Wow. We made it. Final workshop day and we have a circle of weavers with significant progress under the belt from the first two days weaving.
We started off in the cool (which we relished knowing the heat that was to come) and prepared ourselves for a solid days work. At morning tea time, we took a break from weaving to hear Roslyn teach about collecting and stripping the pandanus and collecting the natural colour to dye the pandanus. It is a long process and important to know the lengthy preparation that had gone into the material that was being woven.
In the afternoon, finishing began for those who were ready to complete their baskets. A key task as part of this is rolling the string for the basket handle. This also is a long process of preparation, which involves softening the trunk of a kurrajong through several step process so that you can roll and spin it on your leg into string.
We finished the final workshop day in celebration with those who had helped make the trip possible. The students showed off the baskets that had been made, and then stories and song about Mapuru were shared, both in English and in the weavers first Yolngu language.
There were quite a few misty eyes at the end of the day, in awe of what we had shared and how much you can grow and learn in a few short days. Importantly, we had learned by doing, which is the Yolngu way.