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HQ 504.L26 1903 

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MAGIC AND RELIGION. 8vo. loj-. 6d. net. 

CUSTOM AND MYTH : Studies of Early Usage and 
Belief. With 15 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3J. 6rf. 

Crown 8vo. -js. 

MODERN MYTHOLOGY : a Reply to Professor Max 

Miiller. 8vo. gj. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., 39 Paternoster Row, London, 
New York and Bombay. 









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■''^^?/?/,/ : 



Dear Annie, 

As you first pointed out to me the facts which are 
the germ of my Theory of the Origin of Totemism, you are 
one cause of my share in this book. The other is affection 
for the memory of th^ author of ' Frimal Law J 

Yours always, 


St. Andrews : 

Feb. 13, 1903. 


The portion of this book called ' Primal Law ' is the 
work of the late Mr. James Jasper Atkinson. Bom in 
India, of Scottish parents (his mother being the paternal 
aunt of the present editor), Mr. Atkinson was educated 
(1857-1861) at Loretto School, then managed by Messrs. 
Langhome. While still young he settled on certain stations 
in New Caledonia bequeathed to him by his father, and, 
except for visits to Australia and a visit to England, he lived 
and died in the French colony. His ingenious mind was 
much exercised by the singular laws and customs of the natives 
of the New Caledonian Archipelago and the adjacent isles. 
These peoples have been little studied by competent Eiu-opean 
observers — that is, in New Caledonia. Mr. Atkinson wrote 
an account of native manners before he had any acquaintance 
with the works of modem anthropologists, such as Mr. Tylor, 
Mr. McLennan, Lord Avebury, and others. To these he 
later turned his attention ; he joined the Anthropological 
Institute, and, in the course of study and observation, he dis- 
covered what he conceived to be the ' Primal Law ' and origin 
of morality, as regards the family. In his last illness, in 
1899, he was most kindly attended by Commander John 
Haggard, R.N., then Her Majesty's Consul in New Caledonia. 
Mr. Atkinson's mind, in his latest moments, was occupied by 
his anthropological speculations, and, through Mr. Haggard, 
he sent his MS. to his cousin and present editor. I have 
given to it the last cares which the author himself would have 
given had he lived. But I have also taken the opportunity 
to review, in the following pages, introductory to ' Primal 


Law,' the present state of the discussion as to the beginnings 
of the rules regulating marriage among savages. 

The discussion is now nearly forty years old, if we date it 
from the appearance of Mr. J. F. McLennan's Primitive 
Marriage in 1865. Yet, in spite of the speculations of 
some and the explorations of other distinguished students, 
the main problems are still in dispute. Was marriage 
originally non-existent ? Was promiscuity at first the rule, 
and, if so, what were the origins, motives, and methods of the 
most archaic prohibitions on primitive license ? Did man 
live in ' hordes,' and did he bisect each ' horde ' into 
exogamous and intermarrying moieties, and, if he did, what 
was his motive? Are the groups and kindreds commonly 
styled ' totemic ' earlier or later than the division into a pair 
of moieties or ' phratries ' ? Do the totem-kins represent 
the results of an early form of exogamous custom, or are they 
additions to or consciously arranged subdivisions of the 
two exogamous moieties ? Is a past of ' group marriage ' 
or ' communal marriage ' proved by the terms for human 
relationships employed by many backward races, and by 
survivals in manner and custom ? 

These are among the questions examined in the intro- 
ductory chapters that may be read either before or after 
Mr. Atkinson's Primal Law. To him I am indebted for the 
conception of sexual jealousy as a powerful element in the 
evolution of exogamy. 

Since my attention was first directed to these topics, I 
have felt that a clear and consistent working hjrpothesis of the 
origin of totemism was indispensable, and such an hypothesis, 
with a criticism of other extant theories, is here offered. 
Throughout I have attempted to elucidate and bring into 
uniformity the perplexing and confused special terms 
employed in the discussion. Here it should be explained that 
by ' marriage ' in this work I mean permanent cohabitation 
of man and woman, sanctioned by tribal custom, and usually 
preceded by some rite or initiation which does not prelude 
to casual amours. By family or fire circle I mean the 


partners to this permanent cohabitation^ their offspring, and 
such kinsfolk by blood or affinity as may be members of their 
camp. In the first sentence of the book I speak of the 
family as ' most ancient and most sacred,' and I do so 
deliberately. The primitive association described I take, 
with Mr. Darwin and Mr. Atkinson, to be ' most ancient,' 
and to be the germ of the historic family, which is ' most 
sacred.' But to ' sacred ' when I apply the word to the 
primitive fire-circle I give no religious sense, such as the 
Greek hearth enjoyed under Hestia, youngest and oldest 
daughter of Zeus. I mean that the rules given to the 
primitive fire-circle by the sire were probably the earliest and 
the most stringent, though not yet sanctioned by a tabu or 
a goddess. 

Such a small circle, and not a promiscuous horde or 
commune, I conceive, with Mr. Darwin and Mr. Atkinson, 
to have been the earliest form of human society. 

The book deals only with the institutions of races cer- 
tainly totemistic, and mainly with the Australian and North 
American tribes, which present totemism in the most archaic 
of its sttrviving forms. But little is said, and that 
tentatively, on the question as to whether or not the ancestors 
of the great civilised peoples, ancient and modem, have 
passed through the stage of totemic exogamy, as our evidence 
is weak and disputable. Too late for citation in the body of 
the book I read Mr. A. H. Keane's theory of the origin of 

Mr. Keane's theory is much akin to my own as it 
stood in Custom and Myth (1884) and to that of Garcilasso 
de la Vega, the oldest of all. Garcilasso (1540-1616), an 
Inca on the mother's side, describing the animal and plant 
worship of the low races in the Inca Empire, says ' they only 
thought of making one differ from another and each 
from all.' ^ But it may be that he had not totemism in his 
mind ; the passage is not too explicit. 

' Mam, Past amd, Present, Cambridge, 1899, pp. 396, 397. 
'^ Royal Comimenta/ries, i. 47. 


Mr. Keane says : ' And thus the family, the initial unit, 
segments into a number of clans, each distinguished by its 
totem, its name, its heraldic badge — which badge, becoming 
more and more venerated from age to age, acquires inherited 
privileges, becomes the object of endless superstitious practices, 
and is ultimately almost deified. ... Its origin lies behind 
all strictly religious notions, and it was at first a mere device 
for distinguishing one individual from another, one family or 
clan group from another.' Thus among the Piaroas of the 
Orinoco below San Fernando de Atabapo the belief holds 
that the tapir, originally the totem of the clan, has become 
their ancestor, and that after death the spirit of every Piaroa 
passes into a tapir ; hence they never hunt or eat this 
animal, and they also think all the surrounding tribes are in 
the same way each provided with their special animal fore- 
father. It is easy to see how such ideas tend to cluster 
round the clan ^ or family totem, at first a distinguishing 
badge, later a protecting or tutelar deity of Protean form. 
It should be remembered that the personal or family name 
precedes the totem, which grows out of it, as seen by the 
conditions still prevailing amongst the very lowest peoples 
(Fuegians, Papuans of Torres Strait ^).'' 

I am indebted in various ways to assistance, chiefly in 
the interchange of ideas, from Mr. A. C. Haddon, Mr. G. L. 
Gomme, Miss Bume, and Mr. A. E. Crawley, author of 
The Mystic Rose. Mr. Crawley kindly read the book, or 
most of it, before publication, and collaborated most 
efficiently in the way of suggesting objections. It is not 
implied that any of these students accept the ideas of the two 
authors. I regret that it has been found impossible to 
wait for the publication of a new book by Mr. A. W. Howitt, 
from which we may expect much new information. 

The question of the relations of religion and totemism 
is scarcely touched on in this work. A certain amount of 

' The Import of the Totem, Amer. Ass., Detroit, 1897. 
^ M. Chaffanjon, Tout du Monde, 1888, lyi. 348. 
^ Ethnology, pp. 9, 11. 


regard is given to their totem animals and plants by some of 
the Australian tribes, to the extent of not killing, plucking, 
or eating them, except under stress of need, but even this 
is not universal. There also exists, in some cases, a sense of 
kinship with them. They ai-e not worshipped. That magic 
is worked for their preservation and propagation, as by the 
Arunta, proves nothing in the nature of a religious attitude 
towards them. In my opinion this religious regard for the 
totem does not appear till ancestor worship, which does not 
occur in Australia, has made considerable advance and a 
myth arises that an ancestral spirit or family god is 
incarnate in the animal which originally was only a totem. 
If so, totemism is not an element in the origins of religion, 
but a field later invaded by religion. 

On the other hand. Dr. Achelis, of Bremen, writes 
that to savage man ' animals are his equals. To the ancient 
worship of animals is added, under the influence of sym- 
pathetic emotion, the worship of ancestors and totemism, 
which sees in a beast worshipped as a god the ancestor of the 
whole tribe.' ^ Clearly this sentence is replete with errors and 
confusions. The whole tribe, in Australia, does not regard 
any animal as its ancestor. No beast is worshipped as a god. 
No ancestors are worshipped. If the animals are ' his equals,' 
why did man worship them, and that apparently before the 
worship of ancestors and totemism arose ? In an essay like 
that of Dr. Achelis on Ethnology and Religion the facts 
ought to be correctly ascertained. 

I have been obliged to place in Appendix A certain facts 
about group names derived from animals which came late to 
hand, among them Mr. Robertson's interesting letter on 
many such names in the Orkneys, and some remarks on 
village names derived from animals among the ancient 

' The International Quarterly, Dec-March, 1902-1903, p. 321. 






The family. Theory of Mr. Atkinson — Primitiveness in man— Kecent 
history of the speciilation as to the early human family — What is 
exogamy? DiflSculties of terminology — Totemism and exogamy 
— Theories of exogamy. Mr. McLellan's theory — Mr. Crawley's 
theory — Dr. Westermarck's theory — Mr. Morgan's theory — Return 
to the author's theory 1 



The class system in Australia — The varieties of marriage divisions in 
Australia — Mr. Fison on the great bisection — ' Primary classes 1 ' 
— The 'primary divisions ' are themselves totemic and exogamous 
—The totem difficulty 35 



American support of the author's hjrpothesis — Deliberate arrange- 
ment — Totems all the way — Distribution of totems in the ' phra- 
tries ' — The ideas of Mr. Frazer. His earlier theory — Objections 
to Mr. Frazer's early theory — Mr. Spencer's theories of the bisec- 
tion — Advantages of the system here proposed — The Arunta — 
Arunta metaphysics — Arunta totem eating and traditions — Dr. 
Durkheim on the Arunta — The relations of totems and 'phratries ' 
among the Arunta — Amnta myths — Mr. Spencer on Arunta legends 52 




Views of Dr. Durklieim — How did the Aranta anomaly arise ? . .81 


' Group marriage ' — Mr. Morgan and the class system — Difficulties 
of Mr. Morgan's theory — Mr. Morgan on terms of relationship — 
How the terms of relationship originally arose — Supposed sur- 
vivals of group marriage — Piraungaru and piraura — Growth of 
social rules in the tribe — Group marriage and Mr. Tylor's statistics 87 


The system of Herr Cunow — Classes again 112 



Lord Avebury on totemism — Lord Avebury on the origin of totemism 
— Communal marriage^Lord Avebury on relationships . .122 



Sacred animals in savage society — Proposed restriction of the use of 
the word ' totem ' — The word ' totem ' — The totem ' cult ' — ' Totem 
gods ' — Savage speculations as to the origin of totemism — Modem 
theories — Mr. Max Miiller's theory — The theory of Mr. Herbert 
Spencer — Mr. Frazer's theories — Suggestion of Mr. N. W. Thomas 
— Dr. WiUseu's theory — Miss Alice Fletcher's theory — Mr. Hill 
Tout's theory — Messrs. Hose and McDougall — ^Mr. Haddon's theory 
— An objection to all the theories enumerated — Statement of the 
problem — The author's own conjecture — The connection between, 
groups and totems — No ' disease of language ' — Hypothetical early 
groups before totemism — How the groups got names — Illustration 


from folk-lore — How the names became known — Totemic and 
other group names. English and North American Indian — Theory 
that Siouan gentes names are of European origin .... 131 



How the origin of totem names was forgotten — Other sources of 
sacredness in plants and animals — Recapitulation — An objection 
answered — Other objections answered — Totems and magical 
societies — Totem survivals — Did the ancestors of the civilised 
races pass through the Australian stage ? 176 




Mr. Darwin on the primitive relations of the sexes — Primitive man 
monogamous or polygamous — His jealousy — Expulsion of young 
males — The author's inferences as to the evolution of Primal Law 
— A customary rule of conduct evolved — Traces surviving in 
savage life — The customs of avoidance — Custom of exogamy 
arose in the animal stage — Brother and sister avoidance — The 
author's own observation of this custom in New Caledonia — 
Strangeness of such a custom among houseless nomads in Aus- 
tralia — Eapid decay under European influences .... 209 



Brother and sister avoidance, a partial usage among the higher 
mammals — Males' attitude to females in a group dominated by a 
single male head— Band of exiled young males — Their relations 
to the sire — Examples in cattle and horses — In game-fowl — Strict 
localisation of animals— Exiled young males hover on the fringe 
of the parent group — Parricide 219 




Effect of the absence of a special pairing season on nascent man — 
Consequent state of ceaseless war between sire and young males 
— Man already more than an ape — Results of his prolonged 
infancy and of maternal love — A young male permitted to live in 
the parent group— Conditions in which this novelty arose . . 226 



Truce between semi-human sire and sou — Consequent distinction 
taken between female and female, as such — Consequent rise of 
habit of brother and sister avoidance^Result, son seeks female 
mate from without — Note by the editor 234 



Results in strengthening the groups which admit several adult males 
— Disappearance of hostile band of exiled young males — Relations 
of sire and female mates of young males now within the group — 
Father-in-law and daughter-in-law avoidance — Rights as between 
two generations — Elder brother and younger brother's wife avoid- 
ances — Note on hostile capture 241 



Resemblance of semi-brutal group, at this stage, to actual savage tribe 
— Resemblance merely superficial — In this hypothetical semi- 
brutal group paternal incest survives — Causes of its decline and 
extinction — The sire's widows of the group — Arrival of outside 
suitors for them — Brothers of wives of the group — New comers 
barred from marital rights over their daughters — Jealousy of their 
vnves intervenes — Value of sisters to be bartered for sisters of 


another group discovered — Consequent resistance to incest of 
group sire — Natural selection favours groups where resistance is 
successful — Cousinage recognised in practice — Intermarrying sets 
of cousins become phratries — Exceptional cases of permitted 
incest in chiefs and kings — No known trace of avoidance between 
father and daughter — Progress had rendered such law superfluous 250 



Survivals in custom testify to a long period of transition from group 
to tribe — Stealthy meetings of husband and wife — Examples — 
Evidence to a past of jealousy of incestuous group sire — Evidence 
from teknonymy — Husband named as father of his child — 
Formal capture as a symbol of legal marriage — Avoidance be- 
tween father-in-law and son-in-law — Arose in stage of transition 
— Causes of mother-in-law and son-in-law avoidance— Influence 
of jealousy — Examples — Mr. Tylor's statistics — Resentment of 
capture not primal cause of this avoidance — Note on avoidance . 264 



The classificatory system — The author's theory is the opposite of Mr. 
Morgan's, of original brother and sister marriage — That theory 
is based on Malayan terms of relationship — Nephew, niece, and 
cousin, all named ' sons and daughters ' — This fact of nomencla- 
ture used as an argument for promiscuity — The author's theory — 
The names for relationship given as regards the group, not the 
in4ividual — The names and rules evolved in the respective 
Interests of three generations — They apply to food as well as to 
marriage — Each generation is a strictly defined class — Terms for 
relationship indicate, Twt Mnskip, but relative seniority and 
rights in relation to the group — The distinction of age in gene- 
rations breaks down in practice — Methods of bilking the letter of 
the law — Communal marriage — Outside suitors and cousinage — 
The fact of cousinage unperceived and unnamed — Cousins are 
still called brothers and sisters ; thus, when a man styles his 
sister's son his son, the fact does not prove, as in Mr. Morgan's 
theory, that his sister is his wife — Terms of address between 
brothers and sisters — And between members of the same and of 
different phratries — These corroborate the author's theory — Dis- 



tinction as to sexual rights yields the classificatory system- 
Progress outran recognition and verbal expression— Errors of Mr. 
Morgan and Mr. McLennan— Conclusion— Note— ' Group marriage ' "280 




^^"^'^ 303 







The Family is the most ancient and the most sacred of 
human institutions ; the least likely to be overthrown by 
revolutionary attacks. In epochs of change the Family 
naturally invites the attentions of impetuous reformers, like 
Shelley (who advocated a scheme more than any other apt 
to shock the conscience of a savage), and like the friends 
of 'Free Love,' who would introduce a license beyond the 
Urabunna model. The horror aroused by certain relations, 
such as that of brother-and-sister marriage, is perhaps the 
oldest of moral sentiments, yet it has lost its hold of some 
barbaric races, and has been overcome by dynastic pride, as 
in the Royal House of the Incas of Peru, and in that of 
Egypt. While the Family, everywhere almost, has been 
secured by a religious and aU but instinctive dread of certain 
aberrations, the laws or customs which may not be broken 
have varied in different lands, and in different stages of civili- 
sation. What is incest in one age or country is innocent in 
another ; still certain unions, varying in various regions, have 
always been regarded with loathing. No such emotion is 


known to be felt among the lower " animals, and scientific 
ciu-iosity has long been busy with the question, why should 
the least civilised of human races possess the widest list of 
prohibited degi-ees ? What is the origin of the stringent la/ws 
that, among naked and far fe-om dainty nomads, compel men 
and wonien to seek their mates outside of certain large 
^oups of real or imagined kindred ? The answers given to 
this question have varied with the facts of savage law which 
chanced to be at each moment accessible to inquirers, and all 
attempts to solve the problem must be provisional. New 
knowledge may upset even the most recent theory, and, indeed, 
new knowledge of the rules of certain Australian tribes has 
already produced fresh hypotheses, as regards certain aspects 
of the problem. 

The whole subject is thorny, and I must crave pardon 
for venturing to differ, provisionally, on several important 
points, from authorities whose learning, research, and ex- 
perience far exceed my own. The facts which they have 
collected from personal knowledge of savages, and from 
reading, often group themselves otherwise in my eyes than 
in theirs — the perspective is different. My observations, 
therefore, are submitted to criticism with all diffidence. 
Only the main lines of a complex discussion are here tra- 
versed, and the\works cited are, as a rule, either by English- 
speaking authors, or, at least, are sometimes accessible in 
English translations. It will be seen that students have 
differed greatly, not only from e^ch other, but, at different 
times, from themselves, under the influence of new facts 
brought in from the most remote and isolated of savage 
races. One author is most interested in this, another in 
that, factor of the problem. The difficulty of the subject 
cannot be exaggerated ; for the origins of our human society 
cannot be historically traced behind the institutions of the 
races now lowest in the scale of cultm-e. We are di-iven to 
risk hypotheses. Again, it is by no means certain that some 
of these lowest peoples of to-day (say the Arunta of Central 
Aastralia) represent a moment in the main current of the 


stream of tendency, a point through which all progress has 
passed. The ideas and institutions of such tribes may be 
mere local ' sports,' other divergencies may have arisen in 
other quarters, and it would be an error (repudiated by Mr. 
McLennan, the founder of the study in England) to suppose 
that, everywhere, exactly the same series of changes evolved 
itself in due sequence. ' In one place or another everytliing 
may have been going on,' I have heard Mr. McLennan 

Once more, the subject is obscure because the races 
apparently 'nearest the beginning,' the naked Australians, 
houseless hunters, just emerging from the palaeolithic con- 
dition as regards implements, are, as to society and system 
of thought, very far from being ' primitive ; ' very remote 
from 'the beginning.' Their social rules are various and 
extremely complex, especially as regards marriage : some of 
their social customs are perhaps inexplicable — a field for 
modern guesswork — their speculative philosophy is, in one 
instance, ingenious, elaborate, and highly peculiar. The 
'beginning' lies far behind them, yet their society and 
institutions may have their germs (on the Darwinian theory) 
in a state of aU but complete brutality. 

To trace human institutions back to that hypothetical 
stage of first emergence from the brute is the purpose of the 
following treatise, ' Primal Law,' by Mr. Atkinson. It were 
superfluous for me to dwell on the audacity of his enterprise. 
Of thoroughly human man we know k good deal : of the 
brutes we know something. Of a hypothetical creature, not 
wholly brute, but not yet 'articulate-speaking man,' we 
know nothing, and as to the ways of his supposed next of 
kin, 'the great extant anthropoid apes,' our knowledge is 
vague, resting on the accounts of native observers. Such a 
creature, however, half ape, half human, is in part the theme 
of Mr. Atkinson's speculations, on which I venture to express 
no opinion : as not being persuaded that man ever had such 
a direct ancestor. 



As to men really primitive, and their social arrangements, 
I only venture to conjecture that, in the nature of the case, 
they probably lived a nomadic life, ' selecting a temporary 
place of abode, whether a cave, rock, shelter, or hut, 
influenced chiefly by the amount of edible materials to be 
found in the neighbourhood.' ^ The area of the wandering 
of each group of hearth-mates would be limited, probably, by 
the existence of other groups, which would resent poaching. 
A large trout may often be seen to turn angrily and drive 
away a little trout that has ventured too near the bend of 
the brook which the large trout finds a good station for flies ; 
and human groups would also, as in cases to be cited they do, 
mortally resent intrusions. I conceive that the males would 
be polygamous (like the gorilla) and jealous, killing or 
expelling the young males, as in the theories of Mr. Darwin 
and Mr. Atkinson. Thus groups would, on the whole, be 
hostile,^ ' wandering from one locality to another, now gather- 
ing fruits and seeds, now hunting wild animals, or, as a last 
resource, feeding on shell-fish and other produce of the shore.' ^ 
The implements now used by backward savages for fish- 
catching, nets, spears, and barbed hooks, cannot be precisely 
primitive. Primitiveness, we must remember, does not de- 
pend on antiquity of date. 

The Australians, though now their groups have coalesced 
into local tribes in defined areas, and though their customary 
law is extremely complex, are least remote from the primitive, 
least remote, but very far removed. They are, though our 
contemporaries, infinitely beneath the status in culture of 
palaeolithic man of the mammoth and reindeer period. It is 
not improbable that he had domesticated the ox, goat, pig, 
horse, and dog. ' They manufactxored fine needles of bone, 

' Dr. Munro, Arolimological Journal, vol. lix. no. 234, pp. 109-143. 
( Tire &pa/rt, p. 1.) See also later, Hypothetical Early Oro^ips. 
2 To this point, hostility, I return later. 
" Dr. Munro, Archaiological Journal, vol. lix. no. 234. 


with which they sewed their skin garments. They adorned 
their persons with a variety of beads . . .'' Their art was of 
notorious and amazing excellence. Dr. Munro says that 
they were ' ignorant of the rearing of domestic animals,' ^ 
but also that ' there seems to be no inherent improbability 
in the idea that some of them ' (ox, goat, horse, pig, and dog) 
' had been domesticated by the indigenous inhabitants prior 
to the coming of the neolithic brachycephals into France.' ^ 
A palaeolithic sketch of a horse ' with a supposed cover,' and 
another of a horse with a bridle,^ may be misinterpreted : 
Dr. Munro thinks that the horse-cloth 'may be no more 
than the hunter's skin coat thrown over the back of the 
animal when led home by means of a halter made of thongs 
or withes to be there slaughtered.' If palaeolithic man had 
advanced as far as Dr. Munro supposes, it was a short step 
to the domestication of the horse. It is hardly conclusive to 
say that, if he had tamed the horse, ' we would undoubtedly 
ere now have had an equestrian representation of the fact,' 
though it is also said that ' we have only as yet a prelimi- 
nary instalment of these most interesting art productions.' * 
The representation may later be discovered. That palaeoli- 
thic man, so far advanced as he was, was ' ignorant of the 
principles of religion,'* seems a hasty conclusion. If he 
had the beliefs of our Australians in such potent beings as 
Baiame, Nooreli, Daramulun, Mungun-ngaur, Pirmaheal, and 
Pimdjel, that belief would leave no material traces, except, 
perhaps, the Bull-roarer, whose noise represents the voice of 
one or other of these beings. Now a small but unmistakeable 
pair of palaeolithic bull-roarers in bone, or of amulets which 
are bull-roarers in miniature, one of them decorated with the 
sacred Australian pattern of herring-bone and concentric 
circles, have been found in a quaternary station in France." 
Palaeolithic man in France, countless ages ago, was thus, 

' Muaro, ArcIuBologwal Journal, vol. lix. no. 234, p. 22. 
■' Ibid. p. 32. ' lUd. p. 18. ' lUd. p. 20. » lUd. p. 22. 

« L'Anthropologie, Mars-Avril, 1902. For a brief bibliography of the 
bull-roarer see Mr. Frazer, The OoUen BotigA, ili. pp. 423-4, note 1. 


especially if he had domesticated animals, immensely more 
remote from ' the beginning ' than contemporary wild Aus- 
tralian tribes. They, again, with their copious languages, 
ingenious implements, complex institutions, and prolonged 
tribal assemblies, are infinitely in advance of those really 
primitive men among whom we must tentatively seek the 
origins of customary law regulating the family and marital 
arrangements. A society almost incalculably ancient may 
have been much more advanced than a society of to-day, and 
the society of the lowest known modern savages must be 
equally advanced from the status of ' primitive man.' 

The best proof of aU that no Australians are now in or 
near ' the chrysalis state ' of humanity, is to be found in their 
combinations into large friendly tribes, each covering a wide 
extent of country, and holding stated meetings, for social, 
political, religious, and commercial purposes. Mr. Matthews 
remarks on 'articles of barter,' exchanged 'at the great 
meetings which were held for the initiation of the youths of 
the tribes.' Among these articles were stone hatchets, first 
chipped, then ground, the tribes having passed out of the 
stage in which mere rude flaking sufficed. ' At the conclusion 
of the ceremonies, before the people dispersed, a kind of fair 
was held, when natives in whose country stone was plentiful, 
would barter their things with other people for reeds for 
making spears, rich plumage of birds, &c. . . or for any 
other articles brought by the various tribes for the purpose 
of exchange.' ^ We can scarcely conceive that this amount of 
tribal or inter-tribal unity was possible to man really 
primitive. Backward and conservative as the Australians 
are, we must not expect to find among them, with their 
highly complex customary laws, anything like the first 
beginnings of social regulations. To look for these, even 
among the naked and houseless hunters of Australia, is to 
organise failure in this research as to origins. 

' Jonmal and Proceedings Royal Society N.S. W., vol. xxviii. p. 305. 
See also Roth, EtliTwlogioal Studies, pp. 132-138. 1897. 



From the age of Aristotle onwards, inquirers naturally 
began with a belief in the Patriarchal Family as the original 
social unit. To this opinion, in a peculiar form, Mr. Atkin- 
son returns, as will be seen. The idea was natural. Aristotle, 
like Hesiod, starts from ' the Man, the Woman, and the 
labouring ox,' though men and women were wedded long 
before oxen and other animals were domesticated. The 
Biblical accoimt in Genesis opens with the same theory of the 
primal pair, whose children, brother and sister, must have 
married each other, as in the late Mr. Morgan's hjrpothesis of 
the ' Consanguine Family ; ' but, contrary to almost imiversal 
savage custom, and to Mr. Atkinson's ' Primal Law.' 

In 1861, Sir Henry Maine's celebrated book, ' Ancient 
Law,' appeared. Herein he wrote that it was difficult to say 
' what society of men had not been originally based on the 
Patriarchal Family.'^ His studies had lain chiefly in the 
law of civilised peoples, Romans, Hebrews, Greeks, Irish, 
and Hindoos ; not in the customary law of the lowest races. 
He, like Mr. Freeman, concluded that the patriarchal family, 
by aggregation of descendants (and aided by adoption ot 
outsiders, and by the ownership of the family by its Head), 
formed the gens, while the aggregation of gentes formed the 
tribe, and the aggregation of tribes made the State. But, 
as the gentes had traditions contrary to this theory, traditions 
of separate origins, he supposed that ' the incoming populace 
should feign themselves to be deduced from the same 
stock as the people on whom they were engrafted.' Thus we 
know that McUlrigs (Kennedys) of Galloway joined the 
remote Macdonnells of Moidart and Glengarry, and wore the 
Macdonnell tartan ^ (1745-1760), and so might come to pass 

' Anaient Lam, p. 132. 

■•' Major Kennedy's portrait of 1750-1760 represents him in Macdonnell 
tartan. He was an agent of Prince Charles. 


as Macdonnells, though they still regard the Marquis of 
Ailsa, a Kennedy, as their chief, at least in Eilean Shona 
(Loch Moidart). In the same way the Camerons of Glen 
Nevis, though called ' Camerons,' were really MacSorlies, a 
branch of the Macdonnells, and from the sixteenth century 
to 1754 were always on ill terms with the chief of the clan 
Cameron, Lochiel. These are very modem instances, but 
illustrate Sir Henry's theory of incomers. 

The members of the Roman tribes had traditions that they 
were not, really, of the same original blood with each other. 
Only by a fiction were they of the same blood. They did not 
all descend by natm-al increase from one patriarchal ancestor. 
There really did exist ' a variety of alien groups in a local 
tribe,' however they might all adopt the same name, and 
assert descent, in West Scotland from Somerled, let us say. 
This fact, of heterogeneousness within the 'tribe' among 
others, was so obvious and so imperfectly explained, by 
friends of the Patriarchal theory, that it occupied ' writers 
belonging to the school of so-called prehistoric inquiry,' 
as Sir Henry styled it.^ They were not satisfied with 
the theory that Society arose in the Patriarchal Family, 
based on direct descent from, and ownership by, a single 
male ancestor. To be sure a Cameron will ' cross the hill,' 
and call himself Stewart, and a Chinese immigrant into 
Australia has discreetly entitled himself Alexander Mac- 
gDlivray. But such accretions, and such legal fictions, do not 
explain the heterogeneousness of the local tribe, which, by 
the theory of some historians, is of common descent. ' Pre- 
historic inquirers' could not but notice that, among ruder 
' non-Aryan ' races of various degrees of culture, ' the family 
is radically difterent from the Patriarchal Family,' and 
suggests a different origin. 

Roughly speaking, the groups of real or fancied kindred 

among various low races exhibit the peculiarity that the 

kin-name is often inherited from the mother, not from the 

father ; that the maternal blood is stronger in determining 

' Early History of Inditutions, pp. 310, 311. 


such cases of inheritance as arise ; and that marriage is 
forbidden within the recognised limits of the maternal kin- 
ship. It was natural for inquirers to derive this condition 
of affairs, this reckoning in the female line, from a stMe of 
society in which fatherhood (owing to promiscuity, or to 
polyandry — several husbands to one wife) was notably un- 
certain. Bachofen, who first examined the problem, at- 
tributed the system to a supposed period of the Supremacy 
of Women : McLennan to dubious fatherhood, and possible 
early promiscuity. The recovery of supremacy by men, or 
the gradual advance in civilisation, especially in accumulation 
of property, would finally cause descent to be reckoned 
through the male line, as among ourselves. 

As to the question of early promiscuity— sexual relations 
absolutely unregulated — Dr. Westermarck, Mr. Crawley, and 
others have argued, and Mr. Atkinson argues, that it never 
existed, at least to any wide extent, and with any potent 
influence. We hear rumours of savages utterly promiscuous, 
say the Mincopies of the Andaman Islands, just as we hear 
of savages utterly without religion. But later and better 
evidence proves that the Andamanese have both wives and a 

Again, the lowest savages known are so far not ' promis- 
cuous,' that they recognise certain sets of women as persons 
with whom (as a general rule, subject to occasional exceptions) 
certain sets of men must have no marital relations. It was the 
opinion of Mr. Darwin, as of Mr. Atkinson, that sexual 
jealousy, from the first, must probably have been a bar to 
absolute promiscuity, even among the hjrpothetical anthropoid 
ancestors of human race. To tell the truth, our evidence on 
these points, as to existing savages, is, as usual, contradic- 

' Westermarck, Sistory of Humam, Marriage, pp. 53-57. 

^ Mr. John Mathew declares that ' jealousy is a powerful passion with 
most ahoriginal husbands ' in Australia. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, on 
the other hand, represent the aboriginal husband as one of the most 
complacent of his species, jealousy being regarded as ' churlish.' Messrs. 
Spencer and Gillen are decidedly the better authorities. Mathew, Jour. 



In these inquiries a great source of confusion arises (as 
all students must be aware) from the absence of exact termi- 
nology, of technical terms with a definite and recognised 
meaning. Thus when my friend, the late Mr. John Fergus 
McLennan, introduced the word ' Exogamy,' in ' Primitive 
Marriage ' (1865), he probably knew perfectly well what he 
meant. But he did not then, from lack of practice in an 
inquiry practically novel, and originated by himself, express 
his meaning with exactness. He at first spoke of exogamy 
as the rule ' which prohibited marriage within the tribe.' ' 
But the word ' tribe ' was later taken by Mr. McLennan to 
mean, and is now used as meaning, what cannot be a primitive 
community, a local aggregate of groups amicably occupying 
a considerable area of comitry ; say the Urabunna tribe of 
Central Australia. Mr. McLennan did not wish to say that 
exogamy forbids an Urabunna tribesman to marry an 
Urabunna tribeswoman ; he meant that exogamy prohibited 
marriage within the recognised kindred — that is, in this case, 
between members of totem kindreds of the same name, say 
Emu or Kangaroo.. This fact he later made perfectly clear. 
But meanwhile such terms as ' horde,' ' tribe,' ' sub-tribe,' 
' family,' ' gens,' ' section,' ' phratria,' ' clan,' many of them 
derived from civilised classical or Celtic usage, have been 
tossed up and down, in company with ' class,' ' division,' 
' section,' and so on, in a way most confusing.^ Odd new 
terms come from America, such as ' socialry,' ' tutelaries,' 
' ocular consanguinity,' ' ethnogamy,' ' conjugal conation,' 

Roy. Soe. N.S.W., xxiii. 404. Westermarck, p. 57. Native Tribes of 
Central Australia, p. 99. 

' Studies in Ancient History, 1876, p. 41. 

'' The late Major Powell, of the American Bureau of Ethnology, used 
gens of a totem kin with descent in the male line, olan of such a kin with 
descent in the female line, and his school follows him. Mr. Howitt, on the 
other hand, uses ' horde ' for a local community with female, ' clan ' for a 
local community with male descent. 


and so forth.^ Most perplexing it; is to find words like clan, 
family, tribe, geixs, phratry, words peculiar to civilised 
peoples, Greek, Roman, or Celtic, applied to the society of 
savages. « The term " clan " implies descent in the female 
line,' says the late Mr. Dorsey, following Major Powell ; but 
why take the Celtic tei-m ' clan,' which has no such significa- 
tion, and confer it on what is reaUy a totem kindred with 
descent in the female line .? ^ Next, ' several of the Siouan 
tribes are divided into two, and one into three sub-tribes. 
Other tribes are composed of phratries, and each sub-tribe or 
phratry comprises a number of gentes.^ Is there a distinction 
between the ' sub-tribes ' of some tribes, and the ' phratries ' 
of others, or not ? Apparently there is not, but the method 
of nomenclature is most confusing. 

I shall understand the terms which I employ, as follows : 
The tribe, speaking of the Australians, for instance, is a 
large aggregate of friendly or not hostile human groups, 
occupying a territory of perhaps a hundred square miles, and 
holding councils and meetings for social and religious 
purposes. It is so far ' endogamous ' that its members maz/ 
marry within it — that is to say, it is no more endogamous 
than the parish of Marylebone. An Urabunna man, a man 
of the Urabunna tribe, may marry an Urabunna woman — if 
no special native law interferes. He may also at pleasure 
marry, out of his tribe, say a woman of the neighbouring 
Arunta tribe, again, if no special law bars the arrangement. 
So far the tribe, the large local aggregate of groups, stands 
indiiferent. But, within the tribe, there are laws barring 
marital intercourse. First, each tribe is usually composed of 
two ' primary exogamous divisions,' or ' phratries,' so called ; 
in the case of some tribes the phratries are named ; for example, 
Matihurie and Kirarawa. Every man and woman, in such 
tribes, is either a Matthurie or a Kirarawa, and can only marry 

' ' The Seri Indians,' by W. J. McGee. Report of Btvreau of American 
Mhnology, Washington, 1898. 

''■ ' Siouan Sociology,' Report of Amerioan Etlmological Bureau, 1897, 
p. 213. 


into the opposite division, and the children follow the name of 
the mother. These two divisions are called ' primary classes ■" 
by some students ; ' phratrias ' (from the Greek (ppaTpta) by 
others; 'sub-tribes' by others; or, again, 'moieties,' or 
'groups.' I shall, in each instance, use the term ('class,' 
' phratria,' ' moiety,' ' primary exogamous division,' ' group,' 
and the like) employed by the author whose opinion I am 
discussing, though I prefer 'phratry,' as ' class' has another 
significance ; so has ' group,' &c. 

Again, the tribe contains a number of totem kindreds 
(often called ' clans ' or gentes, rather at random), that is, 
of sets of kin deriving their names from totems, plants, 
animals, or other objects in nature. To the possible origin 
of Totemism we return in a separate section. No Urabunna 
man may marry a woman of his own ' phratry,' nor of his own 
totem, and the children inherit the phratry and totem names 
from the mother. Finally, there are sets of relationships, 
roughly indicating, it would seem, seniority by generations, 
and degrees of actual or supposed kindred. Within many 
of these, which I shall style ' classes ' (they have other terms 
applied to them), marriage is forbidden. Thus there are 
bars of three several sorts on the intermarrying of an Ura- 
bunna man with an Urabunna woman. In a way, there are 
three grades of exogamous prohibitions. 

Mr. McLennan, who introduced the word ' exogamy,' 
defined it thus : ' an exogamous marriage is a marriage 
between persons of different clans of kinship, not entered into 
fortuitously, but because of law declaring it to be incest 
for a man to marry a woman of his own clan.' ^ The 
same community cannot be 'both exogamous and endoga- 
mous,' as some suppose. Thus Lord Avebury writes, ' some 
races which are endogamous as regards the tribe, are yet 
exogamous as regards the gens.' But really ' exogamy is the 
law prohibiting marriage between persons of the same blood 
or stock as incest — often under pain of death — and endogamy 
is the law prohibiting marriage except between persons of 
' Studies in Ancient History, second series, ^. 265. 


the same blood or stock.' ' In Mr. McLennan's sense I shall 
take the word ' exogamy,' while dealing with peoples appar- 
ently nearest the beginning. 

Later, when descent in the male line is established, the 
prohibition on marriage within the totem name comes to 
apply, sometimes, to marriage within the local district held by 
the men of the name. The old prohibition, we see, is to marry 
within the recognised limit of the blood kinship, or stock, 
designated by the totem name. But, as tribes advance to 
kinship through males, and as, thereby, groups of one totem 
name come to possess one region of country, it often happens 
that exogamy prohibits marriage between persons dwelling 
in that region. Whereas Grouse was forbidden to marry 
Grouse ; later, the Grouse living together, say in Corradale, 
the exogamous prohibition takes the shape 'persons dwell- 
ing in Corradale must marry out of Corradale.' The name 
marking the exogamous limit is now, in such cases, local, but 
the prohibition is derived from the older tabu on marriage 
between ' persons of the same blood or stock ' — all those in 
Corradale being conceived to share the same blood or stock. 
This origin of ' local exogamy ' must be kept in mind, other- 
wise confusion will arise. There are a few cases, even in 
Australia, where even local exogamy has become obsolete, 
and marriage, as with ourselves, is prohibited between persons 
of near kindred simply. 

Now, if I may venture to interpret the mind of Mr. John 
Fergus McLennan, I conceive that he regarded the totemic 
division as older than the ' phratry ' or the ' class ' bar, and he 
thought it the oldest traceable exogamous limit. Not to 
marry within the totem name (no male Emu to marry 
a female Emu) was, in Mr. McLennan's opinion, the most 
archaic marriage law.^ This appears from the words of 

' Studies m Ancient History, second series, p. 46. In an appendix to Mr. 
Morgan's Ancient Society, Mr. McLennan's terms are severely criticised. 

^ I shall call each set indicated by a totem name a ' totem group,' if 
the members live together ; a ' totem kin,' if they are scattered through the 


Mr. McLennan's brother, Mr. Donald McLennan.^ He 
writes : ' As the theory of the Origin of Exogamy took shape, 
and the facts connected reduced themselves to form in his 
mind, the conclusion was reached that the system conveniently 
called " Totemism "... must have existed in rude societies, 
prior to the origin of Exogamy.^ This carried back the 
origin of Totemism to a state of mind in which no idea of 
incest existed. From that condition my brother hoped to 
trace the progress of Totemism — necessarily a progress up- 
wards — in connection with kinship and Exogamy. It may 
here be said that he had for a time a hypothesis of the origin 
of Totemism, but that he afterwards came to see that there 
were conclusive reasons against it.' 

Meanwhile may we not, then, assume that, in Mr. 
McLennan's opinion, the earliest traceable human aggregate 
within which matrimony was legally forbidden was the totem 
kin, indicated by the totem name, the totem tabu, and the 
totem badge, or symbol — where it existed ? 

We now see how heterogeneous elements came to exist in 
the tribe of locality, a puzzle to the friends of the theory of 
the Patriarchal Family. For the nature of totemism, ^Zjm 
exogamy and female descent, is obviously such that under 
totemism, each family group even (each ' fire circle ' of men, 
wives, and children), must contain persons of different totems. 
The father and mother must be of different totems (persons 
of the same totem not intermarrying), and the children must 
inherit the totem either of the father or of the mother.^ 
When paternal kinship is not only recognised (as, in 
practical life, it always is), but becomes exclusive in its 
influence on customary law, and when an approach to the 
Patriarchal Family, with the power of the patriarch, is 
evolved, all the members of the family in all its branches 
will (if Totemism persists) have the same totem ; derived 

' The Patriar(Aal Theory, pp. 6, 7, 1885. 

* Meaning by Exogamy, not a mere tendency to marry out of the group, 
but a customary law with a religious sanction. 

' Here the unusual case of the Arunta offers an exception to the rule ■ 
a point to be discussed later 


from the father. Thus there will now be a local totem 
group, a group mainly of the same totem name, as is practi- 
cally the case in parts of Central Australia.^ 

It is necessary to xmderstand this clearly. Take a very 
early group, in a given district ; suppose it, at first, to be 
anonymous, and let it later be called the Emu group. So 
far, all members of the group will be Emus, they will form 
an Emu local group. But, next, suppose that there are many 
neighbouring groups, also at first anonymous ; let them later 
be styled Rat, Cat, Bat, Sprat. Suppose that each such 
group now (for reasons to be indicated later) takes its wives 
not from within itself, but from all the other groups ; that 
these women bring into the Emu group their group names ; 
and that their children inherit their names from their mothers. 
Then the name, ' Emu group, 'will cling to that local aggre- 
gate, as such ; but, in time, the members of the Emu group will 
all be, say, Rats, Cats, Bats, and Sprats, so called from the 
group-names of their alien mothers. Suppose that, for one 
reason or another, children at last come to inherit their 
names and totems from their fathers. Then a Cat father 
will have Cat children, though his wives may still be of dif- 
ferent totems, and his sons' children will also be Cats, and so 
the local group will become mainly, if not wholly, a group of 
one totem, the Cat. The Arimta of Central Australia do trace 
kinship in the male line, and thus there is ' one area which 
belongs to the Kangaroo men, another to Emu men, another 
to Hakea flower men,' and so on. This has reached such a 
pitch that ' in speaking of themselves the natives will refer to 
these local groups,' not by the prevalent totem names in each, 
but ' by the name of the locality which each of them inhabits,' 
namely, as men of the Iturkawura camp, and so on.^ Thus 
we might say ' the Glen Nevis men,' ' the Corradale men,' and 
so on. 

Thus we begin with an anonymous group, or group of 
imknown name, a local group. We introduce Totemism, 
and that group becomes a local group with a totem name. 
> Spencer and Gillen, pp. 8-10. " lUd. pp. 8-9. 


Granting exogamy (prohibition of marriage within the group), 
and reckoning in the female line, it soon developes into a 
local group made up of various totems, but, at first, as a 
local group, it probably retains its original totem name among 
its neighbom-s. Reckoning, still later, through the male line, 
we again meet, as at first, a local totem group, but already 
Totemism is on the wane, and the groups are soon to be called 
by the territorial names of their lands. At this stage totem 
names are tending to decay, and the next step will probably 
be to style the group by the name of some remembered, or 
mythical, male ancestor, such as ' children of Donald ' — 

Thus if, at a given time, the name of a certain male 
ancestor is substituted, as ' eponymous,' for the totem name, 
or the district name, we shall find a local group of, say, Sons 
of Donald, into which other groups. Sons of Sorlie, or Ulrig, 
will enter, as occasion serves, and be more or less absorbed. 
A State may at last arise, say, ' Sons of Israel.' 

We are not assuming, however, that all human societies 
have passed through the totemistic and exogamous stages. 


But what was the original unit, the totem group, or other 
division outside of which alone could marriages be arranged ? 
And why was the totem name the limit ? Returning to 
Mr. Donald McLennan's account of the opinions which his 
brother did not live to set forth, Totemism arose ' in a state 
of man in which no idea of incest existed.' On this theory, 
I presume, there would be totem groups before exogamy 
arose ; before it was reckoned ' incest ' to marry within 
the totem name. This, as we shall see, appears to be some- 
times the opinion of the best Australian authorities, Messrs. 
Fison and Howitt, and Messrs. Spencer and Gillen. It is 
also the theory of Arunta tradition. The totem belief, as 
it now exists, imposes many tabus : you may not (as a rule) 
kill, eat, or use the plant or animal which is your totem ; 
still less perhaps, in the long run, may you ' use,' sexually, a 


woman of your totem. If this, or a kindred totem tabu, is 
the origin of exogamy, then to exogamy (as a law, though 
not necessarily as a tendency) the totem is prior in time. 
But I have no reason to suppose that Mr. McLennan ever 
regarded the totem tabu as the origin of exogamy. In his 
published works he offers another theory, not commonly 

But the important thing to note is that exogamy may 
conceivably (contrary to Mr. McLennan's opinion, but in 
accordance with that of Mr. Atkinson) have existed, or 
rather tended to exist, before totems arose ; much more, then, 
previous to the evolution of totem flames, of totem tabu, 
and of the idea of incest, as a sin, or mystic misdeed, and as 
an offence to the totem — a religious offence to God, or to 
ancestral spirits. Persons may have been forbidden to marry 
within their local group, their ' fire circle ' before that group 
had a totem, or a totem name, and they may have been for- 
bidden for reasons piu-ely secular, to which the totem later 
lent a sanction, and a definite limit. Thus Mr. Tylor, our 
most sagacious guide in all such problems, writes ' Exogamy 
can and does exist without Totemism, and for all we know 
was originally independent of it.' ' 

It is part of my argument that exogamous tendencies, at 
least — that is, a habit of seeking female mates outside of the 
fire-circle — ^may very well have prevailed before any human 
group had even a totemic name. But exogamous tendencies are 
not, of coiu-se, the same thing as exogamy strictly defined, and 
sanctioned by religious or superstitious fear, and by secular 
penalties inflicted by the tribe. Against the notion that 
exogamy may have been prior to Totemism, Mr. Robertson 
Smith argued that very early man would not be restrained 
from marriages by such an abstract idea as that of kindred — 
' not to marry your near kin ' — while the idea of kindred was 
still fluid, and not yet crystallised around the totem name.^ 
But, without thinking of kindred by blood, perhaps without 

' ' Remarks on Totemism,' Jmr. Anthrop. Inst., August, November, 1898. 
2 Ximhvp in Early Arabia, p. 187. 



recognising consanguinity (though it must have been 
recognised very soon), early man may have decided that 
' thou shalt not marry within this local group or crowd, of 
which I am head.' Nothing abstract in that ! There was 
no tribal law — there were as yet (I suppose) no tribes— only 
the will of the head of each small set of people practically en- 
forced exogamy. 

We can have no certainty on this point, for we know of 
no pre-totemic race, no people who certainly have not yet 
entered into the totemic stage. Any such people, probably, 
in the remote past, had no idea of incest as a sin, or of 
exogamy as a law sanctioned by a tabu. But they may 
have, at least, had a strong tendency to marry outside of the 
circle of the hearth, the wandering hearth of homeless nomads 
ranging after food. 

The reader of Mr. Atkinson's treatise will find that this 
kind of exogamy — marriage outside the local group — would, 
on his theory, be the rule, even when no idea of blood 
kindred, or of incest as a sin, need have arisen ; and no totem, 
or anything else, had yet been named. The cause of the pro- 
hibition would, in Mr. Atkinson's opinion, be the sexual 
jealousy of the hjrpothetical patriarchal anthropoid male 
animal ; and, later, the sexual jealousy of his adult male off- 
spring, and of the females. Still later the group, already in 
practice exogamous, would accept the totem name, marking 
off the group from others, and the totem name, snipe, 
wolf, or what not, would become, for the time, the exogamous 
limit. No man and woman of the same totem name could 
intermarry. Still later, a myth of kinship with the totem 
would arise, and would add the religious sanction of a 

A prohibition may perhaps have arisen very early, even 
if Mr. Atkinson's hypothesis (that the rule of marriage out- 
side the group arose in a state of brutality) be rejected. 
' The origin of bars to marry is, in fact, complex,' writes Mr. 
Crawley. A dislike of man-iage with a group-mate, familiar, 


through contiguity, from infancy, may have been developed 
among early men ; '^ and may have been reinforced by the 
probably later superstitions which create ' sexual tabu,' and 
mutual avoidance, among many existing peoples. Men and 
women are, by savages, conceived to be mysteriouslj' perilous 
to each other, especially when they live in close contiguity. 
Mr. Crawley also allows for Mr. Atkinson's main factor, 
jealousy, ' proprietary feeling, which is one crude means by 
which the family has been regulated and maintained.' ^ If 
these things were so (whether we go back to Mr. Atkinson's 
semi-brutal ancestors, or not), then, contrary to Mr. Donald 
McLennan's opinion, and to general opinion, it would not 
' appear to be possible to demonstrate that Totemism preceded 
exogamy,' or at least preceded the exogamous tendency. For,, 
in the first place, exogamy might conceivably tend to arise 
before the explicit idea of kinship— whether male or female — 
arose. Mr. Atkinson's ' primal law ' would be unuttered in 
speech (speech, by his theory, there was none), but would 
amount to this : ' I, the patriarchal bull of this herd, will do 
my best to kill you, the adult young bulls, if you make any 
approaches to any of the cows in this crowd.' There is no 
notion of ' incest,' but there is jealousy, producing the germ 
of exogamy. The young bulls must find mates outside of 
the local herd — or do without. This rule persisted, on Mr. 
Atkinson's theory, till the hypothetical anthropoid became a 
man, and named his group (or had it named for him, as I 
later suggest) by a totem name. 

But real human and speaking beings might enforce mar- 
riage outside of the group, though they did not perhaps 
think explicitly of kindred (or, at least, did not think the idea 
fully out), stiU less of ' incest,' as sin. Mr. McLennan's 
theory, as given in his works, was partly identical with that 
of Mr. Atkinson. ' The earliest human groups can have had 
no idea of kinship ' — they must, therefore, have been rather 

' But, as Dr. Durkheim says, man and wife might soon abandon each 
other, if familiarity breeds contempt. 

2 Journal of the Anthropologieal Imtitute, May, 1895, p. 444. 



low savages. ' But,' he said, ' they were held together by a 
feelmg of kinship,' not yet risen into explicit consciousness. 
Cat and kitten have, probably, &Jeeling of kinship, and that 
feeling is very strong, while it lasts, in the maternal cat, while 
between semi-human mothers and children, arriving so very 
slowly at matmity, mother-kin must have been consciously 
realised very early. Mr. McLennan then showed the stages 
by which the savage would gradually, by reflection, reach 
explicit consciousness of female kinship, of mother-relation- 
ship, sister and brother relationship, and all the degrees of 
female kin. 

But Mr. Fison and others have argued powerfully against 
i;his theory. '^ Moreover, we find male relationships, as we 
saw — ' descent counted in the male line ' — among the Arunta 
of Central Australia, whom Mr. J. G. Frazer regarded, in 
1899, as actually ' primitive ; ' while the neighbours of the 
Arunta, the Urabunna, reckon through the female line.* 
Mr. Crawley, for various reasons, says, 'the famous Matri- 
archal theory' (the prepotency and dominion of women) 
' was as exaggerated in its early forms as was the Patriarchal. 
. . . It is a method of tracing genealogy, more convenient in 
polygamous societies and more natural in primitive times 
when the close connection of mother and child during the 
early days of infancy emphasises the relation.' ^ Dr. Wester- 
marck argues to a similar effect.'' His motive is to discredit 
the theory of promiscuity, and consequent uncertainty of 
fatherhood, as the cause of reckoning on the spindle side. 
But the Arunta, who reckon on the sword side, actually do 
not even know that children are the result of sexual inter- 
course, according to Messrs. Spencer and Gillen. How they 
can have any idea of blood-kinship at all is, therefore, the 
mystery. It may perhaps be argued that they have none. 
But these ignorant Arunta reckon descent through the male 

' Kamila/roi and Kurnai, p. 132. 1880. 

^ Spencer and Gillen, p. 70. Frazer, Fortnightly Hevierv, April, May, 

3 The Mystic Rose, p. 460. * History of Human Marriage, pp. 105-113. 


line — while the Royal Plots, in early Scotland, infinitely 
more civilised, reckoned by the female line. 

For myself, I still incline to the opinion ' that the 
reckoning of descent through the woman is the more archaic 
method, and the method that, certainly, tends to dwindle 
and disappear, as at last it did among the Picts. This 
applies to human society, not to that of Mr. Atkinson's 
hypothesis, in which the question is not of kin, but of pro- 
perty. ' Every female in my crowd is my sole property,' 
says — or feels — Mr. Atkinson's patriarchal anthropoid, and 
the patriarch gives expression to his sentiment with teeth 
and claws, if he has not yet learned to double up his fistj 
with a stone in it. ' These were early days.' 


In any case, Mr. McLennan's hypothetical first groups, 
like Mr. Atkinson's, were very low indeed. They developed 
exogamy, not (as in Mr. Atkinson's theory) through sexual 
jealousy on the part of the sires, but, first, through regular 
female infanticide. This practice, being reasonable, could 
not prevail among Mr. Atkinson's anthropoids.^ Girl 
babies being mostly killed out, women became scarce. 
Neighbouring groups being hostile, brides could only be pro- 
cured by hostile capture. Each group thus stole all its 
brides and became exogamous, and marriage inside the 
group became a sin, by dint of ' a prejudice strong as a 
principle of religion.' 

This theory of Mr. McLennan's is, I think, quite unten- 
able. The prevalence of female infanticide, at the supposed 
very early stage of society, is not demonstrated, and did not 
seem probable to Mr. Darwin. Even if it existed, it could 
not create a prejudice against marrying the few women left 
within the group. Mr. McLennan, unhappily, was pre- 
vented by bad health, and death, from working out his 

> Tylor, /. A. I. xviii. 3, 254. 

' The practice however, is attributed to tame canary birds. 


hypothesis completely. His most recent statement involves 
the theory that the method of the Nairs of Malabar, living 
in polyandrous households (many men to each woman) was 
the earliest form of ' marriage.'' But people who, like the 
Nairs, dwell in large households, are far indeed from being 
'primitive.' 'A want of balance between the sexes' ledj 
Mr. McLennan held, to ' a practice of capturing women 
for wives,' and was followed by ' the rise of the law of 
exogamy.' The first prohibition would be against capturing 
women of the kindred (marked by the totem), for such 
capture, if resisted, might involve the shedding of kindred 
blood. Women being scarce, through female infanticide, 
kindred groups would not give up or sell their women to 
each other (though to the males of the groups, such women 
could not be wives), nor could women be raided from kindred 
groups, as we saw. So they would be stolen from alien 
groups, ' and so marriages with kindred women would tend 
to go into desuetude.' The introduction of captured alien 
wives would change the nature of matrimonial relations. 
Under the Nair system ' a woman would live in the house of 
her mother, and under the special guardianship and pro- 
tection of her brothers and her mother's brothers. She would 
be in a position of almost absolute independence of her 
husbands. . . .' 

But really pristine man and woman can have had no 
houses, no matriarchal rule of women. The Nairs, not being 
primitive, have houses, and their women have authority : 
pristine man was not in their condition. However, captured 
alien wives would, Mr. McLennan argues, be property, be 
slaves ; and men would find this arrangement (now obsolete) 
so charming that polyandry and the reign of woman would 
go out. The only real legal marriage would be wedlock 
with an alien, a captive, a slave woman. Marriage with a 
woman of the same stock would be a crime and a sin. It 
would be incest.^ Really it would be, at worst, concubinage. 

This theory seems untenable at every point, community 
' Studies in Ancient History, second series, pp. 57-85. 


of wives, female infanticide, household life, supremacy of 
women in the household, living -grith a non-captive wife 
reckoning as incest, and, in short, all along the line. Even 
if the prejudice against marrying native women did exist, it 
coiald not be developed into the idea of sin — granting that 
the idea of sin ah-eady existed. To be sinful, endogamy 
within the group must have offended some superstitious 
belief, perhaps the belief in the totem, with its tabu.' 


To disengage from his learned book. The Mystic Rose 
(1902), Mr. Crawley''s theory of the origin of exogamy is no 
easy task. He strongly insists on the ' religious ' element in 
all early human thought, and as in ' religion ' he includes 
the vague fears, misgivings, and ideas of ' luck,' which haunt 
even the least religious of modern men, we may say that 
' religion,'' in this sense, mingles with the thought of all ages. 
The present writer, like Dr. Johnson, is an example of the 
' religious ' character, and of Mr. Crawley's remark that 
'human nature remains potentially primitive.' To the 
' religious ' man or woman (using ' religious ' in this sense) 
the universe is indeed a thing of delicate poise, and may 
' break, and bring down death,' if we walk under a ladder, 
or spill the salt, or enter a doorway with the wrong foot fore- 
most, or fail to salute a magpie, or the new moon. The 
superstitious anthropologist, of course, knows that all these 
apprehensions of his are utterly absurd, but the savage is 
careful and troubled about them. The Philistine, on the 
other hand, is proud of his conquest of these airy terrors : he 
' cannot imagine what people mean by such nonsense,' and, 
exactly so far as he is sincere, he cannot comprehend early 

Now, as to exogamy, our difficulty is to understand why 
breach of the rule against certain marriages is, everywhere, 
so deadly a sin : so black an offence against ' religion.' Mr. 
' Cf. Cnstom and Mytli (A. L.), p. 258. 


Crawley's explanation is not, perhaps, easily to be disengaged 
from the mass of his work, but it begins in his appreciation 
of the BsiatSaifiovia of early men, their ever-present sense 
of ' religious ' terrors. ' Thus all persons are potentially 
dangerous to others, as well as potentially in danger . . . ." 
This sense of peril arises ' in virtue simply of the distinction 
between a man and his fellows.' Much more, then, are 
women dangerous to men, and men to women, the sexes being 
so distinct from each other. We know that the most extra- 
ordinary precautions are taken to avoid contact with women 
in certain circumstances, and a well-known story of Sir John 
MandeviUe's is only one case of the fact that the bridegrooms 
of some races, from a superstitious terror, insist on being made 
cocus en herhe. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen give the instance of 
' the marriage ceremony ' (an odious brutality) among the 
Arunta of Central Australia.^ It is perhaps intended to 
deliver the bridegroom from a peril imagined by superstition 
(as in Mandeville's tale) ; ' and, without it, the Australian 
would resemble the man derided in the old Scottish song : 

The Bridegroom grat when the sun gaed doon. 

Thus a ' religious ' dread attaches among savages (the 
theory holds) to all marriages ; all are novelties, new steps in 
life, and therefore are so far ' sinful ' that they involve a 
peril, vague but awful, the creation of superstition. Marri- 
ages contrary to the exogamous rule, are only especially and 
inexplicably bad cases of the ' sin ' — that is, mystic danger — of 
marital relations in general, as I understand Mr. Crawley. 
Marriage ceremonies of every kind are devised to avoid ' sin,' 
as our Marriage Service candidly states, using ' sin ' in the 
Christian sense of the word. But there are savage marriages, 
those forbidden by the law of exogamy, which, as a general 
rule, no ceremony can render other than sinful. So great 
and terrible is the danger of such marriages — namely, among 

• Mystic Rose, p. 31. '' Spencer and Gillen, pp. 92-93. 

' Lord Avebury's view that the ' rite ' implies compensation to the 
other males of the community will be considered later. 


many savages, between persons of the same totem, that it 
threatens the whole community, just as the marriage of 
Charles I. with a Catholic bride caused the Plague, according 
to the Rev. Mr. Row, and therefore such unions are punished 
by the death penalty, and are but seldom left to the auto- 
matic vengeance of the tabu. Foremost in this black list of 
sins are the unions of brothers and sisters of the full blood, 
though, we must remember, these are not more heavily 
punished than marriage between a man and woman of the 
same totem, even if the pair come together from opposite 
ends of the continent, and are not blood relations at all. 
Why is this ? 

As I understand Mr. Crawley, the sexes, in savagery, 
avoid each other's society in everyday life, partly from 
' sexual tabu ' — the result of the superstitions already 
indicated ; partly because of ' sexual solidarity,'' perhaps 
even" of ' sexual antipathy.' In fact, men and women are 
often very much in each other's way. We do not want 
women in our clubs and smoking-rooms — nor do savages — 
and we despise a man who lurks in drawing-rooms when his 
fellows are out of doors ; a man who is a pillar of luncheon 
parties and of afternoon tea. But this separation of the 
sexes is especially rigid between the children of the same 
hearth, even among nomads. The boys go with the father, 
the girls with the mother. The manlike apes have the same 
ideas. ' Diard was told by the Malays, and he foimd it 
afterwards to be true, that the young Siamangs, when in 
their helpless state, are carried about by their parents, the 
males by the father, the females by the mother.' ' The nests 
. . . are only occupied by the female and young, the male 
passing the night in a fork of the same tree or another tree 
in the vicinity.' ^ 

These facts of ape etiquette would, to use an Elizabethan 
phrase, have been ' nuts ' to Mr. Atkinson, and prove that 
sexual separation of the children is a very early institution. 

1 Westermarck, p. 13. Citing Brehin, ' Thierleben,' i. 97, Proceedings 
JR. 0.8. xvi. 177. 


In Australia, New Caledonia, and other countries, brothers 
and sisters must not even speak to each other, and must 
avoid each other utterly. Thus the danger and ' sin ' of the 
most innocent intercourse between brothers and sisters is 
emphasised ; much more awful, then, are matrimonial unions 
of brother and sister. ' The extension ' (of this idea) ' by 
the use of relationships produces the various forms of 
exogamy,' says Mr. Crawley.^ There are difficulties here; 
for example, Mr. Crawley tells us that incest did not ' need 
prevention,' though the rules of brother-and-sister avoidance 
seem really to mean that it did, or was thought to do so (but 
perhaps only superstitious dread of ordinary intercourse caused 
the rule ?), and though we know of regions where such incest, in 
early youth, is said to be universal.'^ ' Such incest,' says Mr. 
Crawley, ' is prevented by the psychological difficulty with 
which love comes into play between persons either closely 
associated, or strictly separated before the age of puberty. . . .' ^. 
Now we know that lust does come into play — for example, 
among the Annamese — between brothers and sisters not closely 
separated ; and we also know that, the more persons are 
' strictly separated,' the more does the novelty and romance, 
when they do meet, produce natural attraction, as between 
Romeo and Juliet. Incest among the young is really pre- 
vented by the religious horror with which, by most peoples, 
it is regarded ; as well as, among the civilised, by the constant 
and sacred familiarity of family life. The bare idea of it can 
only occur, as a desirable notion, to a boyish revolutionary, like 
Shelley, or to minds congenitally depraved. 

Again, men and women of the same totem have no 
' avoidances ' forced upon them, as far as I know (and, as 
they may not marry, this is an oversight) ; yet their marriages 
are as terribly sinful as mamages between brother and sister 
of the full blood. Mr. Crawley writes, ' Obviously the one 
invariable antecedent in all exogamous systems, indeed in all 
man'iage systems, is the prohibition of marriage " within the 

jo Itose, p. 443. ' Westermarck, p. 292. ' Mystic Bose, p. 222. 


house." ' But, we reply, A (a male) and B (a female), of the 
same totem, may never have been in the same house, or in 
the same degree of latitude and longitude, before they met 
and fell in love. As to ' house,' houses they may have none. 
Yet their union is a deadly sin. Mr. Robertson Smith 
is said to have 'set the question in the right direction,' 
when he wrote, ' whatever is the origin of bars to marriage, 
they certainly are early associated with the feeling that it is 
indecent for house-mates to intermarry.' ^ 

But what is early need not be primary. 

Again, if Mr. Crawley reads on, he will find, I think, 
that the context of Mr. Robertson Smith's argument shows 
him not to have held that exogamy arose in ' the feeling that 
it is indecent for " house-mates " ' (or tent-mates) ' to marry.' 
For Mr. Robertson Smith adds, ' it will not do to turn this 
argument roimd, and say that the pre-Islamic law of bars to 
marriage may have arisen ... in virtue of a custom that 
every wife and her children shall have their own tent.' In 
any case, we cannot speak of ' house-mates ' before there were 
houses. But if for ' house-mates ' we read ' hearth-mates,' 
then no sense of ' indecency,' as on Mr. Crawley's theory, 
need necessarily attend their marriage, for hearth-mates may 
be of different totems, derived from different mothers, and 
may be marriageable enough, at least as far as totem law is 
concerned. A, male, an Emu, marries B, a Bandicoot, and 
C, a Grub. His children by B have the Bandicoot totem, 
his children by C have the Grub totem. As far as totem law 
goes, these children may intermarry, but this is not allowed in 
practice to-day. Mr. Mathews says, of the Kamilaroi, 'in 
order to prevent such a close marriage ' (of brother and sister 
on the father's side), ' every tribe has strict social customs, 
founded upon public opinion, which will not tolerate the 
union of a man with a woman whose blood relationship is 
considered too near.' ^ Australian ethics, long trained under 
the old totem and phratry prohibitions, are now sufficiently 

' JKinship amd Marriage in Early Arabia, p. 170. 
"- ProG. Roy. Sno. N.S. W. xxxi. 166. 


enlightened to reject unions which we also forbid. But it 
cannot have been so in the beginning, or the totem and 
phratry tabus on marriage would have had no occasion to 
exist. It would have sufficed to say, ' Thou shalt not marry 
thy sister, or mother,' and the totemic rule would have been 
a cumbrous superfluity. Superfluous it would have been, even 
under the hypothetical ' group marriage system,' where the 
law would have run ' Thou shalt not marry thy group-sister 
or group-mother.' 

While Mr. Matthews gives a kind of bye-law, forbidding 
marriage, under female descent, with the paternal half-sister, 
Mr. Fison avers that the Kamilaroi do allow such imions. 
' It is marriage within a phratria,' but not within a totem. ^ 
The fact was denied, or at least questioned, by many corre- 
spondents, but Mr. Fison believed it to be authentic. ' The 
natives justified it on the ground that the parties were not 
of the same mudji ' (totem). Apparently these natives, who 
let a man marry his father's daughter, had not arrived at an 
objection to unions of ' too near flesh.' But mere decadence, 
under European whisky, may be the explanation. Mr. 
Matthews denies, as we saw, what Mr. Fison asserts, as to the 
Kamilaroi. Mr. Crawley writes, ' if we apply to the word 
" indecent " the connotation of sexual tabu . . . and if we 
understand by " house-mates " those upon whom sexual 
tabu concentrates, we have explained exogamy.' ^ 

Scarcely, for sexual tabu against marriage, in fact, now, at 
least, concentrates on people of near kin, and on totem-mates, 
man and woman of the same totem, and they may be ' house- 
mates,' or ' hearth-mates,' or they may not (in polygamous 
society), and the hearth-mates (as far as the totem rule goes, 
but not now in practice) may thus be intermarriageable, as 
not of the same totem, while totem-mates, from opposite 
ends of a continent, are not intermarriageable (except in the 
peculiar case of the Arunta and cognate tribes). 

But Mr. Crawley may reply that each totem, originally, 
did really pertain to all members of each small local group, 

' Eamila/rai and Knrnai, pp. 42, 46, 47, 115. ' Mystio Rose, p. 443. 


and that the totem prohibition was extended, later, to all 
groups of the same totem name, however distant in space. 
Thus according to the Euahlayi blacks there were originally 
no totem names, but the divine Baiame gave them to mortals 
with the rule that no pair of the same totem name were to 
marry, 'however far apart their hunting grounds.' Thus 
considered, the tabu which forbids an Emu man to marry 
an Emu woman, would mean no more, originally, than 
that marriage between persons living in the close contiguity 
of the same local group (in this case the Emu group) was 
forbidden. There might be no original intention of prohibit- 
ing marriage with a person of an Emu group, dwelling a 
thousand miles away ; probably no such group was known to 
exist. The original meaning of exogamous law, I repeat, 
would be merely ' you must not marry a hearth-mate,' — or a 
' house-mate,' in Mr. Crawley's phrase — the hearth-mates, in 
this particular instance, being delimited by the name ' Emu.' 
So far my conjecture agrees with that of Mr. Crawley. The 
extension of the prohibition to persons of the same totem- 
name, however remote their homes and alien their blood, I 
am content to regard as a later kind of accidental corollary. 
There came to be totem kins of the same name, far remote, 
and thus, as it were casually, the law acquired an unpremedi- 
tated sweep and scope, including persons not really of the 
same group or blood, only of the same name. 

But why was there originally any objection at aU to 
marrying the most accessible bride, the female hearth-mate .'' 
Here, as I have tried to show, Mr. Crawley would explain 
by his idea of sexual tabu. All men are regarded with super- 
stitious dread by all women, and vice versa ; above all, as a 
daily danger, the men, or women living in close contiguity 
must avoid each other. To keep them apart all sorts of 
tabus and avoidances are invented, including the tabu on 
their marriage. 

This is a plausible and taking theoiy, and I am far from 
arguing that it cannot be a true theory. But the insuper- 
able difficulty of deciding arises from the circumstance that 


we know nothing at all about the intellectual condition of 
the more or less human beings among whom the prohibition 
of marriage within the group first arose. Were they advanced 
enough to be capable of such a superstitious dread of each 
other as the supposed cause of the prohibition takes for 
granted ? Males and females, among the lower animals, have 
no such superstition. It requires human imagination. On 
the other hand, animal jealousy was well within their reach, 
and Mr. Atkinson derives the original prohibition of marriage 
within the group from the sheer sexual jealousy of the animal- 
patriarch. In his opinion the consequent aversion to such 
wedlock crystallised into a habit, as the race advanced to- 
wards full humanity. 

Even before his anthropoid clients were completely 
human, the group would be replete with children of females 
not of the full group blood, captives, and therefore these 
children (if blood kin through females were regarded) wotild 
be eligible as wives. But this would not yet, of course, be 
understood. Perhaps it would not be fully understood till 
the totem name was given to, and accepted by, each group, 
and so there was a definite mark set on each woman brought 
in from without the group, and on her children, who bore 
her totem name. After that, each totem group obviously 
contained members of other totems, and those, being now 
recognised by their mother's totem names, were technically 
intermarriageable. What had been a group not explicitly 
conscious of its own heterogeneous elements, became, in fact, 
an assemblage of recognised heterogeneousness, capable of 
finding legal brides within itself, and no longer under the 
necessity (had it understood) of capturing brides from with- 
out in hostile fashion. Such an assemblage would,iOr might, 
come to consist of families, dwelling, or rather wandering, 
within a given region, all on terms of friendship and mutual 
aid. I take it that, by this time, improved weapons and in- 
struments, and improved skill, enabled groups larger than 
the small original groups to live in a given area. In fact, the 
group would, or might, be a small local ' tribe,' but, probably, 


was unconscious of the circumstance. If conscious, one cause 
of hostility among the groups was at an end, there was no 
necessity for stealing women, a system of peaceful betrothals 
within the group might now arise, though certain facts, to 
be dealt with later, raise a presumption, perhaps, that this 
relatively peaceful state of life did not appear until two of 
the original local totem groups coalesced in connuhium, inter- 
marrying with each other, in fact becoming ' phratries.' 

To produce the new condition of affairs, two factors were 
necessary : first, a means of distinguishing the captured women 
within every group from each other, and from the group into 
which they were brought by captive. This means of distinc- 
tion was afforded by the totem names. Next, a recognition 
of kinship was needed, and this was supplied, let us conjec- 
ture, by naming the children of each of the captive women 
after the totem name of the group from which she was 
captured. If all the children indiscriminately were called by 
the totem name (say Emu) of the local group into which 
their mothers had been brought — that is, by the totem name 
of their fathers — there would be no recognisable hetero- 
geneity within that group, and so there would be, within the 
local group, no possible wives, under the exogamous rule. 
Whether polyandry then existed, or not, still all the fathers 
were of one local totem name, say Emu, and children could only 
be differentiated by styling them after the totem names of their 
alien mothers. This is usually done among the savages who 
are least advanced, but not among the Arunta, whose totem 
names, as we shall see, by a curious divergence, do not 
indicate stock, but are derived from a singular superstition 
about ancestral spirits, of various totems, incarnating them- 
selves in each new-bom child; 

Mr. McLennan, in Primitive Marriage (1865), had arrived 
at conclusions very like these. The primitive groups ' were 
assumed to be homogeneous. . . . While as yet there was no 
system of kinship, the presence of captive women in a horde ' 
(group I, ' in whatever numbers, could not introduce a system 
of betrothals ' — the women and their children not yet being 


differentiated from each other, and from the group in which 
they lived. Mr; McLennan, in 1865, did not ask how these 
women ever came to be distinctly differentiated, each from 
each, and from the group which held them, though that 
differentiation was a necessary prelude to the recognition of 
kindred through these women. But presently, in his Studies 
of Totemism (1869), he found, whether he observed the fact 
or not, the means of differentiation. Differentiation became 
possible after, and not before, each primitive group received 
a totem name, retained by its captive women within each 
group to which they were carried, a name to be inherited by 
their children in each case. 

He says, ' heterogeneity as a statical force can only have 
come into play when a system of kinship led the hordes to 
look on the children of their foreign women as belonging to 
the stocks of their mothers.' That was impossible, before 
the totem or some equivalent system of naming foreign 
groups arose, a circumstance not easily observed till Mr. 
McLennan himself opened the way to the study of Totem- 

It thus appears that Mr. Crawley's theory of exogamy 
and mine are practically identical in essence (if I rightly 
interpret him). The original objection was to the intermar- 
riage of the young of the group of contiguity, the hearth- 
mates. If there was but one male of the elder generation in 
the group of contiguity, these young people would be brothers 
and sisters. If there were two or more males of the elder 
generation, brothers, the group would include cousins, who 
(even before the totem name was accepted by the group) would 
also be forbidden to intermarry. When the totem name was 
accepted, cousins, children of brother and sister, and even 
brothers and sisters, children of one father, by wives of 
different totems, would be, technically, intermarriageable : 
though their marriages may, in practice, have been forbidden 
because they were still of the group of contiguity, and as such 
bore its local totem name, say. Emu, while, by the mother's 
' See Studies in Ancient History, pp. 183-186. 


totem name, they may have been Bats, or Cats, or anything. 
Where I must differ from Mr. Crawley is in doubting whether 
at this hypothetical early stage, the superstitions which pro- 
duce ' sexual tabu ^ had arisen. We cannot tell ; but 
certainly, as soon as the totem name had given rise to the 
myth that the totem, in human beings as in animals and 
plants, was inviolable — the beast or plant of the totem blood 
not to be killed or eaten, ^ the woman of the totem name not 
to be touched — so soon would endogamy, marriage within 
the totem, be a sin, incest. This it would be ; the totem 
tabu once established, whether sexual tabu, or sexual jealousy, 
or both, caused the first prohibition, not to marry group 
mates. Here we may briefly advert to Dr. Westermarck's 
theory of exogamy, though it interrupts the harmonious issue 
of our speculations. 


