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M.A, Ph.D. 



'A little child shall lead them." — Isaiah xL 6. 
'For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." — Je*u4. 




All riffhit reserved 



"^ NoriBOOlJ 53«28 

^ / d J. S. Gushing k Co. — Berwick & Smith 

# J Norwood Mass. U.S.A. 




" Vom Vater hab' ich die Statiir, 
Des Lebens emstes Fiihren ; 
Vom Miitterchen die Frohnatur 
Und Last zu fabulieren." — Goethe. 


The present volume is an elaboration and amplification of 
lectures on "The Child in Folk-Thought," delivered by the 
writer at the summer school held at Clark University in 1894. 
In connection with the interesting topic of " Child-Study " which 
now engages so much the attention of teachers and parents, an 
attempt is here made to indicate some of the chief child-activities 
among primitive peoples and to point out in some respects their 
survivals in the social institutions and culture-movements of 
to-day. The point of view to be kept in mind is the child 
and what he has done, or is said to have done, in all ages and 
among all races of men. 

For all statements and citations references are given, and the 
writer has made every effort to place himself in the position of 
those whose opinion he records, — receiving and reporting with- 
out distortion or alteration. 

He begs to return to his colleagues in the University, especially 
to its distinguished president, the genius of the movement for 
" Child-Study " in America, and to the members of the summer 
school of 1894, whose kind appreciation of his efforts has mainly 
led to the publication of this work, his sincerest gratitude for 
the sympathy and encouragement which they have so often 
exhibited and expressed with regard to the present and allied 
subjects of study and investigation in the field of Anthropology, 
pedagogical and psychologicaL 


Cl-ARK UxivERsrrY, 
Worcester, Mass., April, 1895. 




n. The Child's Tribute to the Mother .... 7 

m. The Child's Tribute to the Mother (Continued) . 28 

rV. The Child's Tribute to the Father .... 52 

V. The Name Child 75 

VI. The Child in the Primitite Laboratory ... 89 

VII. The Bright Side of Child-Life : Parektal Affection . 104 

Vni. Childhood the Golden Age 130 

IX. Children's Food 144 

X. Children's Souls 152 

XI. Children's rLO\rERS, Plants, and Trees . . . 160 

Xn. Children's Animals, Birds, etc 171 

Xm. Child-Life and Education in General .... 192 

XIV. The Child as Member and Builder of Societt . . 213 

XV. The Child as Linguist 248 

XVI. The Child as Actor and Inventor 270 

XVn. The Child as Poet and Musician 276 

XViJJ. The Child as Teacher and Wiseacre .... 282 

XIX. The Child as Judge 286 

XX. The Child as Oracle-Keeper and Oracle-Interpreter 293 

XXI. The Child as Weather-Maker 301 

XXII. The Child as Healer and Phtsician .... 309 

XXIII. The Child as Shaman and Priest 319 

XXrV. The Child as Hero, Adventurer, etc 329 


X Contents. 


XXV. The Child as Fbtich and Divinity 348 

XXVI. The Child as God: The Chkist-Child . . . .360 
XXVII. Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about Parents, Father and 

Mother 376 

XXVIII. Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about the Child, Mankind, 

Genius 379 

XXIX. Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about Mother and Child . 382 

XXX. Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about Father and Child . 387 
XXXI. Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about Childhood, Youth, and 

Age 390 

XXXII. Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about the Child and Child- 
hood 394 

Index to Proverbs 401 

XXXIII. Conclusion . . 403 

Bibliography 405 

Subject-index to Section A of Bibliography . . 414 

Subject-index to Section B of Bibltoobaphy . . 425 

Index I. — Authorities 435 

Index II. — Places, Peoples, Tribes, Languages .... 441 

Index III. — Subjects 448 



Oneness with Nature is the glory of Childhood ; oneness with Childhood is the 
glory of the Teacher. — G. Stanley Hall. 

Homes ont I'estre comme metanlx. 

Vie et augment des vegetaulx, 

Instinct et sens comme les bruts, 

Esprit comme anges en attributs. 

[Man has as attributes : Being like metals, 

Life and growth like plants, 

Instinct and sense like animals, 

Mind like angels.] — Jehan de Meung. 

The Child is Father of the Man. — Wmrdtvxyrth. 

And he [Jesus] called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them. — 
Matthew xviii. 2. 

It was an Oriental poet who sang: — 

*' On parent knees, a naked, new-bom child, 
Weeping thou sat'st, while all around thee smiled ; 
So live, that, sinking in thy last, long sleep, 
Calm thou mayst smile, while all around thee weep," 

and not so very long ago even the anthropologist seemed satisfied 
with the approximation of childhood and old age, — one glance 
at the babe in the cradle, one look at the graybeard on his death- 
bed, gave all the knowledge desired or sought for. Man, big, 
burly, healthy, omniscient, was the subject of all investigation. 

B 1 

2 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

But now a change lias come over the face of things. As did. that 
great teacher of old, so, in our day, has one of the ministers of 
science " called to him a little child and set him in the midst of 
them," — greatest in the kingdom of anthropology is assuredly 
that little child, as we were told centuries ago, by the prophet of 
Galilee, that he is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The child, 
together with woman, who, in so many respects in which the 
essential human characteristics are concerned, so much resembles 
him, is now beyond doubt the most prominent figure in indi- 
vidual, as well as in racial, anthropology. Dr. D. G. Brinton, in 
an appreciative notice of the recent volume on Man and Woman, 
by Havelock Ellis, in which the secondary sexual differences 
between the male and the female portions of the human race are 
so well set forth and discussed, remarks : " The child, the infant 
in fact, alone possesses in their fulness 'the chief distinctive 
characters of humanity. The highest human types, as repre- 
sented in men of genius, present a striking approximation to the 
child-type. In man, from about the third year onward, further 
growth is to some extent growth in degeneration and senility.' 
Hence the true tendency of the progressive evolution of the race 
is to become child-like, to become feminine." {Psych. Rev. I. 533.) 

As Dr. Brinton notes, in this sense women are leading evolution 
— Goethe was right: Das Ewig-weiblklie zieht uns hinan. But 
here belongs also the child-human, and he was right in very truth 
who said : " A little child shall lead them." What new meaning 
flashes into the words of the Christ, who, after declaring that 
" the kingdom of God cometh not with observation : neither shall 
they say, Lo, here ! or, There ! for lo, the kingdom of God is 
within you," in rebuke of the Pharisees, in rebuke of his own 
disciples, "called to him a little child and set him in the midst 
of them, and said. Verily I say unto you. Except ye turn, and 
become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the king- 
dom of heaven." Even physically, the key to the kingdom of 
heaven lies in childhood's keeping. 

Vast indeed is now the province of him who studies the child. 
In Somatology, — the science of the physical characteristics and 
constitution of the body and its members, — he seeks not alone 
to observe the state and condition of the skeleton and its integu- 
ments during life, but also to ascertain their nature and character 

CTiild- Study. S* 

in the period of prenatal existence, as well as when causes natu- 
ral, or unnatural, disease, the exhaustion of old age, violence, or 
the like, have induced the dissolution of death. 

In Linguistics and Philology, he endeavours to discover the 
essence and import of those manifold, inarticulate, or unintelli- 
gible sounds, which, with the long flight of time, develop into the 
splendidly rounded periods of a Webster or a Gladstone, or swell 
nobly in the rhythmic beauties of a Swinburne or a Tennyson. 

In Art and Technology, he would faiu fathom the depths of 
those rude scribblings and quaint efforts at delineation, whence, 
in the course of ages, have been evolved the wonders of the 
alphabet and the marvellous creations of a Eubens and an 

In Psychology, he seeks to trace, ia childish prattlings and lore 
of the nursery, the far-off beginnings of mythology, philosophy, 
religion. Beside the stories told to children in explanation of 
the birth of a sister or a brother, and the children's own imagin- 
ings concerning the little new-comer, he may place the specula- 
tions of sages and theologians of all races and of all ages concerning 
birth, death, immortality, and the future life, which, growing with 
the centuries, have ripened into the rich and wholesome dogmas of 
the church. 

Ethnology, with its broad sweep over ages and races of men, 
its searchings into the origins of nations and of civilizations, illu- 
mined by the light of Evolution, suggests that in the growth of 
the child from helpless infancy to adolescence, and through the 
strong and trying development of manhood to the idiosyncrasies 
of disease and senescence, we have an epitome in miniature of the 
life of the race ; that in primitive tribes, and in those members of 
our civilized communities, whose growth upward and onward has 
been retarded by inherited tendencies which it has been out of 
their power to overcome, or by a milieu and environment, the 
control and subjugation of which required faculties and abilities 
they did not possess, we see, as it were, ethnic children ; that in 
the nursery, the asylum, the jail, the mountain fastnesses of 
earth, or the desert plains, peopled by races whose ways are not 
our ways, whose criteria of culture are far below ours, we have 
a panorama of what has transpired since, alone and face to face 
with a new existence, the first human beings partook of the fmit 

'4 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

of the tree of knowledge and became conscious of the great gulf, 
which, after millenniums of struggle and fierce competition, had 
opened between the new, intelligent, speaking anthropoids and 
their fellows who straggled so far behind. 

Wordsworth has said : " The child is father of the man," and 
a German writer has expanded the same thought : — 

"Die Kindheit von heute 
1st die Menschheit von morgen, 
Die Kindheit von heute 
1st die Menschheit von gestem." 
["The childhood of to-day 
Is the manhood of to-morrow, 
The childhood of to-day 
Is the manhood of yesterday."] 

In brief, the child is father of the man and brother of the race. 

In all ages, and with every people, the arcana of life and death, 
the mysteries of birth, childhood, puberty, adolescence, maiden- 
hood, womanhood, manhood, motherhood, fatherhood, have called 
forth the profoundest thought and speculation. From the con- 
templation of these strange phenomena sprang the esoteric doc- 
trines of Egypt and the East, with their horrible accompaniments 
of vice and depravity ; the same thoughts, low and terrible, hov- 
ered before the devotees of Moloch and Cybele, when Carthage 
sent her innocent boys to the furnace, a sacrifice to the king of 
gods, and Asia Minor offered up the virginity of her fairest daugh- 
ters to the first-comer at the altars of the earth-mother. Purified 
and ennobled by long centuries of development and unfolding, the 
blossoming of such conceptions is seen in the great sacrifice which 
the Son of Man made for the children of men, and in the cardinal 
doctrine of the religion which he founded, — "Ye must be born 
again," — the regeneration, which alone gave entrance into Para- 

The Golden Age of the past of which, through the long lapse 
of years, dreamers have dreamt and poets sung, and the Golden 
City, glimpses of whose glorious portal have flashed through the 
prayers and meditations of the rapt enthusiast, seem but one in 
their foundation, as the Eden of the world's beginning and the 
heaven that shall open to men's eyes, when time shall be no 

Child -Study. 6 

more, are but closely allied phases, nay, but one and the same 
phase, rather, of the world-old thought, — the ethnic might have 
been, the ought to be of all the ages. The imagined, retrospect 
childhood of the past is twin-born with the ideal, prospective 
childhood of the world to come. Here the savage and the phi- 
losopher, the child and the genius, meet ; the wisdom of the first 
and of the last century of human existence is at one. Childhood 
is the mirror in which these reflections are cast, — the childhood 
of the race is depicted with the same colours as the childhood of 
the individual. We can read a larger thought into the words of 
Hartley Coleridge : — 

"Oh what a wilderness were this sad world. 
If man were always man, and never child." 

Besides the anthropometric and psycho-physical investigations 
of the child carried on in the scientific laboratory with exact 
instruments and unexceptionable methods, there is another field 
of " Child-Study " well worthy our attention for the light it can 
shed upon some of the dark places in the wide expanse of peda- 
gogical science and the art of education. 

Its laboratory of research has been the whole wide world, the 
experimenters and recorders the primitive peoples of all races 
and all centuries, — fathers and mothers whom the wonderland 
of parenthood encompassed and entranced; the subjects, the 
children of all the generations of mankind. 

The consideration of "The Child in Folk-Thought," — what 
tribe upon tribe, age after age, has thought about, ascribed to, 
dreamt of, learned from, taught to, the child, the parent-lore of 
the human race, in its development through savagery and bar- 
barism to civilization and culture, — can bring to the harvest of 
pedagogy many a golden sheaf. 

The works of Dr. Ploss, Das Meine Kind, Das Kind, and Das 
Weib, encyclopaedic in character as the two last are, covering 
a vast field of research relating to the anatomy, physiology, 
hygiene, dietetics, and ceremonial treatment of child and mother, 
of girl and boy, all over the world, and forming a huge mine of 
information concerning child-birth, motherhood, sex-phenomena, 
and the like, have still left some aspects of the anthropology of 
childhood practically untouched. In English, the child has, as 

6 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

yet, found no chronicler and historian such as Ploss. The object 
of the present writer is to treat of the child from a point of view 
hitherto entirely neglected, to exhibit what the world owes to 
childhood and the motherhood and the fatherhood which it occa- 
sions, to indicate the position of the child in the march of civili- 
zation among the various races of men, and to estimate the 
influence which the child-idea and its accompaniments have had 
upon sociology, mythology, religion, language ; for the touch of 
the child is upon them all, and the debt of humanity to the little 
children has not yet been told. They have figured in the world's 
history and its folk-lore as magi and " medicine-men," as priests 
and oracle-keepers, as physicians and healers, as teachers and 
judges, as saints, heroes, discoverers, and inventors, as musicians 
and poets, actors and labourers in many fields of human activity, 
have been compared to the foolish and to the most wise, have 
been looked upon as fetiches and as gods, as the fit sacrifice to 
offended Heaven, and as the saviours and regenerators of mankind. 
The history of the child in human society and of the human ideas 
and institutions which have sprung from its consideration can have 
here only a beginning. This book is written in full sympathy 
with the thought expressed in the words of the Latin poet 
Juvenal: Maxima debetur pueris reverentia, and in the declara- 
tion of Jean Paul : " I love God and every little child." 


The Child's Tribute to the Mother. 

A good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters. — English Proverb. 

The first poet, the first priest, was the first mother. 

The first empire was a woman and her children. — 0. T. Mason. 

When society, under the guidance of the " fathers of the church," went almost 
to destruction in the dark ages, it was the "mothers of the people" who saved 
it and set it going on the new right path. — Zmigrodski (adapted). 

The story of civilization is the story of the mother. — Zmigrodski. 

One mother is more venerable than a thousand fathers. — Laws of Manu. 

If the world were put into one scale, and my mother into the other, the world 
would kick the beam. — Lord Langdale. 

Names of the Mother. 

In a Song of Life, — a book in -whicli the topic of sex is treated 
with such delicate skill, — occurs this sentence: "The mother- 
hood of mammalian life is the most sacred thing in physical 
existence " (120. 92), and Professor Drummond closes his LoiceU 
Institute Lectures on the Evolution of Man in the following words : 
" It is a fact to which too little significance has been given, that 
the whole work of organic nature culminates in the making of 
Mothers — that the animal series end with a group which even 
the naturalist has been forced to call the Mammalia. When the 
savage mother awoke to her first tenderness, a new creative hand 
was at work in the world " (36. 240). Said Henry Ward Beecher : 
" When God thought of Mother, he must have laughed with satis- 
faction, and framed it quickly, — so rich, so deep, so divine, so 
full of soul, power, and beauty, was the conception," and it was 
unto babes and sucklings that this wisdom was first revealed. 
From their lips first fell the sound which parents of later ages 


8 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

consecrated and preserved to all time. With motherhood came 
into the world song, religion, the thought of immortality itself ; 
and the mother and the child, in the course of the ages, invented 
and preserved most of the arts and the graces of human life and 
human culture. In language, especially, the mother and the child 
have exercised a vast influence. In the names for " mother," the 
various races have recognized the debt they owe to her who is 
the " fashioner " of the child, its " nourisher " and its " nurse." 
An examination of the etymologies of the words for "mother" 
in all known languages is obviously impossible, for the last 
speakers and interpreters of many of the unwritten tongues of 
the earth are long since dead and gone. How primitive man — 
the first man of the race — called his mother, we can but surmise. 
Still, a number of interesting facts are known, and some of these 

The word mother is one of the oldest in the language ; one of 
the very few words found among all the great branches of the 
widely scattered Aryan race, bearing witness, in ages far remote, 
before the Celt, the Teuton, the Hellene, the Latin, the Slav, and 
the Indo-Iranian were known, to the existence of the family, 
with the mother occupying a high and honourable place, if not 
indeed the highest place of all. What the etymological meaning 
was, of the primitive Aryan word from which our mother is de- 
scended, is uncertain. It seems, however, to be a noun derived, 
with the agent-suffix -t-r, from the root ma, " to measure." Skeat 
thinks the word meant originally "manager, regulator [of the 
household]," rejecting, as unsupported by sufficient evidence, a 
suggested interpretation as the " producer." Kluge, the German 
lexicographer, hesitates between the " apportioner, measurer," 
and the "former [of the embryo in the womb]." In the language 
of the Klamath Indians of Oregon, p'gishaj), "mother," really 
signifies the "maker." 

The Karankawas of Texas called "mother," Jcanhima, the 
"suckler," from kanin, "the female breast." In Latin mamma 
seems to signify " teat, breast," as well as " mother," but Skeat 
doubts whether there are not two distinct words here. In Fin- 
nish and some other primitive languages a similar resemblance 
or identity exists between the words for " breast " and " mother." 
In Lithuanian, m6t-e — cognate with our mother — signifies "wife," 

Lore of Motherhood. 9 

and in the language of the Caddo Indians of Louisiana and Texas 
sdssin means both " wife " and " mother." The familiar " mother " 
of the New England farmer of the " Old Homestead " t3'pe, pre- 
sents,- perhaps, a relic of the same thought. The word dame, in 
older English, from being a title of respect for women — there is 
a close analogy in the history of sire — came to signify " mother." 
Chaucer translates the French of the Romaunt of the Rose, " En- 
fant qui craint ni pere ni mere Ne pent que bien ne le comperre," 
by " For who that dredeth sire ne dame Shall it abie in bodie or 
name," and Shakespeare makes poor Caliban declare : *' I never 
saw a woman, But only Sycorax, my dam." Nowadays, the word 
dam is applied only to the female parent of animals, horses espe- 
cially. The word, which is one with the honourable appellation 
dame, goes back to the Latin doviina, " mistress, lady," the femi- 
nine of dominus, "lord, master." In not a few languages, the 
words for "father" and "mother" are derived from the same 
root, or one from the other, by simple phonetic change. Thus, 
in the Sandeh language of Central Africa, "mother" is n-amu, 
"father," b-amu; in the Cholona of South America, pa is 
" father," pa-n, " mother " ; in the PEntlatc of British Colum- 
bia, "father" is mda, "mother," taa, while in the Songish man 
is "father" and tan "mother" (404. 143). 

Certain tongues have different words for "mother," according 
as it is a male or a female who speaks. Thus in the Okanak-6n, 
a Salish dialect of British Columbia, a man or a boy says for 
"mother," sk'oi, a woman or a girl, tom; in Kalispelm the corre- 
sponding terms for "my mother" are is¥di and intoop. This 
distinction, however, seems not to be so common as in the case 
of " father." 

In a number of languages the words for " mother " are different 
when the latter is addressed and when she is spoken of or referred 
to. Thus in the Kwakiutl, Nootka, and ^^tloltq, three British 
Columbia tongues, the two words for " mother " are respectively 
M, abouJc; at, abEmj); niks, tan. It is to be noted, apparently, 
that the word used in address is very often simpler, more primi- 
tive, than the other. Even in English we find something similar 
in the use of ma (or mama) and mother. 

In the Gothic alone, of all the great Teutonic dialects, — the 
language into which Bishop Wulfila translated the Scriptures in 

10 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

the fourth century, — the cognate equivalent of our English mother 
does not appear. The Gothic term is aithei, evidently related to 
atta, " father," and belonging to the great series of nursery words, 
of which our own ma, tnama, are typical examples. These are 
either relics of the first articulations of the child and the race, 
transmitted by hereditary adaptation from generation to genera- 
tion, or are the coinages of mother and nurse in imitation of the 
cries of infancy. 

These simple words are legion in number and are found over 
the whole inhabited earth, — in the wigwam of the Eedskin, in 
the tent of the nomad Bedouin, in the homes of cultured Euro- 
peans and Americans. Dr. Buschmann studied these "nature- 
sounds," as he called them, and found that they are chiefly 
variations and combinations of the syllables ah, op, am, an, ad, 
at, ha, pa, ma, na, da, ta, etc., and that in one language, not abso- 
lutely unrelated to another, the same sound will be used to 
denote the " mother " that in the second signifies " father," thus 
evidencing the applicability of these words, in the earliest stages 
of their existence, to either, or to both, of the parents of the 
child (166, 85), Pott, while remarking a wonderful resemblance 
in the names for parents all over the world, seeks to establish 
the rather doubtful thesis that there is a decided difference in the 
nature of the words for " father " and those for " mother," the 
former being "man-like, stronger," the latter "woman-like, mild" 
(517. 57). 

Some languages apparently do not possess a single specialized 
word for " mother." The Hawaiian, for example, calls " mother 
and the sisters of the mother " makua wahine, " female parent," 
that being the nearest equivalent of our " mother," while in Tonga, 
as indeed with us to-day, sometimes the same term is applied to 
a real mother and to an adopted one (100. 389). In Japan, the 
paternal aunt and the maternal aunt are called "little mother." 
Similar terms and appellations are found in other primitive 
tongues. A somewhat extended discussion of names for "mother," 
and the questions connected with the subject, will be found in 
Westermarck (166. 85). Here also will be found notices of the 
names among various peoples for the nearest relatives of the 
mother and father. Incidentally it is worth noting that Wester- 
marck controverts Professor Vambery's opinion that the Turko- 

Lore of Motherhood. 11 

Tartar words for " mother," ana, ene, originally meant " nurse " 
or "woman" (from the root an, en), holding that exactly the 
reverse is the fact, "the terms for mother being the primitive 
words." He is also inclined to think that the Aryan roots pa, 
"to protect, to nourish," and ma, "to fashion," came from pa, 
" father," and ma, " mother," and not vice versd. Mr. Bridges, 
the missionary who has studied so well the Yahgans of Tierra 
del Fuego, states that "the names hnu and dabi — father and 
mother — have no meaning apart from their application, neither 
have any of their other very definite and ample list of terms for 
relatives, except the terms macu [cf. mar/u, "parturition"] and 
macipa [cf. cipa, " female "], son and daughter." This statement 
is, however, too sweeping perhaps (166. 88). 

According to Colonel Mallery, the Ute Indians indicate 
"mother" by placing the index finger in the mouth (497 a. 479). 
Clark describes the common Indian sign as follows : " Bring par- 
tially curved and compressed right hand, and strike with two or 
three gentle taps right or left breast, and make sign for female; 
though in conversation the latter is seldom necessary. Deaf 
mutes make sign for female, and cross hands as in their sign for 
hahy, and move them to front and upwards" (420. 262). Some- 
what similar is the sign for " father " : " Bring the compressed 
right hand, back nearly outwards, in front of right or left breast, 
tips of fingers few inches from it; move the hand, mostly by 
wrist action, and gently tap the breast with tips of fingers two or 
three times, then make sign for male. Some Indians tap right 
breast for ' father,' and left for * mother.' Deaf-mutes make sign 
for male, and then holding hands fixed as in their sign for baby, 
but a little higher, move the hands to front and upwards " (420. 

Interesting is the following statement of Mr. Codrington, the 
well-known missionary to the Melanesians : — 

" In Mota the word used for * mother ' is the same that is used 
for the division [tribe?] veve, with a plural sign ra veve. And 
it is not that a man's kindred are so called after his mother, but 
that his mother is called his kindred, as if she were the represen- 
tative of the division to which he belongs ; as if he were not the 
child of a particular woman, but of the whole kindred for whom 
she brought him into the world." Moreover, at Mota, in like 

12 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

fashion, " the word for * consort,' ' husband,' or ' wife,' is in a plural 
form ra soai, the word used for members of a body, or the compo- 
nent parts of a canoo " (25. 307-8). 


Since the appearance of Bachofen's famous book on the matri- 
archate, "mother-right," that system of society in which the 
mother is paramount in the family and the line of inheritance 
passes through her, has received much attention from students of 
sociology and primitive history. 

Post thus defines the sj^stem of mother-right : — 

"The matriarchate is a system of relationship according to 
which the child is related only to his mother and to the persons 
connected with him through the female line, while he is looked 
■upon as not related to his father and the persons connected with 
him through the male line. According to this system, therefore, 
the narrowest family circle consists not, as with us to-day, of 
father, mother, and child, but of mother, mother's brother, and 
sister's child, whilst the father is completely wanting, and the 
mother's brother takes the father's place with the sister's children. 
The real father is not the father of his own children, but of his 
nephews and nieces, whilst the brother of his wife is looked upon 
as father to his children. The brothers and sisters of the mother 
form with her a social group, to which belong also the children of 
the sisters, the children of the daughters of the sisters, etc., but 
not the children of the brothers, the children of the sisters' 
sons, etc. With every husband the relationship ceases " (127. I. 

The system of mother-right prevails widely over the whole 
globe; in some places, however, only in fragmentary condition. 
It is found amongst nearly all the native tribes of America ; the 
peoples of Malaysia, Melanesia, Australia, Micronesia, and Poly- 
nesia, the Dravidian tribes of India ; in Africa it is found in the 
eastern Sahara, the Soudan, the east and west coast, and in the 
centre of the continent, but not to the exclusion, altogether, of 
father-right, while in the north the intrusion of Europeans and 
the followers of Islam has tended to suppress it. Traces of its 
former existence are discovered among certain of the ancient 

Lore of Motherhood. 18 

tribes of Asia Minor, the old Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks, Komans, 
Teutons, the Aryans of India, the Chinese, Japanese, etc. 

Mother-right has been recognized by many sociologists as a 
system of family relationship, perhaps the most widespread, per- 
haps the most primitive of all. Dr. Brinton says : — 

" The foundation of the gentile system, as of any other family 
life, is . . . the mutual affection between kindred. In the primi- 
tive period this is especially between children of the same mother, 
not so much because of the doubt of paternity, as because physio- 
logically and obviously, it is the mother in whom is formed, and 
from whom alone proceeds, the living being " (412. 47). 

Professor O. T. Mason, in the course of his interesting address 
on " Woman's Share in Primitive Culture," remarks (112. 10) : — 

"Such sociologists as Morgan and McLennan afiirm that the prim- 
itive society had no family organization at all. They hypothecate 
a condition in which utter promiscuity prevailed. I see no neces- 
sity for this. There is some organization among insects. Birds 
mate and rear a little family. Many animals set up a kind of 
patriarchal horde. On the other hand, they err greatly who look 
among savages for such permanent home life as we enjoy. Mar- 
riages are in groups, children are the sons and daughters of these 
groups ; divorces are common. The fathers of the children are 
not known, and if they were, they would have no authority on 
that account. The mother never changes her name, the children 
are named after her, or, at least, are not named after the father. 
The system of gentes prevails, each gens consisting of a hypothet- 
ical female ancestress, and all her descendants through females. 
These primitive men and women, having no other resort, hit upon 
this device to hold a band of kin together. Here was the first 
social tie on earth ; the beginning of the state. The first empire 
was a woman and her children, regardless of paternity. This 
was the beginning of all the social bonds which unite us. Among 
our own Indians mother-right was nearly universal. Upon the 
death of a chief whose office was hereditary, he was succeeded, 
not by his son, but by the son of a sister, or an aunt, or a niece ; 
all his property that was not buried with him fell to the same par- 
ties, could not descend to his children, since a child and the father 
belonged to different gentes." McLennan has discussed at some 
length the subject of kinship in ancient Greece (115. 193-246), 

14 The Child in Folk- Thought. 

and maintains that "the system of double kinship, which pre- 
vailed in the time of Homer, was preceded by a system of kinship 
through females only," referring to the cases of Lycaon, Tlepole- 
mus, Helen, Arnaeus, Glaucus, and Sarpedon, besides the evi- 
dence in the Orestes of Euripides, and the Eumenides of ^schylus. 
In the last, " the jury are equally divided on the plea [that Orestes 
was not of kin to his mother, Clytemnestra, whom he had killed, 
— " Do you call me related by blood to my mother ? "], and Orestes 
gains his cause by the casting vote of Athene." According 
to tradition, "in Greece, before the time of Cecrops, children 
always bore the name of their mothers," in marked contrast to 
tha state of affairs in Sparta, where, according to Philo, "the 
marriage tie was so loose that men lent their wives to one another, 
and cared little by whom children were begotten, provided they 
turned out strong and healthy." 

We have preserved for us, by Plutarch and others, some of the 
opinions of Greek philosophers on the relation of the father and 
the mother to the child. Plato is represented as calling " mind 
the conception, idea, model, and father ; and matter the mother, 
nurse, or seat and region capable of births." Chrysippus is said 
to have stated: "The foetus is nourished in the womb like a 
plant ; but, being born, is refrigerated and hardened by the air, 
and its spirit being changed it becomes an animal," a view 
which, as McLennan points out, " constitutes the mother the mere 
nurse of her child, just as a field is of the seed sown in it." 
• The view of Apollo, which, in the council of the gods, influ- 
enced Athene to decide for Orestes, is this : — 

" The bearer of the so-called offspring is not the mother of it, but 
only the nurse of the newly conceived foetus. It is the male who 
is the author of its being ; while she, as a stranger, for a stranger, 
preserves the young plant for those for whom the god has not 
blighted it in the bud. And I will show you a proof of this 
assertion; one may become a father without a mother. There 
stands by a witness of this in the daughter of Olympian Zeus, 
who was not even nursed [much less engendered or begotten] in 
the darkness of the womb" (115. 211). This is akin to the wild 
discussion in the misogynistic Middle Ages about the possibility 
of lucina sine concubitu. The most recent and most scholarly dis- 
cussion of all questions involved in " mother-right " will be found 

Lore of Motherhood. 16 

in the History of Human Marriage by Edward Westennarck, a 
book in which the antiquity of monogamy and the improbability 
of anything like promiscuity having ever generally obtained are 
clearly shown (166). l^lr. Codrington, in his account of Social 
Regulations in Melanesia, sketches for us the position of the 
parent where the mother-descent prevails : — 

"To a Melanesian man it may almost be said that all women, 
of his own generation at least, are either sisters or wives ; to the 
Melanesian woman, that all men are brothers or husbands. An 
excellent illustration of this is given in a story from Aurora, in 
the New Hebrides, in which Oatu discovers twin boys, children 
of his dead sister, and brings them to his wife. ' Are these,' she 
asks, ' my children or my husbands ? ' Oatu answers : ' Your 
husbands, to be sure ; they are my sister's children' " (25. 306-7). 

Mother- Queen. 

Professor Mason has said " the first empire was a woman and 
her children," and with not a few primitive tribes women were 
chiefs and took large part in the affairs of the nation. Even 
among the warlike Iroquois, the back that bore the cradle sus- 
tained the burden of the state. The Jesuit Lafiteau declared : — 

"There is nothing more real than this superiority of the 
women. It is they who constitute the tribe, transmit the nobility 
of blood, keep up the genealogical tree and the order of inheri- 
tance, and perpetuate the family. They possess all actual author- 
ity ; own the land and the fields and their harvests ; they are the 
soul of all councils, the arbiters of peace and war ; they have the 
care of the public treasury; slaves are given to them; they 
arrange marriages ; the children belong to them, and to their 
blood are confined the lines of descent and the order of inheri- 
tance. The men, on the other hand, are wholly isolated and re- 
stricted to their personal affairs ; their children are strangers to 
them, and when they die, everything comes to an end, and it is 
only the women who can keep up and perpetuate the family " 
(112. 10). 

It was this people who produced men of whom it could be 
said: "Physically the stock is most superior, unsurpassed by 
any other on the continent, and I may even- say by any other 

16 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

people in the world ; for it stands on record that the five com- 
panies (five hundred men) recruited from the Iroquois of New 
York and Canada during our civil war stood first on the list 
among all the recruits of our army for height, vigour, and corpo- 
real symmetry " (412. 82). And it was this people too who pro- 
duced Hiawatha, a philosophic legislator and reformer, worthy 
to rank with Solon and Lycurgus, and the founder of a great 
league whose object was to put an end to war, and unite all the 
nations in one bond of brotherhood and peace. 

Among the Choctaw-Muskogee tribes, women-chiefs were also 
known ; the Yuchis, Chetimachas, had " Queens " ; occasionally 
we find female rulers elsewhere in America, as among the Win- 
nebagos, the Nah«ane, etc. Scattered examples of gynocracy are 
to be found in other parts of the world, and in their later devel- 
opment some of the Aryan races have been rather partial to 
women as monarchs, and striking instances of a like predilection 
are to be met with among the Semitic tribes, — Boadicea, Dido, 
Semiramis, Deborah are well-known cases in point, to say noth- 
ing of the Christian era and its more enlightened treatment of 

The fate of women among those peoples and in those ages 
where extreme exaltation of the male has been the rule, is 
sketched by Letourneau in his chapter on The Condition of 
Women (100. 173-185) ; the contrast between the Australians, to 
whom "woman is a domestic animal, useful for the purposes of 
genesic pleasure, for reproduction, and, in case of famine, for 
food," the Chinese, who can say " a newly-married woman ought 
to be merely as a shadow and as an echo in the house," the primi- 
tive Hindus, who forbade the wife to call her husband by name, 
but made her term him " master, lord," or even " god," and even 
some of our modern races in the eye of whose law women are 
still minors, and the Iroquois, is remarkable. Such great differ- 
ences in the position and rights of women, existing through cen- 
turies, over wide areas of the globe, have made the study of com- 
parative pedagogy a most important branch of human sociology. 
The mother as teacher has not been, and is not now, the same the 
world over. 

As men holding supreme power have been termed ^'father," 
women have in like manner been called " mother." The title of 

Lore of Motherhood. 17 

the queen-motlier in Ashanti is nana, " Grandmother " (438. 259), 
and to some of the Indian tribes of Canada Queen Victoria is the 
"Great WTiite Mother," the "Great Mother across the Sea." 
In Ashanti the "rich, prosperous, and powerful" are termed 
Oman enna, "mothers of the tribe," and are expected to make 
suitably large offerings to the dead, else there will be no child 
born in the neglectful family for a certain period (438. 228). 

With the Romans, mater and its derivative matrona, came to be 
applied as titles of honour ; and beside the rites of the parentalia 
we find those of the matronalia (492. 454). 

In the ancient Hebrew chronicles we find mention of Deborah, 
that " mother in Israel." 

With us, off whose tongues "the fathers," "forefathers," 
" ancestors " (hardly including ancestresses) and the like rolled 
so glibly, the " Pilgrim Fathers " were glorified long before the 
" Pilgrim Mothers," and hardly yet has the mother of the " father 
of his country " received the just remembrance and recognition 
belonging to her who bore so noble and so illustrious a son. By 
and by, however, it is to be hoped, we shall be free from the 
reproach cast upon us by Colonel Higginson, and wake up to the 
full consciousness that the great men of our land have had 
mothers, and proceed to re-write our biographical dictionaries 
and encyclopaedias of life-history. 

In Latin mater, as does mother with us, possessed a wide 
extent of meaning, "mother, parent, producer, nurse, preparer, 
cause, origin, source," etc. Mater ovmium artium necessitas, 
" Necessity is the mother of invention," and similar phrases were 
in common use, as they are also in the languages of to-day. Con- 
nected with mater is materia, "matter," — mother-siviS., perhaps, 
— and from it is derived matrimonium, which testifies concerning 
primitive Roman sociology, in which the mother-idea must have 
been prominent, something we cannot say of our word maTriage, 
derived ultimately from the Latin 77105, " a male." 

Westermarck notes the Nicaraguans, Dyaks, IVIinahassers, 
Andaman Islanders, Padam, Munda Kols, Santals, Moors of the 
Western Soudan, Tuaregs, Teda, among the more or less primitive 
peoples with whom woman is held in considerable respect, and 
sometimes, as among the Munda Kols, bears the proud title 
"mistress of the house" (166. 500, 501). As Havelock Ellis 

18 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

remarks, women have shown themselves the equals of men as 
rulers, and most beneficial results have flowed from their exercise 
of the great political wisdom and adaptation to statecraft which 
seems to belong especially to the female sex. The household has 
been a training-school for women in the more extended spheres 
of human administrative society. 

Alma Mater. 

The college graduate fondly calls the institution from which 
he has obtained his degree Alma Mater, " nourishing, fostering, 
cherishing mother," and he is her alumnus (foster-child, nour- 
ished one). For long years the family of the benign and gracious 
mother, whose wisdom was lavished upon her children, consisted 
of sons alone, but now, with the advent of *' sweeter manners, 
purer laws," daughters have come to her also, and the alumnce, 
"the sweet girl-graduates in their golden hair," share in the best 
gifts their parent can bestow. To Earth also, the term Alma Mater 
has been applied, and the great nourishing mother of all was 
indeed the first teacher of man, the first university of the race. 

Alma, alumnus, alumna, are all derived from alo, "1 nourish, 
support." From the radical al, following various trains of 
thought, have come : alesco, " I grow up " ; coalesco, " I grow 
together " ; adolesco, " I grow up," — whence adolescent, etc. ; 
obsolesco, '' I wear out " ; alimentum, " food " ; alimonium, " sup- 
port " ; altor, altrix, " nourisher " ; altus, " high, deep " (literally, 
"grown"); elementum, "first principle," etc. Connected with 
adolesco is adultus, whence our adult, with the radical of which 
the English word old (eld) is cognate. From the root al, "to 
grow, to make to grow, to nourish," spring also the Latin words 
proles, "offspring," suboles, "offspring, sprout," indoles, "inborn or 
native quality." 

"Mother's Son." 

The familiar expression "every mother's son of us" finds 
kin in the Modern High German Muttersohn, Mutterkind, which, 
with the even more significant Muttermensch (human being), 
takes us back to the days of " mother-right." Rather different, 
however, is the idea called up by the corresponding Middle Low 
German modersone, which means " bastard, illegitimate child." 

hore of Motherhood. 19 

A synonym of Muttermensch is Mutterseele, for sonl and man 
once meant pretty much the same. The curious expression 
mutterseelenallein, "quite alone; alone by one's self," is given a 
peculiar interpretation by Lippert, who sees in it a relic of the 
burial of the dead (soul) beneath the hearth, threshold, or floor of 
the house; "wessen Mutter im Hause ruht, der kann daheim 
immer nur mit seiner Mutterseele selbander allein sein." Or, 
perhaps, it goes back to the time when, as with the Seminoles of 
Florida, the babe was held over the mouth of the mother, whose 
death resulted from its birth, in order that her departing spirit 
might enter the new being. 

In German, the "mother-feeling'' makes its influence felt in 
the nomenclature of the lower brute creation. As contrasted 
with our English female donkey (she-donkey), mare, ewe, ewe- 
lamb, sow, doe-hare (female hare), queen-bee, etc., we find 
Mutteresel, "' mother-donkey " ; Mutterpfercl, " mother-horse '' 
Mutterschaf, " mother-sheep " ; Mutterlamm, " mother lamb " 
Mutterschicein, "' mother swine " ; Mutterhase, " mother-hare " 
Mxitterhiene, "mother-bee." 

Nor is this feeling absent from the names of plants and things 
inanimate. We have MutterbirJce, "birch"; Mutterhlume, "seed- 
flower "' ; Muttemelke, " carnation " ; Muttemdgelein (our " mother- 
clove ") ; Mutterhclz. In English we have " mother of thyme," 
etc. In Japan a triple arrangement in the display of the 
flower-vase — a floral trinity — is termed chichi, "father"; haha^ 
"mother"; ten, "heaven" (189. 74). 

In the nursery-lore of all peoples, as we can see from the fairy- 
tales and child-stories in our own and other languages, this attri- 
bution of motherhood to all things animate and inanimate is 
common, as it is in the folk-lore and mythology of the adult 
members of primitive races now existing. 

Mother Poet. 

The arts of poetry, music, dancing, according to classic mythol- 
ogy, were presided over by nine goddesses, or Muses, daughters 
of Mnemosyne, goddess of memory, " Mnse-mother," as Mrs, 
Browning terms her. The history of woman as a poet has yet 
to be written, but to her in the early ages poetry owed much of 

20 The Child in Folk- Thought. 

its development and its beauty. Mr. Vance has remarked that 
" among many of the lowest races the only love-dances in vogue 
are those performed by the women " (545 a. 4069). And Letour- 
neau considers that " there are good grounds for supposing that 
women may have especially participated in the creation of the 
lyric of the erotic kind." Professor Mason, in the course of his 
remarks upon woman's labour in the world in all ages, says 
(112. 12) : — 

"The idea of a maker, or creator-of-all-things found no con- 
genial soil in the minds of savage men, who manufactured 
nothing. But, as the first potters, weavers, house-builders were 
women, the idea of a divine creator as a moulder, designer, and 
architect originated with her, or was suggested by her. The three 
Fates, Clotho, who spins the thread of life ; Lachesis, who fixes 
its prolongation ; and Atropos, who cuts this thread with remorse- 
less shears, are necessarily derived from woman's work. The 
mother-goddess of all peoples, culminating in the apotheosis of 
the Virgin Mary, is an idea, either originated by women, or de- 
vised to satisfy their spiritual cravings." 

And we have, besides the goddesses of all mythologies, per- 
sonifying woman's devotion, beauty, love. What shall we say 
of that art, highest of all human accomplishments, in the exer- 
cise of which men have become almost as gods ? The old Greeks 
called the singer ttoit^tt;?, " maker," and perhaps from woman the 
first poets learned how to worship in noble fashion that great 
maker of all, whose poem is the universe. Religion and poetry 
have ever gone hand in hand ; Plato was right when he said : " I 
am persuaded, somehow, that good poets are the inspired inter- 
preters of the gods." Of song, as of religion, it may perhaps be 
said : Dux foemina facti. 

To the mother beside the cradle where lies her tender offspring, 
song is as natural as speech itself to man. Lullabies are found 
in every land ; everywhere the joyous mother-heart bursts forth 
into song. The German proverb is significant: "Wer ein sau- 
gendes Kind hat, der hat eine singende Frau," and Fischer, a 
quaint poet of the sixteenth century, has beautifully expressed 
a like idea : — 

" Wo Honig ist, da sammlen sich die Fliegen, 
Wo Kinder sind, da singt man um die Wiegen." 

Lore of Motherhood. 21 

Ploss, in whose book is to be fonnd a choice collection of lullar 
bies from all over the globe, remarks : " The folk-poetry of all 
peoples is rich in songs whose texts and melodies the tender 
mother herself imagined and composed " (326. II. 128). 

The Countess Martinengo-Cesaresco devotes an interesting 
chapter of her Essays in the Study of Folk-Song to the sub- 
ject of lullabies. But not cradle-songs alone have sprung from 
woman's genius. The world over, dirges and funeral-laments 
have received their poetical form from the mother. As name- 
giver, too, in many lands, the mother exercised this side of her 
imaginative faculty. The mother and the child, from whom 
language received its chief inspiration, were also the callers 
forth of its choicest and most creative form. 

Mother -WU. 

" An ounce o' mother-wit is worth a pound o' clergy," says the 
Scotch proverb, and the " mother-wit," Muttergeist and Muttencitz, 
that instructive common-sense, that saving light that make the 
genius and even the fool, in the midst of his folly, wise, appear 
in folk-lore and folk-speech everywhere. What the statistics of 
genius seem to show that great men owe to their mothers, no less 
than fools, is summed up by the folk-mind in the word mother-mt. 
Jean Paul says : " Die Mutter geben uns von Geiste "Warme und 
die Yater Licht," and Goethe, in a familiar passage in his Auto- 
biography, declares : — 

" Vom Vater hab' ich die Statur, 
Des Lebens emstes Fiihren ; 
Vom Mtitterchen die Frohnatur, 
Und Lust zu fabulieren." 

Shakespeare makes Petruchio tell the shrewish Katherine that 
his "goodly speech" is "extempore from my mother-wit," and 
Emerson calls " mother- wit," the " cure for false theology." Quite 
appropriately Spenser, in the Faerie Queene, speaks of " all that 
Nature by her mother-wit could frame in earth." It is worth 
noting that when the ancient Greeks came to name the soul, they 
personified it in Psyche, a beautiful female, and that the word 
for " soul " is feminine in many European languages. 

22 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Among tlie Teton Indians, according to the Eev. J. Owen Dor- 
sey, the following peculiar custom exists : " Prior to the naming 
of the infant is the ceremony of the transfer of character ; should 
the infant be a boy, a brave and good-tempered man, chosen 
beforehand, takes the infant in his arms and breathes into his 
mouth, thereby communicating his own disposition to the infant, 
who will grow up to be a brave and good-natured man. It is 
thought that such an infant will not cry as much as infants that 
have not been thus favoured. Should the infant be a girl, it is put 
into the arms of a good woman, who breathes into its mouth " 
(433. 482). 

Here we have /ai/ier- wit as well as mother-^it. 

Mother- Tongue. 

Where women have no voice whatever in public affairs, and 
are subordinated to the uttermost in social and family matters, 
little that is honourable and noble is named for them. In East 
Central Africa, a Yao woman, asked if the child she is carrying 
is a boy or a girl, frequently replies : " My child is of the sex 
that does not speak " (518. XLIII. 249), and with other peoples in 
higher stages of culture, the " silent woman " lingers yet. Taceat 
mulier in ecdesid still rings in our ears to-day, as it has rung for 
untold centuries. Though the poet has said : — 

"There is a sight all hearts beguiling — 
A youthful mother to her infant smiling, 
"Who, with spread arms and dancing feet, 
And cooing voice, returns its answer sweet," 

and mothers alone have understood the first babblings of humanity, 
they have waited long to be remembered in the worthiest name 
of the language they have taught their offspring. 

The term mother-tongue, although Middle English had " birthe- 
tonge," in the sense of native speech, is not old in our language .} 
the Century Dictionary gives no examples of its early use. Even 
immortal Shakespeare does not know it, for, in King Richard II., 
he makes Mowbray say : — 

"The language I have learned these forty years 
(My native English) now must I forego." 

I^tre of Motherhood. 23 

The German version of the passage has, however, mein miitter- 
liches Englisch. 

Cowper, in the Task, does use " mother-tongue," in the connec- 
tion following : — 

"Praise enough 
To fill the amhition of a private man. 
That Chatham's language was his mother-tongue." 

Mother-tongue has now become part and parcel of our common 
speech ; a good word, and a noble one. 

In Modern High German, the corresponding Mutterzunge, found 
in Sebastian Franck (sixteenth century) has gradually given way 
to Muttersprache, 2l word whose history is full of interest. In 
Germany, as in Europe generally, the esteem in which Latin was 
held in the Middle Ages and the centuries immediately following 
them, forbade almost entirely the birth or extension of praise- 
worthy and endearing names for the speech of the common people 
of the country. So long as men spoke of " hiding the beauties of 
Latin in homely German words," and a Bacon could think of writ- 
ing his chief work in Latin, in order that he might be remembered 
after his death, it were vain to expect aught else. 

Hence, it does not surprise ns to learn that the word Mutter- 
sprojche is not many centuries old in German. Dr. Ltibben, 
who has studied its history, says it is not to be found in Old 
High German or Middle High German (or Middle Low German), 
and does not appear even in Luther's works, though, judging from 
a certain passage in his Table Talk, it was perhaps known to him. 
It was only in the seventeenth century that the word became 
quite common. Weigand states that it was already in the Dictio- 
narium latino-germanicum (Zurich, 1556), and in Maaler's Die 
Teiitsch Spraach (Zilrich, 1561), in which latter work (S. 262 a) 
we meet with the expressions vemacula lingua, patrius sermo, 
landspraach, muoterliche spraach, and muoterspraach (S. 295 c). 
Opitz (1624) uses the word, and it is found in Schottel's Teutsche 
Haupt-Sprache (Braunschweig, 1663). Apparently the earliest 
known citation is the Low (Jerman modersprake, found in the 
introduction of Dietrich Engelhus' (of Einbeck) Deutsche Chronik 

Nowadays Muttersprache is found everywhere in the German 
book-language, but Dr. Lilbben, in 1881, declared that he had 

24 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

never heard it from the mouth of the Low German folk, with 
whom the word was always lantsprake, gemene sprake. Hence, 
although the word has been immortalized by Klaus Groth, the 
Low German Burns, in the first poem of his Quickborn : — 

"Min Modersprak, so slicM un recht, 
Du ole frame Rqd ! 
Wenn blot en Mund ' min Vader ' seggt, 
So klingt mi't as en B^d," 

and by Johann Meyer, in his Ditmarsclier Gedichte : — 

" Vaderhus un Modersprak ! 
Lat mi't nom'n un lat mi't rop'n ; 
Vaderhus, du belli St^d, 
Modersprak, du frame ll^d, 
Schonres klingt der Nix tobopen," 

it may be that modersprak is not entirely a word of Low German 
origin ; beautiful though it is, this dialect, so closely akin to our 
own English, did not directly give it birth. Nor do the corre- 
sponding terms in the other Teutonic dialects, — Dutch moeder- 
spraak, moedertaal, Swedish modersmal, etc., — seem more original. 
The Romance languages, however, offer a clue. In French, langue 
m^re is a purely scientific term of recent origin, denoting the 
root-language of a number of dialects, or of a " family of speech," 
and does not appear as the equivalent of Mxitterspraclie. The 
equivalents of the latter are : French, langue matemelle ; Spanish, 
lengua matema; Italian, lingua materna, etc., all of which are 
modifications or imitations of a Low Latin lingua materna, or 
lingua maternalis. The Latin of the classic period seems not to 
have possessed this term, the locutions in use being sermo noster, 
patnus sermo, etc. The Greek had r/ iyxiapio<i yXGxra-a, rf iSia yAwo-o-a, 
etc. Direct translations are met with in the moderlike sprake of 
Daniel von Soest, of Westphalia (sixteenth century), and the 
muoterliche spraach of Maaler (1S61). It is from an Italian- 
Latin source that Dr. Lllbben supposes that the German proto- 
types of modersprak and Muttersprache arose. In the B6k der 
Byen, a semi-Low German translation (fifteenth century) of the 
Liber Apium of Thomas of Chantimpre, occurs the word modertale 
in the passage " Christus sede to er [the Samaritan woman] mit 
sachte stemme in erre modertale." A municipal book of Treuen- 

Lore of Motherhood. 26 

brietzen informs us that in the year 1361 it was resolved to write 
in the ydeoma matemale — what the equivalent of this was in the 
common speech is not stated — and in the Relatio of Hesso, we 
find the term materna lingua (105 a). 

The various dialects have some variants of Muttersprache, and 
in Gottingen we meet with moimen spraken, where moime (cog- 
nate with Modem High German Muhme, "aunt"), signifies 
" mother," and is a child-word. 

From the mother-tongue to the mother-land is but a step. As 
the speech she taught her babe bears the mother's name, so does 
also the land her toil won from the wilderness. 


As we say in English most commonly " native city," so also we 
say " native land." Even Byron sings : — 

" Adieu, adieu ! my native shore 
Fades o'er the waters blue; 
• « » » 

My native land — good night ! " 

and Fitz-Greene Halleck, in his patriotic poem " Marco Bozzaris,** 
bids strike " For God, and your native land." 
Scott's far-famed lines : — 

" Breathes there a man with soul so dead. 
Who never to himself has said, 
This is my own, my native land ! " 

and Smith's national hymn, " My country, 'tis of thee," know no 

In the great Century Dictionary, the only illustration cited of 
the use of the word mother-land is a very recent one, from the 
Century Magazine (vol. xxix. p. 507). 

Shakespeare, however, comes very near it, when, in King John 
(V. ii.), he makes the Bastard speak of "your dear Mother- 
England," — but this is not quite " mother-land." 

In German, though, through the sterner influences which sur- 
rounded the Empire in its birth and reorganization, Vaterland is 
now the word, Mutterland was used by Kant, Wieland, Goethe, 
Herder, Uhland, etc. Lippert suggests an ingenious explanation 

26 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

of the origin of tlie terms Mutterland, Vaterland, as well as for the 
predominance of the latter and younger word. If, in primitive 
times, man alone could hold property, — women even and children 
were his chattels, — yet the development of agriculture and horti- 
culture at the hands of woman created, as it were, a new species 
of property, property in land, the result of woman's toil and labour ; 
and this new property, in days when "mother-right" prevailed, 
came to be called Muttei'land, as it was essentially " mothers' land." 
But when men began to go forth to war, and to conquer and acquire 
land that was not " mothers' land," a new species of landed 
property, — the "land of the conquering father," — came into 
existence (and with it a new theory of succession, " father-right"), 
and from that time forward " Vaterland " has extended its signifi- 
cation, until it has attained the meaning which it possesses in the 
German speech of to-day (492. 33, 36). 

The inhabitants of the British colonies scattered all over the 
world speak of Britain as the "mother country," "Mother Eng- 
land " ; and R. H. Stoddard, the American poet, calls her " our 
Mother's Mother." The French of Canada term France over-sea 
" la mere patrie " (mother fatherland). 

Even Livy, the Roman historian, wrote terra quam matrem 
appellamus, — " the land we call mother," — and Virgil speaks of 
Apollo's native Delos as Delum maternum. But for all this, the 
proud Roman called his native land, not after his mother, but after 
his father, patna; so also in corresponding terms the Greek, 
Trarpcs, etc. But the latter remembered his mother also, as the 
word metropolis, which we have inherited, shows. Mr]Tp6iroXi<; had 
the meanings : " mother-state " (whence daughter-colonies went 
forth) ; " a chief city, a capital, metropolis ; one's mother-city, or 
mother-country." In English, metropolis has been associated with 
" mother-church," for a metropolis or a metropolitan city, was long 
one which was the seat of a bishopric. 

Among the ancient Greeks the Cretans were remarkable for 
saying not Trarpts (father-land), but /xT/rpts (mother-land), by which 
name also the Messenians called their native land. Some light 
upon the loss of " mother- words " in ancient Greece may be shed 
from the legend which tells that when the question came whether 
the new town was to be named after Athene or Poseidon, all the 
women voted for the former, carrying the day by a single vote. 

Iiore of Motherhood. 27 

whereupon Poseidon, in anger, sent a flood, and the men, determin- 
ing to punish their wives, deprived them of the power of voting, 
and decided that thereafter children were not to be named after 
their mothers (115. 235). 

In Gothic, we meet with a curious term for "native land, home," 
gdbaurths (tTom gabairan "to bear"), which signifies also "birth." 
As an exemplification of the idea in the Sophoclean phrase " all- 
nourishing earth," we find that at an earlier stage in the history 
of our own English tongue erd (cognate with our earth) signified 
"native land," a remembrance of that view of savage and un- 
civilized peoples in which earth, land are "native country," for 
these are, in the true sense of the term, Landesleute, homines. 

In the language of the Hervey Islands, in the South Pacific, " the 
place in which the placenta of an infant is buried is called the 
ipukarea, or native soil " (459. 26). 

Our English language seems still to prefer " native city, native 
town, native village," as well as "'native land," "mother-city" 
usually signifying an older town from which younger ones have 
come forth. In German, though Vaterstadt in analogy with Vater- 
land seems to be the favorite, Mutterstadt is not unknown. 

Besides Mutterland and Mutterstadt, we find in German the 
following : — 

Mutterboden, " mother-land." Used by the poet Uliland. 
Muttergejllde, " the fields of mother-earth." Used by SchlegeL 
Muttergrund, " the earth," as productive of all things. Used by Goethe. 
Mutterhimmel, " the sky above one's native land." Used by the poet 

Mutterluft, " the air of one's native land." 

Mutterhaus, " the source, origin of anything." Uhland even has : — 

" Hier ist des Stromes Mutterhaus, 
Ich trink ihn frisch vom Stein heraus." 

More far-reaching, diviner than "mother-land," is "mother- 

The Child's Tribute to the Mother (^Continued). 

To the child its mother should be as God. — G. Stanley Hall. 

A mother is the holiest thing alive. — Coleridge. 

God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offence into everlasting forgetful- 
ness. — Henry Ward Beecher. 

When the social world was written in terms of mother-right, the religious 
world was expressed in terms of mother-god. 

There is nothing more charming than to see a mother with a child in her arms, 
and nothing more venerable than a mother among a niunber of her children. — 


"Earth, Mother of all," is a world-wide goddess. Professor 
0. T. Mason says : " The earth is the mother of all mankind. Out 
of her came they. Her traits, attributes, characteristics, they 
have so thoroughly inherited and imbibed, that, from any doc- 
trinal point of view regarding the origin of the species, the earth 
may be said to have been created for men, and men to have been 
created out of the earth. By her nurture and tuition they grow 
up and flourish, and, folded in her bosom, they sleep the sleep 
of death. The idea of the earth-mother is in every cosmogony. 
Nothing is more beautiful in the range of mythology than the 
conception of Demeter with Persephone, impersonating the mater- 
nal earth, rejoicing in the perpetual return of her daughter in 
spring, and mourning over her departure in winter to Hades" 
(389 (1894). 140). 

Dr. D. G. Brinton writes in the same strain (409. 238) : " Out of 
the earth rises life, to it it returns. She it is who guards all 
germs, nourishes all beings. The Aztecs painted her as a woman 
with countless breasts ; the Peruvians called her ' Mama Allpa,' 


Lore of Motherhood. 29 

mother Earth; in the Algonkin tongue, the words for earth, 
mother, father, are from the same root. Homo, Adam, chamai- 
genes, what do all these words mean but earth-born, the son of the 
soil, repeated in the poetic language of Attica in anthropos, he 
who springs up like a flower ? " 

Mr. W. J. McGee, treating of "Earth the Home of Man," 
says (502. 28): — 

" In like manner, mankind, offspring of Mother Earth, cradled 
and nursed through helpless infancy by things earthly, has been 
brought well towards maturity ; and, like the individual man, he 
is repaying the debt unconsciously assumed at the birth of his 
kind, by transforming the face of nature, by making all things 
better than they were before, by aiding the good and destroying 
the bad among animals and plants, and by protecting the aging 
earth from the ravages of time and failing strength, even as the 
child protects his fleshly mother. Such are the relations of earth 
and man.'' 

The Roman babe had no right to live until the father lifted 
him up from " mother-earth " upon which he lay ; at the baptism 
of the ancient Mexican child, the mother spoke thus : " Thou Sun, 
Father of all that live, and thou Earth, our Mother, take ye this 
child and guard it as your son " (529. 97) ; and among the Gypsies 
of northern Hungary, at a baptism, the oldest woman present 
takes the child out, and, digging a circular trench around the 
little one, whom she has placed upon the earth, utters the follow- 
ing words : " Like this Earth, be thou strong and great, may thy 
heart be free from care, be merry as a bird" (392 (1891). 20). All 
of these practices have their analogues in other parts of the globe. 

In another way, infanticide is connected with " mother-earth." 
In the book of the "Wisdom of Solomon" (xiv. 23) we read: 
" They slew their children in sacrifices." Infanticide — " murder 
most foul, as in the best it is, but this most foul, strange, and 
unnatural" — has been sheltered beneath the cloak of religion. 
The story is one of the darkest pages in the history of man. A 
priestly legend of the Khonds of India attributes to child-sacrifice 
a divine origin : — 

" In the beginning was the Earth a formless mass of mud, and 
could not have borne the dwelling of man, or even his weight ; in 
this liquid and ever-moving slime neither tree nor herb took root. 

80 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Tlien God said : ' Spill human blood before my face ! ' And tbey 
sacrificed a child before Him. . . . Falling upon the soil, the 
bloody drops stiffened and consolidated it." 

But too well have the Khonds obeyed the command : " And by 
the virtues of the blood shed, the seeds began to sprout, the 
plants to grow, the animals to propagate. And God commanded 
that the Earth should be watered with blood every new season, to 
keep her firm and solid. And this has been done by every gener- 
ation that has preceded us." 

More than once " the mother, with her boys and girls, and per- 
haps even a little child in her arms, were immolated together," 
— for sometimes the wretched children, instead of being immedi- 
ately sacrificed, were allowed to live until they had offspring 
whose sad fate was determined ere their birth. In the work 
of Reclus may be read the fearful tale of the cult of " Pennou, 
the terrible earth-deity, the bride of the great Sun-God " (523. 315). 

In Tonga the paleness of the moon is explained by the follow- 
ing legend : Vatea (Day) and Tongariti (Night) each claimed the 
first-born of Papa (Earth) as his own child. After they had 
quarrelled a great deal, the infant was cut in two, and Vatea, the 
husband of Papa, " took the upper part as his share, and forth- 
with squeezed it into a ball and tossed it into the heavens, where 
it became the sun." But Tonga-iti, in sullen humour, let his half 
remain on the ground for a day or two. Afterward, however, 
" seeing the brightness of Vatea's half, he resolved to imitate his 
example by compressing his share into a ball, and tossing it into 
the dark sky during the absence of the sun in Avaiki, or nether- 
world." It became the moon, which is so pale by reason of " the 
blood having all drained out and decomposition having com- 
menced," before Tongariti threw his half up into the sky (458. 
45). With other primitive peoples, too, the gods were infanti- 
cidal, and many nations like those of Asia Minor, who offered up 
the virginity of their daughters upon the altars of their deities, 
hesitated not to slay upon their high places the first innocent 
pledges of motherhood. 

The earth-goddess appears again when the child enters upon 
manhood, for at Brahman marriages in India, the bridegroom still 
says to the bride, " I am the sky, thou art the earth, come let us 
marry" (421.29). 

Lore of Motherhood. 31 

And last of all, when the ineluctable struggle of death is over, 
man returns to the " mother-earth " — dust to dust. One of the 
hymns of the Rig-Veda has these beautiful words, forming part 
of the funeral ceremonies of the old Hindus : — 

" Approach thou uow the lap of Earth, thy mother. 
The wide-extending Earth, the ever-kindly ; 
A maiden soft as wool to him who comes with gifts, 
She shall protect thee from destruction's bosom. 

"Open thyself, Earth, and press not heavily ; 
Be easy of access and of approach to him, 
As mother with her robe her child. 

So do thou cover him, O Earth ! " (421. 31). 

The study of the mortuary rites and customs of the primitive 
peoples of all ages of the world's history (548) reveals many in- 
stances of the belief that when men, "the common growth of 
mother-earth," at last rest their heads upon her lap, they do not 
wholly die, for the immortality of Earth is theirs. "WTiether they 
live again, — as little children are often fabled to do, — when 
Earth laughs with flowers of spring, or become Incarnate in other 
members of the animate or inanimate creation, whose kinship with 
man and with God is an article of the great folk-creed, or, in the 
beautiful words of the burial service of the Episcopal Church, 
sleep " earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and 
certain hope of the resurrection," all testifies that man is instinct 
with the life that throbs in the bosom of Earth, his Mother. As 
of old, the story ran that man grew into being from the dust, or 
sprang forth in god-like majesty, so, when death has come, he 
sinks to dust again, or triumphantly scales the lofty heights where 
dwell the immortal deities, and becomes " as one of them." 

With the idea of the earth-mother are connected the numerous 
myths of the origin of the first human beings from clay, mould, etc., 
their provenience from caves, holes in the ground, rocks and moun- 
tains, especially those in which the woman is said to have been 
created first (509. 110). Here belong also not a few ethnic names, 
for many primitive peoples have seen fit to call themselves " sons 
of the soil, terrceJUii, Landesleute." 

Mtiller and Brinton have much to say of the American earth- 
goddesses, Tocij *' our mother," and goddess of childbirth among the 

32 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

ancient Mexicans (509. 494) ; tlie Peruvian Pachamama, " motlier- 
earth," the motlier of men (509. 369) ; the " earth-mother " of the 
Caribs, who through earthquakes manifests her animation and 
cheerfulness to her children, the Indians, who forthwith imitate 
her in joyous dances (509. 221) ; the '* mother-earth " of the Shaw- 
nees, of whom the Indian chief spoke, when he was bidden to 
regard General Harrison as " Father " : " No, the sun yonder is 
my father, and the earth my mother; upon her bosom will I 
repose," etc. (509. 117). 

Among the earth-goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome are 
Demeter, Ceres, Tellus, Ehea, Terra, Ops, Cybele, Bona Dea, 
Bona Mater, Magna Mater, Gsea, Ge, whose attributes and cere- 
monies are described in the books of classical mythology. Many 
times they are termed " mother of the gods " and " mother of 
men " ; Cybele is sometimes represented as a woman advanced in 
pregnancy or as a woman with many breasts ; Rhea, or Cybele, as 
the hill-enthroned protectress of cities, was styled Mater turrita. 

The ancient Teutons had their Hertha, or Erdemutter, the 
Nertha of Tacitus, and fragments of the primitive earth-worship 
linger yet among the folk of kindred stock. The Slavonic peoples 
had their " earth-mother " also. 

The ancient Indian Aryans worshipped Prithivi-matar, " earth- 
mother," and Dyaus pitar, " sky-father," and in China, Yang, Sky, 
is regarded as the " father of all things," while Yu, Earth, is the 
" mother of all things." 

Among the ancient Egyptians the " earth-mother," the " parent 
of all things born," was Isis, the wife of the great Osiris. 

The natal ceremonies of the Indians of the Sia Pueblo have 
been described at great length by Mrs. Stevenson (538. 132-143). 
Before the mother is delivered of her child the priest repeats in 
a low tone the following prayer : — 

"Here is the child's sand-bed. May the child have good 
thoughts and know its mother-earth, the giver of food. May 
it have good thoughts and grow from childhood to manhood. 
May the child be beautiful and happy. Here is the child's bed ; 
may the child be beautiful and happy. Ashes man, let me make 
good medicine for the child. We will receive the child into our 
arms, that it may be happy and contented. May it grow from 
childhood to manhood. May it know its mother Ut's6t [the first 

Lore of Motherhood, 33 

created woman], the Ko'pishtaia, and its mother-earth. May the 
child have good thoughts and grow from childhood to manhood. 
May it be beautiful and happy " (538. 134). 

On -the fourth morning after the birth of the child, the doctress 
in attendance, " stooping until she almost sits on the ground, 
bares the child's head as she holds it toward the rising sun, and 
repeats a long prayer, and, addressing the child, she says: 'I 
bring you to see your Sun-father and Ko'pishtaia, that you may 
know them and they you ' " (538. 141). 


Though we are now accustomed, by reason of their grandeur and 
sublimity, to personify mountains as masculine, the old fable of 
Phsedrus about the "mountain in labour, that brought forth a 
mouse," — as Horace has it, Mantes laborabant et parturitur ridi- 
culus mus, — shows that another concept was not unknown to the 
ancients. The Armenians call Mount Ararat "Mother of the 
World" (500. 39), and the Spaniards speak of a chief range of 
mountains as Sierra Madre. In mining we meet with the " mother- 
lode," veta madre, but, curiously enough, the main shaft is called 
in German Vaterschacht. 

We know that the Lapps and some other primitive peoples 
"transferred to stones the domestic relations of father, mother, 
and child," or regarded them as children of Mother-Earth (529. 
64) ; " eggs of the earth " they are called in the magic songs of 
the Finns. In Suffolk, England, " conglomerate is called * mother 
of stones,' under the idea that pebbles are born of it " ; in Ger- 
many Mutterstein. And in litholatry, in various parts of the 
globe, we have ideas which spring from like conceptions. 


Milton speaks of the "wide womb of uncreate night," and 
some of the ancient classical poets call Nox "the mother of all 
things, of gods as well as men." " The Night is Mother of the 
Day," says Whittier, and the myth he revives is an old and wide- 
spread one. " Out of Night is born day, as a child comes forth 
from the womb of his mother," said the Greek and Eoman of 

84 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

old. As Baclofen (6. 16, 219) remarks : " Das Mutterthum ver- 
bindet sich mit der Idee der den Tag aus sich gebierenden Nacht, 
wie das Vaterrecht dem Reiche des Lichts, dem von der Sonne 
mit der Mutter Nacht gezeugten Tage." Darkness, Night, Earth, 
Motherhood, seem all akin in the dim light of primitive phi-, 
losophy. Yet night is not always figured as a woman. James 
Ferguson, the Scotch poet, tells us how 

" Auld Daddy Darkness creeps frae his hole, 
Black as a blackamoor, Win' as a mole," 

and holds dominion over earth till " Wee Davie Daylicht comes 
keekin' owre the hill " (230. 73). 

An old Anglo-Saxon name for Christmas was modra-neht, 
"mother's night." 


In Sanskrit mythology Ushas, " Dawn," is daughter of Heaven, 
and poetically she is represented as "a young wife awakening 
her children and giving them new strength for the toils of the 
new day." 

Sometimes she is termed gdvdm gdnitrl, "the mother of the 
cows," which latter mythologists consider to be either " the clouds 
which pour water on the fields, or the bright mornings which, 
like cows, are supposed to step out one by one from the stable of 
the night" (510.431). 

In an ancient Hindu hymn to Ushas we read : — 

" She shines upon us like a young wife, rousing every living being to go to 
his work. When the fire had to be kindled by men, she made the light by 
striking down darkness. 

" She rose up, spreading far and wide, and moving everywhere. She grew 
in brightness, wearing her brilliant garment. The mother of the cows, the 
leader of the days, she shone gold-coloured, lovely to behold" (421. 29). 

This daughter of the sky was the " lengthener of life, the love 
of all, the giver of food, riches, blessings." According to Dr. 
Brinton, the Quiche Indians of Guatemala speak of Xmucane and 
Xpiyacoc as being " the great ancestress and the great ancestor " 
of all things. The former is called r'atit zih, r'atit zak, " primal 
mother of the sun and light" (411. 119). 

Lore of Motherhood. 35 


In Russia we meet with the days of the week as " mothers." 
Perhaps the most remarkable of these is "Mother Friday," a 
curious product of the mingling of Christian hagiology and Sla- 
vonic mythology, of St. Prascovia and the goddess Siwa. On the 
day sacred to her, " Mother Friday " wanders about the houses 
of the peasants, avenging herself on such as have been so rash as 
to sew, spin, weave, etc., on a Friday (520. 206). 

In a Wallachian tale appear three supernatural females, — the 
holy mothers Friday, Wednesday, and Sunday, — who assist the 
hero in his quest of the heroine, and in another Wallachian story 
they help a wife to find her lost husband. 

" Mother Sunday " is said " to rule the animal world, and can 
collect her subjects by playing on a magic flute. She is repre- 
sented as exercising authority over both birds and beasts, and in 
a Slovak story she bestows on the hero a magic horse " (520. 211). 
In Bulgaria we even find mother-months, and Miss Garnett has 
given an account of the siiperstition of " Mother March " among 
the women of that country (61. 1. 330). William Miller, the poet- 
laureate of the nursery, sings of Ijady Summer : — 

"Birdie, birdie, weet your whistle ! 

Sing a sang to please the wean ; 
Let it be o' Lady Summer 

Walking wi' her gallant train ! 
Sing him how her gaucy mantle, 

Forest-green, trails ower the lea, 
Broider'd frae the dewy hem o't 

Wi' the field flowers to the knee I 

*• How her foot's wi' daisies buskit, 

Kirtle o' the primrose hue, 
And her e'e sae like my laddie's, 

Glancing, laughing, loving blue ! 
How we meet on hill and valley, 

Children sweet as fairest flowers. 
Buds and blossoms o' affection, 

Kosy wi' the sunny hours" (230. 161). 


In certain languages, as in Modern German, the word for "sun" 
is feminine, and in mythology the orb of day often appears as a 

86- The Child in Folk -Thought. 

woman. The German peasant was wont to address the sun and 
the moon familiarly as " Frau Sonne " and " Herr Mond," and in 
a Russian folk-song a fair maiden sings (520. 184) : — 

" My mother is the beauteous Sun, 
And my father, the bright Moon ; 
My brothers are the many Stars, 
And my sisters the white Dawns." 

Jean Paul beautifully terms the sun " Sonne, du Mutterauge 
der Welt ! " and Holty sings : " Geh aus deinem Gezelt, Mutter 
des Tags hervor, und vergillde die wache Welt " ; in another 
passage the last writer thus apostrophizes the sun : " Heil dir, 
Mutter des Lichts ! " These terms " mother-eye of the world," 
"mother of day," "mother of light," find analogues in other 
tongues. The Andaman Islanders have their clidn-a bO-dd, 
" mother-sun " (498. 96), and certain Indians of Brazil call the 
sun coaraqy, " mother of the day or earth." In their sacred lan- 
guage the Dakota Indians speak of the sun as " grandmother " and 
the moon as " grandfather." The Chiquito Indians " used to call 
the sun their mother, and, at every eclipse of the sun, they would 
shoot their arrows so as to wound it ; they would let loose their 
dogs, who, they thought, went instantly to devour the moon " 
(100. 289). 

The Yuchi Indians called themselves "children of the sun." 
Dr. Gatschet tells us : " The Yuchis believe themselves to be the 
offspring of the sun, which they consider to be a female. Accord- 
ing to one myth, a couple of human beings were born from her 
monthly efflux, and from these the Yuchis afterward originated." 
Another myth of the same people says: "An unknown myste- 
rious being once came down upon the earth and met people there 
who were the ancestors of the Yuchi Indians. To them this 
being (Hi'ki, or Ka'la hi'ki) taught many of the arts of life, and 
in matters of religion admonished them to call the sun their 
mother as a matter of worship " (389 (1893). 280). 

_- -- . „ Mother-Moon. 

bhelley smgs of 

"That orbfed maiden, with white fire laden, 
Whom mortals call the moon," 

Lore of Motherhood. 37 

and in other languages besides Latin the word for moon is femi- 
nine, and the limar deity a female, often associated with child- 
birth. The moon-goddesses of the Orient — Diana (Juno), Astarte, 
Anahifa, etc. — preside over the beginnings of human life. 

Not a few primitive peoples have thought of the moon as mother. 
The ancient Peruvians worshipped Mama-Quilla, " mother-moon," 
and the Hurons regarded Ataensic, the mother or grandmother of 
Jouskeha, the sun, as the " creatress of earth and man," as well as 
the goddess of death and of the souls of the departed (509. 363). 
The Tarahumari Indians of the Sierra of Chihuahua, Mexico, call 
the sun au-nau-ru-a-mi, ''high father," and the laoan, je-ru-Ormi, 
"high mother." The Tupi Indians of Brazil term the moon jacy, 
"our mother," and the same name occurs in the Omagua and 
other members of this linguistic stock. The Muzo Indians 
believe that the sun is their father and the moon their mother 
(529. 95). 

Horace calls the moon siderum regina, and Apuleius, regina 
coeli, and Milton writes of 

" mooned Ashtaroth, 
Heaven's queen and mother both." 

Froebel's verses, " The Little Girl and the Stars," are stated to 
be based upon the exclamation of the child when seeing two large 
stars close together in the heavens, " Father-Mother-Star," and a 
further instance of like nature is cited where the child applied 
the word " mother " to the moon. 


An ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, taught 
that the world was created from fire, the omnipotent and omni- 
scient essence, and with many savage and barbaric peoples fire- 
worship has flourished or still flourishes. The Indie Aryans of 
old produced fire by the method of the twirling stick, and in 
their symbolism " the turning stick, Pramanta, was the father of 
the god of fire ; the immovable stick was the mother of the ador- 
able and luminous Agni [fire]" — a concept far-reaching in its 
mystic and mythological relations (100. 564). 

According to ^Mr. Cushing the Zuni Indians term fire the 
" Grandmother of Men." 

88 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

In their examination of the burial-places of the ancient Indian 
population of the Salado River Valley in Arizona, the Hemenway 
Exploring Expedition found that many children were buried near 
the kitchen hearths. Mr. Gushing offers the following explana- 
tion of this custom, which finds analogies in various parts of the 
world : " The matriarchal grandmother, or matron of the house- 
hold deities, is the fire. It is considered the guardian, as it is 
also, being used for cooking, the principal ' source of life ' of the 
family. The little children being considered unable to care for 
themselves, were placed, literally, under the protection of the 
family fire that their soul-life might be nourished, sustained, and 
increased " (501. 149). Boeder tells us that the Esthonian bride 
"consecrates her new home and hearth by an offering of money 
cast into the fire, or laid on the oven, for Tule-ema, [the] Fire 
Mother" (545. II. 285). In a Mongolian wedding-song there is 
an invocation of " Mother Ut, Queen of Fire," who is said to have 
come forth " when heaven and earth divided," and to have issued 
"from the footsteps of Mother-Earth." She is further said to 
have "a manly son, a beauteous daughter-in-law, bright daugh- 
ters " (484. 38). 

Mother- Water. 

The poet Homer and the philosopher Thales of Miletus agreed 
in regarding water as the primal element, the original of all exist- 
ences, and their theory has supporters among many primitive 
peoples. At the baptism festivals of their children, the ancient 
Mexicans recognized the goddess of the waters. At sunrise the 
midwife addressed the child, saying, among other things : " Be 
cleansed with thy mother, Chalchihuitlicue, the goddess of water." 
Then, placing her dripping finger upon the child's lips, she con- 
tinued : " Take this, for on it thou must live, grow, become strong, 
and flourish. Through it we receive all our needs. Take it." 
And, again, "We are all in the hands of Chalchihuitlicue, our 
mother " ; as she washed the child she uttered the formula : 
"Bad, whatever thou art, depart, vanish, for the child lives 
anew and is born again; it is once more cleansed, once more 
renewed through our mother Chalchihuitlicue." As she lifted 
the child up into the air, she prayed, "0 Goddess, Mother of 
Water, fill this child with thy power and virtue " (326. I. 263). 

Lore of Motherhood. 89 

In their invocation for the restoration of the spirit to the body, 
the Kagualists, — a native American mystic sect, — of Mexico 
and Central America, make appeal to " Mother mine, whose robe 
is of precious gems," i.e. water, regarded as "the universal 
mother." The "• robe of precious stones " refers to " the green or 
vegetable life " resembling the green of precious stones. Another 
of her names is the " Green Woman," — a term drawn from "the 
greenness which follows moisture " (413. 52-54). 

The idea of water as the source of all things appears also in the 
cosmology of the Indie Aryans. In one of the Vedic hymns it is 
stated that water existed before even the gods came into being, 
and the Rig-veda tells us that *' the waters contained a germ from 
which everything else sprang forth." This is plainly a myth of 
the motherhood of the waters, for in the Brahmanas we are told 
that from the water arose an egg, from which came forth after a 
year Pragapati, the creator (510. 248). Variants of this myth of 
the cosmic egg are found in other quarters of the globe. 


The Chinchas of Peru looked upon the sea as the chief deity 
and the mother of all things, and the Peruvians worshipped 
Mama-Coclia, " mother sea" (509. 368), from which had come forth 
everything, even animals, giants, and the Indians themselves. 
Associated with Mama-Cocha was the god Vira-Cocha, "sea- 
foam." In Peru water was revered everywhere, — rivers and 
canals, fountains and wells, — and many sacrifices were made to 
them, especially of certain sea-shells which were thought to be 
" daughters of the sea, the mother of all waters." The traditions 
of the Incas point to an origin from Lake Titicaca, and other 
tribes fabled their descent from fountains and streams (412. 204). 
Here belong, doubtless, some of the myths of the sea-bom deities 
of classical mythology as well as those of the water-origin of the 
first of the human race, together with kindred conceits of other 
primitive peoples. 

In the Bengalese tale of " The Boy with the Moon on his Fore- 
head," recorded by Day, the hero pleads: "0 mother Ocean, 
please make way for me, or else I die " (426. 250), and passes 
on in safety. The poet Swinburne calls the sea "fair, white 

40 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

motlier," "green-girdled mother," "great, sweet mother, mother 
and lover of men, the sea." 


According to Eussian legend " the Dnieper, Volga, and Dvina 
■used once to be living people. The Dnieper was a boy, and the 
Volga and Dvina his sisters." The Russians call their great river 
" Mother Volga," and it is said that, in the seventeenth century, 
a chief of the Don Cossacks, inflamed with wine, sacrificed to the 
mighty stream a Persian princess, accompanying his action with 
these words : " Mother Volga, thou great River ! much hast thou 
given me of gold and of silver, and of all good things ; thou hast 
nursed me and nourished me, and covered me with glory and 
honor. But I have in no way shown thee my gratitude. Here 
is somewhat for thee ; take it ! " (520. 217-220). 

In the Mahabharata, the great Sanskrit epic. King Santanu is 
said to have walked by the side of the river one day, where " he 
met and fell in love with a beautiful girl, who told him that she 
was the river Ganges, and could only marry him on condition 
he never questioned her conduct. To this he, with a truly royal 
gallantry, agreed; and she bore him several children, all of whom 
she threw into the river as soon as they were born. At last she 
bore him a boy, Bhishma ; and her husband begged her to spare 
his life, whereupon she instantly changed into the river Ganges 
and flowed away " (258. 317). Similar folk-tales are to be met with 
in other parts of the world, and the list of water-sprites and river- 
goddesses is almost endless. Greater than " Mother Volga," is 
" Mother Ganges," to whom countless sacrifices have been made. 

In the language of the Caddo Indians, the Mississippi is called 
hdhat sdssin, " mother of rivers." 


The ancient Peruvians had their " Mother Maize," Mama Cora, 
which they worshipped with a sort of harvest-home having, as 
Andrew Lang points out, something in common with the chil- 
dren's last sheaf, in the north-country (English and Scotch) 
" kernaby," as well as with the " Demeter of the threshing-floor," 
of whom Theocritus speaks (484. 18). 


Lore of Motherhood. 41 

An interesting legend of the Indians of the Pueblos of Arizona 
and New Mexico is recorded by Milller (509. 60). Ages ago there 
dwelt on the green plains a beautiful woman, who refused all 
wooers, though they brought many precious gifts. It came to 
pass that the land was sore distressed by dearth and famine, and 
when the people appealed to the woman she gave them maize in 
plenty. One day, she lay asleep naked ; a rain-drop falling upon 
her breast, she conceived and bore a son, from whom are de- 
scended the people who built the " Casas Grandes." Dr. Fewkes 
cites a like myth of the Hopi or Tusayan Indians in which ap- 
pears kd-kyan-iciiq-ti, " the spider woman," a character possessing 
certain attributes of the Earth-Mother. Speaking of certain 
ceremonies in which Cd4i-ko, the corn-goddess, figures, he calls 
attention to the fact that " in initiations an ear of corn is given to 
the novice as a symbolic representation of mother. The corn is 
the mother of all initiated persons of the tribe " (389 (1894). 48). 

Mr. Lummis also speaks of " Mother Com " among the Pueblos 
Indians : " A flawless ear of pure white corn (type of fertility and 
motherhood) is decked out with a downy mass of snow-white 
feathers, and hung -with ornaments of silver, coral, and the 
precious turquoise" (302. 72). 

Concerning the Pawnee Indians, Mr. Grinnell tells us that 
after the separation of the peoples, the boy (medicine-man) who 
was with the few who still remained at the place from which the 
others had departed, going their different ways, found in the 
sacred bundle — the Shekinah of the tribe — an ear of corn. To 
the people he said : " We are to live by this, this is our Mother." 
And from "Mother Com" the Indians learned how to make 
bows and arrows. When these Indians separated into three bands 
(according to the legend), the boy broke off the nub of the ear and 
gave it to the Mandans, the big end he gave to the Pawnees, and 
the middle to the Eees. This is why, at the present time, the 
Pawnees have the best and largest corn, the Rees somewhat 
inferior, and the Mandans the shortest of all — since they planted 
the pieces originally given them (480 (1893). 125). 

The old Mexicans had in Cinteotl a corn-goddess and deity of 
fertility in whose honour even human sacrifices were made. She 
was looked upon as "the producer," especially of children, and 
sometimes represented with a child in her arms (509. 491). 

42 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

In India there is a regular cult of the holy basil {Ocymum sanc- 
tum), or Tulasi, as it is called, which appears to be a transformation 
of the goddess Lakshmi. It may be gathered for pious purposes 
only, and in so doing the following prayer is offered : " Mother 
Tulasi, be thou propitious. If I gather thee with care, be mer- 
ciful unto me. Tulasi, mother of the world, I beseech thee." 
This plant is worshipped as a deity, — the wife of Vishnu, whom 
the breaking of even a little twig grieves and torments, — and 
" the pious Hindus invoke the divine herb for the protection of 
every part of the body, for life and for death, and in every action 
of life ; but above all, in its capacity of ensuring children to those 
who desire to have them." To him who thoughtlessly or wilfully 
pulls up the plant "no happiness, no health, no children." The 
Tulasi opens the gates of heaven ; hence on the breast of the pious 
dead is placed a leaf of basil, and the Hindu " who has religiously 
planted and cultivated the Tulasi, obtains the privilege of ascend- 
ing to the palace of Vishnu, surrounded by ten millions of parents " 
(448. 244). 

In Denmark, there is a popular belief that in the elder (Sam- 
bucus) there lives a spirit or being known as the " elder-mother " 
Qiylde-moer), or " elder- woman " (Jiilde-qvinde), and before elder- 
branches may be cut this petition is uttered: "Elder-mother, 
elder-mother, allow me to cut thy branches." In Lower Saxony 
the peasant repeats, on bended knees, with hands folded, three 
times the words : " Lady Elder, give me some of thy wood ; then 
will I also give thee some of mine, when it grows in the forest " 
(448. 318-320). In Huntingdonshire, England, the belief in the 
" elder-mother " is found, and it is thought dangerous to pluck the 
flowers, while elder-wood, in a room, or used for a cradle, is apt to 
work evil for children. In some parts of England, it is believed 
that boys beaten with an elder stick will be retarded in their 
growth ; in Sweden, women who are about to become mothers kiss 
the elder. In Germany, a somewhat similar personification of the 
juniper, " Frau Wachholder," exists. And here we come into touch 
with the dryads and forest-sprites of all ages, familiar to us in the 
myths of classic antiquity and the tales of the nursery (448. 396). 

In a Bengalese tale, the hero, on coming to a forest, cries : " O 
mother kacJiiri, please make way for me, or else I die," and the 
wood opens to let him pass through (426. 250). 


Lore of Motherhood. 48 

Perhaps the best and sweetest story of plant mythology under 
this head is Hans Christian Andersen's beautifid tale of "The 
Elder-Tree Mother," — the Dryad whose name is Eemembrance 
(393. 215). 

Mother- Thumb. 

Our word thumb signifies literally " tliick or big finger," and the 
same idea occurs in other languages. With not a few primitive 
peoples this thought takes another turn, and, as in the speech of 
the Karankawas, an extinct Indian tribe of Texas, " the biggest, or 
thickest finger is called 'father, mother, or old ' " (456. 68). The Creek 
Indians of the Southeastern United States term the "thumb" 
ingi itchki, " the hand its mother," and a like meaning attaches to 
the Chickasaw ilbak-ishke, Hichiti ilb-iki, while the Muskogees call 
the "thumb," the "mother of fingers." It is worthy of note, that, 
in the Bakairi language of Brazil, the thumb is called " father," 
and the little finger, " child," or " little one " (536. 406). In Samoa 
the " thumb " is named lima^natua, " forefather of the hand," and 
the " first finger " lima-tama, " child of the hand." In the Tshi 
language of Western Africa a finger is known as ensah-tsia-abbah, 
" little child of the hand," and in some other tongues of savage or 
barbaric peoples " fingers " are simply " children of the hand." 

Professor Culin in his notes of " Palmistry in China and Japan," 
says: "The thumb, called in Japanese, oya^ubi, 'parent-finger,' is 
for parents. The little finger, called in Japanese, ko-ubi, ' child- 
finger,' is for children; the index-finger is for uncle, aunt, and 
elder brother and elder sister. The third finger is for younger 
brother and younger sister " (423 a). A short little finger indicates 
childlessness, and lines on the palm of the hand, below the little 
finger, children. There are very many nursery -games and rhymes 
of various sorts based upon the hand and fingers, and in not a few 
of these the thumb and fingers play the rdle of mother and children. 
Froebel seized upon this thought to teach the child the idea of the 
family. His verses are well-known : — 

" Das ist die Groszmama, 
Das ist der Groszpapa, 
Das ist der Vater, 
Das ist die Mutter, 
Das isfs kleine Kindchen ja ; 
Seht die ganze Familie da." 

44 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

" Das ist die Mutter lieb und gut, 
Das ist der Vater mit frohem Muth ; 
Das ist der Bruder lang und grosz ; 
Das ist die Schwester mit Piippchen im Schoosz; 
Und dies ist das Kindchen, noch klein und zart, 
Und dies die Familie von guter Art." 

Referring to Froebel's games, Elizabeth Harrison remarks : — 
"In order that this activity, generally first noticed in the nse 
of the hands, might be trained into right and ennobling habits, 
rather than be allowed to degenerate into wrong and often degrad- 
ing ones, Froebel arranged his charming set of finger-games for 
the mother to teach her babe while he is yet in her arms ; thus 
establishing the right activity before the wrong one can assert 
itself. In such little songs as the following : — 

' This is the mother, good and dear ; 
This the father, with hearty cheer ; 
This is the brother, stout and tall ; 
This is the sister, who plays with her doll ; 
And this is the baby, the pet of all. 
Behold the good family, great and small,' 

the child is led to personify his fingers and to regard them as a 
small but united family over which he has control " (257 a. 14). 

Miss Wiltse, who devotes a chapter of her little volume to 
" Finger-songs related to Family Life and the Imaginative Faculty," 
says : — 

" The dawning consciousness of the child so turned to the family 
relations is surely better than the old nursery method of playing 
'This little pig went to market' " (384. 45). 

And from the father and mother the step to God is easy. 

Dr. Brewer informs us that in the Greek and Roman Church 
the Trinity is symbolized by the thumb and first two fingers: 
"The thumb, being strong, represents the Father; the long, or 
second finger, Jesus Christ; and the first finger, the Holy Ghost, 
which proceedeth from the Father and the Son " (JDict. of Phrase 
and Fable, P. 299). 


The "Motherhood of God" is an expression that still sounds 
somewhat strangely to our ears. We have come to speak readily 

Lore of Motherhood. 45 

enough of the "Fatherhood of God" and the "Brotherhood of 
Man," but only a still small voice has whispered of the " Mother- 
hood of. God " and the " Sisterhood of Woman." Yet there have 
been in the world, as, indeed, there are now, multitudes to whom 
the idea of Heaven without a mother is as blank as that of the 
home without her who makes it. If over the human babe bends 
the human mother who is its divinity, — 

"The infant lies in blessed ease 

Upon his mother's breast ; 
No storm, no dark, the baby sees 

Invade his heaven of rest. 
He nothing knows of change or death — 

Her face his holy skies ; 
The air he breathes, his mother's breath — 

His stars, his mother's eyes," — 

80 over the infant-race must bend the All-Mother, das Exjoig- 
weibliche. Perhaps the greatest service that the Roman Catholic 
Church has rendered to mankind is the prominence given in its 
cult of the Virgin Mary to the mother-side of Deity. In the 
race's final concept of God, the embodiment of all that is pure and 
holy, there must svirely be some overshadowing of a mother's 
tender love. With the " Father-Heart " of the Almighty must be 
linked the "Mother-Soul." To some extent, at least, we may 
expect a harking back to the standpoint of the Buddhist Kalmuck, 
whose child is taught to pray : " O God, who art my father and 
my mother." 

In all ages and over the whole world peoples of culture less than 
ours have had their "mother-gods," all the embodiments of mother- 
hood, the joy of the Magnificat, the sacrosanct expression of the 
poet's truth : — 

" Close to the mysteries of God art thou, 
My brooding mother-heart," 

the recognition of that outlasting secret hope and love, of which 
the Gospel writer told in the simple words: "Now there stood 
by the cross of Jesus his mother," and faith in which was strong 
in the Mesopotamians of old, who prayed to the goddess Istar, 
" May thy heart be appeased as the heart of a mother who has 
borne children." The world is at its best when the last, holiest 

46 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

appeal is ad matrem. Professor 0. T. Mason has eloquently stated 
the debt of the world's religions to motherhood (112. 12) : — 

"The mother-goddess of all peoples, culminating in the apo- 
theosis of the Virgin Mary, is an idea either originated by women, 
or devised to satisfy their spiritual cravings. So we may go 
through the pantheons of all peoples, finding counterparts of 
Ehea, mother-earth, goddess of fertility ; Hera, queen of harvests, 
feeder of mankind; Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home, of 
families and states, giving life and warmth ; Aphrodite, the 
beautiful, patron of romantic love and personal charms ; Hera, 
sovereign lady, divine caciquess, embodiment of queenly dignity ; 
Pallas Athene, ideal image of that central inspiring force that we 
learn at our mother's knee, and that shone in eternal splendour; 
Isis, the goddess of widowhood, sending forth her son Horus, to 
avenge the death of his father, Osiris ; as moon-goddess, keeping 
alive the light until the sun rises again to bless the world." 

The AlIrMother. 

In Polynesian mythology we find, dAvelling in the lowest depths 
of Avaiki (the interior of the universe), the " Great Mother," — the 
originator of all things, Vari-ma-te-takere, "the very beginning," 
— and her pet child, Tu-metua, " Stick by the parent," her last 
offspring, inseparable from her. All of her children were born 
of pieces of flesh which she plucked off her own body ; the first- 
born was the man-fish Vatea, "father of gods and men," whose 
one eye is the sun, the other the moon ; the fifth child was Eaka, 
to whom his mother gave the winds in a basket, and " the children 
of Eaka are the numerous winds and storms which distress man- 
kind. To each child is allotted a hole at the edge of the horizon, 
through which he blows at pleasure." In the songs the gods, are 
termed " the children of Vatea," and the ocean is sometimes called 
" the sea of Vatea." Mr. Gill tells us that " the Great Mother 
approximates nearest to the dignity of creator " ; and, curiously 
enough, the word Vari, " beginning," signifies, on the island of 
Rarotonga, "mud," showing that "these people imagined that 
once the world was a ' chaos of mud,' out of which some mighty 
unseen agent, whom they called Vari, evolved the present order 
of things" (458.3,21). 

Lore of Motherhood. 47 

Another "All-Mother" is she of whom our own poets have 
sung, " Nature," the source and sustainer of all. 


" So ilbt Natur die Mutterpflicht," sang the poet Schiller, and 
" Mother Nature " is the key -word of those modern poets who, in 
their mystic philosophy, consciously or unconsciously, revive the 
old mythologies. With primitive peoples the being, growing 
power of the universe was easily conceived as feminine and as 
motherly. Nature is the " great parent," the " gracious mother," 
of us all. In " Mother Nature," woman, the creator of the earliest 
arts of man, is recognized and personified, and in a wider sense 
even than the poet dreamt of : " One touch of Nature makes the 
whole world kin." 

Pindar declared that "gods and men are sons of the same 
mother," and with many savage and barbaric tribes, gods, 
men, animals, and all other objects, animate and inanimate, are 
akin (388. 210). As Professor Eobertson Smith has said : " The 
same lack of any sharp distinction between the nature of differ- 
ent kinds of visible beings appears in the old myths in which all 
kinds of objects, animate and inanimate, organic and inorganic, 
appear as cognate with one another, with men, and with the 
gods " (535. 85). Mr. Hartland, speaking of this stage of thought, 
says : " Sun and moon, the wind and the waters, perform all the 
functions of living beings ; they speak, they eat, they marry and 
have children" (258. 26). The same idea is brought out by Coimt 
D'Alviella : " The highest point of development that polytheism 
could reach, is found in the conception of a monarchy or divine 
family, embracing all terrestrial beings, and even the whole uni- 
verse " (388. 211). Mr. Frank Gushing attributes like beliefs in 
the kinship of all existences to the Zuiii Indians (388. 66), and 
Mr. im Thurn to the Indians of Guiana (388. 99). 

This feeling of kinship to all that is, is beautifully expressed 
in the words of the dying Greek Klepht : " Do not say that I am 
dead, but say that I am married in the sorrowful, strange coun- 
tries, that I have taken the flat stone for a mother-in-law, the t- jk 
black earth for my wife, and the little pebbles for brothers-in- 
law." (Lady Yerney, Essays, II. 39.) 

48 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

In tlie Trinity of Upper Egypt the second person was Mut, 
" Mother Nature." the others being Amun, the chief god, and their 
son, Khuns. 

Among the Slavs, according to Mone, Ziwa is a nature-goddess, 
and the Wends regard her as " many-breasted Mother Nature," 
the producing and nourishing power of the earth. Her consort is 
Zibog, the god of life (125. II. 23). 

Curiously reminiscent of the same train of ideas which has 
given to the moderson of Low German the signification of " bas- 
tard," is our own equivalent term "natural son." 

Poets and orators have not failed to appeal to " Mother Nature " 
and to sing her panegyrics, but there is perhaps nothing more 
sweet and noble than the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: 
" Nature, like a loving mother, is ever trying to keep land and 
sea, mountain and valley, each in its place, to hush the angry 
winds and waves, balance the extremes of heat and cold, of 
rain and drought, that peace, harmony, and beauty may reign 
supreme," and the verses of Longfellow : — 

" And Nature, the old nurse, took 
The child upon her knee, 
Saying, ' Here is a story-book 
Thy Father has written for thee. 

" ' Come wander with me,' she said, 
' Into regions yet untrod ; 
And read what is still unpead, 
In the manuscripts of God.' 

"And he wandered away and away 
With Nature, the dear old nurse, 
Who sang to him, night and day, 
The rhymes of the universe. 

"And whenever the way seemed long, 
Or his heart began to fail, 
She would sing a more wonderful song, 
Or tell a more marvellous tale." 

Through the long centuries Nature has been the mother, nurse, 
and teacher of man. 


Lore of Motherhood. 49 

Other Mother-Goddesses. 

Ameng other "mother-goddesses" of ancient Italy we find 
Maia Mater, Flora Mater, both deities of growth and reproduc- 
tion; Lua Mater, "the loosing mother," a goddess of death; 
Acca Larentia, the mother of the Lares (Acca perhaps = Atta, a 
child-word for mother, as Lippert suggests) ; Mater matiita, 
"mother of the dawn," a goddess of child-birth, worshipped 
especially by married women, and to whom there was erected a 
temple at Caere. 

The mother-goddesses of Germany are quite numerous. Among 
those minor ones cited by Grimm and Simrock, are : Haulemutter, 
Mutter HoUe, the Klagemlitter or Klagemuhmen, Pudelmutter 
(a name applied to the goddess Berchta), Etelmutter, Kornmutter, 
Koggenmutter, Mutterkorn, and the interesting Buschgroszmutter, 
" bush grandmother," as the " Queen of the Wood-Folk " is 
called. Here the mother-feeling has been so strong as to grant 
to even the devil a mother and a grandmother, who figure in 
many proverbs and folk-locutions. When the question is asked 
a Mecklenburger, concerning a social gathering : " Who was 
there ? " he may answer : " The devil and his mother (mom) " ; 
when a whirlwind occurs, the saying is : " The Devil is dancing 
with, his grandmother." 

In China the position of woman is very low, and, as Mr. 
Douglas points out : " It is only when a woman becomes a mother 
that she receives the respect which is by right due to her, and 
then the inferiority of her sex disappears before the requirements 
of filial love, which is the crown and glory of China " (434. 125). 

In Chinese cosmogony and mythology motherhood finds recog- 
nition. Besides the great Earth-Mother, we meet with Se-wang- 
moo, the " Western Royal ^Mother," a goddess of fairy-land, and 
the " Mother of Lightning," thunder being considered the " father 
and teacher of all living beings." Lieh-tze, a philosopher of the 
fifth century e.g., taught: "My body is not my own; I am 
merely an inhabitant of it for the time being, and shall resign it 
when I return to the ' Abyss Mother ' " (434. 222, 225, 277). 

In the Flowery Kingdom there is also a sect " who worship the 
goddess Pity, in the form of a woman holding a child in her 

50 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Among the deities and semi-deities of the Andaman Islanders 
are chdn-a-Hewadi, the "mother of the race," — Mother E-lewadi; 
chdn-a-erep, chdn-a-chd-rid, chdn-a-te'liu, chdn-a Ivmi, chdn-a-jdra- 
ngud, all inventors and discoverers of foods and the arts. In 
the religious system of the Andaman Islanders, Pa-luga-, the 
Supreme Being, by whom were created "the world and all objects, 
animate and inanimate, excepting only the powers of evil," and 
of whom it is said, " though his appearance is like fire, yet he is 
(nowadays) invisible," is " believed to live in a large stone house 
in the sky with a wife whom he created for himself ; she is green 
in appearance, and has two names, chdn-a-du-lola (Mother Fresh- 
water Shrimp) and chun-a-pd-lak- (Mother Eel) ; by her he has a 
large family, all except the eldest being girls ; these last, known 
as md-ro-win- (sky-spirits or angels), are said to be black in 
appearance, and, with their mother, amuse themselves from time 
to time by throwing fish and prawns into the streams and sea for 
the use of the inhabitants of the world " (498. 90). With these 
people also the first woman was chdn-a-5-leioadi (Mother E-lewadi), 
the ancestress of the present race of natives. She was drowned, 
while canoeing, and " became a small crab of a description still 
named after her e-lewadi " (498. 96). 

Quite frequently we find that primitive peoples have ascribed 
the origin of the arts or of the good things of life to women 
whom they have canonized as saints or apotheosized into deities. 

We may close our consideration of motherhood and what it has 
given the world with the apt words of Zmigrodzki : — 

" The history of the civilization (Kulturgeschichte) of our race, 
is, so to speak, the history of the mother-ivjliience. Our ideas of 
morality, justice, order, all these are simply mother-ideas. The 
mother began our culture in that epoch in which, like the man, 
she was autodidactic. In the epoch of the Church Fathers, the 
highly educated mother saved our civilization and gave it a new 
turn, and only the highly educated mother will save us out of the 
moral corruption of our age. Taken individually also, we can 
mark the ennobling, elevating influence which educated mothers 
have exercised over our great men. Let us strive as much as 
possible to have highly accomplished mothers, wives, friends, 
and then the wounds which we receive in the struggle for life 
will not bleed as they do now" (174. 367). 

Lore of Motherhood. 51 

The history of civilization is the story of the mother, a story 
that stales not with repetition. Richter, in his Levana, makes 
eloquent appeal : — 

"Never, never has one forgotten his pure, right-educating 
mother ! On the blue mountains of our dim childhood, towards 
which we ever turn and look, stand the mothers who marked out 
for us from thence our life ; the most blessed age must be forgot- 
ten ere we can forget the warmest heart. You wish, woman, 
to be ardently loved, and forever, even till death. Be, then, the 
mothers of your children." 

Tennyson in TTie Foresters uses these beautiful words : " Every 
man for the sake of the great blessed Mother in heaven, and for 
the love of his own little mother on earth, should handle all 
womankind gently, and hold them in all honour." Herein lies 
the whole philosophy of life. The ancient Germans were right, 
who, as Tacitus tells us, saw in woman sanctum aliqxdd et provi- 
dum, as indeed the Modern German Weib (cognate with our icife) 
also declares, the original signification of the word being ''the 
animated, the inspirited." 

The Child's Tribute to the Father. 

If the paternal cottage still shuts us in, its roof still screens us; and with a 
father, we have as yet a prophet, priest, and king, and an obedience that makes 
us free. — Carlyle. 

To you your father should be as a god. — Shakespeare. 

Our Father, who art in Heaven. — Jesus. 

Father of all ! in every age, 
In every clime adored, 
By saint, by savage, and by sage, 
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord. — Pope. 

Names of the Father. 

Father, like mother, is a very old word, and goes back, witli the 
cognate terms in Italic, Hellenic, Teittonic, Celtic, Slavonic, and 
Indo-Aryan speech, to the primitive Indo-European language, and, 
like mother, it is of uncertain etymology. 

An English preacher of the twelfth century sought to derive 
the word from the Anglo-Saxon fedan, "to feed," making the 
"father" to be the "feeder" or "nourisher," and some more 
modern attempts at explanation are hardly better. This ety- 
mology, however incorrect, as it certainly is, in English, does find 
analogies in the tongues of primitive peoples. In the language 
of the Klamath Indians, of Oregon, the word for "father" is 
fshishap (in the Modoc dialect, p'tishap), meaning "feeder, nour- 
isher," from a radical tshi, which signifies "to give somebody 
liquid food (as milk, water)." Whether there is any real connec- 
tion between our word pap, — with its cognates in other lan- 
guages, — which signifies "food for infants," as well as "teat, 
breast," and the child-word papa, "father," is doubtful, and the 
same may be said of the attempt to find a relation between teat, 



Lore of Fatherhood. 53 

tit, etc., and the widespread child-words for "father," tat, dad. 
Wedgewood (Introd. to Dictionary), however, maintained that: 
" Words formed of the simplest articulations, ma and pa, are used 
to designate the objects in which the infant takes the earliest 
interest, — the mother, the father, the mother's breast, the act 
of taking or sucking food." Tylor also points out how, in the 
language of children of to-day, we may find a key to the origin 
of a mass of words for *'' father, mother, grandmother, aunt, child, 
breast, toy, doll," etc. From the limited supply of material at 
the disposal of the early speakers of a language, we can readily 
understand how the same sound had to serve for the connotation 
of different ideas ; this is why " mama means in one tongue 
mother, in another /a//^er, in a third, uncle; dada in one language 
father, in a second nurse, in another breast; tola in one language 
father, in another son," etc. The primitive Indo-European p4r, 
Skeat takes to be formed, with the agent-suffix tr, from the radi- 
cal pd, "to protect, to guard," — the father having been originally 
looked upon as the " protector," or "guarder." Max Milller, who 
offers the same derivation, remarks: "The father, as begetter, 
was called in Sanskrit ganitdr, as protector and supporter of his 
posterity, however, pitdr. For this reason, in the Yeda both 
names together are used in order to give the complete idea of 
'father.' In like manner, mdtar, 'mother,' is joined with ganit, 
' genetrix,' and this shows that the word mdiar must have soon 
lost its etymological signification and come to be a term of re- 
spect and caress. With the oldest Indo-Europeans, mdtar meant 
* maker,' from md, ' to form.' " 

Kluge, however, seems to reject the interpretation " protector, 
defender," and to see in the word a derivative from the " nature- 
sound " pa. So also Westermarck (166. 86-94). In Gothic, pre- 
sumably the oldest of the Teutonic dialects, the most common 
word for " father " is atta, still seen in the name of the far-famed 
leader of the Hirns, Attila, i.e. " little father," and in the dtti of 
modern Swiss dialects. To the same root attach themselves 
Sanskrit atta, "mother, elder sister"; Ossetic ddda, "little father 
(Vaterchen) " ; Greek arro, Latin atta, "father"; Old Slavonic 
ot'Ki, "little father"; Old Irish aite, "foster-father." Atta be- 
longs to the category of " nature-words " or " nursery-words " of 
which our dad {daddy ) is also a member. 

