Yolngu women in Arnhem Land are preparing to host their first tours created especially for other women, offering a unique insight into the Indigenous culture and traditions of Australia's remote north.
Lirrwi Tourism's new Gay'wu Dilly Bag Women's Tours will operate in July and August, giving small groups an opportunity to stay with Yolngu women in their traditional homelands while taking part in customs and practices passed down by mothers and grandmothers over millennia.
Offered exclusively for women, the tours will provide a chance to learn first-hand about the culture, skills and ceremonies of Yolngu women, while at the same time taking part in activities like weaving, food gathering, cooking and crafts.
Guests will be able to spend time with Yolngu women and children around the campfire to learn about aspects of their lives, land and spirituality. After helping to gather pandanus, dyes and shells to create materials for weaving, they will learn how to make baskets and other woven materials while hearing the stories traditionally told as part of the weaving process.
A highlight will be an opportunity to witness a Crying for Country ceremony, performed at dawn on a point overlooking the Gulf of Carpentaria. Crying for Country is a sacred ritual for Yolngu women, conducted exclusively in the absence of men.
The seven-night Gay'wu Dilly Bag Women's Tours begin in Nhulunbuy and visit several homelands in north-east Arnhem Land, staying in simple lodge-style accommodation or tents and travelling by modern, air-conditioned four-wheel-drive minibus.
The tours are operated and guided by Yolngu, providing direct income for communities and a path to future economic independence. They have been created as part of Lirrwi Tourism's long-term plan to foster a thriving Indigenous tourism industry in Arnhem Land and create dozens of Indigenous-owned tourism businesses in Yolngu communities.
Other tours available from Lirrwi Tourism include the Crossing Country Yolngu Dhukarr expedition for both men and women, visiting three different Yolngu homelands over seven days.
The Gay'wu Dilly Bag Women's Tours depart on July 20 and August 24, 2015, for seven nights and cost $3000 per person including all meals, transport, activities, accommodation, equipment, guides and permits. Cost excludes airfares.
For more information visit www.lirrwitourism.com.au or phone Lirrwi Tourism on 08 8987 2828.