Native Title in Australia: An Ethnographic Perspective

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 19, 2004 - Social Science - 279 pages
Native title has often been one of the most controversial political, legal and indeed moral issues in Australia. Ever since the High Court's Mabo decision of 1992, the attempt to understand and adapt native title to different contexts and claims has been an ongoing concern for that broad range of people involved with claims. In this book, originally published in 2003, Peter Sutton sets out fundamental anthropological issues to do with customary rights, kinship, identity, spirituality and so on that are relevant for lawyers and others working on title claims. Sutton offers a critical discussion of anthropological findings in the field of Aboriginal traditional interests in land and waters, focusing on the kinds of customary rights that are 'held' in Aboriginal 'countries', the types of groups whose members have been found to enjoy those rights, and how such groups have fared over the last 200 years of Australian history.
 

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Contents

2 Local organisation before the land claims era
38
3 Aboriginal country groups
54
4 Atomism versus collectivism
85
5 Underlying and proximate customary titles
111
6 The system question
135
7 Kinship filiation and Aboriginal land tenure
173
8 Families of polity
206
Notes
232
References
253
Index
274
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