Men’s business

This is part of a story written by Dan who visited Mäpuru for a men’s hunting and bush survival trip in 2009: 

“We learn that we are the first group of white men to come to Mapuru who are not
Government officials (usually to assess their “progress”) or contractors engaged to undertake some maintenance. We are definitely the first group of white men to come with the intent to learn from Yolngu men. A lifetime of pressure to give up Yolngu ways, of being told that the white‐man’s way is better, smarter, faster has left our Yolngu hosts with an understandable hesitancy when attempting to share their knowledge and skills with us.

Dan’s story reminds me of some key questions I began to contemplate some months ago after a supervision meeting: What is distinct about the attitudes and agendas that are brought to Mäpuru with Arnhem Weaving workshop participants? How might these attitudes and agendas compare with those of the service providers who perform ‘policy’ in Mäpuru? What are the distinct relationship dynamics that form between Mäpuru Yolŋu and participants of the Arnhem Weaving workshops?

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