Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/141

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

Reviews. 119

A Phonetical Study of the Eskimo Language, based on

OBSERVATIONS MADE ON A JOURNEY IN NORTH GREEN- LAND, 1900-1901. By William Thalbitzer, Reprint from Meddelelser om Gronlmid, vol. xxxi. Copenhagen, 1904.

The special interest of this work to students of folklore is confined within a comparatively few pages. The author, in order to qualify himself for a scientific study of the language, undertook a laborious journey to Greenland, where he remained for more than a year. During that time he devoted himself to intercourse with the people, and the making of elaborate notes on the language. Incidentally he took down a considerable number of folktales and songs. Eight of the former, and 120 of the latter are here given. Of the former, the common North xVmerican story of the Sun and Moon, and the European story of Big Peter and Little Peter transplanted into Eskimo environment are perhaps the most noteworthy. Another tale which might have proved of interest is only partly given. The drum-songs are at least as primitive as the tales. They are a kind of recitative accompanying the drum-dances, and possess the usual characteristics of savage attempts at song.

Much of the introduction is also interesting. The discussion of the evidence afforded by the language as to the provenience of the various divisions of the Eskimo, and the observations on the intellectual culture of the people, and the effect upon it of European contact, contain much that the folklore student would do well to ponder. An important section of the introduction is formed by the bibliography. Mrs. Sophia Bertelsen has rendered the work into excellent English.

E. Sidney Hartland.

Sociological Papers : 1904. With an Introductory Address by James Bryce. Published for the Sociological Society. Macmillan. 1905.

Though Sociological Papers is, of course, not a book of folklore, yet it is undoubtedly one qui donne a penser to the folklorist. It