The appropriation of an Aboriginal landscape in northern New South Wales

James F Weiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The attachment of Australian Aboriginal people to land has not only been amply documented by anthropologists since the late 19th century, it is also one of their own enduring tropes of differentiation from non-Aboriginal and "official" Australian state society. In the face of widespread and concerted alteration of the pre-settlement landscape engendered by industrial and commercial development, Aboriginal people seek to reclaim or reappropriate remnants of a pristine environment untransformed by modern development. Alteration of the landscape, as far as Aboriginal people are concerned, also goes hand in hand with the progressive decimation of Aboriginal populations in the 19th and early 20th centuries through violence and disease. Contemporary Aboriginal communities seek to protect the sites of violent death, believed heavily populated with the frustrated spirits of the deceased, from disturbance, particularly by non-Aboriginal people. In this chapter I discuss some of the anthropological implications of seeing landscape as a terrain of intercultural conjunction in such a bifold society in northern New South Wales, and what levels of transformation are and are not acknowledged by a marginal, minority indigenous population seeking to insulate their historical landscape from development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)189-202
    JournalAustralian Journal of Anthropology, The
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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