lecture32.0404 - Contrast: The whirlwind & the grader...

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1 During the rains six months before, a road  train had become bogged on the Tanami road,  not far from where the tree was growing.  A  grader sent to unbog the vehicle uprooted  and destroyed the tree.  The whitefellas  responsible had had shrugged the matter off  as an accident, expecting Warlpiri to forgive  and forget.  But for the Warlpiri it was a  grievous and unforgivable act of vandalism.   The tree was not only the father of Nola and  her surviving siblings… (Jackson p. 138)
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2 “Family Trees” [Clancy] said, ‘If you spoil a sacred place  (maralypi jukurrpa), you destroy the people  that belong to that place.’  His argument  was that the loss of the life (pirlirrpa) of the  tree entailed a corresponding loss of life  among those who called the tree ‘father.’   Both the tree and those who were kirda for  the tree shared the same Dreaming essence.   This is why the kirda for the damaged site  were so worried.  They felt that someone  would sicken and die now that the tree was  dead. (Jackson p. 139)
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3 Making it right… …how could people could make good the loss  of the tree? On this question, Clancy was adamant.   Miming the stabbing action of a spear, he  made as if to eviscerate himself.  Just as the  belly (miyalu) was the seat of a person’s life- force, so a sacred site was the miyalu of the  land where the life-force of a people was  concentrated.  The whitefella who had  disemboweled the sacred site should suffer in  kind, paying for his error with his own life.   That was the Law. . . (Jackson p. 139-140)
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4 Where it’s most dear -- life, dreaming. . “’We got to hurt those whitefellas, so they’re 
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Peters during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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lecture32.0404 - Contrast: The whirlwind & the grader...

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