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Australian group featured at powwow
24 August 206

BISMARCK, ND - BISMARCK (UTN) - A tribal dance group from Australia is the featured cultural group at the United Tribes International Powwow. The Wadumbah Aboriginal Dance Group will perform September 8 - 10 during the 37th annual powwow on the college campus in Bismarck.

      Wearing traditional aboriginal regalia, the four member group entertains and educates about the history and culture of First Australians. Group members come from the Noongar Nations in the south west region of Western Australia.

Members of the group Wadumbah wear traditional loin cloths, or Tjulup, from left, James Wallam, Nathan Webb, James T. Webb and James C. Webb, Jr. The red, gold and black colors, the colors of the Australian national flag, represent traditional elements: red for Mother Earth, black for the people, and gold or yellow for the sun, the healer and giver of life. Photo courtesy Wadumbah.

      Wadumbah was formed 12 years ago. The dancers are seasoned performers with skills in tribal dance that have been honed through dozens of performances in countries across the globe.

      Wadumbah will perform at 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, September 8 and 9 and a 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 10 in Lone Star Arena, the powwow dance arbor in the center of campus.

      Audiences are treated to a variety of music and dance rooted in aboriginal culture. Some are short and powerful, and are executed with energetic dance and wild Didgeridoo playing. The group's leader, James T. Webb, has played the cylindrically shaped natural wood wind instrument since he was nine years old. Other selections are longer and more casual for the participation of children and families in the audience.

      Indigenous people of Australia did not have a written language so other skills developed. Wadumbah keeps faith with the storytelling tradition. Group members say their performances are a way of keeping aboriginal history and culture alive and well in a contemporary setting.

      This is the first powwow appearance by an Australian aboriginal group. Wadumbah is also scheduled to perform during Youth Day on Friday morning, September 8 and in grand entries at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

      Major funding for their visit is provided by TESORO Refining and Marketing, Westcon Industries, the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vaaler Insurance, MDU Resources Group, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, and Theodore Jamerson Elementary School in collaboration with United Tribes.

      A $15 weekend pass guarantees entrance to the powwow and all cultural activities and events on the college campus. Elders (60 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free. There is no charge for parking.

      To obtain a powwow poster or for more information call 701-255-3285 x 1293, FAX 701-530-0633, or visit www.uttc.edu or www.unitedtribespowwow.com on the World Wide Web.


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