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A World of Relationships is an ethnographical account and anthropological study of the cultural use and social potential of dreams among Aboriginal groups of the Australian Western Desert. The outcome of fieldwork conducted in the area in the 1980s and 90s, it was originally published in French as Les jardins du nomade: Cosmologie, territoire et personne dans le désert occidental australien.
In her study, Sylvie Poirier explores the contemporary Aboriginal system of knowledge and law through an analysis of the relationships between the ancestral order, the 'sentient' land, and human agencies. At the ethnographical and analytical levels, particular attention is given to a range of local narratives and stories, and to the cultural construction of individual experiences. Poirier also investigates the cultural system of dreams and dreaming, and the process of their socialization, analysing their ideological, semantic, pragmatic, and experiential dimensions. Through the synthesis of a complex and diverse range of theoretical and empirical materials, A World of Relationships offers new insights into Australian Aboriginal sociality, historicity, and dynamics of cultural change and ritual innovation.