Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/253

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Reviews. 239

in re-incarnation, which, where it exists, is bound up with the churinga, is found only amongst some of the Arunta. Thus the area of the re-incarnation beHef shrinks; and as it shrinks the probabiUty that it is primitive decreases.

Accepting the fact on which our authorities are agreed, that the deceased is intimately associated with his churinga, we can understand that, whenever the belief in re-incarnation arose, it would follow that the churinga was the churinga both of the deceased and of the new-born child, for both are manifestations of the same personality. Next, the belief in re-incarnation is found elsewhere than among the Arunta : it is not the case that belief in re-incarnation can only grow up where churitigas are found. Amongst the Arunta therefore, as amongst other, non- Australian, peoples, the re-incarnation belief may have originated from the fact that children do resemble their grand-parents in appearance. It would then be a logical inference that the child did not need to be provided with a churifiga : it would be entitled, as of right, to the churinga of the ancestor of whom it was the re-incarnation.

When it came to be an article of belief that not only children resembling their grand-parents but all children were re-incar- nations of their ancestors, it would no longer be necessary to " constate " a personal resemblance between the child and one of its ancestors. It would indeed no longer be necessary to wait until the child was born. The mere fact that it was going to be born would be evidence that an ancestor was in process of re- incarnation, but what ancestor? That question is, in the belief of those Arunta whom Messrs. Spencer and Gillen have questioned, answered by the supposition that the ancestral spirit which enters the mother drops his churinga on the way ; the churinga which is or ought to be found indicates which ancestral spirit it was. Now it is obvious that the reason why the churinga is found is to be sought in the belief that it ought to be found. The persons who are sent out to find it usually return with a churinga. Where do they get it from ? The only place from which, amongst the Arunta, they can get it apparently is one of the sacred store- houses or ernatulungas in which churingas are kept. But the spirit which enters the mother does not live at an ernatulunga ; he