Broome’s Festival of the Pearl – Shinju Matsuri

Broome’s Festival of the Pearl – Shinju Matsuri

The lustre of pearl drove the colonial development of Broome in the 1870s and remains a major industry to this day.

Prior to this for millennia the aborigines used and traded mother of pearl shell and used it for decoration and ceremony.

This Riji is the carving of pearl shell shell unique to the North East Kimberley.

These pieces of Riji are part of an exhibition called Lustre the history of pearling in Australia.

The Shinju Matsuri celebrates the role of the pearl in Broome.

The festival integrates culture of Japanese and Chinese pearl divers who came here over a century ago and made Broome home with indigenous and colonial history.

The lantern festival at Cable Beach captures a Japanese Tradition.

The street parade is led in a burst of colour and energy by the Chinese Dragon.

The Shinju festival also offers lots of exhibitions street music and art.

There is a beautiful projection down at the Town Beach

But it was the Riji that totally captivated me.

So I took a long ride, over 200km each way to the top of the Dampier Peninsula.

Over made roads and some thick sand roads

To meet Bruce Wiggan, a local elder and master pearl shell carver at his studio.

Aboriginal art tells a story. This piece tells the story of the making the laws of hunting between local tribes. These laws, this agreement bought harmony.

I’m now the keeper of this beautiful piece of Riji and it’s story.

NYE Yarra River Cruise to the fireworks in Melbourne, Victoria

NYE Yarra River Cruise to the fireworks in Melbourne, Victoria

The vessel

Futura in her pen flag flying ready for NYE

A full moon to guide us

The skipper preparing the boat

Image by Brian Mckinnon

The merry revelers on board

Up the river under the Westgate bridge

Keeping watch for other vessels

Image by Brian McKinnon

Image by Brian McKinnon

Under the Bolte bridge

The city skyline full of light

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Then at midnight the fireworks

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Now it’s 2018!!!!!

Melbourne can be a little different

Melbourne can be a little different

As the rest of Australia Swelters

In Melbourne has a top to day of 19c

As the Lunar New Year Celebrations draw to the end

There was Chinese dancing at Victoria Market

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With traditional music and movement

Then in a change of pace the music for the chicken dance came from the speaker.

Not very Chinese I think

As kids got up to dance to a familiar tune.

 

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Doing the Chicken Dance

But, of course, this is the Year of the Rooster

So why not use a European Drinking song which has chicken in the title!

Only in Multicultural Melbourne

Where cultures and traditions blend happily.