Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/136

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114 Reviews.

who realises its importance. Some measurements and observa- tions of natives are given, but the number of natives, sixteen only, is too small to have much value ; the measurements were not well chosen and consequently they are of very little practical value.

There are many accounts that will interest students of arts and crafts, and there are not lacking descriptions and facts that will appeal to the folklorist, as the following extracts will show.

In the Shortland Islands the people are divided into totemic groups, the totems being mainly animals, such as the cuscus, pigeon, eagle, crocodile, shark. The people of one totem may, or may not, be friendly with those of another totem. Marriage may not take place within the totem, a son belongs to the same totem as his mother, and therefore may be a totem enemy to his father. People belonging to different islands who have a common totem are regarded as kin in spite of the fact that they may speak a different dialect or language ; for example, the totems of the Shortland Islands have adherents in North Choiseul, in Trea- sury, and in the N.E. and S.W. coast of Bougainville. Thus it happens that during a war people may pass over to an enemy's village under the protection of his totem-kin. At dances, marriages, and deaths, indeed, at all festivities, there are definite rules as to the order in which the members of the totem groups must arrive and eat. Each village" contains council-houses which are the headquarters of various totems and each totem group has a headman who may be the village headman as well.

If a man marries a woman of lower social rank than himself she and her children are raised to his level, but if the woman be of higher rank than her husband, he is raised to her level. The price paid for a wife is in proportion to her station. In the marriage ceremony of a well-born woman of the Shortlands all the inhabitants of the village into which the woman marries prepare a great feast. When cooked, the food is put into canoes and brought as quickly as possible to the village of the bride so that it may arrive still warm, then all eat together. First the men dance and then the women, but no men may see the latter dance except the bridegroom, who climbs a tree and peeps between the twigs and leaves. The bridegroom and his people return to their village, and the inhabitants of the bride's village bring them a