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Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land

linguistic diversity

Faith Baisden, Thomas Dick, Carolyn Barker, and Kristina Kelman . . For tens of thousands of years, the rich and beautiful sounds of hundreds of different languages washed across Australia. Over all of the continent it is believed there were more than five hundred languages at one time. Around two hundred years ago, a new

Yamani Project Artists

Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land

This page complements the photo essay “Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land,” which presents a unique musical project by the same name, developed by six extraordinary Australian Indigenous women. They came together to support the revitalization of Aboriginal languages and the strengthening of Indigenous identity by creating, singing, and recording songs in their six different

Learning to Write Our Native Language: The Nepalbhasa Ranjana Script of Nepal

Indigenous Languages

Manju Maharjan and Yuvash Vaidya We are Newahs, the Indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. We are worshippers in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions and belong to several different ethnic groups, but historically we all spoke a common language, Nepalbhasa. While the language is prevalent among the older folks, most of the youth

Quarantine as Ceremony: COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Quietly Rebel against the Dominant Langscape

Severn Cullis-Suzuki The Haida people know the cost of disease. They have lived on Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the west coast of Canada, for the past 14,000 years. In their recent history, after the first encounter with Europeans in 1774, waves of smallpox, measles, and other contact diseases ravaged the Haida population. From 30,000-strong,

Subversive Maps: How Digital Language Mapping Can Support Biocultural Diversity—and Help Track a Pandemic

Native Land interactive online map

Maya Daurio, Sienna R. Craig, Daniel Kaufman, Ross Perlin, and Mark Turin Maps have long been used for a variety of purposes, including to characterize land use and land cover patterns or to delineate the extent of territorial jurisdictions such as national or regional borders. In this way, cartography has long been a tool of

Decolonial Mapmaking: Reclaiming Indigenous Places and Knowledge

A rebbilib

Jordan Engel “More indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns. This assertion has its corollary: more indigenous territory can be defended and reclaimed by maps than by guns.” —Bernard Nietschmann, geographer Throughout time and across cultures, the thing that is often most important to a people is land. While global industrial society’s

Tunun Kayutukun: Words Have Power

hunters

Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff and Libby Roderick Contrary to most people in modern societies who see words simply as vehicles for conveying information or expressing thoughts and feelings, people in traditional Indigenous societies view words as entities that carry great power; therefore, they must be chosen and used with utmost care. Most non-Indigenous people don’t view

Flourishing at Twenty-Five: On Context and Foundations in the Rise of the Concept of Biocultural Diversity

biocultural diversity

K. B. Wilson In his essay “Biocultural Diversity: Reason, Ethics, and Emotion” (this issue of Langscape), David Harmon traces the emergence of the field of biocultural diversity as a call for an engagement with the beautifully rich complexity of life. In my own take on biocultural diversity, I ponder the rise of the concept (and

Iawa: The Unfinished Kuruaya Symphony

Iawa

Miguel Pinheiro In the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, along the Xingu River and one of its tributaries, the Iriri, traces of an ancient, vanished population are found. The petroglyphs carved in the rocks tell a ghost story—faint echoes of faded voices that today we struggle to imagine alive. A language can be a map

This World Is Made for You

dreamcatcher

Darryl Whetung Our spirit isn’t red skin, or light skin, brown skin, white skin Or if we have red hair, brown or black hair, when will the buffalo herd come back here? Are we raven or are we eagle? We are families, we are equals It’s our wigwam, it’s our war song, or the moon that