Naghlingah Boorais: Beautiful Children
Past Event: 12 July 2013 to 24 February 2014
Source: Museum Victoria
Possum skin cloaks made by 30 Koorie children celebrate their culture, identity and traditions.
Led by the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) in partnership with Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and artists Vicky Couzens, Maree Clarke and Elder Esther Kirby, this project supports VACCA’s belief that the key for young people to have a strong future is to have a strong culture. Through the making of possum skin cloaks in a series of workshops, young Koorie people explored how the cloaks represent connection to country, language and clan.
Possum skin cloaks have been made for thousands of years by Koorie communities from across South Eastern Australia. A cloak was first made for the wearer after birth, and more pelts were added as the person grew to adulthood. Cloaks also held important designs that were incised or painted on the possum skins; these markings mapped the owner’s life, country and spirit. Nahglingah Boorais: Beautiful Children shows the next generation of strong, proud Koorie people and cloak-makers.
The Yorta Yorta cloak, one of two historic possum skin cloaks in the Museum Victoria collection, is now on display in First Peoples, a new, world-first exhibition telling the story of Aboriginal Victoria from Creation to present day. First Peoples opened as a new long-term component of Bunjilaka on 7 September 2013.