witzschel^  Sagen  aus  Thiiringen.     Wien,  1866-78. 
Wuttkcy  Der  deutsche  Volksaberglaube.    Hamburg,  i86o. 
Wolf^  Beitrage  zur  d.  Mythologie.     Gottingen,  1852-7. 
Zeitschrift  fiir  Ethnologie.     Berlin,  1869,  &c. 

—  d,  Mythologie,     Gottingen,  1853-9. 

des  Vereinsfur  Volkskunde,    Berlin,  189 1,  &c. 

Note. — May  I  appeal  to  those  who  are  in  a  position  to  give  me 
information,  for  localities  in  which  the  following  animals  are 
respected :  badger,  boar,  eagle,  glowworm,  rabbit,  sparrow, 
squirrel,  wasp ;  also  notes  of  all  fish-taboos.  I  also  wish  to  know 
whether  the  following  animals  are  killed  in  any  of  the  ways 
enumerated  under  sacrifice :  cormorant,  cross-bill,  partridge, 
peewit,  quail,  redstart,  seal,  sea-swallow,  wagtail,  weevil. 

I  have  prepared  a  list  of  questions  which  I  am  circulating  all 
over.  Europe.  I  shall  be  pleased  to  receive  notes  of  superstitions 
dealt  with  in  the  paper,  and  to  send  my  questions  to  any  one  who 
will  collect  material. — N.  W.  T. 



[Read  at  Meeting  of  May  i6M,  1900.) 

I.  The  Priesthood  of  the  Ancient  Germans. 

CiESAR  in  hisaccount  of  the  Germans  {B,  G.,  vi.,  21)  makes 
the  statement  that  they  had  no  Druids.  This  statement  has 
given  rise  to  much  controversy ;  for  it  is  not  clear  whether 
he  meant  to  say  that  the  Germans  had  no  priests  at  all,  or 
merely  that  they  had  no  priesthood  similar  to  that  of  the  Gauls. 
In  Tacitus'  account  of  the  Germans,  a  hundred  and  fifty 
years  later,  the  priesthood  constitutes  an  important  element 
in  their  society,  and  is  characterised  by  features  which  it  is 
difficult  to  reconcile  with  the  supposition  that  it  was  then  a 
new  institution.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  a  German  priest  is 
said  to  have  been  present  at  the  triumph  of  Germanicus 
(A.D.  I4).i 

In  order  to  comprehend  Caesar's  meaning,  it  is  necessary 
first  to  examine  briefly  his  account  of  the  Druids.  Accord- 
ing to  his  account  {B.  G,  vi.,  13  ff.),  the  Druids  had  the 
entire  control  of  religion,  and  the  direction  of  both  public 
and  private  sacrifices.  Their  organisation  extended  over 
the  whole  of  Gaul,  and  they  were  presided  over  by  an  Arch- 
druid,  who  was  elected  for  life.  They  met  annually  in  a 
consecrated  place  within  the  territories  of  the  Carnutes,  a 
district  which  was  regarded  as  the  centre  of  Gaul.  All  suits 
of  whatever  character,  whether  private  or  public,  were  here 
brought  before  them,  and  the  decision  was  left  entirely  in 
their  hands.  They  could  enforce  their  sentences,  whether 
against  individuals  or  states,  under  penalty  of  excommunica- 
tion, which  was  equivalent  to  outlawry.  The  Druids  were, 
moreover,  instructors  of  the  young.  They  were  excused 
from  all  tribute  and  military  service,  and  devoted  themselves 

'  Strabo  vii.,  p.  292 ;  as  all  the  other  persons  mentioned  in  this  passage  are 
chiefs,  the  priest  must  have  been  regarded  as  a  person  of  distinction. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

to  the  study  and  exposition  of  natural  and  moral  philosophy. 
They  appear  not  to  have  been  a  distinct  caste,  since  it  is 
stated  {ib,  14)  that  many  were  induced  to  embrace  the  pro- 
fession by  the  desire  to  escape  national  obligations.  They 
were  sometimes — ^whether  usually  or  not  is  uncertain — 
drawn  from  the  ranks  of  the  nobility.  Thus  Deiuiciacus 
the  Aeduan  was  a  Druid,^  while  his  brother,  Dumnorix,  held 
the  chief  magistracy  of  the  Aedui. 

Some  additional  information  is  to  be  obtained  from 
Strabo  and  Diodorus.  According  to  Strabo  (iv.,  p.  197), 
''there  are  three  classes  of  persons  who  are  especially 
honoured  by  the  Gauls,  namely,  Bards,  Vates,  and  Druids. 
The  Bards  are  minstrels  and  poets,  the  Vates  are  sacrificers 
and  interpreters  of  natural  phenomena  (^t;<rtoXo70t),  while 
the  Druids  practice  both  (j^vaioXoyia  and  moral  philosophy. 
They  are  considered  to  be  most  just,  and  for  this  reason 
they  are  entrusted  with  the  decision  of  all  cases,  both 
private  and  public.  Formerly  they  even  settled  wars,  and 
parted  those  who  were  on  the  point  of  fighting.  Above  all 
they  were  entrusted  with  the  settlement  of  suits  for 

Diodorus  (v.,  31)  gives  much  the  same  account.  He 
states  that  the  Vates,  whom  he  calls  fidvrei^  (seers),  fore- 
tell the  future  by  augury  and  by  divination  at  sacrifices, 
and  have  the  whole  people  in  subjection  to  them.  He  calls 
the  Druids  (f>tXoa6<l>oi,  and  says  that  they  also  were  present 
at  all  sacrifices,  "  for  they  think  that  offerings  can  be  made 
to  the  gods,  and  favours  asked  from  them,  only  through  the 
mediation  of  those  who  are  acquainted  with  their  nature 
and,  as  it  were,  understood  their  language."  According  to 
Diodorus  therefore  both  the  Druids  and  the  Vates  were 
present  at  sacrifices. 

Concerning  the  sanctuaries  of  the  Druids  we  have  very 
little  information.  According  to  Lucan  (i.,  453  f.)  and 
Tacitus  (Ann,  xiv.  30),  they   inhabited,  or,  at  all  events, 

'  Cicero,  de  Diuin.  i.,  41,  90. 



270  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood, 

[iractised  their  rites,  in  sacred  groves.^  This  agprees  with 
the  well-known  fact  that  reverence  for  trees  was  a  leading 
feature  in  their  worship. 

From  these  notices  it  appears  that  the  Vates  and  the 
Druids  were  distinct  classes  of  persons,  though  it  is  not 
very  easy  to  distinguish  between  them.  Both  seem  to  have 
taken  part  in  sacrifices.  Prophetic  power  also  seems  to 
have  been  claimed  by  the  Druid  as  well  as  by  the  Vates. 
Thus,  according  to  Cicero  (/.r.),  Deiuiciacus  claimed  to  have 
the  power  of  foretelling  the  future,  partly  by  auguries  and 
partly  by  conjecture.  It  is,  of  course,  possible  that  the 
two  classes  are  confused  to  some  extent  by  our  authorities 
through  ignorance.  It  seems  probable,  however,  that  the 
administration  of  justice  belonged  exclusively  to  the  Druids, 
The  female  Druids,  mentioned  in  later  works,*  seem  to  be 
simply  women  possessed  of  prophetic  powers. 

For  information  regarding  the  priestly  system  of  the 
ancient  Germans  we  are  dependent  almost  entirely  upon 
Tacitus.  His  account  of  their  duties  may  briefly  be  sum- 
marised as  follows : — (i)  They  had  to  take  omens  on  public 
occasions ;  this  included  the  casting  of  lots  and  the  obser- 
vation of  the  sacred  horses.  In  the  latter  duty  the  priest 
was  accompanied  by  the  king  or  the  princeps  ciuitatis} 
(2)  They  had  duties  in  connection  with  the  meeting  of  the 
tribal  assembly.  They  haS  to  open  the  meeting  by  pro- 
claiming silence,  and  to  them  alone  belonged  the  right  of 
inflicting  punishment  both  at  the  assembly  and  when  the 
host  was  called  out  for  war.*  It  seems  likely  also  that  the 
right  of  proclaiming  excommunication  against  persons 
guilty  of  cowardice  belonged  to  them.*  (3)  They  had  the 
guardianship  of  the  sacred  groves  and  of  the  symbols  and 
other  holy  objects  which  were  kept  there.*     When  the  host 

'  Cf.  also  Mela,  iii.,  2,  19. 
■^  Holder,  Alt-Celtischer  Sprachschatz^  p.  1329  f. 
*  Gerftt.,  10.  */A.,  7,  II. 

»C/.  Germ,,t.  •//J.,4J,43. 




The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.  271 

assembled  for  war,  the  priests  took  the  sacred  symbols  from 
their  sanctuaries  and  carried  them  into  battle.^  Lastly, 
there  can  be  little  doubt  that  they  had  duties  in  connection 
with  public  sacrifices,  though  this  is  not  explicitly  stated  by 

The  information  to  be  derived  from  other  early  authori- 
ties is  slight,  but  does  not  conflict  with  Tacitus'  account. 
Ammianus  Marcellinus  (xxviii.,  5,  14)  states  that  over  the 
priests  of  the  Burgundians  there  presided  a  chief  priest, 
called  Sinistusi^  who  held  office  for  life,  and  was  irre- 
movable. Jordanes  (c.  5)  says  that  the  priests  of  the 
Goths  were  drawn  from  the  nobility.  According  to  Bede, 
H.  E,y  ii.,  13)  the  priests  of  the  ancient  English  were 
forbidden  to  carry  arms  or  to  ride,  except  on  mares.  Here 
also  we  find  the  priests  of  Deira  presided  over  by  a  high 

It  cannot  be  denied  that  there  is  a  certain  resemblance 
between  the  position  of  the  German  priests  and  that  of 
the  Druids.  In  both  cases  we  find  some  kind  of  regular 
priestly  organisation,  under  the  presidency  of  a  chief  priest 
(Tacitus'  sacerdos  ciuitatis)^  though  among  the  Germans 
the  organisation  seems  to  be  confined  within  the  limits  of 
the  *  state '  or  tribe.  Among  the  Germans,  as  among  the 
Gauls,  the  priests  seem  to  have  been  exempt  from  the  duty 
of  fighting,  though  they  were  present  on  the  field  of  battle. 
Like  the  Druids,  the  German  priests  inhabit,  or  at  all 
events  have  charge  over,  sacred  groves.  Lastly,  in  addition 
to  their  distinctively  religious  functions,  both  the  Druids  and 
the  German  priests  have  duties  in  connection  with  the 
administration  of  justice.  Tacitus'  information  is  here 
corroborated  by  the  evidence  of  lang^uage.  In  Old  High 
German      the     word      ewarto^     which     literally     means 

'  lb.,  7. 

-  Identical  with  Goth,  sinisia,  'eldest.* 

'  The  word  is  to  be  compared  with  O.  Fris.  dsega,  *  lawman '  {lit, 
'  .sj)cakcr  of  the  law '),  which  is  identical  with  O.  Sax.  cosago,  used  in 
Hdiaiid  to  denote  a  (Jewish)  scribe. 

272  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

*  gruardian  of  the  law/  is  used  to  denote  a  priest  of  the 
Jews.  This  usage  can  hardly  be  explained,  except  on  the 
supposition  that  the  word  was  formerly  used  to  denote  a 
native  priest  of  the  Germans.  It  is  likely  therefore  that  it 
was  in  their  capacity  of  guardians  of  the  law  that  the 
priests  opened  the  assembly  and  had  the  right  of  inflicting 

There  are,  however,  two  important  points  of  difference 
between  the  Druids  and  the  priests  of  the  Germans:  (i) 
In  the  administration  of  justice,  the  latter  have  rather  the 
semblance  of  power  than  the  reality.  While  among  the 
Gauls  the  whole  administration  of  justice  lay  exclusively 
in  the  hands  of  the  Druids,  among  the  Germans  on  the 
other  hand  this  power  belonged  to  the  assembled  host,  the 
priests  being  apparently  merely  the  officers  of  the  latter. 
(2)  The  German  priesthood  seems  to  be  exclusively  con- 
cerned with  public  duties  and  to  be  almost  entirely  bound 
up  with  the  *  state,'  or  tribe.  Priests  appear  not  to  have 
been  required  for  private  worship.  Tacitus  {Germ,f  10) 
distinctly  states  that  the  casting  of  lots,  which  on  public 
occasions  devolved  on  the  state-priest,  in  the  private  house- 
hold was  performed  by  the  head  of  the  house.  It  is 
probable  that  such  was  the  case  also  with  private  sacrifices, 
though  from  Tacitus'  silence  on  the  subject,  and  Caesar's 
statement*  that  the  Germans  were  not  zealous  in  offering 
sacrifice,  it  is  likely  that  such  sacrifices  were  not  of  frequent 
occurrence.  Again  the  priestly  organisation  of  the 
Germans  seems  not  to  extend  beyond  the  bounds  of  each 
individual  state.  We  hear  indeed  of  religious  festivals 
held  in  common  by  confederations  of  tribes,  which  were 
supposed  to  be  connected  by  blood- relationship;*  but  we 
have  no  evidence  for  believing  in  any  priestly  organisation 
which  embraced  the  whole  German  people.     The  priest- 

^  B.  (7.,  vi.,  21,  neque  sacrificiis  student, 
»  Germ,^  39,  40. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.  273 

hood  indeed  seems  to  be  an  essentially  tribal  institu- 
tion. Its  public  duties  are  primarily  connected  with  the 
meeting  of  the  tribal  assembly.  The  sacred  groves  over 
which  the  priests  preside  appear  in  all  cases  to  be  tribal 
sanctuaries.  Indeed,  judging  from  such  passages  as  Germ.y 
39,  Ann,  ii.,  12,  Hist,  iv.,  14,  it  seems  exceedingly  prob- 
able that  it  was  in  these  sacred  groves  that  the  tribal 
meetings,  whether  ordinary  or  called  on  emergency,  were 

With  the  Gaulish  Vates  the  priests  of  the  ancient 
Germans  seem  to  have  had  little  or  nothing  in  common. 
There  is  no  evidence  that  they  laid  claim  to  any  gift  of 
inspiration  or  prophecy.  In  this  respect  they  seem  to  have 
differed  even  from  the  Druids;  for  the  latter  combined 
divine  inspiration  with  official  position.  We  may  contrast 
Diodorus*  statement  (v.,  31)  that  the  presence  of  Druids 
was  required  at  sacrifices  owing  to  their  acquaintance  with 
the  nature  of  the  gods,  and  Tacitus'  account  {Germ.f  10) 
of  the  observation  of  the  sacred  horses,  where  it  is  remarked 
that  the  priest  and  king  regarded  themselves  as  the  servants 
of  the  gods  but  the  horses  as  their  confidants.^  So  far  as 
I  am  aware,  the  only  passage,  on  the  strength  of  which 
any  supernatural  knowledge  could  be  claimed  for  the 
priests  of  the  ancient  Germans,  is  Germ,,  40,  where  it  is 
stated  that  the  priest  of  Nerthus  becomes  aware  that  the 
goddess  is  in  her  temple;  but  even  here  the  inference 
is  not  certain,  and  at  most  the  inspiration  claimed  is  but 

Prophecy  and  divination  were,  of  course,  by  no  means 

'  Se  enim  minisiros  dearumt  illos  conscics  puiani, 

'  No  supernatural  power  can  be  claimed  for  the  priests  on  the  ground  ot 
Germ.,  7:  Neque  animaduertere  tuque  uincire  ne  uerherare  quidem  nisi 
sacerdotibus  permissum,  n<m  quasi  in  poenam  nee  duds  iussu,  sed  uelut  deo 
imperante,  quern  adesse  bellantibus  credunt.  This  only  shows  that  the  priests 
were  regarded  as  the  servants  or  representatives  of  the  gods,  and  harmonises 
well  with  their  position  as  guardians  of  the  law ;  for  the  latter  was,  no 
doubt,  believed  to  be  of  divine  origin.  The  ancient  kings  of  the  North  seem 
to  have  been  regarded  in  a  similar  light  {cf,  p.  285). 

VOL.   XL  T 

274  7>i^  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

unknown  among  the  ancient  Germans.  Yet  whenever  we 
find  reference  to  such  matters  in  early  authorities^  it  is 
always  by  women  that  we  find  them  practised.  Tacitus 
{Germ.,  8)  makes  mention  of  Veleda  and  other  celebrated 
prophetesses,  and  states  that  the  Germans  believed  their 
women  generally  to  possess  a  certain  inherent  prophetic 
power.  Caesar  [B,  G,,  i.,  50)  says  that  the  matrons  in 
Ariouistus'  host  prophesied  defeat  to  their  own  side  if  they 
fought  before  the  new  moon.  Strabo  (vii.,  p.  294)  says 
that  in  the  camp  of  the  Cimbri  there  were  grey-haired 
prophetesses,  who  sacrificed  prisoners,  and  practised  divina- 
tion from  the  flowing  of  their  blood  and  the  contortions  of 
their  bodies.^  In  the  Langobardic  saga,  Gambara,  the 
mother  of  the  chiefs  Ibor  and  Aio,  seems  to  have  been 
regarded  as  a  prophetess.*  It  is  noteworthy  that  in  the 
North  also,  in  later  times,  it  is  usually  women  who  are 
endowed  with  prophetic  powers  {c/.  p.  298),  though  men 
also  are  occasionally  mentioned.  But  the  terms  '  priest ' 
or  *  priestess '  are  never  applied  to  such  persons.  There 
is  no  reason  for  supposing  that  among  the  ancient  Germans 
also  the  two  classes  were  not  kept  distinct.  They  have  no 
feature  in  common  except  the  offering  of  sacrifice.  This 
however,  could  probably — in  later  times  certainly — be 
performed  by  any  person  without  reference  to  priestly 
office  or  prophetic  powers. 

So  far,  therefore,  as  the  records  give  us  any  guidance,  it 
appears  that  the  priest  of  the  ancient  Germans  was  a  tribal 
official,  who  had  to  perform  public  ceremonies  and  preserve 
the  traditional  tribal  law.  They  do  not  give  us  any  ground 
for  supposing  that  the  priest  laid  claim  to  secret  knowledge 
through  divine  inspiration. 

*  This  passage  is  to  be  compared  with  Diodonis'  account  of  the  sacrificial 
duties  of  the  Gallic  Vates.  The  two  rites  are  indeed  exactly  analogous.  But 
I  do  not  think  it  has  yet  been  proved  beyond  doubt  that  the  Cimbri  were  a 
Germanic  tribe. 

^  Htstoria  Langobardarumt  Cod.  Goth.,  i.  ;  cf.  Paulus,  Hisi.  Lang,,  i.,  3 
Further  examples  are  given  by  Golther,  Gemi,  Myth,,  p.  621  f. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         275 

It  may,  however,  be  urged  that  it  is  unsafe  to  form  such 
a  conclusion  as  this  on  what  is  mainly  negative  evidence. 
The  apparent  absence  of  prophetic  claims  on  the  part  of 
the  priest  may  be  due  to  the  poverty  of  our  information. 
It  must  be  seen,  therefore,  whether  the  view  here  put 
forward  is  in  harmony  with  the  evidence  of  later  times. 
Direct  evidence  on  this  point  is  only  to  be  obtained  in  the 
North,  for  elsewhere  the  native  literature  does  not  begin 
until  all  reminiscences  of  heathen  society  have  vanished. 
The  Northern  evidence  will  be  discussed  in  the  next 
section.  In  the  meantime,  however,  there  is  some  indirect 
evidence  which  tends  to  confirm  this  view.  In  the  sub- 
divisions of  the  tribe  the  temporal  leader  seems  to  have 
held  a  semi-priestly  position.  Among  many  tribes,  espe- 
cially the  Franks,  the  chief  sub-division  was  the  hundred. 
This  body  formed  a  unit  for  military  purposes,  and  had,  like 
the  tribe  itself,  its  own  meetingfs  for  the  administration  of 
justice.  Each  hundred  had  a  leader  of  its  own,  who,  in 
Prankish  annals,  is  called  centenarius  or  tribunuSf  and  in 
the  native  language  hunno  or  cotinc}  Now  this  last  word, 
cotinc^  i.e.  godingy  is  a  derivative  of  gody  and  can  hardly 
have  meant  an)rthing  else  than  *  priest.'  How  such  a 
name  could  come  into  use  may  be  seen  from  the  history  of 
the  Icelandic  ^^(f/;  the  local  leader  must  in  heathen  times 
have  had  priestly  functions.  Again  the  *  princeps,'  in  his 
judicial  capacity,  seems  to  bear  a  semi-priestly  character. 
We  have  seen  that  the  guardianship  of  the  tribal  law 
was  one  of  the  chief  cares  of  the  priests.  But  the  expo- 
sition and  interpretation  of  the  law  in  district  and  village 
assemblies  was  the  business  of  the  princeps.  This  custom 
survives  in  the  ancient  laws  of  the  English,  where  it  is  laid 
down  that  the  exposition  of  the  secular  law  in  the  shire- 
moot  is  the  duty  of  the  aldorman?     It  is  for  ignorance  of 

'  Cf,  Schroder,  DetUsche  Rechtsgeschichtef  p.  31,  n.  18. 
«  Edgar,  iii.,  %S\  cf.  Stubbs,  CanstituHanal History,  i.,  p.  134, 
T  2 

^  276  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

\  law  that  the  aldormen  are  rebuked  by  Alfred.^     Again  it 

[  seems  likely  that  in  the  village  community  the  head  man 

I  performed  priestly  functions.     Such  was  certainly  the  case 

t  in  the  North,  and  there  is  evidence,  at  all  events,  that  the 

!  villages  of  the  continent  had  similar  religious  festivals.'    In 

f  none  of  these  bodies  do  we  ever  hear  of  persons  of  exclu- 

\  sively   priestly  character.      Priestly  duties   appear   every- 

t.  where  to  have  been  discharged  by  the  temporal  chief.    The 

I  former  prevalence   of   the   patriarchal   system   is   shown, 

\    '  further,  by  the  use  of  the  Old  English  poetical  word,  aldor^^ 

\  *  chief,'  'prince,'  which  in  the  plural  means  'forefathers.' 

>  •  In  the  sense  of  '  princeps '  it  has  died  out  in  prose,  being 

[  displaced   by   the    extended   form    aldorman\    in   official 

!  terminology,  however,  it  remains  in  the  forms  hundredes 

ealdovy  '  chief  of  a  hundred,'  burhealdor^  '  mayor,'  &c. 
\  In   the   smaller   organisations   of  society  then,  priestly 

\  duties  seem  to  have  been  performed  by  the  temporal  chief. 

It  is  only  the  great  organisation,  the  tribe  or  state,  which 
possesses  a  class  with  exclusively  priestly  functions.  This 
fact  is  rendered  especially  important  by  the  loose  character 
of  the  bonds  by  which  the  ancient  German  state  was  held 
together.  Caesar  says  distinctly  {B,G.y  vi.,  23)  that  in  time 
of  peace  the  state  had  no  common  magistracy,  and,  so  far 
as  the  the  non -monarchical  tribes  are  concerned,  his  words 
are  amply  confirmed  by  the  evidence  of  Tacitus.*     Each 

>  Camden's  Asser,  p.  21. 

'The    contributions    paid    by  the  villagers  towards  the  maintenance  of 

common  festivals  may  very  well  have  passed  into  the  cyricsceat  of  the  Christian 

r  period     At  all  events  the  wording  of  Ine's  law  on  the  subject  deserves 

attention.     The  cyricsceat  was  to  be  paid  at  Martinmas  at  the  place  "  where 

the  man  has  his  hearth  at  mid- winter  "  (Ine,  §  61  ;(/*.§  4). 

•  The  word  seems  to  be  closely  related  to  aldor^  *  life,'  and  is,  perhaps, 
identica  with  Lat.  altor^  'foster-father.' 

*  Once,  indeed,  in  a  passage  quoted  above  {Germ,^  10),  Tacitus  uses  the 
expression  princeps  ciuitaHs.  Yet  from  other  passages  it  is  clear  that  this  can 
not   denote  any  definite  supremacy  over  the  whole  tribe    {cf,    Schroder, 

'  Deutsche  Rechtsgeschichte^  p.  29,  n.    1 1.).     It  seems  not  unlikely  that  the 

I  chief,  who  accompanied  the  priest  in  the  observation  of  the  sacred  horses,  held 

the  position  of  'princeps  duitatis'  for  this  duty  only.     Possibly  the  duty 
I  may  have  been  undertaken  by  the  various  prindpes  in  turn. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.  277 

district  seems  to  have  been  governed  by  its  own  chief. 
Traditionally,  no  doubt,  the  bond  of  union  in  the  tribe  was 
held  to  be  community  of  blood.  But  the  tangible  evidences 
of  unity  seem  to  be  only  four  in  number,  namely  the  law, 
the  assembly,  the  sanctuary,  and  the  priesthood,  all  of 
which  are  closely  connected.  The  priests  seem  to  be  the 
only  permanent  central  authority  in  the  tribe. 

II.  The  Priesthood  in  the  North. 

In  the  North  there  is  practically  no  evidence  for  the 
existence  of  a  priestly  class.^  The  word  godiy  'priest,' 
occurs  frequently,  but  it  is  always,  or  almost  always,  used 
to  denote  a  person  who  combined  priestly  duties  with 
temporal  power.  The  very  rare  exceptions,  real  or  appa- 
rent, to  this  rule  will  be  discussed  in  the  following  pages. 
It  will  be  convenient  to  treat  the  four  countries,  Iceland, 
Norway,  Denmark  and  Sweden,  separately,  owing  to  the 
very  different  social  and  political  conditions  which  they 

I.  For  Iceland  our  information  is  extensive  and  trust- 
worthy. In  the  early  days  of  the  colony,  the  more  im- 
portant settlers  built  temples  of  their  own,  often  from  the 
material  of  the  temples  which  they  had  had  in  Norway. 
They  exercised  a  kind  of  patriarchal  authority  over  their 
followers,  but  bore  no  title  of  authority  other  than  that  of 
godiy  their  office  and  sphere  of  jurisdiction  being  called 
goAord.  The  smaller  settlers,  who  had  no  temples  of  their 
own,  gradually  joined  themselves  to  them,  in  order  to  enjoy 
both  the  use  of  their  temples  and  the  benefit  of  their  pro- 
tection. The  godi  had  to  keep  up  the  temple  and  provide 
the  sacrifices,  in  return  for  which  the  members  of  the  godord 
paid  a  temple-tax  (hof-tollr).  In  the  neighbourhood  of  each 
temple  there  was  a  consecrated  place  set  apart  for  the 
thing  or  assembly  of  the  members  of  the  godord.     At  first 

'  On  this  question  the  first  chapter  of  H.  Petersen's  important  paper 
Om  Nordboemes  gudedyrkelse  oggudetro  i  Phedenold  deserves  attention. 

2/8  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

each  community  was  practically  independent,  but  in  the 
year  930  a  constitution  was  adopted  which  embraced  the 
whole  island,  a  general  assembly  (aVfingi)  being  held 
annually  at  the  Oxar^.  About  965  further  changes  were 
introduced.  The  country  was  divided  into  four  quarters,  each 
quarter  containing  three  things  except  the  northern  quarter, 
which  contained  four.  Each  thing  contained  three  godord. 
The  number  of  godord  was  thus  limited  to  thirty-nine,  and 
no  temples  erected  after  this  date,  conveyed  any  magis- 
terial rights.  Every  freeman  had  to  belong  to  some 
godord,  but  the  delimitation  of  the  godord  was  not 
strictly  geographical,  and  persons  were  free  to  change 
from  one  to  another.  The  logretta,  or  legislative  council, 
was  composed  of  the  thirty-nine  godar,  to  whom  nine 
titular  godar,  chosen  from  the  east,  south,  and  west  quarters, 
were  subsequently  added,  and  ninety-six  assessors^  two  of 
whom  were  nominated  by  each  godi.  The  whole  was 
presided  over  by  the  Ibgsogumairy '  speaker  of  the  law,'  an 
elected  official.  The  right  of  opening  the  assembly,  how- 
ever, belonged  to  the  godi  who  possessed  the  temple  of 
Kialarnes,  within  whose  jurisdiction  the  meeting-place  of 
the  al]?ingi  lay.  He  is  consequently  called  allsheriar  godi^ 
lit.  *  priest  of  the  whole  host/  This  constitution  lasted 
with  unessential  modifications  down  to  the  end  of  the 
commonwealth.  It  is  to  be  observed  that  the  godord  was 
inherited,  like  any  other  piece  of  property,  and  could  even 
be  sold.  On  the  introduction  of  Christianity  the  priestly 
functions  of  the  godi  of  course  disappeared,  but  the  political 
powers,  and  curiously  even  the  name,  survived. 

2.  In  regard  to  Norway  the  accounts  are  much  less  com- 
plete and  satisfactory.  Before  the  time  of  Haraldr  H^rfagri 
the  small  chiefs  on  the  west  coast  seem  to  have  been  prac- 
tically independent.  According  to  the  legendary  sagas, 
kingdoms  arose  from  time  to  time,  but  for  the  most  part 
they  seem  to  have  been  short-lived,  and  in  many  districts 
the  local  community  owed  no  external  obedience.     Since  it 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         279 

was  mainly  from  the  Norwegian  coast  communities  that  the 
colonists  of  Iceland  were  drawn,  it  must  be  inferred  that 
the  organisation,  both  political  and  religious,  of  these  com- 
munities was  similar  to,  and  indeed  formed  the  model  of, 
the  system  which  we  find  in  Iceland.  It  may  be  assumed, 
therefore,  that  each  local  chief  had  a  temple  and  thing-place 
for  his  dependents,  and  that  he  himself  discharged  priestly 
duties.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  we  find  in  several  cases  that 
the  materials  used  for  constructing  the  new  temples  in 
Iceland  had  been  taken  from  the  temples  which  the  same 
persons  had  formerly  possessed  in  Norway.  Whether  the 
Norwegian  patriarchal  chiefs  usually  bore  the  title  goti  is 
uncertain  ;  instances,  however,  occasionally  occur.^  Further 
inland  a  similar  system  is  found,  but  on  a  larger  scale. 
Over  the  district  called  'the  Dales'  there  ruled  in  St. 
Olaf  s  days  a  hersir^  named  Gudbrandr,  who  "  was  as  it 
were  a  king'*  over  the  district.^  This  man  possessed  a 
temple  containing  a  figure  of  Thor.  When  St.  Olaf  came 
into  the  Dales  to  enforce  the  acceptance  of  Christianity, 
Gudbrandr  called  the  men  of  the  district  together,  and 
taking  the  image  out  of  the  temple,  they  set  out  to  meet 
the  king.*  The  predecessor  of  this  Gudbrandr  was  in 
alliance  with  Earl  Hakon  of  Hladir.  They  had  a  temple  in 
common,  which  contained  figures  of  Thor  and  of  Hakon's 
patron  goddesses,  Thorgerdr  and  Irpa.*  In  the  Saga  of 
King  Hakon  the  Good  (c.  16)  Earl  Sigurdr  of  Hladir  (Earl 
Hakon*s  father)  is  said  to  have  provided  a  great  sacrificial 
feast  at  Hladir,  and  to  have  borne  the  whole  expense.  In 
this  passage  it  is  stated  that  it  was  the  duty  of  the  chief 
who  provided  the  feast  to  consecrate  the  ale  and  all  the 

>  Cf.  Landn^  iv.,  6:  "Thorhaddr  the  Old  was  temple-priest  at  Mseren  in 
'  The  word  denotes  an  independent  chief;  sec  Vigfusson,  IceL  Diet,,  s.v. 
»  Oiafs  5.  Helga  {Heimskr.),  Ii8  f. 

*  This  is  to  be  compared  with  the  similar  custom  of  the  ancient  Germans 
{Germ.,  7). 

•  Ni&ls  J.  88. 

