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Parker, Catherine (Katie) Langloh (1856 - 1940)

Born
1 May 1856
'Luilyl', Encounter Bay, South Australia, Australia
Died
27 March 1940
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Author
Alternative Names
  • Field, Catherine Eliza Somerville (maiden name)
  • Stow, Catherine (former name)

Summary

Katie Langloh Parker grew up on her father's property, Marra Station, northern New South Wales. Married at the age of 18, she led an exciting social life in Australian colonial capitals until 1875, when she moved to her husband's property, Bangate Station, near Angledool, New South Wales. There, she started collecting stories and vocabularies from the local branch of Yularoi people, which she subsequently published in several collections between 1896 and 1930. In 1905, she published her only purely ethnographic work The Euahlayi Tribe, an account of her life at Bangate. Her second marriage to Percy Randolph Stow marked the end of her outback life.

Details

It is believed that Parker's appreciation of Aboriginal culture partly had its roots in an event of her childhood, when she was saved from drowning in a river by an Aboriginal girl at the age of six.
Parker's collections of Yularoi stories, Australian Legendary Tales (1896) and More Australian Legendary Tales (1898), were re-published in 1897, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1967 and 1978, respectively. The collections were illustrated by Elizabeth Durack, Nora Heysen and Marion Hart. Parker herself made sketches of Aboriginal children, which were published in 1901. She also wrote Walkabouts of Wur-run-nah (1918) and Woggheeguy: Australian Aboriginal Legends (1930).
Although Parker's work remains problematic in terms of Aboriginal research ethics (old Yularoi people did not welcome her making public the information that was to remain confidential), her collections are an invaluable source of information on Yularoi culture.

Sources used to compile this entry: Parker, K. Langloh (Katie Langloh), My bush book : K. Langloh Parker's 1890s story of outback station life / with background and biography by Marcie Muir, Rigby, Adelaide, 1982, 183 pp.

Leonarda Kovacic

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0959b.htm

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