'Despite…unifying factors, the tribes remained distinct and had their own languages. However, there is one feature they [the peoples of Sunraysia] all shared and which they shared with other languages further up the Murray such as the WembaWemba and the Wati-Wati: the reduplicated names of the tribes/languages mean ‘no-no’ (p.170).
'The above translation from the no-no or NerriNerri language of the romanticised ‘never-never land’ is at the heart of Wilhelm von Blandowski’s encyclopaedia of 1860. Blandowski’s native German and the interpretations of the NerriNerri, such as linguist Luise Hercus’ translation of the names of the tribes/languages, are translated into English and published for the first time. It is in the context of a handful of re-evaluations of Blandowski’s archives as records of this colonial explorer’s Indigenous informants that this book from Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP) makes a major contribution. From a publisher that focuses on Indigenous voices, this illustrated encyclopaedia of Australia can be seen as source material to understand many aspects of Aboriginal life, such as land management and ceremony. The Director of ASP, Rhonda Black, says she did not want the new edition to look like a quaint picture book but, instead, wanted to surround it with Indigenous voices.' (Introduction)