The biggest myth in Australian history

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The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 09 Jul 2018, 20:19

Indigenous historian Bruce Pascoe says we’ve got our story all wrong
A HISTORIAN has painted a completely different version of Australia’s history - and it is causing huge shockwaves.

A RADICALLY different version of Australia’s history to what we are taught at school has been put forward by a historian — who believes it changes the entire concept of Australia as a country and who we really are.

We are taught Australia’s first people were simplistic hunter-gatherers who foraged for plants and randomly hunted kangaroos.

We are taught when Europeans landed, the indigenous people who first roamed the land were a disparate group of nomadic tribes, who never built permanent homes to shelter themselves.

But many of the early journals of the white settlers who first landed here — seeing a land completely untouched by other cultures for hundreds of thousands of years — saw something very different to what conventional history textbooks tell us.

Indigenous historian Bruce Pascoe has spent years looking through these incredible accounts and found the first white settlers documented how Aboriginal people built homes, villages, parks, dams and wells, selected seeds for harvesting, ploughed fields, irrigated crops and preserved food in vessels.

He says Aboriginal people were the first culture on earth to bake, evidenced by unearthed grindstones from 30,000 years ago, meaning Aussies beat the ancient Egyptians by more than 15,000 years.

In an interview with news.com.au after an groundbreaking speech at Tedx Sydney, the acclaimed author says Australia has deliberately avoided the subject for hundred of years. And, he believes the effect has been catastrophic.

“It has been purposefully left out of our history,” he said. “The misconception that Aboriginals were hunter-gatherers has been institutionalised and we are all suffering from that institutionalisation today — not just Aboriginal people but the whole country.”

WHAT HAPPENED TO IT ALL?

He says much of this complex civilisation had been wiped out by 1860, as the land was torn up by Europeans, buildings burned down and their occupants killed by warfare, murder and disease.

When this ancient infrastructure was destroyed, Mr Pascoe believes it became convenient for settlers to perpetuate the myth that the nation’s first people were incapable of organising a coherent and sophisticated society. He believes this, in their minds, legitimised their reason for being there.

“The country can’t afford to recognise the expertise and economic subtly of Aboriginal people because it talks about ownership of the land and it undermines the whole eligibility of the people to the land,” he said. “That’s why Australians have avoided it, not out of some vagueness or failure, but just total avoidance.”

In his award-winning book, Dark Emu, which has inspired a new contemporary dance production at the Sydney Opera House, Mr Pascoe details fascinating journals of the early European explorers.

They describe densely-populated Aboriginal villages up and down the country, some with sophisticated buildings made of large logs and clay plastering.

They also describe how indigenous people produced grain surplus to requirement, stored it and used complex systems to preserve soil, water, wildlife and fish as well as native seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

HERE’S WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT

Mr Pascoe says the settlers’ journals show Australia was a far more fertile land when they first landed than it is today and the vast area of the country we now consider an inhospitable desert was, in fact, meticulously and successfully managed by Aboriginal societies for thousands of years.

But when Europeans landed, they brought foreign livestock which broke up the soil with their hoofs leading to soil erosion. Settlers also brought foreign crops and intensive farming techniques, later resorting to chemical fertilisation which Mr Pascoe argues has drained the land of its former fertility.

“Recognising Aboriginal farming is fundamental to our understanding of country,” Mr Pascoe said. “If we are going to survive climate change we need to have a better understanding of the country because we have already run out of water.

“So, we have to learn to conserve water, we have to learn to conserve soil and we can learn from the Aboriginal past about how the people who lived here for hundreds of thousands of years used both and still maintained an agricultural economy.”

He argues the ancient farming techniques were more sympathetic to the land because they used Aussie plants — such as native millet, kangaroo grass and murnong — and animals like kangaroos and emus.

“They knew how to conserve water and soil and the proof of this was when the Europeans arrived and they described how the grass was higher than the saddles on their horses,” he said. “The country was more fertile then than it is now. When you talk to farmers now, they tell you their grandfathers had it better than they do.

“Farmers are ready to admit that what we are doing isn’t working and it isn’t sustainable. So they are keen to try growing native Australian plants.”

