Review Blog

Nov 04 2011

The creation of Trowenna : a story from the Neunone people of Bruny Island by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community with Liz Thompson

cover image

Sharing our stories (series). Pearson Australia. 2011 ISBN 978 1 4425 4689 9.
(Ages 8+), Recommended. Aboriginal folklore. The creation of Trowenna shows how Tasmania and all of its flora and fauna came to be, and confirms the ongoing resilience and tenacity of the Aboriginal people who live there, particularly the Neunone people of Bruny Island.
The story tells is of Punywin, the sun, and his wife, Venna, the moon and their part in the development of Tasmania. It is a wonderful story, full of similarities to other Creation stories, and yet very different. That is has survived is a wonder for us all.
The first few pages of this book tell us of the attempts by the European settlers to obliterate any Aboriginal people living in Tasmania. It also tells us how and why these attempts failed. This particular story was found in the journals of the infamous Protection officer, George Robinson, and is retold by Leigh Maynard. The story is illustrated by the children of Bruny Island, and the last few pages, gives us potted biographies of some of the people involved in the project. The whole is finished off with a brief but adequate index, and on the bottom each page, difficult or unusual words are defined.
A stunning addition to the library of books about Aboriginal stories and cultures which are now available for schools, this is one of a set of 14, published by Pearson, called Sharing our stories, outlined on the back cover of each volume. More about this series can be found at; this website.
Fran Knight

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