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By Diane J. Austin-Broos

The Arrernte humans of vital Australia first encountered Europeans within the 1860s as teams of explorers, pastoralists, missionaries, and employees invaded their land. in the course of that point the Arrernte have been the topic of extreme interest, and the earliest bills in their lives, ideals, and traditions have been a seminal effect on eu notions of the primitive. the 1st examine to handle the Arrernte’s modern situation, Arrernte current, Arrernte Past additionally records the enormous sociocultural alterations they've got skilled during the last hundred years.

Employing ethnographic and archival examine, Diane Austin-Broos lines the historical past of the Arrernte as they've got transitioned from a society of hunter-gatherers to individuals of the Hermannsburg undertaking neighborhood to their current, marginalized place within the smooth Australian economic system. whereas she concludes that those wrenching structural shifts resulted in the violence that now marks Arrernte groups, she additionally brings to mild the strong acts of mind's eye that experience sustained a continual experience of Arrernte id.

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Extra info for Arrernte Present, Arrernte Past: Invasion, Violence, and Imagination in Indigenous Central Australia

Example text

Joyleen was flanked by women relatives who listened as she spoke. First she identified Aremala, brother-in-law to a male antecedent, and then Kwalba, her mother’s father. 12 In short, Joyleen proposed that notwithstanding her association with the south, her family had links into Western Arrernte country. During the early 1890s, both Aremala and Kwalba worked for Constable W. H. Willshire, whose station was located at Alitera (Boggy Hole) south of Ntaria and north of Irbmankara. Troopers were kept there to stop cattle stealing, and Joyleen’s relatives were among their guides.

It has replaced earlier accounts of the “nakedness” of indigenous people in the face of whites and also of exclusively male intercultural engagements (see also Bell 1983). Limited employment for men at Ntaria and the fact that Tjuwanpa Outstation Resource Centre (TORC) stands across the river, and the Central Land Council (CLC) in Alice Springs, has meant the feminization of a school-shop-clinic-church domain at Ntaria. Joanna’s rendering of the past reflected these conditions. In her account, the “big hole behind two trees” referred to the place 40 ch a pter 1 Figure 2.

The texts . . both personalised nature and naturalised humanity, portraying the ‘dark continent’ as a vacant stage” (Comaroff and Comaroff 1991, 172). Still, although the Comaroffs’ account fits Lohe’s description, in fact his story reflects morecomplex issues. As I will argue in the following chapters, Ntaria/Hermannsburg drew its uniqueness from the fact that Arrernte and missionaries together, in their unequal positions, strove to make a local world on the periphery of the state. Through both their scholarship and their relative intimacy with indigenous people, some of the missionaries became also the Arrernte’s most respectful white acolytes and thereby surpassed the ethnographic achievements of many a university-based anthropologist.

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