Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cockatoo


This fascinating book is the story of Roy McIvor, a noted artist of the aboriginal people of Australia. Told in his own words, Cockatoo recounts the unexplained removal of his Guugu Yimithirr people from their homeland during World War II,  the years of exile during which almost a third of their number perished,  and their eventual return to rebuild their community.
The book is richly illustrated with Roy McIvor's paintings and is full of stories of everyday life as well as the legends and lore of his people.
 Reader Wil  in the Netherlands sent me this book, saying that she thought I'd like it because of my interest in indigenous peoples.  Indeed, I'm reminded of the shameful treatment of the Native Americans -- especially the Removal of the Cherokees and the Trail of Tears.  

(Reader Wil's daughter, who lives in Australia, was instrumental in the making of this book.  It was she who interviewed Mr. McIvor (the uncle of her ex-husband) and wrote down his stories with such loving care.)

As Martin H. commented yesterday, "This is really what blogging should always aim to do...lead us by the hand into a different world. Wonderful!"

Wonderful, indeed! Thank you, Reader Wil, for leading me into Roy McIvor's world!
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16 comments:

Marilyn said...

Thank you for this post about Cockatoo, I loved seeing pages of text from the book plus the art work. I first read about this book on Reader Wil's blog and I googled it then, it is definitely a book I would love to read, even own.

Martin H. said...

Vicki, we are enjoying a 'purple patch' just now. It's so uplifting. Thanks for posting this, it's now on my shopping list.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you so much Vicky. You have written this so perfectly. No one could have done it better! And the photos are great! There is one thing: Roy is the uncle of Karien's ex-husband, though in the Aboriginal culture all relatives of the same age of one's grandparents, are called granddads and grandmas. So he is almost her father-in-law.
Thanks once again! I shall send this to Karien.

Elora said...

Thanks so much, Vicki! It is so sad to recount the vast destruction of native cultures all across the globe! Shameful beyond words. Having lived in Australia, we saw firsthand the neglect and despair suffered by the aboriginal people there back in the early
1970's. It is to be hoped that by now appreciating the aboriginal culture there has eclipsed the vile disregard (and desecration) of it in years past.
Elora

Brian Miller said...

oh this is fascinating....like a wonderful book...

Mama-Bug said...

What a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing this with us Vicki.

Pat in east TN said...

I have learned of so many wonderful things through reading various blogs. Cockatoo is one of those I never would have found on my own. Sounds interesting. Many thanks.

Vagabonde said...

Reading through all your posts again – they deserve more than a small comment from me, but I am so far behind that my comment now would take too much room. Looking at all your glorious pictures of the view from your farm – it I lived there I may not travel far away as I do. I liked your post about taking a child to a bookstore. When I was growing up if I was the first of the class my mother would give me 3 books, if I ranked between 2 and 5 it was 1 book and after that nothing. I had a great collection. I do not “can” but I make jams. This week-end I am going to make cranberry jam, why not. I like cranberry sauce, so I’ll improvise and add some Grand Marnier.

I love, love, that first picture in your 1st December post, gray day – something about that bare tree, the barn up the hill – I could look at it all the time and would not tire of it. The Cockatoo book looks interesting – I read about the native Australians while I was researching for my post on my visit to the kangaroo farm in N Georgia – it is a tragic story.

Miss_Yves said...

Stunning art work!
A very intesting book, indeed. I'm not surprised to learn that Reader Will sent it to you :, I know her interest for this subjet.

Miss_Yves said...

Thank you very much for your lovely translation !

Friko said...

Martin is right, without each other our lives would be much the poorer and a lot less colourful.

thank you for keeping the stories rolling.

Vicki Lane said...

I've always loved the art of these folks -- what a treat it is to get to 'know' Mr. McIvor this way!

Oops, Wil, sorry! I fixed it in the post now.

Vagabonde -- cranberry jam sounds like a good idea. I had some lingonberry jam once and it reminded me of cranberries.

Miss_Yves said...

The palm trees are common near the coast, at Cherbourg.
Yes, it's funny to see that kind of trees covered with snow!

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

The art work was so intriguing! I will be looking for this book. Thanks Vicki.

BB said...

I'm behind on my blog reading, so just now getting to check out your latest post. This looks really interesting. I didn't realize that Australia did to their aboriginal people the same thing that we did to the Cherokee. Love what Wil shared about all the older relatives being called Grandmas and Grandpas. :)

Vicki Lane said...

Alas, BB, the treatment of Aboriginal/indigenous/native people by colonists/invaders all over the world is shameful.