Ceremonial song-poetry of the Arandic region in Central Australia

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

Awelye is a genre of women's songs of Central Australia. The genre is highly endangered and the ceremonies struggle to find a place in contemporary society. In the past people learnt through frequent exposure, however massive social upheaval has meant that performances are too infrequent for younger people to absorb. The songs abound with foreign words, references to moribund cultural practices and detailed knowledge of the natural world known only by older people. By working with cross-generational teams, this project will produce linguistic-ethnographic descriptions of an awelye 'songline' from five Arandic languages: (ISO-639-3 gbb, aer, aly, amx), each known by less than a dozen singers. Primary investigator: Myfany Turpin

Project Details


Location: Australia, Australia and New Zealand, Oceania Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £9,945.00 Commencement Date: 01/2006
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