Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/256

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242 Reviews.

the Arunta. In that earlier stage of growth the re-incarnation belief has not modified the totemic system, with the later stage of growth a modification of the totemic system is found amongst the Arunta.

If we may set aside the Arunta as exhibiting a late stage in the evolution of totemism, then on Mr. Lang's theory we start with small "local groups invested with animal names; then the animals become totems, sanctioning exogamy; then, by exogamy and female descent, each animal-named local group becomes full of members of other animal names by descent" and finally two leading local groups, say Crow and Eagle- hawk, establish pacific coimubrnm, and " the inhabitants of a district became an harmonious tribe, with two phratries (late local groups), say Eagle-hawk and Crow, and with the other old local-group names represented in what are now the totem kins within the phratries" (p. 151).

The question naturally arises, and Mr. Lang puts it himself (p. 147), "Why do we find in a tribe only two phratries?" To this he replies that there may have been more than two in Australia, as there are in America, but, "though there is no reason why there should not have been more," we must suppose either that there were not originally more than two, or that, if there were originally more, eventually there ceased to be more. Let us admit that we must make that supposition, if we are to believe that what are two phratries were originally two local groups. We have then to ask why are we to believe that the phratries were originally local groups? In effect, the phratry to which I belong includes the women I may not marry; the other phratry includes the woman I may marry. Why then should either phratry have been originally one local group? Why need either phratry ever have had a local habitation and a name? The women I may not marry are scattered about all over Australia, and so are the women I may marry. Even on Mr. Lang's theory, the latter never at any time, however far back we go, were concentrated in any one spot; and the former also must have been scattered pretty widely, when " each animal-named group became full of members of other animal names by descent." At that time, go where I would, I should