'Abandonment' Or Maintenance of Country?: A Critical Examination of Mobility Patterns and Implications for Native Title

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Native Title Research Unit, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2003 - Aboriginal Australians - 40 pages
"... patterns of mobility amongst hunter-gatherer groups illustrate that it is normal for groups to practice different kinds of 'abandonment' through time. This can occur at the varying geographic levels of residence, locality, region or indeed territory and can cover periods of time lasting from a 'season' through to a generation. The major theme to emerge from these studies is that despite physically leaving sites, tracts of land or indeed a territory for a period of time, groups actively maintain connections to those places through a variety of means. The central question that arises for native title is to what extent these well-documented and long-term historic processes should recalibrate the threshold for continuity of occupation and use of country. Thus Dr Veth asks, if temporary 'abandonment' of country in the past --for myriad of reasons--did not break down the social institutions for maintenance of connection, the why should it do so in the contemporary context?--abstract.

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