How First Nations artists are reclaiming colonial objects and celebrating culture through garments

While 'Aboriginalia' and 'Koori Kitsch' are popular terms, 'First Nations garmenting' is an emerging trend adopted by many artists whose work is interested in creatively confronting or reshaping history, says Treena Clark.
First Nations garments. Image is a row of scarves hanging down and depicting kitsch images of Aboriginal people and culture.

A few years back, I started collecting vintage Australian tourist scarves that portray First Nations people as primitive caricatures and noble savages. Now, I own more than 10 scarves with images ranging from Western depictions of First Nations art and objects, to Indigenous people in tokenistic scenes.

Collecting these tourist wares isn’t new. Kitsch items are often gathered and reclaimed by First Nations peoples, artists, designers and academics.

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