64 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

Another member is the widespread papa, pa. Our word papa, 
Skeat thinks, is borrowed, through the French, from Latin papa, 
found as a Roman cognomen. This goes back in all probability 
to ancient Greek, for, in the Odyssey (vi. 57), Nausicaa addresses 
her father as irainra ^t'Ac, " dear papa." The Papa of German is 
also borrowed from French, and, according to Kluge, did not 
secure a firm place in the language until comparatively late in 
the eighteenth century. 

In some of the Semitic languages the word for "father" signi- 
fies " maker," and the same thing occurs elsewhere among primi- 
tive people (166. 91). 

As with "mother," so with "father"; in many languages a 
man (or a boy) does not employ the same term as a woman (or a 
girl). In the Haida, Okanak-en, and Kootenay, all Indian lan- 
guages of British Columbia, the words used by males and by 
females are, respectively: Jcun, qat; Im'u, mistm; tito, so. 

In many languages the word for " father," as is also the case 
with "mother," is different when the parent is addressed from 
that used when he is spoken of or referred to. In the Tsim- 
shian, Kwakiutl, Nootka, Ntlakyapamuq, four Indian languages 
of British Columbia, the words for " father," when addressed, are 
respectively d'bo, dts, no' we, pap, and for "father" in other cases, 
riEgud'at, au'mp, nuwe'k'so, sJc'd'tsa. Here, again, it will be 
noticed that the words used in address seem shorter and more 
primitive in character. 

In the Chinantec language of Mexico, fluh signifies at the same 
time " father " and " man." In Gothic aba means both " father " 
and "husband" (492. 33). Here belongs also perhaps the familiar 
"father" with which the New England housewife was wont to 
address her husband. 

With many peoples the name "father" is applied to others 
than the male parent of the child. The following remarks of 
McLennan, regarding the Tamil and Telugu of India, will stand 
for not a few other primitive tribes : " All the brothers of a father 
are usually called fathers, but, in strictness, those who are older 
than the father are called great fathers, and those who are younger, 
little fathers. With the Puharies, all the brothers of a father are 
equally fathers to his children." In Hawaii, the term "male 
parent " " applied equally to the father, to the uncles, and even 

liore of Fatherhood. 66 

to distant relations." In Japan, the paternal uncle is called 
" little father " and the maternal uncle " second little father " 
(100. 3S9, 391). 

A lengthy discussion of these terms, with a wealth of illustra- 
tion from many primitive languages, will be found in Wester- 
marck (166, S&-94). 


Of the Roman family it has been said : " It was a community 
comprising men and things. The members were maintained by 
adoption as well as by consanguinity. The father was before all 
things the chief, the general administrator. He was called father 
even when he had no son ; paternity was a question of law, not 
one of persons. The heir is no more than the continuing line 
of the deceased person; he was heir in spite of himself for the 
honour of the defunct, for the lares, the hearth, the manes, and 
the hereditary sepulchre " (100. 423). In ancient Rome the pater- 
familias and the patria potestas are seen in their extreme types. 
Letourneau remarks further: ''Absolute master, both of things 
and of people, the paterfamilias had the right to kill his wife 
and to sell his sons. Priest and king in turn, it was he who rep- 
resented the family in their domestic worship ; and when, after 
his death, he was laid by the side of his ancestors in the com- 
mon tomb, he was deified, and helped to swell the number of the 
household gods " (100. 433). 

Post thus defines the system of " father-right " : — 
"In the system of 'father-right' the child is related only to 
the father and to the persons connected with him through the 
male line, but not with his mother and the persons connected 
with him through the female line. The narrowest group organ- 
ized according to father-right consists of the father and his chil- 
dren. The mother, for the most part, appears in the condition 
of a slave to the husband. To the patriarchal family in the 
wider sense belong the children of the sons of the father, but not 
the children of his daughters; the brothers and sisters of the 
same father, but not those merely related to the same mother ; 
the children of the brother of the same father, but not the chil- 
dren of the sisters of the same father, etc. "With eveiy wife 
the relationship ceases every time " (127. I. 24). 

56 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

The system of father-right is found scattered over the whole 
globe. It is found among the Indo-European peoples (Aryans 
of Asia, Germans, Slavs, Celts, Komans), the Mongol-Tartar 
tribes, Chinese, Japanese, and some of the Semitic nations; in 
northern Africa and scattered through the western part of the 
continent, among the Kaffirs and Hottentots ; among some tribes 
in Australia and Polynesia and the two Americas (the culture 

The position of the father among those peoples with whom 
strict mother-right prevails is thus sketched by Zmigrodski 
(174.206): — 

"The only certain thing was motherhood and the maternal 
side of the family, — mother, daughter, granddaughter, that was 
the fixed stem continuing with certainty. Father, son, grandson, 
were only the leaves, which existed only until the autumnal wind 
of death tore them away, to hurl them into the abyss of oblivion. 
In that epoch no one said, * I am the son of such a father and the 
grandson of such a grandfather,' but 'I am the son of such a 
mother and the grandson of such a grandmother.' The inheri- 
tance went not to the son and grandson, but to the daughter and 
to the granddaughter, and the sons received a dowry as do the 
daughters in our society of to-day. In marriage the woman did 
not assume the name of the man, but vice versd. The husband of 
a woman, although the fatter of her children, was considered not 
so near a relative of them as the wife's brother, their uncle." 

Dr. Brinton says, concerning mother-right among the Indians 
of North America (412. 48) : — 

" Her children looked upon her as their parent, but esteemed 
their father as no relation whatever. An unusually kind and 
intelligent Kolosch Indian was chided by a missionary for allow- 
ing his father to suffer for food. ' Let him go to his own people,' 
replied the Kolosch, ' they should look after him.' He did not 
regard a man as in any way related or bound to his paternal 

In a certain Polynesian mythological tale, the hero is a young 
man, "the name of whose father had never been told by his 
mother," and this has many modern parallels (115. 97). On the 
Gold Coast of West Africa there is a proverb, " Wise is the son 
that knows his own father " (127. 1. 24), a saying found elsewhere 

Lore of Fatherhood. bl 

in the world, — indeed, we have it also in English, and Shake- 
speare presents but another view of it when he tells us : " It is a 
wise father that knows his own child." 

In many myths and folk- and fairy-tales of all peoples the dis- 
covery by the child of its parent forms the climax, or at least one 
of the chief features of the plot ; and we have also those stories 
which tell how parents have been killed unwittingly by their own 
children, or children have been slain unawares by their parents. 


In his interesting study of " Eoyalty and Divinity " (75), Dr. 
von Held has pointed out many resemblances between the primi- 
tive concepts *' King " and " God." Both, it would seem, stand 
in close connection with " Father." To quote from Dr. von Held : 
" Fathership (Vaterschaft, patriarcka), lordship (Herrentum), and 
kingship (Konigtum) are, therefore (like rex and ^amXevs), ideas 
not only linguistically, but, to even a greater degree really, cog- 
nate, having altogether very close relationship to the word and 
idea 'God.' Of necessity they involve the existence and idea 
of a people, and therefore are related not only to the world of 
faith, but also to that of intellect and of material things." 

The Emperor of China is the " father and mother of the em- 
pire," his millions of subjects being his "children"; and the 
ancient Romans had no nobler title for their emperor than pater 
patrice, the " father of his country," an appellation bestowed in 
these later days upon the immortal first President of the United 

In the Yajnavalkya, one of the old Sanskrit law-books, the king 
is bidden to be "towards servants and subjects as a father" (75. 
122), and even Mirabeau and Gregoire, in the first months of the 
States-General, termed the king " le pere de tous les Franqais," 
while Louis XII. and Henry IV. of France, as well as Christian 
III. of Denmark, had given to them the title " father of the peo- 
ple." The name pater patrice was not borne by the Csesars alone, 
for the Eoman Senate conferred the title upon Cicero, and offered 
it to Marius, who refused to accept it. " Father of his Country " 
was the appellation of Cosmo de' Medici, and the Genoese in- 
scribed the same title upon the base of the statue erected to 

68 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Andrea Doria. One of tlie later Byzantine Emperors, Androni- 
cus Palseologus, even went so far as to assume this honoured title. 
Nor has the name " Father of the People " been confined to kings, 
for it has been given also to Gabriel du Pineau, a French lawyer 
of the seventeenth century. 

The " divinity that doth hedge a king " and the fatherhood of 
the sovereign reach their acme in Peru, where the Inca was king, 
father, even god, and the halo of " divine right " has not ceased 
even yet to encircle the brows of the absolute monarchs of Europe 
and the East, 

Landesvater (Vater des Volkes) is the proudest designation of 
the German Kaiser. " Little Father " is alike the literal mean- 
ing of Attila, the name of the far-famed leader of the " Huns," 
in the dark ages of Europe, and of batyusJiJca, the affectionate 
term by which the peasant of Eussia speaks of the Czar. 

Nana, "Grandfather," is the title of the king of Ashanti in 
Africa, and " Sire " was long in France and England a respectful 
form of address to the monarch. 

Some of the aboriginal tribes of America have conferred upon 
the President of the United States the name of the " Great Father 
at Washington," the " Great White Father," and " Father " was 
a term they were wont to apply to governors, generals, and other 
great men of the whites with whom they came into contact. 

The father as head of the family is the basis of the idea of 
" father-king." This is seen among the Matchlapis, a Kaffir tribe, 
where " those who own a sufficient number of cattle to maintain 
a family have the right to the title of chief " ; this resembles 
the institution of the paterfamilias in ancient Latium (100. 459, 

Dr. von Held thus expresses himself upon this point: "The 
first, and one may say also the last, naturally necessary society 
of man is the family in the manifold forms out of which it has 
been historically developed. Its beginning and its apex are, 
under given culture-conditions, the man who founds it, the father. 
What first brought man experientially to creation as a work of 
love was fatherhood. This view is not altered by the fact that 
the father, in order to preserve, or, what is the same, to continue 
to produce, to bring up, must command, force, punish. If the 
family depends on no higher right, it yet appears as the first 

Lore of Fatherhood. 59 

state, and then the father appears not only as father, but also as 
king" (75. 119). 

The occurrence to-day of " King " as a surname takes us back 
to a time when the head of the family enjoyed the proud title, 
which the Komans conferred upon Caesar Augustus, Pater et 
Princeps, the natural development from Ovid's virque paterque 

The Eomans called their senators j9af res, and we now speak of 
the " city fathers," aldermen, eldermen, in older English, and the 
"fathers" of many a primitive people are its rulers and legis- 
lators. The term "father" we apply also to those who were 
monarchs and chiefs in realms of human activity other than that 
of politics. Following in the footsteps of the Latins, who spoke 
of Zeno as Pater stoicorum, of Herodotus as Pater historice, and 
even of the host of an inn as Pater cence, we speak of " father- 
ing" an idea, a plot, and the like, and denominate "father," 
the pioneer scientists, inventors, sages, poets, chroniclers of the 

From pater the Romans derived patrimonhim, patrimony, " what 
was inherited from the father," an interesting contrast to matri- 
monium ; patronus, " patron, defender, master of slaves " ; patria 
(terra), " fatherland," — Ovid uses patema terra, and Horace speaks 
oi paternum flumen; patricius, "of fatherly dignity, high-bom, 
patrician," etc. Word after word in the classic tongues speaks 
of the exalted position of the father, and many of these have 
come into our own language through the influence of the peoples 
of the Mediterranean. 


Said Henry Ward Beecher: "Look at home, father-priest, 
mother-priest; your church is a hundred-fold heavier responsi- 
bility than mine can be. Your priesthood is from God's own 
hands." The priesthood of the father is widespread. ^Mr. Gomme 
tells us : " Certainly among the Hindus, the Greeks, the Romans, 
and, so late down as Tacitus, the Germans, the house-father was 
priest and judge in his own clan " (461. 104). Max Mtiller speaks 
to the same effect : " K we trace religion back to the family, the 
father or head of the family is ipso facto the priest. When fami- 
lies grew into clans, and clans into tribes and confederacies, a 

60 The Child in Folic -Thought 

necessity would arise of delegating to some heads of families tlie 
performance of duties which, from having been the spontaneous 
acts of individuals, had become the traditional acts of families 
and clans " (510. 183). Africa, Asia, America, furnish us abundant 
evidence of this. Our own language testifies to it also. We 
speak of the "Fathers of the Church," — patres, as they were 
called, — and the term " Father " is applied to an ecclesiastic of 
the Roman Catholic Church, just as in the Romance languages 
of Europe the descendants of the Latin pater (French p^re, 
Spanish padre, Italian padre, etc.) are used to denote the same 
personage. In Russian an endearing term for " priest " is batyu- 
shka, " father dear " ; the word for a village-priest, sometimes 
used disrespectfully, is pop. This latter name is identical with 
the title of the head of the great Catholic Church, the " Holy 
Father," at Rome, viz. papa, signifying literally " papa, father," 
given in the early days of Latin Christianity, and the source of 
our word Pope and its cognates in the various tongues of modem 
Europe. The head of an abbey we call an abbot, a name coming, 
through the Church-Latin abbas, from the Syriac abba, " father " ; 
here again recurs the correlation of priest and father. It is 
interesting to note that both the words papa and abba, Avhich we 
have just discussed, and which are of such importance in the 
history of religion, are child-words for "father," bearing evidence 
of the lasting influence of the child in this sphere of human 
activity. Among the ancient Romans we find a pater patratus, 
whose duty it was to ratify treaties with the proper religious 
rites. Dr. von Held is of opinion that, "in the case of a special 
priesthood, it is not so much the character of its members as 
spiritual fathers, as their calling of servants of God, of servants 
of a Father-God, which causes them to be termed fathers, papas " 
(75. 120). 


Shakespeare has aptly said, in the words which Theseus ad- 
dresses to the fair Hermia : — 

" To you your father should be as a god ; 
One that composed your beauties, yea, and one 
To whom you are but as a form in wax, 
By him imprinted, and within his power 
To leave the figure or disfigure it," 


Lore of Fatherhood. 61 

and widespread indeed, in the childhood of the race, has been the 
belief in the Fatherhood of God. Concerning the first parents of 
human kind the ancient Hebrew Scripture declares : " And God 
created man in His own image," and long centuries afterwards, in 
his memorable oration to the wise men of Athens upon Mars' 
Hill, the Apostle Paul quoted with approval the words of the 
Greek poet, Cleanthes, who had said : '• For we are all His off- 
spring." Epictetus, appealing to a master on behalf of his slaves, 
asked: "Wilt thou not remember over whom thou rulest, that 
they are thy relations, thy brethren by nature, the offspring of 
Zeus?" (388.210). 

At the battle of Kadshu, Rameses II., of Egypt, abandoned by 
his soldiers, as a last appeal, exclaimed : " I will call upon thee, 
O my father Amon!" (388. 209). 

Many prophets and preachers have there been who taught to 
men the doctrine of " God, the Father," but last and best of all 
was the *•' Son of Man," the Christ, who taught his disciples the 
world-heard prayer : " Our Father, who art in Heaven," who pro- 
claimed that "in my Father's house are many mansions," and 
whose words in the agony of Gethsemane were : " Abba, Father, 
all things are possible unto Thee; remove this cup from me: 
howbeit not what I will, but what Thou w^t." 

Between the I3uddhist Kalmucks, with whom the newly married 
couple reverently utter these words : " I incline myseK this first 
time to my Lord God, who is my father and my mother" (518. I. 
423), and the deistic philosophers of to-day there is a vast gulf, as 
there is also between the idea of Deity among the Cakchiquel 
Indians of Guatemala, where the words for God alom and achalam 
signify respectively "begetter of children," and "begetter of 
sons," and the modern Christian concept of God, the Father, with 
His only begotten Son, the Saviour of the world. 

The society of the gods of human creation has everywhere 
been modelled upon that of man. He was right who said Olympus 
was a Greek city and Zeus a Greek father. According to D'Al- 
viella : " The highest point of development that polytheism could 
reach is found in the conception of a monarchy or divine family, 
embracing all terrestrial beings, and even the whole universe. 
The divine monarch or father, however, might still be no more 
than the first among his peers. For the supreme god to become 

62 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

the Only God, he must rise above all beings, superhuman as well as 
human, not only in his power, but in his very nature " (388. 211). 

Though the mythology of our Teutonic forefathers knew of the 
"All-Father," — the holy Odin, — it is from those children-loving 
people, the Hebrews, that our Christian conception of '* God the 
Father," with some modifications, is derived. As Professor Rob- 
ertson Smith has pointed out, among the Semites we find the idea 
of the tribal god as father strongly developed : " But in heathen 
religions the fatherhood of the gods is a physical fatherhood. 
Among the Greeks, for example, the idea that the gods fashioned 
men out of clay, as potters fashion images, is relatively modern. 
The older conception is that the races of men have gods for their 
ancestors, or are the children of the earth, the common mother of 
gods and men, so that men are really of the same stock or kin of 
the gods. That the same conception was familiar to the older 
Semites appears from the Bible. Jeremiah describes idolaters as 
saying to a stock. Thou art my father ; and to a stone, Thou hast 
brought me forth. In the ancient poem. Num. xxi. 29, the Moa- 
bites are called the sons and daughters of Chemosh, and, at a 
much more recent date, the prophet Malachi calls a heathen 
woman, <■ the daughter of a strange god ' " (535. 41^3). 

Professor Smith cites also the evidence furnished by genealogies 
and personal names : " The father of Solomon's ally, Hiram, King 
of Tyre, was called Ahihaal, ' my father is Baal ' ; Ben-Hadad, of 
Damascus, is ' the son of the god Hadad ' ; in Aramaean we find 
names like Barlaha, ' son of God,' Barba'shmln, ' son of the Lord 
of Heaven,' Barate, ' son of Ate,' etc." "We have also that pas- 
sage in Genesis which tells how the " sons of God saw the daugh- 
ters of men that were fair ; and they took them wives of all which 
they chose" (vi. 2), while an echo of the same thought dwells 
with the Polynesians, who term illegitimate children tamarika na 
te Atua, « children of the gods " (458. 121). D'Alviella further 
remarks : " Presently these family relations of the gods were 
extended till they embraced the whole creation, and especially 
mankind. The confusion between the terms for creating and 
begetting, which still maintained itself in half-developed lan- 
guages, must have led to a spontaneous fusion of the ideas of 
creator and father." But there is another aspect of this question. 
Of the Amazulu Callaway writes : " Speaking generally, the head 

Lore of Fatherhood. 63 

of each house is worshipped by the children of that house ; for 
they do not know the ancients who are dead, nor their laud-giving 
names, nor their names. But their father whom they knew is the 
head by whom they begin and end in their prayer, for they know 
him best, and his love for his children ; they remember his kind- 
ness to them whilst he was living ; they compare his treatment of 
them whilst he was living, support themselves by it, and say, 
* He will treat us in the same way now he is dead- We do not 
know why he should regard others beside us ; he will regard us 
only.' " Of these people it is true, as they themselves say : " Our 
father is a great treasure to us, even when he is dead " (417. 144). 

Here we pass over to ancestor worship, seen at its height in 
China, whose great sage, Confucius, taught : " The great object of 
marriage is to beget children, and especially sons, who may perform 
the required sacrifices at the tombs of their parents " (434. 126). 

In this connection, the following passage from Max Mtiller is 
of interest : " How religious ideas could spring from the percep- 
tion of something infinite or immortal in our parents, grand- 
parents, and ancestors, we can see even at the present day. 
Among the Zulus, for instance, Unkulunkulu or Ukxdukulu, which 
means the great-great-grandfather, has become the name of God. 
It is true that each family has its own Urikulunkulu, and that his 
name varies accordingly. But there is also an Unkulunkulu of all 
men {unkulunkulu icabantu bonke), and he comes very near to being 
a father of all men. Here also we can watch a very natural pro- 
cess of reasoning. A son would look upon his father as his progen- 
itor ; he would remember his father's father, possibly his father's 
grandfather. But beyond that his own experience could hardly 
go, and therefore the father of his own great-grandfather, of 
whom he might have heard, but whom he had never seen, would 
naturally assume the character of a distant unknown being ; and, 
if the human mind ascended still further, it would almost by 
necessity be driven to a father of all fathers, that is to a creator 
of mankind, if not of the world " (510. 156). 

Again we reach the " Father " of Pope's " Universal Prayer " — 

" Father of all ! in every age, 
In every clime adored. 
By saint, by savage, and by sage, 
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord," 

64 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

having started from the same thought as the Hebrews in the 
infancy of their race. An Eastern legend of the child Abraham 
has crystallized the idea. It is said that one morning, while with 
his mother in the cave in which they were hiding from Nimrod, 
he asked his mother, " Who is my God ? " and she replied, 
"It is I." "And who is thy God?" he inquired farther. "Thy 
father" (547. 69). Hence also we derive the declaration of Du Vair, 
" Nous devons tenir nos peres comme des dieux en terre," and the 
statement of another French writer, of whom Westermarck says : 
"Bodin wrote, in the later part of the sixteenth century, that, 
though the monarch commands his subjects, the master his dis- 
ciples, the captain his soldiers, there is none to whom nature has 
given any command except the father, ' who is the true image of the 
great sovereign God, universal father of all things ' " (166. 238). 


" Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, 
The bridal of the earth and sky," 

sang the poet Herbert, unconsciously renewing an ancient myth. 
As many cosmologies tell. Day and Dawn were born of the em- 
braces of Earth and Sky. Ushas, Eos, Aurora, is the daughter of 
heaven, and one story of the birth is contained in the Maori myth 
of Papa and Eangi. Ushas, Max Milller tells us, " has two par- 
ents, heaven and earth, whose lap she fills with light" (510. 431). 
From Eangi, " Father-Sky," and Papa, " Mother-Earth," say the 
Maoris of New Zealand, sprang all living things; and, in like 
manner, the Chinese consider the Sky or Heaven, — Yang, the 
masculine, procreative, active element, — to be the " father of all 
things," while the Earth, — Yu, the feminine, conceiving, passive 
element, — is the " mother of all things." From the union of 
these two everything in existence has arisen, and consequently 
resembles the one or the other (529. 107). 

Among the primitive Aryans, the Sky, or Heaven God, was 
called " Father," as shown by the Sanskrit Dyaus Pitdr, Greek 
Zeu's Trarrjp, Latin Jupiter, all of which names signify " sky father." 
Dyaus is also called janitdr, " producer, father," and Zeus, the 
" eternal father of men," the " father of gods and men, the 
ruler and preserver of the world." In the Vedic hymns are invo- 

Lore of Fatherhood. 65 

cations of Dyaus (Sky), as " our Father," and of Pritliivi (Earth), 
as "our Mother" (388. 210). 

Dyaus symbolizes the "bright sky"; from the same primitive 
Indo-European root come the Latin words dies (day), deus or 
divus (god); the dark sombre vault of heaven is Varuna, the 
Greek Ovpavo^, Latin Uranus. 

Other instances of the bridal of earth and sky, — of " mother 
earth," and "father sky," — are found among the tribes of the 
Baltic, the Lapps, the Finns (who have Ukko, "' Father Heaven," 
Akka, " Mother Earth "), and other more barbaric peoples. 

In Ashanti, the new deity, which the introduction of Christian- 
ity has added to the native pantheon, is called Naiw, Nyankupon, 
" Grandfather-sky " (438. 24). 

The shaman of the Buryats of Alarsk prays to "Father 
Heaven " ; in the Altai Mountains the prayer is to 

"Father Yulgen, thrice exalted, 
Whom the edge of the moon's axe shuns, 
"Who uses the hoof of the horse. 
Thou, Yulgen, hast created all men, 
"Who are stirring round about us, 
Thou, Yulgen, hast endowed us with all cattle ; 
Let us not fall into sorrow ! 
Grant that we may resist the evil one ! " (504. 70, 77). 

We too have recollections of that " Father-Sky," whom our far- 
off ancestors adored, the bright, glad, cheerful sky, the " ancestor 
of all." Max Miiller has summed up the facts of our inheritance 
in brief terms : — 

" Eemember that this Dyaush Pitar is the same as the Greek 
Zivs Uarrjp, and the Latin Jupiter, and you will see how this one 
word shows us the easy, the natural, the almost inevitable transi- 
tion from the conception of the active sky as a purely physical 
fact, to the Father-Sky with ail his mythological accidents, and 
lastly to that Father in heaven whom ^schylus meant when he 
burst out in his majestic prayer to Zeus, whosoever he is" (510. 

Unnumbered centuries have passed, but the "witchery of the 
soft blue sky " has still firm hold upon the race, and we are, as of 
old, children of " otir Father, who art in Heaven." 

66 The Child in Folk -Thought. 


Montesinos tells us that Viracoclia, " sear-foam," the Peruvian 
god of the sea, was regarded as the source of all life and the ori- 
gin of all things, — world-tiller, world-animator, he was called 
(509. 316). Xenophanes of Kolophon, a Greek philosopher of the 
sixth century B.C., taught that "the mighty sea is the father of 
clouds and winds and rivers." In Greek mythology Oceanus is 
said to be the father of the principal rivers of earth. Neptune, 
the god of the sea, — "Father Neptune," he is sometimes called, 
— had his analogue in a deity whom the Libyans looked upon as 
" the first and greatest of the gods." To Neptune, as the "Father 
of Streams," the Romans erected a temple in the Campus Martins 
and held games and feasts in his honour. The sea was also spoken 
of as jsrtfer ceqiioreus. 


The name " Father of Waters " is assigned, incorrectly perhaps, 
to certain American Indian languages, as an appellation of the 
Mississippi, From Macaiday's " Lay of Horatius," we all know 

"0 Tiber, Father Tiber, 
To whom the Romans pray," 

and " Father Thames " is a favourite epithet of the great English 


In our English nursery-lore the frost is personified as a mis- 
chievous boy, "Jack Frost," to whose pranks its vagaries are 
due. In old Norse mythology we read of the terrible "Frost 
Giants," offspring of Ymir, born of the ice of Niflheim, which 
the warmth exhaled from the sun-lit land of Muspelheim caused 
to drop off into the great Ginnunga-gap, the void that once was 
where earth is now. In his "Frost Spirit" Whittier has pre- 
served something of the ancient grimness. 

We speak commonly of the "Frost-King," whose fetters bind 
the earth in winter. 

In Russia the frost is called " Father Frost," and is personified 
as a white old man, or " a mighty smith who forges strong chains 

Lore of Fatherhood. 67 

with which to bind the earth and the waters," and on Christmas 
Eve " the oldest man in each family takes a spoonful of kissel (a 
sort of pudding), and then, having put his head through the win- 
dow, cries: 'Frost, Frost, come and eat kissel! Frost, Frost, 
do not kill our oats! Drive our flax and hemp deep into the 
ground'" (520. 223-230). 

Quite different is the idea contained in Grimm's tale of " Old 
Mother Frost," — the old woman, the shaking of whose bed in 
the making causes the feathers to fly, and "then it snows on 


Fire has received worship and apotheosis in many parts of the 
globe. The Muskogee Indians of the southeastern United States 
" gave to fire the highest Indian title of honour, grandfather, and 
their priests were called ' fire-makers ' " (529. 68). The ancient 
Aztecs called the god of fire "the oldest of the gods, Huehueteotl, 
and also 'our Father,' Tata, as it was believed that from him all 
things were derived." He was supposed " to govern the genera- 
tive proclivities and the sexual relations," and he was sometimes 
called Xiuhtecutli, " ' God of the Green Leaf,' that is, of vegetable 
fecundity and productiveness." He was worshipped as " the life- 
giver, the active generator of animate existence," — the " primal 
element and the immediate source of life" (413). These old 
Americans were in accord with the philosopher, Heraclitus of 
Ephesus, who held that "fire is the element, and all things were 
produced in exchange for fire " ; and Heraclitus, in the fragments 
in which he speaks of " God," the " one wise," that which " knows 
all things," means " Fire." In the rites of the Nagualists occurs 
a "baptism by fire," which was "celebrated on the fourth day 
after the birth of the child, during which time it was deemed 
essential to keep the fire burning in the house, but not to permit 
any of it to be carried out, as that would bring bad luck to the 
child," and, in the work of one of the Spanish priests, a protest 
is made : " Nor must the lying-in women and their assistants be 
permitted to speak of Fire as the father and mother of all things, 
and the author of nature ; because it is a common saying with 
them that Fire is present at the birth and death of every creat- 
ure." It appears also that the Indians who followed this strange 

68 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

cult were wont to speak of " what the Fire said and how the Fire 
wept" (413.45-46). 

Among various other peoples, fire is regarded as auspicious to 
children ; its sacred character is widely recognized. In the Zend- 
Avesta, the Bible of the ancient Persians, whose religion survives 
in the cult of the Parsees, now chiefly resident in Bombay and its 
environs, we read of Ahura-Mazda, the " Wise Lord," the " Father 
of the pure world," the " best thing of all, the source of light for 
the world." Purest and most sacred of all created things was fire, 
light (421. 32), In the Sar Dar, one of the Parsee sacred books, 
the people are bidden to " keep a continual fire in the house dur- 
ing a woman's pregnancy, and, after the child is born, to burn 
a lamp [or, better, a fire] for three nights and days, so that the 
demons and fiends may not be able to do any damage and harm." 
It is said that when Zoroaster, the founder of the ancient religion 
of Persia, was born, " a demon came at the head of a hundred and 
fifty other demons, every night for three nights, to slay him, but 
they were put to flight by seeing the fire, and were consequently 
unable to hurt him" (258. 96). 

In ancient Rome, among the Lithuanians on the shores of the 
Baltic, in Ireland, in England, Denmark, Germany, "while a 
child remained unbaptized," it was, or is, necessary "to burn 
a light in the chamber." And in the island of Lewis, off the 
northwestern coast of Scotland, "fire used to be carried round 
women before they were churched, and children before they were 
christened, both night and morning ; and this was held effectual 
to preserve both mother and infant from evil spirits, and (in the 
case of the infant) from being changed." 

In the Gypsy mountain villages of Upper Hungary, during the 
baptism of a child, the women kindle in the hut a little fire, over 
which the mother with the baptized infant must step, in order 
that milk may not fail her while the child is being suckled 
(392. 11. 21). 

In the East Indies, the mother with her new-born child is made 
to pass between two fires. 

Somewhat similar customs are known to have existed in 
northern and western Europe ; in Ireland and Scotland espe- 
cially, where children were made to pass through or leap over 
the fire. 

Lore of Fatherhood. 69 

To Moloch ("King"), their god of fire, the Phoenicians used 
to sacrifice the first-born of their noblest families. A later devel- 
opment of this cult seems to have consisted in making the child 
pass between two fires, or over or through a fire. This " baptism 
of fire " or " purification by fixe," was in practice among the ancient 
Aztecs of Mexico. To the second water-baptism was added the 
fire-baptism, in which the child was drawn through the fire four 
times (509. 653). 

Among the Tarahumari Indians of the Mexican Sierra Madre, 
the medicine-man "cures" the infant, "so that it may become 
strong and healthy, and live a long life." The ceremony is thus 
described by Lumholtz: "A big fire of corn-cobs, or of the 
branches of the mountain-cedar, is made near the cross [outside 
the house], and the baby is carried over the smoke three times 
towards each cardinal-point, and also three times backward. The 
motion is first toward the east, then toward the west, then south, 
then north. The smoke of the corn-cobs assures him of success 
in agriculture. With a fire-brand the medicine-man makes three 
crosses on the child's forehead, if it is a boy, and four, if a girl " 
(107. 298). 

Among certain South American tribes the child and the mother 
are " smoked " with tobacco (326. II. 194). 

With marriage, too, fire is associated. In Yucatan, at the be- 
trothal, the priest held the little fingers of bridegroom and bride 
to the fire (509. 504), and in Germany, the maiden, on Christmas 
night, looks into the hearth-fire to discover there the features of 
her future husband (392. lY. 82). Eademacher (130 a) has called 
attention to the great importance of the hearth and the fireplace 
in family life. In the Black Forest the stove is invoked in these 
terms : " Dear oven, I beseech thee, if thou hast a wife, I would 
have a man " (130 a. 60). Among the White Russians, before the 
wedding, the house of the bridegroom and that of the bride are 
" cleansed from evil spirits," by burning a heap of straw in the 
middle of the living-room, and at the beginning of the ceremo- 
nies, after they have been elevated upon a cask, as " Prince " and 
" Princess," the guests, with the wedding cake and two tapers in 
their hands, go round the cask three times, and with the tapers 
held crosswise burn them a little on the neck, the forehead, and 
the temples, so that the hair is singed away somewhat. At 

70 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

church the wax tapers are of importance: if they burn brightly 
and clearly, the young couple will have a happy, merry married 
life ; if feeble, their life will be a quiet one ; if they flicker, there 
will be strife and quarrels between them (392 (1891). 161). 

Writing of Manabozho, or Michabo, the great divinity of the 
Algonkian tribes of the Great Lakes, Dr. D. G. Brinton says : 
" Michabo, giver of life and light, creator and preserver, is no 
apotheosis of a prudent chieftain, still less the fabrication of an 
idle fancy, or a designing priestcraft, but, in origin, deeds, and 
name, the not unworthy personification of the purest conceptions 
they possessed concerning the Father of All " (409. 469). 

To Agni, fire, light, "in whom are all the gods," the ancient 
Hindu prayed: "Be unto us easy of access, as a father to his 
son " (388. 210), and later generations of men have seen in light 
the embodiment of God. As Max Miiller says, "We ourselves 
also, though we may no longer use the name of Morning-Light 
for the Infinite, the Beyond, the Divine, still find no better ex- 
pression than Light when we speak of the manifestations of God, 
whether in nature or in our mind" (510. 434). 

In the Christian churches of to-day hymns of praise are sung 
to God as " Father of Light and Life," and their neophytes are 
bidden, as of old, to " walk as Children of Light." 


At the naming of the new-born infant in ancient Mexico, the 
mother thus addressed the Sun and the Earth: "Thou Sun, 
Father of all that live, and thou Earth, our Mother, take ye this 
child, and guard it as your son." A common affirmation with 
them was : " By the life of the Sun, and of our Lady, the Earth " 
(529. 97). 

Many primitive tribes have the custom of holding the new- 
born child up to the sun. 

Not a few races and peoples have called themselves " children 
of the sun." The first of the Incas of Peru — a male and a 
female — were children of the Sun "' our Father," who, " seeing 
the pitiable condition of mankind, was moved to compassion, and 
sent to them, from Heaven, two of his children, a son and a 
daughter, to teach them how to do him honour, and pay him divine 

Lore of Fatherhood. 71 

worship " ; they were also instructed by the sun in all the need- 
ful arts' of life, which they taught to men (529. 102). "When the 
" children of the Sun " died, they were said to be *' called to the 
home of the Sun, their Father " (100. 479). 

The Comanche Indians, who worship the sun with dances and 
other rites, call him taab-apa, "Father Sun," and the Sarcees 
speak of the sun as " Our Father," and of the earth as " Our 
Mother " (412. 122, 72). 

With the Piute Indians "the snn is the father and ruler of 
the heavens. He is the big chief. The moon is his wife, and the 
stars are their children. The sun eats his children whenever he 
can catch them. They fall before him, and are all the time 
afraid when he is passing through the heavens. When he (their 
father) appears in the morning, you see all the stars, his chil- 
dren, fly out of sight, — go away back into the blue of the above, 
— and they do not wake to be seen again until he, their father, 
is about going to his bed " (485. I. 130). 

Dr. Eastman says of the Sioux Indians: "The sun was re- 
garded as the father, and the earth as the mother, of all things 
that live and grow; but, as they had been married a long time 
and had become the parents of many generations, they were 
called the great-grandparents " (518 (1894). 89). 

Widespread over the earth has been, and still is, the worship 
of the sun; some mythologists, indeed, would go too far and 
explain almost every feature of savage and barbarous religion as 
a sun-myth or as smacking of heliolatry. 

Imagery and figurative language borrowed from the considera- 
tion of the aspect and fvmctions of the great orb of day have 
found their way into and beautified the religious thought of every 
modern Christian commimity. The words of the poet Thomson : 

" Prime cheerer light ! 
Of all material beings first and best ! 
Efflux divine ! Nature's resplendent robe ! 
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt 
In unessential gloom ; and thou, O Sun ! 
Soul of surrounding worlds ! in whom best seen 
Shines out thy Maker ! " 

find briefer expression in the simple speech of the dying Turner : 
"The sun is God." 

72 The Child in Folk-Thought. 


Though in nearly every portion of the globe the apotheosis of 
earth is as a woman, we find in America some evidences of a 
cult of the terrestrial Father-God. Concerning the cave-worship 
Of the Mexican aborigines, Dr. Brinton says (413. 38, 50) : " The 
intimate meaning of this cave-cult was the worship of the Earth. 
The Cave-God, the Heart of the Hills, really typified the Earth, 
the Soil, from whose dark recesses flow the limpid streams and 
spring the tender shoots of the food-plants as well as the great 
trees. To the native Mexican the Earth was the provider of food 
and drink, the common Father of All ; so that, to this day, when 
he would take a solemn oath, he stoops to the earth, touches it 
with his hand, and repeats the solemn formula : * Cuix amo ne- 
chitla in toteotzin ? Does not our Great God see me ? ' " 

Father- Wind. 

Dr. Berendt, when travelling through the forests of Yucatan, 
heard his Maya Indian guide exclaim in awe-struck tones, as the 
roar of a tornado made itself heard in the distance : He catal 
nohoch yikal nohoch tat, "Here comes the mighty wind of the 
Great Father." As Dr. Brinton points out, this belief has ana- 
logues all over the world, in the notion of the wind-bird, the 
master of breath, and the spirit, who is father of all the race, for 
we learn also that "the whistling of the wind is called, or at- 
tributed to, tat acmo, words which mean ' Father Strong-Bird ' " 
(411. 175). 

The cartography of the Middle Ages and the epochs of the 
great maritime discoveries has made us familiar with the wind- 
children, offspring of the wind-father, from whose mouths came 
the breezes and the storms, and old Boreas, of whom the sailors 
sing, has traces of the fatherhood about him. More than one 
people has believed that God, the Father, is Spirit, breath, wind. 

Other Father-Gods. 

The ancient Eomans applied the term Pater to many of their 
gods beside the great Jove. Vulcan was called Lemnus Pater, 
the "Lemnian Father"; Bacchus, Pater Lenceus; Janus, the 

Lore of Fatherhood. 73 

"early god of business," is termed by Horace, Matviinm Pater, 
" Early-morning Father " ; Mars is Mars Pater, etc. The Guarayo 
Indians, of South America, prayed for rain and bountiful har- 
vests to "Tamoi", the grandfather, the old god in heaven, who 
was their first ancestor and had taught them agriculture " (100. 

The Abipones, of Paraguay, called the Pleiades their " Grand- 
father " and " Creator." When the constellation was invisible, 
they said: "Our Grandfather, Keebet, is ill" (509. 274, 284). 

In his account of the folk-lore of Yucatan, Dr. Brinton tells us 
that the giant-beings known as Hhalamob, or balams, are some- 
times " affectionately referred to as yum balam, or ' Father Balam.' " 
The term yum is practically the equivalent of the Latin pater, and 
of the ''father," employed by many primitive peoples in address- 
ing, or speaking of, their great male divinities (411. 176). 

In his acute exposition of the philosophy of the Zuiii Indians, 
Mr. Gushing tells us (424. 11) that "all beings, whether deistic 
and supernatural, or animistic and mortal, are regarded as belong- 
ing to one system; and that they are likewise believed to be 
related by blood seems to be indicated by the fact that human 
beings are spoken of as the 'children of men,' while aM other 
beings are referred to as *the Fathers,' the 'All-Fathers (X-ta- 
tchu),' and 'Our Fathers.'" The "Priest of the Bow," when 
travelling alone through a dangerous country, offers up a prayer, 
which begins: "Si! This day. My Fathers, ye Animal Beings, 
although this country be filled with enemies, render me precious" 
(424. 41). The hunter, in the ceremonial of the " Deer Medi- 
cine," prays : " Si ! This day, My Father, thou Game Animal, even 
though thy trail one day and one night hast (been made) round 
about; however, grant unto me one step of my earth-mother. 
Wanting thy life-blood, wanting that flesh, hence I address to 
thee good fortune, address to thee treasure," etc. When he has 
stricken down the animal, " before the * breath of life ' has left 
the fallen deer (if it be such), he places its fore feet back of its 
horns, and, grasping its mouth, holds it firmly, closely, while he 
applies his lips to its nostrils and breathes as much wind into 
them as possible, again inhaling from the lungs of the dying 
animal into his own. Then, letting go, he exclaims: *Ah! 
Thanks, my father, my child. Grant tmto me the seeds of 

74 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

earth ('daily bread') and the gift of water. Grant unto me 
the light of thy favoxir, do" (424. 36). 

Something of a like nature, perhaps, attaches to the bear- 
ceremonials among the Ainu and other primitive peoples of 
northeastern Asia, with whom that animal is held in great 
respect and reverence, approaching to deification. 

Of P6-shai-an-k'ia, "the God (Father) of the Medicine Socie- 
ties, or sacred esoteric orders of the Zunis," Mr. Gushing tells us : 
"He is supposed to have appeared in human form, poorly clad, 
and therefore reviled by men; to have taught the ancestors of 
the Zufii, Taos, Oraibi, and CoQonino Indians their agricultural 
and other arts; their systems of worship by means of plumed 
and painted prayer-sticks ; to have organized their medicine so- 
cieties, and then to have disappeared toward his home in Shi-pa- 
pu-li-ma (from shi-pa-a = mist, vapour ; u-liyi, surrounding ; and 
i-mo-na = sitting-place of; ' The mist-enveloped city'), and to have 
vanished beneath the world, whence he is said to have departed 
for the home of the Sun. He is still the conscious auditor of the 
prayers of his children, the invisible ruler of the spiritual Shi-pa- 
pu-li-ma, and of the lesser gods of the medicine orders, the prin- 
cipal * Finisher of the Paths of our Lives.' He is, so far as any 
identity can be established, the 'Montezuma' of popular and 
usually erroneous Mexican tradition" (424. 16). Both on the 
lowest steps of civilization and on the highest, we meet with this 
passing over of the Father into the Son, this participation of God 
in the affairs and struggles of men. 

The Name Child. 

liebe Kinder haben viele Namen 

[Dear children have many names]. — German Proverb. 

Child or boy, my darling, which you will. — Swinburne. 

Men ever had, and ever will have, leave 

To coin new words well-suited to the age. 

Words are like leaves, some wither every year, 

And every year a younger race succeeds. — Soscommon. 

Child and its Synonyms. 

Our -word child — the good old English term ; for both babe and 
infant are borrowed — simply means the " product of the womb " 
(compare Gothic kilthei, " womb "). The Lowland-Scotch dialect 
still preserves an old word for " child " in bairn, cognate with 
Anglo-Saxon beam, Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, and Gothic bam 
(the Gothic had a diminutive bamilo, " baby "), Sanskrit bhama, 
which signifies " the borne one," " that which is born," from the 
primitive Indo-European root bhr," to bear, to carry in the womb," 
whence our " to bear " and the German " ge-bdren." San, which 
finds its cognates in all the principal Aryan dialects, except 
Latin, and perhaps Celtic, — the Greek rlos is for axuo^, and is 
the same word, — a widespread term for " male child, or descend- 
ant," originally meant, as the Old Irish S2ith, " birth, fruit," and 
the Sanskrit sit, " to bear, to give birth to," indicate, " the fruit 
of the womb, the begotten " — an expression which meets us time 
and again in the pages of the Hebrew Bible. The words offspring, 
issue, seed, used in higher diction, explain themselves and find 
analogues all over the world. To a like category belong Sanskrit 
gdrbha, "brood of birds, child, shoot"; Pali gabbha, "womb, em- 
bryo, child"; Old High German c^j76urra," female lamb"; Gothic 


76 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

Tcalhd, " female lamb one year old " ; German Kalh ; English calf; 
Greek SeAe^vs, " womb " ; whence dSeXc^o's, " brother," literally " born 
of the same womb." Here we see, in the words for their young, 
the idea of the kinship of men and animals in which the primitive 
races believed. The " brought forth " or " born " is also the sig- 
nification of the Niskwalli Indian ba'-ba-ad, "infant"; de-bad-da, 
"infant, son"; Maya al, "son or daughter of a woman" ; Cakchi- 
quel 4ahol, " son," and like terms in many other tongues. Both the 
words in our language employed to denote the child before birth 
are borrowed. Embryo, with its cognates in the modern tongues 
of Europe, comes from the Greek efx(3pvov, " the fruit of the womb 
before delivery ; birth ; the embryo, foetus ; a lamb newly born, a 
kid." The word is derived from iv, " within " ; and (3pvw, " I am 
full of anything, I swell or teem with " ; in a transitive sense, " I 
break forth." The radical idea is clearly "swelling," and cog- 
nates are found in Greek ftpvov, "moss"; and German Kraut, 
"plant, vegetable." Foetus comes to us from Latin, where it 
meant " a bearing, offspring, fruit ; bearing, dropping, hatching, 
— of animals, plants, etc.; fruit, produce, offspring, progeny, 
brood." The immediate derivation of the word is tromfeto, "I 
breed," whence also effetus, " having brought forth young, worn 
out by bearing, effete." Fetd itself is from an old verla feuere, " to 
generate, to produce," possibly related to fui and our be. The radi- 
cal signification of foetus then is "that which is bred, or brought 
to be " ; and from the same root fe are derived feles, " cat " (the 
fruitful animal) ; fe-num, " hay " ; fe-cundus, " fertile " ; fe-lix, 
"happy" (fruitful). The corresponding verb in Greek is ^vetv, 
" to grow, to spring forth, to come into being," whence the follow- 
ing: «^vo-i?, " a creature, birth, nature," — nature is "all that has 
had birth " ; <^utoV, " something grown, plant, tree, creature, 
child" ; cf}u\rj, cf}lXov, "race, clan, tribe," — the " aggregate of those 
born in a certain way or place " ; «^v?, " son " ; <fiv(ja<;, " father," 

In English, we formerly had the phrase " to look babies in the 
eyes," and we still speak of the pupil of the eye, the old folk- 
belief having been able to assert itself in the every-day speech of 
the race, — the thought that the soul looked out of the windows 
of the eyes. In Latin, pupilla pupila, " girl, pupil of the eye," 
is a diminutive of pupa (puppa), " girl, damsel, doll, puppet " ; 

Words for Child. 77 

other related words are piipulus, " little boy '* ; pupillus, " orphan, 
ward,"' our pupil; piipulus, "little child, boy"; pupus, "child, 
boy." The radical of all these is pu, " to beget " ; whence are 
derived also the following : puer, " child, boy " ; pudla (for jnier- 
ula), a diminutive of puer, " girl " ; pusus, " boy " ; pusio, " little 
boy," pusillus; "a very little boy"; piitus, "boy"; putillus, 
"little boy"; putilla, "little girl," — here belongs aXso pusillani- 
mus, " small-minded, boy-minded " ; pubis, " ripe, adult " ; puher- 
tas, "puberty, maturity"; pullus, "Sk young animal, a fowl," 
whence our pullet. In Greek we find the cognate words ttwXos, 
"a young animal," related to out foal, JUly ; irwAtoV, "pony," and, 
as some, perhaps too venturesome, have suggested, irais, " child," 
with its numerous derivatives in the scientifical nomenclature 
and phraseology of to-day. In Sanskrit we have putra, " son," a 
word familiar as a suffix in river-names, — Brahmaputra, " son of 
Brahma," — pota, " the young of an animal," etc. Skeat thinks 
that our word boy, borrowed from Low German and probably 
related to the Modern High German Bube, whence the familiar 
" bub " of American colloquial speech, is cognate with Latin piipus. 

To this stock of words our hdbe, with its diminutive baby, 
seems not akin. Skeat, rejecting the theory that it is a redupli- 
cative child-word, like j)apa, sees in it merely a modification 
(infantine, perhaps) of the Celtic niaban, diminutive of mdb, 
"son," and hence related to maid, the particular etymology 
of which is discussed elsewhere. 

Infant, also, is a loan-word in English. In Latin, infans was 
the coinage of some primitive student of children, of some pre- 
historic anthropologist, who had a clear conception of •' infancy " 
as " the period of inability to speak," — for infans signifies neither 
more nor less than " not speaking, unable to speak." The word, 
like our "childish," assumed also the meanings "child, young, 
fresh, new, silly," with a diminutive infantulus. The Latin word 
infans has its representatives in French and other Romance lan- 
guages, and has given rise to enfanter, " to give birth to a child," 
enfantement, " labour," two of the few words relating to child-birth 
in which the child is directly remembered. The history of the 
words infantry, "foot-soldiers," and Infanta^ "a princess of the 
blood royal " in Spain (even though she be married), illustrates 
a curious development of thought. 

78 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Our word daughter, wliich finds cognates in Teutonic, Sla- 
vonic, Armenian, Zend, Sanskrit, and Greek, Skeat would derive 
from the root dugh, " to milk," the " daughter " being primitively 
the "milker," — the " milkmaid," — which would remove the term 
from the list of names for "child" in the proper sense of the 
word. Kluge, however, with justice perhaps, considers this 
etymology improbable. 

A familiar phrase in English is "babes and sucklings," the 
last term of which, cognate with German Saugling, meets with 
analogues far and wide among the peoples of the earth. The 
Latin words for children in relation to their parents are Jilius 
(diminutive Jiliolus)," son," andjilia (diminutive ^/joZa), "daugh- 
ter," which have a long list of descendants in the modern Neo- 
Latin or Romance languages, — French Jils, Jille, Jilleul, etc. ; 
Italian figlio, figlia, etc. According to Skeat, Jilius signified 
originally " infant," perhaps " suckling," from felare, " to suck," 
the radical of which, fe (Indo-European dhe), appears also in 
femina, " woman," and femella, " female," the " sucklers " par 
excellence. In Greek the cognate words are tit^t;, "nurse," 
OrjXvs, "female," 0-qXri, "teat," etc.; in Lithuanian, dels, "son." 
With nonagan, " teat, breast," are cognate in the Delaware Indian 
language nonoshellaan, "to suckle," nonetschik, "suckling," and 
other primitive tongues have similar series. 

The Modern High German word for child is Kind, which, as 
a substantive, finds representatives neither in Gothic nor in early 
English, but has cognates in the Old Norse kunde, " son," Gothic 
-kunds, Anglo-Saxon -kund, a sufiix signifying "coming from, 
originating from." The ultimate radical of the word is the Indo- 
European root gen (Teutonic ken), " to bear, to produce," whence 
have proceeded also kin, Gothic kuni; qxieen, Gothic qv^ns, "wo- 
man " ; king, Modern High German Konig, originally signifying 
perhaps " one of high origin " ; Greek yEvo? and its derivatives ; 
Latin genus, gens, gigno ; Lithuanian gentis, " relative " ; Sanskrit 
janas, "kin, stock," janus, "creature, kin, birth," jantu, "child, 
being, stock," jdtd, " son." Kind, therefore, while not the same 
word as our cJiild, has the same primitive meaning, " the produced 
one," and finds further cognates in kid and colt, names applied 
to the young of certain animals, and the first of which, in the 
slang of to-day, is applied to children also. In some parts of 

Words for Child. 79 

Germany and Switzerland Kind has the sense of boy; in Thurin- 
gia, for example, people speak of zicei Kinder und ein Mddchen, 
" two boys and a girl." From the same radical sprang the Mod- 
em High German Knabe, Old High German chnabo, " boy, youth, 
young fellow, servant," and its cognates, including our English 
Jcnave, with its changed meaning, and possibly also Grerman 
KnecM and English knight, of somewhat similar import originally. 
To the same original source we trace back Greek yeverrjp, Latin 
genitor, " parent," and their cognates, in all of which the idea of 
genesis is prominent. Here belong, in Greek : yevco-is, " origin, 
birth, beginning " ; yvmq, '' woman " ; yevco, " family, race " ; yetVo- 
fjuu, '■' I beget, produce, bring forth, am bom " ; ytyvo/xai, " I come 
into a new state of being, become, am bom." In Latin: gigno, 
"I beget, bring forth"; gens, "clan, race, nation," — those born 
in a certain way ; ingens, " vast, huge, great," — " not gens," i.e. 
"born beyond or out of its kind"; gentilis, "belonging to the 
same clan, race, tribe, nation," then, with various turns of mean- 
ing, "national, foreign," whence our gentile, genteel, gentle, gentry, 
etc.; genus, "birth, race, sort, kind"; ingenium, "innate quality, 
natural disposition " ; ingeniosus, " of good natural abilities, bom 
well-endowed," hence ingenious; ingenuus, "native, free-born, 
worthy of a free man," hence "frank, ingenuous"; progenies, 
"descent, descendants, offspring, progeny"; gener, "son-in-law"; 
genius, " innate superior nature, tutelary deity, the god born to a 
place," hence the genius, who is "born," not "made"; genuinus, 
" innate, born-in, genuine " ; indigena, " native, born-there, indige- 
nous"; generosus, "of high, noble birth," hence "noble-minded, 
generous " ; genero, " I beget, produce, engender, create, procreate," 
and its derivatives degenero, regenero, etc., with the many words 
springing from them. From the same radical gen comes the Latin 
(g)nascor, " I am bom," whose stem (g)na is seen also in natio, 
"the collection of those born," or "the birth," and natura, "the 
world of birth," — like Greek <f>v(Ti<;, — for "nations" and "na- 
ture" have both "sprung into being." The Latin germen (our 
germ), which signified " sprig, offshoot, young bud, sprout, fruit, 
embryo," probably meant originally simply " growth," from the 
root ker, "to make to grow." From the same Indo-European 
radical have come the Latin creare, "to create, make, produce," 
with its derivatives procreare and creator, which we now apply 

80 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

to the Supreme Being, as the "maker" or "producer" of all 
things. Akin are also crescere, "to come forth, to arise, to 
appear, to increase, to grow, to spring, to be born," and Ceres, 
the name of the goddess of agriculture (growth and creation), 
whence our word cereal; and in Greek Kpwos, the son of Uranus 
(Heaven) and Gsea (Earth), Kparos, "strength," and its derivar 
tives ("democracy," etc.). 

Another interesting Latin word is pario, " I bring forth, pro- 
duce," whence parens, " producer, parent," partus, " birth, bearing, 
bringing forth ; young, offspring, foetus, embryo of any creature," 
parturio, parturitio, etc. Pario is used alike of human beings, 
animals, birds, fish, while parturio is applied to women and ani- 
mals, and, by Virgil, even to trees, — parturit arbos, "the tree is 
budding forth," — and by other writers to objects even less 

In the Latin enitor, " I bring forth or bear children or young," — 
properly, "I struggle, strive, make efforts," — we meet with the 
idea of " labour," now so commonly associated with child-bearing, 
and deriving from the old comparison of the tillage of the soil 
and the bearing of the young. This association existed in 
Hebrew also, and Cain, the first-born of Adam, was the first 
agriculturist. We still say the tree hears fruit, the land hears 
crops, is fertile, and the most characteristic word in English 
belonging to the category in question is "to hear" children, 
cognate with Modern High German ge-hdren, Gothic gabairan, 
Latin ferre (whence fertilis), Greek <^ipuv, Sanskrit hhri, etc., all 
from the Indo-European root bher, " to carry " — compare the use 
of tragen in Modern High German : sie trdgt ein Kind unter dem 
Herzen. The passive verb is "to be horn," literally, "to be 
borne, to be carried, produced," and the noun corresponding, 
birth, cognate with German Gehurt, and Old Norse burtlir, which 
meant " embryo " as well. Eelated ideas are seen in burden, and 
in the Latin, fors, fortuna, for " fortune " is but that which is 
" borne " or " produced, brought forth," just as the Modern High 
German Heil, " fortune, luck," is probably connected with the 
Indo-European radical gen, " to produce." 

Corresponding to the Latin parentes, in meaning, we have the 
Gothic berusjos, " the bearers," or " parents " ; we still use in 
English, "forbears," in the sense of ancestors. The good old 

Words for Child. 81 

English phrase " with child," which finds its analogues in many- 
other languages, has, through false modesty, been almost driven 
out of literature, as it has been out of conversational language, by 
pregnant, which comes to us from the Latins, who also used 
ffravidus, — a word we now apply only to animals, especially dogs 
and ants, — and enceinte, borrowed from French, and referring 
to the ancient custom of girding a woman who was Avith child. 
Similarly barren of direct reference to the child are accouchement, 
which we have borrowed from French, and the German Ent- 

In German, Grimm enumerates, among other phrases relating 
to child-birth, the following, the particular meanings and uses of 
which are explained in his great dictionary : Schwanger, gross zum 
Kinde, zum Kinde gehen, zxim Kinde arheiten, nm's Kind Jcommen, 
mit Kinde, ein Kind tragen, Kindesgrosz, Kindes schicer, Kinder 
haben, Kinder bekommen. Kinder kriegen, niederkommen, entbinden, 
and the quaint and beautiful eines Kindts genesen, — all used of 
the mother. Applied to both parents we find Kinder machen, 
Kinder bekommen (now used more of the mother), Kinder erzeur 
gen (more recently, of the father only). Kinder erzielen. 

Our English word girl is really a diminutive (from a stem gir, 
seen in Old Low German gor, " a child ") from some Low German 
dialect, and, though it now signifies only "a female child, a 
young woman," in Middle English gerl (girl, gurl) was applied to 
a young person of either sex. In the Swiss dialects to-day gurre, 
or gurrli, is a name given to a " girl " in a depreciatory sense, like 
our own "gii-1-boy." In many primitive tongues there do not 
appear to be special words for "son" and "daughter," or for 
" boy " and " girl," as distinguished from each other, these terms 
being rendered " male-child (man-child)," and " female-child 
(woman-child) " respectively. The " man-child " of the King 
James' version of the Scriptures belongs in this category. In 
not a few languages, the words for " son " and " daughter " and 
for "boy" and "girl" mean really "little man," and "little 
woman " — a survival of which thought meets us in the " little 
man" with which his elders are even now wont to denominate 
" the small boy." In the Nahuatl language of Mexico, " woman " 
is ciuatl, "girl" ciuatontli; in the Niskwalli, of the State of 
Washington, "man" is stobsh, "boy" stdtomish, "woman" ddne^ 


82 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

"girl" chdchas (i.e. "small") sldne; in the Tacana, of South 
America, " man " is dreja, " boy " drejave, " woman " epuna, 
" girl " epunave. And but too often the " boys " and " girls " 
even as mere children are "little men and women" in more 
respects than that of name. 

In some languages the words for "son," "boy," " girl" are 
from the same root. Thus, in the Mazatec language, of Mexico, 
we find indidi " boy," tzadi " girl," indi " son," and in the 
Cholona, of Peru, nun-pullup " boy," ila-pullup " girl," pul " son," 
— where ila means "female," and nun "male." 

In some others, as was the case with the Latin puella, from 
puer, the word for " girl " seems derived from that for " boy." 
Thus, we have in Maya, mehen " son," ix-mehen " daughter," — 
-ix is a feminine prefix; and in the Jivaro, of Ecuador, vila 
" son," vilalu, " daughter." 

Among very many primitive peoples, the words for " babe, infant, 
child," signify really " small," " little one," like the Latin parvus, 
the Scotch wean (for wee ane, " wee one "), etc. In Hawaiian, 
for example, the " child " is called keiki, " the little one," and in 
certain Indian languages of the Western Pacific slope, the Wiyot 
kusha'ma "child," Yuke unsil "infant," Wintun cm-tut "infant," 
Niskwalli chd chesh "child (boy)," all signify literally "small," 
"little one." 

Some languages, again, have diminutives of the word for 
"child," often formed by reduplication, like the ivee wean of 
Lowland Scotch, and the pilpil, " infant " of the Nahuatl of 

In the Snanaimuq language, of Vancouver Island, the words 
k-d'ela, "male infant," and k-Wk-ela, "female infant," mean sim- 
ply " the weak one." In the Modoc, of Oregon, a " baby " is 
literally, " what is carried on one's self." In the Tsimshian, of 
British Columbia, the word wok-d'uts, "female infant," signifies 
really "without labrets," indicating that the creature is yet too 
young for the lip ornaments. In Latin, liberi, one of the words 
for " children," shows on its face that it meant only " children, 
as opposed to the slaves of the house, servi" ; for liberi really 
denotes " the free ones." In " the Galibi language of Brazil, 
tigami signifies 'young brother, son, and little child,' indis- 

Wordi for Child. 83 

The following passage from Westermarck recalls the "my 
son," etc., of our higher conversational or even officious style 
(166.93): — 

" Mr. George Bridgman states that, among the Mackay blacks 
of Queensland, the word for ' daughter ' is used by a man for any 
young woman belonging to the class to which his daughter would 
belong if he had one. And, speaking of the Australians, Eyre 
says, ' In their intercourse with each other, natives of different 
tribes are exceedingly punctilious and polite ; . . . almost every- 
thing that is said is prefaced by the appellation of father, son, 
brother, mother, sister, or some other similar term, corresponding 
to that degree of relationship which would have been most in 
accordance with their relative ages and circumstances." 

Similar phenomena meet us in the language of the criminal 
classes, and the slang of the wilder youth of the country. 

Among the Andaman Islanders : " Parents, when addressing or 
referring to their children, and not using names, employ distinct 
terms, the father calling his son dar odire, i.e. ' he that has been 
begotten by me,' and his daughter, dar odire-pail- ; while the 
mother makes use of the word dab e-tire, i.e. 'he whom I have 
borne,' for the former, and dab etire pail- for the latter ; similarly, 
friends, in speaking of children to their parents, say respectively, 
ngar o-dire, or ngab etire (your son), ngar b-dire-pail-, or ngab etire- 
pail- (your daughter) " (498. 59). 

In the Tonkawe Indian language of Texas, "to be bom" is 
nikaman yekhca, literally, "to become bones," and in the Klamath, 
of Oregon, " to give birth," is nMkgt, from nkdk, " the top of the 
head," and gl, "to make," or perhaps from kdk'gi, "to produce 
bones," from the idea that the seat of life is in the bones. In the 
Nipissing dialect of the Algonkian tongue, nikanis, "my brother," 
signifies literally, " my little bone," an etymology which, in the 
light of the expressions cited above, reminds one of the Greek 
aSeA<^(k, and the familiar " bone of my bone," etc. A very inter- 
esting word for "child" is Sanskrit toka, Greek tIkvov, from the 
Indo-European radical tek, " to prepare, make, produce, generate." 
To the same root belong Latin texere, "to weave," Greek rrj^m/, 
"art"; so that the child and art have their names from the same 
primitive source — the mother was the former of the child as she 
was of the chief arts of life. 

84 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

" Flower-Names.^' 

The people who seem to have gone farthest in the way of words 
for "child" are the Andaman Islanders, who have an elaborate 
system of nomenclature from the first year to the twelfth or 
fifteenth, when childhood may be said to end. There are also in 
use a profusion of "flower-names" and complimentary terms. 
The " flower-names " are confined to girls and young women who 
are not mothers. The following list shows the peculiarity of the 
name-giving : — 

1. Proper name chosen before birth of child : .do-ra. 

2. If child turns out to be a boy, he is called : .do-ra-o-ta ; if a girl, .dora- 

kd,-ta ; these names {o-ta and ka-ta refer to the genital organs of the two 
sexes) are used during the first two or three years only. 

3. Until he reaches puberty, the boy is called: . do -ra tZaZa, and the girl, 


4. When she reaches maturity, the girl is said to be un-lQ-wi, or a-ka-la-wi, 

and receives a "flower-name " chosen from the one of " the eighteen 
prescribed trees which blossom in succession" happening to be in 
season when she attains womanhood. 

5. If this should occur in the middle of August, when the Fterocarpus 

dalbergoides, called chQ-langa, is in flower, '■'■ .do-ra-po-ilola would 
become -clia-gara do-ra, and this double name would cling to the girl 
until she married and was a mother, then the 'flower' name would 
give way to the more dignified term chiin-a (madam or mother) .du-ra ; 
\ if childless, a woman has to pass a few years of married life before she 
is called clidn-a, after which no further change is made in her name." 

Much other interesting information about name-giving may be 
found in the pages of Mr. Man's excellent treatise on this primi- 
tive people (498. 59-61 ; 201-208). 

Sign Language. 

Interesting details about signs and symbols for " child " may 
be found in the elaborate article of Colonel Mallery on "Sign 
Language among North American Indians" (497a), and the book 
of Mr. W. P. Clark on Indian Sign Language (420). 

Colonel Mallery tells us that "the Egyptian hieroglyphists, 
notably in the designation of Horus, their dawn-god, used the 
finger in or on the lips for 'child.' It has been conjectured in 

Words for Child. 85 

the last instance that the gesture implied, not the mode of taking 
nourishment, but inability to speak, in-fans." This conjecture, 
however, the author rejects (497a. 304). Among the Arapaho 
Indians ''the sign for child, baby, is the forefinger in the mouth, 
i.e. a nursing child, and a natural sign of a deaf-mute is the 
same;" related seem also the ancient Chinese forms for "son" 
and "birth," as well as the symbol for the latter among the 
Dakota Indians (494 a. 3o6). Claik describes the symbol for 
" child," which is based upon those for " parturition " and " height," 
thus: "Bring the right hand, back outwards, in front of centre 
of body, and close to it, fingers extended, touching, pointing out- 
wards and downwards; move the hands on a curve downwards 
and outwards ; then carry the right hand, back outwards, well out 
to front and right of body, fingers extended and pointing upwards, 
hand resting at supposed height of child ; the hand is swept into 
last position at the completion of first gesture. In speaking of 
children generally, and, ra fact, unless it is desired to indicate 
height or age of the child, the first sign is all that is used or is 
necessary. This sign also means the young of any animal. In 
speaking of children generally, sometimes the signs for different 
heights are only made. Deaf-mutes make the combined sign for 
male and female, and then denote the height with right hand 
held horizontally " (420. 109). 

For " baby," deaf-mutes " hold extended left hand back down, 
in front of body, forearm about horizontal and pointing to right 
and front ; then lay the back of partially compressed right hand 
on left forearm near wrist " (420. 57). 


The interesting and extensive field of personal onomatology 
— the study of personal names — cannot be entered upon ex- 
haustively here. Shakespeare has said: — 

" What's in a name ? That which we call a rose 
By any other name would smell as sweet," — 

and the same remark might be made of the children of some 
primitive peoples. Not infrequently the child is named before 
it is born. Of the Central Eskimo we read that often before the 

86 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

birth of the child, " some relative or friend lays his hand upon 
the mother's stomach, and decides what the infant is to be called ; 
and, as the name serves for either sex, it is of no consequence 
whether it be a girl or a boy " (402. 612, 590). Polle has a good 
deal to say of the deep significance of the name with certain 
peoples — " to be " and " to be named " appearing sometimes as 
synonymous (517. 99). " Hallowed be Thy name " expresses the 
ideas of many generations of men. With the giving of a name 
the soul and being of a former bearer of it were supposed to enter 
into and possess the child or youth upon whom it was conferred. 
Kink says of the Eskimo of East Greenland, that " they seemed 
to consider man as consisting of three independent parts, — soid, 
body, name " (517. 122). One can easily understand the myste- 
rious associations of the name, the taboos of its utterance or pro- 
nunciation so common among primitive peoples — the reluctance 
to speak the name of a dead person, as well as the desire to con- 
fer the name of such a one upon a new-born child, spring both 
from the same source. 

The folk-lore and ceremonial of name-giving are discussed at 
length in Ploss, and the special treatises on popular customs. In 
several parts of Germany, it is held to be ominous for misfortune 
or harm to the child, if the name chosen for it should be made 
known before baptism. Sometimes, the child is hardly recognized 
as existing until he has been given a name. In Gerbstadt in 
Mansfeld, Germany, the child before it receives its name is known 
as " dovedung," and, curiously enough, in far-off Samoa, the corre- 
sponding appellation is " excrement of the family -god " (517. 103). 

The following statement, regarding one of the American Indian 
tribes, will stand for many other primitive peoples : " The proper 
names of the Dakotas are words, simple and compounded, which 
are in common use in the language. They are usually given to 
children by the father, grandfather, or some other influential 
relative. When young men have distinguished themselves in 
battle, they frequently take to themselves new names, as the 
names of distinguished ancestors of warriors now dead. The son 
of a chief when he comes to the chieftainship, generally takes the 
name of his father or grandfather, so that the same names, as in 
other more powerful dynasties, are handed down along the royal 
lines " (524. 44-45). 

Wordi for Child. 87 

Of the same people we are also told : " The Dakotas have no 
family or surnames. But the children of a family have particiilar 
names which belong to them, in the order of their birth up to the 
fifth child. These names are for boys, Caske. Hepan, Hepi, Cat^, 
and Hake. For girls they are, Winona, Hapan, Hapistinna, 
Wanske, and Wihake." 

Terms applied to Children. 

An interesting study might be made of the words we apply to 
children in respect of size, little, small, tcee, tiny, etc., very many 
of which, in their etymology, have no reference to childhood, 
or indeed to smallness. The derivation of little is uncertain, but 
the word is reasonably thought to have meant "little" in the 
sense of "deceitful, mean," from the radical lut, "to stoop" 
(hence "to creep, to sneak"). Curiously enough, the German 
Tclein has lost its original meaning, — partly seen in our dean, 
— " bright, clear." Small also belongs in the same category, as 
the German schmal, "narrow, slim," indicates, though perhaps 
the original signification may have been "small" as we now 
understand it ; a cognate word is the Latin macer, " thin, lean," 
which has lost an s at the beginning. Even tcee, as the phrase 
"a little wee bit" hints, is thought (by Skeat) to be nothing 
more than a Scandinavian form of the same word which appears 
in our English tcay. Skeat also tells us that "a little teeny 
boy," meant at first "a little fractious (peevish) boy," being 
derived from an old word teen, " anger, peevishness." Analogous 
to tiny is pettish, which is derived from pet, "mania's pet," "a 
spoiled child." Endless would the list of words of this class 
be, if we had at our disposal the projected English dialect dic- 
tionary; many other illustrations might be drawn from the 
numerous German dialect dictionaries and the great Swiss lexicon 
of Tobler. 

Still more interesting, perhaps, would be the discussion of the 
special words used to denote the actions and movements of chil- 
dren of all ages, and the names and appellatives of the child 
derived from considerations of age, constitution, habits, actions, 
speech, etc., which are especially numerous in Low German dia- 
lects and such forms of English speech as the Lowland Scotch. 

88 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Worthy of careful attention are the synonyms of child, the com- 
parisons in which the child figures in the speech of civilized and 
uncivilized man; the slang terms also, which, like the common 
expression of to-day, hid, often go back to a very primitive state 
of mind, when " children " and " kids " were really looked upon 
as being more akin than now. Beside the terms of contempt and 
sarcasm, — goose, loon, pig, calf, donkey, etc., — those figures of 
speech which, the world over, express the sentiment of the writer 
of the Wisdom of Solomon regarding the foolishness of babes, — 
we, like the ancient Mexicans and many another lower race, have 
terms of praise and endearment, — *' a jewel of a babe," and the 
like, — legions of caressives and diminutives in the use of which 
some of the Low German dialects are more lavish even than 
Lowland Scotch. 

In Grimm's great Deutsches Worterbuch, the synonymy of the 
word Kind and its semasiology are treated at great length, 
with a multitude of examples and explanations, useful to students 
of English, whose dictionaries lag behind in these respects. The 
child in language is a fertile subject for the linguist and the psy- 
chologist, and the field is as yet almost entirely unexplored. 

The Child in the PRDimvE Laboratory. 

As if no mother had made you look nice. — Proverbial Saying of Songish 

Spare the rod and spoil the child. — Hebrew Proverb. 

Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting. — Daniel t. 27. 

He has lost his measure. — German Saying. 

"Licking into Shape." 
Pope, in the Dunciad, has the well-known lines : — 

" So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care, 
Each growing lump, and brings it to a bear," 

a conceit found in Burton, Montaigne, Byron, and other writers, 
and based upon an old folk-belief that the cubs are born a form- 
less lump which the mother-bear has to " lick into shape." The 
same idea gave rise to the " ours mal leche " of French, and our 
own colloquial expression " an ill-licked cub." In an Alemanian 
lullaby sung while washing and combing the child, occurs the 
following curious passage : — 

" I bin e chleine Pumpernickel, 
I bin e chleine Bar, 
Und wie mi Gott erschaffe hSt, 
So wagglen ich derher," 
[" I am a little Pumpernickel, 
I am a little bear. 
And just as God has fashioned me 
I wiggle about,"] 

which, perhaps, contains the same thought. In a recent article. 
Professor E. W. Pay offers an etymology of the word " livid " 
which facilitates the passage from animal to man: " Lividus 

90 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

meant 'licked/ The word derives from an animal's licking hurts 
and sores on the young. A mother of the human species still 
kisses (licks) a child's hurt to make it well " {Mod. Lang. 
Notes, IX. 263). Who has not had his mother say: "Does it 
hurt ? Come and let me kiss it, and make it well." 

Moreover, Keclus tells us, "There are Esquimaux who go 
further in their demonstrations of affection, and carrying their 
complaisance as far as Mamma Puss and Mamma Bruin, lick 
their babies to clean them, lick them well over from head to foot " 
(523. 38). Nor is it always the mother who thus acts. Mante- 
gazza observes : " I even know a very affectionate child, who, with- 
out having learnt it from any one, licks the people to whom he 
wishes to show friendship " (499. 144). 


Che nasce bella nasce maritata, — " the girl born pretty is born 
married," — says the Italian proverb, and many devices there are 
among primitive races to ensure the beauty which custom de- 
mands, but which nature has failed to provide. 

Among the Songish Indians of British Columbia, there is a 
saying: Tou o'wuna tiins ks^tctcd'ai, — "as if no mother had made 
you look nice." Doctor Boas describes the " making the child 
look nice " as follows (404. 20) : — 

"As soon as it is born, the mother rubs it from the mouth 
towards the ears, so as to press the cheek-bones somewhat up- 
ward. The outer corners of the eyes are pulled outward that 
they may not become round, which is considered ill-looking. The 
calves of the legs are pressed backward and upward, the knees 
are tied together to prevent the feet from turning inward, the 
forehead is pressed down." Among the Nootka Indians, accord- 
ing to the same authority: "Immediately after birth, the eye- 
brows of the babe are pressed upward, its belly is pressed forward, 
and the calves of the legs are squeezed from the ankles upward. 
All these manipulations are believed to improve the appearance 
of the child. It is believed that the pressing of the eyebrows 
will give them the peculiar shape that may be noticed in all 
carvings of the Indians of the North Pacific Coast. The squeez- 
ing of the legs is intended to produce slim ankles " (404. 39). 

Primitive Child- Study. 91 

The subject of the human physiognomy and physical charac- 
teristics in folk-lore and folk-speech is a very entertaining one, 
and the practices in vogue for beautifying tbese are legion and 
found all over the world (204). 


Some recollection of such procedure as that of the Songish 
Indians seems to linger, perhaps, in the game, which Sicilian 
nurses play on the baby's features. It consists in " lightly 
touching nose, mouth, eyes, etc., giving a caress or slap to the 
chin," and repeating at the same time the verses: — 

" Varvarutt€du 
Vucca d'aneddu, afiUatu, 
Occhi di stiddi 
Frunti quatrata 
E te 'cca 'na timpulata." 

In French we have corresponding to this : — 

'* Beau front 
Petits yertr, 
Nez can can, 
Bouche d'argent, 
Menton fleuri, 

In Scotch : — 

In English : 

" Chin cherry. 
Moo merry, 
Nose nappie, 
Ee winkie, 
Broo brinkie, 
Cock-up jinkie.' 

"Eye winker, 
Tom Tinker, 
Nose dropper. 
Mouth eater. 
Chin chopper." 

And cognate practices exist all over the globe (204. 21). 

92 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Primitive Weighing. 

" Wortli his weight in gold " is an expression which has behind 
it a long history of folk-thought. Professor Gaidoz, in his essay- 
on Ransom by Weight (236), and Haberlandt, in his paper on 
the Tuldpurusha, Mail- Weighing (248) of India, have shown to 
what extent has prevailed in Europe and Asia the giving of one's 
weight in gold or other precious substances by prisoners to their 
captors, in order to secure their liberty, by devotees to the 
church, or to some saint, as a cure for, or a preventitive of dis- 
ease, or as an act of charity or of gratitude for favours received. 

The expression used of Belshazzar in Daniel v. 27, " Thou art 
weighed in the balance, and foTind wanting " (and the analogue 
in Job xxxi. 6), has been taken quite literally, and in Brittany, 
according to the Abbot of Soissons, there was a Chapel of the 
Balances, " in which persons who came to be cured miraculously, 
were weighed, to ascertain whether their weight diminished when 
prayer was made by the monks in their behalf." Brewer informs 
us that " Rohese, the mother of Thomas Becket, used to weigh 
her boy every year on his birthday, against the money, clothes, 
and provisions which she gave to the poor" (191. 41). From 
Gregory of Tours we learn that Charicus, King of the Suevi, 
when his son was ill, " hearing of the miraculous power of the 
bones of St. Martin, had his son weighed against gold and silver, 
and sent the amount to his sepulchre and sanctuary at Tours" 
(236. 60). 

Weighing of infants is looked upon with favour in some portions 
of western Europe, and to the same source we may ultimately 
trace the modern baby's card with the weight of the newcomer 
properly inscribed upon it, — a fashion which bids fair to be a 
valuable anthropometric adjunct. " Hefting the baby " has now 
taken on a more scientific aspect than it had of jore. 

The following curious custom of the eastern Eskimo is perhaps 
to be mentioned here, a practice connected with their treatment 
of the sick. " A stone weighing three or four pounds, according 
to the gravity of the sickness, is placed by a matron under the 
pillow. Every morning she weighs it, pronouncing meanwhile 
words of mystery. Thus she informs herself of the state of the 
patient and his chances of recovery. If the stone grows con- 

Primitive Child- Study. 93 

stantly heavier, it is because the sick man cannot escape, and his 
days are numbered " (523. 39). 

It is a far cry from Greenland to England, but there are con- 
necting links in respect of folk-practice. Mr. Dyer informs us 
that in the parish church of Wingrove, near Ailesbury, as late 
as 1759, a certain Mrs. Hammokes was accused of witchcraft, and 
her husband demanded the "trial by the church Bible." So 
" she was solemnly conducted to the parish church, where she 
was stript of all her clothes to her shift, and weighed against 
the great parish Bible in the presence of all her neighbours. The 
result was that, to the no small mortification of her accuser, she 
outweighed the Bible, and was triumphantly acquitted of the 
charge" (436. 307,308). 

How often has not woman, looked upon in the light of a child, 
been subjected to the same practices and ceremonies ! 

Primitive Measurements. 

The etymology and original significance of our common English 
words, span, hand, foot, cubit, fathom, and their cognates and 
equivalents in other languages, to say nothing of the self-ex- 
planatory finger's breadth, arm's length, knee-high, ankle-deep, etc., 
go back to the same rude anthropometry of prehistoric and primi- 
tive times, from which the classic peoples of antiquity obtained 
their canons of proportion and symmetry of the human body 
and its members. Among not a few primitive races it is the 
child rather than the man that is measured, and we there meet 
with a rude sort of anthropometric laboratory. From Ploss, who 
devotes a single paragraph to " Measurements of the Body," we 
learn that these crude measurements are of great importance in 
folk-medicine : — 

" In Bohemia, the new-born child is usually measured by an old 
woman, who measures all the limbs with a ribbon, and compares 
them with one another; the hand, e.g., must be as long as the 
face. If the right relations do not subsist, prayers and various 
superstitious practices are resorted to in order to prevent the 
devil from injuring the child, and the evil spirits are driven out 
of the house by means of fumigation. In the case of sick chil- 
dren in Bohemia the measuring is resorted to as a sympathetic 

94 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

cure. In other parts of Germany, on the other hand, in Schleswig- 
Holstein, Thuringia, Oldenburg, it is thought that measuring and 
weighing the new-born child may interfere with its thriving and 
growth " (326. I. 302). 

Sibree states that in Madagascar, at circumcision, the child is 
measured and sprinkled with water (214. 6), and Ellis, in his 
history of that island, gives the following details of the ceremony 
(History of Madagascar, Vol. I. p. 182) : — 

" The children on whom the rite is to be performed are next 
led across the blood of the animal just killed, to which some idea 
of sacredness is attached. They are then placed on the west side 
of the house, and, as they stand erect, a man holding a light cane 
in his hand, measures the first child to the crown of the head, 
and at one stroke cuts off a piece of the cane measured to that 
height, having first carefully dipped the knife in the blood of the 
slaughtered sheep. The knife is again dipped in the blood, and 
the child measured to the waist, when the cane is cut to that 
height. He is afterwards measured to the knee with similar 
results. The same ceremony is performed on all the children 
successively. The meaning of this, if indeed any meaning can be 
attached to it, seems to be the symbolical removal of all evils to 
which the children might be exposed, — first from the head to the 
waist, then from the waist to the knees, and finally, from the 
knees to the sole of the foot." 

The general question of the measurement of sick persons (not 
especially children), and of the payment of an image or a rod of 
precious metal of the height of a given person, or the height of 
his waist, shoulders, knee, etc., of the person, in recompense for 
some insult or injury, has been treated of by Grimm, Gaidoz, and 
Haberlandt. Gaidoz remarks (236. 74) : " It is well known that 
in Catholic countries it is customary to present the saints with 
votive offerings in wax, which are representative of the sicknesses 
for which the saints are invoked ; a wax limb, or a wax eye, for 
instance, are representative of a sore limb or of a sore eye, the 
cure of which is expected from the saint. Wax bodies were 
offered in the same way, as we learn from a ludicrous story told 
by Henri Estienne, a French writer of the sixteenth century. 
The story is about a clever monk who made credulous parents 
believe he had saved their child by his prayers, and he says to 

Primitive Child- Study. 95 

the father, ' Now your son is safe, thanks to God ; one hour ago I 
should not have thought you would have kept him alive. But do 
you know w^hat you are to do ? You ought to have a wax effigy 
of his own size made for the glory of God, and put it before the 
image of the holy Ambrose, at whose intercession our Lord did 
this favour to you.' " Even poorer people were in the habit of 
offering wax candles of the height or of the weight of the sick 

In 1888, M. Letourneau (299) called attention to the measure- 
ment of the neck as a test of puberty, and even of the virginity of 
maidens. In Brittany, "According to popular opinion, there is a 
close relation between the volume of the neck and puberty, some- 
times even the virginity of girls. It is a common sight to see 
three young girls of uncertain age measure in sport the circum- 
ference of the neck of one of them with a thread. The two ends 
of this thread are placed between the teeth of the subject, and the 
endeavour is made to make the loop of the thread pass over the 
head. If the operation succeeds, the young girl is declared 
'bonne a marier.' " M^I. Hanoteau and Letourneau state that 
among the Kabyles of Algeria a similar measurement is made of 
the male sex. In Kabylia, where the attainment of the virile 
state brings on the necessity of paying taxes and bearing arms, 
families not infrequently endeavour to conceal the puberty of 
their young men. If such deceit is suspected, recourse is had to 
the test of neck-measurement. Here again, as in Brittany, if the 
loop formed by the thread whose two ends are held in the teeth 
passes over the head, the young man is declared of age, and 
enrolled among the citizens, whilst his family is punished by a 
fine. M. ManouArrier also notes that the same test is also employed 
to discover whether an adolescent is to be compelled to keep the 
fast of Rhamadan. 

Measurements of Limbs and Body. 

M. Mahoudeau cites from TLllaux's Anatomie topographique, and 
MM. Perdrizet and Gaidoz in Melusine for 1893, quote from the 
Secrets merveilleux de la magie naturelle et cabalistique du Petit 
Albert (1743) extracts relating to this custom, which is also re- 
ferred to by the Homan writers C. Valerius, Catullus, Vossius, 

96 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

and Scaliger. The subject is an interesting one, and merits 
further investigation. Ellis (42. 233) has something to say on 
the matter from a scientific point of view. Grimm has called 
attention to the very ancient custom of measuring a patient, 
" partly by way of cure, partly to ascertain if the malady were 
growing or abating." This practice is frequently mentioned in 
the German poems and medical books of the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries. In one case a woman says of her husband, 
" I measured him till he forgot everything," and another, desirous 
of persuading hers that he was not of sound mind, took the 
measure of his length and across his head. In a Ztirich Ms. of 
1393, "measuring" is included among the unchristian and for- 
bidden things of sorcery. In the region about Treves, a malady 
known as night-grip (Nachtgriff) is ascertained to be present by 
the following procedure : " Draw the sick man's belt about his 
naked body lengthwise and breadthwise, then take it off and 
hang it on a nail with the words *0 God, I pray thee, by the 
three virgins, Margarita, Maria Magdalena, and Ursula, be pleased 
to vouchsafe a sign upon the sick man, if he have the night- 
grip or no ' ; then measure again, and if the belt be shorter 
than before, it is a sign of the said sickness." In the Liegnitz 
country, in 1798, we are told there was hardly a village without 
its messerin (measuress), an old woman, whose modus operandi 
was this: "When she is asked to say whether a person is in 
danger from consumption, she takes a thread and measures the 
patient, first from head to heel, then from tip to tip of the out- 
spread arms ; if his length be less than his breadth then he is 
consumptive; the less the thread will measure his arms, the 
farther has the disease advanced ; if it reaches only to the elbow, 
there is no hope for him. The measuring is repeated from time 
to time ; if the thread stretches and reaches its due length again, 
the danger is removed. The wise woman must never ask money 
for her trouble, but take what is given." In another part of Ger- 
many, " a woman is stript naked and measured with a piece of 
red yarn spun on a Sunday." Sembrzycki tells us that in the 
Elbing district, and elsewhere in that portion of Prussia, the 
country people are firmly possessed by the idea that a decrease 
in the measure of the body is the source of all sorts of maladies. 
With an increase of sickness the hands and feet are believed to 

Primitive Child- Study. 97 

lose more and more their just proportional relations one with 
another, and it is believed that one can determine how much 
measure is yet to be lost, how long the patient has yet to live. 
This belief has given rise to the proverbial phrase das Maas ver- 
lieren — " to lose one's measure " (462. III. 116^5). 

Not upon adults alone, however, were these measurements 
carried out, but upon infants, children, and youths as well. Even 
in the New World, among the more conservative of the popula- 
tion of Aryan origin, these customs still flourish, as we learn from 
comparatively recent descriptions of trustworthy investigators. 
Professor J. Howard Gore, in the course of an interesting article 
on "The Go-Backs," belief in which is current among the 
dwellers in the mountain regions of the State of Virginia, tells us 
that when some one has suggested that " the baby has the ' go- 
backs,' " the following process is gone through : " The mother 
then must go alone with the babe to some old lady duly in- 
structed in the art or science of curing this blighting disease. 
She, taking the infant, divests it of its clothing and places it on 
its back. Then, -with a yarn string, she measures its length or 
height from the crown of the head to the sole of the heel, cutting 
off a piece which exactly represents this length. This she applies 
to the foot, measuring off length by length, to see if the piece of 
yam contains the length of the foot an exact number of times. 
This operation is watched by the mother with the greatest 
anxiety, for on this coincidence of measure depends the child's 
weal or woe. If the length of the string is an exact multiple of 
the length of the foot, nothing is wrong, but if there is a re- 
mainder, however small, the baby has the go-backs, and the 
extent of the malady is proportional to this remainder. Of 
course in this measuring, the elasticity of the yarn is not re- 
garded, nor repetitions tried as a test of accuracy" (244. 108). 
Moreover, "the string with which the determination was made 
must be hung on the hinge of a gate on the premises of the in- 
fant's parents, and as the string by gradual decay passes away, so 
passes away the ' go-backs.' But if the string should be lost, the 
ailment will linger until a new test is made and the string once 
more hung out to decay. Sometimes the cure is hastened by 
fixing the string so that wear will come upon it." 

Professor Gore aptly refers to the Latin proverb ex pede Her- 

98 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

cuXem, wliicli arose from the calculation of Pythagoras, who from 
the stadium of 6000 feet laid out by Hercules for the Olympian 
games, by using his own foot as the unit, obtained the length of 
the foot of the mighty hero, whence he also deduced his height. 
We are not told, however, as the author remarks, whether or not 
Hercules had the " go-backs." 

Among the white settlers of the Alleghanies between south- 
western Georgia and the Pennsylvania line, according to Mr. J. 
Hampden Porter, the following custom is in vogue : " Measuring 
an infant, whose growth has been arrested, with an elastic cord 
that requires to be stretched in order to equal the child's length, 
will set it right again. If the spell be a wasting one, take three 
strings of similar or unlike colours, tie them to the front door or 
gate in such a manner that whenever either are opened there is 
some wear and tear of the cords. As use begins to tell upon 
them, vigour will recommence " (480. VII. 116). Similar practices 
are reported from Central Europe by Sartori (392 (1895). 88), 
whose article deals with the folk-lore of counting, weighing, and 

Tests of Physical Efficiency. 

That certain rude tests of physical efficiency, bodily strength, 
and power of endurance have been and are in use among primi- 
tive peoples, especially at the birth of children, or soon after, 
or just before, at, or after, puberty, is a well-known fact, further 
testified to by the occurrence of these practices in folk-tales and 
fairy-stories. Lifting stones, jumping over obstacles, throwing 
stones, spears, and the like, crawling or creeping through holes 
in stones, rocks, or trees, have all been in vogue, and some of 
them survive even to-day in England and in other parts of 
Europe as popular tests of puberty and virginity. Mr. Dyer, in 
his Church Lore Gleanings, mentions the " louping," or " petting " 
stone at Belford, in Northumberland (England), a stone "placed 
in the path outside the church porch, over which the bridal pair 
with their attendants must leap" — the belief is that "the bride 
must leave all her pets and humours behind her when she crosses 
it." At High-Coquetdale, according to Mr. Henderson, in 1868, 
a bride was made to jump over a stick held by two groomsmen 
at the church door (436. 125). Another very curious practice 

Primitive Child- Study. 99 

is connected witli St. Wilfrid's " needle " at Eipon Cathedral — 
said to be an imitation of the Basilican transenna. Through this 
passage maidens who were accused of unchastity crept in order 
to prove their innocence. If they could not pass through, their 
guilt was presumed. It is also believed that " poor palsied folk 
crept through in the expectation of being healed." At Boxley 
Church in Kent, there was a " small figure of St. Kumbold, which 
only those could lift who had never sinned in thought or deed " 
(436. 312, 313). 

At a marriage among the Nootka Indians of Vancouver Island, 
the groom's party essay feats like these: "Heavy weights are 
lifted ; they try who is the best jumper. A blanket with a hole 
in the centre is hung up, and men walk up to it blindfolded from 
a distance of about twenty steps. When they get near it they 
must point with their fingers towards the blanket, and try to hit 
the hole. They also climb a pole, on top of which an eagle's nest, 
or something representing an eagle's nest, is placed. The winner 
of each game receives a number of blankets from the girl's 
father. When the games are at an end, the groom's father dis- 
tributes blankets among the other party" (404. 43). This re- 
minds us of the games at picnics and social gatherings of our own 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1895, S. 0. Addy, 
in an article entitled " English Surnames and Heredity," points 
out how the etymologies give us some indications of the physical 
characteristics of the persons on whom the names were conferred. 
In primitive times and among the lower races names are even of 
more importance in this respect. 

Clark says : " I have seen a baby not two days old snugly tied 
up in one of these little sacks ; the rope tied to the pommel of the 
saddle, the sack hanging down alongside of the pony, and mother 
and child comfortably jogging along, making a good day's march 
in bitter cold winter weather, easily keeping up with a column of 
cavalry which was after hostile Indians. After being carefuUy 
and firmly tied in the cradle, the child, as a rule, is only taken 
out to be cleaned in the morning, and again in the evening just 
before the inmates of a lodge go to sleep; sometimes also in the 
middle of the day, but on the march only morning and evening" 
(420. 57). 

100 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

In his account of the habits of the Tarahumari Indians, Lum- 
holtz observes : " Heat never seems to trouble them. I have seen 
young babies sleeping with uncovered heads on the backs of their 
mothers, exposed to the fierce heat of the summer sun." The 
same writer tells us that once he pulled six hairs at once from a 
sleeping child, " without causing the least disturbance," and only 
when twenty-three had been extracted at once did the child take 
notice, and then only scratched its head and slept on (107. 297). 

Colonel Dodge notes the following practice in vogue among 
the wild Indians of the West : — 

" While the child, either boy or girl, is very young, the mother 
has entire charge, control, and management of it. It is soon 
taught not to cry by a very summary process. When it attempts 
to * set up a yell,' the mother covers its mouth with the palm of her 
hand, grasps its nose between her thumb and forefinger, and holds 
on until the little one is nearly suffocated. It is then let go, to be 
seized and smothered again at the first attempt to cry. The baby 
very soon comprehends that silence is the best policy " (432. 187). 

Of the Indians of Lower California, who learn to stand and 
walk before they are a year old, we are told on the authority of 
the missionary Baegert : " When they are born they are cradled 
in the shell of a turtle or on the ground. As soon as the child is 
a few months old, the mother places it perfectly naked astraddle 
on her shoulders, its legs hanging down on both sides in front. 
In this guise the mother roves about all day, exposing her help- 
less charge to the hot rays of the sun and the chilly winds that 
sweep over the inhospitable country " (306. 185). 


Curious indeed are some of the methods in use among primitive 
peoples to induce sleep. According to Mr. Fraser, the natives of 
a village near the banks of the Girree, in the Himalayan region 
of India, had the following custom {Quart. Rev. XXIV. 109) : — 

" The mother, seizing the infant with both arms and aided by 
the knees, gives it a violent whirling motion, that would seem 
rather calculated to shake the child in pieces than to produce the 
effect of soft slumber ; but the result was unerring, and in a few 
seconds the child was fast asleep." 

Primitive Child- Study. 101 

Somewhat akin to this procedure is the practice our modern 
mother? and nurses have of swinging the baby through a sort 
of semicircle in their arms, accompanying it with the familiar 

song, — 

"This way, 
And that way," etc. 

This song and action, their dolls doing duty as children, have 
been introduced into the kindergarten, and even figure now in 
" doll-drills " on the stage, and at church festivals and society 

Of the same village the author goes on to say : — 
" Several straw sheds are constructed on a bank, above which 
a cold clear stream is led to water their fields, and a small por- 
tion of this, probably of three fingers' breadth, is brought into 
the shed by a hollow stick or piece of bark, and falls from this 
spout into a small drain, which carries it off about two feet below. 
The women bring their children to these huts in the heat of the 
day, and having lulled them to sleep and wrapt their bodies and 
feet warm in a blanket, they place them on a small bench or tray 
horizontally, in such a way that the water shall fall upon the 
crown of the head, just keeping the whole top wet with its 
stream. We saw two under this operation, and several others 
came in while we remained, to place their children in a similar 
way. Males and females are equally used thus, and their sleep 
seemed sound and unruffled." 

"Heroic Treatment." 

The Andamanese baby " within a few hours of its birth has its 
head shaved and painted with kdi-ob- (an ochre-mixture), while 
its diminutive face and body are adorned with a design in tdla-og- 
(white clay) ; this latter, as may be supposed, is soon obliterated, 
and requires therefore to be constantly renewed." We are further 
informed that before shaving an infant, "the mother usually 
moistens the head with milk which she presses from her breast," 
while with older children and adults water serves for this pur- 
pose (498. 114). 

The "heroic treatment," meted out by primitive peoples to 
children, as they approach puberty, has been discussed in detail 

102 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

by Ploss, Kulischer, Daniels. Eeligion and the desire to attract 
tlie affection or attention of the other sex seem to lie very close 
to the fundamental reasons for many of these practices, as 
Westermarck points out in his chapter on the " Means of 
Attraction" (166. 165-212). A divine origin is often ascribed 
to these strange mutilations. " The Australian Dieyerie, on 
being asked why he knocks out two front teeth of the upper 
jaw of his children, can answer only that, when they were created, 
the Muramura, a good spirit, thus disfigured the first child, and, 
pleased at the sight, commanded that the like should be done to 
every male or female child for ever after. The Pelew Islanders 
believe that the perforation of the septum of the nose is neces- 
sary for winning eternal bliss; and the Nicaraguans say that 
their ancestors were instructed by the gods to flatten their chil- 
dren's heads. Again, in Fiji it is supposed that the custom of 
tattooing is in conformity with the appointment of the god 
Dengei, and that its neglect is punished after death. A similar 
idea prevails among the Kingsmill Islanders and Ainos; and 
the Greenlanders formerly believed that the heads of those girls 
who had not been deformed by long stitches made with a needle 
and black thread between the eyes, on the forehead, and upon the 
chin, would be turned into train tubs and placed under the lamps 
in heaven, in the land of souls " (165. 170, 171). 

Were all the details of the fairy-tales true, which abound in 
every land, the cruelty meted out to the child suspected of being 
a changeling would surpass human belief. Hartland enumerates 
the following procedures as having been in use, according to 
legend, to determine the justice of the suspicion: Flinging the 
child on a dung-heap; putting in the oven; holding a red-hot 
shovel before the child's face ; heating a poker red-hot to mark 
a cross on its forehead ; heating the tongs red-hot to seize it by 
the nose ; throwing on, or into, the fire ; suspending over the fire 
in a pot; throwing the child naked on the glowing embers at mid- 
night; throwing into lake, river, or sea (258. 120-123). These 
and many more figure in story, and not a few of them seem to 
have been actually practised upon the helpless creatures, who, 
like the heathen, were not supposed to call for pity or love. Mr. 
Hartland cites a case of actual attempt to treat a supposed 
changeling in a summary manner, which occurred no later than 

Primitive Child- Study. 103 

May 17, 1884, in the to-sm of Clomnel, Ireland. In the absence 
of the .mother of a three-year-old child (fancied by the neigh- 
bours to be a changeling), two women "entered her house and 
placed the child naked on a hot shovel, 'under the impression 
that it would break the charm,'" — the only result being, of 
course, that the infant was very severely burned (258. 121). 

On the other hand, children of true Christian origin, infants 
who afterwards become saints, are subject to all sori^ of torment 
at the hands of Satan and his angels, at times, but come forth, 
like the " children " of the fiery furnace in the time of Daniel, 
in imitation of whose story many of the hagiological legends have 
doubtless been put forth, unscathed from fire, boiling water, roar- 
ing torrents, and other perilous or deadly situations (191. 9, 122). 

The Bright Sros of CHn^D-LiFE : Parental Affection. 

These are my jewels. — Cornelia {mother of the Gracchi). 

A simple child 

That lightly draws its hreath, 

And feels its life in every limb, 

What should it know of death? — Wordsworth. 

Children always turn towards the light. — Hare. 

That I could bask in Childhood's sun 
And dance o'er Childhood's roses! — Praed. 

Grief fills the room up of my absent child. — Shakespeare. 

Parental Love. 

In Ms essay on The Pleasures of Home, Sir John Lubbock 
makes the following statement (494. 102) : — 

" In the Origin of Civilization, I have given many cases show- 
ing how small a part family affection plays in savage life. Here 
I will only mention one case in illustration. The Algonquin 
(North America) language contained no word for 'to love/ so 
that when the missionaries translated the Bible into it they 
were obliged to invent one. What a life, and what a language, 
without love ! " 

How unfortunately inaccurate, how entirely unjustifiable, such 
a declaration is, may be seen from the study of the words for love 
in two of the Algonkian dialects, — Cree and Chippeway, — which 
Dr. Brinton has made in one of his essays. The Conception of 
Love in some American Languages. Let us quote the ipsissima 
verba (411. 415) : — 

(1) " In both of them the ordinary words for love and friendship 
are derived from the same monosyllabic root, sak. On this, accord- 


Affection for Children. 105 

ing to the inflectional laws of the dialects, are built up the terms 
for the -love of man to woman, a lover, love in the abstract, a 
friend, friendship, and the like. It is also occasionally used by 
the missionaries for the love of man to God and of God to man." 

(2) " The Cree has several words which are confined to paren- 
tal and filial love, and to that which the gods have for men." 

(3) " In the Chippeway there is a series of expressions for fam- 
ily love and friendship which in their origin carry us back to the 
same psychological process which developed the Latin amare 
from the Sanscrit sam." 

(4) "The highest form of love, however, that which embraces 
all men and all beings, that whose conception is conveyed in the 
Greek dyaTTT;, we find expressed in both the dialects by derivatives 
from a root different from any I have mentioned. It is in its dia- 
lectic forms Jcis, keche, or kiji, and in its origin it is an intensive 
inter j actional expression of pleasure, indicative of what gives joy. 
Concretely, it signifies what is completed, permanent, powerfiil, 
perfected, perfect. As friendship and love yield the most exalted 
pleasure, from this root the natives drew a fund of words to 
express fondness, attachment, hospitality, charity ; and from the 
same worthy source they selected that adjective [kije, kise^, which 
they applied to the greatest and most benevolent divinity." 

Surely this people cannot be charged with a lack of words for 
love, whose language enables them so well to express its every 
shade of meaning. Xay, they have even seen from afar that 
"God is Love," as their concept of Michabo tells us they had 
already perceived that He was " Light." 

Motherhood and Faiherhood. 

The nobility and the sanctity of motherhood have found recog- 
nition among the most primitive of human races. A Mussulman 
legend of Adam and Eve represents the angel Gabriel as saying 
to the mother of mankind after the expulsion from Paradise: 
"Thou shalt be rewarded for all the pains of motherhood, and 
the death of a woman in child-bed shall be accounted as martyr- 
dom " (547. 38). The natives of the Highlands of Borneo hold 
that to a special hereafter, known as "Long Julan," go those 
who have suffered a violent death (been killed in battle, or by 

106 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

the falling of a tree, or some like accident), and women who die 
in child-birth ; which latter become the wives of those who have 
died in battle. In this Paradise everybody is rich, with no need 
for labour, as all wants are supplied without work (475. 199). 

Somewhat similar beliefs prevailed in ancient Mexico and 
among the Eskimo. 

Even so with the father. Zoroaster said in the book of the 
law : " I name the married before the unmarried, him who has 
a household before him who has none, the father of a family 
before him who is childless" (125. I. 108). Dr. Winternitz 
observes of the Jews : "To possess children was always the great- 
est good-fortune that could befall a Jew. It was deemed the duty 
of every man to beget a son ; the Rabbis, indeed, considered a 
childless man as dead. To the Cabbalists of the Middle Ages, 
the man who left no posterity behind him seemed one who had 
not fulfilled his mission in this world, and they believed that he 
had to return once more to earth and complete it" (385. 5). 

Ploss (125. I. 108) and Lallemand (286. 21) speak in like terms 
of this children-loving people. The Talmud ranks among the 
dead " the poor, the leprous, the blind, and those who have no 
children," and the wives of the patriarchs of old cheerfully 
adopted as their own the children born to their husband by slave 
or concubine. To be the father of a large family, the king of a 
numerous people, was the ideal of the true Israelite. So, also, 
was it in India and China. 

Ploss and Haberlandt have a good deal to say of the ridicule 
lavished upon old maids and bachelors among the various peoples 
and races, and Rink has recorded not a few tales on this head 
from the various tribes of the Eskimo — in these stories, which 
are of a more or less trifling and outre character, bachelors are 
unmercifully derided (525. 465). 

With the Chippeways, also, the bachelor is a butt for wit and 
sarcasm. A tale of the Mississagas of Skugog represents a 
bachelor as " having gone off to a certain spot and built a lot of 
little * camps.' He built fires, etc., and passed his time trying to 
make people believe he was not alone. He used to laugh and 
talk, and pretend that he had people living there." Even the 
culture-heroes Gluskap and Naniboju are derided in some of the 
tales for not being married (166. 376). 

Affection for Children. 107 

According to Barbosa (67. 161), a writer of the early part of 
the sixteenth century, the Nairs, a Bravidian people of the 
Malabar coast (523. 159), believed that " a maiden who refused 
to marry and remained a virgin would be shut out of Paradise." 
The Fijians excluded from Paradise all bachelors; they were 
smashed to pieces by the god Xangganangga (166. 137). 

In the early chronicles and mythic lore of many peoples there 
are tales of childless couples, who, in their quaint fashion, pray- 
ing to the gods, have been blest with the desired offspring. There 
is, however, no story more pathetic, or more touching, than the 
Russian folk-tale cited by Kalston, in which we read concerning 
an old childless couple (520. 176) : " At last the husband went 
into the forest, felled wood, and made a cradle. Into this his 
wife laid one of the logs he had cut, and began swinging i1^ 
crooning the while a tune beginning : — 

' Swing, blockie dear, swing.' 

After a little time, behold ! the block already had legs. The old 
woman rejoiced greatly, and began swinging anew, and went on 
swinging until the block became a babe." 

