The Australian Aboriginal Art Baskets Gallery

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Colorful, intricately woven baskets are made by hand throughout Aboriginal Australia. Some the most striking are created in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, served by an art and cultural center at Maningrida. This area of approximately 10,000 square kilometers includes many clans and language groups with mixed traditions contributing to a rich variety of artistic creations.

The baskets are predominantly coiled, string or "dilly" bags. They are woven from various natural fibers such as those made from the leaves of the pandanus plant, the bark of trees like Kurrajong, Brachychiton diversifolius, Brachychiton paradoxum and Ficus virens. These fibers are dyed in vivid oranges, yellows, reds, blacks and purples by boiling in ground up roots of plants like Pogonolobus reticulatus and wood ash from Eucalyptus alba.

Maningrida is a small community that sits on the remote northern coast of Australia's Arnhem Land at the estuary of the Liverpool River. During much of the year the community can be reached only by light aircraft.

Baskets traditionally are used for gathering foods like roots, tubers, berries, honey and fish. The baskets offered by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person have been woven for commercial purposes and sale to collectors and museums by the finest aboriginal artists, which come from Maningrida and other aboriginal communities.

In addition to baskets, artists at the Maningrida community also use paperbark, pandanus and palm fiber to weave three-dimensional figurative sculpture. These figures represent common creatures in the area: echidnas, bandicoots, camp dogs, crocodiles and mice. At the moment, our stock of figurative baskets is exhausted.

(We are indebted to Fiona Salmon of Maningrida for the background material included in the foregoing discussion.)

To Australian Aboriginal Art Gallery

Fort Myers
, FL. 33908

(c) 2002 - 2017 Aboriginals: Art of the First Person