Among the most important facts which have been brought to light during the course of the preceding discussion stands most prominently the fact that in Australia maternity and paternity are viewed as essentially non-biological, exclusively social concepts. There is an absence of any notion of blood relationship between mother and child as well as between father and child-a fact which has been generally completely overlooked. It is not difficult to understand how this nescience of the blood tie between mother and child came to be overlooked by students of Australian ethnology, for in the first place, the bias which had been given to the discussion by the controversies of the 'motherright' and 'father-right' schools had turned exclusively upon the ignorance of physiological paternity, and, in the second place, the blood relationship between mother and child was considered to be so inescapably obvious, that any suggestion that a real 'ignorance' of physiological maternity could possibly exist among any people, however lowly, would have been received, as it was by Lang and others, with frank incredulity. Lang's objections to the alleged ignorance among the Arunta of the tie of blood on the maternal side have already been mentioned. The relationship, argued Lang, was far too obvious for them not to be aware of it, they merely did not permit it to affect the descent of the totem, which is regulated by their doctrine of incarnation. It cannot perhaps be too often remarked that the categories of thought peculiar to ourselves are not necessarily refined enough to enable us to use them with any degree of success as effective instruments in the analysis of Aboriginal thought. The difficulty is, I think, much greater than is customarily supposed, as those who are possessed of some knowledge of the structure of the languages of nonliterate peoples will agree. Levy-Bruhl has shown something of the nature of the difference involved in the mental functions of nonliterate peoples, and has emphasized their essentially mystical nature. The mind of the Aboriginal is no more pre-logical than that of the modern educated man or woman. Essentially the mind of the native functions in exactly the same way as our own. The differences
perceptible in the effects of that functioning are due only to the differences in the premises upon which that functioning is based, premises which represent the logical instruments of the native's thought, and have their origin in categories and forms of judgment which are to some extent different though quite as rigorously organized as our own. Had Aristotle and Kant been born into an Arunta group their categories and forms of judgment would have been quite different from what we know them to be. It is for this reason that it is so difficult for one who has been educated in the Western tradition to judge or evaluate the meaning of certain native beliefs and practices, and unless such a one has divested himself of as many of his own prejudices as he is able, he will never succeed in arriving at an understanding of such beliefs and practices. According to the categories of thought in which Lang was educated it is quite impossible to escape the observation of the fact that there exists a physical connection between a mother and her child. Whatever pagan or Christian doctrine may allow as possible in the Western world, when all other facts have been eliminated in the consideration of the nature of maternity, there remain the two irreducible correlates which alone make the physical or psychical relation possible, namely the relation between the woman and the child to which she has given birth.