Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/182

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1 7 2 Collectanea.

Touching the back of a hunchback for luck? — "There is nothing new in the story of Lord Torrington and his friends, when leaving for the front, treating the little hunchback newsboy at the Paddington bookstall as a mascot, and rewarding him for allowing them to touch him. Years ago a hunchback used always to take his stand outside Waterloo Station on race-meeting days, and there must be many who remember paying twopence to rub him on the back on their way to Sandown and elsewhere." — The Observer, 6th September, 1914.

Some Nature Myths from Samoa.

Fifty years ago I was resident in Samoa, and made the acquaint- ance of one of the most intelligent Samoans I have ever known. His baptised name was Penisimani (Benjamin), and he was well known all over the group as a native poet whose songs were eagerly sought after by the people. He was a Pastor, or Native Teacher, of the London Missionary Society, and the Missionaries of that Society published a small collection of native songs on Biblical subjects, composed by Penisimani, which were sung to native tunes. These became so popular that the Missionaries were afraid that they would recall the old heathen songs, and that the regular hymns and the English tunes would be displaced by them, and so they, most unwisely in my judgment, suppressed the sale of the little book and destroyed all the copies that could be found. I know of only two copies which are in existence at the present time. One of these is in the Mitchell Library in Sydney, and the other copy, partially damaged, is in my possession. Peni (Ben), as we called him, not only helped me in any difficulties

^In South India to meet a hunchback, when setting out on a journey, is unUicky (J. E. Padfield, The Hindu at Home, 1896, p. 288). The Gobbo or hunchback charm against the Evil Eye is described by F. T. Elworthy ( 77^1? Evil Eye, 1895, P- ZZ^)-> ^^^ regards it as a survival from ancient days, tracing it back to statuettes of the Egyptian god Bes. "The Gobbo," he says, "is sold as a charm in silver at Constantinople. There are also one or two small Phoenician figures in the Ashmolean which are undoubted hunch- back amulets. Monte Carlo gamblers did not invent the lucky Gobbo."