Final Workshop Day

A wonderful final workshop day today, again we were blessed with some beautiful sun.

Today different techniques were tried including string making. It was a day of relishing sitting and sharing together and learning from everyone.

As Friends of Mapuru – we were so proud to be hosting this very special event with the Arnhem Weavers and bringing everyone together. The smiles on faces and the moments shared were so wonderful.

A very big thank you to Ceres for hosting the workshop, and an even bigger thank you to the Northern Territory State Government for sponsoring the exchange.

We will let the photo’s do the rest of the talking for now.DSCF1370DSCF1222DSCF1198DSCF1201DSCF1244DSCF1253DSCF1258DSCF1318DSCF1361DSCF1235DSCF1242


Weaving and Making Colour – Workshop Day 2

Wow, what a radiant day we had today.

A cool start to the day so we headed indoors to start our day’s weaving. (its a lot colder down here in Melbourne than it is at Mapuru – at any time of the year!) So, a cosy start indoors was a good way to get everyone settled in and started on their baskets.

In the afternoon we headed outside to prepare colour for dying the pandanus over the fire pit. The Mapuru women had collected natural dyes before coming down to Melbourne so they could demonstrate how it is done. Everyone was gladly getting their hands dirty and helping with the preparation of roots, bulbs and leaves for dying.

The sun came out in the after lunch and we spent a glorious afternoon in the sunshine under the trees, pandanus gently blowing in the wind, all with the glowing sunlit colour of yellows, reds and purple. DSCF0775DSCF0845DSCF0849DSCF1045

Workshop Day 1

This afternoon we started the weaving workshop with everyone being welcomed on county by Aunty Dianne Kerr. We all participated in smoking ceremony with special welcome to the Mapuru weavers to conduct their business on Wurundjeri country.

Aunty Di explained her possum skin cloak and the significance of each part of it and what or who it represented in her life.

After introduction to everyone, Roslyn explained the collection of pandanus and colour and the process of preparing material to weave with.

Looking forward to a special day weaving with everyone tomorrow

Special thank you to Aunty Di for such a warm and generous welcome.DSCF0662DSCF0670DSCF0689

A trip on a tram

Today we travelled by tram into the city to buy food for the weekend workshop at the Victoria Market. The first glimpse of the city firsthand with all the tall buildings racing up to the sky was certainly remarkable.

With shopping lists in hand we dove into the crowds and did all the things that you should do at the market, eat boreks, buy fresh fruit and veggies, marvel at the array of seafood and listen to the buskers.

After the hectic morning at the market, we went to Royal Park to have some quiet time weaving. Sitting amongst the gum trees, comparing the differences between trees from Melbourne and trees form Mapuru, it was a great way to escape and find a little bit of bush in the city for the afternoon.DSCF0514DSCF0505DSCF0512IMG_5590DSCF0550

The Arnhem Weavers arrive in Melbourne

The weavers arrived in Melbourne late last night from Mapuru in one epic day of travel across Australia!

We started off their trip today with visit to the Melbourne Museum with a full day of activities planned. Firstly we visited the conservation section where the women shared knowledge with the museum on materials and the making of baskets, also discussing conservation and storage techniques to aid in the Museum’s management of the collection.

We then visited the Bunjilaka Centre and the First Peoples exhibition, followed by a viewing of the Arnhem Land and Donald Thompson collection in the archive. It was certainly a valuable day in the sharing of knowledge and learning from each other.

One of the key sentiments conveyed was the importance of the continuum of knowledge to be shared and passed on for the next generations.

A very big thank you to the Melbourne Museum and the Bunjilaka Centre for hosting us, and in particular a personal thank you to Lindy Allen, Karen Fisher, John Patten and Myles Russell Cook.