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This book will provide an overview of indigenous relationships to plants in Aboriginal Australia. The impetus for the book is largely drawn from the establishment of the new permanent Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum, which presently receives over 700,000 visitors per year. The book contains themes that the author has been researching for twenty years.
The book is unique, spanning the gap between botany and indigenous studies. It differs from other 'bushtucker' overviews by treating the study of plants as a window upon which to delve into Aboriginal culture. There are four main sections. Part 1 gives insights into Aboriginal culture through looking at the roles of plants in language, ritual and religion. Part 2 demonstrates how Aboriginal people were actively involved in managing their environment. Part 3 focuses upon the importance of particular species of plant to make food, drink, medicine, narcotics and tools. Part 4 looks at the future of Aboriginal plant use.
Socialising Plants; Plants of the Dreaming; Leaving a Mark; A Seasonal Life; Fire-stick Ecology; Planning Ahead; Plant Food Technology; The Power of Plants; Plants as Tools; The Old and the New; Appreciating Aboriginal Uses of Plants; Common Plant Names Index; Scientific Plant Names Index; General Index.