Mr Pascoe has even teamed up with a number other indigenous Australians living along the NSW South Coast and in east Gippsland in Victoria to trial native Aussie crops.

“We’re fooling ourselves if we think we can replace the old fertility with chemicals,” he added.

HOW BRUCE DISCOVERED THIS

Mr Pascoe said he had grown up with stories of massacres, separation of families and institutional racism, but he had not heard about the wonders of Aboriginal agriculture until late on in his life.

He said it “fell into its path” as he searched for the story of his own family history when he met elders of his own Aboriginal family.

“When I spoke to them, I was taken to task because of my own misunderstanding of history and the stuff I had learned at school,” he said.

“Once I realised that my reading of history was appalling, I then had to refurbish my own brain and once I did that and started reading a few explorers’ journals, I began to realise that an unbelievably different story to be told about the country and I couldn’t believe how stupid I had been.”

Mr Pascoe said there was a bit of backlash against his ideas from certain historians when he first started writing about his theories in 2013, but since then, he said the majority of people he has spoken to, especially young people, have been enthusiastic about his arguments.

Now he wants Australians to look at the settlers’ journals and decide which version of history they believe.

“Teachers are just teaching what they learnt in school, so we need to expand resources so they and the children can access the journals,” he said. “Then, they can make their own mind up about what our history was really like.”


https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/indigenous-historian-bruce-pascoe-says-weve-got-our-story-all-wrong/news-story/70518cd1c35efd73c126ec0c19bb8281#.ugco7
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby johnsmith » 09 Jul 2018, 20:24

interesting. i was unaware of their farming prowess, or even that they lived in villages. I always thought they were constantly on the move
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 09 Jul 2018, 20:30

johnsmith wrote:interesting. i was unaware of their farming prowess, or even that they lived in villages. I always thought they were constantly on the move


They only moved about where it was sensible to move about. But it suits our purposes to present them as beneath us as we can.

It's disgusting.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 09 Jul 2018, 20:31

And my eternal gratitude to anyone who posts this in general.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby johnsmith » 09 Jul 2018, 20:47

mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:interesting. i was unaware of their farming prowess, or even that they lived in villages. I always thought they were constantly on the move


They only moved about where it was sensible to move about. But it suits our purposes to present them as beneath us as we can.

It's disgusting.



I'm glad someone is trying to set the record straight
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby HBS Guy » 09 Jul 2018, 20:48

I have picked up bits and pieces of that, the permanent houses etc. Not all of it tho, not nearly all of it!

Huge swathes of topsoil have blown away and farming is chemical farming of the subsoil.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 09 Jul 2018, 20:51

johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:interesting. i was unaware of their farming prowess, or even that they lived in villages. I always thought they were constantly on the move


They only moved about where it was sensible to move about. But it suits our purposes to present them as beneath us as we can.

It's disgusting.



I'm glad someone is trying to set the record straight


People have been trying to do it for years. It's all there in settler journals.

I've lost track of the amount of times i've been shot down for talking about permanent dwellings and agri/aqua-culture,

Not to mention an exhaustive pharmacopoeia.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby HBS Guy » 09 Jul 2018, 20:55

mothra wrote:And my eternal gratitude to anyone who posts this in general.


Done!
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 09 Jul 2018, 20:56

mothra wrote:And my eternal gratitude to anyone who posts this in general.


Thanks Monk ... :rose

Now we will see why it's so hard to correct the inaccuracies of our history.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Auggie » 09 Jul 2018, 22:36

There's no conspiracy to undermine the Indigenous Peoples, nor attempt to make them 'beneath us' (whatever nonsense that is). The article in question is actually retelling history to suit a progressive agenda, to make every one FEEL BETTER ABOUT THEMSELVES.

First of all, the Indigenous Peoples were not a complex civilisation. Most social scientists and anthropologists would agree with this. Complex civilisations include (among other things): writing; division of labour; large urban settlement; surplus of agricultural; monumental architecture; political hierarchy; and domination over the natural environment.

This is not to say that the Indigenous Peoples were backward or inferior. They weren't. Their society didn't have the complexity of other civilisations.

