A plane and a video still of a Junba from Mowanjum Arts and Cultural Centre

Sometimes the song and dance cycle of a Junba is dreamt is a contemporary story. In the case of the images above and below The Womanjum Arts and Cultural Centre Junba using planes is about a man who had a sick child. While taking her to hospital on a Royal Flying Doctors plane, the plane unfortunately crashed and everyone in it died. Now that there is a Junba that tells this story the people that were on that plane won’t be forgotten, instead there story will be danced and sung by their community into the future.


The first image contains a video still with the text “Twin Otter Junba This dance was performed at the 2013 Mowanjum Festival. it has not been danced in over a decade and was rediscovered after the community elders accessed repatriated images.”

This text exemplifies the important work the elders and the communities in this region are doing by performing the Junba and sharing them with each other and a wider audience so that stories and traditions aren’t lost. The teaching of the Junba to younger generations is also part of the important work so that when today’s young people become elders they retain the knowledge of their elders that can then be passed down to future generations.


Listen to an interview with Chris Griffiths speaking about the handing down of knowledge and the exchange ‘wirnan’ of Junbas


Watch a video of Chris Griffiths and Gabriel Nodea speaking about the importance of learning the Junbas