More than a guulany (tree): Aboriginal knowledge systems

An Indigenous-led study of the significance of trees in southeast Australian Aboriginal cultures.

Investigators

Funded by

  • ARC Special Research Initiative
Image: Brian Martin, Methexical Countryscape - Kamilaroi 10 (detail), 2017

The research will focus on understanding the traditional practices of carving and scarring trees, as well as contemporary celebrations of living trees in southeast Australian Aboriginal Cultures. We hope this will create better recognition of the complexities of southeast Australian Aboriginal cultures, improved access for Aboriginal communities to cultural materials in institutional collections and new insights and resources for arts, heritage and museum professionals to engage appropriately with Indigenous cultural heritage. The funding also supports an Indigenous PhD candidate to build their research capacity, practice and career.

Brian Martin

The project expects to identify new evidence of this significance and generate new methods in art-making and exhibition development to improve the awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultural heritage.

This should provide significant benefits such as better recognition of the complexities of southeast Australian Aboriginal cultures, improved access for Aboriginal communities to cultural materials in institutional collections and new insights and resources for arts, heritage and museum professionals to engage appropriately with Indigenous cultural heritage.

Project outcomes will include a forum, a website, scholarly publications and creative practice exhibitions.