Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/185
The various marriages and descents tabulated are in accordance with the results of the two intermarrying classes and their totems, the details of which are given in Chapters III. and V. The table has been carefully compiled from particulars given by four old aborigines who were living in the year 1898, and it has been carefully tested by comparing their independent statements, and by the consensus of their opinions.
The diagram as originally drawn up gave the individual name of each person, the tribe to which he or she belonged, or belongs, and the class and totem names. As it now stands, the individual names are omitted, having served their purpose, which was to make the foundation of this account of the terms of relationship one of facts and not of inference.
The tribes referred to are the Dieri, Urabunna, Wonkanguru, Tangara, and Kuyani, which intermarried. The class names are indicated by the Kararu totems being given in clarendon letters and the Matteri in italics. The diagram also brings into view two facts, namely, that a child takes the Murdu of its mother but belongs to the tribe of its father, unless it had been brought up in another tribe, and speaks its language, when it would be considered as belonging to it. Even a man who took up his abode with his wife's tribe, or one where he had relations and spoke its language, would be counted as belonging to it. The man No. 1 in the Table is an example of such a case.
All these details are given for the reason that I am dealing with, and here present to the reader, the actual data from which my conclusions are drawn. The information goes back from the present time to the past, when the Lake Eyre tribes were in a perfectly savage condition; when the white man was only known from rumour, or to some of the old people by the sight of Captain Sturt and his companions when they crossed the Yantruwunta country at Cooper's Creek. This ensures that there has been no deviation from the ancestral customs, which might be suspected if the particulars referred merely to later times.
The relationship terms of the Dieri arc given in the following list, with their exact meanings in our terms, and