It's not racist to state that societies evolved differently. Even Jared Diamond, in his book Guns, Germs and Steel, recognises the differences in the evolution of societies.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 10 Jul 2018, 00:13

The comments on this topic on Ozpol have not surprised me. Utter refusal to even look into it a little bit before dismissing it.

Were they to give a shit enough to take the time, they would find many of their prejudices challenged. Doesn't suit though, does it.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Jul 2018, 00:46

I didn’t really bother looking.

That Aboriginals had stone houses I had learned from somewhere. What they didn’t have was pack/plough animals, no cows or horses.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby pinkeye » 10 Jul 2018, 01:17

Complex civilisations include (among other things): writing; division of labour; large urban settlement; surplus of agricultural; monumental architecture; political hierarchy; and domination over the natural environment.

- says Auggie.


Their society didn't have the complexity of other civilisations.

- says Auggie



I have a problem with both of these statements..
The first ? because this is clearly not a universal definition.
Well perhaps you'd prove different?

The second? clear arrogance at the core of which is the belief of the supremacy of western philosophy and tradition.
To the exclusion of all other.?
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby pinkeye » 10 Jul 2018, 01:38

oh yeah.. I meant to add that westerners... the Europeans and the other nations which descended on terra australis were from structurally different societies.


Vastly different. Remember , the aboriginal peoples of this Island continent had lived here, for ? 60,000 years..? They didn't face any real incursion from other cultures.. they traded, inter-married, had conflicts, but essentially, were left alone for what 50,000 years? before other travellers made it here.


They had TIME... uninterrupted time. Something NO western civilisation can compare to.
The sheer magnitude of the warfare conflict and death which had afflicted the West since whenever, didn't allow this type of civilisation to take root and grow, in the West.. Or the East, for that matter.
Add to that the strictures of the environment..?
And no.. included in those strictures was no hard-hoofed animals of burden.
They used dogs, where they could. You know?

Their traditions are much deeper than our own.

Because...??
of the length of time they developed, more or less untouched over millennia.


Until the new people arrived.


So, basically?? ..well I'm sure you get the message.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Bongalong » 10 Jul 2018, 12:48

Is mothra sure she isn't wrong? :oops
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Miranda » 10 Jul 2018, 15:08

pinkeye wrote:Complex civilisations include (among other things): writing; division of labour; large urban settlement; surplus of agricultural; monumental architecture; political hierarchy; and domination over the natural environment.

- says Auggie.


Their society didn't have the complexity of other civilisations.

- says Auggie



I have a problem with both of these statements..
The first ? because this is clearly not a universal definition.
Well perhaps you'd prove different?

The second? clear arrogance at the core of which is the belief of the supremacy of western philosophy and tradition.
To the exclusion of all other.?


Mesopotamia is an example of civilization. If I compare the various cultures of our first people with Mesopotamia, I find only elements of what defines a civilization, but not ALL that takes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Jul 2018, 16:06

Of course, Mesopotamia had beer. Makes all the difference! Seriously!
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Auggie » 10 Jul 2018, 19:01

pinkeye wrote:Complex civilisations include (among other things): writing; division of labour; large urban settlement; surplus of agricultural; monumental architecture; political hierarchy; and domination over the natural environment.

- says Auggie.


I refer to several sources which can confirm my definition of the word 'civilization'.

1) Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization

A civilization or civilisation (see English spelling differences) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication (for example, writing systems), and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


2) https://www.ancient.eu/civilization/

ATTRIBUTES OF A CIVILIZATION

An influential scholar named Gordon Childe identified a list of ten attributes that distinguish a civilization from other kind of societies; his list was reviewed and rewritten many times. What follows is the version of Charles Redman, an American archaeologist:

Primary characteristics

1. Urban settlements
2. Full-time specialists not involved in agricultural activities
3. Concentration of surplus production
4. Class structure
5. State-level organization (government)

Secondary characteristics

6. Monumental public building
7. Extensive trading networks
8. Standardized monumental artwork
9. Writing
10. Development of exact sciences


Shall I go on?

pinkeye wrote:Their society didn't have the complexity of other civilisations.

- says Auggie


No, according to the definition of civilization as per above. For e.g. the Indigenous Peoples didn't have writing, did they? They didn't have large urban settlements.

pinkeye wrote:The second? clear arrogance at the core of which is the belief of the supremacy of western philosophy and tradition.
To the exclusion of all other.?


