Detail from Four Jukurrpa, acrylic on plywood, painted by Darby Jampijinpa Ross, probably 1979.

Detail from Four Jukurrpa, acrylic on plywood, painted by Darby Jampijinpa Ross, probably 1979.

Please Support the 2014 Special Acquisition Appeal

We are rapidly trying to raise funds to protect a small collection of immensely significant items from Yuendumu from falling into a private collection.

A suite of five important and beautiful items from Yuendumu in Central Australia – three Warlpiri shields, Warlpiri ceremonial headdress and Warlpiri painting on board – have been offered for acquisition. We are urgently seeking to raise $50,000 to secure the future of these pieces.

Yuendumu is one of the largest Australian Aboriginal communities in Central Australia, located 290km north-west of Alice Springs. The Museum has a long and committed history of working in collaboration with the Warlpiri people of Yuendumu to help share and protect their rich cultural history.

This collection of three Warlpiri shields, Warlpiri ceremonial head-dress and Warlpiri painting was once the property of ceremonial leader and artist, Darby Jampijinpa Ross, who also served as the inaugural curator of the Yuendumu Men’s Museum. Mr Ross also contributed to the painting of the stunning Yuendumu School Doors which were recently conserved and installed in the Museum’s Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery through the generosity of donors to the South Australian Museum Foundation.

The Museum’s Australian Aboriginal Collections have been recognised by UNESCO as a globally significant resource and contribute immeasurably to the knowledge of identity for Australia’s first people. These five Warlpiri objects are rare, beautiful and, most critically, can aid further research by uniquely documenting a very special moment in Australian Aboriginal history. 

The support of individuals is essential to the work of the Museum. In fact, it is the generous support of individual donors over generations which has allowed us to bring delight and inspiration to our community and to the State.

Please help us secure these items for current and future generations to enjoy by making a tax-deductible gift today. 


Three Warlpiri shields and a head ornament of blackened emu feathers.


 The three Warlpiri ceremonial shields, kurdiji with head ornament. 

From left: Warlpiri ceremonial shield with opposed crescents, possibly representing the two Yapparanji or young initiates; this requires further research. Warlpiri ceremonial sheild with three concentric circles used at an initiation ceremony at Mt Allen near Yuendumu in early 1984. Warlpiri cermonial shield representing the ancestral Snake, Yarapiri, and his two sons. 

Centre: Warlpiri head ornament of blackened emu feathers surmounting a cylinder of grass stems wrapped in fibre string and European wool, coated with pipeclay. The headdress was worn during a Marsupial Mouse ceremony near Yuendumu in late 1983. It was collected by Darby Ross Jampijinpa and place, for a time, in the Yuendumu Men’s Museum.



Donations over $2 are fully tax deductible and 100% of your donation will be used towards your specified cause. Cash donations can be directed to the area of most need or used for a specific purpose such as an acquisition, exhibition presentation, publication or educational program. Contributions of $1000 or more are acknowledged on the Museum’s Donor Wall in the Main Foyer.


Employee Giving

Many companies now offer a Matching Gift Program, where they match their employees' charitable donations and double their value. This is an incredibly effective way for companies to support the not-for-profit organisations that are important to their employees while undertaking their corporate social responsibility. To find out more, please contact your human resources department.


Donating Objects

The Cultural Gifts Program encourages Australians to donate items of cultural significance from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives.

Gifts can range from paintings, books, sculptures, manuscripts and personal papers to jewellery and ceramics — even entire technological, mechanical, scientific or social history collections.

Gifts of objects made to the South Australian Museum under the Cultural Gifts Program will entitle you to a tax deduction, which may be spread over five years. All proposed gifts will need to be discussed with the Head of Collections and approved by the Museum’s Acquisition Committee.