The murmur of the Great Barrier Reef
The Murmur of the Great Barrier Reef. (Song lyrics Seses Gesa, Townsville, 1998):
'My friends, turn your ear,
To the sound of the Great Barrier [Reef]
The waves break, noise like murmuring
The sound of the sea.'
Performing and performance are at the heart of Meriam relations with the natural world, with their experience of the environment. The movements of sea beings, the waves, currents, the ancestral figures who travelled the sea are, as it were, 'coiled up' inside the dance, the dancer, the headdress, the pendants and armlets. What the Meriam call 'serious dances' store up the important meanings of the culture, so that 'dancing out' the movement of the waves as in the dari dance goes to the heart of what it is to be a Meriam person today or yesterday.
Keywords: dancing, Great Barrier Reef, sea, songs
Seses Gesa, Townsville, September 1998.
Author: Sharp, Nonie