Saturday, April 5, 2014

Songlines exhibition sparks aboriginal culture wars

A exhibition showcasing ancient aboriginal stories has been postponed indefinitely after a group of traditional owners threatened legal action. Although the South Australian Museum consulted widely with community leaders across the region about mapping the songlines of Aboriginal Australia, a group of male elders from the Anangu language group has expressed outrage at the publicising of what they say are secret men's stories. The group includes Yami Lester a revered elder who presided over the handback of Uluru to traditional elders nearly 30 years ago.

The intervention has sparked a fierce debate, dividing the Pitjantjatjara desert people. The Australian says: "No collision in recent decades between the grand designs of of the mainstream world and Aboriginal resistance campaign quite rivals this one for its long-term impact: its controversies dominate the community night-time fires. Senior men in the heartland talk of little else." Read more...
Image: Mike Williams and Yami Lester