Walter Baldwin Spencer (1860 – 1929)
Francis James Gillen (1856 – 1912)
This massive anthropological study of the central Australian tribes is one of the primary sources for information on these cultures. Based on first-hand scholarly study just prior to the twentieth century, Spencer and Gillen describe their complex rituals and belief systems, including initiation ceremonies, kinship, mythology and material culture. The picture that emerges is that of a sophisticated culture living under what most others would consider very marginal conditions.
This book stands far in front of everything else written on the subject, and is an indispensible reference on Australian ethnography.