Mainie Australia: The stories behind our Aboriginal designs

ethical authentic aboriginal art fashion australian woolmark pure merino wool scarvesThe Mainie Australian Merino Wool Collection

Mainie’s luxury fashion collection of pure Australian Merino wool scarves brings to life authentic Aboriginal art designs by Warlpiri women artists from Central Australia.  

Every design in the collection depicts a traditional Dreaming story that has been handed down to the artist through many generations of her Warlpiri ancestors over tens of thousands of years.

ethical authentic aboriginal art traditional women artists dreamtime designs australian fashion Artwork: Desert Journey Dreaming - Mina Mina Jukurrpa

Artist: Mary Napangardi Gallagher

Based on an original painting by eminent Warlpiri artist, Mary Napangardi Gallagher, the Desert Journey Dreaming design depicts an ancient Dreaming Story about a group of Warlpiri women who travelled across the desert gathering a vine called Ngalyipi. The Ngalyipi vine has long been used by the Warlpiri women for sacred ceremonies. The vine also has medicinal uses. 

Mary Napangardi Gallagher was born on her ancestral homelands in Central Australia. When Mary was a young woman, she moved with her family to Yuendumu, a small Aboriginal community located in the remote Tanami Desert region, northwest of Alice Springs. Mary met and married her husband in Yuendumu and later moved to Nyirripi, an isolated Aboriginal outstation to raise her family.

Since 2006, Mary has been painting with Warlukurlangu Arts Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and controlled art centre based in Yuendumu. The art centre staff regularly visit Nyirripi to collect finished work and drop off canvas, paint and brushes for the artists. When Mary is not painting, she likes to go hunting with her family for goanna and bush tucker. 

See our beautiful Desert Journey Dreaming wool scarf at:

ethical authentic aboriginal art traditional women artists dreamtime designs australian fashion Artwork: Red Earth Dreaming - Yarla Jukurrpa

Artist: Alicka Napanangka Brown

Based on an original painting by emerging young Warlpiri Aboriginal artist, Alicka Napanangka Brown, the Red Earth Dreaming design depicts a place called Cockatoo Creek, that is located on the tribal homelands of the Warlpiri Aboriginal people in the remote Tanami Desert region of Central Australia. It is a place where the Warlpiri women dig for traditional foods, Yarla (bush potato) and Wapirti (bush carrot).

Alicka Napanangka Brown was born in Alice Springs, at the closest hospital to her home community of Yuendumu. Alicka comes from a long line of artists and has developed her artistic skills by watching her family paint and listening to their stories. Alicka attended the local Yuendumu community school. Since finishing school, Alicka has devoted most of her time to painting.

See our beautiful Red Earth Dreaming wool scarf at:

ethical authentic aboriginal art traditional women artists dreamtime designs australian fashion Artwork: Red Bark Trees Dreaming - Ngapa Jukurrpa – Mikanji

Artist: Nicole Napaljarri Stevens

Based on an original painting by talented young Warlpiri artist, Nicole Napaljarri Stevens, the Red Bark Trees Dreaming design depicts an important watercourse on the Warlpiri homelands called Mikanji.

Although, Mikanji is usually a dry creek bed, after the annual rains, soakages are formed deep under the ground. The soakages are subterranean acquifer wells that provide a natural rainwater storage system. The wells are a vital source of fresh water for the Warlpiri people during the long dry season in the desert.

The Warlpiri people believe that the spirits of two women can be seen at Mikanji in the form of two Ngapiri (red gums).

Nicole Napaljarri Stevens paints with the Warlukurlangu arts centre. Nicole’s artworks are visual representations of the ancient Warlpiri Dreaming stories that have been passed down to her by her ancestors. The Warlukurlangu arts centre has long been an important stronghold for the preservation of the traditional language and culture of the Warlpiri people.

See our beautiful Red Bark Trees Dreaming wool scarf at:

ethical authentic aboriginal art traditional women artists dreamtime designs australian fashion Artwork: Desert Tracks Dreaming - Warna Jukurrpa

Artist: Valma Nakamarra White

Based on an original painting by talented Warlpiri artist, Valma Nakamarra White, the Desert Tracks Dreaming design depicts a traditional Dreaming story about a mythical serpent ancestor called Warna, who is known as the creator of the main waterways and creeks on the Warlpiri homelands.

