Contemporary Madarrpa

Djambawa Marawili1998/1998

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum
Sydney, Australia

This bark painting represents fishing scenes at Baniyala during the artist’s youth. It shows the Madarrpa Clan totem of the stingray Gurrtjpi and a dugout canoe with two men returning with a captured Dugong. While in the centre three men fish from an anchored canoe using hooks attached to bush string. This bark is part of a series of 80 paintings known as the Saltwater Project. The paintings were produced with the aim of educating others about the sacred stories and laws of the Indigenous Yolnu (people) of East Arnhem Land.


  • Title: Contemporary Madarrpa
  • Creator: Djambawa Marawili
  • Date: 1998/1998
  • Location: Northern Territory
  • Type: Bark painting
  • Significance: This painting represents the people belonging to the Yirritja moiety of the Madarrpa clan in the homeland of Baniyala. It highlights the role of the Saltwater Country in their way of life and the importance of marine life such as the Stingray and Dugong.
  • See institution's online collections: http://www.anmm.gov.au/collections
  • Medium: Natural pigments on bark
  • Dimensions: 202 x 59 mm
  • Credit line: ANMM Collection Purchased with the assistance of Stephen Grant of the GrantPirrie Gallery

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