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Saltwater Barks

This stunning collection of bark paintings document the spiritual and legal basis of the Yolngu people's ownership of land in north-east Arnhem Land. These works were initiated by Madarrpa clan leader Djambawa Marawili in 1997, following his indignation at discovering illegal fishing on a sacred site in his clan estate.

Together they form a comprehensive map of the saltwater country whilst documenting Yolɳu culture, knowledge systems, Indigenous rights, law, history, Indonesian contact, animals, fishing, oceanography and climate.

The works stimulated and became a significant part of the evidence in the Blue Mud Bay case. These barks are historic as they are sacred, as these particular sea rights paintings will never be produced again.