Imatges de pÓgina


lake villages. With the assistance of these relics and remains, and of such human skulls and skeletons as have come down to us, we can trace with fair distinctness three widely differing European races.

We have, first, the tall, fair man of the North, whose original habitat may have been the great plain lying between the Baltic and the Black Sea, and whose various tribes, under the generic name of Aryans, spread themselves as conquerors over Europe-Greeks in the southeast, Gaels in the south and south-west, Germans north of the Rhine, and so forth.

We have next a shorter, slighter race, represented by the Ligurian lake dwellers of Switzerland, the Pelasgians of Greece and Italy, the Iberians of Spain and the British Islands, and generally distributed all round the basin of the Mediterranean Sea. These people, Mediterraneans or Kynesians, would be white-skinned, dark-haired, and attractive in appearance; they possessed considerable civilisation of a primitive order, and, becoming amalgamated with the Aryans, created the civilisation of the Greek and Roman peoples.8

We can trace the progress of these two races from the beginning of the Neolithic period, and on through the ages of Bronze and Iron. We can note their gradual development of the civilised arts ; the improvement in their dwellings; the introduction of metals; the substitution of cereals and garden fruit for the wild produce of the woods, and of beef and mutton, as a dietary, for the wild produce of the chase.

But besides these people, who were our own ancestors, we find traces also of a much older and more primitive race of cave-dwelling people, who from peculiarities in their physical structure are easily to be distinguished from the more civilised lake dwellers, and who are known as Palæolithic men' because of their use of rough, unpolished

The term Aryan has been the subject of much controversy, and its use is condemned by many authorities; but it remains firmly fixed in popular scientific speech as the most convenient expression to designate the tall, fair man of Northern Europe. Kynesian is the name applied by Herodotus to the Iberians or Ivernians, and it may be conveniently extended to include the Mediterranean peoples in general, who were all probably descended from the old white North African race. The descent of Finns, Lapps, Esquimaux, and very probably of the yellow races generally, from the Palæolithic man of prehistoric Europe, Northern Asia, and America is strongly indicated, even if it cannot be taken as fully established by scientific evidence. Though the early Palæoliths, the men of Neanderthal and Spy, differed so considerably from any modern race as to make the identification of their descendants a matter of great difficulty, this difficulty becomes less with the later race of Laugerie, into which the Neanderthal type developed. These are described as short, squat, muscular, hairy, and with dark-coloured skins tending to yellow. 'La couleur de la peau était probablement assez foncée, tirant sur la fauve,' say MM. de Mortillet in Le Préhistorique : Origine et Antiquité de l'Homme (p. 326, 3rd edition, published 1900), which represents the most up-to-date scientific opinion on these subjects. We have bere all the necessary indications for the originals of our fairy stories.

$ The arrival of the lake dwellers in Switzerland estimated to have taken place somewhere between 4000 and 3000 B.C. That of the Aryans about 1000 years later (unro's Lake Dwellers of Europe ; Maillefer's Histoire du Canton de Vaud); but authorities differ so greatly that dates must be taken merely as an approximate estimate.

It is generally agreed that the Neoliths, who displaced the Palæoliths in Europe,

stone for their implements and weapons. They were in possession of the land until the time of the arrival of the lake dwellers, and continued to exist as a separate race, though probably in diminished numbers, until a much later period. From such skeletons as have been unearthed from among their deposits it is believed that they were a people of Mongolian or Turanian origin, short, squat, yellowskinned and swarthy.10 They procured their food by hunting, and lived mainly on the reindeer herds then common in Europe ; nor do they seem to have domesticated any animal, except, perhaps, to some extent, the reindeer and the small wolf-like dog. Though ignorant of the use of metals, they knew the use of fire, and, curiously enough, showed unexpected signs of considerable artistic capacity. Many relics, including a bone on which is carved a representation of a reindeer feeding, have been discovered in their caverns, and the drawing is spirited and lifelike, much better, as a Swiss historian drily remarks, than most men could accomplish at the present day, even after undergoing a course of drawing lessons.

As the climate of Europe grew gradually warmer in the period following the second Glacial Epoch, the Continent was invaded first by the Kynesians, and later by the Ayrans; the reindeer withdrew towards the north, and were followed by the bulk of the little yellow populations, who became known henceforward as Lapps and Finns. A certain number, however, remained, scattered throughout the country, carrying on their avocations as hunters among mountains, woods and heaths, or living a wandering life, how and where they could, like modern gipsies.

