By Cherie McDonald
Updated Wed 28 May 2014, 9:28am AEST
It’s hoped a world-first map recording Aboriginal knowledge will give Australian researchers and landholders a greater understanding of the environment.
The online map, curated by the Indigenous Biocultural Knowledge working group, aims to convert ancient oral knowledge about Australia into an accessible visual and literary format.
Griffith University anthropologist and ethnobiologist Dr Philip Clarke, who was a participant in the working group, says the map will help researchers access little-known Indigenous biocultural knowledge.
“It’s a funny thing to map indigenous biocultural knowledge,” says Dr Clarke.
“The Aboriginal tradition is a set of experiences and perspectives, handed down orally, whereas this map is literature-based.
“Indigenous people see the environment, not just in isolation, but as part of society. The flowering of a certain plant, for example, will tell them that fish are now running in the river.”
Dr Philip Clarke, anthropologist and ethnobiologist
“But the map will point people, whether they are involved in managing a station or a national park, whether they be students or researchers, towards where they will be able to get written records of important traditional information.”
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