Why Do You Call Town Paintings Australian Souvenirs?
Town Paintings, as Australian souvenirs are an inexpensive piece of art work that is produced for a specific purpose and that is quick money for use in town.
These are genuine Australian Aboriginal Art pieces but not likely to ever become valuable and usually contain only a very small part of a much larger story.
They are called Australian Souvenirs because they are inexpensive and are good general gifts.
The traditional role of women in Aboriginal society was to gather food.
Today with the ever changing environment of the Aborigine, old ways are side stepped and new opportunities present.
Most Aboriginal women today will shop for their food at a grocery store just like everyone else.
Money however is viewed much differently to Aboriginal people then it is to most everyone else where it is freely shared even among extended family members.
Food also is viewed very differently as there is an obligation to feed those in your camp or home and food is not stored on shelves waiting for an opportunity of use.
Most Aboriginal people shop everyday for what they want that day.
Largely because of all the various social problems in their lives they almost never have any money.
The small quick to paint, for the ready tourist market paintings, town paintings have become that currency.
They are exchanged at fuel stations for petrol.
They are given to taxi drivers for fairs.
They are sold on the streets and in almost all galleries.
They are but a token of such a great country and a small snippet of the real Aboriginal Cultural Masterpieces that they are a part of. Women however are the major producers of this type of art.
They are often need to paint in order to provide money for other members of their family.
The role of the women in her family has changed to the artist of town paintings, to provide the food for her family.
Many of these women also produce beautiful cultural masterpieces a little at a time when they are able.
It is truly sad that they are not able to produce more of the true cultural story masterpieces, but they must produce instead, Australian Souvenirs for the tourist market and are the victims of their own culture.