The Larrakia People – traditional custodians of the land in Darwin

Last updated: July 15, 2020

The Larrakia People

The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the Darwin region. They welcome you to their beautiful land and sea country. They have a deep, spiritual connection with our country and are responsible for making sure it is respected by all those that use it.

Larrakia History

The Larrakia had a vibrant traditional society based on their close relationship with the sea and trade with neighbouring groups such as the Tiwi, Wagait and Wulna. These groups shared ceremonies, song lines and intermarried.

When the first settlers arrived in the Darwin area, the Larrakia provided them with food. Despite conflict and marginalisation, from the beginning the Larrakia participated in the cultural life of the early settlement, and lived in and around the city, before they were moved out to camps further away from the city. Many popular sites around Darwin also hold specific meaning for Larrakia people, such as Stokes Hill, Mindil Beach, Rapid Creek and Casuarina Beach.

Larrakia People Today

Today, the Larrakia are a vibrant Aboriginal nation numbering around 2,000 people. Larrakia are broadly recognised for their strengths in performance, music and art. Many Larrakia have achieved mainstream success as doctors, lawyers, sportsmen and hold senior positions in government and other organisations.
Larrakia feel particularly strongly about their role as Traditional Owners for the Territory’s capital and looking after visitors to their country. The people continue to be active in the political sphere, but are also diplomatic, willing to work with people to achieve the best outcome even from a position of disadvantage. The Larrakia aim to foster partnerships according to the cultural protocols, which they ask you to understand and respect.

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