Friday, November 28, 2014

Woman's Mysteries of a Primitive People

D. Amaury Talbot - Woman's Mysteries of a Primitive People (1915)

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There are a lot of early ethnographic and travel books from this period but this seems interesting due to its focus on women and their roles in the Ibibio tribe written by a woman.  D. Amuaury Talbot was the wife of anthropologist Percy Amaury Talbot and I haven't found much about her except that she died in Nigeria the year after this appeared and also wrote a book about plants of that region.  A contemporary review of Woman's Mysteries from the journal African Affairs praised it for readability and avoiding technical terms (and also notes that the Ibibio can hardly be called "primitive") and all other reviews are highly positive (though the one in The Theosophical Path was quasi-racist).  And for what it's worth James Frazer mentions the book in a footnote to his translation of Apollodorus.