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The Transactions of the Folk-Lore Society 

And Incorporating The Arch^ological Review and 
The Folk-Lore Journal 

VOL. XVIII.— 1907 


Alter et Idem. 








I. — (March, 1907.) 

Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, 21st November, 1906 . . i 

Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, lyth December, 1906 . . 3 

Minutes of Annual Meeting: Wednesday, 1 6th January, 1907 . 4 
Twenty-Ninth Annual Report of the Council . . .6 

Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet, 1906 . . .10 

Presidential Address. W. H. D. Rouse . . . .12 

The European Sky-God; VIIL, The Celts. Arthur Bernard 

Cook . . . . . . .24 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. Mrs. H. Hans Spoer (A. 

Goodrich Freer) . . . . . -54 

II.— (June, 1907.) 

The Development of the Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

Eleanor Hull . . . . . .121 

The Native Tribes of South-East Australia. A. W. Howitt . 166 

III. — (September, 1907.) 

Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, 20th February, 1907 
Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, 20th March, 1907 
Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, 17th April, 1907 
Children and Wells. Dan M'Kenzie 
The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. Jessie L. Weston 
Australian Marriage Customs. N. W. Thomas . 







iv Contents 

IV. — (December, 1907.) 

Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, 15th May, 1907 . .361 

Minutes of Meeting : Wednesday, 19th June, 1907 . . 362 

The Corpse-Door : a Danish Survival. H. F. Feilberg . . 364 

" Death's Deeds ": a Bi-located Story. Andrew Lang . . 376 

The Principles of Fasting. Edward Westermarck . -391 

Collectanea : — 

Matrimonial Customs in the West of Ireland. T. P. U. Blake 77 
Burial of Amputated Limbs. W. R. C. Barton . . 82 

Objection to Portraiture. Barbara Cra'ster . . -83 

Building Customs. Herbert R. H. Southam, Barbara 

Cra'ster . . . • . • .84 

Some Former Customs of the Royal Parish of Crathie, Scot- 
land. A. Macdonald . . . . .84 
Some West African Customs . . . . .86 
Serpent Procession at Cocullo. Marian C. Harrison . 187 
Cinderella. Marian Roalfe Cox . . . .191 
Marriage Customs of the Southern Gallas. E.G.Wakefield 319 
Supplementary Notes on Cat's Cradle and String Tricks. 

W. Innes Pocock ...... 325 

Folk-Medicine, Nursery-Lore, etc, from the ^gean Islands. 

W. R. Paton ...... 329 

Agricultural Superstitions in Bellary. W. Francis . • Ti"^^ 

Ancient Customs at the Riding of Langholm Marches . . 335 

Ancient Barbarous Sports. I., Scottish Lowlands. Alexander 

Wood. II., Sweden. Alice Engholm . . . 336 

Secret Societies and Fetishism in Sierra Leone. A. R. Wright 423 
Folk-Traditions of the Mughal Emperors. Karim Haidar 

LoDi . . . . . . • -427 

Notes on some Ancient Ecclesiastical Practices in Armenia. 

F. C. Conybeare ...... 432 

Dairy Folklore in West Norfolk . . . - 435 

Veterinary Practice. Herbert R. H. Southam . . 437 

All Hallows' Eve and other Festivals in Connaught. Hugh 

James Byrne ...... 437 

Shetland Brownies. F. C. Conybeare . . . 440 


Correspondence : — 

Breaking the Bough in the Grove of Diana. A. Lang . . 89 

The Native Tribes of South-East Australia. A. W. Howitt, 
A. Lang ...... 

Folk-Tale Wanted. W. A. Haussmann 
Notices to Members. F. A. Milne 
Folklore of Aristotle. T. East Lones . 

Opening Windows to Aid the Release of the Soul. H. Krebs 215 
Burial of Amputated Limbs. A. C. Haddon . 
Serpent-Procession at Cocullo. Lcjreto Marchione . 
Le Sejour des Morts suivant la Mythologie Celtique. H. d'Arbois 


"Cuckowe King." C. F. H. Johnston 

The Wild Huntsman. W. Henry Jewitt 

" At the Back of the Black Man's Mind." R. E. Dennett 

"Travel iSlotes in South Africa": a Correction. E. Sidney 
,- Hartland ...... 

Uihe Celtic Other-World. A. Nutt . 

A Brittany Marriage-Custom. F. C. Conybeare, E. Sidney 
Hartland ...... 

Folk-Song Refrain. H. M. Bower 

The Fifth of November and Guy Fawkes. M. Peacock 








Reviews : — 

Emile T>Mxkhe\va,L'An7ieeSodologigue, gme Annie. E. Sidney 

Hartland . . . . . . -95 

W. H. R. Rivers, The Todas. W. Crooke . . .102 

N. W. Thomas, Natives of Australia : Kinship Organisations 

and Group-Marriage in Australia. E. Sidney Hartland . 105 
Paul Sebillot, Le Folklore de France, tomes /., //. E. Sidney 

Hartland . . . , . . .110 

Caroline Furners Jayne, String Figures, a Study of Cafs Cradle 

in Many Lands. W. H. R. Rivers . . . .112 

Alfred Wiedemann, Altdgyptische Sagen und Marchen. H. R. 

Hall . . . . . . .116 

F. E. Sandbach, The Heroic Saga-Cycle of Dietrich of Bern. 

Jessie L. Weston . . . . . .118 

Edouard Chavannes, Le Cycle Turc des Douze Animaux. W. 

Crooke . . . . . . .119 

E. C. Quiggin, A Dialect of Donegal. W. Crooke . .120 

vi Contents 

A. Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers, The Evolution of Culture and Other 

Essays. A. C. Haddon . . . . .217 

J. G. Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris. A. Berridale Keith . 220 

E. Gwynn, The Metrical Dindschenchas, Fart II. : K. Meyer, 
T/ie Triads 0/ Ireland: K. Meyer, The Death Tales of the 
Ulster Heroes. Alfred Nutt . . . .224 

Joseph Bedier, Thomas ^'' Roman de Tristan." Jessie L. 

Weston ....... 231 

R. E. Dennett, At the Back of the Black Man's Mind. A. 

Werner ....... 234 

P. R. T. Gurdon, The Khasis. W. Crooke . . .240 

A. Werner, The Natives of British Central Africa. E. Sidney 

Hartland ....... 243 

J. B. Andrews, Les Fontaines des Genies. N. W. Thomas . 246 
The Rymour Club Miscellanea., Fart I. . . . .246 

George Maxwell, In Malay Forests. Walter W. Skeat . 247 

Dudley Kidd, Savage Childhood. R. R. Marett . . 343 

F. B. Jevons, Religion in Evolution. E. Sidney Hartland . 346 
Douglas Hyde, The Religious Songs of Connacht. Eleanor 

Hull . . . . . . -347 

T. F. Thiselton-Dyer, Folklore of Women. W. Crooke . 350 

T. W. Shore, Origin of the Anglo-Saxon Race : Sir Henry 

Sumner Maine, Ancient law: Frederick Seebohm, The Tribal 

System in Wales. F. M. Stenton . . . • 55^ 

Sociological Fapers,N o\.W. Editor . . . -355 

Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol I. Editor . . -355 

E. Grumbine, Folklore of Lebanon Country. Editor . -357 

W. B. Gerish, The Mayers and their Song. Editor . -357 

Folk-Song Journal, Vol. III. Part I. Editor . . 358 

Gypsy-Lore Society' s Journal, New Series. Vol. I. Part I. . 360 
Walter W. Skeat and C O. Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay 

Peninsula. W. Crooke . . . . -451 

Northcote W. Thomas, Anthropological Essays Presented to 

Edward Bur fiett Tylor, 2nd October, igo'/. Edward Clodd 457 
Emile Durkheim, L'Aftnee Sociologique, lonie Anjzee. E. 

Sidney Hartland ... . . 460 

Rene Hoffmann, La Notion de I'Etre Supreme chez les Peuples 

Non-Civilises. A. Lang ..... 467 
Helen Child Sargent and George Lyman Kittredge, English 

and Scottish Popular Ballads. Axel Olrik . -470 

Contents vii 


Obituary : — 

William Wells Newell. Franz Boas .... 209 

Index . . . . . . . -473 

Rules and List of Members. 

List of Plates : — 

L Objection to Portraiture : Canton de Vaud. 
n. Building Custom : Davos Platz 
IIL Saint Domenico of Cocullo 
IV. Procession of Saint Domenico 
V. Corpse-Door : Darum, West Jutland 
VI. Situation of Coffins when the Vault was 
Closed, July 7th, 181 9 (Barbadoes 
Story). .... To face Plate VII. 

VII. Situation of Coffins when the Vault was 
Opened, April 20th, 1820 (Barbadoes 
Story). .... To face page 384 

VIII. Masks, etc., of Porro and Bundu Societies . „ „ 424 

IX. Yassi Society Minsereh Figure, etc. . „ „ 425 

X. Bofimah, Nomori, and other Fetish Objects „ „ 426 

. To face page 


»> >j 


>j )) 


>> )> 


)) 5) 



P. 40, 1. 8, for meet read meat. 

P. 52, 1. 1 1 , for sycomore read sycamore. 

P. 147, 1. 20, for of read of the. 

P. 263, 1. 12, for Llamas read \ 

P. 328, 1. 4-5, /or low countries read Low Countries. 

P. 328, 1. g, for Sonth read North. 

P- 333> !• 26, for Silva read Siva. 

P. 345, 1. 26, for by read such as. 

P. 432, 1. 9 (title), /or Early r^at/ Ancient. 









J. G. FRAZER. D.C.L., LL.D., etc. 


A. C. HADDON, D.Sc, M.R.I.A., F.Z.A. 


ANDREW LANG, M.A., LL.D., etc. 



W. H. D. ROUSE, Litt.D. 



iHeinbers of (tonncil 







A. W. JOHNSTON, F.S.A. Scot. 

C. S. MYERS, M.A., M.B. 


W. H. R. RIVERS, M.D. 







W^n. I'.rcaanrtr. 

Won. ^ubitffrs. 
F. G. GREEN. | N. W. THOMAS, M.A. 


F. A. MILNE, M.A. 

Charlotte S. Burne, M. Longwokth Dames, E. S. Hartland, A. Nutt, 
C. G. Seligmann, N. W. Thomas. 

The President and Treasurer ex-officio. 

MEMBERS {corrected to i6th March, 1907). 

The letter c placed before a nieviber's imme indicates that he or she has 

1884. Abercromby, Hon. J., 62 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh {Vice-President). 
1907. Abrahams, H., Esq., Melbourne House, St. Barnabas Road, Cambridge. 
1889. Aldenham, Rt. Hon, Lord, St. Dunstan's, Regent's Park, N.W. 

1899. Amersbach, Professor K., 13 Erbjwinzenstrasse, Freiburg in Baden, 

1898. Amery, P. F. S., Esq., Druid, Ashburton, Devon. 

1905. Amherst, The Countess, Montreal, Sevenoaks, Kent. 
1878. c. Andrews, J. B., Esq., Reform Club, Pall Mall, S.W. 

1894. Anichkov, Professor E., University of St. Vladimir, Kiev, Russia. 
1889. Arnold, Professor E. V., 10 Bryn Seiriol, Bangor. 

1889. Asher, S. G., Esq., 30 Berkeley Sq., W. 

1906. Ashton-Rigby, Miss L. E., Beverley Lodge, Leamington. 
1893. Aston, G. F., Esq., 2 Templeton Place, Earl's Court, S.W. 

1880. Avebury, Rt. Hon. Lord, D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., F.S.A., F.G.S., 
F.L.S., High Elms, Farnborough, R.S.O. {Vice-President). 

1878. c. Backhouse, Sir Jonathan E., Bank, Darlington. 

1900. Baker, Judge Frank T., 3543 Lake Avenue, Chicago, 111., U.S.A. 

1901. Baldwin, Alfred, Esq., M.P., Wilden House, Stourport. 

1903. Banks, Mrs. Mary M., 19 Arkwright Road, Hampstead, N.W. 
1905. Barry, Miss Fanny, Lewesden, Lyme Regis. 

1885. Basset, Mons. Rene, Villa Louise, Rue Deufert Rochereau, Algiers. 

1891. Beauchamp, Rt. Hon. the Earl, Madresfield Court, Great Malvern. 

1901. Bensusan, S. L., Esq., Royal Societies Club, St. James' St., S.W. 

1905. Bickley, Francis L., Esq., 96 Castellain Mansions, Maida Vale, W. 

1892. Billson, C. J., Esq., M.A., The Wayside, Oadby, Leicester. 

1906. Binney, E. H., Esq., M.A., 3 Tackley Place, Oxford. 

1902. Bishop, Gerald M., Esq., 15 Queen's Square, Bloomsbury, W.C. 

1895. Black, G. F., Esq., New York Public Library, Lafayette Place, N.Y., 

1902. Bladen, W. Wells, Esq., Fairlie, Stone, Staffordshire. 

1890. Bolitho, T. R., Esq., Trengwainton, Hea Moor, R.S.O., Cornwall. 

1904. Bompas, C. H., Esq., c/o Grindlay & Co., Parliament St., S.W. 
1888. Bonaparte, Prince Roland, 10 Avenue d'lena, Paris. 


Members. iii 

Bowditch, C. P., Esq., 28 State Street, Boston, Mass., U.S.A. 

Bower, H. M., Esq., Trinity Hill, Ripon. 

Brabrook, Sir E. W., C.B., V.P.S.A., 178 Bedford Hill, Balham, S.W. 

{ Vice-President). 
Bridge, G. F., Esq., 3 South Hill Park, London, N.W. 
Britten, James, Esq., 41 Boston Road, Brentford. 
Brix, M. Camille de, 36 Rue des Chanoines, Calvados, France. 
Broadbent, N. M., Esq. 

Broadwood, Miss Lucy E. , 84 Carlisle Mansions, S.W. 
Brooke, Rev. Stopford A. , i Manchester Square, W. 
Browne, John, Esq., Chertsey House, Park Hill Rise, Croydon. 
Burne, Miss C. S., 5 Iverna Gardens, Kensington, W. i^Vice- President). 

Caddick, E., Esq., Willington Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

Calderon, G., Esq., 33 Buckingham Mansions, West End Lane, N.W. 

Campbell, Lord Archibald, Coombe Hill Farm, Kingston-on-Thames. 

Campbell, W. J. Douglas, Esq., F.S.A. Scot, Innis Chonain, Loch Awe, 

Carpenter, Professor J. Estlin, 190 Banbury Road, Oxford. 

Cartwright, Mrs., c/o Major H. R. Cartwright, South African Con- 
stabulary, Heidelberg, Transvaal. 

Chambers, E. K., Esq., Board of Education, Whitehall, S.W. 

Chase, Charles H., Esq., 68 Park Street, Somerville, Mass., U.S.A. 

Chater, Arthur G., Esq., 41 Porchester Square, W. 

Chorlton, T., Esq., 32 Brazennose Street, Manchester. 

Clodd, Edward, Esq., 5 Princes Street, E.C., and Strafford House, 
Aldeburgh ( Vice-President). 

Cobb, Dr. C. M., 10 Nahant Street, Lynn, Mass., U.S.A., per G. E. 

Cobham, Miss E. M., B.A., 4 Woodville Terrace, Gravesend. 

Coleridge, Miss C. R. , Cheyne, Torquay. 

Conybeare, F. C, Esq., M.A., 13 Norham Gardens, Oxford. 

Cook, A. B., Esq., 19 Cranmer Road, Cambridge. 

Cosquin, M. Emanuel, Vitry-le-Francois, Marne, France. 

Cox, Miss Marian Roalfe, 80 Carlisle Mansions, S.W. {Hon. Member). 

Crawford Cree, A. T., Esq., Brodsworth, Beckenham, Kent. 

Crombie, James E., Esq., Park Hill House, Dyce, Aberdeen. 

Crombie, John W., Esq., M.P., 91 Onslow Sq., S.W. 

Crooke, W., Esq., B.A. , Langton House, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. 

1897. Dabis, Miss A., 102 Brompton Road, S.W. 

1905. D'Aeth, F, G., Esq., University Settlement, 129 Park St., Liverpool. 

1892. Dames, M. Longworth, Esq., Alegria, Enfield. 

1895. Dampier, G. R., Esq., c/o Messrs. Grindlay, Groome & Co., Bombay. 

1905. Davies, J. C, Esq., Dyffryn Villa, Llanilar, Aberystwyth. 

iv Members, 

1904. Dawson, Rev. A. C, 129 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, 

1895. Debenham, Miss Mary H., Cheshunt Park, Herts. 
1886. Defries, Wolf, Esq., B.A., Weybridge, Surrey. 

1894. Dennett, R. E. , Esq., Benin City, Forcados, S. Nigeria, per H. S. King 

& Co., 9 Pall Mall, S.W. 

1905. Dennis, Miss C. J., Laracor, Cheltenham. 

1905. Dickson, Miss Isabel A., 69 Beaufort Mansions, Beaufort St., S.W. 

1901. Dieterich, Professor Alb., 5 Kloestrasse, Heidelberg, Germany. 

1903. Doutte, M. Edmond, Pare de Fontaine Bleue, Mustapha-Superieur, 


1904. Drake, Carey, Esq., The Grey House, Hartley Wintney, Hants. 
1907. Draper, Mrs. H., 271 Madison Avenue, New York City, U.S.A. 

1905. Dunnill, Mrs. E. J., 5 Stow Park Avenue, Newport, Mon. 
1907. Durrant, Wilfred S., Esq., 60 Croydon Road, Reigate. 

1896. Eagleston, A. J., Esq., M.A., Old Park Avenue, Nightingale Lane, S.W. 
1899. Eden, Mrs. T. B., Hillbrow, Rugby. 

1899. Elworthy, F. T., Esq., F.S.A., Foxdown, Wellington, Somerset. 

1895. Evans, Arthur J., Esq., M.A., F.S.A., Ashmolean Library, O.xford. 

1899. Evans, E. Vincent, Esq., 64 Chancery Lane, W.C. 

1880. Evans, Sir John, K.C.B., D.C.L., LL.D., D.Sc, F.R.S., F.S.A., 

Britwill, Berkhamstead, Herts. 

1895. Eyre, Miss, The Hudnalls, St. Briavel's, Coleford, Gloucestershire. 

1889. C. Fahie, J. J., Esq., 4 Avenue Aerber, Nice, Alpes Maritimes. 

1900. Faraday, Miss L. W., Carshalton House, Heaton Road, Withington, 


1895. Fawcett, F., Esq., Deputy Inspector General of Police, Madras. 

1890. Feilberg, Dr. H. F. , Askov, Vejen, Denmark. 

1906. Ferrington, G. W., Esq., Fairfield, Gobowsen, Oswestry. 

1889. Ffennell, Miss Margaret C, 13 Brandenburg Road, Chiswick, W. 

1906. Fink, Major G. H., I.M.S., M.R.C.S., 12 Fairfax Rd., Bedford Park, W. 

1885. Fitzgerald, D., Esq., c/o J. Fitzgerald, Esq., Storey's Gate, S.W. 

1900. Forbes, H. O., Esq., LL.D., Free Public Museums, William Brown 

Street, Liverpool. 

1904. Foulkes, Captain H. D., R.F.A., 3 Burlington Road, Bayswater, W. 

1892. Fraser, D. C, Esq., M.A., 25 Balls Road, Birkenhead. 

1885. Frazer, J. G., Esq., M.A., LL.D., Litt.D., Trinity College, Cambridge. 

1901. Freeborough, J. L., Esq., 120 Caskgate Street, Gainsborough. 
1889. Freer, W. J., Esq., V.D., F.S.A., Stouggate, Leicester. 

1902. Furness, Dr. W. H., 1906 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, U.S.A. 

1902. Gaidoz, Mons. H., 22 Rue Servandoni, Paris. 

1906. Garnett, Miss A., Fairfield, Bowness-on- Windermere. 


1900. Garrett, A. C, Esq., 525 Locust Avenue, Germantown, Pa., U.S.A. 
1886. Gaster, Rev. Dr. M., Mizpah, 193 Maida Vale, W. {President). 

1882. George, C. W., Esq., 51 Hampton Road, Clifton, Bristol. 

1907. Ghosal, B. B., Esq., M.A., C.M.S. High School, Jubbulpore, India. 

1891. Gollancz, I., Esq., Litt.D., Tan-y-bryn, Shoot-up-Hill, N.W. 
1907. Gomme, A. Allan, Esq., 24 Dorset Square, N.W. 

1878. Gomme, G. Laurence, Esq., 24 Dorset Square, N.W. {Vice-President). 

1898. Gomme, Mrs. G. Laurence, 24 Dorset Square, N.W. {Hon. Member). 

1883. Gosselin-Grimshawe, Hillier, Esq., Bengeo Hall, Hertford. 

1892. Gowland T., Esq., Pencraig, Dollis Park, Finchley, N. 

1890. Green, Frank G., Esq., Waveiley, Carshalton {Hon. Auditor). 

1891. Gregory, H. E. , Esq., Quintain House, Offham, Mailing, Kent. 
1905. Guild, J. narrower, Esq., W.S., 5 Coates Gardens, Edinburgh. 
1878. Gutch, Mrs., Holgate Lodge, York. 

1890. c. Haddon, A. C., Esq., Sc.D., F.R.S., Inisfail, Hills Road, Cambridge. 

1903. c. Hall, Mrs. H. F., Oaklands, Sheffield. 

1901. Hamilton, Miss Katherine, Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A. 
1901. Hampton, G. H., Esq., Avenue House, Darlington. 

1878. Hardy, G. F., Esq., Broad Street House, Old Broad Street, E.G. 

1878. Hartland, E. Sidney, Esq., F.S.A., Highgarth, Gloucester { Vice-President). 

1900. Heather, P. J., Esq., 25 Lambton Road, Wimbledon, S.W. 

1897. Henderson, Miss A. B., Ormlie Lodge, Thurso. 

1905. Henderson, C. A., Esq., B.A., Chatrapur, Ganjam District, Madras, 


1886. Hervey, Hon. D, F. A., C.M.G., Westfields, Aldeburgh-on-Sea, 

1890. Hewitt, J. F., Esq., Holton Cottage, Wheatley, Oxford. 

1891. Higgens, T. W. E., Esq., 25 Finborough Road, Fulham Road, S.W. 

1906. Hildburgh, Walter L., Esq., M.A., Ph.D., St. Ermin's Hotel, St. James' 

Park, S.W. 

1895. Hinuber, Miss, 44 Linden Road, Bedford. 

1904. Hodgson, Miss M. L., The Croft, Betley, via Crewe. 

1901. Hohiies, T.V., Esq., F.G.S., 28 Grooms Hill, Greenwich, S.E. 
1878. Howard, David, Esq., Devon House, Buckhurst Hill, Essex. 

1900. Howell, G. O., Esq., 210 Eglinton Road, Plumstead, Kent. 

1901. Howitt, Miss May E. B., Clovelly, Metung, Victoria, Australia. 
1904. Hughes, G. H., Esq., 6 Great George Street, Westminster, S.W. 

1898. Hull, Miss Eleanor, 14 Stanley Gardens, W, 

1906. Hulst, Mrs. Henry, 88 Fountain Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. 

1898. Hutchinson, Rev. H. N., F.G.S., 17 St. John's Wood Park, Finchley 
Road, N.W. 

1900. im Thurn, Sir E. F., Esq., C.B., K.C.M.A., Governor of the Fiji Islands. 

vi Me77zbers. 

1892. Jackson, A. M. T., Esq., Bycullah Club, Bombay (Assistant Collector, 

Nasik, Bombay), and 189 Cromwell Road, S.W. 

1907. Jackson, Miss, 2 Alexander Street, W. 

1899. James, C. H., Esq., 64 Park Place, Cardiff. 

1899- Janvier, T. A., Esq., c/o Messrs. Brown Brothers & Co., Bankers, New 

York, U.S.A. 

1891. Jevons, F. B., Esq., M.A., Litt.D., Hatfield Hall, Durham. 

1900. Jewitt, W. H., Esq., 4 Torriano Cottages, N.W. 

1903. Johnston, A. W., Esq., F.S.A., Scot., 59 Oakley Street, Chelsea, S.W. 
1895. Jones, Captain Bryan J., Lisnawilly, Dundalk. 

1907. Kabraji, Mrs. J. K., Matthew Road, Bombay, c/o Thomas Cook & Son, 

57 Ludgate Circus, London, E.C. 

1902. Kalisch, A., Esq., 29 Tavistock Square, W.C. 

1894. Kennedy, Miss L., Fairacre, Concord, Mass., U.S.A. 
1907. Kennett, The Rev. Professor R. H., The College, Ely. 
1890. Ker, C, Esq., i Windsor Terrace, West, Glasgow. 
1897. Ker, Professor W. P., M.A., 95 Gower Street, W.C. 

1886. Kirby, W. F., Esq., F.L.S., F.E.S., Hilden, Sutton Court Rd., Chiswick, 

1878. Lang, A., Esq., i Marloes Road, Kensington, W. {Vice-President). 

1905. Leather, Mrs. E. M., Castle House, Weobley, R.S.O. 

1900. Lee, The Very Rev. Timothy, Forry Hill, Croom, Limerick, Ireland. 
1889. Letts, C, Esq., 8 Bartletts Buildings, W.C. 

1895. Levy, C. E., Esq., Boundstone Lodge, Farnham, Surrey. 
1889. Lindsay, Lady, 41 Hans Place, S.W. 

1885. Lockhart, The Hon. J. S. Stewart, Government House, Wei-hai-wei. 

1901. Lovett, E., Esq., 41 Outram Road, Croydon. 

1901. Lucas, Harry, Esq., Hilver, St. Agnes Road, Moseley, Birmingham. 

1897. Macbean, E., Esq., 31 Athole Gardens, Kelvinside, Glasgow, W. 

1897. Macgregor, A., Esq., Stamford Brook House, Hammersmith, W. 
1882. Maclagan, R. Craig, Esq., M.D., 5 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh. 
1907. M'Kenzie, Dan., Esq., M.D., 14 Stratford Place, W. 

1904. Magri, Rev. E., S.J., The Seminary, Gozo, Malta. 

1895. Major, A. F., Esq., Bifrost, 30 The Waldrons, Croydon. 

1896. Manning, P., Esq., M.A., F.S.A., 6 St. Aldate's, Oxford (Beechfield, 


1898. March, H. CoUey, Esq., M.D., Portesham, Dorchester. 
1900. Marett, R. R., Esq., M.A., Exeter College, Oxford. 

1904. Marsden, Miss, F.R.G.S., Chine Side, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. 

1896. Marsh, R. H., Esq., Ingleside, Epping, Essex. 

1880. Marston, E., Esq., St. Dunstan's House, Fetter Lane, E.C. 

Members. vii 

1892. Masson, Sir D. P., Managing Director, The Punjab Bank, Lahore, per 

H. S. King & Co., Cornhill, E.G. 
1905. Matthew, Rev. H. C, Manse, Claremont, W. Australia. 

1889. Matthews, Miss E., Raymead, Park Road, Watford. 
1905. Maylam, P., Esq., 32 Watling Street, Canterbury. 

1902. Maxwell, G., Esq., The Solicitor General's House, Penang, Straits 

1892. Merrick, W. P., Esq., Elvetham, Shepperton. 

1903. Miall, Stephen, Esq., LL.D., B.Sc, 116 Fore Street, London, E.G. 

1891. Milne, F. A., Esq., M.A., 11 Old Square, Lincolns Inn, W.C. {Secretary). 
1902. Milroy, Mrs. M. E., The Oast House, Farnham, Surrey. 

1890. Mond, Mrs. Frida, 20 Avenue Road, Regent's Park, N.W. 

1904. Montague, Mrs. Amy, Penton, Crediton, N. Devon. 

1889. Morison, Theodore, Esq., Aligarh, N.W. P., India. 

1899. Myers, C. S., Esq., B.A., M.B., Galewood Tower, Great Shelford, 

1897 c. Myers, J. L., Esq., M.A., F.S.A., l Wellington Place, Oxford. 

1885 c. Nesfield, J. P., Esq., Stratton House, 2 Madley Road, Ealing. 
1878. Nutt, A., Esq., 57 Long Acre, W.C. {Vice-President). 

1902. O'Brien, Captain A. J., c/o H. S. King & Co., 9 Pall Mall, S.W. 

1892. Oldfield, Lieut.-Col. F. H., R.E., Scottish Conservative Club, Edinburgh. 
1892. Olrik, Dr. Axel, 9 Matinsvej, Copenhagen, Denmark. 

1886. Ordish, T. Fairman, Esq., F.S.A., 2 Melrose Villas, Ballards Lane, 
Finchley, N. 

1890. Owen, Miss Mary A., 306 North Ninth Street, St. Joseph's, Missouri, 

U.S.A. {Hon. Member). 

1892. Paton, W. R., Esq., Ph.D., Ker Anna, Pirros Guirce, C6tes-du-Nord, 
France {per Messrs. Burnett & Reid, 12 Golden Square, Aberdeen). 

1878. Peacock, E., Esq., F.S.A., Wickentree House, Kirton-in-Lindsey, 

1899. Percy, Lord Algernon, Guy's Cliff, Warwick. 

1894. Phipson, Miss, 79 Bell Street, Reigate. 

1906. Pitman, Miss E. B., Humshaugh Vicarage, Northumberland. 

1898. Pitts, J. Linwood, Esq., M.J. I., F.S.A., Curator, Guille-Alles Library, 

1889. Pocklington-Coltman, Mrs., Haguely Priory, Spilsby, Lincolnshire. 

1904. Poor, H. W., Esq., 18 Wall Street, New York, U.S.A. 

1879c. Power, D'Arcy, Esq., M.A., M.B., F.S.A., lOA Chandos Street, 
Cavendish Square, W. 

1905. Postel, Professor Paul, Lemberg, Austria. 

1906. Prilchard, L. J., Esq., Menai Lodge, Chiswick, W. 

1889. Pusey, S. E. Bouverie, Esq., F.R.G.S., 40 South Audley Street, W. 

viii Members. 

1906. Raleigh, Miss K. A., 8 Park Road, Oxbridge. 

1892. Raynbird, H., jun., Esq., Garrison Gateway, Old Basing, Basingstoke. 

1888. Reade, John, Esq., 270 Laval Avenue, Montreal, Canada. 

1892. Reynolds, Llywarch, Esq., B.A., Old Church Place, Merthyr-Tydfil. 

1888. Rhys, Professor John, M.A., LL.D., Jesus College, Oxford ( Vice-President), 
1906. Richards, F. J., Esq., I.C.S., Camp Dharmapuiri, Salem, South India 

i^per Burney & Co., Madras). 

1889. Risley, The Hon. H. H., M.A., CLE., c/o Messrs. Thacker & Co., 

2 Creed Lane, Ludgate Hill, E.C. 

1900. Rivers, W. H. R., Esq., M.D., St. John's College, Cambridge. 

1905. Rodger, Sir J. P., K.C.M.G., Government House, Accra, Gold Coast 

Colony (St. James's Club, S.W.). 
1904. Rodon, Major G. S., G.S., F.Z.S. , Dhanvar, Bombay, India. 

1903. Rorie, D., Esq, M.B. Edin., CM., i St. Devenick Terrace, Cults, 


1901. Rose, H. A., Esq., c/o Grindlay, Groom & Co., Bombay. 
1901. Roth, H. Ling, Esq., Briarfield, Stribden, Halifax. 

1891.C. Rouse, W. H. D., Esq., Litt.D., Bateman House, Cambridge {Vice- 
1901. Riicker, Miss, 4 Vanburgh Terrace, Blackheath, S.E. 

1904. Rutherford, Miss Barbara, 196 Ashley Gardens, S.W. 

1890. Savage, The Rev. Canon E. B., M.A., F.S.A., St. Thomas's Vicarage, 

Douglas, Isle of Man. 
1879. c. Sayce, The Rev. Professor A. H., M.A., LL.D., D.D., Queen's College, 
Oxford ( Vice-President). 

1887. Scott, Sir J. G., K.C.I. E., Caunggyi, Southern Shan States, Burmah. 

1888. Sebillot, M. Paul, 80 Boulevard St. Marcel, Paris {Hon. Member). 

1897. Seebohm, F., Esq., LL.D., F.S.A., The Hermitage, Hitchin. 

1895. Seligmann, C. G., Esq., M.B., 15 York Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W. 

1906. Seton, M. C, Esq., 13 Clarendon Road, Holland Park, W. 

1903. Seyler, Clarence R. , Esq., Hindfell, Coadsason, Sketty, Swansea. 
1900. Shewan, A., Esq., Seehof, St. Andrews, Fife. 

1900. Shirley, R., Esq. 

1894. Sikes, E. E., Esq., St. John's College, Cambridge. 

1896. Simpkins, J. E., Esq., Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh. 

1898. Sinclair, The Hon. Mrs., 12 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, W. 
1896. Singer, Professor, 15 Nydecklaube, Bern, Switzerland. 

1907. Singh, H.H. The Raja Sir Bhuri, Chamba, via Dalhousie, Punjab. 

1900. Skeat, Walter W., Esq., Romeland Cottage, St. Albans. 
1888. Skilbeck, J. H., Esq., 6 Carlton Hill, N.W. 

1891. Skipwith, G. H., Esq., Public Library, Plumstead, S.E. 

1899. Sneddon, G. P., Esq,, 8 Merry Street, Motherwell, N.B. 

1904. Solomon, J. E., A.L.A., 7 Patton Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone. 

1901. Southam, Lieut.-Col. H. R. H., V.D., F.S.A., Innellan, Shrewsbury. 

Members. ix 

1898. Speakman, Mrs. J. G., Palazzo PoUini, Siena, Italy. 

1898. Speight, Ernest E., Esq., Shaldon, S. Devon. 
1893. Spoer, Frau Hans, Jerusalem, Syria. 

1893. Stanbery, Miss K. S., 433 Adair Avenue, Zanesville, Ohio, U.S.A. 

1899. Starr, Professor Frederick, University of Chicago, Chicago, U.S.A. {^Hon. 

1882. Stokes, Whitley, Esq., C.S.I., CLE., D.C.L., LL.D., F.S.A., 15 

Grenville Place, S.W. 
1897. Stow, Mrs., c/o Bakewell, Stow & Parker, Cowra Chambers, Grenfell 

Street, Adelaide, S. Australia. 
1878. Swainson, Rev. C, The Rectory, Old Charlton. 

1904. Swanson, A. E., Esq., Erin, 13 P'rognal Mansions, Hampstead, N.W. 

1889. Tabor, C. J., Esq., The White House, Knotts Green, Leyton, Essex. 
1885. Temple, Lieut. -Col. Sir R. C, Bart, CLE., F.R.G.S.., The Nash, 

1896. Thomas, N. W., Esq., 7 Coptic Street, W.C {Hon. Atiditor). 
1907. Thomas, P. G. , Esq., Bedford College, Baker Street, W. 

1892. Thompson, Miss Skeffington, Glenelly, Chiselhurst Common, Kent, 
1885. Tolhurst, J., Esq., F.S.A., Glenbrook, Beckenham, Kent. 

1905. Torr, Miss Dona R., Carlett Park, Eastham, Cheshire. 

1897. Townshend, Mrs. R. B., Derry Illawn, Banbury Road, Oxford. 

1896. Traherne, L. E., Esq., Coedriglan Park, Cardiff. 

1887. Travancore, H.H. the Maharajah of, Huzier, Cutcherry, Trevandrum, 


1888. Turnbull, A. H., Esq., Elibank, Wellington, New Zealand, per A. L. 

Elder & Co., 7 St. Helen's Place, E.G. 
1878. Tylor, Professor E. B., LL.D., D.C.L., F.R.S., The Museum House, 
Oxford ( Vice-President). 

1878. Udal, His Honour J. S., Chief Justice of the Leeward Islands, Antigua, 

West Indies. 

1899. Van Gennep, Professor A., 40 Rue de la Vallee du Bois, Clamart, Seine, 

per A. Schulz, 3 Place de la Sorbonne, Paris. 
1907. Verhorff, Miss C, The Beaconsfield, Brookline, Mass., U.S.A., per B. F. 

Stevens & Brown, 4 Trafalgar Square, S.W. 
1904. Vroom, McArthy, Esq., Marble House, Franklin Park Road, Elmina, 

Central Africa. 

1889. Walhouse, M. J., Esq., 28 Hamilton Terrace, St. John's Wood, N.W. 

1879. Walker, Dr. Robert, Budleigh-Salterton, Devon. 

1897. Warner, S. G., Elmside, Bolingbroke Grove, S.W. 

1906. Westermarck, Dr., 8 Rockley Road, West Kensington Park, W. 
1897. Weston, Miss J. L., Lyceum Club, Piccadilly, W. 

1883. Wheatley, Henry B., Esq., F.S. A., 2 Oppidans Road, Primrose Hill, N.W. 

X Members. 

1890. Williamson, Rev. C. A., 9 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin. 

1893. Windle, Professor B. C. A., M.D., F.R.S., President's House, Queen's 

College, Cork. 
1893. c. Wissendorff, H., Esq., 19 Nadeschkinskara, St. Petersburg, Russia. 
1893. Wood, Alexander, Esq., Thornly, Saltcoats, Ayrshire. 

1890. Wright, A. R., Esq., H.M. Patent Office, 25 Southampton Buildings, 

Chancery Lane, W.C. 
1884. Wright, W. Aldis, Esq., LL.D., Trinity College, Cambridge. 
1897. Wyndham, the Rt. Hon. G., M.P., House of Commons, S.W. 

1902. Zervos, Gerasimos, Esq., c/o Ralli Brothers, Khamgaon, Berar, India. 

SUBSCRIBERS {corrected to leth March, 1907). 

1893. Aberdeen Public Library, per G. M. Eraser, Esq., M.A. , Librarian. 

1894. Aberdeen University Library, per P. J. Anderson, Esq., Librarian. 
1902. Adelaide Public Library, South Australia, per Kegan Paul & Co., 

43 Gerrard Street, W. 
1899. American Geographical Society, New York, per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 
4 Trafalgar Square, S.W. 

1891. Amsterdam, The University Library of, per Kirberger & Kesper, Book- 

sellers, Amsterdam. 

1879. Antiquaries, The Society of, Burlington House, W. 

1905. Asiatic Society of Bengal, 57 Park Street, Calcutta, per B. Quaritch, 

15 Piccadilly, London, W. 

1 88 1. Berlin Royal Library, per Asher & Co., 13 Bedford Street, Covent 

Garden, W.C. 

1880. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, per Continental Export Company, 4 High 

Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 
1884. Birmingham Free Library, Ratcliffe Place, Birmingham, per T. Gilbert 
Griffiths, Esq. 

1882. Birmingham Library, c/o C. E. Scarse, Esq., Librarian, Margaret 

Street, Birmingham. 
1899. Bordeaux University Library, per A. Schulz, 3 Place de la Sorbonne, Paris. 
1878. Boston Athenaeum, Boston, U.S.A., per Kegan Paul & Co., 43 Gerrard 

Street, W. 

1881. Boston Public Library, Mass., U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star 

Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 

1906. Boysen, C, Hamburg, per Kegan Paul & Co., 43 Gerrard Street, W.C. 
1902. Bradford Free Public Library, Darley St., Bradford, per Butler Wood, Esq. 
1894. Brighton Public Library, per H. D. Roberts, Esq., Chief Librarian, Brighton. 
1906. Bristol Central Library, per E. R. Norris Mathews, Esq., F. R. Hist. Soc. 

1905. California State Library, Sacramento, California, per B. F. Stevens & 
Brown, 4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 

Members. xi 

1903. Cambridge Free Library, per J. Pink, Esq. 
1898. Cardiff Free Libraries, per J. Ballinger, Esq. 

1898. Carnegie Free Library, Alleghany, Pa., U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert 
2 Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 

1904. Carnegie Library, Pittsburg, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey 

Street, W.C. 
1898. Chelsea Public Library, Manresa Road, S.W., per J. H. Quinn, Esq. 
1890. Chicago Public Library, Illinois, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 

4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 
1898. Chicago University Library, Illinois, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 

4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 
1890. Cincinnati Public Library, per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 4 Trafalgar 

Square, W.C. 
1894. Columbia College, New York, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey 

Street, W.C. 

1905. Columbia, Public Library of District of, Washington, D.C., per G. E. 

Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
1879. Congress, The Library of, Washington, U.S.A., per E. G. Allen & Son, 

King Edward Mansions, Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 
1890. Cornell University Library, per E. G. Allen & Son, King Edward 

Mansions, Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 

1890. Detroit Public Library, Michigan, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 

4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 
1906. Dundee Free Library, per A. W. Steven, Esq., 95 Commercial St., Dundee. 

1894. Edinburgh Public Library, per Hew Morrison, Esq., City Chambers, 


1895. Eggers & Co., St. Petersburg, per Kegan Paul & Co., 43 Gerrard St., W.C. 
1890. Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore City, U.S.A., per E. G. Allen & Son, 

King Edward Mansions, 2I2A Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 
1893. Erlangen University Library, per W. Dawson & Sons, St. Dunstan's 
House, Fetter Lane, E.C. 

1904. Field Columbian Museum, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & 

Brown, 4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 
1897, Franklin and Marshall College, Lankaster, Penn., U.S.A., per Lemcke & 
Buechner, 11 East 17th Street, New York (H. Grevel & Co., 
33 King Street, Convent Garden, W.C). 

1905. General Theological Seminary, New York City, U.S.A., per G. E. 

Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
1901. Giessen University Library, per Hirschfeld Brothers, 13 Furnival St., W.C. 

xii Mefnbers. 

1883. Glasgow University Library, per J. MacLehose & Sons, 61 St. Vincent 

Street, Glasgow. 
1902. Gloucester Public Library, Gloucester, per Roland Austin, Esq. 
1878. Gottingen University Library, per Asher & Co., 18 Bedford Street, 

Covent Garden, W.C. 
1905. Grand Rapids Public Library, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, W.C. 
1892. Guildhall Library, E.G., per E. M. Barrajo, Esq., Librarian. 

1878. Harvard College Library, per Kegan Paul & Co., 43 Gerrard Street, W.C. 

1904. Helsingfors University Library, per Kegan Paul & Co., 43 Gerrard St., W.C. 
1902. HoUiday & Co., Wellington, New Zealand, per Sampson, Low & Co., 

Fetter Lane, E.C. 
1896. Howard Memorial Library, New Orleans, U.S.A., per W. Beer, Esq. 

1902. Hull Public Libraries, per W. F. Lawton, Esq. 

1895. India Office Library, Whitehall, S.W., per F. W. Thomas, Esq. 

1901. Institut de France, per Continental Export Company, 4 High Street, 

Bloomsbury, W.C. 
1907. Institut de Sociologie Solvay, Brussels, per Kegan Paul & Co., 43 

Gerrard Street, W. 
1899. Iowa State Library, Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & 

Brown, 4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 

1907. Johannesburg Public Library, per J. F. Cadenhead, Esq., Johannesburg, 

S. Africa. 
1895. John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester. 

1879. Johns Hopkins University Library, Baltimore, per E. G. Allen & Son, 

King Edward Mansions, 2I2A Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 

1905. Kensington Public Libraries, per Farmer & Sons, 179 Kensington High 

Street, W. 
1882. Kiev University Library, per F. A. Brockhaus, 48 Old Bailey, E.C. 

1892. Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society, per G. F. Stevenson, Esq., 
LL.B., II New Street, Leicester. 

1903. Leland Stanford Junior University College, per F. A. Brockhaus, 48 Old 

Bailey, E.C. 
1885. Library of the Supreme Council of the 33°, etc., 33 Golden Sq., W. 
1899. Liverpool Free Public Library, per Gilbert G. Walmsley, Esq., 59 Lord 

Street, Liverpool. 
1879. London Library, St. James's Square, S.W. 

1904. Los Angeles Public Library, California, per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 4 

Trafalgar Square, W.C. 

1878. Manchester Free Library, King Street, Manchester. 

Members. xiii 

Max, J., & Co., 21 Schweidnitzerstrasse, Breslau. 

Meadville Theological School Library, Meadville, Pa., U.S.A., per G. E. 

Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
Mercantile Library of St. Louis, U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, 

Carey Street, W.C. 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 2 

Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
Meyrick Library, Jesus College, Oxford, per. E. E. Genner, Esq. , Librarian. 
Michigan State Library, Lansing, Michigan, U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 

2 Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
Michigan University Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. 
Middlesborough Free Library, per Baker Hudson, Esq. 
Minneapolis Public Library, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey St., 

Minnesota, University of, Minneapolis, U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 2 

Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
Mitchell Library, 21 Miller Street, Glasgow, c/o F. T. Barrett, Esq., 

Munich Royal Library, per Asher «S: Co., 13 Bedford Street, W.C. 

Nancy, Universitie de, Nancy, France, per M. Paul Perdrizet. 

National Library of Ireland, per Hodges, Figgis & Co., 104 Grafton Street, 

Newark Free Public Library, New Jersey, U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 2 

Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
Newberry Library, Chicago, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 4 

Trafalgar Square, W.C. 
Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle-on-Tyne, per 

PL Richardson, Esq. 
New Jersey, The College of, Princeton, N.J., U.S.A., per H. A. Dufifield, 

Esq., Treasurer. 
New Jersey Free Library, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, 

New York, College of the City of, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey 

Street, W.C. 
New York General Theological Seminary, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star 

Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
New York Public Library (Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation), per 

B. F. Stevens & Brown, 4 Trafalgar Square, W.C. 
New York State Library, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, 

Nottingham Free Public Library, per J. E. Bryan, Esq., St. Peter's 

Churchside, Nottingham. 

1S94. Oxford and Cambridge Club, per Harrison & Sons, 45 Pall Mall, S.W. 

xiv Members. 




Peabody Institute, Baltimore, U.S.A., per E. G. Allen & Son, King 

Edward Mansions, 212A Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 
Peorio, Public Library of, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, 

Philadelphia, Free Library of, per B. F. Stevens & Brown, 4 Trafalgar 

Square, W.C. 
Philadelphia, The Library Company of, U.S.A., per E. G. Allen & Son, 

King Edward Mansions, 212A Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 
Philippine Islands, Ethnological Survey for the, Manilla, per Merton L. 

Miller, Esq., Acting Chief. 
Plymouth Institution and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, 

per C. S. Jago, Esq., Plymouth Public School. 
Providence Public Library, per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star Yard, Carey St., W.C. 

1900. Reading Free Public Library, per W. H. Greenhough, Esq. 

1894. Rohrscheid & Ebbecke, Buchhandlung, Am Hof, 28, Bonn, Germany. 

1894. Royal Irish Academy, per Hodges, Figgis & Co., 104 Grafton St., Dublin. 

1888. St. Helen's Corporation Free Library, per A. Lancaster, Esq., Librarian, 
Town Hall, St. Helens. 

1898. Salford Public Library, Manchester, 

1907. Seattle Public Library, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., per B. F. Stevens & 
Brown, 4 Trafalgar Square, S.W. 

1899. Sheffield Free Public Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield, per S. Smith, Esq. 
1898. Signet Library, Edinburgh. 

1905. Sion College Library, Victoria Embankment, E.C., per W. H. Milman, 

Esq., Librarian. 
1879. Stockholm, Royal Library of, per W. H. Dawson & Sons, St. Dunstan's 

House, Fetter Lane, E.C. 
1903. Sunderland Public Library, Borough Rd., Sunderland, per B. R. Hill, Esq. 

1894. Surgeon General Office Library, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., per Kegan 

Paul & Co., 43 Gerrard Street, W. 
1891. Swansea Public Library, per S. E. Thompson, Esq., Librarian. 
1 88 1. Sydney Free Public Library, per Truslove & Hanson, 153 Oxford St., W. 

1895. Tate Librar}', University College, Liverpool, care of J. Sampson, Esq. 

1906. Texas, University of Austin, Texas, U.S.A., per G. E. Stechert, 2 Star 

Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 
1883. Taylor Institution, Oxford, per Parker & Co., Broad Street, Oxford. 

1898. Toronto Public Library, per C. D. Cazenove & Son, 26 Henrietta Street, 

Covent Garden, W.C. 

1899. Toronto University Library, per C. D. Cazenove & Son, 26 Henrietta 

Street, Covent Garden, W.C. 
1879. Torquay Natural History Society, care of A. Somervail, Esq. 

Members. xv 

1899. Upsala University Library, per C. J. Lundstrom, Upsala, Sweden. 

1896. Van Stockum, W. P., & Son, 36 Buitenhof, The Hague, Holland. 

1899. Vassar College Library, Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.A., per H. 

Sotheran & Co., 140 Strand, W.C. 
1907. Victoria Public Library, Melbourne, per Agent-General for Victoria, 

142 Queen Victoria Street, E.C. 
1902. Vienna Imperial Court Library, per Asher & Co., 13 Bedford Street, W.C. 
1901. Vienna Imperial University Library, per Asher & Co., 13 Bedford Street, 

1892. Voss Sortiment (Herr G. Haessler), Leipzig. 

1890. Watkinson Library, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A., per E. G. Allen & Son, 
King Edward Mansions, 212A Shaftesbury Avenue, W.C. 

1898. Weimar Grand Ducal Library, per Dr. P. von Bojanowsky. 

1907. Wesleyan University, Library of, Middletown, Connecticut, U.S.A. 

1898. Wisconsin State Historical Society, per H. Sotheran & Co., 140 Strand, W.C. 

1885. Worcester Free Public Library, Mass., U.S.A., per Kegan Paul & Co., 
43 Gerrard Street, W. 

1905. Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A., per G. E. 
Stechert & Co., 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, W.C. 



Vol. XVIIL] MARCH, 1907. [No. I, 


Mr. G. Laurence Gomme (Vice-President) 
IN THE Chair. 

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and 

The election of Mrs. J. K. Kabraji, Mr. A. G. Chater, 
Miss A. Garnett, Mr. G. W. Ferrington, Dr. Dan M'Kenzie, 
and Miss Jackson as members of the Society, and the 
enrolment of the Victoria Public Library (Melbourne), 
the Michigan University Library, the Bristol Public 
Library, and the Johannesburg Public Library as sub- 
scribers to the Society were announced. 

The death of Mr. C. W. Duncan, and the resignations 
of Mr. E. Woodall, Mr. W. A. Craigie, Mr. O. Bray, Miss 
Quaritch, and Mr. F. G. Hilton Price, and the withdrawal 
of the subscription of the Tate Library, Streatham, were 
also announced. 

Miss E. Hull read a paper entitled " The Evolution 
of the Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature," and in the 


2 Minutes of Meetings. 

discussion which followed, Mr. Clodd, Mr, A. R. Wright, 
and the Chairman took part. 

The Meeting terminated with a hearty vote of thanks 
to Miss Hull for her paper. 

The Secretary reported the following additions to the 
Library since the 15th December, 1906, viz.: 

Analecta Bollandiana, Vol. XXV., Parts I. and II.; by 

The Chaplains and the Chapels of the University of 
Cambridge, by the Rev. H. P. Stubbs, LL.D.; by exchange. 

Neue fahrbiicherfilr das Klassische Altertiini Geschichte 
und deutsche Liter atur und fiir Pddogogik (Dr. Johanns 
Ilberg and Professor Dr. B. Gerth) ; presented by the 

The So-called Gorgets (C. Peabody and W. K. Moore- 
head) ; by the Phillips Academy, Mass., U.S.A. 

North Queensland Ethnography Bulletin, No. 8 (Walter 
E. Roth) ; by the Government of Queensland. 

The Place-names of Bedfordshire, by Rev. W. W. Skeat, 

Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, No. 
46 ; by exchange. 

Annual Progress Report of the Archceological Survey of 
Western India, for the year ending June 30th, 1905 ; 
presented by the Government of Bombay. 

Annual Progress Report of the Archceological Survey of 
the Panjab and United Provinces Circle, and of the 
N. W. Frontier Province and Baluchistan, for the year 
ending March 31st, 1905 ; by the Government of the 
N.W. Frontier Province. 

Mexican and Central American Antiquities (Edward 
Seler and others) ; by the Bureau of American Ethnology, 

A nzeiger der Ethnographischen A bteiluiig des Ungarischen 
National Museums, Vol. III., Part I., edited by Dr. 
Semayer Vilibald. 

Mimites of Meetings. 3 

Report of the Archceological Work in Burmah, for the 
years 1904-05, 1905-06 ; by the Government of Burmah. 

Report Oft the Administration of the Government Museum 
mid Connemara Public Library^ for the years 1904-05 and 
1905-06; by the Government of Madras. 

British New Guinea: Annual Report for year ending 
June 30th, 1904, and ditto for year ending June 30th, 
1905 ; by the Government of Australia. 

The Year-Book of Queensland, 1906; by the Agent- 
General of Queensland. 

fournal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, Vol. 
VII., No. 5 ; by the Society. 

Report of the gth Meeting of the Australasian Association 
for the Advancement of Science, edited by Alex. Morton ; 
by the Association. 

Annual Report of the Archceological Survey of India, 
1903-04 ; by the Government of India. 

Antiquities of the femez Plateau, New Mexico (E. L. 
Hewitt) ; by the Bureau of American Ethnology. 

Ethnographic Notes in Southern India (E. Thurston) ; 
by the Author. 


Mr. G. Laurence Gomme (Vice-President) 
IN the Chair. 

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and 

The election of Mr. B. Ghosal, Mr. A. B. Cook, and 
H.H. The Rajah Sir Buri Singh, as members of the 
Society, was announced. 

4 Minutes of Meetings. 

The resignations of Major Mockler Ferryman, Mr. H. 
Courthope Bowen, and the withdrawal of the subscription 
of the Fulham Public Library were also announced. 

Miss Jessie L. Weston read a paper entitled " The 
Grail and the Mysteries of Adonis," and in the discussion 
which followed, Mr. Yeats, Dr. Furnivall, Professor Starr, 
Dr. Gaster, and the Chairman took part. In the absence 
of Mr. Nutt, some observations of his upon the paper 
were read by the Secretary. 

The Meeting terminated with a hearty vote of thanks 
to Miss Weston for her paper. 


The President (Dr. W. H. D. Rouse) 
IN THE Chair. 

The Minutes of the last Annual Meeting were read and 

The Annual Report, Statement of Accounts and Balance 
Sheet for the year 1906 were duly presented, and upon 
the motion of Mr. Letts, seconded by Mr. Crooke, it was 
resolved that the same be received and adopted. Balloting 
papers for the Election of President, Vice-Presidents, 
Council, and Officers having been distributed, Mr. Major 
and Mr. Thomas were nominated by the Chairman as 
scrutineers for the ballot, 

The Chairman, having delivered his Presidential Address, 
[p. 12] announced the result of the ballot, and the following 
were declared duly elected, viz. : — 

Minutes of Meetings. 

Dr. Gaster. 


The Hon. John Abercromby. 
Lord Avebury, D.C.L., LL.D., 

Sir E. W. Brabrook, C.B., F.S.A. 
Miss C. S. Burne. 
Edward Clodd. 

J. G. Frazer, D.C.L., LL.D., etc. 
G. Laurence Gomme, F.S.A. 
A. C. Haddon, D.Sc, M.R.LA., 


E. S. Hartland, F.S.A. 
Andrew Lang, M.A., LL.D., etc. 
Alfred Nutt. 
Professor J. Rhys, M.A., LL.D., 

W. H. D. Rouse, Litt.D. 
The Rev. Professor A. H. Sayce, 

M.A., LL.D., D.D. 
Professor E. B. Tylor, LL.D., 


E. K. Chambers. 

W. Crooke, B.A. 

M. Longworth Dames. 

Miss Eyre. 

Miss E. Hull. 

The Rev. H. N. Hutchinson, 

A. W. Johnston, F.S.A. Scot- 
A. F. Major. 


Members of Coiaicil. 

R. R. Marett, M.A. 

C. S. Myers, M.A., M.B. 

T. Fairman Ordish, F.S.A. 

W. H. R. Rivers, M.D. 

C. G. Seligmann, M.B. 

Walter W. Skeat, M.A. 

C. J. Tabor. 

N. W. Thomas, M.A. 

Dr. E. Westermarck. 

A. R. Wright. 


Edward Clodd. 

Hon. Auditors. 
F. G. Green and N. W. Thomas, M.A. 

F. A. Milne, M.A. 

Dr. Rouse thereupon vacated the chair, which was taken 
by Dr. Gaster, the newly-elected President. Upon the 
motion of Dr. Gaster, seconded by Mr. Ordish, a hearty 
vote of thanks was accorded to the outgoing President 
for his address, and a vote of thanks was also accorded 
to the outgoing Members of the Council, viz., Miss Ffennell, 
Dr. Gollancz, Mr. Lovett, Mr. Rose, and Mr. H. B. Wheatley 
on the motion of Mr. Clodd, seconded by Mr. Nutt. 


I 6th January, 1907. 

The Council have to record a year of steady work and 
progress. Five Libraries have been enrolled as subscribers 
to the Society, and 19 new members have been elected. 
On the other hand 13 old members have resigned, and 
3 have died ; and the subscriptions of two libraries have 
been withdrawn. The roll of the Society is, therefore, 
a little longer than it was a year ago. It is, however, 
a matter of regret that more subscriptions than usual 
are in arrear, and the Council hope that this state of 
affairs will be remedied before the next annual meeting. 

The reasons alleged for resignation are often quite 
inadequate, and the Council appeal to all present 
members not to allow any but the weightiest reasons 
to influence them to withdraw from the Society. 

In the last annual report a proposal was made by 
the Council that members and subscribing libraries should 
in future be distinguished in the published lists. No 
list of Members has been published during the past year, 
but effect will be given to the proposal in due course. 

The papers read during the year have been as follows, 
viz. : 

fan. 17. The President's Address. (Folk-Lore, March, 1906.) 
Feb. 2\. " The Folklore of Dolls. " (Illustrated by lantern slides. ) Mr. 
E. Lovett. 

Annual Report of the Council. 7 

March 21. "Elf shooting and its treatment in the North-west of Ireland." 
The Rev. J. Meehan. 
" More Cairene Folklore." The Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce. 
April 25, " Spanish Amulets and ex voto Offerings." Mr. W. L. Hildburgh. 
"The Scapegoat in Europe." Mr. N. W. Thomas. 
May 16. "Travel Notes from South Africa." (Illustrated by lantern 

slides.) Mr. E. S. Hartland. 
June 20. "Custom and Belief in the Icelandic Sagas." Miss Winifred 

Nov. 21. " The Evolution of the Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature." Miss 

Eleanor Hull. 
Dec. 19. "The Grail and the Mysteries of Adonis." Miss Jessie L. Weston. 

The meetings were generally well attended, especially 
those on February 21st and May i6th, which were no 
doubt rendered particularly attractive by the lantern 
illustrations. Miss Weston's paper, read on the 19th 
December, gave rise to a capital discussion, in which 
(amongst others) Mr. W. B. Yeats and Dr. Furnivall 
took part. 

The Council regret that so few objects of Folklore 
interest have been offered for exhibition during the year. 
In fact, the only exhibitor has been Mr. W. L. Hildburgh, 
who showed a most interesting collection of Spanish 
amulets and ex voto offerings illustrative of the paper 
read by him on the 25th April. In the year 1905 the 
list of objects exhibited was an unusually long and 
interesting one, and the Council hope that their next 
report will contain a list at least as long and as interesting. 
The secretary is always glad to arrange with members 
of the Society or their friends for the exhibition of objects 
at any meeting ; and, provided that sufficient notice be 
given, the proposed exhibition can be announced on 
the cards sent out before each meeting to members 
residing in London and the home counties. These 
exhibitions contribute so much to the interest and 
attractiveness of the meetings that they deserve every 

There has been no addition to the objects in the Society's 

8 Anmial Report of the Council, 

case in the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at 
Cambridge during the year. The compilation of a cata- 
logue of these objects with the view of rendering the 
collection more useful to students of Folk-lore is under 

Some 25 books and pamphlets of a miscellaneous 
description have been added to the Society's library during 
the year. 

The Society has issued during the year the 17th 
volume of Folk-lore. The Council are happy to say 
that the services of Miss Burne as Editor of the 
Journal are still at their disposal, and they venture to 
express their hope that they may long continue to 
be so. The Society owes Miss Burne a deep debt of 
gratitude for the great pains she has taken in performing 
a difficult, and sometimes, it is to be feared, irksome 
task. The Council have again to thank Mr. A. R. Wright 
for devoting so much of his brief leisure in preparing the 
index to the volume. The policy of illustrating freely 
has been continued, and is, it is believed, appreciated. 

The Society has issued during the year for the first 
time a separate Bibliography of Folklore for 1905, pre- 
pared by Mr. N. W. Thomas. The Council are inviting 
the co-operation of other societies with kindred objects 
in future issues of a similar kind. 

The additional volume promised for 1904, viz., a 
collection of Jamaican Folklore, entitled Jamaican Song 
and Story, by Mr. Walter Jekyll, will, it is hoped, be 
in the hands of members in the course of the next 
few weeks. The Council regret the delay that has 
occurred in issuing the volume, but owing to Mr. Jekyll's 
residence in Jamaica it has been inevitable. 

Mr. M. Longworth Dames' Popular Poetry of the 
Baloches, the additional volume promised for 1905, will 
be issued to members at the same time as Mr. Jekyll's 
book. The Council of the Royal Asiatic Society are 

Annual Report of the Council. 9 

co-operating with the Council in the production of this 
volume, and will purchase 300 copies. 

The additional volume for 1906 will be a further 
instalment of the County Folk-lore Series, viz., the Folk- 
lore of Lincolnshire collected from printed sources by 
Miss Peacock and Mrs. Gutch. The collection is in the 
hands of the Council and will shortly be ready for 
press. As the material is unusually abundant, it is 
probable that it will be found necessary to issue a second 
volume at a later date. 

The Council have under their consideration the ques- 
tion of an additional volume for 1907, but have at 
present come to no decision. They are expecting at an 
early date to receive Mr. Chope's collection of Devon- 
shire Folklore from printed sources, and Mrs. Gutch has 
very kindly undertaken the collection of the Folklore of 
the East Riding of Yorkshire. Other MSS. have been 
placed in the hands of the Council with a view to 
publication, and these are still under consideration. 

The Society was represented at the meeting of the 
British Association at York by Mr. E. S. Hartland, the 
President of Section H ; Dr. Haddon, Mr, Gomme, Dr. 
Rivers, Mrs. Gutch, and others. 

The Council submit herewith the Annual Accounts 
and Balance Sheet duly audited. The balloting list for 
the Council and Offices for the ensuing year is sent 

By Order of the Council. 

W. H. D. ROUSE, 



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I PROPOSE to take for my subject the Pali Jdtaka Book. 
As you know, the text of this book, edited by the 
veteran Professor FausboU, was completed a few years 
ago ; and the translation has been in progress since 
1888. The first volume was published in 1895, and the 
last was left incomplete at the death of Professor Cowell 
in 1903. The work of completing it was laid upon me 
by Professor Cowell, and I had hoped to get it done before 
this meeting ; but, unfortunately, in the course of print- 
ing, it was found that there were large gaps left which 
must be filled. This has delayed the work, but it should 
be ready by the spring. A good deal has been already 
written about this book in the pages of our journal, but 
it may be worth while briefly to recapitulate what it 
has revealed, and to indicate anything which may 
suggest itself as to the future. I cannot but hope that 
the Society contains young and ardent spirits who are 
looking about them to see how they may serve the cause 
of research ; if so, they need look no longer, for I can 
soon show them work enough for the greediest. 

The word Jdtaka, Birth, is applied specially to stories 
about the earlier birth of Gautama Buddha. There is 
no reason to doubt that Buddha used to tell such stories 
to his disciples, the framework being often a beast-fable 
or wonder-tale which was already current ; like other 

Presidential Address, 13 

religious teachers, in fact, he used for his own purposes 
the materials which he found at hand, knowing that 
truth embodied in a tale could find entry at lowly- 
doors. There is no contemporary evidence ; but the 
traditions of Ceylon speak of the Jdtaka as existing at 
the time of the Council of Vesali, which took place a 
round hundred years after Buddha's death, that is about 
380 B.C.^ More important still is the direct evidence of 
the Buddhist carvings on the shrines of Bharhut, Sanchi, 
and Amaravati. Here are a number of scenes from the 
Jdtakas, each inscribed with its title, and most of them 
represented in the Jdtaka Book. Thus at the end of 
the third century B.C., or some 300 years after the death 
of Buddha, these stories were already considered sacred, 
and their scenes were felt to be the most fit ornament 
to be carved on a great Buddhist shrine. There is 
evidence also, not only in the Pali sacred books, but 
in those of the hostile sect of the Northern Buddhists, 
that a collection, of Birth stories under the title oi Jdtaka 
existed as part of the canon. All this points to the 
existence of such a book in very early times, probably 
before the split took place between Northern and 
Southern Buddhism. A strong confirmation of this is 
the reference in one Birth Story to Ceylon as an isle 
of yakkkas, or goblins. 

But the book as we have it was put together much 
later. According to the Ceylon tradition, the book 
originally consisted only of the gdthds or poetical 
stanzas, the stories being given in a Singhalese com- 
mentary ; and that this commentary was translated into 
Pali by the scholar Buddhaghosa about 430 A.D. Probably 
the verses were learnt by heart as the text for stories 
handed down by oral tradition or otherwise ; there might 
well have been an ancient text, but the differences 
in detail between the Pali and the various Sanskrit 

^ Dipavanisa, 5, 32. 

14 Presidential Address. 

collections would appear to suggest that the form of the 
stories was not invariable. The history of this book 
shows the same general lines as that of the Christian 
gospels, or to take a more exact parallel, the mediaeval 
Gesta Romanorum. Whether there was really a trans- 
lation of the Singhalese commentary into Pali, or whether 
the Pali version took shape at a time when Pali was a 
real spoken vernacular, matters not for our present 
purpose ; it is sufficient to say that probably Buddhaghosa, 
or perhaps some one near his day, did put the book 
into its present shape. He used, however, traditional 
materials ; the verses all through show a dialect much 
more ancient than the prose, and one which closely 
resembles the Sanskrit dialect of the sacred books of 
the Northern sect. The antiquity of the verse-Pali, and 
its independence, are shown also by the occurrence of 
words and forms which can only be explained by a 
reference to the Vedas. We have here, in fact, a literary 
tradition which is directly derived from very ancient 
times, and not a translation from anything like con- 
temporary classical Sanskrit. Many of the stories given 
in the Jdtaka Book are also found in other of the sacred 
books or their commentaries. 

The Pali Jdtaka Book begins with an Introduction 
which describes the chief events of the last earthly life 
of Buddha. Then follow the stories, classified in a truly 
Oriental way, by the number of verses quoted in each. 
The Plrst Book, containing 150 stories, has one verse 
in each ; the Second Book, two ; and so forth, until in 
the later books we have thirty, forty, fifty, or more 
given in the titles, as round numbers, of course. The 
last book of all, The Mahdnipdta, or Great Book, 
contains stories with several hundreds of verses : a 
thousand is the round number used to describe this 
section ; in fact, the scribe says in one place, cutting 
short an interminable conversation, full of strings of vain 

Presidential Address. 15 

repetitions, " If this story were not confined to a thousand 
verses, it would never come to an end." This principle 
of arrangement, if we may use the word principle of a 
thing so meaningless, well shows that perversion of the 
sense of symmetry which afflicted the scholars of the 
east. Each of the stories is composed on one plan. It 
begins with what is called the story of the present, 
or the occasion. Something happens ; the Brethren, who 
always find time for gossip, although gossip is one of 
the sins condemned most severely by their Northern 
cousins, meet together in the Hall of Truth, and talk 
the matter over. In comes the Buddha, and asks what 
they are talking about : they tell him. " Oh," says he, 
"that need not surprise you ; the same thing has happened 
before." Then he tells them the Story of the Past, in 
which the main circumstances are the same, and so are 
the characters, but under different names ; Buddha is 
nearly always one of them. In the course of the story 
he introduces the text-verses, which in the later books 
paraphrase the whole. Finally he draws the moral, and 
identifies the characters of the Birth with those around 

Of late years, the study of Buddhist Sanskrit has 
brought to light some other collections of Birth Stories, 
which are invaluable for comparative criticism. One 
is called the Jdtaka-Mdld, or Garland of Births.^ This 
book contains 34 stories, of which 26 have been identified 
with stories or titles in the Pali Jdtaka Book. The 
others are shorter, and differ in many respects from those 
of the Pdli. A story-book of an independent type, and 
far more important, is the Divydvaddna} edited from 
Nepalese MSS. This belongs to the Northern School of 

^Th& Jdtaka-Mdla, edited by H. Kern. American Oriental Series. Ginn 
& Co. 1891. 

^ The Divydvaddna, a collection of early Buddhist legends, now first edited 
from the MSS. by E. B. Cowell and R. A. Neil. Cambridge. 1886. 

1 6 Presidential Address. 

Buddhism, and exists also in a Tibetan translation. The 
Buddhist books were translated into Tibetan about the 
eighth century : these translations are so literal that it 
is often possible to reconstruct the original Sanskrit text. 
But the Tibetan Divydvaddna has never been compared 
with the Sanskrit as we have it, and neither has been 
as yet translated into English. So far, therefore, they 
are not yet available for English students ; but another 
collection, of great importance, the Malidvastu} is accom- 
panied by introductions in French which summarise the 
contents of the book. Allusion is made in this book to 
the " Jatakas recounted by the Buddha," ^ and a certain 
number of parallels may be found in it to the tales of 
the Pali canon. Many of the stories of the Pali also 
find parallels in the Sanskrit non-religious literature, as 
the Hitopadeqa, the Paficatantra, the Rdmdyana, the 

For the history of folk-tales and their transmission 
the importance of our book has been recognised ever 
since its character was made known to students. Like 
others of its class, it embodies and uses for pointing a 
moral, numbers of animal-stories and fairy-tales which 
were familiar to the hearers from their childhood. And 
although the preacher has warped the tales mercilessly 
for his own ends, they still have power to charm. To 
this day, when the full moon floods the sky with a soft 
radiance which we never see in our clime, and when 
the cool of the evening has called out men, women, and 
children to enjoy their rest, these ancient stories may still 
be heard in the villages of Ceylon or Burma, and never 
fail to hold their hearers' attention. The animal stories 
have suffered least, because they moralize naturally. 
These embody in themselves the proverbial wisdom and 

^ Le Mahavastu : texte Sanscrit, accompagne d'introductions et d'un com- 
mentaire par E, Senart. Paris, 3 vols. 1882- 1897. 
-\. 105^ 

Presidential Address. 17 

humour of the people. Their range of transmission is 
extraordinary ; and we are not surprised to find a tale 
of Brer Rabbit and several of Aesop's fables amongst 
them. One of the first to be identified was the Ass in 
the Lions Skin.^ I need hardly remind you that he is 
a home in Asia, where lions once must have been 
plentiful, although it is true that they were sometimes 
found in Europe long after Aesop's day. The Fox and 
the Crow, on the other hand, has lost its point in the 
eastern version,^ where the crow, flattered by the fox's 
comphment-which is put in the form of poetry of 
course-simply shakes a branch and causes some of'the 
fruit to drop for him by way of reward. Aesop's Wolf 
and Crane is told of a woodpecker and a lion -3 this 
has a parallel also in a Tibetan tale, the Ungrateful 
L lon^ The fable of the Wolf and the Lamb, that tear- 
ful favourite of our childhood, has a parallel which 
embodies the same moral, which may be less familiar 
to you.^ 

Nor is this the only point of connexion with modern 
literature. The Parrot and the Faithless Wife^ reappears 
Dotn in the Gesta Romanorum and in the Book of the 
Knight de la Tour Landry. In a Greek variant of the 
same tale,c the wife succeeds in hoodwinking her husband 
as also she does in the English, which I give here. 


J^'ll 71 " """T '^"' ^'^ ' P" ^" " ^^S^' *^^ ^P-'^- and wolde telle 

alys that she saw do. And so it happed that her husbonde made kepe 

a gret ele ,n a htelle ponde in his gardin, to that entent to yeue t sun' 

of his frende^ wolde come to see hym ; but the wyff, Ihanne he" 

'/at. ii. 76. V«A ii. 299. ^/at. iii. 17; Tibetan Tales, No. 37 
/at. m. 285, read in full at Meeting, together with several others 

(c±t. E. T. 8.7^22) '^'''"^^' ""* ^''"' ""'■ '^' ^'- ^' ^' '^- ""''■ 
^Fabtilae Romanenses (Teutones), p. 15. 


1 8 Presidential Address. 

husbond was oute, saide to her maide, "late us ete the gret ele, and y 
wille saie to my husbond that the otour hathe eten hym " ; and so it 
was done. And whan the good man was come, the pye began to telle 
hym how her maistresse had eten the ele. And he yode to the ponde, 
and fonde not the ele. And he asked his wiff wher the ele was become. 
And she wende to haue excused her, but he saide her, "excuse you not, 
for y wote welle ye haue eten it, for the pye hathe told me." And so ther 
was gret noyse betwene the man and hys wiff for etinge of the ele. But 
whanne the good man was gone, the maistresse and the maide come to the 
pie, and plucked of alle the fedres on the pyes hede, saieng, "thou hast 
discouered us of the ele " ; and thus was the pore pye plucked. But euer 
after, whanne the pie saw a balled or a pilled man, or a woman with an 
highe forhede, the pie saide to hem, "ye spake of the ele." And therfor 
here is an ensaumple that no woman should ete no lycorous morcelles in 
the absens and withoute weting of her husbond, but yef it so were that 
it be with folk of worshippe, to make hem chere ; for this woman was 
afterward mocked for the pye and the ele. 

There is one story of a very good king^ who has 
conscientious objection to compulsory military service. 
Unlike his modern imitators, he carries out his principles 
to their logical issue, and allows any one who wishes 
to steal his goods. He and his court, who obediently 
do as he tells them, are therefore buried up to the neck 
in the earth beside some dead bodies ; but confident in 
their righteousness, they do not despair. In the night a 
troop of jackals attack them, but the king's conscience 
draws the line of passive resistance at a jackal. The 
king takes fast hold of a jackal's paw with his teeth, 
and the beast struggles so hard that he pulls up the 
king out of the pit wherein he had been digged. The 
king goes back to his palace, and finds his way to the 
usurper's bedside, where he stands sword in hand and 
awakens the usurper. The latter, seeing that he is in the 
king's power, says he will never do it again, and they 
swear eternal friendship. This is a story which would 
rejoice the heart of Mr. Stead aud Mr. Haldane. With 
it may be compared the Volsitng Saga?- 

Besides these complete stories there are many episodes 

^ fat. i. 131. ^ Hagen's Heldcnsageii, iii. 23. 

Presidential Address. 19 

or allusions which recall something in ancient literature. 
Pausanias in his visit to Delphi saw, amongst the pictures 
of Polygnotus, the figure of a man, seated, and inscribed 
with the title Ocnos, or Indolence ; he was plaiting a rope, 
and beside him stood a she-ass furtively eating the rope 
as fast as he made it. " They say," says the traveller, 
"that this Ocnos was an industrious man who had a 
spendthrift wife, and as fast as he earned money, she 
spent it." This episode reappears in the Introduction to 
Jdtaka, No. ']']} where a king has a number of wonderful 
dreams which nobody can interpret save the Bodhisat. 
Here is the seventh dream. "A man was weaving rope, 
and as he wove, he threw it down at his feet. Under his 
bench lay a hungry she-jackal, which kept eating the rope 
as he wove, but without the man's knowing it." The 
Bodhisat interprets the dream as the Greek does, as 
referring to the inordinate greed and extravagance of 
women ; but he is careful to point out that it refers to 
future time. Who shall say that this prophecy has not 
ere now come true.? There is again the Greek proverb 
d\^ fxaxaipav, which is thus interpreted by Zenobius : 
" The Corinthians kept a yearly feast for Hera, and 
sacrificed a goat to the goddess. Now some of the men 
hid the knife, but the goat fumbling with her feet un- 
covered it, and thus became the cause of her own death." 
This reappears in an Indian version.^ 

Another story throws new light on a difficult passage 
of Sophocles. You will remember the lines where 
Antigone speaks of the tie which binds her to her 
dead brother : ^ 

" A husband dead, another I might find me, 
Or if my son were dead, another son, 
But since my parents both are dead and gone, 
No brother could I ever get again." 

^Jat. i. 189 ; Paus. x. 29 ; Folk- Lore, i. 409. 

2 Zenobius, Cent. i. 27 ; Jdt. iv. 159 (quoted). 'Soph. Ant. 989. 

20 Presidential Address. 

Herodotus ^ tells us also that Darius, having condemned 
Intaphernes and all his family to death, offered his wife 
the life of one of them, and she chose her brother. Being 
asked why, she answered : " O King, I might get me 
another husband, if God will, and other children if I 
should lose these ; but since my father and my mother 
are dead, there is no means by which I could get a 
brother." The Indian king in the like case was more 
generous than Darius, and pleased with her answer, gave 
back to the woman all three.^ Strange as this com- 
parative table of value may seem to us, it thus appears 
to be natural in certain states of feeling ; and I may 
add that the Greek woman of to-day has the same 
opinion. I have found it expressed in a modern Greek 
ballad,^ and have heard often of women saying the like 
of their brothers, at least as compared with their husbands. 
I need not further go into detail. Enough to say that 
there are parallels or illustrations of a host of things : of 
Indian epic and drama, of Danae and Theseus, of Jonah 
and Potiphar's wife, of Peter walking on the sea.* 

In modern oriental folktales many examples may be 
found of the survival of those which meet us in the 
Jdtaka Book. The excellent tale of the Crane and the 
Crab ^ was found lately in the Malay States.^ How 
the Monkey outwitted the Crocodile is known in China 
and Japan.'^ The legend of King Mandhatu has been 
met with in Tibet ; ^ so has the Gazelle and the Hunter,^ 
and a number of others. There are also references to a 
number of legends still current in India, some of which 
are contained in Swynnerton's Indian Nights Eiiter- 

^ Herod, iii. 110-120. 'Jat. i. 165. '^ Folk-Lore, x. 185. 

*See Indices to the various volumes of the translation. 

^ Jat. i. 96. ^ Fables and Folktales from an Eastern Forest, p. 18. 

' Beal, Romantic Legend, 231; Griffin, Fairy Tales from Japan. 

^Jdt. ii. 216; Tib. Tales, pp. 1-20. 

'^Jat. No. 33-9; Tib. Tales, No. 41. 

Presidential Address. 21 

tainments. Examples of repartee, which is a favourite 
motive in the humorous tales, may also be found in 
modern versions.^ 

Two stories which are original in conception should be 
mentioned. The first is a nature-myth. In India, it will 
be remembered, the lines on the moon's face are supposed 
to represent a hare ; and this tells us how the hare got 
into the moon,^ a story which recalls that of the old man 
with his lantern, bundle, and dog. The second describes 
the discovery of intoxicating liquors.^ 

The superstition mentioned in one of the tales which I 
have read as to the evil effects of a mouse-bite, is often 
exemplified ; it may be found also in classical literature, as 
in the Geoponica. There is a proverb both in Greek and 
Latin, "where mice nibble iron," apparently referring to 
the land of nowhere ; * and I have sometimes wondered 
whether there could be any connexion between the two. 
A similar elusive resemblance, or coincidence, is seen in 
the word caturangasamanndgata, or " four-cornered, four- 
membered," applied to the perfect man ; ^ for Ter/oaywi'os- 
or "foursquare" is the epithet of the perfect man in a 
poem of Simonides.^ There is also a very close parallel 
between a saying of Epictetus and a passage in this 

Allusions to other superstitions, to charms and incan- 
tations, and the like, are common enough. The serpent's 
breath is supposed to be poisonous ; but the serpent is its 
own antidote if it sucks out the poison of its bite.^ The 
sunrise breaks the power of spells.^ Sacrifice of life, 
especially human life, is made at the foundation of a 
building.^" The rightwise progress is regular when it is 

^Jat. ii. 127 (quoted) ; Stumme, Tunisische Mdrcken, vol. ii. 

'^Jdt. iii. 34. ^ /at. v. 6. 

■* Herodotus, 3. 76; Seneca, Apocolocyntosis, 7. ^Jat. ii. 134. 

" Plato, Protag. 339 B. ^ Jot. iii. 107 ; Bacon, Adv. of Learning, i. 8. 

"iv. 283; i. 168. ^ii. 107. ^"iv. 155. 

22 Presidential Address. 

wished to show respect or to avoid ill luck. Omens and 
signs of all sorts occur. Sacrifice and ceremonial is 
described : the ceremonial sprinkling of a King,^ the 
ceremony of condemning a criminal,^ the plowing festival,^ 
the ceremony by which a man took on himself the sins 
of a King.* Various ancient taboos are mentioned, some 
having their parallels in Greece ; ^ and there are many 
allusions, obscure no doubt, to marriage laws,^ animal 
clans, caste rites, and the like. For the history of caste, 
indeed, the book is of special importance ; and a great deal 
may be learnt from it of the social conditions of the time, 
and the daily life of the people. It is quite clear that 
the book reflects a definite period of culture. The 
Warriors are superior to the Brahmins, and are always 
mentioned first in an enumeration ; the line between the 
castes is not clearly drawn. There are also aboriginal 
tribes, black and ugly as compared with the ruling race, 
and sometimes cannibals. These are often mixt up with 
goblins and ogres and rare snakes. The pantheon con- 
tains few great gods, but there are worlds of gods answer- 
ing to the world of men, and the King of the Gods is 
Sakka, or Indra. Worship is generally paid to ghosts 
and to trees. The ghosts, ox petas, are unhappy creatures; 
for they are afflicted with a continual torment of hunger 
and thirst, but their mouths are no bigger than the prick 
of a pin. Every tree holds its spirit; and we also read 
of spirits indwelling in the city gates and battlements, 
and even a deity in the King's parasol. 

I hope this sketch may turn the attention of some one 
to the Buddhist literature. Hardly a generation has passed 
since the study of Pali began in the West ; and now, 
thanks to the energy of Prof Rhys Davids, most of its 
literature is printed. Besides the Jataka, now soon to be 

^Jat. iv. 220, 246. 

^iv. 119. 

''iv. S3, 


*iv. 230, cp. V. 71. 

^ii. 15. 

^ii- 175, 


Presidential Address. 23 

complete, very little has been translated into English or 
any European language ; but dull though most of it is, 
it contains a great deal more which bears on our subject. 
Most of the Buddhist Sanskrit works are still unprinted ; 
and the Tibetan practically unknown. There are pro- 
bably not a dozen men in Europe who know Tibetan, 
and only one set of the books is to be found in England. 
Here is another opportunity for the wise millionaire, if 
such a being exists. One set of these books was offered 
to me three years ago for about ^^1200, but the money 
could not be found by any English library, and they 
are gone. I know where to get another: price, one 
elephant. Here is also a life-work for twenty young 
scholars who want to do good v/ork in the world. 
Incidentally, they will make themselves a name. What 
they will find will not all be folklore; but this Society 
will hardly grudge the crusts off their table to others, 
when they have themselves eaten the crumb, 

W. H. D. Rouse. 




Partly similar to the tale of Diarmuid at Dubhros, partly 
to that of Cod in the Forest of Wonders, is the old High- 
land poem by Blind O'Cloan entitled Bds Fhraoich or 
' The Death of Fraoch.' ^ It tells how Mai loved Fraoch 
but, becoming jealous of her own daughter Geal-cheann 
or ' Fair-head,' plotted his destruction. 

A rowan tree stood in Loch Mai, 

We see its shore there to the south ; 

Every quarter every month, 

It bore its fair, well-ripened fruit ; 

There stood the tree alone, erect. 

Its fruit than honey sweeter far ; 

That precious fruit so richly red, 

Did suffice for a man's nine meals ; 

A year it added to man's life, — 

The tale I tell is very truth. 

Health to the wounded it could bring, 

Such virtue had its red-skinned fruit. 

One thing alone was to be feared 

By him who sought men's ills to soothe : 

A monster fierce lay at its root, 

Which they who sought its fruit must fight. 

A heavy, heavy sickness fell 

On Athach's daughter, of liberal horn ; 

^ The Dean of Lismore's Book ed. with translation and notes by the 
Rev. T. M'Lauchlan Edinburgh 1862 pp. 54 ff. in English, 36 f. in 

The European Sky -God. 

Her messenger she sent for Fraoch, 

Who asked her what 'twas ailed her now. 

Mai said her health would ne'er return, 

Unless her fair soft palm was filled 

With berries from the deep cold lake, 

Gleaned by the hand of none but Fraoch. 

"Ne'er have I yet request refused," 

Said Fithich's son of ruddy hue ; 

"Whate'er the lot of Fraoch may be, 

The berries I will pull for Mai." 

The fair-formed Fraoch then moved away 

Down to the lake, prepared to swim. 

He found the monster in deep sleep, 

With head up-pointed to the tree. A sigh. 

Fraoch Fithich's son of pointed arms, 

Unheard by the monster, then approached. 

He plucked a bunch of red-skinned fruit. 

And brought it to where Mai did lie. 

"Though what thou did'st thou hast done well " 

Said Mai, she of form so fair, ' 

"My purpose nought, brave man, wilt serve, 

But that from the root thou'dst tear the tree'" 

No bolder heart there was than Fraoch's, 

Again the slimy lake he swam ; 

Yet great as was his strength, he couldn't 

Escape the death for him ordained. 

Firm by its top he seized the tree, 

And from the root did tear it up :' 

With speed again he makes for land. 

But not before the beast awakes. 

Fast he pursues, and, as he swam, 

Seized in his horrid maw his arm. 

Fraoch by the jaw then grasped the brute, 

'Twas sad for him to want his knife : 

The maid of softest waving hair. 

In haste brought him a knife of gold. 

The monster tore his soft white skin, 

And hacked most grievously his arm. 

Then fell they, sole to sole opposed, 

Down on the southern stony strand, 

Fraoch mac Fithich, he and the beast, 

'Twere well that they had never fought. 

Fierce was the conflict, yet 'twas long,— 

The monster's head at length he took.' 

When the maid what happened saw. 


26 The European Sky -God. 

Upon the strand she fainting fell. 
Then from her trance when she awoke, 
In her soft hand she seized his hand : 
" Although for wild birds thou art food, 
Thy last exploit was nobly done." 
'Tis from that death which he met then. 
The name is given to Loch Mai ; ^ 
That name it will for ever bear. 
Men have called it so till now. A sigh. 

The rowan-tree bearing fruit of exceptional power, Mai's 
desire that Fraoch should pluck it, and Fraoch's consequent 
fight with a monstrous guardian of the tree, are features 
that recall the legend of Diarmuid. The knife of gold 
in Fraoch's hand, though used for attacking the monster 
not the tree, suggests the golden sickle with which the 
sacred olive of Zeus at Olympia was cut^ or, to come 
nearer home, the golden sickle with which the druids cut 
the mistletoe,^ not to mention the new dirk with which 
the same plant was cut by the Hays at Errol.* The 
location of the rowan-tree at the bottom of Loch Mai, 
like that of the Tree of Virtue at the bottom of the Lake 
of Wonders in the tale of Cod, or that of the Tree of 
the Green Cloth at the bottom of Loch Guirr,^ implies 
that Fraoch's exploit was in the nature of a visit to the 
Otherworld. Diarmuid too, according to a West Highland 
folk-tale,^ had sunk to the bottom of the sea in his quest 
for the daughter of King Under-waves and had there 
obtained for her the magic cup of King Wonder-plain, 
returning afterwards in safety to Erin. A more famous 

^The Rev. T. M'Lauchlan ib. p. 54 n. 3 says: 'It is generally believed 
in Perthshire that the scene of Fraoch's death was in Glen Cuaich, a valley 
lying between those of the Tay and the Almond. We have a Loch Fraoch 
there ... I cannot find any lake in Scotland now called Loch Mai, 
although Loch Fraoch may have been so called.' 

'^ Folk-lore XV. 400. ' Plin. nat. hist. 16. 251. 

* Folk-lore x\n. 318 ff. ^ Ib. 347 n. 3. 

® J. F. Campbell Popular Tales of the West Highlands iii. 403 ff. , Lady 
Gregory Gods and Fightiitg Men p. 319 ff. 

The European Sky -God. 27 

tale, that of In Gilla Decair or ' The Slothful Gillie,' ^ 
which can be traced back to about the year 1630,^ 
contains an account of Diarmuid's visit to the Otherworld, 
in which a guarded tree is a prominent object. It may 
be summarised thus : — 

One day Finn and some of his chiefs were in Munster, resting on the hill of 
CoUkilla, when they saw approaching a hideous [black] ^ giant with an 
equally hideous horse. The giant was trailing after him an iron club and 
dragging the horse along by main force. He explained that he was the Gilla 
Backer, a Fomor of Lochlann, who wished to serve Finn for a year and then, 
according to custom, fix his own wages. Finn agreed to this proposal. But 
no sooner had the big man's horse been turned out to graze than it began 
to kick and maim the horses of the Fianna. In their efforts to restrain its 
vicious tricks Conan and fourteen [thirteen] [[twenty-eight]] "* other men 
mounted the beast at once and started thrashing it. At this the Gilla Backer 
grew indignant and finally took his departure, followed at a terrible pace by 
his horse, from whose back the fifteen [fourteen] [[twenty-nine]] riders tried 
in vain to escape. Finn and his friends at once went in pursuit ; and Ligan 
Lumina, one of the fastest of the Fianna, caught the horse by the tail just as 
it reached the sea-shore. But he too stuck fast and was drawn along in the 
water after it. Fergus Finnvel, the poet, now advised Finn to go to Ben 
Edar for a ship. On the way thither they met opportunely enough a certain 
Feradach, who undertook to make a ship by striking his joiner's axe thrice 
on his sling-stick [[to make a whole fleet by striking the harbour with a 
branch]], and with him his brother Foltlebar, who said that he could follow a 
track on sea as well as on land. Finn took them both into his service, and 
they were as good as their word. Fifteen warriors selected from a muster of 
the Fianna went on board the newly-made vessel with Finn. For some days 
they sailed towards the west and, after weathering a bad storm, reached a vast 
rocky cliff, which towered up to such a height that its head seemed hidden 

^S. H. O'Grady Silva Gadelica i. 258 ff. Irish text from a MS. dated 1765, 
ii, 292 ff. translation. Lady Gregory Gods and Fighting Men p. 327 ff., 
P. W. Joyce Old Celtic Romances p. 223 ff. Cp. Rh^s Hibbert Lectures 
p. 187 ff., A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 103 ff. I summarise from Joyce's 
version, which was made from a MS. written in 1728 with comparison of 
another written in 1795 (Joyce op. cit. p. xv). 

^E. O'Curry Manuscript Materials p. 316 ff. 

^ Words and. sentences enclosed in square brackets are added from the version 
of In Gilla Decair given by S. H. O'Grady in Silva Gadelica ii. 292 ff. 

* Words and sentences enclosed in double square brackets are added from 
the folk-tale Fin MacCool, the Hard Gilla, and the High King in J. Curlin 
Hero-Tales of Ireland 'London 1894 p. 514 ff. (collected in county Kerry). 

28 The European Sky -God, 

among the clouds. It rose sheer from the water and appeared to be as smooth 
as glass. [On it there abutted a rock, solid and cylindrical, having sides 
more slipppery than an eel.] Thus far Foltlebar found the track of the Gilla 
Backer, but no farther. The Fianna felt sure that he must live on the 
summit, and Fergus suggested that Dermat O'Dyna, who had been fostered 
from childhood by Manannan in Fairyland and by Angus at Bruga of the 
Boyne, should be able to climb the cliff and bring back tidings. Dermat 
thereupon arose, put on his armour, and leaning on his two long spears, the 
Crann-boi and the Ga-derg, swung himself from ledge to ledge up the rock. 
Having scaled the dizzy height, he looked inland and saw a flowery plain 
spread before him. He set out to walk across it and soon came to a 
great tree laden with fruit, over-topping all the other trees of the plain. 
It was surrounded at a little distance by a circle of pillar-stones ; and one 
stone, taller than the others, stood in the centre near the tree. Beside this 
pillar-stone was a spring well, with a large, round pool as clear as crystal ; and 
the water bubbled up in the centre, and flowed away towards the middle of 
the plain in a slender stream.^ [From east and west, from south and north, 
Duibhne's grandson traversed the plain and, as he looked abroad, was aware 
of a vast tree with interlacing boughs and thickly furnished ; hard by which 
was a great mass of stone furnished on its very apex with an ornamented 
pointed drinking-horn, and having at its base a fair well of water in all 
its purity.] Dermat stooped to drink, but ere he could do so heard the heavy 
tread of a warlike host and the clank of their weapons. He sprang to his 
feet and looked round ; but the noise had ceased, and he saw nothing. 
Again he stooped to drink, and again he heard the same sounds, but louder 
and nearer than before. Casting his eyes round in some perplexity, he saw 
on the top of the tall pillar-stone a large drinking-horn, chased with gold 
and enamelled with precious stones. He took it down and drank without 
hindrance till he had slaked his thirst. But now there came against him from 
the east a tall wizard-champion (gruagach) in full armour with a scarlet 
mantle and a golden crown. He addressed Dermat in an angry voice, and 
demanded instant satisfaction for this intrusion upon his island and his well. 
Dermat and he fell to fighting, and fought on furiously till evening came, when 
the wizard-champion sprang suddenly into the centre of his well and dis- 
appeared. Amazed and disappointed, Dermat walked towards the nearest 
point of a great forest, speared a deer, roasted it on hazel spits before a fire, 
which he kindled beneath a tree, and washed down his meal with water from 
the drinking-horn. [[He made a hut of limbs, and slept quietly till dawn.]] 
Next morning he slew another deer and drank again from the horn. Then, 
repairing to the well, found the wizard-champion there before him, standing 

^ On wells connected with rude stone monuments see W. C. Borlase 
The Dolmens of Ireland \\. 645, iii. 765, 768 ff., W. G. Wood-Martin ^/^er 
Faiths of Ireland ii. 86, J. R. Walker in the Pi'oceedings of the Society of 
Antiquaries of Scotland 'E^inhwr^ 1883 v. 209. 

The European Sky -God. 29 

beside the pillar-stone, fully armed as before and more wrathful than ever. 
He charged Dermat with killing some of his speckled deer, and at once 
proceeded to take vengeance on the trespasser. All day long they fought 
together, and, when the dusk began to fall, the wizard-champion again 
leaped into his well and vanished. The self-same thing happened on the 
third day, and on the fourth. But when, on the evening of the fourth 
day, the wizard-champion was about to spring into the well, Dermat clasped 
him tightly and together they sank to the bottom [[passed through a 
passage in the side of the spring]]. Here Dermat found a lovely country 
with flowery plains and woods of red yew trees. Right before him lay a 
glittering city with a royal palace, into which the wizard-champion passed 
through a whole array of knights in armour. Dermat slew the knights till 
he was weary of slaying, and then fell asleep before the very door of the 
castle. He was awakened and rescued from his dangerous plight by a 
princely warrior, who carried him off to a splendid house at some distance 
and there entertained him most courteously for the night. On the morrow 
[after hospitality lasting for three days and three nights], in answer to 
Dermat's questions, his host replied : ' This country is Tir-fa-tonn \tir fd 
thuinn, ' terra sub unda '] ; the champion who fought with you is called 
the Knight of the Fountain, and that very champion is king of this land. 
I am the brother of the king, and my name is the Knight of Valour. 
Good reason indeed have I to be kind to you, Dermat O'Djma, for, though 
you do not remember me, I spent a year and a day [a year] in the house- 
hold of Finn the son of Cumal.' He further explained that the Knight of 
the Fountain had seized on his patrimony [[the Knight of Valour being the 
rightful king]] and begged Dermat to help him to recover it. Dermat did 
so, slew the Knight of the Fountain, and established the Knight of Valour 
as king in his stead. 

Meantime Finn and his men had met with somewhat similar adventures. 
Feradach and Foltlebar had made a long rope of the ship's cordage, had 
scaled the cliff, and had drawn up the Fianna. Following Dermat's track 
they too had reached the great fruit-tree. Plere they were joined by a king 
on horseback, who welcomed them to his country and escorted them 
across the plain to his palace. That night he entertained them, and on 
the evening of the next day made them a great feast. His royal hospitality 
was continued for three days and three nights. Then, in answer to Finn's 
questions, he told them that his country was called Sorca [[that he was 
the King of Sordch, ' Light ']]. A messenger now arrived to tell the king 
that a foreign fleet, some said the King of the World and his host [[the 
High King of the World]] [the king of the Greeks in prosecution of his 
conquests all the world over], had made a descent upon his shores. Finn 
volunteered his aid, and the Fianna together with the men of Sorca 
successfully attacked the invaders. [Oscar slew the king of Franks' son, 
who was in the Greek army. Feradach and Foltlebar slew the king 
of Afric's son. Finn himself slew the king of Greeks' son ; whose sister 

30 The European Sky- God. 

Taise iaebghel, the ' white-sided ' [[Teasa Taov Geal]], was enamoured of 
Finn, and that night stole away to him. A chief captain in her father's 
host [[a champion called Lavran MacSuain]] undertook to recover her by 
waving a certain special branch of great beauty, the mere sound of which 
would throw all men into deepest slumber. Entering the green pavilion of 
Finn and the king of Sorcha, he thus lulled them to sleep and recaptured 
Taise for the king of the Greeks, who thereupon took himself off to Greece.] 
Soon afterwards Finn and the king of Sorca were conversing, when a 
troop was seen approaching. It proved to be Dermat accompanied by the 
Knight of Valour, now king of Tir-fa-tonn. He, as Dermat explained, had 
found out by his druidical art that it was Avarta the Dedannan, the son of 
lUahan of the Many-coloured Raiment [Abartach, son of Allchad], who 
had taken the form of the Gilla Dacker and carried off the sixteen [fifteen] 
Fianna to the Land of Promise. Finn resolved to go thither in quest of 
them. He went back to his ship, and voyaged from island to island over 
many seas until at length he reached the Land of Promise. [He had sent 
Dermot, Goll, Oscar, and Fergus to Greece in pursuit of Taise. They 
sailed to Athens, where Fergus with his poet's wand struck the city-gate 
and announced that they were travelling poets. While the king was away 
hunting, they carried off Taise and steered for the Land of Promise.^] 
Dermat, as a fosterling of Manannan, would not let Finn lay waste the 
land : but Foltlebar and one other, sent on as heralds to the mansion of 
Avarta, demanded the restitution of Conan and the missing Fianna. Avarta 
came back with Foltlebar, concluded peace with Finn, and brought him 
and his company to the mansion, where they found their lost friends and 
all made merry together. Finn, in view of this friendly re-union, claimed 
no damages but gave Avarta the wages of his service [said that the wages 
due to Abartach were cancelled by the damages due to himself]. But 
Conan, remembering the discomforts of his own abduction, claimed that 
fifteen of Avarta's men should make the return journey on the same 
monstrous horse, Avarta himself clinging to its tail [that fourteen of Avar- 
tach's best women should return astride the horse, Avartach's own wife at 
its tail] [[that the Gilla should return with the Fianna in their ship and 

^ In the folk-tale (J. Curtin op. cit. p. 522 ff. ) there is here a considerable 
divergence. The Knight of Valour tells Dyeermud that the Hard Gilla is a 
champion resident in his realm, who is keeping the Fianna safe and sound. 
After challenging and overthrowing the usurping King of Tir Fohin, Dyeermud 
and the Knight of Valour, now installed as the rightful king, repair to the 
Gilla's castle, where they receive a warm welcome. Fin meantime, having 
helped the King of Sorach, waited in his castle till Goll, Oscar, and a druid 
had sailed to the land of the High King and brought back Teasa Taov Geal 
by force. The King of Sorach knew the Hard Gilla well and escorted Fin 
and his comrades to the Gilla's castle, where they met Dyeermud and the 
missing thirty. 

The European Sky -God. 31 

afterwards ride home on his own horse]]. Finn and the Fianna then sailed 
back to Erin, where much to their amusement and amazement Avarta and 
his fifteen, hideous horse and all, joined them at Knockainy, and on a 
sudden vanished into thin air. [[The Gilla, having returned with the Fianna 
in their ship, recrossed the sea on an invisible horse]]. [Finn married Taise 
at Almhain in Leinster.] 

Prof. A. C. L. Brown,^ commenting on this singular 
recital, points out that in all probability the Knight of 
Valour, who (though Dermat would not recognise him) 
had served Finn for a year and a day, was none other 
than the Gilla Backer, who had agreed to serve Finn for 
a year ; and that consequently it was this Knight of 
Valour who alone could reveal the true name and nature 
of the Gilla Backer.- That revelation was to the effect 
that the Gilla Backer was one form of Avartach mac 
Allchaid loldathach, 'Avarta, son of Allchad of the Many- 
coloured Raiment,' who had a mansion in the realm of 
Manannan. In short, the Gilla Backer = the Knight of 
Valour = Avarta, a confessed shape-shifter. Prof. Brown^ 
further observes that this Avartach mac Allchaid lolda- 
thach appears among the Tuatha Be Banann in The 
Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne^ as AbJiortach mac an 
lol-dathaigh, ' Abhortach, the son of the Many-coloured one,' 
along with Ilbhreac mac Mhanandin, ' The variously-spotted 
one, son of Manannan,' and suggests that this connexion 
with Manannan warrants us in referring the epithets 
loldathach and Ilbhreac to shape-shifting, or change of 
colour and form. Lastly, Prof. Brown^ writes: 'It would 
be natural to suppose that some connection must exist 

^A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 107 f. 

2 This conclusion might be further supported by the folk-tale (J. Curtin 
op. cit. p. 522), in which the Knight of Valour says to Dyeermud : ' I am the 
man . . . that will find out the Hard Gilla for you. That Gilla is the best 
swordsman and champion in this land, and the greatest enchanter . . . He is 
a good friend of mine. ' 

^A. C. L, Brown Iwain p. 106 n. i. 

* Transactions of the Ossianic Society for iSjj iii. 1 17 ff. 

^A. C. L. Brown hvain p. 108 n. i. 

32 The European Sky -God. 

between Avartach and Avallac, the Welsh name both for 
the Other World and for the King of the Other World, 
were it not that the phonetic change of Welsh // to Irish rt 
is contrary to rule. The two names, however, as pro- 
nounced, would sound very nearly alike.' 

The identification of the Gilla Backer with Avartach^ 
which is certain, and the identification of both with the 
Knight of Valour, which in some sense or other is highly 
probable, have an important bearing on our main thesis. 
The Gilla Backer gave himself out to be a Fomor of 
Lochlann.^ In that respect he resembles Searbhan 
Lochlannach.'^ And further investigation confirms the 
substantial similarity of the two figures. Both are hideous 
black giants armed with an iron club. Searbhan defends 
a sacred quicken-tree ; and the Gilla Backer, in so far 
as he is one with the Knight of Valour, has a great fruit- 
tree in his domain, defended by the Knight of the Fountain, 
who with a golden crown on his head is usurping the post 
of king. Again, the Gilla Backer is expressly identified 
with Avartach^ owner of a mansion in the realm of Man- 
annan. If Prof Brown is right in equating Avartach with 
Avallach (and we have ere now seen a yet stranger distortion 
of the latter word^), Avartach was lord of the Otherworld 
apple-tree, and derived his name from that fact.* Thus 
Searbhan of the quicken-tree was strictly analogous to 
Avartach of the apple-tree. May we not suppose that, 
as the name Avartach meant in its original form ' He of 
the Apple-tree,' so the name Searbhan meant originally 
* He of the Quicken-tree ' {sorbiis aticupai'ia L.), being in 
fact *Sorbanus from sorba, 'a quicken-tree'.^ However 
that may be, the Gilla Backer, being one with Avartach, 
was likewise lord of an Otherworld apple-tree, so that we 
are enabled to offer a fair conjecture as to the species of 
the great fruit-tree guarded by the Knight of the Fountain. 

^ Supra p. 27. -Folk-lore xvii. 439, 453. 

^ Folk-lore xvii. 308 n. 2. ^ lb. 308 n. 3. 

The Etiropean Sky -God. -iyZ 

Moreover, we can now eliminate the Scandinavian element 
from this and other such tales. For it appears that the 
Gilla Backer or Searbhan is the Scandinavian equivalent 
for the Celtic lord of the Otherworld tree — an inference 
that I shall hope to establish elsewhere. Finally, 
since the Knight of the Fountain acted as the royal 
champion of a fruit-tree (.? apple-tree) belonging to the 
Gilla Backer, alias Avartach, we obtain by analogy valid 
ground for believing what for other reasons we were 
already prepared to believe, vi:;. that Biarmuid, when he 
defended the quicken-tree of Searbhan at Bubhros, was 
indeed a king acting the part of a god. 

Searbhan, ' He of the Quicken-tree,' and Avallach, ' He 
of the Apple-tree,' were alike perpetuated by the Christian 
saint Serf or Servanus, who drew his name from the one 
and his legend from the other. The berry of the quicken- 
tree, otherwise known as the fowler's service-tree,^ was in 
Middle English serf, corresponding to an Anglo-Saxon 
syrf- in syrf-treow {i.e. sirf-tree, service-tree),- while 
Servamis appears to be the Latinised form of Searbhan 
(Sharving). Like Avallach he had a sacred apple-tree; 
for the legend is that, when St. Serf on his way to Fife 
threw his staff across the sea from Inch Keith to Culross, 
it straightway took root and became the apple-tree called 
Morglas^ 'the Great Green-one.' Again, St. Serf's island 
in Lochleven,* like that of St. Mourie in his eponymous 
lake,^ may well have been the Christian successor of a 
pagan Otherworld abode. The counterpart of the spring 

^ E. Step Wayside and Woodland Trees p. lo8. 

^ W. W. Skeat A Concise Etymological Dictionaiy of the English Language 
new ed. Oxford 1901 p. 476. 

^ R. Folkard Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics p. 219. 

* A. Kerr ' Description of the ecclesiastical remains existing upon St. Serfs 
island, Lochleven ' in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiguaries of Scotland 
Edinburgh 1882 iv. 159 ff. 

° Folk-lore xV\\. 331 ff. 


34 The European Sky -God. 

belonging to the Gilla Backer {Avallach) would thus be 
St. Serf's well at Monzievaird in Perthshire, or St. Servan's 
well at Alva in Stirlingshire, or St. Shear's well at Dum- 
barton in Dumbartonshire, all of which are accounted 
miraculous.^ It is noteworthy, too, that at Culross it was 
a very ancient custom for the young men to go in 
procession through the streets carrying green boughs 
on July I, the feast of St. Serf The town cross (.? the 
descendant of a sacred tree) was decorated with garlands 
and ribbons, and the procession passed several times round 
it before disbanding to spend the day in amusements.^ 

The mention of green boughs suggests an objection that 
might be taken to the position here assigned to Diarmuid. 
If he was indeed the foster-child of Manannan, privileged 
to visit the Otherworld tree, ought he not, like Bran or 
Cormac or Mael-Duin, to bear a branch in token of the 
same .■' Now we read in The Piwsiiit of Diarmuid and 
Grainne"^ that Diarmuid had with him ' the Crann buidhe 
of Manannan,' which he used as a magic spear. But crann 
buidhe means literally the ' yellow branch,' the word crann 
denoting a ' tree ' or ' branch.' It may, I think, be inferred 
that, just as the shaft of Duach's spear was formed of the 
yew of Ross,* so the shaft of Diarmuid's spear was formed 
of Manannan's tree. 

But it is time to turn from these Ossianic myths and 
enquire whether they, like the Ultonian myths, can be 
paralleled from the Arthurian cycle. Diarmuid fighting 
Searbhan beneath the quicken-tree of Dubhros, or attacking 
the Knight of the Fountain that belonged to the Gilla 

^J. R. Walker in Proceedings of the Society oj Antiquaries of Scotland 
Edinburgh 1883 v. 201, Dom Michael Barrett A Calendar of Scottish Saints 
Fort- Augustus 1904 p. 96. 

2 Dom Michael Barrett ib. p. 96 f. 

>* Traiisactions of the Ossianic Society for iS^S i"- 87, cp. ib. 91 and 175 the 
Ga buidhe, or ' Yellow shaft.' 

^ Folk-lore xvii. 69. 

The Euroi)ean Sky -God. 35 

Dacker, finds in fact his nearest analogue in Iwain or Owen ^ 
Ihis will appear from a perusal of the Yvain of Chretien 
de Troyes and the Twein of Hartmann von Aue side by 
side with The Lady of the Fountain, an Arthurian tale 
included in the Welsh Mabinogion. 

Chretien's poem is summarised as follows by Prof 
A. C. L. Brown: 2 ^ 

Kil?I T' "Tl '' ^''^"'' '" ^""''^ "^^^^ ^^^hur is holding court. 
™' t?T T"" '^'^ "^'''^^"" '° ^^"^ ^h^-bers, and Calo- 

grenant has begun a tale to the assembled knights, of whom Iwain is one. 
The queen enters to hear it also, and he begins again at her request. " About 
seven years ago, ' says Calogrenant, "I wandered all day through the Fores 
of Brocehande tdl I came to a strongly fortified place The lord of the 
forteresse gave me a splendid welcome, and a fair maid disarmed me and 
entertained me m a meadow till supper. The supper was entirely to my 

L L cir T I ""' "'° "' °PP°^''^ ^° '"^- ^ ^P-t ^ Pl--t night 
^.r I' M , """"^ ' "' °"^' ^"' "°' f^^ °ff I f-"d fierce bulls 

fighting and a black creature with a head larger than a horse's, armed with 
a club, guarding them. Finding that this creature could speak. I asked him 
to direct me to some adventure. He showed me the path to a fountain, 
telling me also what I might do. I reached the fountain about noon B; 
It stood the most beautiful tree that ever grew on earth. I took a basin of 
gold that was attached by a chain to the tree, and, dipping up some water, 
I poured It on the rock. Forthwith there ensued a terrible storm of wind 
and ram; then a calm in which the birds sang sweetly on the tree. After 
this there appeared a knight on horseback, who attacked and overthrew me 
I came home on foot like a fool and like a fool have told my story » 

During the talk that follows, Arthur comes out of his chamber, hears the 
story repeated, and declares that he will go with his knights within a fortnight 
namely just before St. John the Baptist's Day, to essay the adventure. Iwain' 
however, is anxious to try it alone; so he steals away secretly. He L 
entertained at night by the Hospitable Host; next morning he sees the 
Giant Herdsman, and he comes at last to the Fountain Perilous. He pours 

' The similarity of the story of the Gilla Dacker to that of Iwain or Owen is 
pointed out by A. Nutt in The Celtic Magazine 1887 xii. 555, by Rhys Hibbert 
Lectures p. 186 ff., by F. Lot in Komania 1892 xxi. 67 ff., and by A C L 
Brown Iwain p. 103 ff. / • • • 

2 A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 13 ff. The most convenient text is that of 
W. Foerster-Kristian von Troyes Yvain (Der Lowenrztter) ed. 2 Halle a S 
I902 = liomanische Bibliothek vol. v. -with introduction, notes, and glossary' 
See also Foerster's large critical edition-Christian von Troyes vol. ii YvL 
rlalle Ioo7- 

36 The European Sky -God. 

water on the rock. The storm follows. After this the armed knight appears 
and attacks Iwain. They fight till Iwain deals the knight a blow that cleaves 
his helmet and wounds him in the brain. The knight flees, pursued by Iwain, 
through the streets of a town and up to the gate of a palace. The knight 
rides under a sharp iron gate, which is arranged to drop like the fall of a 
rat trap if one touches the spring. Iwain follows hard after, and his horse 
accidentally touches the spring. The gate falls close behind Iwain and with 
its knife edge cuts his horse in two, cutting off the hinder part of the saddle 
and also the rider's spurs. Another gate at the same time descends in front, 
and Iwain is imprisoned in a sale. But a damsel, called Lunete, issues from a 
narrow door and recognises him as Iwain, son of King Urien. She was once 
sent on a message by her lady to King Arthur's court, and, perhaps because 
she was not so courteous as a damsel ought to be, no knight deigned to 
speak to her except Iwain. He honored and served her, and she is glad 
to recompense him now. She gives Iwain a magic ring that, when the stone 
set in it is enclosed in the hand, makes its wearer invisible, and she brings him 
food to eat. Presently men come with clubs and swords, seeking him who 
slew their lord, Esclados le Ros. They do not find Iwain, for the ring renders 
him invisible. Lunete's mistress, whose name is Laudine, a most beautiful lady, 
now enters, weeping for her lord, who is carried on a bier. When the corpse 
is brought into the hall where Iwain is, it begins to bleed. The men feel 
confident that the murderer must be hidden there, and they renew their 
search. When Iwain sees Laudine, he is smitten with violent love for her. 
He even watches the funeral, so as to catch a better glimpse of her. He 
refuses to go when Lunete offers to help him to escape. Lunete persuades 
her lady that she ought to feel no hatred against the knight who slew her 
husband. She reminds her that the Dameisele Sauvage has sent word that 
King Arthur is coming within a week to essay the Fountain. Laudine feels 
that a knight is needed to defend it. Lunete tells her that the knight who 
slew her husband would undertake to do it. When Laudine learns that his 
name is Iwain she consents. Iwain is terrified when ushered into Laudine's 
presence and says that anything she may lay upon him, even death, he will 
take without ill will. She receives him kindly when he promises to defend the 
Fountain. Iwain and the lady are speedily married, and there is great joy. 

