Abstract: The title of this article was inspired by a filmed interview that I conducted with Joe Gumbula in France in July 2007 during one of his ARC-funded research trips in response to a sceptical European curator who wanted to know why the Yolŋu wanted to have their materials back. Was it because they had lost their culture? Drawing on Joe’s eloquent response, I outline his pioneering perspective on museum collaborations and the digital repatriation of knowledge. Rather than transfixing things on computers, repatriation processes should be seen as modern pathways that link Indigenous peoples to their past, as well as present and future visions, enabling renewed performances of culture. This article has been adapted from my closing plenary address in tribute to Joe Gumbula at the 2017 Information Technologies and Indigenous Communities Symposium in Melbourne.