A collection of 65 stories that were self-published by the Kadjina Aboriginal Community between 1998 and 2002 are now available online through the State Library of Western Australia. Written in English, Walmajarri, and Kriol, the collection is a mix of original stories, modern retellings of traditional stories, and illustrated records of traditional knowledge.
Written and illustrated by children, teenagers, and adults, the stories include Yukarnujuwal Jilpirtijarti (The Sleepy Snake), Parriwarnti Ruwajuwalwarnti (Hunting Boys), and Wajilipungujangka Ngangkirr (The Pig Chase).
Indigenous interpreter Annette Kogolo, who lives and works in the Fitzroy Valley in the Kimberleys, was moved to read her Aunty’s story in which she described a little-known war incident when two female Japanese pilots crashed near Nookanbah. Ms Kogolo said, 'These books are special, especially for the kids. They feel really proud because they can read the stories and say, "This is my grandmother’s story"' (Koori Mail, May 2013).
In the lead up to the 7th national Indigenous Literacy Day, which will take place on Wednesday, 4 September, we are featuring new and interesting works by Indigenous writers. Indigenous Literacy Day, organised by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, aims to raise funds to buy books and literacy resources for remote communities around Australia. The day is also about raising awareness of the importance of literacy within Indigenous communities.
Illustration : Bradley Brown (Private collection)