News | Published:

Scientific Serials


    Revue d'Anthropologie (deuxième et troisième fascicules), Paris, 1883.—In the earlier of these two numbers M. Topinard continues the “Elementary Description of the Cerebral Convolutions in Man, in accordance with the Schematic Brain designed by Paul Broca.” This is the second of the series of explanatory instructions begun in the January number. It ends with a description of the occipital fissures, peculiar to man, the simiæ, and lemurs, which Broca termed “scissure occipitale interne” and “scissure occipitale externe.” In the simiæ the former of these is generally perpendicular, while in man it is often oblique in direction and irregular in position, rendering its determination difficult.—Under the title “Transformisme,” a term used by French anthropologists for Darwinism, M. Mathias Duval gives the substance of his introductory lecture at the Anthropological School at Paris at the opening of the session of 1881–82. The lecturer, after giving a general idea of “transformism,” passes in review the services rendered to the modern science of evolution by Darwin's precursors, Lamarck and Etienne Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire. Next he considers the researches and theories of Darwin, the objections which have been made to some of his deductions, and the evidence and facts which can be brought to support his theory, with reference specially to the importance of the labours of Haeckel and other contemporary naturalists, who have contributed to the development of the Darwinian doctrines, while he lastly draws attention to the various applications of these views beyond the sphere of natural science, strictly so called.—In a paper on the Iroquois Indians Dr. Ten Kate has embodied the most important results of his observations on the physical and social condition of the Hire redskins and half-breeds whom he has lately visited in the Indian reservation lands to the west of New York State. He found very few among them of pure Indian descent, but some exhibited a certain degree of prognathism, recalling the same characteristic as seen among the Malayan Liplaps. The average height of the men is 1.75m., with a greater corresponding length of limb than is usual in whites or mulattoes. They are dolichocephalic. The colour of the eyes is reddish-brown, unlike that of any other race, while the complexion of the children is sometimes as light as that of an Italian. The half-breeds only have beards. Their principal illnesses are of a scrofulous character. The Iroquois dialects, which are gradually dying out, have not hitherto been reduced to writing, owing to the numerous anomalous guttural sounds which belong to them.—M. Bérenger-Féraud contributes an interesting paper on marriage among the negroes of Senagambia. As elsewhere among Africans, the parental tie is slight, divorce is common, women are virtual slaves, and marriages are attended with elaborate ceremonials simply as pretexts for amusements and intemperance.—M. Mondière in a review of the different races of Indo-China, supplies us with many interesting details in regard to the ethnological and anthropometrical characteristics of the Tonquins, Cambodians, and Laos, as well as of the less unfamiliar populations of Siarn and Burmah.—In the third number of this year's Revue, we have the concluding part of Broca's description of the cerebral convolutions and fissures, which deals specially with the frontal lobes.—M. M. Duval continues his lectures on “Transfonnisme,” carrying down his analysis of the most important works on the Darwinian theory of evolution to the sociological and psychological views of Herbert Spencer, and the biological researches of Huxley.—Investigations into the nature of several supernumerary muscles in the antero-internal scapulary region, by Dr. L. Testut. After Cruvilhier, who first drew attention to some of these muscles, Knott and Macalister in Ireland, and Gruber in Germany, among others, have pointed out the not infrequent occurrence of these anomalous structures in man, while in the elephant and bear, and in some of the lower quadrumana, a supernumary caraco humeral and brachial are almost always present.—The so-called “Maye,” or May Queen of Provence, is described by Dr. Béreuger-Féraud, who traces back the festival, by which the return of the month of May is celebrated in Southern France to the ancient cult of Mala, the mother of Mercury, among the founders and Greek colonists of Marseilles. In modern times the worship of the Pagan Maïa has been transferred to the Virgin Mary, in whose name alms are solicited for the little girl-child, who, veiled, and nearly buried in flowers, is supposed to represent the much venerated “Notre Dame du Mai” of Provence. These Provençal May festivals are thus closely allied to the so-called “floral games,” which still survive in Cornwall, and repeat on each 8th day of May some part of the ancient Roman worship of the goddess Flora.—M. Deniker passes in review the results of the travels of M. Miklouho-Maclay on the east coasts of New Guinea, and summarises the information derived from his careful study of the Papuan races of the island, giving at the same time a number of important anthropometric measurements, together with numerous interesting ethnological and social data.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.