Elcho Island, known to its traditional owners as Galiwin’ku (Galiwinku) is an island off the coast of Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia.
To prepare the pandanus the Common colours in her work include: the soft, white and fleshy end of the pandanus leaf imparts green to the fibre.
– mun-gumurduk/ gala (Pogonolobus reticulatus): a bright yellow root that is crushed and put in a billycan with the fibre and boiled. It creates yellow when boiled once and deep orange hues when boiled multiple times.
– ngalpur (Haemodorum brevicaule): a bright red root which yields a range of purply red to brown colours.
– Baluk: ashes of certain plants are added to the boiling billycan with the fibre and dye plants to alter the colour that is imparted to the fibre. The fruiting body of gulpiny (Banksia denanta) is burnt and the ashes added to other day plants to make the colour pink.
In 2003, Kuninjku artist Marina Murdilnga brought a revolutionary new form of pandanus weaving to Maningrida Arts & Culture: a flat yawkyawk made from knotted pandanus on a jungle-vine frame, painted with natural pigments. She next explored using dyed pandanus and feathers in this way. Murdilnga’s innovation inspired many other weavers, who are producing an array of beautifully resolved flat figurative works (stingray, butterflies, spiderwebs) and spiritual figures and Ancestral beings.
Reference Maningrida Arts & Culture
About Pandanus weaving
Contemporary Arnhem Land weavers are renowned for their beautifully executed Pandanus weavings and use of local dyes to create a wide palette of colours. Only women collect and process Pandanus. People often ask about how weavings are priced and we explain the various laborious and time consuming processes involved in creating a weaving.