CULTURE

Corroborree at Newcastle; oil painting by Joseph Lycett, c.1820;
Oil on cedar panel, State Library of New South Wales

Introduction

The following sections are concerned with aspects of the culture of the Aboriginal peoples of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region. "Culture" is here taken in its broadest sense to include a number of thematic topics from Aboriginal values and beliefs, to traditional material culture, and physical and archaeological evidence of Aboriginal occupation.

  • Vicki Grieves of the Wollotuka School of Aboriginal Studies, provides introductory remarks on Aboriginal philosophy, and on the meanings of "Aboriginality".
  • a section on Ethno-historic materials  provides a broad overview of the sources describing Aboriginal culture in the post-contact era.
  • anthropological studies  provides a brief overview of some of the key works from around the turn of the twentieth century which are of relevance to the people and culture of the Newcastle-Lake Macquarie region.
  • The physical evidence of an ancient Aboriginal presence in this region is discussed through remarks on the collectors and collections of Aboriginal materials in this region during the twentieth century. It features a summary of a critical archaeological "dig" at Swansea Heads  in 1971 by Professor Len Dyall, formerly of the University of Newcastle, who remains the leading specialist on the archaeology of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region.