Aboriginal Australia


The divisions on the map represent the major Indigenous Australian languages. The majority of them, in the yellow area, belong to the Pama–Nyungan language family (wiki). The large area in the central west is the Western Desert group and the area in the south west (from south of Geraldton to east of Esperance) is Noongar. For a more detailed overview of Indigenous language sub-groups or dialects see the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia (here).

To access what I have posted about Indigenous Australia the sidebar (which is beneath the post on mobiles) contains ‘Aboriginal’ as both a category and a tag. In general, the former discusses works by Indigenous Australians and the latter, works about Indigenous Australians by white authors.

For a comprehensive reading list see ANZLL Indigenous Literature Reading List (here)

06 July 2017. University of Newcastle has produced a map of currently known sites of Aboriginal massacres 1788-1872. Introduction (here). Map (here).

27 July 2018. Stage 2, Massacres up to 1930 – not including WA (here). Map (here)

My posts:
The ‘Battle’ of Pinjarra, Pinjarra WA, 1834 (here)
Wardandi Massacre, Wonnerup/Lake Mininup WA, 1841 (here)
Cocanarup (Kukenarup) Massacre, Cocanarup Station, Ravensthorpe WA, 1880s (here)

Kim Scott (here) covers the Cocanarup Massacre in Benang, Kayang & Me and Taboo (and he supplied the newspaper reports I wrote up in my post)

Rosa Praed’s experience of the 1857 Hornet Bank Massacre (of whites) in central Qld and the subsequent reprisals which led to as many as 300 police-sanctioned Aboriginal deaths is central to her novel Lady Bridget in the Never Never Land (here)

Other massacres which have come up in the course of my reading/reviewing are the 1816 Appin Massacre of Gandagarra in the Blue Mountains, NSW (here); killings of Wiradjuri around Wagga, NSW in the 1870s (here); the Black Line, Tasmania, 1820s (here). J.J.Healy, in Literature and The Aborigine in Australia discusses white Australia’s failure to acknowledge the many massacres in our history (here).

22 Sept. 2016. A new study, published in Nature, reveals Papuan and Aboriginal ancestors left Africa around 72,000 years ago and then split from the main group around 58,000 years ago. They reached the supercontinent of ‘Sahul’ that originally united Tasmania, Australia and New Guinea around 50,000 years ago, picking up the DNA of Neanderthals, Denisovans and another extinct hominin along the way. Papuans and Aboriginals then split around 37,000 years ago, long before the continents were finally cut off from each other around 8,000 years ago. (Full story here).

15 March 2017. Patterns of Aboriginal migration and settlement revealed by DNA study (here)