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Values of a bi-cultural society in Alice Springs

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Values of a bi-cultural society in Alice Springs ...

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    Values of a bi-cultural society in Alice Springs

    by Assoc Prof Paul Memmott

    Aboriginal Environments Research Centre

    University of Queensland

Mwerre Anetyeke Mparntwele

Introduction thThe intellectual property of the Arrernte began to be internationally exported from Central Australia in the late 19

    century. Central Australian Aboriginal knowledge export has successfully continued in different media forms ever since, albeit with gradually increasing control over the economic terms of such export commodities by Aboriginal interests. My presentation argues that these knowledge exports must be evaluated in the context of cultural values, and further, that an appreciation of these same values should inform contemporary Alice Springs society and its public attitude to social problems and issues, including substance abuse, violence, unemployment, public place dwelling, poor health and territorial separatism. Unfortunately the political will to apply Indigenous knowledge and values to addressing social problems has lagged far behind the efforts at exploitation and exportation of such knowledge.

    At one level this paper deals with the application of an appreciation of Aboriginal culture in its complex modern transforming state and how it has been applied in addressing social problems. At another level, it places these social issues in a socio-political context of cultural relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

Arrernte knowledge as an early export commodity 1The Arrernte are arguably the most famous Aboriginal „tribe‟ or „nation‟ in Australia. Their international fame 2commenced with the writings of Baldwin Spencer and Frank Gillen in the 1890s and the ensuing flow of

    correspondence and comment between scholars in London, Paris and New York, the then global centres of power. Spencer and Gillen‟s seminal books of Arrernte ethnography impacted on the theorization of many European and American scholars in the early 1900s, especially anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists such as Tylor, Frazer, Durkheim, Mauss, Malinowski, Freud, and Roheim. Spencer and Gillen‟s writings made a significant contribution to the overthrow of the evolutionist theory of anthropology and its displacement by diffusionism, functionalism and structuralism (Morphy 1988,1996). Their models were ethnographically founded upon the Arrernte cosmological and religious knowledge system.

In Spencer & Gillen‟s time the payment in kind for the export of Arrernte cosmology and cosmogony was in the form of 3foodstuffs and simple goods through barter, with no serious recompense for intellectual property rights. Understanding

    the context and value of the gifts of sacred knowledge to these two foreigners in Arrernte lands is still the subject of sociological and historical analysis. In one context the transmission of such knowledge could be construed of as religious sacrilege and there is some evidence that certain Aboriginal informants were executed for the relinquishing of 4knowledge or sacra [sacred objects] to white men. Tim Rowse has argued that misunderstandings about the cross-

    cultural nature of transactions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people continued in Central Australia well into the thmid-20 century (1996:112). Some would say they still do.

    The social science literature in Aboriginal Australia contains unexplained and unexplored issue of cross-cultural notions of the values of property rights and the construct of possession. As Spencer and Stirling came to ponder in 1894, what is 5a cross-culturally sound way of reckoning the value of things in cross-cultural transactions? Social properties and

    values may attach to objects in different ways for different cultural groups.

Values of sharing and reciprocity

    Aboriginal people are commonly characterized as belonging to a „sharing culture‟. Certain kinship relations obligate particular individuals to make gifts to one another, or permit certain persons to have unquestionable access to various material items and resources that were in the possession of categories of kinspeople (Elkin 1938:69-71). In addition to the trade and barter of goods there were other types of material exchange between Aboriginal groups which were for non-economic purposes. For example objects were exchanged in special rituals to settle grievances, maintain the balance of exchange, and thereby preserve social relations (Elkin 1931). Many of these customs still persist to various degrees in both Central and Northern Australia.

    Despite these values of sharing and forms of exchange, there is certainly evidence that not all things are shared and people acquire personal attachments to certain objects. To this extent one can differentiate between personal property and social property. Similarly one can differentiate between personal sharing amongst selected kinspersons and community 6sharing or the spreading of resources across the whole community. It is this central ambiguity about the status of things

    as personal or social property and the associated responsibility and control concerning such things, that has, I believe, been a central but hidden theme of a range of problems perceived as perplexing by government personnel in Aboriginal Affairs.

