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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/254

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240 Reviews.

lives at an oknanikilla or local totem-centre. And the first step in the whole process is for the mother to announce what oknanikilla she was near when the spirit entered her. Until she does that it is not known what is the totem of the child that is to be born ; and consequently those who have to find the chiiringa would not know which churinga to take from the ernaiulunga, for churingas of all sorts of totems may be found in one ernatulwiga. It seems therefore probable that the finding of the churinga is an accretion to a previous state of things, in which the mother announced what would be the totem of her child, and no churinga was found, sought or wanted. In other words the re-incarnation theory — in the form in which it is found amongst Messrs. Spencer and Gillen's Arunta, that is to say in intimate connection with the churinga — would seem to postulate the prior existence of the two conditions which are found amongst Mr. Strehlow's Arunta, viz. the belief that spirits yet to be born congregate at an oknanikilla, and the belief that the dead are somehow connected with the churingas stored in an ernaiulunga. These two beliefs are combined by Messrs. Spencer and Gillen's Arunta; but they are combined only by means of a pious fraud, viz. that the spirit, which comes, on the authority of the mother, from a certain oknani- killa, brings with it a churinga. Now, this fraud appears not merely pious but clumsy, for amongst Mr, Spencer's Arunta the place from which the spirit comes is not the place at which churingas are stored ; yet the spirit is supposed to bring with him from the local totem-centre a churinga which is not in the local totem-centre, but in quite another place, viz. the sacred store-house. This clumsiness in the Arunta belief may suggest that it is a survival from an earlier state of things. In an earlier state, if, for instance, there were no sacred store- houses, or ernatuhmgas, but only oknanikillas, or local totem centres — as is actually the case among the Worgaia, who have the latter, but not the former {N.T. p. 274) — the churingas would be kept at the local totem-centres, and so a spirit coming from an oknanikilla might be supposed to bring one of the churingas with him. On this view then the belief of Mr. Spencer's Arunta would be a survival, or derivative, not primitive.