Sharing ancient tales

A student works on his Dreamtime project

Some of the world's most ancient tales are being told, reinterpreted and shared around the globe in a safe and secure online space.

The Cuddie-Cuddie Aboriginal Storytelling Project uses video-conferencing equipment and online programs to populate an interactive wikispace with links to Indigenous Australian, North and South American and Celtic cultures.

Access to Aboriginal culture

Anne-Maree Moore, who devised the project, said: "Cuddie Cuddie facilitates the sharing of stories from Elders directly into schools, especially where students may not have had access to indigenous culture before".

"Students get so much out of it and it's empowering for the Elders to keep their stories alive."

Through the online program Elders present traditional Dreamtime stories to students across the state. This may be in writing, painting, music or dance format. Students are then invited to create their own Dreaming stories; using the original story as a springboard to create their own contemporary piece.

A new perspective

One of the stories close to Ms Moore's heart is the story of Windradyne, a Wiradjuri warrior. His story describes the encounter with the first white explorers who entered his country from over the Blue Mountains.

"We have often heard the perspective of the 19th century explorers (Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth) who made their way over the Blue Mountains to explore the fertile land on the inland side in the Bathurst region. In this videoconference, we get to hear the account from the Aboriginal perspective, which is just so fascinating," she said.

Overseas links

Two new links have been established in the online space at schools based in Alaska in the USA and Korea.

"Our students had the opportunity to discuss indigenous culture with indigenous students from Alaska and Korea in this video conference and a professional recording documenting the session along with additional interviews with the Elders and students will be available to participating schools soon," Ms Moore said.

Photo: Tyronne Hoerler from Mount Austin High School building a gunya as part of his interpretation of a Dreamtime story. Photo by Susan Fielding.

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