As told by Big Bill Neidjie, Bluey Ilkgirr, Jacob Nayinggul, Jim Wauchope, Johnny Williams Snr., Ron Cooper, Thompson Yuludjiri, and others.
Clever Man: The Life of Paddy Compass Namadbara offers a unique perspective on the life and making of this Aboriginal Western Arnhem clever man or marrkidjbu.
Born at the end of the 19th Century when the Western world had scarcely touched Arnhem Land, Paddy Compass Namadbara acted as a healer for his countrymen and became a powerful and revered leader. Using his clever abilities and wisdom to nurture his community, he enabled the community to deal with the cultural and social changes of the encroaching Western world. He achieved the reputation of being one of the most powerful and clever of traditional marrkidjbu described as 'a proper number one champion!'
Based on stories told by the people he helped, some profoundly and in extraordinary ways. This unique biography looks at his life through the eyes of his Western Arnhem countrymen who witnessed his extraordinary abilities. Ian White, researcher and compiler for Clever Man: The Life of Paddy Compass Namadbara, encourages readers to give greater consideration to the reality of the extraordinary abilities of clever people such as Paddy Compass.
paperback, colour illustrations
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