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The Cultural Songs of the Tiwi People

Many of Australia’s Indigenous cultures are unfortunately vanishing from history records, and many more are becoming endangered today. The Tiwi people are one of many such Aboriginal groups. They are located on the Bathurst and Melville Islands in the Northern Territory. Their rich singing traditions empowers their community, who have used song as an artistic outlet during celebrations, social gatherings and events. Major projects exist to transcribe, document and collect these pieces and help restore this precious endangered culture.

Dr. Genevieve Campbell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Sydney Environment Institute in the University of Sydney, wrote her PhD dissertation on “Ngarukuruwala: the role of recordings in the preservation and maintenance of traditional improvisatory practices in Tiwi song making”.

Dr Campbell joined Drive to discuss the conservation of these sacred Aboriginal cultures. Stick around till the end to hear “Yirrikapayi (Crocodile Storytelling Song)”, one of the Tiwi songs!

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