East Arnhem Land
Located in the north-eastern corner of the northern territory, East Arnhem Land is a large parcel of the Top End that is held as Aboriginal owned and managed land. This vast tract of nearly 100,000 sq km is the home of the Yolgnu, the indigenous custodians of the land and its stories. The rich cultural and artistic traditions of the Yolgnu began as long as 40,000 years ago and their beautiful artworks carry forward important kinship relationships and sacred stories of creation.
This area of Australia feels like another world. Fresh and saltwater purposefully intertwine, red-ocher rocks nestle amongst vast beaches rich with sea life and fringed by dense stringy-bark forest. It is an unimaginable paradise. Here land and sea are connected in a single cycle of life for which the Yolngu hold the songs and designs. These spiritual forces govern the sacred designs behind the ongoing Creation and continuing identity of this unique region of Australia.
As diverse as the geography, the art centers from this region produce work that shares similar materials and techniques – bark painting, woven fiber work and wood carving.
To visit Arnhem Land, you must have a signed permit from one of the township communities. Access in the dry season is by road; during the wet months roads are impassable, with the only access by air or sea.