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Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Cultural Centre

The Gibb River Road, 220 km from Broome and 12 km from Derby, leads to the Mowanjum Aboriginal Centre. It began in 2000 as an artists’ association and became an Aboriginal-owned company in 2006 after being established and incorporated as a corporation.

Mowanjum Aboriginal Centre supports the artistic and cultural expressions of the Northwest Kimberley’s Ngarinyin, Wunumbal, and Worrorra people and makes this knowledge available to up to 25,000 visitors annually. The Wandjina religion and customs are shared by the three language groups. Their ancestral lands extend from the Gibb River Road north to Kalumbaru, and from there to the coast.

The Wandjina is revered by the Mowanjum as a supreme spirit being and the source of all life. It’s said that because they’re depicted as having no mouths, their magic is so strong that they don’t need to say anything. Mowanjum artists continue to paint the Wandjina in natural ochres, reinterpreting the ancient image through contemporary art practice and media at Mowanjum Aboriginal Centre.

Thank you to the Mowanjum people for their generosity, the world now has the chance to learn about one of the oldest and most powerful images in Aboriginal art, as well as the associated stories that have been passed down through the generations. This time-honored tradition is revived and sustained by the artwork and stories.

The Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre serves the Worrorra, Ngarinyin, and Wunumbal tribes of Western Australia’s Mowanjum region outside Derby.

The Wandjina, a sacred spiritual force, and the land’s creators unites these three indigenous groups. Wandjina law and iconography are in their capable hands.

Center for the Arts

Artwork by established and emerging artists from the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunumbal tribes, such as Donny Woolagoodja, Sandra Mungulu, and Cecilia Umbagai can be viewed and purchased in the gallery space.

The Museum of Mowanjum

The museum, which is scheduled to open in 2021, will provide visitors with an engaging and immersive storytelling experience. Historic dance totems and costumes, as well as musical instruments from Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunambal craftspeople from the 1970s are on display, along with important artifacts from the Mowanjum Collection.

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., admission is by gold coin donation.

Center for the Arts

The Mowanjum Festival, one of Australia’s oldest indigenous cultural festivals, is held annually at the center. It features exhibitions, workshops, and community projects.

Accessibility Information

  • Does not cater for people with access needs.

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