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Clever Man: The Life of Paddy Compass Namadbara Paperback – 1 November 2020

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Product details

  • Publisher : Aboriginal Studies Press (1 November 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 128 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1925302237
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1925302233
  • Dimensions : 23.1 x 1.1 x 18.6 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Product description


"Old Paddy's visions of the future foretold major events that were astonishing in the 1950s: Aborigines would get paid for their work, would own land and cars, and that money issues would bring division. All of his predictions came true. A rare insight into the world of the Dreaming, this book is unique and essential reading." --Susan Greenwood, University of Sussex

"Paddy Compass diagnosed illness by X-ray vision, brought willy willys into existence and dead animals back to life. He foresaw the future, provided confident assurance in turbulent times, and gave men purpose." --Emeritus Professor Nicholas Peterson, ANU

"This powerful and sensitive portrait of Paddy Compass Namadbara, a West Arnhem Land marrkidjbu, or clever man, deserves a place among the classic works on shamanism." --Paul Nadasdy Professor of Anthropology and American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Cornell University

About the Author

After completing a BA and a BLitt in anthropology and archaeology at the Australian National University, Ian White was engaged as the West Arnhem Region anthropologist with the Northern Land Council from 1987 until he retired in 2011. For much of the time he was based in the township of Jabiru within the Kakadu National Park on the border of Arnhem Land. In 1995 he took two years' leave from the Land Council and enrolled as a Master of Arts candidate in anthropology at the University of Western Australia. In this time he undertook the main fieldwork on which the Paddy Compass Portrait is based. He married a West Arnhem woman, a daughter of the renowned Aboriginal artist, the late Bardayal Nadjamerrek, AO. They have a daughter who is also an artist in the style of her grandfather. Since retiring he has devoted much time to exploring the many avenues of scientific and philosophical research that may begin to throw light on the question of 'the powers of the mind, ' a question that is raised by the story of Paddy Compass Namadbara.

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