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Sir Walter 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 in 1886 before being appointed the Professor of Biology at the University of Melbourne. In 1911 Spencer was appointed Special Commissioner for Aborigines and undertook fieldwork in the Northern Territories between 1911–1912. This volume, first published in 1914, is the result of his fieldwork. Spencer describes in detail the social customs, kinship structures, marriage ceremonies and religious beliefs of thirteen tribes he encountered in the Northern Territories. Spencer also compares differences and similarities in the religious and social structures of different tribes and includes copious illustrations of religious and political monuments. This volume was the first ethnography of these tribes and provides valuable insights into these societies.
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- Date Published: September 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108020459
- length: 706 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 39 mm
- weight: 0.88kg
- contains: 91 b/w illus. 8 colour illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. Social organisation and marriage regulations
3. Initiation ceremonies
4. Totemic systems and totem groups
5. Sacred sticks, bull-roarers, and ceremonial objects
6. Burial and mourning ceremonies
7. Magic and medicine
8. Beliefs in regard to the origin of children
9. Traditions concerning Imberombera, the Great Ancestor, and also other ancestors of the Kakadu nation
10. Various traditions, customs, and beliefs
11. Food restrictions
12. Weapons and implements
13. Clothing and ornament
14. Decorative art
Glossary of native terms
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