Did some groups practice agriculture?
Australian aborigines practiced 'firestick farming' but the reasons were more
subtle. They would burn a camp area before moving on - this had the effect of
clearing the camp and the scrub around it, encouraging grass growth. When they
returned the following season, game had moved in to feed on the new grass and
so hunting was improved. This was a critical mistake made by the first European
settlers at Sydney Cove who assumed that the grasslands they saw were a natural
condition and that fires were a danger to be avoided.
Within a couple of years the scrub had returned and they almost starved. Of
course they didn't bother to examine the practice of the indigenes and simply
assumed that they knew better. And of course the local tribes had no
understanding of domestic animals and so treated them as unexpected game. It
all ended in tears.
On 23/11/2010, at 2:45 AM, Chuck Norcutt wrote:
> But I should have been even more specific since my source really only
> discusses land "transactions" in Massachusetts and perhaps Connecticut.
> But I would expect it to be mostly true down the east coast. Indians
> that lived near the coast moved seasonally between beach areas (for
> fishing and shell fish), fire cleared lands (for agriculture) and more
> forested areas (for hunting).
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/