Page:Native Tribes of South-East Australia.djvu/165

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This tribe adjoins the Arunta on the north, and the remarks of those authors as to the equivalence of the four sub-classes of the Arunta and the two classes of the "Urabunna" are so apposite, that I quote them to exemplify what I have said on this subject.

They say that it not infrequently happens that a man from the neighbouring Arunta tribe comes to live among the Urabunna. In the former there are four sub-classes, viz. Bulthara and Panunga, Kumara and Purula, and in addition descent is counted in the male line. Accordingly the men of the Bulthara and Purula sub-classes are regarded as equivalent to the Matthurie moiety of the Urabunna tribe, and those of the Panunga and Kumara sub-classes as the equivalents of the Kirarawa. In just the same way a Matthurie man going into the Arunta tribe becomes either a Bulthara or Purula, and a Kirarawa man becomes either Panunga or Kumara. Which of the two a Matthurie man belongs to is decided by the old men of the group into which he goes. This deliberate change in the grouping of the classes and sub-classes so as to make them fit in with the maternal line of descent, or with the paternal, as the case may be, will be more easily understood from the accompanying table.

Arunta. Urabunna Arrangement of the Arunta Sub-Class.
Moiety A Bulthara
Moiety A (Matthurie)
Panunga Purulu
Moiety B Panuga
Moiety B (Kirarawa)
Purula Kumara

The working out of this has the result that the children belong to the right moiety of the tribe into which the man has gone.[1]

The authors very justly observe that the natives are quite capable of thinking such things out for themselves, and it is perhaps not without a degree of suggestiveness in regard to the difficult question of how a change in the line of descent might be brought about.

  1. Op. cit. pp. 68, 69.