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

Australian Aboriginal flag
Images of the World
Northern Territory flag

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 “Purlapa”
Painted boys
Ready to dance
Three Warlpiri brothers
Painted for “Purlapa”
Girls in “Purlapa”
Young boys dancing
Leading the “Purlapa”
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 “Purlapa”
“Purlapa Wiri”
“Purlapa” dance
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.