Skip to Content
Aboriginal art, identity and appropriation

Aboriginal art, identity and appropriation

Coleman, Elizabeth Burns, 1961-

In this text Coleman examines the relationship between art and identity in Aboriginal Australian society, and the Aborigines' fight for legal recognition of the collective ownership of their artworks. The belief held by Aboriginal people that their art is ultimately related to their identity, and to the continued existence of their culture, has made the protection of indigenous peoples' art a pressing matter in many postcolonial countries. The issue has prompted calls for stronger copyright legislation to protect Aboriginal art. Although this claim is not particular to Australian Aboriginal people, the Australian experience clearly illustrates this debate. In this work, Elizabeth Burns Coleman analyses art from an Australian Aboriginal community to interpret Aboriginal claims about the relationship between their art, identity and culture, and how the art should be protected in law. Through her study of Yolngu art, Coleman finds Aboriginal claims to be substantially true. This is an issue equally relevant to North American debates about the appropriation of indigenous art, and the book additionally engages with this literature

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005
Rate this

Available: Online

This item is not reservable because:

  • You can only request items from our lending collections. You cannot reserve journals.
  • Online – One available in E-book

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    E-book Online Available


Statement of responsibility: Elizabeth Burns Coleman
ISBN: 1351961306, 9781351961301
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-181) and index.
Physical Description: xviii, 188 p. : ill.
Series: Anthropology and cultural history in Asia and the Indo-Pacific
Subject: Art and Design.; Australia; History of art; Philosophy: aesthetics; Art, Aboriginal Australian.; Aboriginal Australians in popular culture.; The arts: general issues; Identity (Psychology) in art.; Regional studies; Social & cultural history; Aboriginal Australians in art.; Aboriginal Australians Ethnic identity.; Art and society Australia.; Social & cultural anthropology; Aboriginal Australians Social life and customs.; Copyright Art Australia.; Ethnic studies; Aboriginal Australians Intellectual life.; Indigenous peoples; Anthropology
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9780754644033


  1. Series Editors' preface
  2. Mapping the problem
  3. Cultural appropriation
  4. Culture and property
  5. Domestic questions
  6. Identity and images
  7. Religion and significance
  8. Art fraud and the ontology of painting
  9. Applying the criteria for authenticity
  10. Insignia and collective entities
  11. Cultural vandalism
  12. Interpreting Aboriginal claims as rights
  13. Freedom of expression and insignia
  14. Responding to Aboriginal claims
  15. Bibliography
  16. Index.