The Mowanjum Festival, near Derby, is WA’s biggest traditional Aboriginal performance event, with traditional dance and free cultural workshops including didgeridoo playing, boab nut carving and ochre painting.
Raymona, Jolly, Telequa and Nerelle ask to try my camera and then take it in turns to photograph one another.
It’s fair enough.
Last Sunday morning, under the Kimberley sun in the car park of Mowanjum Aboriginal Arts and Culture Centre near Derby, they had been busy painting a big piece of fabric ready for the Mowanjum Festival, which is on July 6, and I interrupted them.
The festival is WA’s largest traditional Aboriginal performance event and this is its 19th consecutive year, celebrating living, vibrant Indigenous culture.
Performers of all ages take part in traditional dances, telling the stories of the Mowanjum people, from the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunambal people of the West Kimberley.
And this year they have been working with a visiting puppeteer to make some extraordinary costumes.
This year, also, dancers from Balgo (in the north of the Gibson Desert) will be the guest performers.
The festival is from 2pm on Thursday July 6, at Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre, 12km from Derby, and 3km from the west end of the the Gibb River Road (on the bitumen). Entry is $20 for adults, $10 for children. From 2pm to 5pm there are free cultural workshops for visitors, including didgeridoo playing, boab nut carving and ochre painting.
Tickets will be available at the gate — bring a camping chair or blanket. Hot food, bush tucker and drinks available, but this is a smoke and alcohol free event.
And Raymona, Jolly, Telequa and Nerelle will be there dancing, and sharing the culture they continue to live.
(At top: Telequa, Jolly and Raymona getting ready for the Mowanjum Festival at Mowanjum Arts Centre on the Gibb River Road, West Kimberley. Picture: Stephen Scourfield)
- For more, go to mowanjumarts.com/festival.
You may also like
Warming Up Winter, when WA has something for everyone
Cool days Down South and perfect dry season travel in WA's North. In our Warming Up Winter colour magazine on Saturday, we have suggestions for travelling WA in winter, when there's something for everyone.
Arrivals & Departures: Warming Up Winter, with something for everyone
Winter is when WA’s vast geography comes into its own. Down South, there are cool days, roaring fires, fine cuisine and red wine. Up North, it’s the dry season, and perfect for travel.
WA shows off its big, contrasty self best in winter - there’s something for everyone at this time of year.
And our Warming Up Winter colour magazine in The Weekend West on Saturday celebrates all of that.
Covering the whole state, the 28 page magazine is full of suggestions for seeing the best of WA.
Don’t miss Warming Up Winter colour magazine on Saturday.
TRAVEL GUIDE Pilbara Rocks!: Eclectic charm of bush pubs
Stephen Scourfield finds our outback hotels are as full of character as the locals who drink in them.