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Martha McDonald symbols

Aboriginal Art Symbols – what do they mean?

Traditionally Aboriginal people have no written language. Their culture is immensely rich, and they believe the world was created during the ‘dreamtime’, or time of creation. The preservation of their culture is imperative, and this is achieved in many ways- dance, song and via the use of symbols/ iconography. Traditionally symbolism of dreamtime events was […]

Walangkura Uta Uta

Featured art centre: Papunya Tula Artists

Papunya Tula Artists was established in 1972. Their high standard of work continues to this day; rich in symbolism, and with a timeless aesthetic. The Papunya Tula Art Movement began in 1971 when a school teacher, Geoffrey Bardon, encouraged some of the men to paint a blank school wall. The murals sparked off tremendous interest […]

Burial Poles 5

What are ‘Burial Poles’?

Not long ago hollow logs were used as coffins by the aboriginal people in Arnhem Land. There are plenty of hollow trees as termites eat the centre out of the trees. When a person died, the family constructed a tall wooden platform, covered it with branches and leaves and placed the body up on the […]


What is the ‘Dreamtime’?

To Aboriginal people, the Dreamtime represents the beginning of everything we have on earth today. In the beginning, the earth was just a flat, feature-less plain shrouded in darkness. However, supernatural beings lived below the surface of the earth. Time began when these beings broke through the surface of the earth and became Totemic Ancestors. […]