How did snakes become poisonous? Why are there black swans only in Australia? Learn a bout the powerful Rainbow Snake, red and black flying foxes, the Eagle-hawk and the Medicine-man in these incredible tales of the Dramtime. So much of traditional Aboriginal storytelling teaches us about the animal world and the spiritual bond shared between the Aboriginal people and nature.
While their health has suffered enormously because of the arrival of the Europeans, it is assumed that Aboriginal people enjoyed good health before 1788. Using data collected from all parts of the continent, this 1995 book studies the health of Australia's original inhabitants over 50,000 years. It represents the first continental survey of its kind and is the first to quantify and describe key aspects of Australian hunter-gatherer health. The book takes a theoretical approach to Upper Pleistocene regional epidemiology and presents empirical data of the health of late Pleistocene and Holocene populations. Major categories of disease described are: stress, osteoarthritis, fractures, congenital deformations, neoplasms and non-specific and treponemal infections. The author also describes surgical techniques used by Aboriginal people. Offering fresh insight into the study of Australian prehistory and Aboriginal culture, this book will be accessible to specialists and general readers alike. It illuminates the origins of human disease, and will fill a gap in our knowledge of health in the Australasian region.
Described as 'ground-breaking' in Kent McNeil's Foreword, this book develops an alternative approach to conventional Aboriginal title doctrine. It explains that aboriginal customary law can be a source of common law title to land in former British colonies, whether they were acquired by settlement or by conquest or cession from another colonising power. The doctrine of Common Law Aboriginal Customary Title provides a coherent approach to the source, content, proof and protection of Aboriginal land rights which overcomes problems arising from the law as currently understood and leads to more just results. The doctrine's applicability in Australia, Canada and South Africa is specifically demonstrated. While the jurisprudential underpinnings for the doctrine are consistent with fundamental common law principles, the author explains that the Australian High Court's decision in Mabo provides a broader basis for the doctrine: a broader basis which is consistent with a re-evaluation of case-law from former British colonies in Africa, as well as from the United States, New Zealand and Canada. In this context, the book proffers a reconceptualisation of the Crown's title to land in former colonies and a reassessment of conventional doctrines, including the doctrine of tenure and the doctrine of continuity. 'With rare exceptions ...the existing literature does not probe as deeply or question fundamental assumptions as thoroughly as Dr Secher does in her research. She goes to the root of the conceptual problems around the legal nature of Indigenous land rights and their vulnerability to extinguishment in the former colonial empire of the Crown. This book is a formidable contribution that I expect will be influential in shifting legal thinking on Indigenous land rights in progressive new directions.' From the Foreword by Professor Kent McNeil (to read the Foreword please click on the 'sample chapter' link).
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