As to exogamy, Dr. Westermarck explains it by ' an 
instinct ' against marriage of near kin. Om- ancestors who 
married near kin would die out, he thinks, and they who 
avoided such unions would survive, 'and thus an instinct 
would be developed,' ^ by ' Natural Selection.' But why did 
any of our ancestors avoid such marriages at all ? From ' an 
aversion to those with whom they lived.' And why had they 
this aversion .'' Because they had an instinct against such 
unions. Then why had they an instinct ? We are engaged 
in a vicious circle. ' Lastly it is not scientific to use the 
term instinct of this kind of thing.' ^ 

MR. morgan's theory 

As to Mr. Morgan's theory, in his Ancient Society (1877), 
of a movement of sanitary and moral reform, which led to 
prohibition of ' consanguine marriages ' I shall return to it 

' This is the view of Dr. Durkheim, who explains the blood 
superstition. Cf. Reinach, L' Anthropologie, x. 65. 
^ Higtory of Hwnan Marriage, p. 352. 
' Compare Mr. Crawley, Mystic Moge, pp. 444-446. 



in a later part of this essay (' Other Bars to Marriage '). 
Here it will be found that Mr. Morgan is the source of 
certain other theories which we are to discuss, a fact involv- 
ing a certain amount of repetition of arguments already 


We conclude, provisionally, that exogamy, for various 
reasons of sexual jealousy, and perhaps of sexual superstition, 
and of sexual indifference to persons familiar from infancy, 
may, at least, have tended to arise while each little human 
group was anonymous ; before the acceptance of totem 
names by local groups. But this exogamous tendency, if it 
existed, must have been immensely reinforced and sweepingly 
defined when the hitherto anonymous groups, coming to be 
known by totem names, evolved the totem superstitions 
and tabus. Under these, I suggest, exogamy became fully 
developed. Marriage was forbidden, amours were forbidden 
(there are exceptional cases), within the totem name. This 
law barred, of course, marital relations between son and 
mother, between brother and sister, but, just as it stood, 
permitted incest between father and daughter, so long as the 
totem name was inherited from the mother. But that form 
of incest, in turn, came to be barred by another set of savage 
rules, which, whatever their origin, prohibit marriage within 
the generation. That set of rules, noted specially in Australia 
and North America, is part of what is usually styled ' The 
Class System.' 




Under this name appear to be blended, (1) the prohibition 
to marry within a division, which, in its simplest form, is said 
to cut the tribe into two ' classes ' or ' phratries,' or ' groups ; ' ^ 
(2) the prohibition to marry within the totem name ; (3) the 
prohibition to marry within the generation, and within certain 
recognised degrees (' classes,' ' sections ') of real or inferred 
kinship — ' too near flesh,' too close consanguinity, which, in 
their present condition, many Australian tribes undoubtedly 
regard as a bar to matrimony. But it does not follow that 
they originally held this opinion. 

We shall first examine what authorities who differ from 
me, call the great ' bisection ' of the tribe, into, say, Matthurie 
and Kirarawa, members of which must intermarry, the totem . 
prohibition also remaining in force. It will here be sug- 
gested, in accordance with what has already been said, but 
contrary to general opinion, that the totemic prohibition is 
earlier than the prohibition of marriage between persons of 
the same segment of the ' bisection.' The opinions of most 
students appear, at present, to be divided thus. We hear 

1. The exogamous division into two moieties, or 'phra- 
tries,' is earlier than the division of each into numerous 
totem kins. The totem kins are regarded as later 'subdivi- 
sions ' of, or additions to, the two ' original ' moieties. 

2. Totem groups are earlier than the ' bisection ' (though 

' Apparently, among the Kamilaroi, members of the same phratry may 
intermarry, avoiding unions in their own totems. Mathews (_Proc. Bm/. 
Soo. N.S. W. xxxi. 161, 162). Mr. Mathews calls a ' phratry ' a ' group.' 

D 2 


somehow, according to the same authors, the two moieties 
of the bisection bore totem names), but, before the ' bisec- 
tion,' these totem groups were not exoganrmms. They only 
became exogamous when six of them, say, were arranged in 
one of the two moieties (phratries), now forbidden to marry, 
and another six in the other. 

I venture to prefer, as already indicated, the system (3) 
that totem groups not only existed, but were already exoga- 
mous, before the great ' bisection ' producing the ' phratries ' 
came into existence, though I argue that ' bisection ' is a 
misleading term, and that the apparent division was really 
the result of an amalgamation of two separate and indepen- 
dent local totem groups. 

This theory (presently to be more fully set forth) is 
original on my part, at least as far a^ my supraliminal con- 
sciousness is concerned. I mean that I conceived myself to 
have hit on the idea in July 1902. But something very like 
my notion (I later discovered) had been printed by Dr. 
Durkheim, and something not unlike it was propounded by 
Herr Cunow (1894). Mr. Daniel McLennan had also sug- 
gested it : and I find that the Rev. John Mathew had stated 
a form of it in his Eagle-Hawk and Crow (1899), (pp. 19- 
22, 93-112). Mr. Mathew's hypothesis, however, involves 
a theory of contending and alien races in Australia. This 
theory does not seem well based, but, however that may be, 
I recognise that Mr. Mathew's hypothesis of the origin of 
exogamy (p. 98), and of the origin of the ' phratries ' or 
' primary classes,' in many respects anticipates my own. He 
opposes Mr. Howitt's conclusions, and I may be allowed to 
say that I would prefer Mr. Howitt, owing to his unrivalled 
knowledge, as an ally. On the other hand, the undesigned 
coincidence of Dr. Durkheim's, Mr. Daniel McLennan's, Mr. 
Mathew's, and Herr Cunow's ideas with my own, raises a 
presumption that mine may not be untenable. 



Though the existence of what are called exogamous ' phra- 
tries ' (two to each tribe) was made known, as regards the 
North American tribes, by Mr. Lewis Morgan (to whose work 
we return) in the middle of the nineteenth century, almost 
our earliest hint of its existence in Australia came from the 
Rev. W. Ridley, a learned missionary, in 1853-55. In Mr. 
McLennan's Studies in Ancient History '^ will be found an 
account of Mr. Ridley's facts, as they gradually swelled in 
volume, altered in character, and were added to, and criti- 
cally constructed, by the Rev. Mr. Fison, and Mr. A. W. 
Howitt. These gentlemen were regarded by Mr. McLennan 
as the allies of Mr. Morgan, in a controversy then being 
waged with some acerbity. He, therefore, criticised the 
evidence from Australia rather keenly. It is probable that 
Mr. Morgan and Mr. McLennan both had some right on their 
parts — seeing each a different side of the shield — though a few 
points in the discussion are still undecided. But it seems 
certain that the continued researches of Messrs. Fison and 
Howitt, reinforced by the studies of Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen in Central Australia, have invalidated some of Mr. 
McLennan's opinions as to matters of fact. 

Much trouble and confusion will be saved if we remember 
that, as has been said, imder the ' classificatory system,' three 
sets of rules applying to marriage exist. The totem rule 
exists, rules as to marriage in relation to generations and so- 
called degrees of kindred (real or ' tribal ') exist (' classes '), 
and, thirdly, there are the rules relative to ' phratries,' the 
phratries, being, I think, in origin themselves totemic. We 
shall mainly consider here the so-called ' bisection ' of a tribe 
into two exogamous and intermarrying 'phratries,' while 
remembering Herr Cunow's opinion that a ' class ' is one 
thing, a ' phratry ' quite another.^ 

' Second series, pp. 289-310. 

== I shall, for my own part, use ' phratry ' for the two ' primary 
exogamous divisions 'of a tribe, and ' class ' for the divisions within the 



Perhaps the most recent, lucid, and well-informed 
writer on the various divisions which regulate the marriages 
of the Australian tribes is Mr. R. H. Mathews.' In 
some regions, the system of two intermarrying phratries 
exists, without further subdivision (except in regard to 
totem kins). Sometimes each phratry is divided into two 
' sections ' (or ' classes '), making four for the tribe. Again, 
each phi-atry may have four ' subsections ' or ' classes,' making 
eight for the tribe. Each phratry, like each ' class,' ' has an 
independent name by which its members are ejisily recognised.' 

Obviously we need, of aU things, to know the actual 
meanings of these names, but we do not usually know them. 
As we shall see, where a tribe has two ' phratries ' and no 
subordinate ' classes,' the names of these ' phratries,' when 
they can be translated, are usually names of animals. In a 
few cases, as will later appear, when there are ' classes ' under 
and in the ' phratries ' their names seem to indicate dis- 
tinctions of ' old ' and ' young.' But Mr. Mathews nowhere, 
as far as I have studied him, gives the meanings of the 
' class ' names, some of which are of recent adoption. Mr. 
Mathews usually gives only ' Phratry A ' and ' Phratry B.' 
We now cite his tables of the simple ' phratry ' system, of 
the ' phratry ' plus two classes system, and of the ' phratry ' 
plus foiu" classes system ; making fovu*, or eight, such divisions 
for the tribe. 

' In describing the social structinre of a native Australian 
community, the first matter calling for attention is the 

' phratry ' which do not appear to be of totemic origin. Mr. Fison applies 
' class ' to both the primary divisions and those contained in each of them, 
observing that 'the Greek " phratria " would be the most correct term.' 
He is aware, of course, that this employment of phratria is arbitrary, but 
it is convenient. While he applies ' class ' both to ' the primary divisions 
of a community, and their first subdivisions,' to the latter I restrict 
' classes,' using phratry for the former (Kamilaroi and Kwrnai, p. 24). 
' Jow. and Froo. of the Roy. Soo. N.S. W., xxviii., xxxi., xxxii., xxxiv. 



classification of the people into two primary divisions, called 
phratries, or groups — the men of each phratry intermarry- 
ing with the women of the opposite one, in accordance with 
prescribed laws.' 

Mr. Mathews then mentions that some tribes have (1) this 
simple division only (of course, as a rule, plus totem kins). 
(2) Elsewhere each phratry is composed of two ' sections ' 
(called by us ' classes '). (3) Elsewhere, again, each phratry 
has foiu- sections (we need not discuss here the tribes 
where none of these things exist). 

Mr. Mathews now gives tables representing the working 
of the system in each of the three cases.' 

Phratry A Kirraroo 
Phratry B Matturri 




Phratry A 
Phratry B 

1 1ppai 








Phratry A 

Phratry B 






/ Chingalum 
J Chooralum 
I Bungarin 








It will be seen that, under the simple phratry system, 
children of the female Matturrin are always Matturri and 
Mattmrin, children of the female Kirrarooan are always 
Kirraroo and Kirrarooan. On the phratry plus two classes 
system, female Butha is mother of Ippatha and Ippatha of 

Proo. Boy. Soc. A'.S. W. xxxiv. 120-122. 


Butha for ever. On the phratry plus four classes system, 
female Ningulum has a Palyareena daughter, who has a 
Nooralum daughter, who has a Bungareenya daughter, whose 
daughter reverts to the original Ningulum class, and so on, 
ad infinittmi. The women remain constant to their 'phratry,' 
and marry always the men of the opposite phratry. 

It is to be observed that, by customary law, brothers and 
sisters actual (and not ' tribal ') may never intermarry.^ In 
short, consanguinity is now fully understood by the natives, 
and too close unions are forbidden on the ground of consan- 
guinity. It also seems that, though the blacks are aU-on the 
same level of material culture, yet reflection on marriage 
rules, and modification of these rules by additional restric- 
tions and alterations, have been carried much further by some 
tribes than by others. I by no means deny, but rather 
affirm, that consanguinity is now understood, and that rules 
have in some tribes been consciously made, and altered, to 
avoid certain marriages as of ' too near flesh.' But I do not 
think that, at the beginning, the objection to consangui- 
neous marriages, as such, can have been entertained, and 
I am not of opinion that, for the piu-pose of preventing such 
marriages, in the beginning, a horde was bisected into two 
phratries, and each phratry split up into totem groups. 
Rather, I conceive, certain primitive conditions of life led to 
the evolution of certain rules, independent of any theory 
about the noxiousness or immorality of marriages of near 
kin ; and then reflection on those primal rules helped to 
beget moral ideas, and improvements on the rules themselves. 
In the original restrictions, morality, in our sense, was only 
implicitly or potentially present, though now it has risen into 
explicit consciousness. The tribes came to think certain 
marriages morally wrong, or physically noxious, because they 
were forbidden ; such unions were not, in the first instance, 
forbidden because they were deemed physically injurious, 
or morally wrong. These ideas have, by this time, been 

' Proc. Jour. Boy. Soc. N.S. W., xxxiv. 127. Mr. Fisou makes an excep- 
tion for some Kamilaroi. 


evolved ; but it does not follow that they were present at 
the beginning. 

I took the liberty of laying a brief sketch of my own 
theory before Mr. Howitt, who, after considering it, was 
unable to accept it. He was kind enough to send me a 
summary account of many varieties of institutions, which, as 
we have seen, prevail — from tribes with totems and the simple 
phratry and female descent, up to tribes which have lost their 
classes and totems, coimt descent in the male line, and permit 
marriage only between persons dwelling in certain localities, 
or not of ' too near flesh.' All sorts of varieties of custom, 
in fact, prevail. Again, the most backward tribes, in Mr. 
Howitfs opinion, have group-marriage ; ^ the more advanced 
have individual marriage, with rare reversions on special occa- 
sions. Each advance, from mere phratry to phratry ^Zz« eight 
'classes,' reduced the number of persons who might inter- 
marry, and extended the range of exogamy (except where, 
as among the Arunta, the totem prohibition has ceased to 
exist). The marked tendency of the developing rules is to 
prevent marriage between persons ' too near in flesh,' or ' of 
the same flesh.' Mr. Howitt argues that, if the later stages 
of prohibition are the result of deliberate intention to prevent 
too near marriage, we may infer that the original ' bisection ' 
of the ' undivided commime ' was also consciously designed to 
prevent imions of persons of too near flesh. 

To this I would reply, that the circumstances were 
different. The savages of recent centuries have been trained 
in the totem and phratry systems, and have now, like Mr. 
Howitt, excogitated the theory that these were originally 
designed for the purpose of preventing marriages of 'too 
near flesh,' wherefore all such marriages (even if permitted 
by the totem law) must be morally or materially evil. This 
is the theory expressed in the myths of the Dieri, Woeworung, 
and others ; and it is the theory of many scientific writers. 
In brief, it is the hypothesis of men already trained to think 
near marriages morally wrong, or physically injurious. But 
' This view is discussed later. 


how could this idea occur to members of 'an undivided 
commune,' who had never known anything better ? 

That is the difficulty ; and we get rid of it by disbelieving 
in a primeval undivided commune ; and by supposing a long 
past of forbidden unions, the prohibition then resting on no 
moral ideas, but on the interest of the strongest, the jealousy 
of the adult sire. These prohibitions later evolved into 
conscious morality ; and were at last susceptible of improve- 
ment by deliberate design. I shall now examine more in 
detail the ideas which do not win my assent. 


In 1880, in Kamilaroi and Kurnai^ Mr. Fison, a learned 
missionary and anthropologist, gave his account of the 
organisation of certain Australian tribes. He speaks of 
(1) The division of a tribe, or community, into two exo- 
gamous intermarrying classes.^ (2) ' The subdivision ' (mark 
the phrase) ' of these classes into four.' (3) ' Their subdivision 
into gentes, distinguished by totems, which are generally, 
though not invariably, the names of animals.' 

Now totems we know, and we have cited Mr. Mathews 
for the other divisions. Take (1) ' the two exogamous inter- 
marrying classes.' Examples are 

Male, Kumite ; female, Kumitegor (one ' class,' which I call ' phratry '). 
Male, Kroki ; female, Rrokigor (the other ' class,' ' phratry '). 


Male, T'umgaru (^upossiim) ; female, Yum/arnan. 
Male, Wutaru (Jw/ngaroo) ; female, Wuta/ruan. 

What are these two ^primary'' exogamous divisions.? 
And why call them ' primary ' ? 

> P. 27 et seq. 

* There is a tradition of an aboriginal Adam, who had two wives, 
Kilpara and Mukwara, these being the names of two phratries. On this 
showing brothers married paternal half-sisters (Xamilaroi and Kwrnai, 
p. 33). 



My object, as has been said, is now, contrary to general 
opinion, to repeat that the great dichotomous ' division ' of 
a tribe into two exogamous, intermarrying, ' classes ' or 
' phratries,' is not ' primary ' at all, but is secondary to groups 
at once totemic and exogamous, and is not, in origin, a 
bisection, but a combination. If I am right, the consequences 
will be of some curiosity. First, it wiU appear that the 
' primary divisions ' are themselves totemic in origin, thus 
implying the pre-existeiice of Totemism. Next it will be 
made to appear probable that the pre-existing totems were 
already exogamous before the phratries arose, and that 
exogamy does not date, as the best authorities hold, 
from the making of the great dichotomous divisions or 
' phratries.' For no such dichotomous division, I suggest, was 
ever made. 


We see that, of the two ' phratries ' Yungaru and Wutaru, 
Ymigaru is 'opossmn" (according to Mr. Chatfield) or 
' alligator ' (according to Mr. Bridgman) ; while Wutaru is 
' kangaroo.' These two primary ' phratries,' therefore, have 
totemic names, and (in my opinion) were originally two local 
totem groups, each containing members of various totems 
derived from alien mothers. The same thing may be true 
when the meanings of the ' primary class names ' (' phratries ') 
can no longer be discovered. If so, the ' primary divisions ' 
are, in origin, mere totem distinctions, involving, I think, 
the pre-existence of the rule of exogamy, which is also in- 
volved in the rules of the 'primary divisions.' Mr. Fison 
writes (what is obvious) 'in some places the primary divisions 
are distinguished by totem names at the present day.' ^ 

' Kamilaroi emd Kv/rnai, p. 40. 


' Probably they were so distinguished everywhere, in ancient 
times,' he adds, and this is certainly the case in North 
America, as we shall see later. Mr. Fison's opinion is my 
own so far, and, if it is right, if the 'primary class divisions' 
(' phratries '), within which marriage is now forbidden, were 
originally two totem divisions, then Totemism is earlier 
than the ' primary divisions.' On this point Messrs. Fison 
and Howitt say that the divisions on which marriage regula- 
tions are based ' are denoted by class names or by totems — 
frequently by both class names and totems.' In a note 
they add, ' Class names, so called by us solely for the sake 
of convenience, and because they cannot always be positively 
asserted to be totems, though the strong probability is that 
they are always totems.' ^ 

By ' class names ' the authors, I think, here mean the 
names of the ' primary exogamous divisions ' or ' phratries.' 
These are often, if not always, known by totem names. 
But the ' classes,' as distinguished from the ' phratries,' are 
not known by totemic names, as far as I am aware. Herr 
Cunow, we shall see, asserts that in some cases they denote 
mere seniority, ' big ' and ' little,' ' young ' and ' old.' Unless 
they can be proved to be totemic, we must, I repeat, 
carefully avoid confusing the ' classes,' four or eight, with 
the ' phratries,' in which they are included. The confusion 
is general and very misleading. 

Totemism, according to Mr. McLennan, preceded exo- 
gamy, and made exogamy possible. Thus totem distinc- 
tions, with exogamy, may be older than the ' two primary 
class exogamous divisions,' in which, according to most 
authorities, exogamy began. Mr. Tylor is cautious : ' the 
dual form of exogamy ' (the ' phratries,' or ' two primary 
divisions ') ' may be the original form,' or at least that view 
is tenable.^ The origin of exogamy is, however, imknown, 
in Mr. Tylor's opinion, which commits him to nothing. 

Mr. Howitt, if I do not misinterpret him, also regards the 

' /. A. I. xiv. 142. 

' Journal of the Anthropological Institute, xviii. 264. 


two divisions, ' phratries,' as primary, but at the same time 
agrees with me, and Mr. Fison, that the two ' phratry ' 
divisions were themselves in origin totemic. 


At this point I lose Messrs. Fison and Howitt. I do not 
know what they mean, and, unless I misconstrue them, they 
unconsciously hold different opinions at different moments. 
They start with an 'undivided commune.' Mr. Fison, 
however, is not certain on this point. To prevent near 
marriages (previously universal), the commune is split into 
two exogamous intermarrying phratries. The names of these 
phratries are totemic, and each phratry has its totem. Such 
is their theory. How and why ? 

Did totemic divisions already exist in 'the undivided 
commune ' ? If so, the commune was not undivided ! Or 
were totem names given, nobody knows why, to the two 
phratries at the time when the ' bisection ' of the commune 
was made ? Did the legislator send half the horde to the 
right, crying, ' You are sheep,' and half to the left, saying, 
' You are goats,' — or rather, say. Emus and Kangaroos ? 
This is not easily thinkable. But, if this was done, whence 
came the other totem kins, often numerous, within each 
phratry ? 

Mr. Fison says that the totem kins (or ' gentes ') ' arose 
out of two primary divisions by an orderly process of evolution, 
such as might be expected from the forces at work,' and ' we 
have seen how ' the phratries subdivided ' into other sub- 
divisions, distinguished by totems.' ^ But, alas, I have seen 
nothing of the sort ! Mr. Fison has merely asserted the fact. 
' The totems affect the intersexual regulations ... by 
narrowing the range of matrimonial selection.' ^ Here would 
be a reason for the evolution of these totem kins. But this 
added restriction is exactly what (given phratries) the totems 
do not effect. There are so many totems in each phratry, but 

' Kamila/roi and Kurnai, p. 107. ^ Op. cit. p. 41, 


as the same totem (except among the Arunta and similarly 
disorganised tribes) never occurs in both phratries, the range 
of sexual selection is thus not more restricted by the totem 
than by the phratry. The members of each phratry may 
not intermarry, and all persons of their totem are in their 
phratry and so are not marriageable to them. They would 
all be exactly as exogamous as they are, if there were no 
totem rules, nothing but phratry rules. Thus the totems 
cannot be later deliberate segmentations of the phratry, for 
additional exogamous purposes, because they serve no such 
purpose, except where, among the Kamilaroi, a man may 
marry in his phratry, if he marries out of his totem. But 
that is a peculiarity. 

Mr. Mathews writes, ' Under the group ' (phratry) ' laws 
it is impossible for a Dilbi or Kupathin ' (phratry names of 
the Kamilaroi) ' to marry a woman bearing the same totem 
name as himself, for the reason that such a totem does not 
exist in the division ' (phratry) ' from which he is bound to 
select his wife. But when persons of the same group ' 
(phratry) ' were permitted to marry each other, it became 
necessary to promulgate a law prohibiting man-iage between 
persons of the same totem.' ^ But there were totems before 
that novelty of marriage within the phratry, and why were 
they there ? Moreover, under phratry laws it was already the 
rule that no man could marry a woman of his own totem. 
Obviously we are not told how the totem kins arose out of the 
phratries, ' by an orderly process of evolution such as might 
be expected from the forces at work.' One sees no reason at 
all for the rise of totem kins within the phratry, itself, by 
Mr. Fison's theory, originally totemic. 

Totem kins are called ' subdivisions ' by Mr. Howitt, but 
why were the phratries subdivided into totem kins, and why 
were there totem groups in ' the undivided commune ' before 
the bisection, the phratries (the result of the bisection) being 
themselves, in Mr. Howitt's hypothesis, totem groups.? I 
quote a statement of the case by Mr. Howitt (1889) : ' The 
' Proc. Roy. Soo. If.S. W. xxxi. 162. 


fundamental principle of aboriginal society in Australia is 
the division of the community into two exogamous inter- 
marrying moieties. Out of this division into two groups, 
and out of the relations thus created between the contem- 
porary members of them and their descendants, the terms of 
relationship must have grown. As the two primary divisions 
(classes) ^ (' phratries ') ' have become again divided in the 
process of social development, and as the groups of numerous 
totems have been added^ &c.^ 

Here the totem kins are not orderly evolved out of the 
phratries, nor subdivided out of them, but are ' added.' Where 
were they picked up, whence did they arise, why were they 

May we not conclude that no clear account, or theory, 
of the origin and piupose of totems and totem kins has been 
laid before us ? 

Mr. Howitt elsewhere writes, ' If the supposition is correct 
that, in the primary divisions, we may recognise the oldest 
forms, and in the subdivisions somewhat newer forms of 
Totemism ' (newer names of totems i), ' it should be found that 
these earlier divisions show signs of antiquity as compared 
to the totems which are, according to this hypothesis, the 
nearest to the present time. This, I think, is the case.' 
Thus, in fact, some of the Australian names for the two 
divisions are no longer to be translated,^ perhaps owing to 
their antiquity, and sometimes the names are lost, as, else- 
where, in Banks Island. When translatable, the phratry 
names are totemic. 

But this hardly amounts to proof that the 'primary 
divisions ' are really older than totemic divisions, ^/t« exogamy. 
The existing names of the ' primary divisions ' may be older 
than existing totem names, in some cases. But that may be 
because the two ' primary divisions ' endure, unchanged, 

' On the Organisation of Av^ralicm Tribes, p. 129; Trwnsaotions of 
Royal Society of Viatoria, 1889. 

^ The natives retain sacred songs to Daramulun, but cannot (or will not ?) 
translate them. Proo. Roy. Soo. U.S. W. xxxiv. 280. 


while a local totem group may become extinct.^ Its place, 
perhaps, may be filled up by a totem group of relatively 
recent name, or, perhaps, in a great trek into a land of novel 
fauna and flora, old totem names might be exchanged for new 
ones. 'Munki' (sheep) is said to have been recently 
adopted.^ Mr. Fison here corroborates my suggestion. ' If 
a tribe migrate to a country in which their totem is not 
found, they TviU, in all probability, take as their totem some 
other animal which is a native of the place.' ' 

Mr. Howitt, then, believes that 'the primary class 
divisions ' were originally totemic, and also that the ' class 
system ' as a rule has been developed through the subdivision 
of the earlier and simpler forms by ' deliberate arrangement.'' * 

This appears to mean that savages began by making two 
divisions, bearing totem names, and established them as 
primary exogamous divisions. Later they cut them up into 
slices, each slice with a newer totem name. Or the totem 
divisions are evolved within the phratry, somehow or other, 
as in one of Mr. Fison's views. Or they are ' added ' — for what 
purpose .? Thus every tribesman has now a ' class name ' 
(phratry name) — an old totem name (say either Eagle-Hawk 
or Crow), and no Crow may marry an Eagle-Hawk. But, later, 
they split Crows up into, say, bats, rats, cats, and kangaroos, 
while they split Eagle- Hawk up into, say, grubs, emus, mice, 
and frogs. Now each person, under this arrangement, has 
two totem names. He is Eagle-Hawk (old) and (new) grub, 
emu, mouse, or frog : or he is Crow (old) and (new) bat, cat, 
rat, or kangaroo. If cat, he may not only not marry a 
Crow, but also he may not marry a cat. What could 
be the reason for this new subdivision of Eagle-Hawk and 
Crow, and for this multiplication of marriage prohibitions, 
which, given the phratries, prohibit nothing .? ^ I shall try 
to show, and have already suggested, that, from a period 

' Spencer and Gillen, p. 152. ^ Howitt, J. A. I. xviii. 37-39. 

' Kamila/roi am,d Kuvnai, p. 235, note. * Op. cit. pp. 59, 62, 63, 66. 

' New marriage prohibitions may have been, and, I believe, were added, 
but the divisions thus made were not, I think, totemistio. 


infinitely remote, each member of the Eagle-Hawk and Crow 
local groups may also have been, or rather must have been, a 
grub, emu, mouse, or frog, bat, rat, cat, or kangaroo, by in- 
heritance and birth. So understood, the ' primary divisions ' 
(Eagle-Hawk and Crow) were not deliberately subdivided 
(as I conceive them to have been on Mr. Howitt's system) 
into the other numerous new totem groups, nor were the 
totem kins added to the phratries, nor were they orderly 
evolved out of the phratries, but, from the dawn of Totemism 
with exogamy, they contained these totem groups within 
themselves ; a fact which early man came to perceive. 

Mr. Howitt adds, ' If the two first intermarrying groups ' 
(' phratries ') ' had distinguished names, they were probably 
those of animals, and their totems, and, if so, the origin of 
Totemism would be so far back in the mist of ages, as to be 
beyond my vision.' In the chapter on the ' Origin of 
Totemism,' we try to penetrate ' the mist of ages,' and to see 
beyond the range of vision of Mr. Howitt. But the ' Origin 
of Totemism ' cannot be beyond Mr. Howitt's range of vision, 
if he agrees with Mr. Fison that the totem kins were orderly 
evolved within the phratry, or were segmented out of the 
phratry, or split off, as colonies, from the phratry (Dr. 
Durkheim's theory), or were added to the phratry, for some 

It seems, then, that he does not commit himself to any 
of these four theories. He appears to confess to having 
no theory of the origin of Totemism, which, in his opinion, 
gave the names to the phratries, these being the result 
of the primary bisection. Probably his best plan would 
be to say ' the horde was bisected into two moieties, for 
exogamous purposes, and animal names, for the sake of dis- 
tinction, were arbitrarily imposed on the phratry divisions.' 
But, then, what about the many totem kins within the 
phratry .'' We receive no solid theory about them. They 
were certainly not arbitrarily marked out later, within the 
phratry, for exogamous purposes which they do not fiilfil. 
If they were picked up elsewhere, and added into the 


phratry, where did they come from ? Crowds of totems were 
not going about, Mr. Howitt seems to think, before the bi- 
section, because, if so, we saw hordes were not ' undivided,' 
before the bisection, but were already divided into totem kins. 

Or shall we say that the undivided communes had already 
organised distinct co-operative magical totem groups, to do 
magic for the good of the food supply, plants and animals, 
but that these totem groups were not exogamous before the 
bisection ? After the bisection two of these magical totem 
groups, say Eagle-Hawk and Crow, were selected, shall we 
guess, to give names to the two moieties or phratries ? The 
other totem groups fell, or were meted out, some into Crow, 
some into Eagle-Hawk. This is a thinkable hypothesis, but 
it is fatal to the theory of subdivision, or of segmentation, 
or of evolution, as causes of totem kins within the phratries ; 
and it is not suggested by Messrs. Fison and Howitt. 

Thus we must construct for ourselves, later, a theory of 
the Origin of Totemism. We are actually constrained to 
make this effort, because it will probably be admitted that, 
having no theory, or hesitating between three or four theories, 
of the origin of totems and of totem kins, Messrs. Fison and 
Howitt produce an hypothesis of the evolution of Australian 
society which cannot be construed by us into an intelligible 

Mr. Howitt elsewhere writes, ' The existence of the two 
exogamous intermarrying groups ' (' phratries ') ' seems to me 
almost to require the previous existence of an undivided 
commune, from the segmentation of which they arose.' "^ But 
they, the phratries, were totemic, and why ? Once again, 
why was the undivided commune divided .'' We know not 
the motive for, much less the means of effecting, such a great 
change ' in the beginning.' 

In 1885, Messrs. Howitt and Fison were aware of, and 

expressed their sense of this difficulty (that of dividing people 

out into arbitrary groups) in the case of ancient Attica. 

Speaking of the yivos, or clan, in Attica, they combat the 

' Organisation of Awstralian Trihes, p. 136. 


opinion of Harpocration, that the people were 'arbitrarily 
drafted into the ^eVij.' ^ Our authors remark, ' Ancient 
society — the more ancient — does not thus regulate itself. 
Nascitur rum Jit. One can understand a Kleisthenes redistri- 
buting into demes a civilised community which has grown 
into a State, but the notion of any such arbitrary distribution 
of men into '^svtj in the beginning of things cannot be enter- 
tained for a moment.' ^ 

This being so, how can our authors maintain that, ' in 
the beginning of things,' given an ' undivided commune,' 
all its members were ' drafted ' into one or other of two divi- 
sions, and again into totem groups. A subdivision of the 
' phratries ' into totem groups, by deliberate arrangement,, 
is clearly as artificial and arbitrary as the scheme suggested 
by Harpocration, 'which cannot be entertained for a 

We are speaking of ' the beginning of things,' not of the 
present state of things, in which we know that modifications 
of the rules, e.g. the division into eight ' classes,' are being 
deliberately adopted.^ In 'the beginning of things,' as 
Messrs. Howitt and Fison, in 1885, maintained, society 
nascitur non Jit. Our effort is to show the process of the 
birth of society before conscious and deliberate modifications 
were made to prevent marriages of 'too near flesh.' Our 
criticism of Messrs. Fison and Howitt's theories may perhaps 
indicate that they are insufficient, or but dubiously intelli- 
gible. Something clear and consistent is required. 

' Harpocration s.v. •yevvriTai. ' J. A. I. xiv. 160. 

' Spencer and Gillen, pp. 72, 420. 

E 2 





The system which I advocate here, as to the smallness of 
the original human groups, and their later combination into 
larger unions, seems to have, as regards America, the support 
of the late Major Powell, the Director of the Bureau of 
Ethnology, and of Mr. McGee of the same department. 
This gentleman writes, ' Two postulates concerning primitive 
society, adopted by various ethnologic students of other coun- 
tries, have been erroneously applied to the American abori- 
gines . . . The first postulate is that primitive men were 
originally assembled in chaotic hordes, and that organised 
society was developed out of the chaotic mass by the segrega- 
tion of groups. . . ■■ This appears to be Mr. Howitt's doctrine. 
In fact, Mr. McGee says, American research points, not to a 
primal horde, ' bisected ' and ' subdivided ' into an organised 
community, but to an early condition ' directly antithetic to 
the postulated horde, in which the scant population was segre- 
gated in small discrete bodies, probably family groups . . .' 
The process of advance was one of ' progressive combination 
rather than of continued differentiation. ... It would appear 
that the original definitely organised groups occasionally 
coalesced with other groups, both simple and compound, 
whereby they were elaborated in structiu-e . . . ' Mr. McGee 
adds, ' always with some loss in definiteness and permanence.' 
As far as concerns Australia, I do not feel sure that the last 
remark applies, but, on the whole, Mr. McGee's observations, 


couched in abstract terms, appear to fit what I have written, 
in concrete terms, about the probable evolution of Australian 
tribal society.^ 

The theory thus suggested makes little demand on deli- 
berate legislation, as we shall see later. 


This I take to be important. It seems well to avoid, as 
far as possible, the hypothesis of deliberate legislation in 
times primeval, involving so sweeping a change as the legal 
establishment of exogamy through a decree based on common 
consent by an exogamous ' Bisection ' consciously made< 
Exogamy must have been gradually evolved. But, if we 
begin with Mr. Howitt's original undivided commune, and 
suppose a deliberate bisection of it into two exogamous 
phratries, each somehow containing different totems ; or if 
we suppose a tribe of only two totems, and imagine that the 
tribe deliberately made these totems exogamous, which they 
had not been before, and then subdivided them into many 
other totem groups, we see, indeed, why persons of the same 
totem may not intermarry. They now, iafter the decree, 
belong to the same exogamous ' phratry ' within which 
marriage is deliberately forbidden. But, on this theory, I 
find no escape from the conclusion that the ' bisection ' into 
' phratries ' was the result of a deliberate decree, intended to 
produce exogamy — for the bisection has not, and apparently 
cannot have, any other effect. Now I can neither imagine a 
motive for such a decree, nor any mode, in such early times, 
of procuring for it common consent. At this point we have 
laboured, and to it we shall return, observing that our hypo- 
thesis makes much less appeal to such early and deliberate 


In any case, by Mr. Fison's and Mr. Howitt's theory and 
our own, we have totems almost all the way : totems in the 

' MTinological Biirean, Anniml Beport, 1893-1894, pp. 200 201. 


so-called ' primary divisions ' (phratries) ; totems in the so- 
called gentes, and all these divisions (setting the Arunta 
apart) are strictly exogamous. The four or eight ' classes,' 
on the other hand, are apparently not of totemic origin. 
However much the systems may be complicated and inter- 
twisted, the basis of the whole, except of the four or eight 
' classes,' is, I think, the totem exogamous prohibition. 
There are many examples of the type ; thus the Urabunna 
' are divided into two exogamous intermarrying classes, which 
are respectively called Matthurie and Kirarawa, and the 
members of these again are divided into a series of totemic 
groups, for which the native name is Tliunihwrvme. A 
Matthurie man must marry a Kirarawa women ' (as in the 
system of the Kamil-speaking tribes, or Kamilaroi, reported 
on by Mr. Fison) — ' and not only this, but a man of one 
totem must marry a woman of another totem.' This is pre- 
cisely what I should expect. It works out thus : 

I ^^"^ ^T^ ^°*r ^'°"P I . . . Matthurie. 
I New ' Phratry 1 

r Old Local Totem Group I Xi^arcma. 

iNew'Phratry' J 

Each of these ' phratries ' has five totems, not found in 
the other class, and how this occurred, if not by actual 
deliberate arrangement, I do not know. One thing is clear : 
totem and phratry are prior to ' class ' divisions. They 
occur where ' class ' divisions do not. But my theory does 
not involve the deliberate introduction of exogamy, by 
an exogamous bisection of groups not hitherto exogamous, 
or by making two pre-existing totem groups exogamous. 
I take the groups to have been exogamous already, before 
the blending in connubium of two local totem groups (now 
' phratries '), each including numbers of already exogamous 
totem kindreds. They were exogamous before the ' phratries ' 
existed, and after their falling into the two phratries, exo- 
gamous they remained. 



Mr. McLennan, ere he had the information now before 
us, wrote, in 1865, ' Most probably contiguous groups would 
be composed of exactly the same stocks ' (we can now, for 
' stocks,' read ' totem kins ') — ' would contain gentes of pre- 
cisely the same names.' ' This is obvious, for Emu, Kangaroo, 
Wild Duck, Opossum, Snake, and Lizard, living in the same 
region, would raid each other (by the hypothesis) for wives, 
and each foreign wife would bring her own totem name into 
each group. Yet we find that the two 'primary classes' 
(phratries) of the Urabunna (which, on my theory, represent 
two primitive totem local groups, say Emu and Kangaroo, 
each with its representatives of all other totem groups within 
raiding distance) never contain the same totems. 

It is mathematically impossible that this exclusiveness 
should be the result of accident. On a first consideration, 
therefore, I took it to be the result of deliberate legislative 
design, at the moment when on my hypothesis two ZocaZ totem 
groups, containing members of several totems of descent, united 
in connubium. The totem names, I at first conceived, with 
reluctance, must have been consciously and deliberately meted 
out between the two local totem groups, now become phratries. 
This idea did not involve so stringent and useless a measure as 
that of segmenting the two phratries into minor totem groups : 
however the idea was still too much akin to that of 
Harpocration as regards the arbitrary drafting of the Attic 
population into 'ysvr]. But, on further reflection, I conceived 
that my first theory was superfluous. Given the existence of 
local groups, as such totemic, and of totem kins of descent 
within the original local totem groups, the actual results, 
I thought, arise automatically, as soon as two local totem 
gi-oups agree to intermarry. Men and women must marry 
out of their local totem group (now ' phratry ') and must 
marry out of their totem of descent. Consequently, no one 
totem could possibly exist in both phratries. This I now, on 
' Studies in Ancient History, p. 221. 


third thoughts, 'which are a wiser first,' deem erroneous. 
The automatic arraying of one set of totems into one, ot 
another set into the other, phratry, woxild not occur. The 
totems have been divided between the two phratries.^ This 
condition of affairs is universal in Australia, except where, as 
among the Arunta and similar tribes, the same totem comes to 
exist in both phratries, so that men and women of the same 
totem, but of opposite phratries, may intermarry. That breach 
of old rule, we shall try to show, arises from the peculiar 
animistic philosophy of the Arunta, by virtue of which totems 
are no longer totems of descent, but are otherwise obtained. 
Thfe Kamilaroi practice of interphratry marriage arises out 
of respect for totem and neglect of phratry law. 

My conjecture takes for granted, let me repeat, that, 

' Suppose we take a group ranging in a given locality, and known to 
its neighbours as the Emu group. Let us also take a similar and similarly 
situated Kangaroo group. Let us suppose that each such group has raided 
for its wives among Opossum, Grub, Cat, and Dingo groups. By female 
descent, both the Emu and Kangaroo groups will contain persons of the 
Opossum, Grub, Cat, and Dingo groups. This being so a man of the Emu 
local group, named Grub by totem, might marry a woman of the Emu local 
group, by totem of descent an Opossum ; and similarly in the Kangaroo 
group. But, as Dr. Dnrkheim remarks in another case, ' the old prohibition , 
deeply rooted in manners and customs, survives ' (jOAmnee Soeiologigue, 
V. 107, note). Now ' the old prohibition ' was that a man of the Emu 
group was not to marry a woman of the Emu group; That rule endures, 
though the Emu group now contains men and women of several distinct 
totem kins. To escape from the difficulty, by my theory. Emu local totem 
group makes connubium with Kangaroo local totem group. Any Emu 
man may marry any Kangaroo woman not of his own totem by descent. 
But this does not, automatically, throw Opossum and Grub into one. Cat 
and Dingo into another, of the two local totem groups, Emu and Kan- 
garoo, now become phratries, with loss of their local character. For if a 
man, by phratry Emu, and by totem of descent Cat, marries a woman, 
by phratry Kangaroo, and by totem of descent Grub, their children, by 
female descent, are Kangaroo Grubs. Meanwhile, if a man, by phratry 
Kangaroo, and by totem Cat, marries a woman, by phratry Emu, and 
by totem Grub, their children are Emu Grubs. There are thus Grubs in 
both phratries, a thing that never occurs (except among the Arunta). 
Therefore the division of the totem kins, some into one phratry, others 
into the other, is not automatic. There might be a tendency, by way of 
making assurance doubly sure, for the totem kins to be assorted into the 
two phratries, but some kind of deliberate arrangement does seem neces- 
sary. The same necessity attends Dr. Durkheim's theory later criticised. 


before the 'bisection,' or the amalgamation, which produced 
the two exogamous ' classes,' the totem kindreds were aheady 
exogamous. My reasons for this opinion have already been 
given, in the discussion of Mr. Crawley's theory of the origin 
of exogamy {supra), to which the reader may refer. My 
suggestion makes the growth of exogamy non-moral, gradual, 
and almost unconscious, till it is clinched and stereotyped 
by the totem tabu.^ The opposite theory — namely, the 
deliberate bisection into exogamous ' classes,' of totem 
groups, or of an ' undivided commune ' not previously exo- 
gamous, appeals too much, I repeat, to conscious and — as 
far as we can see — motiveless legislation, at an early stage. 
The bisection must have had a purpose, and has no visible 
purpose except the establishment of exogamy, and why did 
the ' undivided commune ' establish that ? 


It cannot be concealed that my conjecture is opposed to 
the mass of learned opinion, which represents the primary 
' phratries ' as the first exogamous bodies, and the totems in 
each as later subdivisions of the phratries. The writers who, 
like Mr. Fison, recognise that the primary subdivisions are 
themselves, in origin, totem divisions, do not (as I under- 
stand) regard these very ancient totem groups as already 
exogamous, before the institution of ' phratries.' 

Again, turning from Australia to North America, we 
find Mr. Frazer, at least in one passage, on the side of the view 
generally held. Of the ' phratry,' in America, he says, ' the 
evidence goes to show that in many cases it was originally a 
totem clan which has undergone subdivision.' ^ Many ex- 
amples are then given of the North American ' phratries,' 
which include totem groups within them. ' The Choctaws 

' See again Durkheim, in L'Annec SoeioUgique, i. 47-57, on the super- 
stition as to blood, and the totem as a sacred representative of the 
inviolable blood of the kindred. That superstition gives religious sanction 
to a pre-existing exogamous tendency. 

2 Totemism, p. 60 (1889). 


were divided into two phratries, each of which included four 
clans ' (totem kins) ; ' marriage was prohibited between 
members of the same phratry, but members of either phratry 
could marry into any clan of the other.' Among the 
Senecas, one phratry included the Bear, Wolf, Beaver, and 
Turtle totems : the other held the Deer, Snipe, Heron, and 
Hawk totems ; just as in Australia. Among the Thlinkets 
and Mohegans, ' each phratry bears a name which is also the 
name of one of the clans ' (totems) ' included in it ; ' Mr. 
Frazer adds, ' it seems probable that the names of the Raven 
and Wolf were the two original clans of the Thlinkets, which 
afterwards by subdivision became phratries.' ' This is pre- 
cisely as if we were to argue that Matthiu-ie and Kirarawa 
were the ' two original clans ' of the Urabunna, ' which after- 
wards by subdivision ' (into totem groups) ' became phratries,' 
or ' primary exogamous divisions.' 

The objections to this theory, as advocated by Australian 
inquirers, apply to the American cases as interpreted here by 
Mr. Frazer. In the first place, how are we to conceive of a 
large tribe, like the Thlinkets, as originally containing only 
two totems, Raven and Wolf ? ^ If we do take this view, 
we seem almost driven to suppose that, in exceedingly early 
times, the Thlinkets deliberately bisected themselves, for 
some reason, called one moiety Ravens, the other moiety 
Wolves, and then made the divisions exogamous. Or, 
perhaps, having two totems and only two. Raven and Wolf, 
they deliberately decided that members of neither group 
should marry within itself; but should always take wives 
from the other group. Later, the two tribes. Raven and 
Wolf, again deliberately subdivided themselves, or perhaps, 
as in Dr. Durkheim's view, Wolf threw off colonies which 

' Totemism, p. 62. 

^ The people of New Britain group of islands are divided into two 
exogamous sets. The totems of these classes are two insects, but I incline 
to suppose that there are, or may have been, totem kins included within 
these totemic classes. Our informant, the Rev. B. Danks, regrets that he 
did not pay more attention to these matters. J. A. I. xviii. 281-294. 


became five totem kins, and Raven threw off colonies which 
became five other totem kins. 

Is it not more readily credible that, over a large extent 
of Thlinket comitry, many small local groups came, by an 
vmconscious process (see 'The Origin of Totemism '), to bear 
each a separate totem name? The two most important 
local groups. Raven and Wolf, would inevitably each con- 
tain, by the working of exogamy and female kin, members of 
all the other totems which would array themselves, five in 
each chief gi'oup. Raven and Wolf, as I have conjectured 
in speaking of the Australian cases.^ 

Again, I cannot believe that a tribe like the Thlinkets 
originally had but two totems, not yet exogamous, then 
made them exogamous, and then cut them up, or let them 
split off, into many exogamous totem groups. No motive 
is obvious : the people, by the theory, being exogamous 


We shall later see that Messrs. Spencer and Gillen 
appear to advance, but also to qualify out of existence, a 
theory of a motive for an exogamous bisection of earlier non- 
exogamous local totem groups. They practically explain 
away their own explanation of the great bisection, but it 
rests, while it exists, on certain recently discovered facts, 
which, in timi, are fatal, perhaps, to any theory that a tribe 
had originally but two totems, which became ' phratries,' on 
being subdivided into other totems. The new facts accepted 
and theorised on by Mr. Frazer and Mr. Spencer, would 

' On the other hand, among the Mohegans, I can admit that Little 
Turtle, Mud Turtle, and Great Turtle may be deliberate subdivisions of 
the Turtle totem, now a phratry, but even this need not necessarily be 
the case ; the different species of turtles being quite capable of giving names 
to different totems. I would not deny the possibility of the occasional 
segmentation of a totem group— far from it— but I doubt whether great 
tribes originally (and, as it seems, deliberately) first bisected themselves, 
and then cut up the two main divisions. 


make it seem perhaps impossible that a tribe like the 
Thlinkets should originally have possessed but two ' clans ' 
or totems. The facts, as stated by Mr. Spencer, in 1899, 
are these, or rather, this is his hypothesis founded on his 
facts. ' In our Australian tribes the ■primary ^ function of a 
totem group is that of ensuring, by magic means, a supply of 
the object which gives its name to the totem group.' ^ Mr* 
Frazer says, 'in its origin Totemism was, on oiu- theory, 
simply an organised and co-operative system of magic. . . . 
Each totem group was charged with the superintendence and 
control of the particular department of nature from which it 
took its name. . . .' ^ 

But this is hardly the origin of Totemism, so long as we 
are not told how, or why, each totem group took its name 
from a department of nature. Had it the name, before it 
worked magic for its eponymous object, or did it take the 
name because it worked the magic ? 

Again, there are dozens of such departments,* which 
implies the existence of dozens of organised and co-operative 
totem groups : not of an original poor pair of such groups 
alone. Can we believe that, on Mr. Frazer's earlier theory, 
the Thlinkets formed but two such groups, one 'charged 
with ' the duty to moUify the Wolf, the other to take care 
of the interests of the Raven .? Manifestly this is unlikely. 
I elsewhere oppose this theory of the magical Origin of 
Totemism, made at first to fit the case of the Arunta and 
cognate tribes. If organised co-operation in magic is the 
source of Totemism, we may be pretty confident that no 
tribe began by appointing one half of all its members to do 
magic to propagate ravens, and the other half to mollify 
wolves. This would indicate, in the magical and co-operative 
tribe, a most oddly limited and feebly capitalised flotation of 
the company — merely ' Wolf and Raven.' No tribe would 
select ravens as the article of food which most required care- 

' My italics. ^ J. A. I., N.S. i. 278. » IMd. p. 282. 

' Mr. Mathews counts thirty-four totems in the Dilbi, and as many in 
the KvpatMn ' phratries.' Froc. Roy. iSoo. J^.S.W. xxxi. 157-158. 


fill propagation and preservation, even if the Wolf most de- 
manded to be propitiated and mollified. The new Australian 
facts (whatever their interpretation) are fatal to the older 
idea that a tribe could have had only two original totems : 
an idea which we may perhaps regard as now abandoned, at 
least by Mr. Frazer. 

Thus Mr. Spencer himself remarks that, in Anmta 
tradition, there were numbers of totem groups before the 
great dichotomous division was made. That is my own 
opinion : though I do not hold it for Mr. Spencer's reasons, 
or believe in any ' bisection.' 


It will be noted that Mr. Spencer's original totem groups 
existed for magical piu-poses only, and were not exogamous. 
' The traditions of the Arunta tribe point to a very definite 
introduction of an exogamic system long after the totemic 
groups were fully developed, and, further, they point very 
clearly to the fact that the introduction was due to the 
deliberate action of certain ancestors. Our knowledge of 
the natives leads us to the opinion that it is quite possible 
that this really took place, that the exogamic groups were de- 
liberately introduced so as to regulate marital relations.' 

The Arunta ' exogamic groups ' are ' classes,' and 
' phratries,' the totem does not now regulate marriage among 
the Arunta. I shall later try to show, that, originally, 
totems did regulate marriage, among the Arunta. But here 
we find Mr. Spencer averring that possibly ' the exogamic 
groups were deliberately introduced so as to regulate marital 
relations ' among the Arunta. This opinion surprises us, if 
we hold that exogamy was, in its original forms, the result, 
not of a deliberate enactment, but of gradual and unconscious 
processes, to which, later, conscious modifications have been 
added. Mr. Spencer, despite the passage cited, is obviously 
of the same opinion, for he proceeds to remark, ' By this we 
do not mean that the regulations had anything whatever to 


do with the idea of incest, or of any harm accruing from the 
union of individuals who were regarded as too nearly related. 
... It can only be said that far back in the early history 
of mankind, there was felt the need of some form of organi- 
sation, and that this gradually resulted in the development of 
exogamous groups.' 

This statement must remind us of what the ancient 
ballad sings about Lord Bateman : 

He shipped himself all aboard of a ship. 
Some foreign country for to see. 

The scholiast (Thackeray, I think) explains, 'some foreign 
country he wished to see, and that was the extent of his 
desire : any foreign country woidd serve his purpose, all 
foreign countries were alike to him.' In the same way, long 
ago, the ancestors of the Australians ' felt the need of some 
form of organisation,' and that was the extent of their desire ; 
any organisation would serve their purpose. Nevertheless, 
Mr. Spencer also says that, quite possibly, ' the exogamic 
groups were deliberately introduced so as to regulate marital 
relations.' But exogamic groups can regulate marital 
arrangements in one way only — that is, by introducing 
exogamy. Yet Mr. Spencer remarks that ' the development 
of exogamic groups ' gradiudly resulted from some organisa- 
tion of unknown nature. I am unable to reconcile Mr. 
Spencer's statements with each other. The 'bisection' of 
his theory could not, I fear, be ' gradual.' 

Mr. Frazer, in 1899, begins with numerous totem groups, 
primarily and originally arranged for mere purposes of co- 
operative magic, in the social interests of a large friendly 
tribe, itself no primitive institution, one thinks. Then he 
supposes that the exogamous bisection occiured (and why 
did it occur ? ), and then ' if the existing totem groups were 
arranged, as they naturally would be, some in one of the two 
new classes, and the rest in the other, the exogamy of the totem 
groups would follow, ipso facto.'' ' Mr. Frazer does not here 

' J. A. I., N.S. i. 284-285. 


pretend to guess why the bisection occurred. The rest is 
quite obvious : but it is vmavoidably inconsistent with Mr. 
Frazer's earlier theory, that a tribe begins (or that the 
Thlinkets began) wjth two original totem groups, made them 
exogamous, ands then ' subdivided ' them up (or did they 
merely swjarm off ? ) into many totem groups. It is against 
that almost universal theory, in 1899 abandoned (as I con- 
ceive) by Mr. Frazer, that I have so long been arguing. 
There was not first an exogamous bisection of a tribe, or the 
addition of the exogamous rule to two ' original clans,' or 
totem groups, and then the subdivision of each of the two 
sections into a number of totems. This cannot have occurred. 
Totems, I venture to think, did not come in that way, but 
pre-existing totem kins, granting the bisection, might fall into 
one or other phratry, if they had always been exogamous. 


On my system, as has been already stated, the origin of 
exogamy may have been sexual jealousy, in small primitive 
groups, perhaps aided by ' sexual tabu,' with the strange 
superstitions on which it is based, and these causes would be 
strengthened enormously by the totem superstition, later. 
The totem name would now be the exogamous limit. The 
' phratries ' might result, quite naturally, and even gradually, 
now in one region, now in another, from the interlocking and 
alliance, with connubium, of two large friendly local totem 
groups, an arrangement of which the advantages are so 
obvious that it might spread by way of imitation and 

This view of the possible origin of what is usually called 
the ' bisection ' of ' the undivided commune ' had already been 
suggested by the late Mr. Daniel McLennan.^ Writing 
before our information was so full as it now is, he says, as 
to the two ' phratries ' Kumite and Kroki (answering to 
Matthurie and Kirarawa), ' were it worth while to make 

' Studies in Ancient Eistory, second series, p. 605. 


surmises, it would not be unreasonable to surmise that at 
Mount Gambler two separate local tribes ^ containing different 
totem kindreds had, through the operation of exogamy and 
female kinship, become welded into one community.' Mr. 
Daniel McLennan, unluckily, inherited his brother's feud 
against Mr. Fison, and he opposed all that gentleman's do- 
ings. Later research has corroborated many of Mr. Fison's 
facts, and extended the range of their influence. On this 
point, however — namely, that the ' phratries ' are not the 
result of a bisection, but of an amalgamation — Mr. Daniel 
McLennan appears to have had a good case. He illustrates 
his theory, and mine, by remarks on a tradition of the tribes 
of Northern Victoria.^ 

The exogamous ' phratries ' of these tribes are Eagle- 
Hawk and Crow. The tradition represents these birds as 
hostile creative powers. They made peace on the terms 
' that the Murray blacks should be divided into two classes ' 
(' phratries'), ' the Makquarra, or Eagle-Hawk, and the Kil- 
parra, or Crow. . . . Out of the enmities' (of the original 
Crow and Eagle-Hawk) ' arose the two classes, and thence a 
law governing marriage among these classes.' This tradition, 
it wiU be observed, espouses the theory of a bisection, 
deliberately made of ' the Murray blacks,' into two inter- 
marrying and exogamous classes. Mr. McLennan writes, 
' But what the tradition suggests is, not that the Crow and 
Eagle agreed to divide one tribe into two, with a view to the 
better regulation of marriage, but that Crow and Eagle or 
Eagle-Hawk were tribes (and they might have been consti- 
tuted in the ordinary Australian way) which long waged war 
against each other, and that at length there came peace, and 
then their complete interfusion by means of friendly marriages.' 
The tradition asserts the reverse ; it adopts, or rather it 
forestalls, the scientific theory of a ' bisection ' of the MuiTay 
blacks, not the amalgamation of two tribes (or large local 
totem groups). But I agree with Mr. McLennan in prefer- 

' Local totem groups, in my theory. 

'' Brough Smyth, Aborigines of Victoria, i. 423-i24. 


ring, for the reasons given, the theory of an amalgamation. 
It is rather curious and interesting to observe that almost 
every scientific hypothesis about totems and ' classes,' which 
I am obliged to reject, has, in fact, been forestalled by the 
theories which the natives themselves express in their explana- 
tory myths. Myths, I fear, are never in the right. ' The 
aborigines themselves,' says Mr. Howitt, ' recognise the 
former existence of the undivided commune in their legends, 
but,' he judiciously adds, ' I do not rely upon this as having 
the force of evidence.' ' 

We shall presently see that other distinguished anthro- 
pologists do, to some extent, rely on Arunta myths, as 
' bearing the stamp of authenticity.' The truth is that the 
native thinkers have hit on the same hypothesis as their 
European critics, the hypothesis of something like deliberate 
primeval legislation to a given end, the regulation of mar- 
riage. Far from accepting any such native myths, I am 
rather inclined to hold that, whatever theory be correct, the 
theory of the savage myth-makers must be wrong. It ought 
to be said that Mr. Fison, at least, knows what his own 
theory involves, and once even frankly accepted the possibility 
that the Dieri myth (the foundation of exogamy by divine 
decree) may be historically true. ' All I contend for is,' he 
says, ' that if the former existence of the undivided commxme 
be taken for granted ' (and Mr. Fison, unlike Mr. Howitt, 
regards the undivided commune as a mere unproved hypo- 
thesis), 'its division into exogamous clans must have had 
precisely the effect ' (a consciously reformatory effect) ' which 
Mr. Morgan's theory requires. If such a community ever 
existed, I do not hesitate to say that Mr. Morgan's " refor- 
matory movement" appears to me the most likely mettiod 
by which it would begin its advance to a better system of mar- 
riage ' than ' communal marriage.' 

But what gave the impulse to the hypothetical moral 
reformation .'' Contact with a more advanced tribe is 

' On the Orgtmisation of Auslralicm Tribes, p. 186. 


reckoned improbable by Mr. Fison (for how came the other 
tribe to be more advanced ?), and so the moral impxilse 
' must have been derived from a higher power,' from the Good 
Spirit, or from ancestral spirits, as in the myths of the Dieri, 
the Woeworung, also of the Menomini Redmen of North 
America, a branch of the Algonquins, and the Euahlayi 

According to the Menomini, there is, or was, a Being 
who ' made the earth.' ^ His name being interpreted means 
' The Great Unknown,' but only extreme believers in the 
theory of religious borrowing will say that he was Sir Walter 
Scott, Bart. He (The Great Unknown) created ' manidos 
or spirits,' in the shape of animals, or birds. The chief 
birds (as often in Australia) were Eagles and Hawks. The 
Bear ' came out of the ground,' and was turned into an 
Indian, by the Great Unknown, alias ' The Good Mystery.' 
He and the Beaver headed totem kins now in 'The Big 
Thunder phratry.' Other animals came in ; there are now 
Bear, Eagle, Crane, and Moose ' phratries,' each containing 
a number of totems. All the people of a totem name in the 
Menomini tribe are akin to persons of the same totem in 
other tribes, say of the Sioux.^ 

These myths favourably illustrate the piety of the Dieri, 
Woeworung, Euahlayi men, and Menomini. Like Mr. Fison 
(at one time, and ' under all reserves ') these tribes leaned to 
the hypothesis of divine or supernormal intervention in 
matters totemic. The Dieri may be right, but a less 
difficult hypothesis is that there was never 'an undivided 
commune,' in the sense of Mr. Morgan and Mr. Fison, and 
that, consequently, it never was ' divided into exogamous 
clans.' If so, no miracle is needed : Nee Dens intersit nisi 
(lignus vindice nodus. My own scheme needs no divine aid, 
nor deliberate legislation, 'in the beginning.' But that 

' I know that many students will decline to admit that there is such a 
myth of a Maker. 

« Report of Bureau of Mtlinology, 1892-1893, pt. i. pp. 32-43. 


such legislation has intervened later, I think probable, or 

Messrs. Spencer and Gillen write : ' Rigidly conservative 
as the native is, it is yet possible for changes to be introduced. 
. . . There are certain men who are respected for their ability, 
and, after watching large numbers of the tribe, at a time 
when they were assembled together for months to perform 
certain of their most sacred ceremonies, we have come to the 
conclusion that, at a time such as this, when the older and 
more powerful men from various groups are met together, 
and when day by day, and night by night around their camp 
fires, they discuss matters of tribal interest, it is quite possible 
for changes of custom to be introduced.' ^ The Arunta 
traditions allege that such changes introduced by men of 
weight, and accepted after discussion, have been not unusual.^ 
This is highly probable, now, but not in the beginning. 

The Arunta historical traditions are of little value as 
to historical facts,' but the consciousness of the Central 
Australian tribes accepts the possibility that new customs 
may now be proposed, debated, and adopted. If no such 
thing ever occurred, the belief in its possibility could scarcely 
have arisen among the Arunta. But the possibility has its 
limits, and one of these is the deliberate primeval intro- 
duction of exogamy, for no conceivable reason, and its im- 
position on a society already totemic but not yet exogamous. 
Perhaps few critics will frankly say that exogamy was thus 
imposed ; they will try to qualify or evade so improbable and 
antiquated a theory. Yet they cannot but slip back into 
it, while they believe in ' segmentations ' of ' an undivided 
commune,' and of later totemic ' subdivisions ' of the ' seg- 

In any case these Arunta and cognate tribes of similar 
usages, so recently discovered, so anomalous, so odd, are 

' Natives of Central Australia, pp. 12-15. 
2 lUd. pp. 15, 421-422, also p. 272. 

' Here I dissent from Mr. Frazer and Messrs. Spencer and Gillen ; the 
point is discussed later. 

r 2 


' the only begetters ' of the latest hypotheses of Mr. Frazer 
and Mr. Spencer — namely, that totems, originally, were co- 
operative industrial groups with no influence on marriage 
rules. Do the Arunta, then, present a surviving model of 
primitive Totemism, in other regions modified and con- 
taminated ; or is their Totemism not, like their metaphysics 
and psychology, a ' freak,' an unique divergence from the 
normal development, as I have from the first maintained ? ' 
All these difficulties and confusions, as to ' phratries ' and 
totems, inevitably arise from the doctrine that the original 
totem groups were not at first exogamous, and only became 
•exogamous when separate sets of them were scheduled under 
Ihe two more recent exogamous primary divisions, or were 
segmented out of them. In that case it is not easy to see 
how we can escape from the impossible theory that exogamy, 
and the primary divisions, were the result, of direct legislative 
enactment. Even if we could believe this, we see no conceiv- 
able motive, except Mr. Fison's divine intervention, an idea 
which, it appears, he put forward quite provisionally in an 
argument with Lord Avebury.^ 


The case of these Central Australian tribes, in regard to 
Totemism and marriage prohibitions, is so peculiar that it 
demands particular notice. Mr. Frazer some years ago pro- 
pounded the hypothesis that the Arunta tribe, especially, 
are the most ' primitive ' of living peoples, are still in ' the 
chrysalis stage ' of humanity, whence it would follow that 
their singular kind of Totemism, and of marriage rules, is 
nearest to the beginning, and best represents the original 
type.' The Arunta, dwelling in the arid regions of the 
centre, have certainly been little contaminated by European 

' Fortmghtly Meviem, June 1889. 

^ In 1895, J. A. I. xxiv., no. 4, p. 371, Mr. Fisou abandons hope of a 
certain discovery of the origin of exogamy. 
' Fortniglitly Bevien), April, May, 1899. 


influences. They are naked, houseless, non-agricultural 
nomads, like all the Australian tribes, and it is asserted by 
Messrs. Spencer and Gillen and others that they have not yet 
discovered the rather obvious facts as to the reproduction of 
the species. All this has certainly a primitive air. But I 
have ventured to reply that the Arunta, as regards the family, 
are confessedly more advanced towards individual marriage 
than their neighbours, the Urabunna, with whom they freely 
intermarry.^ Unlike what is told of the Urabunna, the 
Arunta recognise ' individual marriage.' They deliberately 
and ingeniously modify their system on the occasion of inter- 
marriage with the Urabunna. These reckon descent in the 
female, the Arunta in the male line.^ The office of Alatunja, 
or head man of a local group, among the Arunta, is here- 
ditary in the male line, descending to a brother of the late 
Alatunja, if he leaves no adult son.' 

Moreover, the Arunta, and cognate tribes, occupy an area 
of 750 miles, and their meetings and discussions last for 
months. A people truly primitive cannot be conceived as 
capable of such immense local associations, and of such pro- 
longed and pacific assemblies. Again, Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen, rightly or wrongly, believe that ' communal marriage ' 
is the earlier institution, and that it persists, 'slightly 
modified ^ among the Urabunna, but not among the Arunta. 
Thus, beyond all doubt, the Arunta are more developed, 
more advanced, than the Urabunna, and it is hardly safe to 
say that, where their organisation difiers from that of the 
Urabmina, and other tribes in general, it differs because it 
is more ' primitive.' It must be less primitive, a special 
divergence from the type. 


Again, as proof that they are in no chrysalis stage, the 
Arunta possess a reasoned theory of things, so ingenious and 
complex, so peculiar, so extraordinary, so carefully atheistic, 

' Spencer and Gillen, pp. 68, 69, 121. ^ Hid. p. 70. » Ibid. p. 10. 


that one could scarcely believe it possible for naked savages, 
were it not so well attested. The theory is that of the 
original evolution of types of life into plants and animals, 
which, with the minimum of extra-natm-al aid, became human. 
The human beings possessed souls, which on the death, or 
disappearance into earth, of the original owners, were 
hereditary, being reborn into Arunta children. These souls 
each of a given totem (the plant or animal or other thing 
which first became human) haunt certain local centres. One 
place is the centre of Grub totem souls, another of Cat totem 
souls, and so forth. Each new child is of the totem of the 
haunted locality where the mother supposes that she con- 
ceived it ; a totem soul of that locality has become incarnate 
in her, and from her is born. Thus the wife may be of one 
totem, the child of another ; the husband may be of the wife's 
totem, of the child's, or of another. The totem is thus no 
bar to marriage, and is not inherited, all this being the 
result of the peculiar philosophic system of the Arunta. 
Their totemism is thus a ' sport,' and not the original form 
of the institution. 

We cannot reverse the case, the philosophy of hereditary 
totemie souls cannot be the result of the present mode of 
inheriting the totem from the group of souls that haunts 
each locality, it cannot be a myth invented to explain that 
custom. That custom requires the peculiar Arunta soul- 
belief as its basis, and cannot exist without the belief. If 
the child received its totem name from the place where it is 
born, we might say, ' Originally the child was called after the 
place of its birth.'' (Arunta children still receive territorial 
personal names from the place of their birth.) ' Later, 
Totemism came in with totem local names, each place having 
a totem title. The local totem name of the place where a 
child was born was then given to each child. Still later, 
arose a myth that totem souls haunted each place, and that 
the child received its totem name because a local totem soul 
was incarnated in it, at the place where it was born.' We 
cannot maintain this theory — which makes the present 


Arunta belief a myth to explain the present Arunta custom — 
because that custom it does not explain. The child receives 
its totem name, not from the place where it is born, but 
from the place where the totem soul entered into its mother. 
Nor can we assume that totem names were originally given, 
not to human groups, but to districts of territory. Thus 
the present Arunta mode of obtaining the totem, in each 
case, is the direct result of the Arunta philosophic belief. 
That belief is peculiar, is elsewhere unheard of, is the 
property of a tribe distinctly more advanced in marriage 
rules, and local solidarity, than some of its neighbours, and 
therefore cannot be primary. It follows that the Arunta 
mode of obtaining the totem, not by inheritance, is not 
' primitive,' is not the original model from which the rest ot 
savage mankind has diverged. This I state, because, as a 
rule, a belief exists to explain an institution, and, as a rule, 
an institution is not the result of a belief. 


Each Arunta totem kin may now eat, in moderation, of 
its own totem, and each kin does magic {Intichiumd) for 
the benefit of its totem, as part of the food supply of the 
tribe in general. The traditions represent men and women 
of the same totem as, of old, usually intermarrying (that is, 
as endogamous) : while they are also said, as a rule, to 
have fed almost exclusively on their totems, being thus 

All these usages, real or traditional (except doing magic 
for the benefit of the totem), are at the opposite pole from 
the customary exogamous and exophagous Totemism of savage 
tribes all over the world, and even in A.ustralia. If, therefore, 
the Arunta and tribes practising the same usages are 
primitive (it may be, and has been argued), their Totemism 
is, in origin, the earliest known case of the division of 
labour; each group selecting and working (by magic) 
for the benefit of its totem, as part of the tribal food supply. 


I elsewhere argue that each group must probably have had a 
recognised connection with its totem, before it set out to do 
magic for the propagation of the creature.^ But I have also 
maintained that the Arunta are far from being ' primitive,' 
but are rather a ' sport,' and that their usages represent a 
local variation from the central stream of Totemism; not 
Totemism in its earliest known form. 


I had written on this topic in the Fortnightly Review 
(June, 1899), and in another chapter of this book (' The 
Origin of Totemism'), before I saw the essay of Professor 
Durkheim, of Bordeaux, Sur le Totemisme? It is encourag- 
ing to find that Dr. Durkheim, independently, has worked out 
the same theory — namely, that the Arunta are not in the 
primitive stage of Totemism, but represent a very peculiar 
divergence from the type, and that their historical legends 
(more or less accepted by Mr. Frazer and Mr. Spencer) are 
mainly myths, told to account for certain facts in their social 
arrangements. We are not to reason from their single case, 
says Dr. Durkheim, as against the great mass of our know- 
ledge of Totemism and totemistic exogamy and exophagy. 
' In place of being a perfectly pure example of the totemistic 
regime, is not Arunta Totemism a later and disfigured 
{denaturee) development ? ' For many reasons, says Dr. 
Durkheim, ' the Arunta are among the most advanced of the 
Australian peoples,' ^ and he gives his grounds for this 
opinion, some of which I had already adduced in 1899. 
Entering into detail. Dr. Durkheim readily shows that, 
though the Arunta now permit marriage between persons of 
the same totem (which is not hereditary on either side, but 
casual), they are, for all that, exogamous, in a fashion result- 
ing from precise Totemism in their past. 

' See ' The Origin of Totemism,' infra. 

2 L'Awnie Socioloffiqvs, 1900-1901, pp. 82-121. 

' ma. V. 89-90. 


They may not marry within the two primary divisions 
(which Dr. Durkheim styles ' phratries '). Each phratry 
contains two (sometimes fom-) other ' classes ' (exogamous), 
and phratries arose in the combination of ' two elementary 
exogamous totem groups ' — as I have already suggested. Now 
phratries, we have agreed with Mr. Howitt and Mr. Fison, 
were, in all probability, themselves originally totemic. Mr. 
Frazer also says, ' We should infer that the objects from which 
the Australian phratries take their names were originally 
totems. But there seems to be direct evidence that both the 
phratries and subphratries actually retain, in some tribes, their 
totems.' ^ If the opinion be correct, the phratries of the 
Arunta, which regulate their marriages, were originally local 
totem groups. On my system, then, namely, that totem kins 
were originally, or very early became, exogamous, were 
exogamous before ' phratries ' arose, and before the so-called 
' bisection ' was made, then the Arunta organisation was 
originally that of exogamous Totemism. At first, though 
not now, totems regulated Arunta marriages. 

Dr. Durkheim, in the passage cited, says that the two 
exogamous phratries are composed of ' two elementary totem 
groups, egalement exogarms!' ^ Dr. Durkheim, who here 
is of my opinion, writes, 'It is not true that, among the 
Arunta, the totem has always been ■" (as it is now) ' without 
influence on marriages, nor, above all, is it true that Totemism, 
generally, implied endogamy.' Yet, according to Arunta 
myth, the ancestors of the ' dream-time ' {AlcTwringd) were 
endogamous, as a general rule, and, as a general rule, were 
endophagous, ate their totem animals or plants. The ances- 
tors of their traditions fed on their own totems, ' as if by a 
functional necessity,' say Messrs. Spencer and Gillen. But 
this simply cannot be true, for each totem is not in season 
(plums, for instance), or accessible, all the year through, and, 
if it were, it would be exterminated by endophagy. The 
traditions, again, do not represent the men of the totem 
groups as really and religiously endogamous. They exercised 
' Totemism, p. 83. ^ IJAnnee SoeiologiqtMi, v. 92. 


marital privileges, not only over the women of their totem 
group, but over any other woman they could come across. 
Certain totem groups are represented in the legends as wan- 
dering across the land, the men living with women of their 
totem group, while ' there is nothing to show definitely that 
marital relations were prohibited between individuals of 
different totems.' The men accepted the caresses of such 
women of other totems as they encountered ; but their habi- 
tual mates were the women of their own totem. '^ In the 
alleged state of perpetual treh, the wives were natinrally, 
in the opinion of the myth makers, of the group. At 
present an Arunta marries in or out of his totem ; as he 


The relations of the totem groups to the ' primary 
divisions,'' or ' phratries,'' among the Arunta and cognate 
tribes, are, as we have already stated, entirely peculiar. We 
have seen that, in North America, and in Australia generally, 
no phratry ever contains the same totems as its linked 
phratry, and we have seen that Mr. Frazer calls this the 
natural arrangement. ^ If so, the present Arunta arrangement 
is not natural ; it is a divergence from the natural type. 
Among the Arunta, ' no totem is confined to either moiety ' 
(' phratry ') ' of the tribe.' There is only ' in each local 
centre a great predominance of one moiety.' ^ 

Dr. Durkheim regards the present state of Arunta 
affairs (the totems not being peculiar to either phratry) 
as uTie derogation. Originally, he thinks, as among 
the Urabunna, each phratry contained only totems which 
were iwt in the other phratry ; and he detects survivals, 
among the Arunta, of the earlier usage. At present the 
Arunta totems show ' a slight tendency to skip ' (chevaucher) 

' Spencer and Gillen, p. 419. 

^ /. A. Z, N.S., i. 285. " Spencer and Gillen, p. 120. 


' from one into the other phratry, doubtless because the 
Arunta totem system is no longer complete ' — and no wonder, 
as Arunta totems are now not hereditary, but derived from 
the totem souls haunting each locality. Again, in Arunta 
legend, the ancestors ' were divided into companies, the 
members of which bore the same totem name, and belonged 
as a rule to the same moiety ' (' phratry ') ' of the tribe,'' as 
now among the Urabunna, ' who are in a less developed state 
than the Arunta.'' So say Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, and 
thus Arunta legend points to a past in which Arunta usage 
was, in this matter, as a rule the same as that of the less 
developed Urabunna : which I believe it really was. 

But we can hardly accept the legends when they fit, and 
reject them when they do not fit, om- theory ! I lay no 
stress on the legends. 

