B 505: Lecture on the Aborigines of Australia and papers on Wirradhurrei dialect, 1837-1840

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If we suppose moreover, what is very possible that a few families of a somewhat coarser or inferior breed (if we may use the term) as there are mostly some among nearly all natives to have originally landed here on these shores and propagated themselves without admixture of a gentler or superior race it is quite natural other causes taken into account, the present race should be so low in the scale of the human races.

Their intellectual faculties are by no means so inferior as is generally supposed " their mind is quite capable of culture : of this I have had many decisive proofs. As on average, they learn to read English when young, as quickly as our own children and these who have had much intercourse.

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with the Aborigines had here been struck with the fact that at least that young men & boys very soon acquire and speak the English language correctly & fluently. You can draw out their minds so as to reflect & reason. Whether any or many individuals amongst them might prove when enjoying superior education, deep philosophers, or great mathematicians or good as theoreticians may be doubted.Still we can not assume the contrary

I do not wonder much at the uncivilised & ignorant state of the Aborigines, being so widely & thinly scattered & without intercourse perhaps for ages as we may suppose with other races: what else would be the result?

Let us imagine a few families of ^ Europeans living in the interior without any means of instruction, without a book of any kind,for a few centuries, their offspring for a few centuries or generations cut off from the civilized world, might they not become almost as ignorant & uncivilized as the Aborigines?

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first because, i believe, on good [indecipherable] that no nation or tribe was originally so savage or ignorant as there are some nowadays. For in the primitive ages though they had not the means of education & improvement as we now have they had certain traditions which kept them from gross ignorance.

Besides, before that wide dispersion of the human races, the amount of population living in close proximity would afford certain social advantages for improvement. A thinly scattered people is sure to grow gradually more ignorant & uncivilised. Secondly, the aborigines themselves have an impression that their ancestors knew more than themselves. There are in the third place a few slight traces found of superior ideas such as I have related just now. And

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here i would mention those mysterious caves of which there is one found in the district of [indecipherable]. One of the blacks referred to these caves as proof that their ancestors or else some other ancient native must have known more than, any of them knew adding we could not make such marks, "we not clever enough for that ", For the information of these who may

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I deem it proper in the next place to give you a little information as far as i have been able to collect concerning any ...ideas and practices of

Have they any idea of a future state? Is there any sort of religious belief among them or do they practice any religious life? That they believe in evil spirits as evil spirits... is pretty well known. The dread of these evil spirits continually [indecipherable] them. All the ills they suffer sickness & other misfortunes especially...and if they are not easily... of the same are ascribed to the influence of some evil spirit...

Last edit 4 months ago by Ktape
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