History through songs to start 150 celebrations
ROEBOURNE 150 Tjaabi Show, Wednesday, August 17, 5.30pm at the Ngurin Cultural Centre, Roebourne.
Roebourne’s 150th anniversary week-long celebrations will be kicked off tonight by Big hART and the Yijala Yala Project’s latest production Tjaabi.
From 6.15pm at the Ngurin Pilbara Aboriginal Centre, audiences will be given a unique glimpse into the indigenous culture of the Pilbara through traditional song and dance, story and images.
Tjaabi represents the meeting of old and new and will be performed by Ngarluma man Patrick Churnside along with local children from the community.
A tjaabi is a unique form of song, often referred to as a musical haiku, which has been passed down over generations and tells stories of experiences, landscapes and history.
Each tjaabi comes from a specific place in the Pilbara and has an original singer.
Mr Churnside said the Tjaabi show is an important addition to Roebourne’s anniversary celebrations.
“This Tjaabi show is a contrast to that 150 years but it’s also an invitation into a culture, a living culture, that’s been sitting in this community for more than 150 years,” he said.
“This culture of song-making and telling stories through song in the form of tjaabi is what the show is about. “It’s a journey of those songs.” Mr Churnside has been overwhelmed by the turnout during the show’s rehearsals over the past couple of weeks.
“They’ve been very busy, very exciting,” he said.
“Especially for some of the youth and our kids in the community who have turned up in droves to the rehearsals and the workshops ... in the cultural centre here in Roebourne.”
Tjaabi is part of the Roebourne 150 official opening and is a free event open to the community.
Before the show starts, there will be speeches and food and drinks available for purchase from the Yirramagardu Community Association.
It is an all ages alcohol and drug-free event.
For more information head to karratha.wa.gov.au/events/tjaabi or yijalayala.bighart.org/tjaabi.