Thursday, February 10, 2011
I've mentioned the marvelous website Twelve Canoes which grew out of the film "Ten Canoes." Today we discussed it in class. I'd asked students to explore it, noting what it explains and how it does so - the aesthetics, the structure - and to compare that with the description of Yolngu religious life in an ethnographic study by Howard Morphy. It worked well! In particular, the site enabled me to preface our discussion of wangarr (ancestral beings often described as Dreamings) with three different examples: the giant goanna story at the start of of "Ten Canoes" (which we now realized might be narrated by the wangarr itself), the dog and flying fox story of the "Creation" filmlet in "Twelve Canoes," and the black-headed python story of the visit to "Creation Rock - Dawurra" included as an "extra" to the "Creation" filmlet.