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Friday, December 02, 2005

Aboriginal Artist Not So Aboriginal After All

From The New Zealand Herald:

Imposter finding guts artist

By Carroll Du Chateau

Two months ago, ex-pat New Zealander Sylvia Huege de Serville was enjoying the greatest success of her artistic career.

She had four works touring Australia as part of prestigious Aboriginal art awards, three in private Australian collections and a studio full of paintings about to be shipped to Melbourne for an exhibition. Then she found out she is an imposter.


"My grandmother [...] told me she was Aborigine. Later my mother's cousin, who was raised by Wee Mum, verified it ... that's where it came from. We suspected she was one of the Stolen Generation who was taken away from her culture and ended up in New Zealand."

But a Tauranga cousin sent Huege de Serville first a birth certificate, then a copy of the family tree. To her dismay her great-great-grandfather, father of Wee Mum, was described as "Indian".

"My roots came from Bermuda ... It was like being slapped on the side of the head with a piece of 4 by 2."


[Read the whole story]
For American readers, a "4 by 2" is a 2 by 4 held sideways.

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