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Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  58 reviews
This remarkable book is about everything from echidnas to evolution, cosmology to cooking, sex and science and spirits to Schrödinger’s cat.

Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from an Indigenous perspective. He asks how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently?

Sand Talk provides a template for l
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by HarperOne (first published September 19th 2019)
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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Jim Rimmer
Reading Tyson's book is like dropping a mentos into a bottle of coke. That coke is never going to be the same again.

I'd recommend taking this book as slow as you need to really get a handle on the many concepts covered.

Also, pass it forward. Once you've finished give as a gift to a friend or loved one or local politician. Help get this genie out of the bottle.
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tyson Yunkaporta examines ways of using Indigenous Australian knowledge to gain wisdom and a better understanding of how the world works. He provides ides for different thinking about the inter-connectedness of everything and suggests how contemporary living endangers the natural order of things.

It is a very philosophical book written with a lot of heart but if you don’t come at it from a position of respect for this ancient culture it will not be an easy read. There is some wonderful knowledge
Text Publishing
The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of Sand Talk

'It was certainty that drove a bulldozer through the oldest and deepest philosophic statement on earth at Burrup Peninsula. Sand Talk offers no certainties and Tyson Yunkaporta is not a bulldozer driver. This is a book of cultural and philosophic intrigue. Read it.’
Bruce Pascoe

‘An extraordinary invitation into the world of the Dreaming… Unheralded.’
Melissa Lucashenko

‘A familiar Indigenous sense of humour and
Michael Livingston
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an awful lot to take in. It's accessible written, but Yunkaporta challenges the fundamental ways in which most of us see the world. I bristled against parts of this, especially the sections on gender, but found so much of it hugely compelling. Everyone should read it.
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Any discussion about Indigenous Knowledge Systems is always a polite acknowledgment of connection to the land rather than a true engagement. It is always about the what, and never about the how."

If you're looking for a book that will stretch your thinking and outlook, and give you a new lens to consider a range of topics across the sciences and humanities, I cannot recommend this one enough. Yunkaporta covered a broad range of topics, yet still gave each the deep dive and benefit of considerati
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘Sand Talk’ is a unique book, a collection of philosophical musing by Indigenous author Tyson Yunkaporta, that both delights and intrigues.
Using the Aboriginal custom of drawing images on the ground to bring clarity of thought, the author uses patterns, symbols and shapes to make sense of the world.
An extraordinary glimpse into the profound wisdom and gift of Indigenous culture and perspective, an essential read to broaden the mind.
‘Sand Talk' explores global systems from an Indigenous perspec
Gill Hutchison
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
So jam packed with ideas that my brain exploded on page 50 and I had to put it down. I just couldn't find the rhythm of his voice.
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

Let me preface this with I am white. I have no idea what my actual genetic make-up is or even a family history beyond that of my parents and most of my grandparents. Some of the ideas in this book are so drastically against what I have been taught that they are difficult to approach and others worked so well they had me reexamining my life immediately. So expect an even more Isaiah review than normal.

This is not a traditiona
Corey Flynn
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So far my favourite sentence ever:

Maybe they will, if they tire of the incompetence of domesticated humans.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A book on this topic needed to be written and I'm really glad it has been, but I'm not sure this will resonate quite the same way that say Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu has. With my white western education, I found it hard work to make sense of the author's message due to his writing style, but then again that is part of the reason for writing and needing the book. It's one that requires a few re-reads and much thinking.
Bernie Gourley
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book does a good job of showing that there are fundamental differences in philosophy, worldview, and perspective between indigenous / aboriginal peoples and the rest of the world. It’s fair to say that differences exist between any two different cultures, but the argument is that these are deeper and more profound. Said differences run from how one visualizes abstractions to how one views and interacts with nature to one’s go-to pronouns.

What the book does not do, not by any means, is hono
Amber Erasmus
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natasha (jouljet)
A missive and a teaching, and a generous sharing, and tale of searching and discovery. Tyson outlines Indigenous thinking like I have never come across before. Tying together Elders knowledge, and relating it to new readers and new curious listeners.

Tyson has gathered wisdom and experiences, through travel, and yarning, and listening, and then creating his own symbolism to explain. He challenges science, or rather relates scientific theories in ways that lend itself back to land, cycles of life,
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Captivating and profound. Disrupts western thought and learning processes and provides incredible alternate insight. Thank you Tyson for daring to write
Dion Perry
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an extraordinary look into the way one Aboriginal views Western culture and governance through the lens of Indigenous culture, lore and law. The book starts with a hook, but then seemed to slow down to the point that I may have considered the introduction to be long-winded. I say may, because as I read on, I came to realise that the introduction wasn’t long-winded, I was simply being impatient.

Using an unusual method from my perspective, the author explores what many may consider to
Cate Peterson
This book changed my life ..that is an amazing thing to say in all sincerity :) Tyson has kind of skipped a stage or two presenting Aboriginal thinking in this country in a way that holds no punches, isn't pre-digested and is just like having a real yarn. I'm not sure how he's done it but it is perhaps the only book I've re-read three times
Brona's Books
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta is a book almost designed to be provocative and contentious. I only say that because I know that there will always be people who feel the need to pull down or dismiss any point of view that diverges from the dominant, mainstream view.

