Elephants in the Bush and Other Yamatji Yarns
Magabala Books, 2013
Secondary, Upper Primary
AC Links/EYLFACELA1500, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACHASSK112, ACHASSK113, ACSSU043, ACPPS051, ACPPS054, ACPPS055
ACELA1500, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACHASSK112, ACHASSK113, ACSSU043, ACPPS051, ACPPS054, ACPPS055, ACPPS056, ACPPS059, ACPPS060, ACELA1515, ACELA1518, ACELT1613, ACELT1614, ACHASSK137, ACHASSK140, ACHASSK140, ACSSU094, ACSHE098, ACSHE100, ACELA1528, ACELA1529, ACELT1619, ACELT1621, ACELT1622, ACELT1803, ACHGK041, ACHGK043, ACHGK046, ACPPS074, ACPPS075, ACPPS079, ACPMP085, ACELA1540, ACELA1541, ACELT1626, ACELT1627, ACELT1628, ACELT1628, ACELT1807, ACHGK049, ACSHE134, ACSHE226, ACELA1550, ACELA1551, ACELT1663, ACELT1771, ACELT1634, ACELT1635, ACHGK065, ACPPS089, ACPPS093, ACPPS098, ACPMP104, ACELA1563, ACELA1564, ACELA1565, ACELT1639, ACELT1640, ACELT1812, ACELT1642, ACELT1643, ACDSEH023, ACDSEH104, ACDSEH106, ACDSEH134, ACHGK071, ACHGK072
English, Manjiljarra / Martu Wangka language (A51.1) (WA SF51-12), Walmajarri / Walmatjarri language (A66) (WA SE51-16)
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- Glossaries and vocabularies
- Murchison River (WA South Pilbara SG50)
- Pastoral industry
- Social life and customs
- Stories and motifs
- Wajarri / Watjarri people (A39) (WA SG50-7, SG50-11)
- Western Australia
In this collection of 10 stories, Clarrie Cameron has recorded the yarns capturing life on stations in the Gascoyne-Murchison region of Western Australia, that he and his friends have told around campfires over many years. With his storyteller’s voice and engaging humour, Cameron recounts hilarious anecdotes such as ‘Milyura (snake) on the Loose’, where two young brothers discover that a snake has decided to snuggle under their sleeping grandfather, Gami, on a hot afternoon. ‘Gami was snoring like a broken-winded horse … Me and Blooch were proud of our Gami because he could snore and fart louder than anybody else we knew.’ Each family member’s reaction is detailed with funny asides when pandemonium erupts as news of the snake spreads across the camp. As the story unfolds, we gain an insight into the family’s life, their relationships with the station owners and their work with the sheep, horses and cattle.
While in ‘Rooftop Refuge’, set in Wiluna, another colourful character, Cowboy, attempts to avoid sharing his beers with his co-workers by hiding away on his roof with his stash. However, he receives his come-uppance when, forgetting where he is in the middle of the night, he falls and breaks both arms. The authenticity of the author’s voice, the storyteller’s phrasing, pace and vivid descriptions of events, setting and characters make for a valuable portrayal of Aboriginal life in the outback. An introduction includes acknowledgements of the storytellers in Clarrie Cameron’s life who influenced and inspired the book, and a map shows the locations where the stories are set, the Yamaji region. A glossary and notes detail the languages used throughout the stories as Martu Wangka, a Western Desert language, Wajarri, a Murchison Language, colloquial language, Station, English and Aboriginal English.
Clarrie Cameron, from the Nhanhagardi tribe of Champion Bay, Western Australia, was an Aboriginal rights activist, a committee member of the Yamatji Language Centre and the Yamatji Marlpa Land and Sea Council, a well-respected painter, carver and jewellery maker.
- Elephants in the Bush, Radio National, audio interview with Clarrie Cameron, 6 September 2013 https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/archived/bushtelegraph/elephants-in-the-bush/4940974
- ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt Facebook Post, video footage from exhibition Right Wrongs: ’67 Referendum – WA 50 years on, Geraldton Museum https://www.facebook.com/abcmidwestandwheatbelt/videos/10155155716995985
- Geraldton Goes Wajarri: a city revitalises its endangered Aboriginal Language, a language project http://geraldton-goes-wajarri.org/#kontakt