Map of eastern Arnhem Land

map of AustraliaThere are several major Yolŋu communities in eastern Arnhem Land, including: Galiwin'ku, Gapuwiyak, Milingimbi, Ramingining, and Yirrkala.

There are also many homeland centres. These settlements have populations ranging from 20 to over a 100 people. The map below show the Laynha homelands centres of northeast Arnhemland.


A Yolŋu geography of eastern Arnhem land:

Saltwater Country
An estate of sea as well as land, containing sacred sites; created, named and inhabited by Ancestral beings; existing in both the physical and spiritual world.

A Homeland is a territory or settlement owned by a Yolŋu clan or clans. Today many Yolŋu live in, or regularly return to, their clan homelands. See 'Clans and kinship'.

Painting Saltwater Country
Yolŋu artists have inherited the right to paint their own country. Their paintings show how the Ancestors travelled across the country, changing the form of the landscape. Together Yolŋu paintings form a map of northeast Arnhem Land. See 'Mapping sea country'.

Seasons and seasonal indicators
In Yolŋu science we learn through observing the seasons, we see the changes in time... we see changes in the weather patterns. Through different seasons different food items are ready. Yolŋu don't just hunt for everything at once but they go according to the different seasons. Also Yolŋu sing about these different seasons... they observe and see and learn. For generations and generations these peoples have passed on this knowledge orally - it has never been written down. Dr R. MarikaSee 'Observing change'.