Torres Strait Islanders
Custom and Colonialism
By (author) Jeremy Beckett
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Torres Strait Islanders by Jeremy Beckett
Book DescriptionThe Torres Strait Islanders are Australia's 'other' indigenous minority. Their experience of colonialism and their reaction to their position in Australian society provides a striking counterpoint to that of the Aborigines. The author applies many years of study and work among the Torres Strait Islanders to provide a new account of their changing world in the islands and their changing role in Australia. A Melanesian people, the Torres Strait Islanders' cultural affinities originally lay with the Papuans to the north rather than the Aborigines to the south. But by the logic of European colonialism, they were made a part of the State of Queensland. The pearling industry has exploited their labour, but left them in occupation of their islands. The Queensland government has allowed them a degree of autonomy in local affairs which many would contrast with its approach to Aborigines. The Torres Strait Islanders have thus had the space in which to develop a rich and vital way of life that they still call 'island custom', which has, however, changed from that described in the classic anthropological research begun by A. C. Haddon just a hundred years ago. This provided the starting point for Dr Beckett, who has studied and worked with Torres Strait Islanders since the 1950s, and this book links the personal experience of the author, the professional insights of the anthropologist, and the perceptions of past and present held by the Islanders themselves.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521378628
(216mm x 138mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 26-Jan-1990
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Jeremy Beckett
Appreciation of Difference, Paperback (January 2008)» View all books by Jeremy Beckett
WEH Stanner was a public intellectual whose work reached beyond the walls of the academy, and he remains a highly significant figure in Aboriginal affairs and Australian anthropology. This title provides an historical context for Stanner's work, and demonstrates the continuing relevance of his writings in the contested field of Aboriginal affairs.
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