The Chinese civilization is a complex one. The Indian one, also Japanese; also Mesopotamia, and Egypt.

Does that count as the supremacy of Western philosophy?
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Auggie » 10 Jul 2018, 20:24

pinkeye wrote:oh yeah.. I meant to add that westerners... the Europeans and the other nations which descended on terra australis were from structurally different societies.


Vastly different. Remember , the aboriginal peoples of this Island continent had lived here, for ? 60,000 years..? They didn't face any real incursion from other cultures.. they traded, inter-married, had conflicts, but essentially, were left alone for what 50,000 years? before other travellers made it here.


They had TIME... uninterrupted time. Something NO western civilisation can compare to.
The sheer magnitude of the warfare conflict and death which had afflicted the West since whenever, didn't allow this type of civilisation to take root and grow, in the West.. Or the East, for that matter.
Add to that the strictures of the environment..?
And no.. included in those strictures was no hard-hoofed animals of burden.
They used dogs, where they could. You know?

Their traditions are much deeper than our own.

Because...??
of the length of time they developed, more or less untouched over millennia.


Until the new people arrived.


So, basically?? ..well I'm sure you get the message.


That's part of the reason why the Indigenous Peoples were able to live continuously the same way for so long; there was no incentive to innovate and adapt. In Europe and other parts of the world, conflict and wars between different nations and empires created the impetus to adapt and to evolve (socially and culturally) in order to survive. Where there exists no competition, then change does not take place.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby pinkeye » 10 Jul 2018, 23:21

to which I can only reply:

Auggie says

That's part of the reason why the Indigenous Peoples were able to live continuously the same way for so long; there was no incentive to innovate and adapt. In Europe and other parts of the world, conflict and wars between different nations and empires created the impetus to adapt and to evolve (socially and culturally) in order to survive. Where there exists no competition, then change does not take place.


Good grief Auggie.
What I have underlined. above. simply say " what I said"..... or is a totally irrelevant statement has no bearing on this discussion.

Talking wandering off the beaten track. :roll

Surviving the Australian outback with basically their own intelligence as their main hope, they DID survive.!
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Squire » 11 Jul 2018, 13:00

The British created revisionist history which was based on lies to protect the interests of the British.

It's interesting that the current Myanmar Rohingya crisis is rooted in British historical mass movement of Rohingya into what was then Burma for their own commercial interests. Probably because the Rohingya were more obeisant to the British and worked without complaint for zero wages.

The British not only committed crimes against Australian Aboriginals, they compounded the crimes by publishing lies as 'history'.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby mothra » 11 Jul 2018, 13:53

Squire wrote:
The British not only committed crimes against Australian Aboriginals, they compounded the crimes by publishing lies as 'history'.


Indeed. A crime that is continued by modern day Australians who refuse to even consider that there was some degree of civilisation here before we invaded.

Just refuse to even consider it.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby Auggie » 11 Jul 2018, 18:43

mothra wrote:
Squire wrote:
The British not only committed crimes against Australian Aboriginals, they compounded the crimes by publishing lies as 'history'.


Indeed. A crime that is continued by modern day Australians who refuse to even consider that there was some degree of civilisation here before we invaded.

Just refuse to even consider it.


So, is stating a fact now equivalent to committing genocide? Or is it 5% genocide?
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby pinkeye » 12 Jul 2018, 00:54

What I mean is that our first people are basically unique in the world.

An entire continent , which saw virtually NO foreign incursion for tens of thousands of years, with a viable society that has existed in isolation for that length of time. Perhaps in far northern climes, exist other peoples who retain a unique identity.
Archaeology has shown many others arrived on these shores, but that was long ago , and these explorers failed to flourish. No surprise, given they were from the Northern hemisphere. They couldn't achieve critical mass.

A continent which is mostly arid, still had people in the toughest places to live.

There is no where else in the world that have such incredible people.

Which means ..? we should honour them.... not seek to exterminate this most ancient lore.
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Re: The biggest myth in Australian history

Postby HBS Guy » 12 Jul 2018, 08:57

Laplanders live in primitive ways.
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