previous
next



  ― 55 ―

Chapter II The Social Organisation of the Tribes

Division of the tribe into two exogamous intermarrying groups—Remarks on “group-marriage”—Terms of relationship—The latter are not in these tribes “terms of address,” the object of which is the avoidance of the use of personal names—There are no terms of relationship in English which convey the same meaning as do those of Australian natives—Organisation of the Urabunna tribe—Marriage regulated by totem—Absence of individual marriage, and the existence of a form of group-marriage—Terms of relationship—Arrangement of the classes so as to allow of counting descent in either the maternal or paternal line—Organisation of the Arunta tribe—Marriage is not regulated by totem—Terms of relationship amongst the Arunta, Luritcha, Kaitish and Warramunga tribes—Details with regard to the terms of relationship in the Arunta tribe—Particular terms applied to father-in-law, &c.—Restrictions with regard to elder and younger sisters—The class divisions of the Ilpirra, Kaitish, Iliaura, Waagai, Warramunga, Bingongina and Walpari tribes—Distinct names for males and females in the last three.

THE fundamental feature in the organisation of the Central Australian, as in that of other Australian tribes, is the division of the tribe into two exogamous inter-marrying groups. These two divisions may become further broken up, but even when more than two are now present we can still recognise their former existence.

In consequence of, and intimately associated with, this division of the tribe, there has been developed a series of terms of relationship indicating the relative status of the various members of the tribe, and, of necessity, as the division becomes more complex so do the terms of relationship.

In the tribes with which we are dealing we can recognise at least two important types which illustrate different grades in the development of the social organisation. The first of these is found in the Urabunna tribe, the second in the Arunta, Ilpirra, Kaitish, Waagai, Warramunga, Iliaura, and Bingongina tribes.




  ― 56 ―

The less complex the organisation of the tribe the more clearly do we see evidence of what Messrs. Howitt and Fison have called, in regard to Australian tribes, “group marriage.” Under certain modifications this still exists as an actual custom, regulated by fixed and well-recognised rules, amongst various Australian tribes, whilst in others the terms of relationship indicate, without doubt, its former existence. As is well known, Mr. McLennan held that the terms must have been invented by the natives using them merely for the purpose of addressing each other or as modes of salutation. To those who have been amongst and watched the natives day after day, this explanation of the terms is utterly unsatisfactory. When, in various tribes, we find series of terms of relationship all dependent upon classificatory systems such as those now to be described, and referring entirely to a mutual relationship such as would be brought about by their existence, we cannot do otherwise than come to the conclusion that the terms do actually indicate various degrees of relationship based primarily upon the existence of inter-marrying groups. When we find, for example, that amongst the Arunta natives a man calls a large number of men belonging to one particular group by the name “Oknia” (a term which includes our relationship of father), that he calls all the wives of these men by the common name of “Mia” (mother),note and that he calls all their sons by the name of “Okilia” (elder brother) or “Itia” (younger brother), as the case may be, we can come to no other conclusion than that this is expressive of his recognition of what may be called a group relationship. All the “fathers” are men who belong to the particular group to which his own actual father belongs; all the “mothers” belong to the same group as that to which his actual mother belongs, and all the “brothers” belong to his own group.

Whatever else they may be, the relationship terms are certainly not terms of address, the object of which is to prevent the native having to employ a personal name. In the Arunta tribe, for example, every man and woman has a


  ― 57 ―
personal name by which he or she is freely addressed by others—that is, by any, except a member of the opposite sex who stands in the relationship of “Mura” to them, for such may only on very rare occasions speak to one another.note When, as has happened time after time to us, a native says, for example, “That man is Oriaka (a personal name), he is my Okilia,” and you cannot possibly tell without further inquiry whether he is the speaker's blood or tribal brother—that is, the son of his own father or of some man belonging to the same particular group as his father—then the idea that the term “Okilia” is applied as a polite term of address, or in order to avoid the necessity of using a personal name, is at once seen to be untenable.

It is, at all events, a remarkable fact that (apart from the organisation of other tribes, in respect of which we are not competent to speak, but for which the same fact is vouched for by other observers) in all the tribes with which we are acquainted, all the terms coincide, without any exception, in the recognition of relationships, all of which are dependent upon the existence of a classificatory system, the fundamental idea of which is that the women of certain groups marry the men of others. Each tribe has one term applied indiscriminately by the man to the woman or women whom he actually marries and to all the women whom he might lawfully marry—that is, who belong to the right group—one term to his actual mother and to all the women whom his father might lawfully have married; one term to his actual brother and to all the sons of his father's brothers, and so on right through


  ― 58 ―
the whole system. To this it may be added that, if these be not terms of relationship, then the language of these tribes is absolutely devoid of any such.note

A great part of the difficulty in understanding these terms lies in the fact that we have amongst ourselves no terms which convey the same idea of relationship as do those of savage peoples. When once, for example, the term “Mia,” used amongst the Arunta tribe, has been translated by the English term “mother,” an entirely wrong impression is apt to to conveyed. Mia does include the relationship which we call mother, but it includes a great deal more, and to the Arunta native the restriction of the term as used in English is as incomprehensible as apparently the extension of the term is to white men who are not accustomed to the native use. To understand the native it is simply essential to lay aside all ideas of relationship as counted amongst ourselves. They have no words equivalent to our English words father, mother, brother, &c. A man, for example, will call his actual mother “Mia,” but, at the same time, he will apply the term not only to other grown women, but to a little girl child, provided they all belong to the same group. We have, for example, asked a fully grown man who the little child was with whom he was playing, and have received the answer that it was so and so, mentioning her personal name, and that she was his Mia. Her own personal name he would use in speaking both to her and to us, but the term Mia expressed the relationship in which she stood to him.

We have dwelt somewhat at length upon this because so distinguished a writer as Mr. McLennan and others who, accepting his dictum, have dealt with the subject, have attempted to disprove the supposition that any such group relationship is actually expressed in the terms of relationship used by the Australian natives. For this reason we have, as


  ― 59 ―
carefully and minutely as possible, and without prejudice in favour of one theory or the other, examined into the social organisation of the tribes with which we have come into contact. The conclusion to which we have come is that we do not see how the facts, which will now be detailed and upon a consideration of which this conclusion is based, can receive any satisfactory explanation except on the theory of the former existence of group marriage, and further, that this has of necessity given rise to the terms of relationship used by the Australian natives. As will be seen, group marriage, in a modified but yet most unmistakable way, occurs as an actual system in one of the tribes with which we are dealing.

We may now pass on to consider first the organisation of the Urabunna tribe, as this represents a less complex condition than the second type which is met with in the Arunta and other tribes.

In reference to the names to apply to the various divisions of the tribe, we have felt considerable difficulty, and have decided that as such terms as phratry, gens, clan, &c., have all of them a definite significance, and, as applied to Australian tribes, may be misleading, it is better to use the term class as applying to the two main exogamous intermarrying groups, each of which forms a moiety of the tribe, and the term sub-class as applying to the divisions of the class. We therefore use these terms with this significance.note

The Urabunna organisation appears to be, if not identical with, at least very closely similar to, that of the Dieri tribe, whose territory adjoins it on the south, and which has been dealt with previously by Mr. Howittnote The whole tribe is


  ― 60 ―
divided up into two exogamous intermarrying classes, which are respectively called Matthurie and Kirarawa, and the members of each of these again are divided into a series of totemic groups, for which the native name is Thunthunnie. A Matthurie man must marry a Kirarawa woman, and not only this, but a man of one totem must marry a woman of another totem, certain totems being confined to each of the exogamous classes. Thus a dingo marries a waterhen, a cicada a crow, an emu a rat, a wild turkey a cloud, a swan a pelican, and so on.note

The organisation can be shown as represented in the following table, only a limited number of the totems being indicated:—

                         
Class Totem
Matthurie  Wild duck (Inyarrie). 
Cicada (Wutnimmera). 
Dingo (Matla). 
Emu (Warraguti). 
Wild turkey (Kalathurra). 
Black swan (Guti), &c. 
Kirarawa  Cloud (Kurara). 
Carpet snake (Wabma). 
Lace lizard (Capirie). 
Pelican (Urantha). 
Water hen (Kutnichilli). 
Crow (Wakala), &c. 

