Journal article

Kapi Wiya: Water insecurity and aqua-nullius in remote inland Aboriginal Australia

Barry Judd

Thesis Eleven: critical theory and historical sociology | SAGE Publications | Published : 2019


Water has been a critical resource for Anangu peoples across the remote inland for millennia, underpinning their ability to live in low rainfall environments. Anangu biocultural knowledge of kapi (water) developed in complex ways that enabled this resource to be found. Such biocultural knowledge included deep understandings of weather patterns and of species behavior. Kapi and its significance to desert-dwelling peoples can be seen in ancient mapping practices, whether embedded in stone as petroglyphs or in ceremonial song and dance practices associated with the Tjukurpa. While in the past the sustainability of kapi was facilitated by mobility that spread human dependence on this resource ac..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: research engagement with the remote Aboriginal community of Papunya was supported by a Discovery Indigenous Scheme grant provided by the Australian Research Council (2015-2017).