K, however, the Arunta ' phi-atries ' originally, as Dr. 
Dm-kheim and I believe, never contained the same totems, 
then each Arunta totem group was, at that time, necessarily 
exogamous. No man or woman could then marry within the 
totem, as, at present, the Arunta can and do. They were 
barred by the phratry limit : persons of their totem were 
never in the phratry into which alone they could marry. 
So no one then could marry a member of his or her own totem 
kin. ' It is, therefore, untrue that marriage has always been 
permitted between members of a totem,' says Dr. Durkheim, 
though Arunta legend declares for the opposite view. 


Here I am apt to agi-ee with Dr. Durkheim. The evi- 
dence of the Arunta legends as to the customs of the 
Akheringa, or ' dreamtime,'' is ' such stuff as dreams are 
made of The legends are ' statements, invented mainly by 
popular fancy,'' says Dr. Durkheim, 'to explain existing 
institutions, by attaching them to some mythical beings in 
the past. They are myths, in the proper sense of the word.'' 
They are not marked by authenticity. 


Against this idea we have the opinion of Mr. Frazer, and 
of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen.^ The Arunta traditions, 
they say, and Mr. Frazer agrees with them, do not explain the 
present system, but deal with a former state of organisation 
and with customs quite different from the present. They do, 
but the Arunta invented the customs described in their myths, 
on purpose to explain, mythically, how the present customs 
arose out of deliberate modification of the alleged older 
customs. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen themselves assert this : 
'the traditions point to a very definite introduction of an 
exogamic system, long after the totemic groups were fully 
developed, and, further, they point very clearly to the fact 
that the introduction was due to the deliberate action 
of certain ancestors,' which is the theory of Mr. Lewis 
Morgan ! 

The rest is true, but I, like Dr. Durkheim, conceive that 
all is (except where we have external evidence for deliberate 
modification of the ' classes ') merely part of the Arunta 
agtiological or explanatory myth. That myth starts from 
the belief (Mr. Howitt's belief ?) in primary totemic, but not 
exogamous groups, such as are precisely the present groups of 
the Arunta, though not of their neighbours the Urabunna, 
or of totemists in general. This exceptional condition of 
Arunta affairs needed explanation, and got it, in the myth 
that the groups were originally totemic, but not exogamous, 
as Arunta totem groups stiU are. Exogamy (not applying 
to totem groups, but to ' phratries '') was brought in, the 
myth says, by deliberate action, by our old friend, 'the 
Legislator.' The Arunta traditions, therefore, do explain 
' the origin of the present system,' of the Arunta, as far as 
exogamy goes ; and their explanation is as much a specu- 
lative hypothesis as Mr. Morgan's equivalent theory. It is 
one more example of the coincidence of savage myth and 
scientific hypothesis. 

' J. A. I., N.S., i., nos. 3, 4, p. 276. 



I understand Messrs. Spencer and Gillen to contest this 
opinion, in one psissage, and to assert it, under qualifications, 
in another. Their exact words must be given. 'If they' 
(Arunta traditions) ' simply explained the origin of the 
present system out of, as it were, no system, then we might 
regard them as simply myths invented to account for the 
former ' (i.e. ' the present system ' ), ' but when we find that 
they deal with a gradual development, and with a former 
state of organisation and customs quite different from, and in 
important respects at variance with, the organisation and 
customs of the present day, we are probably right in regard- 
ing them as actually indicative of a time when these were 
different from those now in force.' ^ 

Now to what do the traditions amount, as regards earlier 
marriage laws and customs at variance with those now in use 
among the Arunta ? They amount to this : (1) Men of one 
totem had marital relations normally with women of the 
same totem. It is no longer the case that Arunta men have 
relations, normally and exclusively, with women of the same 
totem ; a man may marry a woman of his own totem, or not, 
as he pleases. But so, in the traditions of the primeval trek, 
a man might, and did, take women of other totems as he 
pleased, by conquest probably ; though these women seem to 
have lived, hitherto, solely with men of their own totem. 
The tradition starts from the hypothesis that all members of 
each mythical wandering totem group were originally of the 
same totem. That being so, the men naturally lived, when 
on trek, with women of their totem, taking women of other 
totems as they came across them. No longer on trek, the 
Arunta of to-day do the same thing, marry women of their 
own or any other totem. The only shade of difference arises 
from the nature of the mythical theory, that many totem 
groups were originally migratory. But the present Arunta 
' /.Ji.Z,N.S.,i. 276-277. 


system of ' go as you please ' in marriage (as far as totems 
are concerned) differs from the regular custom of the neigh- 
bouring Urabunna, for example. That difference, the Arunta 
probably feel, needs explanation. So their myth explains it, 
' we Arunta always acted thus from the beginning.' So far 
the ' tradition ' of Messrs Spencer and Gillen seems to me to 
be an ordinary explanatory myth. 

(2) At the supposed time (a time when many human 
tjrpes were still in the husk ! ) men and women of what are 
now ' exogamic groups ' (' phratries ' or ' classes ' ) had marital 
relations contrary to present usage. 

But did the phratries or classes then, according to tradi- 
tion, exist at all ? The legend says that the men of the 
Little Hawk totem had these ' phratries ' and classes, Kumura 
and Purula and so on (the names then carrjdng no known 
exogamous prohibition, as now, for the legend does not say 
that these ' classes ' were exogamous). The Little Hawk men 
had arrived at the arts of making flint knives, and using 
them in circumcision. This they taught to less advanced 
groups, who tooled with fire sticks. But they only let their 
pupils have ' very rough ' stone knives (Palaeolithic, probably), 
at first. ' It was these Little Hawks,' say our authors, ' who 
first gave to the Arunta the fom- " class " names. We may 
presume that along with them there was instituted some system 
of marriage regulations, but what exactly this was there is 
no evidence to show.' Either the Little Hawks introduced 
exogamy, or they did not, a valuable result of traditional 
evidence.' 'As yet we have no indication of any restric- 
tions with regard to marriage as far as either totems or 
classes are concerned,' say Messrs. Spencer and Gillen. Then 
why does the legend aver that the class names existed ? Why 
did they exist ? Now the existing restrictions of the ' classes ' 
need explanation, and get it, from the myth ; but, as there 
are no Arunta totem restrictions on marriage, at present the 
myth naturally says nothing about them. At this mythic 
period, ' persons of the Purula and Kumura classes, who may not 
' Native Tribes of Aiistralia, pp. 396-402, 421. 


now marry one another, are represented as living together.' ^ 
(3) Next ' the organisation now in vogue was adopted.' But, 
in its first shape, due to the wisdom of Emu men, it permitted 
marriages, which are now (4) forbidden by the superior intelli- 
gence of men dwelling further north, ' and it was decided to 
adopt the new system,' that is, the present Arunta ' class ' 

Now the Arunta are stiU accepting innovations from the 
North, and this part of the myth need not be mythical. 

But the whole traditions, fuU of stark mythical inventions 
(including a myth like that of Isis and the mutilation of 
Osiris), amount merely to this. Society was totemic, but the 
totems were not exogamous ; rather endogamous of the two. 
Society among the Arunta is still totemic, but not, as far as 
totems go, exogamous. In this it differs from the usual rule, 
and the myth explains why, — ' it was always so.' But Arunta 
society is exogamous as regards the ' phratries ' and classes, 
and that has to be explained by the myth. The myth there- 
fore explains by saying that Emu men introduced a deficient, 
and northern men an adequate, system of exogamy — -that 
which now prevails. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, however, 
appear to deny that the ' traditions ' ' simply explain the 
origin of the present system, out of, as it were, no system.' 
It is true that the traditions do give stages in the arrange- 
ment of the present system ; but they also do ' explain the 
origin of the present system.' And Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen not only admit this, but, as we saw, even think the 
explanation ' quite possible.' The explanation, I repeat, is 
that the system ' is due to the deliberate action of certain 
ancestors,' Emu men and wiser Northern men. 

Of course, as we tried to show, that explanation of 
primeval exogamy is improbable, but it is the explanation 
given by the Arunta legend. With a grain of fact, as to 
innovations from the North, the legend is a myth, an 
aetiological myth, a myth explanatory of the origin of the 
present organisation. History it is not. The Arunta 
> Native Tribes of Australia, p. 418. 


' traditions ' are not historical evidence in favour of the new 
hypothesis that the Arunta are ' primitive,' are in ' the 
chrysalis stage ' of humanity ; (this they deny) : that Totem- 
ism, in origin, vi^as a magical co-operative and industrial 
association ; that the original totems were not exogamous ; 
and that exogamy was superimposed by legislation, or grew 
out of an organisation so imposed on a society of non-exoga- 
mous totem groups. Whatever the value of that hypothesis, 
it has no historical support from the Arunta traditions. 
History is a very diflFerent thing. 

The Arunta still marry, at pleasure, in or out of the 
totem, merely because their totems are now scattered about 
among their exogamous divisions. This is not the ' natural 
arrangement ' (as Mr. Frazer assures us), is not the inevitable 
original arrangement, and is not the case with their neighbours, 
the Urabunna, who are confessedly ' less developed than the 
Arunta.' The Urabunna system, therefore, is more archaic, 
ex hypothesi, than that of the Arunta, which must be less 
archaic. It is, I repeat, peculiar, isolated, needs explanation, 
and the Arunta traditions give the explanation. The an- 
cestors took women in or out of the totem, as at present the 
Arunta do ; exogamy by classes was later imposed, says the 
myth. Dr. Durkheim appears here to hold the more logical 
position. There was, I conceive, with Dr. Durkheim, and 
have stated, though Messrs Spencer and Gillen and others 
deny it, ' a primary relationship between the totemic system 
and exogamy.' ' 

' Op. eit. p 279 




The essential question is, why, among the more archaic 
Urabvmna, do the large exogamous divisions never include the 
same totems, whereas, among the more highly developed 
Arunta, they do ? If we can show how the Arunta, if once 
organised on the Urabunna and North American model, came 
to slip out of it ; while we cannot show how the Urabunna, 
and most other tribes, if once on the Arunta model, came to 
desert it (as they must have done), then it will seem probable 
that the Urabunna organisation, the regular universal Aus- 
tralian organisation, is the older. 

The sequence of events, as understood by Messrs. Spencer 
and Gillen, was this, or, at least, may thus be conceived. 
We take two tribes, say Urabunna and Arimta. They both 
have many totem groups, totemic, because (on this theory) 
each group had, for its ' primary function,' the working of 
magic for the object which was its totem. The totem had 
primarily, on this theory, no relation to marriage rules. It 
is 'quite possible' that certain persons then deliberately 
introduced exogamous divisions. . . . 'so as to regulate 
marital relations.' The exact purpose, however, is unknown ; 
' it can only be said that far back in the early history of 
mankind, there was felt the need of some form of organisa- 
tion, and that this gradually resulted in the development of 
exogamic groups.' This position I have already criticised ; it 
is not intelligible to me. However — the exogamous division 
was made, and then all the totems might be arranged sepa- 
rately in the two divisions, by the Urabunna, ' and perhaps 


the majority of Australian tribes ' (and the American tribes) 
or, ' this was not done,' as by the Arunta. Consequently, 
Messrs. Spencer and Gillen think, the rule which prevents 
an Urabunna man from marrying a woman of his own 
totem, has nothing, primarily, to do with the totem, but 
is a mere inevitable consequence of the system which, among 
all tribes but the Arunta, excluded each totem from one of 
the two exogamous divisions, and placed it (not among the 
Arunta) in the other. My own system — I need not reiterate 
it — is the reverse of all this. 

The Arunta, I contend, probably had, originally, the 
usual organisation, but have lost it, for obvious reasons, so 
that now the same totem may occur in both of the large exo- 
gamous divisions, and persons of the same totem may now 

The traditions of the Arunta represent the exogamous 
' phratries ' as later than the totemic (but not yet exogamous) 
division. Dr. Diu-kheim thinks this improbable or impossible. 
It is true that the ' phratries ' or ' classes ' are now much more 
important, among the Arunta, than the totems, on which 
Dr. Durkheim insists. They need not, therefore, be earlier. 


The theory of Dr. Durkheim is not, perhaps, expressed 
with his usual lucidity ; at least I have found some difficulty 
in understanding it. The following summary, however, seems 
to be correct. ' The phratry,' he says, ' began by being a clan ' 
(in my terminology an exogamous local totem group). 
' There is no reason why this general idea should not apply 
to the Arunta. Consequently, since there are actually two 
exogamous phratries, we have reason to admit that this 
society was originally formed by two primary clans, or, if 
any one prefers the phrase, by two elementary totem groups, 
both exogamous {egalement exogames), for under this form the 
two phratries must have begun to exist. Now in that case 
there was at least a moment when marriage was forbidden 


between members of the same totem,' though now among the 
Arunta this rule no longer obtains.^ 

So far Dr. Durkheim and I hold identical views ; we 
differ on a point of detail. What are, and whence came, 
the totems within the phratries ? Dr. Dm-kheim conceives 
the case thus : Originally there was a ' clan ' (local totem 
group) which was exogamous, and married out into one other 
equally exogamous clan. The members of each such exo- 
gamous totem group (' clan ') then multiplied and ' swarmed 
off,' in colonies, and all such colonies took a new totem, while 
retaining ' the sentiment of their primary solidarity ' with the 
original totem group. These are the ' secondary ' totem 
kins. But why should they take new totem names and new 
totems ? ^ I know not, but the original group from which 
they swarmed off now became their ' phratry.' This phratry, 
in many cases, still has a totem name, ' which is the proof 
that it is, or has been a clan,' that is an exogamous totem 
group.' Therefore exogamous totem groups were ' primary,' 
the existing totem kins are ' secondary,' they have split off^ 
from the original groups. As far as I am able to foUow Dr. 
Durkheim's reasoning, he and I differ on this one point. 
We both regard the two ' phratries ' as having been originally 
local exogamous totem groups, which united in cormvbium. 
But in each ' phratria ' there exist several totem kinships. 
Dr. Durkheim regards these as ' secondary ' branches which 
split off" from the two original local totem groups, and which, 
in each case, took new totem names, while retaining member- 
ship in their original totem groups, now ' phratries.' They 
are totemic colonies of a totemic metropolis. I, on the other 
hand, as has been explained, conceive that each of the two 
local totem groups which became phratries (say Emu and 
Kangaroo) already, by the action of exogamy in a region 
where there were many totem groups, and by virtue of 
female descent, contained within it persons who were of 

' V Annie Soeiologique, v. 91, 92. 

2 This idea we shall find again later, in another part of Dr. Durkheim's 
system. ' L' Annie Sooiologiq'ue, i. 6, 7. 



various totem kindreds. Dr. Durkheim, on the contrary, 
seems to think of the existence of but two primal exogamous 
clans in a given region. Groups emigrating from these took 
new totem names, while retaining the phratry name and 
connection with their mother clans, now phratries. 

Why the clans were totemic at all does not appear. I 
understand that they were exogamous out of respect for the 
blood of their totems, the totem tabu (p. 57, note 1). 

Against the hypothesis it may be urged (1) that we do 
not know that emigrants from a local centre ever select new 
totem names — unless, indeed, they reach a region where their 
old totem does not exist. This cannot have occxnred con- 
stantly. Again (2), Dr. Durkheim's theory involves the 
same diificulty as my own. How did the colonies from the 
Kangaroo group happen never to select the same totem as 
colonies from the Emu group, so that the same totem never 
occurs in both phratries .? This implies deliberate arrange- 
ment. If however, totem names were given from without, 
by neighbours (as I shall argue), the case could not occur at 
all, and the same totem would appear in both phratries. 

If we adopt the hypothesis that two friendly ' families,' 
or ' fire circles,' of a cousinly character, set the first example 
of exogamous intermarriage — exclusively with each other — 
and then got totem names, they might become phratries, but 
whence arose the totem kins within the phratries ? Shall we 
say that other such ' families,' increasing in size, and receiving 
totem names, came in, two by two, to Emu and Kangaroo, 
each of the new linked adherents taking opposite sides, 
Opossum going to the Kangaroo, Bandicoot to the Emu 
phratry "i This would give the totems within the phratries, 
by a constant accession of other pairs of phratries, which 
subordinated themselves, one to Emu, one to Kangaroo. 
Either this hypothesis, or Dr. Diurkheim's, or my own, 
accounts for the phratry plus totem kins arrangement, 
without supposing the deliberate bisection of a hitherto 
undivided commune. That hypothesis, if any one of the 
other three, Dr. Durkheim's, my own, or the theory of acces- 


sions to the pair of exogamous intermarrying families, be 
accepted, is therefore not forced upon us in defect of a 


At all events, the Arunta ' clan ' (totem kin) is now no 
longer exogamoxis, and two Arunta phratries can now con- 
tain members of the same totems, contrary to Kamilaroi, 
Dieri and Urabunna and American custom. How did 
this anomaly arise ? Dr. Durkheim supposes that the change 
began when Arunta kinship came to desert the female and 
to be reckoned in the male line. This appears to Dr. Din-k- 
heim to be indicated by the complicated and ingenious 
arrangements made when an Urabunna (who reckons by the 
female line) intermarries with an Arunta, who reckons by 
the male line.' These arrangements, he thinks, are no 
novelty devised for the occasion : the Arunta merely revert to 
their old way of reckoning by the spindle side. When the 
Arunta changed their system, and reckoned in the male, 
not, as of old, in the female line, the children now belonged 
to the ' phratries,' not of their mothers, as previously, but of 
their fathers. Each ' phratry ' then bartered a sub-class of 
its own for a sub-class of its partner. Each bartered sub- 
class thus brought its totems into the other ' phratry,' and 
there was no longer a totem group entirely peculiar to one 
or other ' phratry.' Consequently, a member of the Kan- 
garoo totem could marry a woman of the same, if she were in 
the opposite ' phratry ' to his own. 

Might not the same results follow from the mere fact, 
that, among the Arunta, the totem is now inherited neither 
from father nor mother, but is derived simply from the totem 
souls that haunt the particular glen or hill where the child 
was conceived ? By this means a totem soul can get into a 
child of the ' phratry ' to which that totem did not origi- 
nally belong, and thus the totems ' skip ' from one ' phratry ' 

» VAwn. 8oe. V. 104-107 ; Spencer and Gillen, pp. 68-69. 


to another, contrary to general rule in Australia and North 
America. This is the explanation of the Arunta anomaly 
which Messrs. Spencer and Gillen accept. ' The spirit child ' 
(of the Lizard totem) 'deliberately, the natives say, chose 
to go into a Kumura ^ (class) ' woman, instead of a Bulthara 
woman. . . . TTiough the class was changed, the totem could 
not possibly be. . . . Owing to the system according to 
which totem names are acquired, it is always possible for 
a man to be, say, a Purula ' (class) ' or a Kumura ' (class) 
' and yet a Witchetty ; or, on the other hand, a Bulthara ' 
(class) 'or a Panunga' (class) 'and yet an Emu' (totem). 
But, if he is thus born to a totem which was not originally 
(on my theory) a totem of his phratry, a man loses the 
chance of being an Alatutya, or head man of a local group.' 
Thus the Arunta anomaly arises merely and necessarily 
from the Arunta philosophy of souls. That philosophy is 
an isolated freak, and it has upset and revolutionised Arunta 
Totemism, which, therefore, is the reverse of the 'primi- 
tive ' model. 

' Spencer and Gillen, pp. 125, 126. The reader is recommended to 
study Dr. Durkheim's passage cited in the last note, the topic being 




The prohibitions on marriage, with which we have hitherto 
been concerned, are based on what savages regard — while 
we do not — as relations of kindred. Men and women of 
the same ' phratry ' or ' primary division ' may not inter- 
marry (where such divisions exist), nor may men and women 
of the same totem name. Civilised society, at least in 
Europe, now recognises no such things as the ' phratry ' or 
the totem kin. When Mr. George Osborne, in Vanity 
Fair, was asked whether he was akin to the ducal House ot 
Leeds, he replied that he bore the same arms — these having 
been conferred on his father by a coach-builder. In savage 
society, Captain Osborne's answer would have been satis- 
factory. He would really have reckoned as a kinsman of all 
other Emus, if his totem and badge (coat of arms) was an 
Emu. In Scotland the Campbell name used to be regarded as 
implying at least a chance that the bearer was of the blood 
of the Black Knight of Loch Awe, and had a right to the 
Campbell tartan, and badge, the gale, or bog-myrtle. But, 
of course, as a rule, in modem society, a common surname is 
no proof of kinship, and coats of arms are usually borne by 
the middle classes, and peers of recent creation, without much 

So far, then, the totemic rules which prohibit certain 
marriages, have no resemblance to oiu- own definite ' forbidden 
degrees,' based on nearness of blood. The savage rules, 
as they stand, include our notions of kindred, but these 
notions, as far as they are recognised, are not conterminous 
with ours. But the ' phratry ' prohibitions, and the totem 


prohibitions, are not the only bars to marriage among such 
peoples as the Australians. 

The other bars are lucidly described by Messrs. Spencer 
and Gillen.i 'There are still further restrictions to mar- 
riage . . . and it is here that we are brought into contact 
with the terms of relationship.'' We find that a woman may 
belong to a totem kin (and phratry) into which a man may 
lawfully marry, ' yet there is a further restriction preventing 
marriage in this particular case.' Thus a male Dingo (among 
the Urabunna) may marry a female Water Hen, as far as 
' phratry ' and totem are concerned. But he may not marry 
a woman of the Water Hen totem if she reckons (1) as his 
father's sister (i.e. of his father's generation), (2) if she is his 
child, or his brother's child (of the next generation), (3) if 
she be one of his mother's younger brother's daughters : 
but he may marry her if she (4) be one of his mother's elder 
brother's daughters. All women of that category (4) are 
Nupa, or nubile, as far as this man goes. In category 1, 
the women (including ' paternal aunts,' as we reckon) are of 
an older generation than the man ; in category 2 they are 
of a younger generation (including our ' children ' and 
' nieces ') ; in category 3 the women include oin* cousins on 
the maternal side, by uncles younger than our mothers, and, 
in category 4, they include our cousins on the maternal side, 
by uncles older than oin- mothers. We Em-opeans, being 
males, may not marry into categories 1 and 2, but if not 
Catholics, we may marry into categories 3 and 4 ; if Catho- 
lics, we may — if we can get a dispensation. 

In the Australian system the oddest thing is that a male 
may marry into what, in our phrase, includes his younger 
maternal uncle's daughter, but not his elder maternal uncle's 
daughter. But we here use the words ' uncle,' aunt,' and 
' cousin,' only by way of illustration. The Urabunna, and 
tribes of their level generally, have no such words. AU 
children (category 1) ' of men who are at the same level in the 
generation, and belong to the same class and totem, are 
' Op. eit. p. 61. 


regarded as the common children of these men,' or, perhaps 
we should rather say, are called by the same name, Bidka, as 
a man's own children are styled. A man knows very well 
which children he reckons his own, though, as will be seen, 
he has little ground for his confidence. In the same way a 
child, though he calls all men of his father's class, totem, and 
level in the generation, Nia (fathers), knows well enough 
which Nia feeds him, pets him, thrashes him for his good, 
and, generally, plays the paternal part. For example, a man 
informs you that this or that native, by personal name 
Oriaka, is his Okilia, ' and you cannot possibly tell with- 
out further inquiry whether he is the speaker's own or tribal 
brother, that is the son of his own father, or of some man 
belonging to the same particular group ' (by ' phratry,' totem, 
and seniority) ' as his father.' ^ But you can learn ' by 
farther inquiry : ' the actual relationship, in our sense of the 
word, is recognised. 


These facts necessarily lead to the question, are all men of 
one class, totem, and seniority, actual husbands of all women 
of the opposite class, different totem, and equivalent 
seniority ? (Group Marriage). Or, if this is no longer the 
case, was it once the case .'' and are these sweeping uses of 
names which include our ' father,' ' mother,' ' brother,' ' child,' 
survivals of such a stage, called ' Group Marriage'? This 
question is stUl undecided ; good authorities take opposite 
views of the question, which has bred, in the past, much 
angry controversy. 


The arrangement by • classes,' ' the classificatory system,' 
was first brought into scientific prominence by the late Mr. 
Lewis Morgan, an American gentleman affiliated to the 

' Spencer and Gillen, p. 57. 


Iroquois tribe, in his very original studies of the names for 
degrees of kinship.^ A great deal may be said, and has been said, 
especially by Mr. McLennan and Dr. Westermarck, against 
Mr. Morgan's ideas and methods, but his large and careful 
collection of facts is of high importance. On what he called 
' the Malayan system,' one name denoting kin includes all 
my brothers, sisters, and cousins. Another name includes 
my father, mother, my uncles, aunts, and all the cousins of 
my father, mother, aunts, and uncles. The generation of my 
grandparents and their relations is included in a third name ; 
a fourth covers my children and their cousins, and the grand- 
children of my brothers and sisters, with their children, bear 
the same name, for me, as my own grandchildren. From the 
names Mr. Morgan inferred the existence of certain facts in 
the evolution of systems of kindred. Everybody of the same 
generation lived together, once, on his theory, in ' communal 
marriage,' brothers, sisters, and cousins. There was promis- 
cuity between all men and women in the same generation. 
Of course this involves the converse of Mr. Atkinson's Primal 
Law, as Mr. Atkinson observes in his eighth chapter. In 
place of the prohibition of brother and sister union being the 
earliest of prohibitions (as in Mr. Atkinson's system), the 
rule that they must unite, caused, in Mr. Morgan's opinion, 
the earliest form of the human family. 


Mr. Morgan's theory, it must be observed, landed him at 
once in the fallacy of supposing that prohibitions of marriage 
of kinsfolk were originally the result of ' a reformatory move- 
ment.' ^ We have seen that, granting, for the sake of argu- 
ment, Mr. Morgan's premise of an original ' undivided 
commune,' Mr. Fison is also deposited in the same difficulty, 

' Systems of Consanguinity amd Affinity of the Human Family (1871) ; 
and ATioient Society (1877) ; earlier in The League of the Iroquois (1854). 

' So Mr. Fison candidly states, and Mr. Morgan saw his work, and 
wrote an introductory essay. Kamilaroi and Kwrnai, p. 99. 


and was once even inclined to regard a theory of intervention 
' by a higher power ' (the Dieri myth) as not necessarily out 
of the question, if marriage was once commimal. To reform 
such marriage relations, he says, ' would be a step in advance 
so difficult for men in that utter depth of savagery to take, 
that they would not be able to take it, unless they had help 
from without. This might be given by contact with a more 
advanced tribe ; but if all the tribes started from the same 
level, that impulse would be impossible in the first instance, 
and must have been derived from a higher power.' ^ Mr. 
Fison, as we saw, has since expressed the opinion that the 
origin of exogamy is probably indiscoverable, but I cite again 
his early remark to prove his sense of the insuperable difficulty 
of Mr. Morgan's theory. 

How were men in his hypothetical condition to know that 
there was anything to reform ? It needed a divine revelation ! 

Mr. Morgan was himself aware of this difficulty, and 
tried to get out of it, by using Darwinian phrases about 
' natural selection ' — ' blessed words,' but here unavailing. 
He was in the postmre of Mr. Spencer, between direct 
legislation to introduce exogamy, and gradual evolution of 
exogamy, as the slow result of the felt need of ' some organi- 
sation,' — its nature and purpose unknown. Thus Mr. 
Morgan, speaking of communal marriage, and its results, 
says that ' emancipation from them was slowly accomplished 
through movements which resulted in unconscious reforma- 
tion.' These movements were, first, the ' class ' system, then 
the ^ gens'' (totem system), 'worked out unconsciously through 
natural selection.' ^ TTiis means, if it means anything, that, 
by a freak or sport, some people did not marry in and in, 
that they unconsciously evolved the totem system, that they 
therefore throve, while others who married in and in, and 
did not evolve the totem system, perished, and so we 
have the results of ' natural selection.' But why did some 
people avoid the habit of marriages of near kin which was so 
general ? The position is that of Dr. Westermarck, who 
' Kamilarn and Kicrncd, pp. 160-161. = Ancient Society, pp. 49-50. 


adds an 'instinct,' developed by natural selection/ an idea 
which involves arguing in a circle. 

Again, that peoples marrying in the communal way would 
die out has to be proved : science has no certainty in the 

In any case, Mr. Morgan presently deserts his opinion 
about slow unconscious reformation, and his natural selection. 
' The organisation into classes seems to have been directed to 
the single object of breaking up the intermarriage of brothers 
and sisters, which affords a probable explanation of the 
origin of the system. But since it does not look beyond this 
particular abomination it retained a conjugal system nearly 
as objectionable . . . .' ^ The reader sees that Mr. Morgan 
cannot keep on the high Darwinian level. He relapses on a 
supposed moral reform with a single object of things ' abomi- 
nable' — to us — and ' objectionable' — to us. But how did the 
pristine savages find out that such things were ' abominable' ? 
Presently the totem prohibition (' the gens ') ' originates 
probably in the ingenuity of a small band of savages,' for 
the purpose of modifying marriage law, and the daring 
novelty ' must soon have proved its utility in the production 
of superior men."* Here we have the legislation due to 
human ' ingenuity,' and natural selection comes in to aid and 
diffuse the system. Later ' the evils of the first form of 
marriage came to be perceived ' (what were they .') and 
this led 'if not to its direct abolition, to a preference for 
wives beyond this degree. Among the Australians it was 
abolished by the organisation into classes, and more widely 
among the Turanian tribes by the organisation into gentes.'' 
The Australians have ^gentes'' (totem groups) quite as much 
as the ' Turanians ' or ' Ganowanians,' and we have tried to 
show that totems are prior to ' classes.' * But the Australians 
' abolished ' a form of marriage by an ' organisation,' which 
implies deliberate legislation. From this difficulty of legisla- 

' Cf . The Mystic Hose, pp. 444-445. Westermarck, p. 352. 
^ AnHent Society, p. 59. ^ IMd. p. 74. 

* By ' classes ' Mr. Morgan here seems to mean phratries. 


tion, so early and so moral, no advocate of the ' bisection ' of 
an undivided commune and of its ' subdivision ' into totem 
' phratries ' and kins, can escape, however he may make a 
push at ' natural selection,' and gradual evolution. 


These perplexities do not predispose us in favour of Mr. 
Morgan's theory of the terms of ' Relationship,' which we 
have illustrated by the case of the Urabunna. He himself 
takes the Hawaiian terms, which are to the same effect. In 
brief, all the men and women of a generation are ' brothers and 
sisters,' all those of the prior generation are ' fathers and 
mothers,' aU those of the following generation are ' children.' 
Now, if ever all the men and women of a generation married 
' all through other,' promiscuously, these terms of ' relation- 
ship ' would be in place. First, we are told, brothers and 
sisters in a family intermarried, and the process ' gradually 
enfolded the collateral brothers and sisters, as the range of 
the conjugal system widened.' And then ' the evils came to 
be perceived,' what evils, how perceived, we do not know, 
and Reformation set in. It definitely began with the 
Australian ' Bisection,' ' the organisation into classes ' (really 
into ' phratries '), and about the difBculties of that theory 
enough has been said. 

The reader will naturally ask, what is the original mean- 
ing of the words now used by Hawaiians, and Urabunna, and 
others, for the relations in which our ' father,' ' son,' ' wife,' 
' husband,' ' mother,' ' daughter,' ' brother,' ' sister,' are 
included ? Do the words embracing our terms ' brother ' 
and ' sister ' in Hawaii, or elsewhere, imply procreation, and 
issue (as in Greek), ' from the same womb ' ? Among the 
Arunta they cannot mean procreation, if they do not even 
know (as Messrs, Spencer and Gillen tell us), that there 
is any such thing as procreation. 'A spirit child enters 
a woman,' that is all. In the times of this primeval igno- 
rance, words for relationships could not imply bearing and 


begetting ; they must have meant something else. Say that 
they meant relationships in point of seniority : ' my male 
elder,' ' my female elder,' ' my male junior,' ' my female junior,' 
' my male coeval or friend,' ' my female coeval or friend,' ' the 
man I may marry,' ' the woman I may marry,' ' the woman or 
man I may not marry.' 

If low savage names for relationships meant that (no 
doubt they do not, or not often) then they would undeniably 
prove nothing as to a system of communal marriage. A baby 
points to any man or woman and says ' pa ' or ' ma,' without 
any theory of communal marriage. Thus philologists must 
first interpret for us the original significance of these savage 
names of relationships. Once given, they would last, what- 
ever they originally implied. Dr. Westermarck has urged 
this point.' In the terms themselves there is, generally, 
nothing which indicates that they imply an idea of con- 
sanguinity.' ' Pa, papa ' (father), ma, mama (mother), and 
scores of others, ' are formed from the earliest sounds a child 
can produce,' and ' have no intrinsic meaning whatever.' Dr. 
Westermarck gives a long list of such words, applied to 
' fathers, and all the tribe brothers of fathers,' and the same 
for mothers, concluding ' that we must not, from these desig- 
nations, infer anything as to early marriage customs.' He 
does not deny that other terms of relationship have roots of 
independent meaning, ' but the number of those that imply 
an idea of consanguinity does not seem to be very great.' 
In Lifu (Melanesia), the word for ' father ' means ' root ; ' for 
' mother,' ' foundation ' or ' vessel ; ' for ' sister,' ' not to be 
touched ; ' for ' elder and younger brother,' ' ruler ' and 
' ruled.' ^ The terms for father and mother denote con- 
sanguinity ; the others, customary law, and status. 

If we only knew the meanings, say, of the Urabunna 
words for relationships, we should learn much. But the 
truly amusing fact is that Mr. Fison, for example, did not 
know the language of the natives, and thought that probably 

' Westermarck, pp. 85, 96. 

" Lord Avebnry, Origin of Civilisation, pp. 442-449, 1902. 


not six white men in Australia had an adequate knowledge, 
and an adequate access to the notions, of the tribesmen. Of 
these one had been initiated, and, like a gentleman, declined 
to break the oath of secresy.^ This was in 1880. Things 
may have improved. But unless our authorities know the 
languages, where are we ? We do know that seniority is 
indicated. Father's elder brothers are Gampatcha Kuka 
(Warramunga tribe). 

Mr. McLennan thought that all these terms were ' terms 
of address,' used to avoid the employment of personal names, 
and Dr. Westermarck holds that ' there can scarcely be any 
doubt that the terms for relationship are, in their origin, 
terms of address.' Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, after 
impartial consideration, cannot accept this view, for Australia ; 
where the terms are very numerous, and stand for relations 
very complicated, connected with the intermarrying groups, 
and with social duties. In addressing a person, his or her 
individual name (oiu- Christian name) is freely used.^ They 
believe that the terms can only be explained ' on the theory 
of the former existence of group marriage, and further, that 
this has of necessity given rise to the terms of relationship 
used by the Australian natives.' These opinions are shared 
by Messrs. Fison and Howitt. The former says, ' It must, I 
think, be allowed that the classificatory terms point to group 
marriage,' and though Bastian denies this, Mr. Fison supports 
his theory by the Dieri custom of allotting paramours 
(pinauru) to men and women, out of the sets which may 

To this problem we return ; meanwhile it may seem 
impertinent in mere ethnologists of the study to hint a 
doubt as to the conclusions of observers on the spot. Mr. 
Crawley, however, has no hesitations. The use of the terms 
of relationship, he thinks, does not testify to a past of 
' Group Marriage,' or to a remoter past of promiscuity, but 
is ' the regular result of the primitive theory of relationship ; 

» Kamila/roi and Kurnai, p. 60. 

' Spencer and Gillen, pp. 56, 57, 59. ' J. A. I., May 1895, p. 368. 


the system codifies a combination of relation and relationship, 
" address," and age.' The terms in use ' do not in themselves 
necessarily point to a previous promiscuity, or even to a 
present group marriage,' as Messrs. Spencer and Gillen 

The point is one on which I almost hesitate to venture a 
decided opinion. Much seems to depend on the original 
sense of the various terms, and on that point, in the case of 
Urabunna, and many other tribes, we have no light. But 
often the terms do not express consanguinity at all. There 
seems to be no word for ' daughter ' as distinct from ' son,' 
' nephew,' and ' niece.' The grandfather maternal is 
Thunthie, and Thunthunnie is Urabunna for totem, so that 
it is tempting to guess that Thunthie means ' a sire of the 
maternal totem.' ^ Kadnini, again (I speaking), means grand- 
father paternal, grandmother maternal, and grandchildren.^ 
These relationships imply duties and services. ' One 
individual has to do certain things for another . . . and any 
breach of these customs is severely punished.' An Arunta of 
the Panunga class calls all Kumura men ' fathers-in-law.' 
He gashes his flesh if any one of his ' fathers-in-law ' dies, 
and he drops his dead game if he meets any one of them. 
They all have that advantage over hira.' Thus these 
terms of relationship — communal in appearance — really 
involve certain duties, rather than relations of blood and 
affinity. But emphatically the terms are more than mere 
terms of address, as in Mr. McLennan's theory. 

But these are usages of the system as it stands to-day. Is 
there behind it an 'undivided commune,' as Mr. Morgan 
held ; is there actual ' group marriage ' ? I am not apt to 
believe that there is. Language shows, in the terras of 
relationship, a group of ' Mothers ' for each child ; but, as 
Mr. Darwin remarks, 'it seems almost incredible that the 
relationship of the child to its mother should ever have been 
completely ignored, especially as the women in most savage 
tribes nurse their infants for a long time.' A man's mother 
, ' Spencer and Gillen, p. 60. » Ibid. p. 66. ' Ibid. p. 75. 


is one, and must be known, though he calls many women by 
the same name as he gives to his mother. She is lumped, in 
the terms of relationship, in one term with all the women 
whom the father might legally have married, but did not. 
The son, in addressing or speaking of his mother, overlooks 
the ' one love which needs no winning,' and his term has 
reference only to the present marriage law of his tribe. 
That law ' codifies ' the terms, they result from that law, and 
that law, again, is based, if I am right, on totem prohibitions, 
on the desire to keep marriage between people of the same 
generation, and on the rights and duties of the generations. 
These prohibitions, of phratry, ' class,' totem, and age, leave 
only a certain set of women marriageable to a certain set of 
men. The name of this set of women is Nupa to their 
coevals, Luka to the succeeding generation. There is no 
name for ' wife,' no name for ' mother ; ' there are only 
names expressive of customary legal status, itself the result of 
the existing rules. Whatever their original sense, they all 
now connote seniority and customary legal status, with its 
reciprocal duties, rights and avoidances. ' It is the system, 
and not group marriage, which has given rise to these terms 
of relationship,' says Mr. Crawley.^ 

But what gave rise to the system ? Mr. Fison has told 
us. 1. ' The division of a tribe (community) into two 
exogamous intermarrying classes. . . .' 2. ' The subdivision 
of these two classes into foiu-,' or, he suggests, the amalga- 
mation of two tribes. 3. ' Their subdivision into gentes dis- 
tinguished by totems.' ^ 

But all of this theory we have already declined to accept 
for reasons given, and mainly because it involves (as I try to 
show) deliberate primeval reformatory legislation — without 
any conceivable motive. Again, we cannot accept Mr. 
Fison's system because it involves the hypothesis that a 
tribe, or ' community,' large enough to feel the necessity of 
bisecting itself for social and moral purposes, existed at a 
period when the difficulties of commissariat, of food supply, 
' The Mystie Rose, p. 476. '' Kamilariri and Kumai, p. 27, cf. p. 70. 



and of hostility, could seldom, if ever, permit its existence. 
A tribe is, I repeat, a local aggregate of small groups be- 
come friendly : it is not a primeval horde which keeps on 
subdividing itself, legislatively, for reformatory purposes. 
What social cement kept such a primeval horde, such an 
' undivided commune,' together ; and how did the animal 
jealousy of men so near to the brutal stage fail to rend it into 
pieces ? How was it fed ? How can we imagine a human 
herd — how supplied with food, who knows ? — wherein each 
male sees each other male approach what female he pleases, 
perhaps his own preferred girl, without internecine jealousy ? 
I cannot imagine this indifference to love in such a primitive 
Agapemone ; I cannot understand its economics ; any more 
than I can guess why such a state of affairs ever seemed — to 
its members — ' abominable ' and ' objectionable,'' and a thing 
to be reformed ; yet they ' bisected ' it, and ' subdivided ' the 
segments, all in the interests of morality — such is the theory. 
As for the good-humovired laxity which enables all men 
and women to live together matrimonially at random, Mr. 
Morgan found an example, as he thought, in the Punahia 
of the Hawaiians. The word Punahia, when observed 
(1860) by Judge Andrews, meant ' dear friend,' or ' intimate 
companion.' A man called his sister's husband (our ' brother- 
in-law ') his ' dear friend,' and a woman styled the wife of 
her husband's brother (her sister-in-law), her ' dear friend,' or 
Punalua. This shows that relations-in-law were not ' Foes- 
in-law,' or, at least, that this was not the official view of the 
case. It really does not follow that all the wives ' shared 
their remaining husbands in common.' Judge Andrews 
thought that this happy family ^were inclined to possess 
each other in common.' That was only the Judge's theory, 
also the theory of the Rev. Artemus Bishop. Probably there 
was a great deal of genial license amd indifference among 
loose luxurious barbaric people, living in ' summer isles of 
Eden,' where food and necessaries were ready made by benig- 
nant Nature.' 

' Aneient Society, pp. 427-428. 


Each shepherd clasped, with unconcealed delight, 
His jrielding fair, within the Captain's sight ; 
Each yielding fair, as chance or fancy led. 
Preferred new lovers to her sylvan bed."^ 

This is vastly well, and the poet adds, in a liberal spirit, 

What Otaheite is, let England be ! 

It is very well, but it by no means represents, probably, 
the manners of primitive man. 

' We may conclude,' says Mr. Darwin, ' from what we 
know of the jealousy of all male quadrupeds, . . . that pro- 
miscuous intercoiu-se, in a state of nature, is extremely im- 
probable . . . The most probable view is that primeval 
man aboriginally lived in small communities, each with as 
many wives as he could support and obtain, whom he would 
have jealously guarded against all other men. Or he may 
have lived with several wives by himself, like the GoriUa, for 
all the natives agree that but one adult male is seen in a 
band ; when the young male grows up a struggle takes place 
for mastery, and the strongest, by killing and driving out 
■ the others, establishes himself as the head of the community. 
The younger males, being thus expelled and wandering 
about, would, when at last successful in finding a partner, 
prevent too close interbreeding within the limits of the same 
family,' just as the other male did.^ 

This second view of Mr. Darwin's is much like the theory 
of Mr. Atkinson, and is very unlike Mr. Morgan's theory 
of a human horde, living in communal marriage, or group 
marriage. Mr. Darwin's idea, moreover, the primitive groups 
being small, does not encounter the economic difficulties 
raised by the hypothesis of the ' undivided commune.' The 
strongest male practically enforced exogamy, as far as he was 
able, and may be conceived to have entertained no scruples as 
to connection with his daughters. Mr. Darwin admitted that 

' Captain Cook, of His Majesty's ship The Endeavoii/r. 
^ Sesoent of Man, ii. 362, 363. Dr. Savage, Boston Jo^ir. of Nat. Hist 
V. 423. 



' the indirect evidence ' for communal marriage, and fraternal 
incest, was ' extremely strong,' but then ' it rests chiefly on the 
terms of relationship which are employed between members 
of the same tribe, implying a connection with the tribe alone, 
and not with either parent.' If, however, we have success- 
fully explained these terms of relationship as not usually 
meaning degrees of consanguinity, but of customary legal 
status, under the prevalent customary law, the evidence which 
these terms yield for promiscuity, or group marriage, is ex- 
tremely weak, or is nil, above all if our theory of how the 
legal status arose is accepted. And, if it is not accepted, 
back we come to primeval ' reformatory movements.' 

In Lifa, the word for ' sister ' means ' not to be touched,' 
and this is a mere expression of customary law. A man 
' must not touch ' any one of the women of his generation 
whom the totem tabu and the rule of the exogamous ' phratry ' 
(in origin, we suggest, totemic) forbid him to touch. All 
such women, in a particular grade, are his sisters. Many 
women, besides his actual sisters, stand to him in the degree 
thus prohibited. AU bear the same name of status as a 
man's actual sisters bear, but the name does not mean ' sisters ' 
at all, in oiu* sense of that word : namely, daughters of the 
man's real father and mother. It means tabued women of a 
generation. If the ' classificatory ' terms which include owe 
' fathers,' ' sisters,' ' wives,' and the rest meant what our 
' fathers,' ' sisters,' ' wives,' and so on mean, then the evidence 
from the terras, for communal or group marriage, would 
really be ' extremely strong.' But, as Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen say, ' unless all ideas of terms of relationship as counted 
among ourselves be abandoned, it is useless to try and {sic) 
understand the native terms.' ^ Yet the whole force of the 
argument for communal marriage derived from savage terms 
of relationship rests precisely on our not ' abandoning ' (as we 
are warned to abandon) ' all ideas of terms of relationship as 
counted among ourselves.' 

The friends of group and communal marriage, it seems 
' Spencer and Gillen, p. 65. 


to me, keep forgetting that our ideas of sister, brother, 
father, mother, and so on, have nothing to do (as they 
tell us at certain points of their argument) with the native 
terms which include, indeed, but do not denote these relation- 
shipsj as understood by us. An Urabunna calls a crowd of 
men of his father's status by the same term as he calls his 
father. This need not point to an age when, by reason of 
promiscuity, no man knew his father. Were this so, a man 
ot the generation prior to his father might be the actual 
parent of the speaker, and all men under eighty ought to be 
called ' father ' by him — ^which they are not. The facts may 
merely mean that the Urabimna styles his father by the name 
denoting a status which his father shares with many other 
men ; a status in seniority, ' phratry,' and totem. We really 
cannot first argue that oiu- ideas have no relation to the 
terms employed by savages, and then, when we want to prove 
a past of commtmal marriage, turn round and reason as if 
om- terms and the savage terms were practically identical. 
We cannot say ' our word " son " must not be thought of 
when we try to understand the native term of relationship 
which includes sons in our sense,' and next aver that ' sons in 
our sense, are regarded as real sons of the group, not of the 
individual — because of a past stage of promiscuity making 
paternity indiscoverable.' 

As Messrs. Spencer and GiUen say, we must ' lay aside all 
preconceived ideas of relationship," when we study the Ura- 
bunna or other classificatory terms of relationships.^ Let 
us do so, and the evidence borne by these terms to a past of 
communal marriage vanishes at once. That the terms often 
denote status in customary law is demonstrated. ' There are 
certain customs which are enforced by long usage and accord- 
ing to which men and women of particular degrees of relation- 
ship may alone have marital relations, or may not speak to 
one another, or according to which one individual has to do 
certain things for another, such as providing the latter with 
food, or with hair, as the case may be, and any breach of 

Op. cit. p. 67. 


these customs is severely punished. The elder men of each 
group very carefully keep alive these customs, many of which 
are of considerable value to themselves. . . .' ' 

Thus, you have speared a fish, or an opossum, but if you 
meet any man of your father-in-law's set, you must drop your 
spoil and make off. Consequently, I venture to take it, the 
terms of relationship in no way answer to our ideas of kin, 
but merely denote legal status. 



We cannot, as a rule, recover (or Australian students 
have not recovered) the original sense and etymology of terms 
like Biaka, Nia, Nupa, and so forth. We are thus left to 
choose between two competing theories of their nature and 
diffusion. If we advocate the hypothesis of consanguine 
marriage and group marriage, we must suppose that the 
members of the ' undivided commune ' of the theory, had 
once names absolutely identical in sense with our ' father,' 
' mother,' ' sister,' ' brother,' ' son,' ' daughter,' and so forth. 
But the speakers, in each case, were obliged to apply these 
words with the utmost laxity, because who knew whx) A's 
father might be, and whether C's sister were really his sister 
or not, while every girl was the wife of every male of her 
generation, not barred by other laws, and so on ? The 
promiscuity of living, then, made this lax use of words for 
relationships inevitable. 

This is the usual hypothesis, and the sweeping scope of 
savage words for human relationships is accepted as proof 
that consanguine and group marriage once existed and left 
their marks in language. On the other hand, if communal 
marriage prevailed, the people who lived in that condition 
could not possibly have had ideas equivalent to mir father, 
son, daughter, brother, wife, and so on. Our ideas of these 
relationships could not enter the human mind, at the hypo- 
" Spencer and Gillen, pp. 67, 68. 


thetical stage of culture when nobody knew ' who is who ' and 
the hypothesis is wrecked on that fact. 

Therefore either the names now used under ' the class 
system ' are of unkno^vn original sense ; or, human marriage 
was, from the first, so far ' individual ' that oin: ideas of 
father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, could arise and 
could find expression in terms that still survive, say, among 
the Urabunna or other Australians. But while tribal custo- 
mary laws as to classes, totems, generations, marriage rules, 
and many other social duties were being evolved ; some of the 
ancient names for father, son, brother, sister, were perhaps 
taken up and applied to each of the large sets of persons 
whose customary legal status was now (as groups coalesced 
into large tribes) on the level of actual fathers, sons, brothers, 
sisters, and the rest. Obviously, in a primitive group of a 
male senior, his female mates and children, there could not 
exist (other groups being, on my theory, strange or hostile) 
large sets of persons occupying a common legal status, as in 
modem tribes. The existence of such sets of persons is the 
result of the later and tribal society, of society in which many 
groups are reconciled and united in a local tribe. Only in 
such a tribe, which cannot be primitive, is the classificatory 
system of naming sets of people necessary. It is only in tribal 
law that the grades of customary status answering to all the 
many terms can exist, and tribes with their laws cannot be 
primitive. Most names for the various grades, therefore, are 
later than Mr. Darwin's hypothetical stage of small and 
perhaps hostile groups ; they were, in a few cases, perhaps 
originally names for such relationships as our own father, 
mother, son, brother, &c., but in the evolution of tribal 
customary law, such names have been extended out of their 
family, or fire-circle, into their tribal significance, out of 
recognised kinship, or close contiguity, into terms including 
all who have the same status, rights, and duties. 



If our suggestion as to the origin and significance of the 
* classificatory terms of relationship ' be plausible, then the 
theory of a pristine past of ' communal ' or of ' group marriage ' 
will lose what Mr. Darwin deemed the chief evidence in its 
favour, the evidence from terms of relationship. But there 
remains the evidence from ' survivals,' in institutions. For 
example, among the Urabunna, women of a certain seniority, 
totem and ' phratry ' are Nupa to men of the relative status 
among males. They are the men's potential wives. In 
actual practice each individual man has one or perhaps two 
of these Nupa women who are specially attached to himself, 
and live in his camp. They are his wives. But each man 
has also, or many men have, other women of the Nupa set, who 
by an allotment, which the elders arrange, are his Piraungaru. 
He is, that is to say, their ' second master,' after their 
husbands. This is a kind of Cicisbeism, recognised and regu- 
lated by customary law, and sanctioned by a definite ceremony. 
Messrs. Spencer and Gillen therefore say ' individual marriage 
does not exist, either in name or in practice, among the 
Urabvmna tribe.' Their idea appears to be that once every 
man was the husband of every Nupa woman who was accessible, 
and that the Piraungaru arrangement is a nascent restriction 
upon, or survival of, this communal marriage. It is admitted 
that a man may now try to prevent his wife from having 
sexual relations with her Piraungaru man, just as an Italian 
of the eighteenth century might have done in the case of his 
wife's Cicisbeo. ' But this leads to a fight, and the husband 
is looked upon as churlish.' The Italian husband would 
have undergone the same reproach, yet he lived in a society 
which in theory, and as Christian, insisted on individual 

The question arises, is the Piraungaru arrangement a 
modified survival of communal marriage, or is it a mere 
chartered libertinism in customary practice, and not a ' rudi- 


mentary survival "" ? It is certainly found among the tribes 
most tenacious of archaic institutions. Mr. Crawley thinks, 
however, and, under correction, I agree with him, that the 
Piraungaru system is no survival, and that it ' has never been 
more fully developed than it is now.' ^ 


As to this Piraungaru affair, as usual we need, and do not 
get, the help of philology. What does the word 'Piraun- 
garu ' literally mean .? Among the Dieri the Piraungaru 
custom prevails, and the persons affected by it are called 
Piraura — the resemblance to Piraimgaru is striking. Now 
Mr. Howitt tells us that the Headman of the Dieri is 
called Pinaru, from pina, ' great,' but he also calls these 
Headmen Piravtrus, the same title as he gives to the men and 
women allotted to each other on the system of native Cicis- 

Clearly there is here either a misprint, or a curious fact. 
Either the Headmen are Pinarus, not Piraurus, or Headmen 
and supplementary wives and husbands have one and the 
same title ! One great Headman was Jalina Pira murana. 
Is ' great ' pma or pira ? If Australia does not produce an 
adequate philologist in the native tongues, who will specially 
study these matters, it wiU be a heavy blow to the research 
into native institutions. 

It is worth observing that the Dieri Piraura are ' per- 
mitted new marital privileges at the ceremony of circum- 
cision.' Now license amidst the large assemblies brought 
together from all quarters on such occasions (in some places 
even transgressing the sacred rules of totem, phratry, and 
close relationship in our sense) is merely part of that 
periodical general 'burst' which survived in, the Persian 
Sacaea and Roman Saturnalia. Many examples may be 
found in Mr. Frazer's ' Golden Bough.' Every kind of law 

> Spencer and Gillen, pp. 62-64. Mystic Rose, pp. 477-478. 
2 On the Organisation of Australian Tribes, pp. 107, 108. 


is, at these 'bursts,' deliberately violated. Perhaps, then, 
the due selection of Piraura, by the Dieri seniors, is really 
rather a restriction of Saturnalian license than a relaxation of 
marriage laws, or a survival of communal marriage. That 
the license of the Saturnalia was a return to primitive ways was 
a Roman theory. For Australia it is the theory of the 
Arunta themselves.' The adjacent Urabunna have the same 
Piraura usages, and what looks very like a form of the same 
word, Piraura, Piraungaru. The relations thereby indicated 
exist, when occasion serves, after the season of license. 

A wife, at marriage, is subjected to a disgraceful ordeal 
(modern ideas will break in), which I take, as Mr. Crawley 
does, to be a mere initiation (due to a well-defined supersti- 
tion) into the life matrimonial.'' Meanwhile, though a defi- 
nite and disgusting set of proceedings forms the Urabunna 
marriage ceremonial, I am not aware that the same doings 
precede and sanction the establishment of the Piraungaru or 
Piram-a relation, which, if not, is no marriage at all. Thus, 
so far as our information goes, and with all deference to the 
great Australian authorities, I do not see that the evidence for 
a past stage of communal or of group marriage is such as 
compels our assent. On the other hand, as has been shown, 
the theory of communal marriage forces all its advocates, 
unwillingly or unconsciously, into the other theory of a 
primeval moral and social reformatory movement, deliberately 
undertaken, perhaps under direct divine inspiration, for what 
other motive could exist .? The economical and biological 
difficulties which also beset that hypothesis have been suffi- 
ciently explained, and Mr. Darwin has dwelt on the psycho- 
logical difficulty, the sexual jealousy of the primitive male. 
These objections, at least, do not hamper the hypothesis or 
conjecture, which we have ventured to submit as an alternative 
system. As a proof of survival of communal or group 
marriage, Mr. Fison quotes Mr. Lance : ' If a Kubbi meets a 
strange Ippatha ' (female), ' they address each other as spouse.' 

' Spencer and Gillen, p. 97. 

2 lUd. pp. 92-96. The Mystio Rose, pp. 479, 480. 


(They belong to intermarrying phratries.) ' A Kubbi thus 
meeting an Ippatha, though she were of another tribe, would 
treat her as his wife, and his right to do so would be recog- 
nised by her tribe.' His right, as far as phratry prohibitions 
go, would certainly be recognised, but how her husband, 
if she had one, would view the transaction is another 
question. The morality is that of the Scottish ballads, in 
which such bonnes Jhrtunes are frequent, and the frail pair 
only ask questions — afterwards. In the ballad of TTie Bonny 
Hind, in the Kalewala, and elsewhere, the answers prove that 
the pair are brother and sister. Suicide foUows, but it does 
not follow that communal or group marriage prevailed in 
Scotland, or in Finland, 


It is probable that the rules now defining the privileges, 
prohibitions, and duties of sets of people, rules interwoven 
now with those of ' class' and totem, have been gradually 
evolved in the wear and tear of ages. Tribes which hold 
such large and protracted assemblies, or palavers, as the 
Arunta of to-day, discuss and debate common affairs with all 
the diffuseness of our Parliament at Westminster. It is not 
to be supposed that tribal peace existed over hundreds of 
square miles of country, and that the group representatives, 
so to speak, flocked in from far-off regions, to parliament, 
in the ages when the pristine rules of exogamy were evolved. 
We might as wisely imagine that, in the beginning of 
Totemism, groups travelled to a tribal folk-mote, and 
arranged the details of a kind of magical co-operative 
society to preserve and increase the foodstuffs of the tribe. 
In ages really pristine the tribal peace and union cannot 
have arisen ; deliberate legislation for a vast scattered tribal 
community could not have entered into men's dreams. 
No such community could have existed. But the tribes 
of to-day, and notably the Arunta, being remote from 
truly primitive conditions, do hold prolonged assemblies, and 


work at public problems, so very remote from the primitive 
are they. 

The Arunta, in their pseudo-historic legends, throw back 
upon the past the reflection of their actual estate, and 
ascribe the rule which practically limits marriage within the 
generation to a leader of the Thurathwerta group, living 
near what is called, by Europeans, Glen Helen, in the Mac- 
donneU range. He was backed by the Emu people of four 
widely separated localities.^ One is not, however, to suppose 
that, at some witan of the tribes, names indicative of 
generations, and of their respective rights, were suddenly 
invented and dealt out by ' the legislator,'' any more than 
that totems were thus invented and dealt out. As Mr. 
Atkinson remarks (Chapter VIII.) : ' Gradually each genera- 
tion . . . would, qua generation, come to be a distinctly 
defined class, with certain separate rights and obligations. 
In this simple classification of the connected persons, we see 
the origin of the classificatory system itself (as far as genera- 
tions are concerned), ' as an institution. . . . The classifica- 
tory system evolves itself merely as the result of a desire to 
define certain rights, and the division by generations was the 
most natural and feasible for the purpose. . . . Thus we 
find a desire for distinction, as regards rights in sexual union, 
to be the genetic cause of the classificatory system, both as 
concerns the generation and its component members.' 

The marriage rules prevalent, with many variations, among 
the people least advanced in material culture, the Australians, 
are thus seen, on the whole, to be based (1) on totem rules 
(in which, with Dr. Dm-kheim, we include the 'primary 
classes ' or ' phratries '), and (2) on the distinction of genera- 
tions. It is clear, from the case of the Arunta and other 
tribes, that the rule of counting on the spindle side may 
break down, male descent being substituted, in times exces- 
sively rude ; while again, as in the Pictish Royal House, it 
may elsewhere last into a stage relatively civilised. All 
' Spencer and Gillen, pp. 420-421. 


manners of conditions and superstitions may affect and alter 
the course of social development in various places. 


In 1899, Mr. Tylor published a sketch of ' A Method of 
Investigating the Development of Institutions, applied to 
Laws of Marriage and Descent.' ' He had catalogued the 
usages of 350 peoples, and examined (1) the rule of avoidance 
between husbands and wives' relations, and vice versa. (2) The 
naming of husband (or wife) after their children ; as Odysseus 
says, ' May I no longer be called the father of Telemachus.' 
(3) The nature of inheritance in widows. (4) The Couvade in 
which the husband pretends to lie in, while his wife is really 
doing so. (5) The custom of capture. (6) Exogamy and the 
classificatory system. Mr. Tylor was led to believe that, so 
far as the statistical evidence goes, the husband first lived 
with the wife's family (A) ; next, after a residence with the 
wife's family, went back to his own home (B) ; last, (C) took 
the wife at once to his own home. (Husband to Wife. 
Removal. Wife to Husband.) 

Now statistics are rather vague evidence without full know- 
ledge of the social concomitants in each case. In what exact 
stage of culture, in each instance, does the husband go to live 
with the wife's relations ? We have not this information. 
But if this be really the earliest stage, how is it compatible 
with group marriage ? If a man is husband to ' a thousand 
miles of wives,' how can he go and live with the relations of 
all his wives ? Even within his actual region of wandering, 
how can he do this ? Nor, perhaps, can he bring all his 
wives to live with the relations of each of them in turn ? 

Either there was no group marriage, or it did not exist 
when, on the hypothesis, the husband, in the earliest stage, 
habitually resided with his wife's relations. Again, take the 
maternal and paternal systems, the reckoning in the female 
or male line, the female line, as we hold with Mr. Tylor, 
' /. A. I. vol. xviii., no. 3, pp. 245-272. 


being the earlier. If so, on Mr. Tyler's hypothesis, it ought 
to axise in his first epoch, when husband goes to live with 
wife's people. ' The lines ' (of a diagram) ' show the institu- 
tions of female descent, avuncular authority, &c. arising in 
the stage of residence on the female side, and extending into 
the stages of removal and residence on the male side.' 

Now we have tried to explain the reckoning in the female 
line, by the differentiation, in the supposed original local 
totem group, of the captive women, each retaining, and 
handing on to her children, the name of her own totem group, 
this bequest of the totem name continuing into the tribal 
state of peaceful betrothals. But Mr. Tylor's theory of the 
first stage (husband goes to live with wife), implies a peace- 
ful state, and groups not hostile. For the reasons given, early 
hostility and sexual jealousy, I am unable to hold that, in 
the beginning, husbands always joined their wives' groups. 
It seems, granting hostility and jealousy, to be impossible. 
A Malay example of polygamy flus residence with wives' 
relations, proves nothing for primitive man. Therefore we 
need to know the exact stage of culture of the peoples 
among whom the husbands go as subdued hangers-on, ' not 
recognised,' into the wife's family. Are these people all 
precisely primitive .? The ' husband to wife ' stage implies 
peaceful relations. These were produced, on my theory, by 
the arrangement of the phratries. When these are once 
constituted, the husband may go to live with the wife's family 
as much as he pleases. But I fail to see how he could have 
done so ' in the beginning.' Moreover I am disinclined to 
suppose that exogamy was instituted for the purpose of 
strengthening a group by matrimonial alliances. 

jBe/te gerant alii, tu,felix Austria, nuhe ! 

Exogamy has this effect, but it was not devised purposely to 
produce this effect. 

I may casually remark that Mr. Tylor mentions an 
Assineboin case in which the husband enters 'his lodge,' 
where his father and mother-in-law ' shirk ' or avoid him. 


But, in the next page but one, the lodge is described, not as 
the husband's, but as that of the father and mother-in-law.^ 
Whose lodge was it really ? Was the husband staying with 
his wife's family, or were the old people on a visit to their 
married daughter ? 

Among several Australian tribes, a feigned form of 
capture precedes marriage.^ Is this a survival of actual capture 
in the stage of hostility, the pre-tribal stage ? Or is it the 
result of girlish modesty in the bride ? 

> Op. Bit. pp. 246-248. 

^ Howitt, Organisation of Aiistralia/n Tribes. 

* Mr. Morgan's 'Reformatory Movement': It is proper to note that, 
in his preface to Ka/milwroi and KurnaA (p. 5), Mr. Morgan wrote, ' it is not 
supposable that savages design, consciously, reformatory movements in 
the strict sense.' For his theory cannot escape the conclusion that, in 
fact, they did. 




We have hitherto, for the sake of lucidity, spoken chiefly of 
two ' primary classes ' (' phratries '), such as the Kirarawa and 
Matthurie of the Urabunna. But among the Arunta, and 
many other tribes, there are four or even eight such ' classes.' 
The reader may refer to the extract from Mr. Mathews's 
description (p. 39). 

Each of these classes roughly corresponds to a different 
generation of the tribe. But, with female descent, each child 
belongs to the class to which its mother does not belong. 
The classes, that is, alter with each generation. What is 
the cause of this curious rule ? One generation is A, its 
children are B, its grandchildren are A again. 

Here we meet the explanation of Herr Cunow, which 
may as well be given in summary. 


The theory of Herr Cunow ^ is in the first place opposed 
to the systems of all who regard the ' phratries ' as divisions 
made in an original group, or horde, for purposes of exogamy. 
I have not observed that any of our writers have noticed the 
book of Herr Cunow. In his opinion, as was said earlier, 
authors err in confusing ' phratries ' with ' classes : ' ' a phratry 
is not a class, and a class is not a phratry ; these two sorts of 
bodies have been developed out of different antecedents, and 

' Die Vermandtsohafts- Organisationen der Australneger. Diek, Stutt- 
gart, 1894. 


have different tendencies. The two " primary divisions," say 
Kroki and Kumite, are phratries, but are not classes in the 
same sense as the Ippai and Kumbo, Murri and Kubbi 
classes of the Kamilaroi ' (p. 24). 

Herr Cunow regards the ' classes ' as in origin earlier ^ 
than the divisions of totem kin, or the ' phratry ' divisions, 
and thinks that the ' classes ' were originally non-inter- 
marrying divisions based on seniority. They were devised or 
developed, not to prevent marriage between near kin, but 
between persons of different generations, or rather degrees of 
seniority. This is proved, he thinks, by the etymology of 
some of the names of the classes (about which we need much 
fuller information). Thus the word Kubbi (Kamilaroi), 
already cited as a class name, is derived, he says, from 
' Kvhbura, ' young, new,' and originally designates a youth 
who has passed the initiatory ceremonies. Ridley's voca- 
bulary of the Kamilaroi tongue is the source for this fact. 
Kumbo, another class name, is the Kombia or Kumbia of the 
tribes on the Lower Murray river, and means ' great,' that is, 
' old.' On the Lower Darling, the word is gumholca, Kum- 
buka ; compare Kumba, Kwnbera, ' old woman,' Kumbeja, 
' father.' ' Great ' and ' old,' ' little ' and ' young,' are 
equivalent in sense. Bonda, a class name of the Kabi, 
means ' new ' or ' young,' and the class-name Darawang, or 
Tarawang, is the Kabi word darami, ' little,' or ' young.' 
Obu, a class name, is the Queensland jahu, jobu, jabbo bobu, 
* father.' 

Thus the class names, Herr Cunow holds, originally 
indicate divisions of youth apd age in the ' horde,' by which 
term Herr Cunow understands a local set of from forty 
to sixty people, a local aggregate of several .such ' hordes ' 
being a 'tribe' (pp. 25-28). The fact of Australian 
attention to degrees of seniority is demonstrated by the 
stages of initiation, and by the various dues, of food gifts 
and so on, paid by the juniors to the seniors of the tribe : 

' This can hardly be, as the most backward tribes have phratries and 
totems, but no ' classes.' 



by the food which persons of different status in seniority 
may eat, and so forth. Indeed Dr. Roth has regarded the 
' classes ' a^ originally evolved to regulate the distribution of 
the food supply, and such regulations would, I think, be 
elements among other regulations of matrimonial and other 
rights, dependent on seniority. ' What a man may eat at 
one stage is at another stage forbidden, and vice versa.'' ' 

The ' horde,' then, in Herr Cunow's opinion, was primarily 
divided into non-intermarrying persons of three stages of 
seniority. This is the original organisation, that of totem 
kindreds being later, in Herr Cunow's theory, which is not 
ours (pp. 36, 37). The word 'father' does not, in the 
Australian dialects, at first, signify what we mean by the 
word, but merely ' senior ; ' and ' mother ' is a term of the 
same meaning. ' Father ' and ' mother ' with all of their 
seniority are ' the big ones ; ' children are ' the little ones.' 
These terms become ' class ' names. 

An example is taken from Mr. Bridgman, superintendent 
of the tribes at Port Mackay. These have two ' phratries,' 
Yungaru and Wutaru (totemic names), and four 'classes,' 
Gurgela, Bemhia, Wungo, and Kuharu? The terms for 
family relations are not understood in our sense. Mr. Bridgman 
had a name and status in the tribe. His name was Gunwrra ; 
his phratry was Yungaru, his class was Bemiia, and his 
children, if he had any, were Wutaru (by phratry), Kubaru 
(by class). If a girl came by, and Mr. Bridgman asked who 
she was, and if she was Kubaruan, he was told ' she is your 
daughter.' This ' daughter ' is a young woman of the class 
to which Mr. Bridgman's daughters, if he had any, would 

Herr Cunow's theory, then, starts from the ' horde,' 
divided into not intermarrying degrees of seniority. That 
such hordes, not separate family groups, were the initial stage 
of society, he is persuaded.' He rejects Morgan's theory of 

' Eyre, Journals, ii. 293-295. Cunow, p. 33, note 2. Buhner, in Brough 
Smyth, i. 235. Roth, Ethnological Studies, pp. 69, 70, Brisbane, 1897. 
« Brough Smyth, i. 91. 
' Pp. 122-124, and note 1, an argument against Westermarck. 


communal marriage.^ Next, he thinks, arose objections to 
brother and sister and other near akin marriages {why we are 
not told), and a man would thus be driven to seek a wife out 
of his own horde. Why was this ? Herr Cunow merely 
refers to the Dieri tradition already cited ; evils followed 
on kindred marriages, and were perceived and, by divine 
decree, were reformed.^ That such evils did arise and were 
perceived, and being perceived were reformed, by very low 
savages, is to the highest degree improbable. However it 
came about (we suggest by dint of reflection on the totem 
and phratry restrictions), there is now an objection to inter- 
marriage between persons ' of the same flesh.' How this 
arose does not seem to be a question that Herr Cunow chooses 
to dogmatise upon. 

The horde now developes itself into a group of kin, of 
which the members regard each other as ' too nearly related 
by blood,' to intermarry. ' As a mark of these groups of kin 
they later take diflferent beast or plant names, usually from 
such species as exist in their districts. No reverence would 
originally be paid to the totem animal ; ' the Narrinyeri eat it 
without scruple,' like any other ; the totem name is originally 
a name of a genossenschqfi ; a comradeship, the Narrinyeri 
word for totem, ' Ngaitje,' is equivalent to ' friend.' 

All this is rather vague. Why did groups of comrades or 
of recognised kin take plant and animal names ? Why did 
they forbid intermarriage ? What was the origin of the 
objection to marriage between blood kindred ? It does not 
arise out of ' moral ideas,' nor out of ' wife-capture,' * and 
Herr Cunow speaks neither of ' sexual taboo,' nor of ' sexual 
jealousy,' while the theory of 'personal totems' become here- 
ditary, or of magical co-operation in totem breeding, is not 
mentioned ; indeed, when Herr Cunow \\Tote (1894), the 
magical theory was unbora. The hordes merely developed 
into groups of comrades or of kin, as such not intermarrying 

' Pp. 127-128. 

2 Gason, The Dieyrie Tribe (1894), p. 13. Xam. and Kur. p. 25. Cunow, 
pp. 109-110, 130-132. 

» Cf. CuDOw, p. 82. So, too, the Euahlayi. * Cunow, p. 130. 



among themselves, and marking themselves for no assigned 
reason, with plant or animal names : reverence of the totem 
came later. 

' Still later than the totem association the phratry seems 
to arise,' and the phratries are described as allied local totem 
groups. This is my own opinion, but by ' local totem group,' 
I here mean (as already explained), the original local totem 
group, with the other totems which had become its elements, 
through exogamy, and female descent. Herr Cunow, if I 
follow him, means on the other hand a local totem group of 
the kind which now results among the Arunta from reckoning 
descent in the male line. ' The forbidding of marriage 
extended beyond the local group, passing into the neighbour- 
ing hordes, till at length morality enjoined the obtaining of 
wives from remoter districts. Hence was developed a come- 
and-go of marriage between two out of several larger local 
totems, and these larger local communities are the original 
types of the Australian phratries. Suppose that the hordes 
of the Kumai had gradually developed themselves into local 
totem groups like those of the Narrinyeri, and . . . that it be- 
came the rule for the Brataulong to take their wives from their 
south-western neighbours, the Kulin, and vice versa, till the 
two groups waxed into a great community, and we have the 
probable, development ' (of the ' phratries ' ) ' before us.' The 
groups ' Brataulong ' and ' Kulin ' would now be a great com- 
munity of two intermarrying phratries. 

All this implies, I think, a more advanced society, and 
larger communities, than we can easily conceive to have existed 
in the distant past when phratries arose. Moreover Herr 
Cunow, as we shall see, takes descent, even at this primitive 
period, to have been reckoned in the male line. Again, we 
have observed that phratry names, when they can be trans- 
lated, are usually totemic, an opinion expressed by Mr. Fison 
and Mr. Howitt. The same sort of totemic names marks 
Red Indian phratries. Granting male kinship, the phratries 
of Herr Cunow's hypothesis might well have totem names, but 
he tries to show: that phratry names are usually local ; he gives 


seven cases out of which only two names of phratries are to- 
temic' But he offers no authority for his assertion that the 
other five names are non-totemic (Eigennahme) and Yungaru 
and Wutaru, represented by him as non-totemic, are really 
totem names. 

We know that as a result of reckoning in the male line 
local or district names tend to supersede totem names, and 
large local totem groups thus arise, a featiu-e of the decay, 
not of the dawn, of Totemism. My own hypothesis, on the 
other hand, shows why phratry names are totemic. Herr 
Cunow concludes ' the phratry is originally nothing but an 
exogamous local group composed of several hordes.' Like 
Mr. Daniel McLennan, Herr Cunow quotes the legend of the 
wars of Eagle-Hawk and Crow, which ended in the establish- 
ment of the intermarrying phratries of Crow and Eagle-Hawk.^ 
HeiT Cunow's theory of phratries appears to me to find, in 
the remotest past, the most recent institutions of the Aus- 
tralians, and to confiise the primitive local totem group with the 
local totem-group later developed out of reckoning descent in 
the male line. He throws back into the distant past the 
large modern associations, which could not exist in times really 
primitive. He makes the hordes develope themselves into 
totem kins, in place of being, originally (as in my system), 
small associations united by contiguity, and receiving totem 
names from without.' He makes reckoning in the female 
line later than reckoning in the male line — the Narrinyeri 
reckoning in the male line (p. 84) — and perhaps this method, 
he thinks, is a result of ignorance of fatherhood, consequent 
on the Piraungaru custom (p. 135). Unluckily we find reckon- 
ing descent in the female line among many races, the Red 
Indians for example, where the Piraungaru custom is unknown. 
The priority of male to female descent is not admitted as a 
rule, by Mr. Tylor or any other English authorities. 

Where I can agree with Herr Cunow is on the point that 

' Pp. 133-134. 

^ Brough Smyth, i. 423. Cunow, p. 134. Stvdies in Ancient History, 
second series, ut svpra. 

^ See ' The Origin of Totemism.' 


the two ' primary divisions ' are the result, probably, of amal- 
gamation, not of bisection for purposes of exogamy. Where 
we differ is as to the character of the communities that, by 
alliance and connuUum, became ' primary divisions ' or ' phra- 
tries.' On his system the communities were large, holding 
great districts. On mine, they were ancient local totem 
groups, whose members, through exogamy and female descent, 
were really of various totems. In a note (p. 139) Herr 
Cunow shows that he might easily have arrived at my con- 
clusion, but, while allowing that alien brides brought the 
totem names of their own kins into each original totem group, 
he says that the men of that group still ' belonged to the 
totem identified with that horde.' This is the result of his 
belief that reckoning descent in the female line is ' an inno- 
vation.' His ' horde ' is originally endogamous ; then, we 
know not well why, is exogamous (p. 137). Those who 
do not believe that men originally lived in ' hordes,' and 
hold that, through jealousy and other causes, their little 
primary sets were, or tended to be, exogamous from the 
first, cannot agree with Herr Cunow. On the other 
hand, they may incline to accept his theory that, as the 
Australian terms of relationship indicate often status, not 
reilationship in our sense, they do not help to prove a 
past of consanguine and communal marriage. 


