Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 20, 1909.djvu/270
that each child is an incarnated pre-existing spiritual entity, with the doctrine of the stone churinga as constituting an essential link between persons and their totemic spirits, that produces the social peculiarities of non-hereditary and non-exogamous Arunta totemism. Meanwhile, among Mr. Strehlow's branch of the tribe, the ancient hereditary maternal totem persists, no longer name-giving and no longer connected with exogamy, just as here the All Father survives, but is purely otiose.
As to Mr. Thomas's view about the "personal totems" of the Arunta, all their totems in Mr. Spencer's region are "personal." But they are quite unlike the "personal totems" or animal familiars of other areas,—for example, of the Euahlayi,—for these are either given by medicine-men or are determined by omens at birth, or by a dream on arriving at manhood, or are selected by each individual. The "personal totems" of Mr. Spencer's Arunta, on the other hand, are automatically determined before birth by the accident of supposed conception in this or that locality haunted by the totemic spirits of Alcheringa folk. This rule, with curious variants described by Mr. Strehlow, also exists in his region, and, as in Mr. Spencer's region, is influenced by the unique churinga belief of Central Australia. That belief, of course, is very remote from the primitive. According to the suggestion of Mr. Thomas, men who found that they accidentally possessed the same "personal totem" drew together into the societies of each totem who work magic for their own plant or animal. Now this would explain what is otherwise mysterious, the fact that each locality, in Mr. Spencer's region, is inhabited by persons mainly of one totem. They would flock together for their purposes of working Intichiuma. These totemic local aggregates cannot otherwise be explained. With male descent of the totem, each locality is necessarily possessed by persons mainly of the same totem. But the Arunta have local totem groups, though they have not male descent of the totem. How this comes to pass Messrs. Spencer and Gillen do not explain. As the totems are distributed by sheer chance, there ought to be as many various totems in each local group as if female descent of the totem were the rule. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, meanwhile, give examples of families,—mother, husband, children,—in each