Folklore as an Historical Science
by George Laurence Gomme
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It is necessary to consider another great element in human life with reference to its ethnological value, for folklore has always been intimately associated with it, and recently, owing to Mr. Frazer's brilliant researches, this branch of folklore has been almost unduly accentuated. I mean, of course, agriculture. Mr. Frazer has ignored the ethnological side of agriculture, and it has been appropriated by the student of economics as a purely historical institution. This has caused a special position to be given to agricultural rites and customs almost without question and certainly without examination, and it will be necessary to go rather closely into the subject in order to clear up the difficulties which present neglect has produced. I shall once again draw my illustrations from the British Isles.

I put my facts in this way: (1) In all parts of Great Britain there exist rites, customs, and usages connected with agriculture which are obviously and admittedly not of legislative or political origin, and which present details exactly similar to each other in character, but differing from each other in status; (2) that the difference in status is to be accounted for by the effects of successive conquests; (3) that the identity in character is not to be accounted for by reference to manorial history, because the area of manorial institutions is not coincident with the area of these rites, customs, and usages; (4) that exact parallels to them exist in India as integral portions of village institutions; (5) that the Indian parallels carry the subject a step further than the European examples because they are stamped with the mark of difference in race-origin, one portion belonging to the Aryan people and the other to the non-Aryan.

I shall now pick out some examples, and explain from them the evidence which seems to me to prove that race-distinction is the key for the origin of these agricultural rites and usages in Europe as in India. I have dealt with these examples at some length in my book on the village community, and I shall only use such details as I require for my immediate purpose.

My first point is that to get at the survivals of the village community in Britain it is not necessary to approach it through the medium of manorial history. Extremely ancient as I am inclined to think manorial history is, it is unquestionably loaded with an artificial terminology and with the chains so deftly forged by lawyers. An analysis of the chief features in the types of the English village community shows that the manorial element is by no means a common factor in the series. These types mark the transition from the tribal form to the village form. In Harris Island we have the chief with his free tribesmen around him, connected by blood kinship, living in scattered homesteads, just like the German tribes described by Tacitus. Under this tribal community is the embryo of the village community, consisting of smaller tenantry and cottar serfs, who live together in minute villages, holding their land in common and yearly distributing the holdings by lot. In this type the tribal constitution is the real factor, and the village constitution the subordinated factor as yet wholly undeveloped, scarcely indeed discernible except by very close scrutiny.

At Kilmorie the tribal community is represented merely by the scattered homesteads. These are occupied by a joint farm-tenantry, who hold their lands upon the system of the village community. Here the village constitution has gradually entered into, so to speak, the tribal constitution, and has almost absorbed it.

At Heisgier and Lauder the tribal community is represented by the last link under the process of dissolution, namely, the free council of the community by which the village rights are governed, while the village community has developed to a considerable extent.

At Aston and at Malmesbury the old tribal constitution is still kept alive in a remarkable manner, and I will venture to quote from my book the account of the evolution at Aston of a tenantry from the older tribal constitution, because in this case we are actually dealing with a manor, and the evidence is unique so far as England is concerned.

The first point is that the village organisation, the rights of assembly, the free open-air meetings, and the corporate action incident to the manor of Aston and Cote, attach themselves to the land divisions of sixteen hides, because although these hides had grown in 1657 into a considerable tenancy, fortunately as a tenancy they kept their original unity in full force and so obstinately clung to their old system of government as to keep up by representation the once undivided holding of the hide. If the organisation of the hide had itself disappeared, it still formed the basis of the village government, the sixteen hides sending up their sixteen elected representatives. How the tenancy grew out of the original sixteen homesteads may perhaps be conjecturally set forth. In the first place the owners of the yard-lands succeeded to the place originally occupied by the owners of the sixteen hides. Instead of the original sixteen group-owners we have therefore sixty-four individual owners, each yard-land having remained in possession of an owner. And then at succeeding stages of this dissolution we find the yard-lands broken up until, in 1848, "some farmers of Aston have only half or even a quarter of a yard-land, while some have as many as ten or eleven yard-lands in their single occupation." Then disintegration proceeded to the other proprietary rights, which, originally appendant to the homestead only, became appendant to the person and not to the residence, and are consequently "bought and sold as separate property, by which means it results that persons resident at Bampton, or even at great distance, have rights on Aston and Cote Common." And finally we lose all trace of the system, as described by Mr. Horde and as depicted by the representative character of the Sixteens, and in its place find that "there are some tenants who have rights in the common field and not in the pasture, and vice versa several occupiers have the right of pasture who do not possess any portion of arable land in the common field," so that both yard-lands and hides have now disappeared, and absolute ownership of land has taken their place. Mr. Horde's MS. enables us to proceed back from modern tenancy-holding to the holding by yard-lands; the rights of election in the yard-lands enable us to proceed back to the original holding of the sixteen hides.

At Hitchin, which is Mr. Seebohm's famous example, we meet with the manorial type. But its features are in no way peculiar. There is nothing which has not its counterpart, in more or less well-defined degree, in the other types which are not manorial. In short, the manorial framework within which it is enclosed does little more than fix the details into an immovable setting, accentuating some at the expense of others, legalising everything so as to bring it all under the iron sovereignty which was inaugurated by the Angevin kings.

