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Symbols of Power: The Firearm Paintings of Madjedbebe (Malakunanja II)
Griffith Ctr Social & Cultural Res, Australia.
Flinders Univ S Australia, Australia.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4640-8784
Australian Natl Univ, Australia.
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2017 (English)In: International Journal of Historical Archaeology, ISSN 1092-7697, E-ISSN 1573-7748, Vol. 21, no 3, 690-707 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Depictions of firearms in Australian Aboriginal rock art provide a unique opportunity to archaeologically explore the roles that this type of material culture played in times of culture contact. From the earliest interactions with explorers to the buffalo shooting enterprises of the twentieth century-firearms played complex and shifting roles in western Arnhem Land Aboriginal societies. The site of Madjedbebe (sometimes referred to as Malakunanja II in earlier academic literature) in Jabiluka (Mirarr Country), offers the opportunity to explore these shifting roles over time with an unprecedented 16 paintings of firearms spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This rock art provides evidence for early firearms as objects of curiosity and threat to local groups, as well as evidence for later personal ownership and use of such weaponry. Moreover, we argue that the rock art suggests increasing incorporation of firearms into traditional cultural belief and artistic systems over time with Madjedbebe playing a key role in the communication of the cultural meanings behind this new subject matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 21, no 3, 690-707 p.
Keyword [en]
Rock art, Arnhem land, Weapons, Firearms
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Humanities, Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67552DOI: 10.1007/s10761-017-0393-6ISI: 000407125400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-67552DiVA: diva2:1137612
Available from: 2017-08-31 Created: 2017-08-31 Last updated: 2017-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Goldhahn, Joakim
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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