Unearthed: The Aboriginal Tasmanians of Kangaroo Island

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 400 pages
Author: R. Taylor
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9781862547988
Other: 2nd ed., b&w photos, maps, bibliog, index
Publisher: Wakefield Press

It is relatively well known that the Palawa community of Tasmania is mostly descended from the Aboriginal Tasmanian women who sealers took to the Bass Strait Islands in the early nineteenth century. But few people know that sealers also took Tasmanian women to Kangaroo Island, establishing a cross-cultural community before the settlement of South Australia.

Aboriginal Tasmanian descendants are still living on Kangaroo Island today and this book is their story. Beginning in the sealing days, it tells how they became successful farmers, but how many grew up unaware of their Aboriginal ancestry, and are still struggling to face questions of identity today.

What emerges is a saga that is both remarkable and sadly familiar and a fascinating microcosm of European expansion in both Australia and the United States. Also included are pertinent discussions of the profound effect aboriginal displacement has had on the Australian psyche.

Map of South Australia
Map of Kangaroo Island
Author's Note to the Second Edition
- Three Beginnings
- Exploring
- Arriving
- Judging
- Knowing
- Settling
- Lubra Creek
- The Hundred of Dudley
- The Shadows
- Outlasting
The Descendants
- Mary
- Emma, 'The Aboriginal'
- Hannah
- The Years of Success
- The Years of Decline
- Staying White
- Images of Loss
- 'I'm a Blackfella'
- Memory
- 'How Aboriginal Am I?'
- The Dinner
Epilogue to the Second Edition

'A powerful and passionate exploration of cross-cultural history ... Rebe Taylor skilfully interweaves experience and memory, narrative and genealogy, politics and place so that this island saga become a history of the national psyche' - Tom Griffiths

'This is a wonderful book. It combines fine writing, sharp analysis and skillful storytelling. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the fate of Aboriginal communities in 'settled' Australia'. - Henry Reynolds

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Unearthed: The Aboriginal Tasmanians of Kangaroo Island


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