The rude prayers and uncouth aspirations of barbarous and 
savage peoples, these crude ideas of the uncivilized races of men, 
when sounded in their deepest depths, are the folk-expression of 
the sacredness of the complete family, the forerunners of the 
poet's prayer : — 

•' Seigneur ! pr^servez-moi, pr&ervez ceux que j'aime, 
Frferes, parents, amis, et ennemis meme 

Dans le mal triomphants, 
De jamais voir. Seigneur ! Pet^ sans fleurs vermeilles. 
La cage sans oiseaux, la ruche sans abeilles, 

La maison sans enfants." 

The affection of the ancient Egyptians for their children is 
noted by Erman. The child is called " mine," " the only one," 
and is " loved as the eyes of its parents " ; it is their " beauty," 
or "wealth." The son is the " fair-come " or "welcome " ; at his 
birth "wealth comes." At the birth of a girl it is said "beauty 
comes," and she is called " the lady of her father " (441. 216-230). 
Interesting details of Egyptian child-life and education may be 
read in the recently edited text of Amelineau (179), where many 

108 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

maxims of conduct and behaviour are given. Indeed, in tlie 
naming of children we have some evidence of motherly and 
fatherly affection, some indication of the gentle ennobling influ- 
ence of this emotion over language and linguistic expression. 
True is it all over the world : — 

Liebe Kinder haben viele Namen. 
[Dear children have many names.] 

The Dead Child. 

Parental affection is nowhere more strongly brought out than 
in the lamentations for the dead among some of the lowest tribes 
of Californian Indians. Of the Yokaia, Mr. Powers tells us 
(519. 166) : — 

"It is their custom to 'feed the spirits of the dead' for the 
space of one year, by going daily to places which they were 
accustomed to frequent while living, where they sprinkle piiiole 
upon the ground. A Yokaia mother who has lost her babe goes 
every day for a year to some place where her little one played 
while alive, or to the spot where its body was burned, and milks 
her breasts into the air. This is accompanied by plaintive 
mourning and weeping and piteous calling upon her little one to 
return, and sometimes she sings a hoarse and melancholy chant, 
and dances with a wild, ecstatic swaying of the body." 

Of the Miwok the same authority says : — 

"The squaws wander off into the forest, wringing their arms 
piteously, beating the air, with eyes upturned, and adjuring the 
departed one, whom they tenderly call 'dear child,' or 'dear 
cousin ' (whether a relative or not), to return." 

Of the Niskwalli Indians, of the State of "Washington, Dr. 
Gibbs observes (457. 205) : — 

" They go out alone to some place a little distant from the lodge 
or camp, and in a loud, sobbing voice, repeat a sort of stereotyped 
formula, as, for instance, a mother on the loss of her child : — 

* Ah seahb! shed-da hud-dah ah-ta-hudl ad-de-dah! 
Ah chief my child dead I alas ! ' 

When in dreams they see any of their deceased friends this 
lamentation is renewed." 

Affection for Children. 109 

Very beautiful and touching in the extreme is the conduct of 
the Kabinapek of California : — 

" A peculiarity of this tribe is the intense sorrow with which 
they mourn for their children when dead. Their grief is im- 
measurable. They not only burn up everything that the baby 
ever touched, but everything that they possess, so that they 
absolutely begin life over again — naked as they were born, with- 
out an article of property left " (519. 206). 

Besides the custom of " feeding the spirits of the dead," just 
noticed, there exists also among certain of the Californian 
Indians the practice of " whispering a message into the ear of the 
dead." Mr. Powers has preserved for us the following most 
beautiful speech, which, he tells us, was whispered into the ear 
of a child by a woman of the Karok ere the first shovelful of 
earth was cast upon it (519. 34) : " O, darling, my dear one, 
good-bye ! Xever more shall your little hands softly clasp these 
old withered cheeks, and your pretty feet shall print the moist 
earth around my cabin never more. You are going on a long 
journey in the spirit-land, and you must go alone, for none of us 
can go with you. Listen then to the words which I speak to 
you and heed them well, for I speak the truth. In the spirit- 
land there are two roads. One of them is a path of roses, and it 
leads to the Happy Western Land beyond the great water, where 
you shall see your dear mother. The other is a path strewn with 
thorns and briars, and leads, I know not whither, to an evil and 
dark land, full of deadly serpents, where you wander forever. 
O, dear child, choose you the path of roses, which leads to the 
Happy "Western Land, a fair and sunny land, beautiful as the 
morning. And may the great Kareya [the Christ of these 
aborigines] help you to walk in it to the end, for your little 
tender feet must walk alone. 0, darling, my dear one, good- 

This whispering to the dead is found in other parts of the 
world. Mr. Hose, describing the funeral of a boy, which he wit- 
nessed in Borneo, says (475. 198) : — 

"As the lid of the coffin was being closed, an old man came 
out on the verandah of the house with a large gong (Tetawak) 
and solemnly beat it for several seconds. The chief, who was 
sitting near, informed me that this was done always before clos- 

110 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

ing the lid, that the relations of the deceased might know that 
the spirit was coming to join them; and upon his arrival in 
Apo Leggan [Hades] they would probably greet him in such 
terms as these : * grandchild, it was for you the gong was 
beating, which we heard just now; what have you brought? 
How are they all up above ? Have they sent any messages ? ' " 
The new arrival then delivers the messages entrusted to him, and 
gives the cigarettes — which, rolled up in a banana-leaf, have 
been placed in his hand — as proof of the truth of what he says. 
These cigarettes retain the smell of the hand that made them, 
which the dead relations are thought to be able to recognize. 

Motherhood and Infanticide. 

The intimate relationship recognized as existing between the 
infant and its mother has been among many primitive peoples a 
frequent cause of infanticide, or has been held at least to excuse 
and justify that crime. Of the natives of Ashanti, Ellis says : — 

" Should the mother die in childbirth, and the child itself be 
born alive, it is customary to bury it with the mother. . . . The 
idea seems to be that the child belongs to the mother, and is sent 
to accompany her to Srahmanadzi [ghost-land], so that her srah- 
man [ghost] may not grieve for it " (438. 234). Post states that 
in Unydro, when the mother dies in childbirth, the infant is 
killed ; among the Hottentots it was exposed (if the mother died 
during the time of suckling, the child was buried alive with her) ; 
among the Damara, "when poor women die and leave children 
behind them, they are often buried with the mother" (127. I. 

According to Collins and Barrington, among certain native 
tribes of Australia, " when the mother of a suckling dies, if no 
adoptive parents can be found, the child is placed alive in the 
arms of the corpse and buried together with it" (125. II. 589). 
Of the Banians of Bombay, Niebuhr tells us that children under 
eighteen months old are buried when the mother dies, the corpse 
of the latter being burned at ebb tide on the shore of the sea, so 
that the next tide may wash away the ashes (125. II. 581). In 
certain parts of Borneo : " If a mother died in childbirth, it was 
the former practice to strap the living babe to its dead mother, 

Affection for Children. Ill 

and bury them both together. ' Why should it live ? ' say they. 
* It has been the death of its mother ; now she is gone, who will 
suckle it?'" (481 (1893). 133). 

In certain parts of Australia, " children who have caused their 
mother great pain in birth are put to death" (127. I. 288), and 
among the Sakalavas of Madagascar, the child of a woman dying 
in childbed is buried alive with her, the reason given being " that 
the child may thus be punished for causing the death of its 
mother" (125. II. 590). 

As has been noted elsewhere, not a few primitive peoples have 
considered that death, in consequence of giving birth to a child, 
gained for the mother entrance into Paradise. But with some 
more or less barbarous tribes quite a different idea prevails. 
Among the Ewe negroes of the slave coast of West Africa, 
women dying in childbirth become blood-seeking demons ; so also 
in certain parts of Borneo, and on the Sumatran island of Xias, 
where they torment the living, plague women who are with child, 
and kill the embryo in the womb, thus causing abortion ; in Java, 
they make women in labour crazy ; in Amboina, the Uliase and 
Kei Islands, and Gilolo, they become evil spirits, torturing women 
in labour, and seeking to prevent their successful delivery; in 
Gilolo, the Kei group, and Celebes, they even torment men, seek- 
ing to emasculate them, in revenge for the misfortune which has 
overtaken them (397. 19). 

Of the Doracho Indians of Central America, the following 
statement is made: "When a mother, who is still suckling her 
child, dies, the latter is placed alive upon her breast and burned 
with her, so that in the future life she may continue to suckle it 
with her own milk " (125. II. 589). Powers remarks concerning 
the Korusi (Patwin) Indians of California (519. 222) : " When a 
woman died, leaving her infant very young, the friends shook it 
to death in a skin or blanket. This was done even with a half- 
breed child." Of the Kishinam Indians, the same authority 
informs us : " When a mother dies, leaving a very young infant, 
custom allows the relatives to destroy it. This is generally done 
by the grandmother, aunt, or other near relative, who holds the 
poor innocent in her arms, and, while it is seeking the maternal 
fountain, presses it to her breast until it is smothered. We must 
not judge them too harshly for this. They knew nothing of bottle 

112 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

nurture, patent nipples, or any kind of milk whatever, other than 
the human " (519. 328). 

Among the Wintun, also, young infants are known to have 
been buried when the mother had died shortly after confinement 
(519. 232). 

The Eskimo, Letourneau informs us, were wont to bury the 
little child with its dead mother, for they believed that unless this 
were done, the mother herself would call from Killo, the other 
world, for the child she had borne (100. 147, 148). 

The Dead Mother. 

To none of the saintly dead, to none of our race who have 
entered upon the life beyond the grave, is it more meet to pray 
than to the mother ; folk-faith is strong in her power to aid 
and bless those left behind on earth. That sympathetic relation 
existing between mother and child when both are living, is often 
believed to exist when one has departed into the other world. 
By the name wa-hd4 ca-pi, the Dakota Indians call the feeling the 
(living) mother has for her absent (living) child, and they assert 
that " mothers feel peculiar pain in their breasts when anything 
of importance happens to their absent children, or when about 
to hear from them. This feeling is regarded as an omen." That 
the mother, after death, should feel the same longing, and should 
return to help or to nourish her child, is an idea common to the 
folk-belief of many lands, as Ploss (125. II. 589) and Zmigrodzki 
have noted. 

" Amid the song of the angels," says Zmigrodzki (174. 142), 
"the plaint of her child on earth reaches the mother's ear, and 
pierces her heart like a knife. Descend to earth she must and 
does." In Brittany she is said to go to God Himself and obtain 
permission to visit earth. Her flight will be all the easier, if, 
before burial, her relatives have loosed her hair. In various 
parts of Germany and Switzerland, the belief is that for six 
weeks the dead mother will come at night to suckle her child, 
and a pair of slippers or shoes are always put into the coffin with 
the corpse, for the mother has to travel over thistles, thorns, and 
sharp stones to reach her child. Widespread over Europe is this 
belief in the return of the mother, who has died in giving life to 

Affection for Children. 113 

her little one. Till cock-crow in the morning she may suckle it, 
wash it, fondle it ; the doors open of themselves for her. If the 
child is being well treated by its relatives, the mother rejoices, 
and soon departs ; but if it has been neglected, she attends to it, 
and waits till the last moment, making audible her xinwillingness 
to depart. If the neglect continues, the mother descends to earth 
once more, and, taking the child with her, returns to heaven for 
good. And when the mother with her offspring approaches the 
celestial gates, they fly wide open to receive them. Never, in the 
folk-faith, was entrance readier granted, never was Milton's con- 
cept more completely realized, when 

" Heaven open'd wide 
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound, 
On golden hinges moving." 

In a modem Greek folk-song three youths plot to escape from 
Hades, and a young mother, eager to return to earth to suckle her 
infant child, persuades them to allow her to accompany them. 
Charon, however, suddenly appears upon the scene and seizes 
them just as they are about to flee. The beautiful young woman 
then appeals to him : " Let go of my hair, Charon, and take me by 
the hand. If thou wilt but give my child to drink, I will never 
try to escape from thee again " (125. II. 589). 

The watchful solicitude of the mother in heaven over her chil- 
dren on earth appears also in the Basque country (505. 73), and 
Ralston, noting its occurrence in Russia, observes (520. 265) : — 

" Appeals for aid to a dead parent are of frequent occurrence 
in the songs still sung by the Russian peasantry at funerals or 
over graves ; especially in those in which orphans express their 
grief, calling upon the grave to open, and the dead to appear and 
listen and help. So in the Indian story of Punchkin, the seven 
hungry, stepmother-persecuted princesses go out every day and 
sit by their dead mother's tomb, and cry, and say, ' Oh, mother, 
mother, cannot you see your poor children, how unhappy we are,' 
etc., until a tree grows up out of the grave laden with fruits for 
their relief. So, in the German tale, Cinderella is aided by the 
white bird, which dwells in the hazel-tree growing out of her 
mother's grave." 

Crude and savage, but bom of a like faith in the power of the 

114 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

dead mother, is the inhuman practice of the people of the Congo, 
where, it is said, "the son often kills his mother, in order to 
secure the assistance of her soul, now a formidable spirit" 
(388. 81). 

Heavy upon her offspring weighs the curse of a mother. 
Ralston, speaking of the Russian folk-tales, says (520. 363) : — 

" Great stress is laid in the skazkas and legends upon the terri- 
ble power of a parent's curse. The ' hasty word ' of a father or a 
mother will condemn even an innocent child to slavery among 
devils, and, when it has once been uttered, it is irrevocable." 
The same authority states, however, that "infants which have 
been cursed by their mothers before their birth, or which are 
suffocated during their sleep, or which die from any causes 
unchristened or christened by a drvmken priest, become the prey 
of demons," and in order to rescue the soul of such a babe from 
the powers of evil "its mother must spend three nights in a 
church, standing within a circle traced by the hand of a priest ; 
when the cocks crow on the third morning the demons will give 
her back her dead child." 

Fatherly Affection. 

That the father, as well as the mother, feels for his child after 
death, and appears to him, is an idea found in fairy-story and 
legend, but nowhere so sweetly expressed as in the beautiful 
Italian belief that "the kind, dear spirits of the dead relatives 
and parents come out of the tombs to bring presents to the chil- 
dren of the family, — whatever their little hearts most desire." 
The proverb, — common at Aci, — Veni m^ patri? — Appressu, 
" Is my father coming ? — By and by," used " when an expected 
friend makes himself long waited for," is said to have the 
following origin : — 

" There was once a little orphan boy, who, in his anxiety to see 
his dead father once again, went out into the night when the 
kind spirits walk, and, in spite of all the fearful beating of his 
little heart, asked of every one whom he met: Veni m^patri? and 
each one answered: Appressu. As he had the courage to hold 
out to the end, he finally had the consolation of seeing his father 
and having from him caresses and sweetmeats " (449. 327). 

Affection for Children. 115 

Eev. Mr. Gill speaks highly of the affection for children of the 
Polynesians. Following is the translation of a song composed 
and sung by Rakoia, a warrior and chief of Mangaia, in the 
Hervey Archipelago, on the death of his eldest daughter Enuatau- 
rere, by drowning, at the age of fifteen (459. 32) : — 

♦' My first-born ; where art thou ? 
Oh that my wild grief for thee, 
Pet daughter, could be assuaged ! 
Snatched away in time of peace. 

Thy delight was to swim, 
Thy head encircled with flowers, 
Interwoven with fragrant laurel 
And the spotted-leaved jessamine. 

Whither is my pet gone — 

She who absorbed all my love — 

She whom I had hoped 

To fin with ancestral wisdom ? 

Red and yellow pandanus drupes 

Were sought out in thy morning rambles, 

Nor was the sweet-scented myrtle forgotten. 

Sometimes thou didst seek out 
Fugitives perishing in rocks and caves. 

Perchance one said to thee, 
' Be mine, be mine, forever ; 
For my love to thee is great.' 

Happy the parent of such a child ! 

Alas for Enuataurere ! Alas for Enuataurere I 

Thou wert lovely as a fairy ! 
A husband for Enuataurere ! 

Each envious youth exclaims : 
* Would that she were mine I ' 

Enuataurere now trips o'er the ruddy ocean. 
Thy path is the foaming crest of the billow. 

Weep for Enuataurere — 
For Enuataurere." 

116 The Child in Folk-TliGught. 

This song, though published in 1892, seems to have been com- 
posed about the year 1815, at a f^te in honour of the deceased. 
Mr. Gill justly calls attention to the beauty of the last stanza 
but one, where " the spirit of the girl is believed to follow the 
sun, tripping lightly over the crest of the billows, and sinking 
with the sun into the underworld (Avaiki), the home of disem- 
bodied spirits." 

Among others of the lower races of men, we find the father, 
expressing his grief at the loss of a child, as tenderly and as 
sincerely as, if less poetically than, the Polynesian chief, though 
often the daughter is not so well honoured in death as is the son. 
Our American Indian tribes furnish not a few instances of such 
affectionate lamentation. 

Much too little has been made of the bright side of child-life 
among the lower races. But from even the most primitive of 
tribes all traces of the golden age of childhood are not absent. 
Powers, speaking of the Yurok Indians of California, notes " the 
happy cackle of brown babies tumbling on their heads with the 
puppies " (519. 51), and of the Wintun, in the wild-clover season, 
"their little ones frolicked and tumbled on their heads in the 
soft sunshine, or cropped the clover on all-fours like a tender 
calf" (519. 231). Of the Pawnee Indians, Irving says (478. 214) : 
"In the farther part of the building about a dozen naked chil- 
dren, with faces almost hid by their tangled hair, were rolling 
and wrestling upon the floor, occasionally causing the lodge to 
re-echo with their childish glee." Mr. im Thurn, while among 
the Indians of Guiana, had his attention " especially attracted by 
one merry little fellow of about five years old, whom I first saw 
squatting, as on the top of a hill, on top of a turtle-shell twice 
as big as himself, with his knees drawn up to his chin, and 
solemnly smoking a long bark cigarette " (477. 39). Of the wild 
Indians of the West, Colonel Dodge tells us : " The little chil- 
dren are much petted and spoiled ; tumbling and climbing, unre- 
proved, over the father and his visitors in the lodge, and never 
seem to be an annoyance or in the way " (432. 189). Mr. Mac- 
Cauley, who visited the Seminole Indians of Florida, says : " I 
remember seeing, one day, one jolly little fellow, lolling and rol- 
licking on his mother's back, kicking her and tugging away at 
the strings of beads which hung temptingly between her shoulders, 

Affection for Children. 117 

wMle the mother, hand-free, bore on one shoulder a log, which, a 
moment afterwards, still keeping her baby on her back as she 
did so, she chopped into small wood for the camp-fire " (496. 498). 
There is a Ziini story of a yoiing maiden, " who, strolling along, 
saw a beautiful little baby boy bathing in the waters of a spring; 
she was so pleased with his beauty that she took him home, and 
told her mother that she had found a lovely little boy" (358. 
544). Unfortunately, it turned out to be a serpent in the end- 


As Darwin and other authorities have remarked, there are races 
of men upon the face of the earth, in America, in Africa, in Asia, 
and in the Island world, who, when first seen of white discoverers, 
knew not what it meant to kiss (499. 139). The following state- 
ment will serve for others than the people to whom it refers : 
"The only kiss of which the Annamite woman is cognizant is 
to place her nose against the man's cheek, and to rub it gently 
up and down, with a kind of canine sniff." 

Mantegazza tells us" that Kaden-Saleh, a "noble and intelli- 
gent " Javanese painter, told him that, " like all Malays, he con- 
sidered there was more tenderness in the contact of the noses 
than of the lips," and even the Japanese, the English of the 
extreme Orient, were once ignorant of the art of kissing (499. 

Great indeed is the gulf between the Javanese artist and the 
American, Benjamin West, who said : " A kiss from my mother 
made me a painter." To a kiss from the Virgin Mother of Christ, 
legend says, St. Chrysostom owed his "golden mouth." The 
story rvms thus : " St. Chrysostom was a dull boy at school, and 
so disturbed was he by the ridicule of his fellows, that he went 
into a church to pray for help to the Virgin. A voice came from 
the image : * Kiss me on the mouth, and thou shalt be endowed 
with all learning.* He did this, and when he returned to his 
schoolfellows they saw a golden circle about his mouth, and his 
eloquence and brilliancy astounded them " (347. 621). 

Among the natives of the Andaman Islands, ]Mr. Man informs 
us, "Kisses are considered indicative of affection, but are only 
bestowed upon infants " (498. 79). 

118 The Child in Folk -Thought. 


" Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, 
Tears from the depths of some divine despair, 
Rise in the heart and gather to the eyes, 
In looking at the happy autumn fields, 
And thinking of the days that are no more." 

Thus sang the great English laureate, and to the simple folk 
— the treasure-keepers of the lore of the ages — his words mean 

Pliny, the Elder, in his Natural History, makes this statement : 
" Man alone at the very moment of his birth, cast naked upon the 
naked earth, does she [Nature] abandon to cries and lamenta- 
tions ; " the writer of the Wisdom of Solomon, in the Apocrypha, 
expresses himself in like manner : " When I was born, I drew in 
the common air, and fell upon the earth, which is of like nature, 
and the first voice I uttered was crying, as all others do." Burton, 
in his Anatomy of Melancholy, bluntly resumes both : " He is born 
naked, and falls arwhining at the first." 

The Spaniards have a proverb, brusque and cynical : — 

"Des que nacl Uor^, y cada dia nace porqu^. 
[I wept as soon as I was born, and every day explains why.]" 

A quaint legend of the Jewish Eabbis, however, accounts for 
children's tears in this fashion : — 

" Beside the child unborn stand two angels, who not only teach 
it the whole Tora [the traditional interpretation of the Mosaic 
law], but also let it see all the joys of Paradise and all the tor- 
ments of Hell. But, since it may not be that a child should come 
into the world endowed with such knowledge, ere it is born into 
the life of men an angel strikes it on the upper lip, and all wisdom 
vanishes. The dimple on the upper lip is the mark of the stroke, 
and this is why new-born babes cry and weep " (385. 6). 

Curiously enoiigh, as if to emphasize the relativity of folk- 
explanations, a Mussulman legend states that it is " the touch of 
Satan " that renders the child " susceptible of sin from its birth," 
and that is the reason why " all children cry aloud when they are 
born" (547.249). 

Henderson tells us that in the north and south of England 

Affection for Children. 119 

" nurses think it lucky for the child to cry at its baptism •, they 
say that otherwise the baby shows that it is too good to live." 
But there are those also who believe that " this cry betokens the 
pangs of the new birth," while others hold that it is " the voice 
of the Evil Spirit as he is driven out by the baptismal water " 
(469. 16). 

Among the untaught peasantry of Sicily, the sweet story goes 
that " Mary sends an angel from Heaven one day every week to 
play with the souls of the unbaptized children [in hell]; and 
when he goes away, he takes with him, in a golden chalice, all the 
tears which the little innocents have shed all through the week, 
and pours them into the sea, where they become pearls " (449. 

Here again we have a borrowing from an older myth. An 
Eastern legend has it that when Eden was lost. Eve, the mother 
of all men, wept bitterly, and " her tears, which flowed into the 
ocean, were changed into costly pearls, while those which fell on 
the earth brought forth all beautiful flowers " (547. 34). In the 
classic myth, the pearl is said to have been born of the t^ars of 
Venus, just as a Greek legend makes ijXeKTpov come from the tears 
of the sisters of Phaethon, the daughters of the sun, and Teutonic 
story turns the tears of the goddess Freyja into drops of gold 
(462. III. 1218). 

In the Kalevala we read how, after the wonderful harping of 
Wainamoinen, the great Finnish hero, which enchanted beasts, 
birds, and even fishes, was over, the musician shed tears of grati- 
tude, and these, trickling down his body and through his many 
garments, were transmuted into pearls of the sea. 

Shakespeare, in King Henry V., makes Exeter say to the 

"But all my mother came into mine eyes, 
And gave me up to tears," — 

and the tears of the mother-god figures in the folk-lore of many 
lands. The vervain, or verbena, was known as the "Tears of 
Isis," as well as the " Tears of Juno," — a name given also to an 
East Indian grass {Coix lacryma). The lily of the valley, in 
various parts of Europe, is called " The Virgin's Tears," " Tears 
of Our Lady," " Tears of St. Mary." Zmigrodzki notes the fol- 
lowing belief as current in Germany : " If the mother weeps too 

120 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

much, her dead child comes to her at night, naked and trembling, 
with its little shirt in its hand, and says : * Ah, dearest mother, 
do not weep ! See ! I have no rest in the grave ; I cannot put 
on my little shirt, it is all wet with your tears.' " In Cracow, the 
common saying is, " God forbid that the tears of the mother should 
fall upon the corpse of her child." In Brittany the folk-belief is 
that " the dead child has to carry water up a hill in a little bucket, 
and the tears of the mother increase its weight " (174. 141). 

The Greeks fabled Eos, the dawn-goddess, to have been so dis- 
consolate at the death of Memnon, her son, that she wept for him 
every morning, and her tears are the dewdrops found upon the 
earth. In the mythology of the Samoans of the Pacific, the 
Heaven-god, father of all things, and the Earth-goddess, mother 
of all things, once held each other in firm embrace, but were 
separated in the long ago. Heaven, however, retains his love 
for earth, and, mourning for her through the long nights, he drops 
many tears upon her bosom, — these, men call dewdrops. The 
natives of Tahiti have a like explanation for the thick-falling 
rain-drops that dimple the surface of the ocean, heralding an 
approaching storm, — they are tears of the heaven-god. The 
saying is: — 

" Thickly falls the small rain on the face of the sea, 
They are not drops of rain, but they are tears of Oro." 

(Tylor, Early Hist, of Mankind, p. 334.) 

An Indian tribe of California believe that "the rain is the 
falling tears of Indians sick in heaven," and they say that it was 
"the tears of all mankind, weeping for the loss of a good young 
Indian," that caused the deluge, in which all were drowned save 
a single couple (440. 488). 

Oriental legend relates, that, in his utter loneliness after the 
expulsion from Paradise, "Adam shed such an abundance of 
tears that all beasts and birds satisfied their thirst therewith; 
but some of them sunk into the earth, and, as they still con- 
tained some of the juices of his food in Paradise, produced the 
most fragrant trees and spices." We are further told that " the 
tears flowed at last in' such torrents from Adam's eyes, that those 
of his right started the Euphrates, while those of his left set the 
Tigris in motion " (547. 34). 

Affection for Children. 121 

These are some of the answers of the folk to the question of 

Shakespeare : — 

" What's the matter, 
That this distempered messenger of wet, 
The many-coloured Iris, rounds thine eye ?" 

And many more are there that run along the lines of Scott's 
epigrammatic summation : — 

•' A child will weep a bramble's smart, 
A maid to see her sparrow part, 
A stripling for a woman's heart: 
But woe betide a coimtry, when 
She sees the tears of bearded men." 


According to Mr. Powers : " The conspicuous painstaking which 
the Modok squaw expends upon her baby-basket is an index of 
her maternal love. And indeed the Modok are strongly attached 
to their offspring, — a fact abundantly attested by many sad and 
mournful spectacles witnessed in the closing scenes of the war 
of 1873. On the other hand, a California squaw often carelessly 
sets her baby in a deep, conical basket, the same in which she 
carries her household effects, leaving him loose and liable to 
fall out. If she makes a baby-basket, it is totally devoid of 
ornament ; and one tribe, the Miwok, contemptuously call it •' the 
dog's nest.' It is among Indians like these ihat we hear of 
infanticide" (519. 257). 

The subject of children's cradles, baby-baskets, baby-boards, 
and the methods of manipulating and carrying the infant in 
connection therewith, have been treated of in great detail by 
Ploss (325), Pokrovski, and Mason (306), the second of whom 
has written especially of the cradles in use among the various 
peoples of European and Asiatic Russia, with a general view of 
those employed by other races, the last with particular reference 
to the American aborigines. The work is illustrated, as is also 
that of Ploss, with many engravings. Professor Mason thus 
briefly sums up the various purposes which the different species 
of cradle subserve (306. 161-162) : — 

" (1) It is a mere nest for the helpless infant. 

122 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

" (2) It is a bed so constructed and manipulated as to enable 
the child to sleep either in a vertical or a horizontal position. 

" (3) It is a vehicle in which the child is to be transported, 
chiefly on the mother's back by means of a strap over the fore- 
head, but frequently dangling like a bundle at the saddle-bow. 
This function, of course, ahvays modifies the structure of the 
cradle, and, indeed, may have determined its very existence 
among nomadic tribes. 

" (4) It is indeed a cradle, to be hung upon the limbs to rock, 
answering literally to the nursery-rhyme : — 

' Rock-a-bye baby upon the tree-top, 
"When the wind blows the cradle will rock, 
When the bough bends, the cradle will fall, 
Down will come baby, and cradle, and all.' 

"(5) It is also a playhouse and baby-jumper. On many — 
nearly all — specimens may be seen dangling objects to evoke the 
senses, foot-rests by means of which the little one may exercise 
its legs, besides other conveniences anticipatory of the child's 

" (6) The last set of functions to which the frame is devoted 
are those relating to what we may call the graduation of infancy, 
when the papoose crawls out of its chrysalis little by little, and 
then abandons it altogether. The child is next seen standing 
partly on the mother's cincture and partly hanging to her neck, 
or resting like a pig in a poke within the folds of her blanket." 

Professor Mason sees in the cradle-board or frame " the child 
of geography and of meteorology," and in its use "a beautiful 
illustration of Bastian's theory of 'great areas.' " In the frozen 
North, for example, "the Eskimo mother carries her infant in 
the hood of her parka whenever it is necessary to take it abroad. 
If she used a board or a frame, the child would perish with the 

The varieties of cradles are almost endless. We have the 
y "hood" (sometimes the "boot") of the Eskimo; the birch-bark 
cradle (or hammock) of several of the northern tribes (as in 
Alaska, or Cape Breton); the "moss-bag" of the eastern Tinne, 
the use of which has now extended to the employes of the 
Hudson's Bay Company; the "trough-cradle" of the Bilqula; 

Affection for Children. 123 

the Chinook cradle, with its apparatus for head-flattening; the 
trowel-shaped cradle of the Oregon coast; the wicker-cradle of 
the Hupas ; the Klamath cradle of wicker and rushes ; the Porno 
cradle of willow rods and wicker-work, with rounded portion for 
the child to sit in ; the Mohave cradle, with ladder-frame, having 
a bed of shredded bark for the child to lie upon; the Yaqui 
cradle of canes, with soft bosses for pillows; the Nez Perce 
cradle-board with buckskin sides, and the Sahaptian, Ute, and 
Kootenay cradles which resemble it; the Moki cradle-frame of 
coarse wicker, with an awning ; the Xavajo cradle, with wooden 
hood and awning of dressed buckskin ; the rude Comanche cradle, 
made of a single stiff piece of black-bear skin; the Blackfoot 
cradle of lattice-work and leather ; the shoe-shaped Sioux cradle, 
richly adorned with coloured bead-work ; the Iroquois cradle (now 
somewhat modernized), with " the back carved in flowers and birds, 
and painted blue, red, green, and j'ellow." Among the Araucani- 
ans of Chili we meet with a cradle which " seems to be nothing 
more than a short ladder, with cross-bars," to which the child is 
lashed. In the tropical regions and in South America we find 
the habit of "carrying the children in the shawl or sash, and 
bedding them in the hammock." Often, as in various parts of 
Africa, the woman herself forms the cradle, the child clinging 
astride her neck or hips, with no bands or attachments whatever. 
Of woman as carrier much may be read in the entertaining and 
instructive volume of Professor Mason (113). The primitive 
cradle, bed, and carrier, was the mother. 

Father and Child. 

With many of the more primitive races, the idea so tritely ex- 
pressed in our familiar saying, "He is a chip of the old block," — 
patris est JUius, " he is the son of his father," — and so beauti- 
fully wrought out by Shakespeare, — 

"Behold, my lords, 
Although the print be little, the whole matter 
And copy of the father : eye, nose, lip, 
The trick of his frown, his forehead ; nay, the valley, 
The pretty dimples of his chin and cheek ; his smiles, 
The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger," 

124 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

has a strong hold, making itself felt in a thousand ways and 
fashions. The many rites and ceremonies, ablutions, fastings, 
abstentions from certain foods and drinks, which the husband 
has to undergo and submit to among certain more or less unciv- 
ilized peoples, shortly before, or after, or upon, the occasion of 
the birth of a child, or while his wife is pregnant, arise, in part 
at least, from a firm belief in the influence of parent upon child 
and the intimate sympathy between them even while the latter 
is yet unborn. Of the Indians of British Guiana, Mr. im Thurn 
says, they believe that if the father should eat the flesh of the 
capybara, the child would have large protruding teeth like that 
animal, while if he should eat that of the labba, the child's skin 
would be spotted. " Apparently there is also some idea that for 
the father to eat strong food, to wash, to smoke, to handle weapons, 
would have the same result as if the new-born baby ate such food, 
washed, smoked, or played with edged tools." The connection 
between the father and the child, the author thinks, is thought 
by these Indians to be much closer than that existing between 
the mother and her offspring (477. 218). Much has been written 
about, and many explanations suggested for, this ancient and 
widespread custom. The investigations of recent travellers seem 
to have cast some light upon this difficult problem in ethnology. 

Dr. Karl von den Steinen (536. 331-337) tells us that the 
native tribes of Central Brazil not only believe that the child is 
" the son of the father," but that it is the father. To quote his 
own significant words : " The father is the patient in so far as he 
feels himself one with the new-born child. It is not very diffi- 
cult to see how he arrives at this conclusion. Of the human egg- 
cell and the Graafian follicle the aborigine is not likely to know 
anything, nor can he know that the mother lodges the thing 
corresponding to the eggs of birds. For him the man is the 
bearer of the eggs, which, to speak plainly and clearly, lays 
in the mother, and which she hatches during the period of preg- 
nancy. In the linguistic material at hand we see how this very 
natural attempt to explain generation finds expression in the 
words for ' father,' ' testicle,' and ' egg.' In Guarani tub means 
'father, spawn, eggs,' tupid 'eggs,' and even tup-i, the name of 
the people (the -i is diminutive) really signifies 'little father,' 
or ' eggs/ or ' children/ as you please ; the ' father ' is ' egg/ and 

Affection for Children. 125 

tlie ' child ' is ' the little father.' Even the language declares that 
the ' child ' is nothing else than the ' father.' Among the Tupi the 
father was also accustomed to take a new name after the birth of 
each new son ; to explain this, it is in no way necessary to assume 
that the * soul ' of the father proceeds each time into the son. 
In Karaibi we find exactly the same idea ; imu is ' eg^,^ or ' testi- 
cles,' or ' child.' " 

Among other cognate tribes we find the same thoughts : — 

In the Ipurucoto language imu signifies " egg" 

In the Bakairi language imu signifies " testicles." 

In the Tamanako language im,u signifies " father." 

In the Makusi language imu signifies " semen." 

In several dialects imu-ru signifies " child." 

Dr. von den Steinen further observes : " Among the Bakairi 
'child' and 'small' are both men, 'the child of the chief,' 
pima imeri; we can translate as we please, either 'the child of 
the chief,' or ' the little chief,' and in the case of the latter form, 
which we can use more in jest of the son, we are not aware that 
to the Indian the child is really nothing more than the little 
chief, the miniature of the big one. Strange and hardly intelli- 
gible to us is this idea when it is a girl that is in question. For 
the girl, too, is 'the little fcUher,^ and not 'the little mother' ; 
it is only the father who has made her. In Bakairi there are 
no special words for 'son' and 'daughter,' but a sex-suffix is 
added to the word for child when a distinction is necessary ; 
pima imeri may signify either the son or the daughter of the 
chief. The only daughter of the chief is the inheritrix of pos- 
session and rank, both of which pass over with her own posses- 
sion to the husband." The whole question of the "Couvade'* 
and like practices finds its solution in these words of the author : 
"The behaviour of the mother, according as she is regarded as 
more or less suffering, may differ much with the various tribes, 
while the conduct of the father is practically the same with all. 
She goes about her business, if she feels strong enough, suckles 
her child, etc. Between the father and the child there is no 
mysterious correlation ; the child is a multiplication of him ; the 
father is duplicated, and in order that no harm may come to the 
helpless, irrational creature, a miniature of himseK, he must de- 
mean himself as a child " (536. 338). 

126 The Child in Folk -Thought 

The close relationsliip between father and child appears also 
in folk-medicine, where children (or often adults) are preserved 
from, or cured of, certain ailments and diseases by the applica- 
tion of blood drawn from the father. 

In Bavaria a popular remedy against cramps consisted in " the 
father pricking himself in the finger and giving the child in its 
mouth three drops of blood out of the wound," and at Eackow, 
in Neu Stettin, to cure epilepsy in little children, "the father 
gives the child three drops of blood out of the first joint of his 
ring-finger" (361. 19). In Annam, when a physician cures a 
small-pox patient, it is thought that the pocks pass over to his 
children, and among the Dieyerie of South Australia, when a 
child has met with an accident, " all the relatives are beaten with 
sticks or boomerangs on the head till the blood flows over their 
faces. This is believed to lessen the pain of the child " (397. 60, 

Among some savage and uncivilized peoples, the father is 
associated closely with the child from the earliest days of its 
existence. With the Mincopies of the Andaman Islands, it is 
the father who, " from the day of its birth onwards presses the 
skull and body of the child to give them the proper form," and 
among the Macusi Indians of Guiana, the father " in early youth, 
pierces the ear-lobe, the lower lip, and the septum of the nose," 
while with the Pampas Indians of the Argentine, in the third 
year of the child's life, the child's ears are pierced by the father 
in the following fashion : " A horse has its feet tied together, is 
thrown to the ground, and held fast. The child is then brought 
out and placed on the horse, while the father bores its ears with 
a needle " (326. I. 296, 301). 

With some primitive peoples the father evinces great affection 
for his child. Concerning the natives of Australia whom he 
visited, Lumholtz observes : " The father may also be good to the 
child, and he frequently carries it, takes it in his lap, pats it, 
searches its hair, plays with it, and makes little boomerangs 
which he teaches it to throw. He, however, prefers boys to girls, 
and does not pay much attention to the latter " (495. 193). Speak- 
ing of another region of the world where infanticide prevailed, — 
the Solomon Islands, — Mr. Guppy cites not a few instances of 
parental regard and affection. On one occasion " the chief's son, 

Affection for Children. 127 

a little shapeless mass of flesh, a few montlis old, was handed 
about from man to man with as much care as if he had been com- 
posed of something brittle." Of chief Gorai and his wife, whose 
child was blind, the author says : " I was much struck with the 
tenderness displayed in the manner of both the parents towards 
their little son, who, seated in his mother's lap, placed his hand 
in that of his father, when he was directed to raise his eyes 
towards the light for my inspection " (466. 47). 

Of the Patwin Indians of California, who are said to rank 
among the lowest of the race, Mr. Powers tells us : " Parents are 
very easygoing with their children, and never systematically 
punish them, though they sometimes strike them in momentary 
anger. On the Sacramento they teach them how to swim when a 
few weeks old by holding them on their hands in the water. I 
have seen a father coddle and teeter his baby in an attack of cross- 
ness for an hour with the greatest patience, then carry him down 
to the river, laughing good-naturedly, gently dip the little brown 
smooth-skinned nugget in the waves clear imder, and then lay him 
on the moist, warm sand. The treatment was no less effectual 
than harmless, for it stopped the perverse, persistent squalling at 
once " (519. 222). Such demonstrations of tenderness have been 
supposed to be rare among the Indians, but the same authority 
says again : " Many is the Indian I have seen tending the baby 
with far more patience and good-nature than a civilized father 
would display" (519. 23). Concerning the Eskimo, Eeclus ob- 
serves : " All over Esquimaux Land fathers and mothers vie with 
one another in spoiling their offspring, never strike, and rarely 
rebuke them" (523.37). 

Among the Indians of British Guiana, according to Mr. im 
Thurn, both mother and father are " very affectionate towards 
the young child." The mother " almost always, even when work- 
ing, carries it against her hip, slung in a small hammock from 
her neck or shoulder," while the father, " when he returns from 
hunting, brings it strange seeds to play with, and makes it neck- 
laces and other ornaments." The young children themselves 
" seem fully to reciprocate the affection of their parents ; but as 
they grow older, the affection on both sides seems to cool, though, 
in reality, it perhaps only becomes less demonstrative" (477. 

128 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Everywhere we find evidence of parental affection and love for 
children, shining sometimes from the depths of savagery and fill- 
ing with sunshine at least a few hours of days that seem so sombre 
and full of gloom when viewed afar off. 

Mr. Scudder has treated at considerable length the subject of 
"Childhood in Literature and Art" (350), dealing with it as 
found in Greek, Eoman, Hebrew, Early Christian, English, 
French, German, American, literature, in medieeval art, and in 
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. Of Greek the author ob- 
serves: "There is scarcely a child's voice to be heard in the 
whole range of Greek poetic art. The conception is universally 
of the child, not as acting, far less as speaking, but as a passive 
member of the social order. It is not its individual so much as 
its related life which is contemplated." The silent presence of 
children in the roles of the Greek drama is very impressive (350. 
21). At Rome, though childhood is more of a " vital force " than 
in Greece, yet " it is not contemplated as a fine revelation of na- 
ture." Sometimes, in its brutal aspects, " children are reckoned 
as scarcely more than cubs," yet with refinement they " come to 
represent the more spiritual side of the family life." The folk- 
tale of Romulus and Remus and Catullus' picture of the young 
Torquatus represent these two poles (350. 32). The scant appear- 
ances of children in the Old Testament, the constant prominence 
given to the male succession, are followed later on by the promise 
which buds and flowers in the world-child Jesus, and the child- 
hood which is the new-birth, the golden age of which Jewish seers 
and prophets had dreamt. In early Christianity, it would appear 
that, with the exception of the representation in art of the child, 
the infant Christ, " childhood as an image had largely faded out 
of art and literature" (350. 80). The Renaissance "turned its 
face toward childhood, and looked into that image for the pro- 
foundest realization of its hopes and dreams " (350. 102), and since 
then Christianity has followed that path. And the folk were 
walking in these various ages and among these different peoples 
humbly along the same road, which their geniuses travelled. Of 
the great modern writers and poets, the author notes especially 
Wordsworth, through whom the child was really born in our 
literature, the linker together of the child and the race ; Rous- 
seau, who told of childhood as " refuge from present evil, a mourn- 

Affection for Children. 129 

ful reminiscence of a lost Paradise, who (like St. Pierre) preached 
a retxirn to nature, and left his own offspring to the tender mercy 
of a foundling asylum " ; Luther, the great religious reformer, who 
was ever " a father among his children " ; Goethe, who represents 
German intellectualism, yet a great child-artist; Froebel, the 
patron saint of the kindergarten ; Hans Andersen, the " inventor " 
of fairy-tales, and the transformer of folk-stories, that rival the 
genuine, untouched, inedited article j Hawthorne, the child-artist 
of America. 


Childhood the Golden Age. 

Heaven lies about us in our infancy. — Wordsworth. 

Die Kindheit ist ein Augenblick Gottes. — Achim v. Amim. 

Wahre dir den Kindersinn, 
Kindheit bliiht in Liebe bin, 
Kinderzeit ist heil'ge Zeit, 
Heidenkindheit — Christenheit. — B. Goltz. 

Happy those early days, when I 

Shined in my angel infancy. — Henry Vaughan. 

Childhood shall be all divine. — B, W. Proctor. 

But Heaven is kind, and therefore all possess. 

Once in their life, fair Eden's simpleness. — H. Coleridge. 

But to the couch where childhood lies, 

A more delicious trance is given, 
Lit up by rays from seraph eyes. 

And glimpses of remembered heaven . — W. M. Praed. 

O for boyhood's time of June, 
Crowding years in one brief moon ! — Whittier. 

Golden Age. 

The Englisli word world, as the Anglo-Saxon weorold, Icelandic 
verold, and Old High German weralt indicate, signified originally 
" age of man," or " course of man's life," and in the mind of the 
folk the life of the world and the life of man have run about the 
same course. By common consent the golden age of both was at 
the beginning, ab ovo. With Wordsworth, unlettered thousands 
have thought : — 

" Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 
But to be young was very heaven ! " 

The Golden Age. 131 

Die Kindheit ist ein Aitgenblick Gottes, " childliood is a moment 
of God," said Achim von Amim, and Hartley Coleridge expresses 
the same idea in other words : — 

" But Heaven is kind, and therefore all possess, 
Once in their life, fair Eden's simpleness." 

This belief in the golden age of childhood, — die heilige Kinder- 
zeit, the heaven of infancy, — is ancient and modern, world-wide, 
shared in alike by primitive savage and nineteenth-century phi- 
losopher. The peasant of Brittany thinks that children preserve 
their primal purity up to the seventh year of their age, and, if 
they die before then, go straight to heaven (174. 141), and the 
great Chinese philosopher, linking together, as others have done 
since his time, the genius and the child, declared that a man is 
great only as he preserves the pure ideas of his childhood, while 
Coleridge, in like fashion tells us : *■' Genius is the power of carry- . 
ing the feelings of childhood into the power of manhood." 

Everywhere we hear the same refrain : — 

" Aus der Jugendzeit, aus der Jugendzeit, 
Hingt ein Lied immerdar ; 
O wie liegt so weit, o -wie liegt so weit, 
"Was mein einst war ! " 

The Paradise that man lost, the Eden from which he has been, 
driven, is not the God-planted Garden by the banks of Euphrates, 
but the " happy days of angel infancy," and " boyhood's time of 
June," the childhood out of which in the fierce struggle for exist- 
ence the race has rudely grown, and back to which, for its true 
salvation, it must learn to make its way again. As he, who was 
at once genius and child, said, nearly twenty centuries ago : 
"Except ye turn and become as little children, ye shall in no 
wise enter the kingdom of heaven." 

When we speak of " the halcyon days of childhood," we recall 
an ancient myth, telling how, in an age when even more than 
now " all Kature loved a lover," even the gods watched over the 
loves of Ceyx and Halcyone. Ever since the kingfisher has been 
regarded as the emblem of lasting fidelity in love. As Ebers 
aptly puts it : " Is there anywhere a sweeter legend than that of 

132 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

the Halcyons, the ice-birds who love each other so tenderly that, 
when the male becomes enfeebled by age, his mate carries him 
on her outspread wings whithersoever he wills; and the gods 
desiring to reward such faithful love cause the sun to shine more 
kindly, and still the winds and waves on the 'Halcyon Days' 
during which these birds are building their nests and brooding 
over their young" (390. II. 269). 

Of a special paradise for infants, something has been said else- 
where. Of Srahmanadzi, the other world, the natives of Ashanti 
say : " There an old man becomes young, a young man a boy, and 
a boy an infant. They grow and become old. But age does not 
carry with it any diminution of strength or wasting of body. 
When they reach the prime of life, they remain so, and never 
change more " (438. 157). 

The Kalmucks believe that some time in the future " each child 
will speak immediately after its birth, and the next day be capable 
of undertaking its own management" (518. I. 427). But that 
blissful day is far off, and the infant human still needs the over- 
shadowing of the gods to usher him into the real world of life. 

Guardian Angels and Deities. 

Christ, speaking his memorable words about little children to 
those who had inquired who was greatest in the kingdom of 
heaven, uttered the warning: "See that ye despise not one of 
these little ones ; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels 
do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." 
In the hagiology of the Christian churches, and in the folk-lore 
of modern Europe, the idea contained in our familiar expression 
" guardian angel " has a firm hold ; by celestial watchers and pro- 
tectors the steps of the infant are upheld, and his mind guided, 
until he reaches maturity, and even then the guardian spirit often 
lingers to guide the favoured being through all the years of his 
life (191. 8). The natives of Ashanti believe that special spirits 
watch over girls until they are married, and in China there is 
a special mother-goddess who guards and protects childhood. 

Walter Savage Landor has said : — 

•' Around the child bend all the three 
Sweet Graces, — Faith, Hope, Charity," 

The Golden Age. 133 

and tlie " three "Fates " of classic antiquity, the three IToms of 
Scandinavian mythology, the three Sudiecky or fate-goddesses of 
the Czechs of Bohemia, the three fate- and birth-goddesses of the 
other Slavonic peoples, the three Motpat of Modern Greece, the 
three Phatite of Albania, the three white ladies, three virgins, 
three Mary's, etc., of German legend of to-day, have woven about 
them a wealth of quaint and curious lore (326. I. 42-47). 

The survival of the old heathen belief alongside the Christian 
is often seen, as, e.g., at Palermo, in Sicily, where "the mother, 
when she lifts the child out of the cradle, says aloud : * Nxiome 
di Dio, In God's name,' but quickly adds sotto voce : ' Cu licenzi, 
signuri mid, By your leave, Ladies.' " The reference is to the 
" three strange ladies," representing the three Pates, who preside 
over the destiny of human beings. 

Ploss has discussed at length the goddesses of child-birth and 
infancy, and exhibited their relations to the growing, fertilizing, 
regenerative powers of nature, especially the earth, sun, moon, 
etc.; the Hindu jB/iava/u* (moon-goddess) ; the Persian Anahita; 
the Assyrian Belit, the spouse of Bel; the Phoenician Astarte; the 
Egyptian Isis; the Etruscan Mater matuta; the Greek Hera, 
Eileithyia, Artemis; the Eoman Diana, Lucina, Juno; the Phry- 
gian Cyhele; the Germanic Freia, Holla, Gude, Harke; the Sla- 
vonic Siica, Lihussa, Zlata Bdba (" the golden woman ") ; the 
ancient Mexican Itzcuinam, Yohmaltcitl, Tezistecatl ; the Chibchan 
rainbow-goddess Cuchavira ; the Japanese Kojasi Kwanon, and 
hundreds more. 

The number of gods and goddesses presiding over motherhood 
and childhood is legion ; in every land divine beings hover about 
the infant human to protect it and assure the perpetuity of the 
race. In ancient Eome, besides the divinities who were con- 
nected with generation, the embryo, etc., we find, among others, 
the following tutelary deities of childhood : — 

Parca or Partula, the goddess of child-birth ; Diespiter, the god 
who brings the infant to the light of day ; Opis, the divinity who 
takes the infant from within the bosom of mother-earth ; Vatica- 
nus, the god who opens the child's mouth in crying ; Cunina, the 
protectress of the cradle and its contents ; Rumina, the goddess 
of the teat or breast; Ossipaga, the goddess who hardens and 
solidifies the bones of little children; Cama, the goddess who 

134 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

strengthens the flesh of little children ; Diva patina, the goddess 
of the drink of children ; Diva edusa, the goddess of the food of 
children; Cuba, the goddess of the sleep of the child; Levana, 
the goddess who lifts the child from the earth ; Statanus, the god, 
and Dea Statina, the goddess, of the child's standing ; Fabulinus, 
the god of the child's speech; Abeona and Adiona, the protec- 
tresses of the child in its goings out and its comings in ; Deus 
catus pater, the father-god who " sharpens " the wits of children ; 
Dea mens, the goddess of the child's mind ; Minerva, the goddess 
who is the giver of memory to the child ; Numeria, the goddess 
who teaches the child to count ; Voleta, the goddess, and Volum- 
nus the god, of will or wishing ; Venilia, the goddess of hope, of 
" things to come " ; Deus conus, the god of counsel, the counsel- 
giver; Peragenor or Agenona, the deity of the child's action; 
Camoena, the goddess who teaches the child to sing,- etc. (398. 188). 
Here the child is overshadowed, watched over, taught and 
instructed by the heavenly powers : — 

"But to the couch where childhood lies 
A more delicious trance is given, 
Lit up by rays from seraph eyes. 
And glimpses of remembered heaven." 

In line with the poet's thought, though of a ruder mould, is the 
belief of the Iroquois Indians recorded by Mrs. Smith : " When 
a living nursing child is taken out at night, the mother takes a 
pinch of white ashes and rubs it on the face of the child so that 
the spirits will not trouble, because they say that a child still 
continues to hold intercourse with the spirit-world whence it so 
recently came " (534. 69). 


President Hall has treated of "The Contents of Children's 
Minds on Entering School" (252), but we yet lack a like elabo- 
rate and suggestive study of " The Contents of Parents' Minds 
on Entering the Nursery." We owe to the excellent investigation 
carried on by Principal Russell and his colleagues at the State 
Normal School in Worcester, Mass., " Some Records of the 
Thoughts and Reasonings of Children " (194), and President Hall 
has written about " Children's Lies " (252a), but we are still with- 

The Golden Age, 135 

out a correspondingly accurate and extensive compilation of " The 
Thoughts and Keasonings of Parents," and a plain, unbiassed 
register of the " white lies '' and equivoques, the fictions and 
epigrammatic myths, with which parents are wont to answer, 
or attempt to answer, the manifold questions of their tender 
offspring. From time immemorial the communication between 
parent (and nurse) and child, between the old of both sexes and 
little children, far from being yea and nay, has been cast in the 
mould of the advice given in the German quatrain : — 

" Ja haltet die Aequivocabula nor fest, 
Sind sie doch das etnzige Mittel, 
Dem Kind die "Wahrheit zu bei^n und doch 
Zu brauchen den richtigen TiteL" 

[" Hold fast to the words that we equivoques call ; 
For they are indeed the only safe way 
To keep from the children the truth away. 
Yet use the right name after all."] 

Around the birth of man centres a great cycle of fiction and 
myth. The folk-lore respecting the provenience of children may 
be divided into two categories. The first is represented by our 
" the doctor brought it," " God sent it," and the " van Moor " of 
the peasantry of Xorth Friesland, which may signify either '' from 
the moor," or " from mother." The second consists of renascent 
myths of bygone ages, distorted, sometimes, it is true, and recast. 
As men, in the dim, prehistoric past, ascribed to their first pro- 
genitors a celestial, a terrestrial, a subterranean, a subaqueous 
origin, a coming into being from animals, birds, insects, trees, 
plants, rocks, stones, etc., — for all were then akin, — so, after 
long centuries have rolled by, father, mother, nurse, older brother 
or sister, speaking of the little one in whom they see their stock 
renewed, or their kinship widened, resurrect and regild the old 
fables and rejuvenate and reanimate the lore that lay sunk 
beneath the threshold of racial consciousness. Once more " the 
child is father of the man " ; his course begins from that same 
spriag whence the first races of men had their remotest origins. 
George Macdonald, in the first lines of his poem on "Baby'* 

(337.182): — 

" WTiere did you come from, baby dear ? 
Out of the everyichere into here," 

136 The Child in Folk Thought. 

has expressed a truth of folk-lore, for there is scarcely a place in 
the " everywhere " whence the children have not been fabled to 
come. Children are said to come from heaven (Germany, Eng- 
land, America, etc.) ; from the sea (Denmark) ; from lakes, ponds, 
rivers (Germany, Austria, Japan) ; from moors and sand-hills 
(northeastern Germany) ; from gardens (China) ; from under the 
cabbage-leaves (Brittany, Alsace), or the parsley-bed (England) ; 
from sacred or hollow trees, such as the ash, linden, beech, oak, 
etc. (Germany, Austria) ; from inside or from underneath rocks 
and stones (northeastern Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia, etc.). 
It is worthy of note how the topography of the country, its 
physiographic character, affects these beliefs, which change with 
hill and plain, with moor and meadow, seashore and inland dis- 
trict. The details of these birth-myths may be read in Ploss 
(326. I. 2), Schell (343), Sundermann (366). Specially interesting 
are the Kindersee ("child-lake"), Kinderhaum ("child-tree"), 
and Kinderhrunnen ("child-fountain") of the Teutonic lands, — 
offering analogies with the " Tree of Life " and the " Fountain 
of Eternal Youth" of other ages and peoples; the Titistein, or 
" little children's stone," and the Kindertruog (" child's trough ") 
of Switzerland, and the " stork-stones " of North Germany. 

Dr. Haas, in his interesting little volume of folk-lore from the 
island of Eligen, in the Baltic, records some curious tales about 
the birth of children. The following practice of the children in 
that portion of Germany is significant : " Little white and black 
smooth stones, found on the shore, are called 'stork-stones.' 
These the children are wont to throw backwards over their heads, 
asking, at the same time, the stork to bring them a little brother 
or sister " (466 a. 144). This recalls vividly the old Greek deluge- 
myth, in which we are told, that, after the Elood, Deucalion was 
ordered to cast behind him the " bones of his mother." This he 
interpreted to mean the " stones," which seemed, as it were, the 
" bones " of " mother-earth." So he and his wife Pyrrha picked up 
some stones from the ground and cast them over their shoulders, 
whereupon those thrown by Deucalion became men, those thrown 
by Pyrrha, women. Here belongs, also, perhaps, the Wallachian 
custom, mentioned by Mr. Sessions (who thinks it was " probably 
to keep evil spirits away "), in accordance with which " when a 
child is born every one present throws a stone behind him." 

The Golden Age. 137 

On tlie island of Kilgen erratic blocks on the seashore are 
called- Adeborst€i7ie, "stork-stones," and on such a rock or boulder 
near Wrek in Wittow, Dr. Haas says "the stork is said to dry 
the little children, after he has fetched them out of the sea, 
before he brings them to the mothers. The latter point out these 
blocks to their little sons and daughters, telling them how once 
they were laid upon them by the stork to get dry." The great 
blocks of granite that lie scattered on the coast of Jasmund are 
termed Schicansteine, "swan-stones," and, according to nursery- 
legend, the children to be born are shut up in them. When a 
sister or brother asks: "Where did the little swan-child '' — for 
so babies are called — "come from?" the mother replies: "From 
the swan-stone. It was opened with a key, and a little swan- 
child taken out." The term "swan-child" is general in this 
region, and Dr. Haas is inclined to think that the swan-myth is 
older than the stork-myth (466 a. 143, 144). 

Curious indeed is the belief of the Hidatsa Indians, as reported 
by Dr. Matthews, in the " Makadistati, or house of infants." 
This is described as "a cavern near Knife River, which, they 
supposed, extended far into the earth, but whose entrance was 
only a span wide. It was resorted to by the childless husband 
or the barren wife. There are those among them who imagine 
that in some way or other their children come from the Makadi- 
stati; and marks of contusion on an infant, arising from tight 
swaddling or other causes, are gravely attributed to kicks received 
from his former comrades when he was ejected from his subterra- 
nean home" (433. 516). 

In Hesse, Germany, there is a children's song (326. I. 9) : — 

Bimbam, Glockcben, 
Da unten steht ein Stockchen, 
Da oben stebt ein golden Haus, 
Da gucken viele scbone Kinder rans. 

The current belief in that part of Europe is that " unborn chil- 
dren live in a very beautiful dwelling, for so long as children 
are no year old and have not yet looked into a mirror, everything 
that comes before their eyes appears to be gold." Here folk- 
thought makes the beginnings of human life a real golden age. 
They are Midases of the eye, not of the touch. 

138 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Children's Questions and Parents' Answers. 

Another interesting class of "parents' lies" consists in the 
replies to, or comments upon, the questionings and remarks of 
children about the ordinary affairs of life. The following ex- 
amples, selected from Dirksen's studies of East-Frisian Proverbs, 
will serve to indicate the general nature and extent of these. 

1. When a little child says, " I am hungry," the mother some- 
times answers, "Eat some salt, and then you will be thirsty, too." 

2. When a child, seeing its mother drink tea or coffee, saj^s, 
" I'm thirsty," the answer may be, " If you're thirsty, go to Jack 
ter Host ; there's a cow in the stall, go sit under it and drink." 
Some of the variants of this locution are expressed in very coarse 
language (431. I. 22). 

3. If a child asks, when it sees that its parent is going out, 
" Am I not going, too ? " the answer is, " You are going along, 
where nobody has gone, to Poodle's wedding," or " You are going 
along on Stay-here's cart." A third locution is, " You are going 
along to the Ktlkendell fair " (Kiikendell being a part of Meider- 
ich, where a fair has never been held). In Oldenburg the answer 
is: "You shall go along on Jack-stay-at-home's (Janblievtohus) 
cart." Sometimes the child is quieted by being told, " I'll bring 
you back a little silver nothing (enn silwer Nickske) " (431. 
I. 33). 

4. If, when he is given a slice of bread, he asks for a thinner 
one, the mother may remark, "Thick pieces make fat bodies" 
(431. I. 35). 

5. When some one says in the hearing of the father or mother 
of a child that it ought not to have a certain apple, a certain arti- 
cle of clothing, or the like, the answer is, " That is no illegitimate 
child." The locution is based upon the fact that illegitimate 
children do not enjoy the same rights and privileges as those 
born in wedlock (431. I. 42). 

6. Of children's toys and playthings it is sometimes said, when 
they are very fragile, "They will last from twelve o'clock till 
midday" (431.1.43). 

7. When any one praises her child in the presence of the 
mother, the latter says, "It's a good child when asleep" (431. 
I. 51). 

The Golden Age. 139 

8. In the winter-time, when the child asks its mother for an 
apple, the latter may reply, " the apples are piping in the tree," 
meaning that there are no longer any apples on the tree, but the 
sparrows are sitting there, crying and lamenting. In Meiderich 
the locution is " Apples have golden stems," i.e. they axe rare and 
dear in winter-time (431. I. 75). 

9. When the child says, " I can't sit down," the mother may 
remark, " Come and sit on my thumb ; nobody has ever fallen off 
it " {i.e. because no one has ever tried to sit on it) (431. L 92). 

10. AVhen a lazy child, about to be sent out upon an errand, 
protests that it does not know where the person to whom the 
message is to be sent lives, and consequently cannot do the 
errand, the mother remarks threateningly, "I'll show where 
Abraham ground the mustard," i.e. "I give you a good thrash- 
ing, till the tears come into your eyes (as when grinding mus- 
tard) " (431. I. 105). 

11. When a child complains that a sister or brother has done 
something to hurt him, the mother's answer is, '' Look out ! He 
shall have water in the cabbage, and go barefoot to bed" (431. 
I. 106). 

12. Sometimes their parents or elders turn to children and ask 
them " if they would like to be shown the Bremen geese." K the 
child says yes, he is seized by the ears and head with both hands 
and lifted off the ground. In some parts of Germany this is 
called "showing Rome," and there are variants of the practice 
in other lands (431. II. 14). 

13. When a child complains of a sore in its eye, or on its neck, 
the answer is : " That will get well before you are a great-grand- 
mother " (431. II. 50). 

14. When one child asks for one thing and another for some- 
thing else, the mother exclaims petulantly, " One calls out * lime,' 
the other ' stones.' " The reference is to the confusion of tongues 
at Babel, which is assumed to have been of such a nature that 
one man would call out "lime," and another "stones" (431. 11. 

15. When a child asks for half a slice of bread instead of a 
whole one, the mother may say, "Who doesn't like a whole, 
doesn't like a half either " (431. II. 43). 

16. When a child says, "That is my place, I sat there," the 

140 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

reply is, " You have no place ; your place is in the churchyard " 
{i.e. a grave) (431. II. 76). 

When the child says " I will," the mother says threateningly, 
" Your ' will ' is in your mother's pocket." It is in her pocket 
that she carries the rope for whipping the child. Another locu- 
tion is, " Your will is in the corner " (i.e. the corner of the room 
in which stands the broomstick) (431. II. 81). 

These specimens of the interchange of courtesies between the 
child and its parent or nurse might be paralleled from our own 
language ; indeed, many of the correspondences will suggest 
themselves at once. The deceits practised in the Golden Age 
of childhood resemble those practised by the gods in the Golden 
Age of the world, when divine beings walked the earth and had 
intercourse with the sons and daughters of men. 

" Painted Devils." 

Even as the serpent marred the Eden of which the sacred 
legends of the Semites tell, so in the folk-thought does some 
evil sprite or phantom ever and anon intrude itself in the Para- 
dise of childhood and seek its ruin. 

Shakespeare has well said : — 

" 'Tis the eye of childhood 
That fears a painted devil," 

and the chronicle of the " painted devils," bogies, scarecrows, et 
id genus omne, is a long one, whose many chapters may be read in 
Ploss, Hartland, Henderson, Gregor, etc. Some of the " devils " 
are mild and almost gentlemen, like their lord and master at 
times ; others are fierce, cruel, and bloodthirsty ; their number is 
almost infinite, and they have the forms of women as well as 
of men. 

Over a large portion of western Europe is found the nursery 
story of the " Sand-Man," who causes children to become drowsy 
and sleepy ; " the sand-man is coming, the sand-man has put dust 
in your eyes," are some of the sayings in use. By and by the 
child gets " so fast asleep that one eye does not see the other," as 
the Frisian proverb puts it. When, on a cold winter day, her 
little boy would go out without his warm mittens on, the East 

The Golden Age. 141 

Frisian mother says, vrarningly: De Fingerbiter is buten, "the 
Finger-biter is outside." 

Among the formidable evil spirits who war against or torment 
the child and its mother are the Hebrew Lilith, the long-haired 
night-flier; the Greek Strigalai, old and ugly owl-women; the 
Eoman Caprimulgus, the nightly goat-milker and child-killer, and 
the wood-god Silvanus; the Coptic Berselia; the Hungarian 
" water-man," or " water-woman," who changes children for crip- 
ples or demons; the Moravian Vestice, or "wild woman," able 
to take the form of any animal, who steals away children at 
the breast, and substitutes changelings for them ; the Bohemian 
Polednice, or "noon-lady," who roams around only at noon, and 
substitutes changelings for real children; the Lithuanian and 
Old Prussian Laume, a child-stealer, whose breast is the thunder- 
bolt, and whose girdle is the rainbow ; the Servian Wjeschtitza, or 
witches, who take on the form of an insect, and eat up children 
at night ; the Eussian " midnight spirit," who robs children of rest 
and sleep ; the Wendish " Old mountain- woman " ; the German 
(Brunswick) " corn- woman," who makes off -wdth little children 
looking for flowers in the fields ; the Eoggenmuhvie ( " rye-aunt ** ), 
the Tremsemutter, who walks about in the cornfields ; the Katzen- 
veil, a wood spirit, and a score of bogies called Popel, Popelmann, 
Popanz, Butz, etc. ; the Scotch "Boo Man," " Bogie Man," "Jenny 
wi' the Airn Teeth," " Jenny wi' the lang Pock " ; the English and 
American bogies, goblins, ogres, ogresses, witches, and the like ; 
besides, common to all peoples, a host of werwolves and vampires, 
giants and dwarfs, witches, ogres, ogresses, fairies, evil spirits of 
air, water, land, inimical to childhood and destructive of its peace 
and enjoyment. The names, lineage, and exploits of these may 
be read in Ploss, Grimm, Hartland, etc. 

In the time of the Crusades, Eichard Coeur de Lion, the hero- 
king of England, became so renowned among the Saracens that 
(Gibbon informs us) his name was used by mothers and nurses to 
quiet their infants, and other historical characters before and 
after him served to like purpose. To the children of Eome in 
her later days, Attila, the great Hun, was such a bogy, as was 
Narses, the Byzantian general (d. 568 a.d.), to the Assyrian chil- 
dren. Bogies also were Matthias Corvinus (d. 1490 a.d.), the 
Himgarian king and general, to the Turks; Tamerlane (Timur), 

142 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

the great Mongolian conqueror (d. 1405 a.d.), to tlie Persians; 
and Bonaparte, at the close of the eighteenth and the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, in various parts of the continent of 
Europe. These, and other historical characters have, in part, 
taken the place of the giants and bogies of old, some of whom, 
however, linger, even yet, in the highest civilizations, together 
with fabulous animals (reminiscent of stern reality in primitive 
times), with which, less seriously than in the lands of the eastern 
world, childhood is threatened and cowed into submission. 

The Ponka Indian mothers tell their children that if they do 
not behave themselves the Indaciilga (a hairy monster shaped 
like a human being, that hoots like an owl) will get them ; the 
Omaha bogy is Icibajl ; a Dakota child-stealer and bogy is 
Anungite or "Two Paces" (433. 38G, 473). With the Kootenay 
Indians, of south-eastern British Columbia, the owl is the bogy 
with which children are frightened into good behaviour, the 
common saying of mothers, when their children are troublesome, 
being, "If you are not quiet, I'll give you to the owl" (203). 
Longfellow, in his Hiawatha, speaks of one of the bogies of the 
eastern Indians : — 

" Thus the wrinkled old Nokomis 
Nursed the little Hiawatha, 
Rocked him in his linden cradle, 
Stilled his fretful wail by saying, 
' Hush ! the naked bear will get thee ! ' " 

Among the Nipissing Algonkian Indians, koko is a child-word 
for any terrible being ; the mothers say to their children, " beware 
of the koko." Champlain and Lescarbot, the early chroniclers of 
Canada, mention a terrible creature (concerning which tales were 
told to frighten children) called gougou, supposed to dwell on an 
island in the Bale des Chaleurs (200. 239). Among the bogies 
of the Mayas of Yucatan, Dr. Brinton mentions : the halams 
(giant beings of the night), who carry off children ; the culcalkin, 
or "neckless priest"; besides giants and witches galore (411. 
174, 177). 

Among the Gualala Indians of California, we find the " devil- 
dance," which Powers compares to the haberfeldtreiben of the 
Bavarian peasants, — an institution got up for the purpose of 


The Golden Age. 143 

frightening the women and children, and keeping them in order. 
While, the ordinary dances are going on, there suddenly stalks 
forth " an ugly apparition in the shape of a man, wearing a feather 
mantle on his back, reaching from the arm-pits down to the 
mid-thighs, zebra-painted on his breast and legs with black stripes, 
bear-skin shako on his head, and his arms stretched out at full 
length along a staff passing behind his neck. Accoutred in this 
harlequin rig, he dashes at the squaws, capering, dancing, whoop- 
ing ; and they and the children flee for life, keeping several hun- 
dred yards between him and themselves." It is believed that, 
if they were even to touch his stick, their children would die 
(519. 194). 

Among the Patwin, Nishinam, and Porno Indians, somewhat 
similar practices are in vogue (519. 157, 160, 225). From the 
golden age of childhood, with its divinities and its demons, we 
may now pass to the consideration of more special topics concern- 
ing the young of the races of men. 

Children's Food. 

Der Mensch ist, -was er isst. — Feuerbach. 

For he on honey-dew hath fed, 

And drunk the milk of Paradise. — Coleridge. 

Man did eat angels' food. — Psalm Ixxviii. 25. 


Der Mensch ist, was er isst, — "man is what lie eats," — says 
Feuerbach, and there were food-philosophies long before his time. 
Among primitive peoples, the food of the child often smacks of 
the Golden Age. Tennyson, in Eleanore, sings : — 

"Or, the yellow-banded bees, 
Through half-open lattices 
Coming in the scented breeze, 
Fed thee, a child lying alone, 

With white honey, in fairy gardens cull'd — 
A glorious child dreaming alone, 
In silk-soft folds, upon yielding down, 
With the hum of swarming bees 
Into dreamful slumber luU'd." 

This recalls the story of Cretan Zeus, fed, when an infant, by 
the nymphs in a cave on Mount Ida with the milk of the goat 
Am althaea and honey brought by the bees of the mountain. 

In the sacred books of the ancient Hindus we read: "The 
father puts his mouth to the right ear of the new-born babe, and 
murmurs three times, ' Speech ! Speech ! ' Then he gives it a 
name. Then he mixes clotted milk, honey, and butter, and feeds 
the babe with it out of pure gold " (460. 129). Among the ancient 
Frisians and some other Germanic tribes, the father had the right 



Children s Food. 145 

to put to death or expose his child so long as it had not taken 
food ; but " so soon as the infant had drunk milk and eaten honey- 
he could not be put to death by his parents " (286. 69). The custom 
of giving the new-bom child honey to taste is referred to in Ger- 
man counting-out rhymes, and the ancient Germans used to rub 
honey in the mouth of the new-born child. The heathen Czechs 
used to drop honey upon the child's lips, and in the Eastern 
Church it was formerly the custom to give the baptized child milk 
and honey to taste (392. II. 35). ^\Tien the Jewish child, in the 
Middle Ages, first went to school, one of the ceremonial obser- 
vances was to have him lick a slate which had been smeared with 
honey, and upon which the alphabet, two Bible verses, and the 
words ''The Tora shall be my calling" were written; this cus- 
tom is interestingly explanative of the passage in Ezekiel (iii. 3) 
where we read " Then I did eat it [the roll of a book given the 
prophet by God] ; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweet- 
ness." There were also given to the child sweet cakes upon 
which Bible verses were written. Among the Jews of Galicia, 
before a babe is placed in the cradle for the first time, it is cus- 
tomary to strew into the latter little pieces of honey-comb. 
Among the Wotjaks we find the curious belief that those who, in 
eating honey, do not smear their mouth and hands with it, will 
die. TVith children of an older growth, — the second Golden 
Age, — honey and cakes again appear. Magyar maidens at the 
new moon steal honey and cakes, cook them, and mix a part in 
the food of the youth of their desires ; among the White Russians, 
the bridal couple are fed honey with a spoon. Even with us 
" the first sweet month of matrimony," after the " bless you, my 
children " has been spoken by parents, church, and state, is called 
the " honey-moon," for our Teutonic ancestors were in the habit 
of drinking honey-wine or mead for the space of thirty days after 
marriage (392. IV. 118, 211). In wedding-feasts the honey appears 
again, and, as Westermarck observes, the meal partaken of by the 
bride and bridegroom practically constitutes the marriage-cere- 
mony among the Xavajos, Santal, Malays, Hovas, and other 
primitive peoples (166. 419). 

In Iceland, in ancient times, " the food of sucklings was sweet- 
ened by honey," and " in the mouths of weakly children a slice 
of meat was placed at which they sucked." Among other inter- 

146 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

esting items from Scandinavia, Ploss (326. II. 182) gives the fol- 
lowing: ''In Iceland, if the child has been suckled eight (at 
most, fourteen) days, it is henceforth placed upon the ground; 
near it is put a vessel with luke-warm whey, in which a reed 
or a quill is stuck, and a little bread placed before it. If the 
child should wake and show signs of hunger, he is turned towards 
the vessel, and the reed is placed in his mouth. When the 
child is nine months oldj it must eat of the same food as its 
parents do." 

In Shropshire, England, the first food given a child is a spoon- 
ful of sugar and butter, and, in the Highlands of Scotland, " at 
the birth of an infant the nurse takes a green stick of ash, one 
end of which she puts into the fire, and, while it is burning, 
receives in a spoon the sap that oozes from the other, which she 
administers to the child as its first food." This recalls the sap 
of the sacred ash of Scandinavian mythology. Solinus states 
that the ancient Irish mother "put the first food of her new- 
born son on the sword of her husband, and, lightly introducing 
it into his mouth, expressed a wish that he might never meet 
death otherwise than in war and amid arms," and a like custom 
is said " to have been kept up, prior to the union, in Annandale 
and other places along the Scottish border " (460. 129, 131). 


Among the Negritos of the Philippine Islands, when a child is 
born, one of the other children immediately gives it to eat some 
salt on the point of a knife (326. I. 258). The virtues of salt are 
recognized among many peoples. In the Middle Ages, when 
mothers abandoned their infants, they used to place beside them 
a little salt in token that they were unbaptized (326. I. 284) ; 
in Scotland, where the new-born babe is " bathed in salted water, 
and made to taste it three times, because the water was strength- 
ening and also obnoxious to a person with the evil eye," the lady 
of the house firsu visited by the mother and child must, with the 
recital of a charm, put some salt in the little one's mouth. In 
Brabant, during the baptismal ceremony, the priest consecrates 
salt, given him by the father, and then puts a grain into the 
child's mouth, the rest being carefully kept by the father. The 

Children's Food. 147 

great importance of salt in the ceremonies of the Zuni and related 
Indians of the Pueblos has been pointed out by Mr. Gushing. 

Salt appears also at modern European wedding-feasts and pre- 
nuptial rites, as do also rice and meal, which are also among the 
first foods of some primitive races. Among the Badagas of the 
Kilgiri Hills, when the child is named (from twenty to thirty 
days after birth), the maternal uncle places three small bits of 
rice in its mouth (326. I. 284). 

FoTk-Medicin e. 

Among the Tlingit Indians, of Alaska, the new-born infant " is 
not given the breast until all the contents of its stomach (which 
are considered the cause of disease) are removed by vomiting, 
which is promoted by pressing the stomach" (403. 40), and 
among the Hare Indians, "the infant is not allowed food until 
four days after birth, in order to accustom it to fasting in the 
next world" (396. I. 121). The Songish Indians do not give 
the child anything to eat on the first day (404. 20) ; the Kolosh 
Indians, of Alaska, after ten to thirty months "accustom their 
children to the taste of a sea-animal," and, among the Arctic 
Eskimo, Kane found " children, who could not yet speak, devour- 
ing with horrible greediness, great limips of walrus fat and flesh." 
Klutschak tells us how, during a famine, the Eskimo of Hudson's 
Bay melted and boiled for the children the blood-soaked snow 
from the spot where a walrus had been killed and cut up 
(326. 11. 181). 

In CuldafP, in the county of Donegal, Ireland, " an infant at its 
birth is forced to swallow spirits, and is immediately afterwards 
[strange anticipation of Dr. Kobinson] suspended by the upper 
jaw on the nurse's forefinger. Whiskey is here the representative 
of the Hindu soma, the sacred juice of the ash, etc., and the 
administration of alcoholic liquors to children of a tender age 
in sickness and disease so common everywhere but a few years 
ago, founded itself perhaps more upon this ancient belief than 
upon anything else (401. 180). 

The study of the food of sick children is an interesting one, 
and much of value may be read of it in Zanetti (173), Black (401), 
and other writers who have treated of folk-medicine. The decoc- 

148 The Child in Folk -Thought 

tions of plants and herbs, the preparations of insects, reptiles, 
the flesh, blood, and ordure of all sorts of beasts (and of man), 
which the doctrines of signatures and sympathies, the craze of 
similia similihus, forced down the throat of the child, in the way 
of food and medicine, are legion in number, and must be read in 
Polkard and the herbalists, in Bourke (407), Strack, etc. 

In some parts of the United States even snail-water and snail- 
soup are not unknown ; in New England, as Mrs. Earle informs 
us (221. 6), much was once thought of " the admirable and most 
famous snail-water." 

Milk and Honey. 

As we have abundantly seen, the first food of the child is the 
" food of the gods," for so were honey and milk esteemed among 
the ancient Germans, Greeks, Slavs, Hindus, etc., and of the 
Paradise where dwelt the Gods, and into which it was fabled 
children were born, we have some recollection, as Ploss suggests, 
in the familiar "land flowing with milk and honey," into the 
possession of which the children of Israel entered after their long 
wandering in the wilderness (462. II. 696). Of the ancient Hindu 
god Agni, Letourneau (100. 315) observes : " After being for a 
long time fed upon melted butter and the alcoholic liquor from 
the acid asclepias, the sacred Soma, he first became a glorious 
child, then a metaphysical divinity, a mediator living in the 
fathers and living again in the sons." It was the divine Sdma 
that, like the nectar of the Greeks, the elixirs of the Scandina- 
vians, conferred youth and immortality upon those who drank it. 

According to Moslem legend, after his birth, Abraham "re- 
mained concealed in a cave during fifteen months, and his 
mother visited him sometimes to nurse him. But he had no need 
of her food, for Allah commanded water to flow from one of 
Abraham's fingers, milk from another, honey from the third, the 
juice of dates from the fourth, and butter from the fifth " 
(547. 69). 


In the Gesta Romanorum (Cap. XI.) we read of the " Queen of 
the North," who " nourished her daughter from the cradle upon 
a certain kind of deadly poison ; and when she grew up, she was 

Children's Food. 149 

considered so beautiful, that the sight of her alone affected one 
with madness." Moreover, her whole nature had become so 
imbued with poisons that " she herself had become the deadliest 
poison in existence. Poison was her element of life. With that 
rich perfume of her breath she blasted the very air. Her love 
would have been poison, her embrace death." Hawthorne's story 
of " Rappaccini's Daughter," — " who ever since infancy had 
grown and blossomed with the plants whose fatal properties she 
had imbibed with the air she breathed," — comes from the same 
original source (390. II. 172). Here we are taken back again to 
the Golden Age, when even poisons could be eaten without harm. 

Priest and Food. 

With the giving of the child's food the priest is often asso- 
ciated. In the Fiji Islands, at Yitilevu, on the day when the 
navel-string falls off, a festival is held, and the food of the child 
is blest by the priest with prayers for his life and prosperity. 
In Upper Egypt, a feast is held at the house of the father and 
the child consecrated by the cadi or a priest, to whom is brought 
a plate with sugar-candy. The priest chews the candy and lets 
the sweet juice fall out of his mouth into that of the child, and 
thus " gives him his name out of his mouth " (326. I. 284). 

The over-indulgence of children in food finds parallels at a 
later x)eriod of life, when, as with the people of southern Nubia 
and the Sahara between Talifet and Timbuktu, men fatten girls 
before marriage, making them consrmie huge quantities of milk, 
butter, etc. 

For children, among many primitive peoples, there are numer- 
ous taboos of certain classes and kinds of food, from religious or 
superstitious motives. This toftoo-system has not lost all its force 
even to-day, as no other excuse can reasonably be offered for 
the refusal of certain harmless food to the young. 


Concerning certain Australian tribes, Lumholtz remarks : " Be- 
fore the children are big enough to hold a pipe in their mouth 
they are permitted to smoke, and the mother will share her pipe 

150 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

with the nursing babe " (495. 193). In like manner, among the 
natives of the Solomon Islands, Mr. Gnppy witnessed displays 
of precocity in this regard : " Bright-looking lads, eight or nine 
years of age, stood smoking their pipes as gravely as Hauniino 
[a chief] himself ; and even the smallest babe in its father's arms 
caught hold of his pipe and began to suck instinctively " (466. 42). 
With the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador, according to Simson, the child, 
when three or four years old, is initiated into the mysteries of 
tobacco-smoking, amid great festivities and ceremonies (533. 388). 

Drink of Immortality. 

Feeding the dead has been in practice among many primitive 
peoples. The mother, with some of the Indian tribes of New 
Mexico, used to drop milk from her breast on the lips of her 
dead babe; and in many parts of the world we meet with the 
custom of placing food near the grave, so that the spirits may not 
hunger, or of placing it in the grave or coffin, so that on its way 
to the spirit-land the soul of the deceased may partake of some 
refreshment. Among the ancient natives of Venezuela, " infants 
who died a few days after their birth, were seated around the 
Tree of Milk, or Celestial Tree, that distilled milk from the ex- 
tremity of its branches " ; and kindred beliefs are found elsewhere 
(448. 297). 

We have also the tree associated beautifully with the new- 
born child, as Reclus records concerning the Todas of the Nilgiri 
Hills, in India: "Immediately the deliverance has taken place 
— it always happens in the open air — three leaves of the afore- 
mentioned tree [under which the mother and father have passed 
the night] are presented to the father, who, making cups of them, 
pours a few drops of water into the first, wherewith he moistens 
his lips ; the remainder he decants into the two other leaves ; the 
mother drinks her share, and causes the baby to swallow his. 
Thus, father, mother, and child, earliest of Trinities, celebrate 
their first communion, and drink the living water, more sacred 
than wine, from the leaves of the Tree of Life " (523. 201). 

The sacred books of the Hebrews tell us that the race of man 
in its infancy became like the gods by eating of the fruit of the 
tree of knowledge, and in the legends of other peoples immortality 

Children's Food. 151 

came to the great heroes by drinking of the divine sap of the 
sacred, tree, or partaking of some of its fruit. The ancient 
Egyptians believed that milk from the breast of the divine 
mother Isis conferred divinity and immortality upon him who 
drank of it or imbibed it from the sacred source. "Wiedemann 
aptly compares with this the Greek story of the infancy of 
Hercules. The great child-hero was the son of the god Jupiter 
and Alcmena, daughter of Electryon, King of Argos. He was 
exposed by his mother, but the goddess Athene persuaded Hera 
to give him her breast (another version says Hermes placed 
Hercules on the breast of Hera, while she slept) and the infant 
Hercules drew so lustily of the milk that he caused pain to the 
goddess, who snatched him away. But Hercules had drunk of 
the milk of a goddess and had become immortal, and as one of 
the gods (167. 266). 


Children's Souls. 

The soul that rises with us, our life's star, 

Hath elsewhere its setting, 

And Cometh from afar. — Wordsworth. 

And rest at last where souls unhodied dwell 
In ever-flowing meads of Asphodel. 

— Homer (Pope's Transl.). 


With certain Hindu castes, tlie new-born child is sprinkled 
with cold water, "in order that the soul, which, since its last 
existence, has remained in a condition of dreamy contemplation, 
may be brought to the consciousness that it has to go through a 
new period of trial in this corporeal world" (326. II. 13). Per- 
haps, among the myriad rites and ceremonies of immersion and 
sprinkling to which the infant is submitted with other primitive 
peoples, some traces of similar beliefs may be found. 

When the new world-religion was winning its way among the 
gentiles, baptism was the great barrier erected between the babe 
and the power of ill, spirits of air, earth, and water, survivals of 
old heathenism antagonistic to Christianity. Before that holy 
rite was performed, the child lay -exposed to all their machina- 
tions. Baptism was the armour of the infant against the assaults 
of Satan and his angels, against the cunning of the wanderers 
from elfin-land, the fairy-sprites, with their changelings and their 
impish tricks. 

Hence, the souls of still-born and unbaptized children came 
into the power of these evil ones and were metamorphosed into 
insects, birds, beasts, and the like, whose peculiar notes and 
voices betray them as having once been little children, or were 


Children's Souls. 153 

compelled to join the train of tlie wild huntsman, or mingle in 
the retinue of some other outcast, wandering sprite or devil ; or, 
again, as some deceitful star, or will-o'-the-wisp, mislead and 
torment the traveller on moor and in bog and swamp, and guide 
him to an untimely death amid desert solitudes. Ploss, Hender- 
son, and Swainson have a good deal to say on the subject of Frau 
Berctha and her train, the Wild Huntsman, the " Gabble Eetchet," 
" Yeth Hoiinds," etc. Mr. Henderson tells us that, " in Xorth 
Devon the local name is ' yeth hoimds,' heatJi and heathen being 
both 'yeth' in the North Devon dialect. Unbaptized infants 
are there buried in a part of the churchyard set apart for the 
purpose called ' Chrycimers,' i.e. Christianless, hill, and the 
belief seems to be that their spirits, having no admittance into 
Paradise, unite in a pack of 'Heathen' or *yeth' hounds, and 
hunt the Evil One, to whom they ascribe their unhappy condi- 
tion " (469. 131, 132). The prejudice against unbaptized children 
lingers yet elsewhere, as the following extract from a newspaper 
published in the year 1882 seems to indicate (230. 272) : — 

" There is in the island of Mull a little burial-ground entirely 
devoted to unbaptized children, who were thus severed in the 
grave from those who had been interred in the hope of resurrec- 
tion to life. Only one adult lies with the little babes — an old 
Christian woman — whose last dying request it was that she 
should be buried with the unbaptized children." The Eev. Mr. 
Thorn has given the facts poetic form and made immortal that 
mother-heart whose love made holy — if hallowed it needed to 
be — the lonely burial-ground where rest the infant outcasts : — 

" A spot that seems to bear a ban. 
As if by curse defiled : 
No mother lies there with her babe, 
No father by his child." 

Among primitive peoples we find a like prejudice against still- 
bom children and children who die very young. The natives of 
the Highlands of Borneo think that still-born infants go to a 
special spirit-land called Tenyn lalhi, and "the spirits of these 
children are believed to be very brave and to require no weapon 
other than a stick to defend themselves against their enemies. 
The reason given for this idea is, that the child has never felt 

154 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

pain in this world and is therefore very daring in the other" 
(475. 199). In Annam the spirits of children still-born and of 
those dying in infancy are held in great fear. These spirits, 
called Con Rank, or Con L6n (from I6n, "to enter into life"), 
are ever seeking "to incorporate themselves in the bodies of 
others, though, after so doing, they are incapable of life." More- 
over, " their names are not mentioned in the presence of women, 
for it is feared they might take to these, and a newly-married 
woman is in like manner afraid to take anything from a woman, 
or to wear any of the clothing of one, who has had such a child. 
Special measures are necessary to get rid of the Con Ranh" 
(397. 18-19). The Alfurus, of the Moluccas, "bury children 
up to their waists and expose them to all the tortures of thirst 
until they wrench from them the promise to hurl themselves 
upon the enemies of the village. Then they take them out, but 
only to kill them on the spot, imagining that the spirits of the 
victims will respect their last promise " (388. 81). On the other 
hand, Callaway informs us that the Zulu diviner may divine by 
the Amatongo (spirit) of infants, " supposed to be mild and benefi- 
cent" (417. 176). 


Wordsworth, in that immortal poem, which belongs to the 
jewels of the treasure-house of childhood, has sung of the birth 
of man: — 

" Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; 
The soul that rises with us, our life's star, 
Hath had elsewhere its setting, 

And Cometh from afar. 
Not in entire forgetfulness, 
And not in utter nakedness, 
But, trailing clouds of glory, do we come 

From God, who is our home : 
Heaven lies about us in our infancy," — 

and the humbler bards of many an age, whose names have per- 
ished with the races that produced them, have thought and sung 
of soul-incarnation, metempsychosis, transmigration, and kindred 
concepts, in a thousand different ways. In their strangely poet- 
ical language, the Tupi Indians, of Brazil, term a child pitanga, 
" suck soul," from piter, " to suck," anga, " soul." The Seminole 

Children's Souh. 155 

Indians, of Florida, "held the baby over the face of the woman 
dying -in child-birth, so that it might receive her parting spirit " 
(409. 271). A similar practice (with the father) is reported from 
Poljmesia. In a recently published work on "Souls," by Mrs. 
Mary Ailing Aber, we read : — 

" Two-thirds of all the babies that are born in civilized lands 
to-day have no souls attached to them. These babies are emana- 
tions from their parents, — not true entities; and, iinless a soul 
attaches itself, no ordinary efforts can carry one of them to the 
twentieth year. Souls do attach themselves to babies after birth 
sometimes so late as the third year. On the other hand, babies 
who have souls at birth sometimes lose them because the soul 
finds a better place, or is drawn away by a stronger influence ; 
but this rarely occurs after the third year." 

This somewhat o^^tre declaration of modem spiritualism finds 
kindred in some of the beliefs of primitive peoples, concerning 
which there is much in Ploss, Frazer, Bastian, etc. 

In one of the Mussiilman stories of King Solomon, the Angel 
of Death descends in human form to take the soul of an aged 
man, whose wish was to die when he had met the mightiest 
prophet. He dies talking to the wise Hebrew king. Afterwards 
the Angel says to Solomon : — 

" He [the angel, whose head reaches ten thousand years beyond 
the seventh heaven, whose feet are five hundred years below the 
earth, and upon whose shoidders stands the Angel of Death] it is 
who points out to me when and how I must take a soul. His gaze 
is fixed on the tree Sidrat Almuntalia, which bears as many leaves 
inscribed with names as there are men living on the earth. 

" At each new birth a new leaf, bearing the name of the newly- 
born, bursts forth ; and when any one has reached the end of his 
life, his leaf withers and falls off, and at the same instant I am 
with him to receive his soul. . . . 

" As often as a believer dies, Gabriel attends me, and wraps his 
sotil in a green silken sheet, and then breathes it into a green 
bird, which feeds in Paradise until the day of the resurrection. 
But the soul of the sinner I take alone, and, having wrapped it in 
a coarse, pitch-covered, woollen cloth, carry it to the gates of Hell, 
where it wanders among abominable vapours until the last day " 
(547. 213, 214). 

156 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

According to the belief of the Miao-tse, an aboriginal tribe of 
the province of Canton, in China, the souls of unborn children are 
kept in the garden of two deities called "Flower-Grandfather" 
and " Flower-Grandmother," and when to these have been made 
by a priest sacrifices of hens or swine, the children are let out and 
thus appear among men. As a charm against barrenness, these 
people put white paper into a basket and have the priest make an 
invocation. The white paper represents the deities, and the cere- 
mony is called Tcaufa; i.e. "Flower Invocation." 

In Japan, a certain Lake Fakone, owing its origin to an earth- 
quake, and now surrounded by many temples, is looked upon as 
the abode of the souls of children about to be born (326. I. 3). 

Certain Californian Indians, near Monterey, thought that " the 
dead retreated to verdant islands in the West, while awaiting the 
birth of the infants whose souls they were to form " (396. III. 525), 

In Calabria, Italy, when a butterfly flits around a baby's cradle, 
it is believed to be either an angel or a baby's soul, and a like 
belief prevails in other parts of the world; and we have the 
classic personification of Psyche, the soul, as a butterfly. 

Among the uneducated peasantry of Ireland, the pure white 
butterfly is thought to be the soul of the sinless and forgiven 
dead on the way to Paradise, whilst the spotted ones are the 
embodiments of spirits condemned to spend their time of purga- 
tory upon earth, the number of the sins corresponding with the 
number of spots on the wings of the insect (418. 192). 

In early Christian art and folk-lore, the soul is often figured as 
a dove, and in some heathen mythologies of Europe as a mouse, 
weasel, lizard, etc. 

In various parts of the world we find that children, at death, 
go to special limbos, purgatories, or heavens, and the folk-lore of 
the subject must be read at length in the mythological treatises. 

The Andaman Islanders " believe that every child which is con- 
ceived has had a prior existence, but only as an infant. If a 
woman who has lost a baby is again about to become a mother, 
the name borne by the deceased is bestowed on the foetus, in the 
expectation that it will prove to be the same child born again. 
Should it be found at birth that the babe is of the same sex as 
the one who died, the identity is considered to be sufficiently 
established; but, if otherwise, the deceased one is said to be 

Children i Souls. 157 

under the rdw- (Ficus laccifera), in -chd-itdn- (Hades)." Under 
this tree, upon the fruit of which they live, also dwell "the 
spirits and souls of all children who die before they cease to be 
entirely dependent on their parents (i.e. under six years of age) " 
(498. 86, 93). There was a somewhat similar myth in Venezuela 
(448. 297). 

Mr. Codrington gives some interesting illustrations of this 
belief from Melanesia (25. 311) : — 

" In the island of Aurora, Maewo, in the New Hebrides, women 
sometimes have a notion that the origin, beginning, of one of 
their children is a cocoanut or a bread-fruit, or something of that 
kind ; and they believe, therefore, that it would be injurious to 
the child to eat that food. It is a fancy of the woman, before the 
birth of the child, that the infant will be the nunu, which may be 
translated the echo, of such an object. Women also fancy that 
a child is the nunu of some dead person. It is not a notion 
of metempsychosis, as if the soul of the dead person returned in 
the new-born child ; but it is thought that there is so close a con- 
nection that the infant takes the place of the deceased. At iMota, 
also, in the Banks Islands, there was the belief that each person 
had a source of his being, his origin, in some animate or inan- 
imate thing, which might, under some circumstances, become 
kno\vn to him." As >Ir. Codrington suggests, such beliefs throw 
light upon the probable origin of totemism and its development. 

Spirit -World. 

Mrs. Stevenson informs us that " although the Sia do not 
believe in a return of the spirits of their dead when they have 
once entered Shipapo [the lower world], there was once an ex- 
ception to this." The priestly tale, as told to Mrs. Stevenson, is 
as follows (538. 143) : — 

"When the years were new, and this village had been built 
perhaps three years, all the spirits of our dead came here for a 
great feast. They had bodies such as they had before death; 
wives recognized husbands, husbands wives, children parents, and 
parents children. Just after sundown the spirits began arriving, 
only a few passing over the road by daylight, but after dark they 
came in great crowds and remained imtil near dawn. They tar- 

158 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

ried but one night ; husbands and wives did not sleep together ; 
had they done so, the living would have surely died. When the 
hour of separation came, there was much weeping, not only 
among the living, but the dead. The living insisted upon going 
with the dead, but the dead declared they must wait, — that 
they could not pass through the entrance to the other world; 
they must first die or grow old and again become little children 
to be able to pass through the door of the world for the departed. 
Jt was then that the Sia first learned all about their future home. 
They learned that the fields were vast, the pastures beautiful, the 
mountains high, the lakes and rivers clear like crystal, and the 
wheat and cornfields flourishing. During the day the spirits 
sleep, and at night they work industriously in the fields. The 
moon is father to the dead as the sun is father to the living, 
the dead resting when the sun travels, for at this time they see 
nothing; it is when the sun returns to his home at night that 
the departed spirits work and pass about in their world below. 
The home of the departed spirits is in the world first inhabited 
by the Sia." 

We learn further : " It is the aim of the Sia to first reach the 
intermediate state at the time the body ceases to develop, and 
then return gradually back to the first condition of infancy ; at 
such periods one does not die, but sleeps to awake in the spirit- 
world as a little child. Many stories have come to the Sia by 
those who have died only for a time ; the heart becomes still and 
the lips cold, and the spirit passes to the entrance of the other 
world and looks in, but does not enter, and yet it sees all, and in 
a short time returns to inhabit its earthly body. Great alarm is 
felt when one returns in this way to life, but much faith is put 
in the stories afterwards told by the one who has passed over the 
road of death." 

In the belief of these Indians of North America we see some 
foreshadowing of the declaration of Jesus, a rude expression of 
the fundamental thought underlying his words : — 

" Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not ; 
for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, who- 
soever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he 
shall in nowise enter therein." 

Certain Siouan Indians think: "The stars are all deceased 

Children's Souh. 159 

men. When a child is born, a star descends and appears on 
earth in human form ; after death it reascends and appears as 
a star in heaven" (433. 508). How like this is the poet's 
thought : — 

" Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting : 
The soul that rises with us, our life's star. 
Hath had elsewhere its setting, 
And Cometh from afar." 


Children's Flowees, Plants, and Trees. 

As for man, his days are as grass ; as a flower of the field so he flourishes. 

— Psalm ciii. 15. 
A child at play in meadows green, 

Plucking the fragrant flowers, 
Chasing the white-winged butterflies, — 
So sweet are childhood's hours. 

We meet wi' blythesome and kythesome cheerie weans, 
Daffin' and laughin' far adoon the leafy lanes. 
Wi' gowans and buttercups buskin' the thorny wands — 
Sweetly siugin' wi' the flower-branch wavin' in their hands. 

— William Miller. 

Many savage nations worship trees, and I really think my first feeling would 
be one of delight and interest rather than of surprise, if some day when I am 
alone in a wood, one of the trees were to speak to me. — Sir John LubbocJc. 

O who can tell 
The hidden power of herbs, and might of magic spell ? — Spenser. 

Plant Life and Human Life. 

Flowers, plants, and trees have ever been interwoven with 
the fate of man in the minds of poets and folk-thinkers. The 
great Hebrew psalmist declared : " As for man, his days are as 
grass ; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth," and the old 
Greeks said beautifully, olrjTrtp (f>v\X(Dv y^vcrj, ToiySe koI dvSpciv, " as 
is the generation of leaves, so is also that of men " ; or, to quote 
the words of Homer (Iliad, vi. 146) : — 

" Like as the generation of leaves, so also is that of men ; 
For the wind strews the leaves on the ground ; but the forest, 
Putting forth fresh buds, grows on, and spring will presently return. 
Thus with the generation of men ; the one blooms, the other fades away." 


Children and the Plant World, 161 

One derivation (a folk-etymology, perhaps) suggested for the 
Greek avdponros connects it with av^os, making man to be " that 
which springs up like a flower." We ourselves speak of the 
" flower of chivalry," the " bloom of youth," " budding youth " ; 
the poets call a little child a "flower," a "bud," a "blossom," — 
Herrick even terms an infant " a virgin flosculet." Plants, beasts, 
men, cities, civilizations, grow and flourish; the seKsame words 
are applied to them all. 

The same idea comes out strongly in the words relating to 
birth and childhood in the languages of many primitive peoples. 
"With the Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala the term boz has the 
following meanings : " to issue forth ; (of flowers) to open, to 
blow ; (of a butterfly) to come forth from the cocoon ; (of chicks) 
to come forth from the egg ; (of grains of maize) to burst ; (of men) 
to be boru " ; in Xahuatl (Aztec), itzmoUni signifies " to sprout, 
to grow, to be born " ; in Delaware, an Algonkian Indian dialect, 
mehittuk, "tree," mehittgus, "twig," mehittachpin, "to be bom," 
seem related, while gischi'gin means " to ripen, to mature, to be 

In many tongues the words for " young " reveal the same flow 
of thought. In Maya, an Indian language of Yucatan, yax signi- 
fies " green, fresh, young " ; in Xahuatl, yancuic, " green, fresh, 
new," and yancuic pilla, " a new-bom babe " ; in Chippeway, oshki, 
"new, fresh, young," whence oshkigin, "young shoot," oshkinau:e, 
"lad, youth," oshkinig, "newly born," oshkinaiaa, "a new or 
young object," oshkiaiaans, "a young animal or bird," oshkiabi- 
nodji, " babe, infant, new-born child " ; in Karankawa, an Indian 
language of Texas, kwa'-an, "child, yovmg," signifies literally 
" growing," from ka'-awan, " to grow " (said of animals and 

Our English words lad and lass, which came to the language 
from Celtic sources, find their cognate in the Gothic jugga-IautJis, 
" young lad, young man," where jugga means " young," and lauths 
is related to the verb liudan, "to grow, to spring up," from which 
root we have also the German Leute and the obsolete English leet, 
for " people " were originally " the grown, the sprung up." 

Maid {maiden), Anglo-Saxon mcegd, Modern High German 
Magd, Gothic magaths (and here belongs also old English may) 
is an old Teutonic word for " virgin, young girl.' The Gothic 

162 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

magaths is a derivative from magus, " son, boy, servant," cognate 
with Old Irish mac, " boy, son, youth," mag (mug), " slave," Old 
Norse m<igr, "son," Anglo-Saxon mago, "son, youth, servant, 
man," the radical of all these terms being mag, " to have power, 
to increase, to grow," — the Gothic magus was properly " a grow- 
ing (boy)," a "maid" is "a growing (girl)," The same idea 
Tinderlies the month-name May, for, to the Romans, this was 
"the month of growth," — flowery, bounteous May, — and dedi- 
cated to Maia, " the increaser," but curiously, as Ovid tells us, 
the common people considered it unlucky to marry in May, for 
then the rites of Bona Dea, the goddess of chastity, and the feasts 
of the dead, were celebrated. 


The study of dendanthropology and human florigeny would 
lead us wide afield. The ancient Semitic peoples of Asia Minor 
had their " Tree of Life," which later religions have spiritualized, 
and more than one race has ascribed its origin to trees. The 
Carib Indians believed that mankind — woman especially — were 
first created from two trees (509. 109) . According to a myth of 
the Siouan Indians, the first two human beings stood rooted as 
trees in the ground for many ages, until a great snake gnawed at 
the roots, so that they got loose and became the first Indians. 
In the old Norse cosmogony, two human beings — man and 
woman — were created from two trees — ash and elm — that 
stood on the searshore ; while Tacitus states that the holy grove 
of the Semnones was held to be the cradle of the nation, and in 
Saxony, men are said to have grown from trees. The Maya 
Indians called themselves " sons of the trees " (509. 180, 264). 

Doctor Beauchamp reports a legend of the Iroquois Indians, 
according to which a god came to earth and sowed five handfuls 
of seed, and these, changing to worms, were taken possession of 
by spirits, changed to children, and became the ancestors of the 
Five Nations (480. IV. 297). 

Classical mythology, along with dryads and tree-nymphs of all 
sorts, furnishes us with a multitude of myths of the metamor- 
phosis of human beings into trees, plants, and flowers. Among 
the most familiar stories are those of Adonis, Crocus, Phyllis, 

Children and the Plant World. 163 

Narcissus, Leucothea, Hyacinthus, Syrinx, Clytie, Daphne, Orchis, 
Lotis, yhilemon and Baucis, Atys, etc. All over the world we find 
myths of like import. 

A typical example is the Algonkian Indian legend of the trans- 
formation of Mishosha, the magician, into the sugar-maple, — the 
name aninatik or ininatik is interpreted by folk-etymology as 
" man-tree," the sap being the life-blood of Mishosha. Gluskap, 
the culture-hero of the Micmacs. once changed " a mighty man " 
into the cedar-tree. 

Many of the peculiarities of trees and plants are explained 
by the folk as resulting from their having once been human 

Grimm and Ploss have called attention to the widespread 
custom of planting trees on the occasion of the birth of a child, 
the idea being that some sort of connection between the plant 
and the human existed and would show itself sympathetically. 
In Switzerland, where the belief is that the child thrives with 
the tree, or vice versd, apple-trees are planted for boys and pear- 
or nut-trees for girls. Among the Jews, a cedar was planted for 
a boy and a pine for a girl, while for the wedding canopy, branches 
were cut from both these trees (385. 6). From this thought the 
orators and psalmists of old Israel drew many a noble and inspir- 
ing figure, such as that used by David: "The righteous shall 
flourish like the palm-tree : he shall grow like a cedar in Leba- 
non." Here belong also " flourishing like a green bay-tree," and 
the remark of the Captain in Shakespeare's King Richard 
Second : — 

" 'Tis thought the king is dead. "We will not stay ; 
The bay -trees in our country are all withered." 

Child-Flowers and -Plants. 

The planting of trees for the hero or the heroine and the belief 
that these wither when a death is near, blossom when a happy 
event approaches, and in many ways react to the fate and fortune 
of their human fellows, occur very frequently in fairy-tales and 

There is a sweet Tyrolian legend of "a poor idiot boy, who 
lived alone in the forest and was never heard to say any words 

164 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

but ' Ave Maria.' After his death a lily sprang up on his grave, 
on whose petals * Ave Maria ' might be distinctly read " (416. 216). 

An old Greek myth relates that the Crocus " sprang from the 
blood of the- infant Crocus, who was accidentally struck by a 
metal disc thrown by Mercury, whilst playing a game " (448. 299). 
In Ossianic story, " Malvina, weeping beside the tomb of Fingal, 
for Oscar and his infant son, is comforted by the maids of Morven, 
who narrate how they have seen the innocent infant borne on a 
light mist, pouring upon the fields a fresh harvest of flowers, 
amongst which rises one with golden disc, encircled with rays of 
silver, tipped with a delicate tint of crimson." Such, according 
to this Celtic legend, was the origin of the daisy (448. 308). 

