Noongar Mambara Bakitj

By Lomas Roberts, Kim Scott, Wirlomin Noongar Language And Stories Project

Contributions by: Geoffrey Woods, Anthony Roberts

A young man follows a kangaroo track deep into the old people's country. Along the way, he meets some spirit creatures ('mambara'), who allow him to go on. But after he has hunted down the kangaroo, one mambara is angry and demands a fight ('bakitj'). All day they fight, until the Noongar discovers he is a magic person and defeats the mambara. *** Noongar Mambara Bakitj - presented bilingually in English and Aboriginal Noongar language text - is inspired by an Aboriginal creation story that emphasizes the courage and confidence of the Noongar protagonist. It shows aspects of an Indigenous heritage and the long relationship of that culture with its natural environment from the south coast of Western Australia. The story was passed down orally for generations among the Noongar people. Around 1931, it was told to the American linguist Gerhardt Laves, who created the first written record of the story. Following Laves' death in the 1980s, his family discovered the documented story in its written form, which was then returned to the Noongar people. The book was developed as part of an Indigenous language recovery project led by author Kim Scott and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project. The text has been carefully reworked by descendants of the original Noongar storytellers. Aboriginal artists have created beautiful and delightfully stunning illustrations to accompany the testimonial story.

44 pages

Publication Date: 10/15/2011
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781742582955