Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/131

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Reviews. 109

Perhaps the pages of Folk-Lore may form a suitable medium of communication.

Many another question might well detain us. But space is limited. I must content myself with expressing a deep sense of indebtedness to Dr. Howitt for a work so valuable and so oppor- tune to students of custom and belief. It can never be super- seded. In south-eastern Australia the blackfellow is rapidly dying. His customs in their primitive purity are already gone. The record here given us, and the critical remarks which it contains on those of previous observers, will remain the final authority on the people and their culture.

E. Sidney Hartland.

West African Beliefs.

Fetishism in West Africa. By the Rev. R. H. Nassau. Duckworth & Co.

Les Idees Religieuses des Fan. By E. All^gret. Revue de I'Histoire des Religions, vol. 1., No. 2, pp. 214-227.

Some years ago, in The Maki?ig of Reiigio?i, I suggested that the belief in a sky-dwelling "All-Father," benevolent, remote, otiose, a maker of things, not in receipt of sacrifices, seldom the object of prayer, without temples, occasionally regarded as interested in human conduct, was a very early factor in religion, and was most in evidence where there was least competition on the part of ancestor-worship or polytheism. My notion was very unpopular among anthropologists ! I was said to believe, or to pretend to beheve, in a primitive revelation. As far as I am aware, nobody made researches among my list of " All-Fathers," except in the case of Australia. I have since come across a number of fresh examples, but it has never seemed worth while to trouble people