Friday, January 31, 2014

Sharing Australian Aboriginal Culture

Australian Aboriginal culture has existed continuously for more than 40 000 years. They have developed sophisticated social organisations, complex legal systems and a numerous practices and ceremonies based around their Dreamtime beliefs. There is no way we could ever hope to capture all their knowledge of animal behaviour, or of the seasons and bush tucker that each one brings. For that matter we will never know the full extent of the geographical, ecological or land management skills that these communities possess but at least some of them are documenting different aspects of their culture for future generations. Here are a number of apps that introduce students to both their oral story telling tradition and their traditional languages. Enjoy!

Ngurrara - Australian Aboriginal Storybook: FREE
Ngurrara follows the journeys of three young Australian Aboriginal Ngarluma men as they fish, hunt and carve their own stories. It is set on Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) As the landscape, the people and culture change over millennia, one thing remains the same, the Ngarluma people 'were always here.'

Warlu Song - Australian Aboriginal Storybook: $2.99 AU
A spirit man journeys with a terrifying serpent, ripping up trees with an angry wind, smashing the land with floods and changing the country forever. Continuing the Aboriginal oral tradition, this story was dreamt by a songsmith and is here sung in Yindjibarndi and spoken in English.

Yagambeh - Australian Aboriginal Storybook: FREE
Yugambeh Aboriginal language from the Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim regions in Queensland, at your fingertips for educators, visitors and community. Includes audio, dictionary and pictionary files. Developed by the Yugambeh Museum to re-invigorate use of their traditional language.

One Road: Canning Stock Route: $1.99 AU
One Road: Canning Stock Route Project app takes users on a journey through the remote deserts of Western Australia. Part rich cultural resource, part travel guide, One Road is an interactive map spanning the 2000km Canning Stock Route, which was surveyed between 1906 and 1910 to transport cattle.

Healesville High S-Dreamtime: FREE
Under the guidance of Aunty Joy Murphy, a Wurundjeri elder, nineteen years 7, 8 and 9 students from Healesville High School undertook an intensive two days of Dreamtime story telling, culminating in four dreamtime stories told through striking artwork and narrated in the students' own voices.

Ringbalin - River Stories: $6.49
In 2010 the Ringbalin, a group of Indigenous tribes reignited an ancient ceremony, a Ringbalin, travelling 2300km, dancing to save Australia’s Murray Darling Rivers from a crippling drought. By the time they had finished rain had started falling. What followed were the biggest floods in Australian records.

Indigenious Australian: AGNSW: FREE
Indigenous Australian: Art Gallery of NSW lets you explore a selection of artists and artworks from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection. Discover stories of the artists and the art, get simple explanations of art terms, and go behind the scenes with interviews and videos.

NT Languages - Anindilyakwa: FREE
A flash card language app developed by the Northern Territory Library comprising everyday words and phrases in Anindilyakwa and English. This app is a bilingual literacy tool for people in Anindilyakwa communities, as well as English-speaking workers and visitors to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Australian Aboriginal Torres Strait Islanders: $4.49
Information on the Australian Aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islanders. Past and present, the corroborees, Indigenous art, the land with places like Uluru also known as Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon. The Torres Strait Islanders history including the cultured pearling industry and fishing for Dugong.

Yan - Aboriginal Text Editor:
Creation of Australian indigenous language text on iPads. The app contains the special characters used by most of the common Australian Aboriginal languages, such as 'Ŋ' for example. Unforunately this app is not currently available in the Australian iTunes Store.

Sharing the Dreaming: FREE
Sharing the Dreaming is a window into Aboriginal culture: the culture of the Nyoongar, the traditional custodians of Australia’s South-West. Listen to Dreamtime stories, illustrated by images of paintings in the local style. Hear and learn Nyoongar words and their English language translations.

The West Macs: FREE
Welcome to the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges, a world class National Park and home to the Western Arrarnta people of Central Australia. Listen and watch our stories of scenic beauty and history from this ancient landscape and a culture that has existed for many thousands of years.

Ma Iwaida: FREE
The Ma! Iwaidja app is an initiative of the Minjilang Endangered Languages Publication project. Anyone interacting with the language in any way, including Iwaidja speakers becomes an instant documentary linguist. Adding a new word with transcription is as simple as adding a new contact to your Contacts list.

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