In order that we may have a clear conception of the framework of the cultures in which the belief we are to study functions, it is imperative at this stage to consider a type of such a cultural framework. For this purpose no Australian culture can serve to better advantage than that of the Arunta tribe of Central Australia. This tribe was for the first time fully described in the pioneer work of Australian ethnology by Baldwin Spencer and F. J. Gillen,l and it is upon the revised version of that work2 that the following descriptive account is for the most part based. In what follows I have attempted to provide the background for our future discussions of the conceptional beliefs of the natives, and have of necessity been constrained to limit myself to categorically pu t essentials.