Sir Baldwin Spencer (1860–1929) was a British/Australian biologist and anthropologist, best known for his work amongst the indigenous Aboriginal tribes of Australia. After graduating from Exeter College, Oxford in 1884, Spencer was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, before being appointed the Professor of Biology at the University of Melbourne. In 1896 Spencer joined his friend and co-author Francis James Gillen (1855–1912) to undertake fieldwork during the Aboriginal tribal gathering known as the Engwura. This pioneering volume, first published in 1899, is the result of this fieldwork. Spencer and Gillen were initiated as members of the Arunta tribe and became the first Europeans to witness many tribal customs and social structures. The kinship structures, marriage and burial ceremonies and religious beliefs of several tribes are described. This fascinating volume influenced contemporary ideas concerning palaeolithic society and the origins of art and religion.
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- Date Published: September 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108020442
- length: 740 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 41 mm
- weight: 0.93kg
- contains: 132 b/w illus. 4 colour illus. 4 maps 3 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. The social organisation of the tribes
3. Certain ceremonies concerned with marriage, together with a discussion regarding the same
4. The totems
5. The churinga or bull roarers of the Arunta and other tribes
6. Intichiuma ceremonies
7. Initiation ceremonies
8. Initiation ceremonies (continued)
9. Initiation ceremonies (continued)
10. Traditions dealing with the origin of the Alcheringa ancestors of the Arunta tribe and with particular customs
11. Traditions dealing with the origin of the Alcheringa ancestors of the Arunta tribe and with particular customs (continued)
12. Customs concerned with knocking out of teeth, etc.
13. The customs of Kurdaitcha and Illapurinja and the avenging party or atninga
14. Customs relating to burial and mourning
15. The Iruntarinia and Arumburinga, or spirit individuals
16. The making and the powers of medicine men
various forms of magic
17. Methods of obtaining wives
18. Myths relating to sun, moon, eclipses, etc.
19. Clothing, weapons, implements, decorative art
Glossary of native terms used
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