Wollumbin Festival a multicultural affair
By TIERAN ZXAVA
BUNDJALUNG elder John Roberts is confident this weekend's Wollumbin Festival will be a special event.
Mr Roberts, in explaining the festival's significance, said Wollumbin was the true Bundjalung name for Mt Warning and a sacred place.
"It is the last place of initiation for men, and very sacred to the tribes of Bundjalung," he said.
Wollumbin, the Pinnacle and Mount Burrell make a triangle and it is within this triangle, at certain times of the year, that all the tribes from all of Bundjalung meet to light fires.
In keeping with this tradition the Wollumbin Festival is held each year at Tyalgum, the traditional gathering place for Bundjalung people.
Highlights each year include traditional aboriginal dance, corroboree, and elders' talking circle.
The festival has ignited an increasing interest in the cultural significance of sacred places such as Wollumbin and the sharing of traditional customs and values of the Bundjalung people.
"The festival has done a lot to advance indigenous recognition, reconciliation, and environmental awareness," Mr Roberts said.
"It is all about walking together as one people", and its evolution into a multicultural festival was deemed "a good thing" by Mr Roberts.
Performers at the festival this year include Native American Indians from Canada, an aboriginal dance troupe from Townsville and various tribes of the Bundjalung Nation.