Posted October 19, 2018 09:08:58 When you walk into a pottery shop you might see the traditional clapboard door that looks like it’s made of clay, or the wooden stonework that looks as though it’s been made of wood, but you’re unlikely to see the ceramic pottery or ceramic utensils that are the signature feature of the region’s pottery culture.
There’s nothing particularly unique about pottery in the world, but in the Northern Territory, where the Kimberley Basin has been the home of pottery for more than 2,000 years, it’s a different story.
“There’s been an ongoing debate over whether pottery should be considered art, because it is a natural product, or a product made from human labour, or both,” said Kimberley Arts and Culture Minister Mike Nahan.
The Kimberley Valley, in the north of Western Australia, is home to about 1,200 native people.
In the late 1800s, the Kimberleys pottery began to make a mark on the world.
From the 1850s to the mid-1900s, when the Kimberkeels first began to export to overseas markets, the region was a centre of international trade and art, but it was also a place where Indigenous people lived under the thumb of white settlers and were persecuted by government officials.
During the First World War, Aboriginal Australians fought and died for their land and their right to self-determination.
But it was not until the Second World War that Indigenous Australians became the majority in the Kimberly Valley, with the region being annexed to the Commonwealth in 1948.
Since then, the traditional Kimberley culture has been preserved in the region, and the area is considered to be one of the world’s premier places for indigenous people to make pottery.
When Aboriginal people first arrived in the valley, they were forced into small settlements, often referred to as the “barbarians of the valley”, in an effort to protect them from the harsh conditions of the Northern Territories.
Today, the Indigenous people of the Kimberlie Valley live alongside white people in an environment that’s relatively safe for them, and that’s one of its most notable advantages, said Kimberly Arts and Cultivation Minister Mike Jardine.
However, some Aboriginal people are uncomfortable living in areas that are perceived to be too harsh.
“[We need] to be able to be a little bit more respectful of their traditions,” Mr Jardie said.
It’s the story of one Aboriginal woman who moved from the Kimberlys to the Kimber River Valley.
She’s one who was asked to move, and moved, to a new settlement in the area.
That settlement is named Kiewai, after the river that flows through it.
Now in her mid-60s, Kiewa, who’s also known as Kiko, is determined to maintain her traditional identity.
I can tell you that there’s nothing wrong with the traditional culture, but we can’t live in a world where we’re not able to maintain that identity,” she said.”
We need to be proud of our culture, and to be respectful of it, but also to have some pride in what we’re doing, and not just because it’s good pottery.
“Kiko is an example of a culture that has endured for generations.
Her story is a story of resilience and perseverance, and she’s determined to make sure that the Kimberling culture continues to thrive in the future.
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