Eric Holcomb

Address: 1900 NE 3rd St STE 106 PMB 361, Bend, OR 97701-3889
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November 2001 Leonid Meteors over Australia

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center

The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center is located at the end of the Barron Gorge National Park skyrail system near Cairns. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history, culture and dance of the local Aborigines. As you can see below, it's quite a show, but it also gets us to think about the serious side of the history of Australia and past adverse interactions between the Aborigines and the newcomers. In addition, visitors have the opportunity to receive brief instruction in how to throw a spear and a boomerang! (Curiously, the "return" boomerang is a fairly recent invention. The kind of boomerang used in hunting for a much longer period of time does not return to the thrower.)

Click on thumbnails to see larger versions of these pictures.

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Left - View of the Tjapukai Cultural Center from the skyrail.
Right - View from the bridge (visible in the previous photo) on the grounds of the cultural center.

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Left - Aborigines perform traditional music and dance, with perhaps a new song or two!
Center - Demonstration of traditional method of starting a fire.
Right - Musician plays a digeridoo, a traditional musical instrument made from a hollowed-out piece of wood and named for the distinctive sound it makes.