Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Archival returns: Central Australia and beyond

Publisher

University of Hawai’i Press and Sydney University Press

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts / Kurongkurl Katitjin

RAS ID

30067

Comments

Bracknell, C., & Scott, K. (2019). Ever-widening circles: Consolidating and enhancing Wirlomin Noongar archival material in the community. In L. Barwick, J. Green, & P. Vaarzon-Morel (Eds.) Archival returns: Central Australia and beyond (pp. 325–338). University of Hawai’i Press & Sydney University Press. https://sydneyuniversitypress.com.au/products/134298

Available in open access at: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc/sp-18/

Abstract

Returning archival documentation of endangered Indigenous languages to their community of origin can provide empowering opportunities for Indigenous people to control, consolidate, enhance and share their cultural heritage with ever-widening, concentric circles of people, while also allowing time and space for communities to recover from disempowerment and dislocation. This process aligns with an affirming narrative of Indigenous persistence that, despite the context of colonial dispossession, can lead to a positive, self-determined future. In 2007, senior Noongar of the Wirlomin clan in the south coast region of Western Australia initiated Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Inc., an organisation set up to facilitate cultural and linguistic revitalisation by combining community-held knowledge with documentation and recordings repatriated from the archives. Fieldnotes created in 1931 from discussions with local Aboriginal people at Albany, Western Australia have inspired the collaborative production of six illustrated bilingual books. Working with archival research material has presented challenges due to issues of orthography and legibility in written records, the poor quality of audio recordings, and the incomplete documentation of elicitation sessions. As the archive is so fragmentary, community knowledge is vital in making sense of its contents.

Access Rights

free_to_read

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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