Articles on Aboriginal culture

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Artist Nyapanyapa Yunipingu is assisted by art centre worker Jeremy Cloake at Buku-Larrnngay Art Centre,Yirrkala. Siobhan McHugh

Aboriginal art: is it a white thing?

White people hugely influence the Aboriginal art world – but that can be a good thing, according to the artists.
A sculpture of William Ricketts looms over those of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men at the sanctuary in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Chris Haych/flickr

Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

A mossy sanctuary in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges houses 92 sculptures, mostly of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men, women and children. They are steeped in primitivism, yet the park is a popular tourist attraction.
A sacred paperbark tree at Djiliwirri, the most sacred homeland of the Indigenous elder and public intellectual, Dr Joe Gumbula, in 2004. Aaron Corn

Friday essay: Dr Joe Gumbula, the ancestral chorus, and how we value Indigenous knowledges

Dr Joe Gumbula was a master-singer of Manikay, the exquisite Yolŋu tradition of public ceremonial song. While the songs contain incredible knowledge, scholars have rarely treated them as an intellectual tradition.
Brenda L. Croft. shut/mouth/scream (detail) 2016 Courtesy of the artist and Stills Gallery

Defying Empire: the legacy of 1967

The National Gallery of Australia's Third National Indigenous Art Triennial presents a passionate well-considered argument for an enduring Aboriginal culture.
A fruit cart depicting a ‘picanniny’ child: such figures were popular at a time when Aboriginal children were being removed from their families. Author provided

Friday essay: the politics of Aboriginal kitsch

What are we to make of 'Aboriginalia': bric-a-brac, tiles, ornaments and artworks - once hugely popular - depicting caricatures of Indigenous people? What if they are collected now in a knowing, ironic way?
Policies and services designed to protect Aboriginal children’s cultural connections are not being properly implemented. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Australia failing to safeguard cultural connections for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

New reports show a widespread lack of care for the cultural needs of many of the 19,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection and out-of-home care.

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