Skip to content
  • Open today 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission

Yalangbara: Art of the Djang'kawu was an exhibition of captivating Aboriginal artworks by the Marika family from north-east Arnhem Land exploring the journey of the Djang'kawu ancestors.

Yalangbara was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 December 2010 to 25 September 2011 in the First Australians Focus Gallery.

Yalangbara: Art of the Djang'kawu. Mawalan 1 Marika. Djang'kawu, Ancestral Being of the Dhuwa Moiety Carvings 1960. Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, Sydney. - click to view larger image
'Ancestral Being of the Dhuwa Moiety' by Mawalan 1 Marika

The Marikas are highly regarded as talented artists, educationalists, cultural ambassadors, environmentalists, and activists.

The exhibition centred upon the family's most significant clan estate at Yalangbara, or Port Bradshaw, south of Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land. The region is regarded as the original site of human and cultural origins associated with the Djang'kawu ancestors.

The exhibition featured works produced at the Yirrkala mission in the 1930s, rare crayon drawings commissioned by Dr Ronald Berndt, monumental barks from the 1950s, and a series of contemporary prints, fibre items, barks, and carvings.

Land rights, copyright and the interrelationship between people, their art and the land were also explored in the exhibition which included the Djang’kawu digging stick, normally exhibited next to the famous Yirrkala bark petition in Parliament House.

Explore the exhibition

About the exhibition Discover how this exhibition celebrates one of the most significant places in north-east Arnhem Land.
The Yalangbara region Explore the spectacularly beautiful region of Yalangbara and its cultural significance.
The Djang'kawu ancestors Learn about the Djang’kawu ancestors — the most important narrative tradition of the region.
The Yolngu Learn about the Yolngu, or people, of the Miwatj or north-east Arnhem Land region.
The Marika family Discover the Marika family and the important role that art has played in their lives.
Art and Indigenous rights Explore how the Marika family and their art played a part in the Indigenous rights movement.
Art and meaning Explore the themes and symbolic meanings of the Yalangbara paintings, prints and sculptures.
Objects and meaning Explore the significance of the iconic items the Djang’kawu brought to Yalangbara.
Djang'kawu sites See some of the most commonly illustrated sites in the greater Yalangbara region.
Glossary Browse a glossary of Indigenous language terms used in this exhibition.
Catalogue Read about and purchase the exhibition catalogue.
Acknowledgements Many people and organisations helped bring this exhibition to life.

A touring exhibition presented by the National Museum of Australia, developed by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in partnership with the Marika family and supported by the Northern Territory Government.

Supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.

Logos for Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Northern Territory Government, Australian Government Visions of Australia and Leighton Holdings.

Yalangbara was also on show at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory from 24 November 2011 until 15 July 2012 and at the Western Australian Museum in Perth from 1 September to 4 November 2012.

Return to Top