Saturday 19 October 2019

New light on Australian Aboriginal Civilisation

Labelling Aboriginal communities as 'nomadic' allowed early settlers to justify the takeover of traditional lands claiming that they were not inhabited by permanent residents.

Quotes from review of this book below

"The Aborigines farmed as an activity rather than a lifestyle. They grew crops of tubers such as yams, grain such as native millet, macadamia nuts, fruits and berries. People reared dingoes, possums, emus and cassowaries, moved caterpillars to new breeding areas and carried fish stock across country.

They knew that kangaroos preferred short grass, native bees preferred desert bloodwood, koalas tall eucalyptus and rock wallabies thick growth. The Aborigines set templates to suit land, plants and animals. Explorers such as Eyre, Mitchell and Leichhardt noted how indigenous Australians fired grass to bring on short green pick to attract kangaroos and other animals. To do this they had to make sure the grass was nutritious and to provide shelter so that the kangaroos would not feel vulnerable.

There is no such thing as pristine wilderness in Australia. More trees grow in areas now known as national parks than did in 1788."

"The Aborigines of 1788 could not have survived recent bushfires that killed dozens of Australians and destroyed houses, flora and fauna. Uncontrolled fire could wipe out Aboriginal food. People had to prevent it or die. They worked hard to make fire work for them. They burnt off in patches, knowing the sensitivities of different plant species and that timing was crucial. Evidence strongly suggests that no devastating fires occurred"

Evidence of widespread tilled soil and cropping

lots of research on pre white agriculture in Australia pdf

this book is a big deal - have reeased a kids education version too
Evidence of architecturescale agriculture, stone foundations, fish and eel traps, stone circles
plenty of pictures online and description from first explorers if you look onlinestyles vary regionally
good document from state of Victoria of fish traps, circles and housing

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