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By Tony Swain

The various parts ascribed to conventional Aboriginal ideals and practices are the results of touch with exterior peoples--Melanesians and Indonesians, in addition to Europeans. This arguable and provocative ebook is the 1st designated and continent-wide learn of the influence of outsiders on Australian Aboriginal worldviews. the writer separates out a typical middle of spiritual trust that 1111 precontact spirituality of Australian Aborigines extra taken with position than with any philosophy of time or origins. a spot for Strangers investigates Aboriginal delusion, ritual, cosmology and philosophy, and in addition examines social association, subsistence styles and cultural swap. it is going to be of serious curiosity to readers in anthropology, spiritual experiences, comparative philosophy, Aboriginal reviews and Australian background.

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Extra resources for A Place for Strangers: Towards a History of Australian Aboriginal Being

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Time began when these supernatural beings awakened from their sleep. They broke through the surface of the earth . . '64 Strehlow's error is perhaps primarily a stylistic one, but the fact remains that on scanning the author's less generalised accounts it becomes apparent that the Aranda themselves do not present Ancestral activities as a single orchestrated event. To accommodate the reader, Strehlow unites a multitude of independent Events into an Event, but he would have served his purpose better had he instead attempted to derive a principle of Law behind separate Events.

Further to the north, however, the remodelling seems to have been more complete, and so is probably not the post-European phenomenon Elkin proposed. Nonetheless, the evidence for two principles is still quite apparent and thus neither can the transformation be exceedingly ancient. My own guess is that it should be dated to the period of first contacts with pre-European outsiders in northern Australia - a thesis I will expand upon in later chapters. More complex is the question of why contacts with non-Aboriginal people would encourage a shift from place-based to patri-lineagebased orders.

This would in fact occur spontaneously were families to reside in the vicinity of the husband's spirit-abode, but the widespread incidence of elaborate practices for 'finding' a child's true spiritual identity indicates there is considerable ambiguity involved and hence the shift to patrilineality would of necessity have been a case of conscious interpretation to favour children belonging to their fathers' place. In some regions, patrilineality in fact appears to take precedence over the site as an ontological principle.

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