In The Time of Their Lives

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In The Time Of Their Lives

By Inge Kral & Elizabeth Marrkilyi Giles Ellis

Wangku kutjupa-kutjuparringu: How talk has changed in the Western Desert

In The Time of Their Lives is a rich evocation of "wangka kutjupa-kutuparringu": how communication and social interaction had altered among Ngaanyatjarra,Ngaatjatjarra and Pitjantjatjara people of Australia's Western Desert. As a Ngaatjatjarra woman Elizabeth Marrkilyi Giles Ellis takes us deep into the rich linguistic and cultural practices of her communtiy. Having collaborated with linguistic anthroplogist Inge Kral for more than a decade, their combined insight portray a detailed and intimate picture of remote Indigenous Australian life rarely achieved. 

This book looks at sociocultural change through the prism of language. It interweaves memory, history and translated interviews with a close examination of everyday life that takes us inside the lived experience of Western Desert people, across multiple generations, since first contact with Anglo-Australians in the 1930's. In tracing these changes through text, image and film, the authors explore the unique oral traditions of the Ngaanyatjarra: the speach styles, respect registers and verbal arts practised of this desert group. Importantly they take us into the lives of children and young people. They open a window to storytelling and Western Desert language socialisation practices to show so clearly that particiating in society and using language are intertwined activites. With an ultimate focus on the current youth generation and the unfolding impact of digital tehnologies they reveal how new communication modes are sparking a regeneration of creative cultural processes, underpinned by the enduring connection that Western Desert people have to kin and country.

Designed tendeersigh
Edition 2020
Publisher UWA Publishing
ISDN 9781760801489

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