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    The Aboriginal construct of person 7The above issue in turn relates to the construct of „person‟ or „self‟. The rigid set of assumptions that Westerners have

    about the innate nature of the 'person' as a clearly differentiated and self-willed individual of independent action can be a powerful barrier to cross-cultural understandings. „Person‟ is in fact a cultural construct, whose perceived meaning varies from group to group. Unlike in Western cultures, where the notion of „self‟ is a morally self-responsible,

    independent entity having a unity of body, soul and conscience, in many other cultural groups the notion of a person is dependant upon other entities for his or her nature and actions, e.g. close associations with totemic spirits, connections with other people (alive, dead or yet-to-be-born) as well as the wider clan or tribe, or with symbolic and powerful names and associated objects, marks, rituals, etc. Many of these things are believed to be independent of the individual, eventually shaping him or her and then being transmitted or perpetuated under certain conditions to other individuals who will be imbued or reincarnated with such character-giving properties.

    The traditional sense of „self‟ amongst many Aboriginal people in Central Australia involves being legally bound together in a state of close relatedness by external authority founded in inviolatable religious principles (the Dreamtime Law). Social unity is maintained by fear of public shame that “effectively effaces egotistical aspects of individuality.” Important

    socially prescribed components of self are belonging together with kin and identifying with group totems shared by 8particular relatives, both 1iving, deceased and awaiting to be born. (Myers 1986:Ch. 4.)

Social problems of housing

    In these circumstances where the sense of self is not strongly developed in relation to objects (a lack of strong norms about individual control and possession), the introduction of a rentable house with its Western assumptions concerning individual tenant responsibility does not always fit easily into the social norms of object relations. The house may become social property without anybody being able to exclusively accept an individual role of sole responsibility for care, maintenance and rental payment. Identity of self for many Aboriginal people may be more in terms of their country and its Dreamings (or Story Places) rather in terms of past residences. Here we see the potential for a two-way 9misunderstanding of one another‟s values about material objects, houses, and sense of self-identity.

Strehlow’s gifts of Arrernte knowledge

    In his 1947 book Aranda Traditions, Theodor („Ted‟) Strehlow took up where Spencer and Gillen left off by examining

    Arrernte sacred histories and tywerenge ownership. From 1932 his research had progressed logically from the study of

    language to the study of songs, to that of Arrernte religion and sacred history. After „collecting‟ 5,070 song verses, over 10100 sacred histories and recording 972 sacred rituals, Strehlow produced his “Songs of Central Australia” (1971) which 11has been described as an epic and magisterial work of ethnographic research. Some might see the Arrernte knowledge

    as a gift to Shrehlow, whilst others might see it as a gift from Strehlow to non-Aboriginal Australians and European cultures. Indeed this is at the crux of understanding under what conditions Strehlow obtained his knowledge and sacra from Aboriginal people and what responsibility he was ultimately authorized to have in the use and custodianship of such knowledge and sacra…an issue that has been well debated by others.

     12One of Strehlow‟s contributions to Western anthropology, is a synthesized model of Aboriginal people-environment

    and social relations, best formulated in his two papers “Culture, Social Structure and Environment in Aboriginal Central 13Australia” (1965) and “Geography and the Totemic Landscape in Central Australia: a Functional Study” (1970). 14These two works also provide the beginnings of an understanding amongst Western scholars of Aboriginal religious and cosmological knowledge as a form of social capital.

The Value of Social Capital in Aboriginal Central Australia

    Social capital is defined sociologically as being generated from social networks characterised by norms, particularly those of trust and reciprocity as well as norms of unity (a sense of belonging to a group or community) (Western et al 2002).

    Did social capital exist in traditional Central Australian Aboriginal society? It most certainly did although it has not been systematically researched. There were many daily activities that required levels of social co-operation that went beyond the obligations of the formal structure and networks of Aboriginal social organisation. Most striking, were the widespread large gatherings of people for the purposes of ceremony, trade, intermarriage, rituals to resolve grievances and other emotional imbalances (Elkin 1931) and joint economic activity, such as large-scale fireburns and game drives. All of these events require social leadership, goodwill and co-operation to operationalise people into large-scale co-ordinated patterns of activity.

    Indeed, the very independent and equitable nature of land-owning groups within an overarching system of religious philosophy, together with their relatively small size, denied any hierarchical power structure that could achieve regional goals, but rather forced local groups to rely on forms of social capital to achieve such. Thus amongst the Arrernte, Strehlow (1970:129) wrote:-

    “…since all major totemic sites [pmara kutata] in these [nyinangka] section areas [estates] were deemed to

    rank equally in importance, and since these major sites were linked according to the nature of their totems with

    the totemic sites of other subgroups and even of other tribes, not one of them was fitted in any sense to act as a

    sort of central „capital‟ site for a whole tribal subgroup or a whole tribe.”

