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Titles to Look Out For:
[In Alphabetical Order. Date signifies earliest edition. Later editions covered by each listing]

1976. Before Time Began: Legends of the Dreamtime
1975. Chieftainship and Legitimacy. An Anthropological Study of Executive Law in Lesotho by Ian Hamnett
1987. Penans: The Vanishing Nomads of Borneo

Have You Tried?
1979. 'Kwanim Pa: The Making of the Uduk People. An Ethnographic Study of Survival in the Sudan-Ethiopian Borderlands by Wendy James

Mountford, Charles P. 'Before Time Began: Legends of the Dreamtime', published in 1976 in Great Britain in hardback, 96pp, ISBN 017005070X. Condition: Very good with very good dustjacket (not price-clipped). Has a small mark on the opening edge of the front cover and a tiny patch of surface loss on the back cover (price sticker?). Price: £16.85, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge
1976. Thomas Nelson (Australia), hbk
In stock, click to buy for £16.85, not including post and packing

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About this book: Before Time Began is the culmination of a lifetime's experience. Spectacular finger paintings and bark paintings collected by C. P. Mountford on two of his expeditions illustrate this collection of 23 myths, retold with all the respect, love and insight which he as for the aboriginal people of Australia. We learn of the creation of the world, the spirit children, the Pleiades and their lovers, and much more. Contained in these myths are immutable laws laid down by the mythological people of the dreamtime, which have been transmitted from one generation to the next for countless centuries, and belong to the everyday life of the tribe. Joseph Burke, in his foreword, says of Mountford that 'through this book he is our guide to a great achievement of the human imagination, an achievement which has stamped its imagery of mystery and profound sense of human unity with nature on the landscape, the fauna and flora of Australia. Before Time Began enhances C. P. Mountford's stature as an interpreter of the aboriginal heritage to young and old.

Foreword by Joseph Burke, Professor of Fine Arts, University of Melbourne
Illustrations and Acknowledgements
The Beginning of the World
The Theft of Fire
The Spirit Children: The Muris and The Nagalulu
The Little Mother, Bunyil
The Story of the Echo
The Wild Cat, the Emu and the Opossum
The Pleiades and their Lovers
Kilpari and the Stolen Grinding Stone
The Kingfisher and his Two Wives
The Native Cat and the Hawk-Man
The Wild Turkey and the Emu
The Kangaroo and the Euro
The Fishermen of the Lakes
The Disobedient Kangaroo Boys
Kooboo, the Native Bear
The Opossum-Man, Kapili, and his Two Wives
The Dingoes and the Waters of Nirgo
The Moon-Man, Wira and his Revenge
The Willy-Wagtail and the Robin
The Sun-Woman and the Lizard-Men
The Moon-Man, Alinda and the Origin of Death
Journey to the Land of the Dead

About the Author: Charles Mountford was born in Hallett, South Australia and 9th May, 1890. In addition to long periods of residence among the tribes whose art and myths he has collected, he has led a number of expeditions, notably to Arnhem Land in 1948 at the joint invitation of the National Geographic Society of America and the Commonwealth Government.
He was awarded an O.B.E in 1955.

Among his academic distinctions, he holds the Diploma of Anthropology at Cambridge University, the Master of ARts degree of Adelaide University, and the Hon. D. Litt of the University of Melbourne, and he has been honoured by a number of learned journals in Australia and the USA. He has published extensively in anthropological journals and ethnological journals and has written some major monographs


Other Books by Charles P. Mountford:

Arnhem Land:

Hamnett, Ian. 'Chieftainship and Legitimacy: An Anthropological Study of Executive Law in Lesotho', published in 1975 by Routledge & Kegan Paul in hardback with dustjacket, 163pp, ISBN 0710081774. Condition: Very good clean & tidy copy. Price: £8.25, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1975, Routledge & Kegan Paul, hbk

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  • Chieftainship and Legitimacy: An Anthropological Study of Executive Law in Lesotho [top]
    Written by Ian Hamnett, Department of Sociology, University of Bristol
    Edited by Adam Kuper, University College London
    First published in 1975 in Great Britain by Routledge & Kegan Paul, in hardback with dustjacket, 163pp, with 15 pages at the rear of the book listing the Routledge Social Science Series Publications. ISBN 0710081774. Original UK retail price: £5.75 net.
    The jacket illustration of this book shows Morena Moshoeshoe, who is the founder of the Sotho nation

About the book/synopsis: The book is a study in the anthropology of law. Ian Hamnett contends that 'law' should be treated as a specific category of social fact rather than simply an aspect of 'social control' He presents the case for the recognition of 'executive law' as a type of law that is not properly to be broken down into 'judicial' and 'political' components. His argument is supported by an illuminating account of particular aspects of customary law in Lesotho, especially those affecting chieftainship succession, inheritance of property and land tenure, and is conducted in the context of leading anthropological studies of law in Africa, notably those by L. A. Fallers, Max Gluckman, and P. H. Gulliver. The discussion proceeds largely with reference to cases decided before indigenous tribunals, and a detailed case study looks at one particular dispute over chieftainship as viewed in the context of the theoretical preoccupations of the whole study.

