Tag: Bill Gammage

The architecture of grass

by Tom Lee In Bill Gammage’s remarkable book on the land care practices of the first Australians, The Biggest Estate on Earth,‘grass’ is among the most frequently indexed words. It’s up there with ‘Europeans’, ‘animals’, and ‘forest’. In the ‘grass’ entry in the index the reader is told to see also “clearings; fire; grass names; plains”, and the subcategories include: introduced, native, beside water, corridors (see also belts, paths), and on good soil. The word’s semantic reach includes more than half the book. Why is this word so central to Gammage’s thesis? Because the first Australians were experts at caring…

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