By Phyllis Kaberry
First released in 1939 through Routledge, this vintage ethnography portrays the aboriginal girl as she particularly is - a fancy social character along with her personal prerogatives, tasks, difficulties, ideals, rituals and standpoint. This groundbreaking and enduring research used to be researched in North-West Australia among 1935 and 1936 and used to be written by means of a lady who really pioneered the research of gender in anthropology
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Extra info for Aboriginal Woman: Sacred and Profane (Routledge Classic Ethnographies)
Contrary to the practice in many communities, organization in hunting and fishing is limited to a minimum. The men occasionally hunt together in a band; the more elderly and experienced decide on the route, arrange who will drive the kangaroos towards a certain spot and who will post themselves there to spear them. Or at the end of the dry season, they encircle a stretch of country, burn off the grass and spear the game, while the women come behind and collect the reptiles and marsupials. Towards the close of the “wet”, a dam may be constructed of mud six or eight inches high, so that the men and women can scoop out the fish.
A more detailed discussion of ownership of resources will be dealt with later in a study of local organization. After three or four miles we approach a billabong where the lubras dive in, swim, and incidentally gather lily-roots and buds. There is much chatter and teasing on such occasions, and the coolness is a welcome respite after the heat. Bulagil leaves the others after a time, and goes higher up to fish, and to search for mussels and crabs. She catches about fifteen perch and with this haul will not bother to look very diligently for food for the rest of the day.
But if this confirmation rests merely on impressions alone, and a more intensive study reveals an entirely different situation, then they contribute, however negatively, to the validity of my case. 1 Perhaps one of the major contributions of Anthropology is that it has not only humanized the savage, but also humanized our conception of what we may expect to find in an alien race. It has engendered a sound scepticism of such a statement as “ the Australian aboriginal woman stands in the relation to her husband as a slave to its master”, or of the attitudes that tend to regard her as a chattel, a harried prostitute, a Patient Griselda, or more moralistically, a lost soul.
Aboriginal Woman: Sacred and Profane (Routledge Classic Ethnographies) by Phyllis Kaberry