Aboriginal warfare in australia

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Aboriginal warfare in australia

A biography of the Australian continent Feud and Warfare In traditional Aboriginal society, warfare was armed conflict by the members of one social unit, it could be a tribe or clan, or in the name of the unit, against another unit. Feud, though it may have wider implications, involving many people, was armed conflict between family groups or kin groups.

Aboriginal warfare in australia

Feuds sometimes became warfare. Howitt describes incidents of armed combat and duelling. He also reported that a blood feud could spread, eventually involving an entire tribe Howitt, Some feuds in western and eastern Arnhem Land went back a number of years, attempts at peacemaking failing repeatedly.

Basedow divides Aboriginal warfare into 2 categories, inter-tribal fighting and intra-tribal or inter-clan feuding. He claimed inter-tribal fighting was common in the early days of contact, but the number of such instances that were actually inter-tribal fighting has been disputed, though some instances are supported by other observers.

The long history of Aboriginal violence -- Part II — Quadrant Online

It is believed that in most cases incidents that were described as inter-tribal warfare were actually armed expeditions that were socially sanctioned for a particular purpose, such as to avenge a death, or to punish an offender. Howitt and Gason in Woods, described a Dieri armed party pinya.

The men taking part in the pinya wear a white headband, their beards are tipped with human hair, and diagonal red and white stripes were painted across their chest and stomach.

When they reach the camp of the condemned man they ask for him. The people of the camp know the reason for the demand and usually hand over the man for justice. He is taken by the hand, they announce his sentence, then lead him aside and he is killed by one of the pinya with a blow from a large boomerang.

In some examples sorcery could be used instead of physical violence. In a man from Arnhem Land was accused of an incestuous relationship. Before his trial he fled the camp, automatically incurring the death penalty. He was taken to the Darwin hospital where tests failed to find any reason for his sickness.

Everyday Artefacts

Among the Aranda the avenging party is called atninga. They are usually formed following a quarrel between 2 groups, often over women or a death suspected of resulting from sorcery. Spencer and Gillen, One case is known of where the men of the atninga were offered women in the ordinary way.

Aboriginal warfare in australia

They indicated their hostile intentions by rejecting the women. They reached an agreement after a couple of days, in return for the death of 3 men, the 3rd man had boasted of killing a man from the tribe of the atninga, the local men would be unharmed and help the atninga men.

The avengers danced around the bodies while the others watched passively. The actual killers were called immirinja and the decoys were called alknalarinika. When the atninja returned to their camp they were greeted by old women dancing and waving their fighting clubs.

It was fairly common to send women to a camp of visitors whose intentions were uncertain. It was usually done as a friendly gesture to appease an enemy.

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But sometimes it was used to put the visitors off their guard and so vulnerable to an attack. Sometimes members of avenging parties captured the wives and daughters, and occasionally sons, of the men they killed. A number of such instances were mentioned by Howitt, On the Hunter River, the Geawegal keep captured women of the correct intermarrying group.

Many cases of similar events have been reported, such as from the Maryborough region of Queensland, southeast South Australia, southwestern Victoria, the Yorke peninsula, and Gippsland.

It is now believed that many of these reported captures were simply examples of the custom of marrying by capture, the party of men go for a woman, not as revenge, but as a marriage custom.Under international law and domestic contractual law - no treaty or contract can be classified as legal if we are under the 'rules and disciplines of war'.

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Timeline of Aboriginal history of Western Australia - Wikipedia

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