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Listed under:  Arts  >  Regional art  >  Aboriginal art
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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.

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'Corroboree (Figures in possum skin cloaks)', 1885

This is a 19th-century painting of a corroboree by William Barak, who is recalling in old age the traditional ceremonies of his people. It shows 33 bearded Aboriginal men standing and possibly sitting in rows and wearing possum skin cloaks with geometrical designs on them. It has been made with a combination of traditional ...

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Ngabaya: Spirit People

This story from the Wurdaliya clan of the Yanyuma people suggests that complaining about your leader might not always be a good idea. The Spirit People are tired, hungry and thirsty, but after constantly expressing their dissatisfaction their leader has had enough. This story from the Yanyuwa people is one of nine that ...

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Mahony Kiely and Anna Cordingly talking about the possum skin cloaks worn in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, 2006

This is a video about the designs for banners used in 'My skin my life', part of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The community and programs coordinator, Mahony Kiely, and designer Anna Cordingley talk about the origins of the designs and how they were adapted for the banners. Short excerpts show ...

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Sydney's Aboriginal rock carvings in danger, 1969

How and why do things that are precious and important sometimes get damaged or destroyed? This clip from 1969 gives us some answers. It explores what was happening to significant Aboriginal rock carvings in and around Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in New South Wales. We see many of the carvings, and hear a museum curator ...

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'Ngak Ngak in Limmen Bight Country' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by Northern Territory artist Ginger Riley. The design is in white, red, orange, purple and green on a blue background and is a representation of the artist's 'mother country'. The white sea eagle Ngak Ngak appears prominently on the left. Also seen are the dual serpent-creator Garmilal, ...

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Gathering dance forces

Choreographer Stephen Page works with the dancers of Bangarra Dance Theatre (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers) and The Australian Ballet to create a new dance for the program 'Gathering'. Discover what happens when two sets of artists with their own cultural traditions, training and approaches to storytelling ...

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Geoffrey Rush behind the mask

When you think of the actor Geoffrey Rush, do you ever imagine him performing silently, wearing a mask? His roles often exploit the qualities of his expressive face and distinctive voice but his approach to acting owes a lot to the traditions of physical theatre. In this interview he speaks about what led him to Europe ...

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Making the didgeridu: inspiration and culture

Artist Frankie Lane learnt traditional didgeridu-making skills from an uncle. For him it is important in turn to pass on the knowledge and skills he has learnt. Find out some fascinating details about how Lane, who comes from Beswick (Wugularr) in the Northern Territory, creates a didjeridu.

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What if Indigenous Australians were the majority?

Imagine an Australia in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples made up the vast majority of the population. See Bidjara artist Michael Cook discussing his most recent exhibition, 'Majority Rule', which is based upon this engaging 'what if' question.

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Mervyn Street: painting the old days

Imagine growing up on the land, working with horses and cattle, camping out and learning the skills of a stockman. Mervyn Street remembers his youth as a time full of fun. He is a Gooniyandi man who was born on Louisa Downs Station near Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. An accomplished artist, he depicts his memories ...

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Dreaming about Country

Discover the rich and beautiful world of Edwin Lee Mulligan's dreams, recorded in paintings and stories. In this clip on his work 'Ngarlimbah - it's about us', he tells one of his dreams of Country - his country, his mother's country and his father's country - the places, trees, mountains, rivers and creatures that connect ...

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Morning star poles tell an artistic story

Have you ever seen the morning star? Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi creates morning star poles, or banumbirr, to celebrate the morning star and the importance it holds in his people's lives. Gurruwiwi is a traditional Aboriginal (Yolngu) Mala leader and Galpu clan representative. In this clip, see how Gurruwiwi creates the ...

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Dancing life into traditional objects: 'Artefact'

'Weaving' is a segment from a longer dance piece called 'Artefact', a richly spiritual work about breathing life back into objects from ancient times. Choreographer Frances Rings is a descendant of the Kokatha people of South Australia. The 'Weaving' segment was inspired by the traditional knowledge and practices of the ...

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Kindred spirits: dancing our identity

Who are we and where do we belong? What and who decides our identity? People often ask these questions, and some may seek to discover the answers to them. In his dance piece entitled 'ID', choreographer Stephen Page explores what makes us similar, what makes us different and what gives us a sense of belonging. The clip ...

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Ngurdungurdu: The Tiger Shark

The Tiger Shark travels from the east to his country at the mouth of the Wearyan River on the Gulf coast of the Northern Territory. On his way he encounters the Rock Wallaby, who drives him from her country. The Rrumburriya clan of the Yanyuma people are the custodians of the Tiger Shark Dreaming. This story from the Yanyuwa ...

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Kurdarrku: The Brolga

The dance of the Brolga is one of the most graceful in the world. In this Dreaming story from the Mambaliya-Wawukarriya clan of the Yanyuwa people, the Brolga's dance is recreated in stunning animation. The Brolga travels through the country west of the Gulf of Carpentaria, creating plains, wells, trees and lagoons. This ...

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Manankurra Kujika: the song of the Tiger Shark

The Rrumburriya clan of the Yanyuma people are the custodians of the Tiger Shark Dreaming. In this animation, the Tiger Shark sings plants, fish, birds, fresh water and people at Manankurra, at the mouth of the Wearyan River on the Gulf coast of the Northern Territory. This story from the Yanyuwa people is one of nine that ...

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Purdiwan: Pretty One

The Garrwa people live inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria, on either side of the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland. In this brief but beautiful animation, a Garrwa woman herds her pretty goats eastward.

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Tiwi music: keeping an ancient culture alive

Discover how music and dance are helping to keep the traditions of the Tiwi people alive. The customs and stories of the Tiwi people have been passed on to new generations through storytelling, song and dance. Many of the remaining languages of Australia's ancient Indigenous cultures are being lost. Today there is a race ...