Selling Yarns 2

Innovation for sustainability



The place to weave: the story of Arnhem Land weavers

Session: Innovation: Indigenous business perspectives Friday 6 March 2009 2:10 3:30 pm

John Greatorex

Coordinator,Yolngu Studies, School of Indigineous Knowledge Systems, Charles Darwin University


In 2003, guided by Marathuwarr, three generations of women ran their first weaving workshop on country, at Mapuru in east Arnhemland. These women confidently and enthusiastically invite eco-tourists to their country, to share and learn from them. Smaller groups of usually women travel to participate in week-long workshops three or more times each year we instruction is personal and informal. In the presentation Malngumba and John Greatorex will discuss the reasons why this small-scale tourism venture, without any external assistance has been so successful over the past five years.

This paper will discuss the motivations and collaborations that led to the establishment and continuing success of the business. It will also discuss the key factors that have come together on country, providing unique opportunities for the Mapuru women to engage with respectful visitors, and for visitors to meaningfully engage with the Mapuru women in 'place'.

See also: John Greatorex's biography