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Chadwick, M. (1927). Origins of Education Among Primitive People. W. D. Hambly, B.Sc. With a Preface by Dr. Charles Hose. (Macmillan & Co. Pp. 423. Price 25 s. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:436-439.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:436-439

Origins of Education Among Primitive People. W. D. Hambly, B.Sc. With a Preface by Dr. Charles Hose. (Macmillan & Co. Pp. 423. Price 25 s. net.)

Review by:
M. Chadwick

This is a most useful book to keep at hand for reference, since it gives in convenient form not only the results of research by the author himself in different parts of the world, but also material gleaned from the works of all other representative anthropologists. During psycho-analytical work one often wishes to obtain accurate or detailed information concerning some primitive custom, tradition or early legend in order to compare it with a patient's phantasies, dreams or symptoms. It is an easy matter to look up the particular circumstance in this book, which has been prepared to meet just such an emergency, especially when the subject-matter refers in any way to beliefs relevant to pregnancy, child-birth, early infancy or initiation and puberty rites.

The book has been divided into the following sections:

Author's Introduction, which contains a survey of the matter to be treated subsequently at greater length, and an acknowledgement of the inspiration which the author has derived from the Freudian hypothesis relating to the 'subconscious mind' (sic) and its neuroses.

Chapter I—Child Welfare and the Decline of Primitive Races —deals with early infancy and the relations of mother and child, descriptions of Couvade ceremonies, precautions for snaring evil spirits which may attempt to enter the lying-in hut, magic connected with the choice of names, and taboos of secrecy which must be observed to do with naming the child. In this section we find an interesting custom from south-east New Guinea. There the mother encourages the growth and powers of speech of her infant by holding it up in presentation to the first full moon after its birth, while the maternal grandmother cries, 'This is your moon!' One wonders whether there is any remote connection between this custom and the common saying that a child cries for or wants the moon.

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