The numbers of the native Australians are steadily diminishing.
Yet while the Tasmanians are so distinctly separated in physique and customs from the Australians, the fauna and flora of Tasmania and Australia prove that at one time the two formed one continent, and it would take an enormous time for the formation of Bass Strait.
Four points are clear: (i) the Australians represent a distinct race; (2) they have no kinsfolk among the neighbouring races; (3) they have occupied the continent for a very long period; (4) it would seem that the Tasmanians must represent a still earlier occupation of Australia, perhaps before the Bass Strait existed.
Wallace is of the opinion that the Australians " are really of Caucasian type and are more nearly allied to ourselves than to the civilized Japanese or the brave and intelligent Zulus."
Dr Charles Pickering (1805-1878), who studied the Australians on the spot, writes: 1 In his Discoveries in Central Australia, E.
Eyre has ingeniously attempted to reconstruct the routes taken by the Australians in their advance across the continent.
The low stage of culture of the Australians when they reached their new home is thus accounted for, but their stagnation is remarkable, because they must have been frequently in contact with more civilized peoples.
All this points to a temporary occupation by a race at a far higher stage of culture than any known Australians, who were certainly never capable of executing even the crude works of art described.
In disposition the Australians are a bright, laughter-loving folk, but they are treacherous, untruthful and hold human life cheaply.
The Australians when first discovered were found to be living in almost a prehistoric simplicity.
The tribal organization of the Australians was based on that of the family.
The Australians believed in spirits, generally of an evil nature, and had vague notions of an after-life.
But the Australians are distinguished by possessing elaborate initiatory ceremonies.
Unlike the American Indians, who supposed Columbus and his crew to be supernatural beings, and their ships in some way endowed with life, and were thrown into convulsions of terror by the first discharge of firearms which they witnessed, these Australians were neither excited to wonder by the ship nor overawed by the superior number and unknown weapons of the strangers.
The colonies were, however, to have other and bitter experiences of strikes before Labour recognized that of all means for settling industrial Australians in South America.
On the 16th of July 1893 the first little army of " New Australians " left Sydney in the " Royal Tar," which arrived at Montevideo on the 31st of August.
Primitive peoples from the Australians upwards celebrate, usually at fixed intervals, a driving out of hurtful influences.
Sometimes, as among the Australians, it is merely the ghosts of those who have died in the year which are thus driven out; from this custom must be distinguished another, which consists in dismissing the souls of the dead at the close of the year and sending them on their journey to the other world; this latter custom seems to have an entirely different origin and to be due to love and not fear of the dead.
Similar essays at map-making are reported in connexion with Australians, Maoris and Polynesians.
The captures of the corps came to over 4,000 prisoners and 87 guns; the attacking strength of the Australians was less than 6,000 and the casualties were just over r,000 in all.
Corps should continue the attack on the r9th, while the Australians consolidated their gains.
Corps was to round off its success on the right by clearing the Thorigny area on the near bank of the canal, and occupying the ground on its front as far as the Masnieres - Beaurevoir line; the Australians were to secure the remainder of the first day's objectives in its sector between Bellicourt and Vendhuille, while the III.
Corps were able to carry out this programme without serious difficulty; but the Australians again met with stubborn resistance, and at the end of the day, though their right division, the 5th, had cleared the greater part of the Hindenburg reserve line, the 3rd Div., on the left, working up the Hindenburg line from the S., had been able to get no farther than S.
Corps to take Sequehart and Ramicourt and push forward to Montbrehain; for the Australians to occupy the line from W.
On its left wing well north of Gouy towards Aubencheul in conjunction with the right of the Third Army, while the Australians secured Montbrehain.
Probably, at least half of these represent Australians, impelled to emigrate by years of drought.
But on the borders of the region, often without real boundary lines, are grouped other peoples, the true Malays, the Indonesians or pre-Malays with the Negritos to the westward and the Australians, who are generally admitted to be a distinct race.
The archers shot well and with strong bows, though their arrows were generally tipped only with stone or bone; their shields or targets, mostly round, were of ordinary barbaric forms; the spears or javelins had heads of obsidian or bronze, and were sometimes hurled with a spear-thrower or atlatl, of which pictures and specimens still exist, showing it to be similar in principle to those used by the Australians and Eskimo.