The wedding feast lasts till King Arthur comes to essay the adventure of the 
Fountain. Kay is assigned to the adventure. The king pours water on the 
rock, and presently Iwain appears mounted on a powerful horse and over- 
throws Kay. Iwain then reveals himself to Arthur and escorts him and his 
knights to the castle, where they are entertained for a week. 

When Arthur departs, Iwain is persuaded to accompany him. Laudine 
does not give Iwain permission to go till he has promised to return within 
a year. If he does not come back by that time, " her love will turn to hate." 
She gives Iwain a ring that will protect him from imprisonment and be his 
shield and hauberk. A year has passed, and Iwain is busy in tournaments. 
Suddenly he recollects that he has overstayed his time. The same instant 

The European Sky -God. 37 

a damsel rides up and calls him a hypocrite, and a thief who has stolen her 
lady's heart and forgotten his promise to return. She demands back the 
ring. When Iwain does not reply, she snatches the ring from his finger 
and departs. Iwain goes mad and runs into the forest, where he lives like 
a beast. A hermit supplies him with musty bread. At length one day a 
lady, accompanied by two damsels, finds a naked man asleep in the forest. 
One of the damsels recognizes Iwain by a scar on his cheek. At her request 
the lady allows the damsel to bring a box of ointment, a gift from Morgue the 
Wise, by means of which Iwain is cured of his madness. In return Iwain frees 
the lady from the oppression of a powerful enemy, Count Alier. 

As Iwain is riding through a deep forest, he finds a serpent and a lion 
fighting. He succors the lion and slays the serpent. The lion kneels down 
before Iwain and indicates by his tears that he thanks him. After this the 
lion accompanies Iwain everywhere. Iwain comes to the Fountain Perilous 
and finds Lunete shut up in the little chapel near by. She tells Iwain a 
wicked seneschal has accused her of treason in persuading Laudine to marry 
Iwain. She is to be burned to-morrow unless a knight can be found who 
will fight the seneschal and two others, in order to prove her innocence. 
Iwain promises to undertake the combat but is obliged to go some distance 
before he finds lodgings for the night at a castle. This castle is beset by 
a giant, Harpin of the Mountain, who will kill the lord's sons or carry off 
the daughter of the house in the morning unless a champion can be found to 
fight him. Iwain promises to fight the giant if the latter appears early in 
the morning ; otherwise he shall be obliged to go to keep his promise and save 
Lunete. In the morning Iwain waits till prime for the giant to appear, 
and, as he does not come, is distracted in his mind whether to go or stay. 
At last Harpin comes and Iwain subdues him, aided in the struggle by his 
faithful lion. Iwain rides hurriedly to the Fountain Perilous, and arrives 
in time to rescue Lunete by fighting at once the wicked seneschal and two 
others. The lion again helps Iwain. Laudine does not know who Iwain is. 
He calls himself the Knight of the Lion. 

Iwain is met by a messenger from the younger daughter of the lord of 
La Noire Espine. The lord is dead, and the elder daughter has usurped 
all the land and secured Gawain to defend her claim. Iwain, who does 
not know that his opponent will be Gawain, agrees to fight for the younger 
daughter. He does not reveal his own name but is called the Knight of 
the Lion. Iwain and the messenger come to a place called the Castle of 
111 Adventure and are advised not to enter. They do enter, however, and 
find three hundred girls behind a row of stakes. These girls are pale and 
thin and obliged to toil at working silk with thread of gold. It is explained 
that many years ago the King of the Isle of Maidens went like a fool in search 
of adventure. He fell into the power of two " fiz de deable " who own this 
castle. Being not yet eighteen years old, he ransomed himself as best 
he could by swearing to send each year thirty maidens as tribute till the 
monsters should be vanquished. Iwain is well entertained for the night by 

38 The European Sky -God. 

the lord and lady of the castle, but in the morning he is obliged to fight 
the monsters. He overcomes them, with the aid of his lion, and frees the 
maidens, Iwain arrives at Arthur's court clad in armor and known as the 
Knight of the Lion. Gawain, too, is disguised by his armor, and the two 
friends fight a terrible battle. When night comes on, they grow tired, and 
reveal themselves to each other. There is great joy, and people are surprised 
to see how evenly they are matched. 

Iwain soon returns to the Fountain Perilous and stirs up such a storm that 
the castle is almost destroyed. Lunete is sent to find out who is at the 
Fountain, and by her mediation Iwain is reconciled to Laudine. Now Iwain 
has peace and through joy the past is forgotten. ' 

Chretien wrote his Yvain between 11 64 and 1173.^ 
Hartmann von Aue had completed his Iwein in 1204.^^ 
But since the latter poet appears to have been wholly- 
dependent upon the former for his materials,^ his work 
need not be separately analysed. The same may be 
said of Ywain and Gawain, a Middle English metrical 
romance written probably in the first half of the four- 
teenth century by an unknown author, whose source was 
undoubtedly Chretien's poem summarised above.* 

No such dependence can be proved in the case of The 
Lady of the Fountain, which is found first in the White 
Book of Rhydderch, a Welsh manuscript older than the 
Red Book of Hergest ^ written in the latter half of the 
fourteenth century.^ Prof Foerster indeed holds that 
The Lady of the Fountain is merely a prose rendering of 
Chretien's poem made in the fourteenth century ; "" and 
that the ' kernel ' of both is the theme of the Easily 

^W. Foerster in Romanische Bibliothek vol. v. p. ix ff. 

^ Hartmann von Aue Iwein (Der Hitter niit dem Lbwen) ed. by E. 
Henrici Halle a. S. 1891-1893 vol. ii. p. vi. 

' E. Henrici ib. : * nur die geschichte vom raube der konigin ist zuge- 
kommen, und auch diese wahrscheinlich aus Christians Karrenritter entlehnt.' 
See further Miss J. L. Weston The Legend of Sir Gazvain p. 67 ff. 

* G. Schleich Ywain and Gawain Oppeln and Leipzig 1887 pp. xxiv, xxxix. 

^ Rhys Hibbert Lectures p. 402 n. i. 

*J. Rhys and J. G. Evans The Red Book of Hergest Oxiord 1887 i. p. xiii. 

'Christian von Troyes ed. W. Foerster vol. ii. Yvain Halle 1887 p. xix 
ff., Kristian von Troyes Yvain ed. 2 W. Foerster (Romanische Bibliothek 
vol. V.) Halle a. S. 1902 p. Ii. 

The European Sky -God. 39 

Consoled Widow best known from The Matron of Ephesus 

in the writings of Petronius/ Phaedrus,^ etc.^ But the 

views of this eminent scholar have been severely handled, 

not to say pulverised, by Mr, A. Nutt and Prof. A. C. 

L. Brown. Mr. Nutt/ laying just stress on the clearer 

arrangement and far finer style of the Welsh tale, inclines 

to agree with M. Gaston Paris^ that behind Yvain and TJie 

Lady of the Fountain lies a lost Anglo-Norman romance, 

of which both extant works are but versions, the former 

in French poetry, the latter in Welsh prose, — a theory to a 

large extent identical with that put forward in 1869 by 

Dr. C. Rauch.^ And Prof. A. C. L. Brown,^ following in 

the steps of a whole series of scholars,^ has triumphantly 

demonstrated the essentially Celtic character of all the 

main incidents in the story. The resultant theory of the 

relations between Yvain and The Lady of the Fountain 

may be indicated thus : 

Celtic source or sources 

Anglo-Norman romance 

Chretien de Troyes Yvain The Lady of the Fountain 

Hartmann von Aue Iwein 

Ywain and Gawain 

iPetr. sat. iii f. ^ph^edr. app. 13. 

■^Christian von Troyes ed. W. Foerster vol. i. Cligis Halle 1884 p. xvi, 
vol. ii. Yvain Halle 1887 p. xxi, Kristian von Troyes Yvain ed. 2 W. 
Foerster Halle a. S. 1902 p. xvii ff. 

* Lady Charlotte Guest The Mabinogion with notes by A. Nutt London 
1904 p. 347 ff. ^G. Paris in Romania 1881 x. 465 ff. 

® C. Rauch Die wdlische, franzdsiscke und deutsche Beai-beititng der Iweinsage 
Berlin 1869 p. 17 f. '^A. C. L. Brown /wain passim. 

* See H. Goossens Uber Sage, Quelle and Komposition des Chevalier an Lyon 
des Crestien de Troyes Paderborn 1883. So A. Nutt in The Celtic Magazine 

40 The European Sky-God, 

On this showing it is obvious that, in order to get back 
to the ultimate Celtic basis of the tale, we must take into 
account not only Chretien's Yvain but also The Lady of the 
Fountain} It will be advisable first to resume the story 
and then to consider it in connexion with Yvain. 

King Arthur, holding his court at Caerlleon upon Usk, one day sleeps 
before his repast, after bidding Owain, Kynon, and Kai entertain each other 
with tales and good cheer. Kai provides meet and drink, while Kynon 
begins a tale. ' I once set forth on a journey to discover whether any man 
was stronger than myself. I came to the fairest valley in the world, where 
stood a large and lustrous castle. Near it were two princely youths engaged 
in shooting, and a richly-clad man who brought me courteously to the castle. 
In it dwelt none save four and twenty beauteous damsels. They tended me 
and my horse, and we all made merry at a feast. After the feast I told the 
man who I was and what I sought. He bade me sleep there the night and 
go on my way the next morning. "A little way within the wood," said he, 
" thou wilt meet with a road branching off to the right, by which thou must 
proceed, until thou comest to a large sheltered glade with a mound in the 
centre. And thou wdlt see a black man of great stature on the top of the 
mound. He is not smaller in size than two of the men of this world. He 
has but one foot ; and one eye in the middle of his forehead. And he has 
a club of iron, and it is certain that there are no two men in the world who 
would not find their burden in that club. And he is not a comely man, but 
on the contrary he is exceedingly ill-favoured ; and he is the woodward of 
that wood. And thou wilt see a thousand wild animals grazing around him. 
Inquire of him the way out of the glade, and he will reply to thee briefly, 
and will point out the road by which thou shalt find that which thou art in 
quest of." On the morrow I found the one-eyed giant, as directed, and 
asked him what power he held over the wild animals around him. Hereupon 
he took his club and struck a stag a great blow so that it brayed aloud, and 
at its braying the beasts flocked together. The giant bade them go and feed ; 

1887 xii. 555, G. Paris in Romania 1888 xvii. 334 f., E. Muret in the 
Revue Critigue 1890 xxix. 66 ff., A. Ahlstrom ' Sur I'Origine du Chevalier au 
Lion' in the Melanges didies a Carl Wahlund Macon 1896 p. 289 ff., G. 
Baist in the Zeitschrift J'iir romanische Philologie 1897 xxi. 402 ff., G. L. 
Kittredge in the Nation New York Feb. 24 1898 Ixvi. 150 f. Cp. A. 
Mussafia in the LitcJ'aturblatt filr germanische und roina^iische Philologie 1889 
X. 220 ff. 

^Lady Charlotte Guest The Mabinogion London 1877 p. 3 ff., with notes by 
A. Nutt London 1904 p. 167 ff., J. Loth Les Mabinogion Paris 1889 ii. i ff. 
The best edition of the W^elsh text is J. Rhys and J. G. Evans The Red Book 
of Hergest Oxford 1887 i. 162 ff. 

The European Sky-God. 41 

and they did homage to him as vassals to their lord. I then inquired of him 
the way ; and he became very rough in his manner. However, when I 
disclosed my name and my errand, he directed me further. "Take," said 
he, " that path that leads towards the head of the glade, and ascend the 
wooded steep until thou comest to its summit ; and there thou wilt find an 
open space like to a large valley, and in the midst of it a tall tree, whose 
branches are greener than the greenest pine-trees. Under this tree is a 
fountain, and by the side of the fountain a marble slab, and on the marble 
slab a silver bowl, attached by a chain of silver, so that it may not be carried 
away. Take the bowl and throw a bowlful of water upon the slab, and thou 
wilt hear a mighty peal of thunder, so that thou wilt think that heaven and 
earth are trembling with its fury. With the thunder there will come a shower 
so severe that it will be scarce possible for thee to endure it and live. And 
the shower will be of hailstones ; and after the shower, the weather will 
become fair, but every leaf that was upon the tree will have been carried away 
by the shower. Then a flight of birds will come and alight upon the tree ; 
and in thine own country thou didst never hear a strain so sweet as that which 
they will sing. And at the moment thou art most delighted with the song 
of the birds, thou wilt hear a murmuring and complaining coming towards 
thee along the valley. And thou wilt see a knight upon a coal-black horse, 
clothed in black velvet, and with a pennon of black linen upon his lance ; and 
he will ride unto thee to encounter thee with the utmost speed. If thou fleest 
from him he will overtake thee, and if thou abidest here, as sure as thou art 
a mounted knight, he will leave thee on foot. And if thou dost not find 
trouble in that adventure, thou needst not seek it during the rest of thy life." 
Hearing this, I pressed on and found everything as the giant had told me. 
I charged the knight valiantly, but was overthrown. He rode off with my 
horse, leaving me where I was. So I returned in dejection by the way that 
I came, being derided for my pains by the giant, but entertained as before by 
my hospitable host and furnished with another palfrey. In truth I deem it 
strange that such an adventure should exist within King Arthur's dominions 
unknown to all save me.' 

Arthur now wakes from his sleep and sits down to meat with his household. 
At dawn next day Owain takes up the quest. He too meets the hospitable 
host, the one-eyed giant, and the black knight, as Kynon had done. But, 
after breaking his lance, Owain strikes the knight so fierce a blow with his 
sword that he cleaves his helmet and wounds his very brain. The knight 
turns and flees into a great castle hotly pursued by Owain, whose horse is cut 
in two by the descending portcullis. The inner gate being closed, Owain 
finds himself caught in a trap. A damsel called Luned, on the ground that 
she has never seen one more faithful in the service of ladies, helps him in his 
distress. She gives him a ring conferring invisibility on its wearer, and pro- 
mises to await him on the horse-block, where he is to place his hand upon 
her shoulder in token that he, though unseen, is present. When the people 
of the castle come to seek him, they find nothing but the half of his horse. 

42 The European Sky- God. 

Owain follows Luned into a beautiful chamber, where he is feasted and put 
to sleep by her. At daybreak he witnesses the funeral procession of the 
knight whom he has slain and falls in love with the knight's lady. Luned 
describes her as ' the fairest, and the most chaste, and the most liberal, and 
the wisest, and the most noble of women,' but gives her no name but the 
Countess of the Fountain. While Owain sleeps again, Luned goes to woo 
the Countess for him. At first the Countess resents her words. But Luned 
argues as follows : ' Unless thou canst defend the fountain, thou canst not 
maintain thy dominions ; and no one can defend the fountain except it be 
a knight of Arthur's household ; and I will go to Arthur's Court, and ill 
betide me if I return thence without a warrior who can guard the fountain, as 
well as, or even better than, he who defended it formerly.' The Countess 
bids her go. She returns with Owain. The Countess detects in him the 
slayer of her lord. 'So much the better for thee, lady,' says Luned, 'for had 
he not been stronger than thy lord he could not have deprived him of life.' 
The Countess, having taken counsel of her assembled subjects, then marries 
Owain. And thenceforward, we read, ' Owain defended the fountain with 
lance and sword. And this is the manner in which he defended it : when- 
soever a knight came there he overthrew him, and sold him for his full worth, 
and what he thus gained he divided among his barons and his knights ; and 
no man in the whole world could be more beloved than he was by his subjects. 
And it was thus for the space of three years. ' 

At the end of that time Arthur and his household, guided by Kynon, 
set out to seek for Owain. They too come to the hospitable host, the 
giant, and a black knight. Kai obtains leave to essay the adventure, but 
is overthrown. Next day he tries again, but again is overthrown and 
sore wounded. After that, the whole household, man by man, attacks 
the knight with a like result. Gwalchmai and Arthur alone remain. 
Arthur is arming himself for the fray, when Gwalchmai begs permission to 
attempt the combat before him. Arthur consents ; and all that day until 
the evening Gwalchmai and the black knight fight without either unhorsing 
the other. On the morrow they fight again with equal fortune. On the 
third day at noon they both are thrown, but rise and renew the struggle 
with swords till fire flashes from their weapons. One of O wain's blows 
discloses Gwalchmai's face. They recognise each other amid great rejoicings. 
The day following all repair to the castle of the Countess of the Foun- 
tain, where they are entertained with a banquet of three months' duration. 

Arthur now induces the Countess to allow Owain to go with him to the 
Island of Britain. She gives him leave of absence for three months. But 
he stays away for three years. One day, as he sits at meat in Caerlleon 
upon Usk a damsel rides up to him and, with taunting words, takes 
the ring from his finger. Owain then remembers his promise and roams 
the mountains in distress, feeding familiarly with wild beasts till he 
becomes too weak to bear them company. A widowed countess and her 
maidens find him exhausted in their park. The countess bids one of the 

The European Sky -God. 43 

maidens anoint him with a flask of precious ointment and bring him a 
horse and clothing. In gratitude Owain rescues the countess from a young 
earl, who is oppressing her. He then resumes his wanderings through 
distant lands and deserts. 

In a forest he comes upon a serpent and a black lion fighting. He kills the 
serpent and is followed by the lion, which forages for him. He next finds 
Luned imprisoned in a stone vault. She had defended his character, when 
two pages of the Countess of the Fountain had called him a deceiver. In 
two days' time they will put her to death, unless he himself appears to rescue 
her. Owain, without revealing his name, withdraws to a neighbouring castle 
for food and shelter. The earl who lives in this castle is downcast, because 
a man-eating giant of the mountain has seized his two sons and threatens 
to slay them on the morrow unless the earl's daughter is delivered up in 
their stead. Next morning Owain fights the giant and, thanks to his lion, 
is victorious. He now hastens away to protect Luned and arrives just as 
the pages are about to cast her into a great fire. He attacks them both at 
once, and again the lion comes to his aid and destroys the pair of them. 
Owain then returns with Luned to the Countess of the Fountain, whom he 
takes with him as his wife to Arthur's court. 

Owain visits the court of the savage black man and fights with him. The 
lion does not quit Owain until he has vanquished his foe. In the black man's 
hall Owain sees four and twenty fair ladies in deep sorrow. The demon 
who owns the castle has slain their husbands and robbed them of their horses 
and raiment and money. Outside the castle Owain is saluted in friendly 
fashion by a knight, who is the savage black man himself. Owain attacks, 
overcomes, and binds him, as had been foretold, but grants him his life on 
condition that he becomes the keeper of an hospice. Next day Owain returns 
with the four and twenty ladies and their possessions to Arthur's court. ' And 
thenceforward,' says the tale, ' Owain dwelt at Arthur's court greatly beloved, 
as the head of his household, until he went away with his followers ; and 
those were the army of three hundred ravens which Kenverchyn had left him. 
And wherever Owain went with these he was victorious.' 

We are now in a position to reconstruct the lost Anglo- 
Norman romance that lies behind Yvain and The Lady 
of the Fountain. Confining our attention to the incidents 
that occur in both, we obtain the following outline : 

While King Arthur is holding his court at Carduel in Wales (Caerlleon 
upon Usk), his knights converse and one of them named Calogrenant (Kynon) 
recounts a tale. In search of adventure he had once come first to the castle 
of a hospitable host, then to a monstrous black herdsman armed with a club, 
and lastly to a wonderful tree standing beside a stone and a fountain, which 
fountain was guarded by a knight on horseback. Having unsuccessfully 
attacked the knight, he had returned home in dejection. 

44 The European Sky -God. 

I wain (Owain), on hearing this tale, departs by stealth to essay the same 
adventure. More successful than his predecessor, he deals the knight a 
mortal wound, and, though his horse is cut in half by a falling portcullis, 
and himself entrapped at the entrance, makes his way into the knight's palace. 
He is enabled to do so by the maid Lunete (Luned), who gives him a ring 
rendering him invisible and afterwards pleads his cause with her mistress 
Laudine (the Countess of the Fountain). Twain (Owain) now weds the widow 
of the knight and undertakes to defend the fountain in his stead. 

Arthur and his knights next come to the fountain. Kay (Kai) is deputed 
to attempt the combat, but is overthrown by Iwain (Owain). The latter 
reveals himself, and invites Arthur and the knights to a feast in the castle 
of Laudine (the Countess of the Fountain). 

When Arthur leaves, she allows Iwain (Owain) to leave with him, but only 
on condition that he shall return within a year (three months). Forgetful of 
this condition, he overstays his time. A damsel rides up, abuses him, and 
carries off his ring. He roams in the wilderness, living the life of a beast. 
A lady with her damsels finds him exhausted on the ground and heals him 
by means of a magic ointment. In return he frees her from a powerful foe. 

He sees a serpent and a lion fighting in a forest, slays the serpent, and 
thereby secures the services of the lion. He finds Lunete (Luned) imprisoned 
for taking his part and condemned to be burned next day (in two days' time). 
He seeks lodging for the night in a neighbouring castle, beset by a giant 
of the mountain, who threatens to carr}' off the lord's sons or his daughter. 
Iwain (Owain) and the lion slay this giant. They then hasten on and rescue 
Lunete (Luned) by fighting and destroying her adversaries. Iwain (Owain) 
finally returns w^ith Lunete (Luned) to Laudine (the Countess of the Fountain). 

Prof. A. C. L. Brown ^ has gone far towards proving 
that the whole of this romance is based on a Celtic folk- 
tale of the Fairy Mistress type. He holds that the first 
half of the romance, down to the point at which Iwain 
(Owain) is cured by the magic ointment, reproduces 
a Celtic original comparable with The Sick-bed of 
Cuchnlain {Serglige Conadaind)- and that the second 
half of the romance similarly rests on a Celtic tale 
resembling The Wooing of Enter {TorcJimarc Emere), in 
which a lion guides and carries Cuchulain on his way 

^ A. C. L. Brown l-waiti in Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature 
Boston 1903 viii. 1-147, id. The Knight of the Lion in Publications of the 
Modern Language Association of America Cambridge Mass. 1905 xx. (N.S. 
xiii.) 673-706. 

"^Folk-lore xvii. 148ft". 

The European Sky -God. 45 

to the Otherworld.^ The two halves would thus be com- 
plementary parts of one and the same myth. The first 
tells how a mortal is invited to fairyland, journeys thither 
successfully and weds a fairy queen, but disobeys her 
injunctions, loses her, becomes insane and has to be 
cured by a magic remedy. The second tells of a wondrous 
journey, in which the hero, aided by a helpful beast, 
fights his way through terrible dangers back into the 
Otherworld and so returns to live with his supernatural 

While accepting in the main Prof Brown's conclusions, 
I would urge — and he would hardly deny it^ — that the 
larger part of our romance is paralleled by The Slothful 
Gillie even more nearly than by The Sick-bed of Cuchulain. 
This will be readily seen from the following table of 
contents : 

The Slothful Gillie. | Yvain + The Lady of the Fountain. 

Finn and his chiefs assembled at j Arthur and his knights at Carduel 

Collkilla. I in Wales (Caerlleon upon Usk). 

The hospitable host. 

The black club-bearing giant (Gilla The black club-bearing giant (giant 

Backer). j herdsman). 

Dermat comes to a great fruit-tree [ Iwain (Owain) comes to a won- 

standing beside a pillar-stone and [ derful tree standing beside a 

a spring. j stone and a fountain. 

The hospitable host (Knight of | 

Valour). I 

^The tale exists in two versions, a longer (s. xi.) and a shorter (s. viii. ). 
The text of the longer version was published by K. Meyer in the Zeitschrift 
JUr celtische Philologie 1901 iii. 229 ff., and an English translation by the 
same scholar in The Archceological Review 1888 i. 68 ff., 150 ft"., 231 ff., 298 ff'.: 
cp. E. Hull The Cuchullin Saga London 1898 p. 55 ft"., Lady Gregory 
Cuchulain of Muirthemne p. 21 ff. Text and English translation of the 
shorter version by K. Meyer in the Revue celtique xi. 434 ff. : French 
translation in D'Arbois Vt^popee celtique p. 39 ff. 

2 In Iwain p. 103 ff. Prof. Brown himself lays stress on the resemblance of 
Yvain to In Gilla Decair. See supra p. 35 n. i. 

46 The European Sky -God. 

Dermat slays the champion (Knight 
of the Fountain) who guards the 

Finn and his chiefs come to the 

Meeting between Finn and Der- 

Departure of Finn and Dermat. 

Dermat, after a long voyage, recap- 
tures Taise for Finn and joins 
him in the Land of Promise. 

Iwain (Owain) slays the champion 

(the red or black knight) who 

guards the fountain. 
Arthur and his knights come to 

the tree. 
Meeting between Arthur and Iwain 

Departure of Arthur with Iwain 

Iwain (Owain), after a long journey, 

regains Laudine (the Countess of 

the Fountain). 

So closely does The Slothful Gillie approximate to the 
common theme of Yvain and The Lady of the Fountain, 
that we may venture to explain several features of the 
Anglo-Norman romance by means of the Celtic folk-tale. 
To begin with, the Knight of the Fountain in The 
Slothful Gillie wears a scarlet mantle and a golden 
crown, posing as the king of Tir-fa-tonn. We may take 
it, then, that Esclados le Ros (' the Red ') in Yvain 
and the black knight in The Lady of the Fountain were 
usurping the position of the Otherworld king.^ Again, 
the hospitable host in The Slothful Gillie, who gives 
his name as the Knight of Valour, explains that he is 
the rightful king. Probably, therefore, the hospitable 
host in Yvain and The Lady of the Fountain was like- 
wise the real king.^ Moreover, we saw reason to believe 

^ A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 42 f. compares Esclados le Ros with Manannan : 
' The diligent reader of Arthurian material must feel a certain probability 
in this parallel between Esclados le Ros and Manannan, the tricky magician 
and shape-shifter of the Celts. The mysterious red knight who encountered 
Iwain at the fountain has absolutely no character of his own. One cannot 
but fancy that he was, in an earlier form of the story, some one in disguise.' 
If I am right, his surname ' Red ' is the one survival of his royalty. 

^G. Baist in the Zeitschrift fur romanische Philologie 1897 xxi. 403 
acutely observes that the hospitable host and the giant herdsman may 
originally have had some more intimate connexion with the adventure than 
any that appears in Yvain. Cp. A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 114: 'The 
Giant Herdsman, and probably therefore the Hospitable Host, must 
originally have been different appearances of the same Other-World being, 
a shape-shifter commissioned by the y^^ to guide the hero to her land.' 

The European Sky- God. 47 

with Prof. Brown that the Knight of Valour was none 
other than the Gilla Backer, or ' Slothful Gillie,' himself, 
who in turn was described as one form of Avartach, a 
dweller in the realm of Manannan. By parity of reason- 
ing we may conclude that the hospitable host and the 
giant herdsman in the Anglo-Norman romance were but 
diverse forms of the same personage, presumably the 
human and the superhuman aspects of the Otherworld 
king. We have here to deal with a somewhat perplexing 
multiplicity of characters, viz. the hospitable host, the 
defender of the fountain, and the club-bearing giant, who 
all in a sense represent the Otherworld king. It may be 
surmised that, in the original Celtic source of the story, the 
hospitable host was the actual human monarch, living 
in his dun and characterised by that liberality which the 
Celts invariably ascribed to their ideal king,^ while the 
champion of the tree and fountain undertook the wood- 
land duties of his tabu-bound majesty, being related to 
him precisely as the king of the Fianna appears to have 
been related to the king of all Ireland.^ As to the club- 
bearing giant or black man, whose dusky hue has in The 
Lady of the Fountain been extended to the woodland 
champion also, the analogy that I have already^ traced 
between the black club-bearing giant (the Gilla Backer) 
in The Slothful Gillie, who came from Lochlann, and 
the black club-bearing giant (Searbhan) in The Pursuit 
of Diannuid and Grainne, who bore the surname Loch- 
lannach, makes it highly probable that we should here 
detect a trace of Scandinavian influence. The black- 
handed club-bearing giant slain by Cod, prince of Nor- 
way, was a similar Scandinavian figure.^ And in Bonald 
MacPhie's version of Manns the Athach, another such 
monstrous giant, is sent by the king of Lochlann to 

'^Folk-lore xvii. 37 f., 46 f., 51 f., 167 f. "^ Supra p. 6f. 
^ Supra p. 39 f. * Supra p. 28 f. 

48 The European Sky-God. 

guide Fionn and his company to the home of the Loch- 
lanners.^ The association of a marvellous horse with the 
Gilla Backer ^ points, I believe, in the same direction : 
a reminiscence of this horse perhaps accounts for 
Chretien's black club-bearing monster, whose head is 
expressly said to have been larger than that of a horse.^ 
But if the Celtic folk-tale thus enables us to throw 
light on some obscure features of the Anglo-Norman 
romance, the converse process is no less useful. In The 
Slothful Gillie Dermat, according to all analogy, ought 
to have married the divine partner of the Knight of the 
Fountain : the existing, comparatively late, form of the 
story contains no such incident — at most we learn that 
Dermat recaptures Taise for Finn, whose name and fame 
have obviously ousted those of his follower. Prof. Brown "* 
remarks ' In the original form of the story ... we must 
infer that Taise the fee fell in love with Diarmaid,' and 
suggests in a foot-note * that a fairy mistress story about 
Finn has been worked into the Gilla Decair, and sub- 
stituted for the original adventures of Diarmaid.' ^ Yvain 
and The Lady of the Fountain have preserved the more 
primitive situation, in which Iwain (Owain), helped by 
Lunete (Luned), marries Laudine (the Countess of the 

ij. F. Campbell Popular Tales of the West Highlattds Edinburgh 1860- 
1862 iii. 364 ff., cp. ib. iv. 326 f. where a woodcut of a similar giant or 
achan is given. 

''■Supra pp. 27, 30 f. 

^ Chretien Vvain 295 f. ■* A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 113. 

^^ It is to be observed that in The Datighter of King Under-waves (J. F. 
Campbell Popular Tales of the West Highlands iii. 403 ff., Lady Gregory Gods 
and Fighting Men p. 319 ff.) Diarmaid, after admitting the //£ to his couch, 
goes to live with her in a magic castle that she has raised above Beinn Eudainn, 
loses her by neglecting to follow out her injunctions, pursues her to Rioghachd 
Fo Thuin or ' Realm Qnder-waves,' recovers her of a sickness by giving her 
three draughts from the cup of King Wonder-plain, but in the end takes a violent 
dislike to her and returns home without her. Cp. szipra p. 26, and see further 
G. H. Maynadier The Wife of Bath's Tale London 1901 p. 21 ff. 

The European Sky -God, 49 

Fountain). Comparison with The Voyage of Bran} The 
Adventtires of Connla^ and the tale of Oisin and Niamh^ 
leads me to believe that the messenger sent to the hero 
was originally the goddess herself, in fact that Lunete is 
merely a doublet of Laudine. If so, her name may be 
significant. In the early Celtic tales the fairy mistress 
was, if I am right, a sun-goddess, the sun being feminine 
in Irish and in Old Welsh. The Anglo-Norman romance- 
writer, to whom the sun was masculine, the moon feminine, 
naturally changed the sun-goddess to a moon-goddess. 
Thus it comes about that, whereas Diarmuid's partner was 
properly Grainne, I wain's partner was re-named Lunete 
from la hme, ' the moon.' Chretien expressly describes 
Lunete and Gauvain as la lime et le soloil} thereby 
confirming at once my present contention that Lunete 
represents the moon and my past contention that 
Gawain represents the sun.^ 

The tree defended by the Knight of the Fountain in 
TJie Slothful Gillie was ' a great tree laden with fruit,' ^ 
probably an apple-tree.'^ In Yvain it is said to be a 
pine, the most beautiful that ever grew on earth : 

Bien sai de I'arbre, c'est la fins, 
Que ce estoit li plus biaus pins, 
Qui onques sor terre creiist. ^ 

The Lady of the Fountain makes it ' a tall tree, whose 
branches are greener than the greenest pine-trees.' ^ 
Huon de Mery, who wrote his poem Li Tornoiemenz 
Antecrit shortly after the year 1234,^^ takes his cue 

^Folk-lore xvii. 144 f. '^ lb. xvii. 146 f. "^ lb. xvii. 147 f. 

^ Chretien Yvain 2398. ^ Folk-lore xvii. 343. 

^ Supra p. 28. ' Supra p. 32. 

^Chretien Yvain 413 ff. In 414 cod. G reads hauz ('tall') for biaus 
('beautiful'), a reading adopted by Prof. A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 83 n. i. 

9 Supra p. 35. 

^"Huon de Mery Li Tornoiemenz Aniecrit ed. by G. Wimmer (E. Stengel 
Aicsgaben und Abhandlungen aus dem Gebieteder ronianischen Philologie Ixxvi.) 
Marburg 1888 p. 11. 

50 The Bui'-opean Sky -God. 

from Chretien and speaks of the tree as a 'green 

t^ ■ Le bacin, le perron de marbre 

Et le vert pin et la chaiere 
Trovai en itele maniere 
Comme I'a descrit Crestiens. ^ 

Hartmann von Aue, who commonly agrees with Chretien 
even in details, here unexpectedly mentions ' a lime- 
tree, the most beautiful ever seen ' : 

des scbirmet im ein linde, 

daz nie man schoener gesach : 

diu ist sin schat und sin dach. 

si ist breit hoch und also die 

daz regen noch der sunnen blic 

niemer dar durch kumt. 

irn schadet der winter noch envrumt 

an ir schoene niht ein bar, 

sine ste geloubet durch daz jar." 

In the Middle High German saga of Ortnit and Wolf- 
dietricJi we more than once hear of a lime-tree in a 
context that recalls the story of Yvain? The Middle 
English metrical romance Yivain mid Gawain, despite 

^ Huon de Mery lOO ff. The author of The Fairy Mythology London 1828 
ii. 217, after stating that Huon de Mery visited the Fountain of Barenton and 
the Perron ('horse-block') Merveilleux, continues: * He sprinkled the Perron 
from the golden basin that hung from the oak that shaded it, and beheld all 
the marvels.' But Huon distinctly says 'pine,' not 'oak,' though in describ- 
ing the thunder-storm that followed he mentions oaks and beeches : 
129 ff. La foudre du ciel descendoit, 
Qui tron9onnoit et pourfendoit 
Parmi le bois chenes et fous. 

^Hartmann von Aue hvein 572 ff. 

^ Orinit und die Wolfdietriche ed. A. Amelung and O. Janicke {Deutsches 
Heldenbuch iii.) Berlin 1871 Orinit stanza 84 (the lime-tree near Lake Garda 
under which Ortnit finds Alberich, king of the dwarfs), Wolfdiet7ich B stanza 
350 ff. (the lime-tree near Lake Garda under which Wolfdietrich fights and 
overcomes Ortnit : later, he marries Ortnit's widow and becomes king in his 
stead), ib. stanza 807 ff. (the lime-tree under which was a marble bench and 
a brass man, who by means of two bellows and a hundred golden pipes made 
a hundred birds to sing on the tree). See further A. C. L. Brown Iwain 
p. 140 n., The Knight of the Lion p. 679 n. 3. 

The European Sky -God. 51 

its dependence on Chretien's poem, describes the tree 
as a ' thorne ' : 

pare I fand })e fayrest thorne, 
pat ever groued, sen God was born : 
So thik it was with leves grene. 
Might no rayn cum parbytwene ; 
And J)at grenes lastes ay. 
For no winter dere yt may.^ 

Presumably the species of the tree varies according to 
the flora of the district in which the myth is localised. 

The Anglo-Norman tale underlying Yvain and The 
Lady of the Fountain may be regarded as the source 
of several episodes contained in the old French prose- 
romance called the Livre dArtus? This work, which 
supplies us with a collateral version of Kalogrenant's 
adventure,^ confirms in a remarkable way several of the 
conclusions already drawn from a comparison of Yvain 
and The Lady of the Fountain with TJie Slothfid Gillie 
and other definitely Celtic sources. The monstrous 
herdsman is here expressly said to be Merlin in 
disguise, who tells Kalogrenant that he is lord of the 
forest and that the fountain is defended by one of his 
relatives and friends. This to some extent supports my 
conjecture^ that the giant herdsman was originally a 
god, viz. the Otherworld king, whose human repre- 
sentative, king of the district, had a fighting deputy or 
champion at the fountain. Again, this champion is said 
in the Livre d'Artus to be Brehus-sans-pitie,^ a lover 

* Ywain and Gawain 353 ff., cp. ib. 627. 

2 E. Freymond ' Beitrage zur Kenntnis der altfranzosischen Artusromane in 
Prosa' in the Zeitschri/t fur franzosische Sprache und Litter atur Berlin 1895 
xvii. I ff. summarises the Livre d^ Arties from a Paris MS. of the thirteenth 

^Id. ib. p. S3 ff. * Supra p. 47. 

^On whom see E. Freymond ' Zum Livre d'Artus' in the Zeitschrift fUr 
romanische Philologie 1892 xvi. 125 f., E. Loseth Le roman en prose de Tristan 
Paris 1891 p. 500 f. s.v. ' Brehu(s), [Brun),' P. Rajna Le fonti delV Orlando 
Furioso Firenze 1876 p. 106 ff. 

52 The European Sky -God. 

of Lunete, Lunete herself being a cousin of Merlin's 
inamorata Niniane. Lunete has installed Brehus as 
defender of the fountain of Breceliande : he is to fight 
any knight who provokes the storm by pouring water 
from the basin on to the stone and is to take away 
his horse ; if he is himself vanquished, the victor is to 
do with him what he pleases. In other words, Lunete 
here takes the place of Laudine or the Countess of the 
Fountain, whose doublet I hold her to be.^ Lastly, 
instead of a pine growing by the fountain, we hear of 
a sycomore, to which the basin was attached by a 
chain,^ though in another passage we are told that 
Kalogrenant fastened his horse to a pine standing beside 
the sycomore.^ 

These and other* variations on the same theme all go 
back to one common Celtic myth, which itself, if I am 
not mistaken, implies a ritual practice strictly analogous 
to that of the rex NetJiorensis. Curoi with his oak- 
branches foiled by Cuchulain, the Green Knight with 
his holly branch in the story of Gawain, King Guiromelans 
'of the Mistletoe-bough' beaten by Gawain and Perceval, 
Searbhan Lochlannach who guarded the quicken-tree of 
Dubhros, the Knight of the Fountain worsted by Diarmuid 
near the great fruit-tree of Tir-fa-tonn, Esclados le Ros 
vanquished by Iwain beside the pine-tree of Breceliande, 
what are they all but mythic echoes of the woodland 
king whose business it was to fight all comers beneath 
his sacred tree ? 

Nay more, if we accept Mr. A. Nutt's^ acute suggestion 

^ Supra p. 49 f. - Livre d^Artus 88 p. 56. 

2 lb. 94 p. 58. The same variant, viz. a sycomore for a pine, is found in 
Christian von Troyes Erec tmd Enide ed. W. Foerster Halle 1890 p. 210 line 
5834 : it occurs in the episode of La joie de la Cort, which is summarised by 
A. C. L. Brown Iwain p. 133 f. 

* E.g. Bojardo Orlando iiinamorato i. i. 27 ed. I'anizzi ii. 8, 

^ A. Nutt Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail p. 232 ff. Cp. A. C. L. 
Brown Iwain p. 26 n. I. 

The European Sky -God, 53 

that the typical heroine of the French Arthurian romances 
was derived essentially from the ancient Celtic fee, we 
should do well to supplement it by the belief that the 
typical hero of the same romances was likewise descended 
from the Celtic aspirant to the position of woodland king. 
On this showing the rule of the Arician priesthood, or 
rather its equivalent in the Celtic area, would be the 
very ground-work and foundation of that marvellous 
superstructure — mediaeval chivalry.^ 

Arthur Bernard Cook. 

iThe statement that Brehus-sans-pitie had to confiscate the horse of any 
knight who passed his way {supra p. 52) recalls the fact that Diana's grove at 
Nemi might not be entered by horses (Ov. fast. 3. 266). This connexion with 
horses is far-reaching and of peculiar significance, as I shall hope to prove 


Author of Outer Isles, Inner Jerusaiem, etc. 

{Read at Meeting, ic^tk April, 1905.) 

The following notes have been gradually collected during 
the year which has elapsed since the sending off of my last 
paper/ and I desire to express my grateful indebtedness 
to publications of Mrs. Einsler (wife of the well-known 
German specialist in Oriental diseases), of the brothers 
Baldensperger, and to Mr. and Mrs. Hanauer, not only for 
actual information, but for suggestions and interpretations 
which have facilitated my enquiries. Direct relations with 
many Moslems of all classes, consequent upon my interest 
in certain landed properties in Jerusalem, have also given 
me special opportunities for enquiry ; and long journeys 
on horseback into the remoter parts of Palestine, Syria, 
and Moab, have facilitated observation. Jerusalem 
possesses learned and excellent libraries, but not of the 
English tongue ; and in the absence of all English books 
of reference, and of means of taking counsel, I have 
perhaps fallen into the double error of relating what may 
be already well known among specialists, and of with- 
holding details of interest, from fear of repeating the 
trivial and the familiar. 

The folk-lore of the Bath and of water in general is 
practically endless. Water, as it is the wealth and the 

' See vol. XV. p. i86. 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem, 55 

blessing of this country, has come to be a symbol of power. 
During many months in the year, even in one's hotel, it is 
cheaper to buy two or three bottles of good wine than 
to take an ordinary bath ! Moreover, as children are, in 
the East, " a gift which cometh from the Lord," the idea of 
power, as represented by water, has come to be associated 
with that of procreation. Childless couples will go long 
distances to bathe in certain pools, and barren women 
visit the hot springs in various districts, not, as might be 
supposed, for any medicinal properties, but because the 
jinn who causes the vapour is regarded as being capable, 
in a definite and physical sense, of giving them offspring ; 
for, like certain Spiritualists of the twentieth century, they 
believe that both men and women may have intercourse 
with disembodied spirits, a belief quite as common among 
Christians as Moslems. 

A curious anomaly, however, forbids the patients visiting 
the hot baths of Tiberias to call upon the Divine name, 
whether from reverence, the springs being recognised as 
possessed by spirits, or from policy, so that the Dervishes 
who recommend their use may have a loophole in case of 
failure, it would be unfair to determine. Many of the 
ordinary springs have also their special jinn, and the 
women, when fetching water, do so, as a rule, with 
some formula, special to the place — such as dastur 
sdhibln il-ard, nikna ft kaind ' itkuin wil- ard ; bismi-llah, 
" With permission, possessor of the earth ! We and 
the earth are under your protection. ... In the Name 
of God ! " 

A spring, like a house, may be " possessed," maskiine or 
mahdura. At Ramallah, a village about eight miles from 
Jerusalem, is a spring haunted by a spirit in the form of a 
camel. If the water flows scantily, they say the camel 
is thirsty ; if the water is muddy, they say the camel is 
wallowing ; if the water murmurs, he is moaning. Another 
spring is occupied by a bride, the jingling of whose 

56 The Powells of Evil in Jei^usalem. 

ornaments, probably a head-dress or necklace of coins, 
can be distinctly heard. 

Even a cistern, i.e. an artificial reservoir, should not be 
approached after dark. If, however, water is absolutely 
required, the name of God must be frequently uttered 
while drawing it, and it is better to do so in an iron 

The hot springs at Callirrhoe and elsewhere are heated 
by a fire which is kept up by a jinn whom those afflicted 
with rheumatism seeking relief here must propitiate by 
sacrifice. The great water-wheels used for irrigation have 
to be overhauled at intervals, and before they are again set 
in motion a ram is slaughtered to propitiate the jinn in 
charge of the affair. 

When a ghost story, or fairy tale, is told, it is better 
to avoid mention of the name of the supernatural being 
involved. Whenever any accident occurs, however slight, 
the name of God should be often invoked, and the attention 
of the Evil One distracted, on the principle of the Gaelic 
proverb, " 111 will come if mentioned." This is the case, 
not only in the event of any bystander uttering such a 
chance exclamation as " Have you hurt your arm .'' " " Are 
you blind to-day .-• " and so on, which must be replied to 
with some such phrase as " The name of God be over me," 
smallah 'aleyi, but still more upon occasions yet more 
serious, such as when a servant, threatening a child, should 
say, " The cat will get you." This once gave rise to a very 
serious incident. A woman one night wished to fetch 
some bread which she had left in the oven, — an oven here 
being a separate construction of clay, away from the house. 
She asked her husband to accompany her, and he churlishly 
replied, " What are you afraid of .-' There is nothing but 
the sheep in the court. Sheep, come and take her ! " She 
thus went alone for her baking, and was no more seen, and 
all search was useless. One day her husband, thus widowed, 
was ploughing in the field when a Dervish came by, and, 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 57 

hearing of his sorrows, asked, " What will you give me to 
bring back your wife ? " The man, remorseful, let us hope, 
though possibly only because his helpmeet had been an 
expensive purchase, — a peasant is often crippled for life 
by the cost of a wife, — replied, " I will give you this pair 
of oxen." "A couple of hens will content me," said the 
holy man, and gave him certain written charms, one of 
which he was to lay on his forehead, when he would find 
himself instantly in a cave at Nablus (Shechem) ; the other 
to be again applied when new circumstances should arise. 
In an instant he was transported into Samaria, and, after 
making use of the other written slip, he found himself in a 
cave surrounded by jinn, to whom he related his loss. 
Upon this the chief, who sat in the midst of them, called 
to his courtiers, "Which of you will bring her the quickest .-* 
Light, how long will you take ? " " An hour," answered 
the spirit so called. This seemed long, and the chief called 
again, " Horse, you noble one, how long will you take } " 
" A quarter of an hour," replied Horse. Whereupon one 
called Sheep stepped forward and said, " I will bring her 
in a minute," which was done, the happy pair returned 
home, and the Dervish received his reward. 

The narrator of this incident, when asked what account 
the woman gave of her experiences, made a reply entirely 
in keeping with occidental tradition upon the same point, 
namely, that such things could not be known, for either 
the heroes of the adventure became insane and entered at 
once into the odour of sanctity,^ or, if they preserved the 
memory of their sojourn among the jinn, they were well 
aware that they remained still under the ban of the spirits, 
and that by the slightest indiscretion of speech they would 
bring themselves once more under demoniacal influences. 
Moreover, he pointed out, it was evident that everything 

^ The Arabs believe that the insane and feeble-minded are literally God's 
fools, that their intellectual part is already in heaven. Most of the holy men 
of the East are, or pretend to be, mad. 

58 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

on earth had its counterpart in the spiritual world, and 
therefore to say, " Sheep, take her," was equivalent to 
calling upon the spirit of that name. It may be observed, 
in passing, that to call out " Take it," or " Give it," without 
specifying who or what, is yet more dangerous, and gives 
power over the thing offered, not merely, as in the 
above instance, to one evil spirit, but to all evil spirits, 
be the object in question what it may — living or in- 

Another point taught by the story is the relation in 
which the Dervishes themselves stand to the Powers of 
Evil. Burton relates that the Devil once consorted with 
them for a week, after which he fled to the superior 
sanctity of his own regions. The families of the Shechs or 
Custodians of the Mosque " of Omar," as well as the 
wandering Dervishes, are considered to possess an heredi- 
tary gift of dealing with jinn and other spirits, and are 
resorted to by Christians and Moslems alike. 

The Powers of Evil have, here as elsewhere, their 
favourite haunts, which include not merely dunghills and 
other such spots, as might be expected, but baths (which 
here, however, should perhaps be included among unclean 
resorts), springs, reservoirs (here known as " cisterns," as in 
our English Bible), oil-mills, soap-boilers, certain trees (also 
as in O.T. times), the threshold of the house, and indeed 
all doorways and entrances. When an Arab builds a house 
he places a coin, of which the value is unimportant 
provided it be of gold or silver, under the threshold, and 
with much ceremony sacrifices a cock, preferably a white 
one, sprinkling the door-posts with the blood, which is also 
allowed to run over the steps.^ Such a house is described 

^ This is described by Mrs. Einsler, to whose article I am much indebted, 
Zeitschrift des Deutschen Falaestina Vereins, vol. x., 1887. Professor Curtiss, 
in his Primitive Semitic Religion To-day, 1902, relates that an English doctor 
in Jerusalem ' ' declined to analyse a substance sent to him from a Moslem 
shrine that looked like blood " on the ground that such usage was impossible. 
His near neighbour, Mrs. Einsler, had however described the ceremony some 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 59 

as sdsitha emliha, of " good foundation," or ridshelha 
chadra 'alena, literally " his foot is green over us." The 
omission of this ceremony is followed by many varieties of 
misfortune, and in the case of a house which is bought or 
hired is easily discovered by the consequences which ensue, 
sickness, death, money-losses, above all barrenness of the 
women occupants. At the best, however, the evil influence 
appears to be only mitigated and kept in check, for such is 
the power of evil about the door-step that a mother must 
not suckle her infant, nor correct her child, in such 
neighbourhood. A slap on the eye would cause the little 
victim to squint, on the head to become stupid, on the 
mouth to become wry-faced, and so on. Should a mother 
who had been so overcome by temper as to forget the 
danger suddenly recollect herself, she would exclaim, 
bi 'ism alf kfil alldh, hti wdkid, "A thousand times 
be the name of God spoken. He is One ! " If a child 
accidentally stumble on the door-step, which is generally 
very high, as well as uneven and slippery from use, 
the mother or nurse snatches it up with the usual ex- 
clamation, and the smallest injury is immediately treated 
with incense. 

Both in the streets and on country roads one observes at 
night that almost every passer-by, if alone, which is avoided 
as far as possible, is singing, more or less loudly, to warn 
off the spirits who have power in the darkness ; and when 
one lies awake at night, naturally with open windows, the 
tinkle of the camel-bells or patter of donkeys' feet bearing 
loads to distant markets, is invariably accompanied by 
the monotonous drone which passes for singing among 

The bath, as being generally dark, and often dirty, is a 
special haunt of the jinn. It is lighted by a central cupola, 

fifteen years before [op. cit. ) and I can personally testify that in January of this 
year there were fresh bloodstains upon the shrine of Shech Jochanan in Besan, 
Curtiss quotes countless examples. 

6o The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

and the basin is surrounded by a low divan occupied by 
the bathers, who, especially on the women's day, sing and 
shriek the name of Allah in various forms according to 
their race and religion, exceeding in noise and energy 
when a bride happens to be present surrounded by friends 
and relatives all intent on securing for her all the future 
advantages effected by due ceremonial on the present 

Mrs. Einsler relates {pp. cit.) that a man who had fallen 
asleep after the bath, and had been accidentally overlooked 
when the place was closed for the night, was awakened by 
light and movement, and looking through a corner of the 
abaye (mantle) which concealed him, observed a large party 
of jinn occupied in the bathing and toilette of a bride.^ After 
a time they desired refreshment and were bidden by their 
chief to fetch a plate of kiibebe from one house, and a bowl 
of indmul from another — newly baked cakes, over which 
the name of God had not been spoken. While the 
meal was proceeding, one of the spirits discovered and 
invited the watcher, who however was too frightened to 
move, and feigned continued sleep. Music and dancing 
followed, and then a bridal garment was sent for, in which 
the bride was arrayed, when to his horror the watcher 
observed that the dress belonged to his youngest daughter, 
recently married. The bride happened to be near him, 
and, according to Arab custom, took no part in the dance. 
Observing a vessel of dough within reach, he dipped in his 
hand, and marked a corner of the dress. When daylight 
returned the jinn disappeared, and the man arose and went 
to his home. His first task was to question his youngest 
daughter as to the whereabouts of her new green silk 
wedding dress, which was accordingly produced. It was 
found to be crushed as from recent wear, and marked with 
dough in one corner. Thereupon he related his experiences, 
warning his family never again to put away a dress or 

^ These are fully described in the author's Inner Jerusalem, London, 1904. 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 6i 

other article without uttering the name of God, for 
although in the present case the borrowed property had 
been returned, it might well happen that it should entirely 

The story thus related, is capable of a still more serious 
interpretation according to traditions which I have heard 
in several forms and of which Curtiss gives the following 
variant : {Primitive Semitic Religion, ch. ix.) " It is well 
known that they (the Syrians) affirm that the jinn may 
have sexual intercourse with men and women. ... It is 
said that women sometimes find that their best gowns, 
which they had carefully locked up in their bridal chests, 
have been worn and soiled by female spirits, during their 
confinement, because they did not utter the name of God 
when they were locking them up." (See also Baldensperger 
Pal. Expl. Fund Statement, 1899.) 

Christians and Moslems have each their own formulae 
upon entering the bath. The Christians say : 

smallah ' allena The Name of God be over us, 

hautna ballah Our protection is in God, 

sometimes adding : 

es-salib ibarina The Cross cleanse us. 

ujehmina And protect us. 

As they pass on to the various parts of the bath they 
exclaim : 

ism es-salTb The name of the Cross ! 

el-chadr Saint George ! 

bism el-' adra In the name of the Virgin. 

Ya mar anton O Saint Anthony ! 

Ya mar girgis O Saint George ! 

Ya mar elyas O Saint Elias ! 1 

^ Elijah and Saint George are the favourite saints of the Arabs. The latter, 
who killed the dragon at Beirut, is associated with a great number of shrines and 
is invoked on all occasions. Both saints are called El Chadr = the green one, 
and the stories of the two are considerably mixed. 

62 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

The Moslems also call upon el-Chadr, Elijah or 
S. George, as the case may be, and they say moreover : 

bismi-'llah er-rahman er-rahlm : In the name of God the Com- 
passionate, the Merciful ! 

Ya rasiil dastQr: O Messenger {i.e. Muhammed) with permission 
(or as the English railway porter would say: "By your leave," 
i.e. "Out of the way!") This phrase is used by Christians 
also, at night. 

The washing out of the bath with fresh water, which 
one might suppose to be merely a very desirable cleansing 
after its last occupant, has also a ceremonial character, part 
libation, part a clearing out of lingering jinn, the sacred 
name being pronounced the whole time. 

A Moslem woman relates a misfortune which had 
befallen her sister, who, having been brought up in a 
Protestant Institution, had not sought the divine protection 
in the usual manner. When going into the bath she 
confided her child of forty days old to the care of the 
proprietor, rather than take it into the heated rooms. 
Suddenly hearing its cry, she hastened to attend to it, 
slipped on the wet stones, and was found in great suffering 
from acute cramps. She had never been so seized before, 
but the attack often recurred, and the Shech, from whom 
she sought help, had been unable to give her relief. The 
cry she had heard was from a child of the jinn, for her own 
had slept quietly all the time, and no other child was in 
the house. Had she called upon God on entering, she 
would not have heard the sound, and even had she prayed 
for help in falling she would have received no injury. 

It is customary for a young man seeking a wife to 
enquire if she is in the habit of using the name of God 
before every action. From the answer he gathers whether 
she is likely to bring blessing or scarcity into his home. 
A story is told in illustration of this, that a young couple, 
in spite of all frugality and care in housekeeping, found 
their possessions continually diminishing, until at last the 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 63 

young man missed his horse. After seeking the animal in 
all directions and finding no trace, he resolved to go 
further afield, into a district full of caves, in which flocks 
and cattle were herded at night, and where he might hear 
news of his missing property. When night came he 
entered a cave towards which a light had attracted him, 
and found, to his horror, that it was full oi jinn (the genii 
of the Arabian Nights), that is of evil, or at least sub- 
human, spirits, somewhat corresponding to the brownies of 
Scotland. They persuaded him to take his seat among 
them, and offered him hospitality. He tried to escape on 
the plea that he was seeking a lost horse, and was at once 
gratified and alarmed to hear that it was already there, 
and would be returned to him on leaving. Meanwhile 
orders were given that it should be well cared for, while an 
excellent supper of his favourite dish of rice and lentils 
mndshaddara was set before him. According to custom, 
while taking the first handful (the Arab peasant eats direct 
from the dish, without the intervention of spoons or 
plate) he stood up and uttered the words, " God increase 
your wealth," allah yekattir cherkom, equivalent to thanks 
for hospitality. Upon which the chief of the elfin tribe 
remarked, " My friend, you have nothing to thank us for ; 
the rice and lentils, as well as the fodder for your horse, 
and much else which you see, is your own property." 
When he returned home with his horse, his wife received 
him with joy, and assured him that she had prepared his 
favourite supper of rice and lentils. When she went to 
the saucepan, however, it was half-empty, and she could 
only suppose that although she had carefully covered it up, 
the cats had somehow got a share. " No," said her 
husband, " the one who has eaten it is I, myself My 
horse was among the jinn, by whom I have been enter- 
tained, and I now fully understand their saying that I was 
enjoying my own possessions, and that the horse was 
handsomely fed upon his own fodder — which, when they 

64 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

looked into the barley-store, they found had indeed been 
the case. All this was a lesson to them. Henceforth 
they touched nothing without mention of the name of God, 
and they soon returned to their former prosperity. 

The jinn were created before man, and even before the 
earth was made, and were brought forth out of fire ; as 
good and pure beings, who should rule and inhabit the 
earth. But when the angels rebelled against God, some 
of them joined in the revolt, and as a punishment were 
sent down into hell, while the newly created human race 
occupied their place on earth, among the good spirits who 
still remained. Unlike the angels, the spirits, good and 
bad, are subject to passion and suffering ; they eat and 
drink and bring forth children. The evil spirits here, as 
elsewhere, are of several kinds, and are mainly occupied 
in bringing evil and misfortune among the human race. 
They correspond to the same beings among other nations ; 
giants and monsters, spirits of the wood and of the desert, 
satyrs, vampires, and Poltergeistern. Of the good spirits one 
hears little. They are harmless and do not need to be 
propitiated. They are even helpful and do not need to 
be " dodged." 

One great duty of the women is to gather the day's 
supply of wood. The carrob tree, also called S. John's 
bread, must never be the first from which twigs are 
collected, though it is a common and convenient source of 
supply. If this precaution is neglected, either the hand or 
the tool employed are certain to receive injury. Possibly 
the hardness of the wood has actually led to many 
accidents, or perhaps its red colour and suggestion of blood 
may have suggested the superstition. 

The jinn love to sit in the shadows of the moonlight, just 
as men in those of the sunshine. 

There are indications of a belief, both Moslems 
and Christians, that the Powers have to be propitiated even 
by human life. When a death is announced to a father or 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 65 

brother or other near relative, the usual formula is: "So- 
and-so is dead. May you live long," or even, " May God 
give you his life." This extends even to favourite or 
valuable animals. A man will say on hearing of the death 
of a neighbour's horse, " May it redeem you," i.e. be 
accepted in your stead. A child is redeemed by the 
shedding of blood at his birth, a male child, that is, — the 
others do not count. A father will say, for example : " I 
have no children, only three pieces of daughter," — the 
phrase being equivalent to our " so many head of cattle." 
I am told, however, that in certain districts the mother, on 
their behalf, will sacrifice a hen. 

I had the very rare privilege, thanks to the courtesy of 
the Husseini, the Moslem family at present in power in 
Jerusalem, of assisting at the pilgrimage and annual 
festival to the shrine of Moses in the desert of Judaea, 
which comes only second, or some say third, after Mecca, 
and which very few Europeans have been admitted to see 
in its entirety. Dr. H. H. Spoer and I were the only ones 
who remained the entire day, and late into the evening. 
There were thousands of excited Moslems, the only women 
being a few Bedu ; but we were privileged to watch every- 
thing from the windows of the private apartments of the 
Mayor of Jerusalem, who belonged to the family of the 
original founders of the shrine; and were, moreover, able to 
take a considerable number of photographs, unperceived 
by those who would undoubtedly have protested, in 
very practical form, had they been aware of it. An in- 
teresting feature was the very large number of little boys 
brought from every part of the country for circumcision 
and who were afterwards paraded on gaily caparisoned 
horses. We witnessed the arrival of many of these ; they 
were coming in all day and even after dark, accompanied 
by their male relatives, and in every case by a sheep for 
sacrifice. The poor creature was often so exhausted, dusty 
and panting after a long journey, that one felt almost 

66 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

thankful that its hours were numbered. In certain districts 
it is very important that the animal should be slaughtered 
without injury to its bones, both at the sacrifice of redemp- 
tion and at that of circumcision ; cf Exodus xii. 46 and 
St. John xix. 36. One is daily coming across biblical 
reminders in this land of i^^^ changes. 

It is said that sacrifices are offered also at weddings, 
especially at the entrance of a bride into her new home. 
This, however, I have not been fortunate enough to see, 
although I have attended many weddings, Moslem, 
Christian, and Jewish.^ This custom is sometimes, how- 
ever, otherwise interpreted. 

Curtiss {op. cit., cvi.) quotes the Shech of a shrine who 
said to him, " Every building must have its death — man, 
woman, child, or animal. God has appointed a redemption 
for every building through sacrifice. If God has accepted 
the sacrifice, He has redeemed the house," and, further 
(cxiv.), that when the peasants go, as is the custom, to 
distant places to cultivate the ground for the Bedu, they 
offer a sacrifice to the spirit of the cave in which they take 
up their temporary residence, and that even a missionary 
of his acquaintance had a goat given to him by his land- 
lord, so that he might sacrifice it upon the flat roof and 
allow the blood to run down over the lintel. When a 
member of the family returns home from a journey, or 
a soldier from the war, it is usual to slay an animal between 
his feet as he crosses the doorstep. Mr. Richards, the 
English Consul of Damascus, relates that in a certain 
village he received an address of welcome, and at a given 
signal a sheep was slain in front of his horse. 

In an earlier paper about Jewish customs ^ I have spoken 
of the hand which is almost invariably portrayed over the 
door of the house. This is sometimes found also upon 
a Moslem house, the sequel of some occasion of sacrifice — 

^ Cf. Inner Jerusalem, chapters on Women among Moslems. 
"^ Folk- Lore, vul. xv., p. 189. 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 67 

birth, death, marriage, circumcision, pilgrimage, initiation 
of an undertaking, or what not — when those concerned will 
dip their hands in the blood of the victim, goat, sheep, or 
fowl, and will mark some flat surface near the entrance of 
the house to distract the attention of the jinn. 

I wish I could obtain more particulars about Shech 
Shadli or Shazli, to whom a libation is poured out into the 
fire when coffee is drunk. If he were the inventor of 
Arabic coffee, he was a benefactor to the human race to 
whom such a libation is justly due, though of course not 
from those who drink the beverage supposed to be coffee 
in Western Europe — even in Paris. A variant of the 
custom is found at Hamath in Syria, where it is said that 
on the return of a pilgrim the whole pot of coffee is poured 
out as a thank-offering between his feet on to the earth, 
not into the fire. 

I have been told, but have no evidence of it, that the 
Arabs still practise the bewitching of enemies by means of 
what is known in the Highlands as the corp criadh, the 
" revenge image," in use among most nations, and in all ages. 
I have seen such an image in recent use in Sutherland, made 
of clay, and, in the New Forest, of wax ; in Greece lead was 
used, in Egypt papyrus, and in Palestine fragments of 
the limestone, of which the country mainly consists, rudely 
fashioned into human form and inscribed with the name 
of the enemy. Dr. Wiinsch of Breslau suggests some 
possible association between this white stone and that 
inscribed with a " new name " to be given to " him that 
overcometh" (Rev. ii. 17). 

I have seen Jewish and Moslem women seeking for 
mandrakes, but more likely with an eye to their alleged 
therapeutic properties {e.g. Gen. xxx. 14, etc.) than for the 
sake of their roots, which, however, they hang in their 
houses, but whether as curiosities or for purposes of 
witchcraft, I cannot ascertain. One, bearing a rude 
resemblance to three human figures, was shown to me by 

68 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

an Ethiopian Christian as representing Joseph, the Virgin 
and Child. The Arab name for the fruit is tuffdh magdnin, 
"apples of the insane." I cannot discover why. 

The high places, sacred tombs, sacred trees, do not 
present many special features of folk-lore other than one 
finds elsewhere in the East, except perhaps, like so much 
in this country, as illustrating and interpreting the folk-lore 
of the Bible. Thus on a Thursday, the eve of the Moslem 
Sabbath, the spiritually-minded passing by the neighbour- 
hood of a sacred tree often see it in flames, as did Moses, 
who saw the bush which burned and was not consumed. 
Food is offered to the genms loci by Bedu on reaching 
a new camping ground, and is commonly hung on the 
branches of sacred trees, just as bread and wine were 
offered by the Israelites to Yahweh.^ Piles of stones, 
commemorative or reminder, are found all over the 
country, and are receiving daily additions from the hands 
of the pious, and I know of some half-dozen places which 
no one passes without adding his tribute to the existing 
Eben-ezer. Standing-stones are erected to-day, as at 
Beth-el; and others, of which the origin is forgotten, are 
regarded as sacred, like the Jachin and Boaz of Solomon. 
The Rock worship so obviously recognised in Deut. xxxi. 
and other passages exists still, and now as, probably, then, 
one is told that the rock is merely symbolic, and that the 
saint is honoured spiritually and apart. Apparitions, bear- 
ing messages, appear " to those who have light in their 
hearts " as to the ancient prophets, telling now, as then, of 
matters of public weal — the cholera, the plague, the new 

The mazehoth condemned in the Deuteronomic code, 
and figuring over and over again in sacred history, may be 
seen all over the country, and in every landscape you may 
note the high places crowning the hill tops and resorted to 
by Moslem, Jew, and Christian alike. Caves, here called 

^ Ex. xxix. ; Lev. xxiii. ; Num. xv., etc. 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 69 

" grottoes," are the holy places of every sect, and are 
inhabited by saint or jinn as the case may be. Mothers 
who have no milk, married couples who are childless, 
resort thither, although in some cases they have been 
abandoned by the Moslems on account of the nature of 
the orgies, and are frequented mainly by Christians and a 
few Jews. The specially famous cave under Mt. Carmel, 
dedicated to El Chadr (the Green One), who is recognised 
by some as Elias, by others as St. George, is resorted to by 
all classes, sects, and nationalities. 

Spirits and apparitions still reveal themselves under 
sacred trees as to Abraham and Gideon. Sometimes such 
a tree is sacred per se ; one near Gaza-el-Maisi is inhabited 
by a spirit, and receives divine honours just as Abraham 
" planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there 
on the name of Yahweh." Sometimes it is sacred by 
association only, like " the oak of the pillar that was in 
Shechem," or like the oak of Moriah under which Abraham 
built an altar to Yahweh. The fellahin leave ploughs, 
building materials, harness, and other property, in such 
places for safety. When a shrine is associated with a tree 
it is doubly sacred, and many serve to this day precisely 
the purpose described in 2 Chron. vi. 22-24, and even in so 
highly civilised a town as Besan, perhaps the most pleasing 
in all Palestine, orderly, well-built, well-governed, many a 
lawsuit is averted because the people are satisfied to go to 
the wely, the shrine of the local saint, and, as before the 
altar in Solomon's Temple, to swear innocence or reveal 
guilt, and receive judgment accordingly ; now, as then, 
there is no appeal from this judgment. 

Trees have also curative properties. The power of self- 
suggestion and telepathy are still fully utilised and 
appreciated in the East. A shred torn from the patient's 
garment and hung on the tree transfers the disease ; in 
the same way a shred taken from it serves, like the hand- 
kerchiefs and aprons from the body of St. Paul,'^for the 

70 The Powers of Evil hi Jerusalem. 

cure of the sick unable to present themselves personally ; 
then, as now, " the diseases departed from them, and the 
evil spirits went out." 

The sacred trees are of various kinds. One of those 
upon which we have most often seen decorations is the 
lotus tree {zizyphus spina christi), which however does not 
assume its sacred character till its fortieth year, when to 
cut it down or injure it is a gross insult to the wely. The 
tamarisk tree is often sacred, or at least haunted, and the 
wind, like " the whispering in the tops of the mulberry 
trees," is often heard to utter words and phrases as it sighs 
in their waving branches. The olive tree is sacred, though 
less often haunted, and palms and cacti have drunk of the 
water of life, and have in them something of a human 
element. Fig-trees, sycamore figs, and carrobs (" locust " 
trees), are, on the other hand, inhabited by jinn. Within a 
few miles of Jerusalem, however, in a grove of terebinth, 
a single sycamore fig is the one tree decorated with votive 
offerings. As in Scotland, it is not good to whistle in haunted 
places, especially at dusk. Salt is sacred, and a little 
strewed upon the threshold of a house or room has a good 
effect, and serves to keep the powers of evil at a distance.^ 

My last "find" in the way of amulets was that of the 
jaw-bone of a wolf, worn by a Moslem girl as a protection 
against a cough. The subject of charms and amulets is 
however far-reaching, and would need a paper to itself. 
They are worn by man, woman, and child ; horses, camels, 
and asses, even the sheep, the goat, the cat, more rarely, 
the dog, is protected by at least a blue bead, or a 
morsel of alum sewn up in a blue covering. " The belief 
in the Evil Eye," writes Philip Baldensperger, than whom 
no one living better knows the people. of this country, "is 
certainly very strong among all classes of the population — 
Christian and Mohammedan, Jew and Gentile. It is 
stronger than religion." 

^Cf. Folk- Lore, vi. 172. 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 7 1 


I conclude with a few notes upon Jewish folk-lore, 
additional to those in my last paper, and the result of 
later observation and enquiry. 

The Jews allege that the jinn are the offspring of Adam 
and Lilith, or of Sammael and Eve, or of the sons of God 
and the daughters of men, as the case may be. They are 
responsible for most of the events of life, good or evil* 
Every man has 10,000 at his right hand, and 1000 at his 
left, specially dangerous at night, so that, as in the Outer 
Hebrides, persons meeting after dark should not salute 
each other by name, not however only for the usual reason 
that they should not acquaint the powers with names by 
which they might afterwards hear themselves called, but 
also because every person has a kind of infernal double, 
so that one might unawares salute a devil. The Jewish 
women in Jerusalem carefully cover their hair, not with a 
mere veil, as do the Moslems, but with a handkerchief, 
chalebi, firmly pinned around the coiffure so as to avert the 
Schedim who sit on the hair of women whose heads are 
uncovered (.-'cf i Cor. xi. 10). A special devil named 
Kardaikoos is responsible for headache, and another named 
Asiman for epilepsy. 

The Jews resort, with more or less secrecy, to divination, 
although such a practice excludes then from the highest 
heavens. In order to know if an undertaking will succeed, 
the women select a hen — the Jews are the great poultry 
rearers of Jerusalem — and if she gets fat, the work will 
prosper; if not, it is better to abstain. When the Astro- 
logers of Pharaoh complained that Joseph, a mere slave, 
was put over them, the king replied, " I see the colours of 
rulership in him." There are many beliefs in regard 
to colour. If you are going on a journey it is well to 
sit for a while in a dark room and watch what colours 
you will see. If they are clear and bright it is safe to 

72 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

proceed, but if flickering and variable, it is better to 
wait. The Jews, like others, will not begin an under- 
taking on a Friday. It is a bad sign to make a verbal 
mistake in prayer. 

One day, while talking with a Jew, I was swinging 
my walking stick from one hand to the other, and 
observed that he watched me carefully. Suddenly per- 
ceiving that it was attached by a cord to my wrist, he 
said with an air of relief, " That is well, it is not good 
for a staff to fall from the hand." I ascertained afterwards 
that for a woman it was especially to be avoided, as it 
portended the loss of means of living. 

It is a good sign when a sick person sneezes. 

Of course the subjects most prominent in the minds 
of the orthodox Jews of Jerusalem are, the study of 
the Talmud, and the restoration of their race, of which the 
re-building of the Temple would be the first evidence. 
In accordance with this, they say that God spends one 
third of his time in studying the Talmud, one third in 
weeping over the Temple, and the rest in playing with 
the leviathan. 

Another tradition relates the deep distress of the 
Almighty upon the receipt of the news of the victory 
of Titus. In vain the angels sought to console Him. 
He could only ejaculate, "Send for Jeremiah!" Appar- 
ently none but the author of the book of Lamentations 
could adequately express the emotion of the occasion. 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, were also sent for, 
although there was some difficulty in finding the last 
mentioned, as apparently the Jews accept the fact that 
" no man knows that Sepulchre, and no man saw it e'er," 
whereas the Arabs, as has been seen, place his grave at 
Neby Moussa. The queerest part of the story, which is quite 
serious, is, that after the Temple was burnt, God, sitting 
down in the ashes, cried, "The foxes have holes and 
the birds have nests, but my children who have escaped 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 73 

this slaughter have no where to lay their head, and 
their enemies rejoice ! " Many of the popular tales about 
Solomon attribute to him a kind of second sight, as for 
instance it is said that when he sent to Pharaoh to ask 
for workmen for the building of the Temple, the Egyptian 
astrologers selected those who would die within the year, 
but Solomon promptly sent them back dressed in shrouds. 

The Jerusalem children, both Jews and Moslems, seem 
to have few games except such as have been introduced 
by European — chiefly German and American — schools. 
Among the curiosities in the Armenian Museum are some 
very ordinary dolls. Hoops, balls, skipping-ropes, one 
seldom sees. In the north of Palestine, where life is 
brighter and less Europeanised than in Judaea, the boys 
play hockey and the girls hop-scotch. The one really 
characteristic game is a highly elaborated variant of 
" knuckle-bones," or the Scotch " chucky-stanes," played 
for the most part with the tesserae to be picked up within 
a few yards of anywhere. One game may last at least an 
hour, and is accompanied by songs, some of which are 
mere nonsense rhymes, while others have traces of meaning. 
The girls especially attain great skill, and it is the only 
occasion on which I have seen boys and girls playing 
freely together. A young man here said to me one day, 
speaking of the daughters of a neighbour, " They are 
ashamed to meet me now because we used to play Hassa 
together." A Jew told me that the ball-playing of the 
maidens of Jerusalem was one of the causes which led 
to the destruction of the Temple ! May some association 
of ideas with the Nausicaa of heathen Greece have 
led to this condemnation of an amusement which might 
have had valuable hereditary influence upon the female 
outline of the Jewish race ? 

One of the most interesting places in Jerusalem is the 
Cotton Grotto discovered in 1852, probably the "royal 
grotto" of Josephus {Bell. Jud., v. 4, 2.), and which, for the 

74 The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 

advantage of tourists, is known as " Solomon's Quarries," 
and devoutly visited as the spot whence the stones for the 
Temple were quarried. As it stretches 639 feet in a 
straight line beneath the city, it might well be that here 
the "stone was made ready before it was brought [to the 
Temple] ; so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor 
any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in 
building." The Jews, however, have a more romantic 
tradition as to the cause of this silence. They say that 
when Solomon had collected all other materials for the 
Temple — the gold and precious stones and brass — he was 
at a loss how to proceed in regard to the baser material 
for he was anxious that the stone should be handled in the 
same manner as were the Tables of the Law, the method 
of which was finally delivered to him in a dream. It 
seems that, at the beginning of the world, God created 
a small insect, the size of a barley-corn, called the 
Shemeer, which He kept under His throne until it was 
required to cut out and engrave the Tables of Stone, 
after which it was hidden again, in a place unknown to 
everyone except Satan, who somehow obtained possession 
of it, and was very unwilling to discover its whereabouts, 
especially for such a purpose as the building of the 
Temple, which, as everyone knew, was designed in 
opposition to Satan himself However, Solomon called 
together the Rabbis, and in their presence conjured the 
Evil One from the bottomless pit, and commanded him 
to restore the shemeer. Satan, compelled to obey, how- 
ever unwillingly, fetched from the deep of the sea a stone 
weighing a thousand tons, which he threw down in a rage 
at Solomon's feet. The stone smashed, and out of it 
emerged the shemeer. " When Solomon and the Rabbis 
beheld it they shouted for joy; but Satan, on the con- 
trary, groaned in anguish, and raved with indignation." 

Solomon then went to the quarry, where, with a pencil, 
he sketched the outline of every stone that would be 

The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem. 75 

wanted, and then put the shemeer upon the pencil mark. 
As it crawled along-, the stone split asunder, not merely- 
taking the required form, but assuming the beautiful polish 
which made the Temple the wonder of the world. 

Half-way between Jerusalem and Bethlehem is a little 
domed building known as the tomb of Rachel, regarded as 
a sacred place by Jews, Moslems, and Christians alike. 
Here we heard a story of the child Joseph. When sold 
to the Midianites he escaped from their caravan and 
wandered, footsore and hungry, to Bethlehem, which, by 
the way, is some four days march from Dothan, and hence 
to the grave of his mother Rachel, where, throwing himself 
on the ground, he wept aloud, and sang to a heart-breaking 
melody in Yiddish : 

" Alas, -woe is me ! 
How wretched to be 
Driven away and banished 
Yet so young from thee ! " 

Thereupon the voice of his beloved mother, Rachel, was 
heard from the grave, comforting him, and bidding him 
be of good cheer, for that his future should be great 
and glorious. How from hence he proceeded to Egypt to 
fulfil his destiny does not appear. 

The Samaritans have precisely the same stories as to 
the curative virtues of the Passover lamb as may be found 
in many Christian Churches as to those of the consecrated 
elements. In the P.E.F., 1902, in an article descriptive of 
the celebration of the Feast in 1898, the author relates that 
a woman in the congregation became very ill, and that a 
cry was raised to remove her to a tent outside, lest the camp 
should be defiled by a dead body. Only Moslems might 
touch her, as of course a Samaritan so doing would become 
unclean. Later, some of her friends, seeing that she was 
not to die immediately, brought her a piece of the liver of 
a Passover lamb. Although she had been delirious she 
became better, and was still alive when the writer left 

76 The Poivers of Evil in Jei'iisalem. 

Nabliis. Sometimes persons, apparently in the last stage 
of illness, are carried to the top of the mountain and fed 
with the holy mutton, after which they are able to walk 

Such examples of the continuity of human emotion might 
be still further multiplied. They are obvious enough and 
meet one at every turn, but are mysteriously ignored — 
perhaps never even observed — by most of those concerned 
to illustrate the Bible by the land. The amount of folk- 
lore, folk-songs, customs, which might have been collected 
during the sixty years at least in which England has spent 
tens of thousands a year on mission work in this country, 
is grievous to think of. Happily others more recent have 
been more active, and all folk-lorists owe a debt of 
gratitude to the Americans, Curtiss, Bliss, and Post ; to the 
Germans, Klein, Mrs. Einsler and her learned father Dr. 
Schick, and perhaps in this connection above all, to the 
Alsatian brothers Baldensperger, whose articles, now 
scattered in various inaccessible Reports, deserve to be 
collected and edited. 

A. Goodrich-Freer. 


Matrimonial Customs in the West of Ireland. 

The domestic customs of the Celtic peasantry of Ireland, which 
have survived apparently unaltered from very early times, cannot 
be gathered from books, or still less by passing travel amongst 
them : one has to be closely acquainted with their inner life, 
with their modes of thought, and one must know also something 
of their language. The writer was born and bred in County 
Galway, and thus is intimately acquainted with the Irish-speaking 
peasantry of the West of Ireland, which enables him to give 
a short account here of some customs which will perhaps be 
of the more interest as they relate to the mode of courtship 
and marriage. 

In the usual biography or story of domestic life an early 
chapter has generally some notice of courtship as a preliminary 
to marriage ; but, if its subject be an Irish peasant, the 
courtship would have to be omitted as non-existent. As a 
custom it is unknown among the more primitive Celts ; indeed, 
in many cases, marriages take place even without the contract- 
ing parties having previously seen each other at all, and, putting 
aside the unamorous peasant himself, it is also the aim of every 
father to get his daughter into a home where there is a fair 
holding, paying from ^8 to ^\2 rent, and for this class of 
farm as a home for his daughter he knows he must be prepared 
to give her as a "dot" about £40 cash and a cow. 

A young man hears that in some parish within the narrow 
range of his geographical knowledge there is a maiden whose 
marriage portion may be suitable to his expectations ; as an 

78 Collectanea. 

Irish peasant he is warm-hearted and highly sentimental, but 
this does not prevent money, or its equivalent, being the 
deciding item in the selection of his future wife. A man never 
thinks of a girl who has not sufficient money to be his equal ; 
in cases, therefore, where the families of the bride and bride- 
groom are not intimate, so that the young man's farm is not 
known to the girl's father, as a first step the latter is invited 
to come and inspect the property of the possible son-in-law. If 
the holding is not well stocked, the holder of it will often 
borrow a few cattle and sheep from a neighbour for the occasion, 
so as to create a favourable impression to the parental eye. 
After due inspection, if the father be satisfied, he will proceed 
to do all he can by way of finding the expected equivalent of 
the "dot" for his daughter's marriage. 

The favourite time for arranging matrimonial alliances is a 
month before Lent, for in Lent no priest will readily consent 
to celebrate a wedding ; hence the very Irish characteristic of 
putting off the inevitable to the last moment. Consequently, 
when a young man, about February or March, is seen white- 
washing and thatching his cabin, he is suspected at once and 
his movements are henceforth watched with keen neighbourly 

Presuming that arrangements have satisfactorily developed so 
that the marriage ceremony only remains, the amount of the 
fee is carefully fixed by the priest according to the amount of 
the dower given with the bride. For example, supposing the 
maiden's father is providing ;^40 and a cow, the priest requires 
at least a ^^4 or J[^^ fee before consenting to perform the 
ceremony. Thus marriages constitute a fine harvest for the 
priest, and if he has many marriages in his parish they prove 
one of his chief sources of income. 

After these preliminary settlements, there follows now the 
most curious part of these Irish marriage customs. The intending 
bridegroom never himself proposes either to the young woman 
or her parents. Everything is done with the utmost secrecy. 
In order to ensure this condition, he starts off at midnight to 
his intended's abode — most probably in some neighbouring 
village — accompanied by a friend and a bottle of whisky. As 

Collectanea. 79 

they approach the house, or cabin, they are much daunted if 
they hear the barks of a dog, fearing that some of the other 
villagers may be aroused and so catch them on so significant 
a prowl. When the cabin, after much trepidation and caution, 
is arrived at, the friend first knocks at the door; from within 
he is questioned as to his identity and his business. The 
obliging friend answers "he wants a wife." "Who is she 
for ? " shouts the father from the recesses of his bedroom and 
his blankets. On the needful information being supplied, the 
matter is discussed i7t situ by the parents while their visitors 
stand waiting outside in the cooHng influence of a February or 
March night. If, after consulting, the parents do not approve 
they will say, perhaps, that "the little girl is too young to 
let her go this year," or that it is too late to be disturbed. 
On the other hand, if the father and mother are satisfied, the 
former rises and opens the door of the cabin and welcomes 
his guests ; this is regarded as a good omen of acceptance, 
and the suitor who, though not actually at his friend's elbow, 
is not far distant, now comes to the front. Immediately a big 
peat-fire is put down, that is, stacked on the hearth-stone, and 
the father sits on one side of the blaze and his good dame on 
the other. There is much shaking of hands and a good deal 
of blessing; and then the bottle of whisky is produced as an 
opening to the first act of the drama. 

The chief idea of the young men is now to humour the 
parents so as to extract as much fortune as possible. As soon 
as the whisky is finished and their spirits elevated they set 
seriously to business, and several hours perhaps elapse before 
the matter is finally settled. At this point, for the first time, 
the girl makes her appearance, and though her fate is there 
and then in the balance it is usual for her to say nothing ; nor 
is she so much as asked whether she will accept her suitor or 
not.i The writer knows a case (typical of many) where the girl 
refused on such an occasion to marry the man, and left in 

^ M. M., aged 28, a peasant proprietor from County Roscommon, now in 
London, states that he has been "best man" at five weddings, at none 
of which had the bride and bridegroom met before the matter was 
concluded. — Ed. 

8o Collectanea. 

disgust, but only to be dragged back to be thrashed first by her 
father, then by her mother, and finally by her brother. After this 
appeal to her sweet reasonableness, she resigned herself to her fate. 

The night following the completion of the compact, all the 
relations on both sides are invited to a supper party. This 
meal consists usually of bacon, which has been stewed in a 
pot with cabbage ; after this ceremonial food is thus cooked, 
it is served in a large dish, the potatoes being spread in the 
middle of a bare table. Plates, it must be known, are not 
sufficiently numerous to allow a separate one to every guest \ 
three or four guests, therefore, eat from one and the same 
plate, on which the meat is torn, tiger-like, to pieces, and 
pulled in all directions by the forks : hence the name of 
"eating the tiger." 

Drink is not scarce. The whisky is mixed, not with water, 
but with wine-coloured ginger-beer, not for economy's sake, but 
as suggesting unmixed liquor. 

The feast being so far finished, the father stands in the centre 
of the company and counts out half of the marriage portion, 
and hands it to the bridegroom-elect. 

A year afterwards, should a child be born, the remainder of 
the dower is paid and the cow also presented. But should the 
marriage prove childless, this second half is seldom forthcoming. 
The rest of the family, if the bridegroom be the eldest son, 
generally has a vested interest in the holding, and the custom 
is also to use a portion of this marriage " dot " for the mar- 
riage dower of some future sister. 

Only a day or two intervenes between this festive betrothal 
and the marriage ceremony. This is characteristically made the 
occasion of a second lavish entertainment. All the friends and 
acquaintances assemble additionally at the home of the bride's 
parents, and the bridegroom and other guests are served with 
refreshments, consisting of tea, large slices of bread and butter, 
cake, and whisicy. Then a long cavalcade of cars, carts, and 
horses starts for the chapel, the bride and bridesmaid sitting 
one side of their car, and the bridegroom and best man on 
the other side. Before the performance of the rite, both bride 
and bridegroom make their confession to the priest. 

Collectanea. 8 1 

It is the custom for the bridegroom to give the bride a 
purse containing gold, silver, and copper, for immediate neces- 
saries, and this is presented to the bride by the priest 
immediately after the ceremony. 

The newly-married couple are then mounted on a car side 
by side; next follows what is called the "dragging home." 
The bride and bridegroom start away first, preceded by the 
mounted guests and followed by the cars of the other guests, 
whose object is to outrace each other. The pace is terrific, 
and collisions are obviously numerous, and the horse that 
distinguishes itself that day goes up in value. 

The horsemen who have raced ahead to the bridegroom's 
house compete for a bottle of whisky as the prize. 

As the wedding party passes through any village on the route 
there rises a blaze of lighted sheaves of straw, each householder 
holding up such a torch in honour of the newly married pair. 

All this time, however, the mother of the bridegroom has 
remained at home in order to bake the oaten cake, which 
she breaks finally on the head of the bride as the young 
woman passes the doorway of her future home. She pours 
also a bottle of holy water over her. 

We may note here that it is not the custom of the mother 
of the bride to attend at the church or at the bridegroom's 

At this first home-coming the entrance is always by the back 
door of the cabin, it being deemed unlucky to go in at the 
front, through which the dead are always carried out. 

Irish celebrations are never lacking in some startling and 
humorous incident ; indeed, something of a shindy is necessary 
to complete any good business, so that a certain amount of 
healthy row is inevitable. Once, it is said, a guest who 
arrived at the last minute at the wedding feast asked "Who 
is that fellow over there?" On being told that he was the 
best man he rushed up to the person indicated and struck 
him between the eyes, simultaneously remarking : " You're a 
liar ; you're not the best man ! " 

The wedding evening is spent in dancing and singing those 
ancient songs which nowadays learned collectors are so anxious 


82 Collectanea. 

to write down in the oldest and most classical dialect of the 
Celtic tongue. 

The front door of the cabin is taken from its hinges and 
placed on the concrete floor, for the best jig and reel dancers 
to give an exhibition of their skill. This jollity is kept up 
till the early hours of the morning. 

Rarely do these marriages turn out unsatisfactorily. It is 
almost an unheard-of thing for a husband to ill-treat his wife, 
as is unfortunately the case so often amongst the humbler 
classes elsewhere. There is no nation in which we beUeve the 
family ties can be closer. The first thought of those who 
emigrate to America is to remit money to the old folk in the 
cabin at home; and as soon as the emigrants have assured 
comfort, they will also send home passage-money to pay for 
the emigration of younger brothers and sisters. 

In these days of advanced civilisation, it is difficult for 
strangers to understand the quaint ways of a peasantry so 
close in proximity and yet so distant in thought from them- 
selves. There is, however, much to admire in the character of 
these simpler folk, if only for their high standard of morality 
and their wedded faithfulness to each other. 

T. P. U. Blake. 

Burial of Amputated Limbs. 

(Cf. Folk-Lore, xi. p. 346.) 

The accompanying note from one of my pupils describes 

occurrences which have come to his knowledge in his own 

neighbourhood in Ireland. 

J. L. Myres. 

i. Andrew Bohan, living in Glenmacnass, County Wicklow, 
received an injury to his leg which resulted in subsequent 
amputation at the knee. The doctors who performed the 

Collectanea. 83 

operation were desirous of sending the leg to the medical 
school at Trinity College, Dublin, but Bohan's friends, hearing 
of their intention, broke into the house of Dr. Garland at 
Laragh, County Wicklow, and carried away the leg, burying it 
at once in the churchyard at Glendalough. 

ii. John Porter, of Woodbank, Roundwood, County Wicklow, 
in 1896 injured his arm in a threshing-machine so seriously 
that amputation was necessary just below the shoulder, suc- 
cessfully carried out by Drs. Garland and Taylor at Rathdrum. 
His relatives then wrote a letter to his employer, asking him 
to lend them a market-cart in which to convey the arm to the 
burial-ground at Glendalough, to be interred in the family 
grave there. 

W. R. C. Barton. 

Ch. Ch., Oxford. 

Objection to Portraiture. 

The photographs reproduced in Plate I. were taken by myself 
at St. Cergues-sur-Nyon, in the Canton of Vaud, where I accom- 
panied Miss L. E. Broadwood in August, 1903. They exemplify 
the objection to being photographed without permission, which 
was shown by the inhabitants. The boy standing on the ground 
in the upper photograph was holding a log of wood when he 
first caught sight of me, and quickly dropped it to pick up the 
sticks which he is seen holding cross-wise in front of him. The 
boy on the load of wood looks as if he were making " the horns " 
with his fingers, but I do not think he noticed me at all. In 
the lower photograph two children are hiding their faces, 
another is turning his back, and another, apparently, crossing his 
fingers before his face. The grown-up people showed the same 
objection, and usually retreated quickly out of reach of the 
camera, unless I had first asked permission to include them in 
the photograph ; in which case they would pose with alacrity. I 

84 Collectanea, 

never met with this objection in any of the larger Swiss towns, 
nor in the Canton Glarus, where I took a good many photographs. 

Barbara Cra'ster. 

Building Customs. 

(Vol. xii. p. 104.) 

In Davos Platz, Switzerland, and its neighbourhood, when the 
roof of any house is completed, a small fir-tree is tied to the 
top of a scaffolding pole and "an entertainment," as my informant 
expressed it, "with wine," is given to all employes, and a present, 
consisting of a large silk handkerchief, is given to the head 
man, a smaller one to the second man, and cotton ones, 
varying in size and quality, given to everyone else, even to 
the smallest boy. I enclose a photograph of a half-built house 
thus decorated (Plate II.). 

Herbert R. H. Southam, F.S.A. 

The custom of decorating the roof of a newly-built house 
with a small fir-tree was in full swing at Dresden when I was 
there in 1890, but there the ceremony always took place as 
soon as the ridge-pole was up, before the roof was covered in. 
The workmen also had a feast of some sort, but I do not 
know about presents. 

Barbara Cra'ster. 

Some Former Customs of the Royal Parish of Crathie, 


I AM acquainted with some of the older inhabitants of Crathie, 
and have from time to time gleaned from them little portions 
of unwritten records of a past age. Many changes have come 
about within the recollection of my friends, perhaps accelerated 
by the residence of royalty in the parish, a factor which has 

Plate I. 


To face p. 84. 

Plate II. 


To face t- 85. 

Collectanea. 85 

formed a new centre of crystallization to the people of Upper 

Fifty years ago the Braemar Highlanders made the circuit of 
their fields with lighted torches at Hallowe'en to ensure their 
fertility in the coming year. At that date the custom was as 
follows : Every member of the family (in those days households 
were larger than they are now) was provided with a bundle of 
fir "can'les" with which to go the round. The father and 
mother stood at the hearth and lit the splints in the peat fire, 
which they passed to the children and servants, who trooped 
out one after the other, and proceeded to tread the bounds of 
their little property, going slowly round at equal distances apart, 
and invariably with the sun. To go " withershins " seems to 
have been reserved for cursing and excommunication. When 
the fields had thus been circumambulated the remaining spills 
were thrown together in a heap and allowed to burn out. The 
chant used as they marched I have been unable to recover. 
In this way the "faulds" were purged of evil spirits. 

A curious "freit," which was duly performed by the mother 
of one of my informants at the birth of every animal, was to 
place a burning peat between the door of the stable or cow- 
house and the young animal and mother, and to leave it there 
to smoulder. 

The funeral customs of the people have completely changed 
within the period under consideration. There are no more 
burials of unbaptised children after sundown. Infants whether 
christened or not are now accorded an honourable interment. 
The English method of reading a service at the grave (in 
addition to the Scotch practice of performing that rite in the 
house of the departed) is rapidly coming into use. The long 
procession over the hills, in which the corpse was borne on 
"spokes" (a bier) by relays of men, has given place to the 
modern hearse, with its following of solemn friends in mourning. 
The unseemly habit of partaking to excess in strong drink has 
likewise departed, leaving none to mourn its loss. When our 
grandfathers were young it was nothing to see quite a number 
of intoxicated men assisting at a funeral, and many tales are 
current about unseemly behaviour, quarrels, and pathetic mistakes 

86 Collectanea. 

occasioned by too free indulgence in ardent spirits. It is 
particularly insisted on as having happened in more than one 
parish that the cortege set out to the churchyard without the 
deceased in their custody. 

One of my friends lately spoke of attending a burial in a 
cold spring-time — "just such another as this" — when they were 
met by pelts of hail every now and again in the long journey 
from Crathie through the mountains to Tomintoul. He met 
the company at a cross-road, and, standing aside to let them 
pass, he saw the nearest relative of the dead person going in 
front leading the burial party by means of a rope attached to 
the coffin. Walking alongside the coffin was the master of the 
ceremony, who, with a great silver watch in his hand, called 
out every five minutes or so for "other four" to assume the 
spokes. Then four new bearers came forward, but the leading 
man's position could be taken only by the nearest relatives "of 
the corpse." 

A. Macdonald, M.A. 
Durris Public School, 
by Aberdeen. 

Some West African Customs. 

(From The Creole Boy, a monthly magazine published at 68 
Westmoreland Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone. The rationalizing 
explanations of the " civilized " African writer seem sufficiently 
curious to be retained. — Ed.) 

A Useful Precaution with Baby. 

A child should never be taken outside its cradle until, in 
the case of a boy ni7ie^ and in that of a girl seven, days after 
birth, when they are to be ceremoniously taken out with great 
rejoicings and feastings. 

The explanation of this custom will show that its observance 
is most essential, as the children are blind — that is to say, 
they cannot exercise their visionary powers for some time after 

Collectanea. Z"] 

birth. During such time, a sudden contact with the powerful 
rays of the tropical sun may prove fatal to the eyesight, hence 
the above custom to prevent such a calamity. 

Measuring Time in West Africa. 
Should a cock crow in the early part of the night, before 
the usual hours, it is to be instantly killed and publicly feasted 
on at the crossing of two roads. The explanation of this 
custom is as follows : There are no chronometers in a West 
African community (purely so), and time is measured in the 
day by the sun and in the night by the crowing of the cock. 
Important arrangements between parties are fixed for the first, 
second, or third crowing of the cock; hence the above to 
prevent the community being misled by an eccentric cock. 
Should a hen happen to crow at all, the unnatural action is 
immediately checked by applying the above custom. 

The Dangers of Whistling. 

Whistling is strictly forbidden in a dwelling, and a boy who 
persisted in the habit should be punished. 

In civilised communities this habit is regarded as an example 
of rudeness, but with the West African it goes further. It 
invites snakes and other reptiles, and the woodland nature of 
the West African homes makes it easy for the approach of 
these unfriendly and unwelcome visitors ; hence the custom. 

An Anxious Time. 

A woman during pregnancy should not go out in the night 
without a knife or some other weapon of defence. 

This is to prevent fright, which causes abortion or some 
other trouble. The woman, knowing that she is armed, would 
not easily be frightened. 

A Qiiestion of Nerves. 

On seeing a flash of lightning, one should hiss or do some- 
thing of the like. 

This is to strengthen the nerves against thunderclap, which 
is often disastrous to weak nerves. 

88 Collectanea. 

Honouring the Dead. 

In a family, as well as at a national feast, portions are set 
aside in memory of the dead in a corner of the house, or in 
a public place, according to the nature of the feast. 

West African feasts are intended to heal family breaches and 
awaken mutual sympathy, or to arouse patriotic zeal and create 
national fire ; and, as everyone is willing to honour the dead 
and to forego everything and all grievance for their sakes, the 
feasts are dedicated to their memory. To prevent the occasion 
being too ephemeral, portions are set aside for them for days 
together, and the belief that they do come to eat it makes the 
most greedy refrain from touching them. 

To Remetnber the Children. 

Over the corpse of a parent the younger children are 
generally passed three times. 

This is to warn members of the family against taking undue 
advantage of the children of the deceased. Three and seven 
are to most West Africans what the latter number is to the 
Hebrews. Abiose. 


Breaking the Bough in the Grove of Diana. 

There was a tree in the grove of Diana at Aricia from which 
it was not permitted to break a bough. A fugitive slave, if 
anxious to get the post of priest of Diana, would break a 
bough, after which he had to fight the priest then in office ; 
if he slew the priest he obtained his situation. Various 
explanations of this strange custom have been offered, but I 
am not aware that it has any classical parallel, especially so 
far as the breaking of the bough is concerned. Perhaps it has 
not been observed that, so far, we seem to have a parallel in 
our own folk-lore. In the ballad of Tam Lin, communicated 
by Robert Burns to Johnson's Museum, Carterhaugh Wood is 
haunted by an enigmatic being named Tam Lin. Janet, being 
warned of this, and forbidden to go to Carterhaugh, naturally 
hurries thither "as fast as she can hie." Her motive being to 
challenge Tam Lin, she plucks two roses. The being appears, 
saying : 

" Why pu's thou the rose, Janet, 
And why breaks thou the wand. 
Or why comes thou to Carterhaugh, 
Withoutten my command ? " 

Tam Lin claims rights over Carterhaugh, so does Janet — 
all's well that ends well — Janet rescues Tam Lin from Fairy- 
land, and they marry. 

90 Correspondence. 

In Young Akin (Motherwell's MS. p. 554) Lady Margaret 
goes to a wood, and plucks two nuts. Young Akin appears, 
asking : 

" O why pu' ye the nut, the nut, 
O why brake ye the tree, 
I am the forester o' this wood, 
Ye should speir leave at me." 

In the ballad of Hynde Etin, an enigmatic being " wha ne'er 
got christendame," the same incident occurs, also in The Kin^s 
Dochier, Lady Jean, where the heroine "pu's the nut and bows 
the tree." The end is tragic. (Can the appearance of Hades, 
when Persephone plucks the first narcissus that ever bloomed, 
be a case in point?) 

In the ballads, the breaking of the bough is an assertion of 
a claim to property in the wood, and a challenge to the being 
who dwells there. Possibly these facts corroborate the opinion 
proposed by me in Magic and Religion, that the breaking of 
the bough of the tree in the Arician grove was no more than 
a challenge to the priest to defend the tree, and his own 
possession of the priesthood. The priest of Diana, in fact, 
might very well say to any one who broke the branch : 

" O why brake ye the bough, the bough, 
O why brake ye the tree, 
I hold the priesthood of this grove, 
Ye mauna lichtly me ! " 

Then they fight. This explanation of the bough-breaking is 
simple and natural. Perhaps other cases in folk-lore may 
occur to the memory of some students. 

After writing the above, my eye fell on a passage 
(pp. 465, 466), in Major Leonard's "The Lower Niger and its 
Tribes" (Macmillan & Co., 1906). I have elsewhere suggested 
that the Arician tree had been a sanctuary tree, and Major 
Leonard mentions among "sacred places of refuge" the Bu 
Jpri, "a small but sacred bush. . . . A twig or branch broken 
off, no matter how small, immediately secures the hoped-for 
freedom, and invests the culprits or runaways with the inviolate 
halo of divine tabu." 

Correspondence. 9 1 

If the Arician tree had once been a sanctuary tree, a refuge 
of fugitive slaves, in historic times only one fugitive could find 
refuge there at any given moment. Any other fugitive who 
broke a branch of the tree had to fight the man in possession. 
The bough-breaking may originally, as in Nigeria, have ensured 
protection, but, in historical times, as only one man could be 
protected, the breaking of the bough was a claim to protection, 
and a challenge to the actual holder. 

A. Lang. 

The Native Tribes of South-East Australia. 

I find it necessary to make some comments on Mr. Andrew 
Lang's " Notes in reply to Mr. Howitt and Mr. Jevons " {Folk- 
Lore, vol. xvii. p. 288). Mr. Lang expresses his sincere regret 
for having misunderstood and misrepresented me. He does this 
by quoting a passage from my work {Native Tribes of South-East 
Australia, p. 500), and explains how he misunderstood my mean- 
ing. I regret that Mr. Lang has not explained also that the 
passage he gives is only a fragment of his quotation at p. 197 
of his Secret of the Totem, which he there terms "a passage 
from Mr. Howitt." 

It is to the whole of that quotation, to the inferences which he 
draws therefrom, and the adverse argument based thereon, that I 
take exception. 

The quotation, the " passage " in question, consists of four 
selected extracts from my summary of the evidence on which 
I based my theory of the Tribal All-Father. It is only a portion 
of these extracts which Mr. Lang now quotes, and, apparently, 
relies upon for his excuse. The four extracts Mr. Lang arranged 
as follows {Secret of the Totem, pp. 197-8). The first extract 
is taken from the thirteenth line of my summary, omitting the 
commencement of the sentence ; the second extract is from the 
nineteenth line, but only takes part of the sentence; the third 

92 Correspondence. 

extract is from the sixth line, omitting an important introduction, 
and is interpolated between the first part of the sentence from line 
nineteen, and the remainder of my summary. 

It is the termination of the summary which Mr. Lang now 
quotes. A large part of the summary was altogether disregarded, 
with the result that Mr. Lang had, in the garbled "passage," 
apparently, a statement from me, which justified him in saying 
{Folk-Lore, vol. xvi. p. 223) "we are here on the ground of 
facts carefully recorded, though strangely overlooked by Mr. 
Howitt . . .," as well as similar charges elsewhere. 

Since I communicated my criticism of Mr. Lang's statements 
{Folk-Lore, vol. xvii. p. 174), there has been some correspond- 
ence in the Athenaeum and the Academy, in which he speaks 
of this matter, at issue between us, as an "unconscious mis- 
representation," and an "inadvertent misrepresentation." 

Apparently, as an explanation, Mr. Lang quotes the following 
passage from his Secret of the Totem (pp. ix., x.) : " Since critics of 
my 'Social Origins' often missed my meaning, I am forced to 
suppose that I may, in like manner, have misconstrued some 
of the opinions of others, which, as I understand them, I 
was obliged to contest. I have done my best to understand, 
and shall deeply regret any failure of interpretation on my own 

It may be felt hard to understand how Mr. Lang could 
" unconsciously " or " inadvertently " select four separate extracts 
from my summary, and so rearrange them, in a new sense, as to 
place me in error. 

But we may accept this explanation, difficult though it may 
seem, if we add a further quotation from the Secret of the Totem 
(p. X.), where Mr. Lang says : " In this book I have been able 
to use the copious material of Mr. Howitt and Messrs. Spencer 
and Gillen in their two recent works. It seems arrogant to 
differ from some of the speculative opinions of these dis- 
tinguished observers, but 'we must go where the logos leads 
us.' " 

If this be a real explanation of Mr. Lang's mental condition 
when he made selections from my summary and called them a 
" passage from Mr. Howitt," it would evidently be to his 

Correspondence. 93 

advantage not to allow the logos to lead him in future, lest he 
may find that he has again done an injustice to some observer 
" unconsciously " or " inadvertently." 

So far as I am concerned, this matter may now drop, leaving 
the readers of Folk-Lore to form their own opinions. 


Mr. Howitt cannot but be aware, I think, that I have publicly, 
in several places, disclaimed all "inferences" and "arguments" 
based on my misapprehension of his "passage." My mis- 
apprehension was removed when he explained his meaning, 
which I could not find in his " passage " and can now only 
discover by reliance on his explanation. 

If the Editor of Folk-Lore thinks it desirable, I will cite 
his whole " passage " textually, and add a comment or two. If 
I rightly understand Mr. Howitt to throw doubt on my honesty, 
I regret it — for his sake. 

A. Lang. 

[This correspondence must now close. — Ed.] 

Folk-Tale Wanted. 

I am translating The Birth of Tragedy, a book written by 
the German philosopher Nietzsche. In it occurs the following 
passage : 

" Only in so far as the genius in the act of artistic production 
coalesces with the primordial artist of the world, does he get 
a glimpse of the eternal essence of art; for in this state he is 
in a marvellous manner like the weird picture in the fairy-tale, 
which can at will turn its eyes and behold itself; he is 
now simultaneously subject and object, poet, actor, and 

Can any of your readers or correspondents advise me what 

94 Correspondence. 

fairy-tale Nietzsche alludes to ? I have been reading hundreds 
of Mdrchen, but cannot find what I am searching for. Is " das 
Bild des Mahrchens, das die Augen drehn und sich selber 
anschaun kann" a character in some oriental or Celtic tale? 
I should be greatly obliged for any information bearing on this 
curious passage. 

W. A. Haussmann. 

1944 N. Gratz Street, Philadelphia, U.S.A. 


L'Ann^e Sociologique, publiee sous la direction de Emile 
DuRKHEiM, Professeur de Sociologie a TUniversite de Bor- 
deaux. Neuvieme Annee (i 904-1 905). Paris, Felix Alcan, 

U Annee Sociologique keeps up its reputation. Its contents this 
year are in no way inferior to any of its predecessors. An 
interesting Mhnoire, which does not concern us here, by Mr. A. 
Meillet, on the social and other influences which operate to 
produce a change of meaning in words, is succeeded by an 
elaborate study by M. Mauss, assisted by M. H. Beuchat, on the 
periodical variations according to season in the social organiza- 
tion of the Eskimo. 

Having carefully defined the extent of territory inhabited by 
the Eskimo the writer enquires how they are organized, and 
decides that the basis of the organization is not the tribe but 
the settlement. This is defined as a group of families collected 
together and united by special bonds, occupying a habitat over 
which they are distributed unequally at different periods of the 
year, but which habitat constitutes their domain. The settle- 
ment, in a material sense, consists of the whole of the winter- 
houses, the places of the summer-tents, and the hunting-grounds, 
whether on land or water, which belong to a determinate number 
of individuals, as well as the network of paths, canals, and ports 
which these individuals use, and where they constantly meet. 
All these form a whole, which has its unity, and all the dis- 
tinctive characters by which a limited social group is recognized. 
It has a fixed name, borne by all the members and by them 

96 Reviews. 

only. The district embraced in the settlement as thus defined 
has definite fi-ontiers, within which its members hunt, fish, and 
carry on their daily life. Moreover, the settlement has a 
linguistic and a moral and religious unity, founded on the 
taboo of the names of the dead and the behef in reincarnation 
of the departed members in the children subsequently born. 

In summer the people live in tents, one family in the strictest 
sense — a man and his wife or wives with their children, own or 
adopted, and exceptionally an aged parent, or a widow who, 
for want of natural protectors, has been admitted to live with 
them — and no more occupying each tent. In winter, on the 
other hand, they live in houses of a larger description clustered 
closely together about a kasht?n, of which more presently. These 
houses take different forms in Greenland, in Hudson's Bay 
Territory, on the Mackenzie, and in Alaska. But they are all 
alike in providing accommodation for a number of families who 
live together, each in a special compartment, with sleeping bench, 
lamp, and so forth, thus retaining a certain amount of recognized 
unity amid the larger and more communal life of the winter. 
The kashim is a much larger house with one common lamp, 
but without separate compartments or sleeping benches. There 
the men sleep, apart from the women and children ; and there 
at other times the social life of the community is lived. 

Thus the distinctive characteristic of the community is the 
expansion and scattering of the individuals and the families in 
summer, and their concentration in winter. This rhythm of 
concentration and dispersion, as M. Mauss calls it, synchronizes, 
it is true, with that of the external life from which the population 
has to provide the means of its own continued existence, and, 
to a certain extent, is necessitated by the industrial occupations 
of the settlement, and by the direct effect on the human organism 
of the changes of temperature. Anything, however, which brings 
the population together, such as the capture, dismemberment, and 
consumption of a whale, causes the communal life of the winter 
settlement to be resumed for the time being, even in summer. 
This communal or collective life is the remarkable feature of 
the winter settlement, and none of the external conditions, nor 
all of them together can, as M. Mauss contends, explain it. 

Reviews, 97 

The winter-house, unlike the tent, belongs to no one family : 
it is the property equally of all who inhabit it ; it is built and 
repaired by their common efforts. The game, which in summer 
is appropriated by the head of the family for his own use and 
that of his dependents, in winter is shared in common by all 
the housemates. The special economy of the family has dis- 
appeared. Although, as we have seen, the family is not wholly 
erased, still, for many purposes other than merely economical, 
it has become merged in the larger household. All housemates 
are looked upon as being in some way related. Indeed, the 
word housemates has been used by English writers to translate 
words which seem more accurately to mean ho7ise-kin. Marriage 
is forbidden between housemates. The patriarchal rule of the 
family gives place to the headship of a man, one of the house- 
mates, who is recommended by his personal characteristics rather 
than by right of birth. He is usually an old man, a good hunter, 
a rich man, or an angakok (wizard). His powers are not very 
extensive. He receives strangers, distributes places or parts, 
composes internal differences, but little more. 

But beyond the circle of the housemates is that of the place- 
fellows, in the original a special word which M. Mauss thinks 
is evidence of the existence of very close moral bonds between 
the individuals thus described. In the Hudson's Bay fiord of 
Angmagssalik the whole population of each settlement is comprised 
in one long house. Whether or not this, as M. Mauss thinks, 
may be held to prove the closeness of the relation between the 
winter-house and the tie which binds together the various families 
associated in the settlement, it seems certain that the inhabitants 
of the different houses in a settlement were originally closely 
bound to one another and to the kashim. The settlement is 
not a simple agglomeration of houses, an exclusively territorial 
and political unity : it is a domestic unity. A family atmosphere 
pervades it. The members are united by a bond of real affection, 
entirely analogous to that which in other societies binds together 
the different families of a clan. All observers have been struck 
with this, and have expanded on the gentleness, the intimacy, 
the general gaiety which reigns in an Eskimo settlement. A 
sort of affectionate kindness is diffused over all. Crime is 


98 Reviews. 

relatively rare. Theft is almost unknown, though it must be 
said that the opportunities for theft are equally absent. Adultery 
(in the Eskimo sense of the word) is likewise unknown. More- 
over, as within a clan, there is no blood-feud, even when 
homicide is committed. Persons whose violence renders them 
dangerous are regarded as lunatics, and if they are put to death 
it is because they are lunatics. The only internal sanction of 
the rule of the community (in Greenland, at least) is the famous 
song-duel, in which two opponents, dancing to the drum, alter- 
nately sing staves ridiculing one another. The judgement of the 
audience is the sole punishment of him who is deemed to be 
conquered by the other's wit and fertility of invention. As 
regards other settlements, however, the duty of vengeance seems 
to fall upon all the placefellows, and lengthy blood-feuds are 
often the consequence of a death. Evil magic is of course con- 
demned and punished, even by death. But (at least among the 
Central Eskimo) violations of a taboo, which may be of 
serious consequence in the belief of the people to the good 
fortune and even the existence of the community, are held to 
be sufficiently atoned for by open confession. Obstinately to 
maintain one's innocence when accused by the angakok of such 
an offence, on the other hand, it may be added, intensifies the 
original transgression and can only be atoned for by death. 

The practice of exchanging wives, which occurs on certain 
occasions during the winter season, is another evidence of the 
close bond between members of the same settlement. Exchange 
of wives for a limited time between relations or intimate friends 
is not confined to the winter. It is often one of the incidents 
of a special bond of fellowship which, as in Alaska, may bind 
men even of different settlements together. The distinctively 
winter practice is different from this ; but the other practice 
just mentioned, by virtue of which the men who enter into it, 
if not already relatives, are regarded as brothers by adoption, 
does seem to indicate that sexual communism is connected 
with a behef in kinship. The winter practice is part of the 
rites performed in the kashim. During the winter a number 
of ceremonies take place. The angaktit, or wizards, hold 
frequent sessions to conjure game, to remove taboos, to heal 

Reviews. 99 

sickness. The feast of the dead is celebrated; the solstice is 
solemnly observed. In fact, the whole winter life is lived, 
it may be said, in a state of religious exaltation, in which every 
member of the community takes part. The place of assembly 
is the kashim ; and there individuals are arranged not by families 
(as in the houses), nor by houses, but according to their more 
or less vague social functions. The smaller social units of 
summer seem completely merged in the larger unit of the 
settlement, which attains its full presentation in the kashim and 
in the various rites expressing the collective life of the com- 
munity and shared in by every member. 

