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NOVEMBER 24TH, 1885.

FRANCIS GALTON, Esq., M.A., F.R.S., President, in the Chair.

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed. The following presents were announced, and thanks voted to the respective donors:


From R. H. SCOTT, Esq., M.A., F.R.S.-Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennica. Vol. XIV.

From the AUTHOR.-Anthropologische Studien. By Professor Schaaffhausen.

The Races of Britain. By John Beddoe, M.D., F.R.S. From the SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH, MASSACHUSETTS.Forty-third Report to the Legislature of Massachusetts, for the year 1884.

From the BERLINER GESELLSCHAFT FÜR ANTHROPOLOGIE.-Zeitschrift für Ethnologie. 1885, Heft. 4.

From the INSTITUTION.―Journal of the Royal United Service Institution. No. 131.

From the SOCIETY.-Catalogue of the Library of the Royal Society of Tasmania.

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Vol. X,
No. 2.

Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society. 1885,

Journal of the Society of Arts. Nos. 1720-1722.

Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South
Wales for 1884.


2 D

FROM THE SOCIETY.-Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. Vol. XXI.

From the EDITOR.-"Nature." Nos. 837, 838.

"Science." Nos. 143-145.

Matériaux pour l'Histoire de l'Homme. 1885, Novembre.

The election of the following new members was announced:— W. SETON KARR, Esq.; E. LAWRENCE, Esq.; Dr. R. MUNRO, and Dr. W. SUMMERHAYES.

Mrs. BENT exhibited a number of Greek Dresses and other objects from the islands to which reference was made in Mr. Theodore Bent's paper on " Insular Greek Customs" (p. 401).

Dr. EDWARD B. TYLOR, F.R.S., exhibited a collection of Tunduns, or bull-roarers, from Australia (p. 422).

Mr. C. H. READ, F.S.A., exhibited a collection of Ethnological Objects from Tierra del Fuego, consisting of models of a canoe and its fittings, bows and arrows in skin quivers, parts of dress, shell necklaces, &c. These specimens were collected from the natives at and around Ushuwia by one of the officers of the South American Missionary Society, and were sent by him to Mr. E. A. Holmsted, a gentleman living in the Falkland Islands. Mr. Holmsted has since presented the series to the British Museum. Mr. Read also exhibited an oil painting by the wellknown artist, James Ward, R.A., dated 1815. It represents three views of the head of an African, and was obtained at the sale of the collection of Dr. Barnard Davis, but was unfortunately without any record of the person represented. The picture has been given by Mr. A. W. Franks, to be hung in the Ethnographical Gallery at the British Museum.


By F. GALTON, Esq., F.R.S., President.

THE PRESIDENT exhibited twenty composite photographs of skulls, by Dr. J. S. Billings, of the War Department, Washington. They formed four series, referring respectively to Sandwich Islanders, Ancient Californians, Arapahoe Indians, and Whistitaw Indians. Six skulls of adult males of each of these races had been taken, and a composite had been made of each set of six skulls in the following five positions-front, back, side, top, and bottom. He remarked upon the great skill, from a photographic point of view, shown in making these composites, which were among the very best specimens of composite representation that existed, and he read the following extract from Dr. Billing's letter which accom

panied the photographs:-"It required much more time than I had anticipated to work out a satisfactory method. I think we are now ready to prepare composites from those crania in our collection which are suitable for such a process. I send you herewith by mail a package of such composites, and also photographs of the craniophore we now use. The adjustments are made by means of vertical and horizontal threads stretched on folding frames, and a full description will appear in the next volume of Transactions of the National Academy of Sciences.

"All are made exactly half the natural size, and after trying several other scales I think this is the one best suited to composite photographs of crania."

The following paper was read by the author:



HAVING studied folklore in many parts of Greece, I consider that the islands of the Egean Sea afford the richest field for the collection of genuine customs which have survived from classical days. My reasons for this opinion are as follows:-In the first place, the islands were never, like the mainland, subjected to the incursions of barbarous tribes. This was especially noticeable in the isle of Andros, the most northern of the Cycladic group, and the easiest of access from the mainland by way of Euboea. To-day the northern portion of Andros is peopled by Albanians. The Greeks to the south of this island are considerably affected by this intermixture, but here the Albanian wave ended, for in none of the other islands is there a trace of this race, which has succeeded in destroying the identity of so many Greeks on the mainland.

In the second place, the Italian influence, which was dominant in the Middle Ages in the islands, has left little trace beyond the towns on the sea-coast. The Latin rule was never popular amongst the Greeks, religious feeling ran high, and each party retained their peculiar customs and their cult. At Naxos, for example, the residence of the Latin dukes of the Ægean Sea, the Italian influence is still very marked in the towns by the coast; many Italian-speaking families, remnants of the old régime, still live there, but up in the mountains of Naxos there is not a trace of them; the villages are inhabited by Greeks of the most undoubted pedigree.