Descent is counted through the mother, both as regards class and totem, so that we can represent marriage and descent as counted in the Urabunna tribe by the following


  ― 61 ―
diagram, in which the letter f indicates the female and the letter m the male.

         
m. Dingo Matthurie marries 
f. Water-hen Kirarawa 
m. Water-hen Kirarawa marries  f. Water-hen Kirarawa marries 
f. Dingo Matthurie  m. Dingo Matthurie 
m. or f. Dingo Matthurie  m. or f. Water-hen Kirarawa 

There are still further restrictions to marriage than those which merely enact that a dingo man must marry a water-hen woman, and it is here that we are brought into contact with the terms of relationship. Enquiring into case after case you meet constantly, in this matter of restriction in regard to marriage, with the reply that though a particular woman belongs to the right totem into which a man must marry, yet there is a further restriction preventing marriage in this particular case. For example, not every dingo may marry a particular water-hen woman. To a dingo man all water-hen women are divided into four groups, the members of which respectively stand to him in the relationship of (1) Nowillie or father's sisters; (2) Biaka, children or brothers' children; (3) Apillia, mother's younger brothers' daughters; (4) Nupa, mother's elder brothers' daughters. It will of course be understood that a mother's brother's child is identical with a father's sister's child, and that the fathers and brothers may be either blood or tribal.

We can, amongst the individuals named, distinguish women of three different levels of generation; the Nowillie belong to that of the father and to still older generations; the Biaka to younger ones and the Apillia and Nupa to the same generation as the individual concerned. A man can only marry women who stand to him in the relationship of Nupa, that is, are the children of his mother's elder brothers blood or tribal, or, what is the same thing, of his father's elder sisters. The mother of a man's Nupa is Nowillie to him, and any woman of that relationship is Mura to him and he to her, and they must not speak to one another. In connection with this it


  ― 62 ―
must be remembered that it is not necessary for the woman to actually have a daughter for her to be Nowillie and so Mura to the man, the very fact that she was born a sister of his father places her in this relationship. In the same way Nupa, the term applied to a woman with whom it is lawful for a man to have marital relations, and which is thus the term applied to a wife, cannot, strictly speaking, be regarded as at all the equivalent of the latter term. It is applied indiscriminately by a dingo man to each and every member of a group of water-hen women with one or more of whom he may perhaps actually have marital relations, but with any one of whom it is lawful and possible for him to do so. When we say possible for him to have such marital relations, we mean that any one of those women might be assigned to him, as they all, in fact, stand to him in the relationship of potential wives.

The word Nupa is without any exception applied indiscriminately by men of a particular group to women of another group, and vice versa, and simply implies a member of a group of possible wives or husbands as the case may be.

While this is so, it must be remembered that in actual practice each individual man has one or perhaps two of these Nupa women who are specially attached to himself and live with him in his own camp. In addition to them, however, each man has certain Nupa women, beyond the limited number just referred to, with whom he stands in the relationship of Piraungaru.note To women who are the Piraungaru of a man (the term is a reciprocal one), the latter has access under certain conditions, so that they may be considered as accessory wives.

The result is that in the Urabunna tribe every woman is the special Nupa of one particular man, but at the same time he has no exclusive right to her as she is the Piraungaru of certain other men who also have the right of access to her. Looked at from the point of view of the man his Piraungaru are a limited number of the women who stand in the relationship of Nupa to him. There is no such thing as one man


  ― 63 ―
having the exclusive right to one woman; the elder brothers, or Nuthie, of the latter, in whose hands the matter lies, will give one man a preferential right, but at the same time they will give other men of the same group a secondary right to her. Individual marriage does not exist either in name or in practice in the Urabunna tribe.

The initiation in regard to establishing the relationship of Piraungaru between a man and a woman must be taken by the elder brothers, but the arrangement must receive the sanction of the old men of the group before it can take effect. As a matter of actual practice, this relationship is usually established at times when considerable numbers of the tribe are gathered together to perform important ceremonies, and when these and other matters of importance which require the consideration of the old men are discussed and settled. The number of a man's Piraungaru depend entirely upon the measure of his power and popularity; if he be what is called “ūrkū,” a word which implies much the same as our word “influential,” he will have a considerable number, if he be insignificant or unpopular, then he will meet with scanty treatment.

A woman may be Piraungaru to a number of men, and as a general rule men and women who are Piraungaru to one another are to be found living grouped together. A man may always lend his wife, that is, the woman to whom he has the first right, to another man, provided always he be her Nupa, without the relationship of Piraungaru existing between the two, but unless this relationship exists, no man has any right of access to a woman. Occasionally, but rarely, it happens that a man attempts to prevent his wife's Piraungaru from having access to her, but this leads to a fight and the husband is looked upon as churlish. When visiting distant groups where, in all likelihood, the husband has no Piraungaru, it is customary for other men of his own class to offer him the loan of one or more of their Nupa women, and a man, besides lending a woman over whom he has the first right, will also lend his Piraungaru.

All the children of women who are Nupa to any man, whether they are his special Nupas, or Piraungaru, or Nupa


  ― 64 ―
women with whom he has no marital relations, call him Nia, and he calls them Biaka. Whilst naturally there is a closer tie between a man and the children of the women who habitually live in camp with him, still there is no name to distinguish between the children of his special Nupa and those of any other woman to whom he is Nupa, but with whom he has no marital relations. All Biaka, or children of men who are at the same level in the generation and belong to the same class and totem, are regarded as the common children of these men, and in the same way the latter are regarded collectively by the Biaka as their Nia.

It will thus be seen that in the Urabunna tribe we have apparently an organisation closely similar to that described by Mr. Howitt as occurring in the Dieri tribe with which it is associated locally. It will also be evident that in both these tribes there is what can only be described as a modified form of group-marriage, the important features of which may be summarised as follows. We have:—

(1) A group of men all of whom belong to one moiety of the tribe who are regarded as the Nupas or possible husbands of a group of women who belong to the other moiety of the tribe.

(2) One or more women specially allotted to one particular man, each standing in the relationship of Nupa to the other, but no man having exclusive right to any one woman, only a preferential right.

(3) A group of men who stand in the relationship of Piraungaru to a group of women selected from amongst those to whom they are Nupa. In other words, a group of women of a certain designation are actually the wives of a group of men of another designation.

A curious feature in the social organisation of the Urabunna tribe is the restriction in accordance with which a man's wife must belong to what we may call the senior side of the tribe so far as he himself is concerned. He is only Nupa to the female children of the elder brothers of his mother, or what is exactly the same thing, to those of the elder sisters of his father. It follows from this that a woman is only Nupa to men on the junior side of the tribe so far as she is concerned.


  ― 65 ―
This marked distinction between elder and younger brothers and sisters is a striking feature, not only in tribes such as the Urabunna, in which descent is counted in the female line, but also in tribes such as the Arunta in which descent is counted in the male line.

If we draw up a genealogical tree in the Urabunna tribe, placing the elder members on the left side and the younger members on the right side, then every woman's Nupa lies to the right, and every man's to the left side of his or her position in the genealogical tree.

