Djilba Nest Weaving

We gathered in the warmth of the Pavilion for workshop number 12, outside it was a grey and cold Djilba day. Djilba is the Noongar season in August and September, when the days are clearer but still cold. Animals are nesting and having their young. 

Today’s activity was bird nest making using circular weaving. 

When the families entered the space, they were greeted with our colourful mat centred in the room with balls of yarn and strips of fabric in a plethora of colours. The sounds of native birdsong played in the background drawing them in. The children spotted the samples of the nests they were going to make and like birds, chatted excitedly. 

We began with our Acknowledgment of Country and followed with an important announcement. The Weaving Stories of Boodja community art project had successfully secured funding from the AMR Shire to hold an art exhibition at the MR Heart showcasing artworks created during the project. The grant will also allow us to invite Wardandi Elder Vivian Brockman & Wardandi Custodian Mitchella Hutchins to return for our closing ceremony and to provide us with another engaging cultural workshop based on language and dance. 

After discussing which native birds made nests shaped like the nests we were making that day, the families then each grabbed a template and some materials and watched closely as Michelle demonstrated the circular weaving technique.

A loom was created and nimble fingers set about weaving with colourful lengths of yarn and strips of fabric. After sometime of weaving and the children were happy with the size of the nests, the parents helped carefully take their creations off the loom, moulded them into a nest like shape and tied them off.  A nest is not complete without a feathered friend, so to finish the project, the children were each given a small cut-out bird to colour in that could happily sit in their nests. 

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