The best account yet of what actually happens when an Aboriginal community must cope with white newcomers
This is the story of the Yanyuwa, whose traditional country is the islands known as the Sir Edward Pellew Group, and the adjacent coastal areas of the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is a story, indeed many stories, told to Richard Baker over thirteen years.
The Yanyuwa were visited by Maccassan trepangers long before Europeans came to Australia. Hence, this remote community has had a longer history of contact with non-Aboriginal people than most other Aboriginal groups. In many ways, the account presented here challenges conventional views of the impact of contact between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. It also demonstrates the importance of the past in shaping the present and reveals what is meant by 'land is life'
In telling the story of the Yanyuwa, Richard Baker brings to bear a remarkable array of skills: geography, archaeology, knowledge of sacred sites, a flair for oral history and a commitment to gathering it, painstakingly over many years, in ways that do not compromise the trust of his informants. The result is an account which is fair and balanced, humane and credible.
Richard Baker's career includes work as an archaeologist, oral historian, museum curator and geographer. He teaches geography at the Australian National University and is a member of the boards of Aboriginal History and Ethics, Place and Environment.
Table Of Contents:
List of figures and tables
List of maps
PART I The Study and its Setting
2 Two guiding principles
3 Research methods and problems
4 Yanyuwa land and life
PART II Phases of Yanyuwa Contact History
5 Macassan times
6 'Wild times'
7 'Police times' and 'war time'
8 'Welfare times'
9 'Cattle times'
10 'Land rights (Gough Whitlam) times' and 'these (tourist) times'
PART III Themes and Trends
11 'Coming in'
12 Aboriginal influences on Europeans
14 Dependency revisited
15 Changes in Yanyuwa land and life
16 Different ways of seeing the Yanyuwa past
Paperback - C format
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