Imagine the land

Bunya Nut Dreaming, Kinship Festival 2019, Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia

At The KINSHIP FESTIVAL 2019 Imagine the Land Project worked collaboratively to support the festival and community to construct a large scale participatory art installation from soils from the Northern Rivers. The art installation was designed by Uncle Magpie Yerrubilgin, Minyungbal Yugambeh Songman and is about The Bunya Nut Dreaming.

The Kinship Festival is an Indigenous run community event for all families and community members, that invites people to connect, share and participate in the wisdom and practice of healthy families, strong values and vibrant community culture.

A community engagement component of the project worked with pre-schools, schools and community groups who gathered driftwood sticks, sand, pipi shells and Bunya nut hearts from the local environment and then painted them with soil paint in the lead up to the festival.

"Every four years was a time in the Aboriginal social calendar, where many tribes from Northern NSW and South East Queensland would come together in the Bunya Mountains. What would bring everyone together was the abundance of the Bunya Pine. This was a time when there was a lot of ceremony and plenty of corroborees, there was marriage and old friends caught up with one another,
it was like the Kinship Festival."

The walking tracks to the Bunya mountains are still there today but in the form of highways and roads. The pathways are still there, we can still do that walk all over. Everyone from different nations would bring something from their country to contribute, much like we do with the Kinship Festival. The place where the Bunya nut gatherings were held was a big open grassland.

In About 1890-1900 they stopped going there when the government policy of the day stopped the Bunya Festival, we are thinking today that we want to bring it back and bring some life into it.

"What you see in the design is four Bunya Pines. The smaller symbols represent grass and palm trees as in palm forests and open country. There are four pathways that meet in the center, these are songlines. On the outside are more pathways coming around from different directions into Bunya Country. So, everyone no matter where you come from are all going to end up here in the middle, this is where it all happens, this is where the lore is held, it’s called Bunya Dreaming. Yoway." - Uncle Magpie Yerrubilgin, Minyungbal Yugambeh Songman


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