The Tjanpi Story

apy lands, Tjanpi Tree

Tjunkaya Tapaya with Punu Kutjara. Tjunkaya is a senior Tjanpi artist in Pukutja, SA. An expert sculptor and weaver, Tjunkaya proudly shows her Marlu (kangaroo)

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council created to enable women in remote central deserts to earn their own income from fibre art.

Tjanpi represents more than 400 Aboriginal women artists from 26 remote communities on the NPY lands. The NPY lands cover approximately 350,000 square kms across the tri-state (WA, SA, NT) border region of Central Australia. Tjanpi field officers regularly travel to these communities and purchase artworks from the artists, supply art materials, hold skills development workshops and facilitate grass collecting trips. These trips also allow a number of other cultural maintenance activities to take place.

Tjanpi also runs public weaving workshops, a public gallery in Alice Springs, it regularly exhibits work in national galleries right through to facilitating commissions for public institutions and collectors.

Supporting Desert Women

Law and Culture Meeting at Ngurrapila, 2006

Ivy Laidlaw with Bush Dyed Raffia.

“It is good work, women’s work. Even the oldest women make baskets. The young kungkawara (adolescent) girls also make baskets. All the generations of women make baskets now and we feel assured that women will continue making baskets long after we are dead and gone. We women are all basket makers now! Basket making is a great form of income-earning for us, yet it is a very pleasant occupation as well… what better kind of work is there? …It is strong and important work. We are happy doing it.”  Paniny Mick, Amata SA

Tjanpi weaving is now firmly embedded in contemporary Central and Western Desert culture as a movement that celebrates life, creativity and country.

Support Tjanpi by purchasing an artwork or by making a donation.