Sorry Business

The loss of a family member or friend is always a very hard time. In Indigenous Australian communities, the grieving period and mourning process is known as ‘Sorry Business’. Taking part in funeral and ceremonial practices and spending time with family is very important and can take an extended period of time, and due to kinship and extended family make up, Sorry Business can sadly be quite a common occurrence for Aboriginal people.

During this time, communities have certain ceremonies or protocols that are followed – some of the most common and well known protocols is not mentioning the deceased person’s name or showing their image for a certain period of time. Ladies may cut their hair, sorry camps may be set up, special dancing and wailing songs may be seen or heard.

As a sign of respect, Kate Owen Gallery has wall text in the gallery respectfully advising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders that they may see the names and images of artists who have passed away. We also remove profile images of artists who have passed away recently on our website. We check with family members where possible, but usually find that they are happy for us to keep the name of the artist on our website.

Related Topics:

What are Skin Names?
Taking Photos, Copying and Appropriating Aboriginal Art
Larrakitj Memorial Poles
Facts About Aboriginal Art