Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/226

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

204 Reviews.

afiFected by European influence. The report closes with a long series of vocabularies and some good illustrations of objects of ethnographical interest.

A perusal of this fine series of ethnographical reports, compiled by the most competent authorities and printed and illustrated in an artistic way, only tempts us once more to express wonder and regret that nothing to be compared with this American work is being done in our vast colonial empire. The time is rapidly passing away when such inquiries are possible, and it is not pleasant to forecast the verdict which a future generation of anthropologists will pass upon a government and people which deliberately declines to utilise the vast opportunities for scientific work of this kind which are open to us at present.

W. Crooke.

Basutoland : its Legends and Customs. By Minnie Martin. London : Nichols & Co. 1903.

Mrs. Martin has written an unpretentious, popular account of a most interesting branch of the Southern Bantus and the country they live in. It contains a short sketch of their history, needlessly divided between Chapters L and IV. The country is the most beautiful and one of the most fertile parts of South Africa. It is under the protectorate of the British Crown, and thus escaped the ravages of the war which lately desolated all the surrounding country. No white men are allowed to reside there except Government oflicials, missionaries, and a few traders. Mrs. Martin is the wife of one of the first-named class. She speedily became interested in the people, and, at the suggestion of a friend, she made herself acquainted with their life and customs for the purpose of writing this little work.

The first white men to penetrate into Basutoland and form permanent settlements there were French Protestant missionaries. Of these men, Arbousset and Casalis have left us practically the only accounts of the people hitherto written. I have not Arbousset's work at hand ; but I have compared Mrs. Martin's statements with those of Casalis. Neither of these writers addresses a scientific audience. Consequently a really scientific account of the people is still wanting. Mrs. Martin, however, supplies some interesting details and variants of customs not