Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/306

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292 Reply to Mr. Howitt and Mr. Jevons.

organised tribes, and rests on the hypothesis (of course incapable of verification), that local groups were in a state of hostility. This hypothesis is essential to my theory. " Go where I would," outside the limits of my local group, I should find " an iron welcome " — or rather a palaeolithic welcome — a spear in my viscera in place of a bride. For this reason I regard a " phratry," not as any set of men with women whom I might legally marry, but as, at first, one local set with whom my set had made conniibiuin, so that it was safe and pleasant to go a-wooing among them. There were no phratries at all, on my theory, before this pacific arrangement, though Australia was full of women whom I might legally marry ; namely, all the women who had neither the name of my local group, nor (perhaps), my animal name of descent. Legal brides they all were, but my life was apt to be the bride-price ! My local group, as I state {S.O.T., pp. 145, 146), did not contain, as Mr. Jevons supposes me to mean, any women whom I could marry. Even the women in my local group, not of my animal name of descent, were barred by the original rule, " not in local group named Emu," or what- ever its name might be.

I find it very difficult to make critics understand that this rule, explicitly stated by me, is an essential part of my theory. Again, critics suppose, with Mr. Jevons, that, in my system, the two phratries are identical with " the classification of women into prohibited and lawful." But there were, at the period contemplated by my theory, thousands of " lawful " brides not in the phratry opposite to mine. Such brides, however, had to be wooed with the spear, whereas in the phratry allied with mine, I " speered after " a bride peacefully ; the phra- tries having been ordained for the very purpose of getting a lawful bride without the chance of having to fight for her.

It was not then the case, as Mr. Jevons thinks, that