CORROBOREE: Gubbi Gubbi Dance showcased a traditional performance at Booin Gari Festival.
CORROBOREE: Gubbi Gubbi Dance showcased a traditional performance at Booin Gari Festival. Caitlin Zerafa

Festival shares story and dance

RAIN did not deter crowds at Tuesday's annual Booin Gari Festival as hundreds turned up to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

In its 11th year the festival connected people to culture through song and dance, art and craft, stories and yarning, bush tucker tastings and water craft.

Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodian and event organiser Lyndon Davis said the day was about bringing people of all cultures and country together.

"It's all about the community and bringing out the talents some people have in the community have and having an Aboriginal themed festival up in the Noosa district,” he said.

"Booin Gari talks about 'come this way'... and that's what it was like back in the day.

"There was always something going on and a lot of gatherings and I guess we are sort of brining back that lifestyle.”

The festival gave an opportunity for those who may not know much about indigenous culture to learn traditions and stories.

"The main important message is the custodianship,” Mr Davis said.

"The families looked after everything when they were here for 60,000 years and it hasn't changed with us, we still come from that bloodline, we are still the same people.

"Even if you're not from here, there is a reason you are here.”

Booin Gari MC Nathan Morgan said the festival is very much about eduction and a great way to ensure culture and story is passed on to future generations.

"Us Gubbi Gubbi or Kabi Kabi mob, we've got nothing but stories and we want to teach our stories and our ways and be proud of our history and culture,” Mr Morgan said.

"The only way we can do that is get the community involved, make them feel a part of something.

"You know our stories is now their stories and without their voices to carry our stories along they are going to get lost.”

Mr Morgan said off the back of this year's NAIDOC Week theme Because of Her, We Can!, it is important to continue at a grassroots level and honour elders who fought for Indigenous rights.

"We are trying to make small steps by breaking down a few doors here at a time but if we can do our bit for our community then the more communities that jump on board, the bigger we are going to get,” he said.

"They're our next generation, they are the voices of the future.

"If we can amp them up and be as excited and as proud of the stories as we are then we've done our job.”

Throughout the day people of all ages enjoyed the festivities, despite a few downpours, and some even tried bush tucker including kangaroo burgers or delicacies made with crocodile or emu meat.

Rising star and singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara captivated the audience with her original music as she sung in both English and traditional Anindilyakwa language from her debut album Milyakburra.

Talent continued with guitar-tapper Chris Tamwoy and his sister Tania-Rose on harmonies as well as the much anticipated traditional dance troupes.

This included local Gubbi Gubbi Dance, Yulu Burri Ba Dancers (North Stradbroke) and Butchulla (Fraser Island) and Torres Strait Islander's Drums of Mer.

Tewantin State School also lead a procession with their larger than life creations: Dhakhan the Rainbow Serpent and Malo the Octopus.

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