Daly River Aboriginal Art
A selection of paintings showing the styles from this Aboriginal art region - some paintings may still be available for sale, while some may have been sold.
Daly River town in the Northern Territory is 230km south of Darwin, by the river crossing and centred on the Aboriginal community of Nauiyu, originally the site of a Catholic mission. The Traditional Aboriginal owners of the area are the Malak Malak people who live both in Nauiyu and at Woolianna, further downstream. Many Indigenous people began living in the area when first settled by Europeans, with Ngan’gikuruggurr being the most prominent of the ten local languages. The area is popular for recreational fishing for Barramundi.
A Catholic mission was established in 1885 after conflicts between local Aborigines and copper miners, and the mission endured until 1899, when a significant flood forced the missionaries to be withdrawn. In 1954, contact between Malak Malak elders and the bishop of Darwin led to the mission being re-established.
The church purchased 4,000 acres of land and missionaries helped to establish a school and a clinic for the community. The mission was later renamed Nauiyu and with the exception of the church, convent, school and associated residences, the settlement was transferred to community ownership. The Daly River is prone to seasonal flooding, and major flood events devastated the town in 1899 and 1957, causing widespread damage. In 1998, a major natural disaster saw every building in the town inundated and the entire population airlifted out.
Merrepen Arts Centre is located at Nauiyu community and markets the local Aboriginal art, and other art centres exist further along the unsealed road to Peppimenarti, Palumpa and Port Keats.
Further information is available on exhibiting artists on the following links: