Roving Mariners: Australian Aboriginal Whalers and Sealers in the Southern Oceans, 1790 1870

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SUNY Press, Nov 1, 2012 - Social Science - 235 pages
For most Australian Aboriginal people, the impact of colonialism was blunt dispossession, dislocation, disease, murder, and missionization. Yet there is another story of Australian history that has remained untold, a story of enterprise and entrepreneurship, of Aboriginal people seizing the opportunity to profit from life at sea as whalers and sealers. In some cases participation was voluntary; in others it was more invidious and involved kidnapping and trade in women. In many cases, the individuals maintained and exercised a degree of personal autonomy and agency within their new circumstances. This book explores some of their lives and adventures by analyzing archival records of maritime industry, captains logs, ships records, and the journals of the sailors themselves, among other artifacts. Much of what is known about this period comes from the writings of Herman Melville, and in this book Melville s whaling novels act as a prism through which relations aboard ships are understood. Drawing on both history and literature, Roving Mariners provides a comprehensive history of Australian Aboriginal whaling and sealing.
 

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Contents

Whalers Sealers and Mariners Australian Aboriginal Men and Women in the Southern Oceans 17901870
1
They arevery fond of the flesh of the whale Aborigines Whales Whaling and Whalers
23
A New Holland HalfCaste Tommy Chaseland Diaspora Autonomy and Hybridity
47
A good man can do anything he makes up his mind to do no matter what Tasmanian Aboriginal Men and Whaling
65
Most of them had native wives CrossCultural Relationships in Southern Australias Sealing Industry
93
Those women were free people Domestic Spaces Hybridity and Survival
117
Remnants Artifacts and the Doing and Being of History A Sort of Epilogue
135
Notes
141
Bibliography
183
Index
209
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About the author (2012)

Lynette Russell is an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow and Director of the Monash Indigenous Centre at Monash University. She has written several books, including Appropriated Pasts: Indigenous Peoples and the Colonial Culture of Archaeology (with Ian J. McNiven) and Savage Imaginings: Historical and Contemporary Constructions of Australian Aboriginalities.

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