In this superbly researched book Bain Attwood avoids the generalisations of national and colonial history to provide a finely grained local history of the Djadja Wurrung people of Central Victoria.
Insisting on the importance of grappling with a history that involved a relationship between the people of this Aboriginal nation, the British settlers who invaded their country, and men appointed by the imperial and the colonial governments to protect the Aboriginal people as well as a relationship between the Djadja Wurrung and their Aboriginal neighbours, Attwood not only tells the shocking story of the destruction, decimation and dispossession of the Djadja Wurrung.
He draws on an unusually rich historical record, and forgoes any reliance on historical concepts such as the frontier and resistance, to recover a good deal of the modus vivendi that the Djadja Wurrung reached with sympathetic protectors, pastoralists and gold diggers, showing how they both adopted and adapted to these intruders and were thereby able to remain in their own country, at least for a time.
Drawing past and present together, Attwood closes this book with the remarkable story of the revival of the Djadja Wurrung in recent times as they have sought to become their own historians.
About the authorBain Attwood is a Professor of History at Monash University. He is the author of several books, including The Making of the Aborigines (1989), Rights for Aborigines (2003), Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History (2005), and Possession: Batman's Treaty and the Matter of History (2009).
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