Lajamanu has a population of around 900 Warlpiri people – their stories are in their Indigenous Art
The older generation here still remember the first time they met white Australians. Their great grandchildren run around Lajamanu. These older members of Lajamanu Community see Warnayaka as an avenue to achieve a number of needs that are present in their community. At the centre these elders still create their Indigenous Aboriginal dot paintings.
The most important thing expressed by members, is the need to preserve and pass on the cultural significance of Warlpiri, the culture of the people of Lajamanu, which encompasses not only art, but includes language, social structure, law and country. In doing so it is understood that excellence in art, prosperity from art sales, employment opportunities and preservation of pride in being Warlpiri will result. The art centre is a Warlpiri corporation.
Lajamanu Community, formerly named Hooker Creek, is 580kms south west of Katherine, Northern Territory. Lajamanu is half way between Alice Springs and Darwin to the west near the NT/WA border. The town is very remote.
The art centre is staffed mainly by the children of the older generation of Indigenous Lajamanu residents who remember their first contact with white Australia. They maintain the computerised data base and run the art centre production. Older and younger community members produce Aboriginal dot paintings and make wooden artefacts. The centre is a place for a cup of tea and a song and dance, and then a trip into the Spinifex desert to look for goanna and lizards or to collect bush coconut, bush banana, yams and bush honey from native bees.