CULTURAL: Gugabarrway Bidarray dancers David Carriage (front) and Steve Donovan perform at the launch of the Saltwater Freshwater Festival at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.
CULTURAL: Gugabarrway Bidarray dancers David Carriage (front) and Steve Donovan perform at the launch of the Saltwater Freshwater Festival at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.

‘Four Nations’ showcase to be a festival highlight

FESTIVAL goers will have a unique opportunity to experience the rich Goori culture of four Mid North Coast Aboriginal nations at the 2015 Saltwater Freshwater Festival.

The festival has unveiled a vibrant new way to present the distinct cultures of our region's Gumbayngirr, Dunghutti, Biripi and Worimi Aboriginal nations in the "Four Nations" showcase.

Each nation will have its own festival area.

Attendees will be able to hear Gumbaynggirr stories, learn the local language and discover the bush foods and medicines of Gumbaynggirr country on bush tucker walks.

They will also be able to do hands-on weaving with Worimi artists from Forster and Karuah, make bark canoes with Dunghutti craftsmen from Kempsey, and paint with Taree artists in the Biripi art space.

Each area will also feature stalls from artists and craftspeople from the featured nation.

Festival co-ordinator Kristen Collier said six years of Saltwater Freshwater projects across the four nations had unearthed a wealth of talent and cultural knowledge unique to each nation.

"We see this as an opportunity to highlight the variety of Aboriginal culture within the Mid North Coast region," Kristen said.

"In fact, we struggled to pare the program for each nation down to one day - the number and variety of skilled Aboriginal cultural facilitators across elements as diverse as language, dance, art, music and crafts is astonishing."

Share in the Saltwater Freshwater spirit on Monday, January 26.

For more info go to www.saltwaterfreshwater festival.com.au.



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