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Title: Kinship and Social Organisation
Author: Rivers, W. H. R. (William Halse Rivers), 1864-1922
Language: English
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  STUDIES IN ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

  Edited by the HON. W. PEMBER REEVES

  _Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science_

  No. 36 in the Series of Monographs by Writers connected
  with the London School of Economics and Political Science.


  KINSHIP AND SOCIAL ORGANISATION



  Kinship and

  Social Organisation


  By

  W. H. R. RIVERS, M.D., F.R.S.,

  Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge


  LONDON
  CONSTABLE & CO LTD
  1914



CONTENTS


                 PAGE

  PREFACE        vii.

  LECTURE I         1

  LECTURE II       28

  LECTURE III      60

  INDEX            95



PREFACE.


These lectures were delivered at the London School of Economics in May
of the present year. They are largely based on experience gained in the
work of the Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to Melanesia of 1908, and
give a simplified record of social conditions which will be described
in detail in the full account of the work of that expedition.

A few small additions and modifications have been made since the
lectures were given, some of these being due to suggestions made by
Professor Westermarck and Dr. Malinowski in the discussions which
followed the lectures. I am also indebted to Miss B. Freire-Marreco
for allowing me to refer to unpublished material collected during her
recent work among the Pueblo Indians of North America.

  W. H. R. RIVERS.

  St. John’s College,
  Cambridge.
  _November 19th, 1913._



KINSHIP AND SOCIAL

ORGANISATION



LECTURE I


The aim of these lectures is to demonstrate the close connection which
exists between methods of denoting relationship or kinship and forms
of social organisation, including those based on different varieties
of the institution of marriage. In other words, my aim will be to show
that the terminology of relationship has been rigorously determined
by social conditions and that, if this position has been established
and accepted, systems of relationship furnish us with a most valuable
instrument in studying the history of social institutions.

In the controversy of the present and of recent times, it is the
special mode of denoting relationship known as the classificatory
system which has formed the chief subject of discussion. It is in
connection with this system that there have arisen the various vexed
questions which have so excited the interest--I might almost say the
passions--of sociologists during the last quarter of a century.

I am afraid it would be dangerous to assume your familiarity with this
system, and I must therefore begin with a brief description of its
main characters. The essential feature of the classificatory system,
that to which it owes its name, is the application of its terms, not
to single individual persons, but to classes of relatives which may
often be very large. Objections have been made to the use of the term
“classificatory” on the ground that our own terms of relationship also
apply to classes of persons; the term “brother,” for instance, to all
the male children of the same father and mother, the term “uncle” to
all the brothers of the father and mother as well as to the husband
of an aunt, while the term “cousin” may denote a still larger class.
It is, of course, true that many of our own terms of relationship
apply to classes of persons, but in the systems to which the word
“classificatory” is usually applied, the classificatory principle
applies far more widely, and in some cases even, more logically and
consistently. In the most complete form of the classificatory system
there is not one single term of relationship the use of which tells
us that reference is being made to one person and to one person only,
whereas in our own system there are six such terms, viz., husband,
wife, father, mother, father-in-law and mother-in-law. In those systems
in which the classificatory principle is carried to its extreme degree
every term is applied to a class of persons. The term “father,” for
instance, is applied to all those whom the father would call brother,
and to all the husbands of those whom the mother calls sister,
both brother and sister being used in a far wider sense than among
ourselves. In some forms of the classificatory system the term “father”
is also used for all those whom the mother would call brother, and for
all the husbands of those whom the father would call sister, and in
other systems the application of the term may be still more extensive.
Similarly, the term used for the wife may be applied to all those whom
the wife would call sister and to the wives of all those whom the
speaker calls brother, brother and sister again being used in a far
wider sense than in our own language.

The classificatory system has many other features which mark it off
more or less sharply from our own mode of denoting relationship, but I
do not think it would be profitable to attempt a full description at
this stage of our enquiry. As I have said, the object of these lectures
is to show how the various features of the classificatory system have
arisen out of, and can therefore be explained historically by, social
facts. If you are not already acquainted with these features, you will
learn to know them the more easily if at the same time you learn how
they have come into existence.

I will begin with a brief history of the subject. So long as it was
supposed that all the peoples of the world denoted relationship in the
same way, namely, that which is customary among ourselves, there was
no problem. There was no reason why the subject should have awakened
any interest, and so far as I have been able to find, it is only since
the discovery of the classificatory system of relationship that the
problem now before us was ever raised. I imagine that, if students ever
thought about the matter at all, it must have seemed obvious that the
way in which they and the other known peoples of the world used terms
of relationship was conditioned and determined by the social relations
which the terms denoted.

The state of affairs became very different as soon as it was known that
many peoples of the world use terms of relationship in a manner, and
according to rules, so widely different from our own that they seem to
belong to an altogether different order, a difference well illustrated
by the confusion which is apt to arise when we use English words in
the translation of classificatory terms or classificatory terms as the
equivalents of our own. The difficulty or impossibility of conforming
to complete truth and reality, when we attempt this task, is the best
witness to the fundamental difference between the two modes of denoting
relationship.

I do not know of any discovery in the whole range of science which
can be more certainly put to the credit of one man than that of the
classificatory system of relationship by Lewis Morgan. By this I mean,
not merely that he was the first to point out clearly the existence of
this mode of denoting relationship, but that it was he who collected
the vast mass of material by which the essential characters of the
system were demonstrated, and it was he who was the first to recognise
the great theoretical importance of his new discovery. It is the denial
of this importance by his contemporaries and successors which furnishes
the best proof of the credit which is due to him for the discovery.
The very extent of the material he collected[1] has probably done much
to obstruct the recognition of the importance of his work. It is a
somewhat discouraging thought that, if Morgan had been less industrious
and had amassed a smaller collection of material which could have been
embodied in a more available form, the value of his work would probably
have been far more widely recognised than it is to-day. The volume
of his material is, however, only a subsidiary factor in the process
which has led to the neglect or rejection of the importance of Morgan’s
discovery. The chief cause of the neglect is one for which Morgan must
himself largely bear the blame. He was not content to demonstrate, as
he might to some extent have done from his own material, the close
connection between the terminology of the classificatory system of
relationship and forms of social organisation. There can be little
doubt that he recognised this connection, but he was not content to
demonstrate the dependence of the terminology of relationship upon
social forms the existence of which was already known, or which were
capable of demonstration with the material at his disposal. He passed
over all these early stages of the argument, and proceeded directly to
refer the origin of the terminology to forms of social organisation
which were not known to exist anywhere on the earth and of which there
was no direct evidence in the past. When, further, the social condition
which Morgan was led to formulate was one of general promiscuity
developing into group-marriage, conditions bitterly repugnant to the
sentiments of most civilised persons, it is not surprising that he
aroused a mass of heated opposition which led, not merely to widespread
rejection of his views, but also to the neglect of lessons to be learnt
from his new discovery which must have received general recognition
long before this, if they had not been obscured by other issues.

[1] _Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family:
Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge_, vol. xvii.; Washington, 1871.

The first to take up the cudgels in opposition to Morgan was our own
pioneer in the study of the early forms of human society, John Ferguson
McLennan.[2] He criticised the views of Morgan severely and often
justly, and then pointing out, as was then believed to be the case,
that no duties or rights were connected with the relationships of the
classificatory system, he concluded that the terms formed merely a
code of courtesies and ceremonial addresses for social intercourse.
Those who have followed him have usually been content to repeat the
conclusion that the classificatory system is nothing more than a
body of mutual salutations and terms of address. They have failed to
see that it still remains necessary to explain how the terms of the
classificatory system came to be used in mutual salutation. They have
failed to recognise that they were either rejecting the principle of
determinism in sociology, or were only putting back to a conveniently
remote distance the consideration of the problem how and why the
classificatory terms came to be used in the way now customary among so
many peoples of the earth.

[2] _Studies in Ancient History_, 1st series, 1876, p. 331.

This aspect of the problem, which has been neglected or put on one
side by the followers of McLennan, was not so treated by McLennan
himself. As we should expect from the general character of his work,
McLennan clearly recognised that the classificatory system must have
been determined by social conditions, and he tried to show how it might
have arisen as the result of the change from the Nair to the Tibetan
form of polyandry.[3] He even went so far as to formulate varieties
of this process by means of which there might have been produced the
chief varieties of the classificatory system, the existence of which
had been demonstrated by Morgan. It is quite clear that McLennan had no
doubts about the necessity of tracing back the social institution of
the classificatory system of relationship to social causes, a necessity
which has been ignored or even explicitly denied by those who have
followed him in rejecting the views of Morgan. It is one of the many
unfortunate consequences of McLennan’s belief in the importance of
polyandry in the history of human society that it has helped to prevent
his followers from seeing the social importance of the classificatory
system. They have failed to see that the classificatory system may be
the result neither of promiscuity nor of polyandry, and yet have been
determined, both in its general character and in its details, by forms
of social organisation.

[3] _Op. cit._, p. 373.

Since the time of Morgan and McLennan few have attempted to deal with
the question in any comprehensive manner. The problem has inevitably
been involved in the controversy which has raged between the advocates
of the original promiscuity or the primitive monogamy of mankind,
but most of the former have been ready to accept Morgan’s views
blindly, while the latter have been content to try to explain away
the importance of conclusions derived from the classificatory system
without attempting any real study of the evidence. On the side of
Morgan there has been one exception in the person of Professor J.
Kohler,[4] who has recognised the lines on which the problem must be
studied, while on the other side there has been, so far as I am aware,
only one writer who has recognised that the evidence from the nature
of the classificatory system of relationship cannot be ignored or
belittled, but must be faced and some explanation alternative to that
of Morgan provided.

[4] _Zur Urgeschichte der Ehe_, Stuttgart, 1897 (reprinted from
_Zeitsch. f. vergleich. Rechtswiss._, 1897, xii., 187).

This attempt was made four years ago by Professor Kroeber,[5] of the
University of California. The line he takes is absolutely to reject
the view common to both Morgan and McLennan that the nature of the
classificatory system has been determined by social conditions.
He explicitly rejects the view that the mode of using terms of
relationship depends on social causes, and puts forward as the
alternative that they are conditioned by causes purely linguistic and
psychological.

[5] _Journ. Roy. Anth. Inst._, 1909, xxxix, 77.

It is not quite easy to understand what is meant by the linguistic
causation of terms of relationship. In the summary at the end of
his paper Kroeber concludes that “they (terms of relationship) are
determined primarily by language.” Terms of relationship, however, are
elements of language, so that Kroeber’s proposition is that elements
of language are determined primarily by language. In so far as this
proposition has any meaning, it must be that, in the process of seeking
the origin of linguistic phenomena, it is our business to ignore any
but linguistic facts. It would follow that the student of the subject
should seek the antecedents of linguistic phenomena in other linguistic
phenomena, and put on one side as not germane to his task all reference
to the objects and relations which the words denote and connote.

Professor Kroeber’s alternative proposition is that terms of
relationship reflect psychology, not sociology, or, in other words,
that the way in which terms of relationship are used depends on a
chain of causation in which psychological processes are the direct
antecedents of this use. I will try to make his meaning clear by means
of an instance which he himself gives. He says that at the present time
there is a tendency among ourselves to speak of the brother-in-law as
a brother; in other words, we tend to class the brother-in-law and the
brother together in the nomenclature of our own system of relationship.
He supposes that we do this because there is a psychological similarity
between the two relationships which leads us to class them together in
our customary nomenclature. I shall return both to this and other of
his examples later.

We have now seen that the opponents of Morgan have taken up two main
positions which it is possible to attack: one, that the classificatory
system is nothing more than a body of terms of address; the other,
that it and other modes of denoting relationship are determined by
psychological and not by sociological causes. I propose to consider
these two positions in turn.

Morgan himself was evidently deeply impressed by the function of the
classificatory system of relationship as a body of salutations. His
own experience was derived from the North American Indians, and he
notes the exclusive use of terms of relationship in address, a usage
so habitual that an omission to recognise a relative in this manner
would amount almost to an affront. Morgan also points out, as one
motive for the custom, the presence of a reluctance to utter personal
names. McLennan had to rely entirely on the evidence collected by
Morgan, and there can be no doubt that he was greatly influenced by
the stress Morgan himself laid on the function of the classificatory
terms as mutual salutations. That in rude societies certain relatives
have social functions definitely assigned to them by custom was
known in Morgan’s time, and I think it might even then have been
discovered that the relationships which carried these functions were
of the classificatory kind. It is, however, only by more recent work,
beginning with that of Howitt, of Spencer and Gillen, and of Roth
in Australia, and of the Cambridge Expedition to Torres Straits,
that the great importance of the functions of relatives through
the classificatory system has been forced upon the attention of
sociologists. The social and ceremonial proceedings of the Australian
aborigines abound in features in which special functions are performed
by such relatives as the elder brother or the brother of the mother,
while in Torres Straits I was able to record large groups of duties,
privileges and restrictions associated with different classificatory
relationships.

Further work has shown that widely, though not universally, the
nomenclature of the classificatory system carries with it a number of
clearly defined social practices. One who applies a given term of
relationship to another person has to behave towards that person in
certain definite ways. He has to perform certain duties towards him,
and enjoys certain privileges, and is subject to certain restrictions
in his conduct in relation to him. These duties, privileges and
restrictions vary greatly in number among different peoples, but
wherever they exist, I know of no exception to their importance and
to the regard in which they are held by all members of the community.
You doubtless know of many examples of such functions associated with
relationship, and I need give only one example.

