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The ‘Very Stillness of Things’: Object Biographies of Sailcloth and Fishing Net from the Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission (Burgiyana) Colonial Archive, South Australia

Author(s): Maddy E Fowler ; Amy L Roberts ; Lester-Irabinna Rigney

Year: 2017

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Summary

This paper details the discovery of early 20th century sailcloth and fishing net samples pertaining to the lives of Aboriginal peoples on Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission (Burgiyana). Biographies for the samples are explored, from which it is argued that these objects may have many viewpoints assigned to them. The sailcloth and fishing net samples allow the telling of complex stories from the past and present. These stories include the resilience, adaptability and strength of Narungga culture when exposed to colonial contextual risk. Indeed, these objects reveal efforts of missions and government agencies to control the lives of Aboriginal peoples (through the lenses of ‘racism’, paternalism and self-interest), as well as agency and the involvement of Aboriginal peoples in capitalist economies. Objects as subjects can also reveal ongoing struggles for traditional and commercial fishing rights—with the aforementioned being informed by the traditional knowledge and lived experiences of Narungga peoples.


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The ‘Very Stillness of Things’: Object Biographies of Sailcloth and Fishing Net from the Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission (Burgiyana) Colonial Archive, South Australia. Maddy E Fowler, Amy L Roberts, Lester-Irabinna Rigney. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435284)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 155

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America