The People In Between
The Pitjantjatjara People of Ernabella
by Winifred Hilliard
Hodder and Stoughton, 1968, [First Edition], colour and black and white photographic plates, line drawings, hardcover
Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, minor rubbing and bumping to edges and corners (see photographs)
“The author was asked by the Australian Presbyterian Board of Missions to take over the craft industry of the Pitjantjatjara people at the Board’s Ernabella Mission. Her book discusses the whole problem of the Australian aborigines in the light of her experiences and wider reading, opening with an account of the earliest white explorers’ journeys into central Australia, expeditions which helped build the unfavourable picture of the aborigines which persists in popular belief. But in the Pitjantjatjara Miss Hilliard finds a highly intelligent people with a richly ceremonial and ethical tribal life and sees that the ultimate integration of aboriginal with white culture must be accomplished very gradually, and without abandoning those values which the aborigines in their turn can contribute to the white man.
The Ernabella Mission works on this principle of a meeting of cultures, an assimilation through friendship and mutual respect, the aborigines choosing what they will accept as their understanding grows. For the Mission people, living simply among their Pitjantjatjara neighbours, it has meant inching their way into understanding an elaborate culture, which Miss Hilliard describes in fascinating detail. She discusses the language, exogamous rules, morality, hunting and food gathering.”