28o  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

sacrificial  meat.  The  following  chapters  describe  the 
refusal  of  thie  Christian  king,  Hakon,  to  take  his  part  in 
these  public  feasts,  and  the  dangerous  position  in  which  he 
consequently  found  himself  involved.  The  Norwegian 
evidence  therefore  is  consistent ;  from  the  king  or  earl 
down  to  the  village  chieftain,  priestly  duties  are  everywhere 
combined  with  temporal  power.  We  never  hear  of  any 
person  of  exclusively  priestly  character  during  the  whole 
history  of  the  country.  In  the  case  where  communities 
combine  for  public  worship  we  find  the  chiefs  undertaking 
the  office  of  priest  in  turn.  Such  was  the  case  with  the 
sacrifices  at  Maeren  in  St.  Olaf's  time.  They  were  held  by 
twelve  chiefs  in  tum.^  It  is  to  be  observed  that  this  was 
during  the  reign  of  a  Christian  king,  and  at  a  time  when 
none  of  the  great  heathen  chiefs  were  left  in  the  land. 
Yet  it  is  quite  possible  that  it  was  merely  the  revival  of  an 
old  custom,  which  may  have  been  in  existence  before  the 
rise  of  the  monarchy. 

3.  For  Denmark  our  materials  on  this  subject  are  almost 
wholly  wanting.  It  would  hardly  have  been  necessary  to 
deal  with  this  country,  had  not  certain  writers*  brought 
forward  three  Runic  inscriptions,  found  in  Fyn,  as  evidence 
for  the  existence  of  a  specifically  priestly  class.  The  first 
inscription  is  that  of  Helnaes :  rhuulfR  sati stain  nuRaku\i 
aft  Ku]fumut,  &c.,  !>.,  *  Hr6ulfr  Noragodi  erected  the 
stone  to  the  memory  of  Godumundr,*'  &c.  The  second  is 
that  of  Flemlose:  aft  ruulf  statR  stain  sasi  is  uas 
nuRaku}fif  &c.,  i.e. "  this  stone  stands  in  memory  of  Hr6ulfr, 
who  was  Noragodi,"  &c.  These  inscriptions  evidently 
refer  to  the  same  person  and  are  assigned  by  Wimmer  to 
the  beginning  of  the  ninth  century.  The  third  inscription 
is  that  of  Glavendrup,  and  dates  from  about  900,  according 
to  Wimmer :  raknhiltr  sati  stain  ^ansi  auft  ala  saulua- 
ku}fa  uia  hat\uiar\an   ^iain,  &c  ,  i.e.  "  Ragnhildr  erected 

*  Ola/ss,  IIelga{Heimskr,)j  1 15 ;  ^.  K.  Maurer,  Bekehrungt  ii.,  p.  214;  9.P.S. 

*  Especially  K.  Maurer,  ZfdPh.^  iv.,  128  f. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         281 

this  stone  to  the  memory  of  Ali  Solvagodi,  the  noble  temple- 
priest/'^  &c.  The  point  in  dispute  is  the  meaning  to  be 
attached  to  the  phrases  Nora-goii^  Solva-godi.  Maurer 
translates,  "  Nori's  priest,'*  &c.,  i,e,  a  priest  in  the  service 
of  Nori,  and  takes  the  latter  to  be  the  name  of  a  man. 
This  explanation  is,  however,  unnecessary.  Wimmer 
translates  '  priest  of  (1.^.,  at)  Norar  (or  Norir),'  a  place- 
name  of  plural  form  (or  possibly  the  name  of  the  inhabitants 
of  a  district) ;  Solva  he  takes  to  be  the  genitive  of  Solvit  a 
place-name  identical  with  that  of  Solvi,  in  Norway  (or 
possibly,  like  Nora^  a  genitive  plural,  denoting  the  inhabit- 
ants of  a  place).'*  If  Wimmer's  explanation  be  adopted, 
Hr6ulfr  and  Ali  may  obviously  have  been  local  chieftains, 
like  those  on  the  west  coast  of  Norway.  Maurer's 
hypothesis  therefore  rests  on  insecure  foundations.  Had  a 
priestly  class  existed,  it  is  curious  that  we  should  find  no 
reference  to  it  in  Saxo,  who  frequently  refers  to  laws  of  the 
heathen  period.' 

4.  There  is  one  distinct  reference  to  the  existence  of 
priestly  officials  at  the  Upsala  sanctuary,  namely  in  Adam 
of  Bremen,  iv.,  27  :  "  Assigned  to  all  their  gods  they  have 
priests  to  present  the  sacrifices  of  the  people."  But  were 
these  officials  persons  of  exclusively  priestly  character,  or 
were  they  local  chiefs  entrusted  with  the  performance 
of  priestly  duties,  like  the  Norwegian  chieftains  at 

In  contrast  to  Norway — ^the  land  of  small  independent 
communities — Sweden  is  distinguished  from  the  earliest 
times  by  centralisation  of  government.  At  the  beginning 
of  the  eleventh  century  we  find  the  country  (exclusive  of 
Sk&no)  divided  into  seven  provinces,  each  possessing  an 

*  Lit.  '  The  honour- worthy  man  of  the  temple.'    \^mmer  takes  uia  Viakn 
to  be  equivalent  to  hof-godi, 

'  Wimmer,  Runemchrift^^  pp.  341  ff.,  359  flf. 

•  The  occurrence  of  the  name  Lyuth-guthi  (viii.,  p.  381),  even  if  correct, 
can  obviously  prove  nothing. 


282  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

assembly  and  a  lawman  (logmadr)}  These  lawmen  seem, 
at  this  period,  to  have  been  men  of  high  position.^  The 
succession,  at  all  events  in  Uppland,  was  hereditary.^  Besides 
the  lawman  there  existed  in  Uppland  a  council  of  twelve 
sages  {spekingar\  whose  duty  it  was  to  advise  the  king, 
especially  in  the  administration  of  justice,  and  who  likewise 
appear  to  have  been  men  of  important  position.*  At  their 
head  stood,  during  the  reign  of  Olafr  Skottkonungr,  three 
brothers,  Arnvidr,  Thorvidr,  and  Freyvidr,  the  two  latter 
being  named  after  the  great  gods.  Similar  councils  can  be 
shown  to  have  existed  in  other  Scandinavian  lands,  eg.  in 
the  Danish  settlements  in  England.  Thus  Lincoln  and 
Stamford  had  each  a  council  of  twelve,  who  inherited  their 
jurisdiction  and  bore  the  title  of  lawmen  (Lat.  lagemannt)} 
Bearing  in  mind  the  close  connection  which  everywhere 
among  Teutonic  peoples  subsists  between  the  law  and  the 
priesthood,  it  seems  not  unlikely  that  these  councillors  are 
the  priests  mentioned  by  Adam.  During  the  reign  of  the 
Christian  king,  Olafr,  their  sacerdotal  duties  would  neces- 
sarily have  to  cease ;  but  they  may  subsequently  have  been 
resumed  during  the  heathen  reaction  which  was  in  operation 
during  Adam's  time. 

As  regards  the  number,  we  may  compare  the 
twelve  priests  who  officiated  in  the  sacrifices  at  Maeren. 
The  identification  is  still  more  favoured  by  the  story 
of  the  twelve  gods  who  were  appointed  by  Othin  as 
temple-priests  (hof-godar)^  to  keep  up  the  sacrifices  and 

*  Olafs  s.  Helga  {Heimskr,)^  76.  At  an  earlier  period  these  provinces  seem 
to  have  been  separate  kingdoms,  most  of  which,  however,  were  always 
dependent  on  the  king  in  Uppland ;  cf.  YngL  s,  40,  42. 

*  Of  the  Lawman  of  W.  Gotland  it  is  stated  that  he  was  the  richest  and 
most  powerful  man  in  the  land  except  the  earl ;  Ola/s.  s.  Helga  {Heimskr.)^  96. 

*  In  St.  Olafs  time  the  lawman  was  Thorgnyr,  the  son  of  Thorgnyr,  the 
son  of  Thorgnyr ;  his  father  and  grandfather  had  been  lawmen  before  him, 
and  so  had  their  ancestors  for  many  generations  {ib.  77). 

«  Olafs  s,  HelgOy  96  {Heimskr,,  p.  316  f.). 
*Stubbs,  Canst  Hist,  i.,  p.  106,  and  n.  4. 



The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         283 

administer  justice  among  men.^  It  has  indeed  been  sug- 
gested that  the  conception  of  the  twelve  gods  is  a  purely 
literary  one  and  due  to  classical  influence ;  but  the  con- 
jecture is  needless.  A  perfectly  adequate  explanation  is 
provided  in  the  existence  of  judicial  councils  of  twelve, 
like  that  at  Upsala.  They  probably  date  from  very  early 
times,  and,  indeed,  are  not  peculiar  to  the  North.  Analogies 
are  to  be  found  in  England,  in  cases  where  Danish  influence 
is  hardly  probable.*^  A  more  important  parallel  is  supplied 
by  the  Frisian  saga  of  the  twelve  dsegen  ('  speakers  of  the 
law'),  who  could  not  declare  to  Karl  the  Great  the  nature 
of  Frisian  law.^  Bodies  of  twelve  delegates  are  found  also 
among  the  Old  Saxons  and  in  Holstein.* 

But  though  the  priests  mentioned  by  Adam  may  be 
identical  with  the  councillors,  the  position  of  high-priest 
seems  to  have  belonged  properly  to  the  king.  In  Yngling- 
atal,  the  mythical  king  Alfr  is  called  vortr  vhtallsy 
'guardian  of  the  altar.'*^  The  god  Fro,  the  traditional 
founder  of  the  ancient  royal  family,  is  in  Ynglinga  Saga 
distinctly  represented  as  a  priest-king.  Both  here  and  in 
Saxo  (iii.,  p.  120)  he  is  said  to  have  instituted  the  sacrifices 
at  Upsala.  In  another  passage  of  Saxo  (i.,  p.  49  f.),  the 
origin  of  the  sacrifices  is  attributed  to  a  King  Hadingus, 
who  seems  to  be  identical  with  Niordr,  Fro's  father.  The 
sacrifices  are,  however,  said  to  be  offered  to  Fr6.  Again, 
according  YngL  s.,  47,  a  famine  which  arose  in  the  days  of 
the  legendary  king  Olafr  Tretelgia  was  attributed  by  the 
people  to  the  king's  remissness  in  offering  sacrifice.  The 
result  was  that  the  king  himself  was  sacrificed.     There  is 

>  Yngi,  s.  2;  cf,  Hyndluliod  28,  Gyif.  14,  Gautreks.  s.  7,  &c.  It  is  to  be 
observed  that,  according  to  Ynglinga  Saga,  Othin  was  supposed  to  have 
reigned  in  Sweden. 

'^  Stubbs,  cp.  cit.t  pp.  106,  121. 

'  V.  Richthofen,  Frus,  Rechtsquellen,  pp.  439  flf. 

*  Stubbs,  op,  cit.^  pp.  49,  65. 

*  YngL  5.  24;  cf.  the  expression  vis  valdr^  'ruler  of  the  sanctuary,' 
applied  by  Kormakr  to  Sigurdr,  Earl  of  Hladir  {Hakonar  s.  C^da,  16). 

284  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

evidence  even  from  historical  times.  In  Rembertus'  Vita 
Anscharii  {c.  23  f.),  the  Swedish  king  seems  to  perform 
sacerdotal  functions.  Together  with  his  nobles  he  casts 
lots  before  the  meeting  of  the  assembly,  thus  discharging 
the  duty  which  is  assigned  by  Tacitus  to  the  '  state-priest.' 
Even  in  the  latter  part  of  the  eleventh  century  we  find  a 
king  Sveinn,  who  was  known  as  B16tsveinn  (/  e.  '  Sacrifice- 
Sveinn/)  He  is  said  to  have  obtained  the  throne,  on  the 
expulsion  of  the  Christian  king,  Ingi  Steinkelsson,  by 
promising  to  offer  sacrifice  on  behalf  of  the  people.^ 

In  the  North  therefore  priestly  duties  seem  everywhere 
to  be  combined  with  temporal  power.  The  temporal  chief 
is  both  judge  and  sacrificial  priest.^  It  has  been  suggested 
that  this  absence  of  a  priesthood  in  the  North  is  a  late 
development,  and  due  to  encroachment  on  the  part  of  the 
temporal  powers;  but  the  evidence  points  distinctly  the 
other  way.  In  the  first  place,  the  gods  are  represented  as 
priest-kings.  The  case  of  the  god  Fro  has  already  been 
mentioned.  The  god  Ullr  seems  to  bear  a  similar  character, 
Saxo  (iii.,  p.  130),  after  relating  the  story  of  Othin's  exile, 
says  that  the  gods  elected  a  certain  Ollerus  {i,e.  Ullr)  not 
only  to  the  kingdom,  but  even  to  the  honours  of  divinity. 
Immediately  afterwards  he  speaks  of  him  as  a  flamen. 
There  seems  also  to  be  some  reason  for  believing  that 
Balder  was  once  regarded  as  a  priest-king.  Secondly, 
priesthood  and  chieftainship  have  the  same  emblem,  namely 
the  sacred  arm-ring.  In  Icelandic  temples  this  was  kept 
lying  upon  the  altar,  but  at  all  public  meetings  the  godi 
wore  it  on  his  arm,  and  upon  it  all  oaths  were  sworn.^  In 
Symeon's  History  of  the  Church  of  Durham  (ii.,  13),  a 

*  Hervarars,  ad  fin.  (F,  A,  S.,  L,  p.  512). 

*  In  Vols,  s,  I  the  mythical  king  Skadi  pronounces  excommunication  upon 
Sigi.  Ska^  is  perhaps  identical  (in  origin)  with  the  goddess  Skadi,  the 
eponymous  deity  of  Sk&eno. 

'  Eyrbyggia  s,  4 ;  Kialnesinga  s,  2,  &c.  In  the  Saxon  Chronicle  also  {Ann, 
876)  the  ring-oath  is  represented  as  the  most  binding  form  of  engagement 
known  to  the  Danes. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         285 

Northern  king,  Guthredi  assumes  an  arm-ring  as  a  kind  of 
coronation  ceremony.  This  is  to  be  compared  with  an 
incident  in  the  story  of  the  Danish  king  Hr61fr  Kraki,  as 
related  in  the  prose  Edda,  namely  his  attempt  to  acquire 
from  the  Swedish  king  Adils  the  ring  Svfagrlss,  which  had 
belonged  to  Adils'  forefathers.^  It  is  to  be  observed  that 
the  gods  UUr,  Balder,  and  Fro  are  represented  as  possess- 
ing sacred  arm-rings.  Moreover,  several  facts  show  that 
Northern  chiefs  bore  a  more  or  less  sacred  character.  In 
the  prehistoric  age  they  were,  according  to  the  legends, 
liable  to  be  sacrificed  in  times  of  misfortune.  Such  was  the 
fate  of  the  Swedish  kings  Domaldi  and  Olafr  Tretelgia.* 
They  were  believed  to  be  responsible  for  the  famines  which 
occurred  during  their  reigns.  This  can  hardly  be  explained, 
except  on  the  supposition  that  the  king  was  regarded  as  the 
representative  of  the  god.  The  occurrence  of  the  famine 
showed  that  the  god  was  not  satisfied  with  his  representa- 
tive. Again,  popular  chiefs  were  sometimes  worshipped 
after  death.  Such  is  said  to  have  been  the  case  with  the 
legendary  king  Olafr  Geirstada-^lfr,'^  and  even  with  a  small 
chief  named  Grlmr,  grandfather  of  one  of  the  settlers  of 
Iceland.  Rembertus  ( Vita  Anscharii^  c.  23)  describes  the 
formal  deification  of  a  Swedish  king  Ericus.  Lastly  the 
dwelling-places  of  Northern  kings  seem,  like  sanctuaries,  to 
have  been  regarded  as  possessing  a  sacred  peace.  The 
term  *  field  of  peace '  is  found  applied  to  the  Swedish 
king's  dwelling  as  early  as  Beowulf  (1.  2960).* 

III.  The  Northern  Priestly  System  compared  with 

In  the  preceding  sections  I  have  endeavoured  to  show 

>  Skaldsk,  51. 

«  YngL  s.  18,  47.  The  story  of  the  South  Norwegian  king  Vikar  {Gautr. 
s.  7)  may  also  be  compared. 

»  Ola/s.  s.  Helga  (Flat),  6. 

^  The  most  extreme  case  of  sanctity  u  that  of  Ibn  Fadhlan's  Volga  Russians 
(Jakut,  Russ),    Here  the  king  was  so  holy  that  he  was  not  allowed  to  walk. 

286  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

(i)  that  the  priest  of  the  ancient  Germans  was  not  a  person 
endowed  with  secret  knowledge  but  a  tribal  official;  (2) 
that  in  the  North  priestly  duties  were  always  combined 
with  temporal  power.  It  remains  for  us  to  inquire  which  of 
the  two  systems  is  the  older. 

It  cannot,  of  course,  be  denied  that  the  evidence  for 
the  continental  system  dates  from  a  period  long  anterior 
to  any  record  of  that  which  obtained  in  the  North. 
Yet  in  the  North  we  can  find  no  trace  of  any  system 
other  than  that  which  existed  in  historical  times,  and 
all  the  evidence  points  to  its  antiquity.  But  can  the 
continental  system  be  a  later  development  of  one  corre- 
sponding to  that  which  we  see  in  the  North  ?  There  are 
several  reasons  for  at  least  taking  this  suggestion  into 
account : — 

(i.)  The  priesthood  seems  to  be  an  essentially  tribal 
institution.  In  the  private  household,  and  even  in  the  sub- 
divisions of  the  tribe,  priestly  duties  are,  as  in  the  North, 
performed  by  the  temporal  head.  This  seems  to  show  that 
the  origin  of  the  priesthood  is  bound  up  with  the  tribe  as  a 

(ii.)  In  spite  of  the  existence  of  a  priesthood,  royalty, 
where  it  is  found,  appears  to  have  a  sacred  character. 
Among  the  Burgundians  in  the  fourth  century  it  was  cus- 
tomary to  depose  the  king  in  time  of  famine  or  military 
disaster.^  It  has  been  shown  above  that  the  Swedes  under 
similar  circumstances  sacrified  their  kings.  The  two  customs 
are  clearly  of  similar  origin.  Again,  that  the  Merowing 
kings  were  sacred  is  shown  by  the  fact  that,  like  the  gods, 
they  were  carried  to  the  assembly  in  a  cart  drawn 
by  oxen.*  During  the  last  century  of  their  existence 
they  had  practically  ceased  to  have  any  share  in  the 
government,   and   nothing   but    the    sanctity  attached   to 

*  Ammianus  Marcellinus,  xxviii.,  5, 14. 

*  Einhard,  Vita  Caroliy  c.  l\  cf,  Tacitus,  Germ,  40 ;  Olafs  s,  Tryggv, 
(Flat),  278. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         287 

royalty  could  have  preserved  the  dynasty  so  long  from 
extinction.  ^ 

(iii.)  The  position  of  the  tribal  high-priest  is  somewhat 
analogous  to  that  of  the  state-priests  of  other  European 
nations  {e g,^  the  Rex  Sacrificulus  of  the  Romans  or  the 
Archon  Basileus  of  the  Athenians).  These  latter  offices 
were  relics  of  former  monarchy,  stripped  of  all  temporal 
powers.     Is  not  the  same  explanation  possible  also  here  ? 

Can  the  priesthood  of  the  ancient  Germans  be  due  to  the 
former  existence  of  monarchy?  In  Tacitus'  time  most  of 
the  tribes  with  which  the  Romans  came  in  contact  were  not 
monarchical ;  but  this  need  not  always  have  been  the  case.* 
A  nation  may  come  into  existence  either  through  the 
confederation  of  small  communities  (as  in  Iceland)  or 
through  their  union  under  one  head.  That  the  ancient 
German  tribes  arose  by  the  latter  process  is  made  probable 
by  the  fact  that  many  of  them  occupied  territory  which  had 
been  gained  by  conquest;  for  in  a  state  of  civilisation 
no  further  advanced  than  that  of  the  ancient  Germans, 
offensive  warfare  can  hardly  be  carried  on  successfully 
except  under  a  permanent  head.  Again  the  genealogies, 
which  traced  the  tribesmen,  primarily  no  doubt  the  noble 
families,  back  to  a  common  ancestor,  point  to  the  former 
existence  of  monarchy,  or  at  all  events  of  patriarchal 
government  on  a  large  scale.    Moreover,  it  is  to  be  observed 

*  It  is  perhaps  worth  observing  that  in  Alcuin's  Vita  Willebrordi  (c.  lo)  the 
Frisian  king  (like  the  Swedish  king  in  the  Vita  Anscharii)  is  represented  as 
casting  lots  on  what  appears  to  have  been  regarded  as  a  public  occasion. 

*  It  seems  probable  that  the  Chenisci  were  formerly  under  monarchical 
government.  Tacitus  {Ann.,  xi.,  i6)  uses  the  expression  stirps  regia,  when 
speaking  of  Arminius'  family.  Arminius  endeavoured  to  make  himself  king 
(Ann.,  ii.,  88),  and  Italicus  was  invited  to  the  throne.  Moreover,  though 
eight  chiefs  of  this  tribe  are  mentioned  by  name,  all  of  them  belonged  to 
one  or  other  of  two  houses — on  the  one  side  Arminius,  his  brother  Flavus, 
his  father's  brother  Inguiomerus,  and  Flavus'  son  Italicus ;  on  the  other 
Segestes,  his  son  Segimundus,  his  brother  Segimerus,  and  Segimerus'  son 
Segithancus.  We  may  compare  the  case  of  Gaul.  In  Caesar's  time  the 
Gallic  States  were  almost  entirely  'republican.'  Yet  in  several  {e.^.,  the 
Bituriges  and  Aruemi)  there  is  evidence  for  the  former  existence  of  kings. 

288  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

that  kingly  power  seems  to  increase  in  proportion  to  the 
distance  we  advance  from  the  borders  of  southern  civilisa- 
tion. Of  the  tribes  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Roman 
frontier,  only  the  Hermunduri  and  the  Marcomanni  are 
known  to  have  been  monarchical,  and  of  these  the  latter 
were  newcomers.  Of  the  Goths,  whose  position  was  far 
more  remote,  we  are  told  that  "  they  were  subject  to  some- 
what more  strict  kingly  government,  though  not  to  a  degree 
incompatible  with  liberty."  ^  Among  the  Swedes,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  most  remote  people  of  undoubtedly  Teutonic 
blood  mentioned  by  Tacitus,  the  kingf's  power  is  said  to  be 
subject  to  no  reservations.'^ 

The  presence  of  a  priesthood  and  monarchy  side  by  side 
in  the  same  state  is  no  insuperable  objection  to  this  theory. 
The  case  may  arise  in  several  ways.  The  sanctity  attached 
to  the  king  may  become  so  great  that  he  comes  to  be 
regarded  as  too  holy  to  engage  in  war  or  to  transact  worldly 
business.  A  viceroy  is  then  appointed,  such  as  we  find 
among  the  Volga  Russians.  This  viceroyalty  may  become 
hereditary  and  gradually  develop  into  kingship.  This  is 
what  is  actually  found  among  the  Franks.  The  viceroyalty 
became  hereditary  among  the  descendants  of  Pippin  of 
Landen,  though  more  than  a  century  elapsed  before  the 
Merowing  family  ceased  to  reign.*  In  early  times,  however, 
it  is  frequently  the  case  that  the  monarchy  is  not  co-extensive 
with  the  tribe.  Sometimes  we  find  several  kings  in  the 
same  tribe — a  case  which  often  arose  through  the  division 
of  power  between  brothers.  In  other  cases  the  same 
king  rules  over  several  tribes.  Such  was  the  case  with 
Ariouistus,  Maroboduus,  and  other  kings  with  whom  the 
Romans  came  in  contact.  This  may  arise  either  through 
conquest  or  through  the  attainment  of  predominant  influence 

'  Gtrm*^  43* 
•  Genn,^  44. 

'  The  adoption  of  Christianity  of  course  prevented  the  Merowings  from 
actually  performing  priestly  functions. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         289 

in  time  of  peace.  The  king  of  the  subject  tribe  usually 
disappears  sooner  or  later,  but  under  ordinary  conditions 
the  tribe  seems  to  preserve  its  corporate  existence— conse- 
quently also  its  assembly  and  a  tribal  priesthood.  It  may 
be  observed  that  in  the  Roman  age  the  monarchies  of  the 
southern  and  western  Germans  seem  as  a  rule  to  have  been 

On  the  whole  therefore  I  am  much  inclined  to  accept 
this  explanation,  It  would,  of  course,  be  easier  to  give  a 
definite  answer  if  we  knew  how  the  priests  were  chosen. 
Jordanes  says  that  (in  the  case  of  the  Goths)  they  were 
drawn  from  the  nobility ;  but,  assuming  that  the  same  rule 
held  good  elsewhere,  one  would  like  to  know  whether  the 
choice  was  still  further  limited,  e.g,^  to  the  community  living 
in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  tribal  sanctuary. 
There  is  a  certain  similarity,  as  has  been  shown  above, 
between  the  position  of  the  priests  and  that  of  the  lawmen 
and  spekingar  of  the  North.  Now  among  these  the  succes- 
sion seems  in  general  to  be  hereditary.  The  Swedish 
spekingar  (like  the  ancient  kings)  appear  to  have  held  their 
position  in  virtue  of  their  descent  from  the  god  Fro.  This 
is  shown  by  a  passage  of  Saxo  (viii.,  p.  383  f.).  Describing 
the  constitution  of  Ringo's  army  at  the  battle  of  Bravalla, 
he  proceeds  : — "  The  bravest  of  the  Swedes  were  these : 
Arwacki,  Keclu,  Croc  agrestis,  Guthfast,  Gummi  from 
Gyslamarchia ;  these  were  of  the  household  of  the  god  Fro, 
and  most  faithful  intermediaries  of  the  deities  (Jidissimi 
numinum  arbitrt),  Ingi  also  and  Oly,  Aluuer  and  Folki, 
sons  of  Elric,  embrace  Ringo's  service  ;  .  .  .  .  they  also 
traced  the  origin  of  their  race  to  the  god  Fro."  Whatever 
may  be  the  precise  meaning  of  the  phrase  numinum  arbitri^ 
there  can,  I  think,  be  little  doubt  that  it  is  the  spekingar 
or  priest-councillors  of  Upsala,  who  are  here  referred  to.* 

'  It  is  to  be  observed  that  Ringo  {i.e.  Sigurdr  Hringr)  did  not  belong  to  the 
old  native  dynasty.  This  dynasty,  the  Ynglingar  or  descendants  of  the  god 
Fro,  who  seem  to  have  borne  a  distinctly  priestly  character,  must,  according; 

VOL.  XI.  U 

290  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

May  not  the  priesthood  of  {e,g,)  the  Semnones  have 
originated  in  a  similar  manner?  Although  this  tribe 
formed  only  an  outlying  portion  of  Maroboduus'  kingdom, 
they  claimed  to  be  the  oldest  and  noblest  branch  of  the 
Suevic  race.  The  chief  ground  of  this  claim  seems  to  have 
lain  in  the  possession  of  an  ancient  grove-sanctuary,  which 
they  believed  to  be  the  dwelling  place  of  their  god  and  the 
cradle  of  their  race.  The  presence  of  embassies  from  all  the 
kindred  tribes  at  their  national  festivals  testifies  to  the 
general  acceptance  of  the  claim.  I  do  not  see  how  such 
assent  can  have  been  gained,  unless  the  Semnones  had 
once  possessed  a  powerful  native  dynasty  tracing  its 
descent  to  the  tribal  god.^ 

Note  I. — The  Tribal  Tradition. 

One  of  the  most  important  elements  in  the  law,  which  it 
was  the  special  duty  of  the  priests  to  preserve,  was  doubt- 
less the  tradition  of  the  tribe's  origin.  We  find  references 
to  these  traditions  even  in  the  Germania,  Indeed  from 
C.  2  it  would  seem  that  the  Germans  had  already  become 
conscious  of  the  unity  of  their  race,  and  had  classified  the 
various  ancestors  in  a  common  genealogy.  Such  a  genea- 
logy necessarily  presupposes  the  existence  of  many  tribal 
traditions,  and  consequently  also  of  tribal  cults.  The 
question  of  these  tribal  cults  has  hardly  received  the 
attention  it  deserves.  I  believe  that  many  of  the  difficulties 
of  Germanic  mythology  are  due  to  the  combination  into 
one  system,  of  cults  which  were  once  peculiar  to  different 
tribes  and  localities. 

to  the  tradition,  have  lost  the  kingdom  about  the  end  of  the  seventh  century. 
The  greater  part  of  Sweden,  together  with  Denmark,  then  passed  into  the 
hands  of  a  family  which  is  said  to  have  belonged  originally  to  Sk&no.  Since 
both  the  nation  and  the  national  cult  survived  the  change  of  dynasty,  the 
substitution  of  a  foreign  king  for  the  old  native  line  may  somewhat  have 
favoured  the  development  of  priestly  powers  in  the  hands  of  those  princes  of 
the  native  house  who  remained. 

^  Irmin  ?  But  the  words  regnator  omnium  deus  refer  probably  not  to  the 
tribal  god  but  to  the  thunder-god.  In  the  temple  at  Upsala  also  it  is  not  Fro 
but  Thor  who  occupies  the  chief  place. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         291 

In  the  North  the  clearest  case  of  a  tribal  cult  is  that  of 
Thorgerdr  Holgabnidr.  In  one  respect  this  cult  hoi  ds  a 
peculiar  position.  Thorgerdr  is  never  mentioned  as  a 
member  of  the  divine  community  either  in  the  mythological 
poems  or  in  Gylfa^inning^  nor  does  she  stand  in  any  kind 
of  relationship  to  the  rest  of  the  gods.  Her  cult  formed  no 
part  of  the  orthodox  religion  of  the  North.  In  Skaldska- 
parmal  52  it  is  stated  that  she  was  the  daughter  of  Holig, 
the  founder  of  the  Hdlogaland  monarchy ;  after  their  deaths 
they  were  both  honoured  with  worship.  According  to 
Saxo  (iii.,  p.  116),  however,  she  was  the  wife  of  Helgo 
{i,e.  Holgi)  and  daughter  of  Cuso  (i>.  Gusi),  King  of  the 
Lapps.  This  seems  to  be  the  older  version,  not  only 
because  Saxo  gives  the  myth  in  some  detail,  but  also 
because  Thorgerdr  seems  to  bear  a  distinctly  Lappish 
character,  e.g,  in  her  use  of  the  bow  and  in  the  practice  of 
magical  arts.^  She  seems  to  have  been  one  of  the  powers 
revered  by  the  Halogalander  Ketill  Haengr,  who,  like  other 
members  of  his  family,  did  not  worship  the  generally 
recognised  gods.*  She  is  also  said  to  have  been  worshipped 
by  an  Icelandic  settler  named  Grimkell,  who  came  from 
Orkadal,  a  district  to  the  south  of  the  Throndhjem  Fjord.* 
Beyond  this  her  cult  is  only  known  in  connection  with  the 
celebrated  Earl  Hakon  of  Hladir,  who  ruled  Norway  from  975 
to  995.  She  and  her  sister  Irpa  seem  to  have  been  the  chief, 
if  not  the  only,  objects  of  his  worship.  He  raised  several 
costly  temples  to  her  honour,*  and  is  even  reported,  on  what 
appears  to  be  fairly  good  authority,  to  have  sacrificed  his 
son  to  her  in  his  battle  with  the  I6msvlkingar.*  Yet,  in 
spite  of  Hakon's  great  position  and  the  fact  that  he  was 
the  last  important  champion  of  heathenism  in  Norway,  her 
cult  seems  to  have  met  with  no  general  acceptance.  She 
appears  indeed  to  have  been  regarded  rather  as  a  troll  than 
a  goddess. 

How  then  is  Hakon's  worship  to  be  explained?  The 
reason   is  that   he  traced   his   descent   from   the   ancient 

'  C/  Olafs  s.  Tryggv,  (Flat),  154  f.,  173. 

