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Turtle – Vivianne Nabarlambarl

$295.00 inc. GST

Vivianne is weaver from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.

She has created an Ngalmangiyi, Long-neck or Snake Neck Turtle, sculpture using a combination of weaving techniques.

Made from Pandanus spiralis fibre, palm and locally sourced natural dyes.

Dimensions: 24 x 39 cm

Pandanus weavings are 100% sustainably produced.

 

In stock

Description

Vivianne is an accomplished weaver who makes baskets, mats, earrings and sculptures.

We find ngalmangiyi (Long Necked Turtles, Chelodina rugosa) in open areas like flood plains. Women will go out looking for “mim”, the small holes the turtles breathe through as they lie buried under the mud. In the old days, women would take a digging stick called “kunbarlkbu”, which they sharpened so it would penetrate the mud. Nowadays women fashion turtling sticks from old pieces of metal, which they sharpen and make wooden handles for. These are called “kubba” (from the English “crowbar”). If the stick makes a knocking sound when it goes into the mud, people know there is a turtle there. People take the turtles and cook them on the fire or in ground ovens, opening them up to eat them. The best times for hunting turtle are the six or so months after Kudjewk (the monsoon season) that occurs in the beginning of the year.

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.

Collecting Pandanus

This is the first part of the process. Only the new growth (erect shoots emerging from the top of the tree) is used and the ladies use a ‘hook stick’ to harvest as they are usually high in the area. It requires strength, skill and knowledge of which trees/places yield the best source. Pandanus grows best in areas that experience seasonal dampness or are near watercourses.

Stripping

There are a few steps to stripping Pandanus and it is surprisingly difficult to do. An experienced person makes it look easy! On either side of the leaf are thorns/barbs running in the opposite direction to the stripping action and these need to be avoided.

Dyeing

This is almost always done over an open fire in large pots. Colours may be roots, berries, flowers or, in the case of green, a part of the Pandanus plant. Some of the dyes are seasonal and/or very location specific. Things may be added to the dye mix to strengthen and change colours, such as ash. The weavers take great care and pride in creating vivid colours and often will trade dyes and additives. The usual time to dye is immediately after the Pandanus has been stripped.

Weaving

A range of traditional, borrowed and innovated weaving techniques are used in contemporary Pandanus weavings. Larger sculptures are made with a palm wood structure and infilled with lace like weaving. Smaller sculptures use Pandanus fibre for the framework as well.

References Twined Together (Kunmadj Ngalehnjaleken)