Aboriginal Studies Press

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ROM: An Aboriginal ritual of diplomacy
Stephen Wild (editor)
Product Description

ROM is a 'ritual of diplomacy', performed to establish or re-establish friendly relations with neighbouring communities by presenting them with elaborately-decorated totemic poles. The entire process of making, binding, and decorating the poles can extend over weeks and involves successive sessions of song and dance with culminate in a presentation ceremony.

The first Rom ceremony to be performed outside Arnhem Land was held as the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra in November 1982. The Anbarra people from north-central Arnhem Land wished to present Rom in appreciation of the work done by the Institute and to bring the ritual to a wider audience. Several thousand people attended during the four days of ceremonies in Canberra.

This book details the recent history of the Anbarra people. The songs, dances, and artefacts that are part of ROM are described and accompanied by colour illustrations. The book gives an account of the performance of Rom ritual in Arnhem Land and the changes the performers needed to make to stage it in Canberra.

1986, pb, 224x180mm, 116pp, b/w & col. illus

(ASP web page)


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