Arthur Dodd was born in 1900 on Dungalear Station, between Walgett and Lightning Ridge. On one of his tapes he says ‘I was born during the 90 flood.’ His father was presumably a white man, who later died at the Boer War.
Arthur was part of a large family, and presumably part of an Aboriginal community on the station. There were large numbers of Aboriginal people on Dungalear until around 1950 or later.
He presumably learnt Yuwaalaraay from his mother or other people on Dungalear. That country is sometimes regarded as Gamilaraay.
Arthur spent a large part of his life at Gingie Mission, about 6 km out of Walgett on the Barwon river. He had many children, quite a few of whom still live at Gingie and in Walgett, and others have moved away.
At Gingie Arthur seems to have spoken Ngiyambaa/Wayilwan, but retained a lot of knowledge of Yuwaalaraay. He also understood Gamilaraay.
Arthur was also taped in the 1970s by Janet Mathews in her trips to the area. She taped him speaking both Ngiyambaa and Yuwaalaraay, with about 10 tapes of the later. Arthur was also taped in the middle 70s by Corinne Williams who was preparing a Yuwaalaraay grammar. They made about 16 tapes.
As with Fred Reece, Arthur knew a lot of Yuwaalaraay. However there were some gaps in his knowledge.
His tapes add considerably to our knowledge of Yuwaalaraay, and consequently to knowledge of Gamilaraay since both languages are thought to share the same grammar. Much less information has been recorded about Gamilaraay has been recorded.
Arthur died in 1979 and is buried in the Walgett cemetery.
This brief article on Arthur Dodd was prepared from what he says on the tapes and with information from his family in Walgett.