Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/198

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Native Tribes of South- East Australia.

with female descent, a social organization in two classes and an incipient form of individual marriage (tippa-malku), by various stages of progress, to a tribe (e.g. the Kurnai) in which group-marriage has been abandoned and individual marriage has been established, with descent in the male line and an organization based upon locality.

The All-Father belief is not found in such primitive tribes as the Dieri, but in other tribes which have advanced to individual marriage while yet retaining traces of primitive structure such as the two-class organization.

Messrs. Spencer and Gillen in their independent investigations into the customs and organization of the Central and Northern tribes draw the same inferences. In their last work they say (Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p. 73) "there is no evidence of any kind to show that the practice in the Dieri and Urabunna tribes is an abnormal development. The organization of these tribes, amongst whom the two exogamous intermarrying groups still persist—groups which in other tribes of the Central Area have been split into four or eight—indicate their retention of ancient customs which have become modified in tribes such as the Arunta and Warramunga, though amongst them we find traces of customs pointing back to conditions such as still persist among the Urabunna."

As a contrast to the Dieri there cannot be a stronger example of the changes in organization together with retention of the old terms and traces of the old customs than that of the Kurnai. Not only is there an absence of a social organization in classes, sub-classes, and totems, or any of them, with descent in the female line, but there has been developed a recognised individual marriage, accompanied by a reversion to the group right, in the form of the jus primæ noctis. In this