Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/311

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Dr. Howitfs Defence of Group- Marriage . 297

term to the own father or the primary husband ; others have a distinctive name for the real mother. But the presence or absence of the special term does not mean that the relation of parents and children differs in the tribes in question. In the same way there are tribes which recognise the existence of sisters or cousins in blood, whose position differs from that of the other members of the tribe who stand in the same (legal) relationship to their brother or cousin. From our point of view, group-terms are not, and never can have been, adequate expressions of certain relationships, such as mother and child, but it cannot be argued that the absence of terms to express those relationships means that the relationship did not originally exist. With these intro- ductory remarks, I pass to a consideration of Dr. Howitt's remarks in detail.

Dr. Hovvitt gives a long list of " marital terms." By this he means the terms which are applied to each other by persons eligible to m.arry. These terms, with the exception of pirraunc and pinmngaru, of which I have already spoken, correspond to the Dieri term noa ; in some cases they differ according to the sex of the speaker ; in others, as among the Dieri, they are the same for both sexes. Now, in the diagrams on page 182, and in the text of the following page, Dr. Hovvitt asserts a corre- spondence in meaning and use between pirrauni (Dieri) and maian-bra (Kurnai), and on this alleged correspon- dence turns the whole of his argument for group-marriage. But in point of fact, unfortunately for Dr. Hovvitt, no such correspondence exists. Maian-bra corresponds not to pirraicriL, but to noa ; they do not imply sexual relations between the parties who apply these terms to each other ; and they do not mean that any ceremony has been per- formed to constitute the relationship between the man and woman. In what sense then does Dr. Howitt assert the parallelism of the two sets of terms }