Art, music, culture
Here are a few of the many sources of information about Aboriginal Australians. We'll be adding more to this list as we find them.
Tjapukai Cultural Park, just outside Cairns, is run by the local Aboriginal people, who have put considerable effort into preserving and reviving their cultural heritage and language. The culture park features two indoor theatres, an outdoor dance stage, and small shelters featuring bush foods, didgeridoo making, spear and boomerang throwing, etc.
I was most impressed with the indoor theatres. One showed a film of the impact of white immigration on the local indigenous people, partly taken from old still photos and partly done in reenactment.
In the second theatre, two narrators (a man and a woman) told the group's dreamtime story, while others reenacted parts of it onstage. The impressive part was the laser and hologram show that was interwoven with the acting.
The website gives some background information and also sells music and art works.
This site is run by the Southern Arrernte Aboriginal tribal group, whose homelands are 100 km south of Alice Springs in Central Australia. It's slow to load (and doesn't bring up the text before the graphics) but some of the graphics and photos are quite nice. The site includes artwork, didgeridoos and music for sale, plus information on traditional and contemporary art and music, Aboriginal history and myths, and other interesting stuff.
The Aboriginal Art Print Network is Australia's largest publisher of limited edition prints by Australian aboriginal artists. They actively work in collaboration with aboriginal artists from communities across Australia to produce limited edition prints as well as international touring exhibitions. Their website includes a great deal of educational information about aboriginal art and culture including artists' biographies and Dreamtime stories. http://www.aboriginalartprints.com.au/
Yothu Yindi is probably the Aboriginal rock band that is best known overseas. They combine traditional Australian Aboriginal music with modern Western instrumentation.
Well worth a look, if you're interested in rock music and/or contemporary Aboriginal culture.
Music: Indigenous Australia
Indigenous Australia is an independent world music label formed by David Hudson, an acclaimed Aboriginal didgeridoo player, screen actor, dancer, guitanst, writer, television presented and painter. If you don't have Flash 5 and some other multimedia software installed, you probably won't be able to see much if any of this site. The site's interactive section includes demonstrations of the sounds of the didgeridoo and the technique of circular breathing. Of course you can buy the group's latest CD releases, as well as videos and DVDs. http://www.indig.com/
Many of the more interesting outback sections of Western Australia (for example, in the Kimberley) are on Aboriginal lands, and you will need a permit to visit them. This information is taken from the WA government's website.
"Reserve Entry Permits
"Under Section 31 of the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act 1972 any person wishing to enter an Aboriginal Reserve must obtain a permit to carry out any activity. The AAPA Act is administered by the Aboriginal Affairs Department (AAD). Entry permits for admission to Aboriginal reserves are issued by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in accordance with this Act and its Regulations.
"The most commonly issued permit is a "transit" permit to traverse Aboriginal Reserved land. To obtain a transit permit a reserve entry permit application form should be completed and forwarded to the Permits Section of AAD. It is suggested that permit applications be forwarded at least two weeks prior to departure. In some cases, especially if applicants wish to visit remote communities, the AAD must contact the communities resident on the reserve before a permit can be issued. "For a more detailed explanation and for any queries regarding the permit process and requirements, please visit the new Permit Webpages."
Click on the link for "Access to Aboriginal Lands".