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National days and the politics of indigenous and local identities in Australia and New Zealand

Author: P A McAllister
Publisher: Durham, NC : Carolina Academic Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book is a comparative study of national days in Australia and New Zealand which places the emphasis on local and indigenous variants of these events. Based on multi-sited ethnographic research, the study shows how Australia Day and Waitangi Day are perceived, affected, resisted, rejected or adapted by indigenous minorities in the two countries, and how they are subjected to variation, modification and  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: P A McAllister
ISBN: 9781594608148 1594608148
OCLC Number: 761538050
Notes: New Zealand author.
Description: xiv, 230 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
National days, indigenous responses and local alternatives --
Commemorating the nation in New Zealand and Australia --
Public ritual and the anthropology of performance --
New Zealand's National Day and the Treaty of Waitangi --
Maori and the crown --
Commemorating the treaty --
Biculturalism and the treaty --
The 'fiscal envelope' and the subsequent developments --
Performing national identity on Waitangi Day --
Waitangi Day as dramatic cultural performance --
A story we tell ourselves --
The landscape of nationhood --
Performing the treaty --
Commemoration and commitment --
Waitangi Day, Okains Bay --
From the national to the local --
Spatial practices at Okains Bay --
The Okains Bay Maori and colonial museum --
Maori settlement and dispossession --
Negotiating and performing a bicultural agenda --
Place-making as practice and process --
Some tensions and ambiguities : The Waka --
Resistance tactic or co-option? --
Australia Day --
Historical milestones --
Australia Day in the new millennium --
The construction of Australian identity post-1995 --
Reconciliation in the Howard era --
The Sydney olympics and the centenary of federation --
Be alert, not alarmed --
'We eat meat, we drink beer, and we speak f#cking English" --
Resistance, rejection and accommodation : indigenous responses to Australia Day --
The indigenous challenge --
The aboriginal tent embassy --
The survival concerts --
To participate or not? --
Wogganmagule --
Redefining the nation : Lismore, Northern New South Wales --
Contextualizing ritual change --
Reinventing Australia Day in Lismore --
Accounting for the ritual change : the local context --
The wider national and state contexts --
Public ritual, structure and agency --
Australia Day as cultural performance --
Reconcilation flourishes then dies --
Expanding reconciliation and multicultural themes --
The wider local context --
The choir turns its back --
Rabbit proof fence : back to square one?
Responsibility: Patrick A. McAllister.

Abstract:

This book is a comparative study of national days in Australia and New Zealand which places the emphasis on local and indigenous variants of these events. Based on multi-sited ethnographic research, the study shows how Australia Day and Waitangi Day are perceived, affected, resisted, rejected or adapted by indigenous minorities in the two countries, and how they are subjected to variation, modification and interpretation at the local level, outside of the main venues for national celebration. In this respect National Days and the Politics of Indigenous and Local Identities in Australia and New Zealand offers a unique new perspective on national days, until now absent in debates about nationalisms and how they are affected by ethnic and regional diversity. The starting point in each case is Waitangi Day and Australia Day at the national level, but this analysis, based on insights derived from the anthropology of performance, is presented in order to provide the necessary context for the indigenous and local reactions to the respective national days. The authorized, state-sanctioned performance of the nation in each case is rejected or contested by alternative performances designed to challenge, negate or modify the affect associated with the conventional or mainstream performances of nation. The aesthetics and the sentiment associated with national days usually serves the interests of the state but the imaginations of identity that run contrary to state discourses that are analysed here make use of alternative aesthetic codes to construct and maintain counter narratives which challenge, invert or obstruct dominant discourses. On the very day appointed by the state on which to inculcate nationalistic feeling in its subjects, indigenous sub-national groups reject their subject status and assert an alternative identity and sovereignty, using an alternative range of symbols to construct a different reading of the day. Similarly, citizens at the local level develop a view of the nation that runs counter to that of the state in order to construct and act out what they see as more legitimate performances of nationhood. These alternative performances by groups opposed to the state's rendering of belonging may utilize their own cultural property or seek to modify or invert the meanings vested in the cultural property associated with the nation.

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