Kar­i­jini cap­ti­vates bumper crowd

The Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence is quickly ce­ment­ing it­self as the premier cul­tural fes­ti­val in the State. Find out why in­side.

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Led by four Ban­jima el­ders, white and black danced to­gether as a full moon rose over Kar­i­jini Na­tional Park, spurred on by a 600-strong crowd re­lax­ing af­ter a week in one of Aus­tralia’s most spec­tac­u­lar nat­u­ral lo­ca­tions.

Now in it’s fifth year, the Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence is mount­ing a strong case as WA’s premier cul­tural fes­ti­val.

From in­ti­mate mo­ments such as a young indige­nous boy learn­ing to sing with his el­ders to renowned chef Mark Olive show­cas­ing the na­tive herbs around us, the five-day fes­ti­val was a show­case of cul­ture, nature, and com­ing to­gether.

Nin­tirri Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive James Jarvis said the Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence was a prime ex­am­ple of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in ac­tion.

“I was lis­ten­ing to (Ban­jima el­der) Mait­land Parker and he was en­cour­ag­ing non-Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to talk to Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to find out about them, their coun­try, and their con­nec­tion to it,” he said.

“That for me is the Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence right there.

“Kar­i­jini is a meet­ing place, a place of cel­e­bra­tion, a place of con­nec­tion, and a place for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar to show­case the enor­mous tal­ent they have across so many art forms.”

IBN Cor­po­ra­tion chair­woman Lor­raine In­jie said the Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered a chance to teach indige­nous cul­ture.

“For many years as­pects of Abo­rig­i­nal lan­guage and cul­ture have been ex­cluded from the school cur­ricu­lum,” she said.

“I met an older per­son who said the info he was get­ting here was not made avail­able to him through his school years.”

Wir­larra En­sem­ble singer and Mul­gana woman Pat Oak­ley said be­ing part of the fes­ti­val had been a hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence.

”We brought to­gether a mu­si­cal fam­ily in the Wir­larra En­sem­ble and now we have ex­tended that fam­ily to the peo­ple of Kar­i­jini,” she said.

“We have made good friend­ships with the tra­di­tional own­ers and are now talk­ing about do­ing some col­lab­o­ra­tive work in their own lan­guage.”

Ms Oak­ley said per­form­ing at the Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vided the en­sem­ble with a spring­board to aim for some­thing “out of this world”.

A young Ban­jima boy learns cul­tural singing in front of his el­ders at the Moon­rise Lounge.

Pride on show as a Ban­jima el­der congratulates a young boy who joined the el­ders in song at the Moon­rise Lounge.

Young Ban­jima men pre­pare for a cul­tural dance at the Moon­rise Lounge.

Fer­vor de­gus­ta­tion din­ner at the Kar­i­jini Ex­pe­ri­ence.

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