Fighters and Singers: The Lives of Some Australian Aboriginal Women (Paperback)

Fighters and Singers: The Lives of Some Australian Aboriginal Women By Isobel White (Editor), Diane Barwick (Editor), Betty Meehan (Editor) Cover Image

Fighters and Singers: The Lives of Some Australian Aboriginal Women (Paperback)

By Isobel White (Editor), Diane Barwick (Editor), Betty Meehan (Editor)

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The literature on Australian Aborigines is vast, but much of it is strangely silent about the experiences and activities of women. This collection of stories of the eventful lives and strong characters of a number of Aboriginal women offers a more intimate and personal view. Their lives span a century of history in fifteen communities scattered from Cape York Peninsula, Arnhem Land and East Kimberley to the Western Desert, the Centre, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

One of these stories is an autobiography and each of the others contains transcriptions or translations of a woman's own reminiscences, with additional details given by the author. Some women recall the first time they saw a European in their land, others tell how Europeans had influenced their communities generations before they were born. While the authors lived in Aboriginal communities in order to study some particular aspect of the society, the women they describe here became their close friends, companions and helpers, and this book is a record of friendships formed against differences of background, experiences and age.

Allegiance to family and familiar territory shapes the personal histories of Aborigines in ways scarcely appreciated by people reared in nuclear family households in cities. The strength of family and community ties can be better understood through reading about the women who contribute so much to the maintenance of these communities.
ISOBEL WHITE is an anthropologist who has lived with Aboriginal people in South Australia while studying women's social and ceremonial life. Since her retirement from Monash University she has been a visiting fellow in the Research School of Pacific Studies at the Australian National University. DIANE BARWICK is an anthropologist who has done years of research on the history of Aboriginal administration in Victoria and New South Wales, described in many articles and the forthcoming book Rebellion at Coranderrk. BETTY MEEHAN is an anthropologist who has lived at intervals over the last twenty years with the Anbarra community in Arnhem Land. Her book Shell bed to shell midden describes some of her experiences with the women of that community. The other contributors to Fighters and Singers represent a group of writers who combine a distinguished list of publications with deep first-hand knowledge of the Aboriginal way of life.
Product Details ISBN: 9780868616209
ISBN-10: 0868616206
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: January 1st, 1985
Pages: 248
Language: English