aborigines



aborigines defined in 1939 year

aborigines - Aborigines (Lat. ab origine, from the beginning);
aborigines - Name applied by classical writers to primitive tribes in Italy, perhaps because their ancestors were deemed to have been its earliest inhabitants, sprung from the soil like the Greek autochthones. Modern research establishes the conclusion that they formed part of the neolithic, shortish, brunette, longheaded Mediterranean stock which practised hunting and agriculture on the Italian plains, and were ultimately driven into the Apen-nine uplands by round-headed Alpine immigrants from the north. Allied to, if not coincident with, the Ligurian race, they probably gave early Rome its Latin dialect and its plebeian population.

The term is now generally used for the peoples found in distant lands by their first European discoverers. The preferable form in the singular is aboriginal; this, with its plural, is increasingly used in Australia, the word native being applied to Australian-born whites. In India tii3 most aboriginal tribes are the Andamanese and the pre-Aryan peoples who speak the Austroasian - Munda and Mon-Khmer - languages; the Dra-vidi an-speaking peoples are also ranked as aborigines.

After the Act for the abolition of slavery throughout the British colonies was passed in 1833, reports upon the condition of the aborigines were presented to Parliament in 1834 and 1837. An Aborigines Protection Society was founded in 1837, and a British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in 1839. Amalgamated as the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society in 1909, it aims at protecting and advancing the interests of enslaved and oppressed native races. Down to the outbreak of the Great War the amalgamated society was concerned with the exposure of the Putumayo atrocities, the amelioration of the labour system in Portuguese West Africa, the abolition of the native system of domestic servitude in Nigeria, the reform of the methods of recruiting native labour in the New Hebrides, and the safeguarding of coolie labour in general.

The protection of aborigines is a matter of constant administrative concern throughout the British Empire. In Canada, as in the U.S.A., there is a department of Indian affairs; in the Union of South Africa a department of native affairs. Queensland and West Australia appoint a chief protector of aborigines, Papua a commissioner for native affairs, New Zealand a minister representing the native race. There are secretaries for native affairs in Fiji, Gold Coast, and Hong Kong, besides protectors of labour or immigration in some of these and in other parts of over-sea Britain.

Bibliography. Races of man, J. Deniker,1900: Races and Peoples, D. G. Brintoii, 1901; Relations of the Advanced and Backward Races of Mankind, J. Bryee, 1902; Native Races and Their Rulers, C. L. Temple, 1918.

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near aborigines in Knolik


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