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Jamie Ahfat and traditional gunbark (didjeridoo) knowledge - didj making wo...

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324 Wilson Rd

324 Wilson Road

Weavery HQ

Ilkley, QLD 4554

Australia

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Didjeridoo (Gunbark) knowledge with Jamie Ahfat - WORKSHOP 1. (Separate event notice for other making and playing workshops).

$150 including didgeridoo to take home. Limited spaces avaialble.


Didjeridoo making workshop (using woollybutt and snappygum hollow trees directly from Arnhem Land).


Jamie Ahfat, master Didj player (‘gunbark' in Jawoyn language) from Arnhem Land, is coming to the Sunshine Coast to share culture and didjeridoo making, painting, playing, and Lore.

These workshops will be for men and women (men only for the practical aspect of the 'playing' workshops, woman can sit in and listen and learn for $50), or attend a weaving circle for women at the same time as the 'playing' workshops for men (same location but separate spaces). That means that you can bring your hubby/ friend /brother for a great day or two of cultural learning and sharing.

Workshop 1 - Make a didjeridoo from scratch - shape, sand and seal it, with the option to paint it with natural ochres and acrylic colours. Use real bush wax for the mouthpiece - limited spaces available - $150 - 12 August

Workshop 2 - Playing the gunbark/didjeridoo, traditional Central Arnhem Land style, plus lore/ law and stories - playing men $100, women $50 (woman cannot play but can sit in). - 13th August

A special women’s weaving circle will happen concurrently to workshop 2, at the same location, event notice is separate for this. $100

Workshop 3 - Full day - making gunbark/didjeridoo (10am till 1pm) and playing (2pm till 3.30pm) - 17th August - $200

Bring shared lunch, tea and real coffee included.

So who exactly is Jamie?, you might ask. Well firstly, he is a dear friend of mine, who lives in Barunga community in Arnhem Land. Here is the cv we put together for him:


CV/Bio of Jamie Ahfat, cultural artist and knowledge holder, born 22/9/74

Clan group:
On his mothers side - Mara Alawa (2 tribes make one clan - from grandmother and grandfather)

On his Father’s side fathers side - Wanyi

Skin name: Ngarritj, Yirritja subsection

Jamie Ahfat was born in Katherine, NT, to his mother Helen Blitner and father Matie Ahfat. He follows his mother’s line, coming from Boroloola and Hudson Downs. As a very young child, he was brought to Jawoyn country as his mother followed the family songlines, after much ancestral knowledge had been lost through colonisation. He was brought into the Dalabon, Mayali, Jawoyn and Rembarrnga clans, in Arnhem Land, where he was adopted into the knowledge through years of traditional law and ceremony cycles involving 60 different tribes in central Arnhem Land.

In these ceremonies and in the following years, Jamie was hailed as a custodian of knowledge by the elders and an outcome of this was his continuing learning in traditional cultural law through becoming an apprentice artist, dancer, storyteller, songman and didjeridoo player. Jamie’s maternal grandfather had also held this status, thus Jamie’s deep connection to this knowledge followed through his bloodline. Jamie’s mother was an active participant in the Barunga Statement which was presented to Bob Hawke in 1988.

Jamie was introduced to world at the first ever Barunga festival in 1985. He was involved in dancing, song, didjeridoo playing where he was active in identifying and interpreting meaning in song, dance (animal, totem).
Here he practiced with the Indigenous dance group White Cockatoo dancers, who had just returned from worldwide performances including one in Buckingham Palace where they performed for the Queen (on her birthday, hence the reason why the Barunga Festival is set on the Queen’s birthday weekend). They had also given the queen a painting which tells a story of the country - including the 62 tribal groups.

Jamie learned to perfect his didjeridoo playing under the tutelage of David Blanasi, who played the instrument with the White Cockatoo group. David Blanasi was well known throughout Arnhem Land and the world as the 'master', he played at the opening of the Sydney Opera house and is also known to have taught Rolf Harris.

Jamie was a cultural coordinator for Jawoyn Association, from 2004 - 2016. He was in charge of running cultural camps for Jawoyn Association from 1997 till 2007.
During the running of the Olympic Torch in 2000, Jamie was employed by Mimi arts in Katherine for an important performance as the Ghan train stopped in Katherine. He has also done much work for Mimi arts and craft, from 1990 till now, as performer and cultural ambassador - welcome to country, artifacts, didjeridoo palying, songman and dancer.

Leader/manager/supervisor of the Artifact mob in Barunga 1994 - 2004.

In 2004 he facilitated his first workshop in didjeridoo making at Barunga festival, and continues currently.

In 2009,10 and 11, Jamie was involved with Jawoyn Association’s ‘kids in need’ project as a cultural leader and supervisor for boys, in the ‘Bush meets the beach’ program took kids to Sydney.
In 2013-14, he facilitated culture camps through Jawoyn association.

Jamie is also an expert hunter and fisherman.

In 2014-16, Jamie joined the Community Night patrol, he received his certificate 3 in drug and alcohol management, domestic violence etc.
2016 - Mentoring all CDEP boys - motivation and vision.

Jamie holds deep knowledge of the land, sacred sites, ceremony grounds and traditional protocols and practices involving law and ceremony.

He is passionate about the sharing of knowledge - “The elders left can be counted on our hands, knowledge is important to carry on. It is important to understand why we all live here and share together.”

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324 Wilson Rd

324 Wilson Road

Weavery HQ

Ilkley, QLD 4554

Australia

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