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In a more recent study,2 which the works of Spencer and Gillen suggested to him, Frazer has attempted to substitute a new explanation of totemism for the one he first proposed, and which we have just been discussing. It rests on the postulate that the totemism of the Arunta is the most primitive which we know ; Frazer even goes so far as to say that it scarcely differs from the really and absolutely original type.3

The singular thing about it is that the totems are attached neither to persons nor to determined groups of persons, but to localities. In fact, each totem has its centre at some definite spot. It is there that the souls of the first ancestors, who founded the totemic group at the beginning of time, are believed to have their preferred residence. It is there that the sanctuary is located where the churinga are kept; there the cult is celebrated. It is also this geographical distribution of totems which determines the manner in which the clans are recruited. The child has neither the totem of his father nor that of his mother, but the one whose centre is at the spot where the mother believes that she felt the first symptoms of approaching maternity. For it is said that the Arunta is ignorant of the exact relation existing between generation and the sexual act ;4 he thinks that every

conception is due to a sort of mystic fecundation. According to him, it is due to the entrance of the soul of an ancestor into the body of a woman and its becoming the principle of a new life there. So at the moment when a woman feels the first tremblings of the child, she imagines that one of the souls whose principal residence is at the place where she happens to be, has just entered into her. As the child who is presently born is merely the reincarnation of this ancestor, he necessarily lias the same totem ; thus his totem is determined by the locality where he is believed to have been mysteriously conceived.

Now, it is this local totemism which represents the original form of totemism ; at most, it is separated from this by a very short step. This is how Frazer explains its genesis.

At the exact moment when the woman realizes that she is pregnant, she must think that the spirit by which she feels herself possessed has come to her from the objects about her, and especially from one of those which attract her attention at the moment. So if she is engaged in plucking a plant, or watching an animal, she believes that the soul of this plant or animal has passed into her. Among the things to which she will be particu­larly inclined to attribute her condition are, in the first place, the things she has just eaten. If she has recently eaten emu or yam, she will not doubt that an emu or yam has been born in her and is developing. Under these conditions, it is evident how the child, in his turn, will be considered a sort of yam or emu, how he regards himself as a relative of the plant or animal of the same species, how he has sympathy and regard for them, how he refuses to eat them, etc.1 From this moment, totemism exists in its essential traits : it is the native's theory of conception that gave rise to it, so Frazer calls this primitive totemism conceptional.

It is from this original type that all the other forms of totemism are derived. " When several women had, one after the other, felt the first premonitions of maternity at the same spot and under the same circumstances, the place would come to be re­garded as haunted by spirits of a peculiar sort; and so the whole country might in time be dotted over with totem centres and distributed into totem districts."2 This is how the local totemism of the Arunta originated. In order that the totems

may subsequently be detached from their territorial base, it is sufficient to think that the ancestral souls, instead of remaining immutably fixed to a determined spot, are able to move freely over the surface of the territory and that in their voyages they follow the men and women of the same totem as themselves. In this way, a woman may be impregnated by her own totem or that of her husband, though residing in a different totemic district. According to whether it is believed that it is the ancestor of the husband or of the wife who thus follow the family about, seeking occasions to reincarnate themselves, the totem of the child will be that of his father or mother. In fact, it is in just this way that the Guanji and Umbaia on the one hand, and the Urabunna on the other, explain their systems of filiation.

But this theory, like that of Tyior, rests upon a begging of the question. If he is to imagine that human souls are the souls of animals or plants, one must believe beforehand that men take either from the animal or vegetable world whatever is most essential in them. Now this belief is one of those at the founda­tion of totemism. To state it as something evident is therefore to take for granted that which is to be explained.

Moreover, from this point of view, the religious character of the totem is entirely inexplicable, for the vague belief in an obscure kinship between the man and the animal is not enough to found a cult. This confusion of distinct kingdoms could never result in dividing the world into sacred and profane. It is true that, being consistent with himself, Frazer refuses to admit that totemism is a religion, under the pretext that he finds in it neither spiritual beings, nor prayers, nor invocations, nor offerings, etc. According to him, it is only a system of magic, by which he means a sort of crude and erroneous science, a first effort to discover the laws of things.1 But we know how inexact this conception, both of magic and of religion, is. We have a religion as soon as the sacred is distinguished from the profane, and we have seen that totemism is a vast system of sacred things. If we are to explain it, we must therefore show how it happened that these things were stamped with this character.2 But he does not even raise this problem.

But this system is completely overthrown by the fact that the postulate upon which it rests can no longer be sustained. The whole argument of Frazer supposes that the local totemism of the Arunta is the most primitive we know, and especially

that it is clearly prior to hereditary totemism, either in the paternal or the maternal line. Now as soon as the facts contained in the first volume of Spencer and Gillen were at our disposal, we were able to conjecture that there had been a time in the history of the Arunta people when the totems, instead of being attached to localities, were transmitted hereditarily from mother to child.1 This conjecture is definitely proved by the new facts discovered by Strehlow,2 which only confirm the previous observations of Schulze.3 In fact, both of these authors tell us that even now, in addition to his local totem, each Arunta has another which is completely independent of all geographical conditions, and which belongs to him as a birthright : it is his mother's. This second totem, just like the first, is considered a powerful friend and protector by the natives, which looks after their food, warns them of possible dangers, etc. They have the right of taking part in its cult. When they are buried, the corpse is laid so that the face is turned towards the region of the maternal totemic centre. So after a fashion this centre is also that of the deceased. In fact it is given the name tmara altjira, which is translated : camp of the totem which is associated with me. So it is certain that among the Arunta, hereditary totemism in the uterine line is not later than local totemism, but, on the contrary, must have preceded it. For to-day, the maternal totem has only an accessory and supplementary role; it is a second totem, which explains how it was able to escape observation as attentive and careful as that of Spencer and Gillen. But in order that it should be able to retain this secondary place, being employed along with the local totem, there must have been a time when it held the primary place in the religious life. It is, in part, a fallen totem, but one recalling an epoch when the totemic organization of the Arunta was very different from what it is to-day. So the whole superstructure of Frazer's system is undermined at its foundation.4