In the Banks Islands the term used between two brothers-in-law is
_wulus_, _walus_, or _walui_, and a man who applies one of these terms
to another may not utter his name, nor may the two behave familiarly
towards one another in any way. In one island, Merlav, these relatives
have all their possessions in common, and it is the duty of one to
help the other in any difficulty, to warn him in danger, and, if need
be, to die with him. If one dies, the other has to help to support
his widow and has to abstain from certain foods. Further, there are
a number of curious regulations in which the sanctity of the head
plays a great part. A man must take nothing from above the head of his
brother-in-law, nor may he even eat a bird which has flown over his
head. A person has only to say of an object “That is the head of your
brother-in-law,” and the person addressed will have to desist from the
use of the object. If the object is edible, it may not be eaten; if it
is one which is being manufactured, such as a mat, the person addressed
will have to cease from his work if the object be thus called the head
of his brother-in-law. He will only be allowed to finish it on making
compensation, not to the person who has prevented the work by reference
to the head, but to the brother-in-law whose head had been mentioned.
Ludicrous as some of these customs may seem to us, they are very far
from being so to those who practise them. They show clearly the very
important part taken in the lives of those who use the classificatory
system by the social functions associated with relationship. As I
have said, these functions are not universally associated with the
classificatory system, but they are very general in many parts of the
world and only need more careful investigation to be found even more
general and more important than appears at present.

Let us now look at our own system of relationship from this point
of view. Two striking features present themselves. First, the great
paucity of definite social functions associated with relationship,
and secondly, the almost complete limitation of such functions to
those relationships which apply only to individual persons and not
to classes of persons. Of such relationships as cousin, uncle, aunt,
father-in-law, or mother-in-law there may be said to be no definite
social functions. A school-boy believes it is the duty of his uncle
to tip him, but this is about as near as one can get to any social
obligation on the part of this relative.

The same will be found to hold good to a large extent if we turn to
those social regulations which have been embodied in our laws. It is
only in the case of the transmission of hereditary rank and of the
property of a person dying intestate that more distant relatives are
brought into any legal relationship with one another, and then only
if there is an absence of nearer relatives. It is only when forced to
do so by exceptional circumstances that the law recognises any of the
persons to whom the more classificatory of our terms of relationship
apply. If we pay regard to the social functions associated with
relationship, it is our own system, rather than the classificatory,
which is open to the reproach that its relationships carry into them no
rights and duties.

In the course of the recent work of the Percy Sladen Trust Expedition
in Melanesia and Polynesia I have been able to collect a body of facts
which bring out, even more clearly than has hitherto been recognised,
the dependence of classificatory terms on social rights.[6] The
classificatory systems of Oceania vary greatly in character. In some
places relationships are definitely distinguished in nomenclature
which are classed with other relationships elsewhere. Thus, while
most Melanesian and some Polynesian systems have a definite term for
the mother’s brother and for the class of relatives whom the mother
calls brother, in other systems this relative is classed with, and
is denoted by, the same term as the father. The point to which I now
call your attention is that there is a very close correlation between
the presence of a special term for this relative and the presence of
special functions attached to the relationship.

[6] The full account of these and other facts cited in these lectures
will appear shortly in a work on _The History of Melanesian Society_,
to be published by the Cambridge University Press.

In Polynesia, both the Hawaiians and the inhabitants of Niue class the
mother’s brother with the father, and in neither place was I able to
discover that there were any special duties, privileges or restrictions
ascribed to the mother’s brother. In the Polynesian islands of Tonga
and Tikopia, on the other hand, where there are special terms for
the mother’s brother, this relative has also special functions. The
only place in Melanesia where I failed to find a special term for the
mother’s brother was in the western Solomon Islands, and that was
also the only part of Melanesia where I failed to find any trace of
special social functions ascribed to this relative. I do not know of
such functions in Santa Cruz, but my information about the system of
that island is derived from others, and further research will almost
certainly show that they are present.

In my own experience, then, among two different peoples, I have been
able to establish a definite correlation between the presence of
a term of relationship and special functions associated with the
relationship. Information kindly given to me by Father Egidi, however,
seems to show that the correlation among the Melanesians is not
complete. In Mekeo, the mother’s brother has the duty of putting on the
first perineal garment of his nephew, but he has no special term and is
classed with the father. Among the Kuni, on the other hand, there is
a definite term for the mother’s brother distinguishing him from the
father, but yet he has not, so far as Father Egidi knows, any special
functions.

Both in Melanesia and Polynesia a similar correlation comes out in
connection with other relationships, the most prominent exception
being the absence of a special term for the father’s sister in the
Banks Islands, although this relative has very definite and important
functions. In these islands the father’s sister is classed with the
mother as _vev_ or _veve_, but even here, where the generalisation
seems to break down, it does not do so completely, for the father’s
sister is distinguished from the mother as _veve vus rawe_, the mother
who kills a pig, as opposed to the simple _veve_ used for the mother
and her sisters.

There is thus definite evidence, not only for the association of
classificatory terms of relationship with special social functions, but
from one part of the world we now have evidence which shows that the
presence or absence of special terms is largely dependent on whether
there are or are not such functions. We may take it as established that
the terms of the classificatory system are not, as McLennan supposed,
merely terms of address and modes of mutual salutation. McLennan came
to this conclusion because he believed that the classificatory terms
were associated with no such functions as those of which we now have
abundant evidence. He asks, “What duties or rights are affected by the
relationships comprised in the classificatory system?” and answers
himself according to the knowledge at his disposal, “Absolutely
none.”[7] This passage makes it clear that, if McLennan had known what
we know to-day, he would never have taken up the line of attack upon
Morgan’s position in which he has had, and still has, so many followers.

[7] _Op. cit._, p. 366.

       *       *       *       *       *

I can now turn to the second line of attack, that which boldly discards
the origin of the terminology of relationship in social conditions, and
seeks for its explanation in psychology. The line of argument I propose
to follow is first to show that many details of classificatory systems
have been directly determined by social factors. If that task can be
accomplished, we shall have firm ground from which to take off in the
attempt to refer the general characters of the classificatory and other
systems of relationship to forms of social organisation. Any complete
theory of a social institution has not only to account for its general
characters, but also for its details, and I propose to begin with the
details.

I must first return to the history of the subject, and stay for a
moment to ask why the line of argument I propose to follow was not
adopted by Morgan and has been so largely disregarded by others.

Whenever a new phenomenon is discovered in any part of the world, there
is a natural tendency to seek for its parallels elsewhere. Morgan lived
at a time when the unity of human culture was a topic which greatly
excited ethnologists, and it is evident that one of his chief interests
in the new discovery arose from the possibility it seemed to open of
showing the uniformity of human culture. He hoped to demonstrate the
uniformity of the classificatory system throughout the world, and he
was content to observe certain broad varieties of the system and refer
them to supposed stages in the history of human society. He paid but
little attention to such varieties of the classificatory system as are
illustrated in his own record of North American systems, and seems to
have overlooked entirely certain features of the Indian and Oceanic
systems he recorded, which might have enabled him to demonstrate the
close relation between the terminology of relationship and social
institutions. Morgan’s neglect to attend to these differences must
be ascribed in some measure to the ignorance of rude forms of social
organisation which existed when he wrote, but the failure of others
to recognise the dependence of the details of classificatory systems
upon social institutions is rather to be ascribed to the absence
of interest in the subject induced by their adherence to McLennan’s
primary error. Those who believe that the classificatory system is
merely an unimportant code of mutual salutations are not likely to
attend to relatively minute differences in the customs they despise.
The credit of having been the first fully to recognise the social
importance of these differences belongs to J. Kohler. In his book “Zur
Urgeschichte der Ehe,” which I have already mentioned, he studied
minutely the details of many different systems, and showed that they
could be explained by certain forms of marriage practised by those who
use the terms. I propose now to deal with classificatory terminology
from this point of view. My procedure will be first to show that
the details which distinguish different forms of the classificatory
system from one another have been directly determined by the social
institutions of those who use the systems, and only when this has been
established, shall I attempt to bring the more general characters
of the classificatory and other systems into relation with social
institutions.

I am able to carry out this task more fully than has hitherto been
possible because I have collected in Melanesia a number of systems of
relationship which differ far more widely from one another than those
recorded in Morgan’s book or others which have been collected since.
Some of the features which characterise these Melanesian systems will
be wholly new to ethnologists, not having yet been recorded elsewhere,
but I propose to begin with a long familiar mode of terminology which
accompanies that widely distributed custom known as the cross-cousin
marriage. In the more frequent form of this marriage a man marries the
daughter either of his mother’s brother or of his father’s sister; more
rarely his choice is limited to one of these relatives.

Such a marriage will have certain definite consequences. Let us take a
case in which a man marries the daughter of his mother’s brother, as is
represented in the following diagram:

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 1[8]

[8] In this and other diagrams capital letters are used to represent
men and the smaller letters women.

      +----------------------------+
      |                            |
  B = a                            A = b
    |                                |
    |                     +----------+----------+
    |                     |          |          |
    C =================== d          E          f
]

One consequence of the marriage between _C_ and _d_ will be that _A_,
who before the marriage of _C_ was only his mother’s brother, now
becomes also his wife’s father, while _b_, who before the marriage was
the mother’s brother’s wife of _C_, now becomes his wife’s mother.
Reciprocally, _C_, who before his marriage had been the sister’s
son of _A_ and the husband’s sister’s son of _b_, now becomes their
son-in-law. Further, _E_ and _f_, the other children of _A_ and _b_,
who before the marriage had been only the cousins of _C_, now become
his wife’s brother and sister.

Similarly, _a_, who before the marriage of _d_ was her father’s sister,
now becomes also her husband’s mother, and _B_, her father’s sister’s
husband, comes to stand in the relation of husband’s father; if _C_
should have any brothers and sisters, these cousins now become her
brothers- and sisters-in-law.

The combinations of relationship which follow from the marriage of a
man with the daughter of his mother’s brother thus differ for a man and
a woman, but if, as is usual, a man may marry the daughter either of
his mother’s brother or of his father’s sister, these combinations of
relationship will hold good for both men and women.

Another and more remote consequence of the cross-cousin marriage, if
this become an established institution, is that the relationships
of mother’s brother and father’s sister’s husband will come to be
combined in one and the same person, and that there will be a similar
combination of the relationships of father’s sister and mother’s
brother’s wife. If the cross-cousin marriage be the habitual custom,
_B_ and _b_ in Diagram 1 will be brother and sister; in consequence
_A_ will be at once the mother’s brother and the father’s sister’s
husband of _C_, while _b_ will be both his father’s sister and his
mother’s brother’s wife. Since, however, the mother’s brother is also
the father-in-law, and the father’s sister the mother-in-law, three
different relationships will be combined in each case. Through the
cross-cousin marriage the relationships of mother’s brother, father’s
sister’s husband and father-in-law will be combined in one and the same
person, and the relationships of father’s sister, mother’s brother’s
wife and mother-in-law will be similarly combined.

In many places where we know the cross-cousin marriage to be an
established institution, we find just those common designations which I
have just described. Thus, in the Mbau dialect of Fiji the word _vungo_
is applied to the mother’s brother, the husband of the father’s sister
and the father-in-law. The word _nganei_ is used for the father’s
sister, the mother’s brother’s wife and the mother-in-law. The term
_tavale_ is used by a man for the son of the mother’s brother or of
the father’s sister as well as for the wife’s brother and the sister’s
husband. _Ndavola_ is used not only for the child of the mother’s
brother or father’s sister when differing in sex from the speaker, but
this word is also used by a man for his wife’s sister and his brother’s
wife, and by a woman for her husband’s brother and her sister’s
husband. Every one of these details of the Mbau system is the direct
and inevitable consequence of the cross-cousin marriage, if it become
an established and habitual practice.

This Fijian system does not stand alone in Melanesia. In the southern
islands of the New Hebrides, in Tanna, Eromanga, Anaiteum and
Aniwa, the cross-cousin marriage is practised and their systems of
relationship have features similar to those of Fiji. Thus, in Anaiteum
the word _matak_ applies to the mother’s brother, the father’s sister’s
husband and the father-in-law, while the word _engak_ used for the
cross-cousin is not only used for the wife’s sister and the brother’s
wife, but also for the wife herself.

Again, in the island of Guadalcanar in the Solomons the system of
relationship is just such as would result from the cross-cousin
marriage. One term, _nia_, is used for the mother’s brother and the
wife’s father, and probably also for the father’s sister’s husband and
the husband’s father, though my stay in the island was not long enough
to enable me to collect sufficient genealogical material to demonstrate
these points completely. Similarly, _tarunga_ includes in its
connotation the father’s sister, the mother’s brother’s wife and the
wife’s mother, and probably also the husband’s mother, while the word
_iva_ is used for both cross-cousins and brothers- and sisters-in-law.
Corresponding to this terminology there seemed to be no doubt that it
was the custom for a man to marry the daughter of his mother’s brother
or his father’s sister, though I was not able to demonstrate this form
of marriage genealogically.

These three regions, Fiji, the southern New Hebrides and Guadalcanar,
are the only parts of Melanesia included in my survey where I found the
practice of the cross-cousin marriage, and in all three regions the
systems of relationship are just such as would follow from this form of
marriage.

Let us now turn to inquire how far it is possible to explain these
features of Melanesian systems of relationship by psychological
similarity. If it were not for the cross-cousin marriage, what
can there be to give the mother’s brother a greater psychological
similarity to the father-in-law than the father’s brother, or the
father’s sister a greater similarity to the mother-in-law than the
mother’s sister? Why should it be two special kinds of cousin who are
classed with two special kinds of brother- and sister-in-law or with
the husband or wife? Once granted the presence of the cross-cousin
marriage, and there are psychological similarities certainly, though
even here the matter is not quite straightforward from the point of
view of the believer in their importance, for we have to do not merely
with the similarity of two relatives, but with their identity, with
the combination of two or more relationships in one and the same
person. Even if we put this on one side, however, it remains to ask
how it is possible to say that terms of relationship do not reflect
sociology, if such psychological similarities are themselves the
result of the cross-cousin marriage? What point is there in bringing
in hypothetical psychological similarities which are only at the best
intermediate links in the chain of causation connecting the terminology
of relationship with antecedent social conditions?

