The Saltwater Collection




The Saltwater Collection comprises 76 bark paintings by 47 Yolngu artists of north-eastern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The Collection details the ownership and histories of the Yolngu people and their saltwater country.

Each artist has inherited the right to paint their area of sea country, and together the bark paintings form a comprehensive map and a legal claim of the Yolngu's saltwater country of north-east Arnhem Land. Each painting names and shows the ceremonies associated with every place; they document Yolngu culture, knowledge systems, Indigenous rights, non-European contact, animals, fishing, oceanography and climate. The barks have political and legal significance beyond their spiritual meaning.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


Bark painting

Bark paintings

Indigenous Australian peoples

Coverage Spatial

Arnhem Land, Australia

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40