Negotiating the ritual and social order through spectacle: the (re)production of Macassan/Yolngu histories Palmer, Lisa

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Palmer, Lisa
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Anthropological Forum
Settlement and contacts - Macassans and Indonesians.; Elcho Island (East Arnhem Land NT SC53-15, SD53-03); Performing arts - Musical drama and theatre.
Account of the historical, mythical and performance based aspects of the staging of the Yolngu opera (Trapang) for Macassan people, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1997; historical background to the relations between the Yolngu and the Macassans on Elcho Island; structure of the Yolngu and Macassan performances; differences in the interpretation of the history - first contact and love story versus abduction narrative and alcohol introduction; reference to the Dreaming Macassan song cycle and the influence of Wurramu (spirit of the dead) on the historical events and contemporary performers; social relations and the establishment of genealogical histories; symbolism of voyages - masts, flags, boats, canoes, paddles, anchors, sails and rope; argues for the performance as an effective unifier of the two traditions.
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