Ethnoornithology is the study of the relationship between people and birds, and in recent years the field has emerged as a valuable source of ethnobiological research. Ethnoornithology provides an opportunity to empower people of all cultures to discover, re-examine and preserve the connections between individuals, groups and cultures and the birds that they hunt, venerate and cherish.
A post that looks at our research into firespreading raptors in the Top End of Australia ... and beyond.
This is a re-post of an article first published in the February 2018 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) by the Northern Land Council. Birds are closely connected to Wardaman culture. Many Wardaman dances have been adapted from bird movements and much Wardaman rock art depicts birds.
This has major ramifications for land use and conservation across Australia's northern savannahs and potentially beyond. Changed fire regimes by Europeans from those practiced for millennia by Aboriginal people wrought dramatic changes on the Australian landscape, a factor which imperilled (and continues to imperil) the existence of many native species. How do we account for birds as another potential fire vector?
In a broader sense, better understanding of avian fire-spreading, both in Australia and, potentially, elsewhere, can contribute to theories about the evolution of tropical savannas and the origins of human fire use.
Following are the abstracts of papers and posters presented at the recent Ethnoornithology Symposium, entitled “Birds in culture and context – Ethnoornithology in application and theory“, held during the 30th Society of Ethnobiology conference at the University of California, Berkeley from 28 to 31st March 2007. It was a great day, with a quantity and quality of papers […]
I've been very interested in cuckoos generally—and Channel-billed Cuckoos in particular—for a few years, especially in relation to the knowledge that Aboriginal language groups here in the Northern Territory and beyond have about them. I'd love to hear any information that groups outside of the areas discussed in the post may have—feel free to drop me a line or post a comment.
Themes for this session and discussion could include the importance of and development of cultural maintenance activities; issues related to sites and objects of sacred significance and knowledge; the protection, application and moderation of intercultural scientific knowledge; practical issues including funding and managing relationships between governments at local, state and federal levels; the benefits—or not—of working with NGOs and reflections on interactions between cultural practitioners from different local, regional and national areas.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) is investigating language as a diverse, dynamic and evolving organism that interacts with our perceptual processes in ingenious ways.
The workshop allowed for clarification of the rather confusing overlap of three bird names, karrkkanj, ngalmirlangmirlang and wunwunbu. Karrkkanj, it turns out, is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon.