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Is there any superstition as to the first person who enters a house in the New Year? Is stress laid upon the colour of complexion and hair?
(567) What are the customs observed at the birth of children? (588) Describe the ceremonies practised at courtship and marriage. (623) Describe the ceremonies at death and burial.
(669) Describe any games of ball or any games with string, or other games.
(674) Describe all nursery games of children.
(686) Is there any special rule of succession to property?
(703) Is any stone or group of stones, or any ancient monument or ancient tree connected with local customs?
(706) Are any special parts of the village or town the subject of particular rights, privileges, or disabilities; do these parts bear any particular names?
(711) Describe special local modes of punishment or of lynch law. (719) Describe special customs observed at ploughing, harrowing, sowing, manuring, haymaking, apple-gathering, corn-harvest, hemp-harvest, flax-harvest, potato-gathering, threshing, flaxpicking, and hemp-picking.
The collections under this head will be digested by Professor Rhys and the representatives of the Folklore Society.
Name of Observer_
3. Peculiarities of Dialect.
DIRECTIONS TO COLLECTORS OF DIALECT TESTS.
1. Do not, if it can be helped, let your informant know the nature of your observations. The true dialect-speaker will not speak his dialect freely or truly unless he is unaware that his utterance is watched. In some cases persons of the middle class can afford correct information, and there is less risk in allowing them to know your purpose.
2. Observe the use of consonants. Note, for example, if v and z are used where the standard pronunciation has ƒ and s. This is common in the south.
3. Observe very carefully the nature of the vowels. This requires practice in uttering and appreciating vowel sounds, some knowledge of phonetics, and a good ear.
4. Record all observations in the same standard phonetic alphabet, viz., that given in Sweet's' Primer of Phonetics.' A few modifications in this may be made, viz., ng for Sweet's symbol for the sound of ng in thing; sh for his symbol for the sh in she; ch for his symbol for the ch in choose; th for the th in thin; dh for the th in then. If these modifications are used, say so. But the symbol j must only be used for the y in you, viz., as in German. If the sound of j in just is meant, Sweet's symbol should be used. On the whole it is far better to use no modifications at all. Sweet's symbols are no more difficult to use than any others after a very brief practice, such as every observer of phonetics must necessarily go through.
5. If you find that you are unable to record sounds according to the above scheme it is better to make no return at all. Incorrect returns are misleading in the highest degree, most of all such as are recorded in the ordinary spelling of literary English.
6. The chief vowel-sounds to be tested are those which occur in the following words of English origin, viz., man, hard, name, help, meat (spelt with ea), green (spelt with ee), hill, wine, fire, soft, hole, oak (spelt with oa), cool, sun, house, day, law, or words involving similar sounds. Also words of French origin, such as just, master (a before s), grant (a before n), try, value, measure, bacon, pay, chair, journey, pity, beef, clear, profit, boil, roast pork, false, butcher, fruit, blue, pure, poor, or words involving similar sounds.
The best account of these sounds, as tested for a Yorkshire dialect, is to be found in Wright's 'Dialect of Windhill' (English Dialect Society, 1892), published by Kegan Paul at 12s. 6d. Sweet's symbols are here employed throughout.
Sweet's Primer of Phonetics' is published by the Oxford Press at 3s. 6d.
A list of test words (of English origin) is given at p. 42 of Skeat's 'Primer of English Etymology,' published by the Oxford Press at 18. 6d.
7. The task of collecting words which seem to be peculiarly dialectal (as to form or meaning, or both) has been performed so thoroughly that it is useless to record what has been often already recorded. See, for example, Halliwell's (or Wright's) Provincial Glossary' and the publications of the English Dialect Society. In many cases, however, the pronunciation of such words has not been noted, and may be carefully set down with great advantage.
The Rev. Professor Skeat has been kind enough to draw up the foregoing directions, and the collections under this head will be submitted to him.
4. Monuments and other Remains of Ancient Culture.
Plot on a map, describe, furnish photographs on sketches, and state the measurements and names (if any) of these, according to the following classification:--
Drift implements. Caves and their contents.
Camps. Enclosures. Collections of hut circles.
Cromlechs. Cairns. Sepulchral chambers.
Barrows, describing the form, and distinguishing those which have not been opened.
Figured stones. Stone crosses.
Castra (walled). Earthen camps.
Types of fibulæ and other ornaments.
Coins. Implements and weapons, stone, bronze, or iron.
A list of place-names within the area. No modern names required. Special note should be made of British, Roman, and Saxon interments occurring in the same field, and other signs of successive occupation. Reference should be made to the article 'Archæology' in 'Notes and Queries on Anthropology,' p. 176.
These relate to England only.
The sub-committees for other parts of
the United Kingdom will prepare modified lists.
The collections under this head will be digested by Mr. Payne.
Name of Observer_
5. Historical Evidence as to Continuity of Race.
Mention any historical events connected with the place, especially such as relate to early settlements in it or more recent incursions of alien immigrants.
State the nature of the pursuits and occupations of the inhabitants. State if any precautions have been taken by the people to keep themselves to themselves; if the old village tenures of land have been preserved.
Has any particular form of religious belief been maintained?
What are the dates of the churches and monastic or other ancient buildings or existing remains of former buildings?
Do existing buildings stand on the sites of older ones?
How far back can particular families or family names be traced? Can any evidence of this be obtained from the manor rolls; from the parish registers; from the tythingmen's returns; from guild or corporation records?
