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Australian Legendary Tales

Folklore of the Noongahburrahs as told to the Piccaninnies Von:
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Australian Legendary Tales

atherine (Katie) Langloh Parker (1 May 1856 - 27 March 1940) was a writer who lived in Northern New South Wales in the late nineteenth century.[1]

She is best known for recording the stories of the Aboriginal people around her. As their culture was in decline, because of pressure by European settlers, her testimony is one of the best accounts we have of the beliefs and stories of the Aboriginal people of North-West New South Wales at that time. However, her accounts reflect European prejudices of the time, and so to modern ears her accounts contain a number of misconceptions and racist comments. Their value is illustrated by her recording of an account of Baiamedating from around 1830, which is the earliest known reference to Baiame, casting doubt on the assertion that it was a construct of European missionaries.

She was born Catherine Eliza Somerville Field on board the ‘Luilyl’, in Encounter Bay, in South Australia, daughter of Henry Field, pastoralist, and his wife Sophia, daughter of Rev. Ridgway Newland. She grew up on her father's property at Marra Station in NorthernNew South Wales. In 1875, at the age of 18, she married her first husband, Langloh Parker, and moved to his property, Bangate Station, near Angledool, New South Wales where she collected most of the Yularoi, or Euahlayi, stories which were to make her famous. After Langloh died in Sydney in 1903, she met and married Percival Randolph Stow, the son of Randolph Stow, in London, and lived with him in Adelaide until her death in 1940.


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