Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

Dr. Joe Gumbula to speak at Kluge-Ruhe Collection • Sunday November 7, 2010

Dr. Joe Gumbula is equally at home conducting ceremonies in the remote bush of Australia’s Northeast Arnhem Land and conducting research in international museum collections. A Yolngu elder with decades of experience in ceremonial leadership and traditional song, dance and design, Gumbula has worked for the last several years as a fellow with the Australian Research Council. One of his projects has involved examining the earliest records on Arnhem Land, including photographs and sound recordings, to identify and document them. Part of this project has resulted in the return of digital copies of these materials to Aboriginal communities, which are now developing their own archives. ‘”Technology has made it possible for me to bring back these photos and audio records back to my community: it was the first time many people had seen these pictures of their families from 60 to 70 years ago,” he said.

Gumbula is visiting the United States on another research project, where he is focusing on material from Milingimbi and in particular the collection of artifacts and documentation gathered by American anthropologist Lloyd Warner. Accompanying him is Louise Hamby, a Research Fellow at the Australian National University. Gumbula and Hamby are visiting the two major institutions that hold Warner material in America, the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. In New York City they will meet with the Warner family. In addition they will examine the Milingimbi material from the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. While at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, they plan to conduct research on the central Arnhem Land collections including works by Gumbula’s father, Tom Djawa.

Gumbula and Hamby will present a joint lecture entitled Makarr Garma and Milingimbi on Friday, Nov 12 at 7 pm at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. This talk will focus on the exhibition Makarr-garma: Aboriginal Collections from a Yolngu Perspective curated by Gumbula, and the research of Hamby on the collection of Lloyd Warner.

The lecture is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Call 434 244-0234 to make a reservation. A reception will follow the lecture.