Noongar spectacular to open Bloom Festival

September 10, 2019

An ancient Noongar story about a giant man called Mulka will be bought to life in spectacular fashion at the official opening of the 2019 Bloom Festival.

The free community performance will feature a stunning five metre tall articulated puppet that will bring together an evening of Noongar storytelling, music, song, dance and film.

The event will take place in the Katanning Town Square on Friday 27th of September from 5:30pm.

Julie Hayden is a member of the Noongar Leadership group that brought Community Arts Network’s (CAN) to Katanning to develop the Mulka performance through  CAN’s the Place Names project, which explores the meaning and stories of Noongar places.

“This is probably the most important story of the Noongar nation and it’s being told so that it can be handed down for our future generations.” Said Ms Hayden.

The traditional story that has inspired this performance will reveal how this Noongar legend relates to towns and sites across the Great Southern.

Through Mulka – Place Names Katanning, Elders discovered that the names of places were not so much a word but a sentence of deeper meanings embedded in country.  These sentences were linked to stories, often as a way to keep children safe and teach them cultural knowledge of place and identity.

Mulka’s story is also significant for its place within the greater Noongar Dreaming, a story that has been handed down for thousands of years.

The Bloom Festival will begin with a Welcome to Country by Noongar Elders and then the audience will be taken on a magical journey as the story of Mulka is brought to life.

It will be the culmination of many months work involving Elders and community members from Katanning and surrounding towns, as well as Katanning Primary and Senior High School students, who have been working alongside professional puppeteer Karen Hethey to create the large create creative work.

The performance will be the outcome of CAN’s federally funded Place Names community art project, which explores the meanings and stories of Noongar places, towns and significant areas through art and creativity.

“CAN is delighted to be a part of this year’s Bloom Festival and we’d like to  acknowledge that none of this would have been possible without the support of our partners, Moodjar Consultancy and Katanning Noongar Leadership Group” said General Manager June Moorhouse.

We encourage everyone in the Great Southern to come along and experience this unique and important cultural event.

For more information about Place Names and the Mulka Project www.canwa.com.au

Together with local Elders, CAN Community Arts Network invites you to a community performance to open
the SunSmart 2019 Bloom Festival.

Place Names Katanning is produced by CAN in partnership with Moodjar Consultancy, Katanning Noongar Leadership Group and many Elders and members of the Katanning, Tambellup, Gnowangerup, Dumbleyung and Badgeup Nooongar communities, Katanning Primary and Senior High School students who worked alongside Karen Hethey. The event is supported by the Shire of Katanning.