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  • One Ceremony One Song. An Economy of Religious Knowledge Among Yolnu of North-East Arnhem Land. A PhD Thesis – Australia National University – 1978 – Ian Keen

    One Ceremony One Song. An Economy of Religious Knowledge Among Yolnu of North-East Arnhem Land. A PhD Thesis – Australia National University – 1978 – Ian Keen

    An original copy of the monumental Thesis written by Ian Keen to obtain his PhD from ANU in 1978. Keen to go on to be a respected anthropologist holding positions at Queensland University and ANU and spending time at Oxford, visiting Professor at Osaka etc.

    Perfect bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt titles to front and spine. Typed on one side 412 pages with 19 pages of plates from the authors photographs; 72 Figures in text; 45 tables of information and 4 maps. This copy gifted to “Jimmy” clearly an associated academic with a few marginal notes etc. Over 3 kgs in weight so if Overseas a postage supplement will be necessary.

    The English born author was late to the academic world having first worked as an art restorer before doing an undergraduate degree at the University of London under Mary Douglas in his mid thirties. He did well and soon won a scholarship to work on Aboriginal religion through song symbolism in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia. This thesis demonstrates the depth of his research and provides a meticulous record of his findings.

    He commenced his work on the island of Milingimbi in 1974 and worked there for fourteen months before completing a further 10 months on the mainland at Nanggalala. Its is not surprising that “’writing up” took him some time.

    His “Abstract” explains his examination of the relationship between the organisation, ownership and content of religious practice and knowledge, marriage and power relations in Yolnu society. He argues that older men require the authority gained through their control of secret ceremonies and religious knowledge, in order to sustain a polygamous regime. Making possible a system of marriage through which some men gain many wives. Keen’s description of the various ceremonies is highly detailed … we doubt if any broadly published material covers such content with similar vigour.

    A special reference relating to the Yolnu of Northern Australia.


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  • The Andes and the Amazon – Life and Travel in Peru – C. R. Enock – 1913

    The Andes and the Amazon – Life and Travel in Peru – C. R. Enock – 1913

    A scarce copy of this important travel exploration account into Peru.

    Published by Fisher Unwin, London in 1913, a fifth printing, first in this form. Octavo, red cloth covered illustrated covers, xvi, 380 pages, portrait frontispiece. Slight foxing otherwise a very good copy. the pictorial covers are a delight

    C Reginald Enock was a mining engineer turned adventurer. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society London, the World’s greatest Club. His adventures in Peru had previously been summarised and presented by none less than Markham in the Society Journals.

    Enock explored a new high pass over the Eastern Cordillera; made the sources of the Maranon and Huaylas Rivers; visited the ruins of Huanuco and attempted the highest peak in Peru, Huascarn, at 22,000 feet.. although unsuccessful, it was not climbed until 1932 … by Austrians of course.

    In his expeditions he mulled over the origins of the indigenous population and postulated links with Asia much in the lines but sometimes conflicting with the Alfred Russell Wallace viewpoint.

    Enock and serious exploring in remote Peru …


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  • Snapshot from the North Pacific [British Columbia] – Rev Ridley – Edited Alice Janvrin

    Snapshot from the North Pacific [British Columbia] – Rev Ridley – Edited Alice Janvrin

    Scarce. Published by the Missionary Society, London in 1904. Octavo, viii, 192 pages, illustrated throughout.

    Essentially a travel account of Northern British Columbia from 1880 onwards by Rev Ridley who had the task of “converting” heathens indigenous and otherwise. When not doing that he travelled extensively by sea and land. His account if very interesting and the descriptions of the people he met along on the way priceless. Illustrations from early photo graph or sketches therefrom very good … we particularly like the Medicine Man and the Two Chiefs.

    Over time he covers from the ease of Vancouver Island … the Skeena River; Massett; Metlakatia in the very north; meets the Kwaguti; visits Alert Bay; Aiyansh and Kitkatia. He sails to Dolphin island to meet to the Kilkatla or Gitxaala Nation … the first native people to take up arms .. encouraged by passing English. We like these people … Gitxaala translates to “People of the Open Sea” .. there are not many of them but they are proud people … we understand that they have currently suspended Treaty negotiations with the Canadian Government … we hope it works out for them.

    Rev William Ridley religious but informed …


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  • Through Wildest Papua – Jack Hides 1937

    Through Wildest Papua – Jack Hides 1937

    Published by Blackie, London and Glasgow in 1937 part of the Travel Library Series. Not sure what sort of “’travel” they were envisaging you would have to be pretty tough. Published in the USA under a different title “Savage Patrol”.

    Octavo, 165 pages, end paper maps, very good illustrations throughout from period photographs. Presume previous ownership name cut from free endpaper corner, some spots to page edges otherwise a very good copy of a getting scarce and important New Guinea account.

    With an introduction by Sir Hubert Murray a great supporter of the Port Moresby born Hides. On patrol Jack Hides describes in vivid detail the raid on Lakekamu and the patrol to Loloipa west of Mount Nelson at the source of the Alabule River. Stunning photographs as suggested.

    Jack Hides, Voyager Hero, on Patrol deep into New Guinea


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  • Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1897

    Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1897

    Contains an important and contentious paper regarding the measurement of Tasmanian [aboriginal] crania contained in the Tasmanian Museum and less contentious and quite lengthy [31 pages] … Notes on the Aborigines of Tasmania extracted from the Manuscript Journals of George Washington Walker with an introduction by James B Walker… and a further paper by J.B. Walker on the “Tribal Divisions of the Aborigines of Australia.

    Perfect bound in original paper covers quite chipped xxxiv, 92 pages, illustrations including images of crania … warning one shown here.

    Contents further include … Mount Dundas narrow gauge rail; Land routes for the exploration of the Western country; The Great Lake and its water power; Iron Deposits of Tasmania … various geological and natural history

    Important and contentious content regarding Tasmanian Aborigines.


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  • The “Widow’s Cap” of the Australian Aborigines – R. Etheridge 1899

    The “Widow’s Cap” of the Australian Aborigines – R. Etheridge 1899

    Separately published paper from the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1899. By Robert Etheridge Junior who was then Curator of the Australian Museum. Son of the superb engraver of geological specimens and exceptional geologist in his own right.

    Side stitched in the original light blue wrappers, a little aged, internally very clean … a very nice copy of a little understood custom.

    Mitchell was the first to notice the widow’s caps which he observed during his second expedition into the interior. Worn by widows in mourning and then later left at the graves of the deceased. The caps were formed from clay and the widow wore a net over her hair which left the unusual impression that can be seen in one of the images provided.

    13 pages on narrative and six plates, printed on heavier stock from photographs of examples.

    An authoritative paper on an important aboriginal custom


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