Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sharing the country

Indigenous people explored many of the high places in Australia for millennia before the white settler invasion. Creation stories inscribe every aspect of the landscape into Indigenous cosmology and some describe ascents of various peaks, often with dire consequences for those who ventured beyond the lowlands. Sharing the country with the original custodians demands a particular kind of respect for such places and consideration of the impact of activities like climbing. The climbers and their stories you will read about over the next few months often were the first Europeans to explore other well-known crags in eastern Australia. The definition of what has become one of the world's most popular extreme sports has constantly changed since human beings took the first faltering steps towards the heights. However, the impact of globalisation has made differences within a country like Australia perhaps less obvious over the past two decades.

The map is from J. G. Steele (1984) Aboriginal Pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River, Brisbane, University of Queensland Press.Posted by Picasa

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