To return to the classes. Dr. Durkheim opposes Herr 
Cunow's theory that they indicated originally degrees of 
seniority. He takes no notice, however, of Herr Cunow's 
argument from etymology, and the original meanings of the 
class names, ' Yoimg ' and ' Old.' He argues that, on Herr 
Cunow's system, each individual would, in lapse of time, 
move from young to old, and so ought to change his class 
name, and move into another class. Herr Cunow answers 
that, if this occurred, the object of the class names, practi- 
cally to prevent yoimg and old intermarrying, would have 


been defeated. But, as matters exist, a grandfather may 
marry a girl who might be his grand-daughter. He is A, 
his children are B, but their children are A again. He 
is Kubbi, he marries Ippatha, her children are Buta, their 
children are Ippatha, and the venerable Kubbi may marry a 
very juvenile Ippatha. 

Possibly the institution grew up among people who did 
not look so far forward, who ' took short views.' It is cer- 
tain that, if the object of the classes was to stop marriages 
between young and old, it is a failure. ' The old men marry 
young wives at present,' says Mr. Mathews. If so, Herr 
Cimow may be right. Dr. Durkheim offers a theory. But 
his theory takes for granted, as we saw, that the two 
' phratries,' originally, were only two totem groups, contain- 
ing within them no members of other totem kins. ' They 
were not yet subdivided ' into other totem kins. But I have 
tried to show that there was no such ' subdivision ' into 
' secondary clans ' or totem kins. Dr. Durkheim regards 
these totem kins as colonies split off from the two original 
totem groups which became phratries.^ My reasons against 
accepting this position have already been given. This being 
the case, it is imnecessary to unfold Dr. Durkheim's theory 
of the origin of the classes. Probably that of Herr Cunow 
comes nearest to the truth. 

Mr. Mathews offers another solution of the problem. 
' Phratry ' Dilbi, for example, has ' classes ' Murri and Kubbi, 
while the linked phratry, Kupathin, has classes Ippai and 
Kumbo. ' It is possible that the group DUbi was divided 
into (female) Matha and Kubbitha to distinguish the mothers 
from the daughters, and that the terms Murri and Kubbi 
were adopted to provide names for the uncles and nephews of 
their respective generations.' Thus we return to distinction 
of generations. In any case the ' classes ' ' have the effect of 
preventing consanguineous marriages, by furnishing an easy 
test of relationship when the tribe has become so numerous 
or widespread that kinship could not otherwise be well 

' Cf. p. 83. 


determined.^ Later (p. 168) Mr. Matthews writes, ' The 
mother of a man's wife, and also his daughters, belong to the 
same section ' (' class '), ' and therefore his marriage with that 
section is prohibited.' That is, he cannot marry out of his 
generation above or below, as indicated by 'class' names. 
' Neither can he marry into the section to which his mother 
belongs, although a woman might be found in either case, who 
was in no way connected with him.' In short, as far as the 
names rudely indicate the generation above, and the genera- 
tion below a man, he cannot marry into these classes. But, 
as old men do marry young wives, the apparent intention of 
the rules is to some extent frustrated. We can say no more, 
till we are told what the class names mean in a literal 
sense. Does nobody inquire into this essential question .'' 

As if to accentuate the problems raised by the change 
of ' class ' names in each generation, Mr. Matthews has dis- 
covered that when a man may marry a woman of his own 
' phratry,' but out of a set of totems not his own, the totems 
of his children by her alter as the class names do. ' The 
children take the totem name,' not of their mother, but of 
their maternal grandmother. ' One totem is the mother of 
another totem.' ^ This is an unusual phenomenon, and looks 
like the effort of a desperate ingenuity. 

The class system exists among the Arunta, with male 
descent; One moiety of the southern part of the tribe con- 
sists of Panunga and Bulthara, linked classes, calling them- 
selves Nakrakia ; the other moiety is of Piu-ula and Kumara, 
calling themselves Mulganuka. A Bulthara man of the first 
moiety can only marry a Kumara woman, of the second 
moiety : a Purula man marries a Panunga woman only. The 
children of a Bulthara man's union with a Kumara woman 
take neither the Bulthara nor Kumara name, but are called 
Panunga, while the children of a Purula man and a Panunga 
woman are Kumara : of a Panunga man and a Purula woman, 
Bulthara ; of a Kumara man and a Bulthara woman, Purula. 

' Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S. W. xxxi. 161. 
■' Op. Bit. pp. 172-175. ' 


That is to say, the Arunta reckoning in the male line, a 
man's children do not take his ' class ' name but the name of 
the ' class ' linked to his, and forming, with his, one division 
of the tribe. Further each of these four divisions consists of 
two moieties, and a Panunga man, though he can marry a 
Piu-ula woman, must choose her out of the proper moiety of 
the Pxu-ula division. These moieties of each division, among 
the Northern Arunta, have names ; Uknaria, Appungerta, 
Umbitchana, Ungalla, and the children of each marriage fall 
under these names. 

This restricts a man to only an eighth of the women 
of his generation, but, on the other hand, among the 
Arunta, the totem prohibition no longer exists : the 
totems are not restricted to one or another class, but 
skip among them, as we have shown in the section on the 
Arunta. The eight class system, perhaps the toxtr class 
System, may be regarded as later and conscious modifications 
of the old phratry and totem rules, which, on my hypothesis, 
had no conscious moral origin. 




The opinions of Lord Avebm-y (Sir John Lubbock) are to be 
collected from the sixth edition (1902) of his Origin of 
Civilisation. First published in 1870, this was a pioneer 
work of great value and importance. Perhaps the vast 
amount of new information and of new speculation which has 
accrued since 1870 might almost make us wish that Lord 
Avebiury had found time to re-write his early book. But 
he ' sees no reason to change in any essential respects the 
opinions originally expressed,' and merely adds a few refer- 
ences to such recent researches as those of Messrs. Spencer 
and GUlen. Therefore we must not look to Lord Avebury for 
much new light on the origin of the Australian ' classes ' or 
' primary divisions,' or ' phratries,' and on their relations to 
the totem kindreds within them. 


Our author (p. 217) regards Totemism as synonymous 
with Nature- Worship. He speaks of ' Nature- Worship or 
Totemism, in which nattu-al objects, trees, lakes, stones, 
animals, &c. are worshipped.' I am not acquainted (unless 
it be in early Peru) with any totem kin whose totem is a 
lake ; and totems, very often, are not ' worshipped ' at all. 
Nature- Worship, again, may exist where there is no Totemism, 
and Totemism where there is no Nature- Worship, indeed 
where, as among the Arunta, there is, strictly speaking, no 
worship, as far as we are informed. 

Again (p. 351), ' Totemism ' (as opposed to fetichism), 


'is a deification of classes.' But the term 'deification' 
implies the possession, by the deifiers, of the conception 
of Deity ; of gods, or of a god. The Australians have 
totems, but, according to Lord Avebury, have no notion 
of a god or gods. They ' possess merely certain vague ideas 
as to the existence of evil spirits, and a general dread 
of witchcraft ' (p. 338). It is not clear, then, how they can 
'deify' classes of things, if they have no notion of deity. 
' They do not believe in the existence of a true Deity ' 
(with a capital D), says Lord Avebury, without defining 
what ' a true Deity ' is : and, contrary to the evidence of Mr. 
Howitt and many others, he denies that ' morality is in any 
way connected with their religion, if such it can be called ' 
(p. 338). 

The authority cited is of 1859,^ and is contradicted, for 
example, by Mr. Howitt (1880-1890), who is not here 
quoted. It is clear that Australian totems cannot result 
from the ' deification of classes,' if the Australians have no 
conception of Deity, whether ' true ' or not so true. 

Lord Avebury remarks, 'True, myths do not occur 
among the lowest races ' (p. 355), whereas, with many others, 
myths of the origin of Totemism do notably occur, as we 
have shown, among perhaps all totemistic races. Perhaps we 
should read, deleting the comma, ' true myths do not occur 
among the lowest races,' when the question as to what a 
' true myth ' is again arises, as in the case of ' a true Deity.' 
Perhaps we must suppose that by ' a true myth,' or a ' true 
Deity,' Lord Avebury implies a Deity or a myth in accordance 
with his own conception of either. 


' The worship of animals,' says our author (p. 275), ' is 
susceptible of a very simple explanation, and perhaps, as I 
have ventured to suggest," may have originated from the 

• ' Report of the Committee of the Legislative Council on Aborigines. ' 
Victoria, pp. 9, 69, 77. 

'^ Prehiftoric Times, p. 598 


practice of naming, first individuals, and then their families, 
after particular animals. A family, for instance, which was 
called after the bear, would come to look on that animal 
first with interest, then with respect, and at length with a 
sort of awe.' If by ' individuals,' male individuals are in- 
tended, this theory is open to the objection that Lord Ave- 
biu-y regards descent in the female as earlier than descent in 
the male line (p. 164), while ' families ' with enduring rela- 
tions to their founders, can hardly yet have been consciously 
envisaged, by his theory, at so very rudimentary a stage. 
Moreover, we try to show that totem names were, originally, 
group names, and were not derived from the personal names 
of individuals, an opinion in which Mr. Haddon concurs. 
Lord Avebiu-y's theory is, apparently, that of Mr. Herbert 
Spencer, minus the supposed worship of the ghost of the male 
ancestor and founder of the family. 


Lord Avebmy assumes, as a working hypothesis, that 
' the communal marriage system . . . represents the primi- 
tive and earliest social condition of man . . . ' (p. 102). 
The objections to this hypothesis we have stated, though, of 
course, historic certainty cannot be attained. 

Lord Avebury, assuming ' communal marriage ' as the 
Primitive stage, holds that it ' was gradually superseded by 
individual marriage founded on capture, and that this led 
firstly to exogamy, and then to female infanticide ; thus 
reversing Mr. McLennan's order of sequence' (p. 108). 
' Originally no man could appropriate a woman of his own 
tribe exclusively to himself . . . without infringing tribal 
rights, but, on the other hand, if a man captured a woman 
belonging to another tribe, he thereby acquired an individual 
and peculiar right to her, and she became his exclusively, no one 
else having any claim or property in her' (p. 110). (I here 
italicise ' tribe ' and ' tribal.' Lord Avebury intends, I 
think, a woman of the same ' fire-circle ' (p. 188), not a woman 


of the t?-ibe understood as a large and inevitably not primitive 
local aggregate of friendly groups of different totems, such 
as the Arunta, Narrinyeri, Pawnees, and so forth.) 

In brief, men would desire to appropriate to themselves 
some woman, at first from beyond their own ' tribe.' This 
they could only do by capture. Their individual right in her 
would be modified by the disgusting license of the bridal 
night, which Lord Avebury regards as ' compensation ' to 
the other males of the 'tribe' (pp. 138, 557-560). That 
license I would rather explain as Mr. Crawley does : the 
topic does not need to be insisted on at length in this place. 
Lord Avebury, at all events, supposes that a form of captxu-e 
finally came to be applied, with results in individual marriage, 
to women of the same 'tribe' (p. 111). But if we have 
.'complete and conclusive evidence that in large portions of 
Australia every man had the privilege of a husband over 
every woman not belonging to his own gens ; sharing, of 
course, these privileges with every other man belonging to 
the same class or gens as himself ' (p. 112), I fail to see that 
a man gained anything by enduring the trouble and risk of 
capturing a bride aU to himself. Before the capture she had 
been, it seems, the common spoil of the males of her ' tribe;' 
when captured she was the common spoil of her captor's 
' class or gens ' — though a ' class ' and a gens are not, I think, 
identical, but much the reverse. 

The rather promiscuous use of terms for different kinds 
of human communities affected all the pioneer works on 
primitive society, and, indeed, still perplexes om* speculations. 
Thus Lord Avebury suggests (p. 119) the case of four exo- 
gamous neighbouring ' tribes,' with kinship traced through 
women. ' After a certain time the result would be that each 
tribe would consist of four septs or clans ' (totem kins ?), 
' representing the four original tribes, and hence we should 
find communities in which each tribe is divided into clans, 
and a man must always marry a woman of a different 

We do not, perhaps, know any exogamous tribes in our 


sense of ' tribe ; ' a Dieri is not obliged to mariy out of the 
Dieri, or an Urabunna out of the Urabunna. By ' tribe ' 
here, it seems probable that Lord Avebury intends not a 
large local aggregate, but ' a very small commimity,' for he 
writes ' we have seen that, under the custom of communal 
marriage, a child was regarded as related to the tribe, but not 
specially to any particular father or mother. Such a state 
of things, indeed, is only possible in very small communities.' 
Now a tribe is a very large community. The members of 
such communities must have been poor observers if they did 
not discover the relation between a child and the woman 
who bore and, for several years, nm-sed it. But such ' tribes ' 
are not tribes in the sense in which I use the word ; they are 
rather ' groups of the same hearth.' Now it is easy to see how 
small groups of the same hearth became exogamous, namely 
through sexual jealousy, and sexual tabu, which would 
oblige the yoimg males to wander away, or to get wives by 
capture, practices residting, under the tabu, in the sacred rule 
of exogamy. This, however, is not Lord Avebury's theory of 
the origin of exogamy. 

Lord Avebury's theory does not become more distinct 
when he says, ' In Australia, where the same family names ' 
(totem names ?) ' are common almost over the whole con- 
tinent, no man may marry a woman whose family name ' 
(totem name ?) ' is the same as his own ' (here the Arunta 
are an exception) ' and who belongs therefore to the same 
tribe ' (p. 144). But siu-ely, if the ' family names ' are 
' common almost over the whole continent,' a woman may 
well have the same ' family name ' (say Emu) as a man, and 
yet need not be of his tribe. An Arunta Emu man and a 
Dieri Emu woman would have the same 'family name' 
(totem name), but would not, therefore, ' belong to the same 
tribe.' It even appears that Lord Avebury regards ' tribe ' 
and ' clan ' and ' family ' as synonymous terms, for, in proof 
of the statement that people of the same 'family name' 
necessarily belong to the same ' tribe,' he quotes my 
late uncle, Mr. Gideon Scott Lang, 'No man can marry 


a woman of the same clan, though the parties be no way 
related according to our ideas.' ^ By ' clan ' Mr. Lang 
here meant totem kin, and if Lord Avebury thinks ' clan ' 
equivalent to ' tribe,' a ' tribe ' must be a totem kin, which 
it is not ; at least if we understand ' tribe ' as a local 
aggregate of various totem kindreds. 

These perplexities are caused by a vague terminology, and 
occurred naturally in a book of 1870, as they do in Mr. 
McLennan's own pioneer works. But in 1903 we must try 
to aim at closer and more exact distinctions and definitions, 
though we are still retarded and perplexed by the lack of 
truly scientific nomenclature. As far as I can perceive. Lord 
Avebury is apt to use ' family,' ' tribe,' ' clan,' and ' gens,'' as 
equivalents, while each of them, in various places, appears to 
be understood as denoting a totem kindred. Thus (p. 181) 
' under a system of female descent combined with exogamy 
a man must marry out of his tribe,' where ' tribe ' seems to 
mean ' totem kin.' Compare p. 187 : ' another general rule, 
in America as elsewhere, is that no one may marry within 
his own clan or family,' where ' clan or family ' like ' tribe ' 
seems to mean ' totem kin.' 

This use of terms makes it difficult for me to feel sure 
that I apprehend Lord Avebury's theory correctly. How- 
ever I take it to be that, originally, ' very small communities ' 
(' tribes ') lived in ' communal marriage.' Nobody knew who 
was the son of what father or of what mother, though, in a 
very small community one would expect the senior vigorous 
male or males to prevent son-and-mother, or brother-and- 
sister unions, by force, out of natural jealousy. This was 
not done, but some males wanted wives to themselves in 
private property, and got them by capture, paying ' com- 
pensation ' in the license of the bridal night. But a man 
might fall in love with a lass in his own ' tribe ' (' very small 
community') and want to keep her to himself (p. 111). 
' Hence would naturally arise a desire on the part of many to 
extend the right of capture, which originally had reference 
' G. Scott Lang, The Aborigines of Australia, p. 10. 


only to women of a different tribe, and to apply it to all 
those belonging to their own.' Is ' tribe ' still used of ' a very 
small community,' or is it here employed in the now more 
prevalent and much wider sense ? If not, is the ' capture ' 
now a mere ceremonial formula ? Apparently ' tribe,' now 
and here, does mean (as elsewhere it does not) a large local 
aggregate, for we are next told of ' the division of Australian 
tribes into classes or gentes ' (though a ' class ' is one thing 
and a gens, if totem kin is meant, is another thing), and of 
the ' 1,000 miles of wives,' who, by the theory, are not in- 
dividual wives of individual men. Such wives, special rights 
in such wives, were acquired ' originally by right of capture.' 
But. when men possessed marital privileges, each ' over 
every woman not belonging to his own gens ; sharing, of 
course, these privileges with every other man belonging to the 
same gens or class as himself (p. 112), where is the individual 
right acquired by capture ? It seems that each man, besides 
his ' 1,000 miles of wives ' ' has his own individual wife . . . 
by right of capture.' Now the Urabunna have no such in- 
dividual wives, if, like Lord Avebury, we accept the state- 
ment of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen (p. 63). But the 
Arunta have such individual wives. Here it seems necessary 
for Lord Avebury, if he agrees with these authors, to prove 
that the Anmta, unlike the Urabunna, do demonstrably 
acquire their individual wives by capture. But no such 
demonstration is produced. Till proof is offered I am unable 
to appreciate the force of Lord Avebury's reasoning, while 
like Mr. Crawley, I doubt whether individual marriage does 
not exist among the Urabunna, the Piraungaru license not 
being, I conceive, a true survival of communal man-iage, but 
a peculiar institution. 


Analysing Mr. Morgan's collection of names for relation- 
ships, Lord Avebury (p. 182) says, 'in fact the idea of 
relationship, like that of marriage, was foimd^d, not upon 


duty, but upon power.' We try to suggest that the classifi- 
catory names for relationships are, to a great extent, 
expressive of status, seniority, and mutual duties and 
services in the community — these duties and services them- 
selves being gradually established by power — the power of 
the seniors. Yet some terms analysed by Lord Avebury 
have, linguistically, other sources. ' Wife,' in Cree, is ' part 
of myself,' dimidium animce mece, these twain are one flesh. 
Obviously this pretty term does not spring from ' commimal 
marriage.' In Chocta, ' husband ' is 'he who leads me,' — 
again not commxmal, but indicating the old-fashioned theory 
of wifely obedience. (' He who kicks me ' would suffice, in 
some civilised quarters.) ' Daughter-in-law,' in Delaware, is 
' my cook,' indicating service ; and ' husband ' is ' my aid 
through life,' showing the advanced Homeric, or Christian, 
view of marriage (pp. 180-181). ' Father ' and ' Mother ' in 
many African, Eitfopean and Asian, Non-Aryan, Oceanic, 
Australian, and, really in Aryan languages, also often in 
America, are ' the easiest soimds which a child can pronounce 
indicating father and mother' (pp. 442-449). If babes 
could distinguish father and mother, these relationships, 
one thinks, could not have been unknown to adults. They 
may be, and are, extended in usage, so as to embrace what 
we call imcles and aunts and seniors of the kin, but this, 
I try to argue, does not necessarily imply that fatherhood 
and motherhood, owing to communal marriage, were long 

The result of Lord Avebury's analysis of Mr. Morgan's 
tables of terms is to prove progress in the discrimination of 
degrees of kin, though ancient sweeping terms occasionally 
survive among races fairly advanced out of savagery. 
' Relationship is, at first, regarded as a matter, not of blood, 
but of tribal organisation ' (p. 208). Here I agree that 
words or terms for what we call relationship often do seem to 
denote status, duty, service, and intermarriageableness in the 
community. But I do not think that the ties of blood are 
thereby proved to have been unknown. Maternity could not 


be doubtful, especially where the mother nursed her child for 
several years. 

Lord Avebury adds, ' the terms for what we call relation- 
ships are, among the lower races of men, mere expressions 
for the results of marriage customs, and do not comprise the 
idea of relationship as we understand it ' (p. 210). 

For this reason, I think, we must avoid the fallacy of 
arguing as if the terms did denote ' relationship as we under- 
stand it,' when we wish to prove a past of communal 
marriage. The terms indicate, in Lord Avebmry's words, 
' the connection of individuals inter se, their duties to one 
another, their rights, and the descent of their property.' 

This is precisely my own opinion, and for this very reason 
I do not hold that these terms arose in ignorance as to who 
was the mother, or even the father, of a child. All the 
duties and rights, as Lord Avebury says, ' are regulated more 
by the relation to the tribe than to the family '^ — in our 
sense of ' family.' But this, in my view, proves that the 
terms (in their present significance) are relatively late and 
advanced, for the institution of the Tribe (as I understand 
the word) implies the friendly combination of many totem 
kins, and of many ' fire-circles,' into the tribe, the large local 
aggregate. No such combination can have been truly 
' primitive.' But we have seen that Lord Avebury seems to 
use ' tribe ' in various places, as equivalent to ' family,' ' clan,' 
gem, and, apparently, to 'totem kin.' Quite possibly he 
means that the horde is prior to what I may call the ' fire- 
circle,' the ' very small community,' which, in places, he terms 
' the tribe,' or so I understand him. If so, I cannot follow 
him here, as I am not inclined to think that truly primitive 
man lived in hordes of considerable numbers : the difficulties 
of supply, among other reasons, make the idea improbable. 

K I have failed to understand Lord Avebury, perhaps 
his somewhat indeterminate terminology may plead my 




Up to this point, we have treated of totems just as we find 
them in savage practice. We have seen that totem names 
are the titles of groups of kindred, real or imagined ; they 
are derived from animals, plants, and other natural objects ; 
they appear among tribes who reckon descent either on the 
sword or spindle side, and the totem name of each group is 
usually (but not in the case of the Arunta) one mark of the 
exogamous limit. None may marry a person of the same 
totem name. But, in company with this prohibition, is 
found a body of myths, superstitions, rites, magical practices, 
and artistic uses of the totem.' We have shown (Chapter 
II.) that we cannot move a step without a clear and consistent 
hjrpothesis of the origins of Totemism. This we now try to 


Savages, both in their groups of kin, in their magical 

societies, or clubs, and privately, as individuals, are apt to 

regard certain beasts, plants, and so on, as the guardians of 

the group, of the society, and of the private person. To 

these animal guardians, whether of the individual, the 

' As to the mord ' totem,' but little is certainly known. Its earliest 
occurrence in literature, to my knowledge, is in a work by J. Long (1791), 

Voyages and TroAseli of am, Indiam Interpreter. Long sojourned among the 
Algonquin branch of the North American Indians. He spells the word 
' Totam,' and even speaks of ' Totamism.' Mr. Tylor has pointed out that 
Long in one place confuses the totem, the hereditary group name, and 
protective object, with what used to be called the manitu or ' medicine,' 
of each individual Indian, chosen by him, or her, after a fast, at puberty. 
Jtemarlis on Totemitm, 1898, pp. 139-40. Cf. infra, 135, note. 

« k2 


society, or the group of kin, they show a certain amount of 
reverence and respect. That reverence naturally takes much 
the same forms — the inevitable forms — as of not killing or 
eating the animal, occasionally praying to it, or of burying 
dead representatives of the species, as may happen. But I 
am unaware that the savage ever calls his personal selected 
animal or plant, or the guardian animal of his magical 
society (except among the Arunta, where the totem groups 
are evolving into magical clubs), by the same term as he 
applies to the hereditary guardian of his group of kindred ; 
his totem, as I use the word. If I am right, this distinction 
has been overlooked, or thought insignificant, by some 
modern inquirers. Major Powell, the Director of the 
Ethnological Bureau at Washington, appears to apply the 
word totem both to the chosen animal friend of the indi- 
vidual, and to that of the magical society in America, which 
includes men of various group totems. '^ He also applies it 
to the totem of the kin. 

Mr. Frazer, too, writes of (1) The Clan Totem, (2) ITie 
Sex Totem (in Australia), (3) 'The Individual Totem, 
belonging to a single individual, and not passing to his 
descendants,' and even indicates that one savage may have five 
totems.^ This third rule as to the non-hereditable character 
of ' the individual totem ' has, since Mr. Frazer wrote in 
1887, been found to admit of more exceptions than we then 
knew. In a few cases and places, the animal selected by, or 
for, the private individual, is found to descend to his or her 
children. In my opinion it is better, for the present at 
least, to speak of such protective animals of individuals, by 
the names which their savage proteges give to them in each 
case : nyarongs (Sarawak) ' bush-souls,' (Calabar) naguals, 
(Central America) mamitus (?) as among the Algonquins, 
Yunbeai in some Australian dialects, and so forth.* I myself 

' Mom, 1902, No. 75. ' ToUmism, p. 2, 1887. 

' So also Mr. Hartland writes, 3Ian, 1902, No. 84. But mamtu is 
perhaps too wide and vague a term : it usually connotes anything mystical 
or supernormal. 


here use ' totem ' only of the object which lends its name, 
hereditarily, to a group of kin. 

WORD 'totem' 

This restriction I make, not for the purpose of simplify- 
ing the problem of totemism by disregarding ' the individual 
totem,' ' the sex totem,' and so on, but because I understand 
that savages everywhere use one word for their hereditary 
kin totem, and other words for the plant or animal pro- 
tectors of individuals, of magical societies, and so forth. 
The true totem is a plant or animal or other thing, the 
hereditary friend and ally — of the kin — but all plant or 
animal allies of individuals or of magical societies are not 
totems. Though the attitude of a private person to his 
nagiud, or of a magical society to its protective animal, may 
often closely resemble the attitude of the group to its heredi- 
tary totem, still, the origin of this attitude of respect may 
be different in each case. 

This is obvious, for the individual or society deliberately 
adopts an animal protector and friend, usually suggested in 
a dream, after a fast, whereas we can scarcely conceive that 
the totem was deliberately adopted by the first members of 
the first totem groups. Savages look on animals as perso- 
nalities like themselves, but more powerful, gifted with more 
wdkan, or mana, or cosmic rapport: each man, therefore, 
and each organised magical society, looks out for, and, for 
some reason of dream or divination, adopts, a special animal 
friend. But it is hard to believe that the members of a 
primeval human group of unknown antiquity, consciously 
and deliberately made a compact to adopt, and for ever be 
faithful to— this or that plant, animal, element, or the like 

to be inherited in the female line. For, on this plan, the 

group, say Wolves, instantly loses the totem it has adopted. 

We cannot prove that it was not so, that a primitive 
group of rudimentary human beings did not make a covenant 


with Bear, or Wolf, as Israel did with Jehovah, and as an 
individual savage does with his nyarong, or nagtial, or 
mcmitu. This covenant, if made and kept by each group, 
would be the Origin of Toteraism. But, with female 
descent, the covenant could not be kept. I am not certain 
that this theory, involving joint and deliberate selection and 
retention of a totem, by a primeval human group, has ever 
been maintained, unless it be by Mr. Jevons. ' The primary 
object of a totem alliance between a human kin and an 
animal kind is to obtain a supernatural ally against super- 
natural foes.' ^ The term ' supernatural ' seems here out of 
place — both the animal kind and the human kin being 
natural ; and one has a difficulty in conceiving that very 
early groups of kin would make, and would adhere to, such 
alliances. Indeed, how could they adhere to their totems, 
when these descended through women of alien totem groups ? 
But there seems to be nothing otherwise impossible or self- 
contradictory in this theory ; nor can it be disproved, for 
lack of evidence. Only such theories as are self-contradictory, 
or inconsistent with the known and admitted facts of the case, 
are capable of absolute disproof. 

It may, of course, be objected here that, though totems, 
in actual savage society, descend sometimes in the female 
line, still, descent in the male line may be the original rule ; 
and that thus a group, like an individual, could seek, make a 
covenant with, and cleave to a grub, or frog, or lizard, as a 
supernatural ally. But, for reasons already indicated, in an 
earlier part of this work, I conceive that, originally, totems 
descended in the female line only. One reason for this 
opinion is that, as soon as descent of the totem comes by 
the male line, a distinct step in the upward movement 
towards civilisation and a settled life is made. It is not 
very probable that the backward step, from reckoning by 
male lineage to descent in the female line, has often been 

' Introduction to the History of Meligion, p. 21 i. Major Powell has 
said something to the same effect, but that was in a journal of 'popular 


taken. On the other hand, tribes which now inherit the 
totem in the male line, exhibit in their institutions many 
sm-vivals of female descent. An instance is that of the 
Mandans, as recorded by Mr. Dorsey.^ Among the Melane- 
sians, where female descent still exists, there is at work the 
most obvious tendency towards descent through males, as 
Dr. Codrington proves in an excellent work on that people. 
Dr. Durkheim, too, has pointed out the traces of uterine 
descent among the Arunta, who now reckon in the male 
line.^ On the other hand, where we find descent in the male 
line, I am not aware that we discover signs of movement in 
the opposite direction. In this opinion that, as a general 
rule, descent was reckoned in the female, not the male line, 
originally, I have the support of Mr. E. B. Tylor.' For 
these reasons the hypothesis of the selection of and covenant 
with a ' supernatural ally,' plant or animal, by the deliberate 
joint action of an early group, at a given moment, involving 
staunch adherence to the original resolution, rather strains 
belief; and a suggestion perhaps more plausible will be 
offered later. 

THE WORD 'totem' 

As to the precise original meaning and form of the 
word usually written ' totem ' — whether it should be 
' totam,' or ' toodaim,' or ' dodaim,' or ' ododam,' or ' ote,'' 
philologists may dispute.* They may question whether the 
word means ' mark,' or ' family,' or ' tribe,' or clay for paint- 
ing the family mark.^ When we here use the word ' totem ' 
we mean, at all events, the object which gives its name to a 
group of savage kindred, who may not marry within this here- 
ditary name. In place of ' totem ' we might use the equi- 
valent murdu of the Dieri, or gaura of the Kunundaburi.* 

' Bureau of MhnoUgy, 1893-1894, p. 241. 

* L'Awnee Soeiologique, v. 93, 99, 100. As far as the proof rests on 
Arunta traditiom, I lay no stress upon it. 

' J. A I. vol. xviii., no. 3, p. 254. 

* Frazer, Totemism, p. 1. ^ Major Powell, Man, 1901, no. 75. 
« Howitt, /. A. I. XX. 40-41, 1891. 



The ' cult,' if it deserves to be called a ' cult,' of the 
totem, among savages, is not confined to abstention from 
marriage within the name. Each kin usually abstains from 
killing, eating, or in any way using its totem (except in 
occasional ceremonies, religious or magical), is apt to claim 
descent from or kindred with it, or alternations of metamor- 
phosis into or out of it, and sometimes uses its effigy on 
memorial pillars, on posts carved with a kind of genealogical 
tree, or tattoos or paints or scarifies it on the skin — in 
different cases and places. 

To what extent the blood-feud is taken up by all 
members of the slain man's totem, I am not fuUy aware : it 
varies in different regions. The eating or slaying of the 
totem, by a person of the totem name, is in places believed 
to be punished by disease or death, a point which the late 
Mr. J. J. Atkinson observed among the natives of New 
Caledonia (MS. penes me). Mr. Atkinson happened to be 
conversing with some natives on questions of anthropology, 
when his servant brought in a lizard which he had killed. 
On this one of the natives exhibited great distress, saying, 
' Why have you killed my father ? we were talking of my 
father, and he came to us.' The son (his name was Jericha) 
then wrapped the dead lizard up in leaves, and reverently 
laid the body in the bush. This was not a case like that of 
the Zulu Idhlozi, the serpents that haunt houses, and are 
believed to be the vehicles of the souls of dead kinsfolk. 
The other natives present had for their ' father,' one, a 
mouse, the other a pigeon, and so on. If any one ate his 
animal ' father,' sores broke out on him, and Mr. Atkinson 
was shown a woman thus afflicted, for having eaten her 
' father.' But I do not find, in his papers, that a man with 
a mouse for father might not marry a woman of the mouse 
set, nor have I elsewhere been .able to ascertain what is New- 


Caledonian practice on this point.^ When Mr. Atkinson 
made these observations (1874), he had only heard of totems 
in the novels of Cooper and other romancers. 


This example is here cited because, as far as I am aware, 
no other anthropologist has observed this amount of Totemism 
in New Caledonia. Students are divided into those who have 
a bias in favour of finding totemism everywhere ; and those 
who aver, with unconcealed delight, that in this or the other 
place there are no totems. Such negative statements must 
always be received with caution. An European may live 
long among savages before he really knows them ; and, 
without possessing totemism in full measure, many races 
retain obvious fragments of the institution. 

Mr. Tylor has censured the use of the terms ' totems ' 
and ' totem clans ' with respect to the Fijians and Samoans, 
where certain animals, not to be eaten, are believed to be 
vehicles or shrines of certain gods. It is a very probable 
conjecture (so probable, I think, as almost to amount to a 
certainty), that the creatures which are now the shrines of 
Fijian or Samoan gods of the family, or of higher gods, were 
once totems in an earlier stage of Samoan and Fijian society 
and belief. As I have said elsewhere, 'in totemistic 
countries the totem is respected himself ; in Samoa the animal 
is worshipful because a god abides within him. This appears 
to be a theory by which the reflective Samoans have 
explained to themselves what was once pure Totemism.'^ 
But I must share in Mr. Tylor's protest against using the 

' The Marquis d'Eguilles kindly sends me extracts from an official 
' Notice sur la Nouvelle-Caledonie,' drawn up for the Paris Exhibition of 
1900. The author says that the names of relationships are expressed, by 
the Kanaka, ' in a touching manner.' One name includes our ' uncle ' and 
' father,' another our ' mother ' and ' aunts ; ' another name includes our 
' brothers,' ' sisters,' and ' cousins.' This, of course, is ' the classifioatory 
system.' About animal ' fathers ' nothing is said. 

' TyloT, Jtemarks on Totemism, Tpp.lil-li3. Myth, Ritiw.1, a/nd Religion, 
ii. 56-58. Turner's Samoa, p. 17 (1884). 


name of ' totem ' for a plant or animal which is regarded as 
the shrine of a god. Such thorough totemists as some of 
the North American Indians, or the Australians, do not 
explain their totems as the shrines of gods, for they have no 
such gods to serve as explanations. That myth appears to 
be the Samoan or Fijian way of accounting for the existence 
of worshipful and friendly plants and animals. 

Thus, at all events, and unluckily, the phrase 'the 
totem-god ' is introduced into our speculations, and the cult 
of the ' totem-god ' is confused with the much more limited 
respect paid by savages to actual totems. However attrac- 
tive the theory of ' the totem-god ' may be, we cannot speak 
of ' totems ' where a god incarnate in a plant or animal is 
concerned. Such a deity may be a modified survival of 
Totemism, but a totem he is not. Moreover, it is hardly safe 
to say that, in the Samoan case, the god is ' developed from 
a totem ; ' we only know that the god has got into 
suspiciously totemistic society. On the whole, we cannot be 
too cautious in speaking of totems and Totemism : and we 
must be specially careful not to exaggerate the more or less 
religious respect with which totems are, in many cases, 
regarded. The Australians, as far as they have the idea of a 
creative being, Baiame, Nooreli, and so forth, do not regard 
their totems as shrines or incarnations of him. That 
appears to be the speculation of peoples who, probably 
by way of animism, and ancestor- worship, are already in the 
stage of polytheism. Totems, in their earliest known stage, 
have very little to do with religion, and probably, in origin, 
had nothing really religious about them. 


Peoples who are still in the totemistic stage, as we have 
seen, know nothing about the beginnings of the institution. 
All that they tell the civilised inquirers is no more than the 
myth handed down by their own tradition. Thus the Dieri 


or Diejrrie, in Australia, say that the totems were appointed 
by the ancestors, for the purpose of regulating marriages, 
after consultation with Miu-a Miu-a, or with ' the ' Miu'amura. 
The Woeworung, according to Mr. Howitt, have a similar 
legend.' It is not necessary here to ask whether Mura Mura 
is ' the Supreme Being ' (Gason, Howitt), or ' ancestral spirits ' 
(Fison).^ The most common savage myth is of the DsuTdnian 
variety, each totem kin is descended from, or evolved out of, 
the plant or animal type which supplies its totem. Again, as 
in fairy tales, a woman gave birth to animals, whence the 
totem kins derive their descent. In North- West America, 
totems are often accounted for by myths of ancestral heroes. 
' The Tlingit ' (Thlinket) ' hold that souls of ancestors are 
reborn in children, that a man will be reborn as a man, a wolf 
as a wolf, a raven as a raven.' Nevertheless, the totems are 
regarded as ' relatives and protectors,' and it is explained that, 
in the past, a human ancestor had an adventure with this or 
that animal, whence he assimied his totem armorial bearings.' 
In precisely the same way a myth, a very late myth, was 
invented, about the adventxu-e of a Stewart with a lion, to 
account for the Lyon of the Stewarts."* The Haidas and 
Thlinkets, believing as they do that human souls are reborn 
human, cannot hold that a bestial soul animates a man, say, 
of the Haven totem. 

The Arunta, on the other hand, suppose that the souls 
of animals which evolved into human beings, are reincar- 
nated in each child bom to the tribe. 'Two clans of 
Western Australia, who are named after a small opossum 
and a little fish, think that they are so called because they 
used to live chiefly on these creatures.' ^ This myth has 
some support in modem opinion : the kins, it is argued, 
received their totem names from the animals and plants 

' Howitt, On the Orgamsation of Auttralian Tribes, p. 136, note, 1889. 

^ The Mura Mura appear Ireally to answer to the fabled ancestors of 
the Arunta, but are addressed in prayers. Cf. Miss Howitt, Folk Lore, 
January 1903. ' Tylor, Remarks on Tatemism, p. 134. 

' So also to explain the crest of the Hamiltons, the Skenes, and many 
others. ° Frazer, Totemism, p. 7. 


which mainly formed their food supply ; though now their 
totems are seldom eaten by them. These legends, and 
others, are clearly setiological myths, like the Samoan 
hypothesis that gods are incarnate in the totems. The myths 
merely try to explain the original connection between men 
and totems, and are constructed on the lines of savage ideas 
about the relations of all things in the universe, all alike 
being personal, and rational, and capable of interbreeding, 
and of shape-shifting. Certain Kalamantans of Sarawak 
will not eat a species of deer, because ' an ancestor became a 
deer of this kind.' ^ All such fables, of course, are valueless 
as history ; and, in the savage state of the intellect, such 
myths were inevitable. 


Mr. McLennan himself at first had a theory, which, as 
far as I heard him speak of it, was more or less akin to my 
own. But he abandoned it, says his brother, Mr. Daniel 
McLennan, for reasons that to him appeared conclusive. I 
ought to mention that Mr. A. H. Keane informed me, 
several years ago, that he had independently evolved a theory 
akin to mine, of which, as it then stood, I had published 
some hint. (For a statement of Mr. Keane's theory see 
our Preface.) In 1884 ^ I wrote, ' People united by con- 
tiguity, and by the blind sentiment of kinship not yet 
brought into explicit consciousness, might mark themselves 
by a bsidge, and might thence derive a name, and, later, 
might invent a myth of their descent from the object which 
the badge represented.' But why shotild such people mark 
themselves by a badge, and why, if they did, should the ttiark 
be, not a decorative or symbolic pattern, but the represen- 
tation of a plant or animal ? These questions I cannot 
answer, and my present guess is not identical with that of 

' Hose and McDougall, .7^. A. I. xxxi. 193, 1901. 
* Custom and Myth, p. 262. 


Meanwhile let us keep one point steadily before our 
minds. Totemism, at a first glance, seems a perfectly crazy 
and irrational set of beliefs, and we might think, with Dr. 
Johnson, that there is no use in looking for reason among the 
freaks of irrational people. But man is never irrational. 
His reason for doing this, or believing that, may seem a bad 
reason to us, but a reason he always had for his creeds and 
conduct, and he had a reason for his totem belief, a reason in 
congruity with his limited knowledge of facts, and with his 
theory of the universe. For all things he wanted an explana- 
tion. Now what he wanted a reason for, in Totemism, was 
the nature and origin of the connection between his own and 
the neighbouring groups, and the plant or animal names 
which they bore. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen write, ' what - 
gave rise, in the first instance, to the association of parti- 
cular men with particular animals and plants, it is impossible 
to say.' But it is not impossible to guess, with more or less 
of probability. The connection once established, savages 
guessed at its origin : their guesses, as always, were myths, 
and were of every conceivable kind. The myth of descent 
from or kinship with the animal or plant, the Darwinian 
myth, does not stand alone. Every sort of myth was 
fashioned, was believed, and influenced conduct. Our busi- 
ness is to form our own guess as to the original connection 
between men and their totems : a guess which shall be 
consistent with human nature. 


Many such guesses by civilised philosophers exist. We 
need not dwell long on that of Mr. Max Miiller, akin, as it 
is, to my own early conjecture, ' a totem is a clan mark, then 
a clan name, then the name of the ancestor of the clan, and 
lastly the name of something worshipped by the clan.' ' We 
need not dwell on this, because the kind of ' clan mark ' on a 
pillar outside of the quarters of the clan, in a village, is 
' Contrihitions to the Seience of Mythology, i. 201. 


peculiar to North America, and to people dwelling in fixed 
settlements. Among the nomadic Australians, we have 
totemism without the settlements, without the totem pillar, 
without the ' clan mark,' on the pillar, which, thus, cannot 
be the first step in Totemism. Again, the ' clan name,' or 
group name, must be earlier than the 'clan mark,' which 
merely expresses it, just as my name is prior to my visiting 
card, or as the name of an inn, ' The Red Lion,' is prior to 
the sign representing that animal. Obviously we have to ask 
first, whence comes the clan name, or group name ? 


In a passage on animal-worship, Mr. Herbert Spencer 
(unless T misconceive him) advances a theory of the origin of 
Totemism. True, he does not here speak of totems, but he 
suggests an hypothesis to explain why certain stocks claim 
descent from animals, and why these animals are treated by 
them with more or less of religious regard. Actual men, in 
savagery, are often called by ' animal nicknames,' and we 
cannot be surprised if the savage . . . gets the idea that an 
ancestor named ' the tiger ' was an actual tiger . . , Inevi- 
tably, then, he grows up believing that his father descended 
from a tiger — thinking of himself as one of the tiger stock.^ 

It were superfluous to dwell on this theory. Totem 
names are group names ; and, as they occur where group 
names are derived from the mother, they cannot have origi- 
nated in the animal nicknames of individual dead grand- 
fathers. The names of the dead are usually tabued and 
forgotten ; but that is of no great moment. The point is 
that such group names are derived through mothers, in 
the first instance, not through male founders of families." 

No theory which starts from an individual male ancestor, 
and his name bequeathed to his descendants, can be correct. 
That Mr. Spencer's does start in this way may be inferred 

' Tlie Prviwiplei of Sociology, i. 362, 1876. 

^ The whole passage will be found in the work cited. Vol. i. 359-368, 


from the following text : ' commonly the names of the clans 
which are forbidden to intermarry, such as Wolf, Bear, 
Eagle, Whale, &c., are names given to men, implying, as I 
have before contended (170-173), descent from distinguished 
male ancestors bearing those names — descent which, notwith- 
standing the system of female kinship, was remembered when 
there was pride in the connection.' 

A brief-lived joy in the name of which the male ances- 
tor's descendants were proud, left them, in the second gene- 
ration, under exogamy and female kin. Thus my father was 
nicknamed ' Tiger.' Proud of the title, I call myself Tiger. 
But I must marry a woman who is Not-Tiger, and my off- 
spring are Not-Tigers. My honoxir hath departed ! 

MR. FRAZEK's theories 

The hjrpotheses of Mr. J. G. Frazer are purely provisional. 
He starts from the idea, so common in Mdrchen, of the 
person whose ' soul,' ' life,' or ' strength ' is secretly hidden in 
an animal, plant, or other object. The owner of the soul 
wraps the ' soul-box ' up in a mystery, it is the central secret 
of his existence, for he may be slain by any one who can 
discover and destroy his ' soul-box.' Next Mr. Frazer offers 
many cases of this actual belief and practice among savage 
and barbarous peoples ; and, as a freak or survival, the idea 
is found even among the civilised. We meet the superstition 
in the Melanesian group of islands (where Totemism is all 
but extinct), and perhaps among the Zulus, with their 
serpent Idhlozi, whose life is associated with their own. Mr. 
Atkinson's New-Caledonians, however, did not think that 
death inflicted on their animal ' fathers ' involved danger to 
themselves, though it distressed them, as an outrage to senti- 
ment. Then we have the ' bush-souls ' (one soul out of four 
in the possession of each individual), among the natives of 
Calabar. These souls. Miss Kingsley wrote, are never in 
plants, but always in ^oUd beasts, and are recognisable only 
by second-sighted men. The ' bush-soul ' of a man is often 


that of his sons : the daughters often inherit the mother's 
'bush-soul:' or children of both sexes may take the bush- 
soul of either father or mother. The natives will not injure 
their bush-soul beasts. Nothing is known as to prohibition 
of marriage between persons of the same bush-soul. Here 
we have really something akin to the totem, the bush-souls 
being hereditary, at least for one generation. But this is 
among a house-dweUing, agricultural people, far above the 
state of real savagery : not among a ' primitive' people. 

The Zapotecs of Central America, again, choose, by a 
method of divination, ' a tona or second self,' an animal, for 
each child, at its birth. It is, by the nature of the case, not 
hereditable. The nagual, usually a beast, of each Indian of 
Guatemala is well known ; and is discovered, on the moni- 
tion of a dream, by each individual. Therefore it cannot be 
hereditable. The sexes, in Australia, have each a friendly 
and protecting species of animal ; say a Bat for all men, a 
Nightjar for all women : indeed, in Australia, all the 
elements of nature have their place in the cosmic tribe. To 
injure the animal of either sex, is to injure one of the sex. 
There is no secret about the matter. 

Mr. Frazer then argues, ' the explanation which holds 
good of the one ' (say ' the sex totem,' or ' personal totem '), 
' ought equally to hold good of the other ' (the group totem). 
'Therefore, the reason why a tribe' (I venture to prefer 
' group,' or ' kin,' as there are many totems in each ' tribe ') 
' revere a particular species of animals or plants . . . and 
call themselves after it, would seem to be a belief that the 
life of each individual of the tribe is boimd up with some 
one plant or animal of the species, and that his or her death 
would be the consequence of killing that particular animal or 
destroying that particular plant.' Mr. Frazer thinks that 
' this explanation squares well ' with Sir George Grey's de- 
scription of a Kdbong or totem in Western Australia. 
There, a native gives his totem ' a fair show ' before killing it, 
always affording it a chance of escape, and never killing it in 
its sleep. He only does not shoot his kindred animal sitting; 


and his plant he only spares ' in certain circumstances, and at 
a particular period of the year.' Mr. Frazer writes that as 
the man does not know which individual of the species ot 
plant or animal ' is specially dear to him, he is obliged to 
spare them all, for fear of injm-ing the dear one.' But the 
man, it seems from Grey's account, does not ' spare ' any of 
them ; he kills or plucks them, ' reluctantly,' and in a sports- 
manlike manner, ' never without affording them a chance of 
escape.' In a case of. Sir George Grey's, the killing of a 
crow hastened the death of a man of the Crow totem, who 
had been ailing for some days. But the Australians do not 
think that to kiU a man's totem is to kiU the man. Some- 
body's totem is killed whenever any animal is slain. Mr. 
Frazer now finds that the Battas, for example, ' do not in set 
terms affirm their external soul to be in their totems,' and I 
am not aware that any totemists do make this assertion. 
They freely offer aU other sorts of mythical explanations as 
to what their totems originally were, as to the origin of their 
connection with their totems, but never say that their totems 
are their ' soul-boxes.' 

Mr. Frazer has an answer to this objection. ' How close 
must be the concealment, how impenetrable the reserve in 
which he ' (the savage) ' hides the inner keep and citadel of his 
being.' The Giant, in the Mdrchen, tries to keep the secret 
of his ' soul-box,' much more then does ' the timid and 
furtive savage.' ' No inducement that can be offered is likely 
to tempt him to imperil his soul by revealing its hiding-place 
to a stranger. It is, therefore, no matter for sm-prise that 
the central mystery of the savage's life should so long have 
remained a secret, and that we should be left to piece it to- 
gether from scattered hints and fragments, and from the 
recollections of it which linger in fairy tales.' 

On reflection, we cannot but see the flaw in this reason- 
ing. No savage has revealed to European inquirers that his 
totem is his ' soul-box.' But every other savage knows his 
Jatal secret. Every savage, well aware that his own totem is 
the hiding-place of his soul, knows that the totems of his 


enemies are the hiding-places of their souls. He wants to 
kill his enemies, and he has an easy mode of doing so, to 
shoot down every specimen of their totems. His enemies 
will then die, when he is lucky enough to destroy their ' soul- 
boxes.' Now I am not aware, in the destructive magic of 
savages, of a single case in which a totem is slain, or tortured 
for the purpose of slaying or torturing a man of that totem. 
All other sorts of sympathetic magic are practised, but where 
is the evidence for that sort, which ought to be of consider- 
able diffusion ? ^ The supposed ' secret ' of savage life is no 
secret to other savages. Each tells any inquirer what his 
' clay ' or totem is. He blazons his totem proudly. The 
nearest approach to invidious action, against a totem, with 
which I am acquainted, is the killing by the Kurnai women, 
of the men's ' sex totem,' when the young men are backward 
wooers. The purpose is to produce a fight between lads and 
lasses, a rude form of flirtation, after which engagements, or 
elopements, are apt to follow.^ 

Mr. Frazer tentatively suggests another, a rival or a 
subsidiary solution of the problem, to which reference 
has already been made. Among the Arunta and other 
tribes, ' the totemic system has a much wider scope, its aim 
being to provide the community with a supply of food 
and all other necessaries by means of certain magical cere- 
monies, the performance of which is distributed among the 
various totem groups.' That is to say, these totemic magical 
eeremonies tiow exist for the purpose of propagating, as 
part of the food supply, animals or vegetables, which, by the 
former theory, were the secret receptacles of the lives of the 
tribesmen. To kill and eat these sacred receptacles would 
endanger the lives of the tribesmen, but to risk that is quite 
in accordance with the practical turn of the Arunta mind. 
Mr. Frazer has, however, suggested a possible method of 
reconciling his earlier hypothesis — that a totem was a soul- 

' I am haunted by the impression that I have met examples, but 
•where I know not. 

'^ Hewitt, Journal of the AntTi Topological InHitute, xviii. 58. 


box — with his later theory, that the primal object of totem 
groups was to breed their totems for food.^ 

Mr. Frazer observes, ' It is not as yet clear how far the 
particular theory of Totemism suggested by the Central 
Australian system is of general application, and . , . in the 
uncertainty which still hangs over the origin and meaning of 
Totemism, it seems scarcely worth while to patch up an old 
theory which the next new facts may perhaps entirely 
demolish.' He then cites the Anmta belief that their 
ancestors of ' the dream time ' (who were men evolved out of 
animals or plants, - these objects being their totems) kept 
their souls (like the Giant of the fairy tale) in stone churingaa 
(a kind of amulets) which they hung on poles when they went. 
out hunting. We have thus a va-et-vient between each man,, 
and the spirit of the plant or animal out of which he, or his; 
human ancestor, was evolved. That spirit (in origin the 
spirit of an animal or plant) is now handed down with the? 
stone churinga, and is reincarnated in each child, who is thus: 
an incarnation of the original totem. Such is the Arunta, 
theory, and thus each living Arunta is the totem's soul-box, 
while, to savage reasoners, the totem soul may, perhaps, 
seem also to tenant simultaneously each plant or animal of 
its species. 

This is a theory of Totemism ; ^ but, so far, we only 
know the facts on which it is based among one extraordinary 
tribe of anomalous development. We have still to ask, what 
was the original connection of the men with the plants and 
animals, which the Arunta explain by their myth .'' Was 
that connection originally one of magic-working, by each 
group, for its totem species, and, if so, why or how did the 
groups first select their plants and animals .'' Mr. Haddon's 
theory, presently to be criticised, may elucidate that point of 

' Golden Bough, iii. 416, note 3. 

' It is possible that I have failed to understand the mode of reconciling 
the two hypotheses, and Mr. Frazer is not to be understood as committed 
to either or both in the present state of our information. 




As I am writing, a theory, or suggestion, by Mr. N. W. 
Thomas appears in Man (1902, No. 85). Mr. Thomas 
begins with the spirit which dwells in an African fetich, and 
becomes the servant of its owner. The magical apparatus 
' may be a bag of skin containing parts of various animals. 
Such an animal may be the familiar of the owner, his 
messenger, or an evil spirit that possesses him ; ^ similar 
beliefs are held about the wer-wolf. Now the American- 
Indian has his ' medicine bag.' ' The contents are the skin, 
feathers, or other part of the totem animal.' 

Distingiio : they are parts, not of the ' totem animal,' but 
of the adopted animal of the individual, often called his 
mcmitu. If we say ' the totem animal,' we beg the question ; 
we identify the totem with the manitu of the individual. It 
may be true, as Mr. Thomas says, that ' the basis of individual 
Totemism seems to be the same as that of fetishism,' but I 
am not discussing ' individual Totemism,' but real group 
Totemism. Mr. Thomas also is clear on this point, but, 
turning to Australia, he says that ' the individual totem 
seems to be confined to the medicine-man.' From informa- 
tion by Mrs. Langloh Parker, I doubt the truth of this 
idea. A confessedly vague reminiscence of Mr. Rusden does 
not help us. Speaking of an extinct tribe on the Hunter 
River, N.S.W., he says that he ' does not recollect all their 
class divisions, Yippai' (Ippai), 'and Kombo' (Kumbo). 
' Apropos of the generic names ' (whatever these may be) 
' the Geawe-gal had a superstition that every one had within 
himself an affinity to the spirit of some beast, bird, or reptile. 
Not that he sprang from the creature in any way ' (as is a 
common totemic myth), ' but that the spirit which was in 
him was akin to that of the creature.' This is vague. Mr. 
Rusden does not say that his native informant said, that the 
' spirit ' was the man's totem in each case.^ But Mr. 
Thomas, on this evidence, writes : ' This belief suggests that 
' Kamilaroi amd Kurnai, p. 280. 


the interpretation suggested for individual Totemism can also 
be applied to clan Totemism,' apparently because, among 
the extinct tribe, not only sorcerers, but, in this case, every 
one was the receptacle of an animal (not a plant) spirit. 
But obviously the animal spirits of the Geawe-gal may be 
the spirits — not of their group totems, if they had any — but 
of their individual manitus, which we do not know to be con- 
fined to sorcerers. Every one is a sorcerer, better or worse, 
in a society where every one works magic. 

Next, the wer-wolf has a way of retiurning ' to look at ' 
(to eat, I think) the body of his victim. Now in North 
Queensland, as in Scotland, the body of a dead man is 
surrounded with dust or ashes (flour in Scotland), and the 
dust is inspected, to find the tracks of some bird or animal.' 
From such marks, if any, ' the totem of the malefactor 
is inferred.' The malefactor is the person who, by the 
usual superstition, is thought magically to have caused 
the death of the tribesman. 'These facts seem best 
interpreted if we suppose that in North Queensland the 
sorcerer is believed to return in animal form, and that 
the form is that of his totem, for in no other way does it 
seem possible to identify the man's totem by observing the 

Is the man's group totem meant .? If so, the process 
could not identify ' the malefactor,' there are hundreds of 
men of his totem. Is his manitu or ' individual totem ' 
meant ? Then the process might be successful, but has 
no concern with the origin of hereditary kin-Totemism. 
Indeed Mr. Thomas 'leaves the applicability of the theory to 
group Totemism for subsequent consideration.' We shall 
show — indeed, in Mr. Herbert Spencer's case we have shown 
— the difficulty of deriving kin-Totemism from the manitu, 
or ' obsessing spirit ' if Mr. Thomas pleases, of the individual. 
This point, as is said, Mr. Thomas reserves for later con- 

' J. A. I. xiii. 191, note 1. 


DR. WILKEN's theory 

We now come to a theory which exists in many shapes, but 
in all is vitiated, I think, by the same error of reasoning. Mr. 
Tylor, however, has lent at least a modified approval to the 
hypothesis as mooted by the late Dutch anthropologist, Dr. 
Wilken, of Leyden. Mr. Tylor writes, ' if it does not com- 
pletely solve the totem problem, at any rate it seems to mark 
out its main lines.' Unluckily the hypothesis of Dr. Wilken 
is perhaps the least probable of all. The materials are 
found, not in a race so comparatively early as the Australians 
or Adamanese, but among the settled peoples of Malay, 
Sumatra, and Melanesia. By them, in their Tables of 
Precedence, ' the Crocodile is regarded as equal in rank to 
the Dutch Resident.' Crocodiles are looked on as near 
kinsmen of men, who, when they die, expect to become 
crocodiles. To kill crocodiles is murder. 'So it is with 
tigers, whom the Sumatrans worship and call ancestors.' 

Mr. Tylor observes, ' Wilken sees in this transmigration 
of souls the link which connects Totemism with ancestor- 
worship,' and thinks that Dr. Codrington's remarks on 
Melanesian ways add weight to this opinion. In Melanesia, 
as Dr. Codrington reports, an influential man, before his 
death, wiU lay a ban, or tabu, on something, say a banana, 
or a pig. He says that he ' will be in ' a shark, a banana, a 
bird, a butterfly, or what not. Dr. Codrington's informant, 
Mr. Sleigh of Lifii, says ' that creature would be sacred to 
his family,' they would call it ' papa,' and ' offer it a young 
cocoa-nut.' ^ But they did not adopt thus the name of a tribe.'' 
The children of papa, who chose to be a butterfly (like 
Mr. Thomas Haynes Bailey) do not call themselves 'The 
Butterflies,' nor does the butterfly name mark their exoga- 
mous limit. Mr. Tylor concludes, ' an ancestor, having lineal 
descendants among men and sharks, or men and owls, is thus 
the founder of a totem family, which mere increase may 
convert into a totem clan, already provided with its animal 
name.' This conclusion is tentative, and put forth with Mr. 


Tylor's usual caution. But, as a matter of fact, no totem 
kin is actually founded thus, for example, in Melanesia. The 
institutions of that region, as we are to show, really illustrate 
the way out of, not the way into, Totemism. Moreover the 
theory, as expressed by Mr. Tylor in the words cited, must 
be deemed unfortunate because it takes for granted that ' the 
Patriarchal theory ' of the origin of the so-called ' clan,' or 
totem group, is correct. A male ancestor founds a family, 
which swells, ' by natural increase,' into a ' clan.' The 
ancestor is worshipped under the name of Butterfly, his 
descendants, the clan foimded by him, are named Butter- 
flies. But all this can only happen where male ancestors are 
remembered, and are worshipped, where descent is reckoned 
in the male line, and where, as among ourselves, a remem- 
bered male ancestor founds a House, as Tam o' the Cowgate 
founded the House of Haddington. In short Dr. Wilken 
has slipped back into the Patriarchal theory. Now, among 
totemists like the Australians, ancestors are not remembered, 
their names are tabued, they are not worshipped, they do not 
found families, where descent is reckoned in the female line.'^ 

MISS ALICE Fletcher's theory 

An interesting variant of this theory is offered, as regards 
the Omaha tribe of North America, by Miss Alice Fletcher, 
whose knowledge of the inner mind of that people is no less 
remarkable than her scientific caution.^ The conclusion of 
Miss Fletcher's valuable essay shows, at a glance, that her 
hypothesis contains the same fundamental error as that of 
Dr. Wilken : namely, the totem of the kin is derived from 
the manitu, or personal friendly object of an individual, a 
male ancestor. This cannot, we repeat, hold good for that 
early stage of society which reckons descent in the female 
line, and in which male ancestors do not found houses, clans, 
names, or totem kins. 

' Tylor, Memarkt on Totemism, pp. 146-147, 1898. 

^ The Import of the. Totem, by Alice 0. Fletcher, Salem Press, Mass., 


The Omaha men, at puberty, after prayer and fasting, 
choose manitus suggested in dreams or visions. Miss Fletcher 
writes, ' As totems could be obtained but in one way — 
through the rite of the vision, the totem of a gens must 
have come into existence in that manner, and must have 
represented the manifestation of an ancestor's vision, that of 
a man whose ability and opportunity served to make him 
the founder of a family, of a group of kindred who dwelt 
together, fought together, and learned the value of united 
strength.' ' 

This explanation obviously cannot explain the Origin 
of Totemism amBng tribes where descent is reckoned in 
the female line, and where no man becomes ' the founder ot 
a family.' The Omaha, a house-dwelling, agricultural 
tribe, with descent in the male line, with priests, and 
departmental gods, a tribe, too, among whom the manitu 
is not hereditable, can give us no line as to the origin of 
Totemism. Miss Fletcher's theory demands the hereditable 
character of the individual manitu, and yet it is never in- 


Mr. Hill Tout has evolved a theory out of the customs of 
the aborigines of British Columbia, among whom ' the clan 
totems are a development of the personal or individual totem 
or tutelar spirit.' The Salish tribes, in fact, seek for ' sidia, 
or tutelar spirits,' and these ' gave rise to the personal totem,' 
answering to manitu, nyarong, jiagual, and so forth. ' From 
the personal and family crest is but a step to the clan crest.' 
Unluckily, with descent in the female line, the step cannot 
be taken. Mr. Hill Tout takes a village-inhabiting tribe, a 
tribe of village communities, as one in which Totemism is 
only nascent. ' The village commimity apparently formed the 
original unit of organisation.' But the Australians, who have 
not come within measurable distance of the village community, 
have already the organisation of the totem kin. Interesting 
' Op. cit. p. 12. 


as is Mr. Hill Toufs account of the Salish Indians, we need 
not dwell longer on an hypothesis which makes village com- 
munities prior to the evolution of Totemism. What he 
means by saying that ' the gens has developed into the clan,' 
I am unable to conjecture. The school of Major Powell use 
' gens ' of a totem kin with male, ' clan ' of a totem kin with 
female descent. Mr. Hill Tout cannot mean that male 
descent is being converted into descent in the female line .? 
As he writes of ' a four-clan system, each clan being made up 
of groups of gentes^ he may take a ' clan ' to signify what is 
usually called a ' phratry.' ^ 


Among other efforts to show how the hereditary totem 
of a group might be derived from the special animal or plant 
friend of an individual male, may be noticed that of Messrs. 
Hose and McDougall.^ The Ibans, or Sea Dyaks of Sarawak, 
are probably of Malay stock, and are ' a very imitative people,' 
of mixed, inconsistent, and extravagant beliefs. They have a 
god of agriculture, and, of course, are therefore remote from 
the primitive ; being rice-farmers. They respect nyarongs, 
or ' spirit helpers,' though Mr. Hose lived among them for 
fourteen years without knowing what a nyarong is. ' It 
seems usually to be the spirit of some ancestor, or dead re- 
lative, but not always so. . . .' The spirit first appears to 
an Iban in a dream, in human form, and the Iban> on awak- 
ing, looks for the nyarong in any casual beast, or quartz 
crystal, or queer root or creeper. So far the nyarong is a 
fetish. Only about two per cent, of men have nyarongs. 
If the thing be an animal, the Iban respects the other 
creatures of the species. 'In some cases the cult of a 
nyarong will spread through a whole family or household.' 
Australian individuals have also their secret animal friends, 

' ' The Origin of the Totemism of the. Inhabitants of British Columbia,' 
Transaetions of Boyal Society of Cemada, second series, vol. vii., 1901-1902. 
Qnajritch, London. '* 

2 /. A. I. xxxi. 196, et seq. 


like nyarongs and naguals, but these are never hereditary. 
What is hereditary is the totem of the group, which may 
not be altered, or so seldom that it would be hard to find a 
modem example : though changes of totems may have 
occurred when, in the pristine ' treks ' of the race, they 
reached regions of new fauna and flora. 

'The children and grandchildren,' oiu- authors go on, 
' among the Ibans, will usually respect the species of animals to 
which a man's nyarong belongs, and perhaps sacrifice fowls or 
pigs to it occasionally.' Of course ' primitive ' man has no 
domesticated animals, and does not sacrifice anything to any- 
body. ' If the great-grandchildren of a man behave well to 
his nyarong, it will often befriend them just as much as its 
original protege.'' It is not readily conceivable that, among 
very early men, and where the names of the dead are tabued, 
the wisest great-grandchild knows who his great-grandfather 
was. Still, though the great-grandfather was forgotten, his 
nyarong — it may be said — would be held in perpetual 
memory, and become the totem of a group. But this is not 
easily to be conceded, because there would be the competition 
of the nyarongs of each generation to crush the ancient 
nyarong ; moreover the totem, in truly primitive times, is not 
inherited from fathers, but from mothers. 

Our authors say that, in some cases, ' all the members of 
a man's family, and all his descendants, and, if he be a chief, 
all the members of the community over which he rules,' may 
come to share in the benefits of his nyarong, and in its 
rites. But all this of chiefs, and great-grandchildren of a 
known great-grandfather, all this occurring to-day among an 
imitative and agricultural people, with departmental deities, 
and domesticated animals, cannot give us a line to the origin 
of Totemism among houseless nomads, who tabu the memory 
of their dead, and, as a rule, probably reckoned descent on 
the female side, so that a man could not inherit his father's 
totem. We must try to see how really early men became 
totemic. Mr. Frazer observes, ' It is quite possible that, as 
some good authorities incline to believe, the clan totem has 


been developed out of the individual totem by inheritance,' 
and Miss Alice C. Fletcher we have cited as holding this 
process to be probable in North America.^ All such theories 
are based on the beliefs and customs of modern savages 
advancing, like the American Indians of to-day, towards 
what is technically styled 'barbarism.' It was not in the 
state of barbarism, but in a savagery no longer extant, that 
totemism was evolved. Totemism derived from inherit- 
ance of a male ancestor's special ' spirit-helper' is checked by 
the essential conditions of people who are settled, agricul- 
tural, and given to reckoning descent in the male line. No 
more can be produced, in such a state, than ' abortive begin- 
nings of Totemism.' ^ Exogamy is never reached on these 
lines, and Totemism is behind, not in front of, all such 
peoples. Totemism arose in the period of the group, not of 
the family-founding male ancestor. 

Messrs. Hose and McDougall, it is to be noted, do not 
say that Totemism is now being developed, in Sarawak, out 
of nyarongs. They only say that it, perhaps, might be so 
developed ' in the absence of unfavourable conditions.' If 
there existed 'prosperous families,' each with a nyarong, 
other families would dream of nyarongs, and it would 
become rather disreputable to have none. ' So a system of 
clan totems would be established.' But male kinship, agri- 
culture, metal-working, chiefship, and large houses were 
certainly non-existent when Totemism was first evolved. We 
must not look, in such advanced society, for the origin of 
Totemism. In Sarawak is a houseless nomadic race, the 
Punans. Among them Totemism has not yet been observed, 
but they are so little known, that the present negative 
evidence cannot be regarded as conclusive. Mr. Hose knew 
the Ibans for fourteen years without learning what a nyarong 
is, and it was by mere accident that Mr. Atkinson discovered 
the animal ' fathers ' of the Kanakas. 

' Oolden Botigh, iii. 419, note 5. 

' Hose and McDougall, op. cit. p. 211. 



Mr. Haddon has suggested a theory which was printed 
in the Proceedings of' the British Association (1 902). On this 
scheme, at a very early period, groups, by reason of their 
local environment, would have special varieties of food. 
Thus, at present, in New Caledonia, the Sea branch of a tribe 
has cocoa-nuts, fish of all sorts, and so forth, while the Bush 
branch has bananas, and other commodities, and the Sea and 
Bush moieties of the tribe meet at markets for purposes of 
barter. But, in a really primitive state, there will be no 
cultivation, as there is in New Caledonia. Still, a coast 
savage might barter crabs for a kangaroo, and, if landed 
property is acknowledged, owners of plum-trees, or of a spot 
rich in edible grass-seeds, might trade these away for lobsters 
and sea-perch.^ Not having any idea of real cultivation, or 
of pisciculture (though they may and do have ' close ' seasons, 
under tabu), the savages may set about working magic for 
their specialities in food. Thus it is conceivable that the 
fishers might come to be named ' crab-men,' ' lobster-men,' 
' cuttlefish-men,'' by their neighbotn-s, whom they would 
speak of as ' grass-men,' ' plum-men,' ' kangaroo-men,' and so 
on. When once these names were accepted (I presume), and 
were old, and now of unknown or rather forgotten origin, all 
manner of myths to account for the connection between 
the grojips and their plant and animal names would arise. 
When the mjrth declared that the plants and animals were 
akin to their name-giving creatures, superstitious practices 
would follow. We have seen two cases in which Australian 
totem groups averred that they were named totemically after 
a small species of opossum, and a fish which their ancestors 

' Mr. Haddou's theory involves the existence of barter between groups 
that had special articles of food. Under ' Hypothetical early groups ' I 
show proof of the extreme hostility of adjacent groups in some regions. 
The merchant, with his articles of barter, would there himself be eaten. 
Mr. Atkinson's cook was eaten by his neighbours. Mr. Haddon does not 
hold that the primitive human groups were thus mutually hostile. Here 
we differ in opinion. 


habitually ate. But that is an explanatory myth. Man 
cannot live on opossums alone, still less on sardines. 

My own guess admits the possibility of this cause of giv- 
ing plant and animal names to groups, among other causes. 
But I doubt if this was a common cause. In Australia, 
everything that can be eaten is eaten by all the natives of a 
given area, each kindred having only a tendency to spare its 
own totem, while certain other tabus on foods exist. In this 
condition of affairs, very few groups could have a notable 
special variety of food, except in the case of certain fruits, 
grass-seeds, and insects. For these articles the season is 
almost as brief as the season of the mayfly or the grannom. 
' When fruits is in, cats is out,' as the pieman said to the 
young lady. During the rest of the year, all the groups in 
a large area will be living on the same large variety of reptiles, 
roots, animals such as rats and lizards, birds and so forth. It 
does not seem probable that, except as between Sea and Bush 
parts of a tribe, there could be much specialisation in matters 
of diet, during the greater part of the year. Therefore, I do 
not think that the derivation of totem names from special 
articles of food can ever have been common. But local 
knowledge is necessary on this point. Are the totem groups 
of Australia settled on lands peculiarly notable for the plants 
and animals whose names they bear ? If so, that circum- 
stance may account for the totem names of each group, and 
— granting that the origin of the names is long ago forgotten, 
and that native speculation has explained the names by 
myths— the rest is easy. 

It will appear, when we come to my conjectin-e, that it 
varies from Mr. Haddon's only on one point. We both 
begin with plant and animal names given to the various 
groups,_^orw without. We then suppose (or, at least, I sup- 
pose) the origin of the names to be forgotten, and a connec- 
tion to be established between the groups and their name- 
giving objects, a connection which is explained by myths, 
while belief in these gives rise to corresponding behaviour : 
respect for the totem, and for his human kinsfolk. The only 


difference is that my theory suggests several sources of the 
names : while Mr. Haddon offers only one source, special 
articles of food and barter. Kindreds, to be sure, are now 
named, not from what they eat (scores of things), but from 
the one thing which (as a kindred) they do not eat. But 
this, when once the myths of kinship with the totem arose, 
might be a later development, arising out of the myth. In 
essentials, my conjecture appears to be in harmony with 
Mr. Haddon's — the two, of course, were independently 

On one point I perceive no difficulty, and no difference. 
It has been suggested that Mr. Haddon ' commences with the 
commencement,'' whereas, in the hypothetical early age which 
we both contemplate, people had scarcely a sufficient command 
of language to invent nicknames. Why more command of 
language is needed for the application of nicknames than of 
names, I do not perceive. In Mr. Haddon's theor}', as in 
mine, names already existed, names of plants and animals. 
In both of oiu- hypotheses those names were transferred to 
human groups ; in my conjecture for a variety of reasons, in 
his, solely from connection with special articles of food, eaten 
and bartered, by each group. I am not convinced that, so 
early, the relations between groups would admit of frequent 
barter : nor, as has been said, am I certain that many groups 
could have a very special article of food, in an age prior to 
cultivation. But, granting all that to Mr. Haddon, no more 
command of language is needed by my theory than by his. 
Each conjecture postulates the existence of names of plants 
and animals, and the transference of the names to human 
groups. If gesture language was prior to spoken language, 
in each case gesture names could be employed, as, in North 
America, totem names are to this day expressed in gesture 
language. In my own opinion, man was as human as he is 
to-day, when totem names arose, and as articulate. But, if 
he was not, gestm-e-language would suffice. 

I shall illustrate my theory from folk-lore practice. We 
might do the same for Mr. Haddon's. We talk of 'the 


MufBn man,' the man who sells muffins. We style one 
person ' The English Opium-Eater,' another ' The Oyster- 
Eater,' another 'The Irish Whiskey Drinker.' Here are 
the nicknames derived from the dealing in, or special con- 
sumption of, articles of food. 

Many others occur in my folk-lore and savage lists of 
nicknames. TTiey all imply at least as much command of 
language, as the naities, ultimately totem names, given, for 
various reasons, in my theory. Thus Mr. Haddon and 
myself do not seem to me to differ on this point : his theory 
goes no further back in culture than mine does : nay, he 
assumes that barter was a regular institution, which implies 
a state of peace, almost a state of co-operation. 


Not one of the theories here summarised, except the 
Dieri and Woeworung myth, explains why members of the 
various totem kins are exogamous, may not marry other 
members of the name. Suppose you do get your totem name 
from that of a distinguished male ancestor, why may you not 
marry another descendant ? If because the common name, 
say Emu, is taken to indicate some sort of blood-relationship, 
why may you not marry a blood relation, even if there be no 
traceable kinship between you and her ? A Douglas may 
marry a Douglas, a Smith may marry a Smith ; but an Emu 
is often capitaJly punished if he marries an Emu. Suppose 
you get your totem name from the beast for which you do 
magic. Why may you not marry a person who bears the 
name of the same beast, and whose male kindred do magic 
for it ? Because it is sacrosanct to you and her .'' But you 
are actually breeding it for the food-market. The answer 
must be that you may not marry a person who bears your 
own totem name, and is in the same branch of the Co-opera- 
tive Magical Stores, because her beast and yours are in the 
same phratry, and phratry mates may not intermarry. But 


why may they not marry? The reply will probably be, 
because the legislator divided the previously undivided com- 
mune into two intermarrying exogamous phratries. But 
that theory we have shown to be untenable. Thus not one 
of the extant hypotheses of the origin of Totemism explains 
why totem kins are exogamous, unless Mr. Haddon supposes 
that the totem names, once given from without, came to be 
explained by myths asserting the sacred character and tribal 
kindred of the totem. Mr. Haddon has not said anything 
about a previous exogamous tendency in each of the groups 
which, by his scheme, received totem names from without. 
By my hypothesis, these groups had already a strongly 
exogamous tendency, which later was hall-marked and 
sanctioned by the totem, with its myths and tabus. This 
advantage of explaining the exogamous attribute of the 
totem, my scheme possesses, and its rivals lack. 


Let us concentrate, now, our attention on the character 
of the genuine totem, the totem of the group or kin. It is 
hot adopted by the savages on a dream-warning ; each man 
or woman for himself or herself : nor is it chosen for each 
child at birth, nor by a diviner, like the nagual, bush-soul, 
nyarong of Sarawak, or the secret animal friend of each 
individual Australian. A savage inherits his group totem 
name. The name of any plant or animal which he may 
adopt for himself, or have assigned to him as a personal 
name, by his parents, or, so to speak, god-parents, is not his 
totem. My meaning is, I repeat, that my conjecture is only 
concerned with hereditary kin-totems and hereditary totem 
names of kindreds. No others enter into my conjecture as 
to origin. What some call 'personal totems,' adopted by 
the individual, or selected by others for him after his birth, 
such as the Calabar ' bush-soul,' the Sarawak nyarong, the 
Central American nagual, the Banks Island taimaniu, and the 
analogous special animal of the Australian tribesman (ob- 


served chiefly, as far as I know, by Mr. Howitt ^ and Mrs. 
Langloh Parker), do not here concern me. They are not 
hereditary group names. 


