Báwaliba (Spirit woman) – Valerie Dress
This item has been made in collaboration with Publisher Textiles, Sydney. Bàbbarra has been working with Publisher since 2009 when the demand for our fabric went beyond our ability to produce.
Named “Colours of Country” each design and colourway has been selected by the Bàbbarra women to reflect the colours of their country during wet season and dry season.
Print: Bawáliba (Spirit Woman)
By: Lucy Yarawanga (Gurr-goni)
From Babbarra Women’s Centre
This is the Dreaming of my mother and my uncles. These spirits are called Bawáliba. A long time ago they used to go out hunting. That’s in Ranger station near the airport (mum and uncle from further this way to Jingarr). Their homeland. They used to go out hunting with dilly bags and digging sticks. They used to collect a lot of bush foods, and sleep together with one bark shelter.
Sometimes they come alive when we sleep, they come in the house when we sleep and peep through the window and we looked them with white clay (gapan) and red cloth tied around. We get up to look but they have disappeared. They are really tall. They are like human beings, like us. They dance and have a lot of hair. They are carrying fish traps and digging sticks.
They are good spirits, they protect us and they recognise families. They might knock on the window to remind us they are there looking out for us. You can hear them whisper, sometimes they talk about us and might say, ‘why are they making a house here?’ Then they say to each other, ‘This family are from here, its ok, they are sleeping here for the night’. During the day they turn into stone and they sleep. When you see that green rock, that’s Bawáliba.
Hand printed as a 2 colour print on natural 100% Australian milled cotton jersey.
- Darting at the bust and waist
- Zippered at the back
Being handmade there may be some print variations, making each garment unique.
Hand printed and made in Sydney.