By Phyllis Kaberry
First released in 1939 by means of Routledge, this vintage ethnography portrays the aboriginal girl as she fairly is - a fancy social character together with her personal prerogatives, tasks, difficulties, ideals, rituals and viewpoint. This groundbreaking and enduring research was once researched in North-West Australia among 1935 and 1936 and used to be written via a girl who really pioneered the examine of gender in anthropology
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Extra resources for Aboriginal Woman: Sacred and Profane (Routledge Classic Ethnographies)
If it was compulsory to search for food, at least they did not travel like beasts of burden, with timorous docility and bovine resignation. They were not driven forth by the men; they departed just as leisurely, chose their own routes, and in this department of economic activities were left in undisputed sway. If it was left to them alone to provide certain 1 Kulamon is an aboriginal term that has passed into general currency in Australia. It is a shallow boat-shaped vessel made of wood. 2 For a fuller discussion of this, see my report on the Forrest River tribes in Oceania, v, 1935, p.
Aboriginal woman 4 with a paperbark swag slung over the left shoulder. One may begin to prepare a damper1 immediately from the lily seeds, which she gouges out from the buds with her fingers, then pounds on a flat stone, mixes with water and bakes for half an hour in the hot coals. At midday more come in, perhaps a man with a kangaroo he has speared, and which he now proceeds to cook. And so through the afternoon most of the blacks come straggling in, the women with iguana (varanus lizard), lily-roots, wild-honey, and fish, and the men with larger game.
If I describe the landscape in detail, it is not to add the inevitable touch of local colour, nor to afford a temporary respite from scientific and formal dissertation. Native culture to be grasped in its completeness must be seen through the country, which is no mere backcloth for tribal activities, but something much more vital and dynamic. The anthropologist and reader must come to grips with it before turning to a study of its inhabitants. First impressions are valuable, because no matter how extraordinary the environment, its colour and contours, even its changes from season to season rapidly lose their power to imprint themselves vividly on the senses.