TANDERRUM

Presented by Melbourne Festival & ILBIJERRI Theatre Company in association with the Bardas Family Foundation

TANDERRUM

Federation Square
04 October 2017, 6:30 PM - 04 October 2017

Ngulu-bulok. Ngarrga. Nurru-nurru. Yinga. 
Stories. Dance. Ochre. Song.

Each year the first words of Melbourne Festival come from those who have carried this land’s stories the longest—the First Peoples of Melbourne.

Tanderrum is a ceremony of the five clans of the Central Kulin Nation—a communal celebration that reaches across time to a tradition that has been hidden since European arrival. Five years ago the Kulin Nation brought Tanderrum back to central Melbourne to open the Festival. This cross-cultural moment has quickly become an essential and living element of Melbourne Festival, and a Welcome to Country for local and international artists and audiences.

This year’s Tanderrum will end with a Kulin Nation tribute to the murrup (spirit) of William Barak. Barak was Ngurungeta—a leader, warrior and spokesperson for Wurundjeri Country. For the final dance the Kulin Nation invite you to join them for a song reclaimed from rare historical recordings of Barak.

With sand, fire, leaves and bark a space is made, and it’s a space to be shared.

DOCUMENTARY

IN THE MEDIA

“The Tanderrum was a moving ceremony which held many significances for us all – indigenous and immigrant alike – and may actually move us a long way towards our integrated future” – Samsara Dunston, Melbourne Arts Fashion, 2014 [Read More]


“A poignant exchange of story, song and dance…” – Simon Plant, Herald Sun, 2014 [Read More]


The Melbourne International Arts Festival opens with Tanderrum’, Radio National Books & Arts Daily, Friday 11 October 2013 [Listen Here]


“Here is a major international festival on Kulin country. There will be artists performing their song and dance from all over the world and it is so appropriate they will be welcomed and greeted and given permission to perform here by the custodians of this country who will give their blessing. It is such a beautiful practice” – Rachael Maza, The Age, 2013 [Read More]


“The opening event, Tanderrum, has been created by the acclaimed Ilbijerri Theatre Company, and fuses music, performance and storytelling from 40,000 years of Kulin culture” – Herald Sun, Friday 11 October 2013 [Read More]


“Thousands of people gathered on Friday night as the 2013 Melbourne Festival opened with a Tanderrum ceremony… It was tear inducing, and not just from the smoke”– Pictorial Melbourne

CREDITS

Tanderrum is performed by clans of the Kulin Nations and directed by their Elders and the TANDERRUM Steering Group.


ELDERS

Wurundjeri
Aunty Di Kerr
Aunty Irene Morris

Boon Wurrung
Aunty Carolyn Briggs
Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir

Taungurung
Aunty Bernadette Franklin
Aunty Jacqui Stewart
Uncle Stephen Walsh

Wadawurrung
Aunty Marlene Gilson
Aunty Judy Dalton-Walsh
Aunty Naomi Surtees

Dja Dja Wurrung
Aunty Fay Carter
Uncle Hurtle Atkinson

STEERING GROUP

Wurundjeri
Aunty Di Kerr
Aunty Irene Morris
Mandy Nicholson

Boon Wurrung
Aunty Carolyn Briggs

Taungurung
Aunty Bernadette Franklin
Mick Harding
Mark ten Buuren

Wadawurrung
Tammy Gilson
Barry Gilson
Corrina Eccles

Dja Dja Wurrung
Aunty Fay Carter
Trent Nelson
Wendy Berick

LEAD SINGERS

Wurundjeri
Mandy Nicholson
Jacqui Wandin
Brooke Wandin

Boon Wurrung
Jodie Seiuli
Caroline Martin

Taungurung
Mick Harding

Wadawurrung
Barry Gilson

Dja Dja Wurrung
Wendy Berick
Michael Bourke

FINAL DANCE

Composer
Dr Lou Bennett

Choreographers
Damien Nicholson
Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward
Dharna Nicholson
Mandy Nicholson

NARRATOR
Uncle Jack Charles

 

