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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Torres Strait Performance Unveiled at Tjapukai

The intricate headdress of the Torres Strait Islander people and their mesmerising drumming feature in a new performance unveiled as part of the $12 million transformation of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park Chief Executive Officer Geoff Olson said Tjapukai was the first cultural park in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef to showcase the region's two Indigenous cultures.

“Having two distinct Indigenous cultures is unique to this region so we have made it simple for visitors to experience both the culture of the Aboriginal people who call the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest their home and the seafaring traditions of the Torres Strait Islanders,” he said.

“The Torres Strait Islander troupe is called Sager Thei-um, meaning seabreeze spirit, and they have incorporated traditional drumming, the Dari headdress and colourful costumes demonstrating the vibrant dance and sounds of the Torres Strait into their performance.

“The show highlights the difference between Islander and mainland Aboriginal culture and gives an insight into the Torres Strait people's love of rugby league and traditional games of tug-o-war at celebrations.

“It is one of a number of new shows being developed as part of the $12 million transformation of Tjapukai into Australia's leading Indigenous tourism experience.

“The story of this land's Traditional Owners, the Djabugay people, is still central to the Tjapukai experience with the popular dance shows based on their rainforest culture running daily in the recently revitalised Cultural Village.

“Visitors will gain a greater insight into traditions like weaving, didgeridoo making and painting at the Cultural Village which now includes bucket seating at the theatre and undercover all-weather access to the boomerang and spear fields.

“Work has started on the second stage of the Tjapukai redevelopment incorporating space for a new high-tech production with animation and performers transporting the audience into the ancient world of the Djabugay people.”

Mr Olson said Tjapukai would remain open during the redevelopment and continue to offer cultural experiences from different areas of the park's extensive grounds at Caravonica, only 15 minutes from Cairns city in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef.

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