What are the main health effects of indigeneity?How might ‘indigeneity’ refer to a social process? How is ‘coercive alienation’ central to understanding it?What is the relationship between colonisation and global division in relation to indigeneity? How does it work?How do the health experiences of Indigenous Australians illuminate the dynamics of indigeneity?
Northern Queensland, Australia, 1870s
This morning in the predawn dark, his eyes accustomed to darkness, Bidiggi could see the white men’s own totemic circle of saddles and packs stacked to make a bora ring. Behind that little wall he knew, and his father and uncles and brothers knew, the white man lay in wait…
[H]e raced forward with his spear . . . Then the shouting sticks began to bark . . .
His brother crumpled like a broken tree . . .
[H]e could see as the dark thinned that more and more of his tribe had fallen . . . He shook with fear . . .
The remnants of the tribe were in l ight . . .The world was a madness of shouts and the drumming of the animals, the screams of the running men.
Two old men . . . had been left behind, and their wives. The other women had been shot as they l ed. The old women wailed and were silenced . .
Bidiggi was only twelve, and although he didn’t measure by white time but by black, he knew he was a man. There had been the ceremony. His father was dead. His brother. His uncles . . . His head i lled with pictures of the men on the big animals beating the tribe like wild pigs along the reedy rim of the water where they fished and swam. The pictures were blotted with blood and he could still hear the men screaming back when the shouting sticks spoke to them and see the running women and children trampled into the morning grass. ( Astley 1987 : 39–41 )