Abstract

Through a close study of T. Yunkaporta's 2019’s Sand Talk, this article explores fractal thinking and the pattern of creation in Indigenous cosmology; the role of custodianship in respectful interaction between living systems; alternative Indigenous understandings of nonlinearity, time, and transience; the process-panpsychism and animism present in Indigenous perceptions of cosmos as living Country, illustrated in the Dreaming and Turnaround creation event; the role of embodied cognition and haptic and situated knowledge in Indigenous science; Indigenous holistic reasoning and the mind-body connection; the process-relational metaphysic embedded in ritual and yarning practice; the knowledge encoded in place-based totemic mythology, lore, and ritual; and Indigenous understandings of complex systems as adaptive, self-organizing, and patterned. This article does not offer a process reading of Indigenous thought but rather demonstrates the significant contribution to process metaphysics that may be provided by an Aboriginal Australian perspective. Yunkaporta's text carves out a language of resistance to the McDonaldization of Indigenous research. While historic scholarly engagement with Aboriginal culture has overemphasized content, Yunkaporta demonstrates how this has occurred to the exclusion of the processes of Indigenous knowledge transmission and creation. Yet a process view requires engagement with the how, not only with the what. Such knowledge transmission is discerned in daily lived relationships among land, spirit, and people—binding epistemology to participation in a specific landscape embedded within a living culture. Place-making for Indigenous knowledges requires exploring how Indigenous ways of valuing, knowing, and being, shaped by cultural activities on Country, offer new understandings for Western metaphysics.

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