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Elder Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner

Major Sumner AM is a world renown performer and cultural ambassador of Ngarrindjeri arts, crafts, martial arts and traditional culture. His work spans performance, traditional dance and song, cultural advice, and arts and crafts, such as wood carving, and martial arts techniques using his handcrafted traditional shields, clubs, boomerangs and spears. He is a strong supporter of innovative art and has featured in many media productions and cultural collaborations.

In 2011, Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner crafted the first Ngarrindjeri bark canoe [Moogy’s Yuki] on Ngarrindjeri/ Boandik country in South East SA since over 100 years, reconnecting his communities with the traditional art of canoe-building, while using a high-tech cherry picker to get up the tree. He is constantly reminding his audience to consider that Ngarrindjeri culture is a living culture, spanning thousands of years.

In 2010 he initiated the inaugural Ringbalin Murrundi Rover Spirit project, reigniting the ceremonial fires along ancient trade routes of the Darling and Murray Rivers, which is continuing as an annual arts project. He was also a co-producer of the Ringbalin interactive project (2012).

Major Sumner lives and works in Adelaide and Camp Coorong, South Australia. He serves as a Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority board member, as a board member of Black Dance Australia, and as the artistic director of the Tal Kin Jeri dance group. His company performs regularly at festivals, events and community celebrations.

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