Keeping Culture Alive: the Badu plant and animal traditional knowledge project

Friday, 3 June 2016
Manuel Nomoa
Alick Tipoti

Badu Island is home to Badulgal (Badu people) who speak the Kala Lagaw Ya language. For thousands of years Badulgal have used their Traditional Ecological Knowledge to manage country. Their knowledge of plants and animals has been central to this knowledge system. The traditional knowledge of plants and animals is intrinsically linked to understanding wider socio- ecological relationships between people and country. It also helps monitor the impact that changing climatic conditions and development pressures are having on Badu. Today the Mura Badhulgau Rangers work with western scientists to help protect culturally important plants and animals to make sure that this knowledge is actively used to manage country. As part of this project the rangers are working with the local school to develop the Badu Plant and Animal book that presents traditional ecological knowledge of culturally important species in an interactive format, including a short film.

The project is being designed in partnership with TAGAI College to complement the school curriculum and enhance learning opportunities. This book in part celebrates the traditional knowledge that our elders have protected over the generations and assures it is passed in the future for younger generations.