Buka cloak

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Buka, or Boka, is the name for the cloak traditionally worn by Noongar people, the Indigenous people of south-western Australia.

Unlike in the south-east, where people such as Yorta Yorta wore possum-skin cloaks, the Noongars made use of the pelt of the kangaroo.

While in the south east, there was a lot of sewing involved, there was less involved in the south-west. It normally consisted of the whole skin of two to three kangaroos sewn together, with the tail hanging at the bottom of the cloak.

The cloak was worn over one shoulder and under the other. It was fastened at the neck using a small piece of bone or wood. By wearing the cloak this way it allowed for movement of both arms without any restrictions and allowed for daily activities to be carried out with ease.

Cloaks were reversible. They were worn the fur on the inside when particularly cold and could be turned the other way when it was raining. The cloaks were also used as rugs to sleep on at night.

Today many Aboriginal people have new cloaks and rugs made from kangaroo skins. They are used in performances or often as they were traditionally as a nice warm rug or cloak.

See also