Seal Media Group, Australia
Pascoe, who is still unaccountably Melbourne University’s Enterprise Professor in Indigenous Agriculture, last weekend wrote a long piece in the Nine newspapers to try to explain himself.It isn’t actually a direct response to me, so he still doesn’t explain why genealogical records show he has not one Aboriginal ancestor.No, he responds instead to an attack from the Left, from anthropologist Peter Sutton and archaeologist Keryn Walshe, who confirmed Pascoe’s bestseller Dark Emu is the garbage I’ve long said.Dark Emu, now taught in schools, makes the ludicrous claim that Aborigines were farmers, not hunter-gatherers, and lived in “houses” in “towns” of “1000 people”, even though no trace of such towns exist.But in his “response” to Sutton and Walshe, Pascoe backpedals. He dismisses the controversy over his fake use of the word “farmers” as semantics, saying: “I don’t really care what it is called as long as Australians are allowed to know that Aboriginal people sometimes lived in houses and villages, often employed technology to harvest food and sometimes wore cloaks and sewn apparel.”Wait. Now Aborigines just used to “harvest food”? Whoever said they didn’t? That’s part of hunting and gathering. The difference between hunter-gatherers and farmers is that farmers plant what they harvest, and Pascoe still has no proof of Aborigines doing that.But nowhere in his “response” does Pascoe address the errors that have seemingly forced his dramatic revision. Indeed, he repeats some. For instance, Pascoe says he’d read pioneers and explorers describing Aborigines “sowing seed” but, as Sutton revealed, this is misleading. Aborigines had fertility ceremonies where seeds were symbolically thrown, not planted.And where are their tools to plant crops? The Aboriginal “hoe” Pascoe used to cite was actually from the Torres Strait.Where are the Aboriginal words for common farming terms? The one word Pascoe ever mentioned – Killapannina (actually Killalpannina) – does not mean “harvest grass”, as he claimed, but “in the vagina”, as Sutton pointed out. Pascoe in his response repeats another false claim: that “Aboriginal people often built houses that could accommodate 50 people”. But as Sutton noted, the sole example he’s given is of a house suspected of being built by an escaped white convict, William Buckley.Why did the Nine newspapers let Pascoe dodge the evidence of his fakery?