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skuthorp
09-22-2011, 03:44 PM
The first complete genetic sequencing of an Aboriginal man long dead has come to this conclusion. Of course there are critics but so far it's not science driving the criticism, rather other agenda's.
"A 90-year-old tuft of hair has yielded the first complete genome of an Aboriginal Australian, a young man who lived in southwest Australia.
He, and perhaps all Aboriginal Australians, the genome indicates, descend from the first humans to venture far beyond Africa more than 60,000 years ago, and thousands of years before the ancestors of most modern Asians trekked east in a second migration out of Africa."
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110922/full/news.2011.551.html

Amongst the genetic information is evidence of interbreeding with Neanderthals and a group known as Denisovians from cave evidence in Siberia. http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101222/full/4681012a.html
Other research from Harvard on migration waves of archaic humans provides supporting evidence. There seems to be a little bit of Neanderthal in all of us as well, http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html , looking at football players and all in wrestlers I'm not at all surprised!:d

AussieBarney
09-22-2011, 03:58 PM
As a child I asked my clan elders this question. How long has our mob been here. The answer I got was: Since the end of the dreamtime, Long, long ago. Modern science reckons my mob has been on the river for more than 4000 years and that's enough imformation for me, I reckon that all the original peoples would have been basically the same mob, just that some walked faster than others.

Peerie Maa
09-22-2011, 04:00 PM
Seems fair. They had further to walk ;)

Seriously though the idea that Cro Magnon and Neanderthals cohabited and may have interbred is also gaining prominence for the European population.

Paul Pless
09-22-2011, 04:03 PM
The first complete genetic sequencing of an Aboriginal man long dead has come to this conclusion. . .Will the world be a better or worse place when there are no more mysteries?

peter radclyffe
09-22-2011, 04:03 PM
they invented the surfboard before the boomerang

B_B
09-22-2011, 04:03 PM
...Modern science reckons my mob has been on the river for more than 4000 years and that's enough imformation for me....
4000 or 40,000?
Genetic sequencing is a fascinating thing.

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 04:07 PM
On a slightly different note, some laboratory botanists here are challenging present taxonomy rules, but using their criteria for our own species reduces us to a sub-species of Homo Errectus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_erectus Stay tuned!
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cd/Homo_erectus.jpg/200px-Homo_erectus.jpg
L (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homo_erectus.jpg)ook like anone you know?

Peerie Maa
09-22-2011, 04:24 PM
I saw a documentary looking at archaeological evidence from South America setting out the thesis that the first people of the Americas were from the same stock as the Australian first people, who turned left (north) and kept walking rather than right (south). One strand of the evidence was the facial resemblance between the original Tierra del Fuegans and the Australian Aboriginals. The current first people were from the second wave of out of Africa migration, who displaced the first lot to the far south of South America.

PeterSibley
09-22-2011, 04:43 PM
As a possible interest, anyone who has looked at Aboriginal Australia then at Tamil South Indians can only be impressed with the similarities. Appearance obviously but I always imagined Tamil and Australian Aborigine as two different possibilities where different resources were available to the same peoples.

Cuyahoga Chuck
09-22-2011, 05:30 PM
Will the world be a better or worse place when there are no more mysteries?

Why worry? We probably haven't scratched the surface yet.

L.W. Baxter
09-22-2011, 05:32 PM
I entered university with the intention of majoring in anthropology or paleo-anthropology. My Intro to Anthro professor announced that races do not exist. I did not, and do not, have any particular reason to cling to the notion of race, but I questioned very emphatically the non-existence of a phenomena easily observable to the naked eye, and discernible by toddling children. I was rebuffed in a way that was so distasteful, I dropped the whole field from consideration of further study.

I wonder if genetic sequencing might cause academics to reconsider the notion that "races don't exist". I think we are grown up enough to handle the truth.

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 05:43 PM
Rather like my #7 It may depend at what level you define it. Academic niceties or practical realities.

L.W. Baxter
09-22-2011, 05:51 PM
The prevalent reasoning at the time (it wasn't just my prof.) that race was a useless concept was based on the fact that variation between individuals of closely related groups of humans is greater than average variations between isolated groups. Illogical on the face of it, even to an 18 year old kid. Entirely political straw-grasping.

WX
09-22-2011, 05:52 PM
I was also going to mention the similarity of some of the southern Indian races to Australian aborigines.

