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the Oraons he found[1] tribes which might not eat young mice (considered a dainty) or tortoises, and a stock which might not eat the oil of the tree which was their totem, nor even sit in its shade. "The family or tribal names" (within which they may not marry) "are usually those of animals or plants, and when this is the case, the flesh of some part of the animal or the fruit of the tree is tabooed to the tribe called after it."

An excellent sketch of totemism in India is given by Mr. H. H. Risley of the Bengal Civil Service:[2]

"At the bottom of the social system, as understood by the average Hindu, stands a large body of non-Aryan castes and tribes, each of which is broken up into a number of what may be called totemistic exogamous septs. Each sept bears the name of an animal, a tree, a plant, or of some material object, natural or artificial, which the members of that sept are prohibited from killing, eating, cutting, burning, carrying, using, &c."[3]

Mr. Risley finds that both Kolarians, as the Sonthals, and Dravidians, as the Oraons, are in this state of totemism, like the Hos and Mundas. It is most instructive to learn that, as one of these tribes rises in the social scale, it sloughs off its totem, and, abandoning the common name derived from bird, beast, or plant, adopts that of an eponymous ancestor. A

  1. Dalton, p. 254.
  2. The Asiatic Quarterly, No. 3, Essay on "Primitive Marriage in Bengal."
  3. Here we may note that the origin of exogamy itself is merely part of a strict totemistic prohibition. A man may not "use" an object within the totem kin, nor a woman of the kin. Compare the Greek idiom χρῆσθαι γυναικί