Tjapukai is an Aboriginal Cultural Park. A short 15 minute ride from Cairns, puts you right in the old world culture brilliantly revived, and it seems to be alive and doing well.
It is a contained park with planned activities, and I thought it was a terrific introduction to the Aboriginal culture and folk art.
There was a didgeridoo concert, the haunting mellow sound resonated in the theatre, along with traditional dancing performed by the Tjapukai Dance Troupe. The didgeridoo requires a lot of air power, but the sound that comes out of the instrument resonates around you like an echo. Powerful, still and evocative.
The dance movements were mesmerizing, you quickly got caught up in the story they were telling. Tales of hunting, spiritualism, survival and pride; an insight into the culture through music and dance. The perfect introduction to a civilization that was totally foreign to me. It was ideal, because it brought the past to life not just through a lecture, but through art, music and dance, and it was interactive
There were boomerang throwing lessons, along with spear throwing, it’s not as easy as it looks. If thrown correctly, the boomerang will return to you, but you must make the attempt to catch it. It will not magically appear in your hand, although the return flight was fascinating to watch.
There were lessons about hunting tools and weapons that were used some 40,000 years ago by the Aboriginal people. It was an amazing insight into an ancient society.
The park is intimate, well organized, and first and foremost educational. A rare glimpse of what once was, an inspiration to keep the old culture alive for future generation. A tiny spark that shows awareness of what once was.
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