Warning : Some of these books may have been band from Aboriginal Communities in Australia. I make no claims on behalf of the authors of these books and the opinions expressed about them are solely my own and do not represent any cultural or political interests which I am either aware or unaware of.
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A Learner's Guide to Pintupi-Luritja, John Heffernan with Kuyata Heffernan, ISBN 0-94965995-9
This book on a Western Desert Language is valuable for it's excellent pronunciation help and learn by example approach. It's very helpful in gaining insight in to the complexities of learning an Aboriginal language and offers excellent examples in the areas covered. Additionally, it clearly defines the country and people associated with this dialect plus documents outside influences on it. It's an excellent resource to anyone interesting in learning something about Aboriginal languages but it does not pretend to be a complete text on Pintupi. Basically, it's a starting point - and as such very valuable. Buy it on Amazon.com!
Aboriginal Men of High Degree, A.P. Elkin,ISBN 0-89281-421-7
This book was first released in 1945. It is an exhaustive survey of the various practices and initiations of the Aboriginal Shamans or "Clever Men". (Click on Image to order from Amazon.com)
After 200 Years Photographic Essays of Aboriginal and Islander Australia
Today, Edited by Penny Taylor
This collection was prepared in Australia's BiCentennial year of 1988 for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. It uses over 500 photographs accompanied by text to show Aborigines as they live today. A very powerful book which is highly recommended.
Afterlife Before Genesis, David H. Turner
A very interesting book by an anthropologist who claims to have been initiated into the sacred life of Bickerton Island Aboriginals. It contains a wealth of information on the Didjeridu patterns in context of song lines and mortuary ceremonies. Definitely a must read for the serious student of 'traditional' music. Dr. Turner has written two previous books : Life Before Genesis and Return to Eden to which I will turn my attention to next. I am a little concerned about his frequent references to Robert Lawlor and Carlos Castaneda both of whom I find a bit out there with their assumptions. And there are a few "leaps of faith" in this book as the author talks about his experiences while learning to play the didjeridu and comes up with a few generalizations the implications of his wonderings. In summary, a must read book but I wouldn't make it gospel.
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Afterlife Before Genesis : An...
The following was offered by another reader : Dear Ed, RE: Your Bibliography. I just read Afterlife Before Genesis, David H. Turner and would (personally) not recommend it to others.... His 'snake-oil' approach to selling his ideas are at best insulting. His understanding of concepts within other disciplines (i.e., beyond anthropology) are laughable. In my opinion he is exploiting the very people that he 'includes himself a part of.' Just my opinion.... Mozart56 Didj enthusiast
Australia : a Natural History Book, Howard Ensign Evans and Mary Alice
"Most aboriginal singing was unaccompanied, except by clapping of hands or sticks. In parts of N. Australia, however, there were also simple drums and a special instrument called the "Didjeridu"... We have a didjeridu and prize it, although we cannot play it." - A passage which caught my eye [ED]
Didgeridoo: A Beginner's Guide,Alastair Black
Companion booklet to tape and video tape
From the Dreamtime, Jean A Ellis
Fine collection of Stories which are excellent for reading while listening to the Didgeridoo.
|This book is the culmination of twenty years of annual visits to Northeastern Arnhem Land by the author. It contains information on the traditional medicinal knowledge and healing methods of the Yolngu as well as documents health issues affecting their settlements today. Very eye opening book and highly recommended. Click on image at the left to order.|
I, The Aboriginal, Douglas Lockwood
Biography of Waipuldanya (Philip Roberts) of the Alawa Tribe in the Roper River area of the Northern Territory.
Gapapuyngu Word List, Michael Christie, FATSIS, NTU
Word lists of Gapapuyngu language to English and English to Gapapuyngu helpful for translating text. Available through the NT University book shop.
Grammar Lessons in Gupapuyngu, B.M. Lowe, Available from the Northern Territories University book shop
The original edition was prepared in 1960 by Beulah Lowe for the Methodist Church in North Australia. It contains 103 "lessons" on grammar with a Gupapuynu to English word list in the back. This book is available through the NT University book shop.
Land of the Golden Clouds , Archie Weller
Australia three thousand years from now in a post apocalyptic saga involving "tribes" from many places. Click here to Search Powell's Books
Learn to Play the Didjeridu, Ed Drury
See web page. What can I say? I read it and it's my booklist :-)
|This is a book about the Ngarinyin people of the Kimberly. It deals with the division of responsibility between genders in their culture. I found the book interesting in that the author seems to suggest that such gender roles would benefit more 'modern' cultures. Good luck with that one... Click on image to the left to order.|
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Our Land is Our Life, Edited by Galarrwuy Yunupingu ISBN 0-7022-2958-X
Published shortly after the 20th anniversary of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territories), this book is a collection of essays on the past, present and future of Land Rights with contributions from leading activists and political figures. It contains a wealth of information on the subject of land rights as well as historical documents, photographs and cartoons form There are prefaces written by the Governor General of Australia and the Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander Commission. I am really happy to have found this one. It's the most information in one place and written from the perspective of people who have truely lived these battles.
Outback, Thomas Keneally
Looks at historic and modern outback regions of Australia. Discuses both Aboriginal and white peoples with some interesting biographies. The book is well illustrated and includes some nice portraits of the people discussed in the text.
|Sticks and Drones, By Ed Drury |
Starting in around 1997, Ed Drury started interviewing didjeridu players, teachers, instrument makers, healers and others about every aspect of the Didjeridu scene in Australia, the UK, Canada and the United States. In their own words, members of the Didjeridu community talk candidly about their connection to the instrument and each other. Many well known as well as lesser known exponents of the instrument gave opinions, shared knowledge and told stories. A conversational history of all that was going on during this era before youtube. The Ebook can be downloaded from Smashwords at Smashwords.com. And at Amazon Sticks and Drones .
|Collection of articles which form a study of the didjeridu from a variety of viewpoints. Absolute must reading for the serious didjeriduist. I have read sections of this book many times, taken notes, followed leads from the footnotes and entered into countless debates on the articles contained in this book. Click on image to order.|
Buy it on Amazon.com.
WANDJUCK MARIKA Life Story, as told to Jennifer Isaacs, ISBN 0-7022-2564-9
Perhaps the most important book on this list. Wandjuk was one of Australia's greatest indigenous artists, Yirdaki player, land rights advocate and religious leader. In this book he tells about his people, his land and his dreams. Because of his passing in 1987, this book had to await publication until sufficient time had passed according to the customs of his people and wishes of his family. Published in 1995 by the University of Queensland, this book offers the rare point of view of a traditional Yolngu man on his culture as well as balanda (ours). Highly recommended!
Order it from Amazon.com : Wandjuk Marika : Life Story
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Wise Women of the Dreamtime,ISBN : 0-89281-477-2, Collected by K. Langloh Parker, Edited with commentary by Johanna Lambert
Ms. Lambert has put together an excellent series of commentary on the works of Katie Langloh Parker. The treatises include tales of ancestral, animals, magical, and healing powers. The book also contains the most unusual spelling of didgeridoo I have seen : "Didjeereedu". Click here to search at Powells Books
(Click Image to order from Amazon.com)
|Voices of the First Day Awaking in the Aboriginal Dreamtime, Robert
Exhaustive study of the Aboriginal Cosmology, History and Tribal Life. Proceeds from the sale of the book are given to the Denooch Aboriginal Healing Center which assists people of Aboriginal ancestry to free themselves of addictions by using tribal healing methods. Click here to search Powell's Books