Aboriginal Woman: Sacred and Profane (Routledge Classic by Phyllis Kaberry

By Phyllis Kaberry

First released in 1939 through Routledge, this vintage ethnography portrays the aboriginal lady as she particularly is - a fancy social character together with her personal prerogatives, tasks, difficulties, ideals, rituals and viewpoint. This groundbreaking and enduring learn was once researched in North-West Australia among 1935 and 1936 and was once written by means of a lady who really pioneered the learn of gender in anthropology

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Sample text

The element of sport distracts attention temporarily from fatigue, but too often it ends in the disappointment of seeing one’s dinner leaping into the distance over the hills. On the other hand, women’s work has its moments of excitement when a particularly toothsome comb of wild-honey is cut out of a tree, or a succulent iguana is dragged from its burrow clawing the earth, to be knocked on the ground and killed. Moreover, once the food is located, it is there for the taking. The element of chance in hunting immediately raises the question of whether there is any magic associated with it.

P. for Punaba; W. for Wolmeri; K. for Kunian; Mal. for Malngin; D. for Djaru; Mir. for Miriwun; N. for Nyigina, Aboriginal woman 10 He sifted all the available evidence on this subject, and in the light of his material came to conclusions which, though valid at the time (1913), need modification in the light of further research. “Sex division is based only partly on differences of natural capacities. Heavier work ought naturally to be performed by the men. Here the contrary obtains. Even here the women’s work appears to be much more exacting inasmuch as it requires a steady strain, patience, and regularity.

When I went with ten Aborigines to visit a tribe seventy miles away from Forrest River Mission, after two days the men refused to go farther without calling a halt and hunting for kangaroo, although the women were bringing in the usual contribution, and there was plenty of flour for dampers. Moreover, there is another sanction—that of amour propre. ), while the man who has caught nothing, though he receives his share from the others, feels ashamed. While I was with them on this expedition, a good hunter happened to be unsuccessful on one occasion.

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