Trade Routes and Rituals

  • Geoffrey Blainey


Trade between distant people is often seen as a mark of a more advanced economic life. If this insight is valid, many groups of aboriginals must have been far from backward because their raw materials and manufactures were traded to people hundreds of miles away. It is probable that every tribe in Australia traded with its neighbours, and a few commodities were involved in such a sequence of transactions that they crossed from the tropical coast almost to the Southern Ocean.


Trade Route Christmas Tree Yellow Ochre Tropical Coast Scotch Whisky 
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  1. 203.
    Shell trade: F. D. McCarthy, ‘Trade in Aboriginal Australia and Trade Relationships with Torres Strait, New Guinea and Malaya’, Oceania, 1938–9, vol. 9, pp. 434–5; Mulvaney, Prehistory, p. 96 (map).Google Scholar
  2. 204.
    Mt William axes: G. Clark, ‘Traffic in Stone Axes’, Economic History Review, 1965, vol. 18, pp. 14–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 204.
    Melton Mowbray: J. B. Walker, Early Tasmania (Hobart, 1950), p. 285.Google Scholar
  4. 205.
    New England axe traffic: R. A. Binns and Isabel McBryde, A Petrological Analysis of Ground Edge Artifacts from Northern New South Wales (Canberra, 1972), esp. pp. 16–19, 92, 97.Google Scholar
  5. 206.
    The physician: W. E. Roth, Ethnological Studies, (Brisbane, 1897), pp. 104, 134.Google Scholar
  6. 210.
    W. E. H. Stanner, ‘Ceremonial Economics of the Mulluk Mulluk and Madngella Tribes of the Daly River’, Oceania, 1933–4, vol. 4, esp. pp. 156–75, but also 19–21 and 458–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Blainey

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