A Safe Keeping Place
Michael Jampin, a senior Warumungu man, discussed the name of the archive and its importance:
"Mukurtu Wumpurrarni-kari we named it. Mukurtu is that dilly bag. The way that Warumungu people use it, they used to have them old dilly bags. In them early days, old people keep their stuff in that bag and no one else was allowed to open it up or even to look to it. In those times, if people do that, they were cursed. Long, long time ago."
"Now we have this archive, it's good. In every archive that you go to there's a lot of stuff that's in a safe place, in South Australia, Queensland. But this archive will be different, it will be here, it will be the safe place. For man like me, I can't see women's stories or even if she is my daughter or niece I'm not allowed to see, so it won't open up for me, because we have different passwords. That is very important to make it safe."
The archive, like the dilly bag, is not meant to close off or hide knowledge. The archive uses Warumungu cultural protocols to facilitate access to content. In doing so, the archive mirrors a system of accountability in which many people engage in the responsible reproduction and transmission of cultural knowledge and materials.
In 2003, the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre opened in Tennant Creek. Over the last few years the Centre has accumulated literally thousands of digital images, some returned from national museums, some from former missionaries, schoolteachers, and academics. The archive grew out of the need for a way to access the content in culturally appropriate ways. We spent two years developing the archive in order to create a user-friendly and culturally relevant system embedded with Warumungu social and cultural protocols.
- My Family Items: Profile based content delivery system.
- My Collections: User-generated content groupings.
- Burn CD: Burn a CD directly from the browser, linked to MyCollections.
- Print: One click print from display page.
- Admin Override Search: Gives administrators full control over content search and retrieval.
- Environment: MySQL server and PHP scripting language on a Web server (Apache, e.g.).
- Platform: All supported (XP, OS X, etc). Note, CD Burning from the browser requires OS X and certain file permissions.
- Examples: The archive runs locally on an iMac in a MAMP package (Mac OSX, Apache, MySQL, PHP), or on a Windows PC running XAMPP. The package will also run in core Web server environments.