Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/531

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Reviews. 493

legends should not explain the sexual taboo, seeing that it does not exist in that tribe. In any case it is a large deduction to draw from the premises, to conclude with M. van Gennep that the mode of life ascribed to the ancestors in the Alcheringa — beings who are conceived as living under conditions by no means the same as those of the present day, and who in a large number of cases are not differentiated from the animals whose names they bear — " must correspond to a mode of life formerly real." Besides, it does not solve the difficulty, since the transition to the present totemic regulations would still remain to be explained, and this the stories do not attempt to do.

The collection of tales which follows the critical introduction is handy even for English readers. The references to the originals are conscientiously given ; the notes are often decidedly useful. So far as I have tested the translation, it is fairly accurate. The most important mistake I have noticed is on p. ii. of the introduction, where M. van Gennep has presented Dr. Roth's "some man may have told her to be in an interesting condition " as un honune hd a affirm'e quelle etait enceinte. The difference between a command and an affirmation is in the circumstances not very serious : in both cases an exercise of magical power is involved.

E. Sidney Hartland.

The Cult of the Heavenly Twins. By J, Rendel Harris, M.A., D. Litt. (Dubl). Cambridge University Press. 1906.

In this book the author sets forth the view that the cult of the Heavenly Twins is one of the oldest religions, if not the oldest, in the world. The heavenly brethren with whom the plain man of to-day is most familiar are the Dioscuri, Castor and Polydeuces, or Pollux, the one mortal, the other rendered immortal by Zeus. Former investigators of the statement that