Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/86

This page has been validated.

member of any such kindred may marry a woman of the same name and descended from the same object.[1] Thus no man of the Emu stock may marry an Emu woman; no Blacksnake may marry a Blacksnake woman, and so forth. This point is very strongly put by Mr. Dawson, who has had much experience of the blacks. "So strictly are the laws of marriage carried out, that, should any sign of courtship or affection be observed between those 'of one flesh,' the brothers or male relatives of the woman beat her severely." If the incestuous pair (though not in the least related according to our ideas) run away together, they are "half-killed;" and if the woman dies in consequence of her punishment, her partner in iniquity is beaten again. No "eric" or blood-fine of any kind is paid for her death, which carries no blood-feud. "Her punishment is legal."[2] This account fully corroborates that of Sir George Grey.[3]

Our conclusion is that the belief in "one flesh" (a kinship shared with the animals) must be a thoroughly binding idea, as the notion is sanctioned by capital punishment.

Another important feature in Australian totemism strengthens our position. The idea of the animal kinship must be an ancient one in the race, because the

  1. Taplin, The Narrinyeri, p. 2. "Every tribe, regarded by them as a family, has its ngaitge, or tutelary genius or tribal symbol, in the shape of some bird, beast, fish, reptile, insect, or substance. Between individuals of the same tribe no marriage can take place." Among the Narrinyeri kindred is reckoned (p. 10) on the father's side. See also (p. 46) ngaitge = Samoan aitu. "No man or woman will kill their ngaitge," except with precautions, for food.
  2. Op. cit., p. 28.
  3. Ibid., ii. 220.