Garma Festival

(redirected from Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures)
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Garma Festival

August
Although the Garma Festival is a relatively new event, it celebrates one of the oldest living cultures on earth, the Yolngu of Australia's Northern Territory. The cultural life of this Aboriginal people, whose history stretches back over 40,000 years, is the focus of this festival, which takes place over four days in August. In the spirit of garma, a Yolngu word that describes a "two-way learning process," indigenous Australians gather with non-indigenous Australians and international visitors for cultural exchange.
The festival was introduced in 1998 by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, an organization committed to preserving Yolngu culture. Each year people from all over the globe come to Arnhem Land, located in the Northern Territory, for a hands-on experience with the Yolngu.
The centerpiece event of the festival is the daily bunggul ceremony, an afternoon gathering that features dances and music performed in traditional dress. Educational activities include classes on how to play the yidaki (didgeridoo); fields trips into the bush to collect native plants and foods; and an overview of spear-making. Every year the festival includes an academic forum that investigates issues facing the Yolngu and other indigenous peoples.
CONTACTS:
Garma Festival
G.P.O. Box 2727
Darwin, Northern Territory 0801 Australia
www.garma.telstra.com