The son of an Australian male, whose kin or totem name is Crane, takes, in many tribes, his mother's kin-name, Swan or Cockatoo, or whatever it may be, and the same is a common rule in Africa and America among races who rarely remember their great-grandfathers.
This was naturally found in the non-human member of the totem-kin - the totem animal; in a sense, therefore, the god died for his people.
Most of the magic is worked (Intichiuma in Arunta) by the members of each totem kin or group for the behoof of the totem as an article of food supply.
In these days of fatted cattle and waving grain-fields this humble root, which was once the totem of an Indian tribe, is quite forgotten, or known only by its flowering vine; but let wild Nature reign here once more, and the tender and luxurious English grains will probably disappear before a myriad of foes, and without the care of man the crow may carry back even the last seed of corn to the great cornfield of the Indian's God in the southwest, whence he is said to have brought it; but the now almost exterminated ground-nut will perhaps revive and flourish in spite of frosts and wildness, prove itself indigenous, and resume its ancient importance and dignity as the diet of the hunter tribe.
This immortal House had been somewhat lowly on the immortal totem pole, evidenced by the fact it was a third the height of most of the others.
The warrior painted the story of conflicts on his robe only in part, to help him recount the history of his life; the Eskimo etched the prompters of his legend on ivory; the Tlinkit carved them on his totem post; the women fixed them in pottery, basketry, or blankets.
The carved totem posts of the Haida, standing in front of the heavily framed houses, or at a little distance from them, represent the coats of arms of the respective families of the tribes and generally exhibit designs treated in a bold and original manner, highly conventionalized but always recognizable in their purport by any one familiar with the distinctive marks of the animal forms portrayed.
Each spirit, as it quits its nanja or natural haunt to enter the mother, drops a churinga, a slab of stone or wood marked with the child's totem and containing its spirit attributes.
In place of the goat or fawn a bear might have been expected, but the choice may have been influenced by the animal totem of the tribe into whose hands the ritual fell.
Thus in Australia the initiation ceremonies, concerned as they partly are with marriage, always an affair between the kin-groups, are tribal, whilst the totemic rites are the prime concern of the members of the totem clans.