Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Darling River, a Tributary of the Murray-Darling Drainage System of Southeastern Australia

The Darling River rises in Queensland and flows for 1,600 km before joining the Murray River. In its lower reaches passing through the semi-arid plains of the Darling Basin, the volume of water it discharges into the Murray is determined by rainfall in the Eastern Highlands of Queensland, and not by local climatic conditions.

A considerable population of Aboriginal people of the Bagundji linguistic group was supported in the Darling Basin before the 1860s, comprised of a number of related groups (Beckett, 1958: 96). Separate geographical areas, with different ecological resources, were occupied by these groups, though it appears movement from one area to another area was quite informal. The Bagundji (‘river people’) living on both sides of the river practised a predominantly riverine economy that was based on the exploitation of aquatic foods and the collection of cereals. Some seasonal movement away from the river was necessitated by ecological fluctuations in the environment at which times they depended on a diet that included many land foods. Allen (1974) says it is necessary to summarise the environmental conditions and the movements the Bagundji undertook on a seasonal basis to allow an understanding of their patterns of subsistence. The details of these patterns and the evidence for them have been provided (Allen, 1972: 1-20, 41-98).

Sources & Further reading

  1. Allen, H. (1974). "The Bagundji of the Darling Basin: Cereal Gatherers in an Uncertain Environment." World Archaeology 5(3): 309-322


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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading