Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/199

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187
Native Tribes of South-East Australia.

reversion it is the fraternal group, own and tribal, which exercises that right, but thereafter it has no further claim over the woman, who has become the actual individual maian of the man with whom she eloped.

This practice indicates a former condition of group-marriage by the Kurnai, under which pirrauru husbands would be provided by the group of brothers, own and tribal.

As I have pointed out (Native Tribes, p. 219), this practice confirms the explanation by Lord Avebury that the jus primæ noctis is an "expiation for individual marriage."

Mr. Lang may now perhaps be able, on considering the facts which I have adduced, to see that group-marriage is not a "sport," but an ancient practice which still survives in certain tribes. Moreover that my generalisation, which he considers to be incorrect, is true, being based upon evidence and not mere guesswork.

He has apparently not observed that tippa-malku is not a group relation but a reciprocal term between two individuals who have been betrothed to each other, and is thus in complete contrast to and an innovation on the group terms of relationship of the Australian tribes. If individual marriage were the original condition of the ancestors of the native tribes, individual relationship terms or collective terms such as "uncle," "nephew," etc., should have survived the "sport" of group-marriage.

That which tippa-malku defines is an encroachment upon the pirrauru group right. If Mr. Lang had said that tippa-malku is a "sport" upon group-marriage he would have been more correct, for, as I have before said, the former is the germ from which individual marriage in Australian tribes has grown up.

At the end of his communication he again says that I have "overlooked" my own "collection of social facts."