^Saga  Ketils  Hangs,  S  (^F,  A,  5.,  ii.,  pp.  131,  135);    Orvar-Odds,  s,   17 
{F.A.  5.,u.,  p.  228). 
■  Hardar  s,  19  (Islend.  Sog.  ii.,  p.  59). 
*  Olafs  s.  Tryggv.  (Flat.),  II4,  173,  326;  Nials  J.  88. 
»  Olafs  s.  Tryggv.  (Flat,),  154;  cf  Saxo,  x.,  p.  483. 

U  2 

292  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

kings  of  Halogaland.^  When  his  ancestors  migrated  to 
the  south,  they  must  have  brought  their  family  cult  with 
them.  The  persistent  nature  of  family  worship  is  shown 
by  the  fact  that  we  find  the  family  settled  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  Throndhjem  Fjord  at  least  a  century  before 
Hakon  acquired  the  government  of  Norway.' 

There  is  reason  for  believing  that  the  cult  of  Fro  is 
another,  and  more  important,  example  of  the  same  class. 
Fro  was  one  of  the  great  gods  of  the  North,  and  his  cult 
deserves  close  attention.  It  has  been  generally  assumed  by 
modern  mythologists  that  he  was  a  god  of  the  sky  or  sun, 
but  for  this  theory  there  is  no  ground  beyond  an  isolated 
passage  in  Gylfagtnning  {c.  24).  The  mythological  poems 
throw  little  light  on  his  character  and  need  not  be  discussed 
here.  But  the  allusions  to  his  cult,  which  are  fairly  frequent 
in  historical  and  quasi-historical  works,  will,  I  think,  when 
carefully  considered,  place  beyond  doubt  that  it  was 
originally  of  a  local  or  tribal  character. 

According  to  Adam  of  Bremen  (iv.,  26)  the  temple  at 
Upsala  contained  three  figures,  representing  the  gods  Thor, 
Othin,  and  *Fricco,'  respectively.  Of  *Fricco,'  by  which  he 
certainly  means  Fro,  he  says  that  he  was  regarded  as  the 
dispenser  of  peace  and  pleasure  to  mortals,  that  his  repre- 
sentation was  phallic,  and  that  he  was  invoked  especially  at 
marriages.  Elsewhere  Fro  is  represented  as  the  giver  of 
fertility  in  general.  In  Sweden  his  image  was  carried  round 
the  country,  apparently  in  autumn,  in  a  cart  drawn  by  oxen, 
and  accompanied  by  a  young  woman  who  attended  to  his 
sanctuary,  and  was  regarded  as  the  god's  wife.*  His  cult 
was  known  also  in  Norway,  especially  in  Inner  Throndhjem,* 
and  from  Norway  was  carried  to  Iceland,  where  it  seems  to 
have  been  connected  especially  with  the  harvest  festival.^ 

*  It  is  curious  that  in  Eyvindr's  poem  (^Hdleygiatal)^  of  which  only  some 
fragments  remain,  Hakon's  genealogy  is  traced,  not  to  Holgi  and  Thorgerdr, 
but  to  Othin  and  Skadi.  The  introduction  of  Othin*s  name  may  be  due  in 
part  to  the  influence  of  Yngiingatal,  but  it  is  probable  also  that  Hakon  may 
have  wished  to  conciliate  popular  opinion  by  tracing  his  descent  from  the 
generally  accepted  deities.  Skadi,  a  goddess  of  Lappish  character  but  accepted 
m  the  Northern  pantheon,  has  been  cleverly  substituted  for  the  hated 

»  Harolds  s,  H&rf.  7. 

*  Olafss.  Tryggv,  (Flat),  277. 

*  Olafs  s.  Tryggv.  (Flat.),  322  f. 

*  Cf.  Gisla  s,  Surssonar,  i.,  p.  27. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         293 

Freyr  {i.e.  Fro),  Niordr,  and  Thor  were  the  three  names 
invoked  at  the  opening  of  the  Icelandic  assembly,  and  in  the 
oath  which  was  taken  in  courts  of  justice,  which  seems  to 
show  that  they  were  regarded  as  the  chief  gods  of  the 

The  Ynglinga  Saga  gives  the  following  account  of  Fro : 
Niordr  and  his  son  Fro  did  not  originally  belong  to  the 
Aesir  (Othin's  tribe),  but  to  a  tribe  named  Vanir;    they 
were  given  to  the  Aesir  as  hostages.     Othin  made  them 
temple-priests,   and   after    his    death    Niordr,    and    subse- 
quently   Fro,    succeeded    him    in    the    monarchy.     They 
continued  to  receive  the  tribute  which  had  first  been  paid 
to  Othin,  and  their  reigns  were  blessed  with  prosperity 
and  peace.     Fro  fixed  his  capital  at  Upsala  and  built  a 
great  temple  there.     When   he  died,  his  death  was  con- 
cealed, and  his  body  carried  secretly  into  a  great  howe. 
The  tribute-money  was  still   taken  and  poured  into   the 
howe.     After  three  years  the  Swedes  became  aware  that 
he  was  dead,  but  since  prosperity  and  peace  still  continued, 
they  believed   that   such  would   be   the   case  as   long  as 
Fro  was  in  Sweden.     Therefore  they  would  not  bum  him 
in  accordance  with  Othin's  ordinances ;  but  they  called  him 
'  the  god  of  the  world '  and  sacrificed  to  him  for  peace  and 
prosperity  ever  afterwards.     The  Saga  then  goes  on  to 
describe  the  reigns  of  his  son  and  grandson  and  subsequent 
descendants,  the  Yngling  kings  of  Sweden.     According  to 
this  story  Fro  is  obviously  the  tribal  god  of  the  Uppland 
Swedes  and  the  ancestor  of  the  Yngling  family.     We  have 
seen,  however,  that  he  was  also  worshipped  in   Norway. 
Yet  the  cult  may  have  been  brought  here  from  Sweden. 
When  King  Olafr  Tryggvason  was  Christianising  the  dis- 
trict of  Inner  Throndhjem,  he  seized  the  figure  of  Fro  out 
of  its  temple  and  brought  it  to  the  assembly.     He  is  repre- 
sented in  the  Saga  as  haranguing  the  assembly  in  order  to 
convince  them  that  the  figure  was  not  divine.    Fro,  he  said, 
was  a  king  who  formerly  lived  in  Sweden.     He  was  so 
popular  that  on  his  death  it  was  resolved  that  some  men 
should  be  shut  up  alive  with  him  in  his  howe.     No  one, 
however,  was  wilhng  to  undergo  this  fate.     They  therefore 
made  two  wooden  men  and  put  them  in  the  howe  with  Fro, 

'  Hialpi  mir  svd  Freyr  ok  NiSrdr  ok  hinn  almdttki  Ass ;  Islend.  S<5g.  i., 
pp.  258,  334. 

294  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

under  the  supposition  that  these  would  give  him  pleasure. 
After  a  long  lapse  of  time  robbers  broke  into  the  howe  and 
took  out  the  wooden  figures.  They  were  then  overcome 
with  fear  and  fled.  The  Swedes  kept  one  of  the  figures 
and  sent  the  other  to  Throndhjem.  Both  were  called  Fro 
and  worshipped.^  This  story  seems  to  show  that  the  cult 
of  Fro  was  believed  to  have  been  imported  into  Norway 
from  Sweden. 

There  is  no  evidence  that  Fro  was  ever  worshipped  in 
Denmark.  He  is  mentioned,  however,  by  Saxo  five  times. 
Two  of  these  passages,  referring  to  him  as  the  ancestor  of 
Swedish  heroes  at  Bravalla,  have  already  been  quoted. 
The  other  passages  are :  i.,  p.  49  f.,  which  states  that 
Hadingus,  having  killed  an  unknown  sea-monster,  offered  a 
sacrifice  to  Fro,  in  order  to  propitiate  the  deities.  He 
ordained  this  sacrifice  to  be  a  permanent  institution,  recur- 
ring regularly  as  the  years  rolled  by  It  is  called  Froblod 
by  the  Swedes.  Again,  iii.,  p.  120  :  Fro,  the  satrap  of  the 
gods,  took  up  his  abode  near  Upsala,  and  instituted  a  new 
method  of  sacrifice  to  the  gods  by  offering  human  vic- 
tims. Lastly,  vi.,  p.  278 :  Starcatherus  stays  seven 
years  in  Sweden  with  the  sons  of  Fro,  until  the  pro- 
ceedings at  Upsala,  at  the  time  of  the  sacrifices,  drive 
him  away  in  disgust.  This  seems  to  have  been  during 
the  days  of  the  Yngling  dynasty.  In  every  passage 
therefore  Saxo  seems  to  regard  Fro  as  an  essentially 
Swedish  god.  Froblod  is  probably  the  name  of  the  great 
Upsala  festival. 

All  accounts  then  point  to  Sweden,  and  especially  Upsala, 
as  the  home  of  the  cult.  The  story  of  the  howe-buriaJ,  and 
the  belief  that  the  preservation  of  Fro's  body  would  entail 
a  continuance  of  the  blessings  which  had  been  enjoyed 
during  his  lifetime,  is  an  illustration  of  the  common 
Northern  belief  that  the  spirits  of  the  dead  continued  their 
existence  in  the  family  howe,  and  were  able  to  confer 
blessings  upon  their  surviving  kinsfolk  and  descendants. 
We  may  compare  the  burial  of  Halfdan  the  Black,  father  of 
Haraldr  Hirfagri.  On  account  of  his  popularity  the  four 
regions  of  his  kingdom  disputed  for  the  possession  of  his 
body.     The  dispute  was  settled  by  cutting  the  body  up  into 

^jj.  Tryggv,  (Flat.),  323. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         295 

four  pieces,  each  of  which  was  howe-laid  in  a  different 

The  cult  of  Fro,  though  by  far  the  most  important  of  these 
ancestral  cults,  does  not  by  any  means  stand  alone.  There 
can  be  little  doubt  that  Skioldr  must  once  have  occupied 
among  the  Danes  a  position  somewhat  similar  to  that  of 
Fro  among  the  Swedes.  In  extant  documents  he  is  not 
often  referred  to  as  a  god,  but  the  importance  of  his  cult 
may  be  estimated  by  the  long  continuance  of  the  name, 
Skioldungar,  as  a  designation  for  the  Danes/^  I  suspect 
also  that  the  origin  of  the  Balder-myths  is  to  be  found  in  a 
tribal  cult,  though  it  is  difficult  to  fix  its  locality.  At  any 
rate,  the  existence  of  two  independent  traditions,  the  one 
favourable,  the  other  hostile  to  Balder,  seems  best  to  be 
explained  on  this  hypothesis.  It  is  not  unlikely  that  the 
cults  of  Ullr  and  Heimdallr  had  a  similar  origin. 

Cults  of  the  same  kind  were  known  also  on  the  Continent. 
In  the  Old  Saxon  Renunciation  Formula,  the  convert  is 
called  upon  to  renounce  Thunaer^  Woden^  and  Saxnot. 
The  last  name  is  identical  with  the  name  Seaxneat^  which 
stands  at  the  head  of  the  royal  genealogy  of  Essex.  We 
can  scarcely  go  wrong  in  regarding  this  personage  as  a 
tribal  god  of  the  Saxons. 

Most  of  the  other  English  royal  houses  traced  their 
descent  through  Woden  to  a  certam  Geat,  of  whom  Asser 
{ad  init!)  says  that  he  was  worshipped  long  ago  by  the 
pagans  as  a  god.  He  seems  to  be  the  same  individual  who 
is  represented  in  Deor^  15  f.,  as  robbed  of  all  sleep  by  his 
passionate  love.' 

Heligoland  was  dedicated  to  a  god  Fosite.*  This  name 
is  never  met  with  elsewhere,^  and  it  seems  likely  that  his 
cult  was  purely  local. 

Tacitus  {Germ.j  2)  says  that  the  Germans  classified  their 
race  in  three  great  divisions,  Inguaeones,  Herminones,  and 

^  Halfdanar  s,  Svarta  {Heimskr,\  9. 

*  Its  occurrence  in  Beowulf  shows  that  it  must  have  been  in  use  as  early  as 
the  sixth  century.  We  find  the  Danes  called  Scaldungi  in  the  Historia  de  S, 
CuthbertOy  §7,  II  (Symeon  of  Durham,  R,  S.,  I  pp.  200,  202).  The  myth  is 
given  in  Beowulf;  cf.  also  Ethelwerd,  iii.,  3:  Malmesbury,  ii.,  §116. 

*  A  similar  myth  is  told  of  Fro  in  SkimisnidL 

*  Alcuin,  Vita  WilUbrordi,  c.  10. 

'  Some  writers,  however,  have  identified  him  with  a  Norwegian  god 
Forseti,  who  in  Gylf.,  32,  is  said  to  be  Balder's  son.  The  identification  is  IxSed 
on  the  assumptionof  a  scribal  error  in  the  Vita  Willcbrordh 

296  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

Istaeuones,^  according  to  their  descent  from  the  three  sons 
of  Mannus.  It  seems  likely  therefore  that  worship  was 
once  paid  to  these  brothers.  Perhaps  the  cult  of  Irmin  may 
be  traced.  When  the  elder  Drusus  was  on  his  expedition 
to  the  Elbe  in  B.C.  9,  he  heard  that  there  were  *  pillars  of 
Hercules '  in  existence,  but  was  prevented  from  obtaining 
more  precise  information  by  the  difficulty  of  crossing  the 
sea.  From  Tacitus'  account  (Germ.,  34)  it  would  seem  that 
these  pillars  were  rumoured  to  be  in  the  direction  of 
Holstein.  Now  this  was,  in  the  second  century,  the  country 
occupied  by  the  Saxons.*  In  the  time  of  Karl  the  Great, 
that  IS  to  say  some  centuries  after  the  westward  migration 
of  the  Saxons,  the  chief  object  of  their  worship  was  a  lofty 
wooden  pillar  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Eresburg.  This 
pillar,  which  was  called  Irminsul  (guod  latine  dicitur 
uniuersalis  columna),  was  destroyed  by  Karl  in  the  year 
772.*  Is  it  not  likely  that  the  Saxons  practised  a  similar  cult 
in  their  earlier  home,  and  that  this  was  the  source  of  the  story 
mentioned  by  Tacitus  ?  This  view  is  especially  favoured 
by  a  passag^e  of  Widukind  (i.,  12).  After  describing  a 
legendary  victory  of  the  Saxons,  he  proceeds :  "  In  the 
morning  they  planted  their  eagle  at  the  eastern  gate,  and 
piling  up  an  altar  of  victory,  they  paid  appropriate  reverence 
to  the  objects  of  their  worship,  according  to  the  superstition 
of  their  fathers,  representing  by  name  Mars,  by  the  likeness 
of  pillars  Hercules,  by  position  the  Sun,  who  is  called 
Apollo  by  the  Greeks.*'  By  *  Mars,*  he  means  Irmin,  as  is 
shown  by  the  next  sentence:  "hence  the  view  of  those 
who  hold  that  the  Saxons  are  descended  from  the  Greeks, 
has  a  certain  amount  of  probability,  for  Mars  is  called 
Hirmin  or  Hermis  in  Greek."  In  spite  of  the  confusion  of 
native  and  Graeco-Roman  mythology,  this  passage  shows 
that  the  Irminsul  was  connected  with  the  cult  of  a  deity  or 
hero  named  Irmin,  and  renders  it  probable  that  this  was  the 

fod  whom  the  Romans  called  'Hercules.'      The  cult  of 
[ercules  was  known  also  to  the  Cherusci,  another  tribe 
of  the    Irminones,    though    there    is    no    evidence    that 

*  These  names  are  represented  in  several  different  forms  in  the  MSS.  of 
Tacitus  and  Pliny.    The  true  form  of  the  second  is,  of  course,  Erminanes, 

*Ptol.,  2,  xi.,  II,  17  ;  cf.  G.  Schiltte's  instructive  paper,  Var  AngUme 
Tyskere  ?    (Flensborg,  1900),  p.  47  ff. 

■  TransloHo  S.  Alexandria  c.  3;  EnharcU  Fuld,  Annal,^  772  ;  for  further 
references  cf.  J.  Grimm,  Deutsche  Myth.^^  i.,  p.  96  f. 


The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         297 

the  cult  here  took  the  same  form.  Probably  the  cult  of 
Irmin  was  known  to  all  the  Irminones,  but  its  associa- 
tion with  the  sacred  pillar  may  have  been  peculiar  to  the 

In  the  same  way  it  seems  to  me  not  unlikely  that  the 
cult  of  Fro  was  originally  only  a  local  form  of  a  far  more 
widely  spread  religion.  It  has  often  been  remarked  that 
Fro  bears  a  strong  resemblance  to  Fr6di,  the  mythical 
peace-king  of  the  Danes.  Again  the  cult  has  features  in 
common  with  that  of  Nerthus,  attributed  by  Tacitus  (Germ,y 
40)  to  certain  tribes  on  the  south-west  shores  of  the  Baltic. 
The  word  Nerthus  is  identical  with  Niordr,  the  name  of 
Fro's  father,  while  Fro  itself  seems  to  be  an  abbreviation 
for  Ynguifreyr  or  Ingunar-Freyr^  which  recall  the  In- 
guaeones  of  the  Roman  age.  It  seems  likely  therefore 
that  a  similar  cult  was  once  common  to  all  the  maritime 

Note  II. — Priestesses  and  Prophetesses  in  the 

In  Icelandic  historical  works  the  word  gydia  occasionally 
occurs.  It  seems  to  be  applied  to  women  who  belonged  to 
the  magisterial  families.  In  Kristni  s,  2  we  hear  of  a 
certain  Fridgerdr,  who  is  represented  as  offering  sacrifice, 
and  who  is  called  gydia  in  a  verse  immediately  following. 
Her  husband  was  absent  when  the  sacrifice  was  offered,  but 
whether  she  was  acting  as  his  representative  or  not  is  not 
stated.  In  V&pnfirdinga  s.  10  mention  is  made  of  a  woman 
called  Steinvor,  who  possessed  a  public  temple  {hd/ud-Aof) 
and  claimed  the  temple  dues  from  merchants.  When  these 
were  withheld  by  a  Christian  merchant,  she  applied  to  her 
relative  Brodd-Helgi  for  assistance.  The  case  is  not  alto- 
gether clear.  It  seems  probable,  however,  that  Steinvor 
had  inherited  the  temple,  but  that  the  magisterial  rights 
appertaining  thereto,  which  could  not  be  held  by  a  woman,^ 
had  passed  to  Brodd-Helgi  (perhaps  as  the  nearest  male 
relative).     A  Thuridr  (hof-)gydia  is  mentioned  in  Landn., 

^  According  to  Giigis  (ed.  Finsen,  i.,  a.,  p.  142)  a  godord,  which  had  come 
into  the  possession  of  a  widow,  on  the  death  of  her  husband,  had  to  be  sold. 
This,  however,  applies  to  the  Christian  period,  when  the  priestly  duties  of  the 
godi  had  come  to  an  end. 

298  The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

iii.  4,  iv.  10,  Vatnsd,  s.  27,  and  a  Thorlaug  gydia  in 
Landn,,  i.,  21,  but  in  these  cases  the  reason  for  the  title  is 
not  stated.  There  is  no  ground  for  supposing  that  the 
gydiur  laid  claim  to  prophetic  powers,  any  more  than  the 
godar.  Outside  Iceland  there  is  no  historical  evidence  for 
the  name,  though  there  is  no  reason  why  such  persons 
should  not  have  existed,  at  least  in  Norway.^ 

The  volva  or  *  wise  woman '  is  a  being  of  an  entirely 
different  class.  The  Icelandic  volur  were  women  who 
wandered  from  place  to  place  foretelling  the  future  and 
practising  setdr  (* magic').*  They  had  no  recognised 
position  m  the  state,  but  volur  who  had  acquired  a  reputa- 
tion were  often  received  with  great  honour,  and  were 
accompanied  by  a  considerable  number  of  attendants.* 
Their  character  seems  to  have  been  much  the  same  in 
Norway  and  other  Northern  lands ;  their  powers  were  not 
doubted,  and  in  the  mythological  poems,  Vdluspd  and 
Vegtamskvtdaj  we  find  them  consulted  even  by  the  gods. 
Yet  they  appear  to  be  more  or  less  in  opposition  to  the 
orthodox  religion  of  the  North ;  the  mythological  poems 
represent  them  as  hostile  to  the  gods,  and  the  latter  disguise 
themselves  when  they  consult  them.  It  seems  probable 
that  the  volur  are  survivals  of  a  more  primitive  form  of 
religion.  They  are  to  be  compared  with  the  Haliarunos^ 
or  sorceresses,  who,  according  to  the  legend  related  by 
lordanes  (c.  24),  were  expelled  by  the  Gothic  king  Filimer 
from  his  territories.  They  seem  to  have  been  largely  of 
I^ppish  or  Finnish  nationality.*  In  Vatnsdsela  s.  10,  and 
Landn.  iii.,  2,  we  find  mention  of  a  Lappish  volva  named 
Heidr.  This  seems  to  be  a  generic  name  ;  it  is  applied 
also  to  a  mythical  volva  in  Vdluspd  (R.  29).  In  Hynd- 
luli6d  31,  Heidr  and  Hrossfi6fr  are  said  to  be  sister  and 
brother;  the  latter  is  the  Rostiophus  Phinnicus,  who, 
according  to  Saxo  (iii.,  p.  126),  was  consulted  by  Othin 
after  Balder's  death.*     In  Yngl.  s.  16,  the  mythical  volva 

'  Hof-gydiur,  '  temple-priestresses/  are  mentioned  in  Herrauds  s,  ok  Bosa^  8, 
and  Sturlaugs  s,  Starfsama,  18.  In  both  cases,  however,  the  temples  are 
Finnish.  In  the  former  case  the  deity  worshipped  is  the  Finnish  god  I6mali, 
and  in  the  latter  '  Thor '  probably  denotes  the  same  deity. 

*  We  find  men  also  practising  seidr,  e^,,  in  Laxdctla  s.,  37 ;  but  this  was 
probably  always  forbidden  by  the  law;  cf,  Yngl,  s.  7,  HartUds  s,  H&rf^y  36. 

'  Examples  are  given  by  Golther,  Germ,  Mytk,^  p.  649  f. 

*  Cf,  Golther,  op,  cU.^  p.  657  f. 

*  In  Vegtamskvida  it  is  a  volva. 

The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood.         299 

Huldr  is  represented  as  practising  seidr  on  behalf  of  the 
Finnish  queen  Drffa. 

The  volur  seem  to  be  related  in  some  way  to  the  Nornir, 
The  latter  are  not,  it  is  true,  mentioned  in  any  document 
that  can  claim  to  be  called  historical  ;  but  it  seems  no 
unlikely  that  some  primitive  custom  may  be  traced  in  the 
legends  which  relate  how  Norns  came  to  a  house  to  shape 
the  destiny  of  a  newly  born  child.^  It  is  probable  that  in 
early  times  but  little  distinction  was  drawn  between  the 
*  shaping '  and  the  foretelling  of  destiny. 

The  term  *  gydiur '  is  never  applied  to  the  volur,  and  there 
is  no  evidence  that  they  were  regarded  as  priestesses.  They 
have  no  part  in  the  three  distinctive  duties  of  the  Germanic 
priesthood,  namely,  the  oflFering  of  public  sacrifices,  the 
preservation  of  the  law,  and  the  guardianship  of  the 

On  the  other  hand  it  is  possible  that  there  may  have  been 
at  certain  sanctuaries  a  class  of  *  priestesses '  distinct  from 
the  Icelandic  gydiur,  and  showing  a  certain  resemblance  to 
the  volur.  According  to  YngL  s,  4,  the  goddess  Freyia 
was  a  bldt'gydia^  'sacrificial  priestess,'  and  first  taught 
seidr  to  the  Aesir.  After  Pro's  death  she  kept  up  the 
temple  and  the  sacrifices  at  Upsala,  all  the  other  gods  being 
now  dead.  But  it  is  doubtful  if  this  story  is  founded  on  old 
tradition,  for  there  is  no  evidence  that  Freyia  was  known  in 
Sweden.  She  was  the  favourite  goddess  of  Icelandic 
mythology,  and  the  author  may  have  contrived  to  bring  her 
into  the  story  by  introducing  a  feature  from  the  political 
organisation  of  his  own  country.  It  is  possible,  however, 
that  there  were  women  somewhat  resembling  volur  at  the 
Upsala  sanctuary.  In  the  portraiture  of  the  mythical  sanc- 
tuary Asgardr,  three  maidens,  or  '  Norns,'  are  represented 
as  living  beneath  Yggdrasill's  Ash.  Their  duties  were  to 
water  the  tree  from  the  sacred  spring  and  to  shape  the 
destiny  of  men.*  Now  it  can  hardly  be  doubted  that  the 
picture  of  Asgardr  is  in  great  measure  drawn  from  some 
Northern  sanctuary ;  and  in  ail  probability  this  was  Upsala. 
It  is  not  indeed  stated  that  there  were  '  hforns'  beneath  the 
evergreen  tree  or  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  sacred  spring 

*  Cf,  Helga  kv.  HutuL^  i.,  2  ff. ;  Su^  af  NomagtsHy  II. 
«  Vol,  R.,  19,  20,  28;  Gylf.  15  f. 

300         The  Ancient  Teutonic  Priesthood. 

at  Upsala.^  But  it  was  apparently  a  Northern  custom  to 
deliver  prophetic  utterances  beside  sacred  springs.^  We 
know  also  that  Upsala  possessed  an  oracle  so  famous,  that 
it  was  consulted  even  by  foreign  princes.*  Again,  in  the 
story  of  Gunnar  Helmingr — whatever  may  be  its  foundation 
in  fact — we  find  mention  of  a  young  woman  who  attended 
to  Pro's  sanctuary  and  consulted  his  will.*  The  hypothesis, 
therefore,  has  a  certain  amount  of  probability.  But  it  is  to 
be  observed  that  the  word  *gydia'  is  not  used  in  the  story 
of  Gunnar  Helmingr,  and,  if  the  sanctuary-prophetesses  at 
Upsala  formed  the  model  of  the  mythical  Norns,  it  is  hardly 
likely  that  they  can  have  been  regarded  as  priestesses  in 
the  Northern  sense.^  They  are  rather  to  be  compared  with 
the  Greek  prophetesses  at  the  shrine  of  Delphi,  while  the 
godar  or  'spekingar'  may  have  corresponded  in  some  degree 
to  the  oaioi. 

'  The  locality  of  the  temple  mentioned  by  Saxo  (vi.,  p.  272)  cannot  be 
definitely  fixed  ;  but,  from  the  context,  it  seems  not  unlikely  that  it  was  the 
Upsala  temple.  In  any  case  the  passage  affords  an  interesting  parallel  to  the 
representation  of  Asgardr.  '*  It  was  the  custom  of  the  ancients  to  consult  the 
oracles  of  the  Fates  in  regard  to  the  future  destiny  of  their  children.  Fridleuus 
(a  mythical  king  of  the  Danes),  desirin|[  by  this  method  to  ascertain  the 
destiny  of  his  son  Olauus,  soleml^  offers  his  vows  and  comes  to  the  temple  of 
the  gods  to  pray.  There,  lookmg  into  the  sanctuary,  he  sees  three  seats 
occupied  by  three  nymphs."  The  nymphs  proceed  to  'shape'  the  destiny 
of  his  son  in  a  manner  exactly  similar  to  that  described  m  the  Soffu  of 

'  Cf,  H6v,  no :"  It  is  time  to  prophesy  on  the  prophet's  chair  beside  the 
spring  of  Fate." 

•  Cf,  Saxo,  vii.,  p.  360;   Yngl,  s,  42. 

•  Ola/s  J.  Tryggv.  (Flat),  277. 

•  It  IS  uncertain  from  what  class  they  were  drawn.  In  Saxo's  account  of 
Ragnar  Lodbrok  (ix.,  p.  443)  it  is  the  Swedish  king's  daughter  who  feeds  the 
snakes — a  duty  which  among  the  Prussians  was  performed  by  the  priestesses. 
On  the  whole,  however,  it  seems  more  probable  that  the  sanctuary  prophetesses 
were  drawn  from  a  lower  class  of  society. 

POSTCRIPT. — P.  280,  n.  I.  From  Haralds  s,  Hdrf.,  7,  Hak. 
s.  GddUf  19,  Ola/s  s.  Tryggv.,  74  ff.  (all  from  I/eimskr.),  it 
seems  probable  that  the  priesthood  at  Maeren  was  a  survival 
of  an  old  confederacy  of  hereditary  chiefs.  It  is  to  be 
observed  that  in  Haralds  s.  Hdr/.y  7,  these  chiefs  are  called 


The  Mythology  of  the  Bella  Coola  Indians.  By  Franz 
Boas.  (Memoirs  of  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  His- 
tory, Vol.  II.  Anthropology,  I.  The  Jesup  North  Pacific 

In  this  monograph  we  have  a  further  instalment  of  Dr.  Boas' 
exhaustive  investigations  into  the  tribes  of  the  Pacific  Coast  of 
Canada  and  Alaska.  The  Bella  Coola,  properly  Bilxula,  speak  a 
Salishan  dialect,  and  inhabit  the  shores  of  Dean  Inlet  and 
Bentinck  Arm,  and  the  course  of  the  Bella  Coola  River.  Though 
now  few  in  numbers  they  seem  to  have  once  been  more  popu- 
lous. Both  their  physical  appearance  and  their  customs  and 
beliefs  lead  to  the  opinion  that,  though  originally  of  Salishan 
stock,  they  are  much  mingled  with  the  Athapascan  and  the 
Northern  Coast  tribes. 

Alone  among  the  North  Pacific  tribes  the  Bella  Coola  have 
developed  something  like  a  systematic  mythology.  The  universe, 
according  to  their  idea,  consists  of  five  worlds,  two  above  and  two 
below  our  world,  which  is  the  middle  one.  In  the  two  upper 
worlds  live  the  gods.  The  supreme  deity,  a  goddess  named 
Qamaits,  resides  in  the  upper  heaven.  In  the  lower  one  is  a 
remarkable  building  called  Nusmeta,  the  House  of  Myths,  where 
the  other  gods  dwell.  The  master  of  the  house  is  the  Sun,  often 
called  T^ta,  our  father,  the  only  being  to  whom  the  Bella  Coola 
pray.  What  we  call  a  totem-post  stands  outside  the  house, 
covered  with  representations  of  all  kinds  of  birds,  and  surmounted 
by  a  white  crane.  The  gods  are  concerned  with  the  winter-cere- 
monial, which  corresponds  to  that  of  the  sacred  societies  of  the 
Kwakiutl.  We  might  expect  that  the  gods,  living  together  in  one 
house,  would  be  r^arded  as  a  clan.  The  social  organisation, 
however,  of  the  Bella  Coola  is  not  formed  on  the  gens.  The 
village  community  forms  the  unit,  and  the  traditions  and  the 
ceremonies  in  which  they  are  represented  are  the  common 
possession  of  the  village.     We  may  conjecture,  then,  that  in  con- 

302  Reviews. 

sequence  of  the  want  of  the  clan-organisation  the  relationship  of 
the  gods  to  one  another  is,  except  in  a  few  cases,  left  undefined. 
The  names  of  many  of  them,  and  of  some  of  the  monsters  with 
which,  like  that  of  other  nations,  the  mythology  of  the  Bella 
Coola  is  plentifully  furnished,  are  of  Kwakiutl  origin.  Kwakiutl 
influence  is  also  betrayed  in  other  ways,  such  as  the  physical 
appearance  and  customs.  But  this  is  by  no  means  enough  to 
account  for  the  highly  organised  mythology.  For  this  Dr.  Boas 
is  of  opinion  that  the  Bella  Coola  are  indebted  to  the  general 
mental  stimulus  imparted  by  contact  with  the  neighbouring 
tribes  when  they  settled  on  the  Bella  Coola  River,  where  they 
now  are. 

