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First Peoples

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Audio interview

Bruce Pascoe on the complex question of Aboriginal agriculture

Indigenous knowledge Australian history Indigenous land management Australia

In conversation with ABC's Richard Fidler, Bruce Pascoe asks whether Australia's first people were really 'hunter-gatherers'.

Drawing from the accounts of early explorers, Pascoe's book Dark Emu presents a radically different picture of Australia's original inhabitants, and how they maintained their culture over millennia.

From the journals and records of early explorers and surveyors, Pascoe has accumulated astonishing descriptions of a pre-colonial Aboriginal life.

Mitchell, Sturt and others describe scenes all around the country of Aboriginal people engineering sophisticated dwellings and irrigation systems.

They also describe the cultivation of vast areas of land for yam fields; and the harvesting, storage and milling of grain crops.

Listen to the full interview via link.

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