Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/453

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Totemism, and Religion. 417

influence is proved by Mr. Howitt, for example, while the presence of missionaries is demonstrated to produce absolutely no effect on the native beliefs, then the hypothesis of borrowing cannot be logically held. I do not doubt that here Mr. Tylor would agree with a self- obvious conclusion.

Lord Avebury writes, — (Mr. Lang's) "contention is that they " (the Australians), " or at least some tribes, believe in the existence of a deity named " Baiame," who is omni- scient, omnipotent, immortal, beneficent, and to whom the blessed name of "All-father" can fitly be attributed." ^^ As to "the blessed name of All Father" I adopt it from Mr. Howitt. 28 I prefer the word "All Father" to "deity" or "god " in these cases, for reasons already given ; though I use both " deity " and " god " in works written before I saw the advantages of Mr. Howitt's term.

Next, as to my ascription of "omniscience," "omni- potence," and "immortality" to the superior beings of Australian tribes, and also the ascription of " creativeness," I explain 29 that I use the word "creative" where our evidence asserts that the All Father "made all things." Sometimes he only made the earth and sky and other trifles of that sort; some other things "came otherwise." In these cases I prefer to call the All Father " a maker of things, or of some things." Where I have said "omnipre- sent" and "omnipotent," I have pointed out that "this is only a modern metaphysical rendering of the actual words attributed" (by Mr. Howitt) "to the savage: 'He can go everywhere and do everything '." ^^ I said " with these explanations I trust that my rhetorical use of such phrases as 'eternal,' 'creative,' 'omniscient,' 'omnipotent,' ' omnipresent,' and ' moral ' may not be found to mislead, or covertly to import modern or Christian ideas into my

27 Avebury, p. i6i. ^ Op. cit., pp. 488-508.

"^Making of Religion, pp. xix-xxii, (1900). ^Making of Religion, pp. xix-xxii, (1900). 2 D