Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/152

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126 Reviews.

soul in pain ; how the flying fish bears on its head the mark of a blow from a piece of coral ; why a coco-nut looks like a human skull ; and so on. Other tales account for primitive tabus, such as the refusal of certain people to eat fish and of women in general to touch the flesh of the cassowary.

The tales include many familiar incidents, such as supernatural birth and forgetfulness, the life token, the theft of fire, and the like. There are several tales of snakes, sorcery and witchcraft, and cannibalism. The Papuan version of the descent to the Under-world, as in the cases of Heracles, Dionysus, Orpheus, the Babylonian Ishtar and Gilgames, and the Scandinavian Hermode, is interesting. Here a man's wife dies and goes to loloa or death- land. His dog finds a cleft in the earth down which the husband creeps. When he reaches death-land, he finds that here the bones of the dead lie scattered during the day, but at night their owners recover them and come to life again. The wife saves her husband from the dead, who would slay him if they found him. She promises to meet him on the third day and return with him to the living world. But, as he returns, he plucks coco-nuts, scented herbs, and wild limes to show to the men on earth in proof of the feat which he has accomplished. These the dead snatch from his hands, and he returns to earth. Then the dead cover with a great stone which no man can lift the hole through which he had descended, and he is unable to revisit death-land and sees his wife no more.

If, as may be hoped, Mrs. Ker publishes another instalment of these tales, it would be well that she should comply with the only conditions which can render them valuable to scientific students of folklore.

W. Crooke.

Along the Old North Trail : or Life, Legends, and Religion of the Blackfeet Indians. By Walter M'Clintock. Macmillan, 1910. 8vo, pp. xxvi-f-539. Col. and other ill.

It is with special pleasure that I have read Mr. M'Clintock's charming book, as during August, 1909, I had the privilege of