We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Dhomala (Macassan sail)



No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Milingimbi Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Garrawura/Liya-gawumirr/ East Arnhem Land region
    Media category
    Materials used
    pandanus and kurrajong
    171.0 x 118.0 cm (irreg.)
    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2019
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Margaret Rarru
    Artist information
    Margaret Rarru

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Margaret Rarru is a senior artist, master weaver, and respected Elder and knowledge holder. She was born in far north eastern Arnhem Land at Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island) in 1940, and today lives off the coast between her mother’s Country of Laŋarra (Howard Island) and Yurrwi (Milingimbi Island).

    Rarru is one of the most senior artists working through Milingimbi Art and Culture. She was taught to weave by her numa (aunties) when she was a young teenager at Galiwin’ku. While her ancestors have made bathi (dilly bags) for ceremonial and everyday use for centuries, it was the balanda (white) ladies, or missionaries, that taught Rarru and her aunties how to make coil baskets, and establish a space where they could make their weavings, sell them, and receive payment in return. Rarru is widely recognised for her innovative weavings of baskets, wearable pieces, and minimalist black dilly bags.

    Rarru is also well known for her paintings on bark and hollow logs that document her father’s Country, and the stories of her clan. In 2007, she won the bark painting award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

  • Places

    Where the work was made