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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/435

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Bih liograp hy. 399

and contains not merely a list of the additions to the museum, but also an account of various explorations of the aboriginal remains undertaken by him or under his superintendence. To British students of folklore the most interesting acquisi- tion by the Museum is that of the Plichting-Stane o' Lairg, a stone with a large hole in it, formerly " built into a wall connected with the old parish kirk of Lairg, Sutherlandshire. In this position it was known far and wide as a medium — one might almost say, as a sacred medium — for the making of bargains, the pledging of faith, and the plighting of troth. By grasping hands through this stone, the parties to an agree- ment of any kind bound themselves with the inviolability of a solemn oath. . . . When . . . the walls of the kirk were demolished some years ago to make way for improvements, the ancient plighting-stone fell from grace as well as from its position in the structure ; if, indeed, the former event had not taken place long before. Fortunately the stone was pre- served and kept for many years in the family of Miss Mary Buchanan, by whom, through Mr. Hugh Nichol, of Stratford, it was very generously presented to the Ontario Archaeological Museum." There it has been mounted for exhibition in an imitation wall. While we must all regret that the stone in question should ever have been removed from its original site and carried across the ocean, it is at least a subject for congratulation that it has fallen into such excellent hands as those of Mr. Boyle and the Hon. G. W. Ross, the Minister of Education, who have been instrumental in the face of many difificulties in building up a most interesting archaeolo- gical museum at Toronto, and who fully appreciate the value of the Plighting-Stone as a relic of the prehistoric ritual of the ancestors of many of the present inhabitants of Ontario.]

Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, xxxv, 153. F. H. Cushi?ig, A Preliminary Report on the Exploration of the Ancient Key-dweller Remains on the Gulf Coast of Florida. [An extremely interesting report on a number of shell-mounds and pile-dwelUngs. Mr. Cushing's discoveries lead to the discussion of important problems in the evolution of art and institutions. A more extended report is in pre- paration for the Bureau of Ethnology.]