Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/201

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Native Tribes of South-East Australia.

I may summarise what I have said by pointing out that the classificatory terms of relationship show that the ancestors of the tribes of the Eastern half of this continent were at one time in the status of group-marriage. To this I may add that the examples which I have seen of the terms in use in the Western half point to the same conclusion as I have indicated for those of the Eastern.

This result is far-reaching, for if the primitive aborigines of Australia had group-marriage, what is to be said of the former condition of other savage tribes, which also have classificatory systems which may include the same or analogous terms to those I have shown to have so momentous a significance?

I should have taken notice of Mr. Lang's communication to Folk-Lore before this, had not my time been fully occupied by exacting public duties.

A. W. Howitt.