Tanami Women’s Dance Camp
Delivered through Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation
A cultural health and wellbeing project with Aboriginal Warlpiri women through which transmission of traditional Warlpiri culture is passed down through the generations. Tanami Women’s Dance Camp (Tanami Kamina-Kamina Wirntija-Ku) is about Warlpiri women actively reviving, restoring and maintaining the timeless wisdom of Warlpiri cultural mythologies. Yawulyu (Warlpiri women’s ceremony), is taught through story, song and dance. This work began in 2010 through the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation, based in Yuendumu and Incite Arts. It is a long term relationship based project where we continue learning and working two-ways; Yapa way (aboriginal) and Kardiya way (non-aboriginal). This project empowers women in their learning, teaching and leadership in their community.
Since 2011 Miriam has collaborated with senior Warlpiri women and WYDAC team members in planning, preparation and delivery of logistics and cultural activities for each camp. Alongside senior women and young women, Miriam develops teaching and learning activities which encourage engagement in transmission of knowledge between generations. Senior women and young adults now perform to large audiences at festivals including Barunga Festival and DanceSite.
“ This work of Art is a visual, patchwork map, journeying through Jukurrpa and generations of sharing knowledge. It tells the story of women meeting for the dance camps. The idea behind the painting is to show that everyone was gathering for the knowledge of old ways and tradition was being handed down.“
By Enid Nangala Gallagher
Cultural Advisor and Custodian of Tanami Dance Camp & WYDAC Board Member
In 2014 Miriam graduated the University of Canberra with a Diploma in Teaching in Performing Arts. She received the Dean’s Excellence Award for high achievement.