land owns us; we don’t own the land.
The land owns us; we don’t own the land.
We are part of the land.
From the time we are children we learn the songs and stories
about the land.
For thousands of years, these songs and stories have been
part of the people’s oral tradition and
Art • English/Language Arts • Science
According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is known
today can be tracked to the Dreamtime or the era of Creation.
During this time, their Great Spirit Ancestors undertook
many amazing journeys that criss-crossed the vast country
of Australia in a maze of tracks. They performed feats along
the way, which established the natural formations of the
Australian landscape as it is seen today. The events of
this distant time have been passed down in the oral tradition
of folklore and are still enacted in ceremonies that include
dance in mime form to the accompaniment of clap sticks.
The animals of Australia seem to be at the center of all
Aboriginal art. They are the subjects of the Dreamtime myths
and legends. The Aborigines have painted on walls of rock
for at least a century. There is early evidence from the
18th century that Aboriginal families were creating paintings
for use in rituals and oral traditions. Their painting technique
has become more complicated today and is still practiced
in Arnhem Land. Traditionally, the paints are earth tones
and made from clay and rocks. Brushes were created from
chewed twigs, plant stems and hair. The subject matter varies
from everyday activities of Dreamtime, in which stories
describe creation beings in their animal and human form.
The x-ray style is derived from cave paintings. The inside
may not be medically correct, but they paint it the way
they imagine it to be.
Museum Online Stories of the Dreaming
Central Aboriginal Art
Dreamtime Lesson Plan