While attempting to investigate modes of musical transmission among the Yol ŋ u People in Northeast Arnhem Land Australia, questions regarding the meaning of the word “research” led to the decisive abandonment of data collection. Specifically, the processes of observation, recording, and other typical Western means of genera ting data seemed to be in direct opposition to the way knowledge was traditionally shared. The author critically examines her multiple attempts at conducting this research, and discusses why eventually giving up on the research led to a more profound understanding.


Indigenous Australian, Aboriginal, Ethnography, Music, Defining “research, ” and Knowledge Sharing

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.