Apr 21, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

New technology seeks to safeguard knowledge of whanau, hapu, iwi and marae

2 min read

TangataWhenua.com have watched as indigenous communities have planted their unique stories, precious images and detailed content within these newly developing digital landscapes. But how can whanau, hapu, iwi and marae protect their indigenous and traditional knowledge (TK)?

As some of you will already be aware indigenous communities around the world are interested in these issues too. And thanks to Ariana Tikao, Research Librarian, Maori at the Alexander Turnbull Library who passed this link on, there is technogloy available that will help you share and protect your TK.

The developers of Mukurtu have created Traditional Knowledge Licenses, similar to theCreative Commonslicenses.

Mukurtu is a free and open source community content management system that provides international standards-based tools adaptable to the local cultural protocols and intellectual property systems of Indigenous communities, libraries, archives, and museums. The CMS serves as a flexible archival tool that allows users to protect, preserve and share digital cultural heritage through Mukurtu Core steps and unique Traditional Knowledge licenses.

These developers have also looked into the issue of copyright and have options which you can use or customise to the needs of your whanau, hapu, iwi and marae.

http://www.mukurtu.org/wiki/Manual:Traditional_Knowledge_Licenses(these licenses can potentially be used to help protect images and other forms of knowledge relating to our taonga. You can specify that the source community needs to be acknowledged and a non-commercial basis for re-use etc)

The director of Mukurtu is considering coming to Aotearoa to talk to interested groups here, if you are interested, email us and we’ll pass your enquiry on.


The Mukurtu project began in the remote Central Australian town of Tennant Creek with the creation of the Mukurtu Wumpurrarni-kari Archive. The project was born from the needs of the Warumungu Aboriginal community who wanted a system to archive and organize their digital cultural materials in line with their cultural protocols. We collaborated to develop a user-friendly and culturally relevant system embedded with Warumungu social and cultural protocols.

The word mukurtu in Warumungu means dilly bag. Dilly bags hold sacred items and are accessible by acting responsibly within the community and gaining the permission of knowledgeable community leaders. Like the dilly bag the archive is a safe keeping place, a community repository for cultural materials and knowledge. The Warumungu community maintains the archive at the Nynikka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre where people access their materials, deposit new content, add knowledge and information to existing content, and create new materials.

2 thoughts on “New technology seeks to safeguard knowledge of whanau, hapu, iwi and marae

  1. Tautoko the Palmerston North korero. I’m keen to hear more about it. I am currently doing my Master’s thesis on social media and indigenous development. look forward to more details.

  2. Oh yes, I am very interested in hearing this korero as I am sure many
    others in Palmerston North/Manawatu are. Please let me know when and where.
    Many thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.