If you concede the causal relation between the characteristic features
of a Fijian or Anaiteum or Guadalcanar system and the cross-cousin
marriage, there can be no question that it is the cross-cousin marriage
which is the antecedent and the features of the system of relationship
the consequences. I do not suppose that, even in this subject, there
will be found anyone to claim that the Fijians took to marrying their
cross-cousins because such a marriage was suggested to them by the
nature of their system of relationship. We have to do in this case,
not merely with one or two features which might be the consequence of
the cross-cousin marriage, but with a large and complicated meshwork
of resemblances and differences in the nomenclature of relationship,
each and every element of which follows directly from such a marriage,
while no one of the systems I have considered possesses a single
feature which is not compatible with social conditions arising out of
this marriage. Apart from quantitative verification, I doubt whether it
would be possible in the whole range of science to find a case where
we can be more confident that one phenomenon has been conditioned by
another. I feel almost guilty of wasting your time by going into it
so fully, and should hardly have ventured to do so if this case of
social causation had not been explicitly denied by one with so high a
reputation as Professor Kroeber. I hope, however, that the argument
will be useful as an example of the method I shall apply to other cases
in which the evidence is less conclusive.

The features of terminology which follow from the cross-cousin
marriage were known to Morgan, being present in three of the systems
he recorded from Southern India and in the Fijian system collected
for him by Mr. Fison. The earliest reference[9] to the cross-cousin
marriage which I have been able to discover is among the Gonds of
Central India. This marriage was recorded in 1870, which, though
earlier than the appearance of Morgan’s book, was after it had been
accepted for publication, so that I think we can be confident that
Morgan was unacquainted with the form of marriage which would have
explained the peculiar features of the Indian and Fijian systems. It is
evident, however, that Morgan was so absorbed in his demonstration of
the similarity of these systems to those of America that he paid but
little, if any, attention to their peculiarities. He thus lost a great
opportunity; if he had attended to these peculiarities and had seen
their meaning, he might have predicted a form of marriage which would
soon afterwards have been independently discovered. Such an example of
successful prediction would have forced the social significance of the
terminology of relationship upon the attention of students in such a
way that we should have been spared much of the controversy which has
so long obstructed progress in this branch of sociology. It must at the
very least have acted as a stimulus to the collection of systems of
relationship. It would hardly have been possible that now, more than
forty years after the appearance of Morgan’s book, we are still in
complete ignorance of the terminology of relationship of many peoples
about whom volumes have been written. It would seem impossible, for
instance, that our knowledge of Indian systems of relationship could
have been what it is to-day. India would have been the country in which
the success of Morgan’s prediction would first have shown itself, and
such an event must have prevented the almost total neglect which the
subject of relationship has suffered at the hands of students of Indian
sociology.

[9] Grant, _Gazetteer of Central Provinces_, Nagpur, 2nd ed., 1870, p.
276.



LECTURE II


In my last lecture I began the demonstration of the dependence of the
classificatory terminology of relationship upon social institutions by
showing how a number of terms used in several parts of Melanesia have
been determined by the cross-cousin marriage. I showed that in places
where the cross-cousin marriage is practised there are not merely one
or two, but large groups of, terms of relationship which are exactly
such as would follow from this form of marriage. To-day I begin by
considering other forms of Melanesian marriage which bring out almost
as clearly and conclusively the dependence of the classificatory
terminology upon social conditions.

The systems of relationship of the Banks Islands possess certain very
remarkable features which were first recorded by Dr. Codrington.[10]
Put very shortly, it may be stated that cross-cousins stand to one
another in the relation of parent and child, or, more exactly,
cross-cousins apply to one another terms of relationship which are
otherwise used between parents and children. A man applies to his
mother’s brother’s children the term which he otherwise uses for
his own children, and, conversely, a person applies to his father’s
sister’s son a term he otherwise uses for his father. Thus, in the
following diagram, _C_ will apply to _D_ and _e_ the terms which are in
general use for a son and daughter, while _D_ and _e_ will apply to _C_
the term they otherwise use for their father.

[10] _The Melanesians_, p. 38.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 2.

      +----------------------------+
      |                            |
  B = a                            A = b
    |                                |
    |                     +----------+----------+
    |                     |                     |
    C                     D                     e
]

In most forms of the classificatory system members of different
generations are denoted in wholly different ways and belong to
different classes,[11] but here we have a case in which persons of the
same generation as the speaker are classed with those of an older or a
younger generation.

[11] I leave out of account here those cases in which members of
different generations are denoted by a reciprocal term.

I will first ask you to consider to what kind of psychological
similarity such a practice can be due. What kind of psychological
similarity can there be between one special kind of cousin and the
father, and between another special kind of cousin and a son or
daughter? If the puzzle as put in this form does not seem capable of a
satisfactory answer, let us turn to see if the Banks Islanders practise
any social custom to which this peculiar terminology can have been due.
In the story of Ganviviris told to Dr. Codrington in these islands[12]
an incident occurs in which a man hands over one of his wives to his
sister’s son, or, in other words, in which a man marries one of the
wives of his mother’s brother. Inquiries showed, not only that this
form of marriage was once widely current in the islands, but that it
still persists though in a modified form. The Christianity of the
natives does not now permit a man to have superfluous wives whom he can
pass on to his sister’s sons, but it is still the orthodox, and indeed
I was told the popular, custom to marry the widow of the mother’s
brother. It seemed that in the old days a man would take the widow of
his mother’s brother in addition to any wife or wives he might already
have. Though this is no longer allowed, the leaning towards this form
of marriage is so strong that after fifty years of external influence
a young man still marries the widow of his mother’s brother, sometimes
in preference to a girl of his own age. Indeed, there was reason to
believe that there was an obligation to do so, if the deceased husband
had a nephew who was not yet married. The peculiar features of the
terminology of relationship in these islands are exactly such as would
follow from this form of marriage. If, in Diagram 2, _C_ marries _b_,
the wife or widow of his mother’s brother, and thereby comes to occupy
the social position of his uncle _A_, the children of the uncle, _D_
and _e_, will come to stand to him in the relation of children, while
he, who had previously been the father’s sister’s son of _D_ and _e_,
will now become their father. An exceptional form of the classificatory
system, in which there is a departure from the usual rule limiting a
term of relationship to members of the same generation, is found to
be the natural consequence of a social regulation which enjoins the
marriage of persons belonging to different generations.

[12] _Op. cit._, p. 384.

The next step in the process of demonstrating the social significance
of the classificatory system of relationship will take us to the
island of Pentecost in the northern New Hebrides. When I recorded
the system of this island, I found it to have so bizarre and complex
a character that I could hardly believe at first it could be other
than the result of a ludicrous misunderstanding between myself and my
seemingly intelligent and trustworthy informants. Nevertheless, the
records obtained from two independent witnesses, and based on separate
pedigrees, agreed so closely even in the details which seemed most
improbable that I felt confident that the whole construction could not
be so mad as it seemed. This confidence was strengthened by finding
that some of its features were of the same order of peculiarity as
others which I had already found in a set of Fijian systems I have
yet to consider. There were certain features which brought relatives
separated by two generations into one category; the mother’s mother,
for instance, received the same designation as the elder sister; the
wife’s mother the same as the daughter; the wife’s brother the same as
the daughter’s son. The only conclusion I was then able to formulate
was that these features were the result of some social institution
resembling the matrimonial classes of Australia, which would have the
effect of putting persons of alternate generations into one social
category.

This idea was supported by the system of relationship of the Dieri of
Australia which possesses at least one feature similar to those of
Pentecost, a fact I happened to remember at the time because Mr. N.
W. Thomas[13] had used it as the basis of a _reductio ad absurdum_
argument to show that terms of relationship do not express kinship.
The interest of the Pentecost system seemed at first to lie in the
possibility thus opened of bringing Melanesian into relation with
Australian sociology, a hope which was the more promising in that the
people of Pentecost and the Dieri resemble one another in the general
character of their social organisation, each being organised on the
dual basis with matrilineal descent. When in Pentecost, however, I was
unable to get further than this, and the details of the system remained
wholly inexplicable.

[13] _Kinship Organisations and Group Marriage in Australia_,
Cambridge, 1906, p. 123.

The meaning of some of the peculiarities of the Pentecost system
became clear when I reached the Banks Islands; they were of the same
kind as those I have already considered as characteristic of these
islands. When I had discovered the dependence of these features upon
the marriage of a man with the wife of his mother’s brother, it
became evident that not only these, but certain other features of
the Pentecost system, were capable of being accounted for by this
kind of marriage. The peculiar features of the Pentecost system could
be divided into two groups, and all the members of one group could
be accounted for by the marriage with the mother’s brother’s wife.
All these features had the character in common that persons of the
generation immediately above or below that of the speaker were classed
in nomenclature with relatives of the same generation.

The other group consisted of terms in which persons two generations
apart were classed with relatives of the same generation. Since the
first group of correspondences had been explained by a marriage between
persons one generation apart, it should have been obvious that the
classing together of persons two generations apart might have been
the result of marriage between persons two generations apart. The
idea of a society in which marriages between those having the status
of grandparents and grandchildren were habitual must have seemed
so unlikely that, if it entered my mind at all, it must have been
at once dismissed. The clue only came later from a man named John
Pantutun, a native of the Banks Islands, who had been a teacher in
Pentecost. In talking to me he often mentioned in a most instructive
manner resemblances and differences between the customs of his own
island and those he had observed in Pentecost. One day he let fall
the observation with just such a manner as that in which we so often
accuse neighbouring nations of ridiculous or disgusting practices, “O!
Raga![14] That is the place where they marry their granddaughters.” I
saw at once that he had given me a possible explanation of the peculiar
features of the system of the island. By that time I had forgotten
the details of the Pentecost system, and it occurred to me that it
would be interesting, not immediately to consult my note-books, but
to endeavour to construct a system of relationship which would be the
result of marriage with a granddaughter, and then to see how far my
theoretical construction agreed with the terminology I had recorded.
The first question which arose was with which kind of granddaughter
the marriage had been practised, with the son’s daughter or with the
daughter’s daughter, and this was a question readily answered by means
of a consideration arising out of the nature of the social organisation
of Pentecost.

[14] This is the Mota name for Pentecost Island.

The society of this island is organised on the dual basis with
matrilineal descent in which a man must marry a woman of the opposite
moiety. Diagram 3, in which _A_ and _a_ stand for men and women of
one moiety, and _B_ and _b_ for those of the other moiety, shows that
a marriage between a man and his son’s daughter would be out of the
question, for it would be a case of _A_ marrying _a_. It was evident
that the marriage, the consequences of which I had to formulate, must
have been one in which a man married his daughter’s daughter.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 3.

                   A = b
                     |
                     |
       +-------------+-------------+
       |                           |
       B = a                   A = b
         |                       |
  +------+------+        +-------+-------+
  |             |        |               |
  A             a        B               b
]

It would take too long to go through the whole set of relationships,
and I choose only a few examples which I illustrate by the following
diagram:

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 4.

          A = b
            |
            |
        D = c
          |
          |
  +-------+-------+
  |       |       |
  e       F       f
]

This diagram shows that if _A_ marries _e_, _c_, who previous to the
marriage had been only the daughter of _A_, now becomes also his wife’s
mother; and _D_, who had previously been his daughter’s husband, now
becomes his wife’s father. Similarly, _F_, who before the new marriage
was the daughter’s son of _A_, now becomes the brother of his wife,
while _f_, his daughter’s daughter, becomes his wife’s sister. Lastly,
if we assume that it would be the elder daughters of the daughter who
would be married by their grandfathers, _e_, who before the marriage
had been the elder sister of _F_ and _f_, now comes through her
marriage to occupy the position of their mother’s mother.

When, after making these deductions, I examined my record of the
Pentecost terms, I found that its terminology corresponded exactly with
those which had been deduced. The wife’s mother and the daughter were
both called _nitu_. The daughter’s husband and the wife’s father were
both _bwaliga_. The daughter’s children were called _mabi_, and this
term was also used for the brother and sister of the wife. Lastly, the
mother’s mother was found to be classed with the elder sister, both
being called _tuaga_.

For the sake of simplicity of demonstration I have assumed that a man
marries his own daughter’s daughter, but through the classificatory
principle all the features I have described would follow equally well
if a man married the granddaughter of his brother, either in the narrow
or the classificatory sense. There was one correspondence, according
to which both the husband’s brother and the mother’s father were
called _sibi_, which does not follow from the marriage with the own
granddaughter, but would be the natural result of marriage with the
daughter’s daughter of the brother--_i.e._, with a marriage in which
_e_ was married by _A’s_ brother.

I hope these examples will be sufficient to show how a number of
features which might otherwise seem so absurd as to suggest a system of
relationship gone mad become natural and intelligible, even obvious,
if it were once the established practice of the people to marry the
daughter’s daughter of the brother.

Such inquiries as I was able to make confirmed the conclusion that the
Pentecost marriage was with the granddaughter of the brother rather
than with the daughter of the daughter herself. After I had been put
on the track of the explanation by John Pantutun I had the chance of
talking to only one native of Pentecost, unfortunately not a very
good informant. From his evidence it appeared that the marriage I had
inferred from the system of relationship even now occurs in the island,
but only with the granddaughter of the brother, and that marriage with
the own granddaughter is forbidden. The evidence is not as complete as
I should like, but it points to the actual existence in the island of a
peculiar form of marriage from which the extraordinary features of its
system of relationship directly follow.

When I returned to England I found that this marriage was not unique,
but had been recorded among the Dieri of Australia,[15] where, as I
have already mentioned, it is associated with peculiar features of
nomenclature resembling those of Pentecost.

[15] Howitt, _Native Tribes of South-East Australia_, pp. 164, 177.

