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'Indigenous' sense of place and community in a small island: Norfolk Island and the Pitcairn-descendant population

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Ritzau, M (2006) 'Indigenous' sense of place and community in a small island: Norfolk Island and the Pitcairn-descendant population. Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This qualitative research project has highlighted a number of issues about
islandness relating to identity, place, and belonging. The research
examined how certain Pitcaim-descendants mobilise a claim that they are
the indigenous population of Norfolk Island. The claim is mobilised from
three main positions: they are the first (or is that last?) whole people to
settle Norfolk island as a permanent, inter-generational 'homeland'; they
have a surviving culture, based on that developed on Pitcaim by their
forebears, a culture that continues and evolves; and they maintain their
own language.
The claim of indigeneity being made manifests in two main subcommunities
of Pitcaim-descendant Norfolk Islanders; those making
explicit political statements of an 'indigenous identity'; and those making
claims implicit in a lived and performed lifestyle - an 'indigenous
cultural life'. Both are people 'at home' and engaged with their
environment. It is noteworthy that only among the first does the political
claim to this particular identity appear to require an opponent (in this case
the Australian government) to legitimate the claim for indigenous
identity; equally the claim cannot exist without that opponent.
The claim implied by those descendants living and performing an
'indigenous cultural life' does not require or contest anything from such a
political opposition and so is not engaged in the same political debate.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Additional Information:

Copyright © the Author

Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2011 02:12
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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