Literature in our Collection

Ellis, Jean A.: Australia's Aboriginal Heritage, Haper Collins, Pymble 1994, ISBN 1863712623

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Preface -1-

Introduction -3-

Part 1: A Focus on the Traditional Way of Life -5-

Chapter 1 The Dreaming -7-

In the beginning -7-

As time passed -8-

The Great Creator -10-

The Rainbow Serpent -11-

Totem ancestors -12-

Sacred colour -14-

Other aspects of the Dreaming -15-

Chapter 2 The totem system -19-

Chapter 3 Sacred ceremonies -25-

The corroboree -26-

Initiation ceremonies -27-

Bora ground celebrations -28-

The final ceremony -33-

Rituals of increase -33-

Rain-making ceremonies -34-

Burials -34-

Chapter 4 Traditional art -39-

Painting -40-

Carving -43-

Artefacts and other art forms -44-

Chapter 5 Family living -47-

Marriage -48-

Babies and children -50-

Recreation -50-

Clothing -55-

Language -56-

Chapter 6 Food-gathering -61-

Food-gathering roles of women and men -62-

Hunting techniques -66-

Hunting rituals -74-

Food-related customs -74-

Drought periods -76-

Conservation -77-

Chapter 7 Tools, weapons and utensils -81-

The importance of trees -82-

Wooden weapons -87-

Wooden musical instruments -92-

Wooden implements -93-

Aboriginal watercraft -95-

Stone implements -102-

Ritual stones -103-

Stone tools -106-

Stone weapons -108-

Other uses of stone -111-

Other materials -113-

Part 2: A Focus on Transitional History -117-

Chapter 8 Early contact -119-

White poeple meet traditional Aborigines -119-

Aborigines meet the first colonists -126-

The breastplate custom -130-

Chapter 9 The nineteenth century - a synopsis -133-

Reasons for conflict -134-

The white invasion of Tasmania -142-

Traditional living disbanded -145-

Part 3 A Contemporary Focus -151-

Chapter 10 The contemporary situation -153-

Land rights in the 1990s -154-

Aboriginal and Torres Strait flags -155-

Chapter 11 Aboriginal poetry -157-

Kevin Gilbert -158-

The work of other poets -176-

Appendix: The Wiradjuri People of New South Wales -195-

Who were the Wiradjuri? -196-

Words from the Wiradjuri dialects -197-

A Wiradjuri chant -208-

Two Wiradjuri songs -209-

Index -213-

Cover Text

The continent of Australia is an ancient landscape with unique flora and fauna. Through the mists of centuries long past and gone, it has also been home to a unique people - the Aboriginal people. These people, with their adherence to the spiritual rituals of their Dreaming, the guiding presence of their totem ancestors and their mystical tie with the natural world, have given Australia a powerful and enduring heritage. This heritage has survived, faint at times yet somehow strangely forceful, through the desperate clashes that followed the arrival of white colonists. In spite of the near genocide inflicted in the nineteenth century, the timeless essence of Aboriginality continues to encompass this land and affect all Australians. 'Australia's Aboriginal Heritage' gives a factual, thought-provoking insight into the heritage of the Aboriginal people through an instructive, general coverage of Aboriginal lifestyle and history, both traditional and transitional. It is the story of the Aboriginal people, a people of faith and fervour, whose destiny is linked irretrievably and unconditionally with that of Australia. An anthology of contemporary Aboriginal poetry is also included.