An inspiration

I recently discovered by chance David Unaipon, the first full-blooded Aboriginal Writer published in Australia. He was also a scientist, a writer, a preacher and an inventor and you can now find his face on the 50$ Australian banknote. I was trying to find some of his writings on the Internet but since no luck with that, I checked out the contents of one of his books, ‘Legendary tales of the Australian Aborigines’, written in 1924-1925. And this is how the chapters sounded like:

  • Aboriginal folklore
  • Aborigines, their traditions, and customs: where did they come from?
  • Some stories about my race: what the Aborigines’ carvings near Sydney mean
  • Belief of the Aborigines in a great spirit
  • Confusion of tongue
  • Fishing
  • The flood and its result: Berrwerina tribe, Darling River
  • The gherawhat (goanna)
  • Gool lun naga (green frog)
  • Hunting
  • How the tortoise got his shell
  • Immortality
  • Love story of the mat rallang
  • The mat kar ree (moon)
  • Marriage customs of the Australian Aborigines
  • The mischievous crow and the good he did
  • Naroondarie’s wives
  • Nhung e umpie
  • Panp parl lowa : spirit of help among the Aborigines
  • Sport
  • The story of the mungingee
  • The voice of the Great Spirit
  • The water rat who discovered the secret of fire and how it was taken from him by the eagle hawk
  • Whowie
  • Why all the animals peck at the selfish owl : the coming of the light
  • Why manparrie (frogs) jump into the water
  • Witchcraft
  • Wondangar goon na ghun (whale and star fish)
  • A wonderful bun bar rang (lizard)
  • Yara ma tha who
  • How Teddy lost his tail.

The contents are a story in their own right! It makes me want to read the book even more, but I found it on Amazon for some 300 bucks, it exceeds my budget. But maybe you guys find it somewhere or can buy it, ¬†and get to read it, I have a feeling it will enrich your imagination and broaden your universe. But books tend to do that in general, don’t they?

“My race – the Aborigines of Australia – has a vast tradition of legends, myths, and folklore stories. These, which they delight in telling to the younger members of the tribe, have been handed down orally for thousands of years. In fact, all tribal laws and customs are, first of all, told to the children of the tribe in the form of stories, just as the white Australian mother first instructs her children with nursery stories. As a full-blooded member of my race, I think I may claim to be the first – but I hope, not the last – to produce an enduring record of our customs, beliefs, and imaginings. DAVID UNAIPON, 1924”