The peasants of Brittany believe that little children, when they 
die, go straight to Paradise and are changed into beautiful flowers 
in the garden of heaven (174. 141). Similar beliefs are found in 
other parts of the world, and a like imagery is met with among 
our poets. Well known is Longfellow's little poem " The Eeaper 
and the Flowers," in which death, as a reaper, reaps not alone 
the " bearded grain," but also " the flowers [children] that grow 
between," for : — 

" ' My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,' 
The reaper said, and smiled ; 
' Dear tokens of the earth are they, 
Where he was once a child.' " 

And so : — 

"The mother gave, in tears and pain, 
The flowers she most did love ; 
She knew she should find them all again 
In the field of light above." 

According to a myth of the Chippeway Indians, a star once 
came down from heaven to dwell among men. Upon consulting 
with a young man in a dream as to where it should live, it was 
told to choose a place for itself, and, " at first, it dwelt in the 
white rose of the mountains ; but there it was so buried that it 
could not be seen. It went to the prairie ; but it feared the hoof 
of the buifalo. It next sought the rocky clilf ; but there it was 
so high that the children whom it loved most could not see it." 
It decided at last to dwell where it could always be seen, and so 

Children and the Plant World. 165 

one morning the Indians awoke to find the surface of river, lake, 
and pond covered with thousands of white flowers. Thus came 
into existence the beautiful water-lilies (440. 68-70). 

Perhaps the most beautiful belief regarding children's flowers 
is that embodied in Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Angel, 
where the Danish prose-poet tells us : " Whenever a child dies, 
an angel from heaven comes do^Ti to earth and takes the dead 
child in his arms, spreads out his great white wings, and flies 
away over all the places the child has loved and picks quite a 
handful of flowers, which he carries up to the Almighty, that 
they may bloom in heaven more brightly than on earth. And 
the Father presses all the flowers to His heart ; but He kisses the 
flower that pleases Him best, and the flower is then endowed 
with a voice and can join in the great chorus of praise" (393. 34J). 


Beside this, however, we may perhaps place the following 
quaint story of **The Devils on the Meadows of Heaven," of 
which a translation from the German of Rudolph Baumbach, by 
"C. F. P.," appears in the Association Record (October, 1892), 
published by the Young Women's Christian Association of 
Worcester, Mass. : — 

" As you know, good children, when they die, come to Heaven 
and become angels. But if you perhaps think they do nothing 
the sweet, long day but fly about and play hide-and-seek behind 
the clouds, you are mistaken. The angel-children are obliged to 
go to school like the boys and girls on the earth, and on week 
days must be in the angel-school three hours in the forenoon and 
two in the afternoon. There they write with golden pens on 
silver slates, and instead of ABC-books they have stoiy-books 
with gay-coloured pictures. They do not learn geography, for 
of what use in Heaven is earth-knowledge ; and in eternity one 
doesn't know the multiplication table at all. Dr. Faust is the 
angel-school teacher. On earth he was an A.M., and on account 
of a certain event which does not belong here, he is obliged to 
keep school in Heaven three thousand years more before the long 
vacation begins for him. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons 
the little angels have holiday ; then they are taken to walk on 

166 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

the Milky Way by Dr. Faust. But Sunday they are allowed to 
play on the great meadow in front of the gate of Heaven, and 
that they joyfully anticipate during the whole week. 

" The meadow is not green, but blue, and on it grow thousands 
and thousands of silver and golden flowers. They shine in the 
night and we men call them stars. 

" When the angels are sporting about before the gate of 
Heaven, Dr. Faust is not present, for on Sunday he must recover 
from the toil of the past week. St. Peter, who keeps watch at 
the Heavenly gate, then takes charge. He usually sees to it 
that the play goes on properly, and that no one goes astray or 
flies away ; but if one ever gets too far away from the gate, then 
he whistles on his golden key, which means ' Back ! ' 

"Once — it was really very hot in Heaven — St. Peter fell 
asleep. When the angels noticed this, they ceased swarming 
hither and thither and scattered over the whole meadow. But 
the most enterprising of them went out on a trip of discovery, 
and came at last to the place where the world is surrounded by a 
board fence. First they tried to find a crack somewhere through 
which they might peep, but as they found no gap, they climbed 
up the board fence and hung dangling and looking over. 

"Yonder, on the other side, was hell, and before its gate a 
crowd of little devils were just running about. They were coal- 
black, and had horns on their heads and long tails behind. One 
of them chanced to look up and noticed the angels, and immedi- 
ately begged imploringly that they would let them into Heaven 
for a little while; they would behave quite nice and properly. 
This moved the angels to pity, and because they liked the little 
black fellows, they thought they might perhaps allow the poor 
imps this innocent pleasure. 

" One of them knew the whereabouts of Jacob's ladder. This 
they dragged to the place from the lumber-room (St. Peter had, 
luckily, not waked up), lifted it over the fence of boards, and 
let it down into hell. Immediately the tailed fellows clambered 
up its rounds like monkeys, the angels gave them their hands, 
and thus came the devils upon Heaven's meadows. 

" At first they behaved themselves in a quite orderly manner. 
Modestly they stepped along and carried their tails on their arms 
like trains, as the devil grandmother, who sets great value on 

Children and the Plant World. 167 

propriety, had taught them. But it did not last long ; they be- 
came frolicsome, turned wheels and somersaults, and shrieked 
at the same time like real imps. The beautiful moon, who 
was looking kindly out of a window in Heaven, they derided, 
thrust out their tongues and made faces (German: long noses) 
at her, and finally began to pluck up the flowers which grew on 
the meadow and throw them down on the eart;h. Xow the 
angels grew frightened and bitterly repented letting their evil 
guests into Heaven, They begged and threatened, but the devils 
cared for nothing, and kept on in their frolic more madly. Then, 
in terror, the angels waked up St. Peter and penitently confessed 
to him what they had done. He smote his hands together over 
his head when he saw the mischief which the imps had wrought. 
'March in!' thundered he, and the little ones, with drooping 
wings, crept through the gate into Heaven. Then St. Peter 
called a few sturdy angels. They collected the imps and took 
them where they belonged. 

" The little angels did not escape punishment. Three Sundays 
in succession they were not allowed in front of Heaven's gate, 
and, if they were taken to walk, they were obliged to first un- 
buckle their wings and lay aside their halos ; and it is a great 
disgrace for an angel to go about without wings and halo. 

" But the affair resulted in some good, after all. The flowers 
which the devils had torn up and thrown upon the earth took 
root and increased from year to year. To be sure, the star-flower 
lost much of its heavenly beauty, but it is still always lovely to 
look at, with its golden-yellow disk, and its silvery white crown 
of rays. 

" And because of its Heavenly origin, a quite remarkable power 
resides in it. If a maiden, whose mind harbours a doubt, pulls 
off, one by one, the white petals of the flower-star, whispering 
meanwhile a certain sentence at the fall of the last little petal, 
she is quite sure of what she desires to know." 

The very name Aster is suggestive of star-origin and recalls the 
lines of Longfellow : — 

" Spake full well, in language quaint and olden, 
One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine, 
When he called the flowers, so blue and golden. 
Stars, that in earth's firmament do shine." 

168 The Child in Folk -Thought 

The reference seems to be to Friedrich Wilhelm Carove, of Cob- 
lentz, in whose Mdrchen ohne Ende, a forget-me-not is spoken of 
as " twinkling as brightly as a blue star on the green firmament 
of earth " (390. II. 149). 

Another contribution to floral astrology is the brief poem of 
H. M. Sweeny in the Catholic World for November, 1892 : — 

" The Milky Way is the foot-path 
Of the martyrs gone to God ; 
Its stars are the flaming jewels 
To show us the way thej' trod. 

•« The flowers are stars dropped lower, 
Our daily path to light, 
In daylight to lead us upward 
As those jewels do at night." 

Flower-oracles are discussed in another section, and the " lan- 
guage of flowers " of which the poet tells, — 

" In Eastern lands they talk in flowers, 

And they tell in a garland their loves and cares ; 
Each blossom that blooms in their garden bower 
On its leaves a mystic language bears," 

must be studied in Dyer, Friend, and Folkard, or in the various 
booklets which treat of this entertaining subject. 

Though in Bohemia it is believed that " seven-year-old children 
will become beautiful by dancing in the flax," and in some parts 
of Germany "when an infant seems weakly and thrives slowly, 
it is placed naked upon the turf on Midsummer Day, and flax- 
seed is sprinkled over it; the idea being, that, as the flax-seed 
grows, so the child will gradually grow stronger " (435. 278, 279) ; 
flowers and plants are sometimes associated with ill-luck and 
death. In Westphalia and Thuringia the superstition prevails 
that " any child less than a year old, who is permitted to wreathe 
himself with flowers, will soon die." In the region about Cocker- 
mouth, in the county of Cumberland, England, the red campion 
{Lychnis diurna) is known as " mother-die," the belief being that, 
if children gather it, some misfortune is sure to happen to the 
parents. Dyer records also the following: "In West Cumber- 
land, the herb-robert {Geranium robertianum) is called * death 

Children and the Plant World. 169 

come qnickly,' from a like reason, while in parts of Yorkshire, 
the belief is that the mother of a child who has gathered the 
germander speedwell {Veronica chamoedrys) will die ere the year 
is out " (435. 276) 

Children's Plant-Names. 

Mr. H. C. Mercer, discussing the question of the presence of 
Indian corn in Italy and Europe in early times, remarks {Amer. 
Naturalist, Vol. XXVIII., 1894, p. 974) : — 

" An etymology has been suggested for the name Grano Turco 
[Turkish grain], in the antics of boys when bearded and mous- 
tached with maize silk, they mimic the fierce looks of Turks in 
the high * com.' We cannot think that the Italian lad does not 
smoke the mock tobacco that must tempt him upon each ear. 
If he does, he apes a habit no less American in its origin than 
the maize itself. So the American lad playing with a 'shoe- 
string bow ' or a ' corn-stalk fiddle ' would t\irn to Italy for his 

In the interesting lists of popular American plant-names, pub- 
lished by Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen (400), are found the following in 
which the child is remembered : — 

Babies' breath, Galium Mollugo. In Eastern Massachusetts. 
Babies' breath, Muscari botryoides. In Eastern Massachusetts. 
Babies' feet, Polygala paucifolia. In New Hampshire. 
Babies' slippers, Polygala paucifolia. In Western Massachusetts. 
Babies' toes, Polygala paucifolia. In Hubbardston, Mass. 
Baby blue-eyes, Xemophila insignis. In Sta. Barbara, CaL 
Blue-eyed babies, Houstonia coerulea. In Springfield, Mass. 
Boys and girls, Dicentra cucullaria. In New York. 
Boys' love, Artemisia absinthium. In Wellfleet, Mass. 
Death-baby, Phallus sp. (?). In Salem, Mass. 
Girls and boys, Dicentra cucullaria. In Vermont. 
Little boy's breeches, Dicentra cucullaria. In Central Iowa. 

" Blue-eyed babies " is certainly an improvement upon "Quaker 
ladies," the name by which the Houstonia is known in some parts 
of Xew England; "death-baby" is a term that is given, Mrs 
Bergen tells us, '• from the fancy that they foretell death in the 
family near whose house they spring up. I have known of intel- 

170 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

ligent people rushing out in terror and beating down a colony of 
these as soon as they appeared in the yard." 

The parents have not been entirely forgotten, as the following 
names show : — 

Mother's beauties, Calandrina Menziesii. In Sta. Barbara, Cal. 
Mother of thousands, Tradescantia crassifolia (?). In Boston, Mass. 
Daddy-nuts, Tilia sp. (?). In Madison, Wis. 

At La Crosse, Wis., the Lonicera talarica is called " twin sisters," 
a name which finds many analogues. 

As we have seen, the consideration of children as flowers,' 
plants, trees, traverses many walks of life. Floral imagery has 
appealed to many primitive peoples, perhaps to none more than 
to the ancient Mexicans, with whom children were often called 
flowers, and the Nagualists termed Mother-Earth " the flower that 
contains everything," and "the flower that eats everything" — 
being at once the source and end of life (413. 54). 

A sweet old German legend has it that the laughter of little 
children produced roses, and the sweetest and briefest of the 
" good-night songs " of the German mothers is this : — 

*' Guten Abend, gute Nacht ! 
Mit Kosen bedacht, 
Mit Naglein besteckt ; 
Morgen friih, wenn's Gott will, 
Wirst du wieder geweckt." 

Children's Axlmals, Blrds, etc. 

My brother, the hare, . . . my sisters, the doves. — St. Francis of Assisi. 

Lore of animals is inborn. The child that has had no pets is to be pitied. 

— G. Stanley Hall. 
For what are the voices of birds — 
Aye, and of beasts, — but words, oar words, 
Only so much more sweet? — Browning. 

I know not, little Ella, what the flowers 

Said to you then, to make your cheek so pale; 
And why the blackbird in our laurel bowers 

Spoke to you, only : and the poor pink snail 
Fear'd less your steps than those of the May-shower 

It was not strange those creatures loved you so, 

And told you aU. 'Twas not so long ago 
You were yourself a bird, or else a flower. 

— Lord Lytton {Owen Meredith). 

Children and Young Animals. 

The comparisons sometimes made of children with various of 
the lower animals, such as monkeys, bears, pigs, etc., come more 
naturally to some primitive peoples, who, as Ploss has pointed 
out, suckle at the breast the young of certain animals simul- 
taneously with their own offspring. In this way, the infant in 
the Society Islands comes early into association with puppies, as 
he does also among several of the native tribes of Australia and 
America; so was it like^vise in ancient Eome, and the custom 
may yet be found among the tent-gypsies of Transylvania, in 
Persia, and even within the present century has been met with 
in Naples and Gottingen. The Maori mother, in like manner, 
suckles young pigs, the Arawak Indian of Guiana young monkeys 


172 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

(as also do the Siamese), the natives of Kamtschatka young 
bears. An old legend of the city of Breslau has it that the 
fashion certain ladies have of carrying dogs around with them 
originated in the fact that Duke Boleslau, in the last quarter of 
the eleventh century, punished the women of Breslau, for some 
connubial unfaithfulness, by taking away their suckling chil- 
dren and making them carry instead puppies at the breast (392. 
I. 61). 

Of the Arekuna of Guiana, Schomburgk tells us : — 
" They bring up children and monkeys together. The monkeys 
are members of the family, eat with the other members, are 
suckled by the women, and have great affection for their human 
nurses. Oftentimes a woman is to be seen with a child and 
a monkey at the breast, the two nurselings quarrelling " (529. 

The young children of the less nomadic tribes grow up in close 
association with the few domestic animals possessed by their 
parents, tumbling about with the puppies on the wigwam-floor or 
racing Avith them around the camp-stead. 

The history of totemism and fetichism, primitive medicine, 
and the arts connected therewith, their panaceas, talismans, and 
amulets, show early association of the child with animals. In 
the village of Issapoo, on the island of Fernando Po, in Western 
Africa, there is fastened to a pole in the market-place a snake- 
skin, to touch which all infants born the preceding year are 
brought by their mothers during an annual festival (529. 32). In 
various parts of the world, novices and neophytes are put to 
dream or fast in seclusion until they see some animal which 
becomes their tutelary genius, and whose form is often tattooed 
upon their body. 

Sir John Maundeville, the veracious mediaeval chronicler, re- 
ported that in Sicily serpents were used to test the legitimacy of 
children ; " if the children be illegitimate, the serpents bite and 
kill them." Hartland cites, on the authority of Tliiele, '' a story 
in which a wild stallion colt is brought in to smell two babes, 
one of which is a changeling. Every time he smells one he is 
quiet and licks it ; but, on smelling the other, he is invariably 
restive and strives to kick it. The latter, therefore, is the 
changeling" (258.111). 

Children and the Animal World. 173 

Animal Nurses. 

Akin to these practices are many of the forms of exposure and 
abandonment all over the world. Shakespeare, in The Winter's 
Tale, makes Antigonus say : — 

" Come on (poor Babe). 
Some powerful Spirit instruct the Kites and Ravens 
To be thy Nurses. Wolves and Bears, they say 
(Casting their savageness aside), have done 
Like oflSces of pity." 

An old Egyptian painting represents a child and a calf being 
suckled by the same cow, and in Palestine and the Canary 
Islands, goats are used to suckle children, especially if the 
mother of the little one has died (125. II. 393). The story of 
Psammetichus and the legend of Romulus and Remus find parallels 
in many lands. Gods, heroes, saints, are suckled and cared for in 
their infancy by grateful beasts. 

Wild Children. 

Doctor Tylor has discussed at some length the subject of " wild 
men and beast children" (376), citing examples from many differ- 
ent parts of the globe. Procopius, the chronicler of the Gothic 
invasion of Italy, states (with the additional information that he 
saw the child in question himself), that, after the barbarians had 
ravaged the country, " an infant, left by its mother, was found by 
a she-goat, which suckled and took care of it. When the sur- 
vivors came back to their deserted homes, they found the child 
living with its adopted mother, and called it .^gisthus." Doctor 
Tylor calls attention to the prevalence of similar stories in Ger- 
many after the destruction and devastation of the Napoleonic 
wars; there appears to be record of several children wild or 
animal-reared having, during this period, been received into 
Count von Recke's asylum at Overdyke. Many of these tales we 
need not hesitate to dismiss as purely fabulous, though there may 
be truth in some of the rest. Among the best-known cases (some 
of which are evidently nothing more than idiots, or poor wander- 
ing children) are : Peter, the " Wild Boy " of Hameln (in 1724) ; 
the child reported in the Hessian Chronicle as having been found 
by some hunters living with wolves in 1341 j the child reported 

174 The Child in Folk -Thought 

by Bernard Connor as living with she-bears, and the child found 
with bears at Grodno in Poland ; the wolf-child of the Ardennes, 
mentioned by Koeuig, in his treatise on the subject ; the Irish boy 
said to feed on grass and hay, found living among the wild sheep ; 
the girl found living wild in Holland in 1717 ; the two goat-like 
boys of the Pyrenees (in 1719) ; the amphibious wild girl of 
Chalons sur Marne (in 1731) ; the wild boy of Bamberg, who lowed 
like an ox ; and, the most renowned of all, Kaspar Hauser. This 
celebrated "wild boy" has recently been made the subject of a 
monograph by the Duchess of Cleveland (208), of which the first 
words are these : " The story of Kaspar Hauser is both curious 
and instructive. It shows on how commonplace and unpromis- 
ing a foundation a myth of European celebrity may rest." Sir 
William Sleeman has something to say of " beast-children " in 
the Kingdom of Oude (183), and Mr. Ball, who writes of wolf- 
reared children in India, calls attention to the fact that in that 
country there seems to have been no instance of a wolf-reared 
girl (183. 474). 

In the Kathd sarit sAgara (" Ocean of the River of Story "), a 
work belonging to the twelfth century, there is the story of the 
immoral union of a yaksha, or jin, and the daughter of a holy 
man, who was bathing in the Ganges. The relatives of the girl 
by magic changed the two guilty persons into a lion and a lion- 
ess. The latter soon died, but gave birth to a human child, which 
the lion-father made the other lionesses suckle. The baby grew 
up and became " the world-ruling king, Satavahana " (376. 29). 

Another Hindu story tells how the daughter of a Brahman, 
giving birth to a child while on a journey, was forced to leave it 
in a wood, where it was suckled and nursed by female jackals 
until rescued by merchants who happened to pass by. 

Herodotus repeats the tales that Cyrus was nursed and suckled 
by a bitch; Zeus figures as suckled by a goat; Romulus and 
Remus, the founders of Rome according to the ancient legend, 
were nursed by a she-wolf ; and others of the heroes and gods of 
old were suckled by animals whose primitive kinship with the 
race of man the folk had not forgotten. 

Professor Rauber of Dorpat, in his essay on " Homo Sapiens 
Ferus" (335), discusses in detail sixteen cases of wild children 
(including most of those treated by Tylor) as follows : the two 

Children and the Animal World. 175 

Hessian wolf-children, boys (1341-1344) ; the Bamberg boy, who 
grew up among the cattle (at the close of the sixteenth century) ; 
Hans of Liege; the Irish boy brought up by sheep; the three 
Lithuanian bear-boys (1657, 1669, 1694) ; the girl of Oranien- 
burg (1717); the two Pyrenaean boys (1719); Peter, the wild 
boy of Hameln (1724) ; the girl of Songi in Champagne (1731) ; 
the Hungarian bear-girl (1767) ; the wild man of Cronstadt (end 
of eighteenth century); the boy of Aveyron (1795). It will be 
noticed that in this list of sixteen eases but two girls figure. 

As a result of his studies Professor Eauber concludes : " What 
we are wont to call reason does not belong to man as such ; in 
himself he is without it. The appellation Homo sajiiens does 
not then refer to man as such, but to the ability under certain 
conditions of becoming possessed of reason. It is the same with 
language and cvdture of every sort. The title Homo sapiens ferns 
(Linnaeus) is in a strict sense unjustifiable and a contradiction in 
itself." To prehistoric man these wild children are like, but 
they are not the same as he ; they resemble him, but cannot be 
looked upon as one and the same with him. From the stand- 
point of pedagogy, Professor Eauber, from the consideration of 
these children, feels compelled to declare that " the ABC-school 
must be replaced by the culture-schooL" In other words: "The 
ABC is not, as so many believe, the beginning of all wisdom. In 
order to be able to admeasure this sufficiently, prehistoric studies 
are advisable, nay, necessary. Writing is a very late acquisition 
of man. In the arrangement of a curriculum for the first years 
of the culture-school, reading and writing are to be placed at the 
end of the second school year, but never are they to begin the 
course. . . . Manual training ought also to be taken up in 
the schools ; it is demanded by considerations of culture-history " 
(335. 133). 

Animal Stories. 

Professor W. H. Brewer of Xew Haven, discussing the " instinc- 
tive interest of children in bear and wolf stories," observes 
(192): "The children of European races take more interest in 
bear and wolf stories than in stories relating to any other wild 
animals. Their interest in bears is greater than that in wolves, 
and in the plays of children bears have a much more conspicu- 

176 The CUld in Folk -Thought. 

ous part. There is a sort of fascination in everytliing relating 
to these animals that attracts the child's attention from a very- 
early age, and ' Tell me a bear story ' is a common request long 
before it learns to read." After rejecting, as unsatisfactory, the 
theory that would make it a matter of education with each 
child, — " the conservative traditions of children have preserved 
more stories about bears and wolves, parents and nurses talk 
more about them, these animals have a larger place in the litera- 
ture for children ; hence the special interest," — Professor Brewer 
expresses his own belief that "the special interest our children 
show towards these two animals is instinctive, and it is of the 
nature of an inherited memory, vague, to be sure, yet strong 
enough to give a bend to the natural inclinations." He points out 
that the bear and the wolf are the two animals " which have been 
and still are the most destructive to human life (and particularly 
to children) in our latitude and climate," and that " several of the 
large breeds of dogs, — the wolf-hound proper, the mastiff (par- 
ticularly the Spanish mastiff), and even the St. Bernard, — were 
originally evolved as wolf-dogs for the protection of sheep and 
children." His general conclusion is : " The fear inspired by 
these animals during the long ages of the childhood of our civ- 
ilization, and the education of the many successive generations 
of our ancestors in this fear, descends to us as an inherited mem- 
ory, or, in other words, an instinct. While not strong, it is of 
sufficient force to create that kind of fascination which stories of 
bears and wolves have in children before the instincts are covered 
up and obscured by intellectual education. The great shaggy bear 
appeals more strongly to the imagination of children, hence its 
superior value to play ' boo ' with." 

Rahhit and Hare. 

The rabbit and the hare figure in many mythologies, and around 
them, both in the Old World and the New, has grown up a vast 
amount of folk-lore. The rabbit and the child are associated in 
the old nursery-rhyme : — 

"Bye, bye, Baby Bunting, 
Papa's gone a-hunting, 
To get a rabbit-skin, 
To wrap Baby Bunting in," 

Children and the Animal World. 177 

wliicli reminds us at once of tlie Chinook Indians and the Flat 
Heads of the Columbia, with whom "the child is wrapped in 
rabbit-skins and placed in this little coffin-like cradle, from which 
it is not in some instances taken out for several weeks " (306. 174). 

An Irish belief explains hare-lip as having been caused, before 
the birth of the child, by the mother seeing a hare. The Chinese 
think that " a hare or a rabbit sits at the foot of the cassia-tree 
in the moon, pounding the drugs out of which the elixir of immor- 
tality is compounded '" (401. 155). 

The Ungava Eskimo, according to Turner, have a legend that 
the hare was once a little child, abused by its elders ; it ran away 
to dwell by itself. The hare has no tail, because as a child he had 
none ; and he lays back his ears, when he hears a shout, because 
he thinks people are talking about him " (544. 263). 

In a myth of the Menomoni Indians, reported by Dr. W. J. 
Hoffman, we read that Manabush [the great culture-hero] and 
a twin brother were born the sons of the virgin daughter of an 
old woman named Nokdmis. His brother and mother died. 
Nokomis wrapped Manabush in dry, soft grass, and placed a 
wooden bowl over him. After four days a noise proceeded from 
the bowl, and, upon removing it, she saw " a little white rabbit 
with quivering ears." Afterwards, when grown up, and mourn- 
ing for the death of his brother, Manabush is said to have hid 
himself in a large rock near Mackinaw, where he was visited by 
the people for many years. When he did not wish to see them 
in his human form, he appeared to them as " a little white rabbit 
with trembling ears " (389. (1890) 246). Of the white rabbit, the 
Great Hare, Manabush, Nilniboju, etc., more must be read in the 
mythological essays of Dr. Brinton. 

Among the tales of the Ainu of Yezo, Japan, recorded by 
Professor B. H. Chamberlain, is the following concerning the 
Hare-god : — 

" Suddenly there was a large house on top of a hill, wherein 
were six persons beautifully arrayed, but constantly quarrelling. 
"Whence they came was not known. Thereupon [the god] Okiku- 
rumi came, and said : ' Oh, you bad hares ! you wicked hares ! 
Who should not know your origin? The children in the sky 
were pelting each other with snowballs, and the snowballs fell 
into this world of men. As it would have been a pity to waste 

178 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

heaven's snow, the snowballs were turned into hares, and those 
hares are you. You who live in this world of mine, this world of 
human beings, must be quiet. What is it that you are brawling 
about ? ' With these words, Okikurumi seized a fire-brand, and 
beat each of the six with it in turn. Thereupon all the hares ran 
away. This is the origin of the hare-god, and for this reason the 
body of the hare is white, because made of snow, while its ears, 
which are the part which was charred by the fire, are black" 
(471. 486). 

The Mayas of Yucatan have a legend of a town of hares under 
the earth (411. 179). 

In Germany we meet with the "Easter-Hare" (Oster-Hase). 
In many parts of that country the custom prevails at or about 
Easter-tide of hiding in the garden, or in the house, eggs, which, 
the children are told, have been laid by the "Easter-hare." 
Another curious term met with in northeastern Germany is 
"hare-bread" (Hasenbrod). In Quedlinburg this name is given 
to bread (previously placed there intentionally by the parents) 
picked up by children when out walking with their parents or 
elders. In Lilneburg it is applied to dry bread given a hungry 
child with an exhortation to patience. In the first case, the little 
one is told that the hare has lost it, and in the second, that it has 
been taken away from him. The name " hare-bread " is also given 
to bread brought home by the parents or elders, when returning 
from a journey, the children being told that it has been taken 
away from the hare. 

In the shadow-pictures made on the wall for the amusement of 
children the rabbit again appears, and the hare figures also in 
children's games. 


According to the belief of certain Indians of Vancouver Island, 
there once lived " a monstrous old woman with wolfish teeth, and 
finger-nails like claws." She used to entice away little children 
whom she afterwards ate up. One day a mother, who was about 
to lose her child thus, cried out to the spirits to save her child 
in any way or form. Her prayer was answered, and "The Great 
Good Father, looking down upon the Eed Mother, pities her ; lo ! 
the child's soft brown skin turns to fur, and there slides from the 

Children and the Animal World. 179 

ogress's grip, no ctild, but the happiest, liveliest, merriest little 
sqiiirtel of all the West, — but bearing, as its descendants still 
bear, those four dark lines along the back that show where the 
cruel claws ploughed into it escaping " (396. III. 52-54). 

Elsewhere, also, the squirrel is associated with childhood. 
Familiar is the passage in Longfellow's Hiawatha, where the 
hero speaks to the squirrel, who has helped him out of a great 
difficulty : — 

" Take the thanks of Hiawatha, 

And the name which now he gives you ; 

For hereafter, and forever, 

Boys shall call you adjidmimo, 

Tail in air the boys shall call you." 


Those noble and indefatigable missionaries, the Moravians, 
have more than once been harshly criticised in certain quarters, 
because, in their versions of the Bible, in the Eskimo language, 
they saw fit to substitute for some of the figurative expressions 
employed in our rendering, others more intelligible to the 
aborigines. In the New Testament Christ is termed the " Lamb 
of God," but since, in the Arctic home of the Innuit, shepherds 
and sheep are alike unknown, the translators, by a most felicitous 
turn of language, rendered the phrase by " little seal of God," a 
figure that appealed at once to every Eskimo, young and old, 
men and women; for what sheep were to the dwellers on the 
Palestinian hillsides, seals are to this northernmost of human 
races. Rink tells us that the Eskimo mother " reserves the finest 
furs for her new-bom infant," while the father keeps for it " the 
daintiest morsels from the chase," and, to make its eyes beautiful, 
limpid, and bright, he gives it seal's eyes to eat " (523. 37). 


Mrs. Bramhall tells us how in Japan the little children, play- 
ing about the temples, feed the pet fishes of the priests in the 
temple-lake. At the temple of the Mikado, at Kioto, she saw 
"six or eight little boys and girls . . . lying at fvdl length on 
the bank of the pretty lake." The fishes were called up by 

180 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

whistling, and the children fed them by holding over the water 
their open hands full of crumbs (189. Q>b). Other inhabitants of 
the sea and the waters of the earth are brought into early 
relation with children. 

Crabs and Crawfishes. 

Among the Yeddavanad, of the Congo, a mother tells her chil- 
dren concerning three kinds of crabs : " Eat Jcallali, and you will 
become a clever man ; eat hullali, and you will become as brave as 
a tiger ; eat mandalU, and you will become master of the house " 
(449. 297). 

In the Chippeway tale of the "Kaccoon and the Crawfish," after 
the former, by pretending to be dead, has first attracted to him 
and then eaten all the crawfish, we are told : — 

" While he was engaged with the broken limbs, a little female 
crawfish, carrying her infant sister on her back, came up seeking 
her relations. Finding they had all been devoured by the rac- 
coon, she resolved not to survive the destruction of her kindred, 
but went boldly up to the enemy, and said : * Here, Aissibun 
(Raccoon), you behold me and my little sister. AVe are all alone. 
You have eaten up our parents and all our friends. Eat us, too ! ' 
And she continued to say : ' Eat us, too ! Aissibun amoon, Aissi- 
bun amoon ! ' The raccoon was ashamed. ' No ! ' said he, ' I have 
banqueted on the largest and fattest ; I will not dishonour myself 
with such little prey.' At this moment, Manabozho [the culture- 
hero or demi-god of these Indians] happened to pass by. ' Tyau,' 
said he to the raccoon, ' thou art a thief and an unmerciful dog. 
Get thee up into trees, lest I change thee into one of these same 
worm-fish; for thou wast thyself a shell-fish originally, and I 
transformed thee.' Manabozho then took up the little supplicant 
crawfish and her infant sister, and cast them into the stream. 
'There,' said he, 'you may dwell. Hide yourselves under the 
stones ; and hereafter you shall be playthings for little children ' " 
(440. 411, 412). 


The imitation of animals, their movements, habits, and peculi- 
arities in games and dances, also makes the child acquainted at 
an early age with these creatures. 

Children and the Animal World. 181 

In the section on "Bird and Beast," appropriately headed by 
the wdrds of the good St. Francis of Assisi — '* My brother, the 
hare, . . . my sisters, the doves," — Mr. Xewell notices some of 
the children's games in which the actions, cries, etc., of animals 
are imitated. Such are " My Household," " Frog-Pond," " Bloody 
Tom," " Blue-birds and Yellow-birds," " Ducks Fly " (313. 115). 


Not at Dodona and in Arcadia alone has the dove been asso- 
ciated with religion, its oracles, its mysteries, and its symbolism. 
In the childhood of the world, according to the great Hebrew 
cosmologist, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the 
waters," and a later bard and seer of our own race reanimated 
the ancient figure of his predecessor in all its pristine strength, 
when in the story of Paradise lost and found again, he told how, 
at the beginning, the creative spirit 

" Dove-like sat brooding o'er the vast abyss." 

In the childhood of the race, it was a dove that bore to the few 
survivors of the great flood the branch of olive, token that the 
anger of Jahveh was abated, and that the waters no longer cov- 
ered the whole earth. In the childhood of Christianity, when its 
founder was baptized of John in the river Jordan, " Lo, the 
heavens were opened unto Him, and the Spirit of God descended 
like a dove, and lighted on Him," — and the " Heavenly Dove " 
still beautifies the imagery of oratory and song, the art and sym- 
bolism of the great churches, its inheritors. In the childhood of 
man the individual, the dove has also found warm welcome. At 
the moment of the birth of St. Austrebertha (630-704 a.d.), as 
the quaint legend tells, " the chamber was filled with a heavenly 
odour, and a white dove, which hovered awhile above the house, 
flew into the chamber and settled on the head of the infant," and 
when Catherine of Racconigi (1486-1547 a.d.) was only five years 
old " a dove, white as snow, flew into her chamber and lighted on 
her shoulder"; strange to relate, however, the infant first took 
the bird for a tool of Satan, not a messenger of God. When 
St Briocus of Cardigan, a Welsh saint of the sixth century, 
" was receiving the communion for the first time, a dove, white as 

182 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

snow, settled on his head, and the abbot knew that the young boy 
was a chosen vessel of honour" (191. 107, 108). 

In a Swedish mother's hymn occurs the following beautiful 
thought: — 

" There sitteth a dove so white and fair, 
All on the lily spray, 
And she listeneth how to Jesus Christ 
The little children pray. 

" Lightly she spreads her friendly wings, 
And to Heaven's gate hath sped, 
And unto the Father in Heaven she bears 
The prayers which the children have said. 

" And back she comes from Heaven's gate, 
And brings, that dove so mild, 
From the Father in Heaven, who hears her speak, 
A blessing on every child. 

" Then, children, lift up a pious prayer ! 
It hears whatever you say ; 
That heavenly dove so white and fair, 
All on the lily spray " (379. 255). 

The bird-messenger of childhood finds its analogue in the beliefs 
of some primitive tribes that certain birds have access to the 
spirit-land, and are the bearers of tidings from the departed. Into 
the same category fall the ancient practice of releasing a dove (or 
some other winged creature) at the moment of death of a human 
being, as a means of transport of his soul to the Elysian fields, 
and the belief that the soul itself took its flight in the form and 
semblance of a dove (509. 257). 

The Haida Indians, of British Columbia, think that, "in the 
land of light, children often transform themselves into bears, 
seals, and birds," and wonderful tales are told of their adventures. 

Hartley Coleridge found for the guardian angel of infancy, no 
apter figure than that of the dove : — 

" Sweet infant, whom thy brooding parents love 
For what thou art, and what they hope to see thee, 
Unhallow'd sprites, and earth-born phantoms flee thee ; 
Thy soft simplicity, a hovering dove, 


Children and the Animal World, 183 

That still keeps watch from blight and bane to free thee, 
" With its weak wings, in peaceful care outspread. 
Fanning invisibly thy pillow'd head, 
Strikes evil powers with reverential dread. 
Beyond the sulphurous bolts of fabled Jove, 
Or whatsoe'er of amulet or charm 
Fond ignorance devised to save poor souls from harm." 

Perhaps the sweetest touch of childhood in all Latin literature 
is that charming passage in Horace {Carm. Lib. III. 4) : — 

" Me fabulosae Vulture in Apulo, 
Nutrices extra limen Apulise, 
Ludo fatigatoque somno 

Fronde nova puerum palumbes 

which Milman thus translates : — 

" The vagrant infant on Mount Vultur's side, 
Beyond my childhood's nurse, Apulia's bounds, 
By play fatigued and sleep. 
Did the poetic doves 
"With young leaves cover." 

The amativeness of the dove has lent much to the figurative 
language of that second golden age, that other Eden where love 
is over all. Shenstone, in his beautiful pastoral, says : — 

" I have found out a gift for my fair ; 
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed," 

and the " love of the turtle," " billing and cooing," are now trans- 
ferred to human affection. Venus, the goddess of love, and the 
boy-god Cupid ride in a chariot drawn by doves, which birds were 
sacred to the sea-born child of Uranus. In the springtime, when 
"the voice of the turtle is heard in the land," then "a young 
man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." If, from the 
sacred oaks of Dodona, to the first Greeks, the doves disclosed 
the oracles of Jove, so has "the moan of doves in immemorial 
elms " divulged to generation after generation of lovers the mis- 
sion of his son of the bow and quiver. 

184 The Child in Folk-Thought. 


What the wood-pigeon was to Horace, the robin-redbreast has 
been to the children of old England. In the celebrated ballad 
of the " Children in the Wood," we are told that, after their 
murder by the cruel uncle, — 

"No burial these pretty babes 
Of any man receives, 
Till Robin Redbreast piously 
Did cover them with leaves." 

The poet Thomson speaks of "the redbreast sacred to the 
household gods," and Gray, in a stanza which, since the edition 
of 1753, has been omitted from the Elegy, wrote : — 

" There scattered oft, the earliest of the year. 
By hands unseen are frequent violets found ; 
The robin loves to build and warble there. 
And little footsteps lightly print the ground." 

Dr. Kobert Eletcher (447) has shown to what extent the red- 
breast figures in early English poetry, and the belief in his pious 
care for the dead and for children is found in Germany, Brittany, 
and other parts of the continent of Europe. In England the 
robin is the children's favourite bird, and rhymes and stories 
in his honour abound, — most famous is the nursery song, "Who 
killed Cock Kobin?" 

A sweet legend of the Greek Church tells us that " Our Lord 
used to feed the robins round his mother's door, when a boy; 
moreover, that the robin never left the sepulchre till the Resur- 
rection, and, at the Ascension, joined in the angels' song." The 
popular imagination, before which the robin appears as "the pious 
bird with the scarlet breast," found no difficulty in assigning a 
cause for the colour of its plumage. One legend, current amongst 
Catholic peoples, has it that "the robin was commissioned by the 
Deity to carry a drop of water to the souls of unbaptized infants 
in hell, and its breast was singed in piercing the flames." In his 
poem The Rohin, W^hittier has versified the story from a Welsh 
source. An old Welsh lady thus reproves her grandson, who had 
tossed a stone at the robin hopping about in the apple-tree : — 

Children and the Animal World. 185 

" • Nay ! ' said the grandmother ; ' have you not heard. 
My poor, bad boy ! of the fiery pit, 
And how, drop by drop, this merciful bird 
Carries the water that quenches it ? 

" ' He brings cool dew in his little bill, 
And lets it fall on the souls of sin ; 
You can see the mark on his red breast still 
Of fires that scorch as he drops it in.' " 

Another popular story, hoTvever, relates that -when Christ was 
on His way to Calvary, toiling beneath the burden of the cross, 
the robin, in its kindness, plucked a thorn from the crown that 
oppressed His brow, and the blood of the divine martyr dyed the 
breast of the bird, which ever since has borne the insignia of its 
charity. A variant of the same legend makes the thorn wound 
the bird itself and its own blood dye its breast. 

According to a curious legend of the Chippeway Indians, a stern 
father once made his young son undergo the fasting necessary to 
obtain a powerful guardian spirit. After bravely holding out for 
nine days, he appealed to his father to allow him to give up, but 
the latter would not hear of it, and by the eleventh day the boy 
lay as one dead. At dawn the next morning, the father came 
with the promised food. Looking through a hole in the lodge, 
he saw that his son had painted his breast and shoulders as far 
as he could reach with his hands. When he went into the lodge, 
he saw him change into a beautiful bird and fly away. Such was 
the origin of the first robin-redbreast (440. 210). Whittier, in 
his poem, Hoio the Robin Came, has turned the tale of the Red 
Men into song. As the father gazed about him, he saw that on 
the lodge-top — 

" Sat a bird, unknown before, 
And, as if with human tongue, 
' Mourn me not,' it said, or sung ; 
' I, a bird, am still your son, 
Happier than if hunter fleet, 
Or a brave before your feet 
Laying scalps in battle won. 
Friend of man, my song shall cheer 
Lodge and corn-land ; hovering near, 
To each wigwam I shall bring 
Tidings of the coming spring ; 

186 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

Every child my voice shall know 
In the moon of melting snow 
When the maple's red bud swells, 
And the wind-flower lifts its bells. 
As their fond companion 
Men shall henceforth own your son, 
And my song shall testify 
That of human kin am I.' " 


The Lieblingsvogel of German children is the stork, who, as 
parents say, brings them their little brothers and sisters, and who 
is remembered in countless folk and children's rhymes. The 
mass of child-literature in which the stork figures is enormous. 
Ploss has a good deal to say of this famous bird, and Carstens 
has made it the subject of a brief special study, — " The 
Stork as a Sacred Bird in Folk-Speech and Child-Song" (198). 
The latter says : " It is with a sort of awe (JEhrfurcht) that 
the child looks upon this sacred bird, when, returning with the 
spring he settles down on the roof, throwing back his beak 
and greeting the new home with a flap of his wings ; or when, 
standing now on one foot, now on the other, he looks so sol- 
emnly at things, that one would think he was devoutly medi- 
tating over something or other; or, again, when, on his long 
stilt-like legs, he gravely strides over the meadows. With great 
attention we listened as children to the strange tales and songs 
which related to this sacred bird, as our mother told them to us 
and then added with solemn mien, ' where he keeps himself during 
the winter is not really known,' or, ' he flies away over the Leber- 
meer, whither no human being can follow.' ' Storks are enchanted 
(verwiinscht) men,' my mother used to say, and in corroboration 
told the following story : ' Once upon a time a stork broke a leg. 
The owner of the house upon which the stork had its nest, inter- 
ested himself in the unfortunate creature, took care of it and 
attended to it, and soon the broken leg was well again. Some 
years later, it happened that the kind-hearted man, who was a 
mariner, was riding at anchor near the North Sea Coast, and the 
anchor stuck fast to the bottom, so that nothing remained but for 
the sailor to dive into the depths of the sea. This he did, and 

Children and the Animal World. 187 

lo ! he found the anchor clinging to a sunken church-steeple. He 
set it 'free, but, out of curiosity, went down still deeper, and far 
down below came to a magnificent place, the inhabitants of which 
made him heartily welcome. An old man addressed him and in- 
formed him that he had been the stork whose leg the sailor had 
once made well, and that the latter was now in the real home of 
the storks.' " Carstens compares this story with that of Frau 
Holle, whose servant the stork, who brings the little children out 
of the child-fountain of the Gotterburg, would seem to be. In 
North Germany generally the storks are believed to be human 
beings in magical metamorphosis, and hence no harm must be 
done them. Between the household, upon whose roof the stork 
takes up his abode, and the family of the bird, a close relation is 
thought to subsist. If his young ones die, so will the children of 
the house ; if no eggs are laid, no children will be born that year ; 
if a stork is seen to light upon a house, it is regarded by the 
Wends of Lusatia as an indication that a child will be born there 
the same year; in Switzerland the peasant woman about to give 
birth to a child chants a brief appeal to the stork for aid. A 
great variety of domestic, meteorological, and other superstitions 
are connected with the bird, its actions, and mode of life. The 
common Low German name of the stork, Adehar, is said to mean 
" luck-bringer " ; in Dutch, he is called ole vaer, "old father." 
After him the wood-anemone is called in Low German Hannoter- 
blume, " stork' s-flower." An interesting tale is "The Storks," in 
Hans Christian Andersen. 


In the Golden Age, as the story runs, men were able to hold 
converse with the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, nor 
had a diversity of dialects yet sprung up among them. In 
Eden of old the whole world was of one tongue and one speech ; 
nay more, men talked with the gods and with God. !Many 
legends of primitive peoples there are telling how confusion 
first arose, — every continent has its Babel-myth, — and how 
men came at last to be unable to comprehend each other's 
speech. The Indians of Nova Scotia say that this occurred 
when Gluskap, the cvdture-hero of the Alicmacs, after giving a 

188 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

paxting banquet to all creatures of earth, sea, and air, '• entered 
his canoe in the Basin of Minas, and, sailing westward in the 
moonlight, disappeared. Then the wolves, bears, and beavers, 
who had before been brothers, lost the gift of common language, 
and birds and beasts, hating one another, fled into the distant 
forests, where, to this day, the wolf howls and the loon utters its 
sad notes of woe" (418. 185). 

The Mexican legend of the deluge states that the vessel in 
which were Coxcox, — the Mexican Noah, — and his wife, Xochi- 
quetzal, stranded on a peak of Colhuacan. To them were born 
fifteen sons, who, however, all came into the world dumb, but a 
dove gave them fifteen tongues, and thence are descended the 
fifteen languages and tribes of Anahuac (509. 517). 

In later ages, among other peoples, the knowledge of the for- 
gotten speech of the lower creation was possessed by priests and 
seers alone, or ascribed to innocent little children, — some of the 
power and wisdom of the bygone Golden Age of the race is held 
yet to linger with the golden age of childhood. In the beautiful 

lines, — 

" O du Kindermund, o du Kindermund, 
Unbewuszter Weisheit froh, 
Vogelsprachekund, vogelsprachekund, 
Wie Salamo ! " 

the poet Eiickert attributes to the child that knowledge of the 
language of birds, which the popular belief of the East made part 
of the lore of the wise King Solomon. Weil (547. 191) gives the 
Mussulman version of the original legend : — 

" In him [Solomon] David placed implicit confidence, and was 
guided by him in the most difficult questions, for he had heard, 
in the night of his [Solomon's] birth, the angel Gabriel exclaim, 
* Satan's dominion is drawing to its close, for this night a child is 
born, to whom Iblis and all his hosts, together with all his de- 
scendants, shall be subject. The earth, air, and water with all the 
creatures that live therein, shall be his servants. He shall be 
gifted with nine-tenths of all the wisdom and knowledge which 
Allah has granted to mankind, and understand not only the lan- 
guages of men, but those also of beasts and birds.' " Some recol- 
lection of this appears in Ecclesiastes (x. 20), where we read, 
" For a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath 

Children and the Animal World. 189 

wings shall tell the matter," and in our own familiar saying " a 
little bird told me," as well as in the Bulbul-hezar or talking bird 
of the Arabian NigJUs, and its imitation " the little green bird 
who tells everything," Ln the Fairy Tales of the Comtesse d'Aunoy, 
The interpretation of the cries of birds and animals into human 
speech has also some light thrown upon it from this source. 
Various aspects of this subject have been considered by Hopf 
(474), Swainson (539), Treichel (372), Brunk, Grimm (462). The 
use of certain birds as oracles by children is well kno^Ti. A clas- 
sical example is the question of the Low German child : — 

" Kukuk van He wen, 

"Wi lank sail ik lewen ? ' 
[" Cuckoo of Heaven, 

How long am I to live ?"] 

Of King Solomon we are told: "He conversed longest with 
the birds, both on account of their delicious language, which he 
knew as well as his own, as also for the beautiful proverbs that 
are current among them." The interpretation of the songs of the 
various birds is given as follows : — 

The cock : " Ye thoughtless men, remember your Creator." 
The dove : " All things pass away; Allah alone is etemaL" 
The eagle : " Let our life be ever so long, yet it must end in death." 
The hoopoo: " He that shows no mercy, shall not obtain mercy." 
The kata : " Whosoever can keep silence goes through life most securely." 
The nightingale : " Contentment is the greatest happiness." 
The peacock : " As thou judgest, so shalt thou be judged." 
The pelican : " Blessed be Allah in Heaven and Earth." 
The raven : " The farther from mankind, the pleasanter." 
The swallow: " Do good, for you shall be rewarded hereafter. 
The syrdak: "Turn to Allah, O ye sinners." 

The turtle-dove: "It were better for many a creature had it never been 

The King, it appears, chose the hoopoo and the cock for his 
companions, and appointed the doves to dwell in the temple 
which he was to erect (547. 200, 201). In fairy-tale and folk-lore 
bird-speech constantly appears. A good example is the story 
" Wat man warm kann, wenn man blot de Vageln richti verstan 
deit," included by Klaus Groth in his Quickborn. 

190 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

In the Micmac legend of the Animal Tamers, by collecting the 
" horns " of the various animals a youthful hero comes to under- 
stand their language (521. 347). 

Longfellow, in his account of "Hiawatha's Childhood," has 
not forgotten to make use of the Indian tradition of the lore of 
language of bird and of beast possessed by the child : — 

" Then the little Hiawatha 
Learned of every bird its language, 
Learned their names and all their secrets, 
How they built their nests in summer, 
Where they hid themselves in winter. 
Talked with them whene'er he met them, 
Called them ' Hiawatha's Chickens.' 

" Of all the beasts he learned the language. 
Learned their names and all their secrets. 
How the beavers built their lodges, 
Where the squirrels hid their acorns. 
How the reindeer ran so swiftly, 
Why the rabbit was so timid, 
Talked with them whene'er he met them. 
Called them ' Hiawatha's Brothers.' " 

In the Middle Ages the understanding of the language of birds, 
their Latin, as it was called, ranked as the highest achievement 
of human learning, the goal of wisdom and knowledge, and the 
thousand rhyming questions asked of birds by children to-day are 
evidence of a time when communication with them was deemed 
possible. Some remembrance of this also lingers in not a few of 
the lullabies and nursery-songs of a type corresponding to the 
following from Schleswig-Holstein : — 

•' H6r mal, Ititje Kind 
Wo diit liitje Vagel singt 
Baben in de Hai ! 
Loop, liit Kind, un hal mi dat liit Ei." 

Among the child-loving Eskimo we find many tales in which 
children and animals are associated; very common are stories 
of children metamorphosed into birds and beasts. Turner has 
obtained several legends of this sort from the Eskimo of the 
Ungava district in Labrador. In one of these, wolves are the 

Children and the Animal World. 191 

gaunt and hungry children of a woman who had not wherewithal 
to feed her numerous progeny, and so they were turned into 
ravening beasts of prey ; in another the raven and the loon were 
children, whom their father sought to paint, and the loon's spots 
are evidence of the attempt to this day ; in a third the sea-pigeons 
or guillemots are children who were changed into these birds for 
having scared away some seals. The prettiest story, however, is 
that of the origin of the swallows : Once there were some children 
who were wonderfully wise, so wise indeed that they came to be 
called zulugagnak, " like the raven," a bird that knows the past 
and the future. One day they were playing on the edge of a 
cliff near the village, and building toy-houses, when they were 
changed into birds. They did not forget their childish occupa- 
tion, however, and, even to this day, the swallows come to the 
cliff to build their nests or houses of mud, — " even the raven 
does not molest them, and Eskimo children love to watch them " 
(544. 262, 263). From time immemorial have the life and actions 
of the brute creation been associated with the first steps of edu- 
cation and learning in the child- 

Child-Life and Education in General. 

The mother's heart is the child's school-room. — Henry Ward Beecher. 

The father is known from the child. — German Proverb. 

Learn young, learn fair, 

Learn auld, learn mair. — Scotch Proverb. 

We bend the tree when it is young. — Bulgarian Proverb. 

Fools and bairns should na see things half done. — Scotch Proverb. 

No one is born master. — Italian Proverb. 

Mother as Teacher. 

Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu is a favourite dic- 
tum of philosopliy; primitive peoples might, perhaps, be cred- 
ited with a somewhat different crystallization of thought: nihil 
est in puero quod non prius in parenti, " nothing is in the child 
which was not before in the parent," for belief in prenatal in- 
fluence of parent upon child is widely prevalent. The following 
remarks, which were written of the semi-civilized peoples of 
Annam and Tonquin, may stand, with suitable change of terms, 
for very many barbarous and savage races : — 

" The education of the children begins even before they come 
into the world. The prospective mother is at once submitted to 
a kind of material and moral rdgime sanctioned by custom. 
Gross viands are removed from her table, and her slightest move- 
ments are regarded that they may be regular and majestic. She 
is expected to listen to the reading of good authors, to music and 
moral chants, and to attend learned societies, in order that she 
may fortify her mind by amusements of an elevated character. 
And she endeavours, by such discipline, to assure to the child 


Primitive Pedagogy. 193 

whom she is about to bring into the world, intelligence, docility, 
and fitness for the duties imposed by social life " (518. XXXI. 629). 

Among primitive peoples these ceremonies, dietings, doctorings, 
tabooings, number legion, as may be read in Ploss and Zmigrodzki. 

The influence of the mother upon her child, beginning long 
before birth, continued in some parts of the world until long after 
puberty. The Spartan mothers even preserved "a power over 
their sons when arrived at manhood," and at the puberty-dance, by 
which the Australian leaves childhood behind to enter upon man's 
estate, his significant cry is : " My mother sees me no more ! " 
(398. 153). Among the Chinese, "at the ceremony of going out 
of childhood, the passage from boyhood into manhood, the goddess 
of children ' Mother,' ceases to have the superintendence of the 
boy or girl, and the individual comes under the government of the 
gods in general." 

That women are teachers born, even the most uncultured of 
human races have not failed to recognize, and the folk-faith in 
their ministrations is world-wide and world-old; for, as Mrs. 
Browning tells us : — 

" "Women know 
The way to rear up children (to be just); 
They know a simple, merry, tender knack 
Of tying sashes, fitting baby -shoes. 
And stringing pretty words that make no sense, 
And kissing full sense into empty words ; 
Which things are corals to cut life upon. 
Although such trifles." 

Intellectually, as well as physically, — as the etymology of the 
name seems to indicate, — the mother is the "former" of her 
child. As Henry Ward Beecher has well said, " the mother's 
heart is the child's school-room." Well might the Egyptian 
mother-goddess say (167. 261) : " I am the mother who shaped 
thy beauties, who suckled thee with milk ; I give thee with my 
mUk festal things, that penetrate thy limbs with life, strength, 
and youth ; I make thee to become the great ruler of Egypt, lord 
of the space which the sun circles round." In the land of the 
Pharaohs they knew in some dim fashion that " the hand that 
rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." 

The extensive rdle of the mother, as a teacher of the practical 

194 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

arts of life, may be seen from the book of Professor Mason (113). 
Language, religion, the social arts, house-building, skin-dressing, 
weaving, spinning, animal-domestication, agriculture, are, with 
divers primitive peoples, since they have in great part originated 
with her, or been promoted chiefly by her efforts, left to woman 
as teacher and instructor, and well has the mother done her work 
all over the globe. 

The function of the mother as priestess — for woman has been 
the preserver, as, to so large an extent, she has been the creator, of 
religion — has been exercised age after age, and among people 
after people. Henry Ward Beecher has said : " Every mother is 
a priestess ordained by God Himself," and Professor Mason 
enlarges the same thought : " Scarce!}'- has the infant mind begun 
to think, ere this perpetual priestess lights the fires of reverence 
and keeps them ever burning, like a faithful vestal " (112. 12). 

Though women and mothers have often been excluded from the 
public or the secret ceremonials and observations of religion, the 
household in primitive and in modern times has been the temple, 
of whose penetralia they alone have been the ministers. 


Tarde, in his monograph on the " Laws of Imitation," has shown 
the great influence exerted among peoples of all races, of all 
grades and forms of culture, by imitation, conscious or uncon- 
scious, — a factor of the highest importance even at the present 
day and among those communities of men most advanced and 
progressive. Speaking a little too broadly, perhaps, he says 
(541. 15) : — 

"All the resemblances, of social origin, noticed in the social 
world are the direct or indirect result of imitation in all its 
forms, — custom, fashion, sympathy, obedience, instruction, edu- 
cation, naive or deliberate imitation. Hence the excellence of 
that modern method which explains doctrines or institutions by 
their history. This tendency can only be generalized. Great 
inventors and great geniuses do sometimes stumble upon the 
same thing together, but these coincidences are very rare. And 
when they do really occur, they always have their origin in a 
fund of common instruction upon which, independent of one 

Primitive Pedagogy. 195 

another, the two authors of the same invention have drawn ; and 
this fund consists of a mass of traditions of the past, of experi- 
ments, rude or more or less arranged, and transmitted imitatively 
by language, the great vehicle of all imitations." 

In her interesting article on "Imitation in Children," Jliss 
Haskell observes: "That the imitative faculty is what makes 
the human being educable, that it is what has made progressive 
civilization possible, has always been known by philosophical 
educators. The energy of the child must pass from potentiality 
to actuality, and it does so by the path of imitation because this 
path offers the least resistance or the greatest attraction, or per- 
haps because there is no other road. Whatever new and striking 
things he sees in the movements or condition of objects about 
him, provided he already has the experience necessary to apper- 
ceive this particular thing, he imitates " (260. 31). 

In the pedagogy of primitive peoples imitation has an exten- 
sive role to play. Of the Twana Indians, of the State of Wash- 
ington, Eev. Mr. Eells observes : " Children are taught continually, 
from youth until grown, to mimic the occupations of their elders." 
They have games of ball, jumping and running races, and for- 
merly " the boys played at shooting with bows and arrows at a 
mark, and with spears, throwing at a mark, with an equal number 
of children on each side, and sometimes the older ones joined in." 
Now, however, "the boys mimic their seniors in the noise and 
singing and gambling, but without the gambling." The girls 
play with dolls, and sometimes " the girls and boys both play in 
canoes, and stand on half of a small log, six feet long and a foot 
wide, and paddle around in the water with a small stick an inch 
in thickness; and, in fact, play at most things which they see 
their seniors do, both whites and Indians " (437. 90, 91). 

Concerning the Seminoles of Florida, we are told : " The baby, 
weU into the world, learns very quickly that he is to make his 
own way through it as best he may. His mother is prompt to 
nourish him, and solicitous in her care for him if he falls ill ; 
but, as far as possible, she goes her own way and leaves the little 
fellow to go his." Very early in life the child learns to help and 
to imitate its elders. "No small amount," Mr. MacCauley tells 
us, "of the labour in a Seminole household is done by children, 
even as young as four years of age. They can stir the soup 

196 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

wliile it is boiling; they can aid in kneading the dough for 
bread ; they can wash the ' koonti ' root, and even pound it ; they 
can watch and replenish the fire; they contribute in this and 
many other small ways to the necessary work of the home " 
(496. 497, 498). 

Of the Indians of British Guiana, Mr. im Thurn reports : " As 
soon as the children can run about, they are left almost to them- 
selves ; or, rather, they begin to mimic their parents. As with 
the adults, so with the children. Just as the grown-up woman 
works incessantly, while the men alternately idle and hunt, so 
the boys run wild, playing not such concerted games as in other 
parts of the world more usually form child's play, but only with 
mimic bows and arrows ; but the girls, as soon as they can walk, 
begin to help the older women. Even the youngest girl can peel 
a few cassava roots, watch a pot on the fire, or collect and carry 
home a few sticks of firewood. The games of the boy are all 
such as train him to fish and hunt when he grows up ; the girl's 
occupations teach her woman's work " (477. 219). The children 
imitate their elders in other ways also, for in nearly every Indian 
house are to be seen toy vessels of clay ; for " while the Indian 
women of Guiana are shaping the clay, their children, imitating 
them, make small pots and goglets " (477. 298). And in like 
manner have been born, no doubt, among other peoples, some of 
the strange freaks of art which puzzle the connoisseurs in the 
museums of Europe and America. 

Mr. Powers, speaking of the domestic economy of the Acho- 
m§,wi Indians of California, says : " An Achomawi mother seldom 
teaches her daughters any of the arts of barbaric housekeeping 
before their marriage. They learn them by imitation and ex- 
periment after they grow old enough to perceive the necessity 
thereof" (519. 271). This peculiar neglect, however, is not 
entirely absent from our modern civilization, for until very 
recently no subject has been so utterly overlooked as the proper 
training of young girls for their future duties as mothers and 
housekeepers. The Achomawi, curiously enough, have the fol- 
lowing custom, which helps, no doubt, the wife whose education 
has been so imperfect : " The parents are expected to establish 
a young couple in their lodge, provide them with the needful bas- 
ketry, and furnish them with cooked food for some months, which 

Primitive Pedagogy. 197 

indulgent parents sometimes continue for a year or even longer ; 
so that' the young people have a more real honeymoon than is 
vouchsafed to most civilized people." 

Among the Battas of Sumatra, " It is one of the morning duties 
of women and girls, even down to children of four and five years 
old, to bring drinking-water in the gargitis, a water-vessel made 
of a thick stalk of bamboo. The size and strength of growing 
girls are generally measured by the number of gargitis they can 
carry " (518. XXII. 110). 

Of the KafiSr children Theal informs us : " At a very early age 
they commence trials of skill against each other in throwing 
knobbed sticks and imitation assegais. They may often be seen 
enjoying this exercise in little groups, those of the same age 
keeping together, for there is no greater tyrant in the world than 
a big Kaffir boy over his younger fellows ; when above nine or 
ten years old they practise sham-fighting with sticks ; an imitar 
tion hunt is another of their boyish diversions " (543. 220). 

Among the Apaches, as we learn from Reclus: "The child 
remains with its mother until it can pluck certain fruits for 
itself, and has caught a rat by its own unaided efforts. After 
this exploit, it goes and comes as it lists, is free and independent, 
master of its civil and political rights, and soon lost in the main 
body of the horde " (523. 131). 

On the Andaman Islands, "little boys hunt out swarms of 
bees in the woods and drive them away by fire. They are also 
expected regularly to collect wood." From their tenth year they 
are " accustomed to use little bows and arrows, and often attain 
great skill in shooting." The girls "seek among the coral-reefs 
and in the swamps to catch little fish in hand-nets." The Solo- 
mon Islands boy, as soon as he can walk a little, goes along 
with his elders to hunt and fish (326. I. 6). Among the Somali, 
of northeastern Africa, the boys are given small spears when 
ten or twelve years old and are out guarding the milk-camels 
(481 (1891). 163). 

Of the Eskimo of Baffin Land, Dr. Boas tells us that the 
children, "when about twelve years old, begin to help their 
parents ; the girls sewing and preparing skins, the boys accom- 
panying their fathers in hunting expeditions " (402. 566). Mr. 
Powers records that he has seen a Wailakki Indian boy of four- 

198 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

teen " run a rabbit to cover in ten minutes, split a stick fine at 
one end, thrust it down the hole, twist it into its scut, and pull 
it out alive " (519. 118). 

Among the games and amusements of the Andamanese chil- 
dren, of whom he says " though not borrowed from aliens, their 
pastimes, in many instances, bear close resemblance to those in 
vogue among children in this and other lands ; notably is this the 
case with regard to those known to us as blind-man's buff, leap- 
frog, and hide-and-seek," — Mr. Man enumerates the following : 
mock pig-hunting (played after dark) ; mock turtle-catching (played 
in the sea) ; going after the Evil Spirit of the Woods ; swinging 
by means of long stout creepers; swimming-races (sometimes 
canoe-races) ; pushing their way with rapidity through the jungle ; 
throwing objects upwards, or skimming through the air ; playing 
at " duck-and-drakes "; shooting at moving objects; wrestling on 
the sand ; hunting small crabs and fish and indulging in sham 
banquets, comparable to the " doll's feast " with us ; making min- 
iature canoes and floating them about in the water (498. 165). 

Education of Boys and Girls. 

With the Dakota Indians, according to Mr. Riggs, the grand- 
father and grandmother are often the principal teachers of the 
child. Under the care of the father and grandfather the boy 
learns to shoot, hunt, and fish, is told tales of war and daring 
exploits, and "when he is fifteen or sixteen joins the first war- 
party and comes back with an eagle feather in his head, if he is 
not killed and scalped by the enemy." Among the amusements 
he indulges in are foot-races, horse-racing, ball-playing, etc. An- 
other branch of his education is thus described: "In the long 
winter evenings, while the fire burns brightly in the centre of 
the lodge, and the men are gathered in to smoke, he hears the 
folk-lore and legends of his people from the lips of the older 
men. He learns to sing the love-songs and the war-songs of the 
generations gone by. There is no new path for him to tread, but 
he follows in the old ways. He becomes a Dakota of the Dakota. 
His armour is consecrated by sacrifices and offerings and vows. 
He sacrifices and prays to the stone god, and learns to hold up 
the pipe to the so-called Great Spirit. He is killed and made 

Primitive Pedagogy. 199 

alive again, and thus is initiated into the mysteries and promises 
of the Mystery Dance. He becomes a successful himter and 
warrior, and what he does not know is not worth knowing for 
a Dakota. His education is finished. If he has not already 
done it, he can now demand the hand of one of the beautiful 
maidens of the village " (524. 209, 210). 

Under the care and oversight of the mother and grandmother 
the girl is taught the elements of household economy, industrial 
art, and agriculture. Mr. Eiggs thus outlines the early educa- 
tion of woman among these Indians : " She plays with her ' made 
child,' or doll, just as children iu other lands do. Very soon she 
learns to take care of the baby ; to watch over it in the lodge, or 
carry it on her back whUe the mother is away for wood or dress- 
ing buffalo-robes. Little girl as she is, she is sent to the brook 
or lake for water. She has her little work-bag with awl and 
sinew, and learns to make small moccasins as her mother makes 
large ones. Sometimes she goes with her mother to the wood 
and brings home her little bundle of sticks. When the camp 
moves, she has her small pack as her mother carries the large 
one, and this pack is sure to grow larger as her years increase. 
When the com is planting, the little girl has her part to perform. 
If she cannot use the hoe yet, she can at least gather off the old 
corn-stalks. Then the garden is to be watched while the god- 
given maize is growing. And when the harvesting comes, the 
little girl is glad for the corn-roasting." And so her young life 
runs on. She learns bead-work and ornamenting with porcupine 
quills, embroidering with ribbons, painting, and all the arts of 
personal adornment, which serve as attractions to the other sex. 
When she marries, her lot and her life (Mr. Eiggs says) are 
hard, for woman is much less than man with these Dakotas (524. 

More details of girl-life among savage and primitive peoples 
are to be found in the pages of Professor Mason (113. 207-211). 
In America, the education varied from what the little girl could 
pick up at her mother's side between her third and thirteenth 
years, to the more elaborate system of instruction in ancient 
Mexico, where, " annexed to the temples were large buildings 
used as seminaries for girls, a sort of aboriginal Wellesley or 
Vassar ■' (113 208). 

200 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Games and Plays. 

In the multifarious games of children, echoes, imitations, re- 
renderings of the sober life of their elders and of their ancestors 
of the long ago, recur again and again. The numerous love games, 
which Mr. Newell (313. 39-62) and Miss Gomme (243) enumerate, 
such as " Knights of Spain," " Three kings," " Here comes a Duke 
a-roving," ''Tread, tread the Green Grass," "I'll give to you a 
Paper of Pins," " There she stands a lovely Creature," " Green 
Grow the Rushes, ! " " The Widow with Daughters to marry," 
"Philander's March," "Marriage," etc., corresponding to many 
others all over the globe, evidence the social instincts of child- 
hood as well as the imitative tendencies of youth. 

Under "Playing at Work" (313. 80-92), Mr. Newell has classed 
a large number of children's games and songs, some of which now 
find their representatives in the kindergarten, this education of 
the child by itself having been so modified as to form part of the 
infantile curriculum of study. Among such games are : " Thread- 
ing the Needle," " Draw a Bucket of Water," " Here I Brew and 
here I Bake," " Here we come gathering Nuts of May," " When I 
was a Shoemaker," " Do, do, pity my Case," " As we go round the 
Mulberry Bush," " Who'll be the Binder ? " " Oats, Pease, Beans, 
and Barley grows." Mr. Newell includes in this category, also, 
that well-known dance, the " Virginia Reel," which he interprets as 
an imitation of weaving, something akin to the " Hemp-dressers' 
Dance," of the time of George III., in England. 

In a recent interesting and valuable essay, " Education by Plays 
and Games," by Mr. G. E. Johnson, of Clark University, — an 
eifort "to present somewhat more correctly than has been done 
before, the educational value of play, and to suggest some practi- 
cal applications to the work of education in the grades above the 
kindergarten," — we have presented to us a list of some five hun- 
dred games, classified according to their value for advancing men- 
tal or physical education, for cultivating and strengthening the 
various faculties of mind and body. These games have also been 
arranged by Mr. Johnson, into such classes and divisions as might 
be held to correspond to the needs and necessities of the pupils 
in each of the eight grades above the kindergarten. Of the edu- 
cational value of play and of " playing at work," there can be no 

Primitive Pedagogy. 201 

doubt in the mind of any one at all acquainted with the history 
of the individual and the history of the race. As Mr. Johnson 
justly observes (269. 100) : "The field of the study of play is very 
wide ; the plays are well-nigh infinite, and as varied as life itself. 
No one can estimate the value of them. Given right toys and 
surroundings, the young child has an almost perfect school. It 
is marvellous how well he learns. Preyer does not overestimate 
the facts when he says the child in the first three or four years 
of his life learns as much as the student ia his entire university 
course. In the making of mud pies and doll dresses, sand-pile 
farms and miniature roads, tiny dams and water-wheels, whittled- 
out boats, sleds, dog-harnesses, and a thousand and one other 
things, the child receives an accimiulation of facts, a skill of 
hand, a trueness of eye, a power of attention and quickness 
of perception; and in flying kites, catching trout, in pressing 
leaves and gathering stones, in collecting stamps, and eggs, and 
butterflies, a culture also, seldom appreciated by the parent or 

Upon the banner of the youthful hosts might well be inscribed 
in hoc ludo vincemus. Yet there is danger that the play -theory 
may be carried to excess. Mr. James L. Hughes, discussing " The 
Educational Value of Play and the Recent Play-Movement in Ger- 
many," remarks: "The Germans had the philosophy of play, the 
English had an intuitive love of play, and love is a greater impell- 
ing force than philosophy. English young men never played 
in order to expand their lungs, to increase their circulation, to 
develop their muscles in power and agility, to improve their fig- 
ures, to add grace to their bearing, to awaken and refine their 
intellectual powers, or to make them manly, courageous, and 
chivalrous. They played enthusiastically for the mere love of 
play, and all these, and other advantages resulted from their 
play-'" (265.328). 

Swimming is an art soon learned by the children of some primi- 
tive races. Mr. Man says of the Andaman Islanders: "With 
the exception of some of the erem-tdga- (inlanders), a knowledge 
of the art of swimming is common to members of both sexes; 
the children even, learning almost as soon as they can run, speedily 
acquire great proficiency " (498. 47). 

202 The Child in Folk -Thought. 


With some primitive peoples the ideas as to language-study 
are pretty much on a par with those prevalent in Europe at a 
date not so very remote from the present. Of the Kato Pomo 
Indians of California, Mr. Powers remarks: "Like the Kai 
Pomo, their northern neighbours, they forbid their squaws from 
studying languages — which is about the only accomplishment 
possible to them save dancing — principally, it is believed, in 
order to prevent them from gadding about and forming acquaint- 
ances in neighbouring valleys, for there is small virtue among 
the unmarried of either sex. But the men pay considerable 
attention to linguistic studies, and there is seldom one who can- 
not speak most of the Pomo dialects within a day's journey of 
his ancestral valley. The chiefs, especially, devote no little care 
to the training of their sons as polyglot diplomatists ; and Eobert 
"White affirms that they frequently send them to reside several 
months with the chiefs of contiguous valleys to acquire the dialects 
there in vogue " (519. 150). 

Nevertheless, as Professor Mason observes, among primitive 
races, woman's share in the "invention, dissemination, conserva- 
tion, and metamorphosis of language " has been very great, and 
she has been par excellence the teacher of language, as indeed she 
is to-day in our schools when expression and savoir faire in 
speech, rather than deep philological learning and dry gram- 
matical analysis, have been the object of instruction. 


Much has been said and written about the wonderful knowledge 
of geography and topography possessed by the Indian of America, 
and by other primitive peoples as well. The following passage 
from Mr. Powers' account of the natives of California serves to 
explain some of this (519. 109) : — 

"Besides the coyote-stories with which gifted squaws amuse 
their children, and which are common throughout this region, 
there prevails among the Mattoal a custom which might almost 
be dignified with the name of geographical study. In the first 
place, it is necessary to premise that the boundaries of all the 

Primitive Pedagogy. 203 

tribes on Humboldt Bay, Eel River, Van Dusen's Fork, and in 

fact everywhere, are marked "with the greatest precision, being 
defined by certain creeks, canons, bowlders, conspicuous trees, 
springs, etc., each one of which objects has its own individual 
name. It is perilous for an Indian to be found outside of his 
tribal boundaries, wherefore it stands him well in hand to make 
himself acquainted with the same early in life. Accordingly, the 
squaws teach these things to their children in a kind of sing-song 
not greatly unlike that which was the national furore some time 
ago in rural singing-schools, wherein they melodiously chanted 
such pleasing items of information as tliis : ' California, Sacra- 
mento, on the Sacramento Eiver.' Over and over, time and 
again, they rehearse all these bowlders, etc., describing each 
minutely and by name, with its surroundings. Then when the 
children are old enough, they take them aroimd to beat the 
bounds like Bumble the Beadle ; and so wonderful is the Indian 
memory naturally, and so faithful has been their instruction, that 
the little shavers generally recognize the objects from the de- 
scriptions of them previously given by their mothers. If an 
Indian knows but little of this great Avorld more than pertains to 
boundary bush and bowlder, he knows his own small fighting- 
ground infinitely better than any topographical engineer can 
learn it." 

Mr. Powers' reference to " beating the bounds like Bumble the 
Beadle " is an apt one. Mr. Frederick Sessions has selected as one 
of his Folk-Lore Topics the subject of '•' Beating the Bounds " (352), 
and in his little pamphlet gives us much interesting information 
concerning the part played by children in these performances. 
The author tells us : '• One of the earliest of my childish pleasures 
was seeing the ^Mayor and Corporation, preceded by Sword- 
bearer, Beadles, and Blue Coat School boys, going in procession 
from one city boundary-stone to another, across the meadows and 
the river, or over hedges and gardens, or anything else to which 
the perambulated border-line took them. They were followed 
along the route by throngs of holiday makers. Many of the 
crowd, and all the Blue boys, were provided with willow-wands, 
peeled, if I remember rightly, with which each boundary mark 
was well flogged. The youngest boys were bumped against the 
' city stones.' " In the little town of Charlbury in Oxfordshire, 

204 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

"the perambulations seem to have been performed mostly by 
boys, accompanied by one or more of their seniors." At Hough- 
ton, a village near St. Ives in Huntingdonshire: "The bounds 
are still beaten triennially. They are here marked by holes in 
some places, and by stones or trees in others. The procession 
starts at one of the holes. Each new villager present is instructed 
in the position of this corner of the boundary by having his head 
forcibly thrust into the hole, while he has to repeat a sort of 
mumbo-jumbo prayer, and receives three whacks with a shovel. 
He pays a shilling for his ' footing ' (boys only pay sixpence), and 
then the forty or fifty villagers march off to the opposite corner 
and repeat the process, except the monetary part, and regale 
themselves with bread and cheese and beer, paid for by the 
farmers who now occupy any portion of the old common lands." 

In Eussia, before the modern system of land-registration came 
into vogue, " all the boys of adjoining Cossack village communes 
were 'collected and driven like flocks of sheep to the frontier, 
whipped at each boundary-stone, and if, in after years two whipped 
lads, grown into men, disputed as to the precise spot at which 
they had been castigated, then the oldest inhabitant carrying a 
sacred picture from the church, led the perambulations, and acted 
as arbitrator." 

Here also ought to be mentioned perhaps, as somewhat akin 
and reminiscent of like practices among primitive peoples, " the 
blason populaire (as it is neatly called in French), in which the 
inhabitants of each district or city are nicely ticketed off and 
distinguished by means of certain abnormalities of feature or 
form, or certain mental peculiarities attributed to them " (204. 19). 
In parts of Hungary and Transylvania a somewhat similar prac- 
tice is in vogue (392 (1892). 128). 


Some Indian children have almost the advantages of the 
modern home in the way of story-telling. Clark informs us 
(420. 109) : — 

" Some tribes have regular story-tellers, men who have devoted 
a great deal of time to learning the myths and stories of their 
people, and who possess, in addition to a good memory, a vivid 

Primitive Pedagogy. 205 

imaginatioii. The mother sends for one of these, and, having pre- 
pared a feast for him, she and her little * brood,' who are curled up 
near her, await the fairy stories of the dreamer, who, after his 
feast and smoke, entertains them for hours. IVIany of these 
fanciful sketches or visions are interesting and beautiful in their 
rich imagery, and have been at times given erroneous positions in 
ethnological data." 

Knortz refers in glowing terms to the adisoke-icinini, or " story- 
teller" of the Chippeway Indians, those gifted men, who enter- 
tain their fellows with the tales and legends of the race, and 
who are not mere reciters, but often poets and transformers as 
weU (Skizzen, 294). 

So, too, among the Andaman Islanders, " certain mythic 
legends are related to the young by dkopaiads [shamans], 
parents, and others, which refer to the supposed adventures or 
history of remote ancestors, and though the recital not unfre- 
quently evokes much mirth, they are none the less accepted as 
veracious " (498. 95). 


Among some of the native tribes of California we meet with 
i-wa-musp, or "men-women" (519. 132). Among the Yuki, for 
example, there were men who dressed and acted like women, 
and ''devoted themselves to the instruction of the young by 
the narration of legends and moral tales." Some of these, Mr. 
Powers informs us, "have been known to shut themselves up 
in the assembly-hall for the space of a month, with brief inter- 
missions, living the life of a hermit, and spending the whole time 
in rehearsing the tribal-history in a sing-song monotone to all who 
chose to listen." 

Somewhat similar, without the hermit-life, appear to be the 
functions of the orators and " prophets " of the Miwok and the 
peace-chiefs, or " shell-men," of the Porno (519. 157, 352). 

Of the Indians of the Pueblo of Tehua, Mr. Lummis, in his 
entertaining volume of fairy-tales, says : " There is no duty to 
which a Pueblo child is trained in which he has to be content 
with the bare command, ' Do thus ' ; for each he learns a fairy- 
tale designed to explain how people first came to know that it 
was right to do thus, and detailing the sad results which befell 

206 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

those who did otherwise." The old men appear to be the story- 
tellers, and their tales are told in a sort of blank verse (302. 5). 

Mr. Grinnell, in his excellent book about the Blackf eet, — one 
of the best books ever written about the Indians, — gives some 
interesting details of child-life. Children are never whipped, 
and "are instructed in manners as well as in other more gen- 
eral and more important matters." Among other methods of 
instruction we find that "men would make long speeches to 
groups of boys playing in the camps, telling them what they 
ought to do to be successful in life," etc. (464. 188-191). 

Of the Delaware Indians we are told that "when a mere boy 
the Indian lad would be permitted to sit in the village council- 
house, and hear the assembled wisdom of the village or his tribe 
discuss the affairs of state and expound the meaning of the keekg' 
(beads composing the wampum belts). ... In this way he early 
acquired maturity of thought, and was taught the traditions of his 
people, and the course of conduct calculated to win him the praise 
of his fellows " (516. 43). This reminds us of the Eoman senator 
who had his child set upon his knee during the session of that 
great legislative and deliberative body. 

Playthings and Dolls. 

As Professor Mason has pointed out, the' cradle is often the 
"play-house" of the child, and is decked out to that end in a 
hundred ways (306. 162). Of the Sioux cradle, Catlin says : — 

" A broad hoop of elastic wood passes around in front of the 
child's face to protect it in case of a fall, from the front of which 
is suspended a little toy of exquisite embroidery for the child to 
handle and amuse itself with. To this and other little trinkets 
hanging in front of it, there are attached many little tinselled and 
tinkling things of the brightest colours to amuse both the eyes 
and the ears of the child. While travelling on horseback, the 
arms of the child are fastened under the bandages, so as not 
to be endangered if the cradle falls, and when at rest they are 
generally taken out, allowing the infant to reach and amuse itself 
with the little toys and trinkets that are placed before it and 
A^athin its reach" (306. 202). In like manner are "playthings 
of various kinds " hung to the awning of the birch-bark cradles 

Primitive Pedagogy. 207 

found in the Yukon region of Alaska. Of tlie Nez Perce, we 
read : " To the hood are attached medicine-bags, bits of shell, 
haliotis perhaps, and the whole artistic genius of the mother is 
in play to adorn her offspring." The old chronicler Lafitean 
observed of the Indians of New France: "They put over that 
half-circle [at the top of the cradle] little bracelets of porcelain 
and other little trifles that the Latins call crepundia, which serve 
as an ornament and as playthings to divert the child" (306. 167, 
187, 207). 

And so is it elsewhere in the world. Some of the beginnings 
of art in the race are due to the mother's instinctive attempts to 
please the eyes and busy the hands of her tender offspring. The 
children of primitive peoples have their dolls and playthings as 
do those of higher races. In an article descriptive of the games 
and amusements of the Ute Indians, we read : " The boy remains 
under maternal care until he is old enough to learn to shoot and 
engage in manly sports and enjoyments. Indian children play, 
laugh, cry, and act like white children, and make their own play- 
things from which they derive as much enjoyment as white 
children" (480. IV. 238). 

Of the Seminole Indians of Florida, ^Ir. MacCauley says that 
among the children's games are skipping and dancing, leap-frog, 
teetotums, building a merry-go-round, carrying a small make- 
believe rifle of stick, etc. They also " sit around a small piece of 
land, and, sticking blades of grass into the ground, name it a 
'corn-field,'" and "the boys kill small birds in the bush with 
their bows and arrows, and call it ' turkey-hunting.' " [Moreover, 
they " have also dolls (bundles of rags, sticks with bits of cloth 
wrapped around them, etc.), and build houses for them which 
they call ' camps ' " (496. 506). 

Of the Indians of the western plains, Colonel Dodge says: 
"The little girls are very fond of dolls, which their mothers 
make and dress with considerable skill and taste. Their baby 
houses are miniature teepees, and they spend as much time and 
take as much pleasure in such play as white girls" (432. 190). 

Dr. Boas tells us concerning the Eskimo of Baffin Land: 
" Yoimg children are always carried in their mothers' hoods, but 
when about a year and a half old they are allowed to play on the 
bed, and are only carried by their mothers when they get too mis- 

208 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

chievous." The same authority also says : " Young children play 
with toys, sledges, kayaks, boats, bow and arrows, and dolls. 
The last are made in the same way by all the tribes, a wooden 
body being clothed with scraps of deerskin cut in the same way 
as the clothing of the men" (402. 568, 571). Mr. Murdoch has 
described at some length the dolls and toys of the Point Barrow 
Eskimo. He remarks that "though several dolls and various 
suits of miniature clothing were made and brought over for sale, 
they do not appear to be popular with the little girls." He did 
not see a single girl playing with a doll, and thinks the articles 
collected may have been made rather for sale than otherwise. 
Of the boys, Mr. Murdoch says : " As soon as a boy is able to 
walk, his father makes him a little bow suited to his strength, 
with blunt arrows, with which he plays with the other boys, 
shooting at marks — for instance the fetal reindeer brought home 
from the spring hunt — till he is old enough to shoot small birds 
and lemmings " (514. 380, 383). 

In a recent extensive and elaborately illustrated article, Dr. 
J. W. Fewkes has described the dolls of the Tusayan Indians 
(one of the Pueblo tribes). Of the tihus, or carved wooden dolls, 
the author says (226. 45) : " These images are commonly men 
tioned by American visitors to the Tusayan Pueblos as idols, but 
there is abundant evidence to show that they are at present used 
simply as children's playthings, which are made for that purpose 
and given to the girls with that thought in mind." Attention is 
called to the diSiculty of drawing the line between a doll and an 
idol among primitive peoples, the connection of dolls with relig- 
ion, psychological evidence of which lingers with us to-day in the 
persistent folk-etymology which connects doll with idol. The fol- 
lowing remarks of Dr. Fewkes are significant : " These figurines 
[generally images of deities or mythological personages carved 
in true archaic fashion] are generally made by participants in 
the Ni-mdn-kortd-na, and are presented to the children in July 
or August at the time of the celebration of the farewell of the 
Kortci'-nas [supernatural intercessors between men and gods]. 
It is not rare to see the little girls after the presentation carrying 
the dolls about on their backs wrapped in their blankets in the 
same manner in which babies are carried by their mothers or 
sisters. Those dolls which are more elaborately made are gen- 

Primitive Pedagogy. 209 

erally hung up as ornaments in the rooms, but never, so far as I 
have investigated the subject, are they worshipped. The readi- 
ness with which they are sold for a proper remuneration shows 
that they are not regarded as objects of reverence.*' But, as 
Dr. Fewkes himself adds, "It by no means follows that they 
may not be copies of images which have been worshipped, 
although they now have come to have a strictly secular use." 
Among some peoples, perhaps, the dolls, images of deities of the 
past, or even of the present, may have been used to impart the 
fundamentals of theology and miracle-story, and the play-house 
of the children may have been at times a sort of religious kinder- 
garten of a primitive tj*pe. Worthy of note in this connection is 
the statement of Castren that '•' the Finns manufacture a kind of 
dolls, or paras, out of a child's cap filled with tow and stuck at 
the end of a rod. The fetich thus made is carried nine times 
round the church, with the cry 'synny para' (Para be bom) 
repeated every time to induce a haVtia — that is to say, a spirit — 
to enter into it " (388. 108). 

A glance iuto St. Xicholas, or at the returns to the syllabus on 
dolls sent out by President Hall, is sufficient to indicate the far- 
reaching associations of the subject, while the doll-congress of 
St. Petersburg has had its imitatoi's both in Europe and America. 
A bibliography of doll-poems, doll-descriptions, doll-parties, doll- 
funerals, and the like would be a welcome addition to the liter- 
ature of dolls, while a doll-musevmi of extended scope would be at 
once entertaining and of great scientific value. 

The familiar phrase " to cry for the moon " corresponds to the 
French " prendre la lune avec ses dents." In illustration of this 
proverbial expression, which Rabelais used in the form Je ne suis 
point clerc pour prendre la hine avec les dents, Loubens tells the 
amusing story of a servant who, when upbraided by the parents 
for not giving to a child what it wanted and for which it had 
been long crying, answered : " You must give it him yourself. A 
quarter-of-an-hour ago, he saw the moon at the bottom of a bucket 
of water, and wants me to give it him. That's all." (Prov. et 
locut. fran^., p. 225.) 

To-day children cry for the moon in vain, but 'twas not ever 
thus. In payment for the church, which King Olaf wanted to 
have built, — a task impossible, the saint thought, — the giant 

210 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

demanded " the sun and moon, or St. Olaf himself." Soon the 
building was almost- completed, and St. Olaf was in great per- 
plexity at the unexpected progress of the work. As he was 
wandering about " he heard a child cry inside a mountain, and a 
giant-woman hush it with these words : ' Hush ! hush ! to-morrow 
comes thy father Wind-and- Weather home, bringing both sun and 
moon, or saintly Olaf 's self.' " Had not the king overheard this, 
and, by learning the giant's name, been enabled to crush him, the 
child could have had his playthings the next day. 

In the course of an incarnation-myth of the raven among the 
Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands, Mr. Mackenzie 
tells us (497. 53): — 

"In time the woman bore a son, a remarkably small child. 
This child incessantly cried for the moon to play with, thus — 
Koong-ah-ah, Koong-ah-ali ('the moon, the moon'). The spirit- 
chief, in order to quiet the child, after carefully closing all aper- 
tures of the house, produced the moon, and gave it to the child to 
play with." The result was that the raven (the child) ran off 
with the moon, and the people in consequence were put to no little 
inconvenience. But by and by the raven broke the original moon 
in two, threw half up into the sky, which became the sun, while 
of the other half he made the moon, and of the little bits, which 
were left in the breaking, all the stars. 

In the golden age of the gods, the far-off juventus mundi, the 
parts of the universe were the playthings, the Spielzeug of the 
divine infants, just as peasants and human infants figure in 
the folk-tales as the toys of giants and Brobdingnagians. Indeed, 
some of the phenomena of nature and their peculiarities are ex- 
plained by barbarous or semi-barbarous peoples as the result of 
the games and sports of celestial and spiritual children. 

With barbarous or semi-civilized peoples possessing flocks and 
herds of domesticated animals the child is early made acquainted 
with their habits and uses. Eegarding the Kaffirs of South 
Africa Theal says that it is the duty of the young boys to attend 
to the calves in the kraal, and " a good deal of time is passed in 
training them to run and to obey signals made by whistling. The 
boys mount them when they are eighteen months or two years 
old, and race about upon their backs " (543. 220). In many parts 
of the world the child has played an important rdle as shepherd 

Primitive Pedagogy. 211 

and watcher of flocks and herds, and the shepherd-boy has often 
been "called to high places in the state, and has even ascended 
the thrones of great cities and empires, ecclesiastical as well as 


In his little book on the philosophy of clothing Dr. Schurtz 
has given us an interesting account of the development and varia- 
tion of external ornamentation and dress among the various races, 
especially the negro peoples of Africa. The author points out 
that with not a few primitive tribes only married persons wear 
clothes, girls and boys, yoimg women and men even, going about 
in puris naturalibus (530. 13). Everywhere the woman is better 
clothed than the girl, and in some parts of Africa, as the ring is 
with us, so are clothes a symbol of marriage. Among the 
Balanta, for example, in Portuguese Senegambia, when a man 
marries he gives his wife a dress, and so long as this remains 
whole, the marriage-union continues in force. On the coast of 
Sierra Leone, the expression " he gave her a dress," intimates that 
the groom has married a young girl (530. 14, 43-49). 

Often, ynth many races the access of puberty leads to the adop- 
tion of clothing and to a refinement of dress and personal adorn- 
ment. A relic of this remains, as Dr. Schurtz points out, in the 
leaving off of knickerbockers and the adoption of " long dresses," 
by the young people in our civilized communities of to-day 
(530. 13). 

With others the clothing of the young is of the most primitive 
type, and children in very many cases go about absolutely naked. 

That the development of the sex-feeling, and entrance upon 
marriage, have with very many peoples been the chief incite- 
ments to dress and personal ornamentation, has been pointed out 
by Schurtz and others (530. 14). 

Not alone this, but, sometimes, as among the Buru Negroes of 
the upper Blue Nile region, the advent of her child brings with it 
a modification in the dress of the mother. With these people, 
young girls wear an apron in front, married women one in front 
and one behind, but women who have already had a child wear 
two in front, one over the other. A similar remark applies to 
tattooing and kindred ornamentations of the body and its mem- 

212 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

bers. Among the women of the Bajansi on the middle Congo, 
for example, a certain form of tattoo indicated that the woman 
had borne a child (530. 78). 

Schurtz points out that the kangaroo-skin breast-covering of 
the Tasmanian women, the shoulder and arm strips worn by 
the women of the Monbuttu in Africa, the skin mantles of the 
Marutse, the thick hip-girdle of the Tupende, and other articles 
of clothing of a like nature, seem to be really survivals of devices 
for carrying children, and not to have been originally intended as 
dress per se (530. 110, 111). Thus early does childhood become a 
social factor. 

The Chtld as Mkmber ajst> Builder of Society. 

In great states, children are always trying to remain children, and the parents 
wanting to make men and women of them. In Tile states, the children are 
always wanting to be men and women, and the parents to keep them children. — 

Children generally hate to be idle ; all the care is then that their busy homoor 
shoold be constantly employed in something of use to them. — Locke. 

Look into our childish faces; 

See you not our willing hearts ? 
Only love us — only lead us ; 
Only let us know you need us, 

And we all will do our parts. — Mary HowUt. 

'UptpmwiK 0v(7ci ^iMiv roAiTucdv [Man is by nature a political (social) animal]. — 

Never till now did young men, and almost children, take such a command in 
human affairs. — Cariyle. 

Predestination and Caste. 

" Who can tell for what high cause 
This darling of the Gods was bom ? " 

asks the poet Marvell. But with some peoples the task of answer- 
ing the question is an easy one ; for fat€, or its human side, caste, 
has settled the matter long before the infant comes into the world. 
The Chinese philosopher, Han Wan-Kung, is cited by Legge as 
saying : " When Shuh-yu was bom, his mother knew, as soon as 
she looked at him, that he would fall a victim to his love of 
bribes. "When Yang sze-go was bom, the mother of Shuh-he-ang 
knew, as soon as she heard him cry, that he would cause the 
destruction of all his kindred. "When Yueh-tseaou was born. 
TzewSn considered it was a great calamity, knowing that through 


214 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

him all tlie ghosts of the Johgaou family would be famished" 
(487. 89). 

In India, we meet with the Bidhata-Purusha, a "deity that 
predestines all the events of the life of man or woman, and writes 
on the forehead of the child, on the sixth day of its birth, a brief 
precis of them" (426. 9). India is par excellence the land of caste, 
but other lands know the system that makes the man follow in 
his father's footsteps, and often ignores the woman altogether, 
not even counting her in the census of the people, as was for- 
merly the case even in Japan and China, where a girl was not 
worthy to be counted beside the son. Of ancient Peru, Letour- 
neau says : " Every male inherited his father's profession ; he 
was not allowed to choose another employment. By right of 
birth a man was either labourer, miner, artisan, or soldier" 
(100. 486). Predestination of state and condition in another 
world is a common theological tenet, predestination of state and 
condition in this world is a common social theory. 

Vast indeed is the lore of birth-days, months and years, sea- 
sons and skies — the fiction-s, myths, and beliefs of the astrolo- 
gist, the spiritualist, the fortune-teller, and the almanac-maker — 
which we have inherited from those ancestors of ours, who be- 
lieved in the kinship of all things, who thought that in some way 
" beasts and birds, trees and plants, the sea, the mountains, the 
wind, the sun, the moon, the clouds, and the stars, day and night, 
the heaven and the earth, were alive and possessed of the pas- 
sions and the will they felt within themselves " (258. 25). Here 
belongs a large amount of folk-lore and folk-speech relating to 
the defective, delinquent, and dependent members of human 
society, whose misfortunes or misdeeds are assigned to atavistic 
causes, to demoniacal influences. 


Among primitive peoples, the advent of a child, besides entail- 
ing upon one or both of the parents ceremonies and superstitious 
performances whose name and fashion are legion, often makes a 
great change in the constitution of society. Motherhood and 
fatherhood are, in more than one part of the globe, primitive titles 
of nobility and badges of aristocracy. With the birth of a child, 

The Child as Social Factor. 216 

the Chinese woman becomes something more than a mere slave 
and plaything, and in the councils of uncivilized peoples (as with 
us to-day) the voice of the father of a family carries more weight 
than that of the childless. With the civilized races to-day, more 
marriages mean fewer prison-houses, and more empty jails, than 
in the earlier days, and with the primitive peoples of the present, 
this social bond was the salvation of the tribe to the same extent 
and in the same way. 

As Westermarck poiuts out, there are -''several instances of 
husband and wife not living together before the birth of a child." 
Here belong the temporary marriages of the Creek Indians, the 
East Greenlanders, the Fuegians, the Essenes, and some other 
Old World sects and peoples — the birth of a child completes the 
marriage — " marriage is therefore rooted in family, rather than 
family in marriage," in such cases. With the Ainos of the island 
of Yezo, the Khyens of Farther India, and with one of the 
aboriginal tribes of China, so Westermarck informs us, *• the hus- 
band goes to live with his wife at her father's house, and never 
takes her away till after the birth of a child," and ■with more 
than one other people the wife remains with her own parents 
until she becomes a mother (166. 22, 23). 

In some parts of the United States we find similar practices 
among the population of European ancestry. The "boarding- 
out" of young couples until a child is bom to them is by no 
means uncommon. 


Adoption is, among some primitive peoples, remarkably exten- 
sive. Among the natives of the Andaman Islands " it is said to 
be of rare occurrence to find any child above six or seven years 
of age residing with its parents, and this, because it is considered 
a compliment and also a mark of friendship for a married man, 
after paying a visit, to ask his hosts to allow him to adopt one 
of their children" (498. 57). 

Of the Hawaiian Islanders, Letoumeau remarks (100. 389, 390) : 
" Adoption was rendered extremely easy ; a man would give 
himself a father or sons almost ad infinitum." In the Marquesas 
Islands "it was not uncommon to see elderly persons being 
adopted by children." Moreover, "animals even were adopted. 

216 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

A chief adopted a dog, to whom he offered ten pigs and some 
precious ornaments. The dog was carried about by a kikino, and 
at every meal he had his stated place beside his adopted father." 
Connected with adoption are many curious rites and ceremonies 
which may be found described in Ploss and other authorities. 
Dr. Friedrich S. Krauss (280) has recently treated at some length 
of a special form of adoption symbolized by the cutting of the 
hair, and particularly known among the southern Slavonians. 
The cutting off the hair here represents, the author thinks, the 
unconditional surrendering of one's body or life to another. The 
origin of the sacrifice of the hair is to be sought in the fact that 
primitive peoples have believed that the seat of the soul was in 
the hair and the blood, which were offered to the spirits or 
demons in lieu of the whole body. The relation between nurse 
and child has been treated of by Ploss and Wiedmann (167), the 
latter with special reference to ancient Egypt and the Mohcimme- 
dan countries. In ancient Egypt the nurse was reckoned as one 
of the family, and in the death-steles and reliefs of the Middle 
Kingdom her name and figure are often found following those 
of the children and parents of the deceased. The wet-nurse was 
held in especial honour. The milk-relationship sometimes com- 
pletely takes the place of blood-relationship. The Koran forbids 
the marriage of a nurse and a man whom, as a child, she has 
suckled ; the laws of the Hanaf i forbid a man to marry a woman 
from whose breast he has imbibed even a single drop of milk. 
Among the southern Slavonians : " If of two children who have 
fed at the breast of the same woman, one is a boy and the wo- 
man's own child, and the other (adopted) a girl, these two must 
never marry." If they are both girls, they are like real sisters 
in love and affection ; if both boys, like real brothers. In Dar- 
distan and Armenia also, milk-relationship prevents marriage 
(167. 263). 

In Mingrelia as soon as a child is given to a woman to nurse, 
she, her husband, children, and grandchildren are bound to it by 
ties more dear even than those of blood-relationship ; she would 
yield up her life for the child, and the latter, when grown up, is 
reciprocally dutiful. It is a curious fact that even grown-up 
people can contract this sort of relationship. "Thus peasant- 
women are very anxious to have grown-up princesses become 

The Child as Social Factor. 217 

then foster-children — the latter simply bite gently the breasts 
of th^ir foster-mothers, and forthwith a close relationship sub- 
sists between them." It is said also that girls obtain protectors 
in like manner by having youths bite at their breasts, which 
(lately) they cover with a veil (167. 263). Adoption by the let- 
ting or transfusion of blood is also found in various parts of the 
world and has far-reaching ramifications,''as Trumbull, Robertson 
Smith, and Daniels have pointed out. The last calls attention 
to the Biblical declaration (Proverbs, xxviii. 24) : " There is a 
friend which sticketh closer than a brother," underlying which 
seems to be this mystic tie of blood (214. 16). 

The mourning for the death of children is discussed in another 
part of this work. It may be mentioned here, however, that the 
death of a child often entails other, sometimes more serious, con- 
sequences. Among the Dyaks of Borneo, " when a father has lost 
his child, he kills the first man he meets as he goes out of his 
house J this is to him an act of duty " (100. 238), 

Hereditary Rights. 

The hereditary rights of children to share in the property of 
their parents have been made the subject of an interesting study 
by Clement Deneus (215), a la^vyer of Ghent, who has treated in 
detail of the limitation of the patria potestas in respect to dis- 
position of the patrimony, and the reservation to the children of 
a portion of the property of their parents — an almost inviolable 
right, of which they can be deprived only in consequence of the 
gravest offences. This reservation the author considers " a prin- 
ciple universally recognized among civilized nations," and an 
institution which marks a progress in the history of law and of 
civilization " (215. 49), while testamentary freedom is unjust and 
inexpedient. The author discusses the subject from the points 
of view of history, statute and natural law, social economy, etc., 
devotiug special attention to pointing out the defects of the 
system of the school of Le Play, — primogeniture, which still 
obtains in England, in several parts of Germany, in certain locali- 
ties of the Pyrenees, and in the Basque provinces. 

In the countries of modern Europe, the testamentary power of 
the father is limited as follows : Austria (Code of 1812) : One- 

218 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

half of parents' property reserved for children. The law of 1889 
makes exception in the case of rural patrimonies of moderate size 
with dwelling attached, where the father has the right to desig- 
nate his heir. Denmark (Code of 1845) : Father can dispose of 
but one-fourth of the property; nobles, however, are allowed to 
bestow upon one of their children the half of their fortune. 
Germany: No uniform civil legislation exists as yet for the 
whole empire. In the majority of the smaller states, in a part 
of Bavaria, Rugen, eastern Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein, the 
Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian is in force, while the Napoleonic 
code obtains in Rhenish Prussia, Hesse, and Bavaria, in Baden, 
Berg, Alsace-Lorraine. In Prussia, the reserve is one-third, if 
there are less than three children ; one-half, if there are three or 
four. In Saxony, if there are five or more children, the reserve 
is one-half; if there are four or less, one-third. Greece: The 
Justinian novels are followed. Holland: The Napoleonic code 
is in force. Italy (Code of 1866) : The reserve is one-half. 
Norway (Code of 1637, modified in 1800, 1811, 1825) : The father 
is allowed free disposal of one-half of the patrimony, but for 
religious charities {fondations pieiises) only. Portugal: The legit- 
imate is two-thirds. Roumania (Code of 1865) : The same pro- 
vision as in the Napoleonic code. Russia (Code of 1835) : The 
father can dispose at pleasure of the personal property and prop- 
erty acquired, but the property itself must be divided equally. 
In Esthonia, this provision also applies to personal property ac- 
quired by inheritance, SjMin (Code of 1889) : The father can 
dispose of one-third of the patrimony to a stranger ; to a child he 
can will two-thirds. He can also, in the case of farming, indus- 
try, or commerce, leave his entire property to one of his children, 
except that the legatee has to pecuniarily indemnify his brothers 
and sisters. Sweden (Code of 1734) : In the towns, the father 
can dispose of but one-sixth of the patrimony ; in the country, the 
patrimonial property must go to the children. The rest is at the 
will of the father, except that he must provide for the sustenance 
of his children. Switzerland : At Geneva, the Napoleonic code is 
in force; in the Canton of Uri, the younger son is sometimes 
specially favoured ; in Zurich, the father can dispose of one-sixth 
in favour of strangers, or one-fifth in favour of a child ; in Bale, 
he is allowed no disposal ; in the cantons of Neuch§,tel and Vaud, 

The Child a» Social Factor. 219 

the reserve is one-half, in Bern and Schaffhausen, two-thirds, and 
in Frihurg and Soleure, three-fourths. Turkey: The father can 
dispose of two-thirds by will, or of the whole by gift (215. 39^41). 

In France, article 913 of the civil code forbids the father to 
dispose, by gift while living, or by will, of more than one-half of 
the property, if he leaves at his death but one legitimate child ; 
more than one-third, if he leaves two children; more than one- 
fourth, if he leave three or more children. In the United States 
great testamentary freedom prevails, and the laws of inheritance 
belong to the province of the various States, 

Among the nations of antiquity, — Egyptians, Persians, Assyri- 
ans, Chinese, — according to Deneus (215. 2), the patria potestas 
probably prevented any considerable diffusion of the family 
estates. By the time of Moses, the Hebrews had come to favour 
the first-bom, and to him was given a double share of the inher- 
itance. With the ancient Hindus but a slight favouring of the 
eldest son seems to have been in vogue, the principle of co-pro- 
prietorship of parent and children being recognized in the laws 
of ^lanu. In Sparta, the constitution was inimical to a reserve 
for all the children ; in Athens, the code of Solon forbade a man 
to benefit a stranger at the expense of his legitimate male chil- 
dren; he had, however, the right to make particular legacies, 
probably up to one-half of the property. Deneus considers that 
the j^enchant of the Athenians for equality was not favourable to 
a cast-iron system of primogeniture, although the father may have 
been able to favour his oldest child to the extent of one-half of his 
possessions. In ancient Kome (215. 4-16), at first, a will was an 
exception, made valid only by the vot« of a lex curiata; but after- 
wards the absolute freedom of testamentary disposition, which 
was approved in 450 b.c. by the Law of the Twelve Tables, — 
Uti legassit super pecunia tutelave suce rei, ita jus esto, — appears, 
and the father could even pass by his children in silence and call 
upon an utter stranger to enjoy his estate and possessions. By 
153 B.C., however, the father was called upon to nominally dis- 
inherit his children, and not merely pass them over in silence, if 
he wished to leave his property to a stranger. For some time 
this provision had little effect, but a breach in the patria potestas 
has reaUy been made, and by the time of Pliny the Younger 
(61-115 A.D.), who describes the procedm-e in detail, the dis- 

220 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

inherited children were given the right of the querula inofficiosi 
testamenti, by which the father was presumed to have died intes- 
tate, and his property fell in equal shares to all his children. 
Thus it was that the right of children in the property of the 
father was first really recognized at Rome, and the pars legitima, 
the reserve of which made it impossible for the children to attack 
the will of the father, came into practice. In the last years of the 
Republic, this share was at least one-fourth of what the legit- 
imate heir would have received in the absence of a will ; under 
Justinian, it was one-third of the part ab intestate, if this was at 
least one-fourth of the estate; otherwise, one-half. The father 
always retained the right to disinherit, for certain reasons, in 
law. With this diminution of his rights over property went also 
a lessening of his powers over the bodies of his children. Diocle- 
tian forbade the selling of children, Constantine decreed that the 
father who exposed his new-born child should lose the patria 
potestas, and Valentinian punished such action with death. 
Among the ancient Gauls, in spite of the father's power of 
life and death over his offspring, he could not disinherit them, 
for the theory of co-proprietorship obtained with these western 
tribes (215. 16). With the ancient Gef-mans, the father appears 
to have been rather the protector of his children than their owner 
or keeper ; the child is recognized, somewhat rudely, as a being 
with some rights of his own. Michelet has aptly observed, as 
Deneus remarks, that " the Hindus saw in the son the reproduc- 
tion of the father's soul ; the Romans, a servant of the father ; 
the Germans, a child" (215. 17). At first wills were unknown 
among them, for the system of co-proprietorship, — hceredes suc- 
cessoresque sui cuique liberi et milium testamentum, — and the 
solidarity of the family and all its members, did not feel the 
need of any. The inroad of Roman ideas, and especially, Deneus 
thinks, the fervour of converts to Christianity, introduced testa- 
mentary legacies. 