The following table gives the terms of relationship as they exist amongst the Urabunna tribe. It will be seen that we have given three columns of names, (1) the native names, (2) the exact equivalent of the native names in our English terms, and (3) the English terms included wholly or partly in the native terms. In this way it will be seen, for example, that there are no native words at all equivalent to our English terms cousin, uncle, aunt, nephew; in fact, as we have said before, unless all ideas of terms of relationship as counted amongst ourselves be abandoned, it is useless to try and understand the native terms. No native can understand how we can possibly apply the same term cousin to children of the brothers of a father and at the same time to children of the sisters of a father. In the same way it will be seen that a brother's children are perfectly distinct from those of a sister; if I am, say a crow man, then my brothers' children are born cicadas and my sisters' children are born crows. As my own children are cicadas, I naturally have a term in common between them and the cicada offspring of my brothers, and quite a different term for the crow children of my sisters.

It will be seen on examining the table that no man or woman applies the same name to, for example, both a crow and a cicada, and further still, that all the names are applied to groups of individuals all of whom stand in a definite relationship to the individual by whom the term is used.

In addition to the table we have also drawn up a genealogical tree which will perhaps aid in explaining what is without doubt a somewhat intricate subject, and in the table we have numbered each individual, and taking a particular individual have represented in tabular form the names


  ― 66 ―
which he applies to the other members of the group so as to include and illustrate all the various terms as used.note

                                                                             
TABLE OF RELATIONSHIP TERMS. URABUNNA TRIBE. 
Native Terms Actual Relationship expressed in English Terms English Terms, included wholly or partly in the Native Terms
Nia  Father  Father. 
Father's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Kawkuka  Mother's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Wife's father  Father-in-law. 
Husband's father 
Luka  Mother  Mother. 
Mother's elder sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Namuma  Mother's younger sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Nowillie  Father's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Grandmother on father's side, blood and tribal  Grandmother. 
Husband's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Wife's mother 
Biaka  Sons  Son. 
Daughters  Daughter. 
Brother's sons and daughters, blood and tribal  Nephew and niece. 
Thidnurra  Sister's sons and daughters, blood and tribal  Nephew and niece. 
Nuthie  Elder brother  Brother. 
Father's elder brothers' sons, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Kakua  Elder sisters  Sister. 
Father's elder brothers' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Kupuka  Younger brothers  Brother. 
Father's younger brothers' sons, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Younger sisters  Sister. 
Father's younger brothers' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Wittewa  Father's younger sisters' sons  Cousin. 
Sisters' husbands, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Wife's brother 
Nupa  Father's elder sisters' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Wife  Wife. 
Husband  Husband. 
Apillia  Husband's sisters, blood and tribal  Sister-in-law. 
Father's younger sisters' daughters  Cousin. 
Kadnini  Grandfather on father's side, blood and tribal  Grandfather. 
Grandmother on mother's side, blood and tribal  Grandmother. 
Son's children  Grandchildren. 
Thunthi  Grandfather on mother's side, blood and tribal  Grandfather. 
Daughter's children.  Grandchildren. 




  ― 67 ―

If we take the man numbered 25 in the genealogical tree we shall find that he applies the following names to the various individuals represented. It will be noticed that in connection with the woman numbered 14 we have given a separate branch line of descent, so as to be able to indicate the grand-parents on the maternal as well as the paternal side.

The man numbered 25 applies the following names to the various individuals:—

                             
Kadnini, to the individuals numbered  1,  2,  b,  53,  54. 
Nowillie, to the individuals numbered  3,  5,  9,  17. 
Thunthi, to the individuals numbered  a,  4,  55,  56. 
Nia, to the individuals numbered  6,  7,  8,  18. 
Kawkuka, to the individuals numbered  10,  12,  16. 
Luka,note to the individuals numbered  13,  14. 
Namuma, to the individuals numbered  11,  15. 
Wittewa, to the individuals numbered  19,  30,  32,  37,  40. 
Apillia,note to the individuals numbered  31,  33,  39. 
Nupa,note to the individuals numbered  20,  36,  38. 
Kakua, to the individuals numbered  22,  24. 
Nuthie, to the individuals numbered  21,  23. 
Kupuka, to the individuals numbered  26,  27,  28,  29,  34,  35. 
Biaka, to the individuals numbered  41,  42,  45,  46,  47,  48. 
Thidnurra, to the individuals numbered  43,  44,  49,  50,  51,  52. 

It may perhaps be wondered how the natives themselves become acquainted with what is to the average white man so apparently elaborate and even, at first sight, complicated, a scheme. In the first place it is not in reality so complicated as it appears, and if we lay aside all pre-conceived ideas of relationship and remember that the terms are constantly being used by the natives who live, so to speak, surrounded with object lessons in the form of the members of the local group, then the difficulty largely vanishes. Another thing to be remembered is that the relationship of one native to another is one of the most important points with which each individual must be acquainted. There are certain customs which are enforced by long usage and according to which


  ― 68 ―
men and women of particular degrees of relationship may alone have marital relations, or may not speak to one another, or according to which one individual has to do certain things for another, such as providing the latter with food or with hair, as the case may be, and any breach of these customs is severely punished. The elder men of each group very carefully keep alive these customs, many of which are of considerable benefit to themselves, and when, as at any important ceremony, different groups are gathered together, then matters such as these are discussed, and in this way a knowledge of the various relationships is both gained and kept alive. When a man comes from a distant group, unless he be well known to the group into which he has come, the old men talk the matter over and very soon decide as to his standing.

It sometimes happens, in fact not infrequently, that a man from the neighbouring Arunta tribe comes to live amongst the Urabunna. In the former where it adjoins the latter there are four sub-classes, viz., Bulthara and Panunga, Kumara, and Purula, and in addition descent is counted in the male line. Accordingly the men of the Bulthara and Purula classes are regarded as the equivalents of the Matthurie moiety of the Urabunna tribe, and those of the Panunga and Kumara classes as the equivalents of the Kirarawa. In just the same way a Matthurie man going into the Arunta tribe becomes either a Bulthara or Purula, and a Kirarawa man becomes either a Panunga or a Kumara man. Which of the two a Matthurie man belongs to, is decided by the old men of the group into which he goes. Sometimes a man will take up his abode permanently, or for a long time, amongst the strange tribe, in which case, if it be decided, for example, that he is a Bulthara, then his children will be born Panunga, that is they belong to his own adopted moiety. He has, of course, to marry a Kumara woman, or if he be already provided with a wife, then she is regarded as a Kumara, and if he goes back into his own tribe then his wife is regarded as a Kirarawa and the children also take the same name.

This deliberate change in the grouping of the classes and sub-classes so as to make them fit in with the maternal line


  ― 69 ―
of descent or with the paternal, as the case may be, will be more easily understood from the accompanying table.

         
Arunta Urabunna arrangement of the Arunta sub-classes
Bulthara  moiety A  Bulthara  moiety A (Matthurie). 
Panunga  Purula 
Kumara  moiety B  Panunga  moiety B (Kirarawa). 
Purula  Kumara 

The working out of this with the result that the children belong to the right moiety of the tribe into which the man has gone may be rendered clear by taking one or two particular examples.

Suppose that a Matthurie man goes into the Arunta tribe, then he is told by the old men of the group into which he has gone that he is, say, a Bulthara. Accordingly he marries a Kumara woman (or if, which is not very likely, he has brought a woman with him, then she is regarded as a Kumara) and his children will be Panunga, or, in other words, pass into the father's moiety as the sub-classes are arranged in the Arunta, but not into that of the mother as they are arranged amongst the Urabunna.

