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Main Title: Dingo makes us human : life and land in an Aboriginal Australian culture / Deborah Bird Rose. Book Cover
Author: Rose, Deborah Bird.
Imprint: Melbourne, Vic. : Cambridge University Press, c1992.
Collation: 26 cm. 249 p. : ill., maps, ports., geneal. tables, hardbacl ;
Subject: First Nations Australians
Northern district (NT)
Northern Territory
ISBN: 0521392691 :
The Aboriginal people are essential figures in White Australia's mythology, and as such are often represented as being intrinsic to the past. Nevertheless their role in the future is widely perceived as being irrelevant and the much publicised images of the squalor and misery of contemporary Aboriginal communities often serve to further alienate European Australia from Aboriginal Australia. Debbie Bird Rose's highly original ethnography of the people of the Victoria River Valley in the Northern Territory fulfils what she sees as anthropology's basic purpose: to emphasise our shared humanity. In Dingo Makes Us Human, members of several Aboriginal communities recount their stories, stories which bring the past and present, the specific and general and the individual and collective into a shared matrix.

The study has a firm historical grounding, describing the decimation and subjugation of the Aboriginal people in the region following white colonisation. In 1883, Victoria River Downs was the largest cattle station in the world and 4-5,000 Aboriginal people lived in its surrounding area; by 1939, 187 people remained, complete tribes and languages having been destroyed. This nightmarish history is recounted by the Yarralin people, yet the author ensures that they be viewed as survivors who have creatively maintained their culture. Dr Rose's approach is largely dialogic. Her analysis encompasses religion, philosophy, politics, ecology and kinship, explaining the ideas contained within the people's stories and their philosophies of life. Debbie Bird Rose lived for two years with the Yarralin community, and her lucid descriptions of the Dreaming as both a model and celebration of life, and of the network of identities which link people to each other and to the world in which they live, demonstrate the extent of her understanding of and empathy with the Yarralin people.

The book's boldly direct and personal approach will be illuminating for readers lacking a sophisticated anthropological background and its insight of great value to experienced anthropologists.

Bibliography: p. [238]-245.
Includes index.

This work contains text and/or images that may cause offence to members of the Australian Indigenous community, or may be deemed inappropriate for some users on the grounds of sex, age or social status by the Australian Indigenous community.
Result Collection Location Shelf No Status Notes
Non-Fiction Stacks 305.801 NT NORT Available