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Choirs, Camping & Culture

Daminmin Festival returns for a third year to celebrate the Dry, offering punters the chance to visit Limilngan-Wulna Country just east of Humpty Doo for two days of sharing culture, connection and camping.

By Kate Conway

Presented through a creative partnership between Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours and Darwin Community Arts, the festival is thoughtfully curated under the artistic and cultural direction of Lynette and Graham Kenyon.

Celebrating the bounty of art and culture in the rural area, the festival showcases First Nations culture fused with contemporary artistic practice.

Daminmin means ‘turtle place’ according to the Dreamtime Story of the Limingun and Wulna language groups relating to the creation story of the turtle, the festival held at Pudakul Billabong in the Adelaide River wetlands.

Festivities kick off with an opening ceremony featuring the Garramilla Dancers before two jam-packed days of arts activities and cultural workshops ensue, including bush food and medicine, clap stick making, weaving, indigo dyeing, and en plein air (open air) drawing.

Day one ends with flicks under the stars from the Northern Territory Travelling Film Festival, and day two offers an exciting program of musical performances, including the Wairuk Band and a special performance from Shellie Morris and the Arrkula Yinbayarra - Together We Sing choir from Borroloola.

The collaborative project merging the sweet voices of the Tiwi Strong Women’s Choir with the Borroloola Women’s Choir was created to elevate women’s voices and help preserve traditional languages. Morris says the sunset concert on the banks of the billabong offers an important opportunity for audiences to experience the beauty of precious dialects.

“I’m so very honoured to be performing with my aunties and grandmothers to share what we have created through Arrkula Yinbayarra … We’ll be singing in four seriously endangered languages of Yanyuwa, Marra, Garrwa and Gudanji, and we’re looking forward to the audience hearing these beautiful songs,” she says.

“We urge people to visit the festival, and hear us singing and keeping culture strong, as well as enjoying all the other acts and entertainment.”

Pack the camping gear and immerse yourself in Daminmin’s bounty of art and culture, right on Darwin’s doorstep.

Daminmin Festival

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