I must again ask, how are you going to explain the features of the
Pentecost system psychologically? What psychological resemblance is
there between a grandmother and a sister, between a mother-in-law and a
daughter, between a brother-in-law and a grandfather? Apart from some
special form of social relationship, there can be no such resemblances.
Further, if there were such psychological resemblances, why should we
know of their influence on nomenclature only in Pentecost and among the
Dieri? The features to be explained are definitely known to exist in
only two systems of the world, and it is only among the peoples who use
these two systems that we have any evidence of that extraordinary form
of marriage of which they would be the natural consequence.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have now tried to show the dependence of special features of the
classificatory system of relationship upon special social conditions.
If I have succeeded in this I shall have gone far towards the
accomplishment of one of the main purposes of these lectures. They
have, however, another purpose, viz., to inquire how far we are
justified in inferring the existence of a social institution of which
we have no direct evidence when we find features of the nomenclature
of relationship which would result from such an institution. I have
now to enter upon this part of my subject, and I think it will be
instructive to take you at once to a case in which I believe that an
extraordinary form of marriage can be established as a feature of the
past history of a people, although at the present moment any direct
evidence for the existence of such a marriage is wholly lacking.

When I was in the interior of Viti Levu, one of the Fijian islands,
I discovered the existence of certain systems of relationship which
differed fundamentally from the only Fijian systems previously known.
Any features referable to the cross-cousin marriage were completely
absent, but in their place were others, one of which I have already
mentioned, which brought into one class relatives two generations
apart. The father’s father received the same designation as the
elder brother, and the son’s wife was called by the same term as the
mother. As I have already said, my first conclusion was that these
terms were the survivals of forms of social organisation resembling
the matrimonial classes of Australia, but as soon as I had worked out
the explanation of the Pentecost system, it became evident that the
Fijian peculiarities would have to be explained on similar lines. At
first I thought it probable that the difference between the Pentecost
and Fijian systems was due to the difference in the mode of descent
in the two places. For long I tried to work out schemes whereby a
change from the matrilineal descent of Pentecost to the patrilineal
condition of Fiji could have had as one of its consequences a change
from a correspondence in nomenclature between the mother’s mother
and the elder sister to one in which the common nomenclature applied
to the father’s father and the elder brother. It is an interesting
example of the strength of a preconceived opinion, and of some
measure of the belief in the impossibility of customs not practised
by ourselves, that for more than two years I failed to see an obvious
alternative explanation, although I returned to the subject again and
again. The clue came at last from the system of Buin, in the island
of Bougainville, recorded by Dr. Thurnwald.[16] The nomenclature of
this system agreed with that of inland Fiji in having one term for the
father’s father and the elder brother, but since the people of Buin
still practice matrilineal descent, it was evident that I had been on
a false track in supposing the correspondence to have been the result
of a change in the mode of descent. Once turned into a fresh path by
the necessity of showing how the correspondence could have arisen out
of a matrilineal condition, it was not long before I saw how it might
be accounted for in a very different way. I saw that the correspondence
would be the natural result of a form of social organisation in which
it was the practice to marry a grandmother, viz., the wife of the
father’s father. Not only did this form of marriage explain the second
peculiar feature of the Fijian system, viz., the classing of the son’s
wife with the mother, but it would also account for several features of
the Buin system which would otherwise be difficult to understand.

[16] _Zeitsch. f. vergleich. Rechtswiss._, 1910, xxiii., 330.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 5.

      A = b
        |
        |
        C = d
          |
          |
  +-------+-------+
  |       |       |
  E       F       f
]

If, as shown in Diagram 5, _E_ marries _b_, the wife or widow of his
father’s father, he, who had previously been the elder brother of _F_
and _f_, now comes to occupy the position of their father’s father,
while _d_, the mother of _E_, will now come to stand to him in the
relationship of son’s wife.

I need only mention here one of the features of the Buin system which
can be accounted for by means of this marriage. The term _mamai_ is
used, not only for the elder sister and for the elder brother’s wife,
but it is also applied to the father’s mother; that is, the wife of
the elder brother is designated by the same term as the wife of the
father’s father, exactly as must happen if _E_ marries _b_, the wife
of his father’s father. A number of extraordinary features from two
Melanesian islands collected by two independent workers fit into a
coherent scheme if they have been the result of a marriage in which
a man gives one of his wives to his son’s son during his life, or in
which this woman is taken to wife by her husband’s grandson when she
becomes a widow. If the practice were ever sufficiently habitual to
become the basis of the system of relationship, we can be confident
that it is the former of these two alternatives with which we have to
do.

If you are still so under the domination of ideas derived from your own
social surroundings that you cannot believe in such a marriage, I would
remind you that there is definite evidence from the Banks Islands that
men used to hand over wives to their sisters’ sons. It is not taking us
so much into the unknown as it might appear to suppose that they once
also gave their wives to their sons’ sons.

I have taken this case somewhat out of its proper place in my argument
because the evidence is so closely connected with that by means
of which I have shown the relation between features of systems of
relationship and peculiar forms of marriage in Melanesia. I have now to
return to the more sober task of considering how far we are justified
in inferring the former existence of marriage institutions when we
find features of systems of relationship of which they would have been
the natural consequence. It is evident that, whenever we find such a
feature as common nomenclature for a grandmother and a sister or for a
cross-cousin and a parent, it should suggest to us the possibility of
such marriage regulations as those of Pentecost and the Banks Islands.
But such common designations might have arisen in some other way,
and in order to establish the existence of such forms of marriage in
the past history of the people, we must have criteria to guide us
when we are considering whether a given feature of the terminology of
relationship is or is not a survival of a marriage institution.

I will return to the cross-cousin marriage for my examples. The task
before us is to inquire how far such features of relationship as exist
in Fiji, Anaiteum or Guadalcanar, in conjunction with the cross-cousin
marriage, will justify us in inferring the former existence of this
form of marriage in places where it is not now practised.

If there be found among any people all the characteristic features of
a coastal Fijian or of an Anaiteum system, I think few will be found
to doubt the former existence of the cross-cousin marriage. It would
seem almost inconceivable that there should ever have existed any other
conditions, whether social or psychological, which could have produced
this special combination of peculiar uses of terms of relationship. It
is when some only of these features are present that there will arise
any serious doubt whether they are to be regarded as survivals of the
former existence of the cross-cousin marriage.

One consideration I must point out at once. Certain of the features
which follow from the cross-cousin marriage may be the result of
another marriage regulation. In some parts of the world there exists a
custom of exchanging brothers and sisters, so that, when a man marries
a woman, his sister marries his wife’s brother. As the result of this
custom the mother’s brother and the father’s sister’s husband will come
to be one and the same person, and the father’s sister will become also
the mother’s brother’s wife.

This form of marriage exists among the western people of Torres
Straits,[17] and is accompanied by features of the system of
relationship which would follow from the practice. The mother’s brother
is classed with the father’s sister’s husband as _wad-wam_, but there
is an alternative term for the father’s sister’s husband and there
was no evidence that the mother’s brother’s wife was classed with
the father’s sister. It seemed possible that the classing together
of the mother’s brother and the father’s sister’s husband was not a
constant feature of the system of relationship, but only occurred in
cases where the custom of exchange had made it necessary. The case,
however, is sufficient to show that two of the correspondences which
follow from the cross-cousin marriage may be the result of another
kind of marriage. If we accept the social causation of such features
and find these correspondences alone, it would still remain an open
question whether they were the results of the custom of exchange or
of the marriage of cross-cousins. The custom of exchange, however, is
wholly incapable of accounting for the use of a common term for the
mother’s brother and the father-in-law, for the father’s sister and the
mother-in-law, or for cross-cousins and brothers- or sisters-in-law.
It is only when these correspondences are present that there will
be any decisive reason for inferring the former existence of the
cross-cousin marriage.

[17] _Rep. Cambridge Expedition to Torres Straits_, vol. v., pp. 135
and 241.

The first conclusion, then, is that some of the features found in
association with the cross-cousin marriage are of greater value than
others in enabling us to infer the former existence of the cross-cousin
marriage where it no longer exists. Next, the probability that such
features as I am considering are due to the former presence of the
cross-cousin marriage will be greatly heightened if this form of
marriage should exist among people with allied cultures. An instance
from Melanesia will bring out this point clearly.

In the island of Florida in the Solomons it is clear that the
cross-cousin marriage is not now the custom, and I could discover
no tradition of its existence in the past. One feature, however, of
the system of relationship is just such as would follow from the
cross-cousin marriage. Both the wife’s mother and the wife of the
mother’s brother are called _vungo_.

Florida is not only near Guadalcanar where the cross-cousin marriage
is practised, (the two islands are within sight of one another), but
their cultures are very closely related. In such a case the probability
that the single feature of the Florida system which follows from the
cross-cousin marriage has actually had that form of marriage as its
antecedent becomes very great, and this conclusion becomes still more
probable when we find that in a third island, Ysabel, closely allied
in culture both to Florida and Guadalcanar, there is a clear tradition
of the former practice of the cross-cousin marriage although it is now
only an occasional event.

Again, in one district of San Cristoval in the Solomons the term
_fongo_ is used both for the father-in-law and the father’s sister’s
husband, and _kafongo_ similarly denotes both the mother-in-law and
the mother’s brother’s wife. This island differs more widely from
Guadalcanar in culture than Florida or Ysabel, but the evidence for
the former existence of the marriage in these islands gives us more
confidence in ascribing the common designations of San Cristoval to the
cross-cousin marriage than would have been the case if these common
designations had been the only examples of such possible survivals in
the Solomons. Speaking in more general terms, one may say that the
probability that the common nomenclature for two relatives is the
survival of a form of marriage becomes the greater, the more similar is
the general culture in which the supposed survival is found to that of
a people who practise this form of marriage. The case will be greatly
strengthened if there should be intermediate links between the supposed
survival and the still living institution.

When we find a feature such as that of the Florida system among a
people none of whose allies in culture practise the cross-cousin
marriage, the matter must be far more doubtful. In the present state
of our knowledge we are only justified in making such a feature the
basis of a working hypothesis to stimulate research and encourage us
to look for other evidence in the neighbourhood of the place where the
feature has been found. Our knowledge of the social institutions of the
world is not yet so complete that we can afford to neglect any clue
which may guide our steps.

I propose briefly to consider two regions, South India and North
America, to show how they differ from this point of view.

The terms of relationship used in three[18] of the chief languages
spoken by the people of South India are exactly such as would follow
from the cross-cousin marriage. In Tamil[19] the mother’s brother, the
father’s sister’s husband, and the father of both husband and wife are
all called _mama_, and this term is also used for these relatives in
Telegu. In Canarese the mother’s brother and the father-in-law are both
called _mava_, but the father’s sister’s husband fails to fall into
line and is classed with the father’s brother.

[18] I know of no complete record of the terminology of the fourth
chief language of South India, Malayalam.

[19] I take my data from the lists compiled for Morgan by the Rev. E.
C. Scudder and the Rev. B. Rice, Morgan’s _Systems ..._, pp. 537-566.
These lists are not complete, giving in some cases only the terms used
in address. They agree in general with some lists compiled during the
recent Indian Census which Mr. E. A. Gait has kindly sent to me.

Similarly, the father’s sister, the mother’s brother’s wife and the
mother of both wife and husband are called _atta_ in Telegu and _atte_
in Canarese, Tamil here spoiling the harmony by having one term,
_attai_, for the father’s sister and another, _mami_, for the mother’s
brother’s wife and the mother-in-law. Since, however, the Tamil term
for the father’s sister is only another form of the Telegu and Canarese
words for the combined relationships, the exception only serves to
strengthen the agreement with the condition which would follow from the
cross-cousin marriage.

The South Indian terms for cross-cousin and brother- and sister-in-law
are complicated by the presence of distinctions dependent on the sex
and relative age of those who use them, but these complications do
not disguise how definitely the terminology would follow from the
cross-cousin marriage. Thus, to take only two examples: a Tamil man
applies the term _maittuni_ to the daughters of his mother’s brother
and of his father’s sister as well as to his brother’s wife and his
wife’s sister, and a Canarese woman uses one term for the sons of her
mother’s brother and of her father’s sister, for her husband’s brother
and her sister’s husband.

So far as we know, the cross-cousin marriage is not now practised by
the vast majority of those who use these terms of relationship. If the
terminology has been the result of the cross-cousin marriage, it is
only a survival of an ancient social condition in which this form of
marriage was habitual. That it is such a survival, however, becomes
certain when we find the cross-cousin marriage still persisting in
many parts of South India, and that among one such people at least,
the Todas,[20] this form of marriage is associated with a system of
relationship agreeing both in its structure and linguistic character
with that of the Tamils. I have elsewhere[21] brought together the
evidence for the former prevalence of this form of marriage in India,
but even if there were no evidence, the terminology of relationship is
so exactly such as would follow from the cross-cousin marriage that we
can be certain that this form of marriage was once the habitual custom
of the people of South India.

[20] Rivers, _The Todas_, 1906, pp. 487, 512.

[21] _Journal Royal Asiatic Society_, 1907, p. 611.

While South India thus provides a good example of a case in which we
can confidently infer the former existence of the cross-cousin marriage
from the terminology of relationship, the evidence from North America
is of a kind which gives to such an inference only a certain degree of
probability. In this case it is necessary to suspend judgment and await
further evidence before coming to a positive conclusion.

I will begin with a very doubtful feature which comes from an
Athapascan tribe, the Red Knives[22] (probably that now called Yellow
Knife). These people use a common term, _set-so_, for the father’s
sister, the mother’s brother’s wife, the wife’s mother and the
husband’s mother, a usage which would be the necessary result of
the cross-cousin marriage. Against this, however, is to be put the
fact that there are three different terms for the corresponding male
relatives, the two kinds of father-in-law being called _seth-a_,
the mother’s brother _ser-a_, and the father’s sister’s husband
_sel-the-ne_. Further, the term _set-so_, the common use of which for
the aunt and mother-in-law seems to indicate the cross-cousin marriage,
is also applied by a man to his brother’s wife and his wife’s sister,
features which cannot possibly be the result of this form of marriage.
These features show, either that the terminology has arisen in some
other way, or that there has been some additional social factor in
operation which has greatly modified a nomenclature derived from the
cross-cousin marriage.

