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The Last of the Nomads

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Last of the Nomads is the deeply moving story of Warri and Yatungka, the last of the Mandjildjara people to remain in the Gibson desert, the traditional home of the tribe. Forbidden to marry by tribal law, the couple fled into the desert, refusing to leave with the rest of their people when they moved closer to white settlements. After years of fierce drought the ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published December 1st 1983 by Fremantle Arts Centre Press (first published January 1st 1983)
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Many years ago, Warri and Yatungka defied the laws of their tribe which said they could not marry, and disappeared together, preferring to leave the security of the Mandildjara tribe and all they had known so they could be together. They roamed the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, bringing up their children and surviving in the traditional way while their children grew to adulthood.

As the years passed, the varying tribes started to leave their way of life, and began learning the white man’s w
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
How must you live your life?

For a thousand years this nomadic tribe in an Australian desert had lived day in and day out just doing these: finding food and water, finding their mate, raising their children with all of them naked and communicating only via the basic rudiments of language. Ultimately, however, civilisation caught up with them so they begin wearing clothes and becoming alcoholics and this is the story of the last of them—a couple—who tried to continue the old ways of their ancestor
Meg Dunley
Jan 16, 2012 Meg Dunley rated it it was amazing
A friend of mine lent me this truly remarkable book not long after we came back from travelling through the outback of Australia, on the dusty dirt roads, as she knew that I had been really struck by the different ways that people in our land are living: the conditions are so vastly different to what people in the city are living in, and over here in the East of Australia, we live in a "blissfully unaware" state of this. All of our encounters with the indigenous people who we met were incredibly ...more
Truly a remarkable book, from many points of view. It is the story of what was probably the very last pair of Australian Aborigines to leave the desert environment in which they had been born and to which they had become so conditioned and accustomed, that only severe illness could cause them to leave it. In fact, there may have been some other full-blood Aborigines who continued to hunt and gather in the old ways even later than 1976, but for various reasons described in the book, this pair was ...more
Picked up during my recent trip to Australia, this book is about a 1980s rescue mission that happened. Warri and Yatungka of the Mandildjara tribe, for reasons of marrying outside of moiety group, were still living in the western deserts of Australia long after all the other Aboriginals had abandoned their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Elders of their tribe asked for a rescue mission to be held after a drought turned the desert from inhospitable to most to inhospitable to even ...more
Rodrigo d'Orey
Aug 18, 2013 Rodrigo d'Orey rated it it was amazing
A fascinating, moving love story of a remarkable Aboriginal couple who, due to having broken a certain tribal law regarding a (clever) system of marriage and to their deep love for their ancestral land, decided to run away from their tribe to pursue the traditional nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life in the remote central deserts of Western Australia. They lived alone for years in the one of the most inhospitable place on the earth, the Gibson desert. Then, one day, after the worst drought in ...more
Jan Hawkins
Apr 25, 2013 Jan Hawkins rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable tale and adventure. It is sad to see the passing of such an old world but sadder is the loss of knowledge and culture. Written with sensativity I very much enjoyed this journey with the author and would happily recommend this book.
Matt Kowaluk
Feb 13, 2012 Matt Kowaluk rated it really liked it
A very readable and fascinating book. Peasley's presentation of Warri and Yatungka's story (informative and often very moving) did great justice to the extraordinary events of their lives, he also deals well with the many sensitive issues that the book brings up.
Elizabeth Baker
Dec 03, 2016 Elizabeth Baker rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It describes the search for the last two members of a tribe of Aborigine nomads that have remained in the nomadic life in Australia. The time is during a great drought and their tribe members who have moved to towns are extremely concerned about their welfare. It is a beautiful love story as well as a book about a rescue mission. The wonderful descriptions of the Australian landscape and the finds along the way of the search party are beautiful. There are also historic ...more
A fascinating, readable book, and ultimately very sad.
The story of Warri and Yatungka, the last of the Mandjildjara people to remain in the Gibson desert, and the rescue mission to find them after very bad drought conditions.
Thought of as the last of the Aborigines living the traditional nomad lifestyle without having had contact with the white man, or the Aboriginal settlements which have replaced their previous way of life.
Delryne Sharrett
Jan 26, 2016 Delryne Sharrett rated it really liked it
This book is a touching story about the last Aboriginal nomads who were brought in from the Gibson desert in 1978. Peasley handles the subject sympathetically and struggles with the decision to disturb the lives of Warri and Yatungka. A fascinating read that gives a solid insight into the nomadic lifestyle led by the indigenous people of the desert near Wiluna WA.
Sep 02, 2012 Kiara rated it liked it
I liked it but it wasn't what I expected. I think I was expecting to learn more about the Aboriginal ways. But I did enjoy the book.
Jun 21, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing
A great book, very touching at times, it was fascinating to read about the indigenous people of Australia as they once were.
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