Mad Scientist
09-22-2011, 05:52 PM
L.W.,

It depends on the definition of 'race', and that has changed over time. For example, 150 years ago, most Canadians considered the French and English to be two separate 'races', with all the 'Indians' lumped into a third 'race'.

Nowadays, 'race' seems to be equivalent to 'ethnicity'.

One thing won't change soon, though - everything wrong in the world is automatically assumed to be the fault of the male members of the 'white race'. ;-)

Tom

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 05:57 PM
"One thing won't change soon, though - everything wrong in the world is automatically assumed to be the fault of the male members of the 'white race."

So?:d

L.W. Baxter
09-22-2011, 06:08 PM
...Nowadays, 'race' seems to be equivalent to 'ethnicity'...

I disagree. Anyone can sort through and categorize a group of, for instance, people of typical East-Asian descent mixed with others of typical West-European descent, regardless of cultural garb (ethnicity). The physical identifiers that make people sort-able in this fashion remains the basic definition of "race", no matter how we would like to ignore it.

What is terribly inconvenient is the possibility that human races are akin to breeds of dog; we are all the same species, capable of interbreeding, but we have real, measurable differences in our attributes. Of course, the enlightened scientific establishment recoils from such an idea lest it lead to judgments of superiority/inferiority and therefore racism. But the recognition of racial attributes is not necessarily laden with value judgments regarding those attributes. Science should not shun the truth for political reasons.

purri
09-22-2011, 06:15 PM
I was also going to mention the similarity of some of the southern Indian races to Australian aborigines.

As posted elsewhere the notion of "race" is a Euro construct.

The fella in question is Parma-Nyungan langauge group. non-Parma_Nyungan occupy the majority of the continent.

"Similarity" of some mobs yes but a claim that has been peddled by both the English colonists and sub-continental mobs for over a century. (rolling eyes)

And yes I've heard Indian people claim some sort of affinity. (roll eyes again)

Current evidence of occupation is around 68K BCE but several palaeo-pollen deposits in NSW and VIC infer 130K BCE.

Affinity has been roundly disproven.

johnw
09-22-2011, 06:17 PM
On a slightly different note, some laboratory botanists here are challenging present taxonomy rules, but using their criteria for our own species reduces us to a sub-species of Homo Errectus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_erectus Stay tuned!
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cd/Homo_erectus.jpg/200px-Homo_erectus.jpg
L (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homo_erectus.jpg)ook like anone you know?

Dutch, you're not looking well.

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 06:19 PM
purri, I know that most of the languages that existed before colonisation have been largely lost but has there been any research into interrelation between those remaining?

purri
09-22-2011, 06:19 PM
4000 or 40,000?
Genetic sequencing is a fascinating thing.

Barney's mob and all coastal folks were driven upland when the sea levels rose post LGM (16K BCE) to abt 4-6K BCE when abt at current level (but they have been higher by abt 1-2 metres).

johnw
09-22-2011, 06:20 PM
The first complete genetic sequencing of an Aboriginal man long dead has come to this conclusion. Of course there are critics but so far it's not science driving the criticism, rather other agenda's.
"A 90-year-old tuft of hair has yielded the first complete genome of an Aboriginal Australian, a young man who lived in southwest Australia.
He, and perhaps all Aboriginal Australians, the genome indicates, descend from the first humans to venture far beyond Africa more than 60,000 years ago, and thousands of years before the ancestors of most modern Asians trekked east in a second migration out of Africa."
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110922/full/news.2011.551.html

Amongst the genetic information is evidence of interbreeding with Neanderthals and a group known as Denisovians from cave evidence in Siberia. http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101222/full/4681012a.html
Other research from Harvard on migration waves of archaic humans provides supporting evidence. There seems to be a little bit of Neanderthal in all of us as well, http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html , looking at football players and all in wrestlers I'm not at all surprised!:d
Sub Saharan Africans didn't interbreed with Neanderthal, near as we can tell. The real puzzle is that the interbreeding happened about 70,000 years ago in the Middle East, not 40,000 years ago when modern humans came into Europe.

AndyG
09-22-2011, 06:24 PM
I entered university with the intention of majoring in anthropology or paleo-anthropology....

May I ask when and where that was?