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    Here Strehlow has linked Aboriginal Social Capital as a part of „Natural Capital‟. This draws upon and is defined by a belief system of Dreamings, totems, story places, sacred histories and fertility concepts about plant and animal species, and which also in turn contributes in a positive way to Aboriginal constructs of „person‟ or „self‟. The Indigenous concept of Social Capital is therefore not easily analysable separate to Natural Capital; the two are mutually inter-dependent in an epistemological sense. The elements of the religious philosophy are also embedded in another Arrernte export commodity, paintings.

Central Australian art as a value-laden export commodity

    Albert Namatjira began painting in watercolours at Hermannsburg Mission (now Ntaria) in c1935. Before his death in 1959, Albert Namatjira had earned 50,000 pounds from his painting, was awarded the Queen‟s Coronation medal and met Queen Elizabeth during her 1954 Royal Tour. The names of those in Namatjira‟s school of Arrernte landscape

    watercolourists are campside by-words in Central Australia today…Pareroultja, Raberaba, Inkamala, Maketarinja,

    Ebatarinja…and the ongoing work of this school forms an important component of the international art exports of Central

    Australia. (Strehlow 1961:15, Hardy et al 1992.) Although Namatjira‟s capacity to overtly depict his own Western

    Arrernte sacred sites was limited by the pressures of change from the Lutheran mission and wider white society, the succeeding generations of Arrernte watercolourists working since the 1980s have been free to express their landscape subjects and their religious knowledge systems (Green 1992:286-290). The watercolours today cannot be easily separated from their „stories‟ or sacred histories.

    In a separate inventive art event, a range of aspects of central Australian religion were conceptually and visually packaged in the genre of Western Desert acrylic painting that emerged from the Papunya Tula Artists. These exported forms of colourist abstraction have drawn such international fame for the Australian art market, that their work now forms part of the „pull‟ factor for international tourists to the Centre. The links of individuals and groups through Dreamings to

    country and the traditions of the Aboriginal land tenure system are inextricably woven with social organization which in turn provides a set of values that can be drawn upon in addressing social problems.

Drawing Aboriginal values from country and social organization in Central Australia

    Customary Aboriginal networks are relatively strong and continue to operate in Alice Springs. These include kinship, social classes, language group identity, land-owning clans or descent groups, and sociospatial residential/ceremonial groups. These various group structures also generate multiple co-existing systems of social identity. Elders and clan heads more or less continue to maintain their customary leadership roles. Respect is still seen as a key social value in Central Australian communities, one which is inherent in many aspects of local Aboriginal law. The pervasive nature of kinship is the social „glue‟ that facilitates the sharing of many Aboriginal values. Despite the diversity of language groups, a feature of these customary systems of social organisation and indeed, social capital, is their structural inter-relation and inter-locking which implies a high degree of mixing of networks and consequently a very high degree of access to and participation in such networks.

    A measure of the combined resilience of the traditional organization system is the capacity of the community through its multiple networks to respond to serious social and leadership problems and to address social change, often involving expressions of customary knowledge about country. As a measure of the social capacity of Aboriginal networks, we can examine community actions which have occurred in response to stressful situations and without any (or with very limited) assistance from white staff or outside agencies. There are far too many examples to cite here, but some notable examples in Central Australia include the establishment of many organizations such as Yiyerenye School and the Night Patrol, and 15the “Warlpiri invention of television”. Central Australian communities have coped with cultural changes by drawing

    upon traditionally derived networks and norms and applying them to the more formal „whitefella style‟ networks.

The methodology for an authority structure to implement social reform

    Various programmes have been mounted since the 1980s to counter the problems of substance abuse and violence in Alice Springs. One devised by the Town Campers during 1991-92 was the creation of an authority structure, the Four Corners Council; reflecting the need to create new, as well as to reaffirm old standards of behaviour, to acculturate the town campers and their visitor population with the new behavioural norms, and somehow to maintain these standards in an active process of social reform. One of the initial difficulties was finding or creating an authority group who would be respected and thereby legitimised and empowered by the Town Campers to act.

