WOW! What the Barunga Festival is an inspirational gathering!

The Barunga Festival is located in the Australian Aboriginal community called BARUNGA, about an hour drive from KATHERINE in the NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIAbarunga festival crowd. This is a closed community and non-Indigenous people need to purchase a permit to enter into the community – except for during the festival. The festival is an alcohol and drug free event. Children play freely in amongst the festival and there is music, bands and entertainment all day long. This is a beautiful showing of Australian Aboriginal culture.

Police proudly parade on their horse at the festival giving everyone a feeling of safety. Quite a spectacle they were!

At the Barunga Festival in the Northern Territory of Australia women of all cultures sit together to do traditional Australian Aboriginal basket weaving. Basket weaving is for women only in the Aboriginal culture.

basket weaving with Milliwanga

It’s absolutely fascinating to see how they used the Pandanus leaves and natural dye to make such intricate baskets. I watched as one of the Elders demonstrated how to separate and prepare the pandanus leaves – the first step, but I did not see how they dyed the leaves. It takes hours upon hours to do this style of basket weaving. If you wanted to buy one it would cost a pretty penny – which makes sense due to the work involved. The smaller baskets might cost $100 and the large one was priced at over $900.

baskets at buranga festival 2

I was certainly impressed with the expertise and skill of these amazing Australian Aboriginal women!! I don’t think I’d have enough patience to do basket weaving this style. I know a more simpler version where you can make a useable basket in less than an hour with vine leaves.

If you get a chance – plan your trip to attend the Barunga Festival and be blissfully absorbed in culture!