Dark Emu

Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident

5 hours 36 minutes

English language

Published Feb. 1, 2017 by ABC Audio.

3 stars (3 reviews)

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.

2 editions

tedious and mean

2 stars

Content warning the settler-colonial project etc

Dark Emu

4 stars

Bruce Pascoe manages to show how the 'hunter gatherer' tag that has become attached to Aboriginal culture at the time of invasion, was not only factually untrue, but was a story that served to justify the colonisers' dispossession of the land.

Pascoe revisits the diaries and other record made by early colonists and explorers and pieces together their observations of crop cultivation and irrigation, food storage and house building, among many other practices considered marks of advanced society by European anthropological standards.

I am also ashamed to admit that my knowledge of most of these sophisticated agriculture, aquaculture and land management techniques was woefully shallow, having, I suppose, been misled by the colonisers' narrative that plays down or refuses to acknowledge Aboriginal Australians' tens of thousands of years expertise in land management and food cultivation - traditions that should be celebrated and learned from rather than willfully overlooked as they …

avatar for ajft

rated it

4 stars


  • Aboriginal australians
  • Agriculture, australia
  • Agriculture, history
  • Land use, rural
  • Hunting and gathering societies
  • Australia, history
  • Australia, antiquities
  • Australia, social life and customs