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Title: Introduction to 'Australian Legendary Tales'
Contributor(s): Ryan, John Sprott  (author)
Publication Date: 2001
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Abstract: "Aboriginals have a special connection with everything that is natural. Aboriginals see themselves as part of nature. We see all things natural as part of us. All things on Earth we see as part human. This is told through the ideas of dreaming. By dreaming we mean the belief that long ago these creatures started human society." -Silas Roberts, first chairman of the Northern Land Council. Although the (re)publication of non-Aboriginal compilations of such sacred materials has been a matter of some considerable controversy in recent years, it is still the case that Mrs Parker was perhaps the first to see the importance of preserving some written record of the stories told by the Aboriginal tribal women in an uncontaminated and non-Christian setting. As was written very correctly of her pioneering work in 1977 by Wandjuk Marika, indigenous chairman of the Aboriginal Arts Board: "By recording and having published these stories she made it possible for people everywhere to know something of the inner self of my people – their cultural self which is inextricably bound up with their stories and legends, in which the past becomes present, and the Dreamtime exists once again." It was also the case that the collector, Mrs Parker, was concerned to record authentic material as much as she could, being acutely aware of the tragic and inevitable-seeming withering of the Aboriginal tribes in her own area, which had been so poignantly described by her kinsman Simpson Newland in his 'The Parhengees or Aboriginal Tribes on the Darling River' (1889).
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Australian Legendary Tales, p. 7-11
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Limited in association with The Folklore Society
Place of Publication: Ware, England
ISBN: 1840225092
Field of Research (FOR): 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940106 Citizenship and National Identity
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Myth, Legend and Folklore
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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