Our Mission

Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is a grassroots project aiming to empower communities to manage, share, narrate, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways. We are committed to maintaining an open, community-driven approach to Mukurtu’s continued development. Our first priority is to help build a platform that fosters relationships of respect and trust.

Mukurtu CMS Core Features

TK Labels

Mukurtu CMS makes it possible for you to share your digital cultural heritage using a set of Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels. TK Labels allow Indigenous communities to label third party owned or public domain materials with added information about access, use, circulation and attribution.

Cultural Protocols

Cultural protocols are the core of Mukurtu CMS. Protocols allow you to determine fine-grained levels of access to your digital heritage materials based on your community needs and values. Protocols make it possible to define a range of access levels for digital heritage objects and collections from completely open to strictly controlled and it is easy to change a protocol with just a few clicks. Protocols change with you.

Community Records

There is rarely just one story, one set of information, or one way of knowing cultural heritage materials. We’ve made it easy for you to add multiple records to any digital heritage item. Community records provide space for multiple cultural narratives, traditional knowledge, and diverse sets of protocols ensuring that you can tell your stories and your history, your way.


Maintaining the integrity of your files and data is of the utmost importance. Mukurtu CMS Roundtrip feature allows for media and data collections to be brought into Mukurtu and exported again without risk of losing meaning or protocols. Read, enrich, enhance, or update the metadata inside of the CMS, and then export them again for use in other platforms with the original metadata intact. For the provenance-keepers out there, the exported files even pass an MD5 hash check!

Mukurtu Beginnings

In 2007, Warumungu community members collaborated with Kim Christen and Craig Dietrich to produce the Mukurtu Wumpurrarni-kari Archive. Mukurtu is a Warumungu word meaning ‘dilly bag’ or a safe keeping place for sacred materials. Warumungu elder, Michael Jampin Jones chose Mukurtu as the name for the community archive to remind users that the archive, too, is a safe keeping place where Warumungu people can share stories, knowledge, and cultural materials properly using their own protocols. Growing from this community need, Mukurtu CMS is now an open source platform flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse communities who want to manage and share their digital cultural heritage in their own way, on their own terms.

Implementation and Sustainability

Mukurtu CMS has been developed as an access platform and is intended to serve as one component in your larger digital stewardship ecosystem (access, preservation, sustainability). If you are planning to include use of Mukurtu CMS in a grant proposal, keep this in mind. A successful digital project plan will address the tools, resources, staff, and workflows for digitization (if relevant), preservation, description, access, and long-term sustainability.

See our FAQs page for more information on digital stewardship, see our GitHub repository for the Mukurtu CMS development roadmap and please contact us at support@mukurtu.org if you have questions about Mukurtu CMS features, functions, capacity or sustainability.

Development and Contribution

The open-source code for Mukurtu CMS is developed and maintained by the Mukurtu team at the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University. We consult with communities and organizations to identify new features, improvements, and to help us test and provide feedback on long and short term development.

If you are interested in contributing to, or learning more about the technical aspects of Mukurtu CMS, please see our Get page for information and links to our GitHub repository. Bugs and other issues can be submitted through the issue tracker on GitHub. And you can always contact us directly at support@mukurtu.org.