Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 23, 2011

Meerreeng-an – Here is My Country (2010), edited by Chris Keeler and Vicki Couzens

Most of the stuff that lands in my pigeonhole at work is either administrivia or wasteful paper catalogues for the library, but every now and again there’s a bit of treasure.

So it is with Meerreeng-an: Here is My Country, The Story of Aboriginal Victoria Told Through Art.  It is stunningly gorgeous and every school in Victoria has been lucky enough to receive one.

The Story Cycle is arranged in nine themes arranged to explain central cultural concepts.  There are stories and artworks showcasing

  • Koorie Creation myths;
  • the transmission of culture and law;
  • ceremonies, music and dance;
  • cloaks, clothing and jewellery, and
  • land management, foods, fishing, hunting, weapons and tools

The experience of invasion and conflict is also explored, and resilience is celebrated in the sections about culture and identity, country and kin.

The book has numerous examples of artworks matched with stories which explain Aboriginal culture and beliefs to non-indigenous Australians like me, but for copyright reasons I’m not able to share the artwork here.  However you can see some of it at Culture Victoria and there is also a video that shows how a kangaroo tooth necklace was made.  Click these links to get an idea of the contents:

This is a fabulous resource for schools, (and invaluable for the Aboriginal Culture and History Cross-Curriculum Priority in the new Australian Curriculum), but it’s also essential reading for anyone interested in Aboriginal art and culture.

Cross-posted at LisaHillSchoolStuff.

Title: MEERREENG-AN HERE IS MY COUNTRY: The Story of Aboriginal Victoria Told Through Art
Edited by Chris Keeler and Vicki Couzens
Publisher: Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne, 2010
ISBN 978-0-9807863-0-9 (Paperback) ISBN 978-0-9807863-1-6 (Hardback); 256 pp, full colour

You can buy it from the Koorie Heritage Trust RRP $49.95 soft cover; $79.95 hardback

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