I now approach my own conjecture as to the origins of 
the genuine, hereditary, exogamous Totemism of groups of 
kin, real or imagined. Totemism as we know it, especially j 
in some tribes of North America and in Australia, has j 
certainly, as a necessary condition, that state of mind in 
which man regards all the things in the world as very much 
on a level in personality ; the beasts being even moriG i 
powerful than himself. Were it not so, the totem myths 
about human descent from beasts and plants : about friendly 
beasts, beasts who may marry men, and about metamor- 
phoses, could not have been invented and believed, even to 
whatever extent myths are believed. We may say that such 
beliefs are real, where they regulate conduct. So far, there 
is probably no difference of opinion, among anthropologists. 


In all theories, the real problem is, how did the early 
groups get their totem names .'', The names, once accepted 
and stereotyped, impUed a connection between each kindred, 
and the animal, plant, or other thing in nature whose name 
the kindred bore. Round the mystery of this connection 
the savage mind would play freely, and would invent the 
explanatory myths of descent from, and kinship with, or 
other friendly relations with, the name-giving objects. A 
measure of respect for the objects would be established : they 
might not be killed or eaten, except under necessity : magic 
might be worked by human Emus, Kangaroos, Plum-trees, ana 
Grubs for their propagation, as among the Arunta and other 
tribes ; or against them, to bar their ravaging of the crops, as 
' J.A.I, xiii. ; Foli Lore, 10, 491. 



among the Sioux. As a man should not spear a real Emu, if 
the Emu was his totem, so he does not, for reasons to be 
adduced, marry or have an amour with a woman who is also 
of the Emu blood. That is part of the tabu, resulting from 
the circumstances presently to be explained. 
/"■ AU these things, given the savage stage of thought, 
/ would inevitably follow from the recognised but mysterious 
I connection between men and the plants and animals from 
I] which they were named. All such connections, to the 
/' savage, are blood-relationships, and such relationship in- 
volves the duties which are recognised and performed. But 
how did the early groups come to he named afier ike plants 
and animals ; the name suggesting the idea of connection, 
and the idea of connection involving the duties of the 
totemist to his totem, and of the totem to the totemist .'' 


The names, I repeat, requiring and receiving mythical 
explanations, and the explanations necessarily suggesting 
conduct to match, are the causes of Totemism. This theory 
is not a form of the philological doctrine, nomina nwmina. 
This is no case of disease of language, in Mr. Max Muller's 
sense of the words. A man is called a Cat, all of his kin 
are Cats. The language is not diseased, but the man has to 
invent some reason for the name common to his kin. It 
is not even a case of Folk Etymology, as when a myth is 
invented to explain the meaning of the name of a place, or 
person, or thing. Thus the Loch of Duddingston, near 
Edinburgh, is explained by the myth that Queen Mary, as a 
child, used to play at ' dudding ' (or skipping) stones across 
the water : ' making ducks and drakes.' Or again, marma- 
lade is derived from Marie malade. Queen Mary, as a child, 
was seasick in crossing to France, and asked for confiture of 
oranges ; hence Marie malade — ' marmalade.' In both cases, 
the name to be explained is perverted. There is no real 
* stone ' in Duddingston — ' Duddings' town,' the ton or tun 


of the Duddings ; while ' marmalade ' is a late form of 
' marmalet,' a word older than Queen Mary's day. 

An example of a folk etymology bordering on Totemism 
is the supposed descent of Clan Chattan, and of the House 
of Sutherland, from the Wild Cat of their heraldic crests. 
Now Clan Chattan is named, not from the cat, but from 
Gilla Catain, ' the servant of Saint Catan,' a common sort of 
Celtic personal name, as in Gilchrist. ^ The Sutherland cat- 
crest is, apparently, derived from Catness, or Caithness. 
That name, again, is mythically derived from Cat, one of the 
Seven Sons of Cruithne who gave their names to the seven 
Pictish provinces, as Fib to Fife, and so on. These Seven 
Sons of Cruithne, like Ion and Dorus in Greece (lonians, 
Dorians), are mere mythical ' eponymoi ' or name-giving 
heroes, invented to explain the names of certain districts.. 
In Totemism this is not so. Not fancied names, like- 
Duddingstone, or Marmalade, are, in Totemism, explained by 
popular etymologies. Emu, Kangaroo, Wolf, Bear, Raven, 
are real, not perverted names, the question is, why are these 
names borne by groups of human beings? Answers are 
given in all the nmnerous savage myths, whether of a divine 
ordinance (Dieri, Woeworung) or of descent and kinship, of 
intermarriage with beasts, or of adventures with beasts, or of 
a woman giving birth to beasts, or of evolution out of bestial 
types, and all these myths suggest mutual duties between 
men and their totems, as between men and their himaan 
kinsfolk. It will be seen that here no disease of language is 
involved, not even a volks-etymologie (a vera causa of myth). 

If it could be shown by philologists that many totem 
names originally meant something other than they now do, 
and that they were misunderstood, and supposed to be names 
of plants and animals, then ' disease of language ' w ould be 
present. Thus \vkos and apKTOs have really been regarded, 
as meaning, each of them 'the bright one,' and the Wolf Hero 
of Athens, and the Bear of the Arcadians, have been explained 
away, as results of ' disease of language.' But nobody wiU 

■ Macbain, Etymological Bietiona/ry, 1896, quoting manuscript of 1456. 

M 2 


apply that obsolete theory to the vast menagerie of savage 
totem names. 


But, discarding this old philological hypothesis, how did 
the pristine groups get their totem names ? We ought first 
to return to oui- conjecture as to what these pristine groups 
were like. They must have varied in various environments. 
Where the sea, or a large lake, yields an abundant food-supply, 
men are likely to have assembled in considerable numbers, as 
' kitchen middens ' show, at favourable stations. In great woods 
and jungles the conditions of food-supply are not the same as 
in wide steppes and prairies, especially in the uniform and arid 
plateaus of Central Australia. Rivers, like seas and lakes, 
are favourable to settlement ; steppes make nomadism in- 
evitable, before the rise of agriculture. But, if the earliest 
groups were mutually hostile, strongly resenting any en- 
croachment on their region of food-supply, the groups would 
necessarily be small, as in Mr. Darwin's theory of small pris- 
tine groups, the male, with his females, daughters, and male 
sons not adult. ^ A bay, or inlet, or a good set of pools and 
streams, would be appropriated and watchfully guarded by a 
group, just as every area of Central Australia has its recog- 
nised native owners, who wander about it, feeding on grubs, 
lizards, snakes, rats, frogs, grass-seeds, roots, emus, kangaroos, 
and opossums. 

The pristine groups, we may be allowed to conjecture, 
were small. If they were not, the hypotheses which I venture 
to present are of no value, while that of Mr. Atkinson shares 
their doom. Mr. McLennan, as far as one can conjectm-e 
from the fragments of his speculations, regarded the earliest 
groups as at least so large, and so bereft of women, that 
polyandry was the general rule. Mr. Darwin, on the other 
hand, began with Polygyny and Monogamy, 'jealousy 

' Descent of Man, ii. 362. 


determining the first stage.' ' This meant that there was a 
jealous old sire, who kept the women to himself, as in Mr. 
Atkinson's theory. As we can scarcely expect to reach 
certainty on this essential point, anthropology becomes (like 
history in the opinion of a character in SUas Marner) ' a 
process of ingenious guessing.' But, embarking on conjecture, 
I venture to suggest that the problem of the commissariat 
must have kept the pristine groups very smaU.^ 

They ' lived on the country,' and the country was untilled. 
They subsisted on the natural supplies, and the more backward 
their material culture, the sooner would they eat the coimtry 
bare, as far as its resources were within their means of attain- 
ment. One can hardly conceive that such himian beings herded 
in large hordes, rather they would wander in small ' family ' 
groups. These would be mutually hostile, or at least jealous : 
they could scarcely yet have established a modus vivendi, and 
coalesced into the friendly aggregate of a local tribe, such 
as Arunta, Dieri, Urabunna, and so on. Such tribes have 
now their common coimcils and mysteries lasting for months 
among the Arunta. We cannot predicate such friendly union 
of groups in a tribe, for the small and jealous knots of 
really early men ; watchfully resenting intrusion on their 
favourite bays, pools, and hunting of browsing grounds. As 
to marriage relations, it is not improbable that 'sexual soli- 
darity ' (as Mr. Crawley calls it), the separation of the sexes — 
the little boys accompanying the men, the little girls accom- 
panying the women — and perhaps that ' sexual tabu,' coupled 
with the jealousy of male heads of groups, may already have 
led to prohibition of marriage within the group, and to raids 
for women upon hostile groups. The smaller the group, the ' 
more easily would sexual jealousy prohibit the lads from 
dealings with the lasses of their own group. There might 
thus, in different degrees, arise a tendency towards exogamy, 
and specially against son and mother, or father's mates, and \ 

' Studies in Ancient History, second series, p. 50. 

2 This is the opinion not only of Mr. Darwin but of Major Powell and 
Mr. McGee. 


brother and sister marriage. The thing would not yet be a 
sin, forbidden by a superstition, but still, the tendency might 
(as we have already said) run strong against marriage within 
each little group. 


Up to this point we may conceive that the groups were 
anonymous. Each group would probably speak of itself as 
' the Men ' (according to a well-recognised custom among 
the tribes of to-day ; for instance, the Gournditch-mara of 
Australia, mora meaning ' men ' ; Kumai and Narinyeri, also 
mean ' the men '), while it would know neighbouring groups 
as ' the others,'' or ' the wild blacks.' But this arrangement 
manifestly lacks distinctness. Even ' the others down there ' 
is too like the vague manner in which the Mulligan indicated 
his place of residence. Each group wiU need a special name 
for each of its unfriendly neighbours. 

These names, as likely as not, or more likely than not, 
will be animal or plant names, given for various reasons, 
perhaps, among others from fancied resemblances. It may 
be objected that an individual may bear a resemblance 
to this or that animal, but that a group cannot. But it 
is a peculiarity of human nature, to think that strangers 
(of another school eleven, say) are all very like each other, 
and if one of them reminds us of an Emu or a Kangaroo, all 
of them will. Moreover the name may be based on some 
'real or fancied group trait of character, good or bad, which 
also marks this or that type of animal, such as cunning, 
cruelty, cowardice, strength, and so forth, and animal names 
may even be laudatory. We have also to reckon with the 
kinds of animals, plants, trees, usefiil flints, and other ob- 
jects which may be more prevalent in the area occupied by 
each group ; and with specialities in the food of each group's 
area, as in Mr. Haddon's theory. Thus there are plenty 
of reasons for the giving of plant and animal names, which, 
I suggest, were imposed on each group frgm withnut. 


It is true that local names would serve the turn, if they 
were in use. But the ' hill-men,' ' the river-men,' ' the bush- 
men,' ' the men of the thorn country,' ' the rock-men,' are at 
once too scanty and too general. Many groups might fall 
collectively under each such local name. Again, it is as 
society moves away from Totemism, towards male kinship, 
and settled abodes, that local names are given to human 
groups, as in Melanesia, or even to individuals, as in the 
case of the Arunta, and the Gournditcha Mara. Among 
the Arunta a child is 'of the place where he or she was 
bom, like our de and von} The piquancy of plant and 
animal names for groups probably hostile must also be con- 
sidered. We are dealing with a stage of society far behind 
that of Mincopies, or Punans of Borneo, or Australians, and 
in imagining that the groups were, as a rule, hostile, we may 
or may not be making a false assumption. We are presum- 
ing that the jealousy of the elder males drove the younger 
males out of the group, or at least compelled them to bring 
in females from other groups, which would mean war. We 
are also assuming jealousy of all encroachments on feeding 
grounds. These are the premises, which cannot be demon- 
strated, but only put in for the sake of argument. In any 
case no more hostility than our and the French villages have 
for each other is enough to provide the giving of animal 

As to hostility, Mr. Atkinson, in New Caledonia, had a 
set of labourers brought in from a distant island. Among 
them was a young boy, who, being employed as cook, had a 
good deal of popularity with his mates. He went home for 
a holiday, with a few men from his own island. He was put 
down at their little harbour, only a few miles from that of 
his tribe, and was instantly killed and eaten. 

In ' Notice sur la Nouvelle-Caledonie ' (1900) this fero- 
cious hostility between near neighbomring groups is corrobo- 
rated. It is certain death for the crew of a canoe to be 
driven into a harbour, however near their own, which is not 
' Spencer and Gillen, p. 57, note. 


their own. This is among the islanders not under the 
French. Count von Pfeil remarks on the violent hostility 
between Kanakas and others near adjacent. "^ 

On this point of unfriendly sobriquets I may quote MM. 
Gaidoz and SebiUot.^ 

' In all ages men love to speak iU of their neighbour : to 
blazon him, in the old phrase of a time when our speech was 
less prudish, and more gay. Pleasantries are exchanged not 
only between man and man, but between village and village. 
Sometimes in one expressive word, the defect, or the quality 
(usually the defect), the dominant and apparently hereditary 
trait of the people of a race or a province is stated ... in 
a kind of verbal caricature. . . . Les hommes se sent done 
blasorvnes de tout le temps.'' 

De tout le temps ! MM. Gaidoz and Sebillot were not 
thinking of the origin of totem names, but their theory 
applies ' to aU ages,' even the most primitive. Among 
French village sobriquets I note, at a hasty glance, 

Largitzen Cows Houmeau Frogs 

Angouleme Lizards Artois Dogs 

Aire Pigeons Avalon Birds 

and villages named as eaters of : 

Old Ewes 



We shall see that many Sioux groups, many English 
villages are blazoned, as in Mr. Haddon's theory, by the 
names of the things which they eat : or are accused of 

,_ Thus, among very early men, the names by which the 
I groups knew their neighbours would be names given from 
without. To caU them ' nicknames,' is to invite the objec- 
tion that nicknames are essentially derisive, and that groups 
, so low could not yet use the language of derision. I see no 

' J. A. I. May 1897, p. 181. 

^ Blason Populaire de la Framce, p. 5. Paxis, Oerf, 1884. 


reason why early articulate-speaking men (or even men 
whose language is gesture language) should be so modern as 
to lack all sense of humour, all delight in derision. But the 
names need not have been derisive. If these people had the 
present savage belief in the wdkan, or mystic power of 
animals, the names may even have been laudatory. I ask 
for no more than names conferred from without, callJljeHft— ' 
nicknames, sobriquets, or what you Hke. 

We are acquainted with no race that is just entered on 
Totemism, unless we agree with Mr. HiU Tout that Totemism 
is nascent among the Salish tribe, who live in village 
communities. Consequently we cannot prove that early 
hostile groups would name each other after plants and 
animals. I am only able to demonstrate that, alike in 
English and French folk-lore, and among American tribes 
who reckon by the male line, who are agricultural and 
settled, the villages or groups are named, from without, after 
plants and animals, and after what they are supposed to be 
specially apt to use as articles of food, and also by nick- 
names — often derisive. What I present is, not proof that 
the primal groups named each other after plants and animals, 
but proof that among our rustics, by congruity of fancy, such 
names are given, with other names exactly analogous to 
those now used among settled savages moving away from 


I select illustrative examples from the blason populaire of 
modem folk-lore. Here we find the use of plant and animal 
names for neighbouring groups, villages, or parishes. Thus 
two informants in a rural district of Cornwall, living at a 
village which I shall call Loughton, found that, when they 
walked through the neighbouring village, Hillborough, the 
little boys ' called cuckoo at the sight of us.' They learned 
that the cuckoo was the badge, in folk-lore, of their vUlage. 
An ancient carved and gilded dove in the Loughton church 
' was firmly believed by many of the inhabitants to be a 


representation of the Loughton Cuckoo,' and all Loughton 
folk were Cuckoos. ' It seems as if the inhabitants do not care 
to talk about these things, for some reason or other.' A 
travelled Loughtonian 'believes the animal names and 
symbols to be very ancient, and that each village has its 
symbol.' My informants think that 'some modern badges 
have been substituted for more ancient ones,' such as tiger and 
monkey. There is apparently no veneration of the local 
beast, bird, or insect, which seems often, on the other hand, 
to have been imposed from without as a token of derision. 
Australians make a great totem of the Witchetty Grub (as 
Spencer and Gillen report), but the village of Oakditch is not 
proud of its potato grub, the natives themselves being styled 
' tater grubs.' I append a list of villages (with false names '■) 
and of their badges : 

Hillborough Mice Brailing Peesweeps 









(it used to be rats) 






Potato grubs 



St. Aldate's 

1 Fools 



At Loughton, when the Hillborough boys pass through 
on a holiday excursion, the Loughton boys hang out dead 
mice, the Hillborough badge, in derision. The boys have 
even their ' personal totem,' and a lad who wishes for a com- 
panion in nocturnal adventure will utter the cry of his 
peculiar beast or bird, and a friend will answer with his. If 
boys remained always boys (that is, savages), and if civilisa- 
tion were consequently wiped out, myths about these group 
names of villages would be developed, and Totemism would 
flourish again. Later I give other instances of village names 
answering to totem names, and in an Appendix I give ana- 
logous cases collected by Miss Burne in Shropshire, and 

' Pseudonyms were given to avoid arousing local attention, when I 
put forth these facts in The Athenesimi. For reasons, I retain the 
pseudonyms ; but for the real vUlage names see p. 173, note 1. 


others, we saw, are to be found in the Mason populaire of 

It appears to me that totem group names may, originally, 
have been imposed Jrom without, just as the Eskimo are 
really Inuits ; ' Eskimo,' ' Eaters of raw flesh,' being the 
derisive name conferred by their Indian neighbours. Of 
coxirse I do not mean that the group names would always, or 
perhaps often, have been, in origin, derisive nicknames. 
Many reasons, as has been said, might prompt the name- 
giving. But each such group would, I suggest, evolve animal 
and vegetable nicknames for each neighbouring group. 
Finally some names would ' stick,' would be stereotjrped, and 
each group would come to answer to its nickname, just as 
' Pussy Moncrieff,' or ' BuUdog Irving,' or ' Piggy Frazer,' or 
' Cow Maitland,' does at school. 


Here the questions arise, how would each group come to j 
know by what name each of its neighbours called it, and how 1 
would hostile groups come to have the same nicknames for I 
each other ? Well, they would know the nicknames through 1 
taunts exchanged in battle. ' 

' Rvm, you deer, run ! ' 

' Off with you, you hares ! ' 

' Skuttle, you skunks ! ' 

They would readily recognise the appropriateness of the 
names, if derived from the plants, trees, or animals most 
abundant in their area, and most important to their food 
supply : for, at this hypothetical stage, and before myths 
had crystallised round the names, they would have no 
scruples about eating their name-giving plants, fruits, fishes, 
birds, and animals. They would also hear their names from 
war captives at the torture stake, or on the road to the overu__ 
or the butcher. But the chief way in which the new group / 
names spread would be through captured women ; for, though / 


there might as yet be only a tendency towards exogamy, 
still girls of alien groups would be captured as mates. ' We 
call you the Skunks,' or whatever it might be, such a bride 
might remark, and so knowledge of the new group names 
would be diffused. These names would adhere to groups, on 
my hypothesis, already exogamous in tendency, and, when the 
totem myth arose, the exogamy would be sanctioned by the 
totem tabu.' 


It may seem almost flippant to suggest that this old mystery 
of Totemism arises only from group names given from without, 
some of them, perhaps, derisive. But I am able to demonstrate 
that, in North America, the names of what some American 
authorities call gentes (meaning old totem groups, which 
now reckon descent through the male, not the female line), 
actually are nicknames — in certain cases derisive. Moreover, 
I am able to prove that, when the names of these American 
gentes are not merely totem names, they answer, with literal 
precision, to oiu- folk-lore village sobriquets, even when these 
are not names of plants or animals. The late Rev. James 
Owen Dorsey left, at his death, a paper on The Siouan 
Sociology.^ Among the gentes (old totem kindreds with 
male descent) he noted, the gentes of a tribe, ' The Myste- 
rious Lake Tribe.' There were, in 1880, seven gentes. 
Three names were derived from localities. One name meant 
' Breakers of (exogamous) Law.' One was ' Not encumbered 
with much baggage.' One was Rogues (' Bad Nation '). 
These three last names are derisive nicknames. The seventh 
name was ' Eats no Geese,' obviously a totemic survival. Of 
the Wahpeton tribe all the seven gentes derived their names 
from localities. Of the Sisseton tribe, the twelve names of 
gentes were either nicknames (one, ' a name of derision '), or 
derived from localities. 

' Some objections are noticed later. 

2 Report of American Bureau of Ethnology, 1893-1894, p. 213 et leq. 


Of the Yankton gentes, five names out of seven were 
nicknames, mostly derisive, the sixth was ' Bad Nation ' 
(' Rogues '), the seventh was a totem name, ' Wild Cat.' 
Of the Hunpatina (seven gentes), three names were totemic 
(Drifting Goose, Dogs, Eat no Buffalo Cows) ; the others 
were nicknames, such as ' Eat the Scrapings of Hides.' 
Of the Sitcanxu, there were thirteen gentes. Six or 
seven of their titles were nicknames, three were totemic, 
the others were dubious, such as 'Smellers of Fish.' The 
Itaziptec had seven gentes ; of their names all were nick- 
names, including ' Eat dried venison from the hind quarter.' 
Of the Minikooju, there were nine gentes. Eight names 
were nicknames, including ' Dung Eaters.' One seems 
totemic, ' Eat no Dogs.' Of five Asineboin gentes the names 
were nicknames from the habits or localities of the com- 
munities. One was ' Girl's Band,' that is, ' Girls.' 

Now compare parish sobriquets in Western England.' 
In this list of parish or village nicknames, twenty-one are 
derived from plants and animals, like most totemic names. 
We also find ' Dog Eaters,' ' Bread Eaters,' ' Burd Eaters,' 
« Whitpot Eaters,' and, answering to ' Girl's Band ' (Gens 
des FUles), ' Pretty Maidens : ' answering to ' Bad Nation,' 
' Rogues ' : answering to ' Eaters of Hide Scrapings,' ' Bone 
Pickers ' : while there are, as among the Siouans, names 
derived from various practices attributed to the English 
villagers, as to the Red Indian gentes. 

No closer parallel between our rural folk-lore sobriquets 
of village groups, given from without, and the names given 
from without of old savage totem groups (now reckoning 
in the male line, and, therefore, now settled together in 
given localities) could be invented. (For other examples 
see Appendix A.) I conceive, therefore, that my sugges- 
tion — the totem names of pristine groups were originally 
given from without, and were accepted (as in the case of the 
nicknames of Siouan gentes, now accepted by them) — may 

^ Thirteenth Report of the Com/mittee of Devonshire Folk-Lore, Devonshire 
Association for the Advancement of Science, 1895, xxvii. 61-74. 


be reckoned no strain on our sense of probability. It is 
demonstrated that the name-giving processes of our villagers 
exist among American savage groups which reckon descent in 
the male line, and that they also existed among the savage 
groups which reckoned descent in the female line is, surely, 
a not unreasonable surmise. I add a list in parallel columns. 

English Village Names Siouan Group Names 



Bad Sorts 

Stags 1 

Elk 1 

Bull Dogs 

Common Dogs 

Horse Heads 

Warts on Horses' 

Bone Pickers 

Hide Scrapers 

Pretty Girls 

Girl Folk 

Eaters of 

Eaters of 


Dried Venison 



Barley Bread 




To produce, from North America, examples of group 
names conferred from without, as in the instances of our 
English villages, may, to some students, seem inadequate 
evidence. For example an unconvinced critic may say that 
the nicknames of Mr. Dorsey's ' Siouan gentes ' were originally 
given by white men ; the Sioux, Dacota, Asineboin, and 
other tribes having been long in contact with Europeans. 
Now it is quite possible that some of the names had this 
origin, as Mr. Dorsey himself observed. But no critic wiU 
go on to urge that the common totemic names which still 
designate many gentes were imposed by Europeans who came 
from English villages of ' Mice,' ' Cuckoos,' ' Tater Grubs,' 
'Dogs,' and so forth. We might as wisely say that our 

' Many other animal and vegetable names — totem names in America, 
village names in England — have already been cited. See p. 170. 


peasantry borrowed these village names from what they had 
read about totem names in Cooper's novels. To name 
individuals, or groups, after animals, is certainly a natural 
tendency of the mind, whether in savage or civilised society. 

If we take the famous Mandan tribe, now reckoning 
descent in the male line, but with undeniable survivals of 
descent in the female line, we find that the gentes are : 

Wolf Bear Prairie Chicken Good Knife 

Eagle Flat Head High Village 

Here, out of seven gentes, four names are totemic ; one is 
a name of locality, ' High Village,' not a possible name in 
pristine nomadic society. While there are hundreds of such 
ca^es, we cannot reasonably regard the American group nick- 
names as generally of European origin. Still more does this 
theory fail us in the case of Melanesia, where contact with 
Exuropeans is recent and relatively slight. Among such tribes 
as the Mandans, and other Siouan peoples, we see Totemism 
with exogamy and female kinship waning, while kinship, 
recognised by male descent, pltis settled conditions, brings in 
local names for gentes, and tends to cause the substitution of 
local names and nicknames for the totem group name. 
Precisely the same phenomena meet us, as we are to see, in 




We have, fortunately, an opportunity in Melanesia of study- 
ing, as it seems, the Australian marriage system in a state of 
decay.^ The institutions of Melanesia bear every note of 
being Australian institutions, decadent, dislocated, contami- 
nated and partially obliterated. Starting from New Guinea, 
we find a long archipelago sloping down, away from the east 
side of Australia, towards the Fiji Islands. The archipelago 
consists mainly, in the order given, of New Ireland, New 
Britain, the Solomon Group, Banks Island, the New Hebrides, 
Loyalty Island, and New Caledonia. The inhabitants are a 
fusion of many oceanic elements, and are much more advanced 
in culture than the natives of Australia : they have chiefs, 
whose office tends to be hereditary (and in one place, Saa, is 
hereditary), in the male line, the father handing on to the 
son his magical acquirements and properties, and leaving to 
him his wealth, as far as he may. This is not very far, as, 
curious to say, descent in the female line is generally prevalent. 
Wealth is both real and personal : landed property consist- 
ing (1) of Town Lots, (2) of Gardens (epKos), (3) of the Waste 
(' the Bush '). The ' town lots ' and gardens pass by inheri- 
tance ; the possessor being only ' possessor,' not proprietor, 
and real property passing in the female line, where that line 
still prevails. The reclaiming of land from the Waste 
tends, however, to direct property into the male line, which, 
except in certain districts, is not dominant. Money is 
divided, on a death, among brothers, nephews — and sons, ' if 
they can get it ' — the money being the native shell currency. 

' Mr. Haddon agrees on this point. 


The tendency towards the substitution, as heirs, of a man's 
sons for his sister's sons, is powerful.^ 

This is a curious and anomalous condition of the family. 
As regards material advantages (xoprjyla) Melanesian society 
is greatly in advance of Australian. It is in possession of 
houses, fruit trees, agricultural allotments, domesticated 
animals, and a native currency. Thus there is much property 
to be inherited, and where that is the case, and where the 
family has a house of its own, the desire of men to leave their 
goods and dwellings to their sons usually results in the 
reckoning of descent on the sword side. Yet, in this respect,, 
the Melanesians of many regions are behind the naked, house- 
less Arunta, and other Australian tribes with male descent. 
What influences caused these tribes to depart from the- 
reckoning in the female line, still used among their equally 
destitute neighbours, the Urabunna, is a most difficult ques- 
tion ; indeed the number of distinct grades, in relation to. 
family laws among the Australians, is an enigma. Among 
the Melanesians, at all events, material advance and accumu- 
lation of property have often failed to bring inheritance out 
of the female into the male line. 

Insular conditions are apt to develop divergences from 
any given type — local varieties — while the mixture of races, 
and the introduction into one island, or part of it, of the 
customs of settlers from other islands, produces peculiarities 
and anomalies in Melanesia. We expect, therefore, to find 
Melanesian marriage rules rather dislocated and contaminated, 
and to see that the archaic type is half obliterated. In fact, 
this is the case, and Totemism, if it exists, survives in frag- 
ments and vestiges. 

' Where are the totems ? ' Dr. Codrington asks, and we 
can only reply that they seem to be half obliterated. 
'Nothing is more fundamental than the division of the 
people into two or more classes, which are exogamous, and 
in which descent is counted through the women.' ^ This 
answers to the Australian ' primary divisions,' or ' phratries.' 
• Codrington, The Melanesians, chaps, iii. iv. = Op. cit. p. 21. 



But, in Australia, as we showed, these divisions appear to be 
of totemic origin. If this was so, in Melanesia, the evidence 
for the fact is much less distinct. In a large region of the 
Solomon Islands ' there is no division of the people into 
kindreds, as elsewhere, and descent follows the father. . . 
The particular or local causes which have brought this ex- 
ceptional state of things are unknown.' ' 

Speaking generally, however, the two primary exogamous 
classes exist, and to a Melanesian man, all women of his own 
generation count either as ' sisters ' (barred) or as (potential) 
* wives.' The appropriation of actual wives to their actual 
husbands ' has by no means so strong a hold on native society,' 
as the exogamous class divisions. By many students this 
license will be considered a survival of ' group marriage.' 
Prenuptial unchastity is wrong, but a breach of the exogamous 
rule used to be punished by death. Wife-lending used to 
be common, as in Central Australia, if the wife and guest 
were of opposite ' divisions.' Whether the license of certain 
feasts (as among Australians and Fijians) smiles on breaches 
of the exogamous law, does not seem quite certain.^ 

In Banks Island and the North New Hebrides, there are 
but the two ' primary class divisions.' These have not names 
as in Australia — if once they had names, the names are lost. 
We find merely ' divisions ' (veve), two ' sides of the house.' 
Every man knows his own division ; aU the women in it are 
tabu to him ; all the women of the other division, in the same 
generation, are potential wives (with certain restrictions in 

In Merlay, one of the Banks Islands, there are ' families 
within the kin ' (answering to gentes — totem kins — in 
Australia). These families have local names, as a rule : one 
has its name from the Octopus, but eats it freely. 

It is not inconceivable that here we have broken down 
and obliterated Totemism, among a settled agricultural 
people, probably dwelling, as a rule, in close contiguity. 

In Florida, and adjacent parts of the Solomon Islands, 

' Op. Bit. p. 22. 2 ji,;£ p_ 26. 


not merely two, but six ' kema ' or exogamous divisions 

(' phratries ? ') exist. Two of the six have names derived from 

localities, two have animal names. Eagle and Crab : two kema 

came in from abroad. All this points to contamination, and 

rearrangement, under new circumstances. Each kema in 

Florida has one or more buto, the clam, pig, pigeon, and so 

on, not to be eaten by members of the kema. This looks 

like the ' totemic subdivisions ' (that is, the totem groups 

within the 'phratries') of the Australians. Again, these 

butos within each kema, animals and plants not to be eaten, 

are exactly like the survivals of Totemism in the names of 

the Siouan totem kins with male descent, ' Do not eat smalt 

Birds,' ' Do not eat Dogs,' ' Do not eat Buffalo,' and so forth. 

The buto of each kin within the Melanesian exogamous kemas, 

then, seems to me to be the old totem of the kin, now relegated 

to a position more obscure, in the changes of society, and, with 

one exception, not giving its name and tabu to the kema. Only 

in one case is the animal which is the huto, also the anim?il 

which gives its name to the kema. The Kakau kema may 

not eat Kakau — the crab. The Manukuraa (eagle) kema 

may eat the eagle : one fancies that they find it tough. 

In the same way the Narrinyeri and other tribes in Australia 

permit their totem kins to eat their totems. Members of 

each kemM are apt to speak of their hutos (which they may 

not eat) as their ancestors, as in Totemism, but this is a mere 

mythical explanation of why they may not eat the huto. 

With half a dozen other myths, it is used by totemists to 

explain why they may not eat their totems. 

Dr. Codrington, on the other hand, writes, ' the huto of 

each kema is probably comparatively recent in Florida, it has 

been introduced at Bugotu within the memory of living 

men.' ^ Dr. Codrington, as we have already seen, inclines to 

the theory which derives totems originally from individuals. 

He cites Mr. Sleigh, of Lifu (mentioned by us before), who 

writes, ' When a father was about to die, surrounded by 

members of his family, he might say what animal he will be, 

' Op. olt. p. 32. 

N 2 


say a butterfly or some kind of bird. That creature would 
be sacred to his family, who would not injure or kill it ; on 
seeing or falling in with such a creature the person would 
say, " That is haka " (papa), and would, if possible, offer 
him a young cocoa-nut. But they did not thus adopt the 
name of a tribe.' ^ 

We need not repeat the objections to all such theories of 
the derivation of pristine totem group names from indi- 
viduals. The hutos, ancestors, not to be eaten, have all the 
air of archaic totems, now reduced to a lower plane, and, 
save in one case out of six, not giving the name to a Teerruiy 
in Florida. Thus the butos of each 1cema would be, origi- 
nally, totemic, but immigrations, settled conditions, the 
tendency to male descent, and the introduction of local or 
place names for some groups, of nicknames for others, broke 
down the old totemic nomenclature, leaving only the Kakau, 
or crabs, true to their colours and to their totem and totem 
name, while the other hemas got local names or nicknames- — 
the Hongokikki being named from the pastime of Cat's 
Cradle — clearly a nickname. Apparently the pigeon is their 
into. How did these conditions arise ? 

Say that there were once four exogamous totem groups in 
Ettrickdale — Grouse, Deer, Hares, Partridges. Say that 
there came in two alien groups, Trout and Plover. Of these 
two, one might come to be called Quoits, from their skill in 
that game. Two of the original four might get local names, 
from their places of residence, say Singlee and Tushielaw. 
One might keep its old totem. Grouse, and its old totem 
name, abstaining from grouse. One might get a new 
name. Roe Deer, but all, under the names of Tushielaw, 
Singlee, Quoits, Roe Deer, and Grouse (with another not 
given), would retain their old totems as butos, ancestral in 
some way, and not to be eaten. But the new, not the totemic, 
names would now mark off the exogamous hemas. Something 
of this kind must have occurred in Florida, under new social 
conditions, and the stress of immigrants. But Dr. Codring- 
' Tylor, /. A. I., August, November. 1898, p. 147. 


ton gives a case in which the banana was tabued, just before 
his death, by ' a man of much influence who said that he 
would be in the banana.' ^ 

This origin of Totemism (namely, in animism, a man of in- 
fluence tabuing, and bequeathing to his descendants for ever, 
the animal or plant that is to be his soul vehicle) is approved 
of, as the original cause of Totemism, by Dr. Wilken. But 
could it arise in a much lower state of society, wherein ' men 
of much influence' are rare, and are readily forgotten? Now 
in Melanesia, generally, a man's fame, however great, perishes 
with those who remember him in his life.^ Again, this sort 
of tabuing the banana affected ' all the people ' of the isle 
Ulawa, and so could not be the base of an exogamous pro- 
hibition, imless all brides were to be brought in from foreign 
islands. If the prohibition was confined to known descend- 
ants of the banana man, then we have the patriarchal family, 
founded by a known ancestor, and exogamous. Now, in 
Ulawa, descent is reckoned in the male line, and there are no 
exogamous divisions.' ' This is an exceptional state of 
things,' says Dr. Codrington (p. 22), yet he thinks it (p. 32) 
' in all probability ' — plus the tabuing of an object by a 
dying patriarch — the cause of the buto prohibition in the 
kemas of Florida. Thus a solitary case from an isle without 
exogamous divisions (' the only restriction on marriage is 
nearness in blood'), and with male descent, is supposed by 
Dr. Codrington to cause the buto prohibition in an island with 
exogamous divisions, and with female descent.* 

His theory is manifestly inconsistent with his facts — 
moreover, it involves the existence of the patriarchal system 
at the time when totems first arose. 

On the whole, this reasoning does not convince, but, if 
Dr. Codrington is right, Melanesian institutions are shattered, 
dislocated, contaminated, and worn down to a remarkable 
degree. Yet, behind them, where the two, or the six exo- 

' Op. cit. p. 33. ^ Ibid. p. 40. » Ibid. p. 22. 

■■ Dr. Codrington's exact words are ' The buto is in all probability a 
form of the custom which prevails in Ulawa,' and the banana story follows. 


gamous divisions prevail, with descent counted in the female 
line, we can scarcely help recognising a basis of Australian 
customary law, with obsolescence of the totem, slowly tending 
towards inheritance through the father. ' A chief's sons are 
none of them of his own kin ; and, as will be shown, he 
passes on what he can of his property and authority to 
them.'^ In spite of the 'generation names,' 'father,' 
' brothers and sisters,' ' children,' the real distinctions of own 
father, cousin, and so forth, are understood, and expressed, 
as they usually are, eveiywhere.^ 

Thus Melanesia shows us some of the ways out from 
Totemism, exogamy, and descent in the female line. It also 
shows us, what Australia does not, ghost worship : most 
prominently in Saa, where, with descent in the male line, 
and hereditary chiefship, eleven generations of ancestors are 
remembered, ' by the invocation of their successive names in 
sacrifices.'^ This is a solitary case of such genealogical 
knowledge among Melanesians, as distinct from Polynesians. 
It is made possible by the sacrifices to the ancestors. Now, 
in Australia, there are no such sacrifices. Without them 
ancestors among low savages cannot be remembered, and 
could not hand down^ as an hereditary totem, the animal or 
other object which is their ' soul-box,' or the vehicle of the 
ancestral soul after death. There appears to myself to exist, 
in Melanesia, a notable tendency to adore, nay, almost to 
deify, a dead man, as a tindalo. Dr. Codrington cites, from 
Bishop Selw3m, a case in which a renowned brave man was 
slain in action. A house, or shrine, was built over his head, 
and he was canonised, or made a tindalo. 

His claims to sanctity were automatically certified by 
canoe tilting, in principle like our table tilting. The men in 
the canoe cease paddling, 'in a quiet place,' and, when the 
canoe begins to tilt, they call over a roll of names of tmdalos 
(human ghosts). At the name of the dead warrior, ' the canoe 
shook again.' A successful raid followed, a new shrine was 

' Op. ait. pp. 33, 59-68. ' Ibid. pp. 3G-37. » Ibid. p. 50. 


built for the warrior, and fish and food were sacrificed to him. 
By this means a great man's memory is, now and then, 
contrary to general custom, kept green in this region of 
Melanesia. Occasionally he seems to be on the way towards 
godship, as a departmental deity, perhaps as god of war.'^ 
Pigs are common victims, now, in sacrifice. We do not hear 
of any ' totem sacrifice,' if ever such a thing anywhere existed. 
In the case of a tindalo called Manoga, deification seems close 
at hand. His ' dwelling is the light of setting suns,' or of 
the dawn : or in high heaven, or in the Pleiades, or Orion's 
belt. It is a remarkable circumstance that this discamate 
spirit is the tindalo or saint of a kema, or exogamous division, 
one of the six of Florida, and all of the six possess their 
tindalo, a ghost patron in receipt of sacrifice, as well as their 
buto, or animal not to be eaten.^ 

Still more remarkable it is that, in certain Melanesian 
isles of the New Britain group, the two exogamous divisions 
are neither anonymous, nor totemic, nor of local names, nor 
bear nicknames, but are named after the two opposing 
powers of Dualism, the God and Devil of savage theology. 
Of these Te Kabinana is ' the foimder, creator, or inventor 
of all good and useful things, usages, and institutions.' On 
the other hand To Kovuvura is the Epimetheus of this 
savage Prometheus : Te Kabinana created good land : To 
Kovuvura created bad land, mountains and everything 
clumsy and ill formed. These powers captain the two 
exogamous divisions, an office assumed by two totems in the 
neighbouring Duke of York group.^ Nothing can prove 
more clearly the blending of different stages of thought in 

On the whole, Totemism is breaking down, and something 
very like Polytheism, of an animistic type, is beginning to 
emerge, in Melanesia. There is a tindalo of the sea, of war. 
and of gardens, — Poseidon, Ares, and Priapus in the making. 
Sacrifice and prayer exist, neither is found (perhaps with an 

» Op. cit. pp. 124-130. " lUd. pp. 131-132. 

= Danks, /. A. I. xviii. 3, 281-282. 


exception as regards prayers for the souls of the dead) in 
Austraha. On the other hand, only the smallest of small 
change for the Australian conception of such raaikers and 
judges as Baiame is noted in Melanesia, mainly in the myths 
of and prayers to Qat, and myths of a creative unworshipped 
female being. These are Vuis, not ghosts ; they are spirits 
never incarnate, unlike the tindalos} Qat appears to hover 
between the estate of a lowly creative being, bom of a rock, 
and that of a culture hero, and rather resembles the Zulu 
Unkulunkulu. Thus Melanesia seems, in society and beljefs, 
to show an advance from Totemism, nomadic life, and from 
an unworshipped female creative being, towards Animism 
and Polytheism, and descent reckoned in the male line : agri- 
cultural and settled existence, with mixture of race, and 
foreign contamination of custom, being marked agents in 
the developement. 

As tindalos (human ghosts, in one case the patron of a 
hemd) thrive to Gods' estate, while butos remain ancestral 
plants or animals, not to be eaten, it would be a natural step 
to imagine later that the family God (tindalo) of ghost origin, 
incarnates himself in the buto, the sacred animal of the kin. 
That would be an explanatory myth. If accepted, it would 
produce the Samoan and Fijian belief, that the animals and 
plants not to be eaten by the kindreds (old totems) are in- 
carnations of gods. Thus the Florida beliefs and customs 
are a stage between those of Australia and those of Samoa 
and Fiji. 


It appears, at least to the mind of the maker of an hypo- 
thesis, that the names of Melanesian Jcemas, as well as the 
new names of American 'gentes' (totem kins with male 
descent), indicate the probability that, from the first — as 
among our villagers — group names were given (in the 

' Codiington, op. cit. pp. 154-15G. 


majority of cases) from without, as in many American and 
some Melanesian cases they certainly are. We see that it 
is so : no group would call itself ' Cafs Cradle Players,'' or 
' Eaters of Hide-scrapings,' or ' Bone Pickers,' as in Florida ; 
among the Sioux ; and in Western England. We cannot pos- 
sibly expect to find any groups in the process of becoming 
totemic and of having plant and animal names given to them 
from without. But we certainly do observe that names, or 
nicknames, relatively recent, are given to savage groups, on 
their way out of Totemism — the totem name often still lin- 
gering on in America, like the butos in Melanesia — and that . 
these names, or nicknames, are given from without. Nearer 
to demonstration that the totem names were given in the same 
way (as ' Whig ' and ' Tory ' were given), we cannot expect 
to come. 

It may be said that my conjecture is only a form of that 
suggested (if I understand him) by Mr. Herbert Spencer. 
An individual had an animal name or nickname. He died : 
his ghost was revered by his old name, say Bear. He was 
forgotten, and his descendants, who kept up his worship, came 
to think that they were descended from a real bear, and were 
akin to bears. I need not once more reiterate the objections 
to this theory, but, like my own suggestion, it involves forget- 
fidness of a fact, — here the fact that 'Bear' was a human 
ancestor. Against the chances of this forgetfulness was the -^ 
circumstance that individuals were constantly being named 
Bear, Wolf, Eagle, and so on, in daily experience, usually 
with a qualifying epithet, ' Sitting Bull,' ' Howling Wolf,' 
and so forth. These facts might have prevented Mr. Spen- ' 
cer's savages from forgetting that the ancestral Bear was a 
Bear of human kind, like themselves and their contemporaries. 

In my hypothesis, forgetfulness, on the other hand, might 
readily occur. When all the group names in each area had 
become organised and stereotyped, there would necessarily 
be no new giving of group names to remind the savages how 
these titles came into existence. On the other hand the 
myth-making stage, as to kinship with the name-giving plants 


and animals, would set in, and then would come reverent be- 
I haviour towards these creatiores, as if they were kinsmen and 
friends. Respect for the totem, in each case, will clinch the 
; tendency to group exogamy. I have supposed, for the reasons 
I given, that there was already a tendency against marriage 
i within the group. That tendency must have been confirmed 
I by the totem tabu against making any use of any member of 
the totem kin, and a woman of the totem would be exempted 
from marital use by her male fellow-totemists. The totem 
belief would add a supernormal sanction to the exogamous 


Now any such superstitious respect for an animal, 
whatever its origin, will take the same inevitable forms ; and 
thus, if individuals select nyarongs, naguals, and so on, they 
must necessarily behave to these things as they do to their 
hereditary totems. There is no other way in which they can 
behave, if they regard the animals as mysteriously friendly 
and protective, though the idea that they are friendly and 
protective has different origins, in either case. 

Thus the exigencies of my guess as to the origin of 
Totemism, compel me to disagree with a dictum of Mr. 
Frazer, ' if the relations are similar, the explanation which 
holds good of the one ought equally to hold good of the 
other.' '^ The conclusion is not necessary. You may revere 
a rat (your totem), and a cat (your nagual) for quite differ- 
ent reasons, and in quite different capacities, you being the 
kinsman of your totem, the protege of your nagual ; but, if 
you revere them, your reverence can only show itself in the 
same ways. There are no other ways.^ 

' Golden Bmigh, iii. 416-417. 

^ Mrs. Langloh Parker writes, concernmg the EuaWayi Baiame-wor- 
shipping tribe of New South Wales : ' A person has often a second or in- 
dividual totem of his name, not hereditary, and given him by the ivirree- 
nuns ' (medicine men), ' called his yimbeai, any hurt to which injures him, 



Does my guess at the origin of totems seem out of har- 
mony with human nature ? You, belonging to a local group, 
must call other groups by one name or another. Plant and 
animal names come very handy. The names fluctuate at 
first, but are at last accepted by the groups to which they 
are applied. The origin of the names being forgotten, an 
explanation of them is needed, and, as in every case where it 
is needed, it is provided in myths. The myths, once believed 
in, are acted upon ; they become the parents of tabus, magic, 
rites of various kinds. Social rules must be developed, some 
already exist ; and each group called by an animal, plant, or 
other such name, becomes, under that name, a social unit, 
and accepts, as such, the customary legislation, just as a 
parish does. You must not marry within the totem name : 
either because of the totem tabu in general, or because the 
totem comes to be conceived of as denoting kinship, and (for 
one reason or another) you had already a tendency not to 
marry within the limit of the group. The usual totem rules 
may be thwarted by other rules derived from a peculiar 
system of animism, very philosophically elaborated, as among 
the Arunta of Central Australia. The institution, in short, 
may develop or may dwindle, may persist in practice, or fade 
into faint survival, or blend with analogous superstitions, or 
whoUy vanish, in varying conditions. Totemism affects art ; 
to some extent it may have affected religious evolution. It 
is certainly a source of innumerable myths. 

But, if my guess holds water, Totemism arose out of names 

and which he may never eat — his hereditary totem he may. He is supposed 
to be able, if he be a great mirreenun, to take the form of his ywribeai, 
which will also give him assistance in time of trouble or danger, is a sort 
of alter ego, as it were.' In this tribe the yiimbeai (nyaroiig, nagual, 
Tncmitu) is of more importance to the individual than his hereditary totem, 
which, however, by Baiame's law, regulates marriage, as elsewhere {Folli- 
Lore, X. 491, 492). The tribe studied by Mrs. Langloh Parker speaks a dia- 
lect (Buahlayi) akin to the Kamilaroi, but the Kamilaroi of Mr. Ridley are 
seated three or four hundred miles away. 




given from without, these names being of a serviceable sort, 
as they could be, and are, not only readily expressed in words, 
but readily conveyed in gesture language from a considerable 
distance. The names could be ' signaUed.' ' ' There is an 
Emu man : look out ! ' This could easily and silently be 
expressed in gesture language. Place-names, and many nick- 
names, could not so be signalled. 

This theory, of course, is not in accordance with any 
savage explanations of the origin of their totem. It could 
not be ! Their explanations are such fables as only men in 
their intellectual condition could invent : they are myths, they 
involve impossibilities. My hypothesis (or myth) does not, 
I think, involve anything impossible or far-fetched, or inca- 
pable of proof in a general way. It is human, it is inevitable, 
that plant and animal names should be given, especially 
among groups more or less hostile. We call the French 
' frogs.' It is also a fact that names given from without 
come to be accepted. It is a fact that names, once accepted, 
are explained by myths ; it is a fact that myths come to be 
Relieved, and that belief influences behaviour. 


Here I foresee an objection ; it will be said that, on the 

other hand, behaviour produces myths. Men find themselves 

performing some apparently idiotic rite : they ask themselves, 

' Why do we do this thing .? ' and they invent a myth as an 

answer. Certainly they do, but you believe in a God, or in 

Saints, and act (or you ought to act) in a manner pleasing 

to these guardians of conduct. You don't believe in a God, 

because you behave well, and it is not because you behave 

well to a totem that you believe in a totem. You treat him 

as game, not as vermin, because you believe in him, and your 

belief is based on the myth which your ancestors invented to 

account for their having a totem. 

' Roth, Mthnological Stvdies, 71-90. Dr. Koth gives the signs for the 
animals, but does not say that they are used for signalling totem names ; 
indeed, he says nothing about totems. 


My guess has the advantage of going behind the age of 
settled dweUings, agriculture, kinship through males, and the 
causal action of individuals. It reverts to the group stage of 
human life. Groups give and accept the names ; invent the 
myths, act on their belief in the myths, and so introduce the 
sanction of what had perhaps been a mere tendency towards 
exogamy. On the other hand, my guess has the disadvantage 
of dealing with a hypothetical stage of society, behind ex- 
perience. But this cannot be avoided, for if we base our 
hypotheses of the origin of Totemism on our experience of 
the ways of societies which have passed, or are passing, out 
of Totemism, o^xr theories must necessarily be invalidated. It 
may be replied that I have myself given illustrations of my 
theory from the folk-lore of civilised society. But the only 
begetters of these illustrative cases are boys — and boys are in 
the savage stage, ' at least as far as they are able.' 

In a tone more serious, it may be reiterated that no theory 
of the origin of Totemism is likely to be correct which derives 
the totem, in the first instance, in any way, from the indi- 
vidual, the private man. Long ago, Mr. Fison wrote, ' Sir 
John Lubbock considers that the " worship of plants and 
animals is susceptible of a very simple explanation, and has 
really originated from the practice of naming, first indi- 
viducds, and then their families, after particular animals." ' ^ 
Mr. Fison replied, 'This is surely a reversal of the true 
order. The Australian divisions show that the totem is, in 
the first place, the badge of a group, not of an individual. 
The individual takes it, in common with his fellows, only 
because he is a member of the group. And, even if it were 
first given to an individual, his family, i.e. his children, could 
not inherit it from him,' when descent is reckoned on the 
female side.^ 

It is a commonplace, perhaps an overworked common- 
place, that the group, not the individual, is the earlier 

' Origin of Cwilisation, p. 183. 

2 Eamila/roi and, Kurnai, p. 165. In his edition of 1902, Lord Avebury 
does not reply to these arguments. 


social unit. Yet the hypotheses of Lord Avebury, Mr. 
Herbert Spencer, Dr. Wilken, Mr. Boas, Miss Alice Fletcher, 
and Messrs. Hose and McDougall, all derive from individuals, 
in one way or other, the most archaic names of human 
groups. The hypothesis of Mr. Max Miiller leaves the 
origin of the group name imexplained. The later hypothesis 
(especially provisional), of Mr. Frazer, does start from the 
gi-oup name, but I am not certain whether we are to under- 
stand that each group name is derived from the plant or 
animal or selected by the group as the object of its magical 
rites, or whether, for some unknown reason, each group already 
bore the name of the animal, or plant, or element, before 
entering on the great co-operative industrial system. Now 
it seems to me certain that the names, in each case, were 
originally not names of individuals, or in any way derived 
from individuals, but were names of groups. As to how 
pristine groups might obtain such names I have offered 
what, in the nature of the case, has to be only a conjecture. 
But named, as soon as men had intelligence and speech, the 
groups, as groups, had to be, and the actual names are such 
as, whether in savagery or in full civilisation, are given to 
individuals, and are also, in civilised rural society, given to 
local groups, to members of parishes and villages. So far, 
the cause which I suggest is a vera causa of collective group 


A well-known Folk-lorist to whom I submitted my 
theory, rather ' in the rough,' replied to me thus : ' I have 
thought of Totemism as meaning a social system, that is, as 
including belief, worship, kinship, society. And therefore, 
the animal or plant names are an essential part of the system. 
You, as I understand it, come along and say the name is the 
result of one of the trifles of the human mind, therefore did 
not enter into the totem system very deeply, and certainly 
did not belong to the beliefs and the worship, except as the 
result of a later myth-making age. Of course your book 


may explain all, and I shall look forward to studying it, as I 
have always enjoyed your studies. 

' But I confess I don't much believe in these accidents 
causing or rather entering into so widely spread a system as 
Totemism. Cut away the name and nothing is left to Totem- 
ism except myth, survivals, and a social grouping without 
any apparent cement. Blood kinship as a basis of society 
surely arose much later, imless Dr. Reevers's remarkable 
evidence from the Haddon expedition to New Guinea helps 
the matter. He found, you remember, blood kinship trace- 
able by definite genealogies beneath, so to speak, a system of 
Totemism, and but for the most minute examination blood 
kinship would have escaped observation once more and 
Totemism only would have been reported. Is this blood 
kinship the true social basis and Totemism only a veneer ? 

' I have goodly notes on Totemism and non-Totemism, and 
I confess it difficult to eliminate the name as an important 
part of the system. It covers every part — is the shell into 
which all the rest fits. Now I have too much respect for our 
savage friends to think they used myth any fiirther than we 
do. We go every Sunday saying " I believe,'" but we don't 
build up much upon this. Our social fabric, nay our religion, 
is not of this. And so of the savage. If I grant you the 
myth of descent from an animal to have arisen out of a pre- 
existing name system, I am no nearer the understanding of 
totem-kinship as the basis of a social group.' 

These are natural objections, on a first view of my sug- 
gestions. Totemism is a social system, but there was an age 
before totemism, an age of undeveloped totemism ; into these 
we try to peer. But the method of name-giving which I pos^~^ 
tulate is hardly ' a trifle of the human mind.' It is, as I have / 
proved, a widely diffused, probably an universal tendency of / 
the human mind. Not less universal, in the savage intellec- j 
tual condition, is the belief in the personality and human 
characteristics of aU things whatsoever ; man is only one tribe 
in the cosmic kinship, and is capable of specially close kin- 
ship with animals. Nobody denies this, and the resulting 


myths to explain the connection of the groups and their 
totems are not only natural, but inevitable — the real origin 
of the connection, ' in the dark backward and abysm of time,' 
being forgotten. We may go to church, and say ' I believe,' 
and we may not act up to our creeds. 'And so of the 
savage.' But it is not ' so of the savage.' His belief in a 
myth of kinship with an Emu is carried into practice, and 
regulates his conduct, magical and social. This is not con- 
testable. In the same way a Christian who believes in the 
efficacy of masses for the welfare of his dead friends, pays for 
masses. At the lowest, he ' thinks the experiment well worth 
trying.' To other myths, say as to the origin of the spots 
on a beast, a savage may 'give but a doubtsome credit.' 
They are not of a nature to affect his conduct in any way. 
But the totem myths do affect his conduct, quite undeniably, 
and, even if there are sceptics, public opinion and customary 
law compel them to regulate their behaviour on the lines of 
the general belief. We are not to be told that nobody 
believes in anjrthing ! The ' social grouping ' consequent on 
the beliefs is not 'without any apparent cement.' The 
cement is the belief in the actual kinship of all persons 
having the same totem name, and sacred totem blood, even 
if they belong to remote and hostile tribes. All wolves are 
brethren in the wolf ; all bears are brethren in the bear ; 
and so men-bears are sisters to women-bears, and brothers 
may not marry sisters. Here is ' apparent cement ' of the 
very best quality, and in abundance, given the acknowledged 
condition of the savage intellect. 

Manifestly these ideas belong, as a whole, to ' a later 
myth-making age ' — that is to an age later than the dateless 
period of the hypothetical anonymous groups. But, between 
that hypothetical period and the evolution of the idea of 
group kinship with animals and plants, and with all men of 
the same animal and plant stock names, there is time enough 
and to spare for the fuU evolution of Totemism. 

Again, to a Darwinian, the enormous influence of ' acci- 
dents ' in evolution ought not to be a matter hard of belief ; 


without ' accidents ' (in the Darwinian sense of the word), 
there would be no differentiation at all, and no evolution. The 
Darwinian ' accident ' seems to mean a variation of unknown 
cause. But the giving of plant and animal group names is 
hardly an ' accident ' of this kind. ' What else are you to 
call it .'' ' the player asked, when questioned as to the origin 
of the words ' a yorker.' And by what names so handy and 
serviceable as plant and animal names were pristine men to 
call the neighbouring groups ? 

I have shown why place names were less handy, and how, 
in nomadic hfe, they were scarcely possible. Local names 
come in as Totemism goes out. Long nicknames, 'Boil- 
food-with-the-paxmch-skin,' ' Take down their leggings,' 
' Travel- with- very -light-baggage,' ' Shot - at - some - white - 
object ' (Siouan nicknames of gentes), are much less handy, 
much less easy to be signalled by gesture language, and are 
certainly much later than ' Emu,' ' Wolf,' ' Kangaroo,' ' Eagle,' 
' Skunk,' and other totem names. If such totem names were, 
originally, the favourite form of nomenclature for hostile 
groups (like otu- 'Sick Vulture' for a famous scholar, or 
' Talking Potato,' for Mr. J. W. Croker), I see not much of 
an ' accident ' in the circumstance. 

The totem names, then, came in upon a very early 
society : and myth, belief, custom, and rite, crystallised round 
them, and round the idea of blood kindred, which must be 
very early indeed. 

My critic asks, 'Is blood kinship the true social basis, 
and Totemism only a veneer .'' ' That question I have 
already answered. In my opinion mankind, in evolving 
prohibitions of marriage, first had their eyes on contiguity, 
that of ' hearth- mates.' Groups of hearth-mates were next 
distinguished by totem names. But these names could give 
no superstitious sanction to customary laws, till the idea of 
' blood kinship ' with, or descent from, or evolution out of, 
or other form of kinship with the totem was developed. At 
this period, the totem name roughly indicated ties of blood 
kinship. But the Australians, as we saw, have now reached 



a clearer idea of what blood kinship is, and, by a bye-law, 
prohibit marriages of ' too near flesh,' in cases where, though 
the persons are akin by blood, totem law does not interfere. 
Totem law has had an educating influence in developing the 
objection to marriages between people contiguous as hearth- 
mates, into the objection to marriages between persons too 
near in blood kinship. Thus Totemism is not ' only a 

On the foundation of all these blended ideas, Totemism 
arose, a stately but fantastic structure, varying in shape under 
changing conditions, like an iceberg in summer sea^. It is, 
indeed, ' a far cry ' from anonymous human groups, and 
groups of plant or animal names, to Helen, the daughter of 
the swan, that was Zeus ! But the pedigree is hardly dis- 

On the other hand, suppress the totem names, give the 
original groups such titles as the Sioxrx ' Take-down-their- 
leggings,' or ' Boil-meat-in-the-paunch-skin ' (some names you 
musb give them), and what is left ? Suppose such names to 
have been those of pristine groups, and suppose them to be 
tending to exogamy. A « Boil-meat-in-the-paunch-skin ' man 
may not marry a ' Boil-meat-in-the-paunch-skin ' girl ; but 
must marry a ' Take-down-their-leggings ' girl, or a ' shoot-in- 
the- woods 'girl, or a ' Do-not-split-the-body-of-a-buffaJo-with- 
a-knife-but-cut-it-up-as-they-please ' girl ! That is rather 
cumbrous : marriage rules on that basis are not readily con- 

And where is here the tabu sanction ? Brother Wolf or 
Brother Emu is a thinkable, powerful, sacred kinsman, who 
will not have his tabu tampered with. But there is no 
sanctity in Do-not-split-the-body-of-a-bufialo-with-a-knife- 
but-cut-it-up-as-they-please ! 

Luckily we have here a case in point. My theory is that 
animal names being once given to the groups, the animal, in 
accordance with savage ideas, became a kinsman and pro- 
tector. The animal or vegetable or other type, in each case, 
sanctioned various tabus, including exogamy. Had the 


name been another kind of nickname, as ' Boil-meat-in-the 
paunch-skin,' what was there to sanction the tabu ? Or, if 
the group name was a local name, where was the sanction ? 
Exogamy does persist where totem groups have become 
local, and are now known by the names of their places of 
settlement. But not always. Of an Australian tribe, the 
Gournditch Mara, we read that it consisted of four local 
divisions, water (mere .''), swamp, mountain, and river. But 
there was no exogamous rule affecting marriage. A man of 
the group dwelHng in the swamp might marry a woman of 
the same group. There was descent in the male line ; wife- 
lending was highly condemned. The office of headman was 
hereditary in the male line, ' before any whites came into the 
country.' The benighted tribe was not devoid of supersti- 

' They believed that there was a futiu-e good and bright 
place, to which those who were good went after death, and 
that there was a Man at that place who took care of the 
world and of all the people.' The place was called Mumble- 
Mirring. The dark, bad place was Burreet Barrat. ' This 
belief they had before there was any white person in the 

As these statements are odious to most anthropologists, 
they cannot be true, and thus a sliu: is cast on all that we learn 
about the Gournditch Mara. But though a missionary (the 
Rev. Mr. Stable) cannot, of course, be trusted here, he had 
no professional motive for fictions about the marriage laws 
of the tribe. They had no ceremonies of initiation, no 
seasons of license, apparently no totems, and the merely local 
names of groups naturally carried no exogamous prohibition : 
conveyed no tabu sanction.^ Had there never been any 
totem names, exogamy might never have arisen. 

How my friendly critic is ' no nearer to the understand- 
ing of totem kinship as the basis of a social group,' if, for the 
sake of the argument, he grants ' the myth of descent from 
an animal to have arisen from a pre-existing name system,' 
' Kamilaroi cmd Kivrnai, pp. 274-278. 


I am at a loss to comprehend. Here are groups, Bear, 
Wolf, Trout, Racoon, firmly, though erroneously, believing 
that they are akin to these animals. Naturally they ' be- 
have as such.' Each racoon has duties to other racoons, and 
to the actual racoons. He does not shoot a racoon if he can 
get an)rthing else ; he does not shoot a racoon sitting. He 
is brother to racoons of his own sex, and to sisters in the 
racoon of the other sex. He does not marry them. The 
belief in the racoon kinship is the basis of that social group 
— the man has other social groups of other kinds. Savages 
believe in their beliefs, to the extent of dying from fear after 
infringing a tabu in which they believe. Thus I would reply 
to the objections offered after a first glance at my conjecture. 


A man has other social groups than his own totem group 
in certain regions. Totem groups among the Arunta, we 
have seen, work magic ' to secure the increase of the plant 
or animal which gives its name to the totem.' The Arunta 
have no myth as to the origin of these performances, styled 
Intichiuma.' This, as far as Australia is concerned, seems 
to be a peculiarity of the Arunta system alone, or all but 
alone, and, as we saw, it has even been suggested that these 
rites are the origin of Totemism. But such rites appear to 
be most firmly established and organised among societies 
which are passing out of Totemism. Such a society is that 
of the Omaha tribe of North America, where descent is 
reckoned in the male line.^ Among the Omahas we find the 
Elk totem group with male kinship ; they may not touch a 
male Elk, or eat its flesh : if they do, as in New Caledonia, 
they break out into sores. This kindred, with the Bears, 
' worship the thunder ' in spring. Their special business and 
duty is 'to stop the rain.' But, if they are a Weather 
Society, in this respect, that fact does not appear in their 
totem names, Elk and Bear. 

' Spencer and Gillen, ch. vi. 
' Dorsey, ' Omaha Sociology,' Bureau of Ethnology, 1881-1882, p. 225. 


Other Omaha gentes, or ' subgentes,' are also totemic, and 
are named from that which they may not eat, as wild turkeys, 
wild geese, cranes, and blackbirds. The people of the black- 
bird totem actually do a little totem magic, against their 
totem ; they chew and spit out com, to prevent the black- 
birds from feeding on the crops.^ The reptile group does 
not touch or eat reptiles, but, if worms injure the com, they 
pound a few worms up into flour, make a soup thereof, and 
eat it (is this ' totem sacrifice ' ?), all for the good of the 
crops. The worm group does this magic (involving the 
eating of its totem) not for the benefit of worms (as among 
the Arunta) but to control the mischievous action of worms. 

Now turning to Magical or Magico-Religious Societies 
among these Indians, we find a Wind Society, hut it contains 
members of many totems, buffalo, eagle, hawk, and so on, plus 
' The South wind people,' who, apparently, may be a totem 
group of that name, which, as among the Arunta, might 
work wind-magic.^ But our authority, the late Mr. Dorsey, 
calls all the members of this Wind Magic Society ' Wind 
gentes.^ and surely this breeds much confusion. By a gens 
he usually means a totem kin with male descent (by ' clan,' 
he means a totem kin with female descent). Thus all ' wind 
gentes ' ought to be wind totem groups : only wind totem 
groups ought to be in the Wind Society, which is not the 
case : and all water gentes, or earth, or fire gentes ought to 
be of water, earth, or fire totems. But this, again, is not 
the case. 

All sorts of totem kindreds enter into the earth, wind, 
fire, and water Magical Societies, or Magico-Religious Socie- 
ties. They belong to them as members of any universities, 
or of certain selected universities, may belong to an 
University Club : or, again, may be Catholics, Anglicans, 
Brownists, or Presbyterians. These American Magical 
Societies, though composed of members of totem kindreds, 

' Dorsey, 'Omaha Sociology,' Bureau of Mlmology, 1881-1882, pp. 238- 

2 Dorsey, ' Siouan Cults,' ^weaK of Mhnology, 1889-1890 (1894), p. 537. 


are not, in themselves, totemic societies. Members of other 
totems serve in the societies which work magic for earth, 
wind, fire, and so on. Among the Arunta, on the other hand, 
the magic for each object is worked solely by the men who 
have that object for totem. To a certain extent, however, 
this rule is changing, and members of other totems may, at 
least, be present at each totem's Intkhiuma, or magical rites.^ 
' In addition to the members of the totem ' (water) ' other 
men are invited to come, though they will not be allowed to 
take any part in the actual Intkhiwma ceremony.' Prom 
presence, by invitation, to participation in the rites (as in the 
American Shamanistic Societies), is a step which may come 
to be taken, and thus the Arunta totem groups would be- 
come mere ' Shamanistic Societies.' 

A most curious and interesting account of the Omaha 
Magical Societies is given by Miss Alice Fletcher, in her essay, 
already cited, on 'The Import of the Totem.' To obtain 
the ' personal totem ' (manitu) a youth must first listen to his 
elders. They tell him 'to go forth to cry to Wa-kon-da. 
You shall not ask for any particular thing, whatever is good, 
that may Wa-kon-da give.' 

Fiat voluntas tua ! 

'Four days and nights upon the hills the youth shall 
pray, crying, and, when he stops, shall wipe his tears with the 
palms of his hands, lift his wet hands to heaven, then lay 
them on the earth.' 

To the ordinary mind, this describes such prayers as are 
the petitions of the Saints. But, in accordance with the 
views of the official school of American anthropology, it is 
averred that nothing of the kind is intended by the Omaha. 
' There is no evidence that they did regard the power repre- 
sented by that word (Wa-kon-da) as a supreme being, nor is 
there any intimation that they had ever conceived of a single 
great ruling spirit,' says Miss Fletcher (1897). 

The prayer is evidence enough. Prayer is directed to a 
person, and whether he is envisaged as ' a spirit,' or not, is a 
" Spencer and Gillen, pp. 169, 191. 


mere detail of metaphysical terminology. If Miss Fletcher 
is right, Wa-kon-da is a pantheistic conception, but as He, 
(or It) also listens to prayer, He (or It) is personal. We see 
rather an anthropomorphic conception of deity, passing 
towards pantheism, or to divinity no longer anthropomorphic, 
than a notion of impersonal force immanent in the tmiverse, 
passing towards anthropomorphism — as in Miss Fletcher's 
theory. The idea of such a force, or cosmic rapport (the Maori 
mama), is, indeed, familiar to us in the speculations of the lower 
barbaric races. It does credit to their metaphysics, but, prima 
facie, seems likely to be later in evolution than the idea of an 
anthropomorphic Maker, like the Australian Baiame. 

At all events, the Omaha appears to live, in prayer, on a 
high religious level, and it is open to the friends of religious 
borrowing, to say that he took his creed from Europeans. I 
am not certain that Miss Fletcher is indisposed to agree with 
me on this point of Red Indian unborrowed theism. In her 
Indian Song and Stcyry^ she gives Pawnee songs, ' hitherto 
sealed from the knowledge of the white race.' Here is one : 

Lift thine eyes ! 'Tis the gods who come near. 
Bringing thee joy, release from all pain. 
Sending sorrow and sighing 
Far from the child, Ti-ra-wa makes fain. 

Ah, you look, you know who comes. 
Claiming you his, and bidding you rise, 
Blithely smiling and happy. 
Child of Ti-ra-wa, Lord of the Skies ! 

Ti-ra-wa is Hau-ars, 'a contraction of the word meaning 
father.' The song is used to still children who cry at a 
religious ceremony. 

However it be, the Omaha prays to Wa-kon-da, not for 
' any particular thing,' but for whatever, in the gift of Wa- 
kon-da, is good, and mainly for a manitu (' personal totem'). 
The Omaha also believe in telepathy. ' Thought and will 
can be projected to help a friend.' A magical society exists, 
' Nutt, 1900, pp. 108-112. 


to concentrate and direct this expenditure of energy, and the 
process is strengthened by such things as the neophyte 
beholds in vision, after prayer to Wa-kon-da. He sent an 
answer to prayer, a feather of a bird, a tuft of a beast's hair, 
a crystal, a black stone, representing the species, or element 
of nature, which was to be the neophyte's ' personal totem,' 
or manitu. If it were thunder, the man could control the 
elements ; if it were an eagle, he had an eagle eye for the 
future ; if it were a bear (or a badger), he was not so gifted. 

Now, according to Miss Fletcher, the Bear Magical 
Society is composed of men, who, after prayer, have seen the 
bear in dream or vision ; those who saw representatives ' of 
thunder or water beings ' form the Society which deals with 
the weather. ' The membership came from every kinship 
group ' (totem kin) ' in the tribe.' Thus the Magical 
Societies are composed oi men of any totem, and, the less 
purely totemic the tribe, the stronger is the Magical Society. 

The totem kins now, among the Omaha, have descent in 
the male line. All this is ' late,' and ' late ' is the totem 
priesthood held by 'hereditary chiefs of the gens.'' Miss 
Fletcher regards the totem of the 'gens,' with the beliefs 
crystallised around it, as an ingenious 'expedient,' with a 
social ' purpose ! ' the totem of each kindred having been 
inherited from the vision and manitu of some ancestral chief. 
We need not again point out that, even now, among the 
Omaha, advanced as they are, manitus are not hereditable, and 
that Miss Fletcher's system cannot account for Totemism in 
tribes which reckon descent on the spindle side. Miss Fletcher 
justly remarks that the real totem, ' the gentile totem,' 
' gave no immediate hold upon the supernatural, as did the 
individual totem ' (manitu) ' to its possessor. It served solely 
as a mark of kinship, and its connection with the supernatural 
was manifest only in its pimishment of the violation of tabu.' 

In brief, the real totem, and the individual manitu, with 
its magical societies, are two things totally apart, and apart 
we must keep them, in our studies of early society. Not to 
do so is to make the topic incomprehensible. 



In other books, especially in Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 
and Custom and Myth, I have examined apparent survivals of 
Totemism, in ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, and other 
civilised countries. Of these the most notable are the Greek 
myths of descent of families from animals, explained as the 
temporary vehicles of Zeus or Apollo : and the worship of 
special animals by each of the Nomes of Egypt. Other 
arguments I have offered, especially in the case of Apollo 
and the Shrew Mouse. I remain of the opinion that many 
of the Greek mythical and religious phenomena noted, are 
most probably to be explained as survivals of a totemic past. 
Of course Totemism is only one element in animal worship, 
and the Com Spirit, disguised as almost any animal you 
please, may be one of the other elements. But, as far as I 
have studied the subject, I agree with Mr. Tylor in his 
'protest against the manner in which totems have been 
placed almost at the foundation of religion. Totemism . . . 
has been exaggerated out of proportion to its real theological 
magnitude. . . . The rise and growth of ideas of deity, a 
branch of knowledge requiring the largest range of informa- 
tion and the greatest care in inference, cannot, I hold, be 
judged on the basis of a section of theology of secondary 
importance — namely, animal worship — much less of a special 
section of that — namely, the association of a species of animals ' 
(and of a vast variety of other things) ' with a clan of men 
which results in Totemism. A theoretical structure has been 
raised quite too wide and high for such a foundation.' ' The 
totem god himself I regard as only the hypothesis by which 
certain barbaric races account to themselves for the survivals 
of Totemism among them. The so-called ' totem sacrament ' 
is not ' god-eating,' but a piece of magic, used in ceremonies 
designed to foster — or to vex and annoy — the totem. As 
Mr. Tylor writes, ' till the totem sacrament is vouched for 

' J. A. I., August, November, 1898, p. 144. 


by some more real proof, it had better fall out of speculative 


That the ancestors of the Aryan-speaking peoples passed 
through the ' stone age ' of culture, few will deny. That 
they also passed through the totemic stage as regards 
marriage law is, however, a problem perhaps not to be solved. 
For reasons unknown, the ' white ' races (not to speak of 
Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, and Japanese) have a 
peculiar aptitude for civilisation, are peculiarly accessible to 
ideas. It might therefore be argued that conceivably they 
were readily accessible to the idea of blood kinship. The 
maternal affection, in a race whose children (unlike the off- 
spring of the lower animals) are so long in attaining ma- 
turity, cannot but suggest the idea of blood kinship. Among 
totemic peoples it seems that this idea was originally defined 
by the totem name, a definition at once too wide and too 
narrow. It is not physically unthinkable that our own 
ancestors may have been more acutely intelligent, and, if so, 
why should not they simply forbid unions between persons 
too near akin in blood ? We have found no such moral or 
instinctive reason among totemic peoples who were, appa- 
rently, led to exogamy, first by non-moral causes, or causes in 
which the moral element was not explicit, and then, by aid ot 
corollaries from rules thus based, came to forbid marriages of 
' too near flesh.' Without the training of totemic institu- 
tions, it is hard to see how the Aryan-speaking peoples 
(however naturally gifted from the first) arrived at the same 
conception of incest. It seems absurd to suppose that black 
men and red men arrived at the idea of incest, and at the 
laws which prohibit it, by the devious and unpromising path 
of Totemism, while white men reached the same point in some 
other way. Yet if it has appeared difficult to find traces ot 
Totemism among the Melanesians, much more difficult must 


it be to prove that races with so long a civilised history as, 
for example, the Greeks, were once under totemic institu- 

I have already indicated my inclination to believe that 
Totemism has left ibs traces, in Greece, in the myths of 
descent from bulls, bears, swans, dogs, ants, and so forth, 
and in certain peculiar aspects of animal worship. It is 
usual for scholars to explain these facts away, as things 
borrowed by early Greeks from some other race. But ' the 
receiver is as bad as the thief,' and if Greeks were capable of 
accepting totemic ideas, they were capable of evolving 
totemic institutions. We are not to invent an ideal ' Aryan,' 
and then to explain all his traces of savagery as borrowings 
by him from some unknown prior race. There is no reason at 
all for supposing that the peoples who speak languages called, 
for convenience, ' Aryan,' were better bred than any other 
peoples at the beginning. 

