Edited by Justine Lloyd and Ellie Vasta
Chapter 5: ‘Country’, ‘community’ and ‘growth town’: Three spatio-temporal snapshots of Warlpiri experiences of home
The last 100 years have seen Warlpiri people experience drastic changes in ways of being in the world, from a hunting and gathering past, followed by violent frontier days and ensuing institutionalized sedentization in government settlements, to community life in the era of self-determination, and on to contemporary times of intensive policy intervention. In this chapter, the author explores some of these changes by focusing on one aspect of them, Warlpiri experiences of home. She examines these in turn by contrasting three different examples across time: 1) Warlpiri notions of home as country during the hunting and gathering past; 2) Warlpiri experiences of home in houses of the Yuendumu community during the time of self-determination; and 3) the experiences of the here and now of intense policy intervention. On the one hand, these examples illustrate an easily assumed progression of life ‘outside’ in the desert, via the yards of colonial houses, to the ‘inside’ of contemporary suburban-style housing. On the other hand, the author shows how the inside/outside dichotomy veils other values crucial to understanding Warlpiri notions of home. Keywords: sleep, domestic space, home, phenomenology of space, Aboriginal Australia
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