The portion of this book called 'Primal Law' is the work of the late Mr. James Jasper Atkinson. Born in India, of Scottish parents (his mother being the paternal aunt of the present editor), Mr. Atkinson was educated (1857-1861) at Loretto School, then managed by Messrs. Langhome. While still young he settled on certain stations in New Caledonia bequeathed to him by his father, and, except for visits to Australia and a visit to England, he lived and died in the French colony. His ingenious mind was much exercised by the singular laws and customs of the natives of the New Caledonian Archipelago and the adjacent isles. These peoples have been little studied by competent European observers-that is, in New Caledonia. Mr. Atkinson wrote an account of native manners before he had any acquaintance with the works of modern anthropologists, such as Mr. Tylor, Mr. McLennan, Lord Avebury, and others.