Deborah Wurrkidj, Manwak (Mumeka Blooms) (detail)
Bábbarra is one of only a few Indigenous textile-producing art centres in Australia that design, print and sew product onsite, in community. Each silk-screened length of fabric is a bold and elegant story/text that tells ancestral stories and of the lives of the Bábbarra women.
Bábbarra Women’s Centre has a proud history of positive social impact. From the early days (established by women as a refuge in 1983), we have supported the lives of Aboriginal women in the community of Maningrida and on surrounding homelands through art, design and textile production.
Bábbarra is a Aboriginal owned and governed textile centre run by women for women. Bábbarra is led by the strong voices of our Bábbarra Women’s Governance Board. We come from over 12 language groups and many different clans, but we come all together to design, sharing cultures and our stories. Bábbarra Women’s Centre works to change the narrative about the economic vulnerability of Indigenous women.
Bábbarra is a word in the Ndjébbana language of the Kunibídji people on whose country the community of Maningrida in Arnhem Land lies. It is the name of a place belonging to the Dukúrrdji clan. You say ‘Bábbarra’ with the stress on the first syllable: ‘bá’.
Bábbarra artists are saltwater and freshwater: living in a region encompassing 7,000 square kilometres. Here people still live on country and are resilient. Our imagery references the life of our land: the foods that we hunt and collect, as well as our ancestral stories – our djang / wangarr.
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