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The Forum > Article Comments > Australia, where telling the truth is 'just another form of invasion' > Comments

Australia, where telling the truth is 'just another form of invasion' : Comments

By Vesna Tenodi, published 9/10/2018

The new Australian paradigm: its enforcers, its opponents

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There seem to be (at least) two brutal truths which people find difficult, even impossible, to confront:

* the invasion/settlement of Australia was inevitable;

* almost no Aboriginal people would permanently trade their current living conditions for a totally traditional life. With 20 % of the nation in Indigenous hands, there is always going to be the opportunity to do so, but if anything (from the Census, and anecdotally), Indigenous people seem to be abandoning remote 'out-stations' for larger 'communities, and drifting from those 'communities' to rural towns, and from towns to the cities.

As for some of the idiocies which we are expect to believe - apart from the one about elders forbidding young men from accessing fish-traps unless there as a blue moon (i.e. that Aboriginal people had 30- and 31-day months) - my favourite is still agriculture. I've just come across this brilliant article by Ian Gilligan: http://journals.lib.washington.edu/index.php/BIPPA/article/view/9978/10664
which politely explores this piece of imbecility and suggests that early farmers - and there were only a handful of places in the world where farming originated, it's not a fickle day-to-day decision (hey, should we hunt and gather or farm today ?) - were, at first, very likely to grow crops to feed animals rather than themselves, and that they raised the animals for fibre, as well as for meat. Fibre ? Yes, he suggests, to be woven into cloth, to replace animals skins (which, by definition, can only be 'produced' by killing the animals rather than raising them). Also of course, gathering (and later cultivating) fibre plants such as cotton or flax (linen) or maguey.

Aboriginal people didn't wear a lot of clothes so had even less need to weave cloth from local fibre plants or from animals hair or wool. Yet another reason to be sceptical about Aboriginal 'agriculture'.

Of course, it depends how you define 'agriculture': no-drill ? Sure. Broad-casting ? Yeah, sure. i.e. not cultivation, so not agriculture.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 11:58:43 AM
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I must be turning into a grumpy old bastard (an unpleasant truth that I must face).

Perhaps we'll soon be told by some elder that, since no copper wires or fibre-optic cables have ever been found that might have been laid by Aboriginal people thousands of years ago, this proves that they had wireless technology. Thousands of years before whites. Geniuses.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 11:59:51 AM
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This is only second hand as I refuse to watch the rubbish, but I have been led to believe that a woman claiming aboriginal background claimed last night on Q&A that her mob kicked off aerodynamics,flight and even drones (!) via the boomerang. Save us from the bulls--t. They are starting to sound like the Muslims who invented nothing after the scimitar.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 1:46:00 PM
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If you want 'privilege' in join interviews don't tick the white box.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 4:34:50 PM
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I think it's one thing to own a private collection of artifacts, but another thing altogether if you think this entitles you to 'own their culture' and keep it from them.

So my natural question is do the indigenous ancestors currently have a right to access and view (not take ownership of) this collection on their culture?
Or do they have to apply and be scrutinised before being allowed to view the collection, if they are allowed?

My opinion is this, whether privately owned or not this collection needs to be accessible to those of that tribe, whether they resemble their forefathers or not.

Keeping it from them would be the bigger crime.
You said this man was entrusted by the old tribal inhabitants with this material, that's slightly different to 100% ownership.

The first issue is to make sure it's accessible, without conditions.
If the current female caretaker of this material does not acknowledge this, then I side with the indigenous people.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 7:30:52 PM
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Researching the Ayers Rock climb I've also found wide differences between views of elders who had lived a traditional life and those who came later. The views of the current board of management of the Park are polar opposites to those of traditional owners Paddy Uluru and Tiger Tjalkalyirri and the Park is worse off for it.
Posted by MarcH, Friday, 12 October 2018 2:29:38 PM
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