Indigenous Art Online at Warradjan.com
Warradjan Cultural Centre, which tells the story of Kakadu’s Indigenous population over the region’s 65,000 years of continuous habitation, has launched a new website which allows visitors to view and purchase locally crafted paintings, weavings, jewellery, carvings, clothing and other merchandise. Kakadu has long been recognised for the elegance and richness of its arts and crafts scene, and now – for the first time – lovers of Indigenous art will be able to view the collection of works in a more accessible way.
Warradjan Cultural Centre is a legacy to the Bininj/Munguyy community, who have spent over 65,000 years caring for Country. Working with the Murumburr Traditional Owners and Bining/Mungguy community, the Centre celebrate the roots of this Indigenous land, its culture and communities. The new website will contribute to preserving this traditional artistry, supporting Bininj artists and connecting people to Country - the people, land and culture that breathe life into Kakadu National Park.
Warradjan is the Kundjeyhmi word for Pig-Nosed Turtle, an inhabitant of nearby Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water Billabong). This is significant not only for its name but also for the salient shape of the building, which reflects circular gatherings and the preferred way of communication of Bininj/Mungguy people. Through interactive displays and exhibits visitors can gain an understanding of the relationship Bininj/Mungguy have with their families and their land, especially stories from the creation era when the Nayuhyunggi (first people) created the land, plants and animals and gave people laws to live by. Visitors are invited to move through the display as a rainbow serpent creation ancestor moves through the country travelling first through the lowlands during the dry season, then into the stone country during the wet.
All the artefacts are locally made, with great care taken collecting and constructing display features such as the goose hunting platform, dilly bags, pandanus baskets and paintings Buninj/Mungguy artists and weavers will often be present at the Centre demonstrating their works and sharing insights and stories with visitors. These creations are displayed and are available for purchase at the adjacent gallery and boutique. Sales support the local weavers, painters and sculptors and help keep these traditions alive, as well as supporting people from local communities.
“It is important to preserve our heritage and history, it is our identity, it's who we are as Aboriginal people.
Practising it, living it, it's important for the next generation" says Eva Petterson, daughter of Murumburr traditional owner, Elizabeth Pettersson.
Open throughout the year, Warradjan Cultural Centre is located five minutes from Kakadu’s largest accommodation and tour centre, Cooinda Lodge. The extensive facilities include hotel rooms, glamping and new luxe Yellow Water Villas. There is also a camping and caravan ground. Cooinda is the base for Kakadu’s most popular attraction – Yellow Water Cruises – as well as 4WD Adventure Tours, Yellow Water Fishing and scenic helicopter and aerial sightseeing tours.