My suggestion is that these examples are but varying types of one original. The Teutonic people, and their Celtic predecessors, came to Britain with a tribal, not an agricultural, constitution. In the outlying parts of the land this tribal constitution settled down, and was only slightly affected by the economical conditions of the people they found there; in the more thickly populated parts this tribal constitution was superimposed upon an already existing village constitution in full vigour. We, therefore, find the tribal constitution everywhere—in almost perfect condition in the north, in Wales, and in Ireland; in less perfect condition in England. We also find the village constitution everywhere—in almost embryo form in the north, Wales, and in Ireland; in full vigour and force in England, especially in that area which, as already noted, has been identified as the constant occupation-ground of all the races who have settled in Britain.

Now the factor which is most apparent in all these cases is the singular dual constitution which I have called tribal and village. It is only when we get to such cases as Rothwell and Hitchin that almost all traces of the tribal element are lost, the village element only remaining. But inasmuch as this village element is identical in kind, if not in degree, with the village element in the other types, and inasmuch as topographically they are closely connected, we are, I contend, justified in concluding that it is derived from the same original—an original which was composed of a tribal community with a village community in serfdom under it.

This dual element should, I think, be translated into terms of ethnology by appealing to the parallel evidence of India. There the types of the village community are not, as was thought by Sir Henry Maine and others, homogeneous. There the dual element appears, the tribal community at the top of the system, the village community at the bottom of the system. But in India a new factor is introduced by the equation of the two elements with two different races—the tribal element being Aryan, and the village element non-Aryan. Race-origins are there still kept up and rigidly adhered to. They have not been crushed out, as in Europe, by political or economical activity.

But if crushed out of prominent recognition in Europe, are we, therefore, to conclude that their relics do not exist in peasant custom? My argument is that we cannot have such close parallels in India and in England without seeing that they virtually tell the same story in both countries. It would require a great deal to prove that customs, which in India belong now to non-Aryan aborigines and are rejected by the Aryans, are in Europe the heritage of the Aryan race.

The objections to my theory have been formulated by Mr. Ashley, who follows Mr. Seebohm and M. Fustel de Coulanges as an adherent of the chronological method of studying institutions. Like the old school of antiquaries, this new school of investigators into the history of institutions gets back to the period of Roman history, and there stops. Mr. Ashley suggests that because Caesar describes the Celtic Britons as pastoral, therefore agriculture in Britain must be post-Celtic. I will not stop to raise the question as to who were the tribes from which Caesar obtained his evidence. But it will suffice to point out that if Caesar is speaking of the Aryan Celts of Britain—and this much seems certain—he only proves of them what Tacitus proves of the Aryan Teutons, what the sagas prove of the Aryan Scandinavians, what the vedas prove of the Aryan Indians, what philology, in short, proves of the primitive Aryans generally, namely, that they were distinctly hunters and warriors, and hated and despised the tillers of the soil.

It does not, in point of fact, then, help the question as to the origin of agricultural rites and usages to turn to Aryan history at all. In this emergency Roman history is appealed to. But this is just one of those cases where a small portion of the facts are squeezed in to do duty for the whole.

Both M. Fustel de Coulanges and Mr. Seebohm think that if a Roman origin can be prima facie shown for the economical side of agricultural institutions, there is nothing more to be said. But they leave out of consideration a whole set of connected institutions. Readers of Mr. Frazer's Golden Bough are now in possession of facts which it would take a very long time to explain. They see that side by side with agricultural economics is agricultural religion, of great rudeness and barbarity, of considerable complexity, and bearing the stamp of immense antiquity. The same villagers who were the observers of those rules of economics which are thought to be due to Roman origin were also observers of ritual and usages which are known to be savage in theory and practice. Must we, then, say that all this ritual and usage are Roman? or must we go on ignoring them as elements in the argument as to the origin of agricultural institutions? One or the other of these alternatives must, I contend, be accepted by the inquirer.

Because the State has chosen or been compelled for political reasons to lift up peasant economics into manorial legal rules, thus forcibly divorcing this portion of peasant life from its natural associations, there is no reason why students should fix upon this arbitrary proceeding as the point at which to begin their examination into the origin of village agriculture. Manorial tenants pay their dues to the lord, lot out their lands in intermixed strips, cultivate in common, and perform generally all those interesting functions of village life with which Mr. Seebohm has made us familiar. But, in close and intimate connection with these selfsame agricultural economical proceedings, it is the same body of manorial tenants who perform irrational and rude customs, who carry the last sheaf of corn represented in human or animal form, who sacrifice animals to their earth deities, who carry fire round fields and crops, who, in a scarcely disguised ritual, still worship deities which there is little difficulty in recognising as the counterparts of those religious goddesses of India who are worshipped and venerated by non-Aryan votaries. Christianity has not followed the lead of politics, and lifted all this portion of peasant agricultural life into something that is religious and definite. And because it remains sanctioned by tradition, we must, in considering origins, take it into account in conjunction with those economic practices which have been unduly emphasised in the history of village institutions. In India primitive economics and religion go hand in hand as part of the village life of the people; in England primitive economics and survivals of old religions, which we call folklore, go hand in hand as part of the village life of the people. And it is not in the province of students to separate one from the other when they are considering the question of origin.

