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 used to be too cumbersome for its initially meant book in a newspaper. basically 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 by means of white settlers. Minute information about garments, instruments, payment and ideology mix to depict a fancy society that possessed hugely ritualised customs deserving of appreciate. Dawson additionally incorporated an in depth vocabulary of phrases in 3 indigenous languages that he was hoping might facilitate extra cross-cultural figuring out. His paintings presents priceless resource fabric for contemporary researchers in anthropology and linguistics.
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Extra info for Australian Aborigines: The Languages and Customs of Several Tribes of Aborigines in the Western District of Victoria, Australia
NAMES OF PERSONS. 41 CHAPTER XIII. NAMES OF PERSONS. ' When it learns to walk, the father gives it a name. If the father is dead, the grandfather confers the name ; and, failing him, the mother or nearest relative does so. The first child of either sex is called after its father, and the second, if a daughter, after its mother. If requested, the father will name his other children after friends, who call them ' laing,' meaning ' namesake,' and who are ever afterwards kind to them. In return, they address their godfathers by the same term.
At this stage of the proceedings they are partaken of only by the friends of the bride. At sunset, the friends and relations of the bridegroom and bride, numbering possibly two hundred, sit on opposite sides, within a large circle formed of the leafy boughs of trees, with a fire in the centre. The bride is introduced by her bridemaid, and seated in front of her friends. The bridal attire is very simple. Her hair is braided, and bound with a plaited bark brow band, coloured red. In front of the brow band is stuck a bunch of red feathers, from the neck of the long-billed cockatoo.
In some places where the action of the wind and spray has caused the hummocks to slip down into the sea, the layers of shells are exposed to a great depth; and, as they could not have been placed in their present positions by natural means along with pieces of burnt trap-rock, charred wood, and ashes, there is no doubt that they are of similar origin with the aboriginal deposits found on the east coast of Scotland and sea shores of Denmark and Holland, called ' middens' by the Scotch and ' moedens' by the Dutch.
Australian Aborigines: The Languages and Customs of Several Tribes of Aborigines in the Western District of Victoria, Australia by James Dawson