This weave I have woven has some beautiful family memories intertwined in it.
My daughter Maddison and myself live in Queensland and have for 5 years now and we rarely get the opportunity to come back to Country and see family.
Laura Kirby, who is a Barapa weaver and daughter of the late and beautiful Esther Kirby, drove us from Bendigo to Barapa Country to show and harvest Punngurt Basket Sedge with us. I have never seen basket sedge ever that thick and healthy growing in the Forest near Cohuna and Koondrook, my daughter Maddison was shown how to harvest and tie in bundles. We harvested enough as I had already started the weave when staying in Bendigo for business.
We drove to Swan Hill to see and stay a few nights with family before returning to Queensland. We came back out to collect more sedge with my sister and brother in law who was looking out for snakes and also decided to scar a tree for a coolamon as I was picking grasses.
I brought all the sedge home with me and started to finish my weaving. I soaked, cut and wrapped the basket sedge every day and watched as this beautiful piece slowly started drying and changing colour before my eyes. I have used nothing but Basket Sedge, Punngurt is the Barapa Barapa language name for the Basket Sedge, and was harvested on Barapa Barapa Country only. I used an awl to open up the previous stitch and used my own unique pattern closer to the outer edge. Whilst weaving I thought of my Barapa Barapa and Wemba Wemba Ancestors, my Dads family and my Nanna Cora Charles nee Day, her Mother Mariah Day Nee Taylor, and her Mum Johanna Taylor who all were Barapa Barapa and Wemba Wemba and how they wove with Punngurt and other sedges and grasses. A weave like this would have been done by many women who would all be weaving and harvesting sedge to make items. I wove this one all by myself to honour all the Barapa Weavers and my Barapa Barapa Family connection. This weave is 100% made of Punngurt harvested from Barapa Barapa Country.
My name is Sue Charles. Born in Swan Hill to parents Clive Charles and Rose Charles (nee Pyke). I am a mother and grandmother. I create cultural artefacts and also emu feather dance sets and woven jewellery, pyrography and weavings.