aboriginal art history

Prehistoric Aboriginal rock art at the Mutawintji National Park, NSW, Australia. For 1000s of years Mutawintji was a highly important spiritual meeting place in Australia, and its rock art dates from over 8,000 years ago. The handprint stencils shown above were created by placing one’s hand on the rock, and spitting yellow or red ochre from their mouth.

Photo taken by Beppie.

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Aboriginal rock art of the Algaihgo Fire Woman at the Kakadu National Park, NT, Australia.

Notice her four arms, and the banksias (a native Australian plant) attached to her head.

The Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service provide the following description of the image depicted on a sign near the site:

Algaihgo (pronounced Al-guy-go), the fire woman, is one of the First People or Nayuhunggi who created the world. She planted the yellow banksias in the woodlands and used their smouldering flowers to carry fire.

Stories about Algaihgo tell how she hunted rock possum, her favourite food, with the help of the dingoes which travelled with her.

People are afraid of Algaihgo because she kills and burns people, and avoid her Djang (sacred site) on the Arnhem Land Plateau where her spirit lives.

Photos taken by Hansjoerg Morandell.