Indigenous Beanie Making
An important part of the festival is our skills development in local community. The following workshops were convened in the central desert around Alice Springs in 2013.
Thanks to ArtsNt funding, the Alice Springs Beanie Festival was able to return to Papunya, after 2 years, for a week of Mukati (Warlpiri word for beanie) workshops n May 2013. The Papunya Artists are extremely accomplished needle-felters and used this years theme of friendship, their connection to the beautiful country around Papunya, and replicating existing paintings, as their inspiration for the outstanding and colourful mukati creations on display. The school children were a delight and took part by creating the fantastic banner representing the Papunya community.
Thanks to ArtsNT funding 2 weeks of Mukata workshops were held in Titjikala in May 2013. The workshops were well attended by children, teenagers and women of all ages. Many of their women were existing Mukata artists and we also had some new faces taking part in the joys of beanie making. The Artists were enthusiastic about exploring the friendship theme within areas of their environment, such as, family, friends, pets and the Titjikala landscape.
Thanks to funding through Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, the Beanie Festival carried out Mukata Workshops in Mutitjulu in October 2012 and then again in April 2013. The workshops involved men, women and children of all ages from the community resulting in the gorgeous Mukata. Many designs were inspired by the spectacular Uluru landscape, like the famous Desert Oaks of the area, and the stories that are told by its people, such as the Seven Sisters and a Man story. A highlight of the trip was the Mukata inspired song created and performed by the Mutitjulu women about the joy and fun of creating beanies and to supporting the future of the Beanie Festival.
Thanks to the support of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Mukati workshops took place in Willowra for the first time in May 2013. The workshops were received with much support from men, women and children of all ages. New Mukati Artists created the Mukati designs displayed here around stories reflecting the Warlpiri country, culture and ceremony.A true highlight was our final night of farewells over kangaroo tail BBQ and movies from the 2 weeks
The Ernabella Mukata Artists have been making beanies for the Alice Springs Beanie Festival for over 15 years. We spent a wonderful few days with the ladies in May 2013and also welcomed many new women, teenagers and children in to the art of crochet and needle-felting. Many of the crocheted mukata made in Ernabella are made by handspun fleece, spun and died in the traditional way. We are happy to welcome the Ernabella Mukata Queens in to the National Beanie Festival Hall of Fame for 2013 and look forward to many more years working together.
Thanks to funding through the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Mukati workshops took place in Nyirripi for the first time in December 2012, then again in June 2013. The Nyirripi community showed much support with new Mukati artists representing stories of family and land through their brilliant, new and innovative beanie designs
As a request from Fregon School, Mukata workshops were held for a week in the senior girls class room in May 2013. It was a great week with the girls creatingmukata in crochet and needle-felting as well aslearning spinning and weaving techniques. It was a lovely atmosphere with a group of the senior women artists from the community joining us each day to crochet and needle-felt their own entries. Next years workshops are already planned and we look forward to working with our new generation of Fregon Mukata artists for many years to come. Thanks to Marg Hansen for preparing this report on the inspiring workshops that were held in 2013.