Every  village  traces  its  beginning  to  mythical  ancestors  sent 
down  by  the  Sun.  These  ancestors  are  sometimes  single  indi- 
viduals, more  usually  three  men  and  a  woman,  who  are  often 
called  brothers  and  sister,  though  there  is  nothing  said  of  their 
parentage.  Apparently  the  woman  sustained,  in  some  cases  at 
least,  the  relation  of  wife  to  one  or  more  of  the  men.  This,  how- 
ever, is  not  quite  clear ;  and  the  traditions  relate  the  adventures 
sometimes  of  one  and  sometimes  of  more  of  the  men,  representing 
them  as  taking  wives  in  the  course  of  their  journeys  and  of  course 
having  children.  There  is  thus  a  contradiction  between  the 
actual  practice  of  the  Bella  Coola  and  that  ascribed  to  their 
mythical  heroes,  for  the  Bella  Coola  villages  are  strictly  endo- 
gamic.  How  does  this  contradiction  arise  ?  It  must  be  ascribed 
either  to  an  earlier  exogamy  or  to  foreign  influence.  Dr.  Boas 
does  not  directly  tackle  the  question.  He  considers  that  the 
Bella  Coola,  when  they  first  met  with  that  branch  of  the  Kwakiutl 
(the  Bella  Bella),  by  which  they  seem  to  have  been  influenced, 
were  "  distinctly  divided  into  village  communities  that  were  not 
exogamic."  In  other  words  they  retained  their  Salishan  organisa- 
tion. They  are  still  not  exogamic,  and  yet  there  is  reason  to 
believe  that  their  blood  is  mingled  with  that  of  the  Bella  Bella. 
The  village  traditions  are  considered  by  Dr.  Boas  to  embody  some 
historical  reminiscences,  so  far  at  all  events  as  concerns  the  migra- 
tions of  the  mythical  ancestors.  If  this  be  so,  we  may  perhaps  infer 
that  the  incidents  of  the  marriage  of  the  heroes  to  the  daughters  of 
one  or  other  mythical  or  human  being  are  the  form  in  which  the 
facts  of  the  intercourse  with  the  Bella  Bella  and  perhaps  other  tribes 
are  transmitted.     What  is  curious  is  that  the  Bella  Coola  villages 

Reviews.  303 

should  have  relapsed  after  this  intercourse  into  an  endogamy  of  the 
strictest  kind.  Dr.  Boas  accounts  for  this  by  the  desire  to  emulate 
the  surrounding  tribes  in  the  exclusive  possession  of  special  tradi- 
tions. Among  the  surrounding  tribes  the  clan-traditions  are  property 
very  jealously  guarded,  but  transmissible  by  marriage.  If  I  rightly 
understand  Dr.  Boas,  the  Bella  Coola  have  been  infected  with 
similar  jealousy,  and  have  come  to  regard  their  traditions  as  pro- 
perty likewise,  and  as  transmissible  in  the  same  way.  Endogamy 
would  in  that  case  have  the  effect  of  keeping  the  exclusive  posses- 
sion of  given  traditions  within  the  village.  Dr  Boas  accordingly 
assigns  this  motive  for  it  But  if  endogamy  be  the  ordinary  rule 
of  the  Coast  Salish,  I  cannot  help  thinking  that  the  endogamy  of 
the  Bella  Coola  is  a  reversion  to  the  earlier  customs  of  the  race 
chiefly  due  to  racial  instincts,  however  those  instincts  may  have 
been  reinforced,  and  rendered  more  stringent,  by  other  motives. 

Incorporated  with  some  of  the  village  traditions  is  material  of 
very  recent  date.  One,  for  instance,  relates  that  six  men  and  a 
woman  were  sent  down  from  the  House  of  Myths.  "  In  their 
house  all  the  languages  were  written  down,  and  were  distributed 
among  the  various  tribes."  Probably  the  reference  to  the  distri- 
bution of  languages,  but  certainly  the  mention  of  writing,  is  of  a 
date  long  since  the  villagers  became  acquainted  with  civilised 
people.  It  would  be  interesting  to  examine  the  stories  with  a 
view  to  ascertaining  how  far  such  modem  material  extends. 

The  lower  worlds  are  the  r^ions  of  the  dead.  The  description 
of  the  world  immediately  below  our  own  is  derived  from  shamans 
who  have  been  there.  It  is  much  like  this  world,  but  with  a 
difference.  Winter  there  is  summer  here.  Night  there  is  day 
here.  The  souls  of  the  dead  speak  a  different  language  from  ours, 
and  receive  a  new  name.  They  walk  on  their  heads,  not  on  their 
feet.  They  have — this  is  a  gruesome  thought — a  dancing-house 
just  beneath  the  cemetery  of  every  earthly  village.  If  a  person 
once  enters  the  dancing-house  there  is  no  return  to  this  world. 
Otherwise,  there  is  a  rope  ladder  whereby  he  may  climb  to  the 
lower  heaven,  and  thence  be  bom  again  into  the  family  to  which 
he  previously  belonged.  There  appears  to  be  no  belief  in  retri- 
bution. A  dead  man  who  does  not  avail  himself  of  the  oppor- 
tunity for  a  new  birth,  after  awhile  dies  the  second  death,  and, 
sinking  to  the  lowest  world,  comes  back  no  more. 

I  must  pass  over  the  mythological  beings  not  forming  part  of 

304  Reviews. 

the  community  in  the  House  of  Myths,  as  well  as  other  stories 
more  or  less  common  to  the  Pacific  tribes.  I  have  said  enough 
to  give  some  notion  of  the  many  interesting  problems  which  the 
mythology  of  the  Bella  Coola  discloses.  Dr.  Boas  discusses  some 
of  them  in  two  final  chapters,  full  of  arguments  and  observations 
deserving  of  careful  study.  I  shall  take  the  liberty  of  transcribing 
some  of  the  weighty  remarks  with  which  he  brings  this  admirable 
monograph  to  a  conclusion.  "The  mind  of  the  Bella  Coola 
philosopher,  operating  with  the  class  of  knowledge  common  to 
the  earlier  strata  of  culture,  has  reached  conclusions  similar  to 
those  that  have  been  formed  by  man  the  world  over,  when 
operating  with  the  same  class  of  knowledge.  On  the  other  hand 
the  Bella  Coola  has  also  adopted  ready-made  the  thoughts  of  his 
neigbours,  and  has  adapted  them  to  his  environment.  These  two 
results  of  our  inquiry  emphasise  the  close  relation  between  the 
comparative  and  the  historic  methods  of  ethnology,  which  are  so 
often  held  to  be  antagonistic.  Each  is  a  check  upon  rash  con- 
clusions that  might  be  attained  by  the  application  of  one  alone. 
It  is  just  as  uncritical  to  see,  in  an  analogy  of  a  single  trait  of  culture 
that  occurs  in  two  distinct  regions,  undoubted  proof  of  early 
historical  connection  as  to  reject  the  possibility  of  such  connection, 
because  sometimes  the  same  ideas  develop  independently  in  the 
human  mind.  Ethnology  is  rapidly  outgrowing  the  tendency  to 
accept  imperfect  evidence  as  proof  of  historical  connection,  but 
the  comparative  ethnologist  is  hardly  beginning  to  see  that  he  has 
no  right  to  scoff  at  the  historical  method.  Our  inquiry  shows  that 
safe  conclusions  can  be  derived  only  by  a  careful  analysis  of  the 

whole  culture All  traits  of  culture  can  be  fully  understood 

only  in  connection  with  the  whole  culture  of  a  tribe.  When  we 
confine  ourselves  to  comparing  isolated  traits  of  culture  we  open 
the  door  to  misinterpretations  without  number." 

I  will  only  add  that  there  are  six  excellent  plates  of  masks  and 
carvings  of  the  tribe,  representing  mythological  personages. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

Reviews.  305 

Malay  Magic:  being  an  Introduction  to  the  Folklore 
AND  Popular  Religion  of  the  Malay  Peninsula.  By 
Walter  William  Skeat.  With  a  Preface  by  Charles  Otto 
Blagden.    Pp.  685,  28  plates.    Macmillan  and  Co.     1900. 

It  is  natural  to  expect  that  the  folklore  of  a  people,  that  has  been 
subjected  to  the  double  influence  of  Brahminism  and  Buddh- 
ism since  about  the  third  century,  and  for  the  last  four  or  five 
hundred  years  has  adopted  the  religion  of  Islam  with  the  civilisa- 
tion that  accompanies  it,  should  be  of  a  somewhat  piebald 
character  with  distinct  marks  of  stratification.  Underlying  all 
this,  however,  is  the  native  bed-rock  of  animism  which,  combined 
with  a  belief  in  sympathetic  magic,  yields  an  abundant  supply  of 
beliefs,  ceremonies,  magic  formulas,  and  taboos,  sufficient  to  fill 
a  stout  volume.  The  greater  gods,  for  instance,  are  Hindu 
divinities  in  Malay  dress,  for  only  the  lesser  gods  and  spirits  are 
of  native  origin.  Shiva  is  known  as  Batara  Guru,  and  is  regarded 
as  the  greatest  of  gods,  while  Vishnu,  Brahma,  ICala,  and  Sri  are 
frequently  appealed  to.  The  Malay  Drama  is  largely  indebted  to 
India,  and  many  of  the  plots  are  derived  from  the  Ramayana  and 
other  Indian  epics.  As  the  Malay  does  not  seem  to  possess 
a  speculative  mind,  in  various  legends  of  the  creation  of  the 
world  and  the  creation  of  man,  Arab  influence  is  clearly  shown,  as 
well  as  in  some  charms  and  in  marriage  and  burial  customs. 

In  the  Malay  Peninsula  the  theory  of  the  king  as  the  Divine 
Man,  who  can  slay  at  pleasure  without  being  guilty  of  crime,  seems 
to  be  held  in  all  its  fulness.  He  is  credited  with  all  the  attributes 
of  inferior  gods,  and  his  birth  is  attended  by  amazing  prodigies. 
He  is  usually  invulnerable,  and  gifted  with  miraculous  powers. 
Yet  it  would  be  interesting  to  trace  these  beliefs  to  their  origin. 
They  can  hardly,  I  think,  be  of  purely  native  growth,  for  other 
Malay  peoples  at  a  more  primitive  stage  of  culture  either  have 
no  kings,  or,  if  they  have,  credit  them  with  far  less  power. 

It  is  seldom  one  finds  such  a  mass  of  mining-lore  as  Mr.  Skeat 
has  garnered.  It  makes  one  wonder  whether  the  miners  of  the 
Cassiterides  had  taboos  analogous  to  those  of  the  Malays.  From 
the  Malay  point  of  view,  tin-ore  is  endued  with  vitality  and  the 
power  of  growth.  Its  spirit  can  assume  the  form  of  a  bufialo  and 
move  underground  from  place  to  place.  Certain  words,  such  as 
elephant,  buflalo,  cat,  snake,  lime  (fruit),  tin-sand,  tin,  the  use  of 

vol.  XI.  X 

3o6  Reviews. 

which  would  offend  the  spirit,  are  tabooed.  As  the  spirits  dis- 
like noise,  all  eating-vessels  should  be  of  cocoanut  shell  or  of 
wood.  No  animal  must  be  killed  in  a  mine.  The  miner  must 
wear  trowsers ;  yet  it  is  forbidden  to  wear  shoes  or  to  carry  an 
umbrella  or  to  wear  a  sarong  (Malay  skirt)  in  a  mine. 

Not  less  interesting  are  the  agricultural  customs  and  ceremonies, 
founded  on  a  belief  in  spirits  of  vegetation  and  sympathetic  magic. 
So  it  does  not  sound  strange  that  maize  must  be  planted  with  a 
full  stomach,  and  the  dibble  must  be  thick,  for  doing  so  swells  the 
ear  of  maize.  Cocoa-nuts  ought  to  be  planted  when  the  stomach 
is  distended  with  food,  and  the  nut  must  be  thrown  into  the  hole 
made  for  it  without  straightening  the  arm,  or  the  fruit-stalk  will 
break.  When  the  rice-harvest  arrives,  before  reaping  it,  leave  must 
be  obtained  from  the  medicine-man  (pawang),  and  a  propitiatory 
service  must  be  performed  as  a  sort  of  apology  to  the  rice  for 
cutting  it.  Then  the  "  Rice  Soul "  must  be  secured  and  made 
comfortable.  It  resides  in  seven  stems  of  rice,  taken  from  the 
spot  where  the  rice  is  best  and  where  there  are  seven  joints  in  the 
stalk.  It  must  be  noted  too  that  these  are  the  first  stalks  that  are 
cut.i  They  are  made  into  the  shape  of  a  baby  in  swaddling  clothes, 
which  is  laid  in  a  basket,  carried  home  and  placed  on  a  new  sleep- 
ing-mat. For  three  days  afterwards  a  set  of  taboos,  identical  in 
many  respects  with  those  observed  after  the  birth  of  a  real  child, 
are  imposed  on  the  wife  of  the  master  of  the  house.  The  last 
sheaf  is  reaped  by  the  wife  of  the  owner.  She  then  carries  it 
home,  where  it  is  threshed  and  mixed  with  the  Rice  Soul. 

The  ceremonies  of  betrothal  and  marriage,  which  is  based  on 
purchase,  are  for  the  most  part  of  a  civilised  nature,  though  here 
and  there  a  few  survivals  crop  up.  For  instance,  on  the  first 
evening  of  the  marriage  ceremony  the  finger  nails  and  the 
centre  of  each  palm  of  the  bride  and  bridegroom  are  stained  with 
henna  in  private  in  the  inner  apartments,  and  the  second  day 
this  is  repeated  in  public  to  the  music  of  the  "  Henna  Dance." 
In  the  henna  we  have  a  substitute  for  blood  in  connection  with 
marriage  rites,  such  as  are  elucidated  by  Mr.  Sidney  Hartland  in 
the  Legend  of  Perseus.  Again,  the  arrival  of  the  bridegroom  at 
the  bride's  house  is  the  signal  for  a  mimic  combat,  or  his  passage 
is  barred  by  a  rope.     And  after  the  ceremony  before  the  priest  is 

*  Cf.  Greek  custom,  FoUdart^  vii.,  147. — Ed. 

Reviews.  307 

concluded,  the  bridegroom  is  carried  ofifby  his  friends  to  the 
outer  chamber,  where  he  has  to  "ask  pardon."  Nominally  the 
bridegroom  is  expected  to  remain  about  two  years  at  the  house  of 
the  bride.  After  this  he  can  remove  to  a  house  of  his  own. 
But  to  Hindu  influence  may  be  attributed  the  custom  of  treating 
the  bride  and  bridegroom  as  royal  personages  for  the  time  being, 
and  terming  them  Raja  sari^  "  the  sovereigns  of  a  day."  Abduc- 
tion by  force  is  also  known,  but  seems  always  to  be  compounded 
for  by  a  subsequent  payment  to  the  girl's  parents.  In  its  very 
mildest  form  a  suitor  merely  sends  his  kris  or  dagger  to  the  house 
of  the  girl's  parents,  with  the  message  that  he  is  ready  to  pay 
double  the  usual  expenses. 

In  the  more  extended  sense  of  the  word  the  Malays  are  familiar 
with  some  of  the  aspects  of  the  couvade.  During  the  pregnancy 
of  his  wife  a  man  has  to  be  very  careful  in  his  actions  lest  they 
should  have  a  prejudicial  effect  on  the  child  and  cause  deformity. 
Formerly  it  was  a  taboo  to  hurt  or  take  the  life  of  any  animal,  to 
cut  his  own  hair,  or  to  sit  in  the  doorway  of  his  house.  The  wife 
has  to  be  equally  careful  not  to  disparage  any  man  or  beast,  or  the 
qualities  she  dislikes  will  be  reproduced  in  her  child.  And  she 
must  not  sleep  in  the  daytime,  or  her  child  will  fall  a  prey  to  evil 

The  services  of  the  pawang  or  medicine-man  are  naturally  in 
constant  request.  He  is  the  handy  man  that  can  turn  his  hand  to 
anything,  and  has  a  charm,  generally  accompanied  by  an  elaborate 
ceremony,  for  every  emergency.  In  dealing  with  spirits — he  is 
the  recognised  medium  between  them  and  mankind — he  acts  pre- 
cisely as  if  they  were  human  beings  speaking  the  same  language 
as  himself,  and  actuated  by  ordinary  human  motives.  It  is  im- 
possible to  read  the  majority  of  Malay  charms  without  being 
struck  by  their  remarkable  likeness  to  those  from  Finland.  They 
have  the  same  ring,  and  often  contain  phrases  for  which  very 
exact  parallels  can  be  found  in  Finnish  examples,  though  some- 
times the  imagination  of  the  Malay  is  more  vividly  expressed. 
As  in  Finland,  to  inform  a  spirit,  animal,  or  natural  object  of  the 
source  from  which  it  originates  renders  it  powerless.  So  "  I  know 
the  origin  from  which  thou  springest,"  "  I  know  your  origin,"  are 
frequently  in  the  mouths  of  the  pawang  \  and  just  as  in  Finland 
evil  spirits  may  be  addressed,  "  Retire  ye  hence  to  the  depths  of 
the  ocean,  to  the  peace  of  the  primeval  forest,"  "  Return  to  the  big 

X  2 

3o8  Reviews. 

virgin  jungle,  return  to  your  caverns  and  hill-locked  basins,  to  the 
stream  that  has  no  headwaters,  to  the  pond  that  was  never  dug,  &c." 
If  a  spirit  or  creature  will  not  obey  a  civil  request,  it  is  of  course 
threatened :  "  If  ye  retire  not  from  hence,  as  you  stride  your  leg 
will  break,  as  you  stretch  your  hand  out  your  hand  shall  be 
crippled  ....  moreover  your  tongue  shall  be  split  by  a  bamboo 
splinter,  &c."  "  If  you  (wild  pigeons)  descend  not,  the  Bear-cat 
shall  devour  you,  if  you  come  not,  wild  beasts  shall  devour  you 
....  if  you  fly  upwards,  you  shall  be  swooped  upon  by  kites  and 
eagles,  &c."  The  pawang  often  asserts  that  it  is  not  he  that  does 
a  particular  act,  but  someone  else.  He  does  this  either  to  remove 
the  blame  from  his  own  shoulders,  or  to  give  greater  force  to  his 
words,  being  but  the  mouthpiece  of  a  greater  person.  For  example : 
"  It  is  not  I  who  spear  you  (a  deer),  it  is  Pawang  Sidi  who  spears 
you ; "  "  It  is  not  I  who  cast  out  these  mischiefs,  it  is  the  Junior 
Dogboy  who  casts  them  out ; "  "  It  is  not  I  that  make  this  peace- 
ofiering,  it  is  old  Togok  the  Wizard  who  makes  it,  it  is  the  Elder 
Wizard  who  makes  it."  The  Finnish  wizard  is  also  familiar  with 
this  fiction.  In  fishing,  fowling,  and  mining  charms,  certain  words 
are  tabooed  as  offensive  to  the  particular  fish,  bird,  or  metal. 
Thus  the  hut  of  the  fowler  is  the  "  Magic  Prince,"  the  nooses  are 
"Solomon's  necklaces;"  tin-ore  is  addressed  as  "Rice  Grains," 
"Spinach-seed,"  "Tobacco-seed,"  "Millet,  &c.;"  a  fish  must  be 
termed  "Tree-leaves"  or  "Jetsam."  It  is  not  improbable  that 
the  Kennings  of  Scandinavian  poetry,  especiaUy  those  relating  to 
the  sea  and  ships,  and  the  figurative  expressions  in  Finnish  magic 
poetry  have  a  similar  root  With  the  gradual  decay  of  the  idea 
which  gave  birth  to  them,  they  would  be  applied  to  other  objects 
by  analogy,  and  so  increase  in  numbers  till  they  came  to  be  regarded 
as  mere  poetical  embellishments  with  unlimited  power  of  multi- 

In  the  limits  of  a  short  notice  it  is  not  possible  to  do  justice  to 
the  ample  folklore  material  collected  by  Mr.  Skeat  or  even  to  indi- 
cate its  contents  with  appropriate  fulness.  Suffice  to  say  that  the 
Malay  in  various  conditions  of  life  is  followed  from  birth  to  the 
grave.  And  if  a  few  matters  are  passed  over,  such  as  the  ancient 
organisation  of  the  clan  and  the  tribe,  it  is  probably  because  the 
Malays  of  the  Peninsula  have  outlived  that  stage,  owing  to  their 
higher  civilisation.  A  considerable  number  of  illustrations  ma- 
terially enhance  the  value  of  the  book. 

John  Abercromby. 

Reviews.  309 

Aradia,  or  the  Gospel  of  the  Witches.    By  Charles  G. 
Leland.     Nutt     3$.  6d. 

In  this  book  Mr.  Leland  has  recorded  a  number  of  curious 
legends  relating  to  Diana,  as  Queen  of  the  Witches,  and  to  her 
daughter  Aradia  (Herodias).  It  is  indeed  a  kind  of  "  Gospel " — 
we  infer  from  Mr.  Leland's  words  that  his  authority  calls  it  the 
Vangelo — as  it  begins  by  describing  the  woes  of  mankind,  to 
whose  aid  Diana  sends  Aradia,  teaching  them  the  use  of  witch- 
craft The  second  chapter  describes  how  to  consecrate  the  witch- 
supper,  giving  an  invocation  of  Cain,  Diana,  and  Aradia.  The 
rest  of  the  book  contains  cosmic  myths  about  Diana,  or  incanta- 
tions for  winning  love,  good  luck,  or  prosperity,  with  a  few  mis- 
cellaneous legends.  Diana  as  queen  of  the  witches  is  known  to 
us  from  antiquity,  but  it  would  be  impossible  to  produce  classical 
authority  for  most  of  the  lore  of  this  book.  Having  regard  to  the 
wild  nature  of  the  incantations,  we  have  no  doubt  that  the  sub- 
stance of  the  book  is  ancient ;  and  we  see  no  reason  why  it  should 
not  be,  as  Mr.  Leland  claims,  a  genuine  relic  of  ancient  belief, 
part  of  that  secret  lore  which  existed  side  by  side  with  the  poetical 
or  systematised  mythology.  Several  other  old  names,  such  as 
Endamione  (Endymion),  appear  in  the  book ;  and  Tana,  as  Mr. 
Leland  has  pointed  out  in  his  Etrusco-Roman  Remains^  is  the 
Etruscan  form  of  Diana. 

The  question  arises,  how  closely  Mr.  Leland  has  adhered  to 
his  authorities.  A  great  part  of  the  book  is  made  up  of  charms, 
which  are  given  in  the  Italian,  and  if  the  prose  translation  be  as 
literal  as  the  verse,  we  have  no  cause  to  complain.  We  wish, 
however,  that  the  whole  text  of  the  Vangelo  had  been  given  in 
full ;  it  would  have  been  but  a  few  pages  added  to  the  book.  And 
we  wish  Mr.  Leland  would  always  tell  us,  when  he  departs  from 
his  text,  in  briefest  words  what  the  text  is.  It  might  be  done,  as 
in  Wide-Awake  Stories^  by  a  summary  of  events.  Enthusiasm 
Mr.  Leland  has  in  plenty,  literary  taste,  and  the  art  of  interesting; 
but  he  lacks  method.  In  spite  of  this  drawback  we  heartily  wel- 
come his  new  book.  Classical  scholarship  no  less  than  our  own 
folklore  has  reason  to  be  grateful  to  him  for  his  untiring  efforts 
as  a  collector.  He  appears  to  have  a  dozen  new  books  up  his 
sleeve ;  we  hope  they  may  soon  come  out. 

3IO  Reviews. 

Babylonians  and  Assyrians.     Life  and  Customs.    By  the 
Rev.  A.  H.  Sayce.     {The  Semitic  Series,)    Nimmo. 

This  book  hardly  requires  a  long  notice  in  our  columns,  since  it 
is -merely  a  handbook,  summing  up  for  popular  use  the  results  of 
scholars*  researches.  For  the  purposes  of  our  study  we  need 
exact  references  and  the  very  words  of  the  authorities,  neither  of 
which  will  be  found  here.  There  are,  of  course,  many  points  of 
custom  touched  upon  which  are  of  importance  to  us,  such  as  the 
laws  of  marriage  and  succession,  burial,  law,  and  religion,  but  the 
treatment  is  too  summary.  There  is  not  even  a  bibliography. 
Yet,  although  the  book  will  not  be  of  use  to  the  folklore  student 
as  such,  it  is  bound  to  interest  him  in  his  private  and  unprofes- 
sional capacity.  It  is  brightly  written  and  clear,  full  of  quaint 
things  which  bring  home  to  us  the  life  of  the  Euphrates  valley 
four  or  five  thousand  years  ago.  Every  now  and  again  we  are 
enlivened  by  one  of  Professor  Sayce's  sweeping  generalisations — 
that  "  mixt  races,"  for  example,  are  "  invariably  the  best,"  or  that 
cremation  was  due  to  sanitary  reasons.  There  are  many  important 
illustrations  of  the  Bible,  and  we  fancy  we  see  some  readers  open- 
ing their  eyes  in  horror  at  Professor  Sayce's  bold  euhemerising  of 
the  tower  of  Babel.  In  arrangement  Professor  Sayce  is  not  always 
happy,  or  are  we  to  put  down  to  grim  humour  his  coupling  together 
in  one  chapter  Education  and  Death  ?  The  sections  on  books, 
libraries,  schools,  and  writing,  are  of  special  interest,  but  the  whole 
book  is  interesting. 

A  Selected  Bibliography  of  Anthropology  and  Ethnology 
OF  Europe.     By  W.  L.  Ripley.     Boston  (Mass.).     1899. 

A  SELECTION  containing  upwards  of  2,000  titles  cannot  fail  to  be 
of  great  value  to  all  students  of  any  branch  of  anthropology.  The 
labour  and  knowledge  of  the  compiler  must  be  cordially  acknow- 
ledged. At  the  same  time  it  must  be  frankly  stated  that  his 
judgment  is  frequently  at  fault,  that  his  omissions  are  many  and 
unaccountable,  and  that  his  work  is  weakest  when  it  might  have 
been  expected  to  be  strongest,  namely,  in  the  selection  of  works 
bearing  upon  the  anthropology  and  ethnology  of  the  British  Isles. 
Moreover,  as  this  is  a  bibliography  compiled  by  a  "  specialist," 
with  the  definite  object  of  assisting  students,  one  misses  those 
notes  of  guidance  and  illumination  which  the  specialist  alone  can 

Reviews.  311 

give.  Thus,  Mr.  Jacobs'  three  articles  upon  the  anthropology  of 
the  European  Jew  are  duly  chronicled,  likewise  his  Studies  in 
Jewish  Statistics,  But  no  hint  is  given  that  the  latter  work  is 
simply  a  recueil factice  comprising  the  three  articles. 

As  regards  omissions,  no  single  work  of  Mr.  Gomme  is  cited. 
Nor  is  Mr.  Borlase's  great  work  on  the  Dolmens  of  Ireland^  nor 
Colonel  Wood  Martin's  Pagan  Ireland,  Serials  such  as  the 
Archaeological  Review^  the  publications  of  the  Folk-Lore  Society,  or 
the  Archaologia  Cambrensis^  have  been  entirely  neglected.  In 
short,  the  institutional  and  psychical  sides  of  anthropology  have 
scant  attention  paid  to  them  (not  one  of  Professor  Kovalevsk/s 
works  is  noted),  and  the  treatment  of  the  British  Isles  compares 
unfavourably  with  that  of  the  Continent.  This  is  an  American 
compilation,  and  it  behoves  Englishmen  to  be  alive  to  the  fact 
that  from  the  point  of  view  of  culture,  of  science  in  the  wide  sense 
of  the  word,  America  is  steadily  drifting  away  from  England. 
This  is  not  to  be  wondered  at ;  England  as  a  nation  flouts  culture 
and  disdains  science.  But  it  is  a  little  hard  that  just  in  the  one 
field  of  research,  psychical  anthropology,  in  which  Englishmen  are 
holding  their  own,  their  efiforts  should  fail  of  recognition  at  the 
hands  of  their  American  cousins. 

Allgemeine  Methodik  der  Volkskundb.  L.  Schermann 
UND  F.  S.  Krauss.  Berichte  ueber  Erscheinungen  in  den 
Jahren  1890-97.     Erlangen  :  F.  Junge.     1899. 

This  is  an  offprint  from  K.  VoUmoller's  Kritisches  Jahresbericht 
ueber  die  Fortschritte  der  romanischen  Fhilologie^  vol.  iv.,  part  3. 
It  might  therefore  be  supposed  that  it  would  pay  special  attention 
to  works  on  folklore  as  exemplified  in  the  literatures  of  the  various 
Romance-speaking  peoples.  This  is  by  no  means  the  case.  The 
work  consists  of  two  portions,  the  first,  by  Dr.  L.  Schermann, 
dealing  with  studies  on  the  science  of  folklore  (chiefly  such  as  have 
appeared  in  our  publications),  issued  from  1884  to  1890.  It  is 
good  as  far  as  it  goes.  I  cannot  speak  so  favourably  of  the  larger 
portion  of  the  work  due  to  Dr.  Krauss.  He  has  noticed  a  great 
number  of  separate  works  as  well  as  articles  in  periodicals ;  his 
remarks  are  suggestive,  often  interesting,  generally  sound.  But 
the  absence  of  any  index,  the  arbitrary  and  fantastic  division  of 
the  subject  matter,  and  still  more  the  arbitrary  choice  of  works 
dealt  with,  render  the  compilation  of  little  practical  value.   As  far 

312  Reviews. 

as  the  latter  point  is  concerned,  it  may  suffice  to  say  that  Mrs. 
Gomme's  Singing  Games  is  noted,  but  not  her  Traditional 
Gamesy  that  Mr.  Frazer's  name  is  not  once  mentioned ;  that  Mr. 
Hartland's  Science  of  Fairy  Tales  is  cited,  but  not  his  Legend  of 
Perseus  (and  this  is  a  work  which  deals  with  the  methodology  of 
folklore  !) ;  and  that  Mr.  Jacobs,  whose  work  is  so  often  of  interest 
for  the  Romance  scholar  as  well  as  for  the  folklorist,  is  passed  over 
in  complete  silence.  Strangest  omission  of  all,  the  ballad  problem 
is  not  touched  upon.  M.  Gaston  Paris'  brilliant  and  revolutionary 
hypotheses  are  ignored,  and  Child's  great  collection  is  never  once 
mentioned.  Dr.  Krauss  has  rendered  such  good  service  to  the 
study  that  I  am  loth  to  speak  thus  of  any  work  of  his,  but  I  am 
compelled  to  say  that  he  has  done  justice  neither  to  his  theme 
nor  to  himself. 

Neue  Beitrage  zur  Kentniss  des  Volkrathsels.  R.  Petsch. 
Berlin  :  Mayer  und  Miiller.     1899.     (Palaestra,  No.  4.) 

A  SCHOLARLY  work,  well  conceived,  based  on  wide  and  thorough 
research,  and  full  of  interest  from  the  first  page  to  the  last. 
Detailed  criticism  of  an  annotated  collection  of  riddles  is  im- 
possible. I  would  only  say  that  the  author  draws  fully  upon 
English  sources,  and  that  the  student  of  tales  and  ballads  may 
often  glean  useful  hints  from  his  pages.  In  two  appendices  the 
author  reprints  an  early  German  riddle  chap-book,  and  discusses 
the  best  mode  of  classifying  and  editing  folk-riddles. 

Folklore  in  England  und  Amerika.  C.  Klopper.  Dresden  : 
C.  A.  Koch.  1899.  (Neusprachlichle  Abhandlungen, 
No.  viii.) 

