Saltwater: Paintings of Sea Country: The Recognition of Indigenous Sea Rights: 2nd edition | Author: Buku Larrnggay Mulka Centre

"The saltwater ... here it rests in the saltwater country, but it all has names. Just like Garrngirr, just like Nadayun, just like Mumuthun, every individual’s name is a special name representing country. Country where the floodwaters rush by and become one, and wherever they may rest and become one. It is that we are now telling you. That is why this paper is being written in public. It will be publicly seen by non-Aboriginal people, government and foreigners. Also people who have come from afar and made this their home. So they will see our intellectual knowledge exists in the freshwater and becomes one in the saltwater" Buku Larrnggay Mulka Centre

Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community controlled art centre of Northeast Arnhem Land located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community, approximately 700km east of Darwin.

Saltwater people express their relationship to sea country in many forms, including art, dance, music and stories. In 1996, a group of Yolngu Traditional Owners discovered an illegal barramundi fishing camp hidden in the mangroves on their country at Blue Mud Bay on the Arnhem Land coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Together with a group of Traditional Owners from north-east Arnhem Land they responded by producing a collection of bark paintings explaining their connections, beliefs and obligations to sea country, which were taken on a national tour and published as the book Saltwater. The 80 bark paintings, produced by 47 artists, are an attempt to communicate the meaning of sea country to a wide audience in the hope that Yolngu privacy, sacred places and rights will be respected by those who now trespass on their country. Each painting is accompanied by an explanation of its stories and symbolism by the artists. Individually and collectively, the paintings are a powerful tool for communicating the depth and layers of meanings of saltwater county. This second edition updates the original publication, including further discussion of the monumental story of these paintings set against a backdrop of a national legal and political maelstrom.

Author: Buku Larrnggay Mulka Centre
Contributors: Wali Wununmurra, Dula Nurruwuthun, Gawirrin Gumana, Djambawa Marawili, Mowarra Ganambarr, Lanani Marika, Djon Mundine OAM, Will Stubbs and Ron Levy
21.7 x 29cm
120 pages

Next Previous

Related Items