Performance and art

Art and ceremony are very important and are integrated into all aspects of Koori life.

Traditionally, people would create carvings on trees and on the ground and paintings on bark and on dancers’ bodies. They would perform songs and dances to celebrate the changes of seasons, connection to the land and law and to educate the younger generations for their future life.

Visual arts and dance have been, and continue to be, a vital part of Eden Aboriginal culture. The work of the local artists within the Eden community is rich and diverse and encompasses a variety of art forms and practices, including works on canvas, printmaking, engravings, shell art, wood objects, carvings, jewellery, bead and seeds, ceramics, sculpture and digital mediums.

For Aboriginal people, dance has been a unique aspect of ceremonies. Dances have been learnt and passed down from one generation to another. To dance is to be knowledgeable about traditional and contemporary stories. Dance is also seen as an occasion to entertain and be entertained, and the actions of dance show love of family and community.

Yarning around the campfire is still a favourite activity in Koori families today. Sport and physical competition are valued as an expression of strength, agility and skill. Koori people love to get together to feast, laugh and play.

Contributed by Sue Norman published in 2015.