Agricultural societies have precursor societies that can be misrepresented in the process of writing agricultural history. Also, the interest in environmental history on labor and nature is rarely applied to Indigenous workers. This article addresses these two issues in the context of Aboriginal people of the Murray River in the region of the Victorian Mallee in southeastern Australia, now premier wheat country. It argues through a close examination of work within a “geography of labor” along the river, that Indigenous people at European contact in the 1840s and long before, labored in afar more successful and sustainable manner than humans did for most of the farm history of this region.

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