Tjanpi (pronounced ‘J-um-Py’) is the Aboriginal women’s basket weaving project and enterprise which started in the Central Western Desert region of Australia. Although basket weaving is relatively new to the Central Desert people, Anangu women have always made several items from fibres; hair belts, head bands, shoes from bark and feathers, and hair string skirts or face coverings for modesty and ceremonial purposes.
Ngaanyatjarra communities in Western Australia were the first to start weaving in 1995 after the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council initiated the program in the region. The NPY Women’s Council then continued to give further support to the Ngaanyatjarra women through marketing, training and exhibitions of the artworks.
Today, basket weaving is still spreading further and further across the desert with different regions developing their own unique styles. Tjanpi is now a small enterprise which produces baskets, beads, bush medicine and bushtucker at wholesale prices. All their products are freighted worldwide, with all profits from sales going back into further development of the project.
Tjanpi is a community development project based in Alice Springs. It supports, buys and sells fibre work (baskets and sculpture), beads, bush medicine and bush tucker from and for women living in the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjatjara and Yankunytjatjara communities.