Abstract: Aboriginal marriage practices in southeast Queensland have been very much altered over the past 100 years with the impact of colonisation and subsequent historical events. These events dramatically changed the traditional language and practice of marriage and kinship relations that once guided the way Aboriginal people lived their lives. This paper aims to discuss some aspects of the traditional marriage rules and kinship structure from this region that covers a large area from Brisbane north to Hervey Bay and inland to the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg, which was established as a reserve by the Queensland government in 1905.

I also look at some examples of how this traditional knowledge is incorporated into current practices. Much of what I discuss and provide examples for in this paper, are from my own observations as a junior Elder of a large Aboriginal family from southeast Queensland with affiliations either directly or through marriage to two tribal groups. These are the Gubbi Gubbi/Badjala and Wakka Wakka/Duunggidjawau tribes/subtribes. Additionally, I will refer to written texts, mostly by non-Aboriginal researchers, and will also provide some analysis to how this collective information has contributed to current cultural practice.

Keywords: Aboriginal Australia; Southeast Queensland; marriage rules.

Copyright © Jeanie Bell 2013. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.