Data

Australian Aboriginal String Bags

Museum Metadata Exchange
Museum Victoria (Managed by)
Viewed: [[ro.stat.viewed]] Cited: [[ro.stat.cited]] Accessed: [[ro.stat.accessed]]
ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Adc&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2FANDS&rft_id=http://museumex.maas.museum/oai/mv/2788.html&rft.title=Australian Aboriginal String Bags&rft.identifier=4479&rft.publisher=Museum Metadata Exchange&rft.description=A wide variety of string bags produced by Aboriginal people are included in this collection. Differing in size, shape, decoration and material composition, these string bags are indicative of the diversity of Indigenous cultural practices across Australia. Significance: String bags are made using string from vegetable fibre. String is also made from human hair and animal fur using a spindle. Bags are made with 2-ply string employing either knotted or knotless stitches, the latter including simple loop, twist and loop, and hourglass or figure-of-eight stitches. In the past, the decoration of string bags was achieved with the variation of bands of colour achieved through use of different coloured string or they were painted with natural pigments or ochres after completion. Feathers were integrated during the process of spinning the string. The introduction of metal pans into Arnhem Land allowed women to experiment with colour and achieve an array of hues and tone through the process of dyeing fibres prior to spinning it into string. Introduced materials such as wool, nylon and cotton are also used in the making of string bags. String bags serve both utilitarian and ceremonial functions. They are hold-alls and used for the storage and transport of food and belongings. They also serve as strainers and sifters in the preparation of food with the open stitching allowing the contents to be placed in water to remove dangerous toxins and foreign matter. In Arnhem Land, 'biting bags' filled with feathers or vegetable fibres and stitched closed were worn by men during ceremonies. These often contained small objects thought to have magical powers. It would be placed between a man's teeth when he was fighting to give him power and courage. String bags with their contents intact were collected in Arnhem Land by Paddy Cahill, the pastoralist at Oenpelli in the early 20th century. These included a rare bag belonging to a woman pregnant with her first child and its contents included the makings of a toy. Today, string bags continue to be made in Arnhem Land and provide an important source of income for Aboriginal women.A wide variety of string bags produced by Aboriginal women are included in this collection. Differing in size, shape, decoration and material composition, these string bags are indicative of the diversity of Indigenous cultural practices across Australia. This collection reflects change over time and the way in which traditional forms are re-interpreted by subsequent generations of practitioners.&rft.creator=Anonymous&rft.date=2017&rft.coverage=Torres Strait, Australia&rft.coverage=Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia&rft.coverage=Western Australia, Australia&rft.coverage=Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia&rft.coverage=Fitzmaurice Region, Australia&rft.coverage=Central Australia, Australia&rft.coverage=Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia&rft.coverage=Kimberley Region, Western Australia, Australia&rft_subject=1850-2010&rft_subject=Bags&rft_subject=Dyes & Dyeing&rft_subject=stitching&rft_subject=string bags&rft_subject=Strings&rft.type=dataset&rft.language=English Access the data

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Brief description

A wide variety of string bags produced by Aboriginal women are included in this collection. Differing in size, shape, decoration and material composition, these string bags are indicative of the diversity of Indigenous cultural practices across Australia. This collection reflects change over time and the way in which traditional forms are re-interpreted by subsequent generations of practitioners.

Full description

A wide variety of string bags produced by Aboriginal people are included in this collection. Differing in size, shape, decoration and material composition, these string bags are indicative of the diversity of Indigenous cultural practices across Australia. Significance: String bags are made using string from vegetable fibre. String is also made from human hair and animal fur using a spindle. Bags are made with 2-ply string employing either knotted or knotless stitches, the latter including simple loop, twist and loop, and hourglass or figure-of-eight stitches. In the past, the decoration of string bags was achieved with the variation of bands of colour achieved through use of different coloured string or they were painted with natural pigments or ochres after completion. Feathers were integrated during the process of spinning the string. The introduction of metal pans into Arnhem Land allowed women to experiment with colour and achieve an array of hues and tone through the process of dyeing fibres prior to spinning it into string. Introduced materials such as wool, nylon and cotton are also used in the making of string bags. String bags serve both utilitarian and ceremonial functions. They are hold-alls and used for the storage and transport of food and belongings. They also serve as strainers and sifters in the preparation of food with the open stitching allowing the contents to be placed in water to remove dangerous toxins and foreign matter. In Arnhem Land, 'biting bags' filled with feathers or vegetable fibres and stitched closed were worn by men during ceremonies. These often contained small objects thought to have magical powers. It would be placed between a man's teeth when he was fighting to give him power and courage. String bags with their contents intact were collected in Arnhem Land by Paddy Cahill, the pastoralist at Oenpelli in the early 20th century. These included a rare bag belonging to a woman pregnant with her first child and its contents included the makings of a toy. Today, string bags continue to be made in Arnhem Land and provide an important source of income for Aboriginal women.
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Spatial Coverage And Location

text: Torres Strait, Australia

text: Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia

text: Western Australia, Australia

text: Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia

text: Fitzmaurice Region, Australia

text: Central Australia, Australia

text: Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia

text: Kimberley Region, Western Australia, Australia

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Identifiers
  • Local : 4479