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The whole system of totemic belief reflects social structure, depending whether hunter-gatherers (Australia) or farmers (Central Africa), and this implies beliefs and mode of thought differ and thus several simultaneous systems exist throughout the world – different places, different times (Levy-Bruhl, 1923). Each tribe and its constituent clans is associated with a natural and material object which it calls its totem, and on this basis see themselves as akin to their totem species and descended from it (Thomson, 1978). Totemism in Historical Perspective 4 (a) Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Hither Asia 4 (b) Ancient Greece, Rome and the Mediterranean 5. Totemism is an important subject in the reconstruction of the most recent of human history and the means “…by which humankind elevated itself out of animality.” (Reed, 1978). Totemism in Global Perspective 5 (a) Australia 5 (b) The Americas 5 (c) Africa 5 (d) Asia and India 5 (e) Pacific and Indonesia 6. Morgan, Matriarchy, Mother Right and Exogamy 7 (a) Morgan, Engels and Social Evolution 7 (b) Matriarchy, Bachofen and Mother Right 7 (c) The Clan and Exogamy 8. True totemism is found only among Australian Aborigines, north and south Amerindians, in New Guinea, and parts of Africa and India (Cooper, 1992).


This suggests that a mystical kinship exists between the group and their totem species or object and this supports a system of belief that an “…animal or plant, or sometimes a heavenly body, was mythologically at first, and at last sociologically, connected with all persons of a certain stock, who believe, or once believed, that it was their titular god, as they bear its name. There is therefore a similarity between the Australian Kobong and the American totem (Grey, 1841).


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