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Cloaks made from animal skins, such as kangaroo or possum, were worn by First Nations people in the coldest regions of the Australian continent. They are known by many names. In the Noongar language, kangaroo-skin cloaks are called booka.

From the mid-1800s, animal-skin cloaks were replaced by government-issued woollen blankets, which were dangerously inadequate in the cold, wet winters. Today, animal-skin cloaks represent the continuity of First Nations cultures.

More on animal-skin cloaks

Ken Wyatt’s election to parliament

In 2010, Noongar, Wongi and Yamatji man Ken Wyatt was the first Indigenous man to be elected to the House of Representatives.

Birregurra

The history and significance of possum-skin cloaks to the Birregurra community in Victoria.

In our collection

Parrangkeeyt (loin ornament) by Vicki Couzens, 2002A possum skin loin ornament. The ornament consists of a strip of possum pelt with several smaller pieces of pelt attached to the lower part of the band with string. Emu feathers are attached along the lower edge of the band and there is string on the ends of the pelt for ties.
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