Review of Education of Primitive People by A.D. Helser

Ellsworth Faris

This book is something new. We have had books with the same title giving plans for the training of the native for life in the world of his white masters. And there are books telling how the elders of the tribe conduct their informal, but admirable, induction of the young into the secrets and customs of the race. But Dr. Heiser sets forth in detail his own use of the native folk lore as material for systematic moral training. The criticism so long made that the missionaries make a tragic break with the native culture has thus at last been heeded. Here is one missionary who has written a veritable textbook, transcribed verbatim in the words of his Nigerian friends, from which he has deduced an amazing body of wisdom. Even though the "moral" is sometimes a bit forced, yet it is never inconsistent with the tale, and the book will make interesting reading for any student of preliterate culture. And every missionary might well read it and immediately take up the idea.



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