We see the world through our own eyes…now it’s time to look through the eyes of another culture. See how they see and understand the world and nature around them. A cultural experience waiting to be shared.
Title: Seasons of Boandik Country
Author: Collaboration between Sarah McCarthy, Children of Berrin at Grant High School (Mount Gambier), Uncle Ken Jones, Aunty Penny Bonney, and Brooke Joy
Language: English / Bunganditj (bi-lingual)
Themes: seasons, representation, cultural interpretation
What’s it about?
This book takes the reader on a cultural journey to view seasons from a different perspective. The story is told through poetry and in short visual explanations of what occurs in the different seasons (it cover more than just the basic four seasons). It looks at the cultural stories of how landmarks are created, how plants and animals behave, of weather changes, feelings and actions.
There are not a lot of illustrations in this book – one illustration opposite the text it relates to but they complement each other well – sort of like visualising the words in your mind as a photograph – or more painting in this example. The text is beautifully written and deserves more than one read or a glance over.
Only one complaint which is the inconsistency of the print size. On pages such as Marlayt ba Kuya (Late Summer) the print is perfectly presented and balanced on the page. In contrast other pages such as Karip Ngula ba Tjorara (Deep Winter) the font seems a little small and “squished”.
I was really excited to find this book because trying to locate anything in Bunganditj (let alone a book full of it) is like finding the needle in the haystack. The Bunganditj language, as I have previously written about, is currently being revived by a group of dedicated individuals and thus ensuring that this indigenous language doesn’t become lost or forgotten as was the fate of so many others.
Also, this book had high school student input and I think that makes it that little bit special. In order for this book to come to fruition the students learnt a lot about the culture, traditions, interpretations, and the language themselves (hopefully igniting some passion in them to continue to keep the language alive). This book is about a process of how making a plan, learning about the subject, and then working collaboratively can produce something wonderful.