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I. 5.5.5 Totemism

Totemism is an extension of fetishism.  A totem is a species of animal or plant; or natural object or phenomenon or the symbol of any of these which signifies and distinguishing features of a human group vis-vis other groups, similarly represented, in the same society.

A totem is a class of material objects which a savage regards with superstitious respect believing that there exists between him and every member of clan an intimate and altogether a special relation. A totem is generally an animal or rarely a plant which gives names to clan.

According to the theory of ‘totemism’, 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. Totem is associated with tribal organization, and it becomes the name of the tribe, an image of the totemic spirit, an animal or plant which identifies. Members of the tribal group affiliate themselves with the totem. The totemic emblems are evoked that with religious attitude and the dissent is traced with the totemic line. Though totemism is universally found it exhibits considerable variations.

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