The Goths and Burgundians, in their Roman laws, allowed the 
parent to dispose of three-fourths, the Visigoths one-third or one- 
fifth, according as the testator disposed of his property in favour 
of a child or a stranger. The national law of the Burgundians 
allowed to the father the absolute disposal of his acquisitions, 
but prescribed the equal sharing of the property among all the 

The Child a8 Social Factor. 221 

children. The ripuarian law of the Franks left the children a 
reserve of twelve sous, practically admitting absolute freedom of 
disposition by will (215. 18). The course of law in respect to the 
inheritance of children during the Middle Ages can be read in the 
pages of Deneus and the wider comparative aspect of the subject 
studied in the volumes of Post, Dargun, Engels, etc., where the 
various effects of mother-right and father-right are discussed and 

Subdivisions of Land. 

In some cases, as in Wurtemburg, Switzerland, Hanover, Thu- 
ringia, Hesse, certain parts of Sweden, France, and Eussia, the 
subdivision of property has been carried out to an extent which 
has produced truly Lilliputian holdings. In Switzerland there is 
a certain commune where the custom obtains of transmitting by 
will to each child its proportional share of each parcel ; so that a 
single walnut-tree has no fewer than sixty proprietors. This 
reminds us of the Maoris of New Zealand, with whom " a portion 
of the ground is allotted to the use of each family, and this portion 
is again subdivided into individual parts on the birth of each 
child." It is of these same people that the story is told that, 
after selling certain of their lands to the English authorities, 
they came back in less than a year and demanded payment also 
for the shares of the children born since the sale, whose rights 
they declared had not been disposed of. On the islands of the 
Loire there are holdings " so small that it is impossible to reduce 
them any less, so their owners have them each in turn a year " ; 
in the commune of Murs, in Anjou, there is " a strip of nine hec- 
tares, subdivided into no fewer than thirty-one separate parcels." 
The limit, however, seems to be reached in Laon, where "it is 
not rare to find fields scarce a metre (3 ft. 3.37 in.) wide ; here an 
apple-tree or a walnut-tree covers with its branches four or five 
lots, and the proprietor can only take in his crop in the presence 
of his neighbours, to whom he has also to leave one-half of the 
fruit fallen on their lots." No wonder many disputes and law- 
suits arise from such a state of affairs. It puts us in mind at 
once of the story of the sand-pile and the McDonogh farm. The 
exchange or purchase of contiguous parcels sometimes brings 
temporary or permanent relief (215. 112, 113). 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

The following figures show the extent to which this Lilliputian 
system obtained in France in 1884, according to the returns of 
the Minister of Finance : — 

Natuke op Propektt. 

Number of 




Less than 20 ares (100 ares = one hectare) . 
Less than 50 ares 


















2 31 

Less than 1 hectare (=2J acres) 

Less than 2 hectares 

10 53 

From 2 to 6 hectares 

15 26 

From 6 to 50 hectares 

38 94 

From 50 to 200 hectares 

19 04 

More than 200 hectares 

16 23 






Deneus gives other interesting figures from Belgium and else- 
where, showing the extent of the system. Other statistics given 
indicate that this parcelling-out has reached its lowest point, and 
that the reaction has set in. It is a curious fact, noted by 
M. Deneus, that of the 1,173,724 tenant-farmers in the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the year 1884, no fewer 
than 852,438 cultivated an acre or less. 

Younger Son. 

Mr. Sessions, in his interesting little pamphlet (351) calls 
attention to the important rdle assigned in legend and story to 
the " younger son," " younger brother," as well as the social cus- 
toms and laws which have come into vogue on his account. Sir 
Henry Maine argued that " primogeniture cannot be the natural 
outgrowth of the family, but is a political institution, coming 
not from clansmen but from a chief." Hence the youngest 
son, "who continues longest Avith the father, is naturally the 
heir of his house, the rest being already provided for." Mr. Ses- 
sions observes (351. 2) : " Among some primitive tribes, as those 
of Cape York [Australia] and the adjacent islands, the youngest 
son inherited a double portion of his deceased father's goods. 

The Child as Social Factor. 223 

Among the Maoris of Xew Zealand he takes the whole. Among 
some hill tribes of India, such as the Todas of the NeOgherries, 
he takes the house and maintains the women of the family, 
whilst the cattle, which represent the chief personalities, are 
equally divided. The Mrus and Kolhs and Cotas have similar 
customs." Somewhat similar to the code of the Todas was 
that of the Hindu Aryans, as embodied in the laws of Manu, for 
"the youngest son has, from time immemorial, as well as the 
eldest, a place in Hindu legislation." The succession of the 
yoimgest prevails among the Mongolian Tartars, and " when in 
Russia the joint family may be broken up, the youngest takes 
the house." The right of the youngest was known among the 
Welsh, Irish, and some other Celtic tribes ; the old Welsh law 
gave the yoimgest son the house and eight acres, the rest of the 
land being divided equally between all the sons. Mr. Sessions 
calls attention to the fact that, while in Old Testament Palestine 
primogeniture was the rule, the line of ancestry of Christ exhibits 
some remarkable exceptions. And among primitive peoples the 
hero or demi-god is very often the younger son. 

Under the name of " Borough English," the law by which the 
fathers real property descends to the youngest son alone, sur- 
vives in Gloucester and some few other places in England, — 
Lambeth, Hackney, part of Islington, Heston, Edmonton, etc. 

Another interesting tenure is that of gavelkind, by which the 
land and property of the father was inherited in equal portions 
by all his sons, the youngest taking the house, the eldest the 
horse and arms, and so on. This mode of tenure, before the Con- 
quest, was quite common in parts of England, especially Wales 
and Northumberland, still surviving especially in the county of 
Kent. Many things, indeed, testify of the care which was taken 
even in primitive times to secure that the youngest born, the 
child of old age, so frequently the best-loved, should not fare ill 
in the struggle for life. 


One important function of the child (still to be seen commonly 
among the lower classes of the civilized races of to-day) with 
primitive peoples is that of nurse and baby-carrier. Even of 
Japan, ]^Irs. Bramhall gives this picture (189. 33): — 

224 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

"We shall see hundreds of small children, not more than five 
or six years of age, carrying, fast asleep on their shoulders, the 
baby of the household, its tiny smooth brown head swinging 
hither and thither with every movement of its small nurse, who 
walks, runs, sits, or jumps, flies kites, plays hop-scotch, and fishes 
for frogs in the gutter, totally oblivious of that infantile charge, 
whether sleeping or waking. If no young sister or brother be 
available, the husband, the uncle, the father, or grandfather hitches 
on his back the baby, preternaturally good and contented." 

The extent to which, in America, as well as in Europe, to-day, 
young children are entrusted with the care of infants of their 
family, has attracted not a little attention, and the " beyond their 
years" look of some of these little nurses and care-takers is 
often quite noticeable. The advent of the baby-carriage has 
rather facilitated than hindered this old-time employment of the 
child in the last century or so. In a recent number (vol. xvii. 
p. 792) of Public Opinion we find the statement that from June 17, 
1890, to September 15, 1894, the "Little Mothers' Aid Associa- 
tion," of New York, has been the means of giving a holiday, one 
day at least of pleasure in the year, to more than eight thousand 
little girls, who are " little mothers, in the sense of having the 
care of younger children while the parents are at work." In 
thrifty New England, children perform not a little of the house- 
work, even the cooking ; and " little mothers " and " little house- 
keepers " were sometimes left to themselves for days, while their 
elders in days gone by visited or went to the nearest town or 
village for supplies. 


"Marriages are made in heaven," says the old proverb, and 
among some primitive peoples we meet with numerous instances of 
their having been agreed upon and arranged by prospective parents 
long before the birth of their offspring. Indeed, the betrothal of 
unborn children by their parents occurs sporadically to-day in civ- 
ilized lands. Ploss has called attention to child-marriages in their 
sociological and physiological bearings (125. 1. 386-402), and Post 
has considered the subject in his historical study of family law. 
In these authorities the details of the subject may be read. In 
Old Calabar, men who already possess several wives take to their 


The Child as Social Factor. 226 

bosom ^d kiss, as their new wife, babes two or three weeks old- 
In China, Gu jurat, Ceylon, and parts of Brazil, wives of from 
four to six years of age are occasionally met with. In many 
parts of the world wives of seven to nine years of age are com- 
mon, and wives of from ten to twelve very common. In China 
it is sometimes the case that parents buy for their infant son an 
infant wife, nursed at the same breast with him (234. xlii.). 

Wiedemann, in an article on child-marriages in Egypt (381), 
mentions the fact that a certain king of the twenty-first dynasty 
(about 1100 B.C.) seems to have had as one of his wives a child 
only a few days old. From Dio Cassius we learn that in Eome, 
at the beginning of the Empire, marriages of children under ten 
years occasionally took place. 

In some parts of the world the child-wife does not belong to 
her child-husband. " Among the Eeddies, of India," Letourneau 
informs us, " a girl from sixteen to twenty years of age is married 
to a boy of five or six. The wife then becomes the real wife of 
the boy's uncle, or cousin, or of the father of the reputed husband. 
But the latter is considered to be the legal father of the children 
of his pretended wife." So it is only when the boy has grown up 
that he receives his wife, and he, in turn, acts 'as his relative 
before him (100. 354). Temple cites the following curious cus- 
tom in his tales of the Panjab (542. I. xviii.) : — 

" Wlien Raja Yasali has won a bride from Raja Sirkap, he is 
given a new-born infant and a mango-tree, which is to flower in 
twelve years, and when it flowers, the girl is to be his wife." The 
age prescribed by ancient Hindu custom (for the Brahman, Tshe- 
tria, and Yysia classes) is six to eight years for the girl, and the 
belief prevailed that if a girl were to attain her puberty before 
being married, her parents and brothers go to hell, as it was their 
duty to have got her married before that period (317. 56). Father 
Sangermano, writing of Burma a hundred years ago, notices the 
" habit of the Burmese to engage their daughters while young, in 
real or fictitious marriages, in order to save them from the hands 
of the king's ministers, custom having established a rule, which 
is rarely if ever violated, that no married woman can be seized, 
even for the king himself" (234. xlii.). The child-marriages of 
India have been a fruitful theme for discussion, as well as the 
enforced widowhood consequent upon the death of the husband. 

226 The Child in Folk -Thought. ■ 

Among tlie most interesting literature on the subject are the 
" Papers relating to Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in 
India " (317), Schlagintweit (142), etc. The evils connected with 
the child-marriages of India are forcibly brought out by Mrs. 
Steel in several of the short stories in her From the Five Rivers 
(1893), and by Richard Garbe in his beautiful little novel The 
Redemption of the Brahman (1894). 

But India and other Eastern lands are not the only countries 
where " child-marriages " have flourished. Dr. F. J. Eurnivall 
(234), the distinguished English antiquary and philologist, poring 
over at Chester the " Depositions in Trials in the Bishop's Court 
from November, 1561 to March, 1565-6," was astonished to find on 
the ninth page the record: "that Elizabeth Hulse said she was 
married to George Hulse in the Chapel of Knutsford, when she 
was but three or four years old, while the boy himself deposed 
that he was about seven," and still more surprised when he dis- 
covered that the volume contained " no fewer than twenty-seven 
cases of the actual marriage in church of the little boys and girls 
of. middle-class folk." The result of Dr. Furnivall's researches 
is contained in the one-hundred-and-eighth volume (original series) 
of the Early English Text Society's Publications, dealing with 
child-marriages, divorces, ratifications, etc., and containing a 
wealth of quaint and curious sociological lore. Perhaps the 
youngest couple described are John Somerford, aged about three 
years, and Jane Brerton, aged about two years, who were married 
in the parish church of Brerton about 1553. Both were carried 
in arms to the church, and had the words of the marriage service 
said for them by those who carried them. It appears that they 
lived together at Brerton for ten years, but without sustaining 
any further marital relations, and when the husband was about 
fifteen years, we find him suing for a divorce on account of his 
wife's " unkindness, and other weighty causes." Neither party 
seemed affectionately disposed towards the other (234. 26). Other 
very interesting marriages are those of Bridget Dutton (aged under 
five years) and George Spurstowe (aged six) (234. 38) ; Margaret 
Stanley (aged five) and Eoland Dutton (aged nine), brother of 
Bridget Dutton (234. 41) ; Janet Parker (aged five) and Lawrence 
Parker (aged nine to ten). The rest of the twenty-seven couples 
were considerably older, the most of the girls ranging between 

The Child as Social Factor. 227 

eight and twelve, the boys between ten and fourteen (234. 28). 
It would seem that for the most part these young married couples 
were not allowed to live together, but at times some of the nuptial 
rites were travestied or attempted to be complied with. In two 
only of the twenty-seven cases is there mention of " bedding " 
the newly-married children. John Budge, who at the age of 
eleven to twelve years, was married to Elizabeth Kamsbotham, 
aged thirteen to fourteen years, is said to have wept to go home 
with his father and only by ''compulsion of the priest of the 
Chapel " was he persuaded to lie with his wife, but never had any 
marital relations with her whatever, and subsequently a petition 
for divorce was filed by the husband (234. 6). In the case of Ellen 
Dampart, who at the age of about eight years, was married to 
John Andrew aged ten, it appears that they slept in the same 
bed with two of the child- wife's sisters between them. No marital 
relations were entered upon, and the wife afterwards sues for a 
divorce (234. 15, 16). 

The practice seems to have been for each of the children mar- 
ried to go to live with some relative, and if the marriage were not 
ratified by them after reaching years of consent, to petition for a 
divorce. In some nine cases the boy is younger than the girl, and 
Humfrey Winstanley was under twelve when he was married to 
Alice Worsley aged over seventeen ; in this case no marital rela- 
tions were entered upon, though the wife was quite willing ; and 
the husband afterwards petitions for a divorce (234. 2-4). Thomas 
Dampart, who at the age of ten years, was married to Elizabeth 
Page, appears to have lived with his wife about eight years and 
to have kept up marital relations with her until she left him of 
her own motion. Dr. Furnivall (234. 49-52) cites four cases of 
ratification of child-marriages by the parties after they have 
attained years of discretion, in one of which the boy and the girl 
were each but ten years old when married. The most naive ac- 
count in the whole book is that of the divorce-petition of James 
Ballard, who, when about eleven years of age, was married in the 
parish church of Colne at ten o'clock at night by Sir Roger 
Blakey, the cuxate, to a girl named Anne ; the morning after the 
ceremony he is said " to have declared unto his uncle that the 
said Anne had enticed him with two Apples, to go with her to 
Colne, and marry her." No marital relations were entered upon, 

228 The Child in Folk - Thought. 

and the curate was punished for his hasty and injudicious action 
(234. 45). 

Dr. Furnivall (234. xxxv.) quotes at some length the legal 
opinion — the law on infant marriages — of Judge Swinburne 
(died, 1624), from which we learn that "infants" (i.e. children 
under seven years of age) could not contract spousals or matri- 
mony, and such contracts made by the infants or by their parents 
were void, unless subsequently ratified by the contracting parties 
by word or deed, — at twelve the girls ceased to be children, and 
at fourteen the boys, and were then fully marriageable, as they 
are to-day in many parts of the world. Of childhood. Judge 
Swinburne says, " During this age, children cannot contract Matri- 
mony de prcesenti, but only de future " ; but their spousals could 
readily be turned into actual marriages after the girls were twelve 
and the boys fourteen, as Dr. Furnivall points out. 

The fifth limitation to his general statement, which the learned 
judge made, is thus strangely and quaintly expressed : " The 
fifth Limitation is, when the Infants which do contract Spousals 
are of that Wit and Discretion, that albeit they have not as yet 
accomplished the full Age of Seven Years, yet doth their suprar 
ordinary understanding fully supply that small defect of Age 
which thing is not rare in these days, wherein Children become 
sooner ripe, and do conceive more quickly than in former Ages " 
(234. xxxvi.). 

First among the causes of these child-marriages Dr. Furnivall 
is inclined to rank "the desire to evade the feudal law of the 
Sovereign's guardianship of all infants," for "when a father died, 
the Crown had the right to hold the person and estate of the prop- 
ertied orphan until it came of age, and it could be sold in mar- 
riage for the benefit of the Crown or its grantee." Moreover, "if 
the orphan refused such a marriage with a person of its own rank, 
it had to pay its guardian a heavy fine for refusing his choice, 
and selecting a spouse of its own" (234. xxxix.). Property-ar- 
rangement also figures as a cause of these alliances, especially 
where the bride is older than the groom : Elizabeth Hulse (aged 
four) was married to George Hulse (aged seven) "because her 
friends thought she should have a living by him" (234. 4). 
When Elizabeth Eamsbotham (aged 13-14) married John Bridge 
(aged 11-12), " money was paid by the father of the said Eliza- 

The Child as Social Factor. 229 

beth, to buy a piece of land " (234. 6) ; according to the father 
of Joan Leyland (aged 11-12), who married Ralph Whittall 
(aged 11-12), " they were married because she should have had 
by him a pretty bargain, if they could have loved, one the other " 
(234. 12) ; Thomas Bentham (aged twelve) and Ellen Bolton (aged 
ten) were married because Richard Bentham, grandfather of Ellen, 
"was a very wealthy man, and it was supposed that he would have 
been good unto them, and bestowed some good farm upon them " 
(234. 32); the marriage of Thomas Fletcher (aged 10-11) and 
Anne Whitfield (aged about nine) took place because "John 
Fletcher, father of the said Thomas, was in debt ; and, to get some 
money of William Whitfield, to the discharge of his debts, mar- 
ried and bargained his sonne to the said Whitfield's daughter." 
The " compulsion of their friends " seems also to have been a 
cause of the marriages of children ; Peter Hope (about thirteen) 
married Alice Ellis (aged nine), "because it was his mother's 
mind, he durst not displease her " (234. 20, 23). 

So far the evidence has related to unsatisfactory and unfortu- 
nate marriages, but, as Dr. Furnivall remarks, " no doubt scores 
of others ended happily ; the child-husband and -wife just lived 
on together, and — when they had reached their years of discre- 
tion (girls twelve, boys fourteen) or attained puberty — ratified 
their marriage by sleeping in one bed and having children" 
(234. xix., 203). 

Some additional cases of child-marriages in the diocese of 
Chester are noticed by Mr. J. P. Earwaker (234. xiv.), a pioneer 
in this branch of antiquarian research, whose studies date back 
to 1885. The case of John Marden, who, at the age of three 
years, was married to a girl of five is thus described : " He was 
carried in the arms of a clergyman, who coaxed him to repeat the 
words of matrimony. Before he had got through his lesson, the 
child declared he would learn no more that day. The priest 
answered: 'You must speak a little more, and then go play 
you.'" Robert Parr, who, in 1538-9, at the age of three, was 
married to Elizabeth Rogerson, "was hired for an apple by his 
im^cle to go to church, and was borne thither in the arms of 
Edward Bunburie his uncle . . . which held him in arms the 
time that he was married to the said Elizabeth, at which time 
the said Robert could scarce speak." Mr. Earwaker says that in 

230 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

the Inquisitiones post mortem, " it is by no means nnfrequent to 
read that so and so was heir to his father, and then aged, say, ten 
years, and was already married " (234. xxi.-xxxiii.). 

A celebrated child-marriage was that at Eynsham, Oxfordshire, 
in 1541, the contracting parties being William, Lord Eure, aged 
10-11 years, and Mary Darcye, daughter of Lord Darcye, aged 
four. The parties were divorced November 3, 1544, and in 1548, 
the boy took to himself another wife. Dr. Eurnivall cites from 
John Smith's Lives of the Berkeleys, the statements that Maurice, 
third Lord Berkeley, was married in 1289, when eight years old, 
to Eve, daughter of Lord Zouch, and, before he or his wife was 
fourteen years of age, had a son by her ; that Maurice, the fourth 
Lord Berkeley, when eight years of age, was married in 1338-9, 
to Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Lord Spenser, about eight years 
old ; that Thomas, the fourth Lord Berkeley, when about fourteen 
and one-half years of age, was married, in 1366, to Margaret, 
daughter of Lord de Lisle, aged about seven. Smith, in quaint 
fashion, refers to King Josiah (2 Kings, xxiii., xxvi.). King Ahaz 
(2 Kings, xvi. 2, xviii. 2), and King Solomon (1 Kings, xi. 42, 
xiv. 21) as having been fathers at a very early age, and remarks : 
" And the Fathers of the Church do tell us that the blessed Virgin 
Mary brought forth our Saviour at fifteen years old, or under " 
(234. xxvii.). 

Even during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries child- 
marriages are numerously attested. Following are noteworthy 
cases (234. xxiii.) : In 1626 Anne Clopton, aged nearly fourteen, 
was married to Sir Simonds D'Ewes, aged nearly twenty-four ; in 
1673, John Power, grandson of Lord Anglesey, was married at 
Lambeth, by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Mrs. Catherine 
Fitzgerald, his cousin-german, she being about thirteen, and he 
eight years old ; at Dunton Basset, Leicestershire, in 1669, Mary 
Hewitt (who is stated to have lived to the good old age of seventy- 
seven) was married when but three years old ; in 1672, the only 
daughter (aged five) of Lord Arlington was married to the Duke of 
Grafton, and the ceremony was witnessed by John Evelyn, who, 
in 1679, " was present at the re-marriage of the child couple " ; in 
1719, Lady Sarah Cadogan, aged thirteen, was married to Charles, 
Duke of Richmond, aged eighteen; in 1721, Charles Powel, of 
Carmarthen, aged about eleven, was married to a daughter of 

The Child as Social Factor. S81 

Sir Thomas Powel, of Broadway, aged about fourteen; in 1729, 
" a girl of nine years and three months was taken from a board- 
ing school by one of her guardians, and married to his son " ; 
Bridget Clarke, in 1S83, is reputed to have been twenty-five 
years old, to have had seven children, and to have been married 
when only thirteen; at Deeping, Lincolnshire, a young man of 
twenty-one married a girl of fourteen, and " it was somewhat of 
a novelty to observe the interesting bride the following day 
exhibiting her skill on the skipping-rope on the pavement in the 
street." !Mr. Longstaff, who has studied the annual reports of 
the registrar-general for 1851-81, finds that during these thirty- 
one years, " out of 11,058,376 persons married, 154 boys married 
before 17, and 862 girls before 16. Of these, 11 boys of 15 mar- 
ried girls of 15 (four cases), 16, 18 (two cases), 20, and 21. Three 
girls of 14 married men of 18, 21, and 25. Five girls of 15 mar- 
ried boys of 16 ; in 29 marriages both girl and boy were sixteen " 
(234. xxxiii.). 

Further comments upon infant marriages may be found in an 
article in the Gentleman's Magazine, for September, 1894, the 
writer of which remarks : " AYithin recent years, however, the 
discovery has been made, that, so far from being confined, as had 
been supposed, to royal or aristocratic houses, infant marriages 
were, in the sixteenth century, common in some parts of England 
among all classes" (367. 322). 

It was said "marriages are made in heaven," and that some- 
times children are married before they are born ; it might also be 
said "marriages are made for heaven," since some children are mar- 
ried after they are dead. In some parts of China (and Marco Polo 
reported the same practice as prevalent in his time among the 
Tartars) " the spirits of all males who die in infancy or in boy- 
hood are, in due time, married to the spirits of females who have 
been cut off at a like early age" (166. 140). 

As Westermarck observes, " Dr. Ploss has justly pointed out 
that the ruder a people is, and the more exclusively a woman is 
valued as an object of desire, or as a slave, the earlier in life is 
she chosen; whereas, if marriage becomes a union of souls as 
well as of bodies, the man claims a higher degree of mental 
maturity from the woman he wishes to be his wife." 

In so civilized a nation even as the United States, the " age of 

232 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

consent" laws evidence the tenacity of barbarism. The black 
list of states, compiled by Mr. Powell (180. 201), in a recent 
article in the Arena, reveals the astonishing fact that in three 
states — Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina — the "age of 
consent " is ten years ; in four states, twelve years ; in three states, 
thirteen years ; in no fewer than twenty states, fourteen years ; 
in two states, fifteen years ; in twelve states, sixteen years ; and 
in one state (Florida), seventeen years. In Kansas and Wyoming 
alone is the " age of consent " eighteen years, and it is worthy of 
note that Wyoming is the only state in the Union in which 
women have for any considerable length of time enjoyed the 
right to vote on exactly the same terms as men. In England, 
the agitation set going by Mr, Stead, in 1885, resulted in the 
passage of a law raising the " age of consent " from thirteen to six- 
teen years. It is almost beyond belief, that, in the State of Dela- 
ware, only a few years ago, the " age of consent " was actually 
as low as seven years (180. 194) ! Even in Puritan Kew England, 
we find the " age of consent " fixed at thirteen in New Hampshire, 
and at fourteen in Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine (180. 195). 
It is a sad comment upon our boasted culture and progress that, 
as of old, the law protects, and even religion fears to disturb too 
rudely, this awful sacrifice to lust which we have inherited from 
our savage ancestors. There is no darker chapter in the history 
of our country than that which tells of the weak pandering to 
the modern representatives of the priests of Bacchus, Astarte, 
and the shameless Venus. The religious aspect of the horrible 
immolation may have passed away, but wealth and social attrac- 
tions have taken its place, and the evil works out its destroying 
way as ever. To save the children from this worse than death, 
women must fight, and they will win ; for once the barbarity, the 
enormity, the inhumanity of this child-sacrifice is brought home 
to men they cannot for their own children's sake permit the thing 
to go on. Here, above all places else, apply the words of Jesus : 
"Whoso shall cause one of these little ones which believe on me 
to stumble, it is profitable that a great millstone should be hanged 
about his neck, and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea." 
The marriage-laws of some of the states savour almost as much 
of prehistoric times and primitive peoples. With the consent of 
her parents, a girl of twelve years may lawfully contract marriage 

The Child as Social Factor, 233 

in no fewer than twenty-two states and territories; and in no 
fewer than twenty, a boy of fourteen may do likewise. Among 
the twenty-two states and territories are included: Connecticut, 
Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont; and among the twenty, 
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Xew Hampshire, 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont. In some of 
the Southern States the age seems to be somewhat higher than in 
a number of the Northern. The existence of slavery may have 
tended to bring about this result ; while the same fact in the West 
is to be accounted for by the vigour and newness of the civilization 
in that part of the country. 

Children's Rights. 

Where, as in ancient Rome, for example, the patria potestas 
flourished in primitive vigour, — Mommsen says, "all in the 
household were destitute of legal rights, — the wife and the child 
no less than the bullock or the slave " (166. 229), children could in 
nowise act as members of society. Westermarck (166. 213-239) 
shows to what extent and to what age the mundium, or guardian- 
ship of the father over his children, was exercised in Rome, Greece, 
among the Teutonic tribes, in France. In the latter country even 
now " a child cannot quit the paternal residence without the per- 
mission of the father before the age of twenty-one, except for en- 
rolment in the army. Por grave misconduct by his children the 
father has strong means of correction. A son under twenty-five 
and a daughter under twenty-one cannot marry without the con- 
sent of their parents ; and even when a man has attained his 
twenty-fifth year, and the woman her twenty-first, both are still 
bound to ask for it, by a formal notification." Westermarck's 
observations on the general subject are as follows : — 

"There is thus a certain resemblance between the family 
institution of savage tribes and that of the most advanced races. 
Among both, the grown-up son, and frequently the grown-up 
daughter, enjoys a liberty unknown among peoples at an inter- 
mediate stage of civilization. There are, however, these vital 
differences : that children in civilized countries are in no respect 
the property of their parents; that they are born with certain 

234 The OUld in Folk -Thought. 

rights guaranteed to tliem by society ; that the birth of children 
gives parents no rights over them other than those which conduce 
to the children's happiness. These ideas, essential as they are 
to true civilization, are not many centuries old. It is a purely 
modern conception the French Encyclopaedist expresses when he 
says, ' Le pouvoir paternel est plutot un devoir qu'un pouvoir ' " 
(166. 239). 

Hie Child at School. 

It was in this spirit also that Count Czaky (when Minister of 
Education in Hungary), replying to the sarcastic suggestion of 
one of the Deputies, during the debate on the revision of the cur- 
riculum of classical studies, that "the lazy children should be 
asked whether they liked to study Greek or not," said that 
" when it became necessary, he would willingly listen to the chil- 
dren themselves." That children have some rights in the matter 
is a view that is slowly but surely fixing itself in the minds of 
the people, — that the school should be something more than an 
intellectual prison-house, a mental and moral tread-mill, a place 
to put children in out of the way of the family, a dark cave into 
which happy, freedom-loving, joyous childhood must perforce retire 
from that communion with nature which makes the health of its 
body and the salvation of its soul. This false theory of educa- 
tion is vanishing, however tardily, before the teachings of the 
new psychology and the new anthropology, which demand a 
knowledge of what the child is, feels, thinks, before they will be 
party to any attempt to make him be, feel, think, something differ- 
ent. The school is but a modified form of society, of its funda- 
mental institution, the family. Dr. Eiccardi, in the introduction 
to his Antropologia e Pedagogia, — in which he discusses a mass 
of psychological, sociological, and anthropological observations 
and statistics, — well says (336. 12) : — 

" The school is a little society, whose citizens are the scholars. 
The teacher has not merely to instruct the pupil, but ought also 
to teach him to live in the little school-society and thus fitly pre- 
pare him to live in the great society of humanity. And just as 
men are classified in human society, so ought to be classified the 
scholars in the little school-society ; and just as the teacher looks 
upon the great human world in movement upon the earth, so 

The Child 09 Social Factor. 235 

ought he also to look upon that little world called the school, 
observing its elements with a positive eye, without preconcep- 
tions and without prejudices. The teacher, therefore, in regard to 
the school-organism, is as a legislator in regard to society. And 
the true and wise legislator does not give laws to the governed, 
does not offer security and liberty to the citizens, until after he 
has made a profound study of his country and of society. Let 
the teacher try for some time to take these criteria into his 
school ; let him try to apply in the school many of those fact^ 
and usages which are commonly employed in human society, and 
he will see how, little by little, almost unnoticeably, the primitive 
idea of the school will be modified in his mind, and he will see 
how the school itself will assume the true character which it 
ought to have, that is, the character of a microscopic social organ- 
ism. This legislator for our children, by making the children 
and youths clearly see of themselves that the school is nothing 
else but a little society, where they are taught to live, and by 
making them see the points of resemblance and of contact with 
the great human society, will engender in the minds of the pupils 
the conscience of duty and of right; will create in them the 
primitive feeling of justice and of equity. And the pupils, feel- 
ing that there is a real association, feeling that they do form part 
of a little world, and are not something merely gathered together 
by chance for a few houi-s, will form a compact homogeneous scho- 
lastic association, in which all will try to be something, and of 
which all will be proud. In this way will the assemblage of dis- 
parate, diverse, heterogeneous elements, with which the school 
begins the year, be able to become homogeneous and create a true 
school organism. And if the teacher will persevere, whether in 
the direction of the school, in the classification of the pupils, or 
in the different contingencies that arise, in applying those criteria, 
those ideas, those forms, which are commonly employed in society, 
he will be favouring the homogeneity of the little organism which 
he has to instruct and to educate. He will thus have always 
before his mind all the organic, psychic, and moral characteristics 
of human society and will see the differences from, and the resem- 
blances to, those of the school-organism. In so far will he have 
an example, a law, a criterion, a form to follow in the direction 
of the little human society entrusted to him, with its beautiful 

236 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

and its ugly side, its good and its bad, its vices and its virtues. 
This idea of the school as an organism, however much it seems 
destined to overturn ideas of the past, will be the crucible from 
which will be turned out in the near future all the reforms and 
many new ideas." 

This view of the school as an organism, a social microcosm, a 
little society within the great human society, having its resem- 
blances to, and its differences from, the family and the nation, is 
one that the new development of " child-study " seems bound to 
promote and advance. Rank paternalism has made its exit from 
the great human society, but it has yet a strong hold upon the 
school. It is only in comparatively recent times that mother- 
hood, which, as Zmigrodzki says, has been the basis of our civili- 
zation, has been allowed to exercise its best influence upon the 
scholastic microcosm. Paternalism and celibacy must be made 
to yield up the strong grasp which they have upon the educational 
institutions of the land, and the early years of the life of man 
must be confided to the care of the mother-spirit, which the indi- 
vidual man and the race alike have deified in their golden age. 
The mother who laid so well the foundations of the great human 
society, the originator of its earliest arts, the warder of its faiths 
and its beliefs, the mother, who built up the family, must be 
trusted with some large share in the building of the school. 


In Tlie Story of a Sand-Pile (255), President G. Stanley Hall 
has chronicled for us the life-course of a primitive social com- 
munity — nine summers of work and play by a number of boys 
with a sand-pile in the yard of one of their parents. Here we 
are introduced to the originality and imitation of children in agri- 
culture, architecture, industrial arts, trade and commerce, money 
and exchange, government, law and justice, charity, etc. The 
results of this spontaneous and varied exercise, which, the parents 
say, " has been of about as much yearly educational value to the 
boys as the eight months of school," and in contrast with which 
" the concentrative methodic unities of Ziller seem artificial, and, 
as Bacon said of scholastic methods, very inadequate to subtlety 
of nature," Dr. Hall sums up as follows (255. 696) : — 

The Child as Social Factor. 237 

"Yery many problems that puzzle older brains have been met 
in simpler terms and solved wisely and well. The spirit and 
habit of active and even prying observation has been greatly 
quickened. Industrial processes, institutions, and methods of 
administration and organization have been appropriated and put 
into practice. The boys have grown more companionable and 
rational, learning many a lesson of self-control, and developed a 
spirit of self-help. The parents have been enabled to control 
indirectly the associations of their boys, and, in a very mixed 
boy-community, to have them in a measure imder observation 
without in the least restricting their freedom. The habit of loaf- 
ing, and the evils that attend it, have been avoided, a strong 
practical and even industrial bent has been given to their devel- 
opment, and much social morality has been taught in the often 
complicated modus vivendi with others that has been evolved. 
Finally, this may perhaps be called one illustration of the educa- 
tion according to nature we so often hear and speak of." 

This study of child-sociology is a rara avis in terra; it is to be 
hoped, however, that if any other parents have " refrained from 
suggestions, and left the hand and fancy of the boys to educate 
each other imder the tvution of the mysterious play-instinct," they 
may be as fortunate in securing for the deeds of their young off- 
spring, as observant and as sympathetic a historian as he who 
has told the story of the sand-pile in that little New England 

Bagehot, in the course of his chapter on "Nation-Making," 
observes (395. 91) : — 

" After such great matters as religion and politics, it may seem 
trifling to illustrate the subject from little boys. But it is not 
trifling. The bane of philosophy is pomposity : people will not 
see that small things are the miniatures of greater, and it seems 
a loss of abstract dignity to freshen their minds by object lessons 
from what they know. But every boarding-school changes as a 
nation changes. Most of us may remember thinking, * How odd it 
is that this half should be so unlike last half; now we never go out 
of bounds, last half we were always going ; now we play rounders, 
then we played prisoner's base,' and so through all the easy life of 
that time. In fact, some niling spirits, some one or two ascend- 
ant boys, had left, one or two others had come, and so all was 

238 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

changed. The models were changed, and the copies changed ; a 
different thing was praised, and a different thing bullied." 

It was in the spirit of this extract (part of which he quotes), 
that the editor of the " Johns Hopkins University Studies in His- 
torical and Political Science " happily admitted into that series of 
monographs, Mr. J. H. Johnson's Eudimentary Society among 
Boys (272), a sociological study of peculiar interest and impor- 
tance — "a microcosm, not only of the agrarian, but of the 
political and economic history of society." Mr. Johnson has 
graphically described the development of society among some 
fifty boys on the farm belonging to the McDonogh School, not 
far from the city of Baltimore, Maryland ; land-tenure, boy -legis- 
lation, judicial procedure, boy-economy, are all treated of in 
detail and many analogies with the life and habits of primitive 
peoples brought out, and the author has gone a long way towards 
realizing the thesis that " To show a decided resemblance between 
barbarian political institutions and those of communities of civi- 
lized children, would be a long step towards founding a science 
of Social Embryology" (272. 61). 

" Gangs." 

Mr. Stewart Culin (212) in his interesting account of the 
" Street Games of Boys in Brooklyn, N.Y." notices en passant 
the existence of "gangs" of boys — boys' societies of the ruder 
and rougher kind. As evidence of the extent to which these 
organizations have flourished, the following somewhat complete 
list of those known to have existed in the city of Philadelphia 
is given : — 

Badgers, Bed Bugs, Bleeders, Blossoms, Bouncers, Buena Vistas, 
Buffaloes, Bull Dogs, Bullets, Bunker Hills, Canaries, Clippers, 
Corkies, Cow Towners, Cruisers, Darts, Didos, Dirty Dozen, 
Dumplingtown Hivers, Dung Hills, Fluters, Forest Eose, Forties, 
Garroters, Gas House Tarriers, Glassgous, Golden Hours, Gut 
Gang, Haymakers, Hawk-T owners, Hivers, Killers, Lancers, Lions, 
Mountaineers, Murderers, Niggers, Pigs, Pluckers, Pots, Prairie 
Hens, Railroad Roughs, Rats, Ramblers, Ravens, Riverside, 
Rovers, Schuylkill Rangers, Skinners, Snappers, Spigots, Tigers, 
Tormentors, War Dogs, "Wayne Towners. 

The Child as Social Factor. 239 

Of these Mr. Culin remarks : " They had their laws and cus- 
toms, their feuds and compacts. The former were more numerous 
than the latter, and they fought on every possible occasion. A 
kind of half-secret organization existed among them, and new 
members passed through a ceremony called 'initiation,' which 
was not confined to the lower classes, from which most of them 
were recruited. Almost every Philadelphia boy, as late as twenty 
years ago, went through some sort of ordeal when he first entered 
into active boyhood. Being triced up by legs and arms, and 
swung violently against a gate, was usually part of this cere- 
mony, and it no doubt still exists, although I have no particular 
information, which indeed is rather difficult to obtain, as boys, 
while they remain boys, are reticent concerning aU such matters " 
(212. 236). 

These street-organizations exist in other cities also, and have 
their ramifications in the school-life of children, who either 
belong to, or are in some way subject to, these curious associa- 
tions. Every ward, nay, every street of any importance, seems 
to have its " gang," and it is no small experience in a boy's life 
to pass the ordeal of initiation, battle with alien organizations, 
and retire, as childhood recedes, unharmed by the primitive 

Xo doubt, from these street-gangs many pass into the junior 
criminal societies which are known to exist in many great cities, 
the training-schools for theft, prostitution, murder, the feeding- 
grounds for the " White Caps," " Molly Maguires," " Ku-Klux,'* 
" Mafia," " Camorra," and other secret political or criminal asso- 
ciations, who know but too well how to recruit their numbers 
from the young. The gentler side of the social instinct is seen 
in the formation of friendships among children, associations 
born of the nursery or the school-room which last often through 
life. The study of these early friendships offers a tempting field 
for sociological reseaj-ch and investigation. 

Secret Societies of the Toung. 

There are among primitive peoples many secret societies to 
which children and youth are allowed to belong, or which are 
wholly composed of such. 

240 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Among the secret societies of the Kwakiutl Indians, of British 
Columbia, Dr. Boas mentions the "Keki'qalak- (=the crows)," 
formed from the children (403. 53). The same author speaks of 
the Tsimshians, another British Columbia tribe, in these terms 
(403. 57) : — 

" A man who is not a member of a secret society is a ' common 
man.' He becomes a middle-class man after the first initiation, 
and attains higher rank by repeated initiations. The novice dis- 
appears in the same way as among the Kwakiutl. It is supposed 
that he goes to heaven. During the dancing season a feast is 
given, and while the women are dancing the novice is suddenly 
said to have disappeared. If he is a child, he stays away four 
days ; youths remain absent six days, and grown-up persons 
several months. Chiefs are supposed to stay in heaven during 
the fall and entire winter. When this period has elapsed, they 
suddenly reappear on the beach, carried by an artificially-made 
monster belonging to their crest. Then all the members of the 
secret society to which the novice is to belong gather and walk 
down in grand procession to the beach to fetch the child. At 
this time the child's parents bring presents, particularly elk skins, 
strung on a rope as long as the procession, to be given at a subse- 
quent feast. The people surround the novice and lead him into 
every house in order to show that he has returned. Then he is 
taken to the house of his parents and a bunch of cedar-bark is 
fastened over the door, to show that the place is tabooed, and 
nobody is allowed to enter." The dance and other ceremonies 
which follow may be read of in Dr. Boas' report. 

Dr. Daniels, in his study of Regeneration, has called attention 
to " seclusion " and " disappearance," followed by reappearance 
and adoption as members of society, as characteristic practices in 
vogue among many savage and semi-civilized tribes with respect 
to children and those approaching the age of puberty — a change 
of name sometimes accompanies the " entering upon the new 
life," as it is often called. Of the Australians we read: "The 
boy at eight or ten years of age must leave the hut of his father 
and live in common with the other young men of the tribe. He 
is called by another name than that which he has borne from 
birth and his diet is regulated to some extent." In New Guinea, 
in Africa, and among some of the tribes of American aborigines 

The Child as Social Factor. 241 

like habits prevail. The custom of certain Indians formerly 
inhabiting Virginia is thus described: "After a very severe 
beating the boys are sent into a secluded spot. There they must 
stay nine months and can associate with no human being. They 
are fed during this time with a kind of intoxicating preparation 
of roots to make them forget all about their past life. After 
their return home everything must seem strange to them. In 
this way it is thought that they ' begin to live anew.' They are 
thought of as having been dead for a short time and are 'num- 
bered among the older citizens after forgetting that they once 
were boys ' " (214. 11-13). 

In the African district of Quoja existed a secret society called 
Belly-Paaro, " the members of which had_to spend a long time 
in a holy thicket. WTioever broke the rules of this society was 
seized upon by the Jannanes, or spirits of the dead, who dwelt 
in the thicket and brought thither, whence he was unable to 
return" (127. I. 240). Of this practice Kulischer remarks: '"It 
is a death and a new birth, since they are wholly changed in the 
consecrated thicket, dying to the old life and existence, and receiv- 
ing a new understanding.' When the youths return from the 
thicket, they act as if they had come into the world for the first 
time, and had never known where their parents lived or their 
names, what sort of people they were, how to wash themselves " 
(214. 12). 

Of another part of Africa we read: "In the country of 
Ambamba each person must die once, and come to life again. 
Accordingly, when a fetich-priest shakes his calabash at a vil- 
lage, those men and youths whose hour is come fall into a state 
of death-like torpor, from which they recover usually in the 
course of three days. But if there is any one that the fetich 
loves, him he takes into the bush and buries in the fetich-house. 
Oftentimes he remains buried for a long series of years. When 
he comes to life again, he begins to eat and drink as before, but 
his reason is gone, and the fetich-man is obliged to train him and 
instruct him in the simplest bodily movements, like a little child. 
At first the stick is only the instrument of education, but gradu- 
ally his senses come back to him, and he begins to speak. As 
soon as his education is finished, the priest restores him to his 
parents. They seldom recognize their son, but accept the express 

242 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

assurance of the feticero, who also reminds them of events in the 
past. In Ambamba a man who has not passed through the pro- 
cess of dying and coming to life again is held in contempt, nor is 
he permitted to join in the dance " (529. 56). 

Some recollection, perhaps, of similar customs and ideas appears 
in the game of " Euripsken," which, according to Schambach, is 
played by children in Gottingen : One of the children lies on the 
ground, pretending to be dead, the others running up and singing 
out " Euripsken, are you alive yet ? " Suddenly he springs up 
and seizes one of the other players, who has to take his place, 
and so the game goes on. 

Among the Mandingos of the coast of Sierra Leone, the girls 
approaching puberty are taken by the women of the village to an 
out-of-the-way spot in the forest, where they remain for a month 
and a day in strictest seclusion, no one being permitted to see 
them except the old woman who has charge of their circum- 
cision. Here they are instructed in religion and ceremonial, and 
at the expiration of the time set, are brought back to town at 
night, and indulge in a sort of Lady Godiva procession until 
daybreak. At the beginning of the dry-cool season among the 
Mundombe " boys of from eight to ten years of age are brought 
by the ' kilombola-masters ' into a lonely uninhabited spot, where 
they remain for ninety days after their circumcision, during which 
time not even their own parents may visit them. After the wound 
heals, they are brought back to the village in triumph" (127. 
I. 292). 

With the Kaffirs the circumcision -rites last five months, " and 
during this whole time the youths go around with their bodies 
smeared with white clay. They form a secret society, and dwell 
apart from the village in a house built specially for them " (127. 
I. 292). Among the Susu there is a secret organization known 
as the Semo, the members of which use a peculiar secret lan- 
guage, and " the young people have to pass a whole year in the 
forest, and it is believed right for them to kill any one who 
comes near the wood, and who is not acquainted with this secret 
tongue " (127. I. 240). A very similar society exists among the 
tribes on the Eio Nunez. Here " the young people live for seven 
or eight years a life of seclusion in the forest." In Angoy there 
is the secret society of the Sindungo, membership in which passes 

The Child as Social Factor. 243 

from father to son; in Bomma, the secret orders of the fetich 
Undembo; among the Shekiani and the Bakulai, that of the 
great spirit Mwetyi, the chief object of which is to keep in sub- 
jection women and children, and into which boys are initiated 
when between fourteen and eighteen years old ; the Mumbo 
Jumbo society of the Mandingos, into which no one under six- 
teen years of age is allowed to enter (127. I. 241-247). 

Among the Mpongwe the women have a secret society called 
Njembe, the object of which is to protect them against harsh 
treatment by the men. The initiation lasts several weeks, and 
girls from ten to twelve years of age are admissible (127. I. 

Of the Indians of the western plains of the United States of 
America we are told : " At twelve or thirteen these yearnings can 
no longer be suppressed ; and, banded together, the youths of from 
twelve to sixteen years roam over the country ; and some of the 
most cold-blooded atrocities, daring attacks, and desperate com- 
bats have been made by these children in pursuit of fame" 
(432. 191). 

Among the Mandingos of West Africa, during the two months 
immediately follow^g their circumcision, the youths "form a 
society called SoUmana. They make visits to the neighbouring 
villages, where they sing and dance and are f^ted by the inhabi- 

In Angola the boys " live for a month under the care of a fetich- 
priest, passing their time in drum-beating, a wild sort of singing, 
and rat-hunting." Among the Beit Bidel "all the youths who 
are to be consecrated as men unite together. They deck them- 
selves out with beads, hire a guitar-player, and retire to the woods, 
where they steal and kill goats from the herds of their tribe, and 
for a whole week amuse themselves with sport and song." The 
Wanika youths of like age betake themselves, wholly naked, to 
the woods, where they remain until they have slain a man." On 
the coast of Guinea, after their circumcision, " boys are allowed 
to exact presents from every one and to commit all sorts of 
excesses " (127. I. 291-4). 

Among the Fulas, boys who hare been circumcised are a law 
unto themselves until the incision has healed. They can steal 
or take whatever suits them without its being counted an offence. 

244 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

In Bambuk, for fourteen days after the circuracision^fe, the 
young people are allowed to escape from the supervision of their 
parents. From sunrise to sunset they can leave the paternal roof 
and run about the fields near the village. They can demand meat 
and drink of whomsoever they please, but may not enter a house 
unless they have been invited to do so." In Darfur, " after their 
circumcision, the boys roamed around the adjacent villages and 
stole all the poultry" (127. I. 291). 

Modem Aspects. 

These secret societies and outbursts of primitive lawlessness 
recall at once to our attention the condition of affairs at some of 
our universities, colleges, and larger schools. The secret societies 
and student-organizations, with their initiations, feasts, and ex- 
travagant demonstrations, their harassing of the uninitiated, their 
despisal of municipal, collegiate, even parental authority, and 
their oftentime contempt and disregard of all social order, their 
not infrequent excesses and debauches, carry us back to their 
analogues in the institutions of barbarism and savagery, the accom- 
paniments of the passage from childhood to manhood. Of late 
years, the same spirit has crept into our high schools, and is even 
making itself felt in the grammar grades, so imitative are the 
school-children of their brothers and sisters in the universities and 
colleges. Pennalism and fagging, so prevalent of old time in Ger- 
many and England, are not without their representatives in this 
country. The "freshman" in the high schools and colleges is 
often made to feel much as the savage does who is serving his 
time of preparation for admission into the mysteries of Mumbo- 

In the revels of " May Day," " Midsummer," " Rogation Week," 
"Whitsuntide," "All Fools' Day," "New Year's Day," "Hallow 
E'en," " Christmas," " Easter," etc., children throughout England 
and in many parts of Europe during the Middle Ages took a prom- 
inent part and rdle in the customs and practices which survive 
even to-day, as may be seen in Brand, Grimm, and other books 
dealing with popular customs and festivals, social fUes and merry- 

In Tennyson's May Queen we read : — 

The Child as Social Factor. 245 

•♦ You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear ; 
Ttf-morrow'U be the happiest time of all the glad New Year ; 
Of all the glad New Year, mother, the maddest, merriest day ; 
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May." 

And a " mad, merry day " it certainly was in " merry England," 
when the fairest lass in the village was chosen "Queen of the 
May," and sang merry songs of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. 

Polydore Virgil tells us that in ancient Rome the " youths used 
to go into the fields and spend the Calends of May in dancing 
and singing in honour of Flora, goddess of fruits and flowers." 
Westermarck seems to think some of these popular customs have 
something to do with the increase of the sexual function in spring 
and early summer (166. 30). 

In seizing upon this instinct for society-making among children 
and youth lies one of the greatest opportunities for the preven- 
tion of crime and immorality the world has ever kno^Ti. To turn 
to good ends this spontaneity of action, to divert into channels 
of usefulness these currents of child-activity, will be to add 
immensely to the equipment of mankind in the struggle with 
vice. A certain bishop of the early Christian Church is credited 
with having declared that, if the authorities only took charge of 
the children soon enough, there would be no burning of heretics, 
no scandalous schisms in the body ecclesiastic; and there is a 
good deal of truth in this observation. 

The Catholic Church and many of the other Christian churches 
have seen the wisdom of appealing to, and availing themselves 
of, the child-power in social and socio-religious questions. Xot 
a little of the great spread of the temperance movement in Amer- 
ica and Europe of recent years is due to the formation of chil- 
dren's societies, — Bands of Hope, Blue Eibbon Clubs, Junior 
Temperance Societies and Prohibition Clubs, Yoimg Templars' 
Associations, Junior Father Matthew Leagues, and the like, — 
where a legitimate sphere is open to the ardour and enthusiasm 
of the young of both sexes. The great ^lethodist Church has 
been especially quick to recognize the value of this kind of work, 
and the junior chapters of the "Epworth League" — whose object 
is " to promote intelligence and loyal piety in its young members 
and friends and to train them in experimental religion, practical 
benevolence, and church work " — now numbers some three thou- 

246 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

sand, witli a membership of about one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand. This society was organized at Cleveland, Ohio, May 15, 
1889. The " Young People's Society of Christian Endeavour," the 
first society of which was established at Portland, Maine, Feb- 
ruary 2, 1881, with the object of " promoting an earnest Christian 
life among its members, increasing their mutual acquaintance, and 
making them more useful in the service of God," has now enrolled 
nearly thirty-four thousand " Companies," with a total member- 
ship (active and associate) all over the world of over two million ; 
of these societies 28,696 are in the United States and 2243 in 
Canada. Another society of great influence, having a member- 
ship in America and the Old World of some thirty-five thousand, 
is the " Ministering Children's League," founded by the Countess 
of Meath in 1885, and having as objects ''to promote kindness, 
unselfishness, and the habit of usefulness amongst children, and 
to create in their minds an earnest desire to help the needy and 
suffering ; to give them some definite work to do for others, that 
this desire may be brought to good effect"; there are also the 
" Lend-a-Hand Clubs " of the Unitarian Church. The Episcopal 
Church has its " Girls' Friendly Societies," its " Junior Auxiliaries 
to the Board of Missions " ; its " Brotherhood of St. Andrew," and 
" Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip," for young men. For those 
of not too youthful years, the " Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion," the associations of the " White," " Red," and " Iron Cross " 
exist in the various churches, besides many other " Guilds," " Al- 
liances," "Leagues," etc. For those outside the churches there 
are " Boys' Clubs," and " Girls' Societies " in the cities and larger 
towns. The " Bands of Mercy " and the branches of the " Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" exert a widespread 
influence for good ; while several of the secret benevolent associ- 
ations, such as the "Foresters," for example, have instituted 
junior lodges, from which the youth are later on drafted into the 
society of their elders. There exist also many social clubs and 
societies, more or less under the supervision of the older members 
of the community, in which phases of human life other than the 
purely religious or benevolent find opportunity to display them- 
selves ; and between these and the somewhat sterner church- 
societies a connecting link is formed by the "Friday Night 
Clubs " of the Unitarian Church and the " Young People's Asso- 

The Child as Social Factor. 247 

eiations" of other liberal denominations. In the home itself, 
this society instinct is recognized, and the list of children's teas, 
dinners, parties, "receptions," "doll-parties," "doll-shows," etc., 
would be a long one. Among all peoples, barbarous as well as 
civilized, since man is by nature a social animal, the instinct for 
society develops early in the young, and the sociology of child- 
hood offers a most inviting field for research and investigation 
both in the Old World and in the ;N"ew. 

The Child as Linguist. 

But what am I ? 
An infant crying in the night : 
An infant crying for the light, 
And with no language but a cry. — Tennyson. 

Yet she carried a doll as she toddled alone, 

And she talked to that doll in a tongue her own. — Joaquin Miller. 

Among savages, children are, to a great extent, the originators of idiomatic 
diversities. — Charles Rau. 

It was as impossible for the first child endowed with this faculty not to speak in 
the presence of a companion similarly endowed, as it would be for a nightingale 
or a thrush not to carol to its mate. The same faculty creates the same neces- 
sity in our days, and its exercise by young children, when accidentally isolated 
from the teachings and influence of grown companions, will readily account 
for the existence of all the diversities of speech on our globe. — Horatio Hale. 

Some scientists have held that mankind began with the Homo 
Alalus, speechless, dumb man, an hypothesis now looked upon by 
the best authorities as untenable; and the folk have imagined 
that, were not certain procedures gone through with upon the 
new-born child, it would remain dumb through life, and, if it were 
allowed to do certain things, a like result would follow. Ploss 
informs us that the child, and the mother, while she is still suckling 
it, must not, in Bohemia, eat fish, else, since fish are mute, the 
child would be so also ; in Servia, the child is not permitted to 
eat any fowl that has not already crowed, or it would remain 
dumb for a very long time ; in Germany two little children, not 
yet able to speak, must not kiss each other, or both will be dumb. 

The Frenum. 

Our English phrase, " an unbridled tongue," has an interesting 
history and entourage of folk-lore. The subject has been quite 



The Child as Linguist. 249 

recently discussed by Dr. Chervin, of the Institute for Stammerers 
at Paris (205). Citing the lines of Boileau: — 

•' Tout charme en un enfant dont la langue sans fard, 
A peine du Jilet encore d^barrass6e 
Salt d'un air innocent b^yer sa pens^e," 

he notes the wide extension of the belief that the cutting of the 
Jilet, or frein, the frenum, or " bridle " of the tongue of the new- 
born infant facilitates, or makes possible, articulate speech. Ac- 
cording to M. Sebillot, the cutting of the sublet, as it is called, 
is quite general in parts of Brittany (Haute Bretagne), and M. 
Moisset states that in the Yonne it is the universal opinion that 
neglect to do so would cause the new-born child to remain dumb 
for life ; M. Desaivre cites the belief in Poitou that, unless the 
lignoux were cut in the child at birth, it would prevent its suck- 
ing, and, later on, its speaking. The operation is usually per- 
formed by nurses and midwives, with the nail of the little finger, 
which is allowed to grow excessively long for the purpose (205. 6). 
Dr. Chervin discusses the scientific aspects of the subject, and 
concludes that the statistics of stammering and the custom of 
cutting the frenum of the tongue do not stand in any sort of cor- 
relation with each other, and that this ancient custom, noted by 
Celsus, has no real scientific raison d'Mre (205. 9). We say that 
a child is " tongue-tied," and that one " makes too free with his 
tongue " ; in French we find : H a leJUet Men coupe, " he is a great 
talker," and in the eighteenth century II n'a pas de Jilet was in 
use ; a curious German expression for " tongue-tied " is mundfavX, 
" mouth-lazy." 

Following up the inquiry of Dr. Chervin in France, M. Hofler 
of Tolz has begvm a similar investigation for Germany (263). 
He approves of the suggestion of Dr. Chervin, that the practice 
of cutting the frenum of the tongue has been induced by the 
inept name fremdum, frein, Bdndchen, given by anatomists to the 
object in question. According to H. Carstens the frenulum is 
called in Low German keekel-reem or kikkel-reem, which seems to 
be derived from kdkeln, " to cry, shriek," and reem, '* band, cord," 
so that the word really signifies '*' speech-band." If it is cut in 
children who have difficvdty in speaking before the first year of 
life, or soon after, they will be cured of stuttering and made to 

250 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

speak well. To a man or woman who does a good deal of talking, 
who has "the gift of the gab," the expression Em (ehr) is de 
keeJcelreem gut sudden — " His (her) frenum has been well cut," is 
applied. In some parts of Low Germany the operation is per- 
formed for quite a different reason, viz., when the child's tongue 
cannot take hold of the mother's breast, but always slips off. 
Hofler mentions the old custom of placing beneath the child's 
tongue a piece of ash-bark (called Schwindholz), so that the organ 
of speech may not vanish (schwinden) ; this is done in the case of 
children who are hard of speech (263. 191, 281). 

Ploss states that in Konigsberg (Prussia) tickling the soles 
of the feet of a little child is thought to occasion stuttering; 
in Italy the child will learn to stutter, unless, after it has been 
weaned, it is given to drink for the first time out of a hand-bell 
(326. II. 286). 

Among the numerous practices in vogue to hasten the child's 
acquisition of speech, or to make him ready and easy of tongue, are 
the following : some one returned from the communion breathes 
into the child's mouth (Austrian Silesia) ; the mother, when, 
after supper on Good Friday, she suckles the child for the last 
time, breathes into its mouth (Bohemia) ; the child is given to 
drink water out of a cow-bell (Servia) ; when the child, on the arm 
of its mother, pays the first visit to neighbours or friends, it is 
presented with three eggs, which are pressed three times to his 
mouth, with the words, " as the hens cackle, the child learns to 
prattle" (Thuringia, the Erzgebirge, Bavaria, Franconia, and the 
Harz) ; when a child is brought to be baptized, one of the relatives 
must make a christening-letter (Pathenbrief), and, with the poem 
or the money contained in it, draw three crosses through the 
mouth of the child (Konigsberg) (326. II. 205). 


Ploss has a few words to say about " Volksgebrauchliche Sprach- 
Exercitien," or " Zungen-Exercitien," the folk-efforts to teach the 
child to overcome the difficulties of speech (326. II. 285, 286), 
and more recently Treichel (373) has treated in detail of the 
various methods employed in Prussia. In these exercises exam- 
ples and difficult words are given in several languages, allitera- 

The Child as Linguist 251 

tion, sibilation, and all quips and turns of consonantal and vocalic 
expression, -word-position, etc., are in use to test the power of 
speech alike of child and adult. Treichel observes that in the 
schools even, use is made of foreign geographical names, names 
of mountains in Asia, New Zealand, and Aztec names in Mexico ; 
the plain of ApapuriJikasiqitinitschiquasaqua, from Immermann's 
Munchhaicsen, is also cited as having been put to the like use. 
The title of doctors' dissertations in chemistry are also recom- 
mended (373. 124). 

Following are examples of these test sentences and phrases 
from German : — 

(1) Acht und achtzig achteckige Hechtskopfe ; (2) Bierbrauer 
Brauer braut braun Bier ; (3) De donne Diewel" drog den dicke 
Diewel dorch den dicke Dreck; (4) Esel essen Xesseln gern; 
(5) In Ulm und um Ulm und um Ulm herum; (6) Wenige 
wissen, wie viel sie wissen miissen, um zu wissen, wie wenig sie 
wissen; (7) Es sassen zwei zischende Schlangen zwischen zwei 
spitzigen Steinen und zischten dazwischen; (8) Nage mal de 
Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll ; (9) Fritz, Fritz, 
friss frische Fische, Fritz ; (10) Kein klein Kind kann keinen 
kleinen Kessel Kohl kochen. 

There are alliterative sentences for all the letters of the alpha- 
bet, and many others more or less alliterative, while the humor- 
ous papers contain many exaggerated examples of this sort of 
thing. Of the last, the following on " Hottentottentaten " will 
serve as an instance : — 

" In dem wOden Land der Kaffem, 
Wo die Hottentotten trachten 
Hohe Hottentottentitel 
Zu enverben in den Schlachten, 
"Wo die Hottentottentaktik 
Lasst ertonen fern und nah 
Auf dem Hottentottentamtam 
Hottentottentattratah ; 
Wo die Hottentottentrotteln, 
Eh' sie stampfen stark und kiihn. 
An sich selber erst vollzieh'n, 
"Wo die Hottentotten tuten 
Auf dem Horn vol! Eleganz 

252 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Und nachher mit Grazie tanzen 

Hottentottentotentanz, — 

Dorten bin ich mal gewesen 

Und ich habe schwer gelitten, 

Weil ich Hottentotten trotzte, 

Unter Hottentottentritten ; 

So 'ne Hottentottentachtel, 

Die ist namlich fiirchterlich 

Und ich leid' noch heute 

An dem Hottentottentatterich " (373. 222). 

In our older English and American readers and spelling-books 
we meet with much of a like nature, and the use of these test- 
phrases and sentences has not yet entirely departed from the 
schools. Familiar are : " Up the high hill he heaved a huge 
round stone; around the rugged riven rock the ragged rascal 
rapid ran ; Peter Piper picked a peck of prickly pears from the 
prickly-pear trees on the pleasant prairies," and many others 
still in use traditionally among the school-children of to-day, 
together with linguistic exercises of nonsense-syllables and the 
like, pronouncing words backwards, etc. 

In French we have: (1) L'origine ne se desoriginalisera jamais 
de son origin alite ; (2) A la sante de celle, qui tient la sentinelle 
devant la citadelle de votre coeur ! (3) Car Didon dina, dit-on, 
Du dos d'un dodu dindon. 

In Polish: (1) Byd/o by/o, byd^o b^dzie (It was cattle, it re- 
mains cattle) ; (2) Podawa/a baba babie przez piec malowane gra^ 
bie (A woman handed the woman over the stove a painted rake) ; 
(3) Chrzaszcz brzmi w trzinie (The beetle buzzes in the pipe). 

Latin and Greek are also made use of for similar purpose. 
Treichel cites, among other passages, the following: (1) Quamuis 
sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere tentant (Ovid, Metam. VI. 
376) ; (2) At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara dixit (Virgil, Aen. 
IX. 503) ; (3) Quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula cam- 
pum (Virgil, Aen, VIII. 596) ; (4) A'ns tiruTa viSovSe kvXlvScto 
Aaas avxl■^'i (Homer, Odyss. II. 598) ; (5) TpLxOa re koI TerpaxOa • 
Sie'o-xco-ev is dve'/xoto (Homer, Odyss. IX. 71, II. III. 363); (6) 
'i2 fiaKap 'ArpeCSy} fxoiprjycve^ oX/3to8at/«.ov (Homer, II. III. 182). 

These customs are not confined, however, to the civilized 
nations of Europe. Dr. Pechuel-Loesche tells us that, among the 
negroes of the Loango coast of Africa, the mother teaches the 

The Child as Linguist. 


child little verses, just as illogical as the test-sentences often are 
which are employed in other parts of the world, and containing 
intentionally difficult arrangements of words. The child whose 
skilful tongue can repeat these without stumbling, is shown to 
visitors and is the cause of much admiration and merriment. 
And this exhibition of the child's lingxiistic and mnemonic powers 
finds vogue among other races than those of the dark continent 
(373. 125). 


A very curious development of child-linguistics is seen in the 
so-called ABC Rhymes. H. A. Carstensen reports from Eisum- 
moor in Low Germany the following arrangement and interpre- 
tation of the letters of the alphabet (199. 55) : — 


A B 
Aewel baeget 


D E 


Detlef et 


G H J 


Grutte Hans jaeget Kraege, 

L M 


Lotte maeget 


Okke plSkket 



R S 


Rikkert salt 


U V 


Uethet VOlkert 

waeder ? 










G H J K 

Great Jack hunts crows. 


















Fetches Volkert water ? 

From the North Frisian islands of Silt and Fohr the following 
ABC rhymes have been recorded, consisting mostly of personal 
names (199. 192): — 

1. From Silt: ^Inna 5oyken, (Thristian Dojken, ^rkel Fred- 
den, G^ondel ZTansen, Jens 7fuk, iorenz J/bmmen, Alels Otten, 
Peter Quotten, ^ink /iSwennen, Theide CTwen, Folkert, irilhelm, 

2. From Fohr : ^rest 5uhn, Cike Duhn, Eh\en Frodden, Girra 
Say en, Jngke A'ayen, iurenz JAinje, A'ahmen Ott, Peter Quott, 
JBekkert skar, Trintje tm, qui we^, x, y, z. 

3. From Fohr : ^dntje 6rawt ; Cisele drug ; Ehlen /aid ; (?6ntje 
Aolp; Jngke Arnad; iena mad; A^ahmen Okken; Peter Quastj 

254 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

jBord iJiitjer; /S'ab /S'utjer; Sorik /S'tein; Thur Ordert; TFogen 
wuhlet ; Yhg Zuhlet. 

From Ditmarschen we have the following (199. 290) : — 

1. From Stlderstapel in Stapelholm : ^-JSeeter, C-Z>eeter, E- 
E/ter, G-HaX&r, /-/fater, i-Emder, iV-Oter, Peter Riister sien 
Swester harr Biixsen von Manchester, harr'n Kleed vun Kattun, 
weer Kofft bi Jud'n (Peter Rtlster his sister has breeches from 
Manchester, has a dress of cotton, who buys of Jews). 

2. From Tonningstedt and Feddringen : ^-^eeter, C-Z)eeter, 
^-E/ter, G^-//ater, J-A'ater, i-Emder, ^-Oter, P-Kwter, iy-Ester, 
T-Uier, F-TFeeter, X-Zeeter. 

In Polish we have a rather curious rhyme (199. 260) : ^dam 
^abkie Cukier Da/, ^wa Pigi G^ryz/a ; //anko, Jeko, Aarol Xerch 
^osi Orla Papa iJuskigo (Adam to the old woman sugar gave, 
Eve figs nibbled ; Hanko, Jeko, Karol, and Lerch carry the eagle 
of the Ruthenian priest). Another variant runs : -4dam iJabi 
Cucker c?aje Ew2k /igi grizi ^ala idzie /in pic Zala mama wie 
pozwala (199. 150). 

At Elberfeld, according to 0. Schell, the following rhyme was in 
use about the middle of this century (199. 42) : Abraham Pock- 
mann; Cepter Dickmann; ^ngel Puawenkel; (?retchen ^ahn; 
/saak ^reier; iottchen JIfeyer; iVikolas 01k; Pitter ^ack; 
iJudolf /Simon ; Tante ?7hler ; Fater TFettschreck ; Xerxes Fork. 

From Leipzig, L. Frankel reports the following as given off in 
a singing tone with falling rhythm : — 

B a ba, be be, b i bi — babebi ; b o bo, b u bu — bobu ; ba, be, 
bi, bo, bu — babebibobu. C a ca (pron. za, not Txd), c e ce, c i ci 
— caceci ; c o co, c u cu — cocu ; ca, ce, ci, co, cu — cacecicocu, etc. 

From various parts of Ditmarschen come these rhymes : — 

A-B ab, 

Mus sitt in't Schapp, 
Kater darfar, 
Mak apen de Dar. 

A-B ab, 

Mouse sits in the cupboard, 
Cat in front, 
Open the door. 

These child-rhymes and formulse from North Germany find 
their cognates in our own nursery-rhymes and explanatory letter- 
lists, which take us back to the very beginnings of alphabetic 
writing. An example is the familiar : — 

" A was an Archer that shot at a frog, 
B was a Butcher that had a big dog," etc., etc. 

The Child as Linguist. 255 


Here belong also the curious formulae known all over the 
United States and English-speaking Canada, to which attention 
has recently been called by Professor Frederick Starr. When 
the word Preface is seen, children repeat the words, " Peter ^ice 
EaXs Fish and Catches Eels," or backwards, " £'els Catch ^li- 
gators ; i^ther EaXs i?aw Potatoes." Professor Starr says that 
the second formula is not quite so common as the first; the 
writer's experience in Canada leads him to express just the oppo- 
site opinion. Professor Starr gives also formulae for Contents and 
Finis as follows: "Pive /rish JViggers In >Spain," backwards 
" Sin /rish diggers In Prance " ; " Children Ought ^"ot To Pat 
Nnts rill /Sunday" (355. 55). Formulae like these appear to 
be widespread among school-children, who extract a good deal 
of satisfaction from the magic meaning of these quaint expres- 

Another series of formulae, not referred to by Professor Starr, 
is that concerned with the interpretation of the numerous abbre- 
viations and initials found in the spelling-book and dictionary. 
In the manufacture of these much childish wit and ingenuity are 
often expended. In the writer's schoolboy days there was quite 
a series of such expansions of the letters which stood for the 
various secret and benevolent societies of the country. /. O. G. T. 
(Independent Order of Good Templars), for example, was made 
into " I Often Get Tight {i.e. drunk)," which was considered quite 
a triumph of juvenile interpretative skill. Another effort was in 
the way of explaining the college degrees: P.^-l. = "Big Ape," 
M.A. = " Matured Ape," B.D. = " Bull-Dog," LL.D. = " Long- 
Legged Devil," etc. Still another class is represented by the 
interpretations of the German u. A. w. g. (our R. S. V. P.), i.e. 
"um Antwort wird gebeten" (an answer is requested), for which 
A. Treichel records the following renderings : um Ausdauer wird 
gebeten (perseverance requested) ; und Abends wird getan2t (and 
in the evening there is dancing) ; und Abends wird gegeigt (and in 
the evening there is fiddling) ; und Abends wird gegessen (and in 
the evening there is eating); und Andere werden gelastert (and 
others are abused) (392. V. 114). This side of the linguistic 
inventiveness of childhood, with its double-entendre, its puns, its 

256 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

folk-etymologies, its keen discernment of hidden resemblances 
and analogies, deserves more study than it has apparently 

The formulae and expressions belonging to such games as 
marbles are worthy of consideration, for here the child is given 
an opportunity to invent new words and phrases or to modify and 
disfigure old ones. 

Formuloe of Defiance, etc. 

The formulae of defiance, insult, teasing, etc., rhymed and in 
prose, offer much of interest. Peculiarities of physical consti- 
tution, mental traits, social relationships, and the like, give play 
to childish fancy and invention. It would be a long list which 
should include all the material corresponding to such as the fol- 
lowing, well known among English-speaking school-children : — 

1. Georgie Porgie, Puddin' Pie, 
Kissed a girl and made her cry I 

2. Blue-eyed beauty, 

Do your mother's duty I 

3. Black eye, pick a pie. 
Turn around and tell a lie ! 

4. Nigger, nigger, never-die, 
Black face and shiny eye ! 

Interesting is the following scale of challenging, which Profes- 
sor J. P. Pruit reports from Kentucky (430. 229) : — 

" I dare you ; I dog dare you ; I double dog dare you. 
I dare you ; I black dog dare you ; I double black dog dare you." 

The language of the school-yard and street, in respect to chal- 
lenges, fights, and contests of all sorts, has an atmosphere of its 
own, through which sometimes the most clear-sighted older heads 
find it difficult to penetrate. 

The American Dialect Society is doing good work in hunting 
out and interpreting many of these contributions of childhood to 
the great mosaic of human speech, and it is to be hoped that in 
this effort they will have the co-operation of all the teachers of 
the country, for this branch of childish activity will bear careful 
and thorough investigation. 

The Child as Linguist, 257 


In the names of some of the plants with which they early come 
into contact we meet with examples of the ingenuity of children. 
In Mrs. Bergen's (400) list of popular American plant-names are 
included some which come from this source, for example : " frog- 
plant {Sedum Telephmm)" from the children's custom of " blow- 
ing up a leaf so as to make the epidermis puff up like a frog " ; 
" drunkards {Gaulteria procumbens)," because " believed by chil- 
dren to intoxicate"; "bread-and-butter (Smilax rotundi folia)" 
because " the young leaves are eaten by children " ; " velvets 
(Viola pedata)" a corruption of the "velvet violets" of their 
elders; " splinter- weed (Antennariaplantaginifolia)"{vom. "the 
appearance of the heads " ; " ducks (Cypripediuni)" because " when 
the flower is partly filled with sand and set afloat on water, it 
looks like a duck " ; " pearl-grass (Glyceria Canadensis) " a name 
given at Waverley, Massachusetts, "by a few children, some 
years ago." This list might easily be extended, but sufficient 
examples have been given to indicate the extent to which the 
child's mind has been at work in this field. Moreover, many of 
the names now used by the older members of the community, 
may have been coined originally by children and then adopted by 
the others, and the same origin must probably be sought out for 
not a few of the folk-etymologies and word-distortions which 
have so puzzled the philologists. 

" Physonyms." 

In an interesting paper on " physonyms," — i.e. " words to which 
their signification is imparted by certain physiological processes, 
common to the race everywhere, and leading to the creation of 
the same signs with the same meaning in totally sundered lin- 
guistic stocks " — occurs the following passage (193. cxxxiii.) : — 

" One of the best known and simplest examples is that of the 
widespread designation of 'mother' by such words as mama, 
nana, ana ; and of * father ' by such as papa, baba, tata. Its true 
explanation has been found to be that, in the infant's first attempt 
to utter articulate sounds, the consonants m, p, and t decidedly 
preponderate; and the natural vowel a, associated with these. 

258 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

yields the child's first syllables. It repeats such sounds as 
morma-ma or pa-pa-pa, without attaching any meaning to them ; 
the parents apply these sounds to themselves, and thus impart 
to them their signification." 

Other physonyms are words of direction and indication of 
which the radical is fc or gr ; the personal pronouns radical in 
n, m (first person), Tc, t, d (second person) ; and demonstratives 
and locatives whose radical is s. The frequency of these sounds 
in the language of children is pointed out also by Tracy in his 
monograph on the psychology of childhood. In the formation 
and fixation of the onomatopes with which many languages abound 
some share must be allotted to the child. A recent praiseworthy 
study of onomatopes in the Japanese language has been made by 
Mr. Aston, who defines an onomatope as ''the artistic representa- 
tion of an inarticulate sound or noise by means of an articulate 
sound" (394. 333). The author is of opinion that from the 
analogy of the lower animals the inference is to be drawn that 
"mankind occupied themselves for a long time with their own 
natural cries before taking the trouble to imitate for purposes of 
expression sounds not of their own making" (394. 334). The 
latter process was gradual and extended over centuries. For the 
child or the " child-man " to imitate the cry of the cock so suc- 
cessfully was an inspiration ; Mr. Aston tells us that " the forma- 
tion of a word like cock-Or doodle-do, is as much a work of individual 
genius as Hamlet or the Laocoon" (394. 335). Of certain modern 
aspects of onomatopoeia the author observes : " There is a kindred 
art, viz. that of the exact imitation of animal cries and other 
sounds, successfully practised by some of our undergraduates and 
other young people, as well as by tame ravens and parrots. It 
probably played some part in the development of language, but 
I can only mention it here " (394, 333). 

College Yells. 

The " college yells " of the United States and Canada offer an 
inviting field for study in linguistic atavism and barbaric vocal 
expression. The New York World Almanac for 1895 contains a 
list of the " yells " of some three hundred colleges and universi- 
ties in the United States. Out of this great number, in which 

The Child as Linguist. 259 

there is a plenitude of "Bah! rah! rah!" the following are 
especially noteworthy : — 

Benzonia : Kala, kala, kala I Sst, Boom, Gab ! Benzo, Benzon-iah ! 

Whooo ! 
Buchtel : Ye-bo ! Te-hesa ! Hisa ! "Wow wow ! Buchtel ! 
Dartmouth : Wah, who, wah ! wah who wah ! da-da-da, Dartmouth ! 

wah who wah ! T-i-g-e-r ! 
Heidelberg : Killi-killick ! Rah, rah, Zik, zik ! Ha ! Ha ! Yi ! Hoo ! 

Bam ! Zoo ! Heidelberg ! 

The "yell" of Ohio Wesleyan University, " O-wee-wi-wow ! 
Ala-ka-zTi-ki-zow ! Ea-zi-zi-zow ! Viva ! Viva ! 0. W. U. I " is 
enough to make the good man for whom the institution is named 
turn uneasily in his grave. The palm must, however, be awarded 
to the University of Xorth Dakota, whose remarkable "yell" is 
this : " Odz-dzo-dzi ! Ri-ri-ri ! Hy-ah I Hy-ah ! Xorth Dakota ! and 
Sioux War-Cry." Hardly have the ancestors of Sitting Bull and 
his people suspected the immortality that awaited their ancient 
slogan. It is curious that the only " yell " set to proper music is 
that of the girls of Wellesley College, who sing their cheer, " Tra 
la la la, Tra la la la, Tra la la la la la la, W-E-L-L-E-S-I^E-Y, 

As is the case with other practices in collegiate life, these 
"yells" seem to be making their way down into the high and 
grammar schools, as well as into the private secondary schools, 
the popularity and excitement of field-sports and games, base- 
ball, foot-ball, etc., giving occasion enough for their frequent 

Here fall also the spontaneous shouts and cries of children at 
work and at play, the Ki-yah ! and others of a like nature whose 
number is almost infinite, 

Mr. Charles Ledyard Norton, in his Political Americanisms (New 
York, 1890), informs us that "the peculiar staccato cheer, *rah, 
rah, rah ! ' " was probably invented at Harvard in 1864. In the 
Blaine campaign of 1884 it was introduced into political meetings 
and processions together with " the custom, also borrowed from 
the colleges, of spelling some temporarily significant catch-word 
in tmison, as, for instance, ' S-oa-p I ' the separate letters being 
pronounced in perfect time by several hundred voices at once." 
The same authority thinks that the idea of calling out " Blaine — 

260 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Blaine — James G. Blaine!" in cadenced measure after the man- 
ner of the drill-sergeants, "Left — left — left — right — left! " an 
idea which had many imitations and elaborations among the mem- 
bers of both the great political parties, can be traced back to the 
Columbia College students (p. 120). 

The Child as an Innovator in Language. 

But the rdle of the child in the development of language is con- 
cerned with other things than physonyms and onomatopes. In 
his work on Brazilian ethnography and philology. Dr. von Mar- 
tins writes (522. 43) : " A language is often confined to a few 
individuals connected by relationship, forming thus, as it were, 
a family institute, which isolates those who use it from all neigh- 
bouring or distant tribes so completely that an understanding 
becomes impossible." This intimate connection of language with 
the family, this preservation and growth of language, as a family 
institution, has, as Dr. von Martins points out, an interesting 
result (522. 44) : — 

"The Brazilians frequently live in small detachments, being 
kept apart by the chase ; sometimes only a few families wander 
together ; often it is one family alone. Within the family the 
language suffers a constant remodelling. One of the children 
will fail to catch precisely the radical sound of a word ; and the 
weak parents, instead of accustoming it to pronounce the word 
correctly, will yield, perhaps, themselves, and adopt the language 
of the child. We often were accompanied by persons of the same 
band ; yet we noticed in each of them slight differences in accen- 
tuation and change of sound. His comrades, however, under- 
stood him, and they were understood by him. As a consequence, 
their language never can become stationary, but will constantly 
break off into new dialects." Upon these words of von Martius 
(reported by Dr. Oscar Peschel), Dr. Charles Rau comments as 
follows (522. 44) : " Thus it would seem that, among savages, 
children are to a great extent the originators of idiomatic diver- 
sities. Dr. Peschel places particular stress on this circumstance, 
and alludes to the habit of over-indulgent parents among refined 
nations of conforming to the humours of their children by con- 
versing with them in a kind of infantine language, until they are 

The Child as Linguist. 261 

several years old. Afterward, of course,, the rules of civilized 
life compel these children to adopt the proper language ; but no 
such necessity exists among a hunter family in the primeval for- 
ests of South America ; here the deviating form of speech remains, 
and the foundation of a new dialect is laid." 

Children- s Languages. 

But little attention has been paid to the study of the language 
of children among primitive people. In connection with a brief 
investigation of child-words in the aboriginal tongues of America, 
Mr. Horatio Hale communicated to the present writer the follow- 
ing observation of M. I'Abbe Cuoq, of Montreal, the distinguished 
missionary and lingmst: "As far as the Iroquois in particular 
are concerned, it is certain that this language [langage enfantin] 
is current in every family, and that the child's relatives, especially 
the mothers, teach it to their children, and that the latter conse- 
quently merely repeat the words of which it is composed " (201. 
322). That these " child-words " were invented by children, the 
Abbe does not seem to hint. 

The prominence of the mother-influence in the child's linguistic 
development is also accentuated by Professor ^Slason, who devotes 
a chapter of his recent work on woman's part in the origin and 
growth of civilization to woman as a linguist The author points 
out how " women have helped to the selection and preservation 
of language through onomatopoeia," their vocal apparatus being 
"singularly adapted to the imitation of many natural sounds," 
and their ears " quick to catch the sounds within the compass of 
the voice " (113. 188-204). To the female child, then, we owe a 
good deal of that which is now embodied in our modern speech, 
and the debt of primitive races is still greater. Many a traveller 
has found, indeed, a child the best available source of linguistic 
information, when the idling warriors in their pride, and the 
hard-working women in their shyness, or taboo-caused fear, failed 
to respond at all to his requests for talk or song. 

Canon Farrar, in his Chapters on Language, makes the state- 
ment : " It is a well-known fact that the neglected children, in 
some of the Canadian and Indian villages, who are left alone for 
days, can and do invent for themselves a sort of lingua franca, 

262 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

partially or wholly unintelligible to all except themselves " (200. 
237). Mr. W. W. Newell speaks of the linguistic inventiveness 
of children in these terms (313. 24) : — 

" As infancy begins to speak by the free though unconscious 
combination of linguistic elements, so childhood retains in lan- 
guage a measure of freedom. A little attention to the jargons 
invented by children might have been serviceable to certain 
philologists. Their love of originality finds the tongue of their 
elders too commonplace ; besides, their fondness for mystery 
requires secret ways of communication. They, therefore, often 
create (so to speak) new languages, which are formed by changes 
in the mother-speech, but sometimes have quite complicated laws 
of structure and a considerable arbitrary element." The author 
cites examples of the "Hog Latin" of New England school- 
children, in the elaboration of which much youthful ingenuity 
is expended. Most interesting is the brief account of the " cat " 
language : — 

" A group of children near Boston invented the cat language, so 
called because its object was to admit of free intercourse with 
<jats, to whom it was mostly talked, and by whom it was pre- 
sumed to be comprehended. In this tongue the cat was natu- 
rally the chief subject of nomenclature ; all feline positions were 
•observed and named, and the language was rich in such epithets, 
as Arabic contains a vast number of expressions for lion. Euphonic 
changes were very arbitrary and various, differing for the same 
termination; but the adverbial ending -ly was always -osli; terri- 
bly, terriblosh. A certain percentage of words were absolutely 
independent, or at least of obscure origin. The grammar tended 
to Chinese or infantine simplicity; ta represented any case of 
any personal pronoun. A proper name might vary in sound 
according to the euphonic requirements of the different Chris- 
tian names by which it was preceded. There were two dialects, 
one, however, stigmatized as provincial. This invention of lan- 
guage must be very common, since other cases have fallen under 
our notice in which children have composed dictionaries of such " 
(313. 25). 

This characterization of child-speech offers not a few points of 
contact with primitive languages, and might indeed almost have 
been written of one of them. 

The Child as Linguist. 263 

More recently Colonel Higginson (262) has given some details 
of " a language formed for their own amusement by two girls of 
thirteen or thereabouts, both the children of eminent scientific 
men, and both unusually active-minded and observant." This 
dialect " is in the most vivid sense a living language," and the 
inventors, who keep pruning and improving it, possess a manu- 
script dictionary of some two hundred words, which, it is to be 
hoped, will some day be published. An example or two from 
those given by Colonel Higginson will serve to indicate the gen- 
eral character of the vocabulary : — 

bojiwassis, "the feeling you have just before you jump, don't you know — 
when you mean to jump and want to do it, and are just a little bit afraid 
to do it." 

spygri, " the way you feel when you have just jumped and are awfully proud 
of it." 

pippadolify, "stiff and starched like the young officers at "Washington." 

Other information respecting this "home-made dialect," with 
its revising academy of children and its standard dictionary, must 
be sought in the entertaining pages of Colonel Higginson, who 
justly says of this triumph of child-invention : " It coins thought 
into syllables, and one can see that, if a group of children like 
these were taken and isolated until they grew up, they would 
forget in time which words were their own and which were in 
Worcester's Dictionary; and stonrish and krono and bojiicassis 
would gradually become permanent forms of speech " (262. 108). 

In his valuable essay on The Origin of Languages (249), Mr. 
Horatio Hale discusses a number of cases of invention of languages 
by children, giving interesting, though (owing to the neglect of 
the observers) not very extensive, details of each. 

One of the most curious instances of the linguistic inventive- 
ness of children is the case of the Boston twins (of German 
descent on the mother's side) born in 1860, regarding whose lan- 
guage a few details were given by Miss E. H. Watson, who says : 
" At the usual age these twins began to talk, but, strange to say, 
not their * mother-tongue.' They had a language of their own, 
and no pains could induce them to speak anything else. It was 
in vain that a little sister, five years older than they, tried to 
make them speak their native language, — as it would have been. 

264 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

They persistently refused to utter a syllable of English. Not even 
the usual first words, ' papa,' ' mamma,' ' father,' ^ mother,' it is said, 
did they ever speak ; and, said the lady who gave this informa- 
tion to the writer, — who was an aunt of the children, and whose 
home was with them, — they were never known during this inter- 
val to call their mother by that name. They had their own name 
for her, but never the English. In fact, though they had the 
usual affections, were rejoiced to see their father at his returning 
home each night, playing with him, etc., they would seem to have 
been otherwise completely taken up, absorbed, with each other. 
. . . The children had not yet been to school ; for, not being 
able to speak their ' own English,' it seemed impossible to send 
them from home. They thus passed the days, playing and talking 
together in their own speech, with all the liveliness and volubility 
of common children. Their accent was German, — as it seemed 
to the family. They had regular words, a few of which the 
family learned sometimes to distinguish; as that, for example, 
for carriage [ni-si-boo-a], which, on hearing one pass in the street, 
they would exclaim out, and run to the window " (249. 11). We 
are further informed that, when the children were six or seven 
years old, they were sent to school, but for a week remained 
'* perfectly mute " ; indeed, " not a sound could be heard from 
them, but they sat with their eyes intently fixed upon the chil- 
dren, seeming to be watching their every motion, — and no doubt, 
listening to every sound. At the end of that time they were 
induced to utter some words, and gradually and naturally they 
began, for the first time, to learn their ' native English.' With 
this accomplishment, the other began also naturally to fade away, 
until the memory with the use of it passed from their mind" 
(249. 12). 

Mr. Horatio Hale, who resumes the case just noticed in his 
address before the Anthropological Section of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science (Buffalo, 1886), 
gives also valuable details of the language of a little four-year- 
old girl and her younger brother in Albany, as reported by 
Dr. E. R. Hun (249. 13). The chief facts are as follows : " The 
mother observed when she was two years old that she was back- 
ward in speaking, and only used the words ' papa' and 'mamma.' 
After that she began to use words of her own invention, and 

The Child as Linguist. 265 

though she readily understood what was said, never employed the 
words used by others. Gradually she extended her vocabulary 
until it reached the extent described below [at least twenty-one 
distinct words, many of which were used in a great variety of 
meanings]. She has a brother eighteen months younger than 
herself, who has learned her language, so that they talk freely 
together. He, however, seems to have adopted it only because 
he has more intercourse with her than with others ; and in some 
instances he will use a proper word with his mother, and his sis- 
ter's word with her. She, however, persists in using only her 
own words, though her parents, who are uneasy about her pecu- 
liarity of speech, make great efforts to induce her to use proper 

More may be read concerning this language in the account of 
Dr. Hun (published in 1868). 

^Ir. Hale mentions three other cases, information regarding 
which came to him. The inventors in the first instance were a 
boy between four and five years old, said to have been " unusually 
backward in his speech," and a girl a little younger, the chil- 
dren of a widower and a widow respectively, who married ; and, 
according to the report of an intimate friend : " He and the little 
girl soon became inseparable playmates, and formed a language 
of their own, which was unintelligible to their parents and 
friends. They had names of their own invention for all the 
objects about them, and must have had a corresponding supply of 
verbs and other parts of speech, as their talk was fluent and 
incessant." This was in Kingston, Ontario, Canada (249. 16). 

The second case is that of two young children, twins, a boy 
and a girl : " When they were three or four years old they were 
accustomed, as their elder sister informs me, to talk together in a 
language which no one else understood. . . . The twins were 
wont to climb into their father's carriage in the stable, and ' chat- 
ter away,' as my informant says, for hours in this strange lan- 
guage. Their sister remembers that it sounded as though the 
words were quite short. But the single word which survives in 
the family recollection is a dissyllable, the word for milk, which 
was ciilly. The little girl accompanied her speech with gestures, 
but the boy did not. As they grew older, they gradually gave up 
their peculiar speech " (249. 17). 

266 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

The third case cited by Mr. Hale is that of two little boys of 
Toronto, Canada, — five or six years of age, one being about a 
year older than the other, who attended a school in that city : 
" These children were left much to themselves, and had a lan- 
guage of their own, in which they always conversed. The other 
children in the school used to listen to them as they chattered 
together, and laugh heartily at the strange speech of which they 
could not understand a word. The boys spoke English with diffi- 
culty, and very imperfectly, like persons struggling to express 
their ideas in a foreign tongue. In speaking it, they had to eke 
out their words with many gestures and signs to make themselves 
understood ; but in talking together in their own language, they 
used no gestures and spoke very fluently. She remembers that 
the words which they used seemed quite short " (249. 18). 

Mr. Hale's studies of these comparatively uninvestigated forms 
of human speech led him into the wider field of comparative 
philology and linguistic origins. From the consideration of these 
data, the distinguished ethnologist came to regard the child as a 
factor of the utmost importance in the development of dialects 
and families of speech, and to put forward in definite terms a 
theory of the origin and growth of linguistic diversity and dia- 
lectic profusion, to the idea of which he was led by his studies 
of the multitude of languages within the comparatively restricted 
area of Oregon and California (249. 9). Starting with the lan- 
guage-faculty instinct in the child, says Mr. Hale : " It was as 
impossible for the first child endowed with this faculty not to 
speak in the presence of a companion similarly endowed, as it 
would be for a nightingale or a thrush not to carol to its mate. 
The same faculty creates the same necessity in our days, and its 
exercise by young children, when accidentally isolated from the 
teachings and influence of grown companions, will readily account 
for the existence of all the diversities of speech on our globe " 
(249. 47). Approaching, in another essay, one of the most diffi- 
cult problems in comparative philology, he observes : " There is, 
therefore, nothing improbable in the supposition that the first 
Aryan family — the orphan children, perhaps, of some Semitic 
or Accadian fugitives from Arabia or Mesopotamia — grew up 
and framed their new language on the southeastern seaboard of 
Persia." Thus, he thinks, is the Aryo-Semitic problem most sat- 

The Child as Linguist. 267 

isfactorily solved (467. 675). In a second paper (250) on The 
Development of Language, Mr, Hale restates and elaborates his 
theory with a wealth of illustration and argument, and it has since 
won considerable support from the scientists of both hemispheres. 
Professor Komanes devotes not a few pages of his volume on 
Mental Evolution in Man, to the presentation of Mr. Hale's 
theory and of the facts upon which it is based (338. 138-144). 

Secret Languages. 

That the use of secret languages and the invention of them by 
children is widespread and prevalent at home, at school, in the 
playground, in the street, is evident from the exhaustive series 
of articles in which Dr. F. S. Krauss (281) of Vienna has ti-eated 
of "Secret Languages." Out of some two hundred forms and 
fashions there cited a very large proportion indeed belong to the 
period of childhood and youth and the scenes of boyish and girl- 
ish activity. We have languages for games, for secret societies, 
for best friends, for school-fellows, for country and town, for 
boys and girls, etc. Dr. Oscar Chrisman (206) has quite recently 
undertaken to investigate the nature and extent of use of these 
secret languages in America, with gratifying results. A study of 
the child at the period in which the language-making instinct is 
most active cannot be without interest to pedagogy, and it would 
not be without value to inquire what has been the result of the 
universal neglect of language-teaching in the primary and lower 
grade grammar schools — whether the profusion of secret lan- 
guages nms parallel with this diversion of the child-mind from 
one of its most healthful and requisite employments, or whether 
it has not to some extent atrophied the linguistic sense. 

The far-reaching ramifications of " secret languages " are evi- 
denced by the fact that a language called " Tut " by school-chil- 
dren of Gonzales, Texas, is almost identical in its alphabet with 
the "Guitar Language," of Bonyhad, in Hungary, the "Bob 
Language," of Czemowitz, in Austria, and another language of 
the same sort from Berg. The travels of the Texas secret 
language are stated by Dr. Chrisman to be as follows: "This 
young lady . . . learned it from her mother's servant, a negro 
girl ; this girl learned it from a negro girl who got it at a female 

268 The Child m Folk -Thought. 

negro school at Austin, Texas, where it was brought by a negro 
girl from Galveston, Texas, who learned it from a negro girl who 
had come from Jamaica " (206. 305). 

Evidence is accumulating to show that these secret languages 
of children exist in all parts of the world, and it would be a use- 
ful and instructive labour were some one to collect all available 
material and compose an exhaustive scientific monograph on the 

Interesting, for comparative purposes, are the secret languages 
and jargons of adults. As Paul Sartori (528) has recently shown, 
the use of special or secret languages by various individuals and 
classes in the communities is widespread both in myth and real- 
ity. We find peculiar dialects spoken by, or used in addressing, 
deities and evil spirits ; giants, monsters ; dwarfs, elves, fairies ; 
ghosts, spirits; witches, wizards, "medicine men"; animals, birds, 
trees, inanimate objects. We meet also with special dialects of 
secret societies (both of men and of women) ; sacerdotal and 
priestly tongues; special dialects of princes, nobles, courts; 
women's languages, etc. ; besides a multitude of jargons, dialects, 
languages of trades and professions, of peasants, shepherds, 
soldiers, merchants, hunters, and the divers slangs and jargons 
of the vagabonds, tramps, thieves, and other outcast or criminal 

Far-reaching indeed is the field opened by the consideration 
of but a single aspect of child-speech, that doll-language which 
Joaquin Miller so aptly notes : — 

" Yet she carried a doll, as she toddled alone, 
And she talked to that doll in a tongue her own." 


Both the golden age of childhood and the golden age of love 
exercise a remarkable influence upon language. Mantegazza, 
discussing "the desire to merge oneself into another, to abase 
oneself, to aggrandize the beloved," etc., observes: "We see it 
in the use of diminutives which lovers and sometimes friends 
use towards each other, and which mothers use to their children ; 
we lessen ourselves thus in a delicate and generous manner in 
order that we may be embraced and absorbed in the circle of 

The Child as Linguist. 269 

the creature we love. Nothing is more easily possessed than 
a small object, and before the one we love we would change our- 
selves into a bird, a canary — into any minute thing that we 
might be held utterly in the hands, that we might feel our- 
selves pressed on all sides by the warm and loving fingers. 
There is also another secret reason for the use of diminutives. 
Little creatures are loved tenderly, and tenderness is the supreme 
sign of every great force which is dissolved and consumes itself. 
After the wild, passionate, impetuous embrace there is always 
the tender note, and then diminutives, whether they belong to 
expression or to language, always play a great part " (499. 137), 
The fondness of boys for calling each other by the diminutives 
of their surnames belongs here. 

In some languages, such as the Nipissing dialect of Algonkian 
in North America, the Modem Greek or Romaic, Lowland Scotch, 
and Plattdeutsch, the very frequent employment of diminutives 
has come to be a marked characteristic of the common speech of 
the people. The love for diminutives has, in some cases, led to 
a charm of expression in language which is most attractive ; this 
is seen perhaps at its best in Castilian, and some of the Italian 
dialects (202 and 219). A careful study of the influence of the 
child upon the forms of language has yet to be made. 


The Child as Actoe, and Inventor. 

The child is a born actor. 

The world's a theatre, the earth a stage, 

Which God and Nature do with actors fiU. — Hey wood. 

Man is an imitative creature, and the foremost leads the flock. — Schiller. 

Imitative Games. 

In her article on Imitation in Children, Miss Haskell notes the 
predilection of children for impersonation and dramatic expres- 
sion, giving many interesting examples. S. D. Warren, in a paper 
read before the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science, at the Brooklyn Meeting, 1894 (Proc, Vol. xliii., p. 335), 
also notes these activities of children, mentioning, among other 
instances, " an annual celebration of the surrender of Cornwallis 
at Yorktown," " playing railroad," playing at pulling hand fire- 
engines, as the representatives of two rival villages. 

The mention of the celebration of Cornwallis' surrender by 
children brings up the question of the child as recorder. As 
historian and chronicler, the child appears in the countless games 
in which he preserves more or less of the acts, beliefs, and super- 
stitions of our ancestors. Concerning some of these, Miss Alice 
Gomme says : " It is impossible that they have been invented by 
children by the mere effort of imagination, and there is ample 
evidence that they have but carried on interchangeably a record 
of events, some of which belong to the earliest days of the 
nation" (242.11). 

As Miss Gomme points out, many of the games of English 
children are simply primitive dramas, — of the life of a woman 
(" When I was a Young Girl "), of courtship and marriage (" Here 


The Child as Actor^ Inventor. 271 

comes Tliree Dukes a-Riding," " Poor Mary sits a- Weeping "), of 
funerals ("Jenny Jones," "Green Gravel"), of border warfare 
(" We are the Rovers "), etc. Mr. W. W. Newell had previously 
remarked the importance of the dramatic element in children's 
games, citing as historical plays " Miss Jennia Jones " (funeral), 
" Down she comes as White as Milk," " Green Gravel," " Uncle 
John," "Barbara Allen," and others more or less partaking of 
this character, based upon historical ballads, of some of which 
traces only are now preserved. 

By means of carved or graven images in wood or stone, given 
to children as playthings or as targets to practise skill in shooting 
or striking with miniature bow-and-arrow or spear, an early ac- 
quaintance is formed with many animals. The imitation of ani- 
mals, their habits and peculiarities, often forms no small part of 
the dances and games of children of the lower races. 

The Child as Actor. 

Wallaschek, in his study of the primitive drama and pantomime 
(546. 214—229), notes the presence of children as dancers and per- 
formers among the Andaman Islanders, the Tagals of the Philip- 
pines, the Tahitians, Fijis, Polynesians and other more or less 
primitive races. Of Tibet and some portions of China ]Mr. Rock- 
hill, in his Diai~y of a Journey through Mongolia and Tibet, in 1891 
and 1892 (Washington, D. C, 1894), informs us that the lads in 
every village give theatrical performances, the companies of 
young actors being known as Hsiao sheng huei, "young men's 
amateur theatrical company " (p. 68). 

Among the aborigines of the JS"ew World we find also children 
as actors and participants in the ceremonies and ritual perform- 
ances of various tribes. In certain ceremonials of the Sia, as 
iVIrs. Stevenson informs us, young children take part. A boy of 
eight was allowed to hear the sacred songs on one occasion, and 
to witness the making of the " medicine-water," but a boy of four 
was not permitted to be present ; the boy also took part in the 
dance (538. 79). In the rain ceremonial of the " Giant Society," 
a little girl, eight years old, painted the fetiches quite as dex- 
terously as her elders, and took apparently quite as much inter- 
est in the proceedings. In the rain ceremonial of the "Knife 

272 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Society," boys assist, and in the rain ceremonial of the Querranna, 
a child (boy) with wand and rattle joins in the celebration of the 
rites, " requiring no rousing to sing and bend his tiny body to the 
time of the rattle, and joining in the calls upon the cloud-people 
to gather to water the earth, with as much enthusiasm as his 
elders." When children, boys or girls, are about ten or twelve 
years of age, and have, as the Indians say, " a good head," they 
are initiated, if they so desire, into some of the mysteries of the 
dances of the Ka'tsuna, in charge of the Querranna Society (538. 

Dr. J. W. Fewkes, in his detailed article on the Flute Observ- 
ance of the Tusayan Indians of Walpi, an interesting study of 
primitive dramatization, notes the part played by children in 
these ceremonies. The principal characters are the " Snake Boy," 
the "Snake Girl," and some girl carriers of the sacred corn, 
besides lads as acolytes. 

The story of the child as an actor has yet to be written. When 
the ancient Greeks crowded the theatres to hear and see the 
masterpieces of dramatic and histrionic genius, their "women, 
slaves, and children " were for the most part left at home, though 
we do find that later on in history, front seats were provided for 
the chief Athenian priestesses. No voices of children were heard 
in chorus, and childhood found no true interpreter upon the stage. 
In France, in the middle of the seventeenth century, women 
appear as actors; in England it was not until long after the 
death of her greatest dramatist that (in 1660) women could fill a 
rdle upon the stage without serious hindrance or molestation ; in 
Japan, even now, play-acting is not looked upon as a respectable 
profession for women. For a long time in England and else- 
where, female parts were taken by children and youths. Here 
also we meet with companies of child-actors, such as the " Boys of 
the Grammar School at Westminster," "The Children of Paul's," 
etc. The influence which produced these survives and flourishes 
to-day in the fondness of high-school pupils and university stu- 
dents for dramatic performances and recitations, and the number 
of schools of gesture, elocution, and the like, testifies to the abid- 
ing interest of the young in the mimic art. This is also evidenced 
by the number of child actors and actresses in the theatrical 
world, and the remarkable precocity of the members of the pro- 

The Child as Aetor^ Inventor. 273 

fession in all lands. In England, the pantomime offers a special 
outlet for this current of expression, and there the child is a most 
important factor in stage-life. The precocity of girls in these 
respects is noteworthy. 

The Child as Inventor. 

Borrowing his figure of speech from the environment of child- 
hood, C. J. Weber has said : " Die Gesellschaft ist die Grossmutter 
der Menschheit durch ihre Tochter, die Erjindungen, — Society is 
the grandmother of humanity through her daughters, the inven- 
tions," and the familiar proverb — Necessity is the mother of in- 
vention — springs from the same source. Isaac Disraeli aptly 
says : " The golden hour of invention must terminate like other 
hours; and when the man of genius returns to the cares, the 
duties, the vexations, and the amusements of life, his companions 
behold him as one of themselves, — the creature of habits and 
infirmities," and not a few of the " golden hours of invention " 
seem to belong to the golden age of childhood. Even in these 
" degenerate " days the child appears as an inventor. A contribu- 
tor- to the periodical literature of the day remarks : " Children 
have taken out a number of patents. The youngest inventor on 
record is Donald Murray Murphy, of St. John, Canada, who, at 
the age of six years, obtained from the United States exclusive 
rights in a sounding toy. Mabel Howard, of Washington, at 
eleven years, invented an ingenious game for her invalid brother 
and got a patent for it. Albert G. Smith, of Eichwood, Illinois, 
at twelve years invented and patented a rowing apparatus " (Cur- 
rent Lit., N. Y., xiv. 1893, p. 138). 

The works of Newell (313), Bolton (187), Gomme (243), amply 
reveal the riot of childish variation and invention iu games and 
plays. Mr. Newell observes : " It would be strange if children 
who exhibit so much inventive talent [in language] did not con- 
trive new games ; and we find accordingly that in many families 
a great part of the amusements of the children are of their own 
devising. The earliest age of which the writer has authentic 
record of such ingenuity is two and a half years " (313. 25). And 
among the primitive peoples the child is not without like inven- 
tion ; some, iadeed, of the games our children play, were invented 

274 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

by the savage young ones, whose fathers have been long forgotten 
in the mist of prehistoric ages — the sports of their children alone 
surviving as memorials of their existence. 

Theal tells us that the Kaffir children, when not engaged in 
active exercise, "amuse themselves by moulding clay into little 
images of cattle, or by making puzzles with strings. Some of 
them are skilful in forming knots with thongs and pieces of wood, 
which it taxes the ingenuity of the others to undo. The cleverest 
of them sometimes practise tricks of deception with grains of 
maize " (543. 221). The distinguished naturalist, Mr. A. E. Wal- 
lace, while on his visit to the Malay Archipelago, thought to show 
the Dyak boys of Borneo something new in the way of the " cat's 
cradle," but found that he was the one who needed to learn, for 
the little brown aborigines were able to show him several new 
tricks (377. 25). 

