How Does Mathinna Play In Aboriginal Culture

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“Mathinna” is a contemporary dance piece that held a captivating performance through the dance style of aboriginal culture. This dance was choreographed by Stephan Page and performed by the Bangarra Dance Theatre. The story line of “Mathinna” was about a young girl who went from her aboriginal culture to a western colonial society in 1833. Mathina (Elma Kris) was six when she captured the hearts of Governor Sir John Franklin (Sidney Salter), an Artic explorer, and his wife, Lady Jane Franklin (Yolande Brown) when she was adopted in Hobart. The dance piece successfully portrays “the focus of Mathinna is about the disruptions that occurred as British settlers relocated the Aboriginal people from their home lands and intervened in their cultural …show more content…

Mathinna is dressed in a brown skirt and crop top with ochre painting on her body, a necklace and bare feet that clearly demonstrates her being in an aboriginal culture. Men and women in aboriginal cultures would wear body decorations and in Mathinna’s case (her necklace) would all be made from things found naturally. Most body decorations would be worn during special occasions and ceremonies (Daily Life, 2014). Therefore Mathinna wears this necklace to effectively portray that she is going to do a traditional stylised ceremony. Mathinna wore her hair down which was messy when she was in her aboriginal stylised clothing, thus in her culture there wouldn’t be such thing as a hair tie, and therefore this has heightened the representation of her aboriginal stylised clothing. Mathinna’s aboriginal stylised clothing has effectively portrayed the intent of her clothing as it is traditional in her culture. However, Mathinna was dressed in a red dress when being brought up to live in a British stylised culture with red socks, black shoes and her hair in tied back in braids which is obviously demonstrating modern stylised clothing of that time. The use of the colour red brings a very emotionally intense feeling to the dance piece as it is a strong and bold colour(Colour meaning, 2002-2014) Mathinna would feel uncomfortable in her new clothing as in her traditional culture they never wore shoes or socks as they were very down to earth. Therefore this would demonstrate effectively how it “intervened in their cultural practices”. Hence in the British culture when she wore her hair back in braids this would be a totally new thing for Mathinna bringing her to a confronting stage in her life. Therefore

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