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- DescriptionFantastic Dreaming explores how whites have measured Australian Aboriginal people through their material culture and domestic practices, aspects of culture intimately linked to Enlightenment tions of progress and social institutions such as marriage and property. Archaeological investigation reveals that the Moravian missionaries' attempts to 'civilize' the Wergaia-speaking people of rthwestern Victoria centered on spatial practices, housing, and the consumption of material goods. After the mission closed in 1904, white observers saw the camp settlements that formed nearby as evidence of Aboriginal incapacity and immorality, rather than as symptoms of exclusion and poverty. Conceptions of transformation as acculturation survived in assimilation policies that envisioned Aboriginal people becoming the same as whites through living in European housing. These ideas persist in archaeological analysis that insists on Aboriginality as otherness and difference, and equates objects with identity. However Wergaia tradition was place-based, and, often invisibly, Indigeus people maintained traditional relationships to kin and country, resisting white authority through strategies of evasion and mobility. This study examines the complex role of material culture and spatial politics in shaping colonial identities and offers a critique of essentialism in archaeological interpretation.
- Author BiographyJane Lydon is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies at Monash University.
- PrizesWinner of John Mulvaney Book Award 2010.
- Author(s)Jane Lydon
- PublisherAltaMira Press,U.S.
- Date of Publication28/10/2009
- Series TitleWorlds of Archaeology
- Place of PublicationCalifornia
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintAltaMira Press,U.S.
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations, maps
- Weight544 g
- Width154 mm
- Height231 mm
- Spine21 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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