Living Culture

Nature is a major source of inspiration for many artists, but for Tasmanian Aboriginals it is more than inspiration, it is where they sources materials for cultural art.

Basket making is another traditional craft which has been carried through into contemporary art. 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.

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 use all 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.

We practice these traditional skills purely for my our creative pleasure and for the purpose of maintaining our culture.

Baskets were seen and recorded by explorers to the Tasmanian region in the 19th century; along with clubs and spears, were a woven rush baskets, pleated water containers of bull kelp and a necklaces of iridescent shells.

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.