I recognize these totems all too well, because I have at one time or another embraced them myself.
Or are they relics, totems of a strange faith that demands our allegiance?
Gone are the cheerful sham marriages held up as totems for the rest of us to emulate.
Their brandishing of totems, their busting of taboos is real world stuff, not symbolic.
It must not, of course, be assumed that all animal gods are totems.
"These men have their totems and their sign manuals," said the commissioner.
A prejudice against eating kindred flesh, (as against eating totems or kindred animals and vegetables,) is common among savages.
totems, in their developed form, are revered, but rarely if ever worshiped.
totems and totem names are inherited by the children from the mother, in this primitive type.
Had they held their corn feast—or can you say anything of the totems of the tribe?
animal or natural object considered as the emblem of a family or clan, 1760, from Algonquian (probably Ojibwa) odoodeman "his sibling kin, his group or family," hence, "his family mark;" also attested in French c.1600 in form aoutem among the Micmacs or other Indians of Nova Scotia. Totem pole is 1808, in reference to west coast Canadian Indians.
An animal, plant, or other object in nature that has a special relationship to a person, family, or clan and serves as a sign for that person or group.