Gumbaynggirr elder, Uncle Larry Kelly, with the reborn Rainbow Serpent.
Gumbaynggirr elder, Uncle Larry Kelly, with the reborn Rainbow Serpent. Coffs Coast Advocate

Serpents stirring for NAIDOC

AS preparations for 2008 NAIDOC Week get underway, so too have Aboriginal Dreamtime spirits been stirring.

In fact, the most important of them all, the Rainbow Serpent (Wanampi), has been brought out of storage in Bowraville and yesterday was taking shape on a ridge above Bellingen.

With freshly-painted rainbow head and new all-seeing eyes, the serpent's 35-metre body shimmered in the sunlight, as women hand-sewed scales onto his belly.

According to Gumbaynggirr elder, Uncle Larry Kelly, his rebirth is important because now is a good time to reawaken the spirit of community.

“He was originally created for reconciliation and appeared at a number of Back to Bowra parades,” Uncle Larry said.

First stop this time is Park Beach Plaza, where the rainbow serpent will hang for the coming weeks of NAIDOC and the school holidays to be seen, admired and photographed by all.



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