Three homes stood silhouetted against the darkening sky, marking the settlement that would be known as Umagico Community. There were already over five families living between the three buildings, but they opened their doors to new arrivals as more families were relocated from their homes in Lockhart River.
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.
Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary this year, with a gathering of Aboriginal cultures from across Cape York, each sharing their culture and heritage through song and dance. Three dance groups from the NPA made the 10 hour journey to Laura to be a part of the cultural celebration, sharing their own songs, stories and dance. Dancers, singers and supporters from Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon took part in the three day event, showing the cultural strength of their own communities, and the unity of our region, through supporting one another.
“It was deadly to see our communities represented at the festival,” NPA Mayor Bernard Charlie said, “to see our community members practicing their culture with pride, and supporting each other’s as equals. However, it was disappointing not to see all five communities represented this year, with dancers from Bamaga and Seisia troupes not in the line up.”
Images by Jess Saxton, copyright.
Full album PDF available for download here, proudly sponsored by Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.