Learning to Weave in Yirrkala

Yirrkala Stars in East Arnhem Land have been learning the art of weaving with pandanus this week.

Pandanus has traditionally been used by Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, and parts of Western Australia, to weave baskets.

It’s not a quick process. In fact, the steps that need to be followed before the pandanus is ready to weave are difficult and time consuming.

Our young women have been learning the first steps in the process this week.

First, the pandanus is collected from the bush. The leaves are very spiky and great care needs to be taken as they can cut your hands and bury tiny needles in the skin.

Then the leaves are separated, the needles stripped off, and the inner leaf peeled to leave thin strips. These are left in the sun to dry.

Once the strips have dried, our Stars will be taught the next step in the process.