This is practically the whole of my argument from the folklore point of view. But it is not the whole of the argument against the theory of the Roman origin of the village community. I cannot on this occasion re-state what this argument is, as it is set forth at some length in my book. But I should like to point out that it is in reality supported by arguments to be drawn from ethnological facts. Mr. Ashley surrenders to my view of the question the important point that ethnological data, derived from craniological investigation, fit in "very readily with the supposition that under the Celtic, and therefore under the Roman rule, the cultivating class was largely composed of the pre-Celtic race; and allows us to believe that the agricultural population was but little disturbed." Economically it was certainly not disturbed by the Romans. If the agricultural implements known to and used by the Romans were never used in Britain after their departure; if the old methods of land-surveying under the agrimensores is not to be traced in Britain as a continuing system; if wattle and daub, rude, uncarpentered trees turned root upwards to form roofs, were the leading principles of house-architecture, it cannot be alleged that the Romans left behind any permanent marks of their economical standard upon the "little disturbed agricultural population." Why, then, should they be credited with the introduction of a system of lordship and serf-bound tenants, when both lordship and serfdom are to be traced in lands where Roman power has never penetrated, under conditions almost exactly similar to the feudal elements in Europe? If it be accepted that the early agricultural population of Britain was non-Aryan; if we find non-Aryan agricultural rites and festivals surviving as folklore among the peasants of to-day; why should it be necessary, why should it be accepted as a reasonable hypothesis, to go to the imperial and advanced economics of Rome to account for those other elements in the composition of the village community which, equally with the rites and festivals, are to be found paralleled among the non-Aryan population living under an Aryan lordship in India? The only argument for such a process is one of convenience. It does so happen that the Roman theory may account for some of the English phenomena. But, then, the Celtic and Teutonic, or Aryan theory also accounts for the same English phenomena, and, what is more, it accounts for other phenomena not reckoned by the Roman theory. My proposition is that the history of the village community in Britain is the history of the economical condition of the non-Aryan aborigines; that the history of the tribal community is the history of the Aryan conquerors, who appear as overlords; and that the Romans, except as another wave of Aryan conquerors at an advanced stage of civilisation, had very little to do with shaping the village institutions of Britain.[495]

It is necessary before leaving this subject to take note of a point which may lead, and in fact has led to misconception of the argument. I have stated that all custom, rite, and belief which is Aryan custom, rite, and belief, as distinct from that which is pre-Aryan—pre-Celtic in our own country—must have a position in the tribal system, and I have said that custom, rite, and belief which cannot be traced back to the tribal system may be safely pronounced to be pre-tribal in origin and therefore pre-Celtic, to have survived, that is, from the people whom the Celts found in occupation of the country when first they landed on its shores. I did not interrupt my statement of the case to point out one important modification of it, because this modification has nothing to do with the great mass of custom and belief now surviving as folklore, but I will deal with this modification now so that I may clear up any misconception. We have already ascertained that over and above the custom and belief, which may be traced back to their tribal origins, there are both customs and beliefs which owe their origin to psychological conditions, and there are myths surviving as folk-tales or legends which owe their origin to the primitive philosophy of earliest man. Neither of these departments of folklore enters into the question of race development. The first may be called post-ethnologic because they arise in a political society of modern civilisation which transcends the boundaries of race; the second may be called pre-ethnologic, because they arise in a savage society before the great races had begun their distinctive evolution. The point about this class of belief is that it has never been called upon to do duty for social improvement and organisation, has never been specialised by the Celt or Teuton in Europe, nor by other branches of the same race. The myth alone of these two groups of folklore could have had an ethnological influence, and this must have been very slight. It remained in the mind of Aryan man, but has never descended to the arena of his practical life. It has influenced his practical life indirectly of course, but it has never become a brick in the building up of his practical life. This distinction between custom and belief which are tribal and custom and belief which are not tribal, is of vast importance. It has been urged against the classification of custom, rite, and belief into ethnological groups that it does not allow for the presence of a great mass of belief, primitive in character and undoubtedly Aryan, if not in origin at all events in fact. The objection is not valid. The custom, rite, and belief which can be classified as distinctively Aryan is that portion of the whole corpus of primitive custom, rite, and belief, which was used by the Aryan-speaking folk in the building up of their tribal organisation. They divorced it by this use from the general primitive conceptions, and developed it along special lines. It is in its special characteristics that this belief belongs to the tribal system of the Aryans, not in its general characteristics. Not every custom, rite, and belief was so used and developed. The specialisation caused the deliberate rejection or neglect of much custom, rite, and belief which was opposed to the new order of things, and did not affect the practical doings of Aryan life.

There are thus three elements to consider: (1) the custom, rite, and belief specialised by the Aryan-speaking people in the formation and development of their tribal system; (2) the custom, rite, and belief rejected or neglected by the Aryan tribesmen; and (3) the belief which was not affected by or used for the tribal development, but which, not being directly antagonistic to it, remained with the primitive Aryan folk as survivals of their science and philosophy.

