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Laos Folk-Lore of Farther India   By:

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The Contents are placed after the Introduction, as in the original.

Italic type is marked with underlines and bold with asterisks. Footnote references are marked with [brackets] and the texts have been placed at the end of each story.

Changes to the original publication (possible typographic errors or inconsistencies) are listed at the end.

Laos Folk Lore of Farther India

[Illustration: A Group of Laos Girls.]

Laos Folk Lore of Farther India

BY Katherine Neville Fleeson

With Illustrations from Photographs taken by W. A. Briggs, M. D.

NEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTO Fleming H. Revell Company Publishers of Evangelical Literature

Copyright, 1899 by FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY


These Folk Tales from the Laos country, a part of the kingdom of Siam, in addition to their intrinsic merit have the charm of complete novelty. Until the translator of this volume collected these stories, they were even unwritten, with a single exception which was found in a Laos manuscript. They are orally preserved in the provinces which constitute the Laos country, just as they have been handed down from generations of ancestors, with slight variations in words or incidents. The elders among the people tell the stories at their merrymakings around the camp fires and within their primitive houses, to amuse and instruct the youth and children.

Living among the Laos in the friendly and intimate relation of a missionary, the translator has had the advantage of long residence and unrivalled opportunity for understanding the history, customs, religious ideas and aspirations of this interesting people. Aptness in use of their colloquial speech gave her special facility for gathering the stories with exactness, as they fell from the lips of the narrators in her hearing; and for the delicate additional task of translating them into English. The scholar, who is a student of the world's Folk Lore, may be assured that he has here, the Laos tales unobscured, just as they are told to day.

Reflecting, as they do, thoughts, desires and hopes common to our humanity, these stories at the same time exhibit, in a pathetic way, the need in Laos of the uplifting and transforming power of the Christian religion.

Willis G. Craig.

McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago.



I. Tales of the Jungle 13 1 A Child of the Woods 15 2 The Enchanted Mountain 17 3 The Spirit Guarded Cave 20 4 The Mountain Spirits and the Stone Mortars 23

II. Fables from the Forest 25 1 Right and Might 27 2 Why the Lip of the Elephant Droops 29 3 How a Dead Tiger Killed the Princess 32 4 The Monkeys and the Crabs 33

III. Nature's Riddles and their Answers 35 1 The Man in the Moon 37 2 The Origin of Lightning 38 3 Why the Parrot and the Minor Bird but Echo the Words of Man 41 4 The Fatherless Birds 44

IV. Romance and Tragedy 47 1 The Lovers' Leap 49 2 The Faithful Husband 51 3 The Faithful Wife 57 4 An Unexpected Issue 60

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