Museum comes alive with West African culture

15 February, 2011

West African Festival promo image
The Immigration Museum will come alive with the beat of West Africa during March 2011.
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria

The Immigration Museum will come alive with the beat of West Africa during March 2011, with a West African Festival and an evening of West African delights as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

West African Festival
Music, dance and food are at the heart of the West African community. Meet this passionate community and immerse yourself in music and dance performances, traditional and contemporary West African fashion, food, film, art and sculpture as well as family fun activities.

Activities on the day include:

  • Lively West African dance and music performances, including drumming and percussion, reggae, a Ghanaian fisherman’s dance and a West African kora (harp) player.
  • Fashion parade featuring traditional and contemporary Nigerian fashion and a people’s parade with fashion from many West African nations.
  • West African films, talks and storytelling.
  • A djembe drum making demonstration and hair braiding demonstrations.
  • Wooden carvings and bronze sculptures from different West African nations.
  • Traditional food, sweets and drinks from different West African countries.

The West African Festival is presented by the Nigerian Society of Victoria, Ghana Association of Victoria, Ballarat African Association and members from the Beninese, Burkinabé, Cameroonian, Gambian, Malian, Liberian, Senegalese and Togolese communities in Victoria and the Melbourne International Food and Wine Festival.
Date: 11am – 4pm, Sunday 6 March 2011
Cost: Adults $8, children and concession card holders free

West African Evening
Come on a tasteful journey to West Africa at this Melbourne Food and Wine Festival evening. On arrival you will be welcomed with cocktails and for the following two hours indulge in traditional flavours of West Africa that will tantalise your tastebuds and leave you wanting more. Let the rhythmic drumming and flame throwing spectacular make your soul dance with joy. 
Date: 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Thursday 10 March 2011
Cost: $85 adults, $75 MV Members
Bookings: 13 11 02

West Africa: Rhythm and Spirit exhibition
This exhibition explores the long-held traditional beliefs and cultural practices of contemporary West African society. Featuring over 200 objects, including colourful masks, intricately carved figures, musical instruments, beautifully decorative cloth and jewellery, as well as photographs and film, this exhibition provides a window into the life of today’s West African cultures. West Africa: Rhythm and Spirit encompasses six major themes - kingship and authority, fertility, pattern and adornment, divination, masks and masquerades, and trade – which reflect the diversity and dynamism of this unique and fascinating region.
Date: Until 29 May 2011
Cost: Adults $8, children and concession card holders free

Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne.  Open daily 10.00am to 5.00pm. Admission: Adult $8, child/concession FREE. More info 13 11 02 or museumvictoria.com.au/immigration museum