I  only  notice  this  pamphlet  as  a  dreadful  example.  In  sixty-one 
pages  the  author  has  essayed  to  give  a  "  connected  survey  of  the 
more  important  superstitions,  customs,  and  beliefs  of  the  English- 
speaking  race  in  Great  Britain  and  the  United  States."  The 
result  is  worse  than  worthless;  it  cannot  but  be  seriously  mis- 
leading to  any  one  unacquainted  at  first  hand  with  the  sources 
whence  the  author  draws  his  information.  These  are  treated  as  if 
they  were  aU  on  the  same  level ;  isolated  facts  are  picked  out  in- 
discriminately, are  stated  in  the  most  general  terms,  and  a  picture 
is  drawn  of  which  every  single  item  may  be  accurate,  but  which 

Reviews.  313 

as  a  whole  answers  to  no  reality  either  in  the  present  or  the  past 
I  fear  too  many  English  works  on  the  folklore  of  foreign  countries 
would  be  open  to  the  same  reproach,  but  the  evils  of  the  method 
are  brought  home  to  one  when  applied  to  one's  own  country. 

Alfred  Nutt. 

Segnius  Irritant,  or  Eight  Primitive  Folklore  Stories. 
By  W.  W.  Strickland.     Robert  Forder.     1896. 

North-West  Slav  Legends  and  Fairy  Stories.  By  the 
same.    A  sequel  to  "  Segnius  Irritant."    Forder.     1897. 

South-Slavonic  Folklore  Stories.  With  an  Introductory 
Preface.     By  the  same.     Forder.     1899. 

La  Veill£e  :  Douze  Contes  Traduits  du  Roumain.  Par  Jules 
Brun.  Avec  une  Introduction  par  Mdlle.  Lucille  Kitzo. 

In  order  to  present  a  collective  view  of  Slavonic  fairy  tales,  Karel 
Jaromir  Erben  published  a  kind  of  anthology  containing  just  one 
hundred  such  tales,  in  the  very  languages  in  which  they  had  first 
been  made  known.  Mr.  Strickland  is  now  endeavouring  to  make 
this  anthology  known  to  English  folklorists,  by  as  exact  a  translation 
as  anyone  could  furnish  who,  though  not  too  well  acquainted  with  all 
the  nuances  of  the  Slavonic  dialects,  has  yet  mastered  the  general 
tenor  of  those  dialects  and  languages.  The  flavour  of  the  original 
frequently  vanishes,  though  the  narrative  be  correctly  reproduced. 
The  translation  of  the  whole  hundred  tales,  to  be  completed  by 
a  fourth  still  outstanding  volume,  seems  to  be  the  result  of  an 
afterthought.  In  the  book  mentioned  first,  Mr.  Strickland  pub- 
lished a  selection  of  eight  tales.  They  were  chosen  for  the  pur- 
pose of  illustrating  a  new  theory  as  to  the  origin  of  fairy  tales, 
thus  explained  by  the  author  himself  (p.  103):  "The  analysis 
of  these  eight  stories  has,  therefore,  brought  out  into  strong 
relief  three  important  facts  about  them,  (i)  They  are  all  solar 
high-latitude  myths,  and  not  low-latitude  solar  myths  of  the 
dawn.  (2)  They  can  all  be  traced  to  somewhere  in  the  Arctic 
circle  as  their  point  of  origin ;  the  total  disappearance  of  the  sun 
in  winter  and  an  excessive  degree  of  frost  and  cold  being  essential 
elements  in  their  composition.  (3)  The  hero  is  never  the  sun, 
but  invariably  the  latent  force  of  organic  life,  conceived  as  some- 

314  Reviews. 

how  instramental  in  bringing  back  the  sun  by  conquering  the 
forces  of  death  and  cold  on  the  earth  itself." 

Curious  diagrams  and  tables  accompany  this  "  explanation  "  of 
the  eight  tales.  After  the  publication  of  these  select  specimens 
the  author  seems  to  have  bethought  himself  of  translating  the 
remaining  ninety-two.  There  is  not  much  love  lost  for  the  Slavs 
or  for  Austria  in  the  Preface  to  vol.  iii.,  which  is  no  less  marred 
by  virulence  of  expression  than  are  many  remarks  in  the  first 
volume.  They  do  not,  however,  affect  the  tales,  which  ought  to 
be  read  quite  independently  of  these  additions. 

We  deal  with  a  different  set  of  ideas  in  M.  Brun's  Intro- 
ductions to  his  translations  of  Rumanian  fairy-tales.  He  belongs 
soul  and  body  to  the  "  solar  theory,"  and  has  spent  much  inge- 
nuity in  the  Introduction  to  his  first  volume,  published  in  1894, 
which  contained  seven  tales.  The  present  volume  contains  an  accu- 
rate translation  of  twelve  new  tales,  selected  from  among  the  best 
Rumanian  authors.  In  the  Introduction  by  Miss  Kitzo  we  meet 
the  same  spirit  of  vaingloriousness  and  wilful  ignorance  which  is 
so  characteristic  of  Rumanian  Chauvinists.  For  them  the  Ru- 
manian tales  are  the  tales  "  par  excellence : "  they  represent  the 
highest  expression  of  poetic  imagery,  and  retain  "  Roman  "  tradi- 
tions. Everything  is  pressed  into  the  service  of  this  infatuation 
of  the  Rumanians,  who  dream  themselves  to  be  the  true  and 
direct  descendants  of  the  Roman  legionaries.  A  glance  at  the 
foregoing  Slavonic  Anthology  would  teach  them  better  if  they 
were  open  to  such  a  lesson.  Is  it  not  significant  in  the  highest 
degree  that  the  Rumanian  Academy,  in  offering  a  prize  for  the 
best  study  on  Rumanian  fairy  tales,  pointedly  omitted  the  Slavo- 
nic tales  from  the  range  of  comparison?  Saineanu,  who  won 
the  prize,  did  therefore  compare  the  Rumanian  tales  with  those 
of  every  other  tongue  and  nation,  only  the  Slavonic  had  to  remain 

M.  G. 

FoLK-LoRE  Catalan.   L^gendes  du  Roussillon.    Par  Horace 
Chauvet.     Paris :  J.  Maisonneuve. 

Roussillon  is  a  small  province  at  the  foot  of  the  Pyrenees, 
which  did  not  finally  become  French  until  the  treaty  of  1659,  and 
is  now  the  department  of  Pyrenees  Orientaux.     It  retains  its 


Reviews.  315 

Catalonian  dialect  and  folklore.  Of  the  latter,  M.  Chauvet  says, 
only  the  proverbs  and  the  songs  had  been  collected.  He  has  set 
himself  to  collect  some  of  the  folktales.  "  Puisqu'on  restaure  les 
vieux  monuments,"  he  asks,  "  pourquoi  ne  reconstituerait-on  pas 
les  pittoresques  l^gendes  qui  nous  sont  parvenues  k  travers  les 
revolutions  ? "  This,  however,  is  the  spirit  of  the  literary  man, 
rather  than  that  of  the  scientific  collector.  Consequently,  pleasant 
as  M.  Chauvet's  collection  is  to  read,  and  delightfully  told  as  are 
some  of  the  legends,  they  are  not  transcripts  of  "  oral  literature." 
Most  of  them  seem  to  have  real  folktales  at  their  base,  and  that 
of  Feau  tPAne  is  translated  from  Lo  Rondallayre  of  M.  Francisco 
Maspous  of  Labros.  Incidentally,  especially  in  the  notes,  useful 
information  is  given.  The  formulas  of  witchcraft  are  doubtless 
likewise  genuine.  The  introduction  contains  a  lifelike  sketch  of 
a  veillee  (fhiver^  which  bears  testimony  to  M.  Chauvet's  sympathy 
with  the  "  folk."  I  can  only  wish  that  he  had  preserved  more  of 
the  true  savour  of  the  folktale  in  the  body  of  his  work,  though,  in 
spite  of  this  serious  defect,  it  will  have  its  value  as  the  only  repre- 
sentative of  the  legendary  lore  of  that  part  of  the  ancient  province 
of  Catalonia  situate  on  the  northern  side  of  the  Pyrenees. 

E.  Sidney  Hartland. 

The  Talking  Thrush  and  other  Tales  from  India.  Col- 
lected by  W.  Crooke  and  retold  by  W.  H.  D.  Rouse.  Illus- 
trated by  W.  H.  Robinson.  London  :  J.  M.  Dent  and  Co. 

Mr.  Crooke  collected  in  India  a  large  number  of  folktales. 
Some  of  them  were  published  by  him  in  North  Indian  Notes  and 
Queries^  a  publication  which  is,  or  ought  to  be,  known  to  every 
student  of  folklore.  Many  of  them,  however,  still  remain  in 
manuscript  TTie  Talking  Thrush  is  a  selection  from  the  entire 
collection  of  some  of  the  stories  of  the  lower  animals,  recast  by 
Mr.  Rouse  for  children.  Very  charming  and  very  amusing  they 
are.  It  would  be  difficult  to  have  retold  them  more  suitably  or 
more  wittily. 

The  notes  record  any  changes  made  in  retelling,  and  occasion- 
ally refer  to  parallels.  They  will  thus  be  of  use  to  students  of  the 
apologue.  Short  explanations  of  superstitions  and  other  pecu- 
liarities are  also  given  where  necessary.    The  story  of  the  Cat  and 

3i6  Reviews. 

the  Parrot  is  an  amalgam  of  two  tales  in  no  wise  related  to  one 
another.  The  former  part  of  it  is  identical  with  that  of  the  Little 
Red  Hen  {Foik-Lore^  vol.  x.,  p.  117).  The  latter  part  is  a  variant 
of  the  story  of  the  voracious  monster,  which,  after  swallowing  a 
number  of  men  and  animals,  is  destroyed,  and  the  objects  swal- 
lowed brought  out  alive. 

£.  Sidney  Hartland. 

Shetland  Folk-Lore.    By  John  Spence,  F.E.I.S.    Lerwick : 
Johnson  D.  Greig. 

The  author  of  this  contribution  to  our  knowledge  of  the  folk- 
speech,  folklore,  and  folk-customs  of  Shetland,  tells  us  in  the 
preface  to  his  interesting  volume,  that  he  has  been  for  more  than 
forty  years  collecting  sa3dngs  and  superstitions  from  the  lips  of  the 
old  Shetlanders  amongst  whom  he  dwells. 

The  book  is  divided  into  five  parts,  under  the  sub-titles  of 
"The  Picts  and  their  Brochs,"  " Pre-historic  Remains,"  "Folk- 
lore," "  Proverbs  and  Sayings,"  and  "  The  Lammas  Fog." 

It  is  the  section  which  relates  to  folklore  that  I  purpose  to 
consider  here.  Many  of  the  beliefs  relating  to  animals,  which 
Mr,  Spence  has  noted,  are  not  confined  to  Shetland;  but  it  is 
quite  right  that  they  should  be  included  in  the  collection.  It  is, 
as  most  students  of  folklore  know,  very  difficult  to  meet  with  a 
writer  who  understands  the  absolute  necessity  of  noting  every 
custom  or  belief  relating  to  a  district,  irrespective  of  the  fact  that 
that  it  may  have  been  recorded  dozens  of  times  as  prevailing  in 
other  places. 

Mr.  Spence  is  not  a  scientific  folklorist,  but  he  has  set  down  all 
the  legends,  beliefs,  and  traditions  which  have  come  under  his 
notice ;  and  he  gives  us  a  picture  of  the  life  led  by  the  fisher  folk 
and  husbandmen  of  Shetland,  which  could  only  be  drawn  by  one 
familiar  with  their  daily  life  and  occupations.  He  shows  us  the 
real  inward  life  of  a  people  still  existing  in  a  mist  of  traditionary 
beliefs,  which  escape  the  notice  of  all  save  the  few  who  are  able 
to  penetrate  behind  the  cloud  for  ever  hanging  between  those 
who  believe  and  those  who  criticize  old  traditions. 

It  would  be  a  gain  to  anthropology  if  others  would  follow  the 
example  set  by  Mr.  Spence,  and  record  the  simple  everyday 
customs  which  are  perishing  around  them. 

Florence  Peacock. 

Reviews.  317 

Peasant  Lore  from  Gaelic  Ireland.    Collected  by  Daniel 
Deeney.    David  Nutt.     1900. 

These  little  sketches  and  anecdotes  are  very  well  and  simply  told, 
and  from  internal  evidence  one  would  say  they  are  perfectly 
genuine  folklore.  But  the  author  only  tells  us  that  "  while  most 
of  the  items  of  peasant-lore  referred  to  in  this  little  volume  have 
been  drawn  directly  from  the  Connemara  and  the  Donegal  High- 
lands, they  are  nevertheless  common  to  the  Gaelic-speaking  districts 
all  over  Ireland.     But  they  are  not  exclusively  confined  to  those 

parts The  majority  of  them,  however,  were  related  to  me  in 

the  Bearla  briste  (broken  English)  of  a  Western  peasant,  who  was 
invariably  obliged,  whenever  he  found  it  necessary  to  emphasize 
any  point  and  to  impress  it  on  my  mind,  to  have  recourse  to  the 
vernacular."  This  absence  of  definite  detail  is  a  drawback  to 
an  attractive  little  book,  which  nevertheless  is  well  calculated  to 
inoculate  non-folklorist  readers  with  a  love  of  the  subject. 

Bluebeard,  a  Contribution  to  History  and  Folklore, 
Being  the  History  of  Gilles  de  Retz  of  Brittany, 
France,  who  was  executed  at   Nantes  in   1440  a.d., 


OF  Mother  Goose,    By  Thomas  Wilson,  LL.D.    G.  P. 
Putnam's  Sons.     1899, 

This  is  a  short  but  full  biography,  compiled  from  original  docu- 
ments, of  a  fifteenth-century  baron  who  fought  under  Joan  of  Arc, 
wrote,  and  acted  in,  a  play  on  her  life,  and  was  eventually  con- 
demned to  death  on  the  double  charge  of  wholesale  child-murder 
and  of  dabbling  in  magic.  As  a  contribution  to  the  social  history 
of  the  later  Middle  Ages,  the  book  is  curious,  if  unpleasant,  and 
the  contemporary  account  of  a  trial  for  witchcraft  contained  in  it 
comes  within  the  range  of  the  folklorist  But  otherwise  it  would 
be  about  as  sensible  to  call  a  life  of  Henry  VIII.,  the  English 
claimant  for  Bluebeard  honours,  "  a  contribution  to  folklore."  We 
recommend  Mr.  Hartland's  article  on  "  The  Forbidden  Chamber  " 
{Folk-Lore  Journal^  iii.,  193)  to  the  author's  notice:  also  Mr. 
Baring-Gould's  Book  of  Werewolves^  in  which  his  repulsive  hero 
has  already  received  sufficient  attention. 


Pre-Animistic  Religion. 

(Vol.  xi.,  p.  162.) 

I  HAD  not  the  pleasure  of  hearing  Mr.  Marett's  interesting  paper 
on  Pre-Animistic  Religion,  and  perhaps  the  Editor  will  permit  me 
to  make  one  or  two  remarks  on  his  argument.  In  the  first  thing 
I  ever  wrote  on  these  problems,  in  1872,  I  adopted  Mr.  Marett's 
view  of  "Awe" — in  presence  of  what  was  reckoned  the  extra- 
natural,  or  unfamiliar — as  the  basis  of  the  religious  sentiment. 
This  emotion  might,  probably,  be  felt  before  man  had  recognised 
the  existence  of  ghosts,  or  developed  Animism,  or  the  ghost- 
theory.  As  to  that  theory,  it  really  does  not  matter  (for  our 
present  purpose)  whether  it  was  based  on  dreams  chiefly,  or  on 
dreams //«J  hallucinations,  in  or  out  of  a  condition  of  trance.  If 
coincidental  hallucinations  and  veridical  visions  occurred,  they 
would,  so  far,  confirm  the  ghost-theory.  But  "  supematuralism  " 
might  be  prior  to  Animism  historically,  as  Mr.  Marett  argues. 

On  the  other  hand,  I  doubt  if  Awe  is  displayed,  as  Mr.  Marett 
thinks,  when  savages  yell  at  a  hurricane,  or  throw  filth  at  the 
Aurora  Borealis  1  These  exercises,  in  the  modem  street-boy, 
denote  rather  an  absence  of  Awe  than  otherwise.  Again,  Mr. 
Marett  regards  Baiame,  and  the  other  Australian — ^what  shall  I  call 
them  ? — "  Beings  reckoned  superior  persons,"  as  myths  based  on 
the  awe  caused  by  the  sound  of  the  Bull  Roarer.  But  the  "primitive" 
Arunta  seem  to  have  no  awe  of  the  sound;  it  is  a  tribal  joke 
among  these  adult  Atheists.  Again,  Mr.  Marett  may  remark  that 
similar  Superior  Persons  (if  that  phrase  will  be  passed  by  my 
adversaries),  occur  where  we  hear  nothing  of  Bull  Roarers.  I 
have  given  examples  enough.  Mr.  Marett  will  not  argue,  will  he, 
that  Baiame  and  Co.  are  apotheoses  of  the  Bull  Roarer,  and  that 
Puluga,  Cagn,  Mulunga,  Mwetyi,  Nzambi,  Tui  Laga,  and  so 
forth,  "  came  otherwise  "  ?  For  this  reason — because  where  no 
"  Awe  inspired  by  the  Bull  Roarer "  is  recorded,  beings  just  like 
those  averred  to  be  sprung  from  that  Awe  are  existing,  I  cannot 

Correspondence.  319 

accept  Mr.  Marett's  singular  solution.  If  we  found  the  Bull 
Roarer  wherever,  among  low  savages,  we  find  a  celestial  Superior 
Person,  Mr.  Marett's  logic  would  be  less  open  to  criticism.  But 
we  don't. 

A.  Lang. 

By  the  kindness  of  the  Editor  I  have  been  permitted  to  see 
the  proofs  of  Mr.  Lang's  communication  ;  but  the  unkindness  of 
certain  temporal  and  local  conditions  forbids  me  to  reply  thereto 
in  as  fitting  a  manner  as  I  could  wish.  Howbeit  I  would  say  a 
word  or  two  e'en  so. 

In  the  first  place,  it  is  very  encouraging  to  me  (as  a  tyro  in  these 
matters)  to  find  that  Mr.  Lang  had  long  ago  forestalled  me  in 
"  adopting  "  the  view  that  forms  the  backbone  of  my  paper  in  the 
last  number  of  Folk-Lore.  By  the  way,  I  suppose  that  even  in 
1872  the  theory  was  not  exactly  new.  There  are  traces  of  it,  I 
fancy,  in  Primitive  Culture  (187 1) — not  to  mention  iheDe  Rerum 
Natura,  But  to  pass,  as  the  philosophers  say,  from  the  stand- 
point of  Origin  to  that  of  Validity,  am  I  right  in  gathering  from 
Mr.  Lang's  remarks  that  he  still  holds  more  or  less  by  the  hypo- 
thesis in  question  ?  If  that  be  so,  then  I  am  so  much  the  more 

Next,  as  regards  the  relevancy  of  certain  of  my  examples.  I 
confess  to  having  doubted  at  the  time  of  writing  whether  the 
instances  of  the  hurricane  and  the  Aurora  Borealis  were  altogether 
in  point.     At  all  events,   however,   they  seemed  to  illustrate 

*  Animatism.'  Further,  I  am  by  no  means  convinced  that  abusive 
yelling  and  the  throwing  of  filth  "  denote  rather  an  absence  of 
Awe  than  otherwise  "  in  the  case  of  the  savage,  who  after  all  is  a 
very  different  person  from  that  product  (or  bye-product)  of  civilisa- 
tion, "  the  modem  street-boy."  Thus  I  take  it  that  an  Australian 
native  feels  '  awe '  of  a  religious  or  quasi-religious  kind  towards  the 
'  dead  hand '  which  he  carries  about  with  him  as  something  half- 
way between  a  charm  and  a  *  familiar.'  Yet,  if  it  do  not  twitch  at 
the  opportune  moment,  he  will  not  scruple  to  say  to  it :  *  Speak,  or 
I  throw  you  to  the  dogs.'  Or  again,  the  Zulu  may  certainly  be  said 
to  'worship'  the  ghost  of  his  departed  sire.  Yet  he  is  quite 
capable  of  winding  up  an  invocation  to  the  latter  with  the  warning : 

*  Help  us,  or  you  will  feed  on  nettles.'  Mr.  Lang,  of  course,  is 
perfectly  familiar  with  such  facts  as  these.     Will  he,  then,  be  pre- 

320  Correspondence. 

pared  to  deny  that  in  certain  cases — not  to  claim  undue  considera' 
tion  for  my  somewhat  *  scratch '  individual  examples — abuse  and 
the  throwing  of  filth  may,  at  the  lower  levels  of  *  cult,*  cloke  a 
passionate  interest  as  towards  '  powers  *  which  in  essence  is  wholly 
one  with  the  feeling  that  at  another  moment  may  issue  forth  in 
prayer,  sacrifice,  or  other  form  of  reverential  address  ? 

As  to  "  Baiame  and  Co.,"  I  would  b^n  by  stating  that  I  follow 
Mr.  Lang  in  believing  them  to  be  a  genuine  achievement  of 
savagery  and  no  mere  rdchaufii^  of  the  teachings  of  missionaries. 
On  the  other  hand,  has  Mr.  Lang  given  to  the  world  any  general 
explanation  for  me  to  follow  of  the  fact  that  his  "Superior 
Persons,"  from  Baiame  and  Co.  to  Tui  Laga,  possess  in  common 
a  certain  ethical  quality  ?  Failing  to  get  a  decisive  *  lead '  from 
him,  I  have  to  fall  back  on  the  well-tried,  if  unromantic,  working 
hypothesis  that  moral  deities  derive  their  character  from  associa- 
tion with  the  moral  institutions  of  society.  Such  a  generalisation 
does  not  exclude  Plurality  of  Causes  when  it  comes  to  connecting 
particular  deities  or  specific  attributes  with  special  institutions. 
Thus  I  do  not  suppose  initiation  ceremonies  to  have  generated 
Mr.  Lang's  group  of  deities  as  a  whole.  It  is  on  the  contrary 
most  likely  that  many  of  their  number  "  came  otherwise."  (I  can- 
not pretend,  however,  to  have  tried  to  work  out  the  separate 
family  histories  of  the  worthies  that  figure  in  Mr.  Lang's  long 
list.)  Moreover,  it  would  clearly  be  putting  the  principle  of  the 
Uniformity  of  Nature  to  sad  misuse  to  argue  that  the  Bull  Roarer 
must,  if  ever,  then  always,  attain  to  apotheosis ;  or  that  a  moral 
institution,  if  ever,  then  always,  must  associate  with  itself,  and 
reflect  itself  in,  the  attributes  of  whatever  deities  the  instruments 
and  accompaniments  of  its  ritual  are  capable  of  suggesting  to.  the 
human  imagination.  Thus  it  may  be  usual  for  savages  to  feel 
*  awe '  at  a  storm ;  yet  some  tribes  are  said  positively  to  enjoy  a 
hurricane.  Or  again  primitive  moral  institutions  do  certainly  tend 
to  rest  on  some  sort  of  *  supematuralistic '  support ;  but  there  are, 
I  fancy,  religious  initiations  and  civil  initiations,  religious  marriages 
and  civil  marriages,  at  every  stage  of  man's  advance.  Hence,  if 
it  comes  to  a  question  of  "logic,"  I  would  venture  to  remind 
Mr.  Lang  of  Uie  shortcomings  peculiar  to  the  unsupported 
Method  of  Agreement.  Anthropology  is  still  at  a  very  empirical 
stage;  and  the  search  for  media  axiomata — for  limited  connec- 
tions of  cause  and  efifect — must  therefore  be  suffered  to  coexist 


Correspondence.  321 

with  that  divination  of  wider  uniformities  wherewith  the  Scientific 
Imagination  is  wont  to  cheer  the  labours  of  the  humdrum 

R.  R.  Marett. 

Medical  Superstition  : — Snakes. 

(Vol.  xi.,  p.  120.) 

The  snake's  horn  is  known  also  in  Cos,  and  is  used  for  both  the 
purposes  specified  in  the  Lamaca  case,  which  shows  that  the  plain- 
tiffs statement  that  he  used  it  experimentally  was  false.  The 
second  appears  to  be  its  chief  virtue,  and  the  directions  for  obtain- 
ing the  horn,  given  me  by  an  old  woman  who  once  had  one,  leave 
no  doubt.  You  must  find  two  snakes  coupling  and  throw  some- 
thing over  them.    Then  one  of  the  snakes  will  give  up  the  horn. 

W.  R.  Paton. 

More  Snake-Lore. 

The  following  items  are  cut  from  the  Daily  Telegraph : — 

"The  Merthyr  Tydvil  School  Board  recently  closed  the  infant 
schools,  owing  to  an  epidemic  of  measles  at  Clwydyfagwr  School. 
The  mistress.  Miss  J.  Starr,  has  been  annoyed  by  the  clamour  of 
illiterate  or  superstitious  parents  who  attribute  the  measles  to  the 
alleged  malign  influence  of  a  snake  recently  killed  on  the  mountain, 
and  preserved  in  spirits  of  wine  at  the  school  for  use  in  object 
lessons.  So  great  has  been  the  outcry  that  many  people  have 
offered  their  condolences  to  Miss  Starr,  who,  happily,  treats  the 
absurd  complaints  as  a  joke." — (22  March^  1900.) 

"  At  Eye  Kettleby,  in  Leicestershire,  during  the  course  of  some 
digging  operations  in  a  local  garden,  and  at  a  depth  of  2^  feet  in 
the  subsoil,  an  English  ringed  snake,  but  a  pure  albino,  with  eyes 
of  a  bright  ruby  red,  was  unearthed.  According  to  the  leading 
authorities  albinism  ....  has  hitherto  been  entirely  unknown 
in  connection  with  reptiles.  The  recently  captured  specimen  has 
come  very  appropriately  into  the  possession  of  Mr.  Castang,  the 
well-known  authority  on  albinos  and  hybrids." — (6  March^  1900.) 

It  seems  then  that  the  white  snake  which  so  often  occurs  in 
European  folktale  is  not  an  entirely  imaginary  creature. 

M.  Peacock. 

VOL.  XI.  Y 

322  Correspondence. 

Horses'  Heads,  Weathercocks,  etc. 

No  one  who  has  spent  any  length  of  time  in  Germany,  especially 
the  north-west,  can  fail  to  have  remarked  the  carved  horses*  heads 
which  ornament  the  gables  of  the  peasants'  bouses.  The  practice 
is  not  confined  to  Germany,  nor  is  it  universal  there.  (For  the 
distribution  see  Petersen,  Die  Pferdekopfe  an  den  Bauemhdusern} 
where  illustrations  will  be  found,  as  also  in  Z^its,  der  hist,  GeselL^ 
fiir  die  Prav,  Fosen^  1899,  p.  319.)  The  limits  of  this  custom 
correspond  in  some  cases  at  least  with  dialectical  boundaries,  and 
thus  suggest  a  tribal  origin.  This  may  have  been  the  case  in  other 
countries ;  in  England  they  are  not  found  outside  Sussex,  so  far 
as  I  know,  though  I  have  seen  it  asserted  that  the  practice  also 
prevailed  in  Wales.  Horses'  heads  are  also  found  in  Russia,  the 
Tyrol,  Rhaetia,  and  Spain. 

Horses  are  not,  however,  the  only  animals  whose  heads,  either 
singly  or  in  pairs,  are  thus  used.  In  the  Tyrol  we  find  also  hares' 
and  unicorns*  heads*  (Heyl,  Volkssagen  aus  Tirol,  156) ;  in  parts 
of  Germany  and  Iceland,  dragons'  heads ;  in  Hesse,  stags'  heads. 
We  also  find,  either  carved  or  real,  cows,  rams,  wolves,  dogs, 
badgers,  donkeys,  foxes,  pike,  swans,  cocks,  and  probably  others 
(Russwurm,  Eibofolke^  2ter  Teil,  281,  283,  402 ;  Grimm,  D,  JS/".,  pp. 
xxiii.,  550,  N.  190;  Panzer,  Beitragzur  d.  Myth,,  ii.  449 ;  E.  H. 
Meier,  Germ.  Myth,,  99  ff. ;  Rochholz,  D.  Glaube  u.  Branch,  ii., 
106  ;  MS.  notes,  &c.).  The  Osciila  (Georg.,  ii.,  389)  are  probably 
another  example.  In  Beowulf  (82,  704)  we  find  mentioned  the 
horns  fixed  to  the  gable,*  a  practice  of  which  we  have  an  example 
at  Hornchurch,  where  leaden  horns  are  fixed  on  the  east  of  the 
church  (cf.  Folklore  J,,  i.,  365).  The  intention  may  have  been 
the  same.  The  same  custom  seems  to  prevail  in  Borneo  and  in 
Celebes,  but  I  do  not  know  how  it  is  there  explained.  Barth 
(Reisen  u,  Entdeckungen  in  N.  u,  C.  Afrika,  I.,  376)  mentions  that 
eggs  are  put  on  the  highest  points  of  the  huts  to  ensure  the  fertility 
of  the  family. 

The  hackles  or  little  figures  on  the  stacks  are  clearly  another 

"  ItiJahrbiicherfUr  die  Landeskunde  der  Henogthumer  SchUswig-ffolsUin- 
Lauenburg,  vol.  ill.,  i86a 

*  I  suspect  these  are  not  real  unicorns.  At  Parsan  bei  Vorsfelde,  the 
horses'  heads  have  knobs  on  the  forehead.     {Globus,  Ixvi.-iii.) 

'  My  friend  Dr.  Gough  calls  my  attention  to  the  affixing  of  Grendel's  arm 
to  the  gable  as  a  trophy.     {Beowulf,  834  ff.) 

Plate  II. 

(From  Petersen's  Die  PferdekSpfe  aufden  Bauemhduserit). 

1.  Westphalia. 

2.  Near  Minden  and  west  of  the  Weser  as  far  as  Bremen. 

3.  Rastorf)  near  Gartow.  4.  Lttneburg  Heath. 

5.  Im  Alten  Lande.    (Swans  with  baeks  resting  on  their  breasts) 

6.  Wilsdorf,  near  Ilarburg. 

To Jate  p, -^22. 

Plate  111. 


(From  Petersen's  Die  Pferdekopft  aufden  Bauernhdusem). 

7.  Moorberg. 

8.  Allen  Warder. 
9,10.  Wilhelmsburg. 

II.  Billwerder. 

13.  Alten  Gamm  (Vierlande). 

To  face  p.  322. 

Plate  IV. 

—  Lizzzzzzzrc 


(From  Petersen's  Die  Pferdekopfe  ait f  den  Battemhiiusern), 

13.  Sachsenwald.  14.  Near  Glilckstadt. 

15.  South  Ditmarsch.  16.  Central  Holstein. 

17.  Aiigeln.     (Explained  by  Petersen  as  a  dragon's  head.) 
17a.  A  so-c.illed  **Donnerbesen,"  an  ornament  in  the  wall. 

18.  Hast  Holstein. 

To  ^ace  t»  -V"-* 

Plate  V. 


(From  Petersen's  Die  Pferdekiipfe  aufden  Bauenthdusern). 

19.  Giistrow.  22.  VxoN.'^Y^mTvw^atQ^. 

20.  Danzig.  1\  TW\v\^cvv. 

C..4U  ^r  tU^  ir^i- 

\.t "O^-A  *\A     \\x>x\t!-^x  "^^ftvtvrv* 


Correspondence.  323 

form  of  the  same  custom :  perhaps  also  the  practice  of  nailing 
owls,  bats,  &c.,  to  the  bam  door ;  magical  properties  were  attri- 
buted to  them.  Can  we  also  connect  the  weathercock  with  it  ? 
In  Kent  the  putting  up  of  weathercocks  seems  to  have  been  a 
festival  custom.    (Hone,  Every  Day  Book^  188.) 

We  also  find  other  animals  as  vanes ;  near  Kiel,  horses  are 
common  ;  they  are  also  found  in  Holland ;  dragons  are  found  in 
Scandinavia  and  parts  of  England ;  there  is  a  fox  at  Reigate,  a 
goose  at  Worms,  a  fish  at  Niedercleveez  near  Plon,  at  Boldre,  at 
a  place  near  Oswestry,  &c.  (MS.  notes). 

