Spend a day at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
When I first visited the Tjapukai Aboriginal Park, I was fortunate to be told the story of how it began. In 1987, a couple from New York City – Don and Judy Freeman, and their partners David and Cindy Hudson, all with theatre background, took 5 local Tjapukai men and began a dance theatre. Tjapukai’s production has won many international awards.
Over the years, the Aboriginal’s now have ownership of the Park.
Experience the Aboriginal Culture
This venue was the first ever opportunity for tourists or Aussies to really experience and interact with Aboriginal’s culture. It is a fascinating day or evening experience. There are seven separate arenas each displaying an area of the Aboriginal peoples culture. You find out how their ancient culture began (and yes, there was a flood!) during the Dreamtime experience.
Since the Aboriginal tribes vary throughout Australia, most all have had an influence in the park.
Tjapukai not only teaches, but it enlightens. It tells what happened to the Aboriginal’s when the British arrived. It shows what they ate, how they lived, and the weapons they used.
It was fascinating to watch them make fire in a very short time (5 seconds).
The men are the hunters. The women are the gathers. Herbs, seeds, nuts, fruit or roots with names such as Lemon Aspen, Quandong, Rosella, Akudira, Lilly Pilly to name a few. Many of the plants are poisonous, so they had to be carefully collected, then soaked in water for weeks until the poison was removed.
At the parks cultural village, you can learn how to throw a Boomerang and a spear. I failed both! They use a holder for the spear which I had not seen before. You can also learn how to play the Didgeridoo. The Didgeridoo is a big part of their lives. The sound is haunting and according to ritual men only play this instrument. The dances all have a story to tell.