Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/122

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classes, four sub-classes and totems; also in the Maryborough tribes with male descent, and two classes, four sub-classes, and totems.

Mr. Hartland quotes a passage in one of my earlier papers to the effect that in my opinion the exogamous moieties of the Australian tribes were originally totem clans. I did incline, many years back, to this belief, but the wider knowledge of later years has so far altered my opinion, that I consider the weight of evidence to be against it. It was the occurrence of the names Crow and Eaglehawk in some tribes of Victoria and the extreme south of New South Wales that suggested the idea of totem clans. But in other tribes of Victoria, of which the Wotjobaluk is an example, the class system has peculiar features. There are two class names which have not any totemic character or meaning; there are then several totems attached to each class, with a great number of what I have called sub-totems belonging to them. Professor Baldwin Spencer has suggested to me that the Wurunjeri class system (p. 126) in which there are only two classes, Bunjil (eaglehawk) and Waang (crow) and one totem Thara (a small hawk), might have been at one time analogous to that of the Wotjobaluk. If then the two class-names, e.g. Gamutch and Kroketch, and all the totems except two, with one sub-totem, had become extinct, there would have remained such a system as that of the Wurunjeri. That all the totems of the latter tribe were lost but one, and that some still remain in evidence as stars is shown at p. 128. This suggestion seems to me to be well worth consideration.

I hope that the further details which I have now added to former explanations will relieve my readers from the uncertainty which Mr. Hartland has brought under notice. It is an instance of how easy it may be to overlook important matters in so intricate and involved a subject as the classificatory system of relationships, when it has been developed still further by such a tribe as the Dieri.

A. W. Howitt.