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Tjanpi Desert Weavers (ATOM Study Guide)

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Brand: ATOM
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SKU: SG1924

NB: This study guide includes both a full guide as well as a condensed Grab and Go version.

Since 1995 Tjanpi Desert Weavers has become an important social enterprise in the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC). Involving over 400 Anangu women, Tjanpi offers culturally appropriate opportunities for employment and cultural expression. Tjanpi artists use the desert grasses of their Country to produce sculptures (both large and small) for sale and exhibition in some of Australia’s leading art galleries.

Recently, Tjanpi produced some beautiful short stop-motion animated films. Each film features the distinctive Tjanpi sculptures portraying a story narrated by Anangu women. The style and colours of these films evocatively reflect the environment and colours of the NPY Lands.

The light-hearted stories told by the women convey important details of Anangu culture and history. For younger students, these short animated films are an accessible and engaging way to learn more about the distinctive and fascinating Aboriginal histories and cultures of the Western Desert region.

Tangki – Donkey combines the art forms of Tjanpi desert-grass sculpture, stop-motion animation and oral storytelling to depict the special relationship between Anangu and donkeys in the desert community of Pukatja. The film celebrates the unique stories, colours, landscape and humour of Anangu culture in the APY Lands of northern South Australia. 

Kukaputju – The Hunter combines the art forms of Tjanpi fibre sculpture, stop-motion animation and oral storytelling to create a proud episode centred around the everyday life of Pitjantjatjara woman Yanyangkari Roma Butler.

Both short films are available to stream here.

Curriculum Links:

The Tjanpi animated short films can be linked to the following subject areas in the Australian Curriculum. Please note this list is not exhaustive. Teachers are encouraged to use the cross-curriculum elaboration links to find connections across subject areas.

  • Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages
  • HASS
  • The Arts (Media Arts)

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