Indigenous people, this term refers to the first set of people or the ethnic group that form the earliest known inhabitants of a particular area. Aborigine, aboriginal is the blanket term used with reference to these people. Aborigines first settled in Australia. The Aboriginal culture dates way back to 60,000 to 80,000 years ago, and from them originated a beautiful art form based solely on storytelling. It is called the aboriginal art form. Here is a brief discussion of this beautiful art form today.
Aboriginal people constructed their art form on the basis of storytelling aiming to convey the knowledge of land, beliefs and events of their culture. A large portion of the art is believed to be sourced from Dreamtime stories, “the Dreamtime” is the period in which the aboriginal people believe the origin of the world. These stories date back to 50,000 years back and are portrayed with ancient aboriginal symbols as they do not have a designated language of their own.
Symbols and Icons
The communication via the aboriginal art happens with their traditional icons or symbols and this is considered as a vital entity in the pursuit of preserving their culture. Aboriginal drawing shifted to papers and canvas only in the past 40 years or so, before that, the drawings we see now were scribbled in rocks and walls, from then, it has evolved into one of the most exciting contemporary art forms of the 20th century.
Fitting into the Modern World
The paintings are a source of inspiration and knowledge to the forthcoming generations and because of its symbolism it can be interpreted in various ways which adds more meaning and depth to this artform. Artists planning to paint a specific story in aboriginal art need prior permission to tell the story, it is extremely important to them that the story is original and belongs to their family lineage.
There were instances of dot paintings in these art which were used to hide secret information. Worried that the rest of the world would decipher their language, they began to hide their symbols with the help of dotting, these dots covered the icons and symbols they originally used. Each of their drawings may be simple to the man’s eyes but has immense depth and meaning to it which is evident only to the ones who learn about this art form dearly.
Indegenious Australian Culture is the longest standing culture the world has seen and their intense and captivating art has made its way to the museums and galleries allowing us a peek into their vast culture and existence.
Here is a small tease for you in respect for the symbolism depicted by the drawings. There is a constant occurrence of U symbols in the drawings, this represents a person, why is that you winder, when a person sits crossed legged on a sand, the U is the usual symbol that is left behind.
This versatile, traditional and contemporary art form needs to be protected at all costs for the immense culture and originality it carries. It is the responsibility of the coming generations to keep the art form going and not let it get adulterated by any other factors. Preserving the culture of people is significant to pave a path towards a rich and decadent history.
Author: Nora George