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Advantage of Aboriginal guides to explorers
Title : Advantage of Aboriginal guides to explorers Advantage of Aboriginal guides to explorers
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Creator : Eyre, Edward John, 1815-1901
Source : Journals of expeditions of discovery into Central Australia, and overland from Adelaide to King George's Sound, in the years 1840-1: ..., vol. 2, p. 217
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : T. and W. Boone
Date of creation : 1845
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :

In his An account of the manners and customs of the aborigines and the state of their relations with Europeans which appeared in volume 2 of his published account of his expeditions Edward Eyre explains why he considers Aboriginal guides of great advantage to explorers. Their knowledge of the terrain, ability to find water and their tracking skills had been invaluable to him many times during his explorations. As Protector of the Aborigines in South Australia Eyre had spent much time with them, and at this time in South Australia's history knew as much and more about them than anyone else, and was well positioned to offer this opinion.

The explorers gradually learnt bush skills from the Aboriginal people: how to locate water, and how to identify and use bush foods. Some explorers even learned the Aboriginal names for the places they explored and applied these names to their maps. After the 1840s most of the explorers were good bushmen themselves and engaged Aboriginal people less often on their expeditions. There were however notable exceptions including Peter Egerton Warburton with Charley, and the Forrest brothers with their guide Tommy Windich. These explorers freely acknowledged the role their guides played in their expeditions.
Related names :

Eyre, Edward John, 1815-1901

Coverage year : 1839-41
Place : Central Australia
Further reading :
McLaren, Glen Beyond Leichhardt: bushcraft and the exploration of Australia South Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1996
Hiddins, L. J., Bush tucker man: tarnished heroes: epic stories of bush survival Sydney: ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1998
Magarey, A. T. Aboriginal water-quest [Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch)], 1895 (Adelaide: W.K. Thomas & Co.)
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State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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