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Indigenous Artists Are Not Happy That Australia Is Selling Fake Aboriginal Souvenirs

Travelers Today       By    Glory Moralidad

Updated: Jan 20, 2017 01:59 AM EST

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Australia's indigenous community puts on a long, sad face on the government when it failed to promote genuine Aboriginal products to tourists. Travelers often buy these keepsakes believing the sellers to be offering authentic Aboriginal products, but it's often the other way around.

Chief Executive of Indigenous Art Code Gabrielle Sullivan told ABC Net that, "These items are extremely popular ... marketed as traditional rainmaking instruments from far north Queensland - [but they're] bamboo, made in Indonesia." Sullivan has been probing sellers if whether they are marketing genuine products.

An astonishingly 80 percent of marketers in Australia was found out to be selling fake items. Sullivan and her team discovered thousands of arts and crafts that has the Aboriginal signature style to it but learned that it was created from different countries - China, Indonesia and even India.

The group, Indigenous Art Code, calls for action for the government to amend laws making fake souvenirs illegal. Under the present acts however of the Australian Competition and Consumer (ACCC) law, it is not illegal to sell fake Aboriginal souvenir items as long it is labeled that it was not made in Australia to avoid misleading tourists.

This issue has been a headache to Aboriginal groups in Australia for decades and up 'til now, there are no big steps in the improvement of this lot. Manager of the Girringun Art Centre Valerie Keenan said, "Each cultural group has their own cultural stories and their own ownership of designs and patterns and stories."

"It's a kind of imitation art which undermines the artist's ability to express the real story. What you are seeing is just a mish mash of something that people think, 'oh that's Aboriginal art', but ultimately it isn't particularly good art."

Advocates would like to see major changes in the industry before the Common Wealth Games in the Gold Cost where there will be an arrival of tourists. ABC also reported that the Australian government would continue to improve the present state of its indigenous people and would work together with the Indigenous Art Code and the ACCC.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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australia, Australia news, Australian government, australia tourism, Australia travel, Australia indigenous community, Indigenous Art Code, Aboriginal art
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