Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/869

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reader had presented to him in a graphic way a light sketch of the habits, manners, and customs of the various peoples of the world. There were blunders, of course, such as classifying the Japanese with the uncivilized races! In the work of Ratzel we have a popular exposition of the subject from the same standpoint. It is a compact storehouse of facts, and the infinite lines of research shown in this remarkable compilation of data give one a just idea of the tremendous strides the science of ethnology has taken within a quarter of a century. A book bearing the indorsement of Professor Virchow and introduced to English readers by a prefatory chapter from the pen of Dr. E. B. Tylor must be one of importance and merit, and so it is. It has an unusually large number of illustrations of the weapons, utensils, toys, totems, etc., of all the races of the world. The portraits are derived from the very best sources, while maps and brightly colored plates make up a veritable ethnographic museum, and this feature alone renders the book indispensable to American students. Much of the material illustrated is derived from museums which have come into existence within recent times.

The work is so valuable that it seems an ungracious task to point out omissions. It is, however, necessary to call attention to the very evident fact that the author has derived his material almost exclusively from European sources. In that portion of the work dealing with the native races there are but few references to the work of American students. He shows no evidence of ever having seen the magnificent series of volumes issued by the United States Bureau of Ethnology, by far the most important of the General Government's publications. When one recalls the valuable contributions of Mason on the Throwing Stick; Cushing on Zuni Fetiches; The Sign Language and Petrographs, by Mallery; Mortuary Customs, by Yarrow; Burial Mounds, by Thomas; Central Eskimos, by Boas; Point Barrow Eskimos, by Murdoch; Chiriqui Art in Shell and Pottery and other papers, by Holmes; Pueblo Architecture, by Mindeleff; Masks, Labrets, etc., by Dall; and the contributions by Powell, Stevenson, Henshaw, Matthews, Bourke, Hoffman, Mooney, Turner, Dorsey, McGee, Fewkes, and others which enrich these volumes, and a host of American workers in other lines of investigation, as Morgan, Bandelier, Mrs. Nuttall, Brinton, Culin, and many others, one realizes how clearly Ratzel has restricted himself to the work of European students. It is true many of these memoirs were not published when the first edition of this work appeared in 1884; but when the second German edition was published in 1895 most of these memoirs had appeared and many of them had been widely noticed in European journals, and the lavish generosity of our Government in the distribution of its publications must have placed them on the shelves of every leading library in Europe. The author in several instances confounds Japan with China by including both countries under certain general statements, and in one case the word Japan appears when it should read Java.

There is no evidence that the author recognizes the lowly origin of man. Dealing with the most pregnant facts as to man's evolution, he questions whether the savage is lower than other races considered civilized. For this reason perhaps the early stages of man are not considered, and therefore one must look elsewhere for the evidences of prehistoric man. Not a cranium or a human bone, unless it represents a trophy or a fetich, is given. It is true the work is for the general reader, but nowadays the general