Australian Aborigines: The Languages and Customs of Several by James Dawson

By James Dawson

James Dawson first released Australian Aborigines in 1881, after finding out that his cautious description of the tribes, languages, customs, and features of the indigenous peoples of the western district of Victoria was once too cumbersome for its initially meant booklet in a newspaper. primarily a field-inspired anthropological account of the dwindling Aboriginal inhabitants, written sooner than the emergence of anthropology as a proper self-discipline, Dawson's publication attracts on his daughter's skill to talk the neighborhood languages and makes an attempt a balanced description of a tradition he thought of ill-used and under-appreciated via white settlers. Minute information about garments, instruments, cost and ideology mix to depict a posh society that possessed hugely ritualised customs deserving of recognize. Dawson additionally integrated an in depth vocabulary of phrases in 3 indigenous languages that he was hoping might facilitate extra cross-cultural figuring out. His paintings presents helpful resource fabric for contemporary researchers in anthropology and linguistics.

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Additional resources for Australian Aborigines: The Languages and Customs of Several Tribes of Aborigines in the Western District of Victoria, Australia

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If there is no brother, the chief sends the widow to her own tribe, with whom she must remain till her period of mourning is ended. Those of her children who are under age are sent with her, and remain with their mother's tribe till they come of age, when they return to their father's tribe, to which they belong. After the period of mourning for her deceased husband expires, the relatives of 28 AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES. the widow, with the sanction of the chief, make arrangements for her re-marriage, and she must marry the man chosen for her.

The cooking of the muurang entails a considerable amount of labour on the women, inasmuch as the baskets are made by them; and as these often get burnt, they rarely serve more than twice. The muurang root, when cooked, is called yuwatch. It is often eaten uncooked. The bulbous root, muuyuup, of the common orchis, hinnsehinnitch, and of another named yarrayarupp, are eaten either raw or cooked. The weeakk, resembling a small carrot, is cooked in hot ashes without a basket. The bulb of the clematis, 'taaruuk,' is dug up in winter, cooked in baskets, and kneaded on a small sheet of bark into dough, and eaten under the name of murpit.

CHAPTER XI. LAWS OF MARRIAGE. THE laws of marriage among the aborigines are remarkably well devised; and exhibit a method and ingenuity which could not have been looked for among a people who were so long considered the lowest of the human race. ' As has been shown in the first chapter, the aborigines are divided into tribes. Every person is considered to belong to his father's tribe, and cannot marry into it. Besides this division, there is another which is made solely for the purpose of preventing marriages with maternal relatives.

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