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Dark Emu : aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture / Bruce Pascoe.

By: Pascoe, Bruce, 1947-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Broome, Western Australia : Magabala Books, 2018Edition: New edition.Description: 277 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781921248016; 1921248017.Subject(s): Aboriginal Australians -- Antiquities | Aboriginal Australians -- Social life and customs | Aboriginal Australians -- Agriculture | Land use, Rural -- Australia | Hunting and gathering societies -- AustraliaDDC classification: 305.89915 Awards: Winner, NSW Premier's Literary Award Book of the Year. | Winner, New South Wales Indigenous Writer's Prize, 2016.Summary: "Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required"--. Publisher's website
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction (NEST)
Non-Fiction (NEST) 305.8991 PAS Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

'Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.' Judges for 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards

Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing -- behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.


Bruce's comments on his book compared to Gammage's: " My book is about food production, housing construction and clothing, whereas Gammage was interested in the appearance of the country at contact. [Gammage] doesn't contest hunter gatherer labels either, whereas that is at the centre of my argument."

Originally published: 2014.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 249-264) and index.

"Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required"--. Publisher's website

Winner, NSW Premier's Literary Award Book of the Year.

Winner, New South Wales Indigenous Writer's Prize, 2016.