Cultural curfews
The contestation of time in settler-colonial Victoria
in The colonisation of time
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In the colony of victoria, missions and reserves sought to confine Aboriginal people within an unseen matrix of temporal control, imposing curfews and restrictions which interrupted the regular flow of pre-colonial patterns, rituals and calendars. The colonisation of time and space in victoria unfolded in three general phases in relation to the Aboriginal population: confrontation, containment and assimilation. Although missionaries and Protectors sought to shield Aborigines from the physical assault of settler-colonisation, they also perceived the 'irregularity' of nomadic movements as a hindrance to their mission. The mission environment confined the inmates both temporally and spatially through rules and regulations which privileged the time-tables of agriculture, pastoralism and Christianity, whilst curtailing the 'irregular' movements, calendars, rituals and economies of pre-colonial society. A common belief among both missionaries and settler-colonial society was that the surviving population of Aborigines might eke out a living by becoming a landless proletariat.

The colonisation of time

Ritual, routine and resistance in the British Empire


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