Baskets Hold a History

Monday, 17 August 2015

The presentation Baskets Hold a History based on the Masters thesis of artist, Art and Artefacts Curator and Step Up participant Alana Garwood-Houng is now available online.

Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba and Wergaia woman Alana Garwood-Houng was inspired to learn more when she came across a small photograph of a coiled basket with text that stated it was from Echuca, Victoria. Echuca is part of Yorta Yorta Country.

“Here was a traditional cultural practice from the area of my ancestors that I could use as part of my art practice. This image of a coiled basket from Echuca was a turning point for me,” Alana said.

“Yorta Yorta coiled baskets was the focus of my Masters research. The coiled bundle technique of basket making was a technique that was unique to southern Australia until the 1920’s when the technique was taught to Aboriginal women on Goulburn Island in the Northern Territory.

“Baskets held in museums may seem as though they are empty, but held within them are histories. It is not always visible but with time, patience and research, baskets can reveal what is held within.

“The histories in the baskets are important because they tell a story of a time past and of change. They also hold the threads of the story of their collection and journey to their current resting place.”


Last reviewed: 17 Aug 2015