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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.
'Don’t Take Your Love to Town is a story of courage in the face of poverty and tragedy. Ruby recounts losing her mother when she was six, growing up in a mission in northern New South Wales and leaving home when she was fifteen. She lived in tin huts and tents in the bush and picked up work on the land while raising nine children virtually single-handedly. Later she struggled to make ends meet in the Koori areas of Sydney. Ruby is an amazing woman whose sense of humour has endured through all the hardships she has experienced.' (Source UQP website: www.uqp.uq.edu.au)