Tjanima’s story

A parable of redemption through family
by
January–February 2021, no. 428
Buy this book
Kim Mahood reviews 'Tjanimaku Tjukurpa: How one young man came good' by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council

Tjanimaku Tjukurpa: How one young man came good

by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council

NPY Women’s Council, $25 pb, 76 pp

Buy this book

Tjanima’s story

A parable of redemption through family
by
January–February 2021, no. 428

At first glance, the slender paperback, with its cover drawing of dark-skinned men and boys, looks like a conventional illustrated children’s book. A few pages in, it’s clear that Tjanimaku Tjukurpa is something else. The version I have is in Pitjantjatjara and English. There is also an edition in Ngaanyatjarra and English. To anyone familiar with remote Aboriginal communities, the illustrations vibrate with authenticity – the landscape, the buildings, the cars, the appearance and demeanour of the people. This is a story embedded in the reality of community life. Told through the eyes of a concerned grandfather, it is a narrative played out in various iterations across the Indigenous world. A baby boy is born to parents who are without work, resources, or money. As they resort to bringing grog and drugs into the community, and spend their time drinking and gambling, the child Tjanima feels neglected and abandoned: ‘Before long he was hanging around with kids who were older than him. He saw them smashing windows and getting up to all sorts of trouble. He saw all kinds of things.’

Kim Mahood reviews 'Tjanimaku Tjukurpa: How one young man came good' by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council

Tjanimaku Tjukurpa: How one young man came good

by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council

NPY Women’s Council, $25 pb, 76 pp

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