Word of Mouth: Orality in Africa

“Word of Mouth” provides information on the significance of orality in African countries. The internet project thus aims to build bridges between societies shaped by oral traditions and the predominantly text-based global knowledge society. In addition, “Word of Mouth” presents information on German activities in the field of orality, thus […]

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Joseph Bruchac and the Lasting Power of Oral Traditions

Note: I had the pleasure of working with Joe Bruchac and his family while serving as the Education Director of the Ndakinna Education Center (a cultural arts non-profit in Upstate New York). His stories have played a notable role in my own family – my sons were raised listening to […]

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Technology and the Transmission of Oral Tradition in the Contemporary Jewish Community

This paper focuses on the impact of technology (computers, the Internet, iPods) on the transmission of oral tradition, specifically the cantillation of the Torah, in the contemporary Jewish community. The highly detailed and musically nuanced public recitation of the Torah require that the reader memorize both the pronunciation of unvocalized Hebrew text and the […]

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Preserving of Information Value in Oral Tradition of Minangkabau society, West Sumatera, Indonesia

Minangkabau society is very well known of their oral tradition named kaba babarito that expresses a message from one to others orally. Oral tradition of Minangkabau is very strong in many aspects of life, for example the tradition of maota di lapau (chatting on lapau), which is one way for […]

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Digital Archive of Ritual Poetry (DARP) prototype for preserving intangible cultural heritage

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico City, Mexico, takes advantage of technological advances for the preservation and dissemination of material heritage, and explores new avenues of preservation and representation of intangible heritage. One example is the prototype Digital Archive of Ritual Poetry (DARP) digital tool that […]

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Preservation of African Culture in the Information Age

The purpose of this paper is to appraise the importance of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in preserving African cultural heritage in the information age. It examined the nature of African culture and established that the main commonality among Africans is the oral nature of the culture. It also discussed the […]

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Fragile memories: Indigenous knowledge and development

Abstract This paper examines the nature of knowledge with particular reference to so-called “indigenous knowledge” and its treatment within development interventions. It highlights some of the theoretical arguments and different sides of the debate concerning hierarchies of knowledge with development narratives and discourse. Much indigenous knowledge is contained in oral […]

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Heritage Education for Sustainable Development: Dialogue with Indigenous Communities in Africa

As the twenty-first century gets into gear, it is clear that the defining characteristic of our era is that of climate insecurity. The United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 14th Conference of Parties in Poznań, Poland held in December 2008 ended with a stalemate in north-south talks on how […]

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The Storytelling Station: an interactive museum kiosk

This museum kiosk, designed as a prototype for the Ndakinna Education Center, provides an interactive introduction to storytelling and the Native American oral traditions of the Northeast. Participants learn about storytelling by: experiencing video interviews and recorded performances with storytellers from the Abenaki, Mohawk, and other northeastern Nations, reading and […]

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New technology maps Inuit knowledge: “A profound tool for reversing discrimination”

OTTAWA — About 25 kilometres southeast of Arctic Bay, on the northern shore of Adams Sound, there is a place called Qajuutinnguaq. It means “Hill shaped like a chisel.” You wouldn’t find it on most official maps because official maps of Nunavut contain huge swaths of unnamed land. And most […]

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Four Directions Teachings: Indigenous Knowledge from five First Nations

A few days ago, Jennifer Wemigwans with Invert Media sent me a message suggesting a resource for the Ethnos Project Resource Database: Four Directions Teachings. Thought I’d step it up a notch and dedicate a post to the site. Four Directions is a vibrant and interactive online experience with an […]

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Four Directions Teachings

About Four Directions Teachings From the Four Directions website: The goal for the project was to create an engaging site where people could experience Indigenous knowledge and philosophy and where educators could incorporate the site into their curriculum. FourDirectionsTeachings.com honors oral traditions by creating an environment where visitors are encouraged […]

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World Oral Literature Project

About the Project From the project website: “The World Oral Literature Project is an urgent global initiative to document and disseminate endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record. The Project supports local communities and committed fieldworkers engaged in the collection and preservation of all forms of oral literature by […]

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Organization Highlight: World Oral Literature Project

About the Project From the project website: “The World Oral Literature Project is an urgent global initiative to document and disseminate endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record. The Project supports local communities and committed fieldworkers engaged in the collection and preservation of all forms of oral literature by […]

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Cry Rock: a short documentary about stories, memory and Nuxalk tradition

Synopsis [from the Cry Rock website] Less than fifteen Nuxalk language speakers and storytellers remain in Bella Coola, British Columbia. One of these elders is the director Banchi Hanuse’s 80-year-old grandmother. In a technologically obsessed century, it would seem easier to record Nuxalk stories for future generations, but Hanuse resists. […]

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Research Project: Indigenous Knowledge Technologies

I recently received a note from Kasper Rodil, a PhD Fellow in Aalborg University’s Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, who shared with me a new website focused on Indigenous knowledge and technology (http://indiknowtech.org/). Below is an overview of the site and its current projects. indiknowtech.org Project Description From […]

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Indigenous Identities: Oral, Written Expressions and New Technologies

A UNESCO publication about the 2001 Symposium bearing the same name… Foreword This report summarizes the key issues raised, experiences shared and conclusions reached by participants during the course of four days of speeches and debate. Consensus was facilitated by parallel meetings of the informal Indigenous Caucus working group, whose […]

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Organization Highlight: Living Cultural Storybases (LCS)

Nurturing the oral heritage of minority cultures in a digital world The following text is from the Living Cultural Storybases website: http://storybases.org/ Misson LCS seeks to nurture the oral heritage of minority cultures by developing respectful methodologies accompanied by appropriate technological solutions. We aim to enable indigenous communities to share and […]

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Living Cultural Storybases (LCS)

Nurturing the oral heritage of minority cultures in a digital world The following text is from the Living Cultural Storybases website: http://storybases.org/ Misson LCS seeks to nurture the oral heritage of minority cultures by developing respectful methodologies accompanied by appropriate technological solutions. We aim to enable indigenous communities to share and […]

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Digital Songlines project

A kind fellow by the name of Jeremy just sent me a message letting me know that the link to the Digital Songlines page no longer works. After looking around a bit online, I have learned why: the group that created the project is sadly no longer in existence. The […]

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Trust and Technology: building an archival system for Indigenous oral memory

An excerpt from the Final Report of the Trust & Technology Project (2004-2006) Project Outline: The Trust & Technology (T&T) Project is an ARC Linkage project, with a partnership between Caulfield School of Information Technology, Monash University, Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies, Monash University, the Public Record Office of Victoria, […]

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A Value Sensitive Design Approach to Indigenous Knowledge Management Systems

Indigenous cultures across the planet are disappearing. In 2007, Wade Davis, a Harvard-trained ethnobotanist, presented at the TED conference on the (subject of endangered cultures). He said, “When each of you in this room were born, there were 6,000 languages spoken on the planet . . . and of those […]

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