kanalaritja: An Unbroken String

Shell-stringing is one of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community’s most culturally significant and closely-guarded traditions.  kanalaritja:  An Unbroken String features a variety of beautiful, delicate and rare shell necklaces, created by Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestors in the 1800s, and acclaimed makers of today, as well as a new wave of stringers who had the opportunity to learn the tradition through the luna tunapri (women’s knowledge) cultural revitalisation project.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery has worked with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community since 2010 to facilitate several luna tunapri workshops in which women in the community who had not had shell stringing passed down through their families, were guided through the intricate processes of collecting, cleaning and stringing. The women were encouraged to look in their local areas for shell collecting beaches and to use the knowledge shared with them to develop their own distinctive shell stringing styles and new traditions.

The women who participated in the luna tunapri project aspired to share their journey with the wider public, leading to the creation of kanalaritja: An Unbroken String. This exhibition is a culmination of the journey of cultural renewal, whilst also celebrating the generations of makers who have sustained this uniquely Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural practice.

Luna Tunapri collecting shells Flinders Island

luna tunapri workshop

Flinders Island 2011

Image: Lucia Rossi


kanalaritja media image 4

Aunty Lola Greeno, Jeanette James, Aunty Corrie Fullard, Aunty Dulcie Greeno, Bronwyn McAnally

luna tunapri workshop 2015

Image: Mathew Newton.


This exhibition will be on display at Hurstville Museum & Gallery from Friday 3 May to Sunday 14 July 2019.  Do not miss this unique opportunity to see first-hand this important and beautiful exhibition.

kanalaritja media image 5

Dulcie Greeno (b.1923)

stripy buttons, marina and rice shells

Launceston 2016

Purchased TMAG Foundation 2016

Image: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


kanalaritja media image 6

Ashlee Murray (b.1987)

King marina shells

Wynyard 2016

Purchased TMAG Foundation 2016

Image: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


To farewell this exhibition we will be holding an open day for the whole family on Saturday 13 JulyJoin us for guided tours, storytelling and live artistic demonstrations.  Guest artist: Peta-Joy Williams is a Wiradjuri woman, born in Sydney. Peta-Joy currently teaches Wiradjuri at Eora College, facilitating art workshops and mural projects.  This is a free event and all are welcome.  To RSVP visit the ‘what’s on’ page at www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/HMG

Visions-of-Australia-stacked LOGO

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia Program


A Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) touring exhibition.


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