Manners and Customs of the Aborigines of the Encounter Bay Tribe, South Australia. H. E. A. MEYER.

Manners and Customs of the Aborigines of the Encounter Bay Tribe, South Australia

Adelaide, 'printed and published for Government, by George Dehane', 1846.

Octavo, [ii], 15 pages.

Original stiffened blue wrappers (with the title page details repeated on the front cover); trifling surface blemish to the front cover; an excellent copy.

Heinrich Edward August Meyer was a Lutheran missionary who arrived in Australia in 1840, and spent just over two years living with the Raminyeri tribe of the Encounter Bay area before publishing in 1843 'the first grammar and vocabulary on Ngarrindjeri, "Vocabulary of the Language spoken by the Aborigines of the Encounter Bay Tribe, South Australia". He lived at Encounter Bay until 1848 ... Meyer was part of an Adelaide-based community of missionaries from the Dresden Missionary School, which placed great emphasis on learning the language because it believed in the importance of communicating with the Aboriginal people in their own language ... He also had continuing contact with other missionaries who were also involved in writing grammars, such as Clamor Schurmann who had published a grammar of Kaurna, the language to the North of Ngarrindjeri, just before Meyer's arrival. This background, as well as the assertion in his introduction to the 1843 grammar that the whole publication had been twice reviewed with different natives, so that the meaning assigned to the words may be relied upon as correct ... has resulted in a text that is considered to be a reliable reflection of the language at the time, and a good grammar for its time' (Corinne Bannister: 'A Longitudinal Study of Ngarrindjeri', online). In this short but closely printed pamphlet Meyer, in 'giving an account of these people ... endeavour[s] to trace the life of one from his birth upwards'. His extended period of living with the Encounter Bay people in these early years of white settlement adds authenticity to his detailed account of subjects such as hunting, sorcery and burial customs.

Ferguson 4348; see also Ferguson 13095 (WOODS, J.D. [editor]: The Native Tribes of South Australia [Adelaide, Wigg, 1879], which reprints this item); Greenway 6696.

Item #101318

Price (AUD): $2,200.00

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