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Notes On The Folklore Of The Fjort
by R. E. Dennett

“Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort… contains more than 30 traditional stories from French Congo which were collected by the Folklore Society of London.”

Ever since the Folk-Lore Society did me the honour to ask me to write an introduction to these stories, I have had a gradually intensifying sense of my incapacity to do it properly. It is true that I am personally acquainted with the tribe of Africans to whom these stories belong-that I have heard many of them told in the way Mr. Dennett so accurately describes-that I know Mr. Dennett personally, and am therefore acquainted with the many claims that anything he may have to say has upon students of primitive culture, because he speaks on the subject of the Fjorts from a knowledge gained during seventeen years of close association and sympathy with them, and possesses also a thorough knowledge of their language. Yet, these things notwithstanding, I still feel that someone else should write this Introduction, because I am myself only a collector of West African ideas, and these stories clearly require a preface from the pen of a comparative ethnologist who could tell you how the Undine-like story of the vanishing wife got into Fjort folklore. I can only say I have not only heard this story, but I have known in the flesh several ladies whose husbands were always most anxious that they should not bear or see some one particular thing that would cause them to disappear, for ladies who have this weakness are always very valuable.

About the Author:

“Richard Edward Dennett was an English trader operating out of the Kongo (present day Republic of Congo) in the early 20th century who wrote a number of books that were influential on sociological and anthropoligical research on the cultures of West Africa.”

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