[22] See Morgan, _Systems ..._, Table II.

A stronger case is presented by the terminology of three branches
of the Cree tribe, also recorded by Morgan. In all three systems,
one term, _ne-sis_ or _nee-sis_, is used for the mother’s brother,
the father’s sister’s husband, the wife’s father and the husband’s
father; while the term _nis-si-goos_ applies to the father’s sister,
the mother’s brother’s wife and the two kinds of mother-in-law. These
usages are exactly such as would follow from the cross-cousin marriage.
The terms for the sister’s son of a man and the brother’s son of a
woman, however, differ from those used for the son-in-law, and there
is also no correspondence between the terms for cross-cousin and any
kind of brother- or sister-in-law. The case points more definitely to
the cross-cousin marriage than in the case of the Red Knives, but yet
lacks the completeness which would allow us to make the inference with
confidence.

The Assiniboin have a common term, _me-toh-we_, used for the father’s
sister, the mother’s brother’s wife and the two kinds of mother-in-law,
and also a common term, _me-nake-she_, for the mother’s brother and
the father’s sister’s husband, but the latter differs from the word,
_me-to-ga-she_, used for the father of husband or wife. The case here
is decidedly stronger than among the Red Knives, but is less complete
than among the Crees.

Among a number of branches of the Dakotas the evidence is of a
different kind, being derived from similar nomenclature for the
cross-cousin and certain kinds of brother- and sister-in-law.
Morgan[23] has recorded eight systems, all of which show the features
in question, but I will consider here only that of the Isauntie or
Santee Dakotas, which was collected for him by the Rev. S. R. Riggs.
Riggs[24] and Dorsey[25] have given independent accounts of this system
which are far less complete than that given by Morgan, but agree with
it in all essentials.

[23] _Loc. cit._

[24] _Dakota Grammar, Texts, and Ethnography: Contributions to North
American Ethnology_, Washington, vol. ix.

[25] Preface to above.

In this system a man calls the son of his mother’s brother or of
his father’s sister _ta-hang-she_ or _tang-hang-she_, while his
wife’s brother and his sister’s husband are _ta-hang_ or _tang-hang_.
Similarly, a woman calls her cross-cousin _she-chay-she_, while her
husband’s brother and her sister’s husband are called _she-chay_. The
terms for brothers-in-law are thus the same as those for cross-cousins
with the omission of the suffix _she_. One of these resemblances, that
when a woman is speaking, has been cited by Professor Kroeber[26] as an
example of the psychological causation of such features of relationship
as I am considering in these lectures. He rejects its dependence on the
cross-cousin marriage and refers the resemblance to the psychological
similarity between a woman’s cousin and her brother-in-law in that both
are collateral relatives alike in sex, of the same generation as the
speaker, but different from her in sex.

[26] _Op. cit._, p. 82.

As we have seen, however, the Dakota correspondence is not an isolated
occurrence, but fits in with a number of other features of the systems
of cognate peoples to form a body of evidence pointing to the former
prevalence of the cross-cousin marriage.

There is also indirect evidence leading in the same direction. In
Melanesia there is reason to believe that the cross-cousin marriage
stands in a definite relation to another form of marriage, that with
the wife of the mother’s brother. If there should be evidence for the
former existence of this marriage in North America, it would increase
the probability in favour of the cross-cousin marriage.

Among a number of peoples, some of whom form part of the Sioux,
including the Minnitarees, Crows, Choctas, Creeks, Cherokees and
Pawnees, cross-cousins are classed with parents and children exactly as
in the Banks Islands, and exactly as in those islands, it is the son of
the father’s sister who is classed with the father, and the children of
the mother’s brother who are classed with sons or daughters. Further,
among the Pawnees the wife of the mother’s brother is classed with
the wife, a feature also associated with the peculiar nomenclature
for cross-cousins in the Banks Islands. The agreement is so close as
to make it highly probable that the American features of relationship
have been derived from a social institution of the same kind as that
to which the Melanesian features are due, and that it was once the
custom of these American peoples to marry the wife of the mother’s
brother. Here, as in the case of the cross-cousin marriage itself,
the case rests entirely upon the terminology of relationship, but we
cannot ignore the association in neighbouring parts of North America of
features of relationship which would be the natural consequence of two
forms of marriage which are known to be associated together elsewhere.

I am indebted to Miss Freire-Marreco for the information that the Tewa
of Hano, a Pueblo tribe, call the father’s sister’s son _tada_, a term
otherwise used for the father, thus suggesting that they also may once
have practised marriage with the wife of the mother’s brother. The
use of this term, however, is only one example of a practice whereby
all the males of the father’s clan are called _tada_, irrespective of
age and generation. The common nomenclature for the father and the
father’s sister’s son among the Tewa thus differs in character from
the apparently similar nomenclature of the Banks Islands and cannot
have been determined directly, perhaps not even remotely, by marriage
with the wife of the mother’s brother. This raises the question whether
the nomenclature of the Sioux has not arisen out of a practice similar
to that of the Tewa. The terms for other relatives recorded by Morgan
show some evidence of the widely generalised use of the Tewa, but such
a use cannot account for the classing of the wife of the mother’s
brother with the wife which occurs among the Pawnees. Nevertheless, the
Tewa practice should keep us alive to the possibility that the Sioux
nomenclature may depend on some social condition different from that
which has been effective in the Banks Islands in spite of the close
resemblance between the two.

The case for the former existence of the cross-cousin marriage will be
much strengthened if this form of marriage should occur elsewhere in
North America. So far as I am aware, the only people among whom it has
been recorded are the Haidahs of Queen Charlotte Island.[27] It is
a far cry from this outpost of North American culture to Dakota, but
it may be noted that it is among the Crees who formerly lived in the
intermediate region of Manitoba and Assiniboia that the traces of the
cross-cousin marriage are most definite. This mode of distribution of
the peoples whose terminology of relationship bears evidence of the
cross-cousin marriage suggests that other intermediate links may yet
be found. Though the existing evidence is inconclusive, it should be
sufficient to stimulate a search for other evidence which may make it
possible to decide whether or no the cross-cousin marriage was once a
widespread practice in North America.

[27] Swanton, _Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haidahs, Jesup
North Pacific Expedition_, 1905, vol. v., pt. i., p. 62. Miss
Freire-Marreco tells me that the cross-cousin marriage occurs among
some of the Hopi Indians.

I can only consider one other kind of marriage here. The discovery of
so remarkable a union as that with the daughter’s daughter in Pentecost
and the evidence pointing to a still more remarkable marriage between
those having the status of grandparent and grandchild in Fiji and
Buin have naturally led me to look for similar evidence elsewhere
in Melanesia. Though there is nothing conclusive, conditions are to
be found here and there which suggest the former existence of such
marriages.

When I was in the Solomons I met a native of the Trobriand Islands,
who told me that among his people the term _tabu_ was applied both
to grandparents and to the father’s sister’s child. I went into the
whole subject as fully as was possible with only one witness, but in
spite of his obvious intelligence and good faith, I remained doubtful
whether the information was correct. The feature in question, however,
occurs in the list of Trobriand terms drawn up for Dr. Seligmann[28]
by Mr. Bellamy, and with this double warrant it must be accepted. It
is a feature which would follow from marriage with the daughter’s
daughter, for by this marriage one who was previously a father’s
sister’s daughter becomes the wife of a grandfather and thereby attains
the status of a grandparent. The feature exists alone, and, further,
it is combined with other applications of the term which deprive it
of some of its significance; nevertheless, the fact that a peculiar
and exceptional feature of a Melanesian system of relationship is such
as would follow naturally from a form of marriage which is practised
in another part of Melanesia cannot be passed over. Standing alone,
it would be wholly insufficient to justify the conclusion that the
marriage with the daughter’s daughter was ever prevalent among the
Massim, but in place of expressing a dogmatic denial, let us look for
other features of Massim sociology which may have been the results of
such a marriage.

[28] See _The Melanesians of British New Guinea_, Cambridge, 1910, p.
707.

In Wagawaga[29] there is a peculiar term, _warihi_, which is used
by men for other men of their own generation and social group, but
the term is also applied by an old man or woman to one of a younger
generation. Again, in Tubetube[30] the term for a husband, _taubara_,
is also a term for an old man, and the term for the wife is also
applied to an old woman. These usages may be nothing more than
indications of respect for a husband or wife, or of some mechanism
which brought those differing widely in age into one social category,
but with the clue provided by the Trobriand term of relationship it
becomes possible, though even now only possible, that the Wagawaga and
Tubetube customs may have arisen out of a social condition in which
it was customary to have great disparity of age between husbands and
wives, and social relations between old and young following from such
disparity in the age of consorts.

[29] _Ibid._, pp. 482 and 436.

[30] _The Melanesians of British New Guinea_, Cambridge, 1910, p. 482.

In Tubetube there is yet another piece of evidence. Mr. Field[31]
has recorded the existence in this island of three named categories
of persons, two of which comprise relatives with whom marriage is
prohibited, while the third groups together those with whom marriage
is allowed. The grandparents and grandchildren are included in one of
the two prohibited classes, so that we can be confident that marriage
between these relatives does not now occur. The point to which I call
your attention is that the class of relative with whom marriage is
allowed is called _kasoriegogoli_. _Li_ is the third person pronominal
suffix, and we do not know the meaning of _kasorie_, but _goga_ is
the term used in Wagawaga and Wedau for the grandparents, its place
being taken by the usual Melanesian term _tubu_ in Tubetube. The term
_kasoriegogoli_ applied to marriageable relatives thus contains as one
of its constituent elements a word which is probably the ancient term
for grandparent in the island, since it is still used in this sense in
the closely allied societies of the mainland.

[31] Rep. Austral. Ass., 1900, viii., 301.

We have thus a number of independent facts among the Massim, all of
which would be the natural outcome of marriage between persons of
alternate generations. To no one of them standing alone could much
importance be attached, but taken in conjunction, they ought at least
to suggest the possibility of such a marriage, a possibility which
becomes the more probable when we consider that the Massim show clear
evidence of the dual organisation of society with matrilineal descent
which is associated with the granddaughter marriage of Pentecost and
the Dieri of Australia. It adds to the weight of the evidence that
indications of this peculiar form of marriage should be found among a
people whose social organisation so closely resembles that in which the
marriages between persons of alternate generations elsewhere occur.

I have no time for other examples. I hope to have shown that there are
cases in which it is possible to infer with certainty the ancient
existence of forms of marriage from the survival of their results in
the terminology of relationship. In other cases, differences of culture
or the absence of intermediate links make it unjustifiable to infer
the ancient existence of the forms of marriage from which features of
terminology might be derived. Other cases lie between the two, the
confidence with which a form of marriage can be inferred varying with
the degree of likeness of culture, the distance in space, and the
presence or absence of other features of culture which may be related
to the form of marriage in question. Even in the cases, however, where
the inference is most doubtful, we have no right dogmatically to deny
the origin of the terminology of relationship in social conditions, but
should keep each example before an open mind, to guide and stimulate
inquiry in a region where ethnologists have till now only scratched the
surface covering a rich mine of knowledge.



LECTURE III


Thus far in these lectures I have been content to demonstrate the
dependence of the terminology of relationship upon forms of marriage.
In spending so much time upon this aspect of my subject I fear that
I may have been helping to strengthen a very general misconception,
for it is frequently supposed that the sole aim of those who think
as I do is to explain systems of relationship by their origin in
forms of marriage. Marriage is only one of the social institutions
which have moulded the terminology of relationship. It is, however,
so fundamental a social institution that it is difficult to get far
away from it in any argument which deals with social organisation. In
now passing to other examples of the dependence of the terminology of
relationship upon social conditions, I begin with one in which features
of this terminology have come about, not as the result of forms of
marriage, but of an attitude towards social regulations connected with
marriage. The instance I have now to consider is closely allied to one
which Professor Kroeber has used as his pattern of the psychological
causation of the terminology of relationship.

Both in Polynesia and Melanesia it is not infrequent for the
father-in-law to be classed with the father, the mother-in-law with
the mother, the brother-in-law with the brother, and the sister-in-law
with the sister. The Oceanic terminology of relationship has two
features which enable us to study the exact nature of this process in
more detail than is possible with our own system. Oceanic languages
often distinguish carefully between different kinds of brother- and
sister-in-law, and, if it be found that it is only certain kinds of
brother- or sister-in-law who are classed with the brother or sister,
we may thereby obtain a clue to the nature of the process whereby
the classing has come about. Secondly, Oceanic terminology usually
distinguishes relationships between men or between women from those
between persons of different sex, and there is a feature of the
terminology employed when brothers- or sisters-in-law are classed with
brothers or sisters in Oceania which throws much light on the process
whereby this common nomenclature has come into use.

The first point to be noticed in the Oceanic nomenclature of
relationship is that not all brothers- and sisters-in-law are classed
with brothers and sisters, but only those of different sex. Thus,
in Merlav, in the Banks Islands, it is only the wife’s sister and
a man’s brother’s wife who are classed with the sister, and the
husband’s brother and a woman’s sister’s husband who are classed with
the brother, while there are special terms for other categories
of relative whom we include under the designations brother- and
sister-in-law. Similar conditions are general throughout Melanesia. If,
as Professor Kroeber has supposed, the classing of the brother-in-law
with the brother be due to the psychological similarity of the
relationships, we ought to be able to discover why this similarity
should be greater between persons of different sex than between persons
of the same sex.

If now we study our case from the Banks Islands more closely and
compare the social conditions in Merlav with those of other islands
of the group, we find definite evidence, which it will not now be
possible to consider in detail, showing that sexual relations were
formerly allowed between a man and his wife’s sisters and his brothers’
wives, and that there is a definite association between the classing
of these relatives with the sister and the cessation of such sexual
relations. If such people as the Melanesians wish to emphasise in the
strongest manner possible the impropriety of sexual relations between
a man and the sisters of his wife, there is no way in which they can
do it more effectually than by classing these relatives with a sister.
To a Melanesian, as to other people of rude culture, the use of a
term otherwise applied to a sister carries with it such deeply-seated
associations as to put sexual relations absolutely out of the question.
There is a large body of evidence from southern Melanesia which
suggests strongly, if not conclusively, that the common nomenclature
I am now considering has arisen out of the social need for emphasising
the impropriety of relations which were once habitual among the people.

