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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bob Bolton Lyr Add: The original Waltzing Matilda (26) RE: Lyr Add: The original Waltzing Matilda 11 Jul 11

G'day Fergus,

Since the (tranlated) lyrics speak of the Murrumbidgee, the Aboriginal language source ought to be a northerly dialect of the Wiradhuri ... a people of "southern New South Wales and northern Victoria" (basically our "Riverina" region, both sides of the Murray River).

Although the Wiradhuri language is considered "now extinct" by the compilers of my Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary, there are a number of those who identify with their Wiradhuri heritage ... and John Warner had consultation with them at the time he created his song cycle Yarri of the Waradhuri, dealing with the devastating floods that inundated the early township of Gundagai in the 1840s?. This tells of the courageous efforts of several of the Wiradhuri ... typified by Yarri ... in selflessly rescuing the whites who had foolishly ignored their warnings of the danger of settling and building too close to the volatile river system!

I don't know, offhand, if there is any accessible systematic collection of Wiradhuri language and vocabulary from the mid 1800s.


Bob Bolton

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