202 King Midas and his Asss Ears.
have started from the region of the eastern ^gean. It was based on the well-known fact that some people are constitutionally unable to keep a secret, — that they even suffer physically from this enforced reticence, and that this peculiarity would naturally be accentuated in the case of a notoriously garrulous person like a barber. It was then connected with a half-forgotten and misunder- stood form of ritual which prevailed throughout Asia Minor and the area subject to Mycenaean culture.
If there be any force in these suggestions, the study of this cycle of tales is another indication of the importance of folklore research in connection with primitive thought and ritual.