Singing the land, signing the land

Singing the land, signing the land is written by Helen Watson with The Yolngu community at Yirrkala, and David Wade Chambers. Because the Yolngu community were so heavily involved, the content is an accurate reflection of the way they want their knowledge conveyed to the world.

This work was hugely influential on my thinking right from the start of my research journey. One click on the image and you will be there.
Yolngu knowledge


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About lynne

I am an Honorary Researcher at LaTrobe University. I am the author of 17 books, the most recent being 'Spiders: learning to love them' (Allen & Unwin), 'Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies' (Cambridge University Press, and 'The Memory Code' (Allen & Unwin, AUS; Pegasus Books, US and Atlantic Books, UK). My new book 'Memory Craft' is about how to apply the indigenous memory methods - and many more - in contemporary life. It was published on June 3, 2019.
This entry was posted in Australian Aboriginal, orality, primary orality, The Memory Code, Yolngu and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Singing the land, signing the land

  1. lynne says:

    Hi Marie,

    I am not sure which book you are having trouble getting. If it is Singing the Land, Signing the Land, click on the image above and the whole book is online.

    If you mean The Memory Code – then it depends where you are. In Australia, it is available in all bookshops. Online, in Australia you can get it from Booktopia (among others):

    It will be available anywhere in the world from July 1 from Book Depository – preorders available now:

    As for recording oral history, I know nothing about equipment. Sorry! My writing is more about oral tradition in indigenous cultures. I think it is great that you want to record oral history of local elderly people.

    Hope that helps,


  2. marie says:

    P.S …..your post above does not match the Aboriginal title. They have ‘signing’ the land , whereas you have “singing” twice.

  3. marie says:

    Hi Lynne, can not wait to read the book….proving a bit hard to get, so any suggestions welcome on sourcing a copy.

    How many AMAZING messages are we missing, as we fail to recognise Oral history collection!
    I would like to make a start now to capture some from the elderly in my local area. Do not know best equipment to use…but making a start important!

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