Dark Emu

Dark Emu 6

New Edition

by Bruce Pascoe

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/06/2018

5/5 Rating 6 Reviews
RRP  $19.99 $14.95

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.”

‘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

Bestselling Books for 2018
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Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe is an Australian Indigenous writer. He has worked as a teacher, farmer, a fisherman and an Aboriginal language researcher.

His books include Fog a Dox, a book for young adults that won the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in 2013, Convincing Ground about the Convincing Ground massacre, and Dark Emu, a book that challenges the claim that pre-colonial Australian Aboriginal peoples were hunter-gatherers.

In 2018, Bruce Pascoe was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Dark emu

    by on

    A stunning book .... an expose of just how the First Nation people managed the land. I loved the fact that so many documents are referenced ... further adding to the truth of this book.

  • Dark Emu

    by on

    Best non-fiction book I have read this year!!!

  • Seeing our history anew

    by on

    This book will change the way you see our history in Australia. Bruce Pascoe has written a most authoritative account of what was here before 1788 and of the way that Europeans,with ignorance and small-mindedness,have refused to see and acknowledge what they came upon and often tried to destroy. We could learn a lot by having a very close look at the way indigenous Australians made this entire continent a workable,sustainable place. We can't,of course,become like the indigenous people were but we can try to learn about what they had developed here. Simple things,like the role of fire in the landscape and what actually grows here and can feed people in the native flora. We might come to understand what our 231 years have done to harm the place we live in,to understand what sheep and cattle continue to do to the environment.
    This book rests upon extensive study.The bibliography is extensive. Pascoe writes with a command of so much factual knowledge of what happened and why we couldn't see what we were doing. I would highly recommend this book to all Australians. I might even say it should be compulsory reading for all of us who live here and depend upon the land we have inherited.That includes you,reader.

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