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Australian Plants as Aboriginal Tools

240 pp, 285 x 210 mm, 100 colour plates, 30 b&w photos

ISBN9781921719493, $49.95, Hardcover

Philip A. Clarke

Available: Now

In Australia, the flora has had a broad impact on the lives of Aboriginal hunter-gatherers, having provided them with the essential materials for making their food, medicine, narcotics and stimulants. Plants were also ecologically important for maintaining the populations of terrestrial fauna that hunter-gatherers once foraged upon for their subsistence. The flora has helped shape Aboriginal cultures over the millennia since their Ancestors first occupied the Australian continent.

This book describes the species that were essential as the means for manufacturing Aboriginal weapons, tools, shelter, watercraft, ceremonial objects, clothing, ornaments and paint.. The book demonstrates how hunter-gatherers lived by making objects from plants and investigates similarities and differences of plant uses across Aboriginal Australia, as well as their distinctiveness in relation to practices from other parts of the world. An overview of the changing relationship that Aboriginal people have with the flora is given, along with a description of current trends. The present work is jointly concerned with the ethnobotany and economic botany of Aboriginal Australia.