Umbakumba Dyeing Day

Maicie Lalara, is the team leader for Umbakumba Community at Anindilyakwa Arts on Groote Eylandt, off the coast of East Arnhem Land. In the next few weeks, the new Umbakumba art space will open on Umbakumba beach. Here are a few words from Maicey and snaps from this weeks Umbakumba dyeing day.

Hello, my name is Macie and I’d like to tell you a story about me and my community Umbakumba.

When I was a little girl I was sitting beside my grandmother, and I saw her doing basket weaving with pandanus. I asked her what she was doing and she said, “you will make baskets when you grow up, for the future.”

My great great grandmother passed these baskets to me. For my future. So I can teach all the girls, at the school and on my community how to make baskets. I need to teach them to make small baskets then to make big baskets so they can keep their culture strong and art strong.

When I go to bed every night, I see the vision of my baskets. The colours.

I can’t stop making my baskets.

When I was dreaming about my big baskets, my partner said, “Stop! You’re always dreaming or making your baskets.”

The old people made baskets with Pandanus a long time ago. Elders, old ladies.

When the missionaries came, my great great grandmother used to sit with the white and make dilly bag. I have the photo.

I do it with ghost net now. We all do. That's the new way.

I like to make baskets with ghost net. Sometimes bush dye, sometimes colourful fabric.

Soon we’ll have an art centre here on Umbakumba. It will be good for us, for our future."

New seed necklaces, collected from Umbakumba beach
New seed necklaces, collected from Umbakumba beach
Rigorous product testing
Rigorous product testing
Dye bags full of works for tagging
Dye bags full of works for tagging
Maicie Lalara wrapping a scarf for the dye pot
Maicie Lalara wrapping a scarf for the dye pot
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