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Blind Moses | IAD Press | Australian Aboriginal Publisher & Book Shop

Peter Latz

Blind Moses


This is the story of Moses Tjalkabota, an Aranda man and the first Aboriginal pastor of Central Australia. It is based on Moses' autobiography, and written by Peter Latz who grew up with Moses, speaks Aranda, and provides the context to help build greater love and understanding.

Moses Tjakalbota, a proud Western Aranda man, was just a small boy when German Lutherans first entered his country in 1877.  The founding of their mission at Hermannsburg began a period of sweeping change for the Aranda.  Tjalkabota came to embrace the Christian faith, taking the name Moses, and in turn was a teacher and guide to the missionaries including Carl Strehlow.  He grew to local renown as an evangelist of deep conviction.  Tragedy dogged his life– the blindness that struck him in his thirties, the loss of all nine of his children and some of his grandchildren, and the many premature deaths of his countrymen.  Yet till the end Moses remained an inspiring presence, unshaken in his belief and sense of mission, knowing that if his people were to survive, they had to change.
As a child growing up in Hermannsburg, Peter Latz was deeply impressed by this Aranda ‘man of high degree.’  Latz draws on his lifetime of experience among the Aranda and in their country, on archives, historical literature and Moses own account of his life, to bring this remarkable story to you.