• Artwork:Ininti Seed Necklace
  • Artist:Annie Nelson Napangardi
Related Jewellery

Ininti Seed Necklaceby Annie Nelson Napangardi

Jewellery such as necklaces are also an extremely important component in Australian Aboriginal culture. Annie Nelson Napangardi with help from her husband Rodney Cook collected the Ininti seeds from her country of Ti Tree in central Australia.

The production of necklaces is a seasonal occupation which is mainly carried out by the women in a community. In the desert regions of Australia seed production and development are dependent on sufficient rainfalls. Women and children gather seeds and pods for necklace making while searching for bush tucker using their traditional knowledge. Ininti is a native tree that grows in the Western Desert of central Australia.The Ininti tree thrives in sandy areas close to creeks and dry river beds. It is an interesting tree that has moustache shaped leaves. The seeds come in a range of colours including deep reds, oranges and creams .The fire is used constantly throughout this process. The sharpened wire is placed in the fire until it is red hot.Once hot, the wire is used to make grooves in the wood. This is done by dragging the wire across the edge of the wood several times in the same position. A hole in the wood to cradle the Ininti seeds is made by stabbing the wood with the hot wire and moving it around in a circular motion.

  • Artist:Annie Nelson Napangardi
  • Title:Ininti Seed Necklace
  • ID:AN12045249
  • Medium:Ininti Seeds
  • Size:61 cm
  • Region:Ti Tree, Central Australia


I (Sabine Haider, Director Central Art) have had the pleasure of meeting Annie Nelson Napangardi when she visited my gallery in 2012 showing me her beautifully hand crafted jewellery.  Annie comes from Ti Tree community, a small Aboriginal community approximately 2 hours north of Alice Springs, right on the Stuart Highway. Community members regularly travel to Alice Springs to go shopping, errands and visit with family members who live “in town”.

Annie was born in 1968, she was raised and continues to live in Ti Tree. Annie is the daughter of Central Art Artist Polly Nungala, a well-known Ti Tree artist. Polly has guided and taught Annie the significance of her Dreamings and has passed on the traditional knowledge of seed collection, jewellery crafting and also painting. Annie usually paints women ceremonies called Awelye and bush leaves and bush tucker Dreaming. On visits to Central Art Annie is always accompanied by her mother, Polly.

Her jewellery is spectacular and is a painstaking process of creation. It should be noted that jewellery and seed collection is a seasonal activity. First, Annie must collect all of the Ininti seeds, gumnuts and other seasonal seeds. Traditionally the women will make trips as a group to collect large qualities of seeds. Annie’s husband Rodney Cook assists her with the collection of the seeds from around their home. The jewellery available at Central Art is an exclusive collection and when viewing the jewellery you are able to see just how many individual seeds have been collected and can imagine how painstaking a process it can be, particularly given that the smallest necklace is just over 40cm (80cm in length – without being tied).

Ininti is a native tree that grows in the Western Desert of Central Australia. The tree thrives in sandy areas close to creeks and dry river beds. The seeds come in a range of colours from maroons, reds, oranges, yellows and some paler. Once the seeds and gum-nuts are collected a fire is made and with a heated piece of sharpened wire, designs are burnt into the gum-nuts. In order to use the seeds as necklaces a red hot piece of wire is used to pierce the seed to thread string or wool through the hole.

Annie’s necklaces are long pieces that can be worn by criss-crossing and layering around your neck. Often the pieces are over half a meter long. With the left over seeds Annie makes bracelets using elastic string as a modern touch.

Annie enjoys the process of jewellery making and blends traditional cultural practices with contemporary materials. These necklaces will make an eye catching gift or something special for yourself.

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