Docker River Aboriginal Art
A selection of paintings showing the styles of the Docker River (Kaltukatjara) region, 670km south west of Alice Springs. Some paintings may still be available for sale, while some may have been sold.
Docker River community, also called Kaltukatjara, is situated in the Petermann Ranges in the far south-western corner of the Northern Territory, about 7 km east of the Western Australian border. The main Aboriginal languages spoken are Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjara, and the community has a population of about 350. It is a remote location, 670 km southwest of Alice Springs, accessed by road through Uluru, while Kintore is 180 kms to the north.
The current community at Docker River was set up in 1968 to relieve pressure on Warburton community to the west, where social disruption had been a problem. It also allowed Aboriginal people of the area to live closer to their ancestral lands. The site had originally been named Docker River by Ernest Giles during his expedition of 1872.
During the 1930s the area had been surveyed by Lutheran pastors with the view to setting up a mission settlement. That project did not go ahead and during this time missionaries encouraged local Anangu people to move north-east to Areyonga which was an outstation of Hermannsburg Mission. These were years of severe drought in the desert, and hundreds of people moved to Areyonga where food rations and clothing were available.
By the 1960s Anangu people at Areyonga wanted to return to their lands in the Docker River area, and the government funded the building of permanent buildings in 1968. More than 300 people from Areyonga, along with others from Warburton, moved to the newly built community. In 1976 the Anangu people of the area were granted freehold title to their traditional lands, an area of nearly 45,000 square kilometres. Docker River/ Kaltukatjara is home to the Aboriginal art centre Maruku Arts and Crafts, which provides marketing services to Aboriginal communities over a wide area.
Further information is available on exhibiting artists on the following links