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Australian Legendary Tales - K Langloh Parker

Australian Legendary Tales

By: K Langloh Parker

eBook | 1 July 2023

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Australian Legendary Tales: Folk-lore of the Noongahburrahs as Told to the Piccaninnies was first published in 1896. The 30 tales are supplemented by a glossary and the first tale transliterated from the original language and are set in a 'no-time' where animal spirits, supernatural beings and humans interact, often alluding to ideas of creation.
Langloh Parker is probably right in her surmise that this is the first attempt to collect the tribal tales of any particular native tribe, or to exploit this special field of distinctively Australian literature in this particular form. Australian children may read here for the first time about Yki the sun, and Baloo the moon, how the gay Galah came to be a bald headed bird, and why Oolab the lizard is coloured a reddish brown and is covered with pikes like bindeah prickles, why Dinewan the emu cannot fly, and how it was that Goomblegubbon the bustard came to lay only two eggs in a season... The legend of Wirreenun, the rain-making magician, is one that can hardly fail to appeal to all who know what an Australian drought is; and those who would like to know what the blacks thought of Cookoo-burrah the laughing-jackass, or Gooloo the magpie, or Moodai the possum, or any of the other familiar denizens of the bush, may be confidently recommended to these delightful pages. Mrs Langloh Parker has told all these stories with a full appreciation of their value as folk-lore as well as of their interest as legendary tales. She has striven, and not unsuccessfully, to do in this way for Australian folk-lore what Longfellow did in "Hiawatha" for the North American tribes, and Mr. Andrew Lang's introduction has some warm words of commendation for the interest of the volume from his special point of view. The book has a further claim to attention in that it is the first ever illustrated by an aboriginal artist (Tommy McRae)... - Sydney Morning Herald, 1896

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