There is one more very curious point in regard to the treatment of the hunter by the woman, which has an ethical significance which seems more than national. The woman, after entrapping the hunter by her charms and depriving him of his strength in the shape of the dogs, surrenders him to his enemies.
Between the Aryan and negro races there is a very great difference—the difference between a race that has a written language and one that has not. It would seem that their religions might have little or nothing in common; yet in this legend of the woman and the hunter have we not a counterpart of the legend of Samson and Delilah, in the Bible, where the woman, having deprived him of his strength, gives him over to his enemies?
Thus we see that among all races it has been customary to incorporate cardinal virtues and cardinal vices in legendary form, and it is only too likely that Delilahs existed on the coast of Africa as well as elsewhere; and, alas! as men daily learn, are still among us.
Such are some of the changes in an example of folk lore which a century has wrought: but they are not greater than the changes which the people whose folk lore it is have undergone, and which, as I think I have shown, in no uncertain manner.
The legend, we might almost say. is the gauge of a people, for it clearly shows the risings and fallings in its social and mental condition. It is interesting to note how the one noted has remained intact in its general outlines, in spite of the disintegration of the tribe with whom it probably originated. Folk lore is one of the few immortal possessions of a nation. Its greatness may fade, and its name be forgotten among men, but while the world exists its national legends will still remain. Thus, out of the ignorance of a people, may be built their only monument of lasting fame.
|ANTHROPOLOGICAL WORK IN EUROPE.|
By Prof. FREDERICK STARR.
WITHOUT visiting either Stockholm, Vienna, or Rome, the author has recently seen many of the museums of ethnography in western Europe. It has seemed to him that a sketch of the workers and a description of the work in anthropology there might be of interest to readers of the Monthly. Hence this article, which makes no claim to exhaustiveness, but which does aim to suggest something of the intense interest now shown in that science in Holland, Germany. Switzerland, Italy, France, and England. Under the comprehensive word anthropology we comprise physical anthropology, ethnography, prehistoric archaeology, and culture history.