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© Mavis Galikali Warrngilna Ganambarr/Licenced by Viscopy, 2017

Tiwi dilly bag with shell fringe by Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr

Date: 1994
765 x 200 x 10 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Bush string, luthuluthu (neritina) shells, fishing line, natural dyes
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Mavis Galikali Warrngilna Ganambarr
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Basket
Object No: 00027409
Place Manufactured:Elcho Island

User Terms

    This small dilly bag was made by Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr of Elcho Island.
    String bags are the work bags of Arnhem Land, particularly on Elcho Island they are used to carry a wide range of food, medical and personal items. This bag was made using bush string, natural dyes and tiny shells.
    The technique of making woven fibres is still handed down from mother to daughter. Women collect the raw materials
    from the bush and beaches and use the treated and dyed fibres in baskets and nets.

    SignificanceGaliwin’ku (Elcho Island) has seen many changes in the last 100 years - the banning of the visits by Makassan traders, the takeover of the running of the Island by missionaries and the movement of people into settled areas. As such, there are many new ideas expressed in the materials and methods of construction in artists works.
    HistoryMavis Warrngilna Ganambarr is one of Australia’s best known fibre artists. She began fibre work under the direction of her grandmother and aunties on Galiwin'ku where she lives with her husband and children. Mavis is now passing on her own knowledge plants, recipes and techniques to a younger generation. Mavis tells that :

    “Bapa Shepie (Missionary) brought me to Galiwin’ku when I was 9 years old so I could go to school. I was taught fibre art by my grandmother Djuluka when I was 19 years of age and I have been continually creating weavings and wearable art since then. I am very proud of what my grandmother taught me to do, but now I am making different, new styles of my own ideas. I teach my children and one day they will teach their children. In this way we will keep our culture strong.”

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