Aboriginal people and Australia's vegetation: past and current interactions

Emilie-Jane Ens, Fiona Walsh, Philip Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Plants have had significant and multiple roles in past and present Aboriginal people’s lives. Aboriginal people extracted the food, medicine and material resources they needed from their immediate environment. Seasonal changes in plants and animals were markers in regional calendars and today they
continue to influence some Aboriginal people’s resource use, environmental management and movements. The first section of this chapter presents a selection of the many Aboriginal uses of plants from across Australia. Aboriginal people also secured resources from distant environments through travel
and trade networks. Like people the world over and today, they manipulated their resources and their environments at local to landscape scales, for example through fire and harvesting practices, to supply material needs and suit their tastes and preferences. The second section of this chapter presents multidisciplinary evidence that illustrates similarities and differences in modes and intent of plant resource procurement, “management” and production across Australia. Today, Aboriginal people maintain a variety of links to their ancestral estates. These links are influenced by policy, legislation and locally-driven
aspirations. Contemporary influences on Australia’s vegetation occur through: continued customary practices for resource, ceremonial and social purposes; involvement in government or industry supported environmental management programs; and small-scale commercial bush foods, art and craft enterprises.
An overview of some contemporary practices is presented in the third section of the chapter to present a summary of Aboriginal people’s past to present uses and influences on Australia’s vegetation.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian vegetation
EditorsDavid A. Keith
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages89-112
Number of pages24
Edition3rd
ISBN (Electronic)9781107118430
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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interaction
resources
environmental management
food
present
animal
legislation
medicine
art
industry
management
evidence

Cite this

Ens, E-J., Walsh, F., & Clarke, P. (2017). Aboriginal people and Australia's vegetation: past and current interactions. In D. A. Keith (Ed.), Australian vegetation (3rd ed., pp. 89-112). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ens, Emilie-Jane ; Walsh, Fiona ; Clarke, Philip. / Aboriginal people and Australia's vegetation : past and current interactions. Australian vegetation. editor / David A. Keith. 3rd. ed. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2017. pp. 89-112
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Ens, E-J, Walsh, F & Clarke, P 2017, Aboriginal people and Australia's vegetation: past and current interactions. in DA Keith (ed.), Australian vegetation. 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 89-112.

Aboriginal people and Australia's vegetation : past and current interactions. / Ens, Emilie-Jane; Walsh, Fiona; Clarke, Philip.

Australian vegetation. ed. / David A. Keith. 3rd. ed. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2017. p. 89-112.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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Ens E-J, Walsh F, Clarke P. Aboriginal people and Australia's vegetation: past and current interactions. In Keith DA, editor, Australian vegetation. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2017. p. 89-112