Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/460

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41 8 Correspondence.

understand the poetic wording, or that perhaps the natives who told the tales adapted them to what seemed to themselves the standard of literature suitable to a missionary. Surely the Basuto proverbs ought to convince anyone of the quaintness and poetic nature of their expressions. Here, for example, is a comparison frequently used by a lover : " Mathlo ea hai a jualeka linaleli," " the eyes of her are like the stars." Again, an old heathen woman once said to me, after I had helped to pull her daughter through a serious illness, "May your feet go softly all your life, and may they carry gladness as they go." Surely that is a beautifully expressed sentiment.

Minnie Cartwright {nee Martin).

ToTEMisM in New Caledonia. {Ante, p. 259.)

May 1 draw Mr. Lang's attention to some sources of informa- tion which appear to have escaped his notice, and which throw some light on the point he raises ? These are a little work by Rochas; a series of articles in Les Missions Catholiques, i879) 1880, and 1898 ; and Mcetirs et Superstitions des Neo-Caledoniens, by Pere Lambert, published at Noumea, 1900.

As regards exogamy, it appears that it does exist, but in some places is regulated by locality 1 as in Australia {Brit. Ass. Rep., 1899, p. 585), Torres Straits {Journ. Anth. Inst., xxx., 78), New Guinea {Folk-Lore, xii., 233), and possibly on the Zambesi {Les Missions Catholiques, 1886, p. 294). Elsewhere, clan-exogamy seems to be the rule ; the Belep tribe is stated to be divided into clans named after ancestors and to be exogamous." Possibly, therefore, the custom of local exogamy may have taken the place of the more usual form.

Among the Belep again different families (? clans) are reputed to have different powers ; one can make rain fall, others influence the growth of plants ; the power of making the sugar-cane grow

' Les JMissions Catholiques, 1S98, p. 45.

  • Ibid., 1880, p. 17.