I  should  be  exceedingly  grateful  for  further  information,  accom- 
panied, if  possible,  by  sketches,  as  to  the  species  of  animals  thus 
used  and  the  distribution  of  the  custom  I  have  mentioned. 

May  I  suggest  that  an  illustration  of  the  horses'  heads  in 
Sussex  would  be  of  interest,  together  with  German  and,  if  possible, 
other  examples  for  comparison.  I  send  copies  of  the  illustrations 
in  Petersen,  kindly  made  for  me  by  Miss  Braitmaier.  [See  plates 
n.-V.  Ed.]  It  would  hardly  be  difficult  to  obtain  for  the  Society's 
Museum  a  representative  collection  of  photographs  or  illustrations 
of  gable  heads  and  hackles,  if  not  of  the  actual  objects.  I  shall 
be  glad  to  send  examples  from  North  Germany  if  the  matter  is 
thought  worth  taking  up. 

N.  W.  Thomas. 


[The  Society  would  be  very  grateful  for  any  such  examples. 
The  matter  is  quite  worth  investigation. — E.  S.  H.] 

Inscription  on  Roman  Lamp. 

I  obtained  yesterday  here  in  Florence  a  very  perfect  and  grace- 
ful Roman  lamp  of  hard  terra-cotta.  From  a  label  on  it  I  learn 
that  it  was  found  at  Castrum  Novum  (Giulianova),  Abruzzo.  On 
the  bottom  is  the  word  vibule  in  distinct  letters. 

Am  I  mistaken  in  conjecturing  that  this  may  be  an  address,  in 
the  vocative,  to  Vibilia?  According  to  Amobius,  the  only  writer 
of  antiquity  who  mentions  this  goddess,  Vibilia  was  a  deity  of  the 
streets  and  night.  When  a  man  lost  his  way  he  invoked  her 
{Diet,  Hist,  Mitoiog.),  Amobius  says  of  her  {Adv.  Nationes^ 
iv.,  7),  "Ab  erroribus  viarum  Dea  Vibilia  liberat."    Therefore  her 

V  2 

324  Correspondence. 

name  would  be  a  very  appropriate  inscription  for  a  lamp  or  street 
light  The  Romans  used  dark  lanterns.  There  is  an  old  Roman 
picture  of  a  Cupid  with  a  dark  lantern,  reproduced  in  my  Etruscan- 
Raman  Legends.  It  is  probable  that  the  Romans  placed  a  terra- 
cotta lamp  in  the  lantern. 

If  any  archaeologist  who  is  familiar  with  Roman  lamps  can  in- 
form me  whether  this  name  of  Vibilia  ever  occurs  on  them  in  any 
form,  or  if  any  folklorist  is  acquainted  with  a  spirit  who  guides  the 
lost  traveller,  I  would  be  very  grateful  to  him  for  any  information 
on  the  subject 

Charles  Godfrey  Leland. 

April  2^rdy  1900. 

.  The  MS.  of  Amobius  reads  Upibilia^  so  that  Vibilia  rests  on 
conjecture  only.  Inscriptions  on  Roman  lamps  are  dealt  with  in 
Birch's  Ancient  Pottery^  part  iv.,  chapter  2.  They  are  generally 
trade  marks — the  maker's  name,  shop,  factory,  &c. ;  sometimes 
invocations,  or  acclamations ;  rarely  anything  else.  Often  they 
are  shortened. 
Thus  viBVLE  may  be — 

(i)  Vocative  of  Vibulus ;  but  no  such  name  is  known. 

(2)  Part  of  the  maker's  name,  (?)  VUmlanus  with  blunder- 

ing pronunciation. 

(3)  Two  abbreviated  words  if  the  last  letter  be  misread : 

viBVLa«i/j  Yecit. 

W.  H.  D.  Rouse. 


Korean  Beliefs. 

Collected  by  Jas.  S.  Gale,  (Canadian)  Presbyterian  Missionary, 
eleven  years  in  Korea,  author  oi  Korean-English  Dictionary 
(4to,  1, 1 60  pp.,  printed  in  Yokohama,  1897). 

Collecting  items  of  folklore  in  a  country  like  Korea  is  by  no 
means  easy.  If  I  make  inquiries  of  natives  who  are  strangers  to 
me,  immediately  their  suspicions  are  aroused,  and  they  will  not 
answer  more  than  to  say  that  such  a  thing  does  not  exist  To 
inquire  for  even  the  number  of  houses  in  a  village,  or  what  the 
land  produces,  much  tact  is  needed,  or  you  create  bad  feeling  at 
once.  The  only  way  I  know  of  is  to  keep  one's  ears  open  when 
natives  are  talking  to  one  another,  for  much  will  be  suggested  by 
such  a  conversation,  and  it  will  often  give  a  clue  to  questions  that 
you  can  have  honestly  and  correctly  answered  by  your  own  par- 
ticular friends.  Customs  I  find  to  be,  like  language,  a  possession 
of  which  the  owner  is  unconscious.  For  example :  a  Korean 
says  something,  and  you  ask  him  to  repeat  it  He  is  not  able  to 
repeat  it  exactly,  for  he  is  conscious  only  of  the  thought  that  was 
in  his  mind,  not  of  the  language  used,  so  he  will  answer  by  ex- 
pressing the  thought  more  definitely  in  some  other  form,  but  as 
for  an  exact  repetition,  it  will  not  be  forthcoming.  So  with  their 
customs,  they  follow  them  out  in  the  same  unconscious  manner. 
Rouse  them  suddenly  and  ask  them  about  the  matter,  and  the 
likelihood  is  they  will  deny  that  such  a  thing  exists  at  all,  and  yet 
they  may  be  absolutely  free  from  any  dishonesty  in  the  matter. 
We  are  unconscious  of  the  air,  for  it  exists  everywhere.  Custom 
is  everywhere.  The  administration  of  justice  is  largely  a  matter 
of  custom.  The  transfer  of  land  is  by  custom  only  and  not  a 
matter  of  law.  Marriage  too  is  but  custom.  The  government 
takes  no  cognizance  of  it  The  Farthest  East  is  wrapped  up  in 
custom,  and  the  native  is  in  many  cases  the  last  man  to  be  aware 
of  its  existence. 

326  Miscellanea. 

Notes  on  Hananim,^  (The  Great  One,  The  One.  God  ?)  the 
Korean  Great  Spirit. — In  Korea  Hana  means  one^  and  Nitn  is 
Lord^  Master^  or  Chiefs  so  that  the  name  literally  translated 
means  The  Ruling  One,  The  Honourable  One,  The  Great  One, 
The  One. 

He  (JIananim)  rewards  the  good  {soon)  with  blessing  (J>ok\ 
and  the  evil  (ak)  with  punishment  {wha).  This  has  no  reference 
to  judgment  or  a  future  life,  but  is  simply  confined  to  this  world. 

Here  is  a  snatch  from  the  song  of  a  market  minstrel  known  to 
all  Koreans:  "Pap  chal  mek-ki-nan,  Ha-na-nim  tok;  Ot  chao 
ip-ki-nan  ch'o-kwon-eui  tok."  (Feeding  us  well  is  by  favour  of 
Hananim;  Clothing  us  well  is  by  favour  of  wife).  This  illustrates 
the  idea,  common  to  all  Korea,  that  Hananim  provides  the  rice. 

A  little  pony  boy  once  said,  as  I  was  riding  his  pony,  "Hananim 
knows  I  have  no  coat,  and  so  is  letting  the  sun  shine  to  warm  me 
to-day."  He  had  been  bowing  to  the  trees  and  expectorating 
before  the  hill  shrines  most  devoutly,  so  I  said,  "  Why  do  not  you 
bow  and  thank  Hananim  then,  since  he  is  so  good  to  you,  instead 
of  bowing  to  the  trees  ?  "  But,"  says  he,  "  Hananim  is  such  a 
long  way  oflf;  I  can't  see  him,  and  so  I  worship  the  trees 

When  a  Korean  sees  a  wrong  done,  one  of  his  common  sayings 
is,  ^^ Hanali-tnu-sim  ha-nyaV^  (Is  Hananim  indifferent  to  such?) 
He  means  that  Hananim  will  certainly  punish  such  injustice. 

Another  expression  commonly  heard  is  ^^  Ko-ma-o-sin  Ha-na- 
nim-ipi  chu-sin-ta  "  (Gracious  Hananim  gives  the  rain). 

Koreans  are  given  to  strong  language  rather  than  to  heavy 
blows,  so  a  war  of  words  is  of  frequent  occurrence.  This  is  one 
of  the  common  expressions  used  at  such  a  time :  "  C^un  angip-eul 
nam "  (A  villain  who  will  be  punished  by  Ch'un,  or  Hananim). 
Ch'un  is  the  Chinese  name  for  Hananim. 

The  king  offers  sacrifice  to  Hananim  for  rain  {Ke-u-che^  using 
raw  food,  bathing,  and  performing  other  ceremonial  cleansing 
before  taking  part. 

When  it  lightens  and  thunders,  Koreans  say,  ^^  Hananim-i  o 
um-ha-si-ta  "  (Hananim  is  stem,  or  awful,  or  dreadful) ;  and  they 
lay  their  pipes  aside  and  sit  reverently.  Again,  I  hear  an  old 
saying  that  has  come  down  from  dim  antiquity,    '^  ffananim-i 

'  In  all  n?itive  transliterations  the  vowels  have  the  French  soun4, 

Miscellanea.  327 

chi-kong-mU'Sa  ha-ia,^^  (Hananim  is  eminently  just  and  wholly 

As  regards  all  spirits  {shin)  he  is  the  One  Great  One. 

His  dwelling-place  is  above  {U-e  ke-st-ta^^He  dwells  above), 
wherever  that  may  mean,  and  in  Hanal  (Heaveq),  of  which  he  is 
in  possession.  No  mention  is  made  of  his  beginning  or  end.  He 
never  marries,  has  no  son ;  but  a  dual  union  seems  to  exist 
between  him  and  the  earth  (Z^fl),  by  which  all  life  has  come  into 

Hananim  is  creator  of  all  details ;  the  earth  in  rough  form 
seems  to  have  been  developed  by  a  kind  of  evolution,  or  of  itself. 

No  reference  is  made  to  Hananim  regarding  a  future  life. 

When  flowers  are  seen  to  bloom  and  the  earth  to  look  green 
and  beautiful,  they  say  it  is  brought  about  by  the  (CAo-w/ui-ong) 
Ancient  Creator— Hananim. 

If  Hananim  desires  to  kill,  he  kills ;  if  to  save,  he  saves.  When 
sacrifice  has  been  made  to  all  of  the  spirits  and  proves  of  no  avail, 
the  last  cry  is  "  Hananim  sai-yo  cku-so-so "  (Save  us,  Hananim !) 

**When  Hananim  gives  rain  and  dew  to  the  trees,  he  never 
forgets  the  little  branches  at  the  side." — A  Korean  saying. 

Hananim  mu-so-pul-leung  ka-si-ia,  (There  is  nothing  that 
Hananim  cannot  do) — omnipotent. 

Ha-na-nim-eui  nun-i  su-re  pak-hoi  tol  teut  hau-ia,  (Hananim's 
eyes  roll  everywhere  like  cart  wheels.) 

Kwi'Sin-to  Ha-na-nim-tul  mu-so-wo  hau-ia,  (The  devils,  too,  fear 

These  are  a  few  of  the  more  common  sayings  regarding 
Hananim.  They  are  all  of  ancient  origin,  and  as  far  as  is  known 
have  no  connection  with  any  ancient  Christian  source. 

Mountains. — Giants  and  Mountains, — Korea  has  since  ancient 
times  been  noted  for  its  sages  (Mydngin\  its  giants  (C^/i^-jis^),  and 
its  dragon-horses  (  Yong-ma),  When  a  giant  appears,  his  dragon- 
horse  is  said  also  to  come  forth  ready  for  him.  The  giant  remains 
quiescent  in  a  cave  or  under  a  rock  until  his  country  is  in  danger, 
and  then  he  comes  forth  clad  in  armour,  his  horse  also  springing 
from  the  mountain.  Such  tales  are  common  in  all  ancient  Korean 
story-books  (Ko-tam-ch'aik),  The  giant  has  power  over  wind  and 
rain  (Pung-un  cho-wha).  So  even  to-day  the  ignorant  country 
people  rest  assured  that  when  the  time  comes  for  the  giant  to  arise 
from  the  mountain,  all  Westerners  will  have  to  fly  or  perish. 

328  Miscellanea. 

In  the  Japanese  war  of  three  hundred  years  ago  it  is  said  that  500 
trained  swordsmen  were  on  their  way  to  the  capital  of  Korea.  The 
flash  of  their  swords  alone  was  enough  to  kill,  so  it  looked  as  though 
the  whole  nation  might  perish.  But  just  as  they  landed  near 
Fusan,  there  came  forth  from  a  mountain  spur  in  front,  the  Old  Man 
on  the  Green  Bull  {Ch^ung-u  JVa-in),  who  had  been  bom  from  the 
mountain  to  save  his  country.  The  Japanese  pursued,  knowing 
that  he  was  an  evil  omen,  but  at  first  failed  to  overtake  [him], 
until  at  last,  instead  of  their  capturing  him,  he  entrapped  them 
in  a  mountain  gorge  and  there  slaughtered  them  all. 
.  Mountain  Travel, — Last  spring  on  my  way  to  Seoul,  when  some 
150  miles  from  here  [Wonsan],  I  passed  a  magnificent  mountain 
called  the  "  crying  fortress  "  (U-nan-sung),  In  speaking  of  it,  the 
innkeeper  told  me  that  King  Kung-ye  had  been  defeated  there  in 
[918  A.D.],  and  that  since  then  no  one  could  ascend  it  who  had 
not  first  fasted  from  meat  and  other  strong  food.  He  told  me 
that  the  bowls  and  spoons  of  Kung-ye  were  still  there.  In  order 
see  what  answer  he  would  make,  I  suggested  his  bringing  some 
away,  and  that  I  would  buy  them.  His  reply  was,  anyone  doing 
such  a  thing  would  be  struck  by  the  God  of  Thunder  and  killed 
at  once. 

Mountain  Spirits, — A  hunter  I  chanced  to  meet  in  the  moun- 
tains a  month  or  so  ago,  told  me  that  he  did  all  of  his  hunting  at 
night.  "  But  there  are  so  many  tigers ;  are  you  not  afraid  ? "  I 
asked.  "  No,"  said  he,  "  I  am  a  retainer  of  the  mountain-spirit 
{San  Vung-nim),  and  so  am  safe ; "  or,  "  I  wait  attendance  on  the 
mountain-spirit,  and  so  have  no  cause  for  fear."  His  idea  was 
that  the  spirit  of  the  mountain  controlled  tigers  and  all  other 
animals  within  its  range.  In  many  of  the  hill-shrines  we  find 
pictures  of  a  man  riding  upon  a  tiger.  It  is  really  the  mountain- 
spirit  so  represented,  the  tiger  being  the  attendant 

Every  village  offers  sacrifice  to  the  mountain-spirit  (San/ung). 
On  an  appointed  day,  after  fasting  and  meditation,  sacrificial 
officers  are  chosen  and  a  beef  slaughtered,  and  so  offered  with 
vegetable  food  to  the  spirit.  When  the  sacrifice  has  been  per- 
formed according  to  the  spirit's  liking,  even  the  dogs  of  the  village 
are  safe  from  tigers  and  other  wild  beasts  of  the  mountain. 
Tigers  are  called  the  dogs  of  the  mountain-spirit. 

At  every  hill  pass  there  is  on  the  side  of  the  road  a  shrine  to 
the  spirit  of  the  mountain.     Prayers  are  offered  before  the  shrine, 

Miscellanea.  329 

food,  live  chickens,  money,  stones,  rags,  &c.,  and  passers  usually 
bow  and  expectorate.  On  the  sacred,  or  "shrine-tree"  {tangna- 
mu\  hang  rags,  that  are  meant  as  charms  against  evil  {dk- 
mak't)^  while  stones  as  offerings  are  heaped  up  beneath.  Some- 
times small  images,  in  metal,  of  pigs,  rats,  elephants,  &c.,  stand 
before  the  picture  of  the  spirit. 

Here  is  one  of  the  prayers,  in  fact  the  one  common  petition, 
offered  to  the  mountain  spirit :  "  Kil  so-e  so-nang-nim,  kil-a-rai 
so-nang-nim,  t*oi"  (expectorating)  "nip-eu-sin  tok  to  man-man 
ha-go-ni-wa  s^-ro  sS.  tok-eul  nip-6-chi-i-ta : "  i.e,  "  Spirit  of  the  road, 
spirit  beneath  the  road,  phew!"  (giving  a  spit),  "though  your 
favours  of  the  past  have  been  unbounded,  grant  us  some  new 
favours  for  the  future." 

Beliefs  about  Mountains, — (These  ideas  are  common  to  all 
Korea.)  Mountains  are  all  personified  in  Korea.  They  are 
dragons  usually,  and  according  to  their  formation,  graves  situated 
on  them  are  propitious  or  unpropitious.  It  never  does  to  build 
a  house  upon  a  moving  {nd-ryong)  or  flying  dragon  (sdng-ryong). 
If  the  personal  influences  of  a  hill-site  be  too  strong,  there  will 
be  many  goblins,  and  the  house  will  come  to  destruction. 

On  May  17th,  1899,  I  purchased  a  house-site  on  a  hill  within 
the  walls  of  Seoul,  and  the  people  living  below  the  hill  told  me 
that  it  was  called  the  *^  Cow-feeding-her-young  "  mountain  {wa-u- 
hyung).  This  is  a  propitious  formation,  and  people  are  said  to 
live  long  on  it  and  prosper,  so  that  they  tell  me  I  have  a  fair  field 
for  my  future  when  I  move  up  to  Seoul. 

There  is  always  associated  in  the  native's  mind  the  idea  of 
guardianship  with  the  mountains.  Seoul,  the  capital,  has  to  its 
north  its  guardian  mountain  Sam-kak-san^thQ  three-homed 
mountain.  Shortly  after  building  the  former  palace  (from  which 
the  king  escaped  to  the  Russian  Legation  in  February,  1896)  it 
was  found  that  there  was  a  hostile  mountain  {kwan-ak-san)  to  the 
south,  twenty  miles  distant,  that  set  fire  to  the  palace.  Geo- 
mancers  succeeded  in  protecting  the  dynasty  against  this  mountain 
by  placing  two  stone  lions  or  fire-eaters  (hd-ta)  before  the  palace 
gates.  These  stone  figures  still  stand  to-day.  Former  capitals 
have  always  had  their  guardian  mountains  (chu-san).  We  find 
traces  of  this  in  Korea  long  antedating  the  Christian  era.  Graves 
too  must  have  their  guardian  peaks  {chu-pong)  or  the  family  will 
not  prosper.    A  common  saying  in  geomancy,  "  Dragons  do  not 

330  Miscellanea. 

see  stones,  men  do  not  see  dust  (in  the  air),  dogs  do  not  see  snow, 
tigers  do  not  see  paper." 

People  are  bom  according  to  the  formation  of  the  hills  on  which 
their  ancestors'  graves  are  situated.  A  craggy  geomantic  forma- 
tion brings  forth  warriors — ^a  smooth,  well-rounded  formation 
brings  forth  scholars — 2l  pointed  formation  brings  forth  writers — 
an  opposing  formation  brings  forth  robbers— jade-peaks  bring 
forth  beautiful  women.  Of  course  all  of  this  must  be  viewed 
and  tested  by  a  geomancer  {chi-kwan\  to  know  what  forms  are 
destined  to  appear. 

Mr.  Sin-Ki-Sun,  the  present  prime  minister  of  Korea,  remarked 
recently  that  Korea  could  never  be  independent,  because  she 
had  so  many  mountains.  "  Mountains,''  said  he,  *'  depending  as 
they  do  on  each  other,  denote  dependence."  Mountains  are 
said  to  have  their  pot  of  silver  or  pot  of  gold  concealed,  and 
sacrifice  is  offered  diligently  to  obtain  a  knowledge  of  their  where- 
abouts. The  mountain  spirit,  in  answer  to  prayer  and  sacrifice, 
makes  known  in  a  dream  the  place  where  the  pot  is  buried. 
This  may  be  explained,  however,  by  the  fact  that  during  the 
invasion  of  the  Japanese,  three  hundred  years  ago,  much  money 
was  buried  to  prevent  its  being  carried  off  by  the  invaders,  and 
this  being  discovered  from  time  to  time,  may  have  given  rise  to 
the  superstition  that  each  hill  has  its  treasury  of  gold  and  silver. 

I  have  never  been  able  to  fully  understand  just  what  the 
Korean  means  by  currents,  or  veins  of  influence,  that  he  invari- 
ably connects  with  the  mountains.  On  the  proper  circulation  of 
these  influences  all  prosperity  depends.  April  27  th,  1899,  I 
arrived  in  a  town  some  117  miles  from  Wonsan  and  60  miles 
from  Seoul.  I  saw  in  the  neighbourhood  many  huge  flat  stones 
placed  on  three  smaller  ones  that  were  standing  on  edge.  I 
crossed  the  fields  to  one  of  these,  and  found  it  large  enough  to 
dance  a  quadrille  on.  I  had  no  measuring  line,  but  stepping  it, 
found  the  stone  to  be  in  the  neighbourhood  of  18  feet  square  by 
2  feet  thick.  It  was  raised  from  the  ground  some  3  feet,  and  the 
propping  stones  underneath  occupied  a  space  of  some  8  feet  square. 
They  are  called  Koi-in-tol^  propped  up  stone.  On  inquiry  as  to 
their  meaning,  I  was  told  that  the  Japanese,  three  hundred 
years  ago,  discovered  that  this  district  in  Korea  had  produced 
many  noted  warriors  and  generals,  due  of  course  to  the  current 
influence  of  the  mountains.     Their  object  now  was  to  cut  off 

Miscellanea.  331 

these  influences  as  soon  as  possible.  This  they  accomplished  by 
placing  these  huge  propped-up  stones  on  the  back  of  the  current. 
Another  story,  giving  the  same  reason,  attributes  it  to  the 
Manchus  of  a  hundred  years  later.  And  I  am  inclined  to  believe 
the  latter  story.  In  the  first  place,  the  stones  are  too  great  for 
the  Japanese  to  handle ;  in  the  second  place,  the  Japanese  have 
never  paid  much  attention  to  mountain  influences.  Again,  the 
inborn  hatred  of  the  Korean  for  the  Japanese  would  incline  him 
to  shift  the  odium  for  such  a  miserable  deed  from  the  Chinese  to 
the  Japanese.  There  are  several  hundred  of  these  monsters  in 
Kangwon  province,  so  I  am  told.  I  myself  have  seen  twenty  and 

I  asked  the  old  inn-keeper  why  he  did  not  roll  them  over,  set 
the  current  free,  and  get  back  the  influence,  but  he  said :  "  Alas ! 
it  is  too  late."  Koreans  have  a  peculiar  fatalism  in  their  views  of 
mountain  influence.  They  feel  that  to  disturb  the  regular  course 
of  fate  would  be  worse  for  them  than  losing  the  influence. 

Islands. — There  is  a  peculiar  superstition,  common  to  all  Korea, 
with  regard  to  a  supposed  island  in  the  Yellow  Sea,  called  Nam 
Chosen  (South  Korea).  They  attribute  to  this  place  much  of 
the  supernatural,  and  yet  people  come  from  it,  they  say,  to  trade 
at  Mok-p'o,  a  port  recently  opened  to  foreigners,  in  Chulla  pro- 
vince (S.W.  Korea).  There  is  no  such  place,  and  yet  the  story  of 
it  is  much  more  common  to  the  natives  than  that  of  any  real 
island  in  the  vicinity. 

Lake-spirits  and  Dragons. — Usually  there  is  no  spirit  in  a  pool 
apart  from  those  who  may  have  fallen  in  and  been  drowned  in  it. 
Immediately  on  such  occurrence,  the  spirit  of  the  dead  becomes 
the  spirit  of  the  pool,  imprisoned,  in  fact,  and  cannot  leave  until 
some  one  else  drowns  and  takes  its  place.  Also  those  who  die  by 
tigers  become  tiger-spirits,  and  are  so  possessed  until  the  tiger 
devours  some  one  else,  and  so  lets  the  spirit  of  the  first  victim 

In  lakes  there  are  dragons  ( Yon^^  and  monsters  less  powerful 
than  dragons,  called  Kang-cJCullu  Dragons  change  from  pool  to 
pool,  or  "  go  up "  (pl4a  ka'ta)y  as  the  native  says.  I  have  seen 
one  of  the  most  famous  pools  of  Korea,  situated  some  sixty  miles 
north  of  Seoul,  near  Song-do,  and  it  was  dark,  and  deep,  and 
silent ;  though  only  some  thirty  feet  wide,  it  was  beyond  the  eye 
to  fathom,  though  the  water  was  exceedingly  clear.  These  dragons 

332  Miscellanea. 

are  spoken  of  as  white  {pdkyong)^  black  {heukyong\  yellow  {whang 
yong)y  and  blue  {ch^ung yong). 

The  serpent  is  almost  synonymous  with  the  dragon.  Fish,  too, 
are  associated  with  the  same,  for  the  carp  may  in  time  become 
the  fish-dragon  (oyong).  It  is  dangerous  for  fishermen  to  venture 
too  near  a  dragon-lake,  as  the  snake  with  a  sudden  sweep  of  the 
tail  may  hurl  them  into  its  depths. 

All  flesh  cannot  arrive  at  the  dragon-stage.  A  snake  when  it 
spends  a  thousand  years  in  the  mountains  and  a  thousand  years 
in  the  water,  "following  closely  the  doctrine"  {to-iak-ta) — (just 
what  this  consists  in,  no  one  can  tell  me,  but  the  saying  exists ; 
they  frequently  use  the  same  in  reference  to  disciples  of  Confucius) 
—eventually  becomes  a  dragon. 

As  far  as  I  can  understand,  water-spouts  seen  at  sea  are  taken 
for  dragons,  and  are  the  source  of  most  dragon-beliefs. 

Wells,  too,  have  their  dragons,  and  rice  is  thrown  in  to  pro- 
pitiate them  on  special  occasions,  as  on  the  15  th  of  the  ist 
moon,  or  when  a  child  is  bom.  Here,  also,  as  in  a  lake,  if  one 
is  drowned  the  spirit  of  the  dead  takes  possession  of  the  well. 

Rivers  and  Streams. — There  are  spirits,  too,  about  rivers,  that 
take  various  shapes,  commonly  that  of  a  woman  washing  clothes 
in  the  moonlight  Sometimes  it  catches  those  who  fish  and  drags 
them  under  deep  water.  Sacrifice  is  oflered  and  food  is  thrown 
into  the  river  to  propitiate  the  spirit. 

A  Boatman's  Prayer :  "  Mul-a-ssi  kin-ti  so-nang-nim  hang-sun 
chal  hage-hayo  chu-so-so."  (Woman  of  the  waters  and  prince  of 
serpents,  give  us  a  favourable  voyage.) 

Once,  in  a  six-days*  voyage  by  junk  along  the  north  shore  of 
the  Yellow  Sea,  in  the  year  1889,  we  were  overtaken  by  rough 
weather,  when  immediately  the  sailors  left  caring  for  the  junk  and 
prepared  a  sacrifice  of  rice  and  fish,  which,  after  prayer,  they 
poured  overboard  in  order  to  propitiate  the  sea-spirit. 

Jas.  S.  Gale. 

Wonsan,  Korea,  y««^  29M,  1899. 


Miscellanea.  333 

Folktales  from  the  iEoEAN. 
Collected  by  W.  R.  Paton,  Ph.D. 
(Continued  from  vol.  xi.,  p*  119.) 

Vin.  The  Bad  Bishop. 

(Told  me  in  the  convent  of  Kallonf,  Lesbos,  by  a  very  clever 
and  courteous  old  lady  of  about  seventy^ve,  a  member  of  that 
sisterhood,  and  an  aunt  of  my  friend,  Mrs.  Papps,  of  Kallonf.  She 
had  heard  the  story  in  her  earlier  years  at  Kassabd,  Asia  Minor. 
I  am  sorry  that  I  cannot  give  her  name  at  present  She  told  me 
this  and  other  stories  with  infinitely  more  humour  than  I  am 
capable  of  reproducing. — W.  R.  P.) 

There  was  once  a  man  who  had  a  very  pretty  wife.  When  she 
went  to  church  the  bishop  used  to  wave  his  censer  towards  her 
three  times  instead  of  once,  and  the  priest  and  the  deacon  did 
the  same. 

She  told  her  husband,  and  he  said  to  her :  ^  Next  time,  whisper 
to  them  that  you  want  them  to  come  and  call  on  you.  Tell  the 
bishop  to  come  at  two,  the  deacon  at  three,  and  the  priest  at 
four  o'clock  at  night."  The  wife  did  as  her  husband  bade  her, 
and  the  bishop  arrived  at  two  o'clock.  She  entertained  him  for 
an  hour,  and  then  there  was  a  knock  at  the  door.  ''Quicks 
get  into  the  ampaii,^ "  said  she,  "  it  is  my  husband,"  and  the 
bishop  scuttled  in.  She  received  the  deacon  and  entertained 
him  too,  and  at  four  o'clock  there  came  tap,  tap,  tap  at  the  door. 
"  It  is  my  husband,"  said  she,  "  get  into  the  ampari  as  quick  as 
you  can,"  and  in  he  went,  and  groped  about  and  caught  hold  of 
the  bishop  by  the  beard,  and  said  to  himself:  "  What  on  earth  is 
this?  Do  they  keep  goats  here?"  but  dared  not  utter  a  word. 
She  went  and  opened  the  door  and  received  the  priest,  and  they 
sat  talking,  but  all  of  a  sudden  there  was  tap,  tap,  tap  at  the 
door  again ;  and  this  time  it  was  her  husband.  She  shoved  the 
priest,  too,  into  the  ampari,  and  let  her  husband  in.  "  I  want  to 
whitewash  the  ceiling,"  he  said.  "  Get  me  some  boiling  water." 
And  when  he  had  it,  he  poured  it  into  the  ampari ;  and  bishop, 
priest,  and  deacon  were  scalded  to  death. 

*  'Afiirdptf  from  Turkish  and  Persian  anbarf  store ;  the  dark  store-room 
under  the  elevated  sleeping-platform  of  a  one-roomed  house. 

334  Miscellanea. 

Then  the  husband  thought,  "  How  can  I  dispose  of  them  ? '' 
Suddenly  an  idea  struck  him.  He  pulled  the  bishop  out,  and  ran 
with  him  to  a  tavern  kept  by  one  Yannis,  and  shouted  :  "  Yanni, 
Yanni,  I  want  a  bottle  of  wine  at  once,"  and  set  the  bishop  up 
against  the  door  and  took  to  his  heels.  The  keeper  of  the  tavern 
came  and  opened  the  door  to  serve  his  customer ;  and  in  fell  the 
bishop,  dead  as  a  door-nail.  "  Dear  me,"  said  poor  Yannis,  "  this 
is  awkward ;  I  will  put  him  away  and  try  to  hush  it  up."  The 
husband  went  back  and  fetched  the  deacon,  and  set  him,  too, 
against  the  tavern  door  and  called  for  wine ;  and  when  Yannis 
opened  the  door,  in  fell  the  deacon,  stark  and  stiff.  He  stowed 
him  away  with  the  bishop ;  likewise  the  priest,  when  he,  too,  fell 
in  dead.  "  Lord,  what  shall  I  do  ?  "  said  Yannis.  "  I  must  get 
rid  of  them  somehow."  And  he  bethought  him  of  a  silly  fellow 
who  was  fond  of  a  drink,  and  went  and  woke  him  up  and  said  : 
"  Come  and  drink  a  bottle  of  wine  \  I've  got  a  dead  priest  here, 
and  I  want  you  to  throw  him  into  the  sea  for  me."  The  fool  was 
only  too  glad.  He  drank  his  bottle,  and  took  the  priest  and 
pitched  him  into  the  sea  and  came  back.  "You  can't  have 
thrown  him  far  enough  out,"  said  Yannis;  "here  he  is  back 
again,"  and  showed  him  the  dead  deacon.  "  Have  another  bottle, 
and  throw  him  further."  The  fool  drank  his  wine,  and  said : 
"You  bet  I'll  throw  him  where  he  can't  come  back."  He  marched 
off  with  the  deacon  on  his  back,  and  took  a  boat  and  threw  him 
into  deep  water,  and  then  returned  to  the  tavern.  "  He  must  be 
put  deeper  still,"  said  Yannis,  pointing  to  the  bishop ;  "  for  here 
he  is  back  again.  Never  mind,  have  another  bottle  and  take  him 
well  out  to  sea."  The  fool  drank  his  bottle,  and  set  off  with  the 
bishop  on  his  back.  This  time  he  rowed  quite  far  out  and 
dropped  the  bishop  overboard,  and  came  back.  As  he  was 
returning  he  met  a  priest  who  was  carrying  the  host  to  a  dying 
man,  and,  when  he  saw  him,  he  said :  "  Oh,  you've  come  back 
again,  have  you  ?  I'll  settle  you  this  time,"  and  took  up  a  stone 
and  threw  it  at  the  priest's  head  and  killed  him. 

