Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/555

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Reviews, 5 1 9

explain habits and customs, while Lower Congo tales are " didactic parables " and set out a philosophy and wisdom of life.

A. R Wright.

Indianlif. By Erland Nordenskiold. Stockholm, 19 10. pp. 319.

In this book the well-known Swedish traveller and ethnographer has set down some results of his expedition to the interior ot South America, undertaken in the years 1908 and 1909. The Argentine and Bolivian Gran Chaco belongs to those regions in the interior of South America where ethnological as well as geographical exploration has been only slowly advancing, owing to the great difificulties with which expeditions into this strange country are connected. Every work on the Gran Chaco Indians is, therefore, to be welcomed with interest by ethnologists and folklorists, especially when written by a man so thoroughly acquainted with the South American natives as Dr. Nordenskiold. In this book Dr. Nordenskiold mainly deals with four Indian tribes, the primitive Chorates and Ashluslay, living near the River Pilcomayo, and the more cultured Chanes and Chiriguanos, living more towards the north, in southern Bolivia. These Indians represent two different types of culture, the Chorate- Ashluslay and the Chane-Chiriguano culture, which are treated separately. A full account is given of the social organisation, daily life and customs, marriage, teaching of children, feasts and dances, and superstitions and myths of the Indians. Much of what the author tells us, for instance, about the position of women and the relation between the sexes is of great interest. Among the Chorates and the Ashluslay the liberty of the un- married women is almost unlimited, and free intercourse is allowed between the sexes. The girls in affairs of love generally play the more active part. Pregnancy of unmarried women is prevented by abortion. The girls likewise take the first step towards contracting marriage, and, having chosen a husband for life, become chaste wives and good mothers.