Miklucho-Maclay notes that among the Papuans of north- 
eastern New Guinea, while the women showed no tendency to 
ornament pottery, young boys " found pleasure in imprinting with 
their nails and a pointed stick a sort of ornamental border on 
some of the pots " (42. 317). 

Paola Lombroso, daughter of Professor Cesare Lombroso, the 
celebrated criminologist, in her recent study of child psychology, 
observes : " Games (and plays) are the most original creation of 
the child, who has been able to create them, adapt them to his 
needs, making of them a sort of gymnastics which enables him to 
develop himself without becoming fatigued, and we, with the aid 
of memory, can hardly now lay hold of that feeling of infinite, 
intense pleasure." Moreover, these popular traditional plays and 
games, handed down from one generation to another of children, 
" show how instinctive are these forms of m.uscular activity and 
imitative expression, which have their roots in a true physio- 
logical and psychic necessity, being a species of tirocinium for 
the experience of childhood " (301. 136). 

The magnum opus, perhaps, of the child as inventor, is the lyre, 
the discovery of which, classical mythology attributes to the infant 
Mercury or Hermes. Four hours after his birth the baby god is 
said to have found the shell of a tortoise, through the opposite 
edges of which he bored holes, and, inserting into these cords of 
linen, made the first stringed instrument. The English poet, 

The Child as Actor^ Inventor. 275 

Anbrey de Vere, singing of an Athenian girl, thns refers to the 
quaint inyth: — 

" She loves to pace the wild sea-shore — 
Or drop her wandering fingers o'er 
The bosom of some chorded shell : 
Her touch will make it speak as well 
As infant Hermes made 
That tortoise in its own despite 
Thenceforth in Heaven a shape star-bri^t** 


The Child as Poet, Musician, etc. 

Poeta nascitur, non fit. — Latin Proverb. 

As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, 

I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. — Pope. 

The Child and Music. 

" Music," said quaint old Thomas Fuller, " is nothing else but 
wild sounds civilized into time and tune," and Wallaschek, in his 
recent volume on Primitive Music, has shown how every nation 
under heaven, even the most savage and barbarous of peoples, 
have had a share in the work of civilization. Music has been 
called " the language of the gods," " the universal speech of man- 
kind," and, early in the golden age of childhood, the heaven of 
infancy, is man made captive by "music's golden tongue." As 
Wallaschek has said of the race, Tracy says of the individual, 
" no healthy, normal child is entirely lacking in musical ' ear.' " 
The children of primitive races enjoy music, as well as their fel- 
lows in civilized communities. The lullaby, that quod semper 
ubique et ab omnibus of vocal art, early engages and entrances the 
infantile ear, and from the musical demonstrations of his elders, 
the child is not always or everywhere excluded. Indeed, the 
infant is often ushered into the world amid the din and clamour 
of music and song which serve to drown the mother's cries of 
pain, or to express the joy of the family or the community at 
the successful arrival of the little stranger. 

Education in music and the dance begins very early with many 
peoples. At the school of midwifery at Abu-Zabel in Egypt, 
according to Clot-Bey, in cases of difiicult childbirth, a child is 
made to hop and dance about between the legs of the mother in 
order to induce the foetus to imitate it (125. II. 159). 


The Child as Poet, Musician. Ill 

As understudies and assistants to shamans, "medicine-men," 
and "-doctors," children among many primitive peoples soon 
become acquainted with dance and song. 

In Ashanti, boy musicians, singers, and dancers figure in the 
processions of welcome of the chiefs and kings, and young girls 
are engaged in the service of the fetiches (438. 258). At a ftmeral 
dance of the Latuka, an African tribe, " the women remained out- 
side the row of dancers dancing a slow, stupid step, and screaming 
a wild and most inharmonious chant, whilst boys and girls in 
another row beat time with their feet." Burchell, while en route 
for the Kaffir country, found among certain tribes that " in the 
evening a whole army of boys would come to his hut and listen 
with manifest pleasure to the tones of his violin, and would repeat 
the melodies he played with surprising accuracy " (546. 3, 199). 

The meke-meke, a dance of the Fiji Islanders, " is performed by 
boys and girls for whom an old miisician plays " ; at Tahiti the 
children " are early taught the ' ubus,' songs referring to the 
legends or achievements of the gods," and "Europeans have at 
times found pleasure in the pretty, plaintive songs of the children 
as they sit in groups on the sea-shore " (546. 35, 180, 208). In 
some of the Polynesian Islands, young girls are " brought up to 
dance the timorodea, a most lascivious dance, and to accompany 
it with obscene songs" (100. 62). At Tongatabu, according to 
Labillardiere, a young girl "sang a song, the simple theme of 
which she repeated for half-an-hour " (546. 31). Wallaschek 
calls attention to the importance of the child in song in the fol- 
lowing words (546. 75) : — 

" In some places the children, separated from the adults, sing 
choruses among themselves, and under certain circiimstances they 
are the chief support of the practice of singing. On Hawaii, 
Ellis found boys and girls singing in chorus, with an accompani- 
ment of seven drums, a song in honour of a quondam celebrated 
chief. Even during supper with the Governor, table-music was 
performed by a juvenile bard of some twelve or fourteen sum- 
mers, who sang a monotonous song to the accompaniment of a 
small drum. ... In Fiji a man of position deems it beneath 
him to sing, and he leaves it to his wife and children, so that 
women sing with women only, and children with children." 

Speaking of the natives of Australia, with whom he came into 

278 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

contact, Beckler says "the octaves of the women and children 
at the performance he attended were perfectly in tune, as one 
rarely hears in a modern opera chorus, they were in exact accord." 
In the Kuri dance, witnessed by Angas, a number of boys take 
part (546. 37, 223). 

In New Guinea " the Tongala-up, a stick with a string whirled 
in the air, is played by women and children." Among the Tagals 
of the Philippines, Volliner found (with perhaps a little Spanish 
influence) " a chorus was performed in a truly charming manner by 
twelve young girls formed in a circle, one girl standing in the middle 
to direct." In the Andaman Islands, where the men only, as a 
rule, sing, " the boys were far the best performers " (546. 24, 27, 75). 

Among the Apache Indians of Arizona and Mexico, " old matrons 
and small children dance until no longer able to stand, and stop 
for very exhaustion " (546. 46). 

The Child as Poet. 

Victor Hugo, in one of his rhapsodies, exclaims : " The most 
sublime psalm that can be heard on this earth is the lisping of a 
htiman soul from the lips of childhood," and the rhythm within 
whose circle of influence the infant early finds himself, often 
leads him precociously into the realm of song. Emerson has said, 
"Every word was once a poem," and Andrew Lang, in his face- 
tious Ballade of Primitive Man, credits our Aryan ancestors with 
speaking not in prose, but " in a strain that would scan." In the 
statement of the philosopher there is a good nugget of truth, 
and just a few grains of it in the words of the wit. 

The analogy between the place and effect of rhythm, music, 
and poetry in the life of the child and in the life of the savage 
has been frequently noted. In his recent study of Rhythm (405 a). 
Dr. Bolton has touched up some aspects of the subject. With chil- 
dren " the habit of rhyming is almost instinctive " and universal. 
Almost every one can remember some little sing-song or nonsense- 
verse of his own invention, some rhyming pun, or rhythmic 
adaptation. The enormous range of variation in the wording of 
counting-out rhymes, game-songs, and play-verses, is evidence 
enough of the fertility of invention of child-poets and child- 
poetesses. Of the familiar counting-out formula Eeny, meeny, 
miny, mo, the variants are simply legion. 

The Child as Poet^ Mimeian. 279 

The well-known lines of Pope : — 

" As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, 
I lispM in numbers, for the numbers came," 

receive abundant illustration from the lives of the great geniuses 
of song. 

Among primitive peoples, if anywhere, poeta nascitur, non Jit. 
In her article on Indian Songs, Miss Alice C. Fletcher says : 
"Children make songs for themselves, which are occasionally 
handed down to other generations. These juvenile efforts some- 
times haimt the memory in maturer years. An exemplary old 
man once sang to me a composition of his childhood, wherein 
he had exalted the pleasures of disobedience ; but he took par- 
ticular care that his children should not hear this performance. 
Young men sing in guessing-games, as they gambol with their 
companions, tossing from hand to hand a minute ball of buffalo 
hair or a small pebble, moving their arms to the rhythm of the 
music." This, and the following statement made of the Omaha 
Indians, will hold for not a few other savage and barbarous 
tribes: "Children compose ditties for their games, and young 
men add music to give zest to their sports " (445). 

Dr. F. Boas says of the Eskimo of Bafifin Land (402. 572) : 
" Children tell one another fables and sing short songs, especially 
comic and satirical ones." The heroes of the Basque legend of 
Aquelarre are thus described by Miss Monteiro (505. 22) : — 

" Izar and Lanoa were two orphan children ; the first was seven 
years of age, and the latter nine. These poor children, true 
wandering bards, frequented the mountains, earning a livelihood 
by singing ballads and national airs in sweet, infantile voices, in 
return for a bed of straw and a cupful of meal. Throughout the 
district these children were known and loved on account of their 
sad state, as well as for their graceful forms and winning ways." 

Mr. Chatelain, in his recent work on African folk-tales, says 
of the natives of Angola: "No Angola child finds difficulty at 
any time in producing extemporaneous song." 

Dr. Gatschet, in his study of the Klamath Indians, gives exam- 
ples of many songs composed and sung by young people, espe- 
cially girls ; and many other Indian tribes, Algonkian, Iroquois, 
etc., possess such as well. When Darwin reached Tahiti, his 

280 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

arrival was " sung by a young girl in four improvised strophes, 
■which her fellow-maidens accompanied in a pretty chorus " ; and 
among the song-loving people of the islands of the South Sea, 
the poetic talent develops quite early in both sexes. Among 
the aborigines of Peake River, in Australia, when a youth — at 
puberty — has undergone the ceremony of tattooing, and, his 
wounds having healed, is about to return to his fellows, " a young 
girl selected for the purpose, sings in her own way a song which 
she has composed, and, amid dancing, merriment, and feasting, 
the youth is welcomed back to his family and his kin " (326. II. 
241). Throughout the Orient woman is a dancer and a singer. 
India has her bayaderes and nautch-girls, whose dancing and 
singing talents are world-known. 

The Gypsies, too, that wander-folk of the world, are famed 
for their love-songs and fortune-telling rhymes, which the youth 
and girlhood among them so often know how to make and use. 
Crawford, who has translated the Kalevala, the great epic of the 
Finns, tells us, "The natural speech of this people is poetry. 
The young men and maidens, the old men and matrons, in their 
interchange of ideas unwittingly fall into verse " (423. I. xxvi.). 
Among the young herdsmen and shepherdesses of the pastoral 
peoples of Europe and Asia, the same precocity of song prevails. 
With songs of youth and maiden, the hills and valleys of Greece 
and Italy resound as of old. In his essay on the Popular Songs 
of Tuscany, Mr. J. A. Symonds observes (540. 600, 602) : " Signor 
Tigri records by name a little girl called Cherubina, who made 
Rispetti by the dozen, as she watched her sheep upon the hills." 
When Signor Tigri asked her to dictate to him some of her songs, 
she replied : " Oh Signore ! ne dico tanti quando li canto ! . . . ma 
ora . . . bisognerebbe averli tutti in visione ; se no, proprio non 
vengono, — Oh Sir ! I say so many, when I sing . . . but now . . . 
one must have them all before one's mind ... if not, they do not 
come properly." World-applicable as the boy grows out of child- 
hood — with some little change of season with the varying clime 
— are the words of Tennyson : — 

" In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love," 

and everywhere, if poetry and song be not indeed the very off- 
spring of love, they are at least twin-born with it. 

The Child as Poet, Musician. 281 

Lombroso, in his discussion of the man of genius, gives many 
examples of precocious poetical and musical talent : Dante (who 
at nine years of age wrote sonnets), Tasso (wrote at ten years of 
age), Wieland (who wrote an epic at 16), Lope de Vega (who wrote 
verses at 12), Calderon (at 13), Metastasio (who composed at 10), 
Handel (who wrote a mass at 13, and was director of opera at 19), 
Eichhorn, ^Vlozart, and Eibler (all three of whom gave concerts at 
6), Beethoven (who wrote sonatas at 13), Weber (who wrote his 
first opera at 14), Chenibini (who wrote a mass at 15), etc. 
(300. 15). 

Among English poets whose precocity was marked, we find the 
most noteworthy to be Eobert Browning, whose first poetic effu- 
sion is ascribed to his fourth year. It is now known, however, 
that poetry is much more common among children than was at 
first supposed, and early compositions are not to be expected 
from geniuses alone, but often from the scions of the ruder 

In her interesting study of individual psychology. Dr. Caroline 
Miles informs us that out of ninety-seven answers to the question, 
" Did you express yourself in any art-form before eighteen years 
of age ? " fourteen stated that the person replying used verses 
alone, fourteen used stories and poetry, three used poetry and 
drawing or painting, two used poetry and painting. Dr. Miles 
notes that "those who replied 'no,' seemed to take pride in the 
fact that they had been guilty of no such youthful folly." This 
is in line with the belief parents sometimes express that the son 
or daughter who poetizes early is " loony." Some who were not 
ashamed of these child-expressions volunteered information con- 
cerning them, and we learn: "Most interesting was one who 
wrote a tragedy at ten, which was acted on a little stage for the 
benefit of her friends ; from ten to thirteen, an epic ; at thirteen, 
sentimental and religious poems " (310. 552, 553). 

Dr. H. H. Donaldson, in his essay on the Education of the 
Nervous System, cites the fact that of the musicians whose biog- 
raphies were examined by Sully, 95% gave promise before twenty 
years of age, and 100% produced some work before reaching 
thirty; of the poets, 75% showed promise before twenty, and 
92% produced before they were thirty years of age (216. 118). 
Precocity and genius seem to go together. 


The Child as Teacher and Wiseacre. 

The child is father of the man. — Wordsworth. 

And wiser than the gray recluse 
This child of thine. — Whittier. 

And still to Childhood's sweet appeal 

The heart of genius turns, 
And more than all the sages teach 

From lisping voices learns. — Whittier. 

Wisdom of Childhood. 

In his beautiful verses — forming part of one of the best child- 
poems in our language — 

" And still to childhood's sweet appeal 
The heart of genius turns, 
And more than all the sages teach 
From lisping voices learns," — 

Whittier has expressed that instinctive faith in the wisdom of 
childhood that seems perennial and pan-ethnic. Browning, in 
Pippa^s Song, has sounded even a deeper note : — 

" Overhead the tree-tops meet, 
Flowers and grass spring 'neath one's feet ; 
There was nought above me, nought below, 
My childhood had not learned to know : 
For, what are the voices of birds 
— Aye, and of beasts, — but words, our words, 
Only so much more sweet ? 
The knowledge of that with my life begun. 
But I had so near made out the sun, 
And counted your stars, the seven and one, 

The Wisdom of Childhood. 283 

Like the fingers of my hand : 

Nay, I could all but understand 

Wherefore through heaven the white moon ranges ; 

And just when out of her soft fifty changes 

No unfamiliar face might overlook me — 

Suddenly God took me." 

The power and wisdom of the child are qnaintly and nsuvely 
brought out in the legends and folk-lore of the various races of 
men, not alone of the present day, but of all eras of the world's 
history. As an illustration of the truth contained in the words 
of a great child-lover, " A little child shall lead them," and their 
echo in those of the Quaker poet, — 

" God hath his smaU interpreters ; 
The child must teach the man," 

nothing could be more artless and natural than the following 
legend of the Penobscot Indians of IVIaine, recorded by Mr. 
Leland, which tells of the origin of the "crowing of babies" 
(488. 121) : — 

When Glooskap, the culture-hero of these Indians, had con- 
quered all his enemies, giants, sorcerers, magicians, evil spirits 
and ghosts, witches, devils, goblins, cannibals, et id genus omne, 
pride rose within him, and he said to a certain woman, that now 
his work was done, for he had conquered all. But she told him 
that he was mistaken ; there yet remained " one whom no one has 
ever yet conquered or got the better of in any way, and who will 
remain unconquered to the end of time." This was Wasis, " the 
baby," who was sitting contentedly on the floor of the wigwam 
chewing a piece of maple-sugar. The great Glooskap, so the 
story runs, " had never married or had a child ; he knew nought 
of the way of managing children " — yet he thought he knew all 
about it. So he smiled graciously at baby, and, " in a voice like 
that of a summer bird," bade him come to him. But baby sat 
still and went on sucking his sugar. Then Glooskap got angry, 
and in a terrible voice, ordered baby to crawl to him at once. 
But baby merely cried out and yelled, stirring not. Then 
Glooskap tried his last resort, magic, "using his most awful 
spells, and singing the songs which raise the dead and scare the 
devils." Still baby only smiled, and never budged an inch. At 

284 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

last the great Glooskap could do no more ; he gave up the attempt 
in despair, whereupon " baby, sitting on the floor in the sunshine, 
went ^goo! goo!' and crowed lustily." And to this day, the 
Indians, when they hear " a babe well-contented going ' goo ! goo ! ' 
and crowing, and no one can tell why," know that it is because 
he " remembers the time when he overcame the great Master, who 
had conquered all things. For of all beings that have been since 
the beginning, baby is alone the invincible one." 

Manabozho, the culture-hero of the Chippeways and other Algon- 
kian tribes of the Great Lakes, and probably identical with his 
eastern analogue, Gluskap, was, like the latter, discomfited by a 
child. This is the legend : — 

" One day Manabozho appeared upon the earth in an ill-humour. 
Walking along, he espied a little child sitting in the sun, curled 
up with his toe in his mouth. Somewhat surprised at this, and 
being of a dauntless and boastful nature, he set himself down 
beside the child; and, picking up his own toe, he essayed to 
place it in his mouth after the manner of the child. He could 
not do it. In spite of all twisting and turning, his toe could not 
be brought to reach his mouth. As he was getting up in great 
discomfiture to get away, he heard a laugh behind him, and did 
no more boasting that day, for he had been outwitted by a little 

This characteristic attitude of the child has also been noted 
by the folk-historians of India ; for when, after the death of 
Brahma, the waters have covered all the worlds, "Vishnu [the 
' Preserver,' in the Hindoo Trinity] sits, in the shape of a tiny 
infant, on a leaf of the pipala (fig-tree), and floats on the sea of 
milk, sucking the toe of his right foot " (440. 366), and, as Mrs. 
Emerson points out, " the feat that Manabozho sought in vain to 
perform is accomplished by the more flexible and lithe Hindoo 
god, Narayana " (440. 367). 

In another Micmac legend, given by Leland, Gluskap appears 
somewhat more to advantage. Of the Turtle [Mikchich], the 
'' Uncle " of Gluskap, for whom the latter had obtained a wife, 
we read (488. 57) : — 

" And Turtle lived happily with his wife, and she had a babe. 
Now it happened in after-days that Glooskap came to see his 
uncle, and the child cried. 'Dost thou know what he says?' 

The Wisdom of Childhood. 285 

exclaimed the Master. 'Truly, not I,' answered Mikchich, 
'unless it be the language of the Mu-se-gisk (spirits of the 
air), which no man knoweth.' ' Well,' replied Glooskap, ' he is 
talking of eggs, for he says, * Hooicdh ! hoowahl' which, methinks, 
is much the same as 'waw-vmn, icaio-wun.' And this in Passa- 
maquoddy meajis 'egg.' 'But where are there any?' asked 
Mikchich. Then Glooskap bade him seek in the sand, and he 
found many, and admired and marvelled over them greatly ; and 
in memory of this, and to glorify the jest of Glooskap, the turtle 
layeth eggs even to this day." 

In Mr. Leland's collection, as in the lat€r volume of Dr. Rand, 
there are many other delicate touches of childhood that show that 
these aborigines have a large measure of that love for children 
which is present with all races of mankind. 

In the legends of the saints and heroes of the Christian Church 
we meet with numberless instances of the wisdom and instruction 
that came to them from the mouths of little children. 

Among the stories in the life of St. Augustine is the following : 
"While St. Augustine was composing his book On the Trinity, 
and was at Civita Vecchia, he saw a little child making a hole 
in the seashore, and asked him what he was doing. The child 
replied: 'I am making a hole to contain the water of the sea.' 
The doctor smiled, telling the child it would not be possible to do 
so ; but the child made answer : ' Xot so, Augustine. It would be 
far easier to drain off the waters of the great deep than for the 
finite to grasp the Infinite'; and so he vanished. Augustine 
then knew that the child was an angel of God, sent to warn him, 
and he diligently set to work to revise what he had written" 
(191. 355). 

The best of mankind can still sit at the feet of childhood and 
learn of its wisdom. But of many a one must it be said : — 

" He hath grown so foolish- wise 
He cannot see with childhood's eyes ; 
He hath forgot that purity 
And lowliness which are the key 
Of Nature's mysteries." 


The Child as Judge. 

So, Holy Writ in Babes hath judgment shown, 
Where Judges have been babes. — Shakespeare. 

O wise young judge 1 — Shakespeare. 

The Child as Judge. 

Shakespeare in AlVs Well that Ends Well, makes Helen say 
to the King: — 

" He that of greatest works is finisher, 
Oft does them by the weakest minister : 
So, Holy Writ in babes hath judgment shown, 
When judges have been babes." 

And in the history of the human race, appeal has often been made 
to the innocence and imputed discernment of the child. 

As one of the glories of God, David sang in Israel of old: 
" Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou prdained 
strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the 
enemy and the avenger." And the disciple Matthew reiterates 
the thought: "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes " ; and, again : " Out 
of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise." 


The stories told of Solomon — the judgments of the wise Hebrew 
monarch, when a child, were as remarkable as those which he 
made after attaining man's estate — have their counterparts in 
other lands. One of the most celebrated decisions was rendered 


The Child as Judge. 287 

by Solomon when he was but thirteen years of age. Weil gives 
the stoiy as follows (547. 192) : — 

"The accuser had sold some property to the other, who, in 
clearing out a cellar, had found a treasure. He now demanded 
that the accused should give up the treasure, since he had bought 
the property without it; while the other maintained that the 
accuser possessed no right to the treasure, since he had known 
nothing of it, and had sold the property with all that it con- 
tained. After long meditation, David adjudged that the treasure 
should be divided between them. But Solomon inquired of the 
accuser whether he had a son, and, when he replied that he had a 
son, he inquired of the other if he had a daughter ; and he also 
answering in the affirmative, Solomon said : ' If you will adjust 
your strife so as not to do injustice one to the other, unite your 
children in marriage, and give them this treasure as their dowry.' " 

In many other difficult cases, David, after the loss of the tube 
which, according to legend, the angel Gabriel brought him, was 
aided in judgment by the wisdom and far-sightedness of his 
young son. A decision similar to that of Solomon is attributed 
to Buddha, when a child, and to Christ. 


Miillenhoff records two cases of child-judgments in his collec- 
tion of the folk-lore of Schleswig-Holstein. The first is as fol- 
lows: "A branch of the river Widau, near Tondem, is named 
Renzau, from the little village Eenz in the parish of Burkall. 
Where the banks are pretty high and steep, a man fell into the 
water once upon a time, and would have been drowned had not a 
certain person, hearing his cries, hastened to the river, and, hold- 
ing out a pole, enabled the drowning man to help himself out. 
In doing so, however, he put out an eye. The rescued man 
appeared at the next thing (court), entered a complaint against 
the other, and demanded compensation for his lost eye. The 
judges, not knowing what to make of the case, put it off till the 
next thing, in order to meditate upon it in the meantime. But 
the third thing came, and the district-judge had not made up his 
mind about it. Out of humour, he mounted his horse and rode 
slowly and thoughtfully in the direction of Tondem, where the 

288 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

thing was then held. He reached Eohrkarrberg, and, opposite 
the house which is still standing there, lay a stone heap, upon 
which sat three herd-boys, apparently busy with something of 
importance. 'What are you doing 'there, children?' asked the 
judge. ' We are playing thing ' (court), was the answer. ' What 
is the matter before the court ? ' continued the judge. ' We are 
trying the case of the man who fell into the Renzau,' they 
answered, and the judge held his horse to await the verdict. 
The boys did not know him, for he was well hidden in his cloak, 
and his presence did not disturb them. The judgment rendered 
was, that the man who had been rescued should be thrown into 
the stream again at the same spot ; if he was able to save him- 
self, then he should receive compensation for the eye he had lost ; 
if he could not, the decision was to be in favour of the other. 
Before the district-judge went away, he put his hand into his 
pocket and gave the boys some money ; then, merrily riding to 
Tondern, he rendered the same judgment as the boys had given. 
The fellow was unable to save himself without assistance, and 
was like to have been drowned; consequently, his rescuer won 
the case " (508. 87, 88). The other case, said to have occurred at 
Rapstede, was this : — 

" A tailor and a peasant, both possessing nothing more than a 
wretched hut, made a bargain for so and so many bushels of 
corn at such and such a price, although the tailor knew that the 
peasant had no money, and the peasant knew that the tailor had a 
needle, but no corn. Soon the price of corn rose, and the peasant 
appeared before the court to demand that the tailor should ful- 
fil his part of the bargain. The judges were at a loss to decide 
such a matter. In this case, also, boys rendered judgment. The 
decision was, that the agreement was invalid, for both, being 
neighbours, had known each other's circumstances, and yet both 
were culpable for having entered into such a deceitful bargain " 
(508. 88). 

These decisions belong to the same category as that rendered 
by Solomon in the case of the two women, who both claimed the 
same child, — a judgment which has gone upon record in the 
Bible (1 Kings, iii. 16-28), — and a multitude of similar interpre- 
tations of justice found all over the world (191. 290). 

Mr. ISTewell, speaking of children's games in which judicial 

The Child as Judge. 289 

procedures are imitated, but from whose decisions no serious 
results ever come, observes (313. 123) : — 

<* In the ancient world, however, where the courts were a place 
of resort, and law was not a specialized profession, the case was 
different. Maximus of Tyre tells us that the children had their 
laws and tribimals ; condemnation extended to the forfeiture of 
toys. Cato the yoimger, according to Plutarch, had his detesta- 
tion of tyranny first awakened by the punishment inflicted on a 
playmate by such a tribunal. One of the younger boys had been 
sentenced to imprisonment ; the doom was duly carried into effect; 
but Cato, moved by his cries, rescued him." 

Children's Ideas of Right. 

Mr. Brown, of the Normal School at Worcester, Massachusetts, 
has given us an excellent collection of Thoughts and Reasonings 
of CJiildren (194), and Signora Paola Lombroso, in her interesting 
and valuable Essays on Child-Psychology, has also contributed to 
the same subject (301. 45-72). A very recent study is that of 
CJiildren' s Rights, by Margaret E. Schallenberger (341), of Leland 
Stanford, Jr. University, California. The last author has charted 
the opinions of a large number — some three thousand papers were 
collected — of boys and girls from six to sixteen years of age, 
upon the following case, the story being employed as specially 
appealing to children (341. 89) : — 

" Jennie had a beautiful new box of paints ; and, in the after- 
noon, while her mother was gone, she painted all the chaii's in the 
parlour, so as to make them look nice for her mother. When 
her mother came home, Jennie ran to meet her, and said, 'Oh 
mamma ! come and see how pretty I have made the new parlour ' ; 
but her mamma took her paints away and sent her to bed. If 
you had been her mother, what would you have done or said 
to Jennie ? " 

From this extensive and most ingenious investigation, the fol- 
lowing results are thought to have been obtained : " Yoimg chil- 
dren are less merciful than older ones. When they appear cruel 
and resentful, we know that they are exercising what they hon- 
estly consider the right of revenge. Boys are less merciful than 
girls. Young children judge of actions by their results, older ones 

290 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

look at the motives which prompt them. If a young child dis- 
obeys a command and no bad result follows, he doesn't see that 
he has done wrong. Punishments which have in them the idea 
of restitution are common to all ages. Girls consider the why 
more than boys; they explain to Jennie oftener than boys do. 
Threats and forced promises do not impress children" (341. 96). 

Jurisprudence of Child's Play. 

Pitre, the great Italian folklorist, has made a special study, 
though a very brief one, of the judgments rendered by children in 
games and plays, — the jurisprudence of child's play (323). His 
essay, which is devoted to the island of Sicily, touches upon a field 
which is likely to yield a rich harvest all over the world. The 
rules of the game ; who shall play and who shall not ; what is 
"out," "taw," "in"; when is one "it," "caught," "out"; what 
can one " bar," and what " choose," — all these are matters which 
require the decisions of the youthful judiciary, and call for the 
frequent exercise of judgment, and the sense of justice and equity. 
Of the " Boy Code of Honour " some notice is taken by Gregor 
(246. 21-24). Mr. Newell thus describes the game of "Judge and 
Jury," as played at Cambridge, Massachusetts (312. 123) : " A child 
is chosen to be judge, two others for jurors (or, to speak with our 
little informant, juries), who sit at his right and left hand. Each 
child must ask the permission of the judge before taking any 
step. A platter is brought in, and a child, rising, asks the judge, 
* May I go into the middle of the room ? ' ' May I turn the plat- 
ter ? ' ' On which side shall it fall ? ' If the platter falls on the 
wrong side, forfeit must be paid." In Germany and Switzerland 
there is a game of the trial of a thief. In the former country : 
" There is a king, a judge, an executioner, an accuser, and a thief. 
The parts are assigned by drawing lots, but the accuser does not 
know the name of the thief, and, if he makes an error, has to 
undergo the penalty in his stead. The judge finally addresses the 
king, inquiring if his majesty approves of his decision; and the 
king replies, 'Yes, your sentence entitles you to my favour'; or, 
'No, your sentence entitles you to so many blows.' Thus we see 
how modern child's play respects the dignity of the king as the 
fountain of law." In the Swiss version, as Mr. Newell remarks, 

The Child as Judge. 291 

"the memory of tlie severity of ancient criminal law is pre- 
served/' for " the thief flies, and is chased over stock and stone 
until caught, when he is made to kneel down, his cap pushed over 
his brows, and his head immediately struck off with the edge of a 
board" (313.124). 


The most interesting section, perhaps, of Mr. Johnson's Rudi- 
mentary Society among Boys, is that devoted to "Judicial Pro- 
cedure " (272. 35-48). Fighting, arbitration, the ordeal and the 
wager have all been in use as modes of settling quarrels at the 
McDonogh School — such matters of dispute as arose having 
been left for the boys to settle among themselves without the con- 
trol of the faculty. Indeed, the advice which Polonius gives to 
Laertes seems to have been ever present in the earlier days : — 

" Beware 
Of entrance to a quarrel ; but being in, 
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee." 

Following the appeal to fists came the appeal to chance and 
luck — the " odd or even " marbles, the " longest straw," and like 
devices came into vogue. The arbitration of a bystander, par- 
ticularly of "a big boy who could whip the others," and the 
" expedient of laying a wager to secure the postponement of a 
quarrel," are very common. But the most remarkable institution 
at McDonogh is undoubtedly the boy-moot, one of whose deci- 
sions is reported in detail by Mr. Johnson, — an institution in 
action "almost daily," and part and parcel of the life of the 
school. Xone but the author's own words can justly portray it 
(272. 47, 48) : — 

"The crowd of boys assembled about the contestants, whose 
verdict decides the controversy, is, in many respects, the counter- 
part of a primitive assembly of the people in the folk-moot. 
Every boy has the right to express an opinion, and every boy 
present exercises his privilege, though personal prowess and great 
experience in matters of law have their full influence on the 
minds of the judges. The primitive idea that dispensing justice 
is a ptiblic trust, which the community itself must fulfil towards 
its members, is embodied in this usage of the ' McDonogh boys.' 

292 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

The judges are not arbitrators chosen by the disputants, nor are 
they public functionaries whose sole business is to preside over 
the courts ; but the whole body of the population declares by word 
of mouth the right and wrong of the matter. This tumultuous 
body of school-fellows, giving decisions in quarrels, and deter- 
mining questions of custom, reproduces with remarkable fidelity 
the essential character of the primitive assembly." 

Mr. Johnson was struck with " the peace and good order gener- 
ally prevalent in the community," which speaks well for the 
judicial system there in vogue. 

The editor, in his introductory remarks, observes : — 

"Every schoolboy and every college student in his upward 
way to real manhood represents the evolution of a primitive sav- 
age into a civilized being. Every school and college reproduces 
the developmental process of a human society in some of its most 
interesting aspects, such as government and law. There are all 
stages of social development in the student class, from actual 
savagery, which frequently crops out in the very best schools 
and colleges, to effeminate forms of modern civilization. There 
are all degrees of institutional government, from total anarchy 
and patriarchal despotism to Eoman imperialism and constitu- 
tional government ; although it must be admitted that self- 
government among the stiident class — said to obtain in some 
American schools and colleges — is not yet a chartered right. 
The regulation of student society by itself, or by all the powers 
that be, presents all phases of judicature, from the most savage 
ordeals to the most humane. Student customs are full of ancient 
survivals, and some editions of 'College Laws' are almost as 
archaic as the Code of Manu. One of these days we shall per- 
haps find men investigating college jurisprudence, college govern- 
ment, and college politics from the comparative point of view, 
and writing the natural history of the student class " (272. 3). 

In the community of the sand-pile studied by Dr. Hall, "a 
general habit of settling disputes, often brought to issue with 
fists, by means of meetings and specifications, arose." There is 
room for a volume on the jurisprudence of childhood and youth, 
and every page would be of intensest interest and of value in the 
history of the evolution of the ideas of justice in the human race. 


The Child as Oracle-Keeper and Oracle- 

Eniants et foos sont devins [Children and fools are soothsayers]. — French 


Children pick up words as chickens peas, 

And utter them again as God shall please. — English Proverb. 

The fresh face of a child is richer in significance than the forecasting of the 
most indubitable seer. — Novalis. 


" Children and fools speak the truth," says an old and wide- 
spread proverb, and another version includes him who is drunken, 
making a trinity of truth-tellers. In like manner have the frenzy 
of wine and the madness of the gods been associated in every age 
with oracle and sign, and into this oracular trinity enters also the 
child. Said De Quincey : " God speaks to children also, in dreams 
and by the oracles that lurk in darkness," and the poet Stoddard 
has clothed in exquisite language a similar thought : — 

" Nearer the gate of Paradise than we, 
Our children breathe its air, its angels see ; 
And when they pray, God hears their simple prayer, 
Yea, even sheathes his sword in judgment bare." 

The passage in Joel ii. 28, ''Your old men shall dream dreams, 
your young men shall see visions," might stand for not a few 
primitive peoples, with whom, once iu childhood (or youth) and 
once again in old age, man communes with the spirits and the 
gods, and interprets the events of life to his fellows. 

The Darien Indians, we are told, " used the seeds of the Datura 
sanguinea to bring on in children prophetic delirium in which 
they revealed hidden treasures " (545. II. 417). 


294 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

One of the most curious of the many strange practices which 
the conservatism of the Established Church of England has con- 
tinued down to the present is one in vogue at the parish church 
of St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire. A certain Dr. Eobert Wilde, 
who died in 1678, "bequeathed £50, the yearly interest of which 
was to be expended in the purchase of six Bibles, not exceeding 
the price of 7s. 6d. each, which should be * cast for by dice ' on 
the communion table every year by six boys and six girls of the 
town." The vicar was also to be paid 10s. a year for preaching 
an appropriate sermon on the Holy Scriptures. Public opinion 
has within recent years caused the erection of a table on the 
chancel steps, where the dice-throwing now takes place, instead 
of on the communion table as of old. Every May 26th the cere- 
mony is performed, and in 1888 we are told : " The highest throw 
this year (three times with three dice) was 37, by a little girl. 
The vicar (the Rev. E. Tottenham) preached a sermon from the 
words, 'From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures'" 
(390 (1888). 113). 

The Child as Vision-Seer. 

In the history of the Catholic Church one cannot fail to be 
struck by the part played by children in the seeing of visions, 
especially of the Virgin. To St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano 
(a.d. 1274-1317), when fourteen years of age, the Virgin ap- 
peared and told her she should build a monastery before she 
died (191. 24); Jeanne de Maille (1332-1414) was but eleven 
when the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus came before her 
in a vision; Catherine of Eacconigi (1486-1547) was visited by 
the Virgin when only five years of age (191. 108) ; in 1075, Her- 
mann of Cologne, while still a boy, saw in a vision the Virgin, 
who kissed him, and made a secret deposit of food on a certain 
stone for his benefit. In 1858 a vision of the Immaculate Con- 
ception appeared to Bernadetta Soubirous, a sickly child of 
fourteen, at Lourdes, in the Hautes Pyrenees. No one else saw 
this vision, said to have occurred on Shrove Tuesday (Feb. 11), 
four years after Pius IX. had proclaimed the dogma of the 
Immaculate Conception. The vision lasted for fourteen succes- 
sive days (191. 484). On Jan. 17, 1871, the Virgin is alleged to 
have appeared at Pontmain to several children, and a detailed 

The Child as Oracle. 295 

account of the vision has been given by Mgr. Guerin, chamber- 
lain of Pius IX., in his Vie des Saints, and this is digested in 
Brewer. The children who saw the apparition are described as 
follows: "Eugene Barbedette was the second son of a small 
farmer living in the village of Pontmain, in the diocese of Laval, 
He was twelve years old, and his brother Joseph was ten. The 
other two [Franqoise Richer, Jeanne Marie Lebosse] were chil- 
dren from neighbouring cottages, called in to witness the sight. 
The parents of the children, the pastor of the village, Sister Vita- 
line, the abbot Guerin, all present, could see nothing, nor could 
any of the neighbours of outlying villages, who flocked to the 
place. Only the children mentioned, a sick child, and a babe in 
the arms of its grandmother, saw the apparition." The descrip- 
tion of the Virgin, as seen by Eugene Barbedette that starlight 
winter night, is quaint and naive in the extreme : " She was very 
tall, robed in blue, and her robe studded with stars. Her shoes 
were also blue, but had red rosettes. Her face was covered with 
a black veil, which floated to her shoulders. A crown of gold 
was on her head, but a red Une was observed to run round the 
crown, symbolic of the blood shed by Christ for the sins of the 
world. Beneath her feet was a scroll, on which wei-e written 
these words : ' Mais priez, mes enfants, Dieu vous exaucera, en 
peu de temps mon fils se laisse toucher' (Pray, my children, 
God will hear you, before long my son will be moved)." Mgr. 
Guerin thus comments upon the miracle : " In order to make her- 
self manifest to men, the Holy Virgin has chosen rather the 
simple eyes of childhood ; for, like troubled waters, sinful souls 
would have but iU reflected her celestial image " (191. 26). 

Flower- and Animal-Oracles. 

Mr. Newell has a chapter on " Flower-Oracles " (313. 105-114), 
in which he gives many illustrations of the practice noted in the 
lines of that nature-loving mediaeval German singer, with which 
he prefaces his remarks : — 

•' A spire of grass hath made me gay ; 
It saith I shall find mercy mild. 
I measured in the self-same way 
I have seen practised by a child. 

296 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

" Come look and listen if she really does : 
She does, does not, she does, does not, she does. 
Each time I try, the end so augureth. 
That comforts me, — 'tis right that we have faith." 

The ox-eye daisy, the eommon daisy, the marguerite, the corn- 
flower, the dandelion, the rose, the pansy, the clover, and a score 
of other flowers and plants (to say nothing of bushes and trees) 
have their leaves and petals pulled off, their seeds counted, their 
fruit examined, their seed-tufts blown away, their markings and 
other peculiarities deciphered and interpreted to determine the 
fortune of little questioners, the character of the home they are 
to live in, the clothes they are to be married in, what they are to 
ride in, the profession they are to adopt, whether they are to 
marry, remain single, become monk or mm, whether they are 
to be drowned or hanged, rich or poor, honest or criminal, whether 
they are to go to hell, purgatory, or paradise. 

The use of drawing straws or blades of grass from the hand to 
determine who is " it," or who shall begin the game, the blowing 
of the dandelion in seed, the counting of apple-pips, or the leaves 
on a twig, and a hundred other expedients belong to the same cat- 
egory. All these are oracles, whose priest and interpreter is the 
child ; first, in " those sweet, childish days that were as long as 
twenty days are now," and then again when love rules the heart 
and the appeal to the arbitrament of nature — for not alone all 
mankind but all nature loves a lover — is made in deepest faith 
and confidence. In the golden age of childhood and in the spring- 
time of love all nature is akin to man. The dandelion is espe- 
cially favoured as an oracle of children, and of those who are but 
"children of a larger growth." To quote from Folkard (448. 
309): — 

" The dandelion is called the rustic oracle ; its flowers always 
open about 5 a.m. and shut at 8 p.m., serving the shepherd for 

a clock. 

' Leontodons unfold 
On the swart turf their ray-encircled gold, 
With Sol's expanding beam the flowers unclose. 
And rising Hesper lights them to repose.' — Darwin. 

As the flower is the shepherd's clock, so are the feathery seed- 
tufts his barometer, predicting calm or storm. These downy seed- 

TJie Child a% Oracle. 297 

balls, which children blow off to find out the hour of day, serve 
for other oracular purposes. Are you separated from the object 
of your love ? Carefully pluck one of the feathery heads ; charge 
each of the little feathers composing it with a tender thought; 
turn towards the spot where the loved one dwells ; blow, and the 
seed-ball will convey your message faithfully. Do you wish to 
know if that dear one is thinking of you? blow again; and if 
there be left upon the stalk a single aigrette, it is a proof you are 
not forgotten. Similarly, the dandelion is consulted as to whether 
the lover lives east, west, north, or south, and whether he is com- 
ing or not. 

' Will he come ? I pluck the flower leaves of^ 

And, at each, cry yes, no, yes ; 
I blow the down from the dry hawkweed, 

Once, twice — hah ! it flies amiss! ' — Scotty 

Many interesting details about flower-oracles may be read in the 
pages of Friend (453) and Folkard (448) and in Mr. Dyer's chap- 
ters on Plants and the Ceremonial Use (435. 145-162), Children/ s 
Rhymes and Games (435. 232-242), etc. 

Beasts, birds, and insects are also the child's oracles. Mr. 
Callaway tells us that among the Amazulu, when cattle are lost, 
and the boys see the bird called Isi pungumangati sitting on a 
tree, " they ask it where the cattle are, and go in the direction in 
which it points with its head." The insect known as the mantis, 
or " praying insect," is used for a similar purpose (417. 339). In 
the Sollinger forest (Germany), on St. Matthew's day, February 
24, the following practice is in vogue : A girl takes a girl friend 
upon her back and carries her to the nearest sheep-pen, at the 
door of which both knock. If a lamb is the first to bleat, the 
future husbands of both girls will be young ; if an old sheep bleats 
first, they wiU both marry old men (391. II. 10). 

Hie Child as Orade in ike Primitive Community. 

In primitive social economy the services of the child, as an 
unprejudiced or oracular decider of fates and fortunes, were often 
in demand. In the community of Pudu-vayal, in the Carnatic 
(southeastern India), "when the season for cultivation arrives, 
the arable land in the village is allotted to the several shareholders 

298 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

in the following manner : The names of each lot and each share- 
holder are written on pieces of the leaf of the palm-tree, such as 
is used for village records, and the names of each division of land 
to be allotted are placed in a row. A child, selected for the pur- 
pose, draws by lot a leaf with the name of the principal share- 
holder, and places under it a number, thus, — 

12 3 4 

Tannappa. Nina. Narrappa. Malliyan. 

It is thus settled by lottery that Tannappa and his under-share- 
holders are to cultivate the land of the principal share lotted 
under No. 1. Tannappa next proceeds to settle in the same way 
each under-shareholder's portion included in his principal share, 
and so on, until the sixty-four shareholders receive each his allot- 
ment (461. 32)." 

At Haddenham, in the county of Buckingham, England, a some- 
what similar practice survived : " The method of deciding the 
ownership, after the meadow was plotted out, was by drawing 
lots. This was done by cutting up a common dock-weed into the 
required number of pieces to represent the lots, a well understood 
sign being carved on each piece, representing crows' feet, hog- 
troughs, and so on. These were placed in a hat and shaken up. 
Before this could be done, however, notice must be given by one 
of the men, calling out, at the top of his voice, ' Harko,' and using 
some sort of rigmarole, calling people to witness that the lots 
were drawn fairly and without favour. . . . The hat being 
shaken up, and one of the boys standing by, looking on with 
the greatest interest, is pitched upon as a disinterested person to 
draw the lots, and each owner had to ' sup up ' with the lot that 
fell to him " (461. 270). 

In the manor of Aston, in the parish of Bampton, Oxfordshire, 
a like custom prevailed : " When the grass was fit to cut, the 
grass stewards and Sixteens [stewards] summoned the freeholders 
and tenants to a general meeting, and the following ceremony 
took place : Four of the tenants came forward, each bearing his 
mark cut on a piece of wood, which, being thrown into a hat, 
were shaken up and drawn by a boy. The first drawing entitled 
its owner to have his portion of the common meadow in set one, 
the second drawn in set two, etc., and thus four of the tenants 

The Child as Orach. 299 

have obtained their allotments. Four others then came forward, 
and the same process is repeated until all the tenants have 
received their allotments" (461. 166). 

In Kilkenny, "when the division is made out, lots are pre- 
pared. Each man takes a bit of stick or particular stone, well 
marked; these are enveloped in a ball of clay, and a child or 
stranger is called to place each ball upon some one of the lots, 
by which each man's share is determined " (461. 141). 

The Kaffir boy who is to tend the calves in the kraal, while 
his fellows sport and romp about, is selected by lot: "As many 
blades of grass as there are boys are taken, and a knot is made 
on the end of one of them. The biggest boy holds the blades 
between the fingers and thumb of his closed hand, and whoever 
draws the blade with the knot has to act as herdsman " (543. 221). 

Nowadays, children are employed to turn roulette-wheels, sort 
cards, pick out lottery-tickets, select lucky numbers, set machinery 
going for the first time, and perform other like actions ; for, though 
men are all " children of fortune," there is something about real 
children that brings luck and prospers all enterprises of chance 
and hazard. 

Unconscious action and selection by children have no doubt 
profoundly influenced individual men and society at times. De 
Quincey tells us that "the celebrated Dr. Doddridge is said to 
have been guided in a primary act of choice, influencing his whole 
after life, by a few chance words from a child reading aloud to his 
mother." The story of the conversion of drunken John Stirling 
by the naive remark of his four-year-old boy, as the mother 
was reading Matthew xxv. 31-33, "Will father be a goat, then, 
mother?" finds parallels in other lives and other lands (191.356). 

Here may be considered as belonging some of the "guessing- 
games," certain of which, in forms remarkably like those in use 
to-day, were known to the ancients, as Mr. Newell has pointed 
out, from references in Xenophon and Petronius Arbiter (313. 

Oracular Games. 

As we of to-day see in the sports and games of children some 
resemblance to the realities of life of our ancestors of long ago, 
and of those primitive peoples who have lingered behind in the 

^00 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

march of culture, so have the folk seen in them some echo, some 
oracular reverberation, of the deeds of absent elders, some fore- 
cast of the things to come. 

Among the Shushwap Indians of British Columbia, the follow- 
ing belief is current regarding twins : " While they are children 
their mother can see by their plays whether her husband, when 
he is out hunting, will be successful or not. When the twins play 
about and feign to bite each other, he will be successful ; if they 
keep quiet, he will return empty-handed " (404. 92). 

In Saxon Transylvania, " when children play games in which 
dolls and the like are buried, play church, or sing hymns in the 
street, it is thought to foretell the approaching death of some one 
in the place" (392 (1893). 18). 

Similar superstitions attach to others of the games and sports 
of childhood, in which is reproduced the solemn earnest of an 
earlier manhood ; for, with some peoples, the conviction that what 
is acted in pantomime must occur at a later date in all its reality, 
finds ready acceptance, and hence children are sometimes even 
now debarred from carrying out some of their games, from a 
vague fear that ill will come of them in the manner indicated. 

^ II 


The Child as Weather-Maker. 

Rain, rain, go away. 

Come again, another day. — Children's Bhyme. 

Perhaps the most naive tale in which the child figures as a 
weather-maker occurs in the life-story of St. Vincent Ferrier 
(1357-1419 A.D.), who is credited with performing, in twenty 
years, no fewer than 58,400 miracles. While the saint was not 
yet a year old, a great dearth prevailed in Valencia, and one day, 
while his mother was lamenting over it, " the infant in swaddling- 
clothes said to her distinctly, ' Mother, if you wish for rain, carry 
me in procession.' The babe was carried in procession, and the 
rain fell abundantly " (191. 356), Brewer informs us that in 1716 
"Mrs. Hicks and her daughter (a child nine years of age) were 
hung at Huntingdon [England], for 'selling their souls to the 
devil; and raising a storm by pulling off their stockings and 
making a lather of soap ' " (191. 344). Saints and witches had 
power to stop rains and lay storms as well as to bring them on. 

H. F. Feilberg has given us an interesting account of '•' weather- 
making," a folk-custom still in vogue in several parts of Den- 
mark. It would appear that this strange custom exists in 
Djursland, Samse, Sejero, Nexele, in the region of Kallundborg. 
Here "the women 'make weather' in February, the men in 
March, all in a fixed order, usually according to the numbers 
of the tax-register. The pastor and his wife, each in his and 
her month, ' make weather ' on the first of the month, after them 
the other inhabitants of the village. If the married men are not 
sufficient to fill out the days of the months, the unmarried ones 
and the servants are called upon, — the house-servant perhaps 
'making weather' in the morning, the hired boy in the afternoon, 


802 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

and in like manner the kitchen-maid and the girl-servant" (392 
(1891). 56, 58). In this case we have a whole family, household, 
community of "weather-makers," old and young, and are really 
taken back to a culture-stage similar to that of the Caribs and 
Chibchas of America, with whom the chief was weather-maker 
as well as ruler of his people (101. 57). 

Tlie "Bull-Roarer." 

In Mr. Andrew Lang's Custom and Myth there is an entertain- 
ing chapter on "The Bull Koarer," which the author identifies 
with the p6fjifto<: mentioned by Clemens of Alexandria as one of 
the toys of the infant Dionysus. The "bull-roarer," known to 
the modern English boy, the ancient Greek, the South African, the 
American Indian, etc., is in actual use to-day by children, — Mr. 
Lang does not seem to be aware of the fact, — as a "wind-raiser," 
or " weather-maker." Mr. Gregor, speaking of northeastern 
Scotland, says : " During thunder it was not unusual for boys to 
take a piece of thin wood a few inches wide and about half a 
foot long, bore a hole in one end of it, and tie a few yards of 
twine into the hole. The piece of wood was rapidly whirled 
around the head under the belief that the thunder would cease, 
or that the thunder-bolt would not strike. It went by the name 
of the "thunner-speir" (246. 153). 

Among the Kaffirs, according to Mr. Theal : — 

"There is a kind of superstition connected with the nowidu 
[the South African ' bull-roarer '], that playing with it invites a 
gale of wind. Men will, on this account, often prevent boys 
from using it when they desire calm weather for any purpose " 
(543. 223). 

Dr. Boas tells us that the Shushwap Indians of British Colum- 
bia attribute supernatural powers to twins, and believe : " They 
can make good and bad weather. In order to produce rain they 
take a small basket filled with water, which they spill into the 
air. For making clear weather, they use a small stick to the end 
of which a string is tied. A small flat piece of wood is attached 
to the end of the string, and this implement is shaken. Storm 
is produced by strewing down on the ends of spruce branches " 
(404. 92). 

The Child as Weather- Maker. 303 

The Nootka Indians have a like belief regarding twins : " They 
have the power to make good and bad weather. They produce 
rain by painting their faces with black colour and then washing 
them, or by merely shaking their heads " (404. 40). 

Among some of the Kwakiutl Indians, upon the birth of twins 
"the father dances for four days after the children have been 
born, with a large square rattle. The children, by swinging this 
rattle, can cure disease and procure favourable winds and weather" 
(404. 62). 

In Prussia, when it snows, the folk-belief is " the angels are 
shaking their little beds," and Grimm's story of "Old Mother 
Frost" has another rendering of the same myth: "What are 
you afraid of, my child! Stop with me: if you will put all 
things in order in my house, then all shall go well with you; 
only you must take care that you make my bed well, and shake 
tremendously, so that the feathers fly ; then it snows upon earth. 
I am Old Mother Frost." 

An Eskimo legend states that thunder and lightning are caused 
by an adult person and a child, who went up in the sky long, 
long ago; they carry a dried seal-skin, which, when rattled, 
makes the thimder, and torches of tar, which, when waved, cause 
the lightning. 

The Mississaga Indians explain a fierce storm of thunder and 
lightning by saying that " the young thunder-birds up in the sky 
are making merry and having a good time." In like manner, the 
Dakotas account for the rumbling of thunder, "because the old 
thunder-bird begins the peal and the young ones take it up and 

In the poetry of the ancient Aryans of Asia the wind is called 
"the heavenly child," some idea of which survives in the old 
pictures in books representing the seasons, and in maps, where 
infants or cherubs are figured as blowing at the various points of 
the compass. But to return to rain-making. Grimm has called 
attention to several instances in Modern Europe where the child 
figures as " rain-maker." 

Girl Rain-Makers. 

One of the charms in use in the Ehine country of Germany in 
the eleventh century, as recorded by Burchard of Worms, was 

804 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

this: "A little girl, completely undressed and led outside tlie 
town, had to dig up henbane with the little finger of her right 
hand, and tie it to the little toe of her right foot ; she was then 
solemnly conducted by the other maidens to the nearest river, 
and splashed with water" (462. II. 593). 

In Servia the rain-maker is well known, and the procedure is 
as follows: "A girl, called the dodola, is stript naked, but so 
wrapt up in grass, herbs, and flowers, that nothing of her person 
is to be seen, not even the face. Escorted by other maidens, 
dodola passes from house to house ; before each house they form 
a ring, she standing in the middle and dancing alone. The good- 
wife comes out and empties a bucket of water over the girl, who 
keeps dancing and whirling all the while ; her companions sing 
songs, repeating after every line the burden oy dodo, oy dodo le." 
following is one of the rain-songs : — 

" To God doth our doda call, oy dodo oy dodo le I 
That dewy rain may fall, oy dodo oy dodo le 1 
And drench the diggers all, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 
The workers great and small, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 
Even those in house and stall, oy dodo oy dodo le ! " 

Corresponding to the Servian dodola, and thought to be equally 
efficacious, is the TrvpTrrjpovva of the Modern Greeks. With them 
the custom is : "When it has not rained for a fortnight or three 
weeks, the inhabitants of villages and small towns do as follows. 
The children choose one of themselves, who is from eight to ten 
years old, usually a poor orphan, whom they strip naked and 
deck from head to foot with field herbs and flowers : this child is 
called TrvpTrrjpovva. The others lead her round the village, singing 
a hymn, and every housewife has to throw a pailful of water 
over the pyrperuna's head and hand the children a para (^ of a 
farthing) " (462. I. 594). 

In a Wallachian song, sung by children when the grain is 
troubled by drought, occurs the following appeal : " Papaluga 
(Father Luga), climb into heaven, open its doors, and send down 
rain from above, that well the rye may grow ! " (462. II. 593). 
This brings us naturally to the consideration of the rain-rhymes 
in English and cognate tongues. 

The Child as Weather- 3Iaker. 305 


Mr. Henderson, treating of the northern counties of England, 
tells us that when the rain threatens to spoil a boy's holiday, he 

will sing out : — 

" ' Rain, rain, go away, 

Come again another summer's day ; 

Rain, rain, pour down. 

And come no more to otu" town.' 

or: — 

' Rain, rain, go away. 
And come again on washing day,' 

or, more quaintly, yet : — 

' Rain, rain, go to Spain ; 
Fair weather, come again,' 

and, sooner or later, the rain will depart. If there be a rainbow, 
the juvenile devotee must look at it all the time. The Sunderland 
version runs thus : — 

' Rain, rain, pour down 

Not a drop in our town. 

But a pint and a gill 

All a-back of Building Hill.' " 

Mr. Henderson remarks that " such rhymes are in use, I believe, 
in every nursery in England," and they are certainly well known, 
in varying forms in America. A common English charm for 
driving away the rainbow brings the child at once into the 
domain of the primitive medicine-man. Schoolboys were wont, 
" on the appearance of a rainbow, to place a couple of straws or 
twigs across on the ground, and, as they said, ' cross out the rain- 
bow.' The West Riding [Yorkshire] receipt for driving away a 
rainbow is : ' Make a cross of two sticks and lay four pebbles on 
it, one at each end ' " (469. 24, 25). 

Mr. Gregor, for northeastern Scotland, reports the following as 
being sung or shouted at the top of the voice by children, when a 
rainbow appears (246. 153, 154) : — 

(1) "Rainbow, rainbow. 

Brack an gang hame. 
The coo's wi' a calf, 
The yow's wi' a lam. 
An' the coo 'ill be calvt. 
Or ye win hame." 

306 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

(2) *'Eainbow, rainbow, 

Brack an gang hame ; 

Yir father an yir mither's aneth the layer-stehn ; 

Yir coo's calvt, yir mare's foalt, 

Yir wife' 11 be dead 

Or ye win hame." 

(3) " Rainbow, rainbow, 

Brack an gang hame, 

Yir father and mither's aneth the grave stehn." 

Even more touching is the appeal made by the children in 
Berwickshire, according to Mr. Henderson (469. 24, 25) : — 

" Rainbow, rainbow, baud awa' hame, 
A' yer bairns are dead but ane. 
And it lies sick at yon gray stane, 
And will be dead ere you win hame. 
Gang owre the Drumaw [a liill] and yont the lea 
And down by the side o' yonder sea ; 
Your bairn lies greeting [crying] like to dee, 
And the big tear-drop is in his e'e." 

Sometimes the child-priest or weather-maker has to employ an 
intermediary. On the island of Eiigen and in some other parts 
of Germany the formula is (466 a. 132) : — 

" Leeve Katriene 
Lat de siinnen schienen, 
Lat'n ragen overgahn, 
Lat de siinnen wedder kam'n." 
["Dear (St.) Catharine, 
Let the sun shine, 
Let the rain pass off, 
Let the sun come again."] 

In Rligen the glow-worm is associated with " weather-making." 
The children take the little creature up, put it on their hand and 
thus address it (466 a. 133) : — 

" Siinnskiirnken fleeg weech. 
Bring mi morgen good wader, 
Lat 'en ragen overgahn, 
Lat de siinnen wedder kam'n. 
Bring mi morgen good wMer." 

If the insect flies away, the good weather will come ; if not, 
there will be rain. 

The Child as Weather -Maker. 307 

The Altmark formula, as given by Daimeil (Worterh., p. 81) 

is: — - 

« Herrgottswormk'n, flgg nao'n Hinunel, segg din Vaoder un 
Mutter, daft morgen un aowermorg'n god WadT wart." [" Little 
God's-worm, fly to heaven, tell your father and mother to make it 
fine weather to-morrow and the day after to-morrow."] 

Another rain-rhyme from Altmark, sung by children in the 
streets when it rains, is harsh in tone, and somewhat derisive as 
weU (p. 153) : — 

'• Rag'n blatt, maok mi nich natt, 
Maok den oUn Paop'n natt 
De'n Bud'l vull Geld hat." 
[" Rain, don't make me wet, 
Make the old priest wet, 
Who has a purse full of money."] 

Concerning the Kansa Indians, Rev. J. Owen Dorsey informs us 
that the members of the Tcihaci" or Ka°ze gens are looked upon 
as " wind people," and when there is a blizzard the other Kansa 
appeal to them : " 0, Grandfather, I wish good weather ! Please 
cause one of your children to be decorated ! " The method of 
stopping the blizzard is as follows : " Then the youngest son of 
one of the Ka°ze men, say one over four feet high, is chosen for the 
purpose, and painted with red paint. The youth rolls over and 
over in the snow and reddens it for some distances all around 
him. This is supposed to stop the storm" (433. 410). 

With the Kwakiutl Indians of Vancouver Island, as with the 
Shushwaps and Nootka, twins are looked upon in the light of 
wonderful beings, having power over the weather. Of them it is 
said "while children they are able to summon any wind by 
motions of their hands, and can make fair or bad weather. They 
have the power of curing diseases, and use for this pxirpose a 
rattle called K-'oa'qaten, which has the shape of a flat box about 
three feet long by two feet wide." Here the " weather-maker " 
and the " doctor " are combined in the same person. Among the 
Tsimshian Indians, of British Columbia, twins are believed to 
control the weather, and these aborigines "pray to wind and 
rain : ' Calm down, breath of the twins ' " (403. 51). 

In the creation-legend of the Indians of Mt. Shasta (Cali- 
fornia), we are told that once a terrific storm came up from the 

308 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

sea and shook to its base the wigwam, — Mt. Shasta itself, — 
in which lived the " Great Spirit " and his family. Then " The 
'Great Spirit' commanded his daughter, little more than an 
infant, to go up and bid the wind be still, cautioning her at the 
same time, in his fatherly way, not to put her head out into the 
blast, but only to thrust out her little red arm and make a sign 
before she delivered her message." But the temptation to look 
out on the world was too strong for her, and, as a result, she was 
caught up by the storm and blown down the mountain-side into 
the land of the grizzly-bear people. From the union of the 
daughter and the grizzly-bear people sprang a new race of men. 
When the " Great Spirit " was told his daughter still lived, he 
ran down the mountain for joy, but finding that his daughter had 
become a mother, he was so angry that he cursed the grizzly- 
people and turned them into the present race of bears of that 
species; them and the new race of men he drove out of their 
wigwam, — Little Mt. Shasta, — then "shut to the door, and 
passed away to his mountains, carrying his daughter ; and her or 
him no eye has since seen." Hence it is that " no Indian trac- 
ing his descent from the spirit mother and the grizzly, will kill a 
grizzly-bear ; and if by an evil chance a grizzly kill a man in any 
place, that spot becomes memorable, and every one that passes 
casts a stone there till a great pile is thrown up " (396. III. 91). 

Here the weather-maker touches upon deity and humanity at 


The Child as Healer A^^) Physician. 

Fingnnt se medicos quivis idiota, sacerdos, ludseiis, monachus, histrio, rasor, 
anus. [Any unskilled person, priest, Jew, monk, actor, barber, old woman, turns 
himself into a physician.] — Medical Proverb. 

The Cliild as Healer and Physician. 

Though Dr. Max Bartels' (397) recent treatise — the best book 
tbat has yet appeared on the subject of primitive medicine — 
has no chapter consecrated to the child as healer and physician, 
and Mr. Black's Folk-Medicine (401) contains but a few items 
under the rubric of personal cures, it is evident from data in 
these two works, and in many other scattered sources, that the 
child has played a not unimportant role in the history of folk- 
medicine. Among certain primitive peoples the healing art 
descends by inheritance, and in various parts of the world unbap- 
tized children, illegitimate children, and children born out of due 
time and season, or deformed in some way, have been credited 
with special curative powers, or looked upon as " doctors bom." 

In Spain, to kiss an unbaptized child before any one else has 
done so, is a panacea against toothache (258. 100). In north- 
eastern Scotland, " a seventh son, without a daughter, if worms 
were put into his hand before baptism, had the power of healing 
the disease (ring-worm) simply by rubbing the affected part with 
his hand. The common belief about such a son was that he was 
a doctor by nature " (246. 47). In Ireland, the healing powers 
are acqvured " if his hand has, before it has touched anything for 
himself, been touched with his future medium of cure. Thus, if 
silver is to be the charm, a sixpence, or a three-penny piece, is 
put into his hand, or meal, salt, or his father's hair, ' whatever 


310 The Child in Folk- Thought. 

substance a seventh son rubs with must be worn by his parents 
as long as he lives.' " In some portions of Europe, the seventh 
son, if born on Easter Eve, was able to cure tertian or quartan 
fevers. In Germany, " if a woman has had seven sons in succes- 
sion, the seventh can heal all manner of hurt," — his touch is also 
said to cure wens at the throat (462. III. 1152). In France, the 
marcou, or seventh son, has had a great reputation ; his body is 
said to be marked with a Jleur-de-lis, and the cure is effected by 
his simply breathing upon the diseased part, or by allowing the 
patient to touch a mark on his body. Bourke calls attention to 
the fact that among the Cherokee Indians of the southeastern 
United States is this same belief that the seventh son is "a 
natural-born prophet with the gift of healing by touch" (406. 
457). In France similar powers have also been attributed to the 
fifth son. The seventh son of a seventh son is still more famous, 
while to the twenty-first son, born without the intervention of 
a daughter, prodigious cures are ascribed. 

Nor is the other sex entirely neglected. In France a " seventh 
daughter " was believed to be able to cure chilblains on the heels 
(462. III. 1152), and in England, as recently as 1876, the seventh 
daughter of a seventh daughter claimed great skill as an herb- 

In northeastern Scotland, "a posthumous child was believed 
to possess the gift of curing almost any disease by looking on the 
patient " (246. 37), and in Donegal, Ireland, the peasants " wear 
a lock of hair from a posthumous child, to guard against whoop- 
ing-cough," while in France, such a child was believed to possess 
the power of curing wens, and a child that has never known its 
father was credited with ability to cure swellings and to drive 
away tumours (462. III. 1152). 

Twins, in many countries, have been regarded as prodigies, or 
as endowed with unusual powers. In Essex, England, " a ' left 
twin' (i.e. a child who has survived its fellow-twin) is thought 
to have the power of curing the thrush by blowing three times 
into the patient's mouth, if the patient is of the opposite sex" 
(469. 307). Among the Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia, 
twins are said to be able to cure disease by swinging a rattle, and 
in Liberia (Africa) they are thought to possess great healing 
powers, for which reason most of them become doctors (397. 75). 

The Child as Healer. 311 

In Sweden, "a first-born child that has come into the world 
with teeth can cure a bad bite." In Scotland, " those who were 
born with their feet first possessed great power to heal all kinds 
of sprains, lumbago, and rheumatism, either by rubbing the 
afflicted part, or by trampling on it. The chief virtue lay in the 
feet" (246. 45). In Cornwall, England, the mother of such a 
child also possessed the power to cure rheumatism by trampling 
on the patients. The natives of the island of Xias, off the west- 
ern coast of Sumatra, consider children born with their feet first 
specially gifted for the treatment of dislocations (397. 75). 
Among the superstitions prevalent among the Mexicans of the 
Rio Grande region in Texas, Captain Bourke mentions the belief : 
" To cure rheumatism, stroke the head of a little girl three times 

— a golden-haired child preferred" (407. 139). The Jews of 
Galicia seek to cure small-pox by rubbing the pustules with the 
tresses of a girl, and think that the scrofula will disappear " if a 
Beclidr, or first-bom son, touches it with his thvmib and little 
finger " (392 (1893). 142). 

The power of curing scrofula — touching for the " King's Evil " 

— possessed by monarchs of other days, was thought to be hered- 
itary, and seems to have been practised by them at a tender age. 
In England this " cure " was in vogue from the time of Edward 
the Confessor until 1719, when, according to Brewer, the " office " 
disappeared from the Prayer-book. The French custom dated 
back to Anne of Clovis (a.d. 481). In the year of his coronation 
(1654 A.D.), when Louis XV. was but eleven years old, he is said 
to have touched over two thousand sufferers (191. 308). 

Blood of Children. 

In the dark ages the blood of little children had a wide-spread 
reputation for its medicinal virtue. The idea that diseased and 
withered humanity, having failed to discover the fountain of 
eternal youth, might find a new well-spring of life in bathing in, 
or being sprinkled with, the pure blood of a child or a virgin, 
had long a firm hold upon the minds of the people. Hartmann 
von Aue's story, Der arme Heinrich, and a score of similar tales 
testify of the folk-faith in the regeneration born of this horrible 
baptism — a survival or recrudescence of the crassest form of the 

312 Tie Child in Folk -Thought. 

doctrine that the life dwells in the blood. Stract, in his valuable 
treatise on "Human Blood, in Superstition and Ceremonial," de- 
votes a brief section to the belief in the cure of leprosy by means 
of human blood (361. 20-24). The Targumic gloss on Exodus ii. 
23 — the paraphrase known as the Pseudo- Jonathan — explains 
" that the king of Egypt, suffering from leprosy, ordered the first- 
born of the children of Israel to be slain that he might bathe in 
their blood," and the Midrasch Schemoth Eabba accounts for the 
lamentation of the people of Israel at this time, from the fact 
that the Egyptian magicians had told the king that there was no 
cure for this loathsome disease, unless every evening and every 
morning one hundred and fifty Jewish children were slain and 
the monarch bathed twice daily in their blood. Pliny tells us 
that the Egyptians warmed with human blood the seats in their 
baths as a remedy against the dreaded leprosy. 

According to the early chroniclers, Constantine the Great, on 
account of his persecution of the Christians, was afilicted with 
leprosy, which would yield neither to the skill of native nor to 
that of foreign physicians. Finally, the priests of Jupiter Capi- 
tolinus recommended a bath in the blood of children. The chil- 
dren were gathered together, but "the lamentations of their 
mothers so affected the Emperor, that he declared his intention 
of suffering the foul disease, rather than be the cause of so much 
woe and misery." Afterwards he was directed in a dream to 
Pope Sylvester, was converted, baptized into the Church, and 
restored to health (361. 22). 

Other instances of this fearful custom are mentioned in the 
stories of Percival (in the history of the Holy Grail), of Giglan 
de Galles et Geoff roy de Mayence, and the wide-spread tale of 
Amicus and Amelius and its variants, Louis and Alexander, 
Engelhard and Engeltrut, Oliver and Arthur, etc., in all of which 
one of the friends is afflicted with leprosy, but is cured through 
the devotion of the other, who sacrifices his own children in order 
to obtain the blood by which alone his friend can be restored to 
health. Usually, we are told, God rewards his fidelity and the 
children are restored to life. 

The physicians of King Richard I. of England are said, in 
one of the fictions which grew up about his distinguished per- 
sonality, to have utterly failed to give relief to the monarch, who 

The Child a« Healer. 313 

was suffering from leprosy. At last a celebrated Jew, after ex- 
hausting his skill without curing the monarch, told him that his 
one chance of recovery lay in bathing in the fresh blood of a new- 
born child, and eating its heart just as it was taken out of the 
body. That the king adopted this horrible remedy we are left to 
doubt, but of Louis XI. of France, several chroniclers affirm that 
he went even farther than the others, and, in order to become 
rejuvenated, drank large quantities of the blood of young children. 
In all these cases the character of the child as fetich seems to be 
present, and the virtues ascribed to the blood drawn from chil- 
dren (not always killed) belong not alone to medicine, but also to 
primitive religion (361. 23). 

Even the dead body of a child or some one of its members plays 
a rdle in folk-medicine in many parts of the globe. Grimm cites 
from a document of 1408 a.d., a passage recording the cure of a 
leper, who had been stroked with the hand of a still-born (and, 
therefore, sinless) child, which had been rubbed with salve (361. 
34). In Steiermark, so Dr. Strack informs us, " a favourite cure 
for birth-marks is to touch them with the hand of a dead person, 
especially of a child" (361. 35). Among the charges made by 
the Chinese against the foreigners, who are so anxious to enter 
their dominions, is one of "kidnapping and buying children in 
order to make charms and medicines out of their eyes, hearts, and 
other portions of their bodies." This belief induced the riot of 
June, 1870, an account of which has been given by Baron Htib- 
ner, and similar incidents occurred in 1891 and 1892. Somewhat 
the same charges have been made (in 1891, for example) by the 
natives of Madagascar against the French and other foreigners 
(361. 37). 


Among many primitive peoples, as is the case with the Zulus, 
Bechuana, Japanese (formerly), Nez Perces, Cayuse, Walla-Wallas, 
Wascos, etc., the office of "doctor" is hereditary, and is often 
exercised at a comparatively early age (397. 275). Dr. Pitre has 
recently discussed some interesting cases in this connection in 
modern Italy (322). 

Among certain Indian tribes of the Kocky Mountain region of 
the northwestern United States, although he cannot properly 

314 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

practise his art tiiitil he reaches manhood, the " medicine-man " 
(here, doctor) begins his candidacy in his eighth or tenth year. Of 
the "wizards," or "doctors" of the Patagonians, Falkner says, 
that they " are selected in youth for supposed qualifications, es- 
pecially if epileptic" (406. 456). While among the Dieyerie of 
South Australia, the " doctor " is not allowed to practise before 
having been circumcised, or to enter upon the duties of his office 
before completing his tenth year, those young people become 
"doctors," who, as children, "have seen the devil," i.e. have seen 
in a troubled dream the demon Kutchie, or have had the night- 
mare. The belief is, that in this way, the power to heal has been 
imparted to the child (397. 75). Among the Yuki Indians of 
California, "the 'poison-doctor' is the most important member 
of the profession. The office is hereditary ; a little child is pre- 
pared for holding it by being poisoned and then cured, which, in 
their opinion, renders him invulnerable ever afterward" (519. 
131). Among the Tunguses, of Siberian Russia, a child afflicted 
with cramps or with bleeding at the nose and mouth, is declared 
by an old shaman (" medicine-man," or " medicine-woman ") to be 
called to the profession, and is then termed hudildon. After the 
child has completed its second year, it is taken care of by an old 
shaman, who consecrates it with various ceremonies ; from this 
time forth it is called jukejeren, and is instructed by the old man 
in the mysteries of his art (482. III. 105). With these people 
also the female shamans have the assistance of boys and girls to 
carry their implements and perform other like services (397. 66). 
An excellent account of shamanism in Siberia and European 
Russia has been given by Professor Mikhailovskii (504), of Mos- 
cow, who gives among other details a notice of the kamlanie, or 
spirit-ceremonial of a young shaman belonging to one of the 
Turkish tribes of the Altai Mountains (504. 71). Among the 
Samoyeds and Ostiaks of Siberia, "the shamans succeed to 
the post by inheritance from father to son " (504. 86). On the 
death of a shaman, "his son, who desires to have power over the 
spirits, makes of wood an image of the dead man's hand, and by 
means of this symbol succeeds to his father's power. Those des- 
tined to be shamans spend their youth in practices which irritate 
the nervous system and excite the imagination." 

Among the Buryats of southern Siberia, it is thought that "the 

The Child as Eealer. 316 

dead ancestors who were shamans choose from their living kins- 
folk a-boy who is to inherit their power. This child is marked by 
signs ; he is often thoughtful, fond of solitude, a seer of prophetic 
visions, subject, occasionally, to fits, during which he is uncon- 
scious. The Buryats believe that at such a time the boy's soul 
is with the spirits, who are teaching him ; if he is to be a white 
shaman, with the western spirits ; if he is to be a black shaman, 
among the eastern spirits." Usually, the youth does not enter 
upon his duties until he has reached his twentieth year (504. 87). 
The tribes of the Altai believe that " the ability to shamanize 
is inborn; instruction only gives a knowledge of the chants, 
prayers, and external rites." There is in early life an innate 
tendency to sickness and frenzy, against which, we are told, the 
elect struggle in vain (504. 90) : " Those who have the shamanist 
sickness endure physical torments ; they have cramps in the arms 
and legs, until they are sent to a kam [shaman] to be educated. 
The tendency is hereditary; a kam often has children predis- 
posed to attacks of illness. If, in a family where there is no 
shaman, a boy or a girl is subject to fits, the Altaians are per- 
suaded that one of its ancestors was a shaman. A kam told 
Potanin that the shamanist passion was hereditary, like noble 
birth. If the kam's own son does not feel any inclination, some 
one of the nephews is sure to have the vocation. There are cases 
of men becoming shamans at their own wish, but these kams are 
much less powerful than those born to the profession." Thus the 
whole training of the kam from childhood up to exercise of his 
official duties is such as " to augment his innate tendencies, and 
make him an abnormal man, unlike his fellows." When fidly 
qualified, he functions as " priest, physician, wizard, diviner." 


Of the childhood of Moses Oriental legend has much to say. 
One story teUs how the daughter of Pharaoh, a leper, was healed 
as she stretched out her hand to the infant whom she rescued from 
the waters of Nile. Weil thus resumes the tale (547. 122) : — 

" The eldest of the seven princesses first discovered the little 
ark and carried it to the bank to open it. On her removing the 
lid, there beamed a light upon her, which her eyes were not able 

316 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

to endure. She cast a veil over Moses, but at that instant her 
own face, which hitherto had been covered with scars and sores 
of all the most hideous colours imaginable, shone like the moon 
in its brightness and purity, and her sisters exclaimed in amaze- 
ment, ' By what means hast thou been so suddenly freed from 
leprosy ? ' ' By the miraculous power of this child,' replied the 
eldest. The glance which beamed upon me when I beheld it 
unveiled, has chased away the impurity of my body, as the rising 
sun scatters the gloom of night.' The six sisters, one after the 
other, now lifted the veil from Moses' face, and they, too, became 
fair as if they had been formed of the finest silver. The eldest 
then took the ark upon her head, and carried it to her mother, 
Asia, relating to her in how miraculous a manner both she and 
her sisters had been healed," 

We also learn that when Moses was six years old, being teased 
by Pharaoh until he was angry, he kicked the throne over so that 
the king fell and injured himself so that he bled at the mouth 
and nose. The intercession of Asia and the seven princesses 
seemed vain, and the king was about to thrust Moses through 
with his sword, when " there flew a white cock toward the king, 
and cried: 'Pharaoh, if thou spill the blood of this child, thy 
daughters shall be more leprous than before.' Pharaoh cast a 
glance upon the princesses; and, as if from dread and fright, 
their faces were already suffused with a ghastly yellow, he 
desisted again from his bloody design " (547. 127). 


To other heroes, kings, saints, the power to heal which char- 
acterized their years of discretion is often ascribed to them in 
childhood, especially where and when it happens that the same 
individual is prophet, priest, and king. In the unnumbered mir- 
acles of the Church children have often figured. Lupellus, in 
his life of St. Frodibert (seventh century a.d.), says : " When 
Prodibert was a mere child he cured his mother's blindness, as, 
in the fulness of love and pity, he kissed her darkened eyes, and 
signed them with the sign of the cross. Not only was her sight 
restored, but it was keener than ever " (191. 45). Of St. Patrick 
(373-464 A.D.) it is told : " On the day of his baptism he gave 

The Child as Healer. 317 

sigtt to a man born blind ; the blind man took bold of the babe's 
hand, and with it made on the ground a sign of the cross." 
Another account makes the miracle a triple one: "A blind man, 
taking hold of St. Patrick's right hand, guided it into making on 
the ground a cross, when instantly three miracles ensued : (1) A 
spring of water bubbled from the dry ground ; (2) the blind man, 
bathing his eyes with this water, received his sight ; and (3) the 
man, who before could neither write nor read, was instantly 
inspired with both these gifts " (191. 237). 

Brewer relates other instances of the miraculous power of the 
child-saint from the lives of St. Genevieve (423-512, a.d.), St. 
Vitus, who at the age of twelve caused the arms and legs of the 
Emperor Aurelian to wither, but on the Emperor owning the 
greatness of God, the "child-magician," as the monarch had 
termed him, made Aurelian whole again ; St. Sampson (565 a.d.), 
who cured a fellow schoolboy of a deadly serpent's bite ; Mari- 
anne de Quito (1618-1645 a.d.), who cured herself of a gangrened 
finger (191. 442). 

In his interesting chapters on Fairy Birtlis and Human Mid- 
wives, IVIr. Hartland informs us that young girls have some- 
times been called upon to go to fairy-land and usher into the world 
of elves some little sprite about to be born. Instances of this folk- 
belief are cited from Pomerania, Swabia, Silesia. Rewards and 
presents are given the maiden on her return, and often her whole 
family is blest, if she has acted well (258. 37-92). 

Close, indeed, are often the ties between the saint and the 
physician ; the healer of the soul and the healer of the body are 
frequently the same. Other links bind the doctor to the hero 
and to the god. Of ^sculapius, the great son of Apollo, exposed 
in childhood by his mother, but nurtured by the goat of the shep- 
herd Aresthanas, and guarded by his dog, when he grew up to 
manhood, became so skilled in the uses of herbs and other medi- 
cines that he received divine honours after his death and came to 
be looked upon as the inventor of medicine as well as god of the 
healing art. 

Origin of the Healing Art. 

With some primitive peoples even the child is their ^scula- 
pius, at once human and divine, hero and god. An Iroquois 

318 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

legend recorded by Mrs. Smith attributes to a boy tbe discovery 
of witch-charms : " A certain boy while out hunting came across 
a beautiful snake. Taking a great fancy to it, he caught it and 
cared for it, feeding it on birds, etc., and made a bark bowl in 
which he kept it. He put fibres, down, and small feathers into 
the water with the snake, and soon found that these things had 
become living beings. From this fact he naturally conjectured 
that the snake was endowed with supernatural powers." So he 
went on experimenting, and discovered many of the virtues of 
the snake water : rubbing it on his eyes would make him see in 
the dark and see hidden things ; pointing his finger, after having 
dipped it in the bowl, at any one would bewitch that person ; by 
using it in certain other ways he could become like a snake, 
travel very fast, even become invisible; deadly indeed were 
arrows dipped in this liquid, and pointing a feather so dipped 
at any game-animal would cause it to start for the creature and 
kill it. In this fashion the boy learned the secret art of witch- 
craft. Afterwards, by experimenting, he discovered, among the 
various roots and herbs, the proper antidotes and counteracting 
agents (534. G9, 70). 

In his detailed account of the medicine-society of the Ojibwa, 
Dr. Hoffman tells how the mysteries of the " Grand Medicine " 
were taught to the Indians by the Sun-spirit, who at the request 
of the great Manido, came down to earth and dwelt among men 
in the form of a little boy, raising to life again his dead play- 
mate, the child of the people who adopted him. After his mis- 
sion was fulfilled, he "returned to his kindred spirits, for the 
Indians would have no need to fear sickness, as they now pos- 
sessed the Grand Medicine which would enable them to live. 
He also said that his spirit could bring a body to life but once, 
and he would now return to the sun, from which they would feel 
his influence." So the institution of "medicine" among the 
Ojibwa is called Kwi-wi-sens' we-di'-shi-tshi ge-wi-mp, " Little-boy- 
his-work"(473. 172, 173). 

The Child as Shaman and Prust. 

Nearer the gates of Paradise than we 

Oar children breathe its air, its angels see ; 

And when they pray, God hears their simple prayer, 

Yea, even sheathes his sword, in judgment bare. — R. H. Stoddard. 

The youth, who daily farther from the east 

Most travel, still is nature's priest. — Wordsworth. 

Priestly Training. 

Instruction in the priestly art in Africa begins sometimes 
almost at birth. Bastian informs us (529. 58) : — 

" Women who have been long barren, or who have lost their 
children, are wont to dedicate to the service of the fetich the 
unborn fruit of the womb, and to present to the village priest the 
new-born babe. He exercises it, at an early age, in those wild 
dances with deafening drum-accompaniment, by means of which 
he is accustomed to gain the requisite degree of spiritual exalta^ 
tion ; and in later years he instructs his pupil in the art of un- 
derstanding, while his frame is wracked with convulsions, the 
inspirations of the demon and of giving fitting responses to ques- 
tions proposed." 

Of the one sex we read (529. 56) : — 

" Every year the priests assemble the boys who are entering 
the state of puberty, and take them into the forest. There they 
settle and form an independent commonwealth, under very strict 
regulations, however ; and every offence against the rules is sternly 
punished. The wound given in circumcision commonly heals in 
one week, yet they remain in the woods for a period of six months, 
cut off from all intercourse with the outside world, and in the 


320 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

meanwhile each receives separate instruction how to prepare his 
medicine-bag. Forever after, each one is mystically united with 
the fetich who presides over his life. Even their nearest relatives 
are not allowed to visit the boys in this retreat ; and women are 
threatened with the severest punishment if they be only found in 
the neighbourhood of a forest containing such a boy -colony. When 
the priest declares the season of probation at an end, the boys 
return home and are welcomed back with great rejoicings." 

Concerning the other, Bosman, as reported by Schultze, says 
that among the negroes of Whida, where snake-worship prevails 
(529. 80) — 

"Every year the priestesses, armed with clubs, go about the 
country, picking out and carrying away girls of from eight to 
twelve years of age, for the service of the god. These children 
are kindly treated and instructed in songs and dances in majorem 
gloriam of his snakeship. In due time they are consecrated by 
tattooing on their bodies certain figures, especially those of ser- 
pents. The negroes suppose it is the snake himself that marks 
his elect thus. Having received their training and consecration, 
which are paid for by the parents according to their means, the 
children return home ; and when they attain their majority are 
espoused to the Serpent." 

In Ashanti, according to Ellis, the children of a priest or of a 
priestess " are not ordinarily educated for the priestly profession, 
one generation being usually passed over [a curious primitive 
recognition of the idea in our common saying, "genius skips a 
generation "], and the grand-children selected " (438. 121). At 
the village of Suru several children (male and female) and youths 
are handed over to the priests and priestesses to be instructed in 
the service of the gods, when the goddess was thought to be of- 
fended, and in the ceremonials when the new members are tested, 
youths and children take part, smeared all over with white (438. 

Among the natives of the Andaman Islands, as Mr. Man in- 
forms us, sometimes even "a young boy is looked upon as a 
coming dko-parad-." The word signifies literally " dreamer," and 
such individuals are " credited with the possession of supernat- 
ural powers, such as second sight " (498. 28). 

Captain Bourke, in his detailed account of the " medicine-men " 

The Child as Shaman and Priest. 321 

of the Apaches, speaking of the Pueblos Indians, says : " While I 
was at Tusayan, in 1881, I heard of a young boy, quite a child, 
who was looked up to by the other Indians, and on special occa- 
sions made his appearance decked out in much native finery of 
beads and gewgaws, but the exact nature of his duties and sup- 
posed responsibilities could not be ascertained." He seems to 
have been a young " medicine-man " (406. 4-56). 

Into the "medicine-society" of the Delaware Indians "the 
boys were usually initiated at the age of twelve or fourteen 
years, with very trying ceremonies, fasting, want of sleep, and 
other tests of their physical and mental stamina." Of these 
same aborigines the missionary Brainerd states : " Some of their 
diviners (or priests) are endowed with the spirit in infancy; 
others in adult age. It seems not to depend upon their own 
will, nor to be acquired by any endeavours of the person who is 
the subject of it, although it is supposed to be given to children 
sometimes in consequence of some means which the parents use 
with them for that purpose " (516. 81). 

Among the Chippeway (Ojibwa), also, children are permitted 
to belong to the " Midewewin or * Grand Medicine Society,' " of 
which Dr. W. J. Hoffman has given so detailed a description — 
Sikassige, a Chippeway of Mille Lacs, having taken his "first 
degree" at ten years of age (473. 172). 

The Angakok. 

Among the Eskimo the angakok, or shaman, trains his child 
from infancy in the art of sorcery, taking him upon his knee 
during his incantations and conjurations. In one of the tales in 
the collection of Rink we read (525. 276) : " A great angakok 
at his conjurations always used to talk of his having been to 
Akilinek [a fabulous land beyond the ocean], and his auditors 
fully believed him. Once he forced his little son to attend his 
conjurations, sitting upon his knee. The boy, who was horribly 
frightened, said : * Lo ! what is it I see ? The stars are dropping 
down in the old grave on yonder hill.' The father said : * When 
the old grave is shining to thee, it will enlighten thy understand- 
ing.' When the boy had been lying in his lap for a while, he again 
burst out : * What is it I now see ? The bones in the old grave 


322 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

are beginning to join together.' The father only repeating his 
last words, the son grew obstinate and wanted to run away, but 
the father still kept hold of him. Lastly, the ghost from the 
grave came out, and being called upon by the angakok, he entered 
the house to fetch the boy, who only perceived a strong smell of 
maggots, and then fainted away. On recovering his senses, he 
found himself in the grave quite naked, and when he arose and 
looked about, his nature was totally altered — he found himself 
able at a sight to survey the whole country to the farthest north, 
and nothing was concealed from him. All the dwelling-places of 
man appeared to be close together, side by side ; and on looking 
at the sea, he saw his father's tracks stretching across to Akilinek. 
When going down to the house, he observed his clothes flying 
through the air, and had only to put forth his hands and feet to 
make them cover his body again. But on entering the house he 
looked exceedingly pale, because of the great angakok wisdom he 
had acquired down in the old grave. After he had become an 
angakok himself, he once went on a flight to Akilinek." 

Besides this interesting account of an angakok seance, the 
same authority, in the story of the angakok Tugtutsiak, records 
the following (525. 324) : " Tugtutsiak and his sister were a 
couple of orphans, and lived in a great house. It once happened 
that all the grown-up people went away berry-gathering, leaving 
all children at home. Tugtutsiak, who happened to be the eldest 
of them, said : ' Let us try to conjure up spirits ' ; and some of 
them proceeded to make up the necessary preparations, while he 
himself undressed, and covered the door with his jacket, and 
closed the opening at the sleeves with a string. He now com- 
menced the invocation, while the other children got mortally 
frightened, and were about to take flight. But the slabs of the 
floor were lifted high in the air, and rushed after them. Tug- 
tutsiak would have followed them, but felt himself sticking fast 
to the floor, and could not get loose until he had made the chil- 
dren come back, and ordered them to uncover the door, and open 
the window, on which it again became light in the room, and he 
was enabled to get up." 

Girls, too, among the Eskimo, could become angakoks or sha^ 
mans. Rink tells of one who visited the under-world, where she 
received presents, but these, while she was carrying them home, 

The Child as Shaman and Priest. 323 

"were wafted out of her hands, and flew back to their first 

Of the Pawnee Indians, Mr. Grinnell informs us that the 
legend of their wanderings tells of a boy in whose possession was 
the sacred " medicine-bundle " of the tribe, and who was regarded 
as the oracle-interpreter (480 (1893). 125). 


As Dr. Mackay has remarked, in all the woeful annals of the 
witch-persecutions, there is nothing so astounding and revolting 
as the burning and putting to death of mere children for practis- 
ing the arts of the devil. Against innocents of both sexes count- 
ing no more than t^n or twelve years, there appear on the records 
the simple but significant words convicta et combusta — convicted 
and burned. Here the degradation of intellect and morals reaches 
its lowest level ; it was Satan and not Jesus who bade the children 
come unto him ; their portion was the kingdom of hell, not that 
of heaven. In Wurzburg, between 1627 and 1629, no fewer than 
157 persons suffered death for witchcraft (guilty and innocent), 
and among these were included " the prettiest girl in the town " ; 
two mere boys ; a wandering boy of twelve ; a maiden of nine and 
her sister, younger in years ; two boys of twelve ; a girl of fifteen ; 
a boy of ten and a boy of twelve ; three boys of from ten to fif- 
teen years of age. At Lille, in 1639, a whole school of girls — 
fifty in number — barely escaped burning as witches (496 a. II. 
266-287). Everywhere the maddened, deluded people made sac- 
rifice of their dearest and holiest, tainted, they thought, with the 
touch of the evil one (496 a. II. 285). It is a sad comment upon 
civilization that the last execution for witchcraft in England, 
which took place in 1716, was that of "Mrs. Hicks and her 
daughter, a child nine years of age, who were hung at Hunting- 
don, for * selling their souls to the devil ; and raising a storm, by 
pulling off their stockings and making a lather of soap ' " (191. 

In the London Times for Dec. 8, 1845, appeared the following 
extract from the Courier, of Inverness, Scotland : " Our Wick 
contemporary gives the following recent instance of gross igno- 
rance and credulity : * Not far from Louisburg there lives a girl 

324 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

who, until a few days ago, was suspected of being a witch. In 
order to cure her of the witchcraft, a neighbour actually put her 
into a creed half-filled with wood and shavings, and hung her 
above a fire, setting the shavings in a blaze. Fortunately for the 
child and himself, she was not injured, and it is said that the 
gift of sorcery has been taken away from her. At all events, 
the intelligent neighbours aver that she is not half so witch-like 
in appearance since she was singed " (408. III. 14). 

Concerning the sect of the Nagualists or "Magicians" of 
Mexico and Central America Dr. Brinton tells us much in his 
interesting little book (413). These sorcerers recruited their 
ranks from both sexes, and "those who are selected to become 
the masters of these arts are taught from early childhood how 
to draAV and paint these characters and are obliged to learn by 
heart the formulas, and the names of the ancient Nagualists, 
and whatever else is included in these written documents " (413. 

We learn that "in the sacraments of Nagualism, woman was 
the primate and hierophant," the admission of the female sex to 
the most exalted positions and the most esoteric degrees being a 
remarkable feature of this great secret society (413. 33). Indeed, 
Aztec tradition, like that of Honduras, speaks of an ancient sor- 
ceress, mother of the occult sciences, and some of the legends of 
the Kagualists trace much of their art to a mighty enchantress of 
old (413. 34). 

In 1713, the Tzendals of Chiapas rose in insurrection under the 
American Joan of Arc, an Indian girl about twenty years of age, 
whose Spanish name was Maria Candelaria. She was evidently 
a leader of the Nagualists, and after the failure of the attempt at 
revolution disappeared in the forest and was no more heard of 
(413. 35). Dr. Brinton calls attention to the fact that Mr. E. G. 
Squier reports having heard, during his travels in Central America, 
of a " sukia woman, as she was called by the coast Indians, one 
who lived alone amid the ruins of an old Maya temple, a sorceress 
of twenty years, loved and feared, holding death and life in her 
hands " (413. 36). There are many other instances of a like nature 
showing the important position assigned to girls and young women 
in the esoteric rites, secret societies, magic, sorcery, and witch- 
craft of primitive peoples. 

The Child as Shaman and Priest. 325 


A curious custom attached itself to the day of St. Nicholas, 
of Patara in Lycia (died 343 a.d.), the patron saint of boys, 
after whom the American boys' magazine St. Nicholas is aptly 
named. Brewer, in his Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, has 
the following paragraph concerning the "Boy-Bishop," as he is 
termed : " The custom of choosing a boy from the cathedral choir, 
etc., on St. Nicholas day (6th December), as a mock bishop is 
very ancient. The boy possessed episcopal honour for three 
weeks, and the rest of the choir were his prebends. If he died 
during the time of his prelacy, he was buried tn pontijicalibus. 
Probably the reference is to Jesus Christ sitting in the Temple 
among the doctors while he was a boy. The custom was abolished 
in the reign of Henry Eighth" (p. 110). Brand gives many 
details of the election and conduct of the '• Boy-Bishops," and the 
custom seems to have been in vogue in almost every parish and 
collegiate church (408. I. 415-431). Bishop Hall thus expresses 
himself on the subject : " What merry work it was here in the 
days of our holy fathers (and I know not whether, in some places 
it may not be so still), that upon St. Nicholas, St. Katherine, 
St. Clement, and Holy Innocents' Day, children were wont to be 
arrayed in chimers, rochets, surplices, to counterfeit bishops and 
priests, and to be led with songs and dances from house to house, 
blessing the people, who stood grinning in the way to expect that 
ridiculous benediction. Yea, that boys in that holy sport were 
wont to sing masses, and to climb into the pulpit to preach (no 
doubt learnedly and edifyingly) to the simple auditory. And this 
was so really done, that in the cathedral church of Salisbury (un- 
less it be lately defaced) there is a perfect monument of one of 
these Boy-Bishops (who died in the time of his yoimg pontifi- 
cality), accoutred in his episcopal robes, still to be seen. A 
fashion that lasted until the later times of King Henry the 
Eighth, who, in 1541, by his solemn Proclamation, printed by 
Thomas Bertlet, the king's printer, aim privilegio, straitly forbad 
the practice." 

When King Edward First was on his way to Scotland, in 1299, 
we are told, " he permitted one of these Boy-Bishops to say vespers 
before him in his Chapel at Heton, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 

326 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

and made a considerable present to the said bishop, and certain 
other boys that came and sang with him on the occasion, on the 
7th of December, the day after St. Nicholas's Day" (408. I. 422). 

The records of the churches contain many particulars of the 
election, duties, and regalia of these boy -bishops, whence it would 
appear that expense and ceremony were not spared on these 

Another boy-bishop was paid " thirteen shillings and sixpence 
for singing before King Edward the Third, in his chamber, on the 
day of the Holy Innocents " (408. I. 428). 

The Boy-Bishop of Salisbury, whose service set to music is 
printed in the Processionale et usum insignis et predare Ecdesie 
Sarum, 1566, is actually said " to have had the power of disposing 
of such prebends there as happened to fall vacant during the days 
of his episcopacy " (408. I. 424). With the return of Catholicism 
under Mary, as Brand remarks, the Boy-Bishop was revived, for 
we find an edict of the Bishop of London, issued Nov. 13, 
1554, to all the clergy of his diocese, to the effect that " they 
should have a Boy-Bishop in procession," and Warton notes that 
"one of the child-bishop's songs, as it was sung before the Queen's 
Majesty, in her privy chamber; at her manor of St. James in the 
Field's on St. Nicholas's Day, and Innocents' Day, 1555, by the 
child-bishop of St. Paul's, with his company, was printed that 
year in London, containing a fulsome panegyric on the queen's 
devotions, comparing her to Judith, Esther, the Queen of Sheba, 
and the Virgin Mary " (408. 1. 429-430). The places at which the 
ceremonies of the Boy-Bishop have been particularly noted are : 
Canterbury, Eton, St. Paul's, London, Colchester, Winchester, 
Salisbury, Westminster, Lambeth, York, Beverly, Eotherham, 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, etc. The Boy-Bishop was known also in 
Spain and in France ; in the latter covmtry he was called Pape- 
Colas. In Germany, at the Council of Salzburg, in 1274, on ac- 
count of the scandals they gave rise to, the ludi noxii quos vulgaris 
eloquentia Episcopatus Puerorum appellat, were placed under the 
ban (408. I. 426). 

It would appear from the mention of " children strangely decked 
and apparelled to counterfeit priests, bishops, and women," that 
on these occasions "divine service was not only performed by 
boys, but by little girls," and " there is an injunction given to 

The Child as Shaman and Priest. 827 

the Benedictine Nunnery of Godstowe in Oxfordshire, by Arch- 
bishop Peckham, in the year 1278, that on Innocents' Day the 
public prayers should not any more be said in the church of that 
monastery per parvulas, i.e, little girls " (408. I. 428). 

Though with the Protestantism of Elizabeth the Boy-Bishop 
and his revels were put down by the authorities, they continued 
to survive, in some places at least, the end of her reign. Put- 
tenham, in his Art of Poesie (1589), observes : " On St. Nicholas's 
night, commonly, the scholars of the country make them a bishop, 
who, like a foolish boy, goeth about blessing and preaching with 
such childish terms as make the people laugh at his foolish coun- 
terfeit speeches" (408. 427). Brand recognizes in the iter ad 
montem of the scholars at Eton the remnants of the ceremonies 
of the Boy-Bishop and his associates (408. 432); and indeed a 
passage which he cites from the Status Scholce Etonensis (1560) 
shows that " in the Papal times the Eton scholars (to avoid inter- 
fering, as it should seem, with the boy-bishop of the college there 
on St Nicholas's Day) elected their boy-bishop on St. Hugh's 
Day, in the month of November." In the statutes (1518) of 
St. Paul's School, we meet with the following : *' All these chil- 
dren shall every ChCdermas Day come to Pauli's Church, and 
hear the Child-bishop sermon ; and after he be at the high mass, 
and each of them offer a Id. to the Child-bishop, and with them 
the masters and surveyors of the school." Brand quotes Strype, 
the author of the Ecclesiastical 3femorials, as observing : " I shall 
only remark, that there might be this at least said in favour of 
this old custom, that it gave a spirit to the children; and the 
hopes that they might one time or other attain to the real mitre 
made them mind their books." 

In his poem. The Boy and the Angel, Eobert Browning tells how 
Theocrite, the boy -craftsman, sweetly praised God amid his weary 
toil. On Easter Day he wished he might praise God as Pope, 
and the angel Gabriel took the boy's place in the workshop, 
while the latter became Pope in Eome. But the new Pope 
sickened of the change, and God himself missed the welcome 
praise of the happy boy. So back went the Pope to the work- 
shop and boyhood, and praise rose up to God as of old. Some- 
what different from the poet's story is the tale of the lama of 
Tibet, a real boy -pope. The Grand Lama, or Pope, is looked 

328 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

upon as an incarnation of Buddha and as immortal, never suffer- 
ing death, but merely transmigration (100. 499). 

Among various peoples, the child has occupied all sacerdotal 
positions from acolyte to pope — priest he has been, not in bar- 
barism alone, but in the midst of culture and civilization, where 
often the jest begun has ended in sober earnest. In the ecclesi- 
astical, as well as in the secular, kingdom, the child has often come 
to his throne when " young in years, but in sage counsel old." 


The Child as Hero, Adventueeb, Etc. 

O wonderfol son, that can so astonish a mother ' — Shakespeare, 

Who can foretell for what high cause 

This Darling of the Gods was bom ? — MarveU, 

The haaghty eye shall seek in vain 

What innocence beholds : 
Ko cunning finds the keys of heaven. 

No strength its gate unfolds. 

Alone to guilelessness and lore 

That gate shall open fall ; 
The mind of pride is nothingness, 

The childlike heart is all. — Whittier. 

Caklyle has said : " The History of the World is the Biograr 
phy of Great Men." He might have added, that in primitive 
times much of the History of the World is the Biography of 
Great Children. Andrew Lang, in his edition of Perrault's 
Tales, speaking of Le Petit Poxicet (Hop o' My Thumb), says: 
" While these main incidents of Hop o' My Thumb are so widely 
current, the general idea of a small and tricksy being is found 
frequently, from the Hermes of the Homeric Hymn to the 
Namaqua Heitsi Eibib, the other Poiicet, or Tom Thumb, and 
the Zulu Uhlakanyana. Extraordinary precocity, even from the 
day of birth, distinguishes these beings (as Indra and Hermes) in 
myth. In Mdrchen, it is rather their smallness and astuteness 
than their youth that commands admiration, though they are 
often very precocious. The general sense of the humour of 
'infant prodigies' is perhaps the origin of these romances" 
(p. ex.). 


830 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

This world-homage to childhood finds apt expression in the 
verses of Mrs. Darmesteter : — 

" Laying at the children's feet 
Each his kingly crown, 
Each, the conquering power to greet, 

Laying humbly down 
Sword and sceptre as is meet." 

All over the globe we find wonder-tales of childhood, stories of 
the great deeds of children, whose venturesomeness has saved 
whole communities from destruction, whose heroism has rid the 
world of giants and monsters of every sort, whose daring travels 
and excursions into lands or skies unknown have resulted in 
the great increase of human knowledge and the advancement of 
culture and civilization. In almost all departments of life the 
child-hero has left his mark, and there is much to tell of his 
wonderful achievements. 

Finnish Child- Heroes. 

In Finnish story we meet with Pikku mies, the dwarf-god, and 
in Altaic legend the child Kan Pudai, who was fed upon two hun- 
dred hares, who tames wild animals, makes himself a bow and 
bow-string, and becomes a mighty hero. In Esthonian folk-lore 
we have the tale of the seven-year-old wise girl, the persecution 
to which she was subjected at the hands of her stepmother, and 
the great deeds she accomplished (422. II. 144, 147, 154). But, 
outside of the wonderful infancy of Wainamoinen, the culture- 
hero of the Finns, whom the Kalevala has immortalized, we find 
some striking tributes to the child-spirit. In the closing canto of 
this great epic, which, according to Andrew Lang, tells, in savage 
fashion, the story of the introduction of Christianity, we learn 
how the maiden Marjatta, "as pure as the dew is, as holy as 
stars are that live without stain," was feeding her flocks and lis- 
tening to the singing of the golden cuckoo, when a berry fell into 
her bosom, and she conceived and bore a son, whereupon the 
people despised and rejected her. Moreover, no one would bap- 
tize the infant : " The god of the wilderness refused, and WainO- 
moinen would have had the young child slain. Then the infant 
rebuked the ancient demi-god, who fled in anger to the sea." As 

Tlie Child as Hero^ Adventurer. 331 

Wainamoinen was borne away in his magic barque by the tide, he 
lifted up his voice and sang how when men should have need of 
him they would look for his return, " bringing back sunlight and 
moonshine, and the joy that is vanished from the world." Thus 
did the rebuke of the babe close the reign of the demi-gods of 
old (484 171-177). 


On the other hand, it is owing to a child, says a sweet Italian 
legend, that "the gates of heaven are forever ajar." A little girl- 
angel, up in heaven, sat grief-stricken beside the gate, and begged 
tKe celestial warder to set the gates ajar : — 

" I can hear my mother weeping ; 
She is lonely ; she cannot see 
A glimmer of light in the darkness, 
Where the gates shut after me. 
Oh ! turn the key, sweet angel, 
The splendoor will shine so far ! " 

But the angel at the gate dared not, and the childish appeal 
seemed vain until the mother of Jesus touched his hand, when, 
lo! "in the little child-angel's fingers stood the beautiful gates 
ajar." And they have been so ever since, for Mary gave to 
Christ the keys, which he has kept safe hidden in his bosom, that 
every sorrowing mother may catch a glimpse of the glory afar 
(379. 28-30). 

Persian DeedrMdiden. 

I fatti sono mascM, le parole femmine, — deeds are masculine, 
words feminine, — says the Italian proverb. The same thought is 
found in several of our own writers. George Herbert said bluntly : 
"Words are women, deeds are men"; Dr. Madden: "Words are 
men's daughters, but God's sons are things"; Dr. Johnson, in 
the preface to his great dictionary, embodies the saying of the 
Hindus : " Words are the daughters of earth, things are the sons 
of heaven." 

In compensation for so ungracious a distinction, perhaps, the 
religion of Zoroaster, the ancient faith of Persia, teaches that, on 
the other side of death, the soul is received by its good deeds in 
the form of a beautiful maiden who conducts it through the 

332 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

three heavens to Ahura (the deity of good), and it is refreshed 
with celestial food (470. II. 421). That children should be 
brought into close relationship with the stars and other celestial 
bodies is to be expected from the milieu of folk-life, and the feel- 
ing of kinship with all the phenomena of nature. 

