Launching New Tote Bags Celebrating Country

Launching New Tote Bags Celebrating Country

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is excited to announce the launch of four new tote bags with illustrations from Country Tells Us When… a story dedicated to the lands, languages and peoples of the Kimberley region. 

Country Tells Us When… is a book by Educators from Cable Beach Primary School in Rubibi (Broome). The book is bilingual, in both English and Yawuru, teaching young people about the seasonal changes of the Kimberley and about Yawuru language, culture and Country. 

The Community created this book because they wanted to have a story that reflected the lands, lives and cultures of the students, encouraging literacy and strengthening language, culture and identity. 

Watch the story behind Country Tells Us When… here

The beautiful illustrations of this book were created by Sheree Ford, Tsheena Pigram-Ross and Mary Dann. To do so, they individually mixed paints until they had successfully created the colours that represent the Kimberley lands, oceans and skies. 

The tools used by artists while creating Country Tells Us When…

The artists then used a process of lino printing, a block printing technique where a design is cut into a piece of lino. The block is then rolled in the paints and pressed onto the paper. It is a stamping process that is repeated throughout the book to create the beautiful patterns. 

Authors and Illustrators of Country Tells Us When… (left to right) Dalisa Pigram-Ross, Mary Dann, Sheree Ford, Tsheena Cooper.

In the entire book, each little image is one individual stamp. 

These illustrations support the telling of a story about listening to Country. The book has a full Yawuru translation available, and it also teaches specific words such as ngamagarri - meaning white cockatoo. 

Ngamagarri (white cockatoo) illustration 

When selecting images for the 2024 tote bags, ILF’s Senior Marketing Lead, Emma, chose these illustrations because “the book is so beautiful, we wanted to showcase the illustrations as much as we could” she says. 

The totes showcase the ngamagarri (white cockatoo), the yari (humpback whale), jurru (snake), and an illustration of Buru (Country).

Yari (humpback whale) illustration

“We look after Buru and Buru looks after us. It makes our bodies and our liyan strong and wirriya.”

Buru translates to Country, liyan translates to feeling, and wirriya means happy

Country Tells Us When… was launched by the ILF in 2023, celebrated at the Sydney Opera House during Indigenous Literacy Day, and is now being showcased on the 2024 tote bags. Shop Country Tells Us When… and the new totes here. Funds raised help the ILF to run the 2024 programs. 

Jurru (snake) illustration

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Written by Ella Schofield

  • Posted 25 January, 2024

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