The Making of the Aborigines  book cover
1st Edition

The Making of the Aborigines

ISBN 9780043701850
Published August 1, 1989 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

Before 1788, the peoples of this continent did not consider themselves 'Aboriginal'. They only became 'Aborigines' in the wake of the British invasion. In this startling and original study, Bain Attwood reveals how relationships between black Australians and European colonisers determined the hearts and minds of the indigenous peoples, making them anew as Aboriginals.

In examining the period after the 'killing times', this young historian provides new perspectives on racial ideology, government policy, and the rule of law. In examining European domination, he unravels the patterns of associations which were woven between European and Aborigine, and shows the complex meanings and significance these relationships held for both groups.

In this book, the dispossessed are not cast as merely passive victims; they appear as real characters, men and women who adapted to European colonisation in accordance with their own historical and cultural experience. Out of this exchange the colonised created a new consciousness and began to forge a common identity for themselves.

A story of cultural change and continuity both poignant and disturbing in its telling, this important book is sure to provoke controversy about what it means to be Aboriginal.

'This intelligent and impeccably researched book seeks to advance our understanding of the story of white/Aboriginal contact. It will be required reading for anyone working in the field.' - Henry Reynolds

'Colonisation is both destructive and creative of peoples. Recent historians have revealed the extensive destruction of black Australians and their cultures. But now Bain Attwood, in this finely crafted and highly original series of case studies. plots the complex human relations and historical forces that re-made these indigenous people into the Aborigines.' - Richard Broome

Table of Contents




1 'And God said... let them have dominion'

2 'In the name of all my coloured brethren and sisters'

3 'In accordance with the custom'

4 'The great principle'

5 'White man's laws'

6 'The making of the Aborigines'



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Bain Attwood, a graduate of LaTrobe and Auckland universities, teaches Australian history at Monash University He is researching the history of Aboriginal political consciousness in the 19th Century and 20th Century.