Oyster Dreaming

  Linda Namiyal Bopirri, 1990, Yolngu Matha (Durrurna clan, Dhuwa moiety), Oyster (‘Oyster Dreaming’, ‘Wayanaka’) Bank, Ochre on Bark, 64x95cm.     © the artist's estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd; Burkhardt-Felder Collection, Switzerland.

Linda Namiyal Bopirri, 1990, Yolngu Matha (Durrurna clan, Dhuwa moiety), Oyster (‘Oyster Dreaming’, ‘Wayanaka’) Bank, Ochre on Bark, 64x95cm. © the artist's estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd; Burkhardt-Felder Collection, Switzerland.

A look through Indigenous Australian art will find many stories about collecting oysters. The painting above by Linda Namiya Bopirri is titled 'Oyster Dreaming'.

The Yolngu people from south east Arnheim land in the very north of Australia have been trading with the people of what is now known as Indonesia for a long time before the white man arrived. There is every chance that oysters where one of the items traded between these peoples.