Grease and Ochre

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In the early years of the 19th century, a small number of European men moved from the river towns of northern Tasmania onto the small islands of Eastern bass Strait. Taking Tasmanian Aboriginal women as their wives, the Straitsmen set up small-island homes on what became the colonial sea frontier.

There have been many interpretations of the result of this blending of two cultures. Did it spell the demise of some of the clans, or conversely, did it ensure the survival of the Tasmanian Aboriginal People?

Patsy Cameron is descended from the great Aboriginal clansman Mannalargenna and this book deals with the history of the Aboriginal group that he led that were the original inhabitants of north east Tasmania. The author has made a detailed study of the writings of Boultbee, who visited Bass Strait six years before George Robinson, as well as those of Robinson himself and Stokes in 1839, to find answers to these questions.

Grease and Ochre: The Blending of Two Cultures at the Colonial Sea Frontier is an invaluable contribution to Tasmania's historical tradition, focussing attention on the placescapes where modern Tasmanian Aboriginal culture was born.

Grease and Ochre is edited by Prof Henry Reynolds and features photographs by award-winning Tasmanian Aboriginal photographer Ricky Maynard.

I commend this book as a genuine Tasmanian Aboriginal history and a bloody good read.

— Dr Linn Miller, fellow scholar

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View article sources (1)

[1] 'New book called a 'genuine history'', Koori Mail 499 p.26

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Korff, J 2019, Grease and Ochre, <>, retrieved 21 April 2024

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