Weavers evicted

RE-DISCOVERING a lost art of their ancestors has been a great joy for a group of Bundjalung women in Casino, but a sudden eviction from their premises may make it harder for them to continue.

The Wake-Up Time weaving group established 10 years ago and auspiced by the Buttery's Outreach program INTRA has, with the help of photos from the British Museum, re-learnt how to weave baskets and bags as their forebears did using native grasses and reeds.

"We do weaving in all forms here using natural materials in the bush and fields," Aunty Gwen Hickling said.

Many of their works have been sold at exhibitions in Sydney and they will also have involvement with International Indigenous Fashion Week down there in 2014.

They also teach students from Casino how to weave.

A decision by Housing NSW to close the facilities has seen the group hurriedly looking for premises.

"To my understanding, Housing NSW is the owner of the property which was managed by Multitask Lismore," Buttery manager Krystian Gruft said.

"Although Multitask were well aware of the women's use of the shed, to date they did not bother notifying us about the closure and the necessity to vacate."

The group is putting a call out to the community for a shed or garage they can use, even if only on a temporary basis.

"We are more effective here because this is where the people are. It's a cultural thing," Aunty Gwen said.



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