Andy

purri
09-22-2011, 06:25 PM
purri, I know that most of the languages that existed before colonisation have been largely lost but has there been any research into interrelation between those remaining?

That's why I differentiated the two. There are "borrow" words within the two (as everywhere) due to trade etc. Example being abt 300 Bahasa/ Bugis in Yolngu folk (AL). "Balanda" meaning Hollander and "Rupiah" that for money.

Of abt 1500 dialects and abt 600 languages; some say 250 (not counting same sex specific) abt 250 are in use and abt 100 spoken "right through".

Google FATSIL for more info.

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 06:27 PM
Than you purri.

WX
09-22-2011, 06:29 PM
There's a bit of info here on aboriginal language.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Aboriginal_languages

purri
09-22-2011, 06:32 PM
no wukkas

Nyangu warra

L.W. Baxter
09-22-2011, 06:42 PM
May I ask when and where that was?

Andy

University of Montana, 1990.

WX
09-22-2011, 06:42 PM
Than you purri.
+1 Good reading there.

WX
09-22-2011, 06:45 PM
no wukkas

Nyangu warra
What does that mean Purri?

L.W. Baxter
09-22-2011, 06:53 PM
As posted elsewhere the notion of "race" is a Euro construct...

I would certainly agree that Europeans and their descendants have used the concept of race to justify inhumane treatment of other peoples, as other groups wielding exceptional power have also done (notably and recently the Japanese). I disagree that the concept is a "Euro construct". Categorization by race or breed is a universal concept, one that has occurred to every distinct group of people ever confronted by an obviously different population.

purri
09-22-2011, 07:11 PM
no wukkas

Nyangu warra
What does that mean Purri?

"See you later" in Walmajarri (there is no equivalent for "goodbye") Same applies to "thanks"

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 07:41 PM
[QUOTE=WX;3136470]

"See you later" in Walmajarri (there is no equivalent for "goodbye") Same applies to "thanks"
Not surprising really, "Comes from "God be with (ye)you"

WX
09-22-2011, 09:12 PM
[QUOTE=WX;3136470]

"See you later" in Walmajarri (there is no equivalent for "goodbye") Same applies to "thanks"I like it, would the pronunciation be N yan gu wa ra ?

purri
09-22-2011, 09:53 PM
Ng as in "song"

ya as in yaa ng (as above)

u as in you

Mine is little used and "baby" Walmajarri. In sentence construction it has some similarities with Latin though there are more tenses and cases in Walmajarri, signified by suffixes, many of which are relationship specific according to eight sided sex specific kinship system. From memory there are no definite or indefinite articles and despite opinion there are numeric systems across all languages, both in oral/written and by sign language.

BTW as to points of the compass there are the usual 4 though north is down and south is up. There are words for down and up and celestial navigation is a feature across all groups.

Walmajarri_ English dictionary with English finder list ISBN 0 86892 339 7

skuthorp
09-22-2011, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the attenton purri, there are some resources for several languages here http://www.aussieeducator.org.au/curriculum/otherlanguages/indigenouslanguage.html
Seems to be designed for early school education and that might be appropriate for us too!
I haven't time to have look to see if there are audio files for pronunciation purposes. Do you know of any others?
I wonder if an indigenous languages thread might get up? There might be some interest in the US of their own. Pity I didn't think of this whilst Chuck was still with us. What do you think?

TimH
09-22-2011, 10:10 PM
Will the world be a better or worse place when there are no more mysteries?

Dont worry Paul, the secrets of your origin are safe with us. And we dont hold it against you!

hokiefan
09-22-2011, 10:23 PM
Will the world be a better or worse place when there are no more mysteries?

I think it would be a far worse place without mysteries. But I think we're thousands of years from unravelling the mysteries we know of today. And by then we'll have created new ones.

Cheers,

Bobby

purri
09-22-2011, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the attenton purri, there are some resources for several languages here http://www.aussieeducator.org.au/curriculum/otherlanguages/indigenouslanguage.html
Seems to be designed for early school education and that might be appropriate for us too!
I haven't time to have look to see if there are audio files for pronunciation purposes. Do you know of any others?
I wonder if an indigenous languages thread might get up? There might be some interest in the US of their own. Pity I didn't think of this whilst Chuck was still with us. What do you think?

There are language programs in primary and secondary schools throughout Oz. (3-4 taught in Sydney: Gumbayngirri, Gamilaraay, Wiradthuri and Bandjalung). There are others like Ngeemba/Ngaampiyaa and Pakaantji/ Barkinji in the west of the state.

Language resources and audio files are co-ordinated through FATSIL and AIATSIS.

Chase and I have had a yarn-up at one time.

purri
09-23-2011, 01:23 AM
I would certainly agree that Europeans and their descendants have used the concept of race to justify inhumane treatment of other peoples, as other groups wielding exceptional power have also done (notably and recently the Japanese). I disagree that the concept is a "Euro construct". Categorization by race or breed is a universal concept, one that has occurred to every distinct group of people ever confronted by an obviously different population.

On what you posit might I refer you the the Euroconstruct of eugenics. (false science to justify colonisation et al))

AussieBarney
09-23-2011, 04:36 AM
At one stage I had about a thousand words of my clans dialect, which was variation of bundajalung (North Coast of NSW). When I was taken as a stolen gen. child the language was flogged out of us. When you want to kill a culture, first kill the langauge. I have a mental and emotional block against using or learning any language now. I know one phrase ( Kupa pulla nunga) (sp?) it means, "food is here, come and eat." One of the great tragedies of my life and probably one of the worst abuses I suffered as a child.

George Ray
09-23-2011, 05:07 AM
One of the great tragedies of my life and probably one of the worst abuses I suffered as a child.
May it never happen again!





....
Graham Hancock: Fingerprints of the Gods
Marlo Morgan: Mutant Message Down Under

purri
09-23-2011, 05:38 AM
Fair enough fellas but it's still happening via denigration /mental colonisation and now it's into the third chapter of self justifications; being shallow cultural appropriation of our stuff to suit the prerogatives of settler societies.

AKA "I wanna learn a language so I feel comfortable". Sheesh!

johnw
09-23-2011, 12:28 PM
At one stage I had about a thousand words of my clans dialect, which was variation of bundajalung (North Coast of NSW). When I was taken as a stolen gen. child the language was flogged out of us. When you want to kill a culture, first kill the langauge. I have a mental and emotional block against using or learning any language now. I know one phrase ( Kupa pulla nunga) (sp?) it means, "food is here, come and eat." One of the great tragedies of my life and probably one of the worst abuses I suffered as a child.

Wow.

I recently read Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics, and one of the points he makes is that language provides us the tools for symbolic thought. That means what we can think is done with the tools of language, and he contended that this means each language creates its own reality. Destroying a language is like sinking Atlantis.

A lot of languages are disappearing as people join the larger culture, and the loss of each means the loss of an entire way of thought and life. In your case, and in the case of some Native American tribes, they did it on purpose.

Peerie Maa
09-23-2011, 12:55 PM
Wow.

I recently read Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics, and one of the points he makes is that language provides us the tools for symbolic thought. That means what we can think is done with the tools of language, and he contended that this means each language creates its own reality. Destroying a language is like sinking Atlantis.

It may go even deeper than that. There was a documentary aired recently discussing the perception of coulour, It would seem that it does not matter what signals the retina sends,the brain and the language it uses determines what is perceived.
I heard a while ago that the ancient Greeks had no concept for blue, the called and perceived the sky bronze. The documentary reported on work being dome now with a central African tribe who also perceive a limited spectrum of coulour, whilst being able to distinguish and have names for many "shades". They live in a world of shades of mountain colour each named, that we would see as a spectrum of greens and browns.

johnw
09-23-2011, 01:07 PM
That's actually pretty much what Saussure said. His example was the different concept in Russian for light blue and dark blue, which they regard, if memory serves, as two colors. There's another group that regards blue as a shade of black, meaning the daylight sky is black.

We can't know what's in another person's mind, but I'm pretty sure killing a language destroys more than what we call culture. It's a whole way of constructing reality.

Peerie Maa
09-23-2011, 01:19 PM
That's actually pretty much what Saussure said. His example was the different concept in Russian for light blue and dark blue, which they regard, if memory serves, as two colors. There's another group that regards blue as a shade of black, meaning the daylight sky is black.

We can't know what's in another person's mind, but I'm pretty sure killing a language destroys more than what we call culture. It's a whole way of constructing reality.

It is a frightening thought, that by forcing the unlearning of a language you risk impairing vision. One wonders can the brain learn to perceive a different spectrum and contrast relationship as it unlearns one language and learns another?

johnw
09-23-2011, 01:48 PM
Barney might have a better idea than we do, but then, you don't get to live your life twice and compare.

I've done some thinking about how we construct race and define humanity in relation to our ancestors' colonization of Europe, by the way:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32737941/Sex-and-the-Single-Neanderthal-Interbreeding-and-Extinction

My theory is that it resembled the Tasmanian atrocities.

Peerie Maa
09-23-2011, 02:13 PM
Barney might have a better idea than we do, but then, you don't get to live your life twice and compare.

I've done some thinking about how we construct race and define humanity in relation to our ancestors' colonization of Europe, by the way:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32737941/Sex-and-the-Single-Neanderthal-Interbreeding-and-Extinction

My theory is that it resembled the Tasmanian atrocities.

The little that I have read and seen in documentaries suggests that the Neanderthal were not innovative. They perfected a tool, learned how to make it well and then continued to use it without development until they died out. I am rereading an explanation of the importance of stories in the development of humanity. I wonder if the Neanderthal did not have the stories in their culture that triggered innovation, just as the same authors posit that the Chinese did not develop science because of their world view bound up in their polytheism.

johnw
09-23-2011, 02:23 PM
The little that I have read and seen in documentaries suggests that the Neanderthal were not innovative. They perfected a tool, learned how to make it well and then continued to use it without development until they died out. I am rereading an explanation of the importance of stories in the development of humanity. I wonder if the Neanderthal did not have the stories in their culture that triggered innovation, just as the same authors posit that the Chinese did not develop science because of their world view bound up in their polytheism.

The Chinese developed more science than Europe until the Renaissance.

But as to why Neanderthal did not develop as complex a culture as modern humans, I have a theory about that, as well.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/25131661/The-%E2%80%9CNeanderthal-Enigma%E2%80%9D-and-the-Structure-of-Thought

Both essays are ways of exploring the thinking that was in this essay:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19407908/Thoughts-on-Structuralism-and-the-Death-of-Ghosts

Which actually relates more closely to our original discussion of language.

Peerie Maa
09-23-2011, 02:55 PM
The Chinese developed more science than Europe until the Renaissance.



That is nothing to crow about ;)

There was no true science before the Renaissance, in fact even Newton tried to understand alchemy. It was only in Newton, Hooke and the other members of the Royal Society that the true scientific method took off.

Unfortunately for the Chinese, although they discovered gunpowder, they never exploited it. They developed bureaucracy and accurate measurement of mass and volume, but thought that the clocks they received as diplomatic gifts were just toys for grownups without seeing their potential.

skuthorp
09-23-2011, 04:52 PM
I understand purri's dismissal of the learning of aboriginal languages by non aboriginals as tokenism, understandable considering the absence of recognition in our constitution of his people till 1967 and the continued failure to recognise them as 'first peoples' of the nation. But you cannot unscramble the egg, europeans stole the place, it was what european powers did. But for the Popes ruling we might have been Portugese, or if timing had been a bit off French, the Napoleonic wars were in full swing at the time and Britain grabbed it. At a distance of 12,000 miles and at least 6 months travel it was a frontier colony and many disgusting events occurred. Recognising the inhabitants as a nation would have meant acknowledging their resistance as a war formally. It was convenient not to and the killings continued int the 1930's. There is little that is satisfactory with european/aboriginal relations till this day.
purri will probably, justifiably consider my post as condescending, don't mean to be.

PeterSibley
09-23-2011, 05:19 PM
The results and attitude between Maori New Zealand and Australia and it's Aborigine inhabitants is very clear.The Maori tied 3 successive wars against the British, the country wasn't conducive to armed light cavalry, the invader's main advantage in Australia and the US west of the Mississippi.

johnw
09-23-2011, 07:31 PM
That is nothing to crow about ;)

There was no true science before the Renaissance, in fact even Newton tried to understand alchemy. It was only in Newton, Hooke and the other members of the Royal Society that the true scientific method took off.

Unfortunately for the Chinese, although they discovered gunpowder, they never exploited it. They developed bureaucracy and accurate measurement of mass and volume, but thought that the clocks they received as diplomatic gifts were just toys for grownups without seeing their potential.


