Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/307

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Reply to Mr. Howitt and Mr. Jevons. 293

" women can only be divided into the two classes of lawful and not lawful, prohibited and not prohibited, as wives." My theory contennplates the existence

1. Of unlawful women,

2. Of lawful women not in the phratry with which mine is allied, but in hostile groups.

3. Of lawful women m the phratry with which mine is allied.

These last, unless I love danger, I court. The second class I may court, but, personally, I would avoid them. To-day a man of tribe A, phratry B, need not marry a woman of the allied phratry C. He may go to tribe D and marry a woman of phratry E. In times of old, with inter-tribal hostility, he would not find this sort of wooing safe or easy ; nor would a hostile group betroth a child to him. I might clear up other points, but if these are now understood, it suffices. Of course they are only points in my hypothesis, still there they are.

These remarks are offered on the chance that Mr, Jevons may not have noticed that my theory is concerned with an hypothetical state of pre-tribal society, not with the present tribal condition of such tribes as survive con- tact with our race.

Dr. Gregory says that there are now only about 150 Dieri, all under a German missionary. Let us hope that if the Urabunna are more numerous and less sophisti- cated, an effort will be made to clear up the unsettled problems of their institutions.

A. Lang.