Workshops for Adults

A Night with Mayunkiki

Workshops for Adults
A Night with Mayunkiki
SOLD OUT 27 March 2024, 6pm
Event Information


Exploring the Language, Songs, and Dances of the Indigenous Ainu People of Northern Japan
Join us for an engaging workshop where we will delve into the language, songs, and dances cherished by the Ainu, the indigenous people of the northern islands of Japan. Mayunkiki, an Ainu artist, will share personal anecdotes intertwined with stories of Ainu language, familiar songs, and dances from childhood. Additionally, we’ll discuss the current status of the Ainu people in Japan.
Even for those unfamiliar with Ainu culture and Japan, this workshop provides an opportunity to say some Ainu words, move your body to traditional dances, and learn about the relationship between the Ainu and Kamuy, the divine beings revered by the Ainu people. Through interactive activities, participants will gain insights into Ainu language, cultural nuances, and traditions.

Activities and discussions include:
– Understanding the meaning of “we/us” in Ainu language (identifying the subject and inclusivity in the term “we/us”)
– Tongue twisters featuring the names of the ten dogs owned by Kamuy
– Songs and dances inspired by traditional Ainu boat rowing games


As part of Mayunkiki’s residency at Footscray Community Arts, you’re also invited to attend an enlightening evening panel discussion on Language as Resistance, where we explore the deep connections between language, Indigenous knowledge systems, and activism in art. Our panelists include:

  • Mayunkiki: An Ainu artist residing in Japan, delving into the intricacies of language and identity.
  • Kanoko Tamura: An art translator and collaborator with Mayunkiki, dedicated to bridging linguistic and cultural divides.
  • Vicki Couzens: An Indigenous artist and cultural activist.
  • Allara Briggs Pattison: A multifaceted storyteller, composer, director, producer, musician, and soundscape designer.

Book now: Language as Resistance with Mayunkiki
Date: 20 March 2024, 6:30pm

Date & Times

Wednesday 27 March, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

Footscray Community Arts



All internal venues are wheelchair accessible. If you have any access needs, we have a range of audio assistance available. Please call or email us if we can help plan your journey.

Phone: 03 9362 8888
Email: reception@footscrayarts.com

Meet the Artists
  • Mayunkiki

    Born in 1982 in Asahikawa, on the island of Hokkaidō in Japan, Mayunkiki’s practice arises from her identity as an Ainu musician and artist. She is a member of Marewrew, a vocal group whose activities center around the rebirth and passing on of the traditional Ainu song Upopo – a practice rooted in rhythmic patterns and the signature style of singing in a trance-like chorus. She has recently undertaken research on Sinuye, or traditional Ainu tattoos, conducting interviews and collecting oral histories. Sinuye histories and memories are explored through talking and reperforming the action of tattooing on the face using paint.

    She has been presenting her projects at various exhibitions such as: “Siknure – Let me live”, solo show at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2022),  “SIKNU”, Reborn-Art Festival 2021-22, Ishinomaki, Japan (2021), “SINRIT teoro wano ainu menoko sinrici an=hunara”, solo show at CAI03, Sapporo, Japan (2021), “Sinuye – Ainu Women and her tatoo”, two-person show with Hiroshi Ikeda, Tobiu Art Festival 2020 (2020), and 22nd Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN (2020).

    She also participates in several creative projects related to Ainu culture as an adviser or singer, and works as an Ainu language teacher.


    1982年生まれ。北海道出身・在住。アイヌの伝統歌を歌う「マレウレウ」「アペトゥンペ」のメンバー。2021年よりソロ活動開始。音楽分野だけでなく国内外のアートフェスティバルに参加。アイヌ語講師、札幌国際芸術祭(SIAF)2017バンドメンバー(企画チーム)、SIAF 2020ではアイヌ文化コーディネーターをつとめる。2018年より、自身のルーツと美意識に纏わる興味・関心からアイヌの伝統的な文身「シヌイェ」の研究を開始。現代におけるアイヌの存在を、あくまで個人としての観点から探求し、表現している。2020年には、第22回シドニー・ビエンナーレ「NIRIN」に参加。同年、写真家の池田宏と「シヌイェ アイヌ女性の入墨を巡るプロジェクト」(北海道・白老)、2021年「シンリッ アイヌ女性のルーツを探る出発展」(北海道・札幌、CAI03)、2022年「Siknure – Let me live」(イギリス・バーミンガム、Ikon gallery)を開催。

  • Kanoko Tamura
    Kanoko Tamura

    Art Translator.

    Director of Art Translators Collective. As an Art Translator, Kanoko conducts translation, interpreting, and communication design. While exploring the possibilities of translation from the perspective of a mediator standing between people, cultures, and languages, she proposes creative ways to hold a dialogue in a given occasion. Kanoko has been teaching English and communication for young artists at Global Art Practice MFA program, Tokyo University of the Arts. She also worked as Director of Communication Design for Sapporo International Art Festival 2020 to mediate between the festival and the audience. She is a member of Arts Commons Tokyo.