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Ngaginybe Jarragbe: My Story

Book cover of Shirley Purdie: My Story, Ngaginybe Jarragbe

Ngaginybe Jarragbe: My Story

Author: Shirley Purdie

Illustrator: Shirley Purdie

Publisher: Magabala Books

Shirley Purdie comes from a long line of Gija artists from the remote community of Warmun in the East Kimberley. Ngaginybe Jarragbe: My Story is her story. The author/illustrator tells of her experiences growing up in Warmun: her family, her dreaming, her country. The straightforward descriptions of catching barramundi, collecting bush honey, and working on Mabel Downs Station are accompanied by the bold shapes and earthy colours of Purdie’s painted illustrations. You can almost feel the texture of the ochre.

The story is told in both English and Gija, giving young readers an appreciation of Aboriginal language. This translation provides a pathway for intergenerational sharing of kinship, social history and cultural knowledge. The book is also a tool for ‘two-way’ literacy learning, valuing Aboriginal languages and Aboriginal English alongside Standard Australian English.

This is the first book in the Magabala Books Kimberley Art Centre Series, capturing the stories and illustrations of Kimberley Aboriginal artists.

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