Mooie's Stories is a magnificently illustrated children's book of Djarra Country Dreamtime (Malamiyayu Gurang) stories written and illustrated by Aunty Ros Kneebone-Dodson. Aunty Ros is a descendant of the Dja Dja Wurrung peoples of Victoria. She grew up on Djarra Country. Aunty Ros was known to her family as Whela (possum), and after having her own children, she became known as BurWela (mother possum).
The book’s four stories (kiki) were stories that BurWhela grew up listening to. Stories told to her by her mother, Mooie, had been carefully shared through the generations over thousands of years. They are Dja Dja Wurrung Ancestors' stories about how Wabbee, the freshwater crayfish, gets its bright red spots? Why does Wehla, the ringtail possum, have a curly tail? How were Waripi Yaluk, the backwaters of Bulatjal Yaluk Woodlar, the Loddon River, formed? Why does Yern, the moon, light up the night sky? Bunjil, the all-powerful, knows the answers. BurWhela’s words and images bring to life the stories of her Ngurar Gurrk, her Ancestors from Djandak, the Country of the Loddon River of Central Victoria.
‘These are stories that have influenced and taught me, in turn, I have taught them to my grandchildren. Writing this book is a way to honour my mother and our ancestors, the females, and matriarchs,’ said BurWela.
My mother would be extremely proud to have these stories told. She lived in extremely challenging times. She had 14 children, and she worked to help sustain us. She was always sharing culture through storytelling, going to the grandkid's schools whenever possible.
‘Our storytelling teaches how to live in harmony and care for and preserve the land and all living on it. It is lore for living.’
Mooie's Stories will launch on Wednesday, 17 May, from 4.30 pm- 6 pm at The Buda Garden Room, 42 Hunter Street Castlemaine. RSVP
You can purchase Mooie's Stories online at the AIATSIS shop.
Aboriginal Studies Press is the publishing arm of AIATSIS.
250mm x 230mm
Released May 2023