Our original aggression : Aboriginal populations of southeastern Australia, 1788-1850 / N.G. Butlin
- Bib ID:
- Butlin, N. G. (Noel George)
- Sydney ; Boston : G. Allen & Unwin, 1983
- xii, 186 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
- 0868612235 (paperback)
Our Original Aggression is a fascinating work of historical detection. Professor Butlin offers a radical revision of the prevailing understanding of the number of Aborigines living in southeastern Australia at the time of white arrival and an equally radical assessment of the reasons for their population decline ot 1850. With little concrete information to go on, Our Original Aggression draws on a wide range of world experience of black/white contact and of understanding in medicine, epidemiology, ecology, demography, economics and history. As an exercise in detection it may appeal generally as much as a detective story as it must to policy makers, scholars and any person with an interest in Aborigines or race relations and Australian history. Professor Butlin proposes that we need to multipy by several times the existing estimates of pre-contact Aboriginal populations and to revise radically our understanding of why their numbers declined. He suggests that we may even need to think about black population destruction as an act of genocide. The revision of population size leads to several radical changes in perception. It is proposed that we may have to re-think fundamentally the way Aborigines used the available natural resources, whether they were nomadic people. Professor Butlin argues that probably no whites really had the opportunity to 'see' Australian Aborigines as they were originally and that almost all white descriptions of them are highly suspect. He has used these descriptions together with innovative modes of analysis to challenge the basic framework within which contemporary Australian anthropology operates. (Back cover)
- National Library's NL copy lacks pages 143-144
- Includes index.
- Bibliography: p. 177-182.
- Aboriginal Australians -- Population
- Aboriginal Australians -- Government relations
- Demography - Population dynamics
- Race relations - Violent - Massacres, murders, poisonings etc. - To 1900
- Health status - Womens health - Maternal health
- Health - Respiratory system
- Health - Infectious diseases - Smallpox
- Hunting, gathering and fishing
- Government policy - Initial period and protectionism - 1788-1850
- Government policy - State and territory - Victoria
- Government policy - State and territory - New South Wales
- Demography - Palaeodemography
- Settlement and contacts - Colonisation - 1788-1850
- Health - Urogenital system
- Health - Infectious diseases - Sexually transmitted diseases
- Australia -- History -- 1788-1851
- New South Wales (NSW)
- Victoria (Vic)
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