Caging the Rainbow
Places Politics, and Aborigines in a North Australian Town
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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This book is an ethnographic exploration of change and continuity in the lives and social orientations of Aborigines around the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia (map 1). Though the book’s focus on town life is somewhat unusual among Australian Aboriginal...
One: Places and People of Katherine Town
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Many writers have observed that, in the ways in which Aborigines position themselves around settler locations—missions, pastoral stations (ranches), and towns—they have tended to reproduce, within a small space, differentiated orientations to “country,” the lands to which they regard...
Two: From Place to Town
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Julie Williams, whom I call “mother” in the Aboriginal way, and I were standing on a street corner in Katherine on a hot, wet-season day in November 1991.At my request, she was showing me where something had happened that she and a number of other Aboriginal people in the town had...
Three: We Useta Walk Around, All the People
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In this chapter, I explore ways in which Katherine-area Aboriginal people’s relations to hinterlands have tended to become specialized and rarefied, increasingly particular to individuals and small groupings of especially older people, as the relevant places cease to be a part of everyday living...
Four: Tribes and Town
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This chapter is concerned with shifts in socio-spatial identities in relation to the town area of Katherine. Processes of change can be shown to have occurred over a period of decades as Aboriginal people converged upon the town from different hinterlands, building and intensifying social...
Five: Imposition and Imitation: Changing Directions in Aboriginal Affairs
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This chapter, like the last, considers what can be meant by change and continuity. But it differs from the last in looking at the issue from the perspective of the external management of Aboriginal affairs, rather than beginning from an Aboriginal perspective. At the end of the last chapter, I suggested...
Six: Struggles in Town Space
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Chapter 1 presented a sectoral picture of Katherine, relating the distribution of the various Aboriginal camps to the orientations of their residents to hinterlands and particular regional “mobs” of countrymen. This chapter is concerned with further exploration of these and other aspects...
Seven: Do Places Appear? Further Struggle in Space
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Chapter 2 explored loss of a place formerly differentiated in Aboriginal terms from its surroundings, through the evanescence of the rainbow’s cave. This chapter is concerned with another aspect of change and continuity with respect to places in the recent period. It tells, as far I was able...
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In this book I have attempted to give ethnographic substance to notions of change and continuity through the Katherine material. Having described the Katherine Aboriginal scene in terms of sociohistorical and socio-spatial differentiation among its camps and people (chapter 1), I examined...
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Publication Year: 1998