Dark Emu: Black Seeds : Agriculture Or Accident?

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Magabala Books, 2014 - Aboriginal Australians - 173 pages
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 - behaviors 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 comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

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This book just won the NSW State Govt Book of the Year Award, and is thoroughly deserving of it. While much of the book builds upon (and provides an Indigenous author's perspective on) Gammage's 'Biggest Estate on Earth' it is more concise and readable and filled with gems of perspective from Pascoe.
There is possibly no other title on bookshelves anywhere that does a better job of correcting Non-Indigenous peoples uncharitable perspectives of the capabilities and sophistication of Aboriginal people, and moreover, provides a compelling argument to integrate long overlooked Indigenous knowledge and higher cultural aspirations to the better governance and agricultural productivity of modern Australia

About the author (2014)

Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. Books include the short story collections Night Animals and Nightjar; the novels Fox, Ruby Eyed Coucal, Ribcage, Shark, Earth, and Ocean; historical works Cape Otway: Coast of secrets and Convincing Ground; the childrens' book Foxies in a Firehose and the young adult fiction Fog a Dox, which won the Prime Ministers Literary Award for YA Fiction, 2013.

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