Thus the settlement exhibits almost every feature of clan-life, 
as clan-life is known to us among peoples possessing the most 
highly organized clans. (Some of its features, I may observe, 
are either not to be found in clan-life or are here found in a 
more intense or developed form.) The only characteristic of 
clan-life wanting is that of exogamy. Even this is not uniformly 
wanting; and where it is so marriage is forbidden between 
housemates — a recognition of an inner circle of relationship 
within that of the settlement. 

Such, if I understand it rightly, is M. Mauss' summary of 
the difference between the summer and winter organizations 
of the Eskimo. Anybody who has experienced the difficulty 
of summarizing the customs of a widely-extended group of 
peoples varying in all sorts of details, though agreeing in the 
main lines of their organization, will understand how many 
questions have to be determined in the course of an attempt 
to present a general statement, and will make allowance for 
difference of judgement as to the effect and importance of 
differing details. We are accustomed, and rightly so, to 
attribute to the French intellect a lucidity of which we, on this 
side of the Channel, often stand in need. M. Mauss' pre- 
sentation of Eskimo social characteristics does not lack lucidity. 
But it is not easy to summarize what is already itself a summary ; 
and I can hardly hope that I have reproduced all his points 
as they deserve to be reproduced. 

In the main his account is doubtless correct. I am not quite 
sure, however, whether he has not somewhat overstated the 

lOO Reviews. 

obliteration, in the winter organization, of the blood-bond in 
the narrower sense of that term. A priori it would appear 
hardly likely that the inner degrees of blood-relationship could 
be wholly overlooked in winter, seeing that the organization of 
summer is so intimately connected with them, and that if 
their existence were in effect suspended during the winter the 
consciousness must remain, and must affect that suspension, 
that at the end of a few weeks, or months at the most, it 
would be resumed in full force. And what do we find in fact? 
The duty of blood-revenge may fall upon the entire settlement : 
it falls however primarily upon the immediate kin. About this 
the writers to whom we are indebted for our knowledge of the 
Eskimo do not intimate a doubt. The winter-house is not 
occupied indiscriminately by those who have a right in it. Each 
family, as M. Mauss himself says, occupies a bench or a distinct 
part of the structure. Family life is, therefore, to some extent, 
preserved throughout the winter, and is not wholly merged in 
the community. The occupants of a winter-house too are often 
found to be relatives — father, mother, and young children on 
one bench, son-in-law and daughter, with their young children 
on the next, a son with his wife and children on the next, and 
so on. This helps us to understand why marriage with house- 
mates is usually prohibited. It is noteworthy, moreover, that 
while some kind of relationship seems to be recognized between 
members of the settlement, it is not such as ordinarily to preclude 
marriage. Such relationship is a looser bond, therefore, than 
that between housemates. Marriage between blood-relatives, 
so far forth as the Eskimo recognize blood-kinship, is certainly 
prohibited in summer; nor can we infer that it is permitted in 
winter. It is accordingly clear that the social organization of 
summer is, after all, the permanent organization, never lost, 
and only in abeyance during the winter so far as regards some 
of its less important functions. 

For these and other reasons I think that M. Mauss has stated 
the change of social organization between summer and winter 
more emphatically than the facts warrant. It is possible that 
the present stage of Eskimo society has been evolved out of one 
in which the people lived a purely collective life in the winter 

Reviews. loi 

and paired afresh every spring, like birds. Some considerations 
pointing to such an evolution can certainly be adduced. But 
M. Mauss has left this speculation untouched ; his subject is the 
present organization. As to this, even if my criticism of his 
presentation hold good, he has performed a much-needed service 
in drawing attention to the remarkable alternation of organization. 
It corresponds to the alternation observed in several North 
American tribes, notably the Kwakiutl and the Hupa. Social 
life passes, as he says, through a sort of regular rhythm. It is 
not equable, but has at one season a moment of apogee and 
at another a moment of hypogee. This sort of rhythm of dispersion 
and concentration, of individual life and collective life, is found 
among other peoples, and perhaps may be a widely general law. 
To what extent it answers to such a description is not to be 
enquired here. Wherever it may be found it is clear that its 
extreme manifestations can only occur where the climate, like 
that of the Arctic littoral inhabited by the Eskimo, favours them, 
and where the population has not yet wholly emerged from the 
condition of savagery. 

At all events, M. Mauss concludes, the Eskimo present us with 
a striking verification of the sociological hypothesis that social 
life under all its forms, moral, religious, juridical or whatever 
they may be, is the function of its material substratum and 
varies with this substratum, that is to say, with the mass, the 
density, the form and the composition of the human groups 
of which it is composed. Partial illustrations of the truth of 
this hypothesis have been produced before, in the evolution 
of the penal law and of other branches of jurisprudence, and 
the change of religious beliefs with changing circumstances 
and the growth of civilization. But these may not have been 
wholly due to morphological changes; they may have been 
accompanied or preceded by others which have escaped research. 
Among the Eskimo societies, on the other hand, we see that 
at the precise moment when the form of the group changes, 
religion, law and morals undergo a parallel transformation. The 
experience is crucial, and the result of this enquiry is that hence- 
forth at least one sociological proposition has been relatively 

I02 Reviews. 

Many of the critical reviews in the remainder of the volume 
are distinguished by excellence. Among those particularly 
interesting to readers of Folk-Lore may be mentioned one by 
M. Mauss on the two recent works — that by Merker and that 
by Hollis — on the Masai, and one by Prof". Durkheim on Dr. 
Howitt's Native Tribes of South-Easl Australia. 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

The Todas. By W. H. R. Rivers, Fellow of St. John's 
College, Cambridge. Macmillan and Co. 1906. Price 
2 IS. net. 

In this account of the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills in Southern 
India Dr. Rivers has given us not only an elaborate description 
of a singularly interesting people, but has supplied a model of 
anthropological investigation on truly scientific lines. When it 
is remembered that his visit to their country occupied only five 
months, and that being ignorant of their language he was 
dependent upon the services of interpreters, the amount and 
accuracy of the information which he has collected testify to the 
energy and tactfulness with which his enquiries were conducted. 
He fully admits that in many directions his information is still 
incomplete. In fact, the impression which his book leaves upon 
me is that, as in the case of all anthropological investigations in 
India, and for that matter among all savage and semi-savage 
races, the Toda reserves a forbidden chamber in his brain, in 
which the secrets of his beliefs and cults are still jealously guarded. 
Unless this fact be admitted, many of the facts recorded in this 
monograph are still to a large extent unintelligible. "Whether the 
veil which shrouds the tribal mysteries will ever be raised it is 
impossible to say. But with the experience which Dr. Rivers has 
already gained no one at present is likely to be able to push the 
investigation a step further, and in the interests of ethnological 
research it is to be hoped that he may be given the opportunity 

Reviews, 103 

of revisiting his Toda friends, of acquiring a working knowledge 
of their language, and of exploring still further the beliefs and 
usages of this mysterious people. 

I can only touch here upon a few salient features of interest in 
a book which must lie on the shelves of all working anthrop- 

First, as to the origin of the Todas. Differences of cults and 
rites within the tribe itself seem to indicate that they reached 
their present settlement on the Nilgiri plateau by at least two 
successive migrations. Many lines of evidence tend to show 
that their original home was on the west coast in Malabar, and 
the process of development of their beliefs, ritual, and institutions 
suggests that they must have remained in a state of comparative 
isolation from their neighbours for a considerable period of time. 
How far they may be connected with the people who erected the 
remarkable stone monuments still remains uncertain. 

Next, as to their rehgion. They worship a pantheon of 
definitely anthropomorphic beings, who are believed to have lived 
in the world before man existed. Most of these seem to be hill 
spirits, each occupying a peak of its own, all of which have on 
their summits the stone circles, cairns, and barrows which were 
excavated by Breeks and others. This suggests a connexion with 
the dolmen-builders; but at the same time it is noteworthy that 
the Todas seem to have little respect for these monuments, and 
do not object to their excavation. Besides these hill-spirits many 
of their gods are deified mortals, men raised to the rank of deities 
not as the result of ancestor worship but of a hero cult. There is 
nothing to show that these gods are personifications of the forces of 
nature; there is no phallic worship, and no indication of totemism. 
None of these gods are visible to mortals, and most of them are 
losing any reality which they may once have possessed. To 
quote Dr. Rivers' summary: "The idea of 'god' is highly 
developed among the Todas, and I am incHned to believe that 
the most satisfactory explanation of the Toda deities is that the 
people came to the Nilgiri Hills with a body of highly developed 
gods ; that round these gods have clustered various legends 
connected with the Toda institutions ; that these old gods have 
gradually through long ages lost their reality ; that certain heroes 

I04 Reviews. 

have been raised to the ranks of gods, and that the lives of their 
heroes, founded to some extent on actual fact, have more interest 
to the Todas and are remembered and passed on, while the 
legends of the older gods are gradually becoming vaguer in the 
process towards complete oblivescence ; that the gods as a whole, 
however, are still regarded as the authors of punishment, and that 
there is a tendency to make an abstraction of the power of the 
gods." At present ritual persists in tropical luxuriance, while the 
beliefs at the basis of the ritual have largely disappeared. The 
wearisome round of ceremonies intended to secure the purity of 
the officiant, and the ring of taboos which encompasses him, 
remind us of the frivolities of the Hindu Brahmana literature. 
In fact, as Dr. Rivers clearly shows, the Todas are Hindus by 
race and have been profoundly affected by Hindu influence, 
direct, or indirect through neighbouring tribes like the Badagas. 
The tale of woman being formed out of the rib of man suggests 
that while resident on the western coast they may have absorbed 
some Christian or Jewish beliefs. 

At present the cult of the buffalo is the most prominent 
feature of their religion. It is perhaps possible that, as suggested 
by Dr. Rivers, they may have brought with them some animal 
cultus, like the Hindu reverence for the cow, from their original 
home in Malabar ; and that in their new settlement " the religion 
of the Todas underwent a very special development, its ritual 
coming to centre more and more round the buffalo, because in 
their very simple environment this was the most accessible object 
of veneration." This explanation, though perhaps the most 
reasonable which can be offered at present, is far from satisfactory. 
No other Dravidian buffalo cult seems as yet to have been dis- 
covered. But we know little of the primitive tribes of Southern 
India, and some day Mr. Thurston may explain the mystery. 

The cult of the bell is almost equally mysterious. Dr. Rivers 
suggests that it may have come about by a process of transference 
from the buffalo to the object worn by it. "Probably at one 
time the buffaloes were more directly venerated than they appear 
to be at present." This, again, seems very doubtful. The Gonds, 
who have no buffalo cult, worship a bell-god as Ghagarapen, and 
this may easily have arisen from a belief in the sanctity of the bell 

Reviews. 105 

or rattle carried by the medicine man to scare evil spirits, a 
sanctity later on extended to the bell and shell trumpet of the 
Hindu temple. 

With the most elaborate chapters of Dr. Rivers' book I cannot 
deal here — the complete account of the rites connected with the 
sacred dairy and its officiant ; the rites performed at birth, 
marriage, and death ; and last but not least the description of the 
tribal organisation. In this last department Dr. Rivers has 
adopted and still further developed the system of recording 
genealogies, an invention of his own, used with singular success in 
his investigation of the people of Murray Island, and here applied 
with no less valuable results to the sociology of a small, isolated 
tribe. All these chapters supply novel facts which must be taken 
into account by all students of primitive races. 

On the whole, it is safe to regard this monograph on the 
Todas as one of the most important recent contributions to Indian 
ethnology. It is no proof of the failure of his mission that much 
work still remains to be done. On the contrary, the energy and 
tact applied to the survey of a very reticent, suspicious race are 
no less admirable than the scientific forms in which the results of 
his visit have been summarised, and the modesty which has saved 
the author from rash generalisation and haphazard comparison of 
Toda beliefs and customs with those of the races by whom they 
are surrounded. 

W. Crooke. 

The Native Races of the British Empire. Natives of 
Australia. By N. W. Thomas, M.A. London, Archibald 
Constable & Co. Ld., 1906. 

Kinship Organisations and Group Marriage in Australia. 
By Northcote W. Thomas, M.A. Cambridge, University 
Press, 1906. 

If we may judge by the first volume, the series of Native 
Races of the British Empire is likely to prove very useful to 
readers who simply want to know the general facts about one or 

1 06 Reviews. 

another of the many races under British sway, without being 
involved in scientific discussions or details of merely or mainly 
scientific interest. It is on the whole well planned and interest- 
ingly written, and controversial topics are avoided. Many of the 
illustrations are exceedingly good, some quite charming, though a 
few, such as Plate 6, are too small and indistinct. (In reference 
to Plate 6 in particular, it may be observed that there is nothing 
to show to what tribe it relates, or what useful purpose in 
any case it serves.) If it be considered part of the business of 
a reviewer to find fault, let me lift up a protest against the 
absence of references. Many a time a student in search for a 
fact of which he has a dim recollection might be assisted in 
Mr. Thomas' pages if references were supplied ; and on the other 
hand, the means of verification of statements ought always to 
be provided. Many of the plates are old friends. The value 
of all would have been enhanced if the source and the tribe 
referred to had been specifically indicated on the face of the 
plate. Diagrams would have greatly aided the comprehension by 
ordinary readers of the account of the class and phratry organiza- 
tions, an intricate subject which will hardly be plain to those 
who have not previous knowledge. On p. 182 there is some 
want of clearness in the statements. In chap. xiii. the author 
should have avoided using the word " God " where Baiame or some 
similar being is meant. These observations are not intended in 
any carping spirit, but to suggest amendments in case the volume 
prove popular enough, as I hope it may, for a future edition. 

The second of Mr. Thomas' two works named above is an 
investigation of the Australian social organizations with a con- 
troversial object. It is directed primarily against the theory of 
group-marriage first advocated by Morgan in his Ancient Society 
and other pioneer works on the evolution of social organization, 
and more recently by Dr. Howitt and Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen, in reference to the Australian tribes. By all of these 
group-marriage has been regarded as a limitation of the pro- 
miscuity postulated as the primitive condition of humanity. Mr. 
Thomas' criticisms are acute and closely reasoned. They suffer 
from excessive compression, leading to obscurity at times ; and 
to be understood, they require the reader to have the works 

Reviews. 107 

controverted continually at his elbow. The conclusion to 
which he comes is that Australian customs, " so far from 
proving the present or even former existence of group-marriage 
in that continent, do not even render it probable," and that on 
terms of relationship " no argument of any sort can be founded 
which assumes them to refer to consanguinity, kinship, or 

He seems, indeed, to go further, and to deny the primitive 
promiscuity of the human race, though he actually denies only 
that the case for it has yet been made out, His criticism is 
purely negative. Nowhere can I find that he definitely adopts 
any theory of the condition from which human society, as it 
exists to-day, whether in savagery or civilization, has been evolved. 
He states, indeed, what Mr. Lang's theory of the origin of 
the phratries is — a theory based on the assumption of early 
organizations in groups, each consisting of an adult male with 
an attendant horde of adult females and an immature progeny 
of both sexes. He speaks of it with approval as "holding 
the field," as "internally consistent," and as "colligating the 
facts far better " than one rival theory — that of reformation ; 
but whether he adopts it as a sufficient and accurate exposition 
of the facts, I do not gather. 

The results, therefore, so far as they are definite, are purely 
negative, and it may reasonably be asked, From what did society 
start, if not from promiscuity ? It is evident that the groups 
postulated by Mr. Lang are a rudimentary form of organization, 
and not in the strict sense of the term primitive. They them- 
selves must have evolved out of something still ruder. That 
jealousy was a primitive passion has yet to be shown ; there are 
savage customs which appear to indicate the contrary. Mr. 
Thomas acutely points out that there is a difference between 
kinship and consanguinity : the two terms are not synonymous. 
But it may well be argued that the distinction between them 
is a gradual and later growth, arising from truer physiological 
conceptions. If I understand him rightly, he argues that kinship 
terms have been evolved from terms merely signifying status ; 
and status, of course, implies some sort of regulation. Assum- 
ing he is correct, does it not follow that relationships were 

io8 Reviezvs. 

originally vague and undetermined, and that they have gradually 
become more and more definite ? But among such relationships, 
that of what we may call husband and wife is one, and whether it 
took the form of temporary monogamy, polygamy, or regulated 
promiscuity, (the two latter in Mr, Thomas' sense), matters little. 
In any one of those three cases there would have been a period 
when a vague term like fioa corresponded to the actual practice, 
though Australian society, by appropriation of women, may long 
since have outgrown it without developing a new term to express 
the more defined relationships which have since come into being. 
The subject is, of course, too large for discussion here, and 
I will not pursue it. But there are two points in Mr. Thomas' 
argument, as applied to Australian customs, to which I want 
briefly to refer. A stress far greater than it will bear has been 
laid upon the priority in the hfe of an individual woman of 
tippa-malku \o pirrauru "marriage." We are told that no woman 
can enter into the latter until she has entered into the former; 
and that we must thence infer that pirraiim " marriage " is not 
a survival of " group-marriage," but a later and aberrant social 
arrangement. Further, a special ceremony is performed for the 
pirrauru marriage, but not for the tippa-malkii marriage; and 
Mr. Thomas argues that if pirrauru be " a survival of group- 
marriage, we should expect the ceremony to be performed for 
the tippa-7nalku union and not for the pirrauru" But it must 
be remembered that according to existing practice among the 
Dieri and other tribes with which pirrauru is in vogue, the tippa- 
malku contract of betrothal takes place in infancy ; hence every 
adult woman is already a tippa-malku wife. Practically, there- 
fore, the only meaning of the condition is that pirraum can 
be entered into with none but adult women. Whether 
pirrauru be a direct survival of "group-marriage" in the sense 
Mr. Thomas attaches to that term I will not argue. He has 
given some reason apart from those I am discussing, to doubt it. 
But the mere fact of performance of a ceremony to initiate 
pirraum and none to initiate tippa-malku^ would not seem to 
me to necessitate our holding that pirrauru is the later and 
tippa-malku the earlier social arrangement; for pirrauru is an 
arrangement between adults, whereas tippa-malku is an anticipation 

Revieim. 109 

with a view to securing prior rights. Moreover, on Mr. Thomas' 
own showing (p. 129) tippa-malku betrothal is a ceremony, so 
that ceremonies are performed in both cases. Both contentions, 
therefore (namely, that founded on the performance of a cere- 
mony, and that founded on the requirement that the woman 
shall be already a tippa-malku spouse), fall to the ground. 

I have only space for one other point. Although it is true 
that with the development of patria potestas a widow tends to 
pass to the heir along with the property of a predecessor, there 
is abundant evidence from many parts of the world that this 
was not her earlier condition. It is not, as a rule, her condition 
in Australia. In Australia, as elsewhere, the group of kinsmen, 
which includes the husband, acquires rights in the woman by her 
marriage ; those rights involve correlative duties ; and while many 
of those rights and duties are monopolized during the husband's 
lifetime by him, they expand on his death among the group, 
resulting in the actual state of society in a new appropriation 
by another member of the group. The duties are equally insisted 
on with the rights; he who exercises the latter is charged 
with the performance of the former. This rule seems to 
remain even where the widow is regarded (for instance, among 
many of the African peoples) as little more than part of the 
property of the deceased. But in Australia it is sometimes even 
more insisted on. This is the solution of one of the apparent 
contradictions pointed out in a note (p. 135) of Dr. Hewitt's 
statements. Dr. Howitt's statement {^South-Eastern Tribes, p. 
281) is general. In the Dalebura tribe, however, while the 
widow passes to the husband's brother, it is not necessarily as 
wife; if he so please he may become her husband, but in any 
case he is bound to be her protector. Similarly, we know, among 
some of the tribes of Western Victoria the property of the 
deceased was divided among his widow and children, but if she 
had offspring it was the duty of the brother of the deceased to 
marry her, because he was bound to protect her and rear the 
children. So far as I am aware, the Wotjobaluk are the only 
tribe where any objection to take the widow is reported. 

Some further care should have been exercised in the correction 
of the proofs. The want of it has led to accidental mis- 

1 1 o Reviews. 

statements on pp. 41, 52, 53, 87, 97, and 136, likely to puzzle 
readers. I cordially join Mr. Thomas in the wish for an 
Australian Grimm to study the various languages, and for some- 
body to give us authoritatively the true pronunciation of the 
words which appear in such various forms. Meanwhile, Mr. 
Thomas' work on Kinship Organisations must receive the careful 
study of all who are interested in the problems of the evolution 
of human society. Whatever solution of those problems we 
are inclined to favour, the value of his criticisms will be gene- 
rally acknowledged. Nothing so systematic has hitherto been 
attempted, and they form a substantial contribution to the 

The maps, diagrams, and lists are excellent ; but is West 
Australia sufficiently known to be included in the maps, at least 
without notes of interrogation ? 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

Le Folk-lore de France, par Paul S^billot. Tome 11. 
La Mer et les Eaux Douces. Paris: E. Guilmoto, 1905. 
Tome III. La Faune et la Flore. Same publisher, 

M. S^billot continues in these two volumes the cyclopaedia of 
French folklore, the first volume of which was noticed in these 
pages in December, 1904. The method which was there 
described is exactly followed out. The author's incomparable 
knowledge of his subject, his critical power and indefatigable 
industry, combine to render it a monument worthy of himself 
and of his subject. It may be said, without hesitation, that when 
completed the work will have been done once for all. But to 
make it available for students, it will want a very full index. 
This cannot be too strongly emphasized. M. Sebillot, happily, is 
alive to the need, and in the preface to the first volume he 
promised it. Meanwhile, the analytical tables of contents con- 

Reviews. 1 1 1 

tained in each volume are useful guides to those who wish to 
consult it. 

The subjects of the volumes announced in their titles suffi- 
ciently indicate their scope. The various divisions and aspects 
of the subject receive careful consideration, and M. S^billot has 
spared no pains to render his treatment of them adequate. The 
British reader will turn with interest to the chapter on " Encroach- 
ments of the Sea," and particularly to the tragic story of the 
city of Is, of which a famous analogue is found in Wales. Nor 
will he be disappointed. The distinguished author's local know- 
ledge reinforces his criticism. He traces the tale to its earliest 
recorded form ; he rejects the romantic additions of Souvestre 
and other writers ; he discusses the traditional fragments still or 
lately found in Brittany ; he shows that about the Bay of 
Audierne there are archaeological remains which point to a 
great encroachment of the sea ; and he comes to the conclusion 
that some actual event underlies the traditions. 

M. Sebillot has been at some pains to prepare statistics relative 
to the comparative popularity of various items of tradition in 
different parts of the country. Thus, in discussing the geographi- 
cal distribution of the belief in the Lavandieres de Nuit (cf 
Hugh Miller's Scenes and Legends in the North of Scotland^ 
pp. 296), he points out that the chief seat of this superstition 
is Brittany, where more than half the examples he has brought 
together from the whole of France are found. There is a gradual 
diminution as we pass from west to east, until in the extreme 
east, Alsace-Lorraine, the Vosges and French-speaking Switzer- 
land, only three examples have been collected. Thus these 
grisly washerwomen are all but unknown in the country of the 
Langue d'Oc, only two, both in Vaucluse, having been dis- 
covered there. 

As another example, we may take the cult of trees, of fountains, 
and of standing stones. Vestiges of the cult of the two latter 
have been found from one end to the other of the land anciently 
known as Gaul. With regard to the worship of trees, the case is 
different. With few exceptions, the instances reported all belong 
to the old country of the Langue d'Oil. Such results of M. 
Sebillot's enquiries are very striking, whatever conclusions may 

1 1 2 Reviews. 

be drawn from them, though, as he is careful to point out, the 
north and centre of France have been much better exploited by 
collectors of folklore than the south, with the exception of 
certain districts of the south-west. 

Space would not avail me to enumerate the interesting matters 
which come under review in these two volumes. The exact cita- 
tion of authorities, the special enquiries undertaken by the author 
in respect of lacuna noticed while collating his materials, and 
his comparison of traditions and superstitions reported by ancient 
and mediaeval writers, enhance very greatly the value of his work. 
Is it too much to hope that we shall ever get a Dictionary of 
British Folklore to compare with it? 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

String Figures. A Study of Cat's-cradle in many Lands. 
By Caroline Furness Jayne. New York : Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1906. 

Both old and young of nearly every race of the world are now 
known to play games in which objects, natural or artificial, are 
imitated by making figures of string. These figures are often 
of great interest to the folklorist, for they may illustrate features 
of magical practice, and may even, as Dr. Haddon suggests in 
his introduction to this book, be survivals in play of rites into 
which strings or knots have entered. Again, during or at the 
end of the formation of a figure, phrases are often said or 
sung which may put the investigator on the track of features 
of religious or social custom which he might otherwise have 
missed, while the phrases themselves may provide the philologist 
with words otherwise extinct. In addition to the direct value 
of the games to the worker among races of low culture, there 
is also an indirect value, which can hardly be over-estimated, in 
bringing him into sympathy with those who are, for the time 
being, his fellow- workers. Hours spent in the trivialities of 
cat's-cradle may be well repaid by help given in paving the way 

Reviews. 1 1 3 

for the revelation of the secrets of religious and magical custom 
or belief. 

In the book before us, Mrs. Jayne has brought together in 
sumptuous form a collection of string figures from many different 
races, including Europeans, American Indians, Eskimo, Poly- 
nesians, Papuans, and Australians, and there is one example 
learnt from an African pygmy. The mode of production of 97 
figures is fully recorded, and the various stages in the formation 
of the figures illustrated by nearly 900 drawings. One of the 
most striking features of the figures is their similarity all over 
the world, though the means employed in their production may 
vary. Mrs. Jayne has brought out the similarities and differences 
by arranging her examples according to their nature, so that 
similar figures from different parts of the world are placed 

The figures may be classified in various ways. In addition 
to the imitative examples already mentioned, there are some 
which may be called tricks, though these often have names 
which show that they have had the same origin as the rest, and 
have arisen through the imitation of movements, which is a 
frequent feature of the game. The majority of figures in different 
parts of the world begin with the string round the hand in 
one of two ways, and in his introduction to the book, Dr. 
Haddon has used this initial stage in the production of a figure 
as the basis of a classification into an Asiatic form found in 
Europe and Asia, and an Oceanic form found in America, 
Oceania, and, as we know from examples only fully recorded^ 
since the appearance of Mrs. Jayne's book, in Africa also. I'he 
Asiatic type resembles our own cat's-cradle, and can only be 
played by more than one person, while the Oceanic type can 
be played by a single person, though often two or more may 
co-operate in the production of a figure. 

Dr. Haddon, whose enthusiasm for the subject has inspired 
most of those who have recorded string figures, gives in his 
introduction a full account of the distribution of the game, and 
there is a very complete bibliography at the end of the 

^ Journ. Anthrop. Inst., 1906, vol. xxxvi. pp. 121-149. 

1 1 4 Reviews. 

All the descriptions of the figures have been written according 
to the method devised by Dr. Haddon and myself,^ but Mrs. 
Jayne has introduced some modifications which seem to me to 
impair seriously the exactness and definiteness of the method. 
The words *' near " and *' far " applied to a string on the hands 
are equivocal. They may mean that the string is nearer to, 
or farther from, the eyes of the person making the figure, or 
they may mean that the string is nearer to, or farther from, 
the wrist. Further, the words "upper" and "lower," as applied 
to strings on the hands or fingers, may cease to be correct if 
the position of the hands be changed. These words were, there- 
fore, rejected at an early stage of the attempts to discover a 
method of recording string figures, and to replace them four 
terms were borrowed from the customary nomenclature of 
anatomy, each of which has a single unmistakable meaning. Mrs. 
Jayne has preferred the discarded terms, with the result that 
strings may have to be called upper and lower when they 
really lie in the same horizontal plane, while in the large group 
of string figures in which the toes are used as well as the fingers, 
the terms have to be employed still more incorrectly. In these 
figures the hands have to be held with the fingers downwards, 
so that the " upper string " would be below the " lower string," 
and the "near string" at the same distance as the "far string." 
It is true that this group of figures is not referred to in the 
book, but the ideal method should be capable of meeting all 
contingencies, and Mrs. Jayne's modification might also lead to 
confusion where several people, it is said as many as eight in 
New Guinea, take part in the formation of a figure. When, 
however, one has defined for oneself the exact way in which 
the four terms in question are to be used, the descriptions given 
in the book are extremely clear, and I have met with no example 
in which I have not been able readily to construct a figure from 
the description. 

There is one aspect of these games which has received no notice 
from Mrs. Jayne, nor, so far as I know, from others who have 
written on the subject. These games are of much psychological 
interest, and this is at the same time an ethnological interest, for 

^ Mail, 1902, p. 146. 

Reviews. 1 1 5 

psychology may furnish the basis for a future classification of the 

In some cases it is possible to foresee what the result of each 
manipulation will be, even to a person whose visual imagination 
is but poorly developed, much more to those in whom it is 
highly developed, as is probably the case in most races of low 
culture. In other figures it is almost inconceivable that anyone 
could foresee the results of a given manipulation. In the figure 
of the Apache door, with which Mrs. Jayne begins her book, 
the strings at the penultimate stage of the game are in such 
an intricate jumble that it is incredible that anyone should be 
able to foresee that the next step will bring order to what seems 
an irretrievable chaos. 

The interest of this lies in the fact that the first kind of figure 
could be discovered by one endowed with patience and a vivid 
visual imagination, while the second kind, if not arrived at by 
purely random manipulations, which is very improbable, must 
have been discovered by one who went to work with a definite 
idea in his mind. In the case of the Apache door, it is not 
difficult to see what this idea may have been. The special 
feature of this interesting figure is the reversal, at the end of 
a series of manipulations, of a movement which had been made 
at the beginning. It would seem as if the inventor of this figure 
had planned that he would throw the index loops over the hands, 
would then carry out a number of manipulations, and at the end 
would try the effect of bringing the original index loops back 
to the palms. The mental processes concerned in the latter 
method are of a higher order than those involved in the former, 
where the player merely proceeds from one concrete image to 
another. It seems to me that in general the figures made by the 
Papuans belong to the first group, while those of the second kind 
occur in America, and this is in accordance with what we might 
expect from the respective degrees of mental development of 
the two peoples. 

At the end of her book, Mrs. Jayne gives some invented 
figures, and, in connection with the point just raised, it would 
have been interesting if these descriptions had been accom- 
panied by introspective records of the processes followed by the 

1 1 6 Reviews. 

inventors ; how far, for instance, the outcome was the result of 
fortuitous trials, how far of manipulations which were expected 
to give immediate results of a definite kind, and how far there 
was a conscious working towards a pattern, either from the 
beginning, or from some stage in another figure, or after fortuitous 
trials had suggested the possibility of a definite design. Such 
observations might go far to elucidate the mode of genesis of 
different forms of string figures, and the devotees of the game 
might then profitably experiment with children. After giving a 
certain amount of knowledge (which would have to be very 
carefully defined), children might be set to discover patterns for 
themselves, and the kinds of pattern made by children of different 
ages and capabilities might aftord material for further insight 
into the nature of the processes involved. 

W. H. R. Rivers. 

Altagyptische Sagen und Marchen. By Prof. Alfred 
Wiedemann. Volksnumd, vol. vi. Leipzig : Deutsche Ver- 
lagsactiengesellschaft. Price i mk. 

The well-known Egyptologist of Bonn, Prof. Wiedemann, has 
published as the sixth volume of Volksfnmid a collection of 
nine ancient Egyptian tales and one account of an Egyptian 
voyage in the Mediterranean about looo B.C., which he treats 
as a folk-tale, though it is not generally regarded in that light. 
Most of these stories have long been known to the Folklorist, 
as well as to the Egyptologist, through the translations of 
Maspero in his Co?ites Populaires dc VEgypte Ancienne, but in 
this edition Prof. Wiedemann brings them in convenient form 
before the popular audience of Germany. The old favourites 
reappear, of course : the " Tale of the Two Brothers," the 
" Story of Saneha," " The Possessed Princess of Bekhten," and 
so on, are all well known to the popular audience of England, 
largely through the translations of Dr. Wallis Budge, which 

Reviews. 1 1 7 

appeared some years ago in the Graphic, with illustrations by 
Mr. J. R. Weguelin. Others, such as the Sindbad-like tale of 
the " Shipwrecked Sailor," who was so kindly entertained by a 
noble serpent who ruled an island in the Red Sea, and the 
"Sorcerer of King Cheops," who cut off ducks' heads and 
joined them on again, are perhaps not generally so well known. 
One, the "Story of Setna," with its weird adventures with 
ghosts in the tomb, is probably characteristically Egyptian : we 
should doubtless find, did we possess other manuscripts of this 
kind, that this sort of story was very common in the land of 
mummies and ghosts. There is a later story of a Christian 
bishop, Pisentios, who fled before the invading Persian heathens 
of Khusrau in the seventh century a.d., and found a hiding-place 
in a tomb full of mummies, with one of which he held long 
conversations respecting the condition of himself and the other 
mummies (or rather, we may suppose, their spirits) in hell. 
Prof. Wiedemann does not include this very Egyptian tale in 
his collection. One story which he does include, and quite rightly, 
is not known to us from any actual Egyptian document. This 
is the story of " King Rhampsinitus and the Thief," which we 
owe to Herodotus. It also is characteristically Egyptian, and 
we can see that Herodotus tells it to us very much as he 
heard it in Egypt. Another story which is not very well 
known is that of the " Wonderful Taking of the Town of 
Joppa," which is very well known as an echo of a historical inci- 
dent, and because a historical personage is its hero. This is Thutia, 
a general of King Thothmes HI. (about 1500 B.C.), who no 
doubt was the actual taker of Joppa, though he can hardly 
have taken it in the wonderful way attributed to him in the 
folk-tale which grew out of his achievement. With this tale 
Prof Wiedemann groups the " History of Uenamen," who went 
to Phoenicia to fetch wood for the sacred boat of Amen at 
Thebes in the time of the Priest-Kings (about 1000 b.c), and 
was cast away on an island, probably Cyprus. Prof. Wiede- 
mann regards this history as a mere folk-tale like that of 
Thutia. But here we must join issue with him. There are in 
it no marvellous incidents, such as those of the magic staff of 
King Thothmes in the Thutia story ; there is nothing wonderful 

1 1 8 Reviews. 

at all : it is simply a picturesque account of an actual embas- 
sage in which the ambassador had some interesting adventures, 
that is all. Prof. Wiedemann says it is an advertisement of 
the virtues and power of the god Amen, as the stOry of the 
" Possessed Princess of Bekhten " is an advertisement of the 
virtues and power of another god, Khonsu. But this can 
hardly be, for in the history of Uenamen, the ambassador of 
Amen is most evilly entreated of pirates and other wicked folk, 
and has a very bad time generally. If it was intended as an 
advertisement of Amen, it was a very bad one. The Theban 
priests would hardly cry such very stinking fish ! 

As Prof. Wiedemann points out in his preface, the great 
interest of these stories is their age. The actual papyri which 
contain them were written between 2000 and 1000 B.C. We 
advise any "readers of Folk-Lore who are not acquainted with 
these, the oldest of the world's tales, to peruse this, the latest 
edition of them. 

H. R. Hall. 

The Heroic Saga-cycle of Dietrich of Bern. By F. E. 
Sandbach. (No. 15 of Popular Studies. Nutt.) 

This is a condensed but very interesting summary of the main 
features of a highly complex romantic cycle. In common with 
most modern scholars, Mr. Sandbach accepts the identity of 
Dietrich of Bern with Theodoric of Verona, the famous king 
of the Ostrogoths. After a brief account of the historical facts, 
the writer shows how the monarch of history became converted 
into the hero of romance ; and how, by contamination with other 
saga-cycles, such as those of Ermeric, Attila, and Siegfried, his 
story finally assumed the confused and complicated form in which 
it has come down to us. 

Brief summaries of the leading romances conclude this inter- 
esting study of a body of romance literature which, we fear. 

Reviews. 1 1 9 

attracts far less attention than it merits. We would recommend 
all who, having visited Innsbruck, have admired Peter Vischer's 
fine statue of Dietrich, which stands side by side with his 
world-famous Arthur, to provide themselves with this convenient 
summary of the hero's deeds. 

But why does Mr. Sandbach, on pp. 17 and 19, refer to von 
Hahn's theory as the '■'■Exposure and Return" formula, while on 
p. 24 he speaks of the "original basis oi expulsion — and return"? 
This latter is the generally accepted translation of von Hahn's 
** Ausseizung und Ruckkehr " formula. Exposure would have little 
meaning applied to such a hero as Siegfried, who admittedly 
belongs to this family. 

Jessie L. Weston. 

Le Cycle Turc des Douze Animaux. Par Edouard Cha- 
VANNES. Leyden, 1906. 

If you ask a Chinaman when he was born, he answers that 
it was in the year of the rat, the ox, the tiger, the hare, the 
dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the cock, 
the dog, the bear, or, as some say, the pig. The problem of 
the origin of this cycle is the subject of this learned pamphlet 
by M. Chavannes. Dr. Williams, the author of the Middle 
Kingdom^ was of opinion that it was not derived from the 
Hindus, but that both Hindus and Chinese got it from the 
Chaldeans. Prinsep believed that it came into India at a late 
period — about 965 a.d. Certainly the coincidences of the 
different versions suggest a common origin. M. Chavannes 
ascribes its invention to the Turks, who passed it on to the 
Chinese about the beginning of the Christian era, and suggests 
that it was adopted by the Egyptians from Central Asia when 
Egypt became a Roman Province. The objection that the 
monkey was unknown to the Turks he answers by assuming 
that it came to them from India, where Kanishka held the 

1 20 Reviews. 

northern Panjab and Kashmir in the first century a.d. The 
pamphlet is interesting, is suppUed with full references to 
authorities, and is well illustrated. 

W. Crooke. 

A Dialect of Donegal, being the Speech of Meenawannia, in 
the Parish of Glenties. By E. C. Quiggin, Fellow of 
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press, 1906. Price los. net. 

This book, though it contains much folk-lore from a remote 
corner of Ireland, will be of little use to the general reader, 
as no English translation accompanies the Gaelic text. Its 
publication at least shows that the movement for the revival 
of the study of Irish Gaelic is extending to the sister island. 

W. Crooke. 

Books for Review should be addressed io The Editor of Folk-Lore, 
c/o David Nutt, 57-59 Long Acre, London. 



Vol. XVIIL] JUNE, 1907. [No. II. 



{Read at Meeting, 21st November, 1906.) 

The chief object that I have in view in bringing before 
you the subject which, for lack of a better word, I have 
called the Idea of ' Hades ' in Celtic Literature, is to 
plead for a better method in the study of Celtic legend 
and tradition. 

In every department of thought, in historical and 
literary investigation, in classical studies, nay, even in 
the hitherto close domain of Biblical studies, historical 
methods of criticism have been fully accepted as those 
most likely to lead to accurate results. It is no longer 
possible to accept as a sufficient explanation of some 
difficulty the dictum of persons living in a different age 
and under conditions and methods of thought which 
have nothing beyond a surface similarity with the fact 
or theory we wish to explain, or to appeal to statements 
or legends or circumstances drawn from a totally 


122 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

different order of things ; it is no longer possible to 
explain away an historical fact by an allegorical inter- 
pretation, or, on the other hand, to read allegory into 
history, nor can we reckon as prophetical statements 
that are made after the event. This change of view is, 
I need not add here, a much larger matter than even 
the more careful investigation of documents and the 
attempt to decide the comparative age of different 
manuscripts, important as this department is ; it involves 
the consideration of the weight of authority that is to 
be attached to each different writer, the investigation of 
the conditions under which he wrote, the influences to 
which he was subjected, the state of intellectual develop- 
ment of the people and nations amongst whom he 
lived, and by whom he must inevitably have been 
influenced ; the intention he had in view, and the persons 
for whom he wrote. 

It includes the effort to disentangle primitive myth 
from later beliefs, to separate myth and allegory from 
history, to consider on their merits the observations of 
native writers regarding their own traditions from within, 
and the observations of other peoples, possibly in a quite 
different stage of progress, from without. It is something 
separate from, and of far more importance than, the 
correct or incorrect statement of facts, it is an effort 
after a better or more scientific method of thought. 
Facts and even theories, wrongly stated, are certain to be 
sooner or later set right ; but it is more difficult to 
correct a wrong method of investigation or deduction. 
It goes to the root of every study that we take in 

Now, in the study of Celtic tradition the methods of 
historical or literary criticism have not always been 
sufficiently applied. We are frequently presented, what- 
ever be the immediate topic under consideration, with 
a perfectly bewildering mass of allusions, examples, 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 123 

and statements, drawn indiscriminately from early 
or late tradition, from legend and myth and history, 
from sources Roman, Gallic, Welsh or Cumbrian, ancient, 
mediaeval and late Irish ; the literature and memorials 
of some sixteen centuries of Irish history, alike from 
the pre-Christian and Christian strata of thought, being 
heaped together without, as a rule, the least effort being 
made towards historical perspective or the application 
of any principle whatever of historical development. 

Far be it from me to suggest that the deductions 
drawn from this glittering wealth of material cast up 
upon the shore of tradition are always wrong; they are 
doubtless frequently right, for there is a wonderful 
continuity in Gaelic beliefs and modes of thought; but 
in the long run, a wrong method is more disastrous 
than any number of wrong inferences, for it vitiates the 
whole of the conclusions ; and the method here criticised 
I think to be radically and vitally wrong. 

Much of the brilliant writing even of such foremost 
authorities on Celtic subjects as M. D'Arbois de Jubain- 
ville and Professor Rhys, the two scholars to whom 
perhaps more than to all others we owe the spread of a 
more general interest and intelligence in matters relating 
to our own early traditions and literature, suffers from 
this method of handling. Not that such writers are 
entirely to be blamed. The collection of material must 
precede its systematisation, and when the earlier attempts 
were made to construct some sort of reasonable history 
of Celtic thought and tradition, such pioneer writers as 
these found themselves confronted with an almost over- 
whelming mass of hitherto little-used material which it 
was impossible at once to reduce to order. 

Materials. — Now, what are the materials with which 
we have to deal in studying so-called 'Celtic' subjects, 
accepting the word in its popular sense as applying to 
the memorials of Gaul, ancient Britain, and Ireland .? 

1 24 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

The definition, though scientifically inexact, will serve 
us here, as it is the one which has been accepted in 
the writings which we have to criticise.^ 

(i) Latin Sources. — First, we have the observations 
made by Roman writers from without, the observations 
of exceedingly keen observers, accustomed to mingle 
with other races, and habituated to recording their 
impressions of them ; but still, in the case of Gaul and 
Britain, the observations of a conquering race slowly 
but surely subduing the tribes whose manners and 
beliefs they record, a race with fixed preconceived ideas 
and a well-developed system of mythology and religious 
ceremonies, whose advanced civilisation, now bordering 
on decay, was brought into rude contact with young 
races hardly yet emerging from the condition of things 
which we, perhaps ignorantly and presumptuously, call 
barbarism. More important still is it to recall the 
Roman attitude of mind towards the peculiarities of 
belief and doctrine among the peoples whom they came 
to conquer. It was part of the Roman system of 
colonisation to treat with a kindly or cynical tenderness 
the local cults of the conquered races, and to receive 
with wide-embracing arms the native deities into a 
common Pantheon. The cult of the common people 
was probably different from that of the Druids, and 
Rome did not quarrel with cults though it suppressed 

^M. Salomon Reinach, in speaking of the remains of Gaulish art, says 
truly: "We must be cautious in applying the notion of race to the 
remains of ancient art. Anthropology knows no Celtic race, it distinguishes 
several Gallic types and knows that none of them are pure. As to common 
descent, it can never be more than an hypothesis, for it escapes the 
control of history as it escapes that of natural science. The attributes 
that we generally place to the account of race are in fact chiefly those 
of circumstance." — Anti-quiti^s Nationales. 

The remark applies equally to literary memorials as to those of sculpture 
and metal-work, yet there is, as Mr. Nutt reminds me, such a thing as 
"historic nationality"; i.e. a type developed by race and circumstance 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 125 

Druidism. But to make the local gods into orthodox 
Roman deities they had to baptize them with orthodox 
Roman names and endow them with familiar attributes. 
The confusion that has resulted may be exemplified by 
the dispute that has arisen among the most learned 
authorities on Gallic monuments regarding a little figure 
in bronze, of a bearded man holding a mallet in one 
hand and a bowl in the other, which M. D'Arbois, 
following an identification made by M. Barthelemy in 
Rev. Celt. i. p. i, considers to be a figure of Dis Pater, 
and to represent the god of Death, from whom Caesar 
avers that the Celts believed themselves to be descended. 
This identification fills so large a place in M. D'Arbois' 
argument about the Celtic Hades that we shall have to 
return to it again. 

In Gmd all our information on the early conditions of 
belief have to be derived from the monuments. No written 
records have come down to us. The Druids, Caesar tells 
us, would not commit their knowledge to writing, partly 
because they considered it sacred, and partly because 
they wished to strengthen the memories of their students. 
Probably Caesar was right ; there is certainly a tendency 
to mystery in their religion, shown in the earlier time in 
their avoidance of the human form in art and decoration, 
and their abstention from any attempt to make statues 
of their gods, and later, when, under foreign influences, 
Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and even Oriental, figures 
intended to represent the native deities were made, by 
their hesitation in inscribing on them their names — an 
unwillingness that has to this day involved the whole 
subject in obscurity. We have to remember that at the 
time of the conquest of Gaul by Caesar the native art 
was confined to decorative designs only ; there was no 
attempt to represent the human figure in sculpture, 
or to represent any of the local gods. Though Caesar 
says that the Gauls possessed simulacre of Mercury, 

126 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

none have been found except in connection with Roman 
remains and coins. But before the close of the first 
century, a crowd of divinities, unknown to the classical 
world, took their place in the laraires and temples of the 
three Gauls.^ Yet though a great number of them are 
unknown, even by name, to the Greeks and Latins, they 
show the influence of foreign ideas and forms of art. 
Graeco-Egyptian influences had penetrated by way of the 
Alps on the Italian side, as well as on the south by 
the Valley of the Rhone and Marseilles, with which up to 
the opening of the Merovingian epoch Egypt was still in 
close connection. It was an Alexandrian named Zenodore 
who had made the colossal statue of Mercury at the 
Gaulish city of Arvernes, and a colony of veteran 
Alexandrians established by Augustus had introduced 
the cult of Isis and Anubis at Nimes and in other parts of 
Southern Gaul.^ Local deities are assimilated at one time 
to Serapis, at another to Jupiter, Hercules, or Sylvanus, at 
another it would appear to Buddha and Oriental deities.^ 
Frequently a Roman name is added to the native title, 
as Mars Camulus, Mercurius Atesmerius, Mercurius 
Dumias, etc. What is evidently the same native divinity 
reappears at difl"erent places with difi"erent attributes ; he 
has been identified by some Roman observer at one place 
with Jupiter, at another he may be thought to resemble 
Mercury, elsewhere he is transformed by some change of 
costume or attribute into an Egyptian deity, with the 
appropriate symbols added. He may retain or he may 
lose his original symbols altogether. Sometimes the new 
attributes are added to the old, sometimes they altogether 
replace them. Amid such confusion of ideas as these 

^ See M. Alexandre Bertrand in Rev. Archdologique, l8So, 1882, and 
Arch. Celtique et Gauloise (Paris, 1889). 

2 M. Salomon Reinach, Antiquith Nationales. 

^Cf. M. A. Bertrand, " L'Autel de Saintes et les Triades Gauloises" {^Rev. 
Arch. 1880, 1882). 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 127 

statues show, we may well hesitate in too easily accepting 
the off-hand identifications of Caesar or any outside 
observer; they were probably as ignorant of the real 
meaning of the Gallic cults and the real significance of 
the local symbols as we ourselves are, and their assimila- 
tions were necessarily crude, taking into account surface 
resemblances only. It is unlikely that even if they had 
the desire they had the means of penetrating deeply into 
the sacred and mysterious cults of Celtic Gaul. The 
words of M. Reville in connection with Roman identi- 
fications of another set of national divinities may equally 
well apply to those of Gaul ; " The studies that I am at 
this moment making in the Phoenician religion show me 
on what slight foundations the Greeks, and after them 
the Latins, undertook their identification of divinities. 
Melkart, god-patron of Tyre and Carthage, is called by 
the Greeks sometimes Apollo, or Helios, because he is a 
Sun-god, sometimes Zeus, because he is the chief of the 
gods, sometimes Kronos, because he devours little children. 
This depends on the writer, or on those whose sayings he 
reports. And, in addition, they treat all these things with 
that profound insouciance which is always astonishing to 
us, reared as we have been in a school of fixed dogmatisms 
which are for ever showing their offensive points." ^ Thus 
we get no clear view of the Gaulish Pantheon in its 
original condition, we see it only through the spectacles 
of outside beliefs, and the literary remains which should 
have helped us, if they ever existed at all, are all swept 

It appears to me to be a sufficient reason for hesitating 
to identify the beliefs and customs observed by the Roman 
writers in Gaul with those of Britain, and still more 
with those in Ireland, that the hints that we derive from 
the old native literature of these islands throw so little, 
if indeed they throw any light upon the purpose and 

■■ Rev. Celt. x. p. 237. 

128 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

meaning of the existing monuments of Gaul. Ireland in 
particular appears to have been in an earlier pre-sacrificial 
stage at a time when numerous and bloody sacrifices were 
part of the religious ceremonial of Gaul and Britain. We 
do not hear of the Druids taking the position of religious 
functionaries or sacrificing priests in Ireland until nearer 
Christian times, that is, about the fourth century ; they 
are represented as magicians and medicine-men, coun- 
sellors of chiefs, and wizards, but they seem only to take 
a distinctively religious aspect when they are brought into 
active contact with and hostility to Christianity. In Gaul 
and Britain it is evident that they exercised ceremonial 
functions from much earlier times.^ These considerations 
should make us most cautious in our examination of any 
theory which is deduced from a variety of passages, or 
of suggestions drawn indiscriminately from Roman, Gallic, 
and native sources. What may be a perfectly true state- 
ment, for example, regarding a particular development of 
belief in Gaul may be utterly inapplicable to Ireland either 
at the same or at any other period. Thus the belief 
cited by M. D'Arbois de Jubainville from Plutarch and 
Procopius showing that the Gauls had a legend of the 
existence of a dismal Isle of Spirits oft" the western coasts, 
to which the dead were ferried across the water, may be 
perfectly true of Gaulish tradition, but absolutely inappli- 
cable to Ireland, which had evolved for itself a different 
order of ideas about the invisible world.^ To identify this 
dreary and mournful land of ghosts, whence arise sighs 
and grief, with the joyous Irish Magh Mell or "Honey 
Plain," is to absolutely change its whole signification ; 
there is no similarity whatever between the two ideas. 

^This is no doubt largely to be accounted for by the difference in the 
evidence ; an heroic romance will consider the magician exclusively in his 
"wise-man" aspect, a historian or theologian from the point of view of 
the religious functionary, but this does not entirely explain matters. 

"^ Cycle Myth. pp. 231, 232. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 129 

If in Gaul we have monuments and no literature, we 
have in Wales and Ireland a copious literature and no 
monuments beyond a few inscribed ogham stones, probably- 
all belonging to the Christian period. 

In Welsh we have a more ancient Cumbrian or North 
of England and a later Welsh literature, both in song 
and prose, the song taking a more important place 
historically than it does in ancient Irish literature, as 
it is in many instances the only surviving record of 
events otherwise forgotten or only confusedly remembered 
in history ; while in Ireland we have in most cases prose 
narratives founded on the earlier poetry, and formed 
out of it. But all this Welsh literature, whether older 
or later, has the disadvantage of a very decided Christian 
flavour. It is almost as though it had been purposely 
edited and improved for the use of Christian readers in 
later times. 

In Ireland we have an output of pure romance which 
is extraordinarily copious. We have also a pseudo-historic 
period to which we owe the accounts of the imaginary 
incursions of five races into Ireland as successive tribes 
of settlers ; and we have a large mixed literature of all 
kinds, prose and poetry, history, legend, and ecclesiastical 
material belonging to all ages, from perhaps the first 
to the seventeenth century, embodying signs of many 
changes of thought and variations in the point of view. 
A Welshman has, at all events, the satisfaction of knowing 
what he has to deal with : no lapse of time or advance 
of knowledge is likely greatly to increase his resources of 
native lore; but the Irish student is perpetually haunted 
by the feeling that whatever theory he advances, whatever 
line of thought he takes up, there may yet turn up on 
some unlucky day, in some hitherto uninvestigated manu- 
script at home or abroad, a passage which shall put to 
flight all his preconceived theories by showing him that 
in the old days, as in the new, a whole race did not 

130 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

think alike, but men at different periods indulged different 
fancies about the same matter. And the Irish writers 
are disconcerting. When we have satisfactorily proved to 
our own mind that such and such was the theory of 
the Irish race on a certain subject at a certain time, 
some chance phrase or obscure passage springs up before 
us and belies all we have done. There is hardly any 
theory that cannot by some occasional phrase be overset ; 
not even the theory I am about to propound to you 
to-night. That is the disadvantage of a copious literary 
output. I may as well say at once that in regard to the 
question that we have to discuss to-night, namely, whether 
the pagan Celt believed in a Hades in the sense in 
which M. D'Arbois de Jubainville and Professor Rhys 
invariably use the word, as a place of departed spirits, a 
land of shades and of death, a dark land ruled by what 
Rhys constantly calls the " dark divinities," the gods of 
death and of night, as opposed to the gods of light and 
knowledge and life — while I utterly disagree with their 
main theory, and hold that the Irish Gael, at all events, 
and probably his Welsh and Gallic cousins, were not at 
all possessed by such an idea, did not, in fact, so far as I 
can see, in general believe in a world of departed spirits 
at all, much less believe in it as a place of gloom and 
darkness, there are one or two passages which seem to 
contradict this theory and make distinctly for the belief 
held by Rhys and de Jubainville. But these passages 
are so rare and so surprising that to build a theory upon 
them seems to me to get matters out of proportion 
altogether. Most of them are obscure, and may almost 
as easily be interpreted in another way; indeed, many 
points relied upon seem to me to bear a quite 
different meaning, as I hope to show by one or two 
examples. It seems to me as dangerous to build up 
a theory from a single passage (and there is only one 
explicit passage brought forward, which I shall now at 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 131 

once quote) when the whole trend of a literature seems to 
bear a different interpretation, as it would be to contend 
that Lugh, who is essentially the Irish sun-god, the " gifted 
child " with " golden pipes," the possessor of all the arts 
and of all known science, the radiant one whose face 
enlightens the world, is a god of darkness and death, 
because before the battle of Moytura he is represented 
as hopping round the host " on one foot and with one 
eye closed " singing a martial chant, just like any dark, 
ill-constituted deity among the Fomorian giants, who are 
always represented as ill-shapen and grotesque. It was 
certainly very unorthodox of Lugh, and very upsetting 
to our fixed opinions as to what a sun-god ought to do ; 
but I do not think it warrants us in transforming him, 
with all the allusions in the literature on the other side, 
into a "dark divinity." Nor yet does the fact that he 
is often associated with ravens, and that in a medallion 
which appears to represent the genius of the town of 
Lugudunum or Lyons, which may possibly mean the 
" Fort " or " Town of Lugh," the youthful figure is attended 
by a raven.^ Yet on some such ground Professor Rhys 
contends that the Blessed Bran, son of Don, and brother 
of ManawySSan, whose pagan record was so bright that the 
British Christians made him the bringer of Christianity 
to Wales, and the first saint of their country, was a 
" dark divinity," because his name signifies a " crow " or 
" raven." ^ We are constantly being reminded that the 

^M. W. Froehner, Les Musses de France (PI. XV. 2); and M. de Witte, 
art. " Le genie de la ville de Lyon" (Acad, des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres ; 
Comptes Kendus, p. 65, 1877). 

^ Rhys, Arthtirian Legend, p, 256. Though the scall-crow or raven was 
usually connected with death and battlefields in Ireland, it is doubtful 
whether it had any such meaning in Gaul. In Strabo and in Northern 
mythology ravens are birds of prophecy and foresight. Odin has two 
ravens which sit on his shoulders and tell into his ears what they have heard 
in their flight through the world (A. Holtzman, Deutsche Mythologie, 
herausgegeben von A. Holder, 1874, pp. 47-54). 

132 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

Brython and Gael, if he had fixed ideas on such subjects 
at all, was rather inconsequent in their application, 
and did not always carry out the theories we conceive 
that he ought to have had with so systematic an adher- 
ence to mythological classification as might have been 

The passage to which I refer is found in the short 
story called Echtra Condla Chaim, or the "Adventures 
of Connla the Fair," and is spoken by a fair lady who 
endeavours by her persuasive vision of a land of life 
beyond the great shore to induce Connla to accompany 
her into Magh Mell, where reigns the immortal monarch 
Buadach, where neither death nor sin are known, where 
feasts have no need of preparation, where no quarrel 
disturbs their happy gatherings, and where the body of 
Connla shall never decay or his youth and beauty wither. 
Then comes her final appeal. " Connla, thou who art 
seated in a place of honour amongst mortals who shall 
die (he was eldest son of the King of Ireland), thou who 
awaitest the dread hour of death, the Immortal Ones 
invite thee to come to them ; thou art a hero to the 
people of Tethra, he desires to see thee daily in the 
assemblies of thy fatherland, in the midst of those that 
thou hast known and who are dear to thee " (Windisch, 
Irische Grammaiik, p. 120). This mention of Tethra is 
very curious. He seems to be in this story one of two 
kings reigning in Magh Mell. Now, we know very little 
of Tethra. Though he was one of the chiefs of the 
Fomorians, or gods of barbarism and ignorance, at the 
time of their conflict with the Tuatha De Danann, 
the gods of light and civilisation, we do not hear of 
him during the second battle of Moytura as taking a 
prominent part in the fighting. After the battle was 
over, however, we are told that " Ogma the champion 
found Tethra's sword and cleansed it ; whereupon, after 
the manner of swords at the time, it began to relate 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 133 

the deeds that had been done by it."^ Another of the 
rare allusions to Tethra is that found in the Dialogue of 
the Sages, in which the youthful bard Nede replies to 
the question put to him by the aged Ferchertne, " What 
is it that lies before thee?" (///. "undertakes to"). "I 
go," he said, " into the mountain of youth, into the plain 
of age . . . into an abode of clay, between candle and 
fire,^ between battle and its horrors, among Tethra's 
mighty men." Tethra is said, in the tale of the Wooing 
of Emer, to be uncle to Forgall the Wily of Lusk, and 
his sons are among the guardians of Emer, and in the 
Fonts Focail the word Tethra is glossed by badhbh, "a. 
scarecrow " ; it seems, like the Badhbh or goddess of 
battles and rapine, to mean a "raven" or " Royston- 
crow." It also bears the meaning of the " sea " or 
" ocean " ; in O'Clery's glosses we find " teathra, that is, 
muir= the sea."^ It is clear from two passages in the 
tale called The Wooing of Emer, that this latter is the 
true meaning of Tethra's name. In relating to Emer 
the route he had taken, Cuchulain tells her that he had 
slept "in the house of the man who tends the cattle of 
the plain of Tethra," and when asked what he means 
by this, he replies " The man in whose house I slept, 
he is the fisherman of Conor. Ronen is his name. It 
is he who catches the fish on his line under the sea ; for 
the fish are the cattle of the sea, and the sea is the plain 
of Tethra, a king of the kings of the Fomori " (K. Meyer 
in Arch. Rev. vol. i. pp. 72, 152). 

^ Possibly this means that the deeds of the sword were inscribed upon 
the metal, and became visible when the sword was cleansed. — Com p. 
Sickbed of Cuchulain {Atlantis, vol. i. pp. 370-1). 

^A Christian glossographer explains this to mean "between death and 
judgment," but its original meaning seems to have been that of a confined 
and narrow place (here, the grave) such as was the dwelling of a churl. 
Comp. IVooing of Emer (Hull, Cuckullin Saga, p. 65). 

^See Cormac's Glossary, art. Tethra, and O'Reilly's Diet, under Teathra 
and Troghan. 

134 T^^ Id,ea of Hades in Celtic Literature, 

Tethra, then, is a king of the Fomorians. He is ruler of a 
land beneath or beyond the sea, evidently the Irish Elysium. 
It would seem from the passage we have quoted that 
Connla is invited to resort to the land here called his 
"fatherland," and to join the people of Tethra, where 
" those whom he had known awaited him." I do not 
know that there is any other passage where a Fomorian 
is said to rule in the unseen world, or where this world 
is distinctly spoken of in a piece which has a markedly 
pagan flavour, as a place where human ancestors are 
assembled after death.^ It is, so far as I can see, the 
only really sound ground adduced by M. D'Arbois for 
his contention that the Irish Celts believed in a world of 
shades, or Hades, beyond this life. But M. D'Arbois, in 
his Cycle Mythologique Irlandaise, makes this isolated 
passage the foundation and leading argument of his 
whole volume ; again and again it is reiterated in different 
connections. This, I think, is to get things out of propor- 
tion, and to impress a view — in this case, I think, a very 
uncertain view — derived from an obscure and isolated 
passage, by means that will hardly bear the weight of 
the argument laid upon them. 

M. D'Arbois draws his arguments indiscriminately from 
Roman sources, and from the widely different strata of 
Irish legendary lore. 

(2) His second point is founded on the well-known 
quotation of Caesar : " Galli se omnes ab Dite patre 
prognatos praedicant, idque a druidibus proditum dicunt " 
{De Bello Gallico, Bk. vi. 18, § i). "The Celtic doctrine," 
D'Arbois adds, " is that men have for first ancestor the 

^ It is difficult to tell how far Christian thought has influenced such a 
story. Though it contains distinctly Christian allusions its form is pagan, 
and the idea that the world of death is ruled by Tethra must be an old one. 
In stories of the other world where the tone is Christianised, as The 
Voyage of Teigue Son of Cian, the idea of finding the dead in Paradise is 
of course usual, in accordance with Christian belief. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 135 

god of death, and this god inhabits a region far beyond 
the ocean ; he has as his dwelling the ' extreme isles,' 
whence, according to the Druidical teaching, a part of the 
inhabitants of Gaul had arrived direct."^ 

And again : '* In Celtic belief, the dead go to inhabit 
across the ocean, to the south-west, there where the sun 
goes down during the greater part of the year, a marvellous 
region whose joys and seductions surpass those of this 
world. This is the country from which men came. It is 
called in Irish Tire beo, the land of the living, tir n-aill^ 
the other world, mag mor, the great plain, mag meld, the 
pleasant plain " {Cycle Mythologique, p. 28). 

Here is the second step; that men not only go when 
they die into the other world, but they also came from 
thence ; a belief which he founds on the testimony of a 
Latin writer, and supports by an Irish doctrine of 
Elysium unknown, so far as we know, to Latins and 
Gauls alike. 

Immediately afterwards he continues: "For this pagan 
name {i.e. Mag Mor) to which nothing in the Christian 
beliefs corresponded, the euhemerism of the Christian 
annalists substituted the Latin name of the Iberian Penin- 
sula, Hispania. After the tenth century, when Nennius 
wrote, this name, unknown to primitive Ireland, had pene- 
trated into the legend of Partholon ; it was from Spain, 
and not from the land of death, that this mythical chief 
of the first inhabitants was made to come with his com- 
panions " (p. 29) . . . and again, in criticising the account 
of the return of the second race of settlers from Ireland, 
according to Nennius and the late pseudo-historic accounts, 
he says that they re-embarked and returned into Spain, 
adding : " In this text, the word Spain is a learned transla- 
tion of the Irish words mag mor, etc., by which the pagan 
Irish designated the country of the dead, the place of origin, 

^ Cycle Myth. p. 26, 27, quoting Ammianus Marcellinus {Alios qiioque ab 
insulis exthnis confluxhse), Bk. xv. ch. 9 § 4. 

136 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

and last asylum of the living "(p. 85) . . . "The primi- 
tive text of the narrative that Nennius had under his 
eyes transported this race from Ireland not into Spain, 
but into the land of the dead " (p. 117). Here he actually 
imagines the existence not only of a tradition, but of 
actual manuscripts proving the tradition, that a statement 
made by Caesar with regard to the belief of the inhabitants 
of Gaul held true also in Ireland, and he argues that the 
manuscripts relating to the legendary settlements of the 
peoples of Ireland have been deliberately changed to 
support this view. But there is not any sign that these 
particular legends of the settlements have undergone a 
change corresponding to this view. 

To return to Caesar's statement, that the Gauls thought 
themselves to be descended from Dis Pater, " the god of 
death," it is to be remarked that Caesar makes the 
announcement in explanation of the fact that the Gauls 
reckoned all kinds of time not by days, but by nights, 
and that when they were calculating birthdays or the 
beginning of the months and of the year, they always 
took care to place the night before the day {De Bello 
Gallico, vi. c. 18 §1, 2). But though Caesar might have 
conceived some such explanation necessary in what 
appeared to him a peculiar custom, we know that the 
Gauls were by no means the only nation to count time 
in this manner. Among other nations, the Norse 
appear to have done so, and we find the same 
method of reckoning employed in the first chapters of 

A great deal of discussion has been aroused by the 
identification by M. de Barthelemy of the small figure 
of the man with the cup and mallet with the Dis Pater 
of Caesar. It is a statuette in bronze found at Premeaux 
(Cote-d'Or), now in the Museum of Beaune, and represents 
a man with a mass of hair peaked in front, and a beard 
and heavy moustache, standing erect, clad in a tunic to 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 137 

the knees, and ornamented with crosses and figures, and 
with a band round the waist. M. Salomon Reinach 
accepts M. Barthelemy's identification of this figure with 
Dis Pater or Pluto, but there are difficulties in the way 
of an acceptance of this view, one of the most serious 
being the rare use of the mallet as a symbol of the infernal 
deity. This is only found elsewhere among the Etrus- 
cans and in the north of Italy, the larger number of the 
God-mallet type in Gaul being found in the Rhone 
Valley ; there is no trace of them in Britain, Aquitaine, 
or Belgium. As usual, the figure undergoes a large 
variety of transformations, and is found with numerous 
different symbols, and in different groups, so that it 
has been at one time identified with Sylvanus, at 
another with Jupiter, or with the Serapis of Graeco- 
Egyptian art.^ 

A more probable theory, however, is that put forth by 
M. Cerquand, and supported by him by a large number 
of illustrative legends, that this god of the mallet is an 
Indo-European divinity corresponding to Thor the 
Hammerer.^ He points out that the first hammers or 
mallets were of stone like the first knives, the word 
hamar signifying at once "stone" and "hammer," and he 
considers that the hammer or mallet has been sub- 
stituted for an original stone or thunderbolt, as the 
hammer of Thor was for the silex of Donar. Two 
Gaulish pre-Roman coins bearing the emblem of a 

1 M. Anatole de Barthelemy's article will be found in Rev. Celt. i. p. i ; 
see also Salomon Reinach's Description raisonn^e du niusie de St. Germain- 
en-Laye ; and his article on " L'Art plastique en Gaule et le Druidisme," Rev. 
Celt. 1892, pp. 189-199; Grivaud, Recueil des monuments, ii. (No. 5), pp. 33 
and 64 ; Flouest, Deux Stiles, p. 61. 

^ M. J. F. Cerquand, Taranis Lithobole ; Etude de Mythologie Celtique, 
Avignon, 1881 ; and see his art. "Taranis et Thor," Rev. Celt. vi. p. 417. 
He says that in Neo-Celtique and Indo-European languages all the ana- 
logues of Taranis are etymologically associated with thunder ; see also Henri 
Gaidoz, Esquisse de la religion des Gaulois.' 


138 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

warrior on horseback have a short mallet like that of 
Thor thrown in front of the horse's head, showing that 
the idea of the flung hammer was familiar in Gaul 
{Rev. Celt. i. p. i, seq). 

M. Cerquand has collected a number of classical 
examples as well as of local traditions connected with 
the hurling of stones as engines of war and of the 
transference of the idea of the massive stone flung by 
hand into that of the thunderbolt hurled from heaven. 
The idea of destruction by stones or weapons hurled 
upon the enemy is a familiar one in Gaulish and also 
in Irish tradition. To the examples he has collected 
might be added the club of the Dagda, the destruction 
caused by whose blows was " as the destruction of 
hail-stones crushed beneath the feet of a herd of 
horses" (second Battle of Moytura, Rev. Celt. xii. pp. 52, 
306-8), or the strokes of Balor of the Mighty Blows ; 
but more especially the Titanic warfare in the Tain 
bo Cuailnge made by the hero Amargin upon the hosts 
of Meave, he " lying on the west side of Taillte 
with his left elbow under him " and pelting the enemy's 
host with rocks and flags and great blocks of stone.^ 
For three days and nights he continues to shower 
rocks upon the host of Meave, much as the god of 
Delphi poured down upon the Gaulish host assembled 
to attack the oracle enormous stones detached from 
Parnassus which crushed whole companies beneath them. 
(Pausanias, x. 23.) 

In like manner Iliach the aged warrior filled his 
chariot with " stones and blocks of rock and flags " which 
he hurled against the men of Ireland {Tain bo Cuailnge^ 
xxxiii, 5, p. 657). Possibly the flinging of sharp-edged 
shields in combat which was common in Ireland may 
have been a reminiscence of the throwing of stones in 
an earlier and ruder age. 

^ Tditt lid Cuailnge, Windisch, xxiii. 6, p. 66 1. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 139 

Without amplifying the argument further, it may be 
said that the identification of the God of the Mallet as 
a Gaulish Thor is at least as probable as, and even 
more consonant with Celtic tradition than, its assimila- 
tion with Dis Pater and the remark of Caesar about 
that deity. Its identification with Charon or Pluto is 
more evident in such a bas-relief as that of Varhely in 
Austria, where we get a woman and child and a three- 
headed dog associated with this figure, or in that at 
Marseilles, where the god and female figure have a dog 
between them and a boat beneath. Elsewhere the mallet 
has given place to a thunderbolt, and the god has 
evidently been identified with Jupiter, while in Provence 
we find the same divinity transformed into Sylvanus. 
Like other native Gaulish gods it has undergone many 
varieties of description, and it would be dangerous to 
build on any one possible form under which it is 
found a wide-extended theory of belief. Most of these 
assimilations depend upon beliefs not native to Gaul, 
but introduced from outside by settlers, who adapted to 
their needs the traditions of the local cults. As regards 
the local cults themselves, they are as mysterious to us 
to-day as they were to the Romans in the first century. 
The comparison instituted by M. de Barthelemy between 
this god of the mallet and the mallet-bearing functionary 
at the Roman games who bore away the bodies of dead 
gladiators, called by Tertullian Dis Pater, seems too far- 
fetched to have much bearing on the subject. It does 
not seem, any more than do the varied literary sources 
from which M, D'Arbois has derived his argument, to bear 
the full weight of the deductions drawn from it ; nor 
does his equation of the Gaulish triad of gods Teutates, 
Taranus, and Hesus, as forms of the god of death, v/ith 
Bress, Balor, and Tethra, the three Fomorian chiefs, 
seem quite as convincing as it is ingenious. It necessi- 
tates a homogeneity of belief and legend between Gaul 

140 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

and Ireland which we have little ground for pre- 

Professor Rhys, accepting in general M. D'Arbois's 
theory of the land of the dead, goes much further. He 
finds this doleful country everywhere, and a travelling 
people like the Britons, Gauls, and Irish must have 
been perpetually in danger of falling into it! In his 
ArtJmrian Legend, the kings of Hades are as numerous 
as (to use an old Irish expression) " the son of Ler's 
horses in a storm at sea."^ Among them are Uther 
Pendragon, Bran otherwise Balan, Gwen ab NuS, Llyr, 
Urien, Aralach and his father, Beli, in addition, of 
course, to Arawn, AvagSu, Pwyll, and Pryderi. Among 
others, the following places are regarded as having been 
sites of Hades itself: Britain, Caledonia, Ireland, the 
district south of the Thames at Westminster, the Isles 
of Man, Tory, and Bardsey, Glastonbury, Gower or 
Somerset, Cornwall, with numerous local sites within 
the borders of Wales. 

The general impression left upon the mind by these 
volumes is that the Celts, alike of Gaul, Britain, and 
Ireland, were oppressed by the perpetual sense of a sur- 
rounding world of death and gloom from which they came, 
and to which they must go, the conception of this world 
being distinctly that of a place of the dead to which all 
the dead imist go, and from which, inasmuch as it is 
always placed beyond the waters, they could (happily for 
the living) never return. However M. D'Arbois de 
Jubainville may guard himself by an occasional reference 
to earlier and brighter Greek conceptions of the unseen 

^ See M. Cerquand's interesting remarks on Taranus (the Taranis of 
Lucain) in his Taranis Lithobole, already referred to, and M, Bertrand's 
study of the Gaulish god-triads in " L'Autel de Saintes et les Triades 
Gauloises," Rev. Archdol. 1880, 1882. 

'^The horses of Manannan son of Ler, the god of ocean, were the foaming 
crests of the billows. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 141 

world,^ this is the impression left upon the mind by the 
constant use of the word " Hades," and the belief that 
it was a world of the dead, and ruled by Gods of Death, 
or '* Dark Divinities." Professor Rhys eventually accepts 
the word in its full meaning as a place of the departed, 
a dark world of shades. 

Now, I believe that this general impression is a wrong 
one, and that whatever may have been the tradition in 
Gaulish mythology (a tradition now entirely lost to us), 
in Welsh literature and in Irish literature, at all events, 
a different conception prevails. The conception that the 
Celts believed themselves to have originated in a country 
of the dead I hold to be largely, if not entirely, a fiction 
of the imagination, grown out of a possibly erroneous 
idea picked up in Gaul by that inquisitive but not very 
deeply-reflecting Roman soldier, Caesar, and adopted by 
him without much consideration as explaining a fact which 
puzzled him, namely, why the Gauls counted time by 
nights instead of days. The idea does not seem to 
gain any support from Irish and Welsh literature, and 
but a doubtful support from the remaining Gaulish 

Secondly, the idea that this unseen world was one into 
which only the dead could go, and from which they could 
never return, is contradicted by a long series of stones 
in which persons specially invited might go in life, and 
did frequently return again. 

Thirdly, the idea that this world was conceived of as 
a place of the dead at all is only faintly shadowed in 
a few isolated and obscure passages in that part of the 
literature which seems to retain most of the pagan flavour 
and spirit, and does not seem to have been a general belief 
until Christianity had revolutionised the original pagan 

^ For example, by his reference on p. 17 to Hesiod's Opera tt dies, verse 

142 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

Fourthly, that it was a gloomy world of shades ruled 
by Dark Divinities is absolutely contradicted by the 
descriptions we have of it ; by its names, as the Land 
of the Living, of Youth, of Honey, of Promise, the 
Wonderland, the Silver Cloud Land, and many others, 
all indicating that in the popular thought it was counted 
a land of bliss ; by the fact that in Christian times this 
Land of Promise is everywhere identified with the Chris- 
tian Paradise, and not with Hell ; and by the fact that 
except in rare passages, such as that relating to Tethra, it 
is usually represented as presided over by the Gaelic and 
Welsh Gods of Light, and not of Darkness. It is evident 
that the chief reason of the choice of Tethra and Manannan 
as its rulers was due to their position as gods of the ocean, 
beyond which Magh Mell was supposed to lie. 

I think more attention might well be paid than has 
been paid to the motive underlying the legends connected 
with Annwuyn (pron. "annwvn" with a closed a, mod. 
form, annwfn or amiwfi). They seem to fall into two fairly 
distinguishable groups, viz.: a group in which the motive 
is a raid into the other world or Annwuyn, by violence, 
for the purpose of carrying off from it some of its treasures 
or possessions, and a group in which some chosen mortal 
is elected by the inhabitants of the hidden country, 
generally by its queen, to come and remain for a time 
in the place of bliss in which she dwells. 

The first group of tales, which seem to bear a rude 
and primitive complexion, and which take the aspect of 
a raid such as was being constantly made between 
neighbouring chiefs or farmers in the upper world for 
the purpose of carrying off treasure, are more common 
in Welsh than in Irish myth, though they are found in 
both ; the peaceful motive of the second group is hardly 
more than suggested in Welsh story, but in Ireland 
it forms the theme of one of the largest departments of 
the romance literature. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 143 

Among the first class v/e may place the very striking 
Welsh poems called The Spoiling or Victories of Annwuyn, 
the Battle of GoSeu or Battle of the Trees (called also the 
Battle of Achren), the Tale of Kilhwch and Olvven, and 
the Mabinogi of Math, son of Mathonwy. 

In Irish literature the bursting of Cuchulain into the 
Land of Scath or Scathach, described by Cuchulain 
himself in metaphorical language in the "Phantom Chariot 
of Cuchulain," and, with more of the aspect of an actual 
event, in the "Wooing of Emer"; the raid of Fraech 
with Conall Cernach, for the recovery of his wife and 
his cows in the Alps (" Elpa ") in the Book of Fermoy, 
and the corresponding raid of Cuchulain into the Island 
of Falga to bring away Blathnat and the three cows 
and cauldron, belong to the same series of tales, and are 
dominated by the same underlying motif. In all these 
cases the attempt is made against the wish of the 
dwellers in the distant land, and with the object of 
robbing them of their possessions, and is accompanied 
accordingly with severe labours and perils. In these 
poems, too, lives are lost in endeavouring to effect an 
entry. The place itself assumes a gloomy aspect, and 
the return from it is made with loss and difficulty. In 
the Spoiling of Annzvn we read : 

I. "I will praise the sovereign, supreme Lord of the land. 

Who hath extended his donainion over the shore of the world. 
Complete (stout?) was the prison of Gweir (i.e. Gwydion) ^ in Caer 

Through the spite* of Pwyll or Pryderi. (*or 'permission,' Stephens) 
No one before him went into it. 

The heavy blue chain held the faithful youth (' firmly held,' Stephens) 
And before the Spoils of Annwn woefully he sings. 
And till doom shall continue a bard of prayer. 
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen (i.e. Arthur's ship) we went into it 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Sidi." 

* Gwydion was one of the Sons of Don or Gods of Light, and he was 
uncle to Lieu, the Sun-God. 

144 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Liter attire. 
And again : 

III. *' Am I not a candidate for fame with the listened song, 

' to be heard in song,' Stephens) 
In Caer Pedryvan, in the isle of the strong door ? 
The twilight and pitchy darkness were mixed together. 
Bright wine their liquor before their retinue 

('the beverage of the host'), 
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen we went on the sea, 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Rigor." 

— Stephen's Lit. of the Cy^nri, p. 183 ; Skene, Four Ancient Books of tVa/es, 
vol. i. p. 264. 

^ The object of the raid in the Spoiling of Annwn 
seems to have been the carrying off of its most splendid 
treasure, the cauldron set with an edge of pearls, belonging 
to its chief, and " warmed by the breath of nine maidens." 
This cauldron, like that in Cormac's Adventure in the 
Land of Promise, was a discriminating pot, for it would 
not boil the food of a coward. The cauldron which 
Cormac found, called the Cauldron of Truth, would only 
boil the food put into it during the recital of four 
absolutely accurate tales ; any romancer venturing to 
draw upon his imagination for his facts arrested the 
progress of the cooking operations, and the pig inside 
could by no manner of means be boiled. Cauldrons of 
Truth, or of Renovation, of Life, or of inexhaustible 
supplies of food, are an essential element in all tales of 
the unseen world.^ 

In the Battle of Gd^eu^ in which the trees and shrubs 
and flowers form themselves into battle array and take 
part in the fight, the conflict is said to be against the 
Gwledig of Britain ; but its real object, as we read else- 

^ Professor Anwyl says that the upper world is sometimes called elfydd 
or adfant, the latter word meaning a place with the rim turned back, as 
though it were conceived of as a huge cauldron {Celtic Religion, p. 62). 

^ Bk, of Taliessin, viii. cf. Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, i. 276 ; 
ii- 399- 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 145 

where, was to recover a white roe-buck and a puppy 
which belonged to Annwuyn, but had been caught by 
Amathaon, son of Don, Bran, King of Annwuyn, and 
Amathaon fought together in a battle in which 71,000 
lives were lost — a large expense of life for the rescue of 
" a bitch, a roe, and a lapwing," as the author of the 
Triad called " The Three Frivolous Battles," ^ of which 
this is (rather cynically) put down as one, seems to 

When, however, we consider that these things were 
the treasured possessions of the other world, we under- 
stand their value. The struggles gone through are thus 
described by Taliessin : 

" I pierced the beast of the great gem, 
Which had a hundred heads 
And a formidable battalion 
Under the root of its tongue, 
Another battalion 
In the back of its head, 
A gaping black toad 
With a hundred claws, 
A crested snake of many colours, 
A hundred souls by reason of sin 
Are tormented in its flesh. ..." 

— Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, i. p. 277 ; Rhys, Hib. Lee. 
p. 258. 

So in the Mabinogi of Math, son of Mathonwy, 
Gwydion, enchanter of the flowers and shrubs in the 
Battle of GoSeu, and brother of its leader Amathaon, 
penetrates into the country of Pryderi, son of Pwyll, and 
carries off, by means of a similar sort of enchantment 
to that of the trees in the Kat GoSeu, the swine which 
had been sent to Pryderi from Annwuyn by Arawn its 
king. It would seem as though the pig had then been 
only recently introduced into Wales, so careful is the 

^ Myryrian Arch. i. 167 ; Triads, i. 47 ; iii. 50 ; cf. Rhys, Hib. Lee. 
pp. 244-5. 

146 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

description of these animals, and so valuable do they 

The swane are refused by Pryderi, and are only 
obtained by a ruse; to secure them a battle is fought, 
in which Pryderi's men are slaughtered in such numbers 
that he has to give hostages, he himself being subse- 
quently slain by Gwydion. In every case these difficult 
and perilous expeditions into Annvvuyn are far from being, 
as Rhys and De Jubainville seem to suggest, descents 
by spirits into a land of the dead ; they are raids made 
into the bright country for the definite object of carrying 
off treasures, — a cauldron, a bitch, swine, etc., — held in great 
repute by the inhabitants of Annwuyn. The difference is 
very marked, and corresponds rather to the attempt of 
Hercules to win the golden apples from the garden of 
the Hesperides through his conflict with the serpent 
guarding the tree than with that hero's descent into 
Hades. Unfortunately for us, these Welsh poems, old 
as they undoubtedly are in parts, and ancient as are 
many of the allusions they contain, are imbued with 
sentiments derived from Christian teaching. Addresses to 
Christ, religious expressions, prayers and thanksgivings, 
form part of almost every poem, even of those that are 
most ancient. Even in the Spoils of Annwn, which is 
one of the most archaic, as it is one of the most impressive, 
of all the ancient Welsh or Cumbrian poems, the, last 
stanza is entirely occupied with the misdoings and 
ignorance of the monks, who, though they are said to 
"congregate like wolves," yet have not acquired that 

^ " So they went to Math, son of Mathonwy. 'Lord,' said Gwydion, 'I 
have heard that there have come to the south some beasts such as were 
never known in this island before.' 'What are they called?' he asked. 
'Pigs, Lord.' 'And what kind of animals are they?' 'They are small 
animals, and their flesh is better than the flesh of oxen.' 'They are small, 
then ? ' ' Yes, and they change their names ; swine are they now called,' " 
etc. (Nutt's edition, p. 59). 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 147 

knowledge of the secrets of nature which was the proud 
possession of the pagan bards : 

" They know not when the deep night and dawn divide, 
Nor what is the course of the wind, or who agitates it, 
In what place it dies away, on what land it roars ; " 

while I imagine that but for Christian teaching about 
sin and its punishment, such lines as those found in 
Kat GoSeu : 

" A hundred souls through sin 
Shall be tormented in its flesh" — 

would have been impossible. Now, as there is no por- 
tion of Irish imaginative literature that has been more 
modified and changed through contact with Christian 
influences than that portion of it relating to the unseen 
world, it is little likely that Welsh literature escaped 
without something of the same modification. The 
immense influence exercised upon the mediaeval mind 
by the subject known as the " Harrowing of Hell," a 
subject which produced one of earliest long poems 
written in the English language,^ could not have been 
unfelt in Wales. 

The only poem in Irish which recounts a similar 
experience is open to the same criticism. Cuchulain 
was recalled to a phantom-life on one occasion by St. 
Patrick, in order that he might assist in the conversion 
of the Irish king Laery (Laeghaire) by attesting from 
his own experience the truth of Patrick's assertions 
regarding the future life in heaven and hell. Laery was 
a stout pagan, and, according to this story, he declared 
that nothing would induce him to believe in the Saint, nor 
yet in God, unless he should call up Cuchulain in all his 
dignity, as he was recorded in the old stories, to add his 
testimony to the truth of Patrick's declarations. Cuchulain 
comes from hell, to which place all the great heroes of 

^The "Harrowing of Hell" is supposed to have been written in Kent in 
the latter part of the ninth century. 

148 The Idea of Hades m Celtic Literature, 

the ancient time were relegated as obstinate unbelievers 
by the religious of later days. He is there said to be 
usefully employed in plying his renowned weapon, the 
Gae bolga, on the demons ; while they, on their side, 
are scourging the hosts of Ulster around King Conor 
(Conchobhar), the king himself only being preserved by 
the special intervention of Mary's Son. This account of 
the doings of Cuchulain in hell is mixed up wnth a 
vivid description of a raid made by him in his lifetime 
into the Land of Scath, or ' Shadow,' in order to secure 
for himself a special cauldron with the treasures of gold 
and silver which it contained, as also three cows of 
wonderful properties kept in a fortress "vast by the 

The poem seems to be a confused reminiscence of 
three events in Cuchulain's career, all attended with 
difficulty and danger, viz. his journey as a youth to the 
fort of the Amazon Scathach ; his rape of Blathnat, 
wife of Curoi and daughter of Midir, from Midir's palace 
in Inis Falga (the Isle of Man or the Hebrides), along 
with his magic cauldron and three cows; and his carrying 
off the white red-eared cows of Echaid Echbel of Alba, 
which used to come and graze in Co. Antrim, evidently 
another version of the same incident. 

Though the incidents in this story seem to be pre- 
served in a very archaic form, the tone and setting have 
been coloured by Christian ideas, just as Cuchulain, when 
he asks St. Patrick to take him with him to the "Land 
of Promise," means not the Pagan Paradise, but the 
Christian heaven. 

Such efforts to enter by force and carry off the 
treasures of the unseen world seem to have been one of 
the feats demanded of a warrior of renown as a final 
test of prowess, being, as it was, attended with so much 
peril and difficulty. 

I think it is unfortunate that the word " Hades," with 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 149 

all its associations, should be applied to the world into 
which they went. Inevitably the idea of a place of 
gloom and of departed spirits attaches to the use of this 
word. Nay, imagination travels farther, and almost 
unconsciously the native conception of the Spoiling of 
Annwuyn becomes associated with the mediaeval Christian 
doctrine of the Harrowing of Hell. M. d'Arbois and 
Professor Rhys speak always of the place as one of 
gloom and terror, a prison-house in which the ghosts of 
men are detained, ruled, and presided over by " Dark 
Divinities." But the earliest description we have in Welsh 
literature of Annwuyn is utterly unlike such an idea of 
it ; it has, on the contrary, all the characteristics of 
Magh Mell, the Irish Elysium fields. We are, in fact, 
in great difficulty for want of a word to express the Celtic 
conception. The title of " Happy Other-world," which Mr. 
Nutt uses in his Voyage of Bran, and which has been 
generally adopted, seems too vague and indefinite to 
express to the mind the brilliant Irish conception of 
Magh Mell. Yet, even in choosing a title for this essay, 
I was forced to adopt the very word " Hades " which I 
think to be so misleading, because no other more satis- 
factory word seemed to suggest itself. The Welsh word 
Annwuyn or Annwfn is equally unsuited to express the 
earliest idea of the British Celt. For Annwfn means 
" very deep," an " abyss " {dwfii = deep), and nothing 
could be more unlike the cheerful descriptions given of 
the place in Welsh literature than such a title. Professor 
Morris Jones thinks, and I have no doubt rightly, that 
the word has replaced, under later influences, some more 
ancient name now lost to us, and has become identified 
in the Christian consciousness with the place of the dead. 
The earliest description we have in Welsh literature 
of Annwfn, to which I referred above, is found in the 
Mabinogi of Pwyll, Prince of Dyved. Pwyll, who is out 
hunting one day, meets a chieftain named Arawn, who 

1 50 The Idea of Hades 171 Celtic Literature. 

tells him that he is a crowned king in the land from 
which he had come, namely, Annwuyn, where another 
king of the same country is engaged in war with him. 
By mutual agreement they arrange to exchange kingdoms 
and personalities for a year, and Pwyll is conducted 
by Arawn to the entrance of his palace and its sur- 
rounding buildings, and invited to enter the Court as 
king. The story continues : " So he went forward into 
the Court, and, when he came there, he beheld sleeping- 
rooms and halls and chambers, and the most beautiful 
buildings ever seen. And he went into the hall to 
disrobe, and there came youths and pages and disrobed 
him, and all as they entered saluted him. And two 
knights came and drew his hunting-dress from about 
him, and clothed him in a vesture of silk and gold. 
And the hall was prepared, and behold he saw the 
household and the host enter in, and the host was the 
most comely and the best equipped that he had ever 
seen. And with them came in likewise the Queen, who 
was the fairest woman that he had ever yet beheld. She 
had on a yellow robe of shining satin ; and they washed 
and went to table and sat, the Queen on one side of him, 
and one who seemed to be an Earl on the other side. 

"And he began to speak with the Queen, and he 
thought from her speech that she was the seemliest and 
most noble lady of converse and of cheer that ever was. 
And they partook of meat and drink, with songs and 
feasting; and of all the Courts upon earth, behold this 
was the best supplied with food and drink, and vessels 
of gold and royal jewels."^ 

Now, except that we find a king — or, rather, kings — 
reigning in Annwuyn (or Annwfn), instead of, as is 
usual in the Irish stories, a Queen, this description 
exactly agrees with the accounts of the beauty and 

'^ Pwyll, Prince of Dyved, Nutt's ed. pp. 4-6. See also Math, son of 
Mathonwy, pp. 59-60. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 1 5 1 

gladsomeness of Magh Mell, the Irish Land of Youth and 
Promise. Nothing could be further removed from those 
notions of death and gloom that we associate with 
Hades than the account of this cheerful " Other-world." 
It is manifest that the name Annwfn as " an abyss " in 
no way fits it, any more than does M. Gaidoz's attempt 
to equate the word with the Breton " anaoun," and make 
it a place of souls.^ The idea of it as a place inhabited 
by the souls of men is quite foreign to it ; it is a cheerful 
and happy land of the superior beings, into which, as 
occasion arises, the chosen mortal may venture and return 
alive, by the special invitation of its prince. 

It is very evident that we are in the presence of two 
overlapping conceptions — an earlier one, representing a 
country of bliss and contentment ; and a later one, in 
which this mysterious world has lost its original signific- 
ance as a world of life and happiness, and has become 
synonymous with a place of death and the shades. The 
number of times that we meet with the word " Uffern " 
(the Welsh word for " hell ") in connection with Annwfn 
is very significant. Uffern is derived from the Latin 
"infern-a," and like the ideas of "soul "-existence, of 
" penance," and of future " punishment," it came in with 
Latin teachers of Christianity, who grafted imperfectly 
the notions derived from quite other sources upon the 
native stock of ideas.'- 

^The Welsh Dictionary gives Annwfn as "a bottomless gulf," "an abyss"; 
"the receptacle of the dead"; "hell." Professor Anwyl considers that it 
signifies the "Not-world" {Celtic Religion, p. 62). 

In the Zeitschrift fUr Celt. Phil. i. 29, M. Gaidoz equates Annwfn with 
the Breton afiaotm, "the souls of the departed"; but he finds it difficult to 
explain this, because his suggested original aniniun does not exist anywhere 
(see also ibid. iii. 184 ; and Annates de Bretagne, xi. 488). 

^ I owe the following note to the courtesy of Professor Morris Jones : 
'■'■uffern, Lat. infern-a: before the f. ( = Welsh ft".) the n was lost and the 
i was rounded, becoming n, which in old Welsh was sounded like the 
French /<." 

152 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Liter ature. 

Even in those poems to which we have alluded, in 
which the bright country suffered violence and an 
attempt was made to take it by force, and where we 
find it represented consequently as guarded by walls and 
serpents, and monsters of all sorts, which have to be 
overcome, the essential characteristics remain, though the 
idea has been modified. The cauldron with the rim of 
pearls which would not cook food for a coward — symbol of 
renewed life and truthfulness ; the brindled ox with the 
broad head-band, or the precious beast with silver-head ; 
the "perfect chair," known to Manawyddan and Pryderi, 
seated in which neither disease nor old age can touch the 
occupant ; the fire encircled by streams of ocean ; the 
fruitful fountain above it which gives drink sweeter than 
white wine: all these are, with only the smallest variation 
in details, the characteristics which we meet with in the 
Irish Land of Promise, into which Cormac goes. We find 
them, indeed, with certain modifications, in every story 
of the Irish world invisible. The names given in Welsh 
literature to Annwfn are also interesting : Caer Sidi, the 
Revolving Castle; Caer Vedwyd, the Castle of Revelry; 
Caer Golud, Castle of Riches ; Caer Pedryvan, the 
Four-cornered Castle, four times revolving ; Caer Rigor, 
the Kingly Castle. These titles, which are perhaps 
older than Annwfn or Uffern, both of which are found 
in the poem, do not convey to the mind a place of 
misery or darkness. Besides, it seems clear that the 
third and fourth lines of the " Spoiling of Annwfn " 
refer to Gwydion's journey thither to recover the swine 
of Pryderi in the story of Math, son of Mathonwy, and 
we have already examined the bright conception of 
Annwfn in the Mabinogion, The lines run thus : 

" Stout was the prison of Gweir {i.e. Gwydion) in Caer Sidi. 
Through the spite of Pwyll and Pryderi 
No one before him went into it. 
The heavy i^lue chain held the faithful youth, 

The Idea of Hades hi Celtic Literature. 153 

And before the spoils of Annwfn woefully he sings. 
Thenceforth till doom he shall remain a bard. 
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen (Arthur's ship) we went into it 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Sidi." 

It is this and similar verses that has given an aspect 
of gloom to the place ; but, if it alludes to Gwydion's 
unauthorised descent to the south to steal the posses- 
sions of Pryderi, as seems obvious, it becomes one of 
the descriptions of a violent raid for the purpose of 
carrying off treasure. In the prose tale the Prince gets 
off safe with the swine, but in the poem he is imprisoned 
and loses most of his men. 

Turning now to Irish literature, we are in presence 
of a large series of stories relating to the passage of 
exceptional human beings into the unseen world. There 
is no thought, so far as I can see, that all mortals will 
of necessity assemble thither, or that it is a land to be 
reached through death ; it is essentially, and above all 
things, the land of life, of the Ever-living or Immortal 
Ones, of the young who will never grow old ; not, as I 
conceive of it, of the dead who will live again, but of 
beings who cannot, in the human sense, die at all. That 
is, I do not conceive that the unseen world was generally 
thought of by the pagan Irish as a place of departed 
spirits, shades in which they wander, or a Paradise in 
which they live again, but rather as a dwelling of the 
Immortals into which by special favour, or, for a special 
purpose, some single mortals were invited, and whence, 
like Connla, they may never care to return, or, like 
Cuchulain, they may stay awhile, and then resume ordi- 
nary life ; or yet again they may, like Bran or Ofsin, 
return to earth only to die. But as a rule they do return 
again, while the idea that they attain to the land only by 
means of death is entirely absent. 

The usual belief is that it lies in an island within a 
lake or beyond the ocean ; or again, it is beneath the 


154 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

waves at the bottom of the sea, the idea of separation 
by water being essential in most of the tales. Later, when 
the gods who ruled this mystic realm were conceived of 
as fallen from their high estate as Lords of the Sky, 
and were relegated to the sidh dwellings underground, 
and, connected in men's minds with the tumuli or ancient 
burial-places, the idea changed somewhat. 

But everywhere, as in Welsh legend, we find the same 
description of this land as one of unfailing brightness, 
of inexhaustible joys, where death, disease, and want are 
alike unknown, and where no man notices the lapse of 
time. I do not intend to summarise these tales to-night ; 
this has been done for the Pagan tales, or those most 
entirely Pagan, by Mr. Nutt in his Voyage of Bran, and 
for the Christian voyage tales by Zimmer in his studies 
on the Brendan Legend.^ They are, fortunately, by this 
time pretty well known. 

A couple of typical instances will suffice. In Laegh's 
description of the palace in Magh Mell, as he himself 
had seen it, he says : 

" There is a door toward the west 
In the place where the sun goes down, 
A stud of pale horses with brilliant manes ; 
Another, purple brown ; 
At the door towards the east I saw 
Three shining purple trees, 
From which a flock of birds calls down 
Gently to the youths of the royal dun. 
There is at the fortress' door a tree. 
Pleasant the music that comes therefrom, 
A tree of silver ; against it the sun 
Shines like unto gold in splendour. 
Three hundred men by each noble tree 
Of various fruits, are nourished. 
There is a well in the princely dwelling. 

^ Keltische Beitrlige, Zeitschrift fur Deutsche Alterthum, vol. xxxiii. p. 128 
seq. and 32, 196-334 ; cf. Zeit. fur Vgl. Sp7-ach, 28. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 155 

Thrice fifty princes with mantles gay 
And a brooch of gold, of brightest hue 
In each of their radiant mantles. 
There is a cask of joyous mead 
Distributed to the household. 
How much soever may be consumed 
It remains ever full and enduring. 
A woman abides in this noble house 
Above all the women of Erin. 
With hair of gold she welcomes us 
In her accomplished beauty. 
Her speech to the men of every king 
Beautiful, wise, and gentle," etc. 

Or in Condla of the Golden Hair : 

" There is another land 

It were not ill for thee to visit it, 

I see the bright sun is setting 

How far soever it be, before night we shall arrive. 

It is the land of joy 

Passing the dreams of all men. 

There is no one dwelling there 

Save noble women and maidens." 

The same blissful conceptions are found in every story 
of the unseen world. The happy, careless nature of the 
Celt, prone to optimism, and always determined to believe 
the best rather than to fear the worst, conjured up for 
himself a radiant land where all that he loved best in 
life was to be reproduced and multiplied. Everlasting 
youth, brave men and lovely women, music, drinking, 
and pastimes, were all to be found there, and as warfare 
and blood-shedding were essential to happiness in the 
earthly life, they are at times reproduced in the other 
world, and the happy mortal is called upon to take part 
in them. He is tempted away by a fair maiden, usually 
by means of a wondrous apple of every flavour, and 
which, however much it was partaken of, never grew less, 
or by a magic branch that played melodious music, and 
whose call was irresistible. These features recur in almost 
every legend of the unseen world. A sort of trance is 

156 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

usually gone into, but this does not appear to have been 

We need not linger over these tales. All that is 
essential to us is to recognise that over them hangs no 
depressing rule of " Dark Divinities," no gloom of spirit- 
haunted shades, no thought of death or pain. They are 
painted with all the powers of brilliant word-painting of 
which the Irish Gael was such a master, as worlds of 
joy and of youth, of vital and unending life. They are, 
in fact, the Paradise of the Gods of Life. It is earth 
that is in them represented always as " the dark unquiet 
land," the place where " amid the assemblies of short- 
lived mortals " man is fated to await his death. 

This is the essential distinction of the Pagan dreams. 
But when we pass to the visions influenced by Christian 
thought, we are conscious at once of a change of tone. 
Gradually the joyousness that has been the dominant 
note of Pagan belief is tuned down into a minor key, 
the old stories receive into themselves new features, 
counterbalancing what had hitherto been wholly bright 
and hopeful, by suggestions of gloom, of suffering, and 
of despair. At first these suggestions are fitted awkwardly 
into the old framework, they are rare, and, as it were, 
out of place ; but gradually, as larger portions of the 
new belief find their way into the old romances, many 
of the older features become modified, and we finally 
emerge into an atmosphere wholly controlled by medi- 
aeval beliefs introduced through Christian influence. The 
meeting-point of Pagan and Christian thought is always 
of deep interest ; but I know of no place in custom or 
literature where there can be traced, step by step, the 

^ It is to be remarked that the most permanent characteristics of the unseen 
world are those which formed part of the ordinary surroundings of every 
Irish dwelling of any rank. The pot or cauldron, the apple-tree in which 
birds sing, the vat of mead or ale, the hearth or fire, the harp giving music, 
were essentials without which the earthly home would have been imperfect. 
The transference of these things into his Elysium was natural and inevitable. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 157 

gradual absorption of new and fixed doctrinal ideas of 
outside growth into the older and vaguer, but exquisite 
imaginings of the native mind, as it can be traced in the 
Gaelic visions of the Other World. It was impossible to 
shatter at a blow a form of belief which was rooted in 
the very nature of the people ; it held its place with 
persistent vitality, and even when, with many slow 
loiterings by the way, it gradually, and, as it were, reluct- 
antly, fell into the background, it was not without having 
carried over into the new many beautiful fancies derived 
from the old, as it likewise absorbed into the old many 
thoughts (principally, alas, thoughts of gloom and pen- 
ance and punishment) gathered out of the graver and 
more awesome conceptions of the Christian monks. 

Let me point out, briefly, how this changed idea is 
introduced. In general, the framework of a voyage is 
carried on from Pagan times into the semi-Christian 
\visions, but the idea has gradually enlarged from that 
of a single island in a lake or across the sea, into a long 
^series of islands out on the open boundless ocean, in each 
of which some new marvel is to be found. Already, in 
the Voyage of Bran, one of the oldest of the tales, we 
have the single isle of older times expanded into fifty or 
" thrice fifty " isles in the ocean to the west of us, and 
several of these are separately described ; but in this 
voyage the main incidents remain unchanged. It is a 
lady who beckons, a branch of silver that allures, and 
the whole aspect is joyous and full of brilliant charm. 
In the Voyage of Maelduin, in the Voyage of the Sons 
of O'Corra, of Snedgus and MacRiagla, of St. Columcille's 
Three Clerics, and in the famous Voyage of St. Brendan, 
there are a multitude of islands, each preserving some 
well-defined characteristic differentiating it from all the 

The voyage is no longer made in a magic craft, which 
moves of itself across a maGfic ocean ; it is an actual 



158 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

craft built of wood or skins, and manned by human 
oarsmen, and the direction of the voyage is usually west- 
ward or north-west, several of the voyages starting from 
or near Gal way or Kerry on the western coast of 

But the really distinctive feature is that the voyage 
itself, instead of being undertaken from motives of 
pleasure or desire, becomes a penance or an expiation 
for crime. Maelduin goes to discover the murderer of 
his father, and the adventures of the Sons of O'Corra, 
of Snedgus and MacRiagla, and of St. Columcille's 
Clerics, arise out of the commission and the punishment 
of crime. 

Even the Voyage of Brendan, which sprang out of 
that desire that lay deep in the heart of many a 
dreaming Celt to find " great rivers and fertile lands " 
beyond the ocean, is shadowed by the doom of mis- 
fortune entailed by exceeding the number of passengers 
allotted for the voyage — a motif that is found in several 
of the stories, and which, if it is Irish at all, springs 
from the desire for fixed numbers that pervades Irish 

These voyages are, then, penitential journeys, and this 
fact entirely revolutionises the structure and tone of the 
tales. The incidents assume a moral aspect, which 
becomes more and more marked as time goes on, and 
in their latest evolution the voyage incident entirely 
drops out, and the whole tale is concerned with the 
description of the joys of paradise and heaven and the 
tortures of the lost in hell. Let us trace the way in 
which this idea enters the tales. In the Voyage of 
Bran we first find the central idea of the other world 
shrunk into the special characteristic of a single one 
out of a number of islands. The Land of Women no 
longer fills the central place. The palace where the 
wanderers are entertained, the food of every flavour 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 159 

which is given to them, the rapid and unperceived lapse 
of time, the ball of thread with which the travellers 
are held (which replaces in the later legends the original 
apple of invitation) are here, as in all the later legends, 
peculiarities only of one out of the numerous islands 
which they visit.^ Here appears for the first time the 
Isle of Laughter, where the inhabitants give forth in- 
cessant gusts of laughter, and on which, when one of 
Bran's companions lands, he is seized with the same 
desire, and remains gaping and shaking with mirth for 

In the Voyage of Maelduin this Isle of Laughter is 
balanced by another island called the Isle of Wailing, 
inhabited by human beings whose bodies and raiments 
were black. Round their heads were fillets, and they 
rested never from weeping and wailing. No one who 
landed on the island ever returned, but began to weep 
with the rest. Maelduin had to send four of his men, 
with garments wrapped round their heads and mouths, 
to bring back by force three who had landed to explore 
the isle. Two they brought back, but the third remained 
behind. Here already we begin to feel in the region of 
the Divine Comedy. 

In the Voyage of the Sons of O'Corra the first island 
they come to is the Isle of Weeping. This sufficiently 
indicates the penitential nature of their voyage, which is 
undertaken to atone for their intended murder of their 
grandfather and for their numerous crimes ; or, in their 
own words, " to take upon themselves the habit of 
penitence and religion." 

In these two stories appears for the first time the 
Miller of Hell, but as yet he is a personage whose 
business it is not to punish men, but to teach them a 
moral lesson. In his mill are all the choice things of 
the world, the pleasures and riches of life {Sons of 

^ Cf. Maelduin^ xvii. , xxviii. 

i6o The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

O'Corra, ch. 62). In Maeldidn it is all those things that 
have been begrudged on earth, the treasures about which 
men have shown themselves covetous and selfish, which 
are being ground in the mill (ch. xiv,). 

We are not yet in the full tide of mediaeval dogmatic 
belief, but the time is not far off when the miller will 
no longer grind the goods of this world, but the bodies 
and souls of men.^ 

The same moral intention is seen in O'Corra in the 
man who is condemned to dig perpetually with a spade 
with a handle of fire, because during his life he had 
dug his fields on Sunday ; and in Maelduin in the 
punishment of the cook who stole and secreted the 
valuables of the church.^ 

The Pagan Paradise or Land of Promise seems at 
first to retain its position in the stories independently 
of the Christian heaven, but inevitably it becomes in 
the later tales confused with it, and passes into it. In 
Maelduin, in the Voyage of Snedgus and the Story of 
Columcille's Clerics, it is a land that may not be entered, 
and which is usually guarded by a rampart or revolving 
wall. In Maelduin (xxxii.) we read : " After that they 
sight another island, and it was not large, a fiery rampart 
round about it, and that rampart revolved round the 
island. In the side of the rampart was an open door, 
and whenever the doorway came in the course of its 
revolution opposite to where Maelduin and his com- 
panions were, they could see through it the entire island 
and all that was in it ; its inhabitants also, human 
beings, beautiful, very many, wearing embroidered 
garments, and feasting with golden vessels in their 

^ The same gradual transference from a moral and allegorical to an actual 
state is shown in an interesting manner in comparing the Vision of Fursius 
(Bede, Eccl. Hist. Bk. iii. c. 19), in which the fires of hell are symbolic, with 
the grim reality of the later visions. 

^Voyage of Maelduin, Rev. Celt. vols. ix. x. ; Voyage of the Sons of 
O'Corra, ibid. vol. xiv. 27-63, both edited by Whitley Stokes. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Liter ahire. i6i 

hands. And the wanderers heard their drinking-songs. 
A long time they pondered that marvel, for it seemed 
delightful to them."i 

In- the Irish Voyage of Brendan this island still 
remains apart from Paradise, but the inhabitants have 
become Christian. " On a certain day when they were 
prosperously on the sea, rowing, they beheld a certain 
beautiful island, and it was lofty. Howbeit they found 
no easy harbour or port of entrance. For twelve days 
they continued going round it, and during all that space 
they were unable to land upon it. Howbeit they heard 
men's voices therein praising the Lord, and they beheld 
a church therein, high, famous, delightful." They were 
not permitted to land on the island, but from above a 
waxed tablet was thrown down to them, which bid them 
spend no more toil in trying to enter that island, for it 
was not the land they sought, and they could never 
come therein ; for it was written in the Scriptures, 
" Mansiones Dei midtae sunt." ^ 

In later times, as Zimmer points out, the Tir tairngiri, 
or Land of Promise, becomes identified with Canaan, or 
the promised land of the Jews, and in the Irish com- 
mentaries on certain verses in the Epistles to the Hebrews 
and Corinthians, these passages are so explained by the 
commentators. It is the promised land of the living 
{tire tairngiri innanibeo), thus identifying it exactly with 
the Land of the Living {tlr bed) of Echtra Condla. 

In the Irish version of the Voyage of St. Brendan, 
that wondrous tale which caught the imagination of the 
whole of mediaeval Europe, there is strangely mingled 
in the young adventurer's mind the longing for an 

1 Cf. in the Voyage of Snedgus and MacRiagla (ed. Whitley Stokes, Rev. 
Celt. vol. ix.) the Isle of Gaelic men and women, who sing to them ; also the 
revolving rampart of Curoi's fort in the Feast of Bricriu (ed. G. Henderson for 
the Irish Texts Society, 1899, pp. 102-3). 

^ In Snedgus and MacRiagla, and in Columcille's Clerics a leaf is sent down. 

1 62 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

unknown earthly country over-seas and a vision of the 
Paradise of his theology. "The love of the Lord grew 
exceedingly in his heart, and he desired to leave his 
land and country, his parents and his fatherland, and 
he urgently besought the Lord to give him a land 
secret, hidden, secure, delightful, separate from men. 
Now, after he had slept that night he heard the voice 
of an angel, who said to him, 'Arise, O Brenainn, for 
God hath given thee what thou soughtest, even the 
Land of Promise.' " ^ Yet it was not till fourteen years 
or more were past, and at the close of his second 
voyage, that he at length reached that hidden land, 
although it was during his first voyage that he had his 
grotesquely horrible glimpse into Hell. 

It is evident that these later voyages which we have 
been considering have united in their structure two 
ideas : that of the early voyage of pure adventure and 
that of the trial by ordeal, in which, as a test of crime 
and also as its punishment, a suspected man was cast 
adrift on the ocean without oars or rudder, often without 
food or drink, to drift whithersoever the winds or waves 
might carry him.^ 

But it soon became apparent to the mediaeval 
preacher that he had in these stories a unique oppor- 
tunity of impressing the minds and imaginations of his 
people with his favourite theme " the pains and punish- 
ments of hell and the bane of doomsday." All that 
was necessary was slightly to change the object of the 
voyage and to add a new island wherein the horrors 
of hell were revealed, or, if he were more pitiful and 
imaginative, of two islands where hell and heaven could 

^ Lives of the Saints from the Book of Lismore, ed. by Whitley Stokes, 
355-4, P- 252. 

"^ Cf. Life of St. Patrick, by Muirchu Maccu Mactheni, in Tripartite 
Life, ed. Whitley Stokes, vol. ii. p. 288; English Chronicle, 891 a.d. ; 
Voyage of Maelduin, Rev. Celt. ix. ; Voyage of the Sons of O'Corra. 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 163 

both be entered in turn. In the Voyage of the Sons of 
OCorra this purpose is faintly shadowed, the travellers 
pass into the realm of spirits and behold the living and 
the dead; but in the Irish Voyage of Brendan, which 
is a homily, and hence an opportunity for edification 
not to be missed, a long description of hell couched in 
the adjectival language of the homilies is dragged un- 
comfortably in amid native dreams of a yellow-haired 
maiden floating on the waves, of the little bird that 
became a monstrous sea-cat, and other reminiscences of 
fancies and legends of an earlier time. But even in 
Ireland the Legend of Brendan is a composite one. 

As the chief object of such stories was to point a moral 
and warn a hardened race by a description of the terrors 
of hell, the framework of a voyage was by degrees seen 
to be no longer necessary ; it had become a mere 
superfluous adjunct. And so there arose in Ireland, 
or out of the imagination of Irish monks, a long series 
of Visions, in which the soul, usually parted from the 
body in trance or cataleptic sleep, wanders into realms 
unknown and sees revelations of heaven and hell. Into 
these visions we do not enter. There is one of them 
only that retains and carries into the new tradition 
something of the radiant fancy, the hopeful tenderness, 
of the beautiful native Gaelic tales. It is called the 
Vision of Adamnan} and though, as in all the others, 
we are here conducted through heaven and hell, there 
is no appeal to that horror and disgust which is called 
up by the hideous and often grotesque scenes of the 
later visions, such as those of the Tidings of Doomsday^ 
of Owain Myles and Tundale, and of the Spanish prince 

Its resemblance to the Divine Comedy of Dante is 
remarkable, the circles of ascent to heaven, the angelic 
watchers, the graduation of the punishments and their 
^Ed. by Whitley Stokes, Simla, 1870. 

