Aboriginal boys' initiation ritual, Australia, 1798.

Aboriginal boys' initiation ritual, Australia, 1798.

Neagle, J

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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Engraving by Neagle of a group of aboriginal men and boys taking part in an initiation ritual. 'On the arrival of this curious party at the Yoo-lahng, [place of ritual] it pased by the boys as the herd of Kangooroo, and then quickly divesting themselves of their artificial tails, each man caught up a boy, and, placing him on his shoulders, carried him off in triumph'. From 'An account of the English colony in New South Wales: with remarks on the dispositions, customs, manners, &c, of the native inhabitants of that country' by David Collins (1756-1810), published in London, 1798-1802. Collins was Judge Advocate and Governor's Secretary under Arthur Phillip at the British colony at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Australia, 1787-1796, and colonial governor of Tasmania, 1804-1810.
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