Crossing and negotiating borders of identity, knowledge and tradition: Coming to an understanding of Aboriginal women's performance in educational locales as a white woman

Mackinlay, Elizabeth (2008) Crossing and negotiating borders of identity, knowledge and tradition: Coming to an understanding of Aboriginal women's performance in educational locales as a white woman. Journal of Australian Studies, 32 2: 179-196. doi:10.1080/14443050802056714

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Author Mackinlay, Elizabeth
Title Crossing and negotiating borders of identity, knowledge and tradition: Coming to an understanding of Aboriginal women's performance in educational locales as a white woman
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-3058
Publication date 2008-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14443050802056714
Open Access Status
Volume 32
Issue 2
Start page 179
End page 196
Total pages 18
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject C1
130101 Continuing and Community Education
190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
950101 Music
2002 Cultural Studies
1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Abstract When Indigenous performance traditions make the journey into the Western academy and other educational sites, they act and enact a direct challenge to largely colonial constructions and representations of Indigenous Australian peoples and cultures. In this article I explore the way Aboriginal women's performance traditions and knowledge from the Yanyuwa community in the remote town of Borroloola in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria of the Northern Territory of Australia are displayed in educational contexts. How Yanyuwa women paint up, sing, dance and do 'tradition' in these spaces is examined as I consider the types of choices constantly being made by performers about what types of knowledge will be shared or remain secret, which layers of meaning will be revealed or concealed, and how they will perform these decisions in song and dance. Practicalities of performance, social interactions, personal relationships, professional intentions, and perceptions of the participants are analysed as an important part of this process. Questions are asked about the way that Yanyuwa women play around with the boundaries of tradition to sustain a sense of inside cultural validity yet present a meaningful and accessible performance for the outside audiences they encounter, and further the role that ethnomusicology has in opening up dialogic spaces to link Indigenous performance cultures with Western systems of knowledge.
Keyword Indigenous people
Performance
Booroloola, NT
Tradition
Yanyuwa people
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 14 Apr 2009, 06:53:58 EST by Nicola De Silva on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit