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Communities and Regions: Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land with an area of 140,000 square kilometers is located at the far north east of the Northern Territory. It is a tropical region inaccessible by road for much of the year. It is home to a People with strong connections to their country, traditional culture and art. The main Aboriginal Art communities of the region are at: Gunbalanya (Oenpeli), Maningrida, Ramingining, Milingimbi, Yarrkala, Ngukurr, and Galiwin'ku (Elcho Island).
The Art of Arnhem Land is predominately traditional in a style that has been practiced for thousands of years. The most recognizable feature is what's generally called x-ray, because the pictures show internal features such as the skeleton, heart, lungs, etc. That is made up of in fills as coloured patterns of lines, called "rarrk". The paintings are most often seen as they were drawn on rock walls and overhangs many generations into the past. Magnificent galleries of ancient drawings of ancestral spirits of the Dreamtime like mimih spirits, kangaroo, emu, barramundi, etc. can be seen in ancient galleries at sites like Obiri Rock.
Paintings on bark, didgeridoos, fibre craft, and sculpture, are important to this region.
Some of the important dreaming stories are:
The "Wagilag sisters"
The "Djan'kawu" brother and two sisters
"Witij", the Great Python
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