The ‘very stillness of things’: object biographies of sailcloth and fishing net from the Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission (Burgiyana) colonial archive, South Australia

Fowler, Madeline, Roberts, Amy, and Rigney, Lester-Irabinna (2016) The ‘very stillness of things’: object biographies of sailcloth and fishing net from the Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission (Burgiyana) colonial archive, South Australia. World Archaeology, 48 (2). pp. 210-225.

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Abstract

This article details the discovery of early twentieth-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 the 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.

Item ID: 47264
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1470-1375
Keywords: object biography, colonial archive, Narungga, Aboriginal Mission, maritime culture
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 00:38
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210201 Archival, Repository and Related Studies @ 40%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210110 Maritime Archaeology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950303 Conserving Collections and Movable Cultural Heritage @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 20%
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