Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/730

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

moving more and more quickly, until some one of the dancers, being unable to keep up, slips and falls; then the chain is broken, and all with loud shouts, often dripping with perspiration, return to their seats. The last part of this dance resembles a play among boys known as "snap the whip." This dance is performed at weddings and other festive occasions, and is said to derive its name from the sinuous course of the dancers. In the trade dance the participants, one or more in number, go to the wigwam of another person, and when near the entrance sing a song. The leader then enters, and, dancing about, sings a continuation of the song he sang at the door of the hut. He then points out some object in the room which he wants to buy, and offers a price for it. The owner is obliged to sell the object pointed out, or to barter something of equal value. Passamaquoddy Indians are believers in a power by which a song sung in one place can be heard in another many miles away. This power is thought to be due to m'toulin, or magic, which plays an important part in their belief. The folk stories of the Passamaquoddies are but little known to the boys and girls of the tribe. It is mostly from the old and middle-aged persons that these stories can be obtained. The author was told by one of these story-tellers that it was customary, when he was a boy, to reward them for collecting wood, or for performing other duties, with stories.

 

What constitutes a Filth Disease?—Summing up, in the Sanitarian, his observations in answer to the question, "What constitutes a filth disease?" Dr. S. W. Abbott concludes that a filth disease is one in relation to which filth in some form or other, either wet or dry, plays the part of an important factor only in its causation, but is not itself the direct cause; that it acts either as a favorable soil for the propagation of disease germs (other favorable conditions also existing), or as a suitable medium or vehicle for the transmission of the particular contagium from the sick to the well. The filth which promotes the spread of infectious diseases is specific filth, and the importance of removing all filth lies in the fact that thereby we are sure to remove the specific filth, or that which contains the germs of infectious disease. The point to be emphasized is, that when filth is removed it should be done with the principle in view that filth is a condition rather than a cause, that it is the soil for the culture and transmission of infection, and not the infection itself; and that, just so far as the principle of infection is deprived of its proper soil, so far is one of the most important conditions of its growth and' propagation removed. In sanitation, careful watching and provision against the introduction of infectious disease, isolation of the sick, disinfection of houses, clothing, and other associated material are as essential as the removal of dirt.

 

The Special Talent to be cultivated.—The Workingman's School of the United Relief Works of the Society for Ethical Culture was founded in 1878, to be a free Kindergarten for the children of the poorer classes in the tenement-house district of the city. It has now between three hundred and four hundred pupils, with three grammar, three primary, and three Kindergarten classes, and owns a substantial five-story building for its class-rooms and shops. Besides the ordinary branches, its course of study embraces manual and art work, elementary natural science, gymnastics, and music, etc., and a Kindergarten normal department. After two years it was decided to attempt the development of the Kindergarten principle, "learning by doing," in such a way that it might become the basis for a complete course of study in a regular school covering the ages from the sixth to the fourteenth year. The school is not a trade school, nor is it adapted only to the needs of a particular class. It aims to give its pupils, be they rich or poor, an education calculated to bring all their faculties into harmonious play. The chief merit of the manual work is its educational value. Trades are not taught, but shopwork, modeling, needlework, etc., have been introduced as so many aid3 to cultivation and development of every kind. And thus, says the report, "we believe that one of the worst evils of conventional 'schooling' has been done away with. For our experience has clearly shown, that the standard of education, heretofore uni-