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which is everywhere much the same.
Universal, a Religion
cultural slant. When these religions meet, as they are bound to do in time, what will happen? Obviously a people will be slow to take up with a religion of an utterly alien climate and scene. to Become Hence many will disappear while others will fuse or develop in such a way as to lose the sharp impress of their birth place. Must Thus as tribal cults give way to universal religions the geo- Human graphic stamp grows fainter, for the winning faiths are not Rather those adapted to external Nature — which is various - but human nature The marriage customs of nature peoples have obviously been The moulded by locality the aging effect of the climate on women, Customs the comparative value of men and women in the chief occupa- Advanced tions, the food possibilities, etc. But in the course of social evolution the institution of monogamous marriage develops, gains prestige, and begins its triumphal march. Finally it is able to pul! communities in the most diverse climates and situations into one plane of practice, to exert a hydraulic even pressure without heed to geographic or climatic differences.
graphic ences, but
to the Psychology of the
Crowded and anxious on their little islands in the South Seas, Sexes the Polynesians resorted to practices which nauseate healthy human nature infanticide, abortion, man-eating, the sanctioned murder of the aged and infirm. In the same strait, however, civilized islanders hold to their standards and ease the strain by such innocent means as postponing marriage or emigrating. The Tibetans solve their problem of population increase by polyandry; but Christian mountaineers accept no such dietate from their inhospitable environment. With them the marriage institution is granite, whereas with nature peoples it is wax.
Thus, as civilization develops, social institutions are moulded more by the products of human thought and less by impressions from Nature. Ideas play a greater rôle, climate and scene a lesser role. Man becomes a citizen of the world rather than a parish and psychology rather than geography provides the keys to social evolution,
dren the Nucleus
HE primordial social grouping arose out of urgent needs and seems to have been a band of mothers with their children. Owing to his restlessness the male was probably no such and Chilstable member of the earlier human group as the woman. "The woman was the social nucleus, the point to which he returned from his wanderings. In this primitive stage of society, however, the bond between woman and child was altogether more immediate and constraining than the bond between woman and man. The maternal instinct is reinforced by necessary and constant association with the child. We can hardly find a parallel for the intimacy of association between mother and child during the period of lactation; and, in the absence of domestic animals. or suitable foods, and also, apparently, from simple neglect formally to wean the child, this connection is greatly prolonged. The child is frequently suckled from four to five years, and occasionally from ten to twelve. In consequence we find society. literally growing up about the woman. The mother and her children, and her children's children, and so on indefinitely in the female line, form a group. But the men were not so completely incorporated in this group as the women, not only because parentage was uncertain and naming of children consequently on the female side, but because the man was neither by necessity nor disposition so much a home-keeper as the women. and their children." 1
Owing to this fact that the primitive group formed about the women, the maternal system of kinship is found in all parts of the world where social advance stands at a certain level and the evidence indicates that every group which has attained a state of culture has passed thru this stage.
It is probable that for a period of some tens of thousands of years there was never a human social aggregate larger than the Thomas, "Sex and Society," p. 57.