The Origin of Civilisation and the Primitive Condition of Man: Mental and Social Condition of Savages

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Longmans, Green, 1882 - Aboriginal Australians - 548 pages
"In the present volume, which is founded on a course of lectures delivered at the Royal Institution in the spring of 1868, I propose more particularly to describe the social and mental condition of savages, their art, their systems of marriage and of relationship, their religions, language, moral character, and laws. Subsequently I shall hope to publish those portions of my lectures which have reference to their houses, dress, boats, arms, implements, &c. From the very nature of the subjects dealt with in the present volume, I shall have to record many actions and ideas very abhorrent to us; so many, in fact, that if I pass them without comment or condemnation, it is because I am reluctant to fatigue the reader by a wearisome iteration of disapproval. In the chapters on Marriage and Religion more especially, though I have endeavoured to avoid everything that was needlessly offensive, still it was impossible not to mention some facts which are very repugnant to our feelings. Yet were I to express my sentiments in some cases, silence in others might be held to imply indifference, if not approval"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).

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