Reviving the new Aboriginal cultural tradition of possum skin cloaks

Reviving the Aboriginal cultural tradition of possum skin cloaks

Reviving the Aboriginal cultural tradition of possum skin cloaks 

Reviving the Aboriginal cultural tradition of possum skin cloaks. Awesome thing making is not only now known but becoming extremely common within indigenous communities my name is mitched Marney I’m an indigenous freelance artist I work with recreating cultural items such as possum skin clothes from my people and people of the Poland nation that make up the region

in Melbourne victoria a possible skin cloak is similar to a blanket that’s made of around about 30 individual possum skins that have been cut into squares and then sewn together using kangaroo sinew possum skin cloaks tell our story on them we would actually engrave different images that relate to us as individuals our mob our story or different images that will talk

about our country being a small baby you’d be given possible skin clothes and then as you grow as an individual extra possum skin would be added to your clothes once you get to an older person and you then pass on you’re buried in your cloak so it’s something that is with you as an extension of yourself it’s been only really I’d say in the last 20 years that possum skin

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cloak making has really had a resurgence and we owe a lot of that to our really prominent victorian women so it’s been a fantastic thing to see click making just become a more common moving community for me I started making cloaks or being involved in possibly cloaks with

anime who’s my great party from a very young age once I got a little bit older I started really getting into workshops when I turned 16 I made the family quote that talked about my heritage where I came from all of my family members um and kind of told my story and after making that I had people asking me if I could come and you know run workshops for them as

like a 17-year-old you know I stand on the shoulders of giants really, I’m so proud to be involved and so thankful that really you know be able to take that work on and continue it on into the future I think it’s something that even if I don’t do art for the rest of my life I will always

work with possum inflow making if someone wants to learn it I would like to see a generation of indigenous kids born with their own possible enclosed that would be amazing you.

Culture is healing: The making of a possum skin cloak

I think in quotes a very important cultural item in our community the project that we’re doing now with some de Peter Mack and Breast Cancer Network Australia and the amazing women that have come together with with the intention in their hearts and spirits it’s a really big act of generosity because these are women who are survivors of cancer, in particular, some of them

breast cancer and some of them are still in treatment and they’ve come to make a cloak of healing to be used for other patients people who are experiencing cancer living with cancer and their families and they’ll be able to use it here at Peter MacKay when they come in so it’s pretty awesome when you feel isolated in a room in a sterile environment just something that

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Culture is healing: The making of a possum skin cloak

is in the distance for you to feel comfort is beautiful yes I think it’s a lovely gift from Victorian Aboriginal women to the community culture is connected to well being if you have the revival of culture health outcomes improved we know that today and in the future making these skins awesome skin clothes it’s wonderful it goes back to a long time ago where we would sit around

in circles and share our stories and yarn why we’re doing things that’s what connects us our relationships with each other not just making a kite but it’s also the process of making the clothes so being here at freedom met we will be so in our story into the cloak that in itself

is a possession healing process to then here with the women and you know doing the hot or skinned cloak I just love it I think I think it’s absolutely amazing that I’ve had the opportunity to sit in this circle with these amazing women all diagnosed with breast cancer so we all know

each one of us has been through a bit of a journey and I feel privileged and proud to be part of this amazing opportunity today when I put the cloak on the other day I just felt so warm and dissonant you know such a lot to me if you’re safe I’m wrapped in my now and it’s just it’s just

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an amazing feeling and I think every hospital should actually have one I think it can be a powerful weapon as part of your healing not just the chemotherapy not just the radiation therapy but also how strong you are in your beliefs and culture so to have access to

to country to your cultural beliefs is so important for your spiritual well-being their ancestors and to our women and men are coming to this office for a briefing for the place the reclaiming

of that cultural activity will help a lot of everything people that’s personal to our younger generation and great-great-great-granddaughter will hopefully make her own.

Muddasir Harry

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