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.
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.
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.