Boys explore Noongar culture and stories through drama incursion
Year 3 boys learnt about Noongar culture through dance, music and language, and brought Dreamtime stories to life at a recent drama incursion. Year 3 teacher Chantal Hockey said the workshop, run by Homegrown Theatre, tied in nicely to the history curriculum and the year group’s involvement in the forthcoming NAIDOC Week assembly.
Homegrown Theatre owner Fleur Hockey and her associate Karla Hart, who met while studying at the School of Contemporary Arts at Edith Cowan University, led the boys through the workshop aimed at educating children in indigenous culture through dance and drama.
Karla, who danced at the opening of CHOGM last year, talked about Noongar culture, specifically dance, music and language, as well as traditional male and female roles. The boys learned words such as moortij (fantastic, good, amazing), marr-mun (man), kooloongars (children) and djirpin (excited).
“The boys then got up and showed off their dance moves while Karla sang and played the tapping sticks,” Ms Hockey said. “Karla won a National Deadly Award in 2011 for her work as a radio DJ and was the NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2009 – so the boys were very lucky to have someone of her calibre lead them in the workshop.”
Fleur, who did Honours in mask work, taught the boys the basics of how to use masks and their bodies to help convey an emotion. Then, working in small groups, the boys brought several local Dreamtime stories to life, performing their short plays the cohort.
Ms Hockey said the incursion was the perfect link with the Year 3 history curriculum and the exploration of Australian cultures. “The visit also links to our participation in NAIDOC Week, which will be celebrated across the entire school in Week 11."