# 34589

[BARRY, Sir Redmond]

Intercolonial Exhibition, 1866. Vocabulary of dialects spoken by Aboriginal natives of Australia.

$1,650.00 AUD

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Melbourne : Masterman, Printer, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 1867. Only edition in English. Octavo, original printed green wrappers (some chipping to the edges, pale water stain and foxing to fore edge), sewn, pp xiv, [2], 6 large format tables of vocabulary (each folding to 460 x 580 mm, in fine condition), an excellent copy. Ferguson notes only the French edition (9528a). Issued in a variety of coloured printed wrappers, including green, blue, yellow and pink.

‘Issued by President of the exposition (Sir Redmond Barry); Includes circular letter & Sir John Herschels suggestions for orthography; Charts list comparative vocabularies (c. 700 items) for Wannikin (Mt Rouse tribe), Mt Talbot tribe, upper Murray tribe, lower Murray tribe, Swan Hill tribe, Wannon (Yarlook tribe), lower Goulburn tribe, Lake Tyer tribe, Maryborough tribe, Bewa (Lake Kindmarah [Hindmarsh], Maal (Sth Aust.), Adelaide tribe, Tasmania – Mt Royal and Brune Island.’ – Summary on Trove

This very rare publication provides an overview and extensive glossaries of fourteen languages of Aboriginal tribes from Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as a New Caledonian word list with French equivalents. It was the fruit of an innovative language project for its time: a list of 700 English terms was circulated amongst missionaries working with various tribal groups, so that a comparative vocabulary with a wide geographical spread could be prepared. The pamphlet did not meet the deadline for publication for the Exhibition, and was not in fact published until May, 1867 (Cowley, Des. Redeeming an obligation : Aboriginal culture at the 1866 Exhibition, in La Trobe Journal, No 73, Autumn 2004). Its existence appears to have been virtually unacknowledged until a large cache of defective copies was discovered in the State Library of Victoria’s basement in the 1990s.