Cooee Mittigar, meaning Come Here Friend, is an invitation to yana (walk), on Darug Country. In this stunning picture book, Darug creators Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson tell a story on Darug Songlines, introducing children and adults-alike to Darug Nura (Country) and language.
Greeted by Mulgo, the black swan, readers are welcomed to Nura. Journeying through the seasons, Mulgo describes the land, skyscape, birds, animals and totems. It is a gentle guide to how Darug people read the seasons, knowing when it is time to hunt and time to rest. It is also an appeal to remember, offering new ways of seeing and reading the lands of the surrounding Sydney region.
With Darug language interspersed with English and an extensive glossary throughout, Cooee Mittigar presents an important tool for learning, told as a tender story with exquisite illustrations. It is Jasmine and Leanne’s wish that with this book, everyone will know that the Darug mob are still here and still strong.
Cooee mittigar. Tread softly on our lands.
Know that this dreaming was here. Is still here.
Will be forever.
Jasmine Seymour is a Darug woman and descendant of Maria Lock, who was the daughter of Yarramundi, the Boorooberongal elder who had met Governor Phillip on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in 1791. Maria was the first Aboriginal woman to be educated by the Blacktown Native Institute. She was married to carpenter and convict, Robert Lock and their union resulted in thousands of descendants who can all trace their Darug heritage back past Yarramundi.
It is Jasmine’s wish that through her books, everyone will know that the Darug mob are still here, still strong. Jasmine is a primary school teacher in the Hawkesbury area of NSW.
Leanne Mulgo Watson is a Darug artist-educator and is the daughter of Aunty Edna Watson. She has been a director of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation for many years. Cooee Mittigar is her first book. She says “I had always wanted to create books to share our knowledge, as education is the key to our culture staying strong”.
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