Com­mu­ni­ties gather for cul­tural event

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

An earth oven re-creation at Dim­boola at the week­end rep­re­sented in­creas­ing fo­cus on cel­e­brat­ing cul­ture, coun­try and com­mu­nity part­ner­ships in the re­gion.

A tra­di­tional owner-led event on Horse­shoe Bend on the banks of the Wim­mera River cel­e­brated Wotjobaluk cul­ture through show­cas­ing cul­tural prac­tices.

The Com­mu­nity Gath­er­ing: Bakang Dyakata Earth Oven Re-creation was de­signed to re­con­nect com­mu­ni­ties and share and pro­mote cul­tural ideas for the ben­e­fit of tra­di­tional own­ers and their fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

The main show­case in­volved the creation of a tra­di­tional Abo­rig­i­nal earth oven, which com­mu­ni­ties used for cook­ing foods such as mur­rnong, also called yam daisies.

The fam­ily event in­cluded a dance work­shop, clap-stick mak­ing, bas­ket weav­ing and mu­si­cal sin­ga­longs with Aus­tralian singer-song­writer Neil Mur­ray.

It fol­lowed a gath­er­ing on the banks of the Wim­mera River at Dim­boola ear­lier this month to make a bark ca­noe from a red gum tree, where fam­i­lies and groups learnt about the tra­di­tional tech­nique and cel­e­brated cul­tural prac­tices.

Wim­mera CMA Abo­rig­i­nal wa­ter of­fi­cer Ben Muir said the events fol­lowed feed­back from the ‘Com­mu­nity Gath­er­ing – River Yarns’ event ear­lier this year. He said when tra­di­tional own­ers and other Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity mem­bers, vol­un­teer groups, his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties and lo­cal and state govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives trav­elled from Hor­sham to Lake Al­ba­cutya for River Yarns, it high­lighted an op­por­tu­nity for more tra­di­tional owner-led ac­tiv­i­ties and shar­ing of knowl­edge.

“Last week­end’s event and the bark-ca­noe event are part of an on­go­ing fo­cus on groups work­ing closely to doc­u­ment and cel­e­brate cul­tural val­ues, sto­ries, mem­o­ries and the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity’s con­nec­tion to the Wim­mera River,” he said.

“It’s all about work­ing to­gether to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties to build con­fi­dence and cul­tural knowl­edge through the gen­er­a­tions with the sup­port of the broader com­mu­nity.”

‘Com­mu­nity Gath­er­ings’ bring to­gether tra­di­tional own­ers, Barengi Gad­jin Land Coun­cil, Wim­mera CMA, Goolum Goolum Abo­rig­i­nal Co-op­er­a­tive, Parks Vic­to­ria, Abo­rig­i­nal Vic­to­ria, the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning and other key sup­port­ers from the broader Wim­mera com­mu­nity.

RE-CREATION: Neil Mur­ray and Aunty Nancy Har­ri­son at Bakang Dyakata Earth Oven Re-creation at Dim­boola. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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