Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/541

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Reviews. 483

Enough has been said to show the character of the book. It bears evidence of accuracy and careful investigation. We are not well satisfied with the arrangement, and the style is diffuse : but the book is most useful, and it is full of first-hand information, illustrative of popular behef and of the persistence of ancient custom.

Die Mythen und Legenden der Sudamerikanischen Urvolker und ihre Beziehungen zu denen Nord-

AMERIKAS UND DER ALTEN WeLT. Von Dr. PaUL

Ehrenreich. Berlin : A. Asher & Co., 1905.

It is remarkable how little is yet known of the mythic world and the tales of the South American aborigines. This is partly due to the fact that in South America no government has yet arisen sufficiently in touch with modern culture and at leisure from domestic revolution to establish an institution like the Bureau of Ethnology, which has done so much for the investigation of the aborigines of North America. Partly it is due to the climate and the dense forests, which have greatly hindered the penetration of white men into the interior. Dr. Ehrenreich's own bibliographical list, appended to his monograph before us, only includes some score of books strictly relating to South America, and capable of being called first-hand works. Few of them are collections of traditions, most of them being narratives of travel, or of mission-work, in which the native stories are a very subordinate element. Such, however, as the material thus gathered is, Dr. Ehrenreich in these pages sets himself the task of classifying and characterising it, and of tracing its relations to the mythic material and stories of North America and the Old World.

Germany lingered under the domination of the sun-myth and the philological school of mythologists for half a generation after they had been discredited in England. A new school