Cow-horn sharks by unknown artist

Craft
Two in one

A favourite pastime of many locals was to carve whatever enduring materials were at hand—turtle shell and catfish bones for the saltwater people, and cow horns and boab nuts for those from the station country. These wonderful examples of carved cow horns of the station country have been transformed into animated sharks from the saltwater country. They were carved by Aboriginal residents from Bungarun, the leprosarium, across the Derby marsh. Opened in 1936 for 50 years Aboriginal people suffering from leprosy were ‘rounded up’ and kept at the leprosarium and tirelessly cared for by the compassionate sisters of St John of God. Many never returned home to their families. Art and music were favourite pastimes of the residents as they adapted to life in the leprosarium.

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Shire of Derby / West Kimberley Library - local studies collection

Muddy Waters

Named after the Earl of Derby, the town has a rich colonial history as the first regional and administrative centre, supporting the sheep and cattle stations of the west Kimberley. Keeper of this...

Address:

Clarendon Street
Derby WA 6728
Australia

Open Hours
Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri 9.30am - 12pm; Thurs 1 - 5pm; Sat 10am – 12pm

More from the Shire of Derby / West Kimberley Library - local studies collection

Sheep on the run

Few may remember that it was sheep, not cattle, that were brought to the rich pastures along the Fitzroy River in the 1880s. Since that time Derby has been the regional centre and port for the west...

Nyikina—a language of the river country

Nyikina is one of the main languages of the West Kimberley region, particularly around the lower end of the mighty Fitzroy River. It is spoken by more people than Warrwa, which is the language group...

While you're in the area

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Derby Jetty
Attraction
Derby Jetty
Located north of the Derby town site, the jetty experiences the biggest...
via Jetty Road, Derby, WA 6728
Galvans Gorge
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Galvans Gorge
Galvans Gorge is the most accessible gorge along the legendary Gibb River...
Galvans Way, Derby, WA 6728
Derby Lodge
Accommodation
Derby Lodge
Derby Lodge welcomes you to their oasis in the heart of the Kimberley's...
15-19 Clarendon Street, Derby, WA 6728
Manning Gorge
Attraction
Manning Gorge
For camping under a star-filled outback sky and immersing yourself in...
Derby-Gibb River Road, Mount Barnett Station, Derby, WA 6728