Again, suppose a Purula man from the Arunta tribe takes up his abode amongst the Urabunna. He becomes a Matthurie, and as such must marry a Kirarawa (or if married his wife is regarded as such). His children are Kirarawa, which includes the sub-class Kumara into which they would have passed in the Arunta tribe, and to which they will belong if ever they go into the latter.

These are not merely hypothetical cases but are, in the district where the two tribes come in contact with one another, of by no means infrequent occurrence; and, without laying undue stress upon the matter, this deliberate changing of the method of grouping the sub-classes so as to allow of the descent being counted in either the male or female line according to the necessity of the case, is of interest as indicating the fact that the natives are quite capable of thinking such things out for themselves. It is indeed not perhaps without a certain suggestiveness in regard to the difficult question of how a change in the line of descent might possibly be brought about.




  ― 70 ―

We may now turn to the consideration of the Arunta tribe in which descent is counted in the male line, and we may regard the Arunta as typical of the large group of tribes inhabiting the centre of the continent from Lake Eyre in the south to near Port Darwin in the north, in which descent is thus counted. The tribes with the classificatory systems of which we have knowledge are the Arunta, Ilpirra, Iliaura, Kaitish, Walpari, Warramunga, Waagai, and Bingongina, which occupy a range of country extending from the latitude of Macumba River in the south to about that of Powell's Creek in the north, that is over an area measuring from north to south some seven hundred and seventy miles (Fig. 1).

In regard to the organisation of the Arunta tribe, with which we shall now deal in detail, it may at the outset be mentioned that the existence of four sub-classes in the southern part of the tribe, and of eight in the northern, appears at first sight to indicate that in the latter the organisation is more complex. In reality, though without having distinct names applied to them, each one of the four sub-classes met with in the south is actually divided into two. The four are Panunga and Bulthara, Purula and Kumara; the first two forming one moiety of the tribe, and the latter two forming another. In camp, for example, the Panunga and Bulthara always camp together separated from the Purula and Kumara by some natural feature such as a creek. The Panunga and Bulthara speak of themselves as Nakrakia, and of the Purula and Kumara as Mulyanuka—the terms being reciprocal. Further details with regard to this, and evidence of this division into two moieties, are given in connection with the discussion of the Churinga and totems, and in the account of the Engwura.

The marriage system is, in broad outline, omitting at present certain details which will be referred to shortly, as follows. A Bulthara man marries a Kumara woman and their children are Panunga; a Purula man marries a Panunga woman and their children are Kumara; a Panunga man marries a Purula woman and their children are Bulthara; a Kumara man marries a Bulthara woman and their children are Purula.




  ― 71 ―

This may be graphically expressed following Mr. Howitt's plan (as already done by Dr. Stirling) in the following way.note

         
[?]Males Females
Panunga  Kumara 
Bulthara  Purula 
Purula  Bulthara 
Kumara  Panunga 

In these diagrams the double arrow indicates the marriage connections and the single ones point to the name of the class of the children.

As a matter of fact these diagrams as they stand, though perfectly correct in stating, for example, that a Panunga man marries a Purula woman, are incomplete in that they do not show the important point that to a Panunga man the Purula women are divided into two groups the members of one of whom stand to him in the relationship of Unawa whom he may marry, while the members of the other stand in the relationship of Unkulla whom he may not marry. This fact is one of very considerable importance. Each of the four sub-classes is thus divided into two, the members of which stand respectively in the relationship of Ipmunna to each other. We can represent this graphically as follows, taking, for the sake of simplicity, only two sub-classes, the divisions of one being represented by the letters A and B, and of the other by the letters C and D.

     
[?]Sub-class Division Division Sub-class
Panunga  Purula 

A stands in the relationship of Unawa to C, Ipmunna to B, and Unkulla to D. In other words a woman who is Unkulla to me is Ipmunna to my wife. All women of group C (myself belonging to A), my wife calls sisters—Ungaraitcha if they be elder sisters, and Itia if they be younger sisters; and all of


  ― 72 ―
them stand in the relationship of Unawa to myself; but the other Purula women whom my wife calls Ipmunna are Unkulla to me and I may not marry them.

It is somewhat perplexing after learning that a Panunga man must marry a Purula woman to meet with the statement, when inquiring into particular cases, that a given Panunga man must not marry a particular Purula woman, but in the northern part of the tribe matters are simplified by the existence of distinct names for the two groups; the relationship term of Ipmunna still exists, but if I am, for example, a Panunga man, then all my Ipmunna men and women are designated by the term Uknaria, and in the following tables the eight divisions are laid down, and it will be noticed that the old name is used for one-half and a new name adopted for the other.

       
[?]Panunga  Panunga  Purula  Purula 
Uknaria  Ungalla 
Bulthara  Bulthara  Kumara  Kumara 
Appungerta  Umbitchana 

The double arrows indicate the marriage connections.

This division into eight has been adopted (or rather the names for the four new divisions have been), in recent times by the Arunta tribe from the Ilpirra tribe which adjoins the former on the north, and the use of them is, at the present time, spreading southwards. At the Engwura ceremony which we witnessed men of the Ilpirra tribe were present, as well as a large number of others from the southern part of the Arunta amongst whom the four new names are not yet in use.

We have found the following table of considerable service to ourselves in working as, by its means, the various relationships fall into regular arrangement and can be readily indicated.

         
Panunga  Purula  Appungerta  Kumara 
Uknaria  Ungalla  Bulthara  Umbitchana 
Bulthara  Kumara  Uknaria  Purula 
Appungerta  Umbitchana  Panunga  Ungalla 

This table was drawn up in the first instance in order to show the marriage relationships and the divisions into which


  ― 73 ―
the children pass. Thus, reading across the page, men of the sub-classes shown in column 1 must marry women of the sub-classes shown in column 2. For example, a Panunga man marries a Purula woman, an Uknaria man an Ungalla woman, and so on. Column 3 in the same way indicates their children, those of a Panunga man and a Purula woman being Appungerta, those of an Uknaria man and an Ungalla woman being Bulthara, &c. In the same way if a man of one of the sub-classes in column 2 marries a woman in one of those in column 1, then their children are as represented in column 4. That is, a Purula man marries a Panunga woman and their children are Kumara, and so on.

When, however, we came to deal with the various terms of relationship used in the tribe, we found that they also fell into orderly arrangement in the table, and could be easily shown by means of it.

It will be seen from the table that, as compared with the Urabunna tribe, marriage appears to be very much more restricted, because a man may only marry a woman who belongs to one of eight divisions into which the whole is divided. In the Arunta tribe, however, as will be described in the chapter dealing with the totems, there is, unlike most Australian tribes, no restriction whatever, so far as the totems are concerned. It may therefore be, perhaps, a matter of doubt as to how far the totems of the Arunta are the exact equivalents of those yet described as existing amongst other Australian tribes. Every Arunta native thinks that his ancestor in the Alcheringanote was the descendant of the animal or plant, or at least was immediately associated with the object the name of which he bears as his totemic name. In many Australian tribes it seems to be a general custom that a man must not eat or injure his totem, whereas amongst the Arunta there are special occasions on which the totem is eaten, and there is no rule absolutely forbidding the eating of the totem at other times, though it is clearly understood that it must only be partaken of very sparingly. However, though the totems of the Arunta are in certain respects


  ― 74 ―
unlike those yet described in other Australian tribes, still there can be no doubt but that they are correctly designated by this name, the most important feature in which they differ from those of other parts of Australia being that they have no reference to customs concerning marriage.

