Australian Aboriginals: Aboriginal cave art and stone art

Australian-aborigines-unit-study-hands on-activities

C13 decided to learn more about Australian Aboriginal stone and cave art.  She spent time researching, wrote a brief paper on it and then went to town creating some of her own.  Here are some of the images she based her art on.

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Source

Australian-aboriginal-cave art-hands

Australian Aboriginal Icons

Aboriginal art was always created as a means of expressing important stories.  The aboriginals did not have a formal written language and so communicated through easy to recognise pictograms..  The art is a language all of its own, and is multi layered meaning far more to those in the know than outsiders.  The iconography we see today was not just used to tell stories (known as Dreamtime stories), it was also used to teach children, for elders to pass on their knowledge to the youth and to tell of their life and their history.

Australian Aboriginal Cave Art

Aboriginal art was usually painted on bark, caves, rocks or drawn in sand or dirt, they were often accompanied by a song or a story.  The aboriginals used earthy colours, which in and of itself had meaning.  Black stands for the colour of the aborigines people and for night; yellow is the colour of the sun and is a sacred colour; Red is the colour of the land and of blood ‘We are all of one blood, from the land we come and to it we will all return’; and finally white is the spirit colour representing things like wind, lightning and smoke.

Australian Aboriginal Cave Art Activity

C13 made cave art by using chalks on brown paper and scrumpling it up for good effect:

Australian-aborigines-cave art-hands

She did two of these, based on her research:

Australian-aborigines-cave-art

Australian Aboriginal Stone Carving Activity

She then decided to try her hand at a carving.  To replicate the feel of the cave rock she prepared some plaster of paris in a butcher’s meat tray, allowing it to set, before giving it an all over mustardy colour:

Australian-aborigines-stone-art

And using her research she recreated some stone carvings, repainting over the whole tray afterwards:

Australian-aborigines-stone-carving

For another post on Aboriginal art please see our Dot Art post

11 comments

  1. Well done! We live in the Northern Territory of Australia and work closely with the Aboriginals. We have loved learning their culture and language. Just as a side note, they prefer Aboriginals (or better yet, Indigenous) to Aborigines.

  2. Hi there! Love your blog. You dropped in and asked how I can homeschool and work, well I get a lot of help since my husband co-teaches, and my kids are older (we started when they were 10yrs and 12 yrs – my older daughter was 15 yrs and is now finishing up college at 19yrs). Also, the curriculum I had to use for them needed to be self-teaching or be online, interactive, come with a teacher, so that all I and my husband had to do was check work, and have our tutors (for specific courses) help our kids where we couldn’t. It can be done, and for us it’s easier than having them in traditional school. When we needed childcare/or adult present, we’d just hire a nanny or pay one of our older kids to do the job. Homeschooling is so flexible which is what we love most about it.

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