Whereas I'm LOVING how the publishing world is currently embracing a wide variety of views from within our Indigenous community. There is no longer the expectation that all Indigenous thinking
Holly Dowell
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Written by an Aboriginal scholar, this book is about how indigenous thinking can be applied to large-scale world issues in order to achieve a sustainable society. Yunkaporta makes a point of expanding beyond the truncated view of sustainability as related solely to environmental topics. He emphasizes the importance of holistic worldview that is based in understanding systems and listening to the land. ⁣
I learned so much from this book. He tackles complex issues by using metaphor and visualizatio
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was a Judge for the 2020 Indie Book Awards. My review submitted for these awards is below (a word limit had to be adhered to).

Sand Talk is about using Indigenous thinking to look at contemporary issues. This book is like nothing I've ever read before and I really didn't want to have to put it down. Yundaporta invites us to listen as he 'yarns' with others and underlines the importance of listening to those whose views may differ to our own, to gain a greater understanding of the world.

My onl
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a really thought provoking book and an invaluable contribution to white Australia's understanding of Indigenous heritage.
The author manages to write a book that is essentially about Indigenous epistemology in a way that is accessible to white Australians - this is an astonishing feat.
I'm sure the book will be controversial at all sorts of levels, however, if you want a thought provoking book, this is a wonderful choice. Just be prepared, as other readers have said, to take it slow.
Dora Okeyo
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book challenged me to open myself to other ways of thinking and exploring solutions to challenges around me. I know nothing about Aboriginal culture, people and customs- nothing that I could call the truth save for stories or documentaries that I may have skimmed through at some point while watching the television.

The author examines most of what we experience and use now, the global systems, our worldview from the indigenous knowledge perspective and this makes such a thrilling read.

I coul
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this book for a second time immediately after turning the last page as it provoked such deep thought. And shame too. Shame for the history of my adopted country, shame that the policies of past generations continue to such an extent that it has taken 250 years after invasion for Yunkaporta's voice to reach out and touch us. Perhaps it could only be written now because finally white ears are learning how to hear.

Yunkaporta has provided all of us a great gift in presenting 'Sand Talk' to
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Only partway into this but want to post a review now to support the work. The subtitle is intended as irony.

The author’s talks on youtube have had an effect on me, and so far his ability to write in a nonlinear way is teaching me something too.

A central point is that the WAY that knowledge is transmitted is the important locus of ethics when it comes to indigenous knowledge banks. It’s not about the content so much; it’s about relationship.

This is something I learned over a very long time wit
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book helps. It helps to learn about old, aboriginal, indigenous, original, much needed knowledge, about the ways western thinking relates to it, criticizes it, abolishes it, ridicules it.
It wakes up your own old knowledge without ever making you feel comfortable or entitled, as Yunkaporta himself keeps coming back to the humble position of listener.

I keep not wanting to use the word amazing, but this book is just that.
It's also funny, clever, beautifully written and cheeky.

And yes, everyo
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars
This book blew me away. At times, intellectually challenging, but also an insightful, profound and timely guide for everyone on the planet. This is a book I’ll keep returning to for guidance and I echo Tyson Yunkaporta’s hope that we will soon have the genuine opportunity to not just say “sorry “ but also “thank you “ and “please”, when we finally accept indigenous knowledge as the way forward in this country.
As a teacher, I’d encourage all involved in education to read this book and apply the t
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A mind boggling look into Aboriginal beliefs, customs, and ways of thinking. I will be reading it again, working on absorbing some of its wisdom. The opening comparison of Western religions arcing story of good vs. evil vs their story of problems arising when people believe they are better than others sets the tone for listening to the wisdom of others. Excellent story telling blended with clear explanations of cultural concepts.

Thanks, Netgalley, for an advance copy in exchange for an unbiased
Pip Snort
This book is intentionally challenging. Its author has a point and he makes it, a few times. But his point is valid and needs tobe heard. I will read this again as i need to think more about this book. What to keep and use and build on snd what to discard. Whatever I do with it, i do want to encourage Australians to read it to help grow our insight into our Indigenous bretheren and everyone to read to expand their minds. Lots to chew on and to be humble about.
Joel McCarroll
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book every Australian person should read. A real practical and insightful view into Indigenous ways of being. Using Yarning, carving, thought experiments and personality Tyson Yunkaporta invites us into a deep world of sharing knowledge, giving us a real practical way to champion Indigenous voices and practices for sustainability, connections to country and everything else around us.

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to read, reflect and relate to this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Lee Crossley
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such an incredible book. This would have been an incredibly difficult project as the topic of indigenous knowledge is so difficult to generalise given the diversity of language groups and cultures within aboriginal culture.

So many of these ideas resonated with me and challenged my own ideologies.

It got me thinking about what indigenous people would consider to be the solutions to our current predicament of tackling the global pandemic.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish to thank Tyson Yunkaporta, Text Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced copy of Sand Talk How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World in exchange for an honest review.

Tyson draws the reader into his reflections on yarns and philosophical musings encompassing a very broad variety of subjects. It is mostly very readable literature, occasionally I found myself lost in some of the arguments, I feel I would benefit in reading this a second time in the near future.
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Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. He lives in Melbourne.

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