The Sentimental Community: A Site of Belonging - A Case Study from Central Australia

The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 15:2. pp 163-184, 2004

22 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013  

Sarah Holcombe

Australian National University (ANU), School of Archaeology and Anthropology

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The concept of ‘community’ has a deep genealogy, extending from the classical social science literature of the nineteenth century to its wide and confused employment in policy contexts and textual analyses discourses. This paper will focus on one aspect of a community whose lineage extends theoretically from the communal concept of a ‘consciousness of kind’. In the desert community of Mount Liebig, known locally as Amunturmgu, the sentimentalised elements of this shared consciousness have evolved from principles of land tenure that have adapted to the newly settled environment. These sentimental signifiers are drawn from the country on which this community developed and the constructions of place that settlement has actively encouraged. To this end the concepts of reterritorialisation and religious egalitarianism will be explored, principally through the medium of inmu kuwurritju (new ritual) in order to analyse how people affiliate with and embody a reterritorialised identity through the traditional imagination. How does this embodiment of country affect the settlement process, whereby a community is constructed?

Keywords: community, sentimentalilty, Aboriginal Australian

Suggested Citation

Holcombe, Sarah, The Sentimental Community: A Site of Belonging - A Case Study from Central Australia (2004). The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 15:2. pp 163-184, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2239626

Sarah Holcombe (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU), School of Archaeology and Anthropology ( email )

A.D Hope Bold #14
Canberra, AK Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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