Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/11599
Title: Review of 'Myths and Legends of Australia'. By A. W. Reed and A. H. Reed, 1965. Pp. 256. 21S
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S  (author)
Publication Date: 1967
DOI: 10.1080/0015587X.1967.9717077
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/11599
Abstract: This compilation is an unfortunate one, since it is likely to serve as an introduction to aboriginal religion and myth, and its premises and contribution are somewhat distorted. In his more scholarly Treasury of Maori Folklore (1963), A. W. Reed was, in part, concerned to present a Polynesian world of beliefs which he seemed to relate to the Graeco-Roman underworld, or the faeries of the Celts. His companion volume to the work under review, 'Aboriginal Fables and Legendary Tales' (1965), is an attempt to superimpose 'Genesis' (Chapter 2) and Milton's picture of the Garden of Eden on Aboriginal Mythology. Such exterior preconceptions would appear to be operating again in the present instance when the aborigines are described as 'primitive, clever, imaginative people' (p. 9) and sentiments like 'they lived close to the soil, these children of nature' (ibid.), show that we are dealing with an anthology based on a simple organization of thought, an uninformed wonder such as the one a teacher finds in young students of Aesop. The compiler has excerpted stories from various earlier anthologies and related them to apparent unities of theme. Thus the six sections are, in order, devoted to: creation; cosmos; animals; birds; water; and 'hero stories'.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Folklore, 78(1), p. 74-75
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1469-8315
0015-587X
Field of Research (FOR): 160101 Anthropology of Development
220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
160103 Linguistic Anthropology
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
Other Links: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1259066
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