Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land is region of the Northern Territory of Australia located in the north-eastern corner of the territory, approximately 500 km from Darwin. The region has an area of 97,000 km² which also covers the area of Kakadu National Park, and a population of 16,230. The explorer Matthew Flinders named the region after the Dutch ship Arnhem, which was used to explore the coast in 1623. The ship itself was named after the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands.

Arnhem Land has been occupied by indigenous people for tens of thousands of years and is the location of the oldest-known stone axe, which scholars believe to be 35,500 years old. The Aboriginal community of Yirrkala near Nhulunbuy, is internationally known for bark paintings. The community of Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) in Western Arnhem Land is also notable for bark painting. The Aboriginal people also create temporary sand sculptures as part of their sacred rituals. Arnhem Land is also known for spectacular Aboriginal rock-art paintings, with some of the finest examples found at Ubirr Rock, Injalak Hill, and in the Canon Hill area.

Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery stocks a large range of paintings on bark (Eucalyptus tetradonta) using ochre (natural earth pigments).

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