THE swarthy aborigines of Australia are an odd, intelligent lot whose dress (occasional paint and feathers) affords maximum ornamentation with minimum constriction, whose arsenal includes the fabled boomerang and whose mythology is more complicated than Carl Jung? On Sale in the U.S. last week was a handsome book published by the New York Graphic Society and UNESCO (Australia-Aboriginal Paintings; $15) which showed that aboriginal art, too, has surprising qualities.

During Austrailia's Stone Age, which Captain Cook doomed in 1770, the aborigines painted on cliffs and in caves. Today their descendants explain that ancient...

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