Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/450

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414 Lord Avebury on Marriage,

Hewitt's evidence that ceremonies are done in obedience to the supposed commands of Atnatu, Baiame, Mungan- ngaua, Daramulun, and so on ; while Baiame, we shall see, was " worshipped with songs " before any missionaries arrived among the worshippers. Why is this not " a living faith"?

If singing of hymns be a form of worship, Mrs. Langloh Parker publishes the hymn to Baiame.^^ Like the Latin hymns of the Church in a rural congregation, the Baiame hymn is so old that it is now unintelligible to the singers. " No one now knew the meaning of the whole, not even the oldest wirreenunsr The same author mentions "the prayer of the oldest tvirreenun to Byamee, asking him to let the blacks live long, for they have been faithful to his charge as shown by the observance of the Boorah ceremony " from which women and children are excluded.

The tribe believed in, and had a sense of awe for, and of dependence on, an All Father, Baiame, to whose decrees they conformed, to whom, on two occasions only, they prayed, and who received the souls of some of them, at least, unto his own place. Lord Avebury must be almost alone in his theory, if he denies that here we have religion. That Baiame is not a spirit, but a being sui generis, and that absurd myths are told of him, as of Zeus, does not destroy the religious nature of the belief in him, any more than the religious nature of the belief in Zeus is destroyed.

Mr. Howitt says "There is not any worship of Dara- mulun ; but the dances round the figure of clay and the invocating of his name by the medicine-men certainly might have led up to it."20 Now, if the Athenian maidens danced round an image of Artemis Brauronia, and invocated her name, I should call that "worship." Lord Avebury no doubt would not.

Mr. Howitt shows religious obedience to "that great Biamban " (Master) " whom you know about," among the

19 The Euahlayi Tribe, pp. 79, 80. "^ Op. cit. , pp. 507, 508.