lecture28.0325 - Contrast: The whirlwind & the grader...

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1 1 Contrast: The whirlwind & the grader (Continuing with the Warlpiri) 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) Lecture 28, 03/25/11 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 for the damaged site were so worried. They felt that someone would sicken and die now that the tree was dead. (Jackson p. 139) Lecture 28, 03/25/11 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 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.
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Peters during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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lecture28.0325 - Contrast: The whirlwind & the grader...

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