Southern Ngaliya Dancers

An Intergenerational Warlpiri Cultural Dance Camp Program facilitating ceremonial song and dance experiences for women and girls from Yuendumu, Nyirrpi, Willowra and Lajamanu.

Southern Ngaliya (SN) is a three-way collaboration between the Senior Warlpiri Women, Incite Arts and Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC). Based on trust relationships and responsiveness to direction from the senior women, the program builds a platform to collectively focus on achieving stronger links with traditional song and dance; creating new generations fluent in the ceremonial and cultural knowledge of their parents/grandparents; and strengthening Warlpiri culture.

The delivery of twice-yearly dance camps involves travelling to significant cultural sites and orientating the young women and girls within the knowledge and responsibilities inherent to the ceremonies of that country. The women sing songs connected to the country where the camp is held, while they paint each other and the younger women and girls, in preparation for the evening performance. The young women and girls also experience other cultural practices.

Other significant outcomes of the program include public performance opportunities and the documentation of stories, songs and dances.

SN encourages and supports Warlpiri women to undertake leadership roles, engage in a comprehensive and ongoing consultation process and work to meet needs directly expressed by Warlpiri women. Together these generations of women explore the traditional culture and the value of ensuring its survival.


Project Feedback

On the importance of Southern Ngaliya

“I think it’s pretty important that we have the funding to keep on supporting these programs. We are now living in the new generation, the Kardiya world, white man world now and sometimes we think everything will be forgotten because there are new technologies coming. The culture is very important in our lives because that’s where out spirit is and it needs not to be forgotten. We need these programs for our young generations to look back to, to what they have learnt in the past. See what they’ve been doing, whether they have become mothers themselves. To be able to look back at the past and to say I’ve been there and keep on keeping our children strong. Strong culture, strong language! It’d be very sad if there were no programs to do those kind of things. Working together, bringing this all together. And that is a really big thing, a really big thing, you know.”

Lottie Napangardi Williams Robertson

SN Cultural Mentor & WYDAC Chairperson