MR. SEABROOK, as he has shown in his previous writings, is keenly interested in all manifestations of magic and the occult. His visit to Africa, in fact, was largely inspired by a desire to study African magic in its native home as a result of his experience of voodoo in Hayti. His journey in French West Africa fell into four stages. He began in the Ivory Coast area among the Yafouba, an excellent district for the study of magic. He then went on to the Gueré cannibals. An interlude at Timbuctoo was followed by a visit to the Habbé cliff-dwellers. When the author was with the Yafouba he was taken under the wing of a young witch and with her assistance had an excellent opportunity of observing the working of magic in everyday, life. He also witnessed a remarkable exhibition of the impaling of young girls on swords. He is no more able to offer an explanation than others who have seen similar performances elsewhere. Among the Gueré he experimented in cannibalism, and describes in some detail the appearance and preparation of the dish and his sensations before, during, and after. In the last section of the book are some striking pictures of phallic rites. The merit of the book lies in its vivid descriptions rather than in its additions to scientific knowledge.
By. Pp. 316 (32 plates). (London, Bombay and Sydney: George G. Harrap and Co., Ltd., 1931). 10s. 6d. net.