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.

II.  Regulated Promiscuity.  This again falls into (a) primary regulated promiscuity, the hypothetical stage postulated for Australia before the introduction of individual marriage; and (b) secondary regulated promiscuity, which is found in certain tribes as an exceptional practice.  With this custom I deal in greater detail below.


III, Polygamy.  This state is constituted by the union of several men with several women.  It may be distinguished, as before, into primary and secondary polygamy.  We may further distinguish ([alpha]) simple and ([beta]) adelphic polygamy; and the latter may be (i) unilateral or (ii) bilateral, according as either the males or females, or both males and females, are brothers and sisters.  A further sub-division is constituted by the relations of the groups of males or females, or both, within themselves.  I distinguish these unions by the names of dissimilar (M.) and dissimilar (F.) according as one husband or one wife has a position superior to the others[142].

IV, Polyandric and V. polygynic unions fall into the same divisions, save that they are naturally always unilateral.  As a designation for the hypothetical stage postulated by Mr Atkinson in Primal Law, we may take “patriarchal polygyny,” meaning thereby the state in which (a) in the earlier stage all the females of the horde[143] are ipso facto mates of the one adult male of the horde; or (b) in the second stage all females born in the horde are equally allotted to him.

Finally we have VI, monogamy.

To the three forms of marriage we can apply the determinants “regulated” and “unregulated,” “temporary[144],” “permanent,” as in the case of promiscuity.

We have further two well-marked types of marriage and a mixed form in which (a) the husband goes to live with the wife; (b) he lives with the wife for a time and then removes to his own village or tribe; and (c) the wife removes to the husband.  For the first of these Maclennan has proposed the name beena marriage; Robertson Smith has proposed to call the third type ba[’]al marriage, and to include both beena and mot[’]a marriages under the general name of [s.]ad[=i]ca.  This terminology is unnecessarily obscure and has the further disadvantage of connoting the domination or subjection of the husband, a feature not necessarily bound up with residence.  I therefore propose to term the three types matrilocal, removal, and patrilocal marriages.  I suggest compounds of pater and mater, not as being specially appropriate, but as being parallel to matrilineal and patrilineal, denoting descent in the female and male lines respectively.

For the somewhat complicated relationships of potestas in the family I propose two main divisions, (a) patri-potestal, (b) matri-potestal; the latter may be further subdivided according as the authority is in the hands (1) of the actual mother, (2) of the maternal uncles, (3) of the mother’s relatives in general, and so on.

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