Literature in our Collection

Elkin, A.P.: Aboriginal Men of High Degree, University of Queensland Press (2. Aufl.), St Lucia 1977, ISBN 070221017X

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Maps -viii-

Preface -ix-

Introduction to Second Edition -xvii-

Introduction to First Ecition -xx-

Part 1: The Personality, Making and Powers of Aboriginal Men of High Degree -1-

Chapter 1: Aboriginal Men of High Degree: Their Personality and Making -3-

Aboriginal Life – A Progress in Knowledge -3-

The Problems of Daily Life -5-

The Personality of Medicine-Men -7-

Medicine-Men. Outstanding Personalities! -9-

Medicine-Men are Normal -12-

How is the Doctor Selected or “Called”? -15-

The Making of Medicine-Men: Taking the High Degree -17-

Uncircumcision Regions -18-

Circumcision Regions -20-

Distributon of “Abdominal Operation” -28-

Mummification Pattern of Ritual -28-

Origin of the Ritual -29-

Medicine-Man Making. A Pre-Enactment of Magical Killing -30-

Medicine-Man’s Power Supernatural -32-

Chapter 2: The Powers pf Medicine-Men -37-

Supernormal Powers -37-

Socery and its Cure -38-

Socery – An Explanation of Illness and Death -38-

Psychic Aspects of Pointing and other Forms of Socery -39-

The Doctor and the Patient -39-

Thought Transference -42-

Clairvoyance and Mind-Reading -46-

The Strong Eye -49-

The Medicine-Man as “Detective” and Coroner -49-

Psychic Displays -52-

Walking on Fire -52-

The Use of Magic Cord -53-

Myterious Disappearing and Re-appearing -54-

Creating Illusions -55-

Fast Travelling -55-

Meditation -56-

Comparison with Tibet -57-

Psychic Terrors -58-

Ritual Cannibalism -60-

Rapid Travelling on “Foot” -60-

Telepathy -61-

Aboriginal Secret Cults and Religion are Oriental -64-

Conclusion -66-

Part 2: The Making and Powers – a Survey -71-

Chapter 3: The Uncircumcision Regions -71-

Plan of Survey -73-

South of the Murray -74-

The Coast of New South Wales -79-

The Western Districts of New South Wales -81-

Eastern and Northern Queensland -93-

The South-western Corner (Western Australia) -96-

Chapter 4: The Circumcision Regions -101-

South Australia and the Neighbouring Region of Western Australia -101-

North-central Australia and North-western Queensland -109-

Far North-western Queensland -116-

Arnhem Land -117-

The Kimberley Division, North-west Australia -123-

Part 3: Aboriginal Men of High Degree in a Changing World -135-

Chapter 5: Mystic Experience: Essential Qualification for Men of High Degree -137-

The High Degree: Northern New South Wales -138-

The High Degree: Northern Kimberley, W.A. -141-

The High Degree: South-West Kimberley, W.A. -145-

Chapter 6: Animistic and Magical Causes of Illness -150-

Black and White Medicine: Prallel and Complementary -154-

Doctor-Man in Health Services -158-

Men of High Degree: Their Passing? -162-

The Desert: a Rampart of Indigenous Culture -163-

A New Type: Blackfellow-Doctor-Whitefellow -166-

Medicine-Men: The Psychotherapeutic Role -170-

Medicine-Men and the Invisible -171-

The Order: Resurgence -172-

Inter-tribal Conference of Medicine-Men! -176-

Index -183-

Cover Text

"Aboriginal Men of High Degree" is the first general account of Australian Aboriginal medicine-men. It is a study of their making, their personalities, their powers and social value. First published in 1945, this new and revised edition is based on professor Elkin’s Australia-wide survey of the recorded knowledge of Aboriginal rituals, beliefs and practices form the earliest settlement at Port Jackson and from his own field-work in many regions of Australia from 1927 onwards. This second edition also incorporates material from reports and studies made since publication of the first edition, and in addition the author includes specific results of inquiries made through physicians and others in close contact with Aboriginals. This new edition brings to light the fact that the role of the medicine-men in health services is receiving belated recognition. In recent decades physicians and surgeons have realized that their treatment of Aboriginals, although apparently successful in removing the symptoms of illness, was not generally followed by usual recovery. Only the Aboriginal Doctor-man understands and can cope with the causes and so restore confidence in the patient. Medicine-men are psychologists and psychic experts who include clairvoyance, telepathy and hypnotism in their powers. With their “strong eye” they see through the patient’s body to the cause of the illness. They can also detect through the smoke of a mourning ritual fire who, by black magic, caused the death. This last accomplishment is essential for the restoration of cohesion to the social group bereft of one of its members.