    Historically, Aboriginal social authority in pre-contact Central Australia was based in totemic geography, and vested its 16power in a group of Elders. This structure was revived by Wenten Rubuntja, one of the most creative-minded members of the Four Corners Council. He based the Council on the sacred site of Emily Gap or Ntherrke. In the Dreamtime, five

    different groups of travelling Caterpillar Beings travelled to this site from different directions and thus linked a large number of surrounding language groups in Central Australia (an event celebrated at the Yiperenye Festival). The name 'Four Corners' therefore symbolises pan-tribal unity based in the geography of the Aboriginal Law.

    This construct gave the Council a capacity to communicate with elders from other tribes or language groups in the outer part of the region, and to ask for their support and assistance, particularly in dealing with their own people when they came to Alice Springs. This capacity was further based on reciprocal behavioural responsibilities between the Central C:\convert\temp\70551538.doc page 3

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    Arrernte and other surrounding tribes which were in turn based on the ceremonial ties created through the travels of Dreamtime ancestors. The adherence to Aboriginal Law and the recovery of influence over young men through the revitalisation of ceremony and initiation culture was one of a number of methods used by the Council to strengthen leadership and social cohesion.

    Through the valuing of social behaviour as a distinct aspect of 'culture' the process of social reform could be seen primarily as one of cultural maintenance and development by encouraging culturally appropriate behaviour, and drawing upon traditional Aboriginal concepts for application to contemporary problems.

    Totemic geography was also used by Arrernte leaders as one device for locating the various language groups in Town Camps as they were consolidated and developed in the early and mid-1970s. This territorial model has been since drawn upon by Tangentyere Council in disputes, as a way to legitimise the movement of groups who were causing conflict.

The role of Separatism in self-determination [not dealt with today see longer version of paper]

The social problems of Indigenous homelessness

    There has been widespread recognition in government circles of increasing Indigenous homelessness in Australia, but there are difficulties in conceptualising Indigenous 'homelessness' using mainstream concepts (Memmott et al 2003). The most visible Indigenous „homeless‟ people are small groups who live in public places, socialising, sheltering, drinking, arguing and fighting in public. This occurs despite the existence a range of Indigenous housing options and the advent of formal Town Camps in many regional centres throughout the late 20th century. Although these people are often categorised as 'homeless', a number see themselves as being both 'placed' and 'homed', and prefer instead to refer to themselves with such labels as 'parkies', 'goomies', 'long grassers', „ditchies‟ or 'river campers'. They are public place dwellers who identify with particular public or semi-public places as their „home‟ environment, usually conforming to a

    'beat' of such places where they camp and socialise.

    Most important to an understanding of homelessness, is the idea that it may not necessarily be defined as a lack of accommodation. A person may have a sense of 'home,' and a sense of belonging to a place (or set of places), and recognition and acceptance in such a place, but nevertheless may not have any conventional accommodation. Public spaces may come to be equated with 'home'. Homelessness can then be redefined as losing one‟s sense of control over, or

    legitimacy in the public spaces where one lives. (Coleman 2000:40.)

    This definition of 'home' fits precisely the context of classical or pre-contact Aboriginal Australia where 'home' was country, cultural landscape and the repertoire of places in it. Residency could be at any one of a range of campsites and if shelter was required it could be constructed with minimal effort. Home was a place or set of places, not a building. In terms of contemporary Indigenous public place dwellers, the forging of strong connections to particular locations may be particularly marked and bound up with concepts of 'spiritual homelessness' and dispossession (Memmott et al 2003:18).

The way Indigenous „homelessness‟ is defined or categorised influences the types of response strategies that are

    implemented by Indigenous organisations, and government and non-government agencies to address this phenomenon (Memmott et al 2003). Strategies to house so-called homeless Indigenous people have too often ignored Aboriginal values concerning household formation, residential mobility, crowding and privacy, which in turn are also built on culturally distinct constructs of person (or self).

Multiple Perspectives and values concerning the Indigenous River Camper Problem in 1990

    The customary Aboriginal practices of camping without any roofed shelters in fine weather, contributes to the ease with which Indigenous people can readily „fall‟ into the public-place dweller lifestyle in regional centres. Although such a

    lifestyle may be acceptable to more tolerant citizens, such tolerance may be quickly eroded by regular alcohol consumption, subsequent intoxication and other anti-social behaviour. A key finding of the 1990 Alice Springs River 17Campers study (which I conducted for Tangentyere) was the set of multiple perspectives surrounding the „public place dweller problem‟, and reflecting the different values of the stakeholder groups.

