SEMINAR: Archaeology Seminar Series
|Archaeology Seminar Series : Site-un-seen: an understanding of sacred landscapes
Publicised amends to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and in information supplied by the administrating department
has stated that the legislative proof of an Aboriginal sacred site (ethnographic place) is that of "active religious use". It is no longer good enough for the place to have a mythological association, sung about in ceremony or enacted in dance. Like the consecrated churches of European culture, services must be held within and people gather at such loci.
In a recent statement by the Prime Minister (11/03/15) concerning people living in remote communities, that it is
unreasonable to support them as it is "a lifestyle choice" and they are "not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have". Anthropology has been aware of the important connection of people and place, and the specific link in Aboriginal society of Dreaming lore and law. As a nation we have dried annihilation, then assimilation to self-determination and reconciliation, now it seems we are heading into renunciation.
Despite the history of dispossession and dislocation, there remains a vibrant Aboriginal cultural heritage legacy and
living connection to sites through inheritance obligations and knowledge. Sacred sites are more than places devoted to
religious use; rather they combine mythological stories, songs and beliefs, incorporating natural and anthropogenic
features. This paper explores the associations of place with Traditional Ownership and custodial responsibilities, and the physical manifestations of hallowed land. In Australian Aboriginal culture it is not the corporeal presence of people that sanctify, but the knowledge and recital of practice.
Ken Mulvaney, Adjunct to CRAR+M, UWA
Social Sciences, Lecture Room 1 (G28)
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:00
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:00
Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:17
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