The exploited gunpowder for mines and rockets, just not for guns. They were pretty competitive until the 15th century, when early in the century they had voyages of discovery, later in the century we did; after that, they turned inward and destroyed the records of their voyages, assuming that anything worth while was in China. We wanted the wealth and cultured artifacts of China and the rest of the world, and assumed many of the things worth having were elsewhere. Once we came to that conclusion, all it took was a certain moral flexibility about taking the stuff and a genius for killin' folks.

johnw
09-23-2011, 09:10 PM
I understand purri's dismissal of the learning of aboriginal languages by non aboriginals as tokenism, understandable considering the absence of recognition in our constitution of his people till 1967 and the continued failure to recognise them as 'first peoples' of the nation. But you cannot unscramble the egg, europeans stole the place, it was what european powers did. But for the Popes ruling we might have been Portugese, or if timing had been a bit off French, the Napoleonic wars were in full swing at the time and Britain grabbed it. At a distance of 12,000 miles and at least 6 months travel it was a frontier colony and many disgusting events occurred. Recognising the inhabitants as a nation would have meant acknowledging their resistance as a war formally. It was convenient not to and the killings continued int the 1930's. There is little that is satisfactory with european/aboriginal relations till this day.
purri will probably, justifiably consider my post as condescending, don't mean to be.

I guess a culture is a little like a home, you don't walk in unless invited.

purri
09-23-2011, 11:50 PM
^ well put mate.

johnw
09-24-2011, 12:27 AM
;)

.

purri
09-24-2011, 01:54 AM
And on the note of languages etc. Today I spent 5 hours in session with Board members of our academy planning our directions and strategic policy for the next 20 years. A prime topic was commodification of culture; id est "who tells the story". In context there is a marketplace for such BUT it has to be to our principles and controlled by us, certainly not some academic blow in with their own take on what we know and understand.

FWIW as one with some training in matters cultural, course design and delivery at tertiary level I've had approaches from US institutes to do "boutique courses" over the northerm hemisphere vacation BUT the issue was that some outsider had to "interpret" to the students. What a load of carp and I refused to consider it unless there was Indigenous (Aboriginal and TSI) control of the process.

To those who desire a "boutique" cultural experience in order to "understand" a culture and boast of their experience I say you are no better than the invaders, if not in fact worse.

I continue to call to account non ID people delivering material that they have little or no understanding of cultural sensitivities according to their particular "weltanschauang."

johnw
09-24-2011, 03:11 AM
They thought the students needed an interpreter? Doesn't show much respect for the students, does it? More likely, the person on their end thought the whole point was to portray themselves as wise in a culture they are not a part of.

My mother has a talent for languages and a personality that gets her invited in. My brother has spent most of his life in China, married a Chinese woman and seems most comfortable there. The first time I saw him talking to a roomful of giggling Chinese office girls, and realized he'd never be that kind of hit in America, I knew we'd seldom see him outside China again.

Me, I've little talent for languages, but there's a great deal of human communication that happens without it. Growing up as an Air Force brat, I sometimes think I experienced a lot of cultures without becoming really part of one. There's a certain utility to being comfortable around cultures not your own, even at the cost of finding your own culture a little foreign. Certainly being exposed to different cultures while still a child changes people more than traveling as an adult. I suppose, where cultures meet, those in the dominant culture are least likely to experience that. Maybe they have a sense of what they're missing, and in the way of their own culture, want to buy what's missing. Once my brother took me to meet one of the last priests of the Dongba religion in Yunnan province, and the man showed us a manuscript he was working on in the pictorial text they use. While we were there, an American tourist came in, saw the text, and tried to buy it.

As if a manuscript hand written by one of the last people to know the form of writing were a souvenir. I tried to point this out to him, but he was obtuse and insistent, until the priest's gentle insistence sent him away.

Meli
09-24-2011, 04:57 AM
Purri is a little harsh. I cant see anything but good coming out of "outsiders" wanting to learn even a little about Aboriginal culture and history pre or post invasion. It's no different to wanting to know more about say Japanese culture albeit a lot more important if you are imported Australian or just interested in history or anthropology in general. Tourism or culture groupies are a different thing entirely.
It should of course be placed firmly in the hands of acknowledged "experts" whatever their background.
I wouldn't mind doing a short summer course to learn more about Ind culture here or about the Inuit or...
The only things I "know" about North American indigenous culture comes from westerns or "bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"
Short course for interested students might lay some of the more destructive myths.
Meh What do I know? white city girl! :D
I mean well though :p:


On seeing colours differently, Didn't Homer refer to "the wine dark sea"? some now believe this was factual observation rather than poetic licence and the ancient Greeks saw dark blue as sort of claret purple.

