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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/22

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19
PRELIMINARY

to God; and the green colour worn is a sign that the person or thing so indicated is given over to the Elves.

In trying to allot the various superstitions dealt with in these pages, it must be borne in mind that we have to do with a pre-Aryan people, as well as Aryan people who had long passed out on the earliest and the rudest forms of myth-making and ceremonial and animistic beliefs. They brought their convictions with them to our island, but in a modified form; and the modifications were due either to advance in culture or to contact with other peoples whose opinions were different from their own. Moreover, each stock, pre-Aryan and Aryan, brought with it some elements that pertained to a condition of mind and belief that had been common to both, but out of which both had grown.

The field of folklore is so extensive and so interesting, that it cannot be ploughed up by one hand and its riches revealed. All that I have attempted to do is to take a few salient points in it and show to what conclusions they lead, and as far as might be I have drawn on my own experience in collecting the folklore of the West of England.