By Evans-Pritchard E.E., Firth R., Leach E.R., Peristiany J.G., Layard J., Gluckman M., Fortes M. & G. Lienhardt
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Extra resources for The institutions of primitive society: A series of broadcast talks
The examples of the oath and of haruspication point, then, to the fact that when a society lacks specialized organs whose status both transcends and links its sectional interests, the conflict is resolved by the recognition of common values, by an appeal to a full common religio. moment ago what was the largest group with which a man was prepared to identify himself. In that area to which I am referring, we find a number of neighbouring societies speaking the same language, sharing the same culture, and using kinship terms in their references to each other.
Some writers have assumed that since they cannot understand what the primitive artist has to say the primitive artist must be talking gibberish. For example, Worringer, the German aesthetician whose sider a primitive views are often endorsed by Sir Herbert Read, has described Primitive Man as 'a creature who confronts the outer world as helplessly and incoherently as a dumbfounded animaP, and again 'artistic creation means for primitive man the avoidance of life and its AESTHETICS arbitrariness, stable world it means the 31 intuitive establishment of a 1 beyond the world of appearances.
So do, in fact, all societies, and it is one of the virtues of the study of anthropology that primitive society shows this much more clearly than ours. For in all such societies both matrilineal and patrilineal lines count, although with varying emphasis, and both in lineal society, as due place in the social are So the system. apparently opposing principles of exogamy (not marrying relatives) and of endogamy (which means marrying within the clan). If a tiny community in a hostile world is to survive at all it must be homogeneous, but it must at the same time observe the primary incest taboo.