["  Next  day,"  said  the  old  nun  who  told  me  this  story,  "  he 
saw  another  bishop  come  riding  into  the  town  on  a  white  donkey, 
and  he  pitched  a  stone  at  him  and  killed  him  too."  But  this  is  an 
obvious  amplification.] 

Miscellanea.  335 

IX.  Kasidiako. 
(Cassabd :  from  the  same  source  as  No.  VIII.) 

There  was  once  upon  a  time  a  woman  who  had  no  children. 
One  day  she  heard  a  man  calling  in  the  street "  Big-belly  apples," 
and  she  bought  one,  but  instead  of  eating  it  at  once,  put  it  on  the 
table.  Her  husband  came  and  saw  it,  and  ate  it,  and  became 
pregnant  in  his  thigh.  He  thought  it  was  a  boil,  and  when  it  grew 
very  big  he  started  off  to  find  the  doctor.  On  his  way  he  had  to 
pass  through  a  thicket,  and  a  briar  scratched  the  place,  and  out 
fell  the  child.  He  did  not  notice  this,  but  felt  better  at  once,  and 
went  back  and  told  his  wife,  "  No  need  for  a  doctor,  the  boil  has 
burst,  and  I  am  all  right" 

The  eagle  of  God  saw  the  baby  (which  was  a  girl),  and  picked 
her  up,  and  carried  her  to  its  nest  on  a  tall  cypress-tree,  and  there 
brought  her  up  till  she  was  twelve  years  old. 

Beneath  the  cypress-tree  was  a  fountain,  and  there  the  prince 
happened  to  stop  one  day  to  water  his  horse.  As  the  horse  was 
going  to  drink,  the  girl  peeped  out  from  the  nest,  and  the  horse 
shied  at  her  shadow,  and  the  prince  looked  up  and  caught  sight 
of  her,  and  fell  in  love  with  her.  He  went  home  and  took  to  his 
bed,  and  sent  a  crier  to  bid  all  the  women  of  the  town  bring  him 
soup  to  strengthen  him.  Among  them  came  an  old  woman  with 
her  soup  in  a  chipped  basin,  and  her  he  chose  to  tell  the  secret 
of  his  sickness  to.  He  implored  her  to  find  means  to  bring  his 
love  down  from  the  tree.  The  old  woman  asked  him  to  give  her 
a  caldron  and  a  washing-trough  and  some  sticks,  and  she 
bandaged  her  eyes  and  pretended  to  be  blind,  and  went  to  the 
fountain  to  wash  clothes.  She  lit  the  fire  and  put  the  caldron  on 
upside  down,  and  poured  the  water  that  she  drew  from  the 
fountain  into  it,  or  rather  on  it.  The  girl  was  looking  at  her 
from  the  tree  and  could  not  help  saying,  "  What  in  the  world  are 
you  doing  ?  You  will  put  the  fire  out"  But  the  old  woman  said, 
"  Dear  me,  dear  me,  I  am  blind  and  can't  see.  Won't  you  come 
and  put  things  right?"  and  the  girl  slid  down  the  tree  and  set  the 
caldron  straight  At  that  moment  the  prince,  who  was  in  hiding, 
ran  out  and  caught  her,  and  carried  her  home  and  made  her  his 

A  little  while  after  their  marriage  the  prince  had  to  go  to  war, 
and  when  he  was  gone  his  mother  took  her  daughter-in-law  and 

336  Miscellanea. 

shaved  her  head,  and  dressed  her  as  a  boy,  and  sent  her  to  feed 
geese.  The  other  boys  called  the  goose-herd  "  Kasidiako  "  (Scurfy). 
When  the  prince  came  home  his  mother  told  him  that  his  wife 
had  died  The  prince  was  very  sorry.  To  dispel  his  grief  he  used 
to  sit  at  his  window  and  listen  to  the  boys  of  the  town  singing 
songs  to  each  other,  for  just  outside  were  some  logs  of  wood  on 
which  they  used  to  sit  of  an  evening.  One  day  Kasidiako  came 
too,  and  when  all  the  boys  had  sung  they  asked  him  for  a  song, 
and  he  sang  this: 

An  apple  was  I, 

An  old  wife  did  me  bay  ; 
An  old  man  did  eat  me, 
I  swelled  in  his  thigh. 
I  was  bom  in  the  brambles ; 

An  eagle  did  fly. 
And  took  me,  and  took  me 
To  his  eyry  on  high. 

I  descended  deceived 

By  an  old  woman  sly ; 
A  king  then  secured  me 

For  his  own  serai ; 
His  mother  did  beat  me. 

And  forced  me  to  fly ; 
Kak-kak-kak,  kik-kik-kik, 

Now  a  goose-girl  am  I. 

Then  the  prince  knew  it  was  his  wife  and  went  down  and 
claimed  her. 

X.  JTie  Clever  Princess. 

(Mytilene :  told  by  Mersini,  see  No.  V.) 

There  were  two  kings  in  the  same  city,  and  the  one  had  three 
daughters  and  the  other  had  three  sons.  One  day  when  he  who 
had  the  three  daughters  went  to  the  cafd,  the  other  king  said  to 
him,  "  Good  morrow.  Sir  King,  who  hath  sows  but  no  boars." 
He  went  home  very  glum,  and  his  eldest  daughter  said,  "  What 
are  you  looking  so  thoughtful  about  ?  "  "  Oh,  nothing,"  said  he. 
"  But  there  must  be  something,"  she  said.  "  Well,  to  tell  you  the 
truth,  the  other  king  said  to  me  in  the  caf^,  *  Good  morrow.  Sir 
King,  who  hath  sows  but  no  boars.' "  "  Is  that  all  ?  "  said  she. 
"  I  thought  at  least  you  were  thinking  about  getting  me  a  new 
dress,"  and  she  gave  her  father  one  in  the  mouth,  and  knocked 


Miscellanea.  337 

out  one  of  his  teeth.  Next  day  the  other  king  saluted  him  as 
before,  and  he  came  back  looking  as  dismal  as  could  be,  and  his 
second  daughter  asked  him,  "Why,  whatever  is  the  matter?" 
"  Oh,  nothing,"  said  he.  "  But  you  must  tell  me,"  said  she ;  "  I 
know  you  have  something  on  your  mind."  "It  is  that  other 
king,"  he  said,  "  who,  when  I  came  to  the  caf^,  said,  *  Good 
morrow.  Sir  King,  who  hath  sows  and  no  boars.' "  "  Is  that  all  ?  " 
said  she;  "  I  thought  you  were  thinking  of  finding  me  a  husband," 
and  she  hit  him  on  the  face  and  knocked  out  another  tooth. 

Next  day  the  other  king  again  saluted  him  in  the  same  way, 
and  he  came  home  looking  the  picture  of  sadness,  and  his 
youngest  daughter  asked  him,  "What  makes  you  so  sad?" 
"  Nothing  at  all,"  said  he,  "  I  am  not  a  bit  sad."  "  But  I  know," 
said  she,  "  you  are  thinking  of  something."  "  No,"  said  he,  "  and 
if  I  were,  I  would  not  tell  you.  Fve  had  two  teeth  knocked  out 
through  telling  your  sisters,  and  I  don't  want  to  lose  another." 
When  she  promised  not  to  hurt  him,  he  at  length  told  her  what 
it  was,  and  she  said,  "  Next  time  you  go  to  the  caf^,  and  the  king 
says  this  to  you,  answer  him  back  and  say,  *  Good  morrow,  Sir 
King,  who  hath  boars  and  no  sows,  and  my  youngest  daughter 
will  rub  three  bushels  of  salt  into  your  youngest  son's  forehead 
without  his  noticing  it' " 

When,  next  day,  the  other  king  received  this  reply,  it  was  his 
turn  to  be  melancholy,  and  his  eldest  son  asked  him  what  was 
the  matter.  At  first  the  father  pretended  it  was  nothing,  but  at 
length  he  answered,  "  Why,  what  do  you  think  ?  To-day,  when  I 
wished  that  other  king  good  morrow,  and  said  he  had  only  sows 
and  no  boars,  he  answered  me  back  and  said,  *  Good  morrow.  Sir 
King,  who  hath  boars  and  no  sows,  and  my  youngest  daughter 
will  rub  three  bushels  of  salt  into  your  youngest  son's  forehead 
without  his  noticing  it' "  "Oh,"  said  the  son,  "  that's  all,  is  it?  I 
thought  you  were  thinking  about  getting  me  a  wife,"  and  he  hit 
his  father  in  the  face  and  knocked  out  one  of  his  teeth. 

Next  day  the  king  received  the  same  answer  from  the  other 
king,  and  when  his  second  son  questioned  him  as  to  his  long  face 
he  told  him  the  reason.  "  That's  all,  is  it?"  said  the  second  son; 
"I  thought  at  least  you  were  thinking  about  getting  me  a  new 
suit  of  clothes,"  and  he  knocked  out  another  of  his  father's 

On  the  third  day  the  king  had  the  same  answer  to  his  saluta- 

VOL.    XI.  z 

338  Miscellanea. 

tion,  and  his  youngest  son  made  him  tell  him  what  was  troubling 
him  so,  and,  when  he  had  heard  it,  said,  "  I  should  like  to  marry 
that  youngest  daughter,"  and  so  his  father  went  and  proposed  for 
her,  and  the  match  was  made. 

The  prince,  after  they  were  married,  would  have  nothing  to  do 
with  his  wife,  because  she  wouldn't  tell  him  what  the  bushels  of 
salt  meant.  One  day  he  said,  "  I  am  going  oflf  to  Soultado."i 
"  Very  well,"  said  his  wife,  and  when  he  was  gone  she  took  ship 
and  got  there  before  him.  She  took  a  house  on  the  quay  and  was 
looking  out  of  the  window  when  her  husband  arrived.  He  did 
not  know  her,  but  thought  she  was  a  very  nice-looking  girl,  and 
bowed  to  her.  She  returned  his  salute,  and  he  sent  up  and 
asked  if  he  might  come  and  stay  with  her.  "  I  shall  be  most 
pleased,"  she  answered,  and  he  remained  with  her  a  year,  and  she 
bore  him  a  child  whom  he  called  Soultado.  When  he  said  he 
was  leaving,  she  asked  him  what  token  he  would  give  his  son, 
and  he  gave  his  dagger.  She  took  ship  back  at  once  and  was 
waiting  to  receive  her  husband  when  he  came  home.  "Well," 
he  said,  "  won't  you  tell  me  now  what  the  three  bushels  of  salt 


"  I  knew  the  reason  on  a  time, 
But  now  away  'tis  flown. 
Come  eat  and  drink,  O  father  mine, 
And  sit  upon  your  throne. 

I  have  rubbed  one  of  them  in,  and  God  has  got  the  two 
others  in  his  keeping,"  said  she.  Then  the  prince  said  he  was  oflf 
to  Aleppo,  and  she,  as  before,  took  ship  and  was  settled  in  a 
house  on  the  quay  by  the  time  he  arrived.  It  happened  as  before, 
and  she  bore  him  a  son  whom  he  called  Halepi.  When  he  was 
going  away  she  asked  him  to  give  the  child  a  token,  and  he  gave 
his  ring.  She  reached  home  before  him  again,  and  when  he  asked 
her  to  tell  him  about  the  bushels  of  salt  she  said  the  same  verses, 
and,  "  I  have  rubbed  two  in,  and  God  has  the  other  in  store  for 
you."     "  All  right,"  said  he,  "  I  am  oflf  to  Babylon." 

When  he  got  to  Babylon  she  had  again  outstripped  him,  and 
was  living  on  the  quay.  She  looked  out  of  her  window,  and  he 
saw  her  and  went  to  stay  with  her,  and  she  bore  him  a  girl-child 
whom  they  called  Babylonitsa,  and  he  gave  her  a  cavMi  (kind  of 
dress)  as  a   token.      When   he  got  home  and  found  his  wife 

•  Where  is  this  seaport  ?— W.  R.  P. 


Miscellanea.  339 

waiting  for  him  as  usual,  he  asked  her,  "  Won't  you  tell  me  now 
about  the  three  bushels  of  salt  ?  " 

"  I've  rubbed  them  all  in  now,"  said  she.  Then  the  husband 
said,  "  I  am  going  to  be  married  again,"  and  he  threw  the  princess 
into  ^  hole,  and  off  he  went.  Her  three  children  were  being 
reared  by  her  mother.  She  sent  for  them  and  made  Soultado 
wear  the  dagger,  and  Halepi  the  ring,  and  little  Babylonitsa  her 
cavkdi,  and  she  told  them  to  go  to  the  house  where  the  wedding- 
feast  was  in  progress  and  to  march  up-stairs,  and  when  they  were 
outside  the  banqueting  room,  Soutado  was  to  say,  "Take  care, 
Halepi,  that  Babylonitsa  does  not  spoil  her  cavkdi,  or  our  mother 
will  be  angry."  So  they  did,  and  when  the  prince  heard  this  he 
pricked  up  his  ears  and  went  out  to  see  what  children  they  were. 
Then  he  saw  the  tokens,  and  went  straight  off  back  to  his  wife 
with  the  children,  and  the  other  bride  and  the  wedding-guests 
are  going  on  dancing  still,  waiting  for  him  to  come  back. 

XL  The  Laurel  GirL 
(Mytilene  :  told  by  Mersini.) 

Once  there  was  a  woman  who  had  no  children.  One  day  she 
saw  some  boys  carrying  laurel  boughs,  and  she  said,  "Ah,  that 
God  would  send  me  a  child,  were  it  but  a  laurel-berry."  She  con- 
ceived, and  in  due  time  was  delivered  of  a  laurel-berry.  She  kept 
her  bed  for  two  or  three  days,  but  then  she  said  to  herself,  "  What 
is  the  use  of  lying  here  all  for  the  sake  of  a  laurel-berry,  I  will  get 
up  and  go  to  church  "  Before  she  went  she  told  her  servant  to 
look  well  after  the  baby,  and  put  it  to  sleep  if  it  cried.  The  ser- 
vant went  into  her  mistress's  room,  but  no  baby  could  she  see- 
She  made  the  bed  and  shook  the  bed-clothes  out  of  the  window, 
and  the  laurel-berry  fell  into  the  street.  A  gardener  was  passing  by 
collecting  the  sweepings,  and  he  swept  up  the  laurel-berry.  The 
poor  mother  was  very  disconsolate  when  she  came  home  and  found 
out  what  had  happened,  but  there  was  nothing  to  be  done. 

Next  morning,  when  the  gardener  woke  up,  he  saw  to  his 
astonishment  a  beautiful  laurel-tree  growing  in  the  place  where 
he  had  thrown  the  sweepings. 

Now  let  us  leave  him,  and  go  to  three  young  men  who  had  made 
a  plan  of  coming  to  picnic  in  the  garden.  They  brought  a  lamb 
with  them,  and  lighting  a  fire  near  the  laurel,  set  it  on  to  boil,  and 

340  Miscellanea. 

told  the  gardener  to  put  the  salt  in  and  keep  an  eye  on  the  pot 
while  they  went  away  to  amuse  themselves.  The  gardener,  having 
seen  that  all  was  right,  went  away  to  water  his  garden,  when  the 
laurel  opened  and  out  came  a  girl.  She  took  three  large  handfuls 
of  salt,  which  she  threw  into  the  pot,  and  then  went  back  into  the 
laurel.  When  the  three  young  men  came  back  and  found  their 
meat  so  salt  that  they  could  not  eat  it,  they  were  very  angry  with 
the  gardener,  but  he  assured  them  he  had  put  just  the  right 
amount  of  salt  in.  They  went  away  and  got  another  lamb  and  set 
it  on  to  cook.  This  time  the  gardener  said,  "  Salt  it  yourselves, 
and  I  will  come  away  with  you,  that  you  may  be  sure  I  am  not  to 
blame."  When  the  meat  had  had  time  to  cook,  they  came  back, 
but  this  time  it  was  still  Salter.  The  two  eldest  went  away  in 
disgust,  but  the  youngest  got  another  lamb  for  himself  and  set  it 
on  to  cook,  and  hid  himself  in  a  bush.  In  a  little  while  he  heard 
a  voice  inside  the  laurel  saying,  "  Open,  laurel,  for  the  girl  to  come 
out,"  and  the  laurel  opened,  and  out  stepped  a  beautiful  girl.  He 
ran  quickly,  and  caught  and  kissed  her.  Then  she  said,  "  Open, 
laurel,  for  the  girl  to  go  in,"  but  the  laurel  answered : 

"  Kissed  and  cuddled  may  not  win, 
Ever  to  the  laurel  in," 

and  he  took  her  home  with  him. 

Now,  he  was  engaged  to  be  married,  and  his  marriage  was  to 
be  next  day.  When  the  laurel-maiden  lay  down  at  night  and  went 
to  sleep,  he  went  out  and  picked  a  basketful  of  roses  and  put  it  by 
her  side,  and  started  oflf  to  his  bride's  house,  which  was  in  a  village 
a  few  miles  off.  The  girl  when  she  woke  up  put  out  her  arms 
hoping  to  clasp  her  lover,  but  instead  found  only  the  basket  of 

"  O  roses  white,  O  roses  red,  and  O  my  basil,  you ! 
Why  did  ye  gar  me  go  to  sleep,  and  lose  my  bonny  doo  ?  "  • 

she  said,  and  started  off  to  find  him.  (She  changes  clothes  with  a 
monk  and  goes  to  the  marriage,  and  runs  off  with  the  young  man 
at  night.) 

XII.  The  Gorgon  ^  (Calymnos). 

There  was  once  a  queen  who  had  a  son  and  a  daughter.     Her 

'  The  word  "  gorgona  "  in  common  parlance  means  a  mermaid.  Hence,  I 
presume,  the  name  of  the  Italian  island  Gorgona,  near  Leghorn.  The  gorgon 
in  this  story  has  nothing  marine  about  her. 


Miscellanea.  341 

daughter  had  just  given  birth  to  a  girl.  Two  days  after  its  birth 
the  shepherds  came  and  said  that  all  their  milk  was  drunk  up  at 
night;  the  next  day  the  grooms  came  and  said  that  each  night 
one  of  the  horses  in  the  stalls  was  devoured  by  a  beast  that  came 
at  midnight,  as  they  knew  by  the  terrified  neighing  of  the  horses 
they  heard  at  that  hour  in  the  stable,  but  they  were  afraid  to  go 
and  see  what  the  beast  was.  Next  night  the  queen's  son  went  to 
watch  in  the  stable,  and  at  midnight  the  horses  began  to  neigh 
and  plunge,  and  a  gorgon  came  in  and  fastened  on  one  of  them. 
The  prince  shot  an  arrow  at  it  and  cut  off  its  little  finger.  Taking 
the  finger  with  him,  he  went  home.  Next  day  the  baby  would  not 
cease  cr3dng,  and  the  doctors  and  nurses  could  not  tell  what  was 
the  matter  with  it  until  they  found  its  little  finger  was  missing.  The 
prince  then  knew  that  the  baby  was  a  gorgon,  and,  showing  his 
sister  the  finger,  bade  her  kill  her  child,  for  otherwise  it  would  eat 
up  everybody  and  everything  in  the  country.  If  she  refused,  he 
said  he  would  go  away  to  a  strange  land.  His  sister  said  she 
would  not  kill  her  child ;  so,  taking  his  mother  with  him,  he  left 
his  home.  As  night  began  to  fall,  they  came  to  a  marble  slab 
with  a  ring  attached  to  it.  They  went  down  forty  steps  and  found 
themselves  in  an  ogre's  house.  "Good  day,  uncle,"  said  the 
prince.  "  Well  met,  young  buck,"  said  the  ogre,  "  what  do  you 
want  here?"  "  Don't  ask,"  said  the  prince,  "  our  woes  are  many; 
we  beg  for  shelter  for  the  night."  The  ogre  consented,  and  they 
remained  there  that  night.  Next  day  the  prince  went  out  to 
shoot,  and  while  he  was  away  the  mother  and  the  ogre  made  up 
to  each  other,  and  the  queen  asked  the  ogre  to  marry  her.  "  That 
can  never  be,"  said  the  ogre,  "as  long  as  your  son  is  alive.  You 
must  lie  down  and  pretend  to  be  ill,  and  when  he  comes  back  bid 
him  fetch  you  the  milk  of  the  hind  that  eats  men."  So  when  the 
prince  came  back  and  brought  his  mother  the  birds  he  had  shot 
for  her  to  cook  them,  he  found  her  simulating  great  pain.  "  I  am 
very  ill,  my  son,"  she  said,  "and  this  stupid  old  ogre  can  do 
nothing  to  cure  me,  and  now  he  tells  me  I  shall  die  unless  I  can 
drink  the  wild  hind's  milk,  but  I  would  rather  die  than  let  you  go 
and  risk  being  eaten."  "  I  go,"  said  the  prince,  and  saddled  his 
horse  and  started  off.  "  If  he  doesn't  come  back  in  three  days," 
said  the  ogre,  "  we  shall  know  he  is  dead."  In  the  evening  the 
prince  came  to  a  house  where  dwelt  a  beautiful  girl  who  was  a 
fairy.     He  dismounted  and  knocked,  and  was  invited  in.     The 

34^  yfiscellanea. 

bury  stiktd  faim  how  be  came  tfaeie,  where  no  monad  had  ever 
come,  and  he  told  her  his  exiazid.    She  tiied  to  pesoade  him  to 
go  hock,  (or  that  his  mother  desired  to  rompa^  his  death,  hot  the 
prince  would  not  listen  to  thisL     So  die  ga^e  him  ^micr  and 
asked  him  to  sta j  the  n^ht,  and  in  the  morning  die  told  him : 
**  When  joa  come  to  the  care  where  the  hind  dw^fls,  if  her  eyes 
are  open,  go  and  milk  her,  and  take  her  two  biwns  away  and  bcii^ 
them  to  me,  but  if  her  eyes  are  dmt,  beware."     The  prince  rode 
on  tin  he  came  to  the  ca¥e,  and  there  was  the  hind  widi  her  eyes 
wide  open.     He  milked  her  and  broo^  her  Eaiwns  back  to  the 
£ury,  who  invited  him  to  ^Knd  this  night  too  in  hex  house.     In 
the  night  she  took  the  hind's  milk  and  sobstitnted  for  it  the 
horse's  mine.     The  prince  came  back  to  the  ogre's  house  on  the 
third  evening,  and  when  his  mother  and  ha  paramour  saw  him, 
fancy  their  surprise.     But  the  queen  drank  what  she  Euided  to  be 
the  hind's  milk,  and,  saying  she  felt  better,  got  up.     Next  day 
when  the  prince  went  out  shootii^  the  ogre  said  to  the  queen : 
**You  must  say  you  are  ill  again  and  b^  him  to  g^  you  the 
water-melon  of  life."    So  she  did,  again  telling  her  son  that  she 
would  die  if  she  had  not  this  water-melon,  but  b^ging  him  not  to 
risk  his  life.   Away  went  the  prince  on  his  errand,  and  dismounted 
again  at  the  house  of  the  fairy,  who,  after  warning  him  as  before, 
and  trying  to  turn  him  back,  bade  him  stay  the  night     In  the 
morning  she  told  him,  ''Ride  on  till  you  come  to  a  great  hill. 
Underneath  it  is  a  field  full  of  water-melons.     They  will  aU  call 
out,  *  Pick  me,  pick  me,'  but  you  must  not  answer,  or  else  you 
will  be  changed  into  a  water-melon  yourself.   You  must  go  straight 
on  and  pick  the  big  white  water-melon  in  the  middle  of  the  field." 
The  prince  followed  her  directions  and  came  back  to  spend  the 
night  at  the  fairy's  house.     While  he  was  asleep  she  changed  the 
water-melon  of  life  for  an  ordinary  one,  which  he  took  back  to  his 
mother,  arriving  again  on  the  evening  of  the  third  day  from  his 
departure.     The  queen  ate  the  water-melon,  and  again  said  she 
felt  better.     "  Now,"  said  the  ogre,  "  there  is  nothing  left  but  to 
send  him  for  the  water  of  life."     So  the  queen  got  ill  again  and 
told  her  son,  "This  old  dufifer  of  an  ogre  can't  find  the  right 
medicine.    Now  he  tells  me  I  must  drink  the  water  of  life,  but  you 
must  not  go  for  it,  my  dear  boy,  it  is  so  very  dangerous."   "  Well,'* 
said  the  son,  "as  I  have  got  you  the  other  things  I  suppose  I  can 
get  you  this,"  and  started  to  find  it.     This  time  the  fairy,  who  was 

Miscellanea.  343 

still  unable  to  persuade  him  that  his  mother  was  plotting  against 
his  life,  told  him  in  the  morning,  "  The  water  of  life  is  behind  a 
rock  which  keeps  opening  and  shutting;  be  as  quick  as  you  can, 
otherwise  the  rock  will  shut  on  you."  The  prince  did  as  he  was 
bid,  and  he  just  managed  to  ride  out  before  the  rock  shut,  nipping 
off  his  horse's  tail.  At  night  the  fairy  substituted  wine  for  the 
water  of  life  and  kept  this  herself.  This  time  she  kept  the  prince 
two  nights  with  her,  so  that  his  mother  and  the  ogre  might  think 
he  was  dead. 

When  he  returned,  they  were  more  disgusted  than  ever  at  seeing 
him,  but  his  mother  drank  the  water  and  pretended  to  be  better. 
The  ogre  now  asked  her  to  find  out  from  her  son  in  what  his 
strength  lay.  She  asked  him,  and  he  first  told  her  it  was  in  a 
broom.  "  Take  the  broom,"  said  the  ogre,  "  and  smoke  it  with 
incense,  and  then  we  shall  see  if  he  is  telling  the  truth."  When 
the  son  saw  her  incensing  the  broom  he  began  to  laugh  at  her, 
and  said,  "  That  is  not  my  strength,  it  is  in  the  door."  When  he 
found  her  incensing  the  door  he  laughed  at  her  again,  and  then 
she  coaxed  him  into  telling  her  that  his  strength  was  a  gold  hair 
in  his  head. 

One  day,  by  the  wicked  ogre's  advice,  she  begged  her  son  to 
come  and  sit  with  his  head  on  her  lap  and  let  her  louse  him.  As 
he  sat  so  he  fell  asleep,  and  she  found  and  cut  off  the  gold  hair, 
and  they  killed  and  ate  him. 

The  fawns,  who  were  still  with  the  fairy,  smelt  his  flesh,  and 
began  to  roar.  The  fairy,  who  knew  what  had  happened,  bade 
them  go  and  collect  the  bones,  and  bring  them  to  her ;  but  on  no 
account  were  they  to  eat  any  of  their  master's  flesh  if  the  ogre 
ofiered  it  to  them.  They  went  and  gathered  together  all  the 
bones  except  the  little  finger,  which  they  could  not  find.  The 
fairy  sent  them  to  look  for  it,  and  they  found  it  under  the  stairs. 
She  then  put  all  the  bones  together ;  out  of  the  hind's  milk  she 
made  the  flesh,  and  out  of  the  water-melon  she  made  the  blood, 
and  then  she  poured  the  water  of  life  on  the  body,  and  the  prince 
was  alive  again ;  and,  rubbing  his  eyes,  he  said,  "  Lightly  I  fell 
asleep,  and  heavily  I  wake  up."  The  fairy  told  him  what  had 
happened,  and  he  went  back  and  killed  his  mother  and  the  ogre, 
and  the  fawns  gobbled  them  up.  Now  the  fairy  wanted  the  prince 
to  marry  her ;  but  he  said,  "  I  must  first  go  to  my  own  country 
to  see  how  they  fare  there."    The  fairy  tried  to  dissuade  him,  but 

344  Miscellanea. 

in  vain.  She  then  gave  him  three  nuts,  and  told  him  to  plant 
them  on  his  road,  and  she  told  him  if  things  went  very  wrong  with 
him  to  whistle  for  the  fawns.  When  he  came  to  his  country  he 
found  the  gorgon  had  eaten  everything — men,  beasts,  and  trees. 
There  was  just  one  tree  left,  and  under  it  was  a  hut  He  went 
straight  for  the  hut,  and  outside  it  he  found  the  gorgon  sitting. 
"  Ah,  what  a  nice  morsel,"  said  she ;  "  I  have  eaten  everything 
here  except  a  mouse  that  I  can't  catch.  I  will  just  go  to  the  well 
and  get  water  to  boil  you  in ;  and  to  let  me  know  you  are  still  here, 
keep  on  ringing  this  bell  till  I  come  back ; "  and  she  put  a  bell- 
rope  in  his  hand.  The  moment  she  had  left,  out  of  a  hole  crept 
the  mouse,  and  said  to  him,  "  Give  me  the  rope  and  run  for  your 
life."  He  ran  for  his  sins,  and  the  mouse  went  on  ringing  the 
bell  until  the  gorgon  came  back,  and  then  crept  into  its  hole. 
When  the  gorgon  found  her  prey  gone,  she  started  oflf  to  chase 
him,  and  was  just  at  his  heels  when  he  reached  the  nut-trees, 
which  had  grown  in  the  meantime  from  his  nuts.  He  clambered 
up  the  first,  and  the  gorgon  began  to  eat  the  tree,  and  he  sprang 
to  the  second,  and  so  to  the  third ;  and  then  he  bethought  him  of 
the  fawns,  and  whistled,  and  they  came  roaring,  and  gobbled  up 
the  gobbling  gorgon.  Then  the  mouse  wanted  to  be  rewarded 
for  saving  his  life  ;  but  he  said,  "  No,  I  have  saved  yours."  Then 
he  went  back  and  was  married  to  the  fairy,  and  I  was  not  there 
to  see  it,  and  don't  you  believe  it. 

Death  and  Burial  Customs  in  Wiltshire, 
By  Miss  L.  A.  Law.     Edited  with  notes  by  W.  Crooke. 

The  following  notes  on  folk-beliefs  are  a  record  of  recollections 
in  a  remote  Wiltshire  village,  of  which  the  writer's  father  was 
Rector  between  thirty  and  forty  years  ago. 

Death  Omens, — Numerous  omens  were  believed  to  foretell 
death.  When  a  tallow  candle  guttered  over  and  the  tallow  formed 
the  figure  of  a  shroud,  it  was  believed  that  a  death  would  soon 
occur  in  the  family.  The  same  result  follows  from  bringing  into 
a  house  the  caterpillar  of  the  death's-head  hawk-moth. 

Rats  and  Mice  Portents  of  Death, — Some  people  say  that  they  are 
warned  when  a  person  who  is  ill  is  about  to  die  by  the  inroad  of 
rats  and  mice  into  the  house,  where  they  appear  in  great  numbers. 


