Identity and culturally-defined methods of adaptation among the Wadandi people of southwestern Australia

David R Guilfoyle, Myles Mitchell, Wayne Webb

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This paper examines the relationship between social identity and culturally defined methods of adaptation (CDMA) to change. Based on a case study of the Wadandi people of southwestern Australia, the spatial analysis of pre- and postcolonial settlement patterns is examined and integrated with oral histories. The purpose is to understand and document the strategies employed by the Wadandi people to maintain independence and cultural vitality in the face of massive social and economic upheaval associated with intensive colonialism. This paper argues that understanding these strategies is central to understanding both the pre- and post-contact cultural landscape and the associated range of heritage values that includes a central concept of identity. More so, the very process of engaging with archaeologists in this way, it is argued, represents another form of controlling and protecting the heritage process in a manner that strips away at the inherent colonial tendencies of the discipline itself. At a practical level, the process allows archaeologists to incorporate aspects of identity and CDMA, that simultaneously allows for the constant articulation of identity during the assessment process, and ultimately the development of more holistic significance assessments for greater protection of places and the associated values.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIdentity and Heritage: Contemporary Challenges in a Globalized World
    EditorsPeter F. Biehl, Douglas C. Comer, Christopher Prescott, Hilary A. Soderland
    Place of PublicationCham
    ISBN (Print)9783319096889
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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