In the Arunta tribe, unlike the Urabunna, there is, as soon as marriage has taken place, a restriction, except on certain special occasions which are subsequently described, of a particular woman to a particular man, or rather, a man has an exclusive right to one special woman though he may of his own free will lend her to other men.

Despite this fact, there is no term applied to a woman who is thus the peculiar property of one man, the woman is simply spoken of as Unawa to the man in just the same way in which all the other women are who belong to the group from which the man's wife must come. The terms of relationship are not individual terms, but, just as in the Urabunna and other tribes in some of which we have a form of group marriage existing as an actual institution at the present day, the terms are group terms. To take an example—a Panunga man will have some special woman allotted to him as an individual wife, but the only term which he applies to her is Unawa, and that term he also applies to all the women of her group, each of whom might lawfully have been allotted to him. She is one out of a group of potential wives. When, again, a man lends his wife, he only does so to a member of his own group, that is to a man to whom, without having been allotted to him, the woman stands in the relationship of Unawa just as she does to the man to whom she has been allotted. In the southern part of the tribe, where only the four divisions exist, a Panunga man will not lend his Unawa to a man who belongs to the half of the Panunga to which he himself does not belong, that is he will not lend her to an Ipmunna man but only to men who are Okilia or Itia to him; and in the same way he will only have lent to him a Purula woman to whom he is Unawa and not one to whom he is Unkulla. In the northern division the original Panunga is divided up into Panunga and Ungalla, and here a Panunga man only lends his wife to a Panunga, an Ungalla to an


  ― 75 ―
Ungalla, and so on. In this northern part in must be remembered that the Panunga men are the exact equivalents to another Panunga man of the Okilia and Itia, that is the tribal brothers of the southern part, while the Ungalla correspond to the Ipmunna.

The same group terms are applied in all other cases. Thus a man calls his own children Allira, and applies the same term to all his blood and tribal brothers' children, while all his sisters' children are Umba. If, again, I am a Panunga man, then my wife is Purula, and her actual father is a Kumara man. Not only do I call this particular man Ikuntera or father-in-law, but, where the eight divisions are in force, I apply the same name to all Kumara men. They are one and all the fathers of women whom it is lawful for me to marry.

That this group relationship is actually recognised is made clear by a variety of facts. If, for example, one of my Ikuntera dies, it is my duty to cut my shoulders with a stone knife as a mark of sorrow. If I neglect to do this, then any one of the men who are Ikuntera to me has the right to take away my wife and give her to some other man to whom she is Unawa. I have not only, supposing it to be the actual father of my wife who has died, neglected to do my duty to him, but I have offended the group collectively, and any member of that group may punish me. Again, if I am out hunting and have caught game, and while carrying this home to my camp I chance to meet a man standing to me in the relationship of Ikuntera, I should at once have to drop the food, which, from the fact of its having been seen by any one member of that group, has become tabu to me.

In just the same way amongst the women we see clear instances of customs founded on the existence of group relationship. When a child dies not only does the actual Mia, or mother, cut herself, but all the sisters of the latter, who also are Mia to the dead child, cut themselves. All women call their own children Umba, and apply precisely the same term to the children of their sisters, blood and tribal.

The tables which follow give the terms of relationship existing amongst the Arunta, Luritcha, Kaitish and Warramunga,


  ― 76 ―
and, in the case of the Arunta, we have drawn up a genealogical tree and, taking a man and his alloted Unawa, have arranged in tabular form the various terms which they respectively apply to other individuals, whose relationship to them can be seen on the tree.

For the purpose of comparison we have made the genealogical tree identical with that used in the case of the Urabunna tribe, the individuals being numbered alike on both trees.

                                                     


  ― 77 ―
                                     
TABLE OF RELATIONSHIP TERMS. ARUNTA TRIBE. 
Native Terms Actual Relationship expressed in English Terms English Terms, included wholly or partly in the Native Terms
Oknia  Father  Father. 
Father's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Gammona  Mother's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Mia  Mother  Mother. 
Mother's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Uwinna  Father's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Allira (man speaking)  Sons  Son. 
Daughters  Daughter. 
Sons and daughters of brothers, blood and tribal  Nephew and niece. 
Allira (woman speaking)  Sons and daughters of brothers, blood and tribal  Nephew and niece. 
Umba (man speaking)  Sons and daughters of sisters, blood and tribal.  Nephew and niece. 
Umba (woman speaking)  Sons and daughters  Son. 
Sons and daughters of sisters, blood and tribal  Daughter. 
Nephew and niece. 
Okilia  Elder brothers  Brother. 
Sons of father's elder brothers, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Itia (Witia)  Younger brothers  Brother. 
Sons of father's younger brothers, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Ungaraitcha  Elder sisters  Sister. 
Father's elder brother's daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Itia (Quitia)  Younger sisters  Sister. 
Father's younger brothers' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Unkulla  Father's sisters' sons and daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Unawa (man speaking)  Wife  Wife. 
Brothers' wives, blood and tribal  Sister-in-law. 
Unawa (woman speaking)  Husband  Husband. 
Sisters' husbands, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Umbirna (male speaking)  Wife's brother  Brother-in-law. 
Sisters' husbands, blood and tribal 
Intinga (female speaking)  Husband's sisters, blood and tribal  Sister-in-law. 
Ilchella (female speaking)  Father's sisters' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Arunga  Grandfather, father's side  Grandfather. 
Grandchild (son's child)  Grandchild. 
Chimmia  Grandfather, mother's side  Grandfather. 
Grandchild (daughter's child)  Grandchild. 
Aperla  Grandmother, father's side  Grandmother. 
Grandchild  Grandchild. 
Ipmunna  Grandmother, mother's side  Grandmother. 
Ikuntera (man speaking)  Wife's father, blood and tribal  Father-in-law. 
Mura (man speaking)  Wife's mother, blood and tribal  Mother-in-law. 
Wife's mother's brothers, blood and tribal 
Mura (woman speaking)  Husband's mothers, blood and tribal  Mother-in-law. 
Husband's mother's brothers, blood and tribal 
Nimmera (woman speaking)  Husband's father, blood and tribal  Father-in-law.  

                             


  ― 78 ―
                                                                   
TABLE OF RELATIONSHIP TERMS. LURITCHA TRIBE. 
Kartu  Father.  Father. 
Father's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Gammeru  Mother's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Yaku  Mother.  Mother. 
Mother's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Kurntili  Father's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Katha  Sons  Son. 
Brother's sons, blood and tribal  Nephew. 
Urntali  Daughters  Daughter. 
Brother's daughters, blood and tribal  Niece. 
Ukari  Sister's sons  Nephew 
Sister's daughters, blood and tribal  Niece. 
Kurta  Elder brother  Brother. 
Father's elder brothers' sons, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Mirlunguna  Younger brother  Brother. 
Father's younger brothers' sons, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Younger sister  Sister. 
Father's younger brothers' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Kangaru  Elder sister  Sister. 
Father's elder brothers' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Watchira  Mother's brothers' sons, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Narunpa  Mother's brothers' daughters, blood and tribal  Cousin. 
Kuri  Husband  Husband. 
Husband's brothers, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Wife  Wife. 
Wife's sisters, blood and tribal  Sister-in-law. 
Maruthu  Sister's husband, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Wife's brother, blood and tribal 
Sthoarinna  Husband's sisters, blood and tribal  Sister-in-law. 
Brother's wife, blood and tribal 
Sthamu  Grandfather, father's side  Grandfather. 
Grandfather's brothers, father's side 
Chimpa  Grandfather, mother's side  Grandfather. 
Grandfather's brothers, mother's side 
Kammi  Grandmother, father's side  Grandmother. 
Grandmother's sisters, father's side 
Kapirli  Grandmother, mother's side  Grandmother. 
Grandmother's sisters, father's side 
Waputhu (man speaking)  Wife's father  Father-in-law. 
Wife's father's brothers, blood and tribal 
Gammeru (woman speaking)  Husband's father  Father-in-law. 
Husband's father's brothers, blood and tribal 
Mingai (woman speaking)  Husband's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Husband's mother's sisters, blood and tribal 
Umarri  Wife's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Wife's mother's sisters, blood and tribal 
Daughter's husband  Son-in-law. 
Daughter's husband's brothers, blood and tribal 




