Tayenebe: Tasmanian Aboriginal Women's Fibre Work

Tayenebe, a Tasmanian Aboriginal word meaning 'exchange', celebrates the revitalisation of Tasmanian Aboriginal weaving that has been taking place over the past three years.Basket, c.1845, Collecting bag, 2008; Photograph: Simon Cuthbert, TMAG Unknown maker, basket, c.1845, white flag iris (Diplarrena moraea)
Audrey Frost, Collecting bag, 2008, white flag iris (Diplarrena moraea)
Photograph: Simon Cuthbert, TMAG
Weaving; Photograph: Lucia Rossi Photograph: Lucia Rossi

A group of 35 Tasmanian Aboriginal women and girls have travelled across Tasmania, sharing stories and practicing the traditional Aboriginal fibre skills of their ancestors. The objects created are now on display as part of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s travelling exhibition, tayenebe.

The tayenebe exhibition includes beautiful baskets and kelp water carriers in contemporary and traditional styles, along with an historical basket made around 1845 which has never before been seen outside Tasmania.

Tayenebe showcases the unique connections that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have with the land and sea, while providing an insight into the significance of traditional fibre work practice.

More than skills have been shared; stories and memories, many highlights and also sadness have been part of the tayenebe journey.

Tayenebe explores links and changes across time, and celebrates the reinvigoration of fibre and kelp work that is unique to Tasmania.

View more about the tayenebe project and exhibition on the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery website.

Things to see and do

  • View contemporary and historical hand woven objects
  • Investigate how skills ideas and traditions have been exchanged and passed on through families
  • Learn the story of how traditional skills were rediscovered and are being maintained
  • Read the stories of how these Tasmanian Aboriginal women rediscovered their heritage
  • Trace the journey of discovery undertaken by the women
  • Reflect on how the tayenebe project connects the past, present and future

Learning Resources

Tayenebe: Tasmanian Aboriginal Women's Fibre Work is complemented with an extensive Teacher Resources kit (2244 KB) pdf document icon. The resource material provides a context for museum studies and is designed as a stimulus for before and/or after visit learning experiences.

Tayenebe is a Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery travelling exhibition. This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government Program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of cultural material across Australia.

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