Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


Over the past three years more than twenty five Tasmanian Aboriginal women have journeyed together across the island in a determined process of cultural retrieval. The impetus for the tayenebe project was the desire to reconnect with the cultural craft of Ancestors. Thirty seven Tasmanian Aboriginal woven-twined baskets, created during the 1800s from lily, iris, sedges and rushes, that survive in museums internationally, particularly inspired these makers. The exhibition showcases the unique connections that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have with the land and the sea.

The exhibition tayenebe: Tasmanian Aboriginal women’s fibre work includes baskets and kelp carriers made by more than twenty women aged from 7 to 87 years of age, alongside historical pieces and contemporary and historical interpretive material. The exhibition explores links and changes across time, and celebrates the reinvigoration of fibre and kelp work that is unique to Tasmania.

This project is the result of various forms of interaction. Individuals and institutions have worked together; women have worked to teach and re-learn fibre skills, and to learn about the plants once used everyday and the places that grow them. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the National Museum of Australia and Arts Tasmania co-managed the project to ensure that women involved had support and opportunities to express ideas from making to exhibiting to writing and planning future work.

tayenebe Tasmanian Aboriginal womens’ fibre work exhibition and catalogue is dedicated to Aunty Muriel Maynard (1937-2008).


The exhibition opened at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on 4 July 2009 and will tour nationally in 2010 and 2011, funded by Visions Australia.


This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australia Government program supporting touring exhibitions funding assistance for the development and touring of Australia cultural material across Australia.

proposed tayenebe travelling schedule

25 March–25 July 2010 - National Museum of Australia, Canberra
21 August–21 November 2010 - Queensland Museum, Brisbane
26 March–5 May 2011 - Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
30 August–23 October 2011 - Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne
16 December 2011–19 February 2012 - Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide

The catalogue tayenebe Tasmanian Aboriginal womens’ fibre work is available from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Museum Shop.