  ― 79 ―

                                                                       


  ― 80 ―
               
TABLE OF RELATIONSHIP TERMS. KAITISH TRIBE. 
Native Terms Actual Relationship expressed in English Terms English Terms, included wholly or partly in the Native Terms
Akaurlinote  Father  Father. 
Father's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Anillia  Mother's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Arungwanote  Mother  Mother. 
Mother's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Okulli  Father's sister  Aunt. 
Atumpirri  Son  Son. 
Daughter  Daughter. 
Brother's sons and daughters  Nephew and niece. 
Artwalli  Sisters' sons and daughters  Nephew and niece. 
Alkiriia  Elder brother  Brother. 
Father's elder brothers' sons  Cousin. 
Achirri  Younger brother  Brother. 
Father's younger brothers' sons  Cousin. 
Father's younger brothers' daughters 
Arari  Elder sister  Sister. 
Father's elder brothers' daughters  Cousin. 
Atinkilia  Mother's brothers' daughters  Cousin. 
Auillia  Mother's brothers' sons.  Cousin. 
Umbirniia  Husband  Husband. 
Wife  Wife. 
Husband's brothers, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Sister's husband 
Wife's brothers, blood and tribal 
Untingiia  Husband's sister  Sister-in-law. 
Ilchelii (woman speaking)  Father's sisters' daughters  Cousin. 
Arungiia  Grandfather, father's side  Grandfather. 
Grandfather's brothers, father's side 
Atchualli  Grandfather, mother's side  Grandfather. 
Grandfather's brothers, mother's side 
Apirli  Grandmother, father's side  Grandmother. 
Grandmother's sisters, father's side 
Aanya or Atmini  Grandmother, mother's side  Grandmother. 
Grandmother's sisters, mother's side 
Ertwali  Wife's father  Father-in-law. 
Wife's father's brothers 
Husband's father  Father-in-law. 
Husband's father's brothers 
Erlitchi  Husband's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Husband's mother's sisters. 
Wife's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Wife's mother's sisters. 

                                                           


  ― 81 ―
                           
TABLE OF RELATIONSHIP TERMS. WARRAMUNGA TRIBE. 
Gampatchanote  Father  Father. 
Father's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Namini  Mother's brothers, blood and tribal  Uncle. 
Kurnandinote  Mother  Mother. 
Mother's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Pinari  Father's sisters, blood and tribal  Aunt. 
Kartakitchi  Sons  Son. 
Daughters  Daughter. 
Brother's sons and daughters  Nephew and niece. 
Klukulu  Sister's son or daughter  Nephew and niece. 
Papirti  Elder brother  Brother. 
Father's elder brother's sons  Cousin. 
Kukatcha  Younger brother  Brother. 
Father's younger brother's sons.  Cousin. 
Younger sister  Sister. 
Father's younger brother's daughters  Cousin. 
Kapurlu  Elder sister  Sister. 
Father's elder brother's daughters  Cousin. 
Wankili  Mother's brothers' sons or daughters  Cousin. 
Kullakulla  Husband  Husband. 
Husband's brothers, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Wife  Wife. 
Wife's sisters, blood and tribal  Sister-in-law. 
Kallakalla  Sister's husband  Sister-in-law. 
Wife's brothers, blood and tribal  Brother-in-law. 
Husband's sisters, blood and tribal 
Lina (woman speaking)  Father's sisters' daughters  Cousin. 
Kangwia  Grandfather, father's side  Grandfather. 
Grandfather's brothers, father's side 
Tapertapu  Grandfather, mother's side  Grandfather. 
Grandfather's brothers, mother's side 
Turtundi  Grandmother, mother's side  Grandmother. 
Grandmother's sisters, mother's side 
Kulukulu  Wife's father  Father-in-law. 
Wife's father's brothers 
Husband's father 
Husband's father's brothers 
Unnyari  Husband's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Husband's mother's sisters 
Wife's mother  Mother-in-law. 
Wife's mother's sisters 
Namini  Daughter's husband  Son-in-law. 
Daughter's husband's brothers. 

If we take the man numbered 25 on the genealogical tree, which, it may be said, applies to both the Ilpirra and Arunta tribes, with slight variation in the names, we shall find that he applies the following names to the individuals indicated by their respective numbers. It will be noticed that two small branch lines are added to show descent in the maternal line.

The man numbered 25 applies the following names to the various individuals:—

                                     
Arunga, to the individuals numbered  1,  53,  54. 
Aperla, to the individuals numbered  3. 
Oknia, to the individuals numbered  6,  7,  8. 
Uwinna, to the individuals numbered  5,  9. 
Chimmia, to the individuals numbered  a,  55,  56 
Ipmunna, to the individuals numbered  b,  c,  34,  35. 
Unkulla, to the individuals numbered  d,  19,  20,  30,  31. 
Ikuntera, to the individuals numbered  10. 
Umba, to the individuals numbered  11,  43,  44,  49,  50. 
Mia, to the individuals numbered  13,  14,  15,  51. 
Gammona, to the individuals numbered  12,  16,  52. 
Mura, to the individuals numbered  17,  18. 
Okilia, to the individuals numbered  21,  23. 
Ungaraitcha, to the individuals numbered  22,  24. 
Witia, to the individuals numbered  26,  28. 
Quitia, to the individuals numbered  27,  29. 
Allira, to the individuals numbered  41,  42,  45,  46,  47,  48. 
Unawa, to the individuals numbered  32,  36,  38,  39. 
Umbirna, to the individuals numbered  33,  37,  40. 




  ― 82 ―

The woman numbered 38 applies the following names to the various individuals:—

                                       
Arunga, to the individuals numbered  4. 
Aperla, to the individuals numbered  2,  53,  54. 
Oknia, to the individuals numbered  10. 
Uwinna, to the individuals numbered  11. 
Chimmia, to the individuals numbered  c. 
Ipmunna, to the individuals numbered  a,  d,  19,  20,  30,  31,  55,  56. 
Unkulla, to the individuals numbered  34. 
Nimmera, to the individuals numbered  6,  7,  8. 
Umba, to the individuals numbered  5,  9,  41,  42,  45,  46,  47,  48. 
Mia, to the individuals numbered  17. 
Gammona, to the individuals numbered  18. 
Mura, to the individuals numbered  12,  13,  14,  15,  16. 
Okilia, to the individuals numbered  37. 
Ungaraitcha, to the individuals numbered  36. 
Witia, to the individuals numbered  40. 
Quitia, to the individuals numbered  33,  39. 
Allira, to the individuals numbered  43,  44,  49,  50. 
Unawa, to the individuals numbered  21,  23,  25,  26,  28. 
Ilchella, to the individuals numbered  b,  35. 
Intinga, to the individuals numbered  22,  24,  27,  29. 

A comparison of the terms of relationship here set forth with those in use amongst other tribes, which have been described by Messrs. Howitt and Fison, and more recently and in most valuable detail by Mr. Roth, will serve to show how widely a similar series of terms is in use amongst the various Australian tribes.

