Katangku kuruntu kulira kunpu palyanma – Making strong work with a strong heart
Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a not-for-profit social enterprise of Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC), an Aboriginal governed and directed Corporation. NPYWC members created Tjanpi (meaning ‘grass’) to enable women on the NPY Lands to earn a regular income from selling their fibre art. More than 300+ Aboriginal women artists from 28 remote communities in the western and central deserts of Australia come together on country to create beautiful, intricate and whimsical fibre art. Tjanpi provides one of the few opportunities for self-initiated income on the NPY Lands and brings Aboriginal women together on country to collect grass, sculpt and weave, sing and dance and keep culture strong.
Tjanpi work is not work that confines you to place or purse. It is work that allows women to be out in their country, at home or on the road and can be accomplished with few resources. It more than accommodates social and cultural obligations; it encourages them. The Tjanpi walytja is a wide-reaching network of mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters and grandmothers whose shared stories, skills and experiences are the bloodline of the weaving phenomenon that has swept the western and central deserts over the past decade.
Tjanpi is represented in national and international public and private collections, has an extensive exhibition programme and is featured in many publications, including Tjanpi Desert Weavers, published by Macmillan in 2012. In 2005, Tjanpi weavers from Papulankutja (WA) won the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award with their now famous ‘Tjanpi Toyota’.