In a sky world, peopled by corporeal beings, as well as by spirits of the dead; the latter may even be entirely absent; the mythology of the Australians relates largely to corporeal, non-spiritual beings; stories of transformation, deluge and doom myths, or myths of the origin of death, have not necessarily any animistic basis.
The settlement in East Africa menaced the old-established British influence over Zanzibar, which was all the more serious because of the close connection between Zanzibar and the rulers of the Persian Gulf; and Australia saw with much concern the German settlement in New Guinea, especially as a British Protectorate (which in the view of Australians should have included the whole of what Germany was allowed to take) had previously been established in the island.
Australians are in the habit of calling their crocodiles alligators.
The literal sense of the term churinga, applied by the Central Australians to their sacred objects, and likewise used more abstractly to denote mystic power, as when a man is said to be " full of churinga," is " secret," and is symptomatic of the esotericism that is a striking mark of Australian, and indeed of all primitive, religion, with its insistence on initiation, its exclusion of women, and its strictly enforced reticence concerning traditional lore and proceedings.
To appreciate the consecrating effect of religion on primitive life we have only to look to the churinga-worship of the Central Australians (as described by Spencer and Gillen in The Native Tribes of Central Australia and The Northern Tribes of Central Australia).
These regulations also met the objections voiced by Australians and New Zealanders that the country won for Great Britain at such cost had been thrown open to hordes of Asiatics.
Again, two of the bestmarked varieties of mankind are the Australians and the Bushmen, neither of whom, however, seems to have a natural place in Blumenbach's series.
Had the Australians or New Zealanders, for instance, ever possessed the potter's art, they could hardly have forgotten it.
That the men of the Quaternary period knew the savage art of producing fire by friction, and roasted the flesh on which they mainly subsisted, is proved by the fragments of charcoal found in the cave deposits, where also occur bone awls and needles, which indicate the wearing of skin clothing, like that of the modern Australians and Fuegians.
Several of the above practices are common to the Australians, who, though generally inferior, have many points of resemblance (osteological and other) with Papuans, to whom the extinct Tasmanians were still more closely allied.
But myths precisely similar in irrational and repulsive character, even in minute details, to those of the Aryan races, exist among Australians, South Sea Islanders, Eskimo, Bushmen in Africa, among Solomon Islanders, Iroquois, and so forth.
This is also, perhaps, the proper place to observe that names derived from natural phenomena - sky, clouds, dawn and sun - are habitually assigned by Brazilians, Ojibways, Australians and other savages to living men and women.
In the long history of mankind it is impossible to deny that stories may conceivably have spread from a single centre, and been handed on from races like the Indo-European and the Semitic to races as far removed from them in every way as the Zulus, the Australians, the Eskimo, the natives of the South Sea Islands.
Therefore where similar myths are found among Greeks, Australians, Egyptians, Mangaians and others, it is unnecessary to account for their wide diffusion by any hypothesis of borrowing, early or late.
Metamorphoses into stones are as common among Red Indians and Australians as in Greek mythology.
As in the common " swallowing-myths " which we have met among bushmen and Australians, and will find among the Greeks, Qat restored his brethren to life.
The Maoris and other Polynesian peoples are perhaps the best examples of a race which has risen far above the savagery of Bushmen and Australians, but has not yet arrived at the stage in which great centralized monarchies appear.
Xxi.) also show the stars into which they were metamorphosed, as the Eskimo and Australians and Aryans of India and Greeks have recognized in the constellations their ancient heroes.
This custom prevails in African mysteries, in Guiana, among Australians, Papuans, and Andaman Islanders.
The other custom is the use of the turndun, as the Australians call a little fish-shaped piece of wood tied to a string, and waved so as to produce a loud booming and whirring noise and keep away the profane, especially women.
We have shown that Thlinkeets, Ahts, Andaman Islanders, Australians, Maoris, South Sea Islanders, Cahrocs and others all believe fire was originally stolen.