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y Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines selected work   prose   dreaming story  
Alternative title: Myths & Legends of the Australian Aboriginals
Issue Details: First known date: 1930 1930
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

This 1930s publication describes the legends of the Australian Aborigines located in the southeast corner of Australia near the Murray River. It covers a range of narratives from the creation stories to those of witchcraft, and explanations of landmarks. (Source: Preface).

Notes

  • The stories that appear in this book were first written by David Unaipon who wrote the original manuscript called Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines in the 1920s. William Ramsay Smith later published the work is his name in England, without acknowledging Unaipon.

    From 1996-1998, Adam Shoemaker and Stephen Muecke discovered the appropriation of Unaipon's work, and arranged for the copyright and ownership to be legally transferred back to Unaipon's family in Australia.

    Shoemaker and Muecke republished Unaipon's original manuscript with Unaipon as the author, and used the original title Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines.

  • Dedication: To the Memory of

    Greatly Valued and Revered Friends

    Principal Sir William Turner

    and

    Professor D. J. Cunningham

    with who I was privileged to be a fellow-Worker

    in Australian Anthropological research

    this regardful offering is dedicated

  • This book is divided into five chapters:

    I. Origins

    II. Animal Myths

    III. Religion

    IV. Social

    V. Personal Myths

  • Please be aware that this book may contain images, artwork, perspectives and stories from people who are now deceased. It also contains words, terms or descriptions which may be culturally sensitive and are considered inappropriate today, but which reflect the period in which it was written.

Contents

* Contents derived from the London,
c
England,
c
c
United Kingdom (UK),
c
Western Europe, Europe,
:
Harrap , 1930 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Preface: W.R.S., W. Ramsay Smith , 1930 single work

The author's introduction to this collection of narratives told by Aboriginal people.

(p. 7-9)
Aborigines, Their Traditions and Customs : Where Did They Come From?, David Unaipon , 1924 single work oral history (p. 17-22)
Note: With title: The Customs and Traditions of Aboriginals
The Story of the Creation, W. Ramsay Smith , Kardin-nilla , 1930 single work prose dreaming story

According to this story, the sun and the moon, who are female and the morning star who is male, were deities who gave origin to the human race, and when humans died they become stars in the sky.

(p. 23-31)
The Coming of Mankind, W. Ramsay Smith , 1930 single work prose (p. 31-58)
The Peewee's Story, David Unaipon , 1930 single work prose (p. 41-45)
Immortality, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

The author talks about the how the Australian Aboriginals have a legend that explains natural phenomena.

(p. 59-62)
Note: With title: The Birth of the Butterflies
Confusion of Tongue, David Unaipon , 1924 single work oral history (p. 62-67)
Note: With title: The Confusion of Tongues
The Water Rat Who Discovered the Secret of Fire and How it was Taken from Him by the Eagle Hawk, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story (p. 67-69)
Note: With title: The Discovery and the Loss of Secret Fire
The Mar Kar Ree (Moon), David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

The story of a man called The Mar Kar Ree and his trail of looking for a wife.

(p. 69-71)
Note: With title: The Moon
A Wonderful Bun Bar Rang (Lizard), David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

this story is a continuation after the Eagle forced the Water Rat to give up his secret of fire.

(p. 71-78)
Note: With title: The Wonderful Lizard
The Gherawhar (Goanna), David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

'This is a story belonging to the Murrumbidgee River tribe, and they associate this locality as the first settled home of the Gherawhar (Goanna...) after leaving their temporary home at Shoalhaven, and before...to other parts of Australia. When they occupied this country there was no flowing Murrumbidgee River. The only river then was the... which was formed by the ancient Pendie, a fish commonly called the Murray Cod.' (David Unaipon, 1924-25)

(p. 78-91)
Note: With titles: The Lazy Goannas and What Happened to Them and How the Selfish Goannas lost their Wives
Some Stories About My Race : What the Aborigines' Carvings Near Sydney Mean, David Unaipon , 1924 single work oral history (p. 91-93)
Note:

With title: What Some Aboriginal Carvings Mean

Unaipon's introduction has been entered as a footnote.

Why All the Animals Peck at the Selfish Owl : The Coming of the Light, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

The story of the Bat tribe, who stood alone and did not enter into any disputes. However, one day the Chief of the bat tribe was forced to enter into a battle between the animal tribe and bird tribe.

(p. 94-99)
Note: With title: The Selfish Owl
Why Manparrie Jump into the Water, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

This story illustrates the moral lessons taught in the legends of the frogs.

(p. 99-101)
Note: With title: Why Frogs Jump Into The Water
Aboriginal Legends. No. 1, Kinie Ger, the Native Cat, David Unaipon , 1929 single work short story Indigenous story

This short story is about the Kinie Ger (the native cat) a ruthless killer and enemy of other native creatures.

