Documenting and Sharing the Seasonal Calendar for Erub Island, Torres Strait

McNamara, Karen, Sibtain, Jonathan, and Parnell, Kevin (2010) Documenting and Sharing the Seasonal Calendar for Erub Island, Torres Strait. Report. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Reading landscapes, seasons and environments has long been a tradition for Torres Strait Islanders through their close relationships with their islands and seas. Researchers funded by MTSRF Project 1.3.1 'Traditional knowledge systems and climate change in Torres Strait' worked with community Elders on Erub Island in the eastern group of islands in the Torres Strait to document the Elders' knowledge of seasonal patterns, including winds, wet and dry seasons, and also patterns in plant, animal and bird life. This report examines and synthesises this knowledge. The information varies from details on the migration and nesting patterns of key totem birds, to the movement of the Tagai star constellation, to the onset of wind patterns indicating certain planting or fishing cycles. The importance of documenting and transferring such knowledge is that it begins the task of generating interest among the younger generation to identify seasonal and environmental indicators in their landscape. This ability of Islanders to identify indicators and ‘read’ their land and sea country becomes important in maintaining culture, livelihoods and their surrounding environment. To this end, the seasonal calendar, which was assembled from the knowledge of four Erub Island Elders, was also developed into a large wooden mural at the local primary school. The school's students were involved in the creation and installation of the mural, and its contents will now form part of their teaching curriculum. It is hoped that by documenting, safeguarding and transferring this knowledge, it will remain alive and valuable.

Item ID: 42487
Item Type: Report (Report)
Funders: Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF)
Projects and Grants: MTSRF 1.3.1 Traditional knowledge systems and climate change in Torres Strait
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 05:47
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 137
Last 12 Months: 6
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