Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
During 1970 and 1973, University of Maryland professor of psychiatry Virginia Huffer spent some time with the women of the Lardil and Kaiadilt tribes who live on Mornington Island in northern Australia's Gulf of Carpenteria [Carpentaria]. Forced to accommodate increasingly to Western ways, these women struggle to maintain traditional linkages while they undergo modern change. This conflict between the past and the future, as well as the everyday realities of their existence, are presented through Huffer's psychobiographical lens, primarily through the intervention and words of her chief informant, Elsie Roughsey, a "cooperative, friendly, generous, and intelligent" Lardil woman who is, in aboriginal terms, a "good yarner." Elsie's tribal name-Labbarnor-"sweetness of the fig"-gives the book its title. The work is essentially Elsie's statements mixed with descriptive and analytical observations by the author and short treatments of interviews with nine older Lardil women, seven younger (teens through twenties) Lardil women, and seven Kaiadilt women.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1983