Being Black: Aboriginal Cultures in Settled Australia
1 Jan 1991
Aboriginal Studies Press
It is a common belief that Aboriginal people of predominantly mixed descent, living in Australian cities, country towns and Aboriginal communities, have lost their culture. Often lacking the more obvious markers of Aboriginal Identity, such as ceremonies and the general use of an Indigenous language, they are regarded as not being 'real' Aborigines. Recent anthropological research refutes these misconceptions. Through a continuity of community, even when dispersed within large cities, Aboriginal people have maintained continuity of Identity and culture quite distinct from that of Australians of European or other ethnic origin, and with many features in common with the cultures of Aborigines living in more remote areas.This book brings together the results of research by anthropologists who have worked in urban and rural communities, in 'settled' Australia: south-east Queensland, the coast and hinterland of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the southwest of Western Australia and in Darwin in the Northern Territory. The chapters document many aspects of Aboriginal social life and its development: the bases of Identity, the extensive ties of family, the structure of community and patterns of travel; responses to domination; styles of socialisation; ways of speaking; rules of swearing and fighting; economic transactions, beliefs and feelings about country; and attitudes to the past. The volume shows in detail what makes the cultures of Aboriginal Australians so distinctive.