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This item is a hand spun bush string dilly bag laced with several rows of coloured feather down and a thick twisted chord bridging the ends of the openning at the top. Dilly bags are also called "yakou" , "yibali" or "but but bags". These bags are used for gathering bush tucker (food) and are usually worn around the head.
The fibre used for the making of bush string is bark stripped from certain species of sappling trees. The inner bark is removed, chewed or pounded and then spun by twisting and rolling with the palm of the hand along the thigh a few strands at a time. Colours are obtained by boiling the unspun fibre with local roots and bulbs. Bush string is also widely used for making headbands, armlets, harnesses and other ceremonial regalia.
This dilly bag was constructed by Rita Ashley, a member of the Maiali tribe in the Jarraluk region. It was made for ceremonial purposes and was collected at Tennant Creek, Northern Territories in 1982. This dilly bag measures 26 cm tall and 26 cm wide. It weighs 142 grams. The photo below depicts the overall view at the top and a closeup view of the top fo the bag at the bottom. The bag includes a collection tag that is visible in the overall view. This item is in excellent condition.