Friday, 14 June 2019

The Durack Dynasty and All-About

Reading the article in the Weekend Australian June 15-16, 2019 on the Durack dynasty reminded me of the dedication in the book  All-about (The Black Community at Argyle) by Mary and Elizabeth Durack published in 1935. It appears below -

"You will never read this, for to learning you have no pretensions. You cannot sue us for libel, though we have exposed your characters, your secrets and your private lives. Forgive us! Our protection lies in your unworldliness.

Most of the sketches you have seen, have laughed heartily at each, if a little disappointed that you did not appear more beautiful. "Young Missus" might at least have drawn you at your best, not gone so slyly to the kitchen, the laundry and all uninvited to the camp, with her notebook and her uncharitable pencil.

But this to you, "All-about", there is much you can teach us that is not in the white man's knowledge. Yours is the gift of laughter and human kindliness and true philosophy. Were you ever savages?"

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Barada Kabalbara Yetimarala Native Title People Authorisation Meeting

The claim area is roughly bounded by Ogmore, Marlborough, Princhester and to the west in a triangular shape.

The Authorisation Meeting is open to all Barada Kabalbara Yetimarala People, that is, to all of the persons in the current native title claim group, being the biological descendants of the following apical ancestors:
1. Lizzy/Kitty/Unnamed Barada Woman (mother of Saltbush George Budby, Rosie Barber, Eddie Budby and Albert Brown)
2. Ada/Ina Cotherstone, Daisy Wilson and Alick Smith Snr (and his wife Topsy Barron/Barren)
3. Polly (wife of Robert Noble) and Laura (wife of Duke/George Barker, Neddy/Teddy Sauney and Adam Bowen)
4. Lizzie (wife of Paddy Flynn)
5. Polly (late in life wife of Thomas Mitchell)
6. Arthur Miles
7. Kitty (aka Kitty Eaglehawk)
8. Yatton Boney
9. Maggie (mother of Jack Mack and Gypsy Tyson)
Appeared in the Koori Mail of June 5, 2019

Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Moyjil site, south-west Victoria, Australia - 120,000 Years ?

The scientific papers are available here
in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 130(2).

These papers are on Open Access and can be downloaded.

The abstract of the introduction by John E Sherwood follows

"Moyjil (also known as Point Ritchie) is the site of an unusual shell deposit in south-west Victoria showing many characteristics of a midden. Earlier research established an age of 60 ka or older for the shell deposit but could not establish whether humans or animals such as seabirds were responsible for its formation. This paper, the first of six in this special issue, summarises the most recent phase (~10 years) of investigations. The site’s age is now fixed as Last Interglacial and following the stage MIS 5e sea-level maximum (i.e. younger than 120–125 ka). Fragmentation and the limited size distribution of the dominant marine shellfish (Lunella undulata syn. Turbo undulatus) confirm the site as a midden. There is also evidence for fire (charcoal and discoloured and fractured stones) and two hearth-like features, one of which has been archaeologically excavated. None of the evidence collected is able to conclusively demonstrate a human versus animal origin for the site. Significantly, a human origin remains to be disproved. These papers provide the basis for a new phase of research into the possible cultural status of the Moyjil site."

I heard Bruce Pascoe of Dark Emu fame referring to this date as fact on the ABC program "The Drum" yesterday.

It is also worth bearing in mind the time an estimate like this was made in 1996 in the paper
 Fullagar, R., Price, D. & Head, L. 1996. Early human occupation of northern Australia: stratigraphy and dating of the Jinmium rockshelter, Northern Territory. Antiquity 70: 751-73.
 which made headlines throughout the country. It is available here.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Some Odds and Ends

In sorting out the contents of some boxes in a cupboard I came across the following items I obtained years ago.

(1) Junga Yimi Issue No. 2 1995
Produced by the Bilingual Resources Development Unit at the Yuendumu Education Centre.
Amongst other things it contains photos of school classes and names of pupils for the following

Pre-school, Transition, Year, Year 2, Year 3/4, Year 4/5, Year 5/6, Post Primary Boys, Year 7 Girls, Year 8 Girls, Year 9 Girls

(2) Four pamphlets produced by the Aboriginal History Foundation of Victoria

Lake Condah Mission (1984) - Lists births, deaths and marriages after the Mission had closed
Framlingham Mission (1989) - Lists some families and people of Framlingham
Cummeragunga (1984) - Cummeragunga 1920 Aunty Cissie remembers these people
Lake Tyers (1987) - Family surnames that resided at Lake Tyers from 1878 - 1924

(3) Central Australian Religion by T G H Strehlow

Contains a partial genealogical chart from the Ellery Creek area of the Northern Territory.
The base date is for Sarah born 2. 4.1892.

