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The appearance of the notion of spirits marks an important step in advance in the individualization of religious forces.

However, the spiritual beings of whom we have been speaking up to the present are as yet only secondary personages. They are either evil-working geniuses who belong to magic rather than religion, or else, being attached to determined individuals or places, they cannot make their influence felt except within a circle of a very limited radius. So they can only be the objects of private and local rites. But after the idea has once been established, it naturally spreads to the higher spheres of the religious life, and thus mythical personalities of a superior order are born.

Though the ceremonies of the different clans differ from one another, they all belong to the same religion, none the less ; also, a certain number of essential similarities exist between them. Since all the clans are only parts of one and the same tribe, the unity of the tribe cannot fail to make itself felt through this diversity of particular cults. In fact, there is no totemic group that does not have churinga and bull-roarers, and these are used everywhere in the same way. The organization of the tribe into phratries, matrimonial classes and clans, and the exogamic interdictions attached to them, are veritable tribal institutions. The initiation celebrations all include certain fundamental practices, the extraction of a tooth, circumcision, subincision, etc., which do not vary with the totems within a single tribe. The -uniformity on this point is the more easily established as the initiation always takes place in the presence of the tribe, or at least, before an assembly to which the different clans have been summoned. The reason for this is that the object of the initiation is to introduce the neophyte into the religious life, not merely of the clan into which he was born, but of the tribe as a whole ; so it is necessary that the various aspects of the tribal religion be represented before him and take place, in a way, under his very eyes. It is on this occasion that the moral and religious unity of the tribe is affirmed the best. Thus, in each society there are a certain number of rites

which are distinguished from all the others by their homogeneity and their generality. So noticeably a harmony seemed to be explicable only by a unity of origin. So they imagined that each group of similar rites had been founded by one and the same ancestor, who came to reveal them to the tribe as a whole. Thus, among the Arunta, it was an ancestor of the Wild Cat clan, named Putiaputia,1 who is thought to have taught men the way of making churinga and using it ritually; among the Warra-munga, it was Murtu-murtu;2 among the Urabunna, Wituma;3 it was Atnatu among the Kaitish4 and Tendun among the Kumai.5 Likewise, the practice of circumcision is attributed by the eastern Dieri and many other tribes6 to two special Muramura, and by the Arunta to a hero of the Alcheringa, of the Lizard totem, named Mangarkunjerkunja.7 To this same personage are ascribed the foundation of the matrimonial in­stitutions and the social organization they imply, the discovery of fire, the invention of the spear, the buckler, the boomerang, etc. It also happens very frequently that the inventor of the bull-roarer is also considered the founder of the rites of initiation.8

These special ancestors cannot be put in the same rank as the others. On the one hand, the sentiments of veneration which they inspire are not limited to one clan, but are common to the whole tribe. On the other hand, it is to them that men ascribe all that is most esteemed in the tribal civilization. For this double reason, they became the object of a special con­sideration. For example, they say of Atnatu that he was born in heaven at an epoch even prior to the times of the Alcheringa, that he made himself and that he gave himself the name he bears. The stars are his wives and daughters. Beyond the heaven where he lives, there is another one with another sun. His name is sacred, and should never be pronounced before women or non-initiated persons.9

Yet, howsoever great the prestige enjoyed by these personages may be, there was no occasion for founding special rites in their honour; for they themselves are only rites personified. They have no other reason for existence than to explain existing practices; they are only another aspect of these. The churinga and the ancestor who invented it are only one; sometimes, both have the same name. When someone makes the bull-roarer resound, they say that it is the voice of the ancestor making himself heard. But, for the very reason that each of these heroes is confounded with the cult he is believed to have founded, they believe that he is attentive to the way in which it is celebrated. He is not satisfied unless the worshippers fulfil their duties exactly ; he punishes those who are negligent. So he is thought of as the guardian of the rite, as well as its founder, and for this reason, he becomes invested with a veritable moral role.