Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/289

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275
THEORIES OF PRIMITIVE MARRIAGE.

ertheless, he admits that "the separate endogamous tribes are nearly as numerous, and they are in some respects as rude, as the separate exogamous tribes" (p. 145). Now, if, as he believes, exogamy and wife-stealing have "been practised at a certain stage among every race of mankind"—that stage being the primitive one—and if, as he seeks to prove, endogamy is a form reached through a long series of social developments, it is difficult to understand how the endogamous tribes can be as rude as the exogamous ones.

Again, he names the fact that "in some districts—as in the hills on the northeastern frontier of India, in the Caucasus, and the hill-ranges of Syria—we find a variety of tribes, proved, by physical characteristics and the affinities of language, of one and the same original stock, yet in this particular differing toto cælo from one another—some forbidding marriage within the tribe, and some prescribing marriage without it" (pp. 147, 148): a fact by no means congruous with his hypothesis.

Should Mr. McLennan reply that on pp. 47, 48, he has recognized the possibility, or probability, that there were tribes primordially endogamous—should he say that on pp. 144, 145, will be found the admission that, perhaps, exogamy and endogamy "may be equally archaic," the rejoinder is that, besides being inconsistent with his belief that exogamy has "been practised at a certain stage among every race of mankind," this possibility is one which he practically rejects. On pp. 148-150, he sketches out a series of changes by which exogamous tribes may eventually become endogamous; and in subsequent sections on the "Growth of Agnation," and "The Rise of Endogamy," he tacitly asserts that endogamy has thus developed: if not without exception, still, generally. Indeed, the title of one of his chapters—"The Decay of Exogamy in Advancing Communities"—clearly implies the belief that exogamy was general, if not universal, with the uncivilized; and that endogamy grew up along with civilization. Thus the incongruity between the propositions quoted in the last paragraph cannot be escaped.

Sundry other of Mr. McLennan's statements and inferences conflict with one another. Assuming that, in the earliest state, tribes were stock-groups "organized on the principle of exogamy," he speaks of them as having "the primitive instinct of the race against marriage between members of the same stock" (p. 118). Yet, as we have seen above, he elsewhere speaks of wife-capture as caused by scarcity of women within the tribe; and attributes to this "usage, induced by necessity," the prejudice against "marrying women of their own stock." Moreover, if, as he says (and I believe rightly says) on p. 145, "men must originally have been free of any prejudice against marriage between relations," it seems inconsistent to allege that there was a "primitive instinct" "against marriage between members of the same stock."