Tales from Arnhem Land
by Ann E. Wells
Illustrated by Margaret Paice
Angus and Robertson, 1959, [First Edition], two tone illustrations in text, illustrated endpapers, illustrated two page title page, hardcover
Good Condition, some edge and shelf wear, some rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, stamps to front and back endpapers, and introductory pages, sticker residue to spine (see photographs)
“Milingimbi, one of the Crocodile Islands, lies off the coast of Arnhem Land, not far from Cape Stewart, twelve degrees south of the Equator. Here, on part of the great Aboriginal Reserve of Arnhem Land, are the descendants of the first Australians, whose legends and lore survive and are preserved among the yulnu.
These three tales are built round legends from the folk lore of the coastal Aborigines of Northern Australia. They tell how the Aborigines account for their first coming to Australia, how the Dreamtime heroes taught them the way to live, and how the first tribesmen learnt the use of fire-sticks. They account for the making of the first canoe and the coming of the dingo. They reveal how the Aborigines credit natural features, like water-holes and rivers, to the activities of creatures of the Dreamtime.
The tales containing the legends reflect the modern lives of Aboriginal children in the North, with fantasy and fact intermingled as they are in the minds of the people. As told to Ann Wells of Milingimbi by the Wurungu, their stories are instinct with the poetry of primitive belief.”