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The Story oj the Indian. By George Bird Grinnell. New York,
D. Appleton & Co., 1895. 12mo, viii, 270 pp. Illustrated.
This is the opening volume of a series intended to tell in concise and popular style the “Story of the West," written by well known authorities in their various departments and edited by Ripley Hitchcock. Of the first of the series, we know in advance that anything written by the author of “Pawnee Hero Stories and Blackfoot Lodge Tales" is at once accurate and interesting. He brings always to the work the fresh enthusiasm of a lover of nature and nature's man, with the minute correctness of detail that comes from long and close association with the wild tribes of the west. As the editor says, “ Mr Grinnell might have written a history of the Indian tribes west of the Missouri, which would have been only a valuable repository of facts. But instead of this Mr Grinnell takes us directly to the camp-fire and the council. He shows us the Indian as a man subject to like passions and infirmities with ourselves. He shows us how the Indian wooed and fought, how he hunted and prayed, how he ate and slept-in short, we are admitted to the real life of the red man.” The picturesque chapter on the Indian at home could only have been written with twenty years of camp life on the plains behind it.
The work covers the whole range of Indian habit and thoughthome life, amusements, arts, marriage, hunting, war, religion, and the changes consequent upon the advent of the white man. Although the statements are intended to be general for the United States territory, the more specific details are drawn chiefly from the tribes with which the author is most familiar—the Blackfeet, Cheyennes, and Pawnees of the buffalo region. There are many things which come as revelations to the lay reader, although sufficiently familiar to the field ethnologist. Among these may be mentioned the great diversity of languages, the high position really held by the women in various tribes, the humor and sociability, and the deep religious sentiment of the Indian. Of special interest are the narratives of the brave Skidi woman and the reckless friend of Left Hand.
The author notes among the wild tribes some curious survivals of the teachings of the early Catholic missionaries. The same influence is distinctly traceable in the systems elaborated by the Kickapoo prophet in the first part of this century and by Smohalla at a later period. The great change wrought in the life of the western tribes by the acquisition of horses and firearms is shown in the chapter on the Coming of the White Man.
The appendix contains a classified synopsis of the more important stocks of the United States and border territories, with tribal etymologies and approximate population, from official sources. The eastern origin of the Siouan or Dakota tribes, now well established, is noted, as also the Shoshonean affinity of the Pimas and Aztecs. The author is inclined to derive the Pawnee tribes from the pueblo region of the extreme southwest. Should this prove true, it will be a most interesting discovery. The southern tribes of this stock, the Caddos and their associates, locate their genesis myth in a very different quarter, viz., the mouth of Red river in Louisiana.
By a strange oversight the author has omitted the rattle from his list of musical instruments. To this must be added the “fiddle" of the Pueblo and Apache tribes, consisting of a notched stick with one end resting upon a gourd and operated by means of another stick drawn up and down along the notches.
In typography and general make up the appearance of the book is neat and attractive.
F. W. HODGE.
Die Maya-Litteratur und der Maya-Apparat zu Dresden. By Dr
K. Haebler (Centralblutt für Bibliothekswesen, Vol. XII, No. 12, December, 1895).
It is well known to scholars that the most beautiful of the authentic Maya codices is preserved in the Royal Library at Dresden. The librarian has published under the above title a catalogue of works on Mayan antiquities possessed or desired by the library, primarily to better equip it for the study of Mayan manuscripts, and in so doing has made a valuable contribution to an important line of research.
In the last few years the study of Mayan paleography has been industriously pursued in several centers of intellectual activity, and a handy bibliography has become desirable to acquaint students with results which have appeared in scattered publications in several languages. Dr Haebler's pamphlet will be found of great help as a guide, indicating the workers in this field and where their contributions may be found.
J. WALTER FEWKES.
The Hill-Caves of Yucatan, by Henry C. Mercer. Philadelphia,,
J. B. Lippincott Company, 1895. 12mo, 183 pp.
Mr Mercer, who appears to delight in pushing his way into the obscure and less frequented paths of the archeologic field, has not varied his custom in the explorations described in the handsome little volume bearing the above title. Although, as the author candidly acknowledges, the result of his work has been in one sense chiefly negative, yet it is not without importance in its bearing on the question of the original settlement of the peninsula of Yucatan.
The conclusions reached from his examination of the hillcaves, as stated at the close of the volume, are:
"First. That no earlier inhabitant had preceded the builders of the ruined cities in Yucatan.
“Second. That the people in the caves had reached the country in geologically recent times.
Third. That these people, substantially the ancestors of the present Maya Indians, had not developed their culture in Yucutan, but had brought it with them from somewhere else."
Although the result points in the direction of these conclusions, the explorations were too limited to assume that they have established them. They are sufficient, however, to justify the belief that no people of a different culture had preceded the Mayas in the use of the caves explored. While inclined to agree with the author in the opinion expressed in his third conclusion, I think it unsafe to assume that it has been confirmed by his discoveries. This is based by him, first, on the fact that there was no evidence found of improvement in the pottery from the earlier or lower strata of the deposits to the uppermost, and, ond, on the assumption that the caves must have been used from the first incoming of population as places in which to obtain water. As other and not distant sections may have been long inhabited before the few caves in which the explorations were
thorough were used, the inference, if intended in a broad sense, is based on insufficient data.
However, it is not our desire to criticise, as the work performed by Mr Mercer appears to have been carefully and conscientiously done, and it certainly throws additional light on some of the vexed questions of Maya history and culture. It is to be hoped, therefore, that these explorations may be continued.
Mr Mercer's further examination and description of the “labyrinth " near Oxkintok, known locally as Tzat un Tzat ("Lost and Lost"), which is mentioned by Stephens, is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of this structure, as his figures and description make the arrangement of passages and openings clear and easily understood.
The narrative portion of the work is chatty and pleasant and proves that the author kept his eyes open, especially when whitecostumed members of the fair sex formed part of the panorama.
A DISCOVERY IN SANDALS.—By carefully dissecting a “cliffdweller's " sandal from the Canyon de Chelly, found there by Dr Washington Matthews in 1891, I find that the weaving is precisely similar to that of the Yokaia and other basketry from northern and middle California, reaching as far north as Norton sound. It is west-coast in motive. This is an interesting discovery in association with my discovery of the ancient Mexican atlatl among the cliff-dweller material in 1893. The sandal is woven thus : The warp consists of a number of double warp filaments or strings from toe to heel about a twelfth of an inch apart. The doubling consists in having two sets of warp strands, one lying immediately on the top of the other. In this feature
. the sandal is unique. Two weft filaments are twined across, taking in two sets of warp filaments. On going back the same process is repeated, but the pairs of warp strands are alternated, giving to the surface a diagonal effect. This is a common feature in all twined weaving, whether in the eastern or the western continent, whether along the Pacific coast from San Francisco bay to Norton sound, in the interior basin from Idaho to Mexico, or in the mounds of the Ohio drainage. The weft is of apocynum yarn or string, in different colors, making a pretty banded effect.
0. T. Mason.
A MONTHLY BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ANTHROPOLOGIC
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