Daughters of the Dreaming by Diane Bell

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Women are rarely mentioned in the literature as owners of country in their own right or as decision-making individuals; they appear as wives and mothers, their relationship to the jukurrpa always mediated through another. Yet I believe women enjoyed direct access to the jukurrpa from which flowed into rights and responsibilities in land, a power base as independent economic producers and a high degree of control over their own lives in marriage, residence, economic production, reproduction and sexuality. Living in the community, developing friendships that have spanned decades, award-winning author Diane Bell shines a light on the importance of women's role in Australian Aboriginal desert culture. As maintainers of land, ritual and culture, Indigenous women of central Australia share the patterns of their lives in this remarkable and enduring book. Daughters of the Dreaming (first published in 1983) is an outstanding study of Aboriginal women's lives, and a fine precursor to her award-winning Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin.