Category Archives: method of loci

Memory Workshops – Saturday 17 June

The first  Memory Workshops will be held at The Orality Centre in Castlemaine, Victoria, on Saturday 17 June 2017.

Dr Lynne Kelly will give a short talk to all participants about the background to the memory methods. But most important will be the practical workshops. Lynne will oscillate between parallel workshops to be led by Paul Allen and Alice Steel.

BOOK HERE: Workshops can be booked through this link

You do NOT need to do two workshops, but are welcome to come morning or afternoon only.

Morning: 10 AM to 1 PM  $60 per workshop.
Memory Palaces OR Winter Count (Tea / Coffee / Biscuits provided)

Lunch: 1 PM to 2 PM Optional. Main course and desert for $20 catered by Caroline Cook. (Lasagne (meat or veggie) & salad OR Pumpkin Soup & bread then Sticky Date Pudding OR fresh fruit platter.)

Afternoon: 1 PM to 5 PM  $60 per workshop.
Memory Palaces OR Memory Boards (Tea / Coffee / Biscuits provided)

Memory Palaces (also known as the method of loci or memory trails)
A workshop on Memory Palaces has been the most requested workshop, so it will be run twice, from 10 AM to 1 PM and then again from 2 PM to 5 PM. No materials are required for this. Paul Allen will lead the workshop. The memory palace consists of a sequence of locations in which information is stored by linking it to the physical properties of the location. It is the single most effective memory system known, used by all indigenous cultures (such as Australian Aboriginal songlines and Native American pilgrimage trails). They are best known from the orators of the ancient Greeks from Homer to Cicero. All contemporary memory champions use this method.

Paul will teach the method using the example of the countries of the world in population order. The workshop will then adjust to working with participants to encode the information of their choice to the memory palace. Participants will need to bring their information with them.

Winter Count
Winter Counts are best known from the Sioux Indians of North America. The Sioux add one image per year, decided at the first snowfall of winter. The image represents the most significant event of the previous year. Tribal history and learnings are then attached through story to that image. By retelling the stories, the information is retained. The Orality Centre has been discussing recent research about the impact of dementia and feel that one component may be our lack of links to the stories that define our history and identity. By creating a personal TOC-WinterCount participants will discover how effective this method of storing information can be. As a bonus, participants will have the fun of creating a beautiful object to be constantly updated and valued by their family. They will need to bring dates for defining events of their lives. This workshop will be led by Alice Steel and will certainly lead to a great deal of discussion.

This workshop will be held in the morning, 10 AM to 1 PM, so the conversations can continue over lunch. All materials will be covered by the $5 materials charge.

Memory Boards
Memory boards are incredibly effective portable devices and found in various forms right across indigenous cultures, from the songboards and birchbark scrolls of Native Americans to the tjuringa of Australian Aboriginal elders. We will model our memory boards on the well-documented West African lukasa of the Luba people.  In its simplest form, the lukasa consists of beads and shells attached to a piece of wood, just the right size to hold comfortably – which we will call a TOC-lukasa. A personal TOC-lukasa is a gorgeous object which is hugely practical as well.

Participants will encode information of their choosing and design their memory boards accordingly. Please bring information for any topic with you. We will also have examples of suitable information on offer. The TOC-lukasa at right is encoded with an entire field guide to the birds of Victoria.

A charge of $5 will cover all materials needed. The workshop will be lead by Alice Steel from 2 PM to 5 PM.

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