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Water as Country on the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands South Australia

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Anangu, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people living in the north-western areas of South Australia conceptualize changes in the surface of land as evincing the presence of ancestral power. Rain is one such catalyst of change, though it is by no means a certainty on the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands. When it does appear, water does not stay long on the surface: it is shimmering and unstable. This paper examines the nature of various water sources in contemporary indigenous life, the spatial relationships between earth and sky and the dialectic between life and death that they mediate.


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