A possum cloak, similar to what was made and worn by traditional Aboriginal people to ceremonies, has been made by a group of Indigenous women.
The cloak was made at a three-day camp held recently at the Kioloa ANU campus, which saw 14 women come together.
Ulladulla Local Aboriginal Land Council project manager Leanne Barford secured funding to run the camp and said it was the “first one in a long time”.
“We wanted to get community together to form that relationship and to get women back in touch with their culture,” she said.
“The camp was on country as well; the Murramurang area is there, which is really significant because that is where a massacre was.
“We fitted so much in over the three days, but it was mainly to build the cloak.”
Ms Barford said the cloak was decorated to tell the story of the camp. Traditionally, the cloak was worn in ceremonies.
“Burnt or painted onto the cloak is the high school girls being taught a traditional dance, native bush tucker, the group doing the Murramarang walk, the campsite, Brush Island, an orb spider, a seal and a stingray which are animals we saw on our journey, and the travel lines which shows all the women coming together for the camp,” she said.
Ms Barford said the traditional method was used to paint the cloak; mixing ochre with black wattle resin.
“A part from the string used for sewing, the cloak was completely done how they did it in the past,” she said.
High school students who attended the camp collected shells to sew onto the front of the cloak.
The possum cloak will be on display at the Ngulla NAIDOC Festival at Ulladulla Civic Centre on Friday, July 13. It will also be worn by Deb Sturgeon at the event’s opening and welcome to country ceremony.
It will then we kept on display at the Ulladulla Land Council building.