57. Who and what are anthropologists?

Some people find it hard to believe there is still a lot of confusion among Yolŋu people about the role of anthropologists. However it just seems to be part and parcel of the poor communication that has occurred between mainstream English- speaking Balanda and the Yolŋu population.

Richard Trudgen works through Nikunu Yunupingu’s questions about the work of anthropologists. These can be difficult conversations because they involve different worldview understandings coming from both the mainstream and the Yolŋu perspective.

In addition there is never just one issue. Many issues are connected together, such as rights over land and land use, how anthropologists are perceived to be working for the Lands Council and the government, or if they are really there to help Yolŋu people?  Other issues include the difficulty in communicating through a foreign language (English) about their complex legal systems, and not knowing where the information is going to end up.

These are some of the many issues from the Yolŋu point of view around anthropologists and anthropology. This conversation continues to try and unpack the subject.

(This program was recorded when we were having issues with our online studio, so we apologise for the audio quality.)


There are 3 stories in this podcast. Please see time stamps below-

  • Who and what are anthropologists – 00:000.00
  • Yolngu can be anthropologists – 11:06.856
  • Anthropologist cont Yolngu Law has authority 20:57.936