Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/31

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Presidential Address. 21

" 2. Local totem groups, which are a result of male reckoning of descent, . . .

"3. The belief that the spirits of the primal ances- tors of the dream-time ... are constantly reincarnated in new-born children. . . .

" 4. The Arunta and Kaitish . . . believe that spirits desiring reincarnation, all of one totem in each case, reside at certain definite spots. So do the Urabunna believe, but at each of these spots, in Urabunna land, there may be spirits of several different totems. Amongst the Ura- bunna, as everywhere, totems are exogamous. None of these four conditions, nor all of them, can produce the Arunta totemic non-exogamy.

" Finally (5). The Arunta and Kaitish, and they alone, believe not only that the spirits desiring reincarnation reside at certain definite spots, and not only that the spirits there are in each case all of one totem (which is essential), but also that these spirits are most closely asso- ciated with objects of stone, inscribed with archaic markings, which the spirits have dropt in these places — the scenes where the ancestors died. These stone objects, and this belief in their connexion with ancestral spirits, are found in the Arunta region alone, and are the determining cause, or inseparable accident at least, of the non-exogamy of Arunta totemism."

After destructive criticism applied to the various theories of his predecessors on the subject of totemism, Mr. Lang proceeds to develop his own. He assumes as the primitive state of man something analogous to a barnyard, or the hareem of the Grand Turk. Promis- cuity, and group marriage, are dismissed as improbable, because they imply the absence of jealousy or the pride