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Bonnie Burarngarra and
Freda Ali Wayartja

Yilan, NT

"We go and get pandanus and jungle vine, sedge grass for fish traps. We're going to try to get kids from Maningrida to come along because they don't know. We'll try to teach them and then they'll have that knowledge. This fish trap is special to us; it's really really special, especially for young kids to learn." – Freda Ali

About the Artist

Bonnie Burarngarra and
Freda Ali Wayartja

Bonnie Burangarra belongs to the Burarra/Walamangu people and is an internationally celebrated fibre artist. Bonnie grew up and lives on her ancestral Country at Yilan in the Cape Stewart area. She is a Traditional Owner of Yilan as well as Yurrwi/Milingimbi.

Bonnie and her late husband, Jacky Maranbarra, were two of the few remaining master anguchechiya (fish trap) makers. Examples of their work are held in many public and private collections. Bonnie also makes beautiful gulukurr (bathi or dilly bags) and bamagral nanmarra (conical mats used for wrapping or covering babies, as women�s skirts or as coverings for girls during the coming-of-age ceremony).

Bonnie�s wisdom, strength and gentleness come from living on her homeland with her ancestral culture ingrained in her everyday life. Her artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout Australia and England. She is represented by both Maningrida Arts and Milingimbi Art and Culture.

Freda Wayartja is a master weaver and cultural leader and educator. She belongs to the Burarra people who specialise in the customary conical dilly bags, woven string bags and mats. She is particularly renowned for the use of mirlarl, burny vine (Malaisia scandens), which grows in the coastal jungle. The use of this vine to manufacture fish traps, barriers and large, strong dillybags is unique to this region.

Freda is a cultural leader in her community, teaching younger generations of weavers and also regularly leading demonstrations and tours for visitors and tourists.

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