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Introduction to Indigenous Australia - Essay Example

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The end in the beginning: Re(de)finding Aboriginality by Michael Dodson is an article that voices out Dodson’s concern on the perception of the Aborigines by early settlers. He brings out the perceptions of the different groups of people; religious men, scientists, as well as, educationists. …
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Introduction to Indigenous Australia
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Download file to see previous pages Religious men referred to Aborigines as immoral, unfit to be in any divine presence and that they were in the same level as brutes. The opinions of scientists were by far the crudest of them all. Scientists classified Aborigines based on the blood types and brain functioning as if they were some animal that needed to be analyzed for further understanding. They further said that aborigines were more of apes that the human race. Learned people looked into the life of Aborigines with contempt and disregard. They claimed that Aboriginal people were adept at making poor judgments and thus needed direction to make sound decisions (Dodson, 2003). These were particularly nasty perspectives and Dodson seeks to review them with a critical eye. He says that these early settlers do not know the Aborigines and so they are not in a position to refer to them in any way. According to him, these early settlers should have a firsthand experience with the Aboriginal people before judging them. This paper will try to review Dodson’s perspective of Aboriginality critically with the aim of understanding his perspective of the issue. Dodson shows his concern for the colonizers being obsessed with the aborigines and aboriginality. These colonizers have made it their passion to look into the aborigines and also labeling them all kinds of this they deem fit. Dodson concern is seen when he notes that colonizers have made aboriginality seem like a mystery to be solved. He says that there are cases where aborigines have been referred to half bloods, full blood, hybrids, real and inauthentic. At some point, there was a suggestion that for one to be a legitimate aborigine, then he was to have more than 50% of aboriginal blood. His concern is also seen when he speaks of how aborigines were initially considered heroes. He then this compared to how they are being ridiculed today by artists in films and other artworks. According to Ethnologists, there was a need to rescue the aborigines from their wayward animalistic behaviors. The aborigines were considered cannibals, savages and infanticides. They are also known to be vulnerable just like the other lesser races in the world. This is strongly contested as these aborigines are seen to be out of control of the fact that they are in their “twilight” days. Aboriginal people are voiceless in the society as no one has given a chance to speak for themselves. It is saddening that people do not give an ear to the Aboriginal people. The arguments the early settlers pass are based on narratives from early settlers who were biased. The biases of the colonizers are seen in their obsession to brand aborigines as a lesser race com pared to the other races. A study by the United Nation aimed at unearthing the issue of discrimination that was faced by the aborigines and other indigenous groups that were considered on the verge of extinction. The indigenous community was given legitimacy based on the race, dressing, ancestry, as well as, dialect. In cultures across the world indigenous people are considered marginalized, backward, illiterate, and with an archaic mode of speech. These indigenous groups have been objectified in the eyes of the early settlers. The United Nation report emphasized the need to allow an indigenous community to decide whom they wanted to be part of their community. The report further emphasizes the need for an indigenous group having their own definition of whom they are thereby giving all the other “fake” definitions a cold shoulder. It is their responsibility ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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