For ethnological purposes we have only to do with the first group. It is definite, and it is capable of definite recognition within the tribe. When once it was brought into the tribal system it ceased to exist in the form in which it was known to general savage belief; it developed highly specialised forms, took its part in the formation of a great social force, a great fighting and conquering force, a great migratory force. In accomplishing this task it grew into a solid system, each part in touch with all other parts, each part an essential factor in the ever-active forces which it helped to fashion and control.

It is in this wise that we must study its survivals wherever they are to be found, and the study must be concentrated within certain definite ethnographic areas. If I were to pursue the subject and choose for my study the folklore of Britain, I should have to object to the treatment accorded to British custom, rite, and belief by even so great an authority as Mr. Frazer, because they are used not as parts of a tribal system but as mere detritus of a primitive system of science, or philosophy. According to my views they had long since become separated from any such system and it is placing them in a wrong perspective, giving them a false value, associating them with elements to which they have no affinity to divorce them from their tribal connection. The custom, rite, and belief which were tribal, when they were brought to their present ethnographic area, cannot be considered in the varied forms of their survival except by restoration to the tribal organisation from which they were torn when they began their life as survivals.

What I have endeavoured to explain in this way are the principles which should govern folklore research in relation to ethnological conditions. The differing races which made up the peoples of Europe before the era of political history must have left their distinctive remains in folklore, if folklore is rightly considered as the traditional survivals of the prehistory period. To get at and classify these remains we must be clear as to the problems which surround inquiry into them. The solution of these problems will place us in possession of a mass of survivals in folklore which are naturally associated with each other, and which stand apart from other survivals also naturally associated with each other. In these two masses we may detect the main influences of the great tribal races and the non-tribal races. We cannot, I think, get much beyond this. We may, perhaps, here and there, detect smaller race divisions—Celtic, Teutonic, Scandinavian or other distinctions, according to the area of investigation—but these will be less apparent, less determinable, and will not be so valuable to historical science as the larger division. To this we shall by proper investigation be indebted for the solution of many doubtful points of the prehistoric period, and it is in this respect that it will appeal to the student of folklore.


[466] Mr. Nutt's presidential address to the Folklore Society in 1899 does not, I think, disprove my theory. It ignores it, and confines the problem to legend and folk-tale. Mr. Nutt's powerful, but not conclusive, study is to be found in Folklore, x. 71-86, and my reply and correspondence resulting therefrom are to be found at pp. 129-149.

[467] MacCulloch, Childhood of Fiction, 90-101; Greenwell, British Barrows, 17, 18.

[468] Custom and Myth, 76.

[469] Myth, Ritual and Religion, ii. 215, compared with Gomme, Ethnology in Folklore, 16.

[470] I have discussed this point at greater length in Folklore, xii. 222-225.

[471] Mr. J. O'Beirne Crowe in Journ. Arch. and Hist. Assoc. of Ireland, 3rd ser., i. 321.

[472] Rhys, Lectures on Welsh Philology, 32; Celtic Heathendom, 216; Celtic Britain, 67-75; Rhys and Brynmor-Jones, Welsh People, 83.

[473] The continental evidence has been collected together in convenient shape by modern scholars: thus Mr. Stock, in his work on Caesar de bello Gallico, notes and compares the evidence of Caesar, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Ammianus Marcellinus, Mela, Lucan, and Pliny as it has been interpreted by modern scholars (see pp. 107-113), and he is followed by Mr. T. Rice Holmes in his study of Caesar's Conquest of Gaul, pp. 532-536. The Druidic cult of belief in immortality, metempsychosis, ritual of the grove, augury, human sacrifice, is all set out and discussed. These are the continental Druidic beliefs and practices, and they may be compared with the Druidic Irish beliefs and practices in Eugene O'Curry's Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, lect. ix. and x. vol. ii. pp. 179-228, and Dr. Joyce's Social History of Ancient Ireland, i. 219-248, where "the points of agreement and difference between Irish and Gaulish Druids" are discussed. Mr. Elton notices the difference between the continental and the British Druids, but ascribes it to unequal development (Origins of Eng. Hist., 267-268). Caesar's well-known account of the wickerwork sacrifice is very circumstantial. It is not repeated by either Diodorus or Strabo, who both refer to individual human sacrifice. Pliny introduces the mistletoe, oak, and serpent cults, and the other three authorities are apparently dependent upon their predecessors.

[474] The mixture of Celt and Iberian is very ably dealt with by Mr. Holmes in his Caesar's Conquest of Gaul, pp. 245-322, and by Ripley, Races of Europe, 461, 467, together with cap. vii. and xii.; see also Sergi, Mediterranean Race, cap. xii.

[475] The intermarrying of the Picts with the Celts of the district they conquered is mentioned in all the chronicles as an important and significant rite, which determined the succession to the Pictish throne through the female side (Skene's Chron. of the Picts and Scots, 40, 45, 126, 319, 328, 329). Beda, i. cap. i., mentions female succession. Skene discusses this point in Celtic Scotland, i. 232-235, and McLennan includes it in his evidence from anthropological data (Studies in Anc. Hist., 99).

