Traditional twist to modern medium in Yolgnu culture – Nicolas Rothwell

Dancing to a sinuous rhythm, his face painted in white ochre, wearing a woman’s dress, Bawaltja Munungurr, a traditional leader from northeast Arnhem Land, grins and accelerates his steps. Strange things are happening around him. Women, clutching fluffy toy pets, wearing oversize dark glasses, are swaying in support; other men, their faces painted white too, hover on the edges of the dance ground while trance music plays, for this is a video, made by the Yolngu people of Yirrkala, recording one of the less known features of Top End ceremony.