Kundayarr (lino tile) by Deborah Wurrkidj

Kundayarr (lino tile)

The first tile has different types of kunmadj (dillybag) and marebu (floormat) made with Kundayarr (Pandanus).

‘There are two djerr (dilly bags), one basket, two marebu (floormats) and one kunmadj in this tile. This is how we carry and collect our bush tucker. This basket in the middle with two handles is made with the coil technique. This is a strong basket for clothes, swag, manburrba (clothing, cloth). We use the floormat to sleep on the ground or carry baby. This is from our old peoples time.

The other tile is kundayarr – pandanus tree and small billabongs with mud and water and grasses. There are 5 billabongs in this tile. We use this kundayarr to make the all the dillybag, kunmadj, marebu and djerr in the other tile. Kunmadj we carry on the head when we are collecting manme (bush tucker). We strip the kundayarr and then we use colour (botanical dyes) to make the different colour. Then we tie up the pandanus.’

Deborah Wurrkidj 2022

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.

Artists usually use kundayarr, pandanus spiralis, to weave decorative round or oblong mats, as well as the less common triangular and conical shapes. 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.

Deborah has used the root of Man-Kurdudjumuk (coelospermun reticulatum) to dye the fabric a beautiful yellow. This fabric has been dyed on country in the outstation of Kakodbubuldi and later printed in our Maningrida studio. Feathers, basket weaves and pandanus plants are pictured.