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Aboriginal ceremony of 'striking out teeth', Australia, 1798.

Neagle, J

Aboriginal ceremony of 'striking out teeth', Australia, 1798.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm


Engraving by Neagle of part of an initiation ritual. A boy is held, while a man knocks out a front tooth. This ritual took place at Yoo-lahng near Farm Cove, Sydney. The boys had to sit with their legs crosed under them, with no refreshment all night. The men acted out being in pain, which was intended to asure the boys that they themselves would suffer les pain as a result. 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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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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