Canoeing Ancient Songlines

Magabala Books
Victor Briggs
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'For various reasons, this story cannot be proven. But that does not matter to me because in my Aboriginal way of being and knowing, stories like my uncle’s do not need modern scientific proof to have validity — the role of story in Indigenous community is key to all aspects of our Culture.'

A long time ago Indigenous Australian seafarers sailed to Hawaii on the trade winds. When they got there they exchanged skills, information and technology.

A story told to his uncle by an Indigenous Hawaiian elder would change the shape of Gumbaynggirr/Gamilaroi man Victor Briggs’ life, and send him on a search for answers to the question: were Indigenous Australians master navigators of one of the world’s largest oceans, the South Pacific? Is this yet another example of suppression of the past in colonial history?

Bringing voice to his ancestors and the power of oral storytelling, Victor shares his compelling journey into the past through research, stories and visions.

This seed of an idea is crying out for further research about the world’s largest ocean and its Indigenous trading networks.

'This is an astounding book of research, dream, speculation and defiance. It shines an audacious light on the history of this country…and the world.' — Bruce Pascoe

Contributor Bio

Victor Briggs is a Gumbayngirr/Gamilaroi man born in Gamilaroi country. He has a Master of Philosophy (University New England), Masters of Environmental Advocacy (UNE), Bachelor of Arts (UNE), Grad Cert in Arts, Cert 4 Training and Assessment and currently mentors Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander students.

This is Victor’s first published work.