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EVOKE was developed by the World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, and directed by alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal.

Preserving Indigenous Secrets

Posted by Joshua Judkins on 02 May under People and Ideas

In Week Eight of Urgent EVOKE, Agents were challenged to create a real physical object that encodes a piece of traditional wisdom about the local plants, animals, landforms, water sources, weather, or any other important feature of an indigenous environment.

Agents from all around the world drew on their local insight and creativity, and produced a number of wonderful objects. Lets check out a few of them:

One of the most stunning examples has already been highlighted in this week’s Heroes Blog Post – a Venus of Willendorf style mother symbol sculpted out of stone. You can see the whole process on PJE’s photo gallery, but here is the final result:

Aware that she could not be certain what language would be spoken and written in the future, Leandra used symbols on a block of wood. Her object depicts the need to shift grazing animals from one area to another as the seasons change, as taught to her by her father:

Reid Falconer is turning an indigenous musical instrument he had made previously into knowledge object as well. To tackle this challenge he is burning onto his homemade didgeridoo information about Australian Aboriginal fire farming techniques:

After some pondering, Scott Douglas Fraser found an inventive way to pass on the knowledge about the local healing plant used by the Indigenous People of the Pacific Northwest. He has created a staff wrapped in cordage which will have different pieces of ‘Devil’s Club’ tied into to it – a Medicine Stick which also symbolizes the Asklepian (rod of Asklepios, Greek God of Medicine) and a length which matches the Megalithic Yard:

Turil Cronburg adapted an existing jack-in-the-box to create an Earth Box. She added a quote to the top from a member of Wampanoag tribe from the Eastern Massachusetts area, as well as a Medicine Wheel design to the side, and started filling it with elements that make up life:

In a world where most of the objects around us have been made by someone else, it’s been so exciting to see EVOKE Agents embracing the maker culture. When this is combined with a genuine effort to capture knowledge which could otherwise be lost, it becomes something very special indeed.

If you would like to create a knowledge object yourself and are not sure where to start, check out the 3 step process proposed by Agent Cronburg.

Once you’ve done so, post a link to it in the comments here so others can check it out!


2 Responses to “Preserving Indigenous Secrets”

  1. buffyb

    Very inspiring, loved this mission!

  2. Pradip Dey

    Preserving indegenous knowledge is utmost important since it is related to our root. It is like going back to ones root. An interesting mission indeed.

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