The Djaadjawan Dancers are a traditional female Aboriginal dance group from the Yuin Nation of NSW, Australia. The group includes girls, women and Elders from ages 6 to 75 from Wallaga Lake, Narooma and La Perouse in NSW.
Since their formation in 2015 by Walbunja woman Sharon Mason, the Djaadjawan Dancers have earned their place as one of the most sought after Aboriginal cultural performance groups in the State. They perform regularly at respected festivals and events around Australia, and have danced at the Opera House, the 200-year Celebration of Westpac Corp, the opening of Barangaroo precinct in Sydney and the National Folk Festival in Canberra.
Djaadjawan means ‘sand’ in Dhurga language, and the group express traditional culture, beliefs and practice through dance and song. The women make their own costumes and accessories using traditional materials and techniques.
When the Djaadjawan Dancers perform, they are dancing, singing, sharing, wearing and expressing their culture. Each dance tells a story, or serves a specific purpose, such as their Welcome Dance, Healing Dance or Fishing Dance.
For the inaugural Giiyong Festival, the Djaadjawan Dancers will present a very special ceremonial performance in collaboration with Amanda Reynolds.
Aboriginal artist Amanda Reynolds is a curator, cultural consultant and editor who runs Stella Stories, specialising in collaborations with communities, museums, galleries and heritage sites to produce stories, exhibitions, multimedia exhibitions and cultural programs. She has worked with the Australian Museum, National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive.
The bird feathers are from fresh road kill. This is a way to practice their culture and stay connected to the environment and Mingagia – Mother Earth.
The Djaadjawan Dancers have danced all over Australia including at many festivals and cultural events. They have been runners up at Dance Rites.
Djaadjawan Dancers will also have a merchandise and arts and craft stall at Giiyong Festival, and also deliver a demonstration sharing cultural knowledge and creative skills for making craft, head pieces and accessories using natural resources collected on Yuin country.