К оглавлению
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 
68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 
85 86 87 88 89 90 91 

Between collective totemism and individual totemism there is an intermediate form partaking of the characteristics of each: this is sexual totemism1. It is found only in Australia and in a small number of tribes. It is mentioned especially in Victoria and New South Wales.2 Mathews, it is true, claims to have observed it in all the parts of Australia that he has visited, but he gives no precise facts to support this affirmation.3

Among these different peoples, all the men of the tribe on the one hand, and all the women on the other, to whatever special clan they may belong, form, as it were, two distinct and even antagonistic societies. Now each of these two sexual corporations believes that it is united by mystical bonds to a determined animal. Among the Kurnai, all the men think they are brothers, as it were, of the emu-wren (Yeerung), all the women, that they are as sisters of the linnet (Djeetgun) ; all the men are Yeerung and all the women are Djeetgun. Among the Wotjobaluk and the Wurunjerri, it is the bat and the nightjar (a species of screech-owl) respectively who take this role. In other tribes, the woodpecker is substituted for the nightjar. Each sex regards the animal to which it is thus related as a sort of protector which must be treated with the greatest regard; it is also forbidden to kill and eat it.4

Thus this protecting animal plays the same part in relation to the sexual society that the totem of the clan plays to this latter group. So the expression sexual totemism, which we borrow from Frazer,5 is justified. This new sort of totem resembles that of the clan particularly in that it, too, is collective; it belongs to all the people of one sex indiscriminately. It also resembles this form in that it implies a relationship of descent and consanguinity between the animal patron and the

corresponding sex : among the Kurnai, all the men are believed to be descended from Yeerung and all the women from Djeetgun.1 The first observer to point out this curious institution described it, in 1834, in the following terms : " Tilmun, a little bird the size of a thrush (it is a sort of woodpecker), is supposed by the women to be the first maker of women. These birds are held in veneration by the women only."2 So it was a great ancestor. But in other ways, this same totem resembles the individual totem. In fact, it is believed that each member of a sexual group is personally united to a determined individual of the corresponding animal species. The two lives are so closely associated that the death of the animal brings about that of the man. " The life of a bat," say the Wotjobaluk, " is the life of a man."3 That is why each sex not only respects its own totem, but forces the members of the other to do so as well. Every violation of this interdiction gives rise to actual bloody battles between the men and the women.4

Finally, the really original feature of these totems is that they are, in a sense, a sort of tribal totems. In fact, they result from men's representing the tribe as descended as a whole from one couple of mythical beings. Such a belief seems to demonstrate clearly that the tribal sentiment lias acquired sufficient force to resist, at least to a considerable extent, the particularism of the clans. In regard to the distinct origins assigned to men and to women, it must be said that its cause is to be sought in the separate conditions in which the men and the women live.5

It would be interesting to know how the sexual totems are related to the totems of the clans, according to the theory of the Australians, what relations there were between the two ancestors thus placed at the commencement of the tribe, and from which one each special clan is believed to be descended. But the ethno-graphical data at our present disposal do not allow us to resolve these questions. Moreover, however natural and even necessary it may appear to us, it is very possible that the natives never raised it. They do not feel the need of co-ordinating and syste-matizing their beliefs as strongly as we do.6