Uncle Larry Kelly with the Rainbow Serpent.
Uncle Larry Kelly with the Rainbow Serpent. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Rainbow Serpent arrives in Coffs Harbour

IT'S NAIDOC and the Rainbow Serpent has arrived in Coffs Harbour.

But the creative energies of this important indigenous spirit stretch far beyond the local area, right into the heart of Australia, where an exciting project is unfolding.

Gumbaynggirr elders have invited a group of senior Anangu custodians to bring their Wanampi (Rainbow Serpent) Inma (Dance) to the east coast to be danced at this year's Bellingen Global Carnival on October 3.

Elder Uncle Larry Kelly said the spirit was awakening a lot of people across the country and bringing it to the Global was a way for even more people to understand Aboriginal culture was alive and well on the eastern seaboard.

"This dance is a reconciliation dance, it's about breaking barriers," Uncle Larry said.

"The dance has been lost for many years and now we want to bring it back."

Bellingen doctor, Andrew Heslop, has been in central Australia and danced the dance.

He said the dance is all about the regeneration, support and creation of this country.

"Men dance and women receive this dance," Dr Heslop said.

"It is an external representation reminding us of the internal energies at work in this country. It is important for all of us born here to understand this Aboriginal point of view."

The Wanampi Inma is a rain dance, a dance for country and also the only dance where both black and white men and women work together to develop and perform it.

The dance offers a shared experience of what it feels like to 'be children of the dreaming', to be part of the connection with and responsibility to the spirit of this land.

The project co-ordinators are seeking $25,000, either by donation or sponsorship, to bring it to fruition.

Dr Heslop said the plan was to travel out to Anangu lands in September to meet with the elders and bring them back to the East Coast for 15 days of cultural exchange in art, crafts, music and dance.

"The journey for each elder will cost about $1200," he said.

To get involved contact Uncle Larry Kelly 0427 695 912 or Dr Andrew Heslop 0412 850 080.

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