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Book Cover
Author Elkin, A. P. (Adolphus Peter), 1891-1979.

Title The Australian Aborigines : how to understand them / A. P. Elkin
Edition Fourth edition
Published Sydney : Angus and Robertson, 1964
[Sydney] : Angus & Robertson, 1964


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xxii, 393 pages, 33 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, genealogical tables, map, portraits (1 color) ; 23 cm
Contents The Aborigines and their manner of life : Who are the Aborigines?; The main divisions of mankind; Physical characteristics of the Aborigine; Are there any other Australoid groups?; The migrations of the Aborigines; The antiquity of man in Australia; Australian tribes and languages; The Aborigines' means of livelihood; Nomadic food gatherers; Material posessions; Position of the Aborigines amongst the peoples of the world -- The land and the Aborigines The tribe; The tribe, a linguistsic group; Significance of tribal territory; Inter-tribal gatherings; Inter-tribal meetings and culture contact; Inter-tribal meetings and language; Tribal sentiment; Fear of the unknown; Tribal names; Tribal customs and mythology; The local group; An economic, territorial and spiritual subdivision of the tribe -- The family and other relations Part 1: General introduction : the home; the family; kinhsip : our family system; The Aborigines classificatory system: types of kinship systems in Australia Part II: Some details of systems of reckoning relationship in Australia: the Kariera type; The Karadjeri system; the Nyul-Nyul or Aranda system; The Aluridja system; the Ungarinyin system. Appendix: the fourth line of descent in the Karadjeri system -- Social groups : part 1 (i) The local group; (ii) Age-grouping; (iii) Sex-grouping; (iv) Social totemic clans; (v) Moieties; (vi) Sections, subsections and semi-moieties Part II Sections: sections, generation lines and cross-cousins; Sections and maternal descent; Sections and natural species; Sections and moieties; Subsections: descent of the sub-sections; Subsections and totemism; Alternate and irregular marriages; Semi-moieties -- Kinship and marriage customs puzzling to us : The need to understand these customs; The classificatory kinship system; Kinship and law; Kinship avoidance; Relations by marriage; Blood relations; Taboo on names; Puzzling marriage custosm; Methods of obtaining a wife; Marriage of old men and young girls; Uses of wives, objectionable to us; Prostitution of native women -- Totemism: Man, nature and the past : The approach to totemism; Seven forms of totemism; Individual; Sex; Moiety; Section (and subsection); Clan; Local; Multiple; Classification of totemism according to function; Socia; Sex; Cult; Conception; Dream; Classificatory; Assistant -- The secret life and initiation : Culture contact and the secret life; Missionary problems; The life apart; Ritual operations on the body; The meaning and social function of the rites; Initiation rites : the stages or degrees; (i) the taking of the novice; (ii) Ceremonial welcome and combat; (iii) Preliminary ceremonial; (iv) The ritual bodily operations; (v) The period of seclusion; (vi) The blood ceremony; (vii) The fire ceremony; (viii) The washing and the return; (ix) Revelation of secrets; sacred symbols; the dream-time; the value and function of initiation ceremonies; Appendix: The secret life and missionary endeavour -- Aboriginal philosophy, rites and beliefs : The spiritual view of life; The doctrine of pre-existence; Increase rites; cave paintings in north-western Australia; use of blood in totemic ceremonies; Effects of the doctrine of pre-existence; The totemic view of life; The historical view of life; Psychic life of the Aborigines; The cure of sickness; Mythology; The sky-heroes -- Medicine-men and magic : The sorcerer; Magical cause of illness and death; Contagious, imitative and projective forms of magic; The pointing bone; Singing; Function of black magic; The danger of magic; Medicine-men and sorcerers; Functions and powers of medicine-men; Medicine-men and spiritism; Medicine-men and inquests; Themaking of medicine-men; Appendix: The ritual of making medicine-men -- Death and what follows: Death, inquest and revenge : death, a social event; Customs associated with dying and death; The inquest and its forms; The spirit and the corpse; Divination and control; Revenge and social duty; Burial rites; Social status and burial; The meaning of the ceremonies; The fate of the dead; The cycle of life -- Epilogue: the Aborigines on the March : The past; Phases of Aborigina-European contact; Pauperism and clash; "Pacification by force"; Aboriginal adaptation - intelligent parasitism; Protection policies; Positive policy; Aborigines and the war - and after; The present picture; The process of assimilation; Aboriginal citizenship the goal
Summary First published 1938, this ed. enlarged and revised; 2ed, 1943, 3ed, 1954, with reprints in 1945, 1948, 1956, 1961; Antiquity, origin and migrations, language information; Living off the land, seasons, hunting, artefacts, psychological adaptation, shelters, nomadism; Position amongst the peoples of the world; Tribes and inter-tribal gatherings, customs, local groups, family, kinship, classificatory system, types of systems (Ngarinjen, Nyul Nyul, Aranda, Luritcha, Karadjeri, Kariera); Social groups, sections and moieties, alternate and irregular marriages; Kinship avoidance, taboos, methods of obtaining a wife, marriage of old men and young girls, pirauru relationship; Totemism; Secret life and initiation - missionary problems; Meaning and social function of rites; Philosophy and beliefs, increase rites, mythology and mythological figures - sky heroes, mother-goddess cult, rainbow serpent; Art and ritual - 8 art regions, bark paintings, carvings; Music and dancing - sacred chanting, musical instruments, secular music, musical patterns, Songman, description of dances, diffusion, poetry, song and chant cycles; Medicine men and magic, causes of illness and death, making of medicine men; Death, inquest and revenge, burial rites, fate after death; Brief summary of past policies, process of assimilation, group aspect, citizenship; Many areas and tribes mentioned
Notes Reprinted 1966, 1968
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references : pages [383]-393
Subject Aboriginal Australians -- Government relations.
Aboriginal Australians -- Kinship.
Aboriginal Australians -- Religion.
Aboriginal Australians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Aboriginal Australians -- Social life and customs.
Aboriginal Australians.
Ethnology -- Australia.
ISBN 020794234X