Page 36 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

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Myth,”8 “The Jewish and Moslem Sources of the Falasha Death of
Moses Legend,”9 and in his forthcoming study on “The Sources
of the Falasha Legend on the Great Eagle T an i .”10
The folk-culture of some Jewish tribes living in the heart of
A frica is still a terra incognita; therefore, we owe a considerable
debt of gratitude to the marvelous autobiography of Bata K inda i
Amgoza Ibn Lo-Bagola, An A frican Savage’s Own Story (Leipzig,
Tauchintz, 1930). This work turns out to be the life story of a
Jewish tribe living south of Timbuktu, in the Ondo Bush. The
tribesmen call themselves “Bnei Ephraim,” but the other natives
call them “Emo-Yo-Quaim,” meaning “The Strange People.”
They possess a part of the Hebrew Torah w ritten in Aramaic.
According to the author, the “Bnei Ephraim” have seven rabbis
of seven different families who hold their positions by v irtue of
heredity and who are responsible for the moral and religious
training of the tribe. They observe the biblical laws to the letter
and know nothing of post-biblical literature. Lo-Bagola’s detailed
account of the “Black Jews of the Ondo Bush” is exceedingly
interesting and reveals how much needs to be done in the domain
of exploring the life of Jewish exotic tribes in different parts of
the world. A scientific expedition to such a tribe as is described
by Lo-Bagola is one of the most v ita l desiderata of Jewish eth­
nology and folklore. Also of interest is Joseph J. W illiam 's
Hebraisms of West A frica : From Nile to Niger with the Jews
(New York, Dial Press, 1931).
Samaritans, Karaites and Khazars
Much has recently been done in the realm of Samaritan studies.
The Samaritan community of Israel has published many liturgica l
texts. Some Samaritan folklore collectors, like Ratson Tsedakah
(born in Nablus and now living in the Samaritan colony of
Holon, Israe l) , have enriched the Israel Folktale Archives by
shedding fresh light on Samaritan lore and traditions. The classic
work in this field is still Moses Gaster’s The Samaritans: Their
History, Doctrines and L iterature (London, British Academy,
1925), and his Samaritan Eschatology (London, Search Publica­
tion Co., 1932). Prof. Z. Ben-Haim, apart from his new ph ilo ­
logical magnum opus on the Samaritan Hebrew language, has
also published a new edition and Hebrew translation of the
Samaritan Asatir11 and other studies. Additiona l data are found
in Molad Moshe (“B irth of Moses”), Samaritan and Arab ic texts
8 Studies in Biblical and Jewish Folklore, edited by R. Patai, F. L. Utley
and D. Noy, Bloomington, University of Indiana, 1960, pp. 38-56.
9 Proceedings of the First Wo rld Congress for Jewish Folklore Research,
Tel-Aviv (in preparation) .
10The Th ird World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, 25th Tuly-
lst August, 1961.
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11 Tarbiz, XIV, pp. 104-125; 174-190; XV, pp. 71-87 and 128.