It would greatly add to the force of the presumptions in 
favour of an ' Aryan ' totemic past, if we could point to 
apparent survivals not only in myth and early art, but in actual 
institutions. Now there are Greek institutions, in Attica, 
the ' deme,' the genos, and the phratria, which may be in- 
terpreted, rightly or wrongly, as survivals of Totemism. We 
have seen that gens (equivalent to the Greek ysvos) and that 
phratria {^parpia) are used, by certain students, to designate 
the totem kin, and the two ' primary exogamous divisions ' 
(say Dilbi and Kupathin) of Australia and North America. 
To use gens thus is misleading, especially as ' totem kin ' is 
adequate and unambiguous. But we have here employed 
' phratria ' to designate the ' primary exogamous division,' 
because no better word is handy, while we do not maintain 
that the Attic phratria is a survival of the institution usual 
in Australia. 

Messrs. Fison and Howitt, in an instructive paper, have 
offered, as a provisional h3rpothesis, the theory that the Attic 
deme (a local association) may have arisen from the kind of 
local tribe (or horde) in Australia, while the Attic phratries 


and '^ivq (associations depending on birth and hinshlp) were 
survivals of the ' primary exogamous divisions ' and totem 
kins.i The present writer had made similar suggestions long 
ago.' Concerning the ryivos and ippaTpia we know but little : 
inevitably, for we have seen that, even in Australia, still more 
in Melanesia, local names and local communities are beginning 
to encroach on and usurp the authority of the totem kin, and 
other associations based on common blood, real or reputed. 
Infinitely more must this have been the case in Greece. If 
savage phratries and totem kins once existed in Attica, they 
must have been nearly obliterated long before the historical 
period. At most they would only survive in connection with 
ritual and religion. Again, our definitions of yhos and 
(pparpoa are derived from late grammarians and lexico- 
graphers. Thus our means of knowledge are limited and 

Messrs. Howitt and Fison start from the horde, or tribe, 
the horde meaning the largest local Australian community, 
composed of subtribes, if we are not merely to say ' tribe,' 
and leave ' horde ' out of the question. The members of the 
horde or tribe are, as we know, of many various totems, but 
of only two ' primary exogamous divisions ' or phratries. 
Into these the members are bom, mostly taking the mother's 
phratry and totem. As a rule, both father and mother belong 
to the tribe, but if a woman does come in out of an alien 
tribe, her children, though deriving totem and phratry names 
through her, are of their father's local tribe. An alien 
woman may be assigned, by the elder men, to this or that 
totem : or to the totem corresponding to that which she had 
in her own local tribe. The children of male aliens follow 
the totem of their mother, a member of the tribe. 

In Attica, too, was a local community, the deme — thus 

Thucydides was a Halimusian by deme. The historical demes 

were organised by Cleisthenes, on a local basis. Some of them 

bore the names of the yevrj which occupied them, and often 

' J.A.I, xiv. 142, 181. 

^ Politics of Aristotle, BoUaxid and Lang, 1876; 'Family' inEnoyclo- 
pasdia Britannica. 


the names were derived from plants. Either these plants 
were characteristic of the localities, or conceivably the yei/Tj 
had old totemic plant names, like the plum and other vege- 
table totems of the Australians. All about the local demes, 
the members of the phratriae were scattered, like members 
of various totem names among the Australian local tribes. 
An alien could belong to a local deme, but not to a ^pa- 
TpCa. His children, if by marriage with a free woman, were 
reckoned in her father's tpparpia, male descent prevailing, of 
course, in Attica. In Australia the tribes-woman's children 
by an alien would usually go to her totem and 'primary 
exogamous division.' The child of an alien woman, in Attica, 
even if the father was high bom, could not be admitted to a 
4>paTpLa : which certainly looks like a survival of the archaic 
reckoning by female descent. To try to insert an alien child 
in a deme was a civil, in a ^parpLa v/as a religious offence.'^ 
The ancient court of the Areopagus had to do with these 
offences against customary religion. Messrs. Fison and Howitt 
draw a parallel between the Areopagus and the Great Coimcil 
of the Dieri tribe, whose headman was inspired by ' the great 
spirit Kuchi,' of whom one would like to know more. 

An Attic boy was presented to his ^parpla at once ; full 
membership of the local deme came with adolescence, and 
after military training and service. As we know, a series of 
initiations, and instruction ' as to the existence of a great 
spirit,' with a probation of a year, are to be passed before the 
Australian lad is allowed to marry and attend the assembly 
of his local tribe. Better examples of initiation, and ot 
a retreat in the hills in company with an adult, and in- 
structor, are to be found in Sparta than in Athens. But 
the Australian and Attic' analogies are pretty close. On 
the most important point there is no analogy. There were 
plenty of <f>paTpiai, of ' phratries ' each Australian tribe has 
only two. Again, these two are exogamous : that is their 
main raison d'etre. We have not a glimpse of exogamy in 
the (pparpia of Attica. 

' Dem. Contra Ne^ram, 17. 


The r^ivos, we may agree, I think, with Messrs. Fison and 
Howitt, was, originally, like the totem kin, an association of 
persons supposed to be related by ties of blood. The gram- 
marian Pollux says ' they who belonged to the '•/ivos were 
styled 'yevvijrai ' (men of the ysvos, and ' men of the same 
milk '), ' not that they were related 'ysvei, but they were so 
called from their union (or assemblage — sic Ss rrjs a-vvoSov).'' 
What is meant by jevei fisv ov nrpocnfiKOVTSS ' not genealogi- 
cally related ' ? I conceive Pollux to mean that the members 
of the '^ivos were not all of traceable or recognised degrees 
of kinship. Thus a Cameron, if asked whether he is related 
to another Cameron, may say, and not so long ago would have 
said, 'he is not my relation, but my clansman.' Messrs. 
Fison and Howitt take much the same view. By ' relations,' 
Pollux meant ' such as parents, sons, brothers, and those 
before them, and their progeny,' that is, from grandfathers 
and granduncles to grandsons and great-nephews. This might 
be the notion of relationship in the time of Pollux, the second 
century of our era, but, as Messrs. Fison and Howitt justly 
remark, Attic ideas of kinship before the crvvoiKLcrfibs ascribed 
to Theseus would be much more extensive, as in Scotland and 
Britanny. The humblest Stewart, Douglas, Ruthven, or 
Hamilton would call himself ' the King's poor cousin.' But 
the Greeks of our second century were more modem, more 
like the English. 

Yet the very words ysvos and gens indicate the idea of 
blood relationship, just as ' clan ' does. The ysvrj had 
common sacra, and a common place of burial. They 
were clans, but we have no proof that they were ever 
exogamous or totemic. However, the myths and rituals of 
Greece certainly yield facts of which a totemic past seems the 
most plausible explanation. Mr. Jevons writes, ' we find 
fragments of the system ' (Totemism), ' one here and another 
there, which, if only they had not been scattered, but had 
been found together, would have made a living whole. Thus 
we have families whose names indicate that they were origi- 
nally totem clans, e.g. there were Cynadse at Athens, as there 


was a Dog clan among the Mohicans ; but we have no evi- 
dence to show that the dog was sacred to the Cjniadae. . . . 
On the other hand, storks were revered by the Thessalians, 
but there is nothing to show that there was a stork clan in 
Thessaly.' ^ Wolves were buried solemnly in Attica, where 
there was a wolf hero, and lobsters were buried in Seriphos, 
like the gazelle in Arabia. But we have no evidence of a 
wolf kin in Attica, though we have in Italy (the Hirpi) nor 
of a lobster kin in Seriphos. (For other traces, fairly 
numerous, I may refer to my Custom and Myth, and Myth, 
Ritual, and Religion, while deprecating the idea that all 
worship or reverence of animals is of totemistic origin.) 

It will probably be admitted that, if Greeks (or ancient 
dwellers on Greek soil) were at some remote period totem- 
istic, and next, by reckoning descent in the male line, 
became attached to localities, then something like demes, 
phratries, and '^svrj might very naturally be evolved. And 
many traces in ritual, myth, and custom do point to 
Totemism in the remote past. Indeed, it is remarkable 
that we should still be able to point to so many apparent 
relics of institutions already almost obliterated among the 

On the whole, I regard it as more probable than not, 
that, in the education of mankind, Totemism has played a 
part everywhere ; a beneficent part. But this is only a 
private opinion : one believes in it as one believes in tele- 
pathy, without asserting that the evidence is of constraining 

' Introduction to the Hiitory of Beligion, pp. 125-126. 





Mr. Darwin on the primitive relations of the sexes. — ^Primitive man mono- 
gamous or polygamous. — His jealousy. — Expulsion of young males. — 
The author's inferences as to the evolution of Primal Law. — A custom- 
ary Rule of Conduct evolved. — Traces surviving in savage life. — The 
customs of Avoidance. — Custom of Exogamy arose in the animal stage. 
— Brother and Sister Avoidance. — The author's own observation of this 
custom in New Caledonia.— Strangeness of such a custom among 
houseless nomads in Australia Rapid decay under European in- 

' Man, as I have attempted to show, is certainly descended 
from some Apelike Creature. We may, indeed, conclude, from 
what we know of the jealousy of all Male Quadrupeds, armed 
as many of them are with special weapons for battling with 
their rivals, that promiscuous intercourse in a state of Nature 
is extremely improbable. Therefore, looking far enough 
back in the Stream of Time, and judging from the Social 
habits of Man as he now exists, the most probable view is 
that he aboriginally lived in small, communities, each with a 
single wife, or, if powerful, with several, whom he jealously 
guarded against all other Men. Or he may not have been a 
social animal ^ and yet have lived with several wives like the 
Gorilla — for all the natives agree that but one adult male is 
seen in a band ; when the young male grows up, a contest 
takes place for the mastery, and the strongest, by killing or 

■ Mr. Atkinson's theory is based on the idea that our supposed anthro- 
poid ancestor was eminently unsocial. — A. L. 



driving out the others, establishes himself as head of the 

'Younger males, being thus expelled and wandering 
about, would, when at last successful in finding a partner, 
prevent too close interbreeding within the limits of the same 
family.' ^ 

Mr. Darwin, in the foregoing sentences, affirms the im- 
probability of Promiscuity in the Sexual Relations of Man 
dm-ing the Animal Stage, and, incidentally, the Unity of the 
Human Race in its origin. Both theories are contested. The 
following thesis, however, on the Genesis of Primal Law in 
Human Marriage, treats of a conjectural series of events in 
the Ascent of Man, events which involve a state of the inter- 
sexual relationships amidst our primitive ancestors identical 
with that portrayed in the Descent of Man. My essay 
includes further, as regards the continued evolution of 
society, the development of a theory, based on my ' Primal 
Law,' which, if correct, would seem also to confirm Mr. 
Darwin's ideas as to Unity of Origin. 

I am content, for my part, to hope that my hypothesis, 
however novel some of its conclusions, is in its general tenor 
in accord with the views of so great a naturalist as Mr. 
Darwin. His exposition of the probable relations, within 
the family group, of the male and female prototypes of 
mankind, and more especially of the antagonistic attitude, 
inter se, of the older and younger males, is indeed literally 
prophetic of the Primal Law, whose existence I surmise. 
This law is the inevitable corollary of Mr. Darwin's state- 
ment, if Man was ever to emerge from the Brute. My 
theory, in fact, viewed as to its genesis, is simply evolved 
from a consideration of the potential results of the attitude 
of such creatures as our ancestors then were, when subjected 
to the effects of those changes of environment, which alone, 
to my deeming, could have fixed modifications towards the 
human type. Mr. Darwin's premises, indeed, as to the Early 
Social economy of our Race in the animal stage, inevitably 
> Darwin, Desoent of Man, ii. 361-3G3 (1871). 


entail, if progress was to be made, the evolution of law in 
regulation of Marriage relationship, having regard to the 
fierce sexual jealousy of the males, on the one hand, and on 
the other to the patent truth that in the peaceful aggregation 
of our ancestors alone lay the germ of Society. 

This would above all be the case if, reasoning by analogy, 
we provisionally accept, as the probable nearest approach 
to man's direct ancestors, the actual Anthropoids. These, 
such as the Gorilla, are undoubtedly amongst the most un- 
social of animals as regards the attitude of the adult males 
inter se. From the very difficulty of the problem of the 
congregation of such creatures in friendly unison within the 
group, we may infer that, in its solution, there will be foimd 
the key to the whole question of the Ascent from Brute to 
Man. In that ascent. Habit, the parent of Law, must have 
been conquered, and modified into the direction of novel 
Custom, a shock to the older economy of life. Again, the 
new rule of conduct, necessarily inchoate (considering the 
presumed feeble intellectuality of the creatures concerned, 
animals more or less brutish) must yet be of facile interpre- 
tation to its subjects, though, as befits Homo alalus, it must 
have been quite mute in operation. The new Bule of Conduct 
would not be expressed in terms of speech, a function, ex 
hypothesi, not yet evolved. The rule, as it was to my mind, 
I here propose to attempt to unfold as the ' Primal Law ; ' 
hoping to show that therein lay the beginning of law and 
order, and that, whilst itself arising in a natural manner, in 
its incidental creation of a first standard of a possible right 
and wrong, it laid, so to speak, one of the foundations of 
that moral sense, which has seemed to place so wide a space 
between man and other creatures. 

The prior existence of this law, in the semi-brutish stage 
of our physical and ethical evolution, might have been 
deductively evolved, even if no traces of it had remained] to 
our day. It will be, however, my endeavour to point out that 
evidence of its existence (abundant as it appears to|me) is 
to be found in certain obscure customs which are common to 

p 2 


most actual savage races. The customs of so-called ' avoid- 
ance ' between near relations will have the principal interest 
for us, although primitive marriage and inheritance will be 
found of corroborative value. Survivals and myths can be 
shown to point to the undeniable occurrence of this ' Primal 
Law ' in the earlier life-history of the non-civilised peoples. 
The myths, however, may be merely early guesses about the 
unknown past of the race. 

Amongst marriage customs that which has given rise to 
most discussion as regards its origin is ' Exogamy ' or marriage 
outside the family group, or outside the limit of the totem 
name. My general argument, as will be seen, places me in 
antagonism with all theories yet advanced on the subject. 
But Mr. Lang, in Custom arid Myth, 1884 (p. 258), 
hazards, as his own impression, a conception of this matter 
Xjhich I will note — namely, that ' Exogamy may be connected 
with some early idea of which we have lost touch,' and he 
adds, 'If we only knew the origin of the prohibition to 
marry within the family ^ all would be plain sailing.' How- 
ever utterly beyond human ken, in these our latter days, 
any truthful image of so remote a past may seem to be, it is 
yet precisely this hypothetic early idea which I hope to be 
able to expose. If I am correct, we shall find that it was 
connected with the sexual relations of primitive man, whilst 
in the animal stage, and especially with the mutual marital 
rights of the males within a group. Such idea in travail, 
hastened and sharpened by needs of environment, created 
issues which necessarily gave birth to a ' Primal Law ' pro- 
hibitory of marriage between certain members of a family 
or local group, and thus, in natural sequence, led to forced 
connubial imion beyond its circle the family, or local group — 
that is, led to Exogamy. But if such was in reality the 
original order of succession in the growth of custom, it becomes 
evident that Exogamy as a habit (not as an expressed law) 
must have been of primordial evolution. Thus (in contra- 

' I ought to have said 'within the community, whether local or of 
recognised kindred, indicated by the totem name.' — A. L. 


distinction to generally received opinion and to Mr. Mc- 
Lennan's theory in particular) Exogamy must have been a 
cause rather than an effect in relation to its ordinary concomi- 
tants, i.e. Female Infanticide as a custom, Polyandry as a 
fixed institution, and Totemism as connected with exoga- 
mous groups, within which marriage was forbidden. As thus 
my new h3rpothesis finds itself in opposition to those of 
recognised authorities, it is evident that it will require to 
account for all the facts if it is to hold its ground. 

However convinced the author may be by the array of 
seemingly confirmatory details in favour of his hypothesis, 
it is possible that from their paucity they may yet to others 
seem to constitute but a feeble line of defensive proof. But 
if the theory shall prove in itself to have merit, this defect 
(arising, as I believe, from lack of general anthropological 
knowledge on my part, for I dwell ' far from books ') will 
quickly be remedied, for a hundred other details in favour of my 
view will be at once perceived by more experienced students. 
Should my hypothesis really ftirnish the clue to the problem 
of the prohibition to marry within the family name, or 
totem name, all the rest will doubtless become ' plain sailing ' 
in competent hands. 

In any case before my conjecture is definitely laid aside 
as erroneous, it may, let us hope, be considered desirable to 
await fuller evidence as to the extent of the operation, in 
actual savage life, of that particular custom of ' Avoidance ' 
which I consider, in its inception, and as the earliest law, 
to have been a ' vera causa ' of widest operation in primitive 
social evolution. ' Avoidance ' is, however, to-day, a mere 
faint image of a remote past, and its genetic significance has 
utterly faded from among even those people who yet, with 
strange conservatism, still blindly yield an everyday obedi- 
ence to it, in form at least. Belonging to a class of savage 
habits presenting features so extraftrdinary, ' Avoidance be- 
tween brother and sister ' has ever been a puzzle to inquirers. 
This Avoidance is only the most obscure of all the numerous 
cases of the strange habit, but it is also that which, up to the 


present, seems least to have attracted the notice of anthropo- 
logists. In this class of custom, the Avoidance of which most 
frequent mention has been made in literature, is avoidance 
between mother-in-law and son-in-law, whereas that between 
brother and sister is to my knowledge but rarely mentioned.^ 
And yet, as far as my own experience goes (and it extends over 
more than a quarter of a century among primitive peoples in 
the South Seas), Avoidance of brother and sister is not only 
as common as, but infinitely more strict and severe in action 
than, the Avoidance of ' Mothers-in-law.' It is indeed 
probable that the very severity of observance has led to its 
being so little noticed. For by the action of this law, a 
brother and a sister, after childhood, are kept so far apart 
from one another, that only those who have actually lived 
long amidst natives can be expected to have had a chance of 
being aware of the restraints to intercourse between them. 
Even then it would be from some such casual occurrence as 
the accidental rencontre of the two, placing them thus in 
sudden and unavoidable proximity to each other, which 
would lead to an observation, by an European, of their ex- 
traordinary attitude and behaviour under such circumstances. 
My own attention was primarily only drawn to this 
matter by noting the grave scandal and excitement caused 
in a native community by the momentary isolation, in a 
canoe, of a brother and sister. The affair became so very 
serious for the brother that he disappeared from the tribe for 
over a year. Indeed, the rigorous severity of this particular 
law in daily action is almost incredible. In New Caledonia, 
for instance, all intercourse between a brother and sister by 
speech or sign is absolutely prohibited from a very early age. 
Whilst the girl will remain in the paternal home, the boy, at 
the age of .seven or eight (when not, as is usual, adopted by 
the maternal uncle), only comes there for his meals, partaken 
again solely with the other males.'' He dwells until married 

' This was written before the appearance of Mr. Crawley's Mystic Hose 

' Of. V. de Kochas, La. No-melle- CaUdonie, p. 239 ; Crawley, Myatlo Rose, 
p. 217. 


in the large general bachelors' hut, set apart for youths in 
aU villages. Even after marriage, if brother and sister have 
to communicate with each other on family matters, such 
communication must be made through the intermediary of a 
third person, nor can the sister enter the brother's hut even 
after his marriage, despite the presence of her sister-in-law 
therein. If the two should unexpectedly meet in some 
narrow path, the girl wiU throw herself face downwards into 
the nearest bush, whilst the boy will pass without turning his 
head, and as if imaware of her presence. 

They cannot mention each other's names, and if the 
sister's name is mentioned publicly before the brother, he will 
show much embarrassment, and if it is repeated he wiU retire 
precipitately. She can eat nothing he has carried or cooked. 
Whilst, then, such propinquity as is implied in the mutual 
habitation of the same hut by these two would be scandalously 
impossible, it is not uncommon to find a mother-in-law and 
son-in-law, whilst in Avoidance, living under the same roof. 
It is obvious that in the latter case each detail of ' Avoidance ' 
in act or speech would be easily remarked by Eiu-opeans, 
whereas no chance of. such observation between the adult 
brother and sister could possibly arise, they being kept, as we 
see, so utterly apart. It is to be noted, however, that the 
seemingly instinctive natural affection between two so nearly 
related is not quenched by these strange restraints. They 
remain interested in each other's welfare, and in cases of 
sickness, for instance, keep themselves informed of each other's 
condition through third persons. So great, however, is the 
depth in action (on these lines) of the feeling of avoidance in 
this matter, that I am convinced that the infanticide of 
twins, which only takes place in New Caledonia when the 
children are of different sexes, arises from the idea of a too 
close propinquity in the womb. Further evidence as to the 
very widespread existence of this custom in the South Seas I 
will leave to a later stage, only noting here that I have been 
astonished to find, in answer to inquiries, that it is well 
recognised amongst the aborigines of Australia. 


[Mr. Atkinson has left a blank space for an expected 
communication from the late Mr. Curr. On ' Avoidance ' 
in Australia, between brother and sister, Messrs Spencer 
and Gillen write : ' A curious custom exists with regard to 
the mutual behaviour of elder and yoimger sisters and their 
brothers. A man may speak freely to his elder sisters in 
blood, but those who are tribal Ungaraitcha must only be 
spoken to at a considerable distance. To younger sisters, 
blood and tribal, he may not speak, or, at least, only at 
such a distance that the featiu^es are indistinguishable. ^ . . 
We cannot discover any explanation of this restriction in re- 
gard to the younger sister ; it can hardly be supposed that 
it has anything to do with the dread of anything like incest, 
else why is there not as strong a restriction in the case of the 
elder sisters ? ' ^] 

Now the occurrence of this particular habit amidst a race 
of nomad hunters, forced by the exigencies of the chase to 
wander about in isolated groups, composed for the most part 
of single families, and where the separation of the sexes can- 
not possibly be arranged, as with the hut and village dwelling 
Caledonians, is a most remarkable fact. When we take into 
consideration the disturbing effects of such an avoidance in 
the internal economy of such a family circle, the significance 
of the circumstance is great as regards our general argument. 
It becomes, indeed, evident that the fundamental cause of the 
custom involving this daily and hourly dislocation of domestic 
life, must lie very deep in savage society. If, however, our 
theory as to the idea which dominated the inception of this 
strange habit shall turn out to be correct, then it will be seen 
that no surprise need be felt, if the genesis of this rule 
should prove to be in the animal stage, that traces of the 
superstructure should exist to our day. Now that attention 
wiU perhaps be more closely drawn to this, till recently the 
least observed of the cases of Avoidance, I feel sui'e that proof 
of its existence will be found in abundance in the present or 

> Natme Trihi's of CmitToL A iisiralia, pp. 88, 89. — A. L. 


past of all primitive peoples.^ In view of its unexpectedly 
wide dissemination in Australia, hope may be felt that re- 
search will find it as a working factor in many peoples where 
its presence has been least expected, and not only in Austra- 
lasia. It is possible that a stricter examination of the inner 
life of lower races in Africa and Asia will allow a perfectly 
legitimate inference that they are stiU under the influence of 
its effect, although the custom itself may be no longer in 
actual force. It is also pos^ble, as I have said, that Survivals 
and Myths may point conclusively to its having had its day 
amongst the highest nations, with whom all traditions of it 
have been lost before the dawn of history. [Rather the reverse 
is the case ; see the marriage of Zeus and Hera, brother and 
sister, and of the Incas, &c. — A. L.] 

In many cases philological evidence based on the deriva- 
tion of the root syllable of the word ' sister, a word which in 
the tongues of peoples still obedient to this law is from a root 
implying ' Avoidance,' may aflbrd affirmative proof, as circum- 
stantial as unexpected, that this custom was once as universal 
as my theory would require.^ If difficulty is felt in the ac- 
ceptation of an hypothesis of such wide significance, simply 
based on an obsciu-e lower custom so little noted in anthro- 
pological literature as to permit doubts of its existence, I can 
only repeat that a cognisance of the traits of this particular 
habit of avoidance and its effect as a factor in savage life 
demands such conditions of residence and chances of observa- 
tion, as can fall to the lot of few. I may add that it is one of 
the very first customs to disappear after contact with whites, 
especially missionaries, being, as it is, in such extreme diver- 
gence with the economy of the European family, in regard to 
the mutual attitude of brother and sister. 

It is more than a quarter of a century since the author had 
his attention first drawn to the practice. The evolution of 

' Mr. Atkinson's forecast was correct. Brother and sister avoidance is 
very widely diffused. — A. L. 

* The author does not give examples of words for ' sister ' implying 
avoidance. But we elsewhere show that in Lif u (Melanesia) the word for 
' sister ' means ' not to be touched.' — A. L. 


the idea of its possible identity with the Primal Law has led 
to a continued and close observation ; he is thus able to certify 
as to its rapid disappearance. Brother and sister avoidance 
was at that time, thirty years ago, quite universal in New 
Caledonia ; now in many places it is unknown, even as a 
tradition, among the younger aborigines. In view of the 
probability of a similar oblivion among other peoples, the 
immediate collection of evidence is urgent, and further delay 
seems dangerous and even culpable. 

Thus, however much to the present advantage of the theory 
as regards the custom it would have been to cull larger proofs 
from that vast field of literature only to be procured in 
older lands, it has seemed desirable to make this thesis public 
without further delay. As we have said, if the theory is 
correct, wider students will bring forward cogent facts in 
further proof from existing knowledge, whilst continued 
research should afford evidence so complete of the widespread 
existence of the custom in the present and past of the human 
race, as to render my speculation as to its origin less seem- 
ingly illegitimate.^ 

' other speculations have now been advanced, especially by Mr, 
Crawley. — A. L. 




Brother and Sister Avoidance, a partial usage among the higher mam- 
mals. — Males' attitude to females in a group dominated by a single 
male head. — Band of exiled young males. — Their relations to the sire. 

— Examples in cattle and horses ^In game-fowl. — Strict localisation 

of animals. — Exiled young males hover on the fringe of the parent 
group. — ^Parricide. 

Another difficulty in connection with the evolution of the 
so-called Primal Law of Avoidance between brother and 
sister from that early idea which we will presently disclose, 
seems to lie in the fact that if, as we uphold, such law was 
the first factor in the ascent of man, it must have taken its 
rise whilst he was still some ape-like creature. It remains, 
however, to be shown from its peculiar form that in its primi- 
tive application, the law would not have required for its in- 
telligence greater mental power than is possessed by actual 
anthropoids. The law may indeed be said to be practically 
an inchoate fact, an actual if partial usage, for the regula- 
tion of the intersexual relations among most of the higher 
mammals. It could, at any rate, have come into full inteUi- 
gent application as a well-defined social institution, in the 
actual sense of the term, whilst the anthropomorphic pro- 
genitor of man was still so little removed from the ape that 

His speech was yet as halting as his gait. 
Only less brutish than his moral state. 

Briefly, the law of Avoidance concerns (more particularly) 
the relation ' inter se,' from a sexual point of view, of the 
male and female offspring of any given parents. In other 


words it determines the mutual attitude to the females within 
a (single) family group dominated by a male head. 

Before, however, entering into the argument in this con- 
nection, it will be desirable to make a paraphrase on Mr. 
Darwin's dictum as to the social condition of man in the 
animal stage in general, and more particularly in regard to 
his intermarital relations, and to compare this with that of 
actual mammals. It is to be noted that he does not pro- 
nounce definitely as to whether, in the era of pure animalism, 
the original type of man's ancestor was social or non-social 
in habit. But we may judge from the extract already made 
from the Descent of Man that Darwin evidently inclines to 
the opinion that, even primitively, he was a social animal, as 
seemingly more in accord with the present eminently social 

The very significant counter-fact, however, remains, that 
none of the actual anthropoids, as far as regards the adult 
males, are in any way social or even gregarious ; the conclusion 
thus seems evident that, like these his nearest compeers of to- 
day, man was on the contrary a non-social animal, and that, as 
with the gorilla, only one grown male would have been seen 
in a band. We must then imagine oiu- more or less human 
ancestor, roaming the forest in search of daily food, as a 
solitary polygamous male, with wife or wives and female 
children ; the misocial head of a solitary isolated group. 

With equal strength and probably already greater cun- 
ning than any actual animal of to-day, he had perhaps 
acquired dominance over most of the other beasts of the field. 
The patriarch had only one enemy whom he should dread, 
an enemy with each coming year more and more to be 
feared^ — deadly rivals of his very own flesh and blood, and the 
fruit of his loins — namely, that neighboiuing group of young 
males exiled by sexual jealousy from his own and similar 
family groups — a youthful band of brothers living together 
in forced celibacy, or at most in polyandrous relation with 
some single female captive.-'^ A horde as yet weak in their 
' Why ' single ' ?— A. L. 


impubescence, they are, but they would, when strength was 
gained with time, inevitably wrench by combined attacks, 
renewed again and again, both wife and life from the paternal 
tyrant. But they themselves, after brief communistic enjoy- 
ment, would be segregated anew by the fierce fire of sexual 
jealousy, each survivor of the slaughter relapsing into lonely 
sovereignty, the head of the typical group with its character- 
istic feature of a single adult male member in antagonism 
with every other adult male. Now it can be shown that this 
vicious circle of the stream of social life is common to most 
mammals. The facts of the circumstance can be most easily 
observed amidst the half- wild, half-domesticated animals met 
with in colonial farming experience, in New Caledonia, for 
instance, where European horses and cattle have been allowed 
to return almost to a state of nature. 

In this respect the economy of life in a herd of even such 
gregarious creatures as the bovine race, is a very curious and 
instructive study. There is no fact more striking than the 
subordination in which the yoiuiger bulls are kept ; as long 
as they are at all tolerated in the herd by its patriarch, their 
intercourse with the females is most limited, and only takes 
place by stealth and at the risk of life and limb. 

Nothing, as breeders are aware, is so fatal to the well- 
being of a herd, or leads so quickly to degeneration, as the 
perpetuation of the race by immature males. That procrea- 
tion should be the act of the robust adult alone, is evidently 
an axiom with nature herself in successful production ; it is 
doubtless of the highest importance to keep up the normal 
standard of strength and size. As a fact, the presence of the 
immature male among a herd of cattle is only permitted 
whilst he is still quite impubescent. Then banishment by 
the master of the herd is inevitable at a later stage. These 
exiles, although thus apart from the main herd, remain in 
touch with it, so to speak, and we find in consequence, 
in continual proximity of the troop of the patriarch and 
his females, a small band of males, which, as is evident 
from their colour and general physical resemblance, are its 


direct product. The relations between this mob and the old 
male are always strained, the latter has constantly to be on 
the watch to shield his marital rights. 

For long the mere menace of his presence suffices for such 
protection, but with age — the young bulls becoming more 
bold — struggles take place which sooner or later, from mere 
force of numbers, end in the rout or death of the parent. 
We may here cite the mention made by Mr. Darwin ^ of Lord 
Tankerville's account of the battles of the wild bulls in 
Chillingham Park : ' In 1861 several contended for mastery, 
and it was observed that two of the younger bulls attacked 
in concert the old leader of the herd, overthrew and disabled 
him, so that he was believed by the keepers to be lying 
mortally wounded in a neighbouring wood. But a few days 
afterwards one of the young bulls approached the wood 
alone, and then the monarch of the chase, who had been 
lashing himself up for vengeance, came out and in a short 
time killed his antagonist. He then quietly joined the herd, 
and long held undisputed sway.' I may add from my own 
observation among half-wild herds in the colonies, that often 
when the old patriarch is not absolutely killed in such 
cases, he is forced to quit the herd. He then becomes a soli- 
tary exile, always exceptionally savage and dangerous to 
approach or molest. It seems to me probable that we have 
here an explanation of the occurrence of the existence of the 
well-known ' rogue ' elephant, which is always a male and 
notoriously dangerous. 

One important fact must here, however, be noted ; that 
before such death or exile takes place, and the sons reach an 
age which enables them successfully to dispute the supremacy 
of the father, the daughters have reached puberty and borne 
produce to the sire — this matter, as will be seen later, has 
an important bearing on our general argument — on our 
theory of Primal Law. Amongst horses, again, which have 
become wild, exactly the same facts are to be observed. Each 
herd has one head, and this, as natural selection would imply, 
' Descent of Man, p. 501. 


is the most powerful stallion ; he is the master and owner of 
the females, and this mastery he retains until overpowered by 
other males, which, as before, are almost invariably his own 
progeny. In fact, any strange male would probably have 
first to run the gauntlet of this outlying herd of exiled sons 
before he could reach the father. It is, however, again to be 
noted that he is rarely thus overpowered by even the com- 
bined efforts of his sons, before his daughters have reached 
such an age as to have produced offspring to their father. 

This system of sequence of generations in breeding is, in- 
deed, so universal in a state of nature amongst aU animals, as 
to seem to point to the fact that in-breeding between father 
and daughter cannot be so prejudicial as some believe. Its 
efficacy in type-fixing is at least very great, if, as experiments 
of my own in pig-breeding on these lines would lead me to 
think, the question of prepotency is merely a matter of such 
close in-breeding repeated for generations. We may note 
here that if, as is probable, the produce, on the contrary, of 
a full brother and sister are degenerate, nature seems to 
attempt to prevent its occurrence. On the succession of the 
sons to the father's rights, speedy conflicts from sexual jealousy 
arise amidst the former and lead to a rapid segregation of 
the herd, in which the chances of own brother and sister 
continuing to mate are slight. Until this segregration, how- 
ever, does take place, nothing is more curious to watch than 
the attitude and relations of these young males among them- 
selves, the oldest and strongest claiming prior marital rights, 
but no more. 

The same phenomena in social economy may be observed 
with even greater intensity in lower ranks of life than the 
quadrupeds. For instance, in a large flock of game fowl 
which I had an opportunity to observe closely for several 
years, during which they had nearly relapsed into a state of 
nature, there was an exact reproduction of all these details. 
There existed the same division into small family groups, 
each headed by an adult male, the same subordination im- 
posed on the junior males of their banishment at puberty, as 


also their inevitable combined attack, when sufficiently power- 
ful, on their paternal enemy. His death resulted in the same 
communistic assumption of his rights, with a subsequent dis- 
ruption, from jealousy, into the typical smaller and separate 

We thus find an identical condition of the sexual relations 
between the females of a group and its older and younger 
male members to be common in the animal world — the domi- 
nation, in fact, of an idea that might, in the person of the 
senior male, confers marital rights over the female members 
of the family, and an inchoate rule of action resulting there- 
from ; which bars from the enjoyment of such right each 
junior male. To hold that man, whilst in the animal stage, 
should form an exception to the general rule seems unreason- 
able. If, as we are inclined to believe, he was originally a 
quite non-social animal, the fact becomes more possible still 
that, as with modern types of anthropoid apes, each adult as 
head of a group was at feud with every other. As regards 
the social evolution, it would indeed seem most natural that, 
as Mr. Darwin conceived, the first step in progress should 
have been taken by animals already united gregariously, and 
thus already imbued with some social feelings. Strange to 
say, the path in advance which the ancestor of man, in the 
light of our hypothesis, was destined to follow, disclosed 
itself as an indirect consequence of the very intensity of his 
non-social characteristic. In fact, as I fancy will become 
evident in the development of our argument, the only line of 
progress open to man was one inaccessible to animals of 
gregarious habits, judging by the economy of life in a troop 
of mandrills or baboons. 

Having ventured to differ from the great naturalist on 
this point, I would with deference take exception to his 
further statement — ' That the younger males, being thus ex- 
pelled and wandering about, would, when at last successful in 
finding a partner, prevent too close inter-breeding within the 
limits of the same family.' This, if I understand it rightly, 
would convey the idea that this youthful band quitted the scene 


of their birth, and deserted entirely their original habitat in 
the forest. I cannot help considering it an error to imagine 
that such wanderings could thus be without bounds. Nothing 
seems to me more remarkable and irrevocable in savage 
Nature than the rigid localisation of all living things in her 
realm. No fish in the sea, no bird in the air, but has its local 
habitation, which only becomes free to the stranger on the 
death of the occupant.' No corner on earth but seems to 
hold its lawful tenant, and the bounds thereof are defined 
within rigid limits. Within, there is safety, with a sense of 
ownership ; without, is the great unknown, possessed by 
others, fiercely ready to defend their rights, and threaten 
every danger and death to the stranger intruder — unless 
quite otherwise formidable than adolescent youth. 

It is thus probable, in fact, that in common with the 
lower animals, the band of exiled young males of our anthro- 
poid ancestor haunted the neighbourhood of the parent herd, 
remaining thus on familiar ground, and in hearing of friendly 
voices. For we must remember that their feud was only with 
the paternal parent. In the magic alembic of time the con- 
stantly increasing shadow of their presence would take sudden 
dreadful form, but in parricidal crime alone. The sequel in 
disastrous incest, which Mr. Darwin would here conjecture at, 
Nature alone has ever been impotent to deal with. The pro- 
blem of an effectual bar to undesirable union between brother 
and sister was solved by man alone, and in the Primal Law. 
An effort of his embryonic intellect, thus early defiant of 
Nature, the law placed ethically, for once and for ever, a dis- 
.tinction between him and every other creature. 

' This fact is well known to anglers for trout. — A. L. 




Effect of the absence of a special pairing season on nascent man. — Con- 
sequent state of ceaseless war between sire and young males. — Man 
already more than an ape. — Results of his prolonged infancy and of 
maternal love. — A young male permitted to live in the parent group. — 
Conditions in which this novelty arose. 

In common, then, with their nearest congeners of to-day, we 
have found each male head of a group of our anthropoid an- 
cestors in direct antagonism with every other male, and a 
consequent disruption of the family at each encoimter with a 
superior force. This disruption, in its effects on a species of 
non-gregarious habits, would result not only in the dispersal 
of its members, but in the destruction of what material pro- 
gress in the accumulation of property might have accrued. 
As this would have included all germs of mechanical dis- 
covery, again doubtless due solely to the superior constructive 
faculties of the male, it is evident that advance in a race thus 
socially constituted was quite impossible. 

Now this antagonism of male with male, with all its re- 
trograde consequences, a struggle fierce enough in all animals, 
had a more intense effect on nascent man than on any other 
creature that had ever existed. An added force was caused 
by the disappearance in the nascent human species of that 
season of physical and mental repose, granted by Natiu-e to 
the rest of creation, when not actually in the moment or 
season of rut. This ever-recurring but limited period, ordi- 
narily appearing for a certain fixed epoch in each year, by the 
exigencies of supply and demand in the necessarily abundant 
food required for nursing mothers, had lost its date-fixing 


power with this new creation — Man. With the very first 
steps in progress would come his adaptation to a more or less 
omnivorous and consequently more regular diet. The con- 
sequent modification would be profound in the matter of 
sexual habit and appetite. Man needed no longer to put 
limits to the season of love and desire.' This was a crime 
against Nature, new in the history of the world, a crime which 
Nature would probably have avenged by race-deterioration or 
extermination, if the germs of mental power had not been 
already strong enough to lift him, Man, to be, of all creatures,, 
almost completely beyond the influence of environment, thence 
of Nature herself. 

The intensity of the evil led to its cm'e. In a state of 
society where literally every male creature's hand was against 
the other, and life one continual uproar from their contending; 
strife ; where not only was there no instant's truce in the war- 
fare, but each blow dealt was emphasised (fatally) by the 
intellectual finesse which now directed it, it became a question 
of forced advance in progress or straight retreat in annihila- 
tion as a species. However difficult it may be to imagine by 
what path such a creature was ever to emerge from the 
materialistic labyrinth in which we thus find him involved, it 
is sure that he neither could nor did remain there. A forward 
step was somehow taken, some road out of the maze was 
somehow found. 

It remains for us to trace, by what dim light of custom 
and tradition we may, the faint trail of those momentous 
footprints, which, however lame and halting, took the strait 
and difficult way to a higher life. We may expect to 
find, as is but natural, that the path was one before un- 
trodden. As man followed it, at first unconsciously, from 
the shoulders of this new pilgrim, predestined to worthier 
burdens, would fall some of the heavy load of the mere 
animal natxn-e. 

There was now, in fact, to be a break in the economy of 

■ See Westermarck, Sistory of Hti/nioM Marriage, ch. ii., 1891. The 
subject is obscure. 

Q. -2 


animal nature, as regards that vicious circle, where we found 
an ever-recurring violent succession to the solitary paternal 
tyrant, by sons whose parricidal hands were so soon again 
clenched in fratricidal strife. In the dawn of peace between 
this father and son we shall find the signpost to the new 

Before going fm-ther, we may here state our assumption 
that, when oiu- ancestor had arrived at this crisis in his life, 
a crisis involving the vast psychological step in advance 
implied in the development of society, and the intelligence 
necessary for the evolution of the law in its regulation, he 
was already somewhat more than ape. The animal stage as 
forming part of the ladder of ascent from brute to man 
would be marked by degrees of progression, each a step further 
removed from the original type. These very earliest steps we 
indeed propose to examine later in detail, for the present we 
will suppose they have been taken, and that the influence of 
environment, under certain hypothetic conditions, to be also 
detailed hereafter, has fostered physical modifications to- 
wards the human type such as we found in the matter of rut. 
But in nature the relation is very close between the physical 
and the mental qualities. The advance in one would possibly 
lead to a corresponding development of the other. Each is 
the necessary complement of each. For instance, as Mr. 
Darwin has pointed out, while the lower extremities become 
more and more used for progression alone, so the upper, thus 
left free, would be specialised as prehensile organs, so becoming 
both valet and tutor to the nascent brain. To push our 
metaphor to an extreme, we may say that when Homo Alalus 
trod the new path, it was already as a biped in an upright 
attitude, thus leaving at least his hand free to point it out to 
others, for as yet his tongue, at least by the hypothesis, was 

Our line of research as regards the new departure was at 
once naiTowed when we indicated that it ended in the peaceful 
conjunction of father and son. Our path will lie in the 
examination of the question as to what possible series of 


natural circumstances, in the domestic life of the race, could 
lead to such conjunction, and what law in such an age could 
suffice for regulation of such association if formed. We shall 
have to examine more closely (as far as our imagination will 
aid us) the exact conditions of the family life of the semi- 
human group which we have supposed typical in that era, 
i.e. the small isolated band of anthropoids, composed of a 
single polygamous adult male with dependent wives and off- 
spring. His possible relations with these, especially his 
attitude towards his male children, will interest us. Therein 
should certainly be found the desired series of circumstances 
entailing a critical situation, whose happy resolution shall 
furnish the clue to the problem of that possible aggregation 
on which all futvu-e progress depends. However strange it 
may appear, it wiU be found, as we have already said, that the 
abnormal conditions imposed by the imnatural modifications 
of the sexual functions have served as a means to the end of 
advance in progress. And as, by their action in the past, 
anthropoid man had become the most sexually jealous and 
intractable of all creatiures, so it may be expected that the 
series of causes which shall have for effect the restraint of 
such excess of passion, will possess further vast potentiality 
of action. Such latency in potentiality is evidently indis- 
pensable when we consider that there is here concerned the 
evolution of law in opposition to nature, and its triumph for 
all time over the mere brute. 

But first as regards the fact of the association of adult 
males on friendly terms within the group, which fact has 
seemed to us to constitute the whole problem of progress, it 
would on a hasty view appear as if it had been already 
found in the band of exiled sons which we have seen haunt- 
ing the parent horde. Here we meet with that aggregation 
of individuals whose combination in peaceful union should 
apparently be the result of some law in regulation. This 
idea would even seem to gain support from the fact that all 
the members being brothers, and living most probably in a 
state of polyandry, we here appear to find fulfilled exactly 


those genetic conditions of primitive marriage imperative 
according to Mr. McLennan's theory of the origin of society. 
It will not, however, be difficult to prove that, at least at 
this stage in evolution, such a group would lack the most 
essential elements of stability. Their unity, in fact, as has 
been already pointed out, could only endure as long as the 
youthfulness of the members necessitated union for protec- 
tion, and their immaturity prevented the full play of the 
sexual passion. The horde would inevitably dissolve under 
the influence of jealousy at the adult stage, especially if, as 
is probable, the number of their female captives had increased 
with the gain in years and power. The necessary Primal 
Law which alone could determine peace within a family circle 
by recognising a distinction between female and female (the 
indispensable antecedent to a definition of marital rights) 
could never have arisen in such a body. It follows that if 
such law was ever evoked, it must have been from within the 
only other assembly in existence, viz. that headed by the 
solitary polygamous patriarch, ' the Cyclopean family.' 

We have said that this family would be composed of the 
male head and his wives, the latter consisting of captured 
females, and further, let us note, of his own adult female off- 
spring, accompanied by a troop of infants of both sexes. The 
absence of male offspring beyond those of tender years would 
be another most notable phenomenon. These sons would, eis 
we have seen, have been banished at puberty from the herd, 
in common with the habit of most animals: 

Now we have surmised that at this stage oiu" subject has 
been modified, both physically and mentally, to a certain 
extent in approach to the human type, and there is precisely 
one special modification which would have been of paramount 
importance in view of the problem of advance in progress. 
For if we may thus infer a certain increase in the longevity 
of the nascent race at even so early a stage in evolution, then 
that evidently entails a more prolonged infancy. It follows 
that, however precocious, the young males before exile must 
have passed at least nine to ten helpless years under their 


mother's care. But, again, the rise of superior intellectual 
faculties in general presupposes a decided increase in the 
powers of memory, and this agent, in connection with that of 
the longer companionship, would here set in movement, sooner 
or later, a psychological factor of strangely magnified force 
as compared with what it is in the mere brute — namely, human 
maternal love. 

Separation, however caused, between this mother and her 
child would be far more severely felt than by any other 
animal. At the renewed banishment of each of her male 
progeny by the jealous patriarch, the mother's feelings and 
instinct would be increasingly lacerated and outraged. Her 
agonised efforts to retain at least her last and youngest 
would be even stronger than with her first-bom. It is ex- 
ceedingly important to observe that her chances of success in 
this case would be much greater. When this last and dearest 
son approached adolescence, it is not difficult to perceive that 
the patriarch must have reached an age when the fire of desire 
may have become somewhat dull ; whilst, again, his harem, 
from the presence of numerous adult daughters, would be in- 
creased to an extent that might have overtaxed his once more 
active powers. Given some such rather exceptional situ- 
ation, where a happy opportunity in superlative mother love 
wrestled with a for once satiated paternal appetite in desire, 
we may here discern a possible key of the sociological problem 
which occupies us, and which consisted in a conjunction within 
one group of two adult males. 

We must conceive that, in the march of the centuries, on 
some fateful day, the bloody tragedy in the last act of the 
familiar drama was avoided, and the edict of exUe or death 
left unpronounced. Pure maternal love triumphed over the 
demons of lust and jealousy. A mother succeeded in keeping 
by her side a male child, and thus, by a strange coincidence, 
that father and son, who, amongst all mammals, had been the 
most deadly of enemies, were now the first to join hands. So 
portentous an alliance might well bring the world to their 
feet. The family group would now present, for the first time. 


the tiU then unknown spectacle of the inclusion within a 
domestic circle, and amidst its component females, of an 
adolescent male youth. It must, however, be admitted that 
such an event, at such an epoch, demanded imperatively veiy 
exceptional qualities, both physiological and psychological, in 
the primitive agents. The new happy ending to that old- 
world drama which had run for so long through blood and 
tears, was an innovation requiring very unusually gifted 
actors. How many failures had doubtless taken place in its 
rehearsal during the centuries, with less able or happy inter- 
preters ! It is probable that, in the new experiment, suc- 
cess was rendered possible by the rise of new powers in nascent 
man. Some feeble germ of altruism may already have arisen 
to make its force felt as an important factor. 

It is also certain that, with such prolonged infancy, there 
had been opportunity for the development of paternal philo- 
progenitiveness. It is evident that such long-continued 
presence of sons could but result in a certain mutual sympathy, 
however inevitable the eventual exile. 

The love and care of a parent for his offspring is, after all, 
ethically speaking, the normal condition. Habitual desertion 
at too early an age would be fatal. Their dissociation, the 
abnormal and only one, took plax;e under the influence of the 
strongest passion in nature, again largely exaggerated in 
primitive man. But in such an era pm-ely physical character- 
istics would undoubtedly have also a vast influence in the 
development of the incident we have tried to depict. The 
fiercely solitary patriarch who first consented to the intrusive 
presence within his family circle of another adult male was, 
as I think we can prove, a being of abnormal physical power 
as compared with his fellows. For we have assumed satiety 
in desire to have been a powerful factor in the innovatory 
struggle we have witnessed. But such satiety implies exten- 
sive polygamy, and yet again a large harem composed ex- 
clusively of unwilling outside captives is incredible, escape 
for them in the primeval forest being too facile. Thus the 
harem would certainly be formed of the female offspring of 


the tyrant himself. These alone would need no watch or 
guard, for them the unknown outside world was hostile 
ground. But again very many adult daughters imply a 
father stricken in years. That one of such advanced age, in an 
epoch when force was all in all, could, defiant of rivals, still 
retain possession of his female kind, presupposes vast enduring 
physical power, or at least the protective tradition of past 
exceptional strength, still enduring in terror. If, again, at so 
early a date in the history of man we may be permitted to 
surmise any development of the faculty of psychogenesis, then 
we may again perceive how extreme physical qualities might 
have facilitated the solution of the problem of the admission 
of the intrusive male. For it is credible that long undisputed 
supremacy of power as the result of personal vigour might, in 
•its incredulous contempt of a possible rivalry, show a tolerance 
of a situation utterly impossible to a weaker nature. 




Truce between semi-human sire and son. — Consequent distinction taken 
between female and female, as such. — Consequent rise of habit of 
Brother and Sister Avoidance. — Kesult, son seeks female mate from 
without Note by the editor. 

In what, then, we are willing to concede, must have been 
exceptional circumstances, may thus have been taken that 
first step in progress which was to lead to such vast advance. 
In a development of the, social qualities depended the whole 
future of mankind, and here we seem to see their germ and 

When, however, we affirm that the triumph of maternal 
love in the continued companionship of a male child, consti- 
tuted the solution of the social problem before us, we do not 
intend to convey the idea that it lay solely in the fact of a 
simple inclusion of male offspring within a group. Such a 
condition, however significant in the actual case, has nothing 
in itself but what is common to the family economy of 
many animals. It is the normal one, for instance, among 
many pithecoids, as baboons, &c., where we find the yoimger 
males still form an integral part of the horde, although 
denied all marital rights. But, however inexorable among 
such species the temporary separation from the females 
during the actual season of rut, there is at other times a pro- 
pinquity in amity as members of the same herd, which 
lessened doubtless the fierceness of the strife during the 
periodic play of passion, a truce in fact admitting of peace 
and alliance in offence and defence during most of the 


With our ancestors there could be no such healing pause, 
the unnatural sexual modification of the race had rendered it 
impossible. The non-periodicity of the sexual function in 
rut would have made the whole year, with two adult males 
in presence, an interval of trial insupportable to the mere 
brute. With this race the banishment of the youth would 
be for all time, and the loss would be not only that of an 
ally, each exile would become an active enemy. Now we 
have hinted that the importance, in a potential sense, of a 
movement towards union, in such creatures, arose precisely 
from the fact that, on account of the intensity of the rela- 
tions between male and male, and especially between father 
and son, their amicable conjunction was only possible under 
such exceptional conditions as would probably conduce to its 
stability whenever it did take place. 

Indeed such inchoate rule or habit, a corollary of the 
early idea, as reigns in regulation of marital rights among 
lower creatm-es, would not be fully adequate for this higher 
creation. With lower creatures, might alone confers rights, 
which feebler force ever seeks each chance to invade, all 
stratagems being legitimate as a means to that end. With 
inchoate man such imperfect rule of action had become 
utterly impossible. The greater endowment in memory and 
reason entailed a too fatally added hate on non-compliance. 
For inchoate men the requisite law required such further 
exactness in definition as should leave no doubt of a meaning, 
not only to be understood, but to be accepted and obeyed 

For between this father and son there was yet no real 
peace, only a truce, and that enduring but so long as the 
latter respected those marital rights of the former which we 
found extending over all that was feminine in the horde. 
The intelligent acceptance by the intruding junior of the 
sole right of the senior to union with the females of a group, 
was its sijie qua non, which the dawn of intellectuality in the 
race as inevitably imposed as it happily permitted. Such a 
step in advance as a possible obedience, ex cmimo, to such a 


law would be immense, 'llierefrom would issue the vital 
point of a conception of moral reserves in marital rights as 
regards the other sex ; the germ of a profound and funda- 
mental difference between brute and man. For the first time 
in the history of the world we encounter the factor which is to 
be the leading power in future social metamorphosis, i.e. 
an explicit distinction between fimale and female, as such. The 
superlative fact, indeed, in relation to our general argument, 
appears — namely, that certain females are now to become sacred 
to certain males, and that both (wote bene) are members of the 
same family circle. 

But what shall be, in such an age, the notes of a law 
conveying this noble sentiment- of sanctity, which, disarming 
jealousy, could permit peace where before strife reigned ? 
How give the outer expression of the inner feeling, now 
aroused, of a change in the past intersexual attitude of 
certain group members ? Whence borrow the eloquence 
which shall ordain rules in restriction of intercourse whilst 
yet, for Homo Alalus, they must needs be mute in expres- 
sion.^ In the primal law alone, as I hope in its portrayal to 
show, can each condition be comprised and found as such. 
It will be marked and recognised by a physical trait whose 
presence is as significant and imperative as it is characteristic 
of the epoch. For a sentiment of restraint in feeling, whilst 
articulate speech was yet lacking, could only be expressed by 
restrictive checks in act and deed, requiring mere visual per- 
ception for interpretation — acts we may here note, which, as 
insulating the individual, would also inevitably tend to con- 

Nov/ we mentioned in our first chapter that, in connection 
with the primal law, certain cases of so-called avoidance, and 
especially that between near relatives, would have interest for 
us and probably afford aid in proof. We drew attention 
to the strange features marking these customs, which had 
rendered their origin a source of wondering conjecture to all 
inquirers. It may be that precisely the actual anomalism 
' How do we know that homo was still alalus 1 — A. L. 


of these characteristics may render them eloquent in our 
case. In view of our past argument, in very deed, nothing 
now becomes insignificant in these quaint rules of non-pro- 
pinquity between certain near relations ; nothing inexpressive 
in the ordinance of non-recognition between individuals well 
known to each other ; nothing not suggestive in the dread 
of mere contact between those whom nature would place 
closest together, no lack of import in the strange taciturnity 
so incongruous with our garrulous later days of unloosed 
tongues. There is a possible vestige of a past era of diunb 
show in their eloquent muteness ; of connection in their 
actual utter unreason with a long dead past of all unfamiliar 
habits and manners. Eui-ther, is verily aught lacking, in these 
latter-day customs of avoidance, of the necessarily archaic 
features of a possible primeval law ? If these in truth were 
still existent, would they not, with such traits in common, 
be simply classed with those ? Undoubtedly so, as it seems 
to me. 

Now in the course of oiu- argument it has appeared that 
the inclusion of the son as the second adult male in a 
group would evolve, as the most primitive rule of action, 
restriction of intercourse between its component females and 
the intruder. But in such a group, the former would neces- 
sarily be to the latter in the relation of mother and sisters. 
Such restriction, again, taking the only possible form, would 
be avoidance of these relations, and thus there is a concur- 
rence in resemblance with that particular habit of avoidance 
on which we enlarged in om- first pages, viz. that between 
brother and sister (and now less strictly), between mother and 
son. Do we not thus seem to lay a finger on an actual law, 
still an every-day working factor in savage life, which is not 
only identical with, but is in very deed the primal law itself, 
in form at least ? The acceptation of such intolerably irk- 
some restraints as avoidance, in the daily economy of savage 
life, has seemed forcibly to imply a fimdamental cause of 
profoimd depth. This cause now seems laid open to us. The 
unaccountable and seemingly imreasonable restrictions on 


intercoiirse which mark it thus betray their appropriate origin 
in a time of comparative unreason. 

This then, the primal law — avoidance between a brother 
and sister — with appalling conservatism has descended 
through the ages (in conservance of form, if not of tiltimate 
purpose). It ordained in the dawn of time a barrier between 
mother and son, and brother and sister, and that ordinance is 
still binding on all mankind [but in Egypt and Peru, for 
example, the opposite of this rule, for special reasons, has 
prevailed]. Between these for ever, a bit was placed in the 
mouth of desire, and chains on the feet of lust. Their 
mutual relationship is one that has been held sacred from a 
sexual point of view, in most later ages. It only remains for 
us to repeat that it follows that this law, as applied in 
the group composed of a single family, is, as we pointed 
out, the parent of exogamy ; continuance within the group 
necessarily and logically entailed marriage without; but, 
again as we said, it was itself the offspring of the early idea. 
For this idea, in its assumption that sovereignty in marital 
right was compatible with solitude alone, was shaken to its 
depths when a second presence threatened rivalry, and de- 
manded remedy in the action of law, which it has seemed to 
us could only take the form we have tried to portray ^ in 
the primal law. 


To the Editor this theory seems worthy of the ingenuity of 
his old friend and kinsman. Granting that early man was a 
speechless jealous brute, dwelling in groups consisting of a 
patriarchal beast, and all the females whom he could catch, and 
all the females whom he could beget ; granting that he drove 

' Later, as we further analyse the chords in the great hymn of human 
existence, we shall find that this first of all rules of intelligent moral action, 
however little it may have had of ethical intention in its inception, will 
ever remain (in its effects) the fundamental note in the harmony of 
psychical life. All succeeding law is its inevitable corollary, and vibrating 
in cadence with this fundamental note. 


all his adolescent sons out ; and finally (under the circumstances 
described) kept one or a few sons at home, his rule would tabu 
all females of the group to these sons. Otherwise there would 
be a fight. 

The sons would have to bring in mates from without — the 
result is Exogamy. But Mr. Atkinson does not observe the 
numerous tabus existing among savages, on ordinary (not sexual) 
intercourse between men and women ; as if each individual, of 
each sex, was or might be dangerous to each individual of the 
other sex ; that is no idea of our speechless brute ancestors, of 
Mr. Atkinson's hypothesis. These tabus do not amount to 
absolute avoidance, but they do amount to very marked restric- 
tions ; for example, on eating together, or sleeping under the 
same roof, even where husbands and wives are concerned. For 
the facts, to save repetition, it is enough to refer to Mr. Crawley's 
book. The Mystic Rose. Now if these less rigid tabus between 
the sexes (which Mr. Atkinson noted in his observations on the 
hfe of New Caledonian natives) arose in the general savage 
superstitious dread of everjrthing not a man's or woman's own 
self, they might become more rigid as propinquity increased. 
The most dangerous female would be the female who had most 
chance of being dangerous, by virtue of propinquity, namely the 
sister. She would therefore be the most strictly barred. The 
closest of all relations, that of lover and lover, and man and wife, 
would be most severely guarded, as most dangerous, by tabus. 
All this would happen (granting the verifiable condition of 
savage superstitious dread) even if Mr. Atkinson's theory of our 
speechless beast ancestors' way of life were wrong. 

We should probably find the effects (Avoidance and Exogamy) 
even if the primeval causes postulated by him never actually 
existed. Moreover any avoidance between mother and son that 
may exist (as in the case of the mothers of chiefs, in New Cale- 
donia, and their sons) is perhaps no more than part of the general 
rule of restricted familiarity between the sexes, whether that rule 
arises from a superstition, or from the circumstance that men 
and women sometimes ' disturb each other damnably,' as Lord 
Byron remarked to his wife. It might be argued that the 
exogamous prohibition is only one aspect of the general totem 
tabu ; and that, in the case of brothers and sisters, incest 
against the totem tabu needed to be guarded against (as most 
likely to occur) by precautions of avoidance peculiarly stringent. 
These precautions, then, would not necessarily come down from 


the time of our hypothetical speechless beast ancestors. They 
might come down from that time, but the descent, it may be 
objected, is not necessary. The rules might have arisen among 
men as human as we are — Totemists. On the other hand, it 
might be argued for Mr. Atkinson that his hypothetical groups 
must be infinitely older than Totemism. When totem names 
were imposed on the earlier groups, the totem name and mark 
would only be a method of distinguishing group from group, 
probably becoming the germ of later superstitions by which every- 
thing connected with the totem was tabued, in each case, to the 
groups bearing its name. Either alternative hypothesis is easily 
conceivable : on the whole, I prefer the theory that exogamy 
arose, or an exogamous tendency arose, as in Mr. Atkinson's 
hypothesis, and was later sanctioned by the totem superstition. 

As to brother and sister avoidance, if there is an ' instinct,' 
as Westermarck thinks, against marriage between near rela- 
tions, if ' close living together inspires an aversion to inter- 
marriage' (pp. 352, 545), then the avoidance of brother and 
sister would make them especially apt to fall in love together. 
But they don't. Brother and sister, under the tabu, are the 
greatest possible strangers to each other. They have not ' lived 
in long-continued intimate relationship from a period of life at 
which the action of desire is out of the question ' (Westermarck, 
p. 353). They have done precisely the reverse. So why they 
do not fall in love with each other is what we have still to 
explain. All the rigid systems of brother and sister avoidance 
exist, it would seem, to prevent what never would have occurred, 
had the young people been allowed to grow up together. For in 
that case they could have had (we are to fancy) no erotic desires 
towards each other ; that is Dr. Westermarck's idea. But could 
they not ? He tells us that, among the Annamese, ' no girl who 
is twelve years old and has a brother is a virgin ' (p. 292). 
And the Hottentots do not 'marry out of their own kraals' 
(p. 347). 

Then where are we, exactly .'' If there is ' a real powerful 
instinct ' against love between persons who ' have lived in a long- 
continued intimate relationship ' from childhood — why does the 
instinct fail to affect Annamese and Hottentots, for instance.'' 
And if to be absolute strangers to each other is apt to make two 
young people fall in love, why do New-Caledonian brothers and 
sisters never do it ? (Compare Mr. Crawley, The Mystic Rose, 
pp. 444-44)6.) 




Results in strengthening the groups which admit several adult males. — 
Disappearance of hostile baud of exiled young males. — Eelations of 
sire and female mates of young males now within the group. — Father- 
in-law and daughter-in-law avoidance. — Rights as between two genera- 
tions. — Elder brother and younger brother's wife avoidances.— Note on 
Hostile Capture. 

If we can admit the argument as to the sequence of incidents 
which thus led to the primary amicable conjunction of two 
males within the same group, it is not necessary to enter very 
minutely into the exact manner in which it would grow into 
a habit and spread throughout the land. We may surmise 
that, in spite of the advantages presented, its progress would, 
from the isolation of the groups, and their mutual hostility, 
be very slow. This wovdd specially be the case if, as with 
physical variations, this point of departure in social develop- 
ment was a purely individual one, and so had to spread from 
a single centre by natural selection acting through a beneficial 
variation. It is, in fact, difficult to conceive, in view of the 
series of the abnormal factors we have supposed necessary for 
the genesis of such evolution, that any coincident departure 
of the same nature would be likely to occur in any other 
centre. It is even certain that the full possible benefit of the 
innovation would not be able to make itself felt even in the 
original group of its creators. It is easy to understand that, 
in spite of the shield-like love of the mother, there would be 
friction between father and son in such unfamiliar circum- 
stances, not only novel to the individual, but unhabitual to 
the race. In fact, it may be taken for granted that on the 
part of. the father there was at first only a sulky tolerance of 


the new arrangement, a tacit but very unwilling acquiescence 
in the presence of the son. 

On the part of the son would exist a watchful reserve, 
with an ever-haunting sense of insecmity, bom of a novel 
and precarious situation. Even on such terms, however, 
and with what little might be of conciliation between the 
two, it is evident that a momentous forward step has been 
taken : the powers of the group in offence and defence, as 
against outsiders, would be enormously increased ; ^ the fire 
of youth and the wisdom of old age for the first time joined 
forces, and paternal experience comes to the aid of filial 
courage and ardour. On the death of the patriarch the 
family found a natural protector, and what potential germs 
of advance, material or spiritual, had been evolved, would 
remain intact. 

The real significance of the circumstance of such conjunc- 
tion will, however, be found to lie in the character of its 
consequences as entailing fiuiher progress. Thus we have 
suggested that the original innovation consisted in the 
toleration of the presence of a single male offspring. But 
the way was evidently thus paved for the acceptance, at 
least in later generations, of others of the young males, 
although at first only of those who, not too much rivalling 
the fathers in power, would offer least grounds for jealousy. 
Now if we may accept it as an axiom in the matter of social 
progress in this race, that everything depended on aggrega- 
tion of numbers in peaceful union, then such renewed inclusion 
presents itself in an important light. When it grew into a 
habit, the vast increase in power with every succeeding 
generation to a group, which is implied in the fact of each 
male child counting as an unit of strength, becomes evident. 
The new superiority to the original Cyclopean form of 
family, with its solitary male head, is enormous. The 
extinction of the latter type would only be a matter of time, 
it would finally result from the easy capture, by better 

' It is clear that, for this reason, natural selection would favour the 
new kind of group. The arrangement would be imitated. — A. L, 


organised rivals, of their females. With the gradual disap- 
pearance of those who clung to the old order, the leaven of 
progress would spread in permanence through the whole 
mass. It would eventually become the rule that all the male 
offspring should remain within a group, to form henceforth 
an integral part of it. 

This result would be very important from another point 
of view. Such retention of sons would lead to the elimina- 
tion of one of the greatest past elements of disorder — that 
band of exiled young males, which we found as a constantly 
menacing adjunct of the Cyclopean family, would cease to 
exist. But, again, a very slight reflection will enable us to 
perceive that such a modification as the presence of these 
celibate young males in the family circle must soon have 
entailed consequences in social evolution of a new and strange 
complexion, thoroughly embarrassing, in such an era, to those 
interested. Primitive social economy was now, in fact, to 
enter on phases presenting such possibilities of complication 
and disruption as must forcibly have led to the continued 
evolution of law in regulation. Such complications wiU 
become at once apparent on an examination of the probable 
sequence of events in the family life of the race. Such law 
in regulation wiU be shown to have been evolved, and, as 
before, to be still existent as a rule of action in these latter 
days, and with aU those weird characteristics of mutism and 
general anomalism which prove its archaic origin. 

Granted a group consisting of a patriarch whose marital 

rights extend over all its females, and of young males whose 

attitude,' from a sexual point of view, is marked by the strict 

reserve ordained by the primal law, it by no means follows 

that such celibacy of the young males would extend beyond 

the feminine element of their own troop. On the contrary, 

the whole of the outside world remains free for them to 

choose from. In fact, it is evident that it is there, in the 

world outside of the group, that their future mates must be 

found. On the component females of the parent horde a ban 

' With portentous endurance of custom towards these. 



has been for ever laid, but all else of womankind are free of 
the interdict ; they are beyond the law, and ' Sin is not im- 
puted where there is no law.' Here, then, in the outer 
world, would their wives be sought. The complication we have 
mentioned would arise when, after successful captures of females 
by the young males, captures which it is hardly necessary 
to state would have been ' hostile,' the introduction of their 
captives within the parental group took place. The presence 
of females not to be his own within a circle where all that 
was feminine had ever been his in undisputed right, would 
certainly stir to its depths the soul of the Cyclopean type of 
parent. Such a situation must in its inception have caused a 
friction full of menace to the new order of things. 

The only solution would be, as we have said, in the 
further evolution of law in remedy. We shall, as before, 
expect to find the law ordaining restrictions on intercourse 
between certain individuals, and marked with the archaic 
characteristic of mere visual action being sufficient for its 
interpretation. Such, then, as it was, we still find it, in the 
habit still common with many races of avoidance between 
father-in-law and daughter-in-law. In mute avoidance be- 
tween these two could peace alone endm-e in the new crisis. 
The new rule implied the development of the same respect by 
the father for the marital rights of the son, as we have seen 
the primal law to have had for effect as regards the paternal 
prerogatives. Natural selection would come into play in the 
consolidation of this new stage in legislative evolution. For 
the group which first adopted such a modus Vivendi would 
gain so great an advantage with each generation, in point of 
numbers alone, as would quickly give it supremacy. On the 
other hand, the forcible infringement by the father on the 
rights of possession by the sons in their captives, would 
simply result in the withdrawal of the sons and their women. 
Hence disruption of the group, and a fatal retrogression to 
the archaic type with all the weakness implied in a sole male 

Here then we find renewed, in act of custom, another bar 


to intercourse between certain individuals of different sexes. 
And not only as a peace-conferring covenant would the fresh 
step in progress be important. It marks another stride in 
advance from brute to man, in the further recognition of 
points of difference between one female and another from a 
sexual point of view, the genetic evolution of which sentiment, 
in the primal law, foreshadowed such latent potentiality as 
already distinctive of mankind alone. Social advance to this 
stage has entailed the genesis of law in definition of respective 
marital rights as between the two generations, viz. fathers and 
sons, but further evolution in regulation of the individual 
right, as within the generation itself, is evidently indicated. 
For all members of the latter, as is the case to-day with many 
lower people, would be considered, de facto, a class, in which 
all are regarded as brothers, own or tribal, whose interest in 
aU things regarding their classificatory rights would be in 

Such would be more especially the case in respect to 
female captives, whose capture would be the act of all. Here 
sexual jealousy, if uncontrolled, would inevitably lead to 
repetitions of that violent segregation of the members which 
occinred under the same circumstances amidst their primitive 
prototypes — i.e. that band of isolated young males, contem- 
poraries of and exiles from some Cyclopean family. We 
may, however, sm-mise that, now or soon, the general develop- 
ment of intelligence and advance in social feeling would 
permit the action of the necessary rule in remedy. That rule 
would doubtless take the form we still find existing to-day for 
regulation in parallel circumstances, a rule which simply 
accords priority of right in accordance with seniority in birth. 
Such right would in itself accrue naturally as with other 
animals, from the fact that superior strength is found with 
greater age. This prior possession is not incompatible with 
an amicable recognition of the privilege of later participation 

' Herr Cunow, as we showed, regards the ' classes ' (not the ' phratries ') 
of Australian tribes as based on a rough and ready calculation of non- 
intermarrying generations. — A.L. 


by others. If such recognition took place in favour of the 
rights of the juniors, whilst they again peacefully accepted 
the larger pretensions of the seniors within their class, then 
natural selection would again act in their favour by the 
elimination of groups unable to abide such conditions. The 
arrogation of sole possession could but lead to the disintegra- 
tion of the troop. '^ 

Another solution of the problem of rights as between 
brothers may here be noted : it is that which is common to 
such widely separated spots as New Caledonia and Orissa, viz. 
the law of avoidance between an elder brother and a younger 
brother's wife. It is one of the most strict and severe. It is, 
however, incompatible with group marriage, which we are now 
dealing with.^ It marks the genetic stage of monandry. 

So far, then, we have thus traced the evolutionary process 
of group formation — -and we seem to find confirmed that 
affirmation as to the primordial order of succession in the 
genetic growth of custom which I ventured to submit in my 
first pages, viz. primo : the existence of an early idea of con- 
cupiscent lust, distinctive of the male head of a group, which 
led to his pretensions in marital right over all its component 
females in necessary incestuous union ; secundo, the evolution 
of the primal law (with what little of originally ethical 
intention is now immaterial), in protection of such right 
when threatened by intruders ; tertio, its acceptance by the 
latter, and, as an inevitable sequel, their indispensable capture 
of outside females as sole possible mates.' 

But then this question of the absolute necessity of the 

' See also Westermarck, pp. 458, 459, on the Khyoungtha, a Chittagong 
hill tribe. After marriage a younger brother is allowed to touch the hand, 
to speak and laugh with his elder brother's wife, but it is thought improper 
for the elder brother even to look at the wife of his younger brother. This 
is a custom more or less among all hill tribes, it is found carried to even a 
preposterous extent among the Santals. 

^ As a fact the ' classes ' (probably distinctions, originally, of genera- 
tions) do not, I think, indicate ' group marriage.' — A. L. 

' Westermarck, let swpra, pp. 387-389, 546, agrees. For the opposite 
view, cf. Crawley, p. 367. Westermarck does not seem very sure of his 
own mind. — A. L. 


rape of strange females as mates by the young males of a 
group, opens up to view another remarkable coincidence of 
effect in custom, still enduring to oiu- day. As such it may 
furnish a clue to a feature in savage habits, to which we have 
already alluded as the cause of more discussion, concerning 
its origin, than any other. For habitual hostile capture of 
females outside a group by its male members, with a coinci- 
dental bar to sexual union with its component females, 
seems simply a definition of that habit among many actual 
peoples which has been called Exogamy by Mr. J. F. Mc- 
Lennan. Hence comes the evident corollary to the argument 
that the primal law and exogamy stand to each other in the 
mutual relation of cause and effect. We stated that if this 
was in reality the case, and if here we have the origin of 
marriage outside the group, then the novelty of the view, and 
the fact that it finds itself in opposition to other theories on 
the matter, weighty from the eminence of their propounders, 
would stiU require the production of a clear series of proofs 
in its favour if it was to be accepted. Such proofs, however, 
we predicted, would with research be found abundantly. We 
hope that already in our thesis, as far as it has gone, we may 
be considered to have advanced some such testimony in the 
seemingly necessary identity of custom, in form at least, in a 
hypothetic ancient and an actual modern era. There is 
surely here more than mere fortuitous coincidence in social 

It seems, indeed, a legitimate inference that the divers 
habits of avoidance which we have cited, intelligible only by 
their congruency with such phases of genetic growth of custom 
as we have surmised, whilst presenting featm-es utterly 
anomalous as latter-day creations, are in reality of the archaic 
origin we would assign to them. Their extraordinary vitality, 
which becomes almost bewildering to contemplate, may be 
explained by the fact that, as the first steps in progress, they 
would be necessarily woven into the whole social fabric. 

It remains to be seen if, in further unravelling its tangled 
web, other threads of actual custom may not be found as 


apparently eloquent of a far distant, unfamiliar past, in their 
present abnormal features ; other usages in every-day lower 
(savage) life, which in the light of a primal law shall furnish 
an unexpected solution of many perplexing problems in social 
evolution. If it can be shown that their inception would 
have been in happy accordance with the resolution of neces- 
sary incidents in evolutionary progress, may we not legiti- 
mately infer both that such customs thus had their origin, and 
again that these incidents really occurred ? Our further re- 
search into the development of social institutions will point 
out indisputably, that primitive society was now on the eve 
of a succession of events in social order, presenting quite a 
series of menacing complications— their resolution will seem- 
ingly entail inevitably the continuous evolution of law in 
remedy, which law would have presented features identical 
with the actual laws of avoidance and others. 


