Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/36

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26 Presidential Address.

mixed up when their mothers are earning an honest living for the sultan, so that if anything the father is more certain than the mother. And we saw that male kinship is one of the essential conditions of Arunta totemism, according to Mr. Lang; so that on this argument, assuming that the hareem-group is primitive, and that male kinship is natural in the hareem-group, the Arunta totemism so far is more primitive than the other examples which Mr. Lang cites. But I will not follow Mr. Lang's example, and accept a hypothesis on trust. Looking at the practices of the Arunta and Kaitish tribes, I cannot but agree with Mr. Frazer, that whatever be the case with their social system, the state of mind which is ignorant of the means by which life is propagated seems to be more primitive than that which understands more of animal physiology. That one fact seems to emerge from a cloud of obscurities: for there are difficulties and obscurities in plenty on both hypotheses.

And so we must leave the Totem for the present still in difficulties. Perhaps it may be allowed us to suggest that scholars are still a little too apt, like Mr. Casaubon, to seek one key to all the mythologies. In examining, for instance, what was the organisation of the original human group, we must not leave out of account the food supply, which must have modified that organisation. Female infanticide depends on the food supply, and the laws of marriage are influenced by female infanticide. Then again, who is to say that the breeds of men do not differ in their aptitude for social organisation } We see this difference strongly marked in the world now, not only between races, as in comparing the white man with the negro, but between families, as in comparing Greek with Latin, German with Celt. It is very hard to believe that all these came from one original stock. But after making all allowances, we may congratulate ourselves on some further light in this dark subject. ^_ ^^ ^^ ^^^^^_