I shall briefly summarize them. The river campers‟ were generally quite happy with their riverbed campsites provided

    ready access to alcohol and a relatively private setting at zero rent; being apprehended when drunk and fighting was an accepted part of their lifestyle. For the local Traditional Owners of Mbarntwe, the destruction of sacred gum trees by

    campers‟ fires was sacrilege under Aboriginal Law, and the Elders took a fixed view that the campers had to move. At first Tangentyere Council sought to determine if these groups needed shelter, however many already had shelter in the Town Camps but had left due to conflicts, often of their own making, but they intended to return during the „wet‟ at which time conflict might again compound camp management problems. The Aboriginal health services saw that the

    drinking style of many campers was clearly at odds with their physical, social and mental health. The Police were

    preoccupied with excessively drunk, unruly and violent campers as well as tipping out grog in accordance with the 2km drinking law. The media reported on a „law-and-order crisis‟ after an outbreak of vandalism on the town mall, where shop

    windows were regularly broken, and the blame was directed at the Aboriginal river campers, even though there was no direct evidence to support this claim, and some evidence to the contrary. Complaints were also made by various town C:\convert\temp\70551538.doc page 4

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    citizens about the adverse ecological impact on riverbed flora and the allegedly „explosive‟ health problem for the town that the campers presented…described as „squalor‟ (cans, and casks) and „eyesore‟ (disheveled, unkempt and intoxicated

    individuals staggering, shouting and sometimes threatening one another). (Memmott 1990.)

    The variant views on the problem of Indigenous public place dwelling, gives rise to a potentially broad range of diverse responses, which I shall not pursue in this short talk. The main point is that social problems which impact differently on a range of cultural and urban sectors require analysis and solutions using the social values of all groups.

Cross-culturally, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups are likely to see one another‟s position quite differently, when

    interpreting the meaning of their transactions. Any problem definition, if it is to be complete, must incorporate all perspectives. To understand the dynamics of any discrimination, it is essential to have the capacity to adopt bi-cultural views and empathy. Similarly, if there is to be a solution to the problem, it must be articulated from both sides incorporating values that are mutually acceptable or at least tolerable to both. Not to take such a cross-cultural position in approaching social problems is likely to fuel already existing racial tension.

Conclusion Future prospects for a bi-cultural society in Alice Springs

    Alice Spring‟s whitefeller existence began as a minor link on a cross-global communication system, the OT Line. The

    ancient convergent Caterpillar tracks into Alice Springs have been supplemented today by the travel routes of the Stuart, Plenty, Sandover, Tanami and Lasseter Highways and by international jet airliner routes. The transformation of Central Australia from 1880 to 1980 was marked by the exploitation of both Aboriginal intellectual property and material property (land).

    I have mentioned some important Aboriginal values underlying the exported Arrernte knowledge system: personal and community sharing, respect, kin group identity and unity, sacred sites as natural capital, territorial separatism. In dealing with contemporary problems, failure to recognize the full subtleness and pervading nature of these Aboriginal norms, is likely to add to cross-cultural communication barriers that may already exist. I have outlined the need to respect one another‟s social as well as economic capital.

Alice Springs is brimming full of bi-cultural products that make the soul sing. I believe that the „Desert Knowledge‟ of

    Aboriginal people contains further untapped potential for economic pursuits of global significance. Bi-cultural intellectual property still retains its enormous wealth potential as an exchange and export commodity in Alice Springs and Central Australia. But two distinct bodies of social capital need to be fully appreciated and simultaneously integrated in planning for a stable and sustained quality of lifestyle for all segments of the society, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. Creative bi-cultural productivity is a way in which Central Australia‟s people can attain an identity and a means to a self-

    sustaining place, with a shared quality of lifestyle in an increasing globalized world.

