Social Origins (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Longmans, Green, and Company, 1903 - Families - 311 pages
0 Reviews
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 209 - If we therefore look back far enough into the stream of time and judging from the social habits of man as he now exists, the most probable view is that he originally lived in small communities, each with a single wife, or if powerful with several, whom he jealously defended against all other men.
Page 99 - ... agree that but one adult male is seen in a band; when the young male grows up, a contest takes place for mastery, and the strongest, by killing and driving out the others, establishes himself as the head of the community.
Page 209 - We may indeed conclude from what we know of the jealousy of all male quadrupeds, armed, as many of them are, with special weapons for battling with their rivals, that promiscuous intercourse in a state of nature is extremely improbable.
Page 152 - ... as totems could be obtained in but one way through the rite of the vision the totem of a gens must have come into existence in that manner, and must have represented the manifestation of an ancestor's vision, that of a man whose ability and opportunity served to make him the founder of a family, of a group of kindred who dwelt together, fought together, and learned the value of united strength.
Page 171 - To me, judging of the possible feelings of the pristine ancestors of the Australians by their descendants of the present time, it seems most improbable that any such nicknames would have been adopted and have given rise to totemism, nor do I know of a single instance in which such...
Page 144 - Therefore the reason why a tribe revere a particular species of animals or plants (for the tribal totem may be a plant) and call themselves after it, would seem to be a belief that the life of each individual of the tribe is bound up with some one animal or plant of the species, and that his or her death would be the consequence of killing that particular animal, or destroying that particular plant.
Page 189 - MacDonald" to the MacHenrys of Glencoe. But this theory is impossible, as we must repeat, in conditions of inheriting names through women, and such were the conditions under which totemism arose. The animal name, now totemic, from the first was a group name, as Mr. Fison argued long ago. "The Australian divisions show that the totem is, in the first place, the badge of a group, not of an individual.
Page 99 - If we look far enough back in the stream of time, it is exceedingly improbable that primeval men and women lived promiscuously together. Judging from the social habits of man as he now exists and from most savages being polygamists, the most probable view is that primeval man aboriginally lived in small communities, each with as many wives as he could support or obtain, whom he would have jealously guarded against all other men.
Page 67 - We have already pointed out that there are certain men who are especially respected for their ability, and, after watching large numbers of the tribe, at a time when they were assembled together for months to perform certain of their most sacred ceremonies, we have come to the conclusion that at a time such as this, when the older and more powerful men from various groups are met together, and when day by day and night by night around their camp fires they discuss matters of tribal interest, it is...
Page 124 - I have ventured to suggest as regards the former question is, that originally no man could appropriate any woman of his own tribe exclusively to himself, nor could any woman dedicate herself to one man, without infringing tribal rights ; "but that, on the other hand, if a man captured a woman belonging to another tribe...

About the author (1903)

Andrew Lang's activities extended far beyond folklore. He was a historian, poet, journalist, translator, and anthropologist, in connection with his work on literary texts. Lang was born at Selkirk in Scotland and was educated at Edinburgh Academy, St. Andrews University, and Balliol College, Oxford University, becoming a fellow at Merton College. His poetry includes Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (1872), Ballades in Blue China (1880--81), and Grass of Parnassus (1888--92). His anthropology and his defense of the value of folklore as the basis of religion---his most influential work---is expressed in Custom and Myth (1884), Myth, Ritual and Religion (1887), and The Making of Religion (1898). He also translated Homer and critiqued James G. Frazer's views of mythology as expressed in The Golden Bough. He was considered a good historian, with a readable narrative style and knowledge of the original sources (e.g., History of Scotland [1900--7], James VI and the Gowrie Mystery [1902], and Sir George Mackenzie [1909]). In addition, he wrote some novels, not well thought of today; however, his critiques of contemporary novels are still highly regarded. Lang's popularity was established with his collections of "Fairy" books, which were always titled with a color, such as The Blue Fairy Book. These books preserved and handed down many of the better-known folk tales from the time; however, his use of the term "fairy" to cover all kinds of folk tales continues to plague scholars, who generally distinguish between the terms "fairy" and "folk," judging fairy tales to be more of a fanciful creation and less grounded in cultural experiences, customs, and beliefs.

Bibliographic information