Monday, 11 March 2019

The Gangalidda People Pendine Claim [2019] FCA 302

The Gangalidda People Pendine Claim [2019] FCA 302 is available here .

The claim is in the Doomadgee area.

The Native Title Holders are the Gangalidda People. The Gangalidda People are all of the descendants of one or more of the following people:

Greg Thompson
Sophie Thompson
Ernest Thompson
Walter Thompson
Dawudawu Jimmy (King)
George Nark Mirrabaliyajari
Bob Scoles Gunyarbadijarri
Bob Weber Milgalajarri
Maggie (or Minnie)
Kitty Wulnanda
Kitty Lirrgagujarri
Old Nim
Stumpy Paddy
Mickey Charles
Barny Guldangara
Johnny Balawayinda
Daisy Lirrgawanjinda
Myrna Malalairunanda
Garruwala and
Charly (Gundirrirri/Ngarrguyumbu/Gulawi),

who identify, and are identified by other Gangalidda People, as belonging to the Gangalidda People according to Gangalidda traditional laws and customs.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

When did Homo sapiens first reach Southeast Asia and Sahul?

An interesting article When did Homo sapiens first reach Southeast Asia and Sahul? by James O'Connell et al appeared the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) of May 2018. The Abstact follows -

Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens, AMH) began spreading across Eurasia from Africa and adjacent Southwest Asia about 50,000–55,000 years ago (ca. 50–55 ka). Some have argued that human genetic, fossil, and archaeological data indicate one or more prior dispersals, possibly as early as 120 ka. A recently reported age estimate of 65 ka for Madjedbebe, an archaeological site in northern Sahul (Pleistocene Australia–New Guinea), if correct, offers what might be the strongest support yet presented for a pre–55-ka African AMH exodus. We review evidence for AMH arrival on an arc spanning South China through Sahul and then evaluate data from Madjedbebe.We find that an age estimate of >50 ka for this site is unlikely to be valid. While AMH may have moved far beyond Africa well before 50–55 ka, data from the region of interest offered in support of this idea are not compelling.

The full article appears here.

65000 Years of Isolation in Aboriginal Australia or Continuity and External Contacts

An interesting article titled 65000 Years of Isolation in Aboriginal Australia or Continuity and External Contacts by Michael J. Rowland appeared in the Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia of· December 2018. The Abstract follows -

Recent dating of archaeological sites across northern Australia suggest that
Aboriginal Australians may have arrived on the continent by 65,000 years ago or
earlier though other general reviews propose a more conservative arrival date of
around 50,000 years. Regardless of when they actually arrived, the people of the
late Pleistocene landmass of Sahul (mainland Australia, Tasmania and New
Guinea), which were only separated by rising sea levels approximately 8000
years ago, likely shared some aspects of a common history over a period of
perhaps as much as 50,000 years. It would seem unlikely that this shared
community of culture and ideas would have ended abruptly with the rise in sea
level. Early commentators, operating within social evolutionism and diffusionism
frameworks, argued that much of Aboriginal culture was developed through
external contact since Aboriginal culture was too ‘primitive’ to have developed
higher level cultural traits. Subsequent reaction to this negative view has tended
to limit further enquiry. More recently, it has been recognised that
transformations occurred in Aboriginal societies across Australia particularly in
the mid to late Holocene which have been attributed to population growth and
internal social change (‘intensification’), environmental change and/or external
contacts. This paper reviews evidence for external culture contact with an
emphasis on the Queensland coast via the Torres Strait and Cape York. It is
apparent that contact did occur though the timing and extent of impacts on the
development of Aboriginal culture has yet to be fully understood. It is important
to periodically review what innovations might have reached Australia from
external sources (and vice versa) as new evidence and theories develop. This will
enhance an understanding of how Aboriginal peoples coped with and adapted to
the substantive transformative processes of the contact and post-contact eras
which is the theme of this volume.

The full article is available here.