Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/440

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404 Lord Avebury on Marriage^

one in holding that the two phratries are not the result of a consciously devised segmentation of the tribe, but of the union into a tribe of two sets of people previously separate.

As has been said, my opinions have often been modified, and I need scarcely dwell on Lord Avebury's criticism of views about totemism and exogamy which, since 1903, I have publicly renounced. For example, I abandoned the idea that exogamy is a consequence of the general totemic taboo.^ A man of Lord Avebury's many and multifarious activities can scarcely be expected to be familiar with every contribution to scientific serials, and, as far as I observe, he never alludes to my Secret of the Totem (1905). I am not to defend positions which I no longer hold.

As to the corner-stone of Lord Avebury's hypothesis, namely, the idea that human society began with a stage of sexual promiscuity, or communal marriage, I prefer the opinion of Mr. Darwin that man most probably " aborigin- ally lived in small communities, each [man] with a single wife, or, if powerful, with several, whom he jealously guarded against all other men. Or he may not have been a social animal, and yet have lived with several wives like the gorilla," in whose band "but one adult male is seen." In either case there was no " communal marriage," — according to Darwin. Lord Avebury objects that it would be diffi- cult for a species so solitary and unsocial, (in the second alternative), " to make any real progress." No doubt it would. It is always very difficult " to make real progress " — in the right direction. Lord Avebury proceeds, — " Mr. Darwin himself appears to have felt the difficulty, for it will be observed that he offers an alternative : " Or he may have been a social animal and yet have lived with several wives, like the gorilla." Mr. Darwin, in fact, wrote " Or he may not have been a social animal," etc.^

Mr. Darwin offered two alternatives, (i) man social, and

■Man, 1906, pp. 130 et seq., " The Totem Tabu and Exogamy." ^Cf. Descent 0/ Afan, vol. ii., p. 361 (1871); Avebury, pp. 15-17.