Status: Indexed

4 9
expected their wives to be faithful
to them. A woman was only supposed
Exchange of wives
to like another man at the command
of her husband which was very often [the - crossed out]
[cas- crosssed out] as he was liable to fancy the wife of some one
else. I have however known one instance
where these men exchanged wives
for a month - this was called Be-ama
I do not know if this often occurred
In every case they were careful to keep
within the class limits.

Footnote: I suspect that this suggestion by the old men as
to exchange of wives may receive a reasonable explanation
if we assume that it was made as a means of averting
[impending - crossed out] evil supposed to be impending consequent upon
tribal disregard of ancestral custom. The occasional
exchange of women which is formed in very
many tribes, especially at the great social gatherings
is clear a survival of the old communal rights
of the class divisions, which as we have shewn underlie
the whole social system of these aborigines and to be
preserved in their kinship terms even where almost
extinct as to practice. In tribes [constituted] organised as
was this one - that is where Individual marriage
had apparently supplanted Group marriage, the
ancients communal custom had been departed
from. That personal misfortunes were [believe - crossed out]
generally believed to follow upon breaches of ancestral
custom is certain, for instance in the tribe at
Roebourne, Western Australia it is believed that
a man's hair will turn grey if he knowingly looks
at his wife's mother (tūa) - or even at the mother
of the [woman who is to - crossed out] girl who is betrothed to him.
(Mr A. R. Richardson, Roebourne Western Australia)
The explanation I suggest is strengthened by a statement
made to me by a man of the Majauka tribe
(Menindie) Darling River that he believed
the dieing [sic] out of his race to be due to their
disregard since the arrival of the whiteman
of the customs of their fathers. AWH

[written in left side margin]
What are Beama
mean - Be-ame
or Beamai among
the Kamilaroi
tribes names, Gwyder
Bogan +c is the
name of the good
spirit = Burkan

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page