Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that the following pages may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Tjanpi Desert Weavers
Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Tjanpi Desert Weavers


Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council that enables women living in the remote Central and Western desert regions to earn an income from fibre art. Tjanpi (a word that means grass in Pitjantjatjara language) represents over 400 Aboriginal women artists from 26 remote communities on the NPY lands.

The NPY lands cover approximately 350,000 square kilometres across the tri-state (WA, SA, NT) border region of Central Australia. Tjanpi field officers regularly traverse this area to visit these communities, purchasing artworks from artists, supplying art materials, holding skills development workshops, and facilitating grass collecting trips. These trips also allow a number of other cultural maintenance activities to take place.

Tjanpi artists use native grasses to make spectacular contemporary fibre art, weaving beautiful baskets and sculptures and displaying a seemingly endless creativity and inventiveness. Working with fibre in this way has become a fundamental part of Central and Western desert culture.

Tjanpi embodies the energies and rhythms of Country, culture and community. Women regularly come together to collect grass, taking the time to hunt, gather food, perform inma (cultural song and dance) and teach their children about Country whilst creating an ever evolving array of fibre artworks. The shared stories, skills and experiences of this wide-reaching network of mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters and grandmothers form the bloodline of the desert weaving phenomenon and have fuelled Tjanpi’s rich history of collaborative practice.

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