Traditional Aboriginal
Art explained.

Traditional Aboriginal Art is one of the oldest continuous forms of art in the world. The civilization and its culture dates back more than 40,000 years.

Originally early man made designs in the sand and then being non permanent they disappeared.

Then at some early stage they felt a need to record what they were seeing and experiencing for others to see.

One of the shelters of the early tribes of settlers to what we now call Australia would be caves when they could find them.

The caves gave them protection from animals and the weather as well as a permanent safe dwelling.

These caves eventually became a place to record important events.

The hand prints stenciled by blowing ochre in solution from the mouth over the hand was a way to leave your signature for all to see.

See cave paintings.


Because of their cultural belief that every natural physical thing was placed where it is by their ancestors, rocks were also carved.

These stone carvings leave again stories from a people without a written language however so far we have not found the key to open up to our understanding this early form of expression.

Only things from nature were used in the production and retelling of their cultural stories.

Their history is constantly retold in their work because they do not have a written language.

Assignment is made at your birth of the totem you will have for your whole life.

You then become the person responsible for the retelling of the stories and songs of your totem.

Cave walls, rocks, bark from the trees carefully cut and dried became the art board of the artist.

The paint pallet was comprised of blood, eggs, earth, charcoal, feathers, stones and various ochre’s.

Traditional Aboriginal art was composed of all or part of these natural things.

It is sometimes confused with traditional art style which is another topic altogether.

The next type is the bark art done in ochres. These have been done only in the last century as far as we can tell.