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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/175

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The Fetish View of the Human Soul. 151

elsewhere ; but during ethnological bush-work I have been repeatedly confronted with difficulties that years of ethno- logical book-work never gave me any reason to expect. In short, I have found customs agreeing in external sem- blance strongly with customs I have read of occurring far away among utterly different races, and I have found that those customs I was observing had, underlying them, utterly different ideas from those given for other customs.

There are three ways for one out of this difficulty : (i) those other customs have not been properly observed;

(2) you are not properly observing your present customs ;

(3) men will do the same thing from different motives. I will say nothing to influence your choice among these three; for in one case it may be one, in another another, and it is not necessary to carry this hesitation in accepting the de- ductions of the comparative ethnologist too far. But when you are, as I am, only a specialist on one form of religion, and when that form is so very rich in material as Fetish is, I think you will do sounder work by dismissing from your mind the consideration of what may be the fashionable theory for the time being in England. You will find before you lots of things that support the biblical account of the creation — lots of things that could be worked up into the theories of either Herbert Spencer, Cox, Max Miiller, or Frazer — and you will find a great mass of facts which fly in the face of all written authorities save Professor E. B. Tylor.