This site is intended to provide unbiased third party insight into the Mukurtu CMS development program. This website is in no way affiliated with the Center for Digital Archaeology.

Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too)

  1. The CMS software developed by the team at Mukurtu is free and open source and principally engineered for use by indigenous communities. Some of these communities, without doubt, are vulnerable and prone to isolation in an increasingly globalized world. The project allows people around the planet to share in and preserve their heritage using modern technology.
  2. The archive platform provides standards-based tools which can be molded and adapted to suit the local cultural norms and needs of communities, but also libraries, museums and other institutions.


Blending functionality with analytics is a crucial goal of modern software platforms and has always been a key goal moving forward with the project. An announcement on new collaborations will follow soon as the development team looks outwards for fresh talent and impetus.

Mukurtu Evolution

The Mukurtu 'Wumpurrarini-kari' archive was the alpha version of the Mukurtu CMS. It was piloted with the Warumungu Aboriginal community and tailored specifically to their needs. This marked a stepping stone in the project development and allowed users to browse existing archive material, place content, and even add new 'users' with their own profiles. Today Mukurtu is a fully fledged software solution employed by diverse organizations - including the NMAI, part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Before Mukurtu: The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal

This portal laid the foundation for what is now the Mukurtu CMS. It was utilized by a number of tribes from the Northwestern USA coast to share materials, preserve heritage, and buildup collections of knowledge. The portal features a range of administrative options allowing a hierarchy of users; content tagging; and extensive editing capabilities. Visit the portal.

Cultural Sensitivity and Tailored Sharing

Mukurtu adapts to any community. The CMS empowers communities, allowing them to choose how their content is shared. It also allows them to define how material is accessed by museums, libraries and public archives. Non-technical users can easily manage their content with a range of drop-down menus providing extensive customization ability. This video shows how the Warumungu community in Central Australia made the CMS work for their own particular cultural norms.

The Mukurtu Model: Free and Open Source

The Mukurtu software is free to download and adapt for the requirements of each user. The software also features an extensive range of tools licensed by GPL. You can visit the team's development blog to ask questions, or even chip-in to plugin creation.

Media Mentions