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Spinning a yarn for community: Noongar women and CAN W.A's doll making project

Palmer, D. (2013) Spinning a yarn for community: Noongar women and CAN W.A's doll making project. In: The Yarns of the Heart: Noongar Dolls. Community Arts Network W.A., Perth, Western Australia, pp. 42-65.

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This is a story of a striking community based project that has recently reignited itself in the Wheatbelt region of WA. It is a story about people revisiting old community practices, reconfiguring relationships and finding ways to ‘hold’ each other when times are tough. The project has been facilitated by the Community Arts Network WA (CAN WA), a not-for-profit organisation that sets out to help build health and community wellbeing by using arts, performance, digital media and cultural development. It involves Noongar women coming together to make dolls, celebrate their families and rebuild their connections.

This essay begins by describing the community and the country where the project is taking place. It then ‘visits’ the work, explaining how things came about and providing a background to CAN WA’s involvement. Next the essay reminds us of Aboriginal people’s longstanding use of textile, fibre and other bush products to help build and maintain family and community. Finally the paper tracks what happens between people when something as simple as doll 42 making occurs.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Community Arts Network W.A.
Publisher's Website:
United Nations SDGs: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
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