This exception was discovered by Messrs Spencer and Gillen among the Arunta of central Australia, some allied septs, and their nearest neighbours to the north, the Kaitish.
Gillen, Notes on Manners and Customs of the Aborigines of the Macdonnell Ranges belonging to the Arunta Tribe; J.
239), between the whole of the kinship group, whether adult or not; and, moreover, nowhere are rites found which are intended to strengthen the union between a man and his totem by means of the blood bond, unless we include the aberrant totemism of the Arunta (Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes of Central Australia, 167), who eat their totems in order to gain magical powers of increasing the stock of the totem animal.
The Arunta hold that the spirits of kangaroos are expelled by human blood from certain rocks.
Among the Arunta of Central Australia, the ghosts of the dead haunt certain localities, and, entering the bodies of passing women, are constantly reincarnated; the Black-snake clan of the Warramunga tribe embodies the spirits which the original ancestor had deposited by a certain creek.'
Moreover, it is a human weakness to manipulate one's ancestry, and the common claim to be descended from the local godling is not to be confused with the Arunta type of reincarnation.4 Again, in the part taken by women in serpent-lore other problems of primitive society and religion intermingle.
The, arungquiltha of Central Australia; and here, we may note, we come nearest to a conception of magic as something other than religion, the trafficker in arungquiltha being socially suspect, nay, liable to persecution, and even death (as amongst the Arunta tribe, see Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes of C. Australia, 536), at the hands of his fellows.