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Anangu - The Rock comes to The Dreaming!
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 June 2007

Traditional custodians of Uluru- Kata Tjuta arrive this week at the festival site in Woodford, an hour north-west of Brisbane, in preparation for the June long-weekend festival The Dreaming.

Most people who have visited Uluru will vouch for the monolith’s strange almost magnetic mystical power – one of nature’s sacred edifices that leaves one spellbound, awe-struck and spiritually moved all in one hit.

Maybe it’s not surprising then, that millennia before it became a modern day tourist  attraction, it was a mecca and crossroads for ancient travellers in a mighty continent that was home for countless generations of its aboriginal ancestors.    Over that time-span, legends and stories, especially of the creation time, have been woven into the cultural fabric of the area’s Anangu people.

The features of these spectacular ancient geological formations are seen in
aboriginal lore as physical evidence of the actions, artefacts and bodies of the ancestral heroes (the tjukuritja) who travelled the earth in creation times.    The travels of these ancestral heroes are celebrated to this day in Anangu culture.

The Dreaming festival patrons, from all sections of present day Australian
society, will be able to listen to and watch these same unchanged stories retold in dance, ceremony and song by the Anangu Dancers of Uluru.

But the dancers, which include six women, five men, and three young men who
are undergoing training, are not a formal dance group.   “They are men and women representing their community which are the traditional owners of this territory, dancing the traditional stories of Uluru,” said Clive Scollay who looks after the dancers.

“The series of stories are drawn from Tjukurpa (Dreamtime) with the men and
women, who are mostly elders, singing songs.   “There are other stories of romance and conflict and of ancestors who found their way to Uluru.     There also are stories of ancient journeys that intersected at Uluru because of  its water sources and the power of the place.”

The costumes worn by the ten elders and four young men include intricately designed human hair belts.    The men look particularly impressive with bright red headbands and framed headdresses made of spinifex and bush twine.    They dance to the accompaniment of song, clapsticks and the clapping of boomerangs.

At The Dreaming, held at the festival site in Woodford, the Anangu Dancers
of Uluru will perform in the mornings, and in the afternoon teach and talk about their traditional art at the Maruku Gallery.

The artwork on display features burnt wood designs which are unique to the
Pitjantjatjara people of Uluru.    Hot wire is used to engrave the intricate designs, many in the shapes of animals, into pieces of redgum.    In fact, some of the designs represent stories the Anangu dancers will be performing.   While many of the dancers are making their first trip to Queensland, it doesn’t mean they are not well-travelled.

“Most of them are now seasoned travellers, having performed all over world,”
said Clive.   “And they are really excited at the prospect of being part of The Dreaming.   “They are looking forward to sharing their stories, at the festival, with indigenous and non-indigenous people.”   These dancers are handing down knowledge from a distant past.    Their strength is that they still live on the land on which their ancestors lived,    English is a second (or fourth) language, and they are practitioners of an ancient yet still living culture.

This and more makes meeting the Anangu people at The Dreaming a special and
important occasion.

Pre-purchase tickets and SAVE online at
or call the festival office on 07 5496 1066.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 June 2007 )
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