Buŋgul: The Power of Song and Dance

Witness the ancient dances that are central to Yolŋu ceremonial life.

Buŋgul performance (2022)Yothu Yindi Foundation

Time to Open Our Senses

As the sun sets on the Garma day, the Yolŋu clans gather for buŋgul upon the ancient ceremonial grounds at Gulkula.

Red flag performing buŋgul (2022) by Yothu Yindi FoundationYothu Yindi Foundation

This is where stories and knowledge enshrined in the land, the sea and sky are brought to life through song, dance, and ceremony.

The power of the Buŋgul energy (2014) by Peter EveYothu Yindi Foundation

These songlines have been passed down from one generation to the next for millennia; they as old as time itself.

Opening of Garma Festival (2017) by Melanie Faith DoveYothu Yindi Foundation

It is here on the ceremonial ground that our children take their first steps, under the watchful eye and guidance of the elders.

A young Gumatj dancer learning his way during ceremony (2019) by Teagan GlenaneYothu Yindi Foundation

As Gumatj bunggul leader, Balupalu Yunupingu explains: "When I was little, about 10 years old, I was starting to learn dancing. 

Gumatj women performing buŋgul (2022) by Melanie Fatih DoveYothu Yindi Foundation

Just looking at the other older people, and seeing the way they react, and that’s when I started picking up their actions. 

Women and children dancing bunggul (2022)Yothu Yindi Foundation

The dance is very, very important to kids when they are learning. It is your background that you are starting to learn. Every child has to learn from the beginning."

Ready to dance (2015) by Yothu Yindi FoundationYothu Yindi Foundation

So close your eyes and sink your feet into the warm ceremonial sand.

Songmen and boy (2018) by Melanie Faith DoveYothu Yindi Foundation

Drink in the sounds of the songmen and their manikay (traditional song). 

The power of buŋgul (2022)Yothu Yindi Foundation

Let the call of the yidaki and the rhythm of the bilma (clapsticks) guide you, as the colours of the clans and the perfect symmetry of their movements blend in harmony. 

The next generation showing how it is done (2022) by Teagan GlenaneYothu Yindi Foundation

All is in balance.

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