Page:Journal of American Folklore vol. 12.djvu/582

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234 Journal of A mcrica n Folk-L ore.

Omens and signs in general, including death signs, moon signs, rain signs, sun signs, etc.

Beliefs in animals which possess mysterious or supernatural qualities, such as the deer that can be killed only with a silver bullet.

Popular stories which attribute personality, power of speech, etc., to ani- mals and birds.

Popular beliefs relating to fire as an instrumentality in warding off evil or danger, as when used to charm away birds of evil omen.

Beliefs relating to peculiar virtues of particular kinds of wood, such as that a "battlin' stick" should be made of sassafras.

Water-witches, or persons who discover the whereabouts of water under the surface of the ground by the use of hazel, peach, or other divining-rods, and are employed to select places whereat to dig wells.

Peculiar customs, ceremonies or observances at births, weddings, deaths, funerals, etc.

Popular stories, as told by the masses, giving, if possible, their supposed origin.

Personal interviews with aged people, especially women, can almost always be made to elicit valuable items of folk-lore. With the death of every person who lived in the South ten years or more before the Civil War there passes beyond reach much that would be of inestimable value to the student of folk-lore, and the student of our history proper, as well. Will you not kindly interview some of those whom you know, and report the results to the undersigned ?

All contributions from you will be most gratefully received, and proper acknowledgment will be made.

Any other particulars that you may desire regarding the Society and its work will be cheerfully furnished, upon application, by either the Perma- nent Secretary or the Local Secretary.

Earnestly hoping for an early response, I am,

Yours very truly,

Henry M. Wiltse, State Secretary.

It is the desire of Mr. Wiltse to form in Tennessee a regular State organ- ization, to be known as the Tennessee Auxiliary.



The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century. By Leo Wiener, Instructor in the Slavic language at Harvard Univer- sity. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 1899. Pp. xv, 402. In this remarkable and learned work, Professor Wiener introduces to the reader a literature and folk-lore in which America has a considerable share, yet which has hitherto remained entirely unknown. Since the frightful and

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