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Baiame's Ngunnhu Festival

Western Plains App

Urayne Warraweena

14 May 2024, 7:40 AM

Baiame's Ngunnhu Festival Photos taken by Jarrahmindi Bill

Over 800 people gathered as the sun set to witness the Corroboree at this year’s Baiame's Ngunnhu Festival on Friday 19 April.

As everyone gathered on the banks of the Ba-wun river, Weir Park, Brewarrina for its 9th year celebrating the tribes connected to one of the oldest human-made structures in the world, you could feel the excitement. 


The Corroboree was opened by Lacey Boney and Maddy Hodgetts of Ngungilanha leading over 20 local dancers after their week-long Ngemba dance residency with Norman Shillingsworth and David Clarke at the Brewarrina Boat Ramp. 

David Clarke's own Yangkay Cultural Connect followed by kicking up the dust.  

Lacey Boney of Ngungilanha said “As we danced, the river roared louder over the weir wall as the rain fell, it was so magical.” 

As the rain came down the community were too immersed in the wonder they were witnessing to notice it as Mura Biri Gururu dance group. 

Ngambaa Dhalaay followed with an impromptu performance by representatives of Bourke.

The night ended in a spectacular fashion with its first ever Pow-Wow in Western NSW from First Peoples performers from Turtle Island (Canada) from the performing arts company Aanmitaagzi (he/she speaks). 

Aanmitaagzi and Moogahlin have been colla

borating on Serpent Water Stories since 2019.

After their performance the Turtle Island people invited the Indigenous dance groups to join them in a shake a leg/pow-wow, which got dozens of community members up and on their feet to join in. 

Sid Bob from Aanmitaagzi talked about his group he spoke about the power of culture.

“Our company goes from the bush and creation story to the stage, and we believe that the reason they took our art and culture is that's what lights our fire, our spirit and it gives us the tools to see ourselves in a beautiful, powerful way and to see each other in a powerful way.

"So, when we get to share our stories, I’m already feeling more powerful and fuller by hearing the stories from here.” 

Because the festival is to celebrate the ancient Aboriginal Fish Traps (Baiame’s Ngunnhu) Moogahlin puts on a fish feast which is usually done on the Sunday, but because the Sunday was cancelled this year the fish feast was during the Corroboree.

The South Brewarrina Butchers provide the barramundi and salad, and for the first time ever sixty locally caught yellowbelly were provided by local man Karl Knight. They were prepared by Tony Nargy, Bryan and Marcus Barker, and cooked by Retta Ferguson.

Not only was there fish but the Aboriginal Child and Family Centre made a huge curry and damper.  


The 9th Baiame’s Ngunnhu Festival was an outstanding performance and a great night and I am sure the community is excited to see what the 10th year is going to bring.