[476] Mr. Seebohm is the best authority for the importance of the non-tribesman in Celtic law (Tribal System in Wales, 54-60).

[477] The local cults in Great Britain which are not Celtic in form, and do not seem to be connected with Celtic religion on any analogy, are those relating to Cromm Cruaich, referred to in the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick (see Whitley Stokes in Revue Celtique, i. 260, xvi. 35-36; O'Curry, MS. Materials of Anc. Irish History, 538-9; Joyce, Social History of Ancient Ireland, i. 275-276; Rhys, Celtic Heathendom, 200-201). I do not follow Rhys in his identification of this cult as a part of the ceremonies on mounds, and suggest that Mr. Bury in his Life of St. Patrick, 123-125, gives the clue to the purely local character of this idol worship which I claim for it. Similarly the overthrow of the temple at Goodmanham, Godmundingham, described by Beda, ii. cap. 13, with its priest who was not allowed to carry arms, or to ride on any but a mare, is the destruction of a successful local cult, not of a national or tribal religion. I confess that Dr. Greenwell's observations in connection with his barrow discoveries (British Barrows, 286-331) are in favour of an early Anglican cultus, but I think his facts may be otherwise interpreted, and in any case they confirm my view of the special localisation of this cult.

[478] Rev. W. G. Lawes in Journ. Royal Geographical Soc., new series, iii. 615. Cf. Romilly, From my Verandah, 249; Journ. Indian Archipelago vi. 310, 329.

[479] Dieffenbach, Travels in New Zealand, ii. 7, 10, 59.

[480] Trans. Ethnol. Soc., new series, iii. 235.

[481] Colquhoun's Amongst the Shans, 52; Bastian, Oestl. Asien, i. 119.

[482] Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula, i. 228; and compare Rev. P. Favre, Account of Wild Tribes of the Malayan Peninsula (Paris, 1865), p. 95.

[483] Ethnology in Folklore, 45; and see Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 112-113.

[484] Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, i. 253. Cf. Burrows, Land of the Pigmies, 180, for the state of fear which the pygmies cause to their neighbours.

[485] Latham, Descriptive Ethnology, ii. 457.

[486] Journ. As. Soc. Bengal, 1866, ii. 158; see also Geiger, Civilisation of Eastern Iranians, i. 20-21.

[487] Journ. Ceylon As. Soc., 1865-1866, p. 3. Journ. Ind. Archipelago, i. 328; Tennant, Ceylon, i. 331; J. F. Campbell, My Circular Notes, 155-157.

[488] Landtman, Origin of Priesthood, p. 82, quoting the original authorities.

[489] Vigfusson and Powell, Corpus Boreale, ii. 38; and see i. 408.

[490] Roman Festivals, 264.

[491] Rhys, Lectures on Welsh Philology, 196.

[492] Life of St. Guthlac, by Felix of Crowland, edit. C. W. Goodwin, pp. 21, 23, 27, 35.

[493] Life of St. Guthlac, p. 43.

[494] Wright, Essays on Popular Superstitions of the Middle Ages, ii. 4-10.

[495] The substance of this part of my subject, with more elaboration in detail, is taken from a paper I contributed to the Transactions of the Folklore Congress, 1891.


aborigines, savage, 219 Abyssinian pygmies, 241 African pygmy people, 241-2 aged, killing of the, 68-78 agricultural custom, 49, 163, 188, 192, 220, 311, 339, 352-3, 359 Ahts of Vancouver Island, 62, 228 All Souls, feast of, 331 allocation of folklore items, 340 altar superstitions, 198, 200 American Indian creation myths, 131, 141, 258 American Indian traditions, 144, 246 analysis of custom, 159 Andaman islanders, 218 animal traditions, 239 animals, domestication of, 258 antagonism in folklore, 340 anthropological conditions, 208-302 apparitions, 188 arm, right, left unchristened, 324, 325 arresting force of Christianity, 321, 322 Arthur traditions, 29, 33-34 Arunta people (Australians), 265-274 Ashantee creation myth, 141, 142 ashes, custom connected with, 160 aspirations of man, 145 association, law of, in folklore, 166-9 Aston and Cote, manor, 355 Australian evidence, 61, 142, 143, 156, 187, 213, 217, 230, 232, 251, 256, 258, 262-74, 347 Australoid race, 296 Avebury (Lord), quoted, 65, 215

Balder myth, 108 ballads, growth of, 13 baptism, 323-4, 325, 328 baptismal water, 197 barbaric conquest, 219 Beddgelert bridge tradition, 26 Bedfordshire evidence, 95, 287 bees, telling the, 162, 164 Bega (St.), 323 belief the foundation of myth, 140-6 Beowulf, quoted, 89 Berkshire evidence, 95, 162 boar as a totem animal, 287 Border civilisation, 31, 183-5 Boudicca, hare portent of, 288 bow and arrow, 218 Breton tradition, 21-22, 28 bridges, tradition concerning, 25, 26 Britain, totemism in, 276-96 Buckinghamshire evidence, 162 bull (white) ceremony, 161 Bund (Willis), quoted, 118 burial superstition, 198, 324, 339 Burmese evidence, 347 Bury (J. B.), quoted, 35, 345 Bushmen dances, 141