164 The Idea of Hades in Celtic Literature. 

appropriateness to the crimes committed, all foreshadow- 
ing the work of the Italian seer. 

But the predominant note of the Tidings of Doomsday 
and of the host of visions that flooded and shadowed 
Europe during the middle ages, and many of which 
centred round the spot known as "St. Patrick's Purgatory" 
on Lough Derg in Donegal, is one of terror. A positive 
zest is evinced by the writers in conjuring up and 
emphasising scenes horrible in their grim detail of 
corporeal or spiritual tortures. The mind shudders at 
the lengthened description of pains from which there 
is no hope of release for the sufferers and no moral 
alleviation to be won. Here, indeed, we find fully dis- 
played that belief in an after-death or life of souls, 
that gloomy sense of penitence, sin, and punishment, of 
which the pagan literature knew little and which the 
pagan Gael could in no such sense have understood. But 
it is not a native note, it is introduced from outside, 
though exaggerated and grown grotesque in the Irish 
mediaeval imagination. If we want the native note of 
the Gaelic mind dwelling on the unseen, we shall find 
it in such a passage as this, incorporated into a semi- 
Christian vision : 

" They now descry a pleasant land with a good coast, 
and at sight of it they grow cheerful and of good 
courage. They row close up to it and find a fine 
green-bottomed estuary with sandy depths clear as a 
spring or like the shining whiteness of pure silver ; 
salmon of varied hue, and brilliant in choice shades of 
crimson-red ; delicate woods with empurpled tree tops 
fringing the delightful streams of this new land. 'A 
beauteous land is this, young men,' said Teigue : ' and 
happy would he be whose lot in life were cast within it ! 
A lovely and a fruitful land is this to which we come ! ' 
Then they hauled up the currach on the beach and 
set out to view the country. And for all they had 

The Idea of Hades in Celtic Liter atitre. 165 

suffered of cold, of strain on their endurance, of foul 
weather and tempest, yet neither for fire or for meat, 
did they on reaching that coast feel any need at all ; 
the perfume of that region's fragrant crimsoned branches 
being for food and for all their needs sufficient for 
them. Through the nearest part of the forest they take 
their way and come upon an orchard full of apple-trees, 
red-laden, with leafy oaks and yellow-clustered hazels. 
They pass from thence and happen on a wood ; round 
purple grapes hung from it, excellent of scent and 
perfume and each one bigger than a human head. 
Birds beautiful and brilliant were feasting on those 
grapes ; birds strange and of unknown kind, white, with 
scarlet heads and golden beaks. And as they fed, they 
warbled music melodious and supreme, listening to which 
men sick and wounded sore would fall asleep. And as 
they pass across the wide smooth plain, with flowering 
clover all bedewed with honey, Teigue would chant this 
lay : ' Sweet to my fancy, as I listen, the strains of that 
sweet melody of birds.'" ^ 

Eleanor Hull. 

^"Teigue, son of Cian," i>ilva Gadelica, ed. by Standish H. O'Grady, 
vol. ii. p. 389. 



I HAVE read with some interest, and at times with a 
little surprise, the contribution to Folk-Lore of September 
last by Mr. N. W. Thomas, entitled " Dr. Howitt's 
Defence of Group-Marriage." 

Certain parts require notice, and I shall take them 
seriatim so far as can conveniently be done. 

I must consider, in the first place, an important pass- 
age at pp. 294-5, which is as follows: 

"In his work on the tribes of South-east Australia, 
Dr. Howitt asserts in the most unqualified manner 
(pp. 177-179, N.T.S.E.A.) that a woman must enter into 
the tippa-malku relation before she can receive a pirrauru 
or accessory spouse." 

This is correctly quoted, with the exception that the 
expression " accessory spouse " belongs to Mr. Thomas. 

There is, however, another paragraph at page 182 of 
my Native Tribes, which runs as follows : " But com- 
monly it is not merely two pairs of pirrauru who are 
allotted to each other, but the whole of the marriageable 
or married people, even those who are already pirraurus, 
are re-allotted, the kandri ceremony being performed for 
batches of them at the same time." 

These two statements are inconsistent with each other. 
A girl becomes marriageable after she has been initiated 
to womanhood at the Wilpadrina ceremony, and may then 

Native Tribes of South-East Australia. 167 

be allotted as a pirrauru^ whether she be in the relation 
of tippa-malku or not. 

It is therefore incorrect where I say, as Mr. Thomas 
points out, " that a woman must enter the tippa-malku 
relation before she can receive a pirraurur 

In the preparation of my work, which extended over 
several years, a number of draughts were made, each one 
being altered as I obtained further information. There 
were four or five of these, and in the preparation of the 
latest for the press, I added the second of the above- 
quoted passages, as the final result of enquiries made to 
clear up doubts which I had formed as to the correctness 
of the earlier information. I intended to bring the state- 
ments about tippa-malhi into accord with the new facts, 
but I found on seeing the work in print that this had 
not been done, unfortunately leaving the very misleading 
statement which Mr. Thomas has quoted. 

In replying to Mr. Lang, I had the later paragraph in 
mind, and also another matter, which I now avail myself 
of this opportunity to place in a more satisfactory position. 

I have always experienced a great difficulty, owing to 
the aboriginal conception of relationship being on a totally 
different plane to ours, in giving such an explanation of 
the Dieri marriages as would be a correct statement of 
fact and at the same time be easily mastered by my 

Many years ago, when I wrote an account of the 
Dieri and Kindred Tribes, I used the term 7ioa as the 
equivalent of that which I now term pirrauru, and this 
was correct because, taking Diagram i. for my illustration, 
the man i and the woman 6 are still noa while being 
also pirraiiru by the kandri ceremony. At the same 
time the man i is also the noa of the woman 5, and 
obtained her as his wife by tippa-malkii. 

I therefore distinguished between the position of the 
woman 5 by speaking of her as the " specialised noa!' 

1 68 Native Tribes of South-East Atistraha. 

When I ascertained that the " specialised noa " became 
so by being made tippa-malku, I found it convenient to 
use that term, and spoke of the tippa-malku marriage as 
distinguished from the pirrauru marriage. 

But in doing this I find that I have pushed the use 
of the former term too far, for, properly speaking, it only 
relates to " betrothal," for instance, of a boy and girl 
who are 7ioa to each other. It will be necessary therefore 
to distinguish, as I regret that I have not sufficiently 
done, between " betrothal " and the " gift " of a woman, 
for instance, for some great service rendered, such as 
holding up the corpse at the funeral ceremony. 

When the opportunity presents itself, I propose to so 
far amend my Native Tribes by correcting errors which 
I regret to find. 

Mr. Thomas says at page 294, " The classificatory 
system, however, is not more closely connected with the 
pirrauru system than with tippa-malku marriage, and the 
validity of Dr. Howitt's identification of the pirrauru 
relation with the kind of group-marriage for whose 
former existence he argues may justly be challenged." 

To show in what manner the classificatory system is, 
in fact, closely connected with pirrauru, I must enter 
into details which will require a diagram to make them 

That the diagram may be founded on fact, I shall 
have recourse to the Table of Dieri Marriages and 
Descents which faces page 1 59 of my Native Tribes. 
I take as an illustration the men i and 2, with their 
respective wives 5 and 6 and sons 9 and 1 1 : 

Diagram i. 
I m 2 m 

9 m 1 1 m 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 169 

The men i and 2 were brothers, and each had a wife 
by betrothal {tippa-malkiC). I assume that, at some cere- 
mony, 5 and 2, and 6 and i, became pirraurii, and 
further, that in accordance with the common practice they 
lived in a family of four. {Native Tribes, p. 181.) I have 
always found difficulty in explaining the relationships 
which arise out of this double marriage, and I shall 
therefore use the terms husband and wife where a man 
and a woman have been allotted to each other, either by 
betrothal (tippa-malkn), gift, or by the kandvi ceremony 
as pirrauru. 

Thus I is the husband of 5, but he is also the husband 
of 6, and 2 is likewise the husband of 6 and 5. The 
men i and 2 are therefore husbands in common of the 
women 5 and 6. 

We may now go a step further. The man 9 is the son 
of the woman 5, but he has two fathers, who are the 
" group-husbands " of his mother. Now, to use Mr. 
Thomas's term, we have a physiological fact as to the 
fatherhood of either or both of these men. They are 
both properly regarded as the ngaperi of both 9 and 11, 
and the only distinction which is made, so far as I know, 
is that the man i is the ngaperi^ and the man 2 is the 
ngaperi-waka of 9. The same considerations will show 
that the men 2 and i are the fathers in common of 
the man 11. 

The filial relations naturally follow from the marital 
and parental relations. Thus the men 9 and 11 are the 
sons {ngataviiird) of both i and 2, and while 5 and 6 are 
the " own " mothers of 9 and 1 1 respectively, they stand 
in the relation of ngandri to 1 1 and 9. Moreover, since 
9 and 1 1 have the same fathers, they are necessarily 

Here we may see in actual existence the relationships 
which justify the observation which I have made in my 
Native Tribes (p. 162), that all the children of two or 

170 Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 

more brothers, or of two or more sisters, are in the 
relation of brother and sister to each other. This is 
also the case in tribes which have individual marriage, as 
well as in those who have marriage in the pirraimi 

I have just spoken of a woman being in the relation 
of mother to her sister's son, and I think that this may 
be likened to our term " step-mother," with this difference, 
that with us the " mother " and the " step-mother " cannot 
each be the wife of a man at the same time, while with 
the Dieri under the pirrauru marriage that is the case. 

I think that I have now shown how the terms husband 
and wife, father and mother, son and brother, all arise 
out of the pirrmiru family, and that the native terms 
include the group and also the individual to whom alone 
we apply our terms, for instance, father and son. 

If I have not misunderstood the passage which I have 
quoted, Mr. Thomas means that tippa-malku has nothing 
to do with the classificatory system. That is so, and 
the reason seems to me quite clear. As I have said 
before, " betrothal," for that is the essence of tippa-malku, 
is an innovation on the pirrauru group-right, indeed may 
be the innovation which ultimately brought about the 
system of individual marriage in the other Australian 

It is not out of place here to point out that tippa-malku 
is not a classificatory term, but defines the relation between 
two individuals. 

I find at page 296 the following passage : " The group 
marriage, whose prior existence is asserted by Dr. Howitt, 
not only for the whole of Australia, but also for all 
countries in which the classificatory system is in use, 
cannot with any propriety be termed marriage at all ; 
its proper name is ' modified promiscuity.' " According to 
this view all the people who stood in the uoa relation 
to each other were de jure and de facto husbands and 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 171 

wives. At the present day noa undoubtedly means no 
more than "marriageable." If Mr. Thomas reads the term 
"group-marriage" in the paragraph at page 189 as refer- 
ring to a period of sexual license, which would be properly 
termed " modified promiscuity," it must be considered to 
have been prior to the 110a relationship, and consequently 
there could not have been people who stood in the relation 
of noa to each other. Therefore Mr. Thomas's sentence 
is quite beside the mark. Thoughout my paper I spoke 
of pirrauru as " group-marriage." 

Mr. Thomas's remark makes it again necessary to refer 
to that relation. The noa system is based on the fact that 
whenever a child is born it becomes one of a group — 
which is male if the child is a boy, or female if a girl. 
These two groups are collectively and individually noa to 
each other, or, as Mr. Thomas in one place puts it, 
" marriageable." 

If the child is a boy, then his noa group consists of 
himself and all his own and tribal brothers ; such is also 
the analogous case of a girl, her group being composed 
of her own and tribal sisters. 

The tribe is made up of such noa groups, and in tracing 
out the successive descents it becomes evident that the 
relations noa and kai)ii alternate. A diagram will show 
how the noa and kami rule works out. It is impossible to 
form any idea of the numerical strength of such a group, 
for it must be remembered that intertribal marriages took 
place, and that therefore a noa group might find some 
of its members in one of the neighbouring tribes. 

Diagram 2. 

7m 8f 
—T-< .... 7ioa .... > 

1 f 4m 

2 f < . . . . kami . . . . > 5 f 

T T 

3 m< . . . . noa . . . . > 6 f 

172 Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 

I, 2, 3 are the grandmother, mother, and the grandson; 
4 is the brother of i, 5 his daughter, and 6 his grand- 
daughter. The man 7 is the husband of i, 8 is the wife 
of 4, and it must be added that 7 and 8 are brother and 
sister, as are also 4 and i. 

The diagram therefore shows the alternations of the noa 
and kami relations. It also shows that the proper wife 
of the man 3 must be a woman who is his mother's, 
mother's, brother's, daughter's daughter, — that is, the 
woman 6 ; or, what is the same thing, his mother's, 
father's, sister's, daughter's daughter, who is the woman 6. 

This shows that no one can, by any possibility, become 
the husband or wife of any other person than a member 
of the noa group which is complementary to his or hers. 

I may now say, once for all, that the careful consider- 
ation which I have given to the evidence of the terms of 
relationship of the tribes of South-east Australia, during 
the past two years, has brought me to the definite opinion 
which I expressed in the communication to Folk-Lore, and 
w||jich Mr. Thomas has now criticised. 

I now address myself to the latter part of the extract 
which I am considering. 

I consider the noa relationship as having restricted the 
range of an earlier and wider license, to the present limits 
of thQ pirraiu'u marriage. As I see it, the noa relationship 
was one of the earlier restrictions on marriage, the stages 
of which I enumerated in my Native Tribes, at page 282. 
All of those restrictions have, as I see it, had in view 
the prevention of marriage between those who, to use 
the language of the present Australians, were held to 
be of " too near flesh." 

It is fortunate that there are, even now, traces of the 
manner in which the 710a system has been developed in 
that direction. 

The subjoined diagrams show the Jiupa relation of the 
Urabunna and the noa relation of the Dieri : 

Native Tribes of Sottth-East Australia. 173 

Diagram 3. Diagram 4. 

Urabioma. Dieri. 

1 m younger sister > 4 f i m . . . brother . . . > 5 f 

2 f elder brother > 5 m 2 f ... sister . . . > 6 m 

3 m< ... ?iupa ,..>6f 3f<... kami . . . >•] f 

4 m < . . . noa . . . > 8 f 

I take the Urabunna first, i and 2 are husband and 
wife, so are 5 and 4 ; 4 is the younger sister of i ; 5 is 
the elder brother of 2 ; 3 is the son of i and 2, and 6 
is the daughter of 4 and 5 ; 3 and 6 are in the relation 
of 7iupa, and therefore marriageable. 

Now the Urabunna marriage rule may be thus stated. 
The proper wife of the man 3 is his mother's elder 
brother's daughter ; or, what is the same thing, his 
father's younger sister's daughter. In each case this is 
the woman 6. 

The Dieri rule is defined by the Diagram 4. The 
man i and the woman 2 are husband and wife ; so are 
5 and 6 ; I is the brother (elder or younger) of 5, and 
2 is the sister (elder or younger) of 6 ; 3 is the daughter 
of I and 2, so is 7 of 5 and 6 ; but they are not marriage- 
able with their respective brothers, being in the kami 
relation, which always denotes that disability ; their chil- 
dren, however, stand in the noa relation, which we know 
may be rendered as " marriageable." These two tribes, 
it may be remembered, are located on the opposite sides 
of Lake Eyre, and their boundaries meet at its southern 

So far as marriage is concerned, nupa and noa are 
evidently analogous, but it is the difference between them 
to which I now invite attention. 

The Urabunna rule is certainly the earlier form of this 
restriction on a former wider range of marriage, for the 

174 Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 

Dieri rule incapacitates those who under the other rule 
would be eligible, and only permits marriage between 
their children. 

The prohibition of the Dieri rule accords in principle 
with all those other similar limitations which I have 
already referred to. I will only add that whenever the 
noa relation of the Dieri was established, it must have 
been to restrict a rule like that of the Urabunna. 

There is a passage at page 296 which seems to show 
that Mr. Thomas has not mastered the facts of the noa 
relation or of the pivrauru relation which follows it. He 
says : " The classificatory system ... is essentially a 
legal system ; the terms which a boy applies to his father 
... he also applies to a number of other men, any of 
whom was eligible to marry his mother. ..." 

I have pointed out how, by the pirrauru marriage, cer- 
tain of the husband's brothers become also the fathers 
of his wife's children. I consider pirrauru to be a sur- 
vival from a period of wider license, having been restricted 
by the noa relationship. 

On this view the application of the term ngaperi to the 
other brothers who have not become pirratiru, appears 
to be a vestigiary survival of a term which once denoted 
a fact ; and this would be analogous to the application 
of the Kurnai term breppa-nmngan, but with this differ- 
ence, that while the Dieri term must be held to date 
back to a time anterior to the establishment o{ pirrauru, 
the Kurnai term, as I see it, would point back to a period 
when the Kurnai ancestors had a system of marriage like 
that of pirrauru. 

I find at page 297 the following passage : 

"... Dr. Howitt asserts a correspondence in meaning 
and use between pirrauru (Dieri) and maiati-bra 
(Kurnai). . . . But in point of fact no such correspon- 
dence exists. Maian-bra corresponds not to pirrauru 
but to noa\ they do not imply sexual relations between 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 175 

the parties who apply these terms to each other ; and 
they do not mean that any ceremony has been performed 
to constitute the relationship between the man and the 

This is rather a strong statement, but an assertion is 
not evidence. I will now explain what the facts really 
are which Mr, Thomas has apparently misunderstood or 
not taken into account. 

The term noa attaches to a Dieri individual at birth 
and is not acquired, so that a man and his wife were 
noa to each other from birth, and remained so till 
death. The noa relationship did not exist in the Kurnai 
tribe, but what I consider as its equivalent was provided 
by the exogamous intermarrying local groups. The terms 
bra and maian cannot therefore be compared with noa. 

As a simple matter of fact, the terms bra and maian 
are not acquired till after marriage, and therefore, as 
they arise after marriage, they necessarily imply sexual 
relations between the husband and wife. 

In this tribe the " marriage ceremony," which Mr. 
Thomas appears to consider necessary, was replaced by 
the custom of elopement, which, as I have described in 
my Native Tribes, was at times brought about by the 
Btmjil- Venjin " ceremony," 

I think that Mr. Thomas must have made a slip at 
page 298, where he says as follows, quoting from me: 
" Marriage between them as , , . pirrauru is group- 
marriage {i.e. polygamy), and is defined by the terms 
of relationship. Such being the case, these must have 
originated when group-marriage {i.e. modified promiscuity) 
existed. These statements will not bear examination." 

I think that Mr. Thomas makes rather a rash state- 
ment here, in 6.Q.^m.x\g pirrauru as "polygamy" and then 
speaking of group-marriage as " modified promiscuity," 
because in the next paragraph he says that " to use 
the term ' group-marriage ' of pirrauru is confusing." 

176 N'ative Tribes of South-East Australia. 

I used the term group-marriage, as I have before done 
as a synonym for pirrauru, in contrast to the individual 
marriage of other tribes. 

I do not understand what Mr. Thomas means by the 
expressions: '^pirrauru is (i) not a necessary relation in 
any single case ; (2) is entered upon by a definite 
ceremony ; (3) is entered upon by individuals no more 
and no less than the tippa-malkii relation ; and (4) is for 
the woman, so far as we know, subsequent to tippa- 

My reply to this is: (i) It is a necessary relation, 
because after the kandri ceremony those who are made 
pirrauru thereby remain so permanently, and necessarily 
so when the allocation is made by the elders ; (3) The 
man i in Diagram i and the woman 5 were made 
tippa-malku, but neither i nor 5 could be again 
"betrothed." But although a man was made pirrauru 
with a woman, this did not prevent either of them 
being re-allotted whenever pairs of pirrauru were again 
allocated either by the consent of parties, or by the 
elders. This shows I think that Mr. Thomas has not 
altogether mastered the evidence as to tippa-malku and 
pirrauru ; (4) I have already dealt with the unfortunate 
oversight, which I much regret, as it has been the cause 
of misunderstanding by Mr. Thomas, and possibly b}' 

Mr. Thomas quotes my remarks at page 298, that the 
fraternal terms of the Kurnai are " far wider than those 
of the Dieri and appear to point to a time prior to the 
making of those restrictions which necessitated the use 
of (different) terms to distinguish between a man's own 
children and those of his sister." 

Mr. Thomas then asks why " Dr. Howitt refuses to 
draw the appropriate conclusion from the fraternal 
terms " .'* 

My answer is that I always hesitate to come to a 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia, lyj 

final conclusion upon an important question until I am 
satisfied that the evidence does indeed justify it. This 
was the case as to a possible early period of universal 
promiscuity, but since the publication of my Native 
Tribes, and in consequence of the remarkable criticisms 
and conclusions in Mr, Lang's Secret of the Totem, I 
have again gone into the whole of the evidence before 
me, and have come to the deliberate conclusion that it 
points to a period of wider license anterior to the 
establishment of the noa relation, and that this again 
must have followed a period of promiscuity. 

As to the " Undivided Commune " which Mr. Thomas 
mentions, I incline to place it, perhaps, near the time 
when the " reformatory movement " of the noa relation- 
ship was brought about. 

This is all that I have to say ; because when one 
attempts to define what may have been the social 
conditions at a period, humanly speaking, so distant, 
the results cannot be better than " guess-work." 

Mr. Thomas asks several questions at page 300: (i) 
" Has Dr. Howitt or any one else ever produced any 
direct evidence that people in the noa relation were ever 
de facto and de jure in the position of husband and wife 
to each other in any way in which they are not in the 
present time .'' " 

I certainly have not, because I well know what the 
rights and restrictions of the noa relationship are. Also 
because such social conditions would postulate a period 
anterior to the existence of the noa relationship. 

(2) " Has Dr. Howitt or any one else ever replied to 
any of the objections ^ which have been urged against 
the group-marriage theory .-' " 

Assuming that, by the "group-marriage theory," Mr. 
Thomas means the pirrauru system, which I have all 

' Mr. Thomas has the following foot-note : " Lang, Secret of the Totem, 
PP- 38-39-" 

178 Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 

along in my communication to Folk-Lore also termed 
group-marriage, then I say that I have most fully 
considered all the objections taken by Mr. Lang, in his 
work and also some therein, which Mr. Lang says were 
suggested by Mr. Thomas. My reply to Mr. Lang has 
been for some time with the Anthropological Institute, 
and will, I assume, appear in due course. Meanwhile, 
the present paper may be taken as an instalment of my 
views. Mr, Thomas at page 301 says : "... In the 
Lake Eyre tribes alone does a name exist for polygamy; 
all the other tribes cited by Dr. Howitt have terms 
corresponding to noa ; none has anything corresponding 
to pirraurii^ dilpa-malli, and piraungaru. That alone is 
conclusive evidence of differential evolution among the 
Lake Eyre tribes. . . ." 

I again note that Mr. Thomas uses the term 
"polygamy," and the context seems to require that it 
really means pirrauni. At page 299 he says, and 
correctly : " In a sense of course the people standing in 
the relation of pirraiivn are a group ; the relationship is 
a combination of polyandry and polygyny." I think 
that in this passage Mr. Thomas replies to some of his 
strictures on me. 

It is not a fact that all the tribes quoted by me have 
terms corresponding to noa, for the Kurnai, for instance, 
have terms which do not. I think that Mr. Thomas has 
overlooked my argument, that all the tribes which now 
have individual marriage, had at one time a marriage 
similar to pirrauru, and that having passed out of it, 
they yet retain those terms which denote it. It would 
surely be a very remarkable thing if they still retained 
those other terms which Mr. Thomas cites, no longer 
having that which they denote. The '' pirraiiru" stage 
having passed away, the analogous terms in their 
languages, to those given by Mr. Thomas, would be 
no longer used. It is a fortunate circumstance that the 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 179 

terms which denote the relations of pirraurii still survive 
in the tribes which have now individual marriage. 

Mr. Thomas concludes the passage, which I have now 
considered, as follows: " If the ' Kandri ceremony' occurs 
elsewhere, it is unfortunate that Dr. Howitt has not 
discovered it" 

The Kandri ceremony announces the " betrothal," as 
I call it, of a male and a female noa, no more and no 
less. If Mr. Thomas will refer to page 219 of my 
Native Tribes, he will find just such a ceremony 
described in the Kuinmurbura coast-tribe of Queensland. 
In this tribe the relation of durki is the equivalent of 
Jioa. As betrothal is universal in the tribes of South- 
east Australia, other instances of such ceremonies can 
be found. 

In speaking of the aboriginal terms at page 184 of 
my communication to Folk-Lore, I use the expression 
" the universal conditions of the Australian tribes," This, 
as I perceive, from the acute criticism by Mr. Thomas 
(p. 302), should have had the restriction " excepting the 
Arunta " to follow the words " Australian tribes." This 
correction will cover some of the following criticism : 

" If Dr. Howitt asserts physiological fatherhood to be 
the underlying idea, does he assert the same of the term 
which includes 'mother' in our sense.?" (p. 302). 

I say " yes," as to the " own " mother. The application 
of the term to the " mother's sister " is explained by the 
pirrauru case, where, as I have pointed out, she stands 
in the position of " mother," because she is the wife of 
the child's father. This seems to me to be analogous 
to the application by us of the term step-mother, to a 
man's second wife. No Australian savage ever for a 
moment thinks, or says, as Mr. Lang puts it,^ that such 
a "woman, whom he calls mother, would . . . have 
collaborated in giving birth to him." 

' Secret of the 'J'otcfn, p. 46. 

i8o Native Tribes of South-East Australia. 

I do not know whether I quite understand Mr. Thomas 
when he asks whether I will "admit that group-mother- 
hood as well as group-marriage existed " ? Following 
from what I have just said, I do not see any objection 
to the term " group-motherhood " to include the " actual 
mother and all her sisters, who are together the group- 
wives of the father of a child." 

This I think will give my reply to a further elaboration 
of the same idea of a " group-mother " analogous to that 
of a "group-father" at page 303. 

Referring to the Dieri term ngaperi, Mr. Thomas says 
at p. 303 as follows "... Ngaperi clearly does not mean 
father in our sense, but refers to status in the family, 
if Dr. Howitt's statement is correct. It seems, however, 
that ngaperi is applied to all the brothers, own or tribal, 
of the primary spouse ; if this is so, the term ngaperi- 
waka has nothing to do with the pirraiirii relationship 
at all. , . . Out of Dr. Howitt's own mouth I am able to 
quote words which show that ngaperi and ngaperi-waka 
do not refer to physical fatherhood." 

The essence of this criticism is in the last lines, and 
I remember a case in point where a Dieri woman was 
asked who was the father of one of her children, to which 
she replied " my noasl' this term being used in the sense 
of husbands. Now, assuming her to be the woman 5 in 
Diagram i, then the man i would be the ngaperi and 
the man 2 the ngaperi-waka. To these may be added 
other "/'z>rrt?/r7/-husbands" whom she acquired at the 
times when the people were re-allotted in batches b}' 
the kandri ceremony. All those " husbands " are the 
" noasT 

I think that this shows that the terms ngaperi and 
ngaperi-waka both refer to physical fatherhood, and that 
the ngaperi-waka has something to do with pirrauru 

The fact that all the brothers of the man who is the 

Native Tribes of South-East Australia. i8i 

husband of a certain woman are also included in the 
term ngaperi has another explanation to that given by 
Mr. Thomas. I have dealt with those who are actually 
husbands, but there remain those who are nominally so. 
According to my view, as I have already said, that the 
?ioa relationship is a restriction upon a former wider 
range of license, the kandri ceremony is a restriction of 
the range of license, within the noa group, and creates 
the pirraiiru group. This leaves a residuum of men and 
women, who at a former period would have exercised a 
sexual license now denied to them. But the term which 
denoted the group-fatherhood of the men still survives, 
with no more actual foundation than there is in the term 
brcppa-mimgan of the Kurnai, when applied to the 
brothers, own and tribal, of the mutigan, that is the 
individual husband, who is the bra. 

Mr. Thomas then continues his criticism. I have care- 
fully read and endeavoured to arrive at the actual meaning 
of his further remarks. They amount, so far as I under- 
stand them, to a charge against me of " making two cases 
parallel, though in one of them the terms refer to the 
status within the family, both ngaperi being possible 
fathers, whereas in the other case the difference in termin- 
ology means that the viungan is the husband of the child's 
mother, while the breppa-nmngan is merely a man of the 
tribal status who has no marital rights over the mother. 

Mr. Thomas then says : " Thus Dr. Howitt has been 
guilty of a grave confusion in his statement of the case 
against Mr. Lang's view." 

What I really did say is, I think, a complete reply to 
Mr. Thomas's charge. I quote from page 184 of my 
paper : 

" Had he {i.e. Tulaba) been a Dieri, the actual tippa- 
malku husband of his mother would be his ngaperi, but 
her pirranru husband would be his ngaperi-waka or " little 

1 82 Native Tribes of South-East Australia. 

" In the Dieri case we have the actual group-marriage 
with appropriate terms, while with the Kurnai there are 
only the vestigiary relationships, indicating the former 
conditions of marriage." 

What I then said briefly, I have now explained in 

There is another passage, at page 305, in which Mr. 
Thomas says : " Dr. Howitt asks Mr. Lang to look at 
the Dieri terms, and says 'he will see their present 
meaning and that they are applied ... to individuals 
. . . living under pirranrii' If this statement were 
correct, the Dieri would be living, not under pirraurn, 
but under modified promiscuity ; for this passage clearly 
suggests that all who are iioa are also pirraiirii. What 
Dr. Howitt actually means, however, is that some people 
who are noa are dXso pirraui'U — a very different thing." 

I must take this passage in parts, to avoid confusion : 

(i) I have now shown what the actual meaning of the 
Dieri terms are, and that they are applied to persons 
living under pirraurn. 

(2) This statement does not suggest to me anything 
else, and I am unable to see what Mr. Thomas says is 
the meaning. I therefore attribute this either to the want 
of " power of interpretation " which Mr. Thomas imputes 
to me, or perhaps to a " power of misinterpretation " which 

1 think I might, with equal justice, assign to him. 

(3) As to this, all that I have to say is that, in the 
passage referred to, I did not mean anything of the kind. 

It will be well to further amplify my remarks at page 
177 of my contribution to Folk-Lore, where I show that 
the terms noa and pirraurn include husband, husband's 
brother, and (female speaking) sister's husband ; wife, 
wife's sister, and (male speaking) brother's wife. Refer- 
ring to Diagram i, the people i, 2, 5, 6 are all in the 
110a relation. The term pirrauru includes i and 6, and 

2 and 5 ; therefore, in this case it means "husband" and 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 183 

"wife." Since i and 2 are brothers, and as i is the 
pirrauru of 6, it also includes " husband's brother." As 
5 and 2 are pirrauru, and as 2 is the husband of 6, it 
also includes (female speaking) "sister's husband." 

Mr. Thomas evidently does not realise the result of the 
noa relation, combined with pirrauru. 

Now, when I turn to the Kurnai terms, and use the 
same diagram, I find this : i and 2 are members of an 
exogamous local group who married two women, 5 and 6, 
who belonged to one of the complementary local groups. 
Here we have the analogue of the Dieri noa relation trans- 
ferred among the Kurnai from the extinct social organisa- 
tion to the dominant local organisation. 

Using bra-maian as a convenient term for husband and 
wife, the man i and the woman 5, and the man 2 and 
the woman 6 became bra-maian, and in consequence i 
became the breppa-bra of 6, and 2 of 5, according to the 
Kurnai terminology. 

We have here just the relations created by the pirrauj'u 
marriage, but with this difference, that with the Kurnai 
I and 5, and 2 and 6 were husband and wife, while i and 6 
and 2 and 5 were merely so nominally. 

Of this I again say that the only satisfactory explana- 
tion, to me, is that, as I said before, "while in the Dieri 
tribe the terms of relationship denote actual facts, as 
regards pirrauru marriage, they are in the Kurnai tribe 
mere survivals in the terminology of relationships. 

At page 305 Mr. Thomas says : "... Up to the present 
time Dr. Howitt has not even produced a pirrauru- 
practising tribe outside the Dieri nation." 

I assume that Mr. Thomas quotes " Dieri nation " from 
Messrs. Spencer and Gillen's Northern Tribes oj Central 
Australia, and I shall deal with this matter in that 

Higher up on the course of Cooper's Creek there is the 
Yantruwunta tribe, who, when I saw them in 1 861-2, 

184 Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 

certainly had the equivalent of pirvaurti, but I did not 
then understand the meaning of it. Some 120 miles still 
further up the river there was the Kurnandaburi tribe 
who practised pirrauru under the name of dilpa-nialli. 
This Mr, Thomas has omitted to mention. The tribes 
on the Barcoo between the Yantruwunta and the Kur- 
nandaburi were, so far as my information goes, of the 
same organisation in two classes, which were the equiva- 
lents of the Yantruwunta, Kulpuru, and Tinawa, which 
again are the equivalents of the Dieri, Kararu, and 
Matteri. South-eastward of the Kurnandaburi there was 
the same organisation, certainly as far as the Wilson 
River, and probably beyond the Bulloo River, to where 
tribes would be met with, organised in the two classes, 
Mukwara and Kilpara, with individual marriage. 

Southwards from the Dieri, the class names Kararu and 
Matteri extended through the Mardala and Parnkalla tribes 
as far as Port Lincoln, and thence westward to Fowler's 

From the few facts recorded by the Rev. C. W. Schur- 
mann, the opinion is justified, and even accepted by 
Mr. Lang, that pirranric existed in the Parnkalla under 
the name of Kartete. 

This gives a range of tribes, in which probably there 
was the pirraiirii system of marriage, for 850 miles from 
Oodnadatta, the approximate northern boundary of the 
Urabunna, to the eastern boundary of the Dieri, or that of 
the Mardala, say immediately between the Flinders Range 
and the Barrier Range, where tribes of the Mukwara and 
Kilpara organisations would be met with. 

I am satisfied that the equivalent of the Dieri pirrauru 
extended over this great area of some 500,000 square 

Had I realised in the early days of my investigations 
the extreme importance which would attach to the 
evidence of this organisation and state of marriage, I 

Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 185 

should be now in the position of satisfying others, instead 
of, perhaps, only satisfying myself. Unfortunately, it is 
probably too late, although there are some outlying tribes 
who, I think, may still be available for my investigations. 

Mr. Thomas briefly summarises what he conceives to be 
my points, with his own comments. 

These I shall now consider: 

(i) It is well that the term "group-marriage" should 
be definitely settled. It seems to be a bogey both to 
Mr. Lang and Mr. Thomas, and to be the ground for the 
question which Mr. Lang asks at page 53 of his Secret 
of the Totem : " Will anyone say, originally all Noa people 
were actual husbands and wives to each other } " I think 
that Mr. Thomas has asked very much the same question 
now. I have used the term as a synonym for pirrauru, 
but I shall probably in future use it to define the time 
and the conditions before the noa system was established. 

(2) I think I have shown that the terms arising out 
of pirratiru marriage are the same as the group terms 
which are still retained in different languages, by tribes 
which now have only individual marriage. 

(3) I have dealt with Mr. Thomas's " philological 
argument " at page 289, and also as to the " group- 

(4) I still say that if pirrauru marriage were a " sport " 
upon individual marriage, there should be, at least, sur- 
vivals of relationship-terms denoting it. The only instance 
of such a term in the Dieri tribe is tippa-malku, and 
this, according to my view, is a restriction upon the 
pirrauru right. 

I think I have discussed all the important points which 
Mr. Thomas makes. There are others which challenge 
attention, but to have dealt with all would require more 
space than I could ask. Nor is it, I think, necessary, for 
if I am correct, as I think I am, in my criticism of the 
larger ones, the lesser will necessarily fall to the ground. 

1 86 Native Tribes of South- East Australia. 

I note Mr, Thomas's final statement, in which he imphes 
that although my " field-work " has been " well and truly- 
done," my " interpretation " of it has failed. I infer, how- 
ever, from the general tenor of his remarks, that he claims 
for himself a special power of " interpretation." 

I do not care to touch on my own qualifications, but 
it may interest Mr. Thomas to know that I have brought 
to the " interpretation " of my field-work the training 
acquired during 28 years as Police Magistrate and Warden 
of the gold-fields in Victoria, in sifting evidence and 
drawing inferences therefrom. 



Serpent-Procession at Cocullo. 

{Plates III. atid IV.) 

Cocullo is a large and picturesque village in the Abruzzi 
Mountains, nearly three thousand feet above the sea level, and 
on the border of the old territory of the ancient Marsi. The 
Marsi claimed descent from Marsia, son of Circe, and were 
renowned of old for their magic arts and their power over 
serpents, and their descendants at Cocullo to this day claim 
power over serpents, and hereditary immunity from serpent- 

S. Domenico of Foligno is now Patron of Cocullo, and is 
credited with miraculous powers of healing the bites of dogs 
and serpents, and even hydrophobia — and toothache ! — and 
persons are brought from all parts of South Italy, and even 
Sicily, to be cured at the Feast of Serpents, or Feast of 
S. Domenico, which is held at Cocullo on the first Thursday in 
May. Persons suffering from hydrophobia, it is said, either 
die or are cured on entering the bounds of Cocullo, and so vivid 
is the popular faith in this treatment that more than one southern 
commune has of late years voted a sum of money to defray the 
cost of sending a patient attacked by this terrible disease to 
Cocullo for the Feast of S. Domenico. In the year 1906 the 
festival was to be on the third of May, and I arrived there on 
the first. For many days beforehand the Serpari, or snake- 
men of the village, collect numbers of live serpents from the 
surrounding hills and valleys, and keep them till the morning 

1 88 Collectanea. 

of the procession in large receptacles or holes in the ground, 
feeding them with bran or semolina, and sometimes milk. On 
the eve of the festival bands of pilgrims began to arrive ; each 
band of peasants, wearing the distinctive costume of their village 
or district, walked in procession, wallet on shoulder and rosary 
in hand, singing "Viva Maria," through the large open square 
where stands the little fourteenth-century church of S. Pamphilo, 
and then up the long, steep, and stony village street, close 
set with irregular old stone houses. 

On arriving at the Sanctuary Church, which stands at the 
southern extremity of the village, and appears to have been 
cut from the solid rock, the pilgrims entered and passed up 
the church — many of them on their knees — some, I am told, 
on bare knees on the rough, rock floor. The shrine of 
S. Domenico, once Abbot of Foligno, stands to the right of 
the high altar. The statue of the saint appeared to be 
of wood, and is fairly life-like. It represents him in his 
monastic robe, with a reliquary, containing a mule's shoe 
which the Saint once dropped in Cocullo, on his breast. A 
small slit in front of the figure allows the faithful an opportunity 
of dropping in their money offerings, and a few silver hearts 
have been placed by others near the statue, while on the 
sides of the shrine are hung some long plaits of hair. After 
praying at this shrine each pilgrim reached up to touch the 
figure of the Saint, then kissed the hat or hand, or other object 
with which he had touched the saint or the relic. Then each 
in turn rang the Sanctuary bell with his teeth, thus ensuring 
freedom from the toothache.^ 

Next, each filled a handkerchief with "S. Domenico's 
Earth" from a heap in one of the recesses in the church. 
It looked as if it came out of a chalk-pit. It is supposed to 
be the sweepings of the sanctuary floor, and is taken home 
to be sprinkled on gardens and fields as a preventive against 

^ The Archpriest of Cocullo informed me that in an account of the miracles 
at this festival, written by a monk of Monte Cassino about 1640, mention 
is made of a tooth of S. Domenico preserved at Cocullo. I heard of no 
tooth now in existence, but was told that the mule-shoe was used to touch 
aching teeth. See Note just received from him, p. 216. 

Plate III. 


(ivi/// .S'rr/t!/-/ and sirpoiis ]. 

To face p. i88. 

Collectanea. 189 

locusts and other noxious insects. One of the peasant women 
who saw me looking at the heap of " earth " on one side of 
the church asked for my handkerchief and filled it with the 
earth, knotting up the corners safely, and making the sign 
of the cross upon it with holy water from the stoup at hand. 
She then handed it to me, telling me to take it home and 
sprinkle the " earth " on my field, and there would be no 
locusts and no hurtful insects in it, so that my crops would 
be good. She added that I might also sprinkle a little on the 
floor of my house, and I should thus keep it free from unpleasant 
insects ! 

The little square space before the church door was surrounded 
by stalls, where rosaries, coloured woodcuts of S. Domenico 
with the serpents looking up at him, reliquaries and medals 
bearing his image, small gilt keys — " Keys of S. Domenico " — 
and small metal mule-shoes, with one point prolonged to a 
spike, were sold as charms against toothache; fillets of braided 
white cotton, with coloured flecks at intervals, were sold as a 
protection against serpent-bites. They are worn twisted round 
the wrist or hat, or tied to the women's shoulder straps. To 
be efficacious these charms must first touch the relic worn by 
the Saint. 

In the street, just beyond the Piazza of the Sanctuary, we 
heard a continually-repeated cry of " Per la Gettatura ! " and 
saw a small stall where a man was driving a brisk trade in 
charms against the Evil Eye — coral, mother-of-pearl, or silver 
horns, nickel hands, mother-of-pearl or nickel hunchbacks, skulls, 
fish, flasks, keys, rings with the device of a skull, boars' tusks, 
bunches of badger's hair — in fact, nearly all the charms used 
against the Evil Eye in South Italy. 

On the morning of the festival more troops of peasants came in 
early from the nearer villages, and every variety of costume was 
seen in the street, all the women wearing on their heads either 
the white tovaglia or linen head-covering, or a white or brightly- 
coloured kerchief; except the women of Scanno, whose dark, 
refined features, and curious turban head-dress with the plaits 
of hair closely wound with wool, were remarkable even in that 
crowd of picturesque and beautiful figures. From time to time 

1 90 Collectanea. 

we met men or lads, each carrying a large coiled serpent in 
his hands to the Piazza, whence at mid-day the great procession 
starts. We had already made the acquaintance of the Arch- 
priest, Don Loreto Marchione, a courteous and cultivated 
gentleman, and a native of Cocullo, who promised every 
facility for taking photographs of the procession. It was well 
to ask leave for this, as, a few years ago, a distinguished Italian 
artist attended this festival in company with Don Antonio De 
Nino, the collector of Abruzzi folk-lore (who was here again 
this year without the artist), and had taken one or two snap- 
shots of the procession, when a shower of rain came on, and 
the unlucky artist had to run for his life, the enraged peasants 
asserting that he had insulted the Saint, who had shown his 
wrath by sending the rain. 

This year, however, there was no sign of rain. A blazing 
sun overhead lit up the bright new costumes of the women, 
the picturesque cloaks and sashes of the men and the uniforms 
of the soldiers, against the background of grey old houses, 
with the snow-tipped hills above ; and all the folk were in 
the best and friendliest of tempers. 

The procession started from the Piazza Santa Maria. First 
came some peasant women of Cocullo, rosary in hand, each 
carrying a gigantic candle, gaily painted, before the life-sized 
statue of the Redeemer, borne on the shoulders of four men. 
Then more women with candles, followed by the statues of 
S. Anthony the Hermit, the Madonna, S. Roch with his dog, 
each followed by a double line of candle-bearing women. Next, 
after a longer procession of pilgrims, walked the band of 
musicians — musical genius is innate in the Abruzzi folk, and 
especially in the district round Cocullo — playing their best for 
S. Domenico. Then came the Serpari carrying the coils of liv 
serpents round neck and arm and in their bare hands, before 
the statue of S. Domenico, who with pastoral staff in one 
hand and his mule-shoe in the other, was borne, like the 
preceding saints, shoulder high by four men, who much prize 
this coveted honour. On each carrying-pole is hung a large 
ring-shaped bread loaf, which afterwards becomes the property 
of the bearer. 

I. The Madonitcrdclk Grazu. 

2. Si! ill' h'lh/'l. 


To face p. 190. 

Collectanea. 191 

Serpents, great and small, are hung about the Saint and 
coiled on his stand, and if a serpent wriggles away, and escapes 
to the ground, he is speedily caught and replaced by the 
bystanders. After S. Domenico and the snakes, came 
the Archpriest with several other clergy, the Host under 
a canopy, the soldiers, and yet more peasants. After making 
the round of the village the procession entered the Sanctuary. 
The statue of S. Domenico was replaced in his shrine 
near the high altar, and all the serpents were thrown 
upon the statue, twisting and wriggling all over the figure. 
Any that got away were promptly thrown back upon the Saint 
by anyone who could catch them. 

After mass was over the serpents were carried out and counted, 
a fixed price per head being paid to the Serpari, after which they 
were taken to a field some way beyond the village and killed. 

The procession was over. The pilgrims brought out their 
store of food — not forgetting the wine flask. Every house, every 
street, was full of feasting, and merry groups of country folk were 
seen on every side picnicking on the grassy slopes outside the 
village, before starting on their homeward journey. 

We adjourned to a coffee party at the picturesque old house of 
the Archpriest, where we were hospitably entertained with every 
variety of wines, liqueurs, and cakes, besides the most delicious 
coffee, while we discussed the details of the procession with our 
host and his party of priests from the neighbourhood, till we were 
at last reluctantly obliged to say farewell to our new friends 
and to Cocullo. 

Marian C. Harrison. 


Since the publication of Cinderella in 1893 a number of 
additional variants have presented themselves — ' like Dian's kiss, 
unasked, unsought ' — and have been noted. To the untiring 
kindness of Dr. H. F. Feilberg, who had already contributed 
so largely to my collection, I am indebted for the abridged 

192 Collectanea. 

translations from which the following tabulations have been 
made. They are arranged in bibliographical order : A signifies 
"Cinderella," B, " Catskin," and D, Indeterminate (see Cinderella, 
p. xxv). 

The first of these (Afzelius) is defective as a Cinderella 
story. So is the second {Atiiiqiiarisk Tidsskrift), but it closely 
resembles a story from Norway, No. 82 in Cinderella. The 
magic tree, which springs from the buried heart of the help- 
ful animal in the third story (Bondeson), behaves like the 
apple or pear trees of similar origin in the Moravian (No. 70), 
Russian (No. 227), French (Nos. 230, 233), German (No. 236), 
and Polish (Nos. 242, 243) stories. (For other magic trees, 
see Note 7, Cinderella, p. 477.) This story also is incomplete, 
but like the fourth (Carlsen), it is a variant of the numerous 
Cinderella stories — all Scandinavian as far as I know — which 
incorporate the incident of the ' magic forests ' (see Cifiderella, 
Nos. 30, 44, 45, 59, 83, 98, 99, 117, 175, 319, 320, 332, 
334). The schoolmistress incident in Carlsen's is paralleled 
in No. 24, a Roman story. The sleep charm occurs in a 
Gaelic story {Cinderella, p. 534), in one from Zealand (No. 44), 
and in two from Russia (Nos. 227, 228). The spy is some- 
times put to sleep by other means (see Note 34, p. 498). 

The formula, ' dark behind, bright before,' occurring in several 
of the following tabulations, is frequently employed in the 
Scandinavian stories (see Nos. 15, 39, 41, 46, 47, 59, 61, 63, 
64, 65, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 86, 88, 119, 164, 175, 265, 266); 
it occurs also in one from Mecklenburg (No. 146); while 
mist hides the heroine from her pursuers in a Hungarian 
(No. 88), a Bohemian (No. 125), and in an Italian (No. 281); 
see Note 6, pp. 476-7, and cp. Grimm's Teut. Myth., 1626. 

The Danish Saga (Kristensen) recalls the ' mound ' incident 
in Nos. 283, 284, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 299, 
302, 303, all Scandinavian, and the underground abode in 
Ericsson's " Den tillf alHga bruden " and variants, and in Save's 
" Den nedgravede prinsesse " (incomplete as a Cinderella 
story) tabulated below. The heroine's address to the horse, 
the bridge, etc., occurs in all of these, except Nos. 293 
and 303. 

Collectanea. 193 

Winther's " De to Kongedoettre," with its too-punitive close, 
is a good Cinderella story manque; but it is very like a 
Swedish story (No. 22), which, hov/ever, does end in the 
proper way. 

While the ' mound ' and ' magic forests ' incidents appear 
to be local colour exclusively Scandinavian, the incident of 
throwing, and subsequently naming, the ' token objects,' links 
the many stories here tabulated in which it occurs, as well 
as other Scandinavian variants (Nos. 11, 30, 44, 45, 59, 67, 
86, 181, 265), with stories from the West Highlands (152) 
from England (264, 267); Belgium (224); Germany (146) 
Bohemia (201); Tyrol (268); Slavonia (131, 132, 174) 
Poland {58, 126, 206, 207, 258); Russia Proper (172. 258) 
Lithuania (311); Finland (109, 197, 198, 199); Greece (176) 
Abruzzi (183); Tuscany (134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 154, 165 
192); Campania (155); Venetia (20, 157); Rome {150) 
Liguria (271); Basque (304); Portugal (184); Sardinia (142, 
143); and Corsica (250). 

A. A. Afzelius, Svenska Folkets Sago-Hdfder (a popular history 
of Sweden with tales interspersed), 2nd ed. Stockholm, 
1844. I, p. 114. (Narrated by the owner of the farm 
Ingvald'storp, Vestergotland, Sweden.) 

" King Ingev all's Daughter." 

(i) In olden times lived King Ingevall, at the birth of whose daughter 
fairy appears, is well received, and, chanting over the child, promises 
it great happiness, and bestows wondrous gifts. (2) Queen dies ; wicked 
foster-mother, who has daughter of her own, ill-treats king's daughter, 
whom she rears. (3) King sends for girls. On their way to castle foster- 
sister threatens to throw heroine from bridge into turbulent stream, 
obliges her to exchange clothes, and to swear never to reveal that foster- 
sister is not king's daughter. (4) Heroine becomes goose-girl, and has 
small boy for mate. Next morning they follow geese ; these jump into 
broad stream to swim across. Heroine sings : 
" Little grey geese ! 
Carry King Ingevall's daughter over the river." 
Instantly geese crowd together, and carry her on their backs. Boy 
obliged to go long way round by bridge. (5) Heroine seats herself on 
small green mound, opens little box in which she keeps father's letters 

1 94 Collectanea. 

and other treasures, and begins reading. Boy wants to look at the things ; 
but she sings : 

" Come ! little whirlwind ! 
Take the boy's cap and whirl it about ! " 
Boy's cap is instantly caught by the wind, and he pursues it until heroine, 
having closed box, sings : 

"Well done, little whirlwind! 
Bring back the boy's cap ! " 
Wind drops, and boy recovers cap. Returning home same things happen ; 
boy must run round by bridge, heroine is ferried over by geese. (6) King 
asks boy how he likes companion. " Not at all," he says, and, after 
looking angry for some days, eventually reveals all. King hides, hears and 
sees everything ; recognises letters and box, his own gift to daughter ; 
compels the truth from wicked foster-sister, whom he has always disliked. 
She is made goose-girl, and heroine takes her rightful place in king's 

A?itiquarisk Tidsskriff, 1849-51. Copenhagen, 1852. P. 322. 
(From the Faroe Islands.) 

" Gentan, sum fekk mat og klaedi I HEYGiNUM " (The Girl 
who got meat and clothes in the Mound). 

(i) Man and wife have a daughter. When she is one year old mother 
dies. (2) Father marries again ; has another daughter. Stepmother prefers 
own daughter, ill-treats heroine, and gives her menial work. In winter 
heroine cleans stables, grinds corn, teazes wool, and so forth ; in summer 
she goes far into the hills to milk cows, starting hungry every morning. 
Fair is she as the fairest sun of summer, red and white as blood on 
snow ; stepsister is ugly and loathsome to all. More and more beautiful 
grows heroine for all her hard and dirty work ; stepsister looks pale and 
sickly from indoor-life. Stepmother would starve heroine to spoil her 
beauty. Deprived of supper and breakfast, heroine is weak with hunger, 
and heavy-hearted as she sets forth with milk pail on her back, and with- 
out hope of getting food. She weeps as she goes. All at once, on looking 
up, she sees an open mound, and a table laid with meat and drink ; enters 
mound, and partakes after prayer and thanksgiving ; grows strong and 
healthy. Stepmother would know by what means. At last stepsister 
induces heroine to tell. (3) Stepsister goes next day to milk cows ; mound 
opens, she eats and drinks, and fills her pockets, but neither prays for 
guidance nor returns thanks. Following day she will eat nothing at 
home ; arriving at the mound finds it closed ; has far to climb hill seeking 
cattle ; returns home very angry, and will never go milking again. (4) Mound 
always opens for heroine, who goes shoeless, and in rags ; and one day 
she finds pretty clothes hanging there, which a voice says are hers. 

Collectanea. 195 

<5) Donning them, she sits down to admire them ; king's son, with long 
train of followers, arrives, talks, and falls in love with beautiful girl, woos 
her, and tells his name. If he does not change his mind he may come next 
year and ask her from her parents ; she will not refuse. They part. 
(6) Heroine tells nothing at home ; stepsister takes her new clothes, 
and she wears rags as before. In a year prince returns as suitor, shining 
with gold from head to foot, his followers like himself. (7) Parents 
consent. Wife puts heroine in prison, and presents own daughter in fine 
clothes previously seen by prince. He objects; it is not the same girl. 
Mother declares severe illness has altered her. Prince is moved, invites 
girl to take walk with him ; turns from her a moment, and, on looking 
back, sees her writhing on the ground. Prince discovers imposture, 
threatens to kill everyone unless right girl is brought. (8) Father fetches 
heroine ; prince rejoices, gives her costly clothes and treasures, puts her 
on steed. At his father's death he becomes king, and heroine, queen. 
Wicked stepmother dies of anger and grief. 

A.'StO^D'E.'&ot^, Hisforiegiibbar J)a Dal. Stockholm, 1 886. P. 192. 
" Flickan och Kon " (The Girl and the Cow). 

(l) Parents dying leave beautiful and only daughter nothing but a cow. 
Heroine is about to sell it ; cow says : " Don't sell me ! " They set out 
together, girl resting on cow's back. (2) They come to a wood, whose 
large trees have silver and golden leaves. "Touch none of the leaves or 
you will lose me," says cow. But crossing the wood mounted on cow 
heroine takes hold of a twig which has touched her face. Cow reproves 
her for having taken some leaves ; wild beast rushes forth and tears cow 
to pieces. (3) Heroine grieves, takes cow's heart, and reaches a royal 
castle. Hard by she buries the heart, and builds herself a hut by the 
grave. (4) King passes, and tries to get an apple from tree which has 
sprung from cow's heart ; but apple-tree shoots up its branches out of 
reach. King sees and enters hut, asking girl if apples are hers. Yes, 
and he can have as many as he will. Down bows the tree that he may 
gather its fruit. King asks heroine how she came by tree ; hears her whole 
story, takes her with him, and marries her. 

Franziska Carlsen, Efterretninger om Gammelkjoegegaard og 
Omegn, Copenhagen, 1876-78. II, p. 144 (in a supplement 
containing a few folk-tales and ballads). 

A " Mette Tr/Eh^tte " (Mette Wooden-hood). 

(i) Widower lives far away in the country with his only daughter, Mette. 
Heroine goes to school kept by widow, who sends message to heroine's 
father that she is willing to marry him. First time widower says no ; 
second time complies. (2) New wife brings two daughters, one of whom 

196 Collectanea. 

has an extra eye in her neck. Stepmother ill-treats heroine, scolds, and 
starves her. (3) She goes weeping to churchyard, kneels at mother's 
grave, and knocks thrice on tomb-stone. Mother rises, comforts her, 
bidding her come at any time for counsel. Should a stepsister accompany 
her, she need but say, "Sleep one eye, sleep two eyes, sleep the whole 
body ! " [no verse or rhyme] before calling forth her mother. As she 
stands by grave, two white doves come flying from altar of the church, 
settle on her shoulders, and feed her. (4) Time passes ; there comes a 
day when stepmother's harshness is unbearable. Heroine goes to church- 
yard, pronounces spell, and the girl in her company sleeps. Heroine calls 
her mother, is comforted, and the doves feed her. After further ill-treat- 
ment another visit to tomb. Same spell, but this time only two eyes 
sleep, the third sees all, and stepsister informs mother. Heroine is 
scolded, shut up, and not allowed out. (5) One day, during stepmother's 
absence, heroine gets leave from father to take a walk, visits church- 
yard, and calls mother, who gives her wooden dress, and tells her she 
must mount the red calf that she will see outside churchyard, and ride 
through three forests, of gold, of silver, of diamond, but never touch a 
leaf of any tree. Afterwards, she will reach a golden castle, and must 
there seek service. Mother gives her at parting a small box, to be kept 
in her bosom, and tapped whenever anything is needed. But heroine 
cannot resist temptation to pluck a leaf in the silver wood. This is 
instantly changed into a silvery dress. Men and wild beasts pursue but 
cannot stop her, the red calf bearing her safely through every danger. 
Similar, but worse things, befall in the golden wood ; and in the diamond 
wood the men and wild beasts tear her from calPs back ; but she is up 
again and off, and they safely reach golden castle. (6) Here heroine is 
engaged as hen-maid, and goes about in wooden dress, being every- 
body's "dog" (drudge). (7) One Sunday she has to take king's water for 
washing, which, at sight of her, he throws over her. She returns to kitchen, 
and cook bids her cook dinner while he goes to church. (8) Cook and others 
being absent, heroine taps her little box ; out jumps a black dog, asking 
what is wanted. She wants her silver dress, a coach, and four white 
horses. " Nobody see before ! nobody see behind ! nobody see whither 
I drive ! " and away she goes to church while dog prepares dinner. 
Heroine sits in pew next to king's. As she leaves after service king's 
servant asks whence she comes. " From Water-basin Country ! " and 
pronouncing the spell she drives unseen away. Dinner being excellent, 
she is praised by the cook, and people begin to pity her. {9) Next 
Sunday she must take up king's boots ; he throws them at her. Same 
incidents as before : golden dress, coach and four, and she says she 
comes "from Boot Country." (10) Third Sunday a towel is thrown at 
her ; diamond dress, coach and four. But king himself waits at carriage, 
where tar has been spread to detain her. He questions ; she replies, 
"From Towel Country," and vanishes on pronouncing spell. But she has 
lost one shoe on entering carriage. Dinner better than ever, and heroine 

Collectanea. k^^j 

is praised. (ll) Shoe is sent all over the country, and all the people in 
castle try it in vain. Only heroine is left ; shoe fits her ; king recognises 
in the wooden-hood the beautiful lady he has thrice seen in different 
dresses in church. (12) He woos her, marries her, and they live many 
happy years. 

Ericsson's MS. Collections. Kgl. Witterhetsakakademien, 

B "RuPELs" (Shaggy-cloak). 

(i) King promises dying queen he will only marry a girl resembling 
her, and whom her dress fits. (2) After awhile king wants to marry 
his own daughter. Heroine weeps ; an old man asks why, and 
advises her to demand three dresses, one trimmed with silk roses, one 
with golden flowers, and one with diamonds, and lastly, a cloak of 
every kind of fur, a cap to cover the head, and eye-glasses. She is 
to don the three dresses, and outside all the shaggy cloak, and flee 
with him. (3) Old man takes her to a lake, which they cross in a boat, 
then bids her proceed till she reaches a charcoal-burner's hut. Here she 
must ask for food and shelter. Old man at parting gives her key to 
open a large boulder. (4) Charcoal-burner's wife asks what she can do, 
and advises her, since she can spin silk, to go to royal castle. (5) Here 
the queen engages her. Heroine discovers boulder, and locks her dresses 
in it. The prince is ill ; Shaggy-cloak must nurse him ; he throws a bit 
of fire-wood at her. (6) Prince recovers and goes to church ; heroine 
obtains permission to go too, and sit in porch. She unlocks stone, dons 
dress with silver and silk roses, and takes her seat opposite prince, who 
bids his servant ask whence she comes. " From Fire-wood-throwing Country," 
she says, mounts her waiting horse, saying, " Light before me ! darkness 
behind me ! " and vanishes. {7) Prince again ill ; throws washing-water 
at heroine, who subsequently replies : ' ' From Washing-water-throwing 
Country!" ... (8) Third time "From Blanket-throwing Country." 
This time, instead of afterwards changing dress, she hurriedly covers it 
with shaggy cloak. (9) Prince again ill ; queen cooks his dinner ; heroine 
throws sand into the dish. Queen prepares another, into which heroine 
throws the ring given to her by prince at last meeting in church. Prince 
recognises ring, arranges dinner party, inviting everybody. Heroine not 
allowed to go till cook intercedes. (10) Prince sees edge of her golden 
dress ; recognises her ; marries her. 

B " Kraknabbakappan " (The Crowbill-cloak). 

(i) King wants to marry own daughter, who demands in turn three 
dresses : like star, moon, and sun ; and lastly, a cloak made of crows' 
skins and bills. (2) She escapes to another kingdom and gets employment 
at palace. She has to butcher, scour, and sweep, and the work being 

198 Collectanea. 

too hard, she weeps. (3) An old woman comforts her ; she need but 
say: "My knife, butcher! my rubber, scour! my broom, sweep!" 
and work will be done. (4) Heroine looks ugly and dirty ; prince 
throws water at her, and asks whence she comes. She is silent ; 
but old woman bids her answer: "From Water-throwing Country." 
Afterwards, when prince has thrown slipper at her, she says she comes 
from "Slipper-throwing Country." (5) On Sundays she goes to church, 
wearing in turn, at old woman's advice, star, moon, and sun dresses ; 
hastens home and changes for crow-bill cloak. (6) Third Sunday she is 
advised to loosen one shoe-string ; as she hurries back prince follows, and 
catches loose shoe. (7) All the girls are summoned to court to try shoe, 
and, last of all, Crowbill-cloak. Shoe fits her ; she produces its fellow ; 
throws off cloak, and appears in golden sun-dress. Happy marriage to 


D " Den tillfalliga bruden " (The bride by chance). 

(i) Two princesses agree upon the marriage of their unborn children. 
This girl and boy when born are, for some unknown reason, separated. 
The girl is put into a pit underground with a maid-servant and little 
dog, for three or seven years. (2) Boy discovers her, but is obliged to 
go away ; he promises to return three times. First time heroine gives 
him handkerchief with three drops of blood on it, saying: "If ever you 
find a person able to wash out these blood-spots I shall be dead, and you 
can marry." Second time she gives a finely- woven kerchief: "When 
you find a person able to weave a kerchief like this, marry her." Third 
visit she gives an embroidered kerchief: "If you find a girl able to 
embroider another like this, marry her." (3) At last, girl and maid 
being famished, cast lots which shall die ; but wild animals scratch open 
the earth-house. (4) Heroine goes to seek her lover ; comes to royal 
castle, where hero-prince is about to marry lady if she can wash out the 
blood-spots.^ She cannot ; heroine offers assistance, is scolded, but does 
the task ; also weaves and embroiders a kerchief without prince's know- 
ledge. (5) Wedding to be celebrated ; but lady bears a child,^ and heroine 
goes to church in her stead. Heroine says to the horse : 
" Fall on thy knees, thou falcon gray ! 

'Tis a king's child that will ride you to-day." 
To the bridge that breaks beneath every person who is not the child of 
a king, she says : 

" Thou broad bridge keep strong, 
A royal child rides along." 

^Comp. Cinderella, No. 275, from Agen, and see Note 13, p. 481 ; also. 
Am. Folk-Lore Journal, ix, 284. 

^Comp. Swedish Story, No. 276, and see Note 14, p. 483. 

Collectanea. 1 99 

Prince asks, "Why do you say that?" "It came into my mind." Hero 
locks round her neck a golden chain, which only he can unlock. A little 
bird sits in the bushes warbling ; heroine says : " You sing to your friend. 
When I return home I shall lose mine." Same question from hero; 
same reply. He gives her a golden apple : ' ' You must return it to me 
only." They pass a withered fir-tree, on which sits a bird. Heroine 
says: "You warble here in the withered fir; at home lies the bride 
bearing a child in the cowhouse." Same question, same reply. (6) On 
returning home heroine exchanges dress with bride, who, when hero 
asks: "Why did you say so-and-so?" must every time go and ask her 
maid ; also when hero demands the golden chain. Heroine advises her 
to promise the chain when all the lights are put out. When heroine 
holds out the golden apple in the dark, hero grasps her hand, lights are 
brought, and heroine is discovered as true bride. 

In a variant, the tests are a half-finished web, half-finished shirt, and 
bloody kerchief to wash. Hero begs heroine to tell a stoiy, and she 
answers : " Songs and tales I have forgotten during my seven years' stay 
underground. I have suffered much ; have ridden on a bear's back ; but, 
still more, I suffer to-day when I am to be bride in a proud lady's stead." 

Ibid. Another version. 
D " Den tillfalliga bruden." 

(i) There are two women: one bears a girl, the other a boy. Heroine 
is concealed in an underground house, having as companions a cock, a 
pair of scissors, and a live coal. (2) She works her way out, and becomes 
a servant — " att hugga ved a krattii sved" i.e. to chop firewood and cover 
the seed (corn) sown in ashes where trees have been burned. (3) In 
the king's house, bride has to finish a begun web, wash a blood-stained 
kerchief, and scour blood-spots from a key. Heroine hears about this, 
sets out, but is stopped by impassable stream. She stands weeping ; a 
wolf appears and says : " Take a seat on my tail, I'll help you over ! " 
Thus she crosses stream, reaches king's house where wedding is arranged, 
but bride has fallen ill. (4) Heroine takes bride's place. In the wood, 
on way to church, she says : " For twelve years I have been sitting 
underground. I have chopped firewood, and covered corn with ashes 
of burnt trees. Ah me! what I have suffered." Hero asks: "What 
did you say?" "I am not talking to you, but to my maids." He gives 
her a glove to keep. Dismounting from her horse, she says: "Stand 
still, you Walle-Kwalle ! At home the bride bears a child in the stable." 
Hero asks same question ; same reply given. He breaks his gold ring 
in two, gives one piece to heroine, and begs her to keep it till it is asked 
for. Heroine and bride exchange dresses. (Remainder of story like other 
version. ) 

200 Collectanea. 

J. Henriksson, Pldgseder och Skrock. AmSl, 1889. 
P. 69. (Swedish.) 
B " Pelsarubb " (Fur-cloak). 

(i) Queen dies, king having promised not to re-marry till he finds 
someone whom queen's wedding dress fits as well as it fitted queen. 
(2) King's daughter, being grown up, one day puts on mother's wedding 
dress, and entering king's room, says : " Look, papa, how well it fits 
me." King says he is going to marry her. (3) Heroine goes away weep- 
ing ; dead mother meets her, and asks why, " Don't cry," she says ; 
"ask your father for a dress like the stars." Heroine gets it, and after- 
wards one like the moon, and the third time one like the sun. Father 
will now marry her. Dead mother bids her ask for cloak of every 
possible kind of fur. (4) That being also obtained, mother takes her to 
another kingdom, and bids her seek work in royal palace, asking only 
for a room to herself in which to keep her belongings. She gets this, 
and becomes chamber-maid. Prince is going to leave home ; heroine is 
told to take him water for washing ; she carries up a can of dirty water, 
which he throws at her. Afterwards, she takes up his boots, having 
filled them, and later, his hat, with dish water. Prince is so angry that 
he stays at home. (5) Next Sunday heroine is allowed to go to church, 
but must return as soon as sermon is finished. Heroine goes in star 
dress, and on leaving church is followed by prince. "Whence come you?" 
he asks. " From Dirty-water-can, Boots Country, in Hatstream parish. 
Light before, darkness behind me, nobody must know where I go ! " and 
she vanishes. Returning home she dons fur-cloak. Second Sunday she 
wears moon dress, and everything happens as before ; likewise on third 
Sunday when she wears sun dress, and gives same answer to prince. 
He enquires about her in vain ; everybody has seen her, nobody knows 
her. (6) In the afternoon prince sends for chamber-maid to ' louse ' him ; 
she obeys, laying his head on her lap. Prince tears a hole in her cloak, 
sees sun dress beneath, recognises heroine, and marries her. (7) After the 
wedding they visit heroine's father, who rejoices at her good fortune. 

E. T. Kristensen, Fra Bindestue og Koelle II, No. II, p. 61. 
1897. (Told by an old farmer's widow, Maren Nielsen, now 
deceased ; from a village near Aarhus, Jutland.) 

A " Lille Maren i Tr/EKjolen " (Little Mary in the 

(i) King has three daughters, the youngest called Mary. Elder sisters 
hate her, send her into kitchen to cook, and, deeming her dress too good, 
make her gown of shavings. (2) After awhile father falls ill ; expecting 
death, he calls elder daughters, gives each her inheritance, but forgets 
youngest. Elder sisters being conscience-stricken, send heroine to take 

Collectanea. 201 

leave of father, but decline to lend her better clothes to appear in. 
(3) "Good gracious! are you going to die?" she exclaims; "what shall 
you leave me ? " Father is surprised to find her still alive, not having 
seen her for so long. "I have given everything to your sisters." 
"What, not the little dog as well?" and heroine begs to have it to 
live with her in kitchen. Father gives it, and dies, and is buried ; two 
elder sisters are now reigning queens. (4) One day, on going to church, 
they bid heroine get a certain fish [narrator had forgotten its name] ; or 
failing, she will be punished. She takes little dog with her to seashore ; 
merman rises, and asks why she weeps ; brings up the required fish, 
ties it round dog's neck, together with slip of paper instructing cook how 
to dress it. (5) He then asks whether she would like to go to church. 
She has not been for many years. Merman fetches dress, coach, coach- 
man and footman, and bids her leave church when clergyman descends 
pulpit, say, "Darkness behind, light before me; no one shall see whither 
I go," and undress before sisters return. Heroine sits in church beside 
sisters, who do not know her ; a prince who is present looks at no one 
else. (6) Heroine returns to seashore after church, and merman gives 
her her old clothes. Sisters find her at home in wooden gown, and ask 
for the fish, which is brought. (7) Next Sunday she must procure another 
fish ; all happens as before. (S) Third Sunday she goes to church in 
silver coach and six. "Beware that the prince does not catch you!" 
says the merman. The prince has posted himself behind church-door, 
and when heroine leaves he gets one of her slippers. She tells merman, 
who comforts her, saying, "No one else will be able to wear it." 
(9) Sisters ask for fish, and whilst they tell her of beautiful lady seen in 
church, prince drives into the court. They invite him to partake of their 
dinner ; he wants them to try on slipper. One cuts her heel, the other 
her toe, but a bird sings : " Cut heel, chop toe ; in the kitchen will 
be found one whom shoe fits." Prince bids them send for cook. 
" Mary, be quick ! come and try the shoe." " Lend me a dress ! " "No." 
So she hies to seashore ; merman gives her dress, coach and every- 
thing, and she drives into court. " There is she whom shoe fits," they 
say, "but it is not Mary." (10) Still Mary it is, and prince "drinks 
his wedding with her " (Danish dialect expression). 

E. T. Kristensen, Sagn IV, p. 106, No. 420. 

(Danish Saga.) 

A castle, Fonixberg, was laid waste during the Swedish war. The man 
at that time in possession of the castle had three daughters. They were 
taken by a secret underground passage into a vault which was then 
bricked-up, so that the man's daughters and his treasure of gold and 
silver might be hidden from the enemy. Sufficient victuals to last a long 
time were also stored underground. The man was killed in the war, 
the land laid waste and the castle burnt down ; and the girls, all the 


202 Collectanea. 

food having been eaten, eventually died of hunger. Many years later an 
old man is passing the spot by night, when a white lady, sitting on a 
stump, begs him to follow her, and conducts him into the castle vault. 
There she opens a box with a key, and displays large treasure of gold 
and silver. " Don't forget the best ! " says she. The man is too frightened 
to utter a word ; the lady gazing at him sadly, exclaims, with a loud cry, 
that now there is no help for her, and she must wander till the judgment 
day. Instantly everything vanishes, and the man is standing in the open 
field. In the opinion of the folk, the man should have replied in such 
a way as to have released the white lady ; then she could have gone to 
heaven, and he could have got the treasure. 

P. Save's MS. Collections, III. University Library, 
Upsala, Sweden. Sagor, No. 13. 

" Den nedgravede Prinsesse " (The buried Princess). 

(i) King has an only daughter betrothed to a prince. King and prince 
go to the wars, king having prepared an underground chamber for heroine, 
her maid and dog. (2) King is killed ; heroine in vain awaits deliver- 
ance. (3) Prince has handkerchief with his name worked in gold letters 
by heroine ; drop of blood from her pricked finger has stained it, and no 
one can wash it out. Prince in vain seeks heroine ; promises to marry 
girl who can wash kerchief clean. (4) Maid dies in underground chamber; 
dog scratches his way out, heroine follows ; reaches prince's kingdom, 
and is engaged as chamber-maid. (5) Prince is to be married next day 
to girl exactly resembling heroine, except in voice, who bids her wash 
out blood-spot. Heroine does so ; is forbidden to speak. (6) Bride falls 
ill, heroine goes to church in her place. She says to the horses : " There 
you are! my father. King Falk's steeds. Now you are mine." Prince 
asks what she says; heroine whispers: "Nothing." Crossing bridge she 
says : " There you swim my duck and drake. When I go back I lose my 
mate." Same question from prince and whispered reply. During wedding 
ceremony heroine receives a ring which must be given up to none but 
prince. (7) On returning heroine gives up dress to false bride, who, at 
table, cannot repeat what was said going to church, and must ask chamber- 
maid. Prince is suspicious ; discovers true bride. Happy marriage. 

B " KrAk-Pelsen " (The Crow-cloak). 

(l) King wants to marry daughter. (2) Heroine is allowed three wishes: 
dress like sun, another like moon, a third like stars. Three faithful servants 
shoot crows, and a cloak is made of the flayed skins. (3) Heroine escapes 
in cloak, with dresses hidden in box, and passes night in hut of an ugly 
old hag, who next morning shows castle where heroine can get employment. 
Leaving box of dresses with hag, heroine is engaged as ' lamb-girl.' (4) One 

CoUectanea. 203 

day she is told to take prince his golden slippers ; he throws one at her 
because she is ugly. (5) Heroine has permission to go and wash her 
face in a pond ; she runs to the hag, dons star-dress and calls on a lord 
whom prince is visiting. All marvel at her beauty. Asked whence she 
comes, she says : " From Slipper- throwing Country," jumps into her coach 
and at home changes dress. . . . (Similar incidents and replies in connection 
with golden comb, water-basin.) Hurrying away heroine loses a shoe. 
(6) All the girls assembled ; the one whom shoe fits to be queen. Some 
cut toe, others chop heel, but bird betrays them, adding : " In the lamb- 
house is sitting the girl whom the shoe fits." There she is found in the 
crowskin-cloak ; becomes queen. 

Ibid. Sagor No. 15. 

A " Styfdotteren och den ratta dotteren " (The step- 
daughter and the right daughter). 

(i) Woman has daughter of her own and a step-daughter. The latter, 
fair as the day, is an ill-used servant, obliged to fetch water from the 
well while others go to church. (2) An old man at the well asks heroine 
why she is sad, and gives her small box containing star dress in which 
she goes to church, and sits, unrecognised, beside stepmother. Heroine 
leaves first. Returned home, where meanwhile old man has done every- 
thing, stepmother speaks of beautiful lady, at whom everyone, including 
prince, has been looking. All happens as before a second time when 
heroine wears a moon dress, and a third time when she wears sun dress 
and golden shoes, one of which is left behind, stuck to the tar on the 
threshold. (3) Prince wants for his queen the girl whom shoe fits. Step- 
sister, with heel and toe cut, starts to church as prince's bride, but on 
the way little bird sings: "Chopped heel and cut toe, at home sits the 
fair lady whom the shoe fits." Blood from foot is seen in the coach. 
{4) Prince returns and discovers true bride. 

Ibid. Sagor No. 36. 
B " TusEN-PELSEN " (Thousand-cloak). 

(l) Queen dies ; king having promised to marry girl whom all her dresses 
fit, wants to marry his own daughter. (2) Heroine demands a dress made 
of patches collected from all over the world ; afterwards a star dress, a 
moon dress, a sun dress ; lastly, a ship sailing through land and water. 
(3) Heroine dons thousand-patch cloak, and goes aboard. " Light before, 
darkness behind ! nobody shall see where I am going ! " Far away she 
gets employed as servant in castle. (4) King is dressing to go awooing ; 
heroine takes his shaving-water. "Get out you ugly thousand-cloak !" says 
king ; but heroine tells cook he said nothing. Having permission to go 
and wash, heroine boards the ship ; says same spell, and in moon dress 

204 Collectanea. 

reaches king's destination before him. King forgets all about his wooing, 
looking at her. Asked whence she comes, heroine says : " From Razor- 
throwing Country." "Many countries have I visited, but never till now 
have I heard that name." "Well, it is far, far hence," she says; jumps 
on board, and vanishes. Having changed dress, she asks cook, "Have I 
been too long away?" "No. ..." (Similar incidents and replies in 
connection with towel, galoshes.) On the last occasion she wears sun 
dress, and is so late returning that she throws ugly cloak over it. (5) Each 
time the king when speaking has given her a ring with his name on it. 
Told to carry up his soup, heroine puts the three rings into dish ; king 
discovers them, sends for Thousand-cloak, and asks whether she has 
another dress. No ; her parents were too poor. King sends servant out 
to buy her beautiful dress ; heroine must undress in king's presence ; sun 
dress is thus discovered. "Well, it is you, my love!" king cries. Happy 

A. Segerstedt, Svenska Folksagor och Afventyr. Stock- 
holm, 1884. P. 3. 

A "KrXkpelsa" (Crow-cloak). 

"Did you ever hear tell of Crow-cloak? She was really a woman, 
though people used to say she was an awful fool." (1) All the people of 
the farm go to church ; Crow-cloak must stay at home, and is very sad. 
(2) Mountain-troll comes to comfort her, dresses her in white dress, making 
her very lovely, and sends her to church, where all look at her in amaze- 
ment. Her horse is outside. She jumps up, saying: "White before me ! 
black behind me ! nobody shall see whither I go." Heroine is sitting in 
her wonted place when people return talking of beautiful lady. (3) Next 
Sunday, lest heroine should follow, they pour jug of salt into the ashes, 
and bid her pick it up. Troll assists, and sends her to church in silver 
dress and shoes. (4) Third Sunday bag of peas thrown into ashes ; troll 
sends heroine to church in golden dress and shoes. In her hurry to leave 
heroine does not see trough of tar placed in church doorway, and loses 
a shoe. All marvel at its small size. (5) Prince will marry whomsoever 
it fits. Woman at farm wants her daughter to be Queen ; chops her heel 
and cuts her toe ; shoe is squeezed on, but birds betray girl oh way to 
church. "What means that singing in the wood?" asks prince. "I 
suppose the birds are warbling." Prince is suspicious, and returns to farm, 
but finds nobody, woman having thrust heroine beneath water-butt in court- 
yard. Prince supposing bride spoke truth returns to church, but more 
loudly still from every bush is heard : " Chop heel, cut toe ; in the court- 
yard is the girl whom shoe fits." (6) Thither prince returns, seeks and 
finds heroine, and marries her. Neither woman nor daughter gets any 
profit for her pains ! 

Collectanea. 205 

J. SuNDBLAD, Gamnialdags Seder och Bruk, 2nd ed. Stock- 
holm, 1888. P. 214. No. 9. (Swedish.) 

B Pelsarubb.i 

(i) Queen dies. King wants to marry their daughter; she is more 
beautiful than anyone else. (2) Heroine at last assents, but first exacts 
in turn a silver, a gold, a star dress. (3) With these she secretly leaves 
home ; comes to an old woman living in underground cave in dark 
forest, and remains there till tired of the quiet. She then seeks 
situation ; is engaged as hen-girl at king's castle, and allowed to spend 
every Saturday till Monday morning with foster-mother, the old woman 
in cave. (4) First Sunday foster-mother harnesses her calf, having no 
horse, bids heroine don one of her shining dresses, and say, should 
anyone vex or touch her: "White before me! black behind me!" 
Calf takes her over hill and mountain ; sticks and straws are sent whizzing 
around them. All gaze at her in church, unheeding sermon. When 
they throng round her to learn whence she comes, heroine speaks 
spell and vanishes. On Monday she re-appears as dirty hen-girl. So 
everything passes for some time. Prince has had no suspicion who * Pelsa- 
rubb' is, and has thrown at her an old hat, his boots, and lastly, a 
washing-basin, when she has been sent to him with shaving water. 
Afterwards, when the crowd questions her at church door, she replies : 
" From Hat parish. Boot County," repeats spell and vanishes. (5) Prince 
is in love with heroine, but cannot catch her. He dreams that by assembling 
all servant-girls in castle he may discover heroine. Pelsarubb's turn comes. 
It is Monday morning, and she has had no time to change clothes, so covers 
them with filthy ragged gown. Prince is about to turn her out, but spies 
some shining thing under rags, and tears the hole larger. Heroine is 
discovered, and relates her story. Happy marriage. Foster-mother sits 
between king and queen at the feast. 

E. Wahlfisk, Bidrag till Sodermanlands dldre Kulturhistorie^ 
VIII. Edited by Strengnas, 1895, P. 79. 

B " Kraknabba-pelsen " (Crowbill-cloak). 

(i) King w.nnts to marry his daughter. She demands in turn star, moon, 
sun dress, and lastly, a Crowbill-cloak. (2) With these she escapes, becomes 
menial in royal palace, and weeps because work is too hard. (3) Old woman 
appears, bids her say: "Knife, butcher! wisp, scour! broom, sweep!" 
and the tools will obey. All is now well. Heroine carries washing-water 

^ In a note to this tale, Mr. Sundblad supposes it to have been derived 
from a penny print, and the last part of the heroine's name to have been robe. 
Pels-robe, i.e. Fur-robe, Fur-cloak. 

2o6 Collectanea. 

to young king, who throws it at her for looking loathsome in crowbill- 
cloak. Heroine saddened, is comforted by old woman, who bids her take 
more water to king, and, if questioned, say she comes " From Water- 
throwing Country. " Heroine obeys ; king throws slippers at her. Next 
time she must say : '* From Slipper-throwing Country. (4) Next Sunday 
she asks leave to go to church; king says: "You scarecrow, what have 
you to do in church ! " Old woman bids her go in star dress, and sit 
opposite king. Heroine leaves church in good time, and is back in crow- 
bill-cloak when king returns full of praise of beautiful young lady. Heroine 
is sorry she might not go and see her. All happens the same a second 
and a third Sunday, but this time heroine is told to wear sun dress, and 
to loosen left shoe-string. (5) King follows her out, catches her left foot 
as she mounts her horse, and retains shoe. (6) All the girls bidden to 
come to court to try shoe, and the one it fits will be queen. Some mothers 
cut their daughters' toes all in vain. At length heroine appears in crow- 
bill-cloak, puts on shoe, fetches its fellow, then doffs cloak, and stands 
shining like the bright sun. She becomes queen. 

M. WiNTHER, Danske Folkeventyr. Copenhagen, 1825. P. 12. 
" De to Kongedcettre " (The two Princesses). 

(i) King has two daughters, the elder wicked and ugly, the younger 
beautiful and good. Elder daughter is beloved, and lives with king in 
gorgeous rooms of palace ; heroine lives with servants and shares their 
work. (2) Neighbouring king arranges festival to last several days. Elder 
daughter attends it with father ; heroine left in kitchen. She sits crying 
in the twilight in her small room ; suddenly strange little man appears 
and offers to fulfil a wish. Heroine wishes to see ball where father and 
sister are ; she may go, on condition that she returns before midnight. 
(3) Man vanishes, and heroine stands in costly dress, wearing heavy gold 
chains, and a crown of diamonds ; at her door is magnificent coach with 
four snow-white horses, whose golden manes reach the ground. Heroine 
enters coach, and soon finds herself at palace, admired of all, and unrecog- 
nised by father and sister. As twelve o'clock strikes she mounts coach 
and is back in her shabby clothes in dark room. Next day father and 
sister talk incessantly of fair unknown princess. In the evening they go 
to festival, leaving heroine hard at work. Seeing red glare in sky from 
illuminated palace heroine longs to go, and immediately is beautifully 
and magnificently dressed. At the ball she is admired and courted beyond 
measure. As the clock strikes she leaves in the midst of a dance. This 
time her horses are yellow with jet-black plaited manes. Third evening 
a heavy gale blows ; she wears a triple crown of sparkling diamonds ; her 
coach is drawn by eight flame-coloured horses, with manes like shining 
gold. Everyone would dance with her ; she stays beyond her tiine, and 
leaves in her black working dress, to find outside, instead of coach, an 

Collectanea. 207 

old wheelbarrow drawn by four small mice. She weeps bitterly over her 
forgetfulness, and in future passes her days as a common servant in her 
father's kitchen. 

Ibid., p. 48. 

B " HiSTORiE OM EN LILLE KoKKETOs " (Tale of a 

little kitchen wench). 

(l) Widowed king wants to marry his beautiful daughter. She declines, 
weeping. (2) Old beggar woman limps into the courtyard ; only the 
princess gives her anything. Old woman advises heroine to ask father 
for a silver dress, it may save her. She obtains it, and next time she 
demands and obtains a golden dress. Some time later, when old woman 
is scoffed at and ill-used, heroine gives her a large sum ; thereupon she 
receives a feather dress and a small magic rod. She can don the dress, 
and, striking the air with rod, say: "Light before! dark behind!" and 
go unseen anywhither. (3) Again hard pressed by father, heroine puts 
on a servant's dark gown, bundles up her two dresses, throws on the 
feather dress, works the spell, and flies far away into a foreign kingdom, 
where she is engaged as kitchen wench at palace. (4) When king asks 
for washing-water, heroine begs leave to take it, and is at last allowed. 
King throws basin at her ; on the next occasion the towel, and on the 
third the comb. (5) One Sunday everyone from the palace goes to church ; 
heroine may get dinner ready. She dons silver dress, gets to church by 
means of feather dress and spell, and everyone wonders who is the beauti- 
ful unknown lady. She leaves early, and prepares an excellent dinner. 
Everyone talks about stranger in church. Next Sunday she wears gold 
dress, leaves early, but sees king following her, and in her haste loses 
one shoe. (6) King announces he will wed whomsoever shoe fits. Feet 
and toes are pinched in vain ; at last there is no one left but kitchen- 
wench, and that she too may be made a fool of they send for her. But lo ! 
the shoe fits her exactly, and throwing off her servant's dress there she 
stands in the golden one, and tells the king everything. (7) He marries 
her, and they live long and happily. 

The following are references to Cinderella variants : 

Adhemard Lectere, Cambodje, Conies et Legendes. Paris, 1895. P- 7°- 

" Niang Kan toe." 
American Folk- Lore Journal, viii, 160; xix, 265-280. (Filipino versions by 

Fletcher Gardner, with Comparative Note by W. W. Newell.) 
Archivio, xii, 2. " Une Cendrillon Annamite." 
Aiisland, 1832, 58. 
Blatter fiir Pommersche Volkskunde. Stettin, 1892. No. 2, p. 26. 

" Rauhthierchen." 

2o8 Collectanea. 

BiiscHlNG, Wbchmtl. Nachr. f. Freunde d. Mittelalters, i, 139; iv, 61. 

Folk-Lore Journal, iii, 301. 

Folk-Lore, i, app. p. 149 (Catskin variant); iv, 95, 96; v, 86, 216-17, 
203 ff. (Irish Story, " Culfin ") ; 325 (Esthonian version); 344 "The 
Princess and the Cat" (from N. India); vi, 305, "Ashey Pelt." 

GiTTEE, Contes Wallons, p. 41. 

E. T. Kristensen, /^ventyr fra Jytland. Copenhagen, 1895. iii> P- 27. 
No. 4. " Pisk i Aske" ( = unpubHshed story contributed to Cinderella, 
p. 26. No. 63). 

P. de Mont and A. de Cock, Vlaamsche Wonder Sprookjes. Ghent, 1896. 
No. 19, p. 155. "Van Sloddeken-vuil." 

North Indiati Notes and Queries, iii (see Folk- Lore, v, 86), " Ganga Ram 
the Parrot"; "The Disguised Princess"; "The King and the 

HOLGER Pedersen, Zur Albanesischen Volkskunde. Copenhagen, 1898. 
{SiQ& Folk- Lore, ix, 344.) 

Revue des Traditions populai7-es, ix, 93. 

Rivista di Litterattira Popolare, ii, 149, "La leggenda di Sta. Cesaria"; 
ii, 265, "Maria Ortighitedda." 

A. Seidel, Geschichten und Lieder der Africaner. BerUn, 1896. P. 90, 
"Die Geschichte von einem Kunige und seinen drei Tochtern " ; 
p. 135, " Liebe bis zum Salz." 

S. Singer, Schweizer Mdrchen (a series of comparative storiological studies on 
the tales in Sutermeister's collection), Parts I. and II. 

Suffolk Folk-Lore, p. 40. 

M. Wardrop, Georgian Folk Tales, p. 63. 

The story of Cinderella, amongst others, is discussed in an Inaugural Dis- 
sertation, "Das Motiv von der unterschobenen Braut," von P. Arfert 
(Schwrerin, 1897). 

I may refer those interested in the mediaeval legends upon which I 
touched in the preface to Cinderella, to Revue de Vhistoire des Religions, 
xiii, 83, 215 ; xiv, 228 (contes russes traduits par L. Sichler) ; Melusine, 
ii, 309-10, 312, 392-97, 446-48; E. Schreck, Finnische Mdrchen, No. 22 
(resume by Gittee in Rev, des Trad, pop., ii, 332); Edith Rickert, Modern 
Philology, ii, Chicago, 1904-05, pp. 29, 321, containing the fullest dis- 
cussion of the Offalich ; also to two very learned studies (for copies of 
which I am indebted to the author) by Dr. A. B. Gough, M.A., namely : 
Inaugural Dissertation "On the Middle English Metrical Romance of 
Emare," Kiel, 1900. "The Constance Saga," Palaestra, xxiii, Berlin 
(Mayer & Miiller), 1902. 

Marian Roalfe Cox. 


In Memoriam 


Died at Wayland, Massachusetts, 2ist January, 1907. 

" Few are the men whose influence upon scientific thought is so 
closely connected with their personality as Mr. Newell's. He 
was not one of those who, in their enthusiasm for facts, are likely 
to forget the objects which the newly-discovered data are to serve, 
and whose departure from the field of science comes to signify the 
loss of a powerful centre of activity, through whose agency many 
valuable treasures may have been acquired, but whose personality 
has disappeared behind the urgent demands of action. His was 
the power of directing the thoughts of students into the channels 
of his own mind, by means of the influence of his personality and 
his enthusiasm, and of increasing and directing their thirst for new 
information. What he achieved is not so much due to what he 
did, as to what he was. 

"Thus it has happened that Mr. Newell, although a man of 
literary inclination, came to be a power in the field of anthro- 
pology. His first and most remarkable achievement, the 
foundation of the [American] Folklore Society, brought him into 
close contact, not only with the students of European folklore, of 
which field he himself was master, but also with the students of 
primitive tribes, and without assuming to become an anthro- 
pologist, he exerted a lasting influence upon many investigators. 
Twenty years ago, when his interests were first turned in this 

2IO Obituary. 

direction, anthropology was almost exclusively in the hands of 
men originally trained in the study of natural sciences, and this 
determined the standpoint from which the phenomena of 
anthropology were viewed. Exactness of description on the one 
hand, the establishment of broad evolutionary principles on the 
other, were the guiding thoughts of students. The history of 
culture as a historical and truly psychological phenomenon was a 
thought that remained to be developed. 

" Mr. Newell's interests were aroused from entirely different 
points of view. His studies in the histories of literature and 
folklore enabled him to perceive at a glance the historical 
elements in primitive culture, more particularly in the field of 
primitive lore and art, and to see that the gulf between the mental 
hfe of primitive man and civilized man, or between the mental 
life of races, that many students had constructed, had no existence 
in reality. His own artistic temper which permitted him to feel 
with the poet, and his human sympathy which led him to follow 
up the gradual spread of artistic productions among the people, 
together with his fund of historic knowledge, enabled him to see 
things that had been hidden from the eyes of anthropologists. 

" To understand him aright, we must also not forget the broad 
humanitarian basis of his scientific interests. If it had been only 
the knowledge of remarkable forms of beliefs of foreign races, he 
might have been an interested spectator, but he would hardly 
have thrown as much energy into the work of inspiring students 
with the necessity of saving the vanishing remains of such 
beliefs, and of recording what still exists in full vigour. The 
strongest appeal to his sympathies lay in the light shed upon the 
fundamental values of culture by a close study of beliefs, customs, 
tales, and arts, of foreign races ; in the ability given by this study 
of appreciating the strength and weaknesses of our own culture, 
and in its tendency to correct the overbearing self-sufficiency of 
modern civilization. 

" He never formulated his views in writing ; but in animated 
discussions the analogies between primitive lore and that of 
Europe, the need of applying well-grounded principles developed 
in literary research, the necessity of viewing many expressions 
of primitive thought as the artistic or philosophic expression 



of popular ideas formulated by artists or thinkers of high rank, 
were with him an inexhaustible topic, and he impressed his 
views upon the listener by the force of the vivacity of his 
temperament, and of the enthusiastic reliance on the correctness 
of his principles. 

" Thus it came to pass that he set anthropologists thinking in 
new lines, that he added new recruits to our ranks, and that he 
pressed one after another of us into his service, and thus led in 
the work of making room in anthropology for a broad historical 

Professor Franz Boas 
[in the Journal of A?neyican Folklore, No. LXXVI., pp. 62-64). 


Notices to Members. 

I am desired by the Council to draw attention to the fact 
that copies of Bishop Callaway's Religious System of the Amazulu 
may now be obtained by members of the Society from Messrs. 
Nutt, at the price of los. 6d. 

I am further desired to state that gifts of books to the Society's 
Library will be warmly welcomed. It would, however, be advis- 
able, in the first instance, to send me lists of any books proposed 
to be presented, to avoid duplicating with books already in the 
possession of the Society. 

The Library is at present housed in the rooms of the Anthropo- 
logical Institute, 3 Hanover Square. 

F. A. Milne, Secretary. 

Folklore of Aristotle. 

I am preparing for publication a translation, with notes, of 
Aristotle's History of Animals, of which, at present, I am chiefly 
engaged on Books I., IL, and III. It is obvious, from Aristotle's 
statements, that his information was in part obtained from fisher- 
men, hunters, and others. Some of this information appears 
to represent popular beliefs of his time, and I shall feel greatly 
obliged to any reader of Folk-Lore who will kindly assist me 
in ascertaining to what extent such beliefs survive among the 

Correspondence. 2 1 3 

Greeks of to-day. The passages in which popular beliefs appear 
to be contained, and on which information is particularly wanted, 
are as follows, the text employed being Schneider's Leipzig 
edition, 181 1 : 

(i) "The Sponge also seems to have some sense of feeling, 

an indication being that it is torn away from its support 

with greater difficulty, so they say, unless its removal is 

effected stealthily" (I. c. i, s. 8). 

Aristotle decided, apparently on evidence such as this, that 

the Sponge is an animal. Is the Sponge popularly believed, in 

the Greek area, to be a plant or an animal ? 

(2) "... sneezing, the only breathing considered to be an 

omen and sacred " (I. c. 9, s. 4). 

(3) " Milk is also produced in men" (I. c. 10, s. i). Again, 

" Milk is not produced, as a rule, in men and other 
male animals, still, it is produced in some, for a he- 
goat, in Lemnos, yielded from the two teats, near its 
external generative organs, so much milk that small 
cheeses were made from it" (III. c. 16, s. 4). 

(4) " There are a few animals with one horn and solid hoofs, 
as, for instance, the Indian Ass. The 'Oryx' has one 
horn and is cloven-footed " (II. c. 2, s. 9). 

With respect to this passage, which seems to be an origin 
of the fabulous Unicorn, it is commonly asserted that the 
apparently one-horned aspect of some Antelopes, when seen in 
side view, probably originated the idea of the existence of 
animals such as the one-horned Indian Ass and the one- 
homed " Oryx." I have endeavoured to find an ancient sculpture 
or painting representing a one-horned animal, which could be 
reasonably identified with Aristotle's " Oryx," or his " Indian 
Ass," but have not succeeded. The only representation of an 
animal with, apparently, one horn, which I have seen, is in the 
4th Egyptian Room, Case 185, Exhibit No. 1698, at the 
British Museum, This is a figure of an Ibex, forming the top 
of a wooden comb belonging to the i8th Dynasty. In this 
instance, the wood-carver probably knew that the Ibex has 
two horns, but has either carved out one only, or has carved 
them so close together that, as seen from the outside of the 

214 Correspondence. 

case, the figure seems to have only one horn. Can anyone 
refer me to any ancient representation of an Antelope showing, 
in an unmistakable manner, one horn only? 

(s) "All horned animals are quadrupeds, unless metaphori- 
cally, and for want of a suitable word, an animal may 
be said to be horned, just as the Egyptians say that, 
near Thebes, there are Snakes with projections which 
take the place of horns" (II. c. 2, s. ii). 
The last part of this passage appears to have been taken 
from Herodot. II. c. 74, who says, however, that the Theban 
sacred Snakes are small, and do not injure men. Aristotle's 
passage, as it stands, might refer to the Horned Viper or 
Cerastes, but, since the Cerastes is by no means harmless, this 
Snake, in its natural condition, cannot be identified with the 
Horned Snake of Herodotus, who seems to be Aristotle's 
authority. To what harmless horned Snake of small size could 
Herodotus refer? With reference to "horned Snakes," I may 
say that I have read the very interesting report from Larnaca 
in Folk-Lore, vol. xi, pp. 1 21-125, and the comment thereon, 
p. 321. 

(6) Aristotle also refers, in II. c. 2, s. 10, and several other 
passages, to the presence of knuckle-bones, or astragali, in 
various animals, and makes particular reference to their elegance 
of form, or their ugliness, as the case may be. I should be 
glad of any information about the question of divination, in 
classical times, by means of astragali. 

(7) "... the Eel is neither male nor female, nor is anything 

produced from it. Those who assert that, at times, some 
Eels seem to have hair-like and worm-like bodies attached 
to them, without saying how they are situated, speak 
inconsiderately" {IV. c. 11, ss. 2 and 3). Again, "It 
is plain, therefore, that Eels do not reproduce sexually. 
To some people they seem to reproduce sexually, because, 
in some Eels, worms are found which these persons think 
give rise to Eels. This is not true, but Eels are produced 
from the so-called ' entrails of the earth,' which are 
formed spontaneously in mud and moist earth" (VI. c. 15, 
ss. I and 2). 

Correspondence. 2 1 5 

(8) " There is a small rock-fish, called by some the ' Eche- 

neis,' and sometimes used in judicial proceedings {dike), 
and as love-charms. It is not edible. Some say that 
it has feet, although it has none, but appears to have 
them, because its fins are like feet" (II. c. 10, s. 3). 
The fish referred to in this passage seems to be a 

(9) "All animals, when alive, have worms in their heads, 

these worms being produced in the cavity beneath 
the tongue, and in the region of the first cervical 
vertebra; the worms are not smaller than very large 
maggots, closely crowded, and not less than twenty in 
number" (II. c. 11, s. 6). 

(10) " All Snakes have sharp, interlocking teeth, and as many 
ribs as there are days in a month, viz. thirty. Some 
say that Snakes resemble young Swallows in one respect, 
for they say that the eyes of Snakes grow again, after 
anyone has pierced them" (II. c. 12, s. 12). 

I should be grateful for any information respecting the folk- 
lore of the Greek area, which would assist in elucidating these 
passages. T. East Lones. 

Dudley House, 

Upper Highway, King's Langley. 

Opening Windows to Aid the Release of the Soul. 

" Der natiirliche Mensch off'nete sonst sogar das Fenster, 
damit die entschwebende Seele hinaus konne." (G. Th. Fechner, 
Tages- und Nacht-Ansicht ; Leipzig, 1879; p. 41.) 

I should be interested to hear of localities where this death- 
bed custom is, or has been, observed. 

H. Krebs. 

[The custom of opening windows or doors to facilitate the 
departure of the soul is reported to exist in Germany, France, 
and Spain. In Great Britain it has been noted in North-East 

2 1 6 Correspondence. 

Scotland, the Scottish Borders, Gloucestershire, Devonshire, 
Sussex, etc. Henderson, Northern Counties, p. 56; Gregor, 
North- East Scotland, p. 206 ; Folk-Lore Record, vol. i, pp. 60, 
102 j Choice Notes {Folk Lore), Y)"^. 11 T, ix2>. Ed.] 

Burial of Amputated Limbs. 

{Supra, p. 82.) 

I knew of a similar case many years ago in Valentia, Co. Kerry. 
After a great deal of trouble the local doctor persuaded a man to 
have his leg amputated. His friends claimed the leg for burial 
and held a wake over it ; some of the whisky provided for the 
occasion was smuggled into the hospital for the patient to wake 
his own leg. 

A. C. Haddon. 

Serpent-Procession at Cocullo. 

{Supra, p. 187.) 

S. Domenico of Cocullo was bom at Foligno in Umbria in 950 
and died at Sora, Jan. 22, 1031. He belonged to the Order of 
S. Benedict, and founded several monasteries in the valleys and 
mountains of the Abruzzi. Tradition relates that he once stopped 
at Cocullo and left a tooth there as a token of protection and 
preservation from hydrophobia, the bites of poisonous serpents, 
and toothache. 


(Arch Priest of Cocullo). 


The Method of Pitt-Rivers. 

The Evolution of Culture and Other Essays, by the late 
Lt.-Gen. A. Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers. Edited by J. L. Myres, 
with an Introduction by Henry Balfour, 232 pp. 21 pis. 
Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1906. 7s. 6d. net. 

From the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth, century, 
evolution was, so to speak, "in the air." As Professor Tylor 
{Researches into the Early History of Mankind on the Develop- 
ment of Civilization, 1865; Primitive Culture, 187 1), applied 
the evolutionary method to the thoughts and customs of man- 
kind, so Colonel Lane-Fox (afterwards Lt.-General Pitt-Rivers) 
applied them to the handicrafts of man. Originally he investi- 
gated the evolution of firearms, and was led to believe that 
the same principle of extremely gradual changes, whereby 
improvements were effected, probably governed the develop- 
ment of the other arts, appliances, and ideas of mankind. 
We are told that as early as 1851 (that is eight years before 
the publication of the first edition of The Origin of Species), 
with characteristic energy and scientific zeal, he began to 
illustrate his views, and to put them to a practical test; but 
it was not till 1867 that he published the first of his three 
epoch-making essays on "Primitive Warfare." These were 
followed in 1874 by papers read before the Anthropological 
Institute on the " Principles of Classification " and " Early Modes 
of Navigation"; the final paper of the series "On the Evolu- 
tion of Culture," was read before the Royal Institution in 
1875. There are many students who have been influenced 


2 1 8 Reviews. 

indirectly by the investigations and hypotheses of Pitt-Rivers 
(to give him the name by which he will be known to posterity) 
who have not actually read his papers; it was, therefore, a 
happy idea of our Oxford colleagues to take the opportunity 
of the establishing of a diploma in Anthropology in the University 
of Oxford to republish them in a convenient form, in order to 
supply the needs of candidates and of the numerous visitors 
to the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford ; and they are right in 
considering that they will "appeal to a far wider public as 
a brief and authentic statement of their author's discoveries." 

The volume opens with an Introduction by Mr. Henry 
Balfour, which also formed the main portion of his Presidential 
Address to the Anthropological Section of the Cambridge 
Meeting of the British Association in 1904. No one is better 
fitted to expound the views of the founder than is the 
present Curator of the Pitt-Rivers Museum, who not only 
continues and extends the original collections, but has 
published several model papers on similar lines based upon 
careful investigations and upon the specimens with which he 
has enriched the Museum. Mr. Balfour, in his exposition of 
the methods of Pitt-Rivers, warns us that "it must not be 
supposed that he was unaware of the danger of possibly 
mistaking mere accidental resemblances for morphological 
affinities, and that he assumed that because two objects, per- 
haps from widely separated regions, appeared more or less 
identical in form, and possibly in use, they were necessarily 
to be considered as members of one phylogenetic group. . . . 
The association of similar forms into the same series has, 
therefore, a double significance. On the one hand, the 
sequence of related forms is brought out, and their geographical 
distribution illustrated, throwing light, not only upon the 
evolution of types, but also upon the interchange of ideas 
by transference from one people to another, and even upon 
the migration of races. On the other hand, instances in which 
two or more peoples have arrived independently at similar 
results, are brought prominently forward, not merely as interest- 
ing coincidences, but also as evidence pointing to the phylogenetic 
unity of the human species, as exemplified by the tendency 

Reviews. 2 1 9 

of human intelligence to evolve independently identical ideas 
when the conditions are themselves identical. Polygenesis in 
his inventions may probably be regarded as testimony in favour 
of the monogenesis of Man." These remarks are as applicable 
to folklore as they are to technology. 

Very wisely, the essays have been reprinted substantially as 
they were first delivered and published, only verbal errors and 
actual misquotations having been corrected. On the other hand, 
one cannot help feeling that the editor would have done well, 
either from his own store of learning or with the help of others, 
to have drawn attention in footnotes to statements which do 
not represent the present state of our knowledge. To take 
a very few examples, there is no evidence for supposing a 
relation between the coil and broken coil ornaments of New 
Zealand and New Guinea, still less that they "were probably 
derived from Assam" (p. 15). A zoologist experiences a 
sensation of pain when he reads of an "armadillo" in East 
Africa (p. 66). A note might have been added of the 
occurrence of a curved missile stick among the Hopi (p. 131). 
An additional argument in favour of the view " that the wamera 
preceded the bow" (p. 133) may be found in bone spear- 
throwers of palaeolithic age from French caves. Reference 
might have been given to the considerable amount of work 
that has been done of recent years concerning the "Copper 
Age" (p. 157 fif.), the same also applies to the distribution 
of spirals (p. 172). As no references are given to more recent 
literature, readers who are ignorant of all that has been done 
on these lines during the last quarter of a century will be 
inclined to take the suggestions of Pitt-Rivers as the final 
word on any subject. At all events a note of warning should 
have been made by the editor. 

Perhaps I may be permitted a personal allusion. Somewhere 
about 1878, either just before or after I had taken my degree, 
I came across, I cannot remember how, an illustrated account 
of an evolutionary series by Lane-Fox, of which my zoological, 
embryological, and palseontological studies at once enabled me 
to appreciate the importance. It was not till a decade later 
that the opportunity occurred for me to contribute anything 

2 20 Reviews. 

on the same lines, and I shall never forget the pleasure 
it was to me to trace the degeneration of a human-face design 
on the canoes of Torres Straits. Nor shall I readily forget 
the thrill which I experienced when I first visited the Pitt- 
Rivers Museum at Oxford, and every visit that I have since paid 
has resulted in stimulation and information. It is, therefore, 
with much pleasure that I, in common with so many colleagues, 
acknowledge the scientific acumen and indefatigable energy of 
the Founder of Comparative and Evolutionary Technology. 

Alfred C. Haddon. 

Adonis, Attis, Osiris. By J. G. Frazer, D.C.L., LL.D., 
Litt.D. Macmillan & Co. 1906. 

Destined to form part of the third edition of The Golden Bought 
this book has all the characteristic merits of that vast work. 
The greatness of the author's erudition is concealed by a vivid 
and fascinating style which, especially in the descriptions of the 
scenery of Asia Minor, reaches a high order of merit. On the 
other hand, it must be admitted not to be free of the main 
defects of The Golden Bought a certain lack of discrimination 
in weighing evidence, and a tendency to draw important con- 
clusions from scraps of evidence utterly insufficient to bear the 
structure reared upon them. 

This tendency appears very clearly in the most novel part of 
the book, the attempt to show that in the rituals of Adonis, 
Attis, and Osiris, the place of the god was at one time regularly 
taken by the king, who was put to death in order that the 
god, by casting off his old body, might regain his strength. 
This is a serious proposition, and marks a considerable advance 
on primitive conceptions of the corn-spirit. It is no doubt 
true that many peoples have held that at harvest-time the corn- 
spirit may pass into a man, and in some — we need not suppose 
in the majority — of the cases, have gone so far as to kill the 
human incarnation of the spirit, in order to make the corn grow 
well in the coming year. But a great gulf lies between this 

Reviews. 221 

primitive custom and the annual sacrifice of a king-priest. By 
the time that Adonis, Attis, or Osiris had become the gods of 
communities, and bore these names, and received the ministra- 
tions of priests, they had long ceased to be mere corn or vege- 
tation spirits, and it was no longer easy to regard the priest 
as the temporary incarnation of the corn-spirit. 

Now, in fact, the evidence for any such death of the priest- 
king in these cults is the weakest possible (see pp. 12, 29, 34, 
38, 85, 182, 314). In the case of Adonis it consists of the stories 
of the burning of Sardanapalus, Croesus, Dido, the son of Mesha 
of Moab, and of Hamilcar, and the walking of the king of Tyre 
amidst the stones of fire which Ezekiel records, as compared 
with the burning in effigy of Melcarth at Tyre and Gades, and 
of Sandan at Tarsus. But whether we regard the burning of 
an effigy of the god as a sun-spell, as is perhaps most probable, 
— the connection of the lion with Melcarth and Sandan is signi- 
ficant (see y. U.S., 1901, pp. 149, 161) — or as merely purificatory 
(see pp. 100, 151), the mere use of an effigy proves nothing. 
Mesha burned his son, as did the Carthaginians their children, 
as the greatest sacrifice he could offer to an offended god. In 
the case of Sardanapalus, Croesus, and Hamilcar, we have no 
doubt the same idea, probably combined with the conception 
that fire purifies the soul and bears it to the gods. The Dido 
story points to no more than the burning of an effigy, and it 
is not easy to see how the widespread practice of walking 
unharmed over cinders can be derived from a practice of burning 
alive. Further, it should be noted that we have no satisfactory 
evidence that the kings who worshipped Adonis were his priests, 
or deemed themselves incarnations of the god, or considered 
their children as gods. Dr. Frazer's evidence (p. 32) for this 
rests on accepting as descriptions of the descent of the bearers 
such names as Abi-baal, but this conjecture is as improbable 
as it is ingenious. Moreover, a king may claim descent from a 
god, as did Mesha, without thereby meaning that the godhead 
is in him incarnate, however much sanctity he may derive from 
his origin. 

In the case ot Attis, the evidence is still less convincing. 
To find a royalty bearing the name of Attis, utterly unknown 

2 2 2 Reviews. 

in Phrygia, recourse has to be had to Atys of Lydia. To find a 
slain priest, appeal is made to a conjecture of Professor Ramsay's 
that the priest of Cybele named Attis was probably slain each 
year. From the story of Marsyas is deduced that the form of 
death was hanging, and from the " Hava-mal " verses, where 
Odin claims to have won his divine power by hanging for nine 
nights on the gallows dedicated to himself, that the hanged man 
was also a god. It is obvious that the " Hava-mal " proves nothing 
for actual ritual, and is merely a piece of speculation of the kind 
so frequent in the Brahmanas, which, however, are not yet 
seriously quoted as evidence in such cases. The Marsyas legend 
is probably a record of a very old vegetation-ritual, but it has 
nothing to do with the slaying of a king. Marsyas is no prince 
or priest, and the story proves no more than the occasional 
slaying of the human embodiment of the corn-spirit. For 
Osiris we have nothing save the interpretation of the Sed 
festival given by Prof. Flinders Petrie, as to which it is perhaps 
enough to say that it rests on the acceptance of the theory here 
discussed, and cannot be extracted from the record without the 
use of very considerable imagination. 

While we cannot accept Dr. Frazer's pet theory of the annual 
hanging of a man-god on the sacred tree, we readily accept 
the proofs he brings forward for showing that the gods whose 
character he discusses were vegetation-spirits. That is not to 
say that they were merely such spirits, or originally deities of 
vegetation. Attis seems, from the evidence cited by Dr. Frazer 
himself (p. 179), to have been a Phrygian Zeus, who may, like 
Zeus himself (see Cook, Class. Rev.., 1903), have acquired 
vegetative functions, or have been syncretised with a vegetation 
deity. Melcarth and Sandan have characteristics of sun-gods, 
and in the case of Osiris we incline to accept the view that the 
god was originally the sun, the importance of whose worship in 
the Mediterranean has been recently established by Dr. Evans 
{y.H.S., 1 901). This view explains, quite as well as Dr. 
Frazer's theory, the mourning for the god at the summer solstice 
(p. 228); and the nocturnal festival of Sais, instead of being a 
feast of all souls (p. 241), shows signs of being a sun-spell in 
the use of illumination and in the symbolism of the golden sun 

Reviews. 223 

between the horns of the Isis-cow. The yellow face of the 
image of Osiris in the feast in the month Choiak, and the use 
of a mould of gold, point to the same fact, and we may suggest 
as an alternative to Dr. Frazer's readjustment of the Egyptian 
festivals (pp. 263-267) that there were really two festivals which 
tended, as usual in Egypt, to syncretise, one in November, the 
season of sowing, and one at the winter solstice, originally a 
sun-spell like the Mahavrata of the Vedic ritual. 

