The vast and remote region of Armhem Land, consisting of 37,000 square miles and located at the eastern top end of the Northern Territory, was established as an Aboriginal reserve in 1931. The traditional owners of Arnhem Land call themselves Yolngu, meaning “people” and non-indigenous persons are called Managa or Balanda, words thought to have originated from the word “Hollander”, meaning a white or Dutch person, due to contact with Dutch explorers in the 17th century.
Yolngu culture is among the oldest living cultures on earth, and is still maintains its strength due to relatively late contact with Europeans and the fact that the people  were not removed from their traditional lands to the same extent as the peoples of the other regions of Australia. Rock art (paintings and petroglyphs) at locations such as Kakadu and Injalak point to occupation for over 50,000 years.
Trade links between Macassan fishermen from Indonesia and the Yolgnu and other groups were established at least as far back as the 15th century, and  have influenced  the art,  language and traditions of these coastal communities, all of which have a long history of bark painting, weaving , carving and printmaking. Dance, music and song are also very important aspects of Yolgnu cultural expression. The famous Aboriginal musical instrument, the didgeridoo (yidaki to the Yolgnu), is from this area and still to this day accompanies important ceremonial and social activities.
ARNHEM  LAND
(sizes are image dimensions, unframed, in inches)
This is a selection of work from Manangrida, Buku-Larrngay Mulka, 
Injalak Arts & Crafts, Bula’Bula Arts and Borroloola art centers :
  (click on first image to see larger)                                                               (download for detailed view)
Arnhem Land visual art often conveys information regarding fundamental creation myths, traditional food sources or the proper maintenance of  trade.

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