Basket Making

In traditional Aboriginal societies, baskets had many uses, including carrying food, women’s and men’s tools, shells, ochre, and eating utensils.

Basket-like carriers were made from plant materials, kelp, or animal skin.

The kelp baskets or carriers were used mainly to carry water and as drinking vessels.

Plants were carefully selected to produce strong, thin, narrow strips of fibre of suitable length for basket making.

Several different species of plant were used, including white flag iris, blue flax lily, rush and sag, some of which are still used by contemporary basket makers, and sometimes shells are added for ornamental expression.

Plants were carefully selected to produce strong, thin, narrow strips of fibre of suitable length for basket making.

Several different species of plant were used, including white flag iris, blue flax lily, rush and sag, some of which are still used by contemporary basket makers, and sometimes shells are added for ornamental expression.

Basket making is one of the traditional crafts that has been carried through into contemporary art. Nature is a major source of inspiration for many artists, but for Tasmanian Aboriginals it is more than inspiration, it is where they source their materials.

The fibre work is a natural resource from our land and something we can do in different places, as grass is almost always there. It is a craft that moves with you. We all use native grasses. We work in kelp as well.

Reeds are gathered seasonally from creek waterways and rivers, and dried. The weaving is called ‘twining’. These baskets are made mostly by older women. Young women, as a rule, are not interested in this time consuming craft. But everyone admires and values the beautiful creations.