Dr. Frazer remains a convinced adherent of matriarchy, signs 
of which he sees in the predominance of the goddess in the 
cults in question, and from which he explains the marriage of 
sister and brother, long usual in Egypt, and also the legends 
(p. 28) of incest by kings. In the latter case, it is significant 
that Erechtheus and Clymenus are among the guilty. The 
legends, we think, are nothing more than echoes of the cosmic 
incest of heaven and earth familiar in Vedic and other 
mythologies. That female deities mean matriarchy is most 
improbable (see Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, iv., no), 
and under patriarchy sister-marriage might be regarded as the 
best form of marriage, in that it gave the greatest purity of 
blood, and prevented the waste of the family property in the 
purchase of a wife for the son, or of a husband for the daughter. 
For Semites and Phrygians, matriarchy remains a most impro- 
bable hypothesis. 

Of the many other problems suggested by Dr. Frazer, it must 
suffice to note his view of Hyacinth as a hero (p. 207 ; see 
Farnell, iv., 264), and the theory that the blood used in puri- 
fication from murder is accepted as a substitute for the blood 
of the slayer, with which should be compared the much more 
probable view of Dr. Farnell (iv., 304) that the blood is that of 
a sacred animal, and so confers community and friendship with 
the angry god of the earth and lower world. Nor do we think 
it possible to accept the theory (p. 97) that the Sandon-Hercules 
of Lydia was a Hittite god, or that this people were akin to 
the primitive stock of Asia Minor (cf. p. 17). The facts 
available show similar religious conceptions all over Asia Minor, 
and probably generally in the Mediterranean area, and the 
worship should be assigned, if to any people in particular, to 

2 24 Reviews. 

the Mediterranean race. So far as it goes, the linguistic evi- 
dence tends more and more to prove that the Hittites were 
an ofifshoot of the Aryan race ; and it would be quite legitimate, 
on Dr. Frazer's authority, to cite as Aryan their worship of 

the bull (p. 47). 

A. Berriedale Keith. 

Royal Irish Academy : Todd Lecture Series : Vol. ix. 
E. GwYNN : The Metrical Dindschenchas, part ii, — 
Vol. xiii. K. Meyer : The Triads of Ireland. — Vol. xiv. 
K. Meyer : The Death Tales of the Ulster Heroes. 
Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1906. 

The foregoing volumes are all valuable contributions to our know- 
ledge of early Irish literature, the interest of which, as I need 
scarcely remind readers of this journal, lies in the fact that 
it is the oldest post-classic European literature, and that it 
has preserved for us a considerable mass of themes and 
incidents very slightly, if at all affected by the Christian classic 
culture which has so profoundly influenced all the great modern 
literatures. To the student who wishes to get away from and 
behind that culture, Irish literature is one of the chief sources 
of information. It follows, however, that in regard to any freshly 
published Irish text one of the first questions that arises is to 
what extent it is independent of, and older than, the Christian 
classic tradition. For some time to come critical analysis must 
hold the first place in the discussion of new Irish material. 

Professor Meyer's Triads of h-eland will be a revelation to 
many familiar, by repute, with the Welsh Triadic literature. Here 
again dependence of Wales upon Ireland, probable in other 
branches of literature, seems most probable. Professor Meyer 
has omitted all comparison between his texts and the better 
known Welsh collections. I would suggest to some member 
of this Society, Miss Faraday for instance, that a comparative 
study of these two bodies of gnomic wisdom together with such 
Northern examples as Hava-Mal, would be equally interesting 
and valuable. 

Reviews. 225 

Professor Meyer dates the collection he prints from the 
middle of the ninth century. The bulk of the 256 numbers 
which it comprises are gnomic, but it is significant that the 
first 56 numbers are in the nature of mirabilia, are topo- 
graphical in character, and are closely connected with the 
heroic sagas and ecclesiastical legends, which form such a large 
part of early Irish literature. The following may be cited as 
a characteristic example of early Irish wisdom : 

" Three slender things that best support the world ; the 
slender stream of milk from the cow's dug into the 
pail ; the slender blade of green corn upon the ground, 
the slender thread over the hand of a skilled woman." 
Professor Meyer notes that the triad is only one of " several 
enumerative sayings common in Irish literature," and he believes 
that the "model upon which these were formed is to be sought 
in the enumerative sayings of Hebrew poetry, to be found in 
several books of the Old Testament." I cannot at all agree. 
Professor Meyer recognises that " triads occur sporadically in 
the literature of most nations . . . but I am not aware that 
this kind of composition has ever attained the same popularity 
elsewhere as in Wales and Ireland." Precisely. But then, 
assuming for one moment the correctness of the theory that 
makes Celtic dependent upon Hebrew literature in this respect, 
the question surely arises why the Celts alone should have 
developed the Triadic form. Proverbs and Ecdesiastes were 
as open to Italians and Frenchmen, to Englishmen and Germans, 
as to Irishmen and Welshmen. But the latter have a Triadic 
literature, the former have not. Why? Professor Meyer 
mentions, only, however, to reject : '•' the idea that the Triad 
owes its origin to the effect of the doctrine of the Trinity upon 
the Celtic imagination." He does right, in my opinion, to 
reject this idea, but does it not point towards the true solution 
of the problem? Was not the doctrine of the Trinity com- 
mended to the Irish wise men precisely because it fell into 
the mould of their own traditional wisdom ? In using the 
shamrock illustration was not Patrick adapting himself, as a 
successful teacher must, to the intellectual habits of his hearers ? 
As a matter of fact we know, what Professor Meyer should 

226 Reviews. 

surely have noted, that the scanty remains of Greek information 
concerning the Celts do testify to the existence of Celtic Triads 
long before any Celtic people could have come in contact with 
Hebrew wisdom. The weakness of Professor Meyer's theory 
of origin is most apparent when one turns to the alleged Hebrew 
originals. The Book of Proverbs is the chief source ; but, as 
most readers of Folk-Lore are certainly aware, the vast bulk of 
the sentences contained therein (at least 98 per cent.) are not 
triadic in form. There are not more than half a dozen genuine 
triads in the whole book (and these, strange to say, are not 
quoted by Professor Meyer), besides a certain number which 
are really tetrads : " there are three things . . . and four 
things." Now this latter form not only produces a very striking 
literary efifect, but the sayings which are cast in it are among 
the most memorable, and are certainly the best-remembered, 
of the collection. Why should the Irish have neglected the 
duad form of the vast majority of the Hebrew sentences, have 
neglected the impressive tetrad form, have fastened upon just 
the half a dozen inconspicuous examples of the Triad ? Why, 
indeed, unless that form were already familiar to them ? 

Professor Meyer further refers to a collection entitled Proverbia 
Grecorum, Greek sayings translated into Latin before the seventh 
century by, as their editor conjectures, an Irish scholar in Ireland. 
If this conjecture is correct, and Professor Meyer approves it, 
I hold that it strongly supports the native Irish origin of the 
triadic form. For this is almost unknown to the bulk of Greek 
proverbs, and if we find it largely represented in a version 
due to an Irish scholar, it can only be because the latter 
recast the Greek sayings in a form familiar to himself. 

I note, lest it might escape the attention of students of the 
Ossianic cycle, that in No. 236, a "marvel" triad, the first 
wonder contains a quatrain from an Ossianic poem. If this 
number belongs to the original collection ascribed by Professor 
Meyer to the ninth century, this is one of the earliest testimonies 
to the saga of Finn and his warriors. The second and third 
marvels are examples of the " kelpie " belief ; the lake monster 
in early Ireland has the same characteristics as in living Gaelic 
peasant belief. 

Reviews. 227 

I warmly commend the volume, the price of which is only 
2S. 6d., to the attention of all folk-lorists. 

Professor Gwynn's Metrical Dindschenchas, part ii., is, in 
reality, his third publication devoted to these poems, the import- 
ance of which, for Irish myth and saga, is so great. As will 
be remembered, it was in the pages of Folk-Lore that any 
considerable mass of the prose Dindschenchas was first made 
public by Dr. Whitley Stokes. Until all the metrical forms 
have been published, it would be unsafe to dogmatise concern- 
ing the relations between verse and prose, but I may say that 
so far as the materials for comparison are available, they negative, 
in my opinion, the hypothesis that the existing prose collection 
is based upon or represents a verse one of equal extent, of 
which the Book of Leinster poems are the surviving fragments. 
Of the eighteen poems contained in the present volume, three 
are ascribed to the well-known tenth-century poet, Cinaed lia 
Hartacan. I would direct the special attention of students 
interested in the Etain story to a poem of Cinaed's (LL 209, 
625), referred to by Professor Gwynn, p. 95, and a translation 
of which I owe to his kindness, in view of its bearing upon 
the remarkable fragments of the missing opening of the 
legend printed by Dr. Stern {Zeitschrift fiir Celt. Philologie 
vol. v., pp. 522-534), and commented upon by myself {Revue 
Celtiqite, vol. xxvii., pp. 325-339). 

It is, however, the third of the above-mentioned three volumes 
that brings out most prominently the interest of Irish material 
for folk-lorists and the complexity of the problems it raises. 
Among the five tales edited and translated by Professor Meyer, 
I would single out those of the deaths of Conchobor and 
Celtchar. The former has been the best known hitherto of these 
stories, but the printing of all available versions throws new 
light upon the problems involved. As is well known, the death 
of the famous Ulster king is brought into connection with that 
of Christ, thus affording, perhaps, the most marked example of 
the wide prevailing Irish tendency to save the kings and heroes 
who were so dear to the native heart, by associating them in some 
way with the new faith. The texts, which have transmitted 
the story to us, contam at least three, if not more, varying 

2 28 Reviews. 

accounts, two of which at least, vouched for by twelfth-century 
MSS., are obvious efforts to bring an existing story into accord 
with what the scribe knew of Roman history in the time of 
Christ. As it stands, the story falls into two parts : the wound- 
ing of Conchobor by the Connaught champion Get with the 
brain-ball of the Leinster chief Mesgegra, in consequence of 
which he remained for seven years in a state of invalidism ; 
his death when, angered at the tidings of Christ's crucifixion, 
he neglects the physician's warning, exerts himself violently, 
the brain-ball starts from his head, and he dies. Now one 
of the latest of the MSS. containing the story has preserved 
a poem by Cinaed ua Hartacan (who died in 975), which gives 
the history of the Mesgegra brain-ball. After Conchobor's 
death it seems to have remained hidden until its existence was 
revealed by the King of Heaven to Buite mac Brohaig, abbot 
of Monasterboice (who died circa 520). "Since Bute with grace 
of fame has slept upon thee (i.e. the brain-ball) without treachery, 
the hosts have eagerly humbled themselves, until thou changedst 
colour, O stone," says the poet. Now Cinaed's verses (dating 
as they must do from the tenth century) presuppose the story as 
it is found in the Book of Leinster (twelfth century) and later 
MSS., but, obscure and tortuously allusive as they are, are 
quite incapable of having originated it. They alone, however, 
enable us to divine its genesis and development. Early in 
the sixth century a stone, hallowed by traditional association 
with the famous Ulster king, was annexed by a partisan of the 
new faith, and thereafter acquired fresh virtue and credit. Con- 
cerning the king there was a tradition of a seven years' 
death-in-life trance, a theme found elsewhere in Irish tradition, 
e.g. in connection with Nuada of the silver hand and with 
Cuchullin, and undoubtedly in my opinion of mythical signifi- 
cance and origin. Some coalescence of the two stories took 
place, and, the Christianisation of Bute's aforetime pagan stone 
combining with the desire to preserve Conchobor from the 
fate to which a purely Pagan king would be liable, the existing 
story arose and grew. But, it may be asked, how could 
Mesgegra's brain-ball, an object that could be slung from a 
sling, and obtain lodgment in a mortal skull, an object no 

Reviews. 229 

bigger, one would think, than a golf or tennis ball, serve as 
"Bute's pillow," to use the poet's words? Well, the very text 
which has preserved Cinaed's poem, has also preserved a short 
poem by the eleventh-century Flann Manistrech, in which 
gigantic stature is attributed to the old saga heroes ; the length 
of Conchobor was seventy-three feet, of Tadg mac Cein (a 
famous third-century Munster chief), fifty feet. To my know- 
ledge this is the earliest precise allusion in Irish literature to the 
giant size of the men of the heroic age, a conception widely 
spread throughout the Ossianic literature of the thirteenth and 
following centuries, but quite absent, at least stated in express 
terms, from the Ulster heroic sagas themselves. I conceive 
that it may possibly be the outcome of traditional connection 
between the racial heroes and the Megalithic monuments ; the 
euhemerising antiquaries, of whom Flann is an excellent type, 
argued from the size of the quoits, wash-pots, whetstones, etc., 
which folk-fancy assigned to the heroes, that the latter must 
have been giants. 

Still more interesting is the Celtchar death story. We learn 
that Blai of Ulster, a keeper of one of the guest-houses famous 
in Irish saga, was under geis to exercise the droit du seigneur on 
every woman who came to his guest-house unless her husband 
were in her company. Celtchar's wife, who seems to have been a 
mischief-maker, went alone to Blai. Celtchar, incensed at the 
wrong done him, pursued Blai even to the royal house, where 
Conchobor and Cuchullin were playing at fidchell, and speared 
him, so that a drop of the blood fell on the fidchell board. 
The drop being nearer Conchobor, it fell to the king to take 
vengeance. Meanwhile, Celtchar escaped to the Munster Deisi. 
The Ulster warriors were greatly troubled ; it was bad enough 
losing Blai without having strife with the Deisi. The king 
suggests that Celtchar's son should go for his father, and be 
his safeguard, "for at that time, with the men of Ulster, a 
father's crime was not laid upon his son, nor a son's crime 
upon his father." Celtchar is very indignant at this move ; 
his son ought to be kept out of the affair altogether, and in 
any case cannot, he feels, be a satisfactory safeguard for him. 
However, he returns, and has it laid upon him to free Ulster 

230 Reviews. 

from the three worst pests that would come in his time. Con- 
ganchness, brother of Curoi (slain by Cuchullin, as is told 
in another story), comes to avenge the latter, " he devastated 
Ulster greatly; spears or swords hurt him not, but sprang 
from him as from horn." In his extremity Conchobor calls 
upon Celtchar. The latter offers his daughter to Conganchness, 
and she beguiles the latter into revealing how alone he may 
be slain. Thus was the first pest overcome. The second was 
the Dun Mouse, found by the widow's son in the hollow of an 
oak, and reared by the widow till big ; then it turned upon 
the widow, slew her sheep and kine, herself and her son, and, 
thereafter, every night would devastate a liss in Ulster. Celtchar 
boils a log of alder in honey and fat until it was soft and tough ; 
armed therewith he seeks the Dun Mouse's lair, and when the 
monster fixes its teeth in the tough wood, Celtchar passes 
his hand through the log and takes out its heart through its 
jaws. A year after three whelps are found in the cairn in 
which Conganchness was buried ; ^ one was given to Mac Datho, 
and figures in the story of Mac Datho's Boar : one, Ailbe, was 
given to Culand the Smith ; and one, Doelchu, was retained 
by Celtchar. But one day it was let out, and every night it 
would destroy a living creature in Ulster. Conchobor calls 
upon Celtchar to destroy this third pest. The latter obeys, 
slays it with his famous venomous spear, the luin^ but in 
raising the spear a drop of the hound's blood runs along 
down, goes through him, and he dies. 

Now here we have three or four well-known folk-tale themes 
set in the framework of the Ulster heroic cycle. At what time 
did this take place ? The story must, be it noted, be pre- 
twelfth century, as it is contained in the Book of Leinster. 
Can we trace it farther back? One of the three whelps of 
the Dun Mouse, Ailbe, was, we have seen, given to Culand the 
Smith. Now, Culand's hound is well known from the tale of 
Cuchullin's Boyish Exploits, embedded in the oldest version 
of the Tdifi bo Cualgne, in which it is killed by that hero 

iThe implication, I have no doubt, although it is not expressed in the 
story, is that the Dun Mouse is in reality an avatar of Conganchness, 
come back in this form to avenge his slaying by treachery. 

Reviews. 231 

when only seven years of age. The scribe of the eleventh 
century MS., the Book of the Dun Cow, comments that Culand's 
hound cannot have been one of the three sprung from Con- 
ganchness' cairn ; the latter's death, he justly remarks, happened 
long after the Tain in which Cuchullin is stated to be seventeen 
years old, and, therefore, necessarily long after the latter's 
slaying of Culand's hound which he asserts, moreover, came 
from Spain. 

From these facts the following inferences may, I think, be 
fairly drawn. There were independent stories connected with 
Ailbe, one associating him with Celtchar and Culand, one 
with Culand and Cuchullin; the latter, owing to its inclusion 
in the Tdin^ became the more famous. But the other continued 
to be told and copied in spite of its inconsistency with that 
systematisation of the saga chronology which took place after, 
some time in the seventh century, the Tain assumed substantially 
its present form, and attracted to itself a number of other 
Ulster sagas. That the Celtchar death-story was not thus 
attracted and modified affords strong presumption that, sub- 
stantially, it antedates the literary fixation of the Tain in the 
seventh century. And in this case the folk-tale themes in 
question must be far older on Irish soil. They may be added 
to the score of such themes which I have already detected 
in pre-eleventh century Irish saga literature. And, like the 
majority of the other instances, they occur in such a way as 
to preclude the hypothesis of recent alien origin. 

Alfred Nutt. 

Thom.'Vs' "Roman de Tristan." Edited by Joseph B6dier. 
2 vols. 1902, 1905. (Societe des Anciens Textes Fran- 

The publications of the Societe des AncieJis Textes Fratifais, 
excellent as they are, appeal as a rule to but a limited circle. 
If M. Bedier's edition of the Tristan makes a wider claim, the 
reason is to be found less in the merit of the work, though 

232 Reviews. 

that is great, than in the intensely h^t^an interest of the 
subject-matter. Thanks to the genius of'^ichard Wagner, we 
have learnt at last to recognise the l^nd of Tristan and 
Iseult as one of the world's great stor^, the supreme love- 
tale of literature. M. Bedier, with true 'French insight, lays his 
finger on the reason — the legend deals with two enduring facts 
of life, Love and Sorrow. Tristan and Iseult are not the lovers 
of that lax social order which found expression in the Courts 
of Love, but belong to a stage wherein marriage is looked upon 
as indissoluble, and illicit passion, even though it be decreed 
by Fate, a shame and a sorrow. Neither of the lovers ever 
suggests cutting the Gordian knot by flight \ they deceive Mark, 
steadily and persistently, and though at the moment they 
rejoice in the success of each deception, their joy is mixed 
with sorrow: "ils souffrent de leurs triomphes meme." "Ceux- 
la seuls peuvent fonder tout un poeme sur la loi sociale hostile 
a I'amour, qui connaissent une loi sociale fortement imperative, 
rigide et dure." We think M. Bedier is right in his contention 
that it is this underlying, fate-compelling background which 
gives to the story of Tristan its enduring force and charm. 

Whence came this wonderful tale ? Here lies the special 
interest for English readers. The poem, the fragments of which 
M. Bedier has edited, and the main contents of which he has, 
by the help of the translations, ingeniously essayed to restore, 
was written in England in Anglo-Norman. Whether Thomas 
was a Briton (he quotes the Welshman, Breri, or Bleheris, as 
his source), or of Anglo-French birth, we cannot tell, but he 
was a writer of great skill and charm, a little over-fond, per- 
haps, of analysing the feelings of his characters, but undoubtedly 
a true poet. 

Unfortunately we possess only fragments of his work. Of 
these by far the most important is that preserved in the Douce 
collection at Oxford. There is a second at Cambridge, and a 
third in the possession of a private collector at Turin. When 
M. Francisque Michel published his edition of the poems 
relative to Tristan (1835-39) he had access to two other frag- 
ments — one, in the Strasburg Library, perished in the flames 
of Vannee terrible; the other, the property of the Rev. Walter 

Reviews. 233 

Sneyd, cannot now be traced. All these represent, with some 
overlapping, the latter part of the poem alone; of by far the 
greater part M. Bedier has only been able to make a conjec- 
tural restoration, by the aid of the extant translations. Here 
we are fortunate ; we have not only the English Sir Tristrem 
and the Scandinavian Tristan-Saga, but also the fine Tristan 
of Gottfried von Strasbourg, which, left unfinished, by a happy 
chance carries us precisely to the point where the original 
fragments begin. 

M. Bedier devotes the first volume of his work to this 
reconstruction ; in the second he enquires into the sources 
from which Thomas has drawn his poem. This second volume, 
written with an intimate knowledge of the subject, the fruit of 
many years' study, and with a grace and charm of style worthy 
of the best traditions of French scholarship, will have most 
interest for the general reader, while at the same time it raises 
questions of extreme importance for the critic. In M. Bedier's 
opinion all the extant versions of the Tristan legend, the work 
of Thomas and his translators, the poems of Beroul and Eilhart 
von Oberge, the two versions of the Folie Tristan, and the 
prose Romance, derive ultimately from one and the same 
source. That source was a poem superior alike in psychology 
and construction to any of its derivatives. The name of the 
author of this poetical chef d'oeuvre has perished, but M. Bedier 
suggests that he probably lived in the first years of the Norman 

The theory is very fascinating and very tempting to our 
amour propre. The late M. Gaston Paris, who finally accepted 
this view, was decidedly of opinion that this Y^o\.o-Tristan was 
English ; but we must own that the comparative analysis of the 
incidents does not appear to us to point in this direction. We 
do not think M. Bedier has attached sufficient weight to the 
reference to Breri. He admits that Breri is identical with the 
Bleheris twice referred to in the Perceval as authority for 
stories connected with Gawain. Now in each case the story is 
a short episodic recital, not in any sense an elaborate poem. 
If Breri was the authoritative source for the Tristan legend, 
and Thomas distinctly says he was, then that legend was not 


2 34 Reviews. 

in the form of an elaborate and psychological poem. Again,, 
is it possible that the incident of the surrender of Iseult to the 
lepers, an incident unparalleled in all Mediaeval literature for 
sheer unredeemed brutality, is a part of the same tradition as 
that which has preserved the gracious touch of Mark shielding 
his sleeping and fugitive wife from the rays of the sun? It 
seems more probable that there were from the first two distinct 
streams of tradition, in one of which Mark was a gentle, kindly 
figure, loth to believe ill of those he loved so dearly, and 
ready, even to weakness, to be convinced of their innocence : 
another in which he was cowardly, vindictive, and treacherous 
— the version followed by Thomas belongs undoubtedly to the 
former. Nor does M. Bedier quite grasp the problem of the 
messenger who summons Iseult to her lover's death-bed. 
What does Tristan need with a " host " there, where he is in 
his own home? The disappearance of Governal, who certainly 
ought to be the messenger, from the closing scenes of the 
poem, is a point difficult of explanation, and which should not 
be ignored. 

Tempting as the theory is, we feel ourselves unable to accept 
the view so ably urged in these volumes ; but nevertheless M. 
Bedier has given us a piece of work of great interest and real 
literary value, one which no future writer on English literature 

can afford to neglect. 

Jessie L. Weston. 

At the Back of the Black Man's Mind ; or, Notes on 
THE Kingly Office in West Africa. By R. E. Dennett, 
Author of " Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Fjort," etc. 
Macmillan & Co., 1906. 

This is a most perplexing book. At first sight it seems a jumble 
of unrelated facts, and of speculations which one is tempted to 
class, with M. Van Gennep,^ as dignes de la Kabbah. The 
disjointed and fragmentary character of some chapters — which 

'^ Revtie des Id4es, 15 Jan., 1907 ; " Un systeme negre de classification." 

Reviews. 235 

are, in fact, mere collections of undigested notes — adds to the 
difficulty of grasping the author's reasoning. Indeed, I am by 
no means sure that I have grasped it; but his reasoning is 
to be carefully distinguished from his facts, and these — so 
far as apparent from his by no means lucid presentation — 
are certainly valuable. His main contention, we gather, is 
that " concurrent with fetishism or Jujuism, there is in 
Africa a religion giving us a much higher conception of God 
than is generally acknowledged by writers on African modes of 
thought." This religion, to which Mr. Dennett gives the name 
of Nkicism, has, he thinks, been overlaid by Ndongoism (equiva- 
lent to what is usually understood by witchcraft and fetishism), 
and in great part forgotten. It was handed down in connection 
with certain formulae embodying what may be called a system 
of philosophy, theology, and ethics, which were taught to the 
people by their kings (Maloango) in the sacred groves. Much 
of this traditional law has evidently been lost, and the kingly 
office itself has fallen from its ancient estate. Maloango, the 
paramount chief of the Bavili tribes in Loango, was once tributary, 
along with Kakongo, to the Ntotela, or King of Kongo (Sao 
Salvador), but has been virtually independent for the last three 
hundred years — at least till the French took over the country 
in 1883. The present chief, however, was never officially 
crowned, — a fact which, for various reasons, is to be deplored. 
But the bearing of these matters on native administration — not 
the least important of the issues raised by Mr. Dennett — does not 
come within the scope of this notice. 

As we shall have occasion to point out later on, Mr. Dennett 
has failed to employ his excellent linguistic knowledge to the 
best advantage, for want of such acquaintance with other Bantu 
languages as would have enabled him to employ the comparative 
method. In the same way, one fancies, he does not perceive 
the real bearing and connection of many of his facts; which, 
indeed, I must confess, left me in a state of helpless bewilder- 
ment, till, fortunately, I lit on the clue supplied by M. Van 
Gennep, viz. MM. Durkheim and Mauss' article in UAimie 
Sociologique for 1903. This places the Bavili "Categories" 
(p. 108) in their true light as elementary attempts at classifying 

236 Reviews. 

the phenomena of the visible universe. Here, as in the other 
cases, the Australians, who possess — or till recently possessed — 
in a fairly complete form, customs and institutions which, among 
the Bantu, have fallen into decay, can elucidate many obscure 
points in our study of the latter. We are apt to forget that a 
classification of genera and species, and a sequence of cause and 
effect, which seem to us perfectly simple and obvious, are by 
no means so to children or savages. Even a person with no 
special scientific training would never suppose that a man could 
turn into a hyena, or that a leopard could become the parent 
of a crocodile, nor would he find it easy to realise the mental 
attitude of people to whom these things would seem quite 
natural. The leopard, says Mr. Dennett, " is looked upon as 
the mother of all animals [and] we cannot be wrong in saying 
that she is descended from Zambi through Xikamaci [Chikamasi] 
and her offspring Xikanga and Nxiluka, who are said to be 
the parents of an animal and a wooden figure" (p. 145). 

Later on (p. 152), we read : " Zambici, in some of the stories, 
is spoken of as the mother of all animals, as if she were the 
immediate mother rather than the creator. This confusion is 
natural to degenerate people, who are apt to mistake the inter- 
mediate causes for the first cause." This is surely reversing the 
order of things. Such a conception belongs rather to a primitive 
than a degenerate stage of thought. 

Mr. Dennett has not republished the etymological speculations 
of " The Bavili Alphabet Restored " {African Society's Journal^ 
October, 1905), and I cannot help thinking, with M. Van 
Gennep, that he has been well advised. At the same time, it 
seems most probable that, as the last-named writer points out 
{Revue des Idees, Jan. 15, 1907), the "Categories" may give 
us the clue to the real meaning of the Bantu noun-classes, which 
some students were inclined to rank with things impossible to 
be known, while others seemed to lose themselves in fantastic 
conjectures. The statement that the first class contains nouns 
signifying persons, and the second names of trees, and so 
on, did not exhaust the facts, even as far as those classes were 
concerned, and the exceptions were too numerous to be treated 
as accidental. It is much to be desired that this investigation 

Reviews. 237 

should be followed out on the lines indicated by M. Van 

Mr. Dennett evidently has a thorough knowledge of the Chivili 
language — otherwise the Loango dialect of Kongo (Fiote) — and 
here I am somewhat at a disadvantage in following him, as many 
of the words given by him are not to be found in the late 
Mr. Holman Bentley's Dictionary of the Kongo Language?- This 
is, I think, not so much from any fundamental difference in the 
two dialects (since, where we can trace cognate forms, they are 
not very far apart) as from the fact that many of Mr. Dennett's 
words relate to matters which did not come within the scope of 
Mr. Bentley's inquiries — perhaps, in the case of the more 
archaic, to traditions already lost in Sao Salvador. He does 
not, for instance, give any words for " north " and " south," 
nor any names for the different winds, which play so large a 
part in the Bavili philosophy; whence, perhaps, we may infer 
that the Bakongo were not in the habit of paying much attention 
to the cardinal points, the fixed directions of sunrise and sunset 
being sufficient for all practical purposes. Many of the Chivili 
sentences quoted by Mr. Dennett are undoubtedly very ancient, 
and would be unintelligible unless explained by a native — as is 
often the case with proverbs, songs, and other traditional matter. 
Thus, " the valley of the fly and the mosquito hand in hand " 
(pp. 12, 118), is rather a gloss than a translation of Bulu Ziinhi 
Chikoko {Bulu = valley ; chikoko is evidently an adverbial form 
derived from koko = \^zx\di ; zimbu, plural of mbu — 2. mosquito). 
This is probably also the case with the native explanations of the 
symbols on pp. 71-73. 

It might not be fair to demand from every student of any given 
language a knowledge of comparative philology; but a little 
acquaintance with some other Bantu languages would have shown 
Mr. Dennett that some, at least, of his etymologies are scarcely 

^ It is much to be regretted that Mr. Dennett should have chosen an 
orthography which must obscure the identity of his Chivili words for all 
students of the Bantu languages. I have ventured, except in direct quotation, 
to restore them to a form in which they are more generally recognisable. 
His use of X is particularly trying, from its Portuguese associations, even 
though it may not suggest the Zulu lateral click ! 

238 Reviews. 

tenable: e.g. " Mwici contains the root Mu (for Mbu = the sea)." 
The mu in mwist (Bentley : mwixi=?,m6ke, haze, etc.), is the 
prefix, and the word is identical with the Zulu U7nusi, Swahili 
moshi, and Herero omwise. In Nyanja the prefix is atrophied, 
and the word appears as utsi, and in other languages (as in 
Konde ilyosi and Kamba Jioki), we find a different prefix. 
Neither is it at all probable that the prefix mu has anything to 
do with inbu = the sea, if only because the m in md is a nasalising 
of the labial, and not likely to be found without the latter. 

Again, the derivation of ka zila, applied to prohibitions, from 
nzila (njila) = 2i road, appears doubtful when we remember the 
Zulu verb zila, meaning " to abstain from, as from certain words 
or actions, as from certain kinds of food " (Colenso's Dictio7iary). 
In Ronga, j'/Zia; (evidently the same word), and in Ila (the language 
of the people usually called Mashukulumbwe in N.W. Rhodesia) 
kii zhila, mean " to be forbidden, tabooed." It may also be 
pointed out that in all Bantu languages we find many identical 
words (or rather, one should say, groups of sounds) of different 
meanings, and, probably, different etymologies. The identity 
may have been produced by phonetic decay, of which we see 
the ultimate result in the hundreds of identical monosyllables in 
Chinese ; in any case, it is highly improbable that the Zulu gula 
= " to be ill " has any connection with the Nyanja word gula, 
which means "to buy," or the Kongo nika = '^X.o grind," with 
Zulu nika = ''^ to give." Thus, for instance, it is possible (though 
one would be sorry to dogmatise on the subject) that the different 
meanings of kanga (see p. 114) have nothing to do with one 
another ; and, if so, all interpretations based on the contrary 
hypothesis naturally fall to the ground. How JVyambt (p. 116) 
means " the spirit or personality of the four," it is difficult to see. 
Ya is " four " — but Mr. Dennett gives " ia = to be " as one of the 
constituents of the word — and he cannot have it both ways. 

The matter contained in Mr. Dennett's book is so abundant, 
and of so varied a character, that a full discussion within the 
limits here imposed would be impossible. All that can be done 
here is to add a few comparative notes. 

The name Nyambi seems, from its occurrence alternately 
with Nzambi, among tribes both north and south of the Bavili, 

Reviews. 239 

to me {pace Mr. Dennett) to have the same force. We find 
it used by the Duala, Benga, and Mpongwe. The Hereros 
believe in a Supreme Deity, Njambi Karunga, who is distinct 
from the ancestral spirits (pvakuru), and does not, like them, 
receive worship and sacrifice, though invoked under stress of 
calamity. In Angola, we find Nzambi, and also a distinct 
being, Kalunga, a personification of Death. On the other hand, 
the Barotse pay stated devotions to Nyambi at sunrise and 
sunset — see the remarkable account given in the journals of 
the late M. Coillard {Coillard of the Zambesi, pp. 345-8). 

Mr. Dennett asks (p. 163): "And can NGO [the leopard] 
then be the sacred animal of not only the Kongo people, but of 
all the Bantu?" This is certainly a subject worth investigating j 
we find scattered indications that such may even have been the 
case with the Zulus. The name ingwe ( = ngo) is seldom heard, 
being counted unlucky ; the animal is usually called isilo, which 
really means " a wild beast " in general, and isilo itself is one of 
the royal titles of great chiefs. The leopard's skin, too, could 
only be worn by chiefs. Again, the name nyalugwe, used in 
Nyanja, is probably substituted, for reasons connected with 
Monipa, or, to use Mr. Dennett's word, china, for some cognate 
form of ngo. 

A curious parallel to the ematon of the Bini (p. 194) is 
described by Livingstone {Missionary Travels, ch. xii.^). At 
Lilonda, the residence of the deceased Barotse chief Santuru, he 
found "a grove ... in which are to be seen various instruments 
of iron just in the state he left them. One looks like the guard 
of a basket-hilted sword ; another has an upright stem of the 
metal, on which are placed branches worked at the ends into 
miniature axes, hoes, and spears ; on these he was accustomed to 
present off'erings, according as he desired favours to be conferred 
in undertaking hewing, agriculture, or fighting." 

Lastly, the Bini folk-tale on p. 230 is a variant of one found 
both in Bantu and Negro Africa, in several different versions, 
one being given by Mr. Dennett himself in Folklore of the Fjort. 
The theme usually is that the Hare and the Elephant agree to kill 
their mothers in time of famine, and the Elephant does so, while 
^ P. 191 in Ward & Lock's edition. 

240 Reviews. 

the Hare backs out of his share in the agreement. In a Bemba 

story the protagonists are the Hare and the Lion ; in a Lusiba 

one, the Hare and the Leopard ; and the Wakinga (North-East 

Nyasa) tell the tale of two men. Perhaps the story in " Cunnie 

Rabbit," where Spider and Leopard agree to eat their children, 

but the former cheats, might also be reckoned as a variant. I 

hope, some day, to find leisure for a comparative study of this 

tale in its various African versions. 

A. Werner. 

The Khasis. By Major P. R. T, Gurdon, LA., Deputy 
Commissioner, Eastern Bengal and Assam Commission, and 
Superintendent of Ethnography in Assam. London : David 
Nutt. 1907. 

This is the first of a series of monographs on the wilder tribes 
of Assam which was projected by Sir B. Fuller, the late 
Lieutenant-Governor of the province. The author, who is 
superintendent of ethnography and editor of the series, is 
thoroughly familiar with this interesting people, understands their 
language, and as district officer has visited every part of the 
beautiful country which they occupy. The Khasis, or, as they 
used to be called, the Cossyahs, to the number of 176,000, 
inhabit what is known as the Khasi and Jaintia Hill district 
in Assam. As regards their ethnical position, Major Gurdon 
rightly connects them with the Mon-Anam race, which is 
supposed to have occupied the Malay Peninsula and a con- 
siderable part of Eastern India in prehistoric times. In support 
of this he refers to three points of resemblance : a peculiarly 
shaped hoe found among the Khasis, the Nagas, and the 
aborigines of the Malay region and Chota Nagpur; the 
sleeveless coat worn by Khasis, some Nagas, and by Mikirs; 
and the habit of erecting memorial stones, common to 
Khasis, Mikirs, Magas, and the Ho-Mundas of Chota Nagpur. 
These alone do not prove the common origin of these tribes, 
but they agree with the linguistic evidence. 

Reviews. 241 

Out of the mass of interesting material collected in this 
monograph I can refer only to a few of the more important 

In the first place, Sir C. Lyall's excellent summary shows 
that "their social organisation is one of the most perfect 
examples still surviving of matriarchal institutions, carried out 
with a logic and thoroughness which, to those accustomed to 
regard the status and authority of the father as the foundation 
of society, are exceedingly remarkable. Not only is the mother 
the head and source, and only bond of union, of the family ; 
in the most primitive part of the hills, the Synteng country, she 
is the only owner of real property, and through her alone is 
inheritance transmitted. The father has no kinship with his 
children, who belong to their mother's clan ; what he earns 
goes to his own matriarchal stock, and at his death his bones 
are deposited in the cromlech of his mother's kin. In Jowai 
he neither lives nor eats in his wife's house, but visits it only 
after dark. In the veneration of ancestors, which is the founda- 
tion of the tribal piety, the primeval ancestress and her brother 
are the only persons regarded. The flat memorial stones set 
up to perpetuate the memory of the dead are called after the 
woman who represents the clan, and the standing stones ranged 
behind them are dedicated to the male kinsmen on the mother's 
side." In conformity with this social arrangement goddess 
worship is predominant, and the founder of their civilisation is 
a culture heroine. 

Next come the "memorial" stones rightly so called, many 
of which were unhappily overthrown in the recent disastrous 
earthquake. Major Gurdon shows that they closely resemble 
those of Chota Nagpur, which are familiar to us from the 
accounts by Colonel Dalton and Dr. Ball. He adopts the 
following classification of them : {a) those which serve as seats 
for the spirits of departed clansfolk on their way ro the clan 
cromlech ; (b) those erected to commemorate a parent or some 
other near relation; (f) those which mark tanks, the water of 
which is supposed to cleanse the ashes and bones of those 
who have died unnatural deaths ; (d) flat table-stones, often 
accompanied by menhirs, which are not devoted to the dead, 

242 Reviews. 

but serve as seats for weary travellers. His description of the 
mode of erection of these stones, and of the death rites of 
the tribe, is full and interesting. Most of the leading facts 
have been already given by Sir H. Yule, Major Godwin-Austen, 
and Mr. Clarke. 

As regards folk-lore, the account of their rules of taboo is 
valuable, and in a special appendix will be found a description 
of their curious mode of divination by egg-breaking. He gives 
a few folk-tales out of a large collection, which, it may be 
hoped, will soon be published. Those that he has printed are 
not very important. One, which ascribes the spots on the 
Moon to the Sun, who threw ashes at him because he tried 
to commit incest, is like a Hindu tale. In another we have 
the myth of the separation of Heaven and Earth. Heaven 
drew up the Earth by his navel-string ; this the people cut where 
it was fastened to a hill, and "it was since that time that 
heaven became so high." They have a Flood legend, but the 
account of it is vague. 

A most remarkable superstition is that connected with the 
Thlen, a gigantic snake which demands human victims, and for 
whose sake murders have been committed in fairly recent times. 
A brave man once destroyed the Thlen of his day by inducing 
it to open its mouth, into which he promptly dropped a lump 
of red-hot iron. The beast was then cut up, and the hero 
directed the people to eat its flesh. If this order had been 
obeyed the world would have been free of these monsters ; but, 
unhappily, one small piece of the meat remained uneaten, and 
from this the breed was reproduced. The Thlen attaches itself 
to property, and a condition of the owner's prosperity is that 
the monster shall receive blood. This is extracted by the 
murderer from the nose of his victim by a bamboo tube;, and 
then offered to the Thlen. I cannot quote any exact Indian 
parallel to this belief The subject of the Thlen deserves 
careful investigation. 

The present volume has been printed in England, and its 
format is in pleasant contrast to that of most of the publications 
of the Government of India. It is illustrated by some excellent 
coloured plates from sketches by Miss Scott-O'Connor and the 

Revieivs. 243 

late Colonel Woodthorpe, besides several good photographs. If 
any criticism may be offered on this excellent monograph, I 
would suggest that the bibliography is unsatisfactory. It does 
not give details of dates of publication or of editions, and it is 
quite useless to refer to papers in publications like the Journal 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal without exact reference. It is 
also imperfect, because it omits the valuable papers by Godwin- 
Austen and Clarke in the Jour^ial of the Anthropological Institute, 
Lastly, in his "Table of Contents" Major Gurdon should 
distinguish folk-lore from folk-tales, and a monograph of this kind 
should certainly be provided with a map. 

W. Crooke. 

The Natives of British Central Africa. By A. Werner. 
A. Constable & Co. Ltd. 1906. 

Miss Werner's contribution to the series of The Native Races 
of the British Empire is one of great charm, as well as of 
anthropological interest. Her personal experiences among the 
Yao and Anyanja, and her enthusiasm on their behalf, impart 
a feeling of intimacy which no amount of knowledge gained from 
books can give. British Central Africa is technically the Pro- 
tectorate of that name, comprising only the western and southern 
sides of the basin of Lake Nyassa. In the minds of most readers 
it will perhaps have a larger connotation. Even in the former 
case, it is too wide a term for the real subject of this book, 
which is mainly concerned with the two tribes just named, only 
touching the others incidentally. But the Yao and Anyanja 
are sufficiently important to deserve a book to themselves. 

They are, according to their traditions, and probably in fact, 
cognate tribes. The Anyanja were a peaceful people, into whose 
territory on the Shire Highlands the more warlike Yao, driven 
by pressure from the north, broke not long before the middle of 
the last century. The Yao came from the Portuguese possessions 
on the eastern side of Lake Nyassa, where many of them still 
■dwell. They subjugated the Anyanja, and settling at length side 
by side and intermarrying with them, began a process of coalescence 

244 Reviews. 

into one people which is still going on. Hitherto we have been 
dependent for most of what we know of the Yao and Anyanja 
upon the Rev. Duff Macdonald's Africana, a book invaluable 
for the student of the Bantu race. But Macdonald, with all his 
merits, was nothing of an anthropologist. It was quite time that 
his book should be — not superseded : that is probably impossible, 
but — supplemented by some one who knows the problems anthrop- 
ologists are trying to solve, and is able to assist in so doing. 
Although Miss Werner addresses primarily an audience of a 
popular character, her wide knowledge of the Bantu, her compre- 
hension of the scientific issues, her sense of proportion, and her 
clear and pleasant style, combine to render her work useful to 
more than " the general reader." 

The book opens with a geographical account of the country, 
its climate, fauna, and flora. The authoress passes on to a list 
of the tribes, and an account of their physical characteristics, 
dwelling chiefly on those of the Mang'anja and Wayao. She care- 
fully discusses their artificial deformities, (keloids, the perforation 
of the lip for a plug, and the filing of the teeth), and their fashions 
in hairdressing. Then come two important chapters on Religion 
and Magic. After this native life, from birth to death and burial, 
comes under review. Arts and industries, the language and folk- 
lore, music and dancing, follow. The tribal organisation and 
government are explained, and finally the history and migrations, 
so far as we know them from civilised records, or can infer them 
from the traditions of the natives, are traced. It will thus be seen 
that the entire ground is covered, and Miss Werner is able from 
her own experience constantly to add details, or to give 
explanations which throw considerable light on the subject. It is 
true that exact references to authorities are dispensed with, 
according to what I think the indefensible plan of the series. 
But the want of them is, to some extent, compensated by the 
security that the reader feels that where the author is quoting she 
always has her own personal knowledge of the tribes chiefly 
described in the background to satisfy her that the statements 
quoted are accurate, and thus though the information may be 
conveyed by quotation, it is, to some extent at any rate, to be 
received on her personal authority. 

Reviews. 245 

Among the many interesting questions considered, I will only 
refer to one. We were able to gather from Macdonald's work 
that the Yao and Anyanja reckoned kinship through the mother. 
Miss Werner shows that they are divided into exogamous totem- 
clans, though she is unable to give anything like a list of those 
clans. I hope she has correspondents in the neighbourhood of 
Lake Nyassa who are able to supply her with this information, 
and to assist in the explanation of the clan-names, and the usages 
and superstitions relating to the totems. This is an urgent 
matter, as the missionaries and other influences of "civilisation" 
will, it is to be feared, very soon obliterate all memory of the old 
organisation and beliefs. Some of the Anyanja tribes are passing 
into the patrilineal stage, and what is most interesting is that 
they are doing so along precisely the same road as that adopted 
in German South-west Africa by the Herero. They have adopted 
a system of agnatic descent, and carry it on side by side with 
the older reckoning through the mother. The quotation Miss 
Werner makes from Bishop Maples — " the mother preserves to 
her offspring the tie of kinship, the father that of blood" — is 
incomprehensible to me. Mr. Thomas, in his book on Australian 
kinship, draws a distinction between blood and kinship, which 
may or may not be valid. But that distinction does not help us 
here. Bishop Maples' words may convey some subtle difference 
which a further investigation of the tribes he refers to may 
disclose. The fact of two distinct Bantu peoples at a distance 
from one another of nearly fifteen hundred miles as the crow flies, 
right across the continent, adopting the same device to smooth 
the passage from motherright to fatherright should help in the 
solution of more than one anthropological problem. Is it too 
late to recover the details of the ingenious arrangement which 
Bishop Maples was the first to make known ? Perhaps the author 
can secure them. 

The illustrations, as a whole, are excellent. Though some are 
rather too small, many of them are of exceptional clearness and 
beauty, and effectively assist the reader to realise the various types 
of humanity and the customs described. 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

246 Reviews. 

Les Fontaines des Genies (Seba Aioun), Croyances 
souDANAisES A Alger. Par J. B. Andrews. Alger, 1903. 
8, pp. 36. 

There are at Algiers a number of West African negroes of 
various tribes — Hausa, Bambara, etc. — each of which is organ- 
ised into a religious society, called Dar. These societies 
possess houses inhabited by their chiefs, which also serve as 
centres of the cult and contain the religious emblems. Each 
Dar has its assemblies of men and women, the former ruled 
by five kebir, the latter by a single hounia, and it is the latter 
who is most closely associated with the djinn, of which there 
are many. There are seven fountains, but the correspondence 
with the number of Diar is accidental, for each fountain has 
its special djimi, though the cult of each dar is not restricted 
to a single spirit. 

Sacrifices are an important part of the cult, and a common 
explanation of the ecstatic state of the votaries, provoked, as 
is commonly the case, by dancing, is that they are possessed. 
Mr. Andrews gives a long list of names of djimt, and it would 
have been interesting to learn more as to the origin of the 
names ; they are represented as divided into nations and tribes, 
and have the reputation of causing diseases as punishments for 
affronts ofifered to them. There is also some account of the 
musical instruments employed by the negroes, probably imported 
by them, and a few specimens of their melodies. The work is 
useful, but a comparison with the home customs of the tribes 
in question would have increased its value. 

N. W. Thomas. 

The Rymour Club, Edinburgh, Miscellanea. Part I. 
March, 1906. 

With a membership of forty-nine, this club has begun, not 
only to collect, as set forth in the objects of the society, but 
also to publish ballads, lyrics, and other rhymed material, and 
ballad and other tunes, etc., more particularly such as illustrate 

Reviews. 247 

Scottish dialect, character, manners, and music in former days. 
Its members are almost all resident in Edinburgh, but it has 
adopted an ingenious method of calling attention to its exist- 
ence and ensuring the activity of collectors : the list of 
corresponding members contains thirty names, and they will 
doubtless feel it incumbent upon them to further the objects 
of the society in a way that an ordinary subscriber would 
not. This issue of Miscellanea contains four contributions : 
children's rhymes and rhyme-games, from the collection of one 
of their corresponding members in New Zealand ; the ballad of 
" Jack Munro " (with music) ; the original version of " Within 
a Mile of Edinboro' Town " ; and two northern bothy songs. 
The Folk-lore Society is always ready to give its blessing to 
local effort. In the present case it does so with especial 
pleasure, because the infant society is evidently a vigorous child, 
which will not die of inanition. The secretary is Mr. A. Reid, 
F.S.A.Scot., The Loaning, Mcrchiston Bank Gardens, Edin- 
burgh, and the subscription five shillings. 

In Malay Forests. By George Maxwell. Blackwood. 1907. 

This little book — it is small in size and modest in appear- 
ance, although it runs to 306 pp. — contains much that is of 
interest for members of the Folk-lore Society, for it is the 
work of a thoroughly good sportsman who is more than usually 
well versed in jungle magic. This combination is unfortunately 
not a very common one, but in this instance, at all events, it 
is attended with the happiest results, the folk-lore details giving 
a sense of completeness to the pictures of big game shooting 
which is as pleasant as it is rare. The stories — fifteen in 
number — though not all recorded here for the first time, are 
capitally told in terse, clear, vigorous English, The sportsmanship 
is of the right kind, and the folk-lore is not only interesting and 
accurate, but gives valuable variations of, and parallels to, many of 
the spells and ceremonies employed by the Malays in hunting the 
bigger wild animals. Incidentally, in most of these tales, we get 

248 Reviews. 

vivid glimpses of the Malay pawang, or magician, a figure now 
fast disappearing under the continual increasing pressure of 
Islamic practice, but one of whom we would fain know more. 
"A Tale by the Wayside" contains a selection of mouse-deer 
stories, the mouse-deer being the "Brer Rabbit" of the 
Peninsula. "A Deer-drive" describes the " make-beHeve " by 
means of which the deer are driven into the toils. The 
horrible end of "A Were-Tiger" is a reminiscence of the 
darker days of the Peninsula, before the strong arm of the 
British Government had destroyed the power once so arrogantly 
claimed by the Malay chiefs, to slay men at pleasure without 
being asked the reason. If we were requested to name the 
best of these stories, we should be inclined to choose "The 
Pinjih Rhino," which contains a very good account of a 
spiritualistic seance, at which permission to slay the rhinoceros 
in question was extracted by dint of sheer perseverance from 
the spirits of the jungle. 

The book might have been better arranged, and would have 
been greatly helped by illustrations ; and the addition of a i^vf 
more references to its sources would improve the appendix. 
There are a few slight misprints and errors, which we give in 
order that they may be avoided in a subsequent edition. We 
may mention " Nasmorhedus " for "Nemorhedus" (pp. 168, 
169), "Malin" for " Malim " (p. 122), "Pinjih" for "Pinjih" 
(p. 303), "Biaua" for "Biawak" (p. 295), and "Cocoa nut" 
for " Coconut " {passim). The transliteration of the Arabic 
phrases might be here and there improved, and there are one 
or two slips in translation. "Voice Folk" (p. 178) {prang bunyi, 
i.e., seinbunyi) should be " Invisible Folk," and Unta (p. 55), in 
conjunction with sirih zxiA pittang, cannot mean "camel." We 
feel doubtful, moreover, as to the rendering of Salam di rimba 
by " Peace of the Forest " ; and we have always understood that 
it is with his forefeet, rather than his hindfeet (p. 238), that the 
buck does his tapping in rutting-time. 

Walter W. Skeat. 

Books for Review should be addressed to The EDITOR OF Folk-Lore, 
c/o David Nutt, 57-59 Long Acre, London. 


Vol. XVIII.] SEPTEMBER, 1907. [No. III. 

FEBRUARY 20th, 1907. 

The President (Dr. Gaster) in the Chair. 

The Minutes of the Meeting held on December 19th, 
1906, were read and confirmed. 

The election of Mr. A. A. Gomme, Mr. W. Durrant, 
Mr. I. Abrahams, Mr. G. Calderon, and the Rev. Pro- 
fessor Kennett as members of the Society, and the 
admission of the Wesleyan University Library, Middle- 
town, Connecticut, U.S.A., as a subscriber to the Society 
were announced. 

The resignations of Mr. J. C. Hartland, Mr. Hannah, 
Mr. Gerish, Mr. Mackey, Dr. Ninnes, Mr. W. Mackenzie, 
Mr. G. E. Simpkins, the Rev. J. G, Derrick, and Mr. 
F. Eyles were also announced. 

Mr. A. R. Wright exhibited a Rain-making Horn from 
Uganda, and the following North African Amulets, viz. : 
(i) amulets on a Dervish's cap picked up the day after 
the battle of Omdurman ; (2) a glass bangle with a 
string of cornehans attached ; (3) an imitation magnet 
made of deer-leather and wood, copied from a magnet 

VOL. XVllI. R 

250 Minutes of Meetings. 

in Khartoum College, and found hung up as an amulet 
in a tree near Khartoum ; (4) an amulet-case from the 
Soudan with writings inside ; (5) a block used for printing 
charms against the Evil Eye ; (6) an Arab charm with 
writings from the Koran, mounted in silver, with a strap 
for hanging round the neck ; (7) a Moorish good-luck 
ring ; and (8) two egg-shaped objects hung up in a 
Mosque in Morocco, as to the purpose of which he 
invited information. 

Mr. A. F. Major exhibited a Lucky Bone sent him by 
Dr. J. Auden of York, used as a talisman by fishermen 
and jet- workers at Whitby. 

Mr. Wright stated that a similar charm was in use by 
the gasworkers in London. 

Dr. Westermarck read a paper entitled " L'Ar ; or the 
Transference of Traditional Curses in Morocco," and in 
the discussion which followed, Mr. Major, Dr. Rivers, 
Mr. Dames, Mr. Ordish, Mr. C. S. Myers, and the 
Chairman took part. 

Votes of thanks were accorded to Dr. Westermarck 
for his paper, and to Mr. Wright and Mr. Major for 
their exhibits. 

At the conclusion of the Meeting, Dr. Westermarck 
exhibited some charms against the Evil Eye in use in 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20th, 1907. 

The President (Dr. Gaster) in the Chair. 

The minutes of the last Meeting were read and confirmed. 
The resignations of Mr. L Kosminsky and Mr. H. F. 
Andorsen were announced. 

Minutes of Meetings. 251 

On the motion of the Chairman a vote of condolence 
with the family of Mr. W. W. Newell of the American 
Folk-Lore Society was passed. 

Dr. Dan M'Kenzie read a paper entitled, "Children 
and Wells" [ififra, p. 253], and in the discussion which 
followed, Mr. Nutt, Mr. D'Arcy Power, and the Chairman 
took part. 

The Meeting terminated with a vote of thanks to 
Dr. M'Kenzie for his paper. 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17th, 1907. 

Mr. G. L. Gomme (Vice-President) in the Chair. 

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and 

The election of Mr. P. G. Thomas, Mrs. H. Draper, 
and Miss C. Verhorff as members of the Society, and 
the admission of the Seattle Public Library, the General 
Theological Seminary of New York, and the Institut de 
Sociologie, Solvay, Brussels, as subscribers to the Society 
were announced. 

The resignations of Mr. G. H. Skipwith and Miss A. 
B. Wherry were also announced. 

Dr. C. G. Seligmann delivered a lecture entitled " Some 
Notes from New Guinea," which was profusely illustrated 
by lantern-slides, and in the discussion which followed, 
Mr. Wright, Mr. G. Calderon, and the Chairman took 
part. Some Papuan songs were also reproduced on the 

The Meeting terminated with a vote of thanks to 
Dr. Seligmann for his lecture. 

252 Minutes of Meetings. 

The following additions to the Library since the 21st 
November, 1906, were reported by the Secretary, viz. : 

Progress Report of the Archceological Survey of India, 
Western Circle, July, 1905 — March, 1906, presented by 
the Government of Bombay. 

Annual Report of the Archceological Survey, Northern 
Circle, for the year ending March J^ist, 1906, presented by 
the Government of the N.W. Provinces. 

Transactions of the Japan Society, 1905, 1906, Vol. VIL, 
presented by the Society. 

Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, Vol. 
VIL, Part 7, presented by the Society. 

The Riot at the Great Gate of Trinity College, February, 
1 610, by J. W. Clark, by exchange with the Cambridge 
Antiquarian Society. 

Madras Government Museum; Anthropology, Vol. IL, 
Part 2, presented by the Government of Madras. 

At the Back of the Black Mans Mind, by R. E. Dennett, 
presented by the Author. 

Byegones, New Series, Vol. IX. 



{Read at Meeting, 20th March, 1907.) 

Why do so many wells cure children's diseases ? 

Out of 139 wells in Mr. R. C. Hope's collection,^ which 
are or were credited with ability to cure disease : — 

The disease cured is not specified in - - 34 

Ailments in general were treated at - - 24 

Eye diseases were treated at - - - 29 

Skin complaints at - - - - - 16 

Insanity was treated at - - - - 2 

And children were associated with - - 34 

Of these last : — 

Children's diseases were treated at - - 7 
Children were made to drink of the water of 8 
Children were baptized at - - - - 10 
Ceremonies were performed in which children 
participated, or tales are told with children 
as the heroes, in ----- 8 

^ Hope, R. C, The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England. 
London, 1893. 

254 Children and Wells, 

Mr. and Mrs. Quiller-Couch ^ describe 95 Cornish wells. 
Of these, 30 were curative of disease. 

Diseases of all kinds were treated at - 8 

Skin diseases at- - - - - -4 

" Green wounds "at i 

"Sore eyes" at- - - - - -6 

" Contracted limbs "at - - - - i 

Insanity at i 

Children's diseases at - - - - - 9 
And baptisms were celebrated at - - 11 

That is, out of the whole 95, 20 were associated with 
infants and children ; and out of the 30 which were 
looked upon as curative of disease, 9 were supposed to 
restore sick children to health. The higher proportion 
of children's wells in this collection, as compared with 
Hope's, is probably due to the fact that a smaller 
number of wells is dealt with, and consequently more 
attention has been paid to detail. 

A moment's consideration will show that the treatment 
of children's diseases at wells stands upon a different 
basis from the treatment of sore eyes, skin diseases, and 
insanity. In the case of sore eyes and skin diseases the 
cure is dependent upon the reasoning of magic. The 
pure water may be supposed to wash away the film or 
discharge from the eyes, and the scab or tetter from 
the skin. Insanity used to be treated at wells by 
plunging the unfortunate lunatic into the water, when 
the shock produced by the sudden immersion would 
probably sober, for a moment at least, the raging maniac. 
Hydrophobia was also treated in this way. But in the 
case of children there is no impurity to be cleansed, no 
shouting demon to be exorcised. So we must seek for 
a different explanation to account for the cure of the 

^ Quiller-Couch, M. and R. , Ancient and Holy Wells of Cornwall. London, 

Children and Wells. 255 

diseases of childhood at wells, and the search for an 
explanation is the purpose of this paper. 

The following are a few detailed examples of the 
cure of children's diseases at wells : 

To St. Madron's Well in Cornwall children used to 
be brought on the first three Sundays in May, that they 
might be cured of rickets or any other disorder with 
which they were troubled. " Three times they were 
plunged into the water, after having been stripped naked, 
the parent or person dipping them standing facing the 
sun ; after the dipping they were passed nine times 
round the well from East to West ; then they were 
dressed and laid in St. Madron's bed. Should they 
sleep, or the water in the well bubble, it was considered 
a good omen." Strict silence had to be observed.^ 

The village of Barnwell in Northamptonshire probably 
owes its name to its wells, seven in number, in which 
it was the custom, in olden times, to dip weakly 
children (called " berns," adds the chronicler). " From 
whatever cause the custom was originally adopted, in 
the course of time some presiding angel was supposed 
to communicate hidden virtues to the water, and mystical 
and puerile rites were performed at these springs." Hence 
they were denominated fontes piieronini? 

At Monkton, near Jarrow in Northumberland, where 
it is reported St. Bede was born, there is a well which 
bears his name. As late as 1740 it was a prevailing 
custom to bring children troubled with any disease or 
infirmity to be dipped in the well. Between each dip- 
ping a crooked pin was thrown into the water.^ 

Many children's wells are to be found in Scotland "* 
as well as in England. 

' Quiller-Couch, I.e., 136. ^Hope, Ac, p. 99. ■■Hope, I.e., p. 109. 

*A. Mitchell, quoted by Ploss, Das Kind, ii. 213 ; Black, W. G., Folk- 
Medicine, London, 1883, p. 133 ; and Ditchfield, Old English Customs, 
London, 1896, p. 182. 

256 Children and Wells. 

Passing to foreign countries, we find that in Slavonia 
the holy wells are resorted to for the cure of children's 
diseases by the people, who may be seen, gorgeously 
attired as if for a feast, making regular pilgrimages to 
these wells in caravans of waggons.^ 

In the next instance no particular well is mentioned, 
but as it is, nevertheless, an undoubted cure by water, 
I have included it in the series. 

Among the Servians, a peevish and constantly whining 
child is said to be suffering from a special disorder 
known as " Wriska," for which the following ceremony 
is recommended. The mother must wait until she sees 
a fire on the other side of a water, river, or lake. Then 
the crying baby is brought out to the water, while 
some one fetches a green plate and a piece of burning 
wood. Quenching the fiery wood in the water, the 
mother says : " Wila," who is a kind of water-fairy in 
these parts, " Wila is having her son married, and has 
invited my baby to the wedding. I do not send her 
the baby, however ; only its crying." This is said three 
times, and the baby is made to drink as much as 
possible of the water from the green plate.^ 

In modern Syria ^ there is a custom of "making a 
sick child that is thought to be bewitched drink from 
seven wells, or cisterns." * 

The foregoing are examples of cures. Here follows 
some account of springs or wells of which children are 
made to drink, presumably for the benefit of their health. 

At Belper, in Derbyshire, there is a well where con- 
tracted and stiff limbs may be successfully restored by 

^ Ploss, H., Das Kind in Branch und Sitte der Volker, ii. 214. Leipzig, 

^Ploss, I.e., ii. 215. 

^ Smith, W. Robertson, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites., London, 
1894, p. 182, footnote. 

* These cisterns are, properly speaking, reservoirs. 

Childi^en and Wells. 257 

bathing. Hither children, also, are brought to drink the 
water mixed with oatmeal and sugar.^ 

At the Dropping Well, near Tideswell in the same 
county, on Easter Day, young people and children used 
to assemble, " with a cup in one pocket and a quarter 
of a pound of sugar or honey in the other, and having 
caught in their cups as much water as they could from 
the droppings of the Tor-spring, they dissolved the sugar 
in it," 2 and I have no doubt, although the report does 
not actually say so, they drank it. 

At St. Helen's Well, near Eshton in Yorkshire, in 
the eighteenth century, the younger folk used to gather 
on the Sunday evenings and drink the water mixed 
with sugar, but the custom has now died out.^ 

Next follow one or two instances of springs or waters 
about which tales, legends, or sayings are prevalent 
among the folk, and in which child-characters figure. 

In Cornwall there is a well called after St. Levan. 
Now this saint was a fisherman, and it was so, that he 
caught only one fish a day. On a certain day his 
sister and her child came to visit him, and the only 
fish the saint caught that day was a chad. Chagrined 
at his bad luck, and trembling for his reputation as a 
host, the holy man threw the chad back into the sea, 
and tried his luck again. But, alas ! the same fish per- 
sisted in being caught three times in succession ; so St. 
Levan, seeing it was to be the chad or nothing, gave 
in. Finally, when the fish was cooked and served up, 
the child was choked " on the first mouthful." * 

Perhaps it may seem to be straining the imagination 
unduly to see in this tale any connection between a 
well and the death of a child, seeing that the well-saint 
got the fish from the sea. But the association of the 

^Hope, R. C., I.e., p. 53. ^Hope^ j^ q^ /^^ p g^ 

*Hope, R. C, I.e., p. 204. ■'Hope, I.e., p. 27. 

258 Children and Wells. 

death of a child with a well, as we shall see, is by no 
means uncommon, and the association is a very sug- 
gestive one. In the next example the connection is 
close enough. 

Naughty children must not play near the river Tees 
at Pierse Bridge, near Durham, especially on Sundays, 
or the spirit of the river, whose modern name is Peg 
Powler, will drag them down into deep waters and they 
will be drowned.^ 

Another suggestion of a child-and-water connection 
comes from Essex, where St. Osyth possesses a fountain. 
It is narrated of this saint that, when a child, she fell 
into a river and was drowned, but was miraculously 
restored to life by the prayers of St. Modwen,'^ whose 
name, to be sure, recalls St. Madron of the well in the 
west country. 

To add instance to instance would be tedious, and 
quite enough has been presented to show that in the 
minds of the older peoples of Britain, at all events, there 
probably existed some mysterious bond of union between 
children and wells, ponds, and rivers. What was this 
bond .'' 

The most obvious answer to the question is that 
wells cured children's diseases, and were associated 
generally with children in the folk-mind, because they 
were originally baptismal fonts, and for this reason 
their water, being hallowed, washed away children's 
diseases, just as it purged their souls of Original Sin. 
" No child," in the words of an old English saying, 
"thrives until it is baptized." 

It is a well-known fact that holy wells were frequently 
used for baptismal purposes. Indeed, this is one of the 
points I rely upon for proof that some other link 
existed between children and wells. But I do not think 
that the baptismal explanation is sufficient to account 

^ Hope, I.e., p. 72. -Hope, I.e., p. 73. 

Children and Wells. 259 

for the cures and other signs of an association. To 
begin with, many wells which are resorted to for curing 
children's diseases are not, as far as we know, also used 
for baptism. But the most weighty objection to the 
baptismal explanation lies in the evidence I hope to be 
able to lead, which shows that in baptism we are dealing 
with a ceremony dependent upon a belief absolutely 
different from that which underlies the curing of children 
at wells, ponds, and rivers. 

Now, in order that this difference may be made clear, 
it will be necessary to deviate considerably from the 
main line of our story and to investigate the subject of 
infant baptism, in order to discover, if we can, the 
causes which led to the ceremonial sprinkling of the 
new-born child with water. In prosecuting this search I 
have been led far afield among the nations of the world, 
but I will not attempt to do more than to sketch 
out my wanderings in the briefest possible manner. 

The ceremonial washing, baptism, or lustration of 
children, is a rite as old, and as widespread almost, as 
the marriage rite. A religious ceremony is the sanctifi- 
cation of some common event of life — eating, drinking, 
birth, marriage, death, together with certain communal 
or national acts — whereby we contrive, for a moment, to 
rivet the public attention upon, and to obtain the public 
recognition of, the eternal mysteries which underlie that 
outward show we call our everyday life. Infant baptism, 
nowadays, is one of these suggestive ceremonies. At 
first, however, it was something much more simple. For 
it was only the hallowing of the necessary first bath of 
the new-born child, the bath of physical purification. 
Prior to this simple domestic act the child is actually, 
and in very truth, impure. The physical impurity, it 
would seem, suggested to the minds of our forefathers, 
in a manner familiar to the students of folk-lore, that 
the child is also mystically, or, as we would say in the 

26o Children and Wells. 

language of modern theology, spiritually impure, a con- 
dition which is technically expressed by the word taboo. 
It is well known, of course, that the mother, at this 
time, is also taboo, and it is possible that the child is 
infected by the mother, so to speak ; but this consider- 
ation has nothing to do with our enquiry. For the 
removal of the child's taboo, which is fraught with peril 
not only to the child, but also to the community 
around, a ceremonial or religious purification by ritual 
washing is necessary. But it does not in the least 
matter where the water used in the mystic washing is 
obtained. Any water will serve the purpose, provided 
it is, or is rendered, sacred, that is, free from mystically 
deleterious qualities, by the officiating medicine-man or 
priest. Naturally, the water of a holy well or river, such 
as the Jordan, possesses qualities in virtue of which it 
is inherently sacred, and so the baby baptized by such 
water is twice blest. But the point to be noted is, that 
the water of the sacred spring or river used for baptism 
is already hol)^ It was sacred before it was used for 

As time goes on and the world advances, a deeper 
meaning comes to be attached to the rite of baptism. 
It becomes the Church's opportunity of emphasizing the 
mystery of biogenesis. A child indeed is not, so to 
speak, born into the Church until it is baptized. And 
it is interesting to trace the original taboo in the com- 
paratively modern doctrine of Original Sin, from which 
the infant is set free by the baptismal rite. Thus, in 
the primitive taboo lies the germ of the doctrine of 
Baptismal Regeneration. 

Returning to the primitive ritual bathing of children, 
to detail all the records of infant lustration-rites from all 
over the world of time and space would be wearisome, 
but perhaps I may describe a few in.stances in order to 
illustrate the several points in my argument. 

Children and Wells. 261 

To begin with examples of the taboo which the act 
of baptism washes away. In Bohemia and Silesia, if an 
unbaptized child is brought into a strange house, it is 
sure to bring bad luck with it.^ 

In Upper Egypt the mother and child are isolated 
until the latter is 40 days old, then, after a ceremonial 
bath, the child is permitted to be brought into contact 
with the rest of the community.- 

It will be remembered in this connection how highly 
the finger, fat, etc., of an unbaptized child were valued in 
the middle ages by those who sought to indulge in the 
gruesome practices of witchcraft. 

The following instances of the baptismal ceremony are 
only a few of the many examples on record. 

Among the ancient Mexicans, long before the Spaniards 
introduced Christianity, the second bath of the child, on 
the fifth day after birth, was made the occasion of a 
great ceremony. After all the neighbours and friends 
had assembled, the baby was laid on leaves beside a 
new earthen vessel filled with pure water, and the midwife, 
who acted the part of priestess for the nonce, addressing 
the child, recited an incantation which ended : " Thou 
art the gift of our son Ouetzalcoatl, the omnipresent. 
Be purified by thy Mother Chalchihuitlicue, the goddess 
of water." So saying she moistened the lips and breast 
of the child with water from the vessel. Next, pouring 
the water over the child's head, she chanted : " Take this, 
my son, the water of the Lord of the World ; this is 
our life, and by this we wash and become clean. May 
this heavenly water, clear as light, pass into thy body 
and there remain ; may it expel from thee every evil 
and wicked thing, thy legacy from the beginning of the 
world ! For, behold, we are all in the hands of our 
Mother, Chalchihuitlicue." Then she harangued the 
powers of darkness, adjuring them to depart, for " this 

' Ploss, Das Kind, i. 51. - I'loss, /.c, i. 55. 

262 Children a?id Wells. 

our child lives anew and is born again ; once more it is 
purified ; once more it lives through the grace of our 
Mother, Chalchihuitlicue." 

The baby was then carried out of the dwelling, and> 
being held up to heaven, was dedicated to the gods and 
goddesses, especially to the water-goddess and to the 
sun, while the hope was expressed that if the baby 
grew up to become a warrior he would ultimately win 
to heaven, the home of the brave. Then the name was 

Here is a ceremony not devoid of a touch of grandeur, 
though performed by the heathen priestess of a heathen 
nation. It should be noted that the water used was not 
specially sanctified. Let me direct attention also to points 
which are of importance from the point of view of our 
inquiry, viz. the dedication of the child to the water- 
goddess, and the phrase " this " water " is our life." (The 
name was conferred upon the occasion of the baptismal 
rite, probably because the presence of the higher powers 
guarded the tender infant against any possible evil which 
might attend the public utterance of such a close personal 

The now extinct inhabitants of Yucatan, in Central 
America, used to perform a baptismal rite somewhat 
similar to that just described, four male relatives or 
friends of the family acting as the deities of the water 
for the time being. In this ceremony, which did not 
take place until the child was from nine to twelve years 
of age — a variation from the usual custom, which is not, 
however, solitary — the water was prepared from flowers 
and cocoa-beans, which, after being treated in a certain 
way, were added to pure water collected from tree-hollows 
and the corners of the leaves of certain plants.'^ 

In ancient Germany, before the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, the father poured water over his child immediately 

^Ploss, Das Kind, i. 262. ^ PIoss, I.e., i. 261. 

Children and Wells. 263 

after birth and gave it a name. After the establishment 
of the new religion the privilege of naming the child 
remained with the father until it was set aside in favour 
of the godfather in A.D. 813.^ 

At the present day infant baptism is a very widely 
observed custom, not only among Christian nations, but 
also among heathens. 

In the huts of the Yoruba negroes of the West Coast 
of Africa there is a sacred tree, around which stand pots 
full of water, and with this water the face of the new- 
born baby is sprinkled during the ceremony.- 

The Llamas of Mongolia and Tibet, it is said, dip 
the new-born child three times into water, naming it as 
they do so. Buddha was so baptized by the snake-gods, 
according to the story, but the Buddhist community as 
a whole do not perform the rite.^ 

Among the Maories of New Zealand the taboo of the 
child after birth is removed by a fire ceremony and a 
water-sprinkling ceremony. The latter is described as 
follows : 

A number of clay balls are made by the priest and 
little mounds are erected ; each mound is named after a 
god, and each clay ball after an ancestral chief. The 
priest then takes a branch of Karaimi or Kaiva, parts 
it, and binds it half round the baby's waist, chanting an 
invocation beginning, " There are mounds risen up," etc. 
When this is finished he sprinkles the mother and child 
with water by means of a branch, and chants again. 
Then three ovens are made, one for the mother, one for 
the priests, and one for the gods. In these ovens food 
is cooked. A number of pieces of pumice are then placed 
in a row and named after the child's ancestors. And to 
each of these stones in turn food is presented, with an 
incantation beginning, " This is your food," etc. Then the 

^ I'loss, I.e., i. 264, quoting Erinour, Teutonic Mytkoloi,y. 
^Ploss, I.e., i. 259. ^Ploss, I.e., i. 265. 

264 Children and Wells. 

taboo is removed, and the mother and child set free. The 
child is named at this ceremony. A somewhat different 
ritual is followed in the case of a chief The father, 
mother, and head of the tribe go with the priest, who 
wades out into the middle of a stream with the baby. 
There the child is sprinkled with water, while certain 
incantations are recited.^ 

Among the Jews in olden times infant baptism was to 
some extent practised, although it is not mentioned in 
the Bible, for the Talmud provides the details to be 
observed in the ceremony performed when heathen infants 
were received into Jewry.^ 

In ancient Rome the baptismal rite was a domestic 
rather than an ecclesiastical function, but some kind of 
ceremony was probably observed, which took place on 
the Sth-Qth day after birth, and for which a special vessel, 
the Baptisteriiim, was provided.^ 

In addition to the foregoing, a ritual washing of the 
new-born or young infant was and is performed in the 
following countries and races : 

The ancient Goths and Scandinavians ; the Lapps, since 
long before Christian times ; the natives of Upper Egypt ; 
the Fiote tribe of the Loango coast of Africa ; the natives 
of South Guinea ; the Basutos, whose witch-doctors soap 
the child's head ; the Ovahereroes of South Africa ; the 
Guanchos (the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Isles); 
the Jessids, an old heathen sect still surviving in Armenia ; 
the ancient Hindoos, and perhaps the Persians ; the Battas 
and other tribes of modern India; in Sumatra (the name 
being given at a brook) ; in Java ; among the Negritoes of 
the Philippines; on Uvea Island (South Seas); on Rotuma 
Island ; among the Noeforese of Papua ; among the 
Pampas Indians of South America ; among the North 

^Tregear, E., "The Maories of New Zealand," y<?«r«. Anthrop. Instil., 
vol. xix., p. 98. 

^Ploss, I.e., i. 266. 'Ploss, I.e., i. 267. 

Children and Wells. 265 

American Indians ; ^ and, of course, among all Christian 

Thus a lustration or purification ceremony is practically 
universal. Here we find an explanation of the mysterious 
ease with which infant baptism, though not directly com- 
manded in the New Testament, became a sacrament of 
the early church. It was a practice already in vogue. 
And there is every probability that in ancient Britain, 
just as in ancient Germany and Scandinavia, infant 
baptism was practised as a ceremony long before the 
arrival of the Christian missionaries. Not only so, but 
it is quite possible that the ceremony may have taken 
place at these very wells and springs which still retain 
the reputation of sanctity. 

It is generally admitted nowadays that well-worship 
was practised in Britain before the advent of Christianity. 
In support of this belief in the antiquity of our British 
well-worship, Mr. Gomme and other authorities on the 
subject have drawn attention to the quaintly-named saints 
who preside over these little wayside springs. We have, 
it is true, many wells dedicated to St. Mary, to St. John, 
to St. Peter, and so on, who are genuine saints of the 
Church. But who is St. Hawthorne, who runs a well 
in the Wrekin in Shropshire, for the cure of skins .-' Who 
are St. Gover, of Kensington Gardens and Llanover 
House in Monmouthshire; St. Pirian ; St. Keyne; and 
the others .' The only reasonable answer is, that these 
are the modern or mediaeval equivalents of the ancient 
British water-spirits who tenanted the wells of the country. 
Partly, therefore, because these " saints " seem to be old 
gods with new faces, and partly because there are historical 
records which leave practically no doubt on the subject, 
it is now held that, after the coming of the Christian 
religion, the priests of the new cult, having made many 

'List compiled from Ploss, I.e., i. 257 ct scq., and Crooke, W., Things 
Indian. London, 1906. 


266 Children and Wells. 

vain efforts to eradicate all traces of the former beliefs, 
circumvented the Mammon of Unrighteousness by taking 
the old pagan practices under their own wing. So they 
blessed the waters of the holy wells ; built chapels, in 
many instances, over them ; turned the old well-spirit into 
a new church-saint, and took to themselves the credit 
for the miraculous cures ascribed to these ancient places 
of worship.^ 

They forgot, however, to secure all the water-spirits, 
for Peg Powler of the Tees escaped them; and, in like 
wise, Jenny Greenteeth, the spirit of the Lancashire 
streams; Peg o' Nell, the lady of the Ribble; Mary Hosies, 
who controls part of the Avon near my home in Lanark- 
shire ; and others, still survive to carry the memory of 
the British nature-gods down into modern days. Oddly 
enough, we are told that in Sweden the old pagan deities, 
when worsted by Christianity, took refuge in the rivers. 

It is interesting to note that in York Minster, Carlisle 
Cathedral, Glastonbury, and elsewhere, the old holy-wells 
are still found within the walls of the Christian churches.- 
We may, therefore, safely say, that if the cure of children's 
diseases at wells was dependent upon these wells being 
baptismal fonts, the practice must be referred to the 
pagan and not to the Christian rite. But has well-curing 
anything whatever to do with baptism ? Let us return 
to the section dealing with the baptismal customs of the 
world, and let us compare the details of the baptismal 
ceremony with those of the cure-ceremony. If we do so, 
we shall find a difference so marked between the two 
rites that we shall surely be able to say that they are 
different in origin and in aim — fundamentally different ; 
and that all they possess in common is the accidental 
circumstance that they have both something to do with 
water and with young children. 

To begin with, the lustration-rite is a washing-rite. 

^ Hope, I.e., ix. ^ Hope, I.e., xxi. 

Childi^en and Wells. 267 

The baptism washes away a taboo, just as we would 
wash mud off our fingers before shaking hands with a lady. 
The water used may or may not be holy or sacred. It 
really does not matter much. But the cleansing must 
be effected, and by the imitation of washing. Indeed, 
the cleansing or purification may be accomplished without 
the aid of water at all. For in some places it is brought 
about by sprinkling with salt (Armenia, Georgia, etc.), 
or by fumigation (Bombe tribes of Central Africa, etc.). 

In the well-cures, on the other hand, the water, and 
not the washing, is the all-important part, the soul, of 
the rite. The child must be brought into intimate 
contact with the water, in the well if possible. Infant 
baptism seldom takes the form of a dipping, it is usually 
a laving or sprinkling. But in the well-cure the child 
is stripped and laid in the well, and at the same time 
is made to drink of the water as copiously as possible,^ 
as if it was intended that he should obtain from the water 
some mystic and vital property of which he stood in need. 

What was this mystic and vital property } It was the 
principle of life. 

In order to substantiate this statement, let us see what 
evidence exists, other than is suggested by the cure of 
disease, for the vital connection of children with wells. 
In this further development of our enquiry, I shall extend 
the scope of our investigations to include water generally — 
in wells, ponds, brooks, rivers, and in the clouds and sea. 
We shall come across some interesting facts in folk-lore 
bearing on this point. 

Every child knows where our babies in England have 
come from. From the gooseberry -bushes, of course! 
But in Hesse and Halle in Germany they come from 
the wells ! ^ The stork brings them no doubt, but where 
does he get them .'* In the wells, ponds, rivers, and so 

^ Hope, I.e., and Quiller-Couch, I.e., passim, 
^Ploss, I.e., i. 6 et seq. 

268 Children and Wells. 

on. If your baby is coming from the Weser you can 
tell whether it is going to be a boy or a girl, for the 
water-carriers bring the girls in the white, and the boys 
in the black and red buckets. In Brunswick, the clever 
lady who brings the babies fetches them from the wells, 
and for this reason she is called Borneller (from Born or 
Briinneji, a well). On the island of Amrum, off the coast 
of Schleswig-Holstein, there are two baby-wells. When 
the woman (I wonder if she is one of the Norns !) in 
charge of these wells is asked for a baby she has to 
wake it up from its sleep with a scythe. This is a very 
awkward implement to use, to be sure, and just as we 
might expect, while she is watching carefully so as not 
to hurt the baby, she forgets all about mother, who, in 
consequence, is almost always badly cut, and so has 
to go to bed every time a baby comes. In Cologne, 
Kunibert's well it is that supplies the babies ; and in 
Hesse, if the children peer into the watery mirror of a 
well, like Narcissus, they Avill see the babies waiting for 
the stork to come. In Bohemia, if you want babies, all 
you have to do is to fish them out of the wells with 
nets ; but sometimes they get about in the fields, where, 
like the prince in the fairy-tale, they take the form of 
ordinary frogs. 

In Nierstein things are a little different. There the 
baby is got from a great big lime-tree, the original of 
the English gooseberry-bush, which the learned have 
agreed to call Yggdrasil, but there also, if you listen 
quietly beside the tree, you will hear a spring gurgling 
out from its roots. And, indeed, there was a well called 
Wurdh that lay under Yggdrasil. (According to a fuller 
version of the legend, there were three springs under the 
life-tree, one gushing out of each root, Udarbrunr, 
Mimisbrunr, and Hvergelmir.) 

In Brunswick, the Gode wells in the town furnish the 
babies, and in Frankisch-Henneburg they come from 

Children and Wells. 269 

the Kemele wells, where they sit on a stake until the 
midwife fetches them. At Ried, in the Inn-Viertel, they 
say that you will find the new babies in the well which 
lies behind the Pfarrenkirche at St. Pantaleon. 

It is not always the stork who is the carrier of the 
babies. In some places in Germany it is the little 
beetle, known to English children as the lady-bird or 
lady-cow, that carries the souls of the children from the 
wells to their parents.^ 

In some cases the babies are supposed to come from 
marshes, lakes, rivers, or the sea itself The Basutos in 
South Africa told the missionaries that the human race 
originally came from a sedge-covered morass. In the 
mythology of Japan the lake of Fakone is regarded as 
the dwelling-place of the children's souls. In Lower 
Austria they say that the babies come from a tree that 
stands in the midst of the sea. The baby grows in a 
basket hanging on to the tree by a string.- When it is 
big enough, the string breaks and the basket swims 
through the water till it is caught. 

Then we have the stork. It is not difficult to connect 
the stork with water, since he was the messenger of the 
rain and thunder god, to whom, it is supposed, as we 
shall see later on, children used to be sacrificed. 

Now, at this point we see opened out before us that 
wide dominion of our lore associated with the goddesses 
of fertility. It is interesting, from our standpoint, to 
remember that the moon, waters, and women were all 
three connected together, and placed under the control 
of the goddess of fertility, because all three manifest 
curious natural phenomena, curiously similar. 

In Iranian tradition, Anahita, the white-clad virgin 
moon-goddess is also the goddess of the waters "which 
were above the firmament," from which all earthly water 

' Ploss, I.e., i. 12. 

* Physiologists will recognize the verisimilitude. 

270 Children and Wells. 

comes.^ The Zend-Avesta tells us that she, like Chal- 
chihuitlicue of Mexico, purified all human offspring and 
was the goddess of birth. In process of time, as we all 
know, Anahita specialized off into two goddesses, Aphro- 
dite and Athene, passing through the phases of Astarte 
and of Isis, one of whose symbols was the fish. We 
cannot do more than just glance at this world-wide cult. 

To return to our quest for facts suggesting a mystic 
link between children and water. It is obvious that if 
babies are to be had for the asking from wells, ponds, 
or rivers, then people who want them will know where 
to go in order to get them. 

In the marriage rite, the Brahmins of Kanara, in 
India, take the newly-married couple to a pond, and 
make them throw rice into the water, and catch a few 
minnows, fish being the emblem of fertility in India 
to-day just as in Assyria thousands of years ago. The 
young people let all the minnows go, save one, and with 
its scales they mark their brows.^ 

At Khan-Jahan-Ali, in Jessore, India, young married 
women who desire a family frequent the tanks, and 
assiduously feed the water-gods, who, at that place, take 
the shape of crocodiles.^ It is a custom in Esthonia for 
a newly-married wife to drop a present into the well of 
the house.* In Japan, a practice followed at a Shinto 
temple is for lovers to throw little pellets into a pond. 
If the newts at once rush out to seize the pellet, the 
omen is good, whereas if they do not do so, the omen 
is bad.^ 

In Bohemia, St. Anna takes charge of the still-born 
babies, but a father can make them live again, if he 

ipioss. I.e., i. 47. ^Crooke, I.e., p. 222. '^Q,xoo\t, I.e., p. 112. 

* Grimm, Teutonie Mythology, translated by Stallybrass, Lond. 1883, 
vol. ii., p. 497. 

^Chamberlain, B. H., "Notes on some Minor Japanese Religious Practices," 
Transaet. Anthrop. Instit., vol. xxii., p. 357. 

Children and Wells. 271 

likes, simply by cutting the head off a calf and throwing 
it over his own head over a bridge into the water, 
sacrificing to the water-god we may suppose. Then he 
must hurry home without looking back.^ 

Of other waters where babies can be obtained, and 
where sterility can be cured, we may mention^ in 
ancient Greece, the river Elatus in Arcadia and the 
Thespian well at Helicon. According to the reports of 
Sonidas and Photius, the well at Pyna also, on the 
Hymettos, in the vicinity of the temple of Aphrodite, 
possessed the property of curing sterility ; and in ancient 
Roman times there were some wells at Baiae, near 
Pompeii, resorted to by women for the same reason. 

In the mythology of India and China also, the supposed 
fertilizing power of water is met with. An Indian virgin 
goddess, as a result simply of bathing, gave birth to 
Ganesh, the elephant god ; and the mother of the Chinese 
Buddha, Fo, had a similar experience. 

In Algeria, not far from Constantine, there is a bath 
beside the well Burmal-ar-Rabba, which Jewish and 
Moorish women have used for ages in the hope of becom- 
ing mothers. 

In Servia an offering of wine and some flour baked into 
a cake is made by women to flowing water, in order to 
remove the reproach of barrenness. 

In and about Jerusalem, " childless couples will go long 
distances to bathe in certain pools, and barren women 
visit the hot springs in various districts, not, as might be 
supposed, for any medicinal properties, but because the 
jinn who causes the vapour is regarded as being capable, 
in a definite and physical sense, of giving them offspring." ^ 

^Ploss, I.e., i. 97. 

^ Ploss- Bart els, Das Weib in dcr Natitr- und Vblkerkunde, Leipzig, 1902, 
Bd. i., p. 679 et seq. 

■'' Spoer, Mrs. Hans H., "The Powers of Evil in Jerusalem," Folk-Lore, 
vol. xviii., No. i, p. 55. 

272 Children and Wells. 

In England a number of wells are credited with the 
power of curing sterility. " Child's Well," in Oxford, " by 
the holyness of the chapleynes successively serving there, 
had vertue to make women that were barren to bring 
forth children." ^ 

I do not think it is going too far to look upon "wishing- 
wells" as having been originally wells where barrenness 
could be cured. 

Another report bearing upon the association of wells and 
birth may be inserted here. Among certain tribes in 
India, on the 40th day after the birth of a boy, the 
impurity of the mother ceases, " but several rites must first 
be performed. There is the ' Kua-Jhanka ' or peeping 
into the well, which is identical with the Subhachani 
among the Hindoos." ^ 

Among the Deshasht Brahmans of Bombay, the father 
is purified after a birth in his family by jumping into a 
well with all his clothes on ; after this he is allowed to 
drop honey and butter into the child's mouth as a sign of 
initiation into the caste.^ 

We have unearthed, then, quite a number of close links 
between children and water, especially in wells. But the 
tale is not yet complete. 

Let us glance at a water-spirit, who, we may suppose, is 
fond of children, since he has so much to do with them. 
What sort of a creature is he } 

Sometimes he is a horse, at other times he is a man with 
a shaggy beard, or a siren or kelpie singing with the 
sweetness of some other world songs which lure the rapt 
listener to destruction.^ But in addition to these we often 
find him assuming forms which connect him with babies 
or children. 

^ Hope, I.e., p. 122. 

^ Risley, H. H., Tribes and Castes of Bengal, Calcutta, 1891, p. 211. 

^Crooke, I.e., p. 60. * Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., pp. 491, 492. 

Children and Wells. 273 

In some places, as we have seen, he is a crocodile or 
a fish. In others he is a frog. In others, again, he is 
a snake or a worm.^ And here, again, we come into con- 
tact with a branch of folk-lore not without bearing upon 

In many places the water-gods are small beings who 
sometimes, it would seem, look very like children. In 
Russia, e.g., the souls of wee unchristened bairns, when they 
die, soar up into the air, and you can hear them beg just 
three times for baptism. If some kind person accedes to 
this very proper request by pronouncing the appropriate 
prayers and formulae, the babies will go to heaven. If 
not, they will go into the rivers and become Russalki, that 
is river-gods like the Naiads and Nereids.^ In South 
Russia these beings are called "Mafki." 

Some tales from the old German mythology and folk- 
lore may be cited as further examples. Once upon a time 
a little girl was playing on the grass by the shore when 
she was seized by a pretty boy wearing a handsome 
peasant's belt. He wanted his head scratched, and forced 
her to do it for him. When she was busy at her task 
he quietly slipped the girdle round her without her 
noticing, and chained her, in this way, to himself. But 
she went on scratching all the same, until the boy, soothed 
by the friction, fell asleep. Then a woman came along 
and asked the little girl what she was doing. As she was 
explaining the situation to the new-comer, she slipped her- 
self out of the girdle which was binding her to the boy. 
Meantime the boy lay asleep with his lips apart, and the 
woman went up and had a good look at him. " Why ! " 
she exclaimed, "that is a nixie. Look at his fish's teeth!" 
And in a moment the nixie was gone.^ 

^Robertson-Smith, I.e., p. i68 ; Hope, I.e., p. 68 et seq.\ Grimm, I.e., 
vol. ii., p. 585. 

'Ploss, Das Kind, vol. i., p. 104 and p. 97. 
* Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 491. 

274 Children and Wells. 

At Acton, in Suffolk, " near the haunted corner, known 
as the nursery corner, is a pool called Wimbell Pond, in 
which, tradition says, an iron chest of money is concealed ; 
if any daring person venture to approach the pond, and 
throw a stone into the water, it will ring against the chest, 
and a small figure has been heard to cry, in accents of 
distress, ' That's mine ! '" ^ 

Striding across the world to New Zealand, we find 
water-babies there also, in the shape of Ponaturi, tiny 
little people dwelling in the water and coming ashore to 

The water-god, being fond of children, occasionally 
steals them. 

In Hungary, Wassermann or Wasserweib steals babies 
and leaves changelings. In Bavaria the nixies, the water- 
spirits of Germany, steal healthy children and leave horrid 
little cretins behind in their stead.^ In Brandenburg the 
nicker or nixy, a mannikin small and grey, who spends 
his time sitting in the water, steals little unbaptized 
babies whenever he can, replacing them with his own 
goitrous brood. So that you are warned against going 
near the water with little children in Brandenburg,* just 
as you must be careful in the same way near the Tees of 
Peg Powler. 

In Silesia, Spillaholla takes the lazy children away with 
her into the wells when they die, in order to bring them 
again to other people who have not been able to get any 

The water-sprites living in a lake in Catalonia once 
carried off a girl and kept her a prisoner in the lake for 
seven years.^ And a German tale tells how another girl 
once passed fifteen years in the sea-wife's house and never 

^Hope, I.e., p. 163. 2 jjeggar, l^., p. 97. 

^PIoss, Das Kind, vol. i., p. 112. ■* Ploss, I.e., vol. i., p. 115. 

* Ploss, I.e., vol. i., p. 96. ^ Grimm, I.e., vol, ii., p. 597. 

Children and Wells. 275 

saw the sun the whole of the time. But at last her 
brother went down for her and managed to bring her 
safely back to the upper world. For seven long years the 
sea-wife awaited the return of the girl, and at last, when 
the time passed and she never appeared, the sea-wife 
got into a rage, and, seizing her staff, lashed the water 
until it splashed up high, and cried, " Had I trowed thou 
wert so false, I'd have nicked thy thievish neck."^ 

Among the Lithuanians and Prussians there was an old 
fable of a personage known as Laiinie, who used to steal 
babies.^ This Laume had a thunderbolt for her breast 
and a rainbow for her girdle, so she is, without doubt, 
another personification of the rain and thunder deity. 
The same deity is known as Holla in some parts of 
Germany. She also takes a lively interest in children. 
In North Germany the peasants say that the water-sprites 
steal their children. And in Oldenburg the Schinonie, 
who lives in holes and caverns, steals unbaptized children, 
and leaves behind a little being known as Wasser- 

In some German fairy tales, children who fall into wells 
come under the power of the water-nixie.* 

Going one stage further in our enquiry, if the water- 
gods are supposed to be partial to little children, we 
ought to be able to find instances of child-sacrifice to 
wells and rivers.^ Now, although the dreadful crime of 
killing or forsaking new-born children has been a world- 
wide practice in ages past and is not abolished yet, and 
although we do come across cases where such children 
were destroyed by drowning, still I have only been able to 
find comparatively few examples of the deliberate sacrifice 
of children to water. A number of highly suggestive 

'Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 494. - Ploss, I.e., Bd. i., p. 113. 

^ Ploss, I.e., Bd. i., p. 114. ^ Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 497. 

"See Grimm on this point. I.e., vol. ii., p. 494 ct scq. 

276 Children and Wells. 

folk-tales have been discovered, and will be narrated, 
which render highly probable the supposition that child- 
sacrifice to wells was not unknown in ancient Europe. 
But examination of the records of the folk-customs of 
modern savage tribes has not resulted in the discovery 
of many instances of this form of ritual murder. Pro- 
bably a more careful and painstaking search than I have 
been able to devote to the investigation may reveal 
many more ; and if special attention were directed to the 
subject while making enquiries among uncivilized races, 
further examples might perhaps come to light. 

I have collected the following incidents and tales as 
bearing on the subject of sacrifice : 

The ancient Franks, on crossing a river, sacrificed 
women and children.^ 

The Aztecs of Mexico, whose baptismal ceremony we 
detailed at an earlier stage, on certain religious holidays, 
in accordance with a strictly observed rite, sacrificed 
infants at the breast on high mountains, or threw them 
into the lake which washes the city of Mexico, in honour 
of the god of rain.- 

In India, as everyone knows, the Hindoo women used to 
sacrifice their children to the Ganges. 

In ancient Egypt a virgin was probably thrown 
annually into the Nile, although Ebers, who discusses 
the matter, is inclined to doubt it. At all events, to this 
day, a figure made of Nile mud, and called " the Virgin," is 
thrown into the river.^ 

An old English story of a child and a well has already 
been told. Here is another one. " The village of 
Osmotherly is seven miles from Northallerton. Tradi- 
tion has it that Osmund, King of Northumbria, and his 
wife, had an only son, Oswy, heir to his kingdom. The 

^ Hope, I.e., xiii. "^ Prehistoric America, p. 293. 

2 Ebers, Egypt, vol. i. , p. 199. 

Children and Wells. 277 

'wise' being consulted at his birth, foretold the child 
would on a certain day be drowned. The mother in every- 
way endeavoured to stave off the catastrophe, and, as 
the time for the fatal event neared, she fled with the boy 
to the top of Osnaberg, or Roseberry Topping, as it is 
now called, safe, as she surmised, from any watery depths. 
Here she awaited the passing away of the fatal day. 
Having fallen asleep through fatigue, the young prince 
wandered away from her, and came across a small well. 
Seeing his face reflected in the water, he endeavoured 
to grasp it, fell in, and was drowned." ^ 

Other tales are told about several wells in England, 
in which the idea of sacrifice is clearly preserved. 

In addition to these, Grimm details a few folk-sayings 
and legends with the same substratum. 

The nixy, we are told, used to demand a cruel and 
compulsory sacrifice, of which the memory is still extant 
in popular tradition. To this day the rivers are supposed 
by the people to claim their yearly victim, just as we 
say : 

" River of Dart ! River of Dart ! 
Every year thou claimest a heart." 

This yearly victim was usually an innocent child.^ 

In Austria the villagers elect a Whitsun king, dress 

him up in green boughs, blacken his face, and pitch him 

into the brook.^ 

The following custom may be ascribed to the influence 

simply of sympathetic magic, but it nevertheless presents 

features highly suggestive of an attenuated sacrificial 


In Germany rain is obtained by the practice about to 

be described. " A little girl is completely undressed and 

led outside the town, where she is made to dig up 

^ Hope, /.c, 184. "Grimm, /.c, vol. ii., p. 494. 

* Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 595. 

278 Children and Wells. 

henbane with the little finger of her right hand, and to 
tie it to the little toe of her right foot. She is then 
solemnly conducted by the other maidens to the nearest 
river, and splashed with water." ^ 

In the following tale the idea of a sacrifice to the 
rain and thunder god is distinct. The story comes from 
Oberhesse : 

There was once upon a time a peasant who had a child 
that had been born during a thunderstorm. For this 
reason, as everybody knows too well, it was fated that 
the child should be struck by lightning. But the parents 
were unwilling to let him go. So every time a thunder- 
storm came on they hid him in the cellar until the 
skies became clear again. One day there arose the most 
frightful thunderstorm that ever had been known within 
the memory of man. The lightning flashed and the 
thunder rolled incessantly for eight days and nights, 
until at last it became evident to everybody that, if ever 
they were to see the sun again, they must let the poor 
little thunder-child meet his fate. So the parents brought 
their boy from his hiding place in the cellar, decked 
him out in white, as if he were a corpse, and led him 
out into the open courtyard. In a moment a bolt from 
heaven flashed down upon him and he was killed. From 
that moment the storm abated.- 

In bringing to a close this account of the mystic 
connection between water and children, let me mention 
one or two customs, tales, etc., which may be of some 
value as corroborating the evidence I have led. 

The Irish say that the souls of unbaptized children 
go into a great field shrouded in mist, in the midst of 
which is a well. Here they amuse themselves, sprinkling 
each other from little jugs, and pass the time away free 
from pains and penalties.^ 

1 Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 593. ^ Ploss, I.e., Bd. i., p. 10. 

^Ploss, I.e., Bd. i., p. 97. 

Children and Wells. 279 

The Japanese common people make use of a certain 
object known as Nangi, i.e. a printing-block, in a curious 
way. When a child dies the mother prints with this a 
hundred copies of the image of Jizo, who is the Sanscrit 
Kshitigarbha, it is said. At all events he is also a 
Japanese saint. Having printed the images, the mother 
drops them into a stream with an incantation. This 
saint, associated in this way with water, is also, it is 
interesting to note, the superhuman helper of those that 
are in trouble, and especially of dead children.^ 

An old Teutonic fable tells how the moon (Mani) took 
two children away from the earth just as they were 
drawing water from the well Byrgyr. These children 
are the spots you see on the moon." 

The pretty custom of well-dressing may quite easily 
and naturally be associated with the child-cult of well- 
worship. In England the ceremony is almost entirely 
performed by children and young people, and the practice 
has relatives abroad, in Germany and in Holland. In 
Germany, not far from the Meisner mountain in Hesse, 
there is a high precipice with a cavern opening under 
it, which goes by the name of the Hollow Stone. Into 
this cavern every Easter Monday the youth and maidens 
of the neighbouring villages carry nosegays, and then 
draw some cooling water. No one will venture down 
unless he has flowers with him. They also draw water 
from the spring in jugs to carry home, and throw flowers 
in as an offering.^ 

We are told that a mysterious virtue attaches to water- 
lilies among the Frisians, and Dutch boys are said to 
be extremely careful in plucking or handling them, for, 
if a boy falls with some of these flowers in his possession, 
he immediately becomes subject to fits.* 

^Chamberlain, I.e., p. 356. ^ Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 716. 

'Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 5S6. * Black, I.e., p. 12. 

2 8o Children and Wells, 

In the Middle Ages the wells we know as holy were 
frequently resorted to by people for the restoration of 

We remember the myth of Achilles being rendered 
invulnerable by his mother dipping him, while an infant, 
in the river Styx. 

Homer's heroes were mostly children of the river-gods, 
like the Tweedies of the Scottish border, who trace 
their descent from the river Tweed.^ I am scarcely bold 
enough to add the finding of Moses in the bulrushes of 
the Nile to this list. But I can safely include the 
ballad of Hugh of Lincoln, who was enticed by a Jewess, 
murdered, and thrown into a well, out of the depths of 
which, however, he was able to describe his misfortune. 

We have been able to show then that the cure of 
children's diseases at wells is but one of many links 
binding little children and water in a close and mystic 
communion. Let us recapitulate these links : 

(i) Little children are taken to wells and springs for 
the cure of disease, and in order to prevent disease. 

(2) According to the folk-beliefs of Germany and 
elsewhere, babies come from wells. 

(3) The deities of rain and water in many parts of 
the world were also the deities of fertility and birth. 

(4) .Sterility among women is often treated by 

(5) The water-spirit assumes at times the form of a 
child or a small person. 

(6) Water-spirits show their fondness for children by 
stealing them. 

(7) There is a certain amount of evidence to show that 
in some parts of the world children used to be sacrificed 
to water and wells. 

' Grimm, I.e., vol. ii., p. 588. * Hope, I.e., xiv. 

Children and Wells. 281 

Taken singly, any one of these facts would only arouse 
that slight and transient interest we experience when we 
meet with any curious circumstance, but taken together 
in a mutually supporting series, they form, in my opinion, 
insurmountable evidence that in the minds of the earlier 
inhabitants of the world a close bond subsisted between 
infants and water, particularly in wells, ponds, and rivers. 
Several German archaeologists are inclined to refer the 
folk-sayings about the origin of children from wells, 
springs, etc., to the idea that what was really meant 
was, that children came from the clouds,^ the source of 
all water. And although there are some places where 
this idea of cloudland seems predominant in the folk- 
mind, yet I am inclined to the opinion that it would be 
more correct to say that the connection was not between 
children and clouds, so much as between children and 
water generally, whether in the clouds, in the sea, in 
rivers, or in wells. 

I have, I think, conclusively demonstrated that the 
bond was not forged by the practice of baptism. And 
it only remains for me to state what I think to be the 
most natural explanation of the origin of all these beliefs 
about wells and children. 

It is true that the explanation I am about to offer 
is purely theoretical, but it has at least the merit of 

I should say that the origin of the connection between 
water and children, in early times supposed to be actual 
and physical, in later days mystic only, was two-fold, 
being based upon two natural facts, viz, : 

(i) That children in the pre-natal period do actually 
live in water ; and, 

(2) That there is a natural association between fertility 
and water, seen plainly in the vegetable world. 

^ Ploss, quoting Adolf Wuttke, I.e., vol. i., p. ii. 

282 Children and Wells. 

In order to account for the sanctity attaching to wells 
as creators and begetters of children, we may suppose, 
to take one further step into the region of probabilities, 
that if one of our forebears, his mind already tinged 
with the natural association of water and babies, lost one 
of his children by drowning in a well, it would be very 
natural for him to suppose that in that well there abode 
a Being who gave and took children as he saw fit, and 
who, therefore, must be propitiated by gifts of that which 
he loved the best. Finally, it would be easy for the 
savage to suppose, that as the spirit of life of the well 
was also the spirit of life of children, then immersion 
in a well would renew the life of ailing and weakly 

Here, at last, is the answer we set out to find. 

Dan M'Kenzie. 



{Read at Meeting, igth December, 1906.) ^ 

In offering these remarks on the subject of the Grail 
origins, I should wish to be understood as seeking, rather 
than tendering, information. The result of my researches 
into the Perceval legend has been to cause me to form 
certain opinions as to the sources of the Grail story, 
which the exigencies of space, and the character of 
the Studies as a whole, prevented me from setting forth 
fully in the published volume. At the same time these 
conclusions bore so directly on folklore researches that 
I was strongly impressed with the desirability of bringing 
them to the attention of trained folklorists, that I might 
have the advantage of their criticism and judgment in 
finally formulating my theory. Not that I can claim to 
be the first to give expression to such views. Long 
since Simrock, in his translation of the Parzival, and 
Professor Martin, in his Ziir Gralsage UntersiicJmngen 
(1880),^ arrived at very similar conclusions, but at that 
time the critical material at their disposal was scanty. 
We lacked the illuminating labours of Mannhardt and his 
disciple, Dr. J. G. Frazer. We had but one Perceval 
text, and that an extremely bad one, at our disposal, 
and in consequence the results obtained, though interest- 
ing and stimulating, were hardly convincing. 

^ See ante, p. 4. 

-Cf. also Zeitschrift fiir D. Alterthumskunde, 1878; p. 84 sqq. 

284 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

Hitherto, in criticising the Grail legend, we have been 
under the grave disadvantage of uncertainty as to the 
relative position of the extant versions of the story; we 
were not sure which of the varying forms represented 
most faithfully the original donnees of the tale. It is 
obvious that this was a serious hindrance. You cannot 
safely theorize as to the original form of a story while 
you are still in doubt as to which of certain widely 
differing versions is the older. Inasmuch as, in point 
of MS. date, the Perceval of Chretien de Troyes is the 
oldest of our Grail romances, the tendency has been to 
regard the story as told by him as the most nearly 
approaching the original, and to argue from that ; although 
the vague and unsatisfactory details there given left it 
open to conjecture whether the author were dealing with 
a tradition already formed, or with one in process of 

Now, owing to recent discoveries, the standpoint has 
been shifted back, and we know that the earliest attain- 
able Grail story is that of which not Perceval but Gawain 
was the hero, and the authorship of which is ascribed 
not to Chretien de Troyes, but to Bleheris the Welshman. 
The date at which Bleheris lived is uncertain, but his 
identity alike with the Bledhericus referred to by Giraldus 
Cambrensis, and the Breri quoted as authority for the 
Tristan of Thomas, has been frankly accepted by 
the leading French and American scholars ; so far the 
Germans have preserved silence on the subject.^ 

The passage in Giraldus is unfortunately very vague ; 
he simply refers to Bledhericus as ^ faniosiis ille fabidatorl 
and says he lived ' a little before our time,' words which 
may mean anything. Giraldus may be using the editorial 
*we,' and may mean 'a little before my time,' which, as he 

^ Cf. M. J. Bedier's edition of the Tristan, and Dr. Schofield's English 
Literature. For my notes on Bleheris, cf. Romania, xxxiii. p. 333, xxxiv. 
p. ICX). 

The GT'ail and the Rites of Adonis. 285 

was writing in the latter half of the twelfth century, might 
imply that Bledhericus lived in the earlier half But he 
may also have used the pronoun quite indefinitely ; as 
M. Ferdinand Lot, with whom I discussed the question, 
remarked, " it may mean anything from ten to a hundred 
years ; we might say that Bonaparte lived ' a little before 
our time.' " When we take into consideration the fact that 
only three direct references to Bleheris, or Blihis, as a 
source, have been preserved, while the name is more 
frequently found in the duplicated form of ^ Bleo-Bleheris, 
Blihos-Bliheris, or Bliobliheri, and generally attached to a 
knight of Arthur's court, it seems most probable that he 
lived at a period sufficiently remote to allow of the 
precise details concerning his life and work to become 
obscured, while the tradition of his close connection with 
Arthurian romance was retained. In any case this much 
is certain, and this is what principally concerns us, his 
version of the Grail story is older than that of Chretien, 
and we are justified in seeking for indications of origin 
in the story as told by him rather than in the version 
of the younger poet. 

This is the Bleheris Grail story, as given by Wauchier 
de Denain, in his continuation of the Perceval? 

Arthur, at the conclusion of his successful expedi- 
tion against Chastel Orguellous, has given the queen 
rendez-vous at certain cross roads, marked by four pine 
trees. Here the court awaits him. One evening the 
queen is playing chess at the entrance of her pavilion 
when a stranger knight rides past, and fails to offer any 
salutation. Indignant at the apparent discourtesy, the 
queen sends Kay after him to command his return. 
Kay, as is his wont, carries out his commission in so 
ungracious and insulting a manner that he is overthrown 

iB.N. 1453, fo. 113; 'Elucidation'; B.M. Add. lb. 614, fo. 138, etc. 
'^A translation of this, the Diu CrSne, and Prose Lancelot versions will 
be found in No. vi. of Arthurian Roinances, Nutt. 

286 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

for his pains, and returns to court with an exaggerated 
account of the knight's bearing and language. Gawain 
is then dispatched on the same errand, and, overtaking the 
stranger, courteously invites his return, but is told that 
he rides on a quest that will brook no delay, and which 
none but he may achieve ; nevertheless, he thinks it 
possible that Gawain, whose identity he has learned, 
might succeed. On his return he will gladly pay his 
respects to the queen. 

Gawain, however, by soft words, persuades him to 
return, pledging his honour that he shall in no wise 
suffer by the delay. They turn back, but scarcely have 
they reached the tents when the knight, with a loud 
cry, falls forward, wounded to death by a javelin cast 
by an unseen hand. With his dying breath he bids 
Gawain don his armour, and mount his steed, which 
shall carry him to the destined goal. Gawain, furious 
at the slur cast on his honour by this breach of his 
safe-conduct, does as requested, and, leaving the dead 
body to the care of the queen, departs at once. 

Through the night he rides, and all the next day, 
till he has passed the borders of Arthur's land, and at 
nightfall, wearied out, he finds himself in a waste land 
by the se^j^ahore. A causeway, bordered on either side 
by trees, their roots in the water, runs out from the land, 
and at the further end Gawain sees a light, as of a fire. 
The road is so dark, and the night so stormy, he would 
fain delay till morning, but the steed, taking the bit 
in its teeth, dashes down the pathway, and eventually 
he reaches the entrance to a lighted hall. Here he is 
at first received as one long-expected, but, having 
unhelmed, is seen to be a stranger, and left alone. In 
the centre of the hall stands a bier, on which lies a 
body, covered with a rich pall of crimson silk, a broken 
sword on the breast, and four censers at the four corners 
of the bier. A procession of clergy enters, headed 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 287 

by a silver cross, and followed by many folk. Vespers 
for the dead are sung amid general lamentation, and 
Gawain is again left alone. He now sees on the dafs 
a Lance, fixed in a silver socket, from which a stream 
of blood flows continuously into a golden cup, and thence, 
by a channel, is carried out of the hall. Servants prepare 
the tables for a meal, and the King of the castle, enter- 
ingj greets Gawain kindly, and seats him beside him 
on the dai's. The butlers pour wine into the cups, 
and from a doorway there issues ' the rich Graill 
which serves them ; otherwise there is ' 7ior serjant nor 
seneschal', and Gawain marvels much at the service of 
the Grail, for now 'tis here, and now there, and for fear 
and wonder he scarce dare eat. After supper the King 
leads Gawain to the bier, and, handing him the broken 
sword, bids him resolder it. This he fails to do, and 
the King, shaking his head, tells him he may not 
accomplish the quest on which he has come ; nevertheless, 
he has shewn great valour in coming thither, and he 
may ask what he will ; he shall be answered. Gawain 
asks of the Lance : 'tis the Lance of Longinus, with 
it the side of the Saviour was pierced, as he hung on 
the Cross, and it shall remain where it now is, and 
bleed, till the Day of Doom. The King will tell who 
it is who lies on the bier, of the stroke by which he 
met his death, and the destruction brought on the 
land thereby ; but as he speaks, weeping the while, 
Gawain falls asleep, and wakes to find himself upon 
the seashore, his steed fastened to a rock beside him, 
and all trace of the castle vanished. Wondering much, 
he mounts his steed, and rides through a land no longer 
waste, while all the folk he meets bless and curse him ; 
for, by asking concerning the Lance, he has brought 
about the partial restoration of fruitfulness. Had he also 
asked of the Grail, the curse would have been entirely 

288 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

Now, there are certain points in this story which 
cannot fail to strike those familiar with the Grail 
legend. Who are the two dead men of the tale, the 
knight so mysteriously slain and the Body on the 
bier ? We never learn. Nor do we ever hear the nature 
of the quest — Was it to avenge the dead knight of the 
castle ? Was it to break the spell upon the land ? 
Manessier, who about fifty years later brought the 
Perceval compilation to a final conclusion, gives, indeed, 
what purports to be a continuation of the tale, Gawain 
is here besought by the sister of the knight slain in 
his company to come to her aid against a foe, but the 
story is banale to the last degree. There are points of 
contact with other versions : the maiden's name is ' la 
sore pucele,' the name Chretien gives to the Grail King's 
niece ; her foe is King Mangons, or Amangons, the 
name of the oppressor of the maidens in the Elucidation^ 
to which we shall refer presently ; but if there be any 
original connection with the Bleheris version, that con- 
nection has become completely obscured. Manessier, 
too, makes no attempt at solving the mystery of the 
Body upon the bier : certain scholars have indeed 
identified the slain man with Goon-Desert, or Gondefer, 
the brother of Manessier's Grail King, whose death by 
treachery Perceval avenges. But this identification is 
purely arbitrary; there is no bier in Manessier, it is, in 
fact, distinctively a feature of the Gazuain version. 

