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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Saur January 29, 2019

Joe Gumbula, the Inaugural Liya-ŋärra’mirri Visiting Fellow

  • Marcia Langton EMAIL logo


This is my account of collaborating with Joseph Neparrŋa Gumbula and, in tribute to him and his teaching and scholarship, a discussion of the methodological considerations for teaching and research-based teaching of Yolŋu culture. By privileging the agency and ontology of exegetes such as Gumbula and working in partnership, Yolŋu knowledge has become a part of the modern academic canon as well as a literary legacy for Yolŋu people. The invariable context of the scholarly encounter with Indigenous knowledge is an intercultural one attended by significant historical problems from experiences of the colonial and postcolonial capture of most indigenous societies in modern nation states. Indigenous exegetes hold knowledge systems that exist in situ, in places held in long traditions of customary land tenure and jural principles that predate colonial and postcolonial systems, and inherited in each generation by a few honoured and remarkable people who take up the arduous responsibility of learning and transmitting knowledge practices and their spoken, sung and performed vehicles of expression.


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Published Online: 2019-01-29
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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