Along the Waterways is book two of the Dreamtime Mysteries trilogy. Anthropology student, Rex Graham, is presented with a second set of ancestral paintings encoded with clues about the forgotten legends that formed the Dreamtime legends of his people. Rex revisits a sacred tree in his native territory: the resting place of his deceased grandmother, where the atmosphere of the bush has a hypnotic effect on his mind. After falling asleep, the bush springs to life and ‘Gran Yan’ shares more history with the Australian bush about a bygone era of indigenous peoples: their journeys, adventures, social gatherings and way of life.
The Booran people, territorial owners of the region, returned to their homeland many generations after journeying to the desert in the wake of catastrophic wild-fires, guided by their migrating bird totem, the pelican.
Following their return to Yaraan Grove, the first-born child was named after the great eagle, Mullawaa that guided them home. The boy proved gifted beyond the people’s understanding, and his innovative projects proved unacceptable to their tradition-bound culture. Fearing the youth would anger their earth-mother and punish them with more droughts, they called upon Mullawanda to utilise inventive gifts to rediscover lost skills due to their time spent in the desert, and concentrate on practical needs such as boat-building. Defying the elders, the youthful adventurer landed himself in unexpected situations and encounters with some unique communities. Some unsolved mysteries that were raised in book one unfold, as Gran Yan shares the stories. Action, suspense, intrigue and a dabble of romance add flavour to the story, along with the unique inclusion of illustrations created by the author, together with her front and back cover paintings.
The book is divided into seven parts and includes a glossary of indigenous languages, index of characters and their tribal groups, plus a bibliography of cultural research.
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Jenni Barnett was born and raised in South Australia. During her college education at Glenelg, the author developed an interest in archaeology and indigenous societies. Further to an extensive nursing career, Jennifer embarked on studies in traditional medicine with which she is still involved.
As a registered Traditional Western and Chinese Medicine practitioner, the author has done considerable research into early indigenous cultures. While enjoying creative writing and drawing, she decided to combine the two art forms and incorporate them in a traditional, pre-European setting.
During her youth, Jenni spent considerable time working in remote regions of Central Australia, where she learned about many aspects of Aboriginal culture. She developed a respect for certain Aboriginal people of the time, whom were still practising certain traditional ways of living, including bush foods and medicines as well as arts and crafts. The author is particularly fascinated by the ability of Australian indigenous bush-men to access a higher sense, or instinct. Their survival skills in remote regions of Australia where early pioneers often perished are emphasized in her writing.
As a semi-retired traditional medicine practitioner, Jenni resides with her husband in Queensland Coastal region, dividing her time between writing, sketching and her health practice. Along with her husband she has spent countless hours establishing a bird friendly environment by cultivating native plants and an eco-friendly environment.