Therefore the Aryan invaders of Europe found in possession, besides a considerable population of Kynesians, whom they readily recognised as white men like themselves, scattered tribes of another and very different origin and appearance. Yellow, dwarfish and shy, appearing unexpectedly out of holes in the earth in remote and lonely places, these queer little Mongols must have seemed to the tall, , fair-haired Gaels and Germans like beings of another order than the ordinary races of mankind. Even as the populations of Europe in the fifth century refused to believe that Attila and his Huns were human beings, and invented about them the wildest tales, as that they were the offspring of witches and devils in the desert, so our Aryan ancestors refused to believe in the humanity of these little beings, so unlike themselves, and invented in connexion with them the were a race differing from these in toto, both as to appearance and culture. On this point consult Prof. A. H. Keane's Man Past and Present, p. 10; Dr. James Geikie's The Great Ice Age, pp. 391, 619, 628; Maillefer, op. cit. p. 7; Prof. John Rhys, and others.

10 The Mongolian origin of the Finns and their connexion with the Mongol races of Asia is maintained by de Gobineau, op. cit. Book V. ch. 1; who cites also Schaffarik's Slawische Alterthilmer, and Müller's Der Ugrische Volkstanın. It must be remembered, however, that the modern Finns are a very mixed race and have undergone considerable alteration of blood.

" At Thayngen, in Switzerland. Dändlicher's Schweitzer Geschichte, p. 35.

fairy legends which form a mythology peculiar to the European continent

. The European traveller in Japan, before Japan became & great military Power, nearly always brought back an impression of the country in which the leading facts that

had stamped themselves on his mind were concerned with the odd appearance and customs of the people, their tiny smallness, their skill in certain unfamiliar arts

, the quaint prettiness of their women, and the looseness of their morals

, judged by any European standard. Our rude forefathers formed a similar estimate of such representatives of the yellow races as they first came in contact with in Europe, and so we get our fairy stories. Nearly all the Japanese characteristics mentioned above would apply with equal force to the legendary dwarfs and fairies of Ireland, Brittany, and Central Europe.

Let us see how far the science of etymology further supports this



In the oldest Aryan languages—the Sanscrit, the Zend, and the Greek—we have the roots' pit,' fem. ‘pa,' signifying yellow, 'aham, “azem,” 'egon,' conveying the idea of being, whence the Gothic ' guma,

:: Therefore the Greek pygmaios' and the Gothic 'pitguma,' Germanised into 'gnome,' mean simply a yellow man, as who should say a Chinaman of the present day. But when the real Pygmies died out or retired to the north of Europe, and their existence became legendary

, it would appear that the peculiarity of their small size had stamped itself more profoundly upon the Aryan memory than their yellow complexions ; whence the modern words pygmy and more convey primarily the idea of very small or dwarfish size; though the German gnome suggests a being having more realistic and personal characteristics than the Greek pygmy, as might be expected, seeing that the little men had doubtless disappeared from Grece at a very early stage of Grecian history, perhaps even before the arrival of the first representatives of the Aryans. Therefore Greek authors only refer very incidentally to pygmies, whom they imagined to have fought battles with the cranes and to have cut down their corn with hatchets. But the gnome occupies a considerable place in the folklore of his country, generally as a miner dwelling in caves and passages of the mountains. Although the prehistoric Palæoliths did not know the use of metals, it is very probable that the Aryans and Kynesians, who did, may have compelled the thick-set little Finns to undertake the work of miners, for which their small size in combination with muscular strength rendered them eminently.suitable. The Spaniards some thousands of years later did exactly the same with the Indians of the western hemisphere. The gnomes there

12 "But while it remains impossible for the man of the West to discern the true colour of Japanese life, ... it is equally impossible for him to escape the conviction that

, compared with his own, it is very small. It is dainty ; it holds delicate potentialities of rarest interest and value ; but it is otherwise so small that Western life, by contrast with it, seems almost supernatural.' Lafcadio Hearn in Kokoro.

"De Gobineau, op. cit. vol. ii. p. 97.

fore became early associated in popular imagination with mining, skill in the working of metals, and the habit of living underground,

Like the Irish fairies, they could be both helpful and harmful to human beings; and like them were addicted to the stealing of children. German fairy stories frequently relate the rescue, by some brave peasant lad, of a beautiful little girl kidnapped by the gnomes to be the wife of their prince or king. He penetrates the passages of the mountains by means of a silken thread or similar device, as did Theseus the passages of the labyrinth. In other tales the gnome is induced, or compelled, to bestow on some fortunate person a marvellous treasure. The gnome attaches great importance to his cap of long, conical shape, which probably contains in its folds magic simples and materials for charms like the pouch of the Breton korrigan.

