LOCAL OWNERS: Gurang Marilum performers will put on a display of dance moves to welcome everyone to NAIDOC 2018.
LOCAL OWNERS: Gurang Marilum performers will put on a display of dance moves to welcome everyone to NAIDOC 2018. Picture Supplied

Dancers ready for symbolic energetic start to NAIDOC Week

THE 2018 Gladstone NAIDOC Week will begin with a dance and smoke ceremony performed by local traditional indigenous owners.

The Gurang Marilum (Gurang Messengers) performers will put on a display of dance moves to welcome everyone to the week-long celebrations.

Co-ordinator and one of the performers Greg Blackman said he looked forward to participating in the special event.

"It's always a privilege to perform at NAIDOC and to start off the celebrations,” he said.

"We are going to do a welcome and hello dance and start off the smoke ceremony.”

All performers are descendants of the Toolooa/ Meerooni tribes who form part of the Gurang nation.

The Toolooa (Tidal Water) people form the northern part of the Gurang nation, located between the Boyne and Calliope rivers extending back to the Callide ranges, down to Cania Gorge, across to Many Peaks.

This also encompasses the sea and islands adjacent to the coastline.

The Meeroni people's northern border is the Boyne River, inland to Many Peaks and follows the Kolan River to the coast.

Greg pointed out that the dances and performance activities had significance and symbolism.

"Other performances we will do is an acknowledgement of the Toolooa people and dreaming totem,” he said.

"The body paint or ochre is different on men and women and aspects of the paint represent the topography of the land.”

The Toolooa totem is Gung Wanai or water snake and the Meerooni totem is Milbi or freshwater turtle.