Unc Goes to Quinkin Country

Laura is in Quinkin Country, well known for the rock art and the bi annual Laura Aboriginal Dance festival.

Aboriginal tribes come from all over Cape York came to Quinkin country to pay their respect to the traditional owners of the rock art sacred sites and to dance at the sacred Bora ring like their ancestors have done for over 40,000 years.

The 500 dancers from 20 tribes kicked up a lot of dust, made a lot of noise, ate a lot of tucker and kept the crowd of 5,000 spell bound and asking for more.

Old mate Unc, went back to Quinkin country to listen to his grandfathers stories from elder and traditional owner Tommy George.

Unc’s pick of the dancers were the Lockhart River, and the Injinoo tribes.

But after 250 dancers and lots of clap sticks and didge, old unc had seen enough. Leaving the dance areas Unc ran into an old mate recently elected Co Chair of the national congress, Les Malezar. Lez was visiting and touting for business for members of the new congress. He made his way to the Radio Laura tent for an interview. Asked on radio what issues the congress was looking to engage with, he drew attention to the 4th anniversary of the Northern Territory Emergency Response, commonly known as the Intervention.

He pointed out that for a supposed emergency, measures put in place 4 years ago are still there and are becoming a normal way of life. He also highlighted how the intervention had stigmatised Aboriginal people.

Ex ATSIC Commissioner for Tasmania, Rodney Dillon was also there, getting people interested in and talking up the declaration on the rights of Indigenous people. You may remember that after the Howard Government refused to ratify the declaration, along came Kevin Rudd, and ratified it and also made the apology to the stolen generations.

If you are thinking about coming for the next Laura Festival, be prepared to rough it, I mean there is new meaning to the word thunder boxes. Those ones on the movie “Kenny” were thrones in comparison “Just picture a long drop into a wheelie bin and you will be there”

Apart from the blackfellas, Laura festival seems to be a magnet for hippies young and old and grey nomads. Which sets up an interesting dynamic between those that want a good nights sleep and those that like to sit up and play tom toms.

If you are ok with someone camping within one metre of you, then you will have a great time in Quinkin country.

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