Moon- Children. 

In his exhaustive essay on Moon Lore, Eev. Mr. Harley tells us 
that in the Scandinavian mythology, M§,ni, the moon, " once took 
up two children from the earth. Bill and Hiuki, as they were 
going from the well of Byrgir, bearing on their shoulders the 
bucket Soeg, and the pole Simul," and placed them in the moon, 
" where they could be seen from the earth." The modern Swedish 
folk-lore represents the spots on the moon as two children carry- 
ing water in a bucket, and it is this version of the old legend 
which Miss Humphrey has translated (468. 24-26). Mr. Harley 
cites, with approval. Rev. S. Baring-Gould's identification of 
Hiuki and Bill, the two moon-children, with the Jack and Jill 
of the familiar nursery rhyme : — 

"Jack and Jill went up the hill, 
To fetch a pail of water ; 
Jack fell down and broke his crown, 
And Jill came tumbling after." 

According to Mr. Duncan, the well-known missionary to certain 
of the native tribes of British Columbia, these Indians of the far 
west have a version of this legend : " One night a child of the 
chief class awoke and cried for water. Its cries were very 
affecting — 'Mother, give me to drink!' but the mother heeded 
not. The moon was affected and came down, entered the house, 
and approached the child, saying, 'Here is water from heaven: 
drink.' The child anxiously laid hold of the pot and drank the 
draught, and was enticed to go away with the moon, its bene- 
factor. They took an underground passage till they got quite 
clear of the village, and then ascended to heaven " (468. 35, 36). 
The story goes on to say that " the figure we now see in the moon 
is that very child ; and also the little round basket which it had 
in its hand when it went to sleep appears there." 

The Child as Hero^ Adventurer. 333 

The Eev. George Turner reports a Polynesian myth from the 
Samoan Islands, in which the moon is represented as coming 
down -one evening and picking up a woman and her child, who 
was beating out bark in order to make some of the native cloth. 
There was a famine in the land; and "the moon was just rising, 
and it reminded her of a great bread-fruit. Looking up to it, she 
said, ' Why cannot you come down and let my child have a bit of 
you ? ' The moon was indignant at the idea of being eaten, came 
down forthwith, and took her up, child, board, mallet, and all." 
To this day the Samoans, looking at the moon, exclaim : " Yonder 
is Sina and her child, and her mallet and board." Related myths 
are foimd in the Tonga Islands and the Hervey Archipelago 
(468. 59). 

The Eskimo of Greenland believed that the sun and the moon 
were originally human beings, brother and sister. The story is 
that "they were playing with others at children's games in the 
dark, when Molina, being teased in a shameful manner by her 
brother Anninga, smeared her hands -v^dth the soot of the lamp, 
and rubbed them over the face and hands of her persecutor, that 
she might recognize him by daylight. Hence arise the spots in 
the moon. Molina rushed to save herself by flight, but her 
brother followed at her heels. At length she flew upwards, and 
became the sun. Anninga followed her, and became the moon ; 
but being imable to mount so high he runs continually round the 
sun in hopes of some time surprising her" (468. 34). 

There are many variants of this legend in North and in 
Central America. 

In her little poem TJie Children in the Moon, Miss Humphrey 
has versified an old folk-belief that the "tiny cloudlets flying 
across the moon's shield of silver " are a little lad and lass with a 
pole across their shoulders, at the end of which is swinging a 
water-bucket. These children, it is said, used to wander by 
moonlight to a well in the northward on summer nights to get a 
pail of water, until the moon snatched them up and " set them 
forever in the middle of his light," so that — 

" C!hildren, ay, and children's children, 
Should behold my babes on high ; 
And my babes should smile forever, 
Calling others to the sky 1 " 

334 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

Thus it is that — 

" Never is the bucket empty, 
Never are the children old, 
Ever when the moon is shining 
We the children may behold" (224. 23-25). 

In Whittier's Child Life, this poem is given as "from the 
Scandinavian," with the following additional stanzas : — 

" Ever young and ever little, 
Ever sweet and ever fair ! 
When thou art a man, my darling, 
Still the children will be there. 

" Ever young and ever little, 

They will smile when thou art old ; 
When thy locks are thin and silver, 
Theirs will still be shining gold. 

*' They will haunt thee from their heaven, 
Softly beckoning down the gloom ; 
Smiling in eternal sweetness 

On thy cradle, on thy tomb " (379. 115-117). 

The Andaman Islanders say that the sun is the wife of the 
moon, and the stars are their children — boys and girls — who 
go to sleep during the day, and are therefore not seen of men 
(498. 92). The sun is termed chd-n-a bo-do, "Mother Sun"; the 
moon, mai-a -o-gar, " Mr. Moon " (498. 59). In many other 
mythologies the stars, either as a whole, or in part, figure as 
children. In the figurative language of ancient records the 
patriarchs are promised descendants as numerous as the stars of 
heaven, and in the Tshi language of Western Africa, the stars 
are termed woh-rabbah, from woh, " to breed, multiply, be fruit- 
ful," and abbah, " children." The South Australian natives 
thought the stars were groups of children, and even in the classic 
legends of Greece and Rome more than one child left earth to 
shine in heaven as a star. 

In the belief of the natives of the Hervey Islands, in the South 
Pacific, the double star /x^ and /a^ Scorpii is a brother and sister, 
twins, who, fleeing from a scolding mother, leapt up into the sky. 
The bright stars v and A Scorpii are their angry parents who 
follow in pursuit, but never succeed in overtaking their runaway 

The Child as HerOj Adventurer. 335 

children, who, clinging close together, — for they were very fond of 
each other, — flee on and on through the blue sky. The girl, who 
is the elder, is called Inseparable, and Mr. Gill tells us that a 
native preacher, alluding to this favourite story, declared, with a 
happy turn of speech, that " Christ and the Christian should be 
like these twin stars, ever linked together, come life, come death," 
He could scarcely have chosen a more appropriate figure. The 
older faith that was dying lent the moral of its story to point the 
eloquence of the new (458. 40-43). 

Hindu Child-Heroes. 

In the Rig-Yeda we have the story of the three brothers, the 
youngest of whom, Tritas, is quite a child, but accomplishes 
wonderful things and evinces more than human knowledge ; also 
the tale of Vikramadityas, the wise child (422. II. 136). 

In the interesting collection of Bengalese folk-tales by Rev. 
Lai Behari Day we find much that touches upon childhood: 
The story of the " Boy whom Seven Mothers Suckled," and his 
wonderful deeds in the country of the Rakshasis (cannibals) — 
how he obtained the bird with whose life was bound up that of 
the wicked queen, and so brought about her death ; the tale of 
the " Boy with the Moon on his Forehead " — how he rescued the 
beautiful Lady Pushpavati from the power of the Rakshasis 
over-sea ! We have also the wonder-tales of Buddha. 

In a tale of the Panjab, noted by Temple (542. II. xvi.), "a 
couple of gods, as children, eat up at a sitting a meal meant for 
250,000 people " ; and in a Little Russian story " a mother had a 
baby of extraordinary habits. When alone, he jumped out of the 
cradle, no longer a baby, but a bearded old man, gobbled up the 
food out of the store, and then lay do^vn again a screeching 
babe." He was finally exorcised (258. 119). A huge appetite is 
a frequent characteristic of changelings in fairy-stories (258. 108). 

Japanese Child-Heroes. 

The hero of Japanese boys is Kintaro, the " Wild Baby," the 
" Golden Darling." Companionless he played with the animals, 
put his arm arovmd their necks, and rode upon their backs. Of 

336 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

him we are told .• " He was prince of the forest ; the rabbits, wild 
boars, squirrels and pheasants and hawks, were his servants and 
messengers." He is the apotheosis of the child in Japan, " the 
land of the holy gods," as its natives proudly termed it (245. 121). 
Another boy -hero is Urashima, who visited Elysium in a fish- 
ing-boat. A third phenomenal child of Japanese story is " Peach 
Darling," who, while yet a baby, lifted the wash-tub and balanced 
the kettle on his head (245. 62). We must remember, however, 
that the Japanese call their beautiful country "the land of the 
holy gods," and the whole nation makes claim to a divine ancestry. 
Visits to the other world, the elfin-land, etc., are found all over 
the world. 


In Germany and Austria we have the stories of (258. 140-160) : 
The girl who stole the serpent-king's crown; the Pomeranian 
farmer's boy who, after quenching his thirst with the brown beer 
of the fairies, tried to run off with the can of pure silver in which 
it was contained (in a Cornish legend, however, the farmer's boy 
pockets one of the rich silver goblets which stood on the tables in 
the palace of the king of the piskies, or fairies, and proves the 
truth of the story he has afterwards to tell by producing the 
goblet, "which remained in the boy's family for generations, 
though unfortunately it is no longer forthcoming for the satis- 
faction of those who may still be sceptical." A like origin has 
been suggested for the celebrated " Luck of Edenhall," and the 
" Horn of Oldenburg," and other like relics) ; the Carinthian girl, 
who, climbing a mountain during the noon-hour, entered through 
a door in the rock, and remained away a whole year, though it 
seemed but a little while ; the baker's boy who visited the lost 
Emperor in the mountain — the Barbarossa-Otto legend ; the 
baker's daughter of Ruffach, who made her father rich by selling 
bread to the soldiers in a great subterranean camp ; the girl of 
Silesia, who is admitted into a cavern, where abides a buried 
army ; and many more of a similar nature, to be read in Grimm 
and the other chroniclers of fairy-land (258. 216, 217). 

Among the Danish legends of kindred type we find the tales 
of : The boy who ran off with the horn out of which an elf- 
maiden offered him a drink, and would not return it until she 


The Child as Hero, Adventurer. 337 

had promised to bestow upon him the strength of twelve men, 
with' which, unluckily, went also the appetite of twelve men 
(258. 144). 


Among the "Welsh tales of the child as hero and adventurer 
are: The visit of Elidorus (afterwards a priest), when twelve 
years old, to the undergroiind country, where he stole a golden 
ball, which, however, the pigmies soon recovered; the youths 
who were drawn into the fairies' ring and kept dancing for a 
year and a day until reduced to a mere skeleton ; the little farm- 
er's son, who was away among the fairies for two years, though 
he thought he had been absent but a day ; corresponding is the 
Breton tale of the girl who acts as godmother to a fairy child, 
and remains away for ten long years, though for only two days 
in her own mind (258. 135, 136, 168, 170). 

Very interesting is the Breton legend of the youth who under- 
took to take a letter to God, — Monsieur le Bon Dieu, — in Para- 
dise. When he reaches Paradise, he gives the letter to St. Peter, 
who proceeds to deliver it. TThile he is away, the youth, notic- 
ing the spectacles on the table, tries them on, and is astonished 
at the wonders he sees, and still more at the information given 
him by St. Peter on his return, that he has been gazing through 
them five hundred years. Another hundred years he passes in 
looking at the seat kept for him in Paradise, and then receives 
the answer to the letter, which he is to take to the parish priest. 
After distributing in alms the hundred crowns he is paid for his 
services, he dies and goes to Paradise to occupy the seat he has 
seen. As Mr. Hartland remarks, *' the variants of this traditional 
PUgrim's Progress are known from Brittany to Transylvania, 
and from Iceland to Sicily " (258. 192). 


A remarkable child-hero tale is the Basque legend of the 
orphans, Izar (seven years old) and Lanoa (nine years old), and 
their adventures with Satan and the witches, — how Izar cured 
the Princess and killed the great toad which was the cause of her 
complaint, and how Lanoa defied Satan to his face, meeting death 
by his action, but gaining heaven (505. 19-41). 

338 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

American Indian Child-Heroes. 

In a legend of tlie Tlingit Indians concerning the visit of 
Ky'itlac', a man who had killed himself, to the upper country- 
ruled by Tahit, whither go such as die a violent death, we read 
that — 

" When he looked down upon the earth, he saw the tops of the 
trees looking like so many pins. But he wished to return to the 
earth. He pulled his blanket over his head and flung himself 
down. He arrived at the earth unhurt, and found himself at the 
foot of some trees. Soon he discovered a small house, the door of 
which was covered with mats. He peeped into it, and heard a 
child crying that had just been born. He himself was that child, 
and when he came to be grown up he told the people of Tahlt. 
They had heard about him before, but only then they learnt 
everything about the upper world " (403. 48, 49). 

In a legend of the Kwakiutl Indians of Vancouver Island, a 
chief killed by a rival goes to the other world, but returns to 
earth in his grandson: "It was Ank-oa'lagyilis who was thus 
born again. The boy, when a few years old, cried and wanted 
to have a small boat made, and, when he had got it, asked for a 
bow and arrows. His father scolded him for having so many 
wishes. Then the boy said, * I was at one time your father, and 
have returned from heaven.' His father did not believe him, 
but then the boy said, ' You know that Ank-oalagyilis had gone 
to bury his property, and nobody knows where it is. I will show 
it to you.' He took his father right to the place where it lay 
hidden, and bade him distribute it. There were two canoe-loads 
of blankets. Now the people knew that Ank-oa'lagyilis had 
returned. He said, 'I was with ata [the deity], but he sent 
me back.' They asked him to tell about heaven, but he refused 
to do so." The boy afterwards became a chief, and it is said he 
refused to take revenge upon his murderer (404. 59). 

In the mythology of the Siouan tribes we meet with the " Young 
Eabbit," born of a piece of the clotted blood of the Buffalo killed 
by Grizzly Bear, which the Eabbit had stolen. According to 
legend the Eabbit "addressed the blood, calling it his son, and 
ordering it to become a little child, and when he had ordered it 
to advance from infancy, through boyhood to youth, and from 


TTie Child as Hero^ Adventurer. 339 

youth to manhood, his commands were obeyed." The "Young 
Kabbit " kills the Grizzly and delivers his own father (480 (1892). 

The legend of the " Blood-clot Boy " is also recorded from the 
narration of the Blackfeet Indians by Rev. John MacLean and 
Mr. Grinnell. The tale of his origin is as follows : " There lived, 
a long time ago, an old man and his wife, who had three daugh- 
ters and one son-in-law. One day, as the mother was cooking 
some meat, she threw a clot of blood into the pot containing the 
meat. The pot began to boil, and then there issued from it a 
peculiar hissing noise. The old woman looked into the pot, and 
was surprised to see that the blood-clot had become transformed 
into a little boy. Quickly he grew, and, in a few moments, he 
sprang from the pot, a full-grown young man." Kutoyls, as the 
youth was named, became an expert hunter, and kept the family 
in food. He also killed his lazy and quarrelsome brother-in-law, 
and brought peace to the family. Of Kutoyls it is said he " sought 
to drive out all the evil in the world, and to unite the people and 
make them happy " (480 (1893). 167). 

Concerning the Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia, Mr. Eand 
informs us (521. xlii.) : — 

"Children exposed or lost by their parents are miraculously 
preserved. They grow up suddenly to manhood, and are endowed 
with superhuman powers ; they become the avengers of the guilty 
and the protectors of the good. They drive up the moose and the 
caribou to their camps, and slaughter them at their leisure. The 
elements are under their control ; they can raise the wind, con- 
jure up storms or disperse them, make it hot or cold, wet or dry, 
as they please. They can multiply the smallest amount of food 
indefinitely, evade the subtlety and rage of their enemies, kill 
them miraculously, and raise their slaughtered friends to life." 

A characteristic legend of this nature is the story of Xoojek&- 
s!gunodaslt and the "magic dancing-doU." NoojekSslgunodasIt, 
— "the sock wringer and dryer," so-called because, being the 
youngest of the seven sons of an Indian couple, he had to wring 
and dry the moccasin-rags of his elders, — was so persecuted 
by the eldest of his brothers, that he determined to run away, 
and " requests his mother to make him a small bow and arrow and 
thirty pairs of moccasins." He starts out and " shoots the arrow 

340 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

ahead, and runs after it. In a short time he is able to outrun the 
arrow and reach the spot where it is to fall before it strikes the 
ground. He then takes it up and shoots again, and flies on 
swifter than the arrow. Thus he travels straight ahead, and by 
night he has gone a long distance from home." His brother 
starts in pursuit, but, after a hundred days, returns home dis- 
couraged. Meanwhile, the boy travels on and meets a very old 
man, who tells him that the place from whence he came is a long 
way off, for "I was a small boy when I started, and since that 
day I have never halted, and you see that now I am very old." 
The boy says, however, that he will try to reach the place, and, 
after receiving from the old man a little box in return for a pair 
of moccasins, — for those of the traveller were quite worn out, — 
he goes his way. By and by the boy's curiosity leads him to open 
the box, and 

" As soon as he has removed the cover, he starts with an excla- 
mation of surprise, for he sees a small image, in the form of a 
man, dancing away with all his might, and reeking with perspi- 
ration from the long-continued exertion. As soon as the light 
is let in upon him, he stops dancing, looks up suddenly, and 
exclaims, ' Well, what is it ? What is wanted ? ' The truth now 
flashes over the boy. This is a supernatural agent, a mdnltoo, 
a god, from the spirit world, which can do anything that he is 
requested to do." The boy wished "to be transported to the 
place from whence the old man came," and, closing the box, 
"suddenly his head swims, the darkness comes over him, and 
he faints. When he recovers he finds himself near a large Indian 
village." By the aid of his doll — weeddpcheejul, "little com- 
rade," he calls it — he works wonders, and obtains one of the 
daughters of the chief as his wife, and ultimately slays his 
father-in-law, who is a great "medicine-man." This story, Mr. 
Kand says he " wrote down from the mouth of a Micmac Indian 
in his own language " ; it will bear comparison with some Euro- 
pean folk-tales (521. 7-13). 

Another story of boy wonder-working, with some European 
trappings, however, is that of " The Boy who was transformed 
into a Horse." Of this wonderful infant it is related that " at 
the age of eighteen months the child was able to talk, and imme- 
diately made inquiries about his elder brother [whom his father 

The Child as Hero, Adventurer. 341 

had ' sold to the devil ' ]." The child then declares his intention 
of finding his lost brother, and, aided by an " angel," — this tale 
is strangely hybrid, — discovers him in the form of a horse, 
restores him to his natural shape, and brings him safely home ; 
but changes the wicked father into a horse, upon whose back an 
evil spirit leaps and runs off with him (521. 31). 

Other tales of boy adventure in Dr. Eand's collection are: 
" The History of Kitpooseagunow " [i.e. " taken from the side of 
his mother," as a caK of a moose or a caribou is after the mother 
has fallen] (521. 62-80); "The Infant Magician"; "The Invis- 
ible Boy," who could change himself into a moose, and also 
become invisible (521. 101-109) ; " The Badger and his Little 
Brother " (521. 263-269), in which the latter helps the former 
decoy the water-fowl to destruction, but, repenting at the wanton 
slaughter, gives the alarm, and many birds escape ; " The Little 
Boy who caught a Whale " (521. 280-281). The story of " The 
Small Baby and the Big Bird " contains many naive touches of 
Indian life. The hero of the tale is a foundling, discovered in 
the forest by an old woman, " so small that she easily hides it in 
her mitten." Having no milk for the babe, which she undertakes 
to care for, the woman " makes a sort of gruel from the scrapings 
of the inside of raw-hide, and thus supports and nourishes it, so 
that it thrives and does well." By and by he becomes a mighty 
hunter, and finally kills the old culloo (giant bird) chief, tames 
the young culloo, and discovers his parents (521. 81-93). 

In the mythologic tales of the Iroquois, the child appears fre- 
quently as a hero and an adventurer. Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith, 
in treating of The Myths of the Iroquois (534), relates the 
stories of the infant nursed by bears ; the boy whom his grand- 
mother told never to go west, but who at last started off in that 
direction, and finally killed the great frog (into which form the 
man who had been tormenting them turned himself) ; the boy 
who, after interfering with his uncle's magic wand and kettle, 
and thereby depriving the people of com, set out and managed 
to return home with plenty of corn, which he had pilfered from 
the witches who guarded it, — all interesting child exploits. 

Among the myths of the Cherokees, — a people related in 
speech to the Iroquois, — as reported by IMr. James Mooney, we 
find a story somewhat similar to the last mentioned, — " Kinatl 

342 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

and Selu: the Origin of Corn and Game" (506. 98-105), the 
heroes of which are Indge Utdsiihi, " He who grew up Wild," a 
wonderful child, born of the blood of the game washed in the 
river; and the little son of KanatI ("the lucky hunter") and 
Selu (" Corn," his wife), his playmate, who captures him. The 
" Wild Boy " is endowed with magic powers, and leads his 
" brother " into all sorts of mischief. They set out to discover 
where the father gets all the game he brings home, and, finding 
that he lifted a rock on the side of a mountain, allowing the 
animal he wished to come forth, they imitated him some days 
afterwards, and the result was that the deer escaped from the 
cave, and " then followed droves of raccoons, rabbits, and all the 
other four-footed animals. Last came great flocks of turkeys, 
pigeons, and partridges." From their childish glee and tricksi- 
ness the animals appear to have suffered somewhat, for we are 
told (506. 100) : " In those days all the deer had their tails hang- 
ing down like other animals, but, as a buck was running past, the 
' wild boy ' struck its tail with his arrow, so that it stood straight 
out behind. This pleased the boys, and when the next one ran 
by, the other brother struck his tail so that it pointed upward. 
The boys thought this was good sport, and when the next one 
ran past, the ' wild boy ' struck his tail so that it stood straight 
up, and his brother struck the next one so hard with his arrow 
that the deer's tail was curled over his back. The boys thought 
this was very pretty, and ever since the deer has carried his tail 
over his back." When KanatI discovered what had occurred 
(506. 100), " he was furious, but, without saying a word, he went 
down into the cave and kicked the covers off four jars in one 
corner, when out swarmed bedbugs, fleas, lice, and gnats, and got 
all over the boys." After they had been tortured enough, KanatI 
sent them home, telling them that, through their folly, " when- 
ever they wanted a deer to eat they would have to hunt all over 
the woods for it, and then may be not find one." When the boys 
got home, discovering that Selu was a witch, they killed her and 
dragged her body about a large piece of ground in front of the 
house, and wherever the blood fell Indian corn sprang up. KanatI 
then tried to get the wolves to kill the two boys, but they trapped 
them in a huge pound, and burned almost all of them to death. 
Their father not returning from his visit to the wolves, the boys 

The Child as Rero^ Adventurer. 343 

set out in search of him, and, after some days, found him. After 
killing. a fierce panther in a swamp, and exterminating a tribe of 
cannibals, who sought to boil the " wild boy " in a pot, they kept 
on and soon lost sight of their father. At " the end of the world, 
where the sun comes out," they waited " until the sky went up 
^ain " [in Cherokee cosmogony " the earth is a fiat surface, and 
the sky is an arch of solid rock suspended above it. This arch 
rises and falls continually, so that the space at the point of junc- 
ture is constantly opening and closing, like a pair of scissors"], 
and then " they went through and climbed up on the other side." 
Here they met KSnatl and Selu, but, after staying with them 
seven days, had to " go toward the sunset land, where they are 
still living." 

Dr. G. M. Dawson records, from the Shushwap Indians of 
British Columbia, the story of an old woman, — husbandless, 
childless, companionless, — who, *• for the sake of companionship, 
procured some pitch and shaped from it the figure of a girl, 
which became her daughter," whom many adventures befell (425. 

There is a very interesting Tahitian myth telling of the descent 
of little Tavai to the invisible world. Tavai was his mother's 
pet, and one day, for some slight fault, was beaten by the rela- 
tives of his father. This made Ouri, his mother, so angry, that 
Oema, her husband, out of shame, went down to Hawaii, the 
under-world, whither Tavai, accompanied by his elder brother, 
journeyed, and, after many adventures, succeeded in bringing to 
their mother the bones of Oema, who had long been dead when 
they found him (458. 250). 

Legion in number and world-wide in their afl&liations are the 
stories of the visits of children and youths, boys and girls, to 
heaven, to the nether-world, to the country of the fairies, and to 
other strange and far-off lands, inhabited by elves, dwarfs, pig- 
mies, giants, " black spirits and white." Countless are the vari- 
ants of the familiar tale of "Jack and the Bean Stalk," "Jack, 
the Giant-Killer," and many another favourite of the nursery and 
the schoolroom. Tylor, Lang, Clouston, and Hartland have col- 
lated and interpreted many of these, and the books of fairy-tales 
and kindred lore are now numbered by the hundred, as may be 
seen from the list given by Mr. Hartland in the appendix to his 

344 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

work on fairy-tales. Grimm, Andersen, and the Arabian Nights 
have become household names. 

For children to speak before they are born is a phenomenon of 
frequent occurrence in the lives of saints and the myths of savage 
peoples, especially when the child about to come into the world is 
an incarnation of some deity. Of Gluskap, the Micmac culture- 
hero, and Malumsis, the Wolf, his bad brother, we read (488. 
15, 16) : — 

" Before they were born, the babes consulted to consider how 
they had best enter the world. And Glooskap said : ' I will be 
born as others are.' But the evil Malumsis thought himself too 
great to be brought forth in such a manner, and declared that he 
would burst through his mother's side. And, as they planned it, 
so it came to pass. Glooskap as first came quietly to light, while 
Malumsis kept his word, killing his mother." Another version 
of the same story runs ; " In the old time, far before men knew 
themselves in the light before the sun, Glooskap and his brother 
were as yet unborn. They waited for the day to appear. Then 
they talked together, and the youngest said : ' Why should I wait ? 
I will go into the world and begin my life at once ; ' when the 
elder said : ' Not so, for this were a great evil.' But the younger 
gave no heed to any wisdom ; in his wickedness he broke through 
his mother's side, he rent the wall ; his beginning of life was his 
mother's death " (488. 106). Very similar is the Iroquois myth 
of the " Good Mind " and the " Bad Mind," and variants of this 
American hero-myth may be read in the exhaustive treatise of 
Dr. Brinton. 

Very interesting is the Maya story of the twins Hun-Ahpu and 
Xbalanque, sons of the virgin Xquiq, who, fleeing from her father, 
escaped to the upper world, where the birth took place. Of these 
children we are told " they grew in strength, and performed vari- 
ous deeds of prowess, which are related at length in the Popul 
Vuh [the folk-chronicle of the Quiches of Guatemala], and were 
at last invited by the lords of the underworld to visit them." 
The chiefs of the underworld intended to slay the youths, as they 
had previously slain their father and uncle, but through their 
oracular and magic power the two brothers pretended to be 
burned, and, when their ashes were thrown into the river, they 
rose from its waters and slew the lords of the nether world. At 

The Child as ffero. Adventurer. 345 

this the inhabitants of Hades fled in terror and the twins " re- 
leased the prisoners and restored to life those who had been slain. 
The latter rose to the sky to become the countless stars, while 
Hunhun-Ahpu and Vukub-Hun-Ahpu [father and uncle of the 
twins] ascended to dwell, the one in the sun, the other in the 
moon" (411.124). 

Bom of a virgin mother were also Quetzalcoatl, the culture- 
hero of Mexico, and other similar characters whose lives and deeds 
may be read in Dr. Brinton's American Hero-Myths. 

From the Indians of the Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico, Dr. 
A. S. Gatschet has obtained the story of the " Antelope-Boy,'* who, 
as the champion of the White Pueblo, defeated the Hawk, the 
champion of the Yellow Pueblo, in a race around the horizon. 
The " Antelope-Boy " was a babe who had been left on the prairie 
by its uncle, and brought up by a female antelope who discovered 
it. After some trouble, the people succeeded in catching him and 
restoring him to his mother. Another version of the same tale 
has it that " the boy-child, left by his uncle and mother upon the 
prairie, was carried to the antelopes by a coyote, after which 
a mother-antelope, who had lost her fawn, adopted the tiny 
stranger as her own. By an ingenious act of the mother-antelope 
the boy was surrendered again to his real human mother; for 
when the circle of the hunters grew smaller around the herd, the 
antelope took the boy to the northeast, where his mother stood in 
a white robe. At last these two were the only ones left within 
the circle, and when the antelope broke through the line on 
the northeast, the boy followed her and fell at the feet of his 
own human mother, who sprang forward and clasped him in her 
arms." The Yellow Pueblo people were wizards, and so confident 
were they of success that they proposed that the losing party, 
their villages, property, etc., should be burnt. The White Pueblo 
people agreed, and, having won the victory, proceeded to exter- 
minate the conquered. One of the wizards, however, managed to 
hide away and escape being burned, and this is why there are 
wizards living at this very day (239. 213, 217). 

In the beginning, says the Zuni account of the coming of men 
upon earth, they dwelt in the lowermost of four subterranean 
caverns, called the "Four Wombs of the World," and as they 
began to increase in numbers they became very unhappy, and the 

346 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

children of the wise men among them besought them to deliver 
them from such a life of misery. Then, it is said, " The ' Holder 
of the Paths of Life,' the Sun-Father, created from his own being 
two children, who fell to earth for the good of all beings. The 
Sun-Father endowed these children with immortal youth, with 
power even as his own power, and created for them a bow (the 
Rainbow) and an arrow (the Lightning). For them he made also 
a shield like unto his own, of magic power, and a knife of flint. 
. . . These children cut the face of the world with their magic 
knife, and were borne down upon their shield into the caverns in 
which all men dwelt. There, as the leaders of men, they lived 
with their children, mankind." They afterwards led men into 
the second cavern, then into the third, and finally into the fourth, 
whence they made their way, guided by the two children, to the 
world of earth, which, having been covered with water, was damp 
and unstable and filled with huge monsters and beasts of prey. 
The two children continued to lead men "Eastward, toward the 
Home of the Sun-Father," and by their magic power, acting under 
the directions of their creator, the Sun-Father, they caused the 
surface of the earth to harden and petrified the fierce animals 
who sought to destroy the children of men (which accounts for 
the fossils of to-day and the animal-like forms of rocks and 
boulders) (424. 13). Of this people it^could have been said most 
appropriately, " a little child shall lead them." 

Mr. Lummis' volume of folk-tales of the Pueblos Indians of 
New Mexico contains many stories of the boy as hero and adven- 
turer. The " Antelope-Boy " who defeats the champion of the 
witches in a foot-race (302. 12-21) ; Nah-chu-rii-chu (the " Bluish 
Light of the Dawn "), the parentless hero, " wise in medicine," 
who married the moon, lost her, but found her again after great 
trouble (302. 53-70) ; the boy who cursed the lake (302. 108-121) ; 
the boy and the eagle, etc. (302. 122-126). But the great figures 
in story at the Pueblo of Queres are the " hero-twins," Maw-Sahv 
and 06-yah-wee, sons of the Sun, wonderful and astonishing chil- 
dren, of whom it is said that " as soon as they were a minute old, 
they were big and strong and began playing " (302. 207). Their 
mother died when they were born, but was restored to life by the 
Crow-Mother, and returned home with her two children, whose 
hero-deeds, " at an age when other boys were toddling about the 

The Child as Hero^ Adventurer. 347 

house," were the cause of infinite wonder. They killed the 
Giant- Woman and the Giant-Baby, and performed unnumbered 
other acts of heroism while yet in childhood and youth. To the 
same cycle seems to belong also the story of " The Magic Hide- 
and-Seek" (302.87-98). 

From the Pueblo of Sia, Mrs. Stevenson has recorded the story 
of the twins Tkla'asewe and U'yuuyewg, sons of the Sun-Father 
by the virgin Ko'chinako; how they visited their father, and the 
adventures that befell them on their long journey; how they 
killed the wolf of the lake, the cougar, the bear, the bad eagles, 
burned the cruel witch, and other great enemies of the people, 
organized the cult societies, and then " made their home in the 
Sandia Mountain, where they have since remained." At the 
entrance to the crater, we are told, " the diminutive footprints of 
these boys are yet to be seen by the good of heart " (538. 43-57). 
Among the American Indians it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
distinguish the child-hero from the divinity whom he so often 
closely resembles. 


The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 

Dhildhood shall be all divine. — Proctor. 

A baby's feet, like sea-shells pink, 

Might tempt, should Heaven see meet. 
An angel's lips to kiss. — Swinburne. 

Their glance might cast out pain and sin, 

Their speech make dumb the wise, 
By mute glad godhead felt within 

A baby's eyes. — Swinburne. 

The Child as Fetich. 

It is easy to understand how, among barbarous or semi-civilized 
peoples, children born deformed or with any strange marking or 
defect should be looked upon as objects of fear or reverence, 
fetiches in fact. Post informs us regarding certain African 
tribes (127. I. 285, 286) : — 

"The Wanika, Wakikuyu, and Wazegua kill deformed chil- 
dren ; throttle them in the woods and bury them. The belief is, 
that the evil spirit of a dead person has got into them, and such 
a child would be a great criminal. The Somali let misformed 
children live, but regard them with superstitious fear. In An- 
gola all children born deformed are considered 'fetich.' In 
Loango dwarfs and albinos are regarded as the property of the 
king, and are looked upon as sacred and inviolable." 

Here we see at least some of the reasons which have led up to 
the eulogy and laudation, as well as to the dread suspicion, of the 
dwarf and the hunchback, appearing in so many folk-tales. We 
might find also, perhaps, some dim conception of the occasional 
simultaneity of genius with physical defects or deformities, a 


The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 349 

fact of wliich a certain modern school of criminal sociologists 
has made so much. 

Concerning albinos Schultze says (529. 82) : — 

"In Bornoo albinos are objects of fear, as beings gifted with 
snpematiiral power ; in Senegambia, if they are slaves, they are 
given their freedom, are exempted from all labour, and are cheer- 
fully supported at others' expense. In Congo the king keeps 
them in his palace as * fetiches which give him influence over the 
Europeans.' They are held in such respect that they may take 
whatever they will ; and he who is deprived of his property by 
them, esteems himself honoured. In Loango they are esteemed 
above the Gangas (priests), and their hair is sold at a high price 
as a holy relic. Thus may a man become a fetich." At Moree, 
in West Africa, Ellis informs us, " Albinos are sacred to Aynf wa, 
and, on arriving at puberty, become her priests and priestesses. 
They are regarded by the people as the mouth-pieces of the 
goddess." At Coomassie a boy-prisoner was painted white and 
consecrated as a slave to the tutelary deity of the market (438. 
49, 88). Coeval with their revival of primitive language-moulds 
in their slang, many of our college societies and sporting clubs 
and associations have revived the beliefs just mentioned in their 
mascots and luck-bringers — the other side of the shield showing 
the "Jonahs" and those fetiches of evil import. Even great 
actors, stock-brokers, and politicians have their mascots. We 
hear also of mascots of regiments and of ships. A little hunch- 
back, a dwarf, a negro boy, an Italian singing-girl, a child dressed 
in a certain style or colour, all serve as mascots. Criminals and 
gamblers, those members of the community most nearly allied in 
thought and action with barbarous and primitive man, have their 
mascots, and it is from this source that we derive the word, 
which Andran, in his opera La Mascotte, has lifted to a some- 
what higher plane, and now each family may have a mascot, a 
fetich, to cause them to prosper and succeed in life (390 (1888). 
Ill, 112). 

One of the derivations suggested for this word, viz. from masquS 
=coiffe, in the expression n^ coiffe, '•'bom with a caul," would 
make the mascot to have been originally a child born with the 
caul on its head, a circumstance which, as the French phrase itre 
n6 coiffe, '* to be born lucky," indicates, betokened happiness and 

350 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

good-fortune for the being thus coming into the world. In Ger- 
man the caul is termed " Gllickshaube," " lucky hood," and Ploss 
gives many illustrations of the widespread belief in the luck 
that falls to the share of the child born with one. A very curi- 
ous custom exists in Oldenburg, where a boy, in order to be fortu- 
nate in love, carries his caul about with him (326. I. 12-14). 

Other accidents or incidents of birth have sufficed to make 
fetiches of children. Twins and triplets are regarded in many 
parts of the world as smacking of the supernatural and uncanny. 
The various views of the races of mankind upon this subject 
are given at length in Ploss (326. II. 267-275), and Post has 
much to say of the treatment of twins in Africa. In Unyoro 
twins are looked upon as " luck-bringers, not only for the family, 
but for the whole village as well. Great feasts are held in their 
honour, and if they die, the house in which they were born is 
burned down." Among the Ishogo, from fear that one of the 
pair may die, twins are practically isolated and taboo until grown 
up (127. I. 282, 284). 

To the Ovaherero, according to Ploss, "the birth of twins is 
the greatest piece of good-fortune that can fall to the lot of 
mortals," and such an event makes the parents " holy." Among 
this Kaffir people, moreover: "Every father of twins has the 
right to act as substitute for the village-chief in the exercise of 
his priestly functions. If the chief is not present, he can, for 
example, exorcise a sick person. Even the twin-child himself 
has all priestly privileges. Por a twin boy there is no forbidden 
flesh, no forbidden milk, and no one would ever venture to curse 
him. If any one should kill a twin-child, the murderer's whole 
village would be destroyed. As a twin-boy, he inherits the 
priestly dignity at the death of the chief, and even when an older 
brother succeeds the father as possessor of the village, it is, how- 
ever, named after the younger twin-brother, who is clothed with 
the priestly dignity " (326. II. 271-274). 

Among the Songish Indians of Vancouver Island, it is believed 
that "twins, immediately after their birth, possess supernatural 
powers. They are at once taken to the woods and washed in 
a pond in order to become ordinary men." The Shushwap In- 
dians believe that twins retain this supernatural power through- 
out their lives (404. 22, 92). 

The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 351 

Of children whose upper teeth break out before the lower, 
some- primitive tribes are iu fear and dread, hastening to kill 
them, as do the Basutos, Wakikuyu, Wanika, "Wazegua, and 
Wasawahili. Among the Wazaramo, another African people, 
such children " are either put to death, given away, or sold to a 
slave-holder, for the belief is that through them sickness, mis- 
fortime, and death would enter the house." The Arabs of Zan- 
zibar, " after reading from the Koran, administer to such a child 
an oath that it will do no harm, making it nod assent with its 
head " (127. I. 287). 

From what has preceded, we can see how hard it is sometimes 
to draw the line between the man as fetich and the priest, be- 
tween the divinity and the medicine-man. 

Fetiches of Criminals. 

It is a curious fact that St Nicholas is at once the patron saint 
of children and of thieves, — the latter even Shakespeare calls 
" St. Nicholas's clerks." And with robbers and the generality of 
evil-doers the child, dead or alive, is much of a fetich. Anstey's 
Burglar Bill is humorously exaggerated, but there is a good deal 
of superstition about childhood lingering in the mind of the law- 
breaker. Strack (361) has discussed at considerable length the 
child (dead) as fetich among the criminal classes, especially the 
use made of the blood, the hand, the heart, etc. Among the thiev- 
ing fraternity in Middle Franconia it is believed that "blood 
taken up from the genitals of an innocent boy on three pieces of 
wood, and carried about the person, renders one invisible when 
stealing" (361. 41). The same power was ascribed to the eating 
of the hearts (raw) of unborn children cut out of the womb of the 
mother. Male children only would serve, and from the confession 
of the band of the robber-chief " King Daniel," who so terrified 
all Ermeland in the middle of the seventeenth century, it would 
appear that they had already killed for this purpose no fewer than 
fourteen women with child (361. 59). As late as 1815, at Heide 
in Xorthditmarsch, one Claus Dau was executed for "having 
killed three children and eaten their hearts with the belief of 
making himself invisible " (361. 61). 

This eating of little children's hearts was thought not alone to 

352 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

confer the gift of invisibility, but " when portions of nine hearts 
had been eaten by any one, he could not be seized, no matter what 
theft or crime he committed, and, if by chance he should fall into 
the power of his enemies, he cotdd make himself invisible and 
thus escape." The eating of three hearts is credited with the 
same power in an account of a robber of the Lower Ehine, in 
1645. In the middle of the last century, there was executed at 
Bayreuth a man *' who had killed eight women with child, cut 
them open, and eaten the warm, palpitating hearts of the chil- 
dren, in the belief that he would be able to fly, if he ate the 
hearts of nine such children " (361. 58). 

Only a few years ago (April, 1888), at Oldenburg, a workman 
named Bliefernicht was tried for having killed two girls, aged six 
and seven years. The examination of the remains showed that 
" one of the bodies not only had the neck completely cut through, 
but the belly cut open, so that the entrails, lungs, and liver were 
exposed. A large piece of flesh had been cut out of the buttocks 
and was nowhere to be found, the man having eaten it. His 
belief was, that whoever ate of the flesh of innocent girls, could 
do anything in the world without any one being able to make him 
answer for it" (361. 62). 

Strack has much to say of the main-de-gloire and the chandelle 
magique. Widespread among thieves is the belief in the " magic 
taper." At Meesow, in the Regenwald district of Pomerania, 
these tapers are made of the entrails of unborn children, can only 
be extinguished with milk, and, as long as they burn, no one in 
the house to be robbed is able to wake. It is of the hands, how- 
ever, of unbaptized or unborn children that these tapers were 
most frequently made. At Nlirnberg, in 1577 and 1701, there 
were executed two monsters who killed many women in their 
pursuit for this fetich ; at Vechta, in Oldenburg, the finger of an 
unborn child " serves with thieves to keep asleep the people of 
the house they have entered, if it is simply laid on the table " ; 
at Konow, the fat of a woman with child is used to make a simi- 
lar taper. In the XJkrain district of Poland, it is believed that 
the hand of the corpse of a five-year-old child opens all locks 
(361. 42). This belief in the hand-of-glory and the magic candle 
may be due to the fact that such children, being unbaptized and 
unborn, were presumed to be under the influence of the Evil One 

The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 353 

himself. Of the wider belief in the chandelle magique and main- 
de-gloire (as obtained from criminal adults) in Germany, France, 
Spain, etc., nothing need be said here. 

At Konow, in the Kammin district of Pomerania, " if a thief 
takes an unborn child, dries it, puts it in a little wooden box, and 
carries it on his person, he is rendered invisible to everybody, and 
can steal at will " (361. 41). 

The history of the robbers of the Rhine and the Main, of 
Westphalia, the Mark, and Silesia, with whom the child appears 
so often as a fetich, evince a bestiality and inhumanity almost 
beyond the power of belief. 


But it is not to the criminal classes alone that superstitions of 
this nature belong. Of the alchemy, magic, black art, sorcery, 
and " philosophy " of the Dark Ages of Europe, the practice of 
which lingered in some places well on into the seventeenth cen- 
tury, horrible stories are told, in which children, their bodies, 
their souls even, appear as fetishes. The baptism of blood is said 
still to be practised in parts of Russia by parents " to preserve 
their child from the temptations of the prince of darkness," and 
in 1874, " a country-school teacher of the Strassburg district, and 
his wife, upon the advice of a somnambulist, struck their own 
aunt with the fire-tongs until the blood flowed, with which they 
sprinkled their child supposed to have been bewitched by her " 
(361. 73). Here it is the blood of adults that is used, but the 
practice demands the child's also. According to C. F. A. Hoff- 
mann (1817), there lived in Xaples " an old doctor who had chil- 
dren by several women, which he inhumanly killed, with peculiar 
ceremonies and rites, cutting the breast open, tearing out the 
heart, and from its blood preparing precious drops which were 
preservative against all sickness." Well known is the story of 
Elizabeth Bathori, a Hungarian woman of the early part of the 
seventeenth century, who, it is said, receiving on her face a drop 
of blood which spurted from a waiting-girl whose ears she had 
severely boxed, and noticing afterward, when she wiped it away, 
that her skin at that spot appeared to be more beautiful, whiter, 
and finer than before, resolved to bathe her face and her whole 
body in human blood, in order to increase her charms and her 

2 A 

354 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

beauty. Before her monstrous actions were discovered, she is 
thought to have caused the death of some 650 girls with the aid 
of accomplices (361. 46). 

Fetiches of Religion. 

The use of human blood in ritual has been treated of in detail 
by Strack, and in his pages many references to children will be 
found. He also discusses in detail the charge of the Anti-Semit- 
ics that the Jews kill little children of their Christian neigh- 
bours for the purpose of using their blood and certain parts of 
their bodies in religious rites and ceremonies, showing alike the 
antiquity of this libel as well as its baselessness. Against the 
early Christians like charges appear to have been made by 
the heathen, and later on by the Saracens ; and indeed, this 
charge is one which is generally levelled at new-comers or inno- 
vators in the early history of Christian religion and civilization. 
Strack points out also that, during the contest of the Dominicans 
and Franciscans in Bern, in 1507 a.d., it was charged that the 
former used the blood of Jewish children, the eyebrows and hair 
of children, etc., in their secret rites (361. 68, 69). 

Brewer, who gives little credit to the stories, cites the accoimt 
of numerous crucifixions of children alleged to have been carried 
out by Jews in various parts of Europe, for the purpose of using 
their flesh and blood in their rituals, or merely out of hatred to 
the Christian religion. The principal cases are : Andrew of Inns- 
pruck ; Albert of Swirnazen in Podolia, aged four (1598) ; St. 
Hugh of Lincoln, aged eleven (1255) ; St. Janot of Cologne 
(1475) ; St. Michael of Sappendelf in Bavaria, aged four and one- 
half (1340) ; St. -Eichard of Pontoise, aged twelve (1182) ; St. 
Simon of Trent, aged twenty-nine months and three days (1475) ; 
St. William of Norwich, aged twelve (1137) ; St. Wernier (Gar- 
nier), aged thirteen (1227). The Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists 
give a long list of nameless children, who are claimed to have 
suffered a like fate in Spain, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, 
Italy, etc. The later charges, such as those made in the cele- 
brated case of the girl Esther Solymasi, whose death was alleged 
to have been brought about by the Jews of Tisza-Eszlar in Hun- 
gary, in 1882, are investigated by Strack, and shown to be utterly 

The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 355 

without foundation of fact, merely the product of frenzied Anti- 
Semitism (191. 171-175). 

The use of blood and the sacrifice of little children, as well as 
other fetichistic practices, ha^e been charged against some of the 
secret religious sects of modern Russia. 

Dead Children. 

In Ann am the natives "surround the beds of their children 
suffering from small-pox with nets, and never leave them alone, 
fearing lest a demon, in the form of a strange child, should sneak 
in and take possession of them " (397. 169, 242). This belief is 
akin with the widespread superstitions with respect to change- 
lings and other metamorphoses of childhood, to the discussion of 
which Ploss and Hartland have devoted much space and atten- 
tion, the latter, indeed, setting apart some forty pages of his book 
on fairy-tales to the subject 

In Devonshire, England, it was formerly believed lucky to put 
a stUlbom child into an open grave, " as it was considered a sure 
passport to heaven for the next person buried there." In the 
Border country, on the other hand, it is unlucky to tread on the 
graves of unbaptized children, and " he who steps on the grave 
of a stillborn or imbaptized child, or of one who has been 
overlaid by its nurse, subjects himself to the fatal disease of 
the grave-merels, or grave-scab." In connection with this belief, 
Henderson cites the following popular verses, of considerable 
antiquity : — 

" Woe to the babie that ne'er saw the snn, 
All alane and alane, oh ! 
His bodie shall lie in the kirk 'neath the rain. 
All alane and alane, oh ! 

" His grave must be diig at the foot o' the wall. 
All alane and alane, oh ! 
And the foot that treadeth his body upon 
Shall have scab that will eat to the bane, oh ! 

"And it ne'er will be cnred by doctor on earth, 
Tho' every one should tent him, oh ! 
He shall tremble and die like the elf-shot eye. 
And return from whence he came, oh I" (469. 13). 

356 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Among the natives of the Andaman Islands, after a dead child 
has been buried and the parents have mourned for about three 
months, the remains are exhumed, cleansed at the seashore by 
the father, and brought back to the hut, where the bones are 
broken up to make necklaces, which are distributed to friends 
and relatives as mementos. Moreover, " the mother, after paint- 
ing the skull with Jcdi-ob- [a mixture of yellow ochre, oil, etc.] 
and decorating it with small shells attached to pieces of string, 
hangs it round her neck with a netted chain, called rdb-. After 
the first few days her husband often relieves her by wearing it 
himself" (498. 74,75). 

According to Lumholtz, " a kind of mummy, dried by the aid 
of fire and smoke, is also found in Australia. Male children are 
most frequently prepared in this manner. The corpse is then 
packed into a bundle, which is carried for some time by the 
mother. She has it with her constantly, and at night sleeps with 
it at her side. After about six months, when nothing but the 
bones remain, she buries it in the earth. Full-grown men are 
sometimes treated in this manner, particularly the bodies of 
great heroes " (495. 278). 

Among the western Eskimo, " the mother who loses her nurs- 
ling places the poor * papoose ' in a beautifully ornamented box, 
which she fastens on her back and carries about her for a long 
while. Often she takes the miserable mummy in her arms and 
makes it a kind of toilette, disinfecting it, and removing the 
mouldiness " (523. 102). 

According to the traveller Lander, a woman of Yoruba, in 
Africa, " carries for some time a wooden figure of her lost child, 
and, when she eats, puts part of her food to its lips " ; and Catlin 
writes of the Mandan Indians : " They place the skulls of their 
dead in a circle. Each wife knows the skull of her former hus- 
band or child, and there seldom passes a day that she does not 
visit it with a dish of the best cooked food. . . . There is 
scarcely an hour in a pleasant day, but more or less of these 
women may be seen sitting or lying by the skull of their dead 
child or husband, talking to it in the most pleasant and endear- 
ing language they can use (as they were wont to do in former 
days), and seemingly getting an answer back " (Spencer, Princ. 
of Soc, 1882, I. 332, 326). 


The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 357 

Of the Nishinam Indians of California, Mr. Powers tells us : 
"Wheii a Nishinam wife is childless, her sympathizing female 
friends sometimes make out of grass a rude image of a baby, and 
tie it La a miniature baby-basket, according to the Indian custom. 
Some day, when the woman and her husband are not at home, 
they carry this grass baby and lay it in their ^ngwam. When 
she returns and finds it, she takes it up, holds it to her breast, 
pretends to nurse it, and sings it lullaby songs. All this is done 
as a kind of conjuration, which they hope will have the effect of 
causing the barren woman to become fertile " (519. 318). 

Of certain Indians of the northern United States we read, in 
the early years of the present century : '• The traders on the river 
St. Peters, Mississippi, report that some of them have seen in 
the possession of the Indians a petrified child, which they have 
often wished to purchase ; but the savages regard it as a deity, 
and no inducement could bribe them to part with it" (PhUos. 
Mag. XXIX., p. 5). 

Child- Worship. 

As Count D'Alviella has pointed out, we have in the apocryphal 
book of the Wisdom of Solomon the following interesting passage : 
"For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath 
made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him 
as a god, which was then a dead man; and delivered to those 
that were under him ceremonies and sacrifices." 

Mrs. Stevenson, in a Zuni tale of motherly affection, relates 
how, in crossing a river ia the olden time, the children clinging 
to their mothers were transformed into such ugly and mischiev- 
ous shapes that the latter let many of them fall into the river. 
Some held their children close, and on the other side these were 
restored to their natural forms. Those who had lost their chil- 
dren grieved and would not be comforted ; so two twin-brothers 
— sons of the sun, they are called — went beneath the waters of 
a lake to the dwelling of the children, who asked them to tell 
how it fared with their mothers. Their visitors told them of the 
grief and sorrow of the parents, whereupon the children said : 
"Tell our mothers we are not dead, but live and sing in this 
beautiful place, which is the home for them when they sleep. 
They will wake here and be always happy. And we are here to 

368 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

intercede with the sim, our father, that he may give to our people 
raia and the fruits of the earth, and all that is good for them." 
Since that time these children have been " worshipped as ances- 
tral gods, bearing the name of hok-ko " (358. 541). This reminds 
us strikingly of the great Redeemer, of whom it was said that 
he is "an Advocate for us with the Father," and who himself 
declared : " In my Father's house are many mansions ; if it were 
not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for 

In not a few mythologies we meet with the infant god in the 
arms of its mother or of some other woman. Of the goddess of 
pity in the Celestial Empire we read: "The Cliinese Lady of 
Mercy in her statues is invariably depicted as young, symmetri- 
cal, and beautiful. Sometimes she stands or sits alone. Some- 
times she holds an infant god in her lap. Sometimes she holds 
one, while a second plays about her knee. Another favourite 
picture and statue represents her standing on the head of a great 
serpent, with a halo about her face and brows, and spirits encir- 
cling her. In the sixth, she stands upon a crescent, awaiting a 
bird approaching her from the skies. In a seventh, she stands 
smiling at a beautiful child on the back of a water-buffalo. In 
an eighth, she is weeping for the sins of either humanity or the 
female portion of it. She is the patron saint of all her sex, and 
intercedes for them at the great throne of Heaven. She is a very 
old divinity. The Chinese themselves claim that she was wor- 
shipped six thousand years ago, and that she was the first deity 
made known to mankind. The brave Jesuit missionaries found 
her there, and it matters not her age ; she is a credit to herself 
and her sex, and aids in cheering the sorrowful and sombre lives 
of millions in the far East." We also find " the saintly infant 
Zen-zai, so often met with in the arms of female representations 
of the androgynous Kwanon." 

Mi". C. N. Scott, in his essay on the "Child-God in Art" (344), 
is hesitant to give to many mythologies any real child-worship or 
artistic concept of the child as god. Not even Rama and Krishna, 
or the Greek Eros, who had a sanctuary at Thespise in Boeotia, 
are beautiful, sweet, naive child-pictures ; much less even is 
Hercules, the infant, strangling the serpents, or Mercury run- 
ning off with the oxen of Admetus, or bacchic Dionysus. In 

The Child as Fetich, Deity, God. 359 

Egypt, in the eleventh or twelfth dynasty, we do find a family 
of gods', the triad, father (Amun), mother (Maut), child (Khuns). 
Mr. Scott follows Ruskin in declaring that classic Greek art gives 
no real child-concept; nor does Gothic art up to the thirteenth 
century, when the influence of Christianity made itself felt, that 
influence which made art lavish its genius upon the Madonna and 
the Santo Bambino — the Virgin and the Christ-Child. 

The Christ-Child. 

The holy thing that is to be born shall be called the Son of God. — Luke i. 35. 

There is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is anointed 
Lord. — Luke ii. 11. 

Great little Oile ! whose all-embracing birth 

Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth. — Richard Crashaw. 

Our Babe, to show his Godhead true. 

Can in his swaddling bands control the damned crew. — Milton. 

The heart of Nature feels the touch of Love ; 

And Angels sing : 

" The Child is King ! 
See in his heart the life we live above." — E. P. Gould. 

During the nineteen centuries that have elapsed since Jesus 
of Nazareth was born, art and music, eloquence and song, have 
expended their best talents in preserving forever to us some 
memories of the life and deeds of Him whose religion of love is 
winning the world. The treasures of intellectual genius have 
been lavished in the interpretation and promulgation of the faith 
that bears his name. At his shrine have worshipped the great 
and good of every land, and his name has penetrated to the utter- 
most ends of the earth. 

But in the brief record of his history that has come down to 
us, we read : " The common people heard him gladly " ; and to 
these, his simple life, with its noble consecration and unselfish 
aims, appealed immeasurably more even than to the greatest and 
wisest of men. This is evident from a glance into the lore that 
has grown up among the folk regarding the birth, life, and death 
of the Christ. Those legends and beliefs alone concern us here 
which cluster round his childhood, — the tribute of the lowly 


The Christ -Child. 861 

and the unlearned to the great world-child, who was to usher in 
the Age of Gold, to him whom they deemed Son of God and Son 
of Man, divinely human, humanly divine, 

Nature and the Christ-Binh. 

The old heathen mythologies and the lore of the ruder races of 
our own day abound in tales of the strange and wonderful events 
that happened during the birth, passion, and death of their heroes 
and divinities. Europe, Africa, Asia, America, and the Isles of 
the Sea, bring us a vast store of folk-thought telling of the sym- 
pathy of Mother Nature with her children; how she mourned 
when they were sad or afflicted, rejoiced when they were fortu- 
nate and happy. And so has it been, in later ages and among 
more civilized peoples, with the great good who have made their 
influence felt in the world, — the poets, musicians, artists, seers, 
geniuses of every kind, who learned to read some of the secrets 
of the universe and declared them unto men. They were a part 
of Nature herself, and she heralded their coming graciously and 
wept over them when they died. This deep feeling of kinship 
with all Nature pervades the writings of many of our greatest 
poets, who "live not in themselves," but are become "a portion 
of that around them." In the beautiful words of Scott : — 

" Call it not vain ; they do not err 
Who say, that, when the poet dies, 
Mute Nature mourns her worshipper, 
And celebrates his obsequies ; 
Who say, tall cliff, and cavern lone, 
For the departed bard make moan ; 
That mountains weep in crystal rill ; 
That flowers in tears of balm distil ; 
Through his loved groves the breezes sigh, 
And oaks, in deeper gi-oan, reply ; 
And rivers teach their rushing wave 
To murmur dirges round his grave." 

And with a holier fervour, even, are all things animate and 
inanimate said to feel the birth of a great poet, a hero, a genius, 
a prophet ; all Nature thrills with joy at his advent and makes 
known her satisfaction with the good that has fallen to the lot 

362 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

of earth. With such men, as Goethe said, Nature is in eternal 
league, watching, waiting for their coming. 

How Nature must have rejoiced on that auspicious day, nine- 
teen centuries ago, when the Messiah, long looked for, long 
expected, came! The sacred historians tell us that the carol 
of angels heralded his birth and the bright star in the East led 
the wise men to the modest manger where he lay. Never had 
there been such gladness abroad in the world since 

" The morning stars sang together. 
And all the sons of God shouted for joy." 

Shakespeare, in Hamlet, — a play in which so many items of 
folk-lore are to be found, — makes Marcellus say : — 

" It faded on the crowing of the cock. 
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes 
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, 
The bird of dawning singeth all night long : 
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad ; 
The nights are wholesome ; then no planets strike, 
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, 
So hallow' d and so gracious is the time," 

to which Horatio replies ; — 

'* So have I heard, and do in part believe it." 

This belief in the holy and gracious season of the birth of 
Christ, — a return to the old ideas of the Golden Age and the 
kinship of all Nature, — finds briefest expression in the Monte- 
negrin saying of Christmas Eve: "To-night, Earth is blended 
with Paradise." According to Bosnian legend, at the birth of 
Christ : " The sun in the East bowed down, the stars stood still, 
the mountains and the forests shook and touched the earth with 
their summits, and the green pine tree bent ; heaven and earth 
were bowed," And when Simeon took the Holy Child from the 
mother's arms : — 

" The sun leaped in the heavens and the stars around it danced. 
A peace came over mountain and forest. Even the rotten stump 
stood straight and healthy on the green mountain-side. The 
grass was beflowered with opening blossoms, and incense sweet 
as myrrh pervaded upland and forest, and birds sang on the 

The Chnst-Child. 363 

mountain-top, and all gave thanks to the great God" (Macmil- 
lan's Mag., Vol. XLIII., p. 362). 

Eelics of the same thoughts crop out from a thousand Christ- 
mas songs and carols in every country of Europe, and in myriads 
of folk-songs and sayings in every language of the Continent. 

And in those southern lands, where, even more than with us, 
religion and love are inseparable, the environment of the Christ- 
birth is transferred to the beloved of the human heart, and, as 
the Tuscans sing in their stomelU (415. 104) : — 

'* Qaando nascesti tu, nacque im bel fiore ; 
La luna si fermo di camminare, 
Le stelle si cambiaron di colore," 

in Mrs. Busk's translation : — 

" Thy birth, Love, was the birth of a fair flower ; 
The moon her course arrested at that hour. 
The stars were then arrayed in a new colour," 

SO, in other lands, has the similitude of the Golden Age of Love 
and the Golden Time of Christmas been elaborated and adorned 
by all the genius of the nameless folk-poets of centuries past. 

FoUc-Lore of Christmas Tide. 

Scottish folk-lore has it that Christ was bom " at the hour of 
midnight on Christmas Eve,'' and that the miracle of turning 
water into wine was performed by Him at the same hour (246. 
160). There is a belief current in some parts of Germany that 
"between eleven and twelve the night before Cliristmas water 
turns to wine " ; in other districts, as at Bielefeld, it is on Christ- 
mas night that this change is thought to take place (462. IV. 1779). 

This hour is also auspicious for many actions, and in some sec- 
tions of Germany it was thought that if one would go to the 
cross-roads between eleven and twelve on Christmas Day, and 
listen, he "would hear what most concerns him in the coming 
year." Another belief is that "if one walks into the winter- 
corn on Holy Christmas Eve, he will hear all that will happen 
in the village that year." 

Christmas Eve or Christmas is the time when the oracles of 
the folk are in the best working-order, especially the many proc- 

364 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

esses by whicli maidens are wont to discover the colour of their 
lover's hair, the beauty of his face and form, his trade and occu- 
pation, whether they shall marry or not, and the like. 

The same season is most auspicious for certain ceremonies and 
practices (transferred to it from the heathen antiquity) of the 
peasantry of Europe in relation to agriculture and allied indus- 
tries. Among those noted by Grimm are the following : — 

On Christmas Eve thrash the garden with a flail, with only 
your shirt on, and the grass will grow well next year. 

Tie wet strawbands around the orchard trees on Christmas Eve 
and it will make them fruitful. 

On Christmas Eve put a stone on every tree, and they will bear 
the more (462. IV. 1790-1825). 

Beat the trees on Christmas night, and they will bear more 
fruit (448. 337). 

In Herefordshire, Devonshire, and Cornwall, in England, the 
farmers and peasantry " salute the apple-trees on Christmas Eve," 
and in Sussex they used to "worsle," i.e. "wassail," the apple- 
trees and chant verses to them in somewhat of the primitive 
fashion (448. 219). 

Some other curious items of Christmas folk-lore are the follow- 
ing, current chiefly in Germany (462. IV. 1779-1824) : — 

If after a Christmas dinner you shake out the table-cloth over 
the bare ground under the open sky, crumb-wort will grow on the 

If on Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, you hang a wash-clout 
on a hedge, and then groom the horses with it, they will grow fat. 

As often as the cock crows on Christmas Eve, the quarter of 
corn will be as dear. 

If a dog howls the night before Christmas, it will go mad within 
the year. 

If the light is let go out on Christmas Eve, some one in the 
house will die. 

When lights are brought in on Christmas Eve, if any one's 
shadow has no head, he will die within a year ; if half a head, 
in the second half-year. 

If a hoop comes off a cask on Christmas Eve, some one in the 
house will die that year. 

If on Christmas Eve you make a little heap of salt on the 

The Christ-Child. 365 

table, and it melts over night, you will die the next year ; if, in 
the morning, it remain undiminished, you will live. 

Tf you wear something sewed with thread spun on Christmas 
Eve, no vermin will stick to you. 

If a shirt be spun, woven, and sewed by a pure, chaste maiden 
on Christmas Day, it will be proof against lead or steel. 

If you are born at sermon-time on Christmas morning, you can 
see spirits. 

If you bum elder on Christmas Eve, you will have revealed to 
you all the witches and sorcerers of the neighbourhood (448. 319). 

If you steal hay the night before Christmas, and give the cattle 
some, they thrive, and you are not caught in any future thefts. 

If you steal anything at Christmas without being caught, you 
can steal safely for a year. 

If you eat no beans on Christmas Eve, you will become an ass. 

If you eat a raw eg^, fasting, on Christmas morning, you can 
carry heavy weights. 

The crumbs saved up on three Christmas Eves are good to give 
as physic to one who is disappointed (462. IV. 1788-1801). 

It is unlucky to carry anything forth from the house on Christ- 
mas morning until something has been brought in. 

It is unlucky to give a neighbour a live coal to kindle a fire 
with on Christmas morning. 

If the fire burns brightly on Christmas morning, it betokens 
prosperity during the year ; if it smoulders, adversity (246. 160). 

These, and many other practices, ceremonies, beliefs, and super- 
stitions, which may be read in Grimm (462), Gregor (246), Hen- 
derson (469), De Gubernatis (427, 428), Ortwein (315), Tilte (370), 
and others who have written of Christmas, show the importance 
attached in the folk-mind to the time of the birth of Christ, and 
how around it as a centre have fixed themselves hundreds of the 
rites and solemnities of passing heathendom, with its recognition 
of the kiaship of all nature, out of which gi-ew astrology, magic, 
and other pseudo-sciences. 

Flowers of the Christ-Child. 

Many flowers are believed to have first sprung into being or to 
have first burst into blossom at the moment when Christ was 
bom, or very near that auspicious hour. 

366 The Child in Folk -Thought 

The Sicilian children, so Folkard tells us, put pennyroyal in 
their cots on Christmas Eve, " under the belief that at the exact 
hour and minute when the infant Jesus was born this plant puts 
forth its blossom." Another belief is that the blossoming occurs 
again on Midsummer Night (448. 492). 

In the East the Rose of Jericho is looked upon with favour by 
women with child, for " there is a cherished legend that it first 
blossomed at our Saviour's birth, closed at the Crucifixion, and 
opened again at Easter, whence its name of Resurrection Flower " 
(448. 528). 

Gerarde, the old herbalist, tells us that the black hellebore is 
called " Christ's Herb," or " Christmas Herb," because it " flow- 
reth about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ " (448. 281). 

Certain varieties of the hawthorn also were thought to blos- 
som on Christmas Day. The celebrated Abbey of Glastonbury 
in England possessed such a thorn-tree, said to have sprung from 
the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, when he stuck it into the 
ground, in that part of England, which he is represented as hav- 
ing converted. The " Glastonbury Thorn " was long believed to 
be a convincing witness to the truth of the Gospel by blossoming 
without fail every Christmas Day (448. 352, 353). 

Many plants, trees, and flowers owe their peculiarities to their 
connection with the birth or the childhood of Christ. The Orni- 
thogalum umbellatum is called the " Star of Bethlehem," according 
to Folkard, because "its white stellate flowers resemble the pic- 
tures of the star that indicated the birth of the Saviour of man- 
kind" (448. 553). The Galium verum, "Our Lady's Bedstraw," 
receives its name from the belief that the manger in which the 
infant Jesus lay was filled with this plant (448. 249). 

The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt has attracted to it as 
a centre a large group of legends belonging to this category, many 
of which are to be found in Folkard and Busk. 

Of a certain tree, with leaves like the sensitive plant, in Arabia, 
we read that this peculiarity arose from the fact that when near 
the city of Heliopolis "Joseph led the dromedary that bore the 
blessed Mother and her Divine Son, under a neighbouring tree, and 
as he did so, the green branches bent over the group, as if paying 
homage to their Master." 

Near Mataria there was said to be a sycamore- tree, called " the 

The Christ -Child. 367 

Tree of Jesus and Mary," which gave shelter at nightfall to the 
Holy Family, and to this fact the Mohammedans are reported 
to attribute the great longevity and verdure of the sycamore 
(448. 558). 

A widespread tradition makes the "Rose of Jericho," called 
also "St. Mary's Eose," spring up on every spot where the Holy 
Family rested on their way to Egypt. The juniper owes the 
extraordinary powers with which it is credited in the popular 
mind to the fact that it once saved the life of the Virgin and the 
infant Christ. The same kind offices have been attributed to the 
hazel-tree, the fig, the rosemary, the date-palm, etc. Among 
the many legends accounting for the peculiarity of the aspen there 
is one, preserved in Germany, which attributes it to the action of 
this tree when the Holy Family entered the dense forest in which 
it stood (448. 230) : — 

"As they entered this wilderness, all the trees bowed them- 
selves down in reverence to the infant God ; only the Aspen, in 
her exceeding pride and arrogance, refused to acknowledge Him, 
and stood upright." In consequence of this "the Holy Child 
pronounced a curse against her . . . ; and, at the sound of His 
words, the Aspen began to tremble through all her leaves, and 
has not ceased to tremble to this day." According to a Sicilian 
legend, " the form of a hand is to be seen in the interior of the 
fruit of the pine," representing " the hand of Jesus blessing the 
tree which had saved Him during the flight into Egypt by screen- 
ing Him and His mother from Herod's soldiers " (448. 496). 

We have from Rome the following tradition (415. 173) : — 

" One day the Madonna was carrying the Bambino through a 
lupine-field, and the stalks of the lupines rustled so, that she 
thougm; it was a robber coming to kill the Santo Bambino. She 
turned, and sent a malediction over the lupine-field, and immedi- 
ately the lupines all withered away, and fell flat and dry on the 
ground, so that she could see there was no one hidden there. 
When she saw there was no one hidden there, she sent a blessing 
over the lupine-field, and the lupines all stood straight up again, 
fair and flourishing, and with ten-fold greater produce than they 
had at first." In a Bolognese legend the lupines are cursed by 
the Virgin, because, " by the clatter and noise they made, certain 
plants of this species drew the attentions of Herod's minions to 

368 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

the spot where the tired and exhausted travellers had made a brief 
halt" (448. 473). Another tradition, found over almost all Italy, 
says that when the Holy Family were fleeing from the soldiers of 
King Herod : — 

" The brooms and the chick-peas began to rustle and crackle, 
and by this noise betrayed the fugitives. The flax bristled up. 
Happily for her, Mary was near a juniper; the hospitable tree 
opened its branches as arms and enclosed the Virgin and Child 
within their folds, aft'ording them a secure hiding-place. Then 
the Virgin uttered a malediction against the brooms and the chick- 
peas, and ever since that day they have always rustled and 
crackled." The story goes on to tell us that the Virgin "par- 
doned the flax its weakness, and gave the juniper her blessing," 
which accounts for the use of the latter for Christmas decora- 
tions, — like the holly in England and France (448. 395). 

Birds of the Christ-Child. 

Several birds are associated with the infant Christ in the folk- 
lore of Europe and the East. In Normandy, the Avren is called 
Poulette de Dieu, Oiseau de Dieu, "God's Chicken," " God's Bird," 
— corresponding to the old Scotch "Our Lady's Hen," — because, 
according to legend, " she was present at the birth of the Infant 
Saviour, made her nest in his cradle, and brought moss and 
feathers to form a coverlet for the Holy Child " (539. 35). 

A Tyrolian folk-tale informs us that in days of yore the ravens 
were "beautiful birds with plumage white as snow, which they 
kept clean by constant washing in a certain stream." It hap- 
pened, once upon a time, that " the Holy Child, desiring to drink, 
came to this stream, but the ravens prevented him by splashing 
about and befouling the water. Whereupon he said : ' Ungrate- 
ful birds ! Proud you may be of your beauty, but your feathers, 
now so snowy white, shall become black and remain so till the 
judgment day!'" In consequence of their imcharitable action 
have the ravens continued black ever since (539. 92). 

In his childhood Christ is often represented as playing with 
the other little Jewish children. One Sabbath day He and His 
playmates amused themselves by making birds out of clay, and 
after the children had been playing a while, a Sadducee chanced 

The Christ-Child. 369 

to pass that way. The story goes on to tell that " He was very 
old aird very zealous, and he rebuked the children for spending 
their Sabbath in so profane an employment. And he let it not 
rest at chiding alone, but went to the clay birds and broke them 
all, to the great grief of the children. Now, when Christ saw 
this. He waved His hands over all the birds He had fashioned, 
and they became forthwith alive, and soared up into the heavens " 
(539. 181). From Swainson we learn that in the Icelandic version 
of the legend the birds are thought to have been the golden plover 
"whose note 'deerin' sounds like to the Iceland word 'dyrdhin,' 
namely * glory,' for these birds sing praise to their Lord, for in 
that He mercifully saved them from the merciless hand of the 

A Danish legend, cited by Swainson, accounts for the peculiar 
cry of the lapwing, which sounds like "Klyf ved! klyf ved!" 
i.e. " Cleave wood ! cleave wood ! " as follows (539. 185) : — 

" When our Lord was a wee bairn. He took a walk out one day, 
and came to an old crone who was busy baking. She desired 
Him to go and split her a little wood for the oven, and she woiild 
give Him a new cake for His trouble. He did as He was bid, 
and the old woman went on with her occupation, sundering a very 
small portion of the dough for the promised recompense. But 
when the batch was drawn, this cake was equally large with the 
rest. So she took a new morsel of the dough still less than 
before, and made and baked another cake, but with the like result. 
Hereupon she broke out with * That's a vast overmuckle cake for 
the likes o' you; thee's get thy cake anither time.' "When our 
Lord saw her evil disposition. His wrath was stirred, and He said 
to the woman: 'I split your wood as you asked me, and you 
would not so much as give me the little cake you promised me. 
Now you shall go and cleave wood, and that, too, as long as the 
world endures ! ' With that he changed her into a weep (inpa) 

Among the many legends of Isa, as Jesus is called by the 
Moslems, current among the Mohammedan peoples is a variant 
of the story of the clay-birds, as follows : " When Isa was seven 
years old, he and his companions made images in clay of birds 
and beasts, and Isa, to show his superiority, caused his images 
to fly and walk at his command." Clouston informs us that this 


370 The Child in Folh-Thought. 

story is also found in the Gospel of the Pseudo-Matthew, and in 
that of the Infancy (422. II. 408). 

In Champagne, France, legend makes the cuckoo to have issued 
from a Christmas log (462. I. 113), and in a Latin poem of the 
Middle Ages we are told that " the crossbill hatches its eggs at 
Christmas and the young birds fly in full plumage at Easter " 
(539. 67). 


At Christmas certain animals become more human, or express 
their joy at the birth of Christ in unmistakable fashion. 

There was an old Scottish belief that " at the exact hour of the 
Saviour's birth bees in their hive emitted a buzzing sound " (246. 
147). According to a Breton folk-tale the ox and the ass can 
converse for a single hour, " between eleven and twelve on Christ- 
mas night." At the same hour, in German folk-lore, all cattle 
stand up ; another version, however, makes them devoutly kneel 
(462. IV. 1481). 

Among the animals which folk-thought has brought into con- 
nection with the Christ-Child is the horse. A Russian legend 
tells us that the flesh of the horse is deemed unclean because 
"when the infant Saviour was hidden in the manger, the horse 
kept eating the hay under which the babe was concealed, whereas 
the ox not only would not touch it, but brought back hay on its 
horns to replace what the horse had eaten " (520. 334). From a 
Spanish-American miracle-play, we learn that the oxen and asses 
around the manger kept the little babe warm with their breath. 

In Ireland the following folk-beliefs obtain regarding the ass 
and the cow : — 

" Joseph and Mary fled into Egypt with the infant Jesus, on 
an ass. Since that date the ass has had a cross on its back. 
This same ass returned to Nazareth seven years later with them 
on its back, travelling in the night, since which time it has been 
the wisest of all animals ; it was made sure-footed for Christ to 
ride on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and it remains the 
most sure-footed of all beasts. The ass and cow are looked upon 
as sacred, because these animals breathed upon the infant Jesus in 
the manger and kept the child warm. Old women sprinkle holy 
water on these animals to drive away disease " (480 (1893) 264). 

The Christ-Child. 371 

In I Henry IV. (Act IL Sc. 4) Falstaff says : "The lion will not 
touch the true Prince," and the divinity which hedged about the 
princes of human blood was ever present with the son of Joseph 
and Mary, whose divinity sprang from a purer, nobler fount than 
that of weak humanity. 

The Holy Family. 

We have several word-pictures of the Holy Family from the 
mouth of the folk. Among the hymns sung by the Confraterni- 
ties of the Virgin in Seville, is one in which occurs the following 
figure (Catholic World, XXIV. 19): — 

" Es Maria la nave de gracia, 
San Jos6 la vela, el Xino el timon ; 
Y los remos son las buenas almas 
Que van al Rosario con gran devocion." 

£" Mary is the ship of grace, 
St Joseph is the sail. 
The Child (Jesus) is the helm. 
And the oars are the pious souls who devoutly pray."] 

One of the little Italian songs called razzi neddu, recorded by 
Mrs. Busk, is even briefer : — 

*' Maruzza lavava, 
Giuseppe stinnia, 
Gesu si stricava 
Ca minna vulia." 

[*' Sweet Mary was washing, 

Joseph was hanging out the clothes to dry, 
Jesus was stretching Himself on the ground. 
For so His mother willed."] 

A popular Spanish lullaby recorded by De Gubematis in his 
great study of birth customs and usages, runs as follows in trans- 
lation (500. 310): — 

"The Baby Child of Mary, 
Now cradle He has none ; 
His father is a carpenter. 
And he shall make Him one. 

372 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

" The Lady, good St. Anna, 
The Lord St. Joachim, 
They rock the Baby's cradle, 
That sleep may come to Him. 

" Then sleep, thou too, my baby, 
My little heart so dear ; 
The Virgin is beside thee, 
The Son of God is near." 

Among the many versions and variants of the familiar child's 
prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep," cited by the Countess 
Martinengo-Cesaresco (500. 202-213), is to be included the fol- 
lowing, found among the Greeks of the Terra d'Otranto, in 
Italy : — 

" I lay me down to sleep in my little bed ; I lay me down to 
sleep with my Mamma Mary ; the Mamma Mary goes hence and 
leaves me Christ to keep me company." 

Some of the most naive legends are those which deal with the 
Child and His mother in the early years of life. " Our Lady's 
Thistle" (Cardims Marianus) receives its name "because its green 
leaves have been spotted white ever since the milk of the Virgin 
fell upon it, when she was nursing Jesus, and endowed it with mi- 
raculous virtues." A German tradition tells the same story of the 
Polypodium vulgare (Marienmilch), based upon an older legend of 
the goddess Freia, many of whose attributes, with the lapse of 
heathendom, passed over to the central female figure of Chris- 
tianity (448. 499). A similar origin of the white lily from the 
milk of Juno is given in Greek mythology (462. IV. 1671). 

In Devonshire, the custom of burning a faggot of ash at Christ- 
mas, is traced back to the fact that " the Divine Infant at Beth- 
lehem was first washed and dressed by a fire of ash-wood " 
(448. 235). 

In Spain the rosemary is believed to blossom on the day of 
Christ's passion, and the legend accounting for this tells us that 
"the Virgin Mary spread on a shrub of rosemary the under- 
linen and little frocks of the infant Jesus." The peasantry 
believe that rosemary "brings happiness on those families who 
employ it in perfuming the house on Christmas night" (448. 

The Christ-Child. 373 

Joseph and Mary. 

The suspicions entertained by Joseph (as indicated in the nar- 
rative of St. Matthew i. 19), when the birth of the child of 
Mary was first announced, have found deep expression in folk- 
thought. According to one Oriental legend, the infant Christ 
himself spoke, declaring that "God had created Him by His 
word, and chosen Him to be His servant and prophet " (547. 254). 

Another tradition, cited by Folkard, states that (448. 279): 
" Before the birth of our Saviour, the Virgin Mary longed ex- 
tremely to taste of some tempting cherries which hung upon a 
tree high above her head ; so she requested Joseph to pluck them. 
Joseph, however, not earing to take the trouble, refused to gather 
the cherries, saying sullenly, * Let the father of thy child present 
thee with the cherries if he will ! ' No sooner had these words 
escaped his lips, than, as if in reproof, the branch of the cherry -tree 
bowed spontaneously to the Virgin's hand, and she gathered its 
fruit and ate it. Hence the cherry is dedicated to the Virgin !Mary." 

In Finland the white side of the flounder " is said to have been 
caused by the Virgin Mary's laying her hand upon it," and an 
Eastern legend states that " the Angel Gabriel restored a sole to 
life, to assure the Virgin Mary of the truth of the miraculous 
conception." Ralston cites from the Kherson Government in 
Russia the following : — 

" At the time of the Angelic Salutation, the Blessed Virgin told 
the Archangel Gabriel that she would give credit to his words, if 
a fish, one side of which had already been eaten, were to come to 
life again. That moment the fish came to life, and was put back 
into the water." This legend, accounting for the shape of the 
sole, finds perhaps its origin in " the old Lithuanian tradition that 
the Queen of the Baltic Sea once ate half of it and threw the 
other half into the sea again " — another example of the transfer- 
ence of older stories to the cycle of the Virgin Mary (520. 334). 

De Gubernatis records from Andalusia, in Spain, a legend 
which tells how the Holy Family, journeying one day, came to 
an orange-tree guarded by an eagle. The Virgin " begged of it 
one of the oranges for the Holy Child. The eagle miraculously 
fell asleep, and the Virgin thereupon plucked not one but three 
oranges, one of which she gave to the infant Jesus, another to 

374 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Joseph, and the third she kept for herself. Then, and not till 
then, the eagle that guarded the orange-tree awoke " (448. 478). 

A beautiful pendant to this Spanish tale is found in the Kou- 
manian story cited by Folkard : — 

" The infant Jesus, in the arms of the Blessed Virgin, becomes 
restless, will not go to sleep, and begins to cry. The Virgin, to 
calm the Holy Child, gives Him two apples. The infant throws 
one upwards and it becomes the Moon; He then throws the 
second, and it becomes the Sun. After this exploit, the Virgin 
Mary addresses Him and foretells that He will become the Lord 
of Heaven" (448.222). 

In his recent book on Childhood in Literature and Art, Mr. 
Scudder treats of the Christ-Child and the Holy Family in med- 
iaeval and early Christian art and literature (350. 57-65, 83-99), 
calling special attention to a series of twelve prints executed in the 
Netherlands, known as The Infancy of our Lord God and Saviour, 
Jesus Christ, in which we have " a reproduction of the childhood 
of the Saviour in the terms of a homely Netherland family life, 
the naturalistic treatment diversified by the use of angelic ma- 
chinery " (350. 91). 

Moslem Lore of the CJirist. 

In the Toldoth Jesu, which Clouston terms " a scurrilous Jew- 
ish 'Life of Christ,'" — the Hebrew text with a Latin trans- 
lation and explanatory notes, appeared at Leyden in 1705, under 
the title HistoricB Jeschuce Nazareni, — the many wonders admitted 
to have been performed by Christ are ascribed to his "having 
abstracted from the Temple the Ineffable Name and concealed it 
in his thigh," — an idea thought to be of Indian origin. Clouston 
goes so far as to say : " Legends of the miracles of 'Isa, son of 
Maryam, found in the works of Muslim writers, seem to have been 
derived from the Kuran, and also from early Christian, or rather 
gitasi-Christian traditions, such as those in the apocryphal gos- 
pels, which are now for the most part traceable to Buddhist 
sources." One belief of the Mohammedans was that " the breath 
of the Messiah had the virtue of restoring the dead to life" 
(422. 11. 395, 408, 409). 

In the first volume of the Orientalist, Muhammed Casim Siddi 
Lebbe gives an account of the views of Arabian writers regarding 

The Christ -Child. 375 

the Virgin Mary and Jesus. "Weil has also devoted a section of 
his work on Mussulman legends to "John, Mary, and Christ." 
When the child Jesus was bom, we are told, the withered trunk 
of a date tree against which the Virgin leaned, " blossomed, and 
its withered branches were covered with fresh dates," while " a 
fountain of fresh water gushed forth from the earth at her feet " 
(547. 249-264). 

The Christ-Child To-day. 

Folk-stories and churchly legends tell us that the Christ-Child 
still walks the earth, and appears unto the saints and sinners 
of this world. 

Folkard reports a tradition from the Havel country in North 
Germany : — 

" One Christmas Eve a peasant felt a great desire to eat cab- 
bage and, having none himself, he slipped into a neighbour's 
garden to cut some. Just as he had filled his basket, the Christ- 
Child rode past on his white horse, and said : ' Because thou hast 
stolen on the holy night, thou shalt immediately sit in the moon 
with thy basket of cabbage.' " And so, we are told, " the culprit 
was immediately wafted up to the moon," and there he can still 
be seen as " the man in the moon " (448. 265). 

Brewer gives many of the churchly legends in which the Christ- 
Child appears to men and women upon earth, either in the arms 
of the Virgin, as he came to St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano and 
to Jeanne Marie de Maille, or as a glorious child, in which form 
he appeared alone to St. Alexander and Quirinus the tribune, in 
the reign of Hadrian ; to St. Andrew Corsini, to call him to the 
bishopric of Fiesole ; to St. Anthony of Padua, many times ; to 
St. Cuthbert, to rebuke him (a child of eight years) for wasting 
his time in play ; to St. Emiliana of Florence, with the same pur- 
pose ; to St. Oxanna, and to St. Veronica of Milan (191. 59, 60). 

Among the rude peasantry of Catholic Europe belief in the 
visitations of the Christ-Child lingers, especially at the season of 
His birth- "With them, as Milton thought, — 

" Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth." 

Yet not unseen, but seen often of the good and wise, the simple 
and innocent, and greatest of these visitants of earth is the Child 
Jesus, ever occupied about His Father's business. 


Proveebs, Sayings, etc., about Parents, Father and 


1. Be a father to virtue, but a father-in-law to vice. 

2. Bread is our father, but kasha [porridge] is our mother. 

— Russian. 

3. Call not that man wretched, who, whatever ills he suffers, 
has a child he loves. — Southey. 

4. Children suck the mother when they are young, and the 
father when they are old. 

6. Children see in their parents the past, they again in their 
children the future ; and if we find more love in parents for their 
children than in children for their parents, this is sad and natu- 
ral. Who does not fondle his hopes more than his recollections ? 

— Eotvos. 

6. Choose a good mother's daughter, though her father were 
the devil. — Gaelic. 

7. Die Menschheit geben uns Vater und Mutter, die Mensch- 
lichkeit aber gibt uns nur die Erziehung. [Human nature we 
owe to father and mother, but humanity to education alone.] 

— Weber. 

8. Die Mutter geben uns von Geiste Warme, und die Vater 
Licht. [Our mothers give us warmth of spirit ; our fathers, light.] 

— Jean Paul. 

9. Die Mutter sagt es, der Vater glaubt es, ein Narr zweifelt 
daran. [The mother says it, the father believes it, the fool doubts 
it.] — Pistorius. 

10. Dos est magna parentum Virtus. [The virtue of parents is 
a great dowry.] — Horace. 

11. En olle kan beter sofen kinner erneren, as sofen kinner gn 


Proverbs of Parenthood. 377 

olle. [A parent can more easily maintain seven children than seven 
children" one parent.] — Low Germayi. 

12. Fader og Moder ere gode, end er Gud bedre. [Father and 
mother are kind, but God is better.] — Danish. 

13. He knows not what love is that hath no children. 

14. He that loveth father and mother more than me is not 
worthy of me. — Jesus. 

15. If poverty is the mother of crimes, want of sense is the 
father of them. — La Bruy^re. 

16. Keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law 
of thy mother. — Bible. 

17. La buena vida padre y madre olvida. pProsperity forgets 
father and mother.] — Spanish. 

18. Laus magna natis obsequi parentibus. [Great praise comes 
to children for having complied with the wishes of their parents.] 

— Phcedrus. 

19. Look at home, father priest, mother priest ; your church is 
a hundred-fold heavier responsibility than mine can be. Your 
priesthood is from God's own hands. — Henry Ward Beecher. 

20. One mother is more venerable than a thousand fathers. 

— La ics of Man u. 

21. Parents are the enemies of their children, if they refuse 
them education. — Eastern Proverb. 

22. Parents' blessings can neither be drowned in water, nor 
consumed in fire. 

23. Parents we can have but once. — Dr. Johnson. 

24. Parents say : " Our boy is growing up." They forget his 
life is shortening. — Afghan. 

25. Eespect for one's parents is the highest duty of civil life. 

— CJiinese. 

26. The bazaar knows neither father nor mother. — Turkish. 

27. The crow says : " my son, whiter than muslin." — Afghan. 

28. The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey 
his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the 
young eagles shall eat it. — Bible. 

29. The house of the childless is empty; and so is the heart of 
him that hath no wife. — Hitopadesa. 

30. The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and 
fears. — Bacon. 

878 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

31. These are my jewels. — Cornelia {mother of the Gracchi). 

32. They who have lost an infant are never, as it were, without 
an infant child. — Leigh Hunt. 

33. To a father, when his child dies, the future dies ; to a child, 
when his parents die, the past dies. — Auerbach. 

34. To make a boy despise his mother's care is the straightest 
way to make him also despise his Redeemer's voice ; and to make 
him scorn his father and his father's house, the straightest way 
to make him deny his God and his God's heaven. — Ruskin. 

35. Unworthy offspring brag most of their worthy descent. 

— Danish. 

36. Vom Vater hab' ich die Statur, 

Des Lebens ernstes Ftlhren ; 
Von Miitterchen die Frohnatur 

Und Lust zu fabulieren. 
[My father's stature I possess 
And life's more solemn glory ; 
My mother's fund of cheerfulness. 

Her love for song and story.] — Goethe. 

37. Was der Mutter an's Herz geht, das geht dem Vater nur 
an die Kniee. [What goes to the mother's heart goes only to the 
father's knees.] — German. 

38. Wer nicht Kinder hat, der weiss nicht, warum er lebt. 
[Who has not children knows not why he lives.] — German. 

39. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be 
put out in obscure darkness. — Bible. 

40. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith. It is 
no transgression, the same is the companion of a destroyer. 

— Bible. 


Proverbs, Sayings, etc., abotjt the Child, Mankind, 
Genius, etc. 

1. Argument is like an arrow from a cross-bow, which has 
great force, though shot by a child. — Bacon. 

2. Childhood often holds a truth in its feeble fingers, which 
the grasp of manhood cannot retain, and which it is the pride of 
utmost age to recover. — Buskin. 

3. Children always turn toward the light. — Hare. 

4. Der grosste Mensch bleibt stets ein Menschenkind. [The 
greatest man always remains a son of man.] — Goethe. 

5. Dieu aide a trois sortes de personnes, — aux fous, aux 
enf ants, et aux ivrognes. [God protects three sorts of people, — 
fools, children, and drunkards.] — French. 

6. Enfants et fous sont devins. [Children and fools are sooth- 
sayers.] — French. 

7. Every child is, to a certain extent, a genius, and every 
genius is, to a certain extent, a child. — Schopenhauer. 

8. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye 
cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. — Jesus. 

9. Eede ed innocenzia son reperte 
Solo ne' pargoletti. 

[Faith and innocence we find 
Only in the children's mind.] — Dante. 

10. Genius is the power of carrying the feelings of childhood 
into the powers of manhood. — Coleridge. 

11. Genius must be born, and never can be taught. — Dryden. 

12. Genius should be the child of genius, and every child 
should be inspired. — Emerson. 


380 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

13. God is kind to fou [i.e. drunken] folk and bairns. — Scotch. 

14. God watches over little children and drunkards. 

— Russian. 

15. Heaven lies about us in our infancy. — Wordsworth. 

16. I love God and little children. — Jean Paul. 

17. If children grew up according to early indications, we 
should have nothing but geniuses. — Goethe. 

18. Infancy presents body and spirit in unity ; the body is all 
animated. — Coleridge. 

19. Ingenio non aetate adipiscitur sapientia. [Wisdom comes 
by nature, not by age.] — Latin. 

20. Kinder und Narren sprechen die Wahrheit. [Children and 
fools tell the truth.] — German. 

21. Kloke kinner ward nit old. [Wise children don't live long.] 

— Frisian. 

22. L'homme est toujours I'enfant, et I'enfant toujours I'homme. 
[The man is always the child, and the child is always the man.] 

— French. 

23. Mankind at large always resembles frivolous children ; they 
are impatient of thought, and wish to be amused. — Emerson. 

24. Men are but children of a larger growth ; 
Our appetites are apt to change as theirs. 

And full as craving, too, and full as vain. — Dryden. 

25. Men are unwiser than children; they do not know the 
hand that feeds them. — Carlyle. 

26. Men deal with life as children with their play, 

Who first misuse, then cast their toys away. — Coivper. 

27. Men fear death as children to go into the dark. — Bacon. 

28. Nature is full of freaks, and now puts an old head on 
young shoulders, and then a young heart beating under fourscore 
winters. — Emerson. 

29. Nothing is so intelligible to the child, nothing seems so 
natural to him as the marvellous or the supernatural. — Zacharid. 

30. Odi puerulos prsecoci ingenio. [I hate boys of precocious 
genius.] — Cicero. 

31. ov ol 6eoL (fnXovmv aTro6vrj(TK€L vios. [He whom the gods love 
dies young.] — Menander. 

32. Poeta nascitur, non fit. [A poet is born, not made.] 

— Latin. 

Proverbs of Child -Nature, 881 

33. Prophete rechts, Prophete links, 
Das Weltkind in der Mitten. 

[Prophets to right of him, prophets to left of him, 
The world-child in the middle.] — Goethe. 

34. So wise, so young, they say, do ne'er live long. 

— Shakespeare (Rich. III. ilL 1). 

35. Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them 
not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. — Jesus. 

36. The best architecture is the expression of the mind of man- 
hood by the hands of childhood. — Ruskin. 

37. The birth of a child is the imprisonment of a soul. 

— Simons. 

38. The boy's story is the best that is ever told. — Dickens. 

39. The child is father of the man. — Wordsworth. 

40. The childhood shows the man 

As morning shows the day. — Milton. 

41. The wisest doctor is gravelled by the inquisitiveness of a 
child. — Emerson. 

42. These moving things, ca'ed wife and weans, 
TVad move the very heart o' stanes. — Bums. 

43. They who have lost an infant are never, as it were, with- 
out an infant child. — Leigh Hunt. 

44. To be young is to be as one of the immortals. — HazlitL 

45. Wage du zu irren und zu traumen : 
Hoher Sinn liegt oft im kind'schen Spiel. 

[Dare thou to err and dream ; 
Oft deep sense a child's play holds.] — Schiller. 

46. Wer darf das Kind beim rechten Xamen nennen ? [AVho 
dare give the child its right name ?] — Goethe. 

47. Whilst we converse with what is above us, we do not grow 
old but grow young. — Emerson. 

48. Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little 
child, he shall not enter therein. — Jesus. 

49. Ye are but children. — Egyptian Priest (to Sd&n), 


Proverbs, Sayings, etc., about the Mother and 


1. A child may have too much of its mother's blessing. 

2. A kiss from my mother made me a painter. — Benj. West. 

3. Ama sinhesten, ezduenac, ain zuna. [Who does not follow 
his mother will follow his stepmother, i.e. who will not hear must 
feel.] — Basque. 

4. A mother curses not her son. — Sanskrit. 

5. An ounce o' mother-wit is worth a pound o' clergy. 

— Scotch. 

6. As if he had fallen out of his mother's mouth {i.e. so like 
his mother). — Low German. 

7. Barmherzige Mutter ziehen grindige Tochter. [Compas- 
sionate mothers bring up scabby daughters.] — German. 

8. Choose cloth by its edge, a wife by her mother. — Persian. 

9. Das Kind, das seine Mutter verachtet, hat einen stinkenden 
Atem. [The child that despises its mother has a fetid breath.] 

— German. 

10. Das Kind fallt wieder in der Mutter Schooss. [The child 
falls back into its mother's bosom.] — German. 

11. Das Kind folgt dem Busen. [The child follows the 
bosom.] — German. 

12. Die Mutter eine Hexe, die Tochter auch eine Hexe. 
[Mother a witch, daughter also a witch.] — German. 

13. Die Tochter ist wie die Mutter. [Like mother, like 
daughter.] — German. 

14. Es meinet jede Frau, ihr Kind sei ein Pfau. [Every 
woman thinks her child a peacock.] — German. 

15. Es ist kein' so bose Mutter, sie zohe gem ein frommes 


Mother and Child in Proverb. 383 

Kind. [There is no mother so bad but that she will bring up a 
good child.] — German. 

16. rieissige INIutter hat faule Tochter. [A diligent mother 
has a lazy daughter.] — German. 

17. God pardons Uke a mother who kisses the offence into 
everlasting forgetfulness. — Henry Ward Beecher. 

18. Happy is the boy whose mother is tired of talking non- 
sense to him before he is old enough to know the sense of it. 

— Hare. 

19. He deceives thee, who tells thee that he loves thee more 
than thy mother does. — Russian. 

20. He has faut [i.e. need] o' a wife that marries mam's pet. 

— Scotch. 

21. He that is bom of a hen must scrape for a living. 

22. I have always found that the road to a woman's heart lies 
through her child. — Haliburton. 

23. I would desire for a friend the son who never resisted the 
tears of his mother. — LacreteUe. 

24. If the world were put into one scale and my mother into 
the other, the world would kick the beam. — Lord Langdale. 

25. In a matter of life and death don't trust even your 
mother; she might mistake a black bean [nay] for a white 
one [yea]. — Alcibiades. 

26. 1st eine Mutter noch so arm, so giebt sie ihrem Kinde 
warm. [However poor a mother is, she keeps her child warm.] 

— German. 

27. It is not as thy mother says, but as thy neighbours say. 

— Hebrew. 

28. Jedes Mutterkind ist schon. [Every mother's child is 
beautiful.] — German. 

29. Keine Mutter tragt einen Bastart. [No mother bears a 
bastard.] — German. 

30. La madre pitiosa fa la figluola tignosa. [A merciful 
mother makes a scabby daughter.] — Italian. 

31. Like mother, like daughter. 

32. Mai agu^osa, filha pregui^osa. [Diligent mother, idle 
daughter.] — Portuguese. 

33. Mere piteuse fait sa fille rogneuse. [A merciful mother 
makes her daughter scabby.] — French. 

384 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

34. Milk witli water is still milk [i.e. though your mother is 
bad, she is nevertheless your mother]. — Badaga. 

35. Mothers' darlings are but milksop heroes. 

36. Mothers' love is the cream of love. 

37. Muttertreu wird taglich neu. [Mother's truth keeps con- 
stant youth.] — German. 

38. Mysterious to all thought, 

A mother's prime of bliss, 
When to her eager lips is brought 
Her infant's thrilling kiss. — Kehle. 

39. Nature sent women into the world that they might be 
mothers and love children, to whom sacrifices must ever be 
offered, and from whom none can be obtained. — Jean Paul. 

40. No bones are broken by a mother's fist. — Russian. 

41. No hay tal madre come la que pare. [There is no mother 
like her who bears.] — Sjianish. 

42. I'amour d'une mere ! amour que nul n'oublie! 
Pain merveilleux, que Dieu partage et multiplie ! 
Table tou jours servie au paternel foyer ! 
Chacun en a sa part, et tous I'ont tout entier. 

[0 mother-love ! love that none ever forgets ! 
Wonderful bread, that God divides and multiplies ! 
Table always spread beside the paternal hearth ! 
Each one has his part of it, and each has it all !] 

— Victor Hugo. 

43. One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters. 

44. One scream of fear from a mother may resound through 
the whole life of her daughter. — Jean Paul, 

45. Seem I not as tender to him 
As any mother ? 

Ay, but such a one 

As all day long hath rated at her child, • 

And vext his day, but blesses him asleep. 

— Tennyson. 

46. Sind die Kinder klein, so treten sie der Mutter auf den 
Schooss ; sind die Kinder gross, so treten sie der Mutter auf das 
Herz. [When the children are small they tread upon the mother's 
breast ; when they are large they tread upon the mother's heart.] 

— German. 

Mother and Child in Proverb. 385 

47. So moder, so dogter. [Like mother, like daughter.] 

— Frisian. 

48. Stabat Mater dolorosa 
Juxta crucem lacrymosa 
Quo pendebat Filius. 

[Sorrow-stricken stood the Mother 
Weeping by the cross 
On which hung her Son.] 

— Mediaeval Latin Hymn. 

49. Tendresse maternelle tou jours se renouvelle. [A mother's 
affection is forever new.] — French. 

50. The child is often kissed for the mother's (nurse's) sake. 

51. The elephant does not find his trunk heavy, nor the mother 
her babe. — Angolese (Africa). 

52. The future destiny of the child is always the work of the 
mother. — Napoleon. 

53. The good mother says not " Will you ? " but gives. 

— Italian. 

54. The mother's heart is always with her children. 

55. The mother's breath is aye sweet. — Scotch. 

56. The mother knows best if the child be like the father. 

57. The mother makes the house or mars it. 

58. The nurse's bread is better than the mother's cake. 

— Frisian. 

59. The prayer of the mother fetches her child out of the bot- 
tom of the sea. — Hussian. 

60. The watchful mother tarries nigh, 

Though sleep has closed her infant's eye. — KeUe. 

61. There is nothing more charming to see than a mother with 
her child in her arms, and there is nothing more venerable than 
a mother among a number of her children. — Goethe. 

62. Though a mother be a wolf, she does not eat her cub's 
flesh. — Afghan. 

63. TLmidi mater non flet. [The coward's mother need not 
weep.] — Latin. 

64. To a child in confinement its mother's knee is a binding- 
post. — Hitopadesa. 

65. Unhappy is the man for whom his own mother has not 
made all mothers venerable. — Jean Paul. 


386 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

66. Unless tlie child cries even the mother will not give it 
suck. — Telugu. 

67. Wer ein saugendes Kind hat, der hat eine singende Frau. 
[Whoever has a suckling child, has a singing wife.] — German. 

68. Wer dem Kinde die Nase wischt, kusst der Mutter den 
Backen. [Whoever wipes a child's nose kisses the mother's 
cheek.] — German. 

69. What a mother sees coils itself up, but does not come out 
[i.e. the faults of her child]. — Angolese (Africa). 

70. You desire, ' woman, to be loved ardently and forever 
until death ; be the mothers of your children. — Jean Paul. 

71. Zu solchen Kindern gehort eine solche Mutter. [To such 
children belongs such a mother.] — German. 

Peo VERBS, Sayings, etc., about Father axd Child. 

1. Ax dem Kind kennt man den Yater wohl. [The father is 
knowTi from the child.] — German. 

2. Bone does not let go flesh, nor father son. — Angolese. 

3. Bose Kinder machen den Yater fromm. [Bad children 
make the father good.] — German. 

4. Chi non ha figluoli non sa qualche cosa sia amore. [Who 
has not children knows not what love is.] — Italian. 

5. Child's pig, but father's bacon. 

6. Ein Yater ernahrt eher zehn Kinder, denn zehn Kinder 
einen Yat€r. [One father can better nourish ten children, than 
ten children one father.] — German. 

7. Fathers alone a father's heart can know. — You7\g. 

8. Fathers first enter bonds to Xature's ends, 
And are her sureties ere they are a friend's. 

— George Herbert. 

9. Fathers that wear rags 

Do make their children blind ; 
But fathers that wear bags 
Do make their children kind. 

— Shakespeare (King Lear, ii 4). 

10. Fathers their children and themselves abuse. 
That wealth a husband for their daughters choose. 

— Shirley. 

11. Happy is he that is happy in his children. 

12. Happy is the child whose father went to the devil. 

13. Haur nizar-galeac aitari bizzarra thira. [The child that 
will cry, pulls at its father's beard.] — Basque. 

14. He has of [i.e. is like] his father. — Russian. 

15. He is a chip of the old block. 


388 The Child in Folk- Thought. 

16. He is cut out of his father's eyes [i.e. very like his 
father] . — Frisian. 

17. He is the son of his father. 

18. He is a wise child that knows his own father. 

19. He that can discriminate is the father of his father. — Veda. 

20. He that hath wife and children wants not business. 

21. He that marries a widow and three children marries four 
thieves. — Spanish. 

22. He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to 
fortune ; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of 
virtue or mischief. — Bacon. 

23. He was scant o' news that told that his father was hanged. 

— Scotch. 

24. He who hath but one hog makes him fat ; he who hath but 
one son makes him a fool. — Italian. 

25. It is a wise father that knows his own child. 

— Shakespeare (Merch. of Venice, ii. 2). 

26. Like father, like son. — Arabic. 

27. Man sieht dem Kind an, was er fur einen Vater hat. [By 
the child one sees what sort of man his father is.] — German. 

28. Many a father might say. . . "I put in gold into the 
furnace, and there came out this calf." — Spurgeon. 

29. Many a good father has a bad son. 

30. On est toujours le fils de quelqu'un. Cela console. [One 
is always the son of somebody. That is a consolation.] 

— French. 

31. Patris est filius. [He is the son of his father.] — Latin. 

32. Such a father, such a son. — Spanish. 

33. Tel pere, tel fils. [Like father, like son.] — French. 

34. The child is the father of the man. — Wo7'dsioo7'th. 

35. The child has a red tongue like its father. 

36. The Devil's child, the Devil's luck. 

37. The father can no more destroy his son than the cloud can 
extinguish by water the lightning which precedes from itself. 

— Raghuvansa. 

38. The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's 
teeth are set on edge. — Bible. 

39. The glory of children are their fathers. — Bible. 

40. The gods do not avenge on the son the misdeeds of the 

Father and Child in Proverb. 389 

father. Each, good or bad, reaps the just reward of his own 
actions. - The blessing of the parents, not their curse, is inherited. 

— Goethe. 

41. The ungrateful son is a wart on his father's face ; to leave 
it is a blemish, to cut it a pain. — Afghan. 

42. The words that a father speaks to his children in the 
privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering- 
galleries, they are clearly heard at the end and by posterity. 

— Jean Paul. 

43. To a father, who is growing old, there is nothing dearer 
than a daughter. — Euripides. 

44. To a father, when his child dies, the future dies ; to a child, 
when his parents die, the past dies. — Auerhach. 

45. Vinegar the son of wine \j.e. an unpopular son of a popu- 
lar father]. — Talmud. 

46. "Whoso wishes to live without trouble, let him keep from 
step-children and winter-hogs. — Low German. 


Pkoveebs, Sayings, etc., about Childhood, Youth, 

AND Age. 

1. A' are guid lasses, but where do a' the ill wives come f rae ? 

— Scotch. 

2. Age does not make us childish, as people say ; it only finds 
us still true children. — Goethe. 

3. Aliud legunt pueri, aliud viri, aliud senes. [Children read 
one way, men another, old men another.] — Terence. 

4. A man at five may be a fool at fifteen. 

5. A man at sixteen will prove a child at sixty. 

6. An old knave is no babe. 

7. A smiling boy seldom proves a good servant. 

8. Auld folk are twice bairns. — Scotch. 

9. Aus gescheidenen Kindern werden Gecken. [From clever 
children come fools.] — German. 

10. Aus Kindern werden Leute, aus Jungfern werden Braute. 
[From children come grown-up people, from maidens come brides.] 

