An Indigenous knowledge representation of the Gupapuyŋu clan

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    This thesis traces the journey I took from first hearing the sound of the yiḏaki (didgeridoo) in Turkey, to my collaborative work with a group of Gupapuyŋu families developing a website to represent some aspects of their traditional knowledge and practice. The Gupapuyŋu are a group of Northeast Arnhem Land Australian Aboriginal (Yolŋu) people.

    Through my studies at Charles Darwin University, I met the Yolŋu lecturer, Waymamba Gaykamaŋu, a Gupapuyŋu elder, and later her family at the Garma Festival. I was invited to travel to Miliŋinbi, the home of many senior Gupapuyŋu Yolŋu. The Gupapuyŋu elders were concerned about the intergenerational succession of their traditional knowledge (TK) and we decided to work together to make a website.

    After tracing my journey to Miliŋinbi in Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 I review two areas of research which came to inform my approach to the task: the anthropological literature on Yolŋu (and Gupapuyŋu) life and culture, and the uses of digital technology for knowledge work.

    Chapter 3 details the process of our work together, particularly the negotiations which had to be undertaken and the decision making processes.

    Chapter 4 gives details of the website and how the different website sections were negotiated as to structure and content, and how it finally came together.

    In Chapter 5, I reflect upon what I learnt about the Gupapuyŋu people and their significant others, as well as the provisional and performative nature of Gupapuyŋu knowledge. At the same time, my Gupapuyŋu family was learning with me, about the problems and the possibilities of digital technology in their ongoing knowledge work.

    In conclusion I reflect upon what we have learnt together, the future, and my ongoing commitment to the project.

    Note: Thesis contains culturally or commercially sensitive content that requires indefinite restricted access. See Library Services staff. SC T 2011 HAYA; SC 305. 89915 HAYA
    Date of AwardFeb 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMichael Christie (Supervisor), John Greatorex (Supervisor) & Yingiya Guyula (Supervisor)

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