Interview with the artist – Lucy Yarawanga:

Lucy Yarawanga. Photo Ingrid Johanson/Babbarra Designs

“We call that Stringy Bag ‘Djerr’ in my language, and in many other languages too.

To make them, we start by peeling the bark from a Stringy Bark tree, and we roll it in our hands. Then we smash it with a stone, or an axe or stick to make it soft. After that we peel it apart and soak it in water for one or two weeks. Sometimes we add colour too, yellow and black and white. For some colours we get the roots from the ground and we soak it in there with it, and for others we use leaves to make it black.

Sometimes we also make Stringy Bags with Pandanus, and we boil it in water.

My mum taught me this, and I used to watch my grandparents who would weave it with a needle. That was a long time ago when I was out bush on my country, Djinkarr and Nangak.

We start with a circle, taking 4 or 5 stands and tie them together in a loop. Then we weave it from there.

We used to put everything in there: when we’d catch fish or long necked turtle, and also bush foods, when we’d get green plums and black berries and bush apple.”

Lucy Yarawanga, author of the Maningrida Wild Foods logo