New ways for old ceremonies

New ways for old ceremonies: an archival research project (IN150100013)

Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Project

Dr Payi Linda Ford

ford-ceremonyDr Payi Linda Ford is Aboriginal and identifies as Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu, from Kurrindju, on the Finniss River, in the Northern Territory and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Northern Institute at CDU, with whom she has a long association. Her knowledge, expertise and research in working with Indigenous groups is clearly invaluable to the Northern Institute. 

Dr Ford speaks a number of the Wagait and Daly River languages and is involved in ceremonial life of her people that places her in a position of high status in the region. Dr Ford brings an outstanding track record in Indigenous knowledge systems.  She has published in Indigenous knowledge and has established strong connections with seven remote communities in the Wagait and Daly River regions in the Northern Territory.  The strength of these connections is evident by the ongoing support of the research projects in which she works in partnership with them.

 

Aim

This research aims to develop and implement suitable Indigenous frameworks for the preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the recordings of ceremonial performances in the Wagait-Daly region of the Northern Territory of Australia. The focus is a body of recordings, made by early anthropologists and missionaries, of final mortuary ceremony performances. The ceremonial performance is a key process for integrating Indigenous knowledge from many different domains, a socially powerful site of exchange, transmission and transformation of relationship to country, kin and identity. The aim is to extend the power of ceremony in order to benefit Indigenous people's identity and Australia's shared history in the future.

Impact

The research will make a significant contribution to Indigenous knowledge and culture, as well as to Australian society. It will impact on public Indigenous policy, particularly in the environment, health and education sectors. The overall aim of the project is to improve the lifestyle of Indigenous Australians – particularly the mental and spiritual wellbeing of men and women, and youth and families in remote and regional areas of the Northern Territory.

 

Activities

linda-workshopSeminars & Workshops

New ways for old ceremonies: keeping country and kin alive in the digital age
Ceremonial performance is a key process for integrating Indigenous knowledge from many different domains, and a socially powerful site of exchange, transmission and transformation of relationship to country and kin. This research aims to extend the power of this ceremony from the present recordings, and to retrace the first written documented records of anthropologists and Jesuit missionaries from 1891 – 1899 and onward.