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© England Banggala/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

Handmade paperbark basket

Date: 1994
Overall: 263 x 211 x 178 mm, 98.05 g
Medium: Bark, natural fibre
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © England Banggala
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Basket
Object No: 00046797

User Terms

    Paperbark baskets such as this one were used by Indigenous people for storing and carrying food and liquids such as honey.
    SignificanceThis handmade basket represents the use of natural materials for practical purposes, in this case for the collecting of bush honey in a non-porous container.

    HistoryHandmade temporary baskets such as this were used to collect small foods such as berries, bush honey and sometimes even water. Bark from eucalypts and other trees was folded into shape and the ends stitched using pandanus strips or homemade string. Handles were often added for ease of carrying.

    This basket therefore represents Indigenous ingenuity in taking materials at hand and shaping them into a functional container. The carrying of foods, supplies, and water meant a myriad of designs for particular purposes. Weaving, stitching, coiling, folding, and the shaping of natural materials into baskets and other containers was undertaken for practical purposes as well as ceremonial activities.

    The non-porous bark allowed liquids to be collected and stored. Bush honey is a delicacy used for medicinal purposes as well as having ritual and spiritual significance through the wild honey ancestor - an ancestor common across northern Australia with minor regional differences.

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