Caesar, food taboos in Britain, 286-91 Canary Islanders, custom, 325 Catskin story, 59-66 cattle, telling of death to, 162 Celtic mythology, 103 Celtic tribes of Britain, 25-28, 103-5, 111, 310 Ceylon evidence, 31 Chadwick (H. M.), quoted, 223 charms, 188 Cheshire evidence, 162 child relationship to parents, 232 child thought, 186, 187 Childe Rowland story, 314-15 children not related to parents, 61, 268, 271 Christianity and paganism, 320-37 church ceremony of marriage, 90-1 church, sacred character of objects and buildings, 197-9 churning superstition, 202 civil war pamphlets, 195 Claddagh fisherfolk, 279 clan songs, 97 class system in Australian totemism, 264, 265, 270, 272 classification, false, of folklore, 166 Clonmel witch case, 205 club, for killing the aged, 74-76 cock as a totem animal, 286, 289 comparative folklore, 170-9 conjectural method of inquiry, 225-6, 239, 250 conquered, mythic influence of, 345-9 conscious use of experience or observation, 211, 212 conquest in man's history, 219 Cook (A. B.), quoted, 106, 108 Cornwall evidence, 20, 55, 162, 164, 193, 196, 324 Crawley (E.), quoted, 155 Crayford legend, 43 creation myths, 130-9 Cromm Cruaich, 344 Cuchulain, totem descent of, 286 Cuerdale hoard of coins, 30-31 Cumberland evidence, 162, 184, 323 custom, belief, and rite, 10, 123, 125, 154-70 Cynuit, fight with Danes at, 5-6

Danish conquest in tradition, 22, 31, 41, 192 Darwin (C.), quoted, 213, 224, 247 death beliefs, 191-2 death, telling of, to bees, 162 decay the principal force in folklore, 157-9, 319 definitions, 129 Demeter temple custom, 150 Derbyshire evidence, 162 descent, use of the term, 270 Devonshire evidence, 5, 95, 96, 324 differential evolution, 228 diffusion of folk-tales, 153 dog as a totem animal, 286 doom rings, 323 doors, decoration of, 334 Dorsetshire evidence, 45, 94 dreams, 13-20, 188 Druidism, 341, 342-4 duplication of myth, 33, 34 Durham evidence, 162, 184, 324

Easter-tide, 328 economic influences upon early man, 219, 257 Egyptian civilisation, 108 Elton (C.), quoted, 73, 74, 78, 114, 286, 290, 344 Essex evidence, 95 ethnographic movements of man, 216 ethnological conditions, 338-66 Eucharist, sacred elements of, 197 European conditions, 320-37 European sky god, 106 Evans (Arthur), quoted, 209 Exeter custom, 96 exogamy, 252, 271

fact, basis of tradition upon, 10, 47-49 fairs, 45 family, the term, 235-7 Farrer (J. A.), quoted, 145 father kinship, 231, 259 father and daughter marriage, 59-66 female descent, 271 festivals, pagan in origin, 328 fictional literature, 6, 123, 145 Fijian creation myth, 131 Fir-Bolgs, 101 fire, non-use of, 218 fire worship, 106, 108, 160, 163, 317 first foot custom, 162, 164 fish as a totem, 290 folklore, necessities of, 4-7 folk-tales, 46-84, 123, 127, 129, 148-9 food taboos in ancient Britain, 286 formula of custom, 159 fox totem in Connaught, 278-80 Frazer (J.), quoted, 62, 108-9, 110, 140, 228, 253, 255, 265, 274, 283, 285, 287, 329, 338, 339, 365 Fuegians, 247

Gambia district, peoples of, 245 Genesis creation myth, 137-8, 150 geological age of man, 214 giants, 194 Gibbon (E.), quoted, 321, 327, 334 Giles (Dr.), quoted, 113 Gold coast natives, 230 Gomme (Mrs.), quoted, 26 goose as a totem animal, 286, 289 Gospels used as charms, 199 gossip, meaning of, 278 Gregory (Pope), letter of, to Mellitus, 329-30 Greek totemism, 275 Greek laws, 85, 86, 87, 88 Grey (Sir George), quoted, 143 Grierson (P. J. H.), quoted, 45, 230 Grimm, quoted, 7, 78-81, 327-8 group (human) the unit of anthropological work, 234 Guthlac (St.) legend, 350-2

Haddon (A. C.), quoted, 188, 228, 253, 254 Hampshire evidence, 96, 162, 192 hare as a totem animal, 280, 287-9 Harris, island of, 354 Hartland (E. S.), quoted, 23, 148, 259, 265 Hawick Common riding, 98-99 Hebrew creation myth, 137-8 Hereward in history and tradition, 35-40 historians, neglect of folklore, 110-20 historical material, 2-4 history and folklore, 1-122, 315 holy, the word, 317 "holy mawle," 74 horde, type of society, 225 hostility among primitive groups of mankind, 264 Howitt (A. W.), quoted, 142, 230 hunting stage of society, 220 Huxley (T. H.), quoted, 138

idols in Christian churches, 328 Indian evidence, 13, 27, 31, 52, 55, 63, 66, 72, 73, 78, 85, 86, 87, 101, 109, 119, 135-6, 146, 151, 174, 175, 193, 217, 229, 231, 258, 271, 309, 310, 315, 348, 349, 353, 357 industrial evolution, 228-30 Innis (Thomas), quoted, 113 institutions and religion, 305, 306, 360 Irish evidence, 11, 49, 50, 56-59, 88, 97, 108, 159, 163, 177, 182, 183, 198, 205, 276-82, 286, 287, 324, 330 Italy, Christian and pagan beliefs in, 331-4, 335

