Genealogies of Warruwi Community: integrating current materials

Academic

Dr Ruth Singer
School of Languages and Linguistics

Intern

Dang Nguyen
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

Project

This project seeks to trace mobility of people and changes in ethnolinguistic affiliations of members of Warruwi Community, over the last century. The study of this small community in western Arnhem Land aims to trace the emergence of the Mawng language as the 'main language' of a highly multilingual community. A scanned genealogy compiled during the mission era has been put into an orphaned kinship/genealogy app 'KinOath'. The internship explored meaningful ways to export this data and access this data.

Internship Outcome

Over the course of three months, this project excavated and freed a ‘trapped’ genealogy dataset collected during the mission era about the ethnolinguistic affiliations of member of the Warruwi Community in western Arnhem Land. The dataset was stored in a now orphaned application called “KinOath”, whose functionalities were not built to allow wholesale data export. By developing a script in Go, an open source programming language, the project was able to comb through application data stored in XML format, extract them, and reformat them into GEDCOM format, which has become the de facto standard for exchange of genealogical data. The project also incorporated the implementation and analysis of Google Analytics data for the Mawng Ngaralk website to assess the effectiveness of project promotion via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.