The Stone Axe of Burkamukk is a collection of Aboriginal legends from the Gippsland region of Victoria.
Mary Grant Bruce regarded this as her most serious book. It is the product of a great deal of research, undertaken with no government assistance. It’s Mary’s main attempt to interest boys and girls in the thoughts of the first Australian people. Alfred Howitt, the early Australian anthropologist, may well have influenced her to write it. His daughter Annie married one of Mary’s cousins. The book’s introduction gives her reasons for writing it:
We are apt to look on the blacks as utter barbarians but, as we read their own legends, we see that they were boys and girls, men and women, not so unlike us in many ways, and that they could admire what we admire in each other.
That Mary Grant Bruce gave over a year of her own life to such a project, which helped preserve a significant group of Aboriginal stories for us all to enjoy and which could easily have been lost forever, is an extraordinary and highly commendable achievement.
The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights to this story.
First Published in: 1922
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London, Melbourne and Toronto