Hand painted gum nut necklace (yellow & black)

This stunning, carefully hand painted Maŋutji dhumuḻuwu (gum nut) seed necklace by Yolŋu artist and teacher Rrumburra Foster celebrates the iconic Australian gum nut, making something beautiful from what nature has left, and sharing her culture and country. 

The simple alternating plain and patterned design showcases the delicate yellow ochre brush strokes on every second gum nut, in an elegant design that will compliment any style.

Collected eucalyptus gum nuts are cleaned and pierced with wire, before being painted with natural ochres using a traditional marwat (hair) paint brush, and carefully threaded on to durable elastic for a practical, long lasting necklace.


About the Artist – Rrumburra Foster

Homeland: Dhaḻwaŋu

Clan: Yirritja

Moiety: Yirritja

Rrumburra used to live in Yirrkala where she worked at the school. She remembers seeing all the gum nuts on the ground on her way to work, thinking that something beautiful should be made out of them, not liking the idea that they would go to waste. Her Mother is from Tennant Creek and it is from her that she had learned how to make the beautiful maŋutji dhumuḻuwu (gumnut seed) necklaces and bracelets.

Rrumburra started making necklaces and bracelets as presents for friends and family until her Father suggested she approach the art centre to sell her work more broadly.

Today Rrumburra lives at the homeland of Bukudal and loves making jewellery because it keeps her busy and she finds it relaxing.

During the dry season, Rrumburra and her family welcome many school groups from across Australia, teaching the vising students about the Yolŋu rom (law) and how to make maŋutji dhumuḻuwu necklaces and bracelets. She starts preparing the beads, marwat (hair) paint brushes and ochres to paint them, many weeks before the visitors arrive.

About the Arts Centre

Buku Larrnggay Mulka Arts Centre is a community enterprise run by the Yolŋu People of Northeast Arnhem Land, where local artists and craftspeople produce art made from naturally found materials. Based in Yirrkala, local women produce Girriŋgirriŋ (jewellery made from seeds or shell) and woven pandanus jewellery using traditional techniques to source, dye, thread and weave locally found plants and seeds, often making use of a by-product of a plant harvested for another purpose, so that as much as possible of the plant is used.

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