Women and children collect seeds and pods during the collection of bush food and water, both activities requiring an intimate knowledge of seasonal variations, geographic locations and the properties of raw materials. The women know and respect the law of the country, including which trees and seeds are their responsibility and available to them.
Necklaces made from natural resources such as seeds, shells and feathers are significant cultural items that link women to their land. The practice of necklace-making often occurs in a social context, as the women collect the seeds together and sit with each other and their children as they make their individually styled necklaces. That necklace making most often occurs on Country is also of great importance in terms of cultural maintenance.
Pre-contact, necklaces were strung on handspun string, made from tree bark, human hair or animal fur; today, many necklaces are strung on introduced material, including synthetic thread and fishing line.

Physical Description

Seed necklace made from mustard coloured kernels. Single strand on cotton, tied at ends. Varying pattern.


Detailed knowledge that is passed down from mothers and elders to their daughters is imperative to Aboriginal women making seed necklaces in Central Australia. For countless generations women have created intricately threaded jewellery to be worn for everyday decoration or on ceremonial occasions.

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