Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/262

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248 Reviews.

Mr. Lang will not, I fear, cease to look favourably on savage man's ideas of a creator, even when it is pointed out to him that the notions of the Kamtchadales concerning their supreme beings Kutcha, are "absurd, ridiculous, and shocking to a humanised mind;" indeed I do not think I should dare to submit my own ideas of a creator, unexceptionable as I believe them to be, to a gentleman whose humanised mind provoked him to utter such silly rant. Now, I am afraid that Mr. Karsten is induced by such authorities as these to mistake to some extent the scientific scope of the issue he has raised. Of course savages do not envisage their gods from the serene height of a wholly disinterested reverence and affection. But why oppose fear to disinterested love, and not rather to its psychological counterpart, hope? Were this done it might be found that the earliest gods are reckoned good enough to hope good things from. Doubtless Mr. Karsten would reply that such a hope is, in the case of the savage, " egotistic." What, even if the hope be the common hope of the tribe ? Surely, a universal humanitarianism is a little too much to look for here. Did not an archbishop but the other day express the sentiment, "My country, right or wrong"? One more point of another kind. Mr. Karsten says about uncultured man : " His whole attention, all his mental and physical forces, are required for his preservation in the struggle for existence." Let Mr. Karsten study the easy-going ways of the Arunta. The whole biologico-psychological school would do well to ask themselves whether that social animal, man, has not dominated creation, and consequently lived in comparative luxury, for a considerable time back.

R. R. Marett.

Bantu Folk Lore. By Matthew L. Hewat, M.D. Cape Town : T. Maskew Miller.

This is an excessively interesting work, dealing almost entirely with the medical and quasi-medical lore of the Bantu, a "great