Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Stories My Grandmother Never Told Me: Recovering Entangled Family Histories Through Ego-Histoire
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In 1997, I accompanied the oldest Ngarrindjeri person, the distinguished storyteller, Aunty Hilda Wilson, then aged 86 and becoming a staunch friend, home to Country, to the Aboriginal community of Raukkan, the former Point McLeay Mission on the southern edge of Lake Alexandrina. Aunty Hilda was born there in 1911, a year that marked the legal separation of South Australian Aboriginal and settler peoples with the passing of the SA Aborigines Act 1911.2 As we stepped onto the shore of Lake Alexandrina, she led me to a clump of rushes in the sand, where her mother, Olive Varcoe (née Rankine), once sat and picked the fine but sturdy fibres with her sisters and Country-women, weaving the famous Ngarrindjeri baskets for sale and personal use. The women washed clothes here in a kerosene-tin over an open fire, gossiped and laughed, cared for little ones, and discussed important business. Aunty Hilda soon told me of sitting patiently alongside her great-grandmother, Ellen Sumner (1842–1925), at large ceremonial gatherings near this site during the 1910s and 1920s. From Ellen Sumner, renowned composer and singer, she also learnt Pata Winema, ‘the old corroborree song’. Hilda claimed to discern the meaning of only one of its lyrics, lieuwen: to ‘lay down’, ‘sleep’ or ‘rest’. Many believe this was adapted as a sorcery song against settlers for the destruction their intrusion brought (Bell 1998, p. 155).' (Introduction)


  • Includes illustrations and bibliography.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Ngapartji Ngapartji, in Turn, in Turn : Ego-histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia Vanessa Castejon (editor), Anna Cole (editor), Oliver Haag (editor), Karen Hughes (editor), Acton : Australian National University Press , 2014 8146885 2014 selected work criticism essay

    ''These are stories, histories. They emerged in part from encounters between scholars from Australia and Europe that offered a transnational way to think about culture, class, ethnicity, identity, inbetweenness and whiteness in Australian Indigenous studies. Our intention was to weave together professional and personal accounts of studies that have Australia and Indigeneity at their heart. The origins of this book lie in a discussion between Anna Cole and Vanessa Castejon that took place after a European Australian Studies conference at the Universitat de Barcelona’s Centre d’Estudis Australians in 2008.' (Source: Introduction)' (Source: Introduction)

    Acton : Australian National University Press , 2014
    pg. 75-91
Last amended 19 Oct 2017 07:34:46
75-91 Stories My Grandmother Never Told Me: Recovering Entangled Family Histories Through Ego-HistoireAustLit
  • Point McLeay Mission Station (1859-1974), Lake Alexandrina, Fleurieu Peninsula - Lake Alexandrina, South Australia,
  • South Australia,
    Powered by Trove