Pioneers and Settlers - Aboriginal Australians

by Catherine H Berndt / Ronald M Berndt

First edition, 1978


Pioneers and Settlers reminds us that Captain James Cook had nothing to do with the first discovery of Australia, for in fact the story of this country began many thousands of years earlier.

The book explains how the Aborigines were once newcomers here themselves. It outlines the hardships they faced and the methods they developed over the centuries to come to terns with their environment. The result was a remarkably stable society, rich in tradition and religious feeling as well as in practical skills, but quite incomprehensible to eighteenth-century Europeans.

The outcome was inevitable - the almost complete destruction of a civilisation. Only in recent years have the newer Australians begun to realise just how much damage has been done, and not only to people of Aboriginal descent.

A more sensitive understanding of Aborigines cannot bring back the past. But it can lead to a better appreciation of the problems and possibilities of living on this continent - living with the natural environment, and living together, in a population where Aborigines are now very much a minority.

About the authors

Catherine Berndt is a part-time lecturer in Anthropology in the University of Western Australia. She has done much valuable work on the family, oral literature and mythology in Aboriginal Australia, with special reference to women's roles in religious and domestic life.

Ronald Berndt is Foundation Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology in the University of Western Australia. His main interests in Aboriginal Australia include religion, ritual and mythology, authority and social control, with special reference to men.

Both writers have a long-standing concern with welfare issues as well as with research, and together and separately they have written many books and articles on Aboriginal themes.

This 150 page, soft cover book is in very good condition. A few pages have some underlines in pencil which could be erased if desired.

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