Tag Archives: indigenous

Speaking about orality – it’s all about memory

I have now finished all the speaking engagements for the year. I am delighted with all the new friends and the wonderful feedback. The video of my talk in Brisbane last weekend should be on YouTube soon. Although people were … Continue reading

Posted in Cambridge University Press, indigenous memory systems, Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies, memory, memory devices, mnemonics, orality, prehistory, primary orality, Stonehenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orality – why it is so important for prehistoric archaeologists

Primary orality is what you have when you don’t have literacy. It is often commented that prehistoric cultures didn’t leave a written record. What is almost never mentioned is that cultures which had no contact with writing did have an alternative. They had … Continue reading

Posted in archaeologists, archaeology, Australian Aboriginal, indigenous memory systems, lukasa, memory, Memory Spaces, mnemonics, mythology, orality, prehistory, primary orality, Yolngu | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Singing the knowledge – Yanyuwa kujika

A wonderful collaboration between the Yanyuwa people and Monash University is online and enables us to glimpse the singing tracks of their culture. The Yanyuwa live 0n the Gulf Carpentaria in Northern Australia. Animations of the songs can be seen at the … Continue reading

Posted in art of memory, Australian Aboriginal, kajika, Memory Spaces, method of loci, mnemonics, orality, primary orality, Yanuwa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adding the Dowitcher – a comparison of memory aids

A small wading bird landed in a lake and started a twitch unlike any before in Australia. Social media went into overdrive, as bird watchers scrambled to travel for hours in the hope of a glimpse of the one long-billed dowitcher … Continue reading

Posted in art of memory, memory, Memory Spaces, method of loci, mnemonics, orality, primary orality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uluru as a set of memory locations

I’ve talked about the method of loci – a set of locations in the landscape used as memory aids – the most effective memory aid known. I believe that the singing tracks of the Australian cultures, the sacred trails of the … Continue reading

Posted in art of memory, Australian Aboriginal, indigenous memory systems, memory, Memory Spaces, method of loci, mnemonics, orality, primary orality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art: from orality to literacy

Art has a vastly different purpose in non-literate cultures than it does in literate ones. Art in oral cultures is primarily a memory aid to the knowledge system while art in literate cultures is primarily aesthetic. A rash statement? I hope it’s … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, indigenous memory systems, memory, Memory Spaces, mnemonics, orality, primary orality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Memorising birds

I have now memorised the 408 birds of my state, Victoria, in taxonomic order. That means I can name each of the 82 scientific family names and all the birds in that family – all from memory. I am using … Continue reading

Posted in indigenous memory systems, lukasa, memory, memory board, memory devices, mnemonic devices, Pegasus Books, The Memory Code | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments