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Fijian Folk-Tales1

Nature volume 71, page 490 (23 March 1905) | Download Citation



ETHNOLOGISTS have all along suspected that Mr. Fison has plenty of unpublished information concerning Fiji. They are grateful to him for what he has already published in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute, but they clamoured for more, and even now they will not remain satisfied with the handsome book that has just been issued by the De La More Press. This new book contains a dozen folk-tales capitally told; “each contains a genuine legend as its skeleton, for the flesh with which that skeleton has been covered, the most that can be claimed is that it is of the native pattern.” The tales are interesting as stories, and have increased value when compared with other tales from Oceania, but their greatest importance rests in their value as evidence of the ideas and actions of the natives before the white man came. In the introduction Mr. Fison gives a long discussion concerning cannibalism, and he sums it up thus:—

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