The annual Garma Festival is one of Australia’s most significant Indigenous celebrations, attracting around twenty clan groups from across Arnhem land and the Northern Territory. The festival takes place at Gulkula, a site which overlooks the Gulf of Carpentaria, and which has profound meaning for the Yolngu people, its traditional owners. They believe that it was here that their ancestor Ganbulabula first created the Yidaki, or didgeridoo. Northeast Arnhem land is regarded as a heartland of Aboriginal culture and land rights. Its culture is one of the oldest on earth, stretching back 40,000 years. The Garma Festival, now in its fourth year, aims to give both whites and Indigenous people an opportunity to share in this ancient culture and knowledge about the land. …Where traditional meets modern Europeans first established a permanent presence in Arnhem Land in about 1935. The area’s since become a popular destination for tourists as well as commercial fishers who do a roaring trade in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Mining companies like Rio Tinto are also established here, drawn by the region’s wealth of natural resources. One of northeast Arnhem land’s most respected figures, Mandawuy Yunupingu, is the lead singer of the band Yothu Yindi, whose… Read full this story
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