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Grouping the Messenger: Indigenous Australian Message Stick Database Launched

12 Apr 2024 8:19 AM | Anonymous

The following is a press release written by the folks at the Australian National University:

The first database of message sticks used in Indigenous Australia has been created, pulling together records and information on message sticks housed in museums and archives around the world. Message sticks are wooden objects used by First Nations Australians for communicating over long distances. The database contains images and any available information about origin and meaning for over 1,500 individual message sticks. Uniquely, the database is informed by the Indigenous Australian concept of Country and deliberately prioritises Indigenous knowledge. The authors say that, for the first time, knowledge about Australian message sticks can be evaluated as a single set, and they hope that the database will help Traditional Owners to identify and reconnect with ancestral knowledge.

Journal/conference: PLOS ONE

Link to research (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0299712

Organisation/s: The University of New England, The Australian National University

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