We will further exemplify the system by taking a man of one particular group and describe in detail the various relationships which exist between him and other members of the tribe. These and all details given have been derived from various individuals and families, and have been corroborated time after time.

After ascertaining the various relationships we found that they could be represented graphically and in orderly arrangement by means of the table already employed, and, as we have found this table of the greatest service to ourselves in dealing with this somewhat intricate subject, we will make use of it here.




  ― 83 ―

           
TABLE I. 
[?]Panunga  Purula  Appungerta  Kumara 
Uknaria  Ungalla  Bulthara  Umbitchana 
Bulthara  Kumara  Uknaria  Purula 
Appungerta  Umbitchana  Panunga  Ungalla 

The brackets signify groups, the members of which are mutually Ipmunna to each other.

Column 3 are the children of men of column 1 and of women of column 2. This applies to groups on the same horizontal line in the table. Thus an Appungerta is the child of a Panunga man and a Purula woman; a Panunga is the child of an Appungerta man and an Umbitchana woman. The same remark applies to all the other relationships indicated; thus a Panunga man is Gammona to a Kumara.

Column 4 are the children of men of column 2 and of the women of column 1.

A man of column 1 is Unawa to a woman of column 2 and vice versa, and Umbirna to a man of column 2. A woman of column 2 is Intinga to a woman of column 1, and vice versa.

Column 1 contains men who are Gammona of men and women of column 4.

Column 4 contains men who are Ikuntera or Umba of men, and Nimmera of women, of column 1.

Column 2 contains men who are Gammona of men and women of column 3.

Column 3 contains men who are Ikuntera or Umba of men, and Nimmera of women, of column 2.

Men and women of columns 3 and 4 stand mutually in the relationship of Unkulla or Chimmia.

Women of columns 3 and 4 stand mutually in the relationship of Ilchella.

           
TABLE II. 
Panunga  Purula  Appungerta  Kumara 
Uknaria  Ungalla  Bulthara  Umbitchana 
Bulthara  Kumara  Uknaria  Purula 
Appungerta  Umbitchana  Panunga  Ungalla 

In column 1 the larger and smaller brackets on the right side indicate the relationship of Uwinna, the overlapping


  ― 84 ―
brackets on the left indicate that of Mura. In column 4 the reverse holds true, the brackets on the left indicate the relationship of Uwinna, and those on the right side that of Mura.

Taking now the case of an individual member of a particular group, we may describe as follows the various relationships in which he stands with regard to the other members of the tribe. We will suppose that this particular individual is an Appungerta man living in the northern part of the tribe where the division into eight groups exists, and we will suppose him to be speaking—

If I am an Appungerta man then—

My father is a Panunga.

All Uknaria are Ipmunna to him and Mura to me—that is, I may not speak to them if they be women. The daughters of Ungalla men and Uknaria women are Umbitchana and Unawa to me—that is, they are women whom I may lawfully marry, and one or more of whom are allotted to me as wives. The mother of the woman who is allotted to me is my Tualcha-mura.

The sons of Uknaria women, that is the brothers of my Unawa, are Umbirna to me; so that Umbitchana men are Umbirna to Appungerta men, and vice versa.

I call my father Oknia.

All men whom my father calls Okilia, elder brothers, or Witia, younger brother, are Panunga, and they are Oknia to me. I call his Okilia, Oknia aniaura, and his Itia, Oknia alkulla.

My Oknia's sisters are Panunga, and they are Uwinna to me. That is, Panunga women are Uwinna to Appungerta men.

All women whom my wife calls Ungaraitcha, elder sisters, or Quitia, younger sisters, are Umbitchana, and they also are Unawa to me.

All women whom my wife calls Ipmunna are Kumara, and they are Unkulla to me.

Speaking as an Arunta man living in a part where only four sub-classes are recognised, all the women of my wife's class, who in this case would be Kumara, I myself belonging


  ― 85 ―
to the Bulthara, are divided into two sets, the members of one of whom are Unawa to me, so that I can marry them; while the members of the other are Unkulla, whom I may not marry. The latter are Ipmunna to my wife. I can only marry a woman who stands in the relationship of daughter to the women of the half of my father's class to which he does not belong—that is, who are Ipmunna to him.

My Ipmunna are Bulthara.

My Unkulla women are Kumara, and they must marry Bulthara men, and their children are Mura to me. That is, the relationship of Mura arises from the marriage of male Ipmunna and female Unkulla. This is an important relationship, as a Mura woman is the mother of my wife.

My Umbirna are Umbitchana men, who are the sons of Uknaria women—that is, of my female Mura.

My Ungaraitcha, elder sisters, and Quitia, younger sisters, are Appungerta, and are Unawa to my Umbirna, who are Umbitchana men.

The children of my Ungaraitcha and Quitia are Ungalla. I call them Allira and they call me Gammona—that is, Appungerta men are Gammona to Ungalla men and women.

My own and my brother's children are Allira to me, and I am Oknia to them. My mother is Purula. She calls her elder sisters Ungaraitcha and her younger ones Quitia. I call them all Mia. That is, Purula women are Mia to Appungerta men. Her elder sisters I call Mia apmarla, and her younger sisters Mia alkulla.note

Speaking again as an Arunta man only recognising four sub-classes the women of the class to which my mother belongs are divided into two groups, the members of one of which have the relationship of Mia to me and those of the other that of Umba.

The children of the Okilia of my Oknia, that is my father's elder brothers' children, will be Appungerta as I am, and they will be according to sex, my Okilia, elder brothers, or Ungaraitcha, elder sisters.

The children of my Oknia's Ungaraitcha and of his Quitia


  ― 86 ―
are Kumara, and are Unkulla to me and Ipmunna to my wife.

The children of my Oknia's Okilia call me Witia or younger brother, and the children of my Oknia's Witia call me Okilia, and I call them Witia.

The children of my Okilia and Witia, that is of my elder and younger brothers, call me Oknia, just as my own children do, and I call them Allira, and they are Panunga.

The children of my Ungaraitcha and Quitia, that is of my sisters, I call Umba, and they are Ungalla.

That is, once more speaking as an Arunta man recognising only four sub-classes, my own and my brother's children go into the same sub-class as that to which my father belongs, whilst my sister's children go into the sub-class to which my mother belongs, but into the half of it to which she does not belong. That is, relations whom we class together as nephews or nieces as the case may be, are either, in respect to a man, Allira, that is, brother's children, or Umba, that is, sister's children. It will be noted that the terms Allira and Umba are applied to individuals of both sexes, so that each of them includes individuals whom we call nephews or nieces.

My male Allira's children are Appungerta, and are Arunga to me and I to them, the term being a reciprocal one.

My Allira are Panunga and my Umba are Ungalla, and these two are Unkulla to each other.

My Allira call my Ungaraitcha and Quitia, that is, my elder and younger sisters, Uwinna. That is, Appungerta women are Uwinna to Panunga men and women.

The children of my female Allira, that is of my daughters, are Kumara, and they are Chimmia to me and I to them. The term Chimmia expresses the relationship of grandfather or grandchild on the mother's side, just as the term Arunga expresses the same on the father's side.

My male Chimmias' male children will be Purula and Gammona to me, that is they are the blood and tribal brothers of my Mias.

My male Chimmias' female children will be Purula and Mia to me.




  ― 87 ―

The children of my female Chimmia are Uknaria and are Mura to me, and they are the Mias of my wife.

My sisters are Appungerta and the daughters of my father's sisters are Kumara, and therefore stand in the relationship of Ilchella to each other; the relationship of Ilchella only exists between women. That is, if I am an Appungerta man, then my father's sister's sons and daughters will be Kumara and Unkulla to me. If I am an Appungerta woman then my father's sister's daughters will be Ilchella to me.

