Yiwara: Foragers of the Australian Desert

By Richard A. Gould; Nicholas Amorosi | Go to book overview

Glossary

ALTERNATING GENERATIONS . A dual division of society into two halves, each composed of individuals belonging to generation-levels which alternate with the levels of members of the opposite half. These divisions are a feature of the social organization of the Gibson Desert Aborigines. One division (one's own generation-level along with those of one's grandparents' and of one's grandchildren's) is called nganatarka; the other (the generation-levels of one's parents and children) is called tarpuṭa.

ARUNTA (ALSO CALLED ARANDA) . Aborigines living in the vicinity of Alice Springs and the Macdonnell Ranges of Central Australia. Thanks to studies by Baldwin Spencer, F. J. Gillen, C. Strehlow, and T. G. H. Strehlow, the Aranda are one of the best-known Australian Aboriginal societies.

AUSTRALOPITHECUS . Genus of fossil hominids which appeared in Africa during the Early Pleistocene (around 2,000,000 to 1,500,000 years ago) according to recent evidence at the site of Olduvai Gorge in East Africa. These fossil hominids represent the first appearance of tool-using manlike creatures, some of which lead ultimately (though the fossil evidence is complex) to more modern forms of man.

BILLABONG . A colloquial Australian word describing a creek in which the water has ceased to flow but still lies in pools in the creekbed.

BILLYCAN (OR BILLY) . Colloquial Australian term for a large tin can (almost any shape will do), generally with a wire handle looped over the top, used to make tea while traveling in the bush.

BULLROARER . A sacred board attached to a cord of hair-string, which men twirl through the air at ceremonies to keep women and uninitiated men away.

CARPET SNAKE ( Morelia spilotes). This non-poisonous snake belongs

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Yiwara: Foragers of the Australian Desert
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Note on Aboriginal Terms xv
  • 1 - A Day with the Desert People 3
  • 2 - The Gibson Desert and its Early Explorers 37
  • 3 - Who are the Desert Aborigines? 54
  • 4 - The Satisfactions of Survival 72
  • 5 - Desert Rituals and the Sacred Life 101
  • 6 - Artists and Monuments 135
  • 7 - The Dissatisfied 165
  • Epilogue 190
  • Notes 195
  • Glossary 204
  • Annotated Bibliography 212
  • Acknowledgments 231
  • Index 233
  • About the Author 240
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