Even before the arrival of the Australoids (alias the 'Blackfellows'), several waves of migrants had already come to the World's Southernmost Continent inhabitable by man. One such group was the Negritos, or Mimi people. Traces of their earlier occupancy of Mainland Australia can still be found in the Northern Territory, and near Cairns in Queensland.
Thereafter, various tribes of Australoids (today often called 'Aboriginals'), arrived at different times from the north or from the northwest. They displaced not only one another, but also finally drove off the Mimi Negritos from the Mainland and into Tasmania — where the last full-bloods finally died out about a century and a half ago. Today, there are at least 4000 living mixed-blood descendants1 of the Black Tasmanian Negrito or Mimi people. Their ancestors were altogether quite distinct in culture, language and race2 from those of the present Black Australoids who displaced them.
Already in 1898, Prof. Dr. Alan Carroll (M.A.., D.Litt., Ph.D., D.Sc., &c.) — one of the World's greatest ethnologists — published a paper in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society of Australasia. Dr. Carroll stated: "The present black people [viz. the Mainland Black Australians] belong to the neolithic…stone-age and culture…. Previous and older blacks [the ancestors of the Black Tasmanians]…were in Australia in the palaeolithic age and culture…. They…were…very different in all ways to the Australian Blacks" alias those today often called Aborigines. The latter then killed the
1 P. Hoffman: The Tasmanian Paradox (in Discover, March 1993, p. 4). 2 See the art. Aborigines in the Australian Encyclopaedia (Grolier, Sydney, 1977, I p. 25): "The Tasmanian language group is probably unrelated to the [mainland] Australian languages.” Compare too UCLA Physiology Professor J. Diamond’s art. Ten Thousand Years of Solitude, (in Discover, March 1993, pp. 50f cf. P. 4): “Tasmanians differed from the Mainlanders…, having woolly rather than straight or wavy hair…. Their hair and skin were very dark. They had deep-set eyes overhung by brow ridges; their nose was broad and separated from their brow by a deep groove. Their mouth was wide, the lips full; their cheekbones were prominent…. Our information about their languages is fragmentary, but they spoke five or more languages or dialects with no obvious relationship to Aboriginal Australian languages or to any other languages in the world…. If you ask any anthropologist to summarize in one phrase what was most distinctive about the Tasmanians, the answer will surely be ‘the most primitive people still alive in recent centuries’…. Most Tasmanians lived on the coast and yet ate no fish.” Here and hereinafter, all emphases are my own — F.N. Lee. Also see too the art. Aborigines (Australian) in The Concise Encyclopedia of Australia and New Zealand, Horwitz Graeme, Cammeray NSW, 1982 ed., I pp. 136f (hereinafter referred to as CEANZ), which mentions some theories that the Black Tasmanians were negritos or pygmies, and which itself claims that “their arts and crafts were not as varied and well-developed as those of the mainland people. The Tasmanians did not possess the boomerang, spearthrower, ground-edged axe or the dingo, and they abandoned the eating of fish some several thousand years ago…. Tasmanian languages differed from the Australian.” However, unlike the very black-skinned and woollyhaired Black Tasmanians, the Mainland Aborigines have a “skin colour [which] varies from light to chocolate-brown; hair from brown to black, and from straight to curly; [while] in Central Australia blonde hair is common among children up to puberty, when it darkens."
THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION
men and appropriated the womenfolk of the former.3