Historical information

Standing proud, still here, the spirit of ten ancestral matriarchs adorned in contemporary ceremonial cloaks. Representing our women past, present and future, her Spirit, our culture, our Country (spelt with a capital for its importance and this is part of First Peoples protocols on acknowledging Country, our strength, our resilience and healing towards a sustainable future. The murnong was one of the main food sources for First Peoples before colonisation as it grew right across Wadawurrung Dja. The introduction of the sheep and cattle saw the murnong eaten roots and all and it quickly became less plentiful. The tubers were eaten raw or roasted on a fire. Water could be added to make a paste for small children to eat. The woman’s wooden digging stick that was used to gather and harvest plants was often buried with the woman for her afterlife and is considered sacred women’s knowledge. All parts of the plants and trees were and still are honoured as sacred medicine, healing plants and bush food knowledge.

Physical description

Yellow flower and female figure motif on black background on outer cloak, black and white diamond, and circle design in lining. Solid black trimming. Cloak is machine sewn and handstitched with hand stitching on shoulder seam.