Recently the Koori Curriculum visited the National Museum in Canberra to see two of their new cultural exhibits.
PIINPI: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion
This exhibition was like none other that we have ever seen before. PIINPI was curated by the talented First Nations curator Shonae Hobson who cleverly encourages the celebration of Indigenous art, culture and history through fashion.
Director Jessica Bridgfoot stated that the exhibition “presents a cultural movement that is Indigenous-led, industrious, innovative and has the potential to redefine the way the world engages with Indigenous Australian culture and history through fashion”.
PINNPI brings together seventy designers, artist and makers who together showcase the first ever major Indigenous fashion collection. The exhibition is comprised with a variety of hand made garments, accessories, fibre materials and textile prints.
This collection also embodies the concept of traditional Aboriginal seasons; namely the Kuuku Ya’u seasons. Several of the artists in the exhibition showcase their inspiration of the seasons, land and waterways through their pieces.
“The recognition of Indigenous fashion as a fine art form stands as testament to the credibility of each designer and artist. Blurring the lines between fashion and art allows the designers to expand their practice through experimentation and exploration of newly discovered materials and styles.” Shonae Hobson
Tip: Subtly incorporating Indigenous fashion into your wardrobe is one way that educators can provoke discussions with children about Aboriginal art. Additionally, doll clothes and dress ups is another opportunity for educators to bring in Aboriginal art and fashion in tactile, tangible and play based way.
Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians
I think most Indigenous Australians would agree that the Endeavour Voyage and the events that followed monumentally altered the trajectories for generations of Indigenous Australians. We at the Koori Curriculum firmly believe that truth telling, historical acceptance and engaging in the process of unlearning and relearning is essential for healing to occur.
“The National Museum of Australia sought to bring something new to Australia’s engagement with this chapter of our history. The story of Cook 1770 marks the first moment of British contact with the east coast of the continent later known as Australia. It is one of the nation’s origin stories, although remembered very differently by Anglo-Australians and by Indigenous Austrlians” Ian Coates
Educating children accurately about our countries blak history is so important. However, to do this well educators first need to commit to developing their own cultural capacity. This exhibition is particularly holistic in the ways it shares this moment in history and I’d highly recommend it to early childhood educators.
Tip: If you can’t make the exhibition in person you can view the collection and explore the stores through the book which is available to purchase here Endeavour Voyage book | National Museum of Australia (nma.gov.au)