Home    Number 5, 2023

How Indigenous Australians Try to Preserve Themselves

[Kak korennye avstraliitsy pytaiutsia sokhranit’ sebia]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954152305010X


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 17.07.2023

Accepted: 05.09.2023

About author(s)

Olga Artemova | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0937-6920 | artemova.olga@list.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32a Leninsky prospekt, Moscow, 119991, Russia) | Russian State University for the Humanities (Miusskaya sq. 6, GSP-3, Moscow, 125047, Russia)

Yuliia Artemova | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7437-8044 | redfox712002@yandex.ru | Russian State University for the Humanities (Miusskaya sq. 6, GSP-3, Moscow, 125047, Russia)


Australian Aboriginal peoples, traditional culture, hunting, gathering, fishing, European colonization, work ethics, risk minimization, syncretism in rituals and beliefs


The article discusses personal and collective life ways of native people residing in remote settlements of the Cape York Peninsula, Australia, and offers a number of observations on the native population of Central Australia. It is drawn on the authors’ field materials collected in 2005, 2007–2009, 2015, and 2022. If set against the backdrop of the likewise framed project exploring the Evens and Evenkis of Eastern Siberia, the situation in faraway settlements of Australian Aboriginal people manifests both substantial similarities and important differences. Neither in the past when the colonization began to unfold, nor in the present did the Aboriginal people, for the most part, willingly join the commercial and entrepreneurial activities of the Australian mainstream circles or get involved in trade and economic relationships with the newcomers. They rather resisted, and still do, the authorities’ and entrepreneurs’ attempts at getting them involved in such relationships. We argue that the underlying reason behind that is the very character of the local traditional culture, the key aspects of which are consciously and resiliently preserved – even if sometimes in a transformed or deviant manner – by the native people.


Artemova, O.Y., and Y.A. Artemova. 2023. Kak korennye avstraliitsy pytaiutsia sokhranit’ sebia [How Indigenous Australians Try to Preserve Themselves]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 143–177. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954152305010X EDN: YEEPJS

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