Riding the Black Cockatoo

Riding the Black Cockatoo

by John Danalis
     
 

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All through his growing-up years, John Danalis's family had an Aboriginal skull on the mantelpiece; yet only as an adult after enrolling in an Indigenous Writing course did he ask his family where it came from and whether it should be restored to its rightful owners. This is the compelling story of how the skull of an Aboriginal man, found on the banks of the… See more details below

Overview


All through his growing-up years, John Danalis's family had an Aboriginal skull on the mantelpiece; yet only as an adult after enrolling in an Indigenous Writing course did he ask his family where it came from and whether it should be restored to its rightful owners. This is the compelling story of how the skull of an Aboriginal man, found on the banks of the Murray River more than 40 years ago, came to be returned to his Wamba Wamba descendants. It is a story of awakening, atonement, forgiveness, and friendship. "It is as if a whole window into Indigenous culture has blown open, not just the window, but every door in the house," says John Danalis. Part history, part detective story, part cultural discovery and emotional journey, this is a book for young and old, showing the transformative and healing power of true reconciliation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The story is an important one and surely will find widespread classroom use."  —

Booklist

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—While taking a course in Indigenous Writing, 40-year-old Danalis realized that the Aboriginal skull that sat on his family's mantle for years was morally wrong. He takes a hard look at the stereotypes and racism of his childhood and Australia as a whole and his own misconceptions of Native Australian culture and traditions. What follows is his account of first figuring out how and where to return it, and then the bureaucracy involved, the government's horrifying lack of respect for these people, and the appreciation and ceremony on the part of the Native people when it was returned. This memoir strikes the perfect balance between being informative and giving extraordinary insight into Aboriginal culture. The journey to take "Mary" home is long and winding, but it's an eye-opening ride for both writer and reader.—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781741753776
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Pages:
276
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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