Corroboree is a word coined by early European settlers to Australia, in an imitation of a local Aboriginal Australian word, 'carriberie.' It's an event where the Aboriginal community comes alive with dance, music and costume and this is represented by the Sydney Corroboree Festival. You likely won't have attended the event before, as it started only last year, and by hiring a vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals you can see the huge multitude of different events on offer over the 10-day period it runs, between November 20 and 30.
The Firelight Ceremony officially opens the Festival on 21 November, in the expanses of the forecourt of Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art. Similar to the Olympic Flame, the fire will burn throughout the Festival and is lit by the Corroboree Sydney Council of Elders.
Black Arts Market
A whole raft of original Aboriginal wares, from artworks, tools and crafts will be available to purchase at the Black Arts Market, taking place on 23 November. You'll also get the chance to sample some native bush food, try out some body products and partake in some Aboriginal music and literature. Everything found at the Black Arts Market is bona-fide, genuine Aboriginal produce, so take a little piece of indigenous history with you.
Bush Food in the Garden
Make your way to the Royal Botanic Gardens on the 27 November and you'll be treated to a range of bush tucker delights from the bountiful countryside of Australia. Unusual ingredients such as wattleseed, pepperberry and lemon myrtle combine to create an entire three course meal – an entree, main and dessert that are sure to leave you wanting more. Hand picked from the trees or the ground, everything is as fresh as you can imagine and prepared using traditional Aboriginal methods.
Canoe Conversations and Bark Boat Building Demonstration
Combine your love of all things nautical by attending a discussion by those who have made their life by the water, following it up with a demonstration on how to build your own traditional watercraft using bark. On 29 November, the Canoe Conversations event will inform you all about past and current projects, revealing just how the Aboriginal people made living off the water a way of life. Afterwards, head to the the Bark Boat Building Demonstration (both events are held in the Australian National Maritime Museum) and discover the remarkable processes involved in constructing the bark boats that have served Aborigines for generations.
The Rocks Boatshed
The Rocks Boatshed can be seen as the focal point of the Corroboree Festival. Almost every day of the event, you'll find something interesting, unusual or thought-provoking going on, so it's worth seeking out an itinerary so you can plan your day. Several comedy nights, children's storytelling, arts, crafts and discussions will take place in this legendary venue, so rock on down and see what you can find.
Sunday Family Fun Day
The Sunday Family Fun Day is held on 30 November, so grab your little ones and head to the Museum of Contemporary Art and for an arty Aboriginal experience intended for everyone. Explore the art gallery, then pick up a paintbrush and try your hand at creating your own pieces. If you have a big enough brood, you'll come away with enough new art to decorate every room in your house once you get back home.
Through Different Eyes
The Indigenous Curator of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Donna Carsten, is on hand to guide you on a fascinating tour of the moored replica of HMB 'Endeavour' and the pearl ship 'John Louis.' Seeing things from and Aboriginal perspective puts a completely unique slant on things, hence the exhibition's name – plus, if you purchase the 'Big Ticket', the tour is included in the price and you'll also be able to explore the other ships, artefacts and areas of the museum.