Paragraph on Totemism (182 Words)

Paragraph on Totemism!

Totemism consists in the fact that a tribe is supposed to be related to an object-mainly animal or plant towards which they behave in a reverent manner by adopting its name and offering sacrifices or adoring it.

A totem is generally an animal, rarely a plant which gives its name to a clan or may be otherwise associated with it.


The relation of the clan and that particular animal is explained by bonds of descent the clan considering itself the descent from that species. The Iroquois clans were called Turde, Bear, Wolf, Hawk etc. They carved out the representation of these animals over the doors of their houses.

The people of the clan do not kill or eat that animal with whose name they are linked. They attach to it super-empirical meaning. In Ruanda, for example, the Buffalo people will not eat buffalo. Only when the clan worships the animal or offers sacrifices to it, totemism may be associated with religion, although it is now generally acknowledged that it is mostly a social phenomenon combined with magic or superstition.

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