Miscellanea.  345 

In  a  house  where  the  master  died,  I  was  told  that  the  kitchen  was 
overrun  by  rats,  which  ran  up  and  down  the  walls.^ 

Watching  in  Church  Porch  for  Wraiths  of  those  about  to  die, — It 
was  believed  that  if  one  stood  in  the  church  porch  on  the  last 
night  of  the  year  he  would  see  the  shadows  of  those  among  his 
friends  and  relations  who  were  doomed  to  die  during  the  coming 
y6ar.     If  you  saw  your  own  wraith  you  were  sure  to  die.^ 

Charm  to  procure  an  Easy  Death, — My  father  was  once  visiting  a 
dying  farmer.  As  he  came  into  the  lower  room  he  saw  a  curious 
old  knife  on  his  hob.  He  took  it  up  to  look  at  it  and  then  placed 
it  on  the  table.  When  he  went  up-stairs  the  sick  man  asked,  "  Is 
the  knife  on  the  hob  ?  "  A  relative  went  down,  and  finding  it  on 
the  table,  immediately  put  it  back,  and  my  father,  on  making 
inquiries,  was  told  that  if  the  knife  were  removed  the  sick  man 
would  "  die  hard." ' 

Appearance  of  Face  of  the  Dead  indicates  their  Future  State, — 
The  appearance  of  the  face  of  the  dead  was  considered  to  be  an 
indication  of  the  state  of  the  departed  soul.  A  calm,  peaceful 
expression  was  always  noted  by  the  survivors  as  a  hopeful  sign. 
A  nurse  told  me  that  she  always  observed  on  the  faces  of  those 
who  had  died  in  a  state  of  sin  a  look  of  pain  or  an  evil  sneer. 

Wool  placed  in  Shepherd's  Coffin, — When  a  shepherd  died  it  used 
to  be  the  custom  to  put  a  lock  of  wool  into  his  coffin,  the  idea 
being  that  at  the  Judgment  Day  he  could  thus  prove  his  vocation, 
which  prevented  him  from  being  a  regular  attendant  in  church. 
The  custom  has  now  become  almost  obsolete,  but  not  long  ago  I 

*  This  belief  is  also  reported  from  Devon.  If  mice  run  over  a  sick  person's 
bed  at  night  they  portend  death  (4th  Ser.  NoUs  and  Queries^  ix.,  134  J^O-  It 
is  also  found  in  Cornwall  and  in  Russia  (idid,,  ix.,  257,  402).  Can  this  be 
connected  with  the  belief  that  the  little  Red  Mouse  represents  the  separable 
soul  ?  (5th  Ser.  Mofes  and  Queries^  i.,  156 ;  7th  Ser.,  xii.,  465  ;  8th  Ser.,  i., 
91,  244,  500).  **  In  German  superstition,  the  souls  of  the  dead  assume  the 
forms  of  mice,  and  when  the  head  of  a  house  dies,  it  is  said  that  even  the 
mice  of  the  house  abandon  it.  In  general,  every  apparition  of  mice  is  con- 
sidered a  funeral  presage.  It  is  on  this  account  that  the  funeral  of  St.  Gertrude 
wns  represented  surrounded  by  mice."    (De  Gubematis,  Zoo,  Afyth..,  ii.,  67.) 

'  There  are  two  days  on  which  visions  of  this  kind  may  be  seen  :  St.  Mark's 
Eve  (April  25lh)  (Brand,  Observations, \.y  192  ;  1st  Ser.  NoUs  andQueries^  iv., 
470  ;  vi.  71,  quoting  a  reference  in  Collins,  **  Ode  to  Fear  "}.  The  other  was 
the  Eve  of  the  Feast  of  St.  John  Baptist  (Brand,  ibidy  i.,  331  ;  iii.,  236). 

'  This  belief  is  new  to  me.  Can  the  knife  here  represent  the  Life  Index, 
which,  if  kept  warm  and  comfortable,  the  patient  will  die  quietly  ? 

346  Miscellanea. 

heard  of  a  case  in  which  a  lock  of  wool  was  placed  in  the  coffin 
of  a  shearer. 

Superstition  about  Amputation. — ^A  woman  in  our  parish  had  her 
leg  amputated,  and  got  a  little  coffin  made  for  it.  She  caused  it 
to  be  buried  in  the  churchyard  and  left  strict  injunctions  that 
when  she  died  she  was  to  be  interred  close  to  it  "She  would  have 
to  be  sharp,"  the  people  said,  "  in  claiming  her  leg  at  the  Day  of 
Judgment,  lest  someone  else,  maimed  in  the  same  way,  should 
seize  it  before  her." 

Dread  of  Corpses, — One  of  the  most  common  beliefs  of  the  poor 
people  in  the  fifties  and  sixties  was  the  fear  of  the  corpse,  the 
dread  of  ghosts,  and  the  unwillingness  to  enter  graveyards  at  night 
A  carrier  employed  to  convey  the  corpse  of  a  man  who  had  died 
suddenly  to  his  home  returned  in  a  state  of  nervous  shock  from 
which  he  never  recovered.  "  When  I  came  to  Squire  A.'s  wood 
where  them  trees  darkened  over,"  he  began  to  tremble,  and  got 
back  only  with  difficulty.  The  ghost  of  this  corpse  walked  long 

The  fear  of  the  dead  is  particularly  shown  in  the  habit  of  re- 
moving a  dying  person  from  the  house.  So  with  the  corpse.  A 
gentleman  in  Wiltshire  had  the  body  of  his  late  wife  removed  into 
the  coach-house. 

Rash  Intruder  at  a  Grave  caught  by  a  Demon, — A  man  once 
boasted  of  his  courage,  and  was  challenged  to  go  into  a  church- 
yard at  night  and  stick  a  knife  into  a  grave.  When  he  failed  to 
return  his  friends  went  in  search  of  him,  and  found  him  lying 
hopelessly  mad  on  the  grave.  Somehow  or  other  his  coat  got 
caught,  and  he  fancied  that  he  was  seized  by  evil  spirits,  and  was 
frightened  out  of  his  mind.^ 

Enemies  not  to  be  buried  dose  together. — People  are  very  careful 

^  Carelessness  about  the  disposal  of  any  severed  part  involves  danger  to  the 
body  (Hartland,  Legend  of  Perseus^  ii.,  132).  All  through  the  East  amputation 
is  dreaded  lest  a  person  so  mutilated  should  turn  into  a  malignant  ghost 
(Crooke,  Popular  Religion  and  Folklore^  i.,  280).  Hence  hanging  or  strangu- 
lation is  in  Japan  regarded  as  a  less  severe  form  of  punishment  than  decapita- 
tion (Aston,  Nihongi^  i.,  234).  The  prejudice  against  mutilation  is  illustrated 
by  the  refusal  of  the  Jaina  priests  to  eat  with  R^ja  Vishnuvardhana,  because 
he  had  lost  a  finger  (Rice,  Mysore^  i.,  338). 

s  As  told  in  the  south  of  Ireland,  with  names  and  date  particularly  stated, 
the  man  is  challenged  to  go  into  a  vault  and  drive  a  nail  into  a  coflin.  He 
does  so,  and  accidentally  nails  down  the  tail  of  his  own  coat,  on  which  he  loses 
his  senses. 

Miscellanea.  347 

not  to  bury  a  deceased  relation  near  one  who  was  his  enemy  in 
life.     "  They  would  fight  in  their  graves,"  they  think.^ 

Fairies  and  Giants, — These  people  have  no  traditions  of  fairies 
or  giants. 

G^^j/j.— They  vouch  for  the  occasional  appearance  of  a  ghost, 
but  most  of  the  revenants^  they  say,  were  laid  by  a  clergyman 
some  years  ago. 

Ghost  in  a  Golden  Corslet, — At  Silbury  Hill  there  is  a  tradition 
that  a  man  in  golden  armour  on  horseback  is  buried.* 

Headless  Ghost. — On  Roundway  Down  a  headless  ghost  is  said 
to  walk.  Some  years  ago  a  shepherd  declared  that  he  met  it,  that 
it  walked  some  distance  by  his  side,  and  then  vanished.  The 
gentleman  to  whom  he  told  the  story  asked  why  he  did  not  speak 
to  the  ghost.  "  I  was  afraid,"  he  replied,  "  for  if  I  hadn't  spoken 
proper  to  him  he*d  a  tore  'un  to  pieces."  A  barrow  is  near  the 
place,  which  was  excavated  some  time  ago,  when  a  skeleton  (not 
headless)  was  found.  Since  the  barrow  was  opened  the  ghost  has 
ceased  to  walk.^ 

Attack  of  Water  Demon  on  a  Sabbath-breaker, — One  of  our 
workmen  one  Sunday  went  out  fishing.  He  soon  came  back  with 
a  look  of  fear  on  his  face  and  told  my  brother  that  he  had  felt 
something  dragging  at  his  line,  and  on  dragging  it  up  saw  "a 
horful  crittur,  with  terrible  big  heyes  fearsome  to  look  at."  He 
supposed  it  was  the  devil,  and  promptly  threw  it  back  into  the 
water.     He  believed  this  to  be  a  judgment  for  Sabbath-breaking.* 

Medicine  as  a  Charm, — The  doctor's  medicine  was  commonly 
regarded  as  a  charm.  A  patient  attacked  with  pleurisy  was  given 
a  blister,  and  his  wife  was  told  to  apply  it  to  his  chest.  At  his 
next  visit  the  doctor  was  told  that  the  blister  had  done  wonders. 
But  on  examination  he  was  surprised  to  find  no  marks  showing 
that  the  blister  had  taken  efifect.  "  We  hadn't  got  no  chest,"  his 
wife  explained,  "  but  he's  got  a  good-sized  box  in  that  comer,  and 
we  clapp'd  en  on  that."  L.  A.  Law. 

'  On  the  communing  of  ghosts  buried  close  together,  see  Hartland,  Legend 
of  Perseus^  ii.,  326. 

*  The  tale  is  told  at  Mold,  in  Flintshire,  where  in  a  barrow  was  subsequently 
found  a  golden  breastplate,  now  in  the  British  Museum  (2nd  Ser.  Notes  and 
Queries,  x.,  342.) 

'  The  headless  horseman  is  found  all  the  world  over.  In  5th  Ser.  Notes 
and  Queries^  vi.  364,  the  ghost  of  a  headless  turkey  walks. 

^  This  is  the  usual  water  demon  which  appears  in  so  many  mjrthologies.  I 
have  given  some  instances  in  Popular  Religion  and  Folklore^  i.,  42  seqq. 



Born  1862,  died  1900. 

No  one  has  fallen  a  victim  to  the  war  in  South  Africa  whose  loss 
has  more  keenly  struck  all  who  knew  her,  men  and  women  alike, 
with  a  sense  of  being  irreparable,  nay  national,  than  Mary  Kingsley, 
daughter  of  Dr.  George  Kingsley  (a  naturalist  and  traveller  himselQ, 
and  niece  to  Charles  and  Henry.  The  blood  of  a  gifted  family  ran  in 
her  veins,  and  she  knew  that  their  spirit  stirred  in  her.  Her  training 
was  not  that  of  school  or  college,  but  that  of  home  lessons  and  home 
influence.  Books  of  all  kinds,  but  especially  scientific,  abounded  in 
the  house,  piles  lay  on  the  chairs  and  overflowed  on  to  the  floor,  while 
the  walls  were  covered  with  curiosities  brought  by  the  traveller  from 
many  lands,  every  one  of  which  had  its  tale.  The  rambling  garden 
at  Highgate  (where  the  present  writer  first  knew  her),  the  cocks 
and  hens,  her  mother's  pet  cats  and  dogs,  were  part  of  her  daily 
care  as  she  grew  up,  together  with  all  kinds  of  household  duties. 
An  eager  student  of  natural  history,  and  especially  following  her 
father's  favourite  study  of  fishes  and  their  ways,  geography  and 
literature  were  not  neglected  in  her  education,  and  she  learned 
German  with  pleasure,  but  not  much  French.  When  the  father 
came  home  for  a  few  months  in  the  year  the  usual  lessons  were 
cast  aside,  but  much  quiet  reading  still  went  on.  The  doctor's 
brilliant  talk  had  its  unconscious  influence  upon  his  daughter; 
while  contact  with  friends  of  scientific  pursuits  added  to  her  know- 
ledge. She  took  up  works  on  ethnography  and  anthropology, 
studied  philosophy,  mathematics,  and  electricity,  and  helped  her 
mother  in  good  works. 

About  1884  the  family  removed  to  Cambridge,  where  Mary 
enjoyed  the  society  of  learned  and  scientific  men  and  women ; 
and  new  vistas  of  study  and  of  friendship  opened  up  before  her. 
But  in  1888  her  mother's  ill-health  became  serious,  and  she  devoted 
herself  with  much  ability  to  nursing  the  invalid,  while  soon  after- 
wards her  father's  health  began  also  to  cause  anxiety.  These  re- 
sponsibilities weighed  heavily,  and  when  in  1892  the  death  of  both 
parents  within  two  months  set  her  free,  the  rebound  was  great.   To 

Obituary.  349 

recover  tone  and  health  she  took  a  trip  to  the  Canaries,  and  came 
back  strengthened  and  full  of  new  ideas  and  plans,  having  shown 
her  daring  and  courage  even  on  this  short  voyage.  In  1893  she 
started  for  West  Africa,  alone,  notwithstanding  the  fears  of  friends; 
she  knew  herself,  and  felt  full  of  life  and  hope.  Her  aims  were 
to  collect  specimens,  principally  fish  and  insects,  and  to  see  and 
know  native  man  away  from  the  haunts  of  civilization.  After  some 
months  she  returned,  with  a  large  collection  including  many  new 
species,  and  with  much  information  gathered  through  difficult 
journeys  and  extraordinary  adventures,  conquered  by  her  cheerful 
energy.  In  December,  1894,  she  went  out  again  to  West  Africa, 
exploring  many  new  regions,  making  close  acquaintance  with  the 
natives,  their  customs,  laws,  and  fetish.  Here  her  tact,  her  sym- 
pathy, and  fidelity  to  her  word,  brought  her  a  rich  harvest  of  know- 
ledge as  well  as  of  anthropological  specimens.  Returning  early 
in  1896  she  published  the  first-fruits  of  her  journeys  in  Travels  in 
West  Africa^  1897,  which  (though  she  acknowledged  it  to  be  "a 
word-swamp  of  a  book  "),  took  the  world  by  storm  with  its  racy 
humour,  vivid  picturesqueness,  and  serious  feeling.  The  interest  in 
West  Africa  was  awakened,  and  she  found  a  new  power  by  means  of 
speech  and  lecture,  which  she  used  in  making  known  the  trader 
and  the  native,  their  deeds,  their  spirit,  and  their  true  needs.  The 
Chambers  of  Commerce  recognised  her  valuable  eflforts,  she  was 
made  a  member  of  the  Anthropological  Institute,  and  did  not 
spare  herself  in  spreading  the  truth  through  many  channels, 
academic,  literary,  and  charitable.  Among  these  may  be  named 
the  Hibbert  Lecture  (1897)  on  "African  Religion  and  Law,"  and 
a  paper  read  at  the  British  Association,  Bristol,  1898,  on  "Pro- 
perty among  the  Peoples  of  the  True  Negro  Stock."  The  Folk- 
Lore  Society  is  indebted  to  her,  not  only  for  her  paper  on  "  The 
Fetish  View  of  the  Human  Soul"  (Folk-Lore^  viii.,  pp.  138-151), 
read  at  a  meeting  in  February,  1897,  when  she  exhibited  and 
explained  the  very  interesting  collection  of  folklore  objects  which 
she  had  brought  back  from  West  Africa,  but  also  for  the  valuable 
introduction  to  Mr.  Dennett's  Folklore  of  the  Fjote^  and  for  her 
ready  and  inestimable  help  in  seeing  that  work  through  the  press. 
In  1899  the  important  y^Mm^West  African  Studies  more  carefully 
elaborated  her  views  on  certain  points.  She  also  undertook  the 
Story  of  West  Africa  (1899),  ^^^  ^^  ^^  spring  of  the  present  year 
brought  out  the  Memoir  of  her  father  (prefixed  to  Notes  on  Sport 

350  Obituary. 

and  Travel)^  now  invested  with  a  mournful  interest  as  her  last  utter- 
ance. In  March,  1900,  she  went  to  South  Africa,  with  no  definite 
work,  but  hoping  to  do  some  good,  and  thence  perhaps  go  to  the 
West  Coast  again.  Nursing  the  sick  Boers  near  Cape  Town,  she 
was  cut  off  by  fever  on  June  3rd,  only  two  months  after  landing, 
and,  to  crown  her  life  of  unselfish  self-sacrifice,  was  buried  at  sea 
by  her  own  desire.  Her  frank  fearlessness,  her  sincerity,  and 
tender  heart,  her  modesty,  illumined  by  delightful  humour,  made 
up  a  rare  character,  whose  influence  was  far-reaching,  and  was 
most  precious  to  her  friends. 

L.  TouLMiN  Smith. 

"A  woman  of  genius,  whose  lovable  and  guileless  nature, 
whose  powers  of  tender  sympathy  and  generous  insight  were  only 
equalled  by  her  daring  as  a  traveller  and  explorer,  and  by  her 
gifts  as  a  writer — Mary  Kingsley,  the  heir  and  sustainer  of  a  great 
name,  one  of  the  ablest  of  that  remarkable  band  of  wandering 
writers,  men  and  women,  who  are  the  eyes  and  ears  to-day  of  our 
nascent  Empire,  who  are  bringing  home  to  England  *  that  weary 
Titan,'  her  tasks,  her  faults,  her  problems — endowed  with  humour, 
with  vision,  with  that  light  and  laughing  temper  which  sends  home 
the  shafts  of  knowledge  and  of  feeling,  and  with  a  passion  for 
justice  which  was  in  its  roots  also  a  passion  for  England — Mary 
Kingsley  has  gone  from  us.  To  the  service  of  those  poor  fever- 
stricken  prisoners  from  Paardeberg  she  has  given  her  life,  so 
precious,  so  full  still  of  unexhausted  power — flung  it  away,  some 
people  might  contend,  in  an  enterprise  and  a  service  that  others 
with  gifts  less  rare  and  less  irreplaceable  might  have  rendered. 
But! — it  is  from  such  waste  that  our  wealth  flows — from  such 
giving  that  our  hearts,  sore  as  they  may  be,  are  shamed  and  fired 
afresh.  These  true  knights-errant  of  intelligence  and  pity,  who 
think  no  travail  of  mind  and  body  too  great  to  face,  if  only  they 
may  come  at  the  truth  and  tell  it — who  wander,  suffer,  laugh,  and 
learn — who  make  a  new  wisdom,  often  in  the  teeth  of  the  old, 
which  becomes  the  wisdom  of  their  fellows — it  is  of  them  that  we 

may  say — 

*  Out  of  dangers,  dreams,  disasters. 
They  arise  to  be  our  masters  ! ' " 

Mrs.  Humphrey  Ward, 
At  the  Women  Writers  Dinncry  1900. 
By  kind  permission  of  tlie  Editors  of  the  "  Churchwoman,^' 




All  English  books  are  published  in  London^  all  French  books  in 
FariSy  unless  otherwise  stated. 

Boer  (R.  C).  Grettis  Saga  Asmundar  sonar.  (Altnordische 
Saga-Bibliothek,  8).  Max  Niemeyer.  Halle  a  S.  1900. 
8vo.     viii.,  348  pp. 

Davids  (T.  W.  Rhys).  Dialogues  of  the  Buddha,  translated 
from  the  Pdli.  Vol.  ii.  of  Sacred  Books  of  the  Buddhists, 
translated  by  various  Oriental  scholars,  and  edited  by  F.  Max 
MuLLER.  Under  the  patronage  of  H.M.  Chulilanlcarana, 
King  of  Siam.    Henry  Frowde.    1899.     8vo.     xxiii,  334  pp. 

GiTT^E  (A.).  Curiosit^s  de  la  Vie  Enfantine.  Etudes  de  Folk- 
lore.    Bibliothique  Gilon.     Cr.  8vo.     125  pp. 

Grunwedel  (A.).  Mythologie  der  Buddhismus  in  Tibet  und  der 
Mongolei.  Fiihrer  durch  die  Lamaistische  Sammlung  der 
Fiirsten  E.  Uchtomskij.  Leipzig,  Brockhaus.  4to.  xxxv, 
244  pp. 

Hewett  (Sarah).  Nummits  and  Crummits :  Devonshire  Cus- 
toms, Characteristics,  and  Folklore.     T.  Burleigh.     6s. 

Roussel  (A.).  L^gendes  Morales  de  Tlnde  emprunt^es  au 
Bhagavata  Purana  et  au  Mahabharata.  Traduites  du  Sanscrit. 
(Les  Litt^ratures  Populaires  tie  toutes  les  Nations,  tome 
xxxviii.)     Maisonneuve.     i6mo.     xii ,  325  pp. 

Strack  (H.  L.).  Das  Blut  im  Glauben  und  Aberglauben  der 
Menschheit,  Mit  besonderer  Beriicksichtigung  der  "  Volks- 
medizin  "  und  der  "jiidischen  Blutritus."  (Neubearbeitung 
der  Schrift  "  Der  Blutaberglaube.")  Munich :  Beck.  8vo. 
xii.,  208  pp. 

Straparola  da  Caravaggio  (M.  G.).  Le  Piacevoli  Notti,  re- 
prodotte  sulle  antiche  Stampe  a  cura  di  Giuseppe  Rua. 
Libro  Primo.  1899.  Bologna :  Romagnoli-dall'  Acqua. 
8vo.     XXV.,  319  pp. 

352  Bibliography. 


The  Contents  of  Periodicals  exclusively  devoted  to  Folklore 
are  not  noted, 

American  Anthropologist,  N.S.,  ii,  2.  H,  R.  Votk,  Oraibi 
Marriage  Customs.  Z>.  S.  Lamby  Mythical  Monsters.  B, 
Lanfer^  Preliminary  Notes  on  Explorations  among  the 
Amoor  Tribes. 

Blackwood's  Magazine,  July,  1900.  Edward  A,  Irving^  Primi- 
tive Socialists. 

Indian  Antiquary,  May.  R.  C.  Temple,  The  Thirty-seven  Nats 
(spirits)  of  the  Burmese.  June.  R.  C.  Temple,  The  Folk- 
lore in  the  Legends  of  the  Panjab.  July.  R,  C,  Temple, 
The  Thirty-seven  Nats  of  the  Burmese.  August.  Sir/.  M, 
Campbell,  Notes  on  the  Spirit  Basis  of  Belief  and  Custom. 

L'Annee  Sociologique  (Troisieme  Annee  1898-9).  M,  Steinmetz, 
.    Classification  des  Types  Sociaux  et  Catalogue  des  Peuples. 

Madras  Oovernment  Museum  Bulletin,  iii,  1.  Anthropology. 
F,  Fawcett,  Notes  on  Some  of  the  People  of  Malabar. 

Bevue  de  THistoire  des  Religions,  xli,  S.  E.  Doutte,  Notes  sur 
rislim  Maghribin.  A,  E,  Chaignet,  La  Philosophie  des 
Oracles,  de  Porphyre.  Z.  Leger,  Svantovit  et  Saint  Vit  A, 
Reville,  Un  Essai  de  philosophie  de  Thistoire  religieuse  :  ii,  La 
deuxieme  partie  de  Tlntroduction  k  la  Science  de  la  Religion, 
de  C.  P.  Tiele. 




Vol.  XL]  DECEMBER,  1900.  [No.  IV. 

WEDNESDAY,  JUNE  20th,  1900. 
The  President  (Mr.  E.  Sidney  Hartland)  in  the  Chair. 

The  minutes  of  the  last  Meeting  were  read  and  confirmed. 

The  election  of  Professor  Usener  of  Bonn  as  a  member 
of  the  Society  was  announced. 

The  President  referred  in  feeling  terms  to  the  loss  that 
had  been  sustained  by  the  nation  at  large,  and  especially  by 
all  interested  in  anthropology  and  kindred  sciences,  or  in 
the  treatment  of  native  races  in  Africa,  by  the  lamented 
death  of  Miss  Mary  Kingsley. 

The  Secretary  exhibited  three  Japanese  fishing  flies  tied 
entirely  without  European  models,  presented  to  the  Society 
by  Major  C.  S.  Cumberland.  Dr.  Gaster  exhibited  several 
mediaeval  woodcut  initials  representing  children's  games, 
of  which  Mr.  Gomme  gave  some  explanations. 

The  Rev.  Professor  A.  H.  Sayce  read  a  paper  entitled 
"  Cairene  Folklore,"  and  in  the  discussion  which  followed 
Dr.  Gaster,  Mr.  F.  T.  Elworthy,  Mr.  Andrews,  Mr.  Kirby, 
Mr.  Janvier,  and  the  President  took  part. 

Votes  of  thanks  were  accorded  to  the  lecturer  and  the 
donors  of  exhibits. 

A  pamphlet  entitled  "  Des  Sangers  Lust,"  containing 
1,100  German  popular  songs,  presented  to  the  Society  by 
Dr.  Gaster,  was  laid  upon  the  table. 

VOL.  XI.  2  A 



BY  THB  RBV.   PROPBSSOR  A.   H*   SAYCti,  M.A. 

The  longer  I  have  lived  in  Egypt,  the  more  impressed  I 
have  been  with  the  exhaustless  extent  of  Egyptian  folklore. 
Some  of  it  goes  back  to  the  days  of  the  Pharaohs,  some  of 
it  is  of  Greek  origin,  a  good  deal  of  it  again  has  been 
derived  from  the  Arab  conquerors  of  the  valley  of  the  Nile. 
For  the  folklore  which  has  its  roots  in  the  Egypt  of  the 
Pharaohs,  or  in  the  Christianity  which  preceded  the 
Mohammedan  conquest,  we  have  to  look  mainly  to  Upper 
Egypt ;  Cairo  has  been  from  the  beginning  the  Moham- 
medan capital,  and  its  folklore  accordingly  is  chiefly  of 
Mohammedan  growth.  I  say  "  Mohammedan  "  rather  than 
"  Arab,"  since  the  Arab  founders  of  the  modern  capital  of 
Egypt  have  long  ago  been  absorbed  by  alien  elements 
— Kurdish,  Turk,  Persian,  and  more  especially  native 
Egyptian.  Like  the  population,  therefore,  the  folklore  of 
Cairo,  though  in  great  measure  of  Arab  origin,  has  little 
about  it  that  is  distinctively  Arab;  it  has,  on  the  contrary, 
a  very  marked  character  of  its  own,  in  which  future  analysis 
may  be  able  to  detect  and  distinguish  Arab  and  foreign 
elements.  This  marked  character,  however,  does  not  pre- 
vent it  from  being  what  we  may  term  strongly  Egyptian  in 
colour  and  form ;  the  moulds  in  which  it  has  been  cast  are 
those  of  ancient  Egypt,  and  the  beliefs  and  superstitions 
round  which  it  revolves  can  be  traced  back  to  Pharaonic 

The  folklore  of  Cairo,  and  not  of  Egypt  generally,  is  the 
subject  of  the  present  paper,  and  it  is  consequently  of 
importance  that  its  character  and  nature  should  be  fully 
understood.  It  represents  the  folklore  of  the  rest  of  Egypt 
only  in  part ;  the  stories  told  in  the  Cairene  streets  have 
grown  up  in  a  Mohammedan  capital,  though  the  ideas 
which  underlie  them  and  the  beliefs  they  imply  are  In  large 


Cairene  Folklore.  355 

measure   of  native   Egyptian   origin   and   of    immemorial 
antiquity  in  the  valley  of  the  Nile. 

Take,  for  example,  what  is  a  leading  feature  in  the 
greater  number  of  them — the  prominent  part  played  in 
them  by  women,  and  the  genius  for  intrigue  and  for  out- 
witting their  husbands  which  the  latter  display.  We  are 
carried  back  to  the  days  of  pre-Mohammedan  Egypt,  when 
the  woman  claimed  equal  rights  with  the  man,  when  the 
land  could  be  governed  by  queens,  and  the  restrictions 
of  the  harim  had  not  as  yet  prevented  free  intercourse 
between  the  sexes.  Or  take  again  the  moral  with  which 
most  of  the  Cairene  stories  end.  It  is  characteristically 
Egyptian,  as  we  know  from  the  relics  of  the  ancient 
literature  of  the  country  which  have  come  down  to  us. 
The  "  oldest  book  in  the  world  "  is  the  moralising  Proverbs 
of  Ptah-hotep,  and  the  novels  of  ancient  Egypt,  like  the 
legends  of  the  Christian  period,  were  all  intended  to  convey 
a  moral  lesson. 

Most  of  the  folklore  I  hive  collected  is  that  of  Cairo.  I 
have  filled  note-books  with  the  stories,  the  sayings,  the 
superstitions,  and  the  proverbs  that  have  been  repeated  to 
me,  and  nevertheless  they  form  but  a  small  part  of  those 
which  I  have  heard.  I  have  found  it  impossible  to  tran- 
scribe the  longer  stories :  I  cannot  write  rapidly  enough  to 
keep  pace  with  the  story-teller,  and  I  have  found  that  if  he 
is  asked  to  repeat  a  passage  he  at  once  becomes  self-con- 
scious and  changes  the  words  of  it  into  that  hybrid  jargon 
which  is  supposed  to  represent  polite  Arabic.  As  my 
object  has  been  to  record  the  dialect  of  Cairo  exactly  as  it 
is  spoken,  quite  as  much  as  to  preserve  the  folklore  of  the 
Cairene,  I  have  written  down  only  such  stories  as  my  pen 
could  keep  pace  with.  For  longer  stories  I  must  refer  to 
the  collections  of  Spitta  Bey  and  others,  who  have  not 
cared  to  reproduce  exactly  the  language  and  pronunciation 
of  the  narrator.  Among  these  collections  the  most  instruc' 
tive  and  interesting  is  that  of  Yacoub  Artin  Pasha  (Contes 

2  A  2 

35^  Cairene  Folklore. 

populaires  itUdits  de  la  ValM  du  Nil,  trmdidis  dt  FArmhe 
parU,  MaisoDiietnre,  1895).  He  has  divided  tbc  sueies 
inU)  five  groopf ,  East  Aryan,  North  Aryan,  Snnilir,  Xcgro 
Cor  Sudanese),  and  Eg]rptsan,  the  distinguishing  tzair  of  the 
last  group  being  the  ridicule  into  which  the  conqneiing 
race  is  turned.  In  this  he  believes  he  has  found  a  sore 
criterion  of  the  native  origin  of  a  stwy.  The  tales  of 
Negro  origin  are  distinguished  by  the  introdoctiofi  of  a 
ghfil  or  ogre,  while  in  those  of  North  Aryan  or  European 
derivation,  animals  like  the  goat  or  the  peacock  are  referred 
to,  which  were  once  sacred  to  the  deities  of  paganism,  but 
have  in  consequence  been  devoted  to  the  spirit  of  evil  by 
Christianity  and  Mohammedanbm. 

Distinctively  Cairene  are  the  stories  in  which  the  fd- 
lahin  of  Upper  Egypt  or  the  Nubians  are  ridiculed.  The 
townsman  thinks  himself  superior  to  the  peasant,  and 
numerous,  therefore,  are  the  stories  which  are  told  at  the 
expense  of  the  latter.  Moreover,  Christianity  has  lingered 
among  the  fellahin  of  Upper  Egypt,  while  the  population 
of  Cairo  is  essentially  Mohammedan.  As  for  the  Nubians, 
they  come  to  Cairo  in  increasing  numbers  as  domestic 
servants,  and  so,  as  was  once  remarked  to  me  by  a  Cairene, 
"  they  take  the  bread  out  of  the  mouth  "  of  the  natives. 

Here  are  two  stories  which  I  have  lately  heard,  and 
which  will  illustrate  the  Cairene  feeling  in  regard  to  the 
inhabitants  of  Upper  Egypt  and  Nubia :  "  God  once  asked 
a  dead  man  how  old  he  was,  and  what  he  had  done  while 
alive.  He  replied  that  he  was  sixty  years  of  age,  that  he 
had  lived  twenty  years