The songline of the Dugong Hunters embodies Yanyuwa knowledge of the sea and the islands of Yanyuwa country, in Australia’s Northern Territory.
If one knows, it is possible to look out on Yanyuwa country and see the Dugong Hunters, the White-Bellied Sea Eagle and the Tiger Shark—for the song is flowing, running, moving. In Yanyuwa understanding, intelligence of Lawful places is embedded in country and carried by threads of a song that speaks of change and continuity and is still intensely alive.
When Indigenous peoples’ ways of knowing are examined using conventional Western methods, knowledge is too often reduced to raw data, followed by narrow technical discussions of form and style. Stories become mere information. In this book, John Bradley entreats the reader to come to the words the Dugong Hunters’ songline with empathy, to understand that there can be other ways of knowing …