Connecting Country: The Jawoyn Homeland Project

The Jawoyn people of Arnhem Land (northern Australia) know their country as the traditional land of the ancestors.  This land was given shape by the ancestral spirits during a time of creation known as buwurr, popularly known in English as the Dreaming.

Jawoyn country contains rich traces of these ancestors, in traditional stories, ancient signs of encampment in caves and rockshelters, and the mimi spirits who are present everywhere and who can be seen in the art.

In order to bring to light these traces of the deep history of traditional times, the Jawoyn Association have asked Monash University scientists to assemble a team of Australian and French research partners, for the benefit of the Jawoyn community and to reveal to the world.

Knowledge of ancestral places connects today’s youths with the ancestors; the customary with new opportunities at a time of rapid change; Jawoyn homelands in an interconnected world; locals with outsiders; self-determination with the global; and traditional ways of knowing one’s own history with cutting edge archaeological methods.

This is Connecting Country.

For more information about this project, see our About page.

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“We been sitting down talking. We all said: ‘We want to know our grandparents that they stayed here‘. We look after these paintings, because it’s the best paintings for our grandparents.”

Margaret Katherine, Jawoyn Elder and Traditional Owner