Kakadu explores culture

Zalan splits a pandanus leaf

The day highlighted the importance of encouraging visitors to experience the fascinating Indigenous culture of Kakadu

Anthony Contarino tries his hand at the intricate outlines of his artwork

Park operations manager Anthony Contarino tries his hand at the more intricate outlines of his artwork

We’ve just had a great day exploring different cultures at Kakadu. At our ‘cross cultural exchange day’, we heard stories of Irish, German, Hungarian, and Italian culture and, of course, local Bininj who have grown up in Kakadu and the surrounds.

We tried our hand at traditional Aboriginal painting – and saw how different paintbrushes and colours were used for the detail – using only natural material found in the park.

Lunch was an awesome smorgasboard of Irish stew, German potato salad and local barbecue bush tucker – and then we settled down to a fascinating presentation about Aboriginal kinship and how it works. Our presenter was able to illustrate this somewhat complex system in a clear and concise way.

To wrap up the day we turned our attention to traditional basket-weaving. I now have a whole lot more respect and understanding for the work and patience required to turn humble pandanus into a finished dyed product!

If you’re up this way, why not try your hand at painting and basket-weaving as part of Kakadu’s free ranger-guided activities from May to October every year?

Zalan, Kakadu National Park

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