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This website has been created to share our knowledge of the Australian Aboriginal people and their culture especially those aboriginal artists who live in the Central Australian region called 'Utopia'.  Mbantua Gallery has long held a rapport with many of the artists and elders of Utopia and over 25 years ago set up our Aborginal Art Gallery to share the art of these indigenous people. Originally selling only the art from our Utopia artists we now have a small selection of aboriginal art from the Top End (Darwin and surronds) as well as a unique giftware line called 'Utopia Giftware' that features our best works of art on items such as drink coolers, notepads, journals, keyrings, postcards, barmats and our newest item, Men's Ties.

Enjoy browsing through this website to learn a little bit more about the Aboriginal culture! If you would like to view our artwork please visit the Mbantua website.

 

The Utopia Region

This region is loosely termed Utopia whereby much of the land (not all) lies on aboriginal owned land called Urapuntja. Utopia comprises of several large communities and several small communities. Read more >>

Utopia Art

It was in the late 1980’s that Aboriginal people of Utopia started to put acrylic paint on canvas. Generally the aboriginal artists of Utopia were initially quite formal in their painting techniques. It was quite traditional in depiction so much that the symbols or style clearly showed a cultural story whether in regard to ancestral Dreamings or bush tucker. Read more >>

Dreamtime

The Australian Aboriginal Culture is something in the vicinity of 40,000 years old. It is a rich and complex culture and brought about by an intimate knowledge of the environment. There are four links to the Dreamtime:

  • Mythology -The majority of mythology is based on what Aboriginal people believed were true historical acts done by their ancestors. It provides an explanation of the origin of natural phenomena, objects, species, institutions and customs. It can also reveal things that are happening or are about to happen. Mythology does not cover everything. Read more>>
  • Initiation - Initiation permits a person to knowledge of the past, such as mythology and Dreamtime stories, and to share in the embodiment of the ancestors. During initiation, which is for men, the initiate’s blood becomes the blood of his ancestral heroes and he passes into the sacred world of these spirits. Read more>>
  • Ceremonies - In Utopia art, one of the most common subjects is Awelye (Anmatyerre spelling or Awely - Alyawarr spelling). Awelye is a word that describes everything to do with a women’s ceremony which includes the body paint designs. Women perform awelye ceremonies to demonstrate respect for their country including Dreamtime stories that belong there and the total well-being and health of their community. Read more>>
  • Sacred Sites - Sacred Sites are spirit centres for aboriginal people as well as animals and plants. They can be trees, rocky outcrops, waterholes or clearings; anywhere that the ancestral spirits, human or otherwise, are associated with. Some ancestral spirits left their human energy or spirit at these sites and/or in the form of plants or animals. Basically a sacred site is formed by a mythological event. Read more>>

 


 

Buy Utopia Art - Mbantua Gallery

A group of Utopian artists

Utopian artist painting