Showing 1–12 of 31 results
Mallee Country: Land, People, HistoryArtist/Author: Broome, Richard, Charles Fahey, Andrea Gaynor, Katie Holmes
Mallee Country tells the powerful history of mallee lands and people across southern Australia from Deep Time to the present. Carefully shaped and managed by Aboriginal people for over 50,000 years, mallee country was dramatically transformed by settlers, first with sheep and rabbits, then by flattening and burning the mallee to make way for wheat. Government backed settlement schemes devastated lives and country, but some farmers learnt how to survive the droughts, dust storms, mice, locusts and salinity – as well as the vagaries of international markets – to become some of Australia’s most resilient agriculturalists. In mallee country, innovation and tenacity have been neighbours to hardship and failure.
Mallee Country is a story of how land and people shape each other. It is the story of how a landscape once derided by settlers as a ‘howling wilderness’ covered in ‘dismal scrub’ became home to citizens who delighted in mallee fauna and flora, and fought to conserve it for future generations. And it is the story of the dreams, sweat and sorrows of people who face an uncertain future of depopulation and climate change with creativity and hope.
The Gulf Country: The Story of People and Place in Outback QueenslandArtist/Author: Martin, Richard J
The story of the resilient people who make their home in Australia’s far north, from the ‘wild time’ of the frontier days to the present.
With its great rivers, grassy plains and mangrove-fringed coastline, Queensland’s remote Gulf Country is rich and fertile land. It has long been home to Aboriginal people and, since the 1860s, also to Europeans and to settlers with Chinese, Japanese and Afghan ancestry.
Richard J. Martin tells the story of a century-and-a-half of exploration and colonisation, the growth of cattle and mining industries, and the impact of Christian missionaries and Indigenous activism, through to the present day. He acknowledges the brutal realities of violence and dispossession, as well as the challenges of life on the land in northern Australia.
Drawing on extensive interviews with people across the Gulf Country, this is a lively and colourful account of tight-knit communities, relationships across cultures and resilience in the face of adversity.
Australia’s Original Languages: An IntroductionArtist/Author: Dixon, R. M. W.
An introduction to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages that explains their distinctive features accessibly for readers who have no previous experience with learning another language, and shows how language reflects traditional culture.
‘A must read for all who would like to understand the languages and culture of Indigenous Australians.’ Dr Ernie Grant, Elder of the Jirrbal nation
When Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay, about 250 distinct languages were spoken across the continent. Yet Australian Indigenous languages actually share many common features.
Bob Dixon has been working with elders to research Australian languages for half a century, and he draws on this deep experience to outline the common features. He provides a straightforward introduction to the sounds, word building, and wide-ranging vocabulary of Indigenous languages, and highlights distinctive grammatical features. He explains how language is related to culture, including kinship relationships, gender systems, and naming conventions.
With examples from over 30 languages and anecdotes illustrating language use, and avoiding technical terms, Australia’s Original Languages is the indispensable starting point for anyone interested in learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages.
‘Written in an accessible, easy to read style, Professor Dixon’s new book is an informative and entertaining introduction to Australia’s “original” languages.’ Dr Joe Blythe, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University
First Footprints: The Epic Story of the First AustraliansArtist/Author: Cane, Scott
First Footprints tells the extraordinary story of the Aboriginal people of Australia. How they made their way out of Africa 60,000 years ago, and how they survived across this vast continent, from the harsh deserts of the inland to the glaciers of southern Tasmania. With photos from the ABC TV series of the same name.Some 60,000 years ago, a small group of people landed on Australia’s northern coast. They were the first oceanic mariners and this great southern land was their new home. Gigantic mammals roamed the plains and enormous crocodiles, giant snakes and goannas nestled in the estuaries and savannahs.
First Footprints tells the epic story of Australia’s Aboriginal people. It is a story of ancient life on the driest continent on earth through the greatest environmental changes experienced in human history: ice ages, extreme drought and inundating seas. It is chronicled through astonishing archaeological discoveries, ancient oral histories and the largest and oldest art galleries on earth. Australia’s first inhabitants were the first people to believe in an afterlife, cremate their dead, engrave representations of the human face, and depict human sound and emotion. They created new technologies, designed ornamentation, engaged in trade, and crafted the earliest documents of war. Ultimately, they developed a sustainable society based on shared religious tradition and far-reaching social networks across the length and breadth of Australia.
The First Wave: Exploring Early Coastal Contact History in AustraliaArtist/Author: Dooley, Gillian, Danielle Clode (Editors)
The European maritime explorers who first visited the bays and beaches of Australia brought with them diverse assumptions about the inhabitants of the country, most of them based on sketchy or non-existent knowledge, contemporary theories like the idea of the noble savage, and an automatic belief in the superiority of European civilisation. Mutual misunderstanding was almost universal, whether it resulted in violence or apparently friendly transactions.
Written for a general audience, The First Wave brings together a variety of contributions from thought-provoking writers, including both original research and creative work. Our contributors explore the dynamics of these early encounters, from Indigenous cosmological perspectives and European history of ideas, from representations in art and literature to the role of animals, food and fire in mediating first contact encounters, and Indigenous agency in exploration and shipwrecks.
The First Wave includes poetry by Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, fiction by Miles Franklin award-winning Noongar author Kim Scott and Danielle Clode, and an account of the arrival of Christian missionaries in the Torres Strait Islands by Torres Strait political leader George Mye.
Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search For Human AntiquityArtist/Author: Taylor, Rebe
This book is a winner of multiple literary awards.
In 1908 English gentleman, Ernest Westlake, packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks he collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. Westlake believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But in the remotest corners of the island Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities.
