mäpuru Women's trips
Workshops in pandanus basket weaving, string making, traditional bush foods & cultural exchange.
Mäpuru Community, North-East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
This workshop is held over 10 days and is facilitated by the women of the Mäpuru Homelands Community. They will provide you with expert tuition in the skills of basket making and bush food.
During this home stay visit we will live with the people of Mäpuru on their traditional land. We will travel to collect & prepare weaving materials, share in bush foods, learn language, exchange cultures, play with the children and share in day-to-day life.
This trip is a rare opportunity to visit a community of Indigenous Australians who are living on and managing their traditional lands. The strength, love and dignity of the Mäpuru people will deeply touch you as they guide us in learning these ancient crafts.
Please go to www.arnhemweavers.com.au for more information about Mäpuru and the cultural tours.
*Picture is no longer available in deep respect to her grieving family*
“Through this website and eco-tours (the elders) see that they, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to use the skills passed down from the ancestors to continue living with dignity on their ancestral Homelands.”
Our group will fly into Darwin and meet at a local YHA hostel. We will load everyone’s gear and all of our food for the 2 week journey onto our hired 4WD vehicle. We will then meet up with a group of white men who we will drive with to the community. This men's group are also going to Mäpuru to learn about traditional hunting and other survival skills. They will stay in the main camp with us in a separate men’s shelter and also spend five nights away on a survival trip.
By about 11am we will have our 4WD packed and begin our 2 day drive into some of the remotest parts of North-East Arnhem Land. The scenery is amazing and over night we will camp at one of the beautiful sites along the way.
Late on the following day we will arrive in Mäpuru and be warmly greeted by Roslyn Guyula Malŋumba, who is one of the senior female weavers of the community. That night we set up our camp (cooking, tents, camp fire) and have a good night’s rest. Our workshop starts the following day - from the moment the Mäpuru women gather under our weaving shelter.
The teaching is conducted as it has been for thousands of years in traditional Aboriginal communities. So we sit, we observe the techniques they use and we weave under the watchful eyes of the women. Throughout the following ten days we will all share much laughter and fun with the women, men and children under the weaving shelter.
During the ten day workshop we can stay in camp to weave, camp out for a few nights on country, travel away from camp to visit special places on the land and gather bush food, weaving materials, dyes for the baskets, shelter materials etc...Every day will be negotiated between the balanda (white) women and the Mäpuru women. There is no pre-set itinerary.
Everyone will have the chance to make baskets they can take home – perhaps using a coil technique, hand woven technique or string. You will also go home with materials to continue your weaving with. Extra materials, expertly made baskets and mats are also available to buy directly from the women. We will also all gain experience harvesting basket materials, collecting plant dyes and preparing the pandanas or string for weaving.
When it is time to leave our group all gather with the women and give our money directly to each Mäpuru woman who has expertly guided us during the workshop. All of the money we gather to pay for the workshop goes directly to the people of Mäpuru. It is the women of Mäpuru who run the weaving workshops.
Once we have packed our camp and said our goodbyes our group then travels back in our 4WD to Darwin. We arrive back in Darwin late in the afternoon after another 2 day 4WD journey. Usually at this stage we are all exhausted and exhilarated! It would be wonderful to have you there.
EXPENSES & ACCOMMODATION
The total cost for the 2 week journey is $2,950. This includes:
- $1,500 per person for expert tutition, paid directly to the Mäpuru elders, ($150 per day for the 10 day workshop).
- $1,450 per personfor food, group's organisational & administration expenses, food, miscellaneous items, car hire, car insurance and fuel.
EXCLUDES: Flights & Personal Insurance
These amounts can be subject to changes due to seasonal variations. There is camping accommodation only. There are showers and enclosed pit toilets at Mäpuru as well as a traditional shelter for our group to use. There is also a magical creek where we can swim. There is limited refrigeration for food and during the workshop. Everyone in the group contributes to cooking and cleaning.
dates: view calendar
CONFIRMING YOUR PLACE ON THE TRIP
If you are interested in joining us at Mäpuru please contact me as early as possible as the trips are very popular, with many participants returning year after year.
This field trip offers participants a rare opportunity to live on the traditional land of the Mäpuru people. To ensure our groups can get the most out of their experience and our deep respect for the Mäpuru culture is upheld we recommend participation or exposure to an Indigenous cultural program before heading into Arnhem Land.
Once your place has been confirmed you can finalise your trip by making a $500 payment towards your trip expenses. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, would like to confirm your participation or need further information before coming along.
Looking forward to hearing from you,