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Aboriginal Community Art Show open today in Echuca

A feature of the Aboriginal Community Art Show - Celebration of Art and Stories exhibition will be a Yorta Yorta possum skin cloak, made by Bendigo TAFE students in 2006 for the Commonwealth Games opening, led by the late Brian Firebrace.

IVY WISE June 27, 2014 3:32am

Clive Atkinson.


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An exhibition showcasing Aboriginal art and stories will open at Customs House Artspace tonight.

Hosted by Echuca-Moama Arts Initiative, the Aboriginal Community Art ShowA Celebration of Art and Stories will coincide with NAIDOC Week and the school holidays.

It will feature artwork by district Aboriginal groups, including print making, work on canvas and ceramic jewellery, much of which will be for sale.

A feature of the exhibition will be the Yorta Yorta possum skin cloak, made by Bendigo TAFE students in 2006 for the Commonwealth Games opening, led by the late Brian Firebrace.

The designs on the cloak tell stories of the artists’ connection to the country, stories of their families, their markings and their totem.

The cloak was sewn together by community elders.

Bendigo TAFE Koori liaison officer Vicki Walker said traditionally, Aboriginal people were buried in their possum skin cloaks which were only made in the cooler climates.

‘‘When Aboriginal people were made to live on missions, they were given blankets for warmth and no longer allowed to hunt,’’ Ms Walker said.

Two original cloaks are kept at the Museum of Victoria’s Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centreone from Maiden’s punt in Moama and the other from Lake Condah.

‘‘Some say these are more valuable than the crown jewels,’’ Ms Walker said.

The exhibition opens at 6pm and will continue until July 20.

Denise Morgan-Bulled will hold traditional basket weaving demonstrations on July 11, from 10am to 3pm.

For information, phone 0429168424.

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