Turning now to the Latin and Celtic languages, we find that the original roots 'pit' and 'gen,' or 'gan,' have undergone a process of linguistic evolution, whereby in some cases the second syllable has been slurred or amalgamated to give the Gaelic ' Pict,' 14 the old English 'Pixy,' and the Latin 'Pan.' Moreover, in other cases the


has been turned into f, and the middle consonants clipped or softened ; so we derive from Pit-gen-Fit-gen, Figen, Fiouen, Finn, Fen, the Latin Faunus, and the Celtic Fad, whence in modern languages Fairy, Fée, Elfen, Elf, and the Swedish Alfar. Again, by dropping the first syllable we get 'gen' and 'gan,' whence genius ; 'nan,' whence 'nanus, nain, nar,' and by an addition or duplication conveying, perhaps, the force of superlative the Etruscan Casnar, the Welsh Gwrachan, and the Breton Korrigan. As adjectives we have the Kymric 'ffyrnig,' meaning cruel or hostile, and from a similar derivation the modern French 'finesse' in its meaning of cunning. It is to be noted that two of these derivative words, Pict and Finn, apply to quite real peoples, a fact easily explained by supposing the northern portion of the British islands and the north-west of Russia to have been the last refuges of the Finnish race as a separate nationality. On the other hand, the legends about Pan and the Fauns are of the wildest, as the Finns had probably withdrawn from Italy at a very early period. Still, the sensuality and drunkenness attributed to Pan and the Fauns accords well with what we know of certain Tartar races of historical times, while their shy woodland

" The word • Pict' has also been derived from the Latin pictus (painted), because the Picts were in the habit of painting their bodies. It is possible that the Romans may have applied their own meaning to a Gaelic term they did not understand. Such happenings are not uncommon in etyniology, though it must be remembered that there were many painted tribes in Britain as well as the Picts. In any case, it is unlikely that

Latin term should have been adopted by the unconquered country. people of Scotland. In old English Picht means a very diminutive and deformed person. English Dialect Dictionary, Joseph Wright, 1905. Pixy. “An old Devonshire fisherwoman told us that pixies were men, women and children like ourselves only they always dressed in green, lived underground, and were very small ffolks. Wright, op. cit.

characteristics suggest the probable habits of the early Finnish in

habitants of Europe.

It is more difficult to trace the reason why magical powers—the power of prophecy, and so forth—should be attributed to Pan and the Fauns of Latium, and also to the Celtic fairies. It may be, as is held by some authorities, 15 that there is always a tendency for higher races to ascribe magical capacities to lower ones.

Or it may be explained on the omne ignotum pro magnifico principle ; the Gaels and Latins, knowing very little about the people they called fauns or fairies, and seeing them very rarely, thought they must be magicians ; their performance of mysterious rites round weird Druidical altars doubtless strengthened the impression; as did also, very possibly, the tendency to hysteria and to epileptic or cataleptic seizures, characteristic of the yellow races. 16

Also, these little people may have acquired in their outdoor and wandering life some real knowledge of medicinal or poisonous herbs or fungi ; they may have made some progress in hypnotic science; and we know how easily ignorant people of the present day

can be got to believe in gipsy or other fortune-tellers. any case, the superstition still lingers in the minds of seafaring folk as regards the present-day Lapps and Finns, another link to connect these peoples with the fairies of ancient Europe. Milton referred to it as existing in his own day when he wrote :




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Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, called
In secret, riding through the air she comes,
Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the labouring moon
Eclipses at their charms.

(Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 661-5.)

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The Italians still have their lucky dwarfs, that are sold and worn as charms, while the ancient Etruscans declared that they had been taught the science of divination by the dwarf Tages, the son of

a 'genius,' or 'gan,' who appeared suddenly out of the earth, addressed his instructions to the startled crowd of the assembled Tyrrhenians, and died when he had delivered his message." As has been already suggested, a certain class of monuments,18 generally connected in the minds of the peasantry with Picts, gnomes, or fairies, must be attributed in the first instance to the

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ਸਨ ਤੇ 3 ਵਾਰਾ ॥ shr Fie



1* This is the opinion of Messrs. W. Johnson and W. Wright, authors of Neolithic Man in North-East Surrey, p. 62.

"De Gobineau, op. cit. vol. ii. p. 104.

" De Gobineau, op. cit. vol. ii. p. 102. Cic. de Div. 2, 23 ; Ovid, Metam xv. 558 ; Festus, s.v. Tages; Isid. Orig. 8, 9.

" In attributing these monuments to the Finns, or yellow races of prehistoric Europe, we follow de Gobineau, who has pointed out that this description of taonament can be traced throughout Europe, Northern Asia, and Siberia, and in North America as far as the Mississippi. These cairns, dolmens, &c., are, both as to character and construction, absolutely unlike any form of architecture that can correctly be attributed to any ancient nation belonging to the higher races, whether Egyptian, Greek, Latin, Celtic, or Slav. · Les créations archi

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