kanalaritja: An Unbroken String
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is proud to present a national touring exhibition focused on shell stringing, one of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community’s most culturally significant and closely-guarded traditions.
kanalaritja: An Unbroken String features a variety of beautiful, delicate and rare shell necklaces, created by Tasmanian Aboriginal Ancestors in the 1800s, and acclaimed makers of today, as well as a new wave of stringers who had the opportunity to learn the tradition through the luna tunapri (women’s knowledge) cultural revitalisation project.
Since 2010, TMAG has worked with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community to facilitate a number of luna tunapri workshops in which women in the Community – who had
not had shell stringing passed down through their families – were guided through the intricate processes of collecting, cleaning and stringing.
The women were encouraged to look in their local areas for shell collecting beaches and to use the knowledge shared with them to develop their own distinctive shell stringing
project, the women aspired to share their journey with the wider public, leading to the creation of kanalaritja: An Unbroken String. Exhibition Catalogue - a major publication featuring essays, poetry and family oral histories written by leading Aboriginal historians, artists, curators and shell stringers.
The kanalaritja: An Unbroken String exhibition is now online. To see the exhibition please click here.
Photo Credit: luna tunapri workshop, Flinders Island 2011, by Lucia Rossi