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Aboriginal groups in the Stefano manuscript

Petkovic, J. (2007) Aboriginal groups in the Stefano manuscript. IM: Interactive Media (3).

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The Stefano castaways were in contact with at least two Aboriginal groups during their six-month ordeal on the North West coast of Australia, although the groups are not identified in the manuscipt.1 If we could identify these groups we would also identify the language they spoke, which is the overarching focus of this writing. Identifying these groups, however, is not such a straightforward task today as the North West Aboriginal people no longer occupy the same tribal country they did when the Stefano shipwreck took place, and they generally no longer exist as coherent tribal entities. Most North West Aborigines are now found in towns such as Onslow and Carnarvon, where they identify themselves with the umbrella name of Nulli – “All of us”.2 The Nulli label accounts for a complex dispersion and intermingling that has taken place throughout this region since the onset of colonisation. This intermingling, in turn, makes the task of identifying the 1876 language groups implicated in the Stefano shipwreck somewhat complex.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: National Academy of Screen and Sound
School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: National Academy of Screen and Sound
Copyright: 2009 Murdoch University
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