The Australian Aboriginals have a history that dates back at least 60,000 years. In this time they inhabited the Australian continent alone and without external influence. They developed a rich and fascinating culture that is worlds apart from other cultures.
Their culture originates in the dreamtime and identifies very distinct roles for men and women. There are, however, ceremonies and stories that are suitable for all people to hear and be invloved in.
At times of initiation large numbers of tribal members get together and sing, dance and observe the appropriate rituals. This is an eerie yet fascinating time and few outsiders are ever able to see such events.
The Aboriginal people, particularly the elders, are a very proud race of people and they can see that a culture built from time immemorial is gradually disappearing. They fear that the young do not hold the culture in high regard and show little interest in learing from the elders. The elders understand the importance of the culture and how it relates them, as custodians, to the landscape and mother earth. Without this understanding and knowledge it is easy to treat Aboriginal culture with contempt. We as white people see the environment and nature as something to conquer and win against. The Aboriginal people see that they are part of the environment and if they dont take care of it then "the country looks sorry".
Over many years I have spent time with Aboriginal elders. I do not pretend to know and fully understand Aboriginal culture, however, I do have some understanding of the Anmatyerre culture and probably a lot more than most white people.
I will post various cultural information and language information in the near future. Please follow this link to see Jack Cook and Cassidy Japaltjarri sing one of their cultural songs that is used every year during the initiation ceremonies.
I know of many secret and sacred sites. I understand some of how these relate to the overall landscape and how they interact with other tribal groups. It is fascinating to learn of the signs in the landscape that direct you to a particular site and to learn some of the stories related to sites.
I have seen the most magnificent rock art of the Anmatyerre people. It is almost always at secret sites and Aboriginal law dictates that I cannnot display photos of any of it here on my website.
The newcomer to Aboriginal art can, however, see some of the magnificence of traditional art through the art produced on Canvas. There is also the craft element of Aboriginal culture - spears, shields, boomerangs, water carriers, baby carriers and coolamons. It is this art that most people will know and recognise, however, this is but a small subset of what makes and what is Aboriginal Art.
If you require further information or would like information on particular artists please send me an email.