‘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.”
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Truth and knowledge is power
Amazing...! To read of the true history of Australia... the explorers themselves admitted the Aboriginal people and their engineering and agriculture was far advanced... incredible read!
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
An interesting and informative glimpse into the hidden, and transformed histories of pre colonial Australia. The book goes a way to introducing the agricultural practices and construction methods of a culture that colonialists attempted to erase, and replace with a “Story” of hunter gatherers and nomads. Thanks for writing this it is an eye opening intro to the subject of Australian ancestral food production and cultural housing practices.