ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
----- Like many Australians, I’ve been on a very slow (decades) awakening to the full history of Australia. There’s a momentum that has gathered pace in the past year, with people continuing to expand their knowledge of our long history. With that realisation, we will begin to make demands of our leaders to acknowledge that history and include that in our children’s schooling.
Like NZ, for whom the Maori culture is intrinsic and celebrated by the whole nation, so too a new Australian identity will emerge that fully embraces our indigenous beginnings alongside our later development through colonialism and immigration - expanding the lens on our nation’s history for a fully inclusive and rich cultural heritage.
This book is the first in a series that aims to fill the gaps in our knowledge and it is fascinating to discover the full meaning behind the ceremonial songs and dances, the paintings and the markings on artefacts we see in museums - the realisation that they are bursting with information for the initiated 'reader', just as if they were covered with our Western method of knowledge transfer, ' 'text'. Craig Kirchner
'Let this series begin the discussion.' - Bruce Pascoe'An act of intellectual reconciliation.' - Lynette Russell
Songlines are an archive for powerful knowledges that ensured Australia's many Indigenous cultures flourished for over 60,000 years. Much more than a navigational path in the cartographic sense, these vast and robust stores of information are encoded through song, story, dance, art and ceremony, rather than simply recorded in writing.
Weaving deeply personal storytelling with extensive research on mnemonics, Songlines: The Power and Promise offers unique insights into Indigenous traditional knowledges, how they apply today and how they could help all peoples thrive into the future. This book invites readers to understand a remarkable way for storing knowledge in memory by adapting song, art, and most importantly, Country, into their lives.
About the series: The First Knowledges books are co-authored by Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers; the series is edited by Margo Neale, senior Indigenous curator at the National Museum of Australia.
Forthcoming titles include: Design by Alison Page & Paul Memmott (2021); Country by Bill Gammage & Bruce Pascoe (2021); Healing, Medicine & Plants (2022); Astronomy (2022); Innovation (2023).