Esplanade Presents


Recounting deep histories that influenced sacred ceremonial music and dance in Arnhem Land

Ngulmiya Nundhirribala (Australia)

30 Apr 2023, Sun, 5.30pm


(Intermission: None)


This event is over.


Music and dance are important in Australian aboriginal culture. They are part of everyday life and mark major events such as celebrations or deaths. Join Ngulmiya Nundhirribala, revered leader of the Nundhirribala clan, as he recounts deep histories that influenced sacred ceremonial music and dance in Arnhem Land.


Songlines are the sacred paths taken by the ancestors across the desert during the Creation, also known as Dreamtime. By singing songs in an appropriate order, the indigenous Australians could navigate vast distances in the hostile desert. Songlines can be thought of as oral maps, made up of songs, chants and stories, which have been passed down over generations. Songlines thus preserve and transmit the culture, history and spiritual beliefs of the Australian aboriginals. It is believed that following the songlines helps the aboriginal people maintain their spiritual connection to the land.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Ngulmiya Nundhirribala

Instagram | Facebook | Youtube

Ngulmiya Nundhirribala is an iconic ceremony leader and songman from Arnhem Land with a powerful voice and presence. He shares improvisations on previously private ceremony songs and Dhumbala (Red Flag) songs and stories, that developed over centuries, through his family's long relationship and history with the Makassan traders and sailors from Southeast Asia.

Date & Time

30 Apr 2023, Sun



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