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Yalangi: People of the Rainforest

Fire Management Book


Warranga Kaban 


 Hill,R. Baird, Adelaide; Buchanan, David; Denman, Charlie; Fischer, Peter; Gibson, Karen; Johnson, Jimmy; Kerry, Alma; Kulka, George; Madsen, Eddie; Olbar, Alec; Olbar, Lizzie; Pierce, Jack; Shuan, Judy; Shipton, Ena; Shipton, Harry; Smith, Jimmy; Sykes, Rene; Walker, Eileen; Walker, Wilma; Wallace, Peter; Yerry, Bobby; Yougie, Dolly; Ball, Doreen; Barney, Edward; Buchanan, Raymond; Buchanan, Ronald; Denman, Harold; Fischer, Ruben; Gibson, Roy; Talbot, Leah; Tayley, Elizabeth; Tayley, Norman; Walker, Dawn; Walker, Francis; Walker, Kathleen; Wallace, Marilyn; Yougie, Lily


Launched by Traditional Owners of the Daintree rainforest on 20 December 2004 in Cairns, the Yalanji Fire Management Book, as it is known, contains stunning images of the Yalanji people of far north Queensland, their country and their culture. Written in both Kuku-Yalanji language and English, the book provides a rare glimpse into the depth of knowledge and the spiritual connection behind fire management practices that have sustained the values of the rainforest for millenia.

Led by Dr Rosemary Hill of the Australian Conservation Foundation, the project is a culmination of ten years' research and was proudly partnered by the Rainforest CRC, Cape York Land Council, Wujal Wujal Community Council and Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku, with support from the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Natural Heritage Trustr, James Cook University and Little Ramsay Press.

In May 2005, this long-term collaborative project was honoured with a prestigious Cooperative Research Centres Association Award for Excellence and Innovation, one of only four such Awards presented each year. Source: Rainforest CRC




For More

Australian Plants as Aboriginal Tools



Philip A. Clarke



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.

Source: Publisher

  Recommending Reading - Indigenous Culture


Most recommended books are still in print. A small number are out of print although they can still be purchased online. Check online using title and authors. Try your local bookshop!


Conspiracy of Silence
Queensland’s frontier killing times
by Timothy Bottoms


This is a comprehensive coverage of massacres of Aboriginal Queenslander’s in the 19th century (but not all). Mapped for the first time this work has very well received by his fellow professional historians – read what his contemporary fellows have thought about this work.

Hear Dr Tim on ABC Radio National and CAAMA.
You can order online, from the publisher Allen & Unwin or from your local bookshop. 
Source: Author

Djabugay Country


An Aboriginal History

of Tropical North




Timothy Bottoms


From time immemorial a people called the Djbugay lived in the rainforest behind Cairns in tropical far north Queensland. Trade routes from the coast to the lush tablellands and beyond linked established settlememnts: outrigger canoes voyages along the coast and out into the Great barrier Reef.


Today, 130 years after the coming of the white man, the Djabugay are a remnant - their hands taken away from them, their Story waters partially lost. But they are a remnant determined to make their way in a transformed world.


Djabugay Country is the story of this people and their struggle - what happened to them and how it happened. It takes us from the first contavnt between the rainforest dwellers and the newcomers to the present day. Through accounts of the lives of famileies and individuals, it shows how out of dispossession and tragedy has come strenght and hope. Source: Author

Bush Food

Aboringinal Food and Herbal Medicine

Jennifer Isaacs

 For perhaps fifty thousand years the Aboriginal people have lived, and lived well, in Australia. They have developed a unique knowledge of native plants and a deep understanding of the value of many animal products.BUSH FOOD is an exploration of these traditional skills and a compendium of the kinds of foods eaten by Aborigines. It indicates how fod is caught or gathered, hunted or picked, how it is prepared and cooked, and what nutritional value it has.
It considers, too, the use of natural products in traditional Aboriginal herbal medicine.Illustrated lavishly with specially commissioned photographs, this original and best selling classic will be treasured by all those with a love of the Australian envirnment and desire to understand what it can offer to sustain human life. Jennifer Isaacs developed her interest in Aboriginal culture during her studies in anthropology and history at Sydney University, followed by pioneering work in establishing Aboriginal culture projects for the Australia Council.
She has spent over fifteen years living and working with Aboriginal people, reserching material for her books. The close ties developed with the Aboriginal community led to her adoption by the Rirratjingu of eastern Arnhem Land and the Thanaquith of Cape York. Source: Publisher
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