Isolation, Insularity and Change in Island Populations - an Interdisciplinary Study of Aboriginal Cultural Patterns in the Gulf of Carpentaria (2006–2010)

Our interdisciplinary study tests pivotal hypotheses concerning insularity, isolation and cultural change in Aboriginal Australia. It examines two now-divergent island populations residing in similar physical environments and with shared ancestral language and a common mainland source group. The project examines how these groups contended with cultural change over a 10,000-year time scale, sometimes acculturating exogenous traits whilst at others exploiting insularity and isolation to promote distinctiveness through local invention in such a way that two different cultures emerged. The findings will contribute to international debates on island colonisation and how cultural reproduction continues in the face of globalising influences.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council