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A more general fact confirms the views which precede. In their first book. Spencer and Gillen presented the Inti-chiuma as a perfectly definite ritual entity : they spoke of it as though it were an operation destined exclusively for the assurance of the reproduction of the totemic species, and it seemed as though it ought to lose all meaning, if this unique function were set aside. But in their Northern Tribes of Central Australia, the same authors use a different language, though perhaps without noticing it. They recognize that these same ceremonies may take place either in the regular Intichiuma or in the initiation

rites.1 So they serve equally in the making of animals or plants of the totemic species, or in conferring upon novices the qualities necessary to make them regular members of the men's society.2 From this point of view, the Intichiuma takes on a new aspect. It is no longer a distinct ritual mechanism, resting upon principles of its own, but a particular application of more general ceremonies which may be utilized for very different ends. For this reason, in their later work, before speaking of the Intichiuma and the initiation they consecrate a special chapter to the totemic ceremonies in general, making abstraction of the diverse forms which they may take, according to the ends for which they are employed.3

This fundamental indeterroination of the totemic ceremonies was only indicated by Spencer and Gillen, and rather indirectly at that; but it has now been confirmed by Strehlow in more explicit terms. " When they lead the young novices through the different feasts of the initiation," he says, " they perform before them a series of ceremonies which, though reproducing, even in their most characteristic details, the rites of the regular cult (viz. the rites which Spencer and Gillen call the Intichiuma'), do not have, nevertheless, the end of multiplying the correspond­ing totem and causing it to prosper."4 It is the same ceremony which serves in the two cases ; the name alone is not the same. When its special object is the reproduction of the species, they call it mbatjalkatiuma and it is only when it is a part of the process of initiation that they give it the name Intichiuma.5

Moreover, these two sorts of ceremonies are distinguished from one another among the Arunta by certain secondary characteristics. Though the structure of the rite is the same in both cases, still we know that the effusions of blood and, more generally, the oblations characteristic of the Arunta Intichiuma are not found in the initiation ceremonies. Moreover, among this same people, the Intichiuma takes place at a spot regularly fixed by tradition, to which men must make a pilgrimage, while

the scene of the initiation ceremonies is purely conventional.1 But when the Intichiuma consists in a simple dramatic repre­sentation, as is the case among the Warramunga, the lack of distinction between the two rites is complete. In the one as in the other, they commemorate the past, they put the myth into action, they play—and one cannot play in two materially different ways. So, according to the circumstances, one and the same ceremony serves two distinct functions.2

It may even lend itself to other uses. We know that as blood is a sacred thing, women must not see it flow. Yet it happens sometimes that a quarrel breaks out in their presence and ends in the shedding of blood. Thus an infraction of the ritual is committed. Among the Arunta, the man whose blood flowed first must, to atone for this fault, " celebrate a ceremony con­nected with the totem either of his father or of his mother";3  this ceremony has a special name, Alua u-parilima, which means the washing away of blood. But in itself, it does not differ from those celebrated at the time of the initiation or in the Intichiuma : it represents an event of ancestral history. So it may serve equally to initiate, to act upon the totemic species or to expiate a sacrilege. We shall see that a totemic ceremony may also take the place of a funeral rite.4

MM. Hubert and Mauss have already pointed out a functional ambiguity of this same sort in the case of sacrifice, and more especially, in that of Hindu sacrifice.5 They have shown how the sacrifice of communion, that of expiation, that of a vow and that of a contract are only variations of one and the same mechanism. We now see that the fact is much more primitive,

