Saturday, September 5, 2009

These people are aboriginal?


Danie Mellor said he was entitled to win Australia’s richest art prize for Aborigines this month because he was an Aboriginal.

So what made this ginger-haired academic and son of an American an Aborigine? Answer: because Mellor’s part-Irish mother was in fact of the Mamu/Ngadjonji tribe, and thus so was he.

Here is Doreen Mellor (right) of the Mamu/Ngadjonji tribe:


Reader numbers in comments below points out that this is what the Mamu and Ngadonji actually looked like, just by way of contrast:


[Mr Mellor may indeed be a very talented artist, but in what meaningful sense could he honestly be described as aboriginal? Clearly he has a small percentage of aboriginal genes, but so do quite a few people in Australia. A friend of mines does, but she doesn't pretend to be aboriginal because of this.

I always find it odd when people of a mixed racial background, (and the reality here is that in truth that probably includes just about everyone, if you look deeply enough. Notions of racial "purity" being no more than demented fantasies.), focus on one part of their ancestry to the total exclusion of all others, even if the other actually represents more of who they are than the bit they identify with.

But that's the absurdity of identity politics for you.]

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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