In 2013 we received funding from the Australia Council Chosen Cultural Apprenticeship Program grant.
For eighteen months Durrmu Arts worked in collaboration with Peppimenarti Primary School, where once a week Regina Pilawuk Wilson would conduct cultural mentor classes with the female students. Her main focus was introducing the girls to the newly learned technique of twinning using pandanus and bush vine to make traditional airbell baskets and fish traps – a technique forgotten in Peppimenarti during the Missionary contact in the 1940’s and only reintroduced in 2013. As well as twining with bush vine Regina taught the girls the skill of stripping and rolling sand palm into string to make warrgadi (traditional string bags) and walipan (traditional fishing nets), the method of stripping pandanus fronds and using the fibre to make baskets and mats, and then the process of dying the fibres using roots, berries and bark ashes.
Photos by Durrmu Arts, Sophia Constantine & Cassie de Colling.
Regina Wilson: “The benefits are for the kids to learn what we do, cos if we pass away they can take it on for their kids and their grandchildren. It is important for the children to learn about the weaving. Bush vine is really important, our ancestors, long time, use to do fish trap and airbell, we searched for the stitch that was forgotten, it was good to learn the stitch of our grandparents and pass it again.”