and in no way limited to the institution of sacrifice. Perhaps no rite exists which does not present a similar indetermination. The mass serves for marriages as for burials ; it redeems the faults of the dead and wins the favours of the deity for the living, etc. Fasting is an expiation and a penance ; but it is also a preparation for communion; it even confers positive virtues. This ambiguity shows that the real function of a rite does not consist in the particular and definite effects which it seems to aim at and by which it is ordinarily characterized, but rather in a general action which, though always and everywhere the same, is nevertheless capable of taking on different forms accord­ing to the circumstances. Now this is just what is demanded by the theory which we have proposed. If the real function of the cult is to awaken within the worshippers a certain state of soul, composed of moral force and confidence, and if the various effects imputed to the rites are due only to a secondary and variable determination of this fundamental state, it is not sur­prising if a single rite, while keeping the same composition and structure, seems to produce various effects. For the mental dispositions, the excitation of which is its permanent function, remain the same in every case ; they depend upon the fact that the group is assembled, and not upon the special reasons for which it is assembled. But, on the other hand, they are interpreted differently according to the circumstances to which they are applied. Is it a physical result which they wish to obtain ? The confidence they feel convinces them that the desired result is or will be obtained by the means employed. Has some one committed a fault for which he wishes to atone ? The same state of moral assurance will lead him to attribute expiatory virtues to these same ritual gestures. Thus, the apparent efficacy will seem to change while the real efficacy remains invariable, and the rite will seem to fulfil various functions though in fact it has only one, which is always the same.

Inversely, just as a single rite may serve many ends, so many rites may produce the same effect and mutually replace one another. To assure the reproduction of the totemic species, one may have recourse equally to oblations, to imitative practices or to commemorative representations. This aptitude of rites for substituting themselves for one another proves once more both their plasticity and the extreme generality of the useful action which they exercise. The essential thing is that men are-assembled, that sentiments are felt in common and expressed in common acts; but the particular nature of these sentiments and acts is something relatively secondary and contingent.

To become conscious of itself, the group does not need to perform certain acts in preference to all others. The necessary thing is that it partakes of the same thought and the same action ; the visible forms in which this communion takes place matter but little. Of course, these external forms do not come by chance ; they have their reasons; but these reasons do not touch the essential part of the cult.

So everything leads us back to this same idea : before all, rites are means by which the social group reaffirms itself periodically. From this, we may be able to reconstruct hypo-thetically the way in which the totemic cult should have arisen originally. Men who feel themselves united, partially by bonds of blood, but still more by a community of interest and tradition, assemble and become conscious of their moral unity. For the reasons which we have set forth, they are led to represent this unity in the form of a very special kind of consubstantiality : they think of themselves as all participating in the nature of some determined animal. Under these circumstances, there is only one way for them to affirm their collective existence : this is to affirm that they are like the animals of this species, and to do so not only in the silence of their own thoughts, but also by material acts. These are the acts which make up the cult, and they obviously can consist only in movements by which the man imitates the animal with which he identifies himself. When understood thus, the imitative rites appear as the first form of the cult. It will be thought that this is attributing a very con­siderable historical importance to practices which, at first view, give the effect of childish games. But, as we have shown, these naive and awkward gestures and these crude processes of repre­sentation translate and maintain a sentiment of pride, confidence and veneration wholly comparable to that expressed by the worshippers in the most idealistic religions when, being assembled, they proclaim themselves the children of the almighty God. For in the one case as in the other, this sentiment is made up of the same impressions of security and respect which are awakened in individual consciousnesses by this great moral force which dominates them and sustains them, and which is the collective force.

The other rites which we have been studying are probably only variations of this essential rite. When the close union of the animal and men has once been admitted, men feel acutely the necessity of assuring the regular reproduction of the principal object of the cult. These imitative practices, which probably had only a moral end at first, thus became subordinated to utilitarian and material ends and they were thought of as means of producing

the desired result. But proportionately as, through the develop­ment of mythology, the ancestral hero, who was at first contused with the totemic animal, distinguished himself more and more, and became a more personal figure, the imitation of the ancestor was substituted for the imitation of the animal, or took a place beside it, and then representative ceremonies replaced or com­pleted the imitative rites. Finally, to be surer of attaining the end they sought, men felt the need of putting into action all the means at their disposal. Close at hand they had reserves of living forces accumulated in the sacred rocks, so they utilized them; since the blood of the men was of the same nature as that of the animal, they used it for the same purpose and shed it. Inversely, owing to this same kinship, men used the flesh of the animal to remake their own substance. Hence came the rites of oblation and communion. But, at bottom, all these different practices are only variations of one and the same theme : every­where their basis is the same state of mind, interpreted differently according to the situations, the moments of history and the dispositions of the worshippers.