Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/554

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been released. In No. xxix the leopard is induced by a beautiful girl to have his teeth and claws removed, and then his markings cut out, so that he dies. While in West Africa a skull, a devil, or a half-man borrows what is needed to complete a handsome man, and, after marriage to a proud girl, returns the lendings, here Mr. Oily-face borrows a face, hair, less-greedy stomach, new teeth, and a nice skin, and his bride presently finds him reduced to his own "nasty body, pimply skin and bulging ugly eyes," and that her new towns-people went to kill and eat her (pp. 182-4).

The supernatural is not very often in evidence. In two tar-baby stories (viii and xxi) a thief sticks to the nkondi fetish; in No. XV a spirit which is all head proves a dangerous ally; in No. xix a bargain of the Devil Outwitted type is made with a forest being; and in No. xiv the water spirits revive and foster a slain child. The last story of all also deals with magic transformations.

Mr. Weeks seems to have told, as well as heard, stories, and it would have been useful to have had a record of the stories told, so that it might have been possible later to trace whether they have taken root in local folklore. Some at least of the tales heard seem to show European influence; for example, in a tale collected at San Salvador in 1882 a wizard, carpenter, hunter, and thief show their skill in stealing an egg from under a fowl, hitting it from afar, and putting it together again, and after adventures in a glass ship recover a stolen parrot, and for reward receive a fowl, which lays beads and is killed and divided by "The Four Fools " (pp. 43-5). It is a pity that the Appendix notes do not give for every story particulars of the individual narrators and place of telling.

The author writes that he has collected enough tales to form a bulky volume, those before us being only samples, and that he contemplates a continuation of both his narrative and stories to deal with the Upper Congo. It is greatly to be desired that the reception given to this volume will be such as to encourage him in this purpose, and that he will also make accessible to students the remainder of his Lower Congo stories. Meantime it may be noted that he finds, broadly, that Upper Congo tales are about origins, e.g. "why some birds have nests and others none," and