Pintupi - Economy

Subsistence and Commercial Activities . The Pintupi were traditionally a hunting and gathering people. Australian Aboriginal policy included attempts to introduce the concept of working for a wage, and Pintupi who came to settlements were largely employed on cattle stations, working with the stock. At present, most Pintupi are dependent upon assistance payments from the Australian government.

Industrial Arts. Tools and implements of traditional manufacture include digging sticks and stone-cutting tools, boomerangs, spears, and spear throwers. Shelters used to be made of local materials, but now they are constructed from canvas or corrugated iron. Most manufactured items are of a ritual nature.

Division of Labor. For communal use, men hunt kangaroos, wallabies, and emus when such are available; they hunt feral cats, smaller marsupials, and rabbits at other times. Women gather what plant food can be found, honey ants, grubs, and lizards. Food so obtained is shared throughout the residential group. Food preparation is considered to be a woman's task, although men are capable of it; likewise, the preparation and maintenance of the tools necessary for food gathering and hunting is a man's job, but women can do such tasks if necessary.

Land Tenure. Rights in land refer to Dreamtime associations: that is, one has a right to live in and use the resources of areas to which one can trace ties of family or friendship (the latter most often being treated in kinship terms). One's own place of birth, or the places where one's parents were born, establish claims—but not claims to the land per se, simply to rights of association with others who also use that land.

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