My trivia of the day done :)

Peerie Maa
09-24-2011, 05:05 AM
The exploited gunpowder for mines and rockets, just not for guns. They were pretty competitive until the 15th century, when early in the century they had voyages of discovery, later in the century we did; after that, they turned inward and destroyed the records of their voyages, assuming that anything worth while was in China. We wanted the wealth and cultured artifacts of China and the rest of the world, and assumed many of the things worth having were elsewhere. Once we came to that conclusion, all it took was a certain moral flexibility about taking the stuff and a genius for killin' folks.

This should be on another thread, running elsewhere, but.
The Chinese had as many clever folk as any other culture/society but they did not develop science. Science is a collaborative process using repeatable experiments and peer review. Copernicus did not do science, he was trying to perfect the data needed by astrologers. It was not until the 18th C that the scientific method of putting ideas up for discussion and rigorous testing was developed.

Meli
09-24-2011, 05:15 AM
Didn't the Moors in Spain study Astronomy and Medicine way before the European Renaisance? just askin'

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-24-2011, 05:20 AM
Yes, discussion of Chinese culture this should be on another thread. So I am going to start one for that purpose.

Returning to our muttons, I know nothing about the indigenous culture of Australia beyond the gifte shoppe level. But that is enough to know that it is very often exploited in a fairly blatantly commercial way by people who have no honest claim to be a part of it.

Peerie Maa
09-24-2011, 05:24 AM
Didn't the Moors in Spain study Astronomy and Medicine way before the European Renaisance? just askin'

They certainly preserved and tried to perfect and understand in a scholarly fashion but the point that I was making is that science is a method as well as an objective.
This astronomical observatory in Jaipur
http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/2x1192633/jantar_mantar_astronomical_observatory_jaipur_we00 8618.jpg
dates from 1727-34 and is incredibly accurate, but it is more of a clock than a scientific observatory.
The detail is in what you do with it.

purri
09-24-2011, 05:25 AM
Meli,

You delude yourself. As I reiterated the issue is about who controls culture, the mob or the (quasi intellectual) mission manager. Stop dicking around as a cultural interpreter because you don't get it!

GO AWAY!!!

Peerie Maa
09-24-2011, 05:26 AM
Meli,

You delude yourself. As I reiterated the issue is about who controls culture, the mob or the (quasi intellectual) mission manager. Stop dicking around as a cultural interpreter because you don't get it!

GO AWAY!!!

Calm down, that's a bit handbags at dawn.;)

Meli
09-24-2011, 05:32 AM
It's ok nick I dont mind Purri getting cranky.

purri
09-24-2011, 06:45 AM
^ And again you don't get it.

(the underlying cultural imperative of the coloniser is to appropriate that of the originals as an exercise in self justification).

Do you understand; and I reiterate that ours is a nationally accredited organisation at the national level with 35 years of service provision, not a quasi feelgood PoS!

AussieBarney
09-24-2011, 06:56 AM
Purri. What mob are you talking about. You are sailing very closehauled on this subject. It sounds like you are right up the sharp end of this. You have an incredible understanding of the issues. I was flogged for using language and I forgot nearly all I had learnt and there is no one left who I can learn off. I also have an emotional block to learning the language again.

Meli
09-24-2011, 07:00 AM
If you could tell me which bit of my post your pissd off with?
You refereing to the bit about acknowledged experts? I meant acknowledged by your mob you DH,it is just possible that there might be one or two serious WHITE anthropologists among the wise, recognised or dare I say it,respected by your mob, as there are no doubt, a few blowhard self promoting mob blokes looked sideways at by your mob. Self aggrandisment is not a mono cultural trait. no fair Purri.

