The archaeological heritage of Christianity in northern Cape York Peninsula

McIntyre-Tamwoy, Susan (2010) The archaeological heritage of Christianity in northern Cape York Peninsula. Archaeological Heritage, 2 (1). pp. 40-45.

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Abstract

For those who have worked in northern Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait, the term 'coming of the light' will have instant meaning as the symbolic reference to the advent of Christianity amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This paper explores the approaches that anthropologists and archaeologist have adopted in exploring the issues around Christianity, Aboriginal people, missions and cultural transformations. For the most part these disciplines have pursued divergent interests and methodologies which I would suggest have resulted in limited understandings of the nature and form of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity and a lack of appreciation of the material culture that evidences this transformation.

Through an overview of some of the work undertaken in the region the paper explores the question 'Can we really understand contemporary identity and the processes that have led to its development without fully understanding the complex connections between place and people and historical events and symbolic meaning, in fact the ‘social landscape of Aboriginal and Islander Christianity.'

This paper was presented in an earlier form at the Australian Anthropological Society 2003 Annual Conference held in Sydney.

Item ID: 15524
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-6634
Keywords: archaeology, Christian missions, Cape York Peninsula
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Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2011 05:58
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 100%
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