Monday, March 8, 2010

Synchronocity from the Western Desert

Something kind of weird of those coincidences.

I started re-reading Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. I read it before, but it was one of those books that I daydreamed through, and didn't give enough attention. It really seems like something I should like, so I'm giving it another chance. AND so far, I must say that I'm really enjoying it.

Anyway, I got up to page 27 which talks about The Pintupi. Chatwin says.... they were the last 'wild tribe' to be brought in out of the Western Desert, and introduced to white civilisation. Until the late 1950's, they had continued to hunt and forage, naked in the sandhills, as they had hunted for at least ten thousand years.

I read that, and then went to do math with Jack. We had an easy worksheet, and he finished in about ten minutes.

After the math, I went to do my Bosu exercising. I've started this really crazy game in my life. It's with my screensaver slideshow. Right now it has 2,407 photos. I often add more, and every so often, I'll delete one. I look at them while exercising. I have a bunch of Sims 2 photos. When one of those photos come on, I switch lead legs on the Bosu. When the next one comes on, I stop and do something else.

Then I have certain photos that "tell" me to do other stuff. That's kind of personal, so I won't say which photos they are. But some photos indicate I should read someone's blog, other photos say I should check Facebook, and certain photos tell me I should check my email. I check my email three times a day no matter what; but I will check my email again if I see certain photos.

Yes, I know. I'm weird.

Anyway, I started exercising after our math session and almost immediately one of the email photos came on. I went to check my email, and there was an email from one of my Australian friends. She's not someone who often writes me, so I was a bit surprised to be hearing from her.

What she sent me was a link to an ABC show program called Contact. The description of the show says, In 1964, a film crew captured footage of the last remnant Aboriginal mob still living traditionally without any contact with, or knowledge of modern Australia or white men.
If you're in Australia, you can view the show on the website. Tough luck to me here in Fort Worth, Texas. I figure though that someone might put it up on YouTube or something. Or maybe after a certain time, the ABC will allow people around the world to view it. Hopefully!

So, I thought that was a pretty significant coincidence. I'm trying to figure out if Chatwin and the ABC are talking about the same people. One says late 1950's, and the other says 1964. I thought maybe the 1964 encounter one had happened AFTER Chatwin's book was published, but from what I can see, he published it in 1987.

Although ABC won't let me watch their documentary, they will allow me to read this 2006 transcript about the 1964 people. They say what happened is there was to be rockets...some kind of testing. A native patrol officer was supposed to round up any tribes and bring them to the Jigalong Mission. If I'm reading this right, the group they found consisted of teenage girls and some younger children. These kids had never seen white people before and were terrified. They ran. The white people chased them. At least this time, they weren't trying to kidnap anyone.

It sounds like a fairly happy ending. One of the teenagers (now grown up) says, We liked it. We settled in because we had family there. We had mothers and fathers and aunties. We were happy because we saw our family.

I guess before that they had been separated from their family.

Lord Wiki says Jigalong is the place that the rabbit proof fence kids were stolen from. When did that happen again?

Lord Wiki says it was 1931.

Well, if people were happy there in 1964, maybe the kidnappings had stopped? Or maybe the 1964 kids were less threatened since they weren't half-white.

Now I'm going to read what Lord Wiki has to say about the Pintupi. I'm trying to figure out where they are in relation to to Jigalong. Lord Wiki says they're west of Lake Mackay. That's in the Northern Territory, not Western Australia. No wait. There are two Lake Mackays. One is in the Northern Territory, and the other is at the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

It's pretty far from Jigalong...two days and three hours away, according to Google Maps.

Lord Wiki says the Pintupi were eventually moved into the communities of Papunya and Haasts Bluff. Isn't Papunya where Alison Anderson is from? Yep. Lord Wiki confirms that. Well, she's spent time there, at least. And she was born in Haasts Bluff.

Lord Wiki says it was 1984 that the last tribe left their traditional life. They're known as the Pintupi Nine. That reminds me of the Oceanic Six.

So why did Chatwin say the last tribe found was in the late 1950's? Since his book was published in 1987, he should have known about the Pintupi Nine. Right?

Lord Wiki talks about the dark side of Pintupi. There was a lot of forced assimilation. Children were kidnapped by authorities. Health conditions were bad, and a large fraction of Aborigines died.

Well, I'm going to conclude that Chatwin and the ABC program were not talking about the same people. It seems there's been multiple time that a last lost tribe has been found.

I don't have a conclusion or reason behind why that coincidence happened to me. All I now is that I felt compelled to learn more.

There's other things that kind of connect to it all.

In my morning research of my Australian-of-the-day, there was talk of mythical mysterious people hiding from us modern civilization folks.


When I was exercising a few hours earlier, a photograph from The Outsiders came on my screensaver slideshow. It went away, and came back a few photos later. When something like that happens, since there are 2,407 photos, I think it's a pretty big coincidence, and must mean something. I had contemplated it for a moment and then decided to think about something else. But the title fits in with this theme of the day....outsiders....people who are not part of civilization. Or maybe the white people are the outsiders. Well, I guess both are outsiders. It all depends on perspective.

It's all like Lost. The Others!

Speaking of Lost.... I had this romantic dream about Ben last night. I woke up with a little crush on him. It wasn't an x-rated type thing...more kind of poignant. I suddenly realized I loved him. He was underground somewhere. I went down to tell him how I felt about him, and he was all beat up. He seemed so sad and someone who really NEEDED to be told that he was loved.

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