MOJOs from Lajamanu
A small town of about 850 people, Lajamanu rests on the northern fringe of the Tanami Desert and is one of the most westerly communities of the Northern Territory. It is approximately 870 kilometers south of Darwin and 560 kilometres south-west of Katherine by road.
Around 87 per cent of the people who live in the community are Aboriginal, with almost half being younger than 20 years of age. While English is spoken in Lajamanu, the main language is Warlpiri, which is spoken by around 77 per cent of the people.
Ceremonies and traditional art are very important to the people of Lajamanu. The Warnayaka Arts Centre is a major centre for production of Warlpiri painting and other arts in the ‘desert’ style.
Culture is strong and the community remains alcohol-free. Youth diversion and community justice mechanisms created by the council are resilient, community-owned and embedded in law and culture. The Warlpiri three-year learning cycle, which includes law, ceremony, culture, arts and stories, is incorporated into the main school curriculum and linked to literacy and numeracy.
The community can become isolated during the wet season, as roads become impassable. The runway and access roads in the Lajamanu aerodrome can also be closed for several days.
Visitors must get a permit from the Central Land Council.