Sorry Barney, my post crossed with yours, After you sir :)
I'll get mad with Purri later (cross)

skuthorp
09-24-2011, 08:14 AM
purri is very protective of his peoples culture, this can be a good thing or a bad one. The more people other than his know about that culture makes it more likely they'll begin to appreciate it if not understand. I don't think ghettoising the culture will help it's survival, but then what do I know.

purri
09-24-2011, 06:48 PM
The issue is not one of "ghettoisation" but that of drawing a "line in the sand" as an absolute. If we don't control our matters cultural we once again become roadkill of the "other". And here there are $...load of commercial tour operators doing just that. FWIW I did a study/report on the matter for a govt dept and in part Tourism NSW who then put it through the wringer with a non Indigenous outfit to "interpret" with an overview what I had stated in my very plain language. I declined to have anything further to do with the "interpreter" and haven't heard from all three parties since.

And Meli, I read your post and it in short was what you pm'd me some months back but added some more text. As for the claim of self aggrandisement then I keep schtum on what and who, suffice to say that cultural matters and intellectual property are part of my business and I have sufficient references among them WIPO/UNESCO and elsewhere to back this up.

In terms of translation I meant "to interpret the matter in eurocentric terms for their student body", not a literal translation as such.

I encourage short term courses but certainly not at the expense of turning it into a "Disneyworld" commodification. The issue may be best summarised as "who tells the story".

johnw
09-24-2011, 10:00 PM
I wonder if sometimes the Native culture can colonize the minds of the colonizers. A Native American carver told me that his craft was getting better than it ever had been, because instead of being a carver/fisherman/hunter/gatherer, a carver could devote all his time to perfecting his craft. The result, he said, was that Native art was reaching new heights, and it made the leap from souvenir shops to galleries many years ago. Native carvers still control the art, at least in the galleries, but the art, which is some of the most striking in the world, is spreading the Northwest Indian aesthetic into the minds of people in general here.

The fellow who wrote this book:
http://www.historylink.org/db_images/Northwest_Indian_Art_Holm_bookcover.jpg

This guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Holm_%28art_historian%29

had a lot of influence on this development. I think the 1962 Worlds Fair exhibit was because of his work, as well.
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9238

This part of America was settled when wiping out the locals had gone somewhat out of style, which helps a lot. The cultures are a lot more intact than elsewhere in the country.

There's also some thinking that the organization of some Native American tribes influenced the form of government we chose, and influenced a number of European thinkers, as well; Charles Mann has a pretty good section on this in 1491. It's not all exploitation and expropriation, sometimes cultures learn from each other. Not that the Europeans were eager to give credit.

That said, some pretty awful things get done. There was a myth among the Nazis that the original aryans were somewhere near Tibet. As it happens, there are people called the Nakhi for whom the swastika has been a cultural symbol for thousands of years. The Germans even sent a mission -- there were pictures of them in restaurants in Lijiang when I was there -- to trace the race of short, swarthy supermen who'd been pushed around by the Chinese for the last millennium or so.

So they got to have a central symbol of their culture expropriated and poisoned for all foreseeable history because the Nazis liked it, and tried to claim them as part of their project.

purri
09-24-2011, 10:20 PM
^ Interesting. From a distinctly local cultural viewpoint art as "commercial product" has its place but the spirit of the
story's "owner/ cultural custodian" imbued in the product determines its cultural worth. The skills demonstrated by refining a technique has little value within our societies and from conversation with some of your locals the same holds true.

As to influence remember that the colonisers were viewing circumstance and cultural matters through the prism of a eurocentric society motivated in part by The Enlightenment

As for "awful events" around here the last Federally sanctioned punitive mission was abt 1934 (Caledon/Blue Mud Bay) and the politics of indifference had some of ours victims to the Maralinga atomic bomb tests in the 50's. Hardly not historic but contemporary facts to our surviving Elders.

johnw
09-24-2011, 10:57 PM
^ Interesting. From a distinctly local cultural viewpoint art as "commercial product" has its place but the spirit of the
story's "owner/ cultural custodian" imbued in the product determines its cultural worth. The skills demonstrated by refining a technique has little value within our societies and from conversation with some of your locals the same holds true.

As to influence remember that the colonisers were viewing circumstance and cultural matters through the prism of a eurocentric society motivated in part by The Enlightenment

As for "awful events" around here the last Federally sanctioned punitive mission was abt 1934 (Caledon/Blue Mud Bay) and the politics of indifference had some of ours victims to the Maralinga atomic bomb tests in the 50's. Hardly not historic but contemporary facts to our surviving Elders.
Yup.