The Kurnatari are residents of Murter, the oldest and largest settlement on the island of Murter, as well as owners of nearly all of the Kornati islands. Murterians arrived on Kornati islands in the 17th century, driven from their own land by the Turkish invasion. In the middle of the 19th century, Murterians started to buy off the Kornati islands and in 1896 became the sole owners of the islands. It is because they were separated from their property by the sea that the labourers of Murter would become seamen, fishermen and ship-builders. They would turn to the sea, acquire new skills and build their houses along the coastline. Kornati islands as we know them today are a product of hard work done by their owners, for which they are regarded as a monument to human labour, as well as to a life of coexistence with nature.