The Story Behind the Indigenous Jersey
As part of South Sydney’s own Indigenous Round celebrations in Round 11, a unique Indigenous jersey will be worn against the Dragons in what is a source of great pride not only for the Club’s Indigenous players – who influenced the strip’s design – but for the wider Rabbitohs Family.
The jersey, designed by Sydney-based Indigenous designer, Nikita Ridgeway, tells the stories of six of the Club’s Indigenous players including captain Greg Inglis, Indigenous All Stars representatives Kyle Turner, Alex Johnston, Chris Grevsmuhl and Dane Nielsen, as well as Rabbitohs 2016 debutant Cody Walker.
“Aboriginal art – it’s our way of passing down knowledge and culture, so I wanted to adapt that same knowledge to the jersey,” said Nikita.
“So this year with the South Sydney Rabbitohs jersey we thought, why not tell the story of the players? And handprints are a very big thing in Aboriginal culture – it tells a story.”
The unique strip also features the name of each of Rabbitohs’ tribe as well as their totem – a source of powerful symbolism that not only celebrates each player’s story, but in some cases, has helped those players to discover their heritage.
“For an Aboriginal person, your tribe is a very big thing in terms of your identity,” said Nikita.
“It was a lot of research for a lot of the players to try and find their community being that a lot of tribes have been impacted on greatly, and unfortunately, the sad fact is that a lot of Aboriginal people don’t know their tribal name.
“It was a great thing to be able to put that on the jersey but also for the boys to actually find their tribe names as well – some of them were lucky and knew it straight away, and then to also discover their totems is another feature of this year’s jersey.”
Two important Australian organisations with a focus on Indigenous people and causes, KARI Aboriginal Resources and Recognise, also feature on the jersey thanks to Rabbitohs co-major partner Crown Resorts.
Stay tuned to Rabbitohs.com.au as we roll out interviews with our Indigenous Rabbitohs players, community leaders and a whole lot more in the coming week!
Click here for Match Day Information.
Purchase your tickets to the Club’s Indigenous Round celebration at ANZ Stadium by clicking here!
Purchase your very own Rabbitohs 2016 jersey, also AVAILABLE IN WOMENS, by clicking here!
Music courtesy of Glen & Matt Doyle.