Rice Mag Issue 2: Red Dust

Issue 2: Red DustThey stared at my skin, my freckles and strangely curly hair, they noticed my eyes were blue.

One of the girls gasped and came close, peering into my eyes.Gently, she put one small hand on my cheek and pushed my face toward her friend…

Sissy look, she has sky in her eyes.

The Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) is a group of five remote, indigenous communities sitting at the most northern tip of Queensland, Australia. I was lucky enough to join these communities, living and working in the region for 2 years.

-Issue 2 full copy available for download here.

More stories from the Northern Peninsula Area:

Danger StyleKids of the Red Dust

Noise! All of a sudden they were all chattering at once, a little flock of pointing fingers, tapping feet and flapping mouths. They were pointing, it seems they had found something they want to show me.

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IMG_7584The Wet

‘Island time’. It’s a desperate attempt to find some sort of order we can set our watches to taking the form of a bewildering time management system with no visible regularity other than this. Things will happen when they happen. Never before, and rarely after.

551201_10150858919563565_2002060328_nBright Skin and Sky Eyes

Our little white girl.. how I became known for the better part of 2 years, living in the communities of the NPA in far north QLD. You will hear people refer to themselves as black or white skinned. It’s not meant in a derogatory way, but simply as a straight to the point way of speaking, common to the region.

 

KIcking Up DustKicking up Dust

The campsites would fill with dust as the children practised their ‘shake a leg’, dodging smacks and yells from the adults who were opposed to having dust in their tents and cooking. At night our tent cities would come alive.

 

Turtle Camp Aug 2013 040 copyMothers of the Sea

Under the watchful gaze of a team of indigenous rangers, each nesting mother works slowly to scrape aside the sand with her rear flipper, digging away the damp sand to build her nest. Laying bellies down on the sand next to her, the team of rangers watch as she begins to drop her eggs into the hole in runs

 

IMG_1194Fire on the Water, Spirits in the Wind

Smoke rising from fire on the water. Dust settles, guided by the hand of the wind. The spirits are listening. They are watching… they are leading you forth. Woodfordia’s Village Green is alive with the heartbeat of the drum, the canopy above and open sky lit up by the fire, alight on the water’s surface.

 

Talent Quest 193Sticky Fingers

Sticky, gross, covered in dust and altogether too close to your face for comfort… a description that might easily be used for a number of things that day, but in this exact moment it was the tiny, little dark fingers making their way through my hair.

 

laura festival 2013 (300) copyLaura Dance Festival

Age old markings decorated their bodies, dust thickened the air as the dancers feet met the ground of the sacred meeting place and songs of language and dreaming stories hung on the air, drifting through the silently watching crowds and trees.

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