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The Tasmanian aborigines


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Walker, James Backhouse 1898 , 'The Tasmanian aborigines' , Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania , pp. 65-73 .

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To anthropologists the aborigines of Tasmania presented
an exceedingly interesting object of study. Professor
Tylor had remarked that in the tribes of Tasmania,
only just extinct, we had men whose condition had
changed but little since the early Stone Age, and whose
life gave us some idea of the earliest prehistoric tribes of
the old world, the Drift and Cave men of Europe. It
is therefore much to be regretted that so little information
remains respecting the Tasmanians in their wild
G. A. Robinson was probably the only man who
thoroughly understood the aborigines. He could have
supplied valuable information as to their tribal usages
and ways of thinking, yet, so far as I know, he has not
left behind him even the briefest account of the people
for whom he ran such risks, though there are still preserved
in the Chief Secretary's office very voluminous
reports of his expeditions.
Mr. Bonwick's two
books "The Last of the Tasmanians" and "The Daily
life of the Tasmanians," deserve more than a passing
mention. In these two works the author has collected a
great mass of information respecting the history and
customs of the aborigines.
When, therefore, in 1890, Sir. H. Ling Roth published
his work, "The Aborigines of Tasmania," he did no
inconsiderable service to anthropology. The work is faithfully and
conscientiously done, and the book is in every respect an
admirable one. It throws a new light on the aborigines
and adds largely to our knowledge of them, enabling us
to fix more accurately than has hitherto been possible,
their place in the scale of humanity.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Walker, James Backhouse
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.

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