Yonga and Waitch : Based on the Dreamtime Story of the Nyoongar People
UWA Publishing, 2019
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
AC Links/EYLFEYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1426, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACHASSK013
EYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1426, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACHASSK013, ACHASSK016, ACSSU002, ACAVAM106, ACAVAR109, ACELA1443, ACELA1453, ACELT1582, ACELT1584, ACHASSK031, ACSSU017, ACSHE021, ACELA1460, ACELA1462, ACELT1587, ACELT1589, ACELT1591, ACELT1593, ACHASSK045 , ACHASSK049, ACSSU030, ACSHE034, ACELA1475, ACELT1594, ACELT1596, ACELT1599, ACHASSK062, ACAVAM110 , ACAVAR113, ACPPS038, ACPPS042, ACELA1487, ACELA1498, ACELT1602, ACELT1603, ACELT1605, ACHASSK088, ACSSU073, ACELA1500, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACHASSK112 , ACSSU043, ACAVAM114, ACAVAR117, ACPPS056, ACPPS060, ACELA1515, ACELT1613, ACELT1614, ACHASSK140 , ACSSU094
English, Noongar / Nyungar (W41), Noongar / Nyungar language W41
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- Bilingual books
- Glossaries and vocabularies
- Noongar/ Nyungar / Nyungah people (WA41 (WA SI50)
- Western Australia
This First Nation Dreaming story about Yonga the Kangaroo and Waitch the emu is written with a rich, traditional storytelling tone: “Now, there was no doubt that Yonga was incredibly gifted: it was blessed with brute strength, handsome looks, towering height and an unrivalled hopping speed… Yes, Yonga was a living, breathing, hopping miracle - though perhaps the biggest miracle was its ability to maintain modesty despite its fame.” (p4) Yonga uses his privilege to help others less fortunate than himself.
Unlike many other Dreamtime stories for children, this book does not avoid complexity or sophistication. There are three full page coloured illustrations in a text of twenty-five pages, including a Glossary of Nyoongar words at the back. While the written text is long, it is full of suspense and intrigue, as Waitch the Emu schemes to steal his best friend’s elegant white cape. Older children may relate, or at least be interested, in the psychological manipulations as Waitch betrays Yonga’s trust. Ultimately they will see how the Kangaroo came to have a brown coat.
The format of the text and its emphasis on the words of the story make it feel like a very important and much-needed record of oral history tradition. Indeed, the title page acknowledges that it is 'based on the Dreamtime story of the Nyoongar people. The author is a Whadjuck, Wilman, Kaneang Nyoongar man from the south-west of Western Australia. The illustrator is a Nyoongar man of the south-west of Western Australia.
- Aboriginal Storytelling and Writing by Rosemary van den Berg, Murdoch University https://thealtitudejournal.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/62.pdf
- Nyoongar Culture website https://www.noongarculture.org.au/
- Popular Dreamtime Stories - Short Animations. Welcome to Country website https://www.welcometocountry.org/aboriginal-dreamtime-stories/
- Kangaroo Dreamtime story for comparison - How the Kangaroo Got Her Pouch https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/how-kangaroo-got-her-pouch-0
- Bruce Pascoe: Aboriginal Story Gets Lost in Translation. SBS NITV, 26 Oct 2016 https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/10/18/bruce-pascoe-aboriginal-story-gets-lost-translation
- Resources - Noonga - Education and Schools. Perth NRM https://www.perthnrm.com/resources/resources-noongar-education
- Encounter Films Perth. National Museum of Australia. https://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/encounters/films/perth