Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/191

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Reviews. 167

Demeter und Baubo : Versuch einer Theorie der Ent- STEHUNG unsres Ackerbaus, von Ed. Hahn, Berlin. Liibeck, Max Schmidt, n.d. [1896].

The importance of this little book must not be measured by its size. It is a more complete working out of a theory broached in one of the later chapters of the author's previous book on Domestic Animals {Die Haustiere, 1895), ^^^ ^ preliminary study for an elaborate work on cultivated plants. The phrase Our Tillage {imser Ackerban) is used in a special sense, as meaning the cultiva- tion of wheat and other grain by means of ploughing, in contra- distinction to other methods of husbandry, and particularly to that of millet, which is performed by the aid of the hoe, and is, as the author contends, much older. He combats the extant theory of the three stages of culture, according to which men rose from the stage of hunting, through pastoral life, to husbandry, and argues that the pastoral stage could not have preceded that of husbandry, since the pastoral stage is confined to limited spaces of the earth's surface, the pastoral peoples are largely dependent upon their agricultural and settled neighbours for food, which they obtain by trade, and agriculture was known and attained considerable de- velopment over immense areas, notably in America and Africa, where the pastoral stage had never been reached, or, if it had been reached, where what is usually regarded as the mainstay of pastoral peoples, milk, had never been made use of. Milk, moreover, as human food, must have been the product of long ages of culture, because wild animals in captivity do not readily produce and rear offspring, and it is not natural to them to yield their milk, save as food for their young. In the author's view Our Tillage was rendered possible by the domestication of kine, which were first of all used for draught and trained to the plough, long before they were milked. He then inquires why it is that the ox, and neither the cow nor the steer, is, and always has been, used for ploughing. He argues that ploughing was a ceremony performed with sacred rites, and that the animal em- ployed was consecrated to the deity (probably a goddess) of fertility, whom he identifies with the moon. And he connects its condition with that of the priests of Cybele and other archaic cults, and through them with a variety of licentious practices