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German Ethnography in Australia

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Book Series: Monographs in Anthropology ISBN: 9781760461317 9781760461324 Year: DOI: 10.22459/GEA.09.2017 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Ethnology --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-11-14 11:02:24
License: ANU Press

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Abstract

The contribution of German ethnography to Australian anthropological scholarship on Aboriginal societies and cultures has been limited, primarily because few people working in the field read German. But it has also been neglected because its humanistic concerns with language, religion and mythology contrasted with the mainstream British social anthropological tradition that prevailed in Australia until the late 1960s. The advent of native title claims, which require drawing on the earliest ethnography for any area, together with an increase in research on rock art of the Kimberley region, has stimulated interest in this German ethnography, as have some recent book translations. Even so, several major bodies of ethnography, such as the 13 volumes on the cultures of northeastern South Australia and the seven volumes on the Aranda of the Alice Springs region, remain inaccessible, along with many ethnographically rich articles and reports in mission archives. In 18 chapters, this book introduces and reviews the significance of this neglected work, much of it by missionaries who first wrote on Australian Aboriginal cultures in the 1840s. Almost all of these German speakers, in particular the missionaries, learnt an Aboriginal language in order to be able to document religious beliefs, mythology and songs as a first step to conversion. As a result, they produced an enormously valuable body of work that will greatly enrich regional ethnographies.

"Me Write Myself"

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Book Series: Australian History ISBN: 9781925495638 9781925523867 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Monash University Publishing Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 102633
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-19 11:21:02
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Exiles, lost souls, remnants of a dying race ... The fate of the First Nations peoples of Van Diemens Land is one of the most infamous chapters in Australian history. The men, women and children exiled to Flinders Island in the 1830s and 40s have often been written about, but never allowed to speak for themselves. This book aims to change that. Documents penned by the exiles during their 15 years at the settlement Wybalenna offer a compelling counter-narrative to traditional representations of a hopeless, dispossessed, illiterate people's final days. The exiles did not see themselves as prisoners, but as a Free People. Seen through their own writing, the community at Wybalenna was vibrant, complex and evolving. Rather than a depressed people simply waiting for death, their own words reveal a politically astute community engaged in a 15 year campaign for their own freedom. This book tells a compelling story that will profoundly affect understandings of Tasmanian and Australian history.

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