The theme of NAIDOC week this year is Songlines: The Living narrative of our nation. This theme was chosen as Songlines are seen as imperative in helping to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices. Songlines or Dreaming tracks have been passed down for thousands of years and have provided cultural connections amongst Aboriginal peoples from all over Australia.
Songlines form an extensive network of ‘invisible’ tracks or shared cultural pathways that crisscross Australia and link language groups. Each language group is responsible for different parts of a Songline. These Dreaming tracks trace the journeys of ancestral spirits as they created the land, animals and lores. They describe travel and trade routes, the location of waterholes and the presence of food. These connections to knowledge, customs and ceremony are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance and art.
Celebrate NAIDOC week by learning more about Songlines and check out (library pun) one of our Kanopy videos from the CAAMA Anthropology Collection during the term break –
- Singing saltwater country : journey to the songlines of Carpentaria / John Bradley with Yanyuwa families
- Green Bush – a “powerful short drama” from the CAAMA Collection by Warwick Thornton (director of Samson and Delilah). The film centers around Indigenous radio announcer and DJ, Kenny. Thornton based the film on his own experiences as a radio DJ. The film won Best Short Film, Panorama Section at the Berlin Film Festival and was also entered in the Sundance Film Festival competition.