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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/315

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Dr. Howitfs Defence of Group-Marriage. 301

father did not exist as an individual, we must also conclude that there were group-mothers. Will Dr. Howitt accept this view } Will he admit that group-motherhood as well as group-marriage existed ? If not, will he tell us wherein lies the essential difference between the cases ?

On p. 186 Messrs. Spencer and Gillen are cited to show \.\\B.t pirraiini is not an abnormal development. In reply to this I will point out (i) that in the Lake Eyre tribes alone does a name exist for polygamy ; all the other tribes cited by Dr. Howitt have terms corresponding to 110a ; none has anything corresponding to pirrmiru, dilpa main, and piratingaru. That alone is conclusive evidence of differential evolution among the Lake Eyre tribes ; (2) in two of these three cases there is a special ceremony of allotment which cannot have existed if modified promis- cuity were ever the practice. If the kandri ceremony occurs elsewhere, it is unfortunate that Dr. Howitt has not discovered it. If it does not, we have additional evidence that pirrauru is something out of the normal course.

Dr. Howitt holds (p. 187) that \h.e jns primae noctis is also group-marriage. If I am right in supposing that a woman must be tippa-nialku before she is pirraiini, this constitutes a marked difference between the Dieri custom and the Kurnai practice in question. Dr. Howitt does not, it is true, tell us whether the right of access of the brogan is exercised before or after that of the husband. If the former, as is usually the case, the practice cannot be put on a par with the pirratiru relation, which it resembles in no single important particular, and, as Mr. Lang has pointed out, the custom is not marriage at all. It is a mere guess that it has anything to do with the supposed state of group-marriage. Dr. Howitt twits Mr. Lang with guessing, and with not observing that tippa-malku is an individual relationship. If he will look at p. 53 of Mr. Lang's Secret of the Totem, he will see that