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The Forum > Article Comments > Australia, where telling the truth is 'just another form of invasion' > Comments

Australia, where telling the truth is 'just another form of invasion' : Comments

By Vesna Tenodi, published 9/10/2018

The new Australian paradigm: its enforcers, its opponents

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Oh my goodness what a miserable bunch of reprobates commenting on an article by a woman who parades herself on programs like Bolt touting absolute BS by the truck load.

According to her “Aborigines are the most privileged segment of Australian society”. Anybody who knows anything about aboriginal mortality rates or incarceration rates or disadvantage would laugh in her face.

In my opinion the woman is a complete crackpot.

But leaving that aside I am really surprised that you Loudmouth of all people would be running the line that there was no agriculture performed by aboriginal people. Have you not read Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe? How about you hop on Youtube and look up some of his lectures;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqgrSSz7Htw
http://youtu.be/8cfhFwGDIqk?t=1053

Borrow the book from the library if you must and come back and tell me why he is wrong.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Friday, 12 October 2018 4:43:48 PM
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Hi Steele,

I suggest you try and find Peter Bellwood's "First Farmers". The original locations of farming, i.e. cultivating the soil, planting crops, tending rhea, fencing them from animals and neighbours, harvesting and storing hem, selecting the best grain etc. to hold back for planting - was incredibly rare in human history. Maybe half a dozen places in the world - SE Turkey/northern Syria/NW Iraq, northern China, Papua-New Guinea, Mexico/Guatemala, Peru/Chile. That's it.

And the practice of farming didn't spread as an innovative set of ideas but as actual people - those Middle Eastern farmers literally migrated, bit by bit, against the resistance of hunter-gatherers across Europe and down the Gulf to India and further east. And over maybe five thousand years. Hunter-gatherers don't give up easy, Steele.

Perhaps you could also have a look at:

file:///Users/joelane/Desktop/Odds/Indigenous/Agriculture%20in%20Aboriginal%20Australia:%20Why%20Not%3F%20%7C%20Gilligan%20%7C%20Bulletin%20of%20the%20Indo-Pacific%20Prehistory%20A.webarchive

Gilligan argues persuasively that the earliest farmers were herders (and 'penners') of sheep and goats whose fibre they valued, so the fist crops deliberately farmed were fodder crops for their animals, not for human consumption alone.

[TBC]
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 12 October 2018 6:46:18 PM
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[continued]

As for the half-witted notions of Pascoe, kangaroo-grass ? Which grows every where in Australia, and has almost no nutritional value ? Are you suggesting it was planted, in cultivated soil using cultivating tools, made in their thousands by skilled craftsmen ? Or are you going to do the usual BS trick of re-defining 'cultivation' to mean no-drill, broad-casting, harvesting at will ? i.e. gathering ? Planted by hand ? No tools needed ?

As my former school-mate at Wagga High School, Bill Gammage has my undying love and respect, but he also proposes some pretty ridiculous hypotheses.

So where are there any Aboriginal cultivating tools ? Fences, to protect 'valuable' crops from kangaroos and emus, etc. that are too stupid to eat the kangaroo grass which is readily available everywhere ? Any harvesting tools ? Evidence of tool-makers ? Any system of transport (silly question, it would have been on the backs of women) ? Any storage systems ?

Pascoe talks about Mitchell observing a nine-mile stretch of country looking like it had been 'stooped' (i.e. stooked, or stacked). 'Looking like', i.e. with kangaroos and/or emus running through kangaroo grass across a plain.

A 'paddock' nine miles long, something unknown anywhere in the world of hand-cultivation farming. Even now, farmers in Cambodia or China or Iraq or Ecuador using just hand tools, are pushing it to cultivate forty acres (16 hectares) a year. Yes, at that rate, an Aboriginal farmer COULD form a paddock nine miles long (14 km) (says Mitchell), but only about 11 metres wide.

14,000 metres long and 11 metres wide sounds just a bit implausible, Steele. Yes, it's possible that instead, a paddock nine miles by nine miles, or 207 sq. km, COULD be farmed, with efficient tools (the ones you know all about) by barely thirteen hundred Aboriginal farmers, going flat-out, to grow kangaroo grass which grows wild everywhere and has no nutritional value. (In Africa it's called 'famine food').

[TBC]
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 12 October 2018 6:54:51 PM
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[continued]

Hmmm ...... thirteen hundred Aboriginal farmers, supporting villages of, say, five thousand people, harvesting, say, 10,000 tonnes of grain (You don't get much grain from kangaroo-grass, I'm told) ? (Still, that would be 2 tonnes per year per person, plus hunting and gathering). Of course, it would have been the women doing the harvesting. And carting. And storing. And gathering. Perhaps even the digging. And putting up fences. And weeding (although that is such a bourgeois concept).

But then again, anybody who has worked in Aboriginal communities knows just how precious agriculture is to the local people these days, with modern equipment and transport, and running water.

I've got a cute little rotunda in Elder Park (i.e. Adelaide) that you might like to buy, Steele. And a magic teapot. And a magic stick. And a magic pinch of salt. Take your pick. 10 % discount if you get in early.

Happy reading.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 12 October 2018 6:59:40 PM
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Theory proves that iron sinks and can't be used to build ships. Also bees wings are too small to fly and there is no honey. Cigarettes are good for the nerves when you get emphysema .

In theory Aboriginals had land rights to hunt roos in Government House Adelaide . The grain fields recorded by numerous British explorers and surveyors were due to opium in the rum , as the lack of daylight saving prevented farming.
Posted by nicknamenick, Friday, 12 October 2018 7:04:09 PM
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Yam sticks were made of stick, formed from wood . Kangaroos were a problem for Aboriginal bureaucrats in official gunyahs. They subsidised work-for-the-woomera and allowed ethnic cultures to eat cake and roo. This applied to remote communities at one end of a grain-plain , in the middle and the far end . However most revenue ended up in the ochre pits and dance halls where morals rapidly sank to a dreaming state.
Posted by nicknamenick, Friday, 12 October 2018 7:18:18 PM
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