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Aboriginal & Islander Art

Why are the secrets of the Pitjantjara people for sale in Adelaide?

Why are the secrets of the Pitjantjara people for sale in Adelaide?

Foster and Others v Mountford and Rigby Ltd 14 ALR 71 (1976) was an unusual case in a number of respects. Firstly, the plaintiffs were members of an unincorporated association (the Pitjantjara Council) that represented the Pitjantjara people, who live on large tracts of land that spans the south-western corner of the Northern Territory, the north-west of South Australia and the far central east of Western Australia ...

Blow-flies,

Blow-flies, "honey" and secret recipes: the great NAIDOC Blachung cook-off of 2019

"The prawn paste is the base of any proper Blachung of course but a lot of people use really different things. Some use chicken giblets, turtle guts, goose giblets. All sorts of stuff. Some of it is very, very hot, some is mild and some has more flavour than heat. I like a lot of heat and a lot of flavour!": Nigel Browne, Larrakia Development Corporation.

Art in translation: Murray Garde and John Mawurndjul

Art in translation: Murray Garde and John Mawurndjul

One of the most troublesome subjects for interpreters who work with Australian languages is finding acceptable ways to refer to the concept of a sacred site. In Kuninjku, these are known as Djang. In central Australia, the term Tjukurrpa is becoming more well known by non-Indigenous people. These terms involve more than just a location, but also ideas about deep history, the period of creation and the association between specific groups of people and totemic aspects which have their historical focus in these places. The term ‘Dreaming’ is so inadequate and misleading and so many Indigenous people are starting to reject this term, although others continue to use it.

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

This is a re-post of an article first published in the February 2018 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) by the Northern Land Council. Birds are closely connected to Wardaman culture. Many Wardaman dances have been adapted from bird movements and much Wardaman rock art depicts birds.

Book-burnings of our times. Clinton Walker's Deadly Woman Blues gets pulped ...

Book-burnings of our times. Clinton Walker's Deadly Woman Blues gets pulped ...

There are no winners in any of this—a group of women are (rightfully it seems) aggrieved by Walker's (admitted) failures in research and diligence, a respected author has suffered a terrible fall from grace and none of us (well, most of us) will get to read what is/was without doubt a valuable contribution to our shared musical history.

First pics - Qantas VH-ZND Emily Kame Kngwarreye lands at Alice Springs.

First pics - Qantas VH-ZND Emily Kame Kngwarreye lands at Alice Springs.

I like pretty planes … and this is one of the prettiest I’ve seen in a long while … Here are the first pictures on the new Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landing just before dawn at Alice Springs airport after a direct flight from the Boeing base in Seattle, USA. Following text is from the Qantas […]

Graverobbers for God - AIATSIS, the Vatican and anthropologists on the Tiwi islands

Graverobbers for God - AIATSIS, the Vatican and anthropologists on the Tiwi islands

Now after the Catholic church has spent over a century stripping us of everything they could get their thieving hands on including our culture and our children, they have managed to find themselves another role to play. To add insult to injury they now present themselves to the world as the preservers and keepers of Tiwi culture.

Punks, junkies, bikies and an iconic poster - From Uluru to Wollongong and back

Punks, junkies, bikies and an iconic poster - From Uluru to Wollongong and back

Wollongong, and in no small way the junkies, punks, bikies—and barmaids—of that town, had made an unsung contribution to the success of the Uluru handback. They had proved to one Anangu man that Australians of good will can be found in the most unexpected places.

Talking Birds and Fire at the Barrapunta Bird Workshop, Arnhem Land, May 2017

Talking Birds and Fire at the Barrapunta Bird Workshop, Arnhem Land, May 2017

Karrkkanj is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon, Professor Evans explains. The Peregrine Falcon can also be known more specifically as ngalmirlangmirlang and the Brown Falcon as wunwunbu; these are said to be husband and wife. Karrkkanj is also ritually significant as the one who founded the Lorrkkon mortuary cycle.

Independence day for the Mimal Rangers of Arnhem Land!

Independence day for the Mimal Rangers of Arnhem Land!

Wednesday October 25 marks a new era for Indigenous landowners and managers as Mimal Land Management Aboriginal Corporation celebrates its independence. Mimal has been on a long journey to independence since the inception of Mimal Rangers almost 20 years ago.