Why Hold a Winter Solstice Ceremony Once in 24 Years and Then Never Again?

In early July 1972, a Warlpiri man invited me to a ceremony he was organising to shorten the night. As a new arrival in central Australia, I assumed that this must be an annual event but to my surprise found that it was twenty-four years since the ceremony had been previously held. At the time I was unable to get an explanation as to why the hiatus or the decision to hold it then. Fifty years later all has become clear with the help of a photograph, shedding light on ritual, politics, succession and social change.

Zoom Link        

Meeting ID: 937 9210 4939

Passcode: 800615  

Date & time

Mon 07 Mar 2022, 3–4pm


RSSS building, room 2.56, and streaming online


Nicolas Peterson, ANU


Matt Tomlinson


Updated:  3 March 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications