Roslyn was attempting to explain herself to me, the city Balanda (white person), as we sat in the shade of the weaving shelter. She was gesturing grandly with her arms.
“All connected” she kept saying. “Everything ….all like one”.
She was trying to express an idea. At first I took it to be a reference to her expansive kinship system which dictates that all the people within her world had a way of being related back to one another, a system which focuses on inclusion and relationships. Then she continued,
“My mother, my sister, the tree, the wind …..all one. For everybody. Not just for me, not just Balanda…..everybody, all connected…everything…..together”.
Then the penny dropped as she said
“Just like baskets” and she placed her hand on the partly woven basket that was in front of her.
I looked at the basket and its different strands and colours which twisted and turned into a beautiful cohesive whole; each strand relying on the one next to it, each piece only existing in relation to its connection to each of the others…. and her words flowed on.
I didn’t just learn how to weave a basket in Mapuru, I took a brief glimpse at my universe differently.
Story by Renata Cetinich