Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/79

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Some Notes on East African Folklore. 69

abnormal acuteness. It seems difficult to accept this view, for it is the rabbit, not the hare, which multiplies rapidly, and the Katsungula, or Sungura, or Kitunguwe (Pokomo and Northern Swahili), or Kalulu, is most certainly a hare, not a rabbit. Indian influence, too, seems unlikely, when we consider the wide distribution of these stories — from Basutoland to Uganda. When the Hare is absent, and his place in the same stories is taken by some other animal, it is probably because he is not found in that particular dis- trict — e.g. Kamerun ; but this needs closer investigation.

I may perhaps be pardoned for adverting to the fact that Professor Meinhof has done me the honour to give a refer- ence in this connection to The Bantu Element in Swahili Folk-Lore, p. 438, which might imply that he looks on the passage in question as supporting his view. This is by no means the case, though I am no doubt responsible for pro- ducing such an impression by stating, without qualification, that the story of "The Washerman's Donkey" comes from the Sumsumara Jataka, which is indeed the case; but the Hare's share in the story (which I own I had forgotten at the time of writing) is absent from the Jataka, and is most likely a Bantu addition.

I have mentioned Kitunguwe as the Pokomo name for the Hare (this, like Katsungula, which Mr. Taylor renders " Harey," is a kind of affectionate diminutive), but he is quite as often called in the tales Mwakatsoo, which is explained as " the clever one." Katsoo, said to mean " cleverness," is also a proper name, belonging to one of the clans in the Buu tribe ; but I have never been able to make out whether it has any totemistic significance. The word is an old one, and I think not much, if at all, used to-day.

I found that the Galla consider the hare very unlucky (this idea is also current in Abyssinia), will not eat it, and believe that no hunter will meet with success if one crosses his path. I was questioning Abarea (the Galla