The connection of the wasting of the land with the 
death of the knight, if knight he were, is also uncertain ; 
indeed this is a part of the story which appears to have 
been designedly left in obscurity — it is at this point 
that Gawain falls asleep. I am tempted to believe that 
those who told the tale were themselves at a loss here. 
Then the Grail is no Christian relic, it acts simply as 
a food-providing talisman, coming and going without 
visible agency. It is called the rich, not the holy, GraiL 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 289 

Nor does the explanation given of the Lance agree with the 
description ; the stream of blood, which pours continuously 
from the weapon, and is carried out of the hall, whither, 
we are not told, can have no connection with the carefully- 
guarded relic of the Saint Sang. In truth, we may say 
without hesitation that the whole machinery of the 
story is definitely non-Christian, and that the explanation 
of its peculiarities must be sought outside the range of 
ecclesiastical tradition. At the same time certain of 
these features are repeated in a persistent fashion, 
even in the most definitely ecclesiasticised versions ; a 
peculiarity which, I think, justifies the supposition that 
they form a part of the original Grail tradition. 

Now it has seemed to me that an explanation of 
the most characteristic features of our story may be 
found in the suggestion that they are a survival, mis- 
understood and imperfectly remembered, of a form of 
Nature worship closely allied to, if not identical with, 
the Rites of Adonis so exhaustively studied by Dr. 
Frazer in The Goldefi Bough. It will be remembered 
that the essence of these rites was the symbolic representa- 
tion of the annual processes of Nature, the sequence and 
transition of the seasons. The god, Adonis, or Tammuz, 
or whatever he was called in the land where the rites 
were celebrated, typified the vivifying principle of vegeta- 
tion ; his death was mourned as the death of vegetation 
in winter, his restoration to life was hailed as its restora- 
tion in spring. An effigy representing the dead god was 
honoured with all the rites of mourning, and subsequently 
committed to the waves. Women especially played so 
large a part in these rites that an Arabic writer of 
the tenth century refers to the festival as El-Bugat, 
' the festival of the VVeepiftg IVoniefi.' ^ 

The central motif of the Gawain Grail-story is, I 

^ Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, pp. 330-36 ; The Golden Bough — under head- 
ing ' Adonis.' Adonis, Allis, Osiris, chap. viii. 

290 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

submit, identical with the central idea of the Adonis 
rites — a death, and failure of vegetation caused by that 
death. Both here and in the version given by the 
curious German poem of Ditt Crone, where Gawain is 
again the Grail hero, we are told that the wasting of 
the land was brought about by the Dolorous Stroke. 
Thus the central figure, the Body on the bier, whose 
identity is never made clear, would in this view repre- 
sent the dead god ; the bleeding Lance, the weapon 
with which he was done to death (I think it more 
probable that the Dolorous Stroke was dealt by a 
Lance or Spear, as in the Balin and Balan story, than 
by a sword). 

If we accept this view we can, I think, explain the 
origin of that mysterious figure of the Grail legend, the 
Maimed King. The fact that this central figure was at 
the same time dead and alive must, when the real meaning 
of the incidents had become obscured, and the story, 
imperfectly remembered, was told simply as a story, 
have been a source of perplexity to the tellers. An easy 
way out of the difficulty — it was a very real difficulty — 
would be to represent the king, or god, as desperately 
wounded. That such an idea was in the minds of the 
romance writers appears, I think, from the peculiar 
version of DiA Crojte, where, when Gawain has asked 
concerning the Grail, the Maimed King and his attend- 
ants vanish at daybreak ; they were dead, but preserved 
a semblance of life till the question was put. If the 
Gawain versions really represent the older, and primary, 
group, it is possible that this particular rendering really 
preceded the Maimed King version, though in the form 
preserved it is combined with it. 

Again, in the very curious and unique Merlin MS., 
No. 337 of the French MSS. of the Bibliotheque Natiouale, 
we find that Perceval is called the son of the widow lady, 
while his father, the Maimed King, is yet alive, and it 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 291 

is explained that, being desperately wounded, and only 
to be healed when the quest is achieved, he is as good 
as dead, and his wife may be reckoned a widow. These 
two instances will suffice to shew that the transformation 
of the Body on the bier into the Maimed King on the 
litter, is neither impossible nor unnatural. The two are 
really one and the same. 

Students of the Grail cycle will hardly need to be 
reminded that the identity of the Maimed King is a 
hopeless puzzle. He may be the Fisher King, or the 
Fisher King's father, or have no connection with either, 
as in the Evalach-Mordrains story. He may have been 
wounded in battle, or accidentally, or wilfully, or by 
supernatural means, as the punishment of too close an 
approach to spiritual mysteries. A proof of the confusion 
which ultimately resulted from these conflicting versions 
is to be found in the Merlin MS. above referred to, where 
not only Perceval's father but two others are Maimed 
Kings, and all three sit at the Table of the Grail. If 
such confusion existed in the mind of the writers, no 
wonder that we, the readers, find the path of Grail 
criticism a rough and intricate one ! Probably the 
characters of the Maimed King and the Fisher King 
were originally distinct, the Maimed King representing, 
as we have suggested, the god, in whose honour the rites 
were performed ; the Fisher King, who, whether maimed 
or not, invariably acts as host, representing the Priest. 
It would be his office to preside at the ritual feast, and 
at the initiation of the neophyte, offices which would 
well fit in with the character of Host. Here, the name 
of Fisher King is not given to him, but in certain texts 
which interpolate the history of Joseph of Arimathea 
he is identified with that Monarch. It will readily 
be understood that when the idea that the god was 
alive gained possession of the minds of those who told 
the story, there would be two lords of the castle, and 

292 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

they would find some difficulty in distinguishing the 
rdle of the one from that of the other. We may note 
that in this {i.e., the Bleheris) version, in that of Wauchier 
de Denain at the conclusion of his section of the Perceval, 
in the Prose Lancelot, and in the Qticste, the Host is 
not maimed. 

Again, this proposed origin would explain the wasting 
of the land, the mysterious Curse of Logres, which is 
referred to alike in earlier and later versions, and of 
which no explanation is ever given. As we saw above, 
the essence of the Rites was the symbolic representa- 
tion of the processes of Nature. The festival of the 
death and revival of the god took place at the Spring 
solstice ; it was an objective parable, finding its interpreta- 
tion in the awakening of Nature from her winter sleep. 
Here the wasting of the land is in some mysterious 
manner connected with the death or wounding of the 
central figure ; the successful accomplishment of the Grail 
quest brings about either the restoration of the land to 
fruitfulness, or the healing of the King (Chretien and 
Wolfram, for example, have no Wasted Land). Thus 
the object of the Quest would appear to be one with 
that of the Adonis-ritual. 

This wasting of the land is found in three Gaivain 
Grail-stories, that by Bleheris, the version of Chastel Mer- 
veilleiis, and Diu Crone ; it is found in one Perceval text, 
the Gerbert continuation. Thus, briefly, the object of the 
Rites is the restoration of Vegetation, connected with the 
revival of the god ; the object of the Quest is the same, 
but connected with the restoration to health of the King.^ 

I have before noted the fact that the role played by 

'^Legend of Sir Perceval, p. 141. In the Didot MS. of the prose Perceval 
we are told that as the result of the question the ' Roi Pesheor ' will not 
only be healed but restored to youth, ' reveitus en sa iuvetice.' This is 
also the result of the question in Parzival. According to Dr. Frazer, it 
was an essential part of this Nature-cult that the god should be not merely 
living, but young. 

The G7'ail and the Rites of Adonis. 293 

women in these rites was of such importance that 
eventually it gave a name to the Festival. In the 
Notes to my translation of three visits paid by Gawain 
to the Grail Castle, I remarked on the persistent recurrence 
in these stories of a weeping maiden or maidens, the 
cause of whose grief is never made clear. In Dkl Crone, 
where, as we have seen, the Maimed King and his 
court have but the semblance of life and are in very 
truth dead, the Grail-bearer and her companions are 
the only living beings in the castle, and their grief is, 
in a measure, comprehensible ; they desire the breaking 
of the spell which binds them to this uncanny company. 
In what, in the Perceval Studies, I have designated as 
the Chastel Merveilleiis version, a version midway 
between that of Bleheris and of Chretien, there is but 
one weeping maiden, the Grail-bearer. In the curious 
interpolation of the Heralds' College MS., when the 
broken sword is restored to the Fisher King, he mentions 
among the results of the successful achievement of the 
quest, that the hero shall know why the maiden weeps. 
I doubt very much whether the writer of the lines him- 
self knew the reason ! In the visit paid by Bohort to 
castle Corbenic, it is Elaine, daughter of King Pelles, 
who weeps, because, being no longer a maiden, she may 
no longer be Grail-bearer. As she is about to become 
the mother of the Grail winner, and knows to what 
honour her son is predestined, the explanation is not 
convincing ; but there had to be a weeping maiden in 
the story. The most curious instance of the persistence 
of this part of the original tradition is to be found in 
Gawain's visit to Corbenic, in the prose Lancelot, where 
he sees not one, but twelve maidens kneeling at the 
closed door of the Grail chamber, weeping bitterly, and 
praying to be delivered from their torment. But the 
dwellers in Castle Corbenic, so far from being in torment, 
have all that heart can desire, and, moreover, the honour 

294 '^^^ Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

of being guardians of the (here) sacred and most Christian 
relic, the Holy Grail.^ 

Now, in the light of the parallels already cited, is it 
not at least possible that these weeping maidens, who 
wail so mysteriously through the Grail story, are a 
survival of, and witness to, the original source of that 
story, that they are the mourning women of the Adonis 
ritual, the ' Women weeping for Tammuz ' ? 

This interpretation would also explain the constant 
stress laid upon the general mourning, even when the 
reason for this mourning appears inadequate, as e.g. in 
the Parzival. Here we are told that the appearance of 
the bleeding Lance is the signal for such lamentation that 
" The folk of thirty kingdoms could scarce have bonoaned 
them more]^ Bk. v. 1. 130. Here certainly the Lance is 
that with which the king has been wounded, but the folk 
of the castle are in no way affected, there is no wasting 
of the land. 

Again, in Peredur, at the appearance of the Lance all 
fell to wailing and lamentation, but here there seems to 
be no connection between the Lance and the wound of 
the king, which latter is the work of the sorceresses 
of Gloucester. If the original source of the story is to 
be found in the Adonis ritual, and if the mourning which 
is so marked a feature of that ritual be associated, as 
Drs. Robertson Smyth and Farnell have suggested, rather 
with the death of the god than with the consequent 
failure of vegetation,^ then we might expect to find the 
association of the mourning with the weapon which 
originally dealt the fatal blow to persist in versions which 
had dropped out the (originally) companion feature of the 
Wasted Land. 

We have thus the following important points of contact 
between the Adonis ritual and the story of the Visit to^ 

^Cf. Notes to vol. vi. of Arthurian Romances. 

2 Cf. Farnell, Ctilts of the Greek States, vol. ii. , ' Aphrodite. ' 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 295 

the Grail Castle : the wasted land ; the slain king (or 
knight) ; the mourning, with special insistence on the 
part played by women ; and the restoration of fertility ; 
while certain minor points, such as the crimson covering 
of the bier, the incense, and the presence, in certain 
versions, of doves as agents in the mysterious ceremonies 
also find their parallel in the same ritual.^ 

To put the matter briefly, the scene enacted in the 
presence of the chance visitor to the Grail Castle involved 
the chief incidents of the Adonis rites. I would submit 
that whereas the presence of an isolated feature might 
be due to chance, that of a complete and harmonious 
group, embracing at once the ceremonies and the object 
of the cult, can scarcely be so explained. 

To go a step further. Originally I entitled this paper 
' The Grail and the Mysteries of Adonis! For the word 
mysteries I have now substituted ritual, in view of the 
perfectly well-grounded objection that, in classical times,, 
the worship of Adonis was not carried on in secret. 
Nevertheless, I am disposed to believe that the word 
mysteries might, without impropriety, be used in connec- 
tion with the celebration of these rites when in later ages 
Christianity had become the faith 'in possession,' and 
the votaries of an older cult performed their rites under 
the ban of ecclesiastical disapproval. Much, of course, 
depends upon the character of the cult ; the Adonis 
worship was in its essence a ' Life ' cult, the life of the 
god ensuring the life of vegetation, and that in its turn 
the life of man ; it is obvious that such a cult might 
possess an esoteric as well as an exoteric significance. 
To the ordinary worshipper the ritual would be an object- 
lesson, setting forth the actual processes of Nature, to the 

^Cf. Frazer, Adonis., Attis, Osiris, p. 7. The image of Tammuz was 
clothed in red, and incense was burnt before it. Doves were sacrificed to 
Adonis; ib., p. 64. Doves appear both in the prose Lancelot Grail Visit 
and in Parzival. 

296 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

initiate it would be the means of imparting other, and 
less innocent, teaching as to the sources of life. 

This much is certain : the Grail is perpetually treated 
as something strange, mysterious, awe-inspiring ; its secrets 
are on no account to be rashly approached or lightly 
spoken of; he runs great danger who does so. Such 
terms could hardly be applied to the Adonis rites under 
ordinary conditions, and yet, as we have seen, the Grail 
story presents such a striking identity of incident with 
these rites that a connection between the two seems 
practically certain. We have to seek for some explanation 
which will preserve this connection while at the same 
time accounting for the presence of certain ' occult ' 
features in the tale. 

The explanation surely lies in the fact suggested above, 
that the Adonis cult was essentially a Life cult, and, as 
such, susceptible of strange developments. Dr. Frazer 
has laid stress on the close connection which, in the 
minds of primitive worshippers, subsisted between the 
varying forms of life : " They commonly believed that 
the tie between the animal and vegetable world was even 
closer than it really is — to them the principle of life and 
fertility, whether animal or vegetable, was one and indi- 
visible." ^ Dulaure, while assigning the same origin as 
does Dr. Frazer to the ritual, definitely classes the worship 
of Adonis among those cults which "assumed in process 
of time a distinctly ' carnal ' character." ^ 

The Lance and Cup which form the central features of 
the imagery of our story are also met with as ' Phallic ' 
symbols, and I am strongly of opinion that many of the 
most perplexing features^ of the legend are capable of 

^ Cf. Adonis, Attis, Osiris, p. 5. 

^Cf. Dulaure, Divinitis Generatrices, pp. 69-70. 

^ E.g., the wounding of the Grail king. Cf. Dulaure, pp. 78, 81. The 
Parzival alone attributes the wound to his indulgence in unlawful love, but 
the injury is always the same. 

The G7'ail and the Rites of Adonis. 297 

explanation on the theory that behind the ordinary simple 
'Vegetation' symbolism there lay something which justi- 
fied so learned and acute a scholar as the late Professor 
Heinzel, whose works are a veritable mine of learning and 
ingenuity, in regarding our records of the Visit to the Grail 
Castle as records of an initiation nianquee. Long since, 
in his study on the Old French Grail romances {Die 
Alt-Franzosische Gral Romanen, 1891) he suggested that 
the failure to put the question was equivalent to a refusal 
on the part of the neophyte to submit to the ordeal,^ but, 
owing probably to the form in which he cast the results of 
his researches, much of their value has been obscured. 

Let us note first, that whatever else changes in the 
story, the essential framework remains the same. Always 
the castle is found by chance ; always the hero beholds 
marvels he does not comprehend ; always he fails to 
fulfil the test which would have qualified him to receive 
the explanation of those marvels ; always he recognises 
his fault too late, when the opportunity has passed 
beyond recall ; and only after long trial is it again 
granted to him. Let us clear our minds once and for 
all from the delusion that the Grail story is primarily 
the story of a quest ; it is that secondarily. In its 
primary form it is the romance of a lost opportunity ; 
for always, and in every instance, the first visit connotes 
failure ; it is to redress that failure that the quest is 
undertaken. So essentially is this a part of the story 
that it survives even in the Galahad version ; that 
immaculate and uninteresting hero does not fail, of 
course ; but neither does he come to the Grail castle 
for the first time when he presides at the solemn and 
symbolic feast ; he was brought up there, but has left it 
before the Quest begins ; like his predecessors, Gavvain and 
Perceval, he goes forth from the castle in order to return. 

^ Prof. Heinzel's method was very confused, and references to the question 
are scattered throughout tlie long study. 


298 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

Now, let us accept for the nonce Professor Heinzel's 
suggestion, but for the word refusal substitute failure, and 
recognising that the incidents related rest upon real 
objective facts, we may, perhaps, hazard a guess at the 
cause of this failure. In the Bleheris story we have 
seen that the hero was overcome by slumber at the 
critical moment of the King's recital, and only awoke 
to find himself alone upon the seashore, all trace of 
the castle having disappeared. This is again the cause 
of failure in the Chastel Merveilleiis version. In the 
Perlesvaus three drops of blood fall from the lance on 
to the table, and Gawain, gazing upon them, falls into 
a trance, and can neither speak nor stir. In Diil Crone 
we have again the mysterious slumber, though here 
associated with the drinking of wine, the effect of which 
is to plunge Gawain's comrades, Lancelot and Calo- 
greant, into a sleep which lasts till the question has 
been put, and the marvels explained. In this version 
also, we have the blood drops ; but here, though they 
fall from the Lance, they are swallowed by the King, 
thus having no connection with the trance. 

In the Perceval version, on the contrary, the blood 
drops are connected with a trance, but not with the 
Grail ; and the hero's failure is accounted for on purely 
rational grounds, his too rigid adherence to the counsels 
of Gurnemanz.^ 

As we have seen, the Gawain versions certainly 
represent the older stage of tradition, and we may, 
therefore, fairly assume that, in the original form of the 
story, the failure to ask the necessary question was 
due to a mysterious slumber which overtook the hero 

^ In the prose Perceval, however, there is a hint of the earher form, as 
fatigue also plays a part in the hero's failure to ask the necessary question ; 
— 'e li sire le metoit en mainltes manieres de paroles por 50U qu'il I'en 
demandast, mais il n'en fist riens, car il estoit anoies des II nuis devant 
qu'il avoit vellie, que por un poi qu'il ne chaoit sor la table.' Modena MS., 
fol. 59. 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 299 

at the crucial point of his test. But what caused this 
slumber? Is it too bold a suggestion that the blood 
drops, which are often so closely associated with the 
Grail, and are always found in connection with a trance, 
were the operating cause ? that, in fact, they were 
employed to induce an hypnotic slumber on the part 
of the aspirant ? We know that in Mesmerism and 
kindred practices, the first step is to seize and fix the 
attention of the subject — I believe a glittering disc, or 
some such object, is often employed — in any case it 
is through the eye that the desired effect is produced 
upon the brain. In the case of Gawain, and of Perceval 
alike, we are told that it is the startling contrast of 
colour — the crimson blood on the white cloth, or snow — 
that fetters their attention. It is of course possible that 
the slumber was merely a literary device for windino- 
up the story, but the introduction of the feature of 
restored vegetation shows that the tale was moulded 
by some one who understood its real significance ; and 
slumber hypnotically induced would be a very natural 
method of getting rid of an intruder who had stumbled 
upon rites not intended for general knowledge, and had 
failed to qualify for admission to their secrets. This 
much is certain, if the Grail stories have their root in 
the ritual of Adonis, we are dealing with a set of 
concrete facts, which must originally have admitted of 
a rational explanation. I would submit that if the 
slumber be really a part of the original tale, and there is 
every reason to believe that it is, then it must be capable 
of a rational explanation, and I can, in no other way, 
account for its constant recurrence, or for its connection 
with the blood drops, save on the hypothesis that one of 
the trials to which the neophyte was exposed, and to 
which apparently he frequently succumbed, was the test 
of hypnotic suggestion. 

But how shall we explain the Grail itself.? Would 

300 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

it not be the vessel of the common quasi-sacramental 
feast always connected with these rites ? It is 
interesting that the MS. which gives us the best 
Bleheris text also, in the same section of the work, 
offers us the only other instance I know of the use of 
the word Grail. When Gawain enters the castle of 
Brandelis, he finds a feast prepared, and boars' heads 
upon Grails of silver. The other MSS. have here sub- 
stituted for Grail the word Tailleor. It is thus 
practically certain that the writer of these tales, when 
he used the word Grail, meant a Dish, and not a Cup. 
The magical features, the automatic service, the feeding 
of the guests with all kinds of meat, were probably 
later additions, borrowed by the story-tellers from the 
numerous food-providing talismans of folk lore. For 
we must ask ourselves how was the story told, from the 
inside or from the outside } That is, was it intended 
to be a method of preserving, and handing on, the 
tradition of these rites ; or was it simply a story 
composed round this ritual as a centre } The first 
hypothesis would appear to involve the admission that 
the minstrels were the conscious guardians and trans- 
mitters of an occult tradition ; a view which, in face of 
the close connection now proved to exist between the 
minstrel guilds and the monasteries, I do not feel 
able to accept. Also, we should then expect to find 
one clear and consistent version ; and I suspect that 
that version would have been less susceptible of 
Christianisation. But if the tale were told from the 
outside, if it were a story based upon, quite possibly, 
the genuine experience of one who assisted by chance 
at the celebration of these rites, ignorant of their nature 
and meaning, we can understand how it would take 
and keep this particular form. One admitted to the 
full participation in this ritual might not talk about 
it, where one possessed of but a partial and outside 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 301 

knowledge would be free to speak. And as the story 
passed from one to the other, is it not probable that 
while the initiated might venture to add or correct a 
feature, the uninitiated would introduce details which 
appeared to him suitable, but which were really foreign 
to the original trend of the tale ? How, except on 
the hypothesis of some such origin, explain the persistent 
adherence to the framework of the story, or the hints 
as to the mysterious nature of the talisman, and the 
penalties to be incurred if its secrets are revealed ? 
Do not let us forget that it is precisely in this, the 
earliest form of the tale, and in the confused version 
of the same offered by the Elucidation, that the secret 
character of the Grail is insisted upon. On any other 
hypothesis, what is this secret ? 

And now that I have had occasion to mention the 
Elucidation, I would ask, does not this theory of the 
Grail origins provide us, at last, with a possible solution 
of that most perplexing text ? As is known to students 
of the subject, the Elucidation purports to be an intro- 
duction to the Grail story, and is found in three texts, 
the Mons MS. of the Perceval, the Middle German trans- 
lation of the continuation to that poem, and the (1530) 
printed edition of the work. It is extremely confused, 
and its connection with the other Grail texts has till 
recently been a complete puzzle. It starts with a 
warning from Master Blihis against revealing the secrets 
of the Grail. It then relates how at one time there 
were maidens dwelling in the hills, or wells, (the original 
word, puys, might be translated either way ; I prefer 
the rendering of the German text, hills), who would 
offer food and drink to the passer by ; but when King 
Amangons offered force to one, and took away her 
golden cup, they left the country ; and, the writer goes 
on, "the court of the Fisher King could no longer be 
found." Nevertheless, Gawain found it ; and we then 

302 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

have a summary of the Bleheris visit, given in terms 
often verbally identical with the text of Wauchier de 

Some time ago, in the course of my Perceval studies, 
I came to the conclusion that the text at the root of 
the Elucidation was another, and apparently later, form 
of that used by Wauchier, and that in our English 
Gawain poems we had fragments of the same collection. 
Nov/, it appears to me, that we can suggest even a 
closer link. What if this text be really what it purports 
to be, the introduction to all the Grail stories ? If it 
be the record of an insult^ offered by a local chieftain 
to a priestess of these rites, in consequence of which 
they were no longer openly celebrated in that land, 
and, as the writer puts it, "the court of the Fisher 
King (the Priest of this ritual) could no longer be 
found?" Would not that be the logical introduction 
to the tale of one who found, and knew not what he 
found ? It may be that after all the Elucidation is not 
so badly named ! 

So far as the Christian aspect of the story is concerned, 
it is now beyond doubt that a legend, similar in all 
respects to that of the Grail, was widely current at a 
date long anterior to any of our extant Grail texts. 
The story, with Nicodemus instead of Joseph as prota- 
gonist, is told of two of the most famous of Continental 
relics, the Saint Sang of Fescamp and the Volto Santo 
of Lucca. The most complete MSS. of the Perceval 
refer, as authority, to a book written at Fescamp. Who 
was the first to utilise the pseudo-Gospels as material 
for the history of mediaeval relics we cannot say, but, 
given the trend of popular thought, it was practically 
inevitable that if the Grail were to receive the Christian 
pedigree which in the natural process of development in 

^ If there be really Phallic symbolism in the tale, the wording of the affront 
is suggestive. 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 303 

a mediaeval atmosphere, given to edification, it was bound 
to receive, it was almost inevitable that it should be 
fathered upon either Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus ; 
as a matter of fact both are called into the service of 
the romancers.^ 

Given these facts, on the one hand an exceedingly 
popular story, having for its central point of interest a 
vessel round which there hovered an atmosphere of 
mystery and dread — none dare speak of the secrets of 
the Grail, — and connected in some unexplained manner 
with drops of blood and a bleeding lance : on the 
other hand, an equally popular legend connected with 
the Passion of Christ, and relics of that Passion ; and 
does it not become easy to understand how on the 
common ground of the vessel of the ritual feast the two 
might meet, and eventually coalesce ; the vessel of the 
Nature-worship being first connected with the Passion 
and finally identified with the chalice of the Eucharist. 
If I be correct in my suggestion as to the hidden meaning 
of this ritual, and that it was in truth a Life-cult, the 
Grail quest would be the quest for life ; the Grail itself, 
under all its varying forms, the vessel in which the food 
necessary for life was presented to the worshippers. 

I would earnestly ask all students of this fascinating 
subject to consider seriously whether the theory here 
sketched may not be found capable of providing that 
link between the conflicting versions which all previous 
hypotheses have failed to supply ? On the theory of a 
purely Christian origin, how can we account for the 
obviously folk lore features of our tale } How could the 
vessel of the Christian Eucharist have become the self- 
acting, food-providing talisman, known not only to Bleheris, 
but also to the author of the Queste ? How could Kiot, 
(the author of the lost French poem adapted by Wolfram 

^ For summaries of these legends, cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, chap. v. 

304 The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 

von Eschenbach), have dared to turn it into a mere magical 
stone, a Baetylus ? For if there be one thing certain, it 
is that the Grail had been Christianised before the day 
of Chretien and Kiot. If, on the other hand, the vessel 
were a mere food-providing Pagan talisman, how, and 
why, did it become so suddenly Christianised ? what was 
there about it, more than about the countless similar 
talismans, that would suggest such a development ? But 
if the Grail were from the first connected with a form of 
religious worship, from the first surrounded with a halo 
of awe and reverence, we can understand that it would 
lend itself with admirable readiness to the process of 
Christianisation. Even as we can understand how Kiot, 
who was certainly a man of unusual learning, while he 
might shrink from Paganising a fundamentally Christian 
relic, would have no scruple in substituting the object of 
one mysterious Pagan cult for that of another, and in 
replacing the vessel of the Adonis Rites by a Baetylus. 
One who knew so much may well have known what was 
the real character of the Grail. It seems to me that on 
this theory, and on this theory alone, can we account 
logically and harmoniously, alike for the development 
and the diversities of the Grail romances. 

It is scarcely necessary to remind members of this 
Society that, in the interesting series of papers on the 
European Sky-God, contributed by Mr. Cook to the 
pages of Folk-Lore, certain stories connected alike with 
Cuchullin and Gawain, are claimed as dependent on, 
and to be explained by, precisely the set of customs 
and beliefs with which I am here dealing. If the Green 
Knight be a survival of the Vegetation god, why not 
the Maimed King? I do not know how far Mr. Cook's 
theories have met with the approval of folk-lore experts, 
but it does seem to me that when two enquirers, 
starting from different points, and travelling by different 
roads, reach precisely the same goal, there is at least an 

The Grail and the Rites of Adonis. 305 

initial probability that that goal was once, very long 
ago, no doubt, the starting point of those diverging 

Jessie L. Weston. 

Postscript. — I would here make certain suggestions which 
may meet objections raised in the discussion which fol- 
lowed the reading of this paper. A point advanced alike 
by Mr. Nutt and Mr. Cook was that if the hypothesis of 
such an origin be granted, the connection of Gawain with 
this particular group of beliefs and practices can hardly 
be accidental. My own view is that the tale, based on 
actual and imperfectly-understood experiences, was cast 
into story-form by a bard who knew what the incidents 
connoted, and that the connection of Gawain with the 
tale is due to one who knew the real character of the 
material with which he was dealing-. 



To deal seriatim with Dr. Howitt's defence of his 
position would, I fear, not make for enlightenment, at 
any rate so far as the casual reader is concerned. I 
continue the controversy, it is true, more in the hope of 
eliciting further facts from Dr. Howitt than for any other 
reason. I have already elicited from him (i) an admission 
that he has been guilty of a fundamental error in his 
account oi pirraiirti in N.T.S.E.A. d^nd (2) the admission 
that the Kurnai terms maian and bra are not, as he has 
hitherto implied, strictly analogous to noa. 

To reply in full to Dr. Howitt, and in particular to 
clear up all the errors into which he has fallen regarding 
my meaning, would be impossible. I can only ask him 
to read my remarks in the light of my definitions, not 
of his own. As I shall show below, his ov/n terminology 
is extraordinarily lax, and to this is due such small 
confusions as I have fallen into. 

It will be convenient to take in order the various 
points raised by Dr. Howitt's paper and to deal in 
succession with (i) questions of terminology, and in con- 
nection with it (2) Dr. Howitt's theory of social 
evolution, then (3) the origin of marital terms and the 
meaning of (4) maian-bra and (5) kaiidri, and (6) the 
area in which the pirraiirii custom is found. I will then 
deal briefly with one or two subsidiary points. 

Dr. Howitt gives the following summary of limitations 

Australian Marriage Customs. 307 

of marriage on p. 282 of N.T.S.E.A. At the outset 
there was (i) the undivided commune, where any male 
could marry any female; this I call "absolute promiscuity." 
(ii) Then came the segmentation of the tribe into two 
exogamous moieties, and a man is restricted in his choice 
of a wife to half the women of the tribe. In practice 
we find these tribes have regulations which make their 
marriage customs identical with (iii) the four-class tribes 
which limit a man's choice to one-fourth of the women 
of a tribe ; (iv) the cross-cousin marriages of these tribes 
are forbidden by the Dieri, whose rule is identical with 
that of the eight-class tribes, and limits a man's choice 
to one-eighth of the women of a tribe. 

These three systems I term " limited " or " modified 
promiscuity," and I term the kinship circle into which a 
man may marry the " «c«-group." 

(v) The Dieri and a few other tribes have, side by side 
with the individual marriage common to all the Australian 
tribes, a system which provides accessory spouses for 
married persons or gives unmarried men certain rights 
over women who are not their individual wives. This is 
known as pirrmiru, and I term the circle which enters 
into this relation by the name of the "///'ra?/r//-group," 
or " circle," though it is, in fact, merely a fluctuating set 
of legal paramours ; at most, kandri-m3ide pirraitriL seems 
to be permanent. 

In order to make things quite clear I take a typical 
four-class tribe; not the Dieri, as both their kami- 
relation and other modifications (legal fictions for facili- 
tating illegal marriages) complicate matters. In such a 
tribe one-fourth of the women are noa {i.e. potential 
wives) or marriageable to a given man. In the accom- 
panying diagram the women of such a tribe are shown 
divided into the four classes : a male of class 4 (in a 
matrilineal tribe) has the women of class i as " father's 
sisters," of 2 as mother's sisters, of 3 as jwa (potential 


Australian Marriage Customs. 

wives), of 4 as sisters. If such a tribe were to practise 
pirrauru a certain number of noa women (who here 
number 36) become accessory spouses to the man ; we 
may take their number at 8, and show the pirrauru 
circle by shading the squares indicating the women in 
question. Finally he has his individual wife, shown here 
by a black square. 

Moiety A. 

Moiety B. 






















36 small squares =?ioa group. 
8 shaded squares =/z>>'<T?<:r?< group, 
black square = individual spouse. 

I lay special stress upon the fact that the ttoa group 
is wider than the pirrmtrti group, and that all noa women 
do not in fact become the pirrauru of any single man, 
nor all noa men the pirrauru of any individual woman. 
I now turn to Dr. Howitt's paper. 

The first point to which I wish to call attention is 
Dr. Howitt's failure to formulate a consistent theory. 
On p. 171 he asserts that Avhat I call "modified pro- 
miscuity" must have preceded the creation of the noa 
group, that is to say that there was no stage intermediate 
between absolute promiscuity and the pirrauru marriage 

Atistralian Marriage Cttstoms. 309 

of the present day. On p, 174, and again at the top of 
p. 177, without perceiving that he is contradicting his 
previous statement, he asserts that " the application of 
the term ngaperi to the other brothers who have not 
become pirraiirti " {i.e. to all the men of the noa group) 
appears to be a vestigiary survival of what was once a 
fact. That is to say that between the "absolute pro- 
miscuity of the undivided commune" and the pirrauru 
marriage of the present day there was a stage, in which 
all the men of one «^«-group were de jure husbands of 
all the women of another; and this view he emphasises 
on p. 181, where he asserts that the ka?idri ceremony is 
a restriction of the range of license within the 110a group 
and creates the pirrmini group, while the noa relationship 
is itself a restriction on a former wider range of licence 
{i.e. absolute promiscuity). In order to make Dr. Howitt's 
error quite clear, I now quote from p. 172 (cf the passage 
at the bottom of p. 177, contradicting that at the top) 
a sentence in which he affirms the view stated in the 
first of these three passages : " I consider the noa 
relationship as having restricted the range of an earlier 
and wider license to the present limits of the pirrauru 

On p. 174, on p. 176 and on p. 183, Dr. Howitt charges 
me with not understanding the facts of 710a and pirrauru. 
If this were in fact so, I should have ample justification 
in the confusions just quoted ; but in fact the three 
passages from my remarks on those pages are absolutely 
accurate, and would have been clear to Dr. Howitt, even 
if he did not agree with them, had he read them in the 
light of my definitions and not tried to take my termin- 
ology in a sense of his own. 

On p. 171 Dr. Howitt remarks, "Throughout my paper 
I spoke of pirrauru as group-marriage." As a matter 
of fact Dr. Howitt uses both group-marriage and 
pirrauru in two different senses, sometimes enlarging the 

310 Australian Marriage Customs. 

pirrauru circle and making it equivalent to the noa 
group, sometimes narrowing the noa to make it coincide 
with the pirrauru group (see Fig. i). In Folk-Lore, xvii., 
p. 104, Dr. Howitt says that the tribes whose kinship 
terms he has just quoted had pirrauru, marriage; among 
the tribes in question is the Arunta, and the term which 
Dr. Howitt mentions as in use among them is the word 
unawa { — noa). Now, as my diagram shows and as Dr. 
Howitt cannot but admit when he is challenged, the noa 
group is not as a rule co-extensive with any one pirrauru 
group, though it includes it; pirrauru is therefore used in 
this passage in the sense of «(?«-group-marriage. When, 
therefore, Dr. Howitt speaks of pirrauru, we are uncertain 
whether he means the extant Dieri custom or the 
conjectured institution which he asserts on p. 181 to 
have been restricted by the kandri ceremony. 

Conversely, Dr. Howitt speaks of pirrauru as group- 
marriage (xvii. 185, xviii. 171, 185, etc.), and at the same 
time asserts the former existence of another kind of 
group-marriage among the Kurnai, whose terms viaian- 
bra, as I shall show below, correspond not to pirrauru, 
but to noa, in all essentials, Dr. Howitt's affirmation 
notwithstanding. There are therefore not only two kinds 
of pirrauru, but also two kinds of group-marriage, and 
Dr. Howitt leaves his readers to guess which he means 
in any particular passage. If he is misunderstood, his 
blood is on his own head. 

(3) I now pass on to the third point of those mentioned 
above — the origin of the marital terms. Dr. Howitt 
asserts (p. 170) that "the (group) terms, husband and 
wife, father and mother, son and brother, all arise out of 
the pirrauru family." If by this Dr. Howitt means 
pirrauru in its only proper sense, that in which it is 
used by the Dieri, this statement is unfortunately 
absolutely misleading. Dr. Howitt has shown nothing 
of the sort and can show nothing of the sort, for the 

Australian Marriage Customs. 311 

simple reason that, as my diagram shows, the noa group 
is not co-extensive with any one pirraurii group, but 
more extensive, whereas use of the kinship terms men- 
tioned by Dr. Howitt is limited by the noa group and 
not by the pirvanrit. group. A boy, for example, in the 
Dieri tribe applies the term ngaperi to the primary 
husband of his mother (x Y in diagram ^), whether he is 
actually his progenitor or not, and ngaperi-waka to all 
his father's tribal brothers (NOAG), whether they are his 
mother's pirraiirii (pirn) or not. Dr. Howitt in fact 
admits as much on p. 174, line 21 ; yet he argues all 
through as if the pirratirit group were the limit of these 
kinship terms. Dr. Howitt's argument on p. 179 about 
the "group-mother" is vitiated by precisely the same 
error ; no one who reads the passage would gather that 
a boy applies the term which we translate by the word 
mother, not only to his actual mother and to all the 
pirraurii spouses of his father, but also to all the women 
of his father's noa group, even to babies in arms ; yet such 
is the case, though Dr. Howitt's argument is thereby 
reduced to an absurdity. Put in bald terms it comes to 
this : that the twenty-seven women of the noa group who 
are not pirraurii to a given boy's father are addressed 
by that boy as mothers, because eight or nine otiier 
women have relations with his father. Comment is 

In connection with marital terms, I must once more 
refer to my point as to ngaperi and mungan (xvii. 303). 
I charged Dr. Howitt with being guilty of a grave 
confusion in asserting that to the ngaperi-zvaka (Dieri) 
who is also pirraiiru, is analogous in position the 
breppa-mungan (Kurnai). But little of Dr. Howitt's 
reply has any bearing on my contention, and what little 
does bear on it leaves my position absolutely untouched. 

' For the text here llie «<?a-group must be taken as composed of males, 
the wife belonging to class 4. 

312 Australian Marriage Customs. 

As I stated, the iigaperi is the primary husband of the 
woman, but not necessarily the progenitor of the boy 
who applies to him the term ngaperi ; ngaperi-waka is 
applied by a boy to all the men who are noa to his 
mother ; some of them are, some are not pirraurii to 
her, but all are equally ngaperi-waka to him ; if one of 
the pirrauru is his father, this man is ngaperi-waka 
{little father) just as much as a man who never has 
relations with his mother. It is therefore absolutely 
clear that these two terms, ngaperi and ngaperi-waka, 
refer to status in the tribe and in the family and not 
to paternity, for, as anyone can see, the distinction 
between " father " and " little father " takes no account 
of paternity. 

The Kurnai terms niimgan and breppa-mtmgan are, so 
far as we know, used just as the Dieri terms just discussed; 
and if Dr. Howitt had asserted no more, there would have 
been nothing to criticise in his remarks. What he actually 
asserted, however, was that the breppa-mungan { — ngaperi- 
waka) of the Kurnai corresponds to the pirranru spouse 
of the Dieri. In reply to this it is sufficient to say that 
all ngaperi-waka are not pirrauru, as they should be if 
Dr. Howitt's assertion were not entirely misleading. 

Dr. Howitt has, in fact, no reply to make to my charge 
that he is guilty of a grave confusion in his statement 
of the case. His case depends on the assumption that 
the breppa-ninugan of the Kurnai is the pirrajcru husband 
of the Dieri, only in the former case the actual rights 
are obsolete. But the Kurnai have no institution and no 
terms corresponding to pirrauru ; their terms actually 
correspond, as I show below, save only that they are 
post-matrimonial, to noa. 

In connection with marital terms. Dr. Howitt makes 
an important concession (p. 179) in reply to my criticism 
on one point. He admits that the term used by the 
Arunta to denote the husband of a boy's mother does 

Australian Marriage Customs. 313 

not mean father, for them. Probably he does not perceive 
the full importance of his admission ; for it is fatal to 
his argument from marital terms of all sorts. 

It is improbable that the Arunta term had an origin 
entirely different from that of all the others enumerated 
by Dr. Howitt ; we may therefore take it that either the 
Arunta have forgotten that the term means father, or 
the other tribes have learnt that it means father while the 
Arunta have still to gain the knowledge. Now the latter 
case is clearly fatal to Dr. Howitt's contention ; in the 
former case it remains for him to show that the term 
translated father was not extended by the other tribes 
to mean persons other than the progenitor, during a period 
of nescience similar to that which Dr. Howitt now admits 
for the Arunta. 

Either way, therefore, Arunta nescience is a fatal 
stumbling block to Dr. Howitt. 

(4) I now come to the question of the Kurnai terms 
maian and bra. Dr. Howitt, for the first time, says 
that these terms are only post-matrimonial. It is unfor- 
tunate that he has not told us so before ; at most he 
has {N.T., p. 169) said that they include husband, wife, 
brother-in-law, sister-in-law, whereas he translates noa by 
potential husband or wife. This is at best a very dim 
revelation. But as Dr. Howitt {F. xvii. 177) omits the 
" potential " in speaking of the Dieri, even this means 
of getting at the facts was denied me. I never denied 
that the inaian-bra group included the husband and wife. 
If Dr. Howitt had told us the real facts I should have 
modified my sentence (xvii. 297) to read: "They do not 
imply sexual relations between the parties who apply 
these terms to each other, save in the case of the individual 
husband and wife." It is clear that this in no way 
modifies my point that maian-bra does not correspond 
to pirraiiru, which does imply sexual relations between 
others besides the individual husband and wife. 


314 Australian Marriage Customs. 

It is interesting to learn that maian-bra are post- 
matrimonial ; but that they are so in no way invalidates 
my assertion that the maian-bra group corresponds to the 
7ioa group, not to the pirraurii circle. For, as Dr. Howitt 
admits, the pirrauru group does not contain all the tribal 
brothers or sisters of a given member of it ; but the 
term maian is applied to all tribal brothers and sisters 
of the husband, the term bra to all sisters of the wife. 
Will Dr. Howitt tell us wherein they differ from the 
kinship terms which are limited by the noa group } 

I may add that Dr. Howitt's point that maian-bra is 
post-matrimonial tells against himself with equal force. 
Or does he seriously assert that pirraurii is subsequent 
to individual marriage and a necessary corollary of it ? 
If not, what is the point of saying that my contention 
as to maian-bra is wrong, because maian-bra are, like 
brother-in-law and sister-in-law among us, terms resulting 
from and acquired at individual marriage ? Not only so, 
but how can Dr. Howitt assert that maian-bra mean 
husband and wife and that they point to a period of 
group marriage, when the wife applies the same term 
maian to her husband and to his sister? Does Dr. 
Howitt maintain that the wife was originally the wife of 
her husband's sister} If not, it is clearly not conclusive 
of the prior existence of group marriage that other men 
besides the husband are called maian. 

(5) On p. 179 Dr. Howitt asserts that the kandri 
ceremony announces the betrothal of a male and female 
110a. On p. 176 he assures us that people who are made 
tippa-malku cannot be again betrothed ; yet in dealing 
with the kandri ceremony (p. 179) he asserts the very 
reverse. It is probably merely another case of loose 
terminology. However this may be, the betrothal cere- 
mony to which he invites my attention has absolutely 
no relation to the kandri as described in N.T.S.E.A., 
p. 181. There it is represented that the individual 

Australian Marriage Customs. 315 

marriage has nothing to do with the kandri ceremony, 
and Dr. Howitt repeats in his reply to me (p. 167) that 
the kandri ceremony has to do with pirraiirit. But if 
the betrothal ceremony of the Kuinmurbura, prior to 
individual marriage, is a parallel to the kandri ceremony, 
all this is erroneous. I fear Dr. Howitt has not mas- 
tered his facts. 

(6) Dr. Howitt asserts (p. 184) that I omit to mention 
the dilpa-malli relation. I did not omit it (see p. 301, 
lines 11-12), though so far there is no evidence that it 
corresponds exactly to pirrauru. All that is asserted by 
Dr. Howitt {N.T., p. 193) is that a group of men and 
women cohabit at certain times. But this is not pirrauru, 
which involves a ceremony to initiate it. Moreover, Dr. 
Howitt seems very uncertain as to the reliability of the 
information : he says, " according to my informant " — a 
formula which he does not use in speaking of the Dieri, 
though his information about them too has now turned 
out to be erroneous on a point of fundamental impor- 
tance. Not only so, but Dr. Howitt {N.T.S.E.A., p. 97) 
includes the Kurnandaburi among the Lake Eyre tribes, 
i.e. the Dieri nation. I may add that before Dr. Howitt 
argues that dilpa-malli is the equivalent of pirrauru, he 
should at least tell us what individuals constitute the 
group, whether all tribal brothers and sisters {i.e. the 
noa group) or only some of them ; and in the latter 
case how they are selected. As to the Yantruwunta, 
I understand Dr. Howitt to class them too with other 
tribes of the Dieri nation {N.T.S.E.A., pp. 90-92). 

I have, so far, barely alluded to the amazing admission 
with which Dr. Howitt opens his reply to me. Not 
once, but several times, it is asserted in his Native Tribes 
that tippa-malku precedes pirrauru. This now goes by 
the board, though Dr. Howitt does not allow us to judge 
of the quality of the evidence on which he relies. As 
the Dieri are stated to have been decadent for more 

3i6 Australian Marriage Customs. 

than thirty years and to be gathered upon the mission 
stations, I submit that we have no trustworthy evidence. 

In this connection I need hardly point out that the two 
views cited by Dr. Howitt on p. i66 are in reahty not 
inconsistent at all, unless we know that at the kandri 
ceremony to which the statement refers there were 
marriageable girls ; and this we do not know. Women 
being scarce — there do not seem to be more than ten 
of all ages in the tribe to whom a man is noa — it is 
probable that they are all betrothed and married as soon 
as they are initiated ; at any rate it lies with Dr. Howitt 
to show that his view is right. 

In any case it seems clear that the kandri ceremony 
is but rarely performed, for otherwise it would not be 
necessary for a widower to give presents to his brother 
in order that the wife of the latter may become his 
pirraurii ; in fact, this custom seems to throw doubt on 
the permanence of pirraiim altogether ; for why should 
a man who has a pirrauru, as an elderly man presumably 
has, set out in quest of fresh adventures ? 

Space fails me to discuss all the points at which Dr. 
Howitt accuses me of ignorance of the Australian facts 
or of other misunderstandings. If space permitted it 
would be easy to show that these charges are all ground- 
less ; but I can only take a few cases. On p. 171 Dr. 
Howitt takes one of my sentences, and construes the term 
"group-marriage" in his own sense, not in mine, and 
proceeds to reply on that supposition. Controversy is 
really impossible if one is not allowed to define one's 
own terminology ; as I have shown, Dr. Howitt's is too 
defective to permit me to put his terms alongside of 
my own as a means of avoiding misunderstanding. But 
I really must claim the right to use my own terms. 

Again, on p. 174, Dr. Howitt says I have not mastered 
the facts of the noa relation ; his only ground for doing 
so is because I say that the classificatory system is a 

Australian Marriage Customs. 317 

legal system. He himself admits that noa means 
" marriageable " ; it is expressive of status, not of actual 
marital relations (though it includes these) ; and that is 
what I mean by the term " legal " ; what Dr. Howitt 
thinks I meant is a mystery to me. 

Again, on p. 176, Dr. Howitt says I have not mastered 
the evidence as to pirraurtL and tippa-malhi, because I 
say that both are entered upon by individuals, etc. All I 
mean by this is that a man (so far as I can see) gets, or 
may get, his pirratint, spouses one by one, not as a group ; 
I do not assert that he has not more than one pirrauru, 
as Dr. Howitt could easily have seen by several passages 
(see p. 299, where I speak of pirrauru as a combination 
of polyandry and polygyny, an impossible remark if I 
did not recognise that there are several pirratirits to 
each individual). 

To sum up: (i) Dr. Howitt admits having made an 
error of fundamental importance in the matter of 
pirraunt ; even now we have no clear statement as to 
how many ways exist of becoming pirraunt or of 
entering into individual marriage ; so far as I can make 
out there are four of each. 

(2) Dr. Howitt denies the validity of my assertion that 
he wrongly put maian-bra on a level with pirraitrii ; I 
show that I am entirely justified in my contention. 

(3) Dr. Howitt throws over all that he has said in his 
book about kandri, and brings it into relation with 
individual marriage, unless his whole point in his present 
remarks is, as I suspect, entirely erroneous. 

(4) He speaks oi pirraurii as group-marriage, and argues 
as if the group in question were made up of all the noa ; 
he alternately asserts and denies that «c«-group-marriage 
existed, and where he asserts it he speaks of it as 
pirraiiriL. His terminology seems to be hopelessly 

(5) He will not permit me to select my terms and 

3i8 Australian Marriage Customs. 

define them as I choose ; but insists on construing them 
in the sense in which he himself uses them ; and is then 
surprised that he cannot understand me or that I seem 
to contradict myself. 

(6) He has not produced an individual term for mother, 
though he admits that individual mothers were known. 
Yet he still argues that individual marriage must have 
caused an individual term to arise. This is, " Heads I 
win, tails you lose." 

I may remark in conclusion that I did not claim for 
myself any special power of interpretation, for my criticism 
of Dr. Howitt was purely negative. But I do claim that 
I say what I mean and mean what I say, that my 
terminology is adequate, and that my conclusions are 
drawn from my premisses. 

I trust that Dr. Howitt will soon publish his corrections 
to N.T.S.E.A. At present we really do not know what 
to accept. It is strange that Dr. Howitt did not discern 
his mistake as to pirraurtt earlier, for, had he done so, 
he would surely have taken the first opportunity of putting 
things right. 

NoRTHCOTE W. Thomas. 


Marriage Customs of the Southern Gallas. 


i^Read at Meeting, i<^tk Jufie, 1907.) 

The Southern Gallas do not marry until they are full-grown 
men, say, about twenty-five years of age, but the girls are con- 
sidered marriageable at a much earlier age. Betrothal sometimes 
takes place when the parties are children, but they are not 
formally married until of mature years. It may be said that 
the young Galla never woos his bride, for he never ventures 
even to hint to a young woman that he is looking out for a 
wife. The bashful Galla maiden would resent such an intima- 
tion, and any advances on the part of a lover would be repulsed, 
the girl running away for very shame. 

Negotiations for marriage are conducted by the relatives on 
both sides. The suitor makes the application to the girl's father, 
and the father speaks to the mother. Then the uncles are 
called together, and there is a general consultation. The 
" uncles " are the father's brothers. The mother's brothers 
seem to have no position in Galla society. The consultations 
take a long time, often extending over a year, and sometimes 
it is two or even three years before a Galla swain obtains per- 
mission to claim his bride. The girl herself is not consulted 
on the subject, nor her wishes taken into consideration. If 
her relatives decide that she is to be married to the man who 
is seeking her she must submit, but if they negative the proposal 

320 Collectanea. 

the matter is quashed, however ardently the young woman may 
desire the union. 

There is one custom which is very pecuHar, showing the 
power of the paternal uncle. If the father and mother of a 
maiden desire and decide to give their daughter in marriage 
to a suitor whom they may approve, any one of the brothers 
of the father may decide against and countermand the mar- 
riage. If the young man's previous life has been marked by 
loose habits and unsatisfactory conduct, the girl's father talks 
very plainly to him about it all, and the young man acknow- 
ledges his sins, professes humility and repentance, and makes 
the father a present of a cow or a goat, as a practical expression 
of regret, and is forgiven. When permission of espousal has 
been granted, there comes a very important question for con- 
sideration, namely the price to be paid for the wife. The 
father, in harmony with African habits of bargain-making, 
generally asks a great deal more than he expects to get. He 
names the price, twenty or thirty head of cattle as the case 
may be, and the young man rejoins, "You must let me have 
her for less ; reduce the demand." When an agreement at last 
is mutually made, the matter is so far concluded. During the 
period of negotiation, the lover brings small presents to the 
maiden's father, sometimes a couple of cakes of tobacco or a 
little honey, but he never pays a visit empty-handed. After 
a time, the young man naturally wishes to hasten the final 
settlement, and says to the father : " Now take your property," 
offering the cattle as agreed upon for the dowry, "and let me 
have my wife." Galla etiquette, however, demands more delay, 
and again and again the naming of the day is deferred, but 
when at last this is to be fixed, the father calls his friends 
together to be present at the event. No provision in the way 
of feasting or refreshment is made by him, except that he brews 
a quantity of marriage wine made from a kind of wild honey 
called Tunali^ and this is freely drunk. The lover brings 
with him several of his acquaintances, but the maiden is not 
present. The father makes a speech, in which he states the 
object of the gathering, saying, " I give my daughter to this 
man, and he may now fix what day he likes for the wedding.' 

Collectanea. 321 

The young man makes another journey for the purpose of 
bringing a small present, most probably of tobacco, to the father 
of his intended bride, and then says, " Next month I shall come 
on the morning of such and such a day to claim my bride. I 
give notice, be ready ! " Should the man belong to the order of 
young men known as Rhaba, the wedding can only take place 
at night, but should he belong to the Arri or advanced order, 
the wedding is celebrated during the forenoon. When the day 
has arrived, the suitor brings the cattle which he has agreed 
to give as the price of his wife, and is accompanied by his 
father, mother, and younger sister, as well as a male friend. 
He leads the cattle to the door of the bride's father, and the 
friends with him call to him to come out and see his cattle. 
A young cow is led into the fold belonging to the girl's father, 
then a young bullock, then another young cow, then a bull. 
The father comes out, and looking at the cattle says to the 
young man, "Take from amongst them a present from me." 
The bull is chosen. 

Before leaving home for the wedding, the bridegroom arrays 
himself in a new upper garment — a kind of toga, made up 
only the day before. He also provides himself with a new 
hatchet, and with it cuts a switch with which to drive 
the cattle. Also he brings the fire-producing sticks — quite 
new ones which have never been used before for kindling a 
light — and he puts a pair of new sandals on his feet ; everything 
must be quite new, never before worn or used. The young 
man enters the dwelling-house of the bride's father, which is 
quite full of guests ; the bride, no longer able to run away or 
evade her lover's presence, is amongst them ; her mother as 
well as her father is also present. The bride sits in a position 
towards the north, looking quite overcome, and weeping. The 
bridegroom sits wherever he can find a vacant spot. Then 
begins the ceremony of tying knots in the fringe of the bride- 
groom's toga and in the fringe of the bride's garments. Each 
one present ties a knot, and these knots are never undone. 
Previously to the tying of the knots, the bride has been copiously 
besmeared with butter, and during the wedding ceremony melted 
butter is lavishly poured over her head and face until she shines 

322 Collectanea. 

like glass. In the wallet on her back there is a Sororo, or 
native woven vessel, full of milk. Each of the guests present 
goes over to the bride, the bridegroom included, and tastes the 
milk, but leaving a residue for her to carry to her new home, 
when the marriage ceremony is over. At this stage the father 
of the bride turns to the bridegroom and says, " I have some- 
thing to say to you. My daughter has never been ill-treated 
or flogged ; don't you behave ill to her. Don't refuse her 
clothing, give her that which she needs ; don't treat her harshly. 
Chastise her at your discretion." Then he says to his daughter, 
" If your husband beats you — whether justly or unjustly — submit 
to it"; after which he addresses the newly wedded pair, urging 
them to mutual forbearance and mutual kindness. At this stage, 
the bride's mother puts two or three red berries, a sweet fruit 
called by the Gallas biaia, into the fire. After a little while 
the berries burst with a loud crack, when she remarks: "The 
buna has spoken, the Jila (ceremony) is finished." The mystical 
knot having thus been tied, the wedding party leaves the hut, 
the bride's father leading the way, the bridegroom immediately 
behind him, and the bride next, the guests follow; all going 
into the cattle fold, where milk is drunk by everyone. Then 
an adjournment is made to the house of the newly-wedded pair, 
where milk is again imbibed as before. When this is over, the 
guests retire, and the newly-wedded pair are left alone in their 
home. As soon as the last visitor has departed, the husband 
leaves the hut and strikes a light with the new fire-sticks. The 
moment the friction produces fire, the man calls out : " The child 
is born ! may he remain ! " Then he makes a fire, and the first 
step is taken in Galla house-keeping : for the Galla hut is seldom 
without its fire or smouldering embers, although under an equat- 
orial sun. 

The hut into which the newly-wedded husband leads his wife 
is built by the bride's mother; it is imperative that it be con- 
structed of new materials and built on the day of the wedding. 
Galla youths and maidens bear several names, given to them 
by friends of the family; but after the marriage ceremony the 
husband selects one out of the numerous names previously 
owned by his wife, and by that one only is she ever after known 

Collectanea. 323 

no one daring to address her by any other name than the one 
chosen by her husband. 

When a Galla woman marries, she leaves her own tribe and 
enters that of her husband. Should she become incapable 
through illness of remaining with her husband, she is sent, not 
to her own relatives, but to the brothers of her husband. 

There are two tribes which are recognised by the Southern 
Gallas as the stems of the Galla race : one is called Arusi and 
the other Baretu. It is a fixed law of marriage amongst these 
Gallas that a man must be of one of these two stems, and the 
woman of the other. A man who is an Arusi must marry a woman 
of the Baretu division. Another law is that a man cannot marry 
in his own family line, however remote. The rule against con- 
sanguinity is very strict and absolutely observed, except by the 
clan Karara. The Galla wife seems to be much respected by 
her husband, and in social position is superior to the women 
of some of the tribes of East Africa. 

Polygamy is allowed, and a man may take as many wives 
as he likes, or rather, as he can afford to buy. Each wife has 
a separate dwelling, and the huts are ranged in a line, each 
door facing the east. The husband has no separate dwelling 
of his own, but lives in those of his wives. Every evening 
each wife spreads a cowhide before the door of her hut for 
her husband to rest upon. This is an invitation daily given 
by the occupant of each dwelling. When the husband pays 
his evening visit to the cattle-fold, each wife takes a staff to 
him, called a tobo, which was cut for her by her husband 
and given to her on the day of the wedding. The wife who 
reaches the husband first, hands the tobo to him and takes his 
spear from his hand. The other wives return their tobos to 
their huts. On the husband's return from a journey, however 
short, the wives bring vessels of water and some food to him 
wherever he may chance to sit down. The wife first married 
takes precedence of the others. If, after marriage, the wife is 
treated unkindly, her brother can go and bring her back to her 
family. He must not, however, enter the hut or even the settle- 
ment if the husband forbid it, but must wait until his sister 
leaves the house for the purpose of drawing water, when he 

324 Collectanea. 

seizes her and conveys her back to her father's home. A wife 
thus separated cannot be espoused to another man, neither can 
the husband claim her back, but a payment of sheep or goats 
will generally put matters straight. 

Separation between man and wife is rare amongst the Gallas, 
but a husband can inflict punishment upon his wife with impunity, 
even to death. A Galla cut the end of his wife's nose off for 
unfaithfulness, but although he thus mutilated her he did not 
divorce her; she remained his wife. 

Unmarried women are not allowed to part their hair ; this 
is a privilege accorded only to married women. Should a woman 
be divorced from her husband, her hair is again ruffled up and 
she is not allowed to part it. 

The duties devolving on Galla wives are various. They 
build the huts ; mould the pottery ; make the sororos, or 
vessels for holding milk; plait strong bags, called dadu, of 
the fibre of the baobab tree. They also weave small bags of 
the same material, tastefully variegating the woof with different 
coloured threads. They bring fuel from the bush, water from 
the river, lake, or pond, and cook and prepare the food. They 
sew the leather garments they wear, which reach from the 
shoulders nearly to the ankles, of sheep-skins and goat-skins, 
but if they wear a garment of coarse cloth called lemale, 
the husband acts as dressmaker, and sews the lengths together 
and fringes the ends. 

On the migrations of the family, the wife takes down the 
framework of the hut and takes off the skins used for covering 
it, and packs all together with the household stuff on the backs 
of the cattle, and while walking beside the baggage carries a 
small load herself. Occasionally, asses are used as beasts of 
burden instead of the cattle. On reaching the destination, the 
wife unpacks, rebuilds and puts the settlement in order on new 

Girls are under the control of the mother of the family, and 
correction is administered to them only by the mother. Husband 
and wife eat together whenever circumstances render it possible, 
which is a great advance upon the social customs of many other 
uncivilised tribes. A Galla widow cannot marry again. The 

Collectanea. 325 

eldest brother of her late husband claims her by the law of 
inheritance, and takes her away to his own village and home. 
She and all her children become his property. He enters into 
all the rights of the real husband. Before the brother can 
claim the widow he must make her an offering of tobacco, 
after which he goes to her hut, taking with him several friends 
and male relatives. When they reach the house, one of these 
relatives enters the hut, and, as he steps over the threshold, he 
stamps several times with his feet, and calls out to the deceased 
husband, "Thou hast no longer possession of this hut; I come 
to claim it all." The widow, who is sitting on a hide in the 
ground, now unties her tobacco, gives a little to each one 
present, and, after mead or milk has been drunk, the ceremony 
is over. 

It is unusual for Gallas to sell their relations, but under 
exceptional circumstances a man has sold his brother's widow 
and sometimes her female children. Galla parents inculcate 
very emphatically the virtue of chastity upon their daughters, 
and when a case of shame occurs amongst them it is deeply 
mourned over as a sad disgrace. Formerly, maidens guilty of 
a breach of purity were thrown into the Sabaki River and drowned. 

E. S. Wakefield. 

Supplementary Notes on Cat's Cradle and 

I am indebted to Dr. Haddon for permission to publish the 
following Rumanian string-tricks, which he obtained last year 
from Mr. L. Gaster. The descriptions are from Dr. Haddon's 

The generic name (represented in English by the misapplied 
word " Cat's " cradle) is given as " Etelbetel." 

1. Put one end of the loop over the head. Bring the right 
string across between the teeth. Do the same with the left 
string. Cross the strings back again. Pass the long front loop 
over the head and pull the hands apart. 

2. Hang the loop over the left thumb and index. With the 



right index pull out the string between the left thumb and 
index to form a long loop. Bring the right hand back above 
the left hand and close the left thumb and index, inclosing all 
strings. Insert the closed left thumb and index proximally in the 
right index loop, drawing the right hand away and the string runs 
out (Fig. A). 

In the diagram the left thumb and index have been separated 
again after passing for the last time through the loop. This 
facilitates the final movement. 

3. Put the loop over the left little finger and interlace the 
strings in and out through the fingers, crossing them between each 
finger and the next, but always keeping the palmar little finger 
string proximal. Loop round the thumb and return, keeping 
the string mentioned distal and its initial movement round the 
back of the index. Release the thumb, pull the slack of the loop 
from the ulnar side, and the string runs out. 

4. Pass the loop through the buttonhole and hold the ends on 
the thumbs. Catch the ulnar string of the left thumb with the 
right little finger, and moving the left little finger clear above the 
loop so made catch with it the right thumb radial string. Release 
the thumb of one hand and the little finger of the other. Extend 
and the string runs out. 

The first of these tricks is the same as that which in Folk- 
Lore for September, 1906 (vol. xvii. p. 356) I have called 
" Cutting off the head." My knowledge of that trick was derived 
when a young child from a still younger child who had seen it 
and gave me a partial description, which I supplied by the only 

Collectanea. 327 

conjecture I was capable of. My description must thus have 
been subject to grave suspicion, and it is satisfactory to have 
it confirmed from this unexpected quarter. 

When I compared this trick with that obtained by Dr. Cun- 
nington from the Yao of the Shire highlands (No. 2, Cunnington, 
in J. A. I., vol. xxxvi., Jan. -June, 1906), I had not seen Mr. 
Dudley Kidd's description of the Basutoland string-trick quoted 
by Dr. Haddon in the same number of the journal. The latter, 
as far as I understand it, seems to me to be practically the same 
as this Rumanian example. It may be noticed that there is a 
kind of elementary juggling in both which distinguishes them 
from the Yao trick, in which the effect depends entirely on the 
properties of a loop of string. 

No. 2 is another application of the Watch-Guard hitch. I 
imagine it to be a simple form of the Hand string-trick of which 
I gave two descriptions (vol. xvii., pp. 367, 368). The essential 
movements are identical, but as the Rumanian trick has no 
move corresponding to that by which both strings are passed 
round the thumb in the English trick, attention is diverted by 
closing the thumb and finger, which thus represents the ring 
fixed to a wall or immovable block. If the ring thus made by 
the fingers be considered to be a watch handle the whole person 
represents the watch ; and a somewhat ludicrous reversion of the 
trick may be made with a sufficiently long loop, thus : — Give the 
right index loop to another person to hold ; close the finger and 
thumb above both strings, and offer to free the fixed end of the loop 
which lies on the palmar aspect of the thumb and index. This 
may be done by pulling down the palmar string, stepping through 
that end of the loop and passing it up over the head. It will 
then pull clear. 

No. 3 is the same as the trick which, following Dr. Weir, 
I have called the Mouse Alternative. It is the variety credited 
to Miss Hingston in my article (vol. xvii., pp. 369, 370). 

No. 4 is an interesting variety of the Button-hole trick (p. 353). 
I should guess it to be a more primitive form than the one I 
have described. The latter is characterised by a sleight-of- 
hand — a feature which, as far as I recollect, it shares with only 
two other tricks — the well-known " Threading-the-needle " and 


28 Collectanea. 

the trick I have called the " Mended Ends." One or two others, 
perhaps, like the Basuto trick referred to above, evince an 
inclination towards legerdemain. 

It seems proper here to mention that during a tour in the low 
countries in the fall of 1905, I saw what may have represented 
a European form of another East African trick published by 
Dr. Cunnington {J. A. I., vol. xxxvi., Jan.-June, 1906 : Trick No. 
18 of the Ubwari, Lake Tanganyika). I was testing the knowledge 
of Cat's Cradle possessed by some children at Tilburg, South 
Brabant, and one of them attempted to show me a process 
which began with extending the string on the wrists, and, after a 
manoeuvre with the side string, ended by laying hold of the string 
behind one of the wrists and whipping it clear. As I did not 
know the trick and the little girl could not do it, we got no further. 
It is easy, however, to present the Ubwari trick in a simpler form 
by giving a half-turn to the radial side string and inserting both 
hands in this fresh loop, keeping the straight string still on that 
side. The string can then be freed from the back of one or 
other wrist, but not both. It might be worth looking out for 
this trick in England or on the Continent. It is of a kind that 
might be expected to have a wide distribution. 

Since my notes on Cat's Cradle appeared in Folk-Lore in 
March, 1906 (vol. xvii., p. 73), I have obtained one or two 
additional names for some of the figures. 

A young lady at Haarlem who played Cat's Cradle just as I 
learnt it (that is, without the Korean or " Scraggly " figures),^ called 
the first position " de Brug," or the bridge, and '' Fishin-the- 
Dish," " Het Varken op de Leer," or the pig on the ladder, i.e. 
the pig hung up in the butcher's shop. ^ 

^ I afterwards got the " Scraggly " figure from a Rotterdam man employed 
at a hotel at Medemblik in North Holland. 

-I have seen the "ladder "in question in butchers' shops at Clifton, viz. 
two parallel rails about eighteen inches apart, united by straight rungs at 
intervals ; but on enquiry I cannot find the name " ladder " applied to it. One 
butcher at Cambridge whom I interrogated had heard it, but considered it 
strange and thought the speaker might be a foreigner. Other Cambridge 
butchers gave the name " rail " to the rectangular system of three or four rods, 
generally duplicated, which run round the ceiling of the shop, supporting 
hooks for carcases. 

Collectanea. 329 

A schoolboy at Portishead, East Somerset, calls Cat's Cradle, 
*' The Hammock." He plays the ordinary sequence as far as 
the Fish figure, which he declares is the Hammock, the previous 
figures being steps thereto. He could give no further account 
of the game nor say how he learnt it, except that an epidemic 
of it (so to speak) had broken out at the school some time 
previously. His mother, who came from a distant village also 
in East Somerset, knew the game, but not by the same name : 
she thought it was called the Chair, or something like that, but 
could not speak decidedly. 

It seems to me possible that the Fish figure may really be 
the original objective. When compared by the standard of the 
Oceanic and American string-games, the figures which precede 
it seem scarcely to merit more than the name of positions, 
while the final is a figure in the most exacting sense of the 

W. Innes Pocock. 

Folk-Medicine, Nursery-Lore, etc., from the ^gean 

Rabies in a dog is caused by its eating a green bird brought 
by the wind. 

Storks' eggs are good for ophthalmia. 

For a sore, squeeze a live frog and put it on the sore. 

For headache, cut open a live hen and put it on the head. 

For the consequences of sudden fright, eat the heart of a live 
pigeon (still beating), with sugar. 

" Agriopetalida " is pounded up and burnt. The ashes are 
an emmenagogue, and are also used for varicose veins. 

" The Virgin's tears " (gum found in certain trees) protects 
from the bite of scorpions and of the sa?mo??ittis, a small lizard 
which is supposed to bite, but does not as a fact. 

Agnus-castus leaves and tamarisk leaves are good for 


330 Collectanea. 

Water with three leaves of mint in it in the month of May 
is good for babies; it "opens their heart," i.e. cheers them up. 

A child must not sleep at midday. 

A baby's toes must not be kissed. 

Babies must not ride on donkeys, or they will have big teeth. 

If a child should be born with a caul, the midwife takes the 
caul and puts it secretly under the altar of a church, and 
leaves it there for forty days. It is then good against the evil 
eye and other things. 

Bread may be used instead of a cross or an icon to protect 
children in the absence of the mother. 

To make a baby speak soon, put a young chicken's beak 
into its mouth. 

To stop incontinence of urine, eat roast magpie and drink 
pig's urine. 

To make the hair grow, kill a conger on your head and let 
its blood remain for six days. 

To promote the flow of milk, a woman should take the sound 
of the grey mullet and throw it over her shoulder. 

Love-charm. A mother's milk and a daughter's milk together 
with a piece of menstruous cloth as a potion. 

Remedium Amoris. Take earth from twelve successive steps of 
the girl. Take it to church, dip a piece of cotton in church-oil 
and put it in the earth. Put it under the patient's pillow, and 
he forgets all about the girl. 

A woman during her periods may not come into an olive-press, 
or into a garden, or enter a boat. 

Women when they have to kill fowls (which are usually 
killed by the men) put on their husbands' boots. (Kephalos, 

Women should not step over dough, nor over their husbands' 
or children's clothes. 

No woman should be present when the dough is being 
kneaded, except of course the woman who is kneading it. Any 
other woman who chances to come in must spit on the ground 
to charm away the evil of her presence, and must leave before 
the cross is put on the loaves. Otherwise she will " carry away 
the bread with her." 

Collectanea. 331 

It is dangerous to give away dough at night, as it will cause 
your animals to die. However, if you put some live coals in 
water, this protects the animals. (Boudroum.) 

Sweepings from a house are not to be thrown out at night, 
as the occupants' souls may be thrown out with them. 

A sieve must not be taken out of a house on a starry night, 
because this will make holes in it. 

Eggs must not be set so that the chickens come out in the 
same month. If this happens, the chickens are delicate. To 
strengthen them they must be passed through the ring of the 
door {i.e. the ring used as the handle of a door, and also for 
padlocking it). 

The lizard syglos (•^Atos) can only be killed by a vine-stick. 

A water-spirit in the form of a red calf lives in and sometimes 
comes out of wells. 

In the Tvpivrj (the week before Lent), the south wind always 

To break a water-spout at sea, make a cross with a new 
black-handled knife and recite the beginning of the Gospel of 
St. John (see an^e, vol. xvi. p. 190). 

If anyone sneezes in the presence of a corpse, he or she 
will soon die. 

Cut a piece of cloth from the dress of the person who has 
sneezed in the presence of a corpse, and put it on the corpse. 
This will hasten its decay. The belief in Cos is that if anyone 
sneezes the corpse will not decay. Corpses, it must be explained, 
are disinterred after three years and the bones re-buried. If 
the corpse is then found not to have decayed, the deceased is 
regarded as a vampire. 

W. R. Pat(,)N. 

Agricultural .Superstitions in Bellarv. 

(Communicated by Dr. J. G. Frazer.) 

On the first full moon day in the month of Bhadrapada 
(September) the agricultural population in the District celebrate 
a feast called the Jokumara feast, to appease the rain-god. The 

22,2 Collectanea. 

Barikas (women), who are a sub-division of the Kabbera caste 
belonging to the Gawrimakkalu section, go round the town or 
the village in which they live with a basket on their heads 
containing margosa leaves, flowers of various kinds, and holy 
ashes. They beg alms, especially of the cultivating classes 
(Kapus), and in return for the alms bestowed (usually grain 
and food) they give some of the margosa leaves, flowers and 
ashes. The Kapus, or cultivators, take the margosa leaves, 
flowers and ashes to their fields, prepare cholatn katiji, mix these 
with it and sprinkle this kanji, or gruel, all round their fields. 
After this, the Kapu proceeds to the potter's kiln in the village 
or town and fetches ashes from it and makes a figure of a human 
being. This figure is placed prominently in some convenient 
spot in the field and is called Jokumara, or rain-god. It is 
supposed to have the power of bringing down the rain in proper 
time. The figure is sometimes small and sometimes big. This 
superstition is in vogue throughout the district, and to a great 
extent in Sandur State. 

A second kind of Jokumara worship is what is called muddam, 
or the outlining of rude representations of human figures with 
powdered charcoal. These representations are made in the 
early morning hours, before the bustle of the day commences, 
on the ground at cross-roads and along thoroughfares. The 
Barikas, who draw these figures, are paid a small remuneration 
in money or in kind. The figure represents Jokumara, who will 
bring down rain when insulted by people treading on him. 
Another kind of Jokumara worship also prevails in the district. 
When rain fails, the Kapu females model a figure of a naked 
human being of small size. They place this figure in an open 
mock-palanquin and go from door to door singing indecent songs 
and collecting alms. They continue this procession for three or 
four days and then abandon the figure in a field adjacent to the 
village. The Malas, allied to the Pariahs, then take possession 
of this abandoned Jokumara, and in turn go singing indecent 
songs and collecting alms for three or four days and then throw 
it away in some jungle. This form of Jokumara worship is also 
believed to bring down plenty of rain. 

There is another simple superstition among these Kapu 

Collectanea. 333 

females. When rains fail, the Kapu females catch hold of a 
frog and tie it alive to a new winnowing fan made of bamboo. 
On this fan, leaving the frog visible, they spread a few margosa 
leaves and go singing from door to door the following song : 
" Kappalamma nirdde. Kadavalu koddi vana iche. Marro vana 
divara " — which means " Lady frog must have her bath ; O 
rain god, give a little water for her at least." This means that 
the drought has reached such a stage that there is not even a 
drop of water for frogs. When the Kapu female sings this song, 
the woman of the house brings a little water in a vessel, pours 
it over the frog, which is left on the fan outside the doorsill, and 
gives some alms. The woman of the house is satisfied that such 
an action will soon bring down rain in torrents. 

In Bellary the rainfall is often most deficient, and the 
agriculturists have a curious superstition about prophesying the 
state of the coming season. The village of Mailar, in the 
extreme south-western corner of the Kadagalli Taluq, contains 
a Siva temple which is famous throughout the District for an 
annual festival held there in the month of February. This 
festival has now dwindled into more or less a cattle-fair. But 
the fame of the temple continues as regards the Karanika, 
which is a cryptic sentence uttered by the priest containing a 
prophecy of the prospect of the agricultural season of the ensuing 
year. The pujari of the temple is a Kuruba. The feast in the 
temple lasts for ten days. On the last day of the feast the god 
Silva is represented as returning victorious from the battlefield 
after having slain Malla with a huge bow. He is met half-way 
from the field of battle by the goddess. The huge wooden bow 
is brought and placed on end before the god. The Kuruba 
priest climbs up the bow as it is held up by two assistants and 
then gets on the shoulders of these men. In this posture he 
stands rapt in silence for a few minutes looking in several 
directions. He then begins to quake and quiver from head 
to foot. This is the sign of the spirit of the Siva god possessing 
him — the sign of the divine afflatus upon him. A solemn 
silence holds the assembly, for the time of the Karanika has 
approached. The shivering Kuruba utters a cryptic sentence, such 
as Akasakke sidlu bodiyuttu, " Thunder struck the sky." This 

334 Collectanea. 

is at once copied down and interpreted as a prophecy that there 
will be much rain in the year to come. Thus every year, in the 
month of February, the Karanika of Mailars is uttered and 
copied and kept by all in the District as a prophecy. This 
Karanika prognostication is also pronounced now at the Mallari 
Temple, in the Dharwar District ; at Nerakini, in the Alur Taluq, 
and at Mailar Lingappa, in the Harpanahalli Taluq. 

Every village has at its entrance a stone called Boddurayi, which 
means the navel stone. In the month of May, or just before 
the commencement of the sowing season, a feast is celebrated, 
known as the worship of the bullocks. The bullocks are 
worshipped on that day, as is done in the Tamil districts on 
Pongal day, and towards evening they are taken outside the 
village with music and tom-tom. The Boddurayi is then 
worshipped and a string with margosa or mango leaves is tied 
across the entrance of the village gateway (most of the Bellary 
villages have gates) or to two poles planted on each side of the 
entrance of the village. The bullocks collected outside the 
village are now driven inside with music and tom-toms through 
this string. A party of villagers from the other side of the 
string try with shouting to keep out the bullocks and prevent 
them from crossing the string. In the midst of this confusion 
some bull eventually breaks through the string, and the colour 
of that bull decides the colour of the grain to be sown and the 
colour of the soil which will give a good crop that year. If a red 
bull breaks the string, red cholam is sown extensively ; and red 
soils are supposed to yield a bumper crop. 

At the time of harvest a feast is held called the Poll feast. 
When the grain is harvested in the field, and before the same 
is removed to the house, the cultivator prepares a sumptuous 
feast in the field itself on the night before he carts the harvested 
grain to his house. Every member of the family must partake of 
this feast in the field. And it is the firm belief of the cultivator 
that only when this is done will profit accrue to the family by 
that year's agricultural produce. 

Thus it will be seen that the agriculturist's life in Bellary 
is completely intertwined with superstitions. Their fields have 
spirits which have to be propitiated and their very villages are 

Collectanea, 335 

guarded by spirits. Several Boyas enjoy inam lands [?] for pro- 
pitiating these village goddesses by a certain rite called Bhutta- 
hali. This takes place on the last day of the feast of the village 
goddess, and is intended to secure the prosperity of the village. 
On the last day of the feast of the village goddess, the Boya 
priest gets himself shaved at about midnight, sacrifices a sheep 
or a buffalo, mixes its blood with rice, and distributes the rice 
thus prepared in small balls throughout the limits of the village. 
When he starts out on this business the whole village bolts 
its doors, as it is not considered auspicious to see him then. 
He returns early in the morning to the temple of the goddess 
from which he started, bathes, and receives new cloth from the 

W. Francis, Madras Gazetteers. 
(Quoted in the Ceylon Observer, 13th Nov., 1905.) 

Ancient Customs at the Riding of Langholm Marches. 

(^Communicated by Dr. J. G. Frazer.) 

" The annual festival of riding Langholm Marches took place on 
Saturday in favourable weather. The Cornet was Mr. John 
Wallace, who was elected at a public meeting, and his cavalcade 
included fully seventy horsemen — a larger number than usual. 
Several hundreds of children carried heather besoms, and each 
child was presented with a threepenny piece. Mr. John Wilson, 
the Crier of the Fair, having died since last year's festival, 
Mr. R. Nisbet was entrusted with this position, and he made the 
usual striking and quaint proclamation standing on horse-back 
in the Market Place, surrounded by horsemen and by a vast 
crowd, many of whom came from a considerable distance. The 
day was observed as a holiday in the district. Provost Thomson, 
in front of the Town Hall, handed a fine new town's flag to the 
Cornet. It was presented to the burgh by Mr. J. A. Scott, 
Erkinholm. Tlie other articles borne aloft in the procession 

2,T,6 Collecta^tea. 

were a monster thistle, a spade bedecked with heather, a crown 
composed of roses, and a barley bannock with a herring nailed 
across it. Those who rode the marches were told that they 
might tak' their fill of good strong whisky, which would mak' 
them sing ; while those who disturbed were warned that their 
lugs would be nailed to the Tron with a big nail, and they 
would be forced on their bare knees to pray seven times for the 
King, and thrice for the Laird of Ralton, an illegitimate son 
of Charles II. Various sods were cut, and at the Castle Crags 
the Fair was cried, and the company was regaled with barley 
bannock, salt herring, and whisky. Langholm Town Band and 
the local Drum and Fife Band took part in the proceedings." 
The Glasgotv Herald, 29th July, 1907. 

Ancient Barbarous Sports. 

(Scottish Lowlands.) 

The following extract from an old local periodical, The Cheap 
Magazine, "printed and published monthly by G. Miller and 
Son, Haddington," vol. ii. No. vii., July 18 14, is communicated 
by Mr. Alexander Wood, Thornly, Saltcoats, Ayrshire, a Member 
of this Society. Cf. Folk- Lore, vol. xi. p. 253, and xvii. p. 258 
sqq., "The Scapegoat in European Folk-Lore." Ed. 

"The Carter's Race. 
"To the Editors of the Cheap Magazine. 

Having had business at last summer, I was 

not a little alarmed, when approaching the town, at seeing some- 
thing like what you have placed as a terror to evil doers, at the 
beginning of the story of the Beacon in your first number, and 
which, I believe, is commonly denominated a gallows. Fearful that 
some unhappy fellow-creature had forfeited his life to the laws 
of his country, and was about to expiate his crimes under the 

Collectanea. 337 

hands of the executioner, I did not fail as soon as I entered 
the town to make the most anxious enquiry into the meaning 
of what I had seen. You may guess my surprise when told, that 
on the preceding day had been the Carter's Race, and that what 
had created so much uneasiness in my mind was nothing but 
a part of the apparatus necessary for carrying on the amusements 
of the day, of a part of which I had the following description : 
From that beam, from which I was afraid some unfortunate 
criminal was about to be suspended between heaven and earth, 
as unworthy of either, a living goose was hung up by the feet, 
and all who could procure horses had an opportunity, as they 
trotted through between the upright posts, of showing their 
dexterity, by catching hold of the goose's head, and giving it 
a pull. This diversion was continued to the no small gratification 
of the company, till one, more fortunate than his neighbours, 
had the happiness of pulling the head from the body, and of 
being hailed for this heroic action with reiterated applauses by 
the surrounding multitude. The goose being now no longer 
able to afford any more sport, was taken down, and a cat, inclosed 
in a barrel, hung up in its room. Every horseman being provided 
with a mall, struck the end of the barrel as he rode through 
below it ; by the frequent repetition of this, the head of the 
barrel was at length stove in, when the cat, mad with the cruel 
usage, darted out, all covered over with soot, to the great amuse- 
ment of the crowd ; and from a principle of self-preservation 
was dispatched as quickly as possible, by the happy swains who 
had collected to witness the diversions of the day. . . . 

A Friend to Youth." 
" North Banks of the Tyne, 
1 6th June, 1814." 

The following note is by a young lady from Malmo, Sweden : — 
" In Sweden on Lent Monday they put a cat in a barrel 
and hang it up horizontally with a rope, and tie a sheet of 
paper over the open end. (It must not be a wine-cask, but 
a barrel of rough staves, such as is used for cement, etc.) 

338 Collectanea. 

Then a handkerchief is put over each person's eyes, so that 
they shall not see, and they take a stick, and try to smash the 
whole barrel. They must only try three times each, and when 
they do it they have some sort of prize. 

"On the same day they take a flat cake and put a piece of 
string to it, and hang it up to the lamp in the middle of the 
room, and tie the hands behind the back and try to catch the 
cake with the mouth." 

Alice Engholm. 

April, 1906. 

[Cf. Lund, Dajimark og Norges Historic; More Historic, 
Syvende Bog, pp. 168, 177.— N. W. T.] 


Le S^jour des Morts suivant la Mythologie Celtique. 

Le Folk-lore, t. xviii., No. 2, p. 1 21-166, contient un tres 
savant article de Miss Eleanor Hull, intitule The Development 
of the Idea of Hades hi Celtic Literature. Je n'ai pas I'intention 
de contester la doctrine de I'erudit auteur, seulement je vois 
avec regret que ce que j'ai ecrit a ce sujet manque de clarte ; 
Miss Eleanor Hull m'attribue des doctrines qui ne sont nulle- 
ment les miennes et me prend a partie quand je suis exactement 
du meme avis qu'elle. Je n'ai dit nulle part que les Celtes 
irlandais considerassent le sejour des morts comme une triste 
lie des esprits, a dismal Isle of Spirits (p. 128), semblable a 
I'Hades des Grecs (p. 130, 134). Au contraire, comme le 
constate elle-meme Miss Eleanor Hull aux p. 140, 141 de 
son memoire, j'ai compare le sejour des morts de la mythologie 
celtique avec les lies des bienheureux d'Hesiode. De plus 
j'ai rapproche du passage d'Hesiode, les vers de VOdyss^e 011 
apparait une doctrine analogue, comme ceux de Pindare dans 
la deuxieme des Olympionicae ou cette doctrine est developpee. 
Elle a penetre, ai-je dit, chez Platon,^ et on la trouve, puis-je 
ajouter, dans le sixieme chant de PEneide : 

" Deuenere locos laetos et amoena uireta 
Fortunatorum nemorum scdesque beatas. 
Largior hie campos aether et lumine uestit 
Purpureo ; solenique suum, sua sidera norunt. 
Pars in gramineis exercent membra palaestris, 
Contendunt iiido el fuliia luctantur arena ; 
Pars pedibus plaudunt choreas, et carmina dicunt." 

^ Cyc/e Mythologiquc, p. 19, 20. 



Entre la mythologie grecque et la mythologie celtique il y 
a cependant une difference fondamentale. Suivant la croyance 
grecque, une partie seulement, un choix des morts, penetre dans 
la plaine Elysion, dans les lies des bienheureux. Chez les 
Celtes tous les morts sans exception arrivent au Mag Meld, 
a la "plaine agreable," je I'ai dit.^ Sur le genre de vie que 
Ton menait dans cette plaine, voir les textes reunis dans le 
Cycle Mythologique, p. 351 et suivantes. 

H. d'Arbois de Jubainville. 

Noe new 
noe Ale 
nor noe 
repacons on 
the Church 
for one yeare. 

" CucKOWE King." 

The following entries in the Churchwardens' Accounts of the 
parish of Mere, Wilts, are not without interest. 

The accounts begin in 1556, and the very first entry for that 
year is : 

" Receipts. Inp'mis the sayd Churchewardevns do yeld 
Accompte of the pfytte of the Church Ale thies yere / 
Aboue all chargs xij" vj'' " 

When Philip and Mary gave place to Elizabeth, we have : 

. . . " As also by occacon of the deathe of o' sayd 
sou'aigne lady Queene Marye (who dyed the xvij"' day 
of Nouembre in the sayd yere of o' lorde 1558 :) And 
by occacon of the Alteracon of some pte of Relygyon . 
and of the su'yce and Ceremonies of the Churche . 
whiche then ensewyd. There were no newe Churche- 
wardenys Chosen eny time . in thies yere. / Neither 
was there eny Ale made." . . . 
The "Cuckowe King" appears suddenly in 1565. 

"Thomas Sheppard Rem' Cuckowe King this yeare for 
that he was Prince the last yeare According to the 
Custome. And at this dale John Watts the sonne of 
Thomas Wattes is Chosen Prynce for the next yeare." 

1 Cycle Mythologique, p. 20, 21. 

Correspondence. 341 

Then in 1566 comes the only authority for the interpretation 
of the term "Cuckovve King." 

"John Watts the sonne of Thomas Watts is appointed to 
be Cuckowe King this next yeare according to the 
old order, because hee was Prince the last yeare. 
And Thomas Barnerd thunger is elected Prince for 
this next yeare. And because John Watts hath ben 
long sick hit is agreed that if hee be not able to 
srve at the tyme of the Churche ale. That then 
John Coward the sonne of Robte Coward shall srve 
and be king in his place for this yeare." 

This Church-ale seems to have been held at Easter. The 
season may account for the " Cuckoo " title of the leader of 
the revels (or head-barman ?) ; or it may allude to the ephemeral 
nature of his office ; or to the custom of the " prince " elected 
heir-apparent turning the sovereign out of his " little brief 
authority" the next year. 

C. F. H. Johnston. 

The subjoined extracts from the English Dialect Dictionary 
seem to bear on the subject : — 

" Cuckoo-ale, the ale drunk by colliers, etc., on first hear- 
ing the cuckoo's note. Shrop. Folk-Lore (1879), ii. 
84. Bou7id Frovinc, 1876. 'The time is devoted to 
mirth and jollity over what is called cuckoo-ale.' 

"Cuckoo Foot-ale. Burne, Folk-Lore (1883), 221. 'The 
colliers have a way of their own of celebrating the 
cuckoo's coming. They say the cuckoo must pay his 
foot-ale, so they club their money together and send 
for a ' fetching ' of ale, and spend the day on the 
'pit-bank' drinking instead of working.' Shrop. Word- 
book. Salopia Antiqua. ' The custom is invariably 
celebrated out of doors, and a fine levied on the 
person who proposes to deviate from the usual 
practice and drink within.' 

" Cuckoo Feast. A feast held on the nearest Sunday to 
April 28th." 

342 Correspondence. 

Murray's Century Dictionary has : — 

" Cuckoo-ale. A provision of ale or strong beer formerly- 
drunk in the spring of the year. The signal for broach- 
ing it seems to have been the first cry of the cuckoo." 

The Vicarage, Headington Quarry, Oxford. 

The Wild Huntsman. 

While in Oxfordshire last year I met with a localization of 
the Wild Huntsman story which may, perhaps, be unknown to 
your readers. At the village of Noke, a place of some twenty- 
six houses about five miles from Oxford and one mile from 
Islip, there lived in the reign of Elizabeth one Benedict Winch- 
combe. He purchased the Manor, and lived in the Manor 
House (now destroyed), dying there in 1623. He was buried in 
a chapel attached to the church, wherein "a fair altar of 
black marble," bearing his effigy, was erected ; and, leaving no 
issue, he devised the manor to his nephew, Benedict Hall, son 
of his only sister Mary. Both monument and chapel are now 
demolished, though the inscriptions from the former are let 
into the chancel wall. The story is current in the village, that 
" old Winchcombe," as they call him, was very fond of hunting, 
and, as in many other versions of the tale, was not content with 
six days in the week for his favourite pastime, but devoted Sunday 
also to the chase; and that after his death he might be heard 
at night with his hounds, careering over the neighbouring 
country, until he was finally "laid by twelve parsons." I did 
not ascertain the date of this last event, but it is significant that 
the village is on the edge of Otmoor, formerly the haunt of 
innumerable wild-fowl, which of course we know are in many 
places termed " Gabriel hounds," in their nocturnal flight, from 
the resemblance of their cry to that of a pack of hounds, and 
the moor having been (within the last century) drained, they 

are of course no longer heard. 

W. Henry Jewitt. 


Savage Childhood : a Study of Kafir Cliildren. By Dudley 
KiDD. London: A. and C. Black. 1906. 

The interesting and well-informed author of The Essential Kafir 
returns to the charge with a book that broaches a subject 
hitherto almost untouched. At first one wonders why so fasci- 
nating a theme as savage babyhood viewed from the inside 
has not attracted the attention of a host of observers, more 
especially as the first-hand anthropologist is not infrequently a 
woman. To the reflection, however, that ensues upon reading 
such a book as this it is apparent that no ordinary observation 
will prevail against the shyness and suspicion of the little 
primitives, let alone those of their parents. Mr. Kidd's work 
is the fruit of long experience wedded to quite uncommon 
tact and insight, and in almost all respects may serve as a 
model to the numerous following it is likely to call into 

Perhaps the most forcible impression left by the book as a 
whole is that, whatever may seem to be the case with the 
man, the child at any rate is the child all the world over. 
A false or, what is much the same thing, a one-sided because 
purely individual psychology leads many to suppose that in 
the adult savage they have the natural man, a being likewise 
supposed to lurk somewhere in themselves. But the savage, 
of course, is the most sophisticated and conventionalised of 
mortals — more so, perhaps, than the picked representatives of 
civilisation. But the child taken in the raw and before he is 
caught and cooked, so to speak, in the hot-pot of society's 

344 Reviews. 

' medicine ' is natural, and, as such, the subject of an indi- 
vidual psychology, in a way that you and I decidedly are not. 
It is most refreshing to observe, for instance, that just as 
Why-Why ate the oysters, so the small and unabashed Kafir 
will tuck into the small bird he snares on the veld though 
he ought to take it to his grandfather, and will in fact grow 
up into a wizard — an abandoned wretch — if he violates the 
taboo (p. 193). He does not "see the logic of the rule," as 
Mr. Kidd says. And so another infant sceptic could not see 
the use of puzzling about why the trees grew bigger. " The 
trees," he remarked to Mr. Kidd, " will grow as well without 
my troubling about the way they grow" (p. 152). Meanwhile 
his elders were practising all the devices of productive magic 
without a doubt but that they were powerfully fostering the 
crops. Nevertheless society, mostly by its appeal to the 
imitative powers, begins to set its stamp soon enough on the 
boys and girls, as their games and sports make plain. For 
instance, when they are playing down by the river at chief and 
followers, " the little chief is given a small white shield, and 
in the tremendous fights which follow, no one would dare 
to hit the boy with the white shield even in play ; it is 
thought a very bad thing to hit a chief, and therefore it is 
very bad to imitate such an action" (p. 175). 

Indeed, about the only fault there is to find with Mr. Kidd's 
work is that perhaps he does not sufficiently distinguish 
between the effects of the social and the individual factors in 
child-life. A certain fallacy seems to run through his most 
ambitious chapter, the one entitled " The Dawn of Self- 
Consciousness." It reads a little as if the savage child "rounds 
to a separate mind " more slowly than the civilised because 
of an intrinsic slowness and feebleness of mental development. 
His is the " leisurely Arctic dawn " and ours the " hurried 
tropical sunrise " — despite the fact that he reaches puberty 
sooner. However, if Mr. Kidd somewhat fails to appreciate 
in explicit theory the importance of the influence of social 
environment, at all events his careful observations afford the 
necessary correction. The child may confuse self with his 
clothing and possessions, crying when they are beaten. But 

Reviews. 345 

his father, it turns out, would not care to wear a dead man's 
blanket if it has been worn but once. Or the child may- 
confuse self with his shadow. But as a matter of fact it is 
found necessary by the elders to teach the heedless children 
to respect the shadows of their betters. In short, there may 
be little self-consciousness in a certain sense of the term in 
savage adult or savage child, but it is hardly the sense of 
the term proper to those individual psychologies to which Mr. 
Kidd is fond of referring us. 

Besides its supreme importance as a contribution to psychology, 
individual and social, the book is a storehouse of valuable 
material in the way of folk-lore of all kinds. Mr. Kidd has 
the gift of complete observation. Thus on p. 23 he gives, 
apparently without penetrating into the meaning of the custom, 
a case of the lunar sj-mpathy recently explained by Dr. Frazer 
{Adonis Attis Osiris, 305 ff.), with just the detail required for 
its identification. Very rarely do we notice a lack of precise 
statement, as where, for instance, killing a man of conspicuous 
character in order to form intelezi wherewith to wash the 
chief's babies is spoken of as if a universal Kafir practice 
(p. 19). Mr. Kidd does not often seek to round off his 
observations with a theory, yet occasionally he does it with 
marked success. Thus his appendix (H. cf. p. 24 and p. 289), 
on the danger of looking backwards, cleverly suggests that the 
underlying idea is that as long as the man sees the holy and 
dangerous object, by one to which a sickness has been trans- 
ferred, the object cannot see, and so 'overlook' him. Even more 
interesting is his study of the difference of meaning between 
idhlozi and itongo (App. A. cf. pp. 12-15, 21-26, etc.). These 
terms and the corresponding ideas are generally confused ; but 
Mr. Kidd gives good reason to think that they refer to two 
quite distinct kinds of spirit. The former is a man's individual 
spirit, that after death haunts the grave and in time evaporates. 
The latter is an ancestral spirit, or, better, the ancestral maria 
or luck, since it is not so much the spirit of particular ancestors 
as something strictly corporate. In custom and ritual the 
itongo is for obvious reasons the more important of the two. 
It lives in the family hut and receives offerings. It is not 

34^ Reviews. 

born with the child but is imparted by a ceremony. It 
departs from the man who breaks tribal custom, e.g. becomes 
a Christian. It causes men to dream. It sends sickness. It 
hates twins. It is in many men at once, travels with the tribe, 
can be passed on to an heir like a blessing, indeed, we seem 
to have here the key to the inmost shrine of Kafir religion. 

Perhaps these crumbs will be enough to attract hungry 
anthropologists to the lavish feast. 

R. R. Marett. 

Religion in Evolution. By F. B. Jevons, Litt.D. London: 
Methuen & Co. 1906. 

This is a work of apologetics. It consists of four lectures 
delivered in the Vacation Term for Bibhcal Study at Cambridge. 
The argument, however, necessitates an enquiry whether religion 
has been evolved out of, or preceded by, a non-religious or pre- 
religious stage in the history of man. Seeing that such a stage 
has been supposed to have been discovered among the Australian 
natives, Dr. Jevons discusses the evidence of Dr. Howitt, Mrs. 
Langloh Parker, and Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, on the point. 
Rightly holding that evolution does not proceed equally in all 
departments of intellectual and social life, and therefore that 
religious development may be slower or more rapid than social, 
or may even decay as social and intellectual life develops, he 
arrives at the conclusion that a pre-religious stage in the history 
of man cannot yet be said to have been satisfactorily proved. 
In the strict sense of the word proved, possibly he may be right. 
But if the term Evolution and all that it impUes be a correct 
generalization of the forces which have operated from the 
beginning of the world to produce its present condition, includ- 
ing, of course, that of mankind, the presumption of a pre-religious 
stage in the history of man remains unshaken by his examina- 
tion of the Australian evidence and the less valuable West 
African evidence of Dr. Nassau and M. AUegret which he prays 
in aid. Moreover, I very much doubt whether his interpretation 

Reviews. 347 

of the Australian evidence is accurate. We must not judge 
savage beliefs entirely by the standard of our own mental opera- 
tions. Our categorical affirmations and denials and clear-cut 
definitions are foreign to traditional creeds. In my judgement 
the Arunta are neither primitive atheists on their way to mono- 
theism, nor monotheists whose faith has waned. Something 
much more nebulous than either atheism or monotheism, or 
indeed any kind of theism, lies behind their present condition. 
For this Dr. Jevons has not made allowance : he has not even 
considered the possibiUty of it. How, if correct, it will affect 
his argument is not for me to say. 

The rest of the volume, like all that he vi^rites, is well worth 
reading. It is lucid ; it is skilful ; but — 

" How can he give his neighbour the real ground, 
His own conviction?" 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

The Religious Songs of Connacht. By Douglas Hyde. 
London : T. Fisher Unwin. Dublin : W. H. Gill & Son. 

I OS. 

From the folk-lore point of view the interest of Dr. Hyde's 
Religions Songs of Connacht lies in the large number of charms 
and poems enshrining old superstitions which it contains. As 
Dr, Hyde says in his preface, " poems, prayers, petitions, 
charms, stories, blessings, curses, and everything else of the 
kind," are here set down and published in the same mixed 
manner in which they came into the collector's hand. The 
book is thus a curious record of those back-waters of civilisation 
where superstition longest keeps its hold, and where the border- 
line that stands between paganism and Christianity is grown so 
fine that it is difficult to tell whether many of these ' ranns ' 
belong more strictly to the one sphere or to the other. 
Occasionally the collector makes an effort to discriminate 
between the two traditions, as where he traces the origin of 
two curses called respectively the " Reversed Journey " and 

34^ Reviews. 

the " Curse of the Anvil." In the former, which is Christian, 
the aggrieved person makes a round of the Stations of the 
Cross in a contrary direction, invoking the devil all the time 
to send bad luck upon his enemy ; while, to turn the anvil 
upon your enemy, a mode of invoking ill-luck which Dr. Hyde 
thinks comes down from pagan days, is carried out by putting 
the horn of the anvil facing backwards and requesting the 
devil to do his worst upon the person accursed, " so that 
a melting and every kind of misfortune may come on him." 
In most cases, however, there is no possible means of 
distinguishing ideas that have been handed on, with merely 
a change of names, from one system of belief to the other. 
One of the most striking examples of a pagan purpose being 
carried over into. Christian customs was the use made of 
hymns in the early Church of Ireland as charms against 
danger or disease. Hardly one of the numerous hymns 
ascribed to the saints of the Celtic Church was composed 
for Church purposes or as an anthem of praise to God ; they 
have a much more personal or business-like purpose. To 
ward off dangers or demons, to preserve a traveller on a 
journey, to cure sickness or to keep back the plague from 
passing to them across the ' ninth wave,' these were the 
practical purposes for which in ancient times hymns were 
composed and repeated. The best known instance is that of 
the 'Lorica' of St. Patrick, composed on his approach to 
Tara to ward off the " spells of women, smiths and Druids " 
during his contest with the King of Ireland. These hymns 
usually fall into the regular charm-form, invoking the "virtue 
of God, the might of God, the wisdom of God," the eye and 
ear and hand of God, against snares of demons, seductions of 
vice, and all other ills. In the same way one of St. Columba's 
best known hymns was a " Path Protection," which kept every 
one safe who repeated it on setting forth on a journey. Dr. 
Hyde gives many instances of hymns used in this way to the 
present day. There are religious charms for a sore eye, charms 
to staunch blood, for the toothache, for milking the cow, and 
many other purposes. Some of them come down direct in 
both wording and spirit from the days when St. Patrick's 

Reviews. 349 

hymn was composed. Here is one that closely approaches 
to the form of the Lorica of Patrick : 

" Between us and the Fairy Hosts, 

Between us and the Hosts of the Wind, 
Between us and the drowning water, 
Between us and heavy temptation, 
Between us and the shame of the world, 
Between us and the death of captivity." 

These charms should be compared with the very similar 
* ranns ' collected by Dr. Alexander Carmichael, on the 
Western Coasts of Scotland, and published by him in Carmina 

Brigit (or Breed, as the name is pronounced in Gaelic), 
plays, next to the Virgin Mary, the largest part in the house- 
hold charms. She is represented as occupying the middle of 
the house near the hearth, while Mary is aloft on the top; 
there is little doubt that her name, which Dr. Hyde interprets 
as meaning '' fiery-arrow " {breoshaigit), and her position as 
presiding genius of the hearth, pass back beyond the Saint, 
whose "Virgin's fire" at her monastery of Kildare was never 
allowed to go out, to the pagan goddess of wisdom from whom 
many of her virtues and attributes are actually derived. Her 
wide-spreading mantle which, according to a legend preserved 
in an ancient church hymn, she once hung out to dry upon 
a sunbeam after herding sheep in the rain, plays a part in 
some of these charms. We may note that the English 
version of the " White Paternoster," which has so very 
un-English a sound : 

" Four corners to my bed, 
Four angels round my head, etc.," 

occurs also in Ireland (vol. ii., pp. 49 and 217). 

Though parts of these volumes are unpleasant, and stories 
are preserved that might perhaps just as well have been for- 
gotten, they are, taking them altogether, a most singular record 
of a people whose credulity, or shall we say whose piety, 
seems to be in a stage hardly removed from that of the 
lowest superstition of the middle ages. A trace of shrewd 
humour and common-sense and an occasional touch of fine 

350 Reviews. 

native insight relieve the sordidness of the collection, but 
there is little in the book that can rank with the exquisite 
love-poetry which Dr. Hyde has collected from this very 
district and nothing at all which can be named in the same 
breath with the delicately beautiful poetry of nature which 
comes down from an earlier time. 

Eleanor Hull. 

Folk-lore of Women, as Illustrated by Legendary and Tra- 
ditionary Tales, Folk-rhymes, Proverbial Sayings, Supersti- 
tions, etc. By T. F. Thiselton-Dver, M.A. 

It is clear that the author of this work, who has published 
many books of the same kind, must command a public. But 
it is not to the advantage of folk-lore, as this Society understands 
it, that this should be so. He does not concern himself with 
any of the questions which, in our belief, deserve scientific 
inquiry, and though he has read widely his method is very 
different from that which we have consistently advocated. His 
object is merely to collect from a variety of sources, among 
which he ventures to name the publications of this Society, a 
number of miscellaneous proverbs and beliefs which he supposes 
will amuse the public for whom he caters. These he roughly 
classifies under headings, such as " Woman's Eyes," " Woman's 
Tongue," " Red-haired Girls," " Woman's Curiosity," " Young and 
Old Maids," and so on. His method of supplying references 
is one of the curiosities of the book. For instance, on page 2, 
he gives chapter and verse for a passage in Don Juan., and on 
page 47 a reference to Lady E. C. Gurdon's Suffolk Folk-lore, 
while elsewhere half a dozen pages at a time, swarming with 
assertions which a reader would wish to verify, are left without 
a footnote. Nor does he refer to the standard literature of the 
subject. He begins Chapter XX., which deals with "Woman's 
Curiosity," with a mention of Peeping Tom of Coventry, which is 
hardly apposite, and he goes on to talk of Forbidden Chambers 
and the like, as if Mr. Sidney Hartland had never dealt with 
such things. 

Reviews. 351 

The need of references is emphasised by the inaccuracy of 
some of the quotations which we can test. "Frailty, thy name 
is woman," is, we are told (p. 13), "a German proverb." 

"A bustling {sic) woman and crowing hen 
Are neither fit for gods nor men," 

is given as a parallel to "Une poule qui chante le coq, et 
une fille qui jiffle {sic), portent malheur dans la maison." 

One of the most remarkable statements is " Eastern proverbs 
are highly complimentary to women " (p. 2), whereas the book 
is largely made up of the old silly jibes at the sex which abound 
in Oriental literature. Surely the time has passed when crusted, 
stupid sneers directed against women as a whole are either 
interesting or instructive. 

There is much to be done in the way of popularising folk- 
lore, and the author might, if he would adopt sounder methods, 
assist in this good work. But we doubt if a public which 
patronises books of this class is likely to be attracted to a serious 
study of the subject. Mr. Thistleton-Dyer has collected many 
interesting facts, but the value of his book, as a treatise on this 
branch of folk-lore, is lost through over-haste in compilation, 
faulty arrangement, and a neglect of the principle that a book 
may be accurate and readable at the same time. 

W. Crooke. 

Origin of the Anglo-Saxon Race. By the late T. W. Shore. 
London : Elliot Stock, 1906. 

Ancient Law. By Sir Henry Sumner Maine, with Intro- 
duction and Notes by Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart. 
London : John Murray, 1906. 

The Tribal System in Wales. By Frederic Seebohm. 
London: Longmans, 1904. 

The late Mr. Shore's Origin of the Anglo-Saxon Race represents 
the laborious collection of evidence in support of a theory which 
is succinctly stated in the final chapter of the book. " All the 

352 Reviews. 

available evidence, the dialects of the period, the surviving 
customs, or those known to have existed, and the comparison 
of place-names with those of ancient Germany and Scandinavia, 
point to the same conclusion, that the English race had its 
origin in many parent sources, and arose on English soil, not 
from some great national immigration, but from the commingling 
here of settlers from many tribes " (page 393). It was Mr. 
Shore's purpose in the present book to find traces of these 
tribes on English soil, and there can be no question of the 
industry with which he prosecuted the search, nor of the wealth 
of illustration which he brought to bear upon it : a fact which 
makes it only the more to be regretted that the result of such 
great labour should be of such small value to the historical 

For Mr. Shore's attempt was hopeless from the outset, quite 
apart from any criticisms which may be passed upon his treatment 
of the materials which he collected. The local nomenclature of 
England, to name the source from which Mr. Shore's conclusions 
are in the main derived, has never yet as a whole received 
such scientific treatment as would make it available for purposes 
of historical generalisation. It is only in regard to five or six 
counties that the early forms of the local place-names have 
systematically been collected : elsewhere in England the student 
is at the mercy of the idiosyncrasies of the scribes of Domesday 
Book, from which he may only in rare instances appeal to 
Kemble's inadequate index to the Codex Diplomaticus. Under 
such circumstances no certainty of interpretation is possible, but it 
must be added that Mr. Shore is no safe guide even in those 
parts of this vast subject which have been explored by previous 

In regard to a work of this kind, depending for its effect 
upon the accumulation of numberless isolated facts, no detailed 
criticism can be attempted here, but attention may be called 
to a few points upon which Mr. Shore's conclusions are peculiarly 
inacceptable. Such are his interpretation of the -hope terminal 
in place-names on the Welsh border (page 375) ; the extraordinary 
extension given on page 339 to the Dore-Whitwell-Humber 
boundary of Mercia, and the impossible derivation of the place- 

Reviews. 353 

name Oxford which occurs on page 269. The statement 
(page 301) that "the -by place-names in the Danish districts 
of England must be regarded by their parallelism to the bys 
of ancient Gothland to have been folk-villages" is plausible, 
but ignores the fact that in many of these names the -by suffix 
is compounded with a personal name in the possessive case. 
It is difficult to see what such names as Brocklesby, Barnetby, 
and Grimsby can have meant if they did not mean that the 
places in question were originally owned by Brocwulf, Beortnoth, 
and Grim. The process which transformed such estates into the 
unmanorialised vills revealed by Domesday Book is one of the 
obscurest problems of Anglo-Saxon history, but Mr. Shore took 
no account of the difficulty. In connection with this subject 
we may note that Mr. Shore follows Kemble's arbitrary explana- 
tion of the -ing suffix in place-names; an explanation which of 
course is very convenient for an author whose work, like the 
present book, is based on the assumption of the tribal structure 
of Anglo-Saxon society. 

It is an ungrateful task to give adverse criticism to a book 
which, whatever its defects, expresses the result of personal 
research in a region where such research is urgently needed. It 
is only through the labours of many individual scholars that 
some vague outline of the early social condition of the English 
people will at last begin to appear. But Mr. Shore's method 
was far too unscientific, the ground which he attempted to cover 
was far too wide, for his work to have any appreciable share 
in advancing this result. When English place-names have been 
traced to their origin and classified, when what is archaic in 
local custom has been distinguished from what is only a 
development of feudal law, when anthropological statistics have 
been multiplied and interpreted, some more fortunate scholar 
may undertake with a prospect of success the work attempted 
by Mr. Shore. 

Students of Maine's Ancient Law have long felt the need 
of an edition of this book in which its conclusions are reviewed 
in the light of recent research in the wide field covered by its 
brilliant author. Such an edition is now supplied by Sir Frederick 
Pollock, Maine's successor in the chair of Jurisprudence at 

354 Reviews. 

Oxford. While wisely making no changes in Maine's text, Sir 
Frederick Pollock, in a note appended to each chapter, gives 
a concise criticism of its contents, enforced by frequent and 
learned reference to the modern literature dealing with the 
subject. Treatment of this kind is perhaps the severest test 
to which a book can be subjected, and the result of it in the 
present case is a notable witness to the permanent value of 
Maine's classical work. 

The second edition of Mr. Seebohm's Tribal System m Wales 
consists of a reissue of the book without material alteration. 
Since the appearance of the first edition Mr. Seebohm has 
published the results of his researches into primitive English 
society in his Tribal Custom in Anglo-Saxon Law, which thus 
forms to some extent a companion volume to the present work, 
and in a long and interesting Introductory Note we are given 
some account of the questions in regard to which Welsh 
custom is illustrated by reference to Germanic evidence. There 
is no need to enlarge here upon the value of Mr. Seebohm's 
work. He has for the first time given a scientific statement 
of the evidence contained in the Welsh codes and has established 
the reality of the social conditions which they imply by reference 
to the extents and similar records of local provenance which 
have come down to us from the Edv/ardian period. For many 
years yet scholars may continue to dispute the extent to which 
Anglo-Saxon society has been affected by previous Celtic custom, 
but whatever conclusion ultimately finds acceptance will be pro- 
foundly indebted to Mr. Seebohm's reconstruction of the main 
features of Welsh tribal society. 

F. M. Stenton. 

Short Notices. 

Sociological Papers. Volume II. Macmillan, 1906. 8vo. 
pp. xiv, 308. 

