Bruce Pascoe on pre-colonial Aboriginal agriculture
Bruce is a prolific writer and editor of fiction for adults and young people; and he also writes essays and history.
His 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, Bruce 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.
Bruce is of Tasmanian, Bunurong and Yuin heritage and he lives on country, deep in the Victorian bush.
We extracted flour from kangaroo grass seed two weeks ago and have been able to make a wonderful bread with a 60/40 blend of white flour/kangaroo grass flour and it was delicious. Further information
Dark Emu: Black Seeds - Agriculture or Accident? is published by Magabala Books
Dark Emu won Book of the Year, and the Indigenous Writing Prize jointly with Ellen van Neerven, at the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards
Buce's latest novel for Young Adults is Seahorse
Sources referred to in Bruce's conversation include: The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage (2011) and Australia and the origins of agriculture by Gerritson (2008)
Original broadcast February 2016
Source ABC Local Conversations with Richard Fidler http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2016/07/05/4494632.htm