insure the totem for others while they themselves abstained from eating it. He then assumed that this restriction was by no means the result of a kind of religious respect, but came about through the observation that no animal devoured its own kind, so that this break in the identification with the totem was injurious to the power which savages sought to acquire over the totem. Or else it resulted from the endeavor to make the being favorably disposed by sparing it. Frazer did not conceal the difficulties of this explanation from himself, nor did he dare to indicate in what way the habit of marrying within the totem, which the myths of the Aruntas proclaimed, was converted into exogamy.
Frazer’s theory based on the Intichiuma, stands and falls with the recognition of the primitive nature of the Arunta institutions. But it seems impossible to hold to this in the fact of the objections advanced by Durkheim and Lang. The Aruntas seem on the contrary to be the most developed of the Australian tribes and to represent rather a dissolution stage of totemism than its beginning. The myths that made such an impression on Frazer because they emphasize, in contrast to prevailing institutions
- 1. c., p. 120.
- “L’année Sociologique,” Vol. I, V, VIII, and elsewhere. See especially the chapter, “Sur le Totemisme,” Vol. V, 1901.
- “Social Origins and the Secret of the Totem.”