The second volume of the Sociological Society's publications, 
though not less interesting than its predecessor, makes less 

Short Notices. 355 

appeal to folk-lorists. In fact, the only paper which specially 
concerns us is Dr. Westermarck's The Infijietice of Magic on 
Social Relationships. He shows how deeply the relations between 
parents and children, rich and poor, hosts and guests, may be 
influenced by the belief in the efficacy of blessings and curses, 
and in the Evil Eye, incidentally illustrating his thesis by his 
own experiences in Morocco. He follows Dr. Frazer in finding 
the distinctive mark of magic in the compelling power of the 
magician, as opposed to the supplicatory attitude of the religious 
votary, but it does not seem to strike him that the essence of 
the magical influence of the Evil Eye, for example, lies in its 
inherent jnana, or natural uncanny power, not in the will of 
its possessor. In fact, we meet with cases where the power of 
the Evil Eye is supposed to be exercised involuntarily, and to 
be beyond the possessor's control. Neither does he seem to us 
to lay sufficient stress on the idea that the wandering stranger 
may be a deity in disguise, as a motive for his hospitable treat- 
ment. Altogether the subject of the paper seems rather to be 
the influence of superstitious belief (as for want of a better 
name we must call it) on social relationships, than of magic. 
But we need hardly say that it is an original and weighty 
article, based on the evidence of facts. In so short a 
space compression was unavoidable, but some day we hope 
Dr. Westermarck will work out the subject more fully. The 
custom of Sanctuary, for example, on which he touches, is 
almost unbroken ground. 

The Imperial Gazetteer of India, New Edition : The Indian 
Empire, Vol. I. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1907. 8vo. 
pp. xxxii, 568. 6s, 
This, the third edition of the Imperial Gazetteer of India, will 
run to twenty-six volumes, including a companion atlas, in place 
of the previous fourteen. The whole work has been revised, and 
practically re-written, so as to incorporate the latest attainable 
information ; only the historical account of the British Empire 
in India, by the late Sir W. W. Hunter, has been left as far 
as possible untouched. The single volume on The Indian 
Empire has been expanded into four : " Descriptive," " His- 

356 Short Notices. 

torical," " Economic," and " Administrative," the first of which 
now lies before us. It contains sections on the Physical Aspects, 
the Geology, Meteorology, Botany, Zoology, Ethnology and 
Caste, Languages, Religions, Population, and Vital Statistics of 
the vast peninsula, each section by an acknowledged master 
of the subject. Only two of them come within the purview of 
Folklore: that on Religions, a clear and excellent summary, 
both historical and descriptive, by our staunch supporter Mr. 
Crooke ; and that on Ethnology, abridged from the chapter on 
"Tribe, Caste, and Race," by Mr. H. H. Risley, in the Report 
on the Census of India, 1901. The author, after enumerating 
the main features of the principal races, physical types, tribes, 
and castes, discusses the theories of the Origin of Caste put 
forth by Sir Denzil Ibbetson, Mr. Nesfield, and Monsieur Senart 
respectively ; and while categorically asserting that " the origin 
of caste is from the nature of the case an insoluble problem," 
himself advances the hypothesis that it is to be found in the 
pride of birth which induced conquering races to hold themselves 
jealously aloof from the conquered. Necessity yet compelled 
the incomers to take wives from the lower races, thereby pro- 
ducing endless cross-divisions, and a reactionary intensified pride 
of exclusiveness, bolstered up by fictitious traditions, led to a 
redoubled aloofness in later generations. This "conjecture," 
says the author, "is based — firstly, upon the correspondence 
that can be traced between certain caste-gradations and the 
variations of the physical type; secondly, on the development 
of mixed races from stocks of a different colour; and thirdly, 
on the influence of fiction." 

Folklore and Superstitious Beliefs of Lebanon County \^Pe?in- 
sylvanid\. By E. Grumbine, M.D. Reprint ixoxa. Trans- 
actions of the Lebanon County Historical Society, Vol. III. 
No. 9, pp. 254-294. 

This interesting little pamphlet gives an account of the customs 
and beliefs of a population of German descent in the State of 
Pennsylvania, and so deals with the lore of an immigrant folk 
settled under an alien government and in the midst of a people 

Short Notices. 357 

of alien blood and speech. Once more we find that "ccelum 
non animam mutant qui trans mare current." These Germans 
who have never known Germany still eat sausages at Christmas, 
hunt for hares' eggs at Easter, and count Wednesday the 
unlucky day of the week, as did their forebears in the Vater- 
land across the ocean. Their whole folklore, in fact, seems 
singularly little affected by practices imported from England. 

The Mayers and their Song, or Some Account of the First of 
May and its Observance in Hertfordshire. By W. B. 
Gerish. 8vo. 16 pp. To be had from the Author, 
Bishop's Stortford, Herts, is. 

The observance of May Day in Hertfordshire, as elsewhere, 
seems now to be chiefly kept up by parties of smartly-dressed 
little girls carrying "garlands" and sometimes dolls; but within 
living memory it was customary for young men to go round 
affixing " May-bushes " to the house-doors before the dawn of 
May morning, and later in the day to sing and dance in costume 
in the streets. Mr. Gerish, whose name we are sorry to see 
among those of members retiring from the Society, has been 
at the pains to collect and record no less than nine variants 
of their song, one of which is well known owing to its insertion 
in Hone's Every Day Book in 1826. Though every village 
has its own version, yet the song on the whole shows a well- 
marked local type. It is interesting as suggesting a well-meant 
seventeenth-century attempt to give an edifying and religious 
character to the May-day festival abhorred of the Puritans. It is 
a combination of a few verses appropriate to the occasion with 
others expressing decidedly sombre religious reflections, which 
appear independently and even more inappositely in the 
Christmas carol " The Moon Shines ■ Bright " (see Sandys' 
Christmas Carols). The whole concludes with the usual request 
for beer. One verse Mr. Gerish is able to trace to an edition 
of the Geneva Bible printed in 1608, to which a cento of texts 
arranged as verse is prefixed. The song should be compared 
with the Cornish May songs, and with Mr. Percy Manning's 
collection from Oxfordshire. 

358 Skoi^t Notices. 

Journal of the Folk-Song Society, Vol. III., Part I. London : 

84 Carlisle Mansions, Victoria Street. 4to, pp. vi, 58. 
Recent numbers of the Folk-Song Society's Journal show pro- 
gress, not only in collecting, but in method. Comparing them 
with earlier issues we note a marked increase of critical skill 
in the Notes. Far more attention is paid to the subject-matter of 
the verses and to tracing sources and parallels than was the case 
at first, and wider knowledge of authorities is shown. Expurga- 
tion still seems to be carried rather far (though of course it 
is impossible to judge of the character of the omitted verses); 
some of the contributors are inclined to be discursive, and the 
differing opinions of the musical critics who hold a symposium 
on each air in turn are sometimes amusing : nevertheless, as 
at present conducted, the Journal is really valuable to the 
folk-lorist, not to the musician alone. We are especially pleased 
with the subject-index to Vols. I. and II. which is appended 
to the present Part, and which well repays study. Many will 
be unprepared to hear that some fifteen or twenty standard 
"old ballads," including such notable ones as "Gil Morice," 
" Lamkin," " Lord Randal, my Son," " Binnorie," and others, 
are still sung by the peasantry of England to airs hitherto 
unrecorded. Then we have new examples of ancient well-known 
love-songs : " I sowed the seeds of love," " There is an ale- 
house in yonder town," " I will give you the keys of my heart," 
and others in the same style. Christmas carols, consisting either 
of versified mediaeval legends or of moral (seventeenth-century ?) 
verses of the most lugubrious description ; other festival songs 
(we would direct Mr. Gerish's attention to the May Songs in 
vols. i. p. 180, and ii. p. 182, and Mr. Qrdish's to the Pace- 
Egging Songs, vol. ii. p. 231), agricultural songs, musical toasts, 
sailors' chanties, a cattle-call, a " bird-starver's " cry ; and more 
remarkable than these, two or three specimens of the cante-fable, 
in which a short song is sung by one of the characters in a 
prose story, in the fashion still in vogue, as Mr. Walter Jekyll 
tells us, among the Jamaican negroes. For the most part, 
however, the songs are narrative "ditties," intended to be sung 
as solos. Three or four are humorous stories of revenge or out- 
witting, but they treat chiefly of the exceedingly tempestuous 

Short Notices. 359 

course of true love, of cruel parents, faithless swains, and early 
deaths. They relate histories of highwaymen, pirates, press- 
gangs, voyages, shipwrecks, murders, and executions ; they 
celebrate feats of poaching, cock-fighting, horse-racing, and 
fox-hunting. On the whole, they smack strongly of the 
eighteenth century. Several of them refer to the Napoleonic 
Wars ; one, to the American War of Independence ; another, 
to the death of General Wolfe. The battles are related in 
a dolorous style, suited perhaps to the "broken soldier, kindly 
bade to stay." The soldier sometimes occurs as a lover, usually 
a bold one ; the sailor, however, is the favourite hero of the 
love-stories, which turn generally on his constancy or the reverse. 
The apprentice is another leading personage, generally represented 
as lovesick, ill-used, and unfortunate. The farmer, the plough- 
boy, and the labouring man bulk largely among the dramatis 
personae; the shepherd rarely occurs, but his calling is celebrated 
in "Tarry Woo'" (ii. 215), a real "trade song" heard at sheep- 
shearing in Westmoreland and North Yorkshire. We do not 
find, in England, any songs in praise of some special locality, 
as we do in Ireland. The English folk-poet seems always to 
require a human interest. But there is usually a background 
of Nature in the more sentimental songs ; the sunrise, the green 
meadows, the singing birds, the springing flowers, or else the 
stormy winds and " silvery tide," form the setting of the story. 

From our point of view, perhaps the most interesting " find " is 
the carol, current in Herefordshire and elsewhere, founded on a 
story in the Apocryphal Gospel of St. Matthew, in which Christ 
curses the willow because His mother has chastised Him with it. 
Our member, Mrs. Leather, finds the belief widely prevalent in 
Herefordshire that a child or animal beaten with a willow-rod will 
cease to grow. This is said of broom in Shropshire, but there 
also a carter has been known to object to drive a horse with a 
" withy-stick " {??iountai?i-ask is the proper wood for the purpose) ; 
and the willow is reputed to be (in the words of the ballad-curse) 
" the very first tree To perish at the heart." 

Miss Broadwood, commenting on //<a';^/-burdens of ballads, 
"Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme," etc. (vol. iii. p. 14), makes 
the ingenious suggestion that they are survivals of incantations or 

360 Short Notices. 

charms against evil. The idea is plausible, but needs to be sub- 
stantiated by fuller and more precise evidence than she has as yet 
brought forward. 

Into the musical value of the Folk-Song Society's collections 
we cannot here enter, but we may echo the admiration of the 
lamented Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg, for " the earnest- 
ness and energy with which it carries out its objects," and the 
hope he expressed shortly before his death that these folk- 
melodies may in time "form the basis of an independent national 
style of music " in England. 

JourJial of the Gypsy-Lore Society. New Series, Vol. I., Part I. 

July, 1907. 8vo. pp. 96. 
The Gypsy-Lore Society, after having been in abeyance for fifteen 
years, has taken a new lease of life, and established itself in new 
headquarters at 6 Hope Place, Liverpool. The pages of its 
Journal are chiefly occupied by papers on the history and 
language of the wandering tribe, and by a posthumous article on 
the Tinker folk by the late Charles Godfrey Leland. Of folklore 
there are a couple of brief folk-tales from Slavonia, the story of 
the Owl and the Baker's Daughter from a Welsh gipsy, and a 
couple of riddles, the inquiring contributor of which may be 
referred to the Folk-Song Journal, vol. ii. p. 297. We observe 
with interest a proposal to undertake an " anthropological " (qu. 
anthropometrical or ethnographical ?) survey of the Gypsies. 


Books for Revieiv should be addressed to 
The Editor of Folk-Lore, 

c/o David Nutt, 
57-59 Long Acre, London. 



Vol. XVIIL] DECEMBER, 1907. [No IV. 

MAY 15th, 1907. 
Mr. a. Nutt (Vice-President) in the Chair. 

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and confirmed. 

The election of Mr. James Brown, Mr. H. C. Goulds- 
bury, Mr. G. Cadbury, junior, and Mrs. Seligman as 
members of the Society was announced. 

The resignation of Dr. S. Miall, and the withdrawal of 
the subscription of Messrs. Eggers & Co., of St. Petersburg, 
were also announced. 

Mr. Crooke read a paper on " Homeric Folk-Lore " [to 
appear in vol. xix.], and in the discussion which followed, 
Mr. G. Calderon, Mr. Kirby, and the Chairman took 

A paper entitled "The Corpse-Door: A Danish Sur- 
vival" [p. 365], by the Rev. H. F. Feilberg, was also 

The Meeting terminated with a hearty vote of thanks 
to Mr. Crooke for his paper. 


362 Minutes of Meetings. 

The Secretary reported the gift of the following books 
to the Society's Library since the April meeting, viz. : 

Handbook of American Ltdians, North of Mexico 
{Bureciu of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part I.), 
presented by the Bureau. 

Anthropometric Data from Bombay, and Anthropometric 
Data from Burma, both presented by the Government of 

JUNE loth, 1907. 

The President (Dr. Gaster) in the Chair. 

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and confirmed. 

The election of the Rev. J. W. Macgregor and Mr. O. 
Seshagiri Rao as members of the Society was announced. 

Mr. A. Lang read a paper entitled " ' Death's Deeds,' a 
Bi-located Story" [p. 376], on which the Chairman 
offered some observations. 

A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Lang for 
his paper. 

Mr. A. R. Wright exhibited and explained the use of 
the following objects used by secret societies and others 
in West Africa, viz. : 

From Mendiland. Porro Society. — Mask of Kriffi ka 
porro, or porro devil; tablet for laying porro taboo. Biindu 
Society. — Mask of Normeh or Bundu devil ; sehgura 
musical gourd. Yassi Society — Minsereh figure. Other 
objects. — Banyehn fetish charm ; iron bar currency; wooden 
model gun ; fetish stick ; mourning circlet ; chief's elephant 
pad armlets and whip ; steatite devil ; cowrie girdle ; palm 
rib basket and broom ; necklet of imitation leopard's 

Minutes of Meetings. 363 

From Imperri country^ etc. — Human Leopard Society. 
Murderer's knife. 

From Timini country. — Bai Bureh's bofimah fetish, hat, 
fetish cap, and belt ; three fetish staves ; snuff horn ; two 
fetish figures ; son's war dress ; attendant's war horn and 
wooden sword ; and great war horn and drum. 

From Old Calabar. — Ordeal bean. 

The Chairman and Mr. Lang having offered some 
observations on the objects, a hearty vote of thanks was 
accorded to Mr. Wright for exhibiting them. 

A paper entitled " Marriage Customs of the Southern 
Gallas, East Africa," compiled from the notes of the late 
Rev. T. Wakefield, F.R.G.S., by his widow, was read by 
the Secretary [see ante, p. 319]. 



{Read at Meeting, \<^th June, 1907.) 

Almost a span of life has elapsed since I moved away 
from one of the far-stretching moorland parishes and 
returned to the west coast of Jutland, and to the people 
amongst whom I had passed my childhood. 

The village was large and closely built, with old- 
fashioned low straw-thatched houses built of hard dark 
bricks cemented with clay, that appeared to creep close 
together, so as to offer as little resistance as possible 
to the storm, when it comes sweeping with all its might 
from over the North Sea. 

One day, when the light happened to fall sharply on 
the gable-end of a house, I distinctly saw the outline 
on the wall of what looked like a bricked-up oven- 
door; and as it evidently was the outer wall of the 
best or company room, I wondered how that could be. 
So I went inside, and after greeting the people asked 
them if they had an oven in their best room. Oh no ! 
they said, it was not a baking oven, it was a " corpse-door." 
There were very few such left now, but in olden days 
it had been the custom that the coffin, which was always 
placed in the upper room, was carried out through this 
opening, which was bricked up again as soon as the 
procession had started for church, so that on their return 

Plate V. 


To face p. 364. 

The Corpse-Door. 365 

they could again assemble in the room and partake of 
the funeral meal. As the doors in these old-fashioned 
houses are low and narrow, this seemed to be a practical 
way of getting over a difficulty. 

I remembered then the many occasions on which I 
had been present at funerals in the big end room of 
the farmhouses. In the middle of the room stood the 
open coffin, with the corpse inside ; along the walls were 
tables groaning with good cheer and surrounded by 
guests. When all had arrived, and all had had enough 
to eat, the candles were lighted, a hymn sung, the last 
word spoken. Then came the leave-taking ; the widow 
patted her dead husband's cheek, the mother lifted up 
the little children and let them stroke the dead 
man's forehead, whilst the tears fell fast ; then came 
the other relations in due order ; last of all the 
coffin lid was nailed on, each hammer stroke seeming 
to go into one's very heart.^ Then the coffin was 
borne out — for many years I never saw any wreaths, 
they belong to the present time — placed on the hearse, 
and carried at a foot-pace down the high road, never 
through side roads, to the church, and hidden away in 
the grave. 

If we look closely into the funeral customs at home, 
we shall find two different currents of thought, one which 
belongs, so to speak, to a superficial stratum of church 
life, where all the Christian ceremonies, with the burial 
service and the tolling of the church bell are rigorously 
observed. This is the most noticeable, and many will 
never have seen anything else. Underneath this lies 
another, what I am inclined to call an antique layer of 
practices, of which one sees very little, and of which the 
meaning has been forgotten, but which in old-fashioned 

1 In later years they screwed down the lid, and I have sometimes seen 
butterfly ornaments on the screws. In that way can antique motives come 
down to us as a matter of fashion, without being understood. 

366 The Corpse-Door : 

homes was very carefully followed ; a pair of open scissors 
laid on the dead person's chest, small pieces of straw 
laid crosswise under the shroud. The great toes were 
tied together so that the legs could not be separated. 
Needles were run into the soles of the feet, and when 
the coffin was carried out, the bearers, just within the 
threshold of the door, raised and lowered it three times 
in different directions so as to form a cross. When the 
coffin had left the house, all chairs or stools on which it 
had rested were upset, all jars and saucepans turned 
upside down, and, when the parson on the churchyard 
prays for the rest of the dead, " reads into his hat," he 
is supposed to bind the dead to the grave with magic 
words, to keep him fast. I don't mean to say that all 
these ceremonies were observed at every death ; amongst 
others was the custom to strew flax-seed round the 
house, but in some places one of these customs was 
observed, in others another, and so by degrees the whole 
group might be discovered. 

What then is the meaning of all this? For a 
meaning there must have been ; it is not likely that 
funeral customs which have spread all over Scandinavia, 
including Iceland, should originally have been without 
any meaning. Moreover, the original meaning has been 
lost, and the whole has become a rite which is no longer 
understood, but of which they say : " We have always 
done so." 

In this case it is not so very difficult to find an 
explanation, when we take into consideration the way 
in which uncultivated people think and reason. So far as 
my knowledge goes, one will find, amongst all members 
of the human race, from the most uncultured up to the 
highest form of civilisation, this belief pre-eminent, that 
man does not die with death. The soul lives ; bodily 
death is only the commencement of a new chapter in 
the history of life. For a longer or shorter period a 

A Danish Survival. 367 

mystical union continues to subsist between body and 
soul, the grave is the new dwelling, amidst our fore- 
fathers. And, doubtless, as a rule, when one lays the 
dead in the grave, one pictures to oneself that night is 
daytime for the dead ; they move about and pursue their 
occupations whilst the living are asleep, they form a society 
of their own which, like all societies in former days, 
regards every stranger as an enemy. For the living, 
there is great danger in intruding into the society of 
the dead, and, on the other hand, the living do not 
want the intrusion of the dead, and endeavour to pro- 
tect themselves by means of exorcisms. If each part 
would keep to themselves the matter would be easy 
enough, but it lies in the nature of the dead that they 
are always trying to get back to the places where 
they have passed their lives. Maybe something is 
forgotten, or some wrong committed which must be 
put right, or there may be some private affairs with 
the living which have not been concluded, and then 
" they walk," return to the well-known places amongst 
the people they have known ; and that, the living do 
not like. 

The dead man then dwells in the grave. The living 
wish him to keep quietly at home. But why should 
he .'* Let the parson read over him and " fasten him " 
if he will, but, unless some man who knows how to 
exorcise, has ordered him to remain under the mould, 
or a solid oak stave has been run through his body, he 
will find some means of slipping out. That is why in 
the churchyards you find holes in the ground near one 
of the ends of the grave, it is through them that the dead 
slip out at nightfall. Narrow paths may be seen between 
the graves of friends, those are trodden by the dead 
in the darkness of the night. Round about in foreign 
countries one can find with bricked-up graves that a 
hole has been cut in the upper stone so as to allow 

368 The Corpse-Door : 

the dead to get in and out. This does not suit our 
Danish line of thought. 

It is one thing to allow the dead to associate with 
each other in the churchyard, which at night-time is 
always shunned by the living, or, if they like, to assemble 
in the empty church, light the candles on the altar, 
and have a service or mass — let them do so ; but to 
make disturbance in the old house and to annoy the 
living, that is quite a different matter, so one protects 
oneself by every means in one's power ; and on closer 
examination it will appear that many of these customs 
which have been mentioned here, have the same object, 
viz. to prevent the dead from walking and haunting the 
old home. The scissors, in the form of a cross, have 
double power, partly as a cross, and partly as being 
of iron or steel ; there is also power in the sticks of 
straw laid across. When the legs are tied together the 
dead cannot walk ; the same thing when needles are 
run into the soles of the feet, it will cause pain to tread 
on them — also the fact that they are of steel has some- 
thing to say in the matter. The cross formed by raising 
and lowering the coffin within the threshold, closes the 
doorway. According to the popular belief there is always 
a mystic connection between the person and all that he 
has come in contact with, so that by means of these 
one can cause him pain or pleasure, more especially 
the first. Therefore, all that has been in contact with 
the dead must at once be taken out of the house — the 
water used in washing the corpse, the straw that has 
been in his bed. Chairs and stools are upset so that 
he may find nothing to sit upon. For fear that the 
soul should remain behind, and hide in an empty jar, 
the vessels are all turned upside down. 

Strewing flax-seed has evidently had another mean- 
ing, as it is supposed that all the powers of darkness, 
witches, ghosts, and hobgoblins were forced to count 

A Danish Survival. 369 

each single seed before they could enter. It is most 
likely the same idea when a broom flung across a door 
prevents a witch from coming in. Another variation 
of the same idea is to hang up an old worn-out cart- 
wheel. If flax-seed is strewn, the ghost before it can 
enter must find and count every seed ; if it is a cart- 
wheel, it must run through all the ruts that wheel has 
been through, and in that way the night passes, and at 
cockcrow the dead must return to their graves. 

From whence this idea of counting and reckoning has 
its origin I cannot explain, but one meets with it in 
many places. To this may be added another which 
Mephistopheles mentions in his interview with Faust : 
" Wo wir hinein, da viiissen wir hinaits !" — a saying 
which is here used t'other way about, that where the 
dead goes out, he must return the same way, or else 
remain outside. 

Why the dead cannot take " a short cut " I do not 
know, but it is evident that they cannot, and traces of 
this belief can be found in numerous burial customs. 
The dead are always carried out feet-foremost ; were 
they carried head-foremost they would see their home 
and the door, and find the way back. In Sweden it is 
said that all the gates along the road through which a 
corpse has been carried to the churchyard are hung 
upside down, so that they open the opposite way. And 
if a ghost has begun to haunt a house, it is generally 
sufficient to alter the position of the door, then he has 
to remain outside. It is impossible for him to find his 
way in again. 

Whilst on the subject I will mention a custom of 
earlier times when burying suicides ; the dead person 
was not carried through the churchyard gate, but lifted 
over the outer mound, dragged down on the opposite 
side, and placed to the north of the church. In times 
still further back a rope was attached to the body, it 

370 The Coi'pse-Door : 

was then dragged by wild horses and buried wherever 
the rope happened to break, or else the corpse was 
thrown amongst carrion in the gallows ditch, whereby 
one also interfered with the suicide after death. For no 
poor human soul can find rest unless the funeral rites 
have been properly observed, and to these belong more 
especially, according to the popular belief, the having 
prayers read over him, and being buried in consecrated 
ground. When manners became milder, the suicide was 
allowed to rest in the churchyard, but was to be buried 
either before sunrise or after sunset. I myself have been 
present on such occasions. The grave, to distinguish it 
from those of the honest dead, might be dug from north 
to south instead of from east to west. That is an insult, 
and has been done towards other dead (besides suicides) 
to teaze them. The intended insult has always been 
felt by the person in question, and been revenged by 
malicious haunting. When one compares all the many 
other examples which point in the same direction, I 
have no doubt that when the suicide's coffin is carried 
in over the mound, it is to prevent his ghost finding its 
way out of the churchyard, as it will be stopped by the 

To continue. I have been witness that a window was 
thrown open the moment a person was dead. This is 
still a common custom in the country ; in some places 
they take a sod or a tile off the roof; on both occasions 
it is to give the soul free exit, and when the openings 
are again closed, the soul having once come outside 
won't be able to find its way back. 

Hitherto I have kept to home customs, let us now try 
a comparison. In the Eyrbyggja Saga it is told of 
Thorolf, that in the morning he was found dead sitting 
in the seat of honour. Then his wife sent messengers 
to Arnkel to let him know that his father was dead. 
Arnkel rode up to Hvam with some of his followers. 

A Danish Survival. 371 

and, when he arrived at Hvam, he heard for certain 
that his father was dead, and sat in the seat of honour. 
But all the people were frightened, for his death 
seemed so uncanny. Arnkel then entered the room, 
walking along behind the benches towards Thorolf and 
warning all present not to approach from the front 
until the usual rites had been performed. Then Arnkel 
seized Thorolf by the shoulders, and had to exert 
all his strength before he got him down from the 
seat, whereupon he wrapped a cloth round the dead 
man's head, and then laid out the body according to 
custom. After which he caused a hole to be broken 
out in the zvall behind, through tvhich the corpse was 
carried out, placed on a sledge drawn by oxen, and 
carried off to Thorsadal. Although it is not especially 
mentioned, one may be very certain that the hole in 
the wall was closed again. 

Then comes a Danish saga from the present time about 
Hr. Ole, a parson, who was versed in magic arts, and 
who could at one and the same time be seen standing 
in the pulpit in Avnslev church and also fishing in the 
pond by the parsonage. Well, he died, the parsonage 
got burnt down, and with it his magic books. The corpse 
was carried into a neighbour's house, and there he 
suddenly sat up and exclaimed, " Ho, ho ! " which was 
his favourite expression. When Hr. Ole was to be buried 
a hole was broken in the wall, and he was carried out 
that way. 

Let us now continue with a judicial custom from the 
Middle Ages. With regard to a heretic it was ordered 
at Regensburg, in the thirteenth century, that he must 
not be buried in consecrated ground. No baptised person's 
hand may touch his corpse. You shall take a rope, 
fasten it by a hook to his foot, and then drag him out 
of the door. If the threshold is too high, a hole must be 
dug under the doorstep and he be dragged out that way, 

"^"Ji The Co7^pse-Door : 

but so that no baptised person's hand touches him. The 
rope shall then be fastened to the tail of a horse, and 
he be dragged to the gallows-ditch. (The above refers, 
though, more especially to suicides.) In a legal paragraph 
from Goslar it is said : " He who takes his own life must 
not be carried out through the door, but shall be dug 
out under the threshold or taken oict through the window, 
and burnt in the field." Another case from Rygen (?) 
can be compared with this: "If a person hangs himself 
within doors, he shall be dug out either under the door 
or through the wall; judgment shall be passed upon 
him, then a horse shall drag him in a rope to the nearest 
cross road where three roads meet. His head shall be 
laid where Christian people have their feet. The rope 
with which he has hanged himself shall remain round 
his neck so that the end of it can be three feet above 
ground," and so on. 

A number of other examples could be given ; some- 
times the hangman is to drag him out under the doorstep, 
at other times a hole is to be made in the wall ; and 
as no one will have such a dangerous person near their 
dwelling or on their field, the dead body can be put 
into a barrel and thrown into the river, from whence 
it would be carried out into the ocean, where it can do 
no more harm. 

To come nearer home. To the north of Skaane lies 
a tract called the Varend. In this former borderland 
lived a hardy and warlike people, the Virdars. A 
document from thence mentions that in 1611 the judicial 
court of Sunnerbo passed sentence on an old peasant 
who, suffering from cancer, had in his distress and 
despair hung himself, to the effect that as the deceased 
had deprived himself of life and there was no hope for 
him, he was to be dug out under the threshold of the 
house and carried to the gallows-ditch. Thereto was 
added this explanation ; that when a corpse was carried 

A Danish Survival. 373 

through a hole dug from under the foundation of the 
house, it was evidently done to protect the inmates 
from being haunted by the ghost of a suicide. 

In Schwabien the body of a suicide was to be con- 
veyed out under the doorstep or through a hole in the 
wall, with this explanation, that it was to prevent the 
dead from haunting the house. 

In Greenland the dead are carried out through the 
window of the mud huts, or if it is in the summer time, 
through the back of the tent. The German traveller. 
Kohl, who has passed a long time amongst the North 
American Indians, tells of their great horror of all that 
reminds of death and burial. The Ojibway bury their 
dead quickly, they do not carry the corpse out of the door, 
but cut a hole in the wall of the house. As a rule the 
house is pulled down and another one built up ; they 
are even so particular as not to light a new fire with a 
spark from the old one. 

The same things are told of the people in Russia. 
One remarkable example from the Middle Ages may 
be mentioned. It refers evidently to an ordeal. The 
suspected person was to swallow a mouthful of conse- 
crated bread. If he could not do so, he was to be 
dragged out alive under the doorstep and then put to 

We then find the custom of not carrying the dead 
through the usual entrance to a house in the ancient 
Icelandic sagas, in comparatively modern Danish life, 
in judicial documents of the Middle Ages, in Swabia, in 
Greenland, among the North American Indians, the 
Slavonic races in Russia, and, I may add, among the 
Ostiaks, Siamese, Chinese, Hottentots, and Caribbees. 
Here and there the custom is observed with a full 
understanding of the reason, whilst in other places it is 
only a survival from ancient times. With the rise of 
civilization there has been a tendency to confine the 

374 ^'^^ Corpse-Door : 

dread of the returning ghost to suicides and evil-doers, 
but originally it applied to the whole of the departed 
without exception. 

It belongs to human nature to be lazy. We like to 
do things the easiest way, and to attain our aim with 
as little trouble as possible. In Mecklenburg they have 
arranged a loose doorstep, which can be lifted up for 
the coffin to pass under and then let down again, so 
that the ghost cannot possibly get in under it. In 
old-fashioned houses they have had a window frame 
made so as to be easily taken out and put in again, 
I have seen a coffin conveyed out through such a 
window, and as in the olden times people were not in 
the habit of opening windows, there was not much 
likelihood of its being opened again before the next 
death, so one was pretty safe not to get a visit from 
the dead through that wa)^ Now, I think that the 
intention of a "corpse-door" is clearly explained. It is 
a simple, easy, and inexpensive means of getting the 
dead out of the house. The doors may be low, the 
passage narrow, that does not matter. In the "big 
room," where all the more important events are celebrated, 
a few bricks cemented with clay can easily be removed, 
and then there is room enough for the coffin to pass 
through. The opening is only there for a couple of hours, 
and closed up again before the procession returns from 
church. The dead is shut out effectually from his old 
home ; the living need feel no terror at midnight when 
the howling of the dogs proclaims that the dead are 
afoot, for the departed one can only come back by 
the way he went out. When the opening through 
which he left his home is closed up, it is not in his 
power to return. 

As far as I know, there is but one house left having 
such a corpse-door, and that is old and ruinous. When 
it is gone the only relic of the custom will be a drawing 

A Danish Survival. 375 

by Mejborg in his book, Old Danish Homes} and it may 
not be so long before all this, like so much else, gets 
shut up in the lumber-room of literature and forgotten. 

H. F. Feilberg. 

^R. Mejborg, Gamle Danske Hj'em, (Kobenhavn, i888), p. 120; from 
which the illustration, Plate V. is copied. A sketch of the gable-end 
of the house in question appears in my work, Dansk BonJeliv, {1889), a 
copy of which I some years ago presented to the Folklore Library. 


BY A. LANG, M.A., LL.D., ETC. 

{Read at Meeting, i()tk June, 1907.) 

We all know that stories never die. A good thing told 
about a wit of any remote date is attached, in all 
following generations, to a series of later humorists. The 
famous Beresford ghost story (the basis of Scott's ballad, 
" The Eve of St. John "), is not only found in a chronicle 
of the twelfth century, and in a sequence of tales ever 
since, but is actually current to-day with a living lady 
for the heroine ! Finally, the inventions of pre-historic 
antiquity, which are the stock-in-trade of Household 
Tales, peasant Mdrchen, and early epics, are localised in 
various places. The incidents of an European ballad are 
said to have occurred, for example, at the meeting-place 
of Ettrick and Yarrow, or beside the troutful Douglas 

This fact, the tendency to revive and renovate old 
stories by giving them a contemporary date and a 
familiar locality, is now perfectly well understood. But 
I have found a puzzling case of " story bi-location," and 
would be glad to know how we are to explain it. Did 
the self-same strange thing happen twice, or more fre- 
quently, on either side of the Atlantic, within some 
twenty years, or is the European narrative a deliberate 
plagiarism from West Indian facts .-• 

Though the dead are the sufferers in this affair (and 

''Death's Deeds ^ 377 

also the actors, according to popular opinion), the sturdy 
Rationalist need not be nervous : I am not telling a 
ghost-story ; a thing excommunicated (if there be evidence 
for it) by scientific folklorists. I must confess that a 
little historical research has been needed, and historical 
precision is sadly alien to anthropological methods. 

On May 8, 1859, in Paris, Mademoiselle de Gulden- 
stubbe and her brother, the Baron de Guldenstubbe, told 
to Mr. Robert Dale Owen (late American Minister at 
Naples) their version of the bi-located story. He pub- 
lished it in i860, in the American edition of his Footfalls 
on the Boundary of Another World (English edition, 
1861, pp. 1 86-191). The two Guldenstubbes were son 
and daughter of a Baron of that name, who, they said, 
in 1844 was president of a Committee which in that 
year investigated strange occurrences in the Lutheran 
cemetery of Ahrensburg, Isle of Oesel, in the Baltic. 
The evidence was thus given fifteen years later than 
the events. I must add that the younger Baron, the 
narrator, declared that he saw a very strange phantasm 
of the dead, at Paris, in his rooms, 23 Rue St. Lazare, 
in March, 1854. The events at Ahrensburg, of 1844, 
were therefore within his own recollection, if, in 1854, 
he was old enough to have an establishment of his own. 
He also published (or was it his father?), in 1857, ^ 
book on automatic writing, which was attributed to the 
agency of " spirits." A distinguished member of the 
Society for Psychical Research informs me that the 
author of this book was "a thorough-going spiritualist 
of the most credulous and superstitious type." Mr. Dale 
Owen, however, regarded the younger Baron as honest, 
and nobody says that he was a deliberate liar with 

His story was that, in June, 1844, a chapel, that of 

the Buxhoewden family, in the cemetery of Ahrensburg, 

became noisy; that the noise {Getose) frightened horses 

2 B 

378 ''Death's Deeds" : 

into fits, and that, when the chapel was opened (July, 
1844) for the burial of a corpse, the coffins were found 
displaced, and " lying in a confused pile." They were 
replaced, and the chapel was locked. The elder Gulden- 
stubbe, father of the narrator, with two of the Buxhoewden 
family, secretly visited the chapel, again found the coffins 
all in a heap, had them put in order, locked the chapel, 
and consented to an investigation. A Committee of the 
Consistory, including the Baron, the Bishop, the Burgo- 
meister, an atheistic doctor (M. Luce), a Syndic, and a 
secretary, with two clergymen, were the Committee. 
They reopened the chapel ; all the coffins but three were 
" in a painfully dissolute state." No robbery of jewels 
buried in the coffins had occurred. The pavement of 
the vault was taken up ; it had not been disturbed. 
The place was put in order once more, and the doors 
were locked and sealed with the official seal of the 
Consistory, Wood ashes were strewn everywhere, to 
detect footsteps, and a military guard was posted for 
three days and nights. The Committee then returned, 
and found all in order : seals undisturbed, ashes un- 
trodden, but the coffins were standing on their heads. 
The lid of one was open, and a hand, that of a suicide, 

An official report was drawn up, which " is to be found 
among the archives of the Consistory, and may be 
examined by any travellers, respectably recommended, 
on application to the secretary of the Consistory." The 
troubles continued, till the dead were taken out and 
buried in earth.^ Dale Owen (i860) adds that the next 
generation will perhaps regard this tale as " an idle 
legend of the incredible." 

In 1899 Dr. Alfred Russell Wallace had a controversy 
with Mr. Frank Podmore about Poltergeister, or unex- 
plained disturbances, and gave the Ahrensburg story as 

'^Footfalls, pp. 186-193. 

A Bi- located Story. 379 

a good sample. Mr. Podmore naturally answered that 
the evidence is at third-hand, and that nobody professed 
to have seen the official document. On October 21- 
November 4, 1906, Mr. Solovovo wrote to Mr. Podmore 
from St. Petersburg, saying that he had applied to the 
Lutheran Consistory at Riga, on Feb. 4-16, 1899, and, 
on Feb. 19-March 4, received a reply. In the archives 
of the Consistory of Oelsen (and in those of the church 
in Ahrensburg, as Mr. Solovovo found) were no docu- 
ments about the disturbances of the coffins. The Ober- 
pastor of the church (that of St. Laurentius) added that 
the present Baron Buxhoewden, owner of the chapel, 
some years ago, had " failed to find anything either at 
Ahrensburg or at Riga." ^ 

Are we to conclude that Mr. Dale Owen's Baron de 
Guldenstubbe invented (or rather plagiarised) the whole 
story, so rich as it is in detail.? I could not take it on me 
to say that; for the document, if it existed, was one which 
persons of education and common sense might think it 
desirable to destroy, while the Buxhoewden family, on 
reflection, might regard it as an unpleasant record. I 
know how often a gap occurs in State Papers and other 
public records, just at the moment when we are aware 
that a royal murder plot, or any other shady transaction, 
was being arranged. The newspapers, if any, of Oelsen 
for 1844, ought to be consulted. It is certain that old 
people in the island remember the affair. 

I now turn to the other and earlier version of the story. 
The scene is a family vault, that of the family of Chase, 
at the church named Christchurch, in Barbadoes. 

The dates of disturbances precisely parallel to those 
at Ahrensburg, are from August 9, 18 12, to April, 1820. 
The earliest printed record known to me is of 1833, in 
Sir J. E. Alexander's Transatlantic Sketches, vol. i., p. 161 
(London, 1833). 

^Journal S.F.R., February, 1907, pp. 30-32. 

380 ''Death's Deeds" : 

Sir James writes : " It is not generally known that in 
Barbadoes there is a mysterious vault, in which no one 
now dares to deposit the dead. It is in a churchyard near 
the seaside. In 1807 the first coffin that was deposited 
in it was that of a Mrs. Goddard ; in 1808 a Miss 
A. M. Chase was placed in it; and in 18 12 Miss 
D. Chase. In the end of 18 12 the vault was opened 
for the body of the Honourable T. Chase ; but the three 
first coffins were found in a confused state, having 
been apparently tossed from their places. Again was 
the vault opened to receive the body of an infant, and 
the four coffins, all of lead, and very heavy, were much 
disturbed. In 18 16 a Mr. Brewster's body was placed 
in the vault, and again great disorder was apparent in 
the coffins. In 18 19 a Mr. Clarke was placed in the 
vault, and, as before, the coffins were in confusion. 

" Each time that the vault was opened the coffins 
were replaced in their proper situations, that is, three 
on the ground side by side, and the others laid on 
them. The vault was then regularly closed ; the door 
(and a massive stone which required six or seven men 
to move) was cemented by masons ; and though the 
floor was of sand, there were no marks of footsteps or 

"The last time the vault was opened was in 18 19. 
Lord Combermere was then present, and the coffins 
were found thrown confusedly about the vault, some 
with the heads down and others up. What could have 
occasioned this phenomenon } In no other vault in the 
island has this ever occurred. Was it an earthquake 
which occasioned it, or the effects of an inundation in 
the vault.-'" (The last opening was really in 1820). 

In Schomburgk's History of Barbadoes, published in 
1844, there is a similar version. I have in my hands 
a manuscript, undated, but old, signed "J. Anderson, 
Rector," written on the back of a coloured sketch of the 

A Bi-located Story. 381 

coffins. Schomburgk says that such a sketch was made 
in 1820 (April 18), when the vault was opened by Lord 
Combermere, Governor of the island, and the coffins 
were found in wild disarray. My sketches of the 
coffins, in order and disorder, with Mr. " Anderson's " 
written account, belong to my brother-in-law, Mr. 
Forster Alleyne, of Porters, Barbadoes, whose father, 
the late Mr. Charles Thomas Alleyne, was in the island in 
April, 1820, when Lord Combermere opened the vault. 
I am not certain that Mr. Charles Alleyne spoke of the 
affair to his son ; but Mr. Forster Alleyne tells me 
that he heard of it from an eye-witness named in 
Mr. Anderson's document. Sir Robert Bowcher Clarke. 
The evidence is thus better than that of Baron de 
Guldenstubbe, but as Christchurch was destroyed in the 
hurricane of 1831, I am not certain that its registers 

It is a curious fact that Mr. Alleyne's copy of Mr. 
" Anderson's " record varies from a synoptic version signed 
not "J. Anderson, Rector," but "Thomas Harrison Order- 
son, D.D., Parish of Christ Church, Barbadoes." This 
synoptic copy was printed by a Mr. Robert Reece, 
junior, who got it from Mr. Orderson (named elsewhere 
by him " Harrison "), and is published in a pamphlet 
pleasingly styled DeatJis Deeds (Skeet, London, i860). A 
MS. note in the copy before me attributes the tract 
to "Mrs. D. H. Cussons." As to Mr. Orderson, Mr. 
Alleyne (May 20, 1907) informs me that he has 
examined the old record of funerals at Christ Church, 
Barbadoes. From the end of 1803 to 1820, Mr. Order- 
son signs all the records : " Harrison " is a misprint : 
Anderson was not Rector during the disturbances : this 
name is also a misprint. 

The DeatJis Deeds version begins with what the 
"Anderson" version omits. "July 31, 1807, Mrs. 
Thomasin Goddard interred in vdult which, when opened, 


Death! s Deeds " 

was quite empty." I shall call the Orderson version 
" O.," the Anderson version "A." A. and O. both 
record: "Feb. 22, 1808, burial of infant daughter of 
Hon. Col. Chase in a leaden coffin." (So, too, the Book 
of Christ Church.) 

A. and O. both give July 6, 1812 : "Dorcas Chase 
buried, the two other coffins were in their proper places. 
They were leaden coffins." (So, too, the Book of Christ 

A. and O. agree that on August 9, 1812, The Hon. 
Thomas Chase was buried. (So, too, the Book.) The two 
leaden coffins were found out of place, that of the 
infant (Feb. 22, 1808), had been thrown from its corner 
to the opposite angle. If any dead person had done 
this it must have been Dorcas Chase (July 6, 181 2); at 
least Mrs. Goddard and Mary Anna Maria Chase had 
previously been tranquil. 

Now comes a discrepancy between A. and O. 

O. gives "Sept. 25, 18 16, Samuel Brewer Ames, an 
infant, was interred" (so, too, the Book), "and when the 
vault was opened the leaden coffins were removed from 
their places, and were in much disorder." 

"Nov. 17, 1816, the body of Samuel Brewster was 
removed from the parish of St. Philip " (so, too, the 
Book), " and was deposited in the vault, and great con- 
fusion was discovered among the leaden coffins." 

Samuel Brewster, an adult, is another person than 
Samuel Brewster Ames, an infant. 

A. says nothing about the infant Samuel Brewster 
Ames, buried on September 25, 1816, but has "September 
25, 1 8 16, vault opened for Samuel Brewster, a man whose 
remains had been removed from St. Philip's, where he 
was shot in the insurrection of April, 18 16, to Christ 
Church. Great confusion among the coffins." A. gives 
no interment of November 17, 1816. How are we to 
account for these variations in the two synoptic records .'* 

A Bi-located Story. 383 

The Book of Christ Church answers the question. A. 
has merely omitted the infant Samuel. 

A. and O. both give for July 17, 18 19, the burial of 
Thomasin Clarke. So, too, the Book. " Again great 
confusion." Both A. and O. allege, in different phrases, 
that on each occasion the coffins were carefully replaced 
in order, and the vault regularly closed by masons. 

A. and O. both give the inspection by Lord Comber- 
mere and others on April 18, 1820. A. gives a coloured 
sketch of the coffins as left all orderly on July 7, 1819, and 
another of the disorder in which they were found on 
April 18, 1820. A. adds, "The vault is about 12 feet long, 
and about 6 to 7 wide. Five times were the coffins found 
in confusion. All the coffins were of lead, except 
Thomasine Clarke's, which was of wood." Now A., we 
saw, gives but four cases of disturbance, while O., by aid 
of the infant Samuel, gives five. It thus seems that 
the writer of A. omitted the infant Samuel, and dated the 
adult Samuel's burial on the wrong day. The sketches 
given by O. vary much from those in A. 

Since writing so far, I received from my kinsman, 
Mr. Forster Alleyne of Barbadoes, a third synoptic 
version. He copied it "from a very old copy on thin 
blue paper once in the possession of" a sister of Sir 
R. Boucher Clarke, who was at the last opening of 
the vault. 

This version, signed by Thomas H. Orderson, Rector, 
I give in full. Within are sketches of the coffins in order 
and in disorder. 

Feb. 22, 1808. Vault opened for Mary Ann Maria Chase, infant 

daughter of the Honbl. Thomas Chase. 
July 6, 181 2. Vault opened for Dorcas Chase. Mary Ann 

Maria Chase's coffin was found in its proper place. 
Aug. 9, 181 2. Vault opened for the Honbl. Thos. Chase. The 

two coffins above-mentioned were found out of their 

384 " Death's Deeds " / 

proper places. The infant's especially, which had been 
thrown to the opposite angle of the vault. 

Sept. 25, 1816. Vault opened for Samuel B. Ames, an infant. 
Coffins in great disorder. 

Nov. 17, 1816. Vault opened for Samuel Brewster. Great con- 
fusion among the coffins. 

July 7, 1819. Vault opened for Thomazin Clarke. Coffins found 
in great confusion. 

At each time of the Vault being opened, the coffins 
were carefully replaced in their proper places, and the 
mouth of the Vault regularly closed by masons. 

April 18, 1820. In consequence of a noise being heard one 
night in the Vault, it was opened next day in the 
presence of Lord Combermere and two other persons of 
first respectability, and the same confusion prevailed 
among the coffins, all of which were of lead, except 
Thomazin Clarke's, which was of cedar. 

Signed Thomas H. Orderson, 


The within was copied from a drawing made on the spot by 
order of Lord Combermere. [Plates VL and VIL] 

This third version increases the resemblance to the 
Ahrensburg story, by mentioning that "a noise was heard 
one night in the vault," which caused Lord Comber- 
mere to have the vault opened for the last time, on 
April 18, 1820. Mr. Orderson, obviously, had to make 
many copies, and slightly altered them, being weary of 
repeating identical phrases. 

Turning to Schomburgk's History of Barbadoes (1844), 
we learn that fine sand was laid to detect footsteps of 
marauders, as wood ashes were used at Ahrensburg. 
Private marks were also found undisturbed, like the seals 
at Ahrensburg. As at Ahrensburg, the cofiins were 
finally buried in the earth, and I daresay nobody exhumed 
them to see how they were behaving. Schomburgk gives, 
like A., four, not, like O., five disturbances. A. mentions 
the making of the sketches by one of Lord Combermere's 

Plate VI. 

'Dorcas Cl^ace 


JULY 7th, 1819. 


Plate VII. 


APRIL 18th, 1820. 


To face p. 384. 

A Bi- located Story. 385 

suite. The author of Death's Deeds says that Lord 
Combermere corroborated personally to her the account 
which she gives, on the authority of " a medical gentleman, 
a native of the island." This account enumerates four 
disturbances, not five, and says that (July 7, 1819) Lord 
Combermere sealed the vault with his official seal. In 
the " Memoirs and Letters of Lord Combermere" (1868), 
the whole story is given with copious detail, the source 
being a privately printed narrative by a native of the 
colony. This narrative is that used by the author of 
Death's Deeds : I have not obtained a copy. 

We have heard of R. Reece,^ junior, who printed O. 
On January 4, 1864, he wrote to Major Clarke a letter on 
the affair ; he was himself present at the opening of the 
vault in 1820. But now he calls " T. A. Orderson " by a 
new name, "The Rev. Thomas Harri.son, D.D., late Rector 
of Christchurch." Misprints certainly cause this variation. 
This form of the O. version is longer, as to the 1820 affair, 
than O. as given in Death's Deeds. 

Finally, we know, or rather we have been told, that the 
Ahrensburg troubles were caused by a coffined suicide. 
Schomburgk (1844) says nothing of a suicide in the 
Barbadoes case, so Baron de Guldenstubbe (1859) did not 
crib that from Schomburgk's book. But Reece (1864) 
says that the negroes in Barbadoes attributed the troubles 
to a suicide, Dorcas Chase (buried July 6, 1812), who 
" had starved herself to death owing to her father's cruelty, 
wherefore the other corpses were desirous to expel her." 
Reece adds that Colonel Chase also died by his own 
hand. " He was an immense man, and his coffin, which 
was of lead, was necessarily of prodigious weight, yet his 
was thrown to and fro with the greatest violence, and 
turned topsy-turvy. Certainly no earthquake could have 
been so violent as to have effected it." 

' R. Reece to Major Clarke, January 4, 1864. The Lamp, June, 1S64, 
pp. 136, 137. 


86 " Dea^A's Deeds " 

It will be observed that the Oelsen and the Barbadoes 
tales are precisely similar in every respect, including the 
supposed cause of trouble, the presence of the corpse of a 
suicide. Despite the variations between A. and O., I 
suppose nobody will deny that the odd events did occur 
at Barbadoes (1812-1820). 

The puzzle is to account for the story of their recurrence 
at Ahrensburg in 1844. 

I now give the story as located in England. Sir James 
Gierke (1833), already cited, says : 

" In England there was a parallel occurrence to this 
some years ago at Staunton, in Suffolk. It is stated that 
on opening a vault there, several leaden coffins, with 
wooden cases, which had been fixed on biers, were found 
displaced, to the great consternation of the villagers. The 
coftins v/ere again placed as before, and the vault properly 
closed, when again another of the family dying, they were 
a second time found displaced ; and two years after that 
they were not only found all off their biers, but one coffin 
(so heavy as to require eight men to raise it) was found on 
the fourth step which led down to the vaults, and it 
seemed perfectly certain that no human hand had done 
this. As yet no one has satisfactorily accounted for the 
Barbadian or the Staunton wonder." 

Does any one know a village named Staunton in 

From the date of Sir James's Staunton case, it appears 
not to be a copy of my next case, which Mr. F. A. Paley, 
the well-known scholar, dates some twenty years before 
1867. Allowing a margin of seven years that brings us 
to 1840, seven years after Sir James's narrative of 1833. 

Mr. Paley writes {Notes and Queries, 3rd series, vol. xii., 
Nov. 9, 1867, p. 371) : 

^ [Lewis's lopographical Dictionary of England {\%t,i) gives no Staunton in 
Suffolk, but two united parishes of Stanton All Saints and Stanton St. John, 
situated about eight miles north-east of Bury St. Edmunds. — Ed.] 

A Bi- located Story. 387 

'^Disturbance of Coffins in Vaults. As attention has 
been directed to this rather curious and perhaps novel 
subject, I beg to add an instance which occurred within 
my own knowledge and recollection (some twenty years 
ago) in the parish of Gretford, near Stamford, a small 
village of which my father was the rector. Twice, if not 
thrice, the coffins in a vault were found on re-opening it 
to have been disarranged. The matter excited some 
interest in the village at the time, and, of course, was a 
fertile theme for popular superstition : but I think it was 
hushed up out of respect to the family to whom the 
vault belonged. 

" A leaden coffin is a very heavy thing indeed ; some 
six men can with difficulty carry it. Whether it can 
float is a question not very difficult to determine. If it 
will, it seems a natural, indeed the only explanation of 
the phenomenon, to suppose that the vault has somehow 
become filled with water. 

" I enclose an extract from the letter of a lady to 
whom I wrote, not trusting my own memory, as to the 
details of the case : 

Penn., Oct. 15, 1867. 

' I remember very well the Gretford vault being 
opened when we were there. It was in the church and 
belonged to the . . . family. The churchwarden came 
to tell the rector, who went into the vault, and saw the 
coffins all in confusion : one little one on the top of a 
large one, and some tilted on one side against the wall. 
They were all lead, but of course cased in wood. The 
same vault had been opened once before, and was found 
in the same state of confusion, and set right by the 
churchwarden, so that his dismay was great when he 
found them displaced again. We had no doubt from 
the situation and nature of the soil, that it had been 
full of water during some flood which floated the coffins. 
I daresay ... is still alive, and could give the date, and 

388 ''Death's Deeds'' : 

I almost think . , . saw what had happened. I feel no 
doubt myself that lead coffins could float. We know a 
large iron vessel will, without any wood casing, and I 
suppose the flood subsiding would move them. The 
vault had been walled up, so that no one could have 
been in it.'" 

"R A. Paley." 

" Cambridge." 

Here the lady makes a guess at the flotation of leaden 
coffins. An empty iron vessel can float, therefore a lot 
of leaden coffins can float, can be turned topsy turvy, 
and so on, when water enters a vault in a church. 
Perhaps Mr. Paley was justified in his scepticism on this 

In any case the presence of "casual water" in 
quantities capable of displacing leaden coffins, cannot 
account for the repeated disturbances of one vault alone, 
in Barbadoes, on five occasions, in eight years. The 
water would have washed the sand on the floor about 
the coffins, and would have left other unmistakable traces 
of its action. Again, Barbadoes is not, apparently, within 
the seismic area ; it was undisturbed by the destructive 
earthquakes of the last few years in the West Indies. 
Earthquakes so local as to disturb, five times, an area 
of a few feet, and nothing else in the island, are not 
credible earthquakes. 

It is not possible for me to find the cause of the 
disturbances, but I ask, are the other narratives instances of 
mythically localising in various places a known set of 
facts, or, if not, what are they ? 

I should add that, while the Book of Christ Church, 
a contemporary record, verifies the Orderson list and 
dates of burials, the Book contains no reference to the 
disturbances. They had no business in the mortuary 

A Bi-located Story. 389 

I must again thank Mr. AUeyne for all the trouble 
he has taken. 

I am also grateful to Miss Alice Johnson, Secretary 
of the Society for Psychical Research, for notes on the 
identity of the two Barons Guldenstubbe. I am not 
sure as to which of them wrote the book on " Direct " 
(not automatic) writing. Miss Johnson informs me that 
Baron Buxhoewden, in a recent letter to Mr. Solovovo, 
mentions that old people at Oelsen remember the 
disturbances of the coffins. The "casual water" theory 
is now in some vogue, I may add that, as no traces 
of disturbance of the walls, floor, or roof of the vault 
were found at Barbadoes, I cannot adopt the theory 
that enemies of the Chase family caused the trouble. 
Nor can I admit, as the cause, gas emanating from 
the coffins. Why should only the Chase coffins be so 
violently gaseous } Any influx of casual water, again, 
would leave unmistakable traces of its presence 

A, Lang. 

POSTCRIPT. — Since this paper was printed, Mr. Forster 
Alleyne has renewed his researches in the true spirit 
of the historian. He has been rewarded by finding a 
complete autograph record by Mr. Lucas, who, in some 
accounts, is mentioned as having been present at the 
final opening of the vault by Lord Combermere, and 
this record is countersigned by the Rev. Dr. Orderson, 
Rector of Christchurch, Mr. Lucas, a member of the 
Parliament of the island, begins by quoting the case at 
Staunton, Suffolk, from TJie European Magazine of 1814. 
He says that, when he and Lord Combermere, with 
others, had discussed the Barbadoes case on April 18, 
1820, they walked straight to the vault, and had it 
opened, finding wild confusion among leaden coffins 
but not in those of wood. He denies that there was 

390 ''Death's Deeds." 

any trace of the presence of water, and dismisses the 
idea of recurrent local earthquakes of limited area. 
He can guess at no explanation of the facts. It is 
obvious that an explosion of gas in a coffin could not 
move it without exploding it, as in the case of the coffin 
of Henry VHI at Windsor. But Mr. Lucas says nothing 
of any injury to any coffin. Mr. Alleyne has also found 
allusions to the subject in the correspondence of one of 
his family in 1820. The evidence for the facts is thus 
complete. — A. L. 



By fasting is understood abstinence from all food and 
drink, or at least — in a looser sense of the word — from 
certain kinds of food, for a determined period. The 
custom of fasting is wide-spread among peoples at 
very different stages of civilisation, and is practised for 
a variety of purposes. In the present article I shall 
attempt to set forth the chief principles to which it may 
be traced. 

A frequent and well-known object of fasting is to serve 
as a means of having supernatural converse, or acquiring 
supernatural powers.^ The savage, as Professor Tylor 
remarks, has many a time, for days and weeks together, 
to try involuntarily the effects of fasting, accompanied 
with other privations and with prolonged solitary con- 
templation in the desert or the forest. Under these 
circumstances he soon comes to see and talk with 
phantoms, which are to him visible personal spirits, and, 
having thus learnt the secret of spiritual intercourse, he 
thenceforth reproduces the cause in order to renew the 
effects." The Hindus believe that a fasting person will 
ascend to the heaven of that god in whose name he 

^ See, e.g. Tylor, Primitive Culture, ii. 410 sqq. \ Lubbock, Orioin of 
Civilisatio7i, p. 266 sqq. ; Spencer, Principles of Sociology, i. 26 1 ; Landtman, 
Origin of Priesthood, pp. 11S-123, 158 sqq. 

''Tylor, op. cit. ii. 410. 

392 The Principles of Fasting. 

observes the fast.^ The Hebrews associated fasting with 
divine revelations. ^ St. Chrysostom says that fasting 
"makes the soul brighter, and gives it wings to mount up 
and soar on high." ^ 

Ideas of this kind partly underlie the common practice 
of abstaining from food before or in connection with the 
performance of a magic or religious ceremonj'- ; ^ but there 
is yet another ground for this practice. The effect 
attributed to fasting is not merely psychical, but it also 
prevents pollution. Food may cause defilement, and, 
like other polluting matter, be detrimental to sanctity. 
Among the Maoris, " no food is permitted to touch the 
head or hair of a chief, which is sacred ; and if food 
is mentioned in connection with anything sacred (or 
* tapu ') it is considered as an insult, and revenged as 
such." 5 So also a full stomach may be polluting.^ This 
is obviously the reason why in Morocco and elsewhere'^ 

^Ward, Vieiv of the History, etc. of the Hindoos, ii. 77. 

^ Exodus, xxxiv. 28. Dctiteroiiomy, ix. 9. Daniel, ix. 3. 

^ St. Chrysostom, In Cap. I. Genes, Homil. X. (Migne, Patrologia ctirsns, 
Ser. Graeca, liii. 83). Cf. TertuUian, De jejuniis, 6 sqq. (Migne, ii. 960, 
961, 963) ; Haug, Alterthiimmer der Christen, pp. 476, 482. 

■^Bossu, Travels through Louisia7ia, i. 38 (Natchez). Clavigero, History of 
Mexico, i. 285 sq. ; Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States, iii. 440 sq. 
(ancient Mexicans). Landa, Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan, p. 156. 
Junghuhn, Die Batlalander auf Siitnatra, ii. 31 1 sq. (natives of Tjumba). 
Beauchamp, in the Madras Government Museum's Bulletin, iv. 56 (Hindus of 
Southern India). Ward, op. cit. ii. 76 sq. (Hindus). Wassiljew, quoted by 
Haberland, ' Gebrauche und Aberglauben beim Essen,' in Zeitschrift fiir 
Vblkerpsychologie, xviii. 30 (Buddhists). Prophyry, De abstinentia ab estc 
animaliufii, ii. 44 ; Wachsmuth, Helletzische Alter thumskunde, ii. 560, 576 ; 
Hermann-Stark, Lehr-biich der gottesdienstlichen Alterthiimer der GHechen, 
p. 381; Anrich, Das antike Mysterientuesen, p. 25; Diels, ' Ein orphischer 
Demeterhymnus,' in Festschrift Theodor Gomperz dargebracht, p. 6 sqq. 
Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus, ii. 23, 74, 

*Angas, Polynesia, p. 149. 

® See Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 434 sq. 

"Wuttke, Der deutsche Volksaberglaube der Gegenwart, §219, p. 161. 

The Principles of Fasting. 393 

certain magic practices, in order to be efficacious, have 
to be performed before breakfast. The Masai use strong 
purges before they venture to eat holy meat.^ The Caribs 
purified their bodies by purging, bloodletting, and fasting ;2 
and the natives of the Antilles, at certain religious 
festivals, cleansed themselves by vomiting before they 
approached the sanctuary.^ The true object of fasting 
often appears from the fact that it is practised hand 
in hand with other ceremonies of a purificatory character. 
A Lappish noaide, or wizard, prepares himself for the 
offering of a sacrifice by abstinence from food and 
ablutions.* Herodotus tells us that the ancient Egyptians 
fasted before making a sacrifice to Isis, and beat 
their bodies while the victims were burnt.^ When a 
Hindu resolves to visit a sacred place, he has his 
head shaved two days preceding the commencement of 
his journey, and fasts the next day ; on the last day 
of his journey he fasts again, and on his arrival at the 
sacred spot he has his whole body shaved, after which 
he bathes.® In Christianity we likewise meet with fasting 
as a rite of purification. At least as early as the time 
of TertuUian it was usual for communicants to prepare 
themselves by fasting for receiving the Eucharist ; '' and 
to this day Roman Catholicism regards it as unlawful 
to consecrate or partake of it after food or drink.^ The 
Lent fast itself was partly interpreted as a purifying 
preparation for the holy table.^ And in the early 

'Thomson, Through Jl/asai I-a/id (iSS'j), p. 430. 

2 Waitz, Anthropologie der Naturvolker, iv. 330. ^ Ibid. iii. 384. 

■'von Duben, Lappland, p. 256. Friis, Lappish Mythologi, p. 145 sq. 

^Herodotus, ii. 40. 

"Ward, op. cit. ii. 130 sq. CJ. Institutes of Vishnu, xlvi. 17, 24 sq. 

"TertuUian, De oratione, 19 (Migne, op. cit. i. 11S2). 

8 Catechism of the Council of Trent, ii. 4. 6. 

^St. Jerome, In Jonam, 3 (Migne, op. cit. xxv. 1 140). 

2 C 

394 The Principles of Fasting. 

Church catechumens were also accustomed to fast before 

In the case of a sacrifice it is considered necessary 
not only that he who offers it, but that the victim also, 
should be free from pollution. In ancient Egypt a 
sacrificial animal had to be perfectly clean.- According 
to Hindu notions the gods enjoy pure sacrifices only.^ In 
the Kalika-Purana, a work supposed to have been written 
under the direction of Siva, it is said that if a man is 
offered he must be free from corporal defect and unstained 
with great crimes, and that if an animal is offered it must 
have exceeded its third year and be without blemish or 
disease ; and in no case must the victim be a woman or a 
she animal, because, as it seems, females are regarded as 
naturally unclean.* According to the religious law of the 
Hebrews, no leaven or honey should be used in connection 
with vegetable offerings, on the ground that these articles 
have the effect of producing fermentation and tend to 
acidify and spoil anything with which they are mixed ;^ 
and the animal which was intended for sacrifice should be 
absolutely free from blemish ^ and at least eight days old,^ 
that is, untainted with the impurity of birth. Quite in 
harmony with these prescriptions is the notion that human 
or animal victims have to abstain from food for some time 
before they are offered up. Among the Kandhs the man 
who was destined to be sacrificed was kept fasting from 
the preceding evening, but on the day of the sacrifice he 
was refreshed with a little milk and palm-sago ; and before 
he was led forth from the village in solemn procession he 

^Justin Martyr, Apologia I. pro Christianis, 6i (Migne, op. cit. Ser. 
Graeca, vi. 420). St. Augustine, Dejide et operibus, vi. 8 (Migne, xl. 202). 

-Herodotus, ii. 38. ^ Baudhayana., i. 6. 13. i sq. 

* Dubois, Dcsc7-iption of the Character, etc. of the People of India (181 7), 
p. 491. 

^ Keil, I\Ianiial of Biblical Archcsology, i. 262. 

^ Levitictis, xxii. 19 sqq. ''Ibid. xxii. 27. 

The Principles of Fasting. 395 

was carefully washed and dressed in a new gannent.^ In 
Morocco it is not only considered meritorious for the 
people to fast on the day previous to the celebration of 
the yearly sacrificial feast, l-^aid l-kbir, but in several 
parts of the country the sheep which is going to be 
sacrificed has to fast on that day or at least on the 
following morning, till some food is given it immediately 
before it is slaughtered. The Jewish custom which com- 
pels the first-born to fast on the eve of Passover^ may also 
perhaps be a survival from a time when all the first-born 
belonged to the Lord.^ 

In some cases the custom of fasting before the per- 
formance of a sacrifice may be due to the idea that it is 
dangerous or improper for the worshipper to partake of 
food before the god has had his share. In India a regular 
performance of two half-monthly sacrifices is enjoined on 
the Brahmanical householder for a period of thirty years 
from the time when he has set up a fire of his own — 
according to some authorities even for the rest of his life. 
The ceremony usually occupies two consecutive days, the 
first of which is chiefly taken up with preparatory rites 
and the vow of abstinence {vrata) by the sacrificer and his 
wife, whilst the second day is reserved for the main 
performance of the sacrifice. The vrata includes the 
abstention from certain kinds of food, especially meat, 
which will be offered to the gods on the following day, 
as also from other carnal pleasures. The Satapatha- 
Brahmana gives the following explanation of it: — "The 
gods see through the mind of man ; they know that, when 
he enters on this vow, he means to sacrifice to them the 
next morning. Therefore all the gods betake themselves 
to his house, and abide by him or the fires {upa-vas) in 

^ Macphf rson. Memorials of Service in India, p. Ii8. 

'^Greenstone, 'Fasting,' m Jewish Encyclopedia, v. 348. Allen, Modern 
Judaism, p. 394. 

'"Cf. Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, i. 459. 

396 The Principles of Fasting. 

his house ; whence this day is called Jipa-vasatha. Now, 
as it would even be unbecoming for him to take food 
before men who are staying with him as his guests have 
eaten ; how much more would it be so, if he were to 
take food before the gods who are staying with him have 
eaten : let him therefore take no food at all." ^ It is 
hardly probable, however, that this is the original meaning 
of the abstinence in question. It occurs about the time 
of new moon and full moon ; according to some native 
authorities the abstinence and sacrifice take place on 
the last two days of each half of the lunar month, whilst 
the generality of ritualistic writers consider the first day 
of the half-month — that is, the first and sixteenth days 
of the month — to be the proper time for the sacrifice.^ 
We shall presently see how frequently fasting is observed 
on these occasions, presumably for fear of eating food 
which is supposed to have been polluted by the moon ; 
hence it seems to me by no means improbable that the 
vrata has a similar origin, instead of being merely a rite 
preparatory to the sacrifice which follows it. But at the 
same time the idea that spirits or gods should have the 
first share of a meal is certainly very ancient, and may 
lead to actual fasting in case the offering for some reason 
or other is to be delayed. A Polynesian legend tells 
us that a man by name Maui once caught an immense 
fish. Then he left his brothers, saying to them : — " After 
I am gone, be courageous and patient ; do not eat food 
until I return, and do not let one fish be cut up, but 
rather leave it until I have carried an offering to the 
gods from this great haul of fish, and until I have found 
a priest, that fitting prayers and sacrifices may be offered 
to the god, and the necessary rites be completed in 
order. We shall thus all be purified. I will then return, 

^ Satapatha-Br&hmana, i. i. i. 7 sq. Eggeling, in Sacred Books of the 
East, xii. i sq. Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, p. 143, n. i. 
2 Eggeling, in Sacred Books of the East, xii. i . 

The Principles of Fasting. 397 

and we can cut up this fish in safety, and it shall be 
fairly portioned out to this one, and to that one, and 
to that other." But as soon as Maui had gone, his 
brothers began at once to eat food, and to cut up the 
fish. Had Maui previously reached the sacred place, the 
heart of the deity would have been appeased with the 
offering of a portion of the fish which had been caught 
by his disciples, and all the male and female deities would 
have partaken of their portions of the sacrifice. But now 
the gods turned with wrath upon them, on account of 
the fish which they had thus cut up without having made 
a fitting sacrifice.^ 

Among many peoples custom prescribes fasting after 
a death. Lucian says that at the funeral feast the parents 
of the deceased are prevailed upon by their relatives to 
take food, being almost prostrated by a three days' fast.^ 
We are told that among the Hindus children fast three 
days after the death of a parent, and a wife the same 
period after the death of her husband ; ^ but according to 
a more recent statement, to be quoted presently, they 
do not altogether abstain from food. In one of the 
sacred books of India it is said that mourners shall fast 
during three days, and that, if they are unable to do so, 
they shall subsist on food bought in the market or given 
unasked."* Among the Nayadis of Malabar " from the 
time of death until the funeral is over, all the relations 
must fast."^ Among the Irulas of the Neilgherries "the 
relatives of the deceased fast during the first day, that is, 
if . . . the death occur after the morning meal, they 
refrain from the evening one, and eat nothing till the next 
morning. If it occur during the night, or before the 

1 Grey, Polynesian Mythology, p. 26 sq. "^ Lucian, De Itictii, 24. 

3 Ward, Viav of the History, etc. of Che Hindoos, ii. 76 sq. 
■* Vasishtha, iv. 14 sq, Cf. Institutes of Vish>iu, xix. 14. 
''Thurston, in the Madras Government Museum's Bulletin, iv. 76. 

398 The Principles of Fasting. 

morning meal, they refrain from all food till the evening. 
Similar fasting is observed on every return of the same 
day of the week, till the obsequies take place." ^ Among 
the Bogos of Eastern Africa a son must fast three days 
after the death of his father."- On the Gold Coast it is 
the custom for the near relatives of the deceased to per- 
form a long and painful fast, and sometimes they can only 
with difficulty be induced to have recourse to food again.^ 
So also in Dahomey they must fast during the " corpse 
time," or mourning.* Among the Brazilian Paressi the 
relatives of a dead person remain for six days at his grave, 
carefully refraining from taking food.^ Among the 
aborigines of the Antilles children used to fast after the 
death of a parent, a husband after the death of his. wife, 
and a wife after the death of her husband.*^ In some 
Indian tribes of North America it is the custom for the 
relatives of the deceased to fast till the funeral is over." 
Among the Snanaimuq, a tribe of the Coast Salish. after 
the death of a husband or wife the surviving partner 
must not eat anything for three or four days.^ In one of 
the interior divisions of the Salish of British Columbia, 
the Stlatlumh, the next four days after a funeral feast are 
spent by the members of the household of the deceased 
person in fasting, lamenting and ceremonial ablutions.^ 

1 Harkness, Description of a Singular Race inhabiting the Neilgher7-y 
Hills, p. 97. 

"^ Munzinger, Die Sitten ttnd das Recht der Bogos, p. 29. 

'Ciuickshank, Eighteen Years on the Gold Coast, ii. 218. 

^ Burton, Mission to Gelele, ii. 163. 

^von den Steinen, Unter den Natwvolkern Zentral-Brasiliens, p. 435. 
Cf. ibid. p. 339 (Bakairi). 

•^Du Tertre, Histoire generale des Antilles, ii. 371. 

'Charlevoix, Voyage to North- America, ii. 187. 

* Boas, in Fifth Report on the North- Western Tribes of Canada, p. 45. 

9 Tout, 'Ethnology of the Stlatlumh of British Columbia,' 'm. Jour. Anthr. 
Inst. XXXV. 138. 

The Principles of Fasting. 399 

Among the Upper Thompson Indians in British Columbia, 
again, those who handled the dead body and who dug the 
grave had to fast until the corpse was buried.^ 

In several instances fasting after a death is observed 
only in the daytime. 

David and his people fasted for Saul and Jonathan until 
even on the day when the news of their death arrived.- 
Among the Arabs of Morocco it is the custom that if a death 
takes place in the morning everyone in the village refrains 
from food until the dead is buried in the afternoon or 
evening ; but if a person dies so late that he cannot 
be buried till the next morning the people eat at night. 
In the Pelew Islands, as long as the dead is unburied, 
fasting is observed in the daytime but not in the 
evening.^ In Fiji after a burial the kana-bogi, or fasting till 
evening, is practised for ten or twenty days.^ In Samoa it 
was common for those who attended the deceased to eat 
nothing during the day, but to have a meal at night.'^ In 
the Tuhoe tribe of the Maoris, " when a chief of distinction 
died his widow and children would remain for some time 
within the whare potae [that is, mourning house], eating food 
during the nighttime only, never during the day."^ The Sacs 
and Foxes in Nebraska formerly required that children should 
fast for three months after the death of a parent, except 
that they every day about sunset were allowed to partake of 
a meal made entirely of hominy.'^ Among the Kansas a man 
who loses his wife must fast from sunrise to sunset for a 
year and a half, and a woman who loses her husband must 

^Teit, 'Thompson Indians of British Columbia,' in Memoirs of the 
American Museum oj Natural History, Anthropology, i. 331. 

"^2 Samuel, i. 12. Cf. ibid. iii. 35. ^Waitz, op. cit. v. 153. 

"•Williams and Calvert, Fiji, p. 169. 

* Turner, A'ineteen Years in Polynesia, p. 228. Idem, Samoa, p. 145. 

®Best, 'Tuhoe Land,' in Trans, and Proceed, of the New Zealand Institute, 
XXX. 38. 

'Yarrow, 'Mortuary Customs of the North American Indians,' in Ann. 
Pep. Bur. Ethn. i. 95 

400 The Principles of Fasting. 

observe a similar fast for a year.^ In some tribes of British 
Columbia and among the Thlinkets, until the dead body is 
buried the relatives of the deceased may eat a little at night 
but have to fast during the day.^ Among the Upper 
Thompson Indians a different custom prevailed : " nobody 
was allowed to eat, drink, or smoke in the open air after 
sunset (others say after dusk) before the burial, else the 
ghost would harm them." ^ 

Very frequently mourners have to abstain from certain 
victuals only, especially flesh or fish, or some other staple 
or favourite food. 

In Greenland everybody who had lived in the same house 
with the dead, or who had touched his corpse, was for 
some time forbidden to partake of certain kinds of food.'^ 
Among the Upper Thompson Indians " parents bereft of a 
child did not eat fresh meat for several months." ^ Among 
the Stlatlumh of British Columbia a widow might eat no fresh 
food for a whole year, whilst the other members of the 
deceased person's family abstained from such food for a 
period of from four days to as many months. A widower 
was likewise forbidden to eat fresh meats for a certain period, 
the length of which varied with the age of the person — the 
younger the man, the longer his abstention.^ In some of 
the Goajiro clans of Colombia a person is prohibited from 
eating flesh during the mourning time, which lasts nine days.''' 
Among the Abipones, when a chief died, the whole tribe 
abstained for a month from eating fish, their principal dainty.^ 
While in mourning, the Northern Queensland aborigines 
carefully avoid certain victuals, believing that the forbidden 

^ Dorsey, ' Mourning and War Customs of the Kansas,' in Avterican 
Naturalist, xix. 679 sq. 

^Boas, ioc. cit. p. 41. ^Teit, loc. cit. p. 328. 

''Egede, Description of G7-eenland (1745), p. 149 sq. Cranz, History oj 
Greenland (1820), i. 218. 

^Teit, loc. cit. p. 332. ^Tout, \x\ Joiir. Anthr. Inst. xxxv. 138 sq. 

^Candelier, Rio-Hacha, p. 220. ^Charlevoix, History of Paraguay, i. 405. 

The Principles of Fasting. 401 

food, if eaten, would burn up their bowels.^ In Easter 
Island the nearest relatives of the dead are for a year or even 
longer obliged to abstain from eating potatoes, their chief 
article of food, or some other victuals of which they are 
particularly fond.- Certain Papuans and various tribes in the 
Malay Archipelago prohibit persons in mourning from eating 
rice or sago.^ In the Andaman Islands mourners refuse to 
partake of their favourite viands.* After the death of a 
relative the Tipperahs abstain from flesh for a week.^ The 
same is the case with the Arakh, a tribe in Oudh, during 
the fifteen days in the month of Kuar which are sacred to 
the worship of the dead.^ Among the Nayadis of Malabar 
the relatives of the deceased are not allowed to eat meat for 
ten days after his death.'^ According to Toda custom the 
near relatives must not eat rice, milk, honey, or gram, until 
the funeral is over.s Among the Hindus described by Mr. 
Chunder Bose a widow is restricted to one scanty meal a day, 
and this is of the coarsest description and always devoid of 
fish, the most esteemed article of food in a Hindu lady's 
bill of fare. The son, again, from the hour of his father's 
death to the conclusion of the funeral ceremony, is allowed 
to take only a meal consisting of atab rice, a sort of inferior 
pulse, milk, ghee, sugar, and a few fruits, and at night a little 
milk, sugar, and fruits — a reghne which lasts ten days in the 

^ Lumholtz, A/Nong Catmihals, p. 203. 

^Geiseler, Die Osier- Insel, pp. 28, 30. 

^^Wilken, ' Ueber das Ilaaropfer, und einige andere Trauergelnauche bei 
den Vulkern Indonesien's,' in Revue coloniak htternationale, iv. 348 S(]. 

■*Man, 'Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands,' in /out. Aiithi: 
Inst. xii. 142, 353. 

= Browne, (juoted by Dalton, op. cit. p. no. 

'^Crooke, Tribes and Castes of the North- Western Provinces and Oudh, i. 84. 

'Thurston, in the Madras Government Museum's Bulletiji, iv. 76. 

"^Idem, ibid. i. 174. Dr. Rivers says (Todas, p. 370) that, among the 
Todas, a widower is not allowed to eat rice nor drink milk, and that on 
every return of the day of the week on which his wife died he takes no 
food in the morning but only has his evening meal. The same holds good 
for a widow. 

402 The Principles of Fasting. 

case of a Brahmin and thirty-one days in the case of a Siidra. 
In some of the sacred books of India it is said that, during 
the period of impurity, all the mourners shall abstain from 
eating meat.- In Chma "meat, must, and spirits were 
forbidden even in the last month of the deepest mourning, 
when other sorts of food had long been allowed already."^ 

The custom of fasting after a death has been ascribed 
to different causes by different writers. Mr. Spencer 
believes that it has resulted from the habit of making 
excessive provision for the dead.* But although among 
some peoples the funeral offerings no doubt are so 
extensive as to reduce the survivors to poverty and 
starvation,^ I have met with no statement to the effect 
that they are anxious to give to the deceased all the 
eatables which they possess, or that the mourning fast 
is a matter of actual necessity. It is always restricted 
to some fixed period, often to a few days only, and it 
prevails among many peoples who have never been known 
to be profuse in their sacrifices to the dead. With 
reference to the Chinese, Dr. de Groot maintains that 
the mourners originally fasted with a view to being able 
to sacrifice so much the more at the tomb ; and he 
bases this conclusion on the fact that the articles of 
food which were forbidden till the end of the deepest 
mourning were the very same as those which in ancient 
China played the principal part at every burial sacrifice.*^ 
But this prohibition may also perhaps be due to a belief 
that the offering of certain victuals to the dead pollutes 
all food belonging to the same species. 

^ Bose, The Hindoos as they are, pp. 244, 254 sq. 

^Gautama, xiv. 39. Institutes of Vishnu, xix. 15. 

^'de Groot, Religious System 0/ China (vol. ii. book), i. 651. 

* Spencer, op. cit. i. 261 sqq. 

^ Ibid. i. 262. 

®de Groot, op. cit. (vol. ii. book); i. 652. 

The Principles of Fasting. 403 

Professor Wilken, again, suggests that the mourners 
abstain from food till they have given the dead his due, 
in order to show that they do not wish to keep him 
waiting longer than is necessary and thus make him 
kindly disposed towards them> This explanation pre- 
supposes that the fast is immediately followed by offerings 
or a feast for the dead. In some instances this is expressly 
said to be the case;^ the ancient Chinese, for instance, 
observed a special fast as an introductory rite to the 
sacrifices which they offered to the manes at regular 
periods after the demise and even after the close of the 
mourning.^ But generally there is no indication of the 
m.ourning fast being an essential preliminary to a sacrifice 
to the dead, and in an instance mentioned above the 
funeral feast regularly precedes it.^ 

It seems that Dr. Frazer comes much nearer the truth 
when he observes that people originally fasted after a 
death "just in those circumstances in which they con- 
sidered that they might possibly in eating devour a 
ghost." ^ Yet I think it would be more correct to say 
that they were afraid of swallowing, not the ghost, but 
food polluted with the contagion of death. The dead 
body is regarded as a seat of infection, which defiles 
anything in its immediate neighbourhood, and this 
infection is of course considered particularly dangerous 
if it is allowed to enter into the bowels. In certain cases 
the length of the mourning fast is obviously determined 
by the belief in the polluting presence of the ghost. The 
six days' fast of the Paressi coincides with the period 

1 Wilken, in Revue coloniale internationale, iv. 347, 348, 350 uj. n. 32. 
^Selenka, Sonnige Welten, p. 90 (Dyaks). Black, 'Fasting,' in hncydo- 
padia Britannica, ix. 44. 

■'de Groot, op. cit. (vol. ii. book) i, 656. * Su/ra, p. 39S. 

■'' P'razer, ' Certain Burial Customs as illustrative of the Primitive Theory 
of the Soul,' in /our. Anllir. Inst. xv. 94. See also Oldenberg, op. cit. 
pp. 270, 590. 

404 The Principles of Fasti^ig. 

after which the dead is supposed to have arrived in 
heaven no longer to return ; and they say that anybody 
who should fail to observe this fast would "eat the mouth 
of the dead," and die himself.^ Frequently the fasting 
lasts till the corpse is buried ; and burial is a conrimon 
safeguard against the return of the ghost. The custom 
of restricting the fast to the daytime probably springs 
from the idea that a ghost cannot see in the dark, and is 
consequently unable to come and pollute the food at 
night. That the object of the fast is to prevent pollution 
is also suggested by its resemblance to some other practices, 
which are evidently intended to serve this purpose. The 
Maoris were not allowed to eat on or near any spot where 
a dead body had been buried, or to take a meal in a canoe 
while passing opposite to such a place. ^ In Samoa, while 
a dead body is in the house, no food is eaten under the 
same roof, hence the family have their meals outside, or 
in another house.^ The Todas, who fast on the day when 
a death has taken place, have on the following day their 
meals served in another hut.* In one of the sacred 
books of India it is said that a Brahmana " shall not eat 
in the house of a relation within six degrees where a 
person has died, before the ten days of impurity have 
elapsed"; in a house "where a lying-in woman has not 
yet come out of the lying-in chamber ; nor in a house 
where a corpse lies " ; ^ and in connection with this last 
injunction we are told that, when a person who is not 
a relation has died, it is customary to place at the 
distance of " one hundred bows " a lamp and water-vessel, 
and to eat beyond that distance.^ In one of the Zoroas- 

^von den Steinen, op. cit. p. 434 sq. 

^ Polack, Manners and Customs of the New Zealandej-s, i. 239. 

•'Turner, A'ineteen Years in Polynesia, p. 228. Idem, Samoa, p. 145. 

■•Thurston, in the Madras Government Museum's Bulletin, i. 174. 

'^ Apastainba, i. 5. 16. 18 sqq. 

^ Haradatta, quoted by Biihler, in Sacred Books of the East, ii. 59, n. 20. 

The Principles of Fasting. 405 

trian books Ormuzd is represented as saying: "In a 
house when a person shall die, until three nights are 
completed . . . nothing whatever of meat is to be eaten 
by his relations " ; ^ and the obvious reason for this rule 
was the belief that the soul of the dead was hovering 
about the body for the first three nights after death.- 

Closely related to this custom is that of the modern 
Parsis, which forbids for three days all cooking under a 
roof where a death has occurred, but allows the inmates 
to obtain food from their neighbours and friends,^ 
Among the Agariya, a Dravidian tribe in the hilly 
parts of Mirzapur, no fire is lit and no cooking is done 
in the house of a dead person on the day when he is 
cremated, the food being cooked in the house of the 
brother-in-law of the deceased.'* In Mykonos, one of 
the Cyclades, it is considered wrong to cook in the house 
of mourning, hence friends and relatives come laden 
with food, and lay the " bitter table." "^ Among the 
Albanians there is no cooking in the house for three 
days after a death, and the family are fed by friends.'' 
So also the Maronites of Syria "dress no victuals for 
some time in the house of the deceased, but their 
relations and friends supply them." ^ When a Jew dies 
all the water in the same and adjoining houses is 
instantly thrown away ; ^ nobody may eat in the same 
room with the corpse, unless there is only one room in 
the house, in which case the inhabitants may take food 
in it if they interpose a screen, so that in eating they 

^ ijhdyast Ld-Shdyast, xvii. 2. 

'■'West, in Sacred Books of the East, v. 382, n. 3. 
*West, ibid. v. 382, n. 2. 

■•Crooke, Tribes a fid Castes of the North-Western Provinces, i. 7. 
'^Bent, Cyclades, p. 221. *von Ilahn, Albanesische Studien, p. 151. 

'Dandini, 'Voyage to Mount Liljanus,' in Pinkerton, Collection of Voyages, 
X. 290, 

*' Allen, Modern fwiaism, p. 435. 

4o6 The Principles of Fasting. 

do not see the corpse ; they must abstain from flesh 
and wine so long as the dead body is in the house ; ^ 
and on the evening of mourning the members of the 
family may not eat their own food, but are supplied 
with food by their friends.'^ Among the Arabs of 
Morocco, if a person has died in the morning, no fire is 
made in the whole village until he is buried, and in 
some parts of the country the inmates of a house or 
tent where a death has occurred, abstain from making 
fire for two or three days. In Algeria " des que quel- 
qu'un est mort, on ne doit pas allumer de feu dans la 
maison pendant trois jours, et il est defendu de toucher 
a de la viande rotie, grillee ou bouillie, a moins qu'elle 
ne vienne de quelqu'un de dehors."^ In China, for 
seven days after a death, " no food is cooked in the 
house, and friends and neighbours are trusted to supply 
the common necessaries of life." * There is no sufficient 
reason to assume that this practice of abstaining from 
cooking food after a death is a survival of a previous 
mourning fast, but the two customs seem partly to have 
a similar origin. The cooking may contaminate the 
food if done in a polluted house, or by a polluted 
individual. The relatives of the dead, or persons who 
have handled the corpse, are regarded as defiled ; hence 
they have to abstain from cooking food, as they have to 
abstain from any kind of work,'' and from sexual inter- 

^ Bodenschatz, Kirchliche Verfassutig der heutigeti Jiideji, iv. 177. 

^Buxtorf, Syjiagoga Judaica (1680), p. 707. 

""Certeux and Carnoy, VAlgirie traditionelle, p. 220. 

^ Gray, China, i. 287 sq. 

"'Egede, Description of Greenland, p. 149 sq. Nelson, 'Eskimo about 
Bering Strait,' in Ann. Rep. Bur. Eihn. xviii. 319. Maccauley, 'Seminole 
Indians of Florida,' ibid. v. 52. Jochelson, ' Koryak Religion,' in Jesitp 
North Pacific Expedition, vi. 104. Kloss, In the Andainans and Nicobars, 
p. 305 (Kar Nicobarese). Turner, Samoa, p. 146. Campbell, Second 
Journey in the Interior of South Africa, ii. 204 (Bechuanas). Casalis, 
Basutos, p. 260. 

The Principles of Fasting. 407 

course.! Hence, also, they are often prohibited from 
touching food ; and this may in some cases have led to 
fasting, whilst in other instances they have to be fed by 
their neighbours."- 

However, an unclean individual may be supposed to 
pollute a piece of food not only by touching it with his 
hand, but in some cases by eating it, and, in accordance 
with the principle oi pars pro toto, the pollution may then 
spread to all victuals belonging to the same species. 
Ideas of this kind are sometimes conspicuous in connection 
with the restrictions in diet after a death. Thus the Siciatl 
of British Columbia believe that a dead body, or anything 
connected with the dead, is inimical to the salmon, and 
therefore the relatives of a deceased person must abstain 
from eating salmon in the early stages of the run, as also 
from entering a creek where salmon are found.^ Among 
the Stlatlumh, a neighbouring people, not even elderly 
widowers, for whom the period of abstention is compara- 
tively short, are allowed to eat fresh salmon till the first 
of the run is over and the fish have arrived in such 
numbers that there is no danger of their being driven 
away.* It is not unlikely that if the motives for the 
restrictions in diet after a death were sufficiently known 

^Teit, lof. cit. p. 331 (Upper Thompson Indians). Tout, \n /our. Anthr. 
Inst. XXXV. 139 (Stlatlumh of British Columbia). Oldenberg, op. cit. pp. 
578, 590 ; Caland, Die altiiidischen Tudten- und Bestatlutigsgebrduche, 
p. 81. de Groot, op. cit. (vol. ii. book) i. 609 (Chinese). Wilken, in 
Revue Internationale coloniale, iv. 352, n. 41. 

'■* Turner, Sawoa, p. 145 ; Idem, Nineteen Years in Polynesia, p. 228 
(Samoans). Ellis, Polynesian Researches (1859), i. 403 (Tahitians). P'razer, 
Golden Bough (1900), i. 323 (Maoris). Williams and Calvert, Fiji, p. 169. 
Among the Upper Thompson Indians the persons who handled the dead 
body would not touch the food with their hands, but must put it into 
their mouths with sharp-pointed sticks (Teil, loc. cit. p. 331). 

^Tout, 'Ethnology of the Siciatl of British Columbia,' m Jour. Anthr. 
xxxiv. 33. 

■•Tout, m Jour. Anthr. Inst. xxxv. 139. 

4o8 The Principles of Fasting. 

in each case, a similar fear lest the unclean mourner 
should pollute the whole species by polluting some 
individual member of it would be found to be a common 
cause of those rules which prohibit the eating of staple 
or favourite food.^ But it would seem that such rules 
also may spring from the idea that this kind of food is 
particularly sought for by the dead and therefore defiled. 
Moreover, unclean individuals are not only a danger to 
others, but are themselves in danger. As Dr. Frazer has 
shown, they are supposed to be in a delicate condition, 
which imposes upon them various precautions ; ^ and one 
of these may be restrictions in their diet. Among the 
Thlinkets and some peoples in British Columbia the 
relatives of the deceased not only fast till the body is 
buried, but have their faces blackened, cover their heads 
with ragged mats, and must speak but little, confining 
themselves to answering questions, as it is believed that 
they would else become chatterboxes.^ According to 
early ideas, mourners are in a state very similar to 
that of girls at puberty, who also, among various peoples, 
are obliged to fast or abstain from certain kinds of food 
on account of their uncleanness.* Among the Stlatlumh, 

^ In the Arunta tribe. Central Australia, no menstruous woman is allowed 
to gather the Iniakura bulbs, which form a staple article of diet for 
both men and women, the idea being that any infringement of the re- 
striction would result in the failure of the supply of the bulb (Spencer and 
Gillan, Northern 'J'ri'oes of Central Australia, p. 615). 

^Frazer, Golden Bough, i. 343, etc. ^Boas, loc. cit. p. 41. 

*Boas, loc. cit. p. 40 sqq. (various tribes in British Columbia). Tout, in 
[otir. Anthr. Inst, xxxiv. 33 (Siciatl). Sproat, Scenes atid Studies of Savage 
Life, p. 93 sq. (Ahts). Bourke, ' Medicine-Men of the Apache,' in Ann. 
Eep. Bur. Ethn. ix. 501. Du Tertre, Histoire generale des Antilles, ii. 
371. Schomburgk, 'Natives of Guiana,' va. Jour. Ethn. Soc. London, i. 
269 sq. von Martius, Beitrdge zur Ethnografhie A7nerikd!s, i. 644 
(Macusis). Seligmann, in Reports of the Cambridge Expedition to Torres 
Straits, v. 200 sqq. (Western Islanders). Man, ' Aboriginal Inhabitants of 
the Andaman Islands,' vsx Jour. Anthr. Inst. xii. 94. See Frazer, op. cit. 
iii. 205 sqq. 

The Principles of Fasting. 409 

for instance, when a girl reaches puberty, she fasts for 
the first four days and abstains from fresh meats of 
any kind throughout the whole period of her seclusion. 
" There was a two-fold object in this abstention. First, 
the girl, it was thought, would be harmed by the fresh 
meat in her peculiar condition ; and second, the game 
animals would take offence if she partook of their meat 
in these circumstances," and would not permit her 
father to kill them.^ 

It should finally be noticed that, though the custom 
of fasting after a death in the main has a superstitious 
origin, there may at the same time be a physiological 
motive for it.^ Even the rudest savage feels afflicted 
at the death of a friend, and grief is accompanied by 
a loss of appetite. This natural disinclination to partake 
of food may, combined with superstitious fear, have 
given rise to prohibitory rules, nay, may even in the 
first instance have suggested the idea that there is 
danger in taking food. The mourning observances so 
commonly coincide with the natural expressions of 
sorrow, that we are almost bound to assume the exist- 
ence of some connection between them, even though in 
their developed forms the superstitious motive be the 
most prominent. 

An important survival of the mourning fast is the 
Lent fast. It originally lasted for forty hours only, that 
is, the time when Christ lay in the grave.^ Irenaeus 
speaks of the fast of forty hours before Easter,'* and 

*Tout, m Jour. Atithr. Inst. xxxv. 136. 

^Cf. Mallery, 'Manners and Meals,' in American Anthropologist, i. 202; 
Brinton, Religions of Primitive Peoples, p. 213 ; Schuitz, Urgeschichte der 
Kultur, p. 587. 

■■'Cf. St. Matthew, ix. 15; St. Mark, ii. 20; St. Luke, v. 35. 

•* Irenaeus, quoted by Eusebius, IJistoria ecclesiastica, v. 24 (Migno, 
J'atrologice cnrsus, Ser. Graeca, xx. 501). Cf. Funk, 'Die Entwicklung des 
Osterfastens,' in Theologische Quartalschrift, Ixxv. 181 sqi].; Duchesne, 
Christian Worship, p. 241. 

2 D 

4IO The Principles of Fasting. 

Tertullian, when a Montanist disputing against the 
Catholics, says that the only legitimate days for Chris- 
tian fasting were those in which the Bridegroom was 
taken away.^ Subsequently, however, the forty hours 
were extended to forty days, in imitation of the forty 
days' fasts of Moses, Elijah, and Christ.^ 

Not only on a death, but on certain other occasions, 
food is supposed to pollute or injure him who partakes 
of it, and is therefore to be avoided. In Pfalz the people 
maintain that no food should be taken at an eclipse of 
the sun ; ^ and all over Germany there is a popular belief 
that anybody who eats during a thunderstorm will be 
struck by the lightning.* When the Todas know that 
there is going to be an eclipse of the sun or the moon, 
they abstain from food."^ Among the Hindus, while an 
eclipse is going on, " drinking water, eating food, and all 
household business, as well as the worship of the gods, 
are all prohibited " ; high-caste Hindus do not even eat 
food which has remained in the house during an eclipse, 
but give it away, and all earthen vessels in use in their 
houses at the time must be broken.^ Among the rules 
laid down for Snatakas, that is, Brahmanas who have 
completed their studentship, there is one which forbids 
them to eat, travel, and sleep during the twilight ; ^ 
and in one of the Zoroastrian Pahlavi texts it is said 
that " in the dark it is not allowable to eat food, for 
the demons and fiends seize upon one-third of the 

^Tertullian, De jejuniis, 2 (Migne, op. cit. ii. 956). 

2 St. Jerome, Co7nmentarii in Jonam, 3 (Migne, op. cit. xxv. 1 140). St. 
Augustine, Epistola LV (alias CXIX), 'Ad inquisitiones Januarii,' 15 
(Migne, xxxiii. 217 sq.). Funk, lac. cit. p. 209. 

^Schonwerth, Aus der Oherpfalz, iii. 55. 

* Haberland, in Zeitschr. f. Volkerpsychologie, xviii. 258. 

5 Rivers, op. cit. p. 592 sq. 

''Crooke, Popular Religion of Northern India, i. 21 sq. 

7 Laws of ManUf iv, 55. 

The Principles of Fasting. 411 

wisdom and glory of him who eats food in the dark."^ 
Many Hindus who revere the sun do not break their 
fast in the morning till they catch a clear view of it, 
and do not eat at all on days when it is obscured by 
clouds^ — a custom to which there is a parallel among 
some North American sun-worshippers, the Snanaimuq 
Indians belonging to the Coast Salish, who must not 
partake of any food until the sun is well up in the sky.^ 
Brahmins fast at the equinoxes, solstices, conjunctions 
of planets, and on the days of the new and full moon* 
The Buddhist Sabbath, or Uposatha, which occurs on 
the day of full moon, on the day when there is no moon, 
and on the two days which are eighth from the full 
and new moon, is not only a day of rest, but has also 
from ancient times been a fast-day. He who keeps the 
Sabbath rigorously abstains from all food between sun- 
rise and sunset, and, as no cooking must be done during 
the Uposatha, he prepares his evening meal in the early 
morning before the rise of the sun.* 

Among the Jews there are many who abstain from 
food on the day of an eclipse of the moon, which they 
regard as an evil omen.*' We have also reason to believe 
that the Jews were once in the habit of observing the 
new moons and Sabbaths not only as days of rest, but 
as fast-days ; and there can be little doubt that the 
Jewish Sabbath originated in the belief that it was in- 
auspicious or dangerous to work on the seventh day, 

^ ijh&yast La-Shayast, ix. 8. 

^Wilson, Works, i. 266. Hunter, Annals of Rural Bengal, ii. 285. 
Crooke, Things Indian, p. 214. 

^Boas, loc, cit. p. 51. 

•* Dubois, Description of the People of India, p. 160. See also supra, 
P- 395 ^17- 

'^ Childers, Dictionary of the Pali Language, p. 535. Kern, Der Budd- 
kistnus, ii. 258. 

'' Buxtorf, op. cit, p. 477. 

412 The Principles of Fasting. 

and that the reason for this belief was the mystic con- 
nection which in the opinion of the ancient Hebrews, as 
of so many other peoples, existed between human activity 
and the changes in the moon.^ It has been sufficiently 
demonstrated that the Sabbath originally depended upon 
the new moon, and this carries with it the assumption 
that the Hebrews must at one time have observed a 
Sabbath at intervals of seven days corresponding with 
the moon's phases.^ In the Old Testament the new 
moon and Sabbath are repeatedly mentioned side by 
side ; ^ thus the oppressors of the poor are represented 
as saying, " When will the new moon be gone, that we 
may sell corn ; and the Sabbath, that we may set forth 
wheat?"* Now there is a curious rule which forbids 
fasting on a new moon and on the seventh day,^ and this 
certainly seems to indicate what looks like a protest against 

^ See Jastrow, ' Original Character of the Hebrew Sabbath,' in American 
fournal of Theology, ii. 321 sqq. That the superstitious fear of doing work 
on the seventh day developed into a religious prohibition, is only an instance 
of the common tendency of magic forces to be transformed into divine 
volitions. Prof. Jastrow seems to have failed to see this when he says 
{lac. cit. p. 323) that, "if the Sabbath was originally an 'unfavourable' 
day on which one must avoid showing one's self before Yahwe, it would 
naturally be regarded as dangerous to provoke his anger by endeavouring to 
secure on that day personal benefits through the usual forms of activity." 
Wellhausen, again, suggests {Prolegomena to the History of Israel, p. 114) 
that the rest on the Sabbath was originally the consequence of that day 
being the festal and sacrificial day of the week, and only gradually became 
its essential attribute on account of the regularity with which it every eighth 
day interrupted the round of everyday work. He argues that the Sabbath 
as a day of rest cannot be very primitive, because such a day "presupposes 
agriculture and a tolerably hard-pressed working day-life." But this argu- 
ment appears very futile when we consider how commonly changes in the 
moon are believed to exercise an unfavourable influence upon work of any 
kind. Evidence for this will be adduced in the forthcoming second volume 
of my Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas. 

^Wellhausen, op. cit. p. 112 sqq. Jastrow, loc. cit. pp. 314, 327. 

^2 Kings, iv. 23. Isaiah, i. 13. Hosea, ii. 11. ^ Amos, viii. 5. 

^Judith, viii. 6. Schukhan Aruch (transl. by Lowe, 1896), i. 91, 1 17. 

The Principles of Fasting. 4 1 3 

a fast once in vogue among the Jews on these occasions, 
but afterwards regarded as an illegitimate rite.^ Hooker 
long ago observed in his Ecclesiastical Polity that " it 
may be a question whether in some sort they did not 
always fast upon the Sabbath." He refers to a state- 
ment of Josephus, according to which the sixth hour 
" was wont on the Sabbath always to call them home 
unto meat," and to certain pagan writers who upbraided 
them with fasting on that day.'^ In Nehemiah there is 
an indication that it was a custom to fast on the first 
day of the seventh month,^ which is ** holy unto the 
Lord";^ and on the tenth day of the same month there 
was the great fast of atonement, combined with abstin- 
ence from every kind of work.^ I venture to think that 
all these fasts may be ultimately traced to a belief that 
the changes in the moon not only are unfavourable for 
work, but also make it dangerous to partake of food. 
The fact of the seventh day being a day of rest estab- 
lished the number seven as a sabbatical number. In the 
seventh month there are several days, besides Saturdays, 
which are to be observed as days of rest,'^ and in the 
seventh year there shall be " a sabbath of rest unto the 
land.'"^ In these Sabbatarian regulations the day of atone- 
ment plays a particularly prominent part. The severest 
punishment is prescribed for him who does not rest and 

^ See Jaslrow, loc. cil. p. 325. 

2 Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, v. 72 (1830), vol. ii. 338. 

^Nehemiah, viii. 2, 10: — "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat 
the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing 
is prepared." 

^ Ibid. viii. 6 sqq. See also Leviticus, xxiii. 24 sq.; Numbers, xxix. I. 
Among the Babylonians, too, the seventh month had a sacred character 
(Jastrow, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 681, 683, 686). 

'^Leviticus, xvi. 29, 31; xxiii. 27 sqq. Numbers, xxix. 7. 

^Leviticus, xxiii. 24, 25, 35, 36, 39. Numbers, xxix. I, 12, 35. 

^ Leviticus, xxv. 4. See also Exodus, xxiii. 10 sq. 

414 The Principles of Fasting. 

fast on that day "from even unto even";^ and it is on 
the same day that, after the lapse of seven times seven 
years the trumpet of the jubilee shall be caused to sound 
throughout the land.^ Most of the rules concerning the 
day of atonement are undoubtedly post-exilic. But the 
fact that no other regular days of fasting but those 
mentioned by Zechariah are referred to by the prophets 
or in earlier books, hardly justifies the conclusion drawn 
by many scholars that no such fast existed. It is 
extremely probable that the fast of the tenth day of the 
seventh month as a fast of atonement is of a compara- 
tively modern date ; but it is perhaps not too bold to 
suggest that the idea of atonement is a later interpreta- 
tion of a previously existing fast, which was originally 
observed for fear of the dangerous quality attributed to the 
number seven. Why this fast was enjoined on the tenth day 
of the seventh month remains obscure ; but it seems that 
the order of the month was considered more important than 
that of the day. Nehemiah speaks of a fast which was 
kept on the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month.^ 

In other Semitic religions we meet with various fasts 
which are in some way or other connected with 
astronomical changes. According to En-Nedim, the 
Harranians, or " Sabians," observed a thirty days' fast 
in honour of the moon, commencing on the eighth day 
after the new moon of Adsar (March) ; a nine days' fast 
in honour of " the Lord of Good Luck " (probably 
Jupiter),* commencing on the ninth day before the new 
moon of the first Kanun (December) ; and a seven days' 
fast in honour of the sun, commencing on the eighth or 
ninth day after the new moon of Shobath (February).^ 
The thirty days' fast seems to have implied abstinence 

'^Leviticus, xxiii. 29 sq. "^ Ibid. xxv. 9. "^Nehemiah, ix. I. 

* Chwolsohn, Die Ssabiei-, ii. 226, n. 247. 

^ En-Nedim, Fihrist (book ix. ch. i. ) i. 4 ; v. 8, 1 1 sq. (Chwolsohn, op. 

cit. ii. 6, 7, 32, 35 sq.). See also Chwolsohn, i. 533 sqq.; ii. 75 sq. 

The Principles of Fasting. 415 

from every kind of food and drink between sunrise and 
sunset,^ whereas the seven days' fast is expressly said 
to have consisted in abstinence from fat and wine.^ 
In Manichaeism — which is essentially based upon the 
ancient nature religion of Babylonia, though modified 
by Christian and Persian elements and elevated into a 
gnosis^ — we meet with a great number of fasts. There 
is a continuous fast for two days when the sun is in 
Sagittarius (which it enters about the 22nd November) 
and the moon has its full light ; another fast when the 
sun has entered Capricornus (which it does about the 
2 1st December) and the moon first becomes visible; 
and a thirty days' fast between sunrise and sunset 
commencing on the day " when the new moon begins 
to shine, the sun is in Aquarius (where it is from about 
the 20th January), and eight days of the month have 
passed," which seems to imply that the fast cannot 
begin until eight days after the sun has entered Aquarius 
and that consequently, if the new moon appears during 
that period, the commencement of the fast has to be 
postponed till the following new moon. The Manichaeans 
also fasted for two days at every new moon ; and our 
chief authority on the subject, En-Nedim, states that 
they had seven fast-days in each month. They fasted 
on Sundays, and some of them, the electi or "perfect 
ones," on Mondays also,* We are told by Leo the 
Great that they observed these weekly fasts in honour 
of the sun and the moon ; ^ but according to the 

^Chwolsohn, op. cit. ii. T\ sq. Cf. Abulfeda, 6 [ibid. ii. 500). 

2 En-Nedim, op. cit. v. 11 (Chwolsohn, op. cit. ii. 36). 

'Kessler, ' Mani, Manichaer,' in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyclopadie f. 
proteslantische Theologie, xii. 198 sq. Harnack, History of Dogma, iii. 330. 
Idem, ' Manichaeism,' in Encyclopcedia Britannica, xv. 485. 

* En-Nedim, Fihrist, in Fliigel, Mani, pp. 95, 97. Fliigel, p. 311 sqq. 
Kessler, loc. cit. p, 212 sq. 

5 Leo the Great, Sermo XLII. {a/. XL/.) 5 (Migne, 0^. cit. liv. 279). 

4i6 The Principles of Fasting. 

Armenian Bishop Ebedjesu their abstinence on Sunday 
was occasioned by their belief that the destruction of the 
world was going to take place on that day.^ There can 
be little doubt that the Harranian and Manichaean fasts 
were originally due, not to reverence, but to fear of 
evil influences ; reverence can never be the primitive 
motive for a customary rite of fasting. The thirty days' 
fast which the Harranians observed in the month of 
Adsar finds perhaps its explanation in the fact that, 
according to Babylonian beliefs, the month Adar was 
presided over by the seven evil spirits, who knew 
neither compassion nor mercy, who heard no prayer or 
supplication, and to whose baneful influence the popular 
faith attributed the eclipse of the moon."^ But it may 
also be worth noticing that the Harranian fast took 
place about the vernal equinox — a time when, as we 
have seen, the Brahmins of India use to fast, though 
only for a day or two. 

It is highly probable that the thirty days' fast of the 
Harranians and Manichaeans is the prototype of the 
Muhammedan fast of Ramadan. During the whole 
ninth month of the Muhammedan year the complete 
abstinence from food, drink, and cohabitation from 
sunrise till sunset is enjoined upon every Moslem, with 
the exception of young children and idiots, as also sick 
persons and travellers, who are allowed to postpone the 
fast to another time.^ This fast is said to be a fourth 
part of Faith, the other cardinal duties of religious 
practice being prayer, almsgiving, and pilgrimage. But, 
as a matter of fact, modern Muhammedans regard the 
fast of Ramadan as of more importance than any other 
religious observance ;"* many of them neglect their 

^ Fliigel, op. cit. p. 312 sq. 

^Jastrow, Religion of Babylonict, and Assyria, pp. 263, 276, 463 

^ Koran, ii. 180, 1 8 1, 183. 

^Cf. Lane, Modern Egyptians (1896), p. 106. 

The PHnciples of Fasting. 417 

prayers, but anybody who should openly disregard the 
rule of fasting would be subject to a very severe punish- 
ment.^ Even the privilege granted to travellers and sick 
persons is not readily taken advantage of. During their 
marches in the middle of summer nothing but the appre- 
hension of death can induce the Aeneze to interrupt the 
fast;- and when Burton, in the disguise of a Muham- 
medan doctor, was in Cairo making preparations for his 
pilgrimage to Mecca, he found among all those who 
suffered severely from such total abstinence only one 
patient who would eat even to save his life.^ There is 
no evidence that the fast of Ramaddn was an ancient, 
pre-Muhammedan custom.* On the other hand, its 
similarity with the Harranian and Manichaean fasts is 
so striking that we are almost compelled to regard them 
all as fundamentally the same institution ; and if this 
assumption is correct, Muhammed must have borrowed 
his fast from the Harranians or Manichaeans or both. 
Indeed, Dr. Jacob has shown that in the year 623, when 
this fast seems to have been instituted, Ramadan exactly 

^von Kremer, Culttirgeschichte des Orients, i. 460. 

" Burckhardt, Bedouins and Wahdbys, p. 57. 

^Burton, Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah (1898), i. 74. 

••We can hardly regard as such the passage in the Koran (ii. 179) where 
it is said, " O ye who believe ! There is prescribed for you the fast as it 
was prescribed for those before you ; haply ye may fear. " The traditionists 
say that Muhammed was in the habit of spending the month of Ramadan 
every year in the cave at Hira, meditating and feeding all the poor who 
resorted to him, and that he did so in accordance with a religious practice 
which the Koreish used to perform in the days of their heathenism. Others 
add that 'Abd al-Muttalil> commenced the practice, saying " that it was 
the worship of God which that patriarch used to begin with the new moon 
of Ramadan, and continue during the whole of the month" (Muir, Life of 
Mahomet, ii. 56, n*. Sell, I'aith of Isldm, p. 316). But, as Muir remarks 
{op. cil. ii. 56, n*), it is the tendency of the traditionists to foreshadow 
the customs and precepts of Islam as if some of them had existed prior 
to Muhammed, and constituted part of " the religion of Abraham." See 
Jacob, " Der muslimische Fastenmonat Ramadan," in VI. Jahresbericht 
der Geographischen Gesellsch. zu Greifs'.vald, p. i. 1S93-96, p. 2 si]<]. 

41 8 The Principles of Fasting. 

coincided with the Harranian fast-month.^ In its Muham- 
medan form the fast extending over a whole month is 
looked upon as a means of expiation. It is said that 
by the observance of it a person will be pardoned all his 
past venial sins, and that only those who keep it will 
be allowed to enter through the gate of heaven called 
Rayyan.^ But this is only another instance of the 
common fact that customs often for an incalculable period 
survive the motives from which they sprang. 

In various religions we meet with fasting as a form of 
penance, as a means of appeasing an angry or indignant 
God, as an expiation for sin.^ The voluntary suffering 
involved in it is regarded as an expression of sorrow 
and repentance pleasing to God, as a substitute for the 
punishment which He otherwise would inflict upon the 
sinner ; and at the same time it may be thought to 
excite His compassion, an idea noticeable in many 
Jewish fasts.'* Among the Jews individuals fasted in 
cases of private distress or danger : Ahab, for instance, 
when Elijah predicted his downfall,^ Ezra and his com- 
panions before their journey to Palestine,^ the pious 
Israelite when his friends were sick.^ Moreover, fasts 
were instituted for the whole community when it believed 
itself to be under divine displeasure, when danger 

1 Jacob, loc. cit. p. 5. ^Sell, op. cit. p. 317. 

^ Wasserschleben, Die B^issordnungen der abendlaiidischen Kirche, passitn 
(Christianity). Koran, ii. 192; iv. 94; v. 91, 96; Iviii. 5. Jolly, ' Recht 
und Sitte,' in Btihler, Gnmdriss der indo-arischen Philologie, p. 117; 
Dubois, op. cit. p. 160 (Brahmanism). Clavigero, History of AJexico, i. 285. 
On occasion of any public calamity the Mexican high-priest retired to a 
wood, where he constructed a hut for himself, and shut up in this hut he 
passed nine or ten months in constant prayer and frequent effusions of 
blood, eating only raw maize and water (Torquemada, Monarchia Indiana, 
ix. 25, vol. ii. 212 sq.). 

^Cf. Benzinger, 'Fasting,' in Encydopadia Biblica, ii. 1508; Schwally, 
Das Leben nach dem Tode nach den Vorstellutigen des alten Israel, p. 26. 

^I Kings, xxi. 27. ^ Ezra, viii. 21. "'Psalms, xxxv. 13, 

The Principles of Fasting. 419 

threatened, when a great calamity befell the land, when 
pestilence raged or drought set in, or there was a reverse 
in war.^ Four regular fast-days were established in com- 
memoration of various sad events that had befallen 
Israel during the captivity;" and in the course of time 
many other fasts were added, in memory of certain 
national troubles, though they were not regarded as 
obligatory.^ The law itself enjoined fasting for the 
great day of atonement only. 

It may be asked why this particular kind of self- 
mortification became such a frequent and popular form 
of penance as it did both in Judaism and in several 
other religions. One reason is, no doubt, that fasting is 
a natural expression of contrition, owing to the depress- 
ing effect which sorrow has upon the appetite. Another 
reason is that the idea of penitence, as we have just 
observed, may be a later interpretation put upon a fast 
which originally sprang from fear of contamination. 
When an act is supposed to be connected with super- 
natural danger, the evil (real or imaginary) resulting from 
it is readily interpreted as a sign of divine anger, and 
the act itself is regarded as being forbidden by a god. 
If then the abstinence from it implies suffering, as is in 
some degree the case with fasting, the conclusion is 
drawn that the god delights in such suffering. The 
same inference is, moreover, made from the fact that 
such abstinence is enjoined in connection with religious 
worship, though the primary motive for this injunction 
was fear of pollution. Nay, even when fasting is 
resorted to as a cure in the case of distress or 
danger, as also when it is practised in commemora- 
tion of a calamity, there may be a vague belief that 
the food is polluted and should therefore be avoided. 

^Judges, XX. 26. I Samuel, vii. 6. 2 Chronicles, xx. 3. Nehemiah, ix. I. 
/eremiah, xxxvi. 9. Joel, i. 14 ; ii. 12. 

"^ Zechariah, viii. 19. -'Greenstone, \n Jewish Encyclopedia, v. 347. 

420 The Principles of Fasting. 

But in several cases fasting is distinctly a survival of an 
expiatory sacrifice. The sacrifice of food offered to the 
deity was changed into the " sacrifice " involved in the 
abstinence from food on the part of the worshipper. We 
find that among the Jews the decay of sacrifice was 
accompanied by a greater frequency of fasts. It was 
only in the period immediately before the exile that 
fasting began to acquire special importance ; and the 
popular estimation of it went on increasing during and 
after the exile, partly at least from a feeling of the 
need of religious exercises to take the place of the 
suspended temple services.^ Like sacrifice, fasting was 
a regular appendage to prayer, as a means of giving 
special efficacy to the supplication ;- fasting and praying 
became in fact a constant combination of words.^ And 
equally close is the connection between fasting and 
almsgiving — a circumstance which deserves special notice 
where, as I have shown in another place, almsgiving is 
regarded as a form of sacrifice or has taken the place 
of it.* In the penitential regulations of Brahmanism we 
repeatedly meet with the combination "sacrifice, fasting, 
giving gifts'';^ or also fasting and giving gifts, without 
mention being made of sacrifice.^ Among the Jews each 
fast-day was virtually an occasion for almsgiving,'' in 
accordance with the rabbinic saying that " the reward 

^ Benzinger, in Encyclopedia Biblica, ii. 1 508. Nowack, Lehrbuch der 
hebrdischen Archdologie, ii. 271. 

^ Low, Gesanimelte Schriften, i. 108. Nowack, op. cit. ii. 271. Benzinger, 
in Encyclopedia Biblica, ii. 1507. 

^Judith, iv. 9, II. Tobit, xii. 8. Ecclesiasliciis, xxxiv. 26. St. Luke, 
ii- 37- 

■* Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, i. 565 sqq. 
^ Gautajna, xix. II. Vasishtha, xxii. 8. Baudh&yana, ii. 10. 9. 
^ Vasishtha, xx. 47. 

'' Kohler, 'Alms,' in Jewish Encyclopedia, i. 435. Low, op. cit. i. 108. 
Cf. Tobit, xii. 8. Katz, Der wahre Talmudjude, p. 43. 

The Principles of Fasting. 421 

of the fast-day is in the amount of charity distributed " ; ^ 
but fasting was sometimes declared to be even more 
meritorious than charity, because the former affects the 
body and the latter the purse only.^ And from Judaism 
this combination of fasting and almsgiving passed over 
into Christianity and Muhammedanism. According to 
Islam, it is a religious duty to give alms after a fast;^ 
if a person through the infirmity of old age is not able 
to keep the fast, he must feed a poor person;^ and the 
violation of an inconsiderate oath may be expiated either 
by once feeding or clothing ten poor men, or liberating 
a Muhammedan slave or captive, or fasting three days.^ 
In the Christian Church fasting was not only looked 
upon as a necessary accompaniment of prayer, but what- 
ever a person saved by means of it was to be given to 
the poor.^ St. Augustine says that man's righteousness 
in this life consists in fasting, alms, and prayer, that alms 
and fasting are the two wings which enable his prayer 
to fly upward to GodJ But fasting without almsgiving 
" is not so much as counted for fasting " ; ^ that which 

^ Berakhoth, fol. 6 b, quoted by Greenstone, in Jewish Encyclopedia, 
V. 349. 

"^ Berakhoth, fol. 32 b, quoted by Hershon, Treasures of the Talmud, 
p. 124. 

" Sell, op. cit. p. 251, ^ 

'^ Ibid. p. 281. This opinion is based on a sentence in the Koran (ii. 180) 
which has caused a great deal of dispute. It is said there that "those who 
are fit to fast may redeem it by feeding a poor man." But the expression 
"those who are fit to fast" has been understood to mean those who can do 
so only with great difficulty. 

^ Koran, v. 91. Lane, Modern Egyptians, p. 313 si/. See also Koran, 
ii. 192 ; iv. 94 ; v. 96 ; Iviii. 5. 

^Harnack, History of Dogma, i. 205, n. 5. Low, op. cit. i. 108. 

'St. Augustine, Enarratio in Psalmum XLII. 8 (Migne, Patrologice 
cursus, xxxvi. 482). 

8 St. Chrysostom, In Matthaum Homil. LXXVII. {al. LXXVIII.), 6 
(Migne, op. cit. Ser. Graeca, Iviii. 710). St. Augustine, Sermones supposititii, 
cxlii. 2, 6 (Migne, xxxix. 2023 j(/.). 

422 The Principles of Fasting. 

is gained by the fast at dinner ought not to be turned 
into a feast at supper, but should be expended on the 
belHes of the poor.^ And if a person was too weak to 
fast without injuring his health he was admonished to 
give the more plentiful alms.^ Tertullian expressly calls 
fastings "sacrifices which are acceptable to God."^ They 
assumed the character of reverence offerings, they were 
said to be works of reverence towards God.'* But fasting, 
as well as temperance, has also from early times been 
advocated by Christian writers on the ground that it is 
" the beginning of chastity," ^ whereas " through love of 
eating love of impurity finds passage," ^ 

Edward Westermarck. 

1 St. Augustine, Sermones supposititii, cxli. 4 (Migne, op. cit. xxxix. 2021). 
See also Canons enacted tinder King Edgar, 'Of Powerful Men,' 3 {Ancient 
Laws of England, p. 415); Ecclesiastical Institutes, 38 {ibid. p. 486). 

2 St. Chrysostom, In Cap. I. Genes. Honiil. X. 2 (Migne, op. cit. Ser. 
Graeca, liii. 83). St. Augustine, Sermones supposititii, cxlii. i (Migne, 
xxxix. 2022 sq.). 

^ Tertullian, De restirrectione carnis, 8 (Migne, op. cit. ii. 806). 

* Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, v. 72, vol. ii. 334. 

5 St. Chrysostom, In Epist. II. ad Thessal. Cap. I. Homil. I. 2 (Migne, 
op. cit. Ser. Gr. Ixii. 470). 

* Tertullian, De jejuniis, i (Migne, op. cit. ii. 953). See also Manzoni, 
Osse^-vazioni sulla morale cattolica, p. 175. 


Secret Societies and Fetishism in Sierra Leone. 

The objects shown in Plates VIII., IX., and X., most of 
which were exhibited at the Society's meeting on June 19th, 
illustrate the appliances of some of the highly-developed secret 
societies and the fetish beliefs of the tribes in the Sierra 
Leone Protectorate. They were obtained from traders and 
officials who have travelled in the interior. 

The most important society is the Porro, a detailed account 
of which is given in A Revelation of the Secret Orders of 
Western Africa (Dayton, Ohio, 1886, 99 pp.), by Rev. J. A. 
Cole of Shaingay, who was of pure negro blood and had been 
initiated. A description is also given by Mr. T. J. Alldridge in 
The Sherbro a?id its Hinterland. The society in its usual form 
appears to be a kind of freemason and benefit club for men only, 
and Mr. Cole describes signs, passwords, and seven grades which 
he compares to grades in European freemasonry. He explains 
Porro or Purroh to mean "the ancient and sacred laws of 
the fathers." The society trains, circumcises, tattoos, and 
re-names the boys of the tribes, and is substantially the native 
government of the country. The oaths of secrecy taken are 
enforced by fetish sanctions and ceremonies, and the society can 
put a rigid taboo on any person or thing. The mask shown in 
Fig. I was worn by a personator of the kriffi ka porro, or 
porro " devil," a spirit who may not be seen by women or 
non-members, and who is supposed to devour candidates for 
the society, and afterwards give them birth again, returning 
to the sky. The mask is carved from a solid block, and is 

424 Collectanea. 

about i6i inches high, with an internal diameter of Z\ inches. 
It is perforated with a number of holes to allow the wearer 
to breathe, and the dressing of the hair is carved in high 
relief. Holes near the lower rim of the mask serve 
for the attachment of a long robe of shaggy, black-dyed 
palm fibre. One of the principal officers of the Porro society 
is the tasso or ba-kasey (lawyer), who wears attached to his 
knees rattles of one of the forms shown in Figs. 11 and 12. 
The rattle in Fig. 11 is a bent plate of native iron containing 
a loose iron lump, while in Fig. 12 it is a longer and narrower 
bent plate (which may originally have contained a loose lump), 
with two loose jingling rings suspended at each end (Plate X.). 

The Bundti or Bondo society is the initiation society for 
girls, and the normeh, or Bundu " devil," who avenges all 
interference with Bundu laws and taboos, and leads the girls 
at galas, etc., wears the mask shown in Fig. 2 (PI. VIII.). This 
mask is not perforated, and it is therefore necessary from time 
to time for the normeh to take it off, which is done under the 
shelter of a large mat unrolled round the "devil" by an attendant. 
The mask has been carved from a solid block of cotton-wood 
and blackened, and the carved hair-dressing is of a pattern 
greatly favoured by the native women. The dress worn with 
this mask is of rough black palm fibre, sewn up at the ends 
of the arms and legs so that no part of the body can be seen, 
and the dress in my possession has a number of jingling seeds 
attached to the waist. This "devil," although the women's 
devil and personated by a woman, never speaks, but conveys 
her orders by signs. The Bundu girls, during their training 
in dancing, deportment, medicine, and so on, by the mesu or 
"mother of the maids," are painted all over with wojeh, a 
mixture of white clay and animal fat which is credited with 
magical and protective properties, and the 7vojeh is used from 
the palette shown in Fig. 3. The palette ends in a head, on 
the neck of which are two horns having a fetish meaning. 
Similar horns appear on the neck of a viinsereh figure (see 
below) in my possession which is not illustrated. Wojeh is 
also used to trace devices by the finger on the foreheads of 
the country belles. 

Plate VIII. 


To J'acr fi. 424. 

Plate IX. 


To face /. 425- 

Collectanea. 425 

A third society, the Yassi or Yasey, consists of women who 
already belong to the Bundu and of Porro men. The Yassi 
official'Ya-mama can enter the Porro lodge by a private passage. 
Everything belonging to the Yassi must be spotted with coloured 
patches, except the black minsereh figures, Fig. 4, which are 
kept in the Yassi house near the fetish medicine. To obtain 
information from the fetish, the Ya-mama anoints the figure 
with the medicine, brings it out from the Yassi house with 
certain ceremonial, and holds it out by both hands at the 
waist, so that it can swing, the figure being made of light 
wood. Should the answer to the question put be favourable, 
the figure gradually inclines towards the Ya-mama. The figure 
shown is 32 inches high. (Plate IX.) 

The Human Leopard Society is one charged by most accounts 
with cannibalism, either ceremonial or with a fetish excuse for 
obtaining human flesh in time of peace. The main object of 
the society appears, however, to have been to obtain human 
fat to anoint, and so bring into activity, a made-up fetish such 
as Bai Bureh's bofimah or "medicine-bag," — shown in Fig. 7. 
Bai Bureh was the principal leader of the Timini against the 
Brhish in the rising of 1898-9, and used this fetish for thought- 
reading and forecasting events. It consists of a hardened paste 
surrounded by several layers of cloth covered outside by red 
cloth, stiffened by pieces of cane, and bound in sausage form 
by cord. A small horn was originally attached, but has un- 
fortunately been lost. The Human Leopard Society began 
about 40 years ago, and each member was required, on entry 
and, some say, also every fourth year, to supply a victim. 
The society's slayer lurked in the bush until the designated 
prey passed, and then leaped on him from behind with a 
leopard's cry, and drove into the back of his neck the forked 
knife shown in Fig 9. The body was then cut open to obtain 
the fat which enabled the bofimah to grant any wish. Some- 
times the leopard's claws were imitated, not by the forked 
knife shown, but by a leopard-skin glove fitted with curved 
sharp blades. A new member was recruited by inviting him 
to a feast, giving him a little human flesh 'unbeknownst,' and 
then telling him what he had eaten, and that he would die 

2 E 

426 Collectanea. 

unless he became a member. The natives appear to have 
themselves tried to exterminate the society. According to 
evidence given at the enquiry before Sir D. P. Chalmers into 
the insurrection in Sierra Leone in 1898, it appears that about 
1 880- 1 the chief of Tyama detected nearly 100 members, and 
burnt them. In 1883-4 a chief of Mano, called Cardini, burnt 
a sub-chief and about 80 others as members, and there are 
other instances. Nevertheless the society survived, and it was 
found necessary in 1896 to pass "The Human Leopard and 
Alligator Society Ordinance" for its suppression. It is the 
native story that the bofimah w^as originally kept alive by goats, 
but that a tribe whose ambush had been betrayed by the 
Imperri people in revenge sent the fetish into the Imperri 
country and decreed that human sacrifices were in future 

A fetish spoon is shown in Fig. 5 (PI. IX.), and an example 
of a fetish which is practically only an amulet in Fig. 8 (PL X.), 
which represents a charm called banyeh?i, iij inches long, and 
made of country iron in the form of tongs or pincers with 
spirally-twisted handles. Tongs or pincers are not uncommon 
as amulets. A pair occurs, for example, amongst a number of 
objects depending from an amuletic necklace in my possession 
which came from Nish in Servia, 

The wandering Mohammedan "Mori men" or "book men" 
are looked on in the Protectorate as magicians, and have a 
monopoly of the supply of written charms. These are made 
up as sebbehs in leather cases, and Fig. 6 (PI. IX.) shows some 
specimens attached to Bai Bureh's war cap. This cap is made 
of skin prepared in alternate strips of white and brown. Six 
sebbehs of various sizes are attached to the sides of the cap, 
and one large one with eight cowries to the top. 

Fig. 10 shows a specimen of the steatite no?nori or "farm 
devil " figures, which differs somewhat from the figures described 
and illustrated in Man for 1905 (pp. 97-100). Such figures are 
found by digging in the fields or in mounds far inland, and, 
as the present natives do not know how to carve steatite, the 
figures are probably the work of an extinct tribe. They are 
greatly valued, and are set up in the fields and whipped in 

Plate X. 


Jo J'aci- p. 426. 

Collectanea. 427 

order to induce them to steal rice from the fields of others to 
plant in their owner's land. Sacrifices are offered to them, 
and their powers are greatly increased if they have been stolen. 
{Cf. vol. vi., p. 196.) The figure is 6^ inches high, and has 
the usual vertical hole in the top of the head. It is seated, 
and perfect, except that the portion of the legs between the knees 
and feet is missing. 

A. R. Wright. 

Folk Traditions of the Mughal Emperors.^ 

The following tales relating to the Mughal period in India were 

collected by Muhammad Husain Khan of the Muhammadan 

Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh, in the United Provinces of 

Agra and Oudh, India, from peasants in the Panjab. They are 

very popular among the higher classes. I am not aware whether 

variants of them are current among the people of other parts of 

Northern India ; but, as far as it has been possible to ascertain, 

they are found in much the same form throughout the whole of 

the Panjab. 

The Mughal period may be said to commence with the 

overthrow, in 1526 a.d., of the reigning king, Ibrahim Lodi, by 

Babar, a descendant of Genghis Khan and Timurlang or 

Tamerlane. On his deatli in 1530 he was succeeded by his 

son Humayiin, who was driven for a time from his throne by 

an adventurer of Afghan descent. Shir Shah. On his death in 

1556 the crown passed to his son Akbar, whose long reign of 

49 years covers the greatest period of the Mughal Empire. His 

son Jahanglr was followed in 1628 by Shah Jahan, to whom we 

are indebted for some of the finest architectural monuments of 

his dynasty — the new city of Delhi, the Taj Mahal at Agra. 

The reign of his son Aurangzlb (i 658-1 707) marks the decadence 

of the Empire, largely due to the growth of the new Mahratta 

power in the Deccan. 

Karim Haidar Lodi. 

1 With Notes by W. Crooke. 

428 Collectanea. 

Tale I. The rise of Shiru or Shir Khan. 

Before the birth of a child destined ultimately to rule Northern 
India, his mother dreamed that the moon had entered her womb. 
She got up and told the dream to her husband. To her surprise 
he gave her a sound beating. "I did this," he said, "to prevent 
you from going to sleep again to-night after such a good dream, 
lest a bad one may follow it and destroy its effect." One day the 
child cried to his father to give him a dirhavi (a coin worth about 
5 pence). A darwesh who was passing by said : " What ! the 
future king of India begging for a dirham ! " When the boy grew 
up his mother sent him abroad to seek his fortune. He begged 
his way to Delhi, and lay down to sleep before the shop of a 
Hindu merchant. When the merchant came to open his shop 
in the morning he saw that a cobra was shading the face of the 
youth. ^ The Banya was impressed by the incident, and used his 
influence to obtain for the youth a commission in the army, where 
he rapidly gained distinction. One day in the madness of his 
pride, the Emperor Humayiin cried out at a review : " With such 
an army I could fight God Almighty himself!" Shir Khan and the 
other Muliammadans in resent at his impiety called out : "Let the 
infidels follow the infidel, and the faithful follow us." The army 
mutinied and elected Shir Khan as their leader. He thus gained 
the throne, and in his prosperity he did not forget his benefactor, 
(who was the famous Hlmu Baqqal), and allowed him to rule 
the kingdom for two days with full sovereign powers. ^ 

//. The IVaz'ir of Shah Jahdti. 

In the district of Jhang, in the Panjab, there was once a peasant 
whose wife was about to give birth to a child. She longed for an 
apple, which her husband was unable to procure. Just then a 

^This is a common incident in Indian folk-lore. See Crooke, Popular 
Religion and Folk-lore of N. India, 2, ii. 142 : Tennent, Ceylon, i. 389 ; 
Bombay Gazetteer, xv. Pt. ii. 331. 

^The account of the mutiny is unhistorical. Shir Shah defeated Humayiin 
in two battles, in 1539- 1540 a.d. Himii is an historical personage. He 
rebelled against Akbar, was captured, and executed in 1556. 

Collectanea. 429 

caravan from Kabul passed by, and the peasant asked one of the 
merchants to give him one. The merchant answered : " Give us 
an agreement that your son, when he becomes Wazir, will free us 
from transit dues." The man, wondering, agreed, and put his 
mark on the agreement. When the child was born he showed 
marvellous intelligence. One day he was sleeping near a well 
in his father's field, when a venerable old man, dressed in green, 
holding a sceptre in his hand, appeared to him in a vision, and 
ordered him to go to Delhi and attend a school there. ^ The 
dream was repeated three times, and when the boy did not obey 
the order the old man threatened to break his bones with his 
sceptre. So the boy went to Delhi, where he soon became pro- 
ficient in all the sciences. But he was obliged to earn his living 
as a day-labourer. One day he was working in the Emperor's 
palace, when Shah Jahan received a letter from the King of 
Persia written in such a way that no one could read it. As the 
Emperor and his attendants passed by the youth saw that the 
letter could be read only by looking through the sheet from 
the back. At first he was afraid to interfere ; but finally he 
ventured to address the Emperor. The Emperor at first was 
angry, but later on he sent for the youth, and ordered that he 
should be bathed and supplied with a court dress. He advanced 
in favour, and finally became Wazir. Then he fulfilled his 
father's promise, and remitted the transit dues on the Kabul 

///. How Shah Ja/idn appointed his Successor. 

When Siiah Jahan grew old he decided to select a successor 
from among his sons. So he ordered his Wazir, Asadulla Khan 
Asafud-daula, to enquire and report. When the minister visited 
Dara, the eldest of the princes, he was treated hospitably, and 
Dara expressed the greatest devotion to him. Next he went to 
visit the second prince, Aurangzlb, who ordered him to wait at 
his gate until he had finished his prayers. When he was finally 
ushered in the prince treated him in an off-hand way and dis- 

^ The old man was probably the saint, KJiwaja Khizr. Crooke, op. cit. i. 
47 f. ; Maclagan, Punjab Census Report, 1891, i. 105 f. 

430 Collectanea. 

missed him. The youngest son, Murad, made no impression on 
the Wazir, who, influenced with the lordly bearing of AurangzTb, 
advised the old Emperor to name him as his successor. Shah 
Jahan, however, was in favour of Dara. The minister, on hearing 
this decision, begged the Emperor to give him a paper of acquit- 
tance, as he knew well that the appointment of Dara would lead 
to civil war. The Emperor agreed : Dara was nominated as his 
successor. War ensued ; Aurangzib slew his brothers and gained 
his throne.^ 

IV. Aurafigzib and the Koran. 

When Aurangzib ascended the throne he placed his father 
Shah Jahan in confinement. Now, Muhammadans believe that 
if a boy succeeds in learning the Koran by heart his father 
will enter Paradise. On such an occasion he receives the 
congratulations of his friends, distributes sweetmeats, and feeds 
the poor.2 While in prison Shah Jahan learnt that one of the 
sons of Aurangzib was able to repeat the whole Koran. So 
he sent his congratulations, saying that he was now safe to 
enter Paradise as his son could recite the holy book. AurangzTb 
resented the implied sarcasm, and not to be outdone, set to 
work and soon learned the Koran by heart. Then he sent 
this message to his father : " Your son has learnt to recite the 
Koran, and you are now sure of Paradise." 

V. Aurangzib and his Plr, or spiritual preceptor.^ 

After Aurangzib ascended the throne his Pir came to pay 
him a visit. The Emperor asked him whether he preferred 
to dine with him or in the public guest-house. The Pir chose 

^This is a folk-tradition of thie intrigues which went on for the succession 
during the dotage of Shah Jahan. The best account of the times is that 
of Manucci, whose Storia do Mogor has been recently admirably edited by 
Mr. W. Irvine. 

^Such a person is called Hafiz, "guardian, protector," and is much 

^"Pir" means in Persian "elder," and is usually applied in the sense of 
Murshid, a religious leader, a sort of father confessor. 

Collectanea. 43 1 

to dine with the Emperor, as he expected a choice dinner. 
But Aurangzib lived in the most simple way, and when dinner 
was served it consisted of a plain loaf of barley bread, which 
he shared with his reverend guest. Next day, when the 
Emperor asked him where he would like to dine, he answered 
hastily that he would go to the guest-house. 

This Pir was about to marry his daughter; so he asked 
Aurangzib to give him a donation. The Emperor, who was 
very economical in dealing with public money, answered : 
*' I live on what I earn by transcribing the Koran. Here 
are eleven cowry-shells,^ which is all I have at present." 
The Pir was naturally disappointed, and when he came home 
put the cowries in a cupboard. When his wife asked him 
what he had received from the Emperor, he said : " Go to the 
cupboard and look." When she opened the door, lo ! there 
were eleven splendid pearls. 

VI. Auraiigzib and Saint Sarmad. 

Sarmad was a noted wandering Faqir in the days of Aurangzib. 
One day he met a Mulla or Muhammadan priest, who asked 
him if he could repeat the Musalman Confession of Faith. 
Sarmad professed utter ignorance of it. The Mulla began to 
teach it to him, and Sarmad got as far as to repeat the first 
half of the formula — " There is no deity but God " ; but he 
could not say the latter half — " Further, Muhammad is the 
Apostle of God." Sarmad was brought before the Emperori 
and there also he refused to repeat the second sentence of 
the Creed. Aurangzib ordered him to be executed, and as 
he bared his neck to the sword, he cried : " In whatsoever 
shape Thou comest T know that thou art He." Still he would 
not repeat the words dictated by the Emperor : " Muhammad 
is the Apostle of God." But his head, when it was severed 
from the trunk, called out : " There is no deity but God ; and, 
further, Muhammad is the Apostle of God." Aurangzib at 

^ Cowry-sliells vary in value throughout India. In one secluded part of 
Central India the quotation was 28S0 to the rupee which is now worth 
IS. 4d. 

432 Collectanea. 

once understood that he himself had omitted the '■'■fiirther" 
in the formula. As Sarmad died he placed his severed head 
on his hand and walked away, saying that he would dash it 
against the walls of the palace of the unjust Emperor. But 
his Pir met him and warned him not to be rash. The head 
fell from his hands and he died just before the Great Mosque 
of Delhi, where he was buried and his tomb stands to this 

Notes on some Early Ecclesiastical Practices 
IN Armenia. 

From an ancient source we learn that the Christian clergy 
in Armenia once dressed themselves in certain skins. Faustus 
of Byzance, an historian of the first half of the fifth century, 
relates (bk. vi.) the following of Zaven, who was Catholicos, 
or head, of the Armenian Church about the year 386 : — " He 
taught all the priests to wear the dress of soldiers. For they 
abandoned the apostolic rule of the churches, and began to 
walk after their own imaginings ; since the priests no longer 
wore in compliance with the religious rule the long robe ( = Gr. 
7ro8r;/)>/s), as was the law originally, but began to have cross-cut 
garments above the knees. And they adorned their garments 
with all sorts of broidery, and gave themselves unsuitable airs. 
And the priests clothed themselves without scruple in the hides 
of dead {or strangled) wild animals, which was not appropriate. 
But Zaven dressed himself in galloons and circular lappets 
fimbriated with ribbons, and wore sableskin and ermine and 
wolfskin, and threw over his person foxskins ; and so arrayed, 
they went without scruple up to the bema- and sat there." 

^ Sarmad is an historical character. He was an Armenian who became 
mad through love for a Hindu girl, and went about naked. He attached 
himself to Dara, eldest son of Aurangzib, who held unorthodox views. 
He was executed by Aurangzib as a heretic about 1661 A. d. The story 
of the headless saint walking about is common in Musalnian hagiology. 

^ I.e. the altar in church. 

Collectanea. 433 

The two patriarchs who succeeded did not venture, so we 
learn, to alter the ecclesiastical garb thus chosen by Zaven, 
This Catholicos represented a patriotic reaction against the 
discipline of the Greek Church, which an earlier Catholicos, 
Nerses, a friend of Basil of Caesarea, had striven to impose on 
the Armenians. It is odd that priests should equip tliemselves 
like soldiers, yet we can only accept the statement ; for the 
writer must have been familiar with the facts. But what of 
the statement that the head of the church wore at the altar, 
ermine, sable, wolf and fox skins, and the priests the hides 
of wild beasts? The latter do not seem to have formed 
part of the military costume. The fox was a sacred animal 
in the old Persian religion, and in Vendidad, 6, 44, it is laid 
down that human corpses must be laid where dog, fox, or wolf 
cannot get at them, probably to save the latter from pollution. 

It would seem then as if the Armenian clergy dressed in 
these skins in order to invest themselves with the sanctity of 
the animals from which they were taken. Mr. J, G. Frazer 
adduces numerous parallel observances. {G.B., 2nd ed., vol. ii., 

P- 367-) 

The same author, Faustus, in his sixth book, ch. x., tells 
the following anecdote of an Armenian bishop, named John, 
son of Pharen, who flourished towards the end of the fourth 
century : " Whenever he came to the Armenian princes, he 
made himself their buffoon ; and as if in sport practised 
himself in avarice, for he was parched with thirst for gain. 
But his buffoonery took this shape : he would fall down on 
feet and hands, and crawl about before the princes, and bellow 
with the voice of a camel as he thus conducted himself like 
a camel. And then amid his bellowings he interjected these 
words, also uttered in a bellow, ' I am a camel, and I bear 
the king's sins. Lay upon me the sins of the king, let me 
bear them.' Then the princes would write and seal grants 
of villages and farms, and lay them on the backbone of John, 
instead of their sins. And so he acquired villages and farms 
and treasures from the princes of Armenia, by becoming a 
camel, and, so far as words went, bearing their sins." Faustus 
writes as if what he describes were mere buffoonery ; yet 

434 Collectanea. 

we cannot doubt but that we have here a story of a human 
scape-goat, of which Frazer {G.B., 2nd ed., ii., p. in foil.) 
gives several examples. (Thus, at Entlebuch, in Switzerland, 
during the eighteenth century, the devil, "represented by a lad 
disguised as an old witch or as a goat or an ass," was driven 
out annually "amid a deafening noise of horns, clarionets, 
bells, whips, and so forth.") 

It is not related that the Armenian patriarch donned a 
camel-skin for the occasion ; yet in view of the fact that, as 
we have seen above, sacred skins were worn in church at the 
celebration of the Eucharist, it is not unlikely. If so, we 
have a complete parallel to the old Roman scape-goat, called 
Mamurius Veturius, or "the old Mars." This was an old man 
who every 14th of March was clad in skins, and led in 
procession through the streets. The Salii beat him with white 
rods, and ultimately he was expelled from the city.^ The 
camel was a sacred animal among the Arabs, and may have 
retained his quality among the Armenians, but have been too 
expensive and rare an animal to be really sacrificed. If so, 
the Armenian patriarch was the substitute of a substitute. 
Anyhow, so holy a man would be able to absorb into himself 
the sins of princes, especially if he turned himself into a sacred 
animal for the occasion. In interpreting these stories we must 
bear in mind that the custom of sacrificing animals for the 
expiation of sins both of the living and the dead flourishes in 
Christian Armenia even to the present day, and that the priest 
in eating the offerings of sinners is reckoned to ' eat their sins.' 

Though not bearing directly on the foregoing points, it may 
be noted that from the Histoire critique des pratiques superstitieuses 
qui ont seduit les peuples, by Fierre Lebrun, a monk of the 
Oratory, published in 1702, bk. iii., ch. 4, it would appear that 
the custom of sacrificing animals on solemn days still lingered 
on in Marseilles as late as the eighteenth century. For he 
relates that on the vigil, and on the day of the Corpus Domini 
feast, a bull decked with ribbands and other frivolous ornainenls 
was led in procession through the streets of that city to thj 
sound of flutes, bagpipes, and drums. Women as it passed ran 
Frazer, G.B., iii., 122. 

Collectanea. 435 

with their children and made them kiss it, and the ignorant were 
in a hurry to get some of its flesh when it was killed on the 
last day of the Corpus Domhii feast. It was supposed to heal 

Lebrun hesitates to see in the above custom a survival of a 
pagan rite, and cites Ruffi's History of Marseilies to the effect 
that, according to an Act of the fourteenth century, the con- 
fraternity of the most Holy Sacrament had bought an ox to 
present to the people, and led it through the streets. This 
must surely be an aetiological story ; and it hardly admits of 
doubt that we have here a trace of an ancient holiday when 
a bull was first led in procession, and then sacrificed. 


Dairy Folklore in West Norfolk. 

{Communicated by Mr. F. A. Milne.) 

[Dr. C. B. Plowright, M.D., of King's Lynn, Medical Officer 
of Health lor the Freebridge Lynn Rural District, reporting 
to the District Council on his recent inspection of the local 
dairies, said] : " There had come down from time immemorial 
various superstitions connected with milk and milking. One 
of the most widespread of these throughout the whole district 
was that unless the hands of the milker were washed before and 
after milking the cow would become dry, or in other words 
would cease to give milk. Although it could not be said that 
milk was viewed with exactly superstitious reverence, yet the 
vessels and utensils used for it were never used for any other 
purpose. Nor was the milk ever stored in any [)lace where 
there were any bad smells, as it was believed that the liquid 
would absorb the aroma. For instance, the milk was never 
kept near cheese, herrings, onions, or where there was any 
effluvium from drains. It was also regarded as a universal 
antidote to all kinds of poisons, and was believed to absorb 
and convey infectious disease from the atmosphere. 

436 Collectanea. 

"It was considered that milk must always be kept quiet, and 
therefore, the dairy door was never shut violently. To spill it 
in milking, or, as it was said, ' to milk wide of the pail,' was 
most scrupulously avoided lest any should fall on the cow's 
feet and legs, in which case it was the belief the cow would 
become dry. On the other hand, when a cow was milked the 
first few drops were used to moisten the palms of the milker, 
for it was said not to be well to milk with a 'dry hand.' Dr- 
Plowright expressed the opinion that this was a piece of 
sympathetic magic, and observed with the idea of increasing 
the quantity of milk obtainable from the animal that was being 
milked. Again, before the process of milking was regularly 
begun, one other rite was performed. The teats were ' drawn/ 
that is, a few drops were milked upon the floor : they were not 
allowed to fall into the pail, but must be milked upon the ground. 
The reason assigned for this was that the duct of the teat was 
by this means washed out, and any dust or impurity that may 
have got into it, was got rid of before the full milking was 
entered upon. This, said the medical-officer, was clearly a 
survival of the rite of sacrifice, a libation poured upon the ground 
to propitiate the gods with the idea of insuring a plentiful supply. 
Possibly the sacrifice was made to some Scandinavian deity, 
such as Freya, or Freyja, or perhaps even to Friga. It was 
also usual to throw away the last few drops of milk which 
remained at the bottom of the jug or basin or pail which had 
contained it. It was alleged by those who had the handling 
of the milk that any deleterious substance which the milk had 
absorbed settled to the bottom of the vessel, and by throwing 
away the last few drops, the impurities were got rid of. It 
was so general a custom, however, that there could be but 
little doubt that it was a folk-lore survival, like that of the beggar 
throwing away the dregs from the cup from which he had taken 
a drink. However matted a cow's tail might become with filth, 
the hair must never be cut off with a sharp instrument, as it 
was believed that this would cause the cow to abort her calf." 
{Eastern Daily Press, 20th Sept., 1907.) 

Collectanea. 437 

Veterinary Practice. 

Eight or nine years ago, in South Shropshire, the following 
old custom was actually carried out. A "cast" {i.e. abortive) 
calf was burned in a farmyard to prevent other cows in the 
neighbourhood casting their calves. The farmer was inclined 
to laugh at the superstition, and I could not ascertain if the 
desired effect resulted. 

But only last year, in the same district, I heard it seriously 
discussed whether, when a cow casts her calf, the calf should 
be thrown into the next parish to prevent other cases occurring. 

A friend of mine tells me that about thirty years ago a 

Mr. J , of Besford, near Shrewsbury, had a farm in two 

parishes. The first year he went there the cows cast their 
calves. He was told, if he wished to prevent this in future, 
he must throw the carcases into the next parish. He therefore 
threw them from one field in one parish to the next field in 
another parish, and from that day to this he has never had 
any cows casting calves. 

Shrewsbury. Herbert Southam, F.S.A. 

All Hallows Eve and other Festivals in Connaught. 

In Ireland, All Hallows Eve (October 31st), or, as it is generally 
called, November night, is a general season for merry-making. 

In my native place in County Roscommon it is a favourite 
date for giving parties. A cake is made in nearly every house, 
and a ring, a coin, a sloe, and a chip of wood, are put into it 
which causes great excitement. The coin means riches, the one 
who gets the ring will be married first, whoever gets the chip 
of wood (which stands for a coffin) will be the first to die, and 
the sloe denotes the longest liver, because the fairies are supposed 
to blight the sloes and haws and other berries on November 
night, so this will be the last eatable sloe of the year. 

A favourite amusement is to get a tub full of water and put 

438 Collectanea. 

apples in it, and sometimes a sixpence or a threepenny piece ; 
and the youngsters strip, and dip their heads into it, and try 
to pick up the apples or the coin with their mouths.^ Some- 
times a strip of wood is thrust through an apple, and a bit of 
lighted candle stuck on each projecting end ; then the apple 
is suspended from the ceiling by a doubled piece of string, which 
is twisted tightly so that it winds and unwinds itself, continually 
revolving, and the children compete to see who can catch it 
with their teeth. Needless to say, they more often grip the 
lighted candle, and get smeared with tallow, which of course 
is the best part of the fun. 

The girls put nine grains of oats in their mouths, and go out 
without speaking, and walk about till they hear some man's name 
mentioned ; whatever Christian name they first hear will be the 
name of their future husband. 

The boys and young men play practical jokes. If there is 
a miserly man, a bad neighbour, in the place, they go into his 
garden and cut the cabbages and give them to some poor man. 
Then they knock on his door with a cabbage-head, and while 
he is chasing one party, the rest perhaps try to pull up the 
remaining cabbages.- Sometimes they take the pith out of a 
cabbage stalk and Stuff it with hay, and put in a lighted turf, 
which makes the hay smoulder, and puff the smoke through 
the keyhole, filling the house with the disagreeable smell. 
Another favourite trick is to tie all the door-knockers in a row 
of houses together, so that when one door is opened all the 
other knockers begin to rap. 

There are no bonfires — those are on Midsummer Eve — nor 
any hunting or killing of wild creatures, though we hunt the 
wren on St. Stephen's Day (December 26th). 

'^\_Extract from an old Notebook. "Malvern, ist November, 1888. Colonel 

C. G. tells me that when he was a boy, I suppose about 1845-48, 

he stayed in a Denbighshire farmhouse, where the sons (young men) stripped 
to the waist and 'bobbed' for apples in a tub of water on All Saints Eve. 
They urged him to join them, in the presence of the full family circle, and 
laughed at his modest scruples. — C. S. BuRNE."] 

2 [This compares with the licensed poaching on Guy Fawkes' Day in Lincoln- 
shire, vol. xiv., p. 89. — Ed.] 

Collectanea. 439 

The Wren-boys, as they are called, start in the early hours 
of the morning. First, they meet at some house fixed upon, 
to dress. The leader is dressed up in a covering of straw 
tied round him, and has his face blacked. He carries a big 
staff to which the wren is tied ; (but more often than not the 
wren is left out). One is dressed in women's clothes, the rest 
have scarfs and ribbons tied to their sleeves, and any sort of 
fanciful headgear. Two, called the sergeants, are chosen to 
collect the money, and there is also a musician, or perhaps 
two. They walk miles, and call at all the big houses. The 
leader goes first, and cuts all manner of capers, and jumps 
about ; the rest dance — jigs or any kind of dance. They sing 
this rhyme : 

"The wren, the wren, the king of all birds, 
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze. 
Up with the kettle and down with the pan, 
Give us an answer and we'll be gone."^ 

In the evening they come back into the town and divide the 
money among themselves, and spend it as each pleases. 

Twelfth Night, which is Old Christmas Day, is a greater day 
than Christmas Day itself. Thirteen rushlights are made in 
remembrance of the numbers at the Last Supper, and each is 
named after some member of the family. If there are not 
enough in the household other relations' names are added. The 
candles are stuck in a cake of cow-dung and lighted, and as 
each burns out, so will be the length of each person's life. Rush- 
lights are only used for this occasion. 

All these customs were in use when I left Ireland ten years 
ago, and so far as I am aware they are still continued. 

Hugh James Byrne. 
lofl', Iverna Gardens, Kensington. 

^ [The last couplet occurs in the November Souling and dementing songs 
of the West Midlands of England. — Ed.] 

440 Collectanea. 

Shetland Brownies. 

The following is copied from a little-known book called A New 
Description of Orkney and Zetland, by John Brand, Edinburgh, 
1703, p. 112 (speaking of Zetland): "Not above 40 or 50 
years ago, almost every family had a Brouny or evil spirit 
so-called, which served them, to whom they gave a sacrifice 
for his service ; as when they churned their milk, they took 
a part thereof and sprinkled every corner of the house with 
it for Brounie's use, likewise when they brewed, they had 
a stone which they called Broiaiie's Stone, wherein there was 
a little hole, into which they poured some wort for a sacrifice 
to Brouny. My informer, a minister in the country, told me 
that he had conversed with an old man, who when young used 
to brew, and sometimes read upon his Bible, to whom an old 
woman in the house said, that Brouny was displeased with that 
book he read upon, which if he continued to do, they would 
get no more service of Brouny ; but he being better instructed 
from that book, which was Brounie's eyesore and the object 
of his wrath, when he brewed, he would not suffer any sacrifice 
to be given to Brouny, whereupon the ist and 2nd brewings 
were spilt, and for no use, though the wort wrought well, yet 
in a little time it left off working and grew cold ; but of the 
3rd Browst or Brewing he had ale very good, though he would 
not give any sacrifice to Brouny, with whom afterwards they 
were no more troubled. . . . Which cleareth that Scripture, 
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. They also had stacks 
of corn, which they called Brounie's Stacks, which, though they 
were not bound with straw ropes, or anyway fenced, as other 
stacks use to be, yet the greatest storm of wind was not able 
to blow any straw off them." 

The same traveller collected stories of "Sea-monsters, the 
meer-men and meer-maids, which have not only been seen but 
apprehended and kept for some time." He writes : " About 
5 years since, a boat at the fishing drew her lines, and one 
of them, as the fishers thought, having some great fish upon 
it, was with greater difficulty than the rest raised from the ground, 
but when raised it came more easily to the surface of the water, 

Collectanea. 441 

upon which a creature like a woman presented itself at the 
side of the boat ; it had the face, arms, breasts, shoulders, etc., 
of a woman, and long hair hanging down the back, but the 
nether part from below the breasts was beneath the water, so 
that they could not understand the shape thereof: the two 
fishers who were within the boat, being surprised at this strange 
sight, one of them unadvisedly drew a knife, and thrust it into 
her breast, whereupon she cryed, as they judged, Alas, and 
the hook giving way she fell backward and was no more seen. 
The hook being big went in at her chin and out at the upper 
lip. The man who thrust the knife into her is now dead, 
and, as was observed, never prospered after this, but was still 
haunted by an evil spirit in the appearance of an old man, 
who, as he thought, used to say unto him. Will ye do such a 
thing who killed the zvoman ; the other man then in the boat 
is yet alive in the isle of Burra" (p. 114). 


2 F 


At the Back of the Black Man's Mind. 
{Supra, p. 234.) 

There are a few points in Miss Werner's criticism on my 
book, At the Back of the Black Man^s Mind, to which I would 
like to draw the attention of your readers. 

Prof, van Gennep did not use the words "dignes de la 
kabbale" in reference to my book, but to a paper entitled 
"The Bavili Alphabet Restored," which appeared in the African 
Society's Journal. Miss Werner must therefore have misread 
his paper dated 15th January, 1907, in the Revue des Idees, 
entitled "Un Systeme Negre de Classification," as I cannot 
believe she would have gone so far out of her way to cast 
a slur on the collection of facts and the categories which she 
was unable to digest until she lit on the clue supplied by 
van Gennep. Van Gennep, however, kindly gives me credit 
for giving this clue to the world so far as the Africans are 

On the other hand, in a letter from a well-known archaeologist 
in regard to this article the latter writes : " I have read the 
Revue des Idees two or three times, and have gained nothing 
from repeated perusals." So that if Miss Werner really had 
difficulty in grasping the fact that I wrote about certain 
categories of thought among the Bavili and failed without van 
Gennep's help to grasp the fact, it should be some comfort 
to her that a distinguished man also failed to grasp van 
Gennep's meaning. 

Correspondence. 443 

I am sorry Miss Werner should have been irritated by my 
use of * X ' for the sound ' tchi,' and also on account of my 
careful use of 'c' instead of 's.' I purpose to continue the 
use of 'x' and 'c' so far as Xivili is concerned, but I shall 
always inform my readers of the fact, as I have done in At 
the Back of the Black Mans Mind. I maintain that philology 
has not said the last word on these points, and I claim the 
privilege of being allowed to dissent in these cases from the 
all too dogmatic conclusions of the Royal Geographical Society. 
Sounds convey a certain meaning to me, and the 'c' (as in 
' city ') in Bavili should in my opinion be preserved until it 
is finally proved that ' c ' and ' s ' have the same meaning in 
that language. 

Miss Werner says : " Neither is it at all probable that the prefix 
*mu' has anything to do with 'mbu,' the sea." In the word 
' mwici ' (Bentley's ' mwixi '), haze, mist, it certainly has to do 
with moisture, and ' mu ' and ' mbu ' are both used for sea 
in the Congo. Further, if she will believe me, I can assure 
her that there are a great number of words in the ' mu ' class, 
all relating to moisture and liquids. 

From what Miss Werner says, it is evident that ' zila ' as 
a verb in Zululand has come to mean ' to abstain from,' but 
there is no verb 'zila' in Xivili. Were such the case the 
negative 'ka' would give the verb an opposite sense, and 'ka 
zila ' would mean ' not to abstain from.' 

But anything appears to be possible, and a great deal 
probable, to the comparative etymologists in their search after 
roots, and I am sometimes forced to blush for them in their 
desire to go out of their way to solve what appear to me 
to be very simple problems. The Bavili have not been dis- 
turbed by constant invasions, they have not had change of 
environment to cause much alteration in their language, and 
I maintain that the Xivili dialect is nearer to Bleek's ideal 
of a mother Bantu stock than any other Bantu dialect. Tlie 
probabilties are therefore that an everyday commonsense reading 
of their compound words will give my readers a much nearer 
and truer meaning of the word than any far-fetched foreign 

444 Correspondence. 

Miss Werner says I cannot have the word for " four " written 
both ways {m and yd)} I assure you I might have it written 
at least four ways, ya, na, ia, or ba ; custom has, however, 
restricted us to three, viz., /a, ya, na. The Rev. P. Alex. Vissey 
in his dictionary writes the sound ia, while Bentley writes it ya. 
But why is Miss Werner so cruel in trying to deprive me of 
this slight variation, when in her next paragraph she claims 
that the words Nzambi and Nyambi (both Xivili) have i^'' pace 
Mr. Dennett") the same force? and this in spite of my having 
shown that Nyajnbi is the nephew of Bunzi, while the word 
Nzambi is used in our sense of the word " God " (a Trinity). 
By this I do not wish to infer that Nyambi is not used by the 
Duala and other tribes for our word God, but that among 
the Bavili, the people about whom the book is written, it is 
not. It is merely one of Nzambi s attributes. 

Ipoji ri iku feribo o, or " the spoon is not afraid of hot 
water," as the Yorubas say, and while I am not particularly 
sensitive to destructive criticism (it is so easy), I feel, that for 
a review in a journal restricted to folk-lore, very little has been 
said of the book from a folk-lore point of view. I am, however, 
somewhat consoled by the fact that Miss Werner closes her 
not too accurate criticism by informing us that she purposes 
making a comparative study of the folk-tale on page 230 of 
my book. I am sure that anything Miss Werner writes on 
this subject will be most welcome to all those of us who 
take an interest in folk-lore. 

R. E. Dennett. 

[We have inserted Mr. Dennett's letter, but at the same time 
we strongly deprecate the practice (we fear we must say the 
growing practice) of complaining of criticism. A man who is 
not prepared to face criticism had better not publish a book. 
We commend to Mr. Dennett and to others in like case the 
example of one of our most eminent and most criticised folk- 

^[See ante, p. 238. Mr. Dennett has misunderstood Miss Werner. Her 
contention is, that if the syllable ya in Nyambi means four, it cannot at the 
same time be ?a = to be. — Ed.] 

Correspondence. 445 

lorists, who is content to wait in dignified silence the verdict 
of time and science. — Ed.] 

Travel Notes in South Africa : a Correction. 

(Vol. xiii., p. 484.) 

Mr. H. D. Hemsworth has called my attention to two 
mistakes which I have made in reporting the information he 
was kind enough to give me. I have referred to "the Baperi 
or Duiker clan " as one of the principal clans of the Shangaans. 
The fact is that the Bapedi or Baperi are a Basuto clan, 
which I knew \ they are not a Shangaan clan, which I did 
not know, and therefore concluded that the Bapedi of whom 
Mr. Hemsworth was speaking belonged to the same people to 
whom the rest of his conversation related. The other mistake 
is less pardonable. The Duikers or Baphuti are a sub-clan of 
the Bapedi. The mistake in identifying them I can only 
attribute to carelessness in transcribing my rough notes made 
in the train, without stopping to consider or verify the terms. 
I am anxious to correct both blunders at the earliest possible 
moment ; and I take full blame for them. 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

The Celtic Other-World. 
{Supra, p. 339). 

M. d'Arbois' letter does not dispose of Miss Hull's contention. 
The distinguished French scholar seems to think that Miss Hull's 
objection to his views is based wholly upon the outward aspect 
of the Irish " Other-world," and that he has only to defend 
himself against the assertion that he regards it " as a dismal Isle 
of Spirits." I believe that Miss Hull's objection is of a far 
deeper-seated and more thorough-going nature. Certainly mine 

44^ Correspondence. 

is. We claim that the Celtic Other-world was not, originally, 
at all events, a sejour des morts, an Isle of Spirits, at all ; and 
we are unable to find any sound justification for the statement 
" chez les Celtes tous les morts sans exception arrivent au Mag 
Mell, a la plaine agreable." I confess I had hoped that the 
analysis of the Irish Other-world stories contained in my Voyage 
of Bran would have had some effect upon M. d'Arbois, would 
have induced him to revise and modify the sweeping assertions 
he made in the Cycle Mythologique, assertions which, when I 
reviewed the book in these columns twenty-three years ago, 
seemed to me very hazardous, and which, when ten years later 
I examined and discussed the entire extant body of evidence, 
seemed to me demonstrably erroneous. But alike here, and 
in the Introduction to his recently-issued instalment of a trans- 
lation of the Tain, M. d'Arbois stiffly maintains his original 
position. It therefore seems needful that those who hold a 
different view should state in an equally categorical way that 
in the oldest mythic tales the Irish Other-world is not a 
Hades, a land to which all men, or even men generally, go 
after death, but is a god's land to which certain favoured 
mortals, and they alone, penetrate, and from which they may 
return. M. d'Arbois relies upon a passage in the Echtra Condla ; 
but even if this is correctly interpreted by him (and trans- 
lations diff"er), it will only admit the deduction he draws from 
it thanks to a very strained exegesis. Apart from this text 
M. d'Arbois is compelled to have recourse to stories which, 
on the face of them, are post-Christian in date and betray 
manifest signs of being influenced by Christian eschatology. 
One of these is the story of Patrick's calling up Cuchulainn 
from the dead for the purpose of converting King Loegaire. 
Obviously this story must postdate the full development of the 
Patrick legend, and cannot well be older than the ninth century. 
Although therefore it does contain references to incidents of a 
character seemingly very archaic, still its late date and its 
nature compel the assumption that the original Irish view of 
the Other-world has been modified. The other story, which 
tells how Fergus was raised from the dead to recite the Tain 
b6 Ciialnge, can only have come into existence after the part 

Correspondence. 447 

taken by the seventh century Senchan Torpeist in welding 
together our existing version of the Tain had become matter 
for legend, in other words before the eighth century. And, 
as a matter of fact, the story was almost immediately made to 
assume a formal Christian character by the ascription of the 
feat to the Saints of Ireland. Failing these two late instances, 
I must emphatically reiterate that the early Irish stories of the 
Other-world are destitute of any eschatological significance or 
import. This indeed it is which constitutes their value ; they, 
and with them an early stratum of Greek mythic story-telling, 
preserve the account of a non-eschatological Other-world which 
everywhere else in the Aryan world, among Scandinavians and 
Indo-Iranians, has suffered an eschatological change, has become 
a Hades. 

In the Voyage of Bran I discussed two ideas : that of the 
Other-world, that of Re birth. I demonstrated (conclusively, 
I venture to think) the organic kinship and correlation of the 
two conceptions. But I failed to notice one piece of evidence 
which, now that Miss Hull and M. d'Arbois have obliged me to 
think over the matter again, stares me in the face. I was 
struck by the fact that, apparently, the ancient Irish told no 
tales about the land of the dead ; I was struck by the way in 
which the Classical references to the Celtic doctrine of re-birth 
emphasise the fact that, according to it, death is merely 
temporary, at all events for the valiant man \ he comes back 
again to this world. If the classical observers are to be 
believed in their account of this doctrine, and if it was one 
which the insular Celts held equally with their Continental 
kinsmen, we see at once why the ancient Irish told no stories 
about a dead man's land ; they did not believe that such a 
land existed. They would not trouble themselves about the 
churl and the craven, what became of them was subject for 
neither speculation nor fantasy ; but as for the valiant fighter, 
the Celtic Achilles, his was not the lot so pathetically bewailed 
by his Homeric counterpart, he 'came back' and had the 
usual good time of an early Celtic hero : never did he retire 
to his couch without an enemy's head for his pillow, and he 
made love on a truly magnificent scale. And, highest of all 

44^ Correspondence. 

rewards the fancy of the race pictured for him, he might win 
to the Other-world, not to a realm of disembodied bloodless 
shadows, but to a land of which the divine inmates were 
immortally young and fair. 

Alfred Nutt. 

A Brittany Marriage Custom. 

It is the custom in parts of Brittany for a girl just wedded 
to make an incision under the left breast immediately the ceremony 
in church is over. The bridegroom then applies his lips and 
sucks a drop of her blood. I have been informed of this curious 
custom by M. Jean Guyot de Villeneuve, the well-known French 
politician, who, however, could not tell me what significance 
attaches thereto in the popular mind. Can it be the object of it 
to make the man of one blood and kin with the woman, so 
that the children may be of her kin? It seems to resemble 
the wide-spread rite of blood-brotherhood, so well described in 
Trumbull's The Blood Covenant (New York, 1885). I should 
be glad to learn if the survival of such a custom among the 
Bretons is generally known. 


I have noted a number of these cases in the Legend of Perseus^ 
vol. ii., pp. 338 sqq., and I have since discovered more, but 
none of them from Brittany. In Folklore^ vol. xvi., p. 337, 
there is a South-Welsh story of a salmon-girl who kisses the 
hero with a bloody mouth, so as to leave her blood upon his 
face: this binds him to her. Again, in vol. xvii., p. 114, 
Mr. Crooke notes that in the South of Ireland if a little boy 
hurts a girl playfellow so as to draw blood, his nurse says to him, 
" Now youll have to marry her." On the other hand, in the 
story of The Wooing of Emer., when Cuchulainn sucks from 
Devorgoil's wound the stone that had struck her from his 
sling, he becomes her blood-brother, and cannot therefore 
marry her. Here we have Welsh, Bretons, and modern Southern 

Correspondence. 449 

Irish concurring in one view of the effect of a rite, in opposition 
to the ancient North Irish, who are found to have held a totally 
different view. 

I should like to know in what parts of Brittany this custom 
is, or used to be, practised. The North Bretons must be closely 
akin to the South Welsh : they understand one another without 
an interpreter. 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

F0LK.-S0NG Refrain. 

Not long ago I heard the nursery song, " Froggy would 
a- wooing go," sung in Ripon with the following refrain : 

" Kiminary keemo, 
Kiminary keemo. 

Klminary kiltikary, Kiminary keemo. 
String stram pammadilly, lamma pamma rat tag, 
Ring dong boniminnanny Iveemo." 

Are these syllables slang, or Romany, or some old lesson, or 
an attempt to render other sounds, musical or natural, or only 
very sonorous gibberish ? A variant of them may be found 
in Mr. Joseph Jacob's English Fairy Tales (1892), p. 72 (illustra- 
tion); cf. note, p. 236. 

H. M, Bower. 

The Fifth of November and Guy Fawkes. 
(Vol. xiv., pp. 89-91, 175-6, 185-8.) 

In Guernsey Folk-Lore, edited by Edith F. Carey from MSS. 
of the late Sir Edgar MacCuUoch (1903), p. 36, I read: 

" On the last night of the year it was customary (and the 
practice has not altogether fallen into desuetude) for boys to 
dress up a grotesque figure, which they called " Le vieux bout 

450 Correspondence, 

de I'an," and after parading it through the streets by torch-light 
with the mock ceremonial of a funeral procession, to end by 
burying it on the beach, or in some other retired spot, or to 
make a bonfire and burn it." 

A note by the editor adds : — " Hence the country people's 
term for the effigy of Guy Fawkes on the 5th of November, 
Me vieux bout de Fan.'" 

Is it not likely, however, that the figure now transformed 
into Guy represented the finish of the agricultural year, and 
that thus it was " le bout de I'an " in the exact sense ? 

A few years ago I said in Folk-Lore that here at Kirton-in-Lindsey, 
it was not customary to have a Guy with the 5th of November 
bonfire. Now, I am told that "th' lads '11 sometimes make a 
straw-man and dress him up in old things, because it pleases 
'em to burn him at end of green." 

M. Peacock. 

[Will the Editor of Guernsey Folklore be so good as to tell 
us anything she can of the observance (past and present) of 
" Guy Fawkes' Day " in Guernsey, or of any analogous November 
customs there? Such evidence might throw valuable light on the 
connection between Guy Fawkes' and Hallowmas bonfires, long 
surmised by collectors of English folklore, but not proven. — Ed.] 


Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula. By W. W. Skeat 
and C. O. Blagden. 2 vols. Macmillan & Co. 1906. 

The contributions of Mr. Skeat to our knowledge of the popular 
religion and folk-lore of the Peninsula in his Malay Magic, 
Fables and Folk-tales from an Eastern Forest ; his Progress 
Reports addressed to the British Association, describing the work 
of the Cambridge Expedition which visited the Siamese Malay 
States under his leadership in 1899-1900, and which provided 
the fine collection now exhibited in the Cambridge Etiinological 
Museum, raised high expectations of the book in which he 
proposed to sum up the final results of his studies among 
these interesting and little-known races. These expectations 
have been to a large extent realised in the present work, which 
appears in two portly volumes lavishly illustrated by admirable 
photographs. A curious omission, it may be incidentally 
remarked, is that of a good political map of the country, which 
should accompany each volume. The map appended to the 
second volume is obviously inadequate. Mr. Skeat might also 
with advantage have given us a short sketch of the adventures 
of his Expedition. Possibly, however, he is reserving this for 
another book. 

Some exception may perhaps be taken to the title of the 
book — the " Pagan Races " — which is for various reasons unsatis- 
factory, and to that of one section — Natural Religion — which 
has an established connotation other than that with which the 
author associates it. He has, again, after much consideration, 

452 Reviews. 

adopted what he calls the " phylogenetic " system ; that is to 
say, he treats the three great tribes in distinct sections. This 
in some respects tends to clearness ; but it necessarily involves 
much repetition, and it stands in the way of that general account 
of the whole population, their ethnology, folk-lore, and beliefs, 
which would enable the reader to grasp the relation in which 
they stand to savagery in other parts of the world. The plan 
is, in short, more practical and scientific than artistic. But 
when, as in the introductory chapter, Mr. Skeat " lets himself 
go," he gives us a really delightful account of the influence of 
environment in a tropical jungle on human and animal life — 
a picture which will not suffer by comparison with the classical 
account by Dr. Wallace of the forests of the Amazon valley 
and of the Malay Archipelago. 

The book may be most fitly described as an encyclopedia, 
a digest not merely of the results of personal investigations by 
the authors, but of all the contributions by earlier explorers 
which are mostly hidden away in publications not easily accessible 
to English students. This method of treatment has, it is true, 
the disadvantage of presenting the facts in a scrappy form, and 
it necessitates much criticism of the authorities. The work 
most largely utilised in this way is that of Hrolf Vaughan-Stevens, 
in his voluminous contributions to the Transactions of the Berlin 
Anthropological Society and the Zeitschrift fur Anthropologie 
in the years 1891-1899. The writings of this remarkable traveller 
present many difficulties. He was ignorant of the tribal dialects 
and worked by the aid of Malay interpreters ; he was not careful 
to note the sources from which and the localities where he 
obtained his information ; he failed to grasp the ethnological 
distinction between the various tribes ; and, lastly, his Gilberiian 
style of after-dinner talk threw much suspicion on the value 
of his work. Mr. Skeat, in his anxious desire to do the fullest 
justice to the writings of his predecessors, has perhaps wasted 
space in reproducing many of his statements and criticising his 
conclusions. In particular, his so-called " Flower " theory of 
the origin of Negrito decoration has been shown to be based 
upon a series of misunderstandings. The native term tor a 
" pattern " was misinterpreted by him to mean " flower " ; and 

Reviews. 453 

he thus arrived at the conclusion that the decoration of a bamboo 
comb represented in a series of panels all the portions of a flower — 
pistils, stamens, sepals — a system which would be natural to a 
botanic handbook being attributed to a race of semi-naked 
savages. " Vaughan-Stevens," as Mr, Skeat remarks, "by falling 
into the trap, has furnished us with yet one more of those awful 
object-lessons which are provided from time to time by ethno- 
logists who rely too much upon the answers given by question- 
worried savages." With all these reservations Vaughan-Stevens 
is still our only authority for much of the culture and beliefs 
of these races ; and while it is obvious that his work demands 
careful scrutiny, much of value remains. 

The book is divided into three main sections — ethnography, 
religion and folk-lore, philology. For the first two divisions 
Mr. Skeat is responsible; Mr. Blagden deals with philology 
alone. The last essay, which it is beyond our province to 
discuss, if indeed any one but the author possesses the necessary 
knowledge, will rank with Dr. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of 
India as one of the valuable contributions in recent years to 
our knowledge of the languages of Eastern Asia. 

In the ethnographical chapters the most notable fact, which 
is vital to a comprehension of the inter-relation of these tribes, 
is the conclusion, based on anthropometry and other character- 
istics, that they can be divided into three distinct groups — that 
of the Semang to the north, who are brachycephalic, woolly- 
haired Negritos ; the Sakai in the middle, dolycephalic, wavy- 
haired, probably an aboriginal Dravidian type ; the Jakun to the 
south, brachycephalic, smooth-haired, probably with Mongolian 
affinities. These types have naturally to some extent inter- 
mingled, and all have been more or less affected by the 
dominant Malay culture; but, now that the problem has been 
solved in the jjresent book, it is clear that in physical appearance, 
institutions, and language, they are easily distinguishable. The 
Semang, for instance, in the form of their huts prefer the long 
leaf-shelter and circular dwelling found among the Andamanese ; 
while the Sakai and Jakun build upon lofty house-posts. The 
bow is the tribal weapon of the Negritos ; the blowpipe of the 
Sakai ; the spear that of certain Jakun sub-tribes. It is also in this 

454 Reviews. 

connection worthy of note that these tribes do not appear to 
have completely passed through the Stone Age culture. Neither 
the Sakai nor Semang seem to have been the manufacturers 
of the stone axes and chisels which have been found in the 
Peninsula. In this they resemble the Andamanese. On the 
other hand, they have passed or are still passing through a 
Wood and Bone Age, though they possibly used stone anvils 
and hammers, whetstones, chips of flint as scrapers, and cooking 
stones. The wild Orang Bukit of the hills, who have no iron 
implements, rely almost entirely upon wood and bone for the 
blades of their weapons and other implements. It is no wonder 
that previous writers, unaware of the vital distinctions between 
these three races, should have fallen into serious error. With 
reference to certain recent theories on the ethnology of India, 
it is noteworthy that such a skilled anthropologist as Dr. Duck- 
worth lays down that in dealing with forms transitional between 
the Semang and Sakai types, " the cephalic index fails con- 
spicuously to differentiate the two, whereas the stature is the 
more reliable characteristic, and it is from this, with the skin- 
colour and hair-character, that evidence upon which the distinction 
is based is to be obtained" (Vol. i. 97). 

In religion, again, these race types are clearly differentiated. 
That of the Semang, in spite of its recognition of Kari, a thunder 
god, and certain minor so-called " deities," has little in the way 
of ceremonial, and consists mainly of mythology and legends. 
There is little demon-worship, little fear of the ghosts of the 
dead, and still less Animism. The Sakai religion, on the other 
hand, is mainly demon-worship, and largely assumes that form 
of Shamanism which is so widely prevalent in southeast Asia. 
The religion of the Jakun is the pagan or pre-Mohammedan 
shamanistic creed of the Peninsular Malays, with the popular 
side of whose religion, as distinct from the Islamic element, it 
has much in common. It shows no trace of the tendency to 
personify abstract ideas found among the Semang, and its deities, 
if they deserve the name, are either quite otiose or form a body 
of glorified tribal ancestors, round whom a cycle of miraculous 
legends has accumulated. As might be expected, these primitive 
religions, wherever they come in contact with the intrusive Islam 

Reviews. 455 

of the Malays, are reaching a stage of decadence ; and there 
seems little reason to doubt that, as in parts of India and Africa, 
Mohammedanism will ultimately swamp the aboriginal faiths. 

Perhaps the most interesting contribution to our knowledge of 
these primitive beliefs is the account, which we owe to Vaughan- 
Stevens, of the method by which the Semang provide the living 
but unborn child with a soul. This account, though it still awaits 
corroboration by other observers, is regarded by Mr. Skeat as 
none the less credible, particularly as the idea of comparing the 
soul to a bird is world-wide, and is familiar to the Malays. Putting 
it briefly, the method provides that the expectant mother should 
visit a tree of the same species as her own birth-tree, and lay 
an offering of flowers at its root. " Even though the real birth- 
tree itself may be many miles distant, yet every tree of its species 
is regarded as identical with it. The bird, in which the child's 
soul is contained, always inhabits a tree of the species to which 
the birth-tree belongs ; it flies from one tree (of the species) to 
another, following the as yet unborn body. The souls of first-born 
children are always young birds newly hatched, the offspring of 
the bird which contained the soul of the mother. These birds 
obtain the souls from Kari" (the thunder god) (II. 4.). 

Mr. Skeat deals exhaustively with the beliefs and folk-lore of 
these races. As might have been expected from the author 
of Malay Magic, he has paid special attention to the numerous 
charms and incantations employed in the collection of jungle 
produce and in the elementary processes of agriculture which 
they practise. These he has recorded in the original dialects, 
with neat metrical translations. Among other matters of interest 
it may be noted that though there are cases found of skin 
puncturation, what some observers have been accustomed to call 
"tattooing" is only scarification, or even perhaps nothing more 
than skin-paint. As regards marriage, the curious rite of circling 
round a mound or ant-hill deserves further investigation ; and 
the exchange of wives at the annual harvest carnival of the 
Besisi, which Mr. Skeat classes with the annual universal wedding- 
day of the Peruvians, might perhaps be more aptly compared 
with a similar mimetic charm to promote fertility among some of 
the Indian Dravidians. In the funeral rites the Semang use 

456 Reviews. 

of the funeral bamboo is remarkable. One of these is provided 
for the dead man by the minor chief of his village; if a person 
is buried without the bamboo, it is afterwards lowered through 
a hole into the grave. " The soul must in that case remain in 
the body until the burial bamboo arrived, as it is conscious that 
it has done nothing which might cause the latter to be refused. 
It is true, however, that if the soul does not leave the grave 
soon enough, Kari is sure to become impatient, and send thunder 
and lightning to hasten the tarrying soul ; and although the exact 
effect of this is uncertain the Pangan think the soul must expiate 
this " (II. 94). A still more extraordinary practice is ascribed 
to the Samang, that when a tribesman dies the body is eaten 
and nothing but the head interred. This custom does not prevail 
at present, but the tradition seems to be based on some rite 
which has now become obsolete (II. 95). 

It is one of the best features of this book that the authors 
are careful to explain that in the present state of our knowledge 
the present monograph can be regarded only as provisional, 
needing everywhere verification, correction, and extension. It is 
clear that the Colonial Government is bound to start without 
delay a well-organised Ethnographic Survey. Such a Survey 
would enable us to link in a manner which is impossible at 
present the culture and beliefs of these tribes with the wild races 
of Burma to the north, and with the Dravidians of the Indian 
Peninsula, the Andamanese in the latter case providing the 
intermediate link. The way to such a Survey has been cleared 
and the foundations have been laid by Messrs. Skeat and 
Blagden, who deserve hearty congratulations on the success of 
their labours, which we may guess owed Httle to official support. 
They have produced an admirable account of a little-known 
people, which contains a vast amount of trustworthy information 
for students of ethnology, primitive religion, and folk-lore. 

W. Crooke. 

Reviews. 457 

Anthropological Essays presented to Edward Burnett 
Tylor in honour of his 75th Birthday, 2nd October, 1907. 
Edited by Northcote W. Thomas. Oxiord : at the 
Clarendon Press. 15s. net. 

The miscellaneous contents of this unique and stately volume, 
albeit linked by the unity of a common pursuit, can have 
adequate treatment only at the hands of a syndicate of reviewers. 
No ordinary critic "is sufficient for these things," because, 
apart from pronouncements on the merits of the several papers, 
the divergent theories enunciated in more than one of them 
call for the deliverance of judgments which can carry no weight 
save from experts. 

It was a happy thought to make Dr. Tylor's seventy-fifth 
birthday the occasion of recognition of his immense services 
to anthropology, a recognition wisely rejecting the stereotyped 
testimonials in useless bric-a-brac, and taking the form of 
contributions on the line of his own researches from some 
of the more prominent students of the science. 

Twenty of these discourse on divers matters which each, 
more or less, has made his own. Hence, Dr. Lang discusses 
Australian marriage and totem problems ; Mr. Thomas (to 
whose capable hands " the actual work " of seeing the book 
through the press has been entrusted by the Editorial Committee), 
cognate questions ; while Mr. Rivers pursues the origin of 
classificatory systems of relationships already illustrated in 
his monograph on the Todas; and Professor Ridgeway sum- 
marizes the evidence as to the lUyrian origin of the Dorians. 

The variety of the articles, as well as the limits of our space, 
alike make detailed reference impossible. But a few words may 
be written about one or more contributions, notably on that 
by Dr. Frazer on " Folk-lore in the Old Testament," to which 
the attractiveness of both author and subject will secure pro- 
minence. A generation back such a theme would have been 
tabooed, and its selection shows how far and fast we have 
moved. When, in his History of the Jews, Dean Milman, 
illustrating nomadic conditions, spoke of Abraham as " an 
Arab sheik," the impiety of the comparison caused loud beating 

2 G 

45 8 Reviews. 

of the " drum ecclesiastic." To-day, Dr. Driver, Regius Pro- 
fessor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, says 
that "there is not the smallest evidence that either Abraham 
or the other patriarchs ever actually existed," and not an 
episcopal voice is raised in protest ! Dr. Frazer's encyclopaedic 
knowledge and matchless skill in the comparative treatment of 
materials unite in illuminating some "dark sayings." For 
example, taking the incident of David and Abigail, when the 
beautiful widow, quick to find consolation in the amorous 
arms of the "gallant outlaw," tells him that his soul "shall 
be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord his God," Dr. 
Frazer detects the persistence of the barbaric idea of the 
separable soul among the Hebrews. The covenant on the cairn 
between Jacob and Laban suggests parallels from the Hebrides 
and Bengal ; and the wrestling of Jacob with the nameless 
stranger the wringing of some advantage from the " spirit or 
jinnee of the river," by whose banks the combatants struggled. 
Various fields of research are traversed by Mr. Hartland in 
the article on the sacrifice of female chastity in the temple of 
Mylitta, which, he doubtless knows, has modern example, as 
shown in Mr. Edgar Thurston's Ethnographic Notes, in certain 
parts of Southern India, where one girl from each family is 
set apart for such service, yet not losing caste ; by Professor 
Haddon, who. Dr. Lang may take note, testifies that the Torres 
Straits islanders " have no conception of a Supreme God " ; by 
Sir John Rhys, who identifies the "nine witches of Gloucester" 
with Goidelic sorceresses ; and by Dr. Westermarck, whose 
contribution on the "transference of conditional curses in 
Morocco " was, in the first instance, read before our Society. 

But, more suitably adapting the word to the occasion, 
Dr. Lang leads off with an admirable and warm-hearted 
"appreciation," as the modern phrase has it, of the donee and 
his work. The period, from iS6i to the present year, which 
this covers, and the range of subjects, duly scheduled in an 
exhaustive bibliography, which it includes, will be a revelation 
even to some among us who know Primitive Culture " au 
fond." Of that book Dr. Lang speaks in no exaggerated terms 
when, in the words which Thucydides applied to his History, 

Reviews. 459 

he calls it "a possession for ever," and adds that "no book 
can ever supersede it." In the restraint, effectiveness, and 
dignity of its style ; in the skilful weaving of huge masses 
of materials into a text which they illumine and never confuse ; 
and in the scientific caution and circumspection which inform 
it, Prvnitive Culture remains unequalled. It is the Canon 
of Anthropology. To it may be accorded Professor Freeman's 
verdict on Gibbon's Decline and Fall: "It must ever keep 
its place ; whatever else is read, it must be read too. The 
ease and mastery with which he lifts the enormous burden 
are appreciated in proportion to the information and abilities 
of his critic." 

It is to be wished that Dr. Lang, or some one equally skilled 
in exposition, had taken advantage of the present opportunity 
to have given a retrospective survey of a science which, "old 
as the hills," was for centuries in a state of suspended animation, 
and revivified barely fifty years ago ; a science which, more than 
any other, has affected, and will for all time to come affect, man's 
attitude towards, and explanation of, his surroundings. The 
reluctance, following on M. Boucher de Perthes' discovery of 
artificially-shaped flints in the Somme Valley, shared alike by 
theologians and men of science, to accept these tools and 
weapons as demonstrating the enormous antiquity and primitive 
savagery of man, was due to the conviction that his place in 
nature is wholly exceptional. The strength of that conviction 
explains Darwin's reticence as to the application of the theory 
of natural selection to man ; a reticence which, in the Descent 
of Man, published in 1871, twelve years after the Origin of 
Species, he admitted was due to a desire " not to add to the 
prejudice against his views." Heedless of the warning of an 
eminent friend that his prospects of success in his career would be 
ruined by so rash a venture, Huxley published his lectures on 
the Evidence as to Mans Place in Nature, wherein he extended 
the doctrine of evolution to human psychology. That was in 
1863, the year in which Lyell pubHshed his Antiquity of Afan, 
the hesitating tone of the book about "species, still less, man," 
evoking deep regret from Darwin. And for how long had 
Anthropology, the Cinderella of the sciences, to wait before 

460 Reviews. 

she was admitted across the threshold of the British Association? 

So revolutionary are the changes witnessed in these latter days 

that all this reads like ancient history. These changes have 

brought acceptance, not only of the fact of man's ascent in an 

unbroken line from the lowest life-forms, but of the fundamental 

identity between, and continuity of, animal and human faculties. 

And it is on this philosophical side that Dr. Tylor has rendered 

such abiding service. His "main interest," as Dr. Lang says, 

"has been in beliefs and institutions." The Early History of 

Mankind^ for the most part, dealt with the tangible relics of 

man's advance ; it is in Primitive Culture that we have 

demonstration of the significance of intangible materials for 

knowledge of the beliefs, customs, and social institutions of 

the various races of mankind. The precis of the twenty Gifford 

lectures on Natural Religion, delivered before the University of 

Aberdeen in 1889-90 and 1890-91, which is given in the 

Bibliography, will make every student of Anthropology the 

more solicitous that Dr. Tylor may ere long be able to commit 

these lectures to the press. The two portraits of him which 

enrich these Essays are welcome ; more welcome still is the 

later photograph, an admirable likeness, which appears in the 

current number of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological 


Edward Clodd. 

L'Ann^e Sociologique. Publiee sous la Direction de Emile 
DuRKHEiM. Dixieme Annee (1905-1906). Paris : Felix 
Alcan, 1907. 

The new volume of L' Annee Sociologique is more interesting than 
ever to students of folklore. It contains three Memoires 
Originaux devoted to the consideration of problems of im- 
portance and remarkable for the skill and acuteness which the 
authors have brought to the task of resolution. Space will not 
avail for the consideration of these essays as they deserve ; but 

Reviews. 46 1 

some indication of the nature and value of their contents must 
be attempted. 

The first is by M. P. Huvelin, and is an attempt to carry a 
step further the conclusions arrived at three years before by 
MM. Hubert and Mauss in an article discussed in these pages 
{Folklore, vol. xv., pp. 359 sqq.^. Starting from the position 
that there is no opposition in kind between magical and religious 
acts, and from MM. Hubert and Mauss' provisional definition of 
magical acts as rites not part of an organized cult, but rather 
private, secret, mysterious, and tending towards the prohibited, 
he finds himself in an impasse. How can the magical act, if 
it be a social act, pass for prohibited ? How can it be at once 
licit and illicit, religious and irreligious ? He finds the way out 
of his difficulty by carefully examining the practical applications 
of magic. An activity presenting every characteristic of a social 
activity, and therefore lawful, can only become unlawful indirectly; 
that is to say, if and so far as it is employed in an anti-social interest. 
We must therefore take into consideration the object sought in 
a magical proceeding. Magic is not to be fully understood if 
we sever it from the different modes in which it tends to realize 
itself. Each of them must be analysed, to ascertain in what 
respects it is anti-social. MM. Hubert and Mauss, though con- 
scious of the antinomy, though they seem to have discerned 
the importance of taking into account the various interests to 
which magical rites have been made to respond, and though 
they have noted that they are often practised by individuals 
isolated from the social group and acting in their own interest, or 
in that of other individuals, and in their name, have not pursued 
this branch of the investigation. This is where M. Huvelin 
steps in. Taking up the notion of interests, he directs his atten- 
tion to the legal idea ot rights of various kinds — rights of family 
or clan, public rights — exhibits them as in essence religious rights, 
enquires into the procedure by which they were originally enforced, 
and shows that it was more or less a religious procedure, fortified 
by religious sanctions. Rights of property, on the other hand, 
are more usually individual, and the procedure by which they 
are enforced is more predcmiinantly magical. The same pro- 
cedure is also applied to the enforcement of personal rights, such 

462 Reviews. 

as protection from attempts against the person or reputation, 
from violation of a pledge or an agreement, and so forth. This 
magical procedure consisted of ceremonies of various kinds, 
involving maledictions on the evil-doer. Sometimes these male- 
dictions were expressed in symbol only, sometimes by word or 
song, sometimes in writing. In case of a pledge or agreement, 
the person put under the pledge was made to invoke the curse 
on himself if he broke it. In other words, the mana, the mystic 
power inherent more or less in every personality, and pre- 
dominant in magician or ghost, or in the higher beings of the 
imagination, was set in motion to guard a private contract or 
to avenge a private wrong. But this is simply the application 
to private ends of those religious forces which guard and enforce 
public rights. M. Huvelin concludes, therefore, that in the 
domain of law the magical rite is only a religious rite turned 
from its regular social aim and employed to realize an individual 
will or an individual belief. Thus the contradiction is resolved. 
The magical rite is religious in form and tenour : it is only 
anti-religious in its ends. 

Can this conclusion be extended beyond the domain of law 
to all the applications of magic? M. Huvelin thinks it can; 
but for the present he pursues the subject no further, awaiting 
the results of fresh research in a larger field. 

The second Mcmoire is by M. R. Hertz. It is a thoughtful 
analysis of funeral ceremonies with the object of arriving at a 
clearer view of the idea of death and all that it imports to 
peoples in the lower culture. It is obvious that death is 
looked upon as something very different from that which 
modern physiological research presents to us. A dead human 
body is not considered in the same light as the dead body of 
any other animal. It inspires horror ; and the more eminent 
the person who is dead the greater the emotion excited, not 
simply by the fact of death but by the corpse. Death in fact 
puts an end not alone to the visible corporeal existence of a 
living being : with the same blow is destroyed the social being 
grafted on the physical individuality, to which a greater or 
lesser importance and dignity and consecration are attached by 
the collective consciousness. The destruction of such a being 

Reviews. 463 

is equivalent to a sacrilege and implies the intervention of 
powers of the same order as himself, but hostile, negative. 
Hence when a savage community sees in a death no merely 
natural phenomenon but the action of spiritual influences, we 
must consider that view not as merely a coarse and persistent 
blunder but as the naive expression of a permanent social 
necessity. Society in fact communicates to the individuals who 
compose it its own perennial character. Because it feels itself 
and wishes to be immortal it cannot normally believe its 
members destined to die : their destruction can only be the 
effect of sinister machinations. Doubtless the reality gives a 
brutal contradiction to this prejudice ; but the contradiction is 
always received with the same movement of indignant stupor 
and despair. Such an outrage must have an author on whom 
the anger of the group can be discharged. Thus when a man 
dies society does not merely lose its unity : it is outraged in 
the very principle of its life, in its faith in itself. To read the 
descriptions given by ethnographers of the scenes of furious 
distress which take place at or immediately after a death, it 
seems as if the entire community felt itself lost, or at least 
directly threatened by the presence of antagonistic forces : the 
very base of its existence is shaken. The dead man, at once 
victim and prisoner of the evil powers, is cast violently out of 
the community, dragging with him his nearest relatives. 

But this exclusion is not definitive. Just as the collective 
conscience does not believe in the necessity of death it refuses 
to consider it as irrevocable. Because it has faith m itself a 
healthy society cannot admit that an individual, who has made 
part of its own substance, on whom it has impressed its mark, 
is lost for ever. Life must have the last word. Under different 
forms the deceased will issue from the terrors of death to 
re-enter into the peace of human communion. This deliver- 
ance and reintegration constitute one of the most solemn 
acts of the collective life in the least advanced societies of 
which we have any knowledge. They are the object of the 
most important ceremonies. But the dead man does not return 
simply to the life he has quitted : the separation has been 
too profound to be thus instantly abolished. He will be 

464 Reviews. 

reunited to those who hke him and before him have left this 
world, to the community of ancestors. He will enter that 
mythical society of souls which every society constructs in 
the image of itself. That society differs from the actual society 
of living men in being ideal, freed from limitations. The soul 
that enters it, however, will have to undergo an initiation 
analogous to that by which the youth is taken out of the 
society of women and children, and introduced into that of 
adult men. Initiation, the original integration which gives 
the individual access in the first place to the sacred mysteries 
of the tribe, implies a profound change of his person, a renewal 
of his body and soul, such as confers on him the needful religious 
and moral capacity. And the analogy of the two phenomena 
is so fundamental that this change is very often accomplished 
by the symbolical death of the aspirant, followed by his new 
birth to a higher life. 

Moreover, there are analogies between death as represented 
in the collective consciousness and the other great crises ot 
life — birth and marriage. In the ceremonies attendant on all 
three there are mystical perils incurred, and rites of purifica- 
tion to be performed. In all three there is a change of the 
mode of existence, a transition from one group to another ; 
and these changes are expressed in the rites. Thus death is 
not conceived as a fact unique and without analogy. In our 
civilization the stages of social life are feebly marked. But 
less advanced societies, whose internal structure is massive 
and rigid, conceive a man's life as a succession of heterogeneous 
phases with fixed outlines, to each one of which corresponds 
a definite social class more or less organized. Consequently, 
each promotion of the individual implies the passage from 
one group to another, an exclusion — that is to say, a death — 
and a new integration — that is to say, a birth. Doubtless, 
these two elements do not always appear in the same perspective. 
According to the nature of the change it is sometimes the one, 
sometimes the other, that fixes the collective attention, and 
determines the dominant character of the event ; but they are 
at bottom complementary. Death is for the social conscious- 
ness only a particular species of a general phenomenon. 

Reviews. 465 

In the light of these considerations we can understand why- 
death is conceived as a state of transition having a certain 
duration. Every change of state of an individual who passes 
from one group to another implies a profound modification in 
the mental attitude of the society in regard to him, a modification 
which is accomplished gradually and takes time. The raw fact 
of physical death does not suffice to consummate death in the 
consciousness of the survivors. The image of him who is dead 
made but lately part of the system of things in this world. It is 
only detached little by little, by a series of internal rendings. 
We do not all at once think of the dead as dead ; our participa- 
tion in one and the same social life with him creates bonds which 
are not broken in a day. The fact only imposes itself upon us 
little by little, and it is not until the end of a prolonged conflict 
that we consent, that we believe in the separation as real. It is 
this painful psychological process which is expressed under an 
objective and mystical form in the belief that the soul only breaks 
progressively the bonds which attach it to the world ; and the 
soul cannot again find a stable existence before the representation 
of the dead has taken in the consciousness of the survivors a 
definitive and pacified character. Between the persistent image 
of a man familiar and like ourselves and the image of an ancestor 
sometimes venerated and always distant, the opposition is too 
profound to enable the latter immediately to take the place of 
the former. Hence the notion of an intermediate state during 
which the soul is thought to free itself from the mortuary impurity 
or the sin which remained clinging to it. If, then, a certain time 
is necessary to banish the dead from the land of the living, it is 
because society, shaken by the blow, must recover its equilibrium 
gradually, and because the double mental labour of severance 
and synthesis, which the integration of the individual in a new 
world supposes, is only accomplished by degrees, and demands 
time for its completion. 

This period of trouble and rending is expressed concretely by 
the gradual destruction of the old earthly body. When the 
corpse is reduced to bones no longer subject to corruption, 
over which death has no more power, the condition and the 
sign of the final deliverance is reached. Now that the body of 

466 Reviews. 

the deceased is like those of the ancestors, there seems no longer 
any obstacle to the entry of the soul into their communion. This 
mental connection between the soul and the body is necessary 
not merely because the collective thought is in the beginning 
concrete and incapable of conceiving of a purely spiritual exist- 
ence, but still more because it presents a profoundly dramatic 
character. A group of acts is required to fix the attention, to 
orientate the imagination, to suggest belief. Now the subject- 
matter on which the collective activity will be exercised after 
death, and which will serve as the object of rites, is naturally 
the corpse. The integration of the dead in the invisible society 
will only be fully effected when the material remains are united 
to those of the fathers. It is the action that society exercises on 
the body which confers full reality on the drama it imagines for 
the soul. Thus the physical phenomena constituting and following 
death, if they do not by themselves determine the collective 
representations and emotions, contribute to give them the definite 
form they present ; they bring them, as it were, a material 
support. Society projects into the world that surrounds it its 
own methods of thinking and feeling, and the latter in return 
fixes, regulates, and limits tliem in time. 

I have lingered so long over this impressive essay that I have 
no more space, otherwise I should have been glad to lay before 
the members of the Society a summary of M. Bougie's discussion 
which follows on the relation between law and caste in India. 
The roots of the law in religion and the position and function of 
the Brahmans are considered in the light of the most recent 
investigations, and the anthropological results are carefully sum- 
marised. But for these and for the reviews of anthropological 
and sociological literature which form the bulk of the volume 
I must refer the readers to its pages. 

E. Sidney Hartland. 

Reviews. 467 

La Notion de l'Etre Suprei\ie chez les Peuples Non- 
CiviLiSES. Par Rene Hoffmann. Romet, Geneve, 

Monsieur Rene Hoffmann's work is his thesis for the degree 
of Bachelor of Divinity in the University of Geneva. His 
topic is "The All Father," in Mr. Howitt's useful phrase, and 
the belief in the All Father among savages and barbarians of 
various grades of culture. In his opinion the facts, till quite 
recently, have been " little dwelt upon, or ill interpreted " by 
students of the evolution of religion, though they " place a 
point of interrogation" on the theories whose authors pass 
them by. 

M. Hoffmann regrets that in French there is no equivalent 
for our " All Father," and protests that he uses " Etre 
Supreme" with no metaphysical connotation. He wants "a 
term neutral, colourless, and without history," and such a term 
in French it is difficult to find. 

Beginning with Australia, M. Hoffmann makes good use of 
all our most recent authorities, including Herr Strehlow's 
letters in Globus of 1907. I do not know J. Dawson's The 
English Colo77y of N.E. Wales, 1804, and suspect a misprint 
in the date (p. 26). When our author represents Mr. Howitt 
as "contradicting himself" (p. 30), in 1883-1904, about a 
Dieri All Father, he seems to misunderstand his authority. 
The statements of Mr. Gason about an All Father, Mura- 
Mura, cited in 1883 by Mr. Howitt, were contradicted by 
Mr. Siebert's discovery that the Mura-Mura are mythical 
ancestral beings. To be sure Herr Reuther corroborates Mr. 
Gason as to an All Father, named Mura, distinct from the 
ancestral Mura-Mura, and Reutlier had fourteen years of 
experience among the Dieri, as a missionary. The tribe is 
now verging on extinction, but as Mr. Siebert found no All 
Father, while the sky-dweller faintly remembered is Arawotja, 
not Mura, Mr. Howitt could only accept the most recent 
information, m correcnon of the earlitr account. 

As against the denial of an Arunta All Father, M. Hoffmann 
sets the Alijira of Heir Strehlow. Probably he exists in the 

468 Reviews. 

belief of Herr Strehlow's region of inquiry, but not in that of 
Messrs. Spencer and Gillen. They could not have missed a 
being after whom they made research, if he were part of 
Arunta belief in their field of work. Among the adjacent 
Loritja tribe, Herr Strehlow finds an " Etre Supreme," Tukura^ 
while the Alcheringa ancestral spirits are Tukutita, in the 
plural ; M. Hoffmann compares Dieri Mura (?) and the 
ancestral beings, Mura-Mura. We need more knowledge of 
the language. He lays stress on the many grades of difference 
in the conceptions of the All Father, from the moral Baiame 
and Mujigan-ngaua of the Kamilaroi and Kurnai, to the non- 
moral Atnatu of the Kaitish. He inclines to think that if 
Mr. Howitt rightly takes Kurnai and Yuin ideas to suggest, 
perhaps, an age prior to adoration of ancestors {M. Hoffmann 
means, e.g.^ the Dieri Mura-Mura), then the moral is more 
archaic than the non-moral All Father, who is fading away 
under the competition of animistic and Alcheringa ideas. But 
I have not observed that the Alcheringa spirits take up any 
of the moral sway of beings like Baiame : and Alcheringa 
beings are not ghosts of known human ancestors. 

M. Hoffmann next studies the Fuegians, — about whom one 
desires more recent information, — the Bushmen, and Puluga 
of the Andamanese. For the African All Fathers he uses 
the evidence of Miss Kingsley, Allegret, Trilles, Bennet 
{J.A.I, vol. xxix., 1899), Beguin, Decle, Jacottet, Gottschling 
{J.A.I, vol. XXXV., 1905), Hetherwick, and Spieth {Die Ewe- 
Stdmme, Reimer, Berlin, 1906). The last-named writer is 
unknown to me, and many of the others had not published 
their observations when I wrote The Making of Religion. 

An Ewe hymn to Matvu (p. 65) singularly resembles 
Psalm 139, verse 7, et seqq. Mawu appears to receive no 
sacrifice except once a year a goat tethered to a stake and 
left to die. Though Melanesia yields few traces of an All 
Father, the Harisu of the people of Elema is a fine example, 
destitute of cult (Holmes, J.A.I, vol. xxxii., 1902), and Lata, 
in the Reef Islands, is equally good, though he seems to 
receive both prayers and offerings (O'Farrell, J.A.I, vol. xxxiv., 
1904). In the isle of Nias (west coast of Sumatra) Lowalangi 

Reviews. 469 

has no cult (Sundermann in Warneck's Allgemeine Missions- 
zeitschrifi, vol. xi., p. 1884). 

M. Hoffmann next studies America, and finds All Fathers 
in abundance. He briefly recapitulates their characteristics 
and attributes, and explains their tendency to pass into the 
background of belief, and to fade into the shadow of a name. 
He next remarks on the singular omission of notice of these 
beings by many recent theorists, such as Herbert Spencer 
and Chantepie de la Saussaye, and he argues against the 
theory that the All Father is borrowed from Christian teachers ; 
or is developed out of ghost-worship, or nature-worship, by 
peoples who neither worship nature nor ghosts. He concludes 
that the All Father belief, so far, is ^^ irreductible" ; and he 
declines to advance any theory of its origin, or to enter 
into metaphysics. He fears that he has "fait la part trop 
belle" for the All Father, and, in fact, his exposition of the 
chroniqiie scandaleuse of that being does come rather late in 
the work (pp. 1 13-1 16). It might have been wiser to state, at 
the beginning, that many All Fathers are as capable of incon- 
sequences and etourderies as Zeus himself. But M. Hoffmann 
holds, and here he will not, I think, satisfy Mr. Hartland, that 
the higher aspects of the All Father rise from a deeper stratum 
of the savage consciousness, and that the light myths, comic 
or obscene, rise from faculties of playfulness. This view, he 
remarks, may be considered arbitrary ; we may have no right 
to distinguish between the religious and the mythological, but 
"cette distinction ce n'est pas nous qui la faisons, mais les 
sauvages eux-memes." On this, and other points, M. Hoffmann 
will probably not make many converts. But his thesis offers 
an excellent synopsis of the facts in the All Father belief, 
facts which, I ; gree with him, were in some danger of being 
overlooked. He informs me that he will be pleased to send 
copies of his thesis to persons interested in his topic, but 
perhaps students may prefer to order it from his publisher, 
"Imprimerie Romet, 26 Boulevard Georges-Favori, Geneva." 

A. Lang. 

4/0 Reviews. 

English and Scottish Popular Ballads ; edited from the 
collection of Francis James Child by Helen Child 
Sargent and George Lyman Kittredge. London, 1905. 
D. Nutt ; Boston and New York : Houghton Mifflin & Co. 
123. 6d. 
I still remember the smile with which Svend Grundtvig said 
that " now had ' Denmark's old Folk-ballads ' produced a living 
offspring" when, during the last year of his life, he one day 
handed me a stately quarto, the first of Child's great folk-ballad 
publications. A superficial glance showed that the whole 
arrangement of text, introduction, and notes conformed very 
closely to the outward form of " DgF." ^ But besides this 
there was an inward likeness between the two works. Both 
were sprung from their authors' lifelong, thorough and con- 
scientious researches into the ballad-poetry of their native lands, 
both were the outcome of a very wide knowledge of the folk- 
poetry of the whole world ; each is rich in parallels, cautious 
in conclusions. Similar ways of work and a spiritual kinship 
have made the writers into close comrades. The most char- 
acteristic feature in both works is the certainty with which true 
folk-tradition is distinguished from literary emendation. Both 
authors had a lively sense of what folk-poetry will say, and it 
is this which makes their productions such a valuable guide, — 
a sense which unhappily is found all too seldom among the 
various writers who, since then, have busied themselves with 
folk-poetry. To put it shortly, they had that which made their 
age the golden age for the study of folk-poetry ; a compre- 
hensive survey of the material, an instinct not only for its 
wider outlines, but also for each individual feature as an expres- 
sion of the luxuriance of life which marks its whole, an untiring 
power of work to carry the problem through in all its breadth, 
a never-failing interest in every new contribution which could 
be won from far or near. 

* -X- * * -if * 

A comparison between the two works suggests itself. They 
stand alone in European literature, still unsurpassed by any 

^ Svend Grundtvig, Dantnarks gainle Folkeviser. 

Reviews. 471 

successor. They vie with each other in immense learning. 
Here, perhaps, Child, who could build on Grundtvig, attains the 
higher point. In any case he has with incredible perseverance 
got at the whole literature of Europe, including literatures hard 
to come at, such as the Slavonic. Grundtvig's work gives the 
impression of steady growth, Child's of a pause in the advance 
of knowledge, where, rich as are the additions he makes, they 
but seldom open out new views of his subject. Child had a 
passion for detail, to which he trusted to an extent which 
has seldom been shown by anyone else who had such colossal 
material to deal with. It is this, and his good fortune in being 
able to bring his work to an end himself, which makes the 
fruit of his labour so useful. If we ask for a single definite 
result which can serve as a mark to show how far he has 
carried us forward, it is harder to name one. One must rather 
look to the very ground-work of his publication, to the diligence 
with which he has traced out notebooks and manuscripts in 
private hands, dating from the time when there was still living 
tradition to garner from, records from the period of romantic 
poetry, and to the clearness with which he has sifted out 
bookish remodelling from true folk-work. But in going over 
the general field of folk-poetry Child is extremely cautious, his 
great collection of examples is material placed on record, but 
with the utmost caution he only draws the bare outlines of 
their relationship, and often hardly indicates them. 

The contrast between them shows most strongly where both 
are working on the same ballad. Compare, for instance, Kvin- 
demorderen (DgF., 183) with Lady Isabel afid the Elf-Knight 
(Child, 4). Grundtvig's introduction is one of his most beautiful 
examinations of the indications to be drawn from the grouping 
of the material ; Child's is an extraordinarily close rendering 
of Grundtvig's, only with still fuller material, following him 
along the whole line, even on points which well deserved to 
be taken up as subjects for fresh investigation, such as the 
question whether the tempter-knight is thought of from the very 
first as a supernatural being. 

But taking these two ballad-editors as they are, they serve 
to supplement each other. That two such men, with sub- 

472 Reviews. 

stantially the same views, should have toiled at this immense 
material from the first commencement, is a piece of good fortune 
for later research ; and one can scarcely imagine that the work 
could possibly have been accomplished better than it has been 
by them. 

These are the thoughts which force themselves upon us, 
now that the English folk-ballads lie before us, not merely in 
the great ten-volume edition, which costs many pounds, but also 
in the new abridged edition, which is sold remarkably cheap. 
Here each number in the collection is represented by one or 
more versions, with a very short introduction which gives the 
result of the detailed investigation. In this shape the English 
folk-ballads are easily accessible ; and to readers in the North 
this group of poetry certainly seems that which in its whole 
range of ideas — and to some extent also in its individual 
themes — stands nearest to our own ballad-poetry. 

Axel Olrik (in Danske Stiidier, 1907. 
Translated by A. F. Major.) 

Books for Revteiu should be addressed to 
The Editor of Folk-Lore, 

c/o David Nutt, 
57-59 Long Acre, London. 


Aarhus : folktale, 200-1 
Abartach, son of Allchad, 30 
Aberdeenshire, see Braemar ; and 

Abipones : mourning custom, 400 
Abraham : in Jewish legend, 72 
Abruzzi Mountains : {see also Cocullo) ; 

folktale, 193 ; monasteries founded 

by St. Domenico, 216 
Abyssinia, see Bogos 
Accounts of Folk-Lore Society, 10- 1 
Achilles myth, 280 
Achren, battle of, 143 
Acton (Sufifcjlk) : treasure in Wimbell 

Pond, 274 
Adam, jinns descend from, Palestine, 

Adamnan, vision of, 163-4 

Adar, month of: ruled by 7 evil 
spirits, 416 

Adonis : Frazer's Adonis, Aitis, Osiris 
reviewed, 220-4 > cult a ' Life ' cult, 
295-6 ; The Grail and the Rites of 
Adonis, by Miss J. L. Weston, 4, 
7, 283-305 

Adsar, month of: fast in honour of 
moon, Harranians, 414, 416 

yEgean islands, see Greek islands 

Aeneze : Ramadan fast, 417 

^.sop's fables, parallels to, 17 

Africa : (see also Abyssinia ; Algeria ; 
Angola ; Bantu ; Basutoland ; 
Bemba ; Benin ; Bombe tribes ; 
British East Africa : Bushmen ; 
Carthage ; Dahomey ; Egypt ; 
Gallas ; Gold Coast ; Guinea, South ; 
Haussa ; Hottentots; Kongo; 
Loango; Lusiba; Morocco; Nigeria; 
Nyassaland; Old Calabar; Rhodesia; 
Sierra I>eone Protectorate : Soudan ; 
Swahili ; Tanganyika ; Uganda ; 
ajid Yoruba) ; All Father belief, 
468 ; amulet, 249 ; Dennett's At the 
Back of the Black Man's Mind; or, 
Notes on the Kingly Office in West 
Africa, reviewed, 234-40 ; string 
game, 113 ; west, — Some West 
African Customs, by Abiose, 86-8 

Agariya : no fire in house on day 
of cremation, 405 

Agnation or father-right : amongst 
Herero, 245, and Nyassa tribes, 
245 ; sister-marriage under, 223 

Agnus castus ; leaves cure headache, 
Greek islands, 329 

Agra : Taj Mahal, 427 

Agricultural folklore : [see also Corn ; 
Corn spirits, vegetation souls, and the 
like ; Harvest customs and beliefs ; 
Ploughing customs and beliefs ; 
and Sowing customs and beliefs) ; 
Agricultural Superstitionsin Bellary, 
by W. Francis, 331-5 : circuiting 
fields with torches, Hallowe'en, 
Braemar, 85 

" Agriopetalida " : ashes as emmen- 
agogue, Greek islands, 329 

Ahrensburg : disturbed grave vault, 

377-9> 384-5 
Ahts : taboos at puberty, 408 
Ailbe, dog of Culand, 230-1 
Alaska, see Eskimo ; and Thlinkets 
Albania : no cooking for 3 days after 

death, 405 
Alcheringa traditions, Australia, 468 
Alder-tree : log of in tale of Dun 

Mouse, 230 
Alexandria : colony from in S. Gaul, 

126; Zenodore of, 126 
Algeria : {see also Algiers ; Burmal-ar- 
Rabba ; and Constantine) ; mourn- 
ing customs, 406 
Algiers : fountains of jinn, 246 ; negro 

religious societies, 246 
Allchad of the Many-coloured Rai- 
ment, 30-1 
All Father, see Deity, conceptions of 
Allhallow F^ven, see Hallowe'en 
All Hallows Eve and other Festivals 
in Conn,iught, by H. J. Byrne, 

All Saints' Eve, sec Hallowe'en 
Almhain : in folktale, 31 
Almsgiving associated with fasting, 

Alsace, see Elsass 
Altiigyptische Sagen und Mdrchen, by 

A. Wiedemann, reviewed, 116-8 
Alum : as amulet, Palestine, 70 
Alur Taluq, see Nerakini 

2 H 



Alva : St. Servan's well, 34 
Amangons, King, see King Amangons 
Amaravati, carvings at, 13 
Amargin the hero, 138 
Amathaon, son of Don, 145 
Amazulu : Callaway's Religious Sys- 
tem of the Amazulu, 212 ; words 

umusi, etc., 238 
Amen, deity, Egypt, 117-8 
America, see Central America ; North 

America ; South America ; and 

West Indies 
Amrum island : baby-wells, 268 
Amulets and talismans, 70, 189, 249- 

50, 329-30, 362, 426 
Anahita, moon-goddess, Iran, 269-70. 
Ancestors : ancestral spirits, Australia, 

467-S, Kafirs, 345-6, Herero, 239 ; 

worshipped, Khasis, 241 
Ancient Barbarous Sports, 336-8 
Ancient Customs at the Riding of 

Langholm Marches, 335-6 
Ancient Law, by Sir H. S. Maine 

and Sir F. Pollock, reviewed, 351, 

Andaman islands : All Father belief, 
468 ; mourning custom, 401 ; taboos 
at puberty, 408 ; tribes resembling 
Andamanese, Malay Peninsula, 

Angakut, see Wizards 
Anglo-Saxons: Shore's Origin of the 

Am^lo-Saxon ^are; reviewed, 35 1 -3 
Angmagssalik : Eskimo settlements, 


Angola : Kalunga, Death, 239 ; 
Nzambi, deity, 239 

Angus the druid, 28 

Animals in folklore : {see also Ante- 
lope ; Badger ; Bear ; Birds in 
folklore ; Buffalo ; Camel ; Cat ; 
Cattle ; Crustacea in folklore ; Deer ; 
Dog ; Donkey ; Dragon ; Duiker ; 
Elephant ; Ermine ; Fish in folk- 
lore; Gazelle; Goat; Hare; Horse; 
Ibex ; Indian ass ; Insects in 
folklore ; Jackal ; Leopard ; Levia- 
than ; Lion ; Monkey ; Mouse ; 
Mouse deer ; Mule ; Otter ; Pig ; 
Rat ; Reptiles in folklore ; Rhin- 
oceros ; Sable ; Sheep ; Sponge ; 
Stag; Tiger; Unicorn; Wer-beasts; 
Wolf; a;/a^ Worm) ; all have worms 
in heads, Aristotle, 215 ; animal 
clans, jatakas, 22 ; animal stories, 
12, 16-7 ; cycle of 12 animals, 
China, 119; female, not sacrificed. 

India, 394 ; skins worn by 
Armenian clergy, 432-3 

Annee Sociologique, /,', vols. IX and 
X, by E. Durkheim, reviewed, 
95-102, 460-6 

Annual meeting, 4-5 ; Report of 
Council, 6- 1 1 

Annwn, or Celtic Other-World, 142, 
145, 149-51, 152 

Antelope : origin of Unicorn, 213-4 

Anthropological Essays presented to 
Edward Burnett Tylor, edit, by 
N. W. Thomas, reviewed, 457-60 

Antigone, the story of, 19 

Antilles : fasting as mourning, 398 \ 
religious purification by vomiting, 
393 ; taboos at puberty, 408 

Antrim : visited by cows of Eochaid 
Echbel, 148 

Anubis : cult in S. Gaul, 126 

Anvil : reversed in cursing. Con- 
naught, 348 

Anyanja, see Nyanja 

Apache Indians: string game, 115; 
taboos at puberty, 408 

Apollo : Melkart identified with, 127 

Apparitions foretell future, Palestine, 

Apple : bobbing for apples, Hallow- 
e'en, Denbighshire and Ros- 
common, 437-8 ; in folktale, India, 
428-9 ; gold, in folktale, Sweden, 
199 ; mandrake fruit the " apple of 
the insane," Arabs, 68; in tales 
of Celtic Other- World, 155 

Apple-tree : connected with Avallach, 
king of Other- World, 32 ; in folk- 
tales, 192, 195 ; in tale of Gilla 
Dacker, 49 ; of St. Serf, Culross, 

April : cuckoo feast, 341 
Aquila, see Scanno 
Aquitaine : no trace of God-mallet, 

Arabia, see Aeneze ; Hira, cave of; 

Koreish ; and Mecca 
Arakh tribe : worship of dead, 401 
Aralach as king of Hades, 140 
Arawn : as king of Hades, 140, or 

Annwn, 145, 149-50 
Arbois de Jubainville, H. d' : Le 

Sejour des Morts suivant la Mylh- 

ologie Celtique, 339-40 ; comment 

by A. Nutt, 445-8. 
Arcadia, see Elatus river 
Argyllshire, see Lochleven 
Aricia, see Nemi, wood of 



Aristotle : folklore in his History of 
Animals, 212-5 

Arizona, see Moqui Indians 

Armenia : {see also Jessids) ; Notes on 
some Early Ecclesiastical Practices 
in Armenia, by F. C. Conybeare, 
432-5 ; Sarmad the Armenian, 432 ; 
sprinkling infants with salt, 267 

Arthur, King, see King Arthur 

Arunta tribe : 179; All Father belief, 
467-8 ; marital customs and terms, 
310, 312-3; religious evolution, 347; 
taboo on menstruous women, 408 

Arusi tribe, 323 

Arvernes : statue at, 126 

Ashes : in agricultural magic, India, 

Asia, j-f£ Arabia; Asia Minor; Assyria; 

Babylonia ; Baloches ; Burmah ; 

Chaldeans ; China ; Cyprus ; East 

Indies ; India ; Japan ; Malay 

Peninsula ; Mongolia ; Palestine ; 

Persia ; Philippines ; Phoenicia ; 

Siam ; Syria ; Tibet ; aitd Turkey- 

Asia Minor, see Cilicia ; Georgia ; 

Lydia ; and Phrygia 
Asiman, devil of epilepsy, Palestine, 


Ass, see Donkey 

Assam : {see also Jaintia Hill ; Jowai ; 
Khasis ; Mikirs ; Nagas ; and Syn- 
teng) ; coil ornaments, 219 

Assyria ; fish emblem of fertility, 270 

Astragali : in divination, 214 ; game 
of, Jerusalem, 73 

Astrology : in Jewish legend, Pales- 
tine, 73 

Astronomical folklore, see Moon ; and 

At the Back of the Black Man's Mind; 
or. Azotes on the Kingly Office in 
West Africa, by R. E. Dennett, 
reviewed, 234-40 ; comment on 
review, 442-5 

Athach, the, a giant, 47 

Athens : in Irish folktale, 30 ; King 
Erechtheus, 223 

Atnatu, All Father, Kaitish tribe, 468 

Attica, see Athens ; Helicon ; and 

Attila, saga of, 118 

Attis, ritual of, 220-2 

Audierne, Bay of : story of Is, III 

Auditors, election of, 5 

Aurangzib, Moghul emperor, 427, 429- 

Australia : {see also New South Wales ; 
Queensland ; South Australia ; 
Torres Straits ; and Victoria) ; All 
Father beliefs, 467-8 ; Australian 
Marriage Customs, by N. W. 
ThoiTias, 306-18; marriage customs, 
306-18, 457 ; Thomas' Kinship 
Organisations and Group Man-iage 
in Australia reviewed, 105-10; 
Thomas' Natives of Australia re- 
viewed, 105-6 ; The Native Tribes 
of South-East Australia, by A. W. 
Howitt and A. Lang, 91-3, 102, 
i66-86 ; religious evolution, 346-7 ; 
string games, 113; totemism, 457 
Austria : Lower, babies grow on tree, 

269 ; Whitsun king, 277 
Austro- Hungary, see Austria ; Bo- 
hemia ; Hungary ; Inn-Viertel ; 
Moravia ; Silesia ; Slavonia ; and 
Avagou as king of Hades, 140 
Avallac, King, see King Avallac 
Avarta the Dedannan, 30-2, 47 
Avnslev : corpse removed through 

hole in wall, 371 
Avon (Lanark) : Mary Hosies, 266 
Aztecs, see Mexico, ancient 

Babies, see Birth customs and beliefs 
Babylonia : month Adar ruled by 7 
evil spirits, 416 ; 7th month sacred, 

Backwards: danger of so looking, 345 
Badaga tribe, 104 
Badger : hair as amulet against evil 

eye, Italy, 189 
Badhbh, goddess of battles, 133 
Baetyls, see Stones 
Baiae wells : cured sterility, 271 
Baiame, All Father, Australia, 106, 

Balance Sheet of Folk-Lore Society, 

Baldness, charm against, Greek 

islands, 330 
Ballads, see Folk-songs 
Baloches : Popular Poetry of the 

Baloches, by M. Longworth Dames, 

Balor of the Mighty Blows, 138 ; 

chief of Fomorians, 139 
Bambara : religious society of, Algiers, 

Bamboo : funeral bamboo, Malay 

tribes, 456 
Banffshire, see Tomintoul 



Bantu : {see also Amazulu ; Ba- Ronga ; 
Barotse ; Bavili ; Bechuanas ; Benga ; 
Duala ; Herero ; Kafirs ; Kamba ; 
Konde ; Mashukulumbwe ; Mpon- 
gwe ; Nyanja ; and Swahili) ; 
leopard sacred animal, 239 

Baobab-tree : bags &c. made from 
fibres, Gallas, 324 

Baperi, Basuto clan, 445 

Baptism : beliefs giving rise to, 259- 
60; Buddhist, 263 ; fasting anciently 
preceded, 394 ; Germany, ancient, 
262-3, 265; Jews, 264; Maoris, 263-4; 
Mexico, ancient, 261-2 ; Mongolia, 
263 ; Rome, ancient, 264 ; Tibet, 
263 ; unbaptized buried after sun- 
down, Crathie, 85 ; unbaptized child 
becomes river god, Russia, 273, 
brings bad luck, Bohemia &c., 261, 
future of, Ireland, 278, stolen, Olden- 
burg, 275 ; used in witchcraft, 261 ; 
at wells, England, 253-4, 258 ; 
Yoruba, 263 ; Yucatan, 262 

Barbadoes : mysteriously disturbed 
grave vault, 379-86, 388-90 

Barcoo river, see Kurnandaburi tribe ; 
and Yantruwunta tribe 

Bardsey : as Hades, 140 

Bareta tribe, 323 

Barley bannock, at riding of Lang- 
holm Marches, 336 

Bametby : origin of name, 353 

Barnwell : children dipped in seven 
wells, 255 

Ba-Ronga : word yila, 238 

Barotse : staff of chief Santuru, 239 ; 
worship Nyambi, 239 

Barrenness, see Birth customs and 

Barrier Range : tribal organisation, 

Barton, W. R. C. : Burial of Ampu- 
tated Limbs, 82-3 

Basques: folktale, 193 

Basutoland : Bapedi or Baperi, a Basuto 
clan, 445 ; bathing rite, 264 ; man- 
kind from morass, 269 ; mourning 
customs, 406 ; string game, 327-8 

Bathing : baths haunted by evil spirits, 
Palestine, 58-62 ; ceremonial, of 
child, Goths &c. , 264-5, Upper 
Egypt, 261 ; cures barrenness, Pales- 
tine, 55, 271 ; fertilizes mothers, 
India «!v:c., 271-2; formul3e used in, 
Palestine, 61-2 ; as mourning cus- 
tom, B. Columbia, 398 ; on pil- 
grimages, India, 393 

Battas : bathing, ritual, 264 
Battlements, see Fortifications 
Bavaria : {see also Pfalz ; and Regens- 
burg) ; pixies bring changelin