Precious documents: 1840s children’s letters and contemporary children’s book.

“My mala love to clap”.
Sometimes we need to use children’s language to remember why we use language

Australian Aboriginal Languages Student Blog

Today I came across two separate articles about written records of two different Australian languages. The documents are separated by a century and a half; with the earlier written by children from Kaurna country and the contemporary written for Warrgamay children.

What unites these two is the meaning and value that they have for their communities.

The first article celebrates the return of letters written in Kaurna to their home country from Germany, where they were sent by children in 1843. These letters are “three of just five known surviving documents” of written Kaurna from the 19th century. In addition to being important artefacts for linguistic and historic study, they provide a “tangible connection” for Kaurna people to their ancestors.

In the second, two Warrgamay sisters have collaborated on series of children’s books written in English and Warrgamay, to help children, their families, and their schools in the teaching and learning of…

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