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Reflections on the preparation and delivery of Carl Strehlow's heritage dictionary (1909) to the Western Aranda people

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Title:Reflections on the preparation and delivery of Carl Strehlow's heritage dictionary (1909) to the Western Aranda people
Authors:Anna Kenny
Loritja (Luritja)
Date Issued:Oct 2019
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Kenny, Anna. "Reflections on the preparation and delivery of Carl Strehlow’s heritage dictionary (1909) to the Western Aranda people." In Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond, edited by Linda Barwick, Jennifer Green, and Petronella Vaarzon-Morel, 47–63. LD&C Special Publication 18. Honolulu & Sydney: University of Hawai’i Press & Sydney University Press, 2019.
Series:LD&C Special Publication 18
Abstract:This chapter reflects on the predicaments encountered while bringing ethnographic and linguistic archival materials, and in particular an Aranda, German, Loritja [Luritja], and Dieri dictionary manuscript compiled by Carl Strehlow and with more than 7,600 entries, into the public domain. This manuscript, as well as other unique documents held at the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs and elsewhere in Australia, is surrounded by competing views about ownership and control. In this case study I discuss my research and work with Western Aranda people concerning the transcription and translation into English of the dictionary manuscript. I also discuss the immense difficulties I faced in seeing the dictionary through to final publication. I encountered vested interests in this ethno-linguistic treasure that I had not been aware of and ownership claims that I had not taken into account. They arose from diverse quarters – from academia, from individuals in the Lutheran church, from Indigenous organisations, and from the Northern Territory Government. One such intervention almost derailed the dictionary work by actions that forced the suspension of the project for over 12 months. In this chapter I track the complex history of this manuscript, canvas the views of various stakeholders, and detail interpretations and reactions of Aranda people to the issues involved.
Appears in Collections: LD&C Special Publication No. 18: Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond

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