The impact of extraneous legal concepts imported by the colonial authorities is looked at in full, and gives the reader a starting-point for a systematic consideration of the differing assumptions and methods of customary law on the one hand and the law of foreign modern societies on the other.

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Aims and Methods
1. Customary Law
2. The public law of chieftainship succession
3. The law of private succession and inheritance
4. Land tenure
5. Chiefs and the courts

Conclusion: Politics, administration and executive law
Appendix 1. Case Study: the chieftainship dispute at Patlong
Appendix 2. The Laws of Lerotholi
List of cases cited
Notes; References; Index

Map of Southern Africa and Lesotho

1. The genealogical distribution of the wards held by the sons of Mokhachane
2. The succession of Paramount Chiefs from Moshoeshoe I to the present day
3. The genealogical distribution to the principal wards held by the sons of Letsie
4. The retrospective model
5. The system of placing
6. The circumspective model
7. The mixed system
8. Mojake v. Litjamela
9. Mafetoa v. Mothebesoane
10. Judicial and administrative structure
11. The sons of Mosothoane
12. The sons of Sekake
13. Sekake v. Tautona

About the Author:
Ian Hamnett studied at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities, going on to practise at the Scottish bar for 5 years before changing his focus to anthropology, a subject that led him to spend long periods in Lesotho doing fieldwork that contributed to this book.

During the period 1965 - 1967, Dr. Hamnett was a lecturer of Social Anthropology in the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. At the time of publication of this book, he was Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bristol


Other anthropology works about Africa:

1987, Inter-State Publishing, hbk
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  • Penans: The Vanishing Nomads of Borneo [top]
    Written by Dennis Lau; Photographs by Dennis Lau
    First published in 1987 (1st Edition) in Great Britain by Inter-State Publishing Co, in hardback with dustjacket, 99pp, ISBN 9839580000
    Includes a map of Malaysia (Sarawak) on pages 6-7

About this book: This book is a compilation of photographs on the Penans in Sarawak on the Island of Borneo; all of the photographs are in black and white; many of them are incredibly beautiful and atmsopheric pictures; and all of them show an evocative social history of nomadic hunter-gatherers. The photographs were taken over a period of nearly twenty years from 1968 to 1987. The pictures are unique in the sense that they show the Penans in their original habitat - the deepest parts of the Borneo Jungle where few have ventured. The Penans are among the last of the nomadic hunter-gatherers living in the world's tropical rainforests today. In the island of Boreo, the tribe is found in both the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesia Kalimantan. Administratively, Sarawak is divided into nine divisions named after the main towns - Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu, Miri, Limbang, Sarikei, Kapit, Samarahan and Bintulu. There are two main river systems, the Rejang River which is the longest river in Sarawak, and the Baram River, the second longest. Not surprisingly, most of the natives settle in longhouses alongside these two rivers and their tributaries for their dependence on drinking water, washing and fishing. These two river systems also form the natural geographical boundaries of the distribution of the nomadic Penans. It is estimated that there are only about less than ten thousand of them living in Sarawak today [1987]. They are mainly found in the remote jungles of the Miri and Limbang divisions, and to a lesser extent in the Kapit and Bintulu divisions. They are the only true jungle dwellers among the people of Borneo. Although some of the other indigenous tribes such as the Ibans, Kenyahs, Kayans and Kelabits may live in jungle areas, they essentially follow a settled way of life in longhouses practising shifting cultivation. The true jungle Penans, however, live their lives in the forest. They have no permanent houses but keep continually on the move. With their blowpipes and hunting dogs, they roam the forest in search of wild Sago (their staple diet), while hunting animals, fishing and gathering wild fruits for their daily existence. Even the other indigenous tribes accept that the Penans are the real masters of the forest given their skills in hunting and tracking; and in making blowpipes, mats and baskets. Their knowledge of plant life, animal behaviour and jungle survival is unsurpassed.

Due to the Borneo highlands being inaccessible and the Penans being nomadic, little has been written about them and therefore little is known about them. As such, no people offer a more fascinating subject for further study than the Penans as one of the great number of minor ethnic groups that form pieces of the social jigsaw puzzle. Some earlier adventurer writers like Carl Bock (1882) described them as the true aborigines of Borneo.



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