Walabi (Fishing Net)

In the old days walabi (fishing nets) were used to catch djenj (fish) in the creeks, channels and river mouths of Western Arnhem Land. The mesh of the nets is woven and knotted from ‘bush string’ made from different plants such as mankulurrudj (sand palm), manburnde (banyan) roots or manbudbud (kurrajong) bark. Bush cane is then used to hold the nets in place.

These small fishing nets were used to catch little aquatic creatures such as namarddakka (nail fish) and wakih (freshwater shrimp). Old ladies remember as children they would splash the water so the fish would move towards the trap and could be scooped up with the walabi.