kanalaritja: An Unbroken String celebrates the unique practice of Tasmanian Aboriginal shell stringing.
"With only a small number of women holding the knowledge of shell stringing, we were concerned about the continuation of the practice. It was my dream to enable other Aboriginal women from around Tasmania to learn and revive this important cultural practice within their families."
kanalaritja: An Unbroken String features a variety of beautiful, delicate and rare shell necklaces, created by Tasmanian Aboriginal Ancestors in the 1800s, and acclaimed makers of today, as well as a new wave of stringers who had the opportunity to learn the tradition through the luna tunapri (women’s knowledge) cultural revitalisation project.
Since 2010, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery has worked with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community to facilitate a number of luna tunapri workshops in which women in the Community – who had not had shell stringing passed down through their families – were guided through the intricate processes of collecting, cleaning and stringing.
The women were encouraged to look in their local areas for shell collecting beaches and to use the knowledge shared with them to develop their own distinctive shell stringing styles and new traditions.
Building on the overwhelming success of the luna tunapri project, the women aspired to share their journey with the wider public, leading to the creation of kanalaritja: An Unbroken String.