Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/186

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THE NATIVE TRIBES OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA.

BY A. W. HOWITT, LL.D.

In a communication by Mr. Andrew Lang which appeared in Folk-Lore, vol. xvi., p. 222, he criticises not only Mr. Hartland's notice of my work, The Native Tribes of South-East Australia, but also a certain part of that work itself.

After quoting Mr. Hartland's statement at some length as to the belief in a tribal All-Father, he says that, "he closely follows the generalization of Mr. Howitt in his Native Tribes of South-East Australia, pages 500-506. But Mr. Howitt's statement here does not agree with his copious account of the social organization of these South-Eastern tribes."

He then proceeds to give a lengthy account of these tribes from his point of view, not mine, and so far as I understand his position, it is as follows:

(a) The majority of them are in the more primitive form of social organization having (1) female descent without "matrimonial classes" (i.e. my "sub-classes") or (2) female reckoning with four, not as in the North and Centre, eight matrimonial classes.

(b) The tribes of the second class combine female descent with the All-Father belief, which was also held by the Kurnai and other South-Eastern tribes with male reckoning and with totems and classes obliterated, or faintly surviving.