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Aboriginal Time

Conceptions of even such fundamental domains as time can differ dramatically across cultures. In a remote Australian Aboriginal community, time is arranged in terms of east to west.

How do people think about time? These researchers studied representations of time in Pormpuraaw, a remote Australian Aboriginal community, and found: “representations of time differ strikingly from all others documented to date. Previously, people have been shown to represent time spatially from left to right or right to left, or from front to back or back to


front. All of these representations are with respect to the body. Pormpuraawans instead arrange time according to cardinal directions: east to west. …The results demonstrate that conceptions of even such fundamental domains as time can differ dramatically across cultures.”


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