Mathinna Image Gallery: Father | Mutton Bird | People

  • Tasmania
  • Choreography, Costumes, Sets & Lighting, Highlights, Performance

In Father, the dancer is seen holding and moving with a small but heavy rock. This rock symbolises traditional knowledge, and the importance to guard and protect that knowledge. The dancer’s movements are ceremonial – showing a reverence for the rock that represents ancient knowledge.

Mutton Bird

Muttons birds were an essential food source for Aboriginal people, and the mutton bird’s feathers were woven into cape-like coverings for warmth. Their spiritual significance was also very important, with the mutton bird being allocated as the totem for some clan members.


The section entitled People depicts the original inhabitants of Tasmania and their very close connection to the land and the native animals who provide them with sustenance. The community living in close relationship with the land and each other is illustrated through the choreography.

Inspired by a young girl’s journey between two cultures, Mathinna traces the story of a young Aboriginal girl removed from her traditional home and adopted into western colonial society, only to be ultimately returned to the fragments of her original heritage.

The images within this gallery were captured by photographers Jeff Busby (Main Stage Season, 2008) and Greg Barrett (Regional Tour, Cairns, 2010).

Explore Mathinna Image Gallery to view more more images from this production.