Skin Names - The University of Sydney

Skin Names

In this section, learn about Skin Names, how they provide information about a person's bloodline, how generations are linked and how this sets up systems of reciprocal relationships and responsibilities.


  • What are your responsibilities in your community and family? How did you learn these? 
  • How could you learn how to work with Aboriginal people in your profession?
  • How do Aboriginal people relate to their extended parents and grandparents?
  • Consider how Skin Names help link families. Why and how would this be important?
  • Marriage requirements to monitor bloodlines – why is this important?


  • Skin Name and what it means to Aboriginal people.
  • Examples of women’s roles and men’s roles. 
  • Examples of relations with extended family members.
  • Loss of family under ‘protection policies’ and what this meant for Aboriginal people.

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