Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Possum and Kangaroo Skin Cloaks

"Last night Clr Pauline Lockie brought a motion to council which included the possible banning of the sale of fur. The Motion was modified to acknowledge Traditional Uses of Fur.

As a councillor sought explanation about the Traditional uses of fur in Australia, I had the opportunity to speak about Professor Larissa Behrehnt's exhibition "Sorry for your Loss" at Boomalli Aboriginal Art Gallery in 2018. I bought a Possum Skin keyring at the exhibition.

The 2018 exhibition was opened with "the Welcome to Country and deeply heartfelt words by Donna Ingram. Donna had participated in the possum cloak making week and shared her warmth and support to the project."....

Possum and Kangaroo Cloaks are now also a familiar site in Federal Parliament.

2019: "It was Wyatt, wearing his traditional Nyoongar kangaroo cloak, who made history as he was sworn in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Wednesday."

AIATSIS: "Once an everyday item for Aboriginal people in south-eastern Australia, possum skin cloaks were worn for"..

ACT Assembly thanks Ngunnawal women for gift of possum-skin cloak

First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria December 2019: "At the commencement of the meeting, the Treaty Advancement Possum Skin Cloak was brought into the Legislative Council chamber and placed on the central table."

2017: With a possum-skin cloak draped on her seat, Lidia Thorpe broke down 161 years of Victorian parliamentary history

2016: "But the Speaker of the Lower House made an exception so that Lynette Riley — a Wiradjuri Gamilaroi woman — could give a traditional Indigenous welcome and ensure Linda Burney was "sung into her seat" according to Indigenous tradition and protocol. Ms Riley rose in the public gallery, where even pen and paper is banned lest it be used to send messages or projectiles, clothed in a kangaroo skin cloak."...

2016: "The [kangaroo] cloak was made by Ms Burney's Wiradjuri sister, Lynette Riley, who "sang her in" from the public gallery with a song in language of welcome and celebration. The cloak featured her clan totem, the goanna, and her personal totem, the white cockatoo – "the noisy messenger bird'."

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