In the third place, during the Turkish times the smaller islands of the Ægean Sea have never been interfered with. Chios, Crete, Samos, &c., have been subjected to severe persecutions;

but the poorer islands, so long as they have paid their annual tribute, have been unmolested and allowed to govern themselves. Refugees from Crete, the Peloponnese, and Asia Minor have come there and settled to avoid Turkish oppression. They have built walled villages on the mountains to protect themselves from pirates, and have maintained their customs undisturbed ever since.

Hence it will be readily seen that the islands, especially the smaller ones, offer unusual facilities for the study of the manners and customs of the Greeks as they are, with a view to comparing them with those of the Greeks as they were. It is a very wide subject, and in my wanderings I have collected a great deal of material. I can only bring before your notice in the space permitted by a paper some of the leading points in connection with it. The following customs have been collected chiefly in the mountain villages and hamlets of the forty islands which during three winters I have visited.

We will begin with the customs concerning the first event in a man's career, namely, his birth. In the island of Karpathos, a remote and rarely visited island lying between Crete and Rhodes, last winter, I watched closely all the customs attending birth and childhood, and amongst many strange innovations I found several which have a distinct pedigree from classical times.

A peasant woman when she has a child calls upon St. Eleutherios to assist her in her troubles. He is the modern representative of the goddess Eileithyia, for gender has not troubled the learned men of the Greek Church, who have distributed the old pagan gods amongst Christian saints; thus the attributes of Demeter have been transferred to St. Demetrios, and those of Artemis to St. Artemidos, regardless of sex.

After the infant's birth it is considered desirable that the handsomest man should be the first to embrace it, so as to impart his beauty, and that the strongest and wisest woman should be the first to suckle the child for a like reason. This idea of imparting beauty and strength is an ancient one, for Herodotus tells us a story of how an ugly girl became the most beautiful in Sparta because her nurse took her to the temple of the heroine Helen, whom they met on the doorstep. And the plot of the Æthiopians of Heliodorus turns on the belief that the Queen of the Ethiopians became the mother of a white child because she had an image of Hesione before her when the child was born.

We are told by Apolodorus that seven days after the birth of Meleager the Fates told the horologue of the child, and the fire was lighted on the hearth.

There is a ceremony in Karpathos on this seventh day, called in consequence the eprà, which bears a striking analogy to this, when the Fates are supposed to interfere to choose the child's patron saint. The family on this day are assembled, and in the middle of the room they put a large shallow round bowl; if the child is a male they put some of the father's clothes on the bowl; if a girl, some of the mother's, and on the top of them they place the child. For this occasion they have previously made a large wax candle, with seven coats of wax; this they chop into seven equal pieces and put the pieces into candlesticks, which are placed round the bowl, and each candle is called by the name of some saint. The family sit around in silence and prayer until one of the candles is extinguished, and this candle determines the patron saint of the child.

In the evening the bowl is filled with food, boiled barley and water, which is stirred till it becomes the consistency of dough, and into the middle of this they pour honey, and then they sit round to eat. When all this is consumed the doors are closed, more food is put into the bowl, and an old crone is deputed to go round the room to sprinkle it with holy oil, muttering as she does so, "Come, Father of Fates. Come here, Great Destiny, to settle the fortune of this child, that he may have ships, and diamonds, and cattle, and that he may become a prince." At this moment the Fates are supposed to enter the room, eat of the food, and to give good fortune, or kaλoμoiρášeiv, to the child.

The Fates of to-day are supposed, as formerly, to be three in number, old women who inhabit inaccessible mountains, and none but people versed in magic know where they dwell. "I shall go to the mountains to call on my Fate" is a common expression of dissatisfaction with destiny. These Fates are always spoken of as spinning, and they preside over the three events of life-birth, marriage, and death. A discontented modern Greek who considers it a misfortune to have been born, a still greater one to be married, and the greatest of all to die, calls them "the three woes of destiny."

After the ceremony of the fate-telling is over the guests take their departure, and as they do so wish the mother a good forty days, that is to say, the forty days before she can go to church after the birth. There is a curious parallel to this custom mentioned in Censorinus, which runs as follows-"In Græcis dies habent quadragesimas insignes namque pregnans ante diem quadragesimam non procedit in fanum."

The days of childhood are associated everywhere in the islands with numerous superstitions, most of them doubtless of ancient date. There are the phylacteries, which they hang round the infant's neck to ward off the evil eye (Baoxaveîa), fevers, and other

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