Dark emu flying off the shelf
DARK Emu by Bruce Pascoe is highly recommended reading for those who would like to learn or know more about our ancient Aboriginal culture and history.
Through evidence gathered from diaries and records of Australian explorers, Dark Emu explores the truth that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing - behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer.
It has won several awards, including the Indigenous Writer's Prize and Book of the Year in the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.
The book is so popular it hardly has any shelf life in the Grafton Library, which owns three copies. These have been borrowed 148 times and reserved 114 times. They are all currently out on loan with seven reservations pending.
I seem to read biographies about our people (so I might have heard about the person then come across the book and think I'll have to read that) which tend to be very emotional; they might tell of past tragedies but generally end on a warm note, but not all are like this.
Clarence Regional Libraries hold a large collection of Aboriginal resources from artworks, photographs, printed books (fiction and non-fiction) to audio books and access to online resources through the library website. We have an extensive collection held in Local Studies as well as a large collection of children's books, known as Indij readers.
You can find items on the shelf by looking for the Aboriginal flag on the spine.
Over the years the library has held several events to either coincide with Naidoc Week or through Plunge. They include Black Screen films, bush tucker talks and tasting, workshops from Balun Budjarahm, an Aboriginal author visit and writing workshop with well-known author Jackie Huggins. Along with holiday activities including arts and craft with storytelling.
A few of the common inquiries I receive are for information on local bush medicines and foods, local languages, local Dreamtime stories and our local tribes and general information.
My suggestions include Yaegl Medicinal and Plant Resources Handbook 2011; Bushtucker, Boomerangs & Bandages; Singing the Coast; Aboriginal Heritage of the North Coast plus books on local languages and DVDs.
The Clarence Valley library service is free to join and it is easy to register. We are always happy to receive suggestions for purchases, so if you know of a title or a resource that you think the library should acquire, please come in and let us know.
Indigenous authors to look out for:
- Kate Howarth
- Vivienne Cleven
- Anita Heiss,
- Bruce Pascoe
- Jackie Huggins
- Tony Birch
- Stan Grant
- Alexis Wright
- Larissa Behrendt
- Kim Scott
- Ali Cobby Eckerman
- Ambelin Kwaymullina