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Men's Business, Women's Business: The /Bell, Hannah R/Paper/0892816554/S004-B
For thousands of years the Ngarinyin Aboriginal culture of Australia has existed with almost total division of responsibility between the sexes. Rather than making one gender feel superior to the other, however, this division enables both to respect the power, wisdom, and essentiality of the other. The Ngarinyin Law of Relationship holds that in all of nature there are two parts to everything and only when the two work in harmony does the world function as it should.
When Hannah Rachel Bell, a committed feminist and activist, first encountered this culture in the 1970s, she resisted such blatant gender division. But over her twenty-five year collaboration with one of the last great Aboriginal Lawmen, David Mowaljarlai, she found her politically correct beliefs challenged and finally changed by an incredible sense of empowerment and joy that came from embracing a tradition that drew on thousands of years of biological and mythological continuity. Men's Business, Women's Business presents the experience of living in a society in which every action is governed by the laws of nature and myth, rather than those of commerce and politics. In the Ngarinyin tradition, each chapter is presented as a story, following Aboriginal boys and girls from childhood through adolescence, adulthood, old age, and death and contrasting their experiences with those of First Worlders at the same life stages.
Men's Business, Women's Business offers us keys for the conduct of their lives by drawing attention to the cultural processes and institutions that affect men's and women's authority, sovereignty, and the fulfillment of their birthright. It is a deeply inward journey that speaks to the soul, a journey that, if travelled collectively, could change the direction and experience of modern culture.