Indige­nous fes­ti­val comes of age

Broome Advertiser - - Happenings - Carly Laden

The old­est liv­ing cul­ture in the world will be cel­e­brated once again in the 21st Mowan­jum Fes­ti­val on July 5.

The Mowan­jum Fes­ti­val wel­comes visi­tors to wit­ness an­cient cul­tural prac­tices such as Junba, a tra­di­tional form of sto­ry­telling that uses song and dance.

Visi­tors will also be able to try out some of the Mowan­jum com­mu­nity’s cul­tural prac­tices for them­selves, in­clud­ing ochre paint­ing, boomerang mak­ing, bush medicine and read­ing the land through track­ing demon­stra­tions.

Peo­ple will also be able to weave through the var­i­ous mar­ket stalls and visit the gallery to view paint­ings and arte­facts pro­duced by Mowan­jum artists and crafts­peo­ple.

When the sun sets, visi­tors will be en­cour­aged to gather around the stage for a mov­ing cel­e­bra­tion of law and cul­ture as dancers from the com­mu­nity, aged three to 83, come together to tell the sto­ries of their an­ces­tors.

The Mowan­jum com­mu­nity con­sists of peo­ple from the Wor­rorra, Ngarinyin and Wu­nam­bal lan­guage groups and are united by a be­lief in the Wand­jina, a sa­cred spir­i­tual force that cre­ated the land.

The com­mu­nity is eas­ily ac­cessed via sealed roads and is lo­cated at the start of the Gibb

River Road, sit­u­ated two hours north of Broome and 10 min­utes from Derby.

Mowan­jum Arts said the fes­ti­val was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to em­bark on a Kim­ber­ley ad­ven­ture, with so much to see and do in the in­cred­i­ble and wild land­scape.

A par­tic­i­pant of the Mowan­jum Fes­ti­val cor­ro­boree.

Pic­ture: Matt Scur­field

A dancer thrills the fes­ti­val crowd.

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