Holding Men

Booktopia First Nations promotion


Holding Men: Kanyirninpa and the Health of Young Aboriginal Men is an easily readable book that explores how Indigenous men understand their lives, their health and their culture.

Using conversations, stories and art, the author shows how Kimberley desert communities have a cultural value and relationship described as "kanyirninpa" or holding.

The author uses examples from Australian Rules football, petrol sniffing and imprisonment to reveal the possibilities for lasting improvements to men's health based on kanyirninpa's expression of deep and enduring cultural values and relationships.

While young Indigenous men's lives remain vulnerable in a rapidly changing world, the author believes that an understanding of kanyirninpa (one of the key values that has sustained Aboriginal desert life for centuries) may provide the hope of change and better health for all.

Holding Men also offers insights for all who wish to 'grow up' their young people.

About the author

Dr Brian McCoy grew up in Melbourne but has spent much of his adult life in north Australia and in a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in WA, NT and north QLD. In that time he has been involved in a wide range of community and social activities involving church, sport, music, prison and men’s cultural business.

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, Holding Men, <>, retrieved 21 April 2024

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

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