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Friday, September 19, 2008

Missionaries order noble savages to attack

From an article in the Age/SMH today about Aboriginal paintings in the Northern Territory:

"Disturbingly, many images portray terrible conflict between Aborigines. Guse says the fact that many depict spearings is perhaps indicative of the cultural change that followed the arrival of missionaries."

Mr Guse, who is an archeological doctoral student from ANU, has apparently not heard of payback or the work of palaeontologist, Stephen Webb who studied skeletons of Aboriginal people and found widespread evidence of violence prior to European contact (bottom of page 152 here).


Anonymous said...

Yes, prior to the missionaries arriving they did not use spears or clubs on each other, just swapped notes about cooking and aromatherapy.

Boy on a bike said...

So what changed following the arrival or the missionaries? Are they saying that after the missionaries turned up, they started spearing each other with abandon, or that the missionaries stamped it out?

If they stamped out payback so effectively, why do so many blackfellas appear at emergency departments with wounds on a horrifyingly frequent basis?