Woven from natural bush materials


Woven from natural bush materials

The creation of fibre objects has a long history in Arnhem Land. Woven dilly bags, ceremonial headdresses and string bags appear amongst the oldest rock paintings in the area, dating from over 20,000 years ago.
Works of fibre craft were important for food gathering, food preparation and ceremonial purposes.

The women of Injalak Arts continue to develop this tradition, maintaining the old forms while experimenting daily with contemporary artistic innovations.

Today, as always, the weavers of West Arnhem Land use only natural materials sourced from the bush.
Kunngobarn, the fresh young leaves from the pandanus palm, are the favoured material for coiled baskets, woven mats and dilly bags. These are pulled from the pandanus palm using a hooked stick, then stripped and dried. The pandanus is then boiled up on the campfire with local plant dyes. The fibre for the ancient artform of knotted string bags is gathered from marrabbi (Livistona palm leaves) and manbudbud (the inner bark of the kurrajong tree) and rolled on the thigh by hand.

Every fibre work at Injalak is a product of the land and skills passed on through the generations.

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