— German. 

11. Better bairns greet \i.e. weep] than bearded men. — Scotch. 

12. Childhood and youth see all the world in persons. 

— Emerson. 

13. Childhood often holds a truth in its feeble fingers, which 
the grasp of manhood cannot retain, and which it is the pride of 
utmost age to recover. — Buskin. 

14. Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day. 

— Milton. 

15. Der Jtlngling kampft, damit der Greis geniesse. [The 
youth fights, in order that the old man may enjoy.] — Goethe. 


Proverbs of Childhood and Age. 391 

16. Een diamant van een dochter wordt een glas van eene 
vrouw. ■ [A diamond of a daughter becomes a glass of a wife.] 

— Dutch. 

17. Eident [i.e. diligent] youth makes easy age. — Scotch. 

18. Ewig jimg zu bleiben 

1st, wie Dichter schreiben, 
Hochstes Lebensgut ; 
"Willst du es erwerben, 
Musst du friihe sterben. 
[To remain ever-young 
Is, as poets write, 
The highest good of life ; 
If thou wouldst acquire it, 
Thou must die young.] — Riickert. 

19. Fanciulli piccioli, dolor di testa ; fanciuUi grandi dolor di 
cuore. [Little children bring head-ache, big children, heart-ache.] 

— Italian. 

20. Giovine santo, diavolo vecchio. [Young saint, old devil.] 

— Italian. 

21. Hang a thief when he's young, and he'll no steal when 
he's ardd. — Scotch. 

22. Happy child ! the cradle is still to thee an infinite space ; 
once grown into a man, and the boundless world will be too small 
to thee. — Schiller. 

23. He Cometh to you with a tale which holdeth children 
from play, and old men from the chimney-corner. 

— Sir Philip Sidney. 

24. He who mocks the infant's faith 

Shall be mocked in age and death. — Blake. 

25. How little is the promise of the child fulfilled in the man ! 

— Ovid. 

26. If you lie upon roses when young, you will lie upon thorns 
when old. 

27. Ihr Kinder, lemet jetzt genug, 

Ihr lernt nichts mehr in alten Zeiten. 
[Ye children, learn enough now ; 
When time has passed, you will learn nothing more.] 


28. In childhood a linen rag buys friendship. — Angolese. 

392 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

29. In cLiildliood be modest, in youth temperate, in manhood 
just, and in old age prudent. — Socrates. 

30. In the opening bud you see the youthful thorns. — Talmud. 

31. In youth one has tears without grief ; in age, grief without 
tears. — Jean Paul. 

32. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age. 

— Swift. 

33. It's no child's play, when an old woman dances. 

— Low German. 

34. Jong rijs is te buigen, maar geen oude boom en. [A young 
twig can be bent, but not old trees.] — Dutch. 

35. Jonge lui, domme lui ; oude lui, koude lui. [Young folk, 
silly folk ; old folk, cold folk.] — Dutch. 

36. Junge Faullenzer, alte Bettler. [Young idlers, old beggars.] 

— German. 

37. Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth 

When thought is speech, and speech is truth. — Scott. 

38. La jeunesse devrait Stre une caisse d'epargne. [Youth 
ought to be a savings-bank.] — Mme. Svetchin. 

39. Learn young, learn fair ; 
Learn auld, learn mair. — Scotch. 

40. Let the young people mind what the old people say, 
And where there is danger, keep out of the way. 

41. Levity is artlessness in a child, a shameful fault in men, 
and a terrible folly in old age. — La Rochefoucauld. 

42. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes 
when they are wives. — Shakespeare (As You Like It, iv. 1). 

43. Man schont die Alten, wie man die Kinder schont. [We 
spare old people, as we spare children.] — Goethe. 

44. Man mut de kinner bugen, so lange se junk stint. [Chil- 
dren must be bent while they are young.] — Frisian. 

45. Man's second childhood begins when a woman gets hold of 
him. — Barrie. 

46. My son's my son till he hath got him a wife, 

But my daughter's my daughter all the days of her life. 

47. Nicht die Kinder bloss speist man mit Marchen ab. [Kot 
children alone are put off with tales.] — Lessing. 

48. Old head and young hand. 

49. Old heads will not suit young shoulders. 

Proverbs of Childhood and Age. 393 

60. Old men are twice children. — Greek. 

61. Once a man and twice a child, 

62. Se il giovane sapesse, se il vecchio potesse, e' non c' e cosa 
che non si facesse. [If the youth but knew, if the old man but 
could, there is nothing which would not be done.] — Italian. 

53. Study is the bane of boyhood, the element of youth, the 
indulgence of manhood, and the restorative of age. — Lanclor. 

64. The household is the home of the man as well as of the 
child. — Emerson. 

65. The man whom grown-up people love, children love still 
more. — Jean Paul. 

56. There are in man, in the beginning, and at the end, two 
blank book-binder's leaves, — childhood and age. — Jean PauL 

57. We are children for the second time at twenty-one, and 
again when we are gray and put all our burden on the Lord. 

— Barrie. 

58. We bend the tree when it is young. — Bulgarian, 

59. When bairns are young they gar their parents' heads ache ; 
when they are auld they make their hearts break. — Scotch. 

60. When children, we are sensualists, when in love, idealists. 

— Goethe. 

61. Wie die Alten sungen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen. [As 
the old birds sing, the young ones twitter.] — German. 

62. Wir sind auch Kinder gewesen. [We too were once chil- 
dren.] — German. 

63. Young men think that old men are fools; but old men 
know young men are fools. — Chapman. 

64. Youth is a blunder ; manhood, a struggle ; old age, a regret. 

— Disraeli. 

65. Youth is full of sport, age's breath is short ; 

Youth is nimble, age is lame ; 
Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold ; 
Youth is wild, and age is tame. — Shakespeare. 


Provekbs, Sayings, etc., about the Child and 

1. A beltless bairn cannot lie. — Scotch. 

2. A burnt child dreads the fire. 

3. A child is a Cupid become visible. — Novalis. 

4. A daft nurse makes a wise wean. — Scotch. 

5. A growing youth has a wolf in his belly. 

6. A hungry belly has no ears. 

7. A lisping lass is good to kiss. 

8. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 

9. An infant crying in the night, 
An infant crying for the light ; 

And with no language but a cry. — Tennyson. 

10. A pet lamb makes a cross ram. 

11. A reasonable word should be received even from a child or 
a parrot. — Sanskrit. 

12. A simple child 

That lightly draws its breath, 

And feels its life in every limb. 

What should it know of death ? — Wordsworth. 

13. As sair greets [as much weeps] the bairn that's paid at 
e'en as he that gets his whawks in the morning. — Scotch. 

14. A tarrowing bairn was never fat. — Scotch. 

15. Auld men are twice bairns. — Scotch. 

16. Auld wives and bairns make fools of physicians. — Scotch. 

17. Bairns are certain care, but nae sure joy. — Scotch. 

18. Be born neither wise nor fair, but lucky. — Mussian. 

19. Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law. 
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw. — Pope. 


The Child in Proverb. 395 

20. Better be unborn than untaught. — Gaelic. 

21. Birth's good, but breeding's better. — Scotch. 

22. Bon sang ne pent mentir. Qui naquit chat court apres les 
souris. [Good blood cannot lie. The kitten will chase the 
mouse.] — French. 

23. Broken bread makes hale bairns. — Scotch. 

24. By sjMsrts like these are all their cares beguil'd, 

The sports of children satisfy the child. — Goldsmith. 

25. Ce que I'enfant entend au foyer, est bientot connu jusqu'au 
Moistre. [WTiat children hear at the fireside is soon known as 
far as Moistre (a town in Savoy).] — French. 

26. Che nasce bella nasce maritata. [A beautiful girl is bom 
married.] — Italian. 

27. Childhood and youth see the world in persons. — Emerson. 

28. Childhood is the sleep of Reason. — Rousseau. 

29. Children and chickens are always a-picking. 

30. Children and drunken people tell the truth. 

31. Children and fools speak the truth. — Greek. 

32. Children and fools have many lives. 

33. Children are certain sorrows, but uncertain joys. — Danish. 

34. Children are the j)Oor man's wealth. — Danish. 

35. Children are very nice observers, and they will often per- 
ceive your slightest defects. — F^nelon. 

36. Children cry for nuts and apples, and old men for gold and 

37. Children have more need of models than of critics. 

— Joubert. 

38. Children have wide ears and long tongues. 

38a. Children increase the cares of life, but they mitigate the 
remembrance of death. 

39. Children, like dogs, have so sharp and fine a scent, that 
they detect and hunt out everything — the bad before all the 
rest. — Goethe. 

40. Children of wealth, or want, to each is given 

One spot of green, and all the blue of heaven. — Holmes. 

41. Children pick up words as chickens peas. 
And utter them again as God shall please. 

42. Children should have their times of being off duty, like 
soldiers. — Mtiskin. 

396 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

43. Children to bed, and the goose to the fire. 

44. Children should laugh, but not mock; and when they 
laugh, it should not be at the weaknesses and faults of others. 

— Ruskin. 

45. Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more 
bitter. — Bacon. 

46. Children tell in the streets what they hear round the 
hearth. — Portuguese. 

47. Das kann ein Kind maehen. [A child can do that — that 
is very easy.] — German. 

48. Das Kind mit dem Bade verschiltten. [To throw away the 
child with the bath — to reject the good along with the bad.] 

— German. 

49. Dat is en kinnerspil. [That's child's play — very easy.] 

— Frisian. 

60. Dat llitjeste un lefste. [The yoimgest and dearest.] 

— Frisian. 

61. Dawted [i.e. petted] bairns dow bear little. — Scotch. 
52. Dawted dochters mak' dawly [slovenly] wives. — Scotch. 
63. Delightful task ! to rear the tender thought, 

To teach the young idea how to shoot. — Thomson. 

54. De wesen wil bemint, de nem sin naver kind. [Who would 
be loved, let him take his neighbour's child.] — Frisian. 

55. Die Kinder sind mein liebster Zeitvertreib. [Children are 
my dearest pastime.] — Chamisso. 

56. Dochders zijn broze waaren. [Daughters are brittle 
ware.] — Dutch. 

67. Do not meddle wi' the de'il and the laird's bairns. — Scotch. 

68. Do not talk of a rape [rope] to a chiel whose father was 
liangit. — Scotch. 

69. Do not train boys to learning by force or harshness ; but 
direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may 
be the better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of 
the genius of each. — Plato. 

60. Education begins its work with the first breath of life. 

— Jean Paul. 

61. Education commences at the mother's knee, and every 
word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards 
the formation of character. — Ballou. 

The Child in Proverb, 397 

62. Eet maar Brod, dann wardst du grot pEat bread and 
you'll grow.] — Frisian. 

63. Ein Kind, kein Kind, zwei Kind, Spielkind, drei Kind, 
viel Kind, vier Kind, ein ganzes Hausvoll Kinder. [One cMld, 
no cliild; two children, playing children; three children, many 
children; four children, a whole house full of children.] 

— German (with numerous variants). 

64. Ein Laster kostet mehr als zwei Kinder. [One crime costs 
more than two children.] — German. 

65. Es ist besser zehn Kinder gemacht, als ein einziges umge- 
bracht [It is better to have made ten children than to have 
destroyed one.] — German. 

66. Fools and bairns shouldna see things half done. — Scotch. 

67. Fools with bookish learning are children with edged tools ; 
they hurt themselves, and put others in pain. — Zimmermann. 

68. Fremde Kinder, wir lieben sie nie so sehr als die eignen. 
[We never love the children of others so well as our own.] 

— Goethe. 

69. Fremde Kinder werden wohl erzogen. [Other people's 
children are well brought up.] — German. 

70. Gie a bairn his will, 
And a whelp his fill, 

Xane o' them will e'er do well. — ScotcJu 

71. Give a child tiU he craves, and a dog while his tail doth 
wag, and you'll have a fair dog, but a foul knave. 

72. Gie a dog an iU name and he'll soon be hanged. — Scotch. 

73. God is kind to fou [j'.e. drunken] folk and bairns. 

— Scotch. 

74. God ne'er sent the mouth but He sent the meat wi' t. 

— Scotch. 

75. Grod watches over little children and dninkards. — Russian. 

76. Gude bairns are eith [easy] to lear [teach]. — Scotch. 

77. Happy is he that is happy in his children. 

78. He who sends mouths will send meat. 

79. Heimerzogen Kind ist bei den Leuten wie eia Rind. [A 
home-bred child acts like a cow.] — German. 

80. He that's born to be hanged will never be drowned. 

81. He that is bom under a tippeny [two-penny] planet will 
ne'er be worth a groat — Scotch. 

398 The Child in Folk-Thought. 

82. I cuori fanciulli non veston a bruno. [A child's heart puts 
on no mourning.] — Zendrini. 

83. If our child squints, our neighbour's has a cast in both eyes. 

84. Ill bairns are best heard at hame. — Scotch. 

85. It is the squalling child that gets the milk. — Turkish. 

86. Je lieberes Kind, je scharfere Rute. [The dearer the child, 
the sharper the rod.] — German. 

87. Kinder hat man. Kinder kriegt man. [Children bring 
children.] — German. 

88. Kinder kommen von Herzen und gehen zu Herzen. [Chil- 
dren come from the heart, and go to the heart.] — German. 

89. Kinder und Bienstocke nehmen bald ab bald zu. [Children 
and bee-hives now decrease, now increase.] — German. 

90. Kind's hand is ball filllt, 
Kind's zurn is ball stillt. 

[A child's hand is soon filled, 
A child's anger is soon stilled.] — Loiv German. 

91. Late children are early orphans. — Spanish. 

92. Les enfants sont ce qu'on les fait. [Children are what we 
make them.] — French. 

93. Let thy child's first lesson be obedience, and the second 
will be what thou wilt. — Franklin. 

94. Liebe Kinder haben viele Namen. [Dear children have 
many names.] — German. 

95. Lieber ungezogene, als verzogene Kinder. [Better unbred 
children than ill-bred ones.] — German. 

96. Like the wife wi' the mony daughters, the best comes 
hindmost. — Scotch. 

97. Little pitchers have big ears. 

98. Little ones are taught to be proud of their clothes before 
they can put them on. — Locke. 

99. Llltze potten hebben ok oren [i.e. little children have 
ears]. — Low German. 

100. Man is wholly man only when he plays. — Schiller. 

101. Maxima debetur pueris reverentia. [The greatest respect 
is due to boys (youth).] — Juvenal. 

102. Men are generally more careful of the breed of their 
horses and dogs than of their children. — William Penn. 

103. Mony a ane kisses the bairn for love of the nurice. — Scotch. 

The Child in Proverb. 399 

104. More children, more luck. — German. 

105. • Nessuno nasce maestro. [Xo one is born master.] 

— Italian. 

106. 'N god Kind, wen't slopt. [A good child, when it sleeps.] 

— Frisian. 

107. O banish the tears of children ! Continual rains upon the 
blossoms are hurtful. — Jean Paul. 

108. O formose puer, nimium ne crede colon. [Oh, beauteous 
boy, trust not too much to thy rosy cheeks.] — Virgil. 

109. Of bairns' gifts ne'er be fain, 

Xae sooner they give but they seek them again. 

— Scotch. 

110. One chick keeps a hen busy. 

111. Our young men are terribly alike. — Alex. Smith. 

112. Pars minima est ipsa puella sui. [The girl herself is the 
smallest part of herself.] — Ovid. 

113. Parvum parva decent. [Small things become the small.] 

— Horace. 

114. Play is the first poetry of the human being. — Jean Paul. 

115. Qui aime bien, chatie bien. [Who loves well chastises 
well.] — French. 

116. Qui parcit virgae odit filium. [Who spareth the rod 
hateth his child.] — Latin. 

117. Reckless youth maks ruefu' eild [age]. — Scotch. 

118. Eoyet [wild] lads may make sober men. — Scotch. 

119. Eule youth well, for eild will rule itself. — Scotch. 

120. Salt and bread make the cheeks red. — German. 

121. Seven nurses cost the child an eye. — Russian. 

122. Small birds [i.e. children] must have meat. 

123. Sores are not to be shown to flies, and children are not to 
be taught to lie. — Malay. 

124. Spare the rod and spoil the child. 

125. Teach your children poetry ; it opens the mind, lends grace 
to wisdom, and makes the heroic virtues hereditary. — Mahomet. 

126. Tenez la bride haute a votre fils. [Keep a tight rein over 
your son.] — French. 

127. That's the piece a step-bairn never gat. — Scotch. 

128. The bairn speaks in the field what he hears at the fireside. 

— Scotch. 

400 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

129. The bearing and the training of a child is woman's wis- 
dom. — Tennyson. 

130. The best horse needs breeding and the aptest child needs 
teaching. — Arabic. 

131. The boy's will is the wind's will. — Lapp. 

132. The chief art is to make all that children have to do sport 
and play. — Locke. 

133. The child says nothing but what he heard at the fireside. 

— Spanish. 

134. The de'il's bairns hae the de'il's luck. — Scotch. 

135. The heart is a child ; it desires what it sees. — Turkish. 

136. The heart of childhood is all mirth. — Kehle. 

137. The king is the strength of the weak; crying is the 
strength of children. — Sanskrit. 

138. The right law of education is that you take the best pains 
with the best material. — Buskin. 

139. The spring is the youth of trees, wealth is the youth of 
men, beauty is the youth of women, intelligence is the youth of 
the young. — Sanskrit. 

140. The plays of children are the germinal leaves of all later 
life. — Froebel. 

141. The time of breeding is the time of doing children good. 

— George Herbert. 

142. They were scant o' bairns that brought you up. — Scotch. 

143. The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge 
to the moon, or perchance a palace on the earth ; at length middle- 
aged, he concludes to build a woodshed with them. — Thoreau. 

144. They who educate children well are more to be honoured 
than they who produce them ; these gave them life only, those 
the art of well-living. — Aristotle. 

145. To a child all weather is cold. 

146. To endure is the first and most necessary lesson a child 
has to learn. — Rousseau. 

147. To write down to children's understandings is a mistake ; 
set them on the scent, and let them puzzle it out. — Scott. 

148. Un enfant brule craint le feu. [A burnt child dreads the 
fire.] — French. 

149. Ungezogene Kinder gehen zu Werk wie Einder. [Unbred 
children go to work like cattle.] — German. 

The Child in Proverb. 


150. Viel Kinder viel Vaterunser, viel Vaterunser viel Segen. 
[Many children, many Paternosters; many Paternosters, many 
blessings.] — German. 

151. We ought not to teach the children the sciences, but give 
them a taste for them. — Rousseau. 

152. "Wen de gosen w§,ter s§n, dan willen se drinken. [When 
the geese (i.e. children) see "water, they want to drink.] — Frisian. 

153. Wenn das Kind ertrunken ist, deckt man den Brunnen. 
[When the child is drowned, the well is covered.] — German. 

154. Wenn Kinder und Narren zu Markte gehen, losen die 
Kramer Geld. [When children and fools go to market, the 
dealers make money.] — German. 

155. Wenn Kinder wohl schreien, so leben sie lange. [When 
children cry well, they live long.] — German. 

156. Wer wil diu kint vraget, der wil si liegen leren. [Who 
asks children many questions teaches them to lie.] 

— Old High German. 

157. What children hear at home soon flies abroad. 

158. When children remain quiet, they have done something 




Women and bairns leia [hide] what they ken not. 

— Scotch. 
Women and children should retire when the sun does. 

— Portuguese. 
You should lecture neither child nor woman. — Eussian. 

Index to Proverbs, etc. 

Following is an index of peoples and authors for the foregoing 
proverbs and sayings (the references are to pages) : — 

Afghan, 377, 379, 385, 389. 
Angolese, 385, 386, 387, 

Arabic, 388, 400. 
Badaga, 384. 
Basque, 382, 387. 
Bulgarian, 393. 
Chinese, 377. 
Danish, 377, 378, 395. 
Dutch, 391, 392, 396. 

A, Peoples. 

Egyptian, 381. 

English, 376, 377, 380, 382, 
383, 384, 385, 387, 388, 
390, 392, 393, 394, 395, 
396. 397, 398, 399, 400, 

French, 379, 380, 383, 385, 
388, 395, 398, 399, 400. 

Frisian, 380, 385, 392, 
396, 397, 399, 401. 

Gaelic, 376, 3^. 
German, 378, 380, 382, 
383, 384, 385, 387, 388, 

390, 392, 393, 396, 397, 
398, 399, 400, 401. 

Greek, 393, 395. 

Hebrew, 383. 

ffindu, 377. 

Italian, 383, 385, 387,388, 

391, 393, 395, 399. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Lapp, 400. 

Latiu, 380, 385, 388, 399. 

Low German, 377, 382, 

389, 392, 398. 
Malay, 399. 
Oriental, 377. 
Persian, 382. 

Alcibiades, 383. 
Aristotle, 400. 
Auerbach, 378, 389. 
Bacon, 377, 379, 380, 388, 

Ballon, 396. 
Barrie, 392, 393. 
Beecher, 377, 383. 
Bible, 377, 378, 388. 
Blake, 391. 
Burns, 381. 
Carlyle, 380. 
Chamisso, 396. 
Chapman, 393. 
Cicero, 380. 
Coleridge, 379, 380. 
Cornelia, 378. 
Cowper, 380. 
Dante, 379. 
Dickens, 381. 
Disraeli, 393. 
Dryden, 379, 380. 
Emerson, 379, 380, 381, 

390, 393, 395. 
Ecitvos, 376. 
Euripides, 389. 
Fenelon, 395. 
Franklin, 398. 
Froebel, 400. 
Goethe, 378, 379, 380, 381, 

385, 389, 390, 392, 393, 

395, 397. 
Goldsmith, 395. 
Haliburton, 383. 
Hare, 379, 383. 

Portuguese, 383, 396, 401. 

Roman, 378. 

Russian, 376, 380, 383, 

384, 385, 387, 394, 397, 
399, 401. 

Sanskrit, 377, 382, 394, 

B, Authors, etc. 

Hazlitt, 381. 
Herbert, 387, 400. 
Hitopadesa, 377, 385. 
Holmes, 395. 
Horace, 376, 399. 
Hugo, 384. 
Hunt, 378, 381. 
Jean Paul, 376, 380, 384, 

385, 386, 389, 392, 393, 
396, 399. 

Jesus, 377, 379, 381. 
Johnson, 377. 
Joubert, 395. 
Juvenal, 398. 
Keble, 384, .385, 400. 
La Bruyere, 377. 
Lacretelle, 383. 
Landor, 393. 
Langdale, 383. 
La Rochefoucauld, 392. 
Lessing, 392. 
Locke, 398, 400. 
Mahomet, 399. 
Mann, 377. 
Menander, 380. 
Milton, 381, 390. 
Napoleon, 385. 
Novalis, 394. 
Ovid, 391, 399. 
Penn, 398. 
Pfeffel, 391. 
Phsedrus, 377. 
Pistorius, 376. 
Plato, 396. 
Pope, 394. 

Scotch, 380, 382, 383, 385, 
388, 390, 391, 392, 393, 
394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 
399, 400, 401. 

Spanish, 377, 384, 388, 398. 

Telugu, 386. 

Turkish, 377, 398, 400. 

Raghuvansa, 388. 
Rousseau, 395, 400, 401. 
Riickert, 391. 
Ruskin, 378, 379, 381, 390, 

395, 396, 400. 
Schiller, 381, 391, 398. 
Schopenhauer, 379. 
Scott, 400. 
Shakespeare, 381, 387, 

388, 392, 393. 
Shirley, 387. 
Sidney, 391. 
Simons, 381. 
Smith, 399. 
Socrates, 392. 
Southey, 376. 
Spurgeon, 388. 
Svetchin, 392. 
Swift, 392. 
Talmud, 389, 392. 
Tennyson, 384, 394, 400. 
Terence, 390. 
Thomson, 396. 
Thoreau, 400. 
Veda, 388. 
Virgil, 399. 
Weber, 376. 
West, 382. 
Wordsworth, 380, 381, 

388, 394. 
Young, 387. 
Zachariii, 380. 
Zendrini, 398. 
Zimmermann, 397. 

For the collection of proverbs and sayings here given, the 
writer acknowledges his indebtedness to the numerous dictiona- 
ries of quotations and proverbs, of which he has been able to 
avail himself. 


In" these pages the "Child in Primitive Culture" has been 
considered in many lands and among many peoples, and the 
great extent of the activities of childhood among even the lowest 
races of men fully demonstrated. That the child is as important 
to the savage, to the barbarous peoples, as to the civilized, is evi- 
dent from the vast amount of lore and deed of which he is the 
centre both in fact and in fiction. The broader view which anthro- 
pologists and psychologists are coming to take of the primitive 
races of man must bring with it a larger view of the primitive child. 
Still less than the earliest men, were their children, mere ani- 
mals ; indeed, possibly, nay even probably, the children of primi- 
tive man, while their childhood lasts, are the equals, if not the 
superiors, of those of our own race in general intellectual 
capacity. With the savage as with the European of to-day, the 
" child is father of the man." 

The primitive child, as language and folk-lore demonstrate, has 
been weighed, measured, and tested physically and mentally by 
his elders, much as we ourselves are doing now, but in ruder 
fashion — there are primitive anthropometric and psychological 
laboratories as proverb and folk-speech abundantly testify, and 
examinations as harassing and as searching as any we know of 
to^ay. Schools, nay primitive colleges, even, of the prophets, 
the shamans, and the magi, the race has had in earlier days, and 
everywhere through the world the activities of childhood have 
been appealed to, and the race has wonderfully profited by its 
wisdom, its naivete, its ingenuity, and its touch of divinity. 

Upon language, religion, society, and the arts the child has had 
a lasting influence, both passive and active, unconscious, suggest- 


404 The Child in Folk -Thought. 

ive, creative. History, the stage, music, and song have been its 
debtors in all ages and among all peoples. 

To the child language owes many of its peculiarities, and the 
multiplicity of languages perhaps their very existence. Religion 
has had the child long as its servant, and from the faith and 
confidence of youth and the undying mother-love have sprung the 
thought of immortality and the Messiah-hope that greets us all 
over the globe. Even among the most primitive races, it is the 
children who are " of the Kingdom of Heaven," and the " Fall of 
Man " is not from a fabled Garden of Eden, but from the glory 
of childhood into the stern realities of manhood. As a social 
factor the child has been of vast importance ; children have sat 
upon thrones, have dictated the policies of Church and of State, 
and from them the wisest in the land have sought counsel and 
advice. As oracles, priests, shamans, and thaumaturgi, children 
have had the respect and veneration of whole peoples, and they 
have often been the very mouth-piece of deity, standing within 
the very gates of heaven. As hero and adventurer, passing over 
into divinity, the child has explored earth, sea, and sky, descending 
into nethermost hell to rescue the bones of his father, and setting 
ajar the gates of Paradise, that the radiant glory may be seen of 
his mother on earth. Finally, as Christ sums up all that is 
divine in men, so does the Christ-Child sum up all that is God- 
like in the child. The Man-Jesus stands at the head of mankind, 
the Child-Jesus is the first of the children of men. All the 
activities and callings of the child, the wisdom, the beauty, the 
innocence of childhood find in folk-belief and folk-faith their 
highest, perfect expression in the Babe of Bethlehem. 

True is it as ten thousand years ago : — 

♦' Before life's sweetest mystery still 
The heart in reverence kneels ; 
The wonder of the primal birth 
The latest mother feels." 

Motherhood and childhood have been the world's great 
teachers, and the prayer of all the race should be : — 

" Let not (the) cultured years make less 
The childhood charm of tenderness." 


The Bibliography here given is intended to serve the double purpose of 
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reasonable number of titles of the more recent and valuable treatises dealing 
with such topics. 

All references in the body of the book to works listed in the Bibliography 
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300. 15 means Lombroso, C, The Man of Genius, p. 15; 480 (1893). 140 
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Folio-wing is a subject-index to the titles of Section A : — 

Abnormal and delinquent, 49, 
86, 104, 110, 116, 185, 148, 
144, 148, 157. 

Africa, 14, 48. 

Amazons, 154. 

American Indians, 13, 27, 51, 
62, 63, 69, 72, 73. 

Arabia, 80a, 151, 168. 

Assyria, 138. 

Australia, 54, 55-57. 

Babylonia, 74, 188. 

Celibacy, 71, 94. 
Ceylon, 10. 

Child-birth, 16a, 43, 48, 83. 
China, 81, 123. 
Chirography, 65, 66. 

Divorce, 15, 25o, 47, 106, 183, 

E^pt, 19, 88. 
Epigram, 17, 45, 122, 126. 
Esthonian, 145. 
Evolu«on, 36, 37. 

Family, 26, 32, 44, 68, 76, 89, 
92, 99, 103, 119, 123, 128, 139, 
140, 161, 152, 163, 166, 169. 

Father, 114, 130a, 151. 

Father-right, 9, 82, 80, 114. 

Fiji, 16a. 

France, 86, 160. 

Gender, 8, 68. 

Germany, 29, 81, 54, 98, 141, 

Girls, 7, 54, 116. 
Gypsies, 172. 

India, 5, 16, 86. 
Italy, 38, 173. 

Japan, 7, 78, 105. 
Jews, 12, 41, 102. 

Language, 19, 74, 153, 164. 
Literature, 78, 126. 

Magyars, 170. 

Man, names for, 168. 

Marriage, 1, 10, 12, 18, 25a, 80, 
31, 33, 41, 65-57, 68, 69, 72, 
73, 88, 91, 98, 99, 102, 106, 
109, 115, 141, 145, 151, 161- 
163, 166, 169. 

Medicine, 173. 

Mexico, 8. 

Morals, 96. 

Mordwins, 109. 

Mother, 4, 39, 67, 150, 166, 174. 

Matriarchate and mother-right, 
6, 9, 31, 82, 80, 163. 

Mother and child, 27. 

Mother-in-law, 17, 58. 

Mourning, 16. 

Mummy, 19. 

New Britain, 80. 

Old maids, 71. 
Oriental, 159. 

Papua, 189. 

Poetry of motherhood, 89. 

Poets, 22, 149. 
Polyandry, 5, 40. 
Proverbs, 45, 132, 183. 

Relationship, 18, 41, 108, 118, 

147, 167. 
Religion, 78, 124. 
Rome, 92, 159. 
Royalty, 75. 
Russia, 84, 136. 

Samoa, 89. 

Satire, 17, 45. 

Scotland, 184. 

Servia, 140. 

Sex-relations, 20, 28, 42, 46, 53, 
54, 59, 60, 62, 64, 86, 90, 110, 
120, 125, 128, 135, 187, 143, 
144, 157, 161. 

Siberia, 11. 

Slavonic, 87, 88. 

Sociology, 8, 25, 35, 61, 52, 81, 
82, 84, 95, 100, 101, 107, 117, 
127, 180, 134, 186, 138, 170, 

Tibet, 6. 

Transylvania, 171, 172. 
Turkey, 61, 80a. 

Ukraine, 167. 
United States, 26a. 

Woman, names for, 164. 

Woman's position and labours, 
2, 11, 21-24, 29, 34, 38, 46, 50, 
61, 69, 77, 78, 80a, 86, 97, 104, 
105, 111-118, 121, 122, 125, 
132, 146, 153, 165, 160, 165. 

Bihliograpliy. 416 


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Heft II., S. 14-18 ; Heft V., S. 14. 

367. "Stlvanus Urban": Infant-Marriages. Gentlm. Mag. (Lond.) 

Vol. 277 (1894), pp. 322-324, 427-428. 

368. The Feeble-Minded Child and Adult. A Report on an Investigation of 

the Physical and Mental Condition of 50,000 School Children, with 
Suggestions for the Better Education and Care of Feeble-Minded 
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159 pp. 8vo. 



369. The Epileptic and Crippled Child and Adult. London, 1893. xxi, 

132 pp. 8vo. 

370. TiLTE, M. : Die Geschichte der deutschen Weihnacht. Leipzig, 1894. 

371. Tract, F. : The Psychology of Childhood. Sec. Ed. Boston, 1894. 

xiij, 107 pp. 8vo. 

372. Theichel, A. : Provinzielle Sprache zu und von Thieren und ihre 

Namen. Alt-Preuss. Jlonatsschr. XXIX. Bd., Hefte I., IL 

373. Treichel, A. : Zungentibungen aus Preussen. Am Ur-Quell. V. Bd. 

(1894), S. 122-126, 144-148, 180-182, 222-224. 

374. TccKEB, Elizabeth S. : Children of Colonial Days. New York, 1894. 

375. Tcckwell, Mrs. G. M. : The State and its Children. London, 1894. 

376. Ttlok, E. B. : Wild Men and Beast Children. Anthrop. Bev. (London). 

Vol. I. (186:3), pp. 21-32. 

377. Ttlor, E. B. : Remarks on the Geographical Distribution of Games. 

Journ. Anthr. Inst. (London). Vol. IX. (1879), pp. 23-30. 

378. VosTROTSKT, Clara : A Study of Children's Imaginary Companions. 

Education (Boston). Vol. XV. (1895), pp. 393-398. 

379. Whittier, J. G. : ChUd-Life. A Collection of Poems. Edited by J. 

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380. Whittier, J. G. : ChUd-Life in Prose. Boston, n.d. 

381. WiEDEMANx, A.: Kinderehe bei den alten iEgyptem. Am Ur-Quell. 

VI. Bd. (1895), S. 3-4. 

382. WiGGis, Kate D. : Children's Rights. A Book of Nursery Logic. 

Boston and Xew York, 1893. 235 pp. 16mo. 

383. Wild Babies. Harpers Monthly (New York). Vol. LVIL (1878), 

pp. 829-838. 

384. Wiltse, Sarah E. : The Place of the Story in Early Education, and 

Other Essays. Boston, 1892. vi, 137 pp. 8vo. 

385. Winterxitz, M. : Das Kind bei den Juden. Am Ur-Quell. II. Bd. 

(1891), S. 5-7, 34-36. 

386. WossiDLO, R. : Volksthtimliches aus Mecklenburg. De Jung [Pro- 

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387. YoDER, A. H. : The Study of the Boyhood of Great Men. Fedag. Bern, 

Vol. III. (1894-5), pp. 134-156. 

Following is a subject-index of titles under Section B : — 

Abandoned children, 28. 
Abnomud man, 188, 


Adolescence, 196. 
Adoption, 2S0. 
Age of consent, 180. 
American Indians, 211, 222, 

223, 226, 22T, 239, 267, 802, 

306, 316, 358, 383. 
Animale, 276, 372. 

Animal-reared children, 183, 

"April fool," 324. 
Arabia, 239. 
Art and poetry, 320. 
Assyria, 290. 

Babylonia, 290. 

Birth-customs, etc., 241, 311, 

Birth-myths, 843, 366. 
Bogies, 203, 275. 
Boys of Bible, 304. 
Boyhood of genlas, 337. 
Brittany, 299. 
Brooklyn, 212. 

California, 184. 
Ceremonial, 235, 279, 361. 
Character, 216, 319. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Child and race, 182. 
Child-god, 344. 
Child and state, 312, 375. 
Child as witness, 834. 
Childhood in literature, 346- 

Child-criminal, 307. 
Child-life, 178, 180 a, 184, 189, 

197, 209, 221, 225, 227, 246, 

266, 283, 283 a, 825, 326, 329, 

333, 342, 353, 863, 374, 383, 

Child-marriages, 234, 317, 338 a, 

867, 881. 
Child-psychology, 2.52, 259, 301, 

305, 310, 336, 365, 371. 
Children of New Testament, 

Child-study, 254, 3T8. 
Chirography, 240. 
Christ, 285. 
Christmas, 190, 207, 261, 315, 

839, 370. 
Cradles, 306. 

Defectives and delinquents, 

197, 814, 368, 369. 
Deformations, 229, 831. 
Diminutives, 202, 219. 
Dolls, 226. 

Educition, 257, 288-298. 
Egypt, 179, 2S8, 881. 
England, 248, 849. 

Fairy-tales, stories, 192, 246, 

258, 302, 856, 384. 
Folk-lore, 246, 284, 321, 855. 
Fosterage, 357. 
France, 219. 

Games and songs, 181, 186, 
187, 198, 199, 212, 213, 217, 
222, 283, 242, 243, 260, 265, 

267, 269, 277, 813, 830, 882 a, 

Genius, 178, 800, 887. 
Germany, 315, 854, 866, 870, 

Girlhood, 178, 228, 282. 
Greece, 296-7, 846. 

Hair-cutting, 280. 
Hygiene, 210, 330. 
Hungary, 277. 

Imitation, 260. 

India, 188, 248, 290, 809. 

Infanticide, 218. 

Infant-prodigies, 304, 345. 

Insects, 840. 

Ireland, 243. 

Japan, 180 a, 189, 245. 
Jews, 298, 842, 361 a, 885. 
Justice, 271, 823, 341. 

Kabylia, 299. 

Kaspar Hauser, 208, 809. 

Language, 198, 200, 201, 205, 
206, 249, 250, 257, 262, 263, 
275, 281, 832, 372, 373. 

Lies, 253. 

Loyalty Is., 241. 

Lullabies, 362. 

Measurements, 287, 244, 299. 

Medicine, 822. 

Mental evolution, 182, 194, 

211, 888. 
Miracles, 179. 
Morals, 179. 
Mother and child, 268. 

Nature, 264. 
New England, 221. 
New York, 197. 

Paris, 209. 

Persia, 291. 

Phoenicians, 290. 

Physical education, 327, 828. 

Physiognomy, 204. 

Poetry for and about children, 
176, 177, 195, 224, 226 a, 280, 
247, 386 a, 337, 359, 379. 

Proverbs, 220, 886. 

Public life, 232. 

Puberty, 214. 

Regeneration, 214. 
Religion, 184 a, 231, 253,368. 
Rights, 215, 382. 
Rome, 297, 312, 346. 
Russia, 327, 828, 330. 

Sacrifice, 218, 228, 278. 
Savagery, 273. 
Scotland, 248. 
Servia, 279. 

Secret languages, 206, 281. 
Sicily, 321, 322, 823. 
Silesia, 284. 
Slavonic, 218, 280. 
Sociology, 270, 272, 256, 878. 
Stork, 198 a. 
Studentdom, 185, 864. . 
Swallow, 198. 

Twins, 228. 

United States, 180. 

Voice, 288. 

Washington, D.C., 181. 
"Weighing, 286, 238. 
Wild cMIdren, 835. 

Younger son, 351. 




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612. MtJLLER, F. Max : Physical Religion. London, 1891. 

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BihliograpTiy. 433 

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521. Rakd, S. T. : Legends of the Micmacs. New York and London, 1894. 

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522. Rau, C. : Von Martius on Some Points of South American Ethnology. 

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523. Reclus, E. : Primitive Folk. Studies in Comparative Ethnology. 

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529. ScHCLTZE, F. : Fetichism. A Contribution to Anthropology and the 

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Aber, 155. 
Adams, 238, 292. 
Addy, 99. 
^^hylus, 14. 
Alcibiades, 383. 
D'Alviella, 47, Gl, 65, 70, 

114, 154, 209, 357. 
Amelineau, 107. 
American Anthropolo- 
gist, 28, 36, 41. 
American Xotes and 

Queries, 132, 149, 294, 

Am Urdhs-Brunnen, 297. 
Am Ur-Quell, 29, 70, 145, 

255, 300, 302. 
Andersea, 43, 129, 165, 

187, 344. 
Andran, 349. 
Angas, 278. 
Anstey, 351. 
Apocrypha, 29, 88, 118, 

357, 370. 
A.puleius, 37. 

Arabian Nights, 189, 344. 
Arena, 232. 
Aristotle, 213, 408. 
Arnim (v.) , 130, 131. 
Aston, 258. 
Auerbach, 378, 389. 
D'Aunoy, 189. 

Bachofen, 12, 34. 
Bacon, 23, 236, 377, 379, 
380, 388, 396. 

Baegert, 100. 

Bagehot, 237. 

BaU, 174. 

BaUou, 396. 

Bancroft, 147, 156, 178, 

179, 307. 
Barbosa, 107. 
Baring-Grould, 332. 
Barrie, 392, 393. 
Barrington, 110. 
Bartels, 111, 126, 154, 309, 

310, 311, 313, 314, 355. 
Bastian, 133, 134, 155, 193, 

Baumbach, 165, 166, 167. 
Beauchamp, 162. 
Beckler, 278. 
Beecher, 7, 28, 59, 192, 

193, 19i, 377, 383. 
Beethoven, 281. 
Bergen, 169, 170, 257. 
Berendt, 72. 
Bible, 1, 2. 17, 52, 62, 89, 

92, 131, 144, 288, 292, 

293, 299, 312, 360. 
Black, 147, 177, 309. 
Blake, 391. 
Boas, 9, 86, 90, 99, 147, 197, 

207, 240, 279, 300, 302, 

303, 307, 310, 338, 350. 
Bodin, 64. 
Boeder, 38. 
Boileau, 249. 
Bolton (H. C), 273. 
Bolton (T. L.),278. 


Bosman, 320. 

Bourke, 148, .310, 314, 321. 

Brainerd, 321. 

Bramhall, 19, 179, 223. 

Brand, 324, 325, 326, 327. 

Brewer (J. C), 44, 92, 
103, 132, 181, 285, 288, 
291, 295, 301, 311, 316, 
317, 323, 354, 375. 

Brewer (W. H.), 173, 174. 

Bridges, 11. 

Bridgman, 83. 

Brinton, 2, 13, 16, 28, 31, 
31, 39, 56, 61, 67, 70, 71, 
72, 73, 104, 105, 142, 155, 
161, 170, 177, 178, 257, 
324, 344, 345. 

Brown, 289. 

Browning (E. B.), 19,193. 

Browning (R.), 171, 281, 
282, 327. 

Buddha, 287, 335. 

Bnrchard, 303. 

Bums, 381. 

Burton, 89, 118. 

Buschmann, 10. 

Busk, 164, 367, 371. 

Byron, 25, 89. 

Calderon, 281. 
CaUaway, 63, 154, 297. 
Carlyle, 52, 213, 329, 380. 
Carove', 168. 
Carstens, 186, 187, 249. 
Carstensen, 253, 254. 


The Child in Folk-TJiought. 

Castren, 209. 

Catholic World, 371. 

Catliu, 20o, 356. 

Cato, 289. 

Catullus, 95, 128. 

C. F. P., 165, 1G6, 167. 

Celsus, 249. 

Century Dictionary, 22. 

Century Magazine, 25. 

Champlain, 142. 

Chamberlain (A. F.), 91, 

106, 142, 156, 188, 204, 

255, 261, 269, 303. 
Chamberlain (B.H.),177. 
Chamisso, 396. 
Chantimpr^ (de), 24. 
Chapman, 393. 
Chatelain, 279. 
Chaucer, 9. 
Cherubina, 280. 
Cherubini, 281. 
Chervin, 249. 
Chrisman, 267. 
Cicero, 380. 

Clark, 11, 84, 85, 99, 204. 
Clemens, 302. 
Cleveland, 174. 
Clodd, 30, 31, 34, 68. 
Clot-Bey, 276. 
Clouston, 330, 335, 343, 

369, 374. 
Codrington, 11, 15, 157. 
Coleridge (H.), 5, 130, 

131, 182. 
Coleridge (S.T.), 28, 131, 

144, 379, 380. 
Collins, 110. 
Confucius, 63, 131. 
Connor, 174. 
Constantino, 220. 
Cornelia, 104. 
Cowper, 23, 380. 
Crashaw, 360. 
Crawford, 280. 
Culin, 43, 238, 239. 
Cuoq, 83, 142, 261. 
Current Literature, 373. 
Cushing, 37, 38, 47, 73, 

74, 147, 346. 
Czaky, 234. 

Daniels, 94, 102, 217, 240, 

Danneil, 307. 
Dante, 281, 379. 
Dargun, 221. 
Darmesteter (Mrs.), 330. 
Darwin (C), 117,279. 
Darwin (E.), 296. 
David, 160, 163, 286. 
Dawson, 343. 
Day, 39, 42, 214, 335. 
De Gubernatis, 365, 371, 

De Meung, 1. 
Deneus, 217-222. 
De Quincey, 293, 299. 
Desaivre, 249. 
De Vere, 275. 
Dialect Notes, 256. 
Dickens, 381. 
Dio Cassius, 225. 
Diocletian, 220. 
Dirksen, 138, 139, 140. 
Disraeli, 273, 393. 
Doddridge, 299. 
Dodge, 100, 116, 207. 
Donaldson, 281. 
Dorsey, 22, 112, 142, 159, 

307, 339. 
Douglas, 49. 
Dreyling, 269. 
Drummond, 7. 
Dryden, 379, 380. 
Duncan, 332. 
Du Vair, 64. 
Dyer, 93, 98, 99, 168, 


Earle, 148. 

Earwaker, 229. 

Eastman, 71. 

Ebers, 131. 

Eells, 195. 

Eibler, 281. 

Eichhorn, 281. 

Ellis (A. B.), 17, 43, 58, 

65, 110, 132, 277, 320, 

334, 349. 
Ellis (H.),2, 18, 96. 
Ellis (W.), 94, 277. 

Emerson (Mrs. E. R.), 
120, 164, 180, 185, 284. 

Emerson (R. W.), 278, 
379, 380, 381, 390, 393, 

Engelhus, 23. 

Engels, 221. 

Eotvos, 376. 

Epictetus, 61. 

Erman, 107. 

Estienne, 94. 

Euripides, 14, 389. 

Eyre, 83. 

Falkner, 314. 

Farrar, 261. 

Fay, 89. 

Feilberg, 301. 

Fe'nelon, 395. 

Ferguson, 34. 

Feuerbach, 144. 

Fewkes, 41, 208, 209, 272. 

Fischer, 20. 

Fletcher (Miss A. C), 

Fletcher (R.), 184, 185. 
Folk-Lore Journal, 119. 
Folkard, 42, 148, 150, 164, 

168, 296, 297, 364, 366, 

367, 368, 372, 373, 374, 

Ford, 153. 
Franck, 23. 
Frankel, 254. 
Franklin, 398. 
Eraser, 100, 101. 
Frazer, 155. 
Friend, 168, 297. 
Froebel, 37, 43, 129, 400. 
Fruit, 256. 
Fuller, 276. 
Furnivall, 225-231. 

Gaidoz, 92, 94, 95. 
Garbe, 226. 
Garnett, 35. 
Gatschet, 8, 36, 43, 52, 83, 

161, 279, 345. 
Gerarde, 366. 
Gibbs, 108. 

Index I. 


GUI, 27, 30, 46, 62, 115, 
116, 33*. 335, »43. 

Girard-Teulon, 107. 

Gladstone, 3. 

Goethe, 2, 21, 25, 27, 28, 
129, 378, 379, 380, 381, 
385, 389, 390, 392, 393, 
395, 397. 

Goltz, 130. 

Goldsmith, 396. 

Gromme (Miss A.), 200, 
270, 273. 

Gomme (L.) , 59, 114, 116, 

Gore, 97. 

Gonld, 360. 

Gray, 184. 

Gr^goire, 57. 

Gregor, 140, 290, S02, 305, 
309, 310, 311, 363, 365. 

Griffis, 336. 

Grimm (J.), 49, 67, 81, 
88, 94, 96, 119, 141, 148, 
163, 189, 303, 301, 310, 
313, 344, 363, 365, 370, 

Grinnell, 41, 206, 323, 339. 

Groth, 24, 189. 

Guerin, 295. 

Gnppy, 126, 127, 150. 

Haas, 136, 137, 306. 
Haberlandt, 92, 94, 106. 
Hale, 248, 261, 263-267. 
Haliburton, 383. 
Hall (Bishop), 325. 
HaU (G. S.), 1, 28, 134, 

171, 209, 236, 237, 292. 
Halleck, 25. 
Handel, 281. 
Hanoteau, 95. 
Han Wan-Kung, 213. 
Hare, 104, 379, 383. 
Harley, 332, 333. 
Harrison, 44. 
Hartland, 40, 47, 68, 102, 

103, 140, 141, 172, 214, 

309, 317, 335, 336, 337, 

»43, 355. 
Hartmann Ton Ane, 311. 

Haskell, 195, 270. 
Hawthorne, 129, 148. 
Hazlitt, 381. 
Held (v.), 57, 58, 60. 
Henderson, 118, 140, 153, 

305, 306, 355, 365. 
Henne am Rhyn, 332. 
Heraclitus, 37, 67. 
Herbert, 64, 331, 387, 400. 
Herder, 25, 27. 
Herodotus, 174. 
Herrick, 161. 
Hesso, 25. 
Heywood, 270. 
Hiawatha, 16. 
Higginson, 17, 263. 
Hitopadesa, 377, 385. 
HOfler, 249. 

Hoffman, 177, 318, 321. 
Holmes, 395. 
Holty, 36. 
Homer, 14, 38, 54, 152, 

160, 252. 
Hopf , 189. 
Horace, 33, 37, 59, 183, 

Hose, 105, 109, 110, 153. 
Howitt, 213. 
Hiibner, 313. 
Hughes, 201. 
Hugo, 278, 384. 
Humphrey, 332, 333. 
Hod, 264. 
Hunt, 378, 381. 

Immermann, 251. 

Im Thum, 47, 116, 124, 

127, 196. 
Irving, 116. 
Isaiah, 283. 

Jean Paul (Richter), 6, 
21, 36, 51, 376, 380, 384, 
385, 386, 389, 392, 393, 
396, 397, 399. 

Jesus, 2, 4, 52, 61, 132, 
232, 358, 377, 379, 381. 

Job, 92. 

Joel, 293. 

Johnson (G. E.), 200, 201. 

Johnson (J. H.), 238, 291, 

Johnson (S.), 331, 377. 
Journal of American 

Folk-Lore, 41, 98, 333, 

Joum. o/Anthrop. Inst^ 

Joubert, 395. 
Justinian, 218. 
Juvenal, 6, 308. 

Kane, 147. 
Kant, 25. 

Keble, 384, 385, 400. 
Klemm, 314. 
Kluge, 8, 53, 78. 
Knortz, 205. 
Koran, 374. 
Krauss, 216, 267. 
Kulischer, 102. 

La Bruyfere, 377. 

Lacretelle, 383. 

Lafiteau, 15, 207. 

LaUemand, 106, 145. 

Lander, 356. 

Landor, 132, 396. 

Lang, 38, 40, 71, 278, 302, 
329, 331, M3. 

Langdale, 7, 383. 

La Rochefoucauld, 392. 

Lebbe, 374. 

Legge, 213. 

Leland, 283, 284, 285, 344. 

Le Play, 217. 

Lescarbot, 142. 

Lessing, 392. 

Letourneau, 10, 16, 20, 
112, 148, 214, 215, 217, 
225, 277, 302, 328. 

Lippert, 17, 19, 26, 49, 54. 

Livy, 26. 

Locke, 213, 398, 400. 

Lombroso (C), 281. 

Lombroso (P.), 274, 289. 

Longstaff, 231. 

Longfellow, 48, 142, 144, 
167, 179, 190. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Lope de Vega, 281. 
Loubens, 209. 
Lowell, 285. 
Liibben, 23, 24, 25. 
Lubbock, 104, 160. 
Luke, (St.), 360. 
Lumholtz, 37, 69, 100, 126, 

149, 356. 
Lummis, 41, 205, 346. 
Luther, 23, 129. 
Lycurgus, 16. 
Lytton, 171. 

Maaler, 23, 24. 
Macaulay, 66. 
MacCauley, 116, 195, 207. 
Macdonald, 135. 
MacKay, 323. 
Mackenzie, 210. 
Maclean, 339. 
Macmillan's Magazine, 

Madden, 331. 
Mahomet, 399. 
Mahoudeau, 95. 
Maikhailovskii, 65, 314, 

Maine, 222. 
Mallery, 11, 84. 
Man, 36, 50, 83, 84, 85, 

101, 117, 156, 157, 198, 

201, 205, 215, 320, 334, 

Manouvrier, 95. 
Mantegazza, 90, 117, 268. 
Manu, 7, 219, 292, 377. 
Marco Polo, 231. 

21, 33, 371, 372. 
Martius (v.) , 260. 
Marvell, 213, 329. 
Mason, 7, 13, 15, 20, 28, 

46, 121, 122, 123, 177, 

194, 199, 202, 206, 207, 

Matthew (St.), 1, 286, 

Matthews, 137. 
Maundeville, 172. 
Maxjmus, 289. 

McGee, 29. 

McLennan, 13, 14, 27, 54, 

Menander, 380. 
Mercer, 169. 
Metastasio, 281. 
Meung (de), 1. 
Meyer, 24. 
Michelet, 220. 
Miklucho-Maclay, 274. 
Miles, 281. 
Miller (J.), 248, 268. 
Miller (W.), 35, 160. 
Milman, 183. 
Milton, 33, 37, 181, 360, 

373, 381, 390. 
Mirabeau, 57. 
Moisset, 249. 
Mommsen, 233. 
Mone, 48. 
Montaigne, 89. 
Monteiro, 113, 279, 337. 
Montesinos, 66. 
Mooney, 341, 342. 
Morgan, 13. 
Morley, 7. 
Mozart, 281. 
Mullenhoflf, 287, 288. 
MiiUer (F.Max), 34, 39, 

53, 59, 63, 64, 65, 70. 
MiiUer (J. G.), 31, 32,37, 

39, 41, 66, 69, 73, 162, 

182, 188. 
Murdoch, 208. 

Napoleon, 385. 
Nelson, 206, 321. 
Newell, 181, 200, 262, 271, 

273, 288, 289, 290, 295, 

Niebuhr, 110. 
Norton, 259. 
Novalis, 293, 394. 

Opitz, 23. 
Orientalist, 374. 
Ortwein, 365. 
Ossian, 164. 

Ovid, 59, 162, 252, 391, 

Paul (St.), 61. 

Pechuel-Loesche, 252. 

Peckham, 327. 

Penn, 398. 

Percival, 168. 

Perdrizet, 95. 

Perrault, 329. 

Peschel, 260. 

Petronius Arbiter, 299. 

Pfeffel, 391. 

PhsBdrus, 33, 377. 

Philo, 14. 

Philosophical Magazine, 

Pindar, 47. 

Pistorius, 376. 

Pitre', 114, 119, 133, 290, 

Plato, 14, 20, 396. 

Pliny (Elder), 118. 

Pliny (Younger) , 219. 

Ploss, 5, 21, 38, 48, 69, 
112, 113, 121, 126, 133, 
136, 137, 141, 146, 147, 
149, 152, 153, 155, 156, 
163, 171, 173, 193, 197, 
216, 224, 231, 250, 276, 
280, 350, 355. 

Plutarch, 14, 289. 

Pokrovski, 121. 

Polle, 10, 86. 

Polydore Virgil, 245. 

Pope, 52, 63, 152, 276, 279, 

Popular Science Month- 
ly, 22, 193. 

Porter, 98. 

Post, 12, 55, 57, 110, 111, 
221, 224, 241, 242, 243, 
244, 348, 351. 

Pott, 10. 

Powell, 232. 

Powers, 108, 109,111,112, 
116, 121, 127, 142, 143, 
196, 198, 202, 203, 205, 
314, 357. 

Praed, 104, 130, 134. 

Preyer, 201. 

Procopius, 173. 

Index I. 


Proctor, 130, 348. 
Psychological Review, 2. 
Public Opinion, 224. 
Pnttenham, 327. 
Pythagoras, 98. 

Quarterly Review, 100. 

Rabelais, 209. 
Rademacher, 69. 
Raghuvansa, 388. 
Ealston, 35, 36, 40, 67, 

107, 113, 114, 370, 373. 
Rameses, 61. 
Rand, 190, 285, 339, 340, 

Rau, 248, 260. 
Rauber, 174, 175. 
Reel lis, 30, 90, 92, 127, 

150, 179, 197, 356. 
Riccardi, 234, 235, 236. 
PJchter (see Jean Paul). 
Riggs, 86, 87, 198, 199. 
Rink, 86, 106, 179, 321, 

Robinson, 147. 
Rockhill, 271. 
Romanes, 267. 
Roscommon, 75. 
Rousseau, 128, 395, 400. 
Ruckert, 188, 391. 
Ruskin, 213, C39, 378, 379, 

381, 390, 395, 396, 400. 
RusseU, 134. 

Sangermano, 225. 
Sartori, 98, 268. 
Scaliger, 96. 
Schallenberger, 289. 
Schambach, 242. 
Schell, 136. 

Schiller, 47, 381, 391, 398. 
Schlagintweit, 226. 
Schlegel, 27. 
Schomburgk, 172. 
Schopenhauer, 379. 
Schottel, 23. 
Schultze, 29, 33, 37, 64, 

67, 70, 71, 172, 242, 319, 


Schurtz, 211, 212. 
Scott (C. N.),358, 359. 
Scott (W.), 25, 121, 297, 

Scudder, 128, 374. 
SeTjillot, 249. 
Sembrzycki, 96. 
Sessions, 33, 136, 203, 201, 

222 223. 
Shakespeare, 9, 21, 22, 25, 

52, 60, 85, 104, 119, 121, 

123, 140, 163, 173, 286, 

329, 371, 381, 387, 388, 

Shelley, 36. 
Shenstone, 183. 
Shirley, 387. 
Sibree, 94. 
Sidney, 391. 
Simons, 381. 
Simrock, 49. 
Simson, 150. 
Skeat, 8, 53, 54, 78, 87. 
Sleeman, 174. 
Smith (E.), 134, 318, 

Smith (J.), 230. 
Smith (R.), 47, 62,217. 
Smith (S. F.),25. 
Socrates, 392. 
Soest (v.), 24. 
Solomon, 286, 287. 
Solon, 16, 219. 
Sophocles, 27. 
Southey, 376. 
Spencer, 356. 
Spenser, 21, 160. 
Spurgeon, 388. 
Squier, 324. 
Stanton, 48. 
Starr, 255. 
Stead, 232. 
Steel, 226. 
Steinen (v. den), 43, 124, 

Stevenson, 32, 33, 117, 

157, 158, 271, 347, 357. 
St. Francis, 171, 181. 
Stoddard, 26, 29, 30, 


St. Pierre, 129. 

Strack, 126, 148, 312, 313, 

351, 352, 353, 354. 
Strype, 327. 
Sully, 281. 
Sundermann, 136. 
Svetchin, 392. 
Swainson, 153, 189, 368, 

369, 370. 
Sweeny, 168. 
Swift, 392. 
S\rinbume (A. C), 3, 39, 

Swinburne (Judge), 228. 
" Sylvanus Urban," 231. 
Symonds, 280. 

Tacitus, 32, 51, 162. 
Talmud, 106, 389, 392. 
Tarde, 194. 
Tasso, 281. 
Temple, 225, 335. 
Tennyson, 3, 51, 118, 144, 

244, 248, 280, 384, 394, 

Terence, 390. 
Thales, 38. 
Theal, 197, 210, 274, 299, 

Theocritus, 40. 
Thiele, 172. 
Thom, 153. 

Thomson, 71, 184, 396. 
Thoreau, 400. 
Tillaux, 95. 
Tilte, 365. 
Tigri, 280. 
Tobler, 87. 
Toldoth Jesu, 374. 
Tora, 118, 145. 
Tracy, 258. 
Treichel, 189, 250, 251, 

252, 255. 
Trumbull (H. C), 217. 
Turner, 71. 
Turner (G.),333. 
Turner (L. N.), 177, 190, 

Tylor, 38, 53, 120, 173, 

174, 293. 343. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Uhland, 25, 27. 

Valentinian, 220. 

Valerius, 95. 

Vambery, 10. 

Vance, 20. 

Vaughan, 130. 

Vedas, 31, 34, 37, 39, 64, 

70, 144, 335, 388. 
Vere (de), 275. 
Verney, 47. 
Virgil, 26, 80, 252, 399. 
Vogelweide, 295. 
Volliner, 278. 
Vossius, 95. 

Wallace, 274. 
Wallaschek, 271, 276, 277, 

Warton, 326. 
Warren, 270. 
Watson, 263. 

Weber, 273, 281, 376. 
Webster, 3. 
Wedgwood, 53. 
Weigand, 23. 
Weil, 64, 105, 118, 119, 

120, 148, 155, 188, 189, 

287, 315, 316, 373, 375. 
West, 117, 382. 
Westermarck, 10, 11, 15, 

17, 53, 54, 55, 64, 82, 33, 

102, 106, 107, 145, 215, 

231, 233, 245. 
Whittier, 33, 66, 130, 182, 

184, 185, 282, 329, 331, 

Wiedemann, 150, 193, 216, 

217, 225. 
Wieland, 25, 281. 
Wiltse, 44. 
Winternitz, 106, 118, 146, 

World Almanac, 258. 

Wordsworth, 1, 4, 104, 
128, 130, 152, 154, 159, 
282, 319, 380, 381, 388, 

Wulfila, 9. 

Xenophon, 299. 
Xenophanes, 66. 

Yarrow, 31. 
Young, 387. 

Zacharia, 380. 
Zanetti, 147. 
Zendrini, 398. 
Ziller, 236. 
Zimmermann, 397. 
Zmigrodzki, 7,50, 56, 112, 

113, 119, 120, 131, 174, 

193, 236. 
Zoroaster, 106. 

INDEX 11. 


Abipones, 73. 
Abu-Zabel, 276. 
Accadians, 266. 
Achomawi, 196, 197. 
Afghan, 379, 385, 389. 
Africa. 9, 22, 43, 56, 57, 

58, 59, 111, 123, 172, 
211, 240, 241, 242, 243, 
252, 302, 319, 320, 331, 

Ainu (Ainos), 74, 102, 

177, 215. 
Alabama, 232. 
Alarsk, 65. 
Alaska, 122, 147, 207. 
Albania, 133. 
Albany, 264. 
Alemanian, 89. 
Alfurus, 154. 
Algeria, 95. 
Algonkian (Algonquin), 

29, 70, 83, 104, 142, 161, 

269, 279, 284. 
Alleghanies, 98. 
Alsace, 136, 218. 
Altai, 65, 314, 315. 
Altmark, 307. 
Amazulu, 62, 63, 297. 
Ambamba, 241. 
Amboina, 111. 
America, 12, 31, 56, 58, 

59, 84, 99, 101, 136. 
Anahuac. 188. 
Andalusia, 373. 
Andaman Islands, 17, 36, 

60, 83, 84, 101, 117, 126, 

156, 197, 198, 201, 205, 

215, 271, 278, 320, 333, 

Angola, 243, 279, 348, 

385, 386, 387, 391. 
Angoy, 242. 
Anjou, 221. 
Annam (Annamites),117, 

126, 154, 192, 355. 
Apaches, 197, 278, 321. 
Arabia (Arabs) , 13, 266, 

351, 366, 374, 388, 400. 
Aramaean, 62. 
Arapahos, 85. 
Ararat, Mt., 33. 
Araucanians, 123. 
Arawak, 171. 
Arcadia, 181. 
Ardennes, 174. 
Arekuna, 172. 
Argentine, 126. 
Arizona, 41, 278. 
Armenia (Armenian), 33, 

78, 216. 
Aryan, 8, 11, 13, 16, 32, 

37, 38, 52, 53, 56, 64, 

Ashanti, 17, 58, 65, 110, 

132, 277, 320. 
Asia, 59, 251, 303. 
Asia Minor, 4, 13, 30. 
Assyria, 133, 141, 219. 
Aston, 298. 
Athens, 219, 272. 

Aurora, 157. 

Australia (Australians), 

12, 16, 56, 85, 102, 110, 

111, 126, 149, 171, 193, 

222, 240, 277, 278, 280, 

314, 334, 356. 
Austria, 136, 217, 250, 267, 

Avejrron, 176. 
Aztecs (see Nahuatl, 

Mexico), 28, 67, 69, 251, 


Badagas, 147, 382. 

Baden, 218. 

Baffin Land, 85, 197, 207, 

Bajansi, 212. 
Bakairi, 43, 125. 
Bakulai, 243. 
Balanta, 211. 
Bale, 218. 
Bamberg, 174. 
Bambuk, 244. 
Bampton, 298. 
Banians, 110. 
Banks Islands, 157. 
Basques, 113, 217, 279, 

383, 387. 
Basutos, 351. 
Battas, 197. 
Bavaria. 126, 142, 217, 

Bayreuth, 352. 
Bechuanas, 313. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Bedouins, 10. 

Beit-Bidel, 243. 

Belford, 98. 

Belgium, 222. 

Bengal (Bengalese) , 39, 

42, 335. 
Berg, 218. 
Bern, 219, 354. 
Berwickshire, 306. 
Beverly, 326. 
Bielefeld, 363. 
Bilqula (Bella Coola), 

Blackfoot (Blackfeet) , 

20, 123, 329. 
Boeotia, 358. 
Bohemia, 93, 133, 136, 

141, 145, 168, 248, 250. 
Bologna, 367. 
Bombay, 110. 
Bomma, 243. 
Bonyhad, 267. 
Borneo, 105, 109, 110, 111, 

153, 217, 274. 
Bornoo (Bornu), 349. 
Bosnia, 362. 
Boston, 262, 263. 
Boxley, 99. 
Brabant, 146. 
Brahmans, 30, 225. 
Brazil, 36, 37, 43, 124, 

125, 154, 225, 260. 
Bremen, 139. 
Brer ton, 226. 
Breslau, 172. 
British Columbia, 9, 34, 

82, 240, 332. 
Brittany (Breton) , 92, 95, 

112, 120, 131, 136, 164, 

184, 249, 337. 
Brooklyn, 238. 
Buckinghamshire, 298. 
Buddhists, 45, 61. 
Bulgaria, 35, 192, 393. 
Burgundians, 220. 
Burma (Burmese), 225. 
Buru, 211. 
Buryats (Buriats), 314, 

Byzantium, 58, 141. 

Caddos, 9. 

Cakchiquels, 61, 76, 171. 

Calabar, 224. 

Calabria, 156. 

California, 100, 108, 109, 
116, 120, 121, 127, 142, 
156, 169, 170, 196, 202, 
205, 266, 289, 307, 314, 

Cambridge, 290. 

Canada, 17, 26, 142, 207. 

Canary Islands, 173. 

Canterbury, 326. 

Cape Breton, 122. 

Cape York, 222. 

Caribs, 32, 162, 302. 

Carinthia, 336. 

Carnatic, 297. 

Carthage, 4. 

Castilian, 269. 

Qatloltq, 9. 

Cayuse, 313. 

Celebes, 111. 

Celts (Celtic), 8, 56, 75, 
77, 161, l&l, 223. 337. 

Central America, 39, 111, 

Ceylon, 225. 

Chalons, 174. 

Champagne, 370. 

Charlbury, 202. 

Cherokees, 310, 341, 342, 

Chester, 226, 229. 

Chetimachas, 16. 

Chiapas, 324. 

Chibchas, 133, 302. 

Chickasaws, 43. 

Chili, 123. 

China (Chinese), 13, 16, 
32, 43, 49, 56, 57, 63, 64, 
85, 103, 131, 132, 136, 
156, 177, 193, 213, 214, 
215, 219, 225, 231, 262, 
271, 313, 358, 377. 

Chinantec, 57. 

Chinchas, 39. 

Chinook, 123, 177. 

Chippeway (Ojibwa), 
104, 105, 106, 161, 164, 

180, 185, 186, 205, 284, 

318, 321. 
Chiquito, 36. 
Choctaw, 16. 
Cholona, 9, 82. 
Clonmel, 103. 
Cofonino, 74. 
Colchester, 326. 
Colhuacan, 188. 
Comanches, 71, 123. 
Colne, 227. 
Cologne, 294, 354. 
Congo, 114, 180, 349. 
Connecticut, 232, 233. 
Coomassie, 349. 
Coptic, 141. 
Cornwall (Cornish) , 311, 

356, 364. 
Cossacks, 40, 204. 
Cotas, 223. 
Cracow, 120. 
Cree, 104, 105. 
Creeks, 43, 215. 
Crete, 26, 144. 
Croustadt, 175. 
Cumberland, 168. 
Czechs, 145. 
Czernowitz, 267. 

Dakotas, 85, 86, 87, 112, 
142, 198, 199, 302. 

Damaras, 110. 

Damascus, 62. 

Dardistan, 216. 

Darfur, 244. 

Darien, 293. 

Deeping, 231. 

Delaware, 232, 233. 

Delawares, 161, 206, 321. 

Denmark (Danish), 42, 
57, 68, 75, 136, 164, 217, 
301, 336, 369, 377, 378, 

Devonshire, 153, 355, 364, 

Dieyerie, 102, 126, 314. 

Ditmarsh, 24, 254, 351. 

Dnieper, 40. 

Dodona, 181, 183. 

Donegal, 147, 310. 

Index U. 


Doracho, 111. 
Dravidian, 12, 107. 
Dutch, 2i, 187, 391, 392, 

Dvina, 40. 
Dyaks, 17, 217, 274. 

East Indies, 68. 

Egypt (Egyptian), 4, 13, 
32, 46, 48, 61, 84, 107, 
133, 149, 150, 172, 193, 
219, 225, 276, 312, 315, 
359, 366, 381. 

Elberfeld, 254. 

Elbing, 96. 

England (English), 7, 9, 
18, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 
71, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 
81, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 98, 
99, 118, 123, 128, 129, 
136, 141, 146, 153, 161, 
168, 184, 201, 226, 227, 
228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 
244, 248, 251, 251, 255, 
256, 266, 270, 271, 272, 
294, 296, 305, 310, 311, 
355, 364, 365, 366, 368, 
376, 377, 380, 382, 383, 
384, 385, 387, 388, 390, 
392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 
397, 398, 399, 400, 401. 

Ermeland, 351. 

Erzgebirge, 250. 

Eskimo (Esquimaox), 86, 
90, 92, 102, 105, 106, 112, 
122, 127, 147, 177, 179, 
190, 191, 197, 207, 208, 
215, 279, 303, 321, 322, 

Essenes, 215. 

Essex, 310. 

Esthonia (Esthonian),38, 
218, 330. 

Eton, 326, 327. 

Etrascan, 133. 

Euphrates, 120, 131. 

Europe, 98, 312, 364, 365. 

Ewe, 111. 

Eynsham, 230. 

Feddringen, 254. 

Fernando Po, 172. 

Fiji, 102, 107, 149, 271, 

Finland (Finns), 33, 65, 

119, 210, 280, 330, 372. 
Flat Heads, 177. 
Florence, 375. 
Florida, 116, 154, 195, 232. 
Fohr, 252. 
France (French), 9, 24, 

26, 54, 57, 60, 64, 77, 78, 
81, 89, 91, 94, 107, 128, 
204, 209, 221, 233, 249, 
251, 272, 294, 310, 311, 
313, 326, 329, 349, 368, 
370, 379, 380, 383, 385, 
388, 395, 398, 399, 400. 

Franconia, 250, 351. 
Franks, 221. 
Friburg, 219. 
Frisian, 135, 138, 140, 144, 

253, 380, 385, 392, 396, 

Fuegians, 11, 215. 
Fulas, 243. 

GaeUc, 376, 395. 
Galibi, 82. 
Galicia, 311. 
Ganges, 40, 174. 
Gauls, 220. 
Geneva, 218. 
Grenoa, 58. 
Greorgia, 98. 
Gerbstadt, 86. 
Germany (German) , 4, 
18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 

27, 33, 35, 36, 42, 44, 49, 
51, 56, 58, 59, (52, 67, 68, 
69, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 
86, 87. 88, 89, 96, 112, 
119, 128, 129, 130, 133, 
1-35, 136, 139, 141, 144, 
145, 148, 161, 165, 168, 
170, 173, 178, 184, 186, 
187, 192, 201, 217, 218, 
219, 344, 248, 249, 251, 

254, 255, 268, 290, 297, 
302, 310, 311, 326, 336, 

380, 353, 363, 364, 365, 
370, 372, 374, 378, 380, 
382, 383, 384, 385, 387, 
388, 390, 392, 393, 396, 
397, 398, 399, 400. 

Gilolo, 111. 

Glastonbury, 366. 

Gloucester, 223. 

Godstowe, 327. 

Gothic (Goths), 9, 10, 27, 
53, 54, 75, 78, 80, 161, 
162, 173, 219, 359. 

Gottingen, 25, 171, 241. 

Greece (Greek), 13, 14, 
37, 40, 44, 46, 47, 53, 54, 
59, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67, 75, 
76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 85, 
105, 113, 119, 120, 128, 
132, 133, 136, 141, 148, 
150, 160, 161, 163, 164, 
174, 184, 218, 233, 251, 
269, 272, 275, 280, 302, 
304, 317, 329, 358, 359, 
372, 393, .395. 

Greenland, 86, 92, 102, 

Grodno, 174. 

Gualalas, 142. 

Guarani, 124. 

Guarayo, 73. 

Guatemala, 34, 61, 161, 

Guiana, 47, 116, 124, 126; 
127, 171, 172, 196. 

Guinea, 243. 

Gujurat, 225. 

Gypsies, 29, 68, 280. 

Hackney, 223. 
Haddenham , 298. 
Haidas, 54, 210. 
Hameln, 173, 175. 
Hanafi, 216. 
Hanover, 221. 
Hare Indians, 147. 
Harz, 250. 
Havel, 374. 

Hawaii (Hawaiian), 10, 
.55, 82, 215, 277. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Hebrews (Jews), 17, 61, 
62, 64, 75, 80, 89, 92, 
106, 118, 128, 141, 145, 
148, 150, 155, 160, 163, 
219, 286, 311, 312, 313, 
335, 336, 383. 

Heide, 351. 

Heliopolis, 366. 

Hellene, 8. 

Herefordshire, 364. 

Hervey Islands, 27, 115, 
116, 333, 33i. 

Hesse, 137, 173, 175, 218, 

Heston, 223. 

Heton, 225. 

Hichitis, 43. 

Hidatsa, 137. 

High-Coquetdale, 98. 

Himalayas, 100. 

Hindus (Hindoos), 16, 30, 
31, 34, 42, 59, 70, 133, 

144, 147, 148, 152, 174, 
219, 220, 225, 284, 335, 

Holland, 174, 218. 

Honduras, 324. 

Hopi, 41. 

Hottentots, 56, 110, 251. 

Houghton, 204. 

Hovas, 145. 

Hungary (Hungarian) , 
29, 68, 141, 146, 175, 
204, 234, 267, 353, 354. 

Huns, 53, 58, 141. 

301, 323. 

Hupas, 123. 

Hurons, 37. 

Iceland (Icelandic), 75, 

145, 146, 162, 337, 369. 
India, 29, 30, 37, 39, 42, 

54, 92, 100, 101, 106, 113, 
150, 174, 214, 223, 225, 
226, 284, 297. 
Indians, American (see 
also various tribal 
names), 100, 116, 120, 
121, 122, 142, 190, 204, 

207, 240, 243, 261, 302, 
307, 3S2, ,338, 357. 

Indo-Iranian, 8, 56. 

Innspruck, 354. 

Iowa, 169. 

IpuTucoto, 125. 

Ireland (Irish) , 53, 68, 75, 
103, 146, 147, 156, 162, 
174, 175, 177, 222, 223, 
309, 310, 370. 

Iroquois, 15, 16, 123, 134, 
162, 261, 279, 318, 341, 

Ishogo, 350. 

Isleta, 345. 

Islington, 223. 

Italy (Italian) , 24, 58, 60, 
78, 90, 114, 156, 169, 173, 
192, 218, 250, 269, 280, 
290, 331, 368, 371, 372, 
383, 385, 387, 388, 391, 
393, 395, 399. 

Jamaica, 268. 

Japan (Japanese), 10, 13, 
19, 43, 55, 56, 117, 133, 
136, 156, 179, 214, 223, 
258, 313, 335, 336. 

Jasmund, 137. 

Java, 111, 117. 

Jericho, 366, 367. 

Jews (see Hebrews). 

Ji'varo, 82, 150. 

Kabinapek, 109. 
Kabylia (Kabyles), 95. 
Kaffirs (Kafirs), 56, 58, 

197, 210, 242. 274, 277, 

299, 302, 350. 
Kalispelm, 9. 
Kallundborg, 301. 
Kalmucks, 45, 61, 132. 
Kammin, 353. 
Kamtschatka, 172. 
Kansa, 307. 
Kansas, 232. 
Karaibi, 125. 
Karankawa, 8, 43, 161. 
Karok, 109. 
Kato Pomo, 202. 

Kei Islands, 111. 
Kent, 223. 
Kentucky, 256. 
Kherson, 373. 
Khonds, 29, 30. 
Khyens, 215. 
Kiche' (Quiche'), 34,344. 
Kilkenny, 299. 
Kingsmill Islands, 102. 
Kingston, 265. 
Klamath, 8, 52, 83, 123, 

Knutsford, 226. 
Kolosh, 56, 147. 
Kols (Kolhs), 223. 
Konigsberg, 250. 
Konow, 352, 353. 
Kootenays, 54, 123, 142. 
Korosi, 111. 
Kwakiutl, 9, 54, 240, 303, 

307, 310, 338. 

Labrador, 190. 

Lambeth, 223, 326. 

Laon, 221. 

Lapps, 33, 65, 400. 

Latin (Roman), 9, 17, 18, 
23, 26, 37, 49, 53, 54, 58, 
59, 60, 65, 73, 76, 77, 78, 
79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 87, 89, 
90, 98, 105, 118, 134, 183, 
249, 251, 274, 370, 380, 
385, 388, 389. 

Latuka, 277. 

Leipzig, 254. 

Lewis, 68. 

Liberia, 310. 

Libya, 66. 

Liege, 175. 

Lille, 323. 

Lincolnshire, 231, 354. 

Lithuania, 8, 68, 78, 141, 
175, 373. 

Loango, 252, 349. 

Loire, 221. 

London, 326. 

Louisiana, 9. 

Lourdes, 294. 

Low German, 18, 24, 48, 
81, 88, 187, 189, 249, 250, 

Index II. 


251, 377, 382, 389, 392, 

398. . 
Lowland Scotch, 75, 82, 

88, 269. 
Liineburg, 178. 
Lusatia, 187. 
Lycia, 325. 

Madagascar, 9i, 111, 313. 
Magyars, 145. 
Maine, 232, 233, 283. 
Makusi (Macusi) , 125, 

Malabar, 107. 
Malay, 117, 145, 274, 399. 
Malaysia, 12. 
Mandans, 41, 356. 
Mandingos, 242, 243. 
Mangaia, 115. 
Mansfeld, 86. 
Maoris, 64, 171, 221, 223. 
Mark, 353. 

Marquesas Islands, 215. 
Marutse, 212. 
Maryland, 238. [233. 

Massachusetts, 169, 170, 
Mataria, 366. 
Matchlapi, 58. 
Maya, 72, 73, 76, 82, 142, 

161, 162, 178, 324, 344. 
Mazatec, 82. 
Mecklenburg, 49. 
Meesow, 352. 
Meiderich, 138, 139. 
Melanesia, 11, 12, 15, 157. 
Menomoni, 177. 
Mesopotamia, 45, 266. 
Messenia, 26. 
Mexico (Mexican) , 29, 


72, 74, 81, 82, 88, 105, 

133, 170, 188, 199, 251, 

311, 324, 345. 
Miao-tse, 156. 
Micmacs, 106, 163, 187, 

190, 284, 285, 339, 340, 

ilicronesia, 11. 
Milan, 375. 
Minahassers, 17. 

Slincopies, 126. 

Mingrelia, 216. 

Mississagas, 106, 303. 

Mississippi, 40, 66, 357. 

Miwok, 108, 121, 205. 

Moabites, 62. [121. 

Modocs (Modok), 52, 82, 

Mohaves, 123. 

Mohammedans (Mos- 
lems), 367, 374. 

Moki (Moqui), 123. 

Moluccas, 154. [212. 

Monbuttu (Monboddo) , 

Mongols, 38, 56, 142, 223. 

Montenegro, 362. 

Monte Pulciano, 294. 

Moors, 17. 

Moravians, 141, 179. 

Moree, 349. 

Moslems (Muslim, Mus- 
suhnans), 148, 369, 374. 

Mosquito, 324. 

Mota, 11, 157. 

Mpongwe, 243. 

Mrus, 223. 

MuU, 153. 

Munda Kols, 17. 

Mundombe, 242. 

Murs, 221. 

Muskogees, 16, 43, 67. 

Mussulmans, 105, 118, 

Muzo, 37. 

Nahane, 16. [161. 

Nahuatl (Aztec), 81, 82, 
Nairs, 107. 
Namaqua, 329. 
Naples, 171, 353. 
Navajos (Xavahos), 123, 

Negritos, 146. [60. 

Neo-Latin (Romance) , 
Netherlands, 374. 
Xeuchatel, 218. 
Neu-Stettin, 126. 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 326. 
New England, 9, 17, 54, 

148, 169, 223, 237. 
New Guinea, 240, 274, 278. 

New Hampshire, 169, 233. 
New Hebrides, 15, 157. 
New Jersey, 233. 
New Mexico, 41, 74, 150. 
New York, 169, 223. 
New Zealand, 221, 251. 
Nias, 111, 311. 
Nicaragua, 17, 102. 
Nile, 315. 
Nilgiris (Neilgherries), 

147, 150, 203. 
Nipissings, 83, 142, 269. 
Nishinam, 111, 143, 357. 
Niskwalli, 76, 81, 82, 108. 
Nootkas, 9, 54, 90, 99, 303. 
Normandy, 367. 
North Carolina, 232. 
Northumberland, 98, 223. 
Norway (Norwegian), 66, 

78, 80, 218. 
Norwich, 354. 
Nova Scotia, 187. 
Ntlakyapamuq, 51. 
Nubia, 149. 
Niirnberg, 352. 

Ojibwa (see Chippeway). 
Okanak-en, 9, 54. 
Oldenburg, 94, 138, 350, 

Omagua, 37. 
Omahas, 142, 279. 
Oraibi, 74. 
Oranienburg, 175. 
Oregon, 8, 83, 123, 266. 
Oriental, 1, 64, 119, 120, 

145, 188, 189, 280, 373, 

Ossetic, 53. 
Ostiaks, 314. 
Otranto, 372. 
Oude, 174. 
Ovaherero, 350. 
Oxfordshire, 203, 230. 

Padam, 17. 
Padua, 375. 
Palestine, 173, 179. 
Pali, 75. 
Pampas, 126. 


The Child in Folk-Thought. 

Panjab (Punjab), 225, 

226, 335. 
Papuans, 274. 
Paraguay, 73. 
Parsees, 08. 
Patwin, 111, 127, 143. 
Pawnees, 41, 116, 323. 
Peake River, 280. 
Pelew Islands, 102. 
Pennsylvania, 98, 233. 
Penobscots, 283. 
PEntlatc, 9. 
Persia (Persian), 68, 106, 

171, 219, 331, 382. 
Peru (Peruvian), 28, 32, 

37, 39, 40, 58, 66, 70, 82, 

Philadelphia, 238. 
Philippine Islands, 146, 

271, 278. 
Phoenicia, 69, 133. 
Phrygia, 133. 
Piutes, 71. 
Plattdeutsch, 269. 
Podolia, 354. 
Poitou, 249. 

Poland, 174, 251, 254, 352. 
Polynesia, 11, 46, 56, 62, 

64, 115, 116, 155, 271, 

277, 333. [353. 

Pomerania, 217, 317, 352, 
Porno, 123, 143, 202. 
Ponkas, 142. 
Pontmain, 294. 
Pontoise, 354. 
Portugal (Portuguese) , 

218, 383, 396, 401. 
Prussia, 96, 141, 218, 250, 

Pt. Barrow, 208. 
Pudu-vayal, 297. 
Pueblos Indians, 41, 147, 

205, 208, 209, 321, 345, 

316, 347. 
Puharies, 54. 
Psrrenees, 174, 175. 

Quedlinburg, 178. [210. 
Queen Charlotte Islands, 
Queensland, 83. 

Queres, 346, 347. 
Quiches (Kiches) , 34, 344. 

Rackow, 126. 

Rapstede, 288. 

Rarotonga, 46. 

Reddies, 225. 

Rees, 41. 

Regenwald, 352. 

Rhode Island, 233. 

Rio Grande, 311. 

Rio Nunez, 242. 

Ripon, 99. 

Rome (Roman), 13, 17, 
29, 32, 44, 55, 56, 57, 59, 
60, 66, 68, 72, 95, 128, 
134, 139, 141, 162, 171, 
173, 174, 206, 219, 220, 
225, 233, 245, 289, 292, 
299, 367. 

Rotherham, 326. 

Roumania, 218, 374. 

Rugen, 136, 137, 217, 306. 

Russia (Russian), 35, 40, 
58, 60, 66, 67, 69, 107, 
113, 114, 121, 141, 145, 
204, 218, 221, 314, 335, 
353, 355, 370, 373, 376, 
380, 383, 384, 385, 387, 
394, 397, 399, 401. 

Sahaptin, 123. 

Sahara, 12, 149. 

Sakalavas, 111. 

Salisbury, 325, 326. 

Salish, 9. 

Salzburg, 326. 

Samoa, 43, 86, 120, 294. 

Samoyeds, 314. 

Sandeh, 9. 

Sanskrit, 34, 40, 53, 57, 
75, 77, 78, 83, 105, 174, 
377, 382, 394, 400. 

Santals, 17, 145. 

Sappendelf , 354. 

Saracens, 141, 354. 

Sarcees, 71. 

Saxony, 42, 162, 218. 

Scandinavian, 146, 148, 
332, 334. 

Schaffhausen, 219. 
Schleswig-Holstein , 94, 

190, 218, 287. 
Scotland (Scotch), 21, 34, 

35, 40, 68, 82, 91, 141, 

140, 192, 302, 305, 309, 

310, 323, 368, 370, 380, 

382, 383, 385, 388, 390, 

391, 392, 393, 304, 395, 

396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 

Seminoles, 116, 154, 195, 

196, 207. 
Semites (Semitic), 16, 

54, 56, 62, 140, 162, 266. 
Semnones, 162. 
Senegambia, 211, 349. 
Servia (Servian), 141, 

248, 250, 304. 
Seville, 371. 
Shasta, 307, 308. 
Shawnees, 32. 
Shekiani, 243. 
Shropshire, 146. 
Shushwaps, 300, 302, 343, 

350. [347. 

Sia, 32, 33, 157, 158, 271, 
Siam, 172. 
Siberia, 314. 
Sicily (Sicilian), 91, 119, 

133, 172, 290, 337, 366, 

Sierra Leone, 211. 
Silesia, 250, 317, 336, 353. 
Silt, 253. 
Siouan (Sioux), 71, 123, 

159, 162, 206, 259, 338. 
Slavonian (Slavonic), 8, 

32, 35, 48, 53, 56, 78, 

133, 148, 216. 
Snanaimuq, 82. 
Society Islands, 171. 
Soissons, 92. 
Soleure, 219. 
SoUinger Wald, 297. 
Solomon Islands, 126, 127, 

150, 197. 
Somali, 197, 348. 
Songi, 175. 
Songish, 9, 89, 90, 147- 

Index U. 


Soudan, 12, 17, 69, 123. 

South America, 9. 

South Carolina, 232. 

Spain (Spanish), 24, 33, 
372, 373, 377, 384, 388, 

Spanish-American, 370. 

Sparta, 14, 193, 219. 

Stapelholm, 254. 

Steiermark, 313. 

St. Ives, 294. 

St. Petersburg, 209. 

Strassburg, 353. 

Suevi, 92. 

Sunderland, 305. 

Suru, 320. 

Susu, 242. 

Sumatra, 111, 197, 311. 

Swabia, 317. 

Sweden (Swedish), 24, 
42, 75, 218, 221, 311. 

Switzerland (Swiss), 79, 
81, 87, 96, 112. 136, 163, 
187, 218, 221, 290. 

Syriac, 60. 

Tacana, 82. 
Tafilet, 149. 
Tagals, 271, 278. 
Tahiti, 120, 271, 277, 279, 

Tamanako, 125. 
Tamil, 54. 

Tarahumari, 37, 69, 100. 
Tartars, 223, 231. 
Tasmanians, 212. 
Teda, 17. 
Tehua, 205. 
Telugu, 54, 386. 
Teton, 22. 

Teutonic, 8, 13, 32, 233. 
Texas, 8, 9, 43, 83, 267, 

Thames, 66. 
Thuringia, 78, 94, 168, 

Tiber, 66. 
Tibet, 271, 328. 
Tierra del Fuego, 11, 215. 

Tigris, 120. [149. 

Timbuktu (Timbuctoo), 
Tinne, 122. 
Tiszla-Eszlar, 354. 
Tlingit, 147, 338. 
Todas, 150, 223. 
Tondem, 288. 
Tonga, 10, 30, 333. 
Tongatabu, 277. 
Tonkawe, 83. 
Tonningstedt, 254. 
Tonquin, 192. 
Transylvania, 171, 204, 

300, 337. 
Trent, 354. 

Treves, 96. [334. 

Tshi (see Ashanti), 43, 
Tsimshian, 82, 307. 
Tuareg, 17. 
Tunguses, 314. 
Tupende, 212. 
Tupi, 37, 124, 154. 
Turko-Tartars, 11, 
Turks, 141, 219, 314, 377, 

398, 400. 
Tusayan, 41, 208, 209, 272, 

Tuscany, 280, 363. 
Twana, 195. 
Tyre, 62, 289. 
Tyrol, 163. 
Tzendals, 324. 

Ukrain, 350. 

Uliase Islands, 111. 

Ungava, 190. 

United States, 57, 219, 

232, 255, 257, 258. 
Unyoro, 110, 350. 
Utes, 11, 123, 207. 

Vancouver Island, 82, 99, 
1 Vand,218. 
; Venezuela, 150, 157. 

Vermont, 169, 232, 233. 

Virginia. 97, 240. 

Visigoths, 220. 

Vitilevu. 149. 

Volga, 40. 

Wailakki, 197. 
Wakikuyu, 348, 351. 
Wales (Welsh), 181, 184, 

185, 223, 337. 
Wallachia, 35, 136, 304. 
Walla-Walla, 313. 
Walpi, 272. 
Wanika, 243, 348, 351. 
Wasco, 313. 

Washington, 81, 108, 196. 
Wazaramo, 351. 
Wazegua, 348, 351. 
Wends, 48, 141, 187. 
Westminster, 326. 
Westphalia, 168, 333. 
Wbida, 320. 
Winchester, 326. 
Wingrove, 93. 
Winnebagos, 16. 
Wintun, 82, 112, 116. 
Wisconsin, 170. 
Wiyots, 82. 
Wrek, 137. 
Wurtemburg, 221. 
Wiirzburg, 323. 
Wyoming, 232. 

Tahgans, 11. 

Yao, 22. 

Yaqui, 123. 

Yeddavanad, 180. 

Yezo (Yesso), 177. 

Yokaia, 108. 

Yonne, 249. 

York, 326. 

Yorkshire, 169, 305. 

Yoruba, 356. 

Yucatan, 69, 72, 73, 1^, 

161, 178, 3U. 
Yuchi, 16, 36. 
Yuke, 82. 
Yuki, 205, 314. 
Yukon, 207. 
Yurok, 116. 

Zanzibar, 351. 

Zend, 78. 

Zulus, 63, 154, 313. 329. 

ZuSi, 37, 47, 73, 74, 117, 

147, 345, 346, 357, 358. 
Zurich, 96, 218. 



Abandonment, 145, 146, 

173, 174. 
Abba, 60. 
Abbas, 60. 
Abbot, 60. 
Abbreviations, 255. 
ABC, 175, 253. 

-rhymes, 253-255. 
Abeona, 134. 
Abortion, 111. 
Abraham, 64, 139, 148. 
Abyss-mother, 49. 
Accouchement, 81. 
Acolytes, 320, 325, 328. 
Actions, goddess of, 134. 
Activities of childhood, 

6, 403, 404. 
Acting (actor), 270-273. 
Adam, 29. 
Adam, 105, 120. 
Adebar, 187. 
d5eX06s, 76. 
Adeo7ia, 134. 
Adolescence, 4, 18. 
Adoption, 106, 215-217. 
Adult, 18. 

Adventures, 329-347. 
.^sculapius, 317. 
Affection, 104-129. 
Age of consent, 232. 

of marriage, 224-232. 
Agenona, 134. 
Agni, 70, 148. 
Agriculture, 194. 
Akka, 65. 
Albinos, 348, 349. 

Alcohol, 147. 
All-father, 62. 
" All-fathers," 73. 
"All Fools' Day," 244 
Alliteration, 250. 
All-mother, 46. 
Alma mater, 18. 
Alphabet, 175, 253. 

-rhymes, 253-255. 
Alumna, alum,nus, 18. 
Amicus and Amelias, 312. 
Amun (Amon), 61, 359. 
Amusements, 206-210. 
Anahita, 37, 133. 
Ancestor-worship, 63. 
Angakok (child) . 321 , 322. 
Angels, 103, 119, 132, 155, 
Animal-food, 147. 

-gods, 73. 

-language, 190, 282. 

-nurses, 173-175. 

-oracles, 297. 

-tamer, 190, 336, 339. 
Animals, 19, 171-191, 197, 
198, 210, 28.5, 297, 341, 
342, 345, 370. 

and Christ, 370, 373. 
Ankle-deep, 93. 
" Annexes," 199. 
Answers (parents'), 138- 

Antelope-boy, 345, 346. 
Antennarla, 257. 
Anthropometry, 5, 92-98. 

AvOpuTos, 29, 161. 
Anti-Semitism, 354. 
Aphrodite, 46. 
Apple-pips, 296. 

-temptation, 227, 229. 
Apples, 138, 139, 227, 229, 

Ararat, Mt., 33. 
Arm's length, 93. 
Art, 3. 

Artemis, 133. 
Artemisia, 169. 
Ash, 146, 162, 250. 
Ashes, 32, 134. 
Ashtaroth, 37. 
Aspen, 367. 
Ass, 370. 

Astarte, 37, 133, 232. 
Aster, 107. 
Atta, 53. 
Attila, 53, 57. 
Atys, 163. 
Awakening of soul, 152. 

B. A., 255. 

Babe, 75-77. 

Babel, 139, 187. 

" Babes in wood," 184. 

Babies, 30, 32, 70, 85, 90, 
91, 92, 97, 100, 101, 
107-113, 118, 119, 121, 
125-127, 130, 134-137, 
144-159, 224-228, 249, 
338, 348-357. 

" Babies in eyes," 76. 

" Babies' breath," 169. 

Index 111. 


" Babies' feet," 169. 
Babies'. food, 144-151. 
" Babies' slippers," 169. 
Babies' souls, 151-159. 
"Babies* toes," 169. 
Baby, 77. 

signs for, 84, 85. 

words for, 75-83. 

-basket, 121. 
" Baby blue-eyes," 169. 
" Baby-bunting," 176. 
Baby-carrier, 223. 
"Baby-talk," 260, 261. 
Bacchus, 72. 
Bachelors, 106. 
Bairn, 75. 
Balams, 73, 142. 
Ballads, 203. 
Bambino, Santo, 359, 367. 
Band of Hope, 245. 
Bands of Mercy, 246. 
Bandchen, 249. 
Baptism, 38, 146, 152, 153. 

(blood), 311-313, 353, 

(fire), 67. 
" Bar," 290. 
" Barbara Allen," 271. 
Barbarossa, 336. 
Basil, 42. 

Bastard, 18, 48. 62. 
Bathing, 127, 146. 
Batyushka, 58, 60. 
Baucis, 163. 
Bayaderes, 280. 
Bay-tree, 163. 
B. b., 255. 
Beans, 365. 
Bear (to), 75-81, 83. 
Bear-boy, 174, 175. 

-girl, 173. 

-lick, 89. 

-stories, 175, 176. 
Bears, 89, 142, 171, 174, 

Beast-children, 173-175. 

-oracles, 297. 
Beating, 203, 204, 241. 
" Beating the Boonds,' ' 


Beauty, 90, 168. 

-bath, 353. 
Bed, 32, 355. 
Bees, 144, 370. 
i Begetting, 81. 
Bel, 133. 
Belit, 133. 
Bell, 250. 

" Bellypaaro," 241. 
Berselia, 141. 
Berusjos, 80. 
Bhavani, 133. 
Bible-verses, 145, 299. 
Bibliography, 405-431. 
Bidhata-Purnsha, 214. 
" Billing and cooing," 

" Binder," 200. 
Bird-language, 187-190. 

-messenger, 182. 

-oracle, 189, 297. 

-soul, 182. 
Birds, 181-191, 297. 

of Christ, 368-370. 
Birth, birth-myths, 4, 31, 
134-136, 162, 186, 187, 

-days, 214. 

-marks, 310, 313. 

of Christ, 361-365, 368, 
370, 373. 
Bitch-nurse, 174. 
Biting, 172, 217, 311. 
"Black art," 353. 
Blackness of raven, 368. 
Blason populaire, 204. 
Blessing, 149. 
" Blind-man's buff," 198. 
Blindness, 316, 317. 
Blizzard, 307. 
Blood, 30, 216, 217, 311- 
313, 338, 339, 353-355. 
"Blood-clot Boy," 338, 

Blood-covenant, 216, 217. 
"Bloody Tom," 181. 
Blossoming, 161. 
Blow (to), 161. 
" Bluebirds," 181. 
" Blue-eyed babies," 169. 

Blue-ribbon Clubs, 245. 
Body, 313, 356. 
Bogies, 140-143. 
Bojiwassis, 263. 
Bona dea, 32. 

mater, 32. 
Bonaparte, 142. 
Bones, 83. 

"Boo," 140-143, 176. 
"Boo Man," 141. 
Bom (to be), 75, 78-80, 

" Borough-English," 223. 
Bounds, 203. 
Bow-and-arrows, 195-197, 

Boy, 77, 125. 
Boy-bards, 278, 279. 

-bishop, 325-327. 

-code, 290. 

-colonies, 320. 

-cornstealer, 341. 

-gangs, 2:38, 239. 

-heroes, 329-347. 

-husband, 224-233. 

-martyrs, 354. 

- ' ' medicine man," 319- 

-moots, 291, 292. 

-oracle, 293, 296-299. 

-pope, 327. 

-priest, 319-328. 

-shaman, 319-325. 

-societies, 236-246. 

-travellers. 336-343,346. 

-weather-maker, 301, 
303, 305, 307. 

-whale-catcher, 341. 

-wonder-worker, 339- 
Boyish excesses, 238-244. 
Boys, 163, 173, 174, 185, 
195-199, 202, 203, 208, 
211, 236, 241-244. 
"Boys and Girls," 169. 
Boys' Clubs, 246. 
"Boys' love," 169. 
Bread, 138, 1-39. 
" Bread and butter," 257. 


The Child in Folk -Thought. 

Breath, 22, 72, 250, 303, 

307, 370. 
" Bremen geese," 139. 
" Brew and Bake," 200. 
Bridal of earth and sky, 

Bride, 30. 
Bridegroom, 30. 
Bridle (tongue) , 248-250. 
Brightness of sun, 30. 
Bright side of child-life, 

Broom, 368. 
Brother (bone) , 83. 

(younger), 222, 223. 
Brotherhoods, 246. 
Brother-stars, 36. 
Bruises, 137. 
"Bub," 11. 
Buhe, 77. 
Bud, 161. 
Buddha, 287, 335. 
Bulbulhezar, 189. 
"Bull-roarer," 302. 
Buried armies, 336. 
Buschgroszmutter, 49. 
Butter, 144, 146. 
Butterfly, 156. 
Butz, 141. 

Cabbages, 136, 375. 
Cackling, 248, 250, 364. 
Calandrina, 170. 
Calf, 76, 88. 
Calling, 314, 315. 
Camcena, 134. 
Candy, 149. 
Cannibals, 141, 178. 
Canoes, 195, 198. 
Caprimulgus, 141. 
Carduus marianus, 372. 
Carna, 133. 
Carving, 201, 271. 
Caste, 213, 214. 
Casting dice, 294. 

lots, 297-299. 
" Cat-language," 262. 
Cato, 289. 

"Cat's cradle," 274. 
Cattle, 297, 370. 

" Caught," 290. 

Caul, 349. 

Caves, 72, 137. 

Cedar, 163. 

Cereal, 80. 

Ceres, 32, 80. 

Chalchihuitlicue, 38. 

Challenges, 256. 

Chamaigenes, 29. 

" Chandelle magique," 

352, 353. 
Changelings, 102, 172, 335. 
Changes at school, 237. 
Chant, 108. 
Cheers, 228, 259. 
Chemical terms, 
Cherry-tree, 373. 
Chick-peas, 368. 
Chief, 115, 125. 
Chilblains, 310. 
Child, 75-85, 123, 157, 

Child-actor, 270-273. 

-adventurer, 329-347. 

-birth, 75-81, 83, 106, 
110, 132. 

-bringer, 135, 186. 

-carrier, 123, 212, 223. 

-conjurer, 321, 322. 

-crucifixion, 354. 

-dancer, 272, 273, 277, 

-deity, 357-359, 360- 

-dice-thrower, 294. 

-discoverer, 218, 336- 

-fetich, 348-357. 
" Child-finger," 43. 
"Child-fount," 136. 
Child-god, 357-359. 

-healer, 309-318. 

-heroes, 329-347. 

-historian, 270. 

-inventor, 273-275. 

-judge, 286-292. 
"Child-lake," 136. 
Child-language, 260-268. 

-leader, 324, 346. 

-linguist, 248-269. 

Child lot-caster, 294, 297, 

-marriage, 224-233. 
-mascot, 349. 
-musician, 276-278. 
-names, 75-88. 
-nurses, 223, 224. 
-oracle, 293-300. 
-physician, 309-318. 
-poet, 278-281. 
-priest, 319-328. 
-prophet, 293, 310. 
-sacrifice, 29, 30, 110- 

112, 312, 348, 351- 

-saint, 285, 316, 317, 

-shaman, 319-328. 
-singer, 277, 278. 
-societies, 239-247. 
-sociology, 213-247. 
-soul, 152-159. 
-spirit, 154. 
-stealers, 141, 142. 
" Child-stone," 136. 
Child-study, 1-6, 89-103. 
-teacher, 282-285. 
-thaumaturgist, 315, 

316, 339-347. 
"Child-tree," 136. 
"Child-trough," 136. 
Child-verdicts, 286-289. 
-vision-seer, 293-295. 
-weather-maker, 301- 

-wiseacre, 282-285. 
-witch, 323, 324. 
-words, 10, 53, 257- 

-worship, 357, 358. 
and father, 1, 4, 105, 

114-116, 123-126. 
and fire, 67-69. 
and mother, 105, 107- 

109, 112-114, 117, 121, 

124, 127, 138. 
and music, 276-278. 
and nature, 1. 
and race, 2, 4. 
and rhythm, 276-279. 

Index 111. 


Child and spirit-world, 
31, 134, 157, 158. 
and woman, 2. 
in art, 128, 129, 358. 
in ceremonial, 270-273. 
in language, 75-88, 248- 

in moon, 332-334. 
in proverbs, 376-402. 
in religion, 319-328. 
in school, 234-236. 
Childhood and age, 1, 4. 
in art and literature, 
128, 129, 358. 
Childhood's golden age, 

Childlessness, 43, 106, 

107, 187, 343. 
Children and fools, 88, 
293, 395. 
as stars, 36, 71, 152, 
159, 334. 
" Children of God," 62. 
" Children of hand," 43. 
" Children of Light," 70. 
"Children of Paul's," 

" Children of sun," 36, 

Children's animals and 

birds, 171-191. 
blood, 311-313, 353- 

clothing, 211, 212. 
courts, 287-292. 
ditties, 278, 279. 
flowers and plants, 

food, 144-151. 
games, 200, 201. 
holidays, 244. 
justice, 286-292. 
lies, 134. 
minds, 134. 
names, S4-87. 
parties, 247. 
paradise, 132. 
questions, 134, 138-140. 
reasonings, 134, 289. 
rights, 233, 289. 

Children's souls, 152-159. 
thoughts, 134, 138-140, 

tree, 157. 
Child's kiss, 309. 
Chin, 91. 

" Chip of old block," 123. 
Chipmunk, 178, 179. 
" Choose," 290. 
Christ, 1, 2, 4, 61, 128, 
132, 179, 181, 285, 335. 
Christ-child, 128, 287, 338, 

Christening letter, 250. 
Christianity, 152, 335, 

354, 359, 360. 
Christmas, 34, 244, 362- 
-herb, 366. 
-oracle, 364, 365. 
Chrysostom, St., 117. 
Church and children, 245, 

Cinderella, 113. 
Cinteotl, 41. 
' Circumcision, 242, 243. 
, Clay-birds. 368. 
i Clocks (flower) , 296. 
Clothing, 211, 212. 
Clytie, 163. 
Cock, 189, 249, 258, 362, 


Cock-robin, 184. 
Code of honour, 290. 
Coiffi, 349. 
Cold, 99. 

Cold water, 150, 152. 
Collecting, 201. 
CoUege-fetiches, 349. 
-societies, 244. 
-yells, 258, 259. 
Colleges, primitive, 199, 

Colonies (boy), 319, 320. 
Colt, 7& 

Comparisons with ani- 
mals, 88, 171. 
with plants, 164. 

Confusion of tongues, 

139, 187. 
Conglomerate, 33. 
Consent, age of, 232, 233. 
Constantine, 312. 
Constructing, 201. 
C-o-n-t-e-n-t-s, 255. 
Contents of mind, 134. 
Com, 40, 41, 169, 342. 
"Corn-field," 207. 
Cornflower, 296. 
Corn-goddess, 41. 
-mother, 40, 41. 
" Corn-stalk fiddle," 169. 
Corn-tobacco, 169. 
Corn-woman, 141. 
Counsel, god of, 134. 
Counting, goddess of, 

Counting -out rhymes, 

273, 278. 
Courtship-games, 271. 
"CouTade,"124, 125.