UNTOLD: Possum skin cloaks – reawakening and revitalising


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For thousands of years possum skins were used to make cloaks by First Nations people in the south-east of Australia. Often given to them at birth, a person’s possum skin cloak told their life story, growing with them and collecting more elaborate designs as the owner moved through life. Sadly, after European colonisation, the practice was lost, lying dormant, with only a handful of cloaks remaining in museum collections.

In recent years, the cultural practice of the possum skin cloak has been re-awoken and revived by communities, becoming a significant and profound way of connecting and strengthening culture.

Join a material lab and story sharing session about possum skin cloaks led by Hannah Presley, Senior Curator, Museums and Collections at University of Melbourne. Hannah will be joined by Dr Vicki Couzens, Gunditjmara woman and Senior Knowledge Custodian for Possum Skin Cloak Story, Tarryn Love, Gunditjamara Keerray Woorroong artist, and Dr Sophie Lewincamp, Nyingarn Project Manager.

This workshop is being presented as part of the program for UNTOLD at MPavilion presented by Agency Projects.

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.