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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Early Days Ways by Judith Yinyika Chambers


Early Days Ways by Judith Yinyika Chambers

Object information


"This is a story about how people lived in the bush. They would travel rockhole to rockhole hunting along the way. They would meet up with other families. They would then come back home and stay with wives and children. This is how people used to live in the early days." [Judith Yinyika Chambers]

Physical description

An acrylic painting on canvas showing groups of people, many seated or standing around grass shelters, connected by dotted white lines. The background is made up of orange, brown, yellow and red dot infill.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of thirty-three paintings produced by Warakurna Artists for a collaborative commercial exhibition with the Outstation Gallery in Darwin. The exhibition, 'History Paintings - All the Stories got into our minds and eyes', opened in May 2011.

The collection is significant as a broad and comprehensive body of work that presents a series of (related) Aboriginal perspectives on events in Australian history, some of which fundamentally challenge other accounts in the historical record. The collection documents the historical perspective of Ngaanyatjarra people who currently reside in the community of Warakurna. Contextualised by more customary mythic narratives, most of the works address historical events and provide an insight into the Aboriginal experience of contact on the colonial frontier. Taken together, from the Seven Sisters Dreaming to football carnivals in Warakurna today, the collection encompasses 100 years (and more) of history in the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

Object information

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