FINDING MAPURU

Mapuru is a remote township in the far eastern corner of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Australia (3500km as the crow flies from Melbourne). It is home to a community of about 100 Yolngu people who continue to live on country, on their homeland. In Mapuru they are forging a future for their young women and men by ensuring their traditional stories, skills and knowledge are part of everyday life.

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In Mapuru there is a group of strong minded, big hearted women that lead the way and empower their community – they call themselves the Arnhem Weavers. For over 10 years the Arnhem Weavers have extend invitations to outside visitors to participate in cultural exchanges with a focus on weaving. Invited visitors drive in from Darwin and camp within the community, then they share their days with the women and children, weaving, hunting, talking and just being, side by side. In more recent years some men in the community have been organising men’s bushcraft and hunting exchanges.

pandanus-harvestMapuru is not without its challenges. Despite this there is enormous strength and determination within the community to connect with outsiders to share their knowledge, their culture and their land.

The Mapuru community is inspirational. Community members live on country and stay true to their traditions, whilst managing businesses, raising families, engaging with life in modern Australia and supporting a school to teach their children about two ways of living and learning.

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