The Yarning Online OnCountry: KurruPurra Pila Weaving project has been created in partnership between Community and Taragara Aboriginal Corporation which will take place both in person and online. The project supports elders in Bourke, Brewarrina, Weilmoringle, Engonnia, and Wilcannia to access cultural sites and heritage along the river systems of Western NSW. Since colonisation, Aboriginal communities have been forced to discontinue the important cultural and spiritual practices related to the rivers, and this project seeks to reanimate those practices using the creative, traditional, ecological and environmental knowledge involved in traditional weaving. The rivers of Werstern NSW are critically endangered, and the spiny sedge plant is a key species in the river ecology. Reconnecting Aboriginal communities with the spiny sedge and sharing cultural knowledge about conservation of weaving plants will allow Aboriginal communities to care for Country and pass on intergenerational knowledge.
This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.
Grant round: Community Conservation Grants 2021
Spiny sedge is one native plant that has both environmental and cultural benefits. The sedge has traditionally been harvested for weaving, however knowledge around harvesting and understanding the sedge has declined since colonisation. The Yarning Online OnCountry: KurruPurra Pila Weaving, led by Aboroginal Elders with support from Master weavers and and organsiations including Local Lands Services and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services will facilitate regeneration of riparian vegetation including spiny sedge.
The program consists of a series of creative, oral history and skill development workshops on weaving, land management/regeneration led by Elders, artists and land management personnel for the direct benefit of Aboroignal people, community health and well-being. The workshop outcomes include:
-Revegetation of riparian areas
-Community understanding of the cultural and environmental value of riparian vegetation
-People with new skills including flora identification, planting and harvesting
-Cultural knowledge shared to younger generations including stories of Songlines, understanding of natural fibres, and weaving.
The project will start with a week-long OnCountry Gathering of Elders and Co-ordinaters in Bourke to introduce the project, where the spiny sedge will be harvested and planted, and where the weaving will take place. Elders have an active role in identifying partner organisations and participants and will establish the cultural protocols that will govern all activities. Following the opening Gathering, Elders will participate in eight weekly Online and OnCountry workshops that will include cultural knowledge, creative practices, oral history and other skill development including weaving techniques. In addition to weaving activities and knowledge, the workshops will include presentations from local Aboriginal service providers and funding bodies.
This project is undertaken on the traditional lands of the Bourke, Brewarrina, Weilmoringle, Engonnia, and Wilcannia people.
FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation the we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT
The project was completed in is ongoing. Scroll for project updates.
This project was funded by FNPW in 2021.
Taragara Aboriginal Corporation is the lead organisation for this project.
Further information about our project partner can be found on their website: https://taragara.org/