When Angus Wallam was a child, he found corroboree a particularly exciting time. Growing up in rural Western Australia, he lived a semi-traditional life with his parents and extended family and, when he had children and grandchildren of his own, he shared his bush heritage and knowledge with them.
In Corroboree Wallam teams with Suzanne Kelly to tell the story of a young Nyungar boy preparing for a corroboree. Brought to life by the paintings of Norma MacDonald, this is a first-hand account of a corroboree and of the traditional Nyungar lifestyle, told through the eyes of a fictional boy, Wirrin, who helps his family in the various tasks preparing for the big event, as well as enjoying the spectacle with his cousins and play-mates.
While fictionalised, the story provides plenty of information and youngsters will be especially intrigued by the use of Nyungar language throughout the book, having fun trying to pronounce the words at the same time as they are learning.
This is a superb book and, with a lack of similar books about Nyungar culture available, a very important book. Corroboree is suitable for classroom use and for private reading.
Corroboree, by Suzanne Kelly & Angus Wallam, illustrated by Norma MacDonald
Cygnet Books, 2004