Journey to Umagico

Three houses stood silhouetted against the darkening sky, as a young Lockhart River woman, heavy with child, made her way on foot to what was to be her new community. With charcoal darkened hands, children and youths of the NPA translated Aunty Abigail’s story into illustrations.

Culture Love Umagico day 1 052 copyJust one of the activities during the 2013 NPA Culture Love Week, this year hosted by the community of Umagico. As community elder Aunty Abigail Wilson told the story of her young family’s  arrival to Umagico (then known as Umachee), Elders Seriat Young, Meun Shorty Lifu and Ron Kelly Peter taught traditional dance, weaving and spear making.

NPA Artists worked with renowned Indigenous Artist Arone Meeks to coordinate art activities that streched the length and breadth of the Umagico Community Hall, where the week was held.Culture Love Umagico day 4 014 copy

Focusing on themes from Aunty Abigail’s story, the works of art transformed the hall, with bush tucker and medicine, language, people and the three tall houses that housed all five families who first settled there.

Umagico Community was settled over 50 years ago, as a resettlement for families who were removed from their homes further South on Cape York Peninsula, mainly Port Stewart and Lockhart River. The traditional name for the area is Lalau (now known as Alau or Umagico).

Culture Love Week is proudly funded by Australian Government through State Library of Queensland, the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council and hosted by NPA Indigenous Knowledge Centres.

The week would not have been possible without the dedication of community volunteers and our Edlers who shared their skills and stories. Culture Love Umagico day 4 178 copy

*Photos copyright to Jessica Saxton.