Java, remains of man in, 214 Jevons (F. B.), quoted, 140, 141, 145, 236 Jewish temple rite, 200 Joyce (Dr.), quoted, 116 junior right inheritance, 96, 172-4, 223, 313

Keane (A. H.), quoted, 214, 215, 241 Keary (J. F.), quoted, 313 Kemble (J. M.), quoted, 3, 42, 89 Kent evidence, 43, 191, 330 Kentish laws, 92 Kilmorie, 352 kinship, 219, 220, 226, 230, 261 kinlessness, 225, 231, 235, 240-7, 256, 261, 268 Kronos myth, 134

Lambeth pedlar legend, 20 Lancashire evidence, 20, 162, 191, 289, 324 lands, surrender of, to sons, 70-2 Lang (A.), quoted, 7, 116, 131, 132, 153, 225, 226, 236, 253, 254, 255, 263, 265, 271, 272, 273, 275, 339 Lapps as sorcerers, 349 Lappenberg (J. M.), quoted, 113 Latham (Dr.), quoted, 214, 215-16, 241 Lauder, 354 Law, traditional origin of, 84-100, 196, 328 left and right superstition, 166 legend, 124, 127, 129, 151-2 legislation, primitive, 213, 273 Leicestershire evidence, 198 Lincolnshire evidence, 30, 162, 350-2 Litlington tradition, 43 local traditions, 13-33 locality influence of, 219, 344 Lockyer (Sir Norman), quoted, 107 logic of primitive man, 140 London Bridge legends, 13-33 Lud, Celtic god, 105 Lundinium (Roman), 24, 25, 105

Mabinogion creation myth, 136 MacCulloch (Mr.), quoted, 47, 82, 123, 173, 239, 313, 338 Maine (Sir Henry), quoted, 85, 87, 117, 226, 235 male descent, 269, 270 male groups, 225, 239 manorial evidence, 94-96, 305 manumission formula, 92 Manx custom, 160, 162 Maori myths, 143, 144 marriage ceremony, 90-91, 162 marriage customs in folk-tales, 65 materials and methods, 123-79 McLennan (J. F.), quoted, 61, 65, 225, 293 midsummer festivals, 328 migratory movements of man, 214-17, 221, 222, 223, 224, 237, 251, 264, 266 monogenists, 213 Morgan (L. H.), quoted, 225, 275 mother influence in totemism, 257, 267 mother kinship, 231 Moytura monuments, 101, 102 Murray (Dr.), quoted, 98 myth, 127, 129, 130-48 mythology, 9, 100-10, 128, 146-8, 303

names (totem), origin of, 260 natural objects, interpretation of, 193 neglect of observation, 231 neolithic burial custom, 339 New Guinea evidence, 345 New Zealand myths, 131, 132-3, 190, 217, 346 Nicholson (Dr.), quoted, 172, 173 Nod, Celtic god, 105 Nonconformist appeal to church, 200 Norfolk evidence, 14-19, 42, 163 Norse custom, 174, 175 Norse tradition, 22-23, 32 Northamptonshire evidence, 198, 288 Northumberland evidence, 162, 324, 325 Notes and Queries, quoted, 6 Nottinghamshire evidence, 96, 162 nursery rhymes, growth of, 13 Nutt (A.), quoted, 6, 222, 339

oath-taking customs, 200 O'Curry (Eugene), quoted, 113 offertory money, 197 oral tradition, force of, 87, 125 outlawry, 311 oxen, slaughter of, 329

palaeolithic implements, 217, 218 Palgrave (Sir F.), quoted, 88, 113 parallel practices as evidence of common origin, 109, 171-6, 227 pastoral stage of society, 220, 358 Pearson (Dr. Karl), quoted, 47, 78, 201 Pearson (C. H.), quoted, 115 Pedlar of Swaffham legend, 14-19 personal traditions, 33-46 Petrie (Flinders), quoted, 222 Pictish marriage custom, 344 political races, 209, 219, 221 polygenists, 213 pottery, 218 Powell (York), quoted, 3, 8, 104 practice and rule, 227 pre-Celtic remains, 101, 118-20, 209, 275, 318, 350 priest's grave superstition, 199 priests of old religion regarded as magicians, 200 promiscuity, 224 Protestants appeal to Roman Catholicism, 200 psychological conditions, 180-207 purpose of custom, 159 pygmy peoples, 238, 241-5, 248, 348

