The Songlines Project

  • This clip features Liyadhalinymirr Songman, translator and cultural facilitator Ṉäkarrma Guyula and senior Wagilak Songman Roy Wunupingu speaking about the importance of mapping Song Cycles , and their efforts to do so in collaboration with SharingStories.
  • SharingStories is working with senior cultural custodians to map and hold Song Cycles and the knowledge they hold for future generations.

Ancestral Dreaming Tracks are a means by which Indigenous people have travelled from place to place for thousands of years. Written into the Country by powerful creation ancestors, who brought Country into being, the songs and stories speak of their epic journey’s and the events that occurred on them. By ‘singing’ the details of the landscape – the geology, the mountains, the waterholes – in the right order, they created a map, a Songline, an Ancestral Dreaming Track.

SharingStories Foundation’s Cultural Mapping Program is working with partner organisations and engaged communities to record, document and interpret the cultural knowledge laid down in these tracks using a variety of contemporary art forms and technologies, these include surround sound, GPS, video, interactive animation, and 360-degree panoramic video. All content produced will be held in local, community based knowledge centres, accessible to community members. Unrestricted, public elements of the material will be available to the broader community through multi-touch books designed in collaboration with key custodians and cultural advisors, as well as through educational outreach programs and public installations. These will be co curated as part of a two way mentoring and exchange process between custodians and professional curators.

Both online and installation environments offer contemporary interpretations of ancient songs and stories that travel the viewer between locations providing an engaging, multi layered and textured interpretation of the land. With a map as the key interface, the viewer will be able to start their journey at one of the defined locations and travel through Country, being sung, or led by story, from place to place,  stopping to dive deeper into culture, the history, ecology or just the locations themselves.


For more information please contact Taz Miller, Program Director / 0408115432

Miko and Wayne dancing on the Wägilak mapping project during which over twenty five community members travelled on Country recording the songs, stories and dances of Gandjalala the Sugar Bag Hunter.

Roy Wunupingu and his grandson James at Weemol. James is painted with the Gunduy, the totemic stringy bark tree and the Yarpin, sacred honey.

Senior Nyikina custodians Annie Nayina Milgin and Darraga Watson working with SharingStories Program Director Taz Miller at Jarlmadangah in the Kimberley, to map the journey of Creation Ancestor Woonyoomboo the Night Heron.  The Nyikina Mapping Program is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Genographic Fund (National Geographic).

Travelling with senior knowledge authorities and students and teachers from Mapuru Community School to map the journey of the Marra-ṉathumirr Mukarr Ancestral Hunters of Wol the Giant Green Sea Turtle.