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This compelling book is an extended case study of the social and legal ramifications of a homicide in a Tiwi community. The author gives a detailed account of the life of the victim and the events surrounding his murder, and describes the cycle of mortuary and seasonal rituals with their elaborate songs and dances. He also looks at the dramatic changes in Tiwi society over the last 100 years, and examines how the Tiwi have responded to the intervention of Western culture. In many areas, he finds, they have adapted and retained their own value system. Venbrux's account of the investigation and trial following the homicide provides timely and important insights into the issue of Aboriginal People, traditional law and the Australian criminal justice system. Through the strong narrative thread of this book we are presented with an incisive picture of a culture amid conflict and change.
Cambridge University Press
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