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Derby Sightseeing

Written on: Thursday July 26th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

The most famous thing to see in Derby, is the Prison Boab, which is about 7km out of town, so we were lucky that Christy had a car. The tree was used to hold prisoners, travelling along the highway, and with a circumference of just over 14m, it can hold up to 10 people, though probably not comfortably!

The tree was pretty impressive, so we had a wander around, and took a few photos, before moving on to our next place - the Mowanjum Arts Centre.

Mowanjum is an Aboriginal community, and the centre is just outside the main camp. The Aboriginal people produce a lot of art, mainly depicting the Wandjina - their spirits. The Aboriginal people have 4 main areas in which they are connected to the planet. One of these areas is their spirituality, which is where the wandjina come into play. The wandjina are believed to be the creators of the Earth, and control the weather, and various other aspects of life. Aboriginals will describe how the wandjina come to them in dreams, and tell them what to do in their lives. For more information, see http://www.didgeridoos.net.au/dreamtime%20stories/Index%20dreamtime%20stories.html. Much of the art work in the Arts Centre shows images of Wandjina, and the Rainbow Snake. The pictures retail for incredulous prices, some as high as $10,000. As well as canvas paintings, the Aboriginal people produce carvings in boab nuts, which can be very detailed and intricate, despite the difficult material.

The art centre was very interesting, and we were glad that we had the opportunity to visit, but it was soon time to head back to meet Angela for our first afternoon of activities with her! We had a cultural afternoon planned, where we were looking forward to learning even more about the Aboriginal people, so we drove back and made our way to the Child Health Centre where Angela is based.


From Trace & Si on Aug 1st, 2007

Whew we're all caught up! Sounds like things are pretty hectic over there! Was great to be able to speak to you at the weekend, hope to read more about the c section if you write about it! You inspired us to look up equinox and boabs (because Si thought they must be the same as the baobabs he'd seen in South Africa) on the Wiki and look what it says about the latter: "Endemic to Australia, boab occurs in the Kimberley region of Western Australia"! Heee! :) :)