Social Anthropology and Australian Aboriginal Studies

Social Anthropology and Australian Aboriginal Studies

Robert Tonkinson, Ronald M. Berndt

Language: English

Pages: 290

ISBN: 0855751894

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A collection of independent assessments on a range of topics relating to the social anthropology of Aboriginal studies.
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female maturation, and their counter-position to ideas about male maturation. Westerners tend to think of maturation as something which happens naturally, a biological process. But of course many other peoples do not act upon an assumption of natural, independent development, treating it instead as something that can be manipulated. Many accounts of Australian Aborigines have mentioned how closely initiation of girls is associated with marriage (eg Berndt and Berndt 1964, 182). That is, for a

countrymen’, those who potentially share a camp and cooperate in the food quest. Land owning groups overlap in membership and are bilateral in composition. People make claims to country on a wide variety of bases including conception, initiation, birth, father’s conception, mother’s conception, residence and death of a close relative (Myers 1986). Myers’ account reveals not only the results of a change in perspective, but also the degree of variation in Aboriginal relations to land. SYSTEM

for studies of law. Williams makes an analytical distinction among several major aspects of the study of Aboriginal law in order to clarify historical connections and the salient anthropological issues. She considers first the problematic relation between politics and administration, by focusing on the notion of government, where markedly contrasting depictions (from anarchy to gerontocracy) have engendered much debate. This leads her to an examination of rules of law and procedures of dispute

family exogamy. The fourth type is direct exchange renewable in consecutive generations, exemplified by the Kariera. Direct exchange renewable in alternate generations is the fifth type, exemplified by eastern Arnhem Land, Mara and Anyula, Aranda and Nyul-Nyul. The sixth type is direct exchange renewable every third generation, exemplified by the Bardl. Turner goes on to hypothesise processes of change from Kariera to Aranda types, and characterises Karadjerl systems as transitional. Similarly

Peterson, Peter Sutton and Robert Tonkinson for their comments on earlier drafts of this chapter. 2 Stanner (1933-34), Thomson (1949) and Kaberry (1939) are outstanding exceptions. 3 It is Instructive in this context to quote Meehan’s discussion as to why archaeologists have undertaken such research: ‘Within Australia, anthropological studies have focused on social structure, kinship, religion and politics. In the many monographs on these topics, the ecology of the people being studied has

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