BlakDance valuing our Elders for Maroomba Ginyinggarr-Bu (Happy Oyster Season)

Image credit Mick Richards 2017

November 2017

What’s Christmas lunch without the “Christmas”? It’s Maroomba Ginyinggarr-Bu of course! Happy Oyster Season.

This year’s annual BlakDance Elders Christmas luncheon was hosted by Roslyn Watson, Nancy Bamaga and Colleen Wall, to make it a truly local event.

BlakDance is the national peak body for Indigenous dance in Australia, based in Brisbane. Our membership features hundreds of independent choreographers and community dance practitioners. For over a decade, BlakDance has consistently delivered significant gatherings and has contributed to the development and rise of dance communities and companies across Australia.

Core to the organisation is seeking guidance from our elders, building respectful relationships and reciprocity as well as providing opportunities to honour and celebrate the pathways they laid for us. BlakDance is also committed to being part of the reinvigoration of local language through a new relationship with Kerry Charlton.

Kerry Charlton says, “Working with BlakDance to create a season’s greetings in Yuggera lingo is a joy! Learning and talking in our lingo teaches us about our culture and country. The flowering of particular shrubs tells us if the incoming oyster time is a bumper or not. My grannies always told all us children that the world was our oyster with many pearls to come, if we educated ourselves and worked for it. We wear our pearls each a wisdom learned or fought for and can help others with them. Maroomba Ginyinngarr-bu: Good oyster season (full of fat juicy oysters) to all!”

Hannah Scanlon from BlakDance says, ‘Working with our elders, seeking guidance and demonstrating respect, is part of the BlakDance cultural framework. This was my first time producing an event, I was honored to have mentorship and guidance from such strong matriarchs, our elders; Aunty Colleen Wall, Aunty Roslyn Watson and Aunty Nancy Bamaga, who supported me with knowledge and wisdom on how to negotiate protocol and proceedings of events. It was great and important to work with Aunty Kerry Charlton who helped us with Yuggera language. As BlakDance grows from strength to strength, I look forward to continue building strong relationships with our local community and to keep learning from our elders.’

BlakDance looks forward to more amazing activities with our old people well into the future.


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