Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/151

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Reviews. 125

versions of the braggart whose plans are upset by the loss of his property, like Al-Nashshar the Babbler, the fifth brother of the immortal barber in the Nights ; the accumulative tale, like " The House which Jack built " ; " Puss-in-Boots," where the hero is a monkey ; the helpful animals ; the Mouse Maiden, a variant of " Cap o' Rushes " ; the Jackal enticing the deceitful crocodile into an enclosure as he decoys the tiger back to his cage in the Indian variant ; and an early version of the Jataka tale of the deceitful crane who is throttled by the crab.

Though the social life of early days is abundantly illustrated, there is not as much reference to early custom or ritual as might have been expected. In the case of marriage we meet the Beena form which is now obsolete among the Sinhalese, and the substi- tution of a sword for the bridegroom. Religious beliefs deal chiefly with demonology, and the local deities with their cults and legends receive little notice.

It may be hoped that the reception of this introductory volume will encourage the author to continue the series.

W. Crooke.

Papuan Fairy Tales. By Annie Ker. Macmillan, 19 10. 8vo, pp. xi+ 149. 111.

Mrs. Ker's little budget of Papuan tales is a good example of the popular, as contrasted with scientific, collections of folklore. For the serious student of the subject its value is much reduced by the absence of the names of the tellers of the stories, the analysis of incidents, and a glossary of the native terms employed through- out. Again, these are not "fairy tales" in the ordinary sense of the word, only one story being concerned with fairies, who are really spirits of the jungle, not kindly, but hostile to mankind. Even with these reservations the collection contains much interest- ing material.

We have, first, the usual savage aetiological myths to explain peculiarities in birds or animals or to account for cases of tabu. Thus we are told why the turtle carries a shell on his back ; how some slain enemies became flying foxes, whose cry is that of a