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Timber harvesting for the Indigenous arts industry: Lessons from central Arnhem Land, Australia

Koenig, Jennifer C., Altman, Jon C. and Griffiths, Anthony D. (2004). Timber harvesting for the Indigenous arts industry: Lessons from central Arnhem Land, Australia. In: 9th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology, Canterbury, United Kingdom, 13-17 June 2004.

Document type: Conference Paper
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Author Koenig, Jennifer C.
Altman, Jon C.
Griffiths, Anthony D.
Title Timber harvesting for the Indigenous arts industry: Lessons from central Arnhem Land, Australia
Conference Name 9th International Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology
Conference Location Canterbury, United Kingdom
Conference Dates 13-17 June 2004
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher International Society of Ethnobiology
Publication Year 2004
HERDC Category E3 - Conference Publication - Extract of paper (internal)
Abstract The Australian Aboriginal Arts Industry is one of few economic opportunities for Indigenous people in remote communities. In the Maningrida region of central Arnhem Land, a range of artefact lines are produced and almost all depend on native plants. One of the fastest growing sectors of local production is woodcarving. An understanding of how harvesters use local timber resources is required to determine if established indigenous processes can ensure sustainable species use in the face of growing market demand. There are over 150 sculpture-producing artists from different cultural backgrounds in Maningrida. We used participant observation, resource accounting, semi-structured interviews and data from the community art centre as a means to quantify the patterns of resource use and harvest practises. Two species were found to be the dominant trees used for carving, Bombax ceiba (BOMBACEAE) and Brachychiton diversifolius (STERCULIACEAE), and there were differences between language groups with respect to their choice of timber. Harvest sites were scattered throughout the region; however, a high proportion of carvers relied on a few small patches located close to the main settlement of Maningrida. Over-exploitation at the local patch level may force artists to harvest further away, which may affect the economic and social viability of the carving industry in the region.
 
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 08:35:25 CST by Administrator