Saturday, 29 June 2013

kangaroo dogs on Flinders Island

While Penny was lounging around at home yesterday, I was in central Melbourne at The Ian Potter Centre (National Gallery Victoria) wandering around a display of indigenous art.

I've written on my other blog about this visit, but the dog-related aspect that struck me was in a video by Julie Gough, an indigenous artist who works in many different mediums. I stood entranced through two viewings of her film of people walking on Flinders Island. (If you'd like to see some of my photos of her exhibition, taken with my phone, visit my other blog.)

Superimposed on the footage were lists of words added to the local indigenous language when Europeans arrived. One of them was legunthawaa:

 followed by its meaning, kangaroo dog.

I wondered what sort of dog accompanied the newcomers, that the local people specifically called it a 'kangaroo dog'. Presumably they watched the Europeans working with the new dog to kill kangaroos.

I presume the  dog, observed in the early nineteenth century, would not have been what we call a 'kangaroo dog' these days, as this type of dog was not established at that time.

When I was searching for Julie Gough's work on the internet, I noticed a word coined for a spaniel - kaetta.

(I've written previously about the impact dogs had on the early settlement of Tasmania.)


proud womon said...

sounds fascinating parlance... i must get along to the ian potter centre...

parlance said...

proud women, a still photo can't do justice to this enlightening artwork. I hope you do go and see it.

Sue said...

They look very similar to Scottish Deerhounds. It would be interesting to know their ancestry.

parlance said...

Sue, as far as I know, they are closely related to Scottish Deerhounds.