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What do the film Sweet Country, Warlpiri kinship and Johnny Cash's

What do the film Sweet Country, Warlpiri kinship and Johnny Cash's "Peace in the Valley" have in common? Frank Baarda explains.

Everyone has others one is obligated to (has to care for) and others who care for one. No man or woman is an Island. ‘Skin’ classification guides the nature and intensity of relationships. A feature of the system that appeals to many ‘westerners’ is “mother in law avoidance” In former stricter times it was absolutely forbidden for one’s mother-in-law to be addressed or to be in the same room. It still happens that someone might wait outside a shop because “there is no room”.

"Better than Roy and HG!!" - Stewie O'Connell calls the footy at the Yuendumu Sports Weekend

One fella came up to me at the end of the second day and said the comedy that came out of the commentators trying to keep up with whose who on the field was “better than Roy and HG!!” The starting point in any footy commentary is to get a good team sheet in numerical order. The challenge out bush is that there are often three players wearing the same number, several players with no number and some players with no guernsey at all. That’s when you have to get creative and write the player’s name next to “red boots”; “barefoot”; “topknot”; “big tummy” etc.

Requiem for a Monster, by John Birmingham

Requiem for a Monster, by John Birmingham

All those ratfucks understood was strength and fear and the simple joy of driving their enemies before them. There was no schadenfreude in seeing Bjelke-Petersen humiliated before the Fitzgerald Inquiry when he was unable to explain what was meant by the doctrine of the separation of powers, because all it did was hammer home the truth that we'd been comprehensively arse-raped by a man with the ethics of a starving sewer rat, and the political instincts of a sabre-toothed baboon with a really scorching methamphetamine addiction.

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.

Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

The workshop allowed for clarification of the rather confusing overlap of three bird names,  karrkkanj, ngalmirlangmirlang and wunwunbu. Karrkkanj, it turns out, is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon.

Maypal, mayali’ ga wanja – tales from the Yolngu tidal zone

Maypal, mayali’ ga wanja – tales from the Yolngu tidal zone

Maypal is a complete part of Yolngu diet and it is free from the sea—celebrated in songs, dance and stories, integral to their world. In fact, maypal is an utterly fundamental part of the Yolngu world: Bentley James

Essential documents from Aboriginal Australia: 2 - the 1998 Barunga Statement

Essential documents from Aboriginal Australia: 2 - the 1998 Barunga Statement

"Sovereignty became treaty, treaty became reconciliation and reconciliation became nothing. … We will dig a hole and bury it. It will be a protest but I also hope that it can represent a new start for Aboriginal people”: Galarrwuy Yunupingu, 2006

Matthew van Roden, you train your child - a review by Koulla Roussos

Matthew van Roden, you train your child - a review by Koulla Roussos

For van Roden, growing up within a Pentecostal Christian family, biblical verses and ideas were imprinted at a young age. “The spanking paddle, a manifestation of scriptural text, held within it the promise of keeping one’s children on the straight and narrow, a tool to guide them through the follies of youth; to temper the demonstrations of original sin. Disobedience of parents was rebellion against God and this scriptural inscribed spanking paddle would play its part in the righteous life.”

In Deus ex Dynamita. A Kalymnian Easter in Darwin

In Deus ex Dynamita. A Kalymnian Easter in Darwin

In Darwin, the Kalymnian dynamite ritual signifies the collective will of a small people defying the global trend towards homogenisation and celebrating their collective individuality with a bang, not a whimper.

Frontiers of feminist advocacy in the NT: cowboys, missionaries and some modern ladies

Frontiers of feminist advocacy in the NT: cowboys, missionaries and some modern ladies

Here’s the news - women risk their health and wellbeing every day by simply managing their fertility though contraceptive, pregnancy, birth and menopause options. All are risky. It is women who experience teenage pregnancies, hormonal related illnesses and cancers, maternal sickness and death so please give us some credit.