Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/319

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Dr". Hozuitts Defence of Group- Mamnage. 305

Perhaps the most singular thing about Dr. Howitt's argument at this point ^ is that he nowhere puts forward facts, or correct statements as to present-day facts, which are not fully in accord with Mr. Lang's contention. Mr. Lang says, for example, that the terms of relationship now denote tribal status; Dr Howitt supports this by arguing that the term for father means " nominal father " in every case but one. I cannot therefore conceive why Dr. Howitt charges Mr. Lang with guessing at the meaning of the terms. Mr. Lang is also accused of guessing at their origin ; I am not sure to what words of Mr. Lang's allusion is here made by Dr. Howitt ; but whatever they are, the view put forward is not incon- ceivable ; but, as I have shown above, Dr. Howitt's view is inconceivable, if we apply it to the term which he would presumably translate into English as group-mother. Prima facie, therefore, Dr. Howitt is no less guilty of guessing ; and his guesses are contradicted by common knowledge, while Mr. Lang's will bear examination.

A few lines above this^ Dr. Howitt asks Mr. Lang to look at the Dieri terms, and says, "he will see their present meaning and that they are applied ... to indi- viduals . . . living under pirraiLriir If this statement were correct, the Dieri would be living, not under pirra?{ru, but under modified promiscuity ; for this passage clearly suggests that all who are noa to each other are also pirraiirii. What Dr. Howitt actually means, however, is that some people who are noa are also pirraitru — a very different thing. In the following sentence he asserts that the group terms of the other tribes mentioned by him denote not individual but pirraiirii marriage. But the group terms of other tribes as little denote pirra?cric among them as does rwa among the Dieri ; up to the present Dr. Howitt has not even produced a pirrauru- practising tribe outside the Dieri nation. If Dr. Howitt's

IPp. 183-185. 2p_ jg^_