Volkskunde der Schweiz, by Richard Weiss. 436 pages, 10 plates and 314 other illustrations, with extensive notes and index. Erlenbach- Zürich: Eugen-Rentsch Verlag, 1946. Price, $7.20.
If one does not possess the earlier work by D. Baud-Bovy, Peasant Art in Switzerland (London, 1924), Schweizer Volkskunst makes a notable volume on that subject. Brought out for the exhibition of Swiss peasant art at Basle in 1941, it has sections in French as well as German. It is a scholarly outline of all that one wants to know about carving, masks, stonework, furniture, textiles and ceramics. The pictures are beautifully reproduced, those of the local work of Canton Appenzell being particularly attractive.
The monumental Volkskunde der Schweiz is the best volume in existence on Swiss folklore and customs. Special sections cover communities, building, nutrition, costume, sport, theatre, dance music, song and dialect. Weiss has done for Switzerland what Georg Gräber did for Austria in Volksleben in Kärnten (Graz, 1936). Together, the two volumes make an encyclopaedia of thought and action in mountain people. The illustrations are comprehensive and add vividness to the narrative.