Marriage hy Hostile Capture 

Mr. Atkinson accepts, for the excessively early stage of semi- 
human society with which his hypothesis deals, the necessity of 
procuring mates for the young bucks by capture from a hostile 
group. Now Dr. Westermarck writes, ' Mr. McLennan thinks 
that marriage by capture arose from the rule of exogamy ; ' and 
Mr. Atkinson holds that it arose from the necessity of the case. 
The old patriarch allowed no female bom within his group to be 
united to his sons. Dr. Westermarck says, ' It seems to me 
extremely probable that the practice of capturing women for 
wives is due chiefly to the aversion to close intermarrying . . . 
together with the difficulty a savage man has in procuring a wife 
in a friendly manner, without giving compensation for the loss 
he inflicts on her father ' (Westermarck, 368-369). He admits 
a period when ' the idea of barter had hardly occurred to man's 
mind.' But Mr. Atkinson is thinking of a state of afiairs in 
which the idea of barter had not occurred at all. Even at Dr. 
Westermarck's stage of the dawn of barter, ' marriage by capture 


must have been very common.' But Mr. Crawley argues that 
because, in his opinion, ' types of formal and connubial capture ' 
are not survivals from actual capture, therefore ' the theory that 
mankind . . . ever, in normal circumstances, were accustomed 
to obtain their wives by capture from other tribes, may be 
regarded as exploded ' (Mystic Rose, p. 367). This dictum does 
not aflTect Mr. Atkinson's theory. Semi-human beings, in the 
conditions imagined by him, might be obliged to get their wives 
by capture, whether existing types of so-called formal capture 
are survivals of actual hostile capture or not. If Mr. Atkinson 
accepts the formal abductions as survivals of real captures and 
so as proofs of his argument, and if such formal abductions are not 
survivals of real capture — still, as Dr. Westermarck says, even 
after the supposed stage of semi-human life, 'marriages by 
capture must have been very common ' — in Mr. Atkinson's 
hypothetical still earlier stage, they must have been universal. 




Resemblance of semi-brutal group, at this stage, to actual savage tribe. — 
Resemblance merely superficial. — In this hypothetical semi-brutal 
group paternal incest survives. — Causes of its decline and extinction. 
— The Sire's widows in the group. — Arrival of outside suitors for them. 
— Brothers of wives of the group. — New comers barred from marital 
rights over their daughters. — Jealousy of their wives intervenes. — Value 
of sisters to be bartered for sisters of another group discovered. — Con- 
sequent resistance to incest of group sire. — Natural selection favours 
groups where resistance is successful. — Cousinage recognised in 
practice. — Intermarrying sets of cousins become phratries. — Exceptional 
cases of permitted incest in chiefs and kings.— No known trace of 
avoidance between father and daughter. — Progress had rendered such 
law superfluous. 

A suPEEFiciAL view of the group we have examined might, 
from its general resemblance in custom to others among 
actual lower types of man, lead to a hasty conception of 
perfect identity, from a social point of view, in nearly all 
other respects. We see that exogamy, hostile capture, group 
marriage,^ and obedience to certain accepted rules of avoid- 
ance, are common to both, to the hypothetical semi-bestial 
and to the actual savage groups. 

The impression, however, would be very erroneous. 

In the former, the hypothetical archaic stage, still liu'ked 
as a festering canker, an archaic element in marital prero- 
gative, which marks it as of an epoch in the life-history of our 
race when the brute still triumphed over the man, an epoch 
far removed from oiu: own. It possessed a feature in con- 
nubial relations as between certain group members which 
placed a profound gulf between it and any existing form of 

' As to group marriage the editor cannot follow Mr. Atkinson. 


these days — a trait which, whilst it endured, would tend to 
render all further social progress difficult, if not impossible. 
It barred the road to that next great gradation in sociological 
evolution which is implied in the friendly conjunction of 
groups in a tribe. The latter stage was a vast upward step, 
but still it was only one round in the ladder of ascent to 
man, and indeed derived its chief importance from this fact 
as such. The tribe was the real goal ; there, only, could be 
found the vital quality of social stability to be conferred by 
peaceful connubium between united groups as opposed to 
hostile capture between isolated families. Each group must 
come to be in itself coniplete, and yet each must form the 
necessary complementary parts of the actual Tribe common to 
all lower races, with its typical divisional inter-marriageable 
group classes [' phratries ']. The fatal bar to a higher plat- 
form was a heritage from the anthropoid ancestor, and, as 
such, eminently characteristic of an animal stage. 

This odious inheritance was the habit of incest between 
father and daughter, which we have found to be common to 
all the mammalia as a dominant domestic feature. As a 
factor in evolution we have seen that it actually had as 
direct outcome the primal law itself, and thus, with a strange 
irony, it may be said to have so laid the foundation of an 
ultimate moral sense. In such or other action in the past it 
had, however, served its useftil purpose. Its operation in 
the future could be but detrimental ; so opposed to all advance 
does it become, that, as we shall find, it is to be finally swept 
aside so completely as to permit to some students doubts of 
its existence, though ' In Saturn's time such mixture weis not 
held a crime.'' Leaving no traces of action in actual usage 
save in such exceptions as prove the rule, it will not be 
difficult to show that, in giving birth to the primal law, it 
doomed its own existence, and this apart from any ethical 
connection. The continued progress of society led almost 
mechanically to developments eminently inimical to its con- 
tinuance as a custom, whilst again it would be found even 
injurious to the order of things as constituted in the earliest 


group-plits-tiihe stage. If we bear in mind the axiom that, 
other things being equal, the largest assemblage of indivi- 
duals in amity would have the greatest chance of survival, as 
possessing more numerous units of strength, then father-and- 
daughter marriage would be pernicious by preventing an 
assembly from profiting to a full extent by the productive 
powers of all its members. For such incest implies sole 
marital rights by a senior generation of males over a jimior 
generation of females. As the latter would always, from 
mere disparity of age, outlive the former, it follows that, on 
the death of a father the daughters would remain unproduc- 
tive, the only other males in the family group being their 
own brothers, and as such ban-ed to them by the primal 

This situation, in itself an element of weakness, became 
doubly so, if, as is probable, these young widowed females 
seceded to other and hostile groups with whom union to them 
was free. Such groups would in consequence be by so much 
strengthened, at the expense of their original circle. If, on 
the other hand, these widows remained in their own circle, 
their presence as useless mouths would be embarrassing, and 
a possible soin:ce of danger as a temptation to outside suitors. 
Again, celibacy being quite an anomaly in such an era, com- 
plications might arise from possible infractions of the primal 
law itself within a group. 

But it is in special relation to the furbher movement in 
advance implied in the friendly aggregation of groups into a 
tribe that the effects of paternal incest would be most fatally 
felt. For while it reigned as a custom and a father usmped 
sole marital right over the whole feminine element, the immi- 
gration into the group of outside suitors for their hands would 
be impossible, their possession by the latter would be only 
possible after capture, which, being hostile, would tend to 
keep asunder the different groups. And yet in the next and 
higher stage of social evolution, as presented in the amalga- 
mation of groups into a tribe, the acceptation of these 
outside mates in peaceful connubium is precisely the most 


characteristic feature. In later days they will Ibe found as 
the male members of a certain ' class ' in one ' phratry,' and, 
de Jhcto, eligible in group marriage with all and certain 
females of the corresponding category as regards birth in 
another phratry, within an aU-embracing tribe. As indeed 
with actual Australians, where, by right of birth alone each 
' class ' contains the natural born husbands of the wives of 
another 'class.' Such connubium is evidently impossible 
while incest flourished as a custom, it could only arise after 
its decay.' 

It thus becomes necessary to study by what possible con- 
junction of affairs so desirable a result was arrived at. We 
will find that, however fortuitous the event of the primary 
inclusion of an outside possible suitor within a group, how- 
ever timid and hesitating his entry, his presence there would 
be the signal of the beginning of the end. Now it is evidently 
hopeless to look for any voluntary acceptance of his claims 
by the living father, to whom the temptation to so easy a 
procuring of an inmate of his harem as his own daughter 
would be irresistible. There would be also on his side all 
habit and tradition, and with no direct group interest in 
opposition, the brothers being unconcerned. The initiative 
in change must then arise irrespective of him, and without 
the obstacle of his presence. This could only be possible 
thus after his death. 

' I have here slightly altered Mr, Atkinson's terminology. As the 
passage stands in his manuscript he confuses totem kins with the Aus- 
tralian intermarrying ' classes.' In his manuscript the passage runs thus : 
'In later days they' (the outside mates) 'will be found as the male 
members of a certain class generation in one group ' (by which he means a 
' class,' say Ippai, in a ' phratry,' say Dilbi) ' and, de facto, eligible in group 
marriage with all and certain females of the same category as regards birth 
in another group.' Here he obviously should have written ' eligible in 
marriage with all females of the oorrespondinff category in the other 
" phratry " of an all-embracing tribe.' ' As indeed with actual Australians 
where, by right of birth alone, each totem group contains the natural bom 
husbands and wives of another totem group.' This is not the case : men 
of one totem kin are not compelled to take virives from one other totem kin ; 
but men of one ' class ' must take wives of one other ' class,' and men of one 
' phratry' must take vrives out of the other ' phratry.' To avoid confusion 
I have, in the text, inserted the correct terminology.— A. L. 


Now it is important to observe that precisely the embar- 
rassment we have seen arise after this event must be a means 
to the end of the conjunction we seek. We have rioted the 
danger of the situation under such circumstances ; ineligible 
in union by the primal law with the remaining male element, 
which is composed of their own brothers, temptations to its 
infraction would be as frequent as fatal, on the part of the 
early widowed sisters. On the other hand, the anomaly of a 
celibate existence in the animal stage would tend to the 
secession of widows, so to speak, to hostile hordes, or to 
constant attempts at hostile capture by the outside suitor. 
But with the fiiendly entry of the latter and his acceptance 
as a group member, all these disturbing influences would at 
once cease ; further, the value of an extra imit of strength 
in his presence would soon make itself felt. 

Let us then imagine a band of brothers willing to aid in 
the sustenance of their widowed sisters, strong enough to defy 
their capture by others, and determined to fiiistrate any 
attempt at escape on their part. The inevitable result would 
be the attraction within their own circle of suitors for their 
hands. Now it is worthy of note that the feasibility of the 
process of such attraction and inclusion becomes more obvious 
when we reflect that if, as is probable, they belonged to a 
neighbouring group, they would thus by no means find them- 
selves quite strangers in their new home. For it is precisely 
from near neighbours that their wives would have been captured 
by the males of the assembly they have now joined. These 
wives, in fact, would be probably own sisters to the immi- 
grants. As such, then, we can understand an easier tolerance 
of their presence by the resident males, their new brothers-in- 
law ; as brothers and sisters the primal law created such a 
bar in division between their own wives and the new comers, 
as put aside any possible chance of friction in jealousy. 

Now the significance of the entry of outside males would 
be vast, from many points of view. In a general sense we 
here find that further aggregation of numbers in imison 
which we considered important, as prophetic of the present 


social condition of to-day. Again, there arises a renewed 
distinction of that difference as between one female and 
another, so peculiar to mankind. For here we see that for 
the first time a sister no longer ranks in exactly the same 
line, from a marital point of view, as a mother. A daughter, 
in fact, may now evidently have as mate other than the 
husband-father. As the primitive mind habituated itself to 
this idea, the first serious blow was dealt at the old parental 
prerogative. Again, in other ways, in other minds than own 
brother and sister, will this change in the old order of things 
be thus brought home — to no one more clearly than to the 
outside suitor himself, when, later, he becomes a father ; the 
trains of circumstances leading to it are very cm-ious, but 
would arise in a perfectly natural manner. The result in 
this connection would make itself felt by him in the next 
generation, with the advent to the adult stage of his own 
female offspring. 

Is it credible, indeed, that the original male members of a 
group who had solely accepted his entry as mate for those 
ineligible females, their sisters, would consent to his fiirther 
participation in marital right with other female group 
members ? Evidently not : for thus the sexual prerogatives 
of the strangers would be much greater than their own — for 
the resident males are barred by the primal law from the 
wives of the new comers, who yet, as resident females, form 
probably much the most numerous section of the feminine 
element in the horde. If the new comers further inherited 
the ordinary right of intercourse with their own daughters, 
who would be correspondingly numerous, then the extent of 
their rights would entirely outbalance that of their bxothers- 
in-law. As original residents the latter would, however, be 
the law-makers, and we can have no doubt as to what form 
in such a case law would take.^ Thus is struck a blow again, 

' All the younger generation of females would be reserved for them- 
selves, and thus not only their own daughters, but the daughters of their 
brothers-in-law, who, as of the same generation, were all classed together 
as sisters. 


however indirect, to incest as a custom, a blow whose power 
would be the more effective, insomuch as here it is the living 
father himself, in the outside suitor, who would be in cause. 
But even admitting that it is possible to conceive a com- 
placency in regard to such participation in sexual rights on 
the part of the brother, there would still be another much 
more formidable obstacle to incestuous license as regards his 
daughter confronting the male intruder in the person of the 
precedent sister, now his wife. 

A psychological factor of enormous power was now for 
the first time in the history of the world to make itself felt. 
It would be the play of the natural feeling of sexual jealousy 
on the part of his resident female mate. The jealousy of a 
woman, in fact, is at length able to make its strength appear, 
to some purpose. As a wife who had not been captured, 
who, in fact, as an actual member of the group itself, was, so 
to speak, the capturer, her position in regard to her depend- 
ent husband would be profoundly modified in comparison 
with that of the ordinary captive female. Whereas such a 
captive, seized by the usual process of hostile capture, had 
been a mere chattel utterly without power ; she, as a free 
agent in her own home, with her will backed by that of her 
brothers, could impose law on her subject spouse, and such 
law dictated by jealousy would undoubtedly ordain a bar to 
intercourse between him and her more youthful, and hence 
more attractive, daughter. 

By these then, and other incidents, each of vast value, we 
may perceive how the primitive mind became gradually pre- 
pared for a change so imperatively necessary for all future 
progress, and how a habit even so deeply ingrafted as incest 
may primarily have been forced to slacken its hold. It is 
even possible to imagine how from such a point of departiu-e, 
the custom might at once have entirely ceased among all, or 
at least a portion of, mankind. If we could conceive at this 
stage a secession from their original group of its resident 
component fema,les, accompanied by their outside mates, 
with a continuance of the acceptance of the subordinate 


sti-ange suitors in futui-e generations of the new colony, then 
we could admit the probability of rapid evolution in approach 
to a well-known actual group formation. The persistent im- 
portation of the always dependent outsider would accentuate 
the movement already begun against incest — with two such 
associations in unison, cousinship would be recognised, and 
peaceful connuiium in ' cross-cousin ' marriage between groups 
would become a habit, and female descent the rule.^ But at 
such a stage in social evolution, it is impossible to accept the 
dominance of the unsupported female or ' feme sole.' Gynce- 
cocracy, if it has indeed ever existed, is evidently as yet 
incredible. Not thus was dealt the final fatal blow at this 
last great trait of archaism. We must rather seek it in the 
familiar economy of the tjrpe of group we have left, which is 
characterised, as with other animals, by the predominance of 
the male. 

In oiu- study of the various incidents in primitive social 
economy which would have had effect in a sense inimical to 
the custom of incest, we have only considered the matter 
from the point of view of the entry of the outside suitor after 
the death of the paternal tyrant. The incestuous rights of 
the living group-fathers are thereby in no way directly 
affected. In the absence of any direct personal interest in 
the matter on the part of the group-sons, the only other 
male components and law-makers might indeed continue to 
remain unopposed indefinitely. Thus a resolution of the 
problem of decay of incest would seem as far off as ever. 
HappUy this is not in reality the case — the real significance 
of the entry of the outsider, even on such terms as we have 
examined, lay in the co-ordination of movement of these 
resultant primary checks, and the inevitable synchronous 
evolution of the most characteristic feature of the next and 
higher type of group, as in itself a mere component of a tribe. 
The outsider's admission, in fact, really contained the germ 
of progress in group formation which was to entail the total 
required decay [of incest]. 

' These groups would be phratries, or the germs of phratries. — A. L. 


Up to the present, although the entire male element in a 
group was divided into two classes, by generations whose 
interests had little in common, between them no antagonism 
had arisen which could not be appeased by the evolution of 
such a law in remedy as we have noted. The case would 
now be altered ; an irreconcilable breach was about to divide 
them. It will be seen that the advent of the outsider had 
been a real portent. Where, for instance, and mider the 
circvmistances we have portrayed, he had become a more 
accustomed figure as an immigrant, he would form a valuable 
connecting link between groups. Each would certainly possess 
some females seized from the other by more or less forcible 
capture, but each now possessed a certain proportion of these 
males, brothers of those females, whose intrusion had been 
peaceably accepted. With less strained relations and greater 
intercourse, capture would become a little more rare, and a 
friendly interchange of women more common. There would 
be then discovered by the brother a hitherto undreamt-of 
virtue in the young female, his sister ; in fact, her value as a 
negotiable article would appear. 

As brothers and sisters, and thus barred in union by 
the primal law, their relative interest in each other had 
been of the feeblest in the past. The ultimate destiny 
of the sister might be a matter of the most perfect in- 
difference to the brother. With the new order of things 
she had suddenly become more precious. As an object of 
barter for the sister of another man, she would show her- 
self to be invaluable. In view of the difficulty and danger 
attending hostile capture, the temptation to such easy pro- 
curation of mates as sister-barter offered would be irresistible. 
Coming at first into practice when only the death of the 
father had left his widowed daughter free, its advantages to 
the sons would impose a gradual encroachment on the rights 
of possession by the living parent. In prejudice to incest 
were now opposed the two most powerful passions in human 
nature, sexual desire, and a love of material gain, and the 
successful barter of a sister for another man's sister satisfied 


both. For attempts at capture might be vmsuccessful, and 
purchase might be more or less unsatisfactory. And these 
passions would be aroused in bosoms able to make their 
power felt. The sons, as also resident males, would be among 
the law-makers. However powerful the father in past 
authority and tradition, in the end the force of numbers would 
tell. However numerous the group of fathers, they would 
always be outnumbered by the group of brother sons, and 
victory would thus ultimately incline to these. ^ However 
long and doubtful the struggle, as the latter possessed the 
longer lease of life, the quantum of the exchange value of a 
sister would always finally be made to show itself, and the 
determination to profit thereby would be more strongly 
impressed on each generation. 

Natural selection would again certainly come into play in 
favour of such groups, thus curtailing the monstrous preroga- 
tives of the old-world fathers, by dint of numbers alone. 
The superiority which would ensue with each generation, 
would speedily ensm-e the triumph of that assembly which 
could definitely accept the presence of the outside suitor. 
He would come as a m^tiple unit of strength, a willing ally 
who would otherwise have been an active enemy — the 
generator of the prodtlctive power to females who would 
either have remained as sterile residents, or seceded to 
hostile hordes as breeders of new foes. 

Thus, then, we may at length perceive how a custom even 
so deeply ingrained in nascent man as paternal incest, may 
finally have become extinct as a custom. In the action of 
such circumstances we can accept the idea of its ultimate 
decay and death. By the numerical preponderance of the 
individuals within a group interested in its disappearance, 
was alone such a result feasible. This necessary condition 
we here find fulfilled. 

In opposition to the father we now see arrayed not only 

' The breach between father and sons could only be healed by the 
submission of the fathers. Then prerogative in incest would gradually 
decay, for strange to say no vestige of law in avoidance can be traced. 



the wife-mother jealous of her mate, not only the daughter 
inclined instinctively to youth and the unknown, but, most 
important of all, the son, now egged on by most powerful 
personal feelings and interests. And for these latter ones, 
as we have seen, time itself would fight ; to youth each hour 
and day is a gain in strength, to old age each moment means 
a loss of power. With the decay of the custom we see that 
the way lies clear to progress in group formation. Sooner or 
later the presence of the offspring of the outside suitors in 
the formerly purely consanguine circle will be recognised, 
their recognition as cousins to the younger resident members 
Avill be made, and the old type of horde by a process of 
cleavage divides itself into two intermarriageable clans 
(phratries ?), and the savage tribe is created.^ 

' It will be observed that Mr. Atkinson, when he writes of ' the cleavage 
of the old type of horde into two intermarriageable clans, creating the 
tribe,' differs from the opinions already expressed by his editor. By 
' clans ' Mr. Atkinson here means ' phratries,' and we have shown that 
phratries, even now, often bear totemic names, and probably were, in 
origin, local totem groups ; each containing members (by female descent) 
of several other totem groups. Mr. Atkinson, as far as his MS. goes, 
appears to have given no attention to the origin and evolution of totem 
names, totem groups, and totem kins. Thus he writes, ' the presence of the 
offspring of the outside suitor in the formerly purely consanguine circle 
will be recognised.' But if the heterogeneity in the circle was only 
recognised as marked by female descent, and by the totem name of the 
female mate from without, Tnale parentage of ' the children of the outside 
suitor ' would not come into the purview of customary laws, would not 
cause the ' cleavage into two intermarriageable clans,' or ' phratries.' There 
was no such ' cleavage,' as we have argued, and the permission of cross- 
cousin marriage is due (I suspect), not to such early legal recognition of 
male descent, but simply to the natural working of the totemic exogamy, 
plui female descent. 

Mr. Atkinson's theory of ' cleavage,' it will be remarked, does not 
involve the idea that the members of an 'undivided commune,' being 
pricked in conscience, bisected it for reformatory purposes. He merely 
suggests that his clients found, in their group, persons marriageable ac- 
cording to their existing rules of the game, and married them. But these 
persons are, according to him, recognised as the offspring of 'outside 
suitors ' male, and are also recognised as cousins, on the female side, though 
even now no name for cousins exists in Australian society. This involves 
counting both on the male and female sides, which, in practice, may have 
occurred, But the theory of Mr. Atkinson avoids all the problems of the 
different totemic names given both to the born members of his original 


Thus did the custom of paternal incest disappear, and so 

completely as not to leave a trace of its passage in recognised 

usage among actual peoples. But as an unauthorised habit 

it long existed, nay, it still lurks, and as such it is probably 

much more common among the lowest classes of even most 

civilised peoples than is generally imagined. The continual 

domiciliary propinquity of such close relatives makes the 

crime easy ^ and detection difScult. Amidst the savage 

races, although rare, it is by no means unknown. It is not 

a crime by the laws of totem kinship with female descent, 

the daughter in such a case being always of the same totem 

as her mother, and thus theoretically eligible. The only bar 

is the classificatory system which, based on sequence in birth, 

forbids aU connection between those of different generations. 

Thus this form of incest, when it does occur, in no way 

creates the utter horror which we find universal at any union 

between brother and sister. An old native chief whom I 

questioned on the matter certainly spat with disgust at the 

idea, but again, to my own knowledge, a case occurred where 

a girl bore a child to her own father, and when the fact was 

mentioned among the people, it only caused coarse laughter. 

It is true that in this case the culprit was a great chief — it 

is possible that there would have been more adverse comment 

if he had been a commoner. It is certain that the betrayal 

group, and to other members thereof, consisting of the offspring of the 
outside suitors. If totemic group names already existed, these suitors 
must have been of many totem group names. Whence, then, came the two 
different and distinct totemic group names of the two sets of cross-cousins 
— now phratries on Mr. Atkinson's theory t 

Give his original group a name, say Emu. With Totemism it will con- 
tain captive wives of various groups, say Bat, Cat, Rat. It will also 
contain outside suitors, probably of the same names. These men are 
allowed to marry women of the group, and, by Mr. Atkinson's theory, the 
offspring of these unions, or 'cross-cousins,' are allowed to marry the 
children of their aunts within the group. There are thus, within the 
group, two intermarrying ' sides of the house,' veve, as in Melanesia. But 
why or how do these sides of the house, practically phratries, now receive 
totemic names, say Tungaru and Wutaru, or Wolf and Raven t Perhaps 
Mr. Atkinson would have replied, ' by a mere extension of the habit of 
adopting totemic names,' which, of course, involves the pre-existence of 
that habit. — A. L. 

' But not tempting, according to Dr. Westermarck I — A. L. 


of the vested interests of the future husband (for in New 
Caledonia all children are betrothed at a very early age) 
would have been more resented in the latter case. But 
license in sexual intercourse within forbidden relationships 
seems everywhere the privilege of irresponsible rank, if we 
may judge by the Kalmuck proverb, ' Great folk and the 
beasts marry where they please.' 

However, its occurrence in such cases may be traced to 
sources which show that here the exception proves the rule. 
Indeed, the fact of its occurring almost solely among the 
higher classes [as among the Incas], points clearly to a probable 
connection with an idea of pride of race, or a question of in- 
heritance. Now we may note that with descent in the female 
line the right of direct succession to the paternal name, or 
place of power, or property, is not in the gift of a father. 
The only legal conveyers of the blood right within him are 
females in whose veins is to be found that same blood, i.e. his 
mother and sisters. However regal a personage his child 
by a foreign woman, it is cut off from that heritage, nor 
in connection with this offspring can pride of race find a 
place. Thus, then, we may understand how vmion, although 
illegal, with a sister was so frequent in, and even enjoined on, 
the royal race amidst certain peoples. The purity of the 
royal blood thus alone remained intact, and from a king was 
bom a king. For it is a remarkable fact which must be 
more than a coincidence that amongst these very peoples, 
such as the ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Peruvians, 
whose rulers were addicted to the habit, female descent was 
the custom [?]. At least I am not personally acquainted with 
any exception to the rule. In consonance with this descent 
through females only and where any approach has been made 
to gynsecocracy, we shall expect to find that there would be 
only one legal wife. Such was indeed the case also in Ancient 
Egypt, there is no instance of two consorts given in any of 
the inscriptions. This fact, taken in connection with that 
which conduced to incestuous union under this form of 
descent, invites us to make a digression in a curious reflection, 
not however entirely foreign to our general theme. For the 


same eiFect as regards inheritance on the offspring which 
would be produced by union with a sister, would also occur 
in marriage with a daughter whose parents had been them- 
selves brother and sister. Thus we may guess the lineage of 
the unknown mother of the great royal wife Nefer-ari, 
daughter and consort of the Pharaoh of the oppressive 
Rameses the Great. This daughter had, in fact, been pro- 
bably chosen among others for wife precisely because her 
mother had herself been both his sister and his wife.^ 

We may now renew our affirmation that paternal incest 
as a custom, is no longer generally recognised anywhere. 
The primitive unquestioned marital right in incest is quite 
unknown. It has disappeared, and so completely have even 
traces of its past general occurrence faded, that doubts of the 
reality of the fact may be pardonably entertained. The 
question is of importance in connection with our thesis, for 
as may be seen the whole theory of the primal law is based 
on the idea of its primitive imiversal prevalence. We hope, 
however, to have shown the inherent possibility of the fact as 
being a habit common to all the mammalia — and it has 
seemed against reason to suppose that man's ancestor, whilst 
in the animal stage, would be an exception to so general a 
rule. Our ftirther argument has adduced circumstances in 
favour of a final decay so complete that oblivion could not 
but follow. 

Perhaps not the least remarkable fact to the anthropologist 
in connection with its life and death, is that only as between 
a father and a daughter, of aU blood relationships, do we 
find no trace among actual peoples of any law in Avoidance. 
The fact is significant, as we may thus surmise that the 
process of decay was very long delayed, in fact to a time 
when such inchoate form of law as Avoidance had become an 
archaism, or until general progress had rendered any law un- 

' It will be interesting to see if research will bring to light the fact 
that even with so irresponsible and imperious a dynasty as the Ramesids 
some form of lustration was not considered necessary in the event of such 
unions. This is the case with the people of Madagascar under similar 




Survivals in custom testify to a long period of transition from group to 
tribe. — Stealthy meetings of husband and wife. — Examples. — Evidence 
to a past of jealousy of incestuous group sire. — Evidence from Tekno- 
nymy. — Husband named as father of his child. — Formal capture as a 
symbol of legal marriage. — Avoidance between father-in-law and son- 
in-law. — Arose in stage of transition. — Causes of mother-in-law and 
son-in-law avoidance. — Influence of jealousy. — Examples. — Mr. Tyler's 
statistics. — Resentment of capture not primal cause of this avoidance. 
^Note on avoidance. 

With a custom so deeply ingrained as incest would be in the 
nature of man's ancestor, still doubtless vastly animal, we 
may indeed surmise that the process of its decay was long 
and tedious. The temptation, as we have said, to such easy 
procuration of a mate in comparison with the danger and 
comparatively scanty results of capture, was very great, whilst 
the continual propinquity of father and daughter would tend 
to constant recrudescence, especially in default of any trace 
of law against it. There must, then, evidently have been a 
transition era of vast durance, between the type of the 
isolated consanguine group whose only resoiu-ce in matrimony 
was exogamic hostile capture, as the outcome of the incestuous 
lust of its solitary male head, and the all-embracing tribe 
composed of an aggregation of several groups, and possessing 
thus ipso facto all the necessary elements of an endogamic 
connubium quite incompatible with such incest. In such a 
tribe, a group of women in many cases formed the pivotal 
centre, and capture was often found only as a form in survival. 
Is it possible to retrace the main features of an epoch of such 
evident importance in social evolution ? In view of the fact 


that, in the past course of our argument, such law as would 
seemingly have been necessarily evolved in regulation of each 
step in primitive progress has been found identical in form 
with some actual savage custom, may not a deeper investiga- 
tion of savage custom disclose further co-ordination, and 
prove equally fertile in interpretation of the past ? Whilst, 
again, many obscure observances in actual lower life, in con- 
sonance with such archaic genesis, may take a rational form, 
though the origin seems apparently lost for ever. 

Such research ■«dll, I think, clearly show that many social 
features in modern savage habit afford internal evidence that, 
as a fact, they could only have arisen in such a transition era. 
They also bear marks of a very lengthened evolutionary 
process, and thus confirm the natural idea of a halt of 
portentous length at the threshold of the present haven 
of comparative social rest. We shall doubtless find that 
the door left ajar by the entrance of the outside suitor 
was not to yield further with ease to the pressure of 
new needs, half-hearted as men would be, from the conserva- 
tive force of old ideas, of incest and entire masculine domi- 

There is, for instance, one curious trait in actual savage 
custom which evidently dates from a very early stage of 
this epoch. It is that of the strange forms of 'stealthy' 
intercourse, being the indispensable preliminary symbols of 
the legality of an after marriage between the resident female 
of a group and an outside male. These forms are well 
known to anthropologists as occmrring among many lower 
peoples. Here we find that the visits of the male suitor are 
supposed to be distinctly clandestine, taking place only by 
night, although in reality the fact is perfectly in the cogni- 
sance of the whole group. Now such fugitive and secret 
meetings are exactly what would have taken place when a 
group had arrived at a stage in which, although filial incest 
was decaying as a custom, there were still recognised certain 
marital rights over his daughter by the living father ; when, 
in fact, tolerance of the presence of the outsider was yet in a 


tentative stage — and he was still regarded with suspicion, if 
not disfavour.' 

In consonance with the view we have advanced of the 
circumstances attending the entry of an immigrant suitor, it 
has seemed to ensue that his position would have been quite 
dependent, and himself considered as a foreign element. 
That such was actually the case seems again proved by 
another trait in modem custom, whose genesis, however, was 
of very much later date, and when speech had made some 
progress. In our own day clandestine intercourse, as above 
described, may continue to pregnancy. On the birth of the 
child alone does the father become recognised as part of the 
group. But even so his nomenclatory power ^.s regards his 
offspring is absolutely nil. Far from giving a name to the 
child, his own is taken from his offspring. Till now, in fact, 
he has been nameless ; in future he wiU be known as the father 
of so-and-so, of Telemachus, in the case of Odysseus. To 
this point we will, however, have to return when we arrive at 
the question of the evolution of personal descent from that of 
descent recognised by locality, which we consider to have been 
the most primitive form. [Mr. Atkinson probably means 
descent from a local group, say Crow, not descent denoted 
by a place name, as ' de Rutherford.'] 

There is another trait in actual custom which also could 
only have acquired its most remarkable features in this era of 
change, and that is hostile capture itself, in its legacy of those 
' forms ' of captvure which we find connected with more peace- 
ful connubium all over the world. Such ' forms ' have rightly 
been considered as mere survivals, and thus in agreement with 
our own theory capture is generally accepted as the earliest 
form of outside marriage.^ But in some minds the brutality 
necessarily attending real captiure, and its occurrence solely 

' Well-known instances of this marital shyness are the Spartan and Red 
Indian usage of only entering the wife's bower, or wigwam, under cover of 
darkness. There are also Fijian and New Caledonian cases (Crawley, 
pp. 39-40). Mr. Crawley would regard these as cases of ' sexual tabu,' 
but various other cases may be readily conjectured. — A. L. 

^ See Note at the end of chap. V. 


among very low races with whom any idea of sexual restraint 
is expected to be quite unfamiliar, has simply connected the 
process with the general lawlessness which, amongst such 
peoples, is supposed to characterise the relations between the 
sexes. Its occurrence in form of survival among higher races 
has been considered a meaningless ceremony, and its evident 
symbolism in legality dismissed as incredible. Students are, 
however, aware how much in error is the idea of utter law- 
lessness in connection with the marriage relationships of any 
savage race. On the contrary, as is well known, the list of 
prohibited kindred is not only much wider than our own, but 
no stage in the marital arrangements is without irksome and 
minute legislative restraints, strictly limiting and defining 
the rights of each individual, male and female. 

To other minds the fact that a 'hostile capture,' pre- 
senting as its most characteristic feature an utter violence, 
should ever have been constituted into a symbol of legality 
in marriage, has given rise to much perplexity. Mr. 
McLennan in fact remarks — ' It is impossible to believe 
that the mere lawlessness of savages should be consecrated 
into a legal symbol ' — an assertion which we may accept, 
however little we are prepared to accept his general views 
on early society. It is evident that the whole difficulty 
has arisen from the apparent complete incompatibility of a 
seeming method in violence with a virtual act in law. The 
hypothesis we have presented of the 'primal law,' and its 
exogamous sequel, would seem however to throw a new 
light on the matter. All unions within the group being 
by the action of primal law, as we have shown, con- 
sidered incestuous and illicit, marriage could only take place 
with an outside mate. The presence of a captured female 
within the camp would thus, as we see, actually constitute in 
itself a proof, and the only one possible at the epoch, of the 
legal consummation of marriage as ordained by the primal 
law. It is thus easy to see how a form of capture should be 
retained as a symbol of legality in later connubium. Its 
continued vitality results from the intense conservatism of 


lower peoples, and from the fact of the halo of prowess that 
sirrrounds it* 

Its evolution as a symbol only arose, however, when, 
during the transition era, by the conjunction of groups 
into a tribe, friendly unions were possible. It would not 
have occurred with the earliest forms of horde, for these were 
isolated and hostile, and real capture itself was the sole form 
of marriage ; nor would it have occurred with that later 
type, in which, with matriarchal descent, the relative positions 
of males and females were reversed, as far at least as suit in 
union is concerned.^ It took its rise with that other great 
type of group characterised by patriarchal descent, which 
in all the after history of the world (for, as we shall see, their 
evolution was coincident and had for cause the same factor) 
was to dispute supremacy with that which accepted uterine 
descent. Here, as in the original t3rpe, the male continued to 
preserve his predominance and continued its traditions of 

There remain other actual traits whose connection with 
this era is equally evident. For instance, avoidance between 
father-in-law and son-inJaw could not have had its genesis 
in the very earliest type of assembly. Whilst parental incest 
ruled as the custom, each group must have been isolated from 
and hostile to every other. These two could never have been 
in habitual presence one of the other. But, again, the habit 
could not have arisen in the later form, as represented by a 
tribal horde with uterine descent, as primitively composed of 

' With the consequent accession of power to the resident female thus 
accruing, capture would have become more rare. In any case it would 
certainly become connected in the minds of the more advanced and power- 
ful tribes with the rape of women, other than their own, and probably 
inferior in type, mentally and physically ; the comparison of this degraded 
captive in their midst with their own free females would not be at all 
likely to have led in connection with her to any spontaneous idea of 
symbolic consecration in marriage, or aught else. 

2 When two groups, despite the isolating tendency of the habit of 
capture, did at length form a union sufficiently close to permit of marriage 
by consent between the respective group members, then, with capture as 
regards outsiders still rife amongst them, we can understand how the 
symbol would come to be attached to the peaceful connubium. 


only two intermarrying groups, each of which formed a clan 
distinguished by a different totem emblem.^ The relative 
clan-relationship of each member of the horde would, by the 
aid of this distinctive totem, be distinctly defined, and, with 
female descent, the father-in-law and son-in-law would find 
themselves members of the same clan [phratry]. As thus 
being both males and of the same ' phratry,' there could not 
possibly be avoidance or enmity, real or simulated, between 
them.^ By all the sacred ties of blood [phratry] they were 
conjoined in offence and in defence. Further, where descent 
is uterine we find that the disposal of a daughter is in the 
hands of the mother or maternal uncle alone — the father has 
no voice whatever in the question, nor any part in her value 
as an object of barter or sale. Thus he is perfectly disin- 
terested in the matter of his children. So far from being in 
disunion with his son-in-law, his sympathies, in case of a 
tribal quarrel, would be certainly with him. But the 
yoimger man, in internal quarrels, might be found fighting 
to the death with his own real father, not (as I have seen it 
stated in mention of just such an incident) ' becai^se he has 
become part of his wife's clan,* which could never be, but 
because, with descent through the female, his father would 
be a member of the difFerent group and of other blood to 
himself, and to his father-in-law also. 

The genesis of this particular avoidance (father-in-law 
and son-in-law) took place during that stage of the transition 
era, when, incest still lingering, the immigrant suitor was so 
far acknowledged that his entry into a group was not always 
delayed tiU the death of his proposed father-in-law. As they 
were thus possible rivals there was a chance of friction, only 
to be averted by the law in question. Avoidance would 

' ' Phratries ' are here meant, where the word ' clan ' is used, or local 
totem groups. — A. L. Cf. Note, p. 260. 

2 The exact relation of each to the females being defined by the classi- 
ficatory system by generations. 

' As mentioned by Tylor. 

* Here I really do not know what ' clan ' is meant to denote — ' phratry,' 
I think.— A. L. 


arise at the same time between mother-in-law and son-in-law, 
but this time as a measure of protection for the marital rights 
of the husband of the former. ^ It could not have arisen 
in the early Cyclopean era. The son-in-law as such, could 
evidently not have had existence when the mother's daughter 
was the father's wife, nor, later, when, with the general recog- 
nition of the classifactory system, there arose a strict inter- 
diction of sexual imion between members of different genera- 
tions. There would in such circumstances be no further risk 
of danger from the jealousy of a father as regards his wife, 
and the husband of his daughter. It had its origin in the 
fact that when the outside suitor had originally been granted 
entry, it would only have been after the death of the patriarch 
sire, and as a mate for his widowed females. But as these 
would include both mother and daughter, there would thereby 
be created a precedent, so to speak, which required regulation, 
when later, with the decay of incest, the living father remained 
in presence. In fact, avoidance between mothers-in-law and 
sons-in-law defined fathers-in-law's rights. 

We may here again note another step in advance to purely 
human attributes in the fresh distinction between female and 
female, which has now again arisen as between a mother and her 
daughter as regards the immigrant suitor. But whereas with 
these, as indeed with most of the cases of avoidance we have 
studied, sexual jealousy has been the primary cause, we may 
now trace the action of quite another factor, which would 
certainly tend to a conservation of the habit, and in a manner 
intensify it. This would be association of idea with hostile 

As regards the father-in-law, however, the custom, as far 
as capture is concerned, would not occur with female descent, 
for the reasons we have already given of clan kinship in such 
a case. It might, however, be found as a factor to a certain 
extent with male kinship, for here it is the father-in-law who 
is of the same clan as his daughter, and thus interested in her 

' See Mr. Crawley's ' Sexual tabu ' theory of this avoidance, Mystio 
Rose, pp. 399-414.— A. L. 


negotiable value. Thus it is possible to imagine enmity 
between him and her possible captor, who is also of a different 
clan from himself. As regards avoidance of mother-in-law it 
has again, perhaps, been accentuated by forcible capture. 
The effect, however, in relation to descent would be exactly 
the reverse of that with the father. With early male descent 
in the primitive tribe as composed of only two clan groups 
Qphratries], it is she who would be of the same stock as her 
daughter's husband, and the habit would not arise, the 
captor is, in fact, a member of the tribe from which she her- 
self has been stolen ; although later, when more than two 
clans were conjoined,^ it might happen that her son-in-law 
belonged to another, and here there might arise feelings of 
animosity. With uterine descent the case is certainly altered. 
As a mother, and as member of a clan different from that of 
the male suitor, the figure of the son-in-law might be dreaded 
as a possible captor of her daughter and other young female 
members. But here again a difficulty arises, for when the 
capture becomes an accomplished fact, the mother-in-law and 
son-in-law would probably not meet again, at least in primi- 
tive times : he belonging to the group having patriarchal 
descent, with captmre as the rule ; she, to the matriarchal, 
where the female is normally immobile, between which two 
forms of group no friendly intercotu-se could occur. The 
fact of avoidance in any form presumes contiguity or the 
habitual presence of the individuals concerned, and this in such 
a case could not arise. So as in Tylor's figures we find that 
in W to H, as the latter is completely cut off from his 
family, there is not one single case of avoidance between the 
wife and the husband's relatives. It is evident that the same 
rarity of contiguity must have arisen also with the father in 
male descent ; there is here certainly cause of disagreement 
in the rape, but if the parties see each other no more there 
would be no necessity of evolution of avoidance to mark the 
fact. Indeed, I cannot help thinking that the importance of 

' Apparently ' clans ' here = totem kins, Mr. Atkinson seems to think 
that totem kins kept on being added to the two original ' phratries.'— A. L. 


association with hostile capture has been much exaggerated 
as a factor in the evolution of Avoidance. The question of 
' residence ' and ' descent ' has not been held sufficiently in 
account by those who insist on the capture as the sole cause 
of avoidance. Despite the eminence of the authors favoiu-ing 
this view, I would venture to submit that the balance of 
proof would much favour sexual jealousy, which we have 
heretofore found the sole motive power in all changes. 

Those who would uphold anger roused by capture as the 
cause of avoidance with the wife's relatives, for instance, 
must be prepared to show that it would be strongest with the 
one who was most deeply interested in the wife, one whose 
voice in her destiny was of greater power than her own 
mother's, and that was her maternal uncle, the head of her 
clan. Now I have failed as yet to find a single trace of such 
a case as avoidance between the latter and his sister's 
daughter's husband. 

Again, jealousy, or a desire for regulations in matters of 
sexual union, will explain certain details in the accounts we 
have received of individual cases which seem otherwise 
obscure or irrelevant. These have been overlooked, as they 
are minute, but from my point of view are full of significance 
when closely examined. Mr. Lubbock says,^ quoting Franklin 
as to American Indians : ' It is extremely improper for a 
mother-in-law to speak or even look at him, i.e. her son-in- 
law.' Quoting Baegert : ' The son-in-law was not allowed 
for some thne to look into the face of his mother-in-law.' 
Further, ' among the Mongols a woman must not speak to 
her faiher-in-law, nor sit down in his presence. Among the 
Ostiaks, Une fille marlee evite autant qu'il lui est possible la 
presence du pere de son mari tant qu'elle n'a pets d'enfcmt, et 
le mari pendant ce temps rCose pas paraitre devant la m^re de 
sa Jemme ' (Pallas). In China the father-in-law after the 
wedding-day never sees the face of his daughter-in-law again, 
he never visits her, and if they chance to meet he hides him- 
self Among the Kaffirs a married woman is required to 
' Lubbock, Origin of Civilisation, p. 13 et neq. 


hlonipa ' her father-in-law, and all her husband's male rela- 
tions in the ascending line, i.e. to be cut off from all inter- 
course with them. 

Again, in Australia, it is compulsory on the mothers- 
in-law to avoid the sight of their sons-in-law, by making 
the former take a very circuitous route on all occasions, to 
avoid being seen, and they hide the face or figure with 
the rug which the female carries with her. So strict is the 
rule, that if married men are jealous of any one, they some- 
times promise to give him a daughter in marriage. This 
places the married man's wife, according to custom, in the 
position of mother-in-law, and renders any communication 
between her and her futtu-e son-in-law a capital crime.^ Also 
among the Sioux or Dacotas, Mr. Philander Prescott remarks 
on the fear of uttering certain names. The father and 
mother-in-law must not call their son-in-law by name, and 
vice versa, and there are other relationships to which the 
prohibition applies. He has known an infringement of this 
rule punished by cutting the offender's clothes off his back 
and throwing them away. Harmon says ' that among the 
Indians east of the Rocky Mountains it is indecent for the 
father or mother-in-law to look at or speak to the son or 
daughter-in-law.' Among the Yakuts, Adolf Erman noticed 
a more peculiar custom. As in other northern regions the 
custom of wearing but little clothing in the hot stifling interior 
of the huts is common there, and the women often go about 
their domestic work stripped to the waist, nor do they object 
to this disarray in the presence of strangers ; but there are 
two persons before whom a Yakut woman must not appear 
in this guise, her father-in-law and her husband's elder 
brother. Again, quoting J. G. Wood, he says the native 
term for these customs of avoidance is, ' being ashamed of 
the mother-in-law.' The Basuto custom forbids a wife to 

' Hhmvpay to avoid mention of his name^ &o. 

'^ Origim, of Civiliiatim, p. 14. Lubbock quoting 'Report of Select 
Committee on Aborigines,' Vict. 1859, p. 73. Tylor, Early History of Man- 
kind, p. 288. 



look in the face of her father-in-law till the birth of her first 
child — and among the Banyai a man must sit with his knees 
bent in presence of his mother-in-law, and must not put out 
his feet towards her. 

Now an important circumstance to be remarked in nearly 
all cases of Avoidance is, that it principally exists between 
people of different sexes, — thus an a priori inference may be 
drawn that the primary cause lay in some relation to the sexual 
question. It is significant that a woman's avoidance of her 
husband's relations is with those in the ascending line, i.e. with 
his seniors. Against his juniors he can defend himself, against 
his seniors he needs the protection of law. In the cases we 
have cited, it is significant that, besides the father-in-law, 
hlonipaed among the Kaffirs, the woman must fdonipa all her 
husband's male relations in the ascending line. Among the 
Yakuts she must not appear unclothed before her husband's 
elder brother. 

Among the Veddahs of Ceylon a father will not see his 
daughter, nor a mother her son, after they have come to 
years of maturity.^ 

If we examine the words italicised in the quotations above, 
they seem to convey more nearly an idea of impropriety in 
any approach to intimacy than that of ' cutting ' from 
enmity, as Dr. Tylor has suggested. Indeed, we observe 
here just the same horror that a too familiar attitude 
between forbidden kindred, as imcle and niece, would 
excite amongst ourselves, arising from the same idea of 

We see that various observers use the terms ' improper ' 
(Franklin), ' the fear of (P. Prescott), ' indecent ' (Harmon), 
* cut off" from all intercourse with them,' and no doubt they 
have ^ each expressed the impression made on themselves in 
observation. We note again that the only case where the 

' Among the Veddahs the fact that the avoidance begins after puberty, 
and in each case in relation to the opposite sex, is evidence that here the 
sexual feelings are concerned. 

* Tylor, Early History of Mtm?dnd, p. 291. 


native term in designation of the custom is given that it 
means ' being ashamed.' The Hmit in time for the avoidance 
is again significant. ' For some time,' Baegart says ; ' tant 
qu'elle n'a pas d'enfant' (Pallas). ' Till the birth of the first 
child.' These limitations in time would not exist if enmity 
because of capture was the cause, whereas we can quite un- 
derstand them if, the circumstances now proving the consum- 
mation of marriage, jealousy might then be supposed to 
cease. The reserve as to a too familiar attitude that this 
idea of indecency would imply, is shown where a Mongol 
daughter-in-law ' cannot sit down in the presence of the 
father-in-law,' and where the Banyai man ' must not put out 
his feet towards his mother-in-law, but sit with his knees, 
bent in her presence.' In China it is the father-in-law who 
hides himself, and this surely would hardly be the act of a 
captor, nor can we imagine a man having his clothes cut ofF 
his back simply because he had not 'cut' some one 

However, in connection with our argument we have Adolf 
Erman's account of the custom among the Yakuts, and where 
we find the husband's elder brother joined with the father- 
in-law in an avoidance, there a distinct feeling of impro- 
priety in connection with these relations in law of the wife is 
indicated. The diffidence cited is exactly what would occur 
if union was undesirable and yet not impossible, between the 
persons in avoidance, and hence temptation was to be avoided. 
It is very important to note that no idea of enmity from 
capture can be associated with the husband's elder brother. 
Again, the custom of avoidance with an elder brother, where 
its connection with jealousy is evident, is very widespread, 
and very strict in observance ; as we have already noted, it 
occm-s in Orissa and among the Kyonthas in India, Avhilst I 
have also observed it in practice in New Caledonia, where 
it is most undoubtedly a means to an end, to protect the 
younger brother's marital rights. As to the significance of 
the fact mentioned in the case of the natives of Australia, 
where, as regards their wives, they are jealous of a man — 



and give him a daughter to place him in avoidance with her 
mother, comment is unnecessary. 

These facts seem to me to be conclusive ; but the question 
of the exact origin of avoidance is so important to my general 
argument, that I am glad to be able to find what I fancy is 
added proof from another source. If this furnishes the 
requisite evidence, that sexual jealousy was the real 'factor, 
and not hostile captiu-e, our hypothesis of the primal law 
acquires valuable inferential evidence in its favour. Such 
added proof we hope to be able to show in Dr. Tylor's 

Theory as 



In Residence, H to W : 65 
Avoidance H to W relations 
Avoidance W to H relations 

In Residence, W to H : 

Avoidance W to H relations 
Avoidance H to W relations 

(a) 9 cases 
3 „ 

5 „ 
18 „ 

(b) 14 cases 

8 „ 

9 n 



These figures, which are extracted from Dr. Tylor's work, 
would seem to be eloquent against hostile capture being the 
sole cause of Avoidance. They are derived from a comparison 
of Avoidance as occurring, (a) quite independent of residence, 
and (b) as actually resulting where coincidence of Avoidance 
and residence is foimd. 

Now as regards the question of jealousy as cause of 
Avoidance, residence and propinquity will evidently have a 
powerful effect. 

(A) As we have seen, any Avoidance under these circum- 
stances would be remarkable without a prior stage in quite 
other conditions than those found generally with H to W 
residence. We note that whereas we might expect under 
even the above conditions to find only 9, there are 14. 
Here sexual jealousy has been an important cause. 

' E. B. Tylor. On a method of investigating the development of in- 
stitutions: applied to laws of marriage and descent. J. A. I. 1889, xviii. 
No. 3, 245-269. 


The Avoidance of the Mother-in-law (for, of course, there 
was none here with father-in-law, who was a nonentity in such 
a family circle, and of the same clan as the son-in-law) arose 
as a matter of protection for the marital rights of the 
daughter as against her mother, both inhabiting the same 
large house common to matriarchal descent. 

(B) Here, again, we expect to find 3, and see there 
are actually none, from which it would seem to result that 
W capture had nothing whatever to do with the origin of 
A, H to W, for, admitting the almost entire separation of 
the W from H family, which would make the case rarer, a 
tradition of capture would exist which would have effect 
when they were later grouped together. Whereas the non- 
Avoidance is explained by lack of jealousy, from absence of 
male relations of H. 

(C) Here it is again quite impossible to accept any idea 
of W capture as the motive cause. Avoidance arose between 
W and father-in-law to protect rights of son-in-law and 
mother-in-law. It was evolved, as we have seen, as a 
measure of protection for that generation of males who were 
the actual captors, each generation by the classificatory 
system having individual rights. That the necessity for 
such legislation was urgent we see in the proportion of the 
figures 5 to 8. 

Here, again, the fallacy of capture as primal cause of 
Avoidance is clearly evident. If this was the case, we might 
expect it to be almost universal, whereas in reality, instead of 
the 18 ceises which the average should give us, we find only 9. 
It really had its origin in the reason we have already given, 
of sexual jealousy as a primary cause, and was later augmented 
as serving to impress on many the classificatory distinction 
between M and D, who otherwise, as far as totems went, 
were eligible to the same person. Where both father-in-law 
and mother-in-law are in avoidance, we may surmise a 
change in descent from the F to the M in the tribe, the con- 
verse change of M to F of course never occurring. The 
question of change of descent will explain problems in the 


nomenclature of Morgan's tables as regards nephews and sons, 
which have been overlooked.' 


Mr. Crawley reckons three interpretations of the origin of the 
avoidance of mother-in-law and son-in-law. 1. Fison (Kamilaroi 
and Kumai, p. 103), ' It is that the rule is due to a fear of inter- 
course which is unlawful, though theoretically allowed on some 
classificatory systems.' Mr. Crawley remarks, ' this explanation 
is the one most likely to occur to explorers who have personal 
knowledge of savages,' which was Mr. Atkinson's case. Mr. 
Crawley objects the antecedent improbability of any man, 'not 
to mention a savage, ever falling in love with a woman old 
enough to be his mother or mother-in-law, and the improbability 
of so many peoples being afraid of this.' Now 'in love ' is one 
thing, and an access of lust is another. Moreover, the mother- 
in-law,- in prospective, not infrequently is her daughter's rival, 
even in modern life. She has to be guarded against, even if the 
son-in-law is less dangerous. And he is very apt to be 'a 
general lover.' ' Theoretically the mother-in-law is marriageable 
in many systems,' says Mr. Crawley, ' and so there would be no 
incest . . . ' But Mr. Atkinson is not contemplating the 
danger of incest as the cause of mother-in-law avoidance ; his 
theory postulates jealousy — that of the mother-in-law's husband, 
and, for what it is worth, that of the mother-in-law's daughter. 
Mr. Crawley's objection, I think, does not invalidate Mr. Atkin- 
son's theory ; especially as he does not reflect that the possible 
mother-in-law may have a caprice for her son-in-law, while the 
would-be son-in-law, less frequently, may follow the course of 
Colonel Henry Esmond. 

2. Sir John Lubbock's (Lord Avebury's) theory, of enmity 
caused by capture, Mr. Atkinson has dealt with ; it is rejected 
by Mr. Crawley. 

3. Mr. Tylor's theory (Jom-nal Anthrop. hutitute, xviii. 247, 

' The matter here is highly technical, and must be compared, if it is 
to be understood, with Mr. Tylor's essay, cited in the previous note. W 
stands for Wife, H for Husband, D is Daughter, F is Female, M is Mother, 
and is also Male 1 A is Avoidance. — A. L. 


is that of ' cutting ' ' an outsider/ not one of the family, not 
recognised till his first child is born. For various reasons, Mr. 
Crawley rejects this explanation, rightly, I venture to think. 
Mr. Crawley holds that the mother-in-law avoidance 'seems to 
be causally connected with a man's avoidance of his own wife,' 
which he regards as only one aspect of the tabu between the two 
sexes, superstitiously regarded as dangerous to each other. But, 
like Mr. Atkinson, I much doubt whether the 'avoidance,' as 
far as it goes, of husband and wife is, in the main, the result of 
this superstition, though it plays its part on special occasions, as 
before the women sow the crops, and before the men go forth to 
war. Mr. Crawley's suggestion that, as husband and wife are 
perpetually breaking the alleged sexual tabu, the mother-in-law 
becomes ' a substitute to receive the onus of tabu,' ' a good 
instance of savage make-believe ' does not carry conviction. Mr. 
Atkinson's theory seems 'as good as a better' (Mystic Rose, pp. 
400-414).— A. L. 




The classificatory system. — The author's theory is the opposite of Mr. 
Morgan's, of original brother and sister marriage.— That theory is based 
on Malayan terms of relationship.— Nephew, niece, and cousin, all 
named ' sons and daughters.' — This fact of nomenclature used as an 
argument for promiscuity. — The author's theory. — The names for 
relationship given as regards the group, not the individual. — The 
names and rules evolved in the respective interests of three generations. 
— They apply to food as well as to marriage. ^ — Each generation is a 
strictly defined class.— Terms for relationship indicate, not kinship, but 
relative seniority and rights in relation to the group. — The distinction 
of age in generations breaks down in practice. — Methods of bilking the 
letter of the law. — Communal marriage. — Outside suitors and cousinage. 
— The fact of cousinage unperceived and unnamed. — Cousins are still 
called brothers and sisters ; thus, when a man styles his sister's son 
his son, the fact does not prove, as in Mr. Morgan's theory, that his 
sister is his wife. — Terms of address between brothers and sisters. — 
And between members of the same and of different phratries. — ^These 
corroborate the author's theory. — Distinction as to sexual rights 
yields the classificatory system. — Progress outran recognition and 
verbal expression. — Errors of Mr. Morgan and Mr. McLennan. — Con- 
clusion.— Note. — ' Group marriage.' 

In the gradual evolution of the group into the tribe during 
the long period of transition, the modifications in the internal 
organisation, which took place as the necessary result in the 
march in progress, should have left traces which we may also 
be able to follow in living custom. The immigration ot 
the outside suitor, in its synchronism with the decay of 
paternal incest, must have entailed continual complications 
demanding regulation, and the resolution of each problem 
would lead to an almost mechanical step in advance. When 
by force of circumstances of environment or others such a 
step became retrograde, then we may expect an aberrant 


form whose very anomalism should lead to a facile recogni- 
tion, and prove equally fertile in interpretation. Indeed, a 
curious vestige of the effect in action of the habit of incest, 
when brought into inevitable contact with progressive social 
evolution, is to be discerned in the nomenclature of that 
earliest phase of the classificatory system which Mr. L. H. 
Morgan has called the Malayan. From the general prevalence 
among lower races of a division into classes by generations 
of the members of group, and the deduction we see drawn in 
Ancient Society from the Hawaiian terms of relationship 
therein detailed, as to a previous state of general promiscuity, 
it wiU be desirable thoroughly to examine the whole question 
of the so-called classificatory system. It is doubly imperative 
in view of ova: own hypothesis, which, as regards the primary 
origin of society, may be said to be exactly the reverse of 
that of Mr. Morgan, in as far as the sexual inter-relations of 
brother and sister are concerned. 

We have tried to portray the imperative evolution of a 
primal law £is the sole possible condition of the first steps in 
social progress, a law which had so specially in view the bar 
to sexual intercourse between a brother and sister that it 
might, if a name for it were needed, be called the 
(madelphogamous law. [Mr. Atkinson wrote ' asororogamic,' 
which is really too impossible a word for even science to 
employ.] Mr. Morgan, on the contrary, says,^ ' The primitive 
or consanguine family was founded upon the inter-marriage 
of brothers and sisters own and collateral in a group.' He 
adds,^ ' The Malayan system defines the relationship that 
would exist in a consanguine family, and it demands the 
existence of such a family to account for its own existence.' 
And again,^ ' It is impossible to explain the system as a 
natural growth, upon any other hypothesis than the one 
named, since this form of marriage alone can furnish a key 
to its interpretation.' He bases his argument on the fact that * 
'imder the Malayan system all consanguines, near and 

^Ancient Society, p. 384, Lewis PI. Morgan. ' Ibid. p. 402. 

= lUd. p. 409. ' Ibid. p. 385. 


remote, fall within some one of the following relationships, 
viz. parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother and sister 
— no other blood relationships are recognised,' and says, 
speaking of promiscuity, that ^ ' a man calls his brother's son, 
his son, because his brother's wife is hk wife as well as his 
brother's, and his sister's son is also his son because his sister is 
his wife.' 

Now that a brother's son should be called a son is quite 
simple, as being a natural effect of the group marriage ot 
brothers, the prevalence of which as a habit, and its effects, 
MM. Lorimer and Fison so well show among the Austra- 
lians.^ But that a sister's son should also be termed, by her 
brother, a ' son ' is certainly a very different thing indeed, 
despite Mr. McLennan's and other arguments to the contrary. 
In this verbal detail lies the whole crux of the matter as 
regards Mr. Morgan. That it should have given rise to such 
diversity of opinion and suggested his theory of brother and 
sister marriage need hardly be matter of smprise. For it is 
at once evident that a group holding such nomenclature 
ignored cousinship, even if it existed. To all later seeming 
my sister's son must be nephew to ego quite necessarily. 
That at any stage he should be unrecognised as such seems 
the more astonishing, as even in the very early times when 
totems first arose, and arose probably and precisely to dis- 
tinguish cousins as such,' each cousin is of a different totem 

' Ancient Society, p. 391, Lewis H. Morgan. 

^ Kamilaroi a/nd Kwnai, Lorimer and Fison. Cf. note at end of 
chapter. I have already stated my objections to the theory of 'group 
marriage.' — A. L. 

' ' Totems arose to distinguish cousins as such.' This implies that the 
totem name was assigned to each group for a definite social purpose, the 
regulation of degrees of kin. But, on any feasible theory of the ' totem ' 
it ' came otherwise,' and was only used as a mark of kinship after it had 
come, just as a place name might have been used, had it been equally con- 
venient. On the system of descent of the totem on the female side, A 
(man), an Emu, marries B (woman), a Kangaroo. Their sons and 
daughters are Kangaroos. C, one of the sisters, marries D, a Witchetty 
Grub, her children are Kangaroos. E, C's brother, marries F, a Frog, his 
children are Frogs, and may, as far as the totem rule goes, marry their 
cousins, C's children, who are Kangaroos. — ^A. L. 


to the other, and thus not only eligible in marriage with 
another cousin, but in many lower races the born spouse each 
of the other. The whole question thus resolves itself into 
the exact value of the term we find used in the Hawaiian 
designation of the sister's son by her brother. Now it is 
important to note that two causes might have for effect the 
form of nomenclature in which a brother and sister each call 
the child a son, and thus ignore a possible cousinship. One 
cause is that some factor in self-interest or otherwise allowed 
such relationship to remain unrecognised, although existent, 
and another is that, as cousinship did not exist at all, there 
could be no recognition, or, as Mr. Morgan puts it, ' his 
sister's son is also his son because his sister is his wife.' To 
determine which is correct certainly seems difficult, and the 
whole thing has evidently been considered a most stubborn 
fact for the opponents of promiscuity. 

That Mr. Morgan should have seized it in support of his 
theory, and that the theory should be so largely accepted, is 
not astonishing. Happily the great value of his ensuing 
argument as regards tribal development is in no way impaired 
if it can be shown, as we hope to do, that there is no necessity 
for an hypothesis of promiscuity to explain the terms in the 
Malayan table, which apparent need seems primarily to have 
led Mr. Morgan to evolve the idea of his primitive group. In 
fact, it becomes evident that, if we can furnish a clue as to how 
a sister's son came also to be a brother's son, without having 
recourse to the theory of an incestuous union of brothers and 
sisters, we at least discount the need of Mr. Morgan's ' con- 
sanguine family,' in which such incest is supposed to be a 
most characteristic and essential feature. We hope to prove 
that the terms which misled him are more apparent than real 
as proofs of any real affinity in blood, and that the original 
conception in causal connection was something quite apart. 

Sir John Lubbock (Lord Avebury) has observed that 
the lower the milieu of a social status the less we see of the 
individual and the more of the group. In the case before us 
the individual as such does not exist at all, and there is only 


question of the group in its relation to its component classes. 
To confound one with the other led to Mr. Morgan's error. 

There was much, in fact, in Mr> McLennan's shrewd 
remark in criticism of Mr. Morgan's theory that 'he did not 
seek the origin of the system of nomenclature in the origin of 
the classification of the connected persons, and that he courted 
failure in attempting to solve the problem by explaining the 
relationships comprised in the system in detail.' \ But it seems 
to me that Mr. McLennan fell into the same error when he 
contented himself with the misleading analogies which a com- 
parison with the Nair family system presented. These, how- 
ever striking, are, as we shall find, simply the result of the 
fact that class or communal marriage was the common trait 
of the polyandrous and the Cyclopean family, nor can I see 
that Mr. McLennan followed his own excellent advice as 
regards the possible identity in origin of nomenclature and 
classification ; if he had so done, his acute mind could not 
have failed in a resolution of the whole problem, whereas his 
final resume of the argument is in terms which I profess to 
be quite unable to grasp. 

Before entering into the matter ourselves, we must keep 
in mind our affirmation as to the axiom which must, in my 
opinion, guide us in all research into the hidden causes of 
early social evolution. All innovations, as we have said, in 
the regulation of society, all novel legislative procedure so to 
speak, wiU be found to have relation to the sexual feelings in 
jealousy. This already is the genesis of the primal law, and, 
in each case of avoidance, we have found jealousy the leading 
factor. It is the same in the case before us. Bearing this 
in mind, let us then follow Mr. McLennan's advice as to 
seeking the origin of the classification of connected persons. 
Now what would be the family economy of the primitive 
group, and who are its component individuals, whose in- 
terests, in sexual matters, are likely to clash, and whose 
mutual relationship in this respect demanded distinction in 
furtherance of regulation of their respective rights ? 
' Studies in Anoient History, McLennan, p. 269 et seq. 


The original primitive t)rpe of family, which we have 
called 'the Cyclopean,' has disappeared, giving place to a 
higher form, \<fhich, by the inclusion of male offspring, has 
permitted the existence of several generations in presence. 
The component individuals, speaking of one sex only, would 
be old males, males, and young males representing three 
generations. It is the interests of these generations, which, 
in sexual matters and in choice of food, &c. would be likely 
to clash, for we may be sure that the seniors, as with actual 
savages, would desire the lion's share» Distinction then 
being necessary, it would naturally, as with individuals, be 
based on relativity of age, seniority within certain limits 
confering priority. Thus gradually each generation, as 
indeed with actual lower races, would, qua generation, come 
to be a distinctly defined class with certain separate rights 
and obligations. In this simple necessity of a classification 
of the connected persons, we see the origin of the classificatory 
system itself, as an institution. Divers interests, as between 
seniors and juniors, demanded strict demarcation, and the 
limits of a generation furnished the required lines to mark 

The very natural distinction by relativity of age was 
simply, as with individuals, utilised as the requisite machinery 
in regulation of mutual rights of the individual himself. 
His rights are a matter of concern simply within his gene- 
ration, in which the relation is purely paternal and communal, 
with the sole reservation of rights conferred by seniority. 

Even when later denominative expression was given to 
the idea of a generation, terms almost identical of male, old 
male, and young male are used, as there is no desire to convey 
any idea of personal kinship, and there is merely in view 
reference to relativity of age of a class in relation to the 
group. Later, as Mr. McLennan says (p. 277) : ' What- 
ever class names primitively signified, Kiki would come to 
mean child, Kina parent, Moopuna grandchild, Kapuna 
grandparent, but originally no such idea of kinship was in 
view.' The classificatory system evolved itself simply as the 


result of a desire to define certain rights, and the division by 
generations was the most natural and feasible for the purpose. 
But the very simplicity and paucity of the original terms 
show that it was applied to any simple group form. In 
fact, we are here dealing with that primitive form which bound 
people together, by the mere tie of residence and locality, 
and was purely exogamous in habit. Now when we consider 
that this fixed relativity of age by generation was originally 
evolved in view of the relations within such a family, we can 
imagine that complications might arise from such arbitrary 
definitions, when, later, this family expanded into the numeri- 
cally large tribe composed of two intermarrying totem clan 
groups [phratries]. 

Primitively, doubtless, as between the classes, the genetic 
idea as regards sexual matters was (as still with savages in 
questions of food) to favour the seniors and defend their rights 
in defining each one's status. But actually, with the decay 
of incest, it would become what it is as among lower races, 
where nothing is more remarkable than the strict interdict 
upon any union between members of different generations.' 

It is evident that hence complications might arise per- 
plexing to the savage mind. For instance, we may expect to 
find cases where the niece is an adult, whilst the aimt is still 
an infant, and yet marriage between the former and the son 
of the latter is obligatory, as they are cousins of the same gene- 
ration. Here, probably, we have a clue to one of the most 
bizarre facts in anthropology, where the universal rule as to 
sexual connection between generations seems to be wantonly 
disobeyed, although in reality the reverse may be seen to be 
the case on examination. It is recorded of the Keddies of 
Southern India that a very singular custom exists among 
them, a young woman of sixteen or twenty years of age may 
be married to a boy of five or six years. She, however, lives 
with some other adult mstle (perhaps a maternal uncle or 

' The most distinctive feature to-day in the inter-relations of genera- 
tions is a most strict ordinance to celibacy between members of different 


cousin), but is also allowed to form a connection with the 
father's relatives, occasionally it may be the boy's father him- 
self, i.e. the woman's father-in-law ! Should there be children 
from these liaisons, they are fathered on the boy husband. 
When the boy grows, the wife is either old or past child- 
bearing, when he in tm-n takes some other boy's wife in a 
manner precisely similar to that in his own case and pro- 
creates children for the boy husband. 

By the classifieatory system, as each in fact is a member of 
the same generation, they are born husbands and wives. The 
enforced virginity of the wife, implied under such conditions, 
entailed a celibacy incompatible with all lower ideas. It is 
easy to imagine the compromise between his conscience and 
his desires which a savage would make in such a case when 
favoured (or forced) by circumstances of environment, for it 
is miknown elsewhere. The infant nephew goes through the 
ceremony of marriage, which, by a fiction, being thus legally 
consummated, the wife is left free to follow her desires. These, 
however, are by no means allowed to run riot. They are 
regulated in a fashion of which, although the peculiarity is 
noted by the authors of the extract, the full significance can 
only be appreciated in connection with our hypothesis. She 
formed indeed connections outside of her husband, but solely 
with those of the legally eligible totem. As I believe the 
Keddies have male descent, these would be sons of the father's 
sister, or sons of the mother's brother, or again with the latter 
himself, who was her father-in-law, whereas union with the 
sons of the father's brothers, or of the mother's sisters, as 
being of the same totem, would not take place — and this we 
■fiiid to be the actual fact, as evidence proves. 

But still other complications will be found to arise as the 
effect of the original concept of the classifieatory system 
when brought face to face with new and advanced social 
order, which will have closer relation to our present argument. 
The distinctive feature in the economy of the primitive group 
in its relation to all other groups was mutual hostility. The 
instinctive distrust of strangers would be accentuated by the 


habitual hostile capture of females, for such groups, except in 
the case of the incest between father and daughter, were yet 
purely exogaraous. But such mutual hostility implies isola- 
tion of each community. Thus all law evolved, as we have 
said, would be purely with a view to regulation of the in- 
ternal economy of a single consanguine group alone. Now 
in such a group, the division into generations of old male, 
male, and young male implied (although not as yet under- 
stood as between generations) the relationship of parents and 
children. Each generation is either child or parent to the 
other. As marriage is communal,' all the fathers in one 
generation are fathers to all the children in the next indis- 
criminately, and conversely these children recognise as fathers 
aU the males of the senior generation. It follows that the 
relationship of all the members of a generation is purely 
fraternal, all are brothers and sisters to each other, and in 
this consanguine family they were really either actually so, 
or at least half brothers and half sisters. 

Between these the primal law of celibacy between brother 
and sister as such embraced the whole generation. Now as 
long as the family was thus simply constituted, no friction 
would arise. The brothers, in common, captured and married 
in common some outside female,^ and their children consti- 
tuted solely the next generation. The sisters were either 
stolen or emigrated to other groups ; but we have seen that 
a moment would come when this process ceased to be universal. 
The sister came to remain in her own group, and she was 
joined by some outside suitor ; with the advent of their 
children, who are cousins to the others, would arise dire per- 
plexities, in view of the old law. 

We may now begin to see more distinctly, in the fact of 
the presence of the cousins, the resolution of the problem as 
to how a sister's son came to be also a brother's, and we will 
find that Mr. Morgan was not the first to be baffled by the 

' How can marriage be communal, granting Mr. Atkinson's views about 
sexual jealousy 1 — A. L. 

' Where is sexual jealousy ? — A. L. 


problem. It was too intricate for primitive man at any rate. 
When first presented to him, we may surmise that he, in fact, 
refused to recognise it as a problem at all. Since the begin- 
ning of things in the group, as constituted by all tradition, the 
children of one generation were children of another simply, 
and nothing more. That as a result of the presence of the 
outside male, some intricate process of scission had occurred, 
and things were not as they seemed, was an idea far too 
abstract to be readily seized. All in a generation had been 
ever, to early man, brother and sister, and brother and sister 
they should continue. 

We have seen in a past chapter that it was actually to 
the interest of senior male group-members, while incest 
reigned, that this condition of things should endure. It put 
at their sole disposal the daughters of their brothers-in-law, 
and in the primal law placed a ban on sexual intercourse 
between all the younger male and female members, as consti- 
tuting them brothers and sisters. As a factor in this case, 
however, the effect of incest was more or less temporary. 
The real agent in the tardy or non-recognition of the cousin- 
ship thus created, was the conservative force of old habit and 
tradition. We must remember that, in so early a group, 
personal descent as such was in no way recognised. Mere 
local contiguity alone constituted the sense of relationship, 
exogamy for instance took the form of local exogamy, for as 
all within a locality were (locally) relations, so all outside 
were, as strangers, free in marriage. While then so strong a 
sense of the value of contiguity continued, and was in practice, 
the evolution of an idea of non-relationship of two individuals 
with a common habitat would be too complex. Again, a 
recognition in fact implies a vast modification of the whole 
organisation of the group, which thus contains in cousins the 
elements of marriage within itself. But this is the latest 
and highest type of group and constitutes the tribe. We can 
tmderstand that such a step was not taken at once by early 
man. Even when recognised we know that definition lags 
behind the event. 


Thus in such a case as cited, and at the stage we are 
studying, if we find two cousins in presence, who are yet un- 
recognised as cousins, then, if nomenclature has taken place, 
we should find exactly the terms employed in the Malayan 
table which misled Mr. Morgan. A sister's son would be 
termed the brother's son, simply because the individual was 
as yet ignored, although existent, as a cousin, as members of 
the same generation they were brother and sister. Classes 
by generations alone were recognised. 

Now as regards the validity of our assumption that rela- 
tivity in age served as a means to determine privilege as to 
wedlock, proof can be furnished by certain nomenclatory 
features, as between members of a class or generation, to be 
found in the Malayan table in Ancient Society and else- 
where. This will afford, incidentally, strong negative proof 
of our theory as to non-imion between brother and sister. It 
wiU also incidentally furnish the strongest negative evidence 
that, so far from brother and sister living in incest, as 
Morgan holds, brother and sister were regarded as quite 
apart in the sense of any sexual relation between them. It 
will be seen that there is a profound distinction made in 
address between inter-marriageable people and those between 
whom celibacy is enjoined. 

Both Mr. Morgan and Mr. McLennaji have drawn at- 
tention to the peculiarities in the terms of address as between 
' brothers ' and as between ' sisters.' It is curious that the 
full significance of the phenomena therein presented escaped 
two such keen intellects. We find here that terms of address 
as between persons of the same sex and of the same genera- 
tion, and ergo brothers or sisters, present the very remarkable 
features that 

(1) ' The age of the person spoken to compared with that 
of the speaker plays a very important part in the matter of 

(2) ' Such names refer not to the absolute age of the 
person addressed.' 

(3) ' The relationships of brother and sister are conceived 


in the twofold form of elder and younger, and not in the 
abstract, £ind there are special terms for each among the 
Seneca Iroquois.' 

(4) ' There is no name for brother and sister (Malayan 
system). On the other hand, there are a variety of names for 
use in salutations between "brother " and " sister " according to 
the age and sex of the person speaking in relation to the age 
and sex of the person addressed.' 

(5) Among the Eskimo the form of the terms of relation- 
ship appears to depend, in some cases, more on the sex of the 
speaker than on that of the person to whom the term refers.^ 

(6) In Eastern Central Africa, if a man has a brother and 
a sister, he is called one thing by the brother, but quite a 
different thing by the sister. 

We wiU now illustrate the idea more completely by 
an extract of terms from the table of Hawaiian relationships 
in Ancient Society. An older or a younger brother is to a 
sister simply addressed or mentioned by the general term 
Kaiku nana, but to her, in address or mention of an older or a 
younger sister, they are respectively Kaik a'ana and Kaika-i-na. 
Again, an older or a younger sister is to a brother collectively 
Kaikuwaheena, but to him an elder or a younger brother is 
respectively Kaiknana and Kaikaina. 

Now in view of our argument as regards the origin of these 
diversities in some sexual feelings, it is a nlost significant 
feature in these details of the terms of address that the 
expression of the relativity of age between the speakers is 
confined solely to the intercourse between members of the 
same sex. That a brother is the senior or the jimior of Ego 
is carefiilly noted, but a sister is simply and vaguely a sister. 
Why ? simply because whereas, by virtue of the primal law, 
no possible question whatever of mutual interest in sexual 
matters could possibly arise between a brother and a sister, 
on the other hand friction might hourly occur between 
brothers or between sisters. In fact, if our theory is correct, 
then, as questions of sexual privilege or precedence could 
cause -jealousy between members of the same sex, distinctions 

u 2 


would be necessary by definition of seniority when address 
took place between these, and in these cases alone, and this 
indeed we find to be the fact. As conclusive evidence we 
would cite the further important fact that these very same 
distinctions of senior and junior are used, inter se, between all 
those of the same totem [phratry] as now existing, but are 
never employed for their tribal cousins of the other totem 
[phratry]. And the reason is the same. The latter 
naturally do not marry (in groups formed of only two classes) 
[phratries] into the same totem [phratry] as the former, and 
thus there is no cause for jealousy or necessity of definition, 
whereas individuals of the same totem [phratry] are ipsojacto 
group [potential] husbands of the same group [potential] 
wives, or are at least eligible in marriage with the same totem 
groups [phratries], and hence necessity for the exact defini- 
tion by age of each one's rights. 

Thus, as with other laws or institutions we have traced, 
we find a desire for distinction as regards rights in sexual 
union to be the genetic cause of the classificatory system 
both as regards the generation and its componerft members. 

In all periods of transition which a process in change in 
progress implies, we expect to find cases where the con- 
servative force of tradition from the past has delayed 
recognition of the too novel present, and we discover that 
circumstances have moved too rapidly for the intelligence of 
the times. If we keep this fact in view, we have thus seemed 
to find a natural explanation of the knotty point which was 
the cause of dispute between Mr. Morgan and Mr. McLennan,^ 
and we may thus ventm-e to say that each was both wrong 
and right in his views of the classificatory system in general. 
Each has mistaken a part for a whole, and they were ignorant 
that they were upholding two sides of the same question. 
Mr. Morgan was in error in assuming the system's too inti- 
mate connection with a determination of affinities in blood, in 
relation to which primarily, as we hope to have shown, it had 


Mr. Tylor, J.A.I, xviii. 3, 265, who expresses the same opinion. 


really neither purpose nor aim, as also in his too hasty assump- 
tion of a consanguine family founded on brother and sister 
incest, based on a mere conjectural solution of a verbal detail, 
an assumption which he himself acknowledges had no other 

Mr. McLennan was in error in maintaining that the 
classificatory system concerned terms of address alone. 
To quote his own words : ' What duties or rights are 
affected by the " relationships ■" comprised in the classifi- 
catory system ? Absolutely none ; they are barren of conse- 
quences, except indeed as comprising a code of coiui;esies and 
ceremonial addresses in social intercoiu'se.' On the other 
hand, as we have tried to show, the system had precisely 
both intention and effect in regulation, as regards sexual 
feeling, which is the strongest passion in nature. And yet 
each disputant again was right in a degree, for, in later times, 
the classificatory distinctions really served as terms of address 
as regards the clan [tribe ?], whilst again the primitive terms, 
which simply describe generations of persons in their relation 
to the group, were afterwards, by philological transmutation, 
to come to have a more definite meaning expressing the sense 
of the personal parent. 


Group Marriage 

The idea that ' group marriage ' exists among the dusky 
natives of Australia, and that ' the group is the social unit as 
regards marriage ' (as explained in the earlier part of this book), 
was introduced by Messrs. Howitt and Fison in their Kamilaroi 
and Kumai (1880). Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, in their Natives 
of Central Australia (1899), support the views of Messrs. Fison 
and Howitt. ' Under certain modifications group marriage still 
exists as an actual custom, regulated by fixed and well recognised 
rules, amongst various Australian tribes ' (p. 56). ' Individual 
marriage does not exist either in name or practice in the 


Urabunna tribe ' (p. 63). Mr. Crawley argues, on the other 
hand, that individual marriage does exist among the Urabunna, 
' though slightly modified ' (Mystic Rose, p. 482). For each 
'slight modification,' the husband's consent must be obtained. 
The system is regarded by Mr. Crawley, not as a survival of 
promiscuity, more or less modified, but as an ' abnormal develop- 
ment.' He believes in individual marriage, as, from the earliest 
known times, 'the regular type of union of man and woman.' 
' One is struck by the high morality of primitive man ' (pp. 

What Mr. Atkinson meant by saying that 'marriage is 
communal,' I do not understand, as, on his theory, sexual 
jealousy must have prevented each man of a generation, in a 
group, from being equally the husband of each woman, not his 
sister. The young braves are supposed to bring in women 
captives from without, and to marry them ' communally.' Then 
what becomes of jealousy .'' They ought rather to have fought 
for their captive, on the principles of a golf tournament, the 
survivor and winner taking the bride. Mr. Atkinson never saw 
his work except in his manuscript, and might have made modifi- 
cations on such points as this, where he seems to me to lose 
grasp of his idea, as in his theory of recognition of the children 
of ' the outside suitor,' he seems to bring male descent into 
action at a period when, as he asserts elsewhere, it was not yet 
recognised by customary law. On the Keddies (p. 287) I have 
no information, the author giving no reference. A. L. 




In the following village sobriquets from the south-western 
counties of England the people are styled ' eaters of ' this or 




Ashreigney . . . 

. Dog-eaters 


. ' Burd '-eaters 




. Cheese-eaters 


. Tatie-eaters 




. Liver-eaters 

Compare with these the following sobriquets of Siouan old 
totem kins, counting descent in the male line. 

Siouan Names of Gentes 


Eat the scrapings of hides 
Eat dried venison 
Eat dung 
Eat raw food 

' Western Antiqtuiry, vol. ix., pt. ii., p. 37, August, 1899. 


Among the Sioux we have also noted the sobriquets 
Non-Eaters of 
Blackbirds, etc. 

These sobriquets of non-eaters are probably totemic : the 
Deer kin does not eat deer, nor does the Crane kin eat cranes, 
and so on. Totem kins are named from what they do not eat ; 
many totem kins with male descent are nicknamed from what 
they do eat, or are alleged by their neighbours to eat. 

Group Sobriquets in Orkney. 

In the following letter, which I owe to the kindness of Mr. 
Duncan Robertson, we read that, in Orkney and Shetland, 
local sobriquets are derived from what the people are alleged 
to eat. The tradition is, Mr. Robertson informs me, that each 
group is named after the edible plant or animal which it brought 
when engaged in building the Cathedral of Kirkwall. 

Crantit House, St. Ola, Orkney, 
Jan. 29, 1903. 

Dear Mr. Lang, — My tyrannical doctor won't let me out yet, 
so that I have not been able to collect all the information I 
should like to get for you about the Orkney nicknames — or ' bye- 
names,' as they are called here. 

Here follows the list as taken from Tudor's The Orhneys and 
Shetland, with alterations : 

I. Mainland or Pomona 

Kirkwall Starlings 

St. Andrews Skerry-scrapers 

Deemess Skate-rumples 

Holm Hobblers 

Orphir Yearnings 

Firth Oysters 

Stromness Bloody-puddings 

Sandwick Assie-pattles 

Harray Crabs (of old, sheep) 

Birsay Hoes = dog-fish 

Evie Cauld kail 

Randall Sheep-thieves 




South Isles 


Hawks, Auks or Tammy- 



Lyars (Manx Sheer-water) 


Oily Bogies = the skin 

buoys used for herring 


South Ronaldshay : 

a. Grimness 


h. Hope 

Scouties (Skuas) 

c. Widewal) 


d. Herston 


e. Sandwick 


f. South Parish 

Teeacks (Lapwings) 


North Isles 






Burstin Lumps 








Gruelly Belkies 

North Ronaldshay 

Selkies = Seals (also called 

'Tangie Wliessos') and 



Scarfs = Shag or small Cor- 



Auks =: the common Guille- 


Papa Westray 

Doundies = spent Cod 

These are all the names I know or can hear of in Orkney. I 
wrote to Mr. Moodie Heddle of Cletts on the subject, as I knew 
him to take a great and intelligent interest in all such topics ; 
and I have a most interesting letter from him, of which I shall 
give you the gist. He says he has no doubt that the origin of 
the names is that which you suggest, though some of the names 
do not at first sight appear to bear this out. Kirkwall ' Starlings ' 
are easily accounted for, assuming that there have always been 
as many starlings about Kirkwall as there are now. They may 


well have been eaten by the townsfolk. I have tried them, and 
their breasts are not at all bad. 

Skerry-scrapers. — The allusion here is to men who live off shell 
fish, 'dilse,' etc. oiFthe skerries. There are— or were — excellent 
oysters on the St. Andrews skerries. Mr. Heddle tells me he 
has heard a woman insulting a man by saying she supposed he 
would soon leave no limpets in a certain bay, meaning that he 
was too lazy to work for his living. 

Skate-mmjile is, of course, the skate's tail. Deemess is the 
nearest land to a famous piece of water for skate, known as ' the 

Holm ' Hobhlers ' I do not understand, but shall make some 
further inquiries. I have an idea it is a reference to some bird ; 
Mr. Heddle thinks it has something to do with seals, but neither 
of us knows. 

Yearnings are, of course, the dried stomachs of calves used for 
making cheese. 

Oysters. — The bay of Firth was famous for its oysters till the 
beds were overfished and destroyed some thirty years ago. 

Stromness 'Bloody-puddings.'- — Mr. Heddle suggests that the 
people bled their cattle twice or thrice a year and made 
' puddings ' of the blood. This, of course, was done in the 
Highlands at one time. 

Assie-paUles. — Either those who lay in the ashes or, Mr. 
Heddle suggests, who ate cakes baked in the ashes. Before iron 
girdles came much into use cakes were baked on flat stones ; and 
there is a hill, known as ' Baking-stone Hill,' where the people 
used to come for stones that would not split in the fire. The 
peats used in Sandwick have a very red ash, which colours all 
persons and things near it. 

Harray ' Crabs.' — Harray is the only parish in Orkney which 
does not touch the sea, and the name is given in irony. The old 
'tee-name' is said to have been 'sheep.' The story is told that 
some fishermen passing through Harray dropped a live crab. 
The men of Harray could not make it out at all, and sent for the 
oldest inhabitant, who was brought in a wheel-barrow. After 
gazing at the monster for a few moments he exclaimed : ' Boys, 
bid's a fiery draygon ; tak' me hame ! ' 

I suspect there is some other tee-name than ' sheep-thieves ' 
for the Rendall people, but will try to find out and let you 

Hoy ' Hawks.' — Mr. Heddle, who was formerly proprietor of 


Hoy, says he thinks ' auks ' must have been the original word, 
as he believes ' tammy-nories ' was the old name. ' Auk ' is 
Orcadian for the conunon guillemot, and a ' tammy-norie ' is a 
puffin. Both of these birds abound in Hoy. 

Mr. Heddle also tells me that the old name of ' Lyars ' for the 
people of Walls was to a great extent replaced by ' Cockles.' The 
' lyars ' were very common in Walls at one time, and were 
esteemed a great delicacy, but, Mr. Heddle tells me, were to a 
great extent killed out by the brown rat. He himself remembers 
men being bitten by rats when putting their hands into holes to 
look for young ' lyars.' Some three generations back enormous 
numbers of cockles were taken and eaten by the people of Walls, 
and they seem to have been called ' Cockles ' — or, I presume, 
' eaters of cockles ' — in consequence. 

Oily Bogies. — I hardly see how this can have been ' eaters of.' 
There might have been some old story to the effect that the 
Burray men stole and ate these buoys, but I never heard it. 

South Ronaldshay has names for every district, which no 
other island but the Mainland has. 

Gnities is, Mr. Heddle says, equivalent to ' Skerry-scrapers ' — 
people who get their living from the ' grut ' or refuse left in 
bights by the tide. (' Grut,' see Norse grade = porridge or 

Scouties may be derived from the skua, though Mr. Heddle 
gives an unpresentable derivation. The word Birkies he did not 
know the meaning of, but asked two or three people, who all 
said the Sandwick people wei"e so called ' because Sandwick was 
such a place for tangles coming ashore, and the people had such 
a habit of eating what they called " birken " tangles, i.e. the stout 
or lower ends of the large thick tangles.' 

Burstin Lumps are a sort of preparation of oatmeal, once a very 
favourite dish in the Isles. 

Rousay ' Mares.' — -There is an old tale of a Rousay man who, 
being a coward, killed liis mare and hid inside her from his 
enemies. Mr. Heddle sends me an old rhyme on the subject : 

As the Rousay man said to his mare : 
' I wish I were in thee, for fear o' the war ; 
I wish I were in thee without any doubt, 
Were it Martinmas Day before I cam' out.' 

The North Ronaldshay people did eat seals. Why Hides I do 
not know. Mr. Heddle here suggests it may have had to do 


■with witchcraft, in which skins and especially seals' flippers were 
much used. Within the last ten years a man pulled down and 
rebuilt his byre because of some 'ongoings with a selkie flipper.' 
The names are very old and must be of Scandinavian origin. 

Yours sincerely, 
Duncan J. Robertson. 

In addition to these names of ' eaters/ simple names of 
animals, we have shown in the text, are as commonly given to 
English villages as totemic names are given to the totem groups 
of savages. 

Ancient Hebrew Village Names 

In Robertson Smith's Khuhip and Marriage in Early Arabia 
(p. 219) he says : ' I have argued that many place-names formed 
from the names of animals are also to be regarded as having been 
originally taken from the totem clans that inhabited them.' 
Now where toteimism is a living institution I know no instance 
in which a locality is named from ' the totem clan that inhabits 
it.' The thing cannot be where female descent prevails, as 
many totems are then everywhere mixed in each local group. 
Where male descent prevails we do, indeed, get localities in- 
habited by groups mainly of the same totem name. But their 
tendency is to let the totem name merge in the territorial title, 
the name of the locality, as Messrs. Spencer and Gillen prove for 
the Arunta and Mr. Dorsey for the Sioux. 

Having found no instance where a totemic group gives its 
totem name to the locality which it inhabits, I was struck by a 
remark of Dean Stanley in his Lectures on the History of the Jewish 
Church (p. 319, 1870). He there mentions the villages of Judah 
which were the scenes of some of Samson's adventures (Joshua 
XV. 32, 33 ; Judges i. 35). ITie villages of Lebaoth, Shaalbim, 
Zorah, respectively mean Lions, Jackals, and Hornets. Nobody 
eats any of these three animals, and they may be names of totem 
groups transferred to localities — though of this usage I know no 
example among savage totemists — or they may merely be old 
Hebrew village sobriquets, as in England and France. 

On consulting the Eiicyclopcedia Biblica, under ' Names ' (vol. 
iii. 3308, 3316) we find that 'there can be no doubt that many 
place-names ' in Palestine ' are identical with names of animals.' 
Those ' applied to towns ' (we may read villages probably) 
are much more common in the south than in the north. We 


have Stags, Lions, Leopards, Gazelles, Wild Asses, Foxes, 
HyaenaSj Cows, Lizards, Hornets, Scorpions, Serpents, and so on. 
These may have been derived from old totem kins, though I 
think that theory improbable, or from the frequency of hornets 
or scorpions in this or that place, or the villagers' sobriquet may 
have become the village name. The last hypothesis has hitherto 
been overlooked. The frequency of animal and plant names in 
the Roman gentes, Fabii (Beans), Asinii (Asses), Caninii (Dogs), 
is an instance that readily occurs. These may be survivals of 
totemism or of less archaic sobriquets, while the totem names 
themselves, as we have argued, may have had their origin in 



The hypothesis that the Australian terms of relationship, as 
they now exist, really denote status in customary law, may 
perhaps derive corroboration from the classiiicatory system as it 
appears among the Ba Ronga, near Delagoa Bay. Here the 
natives are rich, industrial, conunercial, and polygamous to the 
full extent of their available capital. Polygamy, male kinship, 
and wife purchase, with elaborate laws of dowry and divorce, 
have modified and complicated the terms of relationship. They 
are described by an excellent authority, M. Henri Junod, a 

M. Junod has obviously never heard of the "^ classificatory 
system' among other races, and his explanation of certain 
'avoidances,' such as between the husband and his wife's 
brother, father, and mother, is probably incorrect (turning, as it 
does, on the laws of wife-price and divorce), though it appears 
now to be accepted by the Ba Ronga themselves. But what 
more concerns us is the nature of terms of relationship. These 
terms denote status in customary law, determined by sex and 
seniority. Among the Basuto, ' a man is otherwise related to 
his sister than to his brother ; his children are related to their 
paternal otherwise than to their maternal uncles and aunts,' and 

' Les Baronga, Attinger, Neufchatel, 1898, pp. 82-87. 


to their cousins in the same style. Relative seniority, erttailing 
relative social duties, is also expressed in the terms of relation- 
ship. The maternal aunt, senior to the mother, is ' grandmother.' 
The children of my father's brother and of my mother's sister, 
are my ' brothers ' or ' sisters ; ' the children of my maternal 
uncle and paternal aunt are not my ' brothers ' and ' sisters.' 
The children of a man's inferior wives call the chief wife 
' grandmother,' and the other wives, not their mother, ' maternal 
aunts.' ' The son of my wife's sister is my 'son,' because I may 
succeed to her husband on his death, and his father calls me 
'brother.' The maternal uncle is the mere butt of his nephew, 
the uncle's wives are the nephew's potential wives : he is one of 
the heirs to them. This kind of uncle (maternal) is not one of the 
tribal ' fathers ' of the nephew, but the paternal uncle is, and is 
treated with the utmost respect. In brief, each name for a 
' relationship ' is a name carrying certain social duties or privi- 
leges, dependent on sex and seniority. 

We have no such customary laws, and need no such names — 
the names are the result and expression of the Basuto customary 
laws. Had we such ideas of duty and privilege, then they would 
be expressed in our terms of relationship, which would be 
numerous. My maternal uncle would have a name denoting the 
man with whose wife I may flirt. The wife of my brother-in- 
law is the woman whom I must treat with the most distant 
respect. If I am a woman, my father's sister's husband (my 
' uncle by marriage ') is a man whose wife I may become, and so 
forth endlessly. Consequently there is a wealth of terms of 
relationship, just because of the peculiarities of Ba Ronga 
customary law. 

' Op. cit. pp. 487-489. 


Aboriginal man, Mr. Darwin's 
view of, 209 ; Mr. Atkinson on, 220 

Affinity, degrees of, prohibiting 
marriage, 188 ; most stringently 
applied by least civilised races, 
2 ; differences of opinion among 
students of the qnestion, 2 ; ex- 
isting laws not an indication of 
primitive rules, 2; Australian 
anomaly, 88 

Age distinction and the classifica- 
tory system, Mr. Atkinson on, 

jUtruism, possible germ of, in 
nascent man, 232 

American ethnological terms, 10 

Andrews, Judge, on Hawaiian 
marriage relationships, 98 

Animal guardians among savages, 

Annamese famUy rela,tionshJps, Dr. 
Westermarck on, 240 

Anomaly, totem, among the Arunta, 

Anthropoid adult males unsocial, 

Aristotle and early human society, 

Arunta tribe of Central Australia, 
2, 11 ; descent reckoned in the 
male line, 15, 69 ; supposed 
ignorance of procreation, 20; a 
'marriage ceremony,' 24; rein- 
carnation superstition, 31, 139 ; 
totem marriage-prohibition now 
extinct, 41 ; totem common to 
both phratries, 46, 56; totem 
groups preceded phratries, 61 ; 
Mr. Spencer on the introduction 
of exogamy, 61 ; totem influence, 
61 ; traditions as to change of 
custom, 67 ; Mr. Frazer's opinion 
of the tribe, 68 ; intermarry with 
the Urabunna, 69 ; theory of 

evolution, 70 ; totemism, 70 ; 
belief in reincarnation, 71 ; totem 
eating, 71 ; Dr. Durkheim's views, 
72; opinion of Spencer and 
Gillen, 73; marital relationship, 
74 ; relations of totems and 
phratries, 74; myths, 75; Dr. 
Durkheim on, 75 ; Messrs. Spencer 
and Gillen's opinions, 76, 77 ; 
institution of marriage regula- 
tions, 78 ; phratries and totems, 
81 ; Dr. Durkheim's views on the 
phratry, 82 ; totemic divisions, 
83 ; origin of the anomalous 
marriage system, 85 ; philosophy 
of souls, 86 ; relationships pro- 
hibiting marriage, 88 ; curiosities 
of aflfinity, 88 ; terms of relation- 
ship, 93 ; relationship customs, 
96 ; legislation, 108 ; legend re- 
garding marriage limits, 108 ; 
class system with male descent, 
120 ; totems and magic, 196, 198 
Atkinson, Mr., his speculations on 
human origin, 3 ; on primitive 
man's polygamy, 4 ; his theories 
and the Biblical account, 7 ; dis- 
belief in early promiscuity, 9 ; 
views on the effect of sexual 
jealousy, 9, 18, .30 ; his opinion 
on exogamy and totemism, 17 ; 
his exogamous marriage hypo- 
thesis, 18 ; his ' primal law,' 19 ; 
on the origin of the ' classificatory 
system,' 108 ; on New Caledonian 
totems, 136 ; and the custom of 
avoidance, 212, 264 ; on the 
origin of exogamy, 212, 238 ; 
aboriginal man polygamous, 220 ; 
man's distinction in the primal 
law, 225 ; prolonged infancy in 
nascent man, 230; origin of 
maternal love, 231 ; possible germ 
of altruism, 232 ; earliest evolu- 


tion of law, 236 ; wives procured 
by capture, Zll ; editor's note 
thereon, 248 ; development from 
the group to the tribe, 250; 
eflfect of female sexual jealousy, 
256 ; extinction of the patriarchal 
family, 261 ; survivals of transi- 
tion period, 264; clan (phratry) 
relationship, 269; editor's note on- 
avoidances, 278 ; the classifica- 
tory system, 280, 285 ; on the ori- 
ginal purpose of totems, 282 ; on 
local contiguity constituting re- 
lationship, 289 ; on age distinc- 
tion and the classiiicatory system, 
290 ; on group marriage and the 
classificatory system, 292 

Attic plant names, 205 

Australia, marriage divisions in, 
38 ; consanguineous marriages 
forbidden, 40 ; tribal variations 
of custom, 41 

Australian group marriage, Messrs. 
Spencer and Gillen on, 293 

Australian, native, society not 
primitive, 3; complexity of 
social rules, 3, 4 ; low state of 
culture, 4; divinities, 5 ; languages 
and customs, 6 ; commerce, 6 

Australian tribal division, Mr. Fison 
on, 42 ; the author's view, 43 

Australian sex protectors, 144 

Avebury, Lord, on racial customs, 
12; on totemism, 122; on totem 
origin, 123 ; on communal 
marriage, 124 ; vague termino- 
logy, 126, 130 ; on relation- 
ships, 128 

' Avoidance.' custom of, Mr. Atkin- 
son on, 212 ; origin of, 276 

Avoidance between father-in-law 
and son-in-law, 268 ; its origin, 

Avoidance of mother-in-law, 270, 
277 ; Mr. Crawley on its origin, 

Bachofbn's view^ on maternal kin- 
names, 9 

Baiame, Australian divinity, 5, 29, 
138, 184 

Banks Island, two class divisions in, 

Ba Ronga terms of relationship, 301 

Barter between Australian tribes, 6 

Basuto customary law, 301 

' Bisection ' a misleading term, 36 

Bishop, Rev. A., on Hawaiian mar- 
riage relationships, 98 

Blood kinship implied by totem 
name, 193 

Breeding between sire and daughter, 
effect of, 223 

British Columbia clan totems, Mr. 
Hill Tout on, 152 

Brother-and-sister ' avoidance,' 213 ; 
in Australia, 216 

Brother-and-sister 'avoidance,' Dr. 
Westermarck on, 240 

Brother-and-sister marriage, primi- 
tive, Mr. Morgan on, 281 

Bull-roarer, palaeolithic, 5 ; minia- 
ture, discovered in France, 5 ; 
Mr. Frazer's bibliography of, 5 n 

Calabar 'bush-souls,' 143 

Camerons of Glen Nevis properly 
MacSorlies, 8 

Chattan, Clan, crest of the, 163 

Clan, definition of, 11 

Clan (phratry) relationship, Mr. 
Atkinson on, 269 

Clandestine intercourse preliminary 
to marriage, 265 

Class system, the, 85 ; and Mr. 
Morgan, 89 

Class system with male descent 
among the Arunta, 120 

Class and generation correspond, 

Class names, Herr Cuuow on, 113, 
118 ; Dr. Durkheim on, 118 ; Mr. 
Mathews on, 119 

Classes, Mr. Morgan's view of their 
origin, 92 

Classificatory system, Mr. Atkinson 
on the, 108, 285; division by 
generations the most natural one, 
286 ; age distinction, 290 ; and 
group marriage, 292 

Classificatory terms, 100 

Codrington, Dr., and totem descent, 
135; on Melanesian ancestor- 
worship, 150; on social systems 
in Melanesia, 177 ; his totem 
theory controverted, 181 

Commerce, Australian inter-tribal, 6 

Communal marriage, Mr. Morgan's 
theory, 90 ; Lord Avebury on, 124 

Consanguineous marriages for- 
bidden among Australian tribes, 

Contiguity, local, constituting rela- 
tionship, Mr. Atkinson on, 289 



Crawley, Mr., on promiscuous sexual 
relationship, 9 ; on the origin of 
prohibited marriages, 18 ; on 
jealousy in the family, 19 ; on the 
matriarchal theory, 20 ; his theory 
of exogamy, 23 ; his view of 
marriage among savages, 24 ; on 
the prevention of incest, 26 ; on 
terms of relationship, 95 ; on 
marriage by captirre, 249 ; on 
mother-in-law avoidance, 278 

Cult of the totem, 136 

Cunow's, Herr, opinion on ' class ' 
and ' phratry,' 37, 112; on class 
names, 113; regards the 'horde' 
as the original stage of society, 
114 ; his theory of exogamy, 115 ; 
on local totem groups, 116 ; his 
class-name theory opposed by Dr. 
Durkheim, 118 

Dakamtjlun, Australian divinity, 5 

Darwin, Mr., his theory of primitive 
polygamy, 4 ; his views on sexual 
jealousy, 9 ; opposed to theory of 
promiscuity, 99 ; on primitive 
man, 209 

Dieri, the, 41; myths, 65, 66, 91, 
139, 159, 163 ; piraura custom, 95, 

Diet, effect of, on sexual appetite, 227 

Distribution of totems in the 
' phratries,' 55 

Divine intervention, savage and 
civilised ideas, 91 

Domesticated animals in palaeolithic 
age, 4, 5 

Dorsey, Mr., his definition of clan, 
11 ; on totem descent, 135 ; and 
North American Indian group 
names, 172 

Dual relationship, tribal and indivi- 
dual, 88 

Durkheim, Dr., on marriage relation- 
ship, 19 ra ; on blood and totem 
superstition, 57 w ; on Arunta to- 
temism, 72 ; on Arunta 'phratries' 
and marriage, 73 ; on the relation 
of totem and phratry, 74, 82 ; on 
Amnta legends, 75 ; on totemic 
divisions, 83 ; on Arunta anoma- 
lous marriage system, 85 ; op- 
poses Herr Cunow's theory of 
class names, 118 ; on totem de- 
scent, 135 

Early belief in mutual danger of 
mankind, 24 

Eguilles, Marquis d', and Kanaka 
relationship names, 137 

Egypt, royal intermarriage, 1, 262 

Egyptian totemic myths, 201 

Endogamy, meaning of, 12 

English village sobriquets, 173, 295 

Erman, Adolf, on Yakut avoidance, 

Euahlayi, the, 29 ; Mrs. Laugloh 
Parker on the, 186 n ; myth, 66 

Evolution of primal law of avoid- 
ance, Mr. Atkinson on the, 210 

Exchange, commercial, among Aus- 
tralian tribes, 6 

Exogamy, meaning of the term, 10 ; 
anterior to totems, opinions on, 
17 ; Mr. McLennan's theory, 21 ; 
Mr. Crawley's theory, 23 ; Dr. 
Westermarck's theory, 33 ; Mr. 
Morgan's theory, 33 ; the author's 
theory, 34; the result of evolu- 
tion, 53; Mr. Frazer's earlier 
ideas on, 57 ; objections to, 59 ; 
his later theory, 62 ; advantages 
of the system now proposed, 63 ; 
ignored by theorists on group 
totemism, 160 ; Mr. Atkinson on 
origin of, 212, 238 ; earlier view 
quoted, 212 

Exogamy among the Arunta, 61 

Exogamy and totemism, Mr. 
Taylor's view, 17 

Exogamy, local, origin of, 31 

Family, the, its antiquity, 1 ; se- 
cured by dread of aberrations, 1 ; 
laws and customs vary, 1 ; un- 
civilised races and prohibited 
marriages, 2 ; present-day institu- 
tions no guide to prehistoric 
customs, 2 ; conjectures as to 
primitive state, 4 ; patriarchal 
family the original social unit, 
7 ; descent counted through the 
maternal line, 8, 21 ; suggestions 
as to early promiscuity, 9 ; pro- 
miscuity prevented by sexual 
jealousy, 9 ; totemism, 14 ; family 
group or ' fire circle,' 14, 17 ; 
exogamous tendencies, 17 ; Mr. 
Crawley on the effect of jealousy, 
19 ; matriarchal theory, 20 ; Mr. 
McLennan's theory of family 
exogamy, 21 ; Mr. Crawley's 
theory, 23 

Father - and - daughter avoidance, 
Veddah, 274 


Satber-in-law and daughter-in-law, 
customs concerning, 272, 275 

Father-in-law avoidance, Mr. Atkin- 
son on, 263, 277 

Female infanticide in first stages of 
society, 21 

Fijian 'totem gods,' 137 

Fison, Mr., on Kamilaroi marriage 
laws, 28 ; and the class sys- 
tem in Australia, 37 ; on Aus- 
tralian tribal division, 42 ; con- 
troverted by the author, 43 ; on 
the origin of totems, 45 ; on the 
change of totems, 48 ; on the 
origin of exogamy, 65, 97 ; his 
suggestion of Divine intervention, 
91 ; on terms of relationship, 95 ; 
quotes Mr. Lance on communal 
marriage, 106 

Fison and Howitt, Messrs., on to- 
temism, 16; their theories in- 
sufficient, 51 ; hypothesis as to 
Greek totemism, 203 

Fletcher, Miss Alice, on totem 
origin, 151 ; on Omaha magical 
societies, 198 

Folk-lore illustrative of totem group 
names, 169 

France, miniature palaeolithic bull- 
roarers found in, 5 

Frazer, Mr., bibliography of the 
bull-roarer, 5 ; regards the Arunta 
as primitive, 20, 68 ; his early 
ideas of the exogamous phratry, 
57 ; objections to them, 59 ; his 
later theory of exogamy, 62 ; his 
view that totems did not influence 
marriage, 68 ; on the arrange- 
ment of totems in phratries, 74 ; 
on Arunta legends, 76 ; names 
several varieties of totem, 132 ; 
his theories as to totem origin, 
143 ; on the group totem, 144 ; 
on the personal totem, 145 

Freeman, Mr., and the patriarchal 
famUy, 7 

Gaidoz and Sebillot mm., on un- 
friendly sobriquets, 168 

Ganowanian gentes, 92 

Ghost-worship, Melanesian, 182 

Gillen, Mr., see Spencer 

Goumditoh Mara tribe, 195 

Greek totemic myths, 201 

Greek totemism, Messrs. Fison and 
Hewitt's hypothesis, 208 

Grey, Sir George, on totems in 
Western Australia, 144 

Group marriage, 89 ; supposed sur- 
vivals of, 104 

Group marriage and the classifica- 
tory system, Mr. Atkinson on, 
292 ; editor's comments, 293 

Group marriage, Australian, Messrs. 
Spencer and Gillen on, 293 

Group names, theory as to, 166; 
originated outside the group, 168, 

Group totem, the hereditary, 160 

Group totems, Mr. N. W. Thomas 
on, 148 

Guatemala Indian nagual, 144 

Haddon, Mr., on totem origin, 156 
Hawaiian marriage relationships, 98 
Hawaiian terms of relationship, 93 
Hebrew village names, ancient, 300 
Hesiod and early human society, 7 
Horde the foundation of Herr 
Cunow's theory, 114; its division, 
Hose and McDougall, Messrs., on 

Sarawak beliefs, 153 
Hottentot marriages. Dr. Wester- 

marok on, 240 
Howitt, Mr., his ethnological no- 
menclature, 10 n ; and the class 
system in Australia, 37 ; his 
opinion on Australian marriage 
customs, 41 ; his views on the 
primary class divisions, 46 ; con- 
siders totemism too old for 
theorising, 49 ; regards the undi- 
vided commune as a probable 
hypothesis, 65 ; see also Fison 
Human origin, Mr. Atkinson's specu- 
lations on, 3 ; Biblical account 
differs from Mr. Atkinson's, not 
from Mr. Morgan's hypothesis, 7 
Human society, limit of historical 
research into origins of, 2 ; pro- 
gress of, 3 ; obscurity of the 
subject, 3 
Hunter Biver totems, Mr. Eusden 
on, 148 

INCAS of Peru, royal intermarriage, 

Incest to marry within totem name, 

Incest, prevention of, Mr. Crawley's 

theory, 26 
Individual totems, Mr. N. W.Thomas 

on, 148 



Infancy prolonged in nascent man, 

Mr. Atkinson on, 230 
Infanticide, female, and exogamy, 21 

Jealousy the cause of exogamy, 19 
Jealousy, sexual, the motive power 

in social changes, 272 
Jevons, Mr., on totems, 134 ; on the 

Attic social system, 206 
Junod, M. Henri, and the Baronga 

terms of relationship, 301 

Kamilaroi, the, 35 n 

Kamilaroi group laws, Mr. Mathews 

on, 46 
Kamilaroi interphratry marriages, 

Kamilaroi marriage laws, Mr. 

Mathews on, 27 ; Mr. Fison on, 28 
Keddies (Southern India), marriage 

custom among, 286 
Kennedys of Galloway, 7 
'KiTi name, maternal, 8 
Klngsley, Miss, on the Calabar 

'bush-souls,' 143 
Kinship among the earliest human 

groups, 19 
Kumai women and the sex totem, 

Kyontha social customs, Dr. 

Westermarck on, 246 n 
Kyonthas, avoidance among the, 275 

Lanoe, Mr., on communal marriage 

survival, 106 
Lang, Mr. G. S., quoted by Lord 

Avebury, 126 
Lifu terms of relationship, 94, 100 
Local exogamy, its origin, 13 
Long's, J., mention of ' totam,' 131 n 

Macdonnells of Moidart and 
Glengarry, 7 

McGee, W. J., his ethnological 
terminology, 11 » ; his views on 
the evolution of society, 52 

McLennan, Mr. Daniel, on the origin 
of exogamy, 63 ; on the phratries 
of Northern Victoria tribes, 64 

McLennan, Mr. Donald, on exogamy 
and totemism, 14, 16, 17 

McLennan, Mr. J. F., 3 ; his views on 
maternal kin-names, 9 ; his defini- 
tion of exogamy, 10, 12 ; his view 
of the most archaic marriage law, 
13 ; his opinion of kinship, 19, 
20 ; his theory of exogamy, 21 ; 

the theory untenable, 22 ; his 
views of ' primitive groups,' 31 ; 
and exogamous phratries, 37 ; con- 
siders totemism anterior to exo- 
gamy, 44 ; on totem kins, 55 ; on 
terms of relationship, 95 ; on 
marriage by capture, 267 ; his 
criticism of Mr. Morgan's classifi- 
cation theory, 284 ; remarks 
thereon by Mr. Atkinson, 284 

MacSorlies part of Clan Cameron, 8 

McUlrigs (Kennedys) of Galloway, 7 

Magical societies, 197 

Maine, Sir Henry, his 'Ancient 
Law,' 7 ; on the evolution of 
tribes and states, 7 

Malayan relationship system, Mr. 
Morgan on, 90, 281 

Mandeville, Sir John, referred to, 24 

Man's distinction from other crea- 
tures, Mr. Atkinson on, 225 

Marital relations among the Arunta, 

Marriage among savages, Mr. Craw- 
ley's view of, 24 

Marriage by capture, Mr. Atkinson 
on, 244, 266 ; editor's remarks on 
Mr. Atkinson's views, 248 ; Mr. 
McLennan on, 267 

Marriage ceremony, Arunta, 24 

Marriage, communal, Mr. Morgan's 
theory, 90; Lord Avebury on, 

Marriage custom of the Keddies of 
Southern India, 286 

Marriage divisions in Australia, 38 

Marriage, group, 89 ; supposed sur- 
vivals of, 104 

Marriage laws, totemio and civilised, 

Marriage regulations among the 
Arunta, 78 

Marriage within the totem name 
prohibited, 16 

Maternal kinship, 8 

Maternal love, origin of, Mr. Atkin- 
son on, 231 

Mathews, Mr. John, on aboriginal 
jealousy, 9 n 

Mathews, Mr., on Australian inter- 
tribal barter, 6 ; on prohibited 
marriages, 27 ; on group mar- 
riages, 35 m; on marriage divi- 
sions in Australia, 38 ; on class 
names, 119 ; on totem names, 120 

Matriarchal theory, 20 

Melanesian ghost-worship, 182 ; 
sacrifices, 183 


Melanesia!! social system, 176 

Menomini myth, 66 

Mincopies (Ancla,mauese), 9 

Modern theories of totem origin: 
Mr. A. H. Keane's theory, 140; 
Mr. Max Muller's theory, 141 ; 
Mr. Herbert Spencer's theory, 
142; Mr. Frazer's theories, 143; 
Mr. N. W. Thomas's theory, 148 ; 
Dr. Wilken's theory, 150; Miss 
Alice Fletcher's theory, 151 ; Mr. 
Hill Tout's theory, 152; Messrs. 
Hose and McDougall's theory, 
153 ; Mr. Haddon's theory, 156 : 
an objection to these theories, 
159 ; the author's conjecture, 161 

Modification of sexual habit, Mr. 
Atkinson on, 227 

Morgan, Mr., on human origin, 7 ; 
his criticism of Mr. McLennan's 
terms, 13 n; his theory of 
exogamy, 33 ; and exogamous 
phratries, 87 ; his theory quoted 
by Mr. Fison, 65 ; and the class 
system, 89 ; his theory of com- 
munal marriage, 90 ; the theory 
inexplicable, 91 ; his views on 
the origin of classes and totems, 
92 ; on terms of relationship, 93 ; 
on communal marriage in Hawaii, 
98; his theory opposed by Dar- 
win, 98 ; on primitive brother- 
and-sister marriage, 281 

Mother kin, 20 

Mother-and-son avoidance, Veddah, 

Mother-in-law, ' avoidance ' of, 277 ; 
Mr. Atkinson on, 213 ; Mr. Craw- 
ley on its origin, 278 

Mother-in-law, customs concerning, 
272, 273, 275 

Miiller, Mr. Max, and totem origin, 

Mungun-nganr, Australian divinity, 

Munro, Dr., on primitive man, 4 

Myth, savage, and scientific hypo- 
thesis, coincidence of, 76 

Myths, Arunta, 75 ; Greek and 
Egyptian totemic, 201 

Naies of Malabar, 22 
Narrinyeri totem eaters, 179 
Nascent man a solitary polygamous 
male, 220 ; younger males ex- 
pelled from family, 220 ; absence 
of a paring season, 226 ; effect of 
diet on sexual function, 227 ; 

prolonged infancy, 230 ; maternal 
love, 231 ; retention of adult son 
in family, 232; distinction be- 
tween females in the family 
circle, 236 ; rule of ' avoidance,' 
237 ; primal law the parent of 
exogamy, 238 ; the editor's view, 
238 ; sexual relations between 
sire and' daughter, 251 ; widows 
of the polygamous husband, 252 ; 
introduction of outside males, 
254 ; effect of female sexual 
jealousy, 256 ; recognition of 
cousinship, 257 ; interchange of 
sisters, 258 : division of the 
group, 260 

Nature-worship, Lord Avebury's 
synonym of totemism, 122 

New Caledonia, separation of 
brother and sister, 214 ; infanti- 
cide of twins, 215 ; avoidance in, 

New Caledonia totems, 136 

New Caledonian totem belief, 143 

New Caledonian tribes, hostility 
between, 167 

New Hebrides, North, class divisions 
in, 178 

Nooreli, Australian divinity, 5, 138 

North American Indian group 
names, 172 

Northern Victoria, tribal tradition 
of, 64 

Nyarongs, Sarawak, 153 

Omaha magical societies, 197 ; Miss 
Alice Fletcher on, 198 

Omaha manitus. Miss Fletcher on, 

Omaha totem groups, 196 

Origin of avoidance, Mr. Atkinson 
on, 276 

Origin of classes and totems, Mr. 
Morgan's view, 92 

Origin of totemism, theories regard- 
ing the, 49, 50 ; Lord Avebury on, 

Orissa, avoidance in 275 

Orkney, group sobriquets in, 296 

PALiEOLlTHic man, Dr. Munro on, 

4, 5 ; possessed religous belief, 5 
PalsBolithic remains found in France, 

Parker, Mrs. Langloh, on the Euah- 

layi, 186 n. 
Patriarchal family first social unit, 

7 ; Sir Henry Maine's opinion, 7 ; 



Mr. Freeman's concurrence, 7 ; 
absent from ' non- Aryan ' races, 8 

Persian royal marriages, 262 

Peruvian Incas' marriages, 1, 262 

Pfeil, Ooiint von, on inter-tribal 
hostility, 168 

Phratria, the Attic, 205 

Phratries, 35 ; intended to produce 
exogamy, 53 

Phratries and totem groups, rela- 
tive antiquity, 35 

Phratries and totems of the Arunta, 

Phratries and totems, relations of, 

Phratry, Herr Cunow on the deve- 
lopment of, 116 

Phratry names usually totemic, 116 

Phratry, origin of the, Mr. McGee's 
view, 52 ; Mr. Hewitt's theory, 
53 ; Mr. Frazer's ideas, 67 

Plots, royal, counted descent 
through female line, 21 

Pinaru, Dieri headman's title, 105 

Piraungani arrangement, 105 ; 
among the Urabunna, 106 

Pirmaheal, Australian divinity, 5 

Plant names, Attic, 205 

Pollux on the Attic genos, 206 

Polyandry in Malabar, 22 

Polyandry supposed origin of ma- 
ternal kin-name, 9 

Polygamy probable institution of 
primitive man, 4 

Polygyny and monogamy, Mr. 
Darwin's group basis, 64 

Powell's, Major, ethnological ter- 
minology, 10 n ; use of the word 
' totem,' 132 

'Primary divisions' totemic and 
exogamous, 43; Mr. Hewitt's 
hypothesis, 46 ; probably the 
result of amalgamation, 181 

Primitive brother-and-sister mar- 
riage, Mr. Morgan on, 281 

Primitive man, opinions on, 4 

Pristine groups necessarily small, 
164 ; governed by sexual jealousy, 

Prohibited marriages, Arunta, by 
affinity, 88 

Pundjel, Australian divinity, 5 

Qat, Melanesian object of prayer, 

Eblationship by generations, 90 ; 
Mr. Morgan's theory, 93 

Eelationship constituted by local 
contiguity, Mr. Atkinson on, 289 

Eelationship terms, origin of, 102 ; 
difierence of meaning between 
savage and civilised, 102 ; family 
and tribal significance, 103 ; 
express status, 129 

Eelationships, Lord Avebury on, 

Eelationships, Arunta, which pre- 
clude marriage, 88; curious dis- 
tinctions, 88 

' Eeligion,' Mr. Crawley's definition 
of, 23 

Eeverence for totems, nyarongs, 
and naguals, 186 

Eidley, Eev. W., and Australian 
exogamous phratries, 37 

Robertson, Mr. Dancan, on group 
sobriquets in Orkney, 296 

Eoman traditions as to tribal 
origin, 8 

Roth, Dr., and Australian native 
customs, 6 % ; on the evolution of 
classes, 114 

Eusden, Mr., on the Hunter Eiver 
totems, 148 

Sacred animals in savage society, 

Sacrifices, Melanesian, 183 
Samoan ' totem gods,' 137 
Sarawak, nyarongs in, 153 
'Second master,' Urabunna wife's, 

104 ; not a survival of communal 

marriage; 105 
Selwyn, Bishop, quoted as to 

Melanesian ghost-worship, 182 
Sex protector, Australian, 144 
Sex totem, killing a, 146 
Sexes mutually dangerous, savage 

beliefs, 19, 24 
Sexual family relations common to 

all animals, 224 
Sexual functions, modification of, 

Mr. Atkinson on, 227 
Sexual jealousy, Mr. Atkinson on, 

220, 272, 276 
Sexual jealousy the cause of exo- 
gamous marriage, 18 
Siouan gentes, Mr. Dorsey on, 172 
Siouan gentes, names of, 295 ; 

probably totemic, 175 
Siouan tribes, 11 
Smith,Mr. Robertson,andtotemism, 

17 ; on prohibited marriages, 27 
Sobriquets, English village, 295 ; 


Siouan, 295 ; Orkney and Shet- 
land, 296 ; Ancient Jewish, 300 

Social changes the result of sexual 
jealousy, Mr. Atkinson on, 272 

Social rules, growth of, in the tribe, 

Social system of Melanesia, 176 

Solomon Islands, no division into 
kindreds, 178 ; exoga,mous groups, 

Son-in-law, customs concerning, 
272, 273, 275 

Spencer, Mr., on the origin of 
totemism, 60, 142 ; on exogamous 
groups in the Arunta tribe, 61 ; 
his reason for their introduction, 
62 ; inconclusive statements, 62 ; 
his latest hypothesis regarding 
totemism, 68 

Spencer and Gillen on aboriginal 
jealousy, 9 ; on totem groups, 
15 OT, 16 ; on TJrabunna descent, 
20; and the Arunta marriage 
ceremony, 24 ; on the class system 
in Australia, 37 ; on changes of 
tribal custom, 67 ; and ' com- 
munal marriage,' 69 ; on Arunta 
totem eating, 73 ; on Arunta 
marital relations, 74; on totems 
and phratries, 74 ; on Arunta 
legends, 76, 77 ; on marriage 
regulations, 78 ; on tribal and 
individual relationships, 89 ; on 
terms of relationship, 95 ; on 
' classificatory ' terms, 100 ; on 
Urabunna customs, 101 ; on totem 
origin, 141 ; on brother-and-sister 
' avoidance,' 216 ; on Australian 
group marriage, 293 

State, origin of the. Sir H. Maine 
on, 7 

Status implied by relationship 
terms, 101 

' Stealthy ' intercourse preliminary 
to marriage, 265 

Supremacy of women, supposed 
period of, 9 

Sutherland crest, 163 

Tankervillb, Loed, on the Chil- 

lingham Park bulls, 222 
Terminology, the author's, 37 n ; 

Mr. Fison's, 38 n 
Terminology, confusing, 10, 44, 126, 

Terms of relationship, Mr. Morgan 

on, 93 ; origin of, 102 ; family 

and tribal significance, 103 

Thlinket ideas of totems, 139 

Thomas, Mr. N. W., on totemism, 

Totem, restricted meaning of the 
word, 133 ; original word doubt- 
ful, 135; cult, the, 136; origin 
probably not religious, 137 

Totem alliance, Mr. Jevons on, 134 

Totem eating, Arunta, 71 

Totem group names, folk-lore illus- 
trative of, 169 

Totem groups, local, 15 ; hetero- 
geneous, 30 ; Mr. Morgan on the 
origin of, 92 

Totem groups and magic, Arunta, 
196, 198 

Totem groups and phratries, relative 
antiquity, 35 

Totem influence among the Arunta, 

Totem kindreds, 10, 12 

Totem name a bar to marriage, 16 ; 
liable to change, 48 ; origin for- 
gotten, 184 ; implies blood kin- 
ship, 193 

Totem prohibition of tribal marri- 
age, 35 

Totemic divisions of the Arunta, 83 

Totemic influence on the Keddies' 
marriage customs, 287 

Totemic myths, ancient Greek and 
Egyptian, 201 

Totemic rules differ from civilised 
marriage laws, 87 

Totemic system and exogamy, 80 

Totemism, Lord Avebury on, 122 

Totemism among the Arunta, 68 

Totemism and exogamy, 16 

Totemism dying in Melanesia, 184 

Totemism, group, exogamous, the 
author's conjecture, 161 

Totemism, origin of, 14, 131 ; theo- 
ries regarding, 49, 50; Mr. 
Spencer on, 60 

Totems and phratries, relations of, 

Totems, classification of, by Mr. 
Frazer, 132 

Totems, distribution of, in the 
'phratries,' 55 

Totems, Mr. Fison on the origin of, 

Totems, original purpose of, Mr. 
Atkinson on, 282 

Tout, Mr. Hill, on totem otigin, 

Tribal and individual relationship. 



Tribal custom, Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen on, 67 

Tribal divisions totemic in origin, 

Tribal heterogeneousness, 8 

Tribe, origin of the. Sir H. Maine 
on, 7 ; definition of the word, 11 ; 
an aggregation, not a division, 
98 ; not a primitive institution, 
103 ; growth of social rules in 
the, 107 

Turanian gentes, 92 

Tylor, Mr., on exogamy and totem- 
ism, 17 ; considers descent 
through female line the more 
archaic, 21 ; his researches into 
laws of marriage and descent, 
109 ; on the word ' totem,' 131 n ; 
on Fijian and Samoan totemism, 
137 ; supports Dr. Wilken's theory 
of totem origin, 150 

Urabxjnna tribe of Central Aus- 
tralia, 1, 10 ; tribal divisions, 11 ; 
marriage restrictions, 12 ; descent 
through the female line, 20, 69 ; 
exogamous and totemic division, 
54; intermarry with the Arunta, 
69 ; communal marriage among, 
69; less developed than the 
Arunta, 75 ; terms of relationship, 
93 ; status implied by relation- 
ship terms, 101 ; Spencer and 
Gillen on customs, 101 ; marriage 
laws, 104 ; ' second masters ' of 
married women, 104 ; Piraungaru 
custom, 105 

Vbddahs, avoidance of father and 

daughter, 274 ; of motherand son, 

Victoria, Northern, tribal tradition 

of, 64 
Village names, ancient Hebrew, 

Village sobriquets, English, 173, 


Westermarck, Dr., on promiscuous 
sexual relationship, 9 ; on the 
matriarchal theory, 20 ; on ape 
etiquette, 25 ; his theory of exo- 
gamy, 33 ; on terms of relation- 
ship, 95 ; on brother-and-sister 
avoidance, 240 ; on Aimamese 
and Hottentot relationships, 240 ; 
on marriage by capture, 248 

Western Australia totem. Sir George 
Grey on, 144 

Wilken's, Dr., theory of totemic 
origin, 150; depends on the 
patriarchal theory, 151 

Witchetty Grub, Australian totem, 

Woeworung, the, 41 ; myths, 66, 139, 
159, 163 

Women, supremacy of, supposed 
period of, 9 

Women, dominion of, 20 

Yak€TS, avoidance among the, 

Zapotbcs and their tona, 144 
Zulu superstition, 136, 143 


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MOIRS, &c. 

LATIONS, ETC. . - . - 
MENT, &c. 


&c. - - 

FICTION, HUMOUR, &c. - - - 












NOMICS ---... 20 






COLONIES, &c. - - - - 









Abbott (Evelyn) 3, 

19, 22 

(J. H. M.) 


(T. K.) - - 


(E. A.) - - 


Acland (A. H. D.) - 


Acton (Eliza) - 


Adclborg(0.) - - 




Albemarle (Earl of) - 


Alcock (C. W.) 


Allen (Grant) - 


AUgood (G.) - - 


Alverstone (Lord) - 


Angwin (M. C.) 


Annandale (N.) 


Anstey (F.) 


Aristophanes - 


Aristotle - 


Arnold (Sir Edwin) - 


(Dr.T.) - - 


Ashbourne (Lord) - 


Ashby (H.) - 


Ashley (W. J.) - 

3, 20 

Atkinson (J. J.) 
Avebury (Lord) 



Ayre (Rev. J.) - 




Bagehot (W.) - 9 

20, 38 

Bagwell (R.) - 


Bailey (H. C.) - 


Baillie (A. F.) - 


Bain (Alexander) 


Baker (J. H.) - 


(Sir S. W.) 

II, 12 

Baldwin (C.:S.) 



Balfour (A. J.) 
Ball (John) 
Banks (M. M.) - 
Baring-Gould (Rev, 

S.) - - -21,38 

Harnett (S. A. and H.) 
Baynes (T. S.) - 
Beaconsfield (Earl of) 
Beaufort (Duke of) 

12, 13, 
Becker (W. A.) 
Beesly (A, H.) - 
Bell (Mrs. Hugh) - 
Bent (J. Theodore) - 
Besant (Sir Walter)- 
Bickerdyke (J.) 
Bird(G.) - 
Blackburne (J. H.) - 
Bland (Mrs. Hubert) 
Blount (Sir E.) 
Boase (Rev. C. W.) - 
Boedder (Rev. B.) - 
Bonnell (H. H.) 




14. 15 



Booth (A. J) 
Bottome (P.) - 
Bowen (W. E.) 
Brassey (Lady) 
Bright (Rev. }. F.) - 
Broadfoot (Major W.) 
Brooks (H. J.) - 
Brough (J.) - 
Brown (A. F.) - 
Bruce (R. I.) - 
Buckland (Jas.) 
Buckle (H. T.) - 

Ball(T.) - 
Burke (U. R.) - 
Burne-Jones (Sir E.) 
Burns (C. L.) - 
Burrows (Montagu) 
Campbell (Rev. Lewis) 
Casserly (G.) - 
Chesney (Sir G.) 
Childe-Pemberton (W. 

S.) - - - 
Chisholm (G. C ) - 

(H.) - - - 
Christie (R. C.) 
Churchill (Winston S.) 4, 25 
Cicero - - - 22 
Clarke (Rev. R. F.) - 19 
Climenson (E. J.) - 10 
Clodd (Edward) -21,30 
Clutterbuck(W. J.)- 12 
Cochrane (A.) - - 23 
Cockerell (C. R.) - n 

Colenso(R. J.) 
Conington (John) - 
Conybeare (Rev. W. J.) 

& Howson (Dean) 
Coolidge (W. A. B.) 
Corbett (Julian S.) - 
Coutts (W.) • 
Cox (Harding) 
Crake (Rev. A. D.) - 
Crawford (J. H.) - 
Creed (S.) 

Creighton (Bishop) - 4. 
Cross,(A. L.) - 


9, 17 


Crozier (J.B.) - 
Cutis (Rev. E. L.) 

Dabney (J. P.) - - 23 

Dale (L.) - - - 4 

Dallinger (F. W.) - 5 

Dauglish (M. G.) - 9 

Davenport (A.) - 25 

Davidson (A. M. C.) 22 

(W. L.) - 17,20,21 

Davies (J. F.) - - 22 

Dent (C. T.) - - 14 

De Salis (Mrs.) - 36 

De Tocqueville (A.) - 4 
Devas (C. S.) - - 19, 20 

Dewey (D. R.)- - 20 

Dickinson (W. H.) - 38 

Dougall (L.) - - 25 

Dowden (E.) - - 40 

Doyle (Sir A. Conan) 25 

Du Bois (W. E. B.)- 5 

Dunbar (Mjiry F.) - 25 

Dyson (E.) - - 26 

Ellis (J. H.) ■ - 15 

(R. L.) - - 17 

Erasmus - . - g 

Evans (Sir John) - 38 

Falkiner (C. L.) . - 4 
Farrar (Dean) - - 20, 26 

Fite (W.) - - - 17 

Fitzmaurice (Lord E.) 4 

Folkard (H. C.) - 15 

Ford (H.) ... 16 

Fountain (P - - 11 

Fowler (Edith H.) - 26 

Francis (Francis) - 16 






17, 18 




Francis (M. E.) - 26 
Freeman (Edward A.) 6 
Fremantle (T. F.) - 16 
Frost (G.)- - - 38 
Froude (James A.) 4,9,11,26 
Fuller (F. W.) - - 5 
Furneaux (W.) - 30 

Gardiner (Samuel R.) 5 

Gatborne-Hardy (Hon. 

A. E.) - - 13, 16 
Geikie (Rev. Cunning- 
ham) - - - 38 
Gibson (C. H.) - - 17 
Gilkes (A. H.) - - 38 
Gleig(Rev. G. R.) 
Grabam (A.) 

(P. A.) - 

(G. F.) - - 

Granby (Marquess of) 
Grant (Sir A.) - 
Graves (R. P.) - 

(A. F.) - - 

Green (T. Hill) 

Greene (E. B.)- 

Greville (C. C. F.) 

Grosfe (T. H.) - 

Gross (C.) - - 5 

Grove (Lady) - - 11 

(Mrs. Lilly) - 13 

Gurnhill (J.) - - 18 
Gwilt (I.) - - - 31 
Haggard (H, Rider) 

II, 26, 27, 38 
Halliwell-Pbillipps(J.) 10 
Hamilton (Col. H. B.) 5 
Hamlin (A. D. F.) - 36 
Harding (S. B.) - 5 

Hardwick (A. A.) - II 
Harmswortb (A. C.) 
Harte (Bret) - 
Harting(J. E.)- 
Hartwig (G.) - 
Hassall (A.) - 
Haweis (H. R.) - c 
Head (Mrs.) - 
Heath (D. D.) - 
Heathcote (I. M.) - 

(C. G.) - - 

(N.) - - - 

Helmholtz (Hermann 
von) - - - 
Henderson (Lieut- 
Col. G. F. R.) - 
Henry (W.) - 
Henty (G. A.) - 
Higgins (Mrs. N.) - 
HiU (Mabel) - 

(S. C.) - - 

Hillier (G. Lacy) - 
Hime (H. W. L.) - 
Hodgson (Sbadwortb) 
Hoenig (F.) - 
Hoffmann (J ) - 
Hogan(J. F.) - - 
Holmes (R. R.) 
Homer - - - 
Hope (Antbony) 
Horace - - - 
Houston (D. F.) 
Howard (Lady Mabel) 
Howitt (W.) ► 
Hudson (W. H.) - 
Huish (M. B.) - 
Hullah (J.) 
Hume (David) - 

(M. A. S.) 

Hunt (Rev. W.) 
Hunter (Sir W.) - 
Hutcbinson (Horace G.) 

13, 16, 27, 38 
Ingelow (Jean) - 23 

Ingram (T. D.) - 6 
James (W.) - - 18, 21 

iameson (IVIrs. Anna) 37 
efFeries (Ricbard) - 38 
ekyll (Gertrude) - 38 

13. 14 
■ 9,36 


27, 39 

Jerome (Jerome K.) - 
Johnson Q.&.]. H.) 
Jones (H. Bence) 
Joyce (P. W.) - 6, 
Justinian - - - 

Kant (I.) - - l8 

Kaye (Sir J. W.) - 6 

Keary (C. t.) - - 23 

Kelly (E.)- - - 18 

Kielmansegge (F.) - 9 

Killick (Rev. A. H.) - 18 

Kitcbin (Dr. G. W.) 6 
Knight (E. F.) - - 11, 14 

Kbstlin (J.) - - 10 

Kristeller (P.) - - 37 

Ladd(G. T.) - - 18 

Lang (Andrew) 6 ,13, 14, 16, 
21, 22, 23, 27, 32, 39 

Lapsley (G. T.) - 5 

Laurie (S. S.) - - 6 

Lawrence (F. W.) - 20 

Lear (H.L.Sidney)- 36 
Lecky (W. E. H.) 6, 18, 23 

Lees (J. A.) - - 12 

Leigbton (t. A.) - 21 
Leslie (T. E. Cliffe) 
Lieven (Princess) 
Lillie (A.)- 
Locock (C. D.) 
Lodge (H. C.) - 
Loftie (Rev. W. J.) 
Longman (C. J.) 

(F. W.) - 

(G. H.) - 

(Mrs. C. J.) 

Lowell (A. L.) - 

Lutoslawski (W.) 
Lyall (Edna) - 
Lynch (G.) 

(H. F. B.)- 

Lytton (Earl of) 
Macaulay (Lord) 6,7,10,24 

Macdonald (Dr. G.) - 24 

Macfarren(Sir G. A.) 37 
Mackail (J. W.) - 10, 23 

Mackenzie (C. G.) - 16 

Mackinnon (J.) - 7 

Macleod (H. D.) - 20 

Macpherson(Rev.H.A.) 15 

Madden (D. H.) - 16 

Magniisson (E.) - 28 

Maber (Rev. M.) - 19 

Mallet (B.) - - 7 

Malleson(Col. G.B.) 6 

Marbot (Baron de) - 10 

Marchmcnt (A. W.) 27 

Marshman (J. C.) - 9 

Maryon (M.) - - 39 

Mason (A. E. W.) - 27 

Maskelyne (J. N.) - 16 

Matthews (B.) - 39 

Maunder (S.) - - 31 
Max Muller (F.) 

10, 18, 20, 21, 22, 27, 39 

May (Sir T. Erskine) 7 

Meade (L. T.) - - 32 

Melville (G. J. Whyte) 27 

Merivale (Dean) - 7 

Merriman (H. S.) - 27 
Mill (John Stuart) - 18, 20 
Millais (J. G.) - - 16, 30 

Milner (G.) - - 40 

Monck (W. H. S.) - 19 

Montague (F. C.) - 7 

Moore (T.) - - 31 

(Rev. Edward) - 17 

Moran (T. F.) - - 7 

Morgan (C. Lloyd) - 21 
Morris (W.) - 22, 23, 24, 
27. 28, 37, 40 

Mulhall (M. G.) - 20 

Murray (Hilda) - 33 

Myers (F. W. H.) - 19 

Nansen (F.) - - 12 


12, 16 

13, 15 













Nash (V.) - 
Nesbit (E.) 
Nettleship (R. L.) - 
Newman (Cardinal) - 
Nichols (F. M.) 
Oakesmith (J.) - 
Ogilvie (R.) - ■ za 
Oldfield (Hon. Mrs.) 9 

Osbourne (L.) - - 28 
Packard (A. S.) - 21 
Paget (Sir J.) - ■ 10 
Park(W.) - - 16 

Parker (B.) - - 40 
Pears (E.) - - 7 
Pearse (H. H. S.) 
Peek (Hedley) - 
Pemberton (W. 

Cbilde-) - - 9 
Penrose (H. H.) - 33 
Phillipps-Wolley(C.) 12,28 
Pierce (A. H.) - - 19 
Pole (W.) - - - 17 
Pollock (W. H.) - 13, 40 
Poole (W.H. and Mrs.) 36 
Poore (G. V.) - - 40 
Portman (L.) - - - 28 
Powell (E.) - - 7 

Powys (Mrs. P. L.) - 10 
Praeger (S. Rosamond) 33 
Pritchett (R. T.) - 14 
Proctor (R. A.) 16, 30, 35 
Raine (Rev. James) - 6 
Ramal (W.) - - 24 
Randolph (C. F.) - 7 
Rankin (R.) - - 8, 25 
Ransome (Cyril) - 3, 8 
Reid(S. J.) - - 9 
Rhoades (J.) - - 23 
Rice (S. P.) - - 12 
Rich (A.) - - - 23 
Richmond (Ennis) - 19 
Rickaby (Rev. John) 19 

(Rev. Joseph) - 19 

Riley (J. W.) - - 24 
Roberts (E. P.) - 33 
Robertson (W. G.) - 37 
Robinson (H. C.) - 21 
Roget (Peter M.) - 20, 31 
Romanes (G.J.) 10, 19,21,24 

(Mrs. G. J.) - 10 

Ronalds (A.) - - 17 
Roosevelt (T.) - - 6 
Ross (Martin) - - 28 
Rossetti (Maria Fran- 

cesca) - - - 40 
Rotberam (M. A.) - 36 
Rowe (R. P. P.) - 14 
Russell (Lady)- - 10 
Sandars (T. C.) - 18 
Sanders (E. K.) - 9 
Savage- Armstrong(G.F.)25 
Scott (F. J.) - - 8 

Seebohm (F.) - - 8, 10 
Selous (F. C.) - - 12, 17 
Senior (W.) - - 13, 15 
Seton-Karr (Sir H.)- 8 
Sewell (Elizabeth M.) 28 

EDITORS — continued. 

Stanley (Bishop) - 3: 
Stebbing (W.) - 
Steel (A. G.) - 
Stephen (Leslie) 
Stephens (H. Morse) 
Sternberg (Count 

Adalbert) - 
Stevens (R. W.) 
Stevenson (R. L.) 25,28,33 
Storr (F.) - - - 17 
Stuart-Wortley(A.J.) 14,15 
Stubbs (J. W.) - 

(W.)- - - 

Suffolk & Berkshire 

(Earlol) - 
Sullivan (Sir E.) 
Sully (James) - 
Sutherland (A. and G.) 


Suttner (B. von) 
Swinburne (A. j".) - 
Symes (J. E.) - 
Tait(J.) - - - 
Tallentyre (S. G.) - 
Tappan (E. M.) 
Taylor (Col. Meadows) 
Theopbrastus - 
Thomas (J. W.) 
Thomson (H. C.) 

Shadwell (A.) - 
Shaw (W. A.) - 
Shearman (M.) 
Sheeban (P. A.) 
Sheppard (E.) - 
Sinclair (A.) 
Skrine (F. H.) - 
Smith (C. Fell) 

• (R. Boswortb) - 

(T. C.) - - 

(W. P. Haskett) 

Somerville (E.) 

Soulsby(LucyH.) - 
Southey (R.) - 
Spedding(J.) - 
Spender (A. E.) 

■ 12, 13 







Tbornhill (W. J.) 
Thornton (T. H.) 


Thuillier (H. F.) 

Todd (A.) - - - 8 

Tout (T. F.) - - 7 

Toynbee (A.) - - 20 
Trevelyan (Sir G. O.) 

6, 7, 8, 9, 10 

(G. M.) - - 7, 8 

(R. C.) - - 25 

Trollope (Anthony)- 29 

Turner (H. G.) - 40 
Tyndall (J.) - - 9, 12 
Tyrrell (R. Y.) - - 22, 23 

Unwin (R.) - - 40 

Upton(F.K.and Bertha) 33 

Van Dyke (J. C.) - 37 

Vanderpoel (E. N.) - 37 

Virgil - - - 23 

Wagner (R.) - - 25 

Wakeman (H. O.) - 8 

Walford (L. B.) - 29 

Wallas (Graham) - 10 

(Mrs. Graham) - 32 

Walpole (Sir Spencer) 8, iq 

(Horace) - - 10 

Walrond (Col. H.) - 12 

Walsingbam (Lord)- 14 

Ward (Mrs. W.) - 29 

Warner (P. F.) - 17 

Warwick (Countess of) 40 
Watson (A. E. T.) 12, 13, 14 

Weathers (J.) - - 40 
Webb (Mr. and Mrs. 

Sidney) - - 20 

(Judge T.) - 40 

(T. E.) - - 19 

Weber (A.) - - 19 

Weir (Capt. R.) - 14 
Wellington (Duchess of) 37 

Wemyss(M. C. E.)- 33 

Weyman (Stanley) - 29 
Whately(Archbisbop) 17,19 

Whitelaw (R.) - - 23 

Whittall (Sir J. W. )- 40 

Wilkins (G.) - - 23 

(W. H.) - - 10 

Willard (A. R.) - 37 

Willich (C. M.) - 31 

Wood (Rev. J. G.) - 31 

Wood-Martin (W. G.) 22 

Wotton (H.) - - 37 

Wyatt (A. J.) - - 24 

Wylie (J. H.) - - 8 

Yeats (S. Levett) - 29 

Yoxall (J. H.) - - 29 

Zeller (E.) - - 19 


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45 Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 35. 

Lang (Andrew). — Edited by. 
The Blue Fairy Book. With 138 

Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6i. 

The Red Fairy Book. With 100 

Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

The Green Fairy Book. With gg 

Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6i. 

The Grey Fairy Book. With 65 

Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6i. 

The Yellow Fairy Book. With 

104 Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 6i. 

The Pink Fairy Book. With 67 

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The Violet Fairy Book. With 8 

Coloured Plates and 54 other Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

The Bl ue Poetry Book. With 100 

Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

The True Story Book. With 66 

Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

The Red Tr ue Stor y Book. With 

100 Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

The Animal Story Book. With 

67 Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

The Red Book of Animal Stories. 

With 65 Illustrations. Crown 8vo., gilt 
edges, 6s. 

The Arabian Nights Entertain- 
ments. With 66 Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., 
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The Book of Romance. With 8 

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Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 6s. 

'L.ya.W.—THE Burges Letters : a 

Record of Child Life in the Sixties. By 
Edna Lyall. With Coloured Frontispiece 
and 8 other Full-page Illustrations by 
Walter S. Stagey. Crown 8vo., 2s. 6d. 

Meade (L. T.). 

Daddy's Boy. With 8 Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo., gilt edges, 3s. net. 

De£ and the Duchess. With 7 

Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 3s. net. 

The Beresford Prize. With 7 

Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 3s. net. 

The House of Surprises. With 6 

Illustrations. Cr. 8vo., gilt edges, 3s. net. , 



Children's Books — continued. 

Murray. — Flower Legends for 
Children. By Hilda Murray (the Hon. 
Mrs. Murray of Elibank). Pictured by J. 
S. Eland. With numerous Coloured and 
other Illustrations. Oblong 410., 6s. 

Penrose. — Chubby : a Nuisance. 

By Mrs. Penrose. With 8, Illustrations 
by G. G. Manton. Crown 8vo., 3s. td. 

Praeger (Rosamond), 

The Adventures of the Three 
Bold Babes: Hector, Honoria and 
Alisandbr. a Story in Pictures. With 
24 Coloured Plates and 24 Outline Pic- 
tures. Oblong 4to., 3 J. 6(f. 

The Further Doings of the Three 

Bold Babes. With 24 Coloured Pictures 
and 24 Outline Pictures. Oblong 4to.,3S.6ii. 

Roberts. — The Adventures of 
Captain John Smith : Captain of Two 
Hundred and Fifty Horse, and sometime 
President of Virginia. By E. P. Roberts. 
With 17 Illustrations and 3 Maps. Crown 
8vo., 5s. net. 

Stevenson. — A Child's Garden of 
Verses. By Robert Louis Stevenson. 
Fcp. 8vo., gilt top, 5 J. 

Tappan. — Old Ballads in Prose. 

By Eva March Tappan. With 4 Illus- 
trations by Fanny Y. Cory. Crown 8vo., 
gilt top, 4s. 6d. net. 

Upton (Florence K. and Bertha). 

The Adventures of Tivo Dutch 
Dolls and a 'GoLliwogg'. With 31 
Coloured Plates and numerous Illustra- 
tions in the Text. Oblong 4to., 6s. 

The Golliwogg' s Bicycle Club. 
With 31 Coloured Plates and numerous 
Illustrations in the Text. Oblong 4to., 6s. 

The Golliwogg at the Seaside. 
With 31 Coloured Plates and numerous 
Illustrations in the Text. Oblong 4to. , bs. 

The Golliwogg in War. With 31 
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The Golliwogg's Polar Adven- 
tures. With 31 Coloured Plates. Ob- 
long 4to., 6s. 

The Golliwogg's Auto-go-cart. 

With 31 Coloured Plates and numerous 
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The Golliwogg's Air-Ship. With 

30 Coloured Pictures and numerous Illus- 
trations in the Text. Oblong 4to., 6s. 

The Vege-Men's Revenge. With 

31 Coloured Plates and numerous Illus- 
trations in the Text. Oblong 4to., 6s. 

Wemyss. — ■' Things We Thought 

of': Told from a Child's Point of View. 
By Mary C. E. Wemyss, Author of ' All 
About All of Us '. With 8 Illustrations in 
Colour by S. R. Praeger. Crown 8vo., 
3s. 6d. 

The Silver Library. 

Crown Svo. 3s. td. each Volume. 

Arnold's (Sir Edwin) Seas and Lands. With 
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Bagehot's (W.) Biographical Studies. 3s. 6d. 

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Bagehot's (W.) Literary Studies. With Portrait. 
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Bailer's (Sir B. W.) Eight Years in Ceylon. 

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Baker's (Sir S. W.) Kifle and Hound in Ceylon. 

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Baring-Gould's (Rev. S.) Curious Myths of the 
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Becker's (W. A.) Callus : or, Roman Scenes in the 
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Becker's (W. A.) Charicles: or, Illustrations of 
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Bent's (J. T.) The Ruined Cities of Mashona- 
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Brassey's (Lady) A Voyage in the ' Sunbeam '. 

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Buckle's (H. T.) History of Civilisation in 
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Churchill's (Winston S.) The Story of the 
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Clodd'B (B.) Story of Creation: a Plain Account 
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Oonybeare (Rev. W. J.) and Howson's (Very 
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Dougall's (L.) Beggars All : a Novel. 3s. 6d. 
Doyle's (Sir A. Conan) Mlcab Clarke. A Tale of 

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Doyle's (Sir A, Conan) The Captain of the 
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Doyle's (Sir A. Conan) The Refugees : A Tale of 
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Haggard (H. R.) and Lang's (A.) The World's 
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Jetferies (R.) The Toilers of the Field. With 
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Kaye (Sir J.) and Malleson's (Colonel) History 
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Knight's (E. F.) The Cruise of the 'Alerte': 

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Knight's (E. F.) Where Three Empires Meet : a 

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KoBtlin's (J.) Life of Luther. With 62 Illustra- 
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Lang's (A.) Angling Sketches. With 20 Illustra- 
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Lang's (A.) Cnstom and Myth : Studies of Early 
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Lang's(A.)CockLaneand Common-Sense, jr. 6d. 

Lang's (A.) The Book of Dreams and Ghosts, 

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Lang's (A.) A Monk of Fife : a Story of the 
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Lang's (A.) Myth, Ritual, and Religion. 2 vols. 'js. 

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Macanlay's (Lord) Complete Works. ' Albany ' 
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Herrlman's (H. S. Flotsam : A Tale of the 
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HIU's (J. 6.) Political Economy, 3.1. bd. 

Hill's (J, S.) System of Logic, 3.!. bd. 

Hliner's (Geo.) Country Pleasures : the Chroni- 
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Hansen's (F,) The First Crossing of Greenland, 

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Proctor's (R, A,) The Orbs Around Us. y. bd. 

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Rossetti's (Maria F.) A Shadow of Dante. 3.r. bd. 

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Stanley's (Bishop) Familiar History of Birds. 

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Stephen's (Sir Leslie) The Playground of Europe 
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Stevenson (Robert Louis) and Stevenson's 
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Trevelyan's (Sir G. 0.) The Early History of 
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Weyman's (Stanley J.) The House of the 
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Wood's (Rev. J, G.) Petland Revisited. With 
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Wood's (Rev. J. G.) Strange Dwellings. With 
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Cookery, Domestic Management, &e. 

Acton. — Modern Cookery. By 
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Angwin. — Simple Hints on Choice 

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Ashby. — Health in the Nursery. 

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Bull (Thomas, M.D.). 

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The Maternal Management of 
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De Salis (Mrs.). 

A LA Mode Cookery : Up-to- 
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Cakes and Confections ^ la 
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The Fine Arts and Music, 

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Hamlin. — A Text-Book of the 
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Burns and Colenso. — Living Ana- \ Haweis (Rev. H. R.). 

TOMY. By Cecil L. Burns, R.B.A., and 
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Huish, Head, and Longman. — 

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Hullah. — The History of Modern 
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Jameson (Mrs. Anna). 
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Legends of the Madonna, or 
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The History of Our Lord, as ex- 
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Kristeller. — Andrea Mantegna . 

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Macfarren. — Lectures on Har- 
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8vO., I2S. 

Morris (William). 
Architecture, Industry and 
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Morris (William) — continued. 
Hopes and Fears for Art. Five 
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