ILBIJERRI TEAM
Artistic Director
Rachael Maza
Producers
Jermaine Beezley, Lisa Parris, Lauren Bok
Production Manager
Ilana Russell
Stage Manager
Brock Brocklesby

 

THE FIVE CLANS OF THE KULIN

WURUNDJERI

The five clans of the Central Kulin share many customs, beliefs and language. The name of each clan ends in ‘wurrung’ meaning mouth or lips, indicating that they each clans identity is based on its language. Wurundjeri is an exception to this rule as Wurundjeri was the last remaining clan group of Woiwurrung speakers and now use the umbrella term Wurundjeri to identify under. The original clans being Wurundjeri-balluk, Balluk-wilam, Marin-balluk, Kurungjang-buluk and Wurundjeri-wilam.

The traditional lands of the Wurundjeri include the Birrarung (Yarra River) watershed from the Yarra Valley to Melbourne. In times of plenty, large gatherings occurred between different language groups, called Tanderrum. These were for trade, initiation, marriage exchange, to discuss politics and to have a feast and celebration in honour of friendship and the time of plenty.

An integral part of the Tanderrum is the highly valued walertwalert (possum skin cloak). Traditionally you are wrapped in one at birth, in initiation ceremonies, at marriage and you are buried with your cloak. With the resurgence of Wurundjeri ceremony and cloak making, they are still being used in Wurundjeri ceremonies today.


BOON WURRUNG

The Boon Wurrung are the traditional people and custodians of the lands from the Werribee River to Wilson Promontory. The Boon Wurrung were an extended language-based family group, consisting of six clans: Yallukit Willam, Ngaruk Willam, Mayune Baluk, Boon Wurrung Balug, Yownegerra and the Yallock Balluk. They were part of the larger confederation or nation of the Kulin (the people).

The Boon Wurrung has a very strong and detailed oral history that recalled events estimated to be 10,000 years old. The descendants of the Boon Wurrung continue to live in the greater Melbourne area and take an active role in maintaining and protecting their cultural heritage.

The land of the Boon Wurrung was protected by Bundjil who travelled as an eagle. The waterways were protected by Waang who travelled as a crow. Looern, a demi-god of the Boon Wurrung protected Wamoon, the land we now call Wilson’s Promontory.


TAUNGURUNG

The Taungurung people are closely affiliated with neighbouring tribes, through language, ceremonies and kinship ties. Taungurung are part of the Kulin Nation. The Kulin Nation mob also share common dreamtime ancestors and creation stories, religious beliefs and economic and social relationships. The Taungurung people share a common bond in moiety with the other tribes.

Our world was divided into two moieties: Waang (Crow) and Bunjil (Wedge Tail Eagle). The Taungurung people utilised the resources available in our vast Country. Our Ancestors had an intimate knowledge of their environment and were able to sustain the ecology of each region and exploit the food available.


WADAWURRUNG

The Wadawurrung lived right across Wadawurrung country according to seasonal food sources, ceremonial obligations and trading relationships. The people conscientiously managed their land and waterways. They lived sustainably, cultivating root vegetables, bush medicines and other plants. They promoted grasslands and wild flowers by using controlled burns, eliminating the risk of wildfires. Fire was also good for hunting out game.

They were particularly good at cultivating and harvesting Old Man Weed, which is a very effective healing plant used for curing colds and chest infections.

The Creation Stories and the spiritual places which can be found right across Wadawurrung land are testament to the way the people lived in harmony with the environment. This strong sense of spirituality and connection with the land enabled the Wadawurrung people to survive in a constantly changing landscape. They continue this tradition today.


DJA DJA WURRUNG

Djaara means people of the Dja Dja Wurrung speaking language group. Dja Dja Wurrung people have lived on our traditional lands and cared for our Country over many thousands of years. For us, Country is more than just the landscape, it is more than what is visible to the eye—it is a living entity, which holds the stories of creation and histories that cannot be erased.

Our dreaming stories of Djandak (Country) explain the creation of our lands and how Dja Dja Wurrung people evolved. Bundjil (Wedge Tail Eagle), is our creator and helps us to understand our connections to each other through his law. Mindi, the giant serpent, is his enforcer implementing the laws and ceremonies that ensure the continuation of life.