Whilst there are popular ideas about which champion Aboriginal environmental knowledge, many of these are based more on romantic notions than on any detailed understanding of what might be the content of this knowledge. This book is based on a grounded and broad assessment of less well known details of Aboriginal knowledge and provides both a great deal of detail and a new assessment of rituals and practices. Aboriginal environmental knowledge is examined here as an integrated source of both religious and scientific knowledge. An important finding is that Aboriginal environmental knowledge also includes knowledge about education for attitudes considered appropriate for survival. Though evidence for this is readily available in the literature, it has not been part of current depictions of Aboriginal environmental knowledge.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Aborigines as experts on the environment; What the 'experts' say; Contemporary Aboriginal voices; Traditional ways: the evidence of myths; Traditional ways: daily practices regarding food; Traditional ways; daily practices regarding fire, shelter and healing; Traditional ways; beyond the ego; Away from a world of unique truth (the question of comparison with science); Rational reverence; The real future eaters; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.
Catherine Laudine gained her PhD in anthropology from the University of Newcastle and has taught anthropology at three Australian Universities. During her undergraduate years she studied race relations in Australia and became involved in the fledgling land rights movement in the late seventies and early eighties. At this time she worked as a research assistant for the Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern, Sydney. Later she worked for an Aboriginal organisation in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and for the Aboriginal Education Unit at Wollongong University. She has also been employed on other research projects relating to Aboriginal studies. She is grateful for the support and encouragement offered by Aboriginal friends and colleagues for this project especially Tjilpi Bob Randall.