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Dark Emu

Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?
Narrated by: Bruce Pascoe
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
5 out of 5 stars (429 ratings)
Non-member price: $38.24
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Publisher's Summary

A completely accessible, compelling and riveting account of pre-invasion Aboriginal agricultural systems.

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia's past is required.

©2014 Bruce Pascoe (P)2017 Bolinda audio

What members say

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paradigm shifting

growing up in Australia and going through the public school system, I have learnt a great deal from this book. it tells a story fundamentally different than what I was brought to to believe. I am thankful for this as to improve my once very ignorant appreciation of Australian aboriginal historical culture. this should be read and studied in schools in Australia

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Must Read for Every Australian

This books takes you on a journey of discovery, unearthing the ways of Indigenous Australia that are kept buried deep in the earth and in the historical records of the first colonisers. Taking extracts from the diaries of some of the first white contact in areas across Australia a very different picture is shown of the depth of knowledge that was completely ignored and destroyed as sheep and people displaced traditional practices. There is so much to learn from this for us to go forward and by honouring and relearning these practices repair some of the damage that we do today. It is a story of optimism for the future.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Thanks Bruce, I’m sorry and thank you.

You opened my eyes. I’d heard bits from time to time over the years that our first people were more sophisticated than we were taught at school but I’d had no idea of this. I’m angry that our texts were redacted to support terra nullius. I’m also very conscious that my own family on both sides took up land that was given to them by the government although it wasn’t theirs to give. I’m sorry, and thank you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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brilliant book!

every Australian should read this book! how is this kind of information not more available...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Revealing account of aboriginal achievements.

Bruce Pascoe has written a superb account of the achievements of Australian aborigines in the thousands of years before European occupation of this continent. I have heard for years that they were more highly developed than often thought, but this was mostly couched in vague generalities. Pascoe has looked through journals of explorers and early settlers, not to mention evidence from within aboriginal communities, finding many observations confirming that the aborigines were not nomads, but had systems of agriculture, fish trapping and house building. This has been airbrushed out of Australian history, as if it suited European Australians to believe that the aborigines were primitive people, almost 'savages'. Pascoe also reads his book extremely well. We are much in his debt for writing it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A Wade
  • Victoria, Australia
  • 20-02-2019

Great awakening to Aboriginal farming and life

I’d read tidbits here and there about Aboriginal farming and permanent settlement at the fringes of mainstream education and wanted to find out more.

This book gave a great overview of various examples and gives a good picture of how we could use Aboriginal ideas to improve land management and use in Australia.

While narrator was technically ok I always cringe a little when I find is the writer narrating their own book for some reason. Being non fiction though it is not that big an issue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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always was. always will be

as a person raised and educated in australia i am appalled this historic narrative was ommited.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must read

The most important book you're going to read this year. That's a big call to make in early February but I'm making it.

The fact that it took me five years to hear about this book says everything. I don't know if it's on any education syllabus in this country but it should be. Every Australian needs to read this book.

I listened on Audible (an easy, five hour listen) and am going to buy a couple of physical copies. One to keep at home to highlight and underline and one to keep in my classroom. Hell, I should buy a box of this book and give a copy to everyone I know.

There are so many incredible quotes (which I'm unable to share with you because, Audible) but it is such an accessible collection of eye witness accounts of Aboriginal agriculture, architecture and society at the time of first contact with Europeans. I can't believe that the observations of Burke and Wills and so many others are not more well known. My mind was blown by the depth of my ignorance.

I started listening to this book on a Monday morning and I was telling my class parts of what I had learned by Monday afternoon.

If you're only going to read one book this year, make it this one.

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very important text for eternity

this book can shift perception even if white australia will never reshape it’s policy . this knowledge is so important in not just creating the new australia but shaping the history of man kind itself
bruce brings together so much in one clear perfectly written insightful and deeply passionate text

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating book

I learnt things I never knew about Indigenous Australians. Use of primary sources was persuasive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brodie
  • 15-03-2019

The truth hurts.

Essential listening for every Australian teenage upwards. If we can change we should . A timely reminder that it is not too late.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-09-2018

An immensely valuable contribution to the conversation

Thank you for reinforcing my respect for indigenous Australians and for expanding my knowledge on how our landscape has come to be.

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  • Neil
  • 18-07-2018

Vital Australian Aboriginal History.

A tectonic shift in anthropology. Reveals knowedge of human history and development that should be known by all peoples of the world.

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  • Philip I. Kyson
  • 12-06-2017

Amazing eye opener

Another example of our commonly known history being false. This wonderful book goes someway in correcting that criminal fact.

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  • Louise
  • 26-11-2018

Wow!

This should be compulsory reading for every child (& adult) in Australia.

Massive respect for our indigenous people! This is so wonderful to get this information out there. We need to be learning more from, and consulting with, our country’s traditional custodians.

Who knew.. and why weren’t we taught this during our school years?!

Well done Bruce Pascoe. I’m sharing this as much as I possibly can.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-2017

Captivating and Stirring

A truly fantastic audiobook narrated by the author Bruce Pascoe. I think I put even more value to his words as he was the one reading them and emphasizing as he would normally in conversation. He made it a pleasure to listen to.

The numerous examples of indigenous peoples farming the land was so refreshing to hear. FINALLY the truth is coming forward and I look forward to our shared history being reframed.

Whilst I loved the book, the reality is I came to tears on a number of occasions. To hear through the writings of those first settlers who gave such little value to our ways, how blinkered they were to our intimate knowledge of the land and how they systematically destroyed every opportunity to allow our peoples the right to care for boodja (country) is absolutely heartbreaking. I must admit I feel agrieved. I am going to need some time to process my initial reaction so I can channel that energy into helping to make a difference.