The Prosperous Nomads

  • Geoffrey Blainey


Aboriginals in most parts of Australia appear to have had an impressive standard of living at the time of the European invasion. But the window through which we see them is so smoky or misted that only with difficulty can we recognize the kind of abundance in which they lived.


Aboriginal Woman Settle Society Camel Meat Nomadic Society Zealand Spinach 
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  1. 221.
    Portulac plant: Wills, p. 30; Burke and Wills Commission, Vic. Park., 1861, no. 97, evidence of John King, Q. 900–2, 921; A. Moorehead, Coopef’s Creek (London, 1963), pp. 72, 99.Google Scholar
  2. 221.
    Fishing equipment: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, ‘The Burke and Wills Expedition and the Royal Society of Victoria’, Historical Studies, 1963, vol. 40, p. 471; A. Moorehead, Cooper’s Creek, p. 36.Google Scholar
  3. 223.
    Tasmanian food: J. E. Calder, Some Account of the … Native Tribes of Tasmania (Hobart, 1875), pp. 25, 31. Whereas Calder thought Tas had 7,000 people, it probably had closer to 4,000.Google Scholar
  4. 223.
    Tiwi: C. W. M. Hart and A. R. Pilling, The Tiwi of North Australia (New York, 1966), pp. 34–5.Google Scholar
  5. 225.
    G. M. Trevelyan, English Social History (London, 1944), pp. 432, 450, 452.Google Scholar
  6. 227.
    Finland’s famine: F. Braudel, Capitalism and Material Life 1400–1800 (New York, 1974), p. 42. Even France in the 18th century (p. 39) reputedly suffered 16 ‘general famines’.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Blainey

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