Indigenous relational understandings of the house-as-home: embodied co-becoming with Jerrinja Country
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The paper considers what housing studies can learn from Indigenous understandings of the house-as-home. Explored through Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies of the house-as-home, the objective of the paper is to offer nuanced understandings of the social and material work of the house itself in the making and unmaking of home. We draw on an Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaborative research, led by Jerrinja elders. The research design included veranda yarning sessions and Indigenous talking circles. Three dimensions emerged strongly from Jerrinja people’s understandings of the making and unmaking of house-as-home: home as an objective capacity, an aesthetic sensibility, and an affective experience of Country. These dimensions are discussed through a relational framework that combines Panelli’s discussion of ‘Country-as-home’, Prout’s idea of ‘kinship-as-home’ and Bissell’s thinking around materiality in achieving comfort. The paper concludes by reflecting on the importance of including Indigenous knowledge if housing studies as a field is to go beyond a Western cultural politics of the house-as-home.