Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/281

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LITERARY NOTICES.

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��ure and sculpture, and also the manner in which intrinsic decorative elements are re- modeled in accordance with the rules of text- ile combination. The paper is illustrated with 73 figures. Prof. Cyrus Thomas supple- ments his former publications on American palteeographic literature with " Aids to the Study of the Maya Codices," embodying some original discoveries, and some explanations not already brought forward. Plates 50 to 58 of the Dresden Codex, and portions of other plates of the Dresden and other cod- ices, are figured in the text. Rev. J. Owen Dorsey furnishes an account of a secret so- ciety of seven degrees, still existing among the Osage, in which the traditions of the people have been preserved. This is accom- panied by two of these traditions in the original language, which he has succeeded in obtaining, together with an interlinear and a free translation of each, with explanatory remarks. An extended account of "The Central Eskimo " is contributed by Dr. Franz Boas, who spent a considerable time among these people in the region between Hudson and Baffin Bays. The scope of the paper includes the topography of the region, the distribution, tribal divisions, and numbers of the inhabitants, their habits and customs, their religious practices and beliefs, with translations of their myths and legends, and descriptions of their peculiar and ingenious weapons, implements, and utensils. Much work of previous explorers has also been incorporated with the original material in this account. The paper is illustrated with 156 figures and nine plates, two of the lat- ter being folded maps and six representing Eskimo drawings or carvings. A feature of the paper is the notation of a number of Eskimo songs.

Catalogue of Canadian Plants. Parts I to IV. By John Macoun, M.A., F. L. S., F. R. S. O, Naturalist to the Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada.

Recent years have brought to the botany of North America few contributions more valuable than the " Catalogue of Canadian Plants," by Prof. Macoun. The entire work has been issued within the past six years, the first part appearing in 1883, the fourth in 1S88, and only recently distributed; but these six years bear only small proportion

��to the actual amount of time the work has cost. Prof. Macoun gives us the labor of a life. For nearly forty years he has been an indefatigable explorer and systematist, pur- suing his investigations from Newfoundland to Vancouver's, from the Lakes to the Arctic Circle. The plan of the work contemplates an exact enumeration of the vegetable life of the Dominion, but virtually the plants of all northern North America are included, Alaska and even Greenland not being for- gotten. For this area not only is each spe- cies named, but for each, to the extent of present knowledge, is given its geographical range as well, its distribution, also its syn- onymy, and, in many cases, notes concern- ing habit and habitat. Facts of distribution are given with unusual exactness. For every plant each station is named and the name of the collector given, so that the catalogue is no mere check-list, but in so far an au- thentic geographical botany.

It were a pleasing task, did the limits of this review permit, to notice at length many of the interesting points which this catalogue brings to light. Each specialist will, of course, scan the field in search of his own particular favorites, but every one at all familiar with North American botany will enjoy tracing the distribution of some of our more common or interesting forms. The common quaking asp (Populus tremuloides), for example, occupies the whole Northwest, from Labrador to Alaska. The sundew (Dro- sera rotundifolia), common in New England, but a plant which many a Western botanist has vainly desired to see, is reported common from Newfoundland west to the Pacific, and north to the Arctic Sea. Dodccathcon Meadia likewise runs north and west, and shoots its dainty stars in far Alaska, while plumes of Hordeum jubatum wave on the banks of the Mackenzie and Yukon. Few trees cross the continent from east to west. The paper birch {Betula papyrifcra) is one. With this may be named Picea alba and Picea nigra. These two spruces start together in New- foundland and extend westward across the continent side by side, until the former is re- placed in Columbia by P. Engelmanii, with which in the Athabascan region it seems to blend, while the latter (P. nigra) drifts north- ward, until it finally vanishes side by side with the paper birch hard by the waters of

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