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    A Kup Murri in Centennial Park as part of NAIDOC celebrations

Kup Murri - pre-ceremony

As part of the 2012 NAIDOC Week celebrations, Centennial Parklands teamed up with the City of Sydney Youth Services to host a traditional ‘Kup Murri’ feast. The event was attended by around 100 people from all walks of life, to experience this wonderful and not widely recognised tradition.



NAIDOC Week 2012

What is a Kup Murri?

A ‘Kup Murri‘ is the traditional Torres Strait Islander ceremonial practice of cooking underground using natural resources (as an interesting aside, on the day we found out that the original name for this feast was ‘Kai Kai’ – the term ‘Kup Murri’ came a bit later).


What happened on the day?

Uncle Phil Ahwang, a respected Elder from the Torres Strait Islands community, shared his skills and knowledge on preparing a ‘Kup Murri’, and we were honoured to have a Welcome to Country and various performances to entertain the audience – including a fantastic didgeridoo demonstration and traditional dances that originate from the Torres Strait.

Following the performances, the crowd then enjoyed the theatre of uncovering the food from the underground ovens and taking in the fantastic aromas. The food was, as expected, delicious.

Did you know that Didgeridoo is not the traditional name for the instrument? It’s actually an onomatopoetic word – given to the instrument by European settlers who tried to describe the sound it made. What is the traditional name? Well, there are many – a number of these are listed here.

While NAIDOC Week grows and grows in its popularity and importance, the year 2012 was also significant for two special anniversaries:

  1. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Tent Embassy in Canberra, and
  2. This year celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Mabo decision.


Is that it?

No. The attendance, interest and enthusiasm for this first ‘Kup Murri’ in Centennial Park will – we hope – lead to this becoming an annual event on the Centennial Parklands calendar. If you missed out this year, below are some photos from the day that will hopefully encourage you to join us next year.


Didgeridoo performance

Didgeridoo performance


Preparing the underground oven

Preparing the underground oven (Uncle Phil Ahwang on left)


Audience participation in the Torres Strait Islander dance

Audience participation in the Torres Strait Islander dance


About to uncover the Kup Murri

About to uncover the Kup Murri


Want even more photos? Check out our Facebook Gallery here (no Facebook registration required).


Centennial Parklands would like to pay its respects to the Gadigal clan as the traditional custodians of the country on which Centennial Parklands has been constructed. We would like to thank each of the participants and organisations involved in putting on this fabulous event.


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