Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/540

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482 Reviews.

and the same custom : St. Stephen, St. Wolfgang, St. Koloman, St. George, St. Willibald. Another remarkable thing is that many of the churches are surrounded by iron chains. These the author plausibly associates with the dedication of the chains of horses and cattle, which he supposes to have been joined or re-made into a large chain and hung about the church. Other explanations are suggested by various writers, but none can be proved to be true. Horse-shoes are also dedicated. After an excursus on tapers, the author recurs to his iron figures, and traces the extent of their use. Amongst them are human figures and parts of the body. They are always wrought or cut out of foil, but never cast ; some are as old as the Middle Ages. Wax figures of human beings are also off"ered, and the use is recorded in documents reaching back to the fifteenth century, many of which are printed in this book. Sometimes the material is wood, or silver, or even paper. A detailed description is added of a few very old figures at Aigen, six of which have special names. The author excavated a store of votive offerings at this place, two of which were very rude, naked, and phallic figures, with clasped hands. It is difficult to explain a number of votive tortoises.^ The dedication of real animals, which the author traces through past centuries, still exists. Mallet, plough- share, and other utensils are, or were, also given to the saint ; and there exist models of houses. Clothes, moreover, and various kinds of vegetables and food, are not wanting. Finally, we have votive pictures of types already familiar, in which the scene of help or heahng is depicted. The book is well illustrated; we may call attention to a few things of special interest. Two very old figures of prisoners in chains are given in Plate III. ; most of the human figures have the hands outstretched and clasped in the attitude of devotion. Many parts of the body occur, the disease often being indicated, and some being inscribed with letters or designs. A number of rough urns have the shape of the human head, like those found in Etruscan or Peruvian tombs. Amongst the animals occur snakes, tortoises, and a beehive. Two votive pictures are painted in colours.

1 But cf. Legend of Perseus, i. 176.