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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/858

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

on the Science of Ethnography (New York, 1890); and has now in press a work entitled The American Race; a Linguistic Classification and Ethnographic Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America. It is the first attempt ever made to classify all the Indian tribes by their languages, and it also treats of their customs, religions, physical traits, arts, antiquities, and traditions. The work comprises the results of several years of study in this special field.

Of the ethnological papers by Dr. Brinton the National Legend of the Chahta-Muskokee Tribes, Notes on the Codex Troano, The Lineal Measures of the Semi-civilized Nations of Mexico and Central America, On the Xinca Indians of Guatemala, and The Books of Chilan Balam, are specially prominent, as are the strictly archaeological papers, such as The Probable Nationality of the Mound-builders, in which the author favors the theory that the mound-builders of the Ohio Valley were of the same race as the Choctaws, and probably their ancestors; On the Cuspidiform Petroglyphs, or Bird-track Sculpture of Ohio; and the later Review of the Data for the Prehistoric Chronology of America. Dr. Brinton has given attention, too, to folk-lore, as a subject worthy of scientific treatment, and published The Journey of the Soul, a comparative study of Aztec, Aryan, and Egyptian mythology, and also The Folk Lore of Yucatan.

This goodly list, of which any scientific worker might well be proud, if the results of a long life, by no means covers the ground of Brinton's scientific and literary activity. He has been both publisher and editor of the Library of Aboriginal American Literature, of which eight volumes have appeared, six of which are edited by Brinton. The titles, given in order of their publication, are: The Chronicles of the Mayas, The Comedy-Ballet of Güegüence, The Lenâpé and their Legends, The Annals of the Cakchiquels, Ancient Nahuatl Poetry, and The Rig Veda Americanus. These works are all of unquestionable merit, notwithstanding they have been subjected to considerable adverse criticism. This is not to be wondered at, as works of this character, if edited in a pronounced manner, by one having strong opinions that are plainly expressed, are sure to meet with some opposition, which reflects, however, nothing upon the skill with which they are edited, and is, we hold, a pretty certain indication of their value as contributions to knowledge. Were further testimony to this wanting, it is shown in the fact that this series obtained for its author the prize medal of the Société Américaine de France; this being the only instance in which it has been decreed to an American writer.

In linguistics Dr. Brinton has published during the past two decades, Grammar of the Choctaw Language, by Rev. Cyrus