Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

by

Doris Pilkington

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence can help.

Half-caste/Muda-muda Term Analysis

“Half-caste” is the English term for people of mixed racial descent with one white parent and one Aboriginal parent. “Muda-muda” is the Mardu equivalent of this term.

Half-caste/Muda-muda Quotes in Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

The Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence quotes below are all either spoken by Half-caste/Muda-muda or refer to Half-caste/Muda-muda. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Queensland Press edition of Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence published in 2013.
Chapter 5 Quotes

Molly grew into a pretty little girl. Her mother was very proud of her and her father brought her gifts of clothing and pretty colored ribbons. […] As she grew older, Molly often wished that she didn’t have light skin so that she didn’t have to play by herself. Most of the time she would sit alone, playing in the red dusty flats or in the riverbed depending where her family had set up camp. The dust-covered child stood out amongst her darker playmates. The Mardu children insulted her and said hurtful things about her. Some told her that because she was neither Mardu or wudgebulla she was like a mongrel dog. One morning, her mother told her some exciting news. Two of her aunties had babies, little girls, and they were both muda-mudas like her. Molly was very happy. Now she had two sisters.

Related Characters: Doris Pilkington (speaker), Molly, Gracie, Daisy, Maude
Page Number: 38-39
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“It’s a pity that those youngsters have gone ‘native,’ but it cannot be helped. They were attractive children, and ought to have been brought in years ago. This emphasizes the necessity for Police Officers to report the presence of half-caste children in the bush. I know this is done now, but it seems to have been neglected in some districts in the past.”

Related Characters: Molly, Gracie, Daisy, Constable M.J. Riggs
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence LitChart as a printable PDF.
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence PDF

Half-caste/Muda-muda Term Timeline in Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

The timeline below shows where the term Half-caste/Muda-muda appears in Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: From the Deserts They Came
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Loss, Dispossession, and Reclamation Theme Icon
Family, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
...to discover it is just a man who is “neither black nor white”—he is a muda-muda, or a half-caste, born to a white man and an Aboriginal mother. The half-caste man... (full context)
Chapter 5: Jigalong, 1907-1931
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Family, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
...introduces her to Mr. Keeling, the Superintendent, who writes in his diary that the first half-caste child has just been born at Jigalong station. (full context)
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Family, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Altruism vs. Cruelty Theme Icon
...her mother tells her that two of her aunties have had baby girls who are muda-muda, like her, and that they will be coming to live at Jigalong. Molly anxiously looks... (full context)
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Altruism vs. Cruelty Theme Icon
...informing them of the girls’ presence and of the fact that “the blacks consider the [half-castes]” inferior. Keeling writes that he believes the girls would be better off if they were... (full context)
Racism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Loss, Dispossession, and Reclamation Theme Icon
Family, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Altruism vs. Cruelty Theme Icon
Half-caste children are being born all over Australia, and the government—believing that part-aboriginal children will be... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Escape
Loss, Dispossession, and Reclamation Theme Icon
Family, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
...a local station, Gracie decides to depart from the group. She is exhausted, and a muda-muda woman at the station has told her that her mother is now living in Wiluna.... (full context)