Totemism by Claude Levi-Strauss

By Claude Levi-Strauss

Totemism is a Beacon Press e-book.

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But once these institutions were given, they began to lead an in­ dependent existence, as objects of curiosity or aesthetic admira­ tion, and also as symbols, by their very complication, of a higher type of culture. They must often have been adopted, for their own sake, by neighboring peoples who understood their function imperfectly. In su�h cases, they have been only approximately . adJusted to pre-existmg social rules, or even not at all. g ow to use them. In other words, and contrary to Elkin s behef, zt zs not because they are totemic that such systems must � ?

296. This book was already in proof when there came into our hands a very recent work by Firth (1961 ) in 8. 9. 10. 1 I. 12. 13. 14. Chapter 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Van Gennep, 1920, p. 351. Elkin, 1933a, p. 66. See above, p. 12. Warner, 1958, p. 1 17. , p. 122. 6. 7. 8. 9. 01 Anthro- I which other versions of the same myth are to be found. Jakobson and Halle, 1956, Chap. V. Firth, 1930-1931, pp. 300, 301. Firth, 1930-193 1, p. 398. Best, 1924. Prytz Johansen, 1954, p. 9. , p. 85. , p. 198. 2 pp. 122-123.

For Rousseau, moreover, affective life and intellectual life are op­ . " This is true to the extent that he some­ times writes, not of the state of society, in opposition to that of nature, but of the "state of reasoning. " 13 The advent of culture thus coincides with the birth of the intellect. us, which seems irreducible on the biologi­ . expressed cal �lane beca�se It IS by the seria lity of individuals . m the s . perfect hu self, ,� a faculty which � . re­ mams With us, m the species as much as in the individual· and without which an animal is, after a few months, what it wUI he � • .

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