Aboriginal camps and ‘villages’ in Southeast Queensland

O'Rourke, Tim (2013). Aboriginal camps and ‘villages’ in Southeast Queensland. In: Alexandra Brown and Andrew Leach, Open: The 30th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, (851-863). 2–5 July 2013.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author O'Rourke, Tim
Title of paper Aboriginal camps and ‘villages’ in Southeast Queensland
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Conference location Gold Coast, Australia
Conference dates 2–5 July 2013
Proceedings title Open: The 30th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Place of Publication Gold Coast, Australia
Publisher Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9780987605504
Editor Alexandra Brown
Andrew Leach
Volume 2
Start page 851
End page 863
Total pages 13
Language eng
Abstract/Summary In the early nineteenth century, European accounts of Southeast Queensland occasionally refer to larger Aboriginal camps as “villages”. Predominantly in coastal locations, the reported clusters of well-thatched domical structures had the appearance of permanent settlements. Elsewhere in the early contact period, and across geographically diverse regions of the continent, Aboriginal camps with certain morphological and architectural characteristics were labelled “villages” by European explorers and settlers. In the Encyclopaedia of Australian Architecture, Paul Memmott’s entry on Aboriginal architecture includes a description of semipermanent camps under the subheading “Village architecture.” This paper analyses the relatively sparse archival records of nineteenth century Aboriginal camps and settlement patterns along the coastal edge of Southeast Queensland. These data are compared with the settlement patterns of Aboriginal groups in northeastern Queensland, also characterized by semi-sedentary campsites, but where later and different contact histories yield a more comprehensive picture of the built environment. The available evidence suggests that the “villages” described in the archival records were most likely habitual campsites occupied according to seasonal, economic and socio-cultural patterns. Such sites occupy significant places in the history of Australian settlement, but there is scant direct evidence that, prior to contact, these camps represented permanent villages in the European sense. (Ethnographic or archaeological literature on Aboriginal societies widely refers to patterns of camps and campsites.) This paper seeks to add to the architectural histories of Southeast Queensland while suggesting the need to more carefully define the terminology of Aboriginal settlement in historical discourse.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture Publications
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Created: Mon, 25 Aug 2014, 05:30:03 EST by Mr Timothy O'Rourke on behalf of School of Architecture