Margaret Jinjelora’s woven basket from Maningrida in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. PALYA-0265HR

Mary Jadbalag, 'Twined Basket' 2006, Maningrida, Northern Territory, PALYA-1852

Artist: Margaret Jinjelora
Area: Maningrida, Northern Territory
Artwork: Basket
Date: 1997
Medium: Fibre
Size: 300 x 300 x 300 mm
Maningrida Arts & Culture
Palya Art No: 0265HR
Price: AUD $250.00

Works in fibre from the Maningrida region are widely recognised as some of the finest in Australia. Artists confidently push the boundaries of fibre craft and cultural expression, adapting traditional techniques and forms to produce strikingly inventive and aesthetically exquisite artworks.

Weaving here takes many forms: utilitarian and decorative, ceremonial and sculptural. Fibre objects include mats, baskets, dillybags and string bags; flattened wall-hanging interpretations of subject matter usually rendered on bark paintings; ceremonial regalia such as armbands and dancing belts; and the sculptural forms of conical fish traps.

Commonly used fibres include the leaves of pandanus (Pandanus spiralis), and palms (Livistonus), mírlírl (burney or jungle vine, Malaisia scandens), and the inner bark of kurrajong and stringybark eucalyptus trees. Weaving is physically hard work, now done only by women. They colour the pandanus using natural dyes made from the roots, leaves or flowers of plants within the weaver’s clan estate.

The art of fibre has a long history in Arnhem Land as evidenced by the many depictions of fibre objects in the rock art of the escarpment plateaus. There are also spiritual dimensions to weaving, which vary according to the materials used and the totemic significance of the object made.

In the late 1980s, Maningrida artists were closely involved in bringing together a collection of works representative of fibre production in the region, including bark paintings that depict the ancestral

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