Australian Aboriginal Fabric Lampshade:Fish Traps
This lampshade is handmade from hand printed Australian Aboriginal fabric , Fishing Traps from Injalak Arts based in Gunbalanya, West Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The fabric is a deep teal blue/green with black and cream design . The shade measures 40cm wide by 35cm high
This collaborative design was created by four Kunwinkjku dalukdaluk (women) artists, Priscilla Badari, Lynne Nadjowh, Sylvia Badari and Katra Nganjmirra.
Mandjabu (fish traps) were traditionally used throughout Western Arnhem Land to catch djenj (generic word for fish). The large woven nets, made from strong vines, were anchored in the river bed and used to trap fish with the hanging tides.
These traps were very large and could stretch metres in length. Traditionally men would weave these nets due to the size and heavy duty nature of the structure. It was not uncommon for two to three men to spend close to a month weaving large fish traps.
The design features artistic interpretations of the different stitches used to weave these large traps. Although these traps are no longer regularly used for fishing, women still practice making them to continue the old traditions and maintain ancient weaving techniques. Examples can be found in museums often recreated from Pandanus and sand palm.