A comprehensive, generously illustrated reference work on a multitude of aspects of Aboriginal history, culture and art. Although the emphasis is on visual art and artists, the many survey entries on indigenous languages, traditions, writing and performance provide a much wider context.
The Companion is divided into two separate yet interconnected parts. Part One consist of essays by indigenous and non-indigenous scholars and experts, interspersed with textual and visual examples. Broadly chronological in structure, it contains the following sections: 'Foundations of Being' (subdivided into 'Religion', 'Ritual and Sacred Sites', 'Kinship and Gender'); 'Colonial and Post-colonial Scenes' (art and culture in different regions of Australia); 'Renegotiating Tradition' ('Urban Aboriginal Art', 'Film and Communications', 'Literature', 'Music', 'Performance', 'Fibre-work and Textiles', 'Cultural Meeting Places', buildings and architecture) ; 'The Public Face of Aboriginality' ('Aboriginalities', 'Reception and Recognition of Aboriginal Art', 'Cross-Cultural Exchange', 'The Way Ahead'). An index to Part One provides easy access to topics.
Part Two is organised as a reference section and consists of alphabetical entries on artists, organisations, key issues and ideas.