Photos of the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, Australia

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Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival

Aboriginal culture is still strong in Northern Queensland and a Dance and Cultural Festival, held every two years 15 kilometres from the outback town of Laura, 300 kilometres north of Cairns in the south of Cape York Peninsula, is a wonderful celebration of this. The communities participating come mainly from the Cape York region, from Cairns to the Torres Strait. Palm Island, near Townsville and Mornington Island, in the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria and even groups from the Northern Territory are also represented.

Napranum Kids Group
 
Fire Bird Dance
 
Dance from Bwgcolman
 
Kids from Lockhart River
 
Lockhart River Dance Group
 
Girls from Lockhart River
 
Lockhart River Group
 
Gimuy Wallaburra Yidinydji
 
Mornington Island dancers
 
Boys from Hope Vale
 
Hope Vale Dancers
 
Boys' dance from Hope Vale
 
Boys from Yarrabah
 
Honey Tree Dance
 
Mona Mona Mayi Wunba
 
Mayi Wunba boy dance
 
Coen children's group
 
Girls from Coen
 
Bamanga Bubu Nagimunku
 
Injinoo dance
 
Injinoo Children
 
Dancers from Cairns
 
Painting up
 
Dancers from Woorabinda
 
Dance from Saibai
 
Townsvile girls
 
Mayi Wunba from Kuranda
 
Hunters with spears
 
Lockhart River group
 
Kawanji ceremonial dance
 
Spirit Dance
 
Dance with nets
 
Hope Vale Dance
 
Yarrabah dance group
 
Two Yarrabah dancers
 
Junior Yarrabah group
 
Traditional shield
 
Star Dance
 
Cairns dancers pose
 
Djarragun Aboriginal dancers
 
Top Western dancers
 
Young dancer
 
Torres Strait dancers
 
Yarrabah performance
 
Elder from Lockhart River
 
Lockhart River performance
 
Dance from Lockhart River
 
Traditional story
 
Pormpuraaw dancers
 
Pormpuraaw tradition
 
Boy from Aurukun
 
Dance from Aurukun
 
Dancer from Aurukun
 
The Aurukun Dancers
 
Mornington Island Dancers
 
Dancer from Mornington
 
Boy from Coen
 
Waiting for their turn
 
Songman from Coen
 
Dance from Coen
 

The biannual festival began in the early 1980s when communities in the Cape York region decided to reunite for a weekend of song, dance and celebration. Primarily a community event, it has also become a focus for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, aimed to create a greater awareness of the need for all people of this region to work together to make a better future. The future lies with our children and it is therefore wonderful to see so many children perform so enthusiastically and taking charge of their heritage.

The Festival is held at the Ang-gnarra Festival Grounds, on the site of the traditional "Bora" grounds where the local Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people have congregated for time immemorial. It is a three day celebration, held every two years in the third week of June and is now the largest Indigenous Cultural Festival in Queensland. The programme includes more than 25 Aboriginal communities performing traditional dance and song, Art and Craft workshops, the Cape York Art Awards Exhibition, evening concerts, a didjeridu competition, boomerang and spear throwing.