Aboriginal and scientific views of Kandimalal, Wolfe Creek Crater
The sight of a dramatic meteor appearing in the night sky is a source of fascination and wonder to people and cultures throughout the world. Many Australian Aboriginal communities have stories about the night sky, including the Seven Sisters, the Emu in the sky, and meteors (shooting stars).
Australia is also home to several impressive meteorite impact craters. “Kandimalal” is the Jaru Aboriginal name of Wolfe Creek Crater, the 300,000+ year old ancient meteorite crater located in the East Kimberley, Western Australia. The crater is one of the most spectacular meteorite craters in the world, and is almost 900metres in diametre. This ancient site, protected by National Park, is an important place to appreciate Aboriginal knowledge about the crater, and the night sky, and scientific knowledge about impact craters.
Aboriginal and scientific perspectives about this ancient meteorite crater are explored in the film “Kandimalal” by John Goldsmith. Aboriginal Elders Jack Jugarie, and Stan Brumby share some of their knowledge about the crater, and scientific knowledge about the crater is examined. The film was produce by John Goldsmith (Celestial Visions) with the support of the John and Robin de Laeter Science Engagement Scholarship. The video features at the Cosmology Gallery, Gravity Discovery Centre, Western Australia, and is also available online. John Goldsmith completed his PhD research “Cosmos, Culture and Landscape” in 2014, which investigated the sharing and communication of Aboriginal astronomical knowledge.
Running time: 8 minutes 35 seconds
Cultural advice: Viewers are advised that this video contains images and sound of persons who have passed away.
Producer: John Goldsmith / www.celestialvisions.com.au
Goldsmith, John. 2014. “Cosmos, Culture and Landscape: Documenting, Learning and Sharing Aboriginal Astronomical Knowledge in Contemporary Society”. PhD Thesis (Western Australia: Curtin University).
Goldsmith, John. 2011a. ‘Documenting Natural and Cultural Places with 360° Spherical Images, Panoramic and Timelapse Digital Photography’ Rock Art Research 28.1:123-127.
Goldsmith, John. 2011b. ‘The Cosmology Gallery, Unity Through Diversity in a Vast and Awe Inspiring Universe’. Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 260, 5. doi: <http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1743921311003401>
Goldsmith, John. 2000. ‘Cosmic Impacts in the Kimberley’. Landscope Magazine,15.3: 28-34.
Goldsmith, John. 1999. ‘The Emu in the Sky’ Australian Geographic, The Journal of the Australian Geographic Society. July/September 1999 edition, no. 55 (Terry Hills, NSW: Australian Geographic Society).
Text and photos © John Goldsmith / www.celestialvisions.com.au