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Wise Women of the Dreamtime


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Table of Contents




Tales of the Ancestral Powers

Wahwee and Nerida: The Water Monster and the Water Lily

Dinewan the Man Changes to Dinewan the Emu

Sturt's Desert Pea, the Blood Flower

Where the Frost Comes From

Tales of the Animal Powers

Murgah Muggui, the Spider

Bralgah, the Dancing Bird

Piggiebillah, the Porcupine

The Rainbird

Tales of the Magical Powers

Moodoobahngul, the Widow

The Wirreenun Woman and Her Wirreenun Son

The Redbreasts

The Wagtail and the Rainbow

Tales of Healing

Goonur, the Woman-Doctor

The Bunbundoolooeys


About the Author

An Australian-born actress and writer, Johanna Lambert has been deeply involved in Aboriginal issues for many years. She studied with the renowned Aboriginal film and stage director Brian Syron and is also the editor of the audio edition of Wise Women of the Dreamtime.


"This well-written anthology provides an interesting perspective on major life themes . . . as perceived by traditional Aboriginal women." * Library Journal *
"Parker's prose, although a century old, communicates well to today's reader. Although Parker herself wrote that the sophisticated, dynamic textures of actual storytelling performances were untranslatable, her use of Aboriginal names and lexicon helps create an affinity with the original stores.

"Lambert's uniformly thoughtful commentaries present select aspects of the Aboriginal worldview and culture, intertwined with ethnographic detail. Lambert also frequently relates Aboriginal themes to issues relevant to contemporary life, often those of immediate concern to women.

"Wise Women of the Dreamtime is a well presented book:The text, supporting material, artwork (the reproductions of Dorothy Djuukulul's bark paintings are marvelous), and even the printing and paper stock all work together to create a powerful and compelling volume." * Shaman's Drum *
"Australian writer Lambert has done a masterful job of editing the traditional Aboriginal myths and stories collected by Katie Langloh Parker (1856-1940). Parker, whose life was saved by an Aboriginal girl as a child, spent most of her life on an outback ranch and befriended several Aboriginal women. From them she gathered tales that she translated into English and later published. Parker was meticulous in her effort to convey the true essence and meaning of each story. The 14 stories Lambert has chosen from Parker's collection concern ancestral powers, animal powers, magic, and healing. They provide an interesting perspective on major life themes as perceived by traditional Aboriginal women. Lambert has included her own insightful commentaries for each myth. This well-written anthology should be of value to academic libraries with collections on Australian Aboriginal culture, women's studies, and world mythology." * Library Journal (Friday , October 01, 1993) Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Coll. Lib., Westerville, Ohio *
"Truly universalist, these tales are an intriguing introduction into one of the first traceable world views, one revering the feminine." * Gynocratic Visions *

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