Ancient Aboriginal Women’s Ceremonies with First Contact Elders. Continuing a 60,000 year tradition, the Elders of the Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre are inviting women from all over Australia and the world to join them in their 2018 Women’s Law Camp. Participants will have a rare opportunity to be guided through traditional Women’s Business by some of Australia’s few remaining First Contact Senior Law Women.
The camps include: Women’s Law Camps May 2-9th and July 18-25th, Seven Sisters Dreaming Track Trip – May 30-June 7 and the Women’s Cultural Learning Camp June 20-27th. The camps are held near Balgo Aboriginal Community, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Participants can apply to attend via the website www.kapululanguculturecamps.com.
Kapululangu’s Chairwoman, Marie Mudgedell Nakamarra, a Ngarti-Kukatja woman, reports that, “Our Parnytarn (Senior Law Women) were born in the desert and grew up out there before the missionaries arrived here. They are our Nintipuka Tutju (Clever Women) and Tjarrtjurra (Women Healers). They grew us up in the Old Ways when we were young women. Now we want to share our Cultural Knowledge with other people too”.
As Zohl de Ishtar, who co-founded Kapululangu with the Parnytarn back in 1999 and has lived with the Elders ever since, explains that, “Every year we hold a range of camps at sacred sites on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. At each camp we spend six magnificent days and nights connecting with Country as the Elders lead us in performing ceremonies that have been passed down to them over generations. Our camps are full to the brim with dancing, song, stories, travelling, and deep connection with Ngurra (Country)”.
Recently appointed as Kapululangu’s new CEO, Holly Rhodes explains, “Kapululangu’s Camps are Fundraisers, so in the last few years we’ve started inviting outsiders to join us. The money raised enables our Elders to pass their cultural knowledge onto their younger generations by running cultural activities throughout the year. This means that camp participants can be sure that they are making a real difference to our people while learning and having fun themselves. At the same time, they get an insider’s view of one of Australia’s most remote Aboriginal communities”. The women of Kapululangu want to share some of their traditions to help bridge the worlds so there is better understanding, compassion and respect.
These ceremonies are so powerful that one feels transported back in time. As a former camper said, “I think the meaning and depth of the ceremony will reveal itself to me over time. I felt like I was around a fire from the very first time this was done here thousands of years ago”.
Kapululangu is a key provider of Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture – ancient Indigenous philosophy, ceremonies and practice. Its vision is of a cohesive community which honours and respects Self, Kin, Country and Tjurrkupa (Universal Life Force).
Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre, Balgo, Australia.
Enquiries: Holly Rhodes, CEO. Ph: +61 429 422 645, www.kapululanguculturecamps.com