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Baiame’s Ngunnhu Festival continues to grow

Oscar Bob-Couchie and Meg Paulin from Canada. photo by Jarrahmindi Bill

Baiame’s Ngunnhu Festival returned to the banks of the Ba-wun river, Weir Park, Brewarrina on the weekend for its 9th year celebrating the tribes connected to one of the oldest human-made structures in the world.

The two-day festival opened at 5pm last Friday with a fish feast of barramundi and salad provided by the South Brewarrina Butchers.

In a festival first, sixty locally caught yellowbelly from Karl Knight, were prepared by Tony Nagy, Bryan Barker, and Marcus Barker, and cooked up by Retta Ferguson supported by a team of volunteers. The fish were accompanied by a big curry and damper provided by the Aboriginal Child and Family Centre. There was no food left over.

Over 800 people gathered as the sun set to witness the Corroboree.

The weekend was opened by Lacey Boney and Maddy Hodgetts of Ngungilanha leading over 20 local dancers after their weeklong Ngemba dance residency with Norman Shillingsworth and David Clarke at the Brewarrina Boat Ramp. Yangkay Cultural Connection followed by kicking up the dust.

Lacey Boney of Ngungilanha said, “As we danced, the river roared louder over the weir wall as the rain fell, it was so magical.”

The community watched through the rain as Mura Biri Gururu, Ngambaa Dhalaay followed with an impromptu performance by representatives of Bourke. The night ended in a special first time Powwow in Western NSW from First Peoples performers from Turtle Island, Canada.

All the dance groups joined together in a shake a leg/pow-wow dance that got dozens of community members on their feet. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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