Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe : 2020 #1

I don’t read anywhere near as much as I used to. To improve my attention span, and get back into the habit, the target is 52 books this year.

Dark Emu
Australian Aboriginals were not nomads, not solely hunter gatherers, before the arrival of colonists. That is the myth perpetrated by the colonists, sometimes redacting history, to support their own cause and interests.
Aboriginals had fixed agriculture and aquaculture. They had fixed housing, with towns of thousands. They were able to store food for long-term use, or for use at gatherings of many hundreds.
They used fire to keep the land stable, fruitful, and beneficial to themselves and wildlife. Right now, in Australia late 2019, and early 2020, this is significant as the land is burning out of control. Homes, lives and wildlife are being lost catastrophically. The ‘parkland’ the settlers found has degraded since then to the scrub and untamed, flammable forest of today.
They had a law (still do) to manage all of this. To keep their civilisation in harmony with their country.

All of this seems significant today when we exploit nature – the fires of recent weeks are a symbol of that.
All of this is backed up in the book with accounts from the settlers themselves.

Readable, fascinating, well-referenced.

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