Literature in our Collection

Lowe, Pat und Pike, Jimmy: You call it desert - we used to live there, Magabala Books, Broome 2009, ISBN 9781921248115

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Introduction -2-

The desert landscape -6-

Waterholes -16-

Desert children’s games -30-

Birth in the desert -38-

Shelter -42-

Turtujarti -50-

Desert medicine -58-

Tools -68-

Ants -76-

Grass and fire -82-

Desert cooking -100-

Tracking -112-

When, where and how far? -122-

Dying in the desert -134-

Leaving -138-

Going back -144-

Walmajarri Words -151-

Australian English Terms -155-

Pronunciation of Walmajarri -156-

About Pat and Jimmy -156-

Cover Text

Not so long ago people were living throughout the Great Sandy Desert. They usually travelled in small family bands, meeting up with other bands from time to time for companionship, to discuss and settle matters of importance, to exchange news and to hold ceremonies. They lived by hunting and gathering, and travelled with the seasons and according to whatever food and water were available. They belonged to several different language groups who shared a similar way of life and whose members sometimes intermarried. Each clan had its own territory and waterholes, around which its members moved in the course of the year, occasionally paying visits into neighbours’ territory as relations and guests. Soon after the arrival of European settlers, or kartiya, in Australia the lives of the earlier inhabitants changed radically. The people who had lived in the regions now taken over by the newcomers were quickly displaced, while those who lived in the interior were gradually drawn towards the new settlements, attracted by the stories they heard from travelling relations and intrigued by the European goods and livestock the visitors had brought with them. In time the desert became almost empty of people and the few who remained where finally compessed to join those who had gone before them.