Into the Heart of Tasmania tells a story of discovery and realisation. One man’s ambition to rewrite the history of human culture inspires an exploration of the controversy stirred by Tasmanian Aboriginal history. It brings to life how Australian and British national identities have been fashioned by shame and triumph over the supposed destruction of an entire race. To reveal the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania is to be confronted with a history that has never ended.
Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian ArtArtist/Author: McLean, Ian
Large, bold and colourful, Indigenous Australian art has made an indelible impression on the contemporary imagination. But it is controversial, dividing the stakeholders from those who smell a scam. Whether the artists are victims or victors, there is no denying their impact in the media and on the art world and collectors worldwide. How did Australian art become the most successful indigenous form in the world? How did its artists escape the ethnographic and souvenir markets to become players in an art world to which they had previously been denied access? Finely illustrated, and now available in paperback, this full historical account makes you question everything you were taught about contemporary art.
‘Provides what instructors of indigenous Australian art have long been waiting for: a textbook on the genre. Though one can find a multitude of museum and exhibition catalogues and books on the art of specific regions of Australia, this is the first book to provide comprehensive coverage of the unfolding of indigenous art across time and place, across styles and borders, and across cultures . . . Clearly organized and well written, the content is theoretical and factual, and McLean supports the discussion with excellent illustrations. One of the most important publications on the topic to date. Highly recommended.’ — Choice
Living with the Locals: Early Europeans’ Experience of Indigenous LifeArtist/Author: Maynard, John, Victoria Haskins
Living with the Locals comprises the stories of 13 white men, boys and women who were taken in by the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait islands and of eastern Australia and who lived in their communities between the 1790s and the 1870s, from a few months to over 30 years. The white people had been shipwrecked or had escaped the confines of penal servitude and survived only through the Indigenous people’s generosity. Many of them were given Indigenous names—Bunboé, Murrangurk, Duramboi, Waki, Giom, Anco. They assimilated to varying degrees into an Indigenous way of life—several marrying and learning the language—and, for the most part, both parties mourned the white people’s return to European life.
The stories in Living with the Locals provide a glimpse into Indigenous life at the point of early contact between Indigenous people and British colonists. It was a time when negative attitudes towards Indigenous people gave rise to misinterpretation of events and sensationalised versions of the stories. However, many of the white survivors spoke up against the appalling treatment of the Indigenous people, and advocated for conciliation and land rights. They also were unwilling to reveal Indigenous beliefs and customs to unsympathetic colonists.
The People of Budj BimArtist/Author: Wettenhall, Gib, contributions from the Gunditjmara people
In 2009, carbon dating found that a fishtrap system at Lake Condah in south-west Victoria was an incredible 6,700 years old. Constructed by the Gunditjmara people, it is one of five sophisticated fishtrap systems that were built around the lake’s edge. A permanent supply of freshwater and abundant eels, fish and water plants meant the Gunditjmara led a settled life there – an experience without parallel among Aboriginal societies and landscapes in Australia. The People of Budj Bim brings to life the amazing, unknown story about their traditional eel aquaculture systems and associated stone house settlements, once dotted throughout the lakes, streams and ponds on the Mt Eccles lava flow in south-west Victoria. Known as the Budj Bim landscape, it was the setting for what Robbery Under Arms author, Rolf Boldrewood, called the Eumeralla War, a six year battle fought by Gunditjmara clans against squatters taking over their land. Budj Bim was the first Indigenous landscape to gain National Heritage listing in 2004.
The full colour book with images throughout provides an accessible, plain English introduction to the Budj Bim landscape and its Indigenous history
The People of Gariwerd: The Grampians’ Aboriginal HeritageArtist/Author: Wettenhall, Gib
The People of Gariwerd draws on a new interpretation of the Grampian region’s archaeology by La Trobe University and Aboriginal Affairs Victoria in collaboration with Gariwerd’s Aboriginal communities. It tells how Aboriginal people have maintained an intense and unbroken relationship with the peaks and plains of Gariwerd since the last Ice Age to the present day. It recounts how, in the eons prior to European settlement, they lived together, managed the land, and used the landscape as a map telling them how to live. With over 120 rock art sites catalogued, the Gariwerd-Grampians ranges have a richer and more diverse record of Aboriginal occupation than any other place in southeastern Australia.
Traditional Healers of Central Australia: NgangkariArtist/Author: NPY Women's Council Aboriginal CorporationTraditional Healers of the Central Desert contains unique stories and imagery and primary source material: the ngangkari speak directly to the reader. Ngangkari are senior Aboriginal people authorised to speak publicly about Anangu (Western Desert language speaking Aboriginal people) culture and practices. It is accurate, authorised information about their work, in their own words.The practice of traditional healing is still very much a part of contemporary Aboriginal society. The ngangkari currently employed at NPY Women’s Council deliver treatments to people across a tri-state region of about 350,000 sq km, in more than 25 communities in SA, WA, and NT. Acknowledged, respected, and accepted, these ngangkari work collaboratively with hospitals and health professionals even beyond this region, working hand-in-hand with Western medical practitioners.
Body and Soul: An Aboriginal ViewArtist/Author: Peile, A.R.
This extraordinary book describes the conceptualisation of the human body, soul, and health by the Kukatja people, who now live at Balgo, in the far north of Western Australia.
To date, this book represents the only published attempt to assemble an account of the views of an Aboriginal people concerning the body and its soul or spirit, how they function, understanding their healthiness, applying suitable traditional medical practices to keep them operating efficiently and finally showing how all these intermesh to form a coherent system of knowledge.
No one else has taken the approach made by Peile, and enquired into how the entire set of beliefs and practices related to well-being can be conceptualised as an individual person, to make it a unified body and soul