The House-Opening & Lorang's Way

The House-Opening
The house-opening ceremony performed at the Aboriginal community of Aurukun, Queensland is derived from traditional mortuary rites, but European and Torres Strait Island elements are now combined with these in a ceremony that at times assumes the atmosphere of a party. Traditionally, when someone died his or her house was burned; but with the advent of modern housing this practice became impractical and the house-opening was developed as a means of ritually purifying the house so that the family could reinhabit it. The central person of the film is the widow of the deceased. She collaborated on the film and provides an informative and sometimes personal commentary.

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