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Sand Talk: How Indigenous thinking can save the world (Tyson Yunkaporta, Text)

Tyson Yunkaporta is a researcher, academic and arts critic. With ties to the Apalech clan in Far North Queensland, Yunkaporta combines his lived experiences and academic interests in this innovative exploration of Indigenous Knowledges. Patterns of thinking and being are explained through conversations with other Indigenous people, anecdotes from field trips, the lessons of symbols, and the author’s personal reflections as he carves traditional tools and weapons. Delving into the complex interdependent relationships between flora, fauna, the seasons, humans and earth, Sand Talk offers fuel for timely discussions of capitalism and climate change. Yunkaporta’s blueprint for living proposes adopting ways of thinking and learning that centre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges. The author’s meandering, casual narrative might not appeal to some readers, while others will be attracted to this experimental nonfiction that interweaves principles of Indigenous Knowledge. A familiar Indigenous sense of humour and generosity of sharing knowledge makes this book enjoyable to read. Sand Talk could appeal to readers who liked Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu. Like Dark Emu, Yunkaporta’s book will have people talking about their increased understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, and the growing respect for First Peoples science and technologies.

Karen Wyld is a freelance writer and author


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