Kinship Organisations and Group Marriage in Australia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about Kinship Organisations and Group Marriage in Australia.

One piece of evidence on the subject we need mention only to reject.  The Rev. H. Kempe, of the Lutheran Mission among the southern Arunta, has on two occasions stated that the classes in signalling to each other use as their signs the gestures employed to designate animals[129].  On one occasion however he assigns to the Bunanka class the eaglehawk gesture, on another the lizard gesture; the remaining three, which he added only on the second occasion, were ant, wallaby and eaglehawk.  It may be noted that the eaglehawk sign is attributed by him to the two classes which would form the main part of the population of a local group; in the second place all four animals are among the totems of the tribe; it seems therefore probable that Mr Kempe has merely confused the sign made to a man of the given kin with a sign which he supposed to be made to a man of a certain class.  If he paid little attention to the subject, and especially if on the second occasion he gained his information at a large tribal meeting, the large number of totems would render it improbable that conflicting evidence would lead him to discover his mistake.  If he pursued his enquiries far enough he might, it is true, get more than one sign for a given class; but if he contented himself with asking four men, one of each class, the probability would be that he would get four separate gestures.  In any case we have no warrant for arguing that the gesture in any way translates the class name.


[111] In practice they are eight-class.

[112] The numbers refer to those used in chapter IV.

[113] These are merely rough percentages based on arbitrary values for partial resemblances.

[114] This table shows what percentage of names is completely different; partial differences are not allowed for.

[115] Possibly a prefix also; cf. Koocheebinga, Koorabunna and their sister names.

[116] Curr, vocab. no. 37.

[117] ib. no. 39.  Spencer and Gillen give “loud voiced” as the meaning.

[118] ib. nos. 34, 40, 49 a, 104.

[119] Moore, Vocab.; Mathew, p. 226.

[120] Mathew, p. 232; Curr, nos. 164, 170, 178.

[121] ib. no. 143.

[122] ib. no. 110.

[123] Elsewhere muri means red kangaroo.

[124] ib. nos. 168, 181, 190; Mathew, Eaglehawk, p. 227.

[125] Curr, no. 181.

[126] Mathew, Eaglehawk, p. 100; Curr, no. 177.

[127] ib. no. 55.

[128] Roth, Studies, p. 50; Curr, nos. 37, 38, 39.

[129] Halle Verein fur Erdkunde, 1883, p. 52; Aust.  Ass.  Adv.  Sci. II, 640.



Effect of classes.  Dr Durkheim’s Theory of Origin.  Origin in grouping of
     totems.  Dr Durkheim on origin of eight classes.  Herr Cunow’s theory
     of classes.

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Kinship Organisations and Group Marriage in Australia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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