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Listed under:  Arts  >  Visual arts  >  Handicrafts  >  Aboriginal handicrafts
Video

Vicki Couzens talking about the possum skin cloaks worn in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, 2006

This is a video about the possum skin cloaks worn by the Aboriginal Elders in the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Vicki Couzens, the artistic director of the Possum Skin Cloaks Project, talks about how the cloaks were made and what they represent. As she talks we see footage of the designs on the cloaks, ...

Interactive resource

Mystery object: Torres Strait Islands

Look closely at an unusual object from the Torres Strait Islands. Notice it is composed of a shark totem, wooden base, strings and feathers. Work out what it is and how it is used. Examine the size of the object and find out where the materials came from. Explore the location and history of the Torres Strait Islands. Look ...

Collection

Embedding Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum

This website presents a range of professional learning and digital resources to support teachers in incorporating Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum. It provides resources that enable Australian teachers and students to value, understand and explore Indigenous cultures, languages, histories and stories.

Image

'Thaal the black eagle, Mal the red eagle', 1994

This is an earthenware clay pot made in 1994 by Thancoupie (1937-). Measuring 29 cm (height) x 32 cm (diameter), the pot is almost spherical with a small, irregular opening at the top. It is covered with bold decorative designs that have been carved into the surface as thick dark lines set against the off-white colour of ...

Image

Rainforest blanket, c1928

This is a bark blanket from the Aboriginal people of the rainforest of north-eastern Queensland. One side of the blanket is decorated with symbols painted in red and black using natural pigments. Collected about 1928, it measures 79 cm x 114 cm.

Image

Neck ornament, c1907

This is an Aboriginal neck ornament from central Australia, believed to have been made in the early 1900s. It comprises two mandibles (lower jaws) of small marsupials attached to a string made of human hair. The ornament is about 50 cm long and 3 cm wide.

Image

Ceremonial headdress, 1897

This is a ceremonial headdress of the Wangkanguru (Wonkonguru) people, believed to have been made in 1897 in the north-east of South Australia. Called a 'charpoo', its main features are tassels made of rabbit-tail tips attached to a string made of kangaroo fur and hair. It is 41 cm long and up to about 24.5 cm wide. It ...

Image

'Jandamarra's boomerang', late 19th century

This is a boomerang painted with three oval markings. On one side is an old label that reads: 'Western Australian Boomerang called Kielie of curious pattern. This boomerang belonged to the black bushranger Pidgeon who was shot by the police on … the Lillemillora Gorge, Leopold Range. Rare Pattern'. The boomerang is 52.5 ...

Image

Decorated knives and sheaths, c1900

This image shows five decorated stone knives and sheaths made by people of the Warumungu and Tjingali groups near Tennant Creek in central Northern Territory. The knife blades are three-sided and taper to a point. They were collected in 1901-02. Their average length is 20 cm long x 4 cm wide.

StillImage

Aboriginal artefacts from north-western New South Wales, 19th century

This is a collection of 19th-century Aboriginal artefacts from north-western NSW, consisting of one unusual parrying shield, one rare lil-lil club, three incised boomerangs and two fluted fighting clubs.

Still Image

Unknown artist, 'Shell necklace', c1920

This is a shell necklace (c1920) made by an unknown Aboriginal artist from the Tasmanian region of Cape Barren Island. The necklace is shown as an enlargeable image and in a video. Text onscreen gives information about the history and importance of shell necklaces, representative of much more than simple decorative art. ...

Teacher resource

Message sticks: rich ways of weaving Aboriginal cultures into the Australian Curriculum

This is a resource about Aboriginal message sticks. Written by Narinda Sandry and intended for teachers, it describes how message sticks were inscribed with symbols and signs to allow messages to be understood by different Aboriginal groups and language speakers. It outlines the cultural contexts within which message sticks ...