Australian Aboriginal artist Maggie Napaltjarri RossMaggie Napaljarri Ross

Born: 1935
Skin Name: Napaljarri
Region: Yuendumu, Northern Territory
Subjects and Themes (Dreaming): Marlu (kangaroos), Janmarda (bush onions), Janganpa (possums), Warlawurru (eagles) and Miinypa (native fuschia)

The Aboriginal artist Maggie Napaljarri Ross was born at Conniston Station in the Northern Territory in the early 1940s. She spent her early years there, before moving to Yuendumu as a child where she attended the mission school. Like her older brother Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, she went on to teach at the Yuendumu school before working as a cleaner at Yuendumu clinic.


Now widowed, Maggie has four children and “a big mob of grandkids”. She enjoys teaching her grandchildren how to hunt for bush tucker such as witchetty grubs, goannas and bush onions. Maggie always looks forward to ceremonies, dancing at signing with the other women.

Maggie’s traditional country is in around the Yuendumu area, at sites suck as Wakurlpu, Yuendumu, Kakadu (Mt Dennison) and Wariwari (Mt Allan). She is responsible for Jukurrpa relating to Marlu (kangaroos), Janmarda (bush onions), Janganpa (possums), Warlawurru (eagles) and Miinypa (native fuschia). These Jukurrpa were passed down to her by her father and mother, and relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.


Painting/s by Maggie Napaltjarri Ross: