Volkstumsatlas von Niedersachsen


FOLK-history is beginning to supplement the accounts of Church and State which have hitherto been our guide to the past. The thoughts, customs and actions of a people are, indeed, the most reliable index to their state of culture, and a true understanding of any race can scarcely be obtained without a knowledge of its folk-lore. Dr. Wilhelm Pessler is writing the folk-history of Lower Saxony, the province of Germany between the lower parts of the Rivers Ems and Elbe, with Hanover as its principal city, and the publications under notice represent a contribution to the personal and agricultural customs of the province. A series of large, detailed maps shows the distribution of methods of yolking draught oxen, the stocking of rye, the use of children's cradles, and even of less tangible affairs, such as the charming (Besprecheri) of ailments, the most suitable days for marriage, and belief in luck. An explanatory text accompanies each map, and provides illuminating information. Charming of ailments, for example, thereby appears as a practical psychology of medicine rather than a survival of archaic custom. The information has been gathered together as the result of a large number of questionnaires sent to about 1,800 people in all parts of the province, and is part of a more comprehensive scheme fostered by the Notgemeinschaft der deutschen Wissenschaft. The "Volkstumsatlas von Niedersachsen“is published under the aegis of the Historische Kommission zu Hannover.

Volkstumsatlas von Niedersachsen

Von Wilhelm Pessler. (Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission für Hannover, Braunschweig, Schaumburg-Lippe und Bremen, 14). Lief. 1. Pp. 20 + 8 maps. Lief. 2. Pp. 12 + 5 maps. (Braunschweig: Georg Westermann, 1933, 1936).

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G., J. Volkstumsatlas von Niedersachsen. Nature 140, 785–786 (1937). https://doi.org/10.1038/140785a0

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