Peripatetic purpose

Stumbled upon an interesting article by researcher Glenn Morrison that touches on differences between the European custom of walking for wonder and adventure and the Aboriginal custom of walking as duty and ceremony.


“Last week I spoke to Shaun Angeles, a northern Arrernte man from Ayampe who is working at the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs.

Shaun is a researcher with the Indigenous Repatriation Program and elaborated on the walking tradition in Central Australia.

“Families will always walk within their tribal boundaries; it was their obligation and responsibility,” he said.

“We were always surrounded by Ancestral spirits, whether it be the spirits that first created the country, or the irrernte-arenye (from the cold) spirits of our human kin that had passed.

“We would never walk without a purpose: We walked with our songs, always teaching our young and always in a state of worship and respect of spirits imbued in the landscape.

“To walk softly with intent, was always our obligation to the law and land.”

The article also refers to a book of essays which goes on the wish list: Making Connections: A journey along Central Australian Aboriginal trading routes, eds Valerie Donovan and Colleen Wall.


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