Unlock the Past Cruises

Native Tribes of South-East Australia

Product Code: 
Sample File: 

Published in 1904, this book by anthropologist Alfred William Howitt is based on 40 years work which commenced with explorations in Central Australia. It is still considered an important work for understanding the cultures of indigenous peoples today.

"By far the greater part of the materials for this work was collected and recorded before 1889. Since then the native tribes have more or less died, and in the older settlements of South-East Australia the tribal remnants have now almost lost the knowledge of the beliefs and customs of their fathers. I have preferred to let my notes remain, as they were written, in the present tense, rather than to attempt to bring them up to the present time."

The book looks at the origins of Aborigines in the South ans East of Australia which covers, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and part of Queensland. It covers tribal organisation, social organisation, relationship terms, marriage rules, tribal government, medicine-men and magic, beliefs and burial practices, initiation ceremonies, messengers and message-sticks, barter and trade centres, gesture language and various customs. Included are fifty-eight illustrations as well as ten maps showing the locality in each state of the various tribes.