The second feature of Melanesian terminology which I have mentioned
helps us to understand how the common nomenclature has come about.
In most of the Melanesian cases in which a wife’s sister is denoted
by a term otherwise used for a sister, or a husband’s brother by a
term otherwise used for a brother, the term employed is one which is
normally used between those of the same sex. Thus, a man does not apply
to his wife’s sister the term which he himself uses for his sister, but
one which would be used by a woman of her sister. In other words, a man
uses for his wife’s sister the term which is used for this relative
by his wife. This shows us how the common nomenclature may have come
into use. It suggests that as sexual relations with the wife’s sister
became no longer orthodox, a man came to apply to this woman the word
with which he was already familiar as a term for this relative from
the mouth of his wife. The special feature of Melanesian nomenclature
according to which terms of relationship vary with the sex of the
speaker here helps us to understand how the common nomenclature arose.
The process is one in which psychological factors evidently play an
important part, but these psychological factors are themselves the
outcome of a social process, viz., the change from a condition of
sexual communism to one in which sexual relations are restricted to
the partners of a marriage. Such psychological factors as come into
action are only intermediate links in a chain of causation in which the
two ends are definitely social processes or events, or, perhaps more
correctly, psychological concomitants of intermediate links which are
themselves social events. We should be shutting our eyes to obvious
features of these Melanesian customs if we refused to recognise that
the terminology of relationship here “reflects” sociology.

This leads me to question for a moment whether it may not be the same
with that custom of our own society which Professor Kroeber has taken
as his example of the psychological causation of the terminology
of relationship. Is it as certain as Professor Kroeber supposes
that the classing of the brother-in-law with the brother, or of the
sister-in-law with the sister, among ourselves does not reflect
sociology? We know that there are social factors at work among us which
give to these relationships, and especially to that of wife’s sister,
a very great importance. If instead of stating dogmatically that this
feature of our own terminology is due to the psychological similarity
of the relationships, Professor Kroeber’s mind had been open even to
the possibility of the working of social causes, I think he might
have been led to inquire more closely into the distribution and exact
character of the practice in question. He might have been led to see
that we have here a problem for exact inquiry. Such a custom among
ourselves must certainly own a cause different from that to which I
have ascribed the Melanesian practice, but is it certain that there is
no social practice among ourselves which would lead to the classing
of the wife’s sister with the sister and the sister’s husband of a
woman with the brother? I will only point to the practice of marrying
the deceased wife’s sister, and content myself with the remark that I
should be surprised if there were any general tendency to class these
relatives together by a people among whom this form of marriage is the
orthodox and habitual custom.

Till now I have been dealing with relatively small variations of the
classificatory system. The varieties I have so far considered are such
as would arise out of a common system if in one place there came into
vogue the cross-cousin marriage, in another place marriage with the
wife of the mother’s brother, in another that with the granddaughter
of the brother or with the wife of the grandfather, and in yet
other places combinations of these forms of marriage. I have now to
consider whether it is possible to refer the main varieties of the
classificatory system to social conditions; as an example with which
to begin, I choose one which is so definite that it attracted the
attention of Morgan, viz., the variety of the classificatory system
which Morgan called “Malayan”. It is now generally recognised that
this term was badly chosen. The variety so called was known to Morgan
through the terminology of the Hawaiian Islands, and as the system
of these islands was not only the first to be recorded, but is also
that of which even now we have the most complete record, I propose
to use it as the pattern and to speak of the Hawaiian system where
Morgan spoke of the Malayan. If now we compare the Hawaiian system
with the forms of the classificatory system found in other parts of
Oceania, in Australia, India, Africa or America, we find that it is
characterised by its extreme simplicity and by the fewness of its
terms. Distinctions such as those between the father’s brother and the
mother’s brother, between the father’s sister and the mother’s sister,
and between the children of brothers or of sisters and the children
of brother and sister, distinctions which are so generally present in
the more usual forms of the classificatory system, are here completely
absent. The problem before us is to discover whether the absence of
these distinctions can be referred to any social factors. If not, we
may be driven to suppose that there is something in the structure of
the Polynesian mind which leads the Hawaiian and the Maori to see
similarities where most other peoples of rude culture see differences.

The first point to be noted is that in Oceania the distinction between
the Hawaiian and the more usual forms of the classificatory system
does not correspond with the distinction between the Polynesian and
Melanesian peoples. Systems are to be found in Melanesia, as in the
western Solomons, which closely resemble that of Hawaii, while there
are Polynesian systems, such as those of Tonga and Tikopia, which are
so like those of Melanesia that, if they had occurred there, they would
have attracted no special attention. The difference between the two
kinds of system is not to be correlated with any difference of race.

Next, if we take Melanesian and Polynesian systems as a whole, we find
that they do not fall into two sharply marked-off groups, but that
there are any number of intermediate gradations between the two. It
would be possible to arrange the classificatory systems of Oceania in a
series in which it would not be possible to draw the line at any point
between the different varieties of system which the two ends of the
series seem to represent. The question arises whether it is possible
to find any other series of transitions in Oceania which runs parallel
with the series connecting the two varieties of system of relationship.
There is no doubt but that this question can be answered in the
affirmative.

Speaking broadly, there are two main varieties of social organisation
in Oceania, with an infinite number of intermediate conditions. In one
variety marriage is regulated by some kind of clan-exogamy, including
under the term “clan” the moieties of a dual organisation; in the other
variety marriage is regulated by kinship or genealogical relationship.
We know of no part of Melanesia where marriage is regulated solely by
clan-exogamy, but it is possible to arrange Melanesian and Polynesian
societies in a series according to the different degrees in which the
principles of genealogical relationship is the determining factor in
the regulation of marriage. At one end of the series we should have
places like the Banks Islands, the northern New Hebrides and the Santa
Cruz Islands, where the clan-organisation is so obviously important
that it was the only mechanism for the regulation of marriage which was
recognised even by so skilful an observer as Dr. Codrington. At the
other end of the series we have places such as the Hawaiian Islands
and Eddystone Island in the western Solomons, where only the barest
traces of a clan-organisation are to be found and where marriage is
regulated solely by genealogical relationship. Between the two are
numerous intermediate cases, and the series so formed runs so closely
parallel to that representing the transitions between different forms
of the classificatory system that it seems out of the question but
that there should be a relation between the two. Of all the places
where I have myself worked, the two in which I failed to find any trace
of the regulation of marriage by means of a clan-organisation were
the Hawaiian Islands and Eddystone Island, and the systems of both
places were lacking in just those distinctions the absence of which
characterised the Malayan system of Morgan. Only in one point did the
Eddystone system differ from the Hawaiian. Though the mother’s brother
was classed in nomenclature with the father, there was a term for the
sister’s son, but it was so little used that in a superficial survey it
would have escaped notice. Its use was so exceptional that many of the
islanders were doubtful about its proper meaning. In other parts of the
Solomons where the clan-organisation persists, but where the regulation
of marriage by genealogical relationship is equally, if not more,
important, the systems of relationship show intermediate characters.
Thus, in the island of Florida the mother’s brother was distinguished
from the father and there was a term by means of which to distinguish
cross-cousins from other kinds of cousin, but the father’s sister was
classed with the mother, and it was habitual to ignore the proper term
for cross-cousins and to class them in nomenclature with brothers and
sisters and with cousins of other kinds, as in the Hawaiian system.
One influential man even applied the term for father to the mother’s
brother; it was evident that a change is even now in progress which
would have to go very little farther to make the Florida system
indistinguishable in structure from that of Hawaii.

Among the western Papuo-Melanesians of New Guinea, again, the systems
of relationship come very near to the Hawaiian type, and with this
character there is associated a very high degree of importance of the
regulation of marriage by genealogical relationship and a vagueness of
clan-organisation. We have here so close a parallelism between two
series of social phenomena as to supply as good an example as could be
wished of the application of the method of concomitant variations in
the domain of sociology.

The nature of these changes and their relation to the general cultures
of the peoples who use the different forms of terminology show that the
transitions are to be associated with a progressive change which has
taken place in Oceania. In this part of the world the classificatory
system has been the seat of a process of simplification starting
from the almost incredible complexity of Pentecost and reaching the
simplicity of such systems as those of Eddystone or Mekeo. This process
has gone hand in hand with one in which the regulation of marriage by
some kind of clan-exogamy has gradually been replaced by a mechanism
based on relationship as traced by means of pedigrees.

If this conclusion be accepted, it will follow that the more widely
distributed varieties of the classificatory system of relationship
are associated with a social structure which has the exogamous social
group as its essential unit. This position has only to be stated for
it to become apparent how all the main features of the classificatory
system are such as would follow directly from such a social structure.
Wherever the classificatory system is found in association with a
system of exogamous social groups, the terms of relationship do
not apply merely to relatives with whom it is possible to trace
genealogical relationship, but to all the members of a clan of a given
generation, even if no such relationship with them can be traced. Thus,
a man will not only apply the term “father” to all the brothers of his
father, to all the sons’ sons of his father’s father, and to all the
sons’ sons’ sons of his father’s father’s father, to all the husbands
of his mother’s sisters and of his mother’s mother’s granddaughters,
etc., but he will also apply the term to all the members of his
father’s clan of the same generation as his father and to all the
husbands of the women of the mother’s clan of the same generation as
the mother, even when it is quite impossible to show any genealogical
relationship with them. All these and the other main features of the
classificatory system become at once natural and intelligible if this
system had its origin in a social structure in which exogamous social
groups, such as the clan or moiety, were even more completely and
essentially the social units than we know them to be to-day among the
peoples whose social systems have been carefully studied. If you are
dissatisfied with the word “classificatory” as a term for the system of
relationship which is found in America, Africa, India, Australia and
Oceania, you would be perfectly safe in calling it the “clan” system,
and in inferring the ancient presence of a social structure based on
the exogamous clan even if this structure were no longer present.

Not only is the general character of the classificatory system exactly
such as would be the consequence of its origin in a social structure
founded on the exogamous social group, but many details of these
systems point in the same direction. Thus, the rigorous distinctions
between father’s brother and mother’s brother, and between father’s
sister and mother’s sister, which are characteristic of the usual
forms of the classificatory system, are the obvious consequence of the
principle of exogamy. If this principle be in action, these relatives
must always belong to different social groups, so that it would be
natural to distinguish them in nomenclature.

Further, there are certain features of the classificatory system which
suggest its origin in a special form of exogamous social grouping,
viz., that usually known as the dual system in which there are only two
social groups or moieties. It is an almost universal feature of the
classificatory system that the children of brothers are classed with
the children of sisters. A man applies the same term to his mother’s
sister’s children which he uses for his father’s brother’s children,
and the use of this term, being the same as that used for a brother
or sister, carries with it the most rigorous prohibition of marriage.
Such a condition would not follow necessarily from a social state in
which there were more than two social groups. If the society were
patrilineal, the children of two brothers would necessarily belong to
the same social group, so that the principle of exogamy would prevent
marriage between them, but if the women of the group had married into
different clans, there is no reason arising out of the principle of
exogamy which should prevent marriage between their children or lead
to the use of a term common to them and the children of brothers.
Similarly, if the society were matrilineal, the children of two sisters
would necessarily belong to the same social group, but this would
not be the case with the children of brothers who might marry into
different social groups.

If, however, there be only two social groups, the case is very
different. It would make no difference whether descent were patrilineal
or matrilineal. In each case the children of two brothers or of two
sisters must belong to the same moiety, while the children of brother
and sister must belong to different moieties. The children of two
brothers would be just as ineligible as consorts as the children of
two sisters. Similarly, it would be a natural consequence of the dual
organisation that the mother’s brother’s children should be classed
with the father’s sister’s children, but this would not be necessary if
there were more than two social groups.

I should have liked, if there were time, to deal with other features
of the classificatory system, but must be content with these examples.
I hope to have succeeded in showing that the social causation of the
terminology of relationship goes far beyond the mere dependence of
features of the system on special forms of marriage, and that the
character of the classificatory system as a whole has been determined
by its origin in a specific form of social organisation. I propose now
to leave the classificatory system for a moment and inquire whether
another system of denoting and classifying relationships may not
similarly be shown to be determined by social conditions. The system I
shall consider is our own. Let us examine this system in its relation
to the form of social organisation prevalent among ourselves.

Just as among most peoples of rude culture the clan or other
exogamous group is the essential unit of social organisation, so
among ourselves this social unit is the family, using this term for
the group consisting of a man, his wife, and their children. If we
examine our terms of relationship, we find that those applied to
individual persons and those used in a narrow and well-defined sense
are just those in which the family is intimately concerned. The terms
father, mother, husband and wife, brother and sister, are limited to
members of the family of the speaker, and the terms father-, mother-,
brother-, and sister-in-law to the members of the family of the wife
or husband in the same narrowly restricted sense. Similarly, the
terms grandfather and grandmother are limited to the parents of the
father and mother, while the terms grandson and granddaughter are
only used of the families of the children in the narrow sense. The
terms uncle and aunt, nephew and niece, are used in a less restricted
sense, but even these terms are only used of persons who stand in a
close relation to the family of the speaker. We have only one term
used with anything approaching the wide connotation of classificatory
terms of relationship, and this term is used for a group of relatives
who have as their chief feature in common that they are altogether
outside the proper circle of the family and have no social obligations
or privileges. They are as eligible for marriage as any other members
of the community, and only in the very special cases I considered in
the first lecture are they brought into any kind of legal relation.
The dependence of our own use of terms of relationship on the social
institution of the family seems to me so obvious that I find it
difficult to understand how anyone who has considered these terms
can put forward the view that the terminology of relationship is not
socially conditioned. It seems to me that we have only to have the
proposition stated that the classificatory system and our own are the
outcome of the social institutions of the clan and family respectively
for the social causation of such terminology to become conspicuous. I
find it difficult to understand why it has not long before this been
universally recognised. I do not think we can have a better example
of the confusion and prejudice which have been allowed to envelop the
subject through the unfortunate introduction of the problem of the
primitive promiscuity or monogamy of mankind. It is not necessary to
have an expert knowledge of the classificatory system. It is only
necessary to consider the terms we have used almost from our cradles
in relation to their social setting to see how the terminology of
relationship has been determined by that setting.

