Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/407

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Reviews. 357

positively that some of the tribes have adopted a new siboko ; in particular, the Bamangwato are asserted to have done so only four generations ago. The Batauana (men of the young lions) seem to have originated later still under a chief called Tauana. That there is a substantial basis for this account of the change of siboko seems clear from the fact that the Bamangwato share the Bakuena respect for the crocodile. At the same time it must not be forgotten that Chapman and others assert that respect for it was general among the Bechuana. It might there- fore be argued that the Bamangwato merely exemplify this attitude, due in all probability to the use of the crocodile in magic. Against this view, however, may be set the duplication of the siboko of the Batlaru, who respect both the python and the wild olive. This may indeed be explained by the hypothesis of an amalgamation of kins ; but it seems more probable that a change of siboko has actually taken place in more than one instance. If so, the case of the Barolong presents no special difficulty.

Against the suggestion of a non-totemic origin of the siboko may seem to tell that among other Bantu tribes we find all the marks of totemism — exogamy, as well as respect for an eponymous animal. But if we take the case of the Ova-Herero, this argu- ment is seen to be faulty. The Ova-Herero have a duplex organisation — that of the eanda with matrilineal descent, and that of the oriizo with patrilineal descent. Neither organisation has anything to do with the regulation of marriage, but, according to one account, marriage takes place, as a rule, within the oriizo. On the other hand, two o^naanda are said to form a " unity," which suggests some rule of intermarriage. However that may be, it seems clear that, if there is any trace of totemism, it is in the eanda. If so, the case of the other Bantu tribes may be similar, save that the matrilineal organisation has completely disappeared, leaving only what corresponds to the oruzo. The origin of the oruzo is not yet explained, and I cannot discuss it here ; but if in dealing with South African problems we clear cur minds of totemism as a necessary part of our solution, we are opening the door to a more impartial survey than the question has yet received.