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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/189

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Reviews. 165

Presumably that of kinship only through females is the oldest. The custom of succession by " the eldest or most influential son " is making, or has made, inroads upon it, whether through white influence or by natural development. Inheritance by the chief slave is an accompaniment of the change, perhaps originally through quasi-adoption and default of real issue. At all events it is well-known in patriarchal communities, as in the case of Abraham. In West Africa, kinship and inheritance are customs that demand careful sifting. Both in these and in other matters Miss Kingsley may render useful service to science by accurately observing, not merely the details of specific customs and super- stitions, but also among what tribes they obtain, what are the relations of such customs and superstitions to others observed by the same tribes, and to the general state of civilisation of the tribes in question, and what are the neighbouring tribes and those into which the tribes practising the customs and superstitions have married, or with which they have commercial and social intercourse. If we knew these things we might be guided to an estimate approximately correct of many things that now puzzle us about the civilisation and history of these interesting peoples.

The volume before us, we gather, is only preliminary to a more extended study of Fetish, for which the authoress proposes to go out again to the West Coast to complete her inquiries. We wish her the utmost success, and shall look forward with keen interest to the work that shall give us the results of adventures so arduous undertaken in the true spirit of science. Meanwhile we cannot be too grateful for this first instalment.

Maori Tales and Legends collected and retold by Kate McCosh Clark. LondonĀ : D. Nutt, 1896.

This volume is intended primarily for " the young people speaking the mother-tongue alike under the Great Bear and the Southern Cross." For them the tales collected by Mrs. Clark are admirably chosen and charmingly told. Fler literary skill may be judged by a comparison between the tale of "The Twins" as given on p. 76, and the dry bones of the original story in Gill's