Land is Life: From bush to town: the story of the Yanyuwa people

Front Cover
Allen & Unwin, Jan 1, 1999 - Social Science - 280 pages
This is the story of the Yanyuwa, whose traditional country is the islands known as the Sir Edward Pellew Group, and the adjacent coastal areas of the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is a story, indeed many stories, told to Richard Baker over thirteen years.

The Yanyuwa were visited by Maccassan trepangers long before Europeans came to Australia. Hence, this remote community has had a longer history of contact with non-Aboriginal people than most other Aboriginal groups. In many ways, the account presented here challenges conventional views of the impact of contact between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. It also demonstrates the importance of the past in shaping the present and reveals what is meant by 'land is life'

In telling the story of the Yanyuwa, Richard Baker brings to bear a remarkable array of skills: geography, archaeology, knowledge of sacred sites, a flair for oral history and a commitment to gathering it, painstakingly over many years, in ways that do not compromise the trust of his informants. The result is an account which is fair and balanced, humane and credible.

About the author (1999)

Richard Baker's career includes work as an archaeologist, oral historian, museum curator and geographer. He teaches geography at the Australian National University and is a member of the boards of Aboriginal History and Ethics, Place and Environment.

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