“ Cultural centre which displays the traditions and way of life of the aborigine people of Northern Territory „
Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Kakadu, Australia
One day on our tour in the Northern Territory, our first stop was Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural display which was a sort of Aboriginal museum explaining lots about their way of life. There are a number of tribal people in the area and they include the people from Murumburr, Mirrar Gun-djeihmi, Badmardi, Bunitj, Girrimbitjba, Manilakarr, Wargol and and they have all this combined to create this educational exhibit.
The building itself was quite different as it was designed in the shape of a pig-nosed turtle (Warradjan).The first display was a calendar explaining the Aborigine people's year. As they say 'Our land is our life" and the weather dictates what they do throughout the year. Their calendar is not based on four seasons but on the times the rain comes and the years is divided into six distinct seasons.
Gunumeleng : the pre monsoon season goes from mid-October to late December, may in fact last from a few weeks to several months.
Gudjewg: the monsoon season lasts usually from January to March, can be described as the 'true' wet season.
Banggerreng : April, is the season when the rain clouds have dispersed and clear skies prevail.
Yegge: May to mid-June, is relatively cool with low humidity.
Wurrgeng: Mid-June to mid-August, is the 'cold weather' time with low humidity . Daytime temperatures are around 30°C and night-time temperatures are around 17°C.
Gurrung: Mid-August to mid-October is hot and dry.
There were things for sale like pandanus hand bags made from pandanus which is a type of plant whose long leaves are stripped into long strips and woven into things. These bags were $98 Australian but at that price we didn't bother and nor did many other people which was a shame for those who made them but really way too expensive for the average visitor. If I am spending nearly £100 on a handbag I want it to look classy not like something made by a craft class in school. There were other craft items such as bark paintings and artworks, as well as the inevitable T-shirts, books, and CDs of traditional music also available but it was all quite expensive.
When we first arrived there was a queue to get in so we decided to go and look at the gift shop and then look around the back. There was a small group of Aborigine women weaving the pandanus baskets and so I went and had a chat and they told us they lived nearby and came to the Aborigine centre to share their culture and help people learn about their people.
After this we went into the museum and spent some time in there. It was a very visual display with simple explanations. The displays took us through food that was eaten and how they obtained this -their hunter gatherer methods and equipment. There was also a lot of information and displays about their beliefs and how their art paintings reflect these. It was fascinating and a really very informative place to visit and enabled visitors to learn a bit more about the local Aboriginal people.
The visitor centre is open from 9am to 5 pm daily and it is well worth an hour or so to visit and walk through the very well laid out and informative exhibits.
This is well worth a visit as it helps the visitor have an idea of how the Aboriginal people fell about the land and how their way of life works with the land and the weather.
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