A Different Sort Of Savagery
Marriage Among The Australian Aborigines – 1870
We see that marriage by capture, either as a stern reality or as an important ceremony, prevails in Australia and among the Malays, in Hindostan, Central Asia, Siberia, and Kamskatka; among the Esquimaux, the Northern Redskins, the Aborigines of Brazil, in Chile and Tierra del Fuego, in the Pacific Islands, both among the Polynesians and the Fijians, in the Philippines, among the Arabs and Negroes, in Circassia, and, until recently, throughout a great part of Europe.
In Australia little real affection exists between husbands and wives, and young men value a wife principally for her services as a slave. In fact, when asked why they are anxious to obtain wives, their usual reply is, that they “may get wood, water, and food for them, and carry whatever property they possess.”
The position of women in Australia seems indeed to be wretched in the extreme. They are treated with the utmost brutality, beaten and speared in the limbs on the most trivial provocation. Few women, says Eyre, will be found, upon examination, to be free from frightful scars upon the head, or the marks of spear wounds about the body. I have seen a young woman who, from the number of these marks, appeared to have been almost riddled with spear wounds. If at all good-looking their position is, if possible, even worse than otherwise.
Excerpt and illustration taken from:
The Origin of Civilisation And The Primitive Condition Of Man – Mental and Social Condition Of Savages by Sir John Lubbock, Member Parliament, Baronet, Fellow of the Royal Society. Author of Prehistoric Times, etc. Vice President of the Ethnological Society, Fellow of the Linnean, Geological and Entomological And Other Societies. London: Longmans Green and Co. 1870
You have just read a small sample of historic inhumanity not unique to Australia. Europe, Asia and the America’s furnish abundant examples of similar behavior in uncivilized societies.
The frightening aspect of this, is that the reality of cultural relativism has been conveniently forgotten. Continue reading