My mother's mother is Bulthara and is Ipmunna to me.

My father's mother is Umbitchana and Aperla to me.

There are certain differences in the terms used if a woman be speaking which may be noted here. Thus, if I am an Appungerta woman, then I call my own and my sister's children Umba, but I call my brother's Allira.

I apply the term Urumpa to brothers and sisters collectively and also to men and women who are Unkulla to me.

The sisters of my husband are Umbitchana, and are Intinga to me and Unawa to my brothers.

The daughters of my father's sisters are Kumara and Ilchella to me.

The sons of my father's sisters are Kumara and are Unkulla to me.

My husband's father is Ungalla, and I call him and he calls me Nimmera; the same term applies to all men whose sons are born Unawa to me.

There is a special term Tualcha which is applied in the case of three particular relationships, or rather is added to the usual one in order to show the existence of a special connection between the individuals concerned.note Thus, every man calls the members of a particular group by the name of


  ― 88 ―
Ikuntera or father-in-law, but the particular one whose daughter has actually been assigned to him—whether he has married her or not has nothing to do with the case—he calls Ikuntera-tualcha. He may have other wives, but unless the mutual agreement was made between his and the girl's father that he should have the girl to wife, then the father of the latter is not spoken of as Tualcha. In the same way the special Mura woman to whose daughter a man is betrothed in his Mura-tualcha, and, lastly, the individual who is Ikuntera-tualcha to one man, is Unkulla-tualcha to the father of the latter. If, for example, I am an Appungerta man, then my Ikuntera-tualcha is an Ungalla man, and he is Unkulla-tualcha to my father.

It will be noticed that distinct names are given to elder and younger brothers and elder and younger sisters. Thus not only are my elder sisters in blood called Ungaraitcha, but the daughters of women whom my mother calls Ungaraitcha are Ungaraitcha to me, and those of women whom my mother called Quitia are Quitia to me. There are, however, certain exceptions to this which are of interest as showing the influence of counting descent in the male line. Not infrequently two brothers in blood will marry two sisters in blood. When this takes place the usual plan is for the elder brother to marry the elder sister; should, however, the elder sister marry the younger brother, then seniority is counted in the male line. In this case the sons and daughters of the younger daughter are the elder brothers and sisters of those of the elder sister.

A curious custom exists with regard to the mutual behaviour of elder and younger sisters and their brothers. A man may speak freely to his elder sisters in blood, but those who are tribal Ungaraitcha must only be spoken to at a considerable distance. To younger sisters, blood and tribal, he may not speak, or at least, only at such a distance that the features are indistinguishable. A man, for example, would speak to his tribal Ungaraitcha or elder sister at a distance of say forty yards, but he would not address his Quitia or younger sisters unless they were at least 100 yards away.


  ― 89 ―
At night-time Ungaraitcha and Quitia may go to their brother's camp, and if he be present they may, sitting in the darkness where their faces are not distinguishable, converse with his Unawa or wife. We cannot discover any explanation of this restriction in regard to the younger sister; it can hardly be supposed that it has anything to do with the dread of anything like incest, else why is there not as strong a restriction in the case of the elder sisters? That there is some form of tabu, or, as the Arunta natives call it, ekirinja, in regard to the younger sister is shown also by the fact that a man can never inherit the Churinga of a deceased younger sister, but always inherits, on the other hand, those of a deceased elder sister.

In the tables which follow, we give the intermarrying groups of seven other tribes corresponding to those of the Arunta tribe; those of the Ilpirra are identical with the latter, which indeed, have been derived in their present form from the Ilpirra tribe. In all cases, men of column 1 marry women of column 2, and their children are as arranged in column 3; men of column 2 marry women of column 1, and their children are represented in column 4.

In the case of three tribes, Warramunga, Bingongina and Walpari, the system becomes still further complicated by the addition of distinct names for females. These names are those printed in brackets. In these cases a man of column 1, marries a woman of column 2, whose name is in brackets, and their children are shown in column 3. In the Warramunga tribe, for example, a Thapanunga man marries a Naralu, and their children, if males, are Thapungerta, and if females, Napungerta. In the same way a Chupilla man marries a Napanunga woman, and their children, if males, are Thakomara, if females, Nakomara.

The tables are arranged so that the equivalent groups in the various tribes can be seen at a glance. An Ilpirra Panunga man visiting the Waagi is regarded as a Pungarinju, and amongst the Bingongina he is a Tchana. An Ilpirra Purula woman amongst the Iliaura is regarded as an Upilla, and amongst the Bingongina as a Nala, and so on.




  ― 90 ―

                                                 


  ― 91 ―
                                   
TABLE III 
(i) ILPIRRA TRIBE. 
Panunga  Purula  Appungerta  Kumara 
Uknaria  Ungalla  Bulthara  Umbitchana 
Bulthara  Kumara  Uknaria  Purula 
Appungerta  Umbitchana  Panunga  Ungalla 
(ii) KAITISH TRIBE. 
Apanunga  Purula  Appungerta  Akomara 
Uknaria  Thungalla  Kabidgi  Umbitchana 
Kabidgi  Akomara  Uknaria  Purula 
Appungerta  Umbitchana  Apanunga  Thungalla 
(iii) ILIAURA TRIBE. 
Apanunga  Upilla  Appungerta  Akumara 
Uknaria  Thungalla  Appitchara  Umbitchana 
Appitchara  Akumara  Uknaria  Upilla 
Appungerta  Umbitchana  Apanunga  Thungalla 
(iv) WAAGAI TRIBE. 
Pungarinju  Ikumaru  Wairgu  Kingelu 
Bilyarinthu  Chamerameru  Bliniwu  Nurrithu 
Bliniwu  Kingelu  Bilyarinthu  Ikumaru 
Wairgu  Nurrithu  Pungarinju  Chamerameru 
(v) WARRAMUNGA TRIBE. 
Thapanunga (Napanunga)  Chupilla (Naralu)  Thapungerta (Napungerta)  Thakomara (Nakomara) 
Chunguri (Namagili)  Thungalli (Nungalli)  Kabidgi (Nalchari)  Chambein (Lambein) 
Kabidgi (Nalchari)  Thakomara (Nakomara)  Chunguri (Namagili)  Chupilla (Naralu) 
Thapungerta (Napungerta)  Chambein (Lambein)  Thapanunga (Napanunga)  Thungalli (Nungalli) 
(vi) BINGONGINA TRIBE. 
Tchana (Nana)  Chula (Nala)  Thungarri (Nungarri)  Chimara (Nemara) 
Chimita (Namita)  Chungalla (Nungalla)  Thalirri (Nalyirri)  Chambechina (Nambechina) 
Thalirri (Nalyirri)  Chimara (Nemara)  Chimita (Namita)  Chula (Nala) 
Thungarri (Nungarri)  Chambechina (Nambechina)  Tchana (Nana)  Chungalla (Nungalla) 
(vii) WALPARI TRIBE. 
Chapanunga (Napanunga)  Chupilla (Napula)  Chapungarta (Napungarta)  Chakuma (Nakuma) 
Chunguri (Namilpa)  Chungalla (Nungalla)  Chapatcha (Napatcha)  Champechinpa (Nambechinpa) 
Chapatcha (Napatcha)  Chakuma (Nakuma)  Chunguri (Namilpa)  Chupilla (Napula) 
Chapungarta (Napungarta)  Champechinpa (Nambechinpa)  Chapanunga (Napanunga)  Chungalla (Nungalla) 

previous
next