Coiled Pandanus Basket
Coiled Pandanus Basket


This basket is made from natural, local materials sourced from the Gunbalanya area. Weavers gather fresh young leaves from the pandanus palm using a hooked stick, then strip and dry them. The pandanus is then boiled up on the campfire with local plant dyes.

Today’s coiled fibre works are the result of rich cultural exchange and artistic innovation. The coiling technique was traditionally used by southern Aboriginal people of the Murray River, and was introduced to Goulburn Island by missionary Greta Matthews in the 1920s. From here it spread amongst Aboriginal people throughout Arnhem Land. These works are living embodiments of Australia’s history. Kunwinjku women have been developing the artform for almost 100 years, experimenting with new forms and adapting it to local materials.

The old plant dyes used in Europe like indigo, saffron, woad and logwood fell out of use with the Industrial Revolution. But here, a natural “paintbox” thrives.

The most common dyes include:
Yellow-orange: Mandjurndum (the bright orange roots of the Pognolobus reticulatus bush)
Brown: Wirdilwirdil (the red bulb of Haemadorum breviculae grass)
Green: The growing shoot of the pandanus itself (Pandanus spiralis), boiled with the ashes of pandanus leaves.
Purple-pink – Windilk (the seeds of the Haemodorum coccineum plant, related to Kangaroo Paw)
Grey-Black – Manbedde (the leaves of the quinine bush, Petalostigma pubescens)

Source: Louise Hamby (ed.) “Twined Together”.

Size 24 x 15 cm | Medium Fibre | Catalogue # 435-23 | Year 2023

1 in stock

Artist  Leanne Nabarlambarl

Leanna Nabarlambarl is a highly respected Kunwinjku fibre artist from Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) in Western Arnhem Land, Australia. She grew up in a family of artists, including her father Spider Namirriki, and her three sisters, all of whom are established fibre artists in their own right. With a deep understanding of the traditional techniques and materials used in fibre art, she has become known for her exquisite woven and coiled baskets, dilly bags, and string bags. Using a variety of natural materials, including pandanus, she creates pieces that are both visually striking and culturally significant, drawing on the stories and traditions.

Over the years, Leanna’s work has been featured in a number of exhibitions, including the national touring exhibitions ‘Twined Together’ and ‘Woven Forms’, as well as the solo exhibition ‘Entwined’ at the Suzanne O’Connell Gallery in Brisbane. Her work has also been included in the Territory Craft exhibition ‘Splash of Colour’.

Through her art, Leanne not only creates beautiful and meaningful pieces but also helps to preserve and share the traditional techniques and practices of fibre art with future generations. Her work has earned her a reputation as a very respected fibre artist working in Western Arnhem Land.



further details

Size 24 x 15 cm
Medium  Fibre
Catalogue # 435-23
Year 2023