Artist: Isobelle Noble
Salt Water Fishing in Marra Country – 2021
Paintings – Acrylic on Canvas – 40 x 40 cm (pre-stretched)
Marra people are saltwater people and gathering food from the sea has been an important way of life for thousands of years. Dugout canoes, hand made harpoons, spears and fish traps were vital tools and vehicles to maintain food provision for families.
In the very early days the canoes were made from bark lashed together with twine made from Pandanus. Later when the Macassan traders began visiting and trading with Marra people they taught them how to build more sturdy ‘dugout’ canoes as pictured here.
Today Marra people continue with their love of fishing and seafood using modern boats and handlines. Many still know the art of carving dugout canoes and will occasionally produce these traditional items for cultural purposes.