DJUGURBA: Tales from the Spirit Time by et. al. Bunug

DJUGURBA: Tales from the Spirit Time

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The fourteen short tales retold and illustrated here by young Aborigine students seem gathered from the periphery of a mythology. There is no orienting background as to what the ""dreamtime"" was, and though there are several origin tales--how Kangaroo got his tail, Emu her bump, or Turtle her shell--they haven't much point or narrative interest. For example, ""How the Goanna and the Lizard got their Painted Backs"" simply tells how each one painted the other but Goanna was less neat, and the answer to ""Why the Kangaroo Hops"" is that a bushfire once burned his front paws black so he could no longer run on all fours. Though they are respectably retold here, such stories would be better served by more modest packaging, as in Baylor's collection of Arizona Indian children's tales (above); as it is, they get lost in the garish, oversize pages, where the young people's paintings are reproduced so pretentiously as to seem merely pathetic.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1976
Publisher: Indiana Univ. Press