(p. 101-105)
Note: With title: Kinie Ger, The Native Cat
The Porcupine and the Mountain Devil, Unknown Tracker , 1930 single work prose (p. 105-110)
Gool Lun Naga (Green Frog), David Unaipon , 1924 single work short story Indigenous story

Benjamin Miller describes this story in the following way: 'a creation story about a Water Spirit who desires to enter the material world. A Lyre Bird, who is adept at singing the songs of other animals, is asked by a spirit to sing into a stream. After much beautiful singing a Being emerges from the water. The Lyre Bird names the Being "Gool lun naga, a son of the clear running stream of water"'.

Source: Benjamin Miller, 'David Unaipon's Style of Subversion: Performativity and Becoming in "Gool Lun Naga (Green Frog)"', JASAL Special Issue (2008):84.

(p. 111-118)
Note: With title: The Green Frog
How the Tortoise Got His Shell, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

A story about the tortoise and his conflict with the Eaglehawk.

(p. 118-120)
Note: With title: How the Tortoise Got his Shell
The Mischievous Crow and the Good He Did, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

In a comparison to the biblical stories of the forces of good and evil, the author presents this story of crow from the Narrinyur people, an Aboriginal representation of good and evil which has played an important part in their traditions and legends.

(p. 120-147)
Note: With title: The Mischievous Crow and the Good he Did
Whowie, David Unaipon , 1924 single work prose dreaming story

'The Whowie is the most dreadful animal in existence... he lived in the Riverina district, and would terrorise people in the far gone days.(Source: Whowie 1924)

(p. 147-151)
Note: With title: Whowie

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Harrap , 1930 .
      684246275569946775.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 356p.
      Description: illus., ports
      Note/s:
      • Includes: Footnotes, and index.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Farrar & Rinehart , 1932 .
      1624949947866551024.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Alternative title: Myths & Legends of Australian Aboriginals
      Extent: 356p.
      Note/s:
      • Was part of publishers' The Myths series.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Johnson Reprint Corporation , 1970 .
      Alternative title: Myths & Legends of The Australian Aboriginals
      Extent: 356p.
      Reprinted: 1970 Reprinted with the permission of the Original Publishers
      Note/s:
      • Editor's note: Landmarks in Anthropology, a series of reprints in cultural anthropology.General Editor: Weston La Barre.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Senate , 1996 .
      3216357868513050147.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Alternative title: Aborigine: Myths and Legends Myths & Legends of The Australian Aboriginals
      Extent: 356p.
      Edition info: This edition first published in 1996 by Senate
      Description: illus., ports
      Note/s:
      • First published in 1930 as Myths & Legends of the Australian Aboriginals by George G Harrap, London.
      ISBN: 0091850398 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Senate , 1998 .
      Alternative title: Myths and Legends of Aborigine
      Extent: 356p.
      Edition info: 1998 ed.
      Description: illus., ports
      Note/s:
      • First published in 1930 as Myths & Legends of the Australian Aboriginals by George G Harrap, London.
      ISBN: 0091850398
    • Mineola, New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Dover , 2003 .
      978230976479333497.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Alternative title: Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines
      Extent: 356p.
      Description: illus., ports
      Note/s:
      • This edition originally published: Myths & Legends of the Australian Aboriginals. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, [1932] in series The Myths series.

        Includes: bibliography and index.

      ISBN: 0486427099 (pbk)

Works about this Work

Shorter Notices 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 22 November 1930; (p. 10)

This review of William Ramsay Smith's Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals makes no mention of David Unaipon.

The World Books Reviews - Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals by W. Ramsay Smith 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Mercury , 24 October vol. CXXXIII no. 19724 1930; (p. 3)
This review of William Ramsay Smith's Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals makes no mention of David Unaipon.
Untitled Telamon , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 27 December 1930; (p. 4)

— Review of Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines David Unaipon 1930 selected work prose
Stone-Age Mythology 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 1 November vol. LXXIII no. 22485 1930; (p. 10)

— Review of Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines David Unaipon 1930 selected work prose
This review of William Ramsay Smith's Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals makes no mention of David Unaipon.
Untitled Telamon , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 27 December 1930; (p. 4)

— Review of Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines David Unaipon 1930 selected work prose
Stone-Age Mythology 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 1 November vol. LXXIII no. 22485 1930; (p. 10)

— Review of Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines David Unaipon 1930 selected work prose
This review of William Ramsay Smith's Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals makes no mention of David Unaipon.
Shorter Notices 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 22 November 1930; (p. 10)

This review of William Ramsay Smith's Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals makes no mention of David Unaipon.

The World Books Reviews - Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals by W. Ramsay Smith 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Mercury , 24 October vol. CXXXIII no. 19724 1930; (p. 3)
This review of William Ramsay Smith's Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals makes no mention of David Unaipon.
Last amended 19 May 2015 14:20:43
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