Ramsay (Sir James), quoted, 115 record of custom, 156, 165 religion and folklore, 140 religion and myth, 138 religion and science, 138-9, 206 result in custom, 159 retrogression in human society, 249 Rhodopis tradition, 53 rhyming tenures, 94-95 Rhys (Sir John), quoted, 29, 33, 34, 105, 114, 115, 161, 163, 209, 342, 345, 350 Ridgeway (Prof.), quoted, 308 right and left superstition, 166 rites explained by myth, 146 Rivers (Dr. W. H. R.), quoted, 150, 174, 229 Robertson-Smith (W.), quoted, 147, 174, 282, 303, 304 Rollright stones, 209 Roman Britain, 25, 30, 105, 360-2 romances, 124 Rome, ancient customs of, 26, 34, 151, 332, 349

sacrifice (human), 174-6 savage customs in Britain, 112-16 savage incidents in folk-tales, 78-82 Scandinavian custom, 71, 223, 323, 328 Scarborough warning, 93-94 science, primitive, 130, 131 Scottish evidence, 20, 48, 49, 50, 56, 65, 67-78, 92, 149, 162, 181, 182, 198, 288, 289, 290 seal totem in Connaught, 280-2 Semangs of Malay peninsula, 218, 242-5, 267, 269, 270, 278, 297-302, 348 sermon quoted, 189 sex cleavage in human evolution, 251, 260 Shrewsbury Abbey Church, tradition, 43 Shropshire evidence, 43, 95, 162, 292 Sids, Irish, 341 Skene (W. F.), quoted, 114, 115, 344 sky-god, 106 Slavonian tradition, 54 snake stones of Whitby, 194 sociological conditions, 303-19 Somersetshire evidence, 45, 95, 162, 205 soul resident in backbone, 189, 190 Southampton custom, 96 specialisation of culture, 227, 233, 364 Spencer (Herbert), quoted, 117, 214 Spencer and Gillen, quoted, 143, 265 Spenser (Edmund), quoted, 4, 11, 177 Squire (Mr.), quoted, 33, 34, 101-3, 117 stationary conditions of life, 223, 224 state religion, 103-5 Stevenson (W. H.), quoted, 5 Stewart (J. A.), quoted, 145 stone circles, 107, 193, 194 Stonehenge, 107, 209 Suffolk evidence, 161, 162, 192 Sullivan (W. R.), quoted, 113, 120 Surrey evidence, 20, 162 survivals, 154-5, 319, 336 Sussex evidence, 41, 162

tappie, tappie, tousie, 92 telling tales, 149 Teutonic religion, 104 Teutonic tribes, 310 Thomas (N. W.), quoted, 214, 226, 232, 236, 265 threshold custom, 159, 334 toad in witchcraft, 203 Todas, loss of myth by, 150 totemism, 209-10, 252, 253-61, 274-96 transfer of superstition to different objects, 163, 325 treasure legends, 13-24, 30 trees, marriage of, India, 258 tribal life in tradition, 51-59, 103-5 tribal institutions, 307-18, 356, 364 tribe, the term, 234, 308 Tuatha de Danann, 101 Turner (Sharon), quoted, 113 Tylor (E. B.), quoted, 9, 133, 154, 200, 233, 239

Upsall, Yorks, legend from, 19

ver sacrum, 223 Vortigern, 62

water god, 105 well worship, 163, 164, 323, 326 Welsh evidence, 20, 26, 34, 162, 194, 200, 202 Westermarck (Dr.), quoted, 225, 239 Westmoreland evidence, 184 Wilde (Sir W.), quoted, 45, 101 William the Conqueror, Sussex tradition, 41 Wiltshire evidence, 44, 45, 95, 162, 287, 288, 354 witchcraft, 194, 201-6 wolf totem in Ossory, 276-8 women in early industrialism, 257 Worcestershire evidence, 162

Yorkshire evidence, 19, 20, 30, 78, 93, 162, 184, 194, 324, 325 Yule-tide, 328

Zulu folk-tales, 51, 64

Transcriber's Notes:

This book contains some archaic and variant spelling, which has been retained as printed. Hyphenation has been made consistent where appropriate, without note. Minor printer errors (missing or transposed letters or punctuation, etc.) have been amended. The list of amendments is included below.

There are a few instances of oe ligatures; these have been rendered simply as oe. There are also a few Greek words, which have been transliterated in this version, in the form [Greek: word].

Illustrations have been shifted slightly, so that they are not in the middle of paragraphs. The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the title page.

Transcriber's List of Amendments:

Page 42—ryhme amended to rhyme—"... the old rhyme is still remembered ..."

Page 76—missing accent added to "vice versa".

Page 92—signifiance amended to significance—"... rhythmical formulae which have legal significance."

Page 118—missing accent added to "prima facie".

Page 184—preceeding amended to preceding—"... those immediately preceding the reign ..."

Page 198—bedesecrated amended to be desecrated—"must not be desecrated"

Page 271—missing apostrophe added—"do not go to the wives' region of abode."

Page 368—Firbolgs amended to Fir-Bolgs, in line with other occurrences.

Footnote 358—missing period added at end of footnote.

Footnote 416—Ser. made consistent with other occurrences—amended to "ser."

Footnote 469—comma added—"Myth, Ritual and Religion".

Footnote 473—precedessors amended to predecessors—"... apparently dependent upon their predecessors."

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