According to the stories told by the Warlpiri people, the serpent was searching for his lost family and travelled across the desert to be reunited with them. The tracks of his tail on the ground formed the creeks and waterways. 

Valma Nakamarra White was born into a family of well-known artists. Her mother is Sabrina Napangardi Granites, and her grandmother was the late Alma Nungarrayi Granites, both acclaimed Warlpiri women artists whose artworks have been exhibited in major galleries around the world.

Valma grew up listening to her mother and father’s Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories while watching her family paint.

See our beautiful Desert Tracks Dreaming wool scarf at:

ethical authentic aboriginal art traditional women artists dreamtime designs australian fashion Artwork: Rock Pools Dreaming - Yumari Jukurrpa

Artist: Joy Nangala Brown

Based on an original painting by esteemed Aboriginal artist, Joy Nangala Brown, the Rock Pools Dreaming design depicts the Yumari Dreaming story about a forbidden love between a man and a woman from different clans. The couple would meet in secret at a group of rocks in the desert called Yumari. The circles in the design represent the pools of water in the rocks.

Joy Nangala Brown was born in the Alice Springs Hospital on the 4th of July 1966. She spent most of her childhood at the former Aboriginal mission community of Yuendumu but also did several years of schooling in Alice Springs at Yirara College. In the early 1980s, Joy moved to Nyirrpi, an isolated outstation on the Warlpiri homelands and has lived there ever since. 

Joy’s father was the highly successful Pintupi artist, Pegleg Jampijinpa and she grew up with his artwork around her. Joy is married to Jay Jay Spencer, the adopted son of another famous artist from Yuendumu, Paddy Japaljarri Stewart.

Joy and her husband have two children, a daughter and a son and grandchildren. Joy paints her father’s and grandfather’s Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories that were passed down to her by her mother and father, who in turn received them from their parents.

In her spare time, Joy enjoys hunting for goannas and bush tucker, playing cards, and singing in the church choir. 

See our beautiful Rock Pools Dreaming wool scarf at:

ethical authentic aboriginal art traditional women artists dreamtime designs australian fashion Artwork: Night Ceremony Dreaming - Ngalyipi Jukurrpa – Yanjirlpiri

Artist: Geraldine Napangardi Granites

Based on an original painting by accomplished Warlpiri artist, Geraldine Napangardi Granites, the Night Ceremony Dreaming design depicts a sacred site on the Warlpiri homelands, called Yanjirlpiri, which means “star”. 

Yanjirlpiri is where the Warlpiri woman perform sacred ceremonies using the Ngalyipi vine.  Ngalyipi is frequently depicted in Warlpiri artists’ paintings due to its many uses in daily life, including its medicinal properties. The vine is also used in traditional Warlpiri ceremonies. The origins of the ceremonies date back thousands of years and are performed at night with the woman dancing under the stars.

Geraldine Napangardi Granites was born in the small Aboriginal community of Yuendumu and has lived there all her life. Geraldine is the daughter of a well-known Warlpiri Aboriginal artist, Alma Nungarrayi Granites and the granddaughter of Bessie Nakamarra Sims.  Geraldine has four children, two sons and two daughters. She is a shy person who is very involved with her large extended family and enjoys being around children and helping the family’s grandchildren. 

Geraldine paints with the Warlukurlangu art centre and has gained a reputation as an artist who has developed a unique interpretation of her traditional Warlpiri culture.

See our beautiful Night Ceremony Dreaming wool scarf at:

Each wearable art piece in the Mainie wool collection is beautifully handcrafted from Woolmark-certified Australian Merino wool.

Super-lightweight and sensuously soft, Mainie's eye-catching scarves are the ultimate in timeless style and all-seasons versatility.

Every design in the Mainie collection is a meaningful tribute to the world’s oldest continuous living culture.

Mainie embraces social responsibility principles and is committed to supporting Aboriginal women artists from some of the most isolated and disadvantaged communities in Central Australia to earn an independent living from their own work and preserve their traditional cultural heritage for future generations.

All designs in the Mainie Merino fashion collection are based on original artworks that have been ethically acquired under licence from the Aboriginal-owned and operated Warlukurlangu art centre in accordance with the Indigenous Art Code. Royalties are paid to the Aboriginal artists and their families.

Every Mainie made gives back to the Aboriginal woman artist who created the original design, to elevate and empower her, her family and her community.


For more information about the Mainie's Woolmark pure Australian Merino Wool collection, please visit our website: