Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts is proud to be known by our gunga djäma (pandanus fibre work) and strong community of fibre artists. Fibre art starts with pandanus and bush materials that produce pigment, like roots and leaves, moulded by clever hands that turn creative ideas into intricately twined or coiled art work. It’s yindi djäma (big work)! And it takes a lot of dedication and skills. So we support fibre artists at Gapuwiyak as much as possible, and you can too, by purchasing ethical Aboriginal art from the IAM23 AIATSIS Indigenous Art Market!
We will have an online stall from 8-17 December 👉🏾 iamcbr.au
If you’re on Ngambri/Ngunnawal land, then go check out the in-person markets too, although we won’t be there due to sorry business.
Balgurr gay’wu (Kurrajong string bags) are meticulously made with the natural fibres of the Kurrajong tree. These traditional woven bags go a long way back and is one of the oldest types of Yolŋu fibre containers, perfect for foraged ganguri’ (yams), warraga’ (cycad nuts) and other ŋatha (bush tucker). They are surprisingly strong and durable, the perfect sustainable shopping bag?
Traditional Yolŋu uses of woven fibre containers, like baskets and dilly bags, were predominantly for collecting and carrying, and conceptualised in Waŋarr' (Ancestral) stories as carrying the law and 'stuff' to create life. Bulpu’ (dilly bag) was traditionally described as a basket made with pandanus, constructed with a tight weave to hold honey. Ḏimbuka (sacred dilly bag) are not appropriate to be sold and are reserved for ceremonial uses - they resemble the look of the bulpu in picture 2. But basket designs are versatile and the possibilities are endless... so we have loads available on our website!
There's so much character in each basket, and also so many possible uses. We've seen them function as a vase for dried flowers, tea and coffee caddy to jazz up a kitchen counter, for keys and knick knacks on the hallway table or to dress up house plant pots (with a plate inside to catch water).
Christmas is just around the corner and we’ve got you covered for buthurrupuy (ear-things)… aka earrings! Not only are Yolŋu artists so innovative with these wearable art works, even the language embraces new concepts: earbuds, earrings and ear plugs can all be called ‘buthurrupuy’! These make a perfect handmade gift that also supports Yolŋu artists and their families this festive season 🎁🏾