This brief study of our own terms of relationship leads me to speak
about the name by which our system is generally known. Morgan called
it the “descriptive system,” and this term has been generally adopted.
I believe, however, that it is wholly inappropriate. Those terms which
apply to one person and to one person only may be called descriptive
if you please, though even here the use does not seem very happy. When
we pass beyond these, however, our terms are no whit more descriptive
than those of the classificatory system. We speak of a grandfather,
not of a father’s father or a mother’s father, only distinguishing
grandfathers in this manner when it is necessary to supplement our
customary terminology by more exact description. Similarly, we speak
of a brother-in-law, and only in exceptional circumstances do we use
forms of language which indicate whether reference is being made to
the brother of the husband or wife or to the husband of a sister. Such
occasional usages do not make our system descriptive, and if they be
held to do so, the classificatory system is just as descriptive as our
own. All those peoples who use the classificatory system are capable
of such exact description of relationship as I have mentioned. Indeed,
classificatory systems are often more descriptive than our own. In
some forms of this system true descriptive terms are found in habitual
use. Thus, in the coastal systems of Fiji the mother’s brother is often
called _ngandina_ (_ngane_, sister of a man, and _tina_, mother), this
term being used in place of the _vungo_ already mentioned. Similar
uses of descriptive terms occur in other parts of Melanesia. Thus, in
Santa Cruz the father’s sister is called _inwerderde_ (_inwe_, sister,
and _derde_, father). This relative is one for whom Melanesian systems
of relationship not infrequently possess no special designation, and
the use of a descriptive term suggests a recent process which has come
into action in order to denote a relative who had previously lacked any
special designation.

If “descriptive” is thus an inappropriate name for our own system,
it will be necessary to find another, and I should like boldly to
recognise the direct dependence of its characters on the institution of
the family and to speak of it as the “family system.”

While I thus reject the term “descriptive” as a proper name for the
terminology of relationship with which we are especially familiar, it
does not follow that there may not be systems of denoting relationship
which properly deserve this title. In Samoa a mode of denoting
relatives is often used in which the great majority of the terms are
descriptive. Thus, the only term which I could obtain for the father’s
brother’s son was _atalii o le uso o le tama_, which is literally “son
of the brother of the father,” and there is some reason to suppose
that this descriptive usage has come into vogue owing to the total
inadequacy of the ancient Samoan system to express relationships in
which the peoples are now interested.

The wide use of such descriptive terms is also found in many systems
of Europe, as in the Celtic languages, in those of Scandinavia, in
Lithuanian and Esthonian.[32] A similar mode of denoting relationships
is found in Semitic languages and among the Shilluks and Dinkas of the
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and since it is from these peoples that I have
gained my own experience of descriptive terminology, I propose to take
them as my examples.

[32] See Tables in Morgan’s _Systems ..._, pp. 79-127.

In the Arabic system of relationship used in Egypt many of the terms
are descriptive; thus, the father’s brother being called _’amm_, the
father’s brother’s wife is _mirat ’ammi_, the father’s brother’s son
_ibn ’ammi_, and the father’s brother’s daughter _bint ’ammi_, and
there is a similar usage for the consorts and children of the father’s
sister and of the brother and sister of the mother.

Similarly, many Shilluk terms suggest a descriptive character, the
father’s brother being _wa_, the wife of the father’s brother is
_chiwa_, the father’s brother’s son is _uwa_, and his daughter is
_nyuwa_. The father’s sister being _waja_, her son and daughter are
_uwaja_ and _nyuwaja_ respectively. Similar descriptive terms are
used by the Dinkas. The father’s brother being _walen_, the father’s
brother’s son is _manwalen_ and his daughter _yanwalen_; the mother’s
brother being _ninar_, the mother’s brother’s son is _manninar_ and his
daughter _yanninar_.

According to the main thesis of these lectures, these descriptive
usages should own some definite social cause. The descriptive
terminology seems to be particularly definite in the case of cousins,
and it might be suggested that they are dependent, at any rate in part
and in so far as Egypt is concerned, on the prevalence of marriage
with a cousin. Marriages with the daughter of a father’s brother or of
a mother’s brother are especially orthodox and popular in Egypt, and
different degrees of preference for marriage with different classes of
cousin would produce just such a social need as would have led to the
definite distinction of the different kinds of cousin from one another
by means of descriptive terms.

It is more probable, however, that the use of descriptive terms in the
languages of the Semites and of the Shilluks and Dinkas has been the
outcome of a definite form of social organisation, viz., that in which
the social unit is neither the family in the narrow sense, nor the
clan, but that body of persons of common descent living in one house or
in some other kind of close association which we call the patriarchal
or extended family, the _Grossfamilie_ of the Germans. It is a feature
of the Semitic and Nilotic systems, not only to distinguish the four
chief categories of cousin, but also the four chief kinds of uncle or
aunt, viz., the father’s brother, the father’s sister, the mother’s
brother and the mother’s sister, all of whom are habitually classed
together in our system, while some of them are classed with the father
or mother in the classificatory system. The Semitic and Nilotic
terminology is such as would follow from a form of social organisation
in which the more intimate relationships of the family in the narrow
sense are definitely recognised, but yet certain uncles, aunts, and
cousins are of so much importance as to make it necessary for social
purposes that they shall be denoted exactly. The brothers of the father
and the unmarried sisters of the father would be of the same social
group as the father, while the brothers and unmarried sisters of the
mother would be of a different social group, which would account for
their distinctive nomenclature, while within the social group it would
be necessary to distinguish the father from his brothers. It would be
too cumbrous to call this variety of system after the extended family,
and I suggest that it should be called the “kindred” system.

Analogy with other parts of the world suggests that all those of the
same generation in the social group formed by the extended family may
once have been classed together under one term, and that, as later
there arose social motives requiring the distinction of different
relatives so classed together, descriptive terms came into use to
make the necessary distinctions. You must please regard this only
as a suggestion. We need far more detailed evidence concerning the
social status of different relatives among the peoples who use these
descriptive terms. Such knowledge as we possess seems to point to the
dependence of the Semitic and Sudanese terminology upon the social
institution of the extended family, just as our own system depends
on the social institution of the family in the narrow sense and the
classificatory system upon the clan.

If this descriptive mode of nomenclature be thus the outcome of a
social organisation of which the essential element is the extended
family, I need hardly point out how natural it is that we should
find this kind of nomenclature so widely in Europe. The presence of
this descriptive terminology in Celtic and Scandinavian languages,
in Lithuanian and Esthonian, would be examples of the persistence of
a form of nomenclature which had its origin in the kindred of the
extended family. On this view we must believe that, in other languages
of Europe, this mode of nomenclature has gradually been replaced by one
dependent on the social institution of the family in the narrow sense.

At this point I should like to sum up briefly the position to which
our argument has taken us. I have first shown the dependence of a
number of special features of the classificatory system of relationship
upon special forms of marriage. Then I have shown that certain
broad varieties of the classificatory system are to be referred to
different forms of social organisation and to the different degrees
in which the regulation of marriage by means of clan-exogamy has
been replaced by a mechanism dependent upon kinship or genealogical
relationship. From that I was led to refer the general features of
the classificatory system to the dependence of this system upon the
social unit of the clan as opposed to the family which I believe to
be the basis of our own terminology of relationship. I then pointed
to several features of the classificatory system which suggest that
it arose in that special variety of the clan-organisation in which
a community consists of two exogamous moieties, forming the social
structure usually known as the dual organisation. I considered more
fully the dependence of our own mode of denoting relatives upon the
social institution of the family, and then a study of the descriptive
terminology of relationship has led me to suggest that certain modes of
denoting relationship in Egypt, the Sudan and many European countries
may be examples of a third main variety of system of relationship
which has arisen out of the patriarchal or extended family. We should
thus have three main varieties of system of relationship in place of
the two which have hitherto been recognised, having their origins
respectively in the clan, in the family in the narrow sense, and in
the extended or patriarchal family. These three varieties may be
regarded as genera within each of which are species and varieties
depending upon special social conditions which have arisen within
each kind of social grouping, either as the result of changes within
each form of social organisation or of transitions from one form to
another. We know of a far larger number of such varieties within the
classificatory system than within those due to the two forms of the
family, and this is probably due in some measure to the fact that the
classificatory system is still by far the most widely distributed form
over the earth’s surface. Still more important, however, is the fact
that among the peoples who use the classificatory system there is an
infinitely greater variety of social institution, and especially of
forms of marriage, than exist among civilised peoples whose main social
unit, the family, is not one which is capable of any extended range of
variation. The result of the complete survey has been to justify my use
of the classificatory system as the means whereby to demonstrate the
dependence of the terminology of relationship upon social conditions.
It is the great variability of this mode of denoting relatives which
makes it so valuable an instrument for the study of the laws which have
governed the history of that department of language by which mankind
has denoted those who stand in social relations to himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may have been wondering whether I am going to say anything about
the merits of the controversy which has till now given to systems of
relationship their chief interest among students of sociology. I have
so far left on one side the subjects which have been the main ground
of controversy ever since the time of Morgan. You will have gathered
that I regard it as a grave misfortune for the science of sociology
that the topics of promiscuity and group-marriage should have been
thrust by Morgan into the prominent place which they have ever since
occupied in the theoretical study of relationship. Even now I should
have liked to leave them on one side on the ground that the evidence
is as yet insufficient to make them profitable subjects for such exact
inquiry as I believe to be the proper business of sociology. Their
very prominence, however, makes it impossible to leave them wholly
unconsidered, but I propose to deal with them very briefly.

I begin with the question whether the classificatory system of
relationship provides us with any evidence that mankind once possessed
a form of social organisation, or rather such an absence of social
organisation, as would accompany a condition of general promiscuity
in which, if one can speak of marriage at all, marriage was practised
between all and any members of the community, including brothers and
sisters. I can deal with this subject very briefly because I hope to
have succeeded elsewhere in knocking away the support on which the
whole of Morgan’s own construction rested.

Morgan deduced his stage of promiscuity from the Hawaiian system,
which he supposed to be the most primitive form of classificatory
nomenclature. In an article published in 1907 I showed[33] that it
rather represents a late stage in the history of the more ordinary
forms of the classificatory system. My conclusion at that time was
based on the scanty evidence derived from the relatively few Oceanic
systems which had then been recorded, but my work since that article
was written has shown the absolute correctness of my earlier opinion,
which I can now support by a far larger body of evidence than was
available in 1907. It remains possible, however, that the Hawaiian
system may have had its source in promiscuity, even though this
condition be late rather than primitive, but it would be going beyond
the scope of these lectures to deal fully with this subject here. I
cannot forbear, however, from mentioning that Hawaiian promiscuity,
in so far as it existed, was not the condition of the whole people,
but only of the chiefs who alone were allowed to contract brother
and sister marriages, while I have evidence that the avoidance of
brother and sister in Melanesia, which has so often been regarded as
a survival of man’s early promiscuity, is capable of a very different
explanation.[34] Our available knowledge, whether derived from features
of the classificatory system or from other social facts, does not
provide one shred of evidence in favour of such a condition as was put
forward by Morgan as the earliest stage of human society, nor is there
any evidence that such promiscuity has ever been the ruling principle
of a people at any later stage of the history of mankind.

[33] _Anthropological Essays presented to E. B. Tylor_, Oxford, 1907,
p. 309.

[34] For the full evidence on these topics see my forthcoming book _The
History of Melanesian Society_.

The subject of group-marriage is one about which I do not find it
possible to speak so dogmatically. It would take me more than another
lecture to deal adequately with the Melanesian evidence alone, and I
must content myself with two remarks. Firstly, I think it desirable
to throw aside the term group-marriage as only confusing the issue,
and to speak rather of a state of organised sexual communism, in which
sexual relations are recognised as orthodox between the men of one
social group and the women of another. Secondly, the classificatory
system has several features which would follow naturally from such a
condition of sexual communism. I have evidence from Melanesia which
places beyond question the former presence of such a condition, with
features of culture which become readily explicable if they be the
survivals of such a state of sexual communism as is suggested by the
terminology of the classificatory system. This evidence comes from
only one part of the world, but it is enough to convince me that we
have no right to dismiss from our minds a state of organised sexual
communism as a feature of the social development of mankind. The wide
distribution of the classificatory system would suggest that this
communism has been very general, but it need not have been universal,
and even if the widespread existence of organised sexual communism be
established, it would not follow that it represents the earliest stage
in the evolution of human society. There are certain features even of
the classificatory system itself which suggest that, if this system be
founded in sexual communism, this communism was not primitive, but grew
out of a condition in which only such ties of kinship were recognised
as would result from the social institution of the family.

I must be content with this brief reference to the subject. The object
of these lectures is to demonstrate the dependence of the terminology
of relationship upon social conditions, and the dependence of the
classificatory system upon a condition of sexual communism is not
now capable of demonstration. The classificatory mode of denoting
relationship should, however, act as a suggestion and stimulus, and as
a preventative of dogmatic statement in a part of our subject which, in
spite of its entrancing interest, still lies only at the edge of our
slowly spreading circle of exact knowledge.

