Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Pre-Colonial Aboriginal & Indonesian Contact

Pre-Colonial Aboriginal & Indonesian Contact

Ratings: (0)|Views: 19 |Likes:
Published by draculavanhelsing
Allah and the Spirit of the Dead
The hidden legacy of pre-colonial Indonesian/
Aboriginal contact in north-east Arnhem Land
Allah and the Spirit of the Dead
The hidden legacy of pre-colonial Indonesian/
Aboriginal contact in north-east Arnhem Land

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jun 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/21/2012

pdf

text

original

 
 AustralianFolklore
11,1996
131
 Articles,etc. AllahandtheSpiritoftheDead
Thehiddenlegacyofpre-colonialIndonesian Aboriginalcontactinnorth-eastArnhemLand
IanMcIntosh
 Abstract
Thispaperisaboutmythopoeiaorthemyth-makingwhichseizestheimagination:howAboriginesdealtwiththeirfirstcontactswithIndonesiantrepangfishermenfromMacassarinthe1700s.ItisalsoconcernedwithhoinnovationsintheDreamingwhicharelinkedtotheMacassanperiodarestillrelevantinAboriginallives.IinvestigatenarrativesinwhichAboriginesareconfrontedwiththeideaofbeingforeverimpoverishedandboundinastateofdependenceuponthenon-AboriginalOtherandhowsalvationisseentocomeonlyinthehereafter,intheparadiseofaGodheldincommonwiththecoloniser.
1
Introduction
Inthefeaturefilm
TheGodsMustBeCrazy,
aCokebottlemysteriouslylandsintheKalahariDesert,inthevillageofBushmen.Unbeknownsttothepeopleonthegroundithadbeenthrownfromaplaneflyinghighabove.NowtheBushmenhadneverseenglassormetalofanykind.Thereisnothingharder thantimberinthedesert.Thefilmbeginswithanexaminationofhowjustonebottle,whichwasimmediatelyputtoavastarrayofusesinthevillage,couldturnBushmansocietyonitshead.Everyonewantedit.Childrenwerefighting withotherchildrentouseitasamusicalinstrumentorforvariousgames; womenwerefightingeachothertouseitforweaving,stretchingsnakeskins,orgrinding;andmenwerethreateningtohiteachotherwithit.Thefilmthendealswiththeattemptoftheclanleadertoridhisworldofthisobjectandrestoreharmony.
1ThispaperistheresultofconsultationswithseniorAboriginalmenandwomenfromGaliwin’ku,ElchoIsland(11
°
58'S,135
°
43'W)innorth-eastArnhemLand,inparticularthelateDavidBurrumarraM.B.E.oftheWarramiriclan.AnearlierdraftwaspresentedtotheannualmeetingoftheMythopoeicLiteratureSocietyofAustraliaattheNorthernTerritoryUniversity,Darwin,inJuly1995.
 
132IanMcIntoshThispaperisbasedonasimilarscenario.ItconcernsthearrivaloIndonesianfishermeninnorthernAustraliaintheearly1700s
2
andIspeculateonhowAboriginalthinkerscametotermswiththenew,giventhatatrocities wereafeatureofcontact.
3
TherewasarealisationthattheIndonesianshadpossessionswhichweregreatlydesired—dugoutsailingcanoesallowingfolongdistancetravelalongthecoast;cloth,knives,andmostsignificantly,alcoholandtobacco.ButIcontestthewidelyheldviewintheliteraturethattheimpactonAboriginalsocietywasminimal
4
.ForinstanceitissaidthatthefundamentalnatureoftheAboriginalwayoflifedidnotchange.Aboriginescametoappreciatethattherewereotherpeopleintheworldandthatthe visitorsfolloweddifferentlaws.
Macassan Journeys
MacassarArnhemLand
E   l   c  h  o   I   s  l   a  n  d   
North-eastArnhemLandandIndonesia
2TheMacassantrepangindustrybeganinc.1720andendedin1907.SeeMacknight,C.C.(1976).3SeeBerndtandBerndt(1954)andSearcy(1911).
 
 AllahandtheSpiritoftheDead133
ThinkingAboutthePast
If
TheGodsMustBeCrazy
isanyguide,goingfromasituationinwhichpeopleweremastersoftheirowndestinytobeingsuddenlydominatedbothersandbeingboundinthisstatebytheirowndesire,wasadilemma.If  AboriginesrejectedMacassanstheywouldloseaccesstothethingstheyhadcometofindinvaluable.ToletMacassansin,evenifthevisitswereofrelatively shortduration,meantthatAborigineswouldalwaysbeundertheirinfluence,andleaderswouldlosetheirauthority.Inthemovie,itwasasimplematteroftheclanleadergoingtotheendotheworldandthrowingthebottleovertheedgeintotheabyss.Thiswouldsettlemattersandtheworldwouldcontinueasitalwayshad,atleastuntilthenextplaneflewoveroracolonisingpartyarrivedintheKalahari.Innorth-east ArnhemLand,however,theimpactwasunceasing,andinanyonearea, Aboriginesweretotallyoutnumberedbythevisitors.TodayAboriginalelderscanonlyspeculateonhowpastleaderscametotermswiththissituation.Inhislifetime,DavidBurrumarrawasamajorinformantforacademics workingonthehistoryoftheMacassantrepangtrade.Whilehewasbornafter theendoftheMacassanindustry,heneverthelesshadaconsiderableknowledgeoftheexploitsofthefishermenandhefreelysharedthisinformationwithothers.Localperspectivesontheimpactofthetradeon Aboriginallives,ontheotherhand,havenotbeenexploredinanydetail.For instance,inthinkingabouttheMacassanpast,Burrumarralookedfoexplanationsforstoriesthathadbeenhandeddowntothepresentbutwhichhadlimitedcurrencyormadelittlesense,giventhewaytheworldhadchangedinthepastfiftyyears.
5
Suchviews,oftencouchedinmyth,wereoutsidethescopeofthehistorian’sbrief,
6
andasIsuggestelsewhere,werepolitically sensitive,
7
andhaveremainedlargelyunrecorded.WhilebothBurrumarraandotherpeoplewithwhomIhavespokenwereallinagreementthatMacassans werenot,andcouldneverhavebeen,landownersinAustralia,theysuggestedthattheirancestorsmusthavewonderedwhyitwasthatthevisitorshadsomuchandtheAboriginessolittleinthewayofmaterialwealth.Somethingmusthavegonewrongatthebeginningoftime,Burrumarraspeculated,explainingthat,accordingto‘inside’oroncesecret/sacredperspectivesonMacassancontact,eventsof300yearsagowereseentohavetheirfoundationatthebeginningoftime.Whathappenedinreallifeinthe1700sandonwards wastreatedasthoughithadbeenordainedinDreamingepics,andhedetailedanumberofvariationsoffirstcontactmyths.InoneDreamingaccount,inthebeginning,Aborigineswerewhite’andrichandMacassans‘black’andpoorandthevisitorsworkedfortheAboriginal
4SeeMacknight(1976),Thomson(1949)andWarner(1969).5TheMethodistsettlementonElchoIslandcommencedin1942.6Pers.comm.C.C.Macknight1994.7SeeMcIntosh(1995).

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->