Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/298

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262 Reviews,

personages whose characters seemed to them to fit in with these impressions, and then on the death of these persons to have deified them and gradually to have looked upon them as the cause of the effects produced by these natural phenomena," and he explains clearly their relation to the dignitaries who are their earthly counterparts. The system is too complicated to be set out in our space, but it may be noted that native accounts, here and else- where, of the human origin oi oris has are both contradictory and curiously euhemeristic {e.g. pp. 88-9), so that it is possible that Mr. Dennett relies too much on them in identifying the greater orishas or nature-gods with beatified ancestors. On pp. 182-8 there are tables giving for 68 men their orishas, their sacrifices, their ewaws (or things forbidden), and the tabu in 46 cases against marriage with women having the same orisha. The ewaw varies from a simple " Not to reveal secrets " to " Dog, pig, roasted yams, pita (corn beer), palm wine ; may not carry water," and would repay careful study, especially if still more examples could be supplied. It corresponds in only four cases to its possessor's sacrifice, but it has usually some relation to his orisha, — e.g. the sheep is ewaw to the nine men to whom Oya is orisha ; palm wine is forbidden to the eight under Orishala etc. ; and nut oil is tabued to those under Eshu, who provided the sacred divination nuts. Readers must turn to the book itself for the mass of material on the bull-roarer and male mysteries, secret societies, the four-day week and the explanation of the puzzling fifth day which is also the first of the following week, the native year which originally disregarded the dry season, and fascinating accounts of the life and customs of the fisher, hunter, and farmer. Mention should also be made of the account in chap, xviii. of the native land laws, under which land is inalienable, but can be granted to another member of the community, or even a stranger, for so long as a small acknowledgment is paid to the owner. If the occupier attempts to sell or sublet, or denies the owner's right, he can be ejected at once. The land belongs not to the family but to the father, and can be claimed by his heir so long as there are living trees planted by the father (p. 206). If the farmer has planted no trees and dies away from home, his heir has no rights. Certain trees are planted on earth heaps to serve as boundary marks.