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After considering a story set in Australia instead of Europe or the Americas I became interested in Australian Aboriginal stories.  Here are three collections of stories I’ve found.

Gadi Mirrabooka

The second book I found (but the first I read through all the way was Gadi Mirrabooka: Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming.    (Edited by Helen F McKay. Libraries Unlimited. 2001)

The first third of this book gives an explanation of the geography, plants and animals of Australia, a brief history of Australia and details of aboriginal culture and life.

I read this one before I read the Grimm Brother’s tales.   I was disappointed by the short length and lack of depth in the stories but then later I came back to it and could compare the stories to the European tales of the Grimm/Anderson types they are actually not that different.   Swap some bird names and they could easily move between the two cultures.  I think originally I was unrealistically expecting something on the scale of the Odyssey or King Arthur and didn’t know what to expect.

Torres Strait

The first one that I found was Myths and Legends of Torres Strait (Margaret Lawrie.  University of Queensland Press. 1970).   I found this electronically in the Uni library as I was looking for something from the Torres Strait as that would be the spring board for the story which would head north into German New Guinea at the turn of the 20th Century.

Again if you like Grimm and Anderson you’ll like these stories.   There must have been a lot of contact between the islands because the stories followed similar themes of betrayal and revenge and lots of people ending up being turned to stone.

Sciency Stuff

The one I am reading at the moment is a book of science papers called Monster Anthropology in Australasia and Beyond (Edited by Yasmine Musharbash. Palgrave Macmillan.  2014).

Tales of cannibal monsters, lights and dragons!!!   If you can stomach reading science papers.   Tends to show lean to the dry story telling but still worth reading.  Want to know how monsters are changing in Aboriginal stories from pre-contact to now this is the book to read.   Evil spirits who smoke and drive cars with Oedipus thrown into pyscho babble.   What’s not to like.   And the Referenes at the end of each paper gives further reading one of which led to a paper on UFO sightings in an Aboriginal community, fascinating stuff.