Kalamunda’s Makuru Arts Festival and Exhibition celebrates indigenous heritage


The Merindas dance duo will perform at the Makuru Arts Festival in Kalamunda on Saturday.
The Merindas dance duo will perform at the Makuru Arts Festival in Kalamunda on Saturday.

PERFORMERS will celebrate the languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through songs, stories and dance at Kalamunda’s Makuru Arts Festival and Exhibition on Saturday.

‘Our Language Matters’ is a free event for Naidoc Week supported by Kalamunda Shire and featuring a themed exhibition at the Zig Zag Gallery.

Makuru Festival Director Ms Della Rae Morrison said a diverse line-up of performers would share their language through stories, song and dance.

More than 250 indigenous languages exist in Australia with fewer than 150 in daily use.

“Our languages are not just about communication, but express knowledge about everything in our lives including our laws and history, caring for country, family and relationships, our health and much more,” Ms Morrison said.

A festival highlight is the Noongar Sonnets by the Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company with Della Rae Morrison and Maitland Schnaars, along with stories from Aunty Josie Boyle on the big screen.

Other acts include Moombaki, ‘where the rivers meet the sky’, an eclectic ensemble of Aboriginal artists who integrate spiritual influences with haunting lyrics.

The event will also provide a stage for Madjitil Moorna community choir, Motown duo The Merindas and the Bartlett Bros trio with rootsy pop and soul-edge singer songwriter Phil Bartlett.

Aboriginal youth hip-hop crew The Beat Walkers will share their moves, along with female dance troupe Kwarbah Djookian.

Songs of hope from Gina Williams will inspire along with music from Ronald Dick, Chloe Maynard, BRYTE and DJ Rad One.

Makuru is the name of the winter season, traditionally a time when Nyoongar people would return to inland hunting areas to prepare camping grounds and stock up on fire tools and bush medicines.

The week-long exhibition of work by local artists opens on Friday at 6pm, with a welcome to country by Trevor Walley and songs from Koorndarm Choir led by Kobi Morrison.

What: The Makuru Festival
When: 1pm-6pm, July 1
Where: Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre

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