Are particular family names common?
In what county or local history is the best description of the place tc be found?
Evidences of historical continuity of customs, dress, dwellings, im plements, &c., should be noted.
The collections under this head will be digested by Mr. Brabrook.
Notes Explanatory of the Schedules.
By E. SIDNEY HARTLAND, F.S.A., Secretary of the Committee.
The object of the Committee is to obtain a collection of authentic information relative to the population of the British Islands, with a view to determine as far as possible the racial elements of which it is composed. The high interest of the inquiry for all archeologists need not be here insisted on. A satisfactory solution of the problems involved will mean the re-writing of much of our early history; and even if we can only gain. a partial insight into the real facts it will enable us to correct or to confirm many of the guesses in which historians have indulged upon data of a very meagre and often delusive character.
The methods it is proposed to adopt have regard to the physical peculiarities of the inhabitants, their mental idiosyncrasies, the material remains of their ancient culture, and their external history. In modern times great movements of population have taken place, the developments of industry and commerce have brought together into large centres natives of all parts of the country, and even foreigners, and thereby caused the mingling of many elements previously disparate. These have enormously complicated the difficulties of the inquiry. They have rendered many districts unsuitable for every purpose except the record of material remains. Scattered up and down the country, however, there are hamlets and retired places where the population has remained stationary and affected but little by the currents that have obliterated their neighbours' landmarks. To such districts as these it is proposed to direct attention. Where families have dwelt in the same village from father to son as far back as their ancestry can be traced, where the modes of life have diverged the least from those of ancient days, where pastoral and agricultural occupations have been the mainstay of a scanty folk from time immemorial, where custom and prejudice and superstition have held men bound in chains which all the restlessness of the nineteenth century has not yet completely severed, there we hope still to find sure traces of the past.
The photographic survey, which has been carried out so well at Birmingham and elsewhere, and has been initiated in our own country, will prove a most valuable aid to the wider work of the Ethnographical Survey. Photographs of the material remains of ancient culture are explicitly asked for in the schedule. In addition to them, photographs of typical inhabitants are urgently desired. Some judgment will, of course, require to be exercised in the selection of types, and a considerable amount of tact in inducing the subjects to allow themselves to be taken. It has been found effective for this purpose, as well as for that of measuring the people, that two persons should go out together, and setting up the camera in the village, or wherever they find a convenient spot, coram populo, they should then proceed gravely to measure and photograph one another. This will be found to interest the villagers, and some of them will gradually be persuaded to submit to the operation. A little geniality, and sometimes a mere tangible gratification of a trifling character, will hardly ever fail in accomplishing the object. The experience of observers who have taken measurements is that it becomes.
extremely fascinating work as the collection increases and the results are compared.1
This comparison, if the subjects have been selected with judgment, and accurately measured and photographed, should enable us to determine in what proportions the blood of the various races which have from time to time invaded and occupied our soil has been transmitted to the present population of different parts of the United Kingdom. From the ancient remains in barrows and other sepulchral monuments, and from the study of the living peoples of Western Europe, the characteristics of the races in question are known with more or less certainty, and every year adds to our information concerning them. A much more complex problem, and one wherein archæologists have a more direct interest, is how far the culture of the races in question has descended to us, and how far it has been affected by intruding arts, faiths, and inventions. To solve this, appeal is made first to the historic and prehistoric monuments and other material remains, and secondly to the traditions of many kinds that linger among the peasantry. Here the first business, and that with which the practical work of the survey is immediately concerned, is the work of collection. To photograph, sketch, and accurately describe the material remains; to note and report the descriptions and drawings already made, and where they are preserved; to gather and put into handy form the folklore of each country already printed; and to collect from the surviving depositaries of tradition that which may still be found-namely, tales, sayings, customs, medical prescriptions, songs, games, riddles, superstitions, and all those scraps of traditional lore stored in rustic memories, impervious and strange to the newer lore of to-daythese are the necessary preliminaries to the study of the civilisation of our ancestors.
Archæologists have paid too exclusive attention to the material remains. They have forgotten to inquire what light may be thrown upon them by tradition. By the term tradition I do not mean simply what the people say about the monuments. Antiquaries soon found out that that was always inaccurate, and often utterly false and misleading. Hence thay have been too much inclined to despise all traditions. But tradition in the wide sense of the whole body of the lore of the uneducated, their customs as well as their beliefs, their doings as well as their sayings, has proved, when scientifically studied, of the greatest value for the explanation of much that we must fail to understand in the material remains of antiquity. To take a very simple instance: when we find in Gloucestershire barrows, cups, or bowls of rough pottery buried with the dead, we call them food-vessels, because we know that it is the custom among savage and barbarous nations to bury food with the dead and to make offerings at the tomb, and that this custom rests on a persuasion that the dead continue to need food and that they will be propitiated by gifts; and we further infer that the races who buried food-vessels with their dead in this country held a similar opinion. Or, to take another burial custom: General Pitt-Rivers reported last year to the British As
1 The Ethnographical Survey Committee has a few sets of instruments for taking the measurements, which can be placed temporarily at the disposal of the local committee. Perhaps I may here also express the opinion that if the personal photographs and measurements called for expenditure beyond what could be met by local enthusiasm, the Committee might not be indisposed to contribute by way of a small payment for each photograph and set of measurements.