[No. of words: 3,994]

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    Endnotes

     1 A point also made by Morton 1999:329. 2 “The Native Tribes of Central Australia” (1899), “The Northern Tribes of Central Australia” (1904), “Across Australia” (1913). Their books were the most successful set of ethnographic monographs published by Macmillan (Urry 1993:44 cited in Morphy 1996:141.) “In his 1913 review of Across Australia Malinowski (1913, p. 278) wrote, “Since the publication of their first volume half the total production of anthropological literature has been based on their work and nine-tenths affected or modified by it” (cited in Morphy 1996:141). Also see Morphy (1996:142) for a discussion on Spencer and Gillen‟s contribution to Durkheim‟s „Elementary Forms of Religious Life‟ (1971) in which he combined both sociological and psychological factors in his theory of religion. 3 See Rowse (1996) for an analysis of the nature, complexity and dilemma of such transactions (bartering and rationing). 4 For example in the correspondence of Ernest Cowle, a bush policeman stationed at Illamurta Springs (150kms south-west of Alice Springs), to Baldwin Spencer, there is mention of “some old blackfellow being killed for giving me information” (Mulvaney et al 2000:96). 5 Rowse, ibid, 1996:111. 6 This was also found to be the case at Wadeye in the north-west of the N.T. in a recent study by the current author (Western et al 2002). 7 Eg see Mauss (1979:Pt. III), Shore (1982:Ch. 8), Myers (1986:Ch. 4). 8 The author suspects that the construct of 'self' is partly shaped in childhood development through the acquisition of norms about relations to objects (as well as to other people). Dependant on upbringing, a child may become very possessive about his or her toys, or alternatively may be taught that all relative‟s toys and objects can be picked up for play and that food can be freely taken for consumption, and that certain relatives are free to take his or her own play things as they wish. Thus object relations may emphasize and express personal (or self) identity, or alternatively reinforce facets of group identity and social relations. The houses in which one dwells and grows up can also form powerful psychological relationships with self, having the capacity in certain cultural contexts to foster constructs of comfort, security and normality of domiciliary life, which in turn contribute to a construct of self (Bachelard 1964). Objects and houses may thus be seen as an extension or symbol of self-identity, or an expression of group identity. 9 From the author's experience during the last 30 years it is clear that in many respects and circumstances, Aboriginal people have quite different values and attitudes concerning material things compared to most non-Aboriginal Australians. In remote parts of Central Australia it cannot be assumed that an Aboriginal households will maintain continual house care, nor that they will necessarily personalize their homes, or decorate or landscape their houses. One cannot assume tenants will pay house rent, or pay for house damage and maintenance. This is not to say that many do not do such things; but rather that there is a significant proportion of people who under particular circumstances do not; so much so, that the provision of new housing in many remote and rural communities cannot always fulfil the apparent need for housing, given population increase combined with ongoing destruction and wear and tear on housing stock. Nevertheless to the best of the author‟s knowledge, government bodies have made no attempts to seriously understand this problem, even though aggregated findings signify that such a large-scale problem exists. 10 Interestingly when Bruce Chatwin came to Australia in the early 1980s(?) to research a new book which was to involve mutual acquaintances in Alice Springs and Aboriginal people in Central Australia, one of his first ports of call was my research unit at University of Queensland. I referred him to the University of Queensland Music Library to read Strehlow‟s “Songs of Central Australia”. It is not coincidental that the title of the book he later wrote was “Songlines”. 11 The Hermannsburg Missionary Carl Strehlow sold and donated a large amount of cultural material to the Frankfurt Museum (Strehlow Research Centre 2000). He also published an influential book (1907A) and an article (1907B). 12 Theodor „Ted‟ Strehlow also pioneered the linguistic study of the Arrernte language (1941-42, 1942-43). More recently the Arrernte language has become readily exportable through the “Eastern and Central Arrernte to English Dictionary” (Henderson and Dobson 1994), although in this instance any profits remain in Aboriginal hands, via the IAD Press. Through examining the meaning of the words in this dictionary one gains access to an immense repertoire of Arrernte ideas, concepts and abstract constructs, of classification systems, spiritual entities and the items of the Arrernte natural and material universes. At the time of this publication the compilers (one of whom is herself Arrernte) estimated Arrernte to be one of the more widely spoken Aboriginal languages with some 4500 speakers (ibid 1994:8). 13 These works have in turn been critiqued and refined by others eg see Morton 1997. 14 The forerunner of these works was a paper titled “Agencies of Social Control” presented to the London School of Economics and University College in 1951 (Austin-Broos 1997). 15 „The Warlpiri Invention of Television‟ is the title of the monograph by Eric Michaels (1986). 16 Strehlow, Aranda Traditions (1947). 17 In 1990 on behalf of Tangentyere Council I undertook a survey of 180 river campers in the Todd and Charles Rivers, occupying 19 informal camps whose populations included representatives from various tribal groups throughout Central Australia (Memmott 1990). C:\convert\temp\70551538.doc page 6

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