Legendary Tales | State Library of New South Wales

'Legendary Tales'

Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines by David Unaipon, 1924-25

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> Read the complete manuscript of Legendary Tales by David Unaipon, via the Library's online catalogue Link to catalogue


Transcript of Preface: Page 6.

Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines
Told by David Unaipon

My race - the aborigines of Australia - has a vast tradition of legends, myths and folk-law stories. These, which they delight in telling to the younger members of the tribe, have been handed down orally for thousands of years. In fact, all tribal law and customs are, first of all, told to the children of the tribe in the form of stories, just as the white Australian mother first instructs her children with nursery stories: Of course the mothers and the old men, in telling these stories, drag them out to a great length, putting in every detail, with much gesture and acting, but in writing them down for our white friends I have used the simplest form of expression, in order that neither the meaning nor the "atmosphere" may be lost.
As a full-blooded member of my race I think I may claim to be the first - but, I hope not the last - to produce an enduring record of our customs, beliefs and imaginings.

David Unaipon

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