Photos of Aboriginal Children's Dance in the Northern Territory, Australia

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Aboriginal Children's Dance in the Northern Territory

Aboriginal culture is alive and traditional chants and dancing are very important among the many different peoples of northern Australia. Children are always encouraged to participate and good dancers are loudly encouraged; although the dances always have a deeper meaning behind them, the biggest impression the kids leave on the onlooker is a sense of enormous fun. The older people are always there to guide the young ones by example and take great pride in the performance by the new generation. It is at these occasions that the whole community comes together.

Decorated for
 
Painted boys
 
Ready to dance
 
Three Warlpiri brothers
 
Painted for
 
Girls in
 
Young boys dancing
 
Leading the
 
Girls learn dance
 
Dancing solo
 
Small girls dancing
 
Girls dancing
 
Warlpiri boy
 
Girls dancing
 
Warlpiri solo dancer
 
Dance lessons
 
Boys dancing
 
Three young boys
 
Warlpiri girls dance
 
Warlpiri boys
 
Warlpiri
 
 
 
Dance in Borroloola
 
Borroloola girls
 
Traditional dance
 
Night corroborree
 
 
Boys from Barunga
 
Barunga dancers
 
Young dancer
 
 
At Barunga Festival
 
Barunga dancers
 
Young boy dancing
 
Barunga boys
 
Peppimenarti boys
 
 
Boys dancing
 
Hermannsburg girls
 
Boys painted up
 
Arrarnta girls
 
Arrarnta boys
 
Pintubi girls
 
Ready for  the dance
 
 
Dance at night
 
 

Each group has its own style of body decoration and dancing. The "bungkul" dances of the Top End, accompanied by the sound of the "didjeridu" drone-pipe and clapsticks, where the young dancers whirl and stamp wildly, are completely different from the more orderly looking "purlapa" dances of Central Australia, with dancers decorated with ochres and glued-on vegetable down, accompanied by the sound of boomerangs, clapped together.

Here then are kids from the Top End to Central Australia, from the Tanami desert to the Gulf of Carpentaria; but in spite of the differences in body painting, chants, and steps they all share the same energy and joy, a celebration of the endurance of what may be the oldest culture on earth.