A post by our ABC Pool intern, Eliza Murray
The most interesting thing about working as an intern on my tribe is the stories. Simply by asking someone where they belong, you come across deeply felt ideas of attachment, belonging, and dedication to the tribe. With this often comes a will to defend the tribe, to protect it, to cherish it – like ashlim and his football team. There is, of course, the flip side as well. Exploring my tribe can stir up ideas of being the outsider, the misfit or the loner – the one who feels without a tribe, or feel that they aren’t in the “right” tribe, like in Simon Brown’s Odyssey
If I was asked on the spot which is my tribe, I don’t think I would know what to say. Generally I feel without a tribe. Just one of millions of Australians who aren’t certain how they got to this country, nor can think of a grandparent or great-grandparent who wasn’t born here. I grew up without feeling the need to defend who I am or where I come from. Though going to Catholic school earned me some name-callings, much like Susan.Dirgham’s uncle in “Wogs. Wogs. Wogs.”
Given a second to think about it though, there are many things in my life that are specifically designed to remind me of my tribe. I am part of a Scottish clan. In various cupboards and drawers in my parent’s house one can find sets of coasters featuring the Murray clan emblem – a mermaid looking at her reflection in a hand mirror. My uncle, Timothy, has even purchased a plot of our clan’s “traditional” land and is now technically Lord Murray of Athol. At my cousin’s wedding, he gifted his new daughter-in-law with a shawl made from the traditional Murray clan tartan. As far as I know, my father’s family came to Australia during the Highland potato famine in the 1840s. We haven’t known or communicated with our Highland brethren for over 150 years, and I wouldn’t even know where to start. Yet these symbols persist as reminders that I am part of something bigger, my clan, and my tribe.
So if, like me, you’re unsure of your tribe, dig around in the old drawers and cupboards. You might find your tribe.