Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/253

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239
MALAY FOLKLORE.

the private ground referred to. Beyond strewing clean shells on these private beds, no provision is made to collect the swimming embryos during the spawning season, and multitudes must be carried away and lost. The writer has urged upon the oystermen the need of collectors of brush or tile, by the use of which the oysters which they have acquired may be largely increased in numbers, and will endeavor to demonstrate, by the use of tile collectors, that hundreds of young spat may be saved and raised to marketable age. Our native oyster structurally and physiologically resembles the European oyster (Ostrea edulis), and, like it, could be propagated in artificial oyster ponds. The practicability of such work on the West American coast depends, of course, on the market price of the resulting product as compared with the outlay required for labor.

 
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MALAY FOLKLORE.
By E. CLYDE FORD.

THE Malay is an Oriental, and, of course, possesses a goodly number of superstitions and old wives' fables, but he does not hug them to his soul like some of the other peoples of the East—the Chinaman, for instance, who lives only by favor of gods, ghosts, goblins, and devils. The Malay lives in spite of spirits, good or bad, and tries to be a model Mohammedan at the same time. With bold assurance and positiveness, he puts his trust in Allah; but, after all, this does not keep him from cherishing, on the sly, a knowledge of a few uncanny, hair-raising beliefs any more than to be a devout churchman with us removes one from the occult influences of stolen dishcloths, overturned saltcellars, and the phases of the moon.

The Malay man's aberglaube—his superstition—is undoubtedly of ancient origin. For five hundred years or more he has said his prayers five times a day in response to the muezzin's cry of Allah ho akbar, and his religion has penetrated the very life of his race and spread to the most distant confines of the archipelago, but it has never been able to remove entirely the heritage of that past when he was governed by Sanskrit gods or by deities of his own. Whatever he may have believed then and since changed, these fragments and relics of goblindom and superstition go back to that time, and so link on to all the weird love that prevailed in the ancient world. Another evidence of the primitiveness of Malay folklore may be seen in the fact that the inhabitants of the jungles and padangs and the aboriginal dwellers of mountains