Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories - A New Way to Tell Old Stories

by Kathleen Buzzacott In the region of Central Australia, Aboriginal children are taught from an early age to tell stories on the desert sand. Their first lessons involve learning symbols and animal tracks. Iconography used in Aboriginal story telling can be traced back at least 30,000 years. These unique symbols are a visual way of retaining cultural knowledge. Cave painting, sand drawings, and ceremonial body painting have kept ancient culture and stories alive for generations. In the 50’s Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira shared the beauty of Central Australia with the world, painting scenes of his country in stunning watercolour. The Desert Community of Papunya West of Alice Springs is the birthplace of Dot Painting, which started in the 1970’s. School teacher Geoffrey Bardon encouraged his students to incorporate their symbols and traditional stories into artworks using acrylic paints. It wasn’t long before this new way of telling old stories spread across the Central Desert Region. This 20th Century Art Movement is known as the Western Desert Art Movement. Aboriginal Art now hangs in Galleries and homes all over the world, enabling Australian Aboriginal People to share their amazing dreamtime stories and culture with all peoples. Koh X