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Rejouer les savoirs anthropologiques: de durkheim aux aborigènes

The elementary forms of religious life by Durkheim (2013) largely draw on Spencer and Gillen's observations and analysis of Central Australian rituals. Stemming from 35 years of research across Australia, this article shows that the paradigm of the XXe century has prevented Durkheim to see the importance of the relation to land in the cosmology and ritual practices of Aboriginal people. This paradigm also ignored the reticular dynamism of their totemic cartographies that since colonization Indigenous Australians have been reactualizing through art and social struggles. The Indigenous empowerment through speech and other expressions of their systems of knowledge questions the contemporary legitimacy of ancient interpretations. While Durkheim and others are "patrimonialized" into Western heritage, they become foundation myths of social sciences which are sometimes opposed to the recognition of the people they studied. Consequently anthropology is confronted to an ethical and political problem.

Australia; indigenous empowerment; patrimonialization; totemic cartographies


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