In conclusion, I should like to point out briefly some of the lessons
of more general interest which may be learnt from the facts I have
brought before you in these lectures. I hope that one result has been
to convince you of the danger lying in the use of the _reductio ad
absurdum_ argument when dealing with cultures widely different from our
own. In the literature of the subject one often meets the adjectives
“absurd” and “impossible” applied in some cases to social conditions
in which the actual existence of the absurdities or impossibilities
can be demonstrated. I may take as an example the argument of Mr. N. W.
Thomas, which I have already mentioned, in which the classing of the
maternal grandfather with the elder brother by the Dieri is regarded
as reducing to an absurdity the contention that classificatory terms
express ties of kinship. If Mr. Thomas had had a more lively faith in
the social meaning of terms of relationship, he might have been led to
notice that the Dieri marry the granddaughter of a brother, a fact he
appears, in common with many other readers of Howitt, to have missed;
one result of this marriage is to bring about just such a relationship
as Howitt records without a man being his own great-uncle, as is
supposed to be necessary by Mr. Thomas.

Still another example may be taken from Professor Kroeber. He states
that the classing together of the grandfather and the father-in-law
which is found in the Dakota system, when worked out to its
implications, would lead to the absurd conclusion that marriage with
the mother was once customary among the Sioux. Here again, if Professor
Kroeber had been less imbued with his belief in a purely linguistic
and psychological chain of causation, and had been ready to entertain
the idea that there might be a social meaning, he must have been led
to see that the features of nomenclature in question would follow from
other forms of marriage, and two of these, whatever their apparent
improbability in America, cannot well be called absurd, since they are
known to occur in other parts of the world. Following Riggs, Professor
Kroeber does not specify which kinds of grandfather and father-in-law
are classed together in Dakotan nomenclature, but in the full list
given by Morgan, it is evident that one term is used for the fathers of
both father and mother and for the fathers of both husband and wife.
The classing of the father’s father with the wife’s father would be a
natural result of marriage with the father’s sister, while the common
nomenclature for father’s father and husband’s father would result from
marriage with the brother’s daughter. It is not without significance
that the features of nomenclature which would be the result of one
or other, or of both these marriages, occur in a system which also
bears evidence of the cross-cousin marriage, for these three forms
of marriage occur in conjunction in one part of Melanesia, viz., the
Torres Islands.

The foregoing instance, together with many others scattered through
these lectures, will have pointed clearly to another lesson. In
the present state of our knowledge a working scheme or hypothesis
has largely to be judged by its utility. A way of regarding social
phenomena which obstructs inquiry and leads people to overlook facts
has its disadvantages, to say the least, while a scheme or hypothesis
which leads people to worry out and discover things which do not lie on
the surface will establish a strong claim on our consideration, even
if it should ultimately turn out to be only the partial truth. I will
give only one instance to illustrate how a belief in the dependence of
the terminology of relationship on forms of marriage might act as a
stimulus to research.

In a system from the United Provinces recorded by Mr. E. A. H. Blunt
in the Report of the last Indian Census, one term, _bahu_, is used
for the son’s wife, for the wife, and for the mother.[35] Mr. Blunt
puts on one side without hesitation the possibility that such common
nomenclature can have been the result of any form of marriage, and
ascribes it to the custom whereby a man and his wife live with the
husband’s parents, in consequence of which the son’s wife, who is
called _bahu_ by her husband, is also called _bahu_ by everyone else in
the house. The causation of the common nomenclature which is thus put
forward is a possible, perhaps even a probable, explanation. In such a
case we should have a social chain of causation in which the son’s wife
is called _bahu_ because she is one of a social group bound together
by the ties of a common habitation. It can do no harm, however, to
bear in mind as an alternative the possibility that the terminology
may have arisen out of a form of marriage. It is evident that the use
of a common term for the wife and the son’s wife would follow from a
form of polyandry in which a man and his son have a wife in common. A
further result of this form of marriage would be that the wife of the
son, being also the wife of his father, would have the status of a
mother.[36] We have no evidence for the presence of such a marriage in
India, but our knowledge of the sociology of the more backward peoples
of India is not so complete that we can afford to neglect any clue. The
possibility suggested by the mode of using the term _bahu_ should lead
us to look for other evidence of such a form of polyandry among the
ruder elements of the population of India, of whose social structure
our present knowledge is so fragmentary.

[35] _Census of India_, 1911, vol. xv., p. 234.

[36] In such a case the use of the term by other members of the
household, including women, would be the result of a later extension of
meaning.

Another important result of our study of the terminology of
relationship is that it helps us to understand the proper place of
psychological explanation in sociology. These lectures have largely
been devoted to the demonstration of the failure to explain features
of the terminology of relationship on psychological grounds. If this
demonstration has been successful, it is not because the terminology
of relationship is anything peculiar, differing from other bodies of
sociological facts; it is because in relationship we have to do with
definite and clean-cut facts. The terminology of relationship is only
a specially favourable example by means of which to show the value
of an attitude towards, and mode of treatment of, social facts which
hold good, though less conspicuously, throughout the whole field of
sociology.

In social, as in all other kinds of human activity, psychological
factors must have an essential part. I have myself in these lectures
pointed to psychological considerations as elements in the problems
with which the sociologist has to deal. These psychological elements
are, however, only concomitants of social processes with which it is
possible to deal apart from their psychological aspect. It has been
the task of these lectures to refer the social facts of relationship
to antecedent social conditions, and I believe that this is the proper
method of sociology. Even at the present time, however, it is possible
to support sociological arguments by means of considerations provided
by psychological motives, and the assistance thus rendered to sociology
will become far greater as the science of social psychology advances.

This is, however, a process very different from the interpolation of
psychological facts as links in the chain of causation connecting
social antecedents with social consequences. It is in no spirit of
hostility to social psychology, but in the hope that it may help us to
understand its proper place in the study of social institutions that
I venture to put forward the method followed in these lectures as one
proper to the science of sociology.[37]

[37] See also “Survival in Sociology,” _Sociological Review_, 1913,
vol. vi., p. 293. I hope shortly to deal more fully with the relations
between sociology and social psychology.

It may be that there will be those who will accept my main position,
but will urge that these lectures have been devoted to the criticism
of an extreme position, the position taken up by Professor Kroeber.
They may say that they have never believed in the purely psychological
causation of the terminology of relationship. In reply to such an
attitude I can only express my conviction that the paper of Professor
Kroeber is only the explicit and clear statement of an attitude which
is implicit in the work of nearly all, if not all, the opponents of
Morgan since McLennan. Whether they have themselves recognised it
or not, I believe that it has been this underlying attitude towards
sociological problems which has prevented them from seeing what is
good in Morgan’s work, from sifting out the chaff from the wheat of
his argument, and from recognising how great is the importance to the
science of sociology of the body of facts which Morgan was the first to
collect and study. I feel that we owe a debt of gratitude to Professor
Kroeber for having brought the matter into the open and for having
presented, as a clear issue, a fundamental problem of the methods of
sociology.

Lastly, I should like to point out how rigorous and exact has been the
process of the determination of the nomenclature of relationship by
social conditions which has been demonstrated in these lectures. We
have here a case in which the principle of determinism applies with a
rigour and definiteness equal to that of any of the exact sciences.
According to my scheme, not only has the general character of systems
of relationship been strictly determined by social conditions, but
every detail of these systems has also been so determined. Even so
small and apparently insignificant a feature as the classing of the
sister-in-law with the sister has been found to lead back to a definite
social condition arising out of the regulation of marriage and of
sexual relations. If sociology is to become a science fit to rank
with other sciences, it must, like them, be rigorously deterministic.
Social phenomena do not come into being of themselves. The proposition
that we class two relatives together in nomenclature because the
relationships are similar is, if it stand alone, nothing more than a
form of words. It is incumbent on those who believe in the importance
of the psychological similarity of social phenomena to show in what
the supposed similarity consists and how it has come about--in other
words, how it has been determined. It has been my chief object in these
lectures to show that, in so far as such similarities exist in the case
of relationship, they have been determined by social conditions. Only
by attention to this aim throughout the whole field of social phenomena
can we hope to rid sociology of the reproach, so often heard, that it
is not a science; only thus can we refute those who go still further
and claim that it can never be a science.



INDEX


  “Absurd” in sociology, 32, 87.

  America, North, 10, 18, 49, 55.

  Anaiteum, 22.

  Aniwa, 22.

  Assiniboin, 51.

  Australia, 11, 32.

  Avoidance, 85.


  Banks Is., 12, 16, 28, 42, 53, 61, 68.

  Bellamy, R. L., 56.

  Blunt, E. A. H., 90.

  Bougainville I., 40.

  Brother-in-law, functions of, 12.

  Buin, 40.


  Canarese, 47.

  Celtic terms, 78, 81.

  Cherokees, 53.

  Chiefs, 85.

  Choctas, 53.

  Christianity, 30.

  Clan, 67, 71, 74.

  Classes, matrimonial, 32, 39.

  Classificatory relationship, 2, 4, 19, 83.

  Codrington, Dr., 28, 30, 68.

  Communism in property, 12;
    sexual, 62, 86.

  Concomitant variations, method of, 70.

  “Creek” Indians, 53.

  Crees, 50, 55.

  Cross-cousins, 20, 28;
    _see_ marriage.

  “Crow” Indians, 53.


  Dakotas, 51, 88.

  Descent, 34, 39, 73.

  Descriptive system, 76;
    terms, 77, 81.

  Determinism, 7, 93.

  Dieri, 32, 37, 88.

  Dinkas, 78.

  Dorsey, J. O., 51.

  Dual organisation, 32, 34, 58, 67, 72, 82.


  Eddystone I., 68, 70.

  Egidi, Father, 16.

  Egypt, 78, 79.

  English terms of relationship, 13, 74.

  Eromanga, 22.

  Esthonia, 78, 81.

  Exchange of brothers and sisters, 43.

  Exogamy, 68, 72.


  Family, 74, 77, 87;
    extended, 79, 81.

  Father’s sister, functions of, 16.

  Field, Rev. J. T., 57.

  Fiji, 22, 31, 39, 77.

  Fison, Rev. L., 26.

  Florida, 45, 69.

  Freire-Marreco, Miss B., 53, 55.

  Functions of relatives, 6, 11, 12, 15.


  Gait, E. A., 47.

  Genealogical method, 23, 31.

  Genealogical relationship, 68, 70.

  Gillen, F. J., 11.

  Gonds, 26.

  Group-marriage, 6, 86.

  Guadalcanar, 23, 45.


  Haidahs, 54.

  Hawaiian Is., 15, 66, 68;
    system, 66, 84.

  Head, sanctity of, 12.

  Hopi Indians, 55.

  Howitt, A. W., 11, 88.


  India, 18, 26, 47, 90.


  Kindred, 80.

  Kinship, 1, 67, 82.

  Kohler, J., 8, 19.

  Kroeber, A. L., 9, 25, 52, 60, 62, 64, 88, 93.

  Kuni, 16.


  Lithuania, 78, 81.


  McLennan, J. F., 6, 17.

  Malayalam, 47.

  “Malayan” system, 65, 68.

  Maori, 66.

  Marriage, 1, 60;
    between brother and sister, 85;
    by exchange, 43;
    group-, 6, 86;
    regulation of, 67;
    with brother’s daughter, 89;
    with brother’s granddaughter, 34, 37, 56;
    with cousin, 79;
    with cross-cousin, 20, 39, 43, 47, 49, 54;
    with deceased wife’s sister, 65;
    with father’s sister, 89;
    with wife of father’s father, 40, 57;
    with wife of mother’s brother, 30, 33, 52.

  Massim, 56.

  Mbau, 22.

  Mekeo, 16, 70.

  Melanesia, 14, 19, 28, 45, 52, 61, 66, 77, 85, 89.

  Morgan, Lewis, 4, 10, 18, 26, 47, 50, 65, 84, 93.

  Mother’s brother, functions of, 15.


  New Hebrides, 22, 31, 68.

  New Guinea, 16, 56, 69.

  Niue, 15.


  Pantutun, John, 33, 37.

  Pawnees, 53, 54.

  Pedigrees, 31, 70.

  Pentecost I., 31.

  Polyandry, 7, 90.

  Polynesia, 15, 61, 66.

  Prediction, 26.

  Promiscuity, 6, 75, 84.

  Psychology, 10, 17, 24, 29, 38, 52, 62, 63, 66, 91, 94.

  Pueblo Indians, 53.


  “Red Knives” Indians, 49.

  Riggs, Rev. S. R., 51, 89.

  Roth, W., 11.


  Salutations, 7, 10.

  Samoa, 77.

  San Cristoval, 46.

  Santa Cruz, 15, 68, 77.

  Scandinavia, 78, 81.

  Seligmann, C. G., 56.

  Semitic terms, 78, 81.

  Shilluks, 78.

  Sioux, 53, 54, 88.

  Sladen Trust, 14.

  Sociology, 10, 26, 70, 84, 92, 94.

  Solomon Is., 15, 23, 45, 67, 68.

  Spencer, B., 11.

  Sudan, 78, 81.

  Survival, 39, 43, 46, 48, 59, 86, 92.

  Swanton, J. R., 55.


  Tamil, 47.

  Tanna, 22.

  Telegu, 47.

  Tewa Indians, 53.

  Thomas, N. W., 32, 88.

  Thurnwald, R., 40.

  Tikopia, 15, 67.

  Todas, 49.

  Tonga, 15, 67.

  Torres Is., 89.

  Torres Straits, 11, 44.

  Trobriand Is., 55.

  Tubetube, 57.


  Wagawaga, 56, 58.

  Wedau, 58.

  Widow, 12, 30, 41.


  “Yellow Knife” Indians, 49.

  Ysabel, 46.


GARDEN CITY PRESS LIMITED, PRINTERS, LETCHWORTH.



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Transcriber's Note


The following apparent errors have been corrected:

p. 8 (note) "Rechtswiss" changed to "Rechtswiss."

p. 20 "now becomes" changed to "now become"

Advertisement "contemproary" changed to "contemporary"

Advertisement "was Achieved" changed to "was Achieved."

Advertisement "Commerical and Financial" changed to "Commercial and
Financial"





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search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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