Accepted paper:

Mulapa: modalities of truth in the Anangu World

Authors:

Ute Eickelkamp (University of Sydney)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores ethnographically the notion of truth in an Australian Aboriginal desert society, where traditional meanings rub up against Christian beliefs, ongoing struggle for political self-determination and against economic deprivation.

Paper long abstract:

In some form or other, truth must feature in any moral system; it is a fundamental aspect of social life and of cultural episteme. This paper explores ethnographically the notion of truth in an Australian Aboriginal desert society, where traditional meanings rub up against Christian beliefs, ongoing struggles for political self-determination and against economic deprivation. As part of my current research into an emergent Anangu ontology, and drawing on long-term fieldwork at Ernabella (Pukatja) on the APY Lands in South Australia, I examine the meaning range of the antonyms 'mulapa ngunti' (real, true as opposed to false, made-up), as used by adults and children, and in intercultural communications that can include the ethnographer as perceived moral 'judge'.

panel Ethn04
A particularly hairy beast: relativism, relationality and an ecology of moralities