Sovereign relationships by Aunty Lorraine

As a Wiradjuri person, yarning is part and parcel of being Wiradjuri. From my experience, from my relations, I just embrace it. . . . Yarning brings culture, brings a cultural way of weaving, but using contemporary products, because we just don't have access to a lot of traditional materials. But it's important to keeping it alive . . . to be sovereign is to keep things going. I teach my grandkids and my grandkids will know more than what I knew at their age. That to me is really, really important. . . . When I make a fish, I have a story that goes with the fish, to explain the story of the fish. When I make a goanna, I have these stories of the goanna that goes with it. For me it's really important to share my way of being sovereign.

Yarning is a big part of weaving. When we start weaving, we sit in a group and we all sit in a circle, just to make everyone comfortable with what we're doing—it's surprising what conversations come up, its amazing how it happens. . . if you came to our weaving group, we'd introduce you to everyone, you tell us why you are there, to have a look, to learn how to weave, or you were there just to sit and watch . . . some people are just prepared to listen, what's happening, and observe what's going on . . . Everyone has some input, everyone's talking, it's just a general conversation, it is surprising what comes out of it . . . Sometimes it's on a cultural topic, sometimes it's just on women's topic, sometimes it's just on what's happening that day. There's no specific subject, there's no specific way of starting it, it just happens.